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David Sinclair’s 6 Secrets of Longevity & Anti Aging in his book Lifespan

Knowledge from David Sinclair's work on anti aging and longevity.

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ging has been the topic for people all over the world for the past many years. Whether you ask most people if they want to live a long life, most will reply yes – but only if they can stay healthy. This is not an irrational fear, as the majority of older ones suffer from sickness during the last five to eight years of their life. But what about being in the 80s and having the stamina of someone very much younger than you? The answer to this question has been addressed by Dr. Sinclair, who is an anti-aging expert and is winning his name in this field.

Biography of Dr. David SinclairDr. David Sinclair Book

Dr. David Sinclair is an acclaimed Harvard professor doing some of the world’s most groundbreaking works on human longevity. He is a professor of genetics and co-director of Harvard Medical School’s Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research. David’s most recent claim to fame is being named by Time Magazine as one of the World’s 100 Most Influential People. He has co-founded ten biotechnology companies in the areas of aging, vaccines, diabetes/cancer, biodefense, forensics, and bioinformatics. He is also the co-founder of the scientific journal Aging.

Dr. Sinclair is also the author of a book published in 2019, ” Lifespan.” This book explains why we age, and we don’t have to and will change people’s opinion about the inevitability of aging.

Sinclair does not believe that aging is always terrible; rather, he believes that its debilitating effects are: weakness, immobility, and a cascade of ailments such as cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

Lifestyle Protocols to Longevity

As per Sinclair, 80% of our health in old age is determined by our lifestyle and how we live; just 20% is determined by genetics. David and his colleagues recently discovered a “backup hard drive of youthfulness” in the cell. Their objective is to gain access to and reset the hard drive – to activate the longevity genes. They’ve discovered that the sooner they are turned on, the better it is. So how do you activate them? There are five basic steps:

1. Exercise

Indeed, Dr. Sinclair is an advocate for fitness and incorporates walking into his daily routine. “I severely restrict calories, yet I do workout every day,” he explains. Exercise has several advantages, one of which is increased NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) levels which activate the survival network of lifespan regulators such as AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR), and sirtuins (the name comes from “silent mating-type information regulation”).

As for specific exercises, Sinclair mentions:

  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Dr. David Sinclair believes that exercise should be performed at a high level of intensity in order to activate the epigenetic clock. The body becomes hypoxic at these times of tremendous physical effort and mental strength. Hypoxia is another name for “loss of oxygen.” When you’re out of breath, your blood is pumping through your body, replenishing it, and those longevity genes are activated. “You may reap the advantages of exercise in 3 minutes a day by sprinting until exhaustion, or by pushing yourself as hard as possible for around 3 minutes and then resting,” Dr. Sinclair said. Breathing should be deep and rapid at 70-80% of max heart rate (read this article to find out your maximum heart rate) – sweating and unable to speak more than a few words without pausing for breath (hypoxic response).
  • Running and Walking. Dr. Sinclair maintains his fitness level by running 3 miles each morning.
  • Finally, he provides 2 basic fitness tests that determine biological age using bodyweight movements (pushup and squat):

(i)- If you are above 45 and are able to perform more than 20 pushups, you are doing well.

(ii)- Test of sitting-rising (SRT): Sit cross-legged on the floor, barefoot. Lean forward and rise to a standing posture in one motion. Fit individuals may perform this without using their hands or making an intermediate motion to their knees. This is, in effect, a squat.

2. Diet

When it comes to lifespan, the primary advice is to “eat less and eat less often” There is a considerable correlation between calorie restriction and lifespan, according to studies. Additionally, calorie restriction increases the several beneficial biological activities mentioned previously. Caloric restriction is also an effective technique for weight loss. There are two primary strategies for consuming less food:

  • Calorie Restriction (CR). Develop a daily calorie target that is less than the recommended daily amount (RDA). Develop a daily calorie target that is less than the recommended daily amount (RDA). Sinclair suggests a 25% less than the recommended daily intake as an objective. He also references human studies that demonstrate the benefits of a 12% calorie decrease. Calorie restriction should not be performed continuously; at some point, you must maintain a level of balance. Certain people alternate between periods of CR and non-CR practice (e.g., one week on, one week off) or a break in between.
  • Intermittent Fasting (IF). Practitioners consume food exclusively during certain feeding windows. Instead of 3 meals each day, IF practitioners may consume 2 or even 1. For example, a 16:8 IF plan entails 16 hours of fasting (no food) and 8 hours of eating (usually two meals). Read this article about intermittent fasting.

According to David Sinclair, “Almost any periodic fasting diet that does not result in malnutrition is likely to put your longevity genes to work in ways that will result in a longer, healthier life.

Eating healthy has also been mentioned by Dr. Sinclair. He encourages consuming a variety of plant-based meals as well as moderate doses of monounsaturated fats such as olive oil and avocados as they are studied to reduce mortality and increase longevity. It was also suggested by Dr. Sinclair to avoid sugar and related products. There is evidence that elevated blood sugar speeds up the epigenetic clock leading to faster aging.

3. Things to Avoid

It is not possible to avoid DNA damage completely. However, we can limit and reduce the damage or extra damages we invited by our daily life habits.

  • Avoid Smoking. We’ve all heard it before — cigarettes will kill you – but with the advent of smoking alternatives such as vaping, this warning remains particularly pertinent. Chemicals that we inhale have a profound influence on our body chemistry and health. It is evident that smoking destroys cellular DNA and accelerates the aging process. David’s mother passed away due to lung cancer. She smoked and years later discovered a grapefruit-sized tumor in her left lung. They removed the tumor, and she continued to live for another two decades, although in severe agony and poverty. How to avoid smoking and quit it? learn in our article here.
  • Limit Meat Consumption. This Harvard Medical School genetic expert suggests reducing meat consumption, as the amino acids present in meat activate mTOR, a pathway that instructs our bodies to switch off their defense mechanisms and prepare for expansion causing harmful effects on health like heart diseases. When the mTOR enzyme is suppressed, cells are forced to spend less energy proliferating and more time recycling damaged and misfolded proteins hence improving longevity. Low methionine levels trigger cellular defenses in mice. Meat has more methionine than plant proteins. Also, arginine, leucine, and valine all are the types of amino acids that can activate mTOR. Low levels are connected with longevity and better lifespan in research.

As per Dr. Sinclair, “Meat is not going to harm you if consumed in moderation, but the rationale for the plant-based diet is that we know where the lifespan hotspots are.”

  • Substances that are Harmful to DNA.  He also emphasized avoiding DNA-damaging substances found in modern-day life including pollutants, PCBs, plastics, and take-out containers. As they have the tendency to alter the DNA structure. So, Dr. Sinclair advises people to avoid heating food in plastic containers since this might result in the release of hazardous chemicals into the food, which can cause cancer and other diseases.
  • Radiations. Both natural, as well as human-made radiations, are sources of disturbing our DNA and its structure. It may directly ionize and damage the DNA molecule. So it must be avoided unless necessary like for diagnosis purposes such as X-rays etc. But radiations like U rays, gamma rays, and radon must be avoided. Read this article about the love and hate of the sun.

4. Eat The Right Supplements

supplements for longevity

Certain molecules have the ability to imitate the beneficial effects of diet and exercise. Typically, these are sold as dietary supplements or restricted drugs (prescription medications). Some of the drugs are given below;

Resveratrol

It’s a sirtuin-activating compound (that activates SIRT1 ) helping in the repair of DNA. Grapes, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, and peanuts all contain resveratrol (in tiny amounts). It’s basically a supplement.

Why Resveratrol Supplement?

Even though many food compounds have trace amounts of resveratrol in them, it’s better to take it in a concentrated supplemental form. Resveratrol is believed to serve as a “mimetic of calorie restriction,” activating positive cellular pathways which help in the reduction of inflammation and oxidative stress, better cognitive health, improving cardiovascular health, diabetes, and fatty liver disease.

Dr. David Sinclair describes resveratrol as the accelerator pedal for the sirtuin genes (increasing their activation), and NMN as the fuel. Without the “fuel”, resveratrol won’t be as effective.

When how much resveratrol to take?

David Sinclair ingests 500 mg to 1,000 mg of resveratrol in the morning on an empty stomach after dissolving it with a bit of Greek yogurt or olive oil. However, it should be feasible to take it with a fatty meal. Whichever source of resveratrol you choose, David believes that combining it with a fat source will boost its bioavailability.

NMN (Nicotinamide mononucleotide)

Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) is a very important chemical that helps sirtuins, enzymes that safeguard our DNA and control the epigenome and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerases (PARPs) that repair damaged DNA. NAD+ levels in our cells decrease with aging which is why  NAD+ deficiency occurs. Due to this deficiency, the metabolism slows down, weight gain, cognitive decline, and a higher risk of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders. The goal is to supplement precursors of NAD in order to bring the cellular level of NAD closer to that of youth.

Why NMN Supplement?

NMN is a supplement that is a precursor to NAD and is itself a sirtuin stimulating compound having some anti-aging benefits. So by taking NMN, we can increase NAD+ levels and it safeguards our epigenome and DNA. Taking NMN rather than NAD+ is a much more effective way to promote cell metabolism. NMN also improves insulin activity and synthesis, resulting in improved metabolic function and glucose tolerance.

When and how much of NMN to take?

Dr. Sinclair ingests 1,000 mg / 1 g of NMN mixed with a fat source for better bioavailability.

NR (Nicotinamide riboside)
Just like NMN, it’s also a sirtuin stimulating compound helping in longevity. Nicotinamide Riboside, like NMN, is a precursor of NAD. According to David’s book, his laboratory discovers that NMN is more stable than that NR.

When and how much of NR to take?

Not a known protocol of David Sinclair, but some studies showed that NR supplements are well tolerated at levels up to 1,000 mg per day, indicating that they are likely safe for the majority of people. NR supplements may be consumed on an empty stomach or in conjunction with meals.

Metformin

It is a drug that is used to treat type 2 diabetes. It also mimics the effect of calorie restriction as it has been studied to suppress appetite. This medicine is a prescription medicine. It must not be taken on cardio HIIT days as it may reduce the effectiveness of exercise.

Why Metformin Supplement? 

Metformin is typically taken daily by diabetics and those seeking longevity. However, a 2018 study found metformin decreases mitochondrial responses to aerobic exercise training. So it is better avoided on the days when exercising to maintain the effect of exercise.

When and how much Metformin to take?

When not exercising, David takes 500 mg / 0.5g of metformin in the morning and 500 mg / 0.5 g in the evening. He takes it as he is predisposed to diabetes in his family history and in his genes. It is recommended to consult your physician before taking metformin as it is a powerful drug.  

Berberine

Berberine appeals to a large number of individuals since it has comparable qualities to metformin but does not require a prescription from a physician. As with metformin, it is capable of reduced blood glucose, lipids, and fasting insulin in type 2 diabetes patients. It also has been studied to help the AMPK pathway which helps clean up old dead cells.

David himself was asked about using berberine as a substitute for metformin. He responds by saying he would likely take Berberine. Prior to taking metformin, he was taking berberine.

Rapamycin

In terms of life extension, rapamycin is one of the most consistently effective drugs available. Works mainly as an immunosuppressant inhibiting mTOR which may benefit longevity. According to a recent study, rapamycin, a medicine that has long been used to suppress the immune system, may also help halt the aging process in human skin. It is a prescription drug. Dr. Sinclair shared that he thinks it is of high potential to reverse the biological age clock in people. In addition to rapamycin, researchers are looking for new rapalogs or molecules that are related to rapamycin but are more selective and have lower toxicity.

5. Exposure To Cold Environment

Exposure to different temperatures preferably promotes longevity genes and “revs up” brown adipose tissue, according to the researchers (aka brown fat). A new study found that when stem cells are exposed to low temperatures, they produce dark fat rather than white fat. Brown fat enables our bodies to burn additional calories to stay warm — thus if we can make brown fat rather than white fat, we may be able to lose excess body fat helping to have a better lifespan. In this case, as well, the main principle is to inflict a level of stress that is manageable.

Please keep in mind that the aim of cold exposure is NOT to cause hypothermia, but rather to generate harmless stress such as shivering. A few examples mentioned in his book were,

  • Sleeping with a light blanket on
  • Keeping the doors and windows open
  • Taking cold showers
  • Exercising in a colder environment
  • Wearing fewer layers of clothing

Restricting calories itself reduces the body’s core temperature and also contributes to providing a substantially colder environment.

6. Sleeping Enough

Finally, obtain a peaceful night’s sleep. Overnight, the body must repair itself, and by skipping sleep, you are pushing yourself closer and closer to old age. Dr. Davis Sinclair suggests avoiding the usage of blue light as it has been studied that it inhibits the production of a hormone called melatonin, which induces sleep. Reducing our late-night exposure to blue light is crucial for a good night’s sleep. Limiting screen time or wearing blue light-filtering glasses can help.

Dr. David, himself gets 7 hours of sleep for better longevity. In accordance with National Sleep Foundation recommendations, healthy adults require between 7 and 9 hours of sleep every night. Eager to learn more about how to improve sleep quality? read the article here.

According to Dr. David Sinclair, practicing those things will at the very least give you an additional 14 years on average hence improving the longevity.

Dr. David Sinclair’s Protocols Regimen To Longevity

Sinclair discloses his personal routine in the final chapter of his book, which is as follows:

Dr. David Sinclair’s Diet Regimen
Intermittent Fasting.

Skipping breakfast, and often lunch.

More focus on plant-based meals, but also meat when exercising.
Restricted carbs and sugar intake like bread pasta, and sugars. He stopped desserts since his forties. 
Maintaining BMI between 23-25. 
Exercise and Workout Regimen
Run 1-2 times a week, at a fairly high intensity.
Exercising in the gym like weight lifting and boxing on weekends.
Walking every day with a high step count.
 Cold Therapies
Frequently goes swimming in cold water and relaxes in saunas.
Maintains a colder temperature in the surroundings to stay on the cooler side. 
 Avoids The Following 
Do not smoke.
Avoids harmful radiations like X-rays (dentist and if he manages, at custom clearing during his travels), gamma, and UV rays. 
Avoids blue light with the use of wearing blue light blocking glasses a few hours before bed has greatly improved David’s sleep quality
Supplementations
Resveratrol Supplement: 1,000 mg / 1g  per day. 
NMN: 1,000 mg / 1 g per day 
Metformin: 1,000 mg at night. 
Others: Vitamin K2, Vitamin D, 83 mg of aspirin daily. 

Dr. Sinclair highlights the need of taking no shortcuts when it comes to diet and exercise planning—the greatest healthy people carrying signs to better health and longevitymethod to extend life expectancy is to consume a balanced diet of nutritious foods, taking care not to overload the body with fructose or simple sugars.

Dr. Sinclair’s research on aging has had a major influence on our knowledge of how aging occurs and what it means to be older, more important, how we may live longer, healthier lives without resorting to dramatic life extension technology. He teaches a sense of motivation and encouragement in those who seek his assistance, guiding them toward better health and a healthier lifestyle free of hazardous goods that can cause long-term damage to our bodies and to Prime With Time.

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Dr Aimen

Being a Doctor by profession, Aimen is passionate about helping people get better health in their lives. Aimen enjoys her research on Prime With Time subjects and strives to create better awareness of the problems and changes related to women's health.

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