“Anti-aging” is a media buzzword as of lately, but it isn’t a new field of research. It’s a well-studied area and seems to be on the edge of some major breakthroughs. As of now, there are thought to be 4 - 5 main causes of aging at a cellular level that eventually leads to the physical and mental decline we associate with “aging”. To prolong longevity, many scientists have devoted their careers to identifying factors that increase or decrease the rate of aging and how to modulate them.
It makes sense though - who doesn’t want to look and feel younger? The science is, however, met with controversy as if the phrase “anti-aging” holds a negative connotation for what is widely considered a natural, unavoidable process. I’m the first to say that “aging is a privilege that is denied to many.” With that said, I do believe we owe it to ourselves and the many generations that came before us to live our best lives possible, even as we approach our twilight years. Diet, lifestyle, exercise, and now the science of anti-aging can give us that roadmap for the long journey ahead.
Let’s start with the food we eat. What we put in our body daily plays a huge part in the aging process. An anti-inflammatory diet with high levels of antioxidants is shown to help decrease the factors associated with an increased rate of aging. Inflammation has a strong correlation with many of the negative attributes of aging, including disease and chronic conditions associated with advanced age. These include heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune issues. Inflammation, in of itself is a necessary and needed process that helps injured tissue repair. However, modern standard diets are considered to be pro-inflammatory, causing chronic inflammation. This increases the rate of aging in many facets including cognitively, physically and aesthetically.
A natural diet full of real food will limit unnecessary inflammation, saving the process for when it’s needed. The concept of a natural diet isn’t too hard to understand... just think about what your great grandparents ate - food that grows vs “food-like products” that are man-made. The most inflammatory foods that will increase the rate of aging are sugar, processed food such as crackers, chips and baked goods, fried foods and conventionally raised meats and meat products. The reason I list conventionally raised meats is because animals fed soy and corn have higher levels of the fatty acid omega 9, which is pro-inflammatory. Grass-fed, organic meat is higher in the healthy omega 3 fatty acid, which in turn competes with the other pro-inflammatory fatty acids for absorption in our systems. Removing these types of foods, along with including anti-inflammatory foods high in omega 3 fatty acids, like wild salmon, goes a long way to keep biological aging in check.
Antioxidants are another great weapon in the war against aging. High amounts of free radicals in the body disrupt normal cell structure and function, speeding up the aging process and leading to chronic disease. Antioxidants like those found in fresh vegetables and fruit provide a useful tool in combating inevitable exposure to free radicals. They also contain many other nutrients like polyphenols that help with combating other accelerated aging factors like toxin exposure, chronic stress, and radiation. Sulforaphane in broccoli has lots of potential as a longevity-promoting nutrient along with many other fabulous side effects like decreasing depression. If you ever want to “geek out” on the powers of this potent nutrient just go to pubmed and type Sulforaphane in the search box. You’ll be amazed at what you find. If it were a pharmaceutical drug it would be the most prescribed pill on the planet.
Your daily habits have a profound effect on your biological clock. Your exercise routine, meal timing, and your ability to recover from stress efficiently can be valuable tools in the anti-aging realm. At least 2.5 hours of vigorous exercise per week is associated with an increase in factors associated with prolonged longevity at the cellular level. Exercise also increases oxygen intake and consumption, which we tend to take for granted. A sedentary lifestyle decreases the amount of O2 our bodies consume which can slow many of the recovery mechanisms needed for optimized vitality.
David Sinclair at Harvard Medical School studies factors affecting the rate of aging such as exercise, intermittent fasting, and caloric restriction. While not many people want to jump into caloric restriction, intermittent fasting is a timed meal philosophy which supports anti-aging at the cellular level and can be relatively easy to do when approached correctly. Feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to hear about my 6 week “Fridge to Fasting” program.
Meditation is one of the most studied areas in the promotion of longevity. Meditation has the ability to activate our parasympathetic nervous system – one of three divisions of the autonomic nervous system appropriately called the “rest and digest” system. This is important for keeping us youthful and less likely to suffer from chronic diseases. If you struggle with meditation ask Matt about the Wim Hoff breathing technique and how he uses it for parasympathetic activation. Some other adjunct therapies include uses of saunas and cold therapy to help drive our nervous system into “rest and digest.”
NAD+ Boosters - One of the contributing factors affecting age is the amount of NAD+ in the body. Many scientists think NAD+’s decline is one of the major factors contributing to the aging process which is why a NAD booster, such as NR and NMN which increases NAD+ activity, can have a profound effect on our biological clock. Trugen is a company that has a popular NR supplement that can be found at my webstore address linked below.
Goat’s Rue - An herb that has been used to help stabilize blood sugar in type 2 diabetes is also the active ingredient in the pharmaceutical drug Metformin. Metformin, even with its many side effects, is also touted as an anti-aging medication. It just goes to show how much stabilizing blood sugar can have a huge impact on longevity.
Resveratrol - Found in red wine and within the skin of dark-colored grapes. While many studies done on resveratrol aren’t conclusive with a low dose, newer reports with higher doses are showing great promise in the fight against aging. Sorry to say, but that bottle of wine you finished last night does not have the optimal dose of resveratrol to help with those wrinkles :)
Coq10 - We talked about the powers of Coq10 in a previous talk, but this one is also highly sought after for its ability to slow cognitive aging and work aesthetically by reducing wrinkles.
Magnesium - Also discussed in a prior discussion, magnesium helps with slowing the rate of aging by supporting many processes in the body. Magnesium is effective at reducing inflammation, promoting insulin balance and helping correct dysfunctional mitochondria, the cells energy powerhouse.
Vitamins A & E – These well-known vitamins act as antioxidants, assisting in the prevention of premature aging by balancing free radicals and oxidative stress.
We refer to our “biological age” as a measure of health at the cellular level, whereas chronological age is our actual age in years. Curious about your biological age? You can have your telomere length measured (protective caps on the ends of the strands of DNA called chromosomes), or try a simple at-home longevity test. The Sitting Rising Test (SRT) is a predictor of longevity and can tell you if you are at higher risk for morbidity and/or mortality. Visit https://youtu.be/T7AFlh9HZrs for a brief description of how to do the test.
One of my favorite nutrition programs focuses on decreasing inflammation and increasing longevity through cellular health. Optimal health can be realized today, enabling our anti-aging arsenal for the years to come. If you want more information on this plan, or nutrition for optimal health and vitality, you can contact me directly at Jessica@NutritionalSolutionsOnline.com. The top supplement brands I recommend are Orthomolecular, Klaire Labs, Douglas Labs and Vital Nutrients, most of which are third party verified for purity and are pharmaceutical grade. Looking for a reliable source for your supplement needs? Feel free to shop on my practitioner page at FullScript by going to https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/jdoyle