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Summary

Harvard Genetics Professor David Sinclair shares four habits to reverse biological age by a decade, including reducing sugar intake, intermittent fasting, consuming polyphenols, and regular exercise.

Abstract

The article discusses the views of Harvard Genetics Professor David Sinclair on reversing biological age. Sinclair believes that it is not a matter of if but a matter of when we can reverse our age and stay young. He suggests four habits to achieve this: reducing sugar intake, intermittent fasting, consuming polyphenols, and regular exercise. Sinclair emphasizes the importance of reducing sugar intake, as it can lead to various health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension. He also practices intermittent fasting and consumes polyphenols, which help strengthen the gut microbiome and improve mood and energy levels. Sinclair aims to do weight lifting three times a week and go for a run daily, but he also emphasizes the importance of remaining consistent with these habits.

Bullet points

  • Harvard Genetics Professor David Sinclair believes that reversing biological age is not a matter of if but a matter of when.
  • Sinclair suggests four habits to reverse biological age: reducing sugar intake, intermittent fasting, consuming polyphenols, and regular exercise.
  • Reducing sugar intake can lead to various health issues such as cardiovascular diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and hypertension.
  • Sinclair practices intermittent fasting and consumes polyphenols, which help strengthen the gut microbiome and improve mood and energy levels.
  • Sinclair aims to do weight lifting three times a week and go for a run daily, but he also emphasizes the importance of remaining consistent with these habits.

This Harvard Genetics Professor Swears By These 4 Habits To Reverse His Biological Age By 10 Years

It only requires a little tweak in your modern lifestyle

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

The topic of longevity has become a hot topic in recent years.

Not only do people want to live longer, but they also want to live happier and healthier lives without injuries or diseases. But as we all know as we age, injuries pop up far too often, and the chance of falling sick and succumbing to illnesses greatly increases.

David Sinclair, a Harvard Genetics Professor, however, believes that the ability to reverse our age well and stay young is not a matter of if but a matter of when.

He told Fortune:

“Biological age is a much better representation of health status than birthday candles”

Besides the natural aging that’s bound to happen, he believes that there are a few steps that we can take to reverse our biological age by a decade and it doesn’t take long to get started.

1. The Food You Need To Ditch

Dr Sinclair is very aware of what he puts into his body.

He uses trackers like his blood biomarkers and epigenetic age to adjust his diet. And the main thing that he tries to eradicate from his diet is the one that everyone loves: sugar.

Nowadays, everything we consume has some concentration of sugar, especially when we consume off-the-shelves processed foods.

But people love it too much, yet a highly sugary diet tends to result in:

  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Higher risk of obesity
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Hypertension

I know it’s difficult to cut all sugary foods entirely because what good would it be if you didn’t have some sugar in your life to spice up your mood?

But you can focus on consuming them in moderation.

When he made the switch to a lower sugary diet, his memory improved and he told GQ:

“So I got back to my 20-year-old brain. I just thought it was old age, but it wasn’t, it was my lifestyle.”

What you can do:

  • Aim to reduce down to 1 sugary item twice a week
  • Swap dessert with yogurt, dark chocolate, and fruits

2. Skipping Breakfast

Part of knowing what you should consume also consists of knowing when you should not consume food.

Dr Sinclairs skips breakfast and does intermittent fasts by waiting between 16–18 hours between large meals in the C-suite members.

But the idea of fasting is “when your mind is working its best” according to Mark Mattson, a neuroscience professor. It generally helps with:

  • Stave off diabetes, heart disease, cancer and dementia
  • Increase insulin sensitivity which better regulates blood sugar, therefore helping your body burn fat

In short, it’s an all-out slowdown of the aging process.

I believe this will surely help with the weight loss process because you’re consuming fewer calories in a given day, but it’s not for everyone and it’s certainly not for me.

But it’s worth a shot for people who haven't tried it before. Just take note not to take it overboard till you run the risk of experiencing malnutrition or starvation. Your health matters much more than the result of weight loss.

What you can do:

  • Give intermittent fasting a try but increase the fast timing incrementally
  • Incrementally reduce the volume of consumption of breakfast if you’re used to consuming breakfast every day

3. The Drug He Swears By

Every morning, Sinclair consumes polyphenols’ antioxidant which essentially helps to strengthen the gut microbiome.

It doesn’t have to come in the form of a pill because it is readily found in berries, peanuts, and red wine. Sometimes, he’d also consume it with a couple of mouthfuls of yogurt or some green matcha tea since they are full of polyphenols too.

Another Harvard-trained nutritional psychiatrist, Dr. Uma Naidoo, also stands by polyphenols to help boost energy, mood, and sleep and she mentioned consistent consumption of such foods can “change the makeup of your digestive system in about a month”.

Not only does it help to improve mood and increase heart strength, but it also decreases the risk of tissue damage in your body.

But also don’t take it in high dosages because there’s a side effect of nausea and vomiting in those cases.

What you can do:

  • Consume greek yogurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha, sauerkraut to grow good gut bacteria
  • Consume Garlic, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne to regulate stress hormones

4. The Hardest Part Of All

This is the bit that most adults struggle with as they grow older.

It’s the act of moving more.

Dr Sincalir aims to do 3 times a week of weight lifting and he tries to go for a run daily. But if he feels low in energy on that day, he’d simply go for a walk instead.

He also mentions that this is:

“his most significant health-related challenge has become getting himself moving”

The thing with exercise is you don’t necessarily have to give an all-out workout session every day. Your body would feel too tired by the end of it anyway. Doing it 3 times a week gives your body enough time to recover and you’ll likely enjoy the training and the progress more anyway.

You also don’t need the gym to get a great workout in, bodyweight exercises are sufficient, especially if you know how to apply progressive overload to them.

A Word From Sinclair

If there’s only one thing that you’ve taken away from this article, Dr. Sinclair shares his biggest piece of advice for people who want to extend their lifespan and healthspan, it’s to:

Remain consistent with these habits

There will be times when you run off track and are not able to do them day-to-day but as long as you get yourself back on track, you’re doing great!

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