Live Long(er) and Prosper

John Cousins
March 3, 2023
5 min read

“If I knew then what I know now…”

I’m sure you have thought this and think its too late to course correct and take advantage of your hard-earned wisdom. But if you had the chance to live twice as long, you could start over and implement your life lessons.

I have decided to wipe the slate clean and keep starting over. No holding on to sunk costs and antiquated thinking. Its totally refreshing.

One of the best reasons I can think of to keep in shape, eat health, and avoid risky activities is to stay around long enough to benefit from the coming breakthroughs in longevity research.

The oldest clam ever lived to 507. A clam. For over five centuries.

We, humans, can do the same with the right amount of scientific insight and a little biotech tweaking.

Searching for the fountain of youth is an age-old enterprise. Alchemists and magi have searched for elixirs of immortality. The pursuit of longevity is deeply ingrained in our psyche.

Its the eternal quest to die young as late as possible.

And the longer you live, the more time for compounding to work. Warren Buffett made the bulk of his fortune after the age of 60 through the magic of compounding (and brilliant money management and investing).

Warren Buffett is a fantastic investor. But if you attribute all of his success to his investment knowledge, you’ll overlook a crucial factor. The true secret to his success is that he has been a superb investor for 75 years.

The Japanese have a word: tsundoku — the pleasure of owning more books than you’ll ever have time to read.

Think of all those books you could actually read with more time.

And time is our most precious commodity.

The phrase “to die young as late as possible” is often used to describe the pursuit of longevity or the desire to live a long and healthy life.

This pursuit has always been of interest to humans, as people have always sought ways to increase their lifespan and live healthier lives. The search for the fountain of youth and alchemical elixers have been superseded by genetic manipulation, prosthetics, and the Singularity.

In recent years, there has been significant research and development in the field of longevity, focusing on understanding the underlying biological processes that contribute to aging and finding ways to intervene and extend the human lifespan.

This new science includes research on molecular pathways involved in aging, caloric restriction, and fasting effects on lifespan and the development of gerontological interventions such as senolytic drugs (Senolytics are a class of drugs that selectively clear senescent cells) and stem cell therapies.

Researchers are progressing in understanding factors contributing to aging and developing interventions to improve health and well-being. Ultimately, the goal of the quest to “die young as late as possible” is to help people live longer, healthier lives, and to delay the onset of age-related diseases and disabilities.

Longevity refers to the length of time an individual lives or the average life expectancy of a population.

In 1800 the average life span was 40 years. Now it is over 80. That’s double.

This increase in lifespan, or “longevity revolution,” is due to a combination of factors, including advances in medicine, public health, and nutrition, as well as improvements in living conditions and social support systems.

One factor is the development of vaccines and antibiotics, which have helped to control and prevent infectious diseases.

Another factor is improved living conditions, such as clean water and sanitation, which have also helped to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases.

In addition, advances in medical technology and treatments have played a role in increasing lifespan by enabling the diagnosis and treatment of diseases and conditions that were once fatal.

Nutrition and public health improvements have also contributed to the increase in lifespan. For example, the widespread availability of nutritious foods and the promotion of healthy lifestyles have helped to reduce the incidence of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

The increase in longevity is a testament to the progress made in the fields of medicine, public health, and nutrition and the positive impact these advancements have had on the health and well-being of people worldwide.

One area of longevity research is studying aging at the molecular level. Scientists have identified several molecular pathways involved in the aging process, including the telomere-telomerase pathway, the insulin/IGF-1 signaling pathway, and the sirtuin pathway. These pathways play a role in the maintenance of DNA, protein synthesis, and cellular metabolism, and disruptions in these pathways have been linked to aging and age-related diseases.

Another area of research in longevity is the study of caloric restriction and fasting. Caloric restriction, which involves reducing calorie intake without malnutrition, has been shown to extend lifespan and delay the onset of age-related diseases in a number of species, including rodents and monkeys. Fasting, which involves periods of voluntary abstinence from food and drink, has also been shown to have similar effects on lifespan and health in animals. However, the long-term effects of caloric restriction and fasting on human longevity still need to be fully understood.

But being hungry all the time definitely makes life seem longer.

In addition to research on the molecular and dietary factors that influence aging, there have also been significant developments in the field of gerontology, which is the study of aging and the aging process. Gerontologists are working to understand the biological, psychological, and social factors contributing to aging and age-related diseases and develop interventions to improve health and well-being.

One example of a gerontological intervention is the use of senolytic drugs, which are designed to target and remove senescent cells, which are cells that have stopped dividing and can contribute to aging and age-related diseases. Senolytic drugs have shown promise in animal studies, and clinical trials are currently underway to evaluate their safety and effectiveness in humans. Clear out the zombie cells for better health!

Another example of a gerontological intervention is stem cell therapies, which involve using stem cells to repair or regenerate damaged or diseased tissues. Stem cell therapies can potentially treat a wide range of age-related diseases, including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and have shown promising results in preclinical and early-stage clinical trials.

The longevity research and development field is rapidly advancing, and many exciting developments are on the horizon. Stay healthy, so you can reap the benefits!

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John Cousins
Author, Entrepreneur, & Teacher

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