What is the secret to longevity? Dr. Munavvar Izhar weighs in.
Dr. Munavvar Izhar says that you will get some interesting answers like a daily dose of dark chocolate or a shot of whiskey or a handful of nuts or 30 minutes of exercise and so on and so forth…. Scientists have studied long lives in Tribes all over the world to figure this out and science is indeed making progress.
Munavvar Izhar, M.D. emphasizes that there are genes that control aging process. This is substantiated by Dr. David Sinclair who is a director of the Aging Research Center at Harvard medical school. There is enough knowledge to intervene and slow down the aging process in human beings. One can turn the clock back. Aging occurs because our body cells change over time and the body repair mechanisms lose the ability to fix them but now there is hope for people interested to take charge and slow down their aging process.
Munavvar Izhar sees the key to control in the aging process lies in each strand of the DNA. Telomeres are the protective caps at the end of each DNA strand. Dr. Munavvar Izhar emphasizes that telomeres are like the plastic tips at the end of your shoelaces, if they are strong and tied well the telomeres will control the genes from aging. If these ends of the shoelaces are frayed out, then the shoelaces succumb and get destroyed. The same is the case with DNA of the Genes. If we keep the telomeres strong that means you are less susceptible to whatever your genes and your environment put you at risk for whether it is a disease, dementia or cancer.
Dr. Munavvar Izhar mentions certain strategies below that are worth their weight in gold.
– One way to grow your cellular armor strong according to Munavvar Izhar is to get moving. Exercise stimulates the production of an enzyme telomerase which helps build up strong telomeres. This has been confirmed in a large study from the Aging Institute at Albert Einstein College of medicine in Bronx, NY. Brigham also conducted a study in 6000 men and women who jogged half an hour five days a week and developed telomeres the length of people 10 to 15 years younger than them. Munavvar Izhar, MD states that Exercise includes aerobic exercise, weights and resistance training and High intensity interval training (HIIT).
– The second strategy Munavvar Izhar states that affects the telomeres in the DNA is seen in those people who have a tendency for Forgiveness, Gratitude, warmth and compassion towards other people. This has been substantiated in a 2013 Harvard study along with a similar study from UC Davis researchers as well.
– Munavvar Izhar MD notes the research study in which mice fed lower calories survived significantly longer than those who eat more calories. According to Dr. Munavvar Izhar in humans an equivalent benefit can be achieved through intermittent fasting (IF) an eating strategy where in you limit your intake of calories in certain period of time (Time Regulated Eating). Munavvar Izhar, MD after extensive review and research of literature in this area states that hunger raises levels of a chemical called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) which activates longevity genes known as Sirtuins. Sirtuins in turn protects against diseases, boosts the repair of DNA and kills the inflammation behind many underlying diseases and conditions. Intermittent fasting (IF) could be a feeding window of eight hours, 10 or 12 hours whatever works best for the individual.
– DNA methylation according to Munavvar Izhar is a chemical reaction that affects how genes are expressed, activated, enhanced and modulated. Each of the below methods add a few years to the life of an individual.
– 1. Eating Mediterranean diet which heavily emphasizes on vegetables, fruits, fish and other lean proteins along with nuts, legumes and olive oil.
– 2. Eating green leafy and cruciferous vegetables along with other foods like beets, berries, garlic and pumpkin seeds are known to promote favorable methylation patterns. Affecting Methylation of Genes for better expression is a newer area in exploration of longevity according to Dr. Munavvar Izhar.
– 3. Physical activity which may include regular cardio, weights, resistance training and HIIT.
– 4. Introduction of calmness through reading, meditation, getting seven hours of good sleep each night, decluttering the mind, focusing mind. All these activities basically Reset the button in the clock which in turn affects the aging.
– 5. Eating less animal protein and more of plant-based protein mainly through beans, lentils and soy offers advantage of not only better protein but also a lot of fiber which has tremendous protective benefits yet to be discovered and documented in genetic studies.
– Munavvar Izhar, MD mentions another cool concept emerging for longevity achievement is shocking one’s system into RESETTING itself. Some people take a polar bear plunge into frigid water, the short exposure of extreme temperature actually stresses the cells and challenges them. After few minutes of such reverting to normal triggers the reset button. The same happens with intermittent fasting. This type of stress and release activates the longevity genes. Dr. Munavvar Izhar says that similar benefits can be obtained by doing sudden unexpected activities like exposing oneself to extreme heat like sauna and then reverting back to normal temperature. one can also stress the body cells with high intensity interval training HIIT an exercise strategy that involves short intense bursts of all out activity followed by rest. According to Munavvar Izhar overtime the cycles of stress and recovery will make one stronger and more resilient.
Munavvar Izhar MD emphasizes that you can episodically do these above activities but if you make these a regular habit then perhaps one day you can tell your great, great, great, great grandkids all about it.
Some people suggest that human growth hormone (HGH) and antioxidants also change gene expression. Dr. Munavvar Izhar has done a literature review and found that there is not enough scientific data to support that at the present time. Also, some people are trying to inject healthier cells into the body in the hope of them multiplying and inducing a state of better health, again this is not scientifically proven according to Dr. Izhar.
Munavvar Izhar mentions that New drugs are being developed as age reversing drugs. At the present time the only pharmaceutical agent that is known to affect metabolism, improve it and enhance it at the mitochondrial level is Metformin a diabetes medication. People taking this have lived 15% longer on average then healthy people not taking it.
Dr. Munavvar Izhar is a Physician, Nephrologist and an educator. He is also the CEO of a Medical education company helping physicians certify their American Board exams. https://www.abimexams.com
Munavvar Izhar MD is also on the Board and a consultant for Amindo Biologics which is transforming healthcare globally. Https://www.amindobiolocs.com