To Live Longer, Healthier, and Happier Be More Like a Tortoise

Mish

Cells in some animals resist aging far better than others. The tortoise and naked mole rats are among them.

Aging Less 

Please consider The Best Remedy for Our Diseases? Aging Less

Every year that you’re alive, your risk of dying increases by 10%. This starts out innocuously enough: In your 30s, your odds of death in any given year are less than one in 1,000. But compounding 10% per annum starts to add up frighteningly quickly: By age 90, if you’re lucky enough to make it that far, your odds of not making your 91st birthday are roughly one in six.

Those of us who make it far enough expect to be confronted with frailty, disease and death caused by our bodies’ degeneration with time. 

Though these wrinkly, lumbering beasts might not seem like ideal ambassadors for aging well, by the statistical definition of aging—how fast your risk of death increases with time—these tortoises hardly age at all.

This phenomenon is known as “negligible senescence.” Some kinds of salamanders and fish, tiny pond creatures called hydra, and burrow-dwelling rodents called naked mole-rats all have a risk of death unrelated to how long ago they were born. This often means that they live much longer than closely related species. Mice might live to 3 years old but naked mole-rats can survive into their 30s.

A secret of the tortoises’ longevity is that their cells can divide more than twice as many times as human cells before becoming aged or “senescent.” Naked mole-rats are more enigmatic, aging in similar ways to us at the microscopic level; other biological mechanisms appear to keep them healthy regardless. The crucial result is that these animals don’t just live a long time, but they do so in good health. You would be hard-pressed to tell which adult naked mole-rats are the oldies. They maintain everything from muscle mass to fertility until extreme old age, scurrying around fit and healthy and even reproducing.

Already, therapies to combat cell senescence—senolytics—are undergoing human trials. There are currently at least 20 startups trying to transfer senolytics from the lab to the clinic. 

Aging causes 85% of deaths in the U.S. but receives just 6% of government health research funding—substantially less than research into diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s that aging causes. The amount of funding for research into actually treating aging is even smaller, while treating the chronic diseases of aging is a huge component of health costs.

It would be nice to live to 90, disease free, with the same energy and stamina as someone 20.

I fear advances that keep people alive artificially, in pain, and unable to think clearly or move. 

Mish

Comments (35)
No. 1-16
njbr
njbr

Being named as "the oldest living person" is a short-lived joy.

Eat well.
Don't smoke.
Exercise.
Socialize.
Get sleep.
Don't stress.

Sechel
Sechel

Avoid saturated fat and excess sodium. Avoid sausage and red meats. Nutrition should be fruits, vegetables, mushrooms, legumes, and fish like sardines, sockeye and arctic char. No processed grains just whole grains. A great deal of illness is due to inflammation.

Esclaro
Esclaro

I can’t imagine anything worse for the world than extending the lifespan of old people. They are self-centered fearful bigoted assholes who think it’s all about them. We should be diminishing their lifespans or eliminating their voting rights. They care nothing about the future or the young. Fuck old people! In case you think I am young, I am not. Baby boomers - the worst generation in history!

Mish
Mish

Editor

trip winding down
Got a full night's sleep for the first time in 6 days. I wanted to get up at sunrise but was just too tired. one more day in lee's ferry AZ area.

Found lots more stuff to do. We will bring our kayaks back to this area.

anoop
anoop

Health is 99% genetic and 1% lifestyle choice, most of that 1% being avoiding abuse of drugs and alcohol. There is no other secret to living long. If someone tells you otherwise, they usually have something to sell you.

Eddie_T
Eddie_T

"I fear advances that keep people alive artificially, in pain, and unable to think clearly or move. “

Yes, this is the worst of all outcomes....to be alive, but useless, demented, and dependent.

For me, avoiding this is far more important than how many days I get to breathe and walk the earth.

One of these days I’m going to write a book about all the lessons I’ve learned from my dogs. There are many, but one of the most remarkable ones is the way they handle death.

They often live very active lives right up until they finally experience major organ failure.....enjoyng a five mile run just a week before death.....not exhibiting symptoms or complaining about anything, and then they just pass...... in a day or two.

I also admired the way my father handled death. He knew it was coming, but he held on until the very last of all his responsibilities were met. The last thing he did was to drive some hours to see my newborn son, his first grandson. I had no idea he was so close to passing......he literally drove from here back home and immediately checked in to the hospital, where he passed in a few days time.

Mish, you’re on the right track with your hikes. Good for your body and good for your mind, to keep finding new places to see and experience. I have another friend who retired a couple of years ago, and has hiked all the major trails in New England since she quit work. I admire that.

Although I am not a religious person, I believe death is part of our karma, and that the day of our passing is written from before the beginning of this incarnation we call our “life”.

I’ve always had this feeling that I would live to be a very old man and get the opportunity to look at human existence from that perspective, as someone who witnessed the history of these times, learned some lessons, and hopefully gained some wisdom about life and love.....

My experience is that we live lives that are often very boring in this time and place we live in today, in spite of all our material advantages. It is the days of great joy and also the days of great sadness that I remember and carry with me in my heart.

I was recently asked to perform another marriage ceremony (my second) which will be coming up in a few months. If you get a chance to do that, I recommend it.

Carl_R
Carl_R

First, the goal is not to increase lifespan, but healthspan. The number one thing right now that does that is exercise, which keeps you healthy, which in turn helps you live longer. Some approaches for extending healthspan:

  1. Senolytics - kill off senescent cells. Right now you can take large quantities of fisetin, if you like. Will it work? Will it increase your healthspan? Who knows...
  2. Increase the length of your telomeres. Telomeres get shorter each time a cell divides, and when they get too short, the cell becomes senescent. Increasingthe length of the telomeres would increase the number of times a cell can divide. There are herbal remedies for that too. Will they make you live longer? Will they increase your chances of cancer?
  3. Regenerate the thymus - The thymus begins a process of involution, converting itself to fat cells, as soon as we reason adolescence. It is necessary in order for us to produce diferentiated memory T-cells. Those have a long time, 40-50 years. By the time we are 70, though, we start to lose immunity to things that we developed immunity to in our youth, and thus we become increasingly susceptible to disease after age 70. A lifetime of exercise helps, but experiments are underway with drugs to reverse the involution, one being HGH.

The number one thing to remember is this: Aging is not a disease. Medicines are things that are made and sold only to treat disease. Thus, if a drug were developed that prevents aging, it would never qualify as a medicine, and couldn't be sold as such. This limits the potential for profit in developing such a drug.

Doug78
Doug78

Patient: "Doctor, do you think that I shall live until I am ninety?"
Doctor: "How old are you now?"
Patient: "40"
Doctor: "Do you drink, gamble, smoke or do you have any other vice?"
Patient: "No. I don’t drink. I don’t gamble. I don’t smoke. I have no vice."
Doctor: "Then why do you want to live for another fifty years?"

davebarnes2
davebarnes2

So, you are implying that Moscow Mitch McConnell is going to live to be 120.
Gee, thanks.

john of sparta
john of sparta

a GP doctor friend told me: Stay OFF Ladders to live a healthy life.

john of sparta
john of sparta

a GP doctor friend said: Stay OFF Ladders to live a longer, healthier life.

numike
numike

“As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.”
― Seneca

TCW
TCW

I thought about eating healthy and giving up BBQ but then it just didn't make sense to make myself miserable just so that I could be miserable longer.

AussiePete
AussiePete

I mentioned in an email to Mish regarding his prostate cancer story that lycopene, the active ingredient in tomatoes, has been shown to reduce the risk of prostate cancer, but more interestingly, it also reduces the risk of stroke by 26%, CVD by 14% and "all-cause mortality" by a whopping 37%

I subscribe to the hard-copy edition of Life Extension magazine, but a lot of their articles can be read for free online - highly recommended....

FromBrussels
FromBrussels

LIFE a overhyped phenomenon, a continuous burden of staying happy and healthy in a increasingly complicated, envy and sex(some call it love) driven materialistic world . When I was a little boy one could at least enjoy a natural and mostly happy childhood, today, 5 years old, in a increasingly competitive environment are already expected to be little Einsteins, with depression at 8 as a consequence....I won t even mention future pandemics, potential financial system meltdowns and wars leading to authoritarian regimes putting a drastic end, at one point, to our spoiled and smug western existence....


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