80% of our health in old age is due to our lifestyle and how we live; only 20% is genetic or hereditary.
There are 6 major hallmarks of aging that occurs in our cells:
1. DNA DAMAGE which causes instability and leads to cancers. DNA breaks can
be single or double strand breaks. Single strands are not as bad as double strand
breaks and our body can usually fix these breaks fairly easily. Double strand
breaks are worse and much harder for our body to fix. As we age, we get more
and more double strand breaks and our body becomes less able to fix them. This
is why when we age, the incidence of cancers, inflammation and chronic diseases
2. ZOMBIE CELLS (also known as CELLULAR SENESCENCE). Cells wear out
and die and if our body can’t get rid of the old cells properly through recycling, it
leads to Zombie Cells (SENESCENCE). These old, damaged, senescent cells lead
to harmful total body inflammation and a host of chronic diseases.
3. DAMAGE TO THE MITOCHONDRIA, THE POWERHOUSE OF OUR CELLS
which leads to poor cellular function.
4. RAPID TELOMERE SHORTENING We have a protective coating on the ends
of our chromosomes, called TELOMERES. As we age, they rapidly decrease in
size and can’t protect our DNA as well as when we were younger. This leads to
our DNA becoming more easily damaged and the incidence of cancers increases.
5. EXHAUSTION OF STEM CELLS Stem cells serve as the repair system for the
body. As stem cells decrease, our body can’t repair itself and diseases start
6. ALTERED COMMUNICATION BETWEEN THE CELLS leading to total body
The goal of healthy aging and increasing longevity is to limit these major
hallmarks of aging. We can do this by activating Longevity Genes.
What are longevity genes?
In the last 15-20 years, there was a breakthrough with the amazing discovery of
three longevity genes that control how fast we age and that these genes can be
controlled by diet and lifestyle.
These genes help fix DNA breaks, reduce inflammation in our bodies, keep our
blood sugars regulated and our cells younger.
There are 3 MAIN LONGEVITY GENES that we can intentionally signal to
increase our health as we age:
✅ Regulates blood sugars and fat
When this gene is signaled, it improves the body’s response to insulin so your
blood sugars are better controlled. Uncontrolled blood sugars lead to diabetes
and metabolic disease.
The diabetes prescription drug, Metformin, works on this same pathway to
improve insulin sensitivity.
✅ improves your metabolism for fat burning
✅ improves muscle performance
Being overweight dramatically decreases the activation of the longevity
gene, AMPK, and this leads to chronic inflammation.
AMPK is also involved in several longevity pathways and helps promote healthy aging.
🌟 It activates-FOXO proteins ( master regulator for longevity)
🌟 It activates NRF2 pathways (master antioxidant pathway)
🌟 It activates Sirtuin 1 (master regulator for life extension)
✅ There are 7 sirtuin genes in mammals
✅ They made by almost every cell in the body
✅ They are indispensable for DNA repair
✅ Sirtuins can turn genes on and off which is vital to keep the body healthy
and young. They are called epigenetic regulators which means that they can
change the way that DNA is read by the body.
✅ They lengthen the telomeres on our chromosomes which protects them from
DNA breaks. DNA breaks lead to cancers and chronic inflammation.
The goal is to suppress mTOR genes which tell our body to repair and recycle old
cells through a process called AUTOPHAGY.
As we age, our mTOR genes become over-stimulated. This happens because we
eat too much unhealthy processed foods, we lack physical exercise and
accumulate toxins (pollution) from the environment. This leads to our body
building fat, lazy cells. Because the cells are lazy, they let cellular garbage build
up which accelerates the aging process. This leads to
🙁 type 2 diabetes
🙁 cardiovascular disease
🙁 autoimmune diseases
Autophagy begins a period of recycling and removal. This will replenish raw
materials for healthy cell building and discard toxic waste that accumulate during
periods of over eating.
Is it hard to get these longevity genes activated?
No, activating the genes can be done in a few different ways. If you implement all these methods, though, you will greatly increase your chance of a longer, healthier life.
There are 3 EASY ways that you can activate your longevity genes:
Over the years, exercise has been the best way for keeping healthy because it improves blood flow, makes our heart stronger and flushes out plaque. However, new breakthroughs in technology shows what exercise is doing on a cellular level.
Those who exercised more had longer telomeres. Telomeres are the protection caps on the end of the chromosomes that prevent our DNA from damage.
For example, if you jog 5x a week for 30 mins, your telomeres are 10 years younger than those who don’t exercise.
Exercise puts stress on our body. When our body is stressed, it produces beneficial NAD. NAD activates the three longevity genes, mTOR, AMPK and Sirtuins.
Running 15 mins a day can reduce your chance of a heart attack by 40% and it can decrease the death rate from all causes of death by 45%. That is impactful!
2. Intermittent Fasting
This is a method of eating during certain hours only and fasting for the remaining hours. The most common way to intermittent fast is to not eat after dinner until lunch the following day. This is a 16 hour fast: 8 hours eating.
The huge benefit that your body gets from fasting, is it triggers all three longevity genes very well.
If you find this concept of fasting and eating for only a small number of hours too hard, just try to push your breakfast to a later time in the morning. Or if breakfast is too hard to push out, try to avoid eating after 8pm at night. Anyway that you can lengthen the time that you don’t eat will reap huge benefits to your body.
3. Adding Phytonutrients in your diet
This method is the easiest. It follows both the Mediterranean Diet and the Blue Zone Diet (Okinawa, Japan, Sardinia, Nicoya, Ikaria, Loma Linda). These are the areas in the world where people live the longest, healthiest lives.
Both areas have a very high consumption of phytonutrients. These are nutrients that come from plants, like resveratrol, quercetin, green tea (ECGC), lycopne, and curcumin. They turn on our longevity genes to repair our DNA and limit chronic inflammation.