Human aging, and how to slow it, is a hotly debated topic. Though there is no consensus about the mechanism of aging, several theories have gained a foothold. If they are proved correct, they may point to interventions that could increase the human life span by many years.
Research findings on DNA and aging
Some of the most promising research in aging reversal involves telomeres, the repetitive DNA found at the ends of each chromosome. When DNA is replicated, telomeres protect genetic information at the ends of chromosomes from getting lost during cell division. Instead, during each cell division, telomeres themselves get shorter until eventually, in old age, coding DNA is itself compromised.
Some researchers have suggested that telomere integrity could be enhanced through specific lifestyle interventions:
- Interval training, as little as 15 minutes three times per week, keeps telomeres from getting shorter.
- Folate found in leafy, green veggies and grains is protective.
- Plant-based diets rich in antioxidants preserve telomere length.
- Eating fish provides critical omega-3 fatty acids that are statistically correlated with longer telomeres.
- Maintaining optimal body composition, in particular reducing visceral fat, blunts telomere degradation.
In light of these findings, it is not too surprising that the Mediterranean diet promotes long, healthy life. These findings also suggest that chronic inflammation plays a key role in accelerated aging and disease, so lifestyle practices that reduce inflammation, whether daily meditation or specific nutritional interventions, could prove useful. You should consider including:
- Whole grains
- Leafy greens and brassicas
- Tart Cherries
- Turmeric (or curcumin supplements)
You can reduce C-reactive protein (CRP), a major inflammatory marker, by adhering to a diet rich in G-BOMBS (Greens-Beans-Onions-Mushrooms-Berries-Seeds or Nuts), and in the process also protect your DNA, potentially lengthening your life!
The G-BOMBS diet also supercharges immunity, improving disease resistance while enhancing insulin sensitivity. All roads point to three overarching principles:
- Eat moderately, exercising portion control to regulate caloric consumption and regulate body composition. Most of your diet should be plant-based, and you should emphasize variety within the context of a G-BOMBS- and probiotic-foods-enhanced diet.
- Exercise vigorously at least three times per week (five or more may be better), keeping workouts brief (45 minutes or less). Exercising in this fashion improves hormonal profiles.
- Reduce stress, whether through meditative practices, improved quality and quantity of sleep, or better managing your home and work environment. Social involvement is critically important.
What else contributes to aging?
Even though telomeres are important, it is likely they’re not the sole determinant of aging. Caloric restriction (CR) has received a lot of attention as a way to slow aging. CR reduces oxidative damage and switches on genes central to longevity and production of NAD, a compound required for cellular energy production.
Providing cells with the raw materials necessary for NAD production may help to optimize mitochondrial function, restoring cells to more youthful function. In turn, the best way to optimize NAD precursors is adding a broad spectrum of probiotic foods to the diet. Their inclusion also enhances immunity, aids in weight control, and helps normalize insulin sensitivity. Make sure you are including probiotic yeast strains along with the more common probiotic bacteria.
May you have a long and healthy life! Check back in 100 years and we’ll give you a full update.
CATEGORIES: Diet, Exercise, Anti-aging, Lifestyle, Reverse Aging