6-Step Protocol To Stop Decline, Stay Young & Reverse Aging After 40+ - Transcript

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Coming up on this episode of the Doctor's Farmacy. Alright, so what is a functional medicine approach to reversing your biological age? Well, you got to get to the root cause of disease, the root cause of aging. So what is the root cause of the imbalances that drive aging? What do we need to get rid of that's causing our bodies to be unhappy? That's basically toxins, allergens, microbes, and so forth. And what do we need more of to restore balance and function? So we basically have to get rid of the bad stuff and we have to add in the good stuff. And this is a simple principle of functional medicine and it works across all diseases.
Welcome to Doctor's Farmacy and another edition of Health Bites. I'm Dr. Mark Hyman. Now every year we celebrate our birthdays. It's another year of getting older and hopefully wiser. But what about a world where we focus on the reverse, celebrating getting younger instead? Well, thanks to new advances in science and longevity and technology that could be possible with the right tools and diet and lifestyle and supplement regimen, we can throw our biological clock in reverse. And I'm telling you, it works. I've done it. The science is there. And how do I know this isn't some new age pseudoscience? Well, I've used myself as a test subject and my patients and it's working. And the last time I tested my biological age, I was over 20 years younger than my chronological age. So even though I'm in my early sixties, my internal biological systems function similarly to that of a 40-year-old.
Now look, aging is inevitable, but the speed at which we age is not what kills people today isn't getting older. But instead it's the bioaccumulation of stressors of what we call our exposome, which are all the factors that we've been exposed to throughout our life that age us. This can be everything from psychological stress to lack of sleep, poor diet, our sedentary lifestyle, inflammation from any cause, the bioaccumulation of toxins, loneliness, disconnection, all these things affect our biology and affect our rate of aging. Now, all these things will fuel inflammation. They'll fuel oxidative stress, they'll damage our DNA, they'll shorten our telomeres. All the things we do not want to happen if we want to stay younger as we get older. But there's a lot we can actually do to reverse our biological age and feel better for longer. So today I'm sharing the science behind what ages us, how to reverse this aging using six simple steps.
So let's get into it. What's the difference between chronological age versus biological age? Well, there's nothing we can do about our chronological age or the number of years we've lived on the planet, but our biological age, our inner age, it tells a different story. Our biological age refers to the age of our biological systems. And unlike our chronological age, our biological age is modifiable. Now it's influenced by genetics, by environmental exposures, by diet and lifestyle choices, by stress, good or bad. And we'll learn that there are actually good kinds of stress. It can be influenced by exercise, sleep, and lots more. Now we can reverse or we can accelerate biological aging by pulling on these levers, right, for good or bad. So let's talk about a concept called epigenetics and how that influences our biological age. Now, biological age is how slowly or rapidly our bodies are aging on a cellular and a functional level.
Biological age is measured based on biological factors such as DNA, methylation, telomere length, and inflammation. There's things that we can measure in science to look at the rate of aging and we can see the impact they have on the expression of our genes or what we call our epigenome, which is essentially what regulates our genes. So what is epigenetics? Epigenetics is the idea that our genes which are fixed and assigned at birth, not changeable, are not our faith. Now, we don't have control over which genes we have, but we do have control over which genes are expressed or turned on or off through our environment. And things like our diet, our lifestyle, exercise, stress, sleep or nutrient levels, toxins, all these things affect our epigenetic expression and regulate which genes are turned on or off. Now, there are chemical compounds and proteins that attach to DNA and modify its function because like methyl groups, histones cytokines.
So don't worry about too much about all that, but it doesn't alter the DNA sequence. But basically it is controlling the gene expression. And this is the call the epigenome epi means above the genome. So harnessing the power of epigenetics is crucial for both measuring and assessing and reversing our biological age. Now, the science behind what ages us is pretty clear. Let's discuss a few of the main reasons we age the mechanisms. The first and one of the most important is inflammation, or as some like to call it inflammaging. Now inflammaging is one of the key features or what we call hallmarks of aging. Now, the immune system declines as we age. That happens, it's called immunosenescence. It leads to reduced immune surveillance. So immune cell populations are not tracked as well. Now with immunosenescence, our immune system doesn't work as well. It doesn't work as well to fight infection or cancer, and it doesn't actually keep our bodies working properly.
It leads to chronic sterile inflammation, which is not caused by an infection, but by low grade exposure to bad diet, toxin stress and so forth. And we'll also see an uptake in autoimmunity and other things like allergy. So what factors drive inflammation and what accelerates the aging process? Well, my friends, you guessed it. It's exposome what we've been talking about. It's everything that washes over our genes from our poor diet nutrient deficiencies, the lack of anti-inflammatory nutrients like omega fat, zinc, magnesium, environmental toxins affect it. Heavy metals, our microbiome, leaky gut, low grade infections, bacterial viral on our sedentary lifestyle, all will make us age faster. Now all will make us inflamed. So what are the signs we're inflamed? Well, we don't recover from health challenges as well. We might have mental health issues. We know that most mental health challenges are because of an inflamed brain.
You might have brain fog, we might have joint pain, fatigue, lethargy, skin issues, maybe eczema, acne, rosacea, gut issues start to develop and then we get sick more often like the cold and flu. So all this is sort of a clues that we're having more inflammaging. So why do we get sick more as we get older? Well, there's a gland we have called the thymus gland. It's the seat of your immune system. It's the site of T-cell maturation, which is your T cells are your basically white blood cells that fight infections and cancer. And that shrinks as we age. It shrinks about 3% a year until middle age. And after that, it sows down to about 1% a year. Now COVID-19 is a perfect example of how this all works and how older people are at higher risk. See, when you look at the population, 60% of the COVID hospitalizations and nearly 90% of the COVID-19 deaths in 2023 were in people who were elderly whose immune systems were not working properly.
So who else was at risk for covid? Well, those with any chronic disease comorbidities, things like diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, if you had one or two of these, you had 70% higher risk of death. If you had three or more of these, you had 130% higher risk of death. And by the way, four out of 10 Americans have two or more. Okay? There's 40% of us, six in 10 Americans have one or more of these diseases. So what do these things have in common? Well, low grade chronic systemic inflammation. Now there are a lot of lab tests. You can tell you if you're inflamed white blood count, something called creactive protein sedimentation rate a NA, antinuclear antibodies, rheumatoid antibodies, thyroid antibodies, food sensitivity testing. We can test for tickborne infections, viruses, bacteria, and function health. The company I co-founded to make lab testing more accessible and affordable to so many allows you to test almost all these things.
So you can go to function health.com/mark to sign up and skip the wait list, which is like 150,000 people. And for 4 99 a year membership, you can get most of these tests and learn what's really going on under the hood and see what's happening with your immune system and an inflammation. So how do you actually measure the impact of inflammation and aging? Well, there's actually a work of a scientist at Stanford called Dr. David Furman who developed a tool called I Age or the Immune Age. Now his team screened more than a thousand people who aged or aged from eight to 96 for the presence of something called pro-inflammatory cytokines. You heard about the cytokine storm. So they're looking for inflammatory cytokines, these markers of inflammation or chronic sterile inflammation, and they call this the immuno. And then they use artificial intelligence to correlate the specific inflammatory biomarkers in the blood tests that can be used to assess inflammation levels and the age of the immune system.
Now the good news is that these biomarkers, these cytokines can be reversed through simple diet and lifestyle and supplement protocols. So even you find your immune system is aging faster and you have inflamm aging, you can actually reverse it. We're going to get more into what that is exactly as we talk about how to reverse the biological age in the practical part of the podcast. But stay tuned. We're getting that soon. Now I want to talk about something else which is really important, which is this concept of how our epigenome is regulated. And it's a little technical, but stay with me. There's something called DNA methylation. This is basically a chemical process using methyl groups which are regulated by B six folate and B12. And it's a biochemical process that adds these chemical groups, which is carbon and three hydrogens to DNA to kind of tag them.
And essentially what that does is it regulates which genes are turned on or off. So what impacts DNA methylation and whether or not these are functioning properly? Well, there's key nutrients. They're called nutrients, and they're basically co-factors for the DNA methylation activity that you need and the expression of the enzymes. And these come from your food, but you can also take them as supplements like B12 folate and B six, which are all methylating B vitamins. Now in addition to diet, a lot of other factors will affect your epigenome. Things like exercise, sleep, sleep quality, stress management, all can positively or negatively affect DNA methylation. Now one of my colleagues and friends, Dr. Car Fitzgerald, showed that it was a groundbreaking study, looked at 43 healthy adult men, age 50 to 72, and the treatment group, they wanted to see if they could reverse biological age.
The treatment group adopted a plant rich, not plant-based, more keto leaning diet, healthy habits like regular exercise, getting enough sleep, relaxing, and a limited amount of supplements for just eight weeks. The control group didn't have any of those interventions. Now, what was amazing is the treatment group showed an average reversal of biological age by 3.23 years in eight weeks. They also had improvements in cholesterol, triglycerides, serum folate levels because they add a lot of methylating foods, which underscores the positive and powerful impact of diet and lifestyle and aging. So that's super cool. Think about it, you can reverse your biological age by three years in eight weeks. That's good math. Now, how do they measure this? Well, there are a number of different DNA clocks out there and they're still being developed and modified and improved, and we're going to get better and better at it.
But there's something called the horvat DNA age clock, and there's other methylation tests, pheno age, grim age, Dunedin, pace of aging. All of them have plus and minuses. But anyway, in this study they showed that diet and lifestyle changes affected DNA methylation and influence this beautiful intersection between your genes gene expression and biological aging. So really, really important. Now we're going to talk about what are the nutrients you need actually to optimize your DNA methylation and what lifestyle habits you should follow to optimize your biological aging? I mean, so you can slow it down. Now the other thing that happens as we get older is something called telomere shortening. No telomeres are these little protective end caps at the end of our chromosomes that prevent our DNA from unraveling, kind of like the thing at the end of your shoe laces. Now, telomeres shorten every time a cell divides or replicates.
So telomere length gives us sort of a clue about how much time we have left until our cells can no longer replicate and many things will shorten our telomeres inflammation, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle, smoking, stress, toxins, like the usual stuff, right? It's not like rocket science here. What makes us age pastor? In a study by Dr. Alyssa Pel from UCSF and Elizabeth Blackburn who won the Nobel Prize in physiology medicine for discovering the molecular nature of telomeres and telomeres, the enzyme that's responsible for keeping your telomeres good, they found that women exposed to stress every day had increased oxidative stress. They reduced the telomerase activity, which is you need to rebuild your telomeres. And led to shorter telomeres, the highest levels of perceived stress had a difference in telomere length equivalent to 10 years. And that indicated that the women under high stress were at a significantly higher risk for age-related diseases.
There are other biological aging tests. We use different calculators to figure this out. At function health, a company I co-founded, you can actually measure your biological age to various epigenetic markers that are tracked and correlate with blood biomarkers. And that gives you a good sense of your biological age. You can learn more and you can go to function health.com/mark to learn more and check your biological age. And then you can see what happens. I mean, if you make changes, I made changes over a period of six months and I reversed my biological age by a year. So if you basically do certain things, you can change the trajectory of the rate of aging. The good news is there's lots of interventions we can make to lengthen our telomeres and in doing so, probably extend our lifespan. Although telomeres turned out not to be probably the most predictive marker, but it's one of the things we look at.
Now we're going to get into this protocol. Alright, so what is a functional medicine approach to reversing your biological age? Well, you got to get to the root cause of disease, the root cause of aging. So what is the root cause of the imbalances that drive aging? What do we need to get rid of that's causing our bodies to be unhappy? That's basically toxins, allergens, microbes and so forth. And what do we need more of to restore balance and function? So we basically have to get rid of the bad stuff and we have to add in the good stuff. And this is a simple principle of functional medicine and it works across all diseases. So how is your exposed home? In other words, helping or harming your body and either accelerating or reversing your biological age.
Biological aging is driven by things we know about too much of the bad stuff. Ultra processed food, sugar, refined flowers, hydrogen oils, refined oils, environmental toxins for both heavy metals and petrochemical toxins, latent infections, things like tick-borne illnesses, viruses, long covid biological age. And it's one of the actual hallmarks of aging. And we have a lot of microbiome challenges in our society. We take a lot of gut busting drugs like antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs, acid blockers, and we don't eat food within the fiber. And so our guts are really a problem, especially as we get older. The other thing that affects it is stress. So stress will for sure accelerate biological aging and make our exposed 'em worse. Environmental allergens can food sensitivities can lack of exercise, social isolation, loneliness, all of that is really significant. So we want to get rid of those things as much as possible or fix those things and that will help us a lot.
And then there's things we need to add in to actually help ourselves reverse the biological aging process, putting in the good stuff. And of course, it's the usual stuff I've talked about. It's not surprising. It's real whole unprocessed food. It's ideally we're generally raised grass fed or finished pasture raised, meat, eggs, patty, fish. It's the right amount of fiber, phytochemicals, polyphenols from all the colorful fruits and vegetables, enough micronutrients to optimize our levels, not just a normal amount. You need to prevent deficiency, but actually what's your optimal level like vitamin D and zinc and magnesium and the B vitamins and omega fats, all of which are important. And by the way, all of which we test for on function health. And what's amazing, everybody is we're seeing about 67% of people, and this is a health group who are deficient in one or more nutrients at the minimum level, not to optimize health but to prevent a deficiency disease.
So we're way, way low guys. Also, you need the adequate balance of hormones, thyroid hormone, adrenal hormones, sex hormones, and those can be modified through lifestyle and other things. Diet. We need the right kind of light exposure at the right time of day. We need good hydration, exercise, good sleep, active relaxation, getting our parasympathetic nervous system, activated meditation, things like that. We need community, love, meaning, purpose. Those are all the ingredients for health. So what is in more detail a functional medicine approach to reversing biological age? We take out the bad stuff, putting the good stuff. Let's get more specific. So first we need to focus on our diet, and that is important because we need to increase the intake of methylation supporting nutrients. And this was shown in Dr Car Fitz gel's study, right? They include all kinds of nutrient dense organic foods, which has specific nutrients that support methylation.
So what are those? Well, batine, which is in beads, quinoa, spinach, raised beef and Turkey folate, which comes from pasture raised eggs and dark green leafy veggies, vitamin B six and 12, which are in pasture raised eggs and regenerated beef and liver. I love liver. Actually I had liver pate yesterday for lunch. It was organic chicken, liver and vitamin C also is important. It's found in colorful breadfruits and veggies and all these phytochemicals also activate anti-inflammatory and detoxifying pathways by something called phyto hormesis, which is a good thing. A hormesis is essentially a biological phenomena where it's a stress to your body that doesn't kill you. It's essentially a beneficial effect that results from low doses of an agent that may be considered toxic or lethal when given a higher doses. So in other words, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. So for example, a cold PPL is good, but if you stayed in too long, you die hypothermia or a sauna is good, but if you stay there long, you're going to die of heat stroke, right?
And some of the chemicals in food are quite amazing because they're the plant's defense mechanisms and they're a little bit toxic, but a little dose of them actually stimulate your body to heal. For example, cruciferous veggies have a lot of things that are helpful with detoxification and inflammation. Glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, sulforaphane, which are all these amazing biochemicals and phytochemicals that promote healthy aging and also have anti-cancer properties. So what would you eat? Well, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, rola, kale, mustard greens, water crests, rutabaga, Cole, Robbie, Swiss charred turnips. Well, those aren't actually crucifers, but they're all greens are good for you. Lots of phytochemicals are important. Turmeric, rosemary, green tea, garlic, really great for reducing inflammation. Certain polyphenols are great. Rosemary acid from rosemary green. Tea extracts like E-E-C-G-C, cosin, which is an onions, all that can help modulate DNA methylation and activate all these amazing anti-inflammatory pathways which you need to reduce inflammation as you get older.
Like for example, NRF two, which is a transcription factor that plays a really critical role in defending your cells against free radicals and toxins. So you can activate these by what you eat. It's pretty cool actually. Food literally is medicine. You also want to avoid inflammatory foods. Obviously we talked about this forever, but refined carbs and sugar, they're super pro aging. If you want to age fast, eat sugar and carbs. I didn't mean refined sugar and carbs like flour. It's the single biggest thing you can do to reduce the rate of aging is to cut those things out of your diet because they drive inflammation, they drive belly fat, they screw up your gut bacteria, they feed cancer cells. They cause metabolic dysfunction, they cause cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, you name it. Also, I would probably avoid conventional dairy. Many people are having issues with casein, which is the allogenic protein.
There's a one casein, which is, it's in most modern cows, plus they're all raised antibiotics and hormones. Many people have lactose intolerance and all these things can create inflammation. Even autoimmunity has been linked in dairy such as Hashimoto's or type one diabetes. A gluten also is a problem, and it's especially modern gluten wheat. It's a dwarf wheat that is hybridized that has much higher amounts of gluten proteins. It's sprayed with herbicides like glyphosate, which have been linked to cancer and leaky gut and skin issues. So you want to get rid of that if you're going to have gluten products have more heirloom products or non wheat grains, particularly in the us. Also, protein's important because you need to actually build muscle. And I think one of the things we don't realize as we age is we lose a tremendous amount of muscle. So eating high quality protein is critical for preventing muscle loss, which is so common.
So you need about a gram per pound of protein, especially as you get older and you want to get pasture raised eggs. You want to have basically a palm size portion of grass fed or regener raised meat, fish, chicken, so forth. Also, you can do simple things to increase autophagy, which helps with longevity. You can basically overnight fast for 12 to 14 hours, which sounds like a lot, but it's not. Basically you eat dinner at seven, sorry, you can eat breakfast at seven in the morning or nine, nine would be a 14 hour fast. The body basically shifts from digestion when you do that to repair and rejuvenation, which is cool. And it's kind of like a mild form of stress to the body. And so it activates the body's own healing mechanisms. Now, a professor sat panai and his colleagues at the S institute has shown how time-restricted eating impacts gene expression.
Now they published a study in cell metabolism and they reveal that time-restricted eating affects about 70% of the mouse genes, including the adrenal gland, hypothalamus pancreas, all which are key for regulating hormones. It also impacts cortisol and metabolism, your blood sugar, your microbiome. So it can be really good just to not eat. I mean most of us just eat until we go to bed and then we wake up and we eat. We just take a break, 12 hours, it's called breakfast, 14 hours, maybe a little bit better. And these findings suggest lots of pathways through which time-restricted eating can influence our health and help with issues like diabetes and heart disease, high blood pressure cancer. And when you do this, it activates a lot of anti-aging genes like sirtuins, A MPK, foxo, NAD, inhibits mTOR, which activates autophagy, which is cellular cleanup. So you have all these longevity switches and all these longevity pathways that when you time restrict your eating a little bit, and I'm not talking about long fasting.
You start to activate these pathways every day and that leads to killing up all the bad stuff and cleaning up your body through this process we call autophagy, which is essentially a cellular cleanup mechanism. It's recycling. Auto means self and phia means eat. So it's like eating yourself basically. And that kills a lot of the senescent cells or zombie cells, which are kind of these in-between cells that don't die, don't live, but they cause inflammation throughout the body and are really damaging. So we call these zombie cells and they resist the immune system's ability to clear them so they basically protect themselves or kind of never die, and they accumulate in key organs and tissues and make all these diseases worse like arthritis and heart disease and cataracts and fatty liver and Parkinson's and increased your cancer risk. They just nasty inflammatory molecules. So you want to get rid of them.
You also want to make sure sleep is a priority. Less than five hours of sleep a night is associated with inquiry risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other age-related disorders, even dementia. And why? Well, research says a lot about this. In a study of 245 women published in the Journal of Aging Research, the women who were about between 59 and 66 who had poor quality sleep had significantly shorter telomere length. Other studies also link other problems with sleep. Obstructive sleep apnea, which is where you kind of snore and don't breathe at night or you get low oxygen states. And man, they found that led to shorter telomere length and damaged DNA. So lack of high quality sleep, difficulty falling asleep, waking up a lot throughout the night, trouble falling back asleep or waking up too early in the morning is more common as we age, but it's associated with a lot more stress in the body.
Higher cortisol levels, damaged proteins damaged DNA accumulation. And so when we don't sleep, we don't clear out the junk from our brain either because we have this brain cleaning system, it's called the glymphatic system, and it turns on when we go to sleep and it clears away all the cellular debris and senescent cells from our brains. But otherwise, if we don't, we get foggy. It's why when you don't sleep, your brain doesn't feel good, right? You feel foggy and not clear. So you really want to optimize sleep because if you don't, you're going to have morphy radicals, more inflammation, more telomere shortening, and it's not that hard. You just got to make a routine of it. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day. Use your bed for sleep and romance. Make your room totally dark. Eye masks, sound machine or earplugs, I use those.
Don't get exposed to blue light for two or three hours before bed. That's from all your devices. You can get the blue light blocking glasses. You can dim your lights, you can put the red lights, candles, lamps. It's kind of fun actually at night. Avoid caffeine and alcohol, particularly alcohol within three hours of bed and caffeine afternoon if you're having any. And you can try my Sleep masterclass. It's free. We're going to put the link in the show notes. Alright, what else could you do to reverse your biological age? Well exercise. If you could package the benefits of exercise into a pill, it probably would be the greatest blockbuster drug of all time. Everybody understands that exercise is associated with extending your lifespan and your overall health, but it's also associated with slowing these age related declines in DNA methylation, which we see with the epigenetic changes and exercise, which is amazing, positively impacts all of the hallmarks of aging.
It helps balance your hormones and insulin sensitivity. It cleans up damaged proteins, which were found in Alzheimer's and diabetes. It repairs damaged DNA, it lengthens your telomeres. It boosts energy through NAD. It reduces inflammation, it kills your zombie cells, it improves and strengthens your mitochondria, increases your stem cell production. All good things if you want to have reverse your biological age. So what should you be doing? Well, about 150 minutes of aerobic exercise. Things like biking, hiking, tennis, swimming every week plus strength training or using weights or resistance bands to make sure you keep your muscle mass really important. Muscle mass is key to longevity. Alright, what about stress? Well, you have to manage your stress if you want to live a long time. No one can avoid stress, but we have to learn how to handle it and to reduce the effects of it on our biology.
So when you have chronic stress and it's just unmitigated, it just accelerates cellular aging, it shortens our telomeres. It's implicated as a risk factor for every known chronic disease. For example, in a study published in the BMJ British Medical Journal, a finished cohort of about 40,000 people between the ages of 25 and 74 years old, reported a nearly three year lower life expectancy in men who found their life almost unbearable due to stress. So basically your life's cut short by three years if you have lots of stress. So what can you do to help regulate your nervous system? Well, gratitude, journaling, breath work, meditation, yoga, hiking, being nature, all those things help. In fact, the narrative review, assessing the clinical benefits of yoga meditation found that there were lower amounts of pro-inflammatory genes that were expressed and there were increased expressions of telomere maintenance and lengthening genes and also better DNA repair just from doing yoga, hanging out with close friends.
I think it is really important. Building your network of relationships, especially as you age is important. Loneliness is linked to age related diseases like dementia. So make sure you find ways to create established community meaning and purpose. Really important. Alright, what about supplements? Well, they're not a panacea. Other supplements, but they are important. And I recommend between four or 5,000 units a day of vitamin D three when they did 4,000 units of vitamin D three in a population with no other changes, they reduced biological age by 1.85 years in just 16 weeks. That's impressive. Probiotics also can be helpful, particularly ones that contain a certain strain called lactus illus plantar 2 9 9 V, and that's been shown to increase folate production, which also helps support DNA methylation. You want to take B vitamins, particularly the methylation B vitamins. We talked about methylfolate methyl B12, the methylate in form of B six called P five P, all really important.
Have the right form and will link to those in the show notes. And that of course will help fill any dietary gaps and support your DNA methylation. Also, I like certain things like NMN, which is helps support a D production. A thousand milligrams a day, cetin 500 to a thousand milligrams. It's kills the zombie cells. It's from strawberries actually, it's a phytochemical. It stimulates autophagy, activates sirtuins, A MPK, all of good things. These are the longevity switches, curcumin, I love that. 500 to a thousand a day, green T extract or EGCG, which is great. 500 to a thousand a day. Also, I like uro, Litan A, which is great. It's a post biotic made from pomegranate in your gut bacteria, but most of us don't have it, so we really need to take it. And the form I like is called MIT pu. It's made by a company in Switzerland.
So I think I take that every day, for example. So there's a lot of stuff you can do. There's also, if you're crazy like me and you want to do all kinds of other stuff, you can experiment. I experiment myself. I don't encourage you to do that. But things like stem cells, things like exosomes, which are little packets of healing compounds, peptides particularly can be helpful. Like BP 1 57 thymosin alpha one, which helps immunity. So there's a lot of peptides out there. You need to find someone who can help you navigate that. But some of the regenerative medicine therapies can be really helpful. Also, I think more and more research will come out on plasmapheresis. This is basically a process of cleaning your blood essentially, where they take out your blood, they separate out the cells and the plasma, they throw the plasma out and they add back a protein called albumin to reconstitute your blood.
But essentially it's like getting rid of all the old damaged crap. And it seems to have the most impact on reversing biological age in terms of the interventions we can do. Now, there's some other things that are on the track to potentially be helpful, like drugs, like rapamycin, metformin, we're learning more about those, but we're not quite there yet. So it's a lot of things we know that cause rapid aging and there's a lot of things we know that can actually slow or even reverse biological aging. So that's the good news. It's very empowering and I'm a living example of it. I tried everything on myself and it actually is working and I see it in my patients, and I encourage you to explore some of this. You don't have to do everything but do what you can. The thought of living longer for people who are older can be scary.
Thinking of all the diseases they're going to get, they know heart disease and diabetes and then get frail and they're going to fall. And I mean, no one wants to live longer if that means that you're going to be sicker and more uncomfortable and more in pain. But ing isn't just about how long we live, it's about how well we live. And this is really a concept that's known as our health span. Our health span is how many years we're healthy now. Most people spend the last 20% of their life in poor health. You want your health span to equal your lifespan. If you live to be 90, you want 89.9 years to be healthy. And then maybe last week you're kind of dwindling and then you go, right? And I think most of us, given what I just talked about today, could get to a hundred healthy years.
It's our mission at Function Health and we help you do that through guidance. Not everybody can see me as a patient, but through function health, we've made this information accessible to all of you and be able to actually track your own biological data over time and see how you can even measure your own biological age and reverse it just like I did. So you can check that out. Go to function health.com/mark to learn more, and also to skip the wait list, which is about 150,000 people. So it's never too late to start. You can reverse your biological clock at any age and you can live your best life. So through our diet and lifestyle choices, through managing sleep, through stress management, the right supplements community, maybe certain advanced therapeutics, and we talked about we can activate these anti-aging genes, we can reverse our biological age, we can activate our longevity switches and we can feel and look younger from the inside out.
And also the point is you don't want to just add years to your life. You want to add life to your ears. You want to have vitality, energy, and joy and meaning and purpose. So aging as a decline into discomfort and disease, I see it as an amazing opportunity to redefine our golden years as a time of renewal, a vitality of thriving health. And with the right tools and the right knowledge and the right commitment, we can all look forward to celebrating not just another birthday, but another chance of living and feeling truly alive and vibrant. So thanks for joining me on this journey toward a younger you both inside and out. If you want to learn more, you can go check out my book Young Forever, where I go into all this in more detail in my Young Forever Cookbook. It's come out as well.
So check that out and hope you enjoy learning how your body works and how to work with it to create health for yourself and have more energy, more vitality, and more life. Thanks for listening today. If you love this podcast, share it with your friends and family. Leave a comment on your own best practices on how you upgrade your health and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. And follow me on all social media channels at Dr. Mark Hyman and we'll see you next time on The Doctor's Farmacy. I'm always getting questions about my favorite books, podcasts, gadgets, supplements, recipes, and lots more. And now you can have access to all of this information by signing up for my free Marx Picks newsletter@drhyman.com slash Marx picks. I promise I'll only email you once a week on Fridays and I'll never share your email address or send you anything else besides my recommendations.
These are things that helped me on my help journey and I hope they'll help you too. Again, that's dr hyman.com/marks pics. Thank you again and we'll see you next time on The Doctor's Farmacy. This podcast is separate from my clinical practice at the Wellness Center and my work at Cleveland Clinic and Function Health, where I'm the Chief Medical Officer. This podcast represents my opinions and my guest opinions, and neither myself nor the podcast endorse the views or statements of my guests. This podcast is for educational purposes only. This podcast is not a substitute for professional care by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. This podcast is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. If you're looking for your help in your journey, seek out a qualified medical practitioner. You can come see us at the Ultra Wellness Center in Lennox, Massachusetts. Just go to ultra wellness center.com. If you're looking for a functional medicine practitioner near you, you can visit ifm.org and search. Find a practitioner database. It's important that you have someone in your corner who is trained, who's a licensed healthcare practitioner, and can help you make changes, especially when it comes to your health. Keeping this podcast free is part of my mission to bring practical ways of improving health to the general public. In keeping with that theme, I'd like to express gratitude to the sponsors that made today's podcast possible.