Our society is in the midst of a technological revolution.
We may one day reach a point, where medical technology could eventually add years to our life expectancy faster than we can live them.
This is called the Breakeven point, and some scientists think it is only a matter of decades before we reach it.
Unfortunately, many of us do not have the option of waiting that long, but there is still a way to slow down our biological clocks.
If you try hard enough, you might be able to buy yourself just enough time to be among those who will inherit the universe, rather than those lost to history forever.
You can take all the Gero protectants and Nootra sutickles you want, but there is only one solid scientifically reliable way of stalling the reaper.
It is called, “The Calorie Restriction” Diet, or, C are.
And you are about to find out why it’s so fascinating.
One day, humans will be able to replace our damaged organs like car parts.
Our bodies will eventually become just like cars and, after drastic accidents, we’ll be able to fix them at a human body shop with lab grown replacement parts.
But this is a long ways away.
Fortunately, another way to make a car last longer is to simply just save mileage and not drive it so much.
The same logic applies to humans.
Caloric restriction is the diet where you cut your daily calorie intake by about 30 to 50 percent every single day in an effort to increase your maximum lifespan.
You can also practice it by eating healthy nutrient dense foods, to avoid malnutrition.
This is called CRON, which stands for Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition.
People who take on this lifestyle are colloquially referred to as quote unquote; “Cronies”.
Some Cronies report becoming miserable, with low sex drive and high irritability.
Meanwhile, other Cronies who have been doing it for years say they have never felt better.
Regardless, it’s definitely a big commitment, so how do we even know that it works?
Caloric restriction has been shown to significantly extend life span in a number of species, including yeast, Knee Matode worms, fish, rodents, and dogs.
Just as long, as it wasn’t done to the point of malnutrition.
It was proven that what we call “Semai starvation”.
Slows down the biological aging process and extends youth, health, and maximum life expectancy.
The effect is very dramatic.
Rats who are fed a shockingly low number of calories, live up to 40% longer, than rats who are fed normally.
Back in the 19 eighties, professor Roy Wolford, at the university of California Los Angeles, produced the world record for the longest lived mouse at the time.
Most Mice barely lived over 2 years, but Doctor Wolford managed to produce one that lived to 48 months.
We don’t know the exact mechanism, but some scientists think that fasting turns on survival genes that fight stress.
Other scientists think that the lack of glucose from eating less, lowers the amount of “free radicals”.
Molecules that damage our mitochondrial D N A through the “Double Strand Break Problem”.
Damage to the mitochondrial D N A stops the cells from doing their jobs.
Therefore, running the mitochondria more leaner will produce less free radicals and slow down aging.
Unfortunately, there’s a catch.
The one big problem with caloric restriction is that it hasn’t been tested in humans, because those tests would take many decades.
It’s easier to study dogs, which only live a couple of years.
However, despite this setback, it is still very likely that the metabolic mechanism of calorie restriction, is fundamentally beneficial to all mammals.
Even if there are varying degrees of success.
The diet might not give humans the same amount of extra life that doctor Wolford’s mice got, but it’s definitely better than no life at all.
Since we can’t test it in humans, the next best thing would be to test it on our closest relatives, through a famous study called; “the Madison Monkey experiment”.
In the city of Madison Wiss con sin, researchers are spending millions of dollars to see, if Calorie restriction has the same effect in pry mates as it does in mice.
So they’ve taken 2 groups of Rhesus monkeys and locked them up for life.
One group of monkeys is being given a regular diet, while the other group is given 30% the amount of calories.
Rhesus Monkeys are one of our closest evolutionary relatives, but they only live for 25 years, which makes them easier to study than humans.
Decades after the study began, it was finally finished and published this year in 20 17.
A collaborative report by scientists of the US National Institute on Aging and the University of Wisconsin, showed that caloric restriction was effective in delaying the effects of aging.
The Cronies that were studied in the Madison Monkey experiment showed lower body weight, lower fat mass, lower blood glucose, and fewer disorders of aging.
Since Rhesus monkeys are so genetically similar to humans, the benefits are very likely to apply to us as well, which has resulted in millions of people around the world practicing Caloric restriction.
A new generation of Cronies, desperately trying to slow the deterioration of their molecular engine.
The less you eat, the longer you live.
Just don’t actually starve yourself.
The key is to phase in the diet slowly, slow enough that you don’t lose weight too quickly, which would be counterproductive to immune health.
We know from studies done with rats, that if you jump right into the diet without easing in first, you will become malnourished and the diet will do more harm than good.
The goal is to eventually get from 2000 calories per day, down to around 1400 calories, depending on your age and height.
But is this diet dangerous?
Western civilization has changed a lot in the recent decades.
We no longer live very active lifestyles so we don’t need to eat as much as our parents did.
It has become so bad, that more people these days die from over eating, than from starvation.
Now we sit around all day, and our bodies simply just don’t need the energy the same way our ancestors did.
The big breakfasts you see in T.V commercials, contain far too much food for you, especially if you live a sedentary lifestyle, which for most of Americans, is basically the lifestyle of a coma patient.
Things are changing now and we need to start eating less food, because our habits are killing us.
Many Cronies who have tried this diet report being hungry initially, but then, started feeling much better once their body got used to using less food.
A good way to ward off the initial hunger, is to eat lots of fiber, which will make your body feel full, even though fiber rich foods have very few calories.
People who do this diet improperly will become angry, emotionally distant, hungry, and have a very low libido.
In which case they are probably undoing the positive effects of caloric restriction by adding stress and depression, which are associated with rapid aging.
So be careful.
If you jump right into the diet without gradually easing in or eating lots of fiber, then you might get higher levels of the stress hormone called Cortisol, which could counteract some of the good that the diet would otherwise produce.
It’s not an easy diet to keep when you first start out.
but regardless, Cronies believe there’s a good chance that technology will become available and dramatically extend their lives, to the point where they won’t have to do the diet anymore.
It may be annoying to eat smaller meals, but it’s more important to put your health first, so that you can live long enough to benefit from radical life extension technology.
But this diet is definitely not for everyone.
It’s really tricky, eating just enough to sustain your body and also getting enough vitamins to be in peak health.
Which means you will have to shop healthy, and not too many people have access to good stores.
I love eating just as much as everyone else, but it would be great if we had a way of getting the benefits of the diet without actually having to watch what we eat.
We could hopefully do this in 3 ways.
One, by supplementing hormones, two, by taking drugs to manipulate gene expression, or three, by customizing our genomes altogether.
First there’s the idea of what’s happening at the chemical level.
Much of modern caloric restriction research is focused on the role of a hormone called De hydro epian Dross Terrone, or ; “D H E A” for short.
“D H E A” is the most abundant steroid hormone in the human body, and it works as an inhibitor of the stress hormone Cortisol.
It also rejuvenates female fertility.
Unfortunately, our levels of “D H E A” plummet as we age, so Cortisol eventually wreaks havoc on our bodies.
But miraculously, when studying the levels of “D H E A” in the people of the Japanese island: “Okee Nao Wa”.
We found that their bodies still had high levels of the hormone.
This is because the people of Okee Naowa practice “Hara Hachi Boo”.
A form of caloric restriction.
Which is probably why they have the longest lived population of centenarians worldwide, and why Okinawa is considered a so called, longevity “Blue Zone”.
Perhaps we could be just like them, if we could find a way to up regulate our D H E A levels.
It’s no surprise that D H E A is praised as the fountain of youth and sold as an over the counter supplement.
But I wouldn’t recommend you go stock up on supplements because, as with all nootra sutickles, there are always concerns about safety, side effects, and the lack of quality control.
Not to mention the Supplement industry is full of frauds and quacks.
Supplements are also not regulated or approved by the F D A so supplement companies can mislead you about the ingredients.
Many supplements will just outright lie on the bottle and not even have “D H E A” inside them.
There is also the question of whether or not the supplement is even biochemically equivalent to the natural form of “D H E A”.
The second way to get the effects of caloric restriction might come from Epigenetics.
Many people died during the Irish potato famine of the 18 fourties, but in the long term, average life expectancy went up from 40 to 50.
It’s hard to believe, an entire decade of extra life can come from just missing a few meals every week.
This is because hunger is the natural state of human beings.
Evolution designed our bodies to go days without eating at all.
We are not meant to gorge ourselves to obesity, because we are hunter gatherers at heart, and hunter gatherers don’t expect to eat very often.
This is probably why Calorie restriction raised the Irish life expectancy so high.
Scientists think the molecular effects are linked to a gene called L O S-1.
We have reason to believe that the amount you eat can switch the gene on or off, making you age either faster, or slower.
It also affects another group of genes.
“The Sir tooins”.
Which were the life’s work of M I T aging biologist Leonard Garontay.
If he sounds familiar, it’s because he also created a popular anti aging drug called Basis.
Doctor Garontay discovered that he could get the effects of caloric restriction when we make yeast cells express the Sir Tooin genes more.
When he promoted expression of the most powerful gene, called “Sir 2”, then the yeast lived 50% longer.
He also realized that decreasing expression of the gene would make the yeast die sooner, even if he put them on a calorie restriction diet.
So caloric restriction doesn’t work without this gene.
This would explain why food shortages are linked to longevity.
It turns out, that the Sir Tooin genes are stress regulators, so it would explain why the decrease of stress is linked to longevity.
They might even be linked to the hormone we just talked about.
D H E A.
Doctor Garontay was able to activate these genes using “Semai starvation”.
Which kicks the sir tooins into over drive, boosting D N A repair and stopping the cells from dying.
Humans actually possess sir Tooin genes as well.
Perhaps we could find a way to activate those genes without having to cut calories.
Doctor David Sinclair, who was once a post Doc in Garontay’s lab, thinks taking a molecule called Rez verra troll could be the key to expressing these genes.
Rez verra troll is the molecule in red wine that gives it all the health benefits we keep hearing about.
When rez verra troll is given to mice, worms, and flies, it helps them live 25 to 40 percent longer.
Doctor Sinclair has spent his entire career trying to get the molecule turned into a nootra sutickle.
So that we can mimic the effects of caloric restriction in humans.
However, we might not have to take Rez verra troll at all, maybe we could just genetically engineer ourselves to get rid of all the risk genes for aging.
The third way to mimic the effects of caloric restriction might involve redesigning our genome altogether, and knocking out all the genes that make us age.
Molecular biologist, Doctor Cynthia Kenyon, from the university of california San Francisco, has been able to radically extend the lifespan of microscopic worms called C elegans.
All she did was simply delete one gene, called “Daff 2”, and the animals lived twice as long.
Daff 2 is a gene that increases the effects of insulin, but when Kenyon mutated the gene, it had the same effect as caloric restriction.
This is because decreasing your food intake also leeds to a lower level of insulin, so these genes could be organized to promote lifespan extension.
The lack of insulin also helps promote survival genes, like the Sirtuins, so this might be an even better method than the last two.
When the equivalent genes for Daff 2 were adjusted in mice, the drop in insulin had the same positive effects, also making them more resistant to heart disease and cancer.
This is a very groundbreaking new way to treat diseases and target aging at it’s genetic source.
Unfortunately, it will still be a while before we can make gene editing technology safe enough for humans.
In the mean time, doctor Cynthia Kenyon is now working with Aging Biologist, Elizabeth Blackburn, on another project to naturally boost our D H E A levels.
A study done a while back actually shows a 20% increase in “D H E A”, after just 5 days on a lactovegetarian diet.
The large Fiber intake of vegetarians is associated with higher levels of this molecule. But this was not because they were taking more of the hormone in, but because they were losing less of it.
To figure it out, Kenyon and Blackburn got involved with the Corona study at the university of San Francisco, and hopefully they will figure out a way to stall the aging process, at least until we can get our gene editing technology perfected.
In conclusion, it will be a long time before we can get the benefits of Caloric restriction, without doing the nutritional work it requires.
One day we might produce a drug, that will illicit the benefits of stress regulating genes and insulin regulating genes.
But until then, you are just going to have to eat healthy.
You don’t have to join the Cronies, since a plant based diet might have many of the same effects.
After all, taking Rez verra Troll or doing caloric restriction, are still somewhat controversial in the scientific community.
The big takeaway from this is that you should just live more sensibly.
Stop eating so much, consume more fiber, and maybe try a few more plants.
It will be very hard.
But perhaps a thousand years from now, the future U, will look back at it, as a walk in the park.