Anti-aging Doc, David Sinclair Tells Joe Rogan About His Groundbreaking NMN Supplement Research
Dr. Sinclair’s NMN supplement research is the topic on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and why he and his family to take NMN + resveratrol + metformin.
Update: The Joe Rogan video is no longer available, but I summarize the interview below.
His NMN supplement research has made Harvard geneticist Dr. David Sinclair perhaps the most famous anti-aging researcher on the planet. In this post, I summarize Joe Rogan’s interview with Dr. Sinclair, which among other things, includes the science behind why Sinclair and his family supplement daily with a molecule called NMN (Nicotinamide Mononucleotide).
If you have two-plus hours to spare and are interested in ground-breaking anti-aging research that’s ratcheted down in layman’s terms, go take a listen or watch.
Or simply scroll down and read my written review. Either way, you’re about to get an explosion of information that could help you live a longer, stronger life.
Here’s what’s in this post:
- Who is Dr. David Sinclair?
- Dr. Sinclair’s Information Theory of Aging (the first unifying theory of aging)
- Is it possible to reverse aging? (His NMN supplement research on mice says “Yes”)
- Why Dr. Sinclair supplements with NMN, resveratrol and metformin
- Dr. Sinclair’s health habits
- Other health topics he discussed with Joe Rogan
Let’s dig in…
Does NMN Supplement Research Show It’s Possible To Reverse Aging?
Various of studies have reversed aging in several animal models; namely, yeast, worms, fruit flies, mice and monkeys. Humans are much harder to study. We’re long-lived and don’t take kindly to alteration, whether it be or biology or environment. But what can be measured in humans is how our biometrics respond to various potential anti-aging interventions.
For instance, various forms of caloric restriction (complete fasting, intermittent fasting and fasting mimics, such as the ProLon Fasting Mimicking Diet, have improved various biometrics associated with human longevity, such as lower blood pressure, lower fasting blood sugar, less coronary artery disease, less chronic inflammation, etc. Moreover — and central to Dr. Sinclair’s work — caloric restriction and its mimics activate sirtuins, a family of proteins that play a role in aging by regulating cellular health.
Although it only involved nine people, a 2019 study conclusively showed that a combination of metformin, DHEA, and human growth hormone resulted in a decrease of two years of the subjects biological age. A reduction of a protein called C38 also occurred. C38 resides in immune cells and increases in quantity as we age. This is unfortunate, because C38 is the main enzyme in our body that degrades NAD+, a conezyme required for sirtuins to properly function. The older we get, the less NAD+ or body produces.
Much of Dr. Sinclair’s research work (and that of his mentor and post doctoral advisor, Dr. Lenny Guarantee) is focused on the role that sirtuins have in how we age and how to support their function. (As you’ll soon see, this led Dr. Sinclair to his NMN supplement research.)
Sirtuins, nicknamed “the longevity genes”, are a family of protein enzymes involved in regulating cellular processes, including the aging and death of cells and their resistance to stress. They remove acetyl tags from histones and other proteins and, by doing so, change the packaging of the DNA, turning genes off and on when needed. These critical epigenetic regulators sit at the very top of cellular control systems, controlling our reproduction and our DNA repair.
DNA breaks in chromosomes distract the sirtuin complex resulting in genes that inappropriately get turned on. You may recall from your high school biology that chromosomes are threadlike structures of nucleic acids and protein found in the nucleus of most living cells. They carry genetic information in the form of genes. Mammals like us have seven sirtuins.
Insults to the genome, such as a double strand break, distract sirtuins from their job of responding to various cellular stresses as they go into gene repair mode. Over the term of, say, an 80-year life, the cumulative damage caused by gene expression (getting turned on) when they should not is a good part of what makes us old.
Simply put: Sirtuins are genes which protect all organisms (like us) from deterioration and disease.
The focus of the research on sirtuins done by Dr. Sinclair and others is to find out how to make them more robust and then see how that affects the aging process. In all the animal models studied, improving sirtuin function extended both health and lifespan, but what about in humans? We don’t know for sure, but that hasn’t stopped researchers like Sinclair and Guarantee (and myself and thousands of others) to take the supplement compounds that worked so well in animal models.
The reason for this is the convincing results of David Sinclair’s NMN supplement. Such results have lead him, his family, and the rest of us to supplement with resveratrol and NMN (and in my case, NR as well), along with metformin (in his case, not mine as yet).
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Does Metformin decrease physical performance?
Metformin is a drug that’s being re-purposed that I’ve written about. Traditionally used to help diabetics, metformin has become a potential anti-aging drug, and it’s on the fast track for human trials.
Researchers have already proven that the diabetes drug extends the life of animals, and the US Food and Drug Administration has green-lighted a trial to see if the same effects can be replicated in humans.
Here’s some tibits about metformin:
- Scientists think metformin may be the best candidate for an anti-aging drug because it increases the number of oxygen molecules released into a cell, which appears to boost robustness and longevity.
- Metformin is safe given that it’s the world’s most widely used diabetes drug.
- It’s cheap, just six cents per pill.
- Mice treated with Metformin increased their lifespan by nearly 40% and their bones became stronger.
- Last year Cardiff University found that when patients with diabetes were given the Metformin lived longer than others without the condition, even though they should have died eight years earlier on average.
That all sounds good, but recently new evidence suggests that there are some metformin side effects that may diminish your hard-earned physical fitness. Dr. Sinclair thinks that metformin may be interfering with our mitochondria (the cells “energy factory”), disrupting its energy production at a time (post exercise) when it (the mitochndria) needs to be amplified. Because of this, Dr. Sinclair only takes metformin on days he does not exercise.
Dr. Sinclair’s Health Habits
Dr. Sinclair’s Workout and Eating Routine
He admits that although it’s far from ideal, Sinclair only spends about three hours a week in a gym, and all of those hours are in one day! During that time, he lifts weights for an hour, stretches, and then does some hot/cold therapy (a sauna/cold tub).
He gets hungry at least once a day
Sinclair fasts intermittently as much as he can. For him, that typically means skipping breakfast and eating a late lunch. It’s important that become comfortable experiencing hunger, he says, because sirtuins are activated when you’re hungry due to a rise in NAD+ levels. This is why NAD+ boosters like NMN and NR are considered fasting mimics — they have a similar biological effect as does fasting itself.
He tries to optimize his sleep
Dr. Sinclair gets between six and seven hours of sleep a night, less than most studies suggest is ideal, which for most of us is between seven and nine hours. He also wears an Oura Ring (similar to the less expensive Motiv Ring) to track his sleep. He sometimes takes a small dose of melatonin as well. (Although not said in the podcast/video, a small dose of melatonin is between two and five milligrams. I find the sublingual form works best.)
He stresses that there’s a direct correlation between a lack of sleep and Alzheimer’s disease, and therefore he focuses as best he can given his hectic work and travel schedule to get rejuvenating sleep, which includes wearing blue light blocking glasses a few hours before bed; that, he says, has greatly improved his sleep quality.
Other Interesting Topics Discussed by Sinclair and Rogan
What follows are some other interesting topics related to longevity that were covered by Dr. Sinclair and Joe Rogan.
The Horvath Clock is becoming the most reliable way to measure biological age
Biostatistician Steve Horvath can determine chronological age and predict mortality by measuring DNA methylation, a type of epigenetic modification, says Elysium Health. Dr. Sinclair says:
“Using the same 353 locations in DNA, and an identical mathematical algorithm, allows you to measure the age of a person based on DNA from any tissue. I wish I could tell you a good rationale for it. On some level, it is simply a miracle.”
I think, as we use this clock, we’re going to figure out a whole bunch of stuff that we can do to not just slow aging, but reverse it. And not just by 2.5 years. With some of the technology I talk about in my book, I think we could turn the clock back by a decade or more.”
My bioageDr. Horvath’s “clock” is behind the math and statistics I used in a Google spreadsheet to determine my own biological age. Get the scoop and test yourself here.
Dr. Sinclair’s 80-year-old Father’s Supplement Protocol
Like Sinclair and the rest of his (adult) family, his 80 year-old father takes NMN, metformin and resveratrol. It’s anecdotal, but his father attributes to his NMN supplementation his ability to regularly exercise vigorously. To showcase his growing prowess, he recently climbed 40 flights of stairs in just 15 minutes, boasts his son, David.
Wear sunscreen and beware x-rays
Why? – Over time, the sun causes DNA damage (it “breaks ” chromosomes) which accelerates aging. X-rays and airport scanners also do this — going through an airport scanner gives you the same radiation dose you’d get on a five-hour flight. For this reason, it might be a good idea to supplement with NMN (or NR) before and after a flight or getting an x-ray, as Dr. Sinclair’s mice studies show that NMN protects against the effects of radiation.
Consider taking Senolytics
Senolytics are drugs or some natural compounds that kill off senescent cells, which is the phenomenon by which normal cells cease to divide, thereby becoming “senescent”. As the website Fight Aging describes it, once cells become senescent they pollute surrounding tissue with inflammatory and other signals that evolved for short-term benefit only. When present over the long term, the signals secreted by even a comparatively small number of senescent cells will significantly degrade tissue structure and function, disrupt regeneration, and produce chronic inflammation. This accelerates the development and progression of near all common age-related diseases.
As I wrote in Can New Senoltyic Drugs Delay Aging, researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota aim to move the testing of Senolytic drugs from animal research to human clinical trials. They outlined potential clinical trial scenarios in a paper recently published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
Said Dr. James Kirkland, director of the Kogod Center on Aging at the Mayo Clinic and lead author of the new paper:
“This is one of the most exciting fields in all of medicine or science at the moment.”
Sinclair says that one study found that by genetically deleting the senescent cells that had accumulated in old mice delayed their aging.
UPDATE (5/7/22): As I explain here, a new study casts shade over the effectiveness of fisetin as a senolytic.
Three over-the-counter supplements that are available now that might vanquish senescent cells are:
For the latest science on these, read my article, Three Senolytic Drugs Available Now.
Remember these four things discovered through NMN supplement research:
- Sirtuins are genes which protect all organisms studied from deterioration and disease. They need NAD+ to function, which declines dramatically as we age. NMN and NR are two precursors that can boost our body’s production of NAD+
- Resveratrol is thought to increase sirtuin activity
- Hunger is your friend — try to be hungry often. Sirtuins are activated when you’re hungry due to a rise in NAD+ levels
- Wear sunscreen and avoid x-rays/airport scanners. Over time, the sun causes DNA damage which accelerates aging. NMN and NR can be protective.
Last Updated on July 11, 2023 by Joe Garma