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How to Live Forever in Five Easy Steps

What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it; boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
-- Johan Von Goethe

In the next few decades dramatic life extension techniques will be coming. If you make it to see them, they may be able to get you through three or more decades to the end of aging.

Next time you go out, look around - the first immortals may be walking there among you, the small children almost certainly in our opinion. Our mission is to help you be one of them. The plan is to take advantage of the knowledge available today - which is more than you might think - to greatly increase your chances of living longer, and in some cases slow down the aging process itself, so that you will be in good health and good spirits when the more dramatic life extension techniques arrive.

Why do we believe that the end of aging is so near? Primarily because what we believe to be its cause - telomere shortening - has finally been discovered.

But in addition to this, this is our starting point today:

  • Designs for replacing our organs cell-by-cell, through repetitive injections of youthful stem cells or of our own cells with extended telomeres, are being laid out.1
  • In Pro-Cardiaco Hospital in Rio de Janeiro areas of dead heart tissue have been successfully regenerated by stem cells from the patient's bone marrow, avoiding the need for a transplant.2
  • This mouse:

    lived to be 5 years old - 160 mouse years - because this anti-aging scientist:

    figured out how to do it.3
  • We have uncovered some of the critical gene expression patterns associated with the dramatic life extension benefits of Caloric Restriction and we have found a molecule - Resveratrol - that switches those genes on.4
  • We have found the enzyme - telomerase - that can immortalize human cells in vitro by maintaining telomere lengths in them. The gene that codes for this protein has been isolated, skin cells have have been immortalized by ansfection by that gene. The world is waiting to see what will happen if we can maintain telomere lengths in vivo.5

And this is our trajectory: We are living in a century in which technical advances will come exponentially faster than the century before it. Think of the progress of the 19th compared to that of the 20th century. Now imagine that same exponential trend continued in this century. Of the great technological revolutions in history, the last one being the Information Revolution, the next one up, slated by some to be in the late 20s, will be the Biotechnology revolution, where we will have decoded most of the human genome and will have the ability to manipulate it, and through viral gene transfer, or gene therapy, change genes and gene expression throughout the cells of grown adults.

So hang on. Every ten years longer that you can live there will be an exponentially greater set of discoveries that can help you get through the next ten. Here are five things you can do to begin winning those decades over today:

Be exceedingly healthy

Strive not just to be healthy, but a model of uber-health. This will not slow down the aging process per se, but it could add decades your life. During 30 years in this century, extra time that you could be alive merely by being healthy, in which medical advances will accelerate far faster than in the 20th century, huge strides will be made in biotechnology (telomere biology in particular), nanotechnology and computer science that we believe will culminate in the end of aging as we know it.

Measuring overall health has traditionally been a vague proposition, especially when a heart attack for example often seemed to come out of the blue to affect apparently healthy people with normal cholesterol levels.6 This often led to the attitude that changing one's diet and lifestyle in the name of longevity was a lost cause. But the problem really was that a few decades ago we just did not know enough.

Now we can much better define a profile of optimal health, and understand how multiple factors, such as silent inflammation, glucose levels, methylation, body fat and blood pressure all dramatically influence your chances of falling victim to the biggest killers in industrialized nations. We recommend you work to consistently keep your biomarkers/behaviors within these optimal ranges:

Smoking   No
Weight   within 5% of optimal
Cholesterol
Total
LDL
HDL
Total/HDL ratio
Triglycerides

160-180 (mg/dL)
80 (mg/dL)
60 or more (mg/dL)
2.5 or less
100 or less (mg/dL)
Homocysteine (Methylation)   7.5 or less (umol/L)
hs-CRP (Silent Inflammation)   <1.3 (mg/L)
Fasting Glucose   60-80 (mg/dL)
Insulin   2-3
Blood Pressure
Systolic
Diastolic

120
80
Cortisol (Stress)   6.5 - 11.0
Fibrinogen (Blood clotting   <300 (mg/dL)
Exercise   yes :)

By doing this you will dramatically reduce your risk of heart attack, stroke, atherosclerosis, TMS/Syndrome X and Diabetes. For a more in-depth discussion of what these biomarkers mean, why they are important and what you can do to keep them in optimal ranges, see our overviews of blood sugar, glycation, silent inflammation, the brain and aging, stress, methylation and cardiovascular health.

Eat a primarily plant-based low-glycemic index (low carb) diet, give a high priority to getting a full sleep. Avoid toxins by eating organic and being picky with your consumer choices. The importance of the expression "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" cannot be overstated in the field of antiaging. Once the above biomarkers/behaviors above have been neglected for long enough to culminate in a heart attack or stroke, it is often too late. By being proactive about about your health, you can profoundly impact your future.

Exercise regularly. Even moderate exercise can make a tremendous difference in your life expectancy. In one study involving 13,344 participants, overall death rates for the medium exercisers were 60 percent less than those of the sedentary group7

Eat less

Hundreds of studies in a wide variety of species (other than humans) have shown that caloric restriction slows down the aging process by a surprising pricing 30% or more. If you have the dedication and constitution for it, it's the most powerful tool existing in today's antiaging arsenal. The Caloric Restriction Society is a great resource for learning more about CR, or getting peer support.

But you don't have to go to such extremes to benefit. Most cultures with long-lived populations, such as that on Okinawa, Japan, share a low-calorie diet in common. The inhabitants of Okinawa eat about 40 percent fewer calories than Americans, live to an average age of 82 years and are 80 percent less likely to suffer from breast and prostate cancers as well as heart attacks. 8

Finally, there is a lot of evidence now that Resveratrol mimics Caloric Restriction by activating the same gene - Sirt1 - that is activated under CR conditions. In animal studies, it has consistently extended average and maximum lifespan.

Manage Your Stress

Chronic stress, particularly related to a type A personality with anger, has been associated with much higher heart attack rates as well as a host of other aging related related diseases and of the rate of aging generally. Remember that your biggest goal in life is your health so try to prioritize things accordingly. For more, see our discussion on stress and aging.

Be safe

Accidents are the number five killer (responsible for 4.4% of all deaths) in America. Put a slip-proof matt under your shower, a railing on your stairs, practice exceedingly safe driving habits, be wary of driving a small car and generally put safety first. Here is a list of the most common causes of accident-related deaths in the US (in 2002),9 so that you might know what to watch for:

  • 44.3% (1) Motor vehicle (MVA)
  • 17.8% (2) Falls
  • 13.0% (3) Poison,liq/solid
  • 3.9% (4) Drowning
  • 3.4% (5) Fires, Burns,Smoke
  • 3.1% (6) Medical/Surgical Complication
  • 1.5% (7) Other land transport
  • 0.8% (8) Firearms
  • 7.8% (9) Other (nontransport)

Protect your telomeres

Regardless of the theory of aging to which you subscribe, the correlation between shortening telomeres and diseases of aging is now undeniable. For a great discussion on this topic, see this link from Oprah's website.

Our Telomere Guard product is targeted at slowing down telomere shortening and is based on a number of publicly published studies showing dramatic results in achieving this both in vitro and in vivo. Terminalia Chebula, Carnosine, Omega-3s, Purslane and Asc2P also all show great promise in slowing down telomere shortening. TA-65 has been proven in two major in vivo studies to actually lengthen critically short ones - a feat never before accomplished in human history.

We actually believe that aging is by design and that telomere shortening is the primary mechanism by which that design is carried out. You can read more about why we believe that here. Or, even better, you can read this book:



And if you're a glutton for punishment but a lover of the truth - the hard, painstakingly referenced truth - you can read this book:

If you agree with us about the telomere theory of aging, then you would agree that nothing could be more important in combating aging than preventing telomere loss, both in somatic cells and adult (non-embryonic) stem cells which lose telomere lengths more slowly, but do nonetheless.

The true Fountain of Youth will come, we believe, when we can maintain the telomere lengths throughout all the cells types in the body, at lengths typically associated with that of, say, a 30 year-old, preferably by periodically extending the telomeres in those cells. Taking Telomere Guard is a far cry from that vision, and relatively unexplored at this point, but it is the first step.

But however we get there, and however you get there, we hope you begin your journey, if you have not already. There was an 18 year window between the day penicillin was first discovered and when it was routinely administered to prevent death from infection.10 And there will be most likely a few decades separating the discovery of the fountain of youth and its widespread recognition as such. We want to be with you, providing products and services to help you along, every step of the way, making sure that you see this century's Penicillin - and that you are one of the early adopters.

See you on the other side,
-The Terraternal Team

 
References1
  • 1. Amesisen, J. C. On the origin, evolution, and nature of programmed cell death: a timeline of four billion years. Cell Death & Differentiation Apr;9(4): 367-393; Shay, M. E. Transplantion without a Donor. Dream: The Magazine of Possiblities Children's Hospital Boston, Fall 2001;
  • 2. Kurweil, Grossman. Fantastic Voyage. Rodale Press. Page 222.
  • 3. Dr. Andrzej Bartke did the opposite of what many would have done. Instead of increasing production of Growth Hormone, as it has gained a lot of attention lately as an anti-aging hormone, Dr. Bartke targeted the gene that codes for it and knocked it out. This slowed down the growth cycle, and the cycle of cell division throughout the mouse's body, which aligns strongly with the telomere theory of aging - that degenerating cell function due to telomere loss attendant to cell division is the cause of aging.
  • 4. Sirt1 is the name of the gene that begins the cascade of gene expression changes associated with CR in humans. Sinclair has demonstrated in rats that when the Sirt1 gene is activated, lifespan is increased, but CR does not increase it any further. Conversely, knocking out the Sirt1 gene eliminated any beneficial effect of CR.

    Sinclail et al. Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high-calorie diet. Nature Nov 2006, 337-342.
  • 5. Recently the lifespan of mice was increased by 26% by increasing the general telomerase expression throughout the body of the mouse. The study did not measure the telomere lengths in all cells in the body to determine the exact effect on the telomerase expression increase.
  • 6. See Protein Predicts Heart Disease Better than Cholesterol.
  • 7. N. Blair et al 1989. "Physical fitness and all cause mortality". JAMA. Nov;262: 2395-2401
  • 8. Miller, Phillip. The Life Extension Revolution, May 2005, pg 324.
  • 9. National Vital Statistics Report, Volume 50, Number 15 (September 2002)
  • 10. In 1928 Dr. Fleming discovered penicillin. The general public did not gain access until 1946. Life Extension Foundation. Disease Prevention and Treatment Expanded Fourth Edition, 2003, Page ix: "The Delay In Recognizing Penicillin".