Anti-aging (supplements, nutrition, etc.)

Zangelbert Bingledack

Well-Known Member
Aug 29, 2015
1,485
5,585
People almost always guess my age as mid-20s, but suffice it to say that's not correct at all. Most of it comes down to my having assiduously avoided chronic stress my whole life, through various life choices (some would say sacrifices), which I will cover in more detail below. My take on anti-aging involves two aspects:

1) Avoiding unnatural aging

This means avoiding the unnatural things modern people do that speed up the aging process: spiking their insulin many times a day with sugary snacks, being sedentary, getting too much or too little sun, and allowing physical, chemical, or emotional stresses to build up.

2) Unnaturally avoiding aging

This means the more speculative, experimental process of trying to live unnaturally long by turning off programmed cell death, lengthening telomeres, etc. via supplementation or other novel regimens.

Things like "turning on longevity genes" could go in either category, depending on whether they are effected by natural means of more artificial means, but broadly speaking this dichotomy is important. That reason is, as LeBron James put it, "Father time is undefeated." We have no examples of people living an especially long time by using these new speculative techniques, and the science is very young. Meanwhile we have plenty of examples of people aging very prematurely due to modern excesses.

In addition, it's quite possible that attempts tried in the second category could backfire, resulting in faster aging. It's tempting to think we can just add a magic bullet that will extend our life, and maybe science has already discovered one, but until we know that for sure one might want to err on the side of caution and go ahead and take the decades of free anti-aging that are on the table when you switch from, say, the standard American diet to... well just about anything else.

However, I noticed people like talking about supplements. It's interesting science, and involves things like evolutionary biology ("Why would our DNA want us to die?") and other natural order-related things that might be able to be tied back to Bitcoin. Moreover, many supplements are of the class that compensate for modern excess or nearly unavoidable modern stresses like pollution, pesticides, radiation, job stress, chair sitting, nutrient-depleted food, and so on. These could be called "Unnatural Solutions to Unnatural Problems" (USUPs). They take an unnatural process to undo an unnatural burden. For example, taking more vitamin-C-complex vitamins than any ancient people would have consumed, in order to counter abnormal oxidation load due to modern stressors. Also, many of the supplements that seem to be in the second category, like resveratrol and astragalus, are from natural sources like grape skins.

For a person who is already pretty healthy, with a pretty good diet, no major sleep deprivation, no major toxin load or deficiencies, my general guesses as to the top effective strategies for anti-aging, after years of investigation and trying things, are as follows:

1) Minimize sources of emotional stress. If my job is stressing me out chronically by its nature, I quit it or find another way of making money. If a person is stressing me out, I'll probably stop hanging out with them. If I have some addiction, like to Bitcoin, I try to take plenty of breaks from it (really not doing a good job at that one recently:D). There are of course great ways of coping, even thriving on stress and making these things work, but I have chosen an especially conservative path as I like my mental space to be very clear.

Get enough sleep, hopefully at a regular time. Mostly obvious stuff, but some people are chronically hard-driving, sometimes because they are running away from something mentally so distract themselves with staying too busy.

I could write a book on the psychological strategies I've found helpful, but this post is already long.

2) Cut the sugar and grains, especially refined grains. Probably most people know this already, but eating a lot of sugar is one of the fastest ways to age. Even things like fruit, in excess, can have similar effect. Vitamin C consumed with sugars/grains does mitigate a lot of the damage, I have heard, and it seems to jive with my experience.* It's to the extent that even the vitamin C in cheese makes cheese with toast usually better than just toast. The grain aspect is more controversial, but suffice it to say there is no way that modern grains are even prepared anywhere near properly for us to be thriving off them. I think certain people with well-functioning digestive tracts could benefit from traditional grains prepared in the traditional way, which you'd be hard-pressed to find in most supermarkets, possibly even in a health food store.

3) Fast regularly. This might seem daunting but it really isn't that hard, and the effects can be dramatic on many fronts. There are various kinds of fasting, such as water fasting, whey fasting, and juice fasting, and various types of schedules such as intermittent fasting where you skip breakfast every day, and maybe lunch, too, and block fasting where you might fast for days (some people even do weeks/months at a stretch; the anti-aging effect of longer fasts is controversial). See Dr. Jason Fung's blog and videos, which @Justus Ranvier linked, for a start on how water fasting affects aging, primarily through the lens of diabetes and obesity. As I mentioned, it's all connected. By the way, Fung and many others are also reaching the conclusion that snacking is going to age you very quickly indeed, contrary to popular trends toward eating all the time. The idea here isn't really to eat less, but to eat less often. (Which actually ends up with you eating less**, but it won't feel like that at all. I feel subjectively like I have to stuff my face as much as possible to just get my requisite calories if I eat only one meal a day; it's pretty epic feasting.)

4) Avoid junk food. Obvious, but makes a huge difference. Long story short, the unnatural oils and messed up proteins in various modern foods - even ones without sugar or refined grains - drive a large amount of inflammation at the organ and cellular level. This pushes the body toward all sorts of minor and major diseases, pretty much all of which speed up aging. There is controversy over what an ideal diet is, but any expert worth his or her salt will tell you to avoid modern atrocities like soybean/canola/safflower/corn/vegetable oil, trans fats, refined salt, unnaturally processed dairy, and deli meats with the weird additives.

I've personally found a low-carb, high-fat diet to be good most of the time, but changing up your diet is also a good idea so sometimes I will go high carb, sometimes fast, etc. As far as natural anti-aging, the idea is to keep forcing your cells to adapt. Cancer cells, for example, apparently have a very hard time adapting to the switch from high carb to low carb. It makes sense as our diet would have varied with the seasons, perhaps involving more fruit in the warm seasons and more fat in the winter, perhaps periods of fasting in the spring.

As far as unnatural anti-aging, ketogenic diets - which are extremely low carb and were probably part of natural seasonal eating variation for many ancient peoples - force your body to run on ketones, which "burn much cleaner" than carbohydrates. That cleaner burning is supposed to dramatically slow down the aging process. Whether it is a good idea to keep this up for extended periods of time is up for debate. Probably this would be a more unnatural or speculative anti-aging strategy, though I think the Inuit were pretty much always in keto. Perhaps depends on your ancestry.

5) Eat fermented foods. I don't mean just yoghurt and beer, although the best versions of those can be helpful, albeit carb-heavy. The powerhouses like real kefir (not the powdered mix stuff), natto, fermented cod liver oil, fermented butter and cheese from grass-fed cows, miso, kimchee, fermented salsa, etc. (The kefir, kimchee, and salsa should probably be made yourself, as it is very easy and cheap, and you can control the ingredients better.) Why do these help? Because your immune function, stress response, and level of inflammation are dramatically affected by the bacteria in your gut and all through your body, and most people are extremely deficient in bacterial variety.

I have found some good effect from probiotics like Primal Defense Ultra, but I doubt these are good for long-term use as they just have too few bacteria strains. You end up with a bacterial monoculture, or actually "oligoculture" of only several of the same strains in large quantities. For people who are deficient already, which is most people in advanced countries, these can work wonders for a while, but soon you'll want to move onto "the hard stuff" like those mentioned above, which may have hundreds of strains of bacteria and yeasts, and pack a huge nutritional punch.

6) Exercise. This means exercise more if you are sedentary, and less if you are an insane athlete (especially double-marathoner), as both will age you prematurely due to physical stress and any injuries you may sustain. The lymphatic system is a basically dependent on motion to move toxins through your body, for one thing, so right off the bad if you sit in a chair all day you are aging yourself more than necessary. Each kind of exercise has its own benefits: yoga, cardio, lifting, etc. The one that comes to mind most for anti-aging is High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which stimulates growth hormone a ton while being very short and easy to fit in. I don't think you have to exercise a ton to get the maximum benefits, just do a variety. But I'm no expert and this is a controversial area.


Continued below...
 
Last edited:

Zangelbert Bingledack

Well-Known Member
Aug 29, 2015
1,485
5,585
...Continued from above.

7) Test to see if you have any toxicity or deficiency issues, and address them
. This is a very thorny one. For example, if you eat lead paint chips as a kid and have lead in your brain, or maybe you have a vicious mold in your home poisoning you, or you just genetically lack a gene for detoxifying certain things, you might have some toxin sitting around torturing you with mystery symptoms. In that case, nothing else is going to help as much as getting that toxin source removed. However, testing for such things is pretty hard. The best way I think is to keep careful track of all your symptoms, from major to minor to trifling, and do a lot of googling to figure out if there are any recognized profiles of symptoms that fit. Plenty of people have low-grade heavy metal poisoning, for example, and these are extremely difficult to deal with safely. Often these things won't kill you, but it sure will age you faster and make your life less enjoyable. Once you are pretty sure you might have something, you can order various tests that can shed more light on things. The field is still nascent, so extensive research and second opinions (if you choose to go to a doctor/etc.) is the only way. Be careful of what you read online and get many different views (even herbal detox supplements or simple foods like cilantro can mess you up pretty seriously if you have certain types of toxins in your tissues).

Deficiencies are an easier one. For example, if you have a severe vitamin D deficiency, nothing else you do is going to matter much: you might have to have a quality fermented cod liver oil other vitamin D3 source, gradually expose yourself to sunlight, probably do some fasting, eat fermented foods, stop eating so much junk or just so much total food if you are now, etc. There are tests doctors can do here pretty easily, and the symptom profiles can also be researched. Things like magnesium supplementation will help most modern people, I suspect, but all supplements are complicated. There are many forms of magnesium, for example, and some are probably not even helpful at all. You have to really do research and see what people have had results with, etc.

I can connect every one of these back to anti-aging, but by now I hope the point is clear: everything that helps general health helps natural anti-aging, where most people will get the bulk of the guaranteed benefit without the risks. However, I have made an effort to put the rank important things specifically for anti-aging in this list, based on years of reading, thinking, and trying stuff out.

--

Notice again I listed none of the headline anti-aging supplements here. Once you have all this dialed in, and you're the picture of health or have done all you really feel like you reasonably can on the natural anti-aging front, then those cutting-edge supplements may come into play. Just keep in mind that your DNA isn't trying to age you so early; if it could avoid progressive organ damage and cellular glycation in your teens, 20s, and 30s from living like a typical modern person, it would. The main problem we face is we are artificially aging ourselves in ways that overwhelm our bodies' ability to adapt to, so that is the first thing to address to get the most benefit.

*You might ask how I would know I'm being anti-aged. I don't for sure, but I notice feeling healthier in various ways by judging the small symptoms like tooth sensitivity, muscle stiffness, adrenal effects, etc. The thing is, almost anything that affects your health negatively is aging you, in terms of aspect #1 above. Some things of course more than others.

**Every anti-aging buff knows that caloric restriction is the only absolutely uncontroversially proven way to dramatically reduce aging. However, I tend toward Fung's view that caloric-restriction-via-fasting/feasting is far superior to simply eating smaller meals, and it's also a whole lot more fun.
 
Last edited:

solex

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 22, 2015
1,558
4,693
@Zangelbert Bingledack

Thank you very much for starting this thread (I need to take more time to go through your OP to give it justice and add to some points made). Life extension is a subject which is close to my heart too.

Briefly, my worldview perspective is holistic and that includes putting something like Bitcoin into a wider context. On a personal level what is more important than wealth? Answer: health. There must be so many multi-millionaires in medical facilities who would give away all their money to just to walk out into the sunshine in full vigor once again. So while it might be great getting wealthy being an early adopter in Bitcoin, and seeing it transform the world for the better, reducing inequality, empowering the unbanked, rolling back the financial surveillance state: there is no point seeing all this when physically suffering with ill-health.

Note that modern global clinical medicine comes with a massive overhang of cultural baggage that treatment to ensure healthy lives is GOOD but treatment to extend human lifespan is BAD. For this reason there seems to be a constant spin against anything which attempts the latter.

---------------------------------
Multi-vitamins

For young people just a good balanced diet and reasonable exercise is needed. I do believe that it is much more important from mid-life to provide the human body with a wider range and higher doses of vitamins, minerals and nutraceuticals than can be obtained from any reasonable food diet.
Since 2000 I have been taking the LEF Mixtabs supplement every day. I have met both the principals of the LEF and know they are sincere about providing the best products for their customers. They have many products and it is impossible to take them all (and very unwise!) so I will tack a list in here of the few which are optional in addition to the LEF Mixtabs.
Acetyl-L-Carnitine
Cognitex
DHEA
Metformin (non-LEF, and prescription)
* always do your own research *
----------------------------------
Telomerase:
@Dusty @Norway I am very intrigued by the potential of medical intervention in this area, and telomere shortening does explain why no amount of healthy living can extend lifespan beyond which a random centenarian can achieve by simply being lucky.
Cell division is essential to the survival of the organism and yet over decades each cell-type slowly loses telomere length during division and eventually ceases to divide, this leads to organ failure.
The telomerase enzyme can be activated with cycloastragenol which is in TA-65.

Solex,
How much Astragalus do you take?
Are there side effects?
Do you feel any different yet?
@IMALLIN Astragalus has no proven side-effects. I take 1gm of root extract per day and 1 (low-dose) tablet of TA-65. Astragalus root has only trace amounts of the Astragalosides which activate telomerase, so the root is really only beneficial as an immune system booster. I have only been doing this about 6 weeks, but one thing I have noticed is improved mental clarity.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Norway

Zangelbert Bingledack

Well-Known Member
Aug 29, 2015
1,485
5,585
Getting into supplements now, I'd like to point out that there are major pitfalls with vitamin supplements. It is not nearly as simple as it seems, and taking a multivitamin as an "insurance policy" to make sure you cover all the bases, as many people do, can actually kind of do the opposite. Some considerations:

● Mutual interference

For example, there are various tocopherols and tocotrienols that make up what is called "vitamin E," and they compete for absorption with one another (as well as with vitamin A and D, if I recall), meaning that if you take the typical vitamin E supplement that only includes one of the tocopherols you aren't just getting a smaller benefit, you may also be impairing absorption of the rest of the types of vitamin E, and potentially other vitamins. This can even result in deficiencies long term. A and D are classic examples as well. Too much of one or the other can actually be hazardous.

● Synthetics

Some have thought the chirality of the molecule of say, vitamin E can be reversed and it wouldn't really change anything. Turns out it probably does. B12 and cyanocobalamin is often absorbed much worse than methylcobalamin. Many synthetics later turn out to be useless and even toxic. I would avoid all synthetic vitamins in general, and most multivitamins that don't cost an arm and leg are mainly built of synthetics. If I were going to take a multi, it would be a food-grown one like Manda Kouso perhaps, though that is extremely expensive.

● Isolates

Vitamin C is a great example. First science identified ascorbic acid and supplement companies started selling ascorbic acid tablets, but later it was discovered that it isn't absorbed very well without some cofactors, which if I recall were hesperidin and rutin, so a few more advanced manufacturers started including those, too. And then other cofactors to those were discovered. And then it was discovered that the ratios were important to get right, and that kidney stones can result from too much pure ascorbic acid. The vitamin exists and interfaces with the body as a whole complex of nutrients, not just as ascorbic acid. Where can you find all these nutrients in the right ratios? Oranges. Lemons. Acerola cherries. I take an acerola cherry powder supplement, sometimes small amounts of camucamu juice.

● Malabsorption

Consider magnesium. Most of the cheaper brands will just pass through you. Some forms are absorbed much better, like malate or citrate if I recall. Topical magnesium is probably best, and certainly has a good effect for me. I'm not sure you can really get effective magnesium supplementation in a multivitamin capsule, though you maybe could in a ferment broth formula where you take larger amounts. And it's one of the things the typical person in an advanced country needs the most or is most deficient in.

● Inability to experiment

When you have a multi, you can't take a certain vitamin or mineral for a few days/weeks, change up the dosage, and see how you react before testing out the next one. Maybe it's just the zinc in the multi that is helping you, and you need more of that or in a better form, whereas meanwhile the vitamin B6 in the multi is too high and for your adrenals and is messing you up subtly.

Also, as touched on aboved, many nutrients simply will not fit in a multivitamin capsule anyway, since the amounts you need are larger. Especially if you are using a whole food source, like cherry powder instead of ascorbic acid.

● Pixie dust

A lot of combination supplements advertize a lot of impressive ingredients but not in meaningful amounts. Dosage and quality matter a lot. There isn't much alternative than to research and try things, little by little.

Fortunately the biggest deficiencies are pretty common: magnesium (seems best absorbed topically), D3 (best to get from sun, if supplementing it needs to be balanced with A, E, and probably other things), iodine/iodide (uncontaminated seaweed, can be supplemented), K2 (grass fed butter, natto, some other dairy), B12 (liver, other organs, can be supplemented as methylcobalamin, perhaps with folate though some shouldn't do this - research it), zinc, and a few others. Each of those I think should be tried in very high quality form over a few weeks each to see what they do for you. I personally seem to benefit strongly from all of them, especially in their whole food forms (and magnesium oil topically, D3 from sun).

If you live by the ocean or near a hot spring and can eat organs, you might be able to get great sources of all of these with bathing (magnesium and other minerals), sun (D3), quality organ meats or uncontaminated seafood organs/eggs (B12 and zinc), and grass-fed butter/cheese (K2). That might even sustain you if all your other meals are of the Standard American Diet type, even though that isn't ideal.

Beyond that there are all sorts of personal quirks due to lifestyle, genetics, previous toxin exposure, and even where you live (midwest US more likely to be iodine deficient, resulting in thyroid issues, etc.). It is valuable to try the major stuff from the various schools of nutrition (paleo, raw vegan, traditional, etc.) and note the effects over the weeks, crossreferenced with your own symptoms and a lot of research online.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Dusty

Zangelbert Bingledack

Well-Known Member
Aug 29, 2015
1,485
5,585
Just finished an 8-day water fast. That's 8 days of eating nothing at all and drinking only water.

You might think it would be a harrowing experience, and I'd feel weak and tired, but 90% of the time I was up and active, walking, running, swimming, and writing posts. I flew to the tropics for a few days to get more sun and ocean water exposure (minerals absorb through the skin) midway through. Walked/hiked at least 10 miles a day with no tiredness, just some occasional lightheadedness.

You also might imagine it's this horrific time of deprivation, but let me tell you - as a huge food lover with a passion for rich and heavy food - after the first 2-3 days it's mostly just a time of fun bouncing around where food doesn't usually seem that interesting unless you're directly and persistently exposed to it.

Your body rests the very taxing process of digestion and instea goes through its list of healing priorities day by day, the list it was saving for the next fasting period that, again, for most people never comes.

There is some hard stuff along the way, mind you, especially for those who have health issues.

All in all, besides the annoying restriction that you cannot drink alcohol, it becomes largely like normal life. You can exercise, work, think, focus for long periods, socialize, have sex, travel, etc. It's very freeing not to be tied to mealtimes. I'm convinced fasting is as natural to humans as is sleeping, but almost no one *ever* fasts - and the modern world is riddled with the health consequences.

Now each day various detox effects do come up, like back pains, rashes, etc. It will vary from person to person, but it's like each thing that happens is being cured. For example, I had some persistent shoulder pain for a few months, and during the fast it flared up for a day, but since then it has completely healed. Many people report similar experiences. My vision also improved a lot, and my tonsils shrunk to half their old size. I often felt like a teenager with that random energy to jump around. Sprinting along the beach in the mild January sun was euphoric.

Some of the universal benefits of these extended (up to 3-week) water fasts include a sustained rise in growth hormone and testosterone, massive stem cell production, "taming" of overactive white blood cells (which cause inflammation of all kinds, from joint pain to asthma to IBS to gingivitis), improved metabolism, fat loss (but only if you need it), scar removal, muscle gain(!) (low-quality muscle tissue will be consumed, but in the weeks after the fast if you eat well and work out, the muscle and especially strength gains can be dramatic), insomnia remission (though at first it can get worse), and on 10+ day fasts people report major psychological improvements, moles, skin tags, cysts, etc. falling off, and a bunch of other things I'm not thinking of.

There are a lot of great videos on Youtube of people doing anywhere up to 30-day (or longer) fasts and finding amazing results. Scar tissue gets eaten, acne gets obliterated, parasites exit in the stool, major diseases cured, the list is endless. I can recommend more,but for starters this one is particular interesting:


By the way, fasting is especially easy to start if you are already in ketosis and already doing daily intermittent fasting (*don't eat less; eat bigger meals less often* and don't listen to the advice of Dr. Kellogg (the politically well-connected guy who invented Corn Flakes) that breakfast is the most important meal of the day). Practice one-day, then two-day, then three-day fasts before attempting longer ones and always consult a physician for longer fasts or if you have an existing medical condition.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Dusty

Dusty

Active Member
Mar 14, 2016
362
1,172
By the way, fasting is especially easy to start if you are already in ketosis and already doing daily intermittent fasting (*don't eat less; eat bigger meals less often* and don't listen to the advice of Dr. Kellogg (the politically well-connected guy who invented Corn Flakes) that breakfast is the most important meal of the day). Practice one-day, then two-day, then three-day fasts before attempting longer ones and always consult a physician for longer fasts or if you have an existing medical condition.
I can confirm that eating big meals less often is great (even only one meal per day), and it's the exact opposite of what it's usually believed.
I've never been able to fast past two days mark for practical reasons (not for physical reasons) and mostly for laziness, but I have found many benefits anyway in them.

Thanks for sharing your experience Zanglebert!
 

Mojura

Member
Jun 16, 2020
36
2
It's great that you could afford to live a happy and carefree life, but not all people can avoid the stress of life's circumstances.
 

Goldshaper

Member
Jan 17, 2021
28
2
Yes, stress can haunt us every day, but even here everything depends on us, on our personal perception and attitude to life.