“Start with the impossible. Proceed calmly towards the improbable. No worry, there are at least five exits.”
—Father Daniel Berrigan
This blog entry is about my ideas about my personal health and longevity. It is not focused on scientific facts, although I do like to think that such facts are the main informants of what I do. I list some do’s and don’ts I observe, a few personal stories and provide an up-to-date listing of the dietary supplements I take.
RIDING UP THE GOMPERTZ CURVE
There is one thing absolutely sure to kill you, and that is aging, Mortality increases exponentially with age after 30. This has been modeled mathematically by Gompertz and others since 1825. Here is a simple version of the Gompertz curve.
The curve gets steeper and steeper every year beyond age of around 25. If the curve were the side of a mountain, at some point it would get so steep that you would have to fall off. So, one way to think about death is “falling off” the Gomparetz curve, which sooner or later everyone must do. In fact, no human being has ever been known to live beyond 123 years.
Where am I on this particular chart? At age 89 I am already off the scale as far as high death rate is concerned. There is a lot more that can be said about variants of the Gomparetz curve and how the tail-end associated with very advanced aging might be modified, but my thrust here is a different and highly personal one. See these links for more related to the Gomparetz curve.
The personal issue I am dealing with here is how I can continue riding the Comparetz curve up and up without falling off, given where I am already at. At 89, extrapolating he curve shown, I have about a 15% probability of death in the coming year. Not good to think about. Actually I think I have a very good shot at continuing to ride up the Gomparetz curve and living healthily with good functionality for another 10-20 years. This blog entry is about why I think this extremely unlikely-seeming event may occur.
This is not a science research blog entry. This blog entry is a partial update on the things I am doing to keep myself younger, healthy, and involved as my calendar age inexorably advances. I like to think those actions are based on science, but some are more based on habit long developed over many years. This list is more about what I actually do than what I think science says I should do. And my compliance with my own list is not always as good as I would like it to be. I provide relatively few citation references for most of the actions, since they have been treated in past posts in this blog. Since I see my personal philosophy as central to my longevity, I go into many aspects of this as well as into explicit longevity-oriented interventions. So I divulge several things about myself not previously shared with my readers.
There are a lot of good ideas here to follow if you are older. Most of the items were implemented in the last 11 years since I seriously started studying longevity. A few go back 40 years or more, and I have started a few others only in the last few weeks or months, Based on a constant stream of requests coming from my readers, I am also finally including an update of the list of dietary supplements I am taking. I am not suggesting that the items on this list are all best for everybody or, in some cases even suitable based on the peculiarities of your condition.
About ten years ago I created the first draft of my treatise ANTI-AGING FIREWALLS – THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY OF LONGEVITY. The approach there was simple but in retrospect I think remarkably effective. The main concept of this treatise was to look at the major existing scientific theories of aging, see what they have in common, see what each has to say about steps that could be taken to halt or delay aging, and combine these steps into an overall “antiaging firewall.” That firewall would define practical lifestyle and dietary interventions that would create long-lasting health and longevity based on the known science. This was a good concept and has been the main one that has gotten me to this point. However, my thinking about health and aging has continued to become more sophisticated and nuanced and the science itself has also evolved significantly during the period. I stopped updating the treatise in 2014. Also, my personal anti-aging lifestyle and dietary interventions have continued to evolve in a way not captured there. I may eventually rewrite this treatise from a different perspective. Meanwhile, what I have to say in this blog entry is the closest writing to an update of that treatise. First, however, how am I doing now 10 years later?
Regarding my health
This tends to be a mixed bag, but on the whole I think matters are going very well for my age. The firewalls seem to have worked so far. Near as I know I am free of any of the usual age-related maladies that are killing off my contemporaries. I have no cancers, heart or cardio problems, dementias, diabetis, connective-tissue disease, arteriosclerosis, osteoporosis, skin atrophy, dysfunctional joints, impaired gait or other typical issues of aging. I have long been free of the symptoms of osteo and rheumatoid arthritis I had many years ago. My eyesight is good and stable, I can walk for miles, climb many flights of stairs, play with my grandkids and generally go where I want and do what I want. I have had many doctor and hospital visits recently, but most of those have been to support members of my family. My mind is good enough to keep up my research and write what you are reading here, and have the nerve to think I can keep this all up for many more years.
On the other hand I need hearing aids to participate fully socially, have the same post-nasal drip and sinus problems I had as a kid, and sometimes get sick. Not more or less than 30 or so years ago, but about the same. I am sleeping more – up to 10 hours a night. And right now I am in the final phase of a nasty cold. Medical tests of my bloods, cat-scans, sophisticated visual tests, hearing tests and the like show remarkable stability from year to year, and in photos my face looks remarkably the same as it did 30 years ago. No obvious sign my foothold of the Gomparetz curve is wobbly. So I am now targeting full functionality and productivity up to age 100.
WHAT I DON’T KNOW
I think I know a lot about the science and practice of longevity, but everything I write here is only to the best of my knowledge. Actually the pool of my ignorance runs deep and wide – as does everybody’s. I have no direct knowledge of which of any of the interventions mentioned here have helped me most stay on the Gompertz curve so far. I don’t know what actually keeps me alive, and whether or not I would still be here and as healthy if I lived on beer and beef jerky, chewed the juice out of fat cigars and spent most of my time on a 6-way recliner watching mud wrestling on an 84-inch TV. My body knows, but I don’t. The brain-talking spokesperson part of me that is writing this knows some far-out things but little about the internal workings that actually keep me going day-to-day. Little that is relative to what there is to be known, although I like to think a lot relative to what is ordinarily known.
Basically I like to avoid most things known to be life-shortening or risky of health, or likely to produce very high stress – thousands of these including hunting tigers with a spear, rooftop hockey, leaping between tall buildings, sky-diving, cliff climbing road-rage motorcycle driving, under-the-ice swimming, eating random wild mushrooms, drunken binges, pistol duals, fights with biker gangs, etc. In fact, I shy away from nasty fights with my wife or anyone else. I could go on and on here to include many mundane things, like drinking more than one small glass of wine or bottle of beer a day.
I make longevity a passionate theme that touches everything in my life
The science and art of longevity are a double-whammy passion for me, giving meaning to my life and giving me more life itself. It animates me. That passion is probably why I am already off the scale in the Gomparetz chart above. I am now in the year 12 of my major professional activity being studying and communicating about the sciences of longevity. And this is after 40 years of avid interest in those sciences as a hobby. Complicated ideas about life itself and novel theories often keep me occupied and I might find myself rushing to a computer to capture a thought or research a topic any time of day or night. How about Senolytics, i.e. clearing out senescent cells? This appears to be a latest fad for aging science aficionados. But is it or is it not a hope for a few more years for an old guy like me? If so, can I get the desired results for me personally through simple herbal dietary supplements (Fisetin and Quercetin and Curcumin)? What about cell and organ renewal that goes on naturally all the time but declines with aging? What more can I do to keep my DNA from being screwed up further as I age? And a nagging question about those senescent cells. Is it true that I actually need to keep some around some to trigger cell renewal processes? What can I do to further activate Klotho? How do I identify the best phytosubstances that could be used to reverse age-related GPG site methylation and silencing of the KL gene? The number of unanswered questions grows ever-larger as I learn new things.
I like to set goals and targets for myself
Intentionality is extremely important for me, I have targeted living a life that is full and happy as well as very long. I have decided and frequently review how long and how well I want to live, how I am doing. I generate and review lists, discuss items on them with others, and turn frequently to checking on how I am doing and checking research if there is something important I need turn my attention to,
The way I got deeply into longevity was to set a target of living healthily and productively to age 264. No kidding. I created this goal out of whole cloth back in 1994. Back then, and still now, I had a strong belief that I could create my own reality based on what seemed to be a long history of having successfully done that multiple times against great odds, and based on what I believed was a powerful personal theory of reality creation as a macroscopic quantum-based phenomenon. To get my PhD from Harvard in a new field of computer science unrecognized academically at the time, Howard Aiken (the computer pioneer and my original thesis advisor) had advised me strongly that I would have to qualify myself as competent in a hard science. So, I made quantum physics into an area of concentration for my coursework. This rewired my brain to allow me to think the impossible. If you are interested in my theory of reality creation and how I have used it in my life, you can read my treatise ON BEING AND CREATION, and have a look at the associated ON BEING AND CREATION blog. The philosophy outlined there defines my personal spirituality, on the face of it somewhat quirky but for me very solid.
Now, do I still think I can live to 264, given what I know now? The compartmented scientist part of me – the important part that writes this blog and that has had a lifelong commitment to the scientific method has to say NO. There is no way known now that this could happen. All science must be based on observations and theories that connect these observations, and we now have neither observations nor a theoretical framework on which I could base 264 as a prediction for my lifespan. Biological entities by their very design appear to have species-characteristic lifespan and we have never reliably observed anybody older than 123. And we don’t have a tested theoretical framework for anticipating a lifespan as long as 264. (I also point out that we also have no solid framework for declaring such a long lifespan as impossible.)
I like to think there is a larger aspect of me than the scientist part, however. That part says YES to the question. My intention remains as in 1994, to live healthily, actively in a state of continuing contribution and productively to age 264 or beyond. And it is that my wife will live a very long healthy life as well. This larger aspect of me seeks to take in to account what we don’t know, and what we don’t know we don’t know, and the emergent nature of scientific knowledge itself. I won’t try to describe this aspect here. Except to say that there are now whole bodies of scientific knowledge applicable to longevity that were not imagined 15 years ago. If you are interested in why I can hold on to such a far-out idea, I suggest you review the ON BEING AND CREATION materials linked to above. As far as I am concerned the ideas there, though beyond what now can be included in hard science, are completely compatible and in fact based on matters well known in the science of quantum physics.
I seek to keep an open mind
My preoccupation with the great mysteries of life – including the nature of life itself – leads me to want to keep an open mind about everything. Even disturbing current political events set me off thinking about the long term. What are the possible implications for Brexit or populist resistance to immigration for the arks of history? How about racist-inspired shooting massacres? Is human society as a whole now going through the turmoil of adolescence? Can we emerge from the turmoil eventually with sufficient resources to allow the human species 1,000, 10,000 or 100,000 more years of thriving?
I seek to draw fully on what the medical, dental and other health establishment have to offer
I expect sicknesses and health problems as long as I remain alive. And quite possibly, new or more severe ones as I get yet-older. The key is quickly recovering from them. This may entail doctor visits, hospital stays and pharmaceutical interventions and uses of high-technology equipment. And all in all, the health establishments and their highly trained practitioners are the best resources to help this to happen. Not only for recovering from ailments but also for preventing them. More often than not if I have a new or strange ailment, I will research the literature related to it on my own. If the medical establishment has limited knowledge, I will seek to establish a research partnership relationship with specialty practitioners, for example pursuing leads in the research literature. I do all this in the support of my wife’s health as well.
I am very fortunate to live in the Boston area where there are multiple high-quality medical institutions and where so much medical and health sciences research goes on. Knowing where to go and who to see for what assistance has been important for me.
The medical establishment offers multiple resources for assessing status and keeping me healthy – like sophisticated eye and hearing exams, blood and urine tests, CAT scans and MRIs. I draw on physical therapy expertise for continuing mobility, maintaining balance and freedom from debilitating pain. And I draw on an excellent dental practice.
I recognize I already need “crutches” for some issues, like hearing aids for age-related hearing loss, dental bridges and implants, lenses implanted after cataract surgery. I don’t need a pacemaker right now, or back braces, and all my joints are all my originals. But I might need some of such things in the future.
I have adapted a greater context for what my life is about
My general context is to live a life of contribution to others. To proximate people like family members and friends, and ultimately to everybody. I can resign myself to live to die with a tiny lifespan as us humans have if my commitment is to something much greater. For me it is the survival of our species and our being able to realize our potential for understanding and contribution. If I came to a point where my health and vitality would preclude me contributing to others and I would have to draw unduly on life-support resources to keep me alive – at that point I would be very content to die. I believe this context blends well with my pursuit of personal and species longevity. I believe if our planet is to survive we must grow up as a species and take responsibility for its long-term survival. This requires a very long-term perspective for taking care of the planet as well as ourselves. And I believe that wisdom which comes along from longer and longer lives is probably a prerequisite for such a perspective. I tell myself that contributing to that wisdom is a good reason for me to keep living.
I enjoy a very rich family life
I have had 4 wives and raised 8 children and now have a dozen grandchildren, and I greatly enjoy hanging out with them. Right now, there are 14 members of my direct family who live within a 25-minute drive and we interact multiple times a week. . My grandkids in the area are aged 5 months 2.5 years, 4 years, 6 years. 16 years, and 21 years. Every few weeks there is a birthday, anniversary celebration or other family event. Our thanksgiving dinners at our home have from 23 to 36 people
I form and keep strong lifelong personal commitments
These include commitments to support the wellbeing of the members of my family, whatever it takes. My ex-wives, children and grandchildren are included. If my wife needs to be driven downtown to a hospital for yet-another doctor’s visit – say the 8th such visit in 7 days, no problem. I seek to enjoy her company as if we were traveling around and visiting monuments in Greece or Central Asia. The circles of commitment expand out ultimately to include all members of our human species. I view my longevity research and my explorations into reality creation ultimately to be in service to our species.
I have a great home
I live in a 13-room house in the middle of a forest – thousands of acres of conservation land in Wayland MA that is still only 30 minutes from Cambridge or downtown Boston in non-rush hours. The house is 40 years old but sound and well heated. There is almost no noise heard at night and the air quality is good. A big deck surrounded by tall Pines, Oaks and a Sassafras tree provides a large natural nook for meals in the summer. Moving my head a few inches just now, I looked out over a serene forest scene, unchanging except for season. I saw foraging deer just a while ago. The house also demands that I exercise which is good: the deck, a large front walk, the stairs up to my study, and a 12-car driveway all require snow shoveling. And if I need to go to the bathroom or want a snack while working in my study, I have to go out, use the stairs and traverse the deck. My commute to work is up and down outside wood stairs, meaning most days I climb 8 or more flights of stairs. About an acre of lawn needs mowing and fertilizing, and in the fall the trees shed vast carpets of leaves that demand raking. It usually takes me a couple of days each Spring to pick up and haul away big branches that fall over the winter. We have no central air conditioning, but gigantic trees provide shade and there are wall units in my study and bedroom. All of this is conducive to a serene meditative state and mandatory exercise for me.
Our autos by our house in a NE winter storm
I like to think I am known for all-around generosity and acceptance of others
An unsung but most important skill I have is creating a context of family workability. And central to this I believe is generosity, personal as well as financial. So what about the 4 wives I had, mothers of my children? We are all good friends, always have been, celebrated family holidays together, visit each other when we came, and for many decades shared time together in a camp on an island home on lake Winnipesaukee. Back in 1983 I faced a dilemma: I had a small son with my current wife and another small son with my previous wife, ages 3 and 5. We lived in separate houses but often shared meals together. But I wanted the two boys to grow up in the same house with their mother and father and to know each other intimately as brothers. The solution was to find and all move into a large house in 1984, our current one, on the lower floor a unit with my previous wife and my son by her, on the upper floor a unit with my current wife and our son. Each unit had its own kitchen, dining and living room areas but the units were not closed off by doors so the kids and all of us could flow everywhere in the house, and usually we shared meals together. Fast forwarding to today, it happened as intended. Both boys grew up with their moms and dad, and they are close brother. Both sons are happily married now and live in their own houses 26 minutes and 15 minutes from our house. They are close friends and the source of active grandchildren: one has 3 delightful girls. 3 months, 30 months and 16 years, and the other had two energetic boys 4 and 6. We visit with each other frequently. And my wife and previous wife and I still live in the old house and support each other personally in mutltiple ways. This is a very happy story of family that goes on and on. Someday I might seek to tell it in detail.
I take on challenges and projects that can keep my mind and body nimble even almost impossible ones.
Mine includes ever-deeper understanding human biology and aging, and how to create significantly longer healthy lifespans. And it includes grasping at what the ultimate nature of reality is. A major new challenge right now is starting a dietary supplement business where we will be promoting, marketing, selling and improving our 4-Herb Synergy supplement.
I wear devices that enable me to monitor a number of instantaneous health parameters – minute-to-minute, hourly, daily, weekly, month-to-month and year to year
I started this about 3 years ago wearing a Basis Peak watch, An Intel device that was unfortunately discontinued. I now wear a second generation Oura Ring and a Fitbit Charge 3. They both monitor a number of health parameters, some directly with sensors, some by computed combinations of sensor measurements, history and computed data-based inferences. These include hour-by-hour and in some cases instantaneous measurements of steps taken, distance traveled, flights of stairs climbed, resting and instantaneous heart rate, HRV, body temperature, sleep stages (light, deep, REM), calories burned, frequency of movement, real time pacing and distance during exercising, routes traveled and much more Both devices offer certain advantages and relative disadvantages, and I find it useful to gather and compare data from both. Data is displayed on web interfaces with cell phone apps to access it and is saved to the cloud. Oura data includes a few measurements which I have found very useful, such as numerical daily estimates of readiness to handle stresses. So I can compare what is going on now when I have a bad cold with what went on three years ago under similar circumstances. A FitBit communicating Aria scale gathers weight BMI and body fat percentage, which is also retrospectively available.
I am becoming more and more wired by microprocessor wearable devices
I regularly wear six of these right now. Besides the Oura Ring and FitBit Charge 3 mentioned above, I wear:
- Two quality hearing aids which communicate with each other and via Bluetooth to the next device and the cell phone cloud
- A Resound Phone Clip device that allow me to make and receive hands-free phone calls via my hearing aids, listen to streaming music, and largely control my smartphone, all just with voice.
- And of course my Pixel 2 smartphone itself with all its wonderful apps.
At this point these are all external devices; I have no implants, yet. And I expect soon to add or substitute external device that measure more health parameters such as H2 oxygen level and blood glucose.
I pursue regular sleep and rest and monitor its quality.
I love my regular sleep environment, the room and bed. There is an 8” memory foam mattress topper, a trusty electric blanket and 4 layers of comforters that can be added or peeled off. Nighttime temperature around 61F, up to 66F in July-Aug with the aid of a quiet AC. I seek 30% or more humidity with the aid of a vaporizer, more when I have a cold. I usually sleep 8-9 hours a night, more if I am sick. I monitor the length of my sleep and the amount of time spent in sleep stages (deep, light, REM, and wake), and how these are staged using the sleep app from thr Oura ring. The Oura Ring app offers a wealth of data about what goes on in my sleep like resting heart rate, HRV and body temperature. This plus how I feel provides me with a good integrated picture every morning of what happened while I was in bed and my readiness to take on stresses in the coming hours. If I feel sick, multiple indicators may be askew so as to confirm that such as disturbed sleep stages, elevated resting heart rate, unusually high body temperature and depressed heart rate variability.
I usually pursue a sensible diet, a Mediterranean-like Diet
With lots of fish, fruits and vegetables and avoiding ultra-processed foods and red meats. But I am not really religious about diet. I will eat a 5-Guys cheeseburger every week or two and tend to eat what is put before me at meals at home. Usually this is very wholesome stuff with lots of vegetables and fish. Tonight it was old-fashioned tuna fish casserole, actually made with a 99-cent package of Tuna Helper. And sometimes I bring back large bags of potato chips when I grocery shop, I do consume a lot of olive oil, blueberries, nuts, fresh salad greens, olives, avocadoes and other “good for me” things.
I seek to keep moving
With regard to movement, my body seems to be a testament to the “use it or lose it” rule. My Fitbit watch beeps every hour to remind me to get up from my computer and move around. I like to do exercise equivalent of at least 6,000 steps daily, and many days this will happen as a result of my excursions out of the house or mowing the lawn or shoveling snow or chasing little grandkids around the mall. The Fitbit 3 watch and my Oura Ring give me good indicators of steps taken, floors climbed and calories burned, so evenings I will fill in to data quotes on the treadmill and with physical therapy exercises Sometimes if I am ill I will do nothing, The PT and stretching and weight lifting exercises can take up to 45 minutes and are very important for me too, for maintain good balance and physical control and avert lower back pain. Every year for the last 8 years I Have done a 6-8 week round of physical therapy for lower back pain. I tell a little story about this below. My daily home regimen of these exercises uses therabands and dumbbell weights, and varies day-to-day.
In addition to exercise Sensible exercise, I have included PQQ in my daily supplement list, for its ability to mimic exercise for the production of PGC 1alpha.
I monitor and seek to tightly control chronic (sterile) inflammation
This I believe is absolutely central for keeping me healthy and mobile and riding comfortably on the Gomparetz Curve. I have made a specialty of studying the central role of chronic inflammation in all the diseases of aging, and what can be done to mitigate such inflammation. And you can look at the blog entries in the Inflammation series to see what I have to say about the related science – ref, ref, ref, ref, ref.
There are several things I do to limit chronic inflammation, and these are supported by both much research and personal experience
- First and foremost, for some 5 years now I have been consuming a home-made dietary supplement which is a liposomal formulation of standardized extracts of four traditional anti-inflammatory herbs – Curcumin, Boswellia, Ginger and Aswaghanda. There is extensive recent published research on the different anti-inflammatory actions of the chemicals in these herbs, and the liposomal nature of the concoction greatly enhances body absorbability. I invented this concoction to deal with symptoms of arthritis and now several other family members are not also regularly taking it. We have been working with a liposomal preparation manufacturing company for over three years to create a commercial marketable version of it. This will be called 4-Herb Synergy and should no be on the market in 2-4 weeks now after a long period of development with many twists and turns and improvements along the way. There is very much to say about this, so expect blog entries about it very soon. They will be titled The Science Behind 4-Herb Synergy, and The Making of a Dietary Supplement – how I originally invented this supplement to help myself and what I think it has done for me. I drafted these documents some time ago and plan to publish them two weeks before commercial availability of the product.
- Avoiding inflammatory flares is another part of how I handle inflammation, and here is where many of the things I do work partially be controlling chronic inflammation. For example, daily physical exercise and physical therapy exercises can help avert disabling muscle and joint chronic inflammation that would work to shut down my ability to move freely and maintain balance.
- Finally I need mention the critical roles of factors in fish oils for activating the all important resolution phase of natural inflammatory events. See my blog entry Inflammation Part 3: resolving inflammation – resolvins, protectins, maresins and lipoxins.
I seek to maintain healthy metabolism and body repair mechanisms
To do this, I supplement with resveratrol, pterostilbene, CO-Q10, and nicotinamide riboside. If I don’t take the supplementation, I will generally feel sluggish during the day. Our bodies have multiple mechanisms for repair, renewal, and supporting high functioning in the presence of damage, ranging from deep and REM sleep to mechanisms for DNA repair to means for silencing dangerous sequences in our DNA including ancient retroviruses. When a resource is required to deal with a crises or immediate survival situation and that same resource performs repair or renewal functions, inevitably priority is given to the immediate need. I have written about how this is true for sirtuins which are employed for mitochondrial support, DNA repair, and generation of enzymes required for mitochondrial functioning. NAD+ is critical both for support of both normal metabolism and endogenous production sirtuins. So if there is not enough of it to go around, maintainance and repair at the cellular level is short-shifted. Negative consequences are many including dysfunctional mitochondria, and autophagy, various illnesses and accelerated aging. I have described this situation in various blog entries in the NAD World series. Want a horrors list of what can happen if you don’t keep your NAD+ and sirtuins up? Here is a horrors list from my TALES OF NAD+ POWERPOINT PRESENTATION.
The NAD- CHAMBER OF HORRORS tales are about some of the main things that can go horribly wrong if you don’t have enough NAD+ in your body or your NAD+/NADH ratio goes screwy. These include but are not limited to:
- Inadequate production of sirtuins: SIRT1, SIRT6 and SIRT7
- PARP starvation and compromised DNA repair; genomic instability
- Inadequate production of key mitochrondial proteins, mitochondrial dysfunction and death
- Extensive mitochondria-originated ROS flooding
- Metabolic reprogramming to Warburg metabolism
- Misfolded proteins don’t get cleaned up
Compromised stress resistance
- Histones don’t get adequately deacetylated
- Reduced antioxidant defenses and oxidative damage to proteins
- Deacetylated and inactivated tumor suppressor proteins
- Microtubule railways hijacked, inflammasomes activated, and chronic destructive inflammation
- Cell senescence
- Impaired autophagy
- Endoplasmic reticulum stress
- As a very recent addition, age- related decimation of intestinal stem cell populations
Also, these horror tales include ones about the about downstream consequences of the above factors such as:
- Genesis and persistence of most diseases of aging including cancers, atherosclerosis, diabetes and dementias
- Low energy, tiredness, difficulty focusing
- Hypertension, increased susceptibility to sunburn and skin cancer
- Makes you fat and stupid
- Poor sleep
- Accelerated aging
- Many many other unwanted consequences and forms of suffering
I use hormetic stresses to keep healthy
Utilization of sub-toxic dosses of stresses to numerous positive health effects is a fundamental area of longevity science I focused on 6-7 years ago, based on using a property manifest in all living organisms known as hormesis. See these blog entries, I have developed several personal practices in this area. Some of these practices are detailed in a fun PowerPoint presentation which can be accessed here. Here are two slides from that presentation showing tiny hormetic interventions I pursued in a single day in 2013, identifying the biological pathways concerned. I continue such practices today:
I also do several additional things to support cell and DNA repair and renewal functions, such as
- Supplement with Quercetin and Fisetin to support body removal of senescent cells
- Supplement with Acetyl-l-Carnosine, Acetyl-l-Carnitine, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, and melatonin for impact on mitochondria among other reasons
- Manage stress, Use of stresses as hormetic interventions – heat shock and cold shock. See the PPT presentation mentioned above.
I seek to maintain full cognitive functioning via several approaches
- One of these is regular physical exercising
- Another approach is direct intellectual exercising, mainly focused on my two current areas of passion – longevity science and the nature of physical reality
With regard to longevity science I engage in multiple tasks. One of these is watching emergent areas of science that might (or might not) lead to breakthrough innovations in human longevity. I have written about any of these in this blog. Examples of areas that haves recently grabbed my attention are:
Promote autophagy and senescent cell clearance
For example, I consume:
- Curcumin, resveratrol for autophagy
- Fisetin, pterostilbene, quercetin,a resveratrol for senolytic efects
Research on rejuvinating factors in young blood plasma
There is a 15-year history of this research that started with sewing two mice together so they shared a common blood stream, and old mouse and a young mouse. You got it, the old mouse got a lot younger by multiple indicators, and the young mouse got older. For a long time nobody knew why this process, called heterochronic parabiosis worked – obviously something in the bloodstream, but what? Several candidates have been suggested for what is involved, GDF11 and TIMP2 being among them. Recently research has suggested that the rejuvenating factors may be communicated in the plasma, not via cells – ruling out stem cells per-se as the communicating factors. My personal favorite theory is that the good effects are communicated via transcription factors packaged in exosomes in the plasma. Moreover it is thought by some and animal experiments suggest that the rejuvenating factors may be present in plasma derived from placentas or umbilical cords, bringing this closer to being a human therapy, not only because these are normally discarded at childbirth, but also because plasma is independent of blood types and being cell-free does not pose a threat for host-graft rejection. In fact, the FDA has recently cracked down on fringe commercial clinics offering young blood anti-aging therapies for substantial fees This is an area of research I am watching.
Other initiatives to support continuation of my cognitive capabilities include:
- Maintain good CNS vasculture, seeking ongoing reactivation of adult neural stem cells, and remodeling of their synaptic activity/plasticity
- Supplements include DHA, pregnenalone, acetyl-l carnite, l-carnosine, alpha-lipoic acid, melatonin
I like to view pain as me good friend, not as my enemy
Pain is an evolutionarily-conserved signaling system. Pain can be read it as “We have got some kind of possible problem here. You should consider what this pain is likely due to and what you can do about it.” I give two examples from my history.
- Some 25 years ago I got some serious signs of rheumatoid arthritis: inflamed painful joints in my hands, elbows, wrists and knees. My rheumatologist put me on a massive initial dose of prednisone and told me I would have to be on stronger and stronger anti-arthritic medication for the rest of my life, Ike methotrexate. Instead, I researched traditional herbal ant-arthritic substances, reading many books at the time because this was before Internet. I identified four such substances (Curcumin, Boswellia, Ginger, and Ashwaghanda. Whole books were devoted to each of these as an arthritis treatment. All of these herbs were sold in capsule form in vitamin shops. So I started taking substantial doses of each. My arthritic symptoms soon went away. When they started to come back some 4 years ago, based on more research I started to make and take a liposomal concoction of the same 4 herbs, for enhanced bio-availability. Painful swelling and symptom went away again. I am still brewing the concoction in my kitchen and taking it and the pesky inflammatory symptoms have not returned, (Lab tests for CRP, IL6 and other inflammatory cytokines repeatedly confirm this, showing negligible values that might be typical of a 23-year old.) My radiologist indicated recently that the site of my quadrecept surgery appears now to be free of signs of osteo-arthritis. That was not the case some 18 years ago after I had the surgery. Finally, my wife, son Michael and I have been working intensively with a supplement manufacturer for over 3 years now and will soon be bringing to market 4-Herb Synergy, an advanced version of the product we have been making in our kitchen now for 4 years. Pain led to remedy and now to product.
- Some 9 years ago I started experiencing intense lower back pain, sometimes radiating to my right upper leg. Finally a MRI confirmed an awful-sounding diagnosis. Spinal Stenosis. You could actually see the bone spurs penetrating into the spinal column. The pain and lack of sleep was awful. Several orthopedic doctors indicated that my choices were few – tricky, dangerous and possibly unsuccessful spinal surgery or live with the pain best I can. Ibuprofen anybody? Not for me because a prescribed round of it had wrecked my stomach and given me ulcers years earlier. Or even worse for many nowadays, opioid addiction from excessive use of opioid pain killers. Then, based on the recommendation of a friend, I saw Dr. Rainville, a Physiatrist in the Spine Unit at New England Baptist Hospital. He was unimpressed by the MRI and said many people had such bone spurs. He recommended a round of physical therapy, using a particular PT location and PT specialist who administered a portfolio of PT exercises Rainville had developed. I was very skeptical; anybody could see the spinal stenosis on my MRI. But I did the round of PT exercises, and like a miracle, in 6 weeks all back pain was gone – vanished. Gone for 10 or 11 months that is and then the pains started to come back. By then I had let up on the home counterparts of the PT exercises which depended on a number of machines like a rotary torso unit, a 4-way knee exercise machine, and a machine which made you heave large loads put on your back. So I got my primary physician to write me a script for another round of exercises at the same place and therapist, and again, the pain went completely away for almost another year. I successfully repeated this yearly process going back for a round of PT for 8 years in a row keeping me largely pain free, and then I learned that my specialized PT trainer had left the PT parlor I had been using. So, 6 weeks ago I went back to see Rainville again, and this time he sent me to trainers he had worked with at NE Baptist Hospital. And they put me on a regimen of 20-minute a day machine-free exercises that had been developed for the US Army and, I am told clinically validated for banishing lower back pain I am now midway through this regimen but now feel quite confident it will work, not only to be back-pain free but to restore my balance which I recently felt might be getting a bit iffy. Again, pain led to action which now is leading me to increased mobility.
An example of how not to fall off the Gomperetz curve
A fairly common story about how elderly people fall off the Gomperetz curve does not apply to me but exemplifies what I am afraid of. The story Illustrates the complex ways of interaction among multiple interventions. A person in his mid 80s gradually stops working out and taking long walks because of severe arthritic and lower back pains. His balance becomes poorer and in the middle of a New England blizzard he falls due to an icy patch and stretches and damages the quadracept muscles in one knee. The strong doses of ibuprofen he was taking to control the arthritic pain and inflammation had made his balance all the worse. Unable to walk he is hospitalized, subject to a minor quadrecept repair operation, finally sent to physical therapy where he learns to shuffle slowly with a walker, and is eventually sent home. Still subject to arthritic pains, that sequence seems to mark the end of long walks or systematic physical exercise. It also marked the end of his driving and relative independence, and the end of most of his social life. Minus this exercise and sustained commitment to motion, his social and family life become more and more constrained and over a matter of months he begins to loose his cognitive capabilities. About a year after the fall he is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and about six months later is moved to a nursing facility for dementia patients. Two and a half years later he is dead. The event that visibly knocked him off the Gomperetz curve was the fall, everything else after this being more or less in expected downhill sequence. Actually he was tottering dangerously on the curve before the fall with his severe arthritic pains, lessened movement and loss of balance – factors that made him vulnerable to slip and fall on the ice. What he could have done when he started to feel the pain, instead of letting up on exercise, could include 1. Going of a strong regimen of anti-inflammatory herbs (for me 4-Herb Synergy is what I do), and powerful fish oil supplements which contribute to the control of inflammation, and 2. getting into serious rounds of lower-back physical therapy designed to control the pain and enhance his balance, so he would not have to stop exercising (for me, thanks Dr Rainville at New England Baptist Hospital Spine Center) and 3. Use daily feedback from a tracking device or two to make sure his exercise and movement regimen was kept up (for me, my Oura Ring and Fitbit Charge 3), and 4. Engaged the support of his wife to make sure he kept moving on a daily and hourly basis (for me, thank you Melody, who has just invited me as I write this out to chop up sheets of ice formed on our driveway). In other words, take proactive steps so the fall off the curve doesn’t happen.
PERSONAL DIETARY SUPPLEMENT REGIMEN as of April 7, 2019
|SUBSTANCE||DOSE (1 pill)||WHEN*||NOTES (per pill)|
|4-Herb Synergy||1 tsp||1 AM, 1 Eve||Proprietary liposomal preparation of Curcumin, Boswellia, Ginger and Aswaghanda**|
|Acetyl-l-Carnitine, Alpha-lipoic acid||1 AM, 1 Eve||500 mg Acetyl L-Carnitine HCl, 300 mg Alpha-lipoic acid|
|Alpha-Lipoic Acid||300 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve|
|Astragalus root||1,500 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve|
|Aswaghanda extract||300 mg||1 BB, 1 Eve||KSM 66, Stand. to 5% Withanolides|
|Bacopa extract||300 mg||1 BB, 1 Eve||Stand. to 45% Bacosides, with baCognizine|
|Benfotiamine||150 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||Benfotiamine (S-benzoylthiamine-O-monophosphate)|
|Bitter Melon Fruit||450 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve|
|Boswellia Serrata extract||75 mg||1 BB, 1 Eve||5_LOXIN, Stand to 50% AKBA|
|Calcium-Magnesium-Zink||500 mg||2 AM, 2 Eve||333 mg Calcium (as Cal Carbonate, Cal Asparate and Cal Citrate). 133 mg Magnesium (as Mag Oxide, Mag Asparate and Mag Gluconate, 5 mg Zink (as Zink Oxide, Zink Asparate, and Zink Gluconate)|
|Cat’s Claw||500 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve|
|Copper||3 mg||1 AM||As Copper Gluconate|
|DHEA||50 mg||1 BB, 1 Eve||Dehydroepiandrosterone|
|(Mega) EFAs||1,050 mg||2 BB, 2 AM, 1 Eve||Molecularly distilled fish oils, 400 mg EPA, 200 mg DHA|
|Eleuthero Root||500 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve|
|Fisetin Flavinoid||100 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||From Wax Tree Extract, take for 5 consecutive days each month|
|Garcinia Cambogia extract||600 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||Stand to 50% Hydroxycitric Acid|
|Garlic Ultra||600 mg||1 Eve||Stand to 2.5% Allicin|
|Ginger root||550 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||Ginger (rhizome)|
|Ginseng Extract||250 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||Americn Ginseng Extract (root)|
|Glucosamine, Chondroitin & MSM||1,000 mg||2 AM, 2 Eve||25 mg Sodium, 55 mg Potasium, 375 mg Glucosamine Sulfate, 300 mg Chrondroitin Sulfate, 250 mg Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM)|
|Grape Seed & Resveratrol||400 mg||1 BB, 1 AM,1 Eve||225 mg Grape seed extract Stand for 85% polyphenols, 75 mg grape skin extract Stand to 45% proanthocyanidins, 25 mg grape juice extract (whole fruit), 75 mg resveratrol|
|Green Coffee Bean Extract||200 mg||1 BB, 1 AM||Stand to 50% chlorogenic acids|
|Green Tea Fat Burner||360mg||1 BB, 2 AM||200 mg GT extract Stand. to 50% EGCG (leaf), 160 mg Caffeine, 160mg other ingredients|
|Horny Goat Weed Extract||500 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||Stand to 10% Icarin|
|L-Carnosine||500 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve|
|Probiotic 15-35||100 mg||1 BB, 1 AM,1 Eve||15 Strains, 17.5 billion microorganisms per cap|
|Magnesium Citrate||200 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve|
|Melatonin||3 mg||1 Eve||Before bed|
|Milk Thistle extract||300 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||Stand to 80% Silymarin|
|Carotene Complex||1 AM||3,000 mcg Vitamin A (as 100% beta-carotene and mixed carotenoids), 6 mg Food Carotenoid Blend: annatto (seed), carrot extract (root), West Indian lemongrass (aerial), spirulina|
|Nicotinamide Riboside||125 mg||2 BB||Tru Niagen|
|Olive Leaf extract||500 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||Stand to 15% Eleuropain|
|Pterostilbene||50 mg||1 BB||pTeroPure,|
|PQQ||20mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||BioPQQ™ (Pyrroloquinoline quinone disodium salt)|
|Quercetin & Bromelain||406 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||250 mg Quercetin dehydrate, 156 mg Bromelain|
|Saw Palmetto||540 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||Berry|
|Selenium||200 mcg||1 AM||As 1-selenomethionine|
|Stinging Nettle Leaf||480 mg||1 AM|
|Trans Resveratrol||500mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||Knotweed Stand to 50% Trans Resveratrol|
|Turmeric extract||580 mg||1 BB, 1 Eve||Curcumin C3 cmplx, Stand to 95% Curcuminoids, with Piperine|
|Ubiquinol||100 mg||1 BB, 1 Eve||Quinol|
|Vitamin B-6||100 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||As Pyridoxine Hydrochloride|
|Vitamin B-12||500 mg||1 AM||As Methylcobalamin|
|Vitamin B-100 complex||1,000 mg||1 AM||100 mg Thiamin, 100 mg Riboflavin, 100 mg Niacinamide, 100 mg B6, 400 mcg Folic Acid, 100 mcg B12, 1oo mcg Biotin, 100 mg Pantothenic Acid, 100 mg Choline Bitartrate 100 mg Inositol, 100 mg PABA|
|Vitamin C||1,000 mg||1 AM, 1 Eve||As Ascorbic Acid|
|Vitamin D-3||5,000 IU||1 BB, 1 Eve||5,000 IU as Cholecalciferol|
|Vitamin E||180 mg||400 IU as Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate|
|Ultra Vit K||2,400 mg||100 mg as Menaquinone-7, 1,300 mg as Menaquinone-4, 1,000 mg as Phytonadione|
* BB – before breakfast, Morn – usually in AM, Eve – after supper before bed
** Own proprietary blend. See blog entries On the Making of a Dietary Supplement and The Science Behind the 4-Herb Synergy Supplement and the disclosure and disclaimer notices.
DISCLOURE AND DISCLAIMER NOTICES
The writer of this blog has a proprietary interest in the 4-Herb Synergy supplement.
The above statements have not been reviewed by the FDA
From time to time, this blog discusses disease processes, and in the case of the present entry, the writer’s personal experience. The intention of those discussions is to convey current research findings and opinions and personal experience, not to give medical advice. the information in posts in this blog is not a substitute for a licensed physician’s medical advice. if any advice, opinions, or instructions herein conflict with that of a treating licensed physician, defer to the opinion of the physician. this information is intended for people in good health. it is the reader’s responsibility to know his or her medical history and ensure that actions or supplements he or she takes do not create an adverse reaction.