top of page

Unlocking the Secrets of a Longer Healthier Life!

Podcast episode cover art; Unlocking the Secrets of a Longer Healthier Life!

Season 2 of the Science of Self-Healing Podcast has a NEW host! Please welcome Dr. James Odell, the Medical and Executive Director for BRMI, as well as a practicing naturopathic doctor for over 35 years.

Join us for an exploration into cutting-edge discoveries in longevity and anti-aging. Discover how science not only slows down aging but also offers the potential for reversal.

We'll dive into the importance of telomeres, sirtuins, focusing on sirtuin 6, and how they promote longevity.

We'll also discuss the challenges our cells face from oxidative stress to environmental toxins, and find out actionable steps to support your body against aging effects.

From diet tips to managing stress, we'll cover it all. Plus, we'll unveil recent research on fasting benefits and specialized supplements. Don't miss out on the latest insights for a longer, healthier life!

Transcript: Unlocking the Secrets of a Longer Healthier Life!

Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Science of Self-Healing podcast. For health and wellness knowledge from a different perspective. Produced by the Bioregulatory Medicine Institute, also known as BRMI. We are your source for unparalleled information about how you can naturally support your body's ability to regulate, adapt, regenerate, and self-heal. I'm your host, Dr. James Odell, the medical and executive director for BRMI, as well as a practicing naturopathic doctor for over 35 years. And remember, this podcast is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for the direct care of a qualified health professional who oversees and provides unique and individual care. The information here is to broaden our different perspectives and should not be construed as medical advice or treatment. Let's get started.

In today's episode, we'll delve into the latest longevity and anti-aging discoveries that not only slow down the aging process, but also have the potential to reverse it. I will explore two key cellular processes, crucial for promoting longevity, that is, telomeres and sirtuins, in particular sirtuin 6. 

Following that, I'll briefly address the challenges our cells face in combating factors like oxidative stress, environmental toxins, metabolic issues, epigenetics, and psycho-emotional stress and trauma.

Next, I'll discuss actionable changes you could implement to support your body and counteract the effects of aging, such as managing a proper diet, prioritizing detoxification, ensuring adequate sleep, engaging in regular exercise, and managing stress effectively. 

Lastly, I'll highlight recent research findings in the field of longevity and antiaging, covering topics like fasting, particularly intermittent fasting, and the use of special food supplements that prevent telomere shortening and activate sirtuin 6. 

The Basics- Telomeres and Sirtuins

So let's start with the basics. There are many ways our bodies work to promote longevity by improving our cellular health, but we are only going to talk about two important cellular processes that are receiving the most attention right now, telomeres and sirtuins. 


So what are telomeres? Telomeres are structures made of DNA sequences and proteins found at the ends of chromosomes. Scientists often describe these as being similar to the plastic tips on shoelaces. This prevents the chromosome endings from fraying and sticking to each other, and therefore damaging genetic material or information.

You're probably aware that our cells are constantly dividing, but with each division, telomeres get shorter and when they become too short, cells can no longer divide, leading to cellular or cell death. This shortening process is associated with aging, disease, and a higher risk of death.

Telomeres also play a role in reproductive aging. In females, telomeres in eggs may shorten with age, potentially contributing to decreased fertility and an increased risk of miscarriage. In males, sperm telomere length can also shorten, leading to reproductive issues. So, as you could see, telomeres play a crucial role in balancing our cellular lifespan and even prevent cancer growth.

They are essential for cell division, but also limit the division to maintain tissue health and prevent uncontrolled cell proliferation. Ongoing research into telomeres aims to understand how they influence aging and disease development. 

Scientists are exploring ways to prevent or even lengthen telomeres, which could have profound implications for human aging and susceptibility to age related diseases, particularly neurodegenerative diseases. Lifestyle factors such as an unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, as well as environmental toxic exposure have all been related to shorter white cell or leukocyte telomere length. This affects our immunity. Certain nutrients have been shown to increase telomere length, which I'll discuss in a few minutes. 


Okay, let's move on to sirtuins. That's S-I-R-T-U-I-N-S. Sirtuins. Sirtuins are like the guardians of our cells, making sure everything runs smoothly. They're involved in things like repairing broken DNA and managing our cellular metabolism. Think of them as the molecular repair crews, fixing up damaged DNA strands and helping to prevent mutations that could lead to degenerative diseases and cancer. In summary, sirtuins are responsible for maintaining homeostasis within the cell, particularly energy homeostasis. They control inflammation and boost the efficacy of ATP production. That's adenosine triphosphate production. But one of their primary functions is the repair of damaged DNA. The first three letters of sirtuin, S-I-R, stand for silent information regulator. In humans, there are actually seven sirtuins. And they all belong to the same enzymatic domain.

Sirtuin is a name given to both the gene location on our DNA and the enzyme that is expressed. These seven sirtuins are all structurally related, but they perform different functions and because of their structural differences, they react with different proteins. Sirtuin 1, 6, and 7 are located in the nucleus of the cell. Sirtuin 3, 4, and 5 are found in the mitochondria, and sirtuin two is located in the cell cytoplasm. Now, all seven are NAD+ dependent, meaning that their enzymatic function depends on the availability of NAD+, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide.

NAD, Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide

So let's back up and talk a little bit about NAD or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide. NAD is a coenzyme central to metabolism found in all living cells. NAd exists in two forms, oxidized in a reduced form abbreviated as NAD+ and NADH, respectively. So the oxidized form is NAD+ and the reduced form is NADH (H stands for hydrogen). 

So NAD+ is a coenzyme that is important for many pathways in the body, including the following: cellular energy, DNA repair, hormone signaling and inflammation. It also helps metabolism and circadian rhythm. The sirtuin requires an NAD+ to regulate age related diseases and changes and extend lifespan. Thus, sirtuins are NAD+ dependent, and this is important because increasing NAD in the body can help activate sirtuins. 

So the most studied sirtuin in regards to aging and longevity is sirtuin 6. Sirtuin 6 has a beneficial impact on several of the hallmarks of aging, including genomic instability and the epigenetic alterations. Boosting sirtuin 6 can also reduce inflammation and increase the efficacy of ATP production, which is vital to energy management. Sirtuin 6 is also neuroprotective, and people with Alzheimer's or Parkinson's often have low levels of sirtuin 6.

Thus, sirtruin 6 activators are being investigated for their potential in treating neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. Technically, sirtuins are NAD+ dependent, as we had mentioned.

Interestingly, it has been demonstrated that NAD+ availability decreases over age, reducing sirtuin activity and affecting the communication between the nucleus and the mitochondria at a cellular level, and also between the hypothalamus and adipose tissues at a systemic level. Again, thus, by boosting NAD levels, sirtuins can be improved. Later, I'll discuss how we can boost NAD levels.

Sirtuins are one of the keys for staying youthful and living longer, so if we could find ways to boost their activity, whether it's through diet, exercise or specific food supplements, we might just unlock some of the secrets of a longer and healthier life.

Threats to Our Cellular Health

Now that you know a few of the main ways our bodies keep us healthy at a cellular level, let's talk about what threatens our cellular health. So these things are cellular challenges such as oxidative stress, environmental toxins and metabolic issues and stress. Unfortunately, there are many ways our cells are damaged, such as oxidative stress, inflammation, toxins, radiation, metabolic disorders, epigenetics and stress. These all shorten our telomeres and make it difficult for sirtuins to maintain cellular function. So let us briefly talk about each.

Oxidative Stress

One of these oxidative stress. You've probably heard of oxidative stress, but if you haven't, this is what happens when our cells produce oxidative free radicals. This occurs during normal activities such as breathing, digestion, exercise and as byproducts, but can become overwhelming to the body from certain disease processes like infections and cancer.

Although the body possesses natural antioxidant defenses to counteract these oxidative free radicals and safeguard against oxidative harm, this equilibrium can be disrupted in specific circumstances. Factors such as aging, chronic stress, unhealthy diet, insufficient activity or physical activity, and exposure to environmental toxins can all overwhelm the body's antioxidant defenses. Of course, this is why people take antioxidants like vitamin C, coenzyme Q10, vitamin E, selenium, and the like.

Oxidative stress can challenge both telomeres and sirtuins, two important parts of our cells that keep us young. When telomeres get damaged by oxidative stress and when sirtuins, which help regulate our cells, don't work properly, it can, of course, age us faster. So oxidative stress has been implicated as a cause of aging. That's why it's important to take antioxidants in order to reduce oxidative stress. 


Let's next go on to inflammation. Inflammation in our body is another challenge to cellular health. It can wreak havoc with sirtuin activity and make our telomeres shorter, which can lead to our cells not working as well and causing problems, like diseases related to aging. 

Inflammation in the body can be triggered by various factors and conditions. Primarily, these include toxins and pathogens, which prompt the immune system to respond with inflammation to combat the invaders. Additionally, tissue injury or trauma, such as cuts and burns and sprains can all lead to localized inflammation as part of the body's healing process. 

Chronic conditions like autoimmune disease, where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy tissues, can also result in ongoing inflammation. 

Unhealthy lifestyle habits such as a diet high in processed foods, excessive alcohol consumption, smoking, lack of physical exercise or activity, and chronic stress can all contribute to systemic inflammation. Moreover, obesity is associated with chronic low grade inflammation due to the release of inflammatory chemicals from the adipose or fat tissues. 

Then there are also environmental factors such as toxins, many environmental toxins and radiation, which can damage our DNA, including our telomeres, and make it hard for sirtuins to fix things up, which can lead to disease and aging. 

Similarly, when our bodies are exposed to radiation, it could be either from ionizing radiation or non-ionizing radiation particularly ionizing radiation from CT scans and x rays - and mammograms. It can cause direct damage to DNA, including telomeric DNA. This can damage and lead to accelerated shortening of the telomeres. So it's very important to be aware of the myriad of toxins that can threaten our health and take steps to reduce them. Our website at has a lot of information about reducing toxins and that's really worth checking out.

What You Can Do To Support and Reverse the Effects of Aging

So next, let's talk about mindful changes you can make to support your body and reverse the effects of aging, such as proper diet, detoxification, sleep, exercise, and stress reduction. 

Diet: Let's start with diet. The saying you are what you eat couldn't be more accurate when it comes to living a long and healthy life. Research consistently shows that diets rich and whole nutrient dense foods such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats are associated with a lower risk of chronic disease and increased longevity. In particular the mediterranean diet, characterized by its emphasis on olive oil and avoidance of seed oils. Please listen to our podcast on seed oils if you haven't listened to that. 

Fish, nuts and fresh produce has been linked to a reduction in the risk of heart disease, cancer, and cognitive decline. In fact, telomeres are so much influenced by our diet. Certain nutrients such as vitamin C, vitamin E and omega 3 fats have been shown to support telomere health and prevent premature shortening of the telomeres. Foods like citrus fruits, almonds, spinach and fatty fish are excellent sources of these nutrients and can help prevent t

elomeres from being oxidative damage. In incorporating these foods into our diet, we can potentially slow down the aging process and promote longevity from the inside out. 

In addition, longevity experts like David Sinclair suggest dark leafy greens, certain types of fruits, and more importantly, he stresses the importance of restricting certain eating habits, such as only eating during a six hour window each day while fasting remaining the other 18 hours. This is called intermittent fasting. We have a very good article on intermittent fasting on our website. You might want to check that out. He also recommends fasting a few times each year for like about two to three days at a time. This is because it allows the body to buckle down and get things in order and kind of rest, give it a metabolic rest. This activates the sirtuins. 

Eliminating Toxins: The next thing is to eliminate toxins and to use detoxification strategies to do this. At a cellular level detoxification processes act like bodyguards for cells, shielding them from damage that speeds up aging and causes disease. These processes work by getting rid of harmful substances, easing the workload on cells and stopping the buildup of damaging materials that can interfere with cellular function and make us age faster. It's like the cleanup crew, keeping cells healthy and in top shape. Not only does detoxification keep cells clean, but it also helps them use nutrients effectively for energy and other important tasks. This efficient use of nutrients keeps cells functioning well, promoting good health and longer life. So to detoxify your body effectively, it's essential to begin by reducing the number of toxins you're exposed to. Start by evaluating your diet, surroundings, and what you apply to your body, particularly the cosmetics you use. 

Our food can contain harmful additives, pesticides, plastics, while our environment may be filled with toxins from sources like water, air cleaning, products, and even electromagnetic fields. It's common to overlook the safety of healthcare products - simple items like toothpaste with fluoride, and beauty products can also harbor harmful substances. 

Detoxification Strategies: After minimizing your toxic exposure, there are various methods to eliminate these harmful chemicals so that your cells can work optimally. Some people opt for activities like exercise or sauna to sweat out the toxins, while others turn to supplements like shilajit, n-acetylcysteine or NAC, dandelion root, and milk thistle, as well as brown and green algae like chlorella for effective detoxification.

Optimizing Sleep: Next, we want to optimize your sleep. Making lifestyle changes can improve sleep quality and potentially extend lifespan. Sleep is so, so important. Consistent sleep patterns, a conducive sleep environment, regular physical activity, stress management techniques like meditation, limiting stimulants such as alcohol and caffeine, and seeking treatments for sleep disorders are key factors in enhancing sleep quality. By adopting these practices, individuals can promote better rest and overall well being and potentially increase their longevity. 

Exercise: Exercise also plays a vital role in promoting longevity by optimizing cellular function in several ways. First, it enhances mitochondrial function, the cell's energy powerhouse, by increasing ATP production through regular physical exercise. This not only boosts cellular energy, but also reduces oxidative stress, which, as I'd mentioned, is a key factor in aging. Additionally, exercise promotes autophagy, a process that clears out debris, maintaining cellular health. Moreover, exercise influences gene expression, benefiting metabolism, stress response, and DNA repair, which all contribute to the resilience against aging. Furthermore, exercise reduces inflammation at a cellular level, protecting cells from damage and supporting longevity. To exercise for longevity, it is essential to maintain a well rounded routine that includes both strength training and cardio exercise, incorporating daily brisk walking, strength training with exercises like weightlifting and body weight movements and a mix of low and high intensity of cardio activity such as biking, swimming, and fast walking can significantly impact your health and lifespan. Striving for a balance of 50-50 split between strength training and cardio in your weekly routine, avoiding excessive exercise, finding activities you enjoy and listening to body cues are key factors in optimizing your physical activity for longevity and overall well being. Consistency in exercise regime is crucial for long term health benefits, emphasizing the importance of sustainability and enjoyable activities to support a healthier and longer life. I personally enjoy dancing, it's fun and it's exercise.

Reducing Stress: Chronic stress doesn't just weigh on your mind, it can also seriously affect how long you live. Studies from many universities such as Yale revealed a close connection between stress in our biological clock, the internal timer in our DNA that controls the speed of aging. If your biological clock runs fast, you might face a shorter life. Showing how stress impacts our health beyond mental wellness is important. Stress isn't picky. It can worsen physical issues like heart conditions and diabetes, nudging us towards a shorter lifespan. So it's really important to find ways to mitigate the stresses in your life. 

Living With a Purpose: Living with a purpose also adds depth and meaning to your life and can contribute to overall well being and longevity. 

Fasting: And remember, fasting is also a key to longevity. One of the key effects of fasting is that it activates autophagy, that cellular process that removes damaged debris, promoting cellular renewal and repair. During fasting, cells switch from a state of growth and proliferation, actually to a state of conservation and repair. This helps to clear out cellular debris and improve cellular function, contributing to longevity.

Fasting helps cells become stronger and more resolute. When you don't eat, your cells switch to special pathways like the AMPK and sirtuins, which boost energy production and create new mitochondria. This makes cells more efficient and reduces harmful oxidative stress, keeping them healthy and promoting a longer life. Moreover, fasting affects how genes are turned on and off in cells, influencing their activity and metabolism, stress response and longevity.

Fasting leads to changes in genes linked to antioxidant defense, DNA repair and inflammation, improving how cells work and making them better able to handle stress. 

Longevity Supplements: Now, there are several supplements showing promise for increasing longevity. Let's go over a few of them. Actually, the list is very long, but I'm going to give you a few key ones here. 

Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol found in grapes, red wine, peanuts and blueberries, and it has been shown to affect longevity in age related diseases such as neurodegenerative diseases, cardiovascular diseases, cancers, infertility, and also osteoporosis. It is believed to work by managing oxidative stress, inhibiting inflammation, regulating mitochondrial function, and at certain doses, initiating autophagy, the cleanup of the cells. It's also known to lower blood sugar levels. Experts recommend taking a daily dose of resveratrol between about one and five grams daily. 

The next is nicotinamide mononucleotide. Nicotinamide mononucleotide - the acronym is NMN or niacinamide. It's a compound that helps increase levels of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide plus the NAD+. So this NNM increases NAD+, which is important for many cellular functions like energy production, DNA repair and controlling genes. As we get older, our NAD+ levels drop, which is linked to aging and age related diseases. NMN supplements are believed to boost NAD+ levels, potentially supporting cellular health and longevity. By raising NAD+ levels, NMN may improve mitochondrial function, energy production and DNA repair, which all help cells stay healthy and resolute. NMN also stimulates sirtuins, these proteins that play an important part in metabolism, stress response and aging. Sirtuins need NAD+ to work. So boosting NAD+ with NMN could enhance their function, leading to benefits like better mitochondrial function, improved stress resilience, and possibly a longer lifespan. 

NNM, while research has shown it to be effective for longevity, is still ongoing. Early studies in animals show promise results as an increased energy within just three weeks of supplementation. Generally, it's recommended to take about 1 gram of NMN taken in the morning. 

Fucoidan: The last supplement I want to introduce is fucoidan. Fucoidan is a long chain sulfated polysaccharide found in various species of brown algae.

And if you haven't listened to my podcast on seaweeds and algae, I suggest you might want to listen to that. Commercially available fucoidan is commonly extracted from the species fucus vesiculosus (bladderwrack), Laminaria japonica (kombu), and Undaria pinnatifida (wakame). Check out the podcast again on sea vegetables. It'll tell you all the different benefits of both brown and green algae. 

But research has been demonstrating that fucoidan can activate sirtuin 6. As an extract from brown seaweed, fucoidan can be purchased in capsules and taken at doses of about 1500 to 2000 milligrams a day. Of course, just eating brown seaweed is also very helpful too.

Well, that really wraps it up for today's episode. We've explored the role of diet, supplements, and other lifestyle factors in promoting longevity and vibrant health. Remember, the choices we make today can shape our future health and well being, so let's make them count. Thanks for tuning in and until next time, stay curious and keep striving for a long, healthy life. Take care and be well.

Thank you for your time today, and remember that this podcast is made possible by the Bioregulatory Medicine Institute, also known as BRMI, a nonprofit, global, non political, non commercial institute to promote the science and art of bioregulatory medicine. We extend our gratitude to each and every one of you for listening today, and if you haven't already, make sure to visit us at: A treasure trove of invaluable information awaits you there. Connect with us across various social media platforms as well. Come and become a member of our thriving tribe. If you've enjoyed today's episode, we invite you to show your support by rating us, leaving us a review, or sharing the podcast within your circle. Our podcast and mission flourish through sharing, and your participation means the world to us. Our organization is sustained by donations, each of which is tax deductible and fuels projects like this. Visit our website, to contribute or simply to explore the wealth of uncensored and impartial information we offer. No contribution is too small. In just two weeks, we'll be back delving into another captivating topic. Until then, we thank you once again for listening. May wellness and wisdom be your path. Be well.


bottom of page