In Part 1 which I sent out as an email to my list (hint, hint!), I said a lot of things about a lot of people we follow. I pointed out that we need to do and be something very different than what most people tell us to do if we are going to change anything. I specified some gurus who left this earth far younger than they “should” have because of diseases of aging as examples of people who were followed by millions but clearly did not give the best advice.
Please remember that when you hear things like “he has a good reputation and millions of followers!” That usually means the individual is spending more time marketing things than researching them!
In this installment I want to tell you a bit more about the actual mechanisms of aging and why I address (read attack!) them the way I do.
I got an email from a reader named Margaret, regarding Part 1. She said, “Doc what are you really trying to say! You said there is a lot we don’t know and we should not follow gurus, but we should follow you! That sounds a lot like you are a guru! Given what has happened to all the gurus you mentioned why should we follow you! ?And I hate to say it but compared to some of the docs out there most people probably don’t know who you are!?”
Good point Margaret! The last thing I want to be known as is a guru. I spend my time researching and trying things out, always on myself first! That means that what I do has a certain urgency that most people don’t have! It also means I am too busy to “market” myself!
I have said many times that I do what I do for ME, and my immediate loved ones but you are welcome to come along and join me. Most gurus define themselves by the “rules” they set forth for us. I don’t set forth rules. I just tell you what works.
Once again you are welcome to join me! The main point I want to make is that most of the gurus who tell us something that makes perfect sense but die too soon of diseases like cancer and heart disease is that there are only two real possibilities.
Either they were not doing the things they said or the things they said don’t work. Right now as we speak there is a very famous health guru suffering prematurely from a disease that is clearly an age related problem. Yet that person is still making more money than some small countries selling health related advice and products. What that person relates to us probably doesn’t work! It certainly didn’t work in this case.
When things don’t work in the case of aging it’s usually because they do not “allow us to escape our genetics”. Most human longevity up to this point is not happening for the reasons people think and certainly not happening because of what these oldsters tell us they do when we ask them.
There are a ton of books out there interviewing old old people and asking for advice. While these people should be venerated, their advice should not be! If you ever read any of these books as I have you will see there is almost nothing in common for any of them.
That means they simply had good genetics and of course now we know epigenetics.
You cannot control your genes! But since they are responsible for only 20 to 30% of what is happening to you in most cases, you can do a ton to improve your epigenes!
I wrote a book about all of this called The Immortality Edge. Unlike most books on the topic that lose their shine after a while, this one has gotten “more true” over the 5 years since I wrote it! In addition there is the physical proof and lab proof that what I say works.
Ok here is the science part put as directly and simply as I can say it. If you look at populations that consume high levels of omega 3’s they live longer and have better health unless their environment kills them. This is true of Mediterranean area people, Japanese on Okinawa and for the last part hunter gatherer Eskimo tribes. They have less cancer less arthritis and less of pretty much everything else that is killing us. They have nothing in common geographically or genetically or even epigenetically. They all have high Omega 3 levels and lower Omega 6 levels.
Again without slamming you with membrane science let me say that in addition to all the anti-inflammatory and epigenetic reprogramming that Omega 3 fish oil in adequate doses is capable of doing for you, it also helps keep the powerhouses of your cells, the mitochondria, healthy. As a matter of fact there is a newly describe theory on longevity that directly ties omega 3 levels to decreased aging and increased functioning of these powerhouses that we are slowly figuring out are responsible for many of the diseases of aging.
In terms of “escaping your genes”, there are 3 published human trials on TA-65 and its effects on your health. There are also others that suggest the mechanism is a decreased portion of shortening telomeres. Up until now the only thing that we could count on is that you telomeres are going to shorten as you get older. This is directly linked to the dysfunction of aging and the occurrence of disease.
I do not expect I will live forever. But I do expect I will outlive my genes (parents!) by a fair margin barring accident trauma or acts of stupidity.
I expect you can too!
This is continued in Part 3, “The Exercise Industries Dirty Little Secret“.