Continuing from my last post – even with years of intermittent fasting and exercising, I was noticing the initial signs of aging like graying hair, tiredness and lack of energy, and the missing sprint fullness of youth. I realized the need learn the fundamentals of biological aging and research cutting-edge age-reversal processes that have had some credible experimental success in early trials. I wanted to know how to hack my body at the cellular level and reverse the effects of aging.
I researched online, read books, listened to podcasts, and consumed as much information as I could get my hands on. I learned about epigenetics – processes in which genes are turned off or on by external factors like diet, lifestyle, and environment. For example, during starvation, our bodies turn off genes that help us digest food or fat storage so we can survive longer without food!
I also learned about telomeres – protective caps at the ends of DNA strands that protect our chromosomes from damage due to stressors like oxidation. The longer your telomeres are, the healthier you are presumed to be! Studies show that people who live long lives have longer telomeres than people who don’t live long lives!
I learned that many diseases such as cancer and heart disease could be caused by gene mutations brought about by stressors like free radicals (oxidation) from environmental toxins like smoking and pollution. Free radicals cause damage in our cells by stealing electrons from other molecules in our bodies due to their unstable nature causing them to react with anything they come into contact with like oxygen or water molecules.
There is a lot of conflicting information out there when it comes to bio-hacking supplements.
The Internet has a plethora of generic boilerplate articles on this topic. Effectively utilizing Google search is an art. If you Google with simple keywords like “is supplement X good for me” or “benefits of this supplement”, most of the top content is junk. There are blog posts full of basic age-old advice like eating green veggies, exercising, and living a stress-free life. And then, every once in a while, these random research articles pop up that talk about how one particular habit has been proven to be beneficial, only to be negated in another link-bait article that proves the opposite. I realized that the research articles and data available are not fit for public consumption. For every research paper that advocates a particular diet or lifestyle choice for good health, there’s one that supports the exact opposite results.
If you go to a doctor, they will talk about the same standard things like eating green vegetables, keeping a balanced diet, exercising blah blah. So I don’t blame the doctors. They have limited time and resources to spend on each patient, and they have to treat everyone as best as they can with what they know so far.
I decided it was time to take a deeper dive. And it will be an ongoing eternal dive into the deep sea of knowledge. So I started searching for a professional course on microbiology to learn the fundamentals of cellular machinery and how it affects our aging. There are many things you can do to slow down aging, including taking supplements, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. These are called ‘lifestyle changes’ because they don’t require any special intervention or equipment. I also started learning about bio-hacking by starting with these two books first:
1. Lifespan by Dr David Sinclair
2. Super Human by Dave Asprey
Bio-hacking is an art even though the foundation pillars are piled deep inside the rock bed of science. My experiments with bio-hacking started once I finished my microbiology course and the two books above and became confident & bold enough to try some of the low-hanging fruits – basic steps that help to slow down aging. I realized that aging is actually a disease and needs to be tackled appropriately.
I modified my schedule and supplements and followed these basic steps:
- Diet: Intermittent Fasting coupled with Calorie Restriction – Dinner by 8 PM, then breakfast at around 11 AM. Lunch is mostly skipped or very light, a protein shake after a workout, and then dinner between 7-8 PM. I would recommend starting calorie restriction by your early thirties. Try to eat around 1600 calories/day (men) & 1400 calories/day (women). After 37-38, try to limit your calorie intake to 1400 calories a day (men), and 1300 (women). I hovered around 1200 calories a day.
(a) NMN/NR: Around 600mg per day empty stomach.
(b) Vitamin D: 4000 IU. I take the daily dose lest I forget the weekly ones early morning with NMN.
(c) Resveratrol: 1000 mg – I take this along with breakfast every morning.
(d) Protein shake/Collagen: 15 gms of lean whey protein isolate post-workout mixed with 8-10 gms grass-fed bovine collagen
(e) Athletic Greens: 1 scoop a day early morning (along with NMN). This covers all vitamins, probiotics, and fibers.
(g) Omega-3 capsules: At night before sleeping.
- Sleep: I started tracking my sleep (Oura ring and now Apple Watch), and try to get at least 8 hours of sleep every day.
- Exercise: Daily 30 min of exercise that included 100 pushups, 60 sit-ups, and a little bit of Yoga and Pranayam. I try to play tennis or badminton at least 3 times a week.
I am not going to lie; it took me a couple of weeks to adapt to this new regime. But once I did, my life changed for good! I noticed the effects after a few months – my body felt stronger, more energetic, and healthy than ever before. In fact, I am feeling way healthier than in my late twenties.
I’ve been following this regime for almost 3 years now, and it has really helped me stay healthy, energetic, and motivated. I will continue this regime and keep tracking the latest research as it comes out so that I can modify my schedule accordingly. But I am sure with the latest advancement in molecular biology, we will see extended lifespans within our generation. Till then, we have to stay healthy and positive and keep taking care of our bodies.