Want To Increase Your Lifespan?

Want to increase your lifespan? Let’s have a look at the research, from supplements to slow aging to food choices for offsetting aging and lifestyle choices to slow aging. Oh and the biology of aging. Because we need to try to understand the science before we can decide on actionable protocols!

Louie just wants a treat.
Louie just wants a treat!

BIOLOGY OF AGING

I think you’ll all agree that aging is universal, intrinsic, progressive, and deleterious to the health of an individual.

Doesn’t that make aging sound like a disease? Can we take a pill to cure aging?

Scientists couldn’t agree on what aging was until they had a symposium in 2013 and hashed it out. Now scientists and researchers are more in sync about the biology of aging.

'nsync band members w boys' heads
WE'RE 'NSYNC TOO
The goals of aging biology research are broad and ambitious—to understand how a multitude of genes, pathways and mechanisms at multiple scales contribute to declines in function, health and lifespan in ways that can vary across populations, environments and species.
Biology of Aging_ A systems approach
A systems approach to the biology of aging

So the biology of aging isn’t only about free radical damage or telomere shortening. (Click on the link for a quick overview on telomeres and DNA replication and how it relates to aging!)

The biology of aging is more complicated than scientists originally thought.

Research in this century focuses on those 9 hallmarks of aging.

Biology of Aging _9 Hallmarks
Lopez-Otin et.al. 2013

Stem cell exhaustion? I’m exhausted just reading the list! 

And now scientists propose  adding three more hallmarks to make twelve :

Disabled macroautophagy, Chronic inflammation, and Dysbiosis. 

 

Alex makes a face
Drink coffee.

WANT TO INCREASE YOUR LIFESPAN?

To increase our lifespans, we can possibly make changes via epigenetics!

Epigenetics is a rapidly growing area of science that focuses on the processes that help direct when individual genes are turned on or off.

boys playing laser tag
WE'RE READY

The CDC definition: Epigenetics is the study of how your behaviors and environment can cause changes that affect the way your genes work.

 

Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible and do not change your DNA sequence, but they can change how your body reads a DNA sequence.

Now you’ll say, my family has a history of heart disease. I can’t do anything about my DNA.

Okay, that’s true. Your DNA is written. ATGC!

Those are your genetics. Science wants to increase your lifespan in spite of genetics. 

robot hand holding DNA in test tube

THINK OF INCREASING YOUR LIFESPAN AS NATURE V NURTURE

Rather than being genetically predetermined, some scientists believe that our life span is epigenetically determined.
epigenetics & aging
Nature is your genetics & nurture are your epigenetics
We CAN do something about the biology of aging
Unlike genetic changes, epigenetic changes are reversible & do not change your DNA sequence, but they can change how your body reads a DNA sequence.
CHANGE HOW OUR BODIES READ OUR DNA!!
COOL!
In 2005, a team of Italian researchers provided the first concrete evidence for the role of environmental epigenetics in explaining why twins with the same genetic background can have vastly different disease susceptibilities
Twin study
I could add many many slides w/ studies & they'd all say
We can change our DNA!
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Okay! Scientists that study aging are excited by this theory that lifespan is epigenetic. Do you want to increase your lifespan? I assume so!  

How, you ask?

Three ways to choose from!

Can we eat potato cips?
Are potato chips involved?

LIFESTYLE CHOICES TO SLOW AGING

SUPPLEMENTS TO SLOW AGING

FOOD CHOICES FOR OFFSETTING AGING

THESE CHANGES WORK ON THE CELLULAR LEVEL

Diet & other environmental influences can influence our life span by changing our epigenetic information... & influence our life span.

Behavioral interventions, nutritional interventions, supplemental interventions.

LIFESTYLE CHOICES TO SLOW AGING

First a bit of backstory. AKA food history & how we went off course.

Louie wants to keep in touch_Subscribe
WILL THIS INVOLVE TREATS?

Why yes, Louie. This does involve treats. Lots and lots of treats. And potato chips!

1950s potato chips!
VOILA! POTATO CHIPS!
Years ago, dietary wisdom held that eating frequent but small meals helped to maintain steady blood glucose and promote weight loss.
Hint: Dietary wisdom was wrong
Between 1950 and 2000, the US became a nation of snackers
Manufacturers introduced a host of packaged snacks that catered to basic cravings for sugar, salt, and fat.
By the 1980s, people were consuming snacks everywhere—at home, work, and school, while in the car or walking down the sidewalk.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 1, 1999
AJCN
People thought that our pancreases would be less stressed by keeping insulin levels even.
Hence the snacking boom.
People thought wrong
Whenever you eat, your body secretes insulin, which delivers sugar from your bloodstream to your cells, then to your liver and muscle for storage.
These storage units, however, only take what they need. They aren't greedy. If you've still got sugar hanging out in your blood, your liver repackages that sugar as triglycerides. Insulin then stores those triglycerides as, you guessed it, fat.
Every time you snack, you raise insulin levels.
which makes your body store fat more readily.
Ongoing exposure to sugar in our bloodstream cause insulin resistance.
INSULIN RESISTANCE IS A BAD THING!
Too much of a good thing
We want our bodies to be sensitive to insulin
High insulin sensitivity allows the cells of the body to use blood glucose more effectively, reducing blood sugar.
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Technically, insulin resistance means that cells have stopped listening to insulin’s signals. 

Imagine a cell as a balloon being blown up with air. Eventually, the balloon expands to the point where it gets more difficult to force more air inside. You have to blow harder and harder.

The air around the balloon (cell) is glucose!

Your pancreas pumps out more insulin to try to remove the excess glucose from the bloodstream and cram it into the cells. (air into the balloons) 

balloons w Ian hiding

Eventually you reach a limit where no more air (glucose) can be added to the balloon. (cells)

On a blood test, you’ll have high glucose levels and high insulin levels. The balloon has stopped letting air inside. The pancreas becomes fatigued from trying to help.

THINK OF SNACKING ANOTHER WAY

Your body is busy all the time sopping up the snacks so it never gets to take a break

and take care of business
Too much deliciousness

To reiterate, insulin sensitivity is a good thing. We want our bodies to respond to insulin quickly!

Murren waterall
INSULIN SENSITIVITY = GOOD

WANT TO INCREASE YOUR LIFESPAN?

Let your cells do something else other than metabolize your snacks & meals. A great lifestyle change is:

Lifestyle choices to slow aging? Take a break from eating.

Silly face
Not what you wanted to hear, I bet.

TAKE A BREAK FROM EATING sounds better than fasting

Journal club Ian
Can we take a break after dinner?

After dinner is a perfect time to take a break from eating. But that popcorn does call to me. Louie’s favorite snack? Read this post.

Kidding aside:

Intermittent and periodic fasting are emerging as safe strategies to affect longevity & health span by acting on cellular aging & disease risk factors, while causing no or minor side effects.

Their effect on cellular aging & the molecular mechanisms involved are only beginning to be unraveled.

IF, PF & longevity

BIOLOGY OF AGING AS IT RELATES TO CALORIE RESTRICTION

Fasting has been practiced for thousands of years and is an important tradition in many religions and cultures worldwide.
Religious fasting and health
Fasting also bumps up autophagy
The cellular process of digesting old & misfolded proteins, damaged parts of itself, as well as eliminating intracellular pathogens.
autophagy overview
If you recall above, disabled autophagy is newly added hallmark of aging!
Because autophagy is key to staying healthy.
AUTOPHAGY
is a process associated with a variety of health benefits including increasing your lifespan.
Autophagy & aging
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AUTOPHAGY occurs constantly in our bodies

But fasting, caloric restriction, & exercise speed up the process

I know, not the best news. I like to eat too.

When we take a break from eating, our cells can work on other processes.
More benefits of fasting
Studies show that low levels of insulin turn on longevity genes!
dietary restriction (DR) is known to extend lifespan across species
Sirtuins are longevity genes in the body.
The seven members of this family of enzymes are considered potential targets for the treatment of human pathologies including neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer.
Sirtuins & what they do
Sirtuins are NAD+ dependent & regulate important metabolic pathways such as cell survival, senescence, proliferation, apoptosis, DNA repair, & cell metabolism.
For example, SIRT1 exerts a neuroprotective action
Investigations are pointing towards its role fighting neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, & Huntington’s disease.
SIRT1 & protection against Alzheimers Disease
Fasting Boosts Stem Cell Regeneration
And may increase neuronal network activity in brain regions involved in cognition, resulting in the production of BDNF, enhanced synaptic plasticity, and improved stress tolerance
A drug treatment that mimics fasting can also provide the same benefit, study finds.
More on this below in the supplement section, but...
when you fast, your body will slow down mTOR because there are no proteins or a lack of amino acids (leucine, lysine, valine) for mTOR to use.
mTOR & longevity
The level of all sirtuins, except SIRT4, increases as an effect of calorie restriction
Recent data have shown that the aging protection mechanism involving sirtuins is universal
Sirtuins & aging
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While autophagy, decreasing inflammation, decreasing mTOR activity, &  increasing sirtuins are associated with several potential health benefits, it’s important to note that fasting or cutting calories may not be suitable for everyone.

If you’re intrigued by the idea of  anti-aging via fasting, here’s an article from Johns Hopkins about intermittent fasting.

Intermittent fasting is a powerful tool and qualifies under of lifestyle choices to slow aging.

I went down an intermittent fasting rabbit hole while writing this post. (One reason it took me so long to finish!) I had a lot more info on the topic that I deleted in the interest of staying on track. And I did take a break and eat a snack.

Fishing
TALK ABOUT SUPPLEMENTS

Feel free to email if you want to chat more about it. 

Let’s get back to other lifestyle choices to slow aging. 

No this does not involve matching hats although I do like it as a lifestyle choice.

LIFYSTYLE CHOICES TO SLOW AGING

Exercise
I love to exercise.

I’m going to say it. That dreaded word : EXERCISE.

While we could easily peck at the quantitative data on intermittent fasting to increase your lifespan, the evidence about exercise is irrefutable. 

Incorporating exercise as a lifestyle choice to slow aging will deliver results.

If you want to increase your lifespan, the data about exercise is not ambiguous.

ADD 3 YEARS TO YOUR LIFE
As few as 15 minutes of exercise per day may help you achieve benefits, which could include an additional 3 years of life!
add 3 years to your life
Regular physical training can improve your quality of life.
Want to increase your lifespan? Walk for longevity!
Here is an easy workout for you!
A recent review observed a 22% lower risk of early death in individuals who exercised — even though they worked out less than the recommended 150 minutes per week
Lower risk of early death
You can do your workouts on the weekends, cramming it all in and still achieve the same benefits!
weekend warriors rejoice
Exercise improves the resistance to oxidative stress, which could influence the pace of aging and help maintaining the brain function
Even mild physical activity is a potent activator of sirtuins
More on sirtuins in the biology of aging section below...
exercise and sirtuins
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A lot of convincing studies tout the benefits of exercise as a lifestyle choice to slow aging.

Let’s move on to a more controversial choice to increase your lifespan.

Supplements.

louie running
I love to exercise, too.

MY DISCLAIMER SECTION

The more controversial, ‘supplements to slow aging’ section is where I got hung up.

Big time.

Two books, three-dozen podcasts, seventy-five yoga classes, and eighty articles later, I came to a conclusion.

Make Sense of Science eye roll
Dramatic much?

It is impossible to offer guidance on who should take what supplement, the proper dose, when to take it, and when to stop.

I can share my findings & summarize the biochemistry, so you can make your own decision.

I can also share three questions to ask yourself before you purchase any supplement.

The more clearly you can define your objective, the more clearly you can assess if this is the right tool for accomplishing that objective.

a> A biomarker (short for biological marker) is an objective measure that captures what is happening in a cell or an organism at a given moment.

b> Example of a biomarker is your fasting blood glucose, to check the health of your pancreas.

c> If there is no biomarker to monitor as a measure of effectiveness, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take the supplement or medication; it just means you may need to be more intentional about monitoring results in other ways.

a>Everyone has a different tolerance for risk.

b>Some questions to consider when weighing risk vs. reward:

  1. Is the mechanism of action well understood?
  2. How many patient-years of use exist
  3. What are the short- and long-term risks of taking the medication?
  4. What are the risks of not taking the medication?
alex and a whiteboard
All right, Ice-T. Here we go.

SUPPLEMENTS TO SLOW AGING

Enormous progress has been made identifying individual genes, pathways, molecules & their connection in mechanisms that modulate aging.

 

But first, since we’re making sense of science in this blog:

DNA building blocks ATGC
DNA!

THE BIOLOGY OF AGING 101

I’ve only skimmed the surface on the biology of aging. There are more molecules and processes involved. (For a primer on telomere shortening & aging, read this post)

It is believed that DNA damage is the main cause of cellular senescence.
AKA AGING
Cellular senescence
During the active aging process, senescent cells accumulate in tissues & are responsible for the synthesis of a variety of pro-inflammatory mediators
Chronic inflammation is not the only villain but
it can damage healthy cells, tissues & organs, & may cause internal scarring, tissue death & damage to the DNA in previously healthy cells.
Inflammation 101
The hallmark of classical neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, and Huntington diseases is the accumulation of misfolded proteins.
These proteins have a toxic effect on the surrounding neurons leading to cell death.
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THE BIOLOGY OF AGING : mTOR & SIRTUINS

A growing list of evidence points to mTOR signaling, which negatively influences longevity & the biology of aging.
mTOR & aging
mTOR signaling controls cellular lifespan & influences aging-related processes such as nutrient sensing, maintenance of proteostasis, autophagy, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, & decline in stem cell function.
mTOR signaling
What the heck is mTOR?
mTOR stands for mammalian/mechanistic target of rapamycin.
Findings implicate mTOR in many aspects of mitochondrial functions, biogenesis, degradation, & dynamics, as well as cellular senescence and a decline in stem cell function
mTOR as a central regulator of aging
As we get older, mTOR may stay active all the time—opening the door to out-of-control cell growth that can lead to cancer and closing the door on cell repair.
Deregulation of the mTOR pathway has been implicated in a number of human diseases such as cancer, diabetes, obesity, neurological diseases, and genetic disorders.
mTOR pathophysiology (gone wrong)
Inhibition of the mTOR pathway by rapamycin (and its analogs) has profound effects on life span from worms to mice to marmosets!
Rapamycin 2009 groundbreaking study
Studies also demonstrate a link between hyperactivation of mTOR & misfolded protein accumulation
mTOR gone wrong & aging
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Sirtuins are longevity genes in the body
Sirtuins & longevity
The sirtuin system consists of seven highly conserved regulatory enzymes responsible for metabolism, antioxidant protection, and cell cycle regulation.
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Click Here
Sirtuins are indispensable for DNA repair, controlling inflammation & anti-oxidative defense which makes them good anti-senescence/anti-aging targets.
mitochondrial sirtuins & aging
Their wide-ranging activities help ameliorate aging-related mitochondrial dysfunction, genomic instability, inflammation, autophagy, and others.
Sirtuin function decreases in aging
Nutraceuticals and pharmacological agents able to boost sirtuin activity have clinical potential in helping to treat aging-related conditions such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, osteoporosis, and arthritis.
You can increase sirtuins w exercise!
SIRT1 is suggested to be a master regulator of exercise-induced beneficial effects. It has been shown that long-term moderate exercise (36 weeks) induced increase in SIRT1 level in adult rat muscle, liver and heart.
Sirtuins & exercise study link
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The search for an activator of sirtuins is a robust topic of research.

Sirtuins play key role during cell response to a variety of stresses, such as oxidative or genotoxic stress and are crucial for cell metabolism.

Sirtuins & Aging

We want mTOR inhibitors & science has found one!

I want to talk more about rapamycin in my supplement section below....

WANT TO INCREASE YOUR LIFESPAN?

Want to increase your lifespan? Increase sirtuin levels and decrease mTOR pathways!

Laboratory data points to calorie restriction as an effective way to extend lifespan without genetic or pharmacologic intervention. But the data does not have exact instructions for us yet. 

However, we can increase sirtuins with exercise. Exercise is an irrefutable lifestyle choice to slow aging.

I hope that y’all can try to add walking into your daily routines. But fasting is not feasible for everyone. Enter another option. Supplements to slow aging.

Let’s evaluate a few supplements that may or may not potentially increase your lifespan.

*Before taking any supplement, first check with your dietician and/or physician. Not everything is safe for everyone!

baseball team
We disagree but we're in high school so we always disagree.

TURMERIC & ITS ACTIVE INGREDIENT CURCUMIN

supplements to slow aging turmeric
TURMERIC
Science has a plethora of evidence that proves curcumin is a powerful anti-aging compound
Turmeric
Curcumin has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant.
Curcumin and anti aging
Protects the liver from a number of toxic compounds
including acetaminophen
Curcumin can boost brain-derived neurotrophic factor
90 milligrams of curcumin taken twice a day for 18 months helped improve memory performance in adults without dementia.
curcumin & cognition
Curcumin may lower your risk of heart disease
curcumin & heart disease
Curcumin has been studied as a beneficial herb in cancer treatment & been found to affect cancer growth and development.
Curcumin & cancer
Curcumin may be useful in treating Alzheimer’s disease
It is useful for enhances amyloid-beta uptake by macrophages
curcumin & alzheimers
Arthritis patients respond well to curcumin supplements
I know, I'm getting way off track for supplements to slow aging but it's difficult not to include all these benefits.
rheumatoid arthritis & curcumin
As the low grade inflammatory process is believed substantially to contribute to aging, slowing aging & postponing the onset of age-related diseases may be achieved by blocking the NF-kappaB-dependent inflammation, an action of curcumin.
Anti-aging supplement
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Here’s another article: the promise of slowing down aging may come from curcumin.

The best curcumin supplements contain piperine, and this makes them substantially more effective because the curcumin is absorbed more readily.

Louie wants a taco
I hope there's turmeric and pepper in this!

Piperine is in black pepper! It’s considered a type of antioxidant in its own right! It helps to lower the risk of chronic illnesses like atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, & neurological conditions. Food choices for offsetting aging? Pepper! Start sprinkling pepper in your food as a supplement to slow aging!

Curcumin and piperine
Check the ingredients for piperine too!
black_pepper_piperine
Pepper as a food choice for offsetting aging!

FOOD CHOICES FOR OFFSETTING AGING : RECOMMENDED AMOUNTS OF TURMERIC AS A SUPPLEMENT TO SLOW AGING

The World Health Organization (WHO) has determined 1.4 mg per pound (0–3 mg per kilogram) of body weight an acceptable daily intake. (Yes, math is involved!)

But Cleveland Clinic dietician states,”It’s safe to take up to 8 grams per day, but my recommendation would be somewhere on the lighter side: 500 to 1,000 milligrams a day for the general population.” 

Also note : Turmeric supplements are unsafe if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or have certain conditions. Supplements can also interact with blood thinners and diabetes medications.

Again, if you have any doubts, check w/ your health care provider!

If you’d like to try some turmeric plus pepper, click on the : Affiliate turmeric link 

You’ll be getting ahead of aging with a safe supplement. And I may someday reach my $10 minimum earnings on Amazon and they’ll venmo me. That day has not arrived. 

SUPPLEMENTS TO SLOW AGING con't : nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) & nicotinamide riboside (NR) aka Niagin

First we need to take a quick peek at the biology of aging as it relates to the compound NAD+.

Or skip the slides and get to the punchline.

NAD+
Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a coenzyme for redox reactions, making it central to energy metabolism.
NAD+ and its role in metabolism
NAD+ influences many key cellular functions, including metabolic pathways, DNA repair, chromatin remodeling, cellular senescence & immune cell function.
NAD+ is also an essential cofactor for non-redox NAD+-dependent enzymes, including sirtuins
NAD+ works as a shuttle bus, transferring electrons from one molecule to another within cells to carry out all sorts of reactions and processes.
Aging and obesity are accompanied by a gradual decline in tissue and cellular NAD+ levels
By restoring NAD+ levels, several age-related disorders can be delayed or even reversed.
longevity and NMN
Diseases such as
diabetes, cardiovascular issues, cognitive impairment, & many others.
NAD intermediates
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We need to increase our NAD+ but oral supplementation w/ NAD+ does not increase NAD+ because it cannot enter a cell.  

But precursors of NAD+ can enter cells, & increase NAD+ production.

 

supplements to slow aging NMN
NMN

Nicotinamide riboside (NR) or Niagen is a member of the vitamin B3 family, which also includes niacin and niacinamide. It’s found in fruits, vegetables, meat, and milk.

Don’t mistake Niagen for Niacin.

This study showed that NMN supplementation improved the aerobic capacity of runners, likely due to enhanced O2 utilization of the skeletal muscle.

This study showed that NMN supplementation improved insulin sensitivity in women at risk for diabetes.

Does an increase in NAD+ increase lifespan?

Studies have shown the answer is yes.

The link below shows a 5% increase in lifespan in mice supplemented with NR.
NAD+ improves mitochondrial funtion

I’m fascinated by the logic behind the science.

Should you run out and buy NMN or NR supplements?

Here’s another article about NAD+ and a web page dedicated to NAD if you care to do more reading.

Consider lifestyle choices to slow aging, such as a healthy diet & moderate exercise.  These options are only good for your mental health, but  can also boost your NAD+ levels!

Let’s tiptoe out of the experimental woods.

Ian
WHAT SUE SAID!
lifestyle choices to slow aging_Alex_Exercise
I like the suggestion to exercise to increase NAD+

SUPPLEMENTS TO SLOW AGING : RESVERATROL

When I did a search for studies of resveratrol supplements, 10,027 articles popped up.

I think it’s safe to state that polyphenols– organic compounds found abundantly in plants– are an emerging field of interest as foods choices for offsetting aging.

But should we be taking resveratrol supplements to slow aging? And why do we need polyphenols in our diet, anyway?

resveratrol in a glass of red wine Kev
Here we go!
Resveratrol is part of a group of compounds called polyphenols.
‘Polyphenol’ is not a strict chemical term.
Polyphenols are found in plant‐based foods and beverages, notably apples, berries, citrus fruit, plums, broccoli, cocoa, tea, coffee, peanuts, the skin of red grapes & more.
foods that contain polyphenols
Polyphenols are found in spices too.
Oregano, celery seed, sage, rosemary, and thyme
A note about wine
A glass of red wine contains around 200 mg of total polyphenols.
polyphenol content of red wine
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The Science of Being Happy_ coffee
FOR MORE ON COFFEE & ITS BENEFITS CLICK ON THE PHOTO

Studies show that polyphenols are powerful antioxidants.

Antioxidants prevent or reverse damage in your cells caused by aging, the environment, & your lifestyle.
Studies show that people who have polyphenol-rich diets — consuming more than 650 milligrams per day — have lower death risks than those who ingest less than 500 milligrams per day.
More about antioxidants in this post

Polyphenols also:

food rich with resveratrol, polyphenols

Here is a link to a database that will give you the polyphenol content of many foods, spices & beverages. (Resveratrol is a polyphenol.)

And here is a free-access, 2020 themed issue from the British Pharmacological Society ‘The Pharmacology of Nutraceuticals.’ 

Researchers believe that resveratrol activates the SIRT1 gene.
We know all about SIRT1 & its role if we want to increase your lifespan...I won't say exercise again.
resveratrol & SIRT1
Data from human-based studies reveal that resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity and fasting glucose levels in patients with Type 2 diabetes & may improve inflammatory status in human obesity.
Resveratrol diabetes & obesity
Resveratrol shows antioxidant, anti‐inflammatory, anti‐proliferative, and angio‐regulatory effects
resveratrol pharm study
Resveratrol and other phytochemicals as nutraceuticals for cognitive functions affected in aging
role of phytochemicals study
Many intervention studies, mechanistic in vitro data and epidemiological studies support a role for polyphenols against the development of chronic diseases which can shorten lifespan.
polyphenols & nutrition
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20-food-items-with-the-highest-total-concentrations-of-polyphenols-
Polyphenol content of 20 foods

I found study after study showing improvements with resveratrol supplements, but the dosage is still a big question in the scientific community.

In addition, there are a number considerations that affect the rate of active & passive individual absorption in each person’s gastrointestinal tract.

Kevin snark face eye roll
Of course you found study after study. Maybe it's time to take a walk instead.
Long term effects of resveratrol supplements to slow aging are not documented yet either.
And resveratrol supplements may interact with other medications, so please check w/ your health care provider before you run to GNC.
How Much Resveratrol?
food choices to offset aging berries, peanuts
Some food choices for offsetting aging

Louie only likes the peanuts. 

While it is clear that adding polyphenols to your diet, to include foods that contain resveratrol is an excellent idea if you want to increase your lifespan & quality of life, I leave the decision of adding a resveratrol supplement up to you and your nutritionist. 

WANT TO INCREASE YOUR LIFESPAN?

I KNOW OF AN FDA APPROVED SUPPLEMENT TO SLOW AGING

One which is a nutrient we eat & a hormone our bodies make

VITAMIN D

People obtain vitamin D by making it naturally in sun-exposed skin (this form is cholecalciferol) & by consuming it in foods.
Vitamin D
Welcome to our Home Page Science Blog
SUN!
Aging processes such as autophagy, mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, oxidative stress, epigenetic changes, DNA disorders and alterations in Ca2+ and reactive oxygen species (ROS) signaling are all regulated in part by vitamin D.
Vitamin D & aging
Vitamin D can reduce cancer cell growth, help control infections and reduce inflammation
Vit D & cancer mortality
Some foods are fortified w/ vit D
Vitamin D is found naturally in fatty fish (salmon, trout, tuna, and mackerel), fish liver oil, liver, and egg yolks.
Vitamin D production in the skin via sunlight is the primary natural source of vitamin D
Many people have insufficient levels because they live in places where sunlight is limited in winter, or because they have limited sun exposure due to being inside. Also, people with darker skin tend to have lower blood levels of vitamin D because the pigment (melanin) acts like a shade, reducing production of vitamin D (and also reducing damaging effects of sunlight on skin, including skin cancer).
However....
solar UV is a proven human carcinogen, with studies linking it to about 90 percent of non-melanoma skin cancers and about 86 percent of melanomas, as well as premature skin aging
UV carcinogen source
Sunscreen does not block all the UV rays
Clinical studies have never found that everyday sunscreen use leads to vitamin D insufficiency.
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For most people, the best way to get enough vitamin D is taking a supplement because it is hard to eat enough through food.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for adults 19 years and older is 600 IU (15 mcg) daily for men and women.

Vitamin D rich foods_Food choices for offsetting aging.
Vitamin D rich foods

FOODS CHOICES FOR OFFSETTING AGING

Although the FDA  recommends  taking a vitamin D supplement, & strong evidence points to the positives for adding turmeric as a supplement to slow aging, in general, supplements to slow aging can’t completely replace food choices for offsetting aging.

And of course you should consult w a professional.

I feel safe advising that you seek out polyphenol-rich foods!

food rich with resveratrol, polyphenols
Polyphenol (resveratrol) rich foods

Don’t forget to eat your protein, to avoid sarcopenia.

What is sarcopenia and why should you care?  See the slide show below.

 

Six easy ways to boost your metabolism_protein
EAT SOME OF THIS
Sarcopenia (low muscle mass) is a risk to life span & health span.
lots of articles about muscle mass and health
Protein intake is an essential component of maintaining muscle mass.
And resistance training. Oops, back to darn exercise.
protein intake
There are a total of twenty amino acids that comprise muscle protein.
Nine of the twenty are considered essential amino acids (EAAs), meaning they cannot be produced by the body in physiologically significant amounts, and therefore are crucial components of a balanced diet.  
Muscle protein is in a constant state of turnover, meaning that new protein is continuously being produced while older proteins are being degraded.
Ingesting protein-containing supplements AND foods provides essential amino acids (EAA) necessary to increase muscle and whole-body protein synthesis
A physiologically-significant increase in the rate of muscle protein synthesis requires adequate availability of all amino acid precursors.
eat your protein to build muscle
Sarcopenia (low muscle mass) is a hidden epidemic of aging.
Sarcopenia and aging
Protein supplements alone won't give you all the amino acids you need
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WHICH BRINGS ME BACK TO SUPPLEMENTS TO SLOW AGING

Rapamycin, also known as sirolimus, is an immunosuppressant drug that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1999.
FDA pdf of rapamycin
It was not produced in a lab.
Rapamycin was first isolated from a bacterium found on Easter Island in the mid-20th Century.
history of rapamycin
A growing body of evidence has demonstrated that rapamycin or rapamycin analogs are beneficial for treating various diseases including … aging.
Rapamycin
Rapamycin is primarily an inhibitor of mTOR
You recall that mTOR
regulates growth & metabolism in all eukaryotic cells.
mTOR signaling
& that the TOR signaling network modulates aging.
w/ TOR less is more!
And that dysfuntional mTOR signaling leads to various human pathological conditions including neurological diseases, cancer, diabetes, & cardiovascular complications.
mTOR inhibition increases autophagy, reduces the accumulation of oxidative damage, & improves insulin sensitivity; all of which are thought to play major roles in the prevention of aging-related diseases.
The evidence that rapamycin can function as an anti-aging drug is the product of thousands of scientists working independently all over the world, studying mTOR & its inhibitors for a variety of different reasons in diverse organisms, ranging from yeast to humans.
rapamycin for longevity
When tested on mice,
rapamycin has decelerated cognitive decline, cancers, cardiovascular aging, and immune impairment that is related to age, and has promoted elongation of lifespan 25-60%
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Although rapamycin is not yet approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a life-extension drug, it can still be prescribed “off-label” for life-extension therapy.

If rapamycin does all that, and has been approved by the FDA decades ago, why isn’t everyone over the age of 40 taking it?

sulking people
Why can't we have some too?

Dosage for one thing. The dose for the anti-aging effect isn’t clear because comprehensive studies in humans have not been completed. But people are taking it, and you can find physicians to discuss the possibility if you so choose.

WANT TO INCREASE YOUR LIFESPAN?

man greeting the sun

A survey based trial of 333 people conducted over 3 years yields positive results.

Rapamycin users reported perceived improvements in quality of life since beginning off-label use of rapamycin.

Obviously this study can't state that lifespan was increased but healthspan was.

May 2023 human study of rapamycin

There are several independent, large long term studies in progress to evaluate the effects of rapamycin on aging, using companion dogs. The results will be available in 2026.

Here’s another clinic trial organizing to study supplements to slow aging at Tufts. You could enroll your dog here.

louie in a sweatshirt
Did you enroll me? Is rapamycin in my yogurt?

WANT TO INCREASE YOUR LIFESPAN?

The information in this post—and my website— does not constitute either directly or indirectly any medical advice. The provided information is intended to inform and is in no way a substitute for the direct relationship between a patient and a health professional.

I have several disclaimers stuffed in this post because, while lifestyle changes to slow aging are more direct, with concrete biomarkers, supplements to slow aging is a maze!

My initial search for rapamycin produced 153, 192 articles on a medical website. 

green hedge maze

I had to back off and read. This post took me six months. Sure, other things came up but the point is that increasing your lifespan a hefty topic.

I suspect in the next five-ten years, the FDA will approve  supplements to slow aging. 

If you’re not ready to seek out a medical professional to discuss  supplements to slow aging, meet me in the park!

We can skip breakfast, take a hike up a hill then eat some blueberries and protein for lunch! 

Louie floppy ears Sue woods walk
Okay this is down but we did go up too!

From lifestyle choices to slow aging to food choices for offsetting aging to supplements to slow aging, we covered some options, as well as the biology of aging 101. 

I know you probably find it hard to believe, but I could have written far more.

Which  of these options appeal to you most? Or which options don’t? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I'd also love for you to subscribe!

I won't inundate your inbox. Heck, this post took me six months!

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Ami
Ami
October 2, 2023 5:20 am

Wow, this post has so much info, thank you. I’m going to bookmark it so I can refer to it again.

katy
katy
October 2, 2023 5:29 am

Oh this is all really interesting, thanks so much for sharing! x

Alyssa
Alyssa
October 2, 2023 5:31 am

Love this post. I can’t imagine how much time it takes to research these new–or not new– supplements. I think I’ll stick with watching my diet and trying to exercise more. Thanks so much for the information.

Lucy
Lucy
October 2, 2023 9:05 am

A really interesting read for wanting to increase your lifespan! x Lucy

Steve
Steve
October 2, 2023 9:35 am

So did you enroll Louie in that study? JK! I’m going to pick up some vitamin D. Great post.

Michael Nelson
Michael Nelson
October 2, 2023 12:01 pm

Glad to see that you’re writing again. It’s amazing how you can assimilate all this information into something that most people can understand. Can’t wait for the next one. Great to see pictures of Louie again. Keep up the good work. It is much appreciated.

Amy Laundrie
October 2, 2023 3:54 pm

Sue, this is so impressive. The research you did! Halfway through reading, I took a break and played two sets of tennis. (For my health you know.) I’ve found the secret to exercising is to find something you love to do. Three-fourths of the way through reading, this, I hiked with my family through Devil’s Lake. Another fun activity.
Thank you so much for sharing your findings. You rock!

Fransic verso
October 2, 2023 6:29 pm

This is interesting, I know it is possible and have seen some real-life examples who did it. I learned new things from your post. Thank you for sharing!

Unwanted Life
October 2, 2023 7:07 pm

I’ve watched a few documentaries on epigenetic but I always forget the details about how it all works, so it’s nice to have a refresher. The information on insulin was especially interesting, and you’ve done a better job of explaining things than any of the endocrinologists I’ve had appointments with

Jenny in Neverland
Jenny in Neverland
October 3, 2023 3:02 am

This is very interesting and there’s so much to this topic to consider!

Alison
Alison
October 3, 2023 5:34 am

I always learn so much from your posts! I’d never even heard of the word Epigenetics this post. Thanks for all of this information!

Lisa's Notebook
October 3, 2023 7:44 am

Firstly, I can quite see why this post took you 6 months to write, Sue, it’s incredibly in-depth and comprehensive! We already take Vitamin D supplements, but I’ll certainly look into Turmeric supplements as well now, thank you.

Eleanor
Eleanor
October 3, 2023 8:59 am

Fantastic post as always Susan! I love the amount of research that’s gone into this post. I’ve started doing a lot more exercise this year – and I’ve really benefited from it. Thank you for sharing x

Valentina
Valentina
October 4, 2023 6:45 am

Being in my 40s this was quite an interesting reading!

Corinne
October 5, 2023 4:23 pm

Wow, what a post! I’m always looking for ways to improve my life span. I’m focusing on eating well an exercising!

Baby Boomer Super Saver
Baby Boomer Super Saver
October 6, 2023 2:55 am

Sue you have a talent for making a serious subject entertaining! So much info here, I like how you have made the post interactive. I’m working on increasing my exercise and already eat berries and use turmeric (in my cooking and a supplement). Your disclaimers are helpful, too – it’s always important to consult with your care provider. Unfortunately, they don’t often have much education when it comes to nutrition and alternative health practices like the use of supplements. I subscribed to ConsumerLab (dot) com for their recommendations on supplements as they independently test supplements for heavy metals and to verify the product has what it says it has in it. Plus they share relevant research.

Lauren
Lauren
October 6, 2023 9:16 am

This is such an informative post with so many interesting points. Thank you for sharing this post.

Lauren – bournemouthgirl

Carolyn Holton
Carolyn Holton
October 9, 2023 6:06 pm

Great post! Thanks for all of your research. I’m making Chana Dal with lots of turmeric as I read this, but I think I will try some turmeric supplements also. 🙂

Susan Berk Koch author

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