There are many different theories of aging. Researchers have even identified longevity genes. For most of us, living a longer life depends a great deal on our health habits. As we have said, practically everything we do turns our genes on or off in a process called epigenetics. The epigenetic theory of aging explains how positive health habits actually turn on longevity genes that help us live longer.
In terms of aging research, one health habit is more effective than all others. Unfortunately, this habit has mostly been observed in animals and they weren’t given a choice. By reducing the number of calories an animal eats, researchers have managed to slow down their aging process. Hundreds of scientific studies for over eighty years, confirm the finding that caloric restriction, without malnutrition, extends the life of animals. Very few studies have been done on humans and there is a simple reason. It is hard to get humans subjects to reduce their food intake over a long period of time.
The research itself has given us a more fundamental understanding of the molecular mechanics of longevity, and the primary conclusion is that by challenging an animal through caloric restriction, certain longevity genes and survival circuits become enlivened. One of the most interesting findings is the discovery of the sirtuin genes. Briefly, these genes are activated by caloric restriction and are vital to the aging process, producing proteins that are involved in key metabolic processes such as the regulation of inflammation, stress resistance, and DNA repair. There is, of course, a growing interest in any supplements that might activate our longevity genes. For more details on supplements see our Ranking of Longevity Supplements and our article Biohack Longevity Supplements: Modern Science and Ancient Ayurveda.
One of the applications of this research is a strategy known as intermittent fasting in which calories are restricted for 14 hours, or longer, overnight. Research on animals shows that this limited fasting activates the sirtuin genes as well as other anti-aging processes such as autophagy, in which damaged cell parts are digested, allowing aged cells to regain their functionality. The idea of eating less and fasting is a part of Ayurveda and every tradition of natural health, and we will examine it further in later newsletters.
David Andrew Sinclair, Harvard Professor and author of bestselling book Lifespan—
I tried calorie restriction and couldn’t do it. It’s really hard to be hungry all the time.
Try adding a new eating habit. It can be as simple as not overeating or snacking between meals. Do it for a week and see how you feel.
Check it Out:
The new Audible version of Gut Crisis.
Our new website at biohacklongevity.com.
The new article Biohack Longevity Supplements: Modern Science and Ancient Ayurveda.
The new article Ranking of Longevity Supplements.
- Gut Crisis: How Diet, Probiotics, and Friendly Bacteria Help You Lose Weight and Heal Your Body and Mind by Robert Keith Wallace, PhD, and Samantha Wallace, Dharma Publications, 2017
- The Rest And Repair Diet: Heal Your Gut, Improve Your Physical and Mental Health, and Lose Weight by Robert Keith Wallace, PhD, Samantha Wallace, Andrew Stenberg, MA, Jim Davis, DO, and Alexis Farley, Dharma Publications, 2019
- Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don’t Have To by David Sinclair and Mathew LaPlante, Atria Books; Illustrated edition 2019
- Biohack Longevity Supplements: Modern Science and Ancient Ayurveda.
Wishing you great good health and happiness,
The Biohack Longevity, Doc Gut, Dosha Guru, and Dharma Parenting Team