The Reasons Humans Die and What You Can Do to Greatly Extend Your Life
Let me just start by saying that there are all kinds of easy statistics to look up on the internet about how we die and how old we are when we die on average. So, for example, 70% of the people of the USA that do die are by five major diseases that we’ve all heard of. Atherosclerosis beating heart attacks and strokes, 800,000 a year, cancer, 600,000 a year, Alzheimer’s 120,000 a year, diabetes, 85,000 a year. And then respiratory diseases like the flu, pneumonia and, of course, now COVID-19 normally about 55,000 a year. This year it’ll probably be a couple of hundred thousand as we know.
And in addition to our lifespans being limited, our health spans are being limited. That is, in other words, we have a much shorter, really feeling great type of life. And almost all of these deaths and short health spans are related to what’s called chronic inflammation. Another part of the problem is, imagine, $3.5 trillion or 20% of GNP, in other words, $1 out of $5 the country spends is spent on healthcare. And 70% of that is spent on people over 65. So, if we could cure aging, imagine the money we could spend and save to do other much more worthy activities in our country. And I’m sure most people have heard this, we men live to about 80 and women live to about 85. And the maximum normal lifespan is 117 for women, 112 for men in the US.
If that isn’t bad enough, most of us have heard that the obesity epidemic is kind of crazy. Right now, 40% of U.S. adults are obese. They lose 13 years less of their lifespan, and they use 20 years of their healthspan. So 40% are obese, so that’s 32% are overweight. 10% of the people have type 2 diabetes and they lose 10 years of life expectancy and 15 years of healthspan. And 45% of the people in the U.S. have high blood pressure, which based on a huge trial called the Sprint Clinical Trial, where the results were so obvious they had to stop the trial, people with high blood pressure have an overall higher mortality rate of 27% than those people who have lower blood pressure. And all of these, obesity, overweight, diabetes, high blood pressure lead to this chronic inflammation.
So what we’ve come up with is nine steps to an unlimited life. And the way we got into this was, we started reading references. I read 30 books on longevity, and most of the rest of the co-founders have read at least 10 or 15. We started by saying, “Let’s assume the hypothesis of what we want is an unlimited life.” If we’re going to assume that, well, let’s re-engineer it. What do you have to do to get there? After months of work, we came up with nine steps towards an unlimited life. And so what we do at the Institute is just translate the cutting edge of longevity and age reversal science into a series of simple steps that are genuinely understandable by almost everybody. And, of course, what we want, to compel people to immediately take action. That’s what we do.
And so, here’s how we do it. We are continuously analyzing, summarizing, and organizing this immense amount of longevity and age reversal research. There is a worldwide forum of scientists and researchers in 90 countries sharing their research. And now, of course, with the global internet, it gets shared quickly. And so, the amount of learning that we’re doing throughout the world is just unbelievable. That’s essentially what results in our nine steps towards this unlimited life. And many people have heard of Simon Sinek, a very great consultant with a global impact. His TED Talk is one of the five most popular ever.
And he says, every company can describe what they do. I just described ours. Every company can describe how they do it. I just described ours. But very few people can describe why they do what they do. And if you have a compelling, why, you’re off on a great path to differentiate the company. So we just have a really modest why. Our why is to enable billions of people to live an unlimited life. So just a modest, small life, but that’s really what drives all of us.
There are two other engineers. We have a Chief Operating Officer, Debra Burchard. Our Chief Medical Officer is Dr. Jeffrey Boone from Denver, a world-class cardiologist known globally. And then we have four regional medical officers spread evenly around the country. West, Midwest, South, and East. So it’s a core team of about 10 people, half engineers, half doctors, and all these doctors are leading what’s called, a longevity practice. In other words, you can’t say I have an MD in longevity like you can in radiology or cardiology. There’s no board certification for longevity. So, most doctors who emphasize that, and that’s what they’re working on, they will call themselves a functional medicine doctor with a longevity practice. So all of ours have this longevity practice.
Yes. The main assumption is of a hypothesis or assumption is essentially, an unlimited life. What does it take to live an unlimited life? And we just worked backward from there. Now, one of the reasons we have a bunch of engineers on the team, is there are six technologies that are growing exponentially. Most people have heard of all of them, nanotechnology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data, CRISPR, and all of those feed into longevity. And with this worldwide forum of longevity practitioner sharing, it’s just an explosion of information. So, longevity technologies are growing at an exponential rate.
And even the prestigious organizations now are into this. JAMA, the Journal of American Medical Association, the most prestigious medical journal in the world, just had an article that said, human lifespan may increase by 20 years. Then Scripps Institute and the Mayo Institute that many people have heard of, are essentially saying things like it looks more and more like aging as a disease is a treatable one at that. And then we’ll talk about this much later, but for the Life Extension Institute, a combination of rapamycin and metformin provides the largest overall longevity increase. And then you add to that the amount of money going into longevity. All of these techno wizards like Elon Musk, Mark Zuckerberg, Gates, the founders of Google, are putting billions of billions of dollars into longevity.
So there’s just an explosion of money going into longevity research. So now, let’s just drop back and quickly look at the reasons we die. Because you got to go find out what the problem is from a medical standpoint, not just a disease standpoint. Well, let’s assume we were doing everything right and didn’t get any diseases. Well, how come we die anyway? Well, it’s this, is the loss of capability of our tissues and organs to maintain and repair themselves. That’s the bottom line of why we’re going to die no matter how healthy we are.
And there are four contributing causes to this. One is, our body builds up dead or what are called senescent cells. And they’re also called zombie cells because they don’t quite totally die and contribute to chronic inflammation.
Second, there is a large protein in our body that helps us grow from baby to adulthood quickly, which is good, but it doesn’t turn off. So if later in life we get diseases like cancer, then it’ll grow fast. So, many have heard of people who get diagnosed with brain cancer and are gone in a couple of weeks, or pancreatic cancer gone within a couple of months. That’s because of this protein, the medical term is mTOR, which causes whatever happens to grow fast.
Third, every cell in our body has a coenzyme called NAD+, which helps repair cells. The trouble with it is as we age it goes away. And at age 80 there’s only 2% left. And there’s a very strong correlation between males living to about 80, and when they get to 80, there’s not much NAD+ left.
And then the last reason is, the fourth reason why we die, right in the middle of our chest there is the finest gland which controls our immune system, and by age 70, it has shriveled up and died. It explains why so many elderly people over 70 get flu, pneumonia, other viruses, of course, like COVID, and are gone quickly. So, those are the four main reasons we die. And this chronic inflammation is endemic in all of them.
And let me just drop back and mention inflammation for a couple of minutes. Acute inflammation is good. So if we get pneumonia or we get a cut, then all those immune cells, the white blood cells go rush again to fix it. And if it’s a really bad cut or a really bad infection, the backup immune cells, the researchers call them hand grenades, they come in and blow up everything in sight just to make sure we’re going to get rid of whatever it is that’s hurting us. And so that chronic inflammation then will start attacking everything if it doesn’t go away. And if you look at what causes this chronic inflammation, and all of us had a little bit of it, many people a lot of it, all the diseases we hear about is caused by chronic inflammation sooner or later.
And here’s what causes it. There are four reasons. One – low-level infections that last a long time, Lyme disease, for example. Two – bad genes. So most of us have great genes, it’s just a few people who have bad genes. Like 1 in 400 women has the bad breast gene. Three – There are environmental factors that can cause chronic inflammation, bad air, bad water. And four – there’s all these poor lifestyle choices, obesity, stress, advanced glycation end products, which we’ll talk about in step three, smoking, alcohol abuse, poor diet, lack of exercise, poor sleep, insufficient fiber, you can just keep a list going. All of those, we all have control of, by the way, as we all know. That’s the lead-up to the nine steps.
We all have our talents in life and we all have things we don’t do well. I have a whole bunch of stuff I don’t do well. Luckily, I’m usually able to hire somebody who can take that over. But one of the talents I do have and I’m not too sure why I’ve got it, well, that is, making the complex simple. How do you blow down a bunch of complex stuff and give it to people, whether they’re salespeople or researchers so that they can take off and be successful?
Let me give you the biggest of big pictures on these nine steps. The first is, get sufficient sleep and deep sleep. Next is, a healthy diet. So we don’t have disease, infections, fatigue, and poor performance. The third is, eat a diet tuned for a healthy gut microbiome to avoid, imagine, 11 diseases and three conditions. Four, keep our biomarkers in the optimum range and do frequent testing, if they’re out of the range, get them back on the range. Five, take appropriate supplements to ward off disease. Six, take a few prescription drugs that have are off-label. We hear a lot about this off-label business in our COVID response. And many of these will have an off-label use to enhance longevity. And then, remember the four levels, the causes of aging I just went over. Step seven is, how do we slow those down? Step eight is, rejuvenate our stem cells and exosomes, the particles that stem cells emit to fix ourselves. And then nine, take the most important step. And that is, stay abreast of all these new and emerging protocols and therapies that greatly extend life and be an early adopter. Don’t wait for a medical trial. So those are the nine steps.