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David Sinclair: How to Eat for Longevity

Updated: Jan 15

Podcast Release Date: 01/12/22

Podcast Duration: 01:08:10

A summary by Brandon Johnson, DC

5 Key Takeaways

  1. Eat less often

  2. Start by skipping one meal per day and advance from there

  3. Eat less sugar

  4. Recommends stevia over unnatural alcohol sugars

  5. If you eat sugar do it at the end of meal

  6. This delays the insulin dump

  7. Reduce meat intake

  8. Decreases mTOR

  9. Processed meats are the worst

  10. Eat more dark leafy, colorful veggies

  11. Our body needs to be in a state of stress (Hunger,Fatigue, ect)

  12. Hunger in children is important to program epigenome for longevity

  13. Children who are over-fed might be aging more rapidly

David Sinclair begins this podcast by discussing the process of aging and how it relates to diet. He explains that when and what we eat in a 24 hour window will affect overall health and longevity.

The First Starting Point for Longevity

  1. “Eat Less Often”

  2. Not necessarily fewer calories

  3. David eats one meal per day

  4. Packing calories into a shorter period of time allows the body to function more efficiently

How Does Fasting and Diet Relate to Aging?

  1. By reducing glucose (sugar) levels in genes scientists can dramatically increase lifespan

  2. Research shows that fasting is the most viable way to increase the life of an organism

  3. Most fasting research has been conducted on animals

  4. Labradors lived 1.8 years longer on average by restricting calories by 25%

  5. Even yeast cells live longer at a caloric deficit

  6. Leaner people live longer

  7. Obese people can still get benefits from fasting

  8. Diet change can reverse Biological age (age associated with metabolic health)

  9. Someone can be metabolically healthier at 65 than they were at 55

How does Fasting Work?

  1. It puts your body in a state of stress and lowers the amount of available energy to the cells

  2. Low energy activates sirtuins( proteins that protect DNA and keep the right gene expression on)

  3. Sirtuins help release more NAD (supplies energy to cells)

  4. Glucose is bad because:

  5. It reduces sirtuin and AMPK production

  6. It attaches to protein increasing cardiovascular disease

  7. Turns off bodies defense systems

What do Studies Show about Fasting?

  1. Research on religious groups that fast show longer life expectancy

  2. Jainism in India has the most people over the age of 70 relative to population size

  3. Study at Baylor University showed that fasting from dawn to dusk for 4 weeks:

  4. Decreased blood pressure

  5. Reduced BMI (body mass index)

  6. Improved waist circumference

  7. Up regulated (turned on) healthy DNA proteins

  8. Fasting Improved the outcomes of:

  9. Type 1 diabetes

  10. Multiple sclerosis

  11. Cancer

  12. Coupling fasting with chemo therapy resulted in a better outcome

  13. Macular degeneration has been showed to slow down or reverse with fasting

After discussing the importance of fasting, Dr. Sinlcair talks about three things that alter longevity genes and how they are connected to diet.

3 Variables that Change Longevity Genes

  1. mTOR-(Mammalian Target of Rampamycin)

  2. Protein complex that registers amino acids

  3. Causes the cell to build things such as muscle tissue

  4. Down regulating (reducing) mTOR increases life span because it activates autophagy (recycles proteins)

  5. AMPK-(Activated Protein Kinase)

  6. An enzyme that goes up when you are fasted (low energy)

  7. Helps stimulate mitochondrial production

  8. Makes ATP (energy for the cell)

  9. Sirtuins

  10. Regulate cellular health and homeostasis

  11. Regulate DNA damage response and repair

  12. Need NAD+ in order to function

After discussing factors that dictate longevity and gene expression, Dr. Sinclair shares some insight on the proper way to fast.

How to Fast for Longevity?

  1. Everybody is different

  2. Find the most effective way for yourself

  3. Fasting mimicking diet

  4. Low in branch chain amino acids which reduces mTOR

  5. Plant based is lower in amino acids

  6. Intermittent fasting

  7. Usually 16 hours fasting with 8 hours eating

  8. Can be 1-7 days without food

  9. Turns on massive autophagy( the removal of dead or bad cells)

  10. Creates chaperone mediated autophagy “the deep cleanse”

  11. Reactive hypoglycemia

  12. Occurs when you eat something sugary in the morning and then fast throughout the day

  13. This causes a spike in insulin which removes too much blood sugar

  14. Results in brain fog and tiredness

  15. Makes you more hungry because of ghrelin release

  16. Some people might be more sensitive to fasting

  17. Should track with glucose monitors

  18. It is necessary to stay hydrated

  19. Nuts and high protein foods can reduce hunger sensations

  20. Worst thing to eat while fasting is sugar

  21. Avoid super high protein diets

  22. Results in too many branch chain amino acids in circulation

  23. It will activate mTOR resulting in less autophagy activation

What does David Sinclair do?

  1. Started by not eating breakfast

  2. 1 bite of yogurt in the morning to take supplements

  3. Eats large dinner

  4. More than 20 hours without exogenous glucose (no carbs)

  5. This creates gluconeogenesis

  6. The liver makes more glucose

  7. Takes 2-3 weeks for the body to adapt to long fasts

After discussing the timing of his caloric intake, Dr Sinclair then offers some knowledge on which diets and foods are the healthiest choice.


  1. The biological principle of plants that experience environmental stress, offer more bio-active nutrients to the human and animal consumer

  2. 20 plant molecules (polythenols) activate sirt 1 (sertuin)

  3. Activate health and longevity pathways

  4. Organic plants grown without pesticides are more stressed and have more polyphenols

  5. The most nutrient dense plants are:

  6. Organic

  7. Locally grown

  8. Colorful

  9. Mediterranean diet has best results

  10. Reduced mortality under 80 by 31%

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