May 18, 2024

I found the video below fascinating. While claims of reversing aging or achieving immortality may still seem far fetched, Dr. Sinclair’s theories suggest that we can take a large degree of control over the aging process if we understand what causes it. He believes that very far back in evolutionary history, bacteria developed two modes of existence. In good times with comfortable temperatures and abundant food – bacteria responded to the consistently easy life by steering their metabolic resources towards division – reproduction. In stressful times of minimal food and poor environmental conditions that made survival questionable, the bacterial genetics told the cellular metabolism to go into repair mode, turning off the energy depleting reproduction and devoting everything to maintaining quality genetic repairs.

For most things in life, a 99.9% success rate is great. If we correctly answer 99.9% of a thousand question test we probably got the highest score. If 99.9% of our investments were profitable we would be doing way better than Warren Buffet – we would be scrutinized as a potential time traveler from the future! But if damage to our cells is only correctly repaired 99.9% of the time, then we experience significant epigenetic damage over the decades. This affects the DNA codes – the biological software – that tells our individual cells what to do.

Imagine thousands of identical desktop computers produced with more possibilities than any of us will make full use of. The software we run on them makes them do different work. Likewise our cells, which all have the same DNA, but are activated for very specialized functions, are assigned different tasks. At a very early stage, cells differentiate into bone, muscle, skin, brain, and other specialized forms as very long strands of DNA are folded and marked with activation proteins that tell each cell which functions to perform. Much like a magnet can erase crucial information stored digitally, toxic chemicals and radiation can break protein strands in our DNA. Most of the time they are repaired correctly. Sometimes mistakes are made and the DNA no longer functions. Over the course of a lifetime, this accumulation of non-functional cells grows until the entire organism suffers an increasingly obvious loss of potential.

Dr. Sinclair suggests a two-fold method of vastly reducing this problem. The first step is avoiding unnecessary exposure to radiation and chemical poisons. Eat healthy, and avoid long exposure to extreme sunlight. Eliminate DNA damage by drugs, artificial foods with lots of chemical preservatives, be aware of plastics that can release hormone-like molecules into our foods and beverages, avoid constant air (or space) travel in poorly shielded vehicles and work with X-rays or other sources of radiation – and avoid tanning beds and long summer days in the sun.

The second step in reducing aging is tricking our bodies (which have inherited many traits from the earliest bacteria) into thinking we are barely surviving in an extreme environment. Remember, bacteria in great conditions put energy towards reproduction. But when food is scarce and temperatures are extreme they focus on cellular maintenance. If we eat less food, exercise rigorously and often (as if there are frequent threats to our survival, such as predators) and expose our selves to extremes of hot and cold – then our genetic programming responds with self-protection and higher quality epigenetic repairs.

In addition, other doctors typically suggest that modern people don’t get enough sleep. With electricity comes all forms of entertainment beyond sunset, and we often stay up far too late reading, watching TV, and surfing the internet. But our body does most of its repair work while we sleep. There’s a big difference between averaging 7-9 hours sleep per night, and getting by on 6 – or 5 – or less hours. Our bodies let us know it isn’t enough, but our brains want entertainment, so….

We tend to do the exact opposite. Most people are sleep deprived. Most people eat far more than necessary, far more than the recommended caloric intake. Most people live in a climate controlled house that makes sure the temperature is comfortable and stable. Most people enjoy a long day at the beach, recreational chemical and pharmaceutical products, and factory-made foods with amazingly long shelf lives that should make us question what chemicals are in them…. because if those preservatives are harmful to bacteria and mold and fungus then the only reason such things don’t kill us instantly is because the concentration is diluted in our much larger bodies. And as for drinking lots of water to help dilute and flush these toxins out…. most of us are chronically dehydrated as well.

Who among us is ready to live a longer, healthier life – if it means less food, more exercise, less chemicals and radiation, more exposure to extreme hot and cold, and less comfort? I’ll admit, eating too much pepperoni pizza in a room temperature environment sounds much more enjoyable than joining the polar bear club for a swim in ice water followed by a tiny portion of spinach for dinner. Will this reverse aging and make us young again. No, it won’t – though Dr. Sinclair does believe there are methods to reverse the cellular damage we think of as aging, and there is at least a road map into future research and experiments that have a real chance of achieving this in the future. But the question for right now is: could profoundly different habits make the difference between feeling old and decrepit at age 60, versus being alert and energetic until age 90? Obviously the answer is a resounding yes. The question is, can we extend the good, healthy, functional years even further – to 100, 120, or 150? Dr. Sinclair says we can.

About Author