Guide to Living Longer (Alex K. Chen)

I’ve written a previous guide at https://www.quora.com/What-can-I-do-to-live-as-long-as-possible/answer/Alex-K-Chen . (this is much more direct)
Supplements/Small molecules - The most promising supplements/drugs/small molecules/geroprotectors for longevity
Brain aging - How to reduce brain decline with age (or maximize mindspan) - #15 by AlexKChen
Maturity - https://www.quora.com/How-do-you-know-if-someone-is-mature-or-not/answer/Alex-K-Chen
Microplastics - How to reduce microplastics
All my posts on rapamycin.news || All my posts on crsociety.org => I cover WAY WAY more on these sites

[need to write more on how to organize the extended phenotype/ecosystem around oneself to max out one’s chances. Effective Altruism/80,000 hours have guides for maximizing impact, and there isn’t quite one for maximizing impact for longevity]

Resources to read: https://education.drgoodenowe.com/products/dr-goodenowe-s-educational-seminars, crsociety.org, livingthecrway.com (and book), Brad Stanfield, Peter Attia blog, Michael Gregor (has a heavy vegan/grain bias but usually leads in the right direction) | Which Epigenetic Clock Should I Use? A case study on clock limitations – TruDiagnostic™ | https://www.linkedin.com/in/doris-loh-31645a86/recent-activity/posts/ | https://blueprint.bryanjohnson.co/ | https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid02qJ572ygCJruuczZzjr4rkwki3DWMWSnzf5SAu8DjHgqqQ4gjStCkVCqpGduak3R2l&id=100004336143410&mibextid=qC1gEa

YouTube Channels: https://www.youtube.com/@LevelsHealth | https://www.youtube.com/@TruDiagnostic/videos | https://www.youtube.com/@PeterAttiaMD | https://www.youtube.com/@NutritionFactsOrg (yes I know many people hate on Michael Gregor, but aside from excess pro-grain bias and some cherry-picking, they are still in line with what’s pro-longevity most of the time) | Ira S. Pastor | Best Podcasts focused on Healthier Longevity and Geroscience (part 2) - Rapamycin Longevity News | https://www.youtube.com/@InsideTracker2 | https://www.youtube.com/@TheKalishInstitute | My biomarkers | Do Centenarians Die Healthy? An autopsy study - CR Science & Theory - CR Society Forum

TL;DR: This isn’t a full-time job, my regime does not feel strict or time-consuming to me and is way less strict than most athletes (b/c I don’t exercise much). 90% of the results come from diet -being ovovegetarian + avoiding ultraprocessed foods + mostly eating vegetables/tomatoes/legumes/MUFAs + rapamycin + acarbose + SGLT2 inhibitors (and staying tf away from plastic water bottles and hot fluids poured in plastic drinking cups) + drinking LOTS OF TEA [helps suppress appetite + running instead of walking gives you 80% of the results. Ray Kurzweil’s “Fantastic Voyage” is a great book to fill you up on the 80/20.

IF AI timelines are at their most aggressive, then it’s not just a question of living forever, but of staying pretty [or cute] forever (note that the “AGI => LEV” argument, while popular by Kurzweil and many AI/EA people, is still seen as an overly “handwavy” and unconvincing argument by many more established people in longevity [though with possible near-term-AGI, the question is now whether LEV chances are higher/lower than 50%, rather than us having a very small chance at it]). At minimum, it can partly rescue losing 15 years from going to the wrong public school (or having too many interests)

THE GOLD STANDARD: Lure Hsu, a 41-Year-Old Woman Who Looks 21, Is Freaking the Internet Out | Allure (or William Shatner)

Many many many people before me have written longevity guides (eg the nintil longevity guide). There is still a chance that what I write might be more important than what others have written before me. The reasons being (a) I seem to be more obsessed with this than most people are so this guide may be more of a persistent thing you want to keep looking up than all the other longevity guides, (b) I’m more willing to try anything than most people are, which allows for potential areas of expansion that others are unaware of. In terms of my precision-recall balance (compared to legit longevity guides), I am much higher on recall and somewhat lower on precision (more willing to consider experimental approaches than Jose Ricon - I edit 500 times after I post and can insert more references/confidence estimates in work spurts later) => have more breadth than anyone in the world, (c) there is a perceived sense where I might already be doing this thing better than anyone - despite having mitigating factors such as high-neuroticism/high-Eysenck-psychoticism and inattentive ADHD that make me not the best at fasting/exercise), (d) my weaknesses [esp those related to my central issue - ADHD] can easily be patched up for/delegated away once I’m taken more seriously and more socially integrated [I have ideas of how to delegate away + value my time to the most once/if I reach this stage]

Other guides have been written by Mike Lustgarten (great for measuring relevant biomarkers) and https://www.touchedwithaging.com/.

Giving someone 5-10 extra years of healthspan/healthy life/neuroplasticity can be (in and of itself) worth hundreds of thousands of dollars (at minimum) given salaries of the set of people you might know. Most people already start to show signs of aging by their mid/late 20s - this CAN be delayed.

One of the great perks of longevity is that doing things better than all others can alone get you 10-15 years of extra life relative to others, which means that spending 6 months obsessed with this can lead to insane returns. The future 100 years from now may be exciting like nothing else, so if you are able to delay some types of gratification (food-gratification can be easily substituted by the Internet/video games/research papers!), you may have a chance of seeing the literal transhumanist utopia that transcends all your prior values [sam altman says “AGI by the end of this decade…”].

Taking rapamycin + metformin + acarbose + SGLT-2 inhibitors may also get you in CR-ish similar states, though there are some effects of CR (eg reduced acetyl-CoA levels or reduced ROS from reduced ETC flux) that this combination may not simulate. Most of the smartest aging scientists i know are more bullish on rapamycin than metformin, though they synergize when taken together (metformin inhibits gluconeogenesis that rapamycin promotes). rapamycin.news/latest has guides on the latest drugs - SGLT-2 inhibitors have MUCH more potential for LS extension than metformin. The ideal dose of rapamycin is probably 15-20mg/every two weeks.

Slowing aging down is MUCH easier than age-reversal. The sooner you do it, the better (it is harder to precisely target interventions to “fix damage” where they are needed when cell entropy is higher, just as fatal complications from surgery are much more likely in a more aged individual).

Nutrition and glucose control

reducing caloric intake by 11% reduces DunedinPACE Pace of Afing by 0.41 years per 1 chronological year”.

The ideal calorie source is from beans + acarbose, or MUFAs from nuts/olives/EVOO (many studies show that the ideal calorie source is mostly carbs, though you want to avoid glucose spikes - hence the acarbose). Eat a high color palette of vegetables. Acarbose is cheap+easy to source.

Generally, diet >> exercise. Exercise does not slow aging. TruDiagnostic’s Ryan Smith even says that “excess exercise” (in athletes) accelerates DNAmage. Resistance-training reduces mortality up to ~60mins/week, then increases it at higher amounts.

Reducing calorie consumption (and esp protein consumption, AND restricting individual acids like methionine or isoleucine carry the strongest effects). You can also eat super-healthy (a diet full of carotenoids and several lbs of vegetables in the same way that Mike Lustgarten eats them) - which [especially when combined with rapamycin+empagliflozin+metformin] should get you much further than most people even if you are not calorie-restricted. AFAIK, there aren’t many studies done on animals that eat lbs of ultra-healthy vegetables each day (most studies feed animals shitty food). You do not need to eat grains - monounsaturated fatty acids or short-chain fatty acids (unroasted nuts, olives, avocados) are the healthiest source of primary energy on top of a diet primarily composed of fruits and vegetables - however - acarbose may make grains healthy. One doctor suggests a protein heavy diet + rapamycin (this demands an experiment) - protein stimulates mTOR which can be blocked by rapamycin, though protein is also subject to decomposition via nitrogeneous waste products that might not be great.

MUFAs: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5zXa4DLvjY&fbclid=IwAR2LjH3wSK4v2t_fDALnHpPYV17Z53rz3yfhiFz-8CWgKC8bhLIu6r5zfO4

Plant proteins > animal proteins (Low-PDCAAS proteins as a substitute for protein restriction? - General Health and Longevity - CR Society Forum ) b/c harder to digest and lower methionine. You want to maximize glycine to methionine/BCAA ratio

As a general rule, avoid (most) processed food (keto bread and salsa are exceptions). Many processed foods (fruit bred to be super-sweet semi-counts as processed) are incentivized to make you want to eat more of them (short-lived advanced glycation endproducts can act as appetite enhancers). If you want to make food tastier get raw/unprocessed food and add hot sauce/mustard/salsa or boil in an instant pot.

Guides to postmeal glucose- see https://archive.ph/75SVe and https://www.crsociety.org/topic/11748-hba1c-a-poor-measure-of-glucose-control-in-healthy-folks/?do=findComment&comment=17448 | Six ways metabolic health affects longevity - Levels | Normal Glucose Levels - The Ultimate Guide from Levels Health . Casey Means is great to follow (oatmeal often triggers vicious glucose spikes…) 88% of americans are metabolically unhealthy - to REALLY minimize mortality, you don’t want your glucose to spike above 135 even during meals.

Nutrients: Could You Be Getting Too Much of a Good Thing (from Supplements and Fortification)? | Optimising Nutrition | What Factors Influence Satiety? How Carbohydrates, Fat, Fibre, Alcohol, Sugar and Caffeine Affect Your Appetite. | Optimising Nutrition | https://public.tableau.com/app/profile/marty.kendall7139/viz/satietyindex-forecastdailyintakevsdietqualityscore/topdownwithoutcholesterol |

Watercress is the most nutrient-dense/filling vegetable.

A general guideline I use is to maximize volume to calorie ratio (aka, eat lots of vegetables - this is what Mike Lustgarten does). I don’t deal with hunger as well as some others who can fast like crazy. There is a long-term risk where too much fiber can cause substantial amounts of gastrointestinal stress in some people (a risk we know very little about given that there are very few people who eat 4+ lbs of vegetables each day), but one way to minimize it is to try lower stress vegetables like {tomatoes, cucumbers, mushrooms}. “Feeling good from feeling full” lasts MUCH LONGER than “feeling good from eating tasty food”. Water also helps you feel full + reduces calorie load. https://www.cell.com/cell-reports/fulltext/S2211-1247(22)00608-8 says that hunger itself is the mechanism for some of the hypothalamic/lifespan benefits of calorie restriction (which we still don’t know well), but this still does not negate the benefits of caloric dilution with high-antioxidant vegetables (they used 50% cellulose, which is nutrition-less relative to vegetables). What are your favorite low(er) calorie, low calorie-per-volume-ratio, or appetite-suppressing foods? - Rapamycin Longevity News. You can use ketone esters (eg from juvlabs) to suppress appetite (or have complete control over it).

Semaglutide/tirzepatide can drastically reduce appetite/calories consumed.

Scallops and sea squirts may be the healthiest non-vegan food (high glycine + taurine content + some omega-3’s) => they also don’t have a brain and don’t overeat like animals do. Fish low on the food-chain may also be part of the optimal diet, as pescitarians have been shown to live as long as vegetarians in longitudinal studies.

Hunger may explain part of the benefit of CR - https://www.cell.com/cell-reports/fulltext/S2211-1247(22)00608-8, and if you can function while being hungry - that’s great (note their caloric dilution mice used a diet of 50% cellulose).

Exercising while fasting. Exercising while mildly hypoxic - eg in Breckenridge

When eating out at restaurants, ask what cooking oil they use (oftentimes, it’s soybean/vegetable oil, which is omega-6 heavy - the worst possible cooking oil you can use). Canola oil is primarily MUFAs and is not as “bad” as “natural foods” people think it is (even Michael Rae thinks it’s okay). Best oils are MUFAs. Ideally you should avoid high heat/frying/roasting if possible (go for steaming/boiling/instant pots => steaming/acid also reduce AGE-formation from cooking methods), but a little bit of saute/low heat oil may not be that bad, esp if it is the only way to otherwise get you eating vegetables. Cold-pressed virgin olive oil is preferrable to more heated methods of processing them (non-virgin olive oil does not benefit longevity)

Repeated exposure to bitter-containing vegetables may acclimatize yourself to vegetables enough such that they taste amazing even when raw (at this point I am even fully capable of eating cabbage raw, if needed). Particularly important vegetables include parsley (has apigenin to inhibit CD38 + Myricetin), ones containing vasodilating allicins (onions, garlic, ginger) - sulfur is a HUGE antioxidant, cruciferous vegetables (fewest downsides of any), asparagus, kale (easily contaminated with pesticides). Mushrooms have ergothionine (which reduces brain aging!) - but button mushrooms have very little of it compared with oyster mushrooms. Organic strawberries are the healthiest fruit as they have vegetable-like calorie densities (also https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352396418303736 ) - HOWEVER - acarbose acts better on peaches/nectarines/mangoes (and peaches have very low calorie-densities). Spices are good, but avoid imported spices as they may be contaminated with heavy metals (overdoing some spices may also tax the liver). Some CR aficidianos go for consuming peels over consuming the entire fruit, as they have much higher nutrient/fiber to calorie ratios. Salsa is a great low-calorie seasoning to add to vegetables (dip carrots/celery in it). If your blood glucose spikes in response to certain food, it may be wise to take taurine+metformin+carnosine at the same time to reduce glycative damage. Taurine has a very short half-life of 1hr and may synergize with metformin.

Shirataki noodles are intensely filling for so few calories, but they all seem packaged in liquid in very plastic-y containers (do what you can to make them not packaged in horrible plastics). Solid plastic storage is far less of a concern than food put in liquids that touches super-flexible plastic containers.

Fermented soy products! Eat Natto, Live Longer? - The New York Times (dunk loose-leaf gyokuro tea into miso soup and eat it all!) Add miso (in glass containers) to soup stock (Amazon.com ) and microwave.

[food in gellan gum/carrageen can also be filling, especially when present in soups]

see EWG group for fruits/vegetables contaminated by organophosphate pesticides. Most fruits are more heavily contaminated by pesticides than vegetables. Apples/grapes/strawberries and kale/spinach/bell peppers seem to have uniquely high levels of multiple residue contamination. Organophosphates can disrupt axonal transport in neurons. Pesticide contamination IS relevant for longevity - https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0160412021006498?via%3Dihub . See older answer at https://www.quora.com/Is-organic-food-better-for-you-Is-it-better-for-the-environment/answer/Alex-K-Chen

Tomatoes and cucumbers are a great vegetable base for filling you up because they are super-easy-to-eat and low-bitterness.

Cauliflower rice can be used as a base and an amazing-tasting substitute for grain.

Vegetables may be safer to fry/roast than most other foodstuffs - they are low in protein so they tend to form less acrylamide (from asparagine) and carboxylmethyllysine (from lysine) and heterocyclic amines. Coffee is full of acrylamide and decreases mortality risk in spite of this.

Avoid refined grains (unless you have acarbose ready) - Eating more refined grains increases risk of heart attack, early death | ScienceDaily

[if you do eat grains, then whole bran steel-cut oatmeal is healthier than most other grains]. Corn is not the healthiest (you do NOT want to eat corn-fed [as opposed to grass-fed] farm animals) but it is still roughly healthier/lower GI than most grains and is okay in small amounts.

Hot spices are also a way to reduce appetite/hunger pangs (and capsaicin can be a potent anti-inflammatory).

Get a Levels CGM to test changes in blood glucose. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109707034444

Tea is great for people in general, but make sure the teabag is not full of microplastics. Looseleaf tea is best. You can also just get rid of the teabag and eat the tealeaves straight out of the bag (also great if you don’t want to pee too much after consuming eea)

Coffee also is great (it also induces autophagy too -Coffee induces autophagy in vivo - PMC ) and longevity studies seem to show that both tea and coffee contribute to longevity (in coffee’s case it’s especially interesting b/c light-roasted coffee beans often have acrylamide). More at Coffee linked to Longevity - #33 by AlexKChen - Rapamycin Longevity News

Most of the spices are great and some are the most potent anti-inflammatories known. Especially curry powder (and the spices used in chai). Combining spices is a good idea. Try to only use spices produced in “high-HDI countries” - spices from medium-HDI (or lower) countries are often more contaminated by heavy metal. Piperine from pepper is one of the healthiest spices EVER - combine with curcumin OR with B vitamins for reducing AGEs

Get to know the standard redox potentials (https://pubs.rsc.org/en/content/chapterhtml/2016/bk9781782620389-00001?isbn=978-1-78262-038-9 ). Metals/materials with lower redox potentials (eg Mg/Zn) are generally less pro-oxidant/damaging than metals/materials with higher redox potentials (eg Cu/Fe/Ni/Mn). There are some exceptions like silver/gold. The redox potential of the body/cell increases with age and is usually higher than is optimal (even though reductive stress can be a thing). RELATED - https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/vitamin-c-mitochondria-part-1-redox-5g-world-doris-loh/?fbclid=IwAR20Bvwr8683cw5KwnFDEa_qTyFqjUa3IFS3_3WGYMtRbLx8v1q9grf1sk0

I am not normally one to advocate eating animals (I am meat-averse because I am death-averse - I am not averse to eggs => and most longevity diets are heavily plant-based for mTOR/iron-related reasons), but if you are of the kind that will eat meat anyways, you can read https://twitter.com/Blagosklonny, Deep nutrition: why your genes need traditional food and https://fireinabottle.net/ points you out to sources… An Interview With The Planetary Health Diet’s Walter Willett is a good guide to what’s generally healthy on the % plant/% animal composition of foods (and he is one of the most well-regarded nutritionists). In any case, reducing portion sizes and avoiding processed foods is WAY more important than the vegetarianism vs meat-eating divide.

On vegetarianism being healthier - see section 4.2 of [ACC] Is Eating Meat A Net Harm? | Slate Star Codex

Lifestyle factors

On stress: https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2022.02.22.481548v2 shows why too much glucocorticoid stress is bad at cellular level (drastically increases oxidative phosphorylation, shrinks cell size, ages epigenetics + telomeres). This is an extreme level of stress (CR also increases cortisol). Glucocorticoids can be briefly anti-inflammatory but accelerate aging in other non-inflammatory ways.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41398-021-01735-7 . Stress is not inherently bad when coupled with a sense of control. When NOT coupled with a sense of control, it can cause terribly damaging effects.

The brown fat thread! How do you increase it + get it measured? Does it increase basal metabolic rate, or only the metabolic rate when cold? - Rapamycin Longevity News - on increasing brown fat. Cold exposure (VERY extensive thread).

The easiest way to get people who value their time to exercise: run rather than walk from point A to point B. Do anything you can to maximize energy levels/reduce irritability levels (exercise is so much easier when you don’t feel tired all the time)

Mike Lustgarten reports that 10K steps per day or like 7 km is optimal. Use exerwork cycling tables to cycle when working on a PC

Expose yourself to mild cold (< 19C) - Cool Temperature Alters Human Fat and Metabolism | National Institutes of Health (NIH) . Periodic cold exposure is great as long as you get mittens+socks to protect extremities.

Weight training helps for increasing perixosomal function, as does intermittent fasting.

Get an overnight sleep study - sleep apnea is surprisingly common and can lead to long-term increases in beta amyloid plaque accumulation.

Monitor retinal nerve fiber layer (RNFL) thickness in eye exams - they are the easiest way to measure inner cellular health easily, and changes in RNFL thickness highly correlate with brain decline.

https://www.getsava.com/shop/kikoko-sleep-mints is the perfect sleeping pill (CBD + THC + melatonin = extremely potent antioxidant concentration)

Wear N95/N99 masks when on the subways or near major roadways. Thomas Talheim has a blog (smartairfilters.com) showing that even low-levels of PM1/PM2.5 found in American cities (even NYC/Chicago) are enough to increase inflammation/irritability levels. Do not live within 300 years of a major arterial roadway (esp one populated by trucks or diesel-emitting vehicles). The best air quality is found in US/Canada/ocean-touching areas of Europe [Vancouver, BC is esp high]. Most of the pollution from automobiles may be from cars causing friction against the asphalt (this is where all electric-powered subway pollution comes from!!), which means that some protection against PM2.5 is necessary even when we transition to all-electric (the amount of PM2.5 emitted here scales nonlinearly with the speed by which the car touches asphalt). Check your city’s rating on IQair.com. The Supreme Court’s EPA ruling affects not only climate change, but also air pollution - Vox

Hardwood floors are healthier than carpet floors (esp b/c carpet floors emit more microplastics)

Get regular tracking of all metabolites/proteins (the more comprehensive the metabolite panel, the better - try to get metabolon or SomaLogic panels if you can, or panels used by the Wyss-Corey lab). I found out I was plasmalogen-deficient by getting OpenCures, and NAD+ deficient by getting a jinfiniti NAD+ test.

Get DEXA scans (dexafit) to track visceral/surface fat, muscle density and bone density over time (jarrow’s bone supplements may be a way to increase bone density).

Get a brain MRI every few years or so (to measure changes in brain volume). 7T over 3T if you can, but any resolution helps.

Get a spirometer to track changes in FEV1 over time.

Get a radiation detector for airplanes. Eg see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ufoxL-eDJQ . Some radiation is hormetic, and it’s unclear which level of exposure marks minimum risk (it could be that risk significantly increases after a certain pt). Chronic exposure to low-levels of radiation (eg living at high altitudes) seems to be hormetic. Small concentrated bursts of radiation exposure (eg being at the outskirts of nuclear blasts like Hiroshima, or X-rays) => it’s unclear if they’re good or not (there may be a range where they boost survival rates in those fortunate enough to not get cancer, but shrink survival rates in those who aren’t). Flight attendants get the worst of all worlds, but this may be b/c their sleep disruptions heavily interfere with DNA repair. When flying, avoid flying over the poles. https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-radiation-exposure-rates-in-radiation-units-per-second-of-various-activities-and-how-do-they-compare-with-the-radiation-exposure-rate-connected-with-a-higher-risk-of-cancer/answer/Alex-K-Chen

Try to do neurofeedback to calm a brain (esp do what you can to calm DMN). Get QEEG to see areas of your brain where you can see more work on. Meditation can help calm a brain down and make brain cells fire less - it can also decrease gray matter loss with age. Quieter brains decline less. There are many sham neurofeedback practitioners - try to get a licensed one if you can. https://qeegcertificationboard.org/business-directory/ . There are very exciting new developments in neurotech happening in the future (which will shorten feedback loops for meditation) => doing meditation really successfully [see nick cammarata] can give you an intense kind of self-control that gives you complete control over appetite/hunger, develop the self-control to eat only healthy food, reduce/reframe/redirect the pain from exercise/cold showers, massively increase your patience, increase your slow-wave-sleep, and have an extreme ratio of positive/negative ratio of emotions (if you don’t fail, it may be one of the most important pro-longevity interventions. There are extremely few people who meditate like bodhisattva while still having the time to stay grounded and up-to-date with modern science (also it’s easy to “forget” how to meditate) => so their statistics are not captured in papers showing benefits of meditation (extremes are more informative than the averages) => but future neurotech may make it far easier for a broader range of people to access the jhanas (see what Stephen Zerfas/Kathryn Devaney are doing).

Modafinil and caffeine are both antioxidant stimulants that suppress appetite (caffeine has SO many weirdly positive effects on longevity). Methylphenidate and Adderall also suppress appetite and increase energy, but may have neurotoxic effects (Adderall much more so than methylphenidate). There are preliminary studies on transplantation of neurons into Parkinson’s brains (grafts) but they are at their early stages and they still haven’t recaptured the right circuit.

Increase deep sleep. There are technologies to play brainwaves at you that can increase it (also play 40Hz to possibly clear out beta-amyloid) - but these technologies may not be developed for a while. [sleep trackers may be able to integrate with audio entrainment technology to possibly increase deep sleep in the far future]

Avoid iron (preston estep’s mindspan shows - being veg*n is usually enough). Donate blood if you’re male.

Try a vibrator machine to increase bone density.

Get your epigenetic age measured (see morgan levine’s interview with foresight institute). TruDiagnostic has the most ambitious plans and is most comprehensive

Friend/follow Doris Loh, Denis Odinokov, Matthew Lake on Facebook - follow the calorie restriction facebook group

HIIT, read Peter Attia, Rhonda Patrick, Karl Pfleger, read Ben Greenfield fitness, read SOME Dave Asprey (but don’t do everthing he does). They are not right on all accounts, and not aging-focused as I am, but still have more volume than most who write guides to not aging.

Get an adjustable curved desk if you can, and hold monitor at eye level (standing desks burn more calories and adjustable desks make you less “static”). Make sure monitor is always at eye level to minimize tension. See a posture specialist/physical therapist to align posture. https://nydnrehab.com is worth checking out.

Think about future trends and try to integrate yourself into them (eg try to think of a world where human-machine symbiosis is more robust than ever)

I have a guide for avoiding microplastics (see https://forum.longevitybase.org/t/how-to-reduce-microplastics/126/7 )

Do what you can to directly support/fund biotechnology research (especially the type of “tools development” that will make all biotechnology research faster, more open, less labor-intense, and automatable). Many papers written in the past may be re-written in a high-throughput (do ALL the seq’s) type of research. The research that really matters are the cell replacement/cell reprogramming/exosomes/chimerism papers.

OTHER longevity guides: Michael Rae, crsociety.org, livingthecrway.com have many guides. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO BE CALORIE-RESTRICTED TO FIND THESE USEFUL

Give moral support to biohackers and human guinea pigs - they get so much hate, but they produce so much data that is so valuable to other people, whether or not their interventions work. Encourage more people to do https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3298919/ for the public good.

Make sure you stay relevant/important long-run (so consume long content, try to vlog some portions of your life so future people [the people who will be MOST important in developing the technology to solve the longevity thing] ]will be able to see the “young version of you” and have higher motivation to “save you”)

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SOCIAL FACTORS:

Spending time with those who are visibly obsessed with longevity will help! I am far more on the diet than exercise side (as Matt Kaeberlein knows, diet is the only way to increase the cap on lifespan, not just healthspan), but the exercise side (esp HIIT side) will help too.

Having diverse friend groups (esp across age) will help insulate you against shocks that may increase correlated friend drift across multiple members of the friendgroup. You will need to be close friends with those who are decades younger than you because your similarly aged peers (and those up to 10-15 years younger than you) will most likely all die before you do.

It’s unclear what the effects of stress (as experienced in western populations) are on longevity (some stress, esp when intermitently placed, may be better than no stress). Having a strong sense of self-direction (and not being trapped) is what psychologically helps the most. Most of your same-age friends may die earlier than you, so it is also important to get close to people across generations (especially by mentoring younger super-receptive people). A cool perk of longevity is that people who really get it will never drift, because aging only becomes more relevant with time, rather than less relevant.

Social stress is weird - you want to escape stupid signalling traps to be free as soon as possible https://www.briantimar.com/notes/mimetic/mimetic/?fbclid=IwAR1vNx0WqRLcloEErDinboZBp7Ux0G1T4_dv4KZSq0i1UrxAm1TcYw4fzhk is good for reducing stress (also see dan wang’s college as girardian terror). You do not need to obsess over GPAs - no one cares, and leaving this system earlier rather than later is important. Many stupid social games people have played in the past will no longer matter as much in the future - know that the system was built by renters and vested interests. Read Nick Cammarata’s Twitter - he has managed to do more than almost anyone in escaping these unnecessarily stressful social traps (I sometmes say that the Thiel Fellowship was the most beautiful thing ever…).

Try to form an aging cult/a group of people who are as similarly obsessed with aging as you are, especially if they are resourceful enough to access age-diverse (and resourceful) people across the entire range. crsociety.org people are worth knowing, but sadly don’t have the resourcefulness or age-diversity or extreme outlier openness that many people I know have.

Being consistently neophilic throughout life may increase neuroplasticity. There are not many consistently novelty-seeking/super-open adults, but Joon Yun is one of them. Psychedelic communities seem to have more of them than most, as do university towns.

In that case, you can optimize for online output and helping train/mentor a new generation ofpeople who can be more convinced (a la fable of the dragon tyrant) that this IS the most important problem and they should consider working in it as much as they would work hard in school (school is bad and detracts from learning the most important things for longevity - Laura Deming not being schooled is the reason why she is so independent)

Note that people in some areas live longer than others (in the US - Vail/Aspen/Breckenridge/Frisco have unusually high lifespans.)

Spending time with experienced meditators or tai chi/qigong masters can have an intensely calming effect on some (they also can live unusually long, though it takes the confounding factor of extremely high conscientiousness to get in that state)

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Fatty acids and longevity

(note: virgin olive oil >> non-virgin)

Random other notes

  • Senolytics (D+Q) can accelerate epigenetic aging if used as a blunt instrument. They may be more effective earlier in life.
  • it may be that AGI progress (esp after 2022) is so fast that after ~10-15 years, most longevity progress becomes benchmarked on AI progress (and may prove Ray Kurzweil right, assuming no catastrophic AGI outcomes). https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/sbb9bZgojmEa7Yjrc/updating-my-ai-timelines. One LW’er remarked (to an audience of under 30-year olds) “you all have the same number of years of life ahead of you now, because AI timelines”.

Notes on individual foods (note, I value my time a lot and hate physical shopping and am willing to accept microplastic risk from grocery delivery :confused: )

[i’m familiar with the anti-antioxidant literature, but these mostly deal with *supplemental/endogenous antioxidants* that often tend to interfere with the body’s own production of them]. See https://forum.longevitybase.org/t/the-antioxidants-phytochemicals-spices-herbs-thread/179 . It’s possible that phytochemicals are so helpful because they induce a stress response in animals that goes way beyond the typical antioxidant response.

anti-nutrient/growth factors (eg phytates, lectins, phytosterols) are super-controversial, but may be more beneficial than harmful for longevity (if not reproduction)

Interesting books to read (they are not universally right and some have a few inaccurate facts, but have MANY interesting examples upon which you can draw your conclusions and ALL of them are way better than standard American diet): The Longevity Diet: The Only Proven Way to Slow the Aging Process and Maintain Peak Vitality–Through Calorie Restrictio , Mindspan (Preston Estep), The CR Way, How Not to Die, Deep Nutrition, Boundless: Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging, Fantastic Voyage (old now, but was my intro), Ending Aging, Younger You: Reduce Your Bio Age and Live Longer, Better, Life Without Plastics, Aging Well: Surprising Guideposts to a Happier Life from the Landmark Study of Adult Development , Outlive: The Science and Art of Longevity , The Longevity Project, Super Human (David Asprey) [falls into some weird new-age hype like being anti-lectins]

(it’s kind of crazy how much damage your cells can take/repair in early in life so long as you keep mTOR/growth low [it’s still impt to keep autophagy high], but later on in life, you cannot afford to have high levels of damage b/c your body is less able to clear it out)

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If you’d like to donate to me (I am just one person [tho with higher breadth than anyone] and need all the time in the world to write the best guide possible + maximize your chances at achieving whatever age you want to achieve [plus I have other strange effects like turn Lada Nuzhna into a Thiel Fellow and made critical recruits for several longevity startups - eg Andrew Ho at BioAge who did a lot of the preliminary work identifying the NLRP3 inflammasome]) - My bitcoin deposit address is at 3Ah8Xev33h6SrtmD49ssWJqrqpkQwZ2t5X and my ethereum deposit address at 0x8D66F5205cE689F96C3f35b828357B79958BD267. Zelle/PayPal at simfish@gmail.com. ALSO, this would SO enable me to finally do analytics of my own body as comprehensive as Bryan Johnson’s blueprint (https://www.bryanjohnson.co/articles/project-blueprint )

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more on diet - A Chemical Hunger – Part I: Mysteries – SLIME MOLD TIME MOLD

so like, eating antioxidants away from meals is prolly useless. Eating antioxidants DURING meals helps neutralize the increased ROS you get FROM a meal (hence why fruits are healthy despite their sugar)

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Ben Greenfield, Alex Pustov => all have written great guides (+have great knowledge), but all also tend to go the “meat-eater/anabolic” route, which is opposite of the near-vegan catabolic route that Jose Ricon, Morgan Levine, crsociety.org, livingthecrway.com, michael gregor, luigi fontana, and myself tend to favor. Note that BOTH ben greenfield and alex pustov have higher than expected epigenetic ages.

When stratifying vegetable consumption by mode of preparation, we observed stronger inverse associations for raw vegetables (in the highest quartile, HR = 0.84, 95% CI: 0.80, 0.88) than for cooked vegetables (in the highest quartile, HR = 0.93, 95% CI: 0.89, 0.98). Additionally, no threshold appeared in the inverse association between raw vegetables and all-cause mortality.

METHYL DONORS ARE SO IMPT The Metabolic Burden of Methyl Donor Deficiency with Focus on the Betaine Homocysteine Methyltransferase Pathway - PMC

These ideas are supported by the studies suggesting significant effects of early-life conditions on late-life mortality [[3](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3236478/#B3), [8](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3236478/#B8)–[10](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3236478/#B10)]. Finch and Crimmins [[11](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3236478/#B11)] suggested that historical decline in chronic inflammation (due to decreasing exposure to early-life infections) has led to a decrease in morbidity and mortality from chronic conditions at old age. They showed that both childhood mortality and cardiovascular diseases of old age may share common infectious and inflammatory causes rooted in the external environment [[12](https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3236478/#B12)].

“NutritionFacts” used to be called vegan research institute. Gregor is a master salesman for vegans when you have a book that claims “How Not to Die”. He tries to avoid using the v-word, but cherry-picks studies. Not all cherry-picked studies are bad studies, but unfortunately normies get sold too easily. I’d avoid ideological veganism - could reduce lifespan.

Yes, this is an issue, but all-in-all, close-to-vegan-diet => low-mTOR and is probably optimal (Morgan Levine also would agree on this). he presents the data in a good way. There is SOME selective reporting/cherry-picking (esp when he goes out against SFAs) but overall there is still very little negative evidence on fruits/veggies

awesome work!

Can reduce with allicons/cruciferous veggies
HPV is STD with prevalence in 20 million people - you CAN get vaccinated for it (it’s second most common known STD next to herpes)

Not that simple. The short answer is the absence of H. pylori increases the risk of esophageal ca. I did NIH NIAID funded research on HP before. She vastly underestimated how much immunology is involved with HP.

IARC doesn’t mean much by itself. Birth control pill is a class I carcinogen that also protects from cancer. Chemo treats cancer and is also class I.

Think about it - why do we not eradicate HP in everyone who has no symptoms? Prevalence is very high - usually at least 50% of the population.

Levine recommends a “75% plant-based diet” and doesn’t take any supplements or prescription drugs for anti-aging last I checked. Depends on how you define “close”. If 1/4 of your plate is fish - I doubt many non-vegans are gonna claim that’s “mostly vegan”.

Just sounds like a thinly veiled attempt at appeasing ideological vegans.

Nobody is claiming not to eat sufficient fruit/vegetables. The problem is veganism is primarily ideological and that means beware of a substantial amount of cherry-picking. You can make anything a bad diet - including vegan.

There are so many other factors than just mTOR and even mTOR itself is context dependent. Sarcopenia is a big problem - falling is a common cause of death. 99%+ vegans who talk about BCAA will lump it into one group without distinguishing the effects of individual BCAAs or context. For example, isoleucine restriction alone strongly raises FGF21 levels in mice.

Most CRONites (eg Michael Rae, Dean Pomerleau, Matthew Lake, ppl on crsociety.org, livingthecrway.com) are near-vegan.

Michael Gregor (yes I know some say he’s biased or cherry-likes, but his lit reviews still fit well within mainstream) and Luigi Fontana also advocate super-heavy plant-based diets.

Bryan Johnson is also near-vegan.

The only vertebrate Mike Lustgarten seems to eat is sardines…

Plant proteins are definitively shown to be way more pro-longevity than animal ones.

I think shellfish (bivalves) and seafood are probably okay to include and don’t confer any additional mortality risk + give supplemental taurine. AFAIK, there seems to be no good reason to eat higher vertebrates.

I acknowledge that it is difficult for me to advise people on fish-eating practices b/c I do not research the topic in depth and would prefer not to think about it (but, like, in general smaller fish > bigger fish b/c lower heavy metal contamination)

I tried eating fish once last summer just for the heck of it (because a deep part of me cares way more about longevity than animal welfare), and I still really really felt super-aversive and did not like the taste [I still have extremely strong objections to vertebrate farming on basis of land use/waste]. It’s still a decaying corpse and I am death-averse.

I’m not sure that constitutes any sort of evidence of not eating seafood. Methylmercury can be minimized with Alaskan - or just raise your own GM seafood using hydroponics

Mike Lustgarten takes a scoop of whey protein btw.

Luigi Fontana advocates the Mediterranean diet.

Again, it just sounds like vegans want anything with plenty of veggies to be just called “mostly vegan”. Some researchers pander to it - probably for funding.

This is hardly even close to mainstream:

Just a quick one of his cherry-picked studies that nobody actually reads in depth.

He cites a reference showing that “a plant-based diet of primarily whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes can completely prevent heart attacks.” This is a quotation from an article in the Food and Drug Law Journal and the footnotes there send us to Caldwell Esselstyn’s flawed research.

Esselstyn studied only a small number of patients who already had heart disease, and he treated them with statin drugs in addition to diet, and their diet included skim milk and low-fat yogurt.

That’s not even vegan and Esselstyn is beyond biased on hyping claims with uncontrolled small sample studies - he was not even studying diet alone; his patients were also taking statins! Btw Gregor is far from unbiased on statins. If anything he conveniently omits hepatoselective statins.

I can go on but it takes 10x effort to refute BS like Death in America is largely a foodborne illness where you can “reverse the top 15 killers” along with a plethora of cherry-picking to please vegan viewers.

There’s still no strong evidence seafood is significantly better than mostly plant-based vegetarian diets. They have similar relative ratios of death. Given similar death risk, veer on the side of killing fewer fish (because overfishing is wrecking the world’s oceans)

But fine, I’ll say “primarily plant-based” rather than “near-vegan” b/c it’s more strictly correct. I acknowledge I am biased towards plant-based for environmental reasons I wish more people would understand.

AHA >=2 servings fish per week

AHA Scientific Advisory: https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/pdf/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000574

Pescatarian > Vegan for hemorrhagic stroke, same for ischemic stroke.

EPIC-Oxford: https://www.bmj.com/content/366/bmj.l4897

You’re assuming a world of veganism and zero meat is more environmentally friendly. Have you actually personally examined the argument in depth? The arguments use a lot of assumptions about land use and water use, while cherry-picking a lot of factors.

2/3 of the world’s agricultural lands are grazing lands that are not suitable for crops - a modest amount of meat and mixed-use can be sustainable especially when vitamin B12 is involved - and that’s not including sustainable lab-grown meat in the future. It’s clear to me a zero-meat world is less sustainable because a world entirely without meat would require much more cropland and more energy-intensive fertilizer, pesticides, and tractor fuel. Vegans tend to cherry-pick water use for say almonds and exclude water use that is recycled from livestock use by assuming water use in livestock is not reused.

Food waste is mostly vegan which generates a lot of methane - about 20%+ of methane is from landfills and wastewater. Meanwhile, there are very cheap ways to cut 99% of livestock methane. I have never heard a vegan mention this - hence it feels like the echo chamber runs deep. Environmentalism and sustainability initiatives require deeper and more complex thought rather than vegan ideological faith.

it’s now clear that you’re also biased. You need to GROW CROPS for animal feed - MOST land grown for crops is used to feed animals (and this is a huge amount of low-biodiversity land - 38% of global agricultural land area, of which 2/3 is used for grazing livestock). Also, not all land should be used for humans. Wilderness (ESPECIALLY pristine forests) is important for zillions of reasons (carbon capture,etc). EO Wilson once advocated that we set half of the planet up for wilderness. Such a thing can be possible even in a densely populated country, as is clearly the case for Japan (though I freely acknowledge that fishing is a huge reason why, and Japan is not quite fishing sustainably, though maybe it just will b/c of its population decline)

You’re cherry-picking examples too, ESPECIALLY b/c it is SO easy for vegans to supplement Vitamin B12.

A zero-meat world may not maximize sustainability (grazers like bison can be useful), but most DOMESTICALLY RAISED (and fenced) animals are bred to be overweight+super-unhealthy (often w/antibiotics+hormones and fed with waste) and dump so much overgrown mTOR-loaded waste into the local environment. I think a limited amount of hunting is OK, but this is only compatible with a rate of meat consumption that is MUCH lower than what most Americans eat today (never mind that chicken and cows are BRED to be short-lived and fat [often stuffed full with antibiotics/hormones] => and ALL of this growth-factor-crammed fat/muscle ends up prematurely aging the humans that consume them).

The vast majority of terrestrial mammal+bird biomass now comes in the form of useless wasteful fast-aging cancerous livestock+chickens that do nothing but wreck the biodiversity and resilience of the Earth’s ecosystems. ALL livestock/chickens are a cancer on the planet and on the humans that eat them.

“Pescatarian > Vegan for hemorrhagic stroke, same for ischemic stroke.”

Yeah, cherry-picked for stroke. If you age more slowly than everyone else, you won’t die from most of the top-10 causes of death. You’ll die from smg like amyloidosis, or general fraility.

On vegetarianism being healthier - see section 4.2 of [ACC] Is Eating Meat A Net Harm? | Slate Star Codex (they did the ultimate lit review, better than what I could do)

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AHA recommendations are also not ground truth, especially b/c they lack fine-detail, are not longevity-focused (rather, heart-focused, and most likely have the basic anti-LEV conservatism that most mainstream medical organizations have had), and have been wrong in the past.

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POST-Debate note I barely explicitly mentioned vegetarianism/veganism in my original guide (a mostly plant-based diet is most likely pro-longevity - modest portion sizes of meat on top probably will not make much of a difference, as Harvard nutritionist Walter C. Willett says). it somehow turned into a culture war thread over vegetarianism after I cited Michael Gregor as a “mostly sound source” WHICH IS TRUE - apart from his pro-grain bias, he has mostly pointed in the right directions [yes there are other alternative diets that can work too]…

Ok, if you want to go simple - we can go on longevity studies then - ie Adventist Health Study - fish eaters did better than vegans on longevity.

If you’re going to extrapolate from mice about protein restriction - life extension from mice translates to a much much smaller extension in humans. In mice, calorie restriction is a bulk of the advantage - not protein restriction. You might get 5-10% extra in mice and 1% in humans. Not only that, in older individuals you preserve muscle mass with higher protein intake. Hence, the protein restriction claims you are making are marginal to negligible if it even translates - and might be less healthspan when lean mass is taken into account when you look at those RCTs that show supplementing well above RDA of protein intake preserves lean mass and dramatically reduced the risk of falling in elderly - a big cause of death.

There are way more issues than Vitamin B12 - it’s just that the literal medical textbook issue is Vitamin B12 deficiency in more than half of vegans, even if it’s possible to avoid Vitamin B12 deficiency - it’s clearly not practical for most people.

I’ll just give another example - there are way too many potential nutritional issues with veganism. Calcium is less absorbable per serving with vegans. Theoretically possible to eat a crap ton of calcium-rich vegetables (oxalate kidney stones probably being an immediate risk), but manageable by the average person? Probably not. Not only that, a fortification strategy that vegans often do, rather than dietary calcium, might lead to CVD risks/artherosclerosis - the dominant explanation is supplementary calcium might be too rapidly absorbed (assuming you’re actually buying USP grade supplements which I guarantee you most people aren’t even aware of the USP mark as quality assurance). Preventing atherosclerosis and avoiding nutritional deficiency is way more healthspan and longevity than a potential theoretical +1% on lifespan extrapolated from mice. It’s just bad math if you run the odds of benefits vs risks with respect to magnitude. I can go on with all the other potential nutritional deficiencies and relative nutrition deficiencies but that would be too long.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4125316/

Your deforestation doesn’t make sense at all for vegans in the US concerned with climate change. Vegans who focus primarily on food without changing other aspects of their lifestyle are mostly fooling themselves:

  1. In the US, our forestry problems are not from deforestation. That’s mainly non-OECD countries.
  2. USDA estimates that almost 90% of US food consumption is domestically produced
  3. EPA says agriculture accounts for only a tiny fraction of emissions of carbon emissions. This includes methane from livestock. Remove 99% of the methane from cows through simple food additives - it’s not significant to change from meat eater to vegan in the US. It’ll be literally negligible (or more harmful if vegetables end up hitting food waste)

Basically, if the climate is your priority, go carless first - yet I see vegans who talk about climate change looking for 100% vegan cars instead of taking public transit.