5 Ways to Live to Be 100

Last Modified: 8 May 2019

First in An Anti-Aging Education Series

Do you want to become a centenarian? You might find most people don’t have that goal. They imagine loved ones dying and then being alone in old age. Some assume that at the age of 100 they will have nagging infirmities and life won’t be worth living.

In reality, due to advances in technology and knowledge about diet, genetics, medicine, and psychology, people are happily living longer all the time. There is a growing anti-aging movement that gets more promising every passing day. So, since there are many reasons why you may live to a longer age than you ever imagined, here are some tips about that, with details and links.

#5 – Find Your Best Diet – On sites like Prevention are testimonials from celebrities who have the time and wherewithal to look better, feel better, eat healthier, and live longer. You can check out the latest food fads like The Impossible Whopper, a burger made with protein from soybeans. Can vegans and vegetarians do well even if they’re not as rich as 76-year-old vegan Paul McCartney? You can get much advice on such things on the Web. Check WebMD for tips on diet and weight management.

4 – Handle Stress & Relationships Well – Good relationships help us live longer. Dr. Robert Waldinger is a psychiatrist with Massachusetts General Hospital and director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development, which has monitored more than 700 men since 1938, beginning when they were teenagers. He says that men “more socially connected to family, friends, and community are happier, healthier, and live longer than people who are less well connected.” Also, relationship quality matters toward having a lot less stress. Robert Sapolsky, Ph.D., author of Why Zebras Don’t Get Ulcers  did an in-depth podcast interview with Dr. Peter Attia discussing stress in social situations and in the brain in all primates. Sapolsky said: “I actually don’t think stress kills you outright very often, but it sure makes other things that kill you more effective at doing it.” Conclusion? Supportive relationships maintained help you handle your stresses and have a longer and happier life.

3 – Live in a Healthy & Supportive Environment – Author Dan Buettner has written books about the Blue Zones – places on Earth where residents live substantially longer lives. His website about that shares longevity secrets of the five zones, with information on “how to transform your community to live longer, better” with secrets of world hotspots “where people are thriving into their 100s.” Four original Blue Zones identified by Buettner are: Costa Rica’s isolated Nicoya Peninsula; Ikaria, an isolated Greek island; Okinawa, Japan; and the Italian island of Sardinia. One might assume the secret begins with living on an island in a temperate climate, but the fifth original Blue Zone is land-locked Loma Linda, California. The Blue Zones are worth study and emulation. If you’d like a Cliff Notes type distillation of what the Blue Zones have in common, here’s something from the World Economic Forum.

2 – Be Happy with Your Work – Blue Zones people emphasize happy work and having a purpose for living. In Okinawa, that’s calledikigai (“a reason for being”) and on the Nicoyan peninsula it’s known as plan de vida (“plan of life”). If you wake up in the morning looking forward to the day’s planned activities, or even if you’re simply happy with the way you’re living life, you’re bound to be healthier and happier and longer-lived. Joseph Campbell, who became a major Hollywood influence due to the story matrix in his book The Hero of a Thousand Faces, told people to follow their “bliss.” He explained in an interview: “[I]f you do follow your bliss you put yourself on a kind of track that has been there all the while, waiting for you, and the life that you ought to be living is the one you are living. When you can see that, you begin to meet people who are in your field of bliss, and they open doors to you. I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.” The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley publishes a magazine devoted to such principles. For longer life, it’s a great benefit if you spend your days in a satisfying occupation.

1 – Feed Your Body Better As It Ages – Some centenarians credit their long life to drinking three Dr. Peppers every day, or smoking 12 cigars every 24 hours, but those are anomalies. Anti-aging research is deeply scientific. The Forever Healthy Foundation organizes ongoing initiatives where some of the smartest people on Earth work to reverse human aging. Adaptogens – plant-based herbs that help the body fight stress – and senolytic drugs – compounds discovered at the Mayo Clinic that that remove senescent “zombie” cells from the body – are being intensely studied. Even more to the point is the NMN molecule touted by scientists like David Sinclair of Harvard Medical. NMN switches youthful genes on and older genes off, via naturally occurring proteins known as sirtuins. and is used by the body to generate nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a compound crucial to body health. NAD levels begin naturally diminishing in humans at age 40 or so, and diminish drastically as age advances, so any NAD booster is worthwhile. NMN has been proven to reverse aging in mice, and ongoing trials and testimonials seem to prove that NMN supplements with very high levels of purity, like Herbalmax Reinvigorator, may boost NAD to youthful levels in humans and thus, prolong life.

There are a myriad of opinions and advice on living to 100. If you find a solution that works for you, stick with it. The great thing is that now, more than ever before, people are finding ways to not only live long but actually enjoy advancing in age. For ongoing anti-aging information, check The Healthy Science Blog.

Can the Right Foods Help Us Live Longer?

You are what you eat. Who hasn’t heard that old chestnut before, but did you ever consider certain foods can actually help you live longer?

We all eat, and for the most part everyone knows what’s good or bad for them. For instance, having a can of coca cola and a bag of potato chips for lunch will most certainly offer little by way of nutrition, and after the sugar high bursts, it may even leave you feeling tired, bloated and agitated.

These are the short-term consequences of a poor diet and most of us have suffered a stomach ache or two over a piece of chocolate cake. There are significant long-term effects of consistently eating unhealthy foods, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and most autoimmune diseases are just some of the diseases triggered by food sensitivities when they pass through the lower gut. But what are the elements we need to be aware of in a good diet to counter the bad? The answer, can be found deep within the foods we eat, so deep, it’s cellular.

What is NAD?

There’s a coenzyme called NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) in our cells, which among its many functions, helps to keeps us from disease. The good news is, we are all born with a full supply, but as we age NAD drains from our cells, so by the time we reach our 50th birthday, most of us are working on half our original stores. Low levels of NAD in our cells as we age has been the focus of new studies into ways of keeping our supplies fuller, longer.

One way is through supplementing an NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide), like the Herbalmax Reinvigorator product. NMN is a precursor enzyme to the NAD+ coenzyme and regular use has been noted at being successful at maintaining a youthful level in our cells. Healthy NAD+ levels have been associated with achieving a better night’s sleep, mood stabilization, clearer thinking and an overall good feeling of wellness.

But supplementation is only one way to refill our lagging NAD+ stores. There are some very good food sources for NAD+, some that are obvious, and some might surprise.

5 of the best Foods for NAD+

NAD+ exists is all living cells, not just human, but plants and all living things, and vegetables are a better source of NAD+ than most other foods. However, there are a few sources for NAD+ that are not veg-based, but still high in B3, or niacin. B3 is an amino and essential to NAD+ conversion in the cells. Here are the top five foods rich in NAD+.

Avocados

An already super, superfood, the humble Avocado, earns its place as a nutritional powerhouse, and tops our list as a chief source of NAD+. What makes it special, is the combination of B vitamins, specifically B3 (niacin) which is a key nutrient for production of NAD+ in our cells, and are one of the best good fat foods around, clocking up a whopping 77% of the calories from fat (Oleic acid), making it one of the best, fattiest plant foods on the planet! You guessed it; a diet of predominately healthy fats increases production of the NAD+ coenzyme. BINGO!

The added health benefits of a diet containing good amounts of oleic acid has been associated with reduced inflammation and studies have shown beneficial effects on genes linked to cancer.


Milk

Milk? Yes. In recent years milk and dairy products have been linked to all sorts of ailments with lactose intolerance firmly at the center of most people’s issues with milk. Despite its varied reputation, Milk is an undisputed champion when it comes to NAD+.

Milk’s secret weapon is a high value of Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), a precursor of NAD+. According to a study performed by the University of Iowa, there is 3.9 μmol of NAD+ per liter of ordinary cow’s milk, in fact, organic milk scored lower in NR concentrations. It turns out the milk ads in the eighties were correct! Milk really is good food.

Fish

Oily fish like tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel have high amounts of NAD+ in them and are optimal over white fish.

Nutritional reviews of tuna found on average it contains 20.5mg (milligrams) of NAD+ and salmon comes in a close second with 10.1mg for the same 200gram portion. Again, oily fish is full of healthy fats, creating a healthy environment for the body’s own NAD+ production.

Green Vegetables

As NAD+ is a life-compound, the most obvious food choice to increase NAD+ in the diet would be eating more green vegetables. Besides the overall excellent nutritional values of veg, and high values of B vitamins, many are known to contain NAD+ -worthy amounts of the chemical compound, with asparagus notching up a healthy 3.2mg of NAD+ for a typical 150-200 gram serving.

Yeast

Like milk, another big source NR is yeast, and actually yeast out-preforms milk for NAD+ content per equal part.

Additionally, a single tablespoon of dried yeast has 3 grams of protein, high levels of iron, and is a great source of B vitamins. Consumption of yeast products, like milk, can come with a cost, as more and more people suffer from autoimmune disease, yeast has been found to be a trigger for gut sensitivities.

Good health for longer

All-in-all, a healthy life is about balancing equal amounts of exercise, sunlight, meditation and living as stress-free as possible, but that kind of life is not always practical.  NAD+ stores in the body are naturally boosted when we do everything right, but as we age, the challenge is greater.  

Opting to supplement your diet with an excellent NMN product like Herbalmax’s Reinvigorator, is the smart way to a feed our bodies, along with NAD+-rich foods, what they need to maintain inner strength and energy for a longer healthier life.

Southern California Biotech Company Sets New Quality Paradigm in Bio-Available Innovation

IRVINE, Calif., April 26, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Herbalmax Inc. is pleased to announce the upcoming release of its refortified line of bio-available nutraceuticals led by its leading NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) product, Reinvigorator.

In addition to select supplements such as the popular Natural Sleep and Menopause Support Formulas, the Company has redefined its product line to help the consumer find added answers to their difficult health concerns.

Herbalmax scientists have set the gold standard in a crowded nutraceutical industry before, with high-grade, science-based proprietary and targeted blends like their Immune Support Formula, Blood Pressure Formula, Heart Health and Anxiety & Stress Formulas.

With new branding, refortified manufacturing processes, and a completely streamlined product line, Herbalmax is perfectly situated to take new and bold steps into home health solutions.

“As an established and trusted company in the Health and Wellness biotech design and manufacturing space for 20 years, we believe our brand is now well positioned to secure an important market share in the online nutraceutical industry,” affirms Dr. Mohamed Shaharuzzaman, Ph.D., Senior Research Scientist at Herbalmax Inc.

Using only 100% native-earth ingredients, Herbalmax products have been consistently safe and specifically designed to meet the real expectations of the customer looking to fill the gap in their healthcare. Herbalmax biotech scientists engineer smart, inventive solutions of unsurpassed quality, keeping the customer firmly at the center of their focus.

One of the stars of the Herbalmax product range, NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) precursor enzyme supplement, Reinvigorator, launched in 2018, has grown from strength to strength.

Dr. Shaharuzzaman continues, “We are thrilled by the success our premier NMN product, Reinvigorator, has had over the last year and look forward to its continued popularity with the consumer. The positive feedback from our customers includes a notable yet stable energy boost throughout the day, better sleep quality, clearer thinking, and an overall brighter outlook. 

“Still, our greatest challenge will always be to strive to perfect our technologies, lower production costs and to meet, with a hyper-focus, the continued health needs of our customers.”

Herbalmax Inc. and its employees look forward to setting the pace for continued success as a global provider of home health care solutions.

Why Is Seattle Buzzing About Plant-Based Foods?

Whether you identify as Paleo, Keto or just pure Carnivore, everyone at one time or another has eaten a vegetable. Chances are you felt better after words, but most of us don’t usually consider a plate full of plants a full meal, that is until lately.

The world seems to have fallen in love with vegetables again. In fact, here in Seattle we are gobbling them up, but not just any old veg, sales of organic produce which saw a slump after an initial boom almost 10 years ago, are now skyrocketing again. Additionally, after a shaky start, online farm-direct delivery has recently found a strong foothold too, gloating often about their consistent and loyal customer-base, and plant-based food cafes and restaurants are no longer relegated to the daytime smoothie trade, and are fast becoming a repeat destination in the evening dinner restaurant culture.

The Organic Produce Network (OPN) very recently reported that fresh organic produce sales grew an astounding 8.6% to $5.6 billion in 2018, and OPN is optimistic about 2019.  “Although organic accounted for 10.1% of total produce sales, it’s driving a disproportionate amount of growth within the produce department,” Matt Lally, associate director at Nielsen, said in a statement. “In total, 43% of total produce growth occurred from organic items, which equates to an estimated $450 million sold.”

Do we really crave plant-based food to live a healthier life or do we just like the thought of ourselves sitting at a long, distressed wooden table, bathed in a golden, sun-soaked evening, surrounded by seven of our best-looking friends?

Farms and produce distribution companies are more than happy to accommodate our hunger to be healthy. In 2014, the USDA reported Washington State was second only to California in the top-ten list of states for organic food sales with the Evergreen State having more than 700 certified organic farms, and Yakima County in the south-central region topping out the list with 92 organic farms.

That’s a lot of organic food and apparently, we are eating it as fast as they can grow it. But why now, why are we suddenly trending towards better health?

“One reason is that we are just tired of being sick all the time,” acknowledges Senior Research Scientist at Southern California biotech firm, Herbalmax, Mohamed Shaharuzzaman Ph. D. “As a nation, we are getting old, and as an aging nation, we are all beginning to look for answers.”

Shaharuzzaman seems to be correct. According to the November 8, 2018, CIA World Factbook report, the average age of a US citizen is closing fast on 40 years old, with males averaging 36.8 years and females coming in a surprisingly aged, 39.4 years!

As a nation, we are getting old, and as an aging nation, we are all beginning to look for answer

But aging doesn’t always have to mean illness, and along with our recent national gravitation towards plant-based foods, many of us are doing all we can to live longer, healthier lives.

The Very Vegan Impossible Burger.

Results of a recent study at Harvard University, and the subsequent research by David Sinclair on NAD (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide), the essential coenzyme enabling cells to keeps us from disease, unlocked a new and important paradigm in the area of health and aging, central to cellular NAD loss. “NAD drains from our cells as we age, so by the time we reach our 50th birthday, most of us are working on half our original stores.” Astonishingly, this is only the half of it. Repeating the results of the research, Shaharuzzaman explains, “What is important about the study isn’t that NAD leaves our cells but that we now can refill them again with NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide).” That startling discovery is now the focus of continued study in aging and keeping our stores of NAD full into our older years, and the implications that has on degenerative diseases associated with aging.

The promising results of Sinclair’s research focuses squarely on the precursor enzyme NMN, supplemented in the diet of aged lab mice, saw a marked increase in refilling the low stores of NAD at the cellular level. And just like that, a new model of healthy aging is born.

Herbalmax Reinvigorator puts the consumer firmly in the driver seat of their own wellbeing.

Shaharuzzaman further explains that thanks to bio-innovation, products like Reinvigorator is what modern biotech is all about. “Pioneering discoveries like NMN catapult the fusion of current health and wellness trends with fact-based science into the mainstream.” Essentially, Reinvigorator puts the consumer firmly in the driver seat of their own wellbeing.

Turns out, aging healthy means more than just taking a supplement or two. Although supplementing key nutraceuticals like Reinvigorator is essential, there’s still more to do. The good news is our cells can make NAD as we age and produce more when we exercise, eat well, remove stress and barriers to good health, like processed foods and cigarettes. But the process of aging itself sets a different kind of challenge only supplementing can solve.

The importance of NAD cannot be undersold, especially as we age. NAD exists in all cells, not just human cells, but plants and all living things. It’s even in the lettuce of the Impossible Veggie Burger, but with modern lifestyles, such as they are, cellular NAD supplies cannot adequately refill from diet alone. The good news is top bioavailable NMN brands like Reinvigorator are taking the living-well-while-aging market by storm.

NAD’s main task is assisting the cell’s survival in handling the daily onslaught of environmental changes, and stressors.  Things like DNA repair and immune and inflammatory responses. Depleting NAD stores as we age leaves us vulnerable to those essential functions breaking down.

Wouldn’t it be nice to stave off disease as we age if we could or, at the very least, hang around a little longer to enjoy one more Impossible Burger, they are good. Whatever the reason, NMN is moving mountains as the latest in biotechnology and we could all do well to pay attention.

Are You Taking an Antidepressant?

A show of hands please, how many of you have been prescribed or are currently taking anti-depressants?

If my audience is typical, almost two in ten of you are raising your hand.

A friend’s story keeps banging around my head. She was prescribed anti-depressants to keep her calm after a Bell’s palsy episode that left her face mildly slack. Her GP told her the prescription would help her deal with the stress that brought on the BP episode. The doctor told my friend the medication was temporary and that she would learn, with the help of anti-depressants, how to cope and eventually not need them. That was twelve years ago. Five years ago my friend, concerned about the amount of time she’d been taking anti-depressants, approached that same doctor. When she reminded her what she told her seven years prior, how the medication was a temporary ‘bridge’ and that she was now hoping to come off them the doctor looked her up and down and said, ‘Why fix what ain’t broke?’

Doctors vs MD’s

There are many things unsettling with that story. I count eleven, maybe more so let’s focus on the most disturbing: The overly casual doctor, the under-monitored diagnosis but above all, how comfortable her GP was for her patient to remain on medication instead of well, not.

Pointing out obvious indiscretions in her treatment of my friend are not the point of this article it does however highlight the main problem with the relationship between GP’s and anti-depressants today –They are casual, un-monitored and over prescribed.

Practitioners arguing against the use of anti-depressants are somehow more convincing and clear-headed than their GP counterparts who may encourage use. Des Spence, GP writes, “I think that we use anti-depressants too easily, for too long, and that they are effective for few people (if at all).”

Based on a 2011 study from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Far too often, the wrong people are on antidepressants, and the right people aren’t taking them. Just one third of severely depressed people who really need the medication are taking it, while more than two thirds on anti-depressants are not currently depressed.

A Depressing History

A 2013 report by the School of Psychiatry at UNSW shows alarming increases in the patterns of anti-depressants and other psychotropic prescriptions from 2000 to 2011. In little more than ten years, an increase of 58.2% in the prescribing of psychotropic drugs including a 95.3% increase in anti-depressants. Go back five more years and rates soar to an astounding 400%! So are we 400 times crazier than we were during the millennium bug scare?

Rates of anti-depressant use continue to escalate every year between 9 and 11%. Anti-depressants are now the third most prescribed class of medications in the US and first in the 18 to 44 age group.

A Fine Mess

How did we get into this mess? There apparently is no mystery according to Allen Frances, MD. As the main author in his report on the 2011 CDC study he states,

‘The massive overuse of antidepressants and antipsychotics began about fifteen years ago when drug companies in the US were given an unprecedented privilege to suddenly be free to advertise directly to their potential customers on TV, in magazines and on the Internet. Companies aggressively built up their marketing to doctors who were “educated” into the notion that depression was being frequently missed in their practices and that it is a simple “chemical imbalance” easily corrected by a pill.’

Here is where antidepressants first meet casual. Finally, the drug companies had a nonspecific drug they could sell to their GP’s for a nonspecific illness, with very little need to access the patient on an ongoing basis- a financial trifecta for the pharmaceutical industry.

Frances goes on to say, “The casual medicalization of normality mislabeled as sick many people with nothing more than the expect-able symptoms of everyday life. The results are what we see today, an entirely predictable overuse encouraged by the drug companies geared towards making huge profits.”

Staggering Profits

Anti-depressants are the single most profitable drug in the history of the likes of Glaxo Smith Kline, Pfizer, Wyeth and Forrest Industries with annual profits in the tens of billions USD for each company and it’s hard to not see immediately something is terribly wrong when stories of criminal indictments race around the internet almost daily of big Pharma manipulating drug trials and pharmaceuticals like Pfizer famously fined billions for illegally promoting the use of its anti-psychotic drug Geodon.

It’s unsettling the sheer number of criminal allegations against the big pharmaceuticals today but the worst is when manipulations are geared towards children.

A GlaxoSmithKline memo, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, referred to a study of the antidepressant Seroxat (paroxetine) for children. The memo said: “It would be unacceptable to include a statement that efficacy had not been demonstrated, as this would undermine the profile of paroxetine.”

If profit not health is the aim for drug companies to get their product placed in as many GP surgeries as possible then ultimately anti-depressants will be and have been fatally un-monitored and over-prescribed. The system is flawed if it is in the interest of the GP and the drug company to sell not heal.

Are we really that sick?

No, is the short answer. Dr. David Healy in a 2012 interview by Dr. Joseph Mercola on How the Pharmaceutical Industry Profits from False Claims states, ‘Nearly 40 years’ worth of research has yielded no evidence whatsoever to support the hypothesis that depression is caused by abnormalities in your serotonin system.

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRI’s) are the common form of antidepressant and a much less effective treatment for clinical depression than is commonly thought. In fact, some suggest it’s the drug’s action on the serotonin system that might be responsible for the drugs’ ability to cause violent and suicidal ideation.’

It is proposed by Dr. Healy and many doctors like him SSRI’s make us sicker and can result in violent behaviour. There are countless links in cases of assault to anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, most recently the tragic story in Ireland of the murder in Bray in 2009 of Sebastian Crean by Shane Clancy. Shane reportedly was prescribed Citalpram an SSRI by a local GP. His mother, concerned about his behaviour because of the drug up to the murder described her son as ‘the nicest, kindest, funniest guy,’ and to this day maintains the Citalpram was responsible for the change in her son to cause him to commit murder. She is not alone in that thinking.

Normal is no longer ‘Normal’

Being prescribed an anti-depressant is so commonplace doctors are now encouraging them for people with thyroid dysfunction. As a sufferer of an auto immune disease I am familiar with the symptoms of the disorder. Non-specific and unrelenting symptoms cause sufferers to worry about their health, doctors have misinterpreted this for anxiety and have begun to offer SSRI’s as a way of ‘coping.’

Not only have I personally been prescribed a SSRI because of my illness, I polled the people I connect with the disorder. Almost every person I spoke with had at one time been offered the drug. I personally came off them in six months against the recommendation of my GP. Not a single person I polled had ever had a depressive history, like me, but a number of them had taken their GP up on their kind offer. Some are still taking the drug and would like to come off them and would have ‘anxiety’ listed on their permanent medical record.

Who Can You Trust?

Trust yourself. Anti-depressants are not the answer for everyday worries, symptoms, issues, complaints. These are the joys of life unfortunately and managing without them is far more rewarding. If you’re on them consider coming off them and speak to a doctor seriously about your concerns. Read as much as you can on the topic and speak to another doctor if you doubt yours. Remember, they are only people and you are allowed to disagree with them.

I can tell you first-hand anti-depressants create more symptoms then they quiet and only cover the problem that should be addressed in the first place. Yes, trust yourself, how else will you ever know you can manage without them unless you stop taking them.

There is a place for anti-depressants somewhere but consider the possibility that place might not be in your medicine cabinet.

How to Live Long and Prosper

Any Baby Boomer that grew up watching the original “Star Trek” TV show knows where the title of this article came from – it was the Vulcan greeting offered by Leonard Nimoy as “Mr. Spock” aboard the Starship Enterprise. Many Boomers took the sentiment to heart and many of them prospered, particularly those named Steve – Steve Jobs, Steve Martin, Steve Carrell, Steve Harvey, and Steve Spielberg come to mind. Heck, Jeff Bezos (although not a Steve) became the richest man in the world.

Now that we are at retirement age, the generation that spawned the hippies is keenly focused on living out long lives. Two questions fit into that hope for Boomers: (a) Where to live? and (b) How to fully enjoy it? The first has mostly to do with location and the second mostly revolves around health.

Being somewhat nomadic, Americans born from the mid-1940s to 1964 (the year Bezos was born) are not averse to retiring outside of the United States. That might be smart, because according to the CIA World Factbook, the USA only ranks #43 on the list of countries for best Life Expectancy at Birth. The Top Ten locales are (with expected average ages as of 2017):

Monaco 89.40
2 Japan 85.30
3 Singapore 85.20
4 Macau 84.60
5 San Marino 83.30
6 Iceland 83.10
7 Hong Kong 83.00
8 Andorra 82.90
9 Guernsey 82.60
10 Switzerland 82.60

Many of these places seem idyllic at first glance, such as Andorra, a postage stamp country of only 86,000 people lodged between France and Spain. Guernsey is an island in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy. It has just over 63,000 residents, while the microstate of San Marino, situated on the Italian peninsula on the northeastern side, has an even smaller population of 33,000+. Most Baby Boomers know about Monaco because movie star Grace Kelly married the ruler of the country, Prince Rainier III, in April 1956, but with an area of less than one square mile, it is the second-smallest country in the world after The Vatican.

Most of the Top Ten countries with long-lived populations are relatively small, and Singapore and Iceland are also surrounded by water like Guernsey, but Switzerland is completely land-locked. So, what’s the determining factor on advanced age in these places?

Do they all have magical, fairy tale like living conditions? That would be attractive to Boomer kids, who grew up watching movies in theaters and on TV about dreamlike places where people lived impossibly long lives, from the city of Shangri-La in “Lost Horizon” (1937) to a village locked in time in the Scottish Highlands in “Brigadoon” (1954) to the lost African city of Kuma in “She” (1965).

The funny thing is, stories like that include a price to be paid if the person enjoying a seemingly immortal life leaves or disrupts existence in a long-life land. In “Lost Horizon” a beautiful young lady who departs the haven of Shangri-La shrinks into an old woman and dies once away from that magical valley. Her fate is reminiscent of the Irish legend of the lovers Oisín and the fairy woman Niamh, who go to live Tír na nÓg (“the land of the young”). After what seems only three years to him, Oisín returns to Ireland riding Niahm’s magic white horse, but 300 years have passed there, so when Oisín falls off the horse and his feet touch the ground, just as Niahm warned the 300 years away catch up to him and he becomes old and withered.

Speaking of older people, according to the ranking site Niche.com, 38 out of 50 of the best places to retire in the United States are in Florida, with Pelican Bay at the top. Arizona has 6 locations on the list, South Carolina has 2, while Delaware, Kentucky, New York, and Texas have only 1 each. Texas gets a consolation prize from Niche, however, in that 9 out of 10 places with the Lowest Cost of Living in America are in that state.

For retiring Baby Boomers, even if they find a magic and affordable location in which to enjoy their golden years, the question becomes how to live out their days in the best manner possible.

Biological immortality is a term that refers to a state of existence in which the rate of mortality from senescence (the gradual deterioration of functional characteristics) has been arrested. Still, a biologically immortal living being can still die from other means, like injury or disease. For example, depending on what you believe, a vampire can die via a stake through the heart, or exposure to sunlight, or a sprinkling with a liberal dose of holy water. The popularity of these undead beings in literature, movies, and TV shows over the years may have something to do with a subconscious desire to live forever, despite the distasteful idea of sucking out other people’s blood to stay alive, which is only popular in politics and on Wall Street.

Of course, you could say bloodsuckers also abound in places that feature gambling, like Monaco, Macau, and Hong Kong, but it’s doubtful that an enjoyable game of baccarat will do much to extend your life.

In any event, let’s say you successfully toss the dice and relocate to your perfect golden years home. Will you find that the locale extends longevity? Possibly. Let’s take Japan. They’re famous for samurai warriors, who were often long-lived (as long as they survived warfare). In February 2019, The Telegraph reported that “Japanese plant eaten by Samurai may hold key to slowing down ageing.” The article was about a plant known in Japan as ashitaba, “a staple of Samurai diets for millennia.” A compound in the plant known as DMC (dichlorodiphenyl methyl carbinol), when given to fruit flies and worms, extended their lifespan by 20 percent and was also shown to prevent senescence in human cells. More research was planned to see if DMC can be used to prevent age-related decline in humans. It’s probably best not to go on an ashitaba diet, however, unless positive and conclusive scientific evidence is discovered.

Japan is also known for sushi and sake (rice wine). That’s seafood and alcohol, which are both important in the diets of residents of many of the countries in the Top Ten above. Does sake forestall aging? Well, it’s worth noting that the diet of Li Ching-Yuen, a Chinese herbalist and martial artist reputed  to have lived either 197 or 256 years, supposedly consisted of five mountain-grown herbs and rice wine.

Don’t discount moderate use of alcohol. It was mentioned in a study of people over 90 started in 2003 that looked at habits that led to longer life, and in 2018 by researchers at the Clinic for Aging Research and Education in Laguna Woods, California who focused on the food, activities, and lifestyles of those living longer. As reported in U.S. News and World Report, study results of more than 1,600 nonagenarians showed that people over S90 who drank two glasses of beer or wine a day improved their odds of living longer than those who abstained by about 18 percent.

Let’s get back to seafood. Tuna, salmon, and anchovies have high amounts of niacin, an important element in maintaining youth in cells. Salmon is also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which can help combat inflammation, heart disease, and autoimmune disorders. Most people interested in nutrition know the value of omega-3’s, but niacin is perhaps more important long-term.

NMN, a powerful compound known scientifically as nicotinamide mononucleotide, derives from vitamin B3 (niacin). Enzymes in the human body use NMN to generate another compound, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) which is crucial to body health. If levels of NAD+ – the best of two forms of NAD – are optimum, this can reverse many symptoms associated with chronic disease and aging. Studies have shown that NMN helps with bone density, energy levels, eye function, better skeletal tissue, and other health benefits.

Early NMN studies focused on mice revealed that with proper levels of the compound, youthful genes can be switched on and older genes switched off, apparently reversing or at least arresting aging. Human trials have promised similar results. The idea of switching on good genes and switching off bad ones is not science-fiction. The work of University of Tsukuba (Japan) Professor Emeritus Kazuo Murakami, whose achievements in biotechnology are acknowledged around the world, has proven this, as documented in his book The Divine Code of Life and the book and documentary Switch.

So you might be thinking, hmm… how about resveratrol, the chemical in red wine that seems to be a powerful therapeutic option for anti-aging? If you put red wine and seafood together, isn’t that part of the popular Mediterranean diet? After all, San Marino and Monaco are on the Mediterranean. Yes, but there is another factor. Turkey, chicken, beef, and pork are high in niacin, as are peanuts, broccoli, cabbage, cucumber, edamame (big in Japan), avocado, tomato, green peas, mushrooms, avocado, whole wheat, and brown rice. Niacin is huge with regard to the health of human cellular structure.

The problem is that as we age, we can’t get adequate niacin from foods to cause creation of NMN in our cells to combat aging. Natural production of the compound has been revealed to be almost non-existent in males by the age of 80, and not much better for female octogenarians. This contributes to a condition known as sarcopenia – muscles shriveling and growing weaker with age – that can be slowed down with regular exercise, but capillaries, our tiniest blood vessels, wither and die as the years increase.

Reduced blood flow means less oxygen to organs and tissues, leading to the build-up of toxins and atrophy of blood vessels. This is not a movie that Baby Boomers or anyone else wants to watch.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that, with the discovery of NMN and other age-arresting substances, youth may be able to be restored in humans, wherever they are living. In an article entitled “Rewinding the Clock” the Harvard Medical School reported the following results of a study:

“[T]he team gave NMN over two months to a group of mice that were 20 months old—the rough equivalent of 70 in human years. NMN treatment restored the number of blood capillaries and capillary density to those seen in younger mice. Blood flow to the muscles also increased and was significantly higher than blood supply to the muscles seen in same-age mice that didn’t receive NMN.

“The most striking effect, however, emerged in the aging mice’s ability to exercise. These animals showed between 56 and 80 percent greater exercise capacity, compared with untreated mice the study showed. The NMN-treated animals managed to run 430 meters, or about 1,400 feet, on average, compared with 240 meters, or 780 feet, on average, for their untreated peers.”

And let’s not forget, caloric restriction has also been proven to extend longevity, so no matter what foods you ingest, moderation will likely mean longer life.

There are many NMN supplements currently on the market with endless argument about which is best, and prices are all over the charts. How do you choose? Purity might be a good index. Mirai Lab in Japan offers a 60-capsule bottle of 98% pure NMN for almost $1100, while Herbalmax Reinvigorator (the product I’m taking) has a 99% pure enhanced NMN product for one-third that amount. Naturally, there are other products of lesser concentration and lower prices, but just like picking the optimum place in which to retire, it’s best to do a lot of research before making a move.

A good environment, a moderate diet of high NAD+ friendly food, adequate regular exercise, and a happy and grateful attitude toward your fellow humans may mean you will live a century or more, given the continuing developments in aging studies. Hopefully, whether you live in a location rated highly for Life Expectancy at Birth or not, you’ll spend your golden years in your own personal Shangri-La.

We’ve reviewed several aspects of living long here, but what about the ultimate prosperity? Most people who have lived a long time would point out one thing – it’s your own good health.

The Reinvigoration of a Classic 60s Rock Group

Brothers Geoff and Robbie Levin began performing music publicly at the Offstage Folk Music Theater in San Jose, California. The venue featured many musicians who would later become well-known, such as David Crosby and Jerry Garcia. Geoff played bass in a group with Garcia long before The Grateful Dead ever embarked on a long strange trip. Then, after Bob Dylan went electric at the Newport Folk Festival in July of 1965, many folkies followed and rock musicians were born. The Levins formed a group with their friend Albert Ribisi, who now has a famous Hollywood actor son named Giovanni.

Geoff had fallen in love with musical movies as a kid and felt that his orchard-filled bucolic hometown was a cultural wasteland. Fitting in with the generational rebellion of the 60s, the Levin brothers and Ribisi were smoking marijuana, but their main emphasis in life was on music and making a mark in the burgeoning industry that was shaping the lifestyle of a generation. The boys named their group PEOPLE! with Geoff on guitar, Robbie on bass, Denny Fridkin on drums, Al Ribisi on keyboards, and the handsome duo of Gene Mason and Larry Norman as lead singers.

Like The Beatles and the Rolling Stones, PEOPLE! started out doing covers of existing hits. They made a big impact when radio station program manager Mikel Hunter Herrington (known locally as Captain Mikey), gave them a new Beatles album before it was played on the air. They locked themselves away for three days learning six songs, then the night of the album’s release, PEOPLE! performed all the songs on a local stage and blew away the audience.

Captain Mikey would, like PEOPLE!, eventually be inducted into the San Jose Rocks Hall of Fame and serve as the inspiration for fictional program directors Jeff Dugan in the 1978 movie FM, and Andy Travis on the 1980s television sitcom “WKRP in Cincinnati.” When he became the group’s manager, he got PEOPLE! signed with Capitol Records. They already had one 45 record released, but weren’t exactly topping the charts. Then Larry Norman discovered a B side of a single in a music store. It was “I Love You” by England’s The Zombies, and it was soon dramatically transformed by PEOPLE! With Mason’s strong lead complimented by Norman’s plaintive tenor and wonderful harmonies throughout, the band recorded their version of the tune, with Captain Mikey producing the new single and album.

After PEOPLE! played the song onstage for Artists & Repertoire people, Capitol Records put on a tenacious push to make the single a hit. One A&R man sat on a pole outside until a radio station played it, while another stood on his head at another station until the record got airtime.

In June 1968, the group’s iconic “I Love You” reached No. 14 on the Billboard Hot 100. It would later achieve number one in Japan (twice), as well as in Australia, Israel, Italy, the Philippines, and South Africa.

The young men were a major success, performing on Dick Clark’s hit TV show “American Bandstand” and scheduled to open for The Who on an American tour.

Then something happened. Geoff and Robbie (four years younger) were looking for life answers after trying psychedelics at an early age. Both brothers were tired of drugs by 1968, and so they and two other band members – Denny Fridkin and Albert Ribisi – joined a cult that had a mission in the San Jose area. Unfortunately, the brothers became zealots.

Within two weeks, Geoff was convinced he could analyze other people and evaluate them exactly, and as he and Robbie scrutinized those around them, they targeted Larry Norman, a Christian, as an anti-social personality because he preferred to stick with Christianity. (Norman’s faith was unshakeable; he would go on to become known as the Father of Christian Rock and release more than 100 albums.) Larry was fired from the band.

This put PEOPLE! in a tough spot. They toured with The Who but with Norman’s majorly important vocals missing, performing their hit song just wasn’t the same. The only consolation was that a long operatic-like piece called “The Epic” (Side Two of the PEOPLE! album), prompted a comment from Pete Townshend that he might write a rock opera someday.

Over the next few years, the group recorded several new singles and three albums but none were hits. By 1971, PEOPLE! was no more.

Robbie Levin got out of the cult before any of the others. Geoff ended up not speaking with his brother for 28 years because of their philosophical differences. On October 19, 2007, however, PEOPLE! was inducted into the San Jose Rocks Hall of Fame and they all reunited for a performance. It was Larry Norman’s last appearance with the group. Geoff and Robbie made up for a brief period.

In 2018, Geoff Levin formally left the cult, and talked everyone but Al Ribisi (who was still a member) into giving the band another try. Larry Norman died in 2008, so John Tristao, who was in PEOPLE! from 1969 to 1971 and was a member of the San Jose Rocks Hall of Fame after spending 21 years as John Fogerty’s replacement in Creedence Clearwater, became the primary lead singer for the group. Today, PEOPLE! is completing a new album and they have plans to document it with a film, both of which they hope to release in the fall of 2019.

Now all seniors, the band members take steps to stay as healthy as possible. Robbie, one of the founders of spinning and a retired clothing company magnate, keeps in top shape with cycling and a vegan diet. Geoff went on to fame as a film composer, record producer, and member of the highly-lauded spoken word group Celestial Navigations (with keyboardist Chris Many and actor Geoffrey Lewis). Geoff has been eating organic and following a healthy lifestyle for decades, and recently began taking the NMN supplement Herbalmax Reinvigorator. He has already noticed a difference.

There’s a reason the supplement works. The way NMN builds up levels of the molecule NAD+ (nicotinamide adenine) in body cells is reminiscent of the career arc of PEOPLE! Every human’s NAD+ levels decrease with age and by age 50, a typical person has only half the NAD+ they had in their 20s. NAD+ fights DNA damage and inflammation, and boosts mitochondria, the “energy power plants” in cells. Studies have shown that NMN supplements provide benefits associated with exercise, may slow aging, and contribute to longer telomeres in cells and thus, to longer life.

NMN expert David Sinclair, Ph.D., a Professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical, takes NMN and Resveratrol daily. In addition to offering a substantial amount of NMN, Herbalmax Reinvigorator also contains pterostilbene, a compound used for centuries in Ayurvedic medicine that is closely related structurally to resveratrol. Pterostilbene mimics the effects of calorie restriction on a molecular level and also activates sirtuins, proteins involved in regulating cellular processes including the aging and death of cells and their resistance to stress.

NMN and the wonders it seems to bring about feels as magical as “I Love You” was to PEOPLE! If you find yourself dreaming of the energy and drive of youth but don’t know what to do to reclaim it, you might want to give NMN a try. It might be sweet music to your health.

Dead Tired

Why do we sleep less and feel it more as we age?

We all get tired. After a hard day of work, a stressful period in our lives, or a lot of physical activity, our body needs rest. In our younger years, we probably didn’t think about sleep, night came, we fell asleep and our bodies did the necessary work of repair – end of story. But as we age, things get a bit more complicated, poor sleep patterns that have gone unchecked for years can and often do remap our natural sleep cycle. There are deeper forces at work too, which keep us from a good night’s sleep.  As we age, cells lose much of the primary co-enzyme NAD+ (Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide) which is vital to many normal functions of the body, sleep being one of them.

Senior Research Scientist at biotech company, Herbalmax in Southern California, Mohamed Shaharuzzaman Ph. D explains that by the time we reach our fiftieth birthday, most of us are working on approximately half our original stores of NAD, which is often when sleep problems really hit their stride.

“Imagine an hourglass, and the sand slowly pouring from the upper chamber everyday of our lives, that’s essentially what is happening with our cell’s NAD supply.” Dr. Shaharuzzaman describes NAD loss as we age as one of the main reasons we become symptomatic and can struggle with sleep loss. “If we kept our NAD supplies balanced by supplementing NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide) products like Reinvigorator, Enhanced NMN Formula, we’d see a marked improvement in our overall health, including sleep.

What happens when sleep disrupts our daytime routine?

How long has it been since you slept through the night? When sleep is interrupted, people grow desperate and as the months wear on, many will introduce sleep aids. When they no longer work, frustrations with a lack of sleep begin to impact our cognitive, emotional and physical ability to get through the day. Throw intermittent periods of stress into the mix like the trauma of a death, illness of a loved-one or self, divorce, or a job loss and a once occasional sleep problem doubles-down and we can wind up in a chronic sleep loss cycle.

My mother was an RN and while my brothers and sister and I were young, she worked the graveyard shift at the hospital. There is a twelve-year age gap between my eldest brother and me, meaning she logged in a staggering 27 years without a decent night’s sleep. Short-term, it certainly took its toll on her decision-making skills as a young woman – she always warned us off asking any important questions during the day when she was at her most drowsy and as she aged, she could never shake the permanent cellular damage of habitual interrupted sleep that followed her into her older years.

What she didn’t realize was, like the rest of us, she was also losing her NAD stores, compounded with the stress of chronic sleep loss, my mother’s autoimmune disease kicked into high gear.

HOW DO I FIX MY BROKEN SLEEP CLOCK?

It’s important to understand the distinction between the life choices we make that rob our sleep, like working the night shift or spending too much time on our iPhones, and the physiological, inevitable loss of NAD from our cells as we age. It’s also central to note that by the time sleep becomes a problem for us it’s usually around mid-life, coincidently or not so coincidently, around the same time the loss of our NAD supply becomes significant.

Resolving our sleep issues requires us to make a few changes and sometimes difficult choices. Altering our hard and fast patterns is essential to begin the slow turn around to healthy aging and ultimately better sleep. Luckily, filling up our NAD stores to give our cells what they need to do their jobs, is actually pretty easy with regular NMN supplementation with top nutraceuticals like Herbalmax’s Reinvigorator Enhanced NMN Formula.

NAD, NMN and SLEEP

Let’s expand on the importance of NAD. NAD exists in all cells, and not just human cells, but plants and all living things. NAD’s main task is assisting the cell’s survival in handling the daily onslaught of environmental changes, and stressors – things like managing DNA repair, inflammatory responses and circadian rhythms, that ancient internal clock.

Depleting NAD stores as we age leaves us vulnerable to those essential functions breaking down, so replenishing NAD is fast becoming fundamental to living well, longer.

How do we restock NAD in our cells?

Thanks to innovative bio tech companies like Herbalmax, in Southern California, the answer is not as difficult as it seems.

Dr. Shaharuzzaman simplifies the process of replenishing NAD stores with NMN. “NMN is an active precursor coenzyme to NAD, and has been identified as the key coenzyme to life in all cells. The exciting research at Harvard University by David Sinclair into NAD and aging, has catapulted NMN into the mainstream nutraceutical industry and has facilitated its everyday use as a safe and highly effective way to replenish NAD+ supplies.”

Biotech engineers at Herbalmax are leaders in science-based nutraceuticals. Reinvigorator was developed as a 99% pure NMN product compared with many other products averaging at a much less effective 25%.  Reinvigorator is one in a premier line of Herbalmax’s pioneering nutraceuticals designed to help support cell function as we age.

In short, remapping a whole life of sleep disrupters will not be an easy task but beginning a healthy approach earlier rather than later will keep things ticking along. As anyone will tell you, an ounce of prevention – well, you know the rest.

Staying Cell-Deep Beautiful

It’s a botox world these days. A preparation of a toxin produced by the bacterium clostridium botulinum is injected in small amounts into facial muscles to block the transmission of nerve impulses and relax those muscles, but in effect, it paralyzes them. And so, the price of flattened wrinkles is a paralyzed face. Ah, the joys of a youthful appearance!

What if you could forestall the ravages of aging and sunbathing from the inside? These days, that becomes increasingly possible. In April of 2018, a study at the at University of Colorado showed that use of the commercially available supplement MitoQ by healthy men and women aged 60 to 79 improved dilation of the subjects’ arteries by 42 percent. That was the equivalent of the performance of blood vessels in people 15 to 20 years younger.

As reported in the journal Hypertension, this suggested that MitoQ and other therapeutic strategies held “promise for treating age-related vascular dysfunction.” In other words, you would be able to blush like you did in younger years, with that youthful glow in your non-paralyzed face.

Okay, but what about those wrinkles people find unattractive? Well, the real problem might reach all the way down to your cells. A finding from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, as reported in Aging Cell in February of 2018, showed that cells can wrinkle with age just like faces, and when that happens genes are not expressed properly. What does that mean? Well, inside a cell nucleus, a protein called lamin needs to be in sufficient supply for genes resting against the nuclear membrane to function properly. When the amount of lamin decreases with body age, a cell membrane becomes wrinkly in shape, and the switching of genes on and off can get messed up. 

Irina M. Bochkis of UVA’s Department of Pharmacology suggested using viruses to deliver the adequate lamin to cells to counter the problem, since scientists were already modifying viruses for beneficial medical purposes. In her opinion, the wrinkling of the nuclear membrane is responsible for unwanted effects of aging in other parts of the body as well.

Oh, but can’t you fix all that with diet and exercise? You know, eating well and faithfully hitting the gym five days a week? That certainly helps slow aging, but it’s not everything. A study at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation (OMRG) published in the Journal of Cachexia and Skeletal Muscle in March of 2019 revealed that sarcopenia (age-related muscle loss), previously thought to be generated by oxidative stress on mitochondria within cells, did not occur for that reason.

Mitochondria process oxygen for power inside cells, but emit free radicals (harmful oxygen by-products) while doing so. Over time, the free radicals build up and cause oxidative stress (an imbalance between bad free radicals and good antioxidants).

Unfortunately, the UVA and OMRG scientists had no immediate solutions following their findings.

So, what can be done about wrinkly cells that can be stressed out with free radicals? Fortunately, a solution may already exist that isn’t based on toxicity like botox, using a molecule that is present in the cells of every living mammal. You may not have heard of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN); it derives from vitamin B3 (niacin). NMN is available as a source of cellular energy in human cells, and in recent years has been shown to have the ability of enabling the switching of youthful genes on and older genes off, via naturally occurring proteins known as sirtuins.

The body has enzymes that use NMN to generate the compound nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), which is crucial to body health. The best form of that – NAD+ – can reverse many symptoms associated with chronic disease and aging.

You can get NAD+ from foods, exercise, and caloric restriction, but NAD levels naturally begin to diminish in humans at age 40 or so, and the production of the molecule lessens as age advances. This is why the discoveries of researchers like David Sinclair, professor in the Department of Genetics at Harvard Medical School and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biological Mechanisms of Aging, are rapidly advancing public use of NAD+ producing supplements like Herbalmax Reinvigorator.

In a podcast interview with Dr. Peter Attia, Sinclair described his ongoing work and revealed how NMN is immediately converted to NAD+ in the body. Sinclair said he takes 750 mg of NMN, 1,000 mg of resveratrol, and 1,500 mg of metformin daily. Found in red wine and in foods including grape skin, blueberries, mulberries, peanuts, and raspberries, resveratrol has become well-known in anti-aging circles. Metformin is not a supplement, but a drug discovered in 1922 and sold as Glucophage and other names for the treatment of type 2 diabetes and other maladies. Sinclair and others, however, believe metformin has definite anti-aging qualities.

Concentrating on a diet and physical regimen that will produce more NAD+ in your body might be a solution to decreasing wrinkles as you age, and give you not just a youthful appearance but more energy and a better outlook than you’ve had in years. Go deep and investigate the promise of a good NMN supplement. Your cells may thank you, and show it on your face.

Finding My Fountain of Youth

Photo by Ibrahim Asad from Pexels

“Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.” Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain said this at an older age. When he was 18, he no doubt never thought about the age of 80, or aging. It’s that way with most people.

As we grow older, it becomes increasingly real that living forever won’t happen. In the 21st century, however, with Baby Boomers now become senior citizens, the search for prolonged longevity has reached a fever pitch. People try all types of methods that they hope will reverse the rigors of age and return a person to the joys of youth.

For a long time, I’ve thought I’d live to be well beyond 100, which is a thrilling idea because of all the books and stories and even movies I’ll be able to write. I’ve done well at that so far, but there are so many more that I want to do.

My interest in longevity may have started in my early 20s, when I read about the Hunza people in the Himalayas. A book called The Hunza Diet was popular then. It old how the Hunza people of northern Pakistan lived a strenuous mountain life and had a diet largely consisting of almonds, yogurt, raw foods and not that much meat.

I didn’t adhere to that diet over the years but reading about did change my eating habits, and as I’ve grown older I’ve changed both the types of foods I consume and the quantity, lowering my caloric intake and instituting intermittent fasting as ways to find my personal fountain of youth.

The mention of a “fountain of youth” prompts most people in the West to think of the myth of the search by Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon to find a bubbling source of immortality in Florida in 1513.

Yes, it’s a myth. As reported in Smithsonian magazine, it wasn’t until many years after his death that de Leon became connected with that story, due to “a Spanish court chronicler out to discredit him.” Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés was aligned with Diego Columbus, the son of Christopher, who helped get de Leon removed from his position as governor of Puerto Rico. In writing about the Spanish settling of the Americas, Oviedo made up a story about de Leon being deceived by natives into looking for the Fountain of Youth. The Oviedo tale was intended to make de Leon appear foolish, but it resulted over the centuries in tying the explorer’s name to a legendary source of immortality.

Presently, the Fountain of Youth attraction in St. Augustine is the oldest tourist magnet in the state of Florida. Water from the spring there contains over 30 minerals that may have healthful properties, but they don’t make anyone young again.

Myths aside, there does seem to be fountain of youth potential these days in the form of a powerful compound known scientifically as nicotinamide mononucleotide, or NMN. The compound surfaced as a news items in 2014 thanks to a research team led by David Sinclair, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School with a Ph.D. in Molecular Genetics from the University of New South Wales. Found in green fruits and vegetables, studies have shown NMN helps with bone density, energy levels, eye function, better skeletal tissue, and other health benefits for older mammals.

NMN is being sold in many forms and prices, with names like Reinvigorator. Although only studies of mice have conclusively proven reverse aging results, human trials are ongoing and success stories of consumers of NMN fill Web pages daily.

Legends of magical places with youth-generating capabilities have existed on many continents for hundreds of years. Native Americans spoke of Manataka (Place of Peace – the Unbroken Circle). This location may have been the hot springs of Ouachitta, Arkansas, which were known for their healing and rejuvenating properties throughout the Americas. Curiously, Ponce de Leon was killed by the Calusa Indians in Florida at a place he called Manataca.

Then there is the story from Africa reported by the Greek Herodotus, who is known as the “Father of History.” He wrote about the Macrobians, an Ethiopian tribe known for their longevity and youthfulness. He described a mysterious Macrobian “fountain, wherein when they had washed, they found their flesh all glossy and sleek, as if they had bathed in oil, and a scent came from the spring like that of violets.”

Were either of those places a real life reinvigorator? We may never know, but rejuvenating waters do exist in Arkansas, which has a major city named Hot Springs. And stories of people seeking immortality keeping turning up in the movies, starting with She (1935) and Lost Horizon (1937). Box office blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) was about a quest for a fountain of water that would cause a person to live forever.

What science has proven in recent years is that NMN seems to have the ability of enabling the switching of youthful genes on and older genes off, via naturally occurring proteins known as sirtuins. NMN derives from vitamin B3 (niacin). The human body has enzymes that use NMN to generate another compound, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) which is crucial to body health. There are two forms of NAD. If levels of the best one – NAD+ – are optimum, this can reverse many symptoms associated with chronic disease and aging.

NAD levels begin naturally diminishing in humans at age 40 or so, and the production of the substance grows less as age advances. While the discovery of NMN and its effects may not be a total fountain of youth, its use is certainly worth searching out and trying. I’m enjoying it very much. There’s a new spring in my step and I imagine I’ll be taking the supplement and seeking out foods that increase NAD+ for the rest of what I’m even more convinced will be a very long and productive life.