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A longevity expert on how to live longer and better – Vogue India

Posted: August 29, 2021 at 1:47 am


Aug 26, 2021 | 14:42:25 IST Age is not just a number, but it tends to add to your list of problems. If you'relooking to 'cheat' your body clock, longevity expert Dr Gil Blander may have some answers to living longer and better.

Last November, six-odd months into #WFH in Mumbai (a city in lockdown on and off since early 2020), I came across a clip of Jennifer Lopezs incredibly powerful performance at the American Music Awards. At 51, the singer and actor looked strong, showing off dance moves only someone immensely fit could pull off. Lopez is not a rare exceptionacross professions, be it business, sport or entertainment, several men and women are redefining the perception of age and living their best lives no matter how old or young they may be.

And while our prospects of living well into our eighties and nineties may have increased over time-thanks to advancements in medicine, science and technologythere has never been a more critical time in modern history to re-evaluate our lifestyles. Ageing is a complex, multifactorial process that starts in our cells, resulting in a gradual decline of the larger systems in the body. Its a time in life defined by declining mental faculties, rising disease risk and loss of vigour. According to Dr Gil Blander, founder and chief scientific officer of the personalised health performance analytics company Inside Tracker, we can slow down the fundamental ageing process and lessen its impact. The first step is to know what you are working with. This includes your blood biomarkers and DNA data. Here, Blander explains further.

Why are blood biomarkers key to increasing longevity?

There are many biomarkers related to the ageing process. Our research and data show a strong correlation between blood glucose and agea lower glucose level is associated with younger age and vice versa. Its also well established that lower cholesterol levels, particularly LDL (low-density lipoproteins or bad) cholesterol, can predict healthy ageing. Additionally, research shows high inflammation levels, measured by the biomarker hs-CRP (high sensitivity C-reactive protein), relate to age-related conditions such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Optimal vitamin D levels are also essential as it has many functions in the body, including a role in modulating inflammation, a mechanism that may protect telomeres, a hallmark of ageing.

Can we boost our immune system with a certain kind of diet?

A single food wont solely impact the immune system, but a balanced and varied diet, daily movement, adequate sleep and stress management will contribute to optimal immune function. Commonly under consumed nutrients include calcium, vitamin D, potassium and dietary fibre. So you must include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, dairy and legumes in your daily diet as they contain these essential nutrients. Also incorporate lean protein sources like chicken, fish, yoghurt and eggs into your diet daily. These foods provide necessary vitamins and minerals like vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin C and zinc, to keep your immune system running smoothly.

Are there any specific hormones we should focus on as we grow older?

Well-established research illustrates that DHEAS in women decreases with age, and maintaining higher levels is protective against age-related diseases because of its anti-clotting and anti-proliferative properties. It also helps improve energy, immune function, and bone and muscle health. In men, optimised free testosterone is vital for muscle building, strength and prevent ing age-related bone loss. They can increase free testosterone by focusing on restful sleep and reducing stress when possible.

Do you believe in a mind-body connection?

The body is constantly reacting to stressors, both physical and emotional. Regard less of the source, cortisol is released to trigger the fight or flight response. Elevated cortisol signals the body to reallocate energy away from processes that are not vital to survival, and prolonged high cortisol levels can impair bodily processes like immune function and digestion. So yes, there is a large body of scientific evidence that connects the minds health to the bodys.

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A longevity expert on how to live longer and better - Vogue India

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