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Expert Shares Tips for Reversing Your Aging

Do these simple things to reduce your biological age in just eight weeks.

Who among us wouldn't like to turn back the clock, to reduce the damage done by aging and maybe even age in reverse? That possibility is edging away from science fiction and closer to science fact. In a recent episode of his podcast The Doctor's Farmacy, Dr. Mark Hyman, a functional medicine physician with the Cleveland Clinic, talked with Dr. Kara Fitzgerald, a naturopathic physician in Connecticut and lead author of a recent study that suggests you can do specific things to reduce your biological age in just eight weeks—at home, starting today, without significant expense. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.


Eat Your Greens


Fitzgerald said that as a gauge, her study used a process called DNA methylation, a series of changes on the strands of our DNA that scientists have found correlate strongly to a person's biological age. One thing that positively affects methylation—thereby reducing age—is consuming catechins, a plant compound largely found in greens. "The catechins in green tea or curcumin or luteolin or resveratrol or quercetin, all of these compounds that we know and love and use and eat and prescribe … appear to direct methylation traffic," said Fitzgerald.


Mind Your Gut Bugs

happy woman hands on belly

"Our gut bugs regulate us, and they're playing an intimate role in healthy genetic expression. So we need to love on our gut bugs," said Fitzgerald. In her study, subjects consumed the probiotic lactobacillus plantarum.


Reduce Your Consumption of Processed Food

hamburger or cheeseburger, deep-fried squid rings, french fries, drink and ketchup on wooden table

The subjects in the study did not consume dairy, gluten, sugar, or processed food. Alcohol was also verboten. The study participants also engaged in "very modest" time-restricted eating—they ate during a 12-hour period and fasted for at least 12 hours.


Exercise Regularly—But Not Too Much

exercise lunges

"Exercise is, as a rule, potently, anti-aging, but if we overdo exercising, then that can be pro-aging," said Fitzgerald. Study subjects were instructed to exercise for just 30 minutes a day, five days a week, at 60% to 80% of their maximum heart rate.


Get Enough Sleep

woman sleeps peacefully in plush gray bedding

​​"The data on sleep is strong, specifically relating to DNA methylation," said Fitzgerald. "If you're not sleeping, you're aging. That's really the bottom line now."

She added: "It's extraordinary how nourishing sleep is on genetic expression on DNA methylation specifically. But more broadly, we know poor sleep is the risk factor for all of the chronic diseases of aging." Fitzgerald her colleagues prescribed that the study participants sleep for at least seven hours each night. They were also advised to meditate regularly to reduce stress and induce relaxation.


What The Study Found

curly haired woman drinking from mug while sitting on couch
Shutterstock / simona pilolla 2

The scientists used a biological age clock to determine that study participants who undertook the recommendations were 3.24 years younger at the end of eight weeks compared to a control group who made no changes to their routine.

Summarized Hyman: "Everybody is looking at these expensive drug trials and all these mechanisms, very intense interventions, and you're saying eat better, exercise a little, sleep better, relax. And basically, you can reverse your biological age." And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor. Read more about Michael