Biohacking and the field of longevity are often thought that those are only for the rich, investing a lot of money into trying scientific approaches to improve lifespan. However the truth is that the most effective ways to improve lifespan are very cheap or completely free.
To prove it, researchers at the University of Virginia tasked six women aged around 58 years to follow a diet and do minor lifestyle changes. The experiment resulted in incredible changes after only 2 months.
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What is biohacking?
Biohacking is actually do-it-yourself biology. By making changes to the body, diet, and lifestyle, people can improve their own health and well-being, improve brain function, lose weight and eventually turn back their biological clock, and reduce their biological age — or how old their cells and tissues are. Results? Nothing less than a healthier and longer life.
Some scientists claim that simple lifestyle changes such as diet, exercise and sleep could wind back a person’s biological age in as little as eight weeks. To prove this thesis a recent scientific research carried out at the University of Virginia challenged 6 healthy women who were around 58 years old, to reverse their biological age.
The 2 months study involved the following lifestyle changes:
- Diet: The basic of the 8-weeks program was a specially designed diet to support DNA methylation, to keep cells healthy within the body. DNA methylation is an epigenetic mechanism used by cells to control gene expression. It’s a signalling tool that can fix genes in the “off” position. As we get older, DNA methylation becomes less efficient, leading to a faster aging of cells.
- Regular exercising: for 30 minutes, five days a week that might be moderate to high-intensity exercise sessions, like running or cycling.
- A good sleeping routine: at least seven hours a night.
- Breathing exercises: for ten minutes, twice a day for stress relief.
Details of the age reversal diet
Participants were offered a daily menu including:
- Two cups of dark leafy greens, like kale, spinach, Swiss chard, dandelion, and mustard greens;
- Two cups of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, arugula, kale, mustard greens, kohlrabi, radish, Swiss chard, or turnip;
- Three cups of coloured vegetables, except for sweetcorn and white potatoes;
- One to two medium beets;
- Four tablespoons of pumpkin seeds;
- Four tablespoons of sunflower seeds;
- One serving of either half a cup of berries or half a teaspoon of rosemary or turmeric, 2 cloves garlic, 2 cups green tea (brewed 10 minutes), or 3 cups oolong tea (brewed 10 minutes) to support methylation;
- 170 g of meat, preferably grass-fed, pastured, organic and hormone/antibiotic-free;
- Two servings of low glycemic fruits, such as berries, or grapefruit;
- Healthy oils (e.g. coconut, olive, flaxseed and pumpkin seed oil);
- One serving of probiotics (containing Lactobacillus plantarum 299v) and green powder supplements ( a combination of organic vegetables, fruits, seeds and herbs);
- Eight cups of water to drink.
The weekly menu also involved:
- Three servings of liver, each weighing 85 g;
- 5-10 eggs, ideally free range or organic, omega-3 enriched.
At the same time, participants were asked to avoid the following foods:
- beans and legumes.
Participants were asked to fast from 7pm to 7am each day. Many research suggests that the benefits of a 12-hour fasting are similar to longer fasting times, as long as you restrict the number of meals in the eating window.
At the beginning and at the end of the study, blood tests were carried out to check the women’s biological age using the Horvath DNAmAge clock, which uses DNA methylation to estimate someone’s biological age.
During the 8 weeks, participants were monitored showing that they followed the plan about 82% of the time.
Results showed that the women’s biological age dropped by nearly five years on average, however, one lady’s biological age fell 11 years during the study, from 57 to 46 years.
The findings of this case study confirms that widely-accessible, cost-effective dietary and lifestyle interventions, that are designed to support DNA methylation and are considered to be safe, may be able to reduce measures of biological aging and have the potential to impact healthspan and lifespan.
Incorporating the above-mentioned diet and lifestyle changes into your everyday life may significantly improve your overall health and well-being and improve your lifespan. Little changes may not seem like much, but they can change your life over time.