11 min read
Your Path to a Longer, Healthier Life
May 22, 2022
There are actions you can take right now to increase your potential healthspan—with a target of making it to a healthy 100+ years old.
I’ve written extensively about the importance of having a Longevity Mindset and about rapidly-advancing Longevity-related technologies: from Stem Cells and CRISPR, to Senolytic Medicines and Gene Therapies.
But in today’s blog, I want to focus on practical steps that you can take today.
Think of these steps as a collective bridge that will get us to those rejuvenation technologies under development in the coming decades.
Your goal should be to live long enough to intercept the next bridge of technology, and the next one, and so on… extending your healthy lifespan as long as you desire.
NOTE: Every year, I take a small group of entrepreneurs, investors, and philanthropists on an annual Platinum Longevity & Vitality Trip to experience first-hand exposure to the major players, scientists, companies and treatments in the longevity and vitality arena.
By joining me on the Platinum Trip, you’ll get all your questions answered, key insights on how to extend your healthspan, and early access to diagnostics, therapeutics, and investment opportunities.
Let’s dive in!
FIRST, DON’T DIE FROM SOMETHING STUPID!
One mistake that many of us make is to assume we’re healthy.
Until that pain in your side brings you to the emergency room, where you find out that you’ve had a disease all along.
Perhaps it’s stage 3 cancer, or an aneurysm, or significant heart disease that could have been easily detected—or any number of 100 preventable diseases.
The unfortunate truth is that most people don’t know the actual state of their health.
Eventually, we’ll be wearing sensors that feed our AI assistant with tons of data, in a fashion that constantly monitors our health.
But until that future arrives, it’s important to use the advanced diagnostics available today (MRI, CT, genomics, metabolomics) to evaluate your health on an annual basis. The goal is to find any disease at stage 0.
Thankfully, there are three extraordinary companies that can help: Fountain Life, Human Longevity, and NextHealth.
Take Human Longevity, which I co-founded in 2013. The company’s annual, 3-hour scan includes heart and lung CT, a full-body MRI, whole-genome sequencing, an echocardiogram, and a host of clinical blood tests.
What can you learn from such an exam? In 2018, Human Longevity published the following data on its first 1,190 clients:
2% of patients had undiagnosed tumors/advanced cancer.
2.5% of patients had undiagnosed aneurysms (the #2 killer in the world).
9% of patients had previously undetected coronary artery disease (the #1 killer).
In total, a staggering 14.4% had significant issues requiring immediate intervention, while 40% percent found a condition that needed long-term monitoring.
Some people say: “I don’t want to know these things …”
But that’s bullshit!
Of course you want to know. And you should do everything in your power to solve the medical problem and take advantage of these rapidly-advancing technologies to increase your lifespan.
KNOW YOUR BIOLOGICAL AGE—AND REVERSE IT
We all have our genes, but it’s which of your genes are expressed that matters most.
And it’s not only your genes. The microbiome that you have in your gut also impacts you.
A revolutionary biotech company called Viome focuses on the 100 trillion bacteria in the gut microbiome, which transform our food into fuel. (Full disclosure: my venture fund BOLD Capital is an investor in Viome.)
What if you could measure the gene expression of these bacteria in your gut microbiome and how these microbial genes impact your health? Viome does this using a process called meta-transcriptome sequencing to look at what mRNA and proteins the microbes in your gut are producing.
Viome’s AI-driven platform analyzes the biochemical activity in your body by looking at your saliva, blood, and stool. Their goal is to give you an accurate picture of your unique health, and what you can do to optimize it through food and made-to-order, precision supplements and probiotics.
Viome then combines this analysis with predictive biomarkers and precision diagnostics to detect cancers, metabolic and autoimmune disease, inflammation, and other chronic conditions.
As Viome Founder and CEO Naveen Jain puts it, by simply analyzing your microbiome and then adjusting your diet and nutrition, and taking steps to understand what supplements you need, you can vastly improve your health while reducing your risk of disease.
Are you aging faster or feeling younger than the date on your birth certificate?
I regularly use Viome’s “Health Intelligence Test” to find out.
The results of the Health Intelligence Test include a range of key metrics including: (i) your immune health; (ii) your biological age; (iii) your cellular health; and, (iv) the health of your gut. It also makes recommendations on what foods and supplements you should target to reduce inflammation and reverse your biological age with the goal of giving you more energy, boosting immunity, better gut and mental health, on the path to a longer, healthier life.
Want to learn more about Viome and how your microbiome impacts your overall health?
Naveen will be a Speaker at the upcoming Platinum Trip. Meet him and hear his insights first-hand during the Trip!
DON’T FORGET THE BASICS
There’s a lot you can do right now to be healthier and extend your life by focusing on the basics: sleep, exercise, and diet.
Getting enough sleep is one of the most underappreciated elements of extending your lifespan.
You need 8 hours of sleep each night. If you think you’re one of those people who can get away with 5 or 6 hours of sleep, the scientific evidence is not on your side.
One book I’m constantly recommending is neuroscientist Matthew Walker’s book Why We Sleep. He says that sleep is the single most effective thing we can do to reset our mental and physical health each day.
Sufficient sleep improves our ability to learn, make better decisions, and it helps us better navigate emotional and social challenges with relative composure. Physiologically, sleep has a slew of benefits, including strengthening our immune system, reforming our metabolism, regulating our appetite, and helping us to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
On the other hand, regularly getting less than 6 or 7 hours of sleep each night doubles your risk of cancer and can increase the likelihood that you’ll develop Alzheimer’s disease. Insufficient sleep can also contribute to major psychiatric conditions such as anxiety and depression.
One of the key lessons from Why We Sleep is: if humans had been able to evolve with the ability to get along with less sleep, then we would have.
Yet evolutionarily our bodies retained the need for eight hours. Make sleep a priority.
The evidence is clear: muscle mass is one of the most important predictors of longevity.
We naturally lose muscle mass as we age, a condition called sarcopenia.
But you can slow and possibly even reverse this process with regular exercise, for instance, weightlifting and interval training.
Increasing muscle mass as you age can help to increase your lifespan in numerous ways:
First: Increased muscle mass leads to higher numbers of stem cells. These are undifferentiated cells that can transform into specialized cells such as heart, liver, lung, skin, and other types of cells.
As we age, our supply of stem cells diminishes, but regular exercise to increase muscle mass fights against this trend.
Second: Having more muscle mass as you age also reduces your risk of falling and any resulting injuries.
On a personal note, when my father was in his mid-80s he fell while getting out of bed and broke his pelvis, landing him in the hospital. This is one of the most dangerous places to be for an elderly person and it began a slow and steady decline.
Third: Even a small amount of weekly resistance or weight training along with the use of peptides (short chains of amino acids) can help to naturally stimulate growth hormone and increase muscle mass.
And the research supports this: For instance, in one study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, elderly men with sarcopenia underwent a three-month resistance-training program that included three sessions per week, and post-exercise supplements of collagen peptides.
Compared to the placebo group, participants who took the collagen peptide supplement after exercising had better motor control, increased muscle strength and fat-free mass, and lower levels of fat mass.
Improving your diet can have immediate positive effects and ultimately increase your lifespan.
There are two actions that you can take today:
Reducing your sugar intake
Intermittent fasting is a powerful practice that involves eating normal portions of food with periodic episodes without meals.
Another book I recommend often is David Sinclair’s Lifespan. He says that if there’s one piece of advice he would offer after 25 years of researching aging, it’s to eat less often.
There are dozens of fasting programs. One approach is to skip breakfast and have a late lunch, and another is to eat 75% fewer calories two days each week.
I personally do my best to fast between 7pm and 12 noon the next day, providing me a 17-hour fast. It gives me extraordinary energy during the day and helps me remain fit. Give it a try!
But remember: drink plenty of water! Ideally, you’re drinking 2-3 liters of water every day. If there’s a magic fuel source for the human body, it’s water.
In addition to fasting, minimizing or eliminating sugar from your diet can have immediate positive effects.
It’s simple: sugar is poison. It causes inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and fuels cancer. Reduced blood sugar levels have been linked to lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and have been shown to lower the risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart-related death.
Go on a 10-day sugar fast and cut it out of your diet completely for several days. It’s possible, especially if you do it alongside friends.
During this decade of extraordinary biotech breakthroughs, your goal is to live long enough to intercept those age-reversal technologies heading our way.
And there are important things you can do right now.
JOIN ME ON MY PLATINUM LONGEVITY TRIP
Are you interested in learning how to increase your healthspan?
If yes, then consider joining me on my Platinum Longevity & Vitality Trip.
This August 10-14, 2022 and September 14-18, 2022, I'm taking two groups of VIP entrepreneurs and investors on what I call my “Platinum Longevity & Vitality Trip” to San Francisco and San Diego.
Each trip will be a luxury, 5-Star deep dive to meet with the top scientists, CEOs, clinical-stage biotech companies, and research institutes leading the charge against age-related diseases and extending the human healthspan.
Both trips are identical (capped at 35 participants per trip), during which I spend all 5 days with you as your private guide and provocateur. Through this personalized, action-packed program, my mission is to give you first-hand exposure to the major players, scientists, companies and treatments in the longevity and vitality arena.
What you get: All your questions answered. First-hand insights and early access to diagnostics, therapeutics, and investment opportunities.
To lock in your seat, sign up here!