According to David Sinclair, deputy director of the Paul Glenn Center for Biological Mechanisms of Aging and a professor who has written numerous books on genetics and aging, aging is another disease that humans must overcome.
Blood transfusions from young people may be the secret to longevity. But to get it, you don’t need drugs, you have to disturb your comfort. “The bottom line is you have to get your body out of its comfort zone (we call it hormesis),” Sinclair said on the Rich Roll podcast.
The problem with today’s world is that we just want to relax and be nourished. We don’t want to feel uncomfortable and that creates a lot of problems. If we don’t constantly tell our bodies that something could become a problem, our bodies don’t care. It does not fight disease or aging.
The methods Sinclair teaches to counteract and ultimately reverse the body’s aging process are not new. They have been heard many times before, but they all lead to “compromise in comfort”.
According to Sinclair, the first thing people should do to live longer is “reduce the frequency of feedings.”
“If I had one thing to say, I think the most important thing to extend a healthy lifespan is to eat less,” Sinclair said. “Don’t eat three meals a day.”
The next obvious step to a healthier lifestyle is regular exercise. Sinclair also recommends “fasting,” saying she “skips one or two meals a day, which has changed her life.”
This form of fasting is beneficial in fighting aging because it increases levels of Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide (NAD+), which in turn activates the body’s “repair genes”. The same goes for exposing yourself to heat and cold, such as a sauna.
In addition to getting enough sleep, the Harvard professor also recommends limiting meat consumption. The amino acids in meat activate the metabolic pathway called mTor, which shuts down our body’s defenses and tells us it’s time to grow.
As a result, activities that cause stress, such as exercise, fasting, and cold/heat exchange, increase your NAD+ levels. This allows sirtuin, a type of protein that regulates gene expression and repairs DNA damage, to work properly.
Sinclair explains that without NAD+, aging is faster regardless of your genetic makeup: “80 percent of our health in old age is due to our lifestyle and how we live, only 20 percent is genetic.”
If we take effective action to reverse aging, Sinclair believes that “a world where people can live to 250 and still play tennis at 120 is possible.”
“There’s no reason why we couldn’t do that with our intelligence,” Sinclair said.