- 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: 9/9/21)
- For information about the SUPPLEMENTS that I’m taking, see “My Supplements” page.
- Want to meet others interested in life extension? Join my Life Extension Facebook Group.
- Check out my Youtube “Longevity” channel: Pathways to Longevity
Not medical advice
- I’m not a doctor. Nothing on this page is meant as, or should be taken as, medical advice.
- I’m not suggesting that everyone should follow my protocol, just reporting on what I’m doing and my results. If you decide to follow this protocol or one similar to it, that decision is your responsibility, and you would be doing so at your own risk.
Goals of the Rekindle Protocol
My goal is to “rekindle youth”: to have the same energy, mental clarity and state of health in “old age” (whenever that might be) that I do now. Some specifics include:
Slowing down aging. (What may help: Raising NAD levels by exercising, taking NMN, NR or niacin)
Reversing aging that’s already occurred. (What may help: exercise; supplements; eating a high nutrient diet; fasting; taking anti-aging drugs as they’re developed) (and the product E5, when it becomes available)
Compressing morbidity into a very short little period toward the end of life (if life should ever end). (What may help: calcium alphaketoglutarate) (Ca-AKG)
Having strong muscles (What may help: beta alanine and creatine.) (Combined with resistance training)
Having strong bones (What may help: Exercising; taking L. Reuteri 6475)
Having healthy joints (What may help: hyaluronic acid; collagen)
Having healthy lungs (What may help: Exercising; taking N. Acetyl Cysteine)
Having a healthy heart (What may help: Exercising; taking fish oil or eating fish)
Having a healthy thymus gland (central to the immune system) and other glands (What may help: raising hGH by injection; doing the TRIIM trial protocol; raising hGH by exercise and by taking hGH boosting supplements)
Having healthy, unwrinkled, un-saggy skin with good resilience and elasticity. (What may help: collagen and hyaluronic acid)
Having a healthy brain and mind. No Alzheimer’s and dementia. (What may help: magnesium threonate; low dose lithium; hyaluronic acid)
Maintaining a healthy weight (not too fat, not too skinny) (What may help: Eating a low sugar, low grain, low carb diet (grains fatten people up, like they fatten up farm animals).
Having good eyesight (helpful supplements: astaxanthin; zeathantin; lutein)
Having healthy mitochondria and mitochondrial biogenesis (helpful supplements: CoQ10 and PQQ)
Having good sexual health (What may help: testosterone boosting supplements such as Tongcat Ali)
Having long, healthy telomeres (What may help: Eating a diet rich in greens; astragalus and ashwagandha)
Having healthy levels of insulin and blood glucose (What may help: HIIT exercise; working out; low sugar diet; metformin or berberine)
Having healthy lipid levels (What may help: niacin; pantethine; low carb diet; exercise)
Having healthy blood (“young blood factors”) (What may help: borage oil; Sea buckthorn oil)
Reaching escape velocity, a point at which medical technology can fully reverse aging. (What may help: all of the above)
Living to be 100, 200, 500 or more in good health and feeling good. (Why not aim for forever?) (The worst that can happen is that we’ll die, and we’ll die anyway if we don’t aim for immortality.)
I’m sure we can achieve many of these things. We may be able to achieve them all. If not, we can still have fun trying.
Key elements of the Rekindle Protocol
The Rekindle Protocol is a regimen that I’m following in the hopes of living as long as possible, and being healthy and having a good life as long as I’m around. Others are welcome to follow it, but doing so is their own choice and responsibility. The protocol’s key elements involve:
- Balancing AMPK (the longevity pathway) and mTOR (the growth pathway). Keeping AMPK activated most of the time. Keeping mTOR activated enough to support muscle growth and immune health.
- Exercising to maintain bone, muscle, cardiovascular and brain health and to build a foundation for healthy longevity. (Possible types of exercise: HIIT, resistance training, dance, aerobics)
- Eating a highly nutritious diet (low in sugar, but rich in other nutrients; full of healthy fats and high quality proteins; including high in spermidine and spermine; a diet to keep blood glucose and insulin low) (I eat lots of greens, cruciferous vegetables, big green salads, root vegetables, mushrooms, avocados, sardines, salmon, and fermented foods, plus some organ meats, grass fed meat and pastured eggs)
- Balancing periods of food intake with periods of intermittent fasting (time-restricted eating) and prolonged fasting.
- Cold shock proteins: Keep the house cool (65 degrees or less) or take cold showers
- Heat shock proteins: Take saunas or very hot baths regularly
- Keeping our blood healthy (Possible approaches: donating blood and/or plasma, and taking enzymes including serrapeptase)
- Optimizing sleep
- Managing stress
- Activating our sirtuin (survival/longevity) genes
- Being thoughtful about the use of alcohol and drugs
- Restoring these compounds* to the healthy levels found in young adults:
- NAD (nicotinamideadenine nucleotide)
- Sex hormones
- Human growth hormone (hGH)
- AKG (Alpha Ketoglutarate)
- Glutathione and nitric oxide
PLANT BASED FOODS:
- 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, such as: lentils, natto, aged cheese.
Fruit and berries (in small quantities). I’m a big fan of apples, grapefruit, dark cherries, blueberries and other berries. But I try to keep quantities small.
- Onions and garlic (both are high-sulfur foods; sulfur attaches to metals like lead and helps remove them from the body)
FUNGUS BASED FOODS:
Fungi are not plants; they are life forms built from chitin, which plants don’t use. In that sense they are actually closer to insects than to foods from the plant kingdom. Mushrooms are high in spermidine, spermine, and other polyamines, which are associated with a great increase in lifespan. My favorites, which I eat every day (unless I’m fasting), include:
- Shiitake mushrooms
- Oyster mushrooms
- Button mushrooms
ANIMAL BASED FOODS:
I eat lots of fish and other seafood (high in EPA, DHA and RNA)
I eat 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 red meat, but I do eat some.
Organ meats –– I eat beef heart; chicken hearts; beef liver; and chicken liver once or twice a week.
Organic eggs from pastured chickens
Raw milk from cows or goats (when a tested, healthy source is available)
- People sometimes ask me for my thoughts on veganism. I was vegan for several years. My health initially seemed better, then went downhill. I developed vision problems, tooth pain problems, mood and memory problems, and blood sugar problems. My short term memory got so bad it was almost funny. I got obese and pre-diabetic. Adding animal foods back into my diet solved these problems literally overnight. So I no longer believe that veganism is an optimal diet (though I’d never try to stop anyone else from eating a vegan diet if they want to)
- For my thoughts about the ethics of eating plants and animals, see this link. For another author’s perspective, see this article.
- I realize that others may disagree, and may eat diets that are different from mine. There are lots of vegans, carnivores, omnivores and pescatarians in my Facebook longevity group, and I wish them all well. (Carnivory also didn’t work for me.) You can of course eat a different diet than I do and can still follow other elements of my protocol if you want to.
My exercise regimen
- The types that appear to be most beneficial for longevity are HIIT (high intensity interval training) and strength (resistance) training. I’m currently doing HIIT exercise on my fasting days and strength training (resistance exercise) on my feasting 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 recently added a Marcy 200 pound stack gym.
- 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.
- Fasting and exercise both have hormetic benefits, in that they put some stress on the body, but in ways that are beneficial.
- 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 sirtuin genes).
- I take saunas or very hot baths 3 times a week (for heat shock proteins and to raise NAD and activate sirtuin genes)
Balancing AMPK and mTOR
- Think of AMPK and mTOR as two ends of a teeter totter: if one goes up, the other (usually) goes down.
- Eating protein (or eating a surplus of food) activates mTOR, a growth pathway which builds muscle and supports strong immunity. Fasting activates AMPK (the longevity pathway).
- The evidence suggests that AMPK should be activated most of the time; mTOR should be activated mainly around the time we’re doing resistance training.
We do need some mTOR activation to maintain and build muscle mass as we age, prevent sarcopenia, and support our immune systems. But hundreds of animal studies have shown that animals of all species live longer if AMPK is activated most of the time.
- 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.
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.
Drugs and alcohol
Being thoughtful about the use of alcohol and recreational drugs seems essential to me.
In my own case, I’ve found it best to stop them. I don’t drink beer or wine or other alcoholic beverages anymore. I do sometimes drink home-made kefir which has a little naturally occurring alcohol.
It’s easier to avoid alcohol damage, in my experience, than to spend a lifetime trying to heal from the damage it can cause.
Stress and sleep
- I try to get to bed by 10 pm and get around 7-8 hours of sleep at night.
- For stress, I find it helpful to take walks in the woods or by lakes or rivers. (No, this isn’t a personals ad 🙂 ).
- I also learned years ago that it’s best not to bottle up emotions. One underrated way of handling stress is to “let it move through you” –– i.e., if you’re feeling sad, go ahead and have a good cry. “Just be a person,” and that includes letting yourself have emotions and sort through them, not try to stuff them down all the time as many of us have learned to do.
My current fasting protocol
Fasting activates AMPK (the longevity pathway), clears cellular debris through autophagy, clears senescent cells from our bodies through apoptosis, raises hGH and testosterone levels, and triggers the creation of new stem cells.
You can do “lite” fasting like skipping breakfast or dinner, or skip entire days if you want to. Both have anti-aging benefits.
I’m currently fasting 2-3 days a week. Sometimes I’ll fast for 24 hours (for example, from dinner on Monday till dinner on Tuesday). Sometimes I’ll fast for 36 hours (for example, from dinner on Thursday till breakfast on Saturday). I do activate my mTOR for a short period on resistance exercise days, but I fast regularly to maintain my weight and to keep AMPK activated most of the time.
- There have been a lot of physical changes in the past year. Here’s me before and after applying the protocol (the picture on the left was taken on 10/4/2020. The one on the right, on 8/18/2021).
Since starting the Rekindle Protocol:
Physically, I’m in good health. I don’t have huge muscles, but I’ve reversed my slide into muscle wasting and am actively building muscle.
I don’t have joint aches or pains (though my back sometimes hurts for a few hours if I overdo exercising). I thought I had inflammatory arthritis years ago, but don’t have any symptoms of it anymore.
My eyesight’s good. It’s clearer than it used to be.
My mind is sharp and clear. I had short term memory problems at one point in my life (years ago, when I was vegan) but have fixed this.
Physically, I feel much the same as I did when I was in my 30s and 40s, except that I have more energy than I did in those days.
Since starting my current fasting/exercising protocol, I lost around 40 pounds of excess body fat (mostly around my belly) and gained around 15 pounds of muscle.
I see these as a reflection on how the body can change in a short time if we’re eating a healthy diet, fasting, exercising, and taking some key anti-aging supplements.
One unsolved problem
While I’m in good health and happy with the results, I have made one concession to being 68 years old, which is to minimize driving on the freeway.
I have found that, in spite of my anti-aging protocols, my reaction time has slowed a bit over the past few years. I just don’t feel as comfortable roaring around at 70-75 mph (the usual speed around here) in heavy traffic as I used to.
I’m hoping to fix this but since it is currently an issue, I avoid long drives on the freeway, particularly on unfamiliar stretches of road.
TO BOOST TESTOSTERONE FOR SKIN AND BRAIN HEALTH: For more info, including dosage, scroll down. NAD Boosters and Sirtuin Activators I take the following supplements to keep my NAD high and sirtuins activated: Sex Hormone Boosters I take the following testosterone boosters: Nitric Oxide Boosters Blood Health Boosters I take the following blood health boosters: Brain and Skin Health Boosters 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. To restore our neurons to youthful levels: We can prevent brain shrinking and improve brain health and neurogenesis by eating right, fasting, and taking hyaluronic acid and other supplements. All of these are wonderful for brain health. I take the following brain-and-skin-health supplements: hGH Boosters I take the following hGH boosters: AKG Boosters Glutathione Boosters 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. To restore glutathione to youthful levels: We can raise glutathione by eating whey powder, eating sulfur-rich foods such as eggs and garlic, and/or taking glutathione boosters. Taking NAC (N. Acetyl Cysteine) alone or with Glycine is one effective way of restoring glutathione to youthful levels Night Time Supplements Where to buy supplements
TO BOOST TESTOSTERONE
FOR SKIN AND BRAIN HEALTH:
For more info, including dosage, scroll down.
NAD Boosters and Sirtuin Activators
I take the following supplements to keep my NAD high and sirtuins activated:
Sex Hormone Boosters
I take the following testosterone boosters:
Nitric Oxide Boosters
Blood Health Boosters
I take the following blood health boosters:
Brain and Skin Health Boosters
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. To restore our neurons to youthful levels: We can prevent brain shrinking and improve brain health and neurogenesis by eating right, fasting, and taking hyaluronic acid and other supplements. All of these are wonderful for brain health.
I take the following brain-and-skin-health supplements:
I take the following hGH boosters:
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. To restore glutathione to youthful levels: We can raise glutathione by eating whey powder, eating sulfur-rich foods such as eggs and garlic, and/or taking glutathione boosters. Taking NAC (N. Acetyl Cysteine) alone or with Glycine is one effective way of restoring glutathione to youthful levels
Night Time Supplements
Where to buy supplements