5 Best Kept Secrets to Reverse Aging

Age is just a number right? No, age is actually a word. 

It is an unavoidable word, mostly used in a negative way. We are all aging and we all know we can’t do anything about it. But what if I told you that we can?  What if I told you that there are ways to stop or even reverse the effects of aging? The following secrets are so effective to help you lose weight, sleep better and reverse the effects of aging physically and physiologically that the beauty, diet and food industries want you to stop reading this right now. 

Clock with color split in half in pink and blue

1. Skip Breakfast

Say what? If you are like many of us, then you grew up being told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But what if it wasn’t? What if breakfast’s importance was emphasized by the same powers that be that run the conglomerate cereal and food companies? 

Conspiracies aside, this concept is not new and has been traced back to the ancient Greek physician Hippocrates discussing the benefits of eating less. Research studies have shown that longevity genes are activated when caloric restriction is used - just enough food to function in healthy ways and no more. 

By engaging our longevity genes – or sirtuins if you want to sound fancy - the body is able to increase cellular defenses, repel disease and cell degradation, improve insulin sensitivity, increase growth hormone levels, support DNA stability, and slow down the aging process.[1][2]

Research studies have shown that in an area known for centenarians, Okinawa, Japan, adults and children were consuming 20 percent fewer calories than in mainland areas but were leaner and lived significantly longer.

All this is great and stuff – but back to skipping breakfast. One of the easiest ways to cut calories is to fast. Fasting does not mean starving oneself – it is just a gentle reminder that we don’t need to be constantly eating.[3]

A popular and convenient way to fast is to do it intermittently. There are several ways to intermittently fast; the most popular is the 16:8 method wherein a 24 hour day there is an 8-hour block window for eating and a 16-hour window to not eat. This could involve skipping breakfast and only eating lunch and dinner within an 8-hour window or skipping dinner and eating breakfast and lunch. This would be repeated daily.[4]

Summary: Skipping breakfast (or intermittent fasting) helps reduce caloric intake and engage sirtuins to help you lose weight and live longer.

2. Cut meat 

The best diet is the diet that works for each individual where they are able to stay consistent within an acceptable caloric range. Each person is different so one diet that works for one person may not work for another. However, from the perspective of optimizing specifically for longevity, research studies have shown that a diet with reduced protein intake and is plant-based is ideal.

I know this is a radical and unpopular concept but let’s start with the science. All the cells in our body require amino acids in order to operate. Amino acids are the building block for every protein in the human body. Meat contains all of the essential amino acids required. This translates towards convenient energy for our cells. However, research has shown that there is a substantial cost of consuming meat. I won’t bore you with all the increased heart disease and cancer statistics, but we all know eating red meat is not great for us.[5]

The good news is, all amino acids needed for the body can also be obtained by consuming plant-based protein. From an energy viewpoint, compared to meat, plants usually provide a limited supply of amino acids. 

Reducing protein intake may seem contradictory since proteins are helpful. However, from a biological and cellular perspective, overconsumption of amino acid from animal proteins leads our body to think things are going well in the moment, therefore let's not activate the longevity genes.[6] 

Therefore, from a vitality viewpoint, providing a limited supply of amino acids is good because it causes the body to engage our sirtuins – or longevity genes. It’s the same as lifting weights to tear muscles so they can grow back bigger and stronger.[7]

Summary: Eating less meat helps to trigger our longevity genes because our bodies no longer feel it has an excess amount of amino acids.

3. Keep it cool

We’re not just talking about your temper, but your body as well. By exposing the body to uncomfortable cold or hot temperatures is an effective way to activate those helpful sirtuins. 

In fact, animal studies have shown that when the internal temperature is consistently lowered 5 degrees, lifespan is increased by 12 to 20 percent. It was discovered that colder temperatures activated the longevity genes and also increased brown fat tissue.[8] Brown fat is a good type of fat for our bodies and was previously thought to only be generated when we are young, however, studies have shown that brown fat tissue can be increased through lifestyle behaviors such as cold therapy even later in life. Research has shown that increased brown fat tissue is linked to reduced rates of diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer's disease.[9]

Ice baths, cold showers, cryotherapy, walking or exercising in cold weather has shown to optimize the production of brown fat tissue.[10]  Cryotherapy is a popular trend amongst athletic individuals including top athletes in NBA, MLB, and many others. Cryotherapy is a form of cold therapy where the body is exposed in a box that is chilled to temperatures from −110°C or −166°C.

Like fasting, the best benefits come when we are exposed to cold temperatures but not to an extreme point where hypothermia or frostbite occurs. 

Summary: Colder temperatures in the body help activate sirtuins by increasing brown fat tissue which is good for our bodies and is linked to many longevity benefits.

4. Quit it

I know they look super cool, but cigarettes and hot dogs are not good for you. Excess DNA damage accelerates the aging process. DNA can be damaged through a variety of unhealthy lifestyle choices. Mitigating these unhealthy habits can have a positive impact on longevity. 

Cigarettes have a disastrous effect on our health because they contain a deadly mixture of thousands of chemicals. If smokers seem to age faster, it’s because they actually do. This is because smoking causes DNA damage which causes an acceleration in the aging process.

Even if you don’t smoke, some of the foods you eat may also affect your longevity. N-nitroso compounds present in food with sodium nitrite, some beers, and most processed meats including hot dogs have been found to be carcinogenic and cause DNA damage.[11]

DNA-damaging chemicals are present in many areas such as cities with a high volume of cars and people. Just breathing, in these areas is enough to damage DNA. Ultimately, in our modern world, this DNA damage is unavoidable and it's happening to everyone regardless of age.[12]

However, it's never too late to stop unhealthy lifestyle choices that cause DNA damage. We should do our best to minimize as much additional DNA damage as we can.

Summary: Although some DNA damage cannot be avoided, quitting some unhealthy habits can help you slow down the effects.

5. Give yourself a boost

Now, even if you are doing everything right, you may still want an extra boost to help you be your best self and live your best life. Studies at Harvard have shown that adding NMN alone, or with resveratrol, you can actually stop or reverse the effects of aging.[13][14]

What is NMN?  Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN) is a derivative of vitamin B3 and is an entirely natural compound found in our bodies and is present in various food sources such as edamame, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, avocados, and tomatoes. NMN is a precursor and is a potent NAD+ booster.[15]

What is NAD+? Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) is one of the most important chemicals in our body. NAD+ is a primary regulator of numerous significant biological processes, including aging and disease. Studies have shown that NAD+ levels decrease with age throughout the whole body.[16]

By boosting NAD+ levels in the body with NMN, the body is able to reap health benefits the same as when it was younger and functioning at its optimal levels. Some benefits include:

  • Anti-aging DNA repair
  • Boosting immunity
  • Improving sleep quality
  • Promoting healthy brain and cardiovascular function
  • Increasing athletic performance and energy
  • Rejuvenated skin

Summary: Boosting NAD+ levels with NMN can help your body revert back to its younger days and function at its best.

With these 5 secrets, you can help yourself live a longer, healthier and more enjoyable life. By applying any one of these tips, you can help your body awaken its longevity cells and reverse the effects of aging starting at the cellular level.

 

Citations: 

  1. Chang, Hung-Chun, and Leonard Guarente. SIRT1 and other sirtuins in metabolism Trends in Endocrinology & Metabolism 25, no. 3 (March 2014): 138–45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tem.2013.12.001.
  2.  Lomb, David J., Gaëlle Laurent, and Marcia C. Haigis. Sirtuins regulate key aspects of lipid metabolism Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Proteins and Proteomics <i>Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Proteins and Proteomics</i> 1804, no. 8 (August 2010): 1652–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bbapap.2009.11.021.
  3.  Kessler, Katharina, and Olga Pivovarova-Ramich. Meal Timing, Aging, and Metabolic Health International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20, no. 8 (April 2019): 1911. doi:10.3390/ijms20081911. 
  4.  Longo, Valter D., and Satchidananda Panda. Fasting, Circadian Rhythms, and Time-Restricted Feeding in Healthy Lifespan Cell Metabolism 23, no. 6 (June 2016): 1048–59. doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2016.06.001. 
  5. Song, M., Fung, T. T., Hu, F. B., Willett, W. C., Longo, V. D., Chan, A. T., &amp; Giovannucci, E. L. (2016). Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Internal Medicine, 176(10), 1453. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.4182
  6. Yoon, M.-S. (2017). mTOR as a Key Regulator in Maintaining Skeletal Muscle Mass. Frontiers in Physiology, 8. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2017.00788
  7. Sack, M. N., and T. Finkel. Mitochondrial Metabolism, Sirtuins, and Aging Cold Spring Harbor Perspectives in Biology 4, no. 12 (December 2012): a013102–a013102. https://doi.org/10.1101/cshperspect.a013102.
  8. Caron, A., Labbé, S. M., Carter, S., Roy, M.-C., Lecomte, R., Ricquier, D., … Richard, D. (2017). Loss of UCP2 impairs cold-induced non-shivering thermogenesis by promoting a shift toward glucose utilization in brown adipose tissue. Biochimie, 134, 118–126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biochi.2017.01.006
  9. Endocrine Society. (2014, June 23). Cold exposure stimulates beneficial brown fat growth. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2020 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140623091949.htm
  10. Strandberg, T. E., Strandberg, A., Pitkälä, K., & Benetos, A. (2018). Sauna bathing, health, and quality of life among octogenarian men: the Helsinki Businessmen Study. Aging clinical and experimental research, 30(9), 1053–1057. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40520-017-0855-z
  11. Robbiano, L., Mereto, E., Corbu, C., & Brambilla, G. (1996). DNA damage induced by seven N-nitroso compounds in primary cultures of human and rat kidney cells. Mutation research, 368(1), 41–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/s0165-1218(96)90038-5
  12. Horvath S. (2013). DNA methylation age of human tissues and cell types. Genome biology, 14(10), R115. https://doi.org/10.1186/gb-2013-14-10-r115
  13. Tarantini, S., Valcarcel-Ares, M. N., Toth, P., Yabluchanskiy, A., Tucsek, Z., Kiss, T., … Ungvari, Z. (2019). Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) supplementation rescues cerebromicrovascular endothelial function and neurovascular coupling responses and improves cognitive function in aged mice. Redox Biology, 24, 101192. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.redox.2019.101192
  14. Howitz, Konrad T., and David A. Sinclair. Xenohormesis: Sensing the Chemical Cues of Other Species Cell 133, no. 3 (May 2008): 387–91. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2008.04.019.
  15. Johnson, Sean, and Shin ichiro Imai. NADthplus biosynthesis, aging, and disease F1000Research 7 (February 2018): 132. https://doi.org/10.12688/f1000research.12120.1.
  16. Fang, Evandro F., Sofie Lautrup, Yujun Hou, Tyler G. Demarest, Deborah L. Croteau, Mark P. Mattson, and Vilhelm A. Bohr. NAD thplus in Aging: Molecular Mechanisms and Translational Implications Trends in Molecular Medicine 23, no. 10 (October 2017): 899–916. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.molmed.2017.08.001.