Dear Future Centenarian,

Three weeks ago, I told you about a health challenge and that I would send you details. There’s a health and longevity lesson here for you. Two in fact, so read on.

I spent decades tinkering with my diet. A few months ago, I found myself growing weaker and weaker. Then I suddenly started shedding weight that I couldn’t afford to lose. Within weeks, I was bedridden almost all day, every day.

Did I have cancer? Another deadly disease? I got extensive bloodwork to see if it would turn up anything and an order for a full body CT scan to detect possible cancer or an organ disorder.

I waited an agonizing 11 days for my lab results to arrive during which time I kept sliding downhill to the point where we were planning for possible hospice care in the event my bloodwork and CT scan did not turn up a fixable cause. This was Christmas season of all times.

Finally, when I got my labs, Prof. Joe Carrington rushed to my rescue… and most likely saved my life.

During a discussion, I told him “When I got sick…” He corrected me by telling me I should say “When I got myself sick.”

He found, after reviewing my labs, that I created a perfect storm that led to my condition by medically overcompensating for a hypothyroid condition which led to an extreme hyperthyroid diagnosis. And here is a contributing culprit that made my symptoms so dangerous:

First, some background:

I tend to be a bit of a fanatic about my diet, and really got carried away the past ten or more years. I tried paleo for a long time with low to moderate animal protein intake.

Then I eased into veganism after blending veganism with paleo. There’s actually a name for that – “Pegan Diet.”

It does include animal products, but only free-range and of course strictly organic, which I adhered to for two decades. But I eventually eliminated animal protein and continued avoiding grains and legumes.

Then I got lectin conscious, avoiding nightshade plants and most fruit. Finally, I continued fasting one day a week until I switched to intermittent fasting, not eating 17-18 hours a day by eliminating breakfast.

My dietary constraints became so extreme that I had a hard time finding meals I could eat without guilt even in my favorite restaurant, one famous for healthy eating. In fact, when I did find that menu item gem, I would usually ask the servers to modify it to conform with my restrictions… It got crazy.

Joe told me the way I ate (except for the fanatical tweaks I gradually adopted over the years) was the way most people should eat because most are overweight.

But I was lean all my life and gradually got skinny. And then when My thyroid spiraled out of control, my body was burning calories faster than I was ingesting them. I wasted away until I almost looked like I was in a concentration camp.

Joe said I was dying and would have if I didn’t reverse the path I was on.

Fortunately, Prof. Carrington is a genius. He knows more about medicine and nutrition than any doctor I know, and I know some of the best in the world due to my extensive involvement in the life extension community.

So, Joe prescribed medicine for me.

Not drugs… but the very foods I avoided for decades. The foods that could be poison for most overweight people were exactly what I needed to regain my strength and weight. He pointed out that since labs showed excessive thyroid medication, he immediately suggested I modify my thyroid meds to give us a chance to stabilize my hormones and restore the metabolic balance between my caloric expenditure and intake.

That means lots of healthy complex carbohydrates with stablizing glycemic indexes, specific animal proteins and other nutrients and formulations that would pack on the healthy pounds and muscle.

Pancakes with healthy syrup, white potatoes, baked beans, bread, cereals, certain dairy and even some nutritive sugar to stimulate insulin production that I avoided like the plague as most people should! Lots of good foods too. The good news is they taste GREAT. No wonder most people get overweight and sick from their diets. Hmm, do I dare order a pizza?

It is important to recognize that the one size fits all approach to medical nutrition and illness that the mainstream follows often does more harm than good and sometimes one must break the rules to get well! Thankfully, Prof. Carrington knows which rules to break and when!

This will be about a three-month diet. I’m a month in so far and already feel like a new man except for feeling full and satisfied from eating all the time. But there’s already more of me. Joe wants me to ease back into a healthier but more broad spectrum, liberal diet in a couple of months… without the fanaticism I slipped into over the years.

I do plan on returning to intermittent fasting too.

If you have ANY health issue, Joe could be your solution.

He has taught courses for inquisitive medical doctors for decades. His consulting fees are extremely affordable, and he will always give you more time than you pay for.

Contact him at carrington@post.harvard.edu with “Consultation” or something to that effect in the subject line so he doesn’t miss it. I receive nothing from introducing you other than the joy of helping another human being recover from what ails you.

More Life,
David Kekich

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Weekly News

Iron Deposition in the Aging Brain Correlates with Glymphatic System Function

Evidence to date suggests that disruption of the pathways by which fluid clears from the brain is important in the development of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and many others.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/iron-deposition-in-the-aging-brain-correlates-with-glymphatic-system-function/

AGEs Contribute to Disc Degeneration via Interaction with RAGE

Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are a form of metabolic waste, sugary compounds that can interact harmfully with structures and cells in the body. A few forms of persistent AGE can form lasting cross-links in the extracellular matrix that change the structural properties of tissues, contributing to the loss of elasticity in skin and blood vessels, for example.

Most AGEs are transient compounds, however, associated with the abnormal metabolism of diabetes and the chronic inflammation of aging. Dietary AGEs may also be influential on levels of AGEs in the body, though the size of this contribution is arguable – the body is quite capable of manufacturing significant amounts of AGEs even without a dietary component.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/ages-contribute-to-disc-degeneration-via-interaction-with-rage/

The Enormous Clinical Potential of Senotherapeutics for the Treatment of Chronic Kidney Disease

Today’s open access review paper is a high level look at what the newfound realization of the importance of senescent cells to aging and age-related disease means for the treatment of chronic kidney disease.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/the-enormous-clinical-potential-of-senotherapeutics-for-the-treatment-of-chronic-kidney-disease/

A Conceptual Shift to (Finally) Seeing Aging as the Cause of Age-Related Disease

The mainstream of the scientific community has for decade after decade followed an entirely incorrect strategy in the matter of aging, and it was only comparatively recently that this state of affairs was changed for the better by the advocacy of groups like the SENS Research Foundation, Methuselah Foundation, and their allies, alongside advances in the science of slowing and reversing aging that couldn’t be easily dismissed, much of that funded by philanthropy rather than established institutions.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/a-conceptual-shift-to-finally-seeing-aging-as-the-cause-of-age-related-disease/

Request for Startups in the Rejuvenation Biotechnology Space, 2021 Edition

For a few years now, I’ve suggested areas of opportunity in rejuvenation biotechnology in which either (a) it seems quite viable to start a company, given what I’ve seen going on in industry and academia, or (b) it would be very helpful should someone step up with an approach that works, given the need for a solution.

The longevity industry is still young, still small, and countless valuable programs in the aging research field remain waiting to be championed and carried forward to the clinic. The low-hanging fruit is still near all there to be claimed: what is possible is a far greater space than what is presently being attempted.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/request-for-startups-in-the-rejuvenation-biotechnology-space-2021-edition/

Partial Inhibition of Mitochondrial Complex I is Neuroprotective

Mitochondria are the power plants of the cell, packaging chemical energy store molecules through the activities of electron transport chain protein complexes.

Some forms of interference in the operation of these complexes can be beneficial, causing mild stress that provokes the cell into greater maintenance activities. This usually results in better cell function, greater cell resilience, and so forth, leading to better organ function and a slowing of the aging process.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/partial-inhibition-of-mitochondrial-complex-i-is-neuroprotective/

The Mitochondrial Transition Pore in Aging

A few papers in recent years have reviewed what is known of the role of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore in aging. Mitochondria are the power plants of the cell, and mitochondrial function is vital to cell and tissue function.

Unfortunately, mitochondria become dysfunctional with age, for a variety of reasons that have yet to be firmly traced back to specific root causes.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/the-mitochondrial-transition-pore-in-aging/

SENS Research Foundation on Recent Plasma Dilution Research

The SENS Research Foundation scientific staff here discuss the recent results demonstrating benefits to an aged metabolism resulting from dilution of blood plasma.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/sens-research-foundation-on-recent-plasma-dilution-research/

Considering the Ethics of Extending the Healthy Human Life Span

To suffer or become incapacitated is to diminish the utility of being alive.

The way to minimize this loss is to work towards removing the causes of suffering and incapacitation. The greatest such causes are medical, and of those, aging is by far the largest. Similarly, to die is to suffer the loss of all that one might have been and done after that time. It is a tragedy that any individual ceases to exist.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/considering-the-ethics-of-extending-the-healthy-human-life-span/

T Cell Response Varies Widely Between Individuals and is Important in Suppressing Cancer

Different individuals can have very different degrees of vulnerability to any given cancer, depending on how aggressively the adaptive immune system responds to that cancer.

Researchers here explore some of the mechanisms in T cells responsible for varying vulnerability to cancers – it many cases it is blind luck as to whether or not the T cell population is capable of immediately recognizing a specific lineage of cancerous cells.

That T cells are so important to the cancer response may explain why the age-related decline of the thymus correlates very well with rising cancer risk. The thymus is where thymocytes mature into T cells, but the organ atrophies with age, causing a progressive reduction in the number of new T cells entering the immune system. Those missing cells lower the odds of the immune system being able to recognize a specific cancer cell lineage as a threat.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/t-cell-response-varies-widely-between-individuals-and-is-important-in-suppressing-cancer/

Advocating the Use of Low Dose Ionizing Radiation as a Hormetic Treatment

Many forms of mild cellular stress produce benefits to health because they trigger the more efficient operation of cellular maintenance processes such as autophagy. That in turn causes better cell and tissue function, and thus improved health.

This stress response and benefit is known as hormesis, and has been robustly proven to take place for calorie restriction, heat, cold, low dose ionizing radiation, and numerous other environmental circumstances.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/advocating-the-use-of-low-dose-ionizing-radiation-as-a-hormetic-treatment/

A Review of Research into Intermittent Fasting and its Effects on Longevity

Intermittent fasting (such as alternate day fasting) is not as effective as calorie restriction (consistent reduction in calories every day) in extending life span in animal models such as mice, but it does have many of the same effects on health and longevity.

Even when total calorie intake is held consistent between intermittent fasting animals and controls, there are still benefits that accrue to the fasting animals. One might conclude that time spent in a state of hunger, with all of the signaling and changes in cell behavior that comes with it, is a meaningful component of the benefits derived from calorie restriction.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/a-review-of-research-into-intermittent-fasting-and-its-effects-on-longevity/

Mitochondrial Aging as a Contributing Cause of Sarcopenia

Mitochondria are the power plants of the cell, producing adenosine triphosphate (ATP) to power cellular processes. When mitochondrial function declines all cell functions are negatively affected as a consequence. Many age-related conditions clearly involve mitochondrial dysfunction, particularly in the most energy-hungry tissues, the muscles and the brain.

In addition to damage to the fragile mitochondrial DNA, some forms of which cause a small number of cells to become pathologically broken in ways that actively harms surrounding tissues, all mitochondria throughout the body become more worn and dysfunctional with age.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/mitochondrial-aging-as-a-contributing-cause-of-sarcopenia/

Supporting Evidence for the Hypothesis that NAD+ Upregulation Increases Cancer Risk

NAD+ levels in the mitochondria decline with age, and this is a proximate cause of reduced mitochondrial function. Approaches to increasing levels of NAD+ in aging cells have been shown to improve metabolism and mitochondrial function in mice, but the evidence is mixed in humans for there to be any meaningful effect on age-related conditions.

The common approaches to NAD+ upregulation, meaning supplementation with derivatives of vitamin B3, such as nicotinamide riboside, are about as effective as structured exercise programs in increasing NAD+ levels.

There is the suspicion that taking this shortcut – without adding all of the other metabolic effects of exercise – could increase the harms done by problem cells in the aging body, such as senescent cells and cancerous cells, by allowing them greater activity. The evidence is sparse for this to be the case, but it is a concern amongst researchers.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/supporting-evidence-for-the-hypothesis-that-nad-upregulation-increases-cancer-risk/

Suppression of Tyrosine Degradation Modestly Extends Life Span in Flies

There are a great many ways to influence cellular metabolism to modestly slow the pace of aging, but few of them are of that much interest from a practical point of view, as a basis for therapies that might meaningfully extend human life spans.

Read More https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2021/01/suppression-of-tyrosine-degradation-modestly-extends-life-span-in-flies/