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Do You Care About a Longer Healthier Life?
David Sinclair is a Leading Scientist on Aging at Harvard
David A. Sinclair, A.O., Ph.D. is a Professor in the Department of Genetics and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School. If you have any interest at all in living a longer, healthier life, this short TED talk is a must see! Dr. Sinclair does a magnificent job of taking a very complex subject and boiling it down to the key points that can make sense for laymen. As he says, chronic diseases and aging are driven by the same epigenetic (gene regulating processes) that feed into two master, metabolic, epigenetic switches—mTOR and AMPK.
Both switches are required for fetal and childhood survival. mTOR coordinates food supply with growth. When there is no food, AMPK activates genes required for the child to survive. AMPK mobilizes fat and muscle to provide the energy needed for the heart and brain to work until food is available again. This system works perfectly in children to develop young, healthy adults.
Once you are grown, switching on mTOR and switching off AMPK makes you age faster and develop chronic disease more rapidly. Eating switches on mTOR. Intermittent fasting switches on AMPK. AMPK continues to be the survival switch throughout our lives. This is the new frontier in medicine and we know enough about how it works to live longer healthier lives now. Even if we are ill with a very high risk condition like obesity with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease, best treatment practices can prolong our lives and put off diabetic complications like heart attack and stroke by eight years. That is proof positive that Dr. Sinclair’s concepts can work now.
The diagram below shows how this works in diabetes and related cardiovascular conditions. Diet, exercise, intermittent fasting, metformin, and medications like Jardiance switch on AMPK and switch off mTOR directly. The medications in the green boxes and stopping smoking indirectly do the same thing. Combining these interventions is can be called best practices, precision medicine, molecular medical management etc. Clinicians call it optimal medical therapy (OMT) and it is much more effective than the care that most people receive. Best of all, these medicines are all generic, proven, and inexpensive. That is what Slow Aging and Delay Chronic Disease is all about.
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