- Why this acclaimed Harvard professor believes you could live to 200 and still feel great in your old age
- Revealed: 3 forms of ‘good stress’ that increase your lifespan
- Proof that you can turn back the clock
I’ve written a lot about ‘turning back the clock’ in these letters.
Whether it’s improving your eyesight, increasing mobility, or feeling mentally sharper…
There are lots of natural remedies, supplements and therapies that can help.
But lots of people assume that ‘turning back the clock’ is just a phrase.
Sure, you might ‘feel’ like you’ve turned back the clock…
Or at least slowed down the ageing process.
However, it’s not actually a scientific possibility is it?
At least according to David Sinclair, a Harvard professor and author of a book called, Lifespan: Why We Age and Why We Don’t Have To.
He argues that growing old isn’t necessarily natural or inevitable.
That there are ways we can all slow down, and even reverse, the clock on the ageing process.
And while he’s not quite at the point where he thinks we can somehow become immortal, he does believe that we could easily live for 200, maybe 250 years.
Not only that, but those later years would be lived in good health, with you able to enjoy the hobbies and pastimes that you do today.
Why this acclaimed Harvard professor believes we could live to 200 or more
In 2013 Sinclair published a study which showed that it was the malfunctioning of a family of protein called sirtuins that causes ageing.
These proteins are responsible for repairing DNA damage and keeping your cells functioning as they should.
You see, when we get older, our cells go haywire, with failing organs, wrinkles and growths.
This is not, because the body loses the correct genetic information to keep its cells in order.
It’s only because your sirtuins are overwhelmed to the point where the body doesn’t know how to interpret the genetic information properly.
In other words, when you age, your body starts to forget what it’s supposed to be doing.
A little bit like when I find myself staring into the fridge without knowing why.
However, there are three ways you can get your sirtuins working properly again.
Revealed: the 3 forms of ‘good stress’ that could increase your lifespan
Professor Sinclair’s proposed solution is that we can promote sirtuin activity by putting our body through healthy stressful situations.
These “healthy stressors” include:
Doing intensive exercise
Going hungry every once in a while
These stresses will activate your body’s survival mechanisms, encouraging your sirtuins to help your cells boost their natural defences.
As a result, you can slow down and even reverse the ageing process.
Now, this hasn’t ALL been trialled and proven yet.
Proof that you can turn back the clock
Fasting in particular has shown positive results in past experiments, including lots on animal subjects, but also one on humans in the 1990s.
In that human trial, subjects on a diet which left them regularly hungry had the following results:
Decreased blood pressure
Lower blood-sugar levels
Lower levels of bad cholesterol.
And there is more…
Research published in Molecular Recent & Cellular Proteomics has suggested that when you cut calories it slows down the protein makers in your cells, known as ribosomes. This decrease slows down the ageing process by 12%.
A study published in the journal ‘Cancer Cell’ has also suggested that, along with chemotherapy, a fasting diet helps the immune system, as well as attacking breast cancer and skin cancer cells.
So why does fasting work so well?
On top of Sinclair’s theory about sirtuins, researchers have found that a short period of fasting encourages something known as ‘neuronal autophagy’, where your brain cells recycle waste materials and repair themselves.
But it’s not only your brain…
Autophagy can happen throughout your WHOLE BODY.
After about 12 hours of not eating, your starving cells begin to burn up damaged proteins, clear up tumours and rid themselves of viruses.
It’s a like form of internal waste disposal.
This is why, done regularly, fasting can lower your levels of inflammation, replace damaged DNA, boost your immune system and protect your cells from attack.
It also increases the levels of catecholamines in your brain, helping you feel happier, and boosts a protein known as BNF which interacts with parts of the brain responsible for memory and learning.
So here we have a natural way that anyone can activate their body’s inner repair system to turn back the clock.
If you want to try it, here are some common options.
‘Leangains protocol’ – this is where you fast for 16 hours each day. To do this, only eat in a period of 8-10 hours then stop. For instance, a meal at 8am, anther at 12pm and another just before 4 pm. Then stop and don’t eat until 8am. Or eat a meal at 8pm then simply skip breakfast and eat again at midday.
The 5:2 Method – you eat normally for five days in the week, but on two separate days you only eat 600 calories (men) and 500 calories (women).
The 24 hour fast. You simply choose one day a week in which you don’t eat. You can drink coffee, tea, juices and water but that’s it. The advice is that in the non-fasting days you should eat normally (although if you want to lose weight then avoid fast food, ready meals and too much sugar).
A good side-effect of this intermittent fasting is that you might lose some weight – certainly this kind of eating trains your mind and body to cope more easily with hunger pangs and cravings.
But should also notice a reduction in other symptoms, like stiffness and pain, foggy thinking and poor concentration.
I’m not saying it could give you another 100 years, but there is growing evidence that it could do you a lot of good.