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Longevity Medicine: Maximizing Lifespan & Health span



Longevity Medicine


As medicine continues to rapidly evolve, there is a new emerging specialty called longevity medicine. This branch of medicine is focused on helping people live longer, healthier lives. While the average lifespan continues to increase, the health span has not kept pace. Longevity medicine seeks to change that.


In this blog post, we will discuss what longevity medicine is and how it can help you live a longer, healthier life!


Longevity Medicine is an emerging clinical model that utilizes a comprehensive preventative and personalized medical framework. The Underlying premise of Longevity Medicine is to maximize both health span and lifespan by the targeted use of lifestyle, nutraceutical, and pharmacological interventions.


Longevity medicine has gained recent attention within the last 5 years alongside other health models including Functional Medicine and Precision Medicine which I attribute to the increased public awareness spearheaded by Dr. Rhona Patrick and Dr. Peter Attia. Both of which have devoted podcasts to topics surrounding longevity medicine.



Is there a Biomarker for Longevity?


Biomarkers are defined as biologic metrics or parameters used to track a physiologic process or a condition. A good example of a relevant biomarker is Hemoglobin A1C that can be used to track the risk, severity, or treatment response in the case of Type 2 Diabetes. However, in this context, a biomarker is a term that will be used to quantify the aging process.


Researchers have attempted to uncover distinct biomarkers that might correlate to a capacity to live longer, but for the most part, this question has remained unanswered. Or has it?


A 2018 retrospective cohort study posted in JAMA may have at least partially answered this question. This study set out to assess the correlation between Cardiorespiratory Fitness and All-Cause Mortality and revealed some significant findings. Cardiorespiratory fitness had a dose-dependent and significant inverse correlation with All-Cause Mortality.


Essentially this means that an individual with higher cardiorespiratory decreased their risk of death. This finding was independent of other factors such as age or sex.


This study sheds light on the importance of maximizing the foundational aspects of one’s health before experimenting with some of the novel longevity agents like NAD, Metformin, Rapamycin or Resveratrol.

Are There Compounds That Promote Longevity? 


Research looking into compounds such as NAD, Rapamycin, Metformin, and Resveratrol have promising preclinical data, but some key questions still remain including the optimal dosage, duration of use, and whether or not these compounds come with the risk of side effects.

Rapamycin specially may have the most robust pre-clinical research which is attributable to its direct actions on mTOR.

mTOR is a protein that is responsible for cell growth, and when it is activated, it can lead to the development of cancer. However, research has also shown that mTOR can be activated in a way that promotes healthy aging.

One study showed that inhibiting mTOR in mice led to an increase in lifespan, and another study showed that rapamycin (an mTOR inhibitor) was able to improve health span in elderly mice. While these are just a few examples, they suggest that mTOR may be a promising target for therapies aimed at promoting longevity.

Another compound called Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) has been shown to promote longevity in mice. In one study, NMN was able to improve health span in elderly mice.

NMN is a precursor to nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), and research has shown that NAD levels decline with age. This decline may be responsible for some of the physiological changes associated with aging.

Thus, NMN is a promising compound for the treatment of age-related diseases and conditions.

In conclusion, there is still a lot that is unknown in this space of longevity medicine, but it appears that as this research evolves we may have more clarity on what interventions may confer the biggest effects on the aging process within the next decade.

Dr. Tanner Wilson, DC, IFMCP is a IFM Certified Functional Medicine Provider practicing in the state of Kansas.

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