Longevity and Ageing: A Podcast About Living Longer and Ageing Better | The Hart of Health Podcast S1 E23
Joané & Jonathan: (00:03)
Hi, I’m Joané Hart and I’m Jonathan Hart and this is The Hart of Health, a show where we focus mainly on health and self optimization. Here, we like to talk about our experiences and knowledge when it comes to health and biohacking. Hope you enjoy the show.
Hey everyone. So on today’s podcast, we’re going to be talking about a pretty tricky subject, longevity and aging.
Yes. It’s something that we haven’t really spoken a lot about in the past, and we thought it’d be interesting to explore these topics today.
But I think one of the reasons why we’ve avoided it is because it is quite tricky to know what exactly makes someone live longer and age less.
Yes. So I don’t think people should expect too much. We’re just gonna do an overall basic discussion of what we know about longevity and aging and things that we’re currently incorporating into our lives to help us age better and hopefully live longer.
Yeah. You always have to say, hopefully. That’s the whole thing. It’s a bit like a place your bets kind of situation where you almost got to decide where to put your chips on the table and you hope you’re right. I always used to say there’s a whole bunch of different trains that are going to certain and destinations, but you can’t see exactly where it’s going, but you get on the train that you think is going in the right direction.
And if it’s not going in the right direction, you can get off at another train stop and board another train.
Yeah. As soon as you see your train is heading in the wrong direction, get off of it. That’s the thing. A lot of people will be having an unhealthy lifestyle or whatever, they didn’t even know that they could choose another train. And then they see, wait, this is where this has gotten me. I can just jump off here and start living healthier from now on. And basically, your life is on another path to hopefully better health.
So yeah, let’s dive into ageing and longevity. What do you want to discuss first?
I was thinking to discuss sort of what makes you look older first because that’s a little bit easier to address.
Okay. Well, wearing outdated clothing can make you look older.
This is a health podcast, haha.
Well, let’s start with the first thing that popped up in my mind, collagen. So collagen is basically what your skin structure is made out of. And also the cartilage in your joints or your connective tissue. So collagen is not only important for maintaining as youthful as possible skin, but also for helping to protect your joints. And yeah. Keep you young in a lot more ways.
Basically, your entire system depends on collagen.
Your entire system depends on collagen and I don’t think the majority of people are getting enough collagen in their diets.
No, I definitely think that there are quite a few people out there with the shortage.
I don’t think we should really count jelly sweets because sugar kind of cancels it out. Because the gelatin that is used to make a lot of jellies, cherry candy, and jelly sweets is a source of collagen. Gelatin is made from cooking bones and then reducing that. So if you had gelatin on its own, that is a good source of collagen, but if you go out and buy some gummy bears or something, it’s not a good source of collagen. Nowadays, there’s been such a collagen craze going on over the last few years. You can get collagen powders and supplements. I’ve been drinking this hot chocolate, this keto, low carb, hot chocolate that has some collagen added to it. So that’s been cool. Bone broth is another good source.
I’ve been making a lot of bone broth and what’s cool about bone broth is it also has hyaluronic acid in it, which helps your skin to retain moisture because looking older is not only losing collagen, but also losing moisture in your skin. So you want to try and get as much collagen internally as possible. Then you also want to get your body to produce more college and even. Vitamin C can help your body produce collagen. It is dependent on vitamin C and having vitamin C with a collagen powder or bone broth can help increase the absorption of the collagen. Not only consuming it internally, but also topically. So if you have enough vitamin C in your diet, that will help you produce collagen, but you can also get a vitamin C serum or something to put on your skin and that will help you produce more collagen.
Yeah, well that’s the whole scurvy scenario is it’s basically your shortage of vitamin C results in an inability to create collagen, which then results in death eventually, because collagen is so important for all the things we’ve mentioned, but like also your teeth. So that’s why with scurvy your teeth start falling out. And that’s also the reason why sugar is a problem.
Yes. Because sugar causes glaciation, the breakdown of collagen.
Not only that, but it makes it more difficult for you to absorb vitamin C.
Yeah, true. So it’s a double whammy.
Yeah. It’s like the ultimate anti-collagen molecule.
If you want to age very quickly, if that is your goal, have a lot of sugar.
Pretty much. So it’s like if you have an orange, the vitamin C and the sugar in the orange kind of, you don’t really get much of the vitamin C, you get all the sugar.
Do you think that the orange contains enough sugar to cancel out that much vitamin C? Probably?
It’s definitely making a dent. Depending on how sweet the orange is.
Depending on that, I guess. And how much sugar you’re having as well, you know?
Yeah. That’s why jelly sweets are a problem.
You actually do get gummy sweets that are collagen candies with vitamin C in them. So I suppose those are fine. You can also make your own gummy sweets. If you used a little bit of orange juice or something that contains vitamin C to add to your jellies, that will help. Like you said, the sugar in that alone might help counteract some of the absorption. Chile is a very good source of vitamin C, but I wouldn’t want to chile jelly.
At least the chilli doesn’t have the sugar.
So, yeah. There are other ways of stimulating collagen production. Red light therapy is a good example. Light therapy has also become quite popular over the last few years because red light exposure can help you produce more collagen and it’s very healing for the skin. So if you have a wound or something like that, and you did red light therapy, it would heal a lot quicker. Cell regeneration is one of the most important factors when it comes to ageing and looking older. So when cell regeneration slows down, then you start to age faster and ways to speed up cell regeneration is through exfoliation. You can do some sort of therapy that also stimulates collagen, like microneedling. Also getting a chemical exfoliant is a good idea. These are all ways, but one of the best things, and it’s something that I’ve been doing, is I have been putting topical retinol, which is a type of vitamin A on my skin.
So that really helps to boost cell regeneration. And that brings me back to something I wanted to say earlier, which is that liver is a very good food to have if you’re worried about ageing. Like I just said, putting vitamin A on top of your skin is one of the best things you can do to slow down ageing. And so having a lot of vitamin A internally is also very good and liver is the best source of vitamin A and it also contains vitamin C, which is quite awesome. So if you had liver and then a cup of bone broth next to it, the vitamin C in the liver will help you absorb the college in the broth.
Or if you just ate the connective tissue or like the actual cartilage on the ends of the bones as well.
Yes. You can do that too.
Whatever your source of collagen is, as long as it’s a more natural source, I’d say. I don’t know if I trust some of the college powders.
Yeah. Do your research on the company, see what you can find out. Liver is definitely a very good anti-ageing food. So I’ve spoken about topical vitamin A and consuming it as well as vitamin C. And I suppose you also get topical collagen treatments where you get facemasks that contain collagen that can be applied to your face.
So yeah, there’s a lot you can do. But talking about senescence and ageing, so when your cells start basically becoming like zombies, they do nothing. I don’t know if there’s a simple way of saying it.
Zombie cells is a very good way to explain it. They are half dead cells.
Yeah. So they just kind of take resources and they’re not really actually functioning anymore.
and they cause inflammation and do other damage.
Yeah. To try and actually reduce cellular senescence, fasting is a good thing to practice. Even if it’s just like a 24 hour fast here and there just to actually access that process of autophagy and to grow and replenish cells that are no longer functioning optimally.
Yeah. So autophagy being your body’s natural cell recycling process. Exactly what you said. Fasting is a very good way to stimulate autophagy, as well as following a ketogenic diet. That can also put you in a state of autophagy. If looking younger and living longer are things that you are very interested in, then this is definitely something you want to focus on, is getting your body into a state of autophagy regularly. You can try intermittent fasting as well. You can experiment with prolonged fasting. Fasting for 24 hours or three days or even seven days, every few months, once a month.
Yeah. Don’t be afraid to not eat for a day.
Skipping a meal can help you with ageing. Especially with breakfast.
Don’t believe the people saying breakfast is the most important meal.
Yeah. Breakfast is definitely not the most important meal. You can skip breakfast or dinner. Some people like having breakfast and lunch and then skipping dinner. And then some people like having breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but they’ll have a later breakfast or an early dinner or both. So fasting is a good thing to look at.
Yeah. I feel like fasting is a good bridge subject because it’s good for looking young. And it’s actually a good thing for longevity.
But I feel like everything we’ve mentioned so far, is also linked to longevity and while it’s also more ageing better and improving your healthspan. If you have enough college and if your connective tissue is in a good state, if your joints are in a better state, because you’ve been doing things throughout your life, like making sure you get enough, vitamin C getting enough college and things like that, then that will also help you with ageing. Like I said, cell regeneration. So if you want to focus on longevity and living longer, these will also help.
Yeah. They are sort of, I don’t know if you’d say a more minor role but it’s just not part of the massive topics that people bring up. The more general topics when they talk about longevity.
Calorie restriction is a big topic when it comes to longevity, the same as fasting. So if you don’t want to fast, you can just incorporate calorie restriction into your lifestyle.
Yeah. There’s a lot of people doing a lot of research to try and figure out how to live the longest. For me, I feel like if you can just avoid any kind of chronic disease, you’re already sort of in the right direction. So that’s why I’m more focused on just health. And then hopefully the longevity will come with that because the thing is that we don’t know about genetics and telomeres are quite complex and not as simple as people would like to think they are.
Telomeres being the caps at the end of your chromosomes that are supposed to protect your chromosomes. They sacrifice themselves.
But if they’re too short, you get senescence and if they’re too long, you get cancer.
And if they just right, you slow down aging.
Yeah. It’s like we said, it is a tricky, tricky subject to be like, this will make you live longer guaranteed. You can’t really say that. I think the first step you can really aim for if you’re quite young is to avoid getting any kind of metabolic disease like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, you name it. If you can just avoid any kind of disease, you’re really going to be one step in the right direction towards longevity and definitely increased healthspan. Like you said earlier.
Like making sure that your body is as healthy as possible now will help you to be as healthy as possible in the future. Because a healthy body also ages better.
Yeah. You will have a much better quality of life for longer.
Let’s talk about exercise. So if you’re worried about ageing, do not become an ultra marathon runner.
Yeah. I don’t know if that’s going to help you live longer.
No. These long stretches of cardio are not good for you. Stressing your body to an extent is beneficial and can help ageing. Stressing your body way too much is just not going to get you the results you want.
But if you complete an ultra-marathon and your life feels more complete, it could be shorter, but more fulfilling.
You know how people eat a lot of junk food and then someone says to them your diet’s not that healthy. Then they say, well, life is short and I’m going to eat what I want and just enjoy my life. It’s kind of like that with the ultramarathon runners. Well, life is short for them maybe and they say, I want to do the things that I want to do. If I want to run a hundred miles and shorten my life by three months in one race, then I’m going to do it.
We don’t know that it actually does shorten your life. But there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that it’s probably not the greatest for longevity, but I suppose it also depends on the frequency in which you do that and how well you recover.
I also haven’t seen very muscular ultramarathon runners. And the thing is when your body runs out of fuel, when you’re doing like hectic exercise, and you don’t have enough fat stores, then it’s going to break down your muscle. Even if you do have a lot of fat stores, if your body’s not used to burning fat for energy, then it’s probably going to start breaking down your muscle first, before it gets into your fat. So I’ve seen a lot of people who do ultra marathons that look very skinny because you can just see their bodies have broken down quite a bit of muscle over the years.
Yeah. And all your organs are important for longevity. The muscle is an important organ for longevity.
It’s one of the most important organs for longevity. Maintaining a good amount of muscle mass is one of the most important things that you can do. If you’re concerned about longevity and being healthy. when you age. If you have enough muscle, you’ll be much stronger, you will decrease your risk of injury.
Yeah. There is a correlation between leg strength, which also will have a correlation to the amount of muscle mass in your legs and longevity. So, there’s a pattern of people getting frail, their legs getting weaker and weaker. Too weak to actually support your own body weight and you fall and you break a hip and then you go to hospital and you catch the flu that kills you or whatever happens. You become somewhat more exposed. If your legs aren’t able to have enough power to actually make yourself independent and move around freely without risking falling and breaking your hip.
Yes, definitely. Exercising, which will help you build this muscle, will also help you with bone density. So the risk of you actually breaking a hip will be much lower. Another thing that people should consider, is dancing and playing racket sports. And I think it’s because, the hand-eye coordination with the racket sports and using your brain and your body at the same time and having to think about things. Also having to move around like that with your feet helps you be more stable on your feet. And then your risk of falling also reduces. Weren’t you the person who said that ankle strength is also very important if you want to reduce your risk of falling?
Well, it’s all important. It’s just normally the ankle is the joint you’re most likely to sprain or roll. I mean, almost everyone sprained an ankle. It’s just the joint that’s sort of the closest to the ground. And also your foot can just step wrong off a step or something and your foot lands at the wrong angle. Then suddenly, the joints are being put under a lot of pressure in one direction, and you can easily tear ligaments in that situation or even break your ankle if it’s severe enough. But having stronger muscles in that area and also like you said, being quick on your feet also helps prevent you from spraining an ankle and losing mobility. Your knees are less likely to, but they can also get dislocated or you can tear your ACL. So knees are not invulnerable to gain damage.
Definitely, by far the sturdiest joint is your hip. If you dislocated your hip or something, you must have done something pretty hectic. You can break a hip if you fall, but the ankle is sort of like your first line of defence. So making sure that you have good mobility and strength in your ankles, but also trying to be as light on your feet as possible will help prevent ankle injuries. That’s kinda the name of the game. It’s not really a sprint, it’s a marathon and a lot of people are out there every day, grinding away at their long-distance cardio sport. And I don’t know if there’s any evidence to show that they actually get a longevity benefit from doing those kinds of pursuits. I feel like the person who just goes to the gym and does heavy squats, might actually live longer.
You know, if the guy does heavy squats every day instead of going and running 20K’s every day. I suppose there’s more research that needs to be done on that. It’s not to say that you can’t do any cardio and if you do love running 20 Ks, cool, but don’t leave out the heavier resistance training. First of all, it will help you running. And second of all, you want strong legs. If you’re worried about longevity, if you’re running for longevity, you gotta make sure your legs are strong. Not just able to withstand a large amount of cardio exercise.
Definitely, definitely. So what else can we say about ageing?
Yeah. I think that social interaction and your mental sort of state also play a role in these things. If you lose contact with people and you become isolated and you’re not flexible enough to make friends with new people in new situations, you can become socially isolated and that’s not only not good for your health, but it’s also, I feel like it would be very easy to spiral down into a pit of despair in those situations. When you feel like you’re isolated, you also probably more likely to practice worse health habits and almost feel like what’s the point if you don’t have anyone to share it with. So, I think that’s definitely a key factor in living longer, maintaining social connections and not getting completely isolated. That’s never good for a human being.
And now you think of people being so isolated this year and this feels quite sad. It’s not good for their health that’s for sure. So yeah. Social interaction is very important. If you look at a lot of the countries where you have a lot of centenarians, so people who live past a hundred, they’re quite social late into their lives and that is very important. And I think that is often overlooked. Also, sleep is very crucial.
Well, sleep is probably deemed as the most crucial if we’d had to rank them. It’s the one that’s kind of obvious. Well if you don’t sleep enough, you’re almost definitely burning the candle at both ends. And so your candle is not going to last very long.
No, it’s like people say, Oh, I’ll sleep when I’m dead. And it’s like, yes, that will happens sooner if you don’t sleep. One of the most important factors when it comes to aging and stuff is how much human growth hormone your body produces. When you sleep, your body produces a lot more of it. So getting enough sleep just for that reason alone is important. And then your body also repairs tissues and cells more when you sleep.
Yeah. Recovery is super important. So like we’re saying, yes, it’s important to exercise, but the recovery is just as important as the exercise and sleep is the ultimate recovery
Sleep is the ultimate recovery.
Speaker 1: (27:12)
So yeah. I can definitely notice the difference when I get a good night’s sleep and when I don’t. It sort of feels like you’re living your life at half speed if you’re not getting proper sleep. So I definitely think to maximize your potential, sleep is definitely the number one thing.
And if you want to live as long as possible and look as good as possible while ageing. Beauty sleep. It’s called that for a reason.
Yeah. Why go and take growth hormone, if you could just get your sleep good so you maximize your own natural output.
Yeah. And plus if you’re fasting, that also boosts human growth hormone levels. Then thats another benefit of fasting for ageing.
Yeah. There we go. Brought it around full circle. There are a few things that we’re pretty sure you can do and you’re likely to get a good outcome. It is very difficult to mention these things, cause this is nearly an impossible study to do on humans. A lot of the information is based on other sort of place marker characters like mice or even nematodes. Whatever creature they use, they’re trying to see what increases their lifespan and seeing what increases another animal’s lifespan and trying to figure out how we should act from that is a little bit of a guess. You’re trying to make an educated guess by studying these other animals, but in the end, you haven’t got any proof in human trials and that’s what you need to actually really confirm it. That’s basically impossible because you can’t have a lifelong trial for a huge group of people. No one can afford that.
So I think that’s why I’d like to go with the more holistic approach and say, okay, what would have been more appropriate in the past? Use that as a guide and then try and use technology to almost recreate that and make it more optimal. Then hopefully that’s a very basic guideline on how you can navigate this whole longevity and anti-ageing thing.
Yeah. Maybe we can do another podcast in the future with some more information, but that should be enough to get started if you’ve never really done any research on aging and longevity before.
Yeah. So hopefully this gives you the starting point to start your longevity journey.
Joané & Jonathan: (30:09)
Yes. So until next time, Bye.