Longevity, Magazine

What is Longevity?

What Is Longevity Longevity Health Maintenance Moleqlar

Longevity is a real trend topic - not only in America, but increasingly also in Europe. However, while trends usually fade away after a short time, longevity has come to stay. And that's because it affects every one of us - more than you might expect.

The term "longevity" originated in the Americas and was synonymous at the time with a long life. Over the last few decades, the topic has also found its way into science and research - at a rapid pace. Studies on supplements and nutritional habits that have a positive effect on health and longevity have mushroomed. Knowledge around the topic of longevity is growing at breakneck speed. This development is so positive because trends are not usually evidence-based. Longevity is.

The great challenge in the molecular longevity jungle is that the groundbreaking results also find their way into the general public. This is already the case, not least due to bestselling books such as Lifespan by Dr. David Sinclair, or Outlive by Dr. Peter Attia. While science often fails to bridge the gap between experts and ordinary consumers, Longevity is already in the midst of life.

The term from ancient Rome

The term longevity, like so many important words, derives from Latin. In ancient Rome, clever minds combined the words longus, from the adjective long, and vita, from the noun life, to form the new expression longaevitās. This was understood to mean an individual who lived for a long time. Longevity is defined accordingly as "long life" or "a long life span". What about our current lifespan?

Research Medicine Society Longevity
Research, medicine and society determine the future of Longevity

Life expectancy put to the test

Life expectancy has increased considerably over the last century. While a boy or girl who saw the light of day in Germany shortly before 1900 had an average life expectancy of just 40.6 or 44 years, a baby today can expect to live almost twice as long.

According to the German Federal Statistical Office, the current life expectancy of a newborn child is 78.5 years (men) and 83.4 years (women). In countries like Japan, this figure is even higher. Nevertheless, these figures place Germany among the international leaders. Compared to the Greenlandic elephant, which can have over 200 years on its fins, this seems low - but the rapid increase in life expectancy for humans is outstanding.

Above all, it is indicative of the rapid progress in the fields of medicine and technology. In addition, changes in everyday life and in the world of work have contributed to turning our life expectancy upside down.

What initially appears to be a quantum leap nevertheless has a catch.The tunnel vision of curative medicine, led to thinking of ever new ways to cure, but neglected prevention and health maintenance. Illness, disability and frailty now dominate some of the newly gained life time and influence the quality of life immensely.

Healthspan versus Lifespan

While the lifespan is the total number of years that we live, the term health spanis how many years of our lives we remain healthy, free and free of disease. Although the global increase in life expectancy in the past has been followed by a parallel increase in healthspan, it has not quite kept pace.

The gap between lifespan and health span has even been scientifically recognized and is estimated to be around 9 years according to research. But that's not all. The World Health Organization (WHO) predicts that a child born in Germany today will spend only 71 (70.89) of the 82 (81.72) years of life in good health. The sober realization: 11 years of loss in quality of life. Longevity is fighting this discrepancy.

Life span Health span Gap

Longevity - the revolution of health

In the past, immortality visionaries in research consistently strove to extend life to 150 years and more. But what good are additional years of life if they are marked by disease?

"Longevity is only desirable if it prolongs being young, not drags out being old." - Alexis Carrel

Health promotion and maintenance advocates embraced Alexis Carrel's principle and gradually displaced the immortalists. The new resolution is to reach the same age, but fitter, more vital, healthier and more self-determined. If this then leads on top of that to a life extension, that is a nice side effect. These considerations coined the terms healthspan and lif espan.

In this context, it is also important to know that the influence of our genetic make-up on life expectancy is relatively small. According to scientific studies, this accounts for a maximum of 20-30 percent. The rest is determined by our behavior, attitude and environment. These have an effect on our epigenetics on our epigenetics. Put simply, you can think of epigenetics as a volume control. This means that epigenetics can turn genes up (the gene is read more strongly) or down (the gene is read less). In order to better understand all the molecular processes behind ageing, scientists have developed the Hallmarks of Aging defined. These deal with the hallmarks of ageing at a molecular and intercellular level. There are now 12 of these hallmarks.

Let's take a look at where the modern longevity concept originated.

Map of Blue Zones - where Longevity is lived.

Blue Zones - where Longevity is at home

Before Dan Buettner published the article "The Secrets of Long Life" in the journal National Geographic in 2005, the blue zones of our planet mostly meant the oceans. Today, the Blue Zones are five longevity hotspots.

At the time, Buettner and his team set out to find places where there were not only an above-average number ofcentenarians, but also groups of people who had grown old without health problems such as heart disease, obesity, cancer or diabetes. The American researcher found what he was looking for in the following five places:

  • Ikaria in Greece
  • Okinawa in Japan
  • Ogliastra in Sardinia
  • Loma Linda in California
  • Nicoya in Costa Rica

What do these places actually have in common? Naturally, this question also occupied Dan Buettner. First, his team noticed that the people in the Blue Zones live in a certain way quite isolated - be it on islands, peninsulas, in mountainous regions or small towns. Despite all the local segregation, they have access to modern medical care.

The Blue Zones are also located in sunny subtropical to tropical areas, making vitamin D deficiency a rarity. This is an advantage, as researchers suspect that a lack of vitamin D can shorten life expectancy.

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In addition, the inhabitants consistently maintain a lifestyle characterized by tradition and responsibility to the community. They live mainly on their own farms and work as shepherds and fishermen. This means constant movement and lots of time outdoors. Their diet consists mainly of local, unprocessed foods, while processed foods are rarely or never on their menu.

Even though our modern living conditions don't really allow for a similar way of life, we can still learn a few things from you.

Mark Hyman writes about this in his book Young Forever:

"Live close to nature. Love deeply. Eat simple food raised sustainably. Move naturally. Laugh and rest. Actually live (And live longer, as it turns out)."

Longevity Escape Velocity - The Hypothesis of Eternal Life

An exciting concept in the longevity scene is "longevity escape velocity". The term was initially coined by the British biogerontologist Aubrey de Gray, who achieved widespread fame with his book "Never Old!". What is meant by this is the following:

We all benefit from advances in medical treatments and technologies. This is also one reason why, on average, we are all living longer than statistical life expectancy would have suggested at the time of our birth. Nevertheless, we are still aging faster than science is making advances to slow down our aging process, for example.

Longevityescape vel ocity is reached when life expectancy increases by more than one year per year of research. In very graphic terms, this means that research is producing new useful findings so quickly that it could always provide all the answers to the questions of aging . The result would indeed be eternal life. Some experts believe that humanity is either on the verge of that or that we have already reached that point. Let's be surprised what the future will bring.

Image: shutterstock.com/Gustavo Frazao

Medicine 3.0 - the other way to heal

There are many different approaches to achieving and maintaining health and longevity apart from curative medicine. Be it the Functional Medicine of Dr. Wachnerthe preventive approach of Dr. Stoffel or the Biohacking Lab of Andreas Breitfeld.

Preventive and functional medicine, for example, sees the mismatch between the body and the environment as the cause of disease and aging processes.

Quite vividly, this is to say:

We humans are not made to be inflamed, stressed, unrested, infected, undersupplied with essential vital nutrients, and surrounded by toxins.

So what makes the functional approach different from curative medicine?

Viewing the body as an integrated system instead of a collection of individual organs assigned to different medical specialties is the focus of the functional perspective. It is dedicated to the entire system and not just the symptoms.

Known Longevity Personalities

Maybe you've already read Lifespan by David Sinclair or listened to Peter Attia 's podcast "The Drive". Maybe you've also read Mark Hyman's book "Young forever" or heard about Valter Longo and his fake fasting diet. People like these are partly responsible for the fact that longevity knowledge is reaching people far away from research. In books, podcasts and series, they try to put complicated scientific findings into simple words - with great success.

Dr. David Sinclair

When in September 2019 the book 'Lifespan - Why we age and why we don't have to' was published in September 2019, David A. Sinclair, PhD was well-known, but not yet the shooting star of the longevity scene that he is today. The captivating and exciting story of the molecular longevity pathways, which was published in German under the title 'The end of ageing - the revolutionary medicine of tomorrow', catapulted the Australian biologist and professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School to the top of bestseller lists in dozens of countries.

The supplements from the Lifespan Concept by Dr. David Sinclair

Spermidine

39,90 

943,26  848,94  / kg

Resveratrol powder

29,90 

996,67  / kg

Betaine (TMG) Powder

14,90 

124,17  / kg

Quercetin powder

29,90 

498,33  / kg

Dr. Mark Hyman

Mark Hyman is an American family physician, bestselling author and functional medicine practitioner. In his recently published bestselling book 'Young Forever', he describes food as medicine to support longevity, energy, mental clarity, happiness and much more. The doctor is an internationally recognized figure in the field of functional medicine and discusses many different topics related to health and longevity in his podcast 'The Doctor's Farmacy'.

Dr. Peter Attia

Peter Attia is one of the most renowned people in the longevity scene. The American doctor and health researcher is known for his podcast 'The Drive', in which he discusses a variety of topics for a healthy and long life with guests. Peter Attia also became known outside the scientific community with his new bestselling book 'Outlive - The Science and Art of Longevity'.

Dave Asprey

On a trip to Tibet, the American computer scientist Dave Asprey enjoyed a cup of tea with typical yak butter and noticed that he felt much better physically and mentally. This experience was the starting signal for a new life for the now entrepreneur and bestselling author of 'Superhuman'. He summarized his findings as the Bulletproof Diet and has set himself the goal of living to be 180 years old.

Bryan Johnson

The successful American entrepreneur invests several million dollars a year in his own rejuvenation program 'Blueprint'. You can read about the specific steps he takes and which supplements complement his strict dietary routine in our article about Bryan Johnson's Blueprint project. He describes himself as the "most studied" person on earth.

Epiage (epigenetic age test) by MoleQlar
Do you know how old you really are (biologically)? The epiAge test gives you an epigenetic answer to this question.

The path to longevity

Strategies to extend health span are many and include diet, exercise, supplements, as well as various high-tech methods. To improve life, we need to understand aging and the process behind it and focus on slowing it down.

It is enormously important to continue to devote time and resources to research in order to open up opportunities to underpin the pursuit of healing and long health with knowledge gain. Regardless of whether the drive is a single disease or aging in general.

While some well-known personalities take a very extreme path towards longevity, MoleQlar is about showing interested people all the possibilities. We want to help you improve your life. Whether this happens with supplements, changes in eating habits or other methods is completely up to you.

After all, good and long health doesn't start with a single test, nor does it end with a few powders to take sporadically. Health maintenance starts with you - with your willingness to learn more about your body and strengthen it.

An epigenetic age test can be a good start to find out where you stand. Based on this, certain nutritional hacks, the right exercise and selected supplements can support your journey towards a healthy future. A fairly new approach in longevity research is the proteome. The proteomics deals with the analysis of all proteins in your cells. This allows scientists to use a new approach to obtain information about your health. In collaboration with the renowned LMU, MoleQlar was able to launch one of the first proteomics tests. If you want to find out more about your molecular profile, this is a worthwhile introduction to longevity.

Ultimately, Longevity is many things. For us, it can be a kind of blueprint for golden times and, in a sense, a tool for self-healing. Research gives us tools - we just have to use them.

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Discover your proteome with the Molecular Profile test from MoleQlar. Find out more now.

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Graphics

The graphics were acquired under licence from Canva.