- Can we live to be 50 years old, in good health? How about 100?
- How about 120? 150? 300? 500? Or even more?
- Most researchers say the limit is around 120. (If we do everything right, have good genetics and a spot of luck, we’ll live that long.) But will that change, as medical science advances? What if we could reverse the aging process, and stay physically and mentally healthy as long as we’re around? If we’re happy and in good health, why should we accept any limit at all on the human lifespan? “Why die?”
- While these things are being figured out, are there things we can do to increase our odds of living (at least) to 110 or 120, in good health? The answer appears to be, “Yes.”
If you scroll down, you’ll find a list of things we can do right now, that may possibly extend the human lifespan. In making up this list, I’ve focused on:
- Diets that appear to promote longevity
- Lifestyle changes and activities
- Nutrients and supplements
- This article is copyright © Nils Osmar 2019 and 2021.
- It’s intended solely for informational purposes, and is not meant to be taken as, and should not be construed, as medical advice. Any changes to your lifestyle or diet should be done in consultation with your doctor or health care professional.
- For more information, check out the Facebook Group: Anti-Aging
There’s evidence that doing the following may increase the human lifespan, and have numerous other benefits:
- Drinking GREEN TEA (claim: could add 10 healthy years) (does not interfere with neurogenesis)
- Article 1: Green tea drinkers live longer: a daily cup…
- Article 2: Could Green Tea Help You Live Longer?
Taking care of our TELOMERES
- Taking ASTRAGALUS and other telomere enhancers (the promoters of products designed to lengthen telomeres claim that this will dramatically increase the lifespan)
- Astragalus has been used for centuries in China as a medicinal tonic. Taking it has been found to be an effective way of lengthening our telomeres (the “end caps” on the end of our chromosomes, which some have compared to the laces on the ends of shoelaces).
- Note: Some researchers have warned that astragalus should NOT be taken when fasting. This is because fasting “fixes” the telomeres on our senescent cells, making them appear healthy. But this “fix” keeps the body from identifying them as senescent, and protects them from being destroyed and replaced by new stem calls. (When I fast, to be on the safe side, at least a few hours after the END of the fast before taking astragalus again.)
- Abstract: Anti-Aging Implications of Astragalus Membranaceus
- Article: Longevity with Astragalus
- Article: Herbal Supplement Extends Lifespan…
- Article: Physiological methods – Longevity and Epigenetic Modification
- One popular ant9i-aging drug, TA-65, is made from an extract of astragalus, buffered with a few other ingredients. Studies have shown that patients who take TA-65 does indeed lengthen telomeres. However, it’s astronomically expensive.
- For more information visit THIS PAGE.
- Taking selenium. It has been also shown to lengthen telomeres.
- TAKING A GOOD MULTIVITAMIN-MINERAL
- As we age, our TELOMERES (the end caps on our chromosomes) tend to grow shorter. Long telomeres tend to be correlated with long life. People who take vitamin B12 supplements have longer telomeres than those who don’t. Vitamin D3, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C and E also help support longer telomeres.
- Taking GLYCINE supplements. Recent research in Japan has suggested that such supplements might be helpful in reversing some manifestations of aging. Glycine also helps with getting a good night’s sleep.
- Common food sources of Glycine include: spinach, kale, cauliflower, cabbage, bananas, and kiwi. fruit. Glycine can also be found in bone broth, and in meat, dairy products, poultry, eggs and fish.
- Article: About glycine and aging.
- Taking FISETIN once in a while. In large enough doses, fisetin helps clear senescent cells from the body and brain. It also acts as a NAD+ activator.
- Taking LOW-DOSE LITHIUM (along with polypeptides) (may also reverse dementia related to Alzheimer’s) Note: Taking low dose lithium along with polypeptides has also shown dramatic evidence of being able to reverse some symptoms of dementia, and protect memory as we age.
- TAKING ROYAL JELLY, PANTETHINE, and PANTOTHENIC ACID (claim: could add ten years to our lives)
- Eating ROYAL JELLY. Most bees live just six weeks. But bees fed royal jelly live between two and three years, i.e., thirty to forty times longer. Royal jelly has also been shown to extend the lifespan of some other insects and some lab animals. It has not been shown to extend human lifespan, but it’s reasonable to assume that it could. Why not add it to your diet and find out? (NOTE: If you’re allergic to bee products, you should NOT take it, for obvious reasons.)
- Taking PANTOTHENIC ACID: Dr. Roger B. Williams found that supplementing the diets of lab animals with pantothenic acid extended their lifespan by about 19 percent. Interestingly, it’s a key ingredient, perhaps the effective ingredient, in royal jelly. (I take them together, and also take a capsule of pantethine, the activated form of pantothenic acid, along with them.)
- Article: Pantothenic acid and the aging processes
- Article: Pantothenic Acid and Longevity
- Blog: Pantothenic Acid for Long Life
- Taking vitamin D3 and K2, zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins C and E (claim: could add 10-20 healthy years)
- Taking NAD+ supplements, or taking products (such as nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) or nicotinamide riboside (NR), which are designed to increase production of NAD. (NAD levels decline as we age. The people promoting these products claim that taking them could add 20 or 30 years to a person’s life. (NOTE: There is also some evidence that raising NAD levels could, in some circumstances, fuel the growth of cancer.) (But some activities that raise NAD also decrease the odds of getting cancer)
- Activities such as HIIT exercise (intense enough to create a temporary oxygen deficit), and being exposed to temperature extremes, also increase NAD levels in the body.
The S.A.D. (STANDARD AMERICAN DIET) leaves most people dead in their seventies. The ones listed below are alternatives. I’m using the word “diet” here to describe a WAY OF EATING, not a temporary “diet” like the ones used to lose weight.
- THE CRON DIET –– a diet which is extremely low in calories but extremely rich in nutrients. (Claim: could theoretically double the human lifespan) (based on results with lab animals) NOTE: If you commit yourself to the CRON DIET, you should not also do periodic prolonged fasting. (For more info – scroll down.) Learn more about the CRON DIET
- THE LONGEVITY DIET –– formulated by Dr. Valter Longo (claim: could add 30 healthy years to your life) (based on statistical studies of long-lived populations) Note: personally I’m not a big fan of this diet, because it’s relatively high in carbohydrates and grains. But Dr. Longo’s work in developing it suggests that for many people, it could be an effective path toward a longer, healthier lifespan. (This diet can be practiced along with periodic prolonged fasting)
- EATING A KETOGENIC DIET. Ketogenic diets are a new phenomenon. They’ve only been around for a couple hundred years. So it’s too soon to know how they affect longevity. But there’s some reason to think that the changes they work in the body could also increase longevity.
- Intermittent Fasting (taking breaks of various lengths between meals) has become popular as a means of improving health in a general sense, and losing weight.
- Some people have also seized on doing PERIODIC PROLONGED FASTING as a means of doing a major immune system reset.Fasts intended to reset the immune system usually last around from around 5 to 7 days. Periodic prolonged fasting has been shown to extend the lifespan of animals by twenty to thirty percent.
- Dr. Valter Longo, whose research has transformed our understanding of both fasting and longevity, suggests that fasting for five consecutive days, at least four times a year, could add 20 to 40 healthy years to the average lifespan. (He recommends participating in what he calls a fasting mimicking diet, in lieu of water fasting.)
- Like many people, I’ve started doing fasting. I’ve done some one day fasts, some two day, some three, four or five day. I actually felt much better after fasting than I had beforehand. If there are negative side effects, I haven’t run into them yet. (Not to say there may not be some negatives, but so far, all indications are that fasting has been very positive for improving my health.
- Here’s a long article I wrote about fasting for health and longevity.
There could be. For example:
- If you decide to try fasting or caloric restriction, and overdo them or plan your calorie-restricted diet poorly, you could end up with nutrient deficiencies.
- If you get wacky about it and stop eating altogether, you’ll starve to death and die.
- If you take more than a micro-dose of lithium, you may feel kinda zoned out. The amount some take hoping to prevent dementia is the amount naturally found in well water, but missing in some water supplies, not the amount given to psychiatric patients.
- If you’re allergic to astragalus, you may have an unpleasant reaction.
- If you take antioxidants at the wrong time, you could end up negating the benefits of exercise.
- Some cancer researchers have suggested that increasing the levels of NAD in the body might (possibly) fuel the growth of cancer, if it already exists in the body (brain cancer and colon cancer being two examples).
In sum, all things in life have risks. You could choke to death trying to swallow a vitamin pill, or trip over your own shoelaces on the way out to the refrigerator, take a drive to the store and crash into a passing car, or make the news for having found a new and silly way to die.
But the risks of trying, in my opinion, need to be weighed against the risks of not trying. If we do nothing, we’re guaranteed to grow older and eventually die. From that POV, the risks seem reasonable to me. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether you feel the same way.
Questions and Caveats
- Is this list comprehensive? No. I’ll be adding more items to it in the future.
- Are there things that some people suggest might lengthen the human lifespan that have been omitted from it? Yes. I’ve omitted products and practices I couldn’t find convincing research to suggest are valid.
- Is there a guarantee that if we do one, or some, or all of the things on the list, we’ll be able to stop, or dramatically slow down, the aging process? No. But there are solid reasons to think that they could help.
- If you do all of the things on the list, will you end up living forever? It’s unlikely. But doing things to stay young and healthy for just a few decades longer could (in theory) help us to live till what people in the anti-aging community call “escape velocity” –– a postulated future time in which medicine has progressed far enough that it can reverse and fix the problems caused by aging faster than they pile up. At that point, aging will have been cured.
We could still die from other things –– car crashes, wars, or whatever –– but aging would have been removed as a cause of mortality.
- Should you do some, all, or none the things listed below? That’s up to you. My own feeling is that the more protocols we engage in that are known to be effective against aging, the more likely we are to increase our lifespan. But you’ll have to decide for yourself what approach you want to take, and what your goals and priorities are.
- Isn’t this all kinda speculative? Yes. But it’s informed speculation. All of the items on the list below have been studied extensively, and there’s strong evidence to suggest that they all work to some degree to slow down the aging process.
- Should you take my word for any of this? No, and don’t take anyone else’s either. Check out the studies and references. I’ve included some links below, and will be adding more as time moves along. Or do a Google search following up on any of the products or activities I mention.
- If we live longer, won’t we all just get old and senile? Many of the things on the list below that show evidence of slowing down or postponing aging, have also been demonstrated to protect against dementia. So it’s possible that implementing them could have benefits even if some turn out to be ineffective in postponing or reversing aging.
- For more about practices and supplements that may possibly help stave off dementia, see this page.
Are you profiting from publishing this?
I’m a teacher, so I wouldn’t mind making some income someday from educating others about the life extension. But at the moment, I’m not. Longevity is an interest of mine, and I’m writing and publishing articles about it in the hopes that the list may be helpful to other people. I don’t sell any products. I’m just passing along information to folks who may be interested.
Bear in mind that there are things we know, but many things we don’t, about supplements and other anti-aging protocols.
One thing that is not clear yet is whether they might have a symbiotic effect. If ten supplements each promise to add ten years to your life, will taking them together give you a hundred more years? Or are they all just fortifying the same pathways?
For example, if taking resveratrol and pterostilbene gives you some of the benefits of exercise, is it overkill to take both? Or will the supplements magnify each others’ effectiveness?
Time and more research should provide answers.