How I Plan to Reach 110 Years of Age

It’s strange. At 61 years old, according to statistics and common knowledge, I’m supposed to be getting to the point where age-related diseases start to get me. Aside from the usual, dreaded ones like cancer and heart disease, there’s also obesity, arthritis, and sarcopenia waiting for me. And I’m supposed to feel tired and out of it.

But I don’t feel old at all. While comparisons are difficult, when I was 18, I was out-of-shape and smoked cigarettes, and I certainly feel better now.

My hair is even getting darker. (I should write a separate post on that.)

So, far from feeling like I’m about to hit old age, I feel like there’s no reason I can’t get another 50 years out of my brain and body.

One often reads about centenarians and how they reached that age. The vast majority I would characterize as lucky: they have the right genes.

Most of them appear to have done little in the way of health interventions. The longest-lived person ever, Jeanne Calment, who died at the age of 122, smoked cigarettes most of her life. That’s not to say that some haven’t inadvertently done some good things for their health; for instance, when you read of someone who eats bacon and eggs every day but avoids donuts, or only eats one meal a day instead of eating around the clock.

Jack LaLanne, fitness buff extraordinaire, reached 96. His brother Norman, who apparently didn’t much take care of his health at all, made it to 97.

But did Jack LaLanne do everything right? While he certainly did many things right, he was fond of juicing, which adds a lot of sugar if it’s fruit juice, he took liver tablets, which are high in iron, and he ate a low-fat diet. Not criticizing him at all, but one must have proper knowledge, and he was mainly flying by the seat of his pants, or so it appears.

Hopefully we have a little better knowledge now. We also have to keep an open mind to new things, and to revise our beliefs if necessary. (Harder to do than it looks.)

So how do I plan to make it to 110? Here’s how.

Weightlifting

Muscle loss begins at age 30 (though barely perceptible then) and by the time someone is 80, they’ve typically lost half their muscle. Muscle loss leads to insulin resistance, obesity, and debility.

To live healthily to an old age, it’s essential to build and keep muscle, and to keep fat tissue off.

The average old person is, physically, a mess, with lost of muscle loss and plenty of fat tissue to replace it.(1) Too much fat is detrimental to long life.(2)

Low-carbohydrate paleo diet and intermittent fasting

High-carbohydrate diets speed aging through insulin and IGF-1 signaling. Low-carbohydrate diets, and intermittent fasting, slow aging. Fasting results in improved mitochondrial function and number, making it strongly anti-aging.

Paleo diets avoid destructive food elements even more so. Omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils, for instance, and sugar.

So I’m planning to maintain a low-carb paleo diet, with intermittent fasting days, the rest of my life.

Polyphenols

Polyphenols are plant-derived chemicals found abundantly in coffee, tea, chocolate, red wine, fruits (especially berries) and vegetables.

They are associated with markedly better health and lower death rates. They extend life in lab animals.(3)

I’m covered. I have no intention of ever giving up coffee, tea, and red wine. Or chocolate. I also supplement with resveratrol, green tea extract, and curcumin, all of which are polyphenols.

Iron

Iron accelerates aging, leads to heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and infections, and lots of other nasty things. I’ve lowered my ferritin  to, at last check, 77, and plan to go lower. Keeping iron low is the most underrated factor in health. Read my book, Dumping Iron, to find out the several ways you can keep iron in the low normal range.

Vitamin D, magnesium, fish oil, and zinc

Fortunately, vitamin D is now no longer as obscure as it was just a few years ago. It is a must for avoiding premature death.

Magnesium is the nutrient most people are most likely to be deficient in, and it’s required for good health. It prevents sudden cardiac death, raises T levels, and promotes mental health.

Fish oil, with its high content of omega-3 fatty acids, helps prevent heart disease and keeps your brain in working order.

Zinc is important for immune function, and can reverse thymus atrophy, an important cause of immune decline in older people.

Sense of purpose

Here’s where we come to a more nebulous input. Too many older people, but especially the men, appear to have little sense of purpose, and use their time watching television or with other aimless pursuits. Forget about retirement. Read good books, write, lift weights, start a business, go into politics – anything but the dreaded years of sitting on your backside and watching yourself head towards death.

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PS: Check out my Supplements Buying Guide for Men

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32 comments
Tuba says April 27, 2016

Jack LaLanne was also a chiropractor and as such I suspect he did not get the pneumonia shot, and it was respiratory failure caused by pneumonia that took him out.

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Arren Brandt says April 27, 2016

Best of luck. Treatments that at least will prolong healthspan, and more speculatively, prolong human lifespan are just around the corner:
1. Liz Parrish looks like she “did it” with the whole telomere thing, a bit too early but if it works it can be done on a larger scale soon. Other gene edits are also looking good (boosting autophagy might be possible).
2. Clearing senescent cells partially has now been achieved, some people on Longecity have already tried to clear senescent cells using the Dasatinib+Quercetin combination. Both substances are already cleared for human use and you only need to take it once or twice.
3. Rebooting the Thymus with a single injection has already been done in mice and rats, it was pretty easy as these things goes. Losing the immune system is a big part of aging. Who knows what happens to a 70 year old with fully functioning immune-system? Nobody knows. We do know it plays a very active part in our anti-aging program for younger people so getting it back would be nice.
4. Glucosepane (sugar debree that clogs us up) has finally been synthesized in large amounts, soon enough someone is going to find an enzyme that breaks it, that would be a tremendous thing as glucosepane plays a central part in aging.
https://www.fightaging.org/archives/2016/01/the-present-state-of-progress-towards-clearing-glucosepane-cross-links-a-contributing-cause-of-degenerative-aging/
http://hplusmagazine.com/2016/04/19/senolytics-seek-destroy/
http://www.med.monash.edu.au/sobs/news/2014/rebooting-the-immune-system.html

It will be a long time before this stuff passes all regulatory hurdles, the FDA don’t give a shit about your death so for those who need it soon it will be wise to look at over-seas treatments and doing a lot of research on your own.

Worst of all, these treatments will take a huge cut out of todays big pharma business, they might fight it with tooth and nails once they realize what poor prospects their statins and chemo-therapy kits will have in a world of rejuvenation treatments.

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    P. D. Mangan says April 28, 2016

    Arren, thanks for that. Is this the study you were referring to on thymus rejuvenation? http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0966327414000781 Iy used a drug called Lupron.

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      Arren Brandt says April 28, 2016

      There have been multiple studies on mice, rats I think and some primate studies that I have not read. The site Fightaging.org has provided a recurrent coverage of thymus restoration science.

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garymarHIT says April 28, 2016

Also, always wear your seat belt in the car, and don’t bicycle on busy streets!

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Andreas says April 28, 2016

“Muscle loss begins at age 30 (though barely perceptible then) and by the time someone is 80, they’ve typically lost half their muscle.”

While likely for the preponderance of the population. I suggest that nothing in either biology or physics makes this inevitable starting at age 30.

People begin losing muscle at age 30, because they stop placing demands on that muscle. One can easily add muscle mass after 30. Actually at any age.

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    P. D. Mangan says April 28, 2016

    Andreas, I agree. Much of muscle loss and anabolic resistance may be due to nothing more than being sedentary.

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José Carlos says April 28, 2016

I agree with Andreas. Actually, I’ve added some muscle after 60! Not much, but still enough to notice.
Now, please post sbout your darkening hair. I’m in the same boat.

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    P. D. Mangan says April 28, 2016

    Interesting, José Carlos, to what do you attribute your darkening hair? As for adding muscle after 60, it’s perfectly possible and in fact I think anabolic resistance is a phenomenon mainly of sedentary people.

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      José Carlos says April 29, 2016

      Oh, I’m sorry, P.D., but my statement was not clear enough. When I said I was in the same boat, I meant to say I, too, wanted to find a way of darkening my hair. short of dyeing it. My hair is grey on the top and white on the sides and back. It isn’t getting any whiter these days, at least not in a way that I can notice, but it isn’t darkening, either. So I return the question to you: what do you think is making your hair darker, P.D.?

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Arnie McKinnis says April 28, 2016

Your last point – A Sense of Purpose – that one may be the single biggest thing keeping you alive throughout your entire life. Retirement? What is that anyway. My Grandad lived to almost 90 (believe he was 87 or 88) – he retired from his job at the age of 65. After that, he tended his 2 acre garden, did woodworking, took care of a couple grandchildren in his home, took care of his extended family by doing odd-jobs that needed done (I remember him coming to our house, stayed a couple weeks to help strip paint and refinish woodwork). He was busy.

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    P. D. Mangan says April 28, 2016

    Arnie: In the book The Long Walk, the author writes about being taken to the Gulag. The last 100 miles, the prisoners had to walk through the snow, and many of them just died. The author was determined to live, and determined to escape, which he ultimately did. It was his will to life that kept him going when others gave up.

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Shaq says April 28, 2016

PDM – You need to add one more item to your list: Invest well! Or marry well. Or inherit well. If you’re gonna live that long….

Somewhat more on topic, I went to an Alzheimer’s “event” today. The numbers are depressing. What was most interesting is that the research is completely focused on a drug or therapy. I wonder how much more bang for the fundraising buck they would get by emphasizing your Six Step process as a preventative measure….

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    P. D. Mangan says April 28, 2016

    Shaq, excellent point – I have little hope that Social Security will last very long, and I don’t fancy sleeping under a bridge.

    An acquaintance of mine in his 70s has a wife with early Alzheimer’s, and she’s in a drug trial. I’ve told him about iron, fungal infections, and Alzheimer’s, and he seemed like he couldn’t care less. It’s just drugs and doctors. Sad, especially when curcumin and coconut oil might fix her right up.

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      José Carlos says April 29, 2016

      Shaq is right, of course, Yet, three more things come to my mind when I think about a long life:
      1. Teeth. How well can you keep your natural teeth into old age? I’d hate to have to use a denture, but that seems to be the fate of almost every person over 100.
      2. Climate, It’s essential for you to live in a place where the climate is comfortable rather than extreme. Not too cold, not too hot, but temperate. And, if possible, with little pollution.
      3. Isolation and loneliness. Most of your friends and relatives will probably not strive to live very long, so in old age you may find yourself deprived of good company.

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        arren brandt says April 29, 2016

        Most people ruin their teeth with carbohydrates and lacking oral hygiene. If you still loose a teeth or two due to traumatic occlusion those can be replaced with crowns or titanium implants.

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Timo Fischer says April 28, 2016

Fantastic post Dennis! I can’t say how lucky I am to have found your Site at an early age, because of that I now know how bad Iron is and that donating blood is in fact a great thing to do for a man (which I wouldn’t have done otherwise) I also know which supplements I absolutely have to take in order to live a more healthy life. To sum it up, if you are interested in longevity and living a healthy life then RogueHealthandFitness is one of the best places to learn about that, period!

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    P. D. Mangan says April 28, 2016

    Timo, I appreciate your kind words! Between reading the scientific literature and just looking at the people around me, there’s no shortage of material for my writing. For anyone looking in who doesn’t know Timo, he’s an admirable young German man who is on the move and making a name for himself.

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Mike says April 28, 2016

Is there any info on the longevity of people who’ve had heart surgery? I’m 37. I had an aortic root aneurysm fixed with a valve sparing David’s procedure. My grandfather is 82, has diabetes and had a bypass over a decade ago, and he’s still ticking but has massive muscle loss.

I’m in good shape: a lean 190lbs with a cool scar running the length of my sternum. I stand at 6 foot even. I lift weights, eat right and supplement (thanks to this site) and donate blood. I have an active sex life. The surgeon told me the graft used to replace my aortic root has long term durability.

Thoughts?

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    P. D. Mangan says April 28, 2016

    Mike, I don’t think I could say. I assume that the aortic problem was genetic? If so, then you would seem to good to go. Surgery itself – no matter what the surgery – is stressful, but if you’ve recovered and feel well, then head on the road to 110 – or longer.

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FormerlyBigFatGuy says April 28, 2016

I know what you mean, Dennis. I am 64 and keep waiting for old age to kick in. I just got back from riding another 25 miles on my bike and I am not tired at all. I don’t know if it is the supplements, the low-carb diet, exercise, genetics, or all of the above, but, damn, I’m healthy.

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Laguna Beach Fogey says April 29, 2016

I follow most of these practices already, thanks to your writings. Supplementing with Magnesium has been the biggest improvement.

Have you seen any changes in hair growth and’or hair quality? Not balding yet, but I’m trying to plan ahead.

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    P. D. Mangan says April 29, 2016

    LBF, my girl insists that my hair is thicker on top now, but I’m having trouble seeing it, seems quite thin to me. So, nothing but getting a bit darker. As to baldness prevention, I’m afraid I’m at a loss. I understand that before quite recently, hardly any Japanese were bald.

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Jokah Macpherson says May 1, 2016

I think my dad is likely to be a centenarian. He just turned 81 and still runs a part-time tax business, builds furniture as a hobby, and plays tennis at the local health club. He is at close to the best weight of his adult life and still has a full head of hair that isn’t quite completely gray. He had a hip replacement a couple years back but it went fine and has added a couple decades to his mobility. Oddly enough, he never got into weight training at all, but he gets enough physical activity with the carpentry that it doesn’t seem to matter. Other than good genes, I think his best practices are lots of coffee and a sense of purpose in his daily activities. He keeps his mind sharp with a lot of reading as well.

Although he isn’t quite to the point where all his friends are dying off, he does have to listen to them gripe about their health problems without having any stories of his own to tell.

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Heh says May 3, 2016

My dad is 86 and still going strong. I attribute his longevity to the power of evil. He drains the life force from everyone around him. He has buried four wives, all of whom he cheated on. It has always been awesome to be him!

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jay says May 3, 2016

Nice article, thanks! I recently discovered darren schmidt channel on youtube, he has a lot of good health videos imo, seems to give good non-mainstream advice. Videos on heart disease and beriberi are esp interesting

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Guy says May 3, 2016

Have you ever researched the topic of DNA repair?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC210336/

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    P. D. Mangan says May 4, 2016

    DNA repair proceeds from several healthy interventions, those that cause hormesis – fasting, exercise, resveratrol, etc. Also lengthening telomeres causes DNA repair.

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Paloma says May 4, 2016

Hello P.D., I am sure you will reach 110 years. You are in the right path, and you know it . I also plan to be here to watch it! This blog is so inspiring! Even though I am a woman 🙂

I also feel much better than when I was 18, when I used to smoke, eat a lot of sugar, cereals and fruits and the exercise I did was just running. I am still very young (38) and have plenty of energy. What surprises me is that many of my friends (the ones that do not work out) feel old and believe that they are running downhill without brakes and nothing can ever done about it. Perfect functional males in their last thirties long for their small children’s muscled torsos, when they are still perfectly capable of changing their body! Some of them are even taking pills for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure! And they say that they do not have time to cook and eat well or change habits!
This confirms me that the first organ to age is the mind, and once it is damaged, nothing will rejuvenate it.

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    P. D. Mangan says May 4, 2016

    Thanks, Paloma. I see the same thing: most people will make little effort to change – and the deterioration starts early.

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bigmyc says May 6, 2016

I do weightlifting. I also do IF, sometimes everyday with an eating window of 1 hour (a single meal). However, I can’t seem to do both. It just doesn’t provide enough calories for me, it seems, no matter how many calories that I can cram into myself for that single meal…and let’s face it, feasting is one thing but gorging is not so enjoyable anyhow.

So, is there something that I’m missing? I suppose I could eat highly fatty items like avocados or cream cheese (or avocados with cream cheese) to keep the autophagy and HGH going but is there a more practical way to fast and weight train?

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