The question of whether it is possible to slow down aging is one that has interested us, humankind, our entire history. It is as relevant to us today as it has ever been. Recent scientific progress indicates that the aging process not only can be slowed down, but under certain circumstances it can be reversed. In plain terms, your physical body can get younger!
Here we would like to introduce you to the research of David Sinclair, a Harvard professor and one of the leading scientists in the field of aging, who made Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2014. In his research he acknowledges that our lifespan has definitely increased over the past century, thus we do live longer. But the integral question of his research is: Can we live better? In his book “Lifespan: Why we age and why we don’t have to” he states that “instead of fighting for youth, we fight for life. Or, more specifically, we fight against death….We have gained additional years, but not additional life – not life worth living anyway.”
Our teacher Carlos Castaneda liked to show off a little bit his astounding youth, at times, even in his seventies. He would pull up one leg from his pants while he would remark: “These are not the legs of a seventy year old man!”, and then add: “To be young when you are in your thirties…no big deal. To be young when you are in your seventies…now that is sorcery!” Old-Age was, according to him, the fourth enemy of a man of knowledge that cannot be overcome, but it could be slowed down. His message, 25 years ago, was that the practice of energy passes, meditation and a healthy diet can slow down age and turn on the youth genes.
In his research Sinclair identifies a protein called sirtuin, which plays a major role in our body’s ability to interpret our genetic information and repair our damaged DNA cells. We also have molecules in our bodies, called NAD, that activate that protein. However with age, our body starts running low on NAD, which causes malfunction of sirtuins. This, according to Sinclair, is a single cause of aging.
Throughout our lives we get NAD from what we eat – milk, yeast and green vegetables. In his research Sinclair identifies a body’s survival circuit – practices through which we can tell sirtuins to boost the defense for our DNA cells. Those practices are regular physical exercise, exposure to cold and limiting our food intake. Though this research is still ongoing and many more experiments need to take place to further Sinclair’s findings, there is a large body of studies that supports his research. So, simply put, if you spend 15 min a day exercising, occasionally take a walk without a jacket and skip a meal sometimes, you are actively investing in staying younger.
We want to mention here that there are a few companies that manufacture NAD supplements that can be taken orally daily. It is hard to make any claims about whether those supplements do the work intended, but if any of you have tried them or intend to try them, please let us know your feedback. That should at least make an interesting discussion.
We do however recommend reading Sinclair’s book “Lifespan: Why we age and why we don’t have to”. It is full of fascinating discoveries and useful information.
Let’s live a life worth living!