Natural anti-ageing - My 13 Anti-Ageing strategies

Eduard de Wilde on 22 Jun 2018, 10:17:51
Eduard de Wilde

Eduard living life optimally

In this post, I share with you the instruments I use for natural anti-ageing. Most of them target the mitochondria, the powerhouses of the body. The better they function, the more energy you have. When you age you have less of them and their performance decreases.

My goal with the Bulletproof/Biohacking lifestyle is anti-ageing. Not because I want to become 125, but to stay fit as long as possible. In other words, how good I feel today is the greatest benefit of my anti-ageing strategy.

Some theory behind my natural anti-ageing approach

The most common cause of accelerated ageing is chronic, low-grade inflammation. Inflammation can be caused by many things, not just bacterial or viral infections, but also damage that is inflicted by the environment or by ourselves.

Some common causes of mild inflammation:

  • A poor diet containing processed foods, sugars, chemical additives, pesticides etc. In general, a diet like this isn't optimal for anyone.
  • A diet that isn’t right for you: containing allergens that you happen to be sensitive to, or food that isn’t processed well by your gut bacteria.
  • Over-exercising: as long as you’re not overdoing it, this shouldn’t be a problem. The inflammation caused by training is a growth signal that allows you to become stronger. But you need to take enough time to let your body recover, otherwise it can become an issue.
  • Continuous eating: when you eat throughout the entire day, your body has very little opportunity to clean up the waste that is produced by the processing of food. Accumulating waste is a trigger for mild inflammation.
  • Improper rest, sleep, and relaxation: the stress hormone that regulates longer-term stress is cortisol. It has many short-term beneficial effects when the body is in a state of emergency. But long-term high cortisol is bad for your body: it stops the long-term beneficial processes in favour of short-term survival. Repair is halted! It is common knowledge that stressed people (visibly!) age far more quickly than people that control their stress.

Most anti-ageing strategies will focus on 1. reducing inflammation, 2. repairing damage, and 3. improving mitochondrial function. The third aspect (improved mitochondria) help with the first two points.
As the energy-producing organs in our cells, mitochondria constantly produce waste. It is an inevitable part of energy production. However, mitochondria compensate for their polluting by producing antioxidants to mitigate the damage they might cause. The more efficient the mitochondria are, the less waste they produce and the more antioxidants they make. Having the most efficient mitochondria possible will prevent inflammation and repair damage (points 1. and 2. of the anti-ageing strategy)!

Anti-ageing strategies that I use

This is not a complete overview of all the strategies that I use. For that, I would have to write a book. It is just meant as an overview with an explanation here and there.

1. Protein fasting

Once a week I don't eat protein. Protein fasting induces autophagy which means self-digestion. Your body starts to remove debris from your cells. Protein fasting also improves the mitochondrial function and efficiency. I combine this with a 24-hour water fast. It is the most practical way to make sure that I eat less than 15 grams of protein, which is needed for protein fasting.

Autophagy, protein and mitochondrial recycling

 

2. Daily intermittent fasting

Limiting your calorie intake can help slow down brain ageing. Studies have found that fasting mice have higher levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which is a protein that prevents neurons from dying. If you have low levels of BDNF, you have a higher risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease and other degenerative brain diseases. Intermittent fasting is easier to manage than long-term caloric restriction.

My first meal of the day is at 8 AM (Bulletproof Coffee), and my last meal of the day would be no later than 6 PM (if possible). That gives me a fasting period of 14 hours every day.

You can fast anywhere between 12 to 18 hours a day. Try delaying your breakfast until you are truly hungry (not just eating out of habit), having dinner early and stop eating after dinner. Early dinner can also improve your sleep!

3. Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet is a high fat-low carb diet. The goal is to get your body in a fat burning mode. In that mode, it uses your body fat to produce ketones for energy. According to scientific studies, ketone bodies may be actually beneficial by protecting the cells of the body from “oxidative stress”, thought to be a contributing factor in ageing. Most of the time I follow a low carb diet (below 75 grams of carbs per day) and occasionally I have periods that I restrict my carbs to below 25 grams in order to stay in ketosis.

For more on how the ketogenic diet impacts ageing, check out this article and/or this podcast where a prominent anti-ageing researcher (Dr. Verdin) explains the processes involved.

4. Avoid Inflammatory food

I avoid inflammatory foods as much as possible. That means I don't eat (most of the time):

  • Sugar: processed sugars, white sugars, high-sugar syrups etc.

  • Commercially produced vegetable oils which contain the pro-inflammatory Omega-6. Omega-6 is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA). The intense heating used during extraction results in the oxidation of fats and the loss of many beneficial carotenoids (vitamin A), tocopherols (vitamin E), and sterols. Whole foods sources of Omega-6 can be very beneficial. They come packaged with other nutrients like dietary fibre (2), folic acid (vitamin B9/11), niacin (vitamin B3), tocopherols (vitamin E), vitamin B6, calcium, magnesium, potassium, phytosterols, polyphenols, and more.

  • Grains. They contain phytic acid, lectins, gluten and mycotoxins. If I eat bread my belly swells up. Not a good sign.

5. Collagen

As you age, collagen production decreases, causing wrinkles. I add grass-fed Collagen to my diet daily. I put it in green smoothies or in my Bulletproof Coffee. Collagen is also an important part of bones and joints, so supplying collagen will strengthen and maintain the health of these tissues that often deteriorate as we age.

6. C8 MCT Oil

I use Brain Octane in my Bulletproof coffee in the morning. It delivers caprylic fatty acids to my body that can improve my brain function, have antimicrobial effects, and help with burning fat. It also can improve cognitive energy, level of concentration and focus by providing more energy to the brain.

Caprylic acid (C8) is a medium-chain triglyceride (MCT). MCTs are shorter than normal fats and are more easily broken down by the body into ketones. These ketones then rapidly supply a clean source of energy that the mitochondria can easily process. You can find out more about MCTs in this blogpost.

7. Anti-ageing supplements

These are my best anti-ageing supplements:

  • PQQ and Ubiquinol (Co-Enzyme Q10): the mitochondria need these nutrients to function optimally and produce the fewest waste.

  • Krill Oil and Fish Oil: rich in omega-3 fatty acids that have anti-inflammatory effects and have many important functions in the brain (and all tissues, really)

  • Polyphenomenal: a Bulletproof supplement that supplies polyphenols (antioxidants) from 10 different plant extracts.

  • Liposomal Glutathione: Glutathione is the master antioxidant of the body; the most powerful antioxidant we can make. It strengthens your immune system and helps repair damage. Best of all: it's an enzyme, meaning that it can be reused indefinitely unlike some plant-derived antioxidants.
    You can take glutathione as-is, or try to increase your own body's production.

  • Green Tea extract: Green tea is extremely rich in polyphenols, including the powerful EGCG.

  • BCAA: Branched Chain Amino Acids are required to maintain your muscles (they make up about 35% of muscle amino acids), especially if you are doing strength training often like I do.

  • Acetylcholine: a neurotransmitter very important for good mental performance, such as processing speed and recall.
    You can increase acetylcholine production by consuming more choline (often added to nootropic supplements) or by using Natural Stacks Acetylcholine Brain Food (which provides all nutrients needed for acetylcholine production).

8. Sleep

Sleep is of utmost importance for anti-ageing. During sleep, your body repairs itself. Some people are proud of sleeping only a few hours per night. However, they age faster.

When you sleep the mitochondria in your brain are used to remove cellular waste. As mentioned often in this newsletter I use my Oura ring to identify the factors the improve my sleep. My deep sleep is most vulnerable. I can improve it by moderate exercising, having dinner as early in the evening as possible, avoiding alcohol and going to bed early (ult. 10.30 pm). It also helps when I stop working 2 hours before I go to bed. That means not checking my Iphone and computer. When I don't wind down before going to bed, it takes more time to get my heart rate down to below 50 which is a sign of ultimate rest.

I do use supplements for my sleep: Magnesium and BrainEffect Sleep. Also it helps to drink Reishi (a medicinal mushroom promoting rest and relaxation) at night.

9. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and weight training

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) alternates between brief, strenuous exercise and active rest. Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered that HIIT can reverse signs of ageing at the cellular level. Younger volunteers experienced a 49% boost in mitochondrial capacity—the cell’s ability to take in oxygen and produce energy—while older folks experienced an even more dramatic 69% increase. You might sprint for 60 seconds, walk for 30, do push-ups for 60, walk for 30, and so on. My favourite tool is the kettlebell. I do 6 x 20 swings with 30 seconds rest (and 10 seconds planking).

10. Near-infrared light

I use a near-infrared light each morning. Infrared light and light in the red spectrum has been shown to improve metabolic function, boost mitochondrial health, speed skin and wound healing, and aid in detoxification. It also should help to slow the process of getting wrinkles. I don't feel an immediate effect when I use it. However, I miss it if I don't. I use the lamp that is created by Leanne Venier. But Joov has a nice alternative.

11. Cold showers

Each morning I take a cold shower. In the winter I swim weekly in a lake in the forest. And now and then I take an ice bath. Cold showers and ice baths can decrease the inflammatory processes that lie at the heart of the ageing process. Cold therapy also causes cells to increase its amount of mitochondria.

12. Meditation

We can influence the release several hormones with our lifestyles, such as testosterone, estrogen, and cortisol. These hormones have a major effect on the amounts of stress that are experienced within daily life, your energy levels, your wakefulness, your mood within your daily life, your bodily strength and even your mental performance and clarity. I must admit that cortisol is my weakest element. Building LiveHelfi is a demanding and stressful challenge! That's why meditation is a crucial part of my daily routine.

Regular meditators have reduced levels of cortisol and are more resistant to the effects of stress on the body. So meditation is a good habit to get into, but it also takes time for you to see the benefits. Here’s Mark Sisson’s guide to meditation, a nice starting point.

13. Skin care

Your skin is your largest organ. You should handle it with care. I use Gold Serum of Alitura Naturals. It contains only natural ingredients. Some of the most important ingredients are Astaxanthin, Marine Collagen and CoQ10. It Improves skin elasticity by strengthening the collagen layer and the supports the functional ability of the mitochondria, necessary for maintaining optimal health of the skin at a cellular level.

Let me know what anti-ageing instruments you use!

Topic: biohacking, anti-ageing, anti-aging