Peter Attia, MD is one of the sharpest minds in nutrition but it’s tough to get access to his wisdom as he very rarely publishes blog posts and it’s even more rare for him to do an interview.
So when he does either of these (a blog post or an interview) I listen and take copious notes. That’s why I was so excited when he recently did an interview with top health expert, Chris Kresser.
Recently Chris interview Dr. Attia about his 8 Lever’s of Longevity. Longevity is Dr. Attia’s area of focus in his private practice which I “believe” is a boutique medical practice which at this time is closed.
The good thing is, if we know what factors directly influence our ability to avoid chronic disease (think Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Heart Disease etc.) then we have a tremendous shot at living a very long, very healthy life.
We’re dying from chronic diseases, and these are, almost without exception, preventable or delayable at the very least. – Peter Attia, MD
Peter Attia, MD: 8 Levers Of Longevity
- Stress Management
- Sense Of Purpose/Social Connections
- Avoidance of Harmful Behaviors
A. Eat enough Protein to preserve muscle mass, as much glucose as you can tolerate before you start to get out of that homeostasis and fat makes up the rest.
B. Eat “less” methionine rich foods. Eat more of the other parts of the animal to counter-balance methionine such as organ meats, skin etc.
A. Lift heavy, ideally squats and dead-lifts.
B. Phosphatidylserine may be helpful before bed to reduce stress and therefore help to reduce stress induced glucose spikes during sleep.
(Use of hormones was not discussed in this interview)
5. Stress Management
A. Chris Kresser and Dr. Attia both agree that probably the best way, or at least probably the best clinically documented way to manage stress is Transcendental Meditation.
6. Sense of Purpose/Social Interaction
A. Chris mentions a study that was done that showed that social support is a better predictor of lifespan than body mass index, air pollution, and even smoking 15 cigarettes a day.
A. Peter discusses a drug called Rapamycin that is the only drug that has been shown to improve lifespan in all four model species – yeast, worms, flies and mammals. This drug is not available and Peter doesn’t know if it will or will not become available one day but it fascinated it. Rapamycin makes it possible to modulate mTOR and in the beginning of the interview Dr. Attia states that the environment that seems to be optimal for longevity (for someone over 40 years old) is an environment in which insulin is very low, one in which IGF is low, one in which mTORC1 is low, one in which AMP kinase is high, and one in which Ras is low.
8. Avoidance of Harmful Behaviors
A. Early in the interview Peter mentions certain activities that should be avoided to extend lifespan. His recommendations are based on the top 10 causes of death. Some of the those “behaviors” they discussed are:
- Don’t Smoke
- Be completely attentive to your driving – assume everyone on the road is trying to kill you
- Don’t drive with “any” alcohol in your system, not just below the legal limit
- Don’t Text while Driving – Chris and Dr. Attia both agree that this is probably the single most important thing you can do to significantly reduce your chance of death.