🌍 International bestselling author Dr. Michael Greger’s got a new masterwork coming out in December 2023! 🎉It’s the third book in the series 📚 that was started with How Not to Die in 2015, and How Not to Diet in 2019; and now in 2023, he addresses an age-old (pun intended) question and desire: How Not to Age (HNTA for brevity).
👨⚕️ As the good doctor’s book titles’ wordplay suggests, becoming healthier requires both avoiding what’s bad for us, and practicing what actually works and is good long-term — per the current science evidence and consensus 🍏 🔬.
🦸♂️ Communicating that evidence and consensus is Dr. Greger’s superpower: For over a decade now, he (and his dedicated team at NutritionFacts.org) reads, analyzes, synthesizes, and simplifies literally thousands of published papers from the health and nutrition sciences, into clear guidelines and advice. 🧐🕵️♂️
So for over 3 years, Dr. G and his team focused on the question of aging, and what we can do about it.
❓Can We Choose to Slow Our Aging? Dr.G Says…
The science says YES! ✅
As Dr. G puts it, he turned 50 while writing HNTA, and had plenty of personal motivation to slow, stop, or reverse aging 👵➡️👦.
As just one big indicator of how deeply Dr. Greger dug into the science: HNTA has over 13 THOUSAND references! 🤯
By comparison, his 1st major book How Not to Die had over 2,000 references, while How Not To Diet had over 5,000.
🌟 How Not to Age is simply an epic book. 🏆
So what’s in How Not to Age? 🤔
The book is divided into 4 large sections:
- The 11 pathways of your aging — and how to block them 🛑
- What your optimal anti-aging regimen entails 💃🥗
- How to preserve your vital systems: from bones, to immunity, to sex life, to dignity 💪
- The anti-aging 8: foods and practices that have the greatest anti-aging effects 🥦
Does that sound intriguing, and need-to-know? 😉
BTW, this article can’t give away the detailed HNTA book contents, sorry. Because as of this writing in Nov. 2023, the book hasn’t been released yet! 🤫
📸 BUT, we did snap some photos of Dr. Greger’s in-person, brand-new HNTA talk, given at some recent conferences. And asked him for some high-level summaries too, which he’s always happy to share.
And in particular, we’ll share and summarize about Part 1, and its empowering message. 🌟
The Eleven Pathways of Aging — and 7 Ways to Block Them
Dr. Greger gets all the credit for the above table, which he shared in his talk.
On the table’s left-hand side you see all the currently known, established biochemical pathways of aging.
And on the top of the table, you see the 7 powerful lifestyle choices that can slow or block those 11 aging pathways.
The 11 Aging Pathways, In Brief
- AMPK is what switches your body from storing fat, to burning it. It’s an enzyme that’s not only central to weight control, but aging too. In fat-burning mode, AMPK helps your body to clean house 🧹, which also slows aging damage. AMPK tends to decline with age — but the interventions above can slow or stop that, especially exercise. 🏃♂️
- Autophagy is your body’s overall cleaning process, activated when food is scarce, whereupon it breaks down damaged or old cells, and recycles/upcycles the contents into new, healthier cells. Exercise 💃 powerfully activates autophagy; while animal protein and deep fried foods can suppress it.
- Cellular Senescence is when our cells age to the point of ceasing to divide/grow; if they still stick around as “zombie cells” they may damage other younger cells nearby. Eating foods rich in quercetin and fisetin can help: onions, apples, kale, tea, and especially strawberries. 🍓
- Epigenetics here means the pattern of DNA methylation damage, the “epigenetic clock.” 🧬 Caloric restriction by around 10-12% can help reverse the damage, as well as folate rich foods like lentils, soybeans, spinach, asparagus, and broccoli. 🥦
- Glycation is mainly caused by eating junk foods high in (suitably named) Advanced Glycation End-products, AGEs, which cause proteins to gum up together, triggering long-term, systemic inflammation. Minimize this pathway by avoiding fried, roasted, and processed foods (especially high fat, high protein foods), and stopping smoking. 🚭
- IGF-1 stands for insulin-like growth factor 1, which has been found to be lower levels for long-lived peoples, while high levels are correlated with cancer risks. IGF-1 levels in your body are increased by animal products and high animal protein intakes.
- Inflammation may be the single most predictive factor of aging, and the fire of excess inflammation is best extinguished 💦 by a clean, whole plants diet 🥗 that’s low in, or free of, saturated fats, meats, dairy, tropical oils.
- mTOR stands for the “mechanistic target of rapamycin” and looks to be a key determinant of lifespan and aging. When it’s inhibited by rapamycin it benefits older animals that are done growing and reproducing. Protein restriction (targeting around 0.8 grams per healthy kg of body weight) and plant-based proteins helps control this aging pathway. ✅
- Oxidation is the accumulation of “rust” or damage from free radicals in the body; fight that with exercise, plant-based protein sources, green vegetables & green tea, eating naturally colorful foods like berries that are rich in antioxidants, and enjoying herbs & spices. 🌶️
- Sirtuins are enzymes that keep our DNA neatly organized, in the right shape. 🧬 While some longevity researchers believe they’re central, others remain more skeptical. Generally, the other healthy lifestyle habits also help increase and improve the sirtuins in our bodies too.
- Telomeres are protective “caps” on our DNA ends that prevent them from fraying, and preserving them over time seems strongly connected with healthy lifestyle choices. 🌞 And besides all those healthy lifestyle choices, be sure to have enough vitamin D3 to protect your telomeres: 800 to 2000 IU per day if your blood level is under 20 ng/mL.
There’s a LOT More in HNTA
Dr. Greger’s latest book is a sizable, sweeping survey of the entire field of anti-aging interventions — the above is just a high-level quick view of Part 1 of 4.
But despite all the nerdy science and studies, the underlying message is clear, and empowering: You can choose to slow at least 80% of your aging, every day, several times per day!
Many twin studies 👯 have made clear that choosing your foods and exercise matters a lot more than choosing your parents wisely. 😁
Stay tuned, in, and on the LeafSide, for a lot more about HNTA over the coming weeks and months!
Oh, and if you want to start a much healthier lifestyle ASAP, with almost no effort…
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Please note: This article is based on Dr. Greger’s forthcoming book, “How Not To Age,” and other reference articles. The content herein does not constitute medical advice and is intended for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.