April 23, 2024
April 23, 2024

Living Long & Well: Emi's Proactive Approach to Longevity

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Living Long & Well: Emi's Proactive Approach to Longevity

As many of you know, my core philosophy is that the key to living a long and healthy life is being proactive about your health through early detection and personalized prevention. In previous issues of Living Long & Well, we explored emerging health optimization trends and heard from imaging expert and Ezra’s Chief Scientist Dr. Dan Sodickson on the pros and cons of full body scanning.

This month, I want to dive deeper into the specifics of the longevity protocol I personally follow based on the latest scientific research. While I'm an engineer and entrepreneur, not a doctor, I've become obsessed with studying the leading causes of mortality and strategies to minimize risks and maximize healthspan.

The Biggest Threats by Age

As the CDC data shows, the biggest threats to longevity differ dramatically by age range. For someone my age (38), the leading causes of death are unintentional injuries like poisoning or vehicle accidents, followed by cancer, heart disease, suicide and homicide.

However, if you fast forward to ages 65 and older, an entirely different set of risks predominate. The main culprits become heart disease, cancer, lung disease, stroke and Alzheimer's disease for both men and women.

So from a longevity perspective, the game plan needs to be two-pronged - minimizing premature risks in the present like accidents and violence, while also putting preventative measures in place to ward off the chronic killers like heart disease and cancer later in life.

My Proactive Protocol

Based on an exhaustive review of the scientific literature, here are the key pillars I follow in my personal regimen to stay ahead of the biggest longevity threats:

Daily Habits

  • 7-8 hours of quality sleep per night in a dark, cool room
  • Cardiovascular exercise like cycling or rowing + resistance training
  • Meditation and yoga to reduce stress and promote heart health
  • Mediterranean-style diet rich in veggies, nuts, fruit, fish and healthy fats. You can read more about longevity diets here.
  • 10% calorie deficit to promote longevity pathways like autophagy
  • Avoiding risky behaviors like distracted driving, walking or biking

Sleep allows my body to recover and repair cellular damage. Exercise decreases inflammation, improves cardiovascular fitness and builds muscle and bone density. Meditation keeps stress and blood pressure in check. And the mediterranean diet and caloric deficit have been linked to increased lifespan.

Weekly Practices

  • One 24-hour fast every other week to promote metabolic health. You can read more about fasting and its benefits here
  • Limited intake of red meat, processed meat and alcohol.

Fasting has been shown to reduce cholesterol and inflammation, key drivers of heart disease and other chronic illnesses. And while I enjoy an occasional indulgence, limiting meat and alcohol minimizes cancer risk.

Regular Screening & Monitoring

  • Monthly blood pressure checks
  • Quarterly blood panels for biomarkers like cholesterol, inflammation, multivitamins, and metals
  • Annual full body MRI from Ezra to screen for early cancer and 500+ other diseases
  • Other preventative screening like mammograms, colonoscopies, etc
  • Regular DEXA scans for bone density and body composition
  • Annual VO2 Max test to measure cardiovascular fitness

Speaking of cancer screening, a major recent update is that I've incorporated Ezra's state-of-the-art AI-powered full body MRI into my protocol. As I discussed in Issue 1, early detection can swing 5-year cancer survival rates from 20% to 80%. Given my family history of cancer, I'm not taking any chances. The full body scan from Ezra allows me to proactively screen for cancer anywhere in the body each year.

I realize some of these practices like fasting, cold showers and limiting alcohol and meat may sound extreme. But my philosophy is to make scientifically-validated lifestyle choices today that will allow me to remain healthy and active later in life. I don't want to suffer from preventable illnesses like heart disease, dementia or lifestyle-induced cancer in my golden years. When I’m 80 I want to be running marathons and playing with grandkids, not wasting away in a nursing home.

Of course, this is what works for me based on the research - I'm not a doctor and everyone should consult their physician on what's best for their individual circumstances. But I hope this provides a helpful framework for thinking about a holistic, proactive approach to longevity.

If you're interested in further reading, you can find my original longevity blog post that goes into more detail on the science here. You can also learn about my personalized workout routine tailored for healthy aging.

At the end of the day, my aim is to practice what I preach at Ezra - taking a precise, personalized and proactive approach to living long and well. I'll continue sharing updates as I finetune and optimize my longevity protocol over time.