Maybe we took our youth for granted.
Before we knew it, it was gone and signs of aging are slipping in.
- Unrefreshed sleep
- Muscle and joint aches (feeling rusty)
- Mental sharpness going backwards a bit
- Overall fatigue
- Mood is more mellow
- Reactions are slower
- Lidibo and sexual function dropped from 5 times a week to maybe once a week (and who cares anyway right?)
- Skin starts to wrinkle too much
- Bathroom visits are longer and more frustrating
- Food sensitivities come out of nowhere
- and the list goes on!
How did we get to this place?
Normal aging, or did our behavior and eating patterns also play a role?
In most cases, we can age extremely gracefully if we just look after ourselves better.
Here are a few tricks on how to reverse old age symptoms and feel youthful again.
#1 Avoid PUFAs
Some of the more common omega 6 rich fats/oils include:
- Sesame seed
Eliminating them or replacing them with high saturated fat oils/butters reduces inflammation and improves cellular function.
And that’s what’s important here. Cellular function.
PUFAs over time degrades cellular function and energy production goes down. When you look at a child and an old person, you see two opposites. High energy vs low energy.
An older person’s cellular function has continued to decline over the years to the point where energy is painstakingly low. For e.g. when you’re driving behind an older person in traffic…so SLOW!!!
The point I’m trying to make is that PUFAs over time lower your cellular function and energy production. This swings you to the older person spectrum.
And you can swing yourself back by consuming saturated fat rich sources.
Depleting your body of PUFA and replacing them with saturated and monounsaturated fat will reduce inflammation and ensure that your organs are working properly again.
Important organs, such as the liver, heart, kidney, thymus, testes, brain, etc.
Bottom line: PUFAs cause inflammation, deteriorate cellular function, reduce energy production and contribute to aging and disease. Remove them from the diet right away!
#2 Optimize digestion and minimize food allergens
The gut is one of the most important organs when it comes to longevity.
Anything that causes gut inflammation, leaky gut, or immune responses inhibits cellular energy production and accelerates degeneration and aging.
I wrote a whole article on the importance of gut health and longevity:
Certain foods, such as A1/A2 milk and wheat (gluten & WGA) are common culprits for irritating the gut and causing negative effects. And even if you don’t show symptoms of gut inflammation, doesn’t mean you don’t have any.
For example: “A human study in 2089 elderly individuals looking for possible persistence of anti-gliadin antibody (AGA) positivity showed that 54 % of the AGA-positive patients suffered from intestinal inflammation, but only a small number of them complained about gastrointestinal symptoms” (R, R).
Other lesser problematic foods include high FODMAP, lectins, solanine (nightshade family), starches, histamine, raw vegetables (salads), etc.
Chronically stimulating the immune system with gut-irritating foods leads to low-grade chronic inflammation, which leads to degeneration, autoimmune conditions, and aging.
Eliminating problematic foods (that give you problems) have a beneficial effect on you, such as:
- Higher body temperature (less cold hands and feet and cold intolerance)
- Less brain fog
- Better energy
- Improvements in mood
- Better skin
- Less painful joints
- Increased desire to be active and go do exciting things (a sign of higher dopamine)
- Better erections and higher libido (as a result of higher testosterone and lower prolactin and serotonin)
I know we as humans are not meant to live on an elimination diet, but eliminating a specific allergenic or irritating food to calm inflammation is definitely worth it while you fix the root cause.
And by eliminating certain foods doesn’t mean you’re eliminating everything or going extreme such as with a carnivore diet. It simply means eliminating that one food, or few foods, that give you a negative reaction. Some people want to go extreme and do a carnivore diet and feel amazing. It’s up to you what you want to do.
I highly recommend you read the article I linked above for a much more comprehensive delve into gut health and longevity.
#3 Eat nutrient-dense foods
Instead of supplementing a lot of stuff, it’s best to take a shotgun approach to your diet and eat foods that are rich in all/most micros, e.g. milk, eggs, oysters, organ meat, such as liver and kidney.
Also, it’s not smart to think that you can get all your nutrients from supplements vs food.
Do you think a diet consisting of EAAs, sugar/maltodextrin, and MCT oil with a multi will do the trick for longevity?
Of course not. And that’s because there are hundreds, if not thousands, of beneficial compounds in food that you’ll never be able to get in a supplement.
All the minerals on the periodic table are found in shellfish for example. All of those trace nutrients you’ll never get in a supplement. Plus, food, whether it be oysters, milk, organ meat, gelatin, eggs, etc., have many different kinds of peptides which have a host of beneficial effects.
Milk, eggs, oysters, etc. have peptides that have anti-microbial, anti-hypertensive, mineral carrying, anti-hypertensive, immuno-stimulants, anti-thrombotic, anti-gastrics, anti-oxidant, anti-diabetic, organ protective and optimizing effect (e.g. test, kidney), anti-cancer, insulin-like effects (e.g. glycogen storage) (R, R, R, R, R, R, R).
Point being, eat those nutrient-dense foods.
Here is an article I wrote on how to get all your micros without eating vegetables.
With those foods as your foundation, then you can add extra foods, such as fruits (these are also nutrient-dense foods), refined stuff, e.g. rice, wheat (if you tolerate it), sugar, etc.
#4 Avoid environmental toxins
Toxins in the environment inhibit our cellular function and cause mayhem.
#1 First science became aware of xenoestrogens and that they can inhibit steroidogenesis and have estrogenic effects. Endocrine-disrupting chemicals can stimulate or suppress normal hormone effects and do so through numerous modes of action, including hormone biosynthesis, release and transport of steroid hormones, bind steroid hormone and non-steroid hormone receptors, and affect endogenous steroid hormone metabolism. The results are hypogonadism and hyper-estrogenic symptoms.
Then it became apparent that these xenoestrogens also inhibited thyroid hormone production, transport, and action. This leads to impair development overall (reproductive system overall, brain, etc.), impaired hormones and neurotransmitter synthesis, release and response, impaired organ function, reduced ATP production, cancer, etc. Bad stuff.
Xenoestrogens include many synthetic compounds that are commonly found in drinking water, cosmetic products (toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, hand sanitizer, hand wash, hair styling agents, deodorants, etc.), plastics, food colorants, etc. So it’s best to go natural as best as possible.
#2 Next on the list to avoid would be toxins in the air. A good air filter would work wonders for someone that has an overactive immune system. Also, a negative ion generator generates negative ions which help to neutralize toxins in the air and help people in relieving symptoms of allergies to dust, mold spores, and other allergens (R). The presence of negative air ions is credited for increasing psychological health, productivity, and overall well-being.
#3 Next up we have EMF. EMF is a big deal. EMF activates voltage-gated calcium channels, which allow calcium to enter the cell. This increase in calcium excites the cell, which enhances the production of reactive oxygen species (e.g. superoxide) (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (e.g. nitric oxide). Superoxide combines with nitric oxide to produce the highly toxic peroxynitrite.
Not everyone is sensitive to EMF, but everyone is affected to a degree. Remember, our goal is to optimize cellular function and anything that inhibits it, even to a mild degree does have accumulative effects in the long run. We tend to get used to feeling off (low energy, frustration, low creativity, etc.) until we get out of that situation and then suddenly things improve a lot. Read here how to protect yourself against EMF.
#4 Last we have mold. Environmental mold is almost everywhere. Give it the right environment and it flourishes. Make sure to check every nook and cranny, since the toxins mold releases inhibit cellular function and cause all kinds of aging symptoms.
This study found that mold inhibits the conversion of T4 into T3. So if you have persistent hypothyroid symptoms, check your total and free T3 as well as rT3 to see if you have sufficient conversion of T4 to T3 happening.
#5 Get enough sleep
During sleep is when all the magic stuff of cell cleaning happens. Without proper sleep, aging is accelerated. And as a result of rapid aging, sleep starts to suffer as well, in a feed-forward loop.
And make sure that when you sleep, your phone is off or on flight mode (since EMF causes thyroid dysfunction and thyroid hormones are essential for proper sleep) (R, R), you have the dirty electricity taken care of and/or you’re sleeping in a faraday cage (since your neighbors most likely don’t turn off their wifi). And more recently, the boom in smart meters is also contributing significantly to cellular toxicity.
Check out this article if you want to learn how to improve your sleep.
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#6 Manage stress
Stress is probably the biggest metabolic handbrakes there are. When we are young and have the resources (high androgens, low PUFA, etc.) to buffer the stress, we don’t notice it as much. But as time goes on, androgens go down, cellular energy production diminishes, toxins accumulate, etc., and the stress response becomes more and more pronounced.
Stress has been shown to:
- (Specifically CRH; corticotropin-releasing hormone) Cause gut dysbiosis, leaky gut, food sensitivities, allergies, mast cell degranulation and chronic inflammation (R, R).
- Inhibit thyroid hormone production and conversion and is involved in converting T4 into rT3, which is basically a T3 antagonist.
- Inhibit mitohcondrial function, which basically promotes/activates rapid aging (R, R).
- Inhibit steroidogenesis and enhances conversion of testosterone to estrogen. Hormones, not just testosterone, are essential for feeling good. If we get an imbalance in our hormones, we start to feel off. Overstimulated in one area and understimulated in another area.
- Inhibits proper autophagy, thus damaged cells accumulate.
- Inhibit proper organ function, so equilibrium, detox and regulatory processes don’t work as well as they should.
- and much more.
So key points here, learn to manage stress as best as possible.
A few strategies include:
- Slow breathing
- Walking (best combined with earthing and slow breathing. Check out this vid on this powerful trio.)
- Proper sleep (sleep loss can make you less stress resilient)
- Gratitude (it’s easy to forget the good things in life that we do have when we’re stressed)
- Laughter (I know it’s hard to laugh when you’re stress, but watch a short comedy show (We use Dry bar comedy) and I’ll garentee you’ll be laughing after the first 5-10 min)
- Music (music is great for releasing dopamine and oxytocin (depending on what you’re listening) and this will help with stress management)
- Carbs. Glucose is essential for buffering stress. If you run out, the stress response become exascerbated. I like sugared milk, fruit juice, rice, potato, etc. Preferably stay away from junk food.
A few supplements include:
- Full spectrum Ashwagandha extract
- Tribulus terrestris
Read here how to manage cortisol:
- The complete guide to lower cortisol for optimize thyroid, testosterone and health
- How to lower your invisible (intracellular) cortisol
- How to interpret your cortisol tests (blood, saliva & DUTCH test) for maximum anabolism and health
#7 Enriched lifestyle
Last but not least, environmental enrichment plays a big role in overall stress management, cognitive flexibility and happiness, etc.
What happens when you’re doing an activity you find enriching? You feel alive, right?
When we’re stuck at home for prolonged periods of time, don’t really get out, don’t do anything fun out in nature, we get what’s called sick building syndrome (SBS). SBS is thought to be caused by poor air quality, mold, lack of sunlight, etc, hence “sick building”, but I think it also goes the other way round that we get sick of being confined in a building all the time.
Getting outside and doing fun activities lower stress, increase dopamine, positively modulate the microbiome, lower inflammation, improve cellular function, etc, etc.
Make a point to get outside and do something big/different at least once a week and try to get outside for sun exposure on a daily basis. Go for a walk to the park, do a few pullups on the jungle gym, etc.
We always want to add stuff. But instead of adding, we can remove. Our lives are most often already cluttered and we can benefit from de-cluttering it. Instead of “Should I add resveratrol, rapamycin, and metformin for life extension?” ask instead “What is there in my diet/environment/lifestyle that is shrinking my youthfulness?”
Removing a problem is much better than adding something. For example, it’s much better to donate blood to remove excess iron than to take vitamin E to try and protect against the excess iron.