Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My Current Health Regimen v2.0

One of the changes has been an increase in fruit and vegetable intake.
One of the changes has been an increased intake of fruit and vegetables. (Photo by YimHafiz)

This is my updated health regimen, aimed at adding a significant number of healthy years to my expected lifespan. As it's subject to change, I will keep this post updated accordingly. Major revisions (such as v2.0) will appear once a year or so; minor changes (such as v2.1) will be made as needed. With every major revision, I will move the post from the archives to the front page.

Since a long, healthy life is preferable to a short life by most people, following the regimen would make sense even without considering technological innovations. The true goal of my regimen, however, is to stay alive long enough to see rejuvenation therapies become a reality. In the long run, each year that I'm able to add to my expected lifespan now through things like dietary changes, exercise, and supplements, may grant me several extra years in the future.

Therefore, even those lifestyle changes that require considerable effort and resources while offering a seemingly limited benefit, make sense if one looks at the big picture. For a chance to see the world in 2090, I'm willing to skip the cheeseburger today.

My health regimen consists of four categories: diet, supplements, physical exercise, and brain health. All of the items under each category have some kind of scientific basis, and in contrast to my ongoing experiments, will remain a part of the regimen for the time being. Therefore, my current experiments are not a part of my long-term health regimen – unless they prove to be beneficial, in which case they'll be moved from ongoing experiments to the regimen.

Main changes from v1.0: none.

Avoiding harmful foods

The most important part of my diet is avoiding unhealthy things; increasing the intake of healthy things only comes in second. This is because preventing damage from happening in the first place is easier than repairing it later on.

I consider the worst culprit of modern diets to be an emphasis on grain products, fructose, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. There's considerable evidence to suggest that most people would do much better without them. Hence, things like pasta, rice, bread, candy, fruit juices, and most vegetable oils are off the daily menu. I only eat them rarely, and then simply because they taste good. For the past few months, I've allowed myself to eat whatever I want once a week (usually foods like pizza or fresh bread), which seems to be working well.

I originally cut back on my fruit intake, which used to be quite high some years ago, because I learned that fructose increases triglycerides especially in men, and fructose is not handled very well by the body in general. I later learned that fructose also forms AGEs much more rapidly than glucose, which kept me from reintroducing most fruits to my diet and eat berries instead, since they contain more nutrients per fructose calorie. However, I've now increased even my fruit intake a little, having read more about the AGE-inhibiting effects of phytonutrients found in fruit. I will expand on this later, but for an example of what I'm talking about, see my post about carotenoids inhibiting lipid peroxidation.

While much of this fits well with paleo dieting, I also diverge from the paleo diet these days. You may or may not remember that I used to be a potato hater back in the day, both because they could not be eaten raw (making them anti-paleolithic) and because of their high carb content. Basically, potatoes are just empty calories. But once you have your insulin sensitivity and blood glucose under control, I don't think a few potatoes now and then is much of a concern. At least they're low in fructose.

As you may recall, I followed a low-carb diet for the past year with an emphasis on paleo foods. I got on the low-carb, high-fat wagon in the first place to prove that eating a diet high in fat does not make you fat – and it didn't. However, this diet combined with my year-long intermittent fasting experiment resulted in a moderate-to-high intake of protein, the longevity effect of which I'm now questioning. To lower my protein intake slightly means eating either more fat or more carbohydrates, and since my fat intake is already very high, I've reintroduced some carbs into my diet. That is, I now occasionally eat potatoes not because I think they are necessary for health, but because they are low in protein. More on protein and longevity in future posts.

I still don't make nuts a dietary staple, because of their poor omega-3/omega-6 ratio and because I like to keep my PUFA intake low. That is, I aim not only for a good ratio of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, I try not to eat too much of them in general. Omega-3 is particularly prone to undergo lipid peroxidation, and while nuts probably have micronutrients that protect them from oxidation to some degree, I'm playing it safe until I learn more.

Main changes from v1.0: slightly increased carb intake, slightly decreased protein intake, slightly decreased polyunsaturated fatty acid intake.

Eating healthy foods

Despite eating some more carbs these days, my diet is still fairly low in carbohydrates. My daily intake used to be around 100 grams; I have not measured my current intake, but I suspect it's around 100-150 grams these days. My main protein sources used to be meat, fish and eggs, but during the past year I've cut back on eating eggs because of their high methionine content. I'm still figuring out whether methionine restriction makes sense in humans, but in the meantime I limit my egg intake to 3-4 eggs a week.

Sources of fat, in the order of importance, are olive oil, palm oil, butter, cocoa butter, coconut milk, ghee, coconut oil, and sesame oil. Olive oil tops the list because I love the taste and because it's high in MUFAs but low in PUFAs and consistently does well in just about every health study. There may not be anything magical about MUFAs per se, but even if it's the polyphenols in olive oil that are behind all the positive health effects, olive oil still seems like a good choice. Palm oil is there because it's rich in tocotrienols (at least compared to other natural foods), low in PUFAs and high in SAs (making it suitable for heating), and because I've grown to like the taste.

Lard is off the menu for now because I ran out. Heavy cream has been replaced by coconut milk, partly because of dairy products increasing IGF-1, which may be bad for longevity (more on that in future posts). I don't eat cocoa butter raw (although I could, it's delicious), but I get plenty from all the dark chocolate I eat. Somebody asked me in the comment section why I eat sesame oil since it contains quite a bit of PUFAs, and noticing this was indeed so, I was going to remove it from my diet altogether. However, doing some reading I found that sesame oil seems to reduce markers of lipid peroxidation, so I kept it on the menu. I just use it for taste, however, so my intake of sesame oil is very low anyway.

Depending on my daily menu, anywhere between 50 to 70% of my total calorie intake is from fat. My daily menu has changed a bit, but percentage of fat is still the same. Most of this is saturated fat, which has been given a bad rep for reasons I believe are incorrect. I began reducing grain products and increasing my saturated fat intake years ago, and it hasn't killed me yet. In fact, my HDL has increased and my LDL has decreased on this diet. Triglycerides are not bad but could be better – a testament to my main vices, beer and wine.

There is one cereal grain I regularly eat, however: rolled oats. They're a convenient source of beta-glucan, which appears to be good for cholesterol and avoiding heart disease, and they don't contain gluten. Oats also contain quite a bit of quality protein. I used to eat them with milk and berries, but then switched to a combination of heavy cream and water to reduce my consumption of lactose and galactose (which easily form advanced glycation endproducts, AGEs). Now, I've stopped adding even heavy cream, because milk protein seems to interfact with the polyphenols in berries. So it's a mixture of coconut milk and water nowadays – not as good as cold milk, but still pretty good.

As for red meat, despite how it's portrayed in the media these days, I'm not convinced that meat consumption is harmful. Indeed, a recent review supports the hypothesis that processed meat, not meat in itself, may be harmful. The biggest problem I used to see with meat is the generation of AGEs. Though there is disagreement just how harmful consuming AGEs with food are, I tried to minimize the potential damage by avoiding overcooking and taking supplements. I no longer think AGEs in meat are a huge problem, however – more on this later. The reason I don't eat huge portions of meat like I used to is because of the high protein content.

And finally, the beverage department. I still love my daily coffee, which I drink 1-2 cups per day. Coffee has some nice health benefits too. Green tea is obviously staying on the menu; the studies showing positive health effects just keep on piling up. All in all, beer doesn't really belong to the "eating healthy foods" category, but even beer does contain some good stuff.

As you may recall, I used to drink yerba mate with meals to reduce the formation of AGEs. It's since come to my attention that yerba mate is carcinogenic at higher doses, so I now drink it only rarely. Green tea or black tea are safer bets, despite somewhat contradictory results in reducing AGEs and ALEs.

Main changes from v1.0: decreased egg intake, changes in the use of fats and oils, reduced yerba mate consumption, avoidance of lipid peroxidation.

A note on diet tweaking

It's much easier to point out things that are wrong in various foods than it is to prove something is healthy. These days, I'm more wary of advertising my diet as the best choice for everyone than I was before. Part of the reason is that the more I read and learn about nutrition, the more complicated everything becomes.

Case in point: I used to tell people vegetables are bad because, as an evolutionary strategy, they produce toxins to protect them from being eaten (which is true). Now, having learned of the importance of hormesis, I think vegetables are good because of those same toxins! I was also a huge fan of eating fruit (especially organic fruit) at one point, because it seemed to make sense from an evolutionary point of view. The, I got a little skeptical towards them because of their fructose content. Now, I think the benefits may outweigh the negatives.

All this, however, doesn't stop me from wanting to find the optimal diet for longevity. On the contrary, it's a healthy reminder not to get too emotionally attached to my health regimen, and to be ready to admit mistakes and make alterations as I learn more.

Going without food

The third key component of my diet used to be intermittent fasting. I stated in the first version of this post that "I may change my mind in the future, but for now I expect periodic food deprivation to remain in the regimen." That is still true to some degree: I no longer do a 24/24 hour cycle of fasting and eating, but I don't make it a point to eat three meals with snacks a day either. I often skip breakfast and lunch and eat only dinner.

The thing that lured me to try intermittent fasting was that there are studies suggesting that all or most of the benefits of chronic calorie reduction can be had by alternating zero calories with double the normal calories every 24 hours. While I no longer believe that IF is equivalent to CR, I do think that fasting in general is beneficial. An improved insulin sensitivity is a known result of intermittent fasting. Insulin sensitivity is associated with longevity, and among supercentenarians, insulin sensitivity is common.

Perhaps a more interesting thing about fasting is that it increases autophagy, a process in which the cell consumes a part of itself for energy. This can happen during ordinary cell maintenance, or when the body is deprived of nutrients. Since improved autophagy is at least in part why caloric restriction works, this makes other, less demanding forms of nutrient deprivation attractive options.

The reason I stopped doing strict IF is because I don't think there is much evidence that fasting for 24 hours and then eating for 24 hours is somehow optimal in itself. Most importantly, IF does not extend lifespan in most studies. Why IF is not equivalent to CR is not clear, but recent studies suggest protein may have a lot to do with it. My intermittent fasting diet resulted in huge meals with lots of protein, and I now suspect that this may have diminished much of the potential benefits.

Main changes from v1.0: no more 24/24 intermittent fasting, no more huge protein-heavy meals.


The most important supplement in my regimen is vitamin D3. Most people are deficient in vitamin D, and the health benefits are so overwhelming that if there's one supplement I would recommend spending money on, it's vitamin D3. I usually take 5,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily, and at last check, my levels were at 45 ng/mL, which is in the optimal range. Now that it's summer, I'm taking 2,500 IU daily. I know some people take the same amount all year round, but since I do spend some time in the sun, I don't want to overdo it.

One of the supplements that has remained in the regimen since last time is vitamin K2, which is sort of a newcomer in the supplement scene but nonetheless has some impressive studies behind it. I'll write more about it in the future, but here's one study of interest for men: dietary vitamin K2 may reduce prostate cancer. Since fermented dairy products, which I'm not sure are the best choice for health otherwise, are the best dietary source of vitamin K2, I'm taking supplements instead. At the moment, I take 90 mcg of MK-7 (Jarrow MK-7) and 5 mg of MK-4 (Carlson Labs Vitamin K2) every third day in an attempt to find a balance between affordability and the long serum half-life of vitamin K2.

I used to take a tablespoon of fish liver oil daily, because it has lots of omega-3 fatty acids in bioavailable form (EPA and DHA) and almost no omega-6 fatty acids. A higher dietary ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 seems to be very beneficial in general, and fish oil has been shown to decrease inflammation. A commonly quoted optimal ratio is between 1:1 and 1:4, which seems to be close to how our paleolithic ancestors ate. As part of my plan to avoid excess PUFAs, I've dropped fish liver oil from the menu. I'm currently in the process of weighing the pros and the cons; it may be that a tablespoon per day will prove to be worth it in the end.

I also used to take resveratrol with quercetin during fasts to increase autophagy. I would still continue to take them, but unfortunately I can't afford all the supplements I might like to take (including AOR Ortho-Core, which is off the list for the time being), so I take resveratrol only occasionally. Meanwhile, I'm on the lookout for other things that increase autophagy. Curcumin is a cheap alternative, and it has other health benefits too, which is why I add turmeric to most of my foods.

Since my damn blender keeps leaking from the bottom, I'm no longer making smoothies every day like I used to. So these days I just add some ground flax seeds to my rolled oats for the flax lignans. Flax lignans may prevent hair loss, among other health benefits. Some people prefer to take them in supplement form, but flaxmeal is a cheaper and equally effective way to consume flax lignans. For best effects, they should be consumed twice a day with ~12 hours in between. Other things I do to prevent hair loss is use shampoos with ketoconazole and piroctone olamine.

Main changes from v1.0: no more fish liver oil, some supplement cutbacks due to costs, increased curcumin intake.


My exercise routine is probably the weakest part of my regimen, compared to how much effort I put into diet and supplements. In the summer, I run for 30-45 minutes once a week to get some aerobic exercise (I should start again, since summer is here!) The goal is to keep the heart and lungs healthy, reduce blood pressure, and improve mood. In the winter, when it gets too cold for running outside, I go to the gym for strength training instead. Strength training reduces the risk of injury, prevents osteoporosis, supports joint health, and prevents muscle loss resulting from aging.

I also practice martial arts, which combines aerobic and strength training, to a degree. The main reason for me, however, is that it provides me with a basic set of self-defense skills and improves coordination. With aging, there is usually an increased fear of falling and hurting oneself – something children naturally don't have. Getting thrown around every week is a way to maintain a healthier attitude towards my body and prevent an irrational fear of getting hurt. I want my mind to rule over my body, not the other way around.

Main changes from v1.0: none.

Brain training

Any anti-aging regime should also take into account the importance of maintaining mental health. It doesn't take a genius to see that people who use their brains actively retain their cognitive abilities far longer than those who are passive.

One of the ways I keep the rational side of my brain fit is reading scientific papers and writing about them on this blog. I like logical problems in general, and I think practicing problem-solving skills are important for everyone, whether it's through work or hobbies. To train the creative side, I do things like play instruments, compose music, and read and write fiction.

My biggest problem is and always has been rather poor short-term memory. I don't know whether it's because my mind is always occupied with a zillion things, but it's more than once that I've gone to the grocery store to buy something I need and come back with something else entirely. This kind of absent-mindedness seems to run in the family. I believe it can be improved through training, however. The memory game experiment intends to increase IQ, but it improves short-term memory as well (I've pretty much forgotten about this experiment lately, by the way – I'll have to start playing again!)

Main changes from v1.0: none.

Quick summary of the health regimen

As a part of my diet, I regularly eat the following foods:

- Meat, fish
- Olive oil, palm oil
- Butter
- Vegetables, berries, fruit, oats, dark chocolate, coconut milk
- Coffee, tea, wine, beer

I limit or avoid eating the following foods:

- Grain products like pasta, bread, and rice
- Fruit juices, candy
- Vegetable oils high in PUFAs

In general, my diet is high in fat and lowish in carbohydrates. I consume saturated fat and monounsaturated fat liberally but limit polyunsaturated fats.

My supplement regime consists of the following:

- Vitamin D3: 2,500-5,000 IU daily
- Vitamin K2: 90 mcg of MK-7 and 5 mg of MK-4 every third day
- Varying amounts of green tea daily
- Flax lignans: 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds daily

My physical health regime consists of martial arts, running (in the summer), and strength training (in the winter). For mental health, I do things that train the creative and logical sides of the brain.

For more information on anti-aging methods and living longer, see these posts:

Anti-Aging in the Media: New York Times on Caloric Restriction and Resveratrol
How to Live Forever: My 5 Steps to Immortality
L-Carnitine, Acetyl-L-Carnitine and Cognitive Function in Humans
Caloric Restriction Improves Memory in the Elderly

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57 kommenttia:

prophets August 28, 2009 at 8:03 PM  

I follow a very similar regimen. However, I have been trying to cut down on the methionine content of the protein I ingest. What is your opinion on items like eggs, which typically have higher methionine?

best regards


JLL August 29, 2009 at 1:31 PM  


I haven't seen evidence that methionine is pro-aging; only that restricting methionine extends lifespan. The most plausible explanation seems to be autophagy, which is increased when protein synthesis is incomplete. Cutting back on some other amino acid might have the same result.

Anyway, methionine restriction to the point that it would increase lifespan is almost impossible in humans.

If you've seen studies showing higher methionine intakes cause shorter lifespan than normal intakes, I'd be interested. Then I might have to take rethink making eggs a staple.


MariLo August 30, 2009 at 7:57 AM  


Wondering about your thoughts re benfotiamine's theoretical cancer promoting side-effect via activation of the pentose phosphate pathway?

You probably saw this thread:


Beljacs August 31, 2009 at 12:43 AM  

What are your credentials for all these recommendations?
I am 83 and except for mild blood pressure I don't have any health problems. (I'm a less active than when I was younger and have some creakiness in the morning but that's about it.)
I've never engaged in any competitive sports. Earlier I enjoyed recreational swimming don't do it now - shoulder accident makes it painful.
I think hereditary is your best chance for attaining a long life.
More importantly, enjoy your life
everyday. You seem to enjoy it by
become well informed about all the chemicals you ingest. Try enjoying food and beverages for their own sake and let your body handle things. Works for me. Good luck.

JLL August 31, 2009 at 3:20 PM  


I did read that thread, yes. I'm not too worried about benfotiamine (for reasons mentioned in the thread), especially as I'm not using it every day, just before high-AGE meals. Once something better and equally cheap comes along, I'll probably switch, however. I would take pyridoxamine instead, but it's too expensive.

I'm also limiting my yerba mate to one cup per day, because of a couple of papers showing correlation with increased esophageal cancer at higher intakes. I've only briefly looked into this, but I'm planning on writing a post on it in the near future.


What recommendations? In addition to posting about studies I find interesting, I'm describing my own health regimen and my experiments, not offering medical advice.

As for credentials, I don't have medical training; my background is in computer science.


MariLo August 31, 2009 at 4:20 PM  

Thanks! I am debating the issue myself.

Good regimen by the way -- mine is very very similar...

Do you know of any good table with the AGE content of various foods? I read butter is very high which would be a little upsetting but wouldn't surprise me.

Thanks again

winalot August 31, 2009 at 10:48 PM  

When you say "heavy" cream what do you consume? Whipping, clotted, double, single etc. as I'm not sure.

JLL September 1, 2009 at 3:01 PM  


No, but I just made a (long overdue) post with AGE contents of common foods. It's not complete, but I'll update as I find more data. Hope it helps.


According to Wikipedia, "heavy whipping cream" means at least 36% fat, by US standards. 36% is what I use (though it has a different name in Europe, one I don't know how to translate). Double cream in the UK is 48%, while whipping cream is 35%. So, assuming you're from the UK, whipping cream comes closest to what I use.

Of course, if we had 48% cream here in Finland, that's what I'd be using!

winalot September 2, 2009 at 12:01 AM  

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I assumed the cream with the highest fat content would win! Good job I like clotted cream, with double cream a cheaper runner up!

Anonymous December 12, 2009 at 3:34 AM  

JLL, What other options exist for MK-4 supps besides Carlsons? I noticed Thorne Research sells MK-4 drops. Not sure about their quality though. I've been thinking about going that route since reading whole Health Source blog. The latest MK-7 study:

Jared Bond March 20, 2010 at 10:23 AM  

"I consider the worst culprit of modern diets to be an emphasis on grain products, fructose, and polyunsaturated fatty acids."

Right on! Your conclusions are pretty much in line with health researcher Matt Stone's-- have you seen his blog? It's .

To save some trouble, I'll point out a few things he would disagree with you on, though he reformulates his theories all the time. A few things you regularly listed as eating include olive oil, sesame oil, and lard. These are a significant source of polyunsaturated fats. According to, Olive Oil is 9.9% omega 6, Lard is 10.2% omega 6, and Sesame Oil is 42.0% omega 6. A more complete list Matt Stone compiled is here: Also, all the nuts (except macadamia) are very high in polyunsaturates, and combined with all the enzyme inhibitors, I would avoid them almost entirely.

Matt Stone has also said on his blog that it may be true that even omega 3s and monounsaturated fats are bad for you, as Ray Peat believes ( It may be that there have only been measurable benefits from omega 3s because they displace the more harmful omega 6s that are usually high in our modern diets. And of course, monounsaturated fats have only been deemed healthy because saturated fats were demonized by the vegetable oil industry, but animal tests clearly showed that polyunsaturates are harmful, so they had to find a happy medium. (As explained here: If you think about it, how paleo are these pressed oils? Also, I read somewhere that the polyunsaturates of lard rises dramatically (to 30%) when the pigs have been fed soy, so maybe it's even higher than nutritiondata reports.

The biggest difference between you and Matt Stone is that he promotes high starch, especially for healing a low metabolism, and high calories in general. Apparently he thinks the dangers of gluten are overblown, but there's always rice or tubers if you want to avoid it. (Btw, oats are low-gluten, not no-gluten). Being a former low-carber, I've been forced to reconcile my beliefs that paleo people did not have access to much starch. I now believe paleo people got calories however they could, and various grains or tubers around the world have been a significant source of calories (through cooking) for perhaps millions of years. I would definitely rethink the low-calorie theory of anti-aging. I'm no expert, but isn't that only based on a handful of rat or worm studies, who have very short lives? There are various theories around as to why their lives were extended that may not have to do with human physiology. I think humans and hominids had the ability to plan ahead and were well-fed most of the time. I side with Matt Stone's philosophy that pain does not equal gain. I wouldn't do anything, including aerobic exercise, unless I really wanted to do it.

Anyways, I am impressed with your knowledge, and I wanted to let you know about Matt Stone because I think you and he would have more in common than differences.

Jared Bond March 20, 2010 at 10:25 AM  

One last note from me personally, I would avoid tea, as the leaves of the tea tree have a high affinity for fluoride (as discussed somewhere here: Another reason is to avoid caffeine, which Matt Stone believes is harmful. (Although, I think it is traditional to throw out the first batch of tea, or to soak the leaves first, which would get rid of most of the caffeine and maybe fluoride, and then use the leaves to brew.) But of course, I am biased against tea anyways because I believe that all these reported benefits of antioxidants, phytonutrients and bioflavinoids are severely overblown. Barry Groves did a chapter on this in "Trick and Treat", and argued that a lot of antioxidants in foods are actually not absorbed or even harmful. But besides that, it is just my hunch that humans don't need rare fruits or spices or teas from around the world for good health, because Weston Price found people in great health (and old age) who didn't have all these things. It is my hope that nature intended us for optimal health as long as we get good nutrition and avoid things that are harmful. But, I definitely respect your anti-aging quest, because it is also plausible that we can "cheat" nature using various substances, just like we can "cheat" a headache with aspirin. (Mineral supplementation may be necessary due to depleted soils.)

(Also, Ray Peat's site is crazy, if you have not heard of him. For example, he's mentioned that estrogen may be an aging hormone-- at one time scientists thought it was THE aging hormone.)

JLL March 20, 2010 at 3:22 PM  

@Jared Bond,

I've visited his site in the past but haven't really taken a closer look. I'll do that now, thanks for the link.

As for the PUFA issue, I've cut back on my sesame oil intake and mostly use red palm oil for frying now. I top pretty much everything with olive oil because the evidence in favor of it seems so positive -- despite its PUFA and omega-6 content.

I agree that SAs have been demonized, but the issue of whether SAs are better than MUFAs or vice versa is still unclear. It's difficult to find studies that would measure precisely this. I treat them as equally good at this point.

The low-calorie theory of anti-aging (or caloric restriction) is well-established; it holds true with all species it's been tried on, and these experiments go back many decades. The monkey studies show similar results, although it will take time to get the final lifespan data.

As for fluoride, where's the evidence showing harmful effects from tea? A pubmed search on "green tea" brings up thousands of positive reports. Personally, I'm willing to risk any potential problems with fluoride to get my green tea.

I don't really notice the effects of caffeine from drinking tea, but with coffee the effect is fantastic. I love caffeine. Also, there are both pro-caffeine and anti-caffeine studies; I haven't really looked up into this yet, but until some better nootropic comes along, I'm going to stick with coffee. Too much caffeine does seem to reduce lifespan in fruit flies, though, so I wouldn't overdo it, just to be safe.

I agree with you that antioxidants have a better reputation than they deserve; with phytonutrients and bioflavonoids I tend to disagree, however. My hunch is that hormesis will get more media time in the future -- they might even start marketing pro-oxidants in the future.

I also agree that you can be in good health without exotic spices and tea and whatnot, but who knows, the people Weston Price studied might've been even healthier with a daily cup of green tea ;)

And yeah, I've read many of the articles on Ray Peat's site, I think he makes very interesting points. In fact, it was after reading his site that I started looking more into the problems with PUFAs and reducing my intake as a result.


Philip March 20, 2010 at 4:17 PM  

I have been doing extensive research in this field, gone through 100's of reports on PUBMED about 'DNA damage' and 'DNA repair'. But, one thing that continually comes up are these double edge swords with literally everything we eat. There will always be someone that preaches it is good for you and someone that is certain it's bad for you. Who do we trust? Well, I trust the people like Jeanette Calment who lived to 122 years old. She said she put olive oil on each of her meals... Always kept fit all her life - same with a guy in London called Buster Martin who is 103, smokes and drinks BUT has a diligent exercise regimen.

JLL, just wondered why Lard and Full fat creams are part of your strategy? My strategy is get much better at what works well. IE. Phyto-nutrient research - fine tuning the perfect exercise routine. Also studying bioavailability and metabolism as I think these things play a big role.

Best of luck in your quest!

Jared Bond March 20, 2010 at 11:09 PM  

Hi, thanks for your input and for considering all my points!

I did not know the low-calorie thing was so well established. I can see the logic behind it: sort of like a semi-hibernation, or nature's way of surviving through times of shortage. But maybe intentionally lowering your metabolism could leave you susceptable to atrophy as well. I'd just like to propose that a high metabolism doesn't necessarily mean the parts will "wear out" faster. I see aging as more of a biological clock determined by genes, or species. This occured to me when I watched a pet rat age and get wrinkled and stiff in only 2 years. The flesh and joints didn't "wear out"-- they were allowed to atrophy genetically, because nature had deemed that lifespan best for the species and the ecosystem. On the same token, I therefore believe it's certainly possible humans could live to 900 or maybe longer, if we were to ever crack that code. (I imagine it is a very complex code, though, as aging has always been a crucial part of life.) Theoretically, an organism could just keep rebuilding itself, if only it were given those instructions.

The only thing I can think of to counter the low calorie tests is that the food they give test animals is often not the best. You've probably read about how some of this confusion about "fat" and cholesterol came from tests giving animals hydrogenated fat or PUFA, instead of the SA that are now blamed for cholesterol problems. Or maybe all this "protein" that comes from soy is messing things up. My point is, it could be that less calories of these test foods is better because they are harmful foods. It's like the studies where they give rats either sugar or just water, or cereal or just water, and the ones who have food die first. Going by these studies alone, it would appear that eating nothing prolongs life.

Anyways, I'm just playing devil's advocate with that-- I don't really know.

I brought up caffeine because for some reason Matt Stone thinks it's significant, but yeah, I'm also aware there are knowledgeable people like Ray Peat who call it "a vitamin-like nutrient"!! Again, I'm personally biased- caffeine wreaks havoc on me.

As for fluoride in green tea- my bad. According to the USDA ARS, Green tea has only 1.15 ppm on avg, whereas the black teas have closer to 4 ppm (I can't vouch for what I've read elsewhere). However, I do think fluoride is a big issue, leading to calcification of joints and brain damage. Anytime they process foods with fluoridated water, it accumulates. There's an official scientific journal dedicated to F since 1968, seen here: Tea being a problem is just a personal hunch because the oriental mentality seems a little off to me. (Sorry, had to throw that out there.)

JLL March 21, 2010 at 8:28 PM  


I believe "nature's way of surviving shortage" is the commonly accepted logic behind how calorie restriction extends lifespan, though we could of course be wrong.

I agree that a higher metabolism does not necessarily mean faster aging (and lower metabolism does not necessarily mean slower aging). I think some of the newer fruit fly studies have already shown that you can make animals live longer and healthier with higher metabolic rates, which seems very promising.

The "aging program" theory, if that's what you're referring to, is interesting, and from what I've read, some biologists are still fighting over whether it's correct or not. Aubrey de Grey disagrees with this view, though. In any case, I don't think a genetic aging program is necessary for the kind of species-level optimization you mention to occur. Perhaps there just wasn't evolutionary pressure for better repair mechanisms, as you pointed out.

Of course, in some species (some fish, for example) there really is a genetic program that causes rapid aging, but the consensus seems to be that this is not the case in humans.

The idea of unhealthy foods being the cause rather than calories per se is interesting. I think Kurt Harris @ subscribes to this view. I'm not entirely convinced. In a sense, all food is toxic -- it's just that we need to eat something to survive. Also, it's good to keep in mind that the purpose of eating, in evolutionary sense, is not to optimize lifespan but to optimize reproduction, and these need not go hand in hand. In many animals, lots of protein means reproductive fitness but shorter lifespan, which is fine for the species but bad for the individual. Protein shortage, on the other hand, is "cheating nature", in a way, leading to a delay in reproduction and thus a longer lifespan.

Whether this applies to humans is a different matter, of course.


Philip April 9, 2010 at 4:08 PM  


Doesn't your diet put a spanner in the works for Methionine?

Here is a good article:

I asked a few questions to a close associate of Aubrey De Grey and got this response:

May I ask, what is the ideal diet ratio: protein/ carb/ fat for
longevity in your vast experience? To reduce oxidative damage.

We are far, far, far and away unready to answer that question at this time. We can say that *very* low-carbohydrate (ketogenic) diets appear to raise some markers of metabolic stress, and that once-fashionable low-fat, high-carbohydrate diets (<25% fat, >60% carb) definitely raise oxidative stress; we can also say that replacing carbohydrates with monounsaturated fat tends to lower it. Beyond that, much is uncertain, and of course, "fat," "protein," and "carb" come in many varieties (saturated vs unsaturated, unrefined extra-virgin olive vs. refined high-oleic sunflower, animal vs plant protein, citrus fruit vs cruciferous vegetables vs whole-grain bread vs refined flour, etc etc). Olive oil, especially if it is a variety high in polyphenols (which, unfortunately, very few vendors test for or disclose -- and the few that do, alas, tend to be very expensive), reduces oxidative stress, as does MODERATE (1/2 to 2 glasses/d) of red wine.

boring as it sounds, the best advice is the stuff on which the public health people and all the diet gurus from Atkins to Ornish all basically converge: not smoking, lots of fruits and vegetables, lean protein, keeping yourself slim, fatty fish or flax oil, a glass or 2 of wine with dinner, avoidance of trans- and (over Atkins' equivocations) saturated fat, a little olive oil, a positive outlook, and so on.

JLL April 9, 2010 at 5:52 PM  


I'm planning on doing posts on protein and methionine restriction in the future, but at the moment, my protein and methionine are at normal levels. I have reduced my egg consumption recently, however. Still, a low-methionine diet is very difficult to implement even with soy, because just about all foods contain methionine.

Philip April 10, 2010 at 2:49 PM  

What will you replace with eggs?

I found a great nutrition calculator where you can identify food groups by lowest components - for example no methionine. Apparently sea lion meat is an excellent source of protein with no methionine but how we will get hold of that I don't know?!

I have upped my intake of Soya protein based on this report and the fact that Jack Lalanne (95 and strong!) takes it for breakfast:

Let me know if you have any ideas on low methionine diet.

Thanks a lot

JLL April 10, 2010 at 3:28 PM  


I've just been eating more of everything else -- meat, vegetables, berries, etc.

I'm wondering, would there be any added benefit to constructing a low-methionine diet vs. limiting protein intake in general? Wouldn't the end result be the same anyway, because methionine is required for protein synthesis? Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like methionine restriction is just a way to achieve protein restriction. I can understand doing MR if it means one gets to eat foods that would be impossible with PR, but it seems like it's the other way around -- we would have to look for exotic foods like sea lion meat to achieve MR without PR.

As for the study you linked to, it seems there is something pro-aging in casein. Increases IGF-1 if I remember correctly. The conclusion I would make is to avoid casein rather than to increase soy protein intake, unless you're in it for the isoflavones.


Philip April 10, 2010 at 10:19 PM  

Yes I think there would be a few benefits of having MR over overall PR - Glutathione, your bodies number 1 antioxidant is synthesized from other amino acids. 'Apparently' Whey protein boosts your bodies production of Glutathione naturally. Muscle mass also affects all biomarkers of vitality (blood pressure, cholestrol etc...) in a positive way - too low protein intake and you lose those benefits. I am a believer of 'robustness' and giving the body healthy healing conditions which stems from adequate protein intake for mend and repairing. But, I understand this does not always go hand in hand with longevity but gets us through certain hurdles. Just what I think...

As for the Soy - check this clever spanish lady out who has done some rather interesting studies on soy and gene expression. Much debate on Soy but for me it is a goer. Remember seeing a publication about increased antioxidant protection after exercise and the fact that it's a staple in Okinawa says enough.

What meats are you on mostly? Sea lion might be the reason why eskimo's are in great shape!

You can play around with this to get ideas:

JLL April 11, 2010 at 2:03 PM  


Yes, but what if you removed methionine from whey protein? Isn't MR effective only to the degree that protein synthesis is inhibited? At least that's what seems to be happening because the results are so similar.

The benefits of soy can probably be had just by taking the isoflavones, if protein restriction is the goal. I'm not against soy in general, however.

I mostly eat beef, sometimes lamb. Just because it's the most affordable option.


Philip April 11, 2010 at 8:47 PM  

Do you have any reports that demonstrate that could be the case? To my knowledge it's just that amino acid methionine which seems to flick a gene expression switch somewhere. Our other option is to go for beans - they are incomplete proteins and low in meth. Drawing parallels with calorie restriction I think it's fairly clear glucose is the culpret?

I have actually eliminated all fruit that includes 'fresh' berries due to the fructose. The only fruit I am eating is freeze dried Acai which I understand has a higher orac score anyway.

Any reason why you opt for beef and lamb over fish? I've read a lot of things which put me off red meat.

From my research whole foods over supplements are much better sources of these key nutrients like isoflavones. Imagine the solid which is getting absorbed continuously through the digestive tract. A supplement is just going to vaporise in the intestine and have a shorter half life.

JLL April 12, 2010 at 11:33 AM  


I'll have to get back to you on the MR/PR issue once I read the papers I have.

Not sure what you mean by glucose being the issue -- we know that cancer cells feed on glucose, which is why restricting carboohydrates is (at least a hypothetical) way of starving off cancers. I think the article you linked to is confusing cancer growth with longevity, however; there's no indication that cutting back on carbs will increase lifespan in animals, whereas cutting back on protein does increase lifespan.

Two reasons why I don't eat fish all the time: mercury and PUFAs. Still not convinced that a high omega-3 intake is the best thing. Better than a high omega-6 intake, probably, but better than having low intakes of both? I don't know.

I judge the whole foods / supplements issue on a case by case basis. For example, lutein is better absorbed from pure extract than from whole foods with lutein.

Yes, the fructose may be a problem even in berries, but there's so much good stuff in them too that to me the pros outweigh the cons.


Philip April 12, 2010 at 11:43 AM  

I disagree - omega 3 is an essential fatty acid anti-inflammatory one of the key points in aging. Remember your brain is mostly made out of fat!

Good point about correlating cancer and longevity. However most calories come from carbs. Eating sugar or complex carb causes insulin, increases in IGF. Red meat and milk also increases IGF-1.

I am researching the igf1 insulin signalling impact on longevity. Check this out:

Philip April 25, 2010 at 5:12 PM  

Do a search on google for : "ros production" glucose

Bad news...

Palmitic acid does not look good either combined with glucose.

My conclusion monounsaturated fat is far superior due to the fact it transports fat out of the body before it gets a chamce to react with glucose...

Anonymous May 19, 2010 at 5:11 PM  

I checked the 180degreehealth blog from "Matt Stone." Unfortunately, most of it relies on unscientific speculation. For example, he thinks calorie restriction is *the* reason for the obesity epidemic with his evidence that short-term calorie restriction slows the metabolic rate and increases fat.

Unfortunately, he doesn't realize or distinguish the difference between short-term and long-term calorie restriction.

Many other posts are the same. I suppose I applaud his attempt at reasoning, but it falls short of being complete.

Mitch Fletcher May 20, 2010 at 1:04 AM  

Thanks for the update. Sounds like a sound regimen.
I know you don't eat nuts in general, but have you considered eating walnuts, which contain a relatively high omega 3:6 ratio of 1:4 (high compared to most nuts). They also might have a triglyceride-lowering effect (
I'm currently doing 24/24 IF. Can you point me towards your reasons for stopping IF?

JLL May 20, 2010 at 12:56 PM  


I do eat some nuts, I just don't make them a dietary staple. I eat mostly almonds and some brazil nuts, simply because those are the most affordable ones around here (and because brazil nuts are an easy source of selenium). Walnuts are pretty expensive and I don't like the taste so much. Macadamia nuts seem like a good choice (people even recommend macadamia nut oil) but way too expensive where I live.

What are your reasons for doing IF? If it's to lose weight, then I say go for it. If you're already thin and have your insulin sensitivity in check, then I'm not sure it's worth the trouble. That really depends on your diet, though -- I personally ended my fasts with a huge meal of mostly fat and protein, and while it works fine for keeping your weight in check, I'm now thinking eating twice the protein every other day negates much of the potential benefits of IF.

See the post about intermittent protein restriction and longevity. I think the premise of this approach is wrong in that IF does *not* extend lifespan like CR does (in most studies, at least) unless it is accompanied by CR, but it is correct in that autophagy is important in longevity.


Mitch Fletcher May 21, 2010 at 1:03 AM  

Interesting. Yes I eat macadamia nuts as a good source of monounsaturated fats, as you point out. Though I also eat other nuts, I think I will cut down as my omega-6 intake is too high.

As for IF, I'm already thin and healthy, but am doing it for neuroprotection and potentially also life-extension. I also find it helps with my energy levels, waking up in the morning, and reduces the brain fog I get from meals - maybe more measured eating could have the same effects, but I find the discipline of the regime a good way of stopping casual eating.

I still am not entirely sure how you've come to the conclusion that IF lacks the same benefits as CR for life-extension. Is there a post where you discuss some studies, or alternatively could you point me towards the studies themselves?

You speculate that the large meals of protein/fat when breaking a fast negate the positive effects of IF. However, isn't it the period of deprivation that is beneficial? To my mind, whether you eat twice as much protein on an ad-lib day doesn't matter so much, as you've probably experienced a period of autophagy favourable for intracellular health during the time fasted.

I think autophagy is definitely involved at the molecular level, but have you read much about the involvement of circadian rhythms and possible modulation of this by IF/CR?

On that topic, I notice you haven't really dealt with sleep as part of your regimen. I think it's probably important...unfortunately.

JLL May 21, 2010 at 7:32 PM  


I will do a post on this later, but for now, let's reverse the question: do you have any studies showing that IF without CR increases lifespan? If you look carefully, in just about all of them the animals end up eating and weighing less. For those doing IF to lose weight and eat less, that's great, but for people like me trying not to limit calories, it's not such good news.

It does look like the period of deprivation is important, but it doesn't seem to be enough. Clearly, IF should result in increased autophagy, and increased autophagy makes worms and fruit flies live longer -- so why doesn't it make rodents live longer? Probably because autophagy is just one mechanism to keep the body functioning.

I've seen one paper on circadian rhytms and IF but don't recall whether it was something I thought was important or not -- probably the latter since I forgot about it :) But do feel free to disagree and post your thoughts on the matter!


Ork May 26, 2010 at 2:53 AM  

JLL are we certain that it is dietary AGEs to fear? Do you have references? I'm eating my eggs/meat raw for now.

Maybe it's just me but Beljacs sounds jealous. "Works for me", lol and yet cannot even do low-impact swimming. I have a suggestion for you Bel, don't spend your time on a life extension blog when your life is already over. Try enjoying what you have left. Good luck :)

Not mentioning sleep in a blog post doesn't necessarily make it true that it hasn't been dealt with by the author...unfortunately.

If we believe that IF is just as beneficial as CR, why not give the references instead of speculate? Unless speculation is all there is, which is understandable.


JLL May 26, 2010 at 11:33 AM  


No, I definitely am not certain that dietary AGEs are to fear. What we do know is that when high-AGE diets are fed to diabetic rats, they do poorly. We also know that AGEs accumulate with aging in humans. The rest is largely speculation.

I'm not very worried about dietary AGEs, really -- I'm more worried about endogenous AGEs, and I'm even more worried about ALEs (endogenous and exogenous; I don't know which ones are worse).

Ork May 27, 2010 at 1:01 AM  

I'd also like to add that I would not agree with the inclusion of flax/lignans.
"Food groups with decreasing levels of total phytoestrogens per 100 g are nuts and oilseeds, soy products, ..." PMID 16898863.

I realize lignans have antioxidant properties, which I assume is the reason for their inclusion, but the risks to the HPTA outweigh the benefits to me (PMID 12727319). Unless lignans are more effective than other antioxidants, why take the risk?

From what I've read, it is only the amino acid methionine that poses a possible danger, not protein in general. Looking forward to the posts on methionine.

Do you try to get nutrition most of your nutrition from food itself? I try get what you've listed (except D3) from food if possible.

Anonymous May 28, 2010 at 10:16 PM  

On Yerba Mate -- almost all academics that study Yerba Mate believe that the reason it causes cancer (of the throat - the cancer it usually causes) is because *of the extremely high temperatures that it's almost always drunk at* by the people of Argentina and Paraguay, where it is most common. If you drink it at warm but not scolding hot temperatures the way they do here (greetings from Argentina!) the cancer risk is eliminated.

Mitch Fletcher May 31, 2010 at 3:47 AM  


Fair points indeed. It would seem that there isn't much evidence to suggest IF per se extends life, as per your most recent post.

I think I will start taking carnosine, as being vegetarian I lack it in the diet and it may help with AGE prevention. I'm guessing you probably consider your dietary intake sufficient?

@ Ork

Yes I'm speculating, is that not ok? You sound a bit angry about something.
I don't believe sleep as a factor in longevity has been specifically mentioned in other posts, but that's fine, we're mainly discussing things at the cellular and molecular levels, so I don't expect that. I merely said I thought it was unfortunate that it is important for health (on a par with exercise) because I don't get enough by half. That was no reflection on anything else. Don't stress so much, Ork, you'll age faster. Relax :)

JLL June 1, 2010 at 7:19 PM  

@Mitch Fletcher,

I would take carnosine if I could afford it :) it looks like a useful supplement overall.


Yes, I try to get most of the stuff from food -- not necessarily because I think it's somehow a superior way, but because I can't afford to supplement everything. In some cases the food matrix thing probably applies, but there are also cases where taking an extract or a single micronutrient is more efficient than eating the food (lutein is one example). I would judge on a case by case basis.


Well, I don't really care what "almost all academics" think or don't think (besides, given the latest reviews on yerba mate I would even disagree that most of them agree it's the temperature). By all means, drink yerba mate if it pleases you :) I am, for the time being, somewhat more cautious myself, however.


Blackhawk July 22, 2010 at 7:17 PM  


Two vids on Youtube which have a lot to say on living longer (and healthier, of course) are: 1) SIRA: Origins Aging Cancer Diseases : , and: 2) Sugar: The Bitter Truth : . The first vid discusses mitochondria and aging. The second vid discusses the metabolic poisons fructose and alcohol. I home-brew my own beer, so I was not pleased to learn how alcohol contributes to premature aging.

Sincerely, Blackhawk

JLL July 22, 2010 at 7:47 PM  


Thanks for the videos, I'll check them out.

Alcohol is indeed a poison, but then again, many things that are beneficial are, in fact, poisons. A good example are vegetables -- evolutionarily speaking, they don't "want" to be eaten, so they develop toxins as defense mechanisms (contrast this with fruit, which relies on getting eaten as a way to spread). Humans and vegetables have been in a sort of combat for hundreds of thousands of years. And yet we eat them with good appetite, and even consider them healthy.

Even alcohol has its benefits. We're constantly told that a glass of red wine is good for you, but that's not what the longevity data says -- for Caucasian men, the *positive* effect on lifespan is still there even at much higher doses. And the real kicker is that it's not just red wine, it's beer, strong liquor, pure ethanol, whatever. I've been planning on doing a post on alcohol and longevity for a while now, so more on that later.

So, at the moment, the overall benefit of moderate amounts of alcohol seems to me to outweigh the negatives, including any possible accelerated aging (which I doubt is the case in vivo, but I will read up on it).


Blackhawk July 27, 2010 at 8:43 PM  

Regarding research regarding alcohol, or anything else, the first thing that comes to my mind is: These results are very interesting, but..., is the study controlled for vitamin D? If not, I take the study's results to be dubious. I hope I live long enough to see the results from the grassrootshealth study. Although it is not properly controlled, it is a stab in the right direction.

It is not surprising that eating dark grapes increases health, even though the grapes have a lot of fructose, a metabolic poison. The same is true for red wine and alcohol. It will be interesting to see exactly how pure ethanol provides its health benefit. Perhaps it spares vitamin D.

Hope you find the vids interesting. I did.

Sincerely, Blackhawk

JLL July 28, 2010 at 9:59 AM  


I doubt alcohol has a big effect on vitamin D status, but I could be wrong. Earlier it was thought that alcohol might in fact interfere with vitamin D production, resulting in lower levels. A new study suggests it does not:


JLL July 28, 2010 at 10:02 AM  

I should rephrase that: I doubt low-to-moderate alcohol consumption has a big effect on vitamin D levels. Excess consumption may be a different matter.

Anonymous August 4, 2010 at 8:09 PM  

I would like to say your posts are interesting and I have enjoyed your blog. I agree with your strategy of avoiding harmful things first, especially since many of them can be identified by anyone who stayed awake during junior high health. Things such as smoking and avoiding processed foods should be commonly avoided and the list goes on as far as obvious health risks are concerned. There are other strategies that should be part of a health regimen also such as brushing and flossing one’s teeth daily. The entertainment and amusing issues with your blog are with your experiments which seem to be custom fit to your viewpoints and reactionary based on studies. Your experimentation seems to suffer from the “more you think you know, the less you really know” syndrome. From what I have read it seems you enjoy alcohol consumption quite a bit so of course there are potential supporting studies relating to the health benefits of drinking beer and wine. I get the impression you could be exercising more often then you post, which I believe you admit. I personally would stress the importance of physical exercise and how your lack of it can be a major factor in your overall anti-aging strategy. I can’t imagine you would have a hard time posting studies suggesting that if one gets cardiovascular exercise a few times a week along with some moderate weight training that overall body health, aging, prevention of disease, etc would be dramatically lower. I’m not talking about turning into a gym rat or training for the Olympics. The suggestion is to get regular realistic cardiovascular and strength training. Going for a walk/run every once in a while (once a week) is like an obsessive exerciser who normally eats fast food but throws in a vegetable every once in a while. What’s the point? Also, perhaps in version 3.0 we readers will get some insight into your sleep habits and the importance (or lack of) of sleep in your health regimen.

I find the posts amusing when going on about highly scientific processes as a result of chemical reactions from fruits, vegetables, meats, and so on and their effect on the body only to realize that when another study comes out it’s time to do a 180 degree change. But hey that’s part of what an experiment and the “learning” process is I suppose. I particularly enjoy the comments about eggs and one poster’s reply that sea lion meat may be a reasonable substitute because some dude online posted a study touting its benefits. Rather than worry about eggs, consume a few in moderation and go for a jog in the morning. You’re only setting yourself up for heartbreak when you realize the methionine content makes no difference. There are many other examples of this which part of me thinks are silly but another part enjoys for both the humor and for the effort someone is putting into it. Would one really jeopardize their immortality efforts if they ate a reasonable spectrum of raw quality nuts in moderation rather than worrying about omega-3/omega-6 ratios? I’m not talking peanuts here but, maybe a few almonds, walnuts, etc. Perhaps the micronutrients found in these nuts will outweigh the “health risks” of the poor ratio.

I believe that as new information comes out we should take advantage of it. However, for many readers of your blog to follow your lead would be ridiculous. Wouldn’t be something if all the misc cocktails and herbal formulas used in aggressive experimenting were actually shortening your life! When I live longer than you, I’ll write about it! Thanks for being a guinea pig and providing me with entertainment and some information I have found useful. I’d love to see the health stats and physical condition of some of the posters who reply to your blog. Sincerely, ANON

JLL August 9, 2010 at 1:31 PM  


Thank you for your thoughtful comments. I certainly admit that "the more you think you know, the less you really know" is true to a degree; I've been proven wrong more times than I can remember. Still, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who don't even want to try to understand and those who do try. I prefer the latter group myself.

As for alcohol, I used to think it was bad for health but chose to enjoy it nonetheless. It's only recently that I've read some positive things about alcohol (and not just red wine), so obviously I was interested.

Yes, my exercise routine could be much better. I've pretty much switched from jogging to going to the gym. Although cardiovascular exercise may be a net positive, I'm skeptical of running these days. There's a good post on marathon runners over at the blog. I think strength training is the best way to go. And yes, I may be biased here because I enjoy the gym much more than I do running.

There is of course always the chance that I will do an 180 degree on my current, somewhat negative stance on polyunsaturated fats, but I'm not sure what you are suggesting as an alternative. Should bloggers stick to their opinions, no matter what the science says? I don't consider myself as an expert, all I'm doing is presenting the results of the studies in what I hope to be an understandable manner, experiment on myself and try to form some kind of an overview of the whole thing. I do consider it learning, even if it is through trial and error.

You make a good point about methionine. In the grand scheme of things, the difference it makes is probably very small. But that small difference is still interesting to me, and it looks like there are other people who are interested in it as well. If you want to play it safe, eat a "balanced" diet and get some exercise. It'll be better than the average diet for sure. But personally, I'm not into "slightly better than average", I'm into finding the optimal diet and *then* deciding which things I actually want to implement in my own diet.

There's a lot of debate whether taking things like resveratrol makes sense at this point, because we don't know everything there is to know about them. But the fact is that we will never know *everything* about them. Everyone has to evaluate the risk/benefit ratio for themselves. There are many people who avoid more experimental supplements because there is no clear evidence that they increase lifespan, for example. They think it's an unnecessary gamble. But on the other hand, not doing anything and just waiting is a gamble too. It's just a different kind of risk.

If the kind of advice you're looking for is "go for a jog and don't eat too much sugar", then there are a billion general heatlh blogs for that already. I do post about more broad health topics such as low-carb diets as well, but as you've noticed, a lot of this blog is about tweaking small things that might increase one's chances of making to longevity escape velocity. I find the tweaking fascinating, and there's not a whole lot of health blogs that deal with this aspect.

Finally, there is indeed a chance that supplementing shortens your (or in this case my) life. I think that risk can be minimized through reading as much as possible on the subject, however. I wouldn't call myself an aggressive supplementer either -- in fact, the more I read, the more skeptical I am about most supplements, at least from a life extension perspective. The consider things I experiment to have a low risk and potentially high benefits (cognitive enhancers like ALCAR, for example).

I'm glad you've found the blog entertaining (and even informative at times). Thanks again for the lengthy comment, always nice to read them.

Take care and hope to see you on the blog,


Anonymous August 12, 2010 at 6:01 PM  


I put myself in the latter group also.

I agree that excessive running does not make sense from an anti-aging standpoint due to the problems many long distance runners have with joint wear and other running related injuries that sometimes pull them out of running altogether. A balance of cardio and strength training a few times a week at moderate to intense levels would be ideal. Cardio can come from a variety of sources other than pounding the pavement; biking, swimming, stair climbing, hiking, elliptical, an aerobics class/video, and so on. Regular exercise is the key. Selecting the proper shoe type and surface can also make a difference when running. Run at a track or on a good treadmill rather than on a hard unforgiving surface all the time.

I make no suggestions on fat. My opinion is that people can get enough saturated fat eating a “balanced” diet. Saturated fat is like sodium, easy to get enough even when trying to reduce it. I have a hunch that most who consume excessive amounts of saturated fat get it through processed foods, meats filled with fillers, meats from animals pumped to the max with hormones and feed nasty diets, junk food loaded with simple sugars and so on. Many who limit saturated fat choose a lunch consisting of a diet soda, a “light” yogurt, and a frozen “diet” meal. Just eat the fast food meal please. As far as the healthy fats go, I say grab them from a variety of sources. If you can buy at least some organic, get the things you consume the outsides of, berries for example.

It will be impossible to determine by reducing eggs a bit with all other experimentation going on if the methionine content played a role in your anti-aging plan.

I’m skeptical of wonder supplements. I stick to vitamins and minerals for supplementation. If a substance has promise I try to consume things that contain it. Who knows if it’s the substance itself or the collaborative group of chemicals found in the source?

I think a health regimen should include many other things; sleep, hygiene (using toxic/processed cosmetics is really no different than eating processed food. Also flossing and dental care has tremendous benefits.), skin care (should one filter out chlorine content and other metals/garbage in shower water), eye care, relaxation/spiritual/social strategies, sex, and the list goes on. One could be doing the things in your health regimen and still be missing out on the practices just mentioned that could also add years. Good blog. ANON

danimal March 16, 2011 at 8:19 PM  

Haven't been here in a while, but hope you're doing great!

Seems like your naturally going a bit higher carb a la Matt Stone.

Someone commented that Matt thinks short term calorie restriction will slow the metabolism. I think that's false especially since Matt is in general in favor of Martin Berkhan's Lean Gains IF methodology.

Yes he doesn't cite his sources, but his blog got me off low carb and I've been feeling excellent eating lots of rice and potatoes again. I started to get a gag reflex whenever I eat fried eggs in butter. Now they almost have to be hard or soft boiled.

Anonymous April 12, 2011 at 9:23 PM  

Hey JLL,

how much olive oil do you cosume a day. Do you literally just drink t straight?


JLL April 12, 2011 at 9:51 PM  


Back when I wrote this article, probably 3-5 tablespoons per day. I didn't (and don't) exactly drink it out of the bottle, except when I want to taste the oil by itself, I would just pour it on any food basically.

I think these days my fat intake is somewhat lower -- at least the 70% estimate seems high. I'm using more vegetables than I used to, even though I'm still lowish on carbs.


Braven June 16, 2011 at 12:40 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Braven June 18, 2011 at 12:55 AM  


Great blog! I will follow a similar approach, except I need some modifications as my diet is drastically different from this and a little advice.

I have been doing an eating condensed window 18/6 for the past 6 months, and actually have had a very high fat and high protein intake. Around 100-120 a day, now I need to cut that.

Everything I was doing the past few years was directed to stimulate the mTOR to elicit growth as I weight train and needed it for my sports, however, after reading this blog I am very disappointed to find out the truth to what I have been doing to myself.

So if you could answer my question it would be just wonderful. I am still training and wondering if I were cut out any meat/fish/eggs/etc on days I train and have whey if it would have the same effect.

Now I no that stimulating the mTOR to the degree I was is the exact opposite of what I want to do, but I still need to stimulate it at least right after an intense workout and let it tapper off until the next workout.

I would be able to answer my own question if I had the knowledge on IGF1, but I am not sure.

Does this also mean that fasting, since it increases GH, should not be done?

As everyone can see I am not to sure about IGF1, and actually anyone advice would be greatly appreciated.

Anonymous June 19, 2011 at 11:11 AM  

JLL, I think you should take a look to this:

JLL June 21, 2011 at 10:48 AM  


I am not convinced that increasing mTOR is detrimental to longevity, even though reducing it might be positive. Same thing with IGF-1, it looks like it's necessary to reduce IGF-1 if you want to benefit from CR, but I'm unaware of any studies showing that increasing IGF-1 from the baseline would increase mortality (or have a "pro-aging" effect).

As for meat/fish vs. whey, my understanding is the source of protein does not matter so much as the quality of the protein -- as in, protein synthesis is the key, not whether the amino acids come from meat or fish or whey.

All in all, I don't think there is at the moment a realistic way to combine sports with CR. Increased energy consumption means increased energy/protein intake. However, even though properly done CR is better for longevity than doing nothing, strength training seems better than doing nothing too.

The effect of the strictest CR diet in humans would result in maybe 5 extra years, which is not that much in the grand scheme of things, if you're still relatively young.


Anonymous October 29, 2011 at 1:57 PM  

Why rice?

Just wondering why you are choosing to avoid rice? Is it because of its high glycemic index? I agree with the other things you are limiting like grains (especially wheat), dairy, fruit juices, etc. Rice seems to be not so bad to me. Its gluten free, good source of protein, fibre & b vitamins in its whole form (brown) and basmati rice has a low-moderate glycemic index, brown basmati is even better, i think somewhere around 40-55. Jasmine rice on the other hand has a GI of 101!

JLL October 31, 2011 at 9:31 PM  


I've avoided rice because of its high glycemic index and because I was on a low-carb diet anyway. I think white rice is relatively neutral -- calorie for calorie, it's definitely not the best source of nutrients, but it doesn't seem to be all that harmful either. I'm not really avoiding rice anymore (nor potatoes for that matter).


Florent Berthet February 7, 2012 at 8:20 PM  

It's been shown that carbs pre and post-workout are useful for muscle growth. What would be your advice in that regard? Is rice ok in this case (since blood glucose will probably be used by muscles, maybe less glycation will occur?).

Or would you prefer potatoes or other sources of carbs?

JLL March 10, 2012 at 6:07 PM  

@Florent Berthet,

I think it's been shown that carbs pre-workout *don't* help muscle growth. For post-workout, I think rice and potatoes are both okay.


Florent Berthet March 10, 2012 at 7:48 PM  

My bad, I had proteins in mind when I said pre and post-workout. I agree about carbs being useful only post-workout for muscle growth.

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