Extend your Healthy Years: The Medicine with Heart Optimization Journey Part 1

The Contemporary Healthspan / Optimization Landscape

The quest for unlimited longevity and youthfulness has been with the human species since we were able to contemplate our mortality. Although the actualization of this quest is still not presently available in the modern world, significant progress has been achieved on this path. In each generation, various approaches have been attempted in the hope that something will work, something will be discovered to overcome the apparent limitation of human lifespan. Until now, each attempt has been met with disappointment, though often contributing to a body of knowledge and advancement towards the precipice we find ourselves on today: peering into the possibility that we may actually be advancing exponentially into a Healthspan Escape Velocity and unlimited lifespans. Healthspan Escape Velocity is the point at which an additional year of healthy life can be added for each year of biological aging.

In this blog, we’ll cover:

  • How the science of aging and healthspan has brought us to the brink of a revolutionary moment in history: the potential actualization of achieving Healthspan Escape Velocity
  • An introduction to the Information Theory of Aging – a potential revolution in understanding of the aging process
  • An introduction to the Medicine with Heart Optimization and Healthspan Journey
  • How you can build solid foundations for radically increasing healthspan
 

Is Radical Life Extension Possible?

It’s easy to think that current attempts at radical life extension will be met with the same fate as our ancestors – another generation trying to break the boundaries, feeling like… we are almost… there.

The differentiating factor on our side in the modern world is… hard science. And it’s not just the hope of what science can offer this aspiration. Though still being refined periodically, fundamental Hallmarks of Aging – mechanisms of the biology of the aging process – have now been well established. Considering that why we age has been a mystery since the dawn of biology, it’s truly remarkable that there is now a foundational understanding of the aging process. With this framework in place, the race to address each of these processes (currently fourteen, to be precise) is moving with incredible speed and funding is accelerating daily. Leading longevity scientists such as Aubrey De Grey postulate that we may reach escape velocity within fifteen years – a remarkable pronouncement! 

Along with the discovery of the fourteen hallmarks of aging, scientists have recently demonstrated the potential for real biological age reversal and physiologic rejuvenation (Yang J, 2023) through the reversal of epigenetic aging, a process based in the Information Theory of Aging, which proposes that a decline in information, specifically epigenetic information, triggers a cascade of events impacting various Hallmarks of Aging including mitochondrial dysfunction, inflammation, and cellular senescence (Yang J, 2023). This incredible insight may provide a way to address numerous Hallmarks of Aging simultaneously and work is being done to reverse epigenetic aging with a simple pill or cocktail (Yang J, 2023). Although a pill for epigenetic aging isn’t yet available, we’ll outline various lifestyle factors showing the potential to reverse epigenetic age. 

So… is radical healthspan extension possible? It appears to be likely and a key is to maintain our bodies so we are around to take advantage of future discoveries and treatments as they become available. This is a fundamental goal of what Medicine with Heart offers: providing a path to actualize this possibility. 

We are potentially transitioning into an era where aging becomes optional and we live in an amazing time with exponentially expanding possibilities of human potential.

The Information Theory of Aging: An Introduction

In this article, we’ll provide a brief introduction to the Information Theory of Aging and future articles will dive deeply into the research around this exciting and evolving topic. As this is a potentially radical leap in how the aging process is viewed and how the Hallmarks of Aging are approached, it is a fundamental place to start the journey towards Healthspan Escape Velocity.

The Genome and Epigenome

Our genes are inherited and contain the informational coding we received from our parents. Genes (outside of genetic manipulation) are fixed and don’t change throughout life – we have the same genetic code in each of our 30 – 40 trillion cells and they remain the same.

Although the Human Genome Project was completed in 2003 (at an estimated cost of around 2.7 billion dollars) with significant hope of medical applications, there have been few gene therapies approved for clinical use twenty years later. The future of genetic medicine remains promising and the cost of sequencing a full individual genome is now only a few hundred dollars, though there is still significant work to be done in terms of actualizing the full potential of genetic information and therapies. Genes are certainly important in determining individual traits and tendencies, though the potency of epigenetics in determining health outcomes may be even more crucial.

The word epigenetics comes from the Greek word epi (over, outside of, around) and genetics, generally implying that epigenetics is in addition to or above genetics. It is the science of our behaviors and the environmental impact on how genes express themselves. Even though genes don’t change, the way they express their information does, which is where the Information Theory of Aging becomes relevant, and epigenetics is central to the Information Theory of Aging. 

The Information Theory of Aging has been pioneered by Harvard scientist David Sinclair, who has theorized for more than a decade that it may be loss of coherent epigenetic information rather than genetic mutations that drive the aging process. Part of this hinges on the fact that, as people age, minimal genetic defects are often found and a higher level of genetic defects don’t correlate well with the aging process. 

In early 2023, a study by Sinclair and colleagues was published in the renowned medical journal Cell and the results were remarkable: a demonstration that aging can be accelerated or reversed through the manipulation of epigenetic information. This was accomplished through utilization of Yamanaka Factors, discovered by Nobel Prize laureate Shinya Yamanaka. These molecules, called transcription factors (proteins that carry instructions to targeted regions of DNA), are able to reprogram cells and revert them to a younger state. This was accomplished in the Cell study with mice and is now being tested in non-human primates.

Present Applications of Epigenetic Research

How does this relate to practical steps you can take to reverse your own epigenetic age, not only in the future, but now?

  • There are indications that various lifestyle factors are being shown to reverse epigenetic aging in humans (Fitzgerald K, 2021)
  • These include:
    • Diet
    • Intermittent fasting
    • Supplementation
    • Movement
    • Medications
  • There are data that also suggest possible epigenetic longevity benefit from:
    • Breathwork
    • Cold and heat thermogenesis
    • Meditation
    • Applied gratitude

In future articles, we’ll review in detail how lifestyle changes can impact epigenetic aging and steps you can take to generate these changes yourself. 

It is also fortunate that testing for epigenetic aging has been developed and continues to improve in accuracy. By looking at DNA methylation (an indicator of epigenetic processes) this can show:

  • Our biological (as opposed to chronological) age
  • How quickly we are currently aging

Medicine with Heart offers science-based testing and protocols targeted at optimizing the aging process and offer our patients programs with significant potential to increase healthspan.

Introduction to the Medicine with Heart Journey

Medicine with Heart is a clinic on the forefront of aging science and applications with the aim of significantly extending human healthspan. The Medicine with Heart Optimization and Healthspan Journey works to address the hallmarks of aging during various levels of the program as we work with each individual to optimize all aspects of the physiology from cellular to organ to system levels. 

Medicine with Heart is a functional medicine clinic with a focus on the practical applications of cutting-edge science and research around foundational wellness and prevention, anti-aging, healthspan, age reversal, and integral human optimization. To achieve results that push the boundaries of human potential, the clinic utilizes an integrated framework and operating system encompassing multiple levels of science-informed applications. We move each individual through a rigorously designed and integrated framework with the intention of achieving meaningful healthspan extension. 

Protocols are designed in a manner highly specified to each individual based on quantified levels of numerous biological data points. This is achieved through systematic precision and personalized medicine, progressive in-depth testing, implementation of integral lifestyle factors, support for self-quantification and biofeedback monitoring, application of supplements and pharmaceuticals, and advanced approaches addressing the recognized Hallmarks of the Aging processes. As the path unfolds, each physiological system and organ will be optimized to the greatest extent possible in order to create integrated physiological harmony and the highest potential for reaching Healthspan Escape Velocity.

A Comprehensive Journey for All

The Medicine with Heart Optimization Journey is designed to welcome all levels of intention around health, wellbeing, and optimization – there is no right or wrong space from which to enter the path. The program is designed to determine a nuanced and integrated view of each individual and establish a path in tune with their personal intentions and goals. Some may want to move to certain levels of the journey and feel fulfilled there while others may hold the intention of progressing toward the highest level of optimization possible to reach Healthspan Escape Velocity. 

The Medicine with Heart Journey is formulated to address physiology and psychology from all angles in order to maximize the potential for extraordinary levels of wellness. It is a meticulously designed program crafted to evolve human potential and open the possibility of elevated levels of integral actualization. To accomplish this, various levels of health are integrated in advancing stages of implementation. Some may be at one level of progress in some parameters and another level of progress in others. The program tracks each individual’s data in order to ensure they are given the optimal protocol for an integrated spectrum to actualize their highest potential.

Components of the Medicine with Heart Journey

Establishing Foundational Wellness

Although many people enter the path to optimization and healthspan extension needing to establish foundational practices and protocols to build on, some may have already developed more advanced levels of integral wellness. This article focuses on some of the initial steps in developing a solid base for further levels of optimal health and future articles will delve into advancing components of the process to build towards the realization of Healthspan Escape Velocity. Based on the initial assessment and intake, the level of optimization of various components of the wellness journey are established and customized to meet each individual where they are on their path. Components of the assessment may include:

  • Extensive intake questionnaire
  • Initial practitioner appointment 
  • Extensive foundational blood work
  • In-depth metabolic health assessment 
  • Sleep quality analysis
  • Testing of immune function
  • Testing for chronic infections
  • Breath testing for digestive disorders
  • Stool testing for digestive disorders
  • Baseline epigenetic testing 
  • Baseline glycation testing
  • Genetic testing
  • Environmental toxin testing 
  • Personalized testing and specialist referrals as appropriate for each individual

Aspects of the Initial Phase of the Medicine with Heart Journey

Based on our extensive assessment, customized plans and protocols are established to build a solid foundation of wellness. Protocols may include:

Lifestyle factors 

      • Nutrition: establishing dietary foundations
      • Sleep: implementing essential sleep hygiene 
      • Movement: a groundwork for optimal exercise
      • Posture: establishing foundations for stability

Cardiometabolic health

      • Foundational blood sugar and insulin balance
      • Establishing healthy body composition
      • Establishing healthy blood pressure levels
      • Establishing a healthy lipid profile
      • Foundational mitochondrial wellness

Hormonal health

      • Foundational hormone balancing and treatment

Immunology

      • Addressing chronic infections
      • Balancing the immune system for optimal function

Chronobiology

      • Circadian rhythm foundations: rhythms for light and sleep

Exposome (environmental exposures)

      • Photobiology: foundations of light exposure
      • Environmental toxins
      • Air quality

Neuronal health

      • Mindset training
      • Stress management
        • Access to potent stress reduction technologies
      • Foundational breathwork practices

Supplement and pharmaceutical support

Chronic and Mystery Illnesses: Unfolding Foundational Functioning

If you are struggling with chronic illness and are experiencing difficulty with day-to-day activities, the clinic is also highly capable of uncovering the roots of your condition and working to establish a baseline level of wellness as part of our Foundations Program. Our practitioners are expert in working with difficult-to-diagnose/mystery illnesses and access the most advanced testing to uncover multifactorial root causes in order to establish a path to wellness. This foundational stage of the process is essential for developing and implementing the level of wellness to allow for growth to greater levels of optimization. 

In future articles, in-depth insight and science informed perspectives into each component of the Medicine with Heart approach to testing and protocols will be presented and practical steps outlined so you are able to implement simple, high-impact practices as steps towards whatever level of wellness, optimization, and healthspan you strive for.

In Summary…

  • The science of and discoveries around aging are developing at an exponential rate
  • Hallmarks of Aging are well established and being studied to implement future therapies
  • The Information Theory of Aging sees epigenetic information loss as a key component of the aging process
  • Studies have shown that reversal of the aging process is a viable possibility
  • We are moving closer to the possibility of radically extended lifespans
  • The Medicine with Heart Journey develops customized protocols for the full range of intention around wellness and optimization
  • The Medicine with Heart Clinic specializes in building customized plans for those wanting to move towards Healthspan Escape Velocity

References

 

  1. Yang J, Petty CA, Dixon-McDougall T, Lopez MV, Tyshkovskiy A, Maybury-Lewis S, Tian X, Ibrahim N, Chen Z, Griffin PT, Arnold M, Li J, Martinez OA, et al. Chemically induced reprogramming to reverse cellular aging. Aging (Albany NY). 2023 Jul 12; 15:5966-5989 . https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.204896
  2. Yang J, Petty CA, Dixon-McDougall T, Lopez MV, Tyshkovskiy A, Maybury-Lewis S, Tian X, Ibrahim N, Chen Z, Griffin PT, Arnold M, Li J, Martinez OA, et al. Chemically induced reprogramming to reverse cellular aging. Aging (Albany NY). 2023 Jul 12; 15:5966-5989 . https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.204896
  3. Yang J, Petty CA, Dixon-McDougall T, Lopez MV, Tyshkovskiy A, Maybury-Lewis S, Tian X, Ibrahim N, Chen Z, Griffin PT, Arnold M, Li J, Martinez OA, et al. Chemically induced reprogramming to reverse cellular aging. Aging (Albany NY). 2023 Jul 12; 15:5966-5989 . https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.204896
  4. Yang, J. H., Hayano, M., Griffin, P. T., Amorim, J. A., Bonkowski, M. S., Apostolides, J. K., Salfati, E. L., Blanchette, M., Munding, E. M., Bhakta, M., Chew, Y. C., Guo, W., Yang, X., Maybury-Lewis, S., Tian, X., Ross, J. M., Coppotelli, G., Meer, M. V., Rogers-Hammond, R., Vera, D. L., … Sinclair, D. A. (2023). Loss of epigenetic information as a cause of mammalian aging. Cell, 186(2), 305–326.e27. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2022.12.027
  5. Fitzgerald, K. N., Hodges, R., Hanes, D., Stack, E., Cheishvili, D., Szyf, M., Henkel, J., Twedt, M. W., Giannopoulou, D., Herdell, J., Logan, S., & Bradley, R. (2021). Potentialreversal of epigenetic age using a diet and lifestyle intervention: a pilot randomized clinical trial. Aging, 13(7), 9419–9432. https://doi.org/10.18632/aging.202913

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