The Rekindle Protocol: A Blueprint for Reversing Aging and Living Longer

  • This page has an updated version of the protocol I’ve been developing and following over the past two or three years. (Most recent update: 5/2/21)
  • Everyone of course is welcome to follow it if they want to, or tweak it as needed to fit their situations, or ignore it completely if they like.
  • To see photos of how following the protocol has changed me physically, click here.
  • For information about the SUPPLEMENTS I’M TAKING, see “My Supplements” page.
  • Want to meet others interested in life extension? Join my FACEBOOK GROUP.

Not medical advice

  • I’m not a doctor. In sharing this information, I am not suggesting that everyone should follow a protocol that’s identical to the one I’m following. I’m reporting on what I’m doing. Nothing on this page is meant as, or should be taken as, medical advice.

Goals of the protocol

  1. The basic goal of the Rekindle Protocol is living longer in better health. Elements include:
  2. Maintaining strong muscles. Preventing and reversing sarcopenia.
  3. Maintaining strong bones and joints.
  4. Maintaining a strong heart and lungs and other internal organs, and strong arteries.
  5. Maintaining healthy skin with good resilience and elasticity.
  6. Maintaining a healthy brain and mind. Preventing dementia.
  7. Losing weight if we need to, then maintaining a healthy weight.
  8. Maintaining good eyesight.
  9. Maintaining healthy mitochondria and promoting mitogenesis.
  10. Maintaining sexual health and reproductive capacity.
  11. Maintaining healthy (long) telomeres.
  12. Maintaining healthy levels of insulin and blood glucose.
  13. Maintaining healthy lipid levels. 
  14. Restoring young blood factors and deleting old blood factors from our blood
  15. Reversing involution of the thymus
  16. Preventing diseases associated with aging.
  17. Replenishing our stem cells.
  18. Reversing aging that has occurred and preventing further aging from occurring.
  19. Compressing morbidity into a short period at the end of life (assuming that life ends)
  20. With some luck: reaching escape velocity, a point at which medical technology can fully reverse aging.
  21. I believe we can achieve all of these things. If we don’t succeed, we can still have fun trying.
  22. Personal note: My goal is to have the same energy, mental clarity and state of health at the age of 100 or 120 or 150 that I did at 35 or 40. (This part has already happened. I actually have more energy now than I did in those years. If we can figure out a way to prevent skin aging and prevent sarcopenia, we might look decades younger too.)

How to get there

The basics of the protocol are listed below. For more details, scroll down this page.

  1. Food: Eat a highly nutritious diet. I recommend an omnivorous paleo diet that includes food from both plant and animals sources, is rich in protein and healthy fats, has lots of greens, root vegetables and fermented vegetables, and some meat and seafood, and is not too high in carbs.
  2. Fasting: We need to balance eating well with taking breaks from food. Fasting activates AMPK (the longevity pathway), and promotes autophagy and apoptosis, clearing cellular debris and senescent cells from our bodies, and triggering the creation of new stem cells. Options include Intermittent Fasting, One Meal a Day, or Alternate Day Fasting. In my case, I’m fasting 3 days a week. For people new to fasting, an “entry level” approach might be to start by skipping breakfast and eating within an 8 hour eating window two or three days a week. (People who really don’t want to fast, or have medical conditions that contraindicate fasting, might want to read up on Fasting Mimicking Diets (developed by Dr. Valter Longo) as one possible alternative.) 
  3. Exercising: Exercise is essential. The types that are most beneficial for longevity are HIIT and strength training
  4. Restoring depleted compounds: Several compounds that support health are high in our bodies when we’re young, but become precipitously low as we age. We can boost our levels of NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide), sex hormones (testosterone, estrogen, pregnenolone), glutathione, hGH (the “good” growth hormone), stem cells, AKG, and nitric oxide by taking medications or supplements
  5. Hormetics: Take hot showers and saunas activate more NAD and activate our sirtuin (longevity) genes. (More details below.)
  6. Activating AMPK and mTOR: Eating protein activates mTOR, an anabolic pathway which builds muscle and immunity. But too much mTOR activation is pro-aging. AMPK (the longevity pathway) should be activated most of the time. Medications like rapamycin and metformin switch on AMPK. So do supplements like berberine and milk thistle. 
  7. Restoring young blood factors and deleting old blood factors. Some researchers have tried replacing some of the blood in lab animals with a mixture of albumin and saline, and reported apparent rejuvenation. Others have replaced some of the blood in old animals with blood from young animals and reported rejuvenating effects. The B vitamin niacin, in large doses, dilates our blood vessels, which can help clear and lower lipids from our bloodstream, and keep our arteries clearer.  I sometimes take an enzyme called serrapeptase which dissolves dead proteins and protein remnants floating around in the blood.  Fasting is one of the most effective ways of removing accumulated debris from our cells, including our blood cells.  Borage oil (GLA) also appears to be beneficial for blood health.
  8. … and a few other things 🙂
 
Restoring depleted compounds

When we’re young, we have high levels of the following compounds in our bodies. As we age, they all decrease. But all of them can be restored to youthful levels.

  1. NAD (nicotinamide adenine denucleotide) –– NAD (or NAD+) is a coenzyme central to metabolism. It boosts memory, improves mental clarity, improves mood and concentration, boosts neurological function, reduce symptoms of depression, and facilitates DNA repair. By the time we’re in our forties, levels of NAD have fallen to half of what they were when we were young. They continue to decline as the years pass. We can raise NAD by fasting, taking saunas and cold showers, doing HIIT exercise, doing strength training, and/or by taking NAD boosters – See “My Supplements” page.
  2. Glutathione –– Reduces oxidative stress. Reduces cell damage in fatty liver disease. Improves insulin resistance. Increases mobility for people with peripheral artery disease. Reduces symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. May help fight against autoimmune disease. The decrease in glutathione correlates with a decline in executive function in the brain. We can raise glutathione by eating whey powder, eating sulfur-rich foods such as eggs and garlic, and/or taking glutathione boosters. – See “My Supplements” page.
  3. HGH (human growth hormone) –– produced by the pituitary gland. HGH spurs growth in children and adolescents. In adults, it helps to regulate body composition, muscle and bone growth, fat and sugar metabolism, and possibly heart function. It’s used by cells during growth and in healing from injuries and other wounds. Note: some types of growth hormone are pro-aging. HGH has anti-aging effects. According to Harvard Medical School, “By age 55, blood levels of growth hormone are about one-third lower than they are in people ages 18 to 35. This drop also coincides with the reduced muscle mass and increased body fat that happens with aging.” We can raise hGH (growth hormone) by making changes to our sleep patterns (going to bed by around10 pm to catch the first natural peak in hGH production) (it only occurs at this time, and only when we’re asleep), doing strength training, and taking hGH boosting supplements. HGH injections can reverse the involution of the thymus; it’s conceivable that raising hGH naturally could do so too – See “My Supplements” page.
  4. Sex hormones: In men: ––– Testosterone is an essential hormone. It’s present in both men and women but in larger quantities in men. Men with high testosterone tend to have lower body fat, stronger muscles, stronger bones, better verbal memories, spatial abilities, and mathematical reasoning, better moods, and stronger libidos, then males who have lower levels. Low testosterone is associated with depression and with mood and memory problems in males. Men’s testosterone levels decline about 1 percent per year after age 30.  We can raise testosterone by taking by doing strength training, taking testosterone boosting supplements, or by using hormone replacement therapy. Personal note: I was able to raise my T levels by exercising and by supplementation with herbal compounds. Having higher T levels improved my energy and mental clarity, and made it easier for me to lose body fat and gain muscle when I began doing strength training. – See “My Supplements” page.
  5. Sex hormones: In women:  ––– Estrogen is present in both sexes, but in larger quantity in women. Benefits of higher estrogen include improved sleep; better retention of collagen; better skin thickness and elasticity; reduced risks of cataracts; reduced risk of osteoporosis; reduced risk of bones breaking; decreased tooth loss, lowered risk of colon cancer, improvement in mood and overall sense of mental well-being compared to women with lower estrogen. Testosterone and pregnenolone also play important roles in women’s health. Women’s sex hormone levels drop after menopause, triggering problems such as fatigue and sleep issues, mood swings and depression, headaches, and urinary tract infections. Women can raise sex hormones to youthful levels by taking supplements or by using hormone replacement therapy – See “My Supplements” page.
  6. AKG (alpha ketoglutarate) –– AKG is a remarkable compound which has been shown to extend lifespan in both insects and animals. (The effect is more pronounced in females.) It also extends healthspan and compresses morbidity into a very small period of time toward the end of life. Like the other compounds mentioned, its levels drop precipitously as we get older. According to Fightaging.org, “Studies show that blood plasma levels of alpha-ketaglutarate (AKG) can drop up to 10-fold as we age.” We can raise AKG levels by taking supplements of AKG or AAKG (a salt of arginine), OAKG (a salt of ornithine) or CaAKG (a salt of calcium). (I take both plain AKG and AAKG) – See “My Supplements” page.
  7. Nitric oxide –– According to Healthline.com, “Nitric oxide is produced by nearly every type of cell in the human body and one of the most important molecules for blood vessel health. It’s a vasodilator, meaning it relaxes the inner muscles of your blood vessels, causing the vessels to widen. In this way, nitric oxide increases blood flow and lowers blood pressure.” Levels drop precipitously as we age. According to a 2014 study, “Impaired generation and signaling of nitric oxide (NO) contribute substantially to cardiovascular (CV) risk (CVR) associated with hypertension, hyperlipidemia, and diabetes mellitus.” We can raise nitric oxide levels by eating foods high in natural nitrites such as celery, or by humming at the right frequency (which increases nasal NO levels). Also, according to this study, raising glutathione or taking glutathione supplements along with L. Citrulline raises nitric oxide.  (see supplements list below).
  8. T-CellsAccording to Medicine.net, “A type of white blood cell that is of key importance to the immune system and is at the core of adaptive immunity, the system that tailors the body’s immune response to specific pathogens. The T cells are like soldiers who search out and destroy the targeted invaders.” T-Cells are produced by the thymus gland. They decline because thymus glands become involuted, a process that goes on for years, leading to the gradual collapse of our immune systems. We can support our T cells by rejuvenating the thymus gland. In the TRIIM trial, participants were given hGH injections, metformin, DHEA, vitamin D and zinc. The result was the restoration of their thymus glands and a 2.5 year reversal of epigenetic age.
  9. Blood factors –– As we age, our “young blood factors” decline and our “old blood factors” increase. We become less able to make healthy blood cells. Toxic proteins accumulate in our blood.  We can support the creation of new, healthy blood cells by taking GLA (gamma linoleic acid) supplements and by donating blood. We can clean our blood of protein fragments by taking serrapeptase, nattokinase and lumbrokinase.  In a medical setting, researchers have tried replacing some of the old blood with either young blood or with a mixture of albumin and saline, with reports of rejuvenating effects. My approach: I donate blood regularly. Donating removes harmful iron and may dilute old blood factors. I also take borage oil and berry seed oil (GLA) for blood health – See “My Supplements” page.
  10. Brain factors –– Our brains are obviously essential to life and consciousness. They lose neurons as the years go by, leading to memory impairment and a decline in cognitive abilities. We can prevent brain shrinking and improve brain health in general by taking hyaluronic acid and other supplements – See “My Supplements” page.
  11. MTOR and AMPK ––– MTOR is essential to life. It supports our immune systems and prevents muscle wasting as we age. In most people, it becomes over-activated due to eating too much protein, too many carbohydrates, or too much food.But the constant activation of mTOR is associated with greatly shortened lifespans in all species that have been studies. AMPK –– AMPK is also essential. It’s associated with autophagy and apoptosis, highly beneficial catabolic processes which occur when we take a break from eating. In most people, it becomes under-activated due to eating too much protein, too many carbohydrates, or too much food. We can better balance mTOR and AMPK. I do this by alternate day fasting and by taking metformin, berberine and milk thistle. 

About my diet

There are many different ideas about what makes a healthy diet, ranging from vegan and vegetarian approaches to carnivore diets, paleo diets, Mediterranean diets, ketogenic diets and others. In my opinion, based on the research I’ve studies and on my personal experiences, I’ve concluded that the best diet for me at this time is a traditional, organic paleo/ancestral diet which includes:
 
    • Lots of fish and other seafood (high in RNA, EPA and DHA)
    • Some meat from grass-fed animals. I don’t buy meat from factory farms, but from small family farms where the animals were treated with loving care all of their lives and had access to fresh air, sunshine and pasture. I don’t eat a lot of meat, but I do eat some. 
    • Organic eggs from pastured chickens
    • Raw milk from cows or goats (when a healthy source is available)
    • Organic leafy greens
    • Organic cruciferous vegetables
    • Fermented vegetables such as kimchi
    • Fermented soy such as natto and miso
    • Foods high in spermidine and other polyamines (molecules which have been found to have a potent life-extending effect). Prime foods to eat: mushrooms, lentils, natto, aged cheese.
    • Fruit and berries (in small amounts). (I’m a big fan of apples, grapefruit, dark cherries, blueberries and other berries). (Eating too many carbs, even from fruit, can overactivate mTOR, so I keep the quantities small.)
    • My diet is very close to the one that was used in this study, which the authors claimed demonstrated the reversal of epigenetic age.

“But isn’t veganism the best diet for longevity?”

  • Eating plants has many benefits. But the notion that a diet that includes only plants is optimal for health and longevity is one that I no longer believe to be true. (People sometimes bring up the China Study as evidence for benefits of veganism. But serious researchers don’t regard it as a valid or balanced study. For a summary of some of the problems with it, see this article.)

What about the ethics of eating animals? And what about climate change related to eating meat?

  • These are important questions. If you’d like to read my thoughts about them, please see this link. 
  • To be clear –– what you eat is your business. The heart of the Rekindle Protocol is eating a diet high in nutrients, and balancing it with stretches of fasting. 
Exercise
 
  • Exercise is necessary for maintaining strong muscles. Supplementation can also help. I no longer believe that as we get older, we have to lose muscle mass or bone density or shrink.
  • Research has established that HIIT exercise and strength training are most essential in terms of life extension and anti-aging. I’m currently doing HIIT exercise on my fasting/AMPK days and strength training on my feasting/mTOR days.
  • The HIIT exercise is aimed at getting me seriously out of breath (creating a temporary oxygen deficit so my sirtuin genes will kick in). I do HIIT on a stationary bike. I keep the resistance very low on the bike; my only concern is the hormetic benefits of getting out of breath.
  • On my strength training days, I do exercises aimed at building stronger and larger muscle (pushing back against the loss of muscle mass which “naturally” occurs with aging). I currently exercise on a power tower and a Weider ultimate fitness machine I use to pull my body weight around using cables (similar to a Total Gym). I’ll be adding a Marcy 200 pound stack gym soon.
  • There are of course dozens of types of exercise. From an anti-aging perspective, exercise that gets you out of breath and builds muscle have the most benefit. But of course it’s good to choose a types of exercise you love, whether it’s cycling, running, dance, sports and games, yoga, weight training, or something completely different.
Hormetics: heat and cold
 
  • Fasting and exercise both have hormetic benefits, in that they put some stress on the body, but in ways that are beneficial.
  • Both heat shock proteins from saunas and cold shock proteins from cold baths and showers have also been found to activate the sirtuin genes and boost NAD levels. 
  • I take contrast showers, alternating between hot and cold, on my fasting days, Monday, Wednesday and Friday (for cold shock proteins and for mitochondrial health, and to raise NAD and activate sirtuins). I take saunas or hot baths 5 times a week (for heat shock proteins and to raise NAD and activate sirtuins).
Activating mTOR and AMPK
 
  • One basic principle I keep returning to is that AMPK is the Longevity Pathway. mTOR is the growth pathway. Think of them as the two ends of a teeter totter: if one of them goes up, the other (usually) goes down. 
  • We do need some mTOR activation to maintain and build muscle mass as we age, prevent sarcopenia, and support our immune systems.
  • But most of the evidence suggests that we’ll live longer in better health if AMPK is activated, and mTOR activity is lowered, most of the time. (MTOR’s not bad; it’s essential; but it can be harmful if it’s over-activated.)
  • Protein activates mTOR. So does eating a lot of carbs. And so does eating or nibbling constantly. (This is why “5 Meals a Day” is terrible advice from a longevity POV.)
  • Fasting activates AMPK. So does taking cold showers. So do berberine, metformin and rapamycin.
  • According to Dr. Rhonda Patrick, the best time to eat meals high in protein, or high in animal protein, appears to be shortly before a workout (strength training). That way the mTOR which is activated will be put to good use.
  • My personal goal is to have mTOR activated for a few hours out of every 48 hour stretch. I activate it before, during, or after my most intense workout. It’s true that some of the foods in my diet, such as fish, eggs, red meat and organ meat, do activate it. I’m not worried about this because (1) some mTOR activation is essential, and (2) I’m fasting every other day. Fasting switches off mTOR and turns on AMPK. I also take metformin and berberine on the afternoons on my “feasting” days. My AMPK is activated about 80 percent of the time; my mTOR activation is brief and is timed to coincide with exercising, which makes use of it.
  • If I were eating every day, I would be doing time-restricted eating, i.e., skipping breakfast and compressing my meals into an 8-hour window. This would give me some autophagy and AMPK activation in the mornings. And I’d most likely be taking berberine and/or metformin with my last meal of the day, as Harvard’s David Sinclair is doing.
 

My current version of the protocol

  • I have an unusual life in some regards because I fast three days a week. So my protocol is different depending on which day it is. (Note: I’m not necessarily recommending this approach for everyone. I came to it after many years of experimenting with fasting.) My weeks are made up of fasting and feasting days.
 

On my fasting days…

  • My fasting days are Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • On MONDAYS –– I fast for 36 hours. I have no food at all. I fast from Sunday night through Tuesday morning. 
  • On WEDNESDAYS, I fast for 24 hours, i.e., from Tuesday night through Wednesday night. I then one have one very small meal (OMAD). 
  • On FRIDAYS –– I fast for 36 hours. I have no food at all. I fast from Thursday night through Saturday morning. 
  • On all three days, I usually get up around 5:30 or 6 a.m.
  • It’s allergy season, so I usually taking a little NAC (N. Acetyl Cysteine) along with glycine in the mornings. The NAC clears my breathing and when it’s taken in combination with glycine, it raises glutathione, a powerful anti-aging compound.
  • I have some coffee and take my NAD boosters, testosterone boosters, hGH boosters, and brain health supplements. (See blue box below.) After that, I don’t eat anything for the rest of the day. (Except on Wednesdays, when I usually end my fast at 6 pm)
  • I drink caffeinated coffee in the mornings, decaf, white tea and green tea later in the day. I sometimes drink inner leaf aloe vera juice gel, which has no protein or fat and almost zero carbs, so does not break the fast. The white tea keeps me from feeling hungry.
  • I take contrast showers — hot/cold/hot/cold — on these three days, always ending on five minutes of cold (to activate sirtuins and increase NMN).
  • I do HIIT exercise (creating a temporary oxygen deficit by getting seriously out of breath, pushing myself as hard as I can on an exercise bike, but with minimal weight resistance). (I’m not trying to build muscle on my HIIT exercising days.)
  • I do red light therapy. Lately I’ve been doing face and neck exercises and posture exercises during the red light sessions.
  • I go to bed around 10 p.m. I take calcium and magnesium at night to promote deep sleep and 0.3 grams of melatonin to promote sleep and activate human growth hormone. I take either NAC or serrapeptase to keep my breathing clear all night.
  • My reason for doing this much fasting is to activate AMPK and to finish losing a few pounds. (Fasting works well for me for weight loss.) I weigh about 165; I want to get my weight down to 160. (I’m 5′ 11″). I’m not really overweight but do have a small role of belly fat I need to finish losing. When I get down to the weight I’m aiming for, I may switch from 36 hour fasts to 24 hour fasts on all three days.
  • Important note: I would never recommend that people start out with a fasting protocol like mine. I got into fasting very carefully and gradually, and learned to do things like at more nutrients on my non-fasting days to prevent macronutrient deficiencies. If you’re new at fasting and want to try it, again, just skipping breakfast and restricting your eating to an 8 hour period two or three times a week would be one possible approach.
  • To learn more about fasting, I’d check out Jason Fung’s writings and videos; his approach worked well for me.

On my feasting days…

  • I feast (eat food) every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. (My diet is described above)
  • These three days are also my strength training days. (I also feast on Sundays, but it’s my day off from working out.)
  • On my feasting days, I usually get up around 5:30 or 6.
  • It’s allergy season, so I usually taking a little NAC along with glycine in the mornings. The NAC clears my breathing and the combination raises glutathione.
  • I have coffee and take my testosterone boosters, hGH boosters, brain health boosters, and NAD boosters and other supplements.
  • I do a vigorous self-massage as a pre-warm up to get my muscles revved up, then a more traditional five minute warm-up.
  • I then do around a 45 minute workout (with breaks as needed).
  • Right after my workout, I have a high protein breakfast –– usually steak and eggs –– to activate my mTOR.
  • Some people in the anti-aging community are cautious about ever activating mTOR. I do understand their POV. But to me, mTOR is not the enemy; it just needs to be activated carefully. I follow Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s approach, which is that it can be beneficial to activate mTOR a few times a week, right before strength training.
  • After my high protein breakfast, I then work out again, a repetition of the strength training exercises I did in the first one. This second workout is crucial. I want to make use of the mTOR from my breakfast to grow muscle, not have it do harm in my body.
  • I have a lunch in the early afternoon (usually seafood such as sardines, salmon or mackerel along with some greens and maybe a little rice). 
  • I eat as much as I want on my feasting days (focusing on nutritious and delicious foods). I don’t count calories on these days or try to restrict proteins or fats. I do try to keep carbs low in the sense that I avoid sugar and grains. 
  • What I drink: I drink coffee; white tea; green tea; inner leaf aloe vera gel; pickle juice; sauerkraut juice; kombucha; and home-made kefir, for brain health and longevity. I avoid fruit juice. I drink raw milk when I can get it from a source that I know to be safe; otherwise I skip the dairy.
  • I don’t drink alcohol because it’s harmful to the brain. If I did drink it, I’d try not to drink very much, and would take nutrients such as B vitamins to try to repair the damage.
  • I have dinner around 6. I usually take berberine and metformin along with dinner, to shift away from mTOR into AMPK activation. (My AMPK will then be activated for the next 38 hours, since I’m fasting the following day.)
  • I go to bed around 10 p.m. I take calcium and magnesium at night to promote deep sleep and 0.3 grams of melatonin to promote sleep and activate human growth hormone. I take either NAC or serrapeptase to keep my breathing clear all night.
 

My results

  • The results have been good so far. They’ve been most noticeable since around the beginning of 2021, because I’m building visible muscle. 
  • To see photos of how following the protocol has changed me physically, click here.
  • Some changes are because I’m working out. But I’m making faster gains than some people might expect me to at my age. I have tons of energy for exercising.
  • I don’t have any joint aches or pains. My eyesight’s good. My mind is sharp and clear.
  • I was having short term memory problems a few years ago, but I’m not having them any more.
  • I feel much the same as I did when I was in my 30s and 40s.  young. I have m ore energy than I did in those days.
  • When we do “guess my age” exercises in some classes in which people anonymously guess each others’ ages, I often get mid-fifties. So I can’t say that I look 30 yet. But I seem to be making progress against visible aging.
  • I’m not shrinking… at least not much. I was 6′ tall when I was 20 years old, I’m about 5’11.5″ now.
  • I do have some visible skin aging, particularly around the face and neck. As is the case with many people, my body looks younger than my face. I’m hoping that a combination of red light therapy, facial exercises, and supplements like marine collagen and hyaluronic acid will tighten up my skin. But at this point, I can’t claim that it has. Check back with me in a couple of years.
  • See “before and after” photos below.

Before and after

  • The photos below show some recent changes in my appearance. The changes took place between October 2020 and April 2021. 
  • During these six months, I was doing a lot of fasting. I also started exercising. Due to this regimen, I lost 23 pounds of belly fat (dropping from 188 to 165 pounds). My chest and shoulders got broader. My face lost some puffiness. My muscles, which had been atrophying due to aging, are larger and more defined.
  • Some of these changes may be because I added the supplement AKG, which has been shown to have potent anti-aging effects.
  • In the photo on the left, I was 67 years old, in the one on the right I’m 68.

Summing up

  • As we age, our levels of NAD, glutathione, sex hormones, human growth hormone, and other key molecules begin dropping.
  • Our blood becomes polluted with unhealthy proteins. Our thymus glands becomes involuted, leading to the eventual failure of our immune systems. Our blood glucose and insulin rise. Our mTOR becomes overactivated and our AMPK becomes underactivated.
  • We can raise NAD by fasting, cold showers, and taking NAD boosters such as niacin, NMN or NR.
  • We can raise glutathione by taking NAC with glycine.
  • We can raise testosterone by taking astragalus, ashwagandha and other T boosters.
  • We can raise growth hormone by lifestyle changes and taking hGH boosters. Doing so can reverse the involution of the thymus.
  • Eating a diet high in nutrients, in combination with fasting –– exercise –– supplementation –– lowering blood glucose and insulin –– and correcting the imbalance between mTOR and AMPK activation, would appear to be the path to health and longevity.

The Supplements I’m Taking – as of 4/22/21

  • NOTE: There are almost fifty supplements on the list. I don’t take them all every day. But I do take some from each category every day (unless it’s one of those rare days where I decide not to take anything).
  • People will often bring up the cost of supplements. To me it’s worth taking them, but I know this may not be a choice for everyone. One way to save money, if you do decide to supplement, is to buy in bulk. (Powders are always much cheaper than capsules.) This costs more initially but much less per “serving.”
  • I economize when I can, but it’s important to me to use high quality ones. I buy mainly from reputable companies such as Jarrow, Gaia, Biogaia, and Donotage.
  • I’ve set up  an arrangement with Donotage which you can use if you’d like. If you buy supplements from them, use the discount code PATHWAYS to get a10 percent discount. Buying through them is also a way of supporting the work I’m doing in the anti-aging community. If you buy using the PATHWAYS code, you’ll get the discount and I will also receive a small payment. They also have free shipping if your order totals more than $500 USD.
  • If I were new at anti-aging, I would probably start by taking three or four in each category. I’ve made a note indicating which three or four I would take if I had to choose.

  1. NAD BOOSTERS AND SIRTUIN ACTIVATORS
  2. TESTOSTERONE BOOSTERS 
  3. BRAIN HEALTH AND SKIN HEALTH 
  4. HGH BOOSTERS AND TRIIM TRIAL SUPPLEMENTS
  5. GLUTATHIONE BOOSTERS
  6. BLOOD HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS
  7. NIGHT-TIME SUPPLEMENTS

STACK 1: NAD BOOSTERS AND SIRTUIN ACTIVATORS

  • NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) is essential to DNA repair. Its levels decline as we age.
  • Dr. David Sinclair of Harvard University believes the decline in NAD and in sirtuin gene activation may be a primary cause of aging. Sinclair also believes that it’s important that if we take NAD precursors, we also take a sirtuin activator such as resveratrol or olive oil along with it.
  • Note that there are ways to boost NAD (and activate sirtuin genes) which don’t involve taking supplements. The ones that I do include HIIT exercise, strength training, fasting, cold showers, saunas and supplements to boost NAD.
  • The ones I’m currently taking are listed below. I always take the first four supplements on this list; I sometimes also take the others.
  • New to NAD boosters, and want to try them? I’d recommend taking the first four on the list.

  1. NMN (Donotage) –––– (NMN is a NAD precursor. NAD molecules are too big to fit through cell walls. Research has shown though the NMN can pass through the walls with the help of a transporter in the human gut, where the NAD is assembled into NAD. (1.5 grams)
  2. TMG (Donotage)  –––– (TMG restores methyls used up when NMN, niacin, NR or other NAD precursor molecules are metabolized) (1 gram)
  3. OLIVE OIL (Swanson) –––– (contains oleic acid, which activates sirtuins) Note: I also eat avocados, which are rich in oleic acid (2 grams)
  4. APIGENIN ––– Apigenin prevents an enzyme called CD-38 to destroy NAD in the body. So it’s as important, in my opinion, as taking precursors. Food sources of apigenin include parsley celery and chamomile. I’ll sometimes take an apigenin supplement (from Donotage); other times I’ll eat some parsley or drink some chamomile tea.
  5. RESVERATROL (Donotage) –––– (activates sirtuin genes) I’m currently taking 500 mg. There’s some evidence that larger doses may be toxic.
  6. MCT OIL (Youn-Glo) –––– improves NAD+/NADH ratio (I usually mix a scoop of MCT oil powder in my coffee) (There’s also evidence that the ketones our bodies make when we use MCT oil may be protective against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.)
  7. QUERCETIN (Donotage) –––– activates sirtuins
  8. FISETIN (Donotage) –––– brain health; activates sirtuins
  9. RUTIN (NOW) –––– activates sirtuins (100 mg)
  10. ALPHA LIPOIC ACID –––– improves NAD+/NADH ratio (1200 mg)
  11. UBIQUINOL (COQ10) (Jarrow) –––– supports mitochondria; improves NAD+/NADH ratio. 200 mg. 
  12. PQQ (Health Through Nutrition) –––– triggers mitochondrial biogenesis (100 mg)
  13. PAU D’ARCO (Mercola) –––– rich in D. lapachone; improves NAD+/NADH ratio – 1 Capsule

 


STACK 2: TESTOSTERONE BOOSTERS

My T levels started declining when I was in my 50s. I was able to raise them by exercising, improving my diet and adding the supplements below. My level is now over 826 ng/dL, the highest it’s been since I started testing it. It shot up almost 300 points in 2020, when I added strength training to my regimen.

I take several of the supplements below every day. They are all beneficial, but if I had to take just a few, I’d take DHEA and 7-Keto DHEA, Male Libido, Astragalus, Ashwagandha, fish oil and L. Reuteri 6475. (But it would honestly be hard to choose, as I’ve gotten so much benefit from taking the others.)

  1. DHEA ––– DHEA was an ingredient in the TRIIM trial which reversed epigenetic aging 2.5 years over a one year trial period. It’s a prohormone, a precursor to testosterone (though it can also turn into estrogen)
  2. 7-KETO DHEA ––– 7 Keto is a metabolite of DHEA which doesn’t affect testosterone, but I like taking them together
  3. MALE LIBIDO (Gaia) ––– 2 caps (contains numerous herbs found to boost testosterone in lab animals.)
  4. ASHWAGANDHA and ASTRAGALUS ––– (Gaia) both are powerful anti-aging adaptogens good for anti-aging and testosterone and raising T cells. (Don’t take them during a prolonged (3-5 day) fast) 
  5. L. REUTERI 6475 (BioGaia Osfortis) ––– Many men who are trying to raise their T levels take it because it increases size of testicles in lab animals, significantly increasing the production of testosterone. Women may want to take L. Reuteri 6475 too, as it improves bone strength and density, particularly in elderly women. Other strains of L. Reuteri have not been shown to have these benefits. (Note: I take L. Reuteri with INULIN ––––  1 tsp – prebiotic (Organic Inulin Powder from Micro Ingredients) (because probiotics use prebiotics for food) (if you take probiotic supplements without prebiotics on fasting days, they’ll die off; they need food.) (I also take Swanson L. Gasseri as a supplement.)
  6. FISH OIL ––– I take fish oil these for brain health, heart health, testosterone levels, and testicular health. It increases blood levels of Omega 3. Like L. Reuteri 6475, it increases testosterone and increase testicular size.
  7. KRILL OIL ––– also increases blood levels of Omega 3
  8. BORON –––– 2 mg. Boron is essential but do not overdose – can be deadly.
  9. SELENOMETHIONINE (Thorne) –––– 200 mcg. Boosts T levels. Improves sperm health and motility. Counteracts the toxicity of heavy metals such as cadmium, mercury, and thallium. Do not overdose – can be toxic.
  10. ASTAXANTHIN (Bioastin) –––– (4 four-mg. capsules) Prevents sunburn if taken internally. Increase T levels if taken with saw palmetto, according to one study.
  11. SAW PALMETTO (Organic) (Wild Mountain Thyme) 
  12. NIACIN –––– has many uses, including increasing testosterone levels and regulating cholesterol levels. Caution: can cause flushing (temporary red/prickly/itchy skin) and can raise blood glucose a little. The sustained release kind can cause liver damage if taken in large amounts. I take the instant release kind.

 


STACK 3: BRAIN HEALTH AND SKIN HEALTH

All of these are wonderful for brain health. Several are also good for skin health. If I had to choose only five, I’d go with the first five on the list.

  1. HYALURONIC ACID – Donotage –––– HA prevents brain shrinkage as we age. Also good for smoother skin and fewer wrinkles. (When taken orally it hydrates the dermal layer of the skin, causing a plumping effect which makes wrinkles less visible.)
        1. NOTE: I have noticed two effects since taking this product. The first was smoother, more elastic skin. Some surface wrinkles have smoothed out, presumably because of the hydrating effect.
        2. The other effect, which totally surprised me, was how rapidly two recent injuries healed. I was moving a piece of heavy exercise equipment in my home gym, and didn’t notice two bolts protruding from the back of it. They scraped my legs as I moved it, leaving 2″ gashes on both legs and drawing blood. The healing began literally overnight. Four days later, there was almost nothing left of the gashes except a very slight discoloration where the injuries had been. There was never any swelling, and no pain except in the moment of injury. The only other treatment I did was rubbing a little aloe vera gel on the injuries after they had healed over.
  2. VITAMIN C (liposomal) – Mercola. I usually take 1 gram along with the HA because vitamin C further raises HA levels in the body.
  3. BIOTIN ––– good for skin health. I often take it along with hyaluronic acid.
  4. PS (PHOSPHATIDYL SERINE) – Jarrow –––– PS is good for brain health, mood and memory (I also eat lots of Atlantic mackerel, low-mercury tuna, and great northern beans, which are very high in PS)
  5. PANTHETHINE – Jarrow –––– a derivative of pantothenic acid. Lowers triglycerides. Raises HDL. Great for immunity. I like taking it with a teaspoon of royal jelly. (I also eat a teaspoon of royal jelly on my feasting days) (goes well with PS) Jarrow is a highly respected brand; I highly recommend their products.
  6. MAGNESIUM THREONATE – Jarrow –––– for brain health. The only form of magnesium that crosses the blood-brain barrier. Has been shown to greatly slow brain aging.
  7. TAURINE –– for brain health 
  8. LOW DOSE LITHIUM –––– I take a micro-dose, only 5 mg. Has been shown to have numerous benefits for brain health and in slowing brain aging.
  9. GREEN TEA for EGCG –––– I don’t take a supplement, I just drink some green or white tea.
  10. POLYPODIUM LEUCOTOMOS ––– prevents skin damage from sunburn.
  11. LECITHIN –––– A good source of phospholipids, good for brain health

STACK 4: TRIIM TRIAL SUPPLEMENTS

The TRIIM trial was based around giving volunteers injections of hGH (human growth hormone), along with oral metformin, zinc, vitamin D and DHEA.  When taken together, the evidence suggests that they rejuvenated the thymus gland and reversed epigenetic aging in participants.

It’s not legal in the United States to use hGH injections for anti-aging purposes. Till this changes, we have the option of taking supplements which raise hGH.

THINGS THAT BOOST HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE

  1. Going to bed before 10 pm is one of the most effective ways of increasing our hGH naturally. This is because there’s a huge spike in hGH that occurs around 10 or 11 pm. But it only occurs if we’re asleep. (For best results, turn off all blue light devices around 9 a.m., then crash out by 9:30 or 10.)
  2. FASTING boosts hGH.
  3. EXERCISING boosts hGH.

HGH BOOSTING SUPPLEMENTS

  1. MELATONIN (0.3 mg) also boosts hGH. (I take it at night because it increases hGH and also promotes sleep)
  2. AKG (Double Wood) –––– (4 capsules) or AAKG (NUTRI-COST) (2 scoops). (AAKG is a salt of arginine and AKG.) I suspect that the AKG is what caused my body hair to go from white to brown.
  3. AAKG (NUTRI-COST) (2 scoops). A salt of arginine and AKG. Because arginine and exercise can negate some of each others’ benefits, I usually take it four hours after workouts. (Boosts testosterone, hGH and AKG)
  4. CREATINE –– 
  5. BETA ALANINE  –– 
  6. BERBERINE and/or METFORMIN  – Neither of them increases hGH, but they were part of the TRIIM Trial protocol because htey lower blood glucose, lower mTOR and activate AMPK. I sometimes just take berberine, but sometimes add in metformin. I take them with my last meal on my feasting days. I don’t take (usually) them on my fasting days because fasting itself has the same effects. Note: I sometimes also sometimes use Ceylon Cinnamon and Allulose to further lower glucose.
  7. ZINC (30 mg. zinc with 2 mg. copper) (essential to thymus health)
  8. VITAMIN D3 (Donotage) (Essential for many reasons.) (Comes in a formula with magnesium)
  9. MULTIVITAMIN/MINERAL – I take a multi to avoid getting micronutrient deficiencies on fasting days. (It’s not part of the TRIIM trial regimen, just a convenient time to take it)

STACK 5: GLUTATHIONE BOOSTERS

Glutathione has many benefits, including reducing oxidative stress; improving insulin resistance; reducing cell damage in alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; reducing symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. It’s similar to NAD in that our bodies are high in it when we’re young, but levels drop as we age.
 
Things that can raise glutathione levels naturally include:
 
  1. NAC ––– N. Acetyl Cysteine (I take Jarrow NAC, both for clear breathing at night and to raise glutathione levels
  2. GLYCINE ––– works synergistically with NAC
  3. SULFORAPHANE –– The brand I take is Avamocol. Found in mature broccoli, broccoli sprouts and broccoli seeds. Raises levels of glutathione in the plasma and the brain.
  4. SELENIUM ––– I take selenomethionine, but all forms of selenium raise glutathione levels. Foods rich in selenium may be more effective than the supplement.
  5. TURMERIC ––– has anti-inflammatory properties, and boosts glutathione
  6. MILK THISTLE ––– boosts glutathione and also lowers blood glucose.

STACK 6: BLOOD HEALTH SUPPLEMENTS

  1. SERRAPEPTASE –– Cleans protein fragments from blood. Also great for relieving sinus congestion. I usually take it at night to clear my breathing.
  2. NATTOKINASE –– A highly beneficial enzyme, found in a type of fermented soy called natto. I take it once a week or so.
  3. BORAGE OIL and BLACK CURRANT SEED OIL –– I take both of these for GLA, to support the formation of new blood platelets.
  4. BLOOD DONATION –– I also donate blood several times a years, both for altruistic reasons and because donating removes iron that can build up in the blood, and also removes old blood factors and forces the body to make new (young) blood cells to replace what was lost. I take extra doses of borage oil, black currant oil and taurine (necessary for new cell creation) after donating.

STACK 6: NIGHT TIME SUPPLEMENTS

  1. ELDERBERRY –––– Elderberry’s good for immunity. Night’s a convenient time to take it. I sweeten it with a little allulose, which lowers blood glucose.
  2. VITAMIN C (LIPOSOMAL) –––– (I like Mercola’s best but sometimes take other brands). I take it because it detoxifies NAD and raises collagen.  – 2 grams
  3. NAC (regular and sustained release) (Jarrow) –––– (for clear breathing when I’m sleeping) 
  4. MELATONIN –––– I take a very tiny microdose, 0.3 to 0.6 mg at night, because it both raises hGH and promotes sleep. When I take it, I usually sleep better, longer and deeper.

10 percent discount on supplements. Discount Code: PATHWAYS

  • I don’t take all of the supplements above every day, but I do take some in every category.  So I spend a lot on supplements.
  • A few months ago, I set up a discount agreement with one of the largest and most respected suppliers of NMN and other anti-aging supplements, Donotage.org.
  • If you use the Discount Code PATHWAYS, you’ll get 10 percent off of everything on their website, including the supplements, NAD test and epigenetic aging test.
  • Free shipping is available on orders over $400 USD, 300 Euros or 500 AUD. 
  • See this page for more information.

My Results

  • The long-term result I’m hoping for is living longer in better health.
  • But the protocol has also changed me physically. The photos below shows some of these changes.
  • To see additional photos of how I’ve changed in the past few months, click here.