NOVOS Founder and CEO Chris Mirabile led a webinar on the ultimate longevity lifestyle including exercise, sleep, psychology, and more! Towards the end, we opened the floor to questions from the audience.
Grace: Welcome, everyone. My name is Grace De Leon, associate brand manager at NOVOS. I’ll be your host for today’s event. As we all enter I would love to know what part of the world you’re calling in from, feel free to type in the chat box where you’re currently located. We’re going to give everyone a few minutes to enter the webinar. Incredible. We have a global audience today. I see people calling in from Los Angeles, Florida, and even Denmark. I’m currently located in New York City. All right, thank you all for joining us. I’m going to turn off the chat now, so you won’t be able to type in where you’re calling in from. Before I introduce our speaker for today, I have a few housekeeping items to go over. First off I want to thank those of you who have already submitted questions. During the event, you could submit more questions in the Q&A box.
Grace: If you see a question you like, you can upload it. At the end of the presentation, we will begin the Q&A. We will record and share this event, barring technical difficulties. Okay everyone it’s time to get started. I would to give a warm welcome to NOVOS founder and CEO, Chris Mirabile, a serial entrepreneur, brain tumor survivor, and the youngest winner of NYU Stern’s business plan competition. Chris Mirabile is known for beating the odds, early success and failure has shaped his business principles, but has also the taught him the value of living well. Determined to crack the code to longevity, Chris became a self-proclaimed citizen scientist. Experimenting with supplements, diet, and exercise has enabled him to reverse his biological age by more than 30%. He created NOVOS, a nutraceutical company with some of the world’s top longevity scientists, and MDs that help people take control of their healthspans and lifespans.
Chris: Thank you, Grace. Welcome, everyone. Today’s topic is longevity lifestyle. And as Grace mentioned, I’m NOVOS founder and CEO. A quick disclaimer, nothing I say in this presentation is medical advice, so keep that in mind that you should speak to your healthcare experts or medical doctor before making any significant changes to your lifestyle. Today’s agenda, we’re going to start with an introduction on the subject matter. We’ll then go into diet and supplements, activity and exercise, sleep and recovery, psychology and relationships, physical environment, habits, both social and hygienic, have concluding remarks, and then we’ll open up the floor for questions and answers.
Chris: Let’s start. Healthspan versus lifespan versus maximal species lifespan. What are each of these? Lifespan is the most obvious. It is the number of years lived by an individual. Whereas healthspan is generally considered to be the number of years lived disease-free or without a chronic health condition. In the United States as of 2020, life expectancy on average was 73.2 years. The health expectancy is 64 years. So there’s what’s called a healthspan, lifespan gap of 9.2 years. This is a period in which people have chronic disease and health issues for almost a decade prior to them passing away.
Chris: Now, longevity medicine seeks to extend both healthspan and lifespan while minimizing the time spent with disease or poor physical health. And so to that point, I think this graph or this chart can give you an idea of the concepts we’re talking about here. On the X axis, you’ve got time birth to death. And on the Y axis, you have health, down to disease. And for the typical person, you start life very healthy, but unfortunately in modern-day society, people can start to lose some of their ideal health from an early age, with even children and teenagers becoming obese or having diabetes. But generally you maintain high health until the late decades of your life. And when you’re hitting 30 and then 40 and 50 and 60, the rate of decline accelerates.
Chris: And so you’ve got this period where your healthspan ends, where a chronic illness takes place, and then you have eventual death. Now, the ideal from a longevity medicine mindset is to have a long period in which you have this ideal health. It doesn’t decline for most of the decades of your life, or at least not by a significant margin. Then the end of healthspan is ideally even later than other people are passing away. And then the period between end of healthspan and death is as small as possible. So ideally it’s only a year or two that you have a chronic illness at the end of your life before you pass away.
Chris: Now there’s a scientific question of maximum lifespan potential that you’ll oftentimes hear scientists talk about. When they talk about a longevity intervention, they will say perhaps, this intervention did not extend lifespan. But what they’re really talking about is maximum lifespan for the species. For example, Jeanne Calment who is considered to be the oldest living person in history. She lived to the ripe old age of 122 years. And according to a study published in Nature, it’s believed that through mathematical modeling, the humans might be able to live as long as 125 years. From this perspective, scientists are oftentimes asking, can we actually go to 126 years or 130 years or 150? Eventually trying to achieve what’s known as longevity escape velocity, which is essentially extending human lifespan by at least one year per chronological year. Ideally more.
Chris: So if you get to that point, each chronological year you’re getting older, if we’re extending maximum lifespan potential by a year or longer, you reach longevity escape velocity, which essentially means being able to live forever. Not everyone is looking for that. And for the sake of this presentation we’re going to focus on the more practical, which is, how can you maximize your lifespan potential, maximize your healthspan potential, and minimize that lifespan, healthspan gap? The average life expectancy, which is a benchmark for population-wide health has risen from 47 to 73 years in the last seven decades, which is a 26 year expansion.
Chris: This chart, as you can see it’s a global population in billions. Obviously our population has grown since the 1950s. The bars aren’t as important. What I want to highlight is these two lines. The red line and the blue line were once equal to each other, which basically means that there were just as many people over 70 as there were under 70. And then it began to spread. And you see now by 2020, there are far more people who are living over 70 than are living under 70 years. This is looking at a global level countries and territories around the world. And you see in 1950, no country had more than 10% of its population above 70 years. And now in 2020, there’s a whole bunch that are between 10 and 20%, and even one that’s more than 20%. And by the year 2100, it’s projected this is going to grow dramatically.
Chris: And to that point, by 2050, if you look at the population of the world, we’re going to have billions of people who are over 60 years old in both developing countries and developed countries. Now, despite all of these overall improvements in lifespan, healthspan has nonetheless been declining in the United States. This chart shows the life expectancy trajectory of the 25 richest countries in the world. And this is looking at from the year 2010 to 2019. And as you can see, every country is on the up trend, Japan being the leader, and then Korea having the most dramatic improvement. Sorry, Qatar actually has the most dramatic. The United States is the only country out of the top 25 richest that had a decline in life expectancy over that decade.
Chris: And you can also see that echoed here in this chart, where the average number of years lived with a disease for an American has increased from 11.1 years to 12.64 years. And looking at the global map, there are very, very few countries in the world who have experienced two periods of decline within the period from 2010 to present. And the other countries are not as wealthy and well off as the United States, the other two countries that have. So why is this? Our genes haven’t changed, but our lifestyles have. Our diet, our activity, our sleep and recovery and so on, the topics that we’re going to cover in this webinar. The question naturally presents itself, how much of this is nature versus nurture? How much of it is the actual program or the software that’s our genetics? And how much of it is the input, so the data that comes in? The data is the form of our environment, our lifestyle, the foods we eat, social factors and so on.
Chris: And with very few exceptions, it’s predominantly lifestyle. This study done in 2016 in Italy shows survivorship per 100,000 people by age. And as you go up, it’s older age. The blue lines are male. The red lines are female. As you see females tend to live longer lives than males. But what’s important to note is how the genetic influence upon survival increases in the latest decades of life. For example, to get to 115 years old, yes, genetics do play a greater role for that. But for the vast majority of us to be able to live to 85, 90, 95, it’s not nearly as much genetics as one might think. So to that point, scientists have identified both pro and anti longevity genes. So which genes are going to increase lifespan and which ones are actually going to lead to worse health outcomes and death.
Chris: And they’ve also been discovering ways to epigenetically dial them up or down. So like a light switch or a dimmer to be able to increase the expression of these genes or decrease them. And this can be done through prescriptions, through lifestyle, through supplements, diet, and so on. And this is the next generation of health. You’ve got genes. I mentioned sex already, it’s an advantage to be a female from the lifespan perspective. And then there are specific genes like FOXO3, APOE, SIRT1 and so on. And then there’s environment. The factors we’ll talk about in this presentation. What impact do they have on healthspan and lifespan? Well, environments can modulate these genes as I just mentioned, and ultimately environment can contribute 70 to 80% to your healthspan and lifespan.
Chris: And this is counterintuitive to a lot of people. Only 20 to 30% of your lifespan and healthspan is dictated by your genes. So you have far more control over this than you might think. Let’s start with diet. What can you do? Well, we’ve done the webinar on this in the past. If you go to novoslabs.com and you click on the magnifying glass in the top right corner of the screen, you can type diet webinar, and you can see the presentation we’ve given. I’m going to give a slightly different perspective on this today. And so what I’d like to do is look at this through the perspective of three primary concepts. So for diet, the first concept is quantity. How many calories are you ingesting? What are the macronutrients you’re taking in, and what’s the quantity and ratios of them, the carbs, the protein and the fat?
Chris: The answer to what’s best for you is going to be dependent upon different variables like age or sex or activity. For example, if you’re 70 years old, it’s recommended that you take in more protein than if you’re a more sedentary person who’s 20 years old, largely because you don’t want to have sarcopenia and losing muscle mass and it’s harder to absorb protein when you’re older than when you’re young. Then the second is quality. There are different forms of these macronutrients. You’ve got trans fats, which can be carcinogenic and very bad for your heart. You have saturated fats, you’ve got Omega-3, six, and nine. You have different amino acid compositions for proteins and different amino acids can have vastly different impacts on your health and the phenotypic expression or the way that your body responds to these amino acids.
Chris: Sugar versus prebiotics versus starch. These are all forms of carbohydrates, but they can have vastly different impacts on your health and biology. Then you have micronutrients, vitamins, minerals, polyphenols from plants and natural foods. And then finally storage and preparation. For example, freezing spinach can degrade the folate, the B vitamin folate within that spinach compared to having unfrozen spinach. Or garlic, slicing it open and leaving it on the countertop before cooking it can increase the expression of the healthy compounds allicin within it. Or preparation, char grilling something will produce advanced glycation end products. It’s what makes something black when you’re grilling it, for example, and those can accelerate aging. These are all important factors to consider.
Chris: And then finally timing. How do you combine the macros? Do you for example have a high saturated fat meal with a high glucose meal, which is going to increase the amount of the fat that you store. It can also increase the production of lipopolysaccharides, which are an endotoxin that can permeate the gut lining, lead to heart issues. It can also permeate the blood brain barrier and lead to potential long term brain issues. When you break your fast, so you’re more insulin sensitive earlier in the morning. It’s a factor of when you’re going to have your first meal that you should consider. When you finish eating, your sleep efficiency can be impacted by whether you finish your meal immediately before bed or hours before. Time restricted feeding. So minimizing your eating window. And fasting, so having a period of 24 hours or longer without eating can have a lot of longevity inducing outcomes.
Chris: If you’re interested in learning more about the topic, one of the best scientists and biggest names in the field is Dr. Satchi Panda at the Salk Institute. This is an excerpt from, or the title from one of his studies, looking at lifespan and meal times. But what can you practically do? In each section I’m going to go over some practical tips. For diet. First be eucaloric or hypocaloric. Eucaloric, meaning eating the same number of calories that you expend. Or hypocaloric, meaning you eat less than you expend. And on the vast majority of days do this by up to 25% fewer calories than you eat. But I would recommend personally for quality of life, every week or so add in a hypocaloric day where you’re normalizing your metabolism and your hormones and so on by going a little bit above, that could be your cheat day for example.
Chris: Two, minimize your eating window to less than 12 hours per day. Ideally this is between four to eight hours. I personally have my first meal at about 2:00 PM and then finish up around seven to 8:00 PM. So it’s about six hours. And then I have plenty of time before I go to sleep. To that point, stop eating about three hours before bed, at least two, but ideally three. Eat mainly vegetables, mushrooms, and legumes. If you go to novoslabs.com/diet, you can learn more about this. Carbs are not the enemy despite what many would have you believe, but minimize the sugars and high glycemic starches that you’re taking in. If you look at the longest lived people in what’s known as the blue zones, the five territories around the world with the most centenarians, you’ll find that they actually have a healthy amount of starch.
Chris: For example, in Sardinia, they’re having more than 70% carbohydrate. Dr. Valter Longo, who studies longevity and diet, actually recommends about 60% of calories coming from carbohydrates. I personally have lower carbs than that, and there’s different philosophies on it, but the point is that carbs are not necessarily as bad as they’re made out to be. It’s more about the form of the carb, how much sugar and glycemic index do they have, and how much of them are you having together at once versus spreading the mouth throughout the day. Avoid combining high fat foods, especially saturated fats with high carb or sugar meals as I mentioned earlier. Maximize fiber and prebiotics like resistant starch, which you can get from unmodified potato starch or you can cook and cool white rice to do the same.
Chris: FOSs, which stands for fructooligosaccharides and inulin, which you can get from foods like onion, garlic asparagus. Galacto-oligosaccharides, GOS, from beans and tubers. Beta-glucans come from reishi and shiitake mushroom, seaweed and oats. Consume moderate protein. For most people that’s about 1.3 grams per kilogram or one and a half grams per kilogram for athletes. You need a little bit more if you’re exercising. Reduce mTOR stimulating animal protein. mTOR is a growth pathway and we are chronically elevating mTOR, and it has negative effects on longevity. This is where the prescription drug rapamycin comes in and the longevity inducing effects of rapamycin is modulated by mTOR. Animal proteins will stimulate mTOR more so than vegetarian proteins. So reduce the intake. It doesn’t mean you have to get rid of it completely, but reduce the intake of it relative to other forms.
Chris: Especially eliminate cured meats. Cured meats are among the least healthy things you can have in your diet. Increase your protein ratio later in your life to combat sarcopenia, like I mentioned earlier, which is when you’re losing muscle mass. Consume Omega-3 rich fatty fish like salmon, three to seven days per week, otherwise supplement with Omega-3s with low TOTOX, which stands for total oxidation. Consume fresh olive oil or avocados over vegetable oils and sunflower seed oil and so on, canola oil. Generously consume polyphenol rich tea, coffee, herbs, and spices, throw as much of this into your diet as you can. And consider having 24 to 72 hour fast, but only if you have adequate body weight. If you’re underweight, definitely don’t experiment with this and make sure you do it under doctor supervision.
Chris: Next is supplements. We have a webinar on this as well that you can search on novoslabs.com. But the quick overview is, general health supplements. These are micronutrients that are considered essential for your health. It’s what the government has ascribed a RDA or recommended daily allowance for, or intake for. You have vitamins like vitamin A, the Bs and choline and so on. And you have a lot of minerals. We’ll go over those in the minute. Then you have longevity supplements. Once you have your general health base covered, which is important for you to be able to feel good, focus, have energy, sleep well, have stable mood and so on. Then you have longevity supplements. This is what NOVIS specializes in. These are supplements that focus on the causes of aging, the hallmarks of aging. NOVOS being the first to address all 12 Hallmarks of aging simultaneously.
Chris: And so these are composed of at least NOVOS of safe over the counter ingredients that are found in the human body or in nature. And for NOVOS core that’s ingredients like Calcium Alpha-ketoglutarate, fisetin, microdose lithium, which we had historically in our water supply throughout our ocean and no longer do because of water filtration, pterostilbene and so on. And then NOVOS Boost, which is one super powerful ingredient, nicotinamide mononucleotide, or NMN. Then finally you have prescription drugs. These can be very powerful for longevity, but there are some drawbacks. First is that prescription drugs they’re created as one drug, one target. In other words they’re created to deal with one specific medical indication and typically one biological pathway to do so.
Chris: And so they’re not as powerful as addressing aging from all of the different angles like we do with NOVOS. Second, they require a doctor’s prescription. Third, they tend to have a higher side effect profile than natural ingredients like those contained in NOVOS, but nonetheless they have promising potential and could potentially be used in concert with NOVOS supplements. For example, rapamycin or metformin. But of course, again, make sure that you do this under a doctor’s supervision if you’re considering it. When it comes to supplements, make sure that you get the general health supplements to cover any deficiencies that you might have from your diet. It’s very easy to run the deficiencies in one or two or three nutrients, vitamin A or magnesium or zinc or copper. So if you cover your bases with the supplements, you can make sure that you have zero deficiencies while also not overdosing on anything.
Chris: The particularly important ones to look at are vitamin A, the retinyl palmitate form, all eight of the B vitamins, vitamin C, D3, vitamin E in the form of mixed tocopherols and tocotrienols, vitamin K in the form of MK-4 and MK-7 and choline. And then for minerals, you have calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, iodine, selenium, some iron, you don’t want to overdo the iron, which can cause excess oxidation, but you also don’t want to underdo the iron where your cells can become oxygen starved, and it’s arguably equally as bad as being overly oxidized. You want to be in the sweet spot of the range, either in the middle or on the lower end of the healthy range for iron. Others would include Omega-3, DHA and EPA form as I mentioned earlier.
Chris: And then longevity supplements like Core and Boost. We believe that they’re best in class. We have published research and ongoing independent research. Most recently we published two different studies where we found in human cells, in vitro, that we were able to reduce DNA damage by as much as 77% from irradiation, which is off the charts. And when it comes to senescent cells, we had a similar effect on senescent cells as the prescription drug rapamycin that I mentioned before, which is the gold stand in the research world. You can check out novoslabs.com/evidence to learn more about the scientific evidence behind our formulations.
Chris: It’s composed of ingredients like Calcium Alpha-ketoglutarate, like I mentioned earlier, fisetin, which is derived from strawberries and so on. And in prescriptions are more aggressive. If you’re curious to learn more, the more powerful ones are rapamycin, metformin, and acarbose. Activity and exercise is next. When you are active and you’re exercising, you are activating your what’s known as sympathetic nervous system. This is the nervous system that you can imagine if you were being chased by a predator is being activated. It’s the adrenaline, it’s the focus, it’s steady, rapid heartbeat. To that point, I love exercising. So to my fellow exercise nuts, I need to emphasize that there is such thing as too much when it comes to exercise and longevity. And I’ll go over that in a few minutes.
Chris: But for everyone else who dreads exercising, you’ll be relieved to know it doesn’t take that much to exploit a lot of the benefits. There was a study done where it looked at the number of years of life gained for people based on their historical exercise. And it found that people who did a certain amount of brisk walking each week, which is a moderate heart rate exercise, were able to add multiple years of life. And so the sweet spot is around 150 minutes per week to get 3.4 years. You see that it’s declining slightly in terms of the benefit for additional time as you go beyond that. Of course if you’re an overachiever, then getting 450 minutes, which is more than 60 minutes a day of brisk walking, will confer the maximum benefits or close to the maximum.
Chris: And so to that point, what is the maximum? Well, here you see in this chart, the reduction in all cause mortality, ranging from 14% with only 15 minutes a day of physical activity, all the way up to more than 35%. So at any point in time, the chances of dying are reduced by more than 35% if you’re getting close to 90 minutes of physical activity in each day. And the best way to do this is to do predominantly moderate exercise, that’s this green line. And then to also throw in some vigorous exercise, which as you see the curve declines earlier, so you don’t want to overdo it with more than say 40 or 50 minutes of the vigorous exercise per day. The recommendations for activity and exercise are a minimum of 150 minutes per week or 21 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise at 60 to 70% of your max heart rate. You can calculate this online if you Google search for max heart rate calculator.
Chris: And ideally you do 90 minutes per day if you have the time. You can cheat with a hot sauna to get your heart up and you get a lot of the benefits, but it’s not as beneficial as stimulating the actual muscle. With that said, saunas can be used additively, so you can get the exercise and then get additional benefits by adding a sauna into the mix. Then two to three days per week of strength training is ideal, especially legs for the sake of stability and to avoid deadly falls. When you’re older that’s a very common cause of death, is falling. And so build this up while you’re young, when you’re in your 20s, 40s, even 50s, so that you have a larger base to lose from when you hit menopause or for men when you’re around that age.
Chris: And ideally add in 75 minutes of intense exercise per week, this can be in the form of running, cycling, dancing, jump ropes, sports. And this would be in the range of 70 to 90% of your maximum heart rate. And do this for up to 275 minutes or so per week, which is about 45 minutes per day, with some rest periods thrown in the mix. You can reduce the time commitment if you don’t have the time or patience by doing high intensity interval training like sprints and burpees, that would get your heart rate up to 90 to 100%. And you would only need to do about 10 to 20 minutes a day of that. Now keep in mind, exercise is hormetic. So hormesis is the idea that when you induce stress upon an animal or an organism, that the organism can come back stronger. So the cells, the mitochondria perceive that stress and then they prepare themselves for that stressor in the future by being stronger and more fit.
Chris: So for the athletically inclined like myself, make sure you balance rest and recovery, which we’ll go into in the moment, and not cause stresses that extend beyond hormesis. For example, running ultra-marathons are definitely inducing more stress and inflammation than hormesis otherwise would be. So to that point, sleep and recovery, it activates what’s known as the parasympathetic nervous system. This is also known as rest and digest. It’s when you’re calm, serotonin is being released and you’re relaxing and recovering. And these are underappreciated, they’re neglected. Rest and recovery are comparably as important as physical activity. Excess activity can spike cortisol beyond the duration of the exercise. It can increase inflammation. It can make it difficult for you to sleep.
Chris: And interfering with sleep due to overtraining or neglecting sleep for other reasons can be really bad, deleterious for your health. Because sleep repairs, when you’re sleeping, your body, your brain releases glymphatic fluid, which is clearing toxins from your brain. And then that’s drained to your lymphatic system, which is clearing toxins from your body, which you then eventually urinate out. You’re also consolidating your memory, you’re normalizing your metabolism and more. In fact, in recent years, it’s been found that a lack of sleep or neglecting your sleep can increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. You can even see this acutely a day or two after poor sleep, blood sugar levels skyrocket. And so there’s cravings for sugary foods.
Chris: And this is just the beginning. There’s probably significantly more we’re going to be learning over the years in terms of how important sleep is. The recommendations, for most people it’s okay to simply listen to your body to ensure that you get seven to nine hours of restorative sleep, which would be high REM sleep and deep sleep. What’s important though, is that a lot of people think that they can get by on five or six hours of sleep because they say they feel good, but the research shows that’s not the case. If you look at reaction speed time, grip strength, memory, focus, mood, and so on, it is significantly degraded when you’re getting less than the seven to nine hours of restorative sleep. So this is important.
Chris: For athletes and we can warriors, consider using technologies the Oura Ring like I’m wearing. Whoop, which is a wristband. Eight Sleep is a bed, smart watches, which are able to monitor things like HRV, which is the heart rate variability. It’s a marker of physical or psychological stress. You’re resting heart rate, which can be indicative of your recovery. Sleep efficiency, sleep stages, movement, your body temperature, your respiratory rate. And of course don’t feel guilty for resting. This was important for me. When I redefined it as a productive use of my time, that rest was actually helping me to accomplish my long-term goals for longevity and physical performance, I suddenly started to see it as okay to rest rather than it being slacking off for example, or not progressing.
Chris: Next is psychology and relationships. One psychology can have a remarkable effect on longevity. Stress versus happiness, stress has cascading effects. It can lead to excess cortisol, higher blood pressure and blood glucose, poor sleep, just like eating saturated fats with high sugar meals can increase lipopolysaccharides and endotoxins, stress can do the same. Women who have stress or anxiety are two times more likely to die of heart disease, stroke, or lung cancer than those who don’t have it, and for men it’s actually three times more likely. Having purpose in your life can reduce the risk of a heart attack. And to that point, happiness and optimism. Peasant have 42% higher risk of death than optimists.
Chris: Next is conscientiousness. Conscientiousness is for those who are self-disciplined, organized, self-aware, goal-oriented. There’s a study following 1500 children into old age. Those children who are conscientious lived 11% longer lives. Why? Well is probably mainly due to things like lower incidents of psychological conditions, they had less stress, to my prior points, fewer risky decisions were made, and they were more responsible with their health. Relationships. So maintaining a healthy social network can help you live up to 50% longer. Having just three close social ties may decrease the risk of premature death by twofold. And healthy social networks are linked with positive changes in hormonal health, brain health, heart health, and immune function.
Chris: So the recommendations here are, one, work on being more self-aware via practices like meditation, journaling, self-reflection, psychological counseling, soliciting honest feedback from a loved one in a safe environment. Observe your thoughts, this is great for meditation or journaling. Observe your feelings, your emotions, and their physiological effects on you. Observance alone oftentimes, I know this from personal experience, can relieve stresses intention, just observing it. Reframe your stressor. If you’re in a very stressful situation, take a second to step back and think about other experiences in your life that may have been more difficult than what you’re going through. And remember that you got through those experiences. You lived to have happy days and smiles after those experiences, and this is no different, you’re going to get through it.
Chris: And when you step out of the situation for a moment, it can oftentimes help to relieve that stress. Make sure you maintain at least three solid, positive, loving relationships and discover a passion or a purpose. Oftentimes this can be achieved by volunteering. Now, physical environment, the air you breathe, and literally the light you absorb by your skin or your retinas can have an impact on your healthspan and your lifespan. Urban versus rural living. Urban dwellers have longer lifespans than rural, mostly due to cardiovascular disease, which might be due to dietary differences, but also drug use and access to medical care. If you live in a rural zone or even urban, it’s important for you to be aware of hospitals and doctors nearby in case something were to happen.
Chris: Nature, as little as 20 minutes in green space, so that’s in the woods or at a park, is shown to lower stress, lower blood pressure, reduce heart rate. It encourages you to participate in more physical activity, improves mood, it reduces risk of developing psychiatric conditions. And sunlight. So exposure to moderate doses of natural sunlight, it can help to entrain your circadian rhythm, which will improve your sleep and daytime energy, reduce stress and elevate your mood through things like endorphins and serotonin. It can increase nitric oxide production, which will vasodilate your blood vessels for cardiovascular health. And infrared light can increase subcellular melatonin levels, which is a potent antioxidant within the mitochondria.
Chris: And then finally, air pollution. So a study that was conducted by the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago found that air pollution has slightly greater impact on death than smoking does. And it can actually have a three times greater impact on death than alcohol use or unsafe water, and six times more than HIV and AIDS. So for physical environment, it’s important that you spend time outdoors in nature, ideally at least 20 minutes to start your day first thing in the morning, without sunglasses or sunscreen. If you want facial sunscreen to slow down photo aging or facial aging, that’s fine, but ideally you have some exposed skin as well. Try to expose your skin to the natural light in the green environment. The reflection from the green is actually infrared. Otherwise if you’re unable to do that, then at least spend 20 minutes or so outdoors during dusk or dawn for that infrared exposure.
Chris: Minimize exposure to air pollution. If you live in a rural area, carefully consider your healthcare options. Now habits, social habits. We all know smoking shortens lifespan and healthspan, so I won’t even bother going into that. But what about alcohol? This is a common question. What does science say? Well, there’s the pro alcohol argument, which claims that heart health for very moderate drinking, one to two drinks, one for females and two for males because of body size and metabolism differences is okay and healthy. It’s the adage that the dose makes the poison. Red wine contains longevity compounds resveratrol. Is that the reason why we see these results? Well, not likely because there’s very, very little resveratrol in red wine.
Chris: Well, what about hormesis? The stress, if you have just one drink, maybe it’s very little stress. That’s not likely either because alcohol is a very potent toxin. If you put alcohol on a cell or a virus or bacteria as we all know from COVID, within about a minute it’s destroyed. And so it’s having a lot of stress on our body when we drink it. Well, what about de-stressor? It can reduce blood pressure by calming you down if you’re stressed, maybe that’s why we see better health outcomes or heart health outcomes. Here’s a chart to that point, all cause mortality declines from zero to one drink for both males and females. That’s the best outcome. And then going up to two drinks for males is improving all cause mortality rates. So that sounds good, right?
Chris: Well, here’s the anti-alcohol argument. Ethanol is a potent toxin like I said, it’s not likely to be hormetic. In the study that was recently undertaken and it was published this year of 371,000 individuals using the highest, most advanced forms of statistical analysis that’s been done to date on the subject, it found that even moderate drinkers had shorter lifespans and heart health issues no matter how little alcohol they had, even if it was a half a drink. And it also found that the effect that I showed you previously was actually because of the fact that moderate drinkers were found to exercise more, they ate more vegetables and they smoked less than people who didn’t drink at all, or than people that drank more than one drink or two drinks.
Chris: So NOVOS position is alcohol is not a longevity promoting compound. I’m sorry, guys. Having small doses though on occasion may have a small enough impact on your health risk if you’re otherwise very healthy and have a low cardiovascular risk profile. To that point, many centenarians like Sardinians, they consume wine. Now, what’s important to know this is not likely causal. It’s not the wine that’s likely making them live long, but because they live so long, having a little bit of wine isn’t having that much of a negative impact on them. It’s something to keep in mind. Now, next is oral hygiene, in terms of habits. This is something that most people aren’t aware of, but brushing your teeth and flossing goes beyond just cavities and gums. It actually can have an impact on vital organs like your heart and your brain. So poor oral hygiene can lead to microbes that are bad for your health.
Chris: You have a biome in your mouth and that makes its way into your stomach and then eventually into your bloodstream, and it can increase the risk for Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, strokes, even insulin resistance. It’s important that you take care of your mouth and get a dental checkup, brush and floss every day. The habits, the recommendations for social and hygiene. First, avoid drinking alcohol. If you do drink, minimize the frequency. When you do drink, consider what the minimum dose is to achieve your desired outcome, whether that be as a social lubricant or to enjoy your meal with a glass of wine or to socialize, what is the minimum you can drink to achieve what you’re looking for? Before and after drinking, you can consider certain supplements like N-acetylcysteine, liposomal glutathione, milk thistle extract, vitamin C, which can potentially reduce ethanol’s damage as well as aid in your liver’s recovery.
Chris: When you drink, consider the type of alcohol and the implications that they can have. For example, to minimize the amount of alcohol in the social situation, consider a light beer that you can sip very slowly. To minimize the additional effects of sugar, avoid cocktails, Sweden cocktails. Red wine contains resveratrol and pinot noir has the most among the red wines, but it’s such a small amount, it’s probably not going to make any difference whatsoever. While drinking, make sure you properly hydrate. So have one glass of water, ideally mineral water which has electrolytes in it, for every serving of alcohol. And when you finish drinking, have two electrolyte drinks for proper rehydration. You don’t want to go to bed dehydrated, you’ll be hangovered the next day.
Chris: And then finally, brush and floss. When it comes to mouthwash, avoid antiseptic mouthwash. There’s some early research that indicates it might actually increase the risk of things like diabetes, makes sense. You have healthy microbes in your mouth as well, you don’t want to destroy everything. If you’re going to use a mouthwash, consider a gentle herbal mouthwash. Concluding remarks. We went over all of the different components of a longevity inducing lifestyle. It ranges from diet and supplements, possibly prescriptions, your activity and exercise, sleep and recovery, psychology relationships, and the physical environment. Some of these might be a little bit more impactful than others. For example, the food you eat and the timing of that food, your sleep and your activity levels.
Chris: But most of this adheres to what’s known as Pareto’s principle or the 80, 20 rule, that you can get a lot of the benefits, 80% of the benefits by being strict with 20% of the most important things. If you want to maximize to the potential, then you might be like me where you’re trying to adhere to as much of these guidelines as possible. With all of that said, if you’re interested in learning more on novoslabs.com/blog, you can find more than a hundred articles scientifically referenced on the subject matter. We go into depth about many different topics related to longevity, but you can also check out a personal blog of mine that I launched about a month ago, it’s called slowmyage.com. It’s a personal case study on longevity.
Chris: The reason I launched it was because when I got my epigenetic tests run and I got the results, the laboratory that’s a world renowned lab in the space, told me that they hadn’t seen results quite mine before, between multiple epigenetic tests, telomere age clock, and so on. It averaged out to about 37% reduction in biological age versus chronological. I’m 38 years old, but the results were coming out in the mid 20s. And I further validated that with my own personal testing. Things like, for example, pulse wave velocity, which I measure at home or my V̇O2 max, my maximum heart rate, my visceral fat levels, and then used a cool tool that we have at novoslabs.com/faceage, which is a facial AI that can analyze your face and tell you how your skin health is and your facial age is perceived based on a data set of more than 12 million photographs.
Chris: Based on all of this, I thought that maybe I’m doing something right and it’s worth sharing this with the broader community. If you go to the website, you can see my results, I’ll continually update them. And in the future I’ll start publishing some articles about what I personally do, what my personal routine is. With all of that said, I open the floor to questions.
Grace: Chris, thank you for that presentation. I know I have a bunch of questions and we have a bunch of questions in the chat. Before we get started, I want to give everyone a reminder that they can up vote their favorite questions. Now to get started, we have a question about sun exposure. How does sun exposure impact longevity? Can we minimize its impact on our health?
Chris: That’s a great question. It’s a controversial topic because you’ll hear doctors saying to always wear sunblock and then some people say we’ve evolved in the sun. It’s actually a topic that is a great example of something called antagonistic pleiotropy, which is the idea of what’s good for you today can actually be bad for you in the long term. It could be good for you today in the form of the production of vitamin D and nitric oxide like I mentioned before, but it could also increase the risk of melanoma. What is the ultimate position that NOVOS takes on the subject? Well, some sun exposure is good. And in fact, there are studies that have found, one I believe was conducted at Harvard that found that people with more sun exposure had lower rates of skin cancers or at least the deadliest forms of skin cancer.
Chris: And so we don’t believe that avoiding sun altogether is the ideal. You should get some sun exposure. Now, if you’re concerned about facial aging, I myself put facial sunblock on every day, even when I’m working indoors because there’s natural light coming in. That’s one thing. But I also then make sure to make my skin exposed to the sun. Now, with that said, why does skin cancer take place? Well, this isn’t medical advice, but some perspectives are, one, when people are indoors or in the Northeast, for example, for most of the year, and then suddenly exposed to UV rays, it’s just such a sudden onslaught of the irradiation from the UV rays, that it can be overwhelming and it can cause excess inflammation and the body isn’t capable of dealing with it.
Chris: So slowly easing into the sun exposure is one suggestion. The second suggestion is to try to reduce the amount of damage that can be caused from the sun. So that can be done by eating a healthy diet, having a lot of Omega-3s in your diet, anthocyanins from things blueberry, astaxanthin, which can come from salmon. It’s what makes salmon red or pink. You can actually purchase astaxanthin as a supplement and it could potentially reduce the damaging effects of the sun. I would say that those are the initial things that come to mind, is ease into the sun, make sure you’re eating a diet that is full of natural foods, replete with antioxidants, consider maybe supplementing with something like astaxanthin as well.
Grace: Great. Thank you for sharing. Our next question is, do you suggest working out more and eating more or working out less and eating less?
Chris: Okay. Another great question. I would recommend starting the foundation from the exercise or activity guidelines that I shared earlier. Make sure that you are getting the minimum of 150 minutes a week of moderate intensity exercise. But if you really want to exploit the full benefits, go as far as the more extreme recommendations that I gave, that would still be hormetic and extending lifespan without causing excess damage. And once you establish what that is going to be, then work backwards towards how many calories you need to be either eucaloric or slightly hypocaloric. I guess the short answer is go for the exercise first and foremost as long as you’re not doing it excessively, and then figure out the calorie consumption based on that.
Grace: Thanks for sharing. On the top of topic of exercise, we do have a question in the chat. It says, you recommend it against ultra-marathons, but what would you recommend for the upper limit of endurance exercise? Would a regular marathon or century bike ride once a year be too much?
Chris: Good question. I think it’s highly individualistic. I don’t think that you can have broad sweeping rules for every single person. An Olympic marathoner is in a different physical shape and genetic profile than I am, for example. It also depends on how you titrate up in terms of the intensity and duration of your exercises over time, just like some exposure as I mentioned before. If you’re easing into it and training gradually, you can go further and further. But with that said, there are points where extending your exercise beyond a certain duration each day can actually then lead to excess inflammation and your body is, at least from a longevity perspective it is not going to lead to the best long term outcome. Remember the first marathoner died of a heart attack, right? It’s crazy to think that way.
Chris: I personally avoid marathons. I go as far as running a half a marathon every so often. If it is something that you care to do, ultimately what’s the point of living a long life if you’re not enjoying it. If it’s something you’re passionate about and really enjoy, go for it, just be mindful of easing into it, the frequency at which you do it. I would say a century bike ride is easier on your body than a marathon. It’s less intense. I’ve done a century bike ride before, it didn’t hit me nearly as hard as even running a half a marathon. I think it depends on the individual, but overall try to keep it at the 45 minute or so intense exercise level up to an hour maybe, and marathons take at least two and a half hours for most people, usually more than three.
Grace: Two and a half hours is a very fast marathon.
Chris: I was watching a YouTube clip about a 60 year old who ran a two and a half hour marathon yesterday, which is pretty inspiring at that age to do that.
Grace: That is very inspiring. Okay. We have a question about diet here. This is a good one. Keeping longevity in mind, how often can I have something unhealthy?
Chris: The dose makes the poison with practically everything in life, right? It really depends on, what is your ultimate longevity goal? What is that treat, what are you cheating with? How large is it? What’s the caloric breakdown and so on. If you were super disciplined and you were very stoic and didn’t really care for any of life’s sweeter pleasures, then the best thing to do is probably avoid it. But ultimately we have to live and enjoy life, and so I personally do have my treats every so often. I would say that, first of all, you need to be mindful of what that treat is composed of. For example, if it’s something that is heavy in saturated fats and high in sugar, like I said earlier, that might be worse than having something that is simply heavy in saturated fats, like a very dark chocolate or something that’s simply sweet, like maybe a creme brulee or fruit with whipped cream and so on.
Chris: Consider the macro breakdown, consider the size of the dessert and then consider the frequency. I think that if you are strict with your lifestyle in terms of exercise and diet for six out of seven days a week, and then you have a treat one day a week, or once every other week, I think that’s fine. And to the point I made earlier about being maybe hyper caloric once every week or two, to normalize your metabolism and your hormonal output, doing that in the form of a treat is okay. Not recommending this by any means, this is not medical advice, but you can also look into if you’re having high sugar treats the prescription drug, acarbose, which can slow down the absorption of carbohydrates and reduce the glycemic impact and insulin impact of that treat. But you would need to talk to your doctor about that.
Grace: Thanks for sharing. Could you share with us if you think breakfast is the most important meal of the day?
Chris: I’ll tell you the logic behind why people say it’s the most important meal of the day. It’s because breakfast is breaking a fast. And when you break a fast, you are most insulin sensitive throughout the course of the day, and it can also set the trajectory for the remainder of your day. What do I mean by most insulin sensitive? Your body is going to respond to insulin most positively or favorably earlier in the morning, and from your first meal, than your subsequent meals and later in the day. There was a recent study that found that people that consumed their first meal before 8:30 AM had the best insulin response and body fat related responses compared to those who were eating their first meal later in the day.
Chris: I think first and foremost because of the insulin response. And second of all, as I mentioned, it can dictate how the rest of your day goes. If you have a very heavy, unhealthy meal for breakfast, that can make you sluggish for the rest of the day. It can mess up your blood glucose control for the day, your energy levels, your focus. You might need to take a nap afterwards even though you just woke up there. There’s a lot of negatives that come can come from that. For that reason, I personally, as I mentioned during the talk, I don’t eat my first meal until closer to around 2:00 PM. I’ll have coffee before that. But part of the reason is that I am more focused with work when I hold off eating.
Chris: And it makes sense from the perspective of evolutionarily, when we wake up, one of the first things we’re thinking about is finding food, sustenance. And if you don’t eat at first, our brains are wired and hormonal output is wired for you to be able to search for that food, to go on a hunt or to go picking for food. And so the longer you extend it, the more focused you’re probably going to be. And then when you eat that meal, it’s going to maybe put you more in that parasympathetic nervous system state where you’re more calm, rest, digest, maybe not at nearly as focused. The first meal, breakfast, can have a profound impact biologically as well as in terms of your energy and focus and so on.
Grace: Very insightful. Thank you for sharing. We are just about to wrap up. I think we have time for two more questions if that’s all right with Chris.
Chris: Okay. Sure.
Grace: Second to last question is, are there any supplements that can help with getting a good night sleep?
Chris: Yes, there are many. Different categories. One category I would say is in training your circadian rhythm. And so first and foremost it wouldn’t even be a supplement, it would be getting up at the same time every day and going outdoors and getting natural UV light into your eyes as I recommended earlier, that can help to entrain your circadian rhythm. Same thing with diet when you have your first meal and so on. You can look that up on Google, there’s some good research around that. In terms of supplements, to further entrain your circadian rhythm, melatonin can help, especially for older people who are producing less of it than younger people, but not at the dosages that you commonly find in stores. Getting something like 300 micrograms in a time released formula, you can find some on Amazon, that’s probably the best way to do it.
Chris: 300 micrograms is close to the amount that we naturally produce, but it’s not a super physiological dose, like the three milligrams or 10 milligrams that you sometimes see. It’s illegal in certain countries by the way to sell at those dosages, it’s only in the US and a few other countries that you can get those dosages. That is one way to start in training your circadian rhythm. Don’t look at it as something that’s going to keep you asleep all night long, look at it as something that can potentially help you to start getting tired at the right time. Maybe take it an hour before bedtime, for example, and you might fall asleep more quickly.
Chris: Then in terms of substances that can help to get you into deeper or help to keep you asleep throughout the night, some that come to mind are, chamomile. You can do it as chamomile tea, or you can get chamomile extract as a pill. Apigenin, which comes from chamomile, that is really what helps to calm down your nervous system. Valerian extract is very powerful and it can have some positive health effects as well. I wouldn’t recommend it every single day for prolonged periods of time, but to use it regularly should be okay. If you want something really powerful, California poppy extract, I personally have found to be extremely powerful. And even something called myo-inositol, can have a positive impact on your sleep.
Chris: One other thing I’ve mentioned is I’ve had sleep issues in my past. And I found, number one, that I was having sleep issues because I was too hypocaloric. I was exercising too much, not eating enough calories, putting too much stress on my body. And I had too much cortisol and probably adrenaline as well. I was waking up at two or 3:00 AM every night, it took me a while to fall asleep. When I address that, I now can fall asleep within about five minutes, stay asleep throughout the entire night and wake up feeling refreshed.
Grace: Wow, thank you for sharing. All right. For our last question we have, most supplements ultimately turn out to be snake oil. What assurances can you provide to the market that this time is different?
Chris: That’s true, most supplements are snake oil. I did not start NOVOS for money. I started NOVOS for a personal passion for longevity and improving healthspan and lifespan. I had a brain tumor myself when I was in high school, which planted a seed for me to really care about being as healthy as possible for as long as possible. I didn’t want to be in a hospital bed again for as long as I could go. From a personal perspective, I wanted to create this to help selfishly myself as well as my loved ones, and then the community at large. And I felt like everything being done in longevity was really on the biotech side of things and was not in the accessible space for consumers, for people like me and you, without needing to wait a decade or get a doctor’s prescription and so on.
Chris: In terms of the legitimacy of our formulations, there’s a number of things that we go through. First of all, if you go to novoslabs.com/evidence, you can see the filters that we put the different ingredients through and the amount of scrutiny we put them through for the scientific research that needs to back up the claims or the benefits of those ingredients. We have a team of six world class scientific advisors, each of whom is from either Harvard or MIT or both, or the Salk Institute. These are world class people, biologists, geneticists, that study aging, and they helped us to create this formulation. Beyond that for every batch of our production we get tested each of the ingredients for any toxins and for purity, and then the finished product, we do the same.
Chris: And then finally we’re running our own studies. We’re not resting on our laurels with the 190 plus studies that we base the formulation on. We’re going beyond that. We’re investing our own dollars into proving out the formulation because we believe in it so much and we want to prove it to you, we want to show that this is not snake oil. The first two studies that I’ve mentioned, the first one found that it was done by a longevity biological lab that focuses on DNA damage. And they found that we reduce on average DNA damage or oxidation of DNA by 68% and as much as 77%, depending on the dosage. These numbers are unheard of. They called their CEO to report the results, the scientists, because of how significant these results were.
Chris: We also ran a study at an academic lab at Newcastle University, by a professor who specializes in cellular senescence, and found that we had senostatic property on senescence cells. So senescent cells contribute to aging. They’re one of the 12 causes of aging, and they’re a very powerful one. They’re one of the two most popular areas of research right now between epigenetics and senescence. And it was found that we stop senescent cells from not only spreading or secreting inflammatory molecules that cause additional cells to become senescent, but we actually reduce the size of the senescent cells. And the degree to which we did that was comparable to rapamycin, the gold standard on the prescription side of longevity drugs.
Chris: These are some of the things that we’re investigating. Most recently we haven’t even publicly reported this yet, but I’ll tell you this, there’s another study that we will eventually report officially, that was found that we were able to reduce DNA double strand breaks. There’s oxidative damage to DNA, that’s one thing. That’s like rust. DNA double strand breaks is the car analogy, it’s like the axle completely separating, it’s breaking, and that’s the most damage, it’ll destroy a cell, it will make the cell senescent and so on. It was found that we had a significantly positive impact on reducing double strand bricks and single strand bricks. That’s enormous.
Chris: We’re not going to stop here, we’re continuing to fund research, but we hope that this shows that we’re legitimate, that we have a unique impact on the aging processes beyond anything else that’s in the marketplace. And we do it in a safe, responsible way by using natural substances that are in the human biology or within the diet throughout evolution.
Grace: Thank you for sharing. If you’re interested in learning more about the science behind NOVOS, about our scientists and the studies that Chris mentioned, you can look at the chat and I linked those out for you. That’s all we have time for today, but before we sign off, I want to let all of that you could ask us questions anytime. We have a link in our Instagram bio called ask NOVOS anything, we’ll share in the chat box right now. We plan on keeping this up indefinitely, so you can ask us any longevity, biohacking, health and wellness related questions. If some of your questions didn’t get answered today, I recommend going to that link and submitting them there.
Grace: We’ll do our best to answer these questions during events like today, across social media email and more. And if you’re interested in learning more about how to be younger for longer, our blog, which we’ll link right now, is also a great educational resource. That’s all I have on my end. Chris, did you have any last remarks you wanted to share?
Chris: Yeah. I would say, thank you all for joining. The fact that you’re even here in the first place means that you are really accountable, and as I mentioned before, conscientious, you’re taking health into your own hands. You’re in the top, probably hundredth of a percentile of people who are really being responsible about their health. And so I commend you for doing so. Spread the word, make your family, friends, loved ones aware of longevity and the profound impact that it can have on your health and your lifespan.
Grace: Thank you, Chris. And a special thanks to all of you who joined us today. We look forward to hosting more events like this in the future. Bye, everyone.