There are many experts on health and longevity throughout the world; all with varying beliefs and viewpoints on best practices for aging, longevity and nutrition. But what are their secrets for improving health and increasing lifespan? Let’s find out.
1. Thomas Perls, 49: Director, New England Centenarian Study at Boston University Medical Center
Perls donates blood about every eight weeks because he believes that moderate iron deficiency may be good. Iron stimulates cells to churn out free radicals and molecules that may contribute to cancer and other diseases of aging. Women tend to outlive men and are generally better at postponing the onset of age-related diseases. One theory involves iron loss due to menstruation.
2. Mark Mattson, 52: Chief, Laboratory of Neurosciences, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health
He limits calories to around 2,000 per day. Research by Mattson and others suggests that restricting calories (and occasionally fasting) can stimulate "adaptive stress response mechanisms" in the body, which may boost its resistance to injury and disease.
3. Cynthia Kenyon, 55: Geneticist, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, University of California San Francisco
She follows a "low glycemic index" diet which limits foods that the body quickly converts to sugar. Foods she limits are: pasta, potatoes, bread, rice and she completely cuts out dessert. Sugar promotes insulin, which turns off the "longevity gene”.
4. David Sinclair, 40: Professor of pathology, Harvard Medical School
Since 2003, he has taken resveratrol, a compound found in the skin of red grapes, because it may activate a family of longevity-related cells.
5. Felipe Sierra, 56: Molecular biologist, director, Division of Aging Biology, National Institute on Aging
He laughs a lot. "I really think that's the best we can do for a while," he says. After all, they say laughter is the best medicine.
What is your secret to aging gracefully?