Category: supplements

Calorie Restriction, Probiotics, and Gut Health

Gut Bacteria Is An Important Factor In Maintaining A Healthy Body And Mind

Calorie restriction has beneficial affects on basically every system in the body, and gut health is no exception here. Gut bacteria is made up of different types of bacteria, good and bad, and these play a significant role in the host. In fact, we have about 10 times more bacteria that we have human cells! If we could weigh all the bacteria we have, it would come to about 3-4 lbs!

Gut bacteria can change depending on many different factors, such as weight gain or loss, stress, and antibiotics, illness, and having a bad diet. Maintaining good gut health will provide us with many benefits, but can easily be wiped out by overuse of antibiotics. Gut bacteria can recover, within a few weeks of ceasing antibiotic usage, but if you use them often, then this can give bad bacteria a chance to grow and take hold.

Many of the foods people consume today which is loaded with sugar, processed and devoid of any nutrition, does nothing good for the gut. Is it no wonder there are now many kids suffering with IBS and other conditions related to the digestive system?

Calorie Restriction and a healthy diet improved my gut health

When I was younger my diet was really bad and I would put sugar on just about everything. Like many other kids, I had also been on antibiotics a few times during my childhood. Sometimes I really needed them, but other times, probably not. We now know the consequences of using antibiotics too much. Bacteria build up resistance over time and can cause disease, sometimes requiring even stronger antibiotics.

By the time I reached I reached high school, around 11, I had symptoms of IBS and got diagnosed by the doctor as having this condition. As far as I can remember, there was no real advice from the doctor, but suggested that anxiety might be making it worse. While this is true, anxiety can make things worse, it was not the cause of the IBS — it was my diet! 

I began strict calorie restriction in 2005, but began eating healthier in 2003. It wasn’t until I had completely overhauled my diet did I notice a significant difference in my gut health. For the first few months, interesting things happened, I won’t go into detail! Mostly that foods didn’t seem to digest or breakdown well. This didn’t seem normal to me and worried me, but many months after I began calorie restriction, my gut health was better than ever.

After some time All the IBS symptoms had disappeared. So why was the doctor not able to link my diet to my IBS problems? For one, he never even asked me or my mother about my diet at the time.  I had suffered from this condition all through high school and in college, but I didn’t have to if I had been told the important connection between diet and gut health.

I believe the main reasons why my symptoms disappeared was because I had cut out all processed sugar from my diet. I cut out sweets, and other junk food. I included lots of fruits, and vegetables in my diet, and also a bit of meat like chicken and fish.

I’ve since became ‘mostly’ vegan, but in inclusion of meat in my diet didn’t stop me from curing this condition. Calorie restriction has been found to improve gut bacteria in mice and dogs, whilst studies looking at obesity in humans have shown a negative effect on gut health.

Gut bacteria plays a huge role in our health

  • Supplying essential nutrients
  • Aiding digestion and gut health
  • Keeping the immune system healthy
  • Mental health
  • Skin Health
  • Longevity

When I had to take antibiotics

I’ve mentioned before that I have been prone to UTI infections when I was younger, and that once a person gets one, it is 50/50 whether or not you will get another one. I don’t suffer from them anymore, but I did have to take low dose antibiotics for years because of repeated bladder infections, most likely from prostatitis. At times, especially on high doses of doxycycline, during an active infection, I felt increased anxiety, which seemed to be alleviated by taking probiotics.

I also had suffered from overgrowth of candida from taking these antibiotics, but this eventually regressed by itself once I had ceased taking the antibiotics. Before I had combined the probiotics with my antibiotic, I noticed my skin would break out after finishing a course. These side effects though were prevented once I introduced probiotics into my supplement regimen.

What are the best probiotics supplements?

Healthy Origins Probiotic 30 Billion CFU was one that I found to work best for me and so of course I highly recommend it. It contains 8 different strains which are resistant to stomach acid, so you can just add to some food, or take them however you wish, which is great for those who can’t swallow tablets. I recommend to store them in the fridge, but you don’t have to. One important factor when choosing a probiotic is either that it has a coating on there to prevent stomach acid from killing the friendly bacteria, or that the bacteria are resistant to the pH of your stomach acid. The probiotic below meets that criteria.

healthy origins probiotic

Blend of 8 Probiotic Strains 30 Billion Colony-forming units

Lactobacillus acidophilus (La-14) 12 Billion
Bifidobacterium lactis (BI-04) 12 Billion
Bifidobacterium longum (Bl-05) 1 Billion
Lactobacillus rhamnosus (Lr-32) 1 Billion
Bifidobacterium breve (Bb-03) 1 Billion
Lactobacillus casei (Lc-11) 1 Billion
Lactobacillus salivarius (Ls-33) 1 Billion
Lactobacillus plantarum (Lp-115) 1 Billion

See Reviews for Healthy Origins, Probiotic supplement

 

Symptoms of an unhealthy gut

  • Frequent infections
  • Poor skin
  • Fungus / candida infections
  • Acid Reflux
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Autoimmune issues and allergies

Should you take a probiotic?

If you’ve have used antibiotics in the past, especially recently, then it is worth doing 1-3 months of probiotics to see if you benefit from taking one. I’ve talked about, and I’ve used Healthy Origins Probiotic many times before, and keep going back to it because it’s one of the better quality probiotics out there.

To help make the probiotics more effective, make sure to include plenty of foods which are prebiotic such as garlic, leeks, onions, almonds. Foods include things like kimchi, kefir, and yogurts are also great sources of good bacteria.

I don’t take this probiotic all year, but usually during the winter months or when going through some kind of stress, to help boost my immune system.

In this BBC Article it was reported that ‘Older people have 1000 times less friendly bacteria in their gut’ – and researchers have since found that probiotics improves immune function in elderly persons.

What is the best probiotic for seniors?

There are many probiotics out on the market, but in some products, the friendly bacteria inlcuded do not make it destination where they can be beneficial to you the host. Friendly bacteria need to be resistant to stomach acid, and therefore only certain strains will work. The probiotic above from Healthy Origins is also suitable for elderly persons. Probiotics in seniors have been found to be safe, and increases resistance to gastrointestinal diseases associated with antibiotic usage, and also helps with symptoms like constipation in the elderly [4].

 

References

1. Structural modulation of gut microbiota in life-long calorie-restricted mice
http://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms3163

2. Dogs Lived 1.8 Years Longer On Low Calorie Diet: Gut Flora May Explain It
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/04/070419160140.htm

3 Changes seen in gut bacteria content and distribution with obesity: causation or association?
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26474235

4. Review on microbiota and effectiveness of probiotics use in older persons

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4317609/

Supplements on Calorie Restriction

What Supplements to take on CR 

I had this question the other day and it’s been a while since I updated on my supplement regimen, so before I do, I’ll talk a little about my feeling towards taking supplements while practicing calorie restriction and what supplements I take and recommend for people practicing calorie restriction or on a raw food, vegan diet.

Avoid the Hype with Supplements

When I first started to read about supplements I was very excited to learn about all the amazing benefits and how they were little miracles in a bottle. Back then in 2005 the research on Resveratrol was only just starting to ramp up. Scientists had discovered that it was Sirtuin Activator and speculated that it might let one get the benefits of calorie restriction without having to actually do the diet. All one had to do was take a supplement or a pill that would be developed and be more powerful.  So as it turns out, resveratrol only benefits obese mice placed on a very bad diet. In mice on normal diets, the resveratrol had no effect on longevity.

This story with regards to supplements is repeated over and over again. At first everyone is excited that we might be on to something that works and will cure people of all their health problems, and then a well-designed study looks at the supplement in question and there is no effect. And what’s scary is that some supplements actually reduced lifespan in long lived mice and calorie restricted animals.

So given that I am skeptical about supplements, you would think that I skip them and not bother. Well, there are supplements that I think do have fairly good evidence, and also won’t do any harm in the long term. I mean, the last thing I want is to take something and then it blocks the life-extending effect of calorie restriction. So anyway, below is a list of the supplements that I feel are needed, safe, and most likely beneficial.

Calorie Restriction Supplements

Vitamin B12: If you are vegetarian or vegan I think that it is a very smart idea to take vitamin B12. It is water-soluble and you can take so much of this that you don’t really need to worry about getting into toxicity issues. As you know, I am a strict vegetarian and “mostly” vegan, so I take a Methylcobalamin (B12) supplement.

Magneisum Citrate: When I started calorie restriction I ran into problems with magnesium. Despite me getting plenty in my diet, I had magnesium deficiency symptoms that went on for almost a year before I figured out the cause. Within a very short period of supplements, the symptoms went away and have not returned in 8 years. Magnesium is also just calming and makes you feel relaxed.

Vitamin D3: I tend to do a lot of work indoors and go through periods where I am a night owl, and don’t get much sun, so taking a vitamin D3 supplement is important for me. I find that it helps improve my mood so much. Also, many people here in the UK don’t get enough even when they are outside often. Vitamin D3 is important for bones, immune system, and well-being. A few studies have also shown it to be very effective in preventing cancer and the recurrence of various cancers. I take at least 2000 IU a day.

Zinc: On a plant-based diet I get a lot of copper and not enough zinc. Since copper and zinc compete for the same pathway, it is crucial to get the correct ratio. It’s recommended that we have zinc-copper ratio of 8:1 to 10:1 — so at least 8 mg of zinc for every 1 mg of copper in your diet. I use CRON-O-METER to find out how much I am getting of each.

Allicin Max: The only stabilized allicin supplement out there and is one of my favourite supplements ever. I cannot tell you how many times I feel it has saved my from falling ill with colds. I take it every day now to protect myself, and I truly believe that it has helped me so much.

I had a bacterial infection years ago and nothing would work, no matter how many antibiotics I was given. I decided to try this supplement after a friend recommended it to me. Before I took it I decided to do some research and found that it acted synergistically with antibiotics to clear infections, by lowering the minimum inhibitory concentrate (MIC) and reversing resistance. In studies it worked on its own as a quorum sensing inhibitor and thus the bacteria cannot communicate well or create a strong biofilm, leaving them vulnerable to the immune system and antibiotics. I’ve had multiple bladder infections growing up and had to resort to antibiotics (they say once you get one, 50% of people have a recurrence), but eventually they became less effective. Trimethoprim stopped working, so I tried Doxycycline (sometimes long term low-dose) and it was great at first, but it was slowly losing its potency. E coli was the problem (causes 90% of UTI’s); and it was becoming resistant.

I was already taking other supplements like AHCC and/or Beta glucans to help with the immune system while taking those antibiotics. And I believe they did help clear it up fast, but for some reason it kept coming back. Ever since I added the Allicin to the mix, it wiped it out and has not returned in years! I’m sure Allicin helped me get rid of the problem for good.

Check out what others are saying about it also… It is available in creams and supplement form. (make sure you get Allicin Max if you’re in the UK and make sure the product contains allisure) It was also featured in the news a few years ago

Probiotics: I’ve taken probiotics for years because of my history with antibiotics. Although I’ve never felt any big negative side effects on my digestive system from taking antibiotics in the past, I’m sure things were out of balance because of other signs. I take at least one 30 billion CFU probiotic supplement every day, so this may have prevented the negative effects of antibiotics. Before I was vegan I would get much of my good bacteria from probiotics yogurts.

My Thoughts on Anti Ageing Supplements

Be careful. There’s a lot of misinformation out there that you want to avoid. Calorie restriction is still the most effective method to extend lifespan. You don’t need to take a huge stack of supplements. If we are to find something that mimics the effect of calorie restriction in extending lifespan, it is likely to come out of the science lab. The closest and most encouraging news lately is about something called Rapamycin. It is a TOR inhibitor and used to help people who have organ transplants. In animal experiments they’ve found that it extends lifespan, even when given late in life. And synthetic versions of this are being developed and tried in older people. There is  also a study in dogs to see if it extends  lifespan. Keep an eye out for news on Rapamycin!

References
1. Dietary supplementation with Lovaza and krill oil shortens the life span of long-lived F1 mice
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4082564/

2. Influence on Longevity of Blueberry, Cinnamon, Green and Black Tea, Pomegranate, Sesame, Curcumin, Morin, Pycnogenol, Quercetin, and Taxifolin Fed Iso-Calorically to Long-Lived, F1 Hybrid Mice http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23432089

3. Lifespan effects of simple and complex nutraceutical combinations fed isocalorically to mice.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24370781

Omnivore to Vegan

Sometimes a change will do you good

 

I’ve been reading and participating in various health forums on the internet since around 2003. It’s surprising how people can be so set in their beliefs about diet. It’s almost like a religion. If new evidence is presented that contradicts what they are doing, it’s quickly dismissed. Maybe there’s an emotional element and people get attached to their diets and their way. I understand that not everyone is able to interpret scientific papers and understand them, but educating yourself and keeping an open mind is very important – especially if you’re into extending your life. On  the other side, you have people who are constantly changing their diet every few weeks or months and don’t know which way to turn. Indeed, diet and supplements can be confusing, but perhaps we overcomplicate things too much sometimes?

I’ve had times in my life when I used to eat so bad! Days where my diet would consist of nothing but cereal, biscuits, chocolate, sweets, fizzy drinks, yet I felt pretty good! So we have to be careful with how we feel in the short term and use a little common sense, rationality, and look at the science as well as objective measurements of our health to judge whether or not a certain way of eating is good for us.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I’ve mostly been consistent with my diet over long periods of time. I’ve only made a few big changes, the rest were minor tweaks. Over 10 years a lot can change as we get new information and this can and should help guide us to make better choices. But we have to stay open to new ideas.

Changes I’ve made

I became vegetarian: I quit eating meat on my birthday on the 21st of October  2007. It was a very easy thing to do as I was never a big meat eater anyway. Unbeknownst to my parents, I would often give the meat to my dog. 🙂  Since becoming vegetarian,  my compassion for animals had grown to a point where I feel it’s no longer acceptable to eat animals because of ethical reasons. So I’ll never go back to eating meat ever again.

To replace the protein from meat I chose whey protein as a replacement. Unfortunately back then we didn’t know eating a high protein diet – especially whey – could prevent the decrease in IGF-1 hormone which has been linked with longevity in animals and humans. It’s also thought to now be an important part of why calorie restriction works to slow down ageing.

I lowered my protein intake: As more evidence was coming in showing low IGF-1 is an important factor in longevity, and possibly part of the reason why calorie restriction extends lifespan, I decided to lower my protein intake by remove whey protein from my diet. I had held back on making this change for quite some time after a study was published in 2008 showing that we had to lower both calorie intake as well as protein intake to achieve the desired decrease in IGF-1. I guess I was still questioning just how important this hormone was in the CR-effect.

By 2010 I was convinced that there was sufficient evidence to make the change. This was 5 years after I began CRON. I don’t regret consuming the whey protein for much of that time as I had been using it to help heal from bilateral achilles tendonitis which was caused by an antibiotic I took in 2007.  The problem persisted for two years and then went away.

Prior to 2010 the macronutrient ratio of my diet was 40% carbs, 30% fat, 30% protein.  In 2010 I changed it to 55% carbs, 30% fat, 15% protein. This still wasn’t at the 10% level that was recommended, but a significant decrease from before.

I went Vegan: After coming back from California in 2012 I had decided to become a vegan. I didn’t anticipate any real changes in my health from doing this, but I thought it was the right thing to do. From a health perspective, I wasn’t convinced that being a vegan was better for you than being a vegetarian. In fact, I believed that most vegans were not paying close attention to their diets and were likely to be missing out on important nutrients.  Having spoken with vegans in the past, it became obvious that not all understand the risks and deficiencies associated with such a diet. I remember having a debate with a girl who told me she didn’t need any b12 from her diet. She had been vegan for 6 months and felt totally fine. The problem was that she didn’t understand the body stores significant amounts of b12 and it can take years for any b12 deficiency symptoms to show up. I always thought vegetarianism is the safer option for children and adults, simply because of the lack of education on nutrition to be able to safely eat this way.

So anyway, now that I’ve taken out dairy and eggs from my diet, my protein dropped to about 10% of my total caloric intake.  As expected, no real big change in how I felt other than one small difference: I could breathe more easily than before. I guess I hadn’t realised that I had a problem at all because it was so minor! But removing these animal products from my diet cleared up this issue very quickly. Perhaps I really did have some reaction to the dairy. It’s not that uncommon.

Supplements: The other big change that I made in 2012 was changing my supplement regimen. I’ve taken a lot of supplements in the past. I would read through forums to find the best ‘anti-ageing’ stack, as I used to believe it would enhance the effect of calorie restriction. I’ve never thought supplements could actually replace calorie restriction as an anti-ageing strategy though.

Over the years we’ve seen reports that taking supplements could actually do more harm than good. None of us really wanted to believe this, but sometimes we have to facts. Supplements have repeatedly failed to protect against cancer in multiple clinical trials in humans. Studies have shown that supplements may even increase mortality. Yikes!

Early 2013 a study was published that questioned the use of dietary supplements in life extension. Stephen Spindler conducted a study on F1 Hybrid Mice by giving them a mix of supplements which were thought as the best candidates to mimic the effect of CR or improve health in some other way. These supplements not only failed to have any effect whatsoever.  In 2013 another study was published showing that not only did supplements fail to extend lifespan, in some cases, they actually decreased lifespan! And some of the supplements used are very popular brands and used among many in the life extension community. Now I only take supplements to correct any deficiencies in my diet, as well as vitmain D3 and Allicin.

Be Open to Change

Nutritional science is always changing our ideas what to eat or how much to eat. We all strive to find the best diet that works for us. It can take a while before you find your feet and figure out what works best.  We have to stay open minded and change when necessary. Remember it’s not just about how you feel in the moment, but it’s how you will feel 10 years from now. You might feel ‘energised’ by eating 30 bananas in a day, but what is that going to do over several years? Be careful with what you read and question things more. Do your own research! This is why I often provide scientific references in my posts. 🙂

Becoming vegan was definitely one of the best changes. I feel it is the right choice from an ethical perspective as well as for my health and longevity. And being vegan is super easy! There’s plenty of different foods. It’s really not limiting at all.

High Nutrition on a Low Calorie Diet

Low Calorie, High Nutrition

 

Doing Calorie Restriction the right way: I’ve come across a lot of diets over the last 10 years, and many of them seem to miss out on important nutrients or have serious imbalances which can cause some issues over the long term. When we judge whether or not a diet is working for us, we’ll usually just look at the physical changes of our body and not pay much attention to anything else. When eating a very low calorie diet, you really want to make sure that you pay extra attention to the nutrients you are getting to avoid deficiencies. For calorie restriction to work, this is very important. Slight deficiencies over the long term can cause increased rates of disease; they usually don’t kill you immediately. 

Deficiencies and imbalances: As a raw food vegan myself, I’ve had to adjust my diet slightly, as well as use targeted supplementation to protect against deficiencies and imbalances. Unfortunately, in the raw food community – which is growing in popularity – some people are being very ignorant when it comes to these potential hazards. Take for example zinc to copper ratio! These two minerals compete at the same sites for absorption in the gut; so getting too much of one can throw it out of balance and cause a secondary deficiency in the other.  In a raw food diet, copper is usually abundant in plant foods, so we get plenty of that. The problem lies in that we get plenty of copper, but not enough zinc, thus throwing out that balance. It’s really not uncommon to get 4 – 5 mg of copper on a raw food diet. Ideally, you want to aim for a Zn to Cu ratio between 8:1 to 10:1. So you want 8 – 10 mg of Zinc, for every 1 mg of copper in your diet. Getting these ratios correct is important because it can have significant effects on your health. Getting this ratio is important because elevated copper and low zinc will increase the burden of oxidative stress in the body, by decreasing levels of superoxide dismutase which is responsible redox reaction or dismutation of superoxide free radicals into oxygen and hydrogen peroxide. These enzymes are part of the intraceullular and extracellular antioxidant defense system in the body and are important for protecting against cancer!  Zinc is also involved in many catalytic activities involving 200 enzymes. It plays a significant role in DNA synthesis, cell division, wound healing, immune function and also prevents accelerated ageing.

Any imbalance here can very easily be corrected with supplementation. So if you have to supplement, please do! Signs of zinc deficiency will not show up right away; one symptom that I came across myself early on was dry rough hands. Other symptoms like poor immune system, skin problems, hair loss and more can show up. I’ve known a few people on high plant diets who had these problems and corrected them when they started to supplement. 

Garlic can enhance the absorption of Zinc: Taking garlic with your food can significantly increase the bioavailability of Zinc by 10 to 70 percent. Every time I have beans, I always try to include some freshly crushed garlic.

Other potential deficiencies on a raw food vegan diet: B12, Calcium and Iron. Unlike Zinc, these can be easily tested for, so get blood work done and supplement where necessary. I personally take a B12 supplement called Methylcobalamin; and I choose my sources of calcium wisely! Kale has more bioavailable calcium than spinach. So remember, even if your CRON-O-METER shows up that you met the recommended daily allowance (RDI), you still can be low.

Eat a diverse range of foods: This is one way to ensure that we are getting proper nutrition and all the protective compounds in plant foods. There are many types of fruits and vegetables which provide unique phytochemicals that are very beneficial to your health and longevity. One of the reasons I think eating a strict fruitarian diet is bad is because fruits have never been shown to be more beneficial than vegetables. Vegetables are much more nutrient dense than are fruits. Fruits can provide you with a lot of calories, but you get vitamins, less minerals, and fewer phytochemicals. 

The aim is simple: Get the most nutrients in the fewest amount of calories possible. A low calorie diet should ideally meet all vitamins, minerals, fatty acids with diet alone. If you can’t do that, then don’t be afraid to supplement where it is needed.  I’m no longer a strong proponent of taking huge amount of supplements unless there is a specific disease or problem to target. Sensible targeted supplement will only help you in creating a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle. A low calorie diet or a raw food diet is very healthy when done right. Unfortunately, a lot of people miss things on the diet because they didn’t have the right information or were misinformed by others.

What I eat in a week: I’ve had requests in the past by a lot of people to show what I eat in a week. So from Monday I will record everything until Sunday. I’ll put information in CRON-O-METER also. So look out for updates on this!


Reference 

1. Gautam S1, Platel K, Srinivasan K. Higher bioaccessibility of iron and zinc from food grains in the presence of garlic and onion. J Agric Food Chem. 2010 Jul 28;58(14):8426-9. doi: 10.1021/jf100716t.

2. Josko Osredkar and Natasa Sustar
Copper and Zinc, Biological Role and Significance of Copper/Zinc 
Imbalance
http://omicsonline.org/copper-and-zinc-biological-role-and-significance-of-copper-zincimbalance-2161-0495.S3-001.pdf

Forever Young

Update on my diet, supplements, and cosmetic routine

Skin: I wash with Neutrogena Gentle Exfoliating face wash and then apply Skinceuticals CE + Ferulic Acid to my face (3 drops). Apply Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 from Skinceuticals (mainly in the summer). At night time I will use cleansing wipes and apply Aloe Vera Gel from Aubrey Organics.
Lips: Blistex Lip Brilliance SPF15 or Burt’s Bees Lip Balm – Pomegranate (I apply throughout the day when needed).
Hair: Every few months I will switch between: L’Oreal – Elvive Nutri-Gloss and Herbal Essences Beautiful End Shampoo. I use Pantene Pro-V Clarifying Shampoo once a month. Conditioner either from L’Oreal or Herbal Essence.

Morning supplements: Vitamin D3 1000IU, Vitamin B Complex (every other day);  B12 on the days I don’t take B Complex. Zinc (15mg), Mangesium (300mg), and AllicinMax (Allimax in the US) 2 capsules with breakfast.

Breakfast:  Wholemeal bread (sometimes lightly toasted) with EVOO + 2 capsules of Allicin. Shortly after:

Oatmeal, Blueberries 80g, Almonds, 2 Brazil Nuts, 2 squares of Lindt Dark Chocolate 70%.

Lunch: Banana, Apple, Kale or Spinach Smoothie

Dinner a: Carrots, Corn, Green Beans, Peas (700 grams); Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 tbsp), Ketchup (low sugar/salt); 1 cup of Soy Milk with Green and Blacks hot chocolate. OR
Dinner b: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Carrots, Peas (700 grams); Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 tbsp), Ketchup (low sugar/salt); 1 cup of Soy Milk with Green and Blacks hot chocolate.
Desert: Anything that I want so to reach my calorie intake target; usually fruit.
Evening supplements: Allicin Max – capsules (I increase the the amount I take if there are any bugs going around). l-theanine 200mg

Drinks: I’ll have various drinks throughout the day, these include:
– Pukka 3 Mint Tea: Peppermint Leaf (34%),Spearmint Leaf (34%) ,Fieldmint Leaf (32%) – 4 tea bags per day.
– Licorice Tea
– Sencha Green Tea (I add ginger) – 5 cups a day minimum (2 tea bags per cup).
– Twinings Camomile And Spearmint Tea – 2 cups in the evening.

I try to keep my diet fairly consistent without much change as this makes it much easier. I enjoy everything that I eat, so it doesn’t bother me if I eat mostly the same every day. Occasionally I will go out for a meal with my friends, but this is just a few times a year.

A recently published study showed that various supplements have no effect on longevity so I have since discontinued taking them as there could be a risk of them interfering with the life extending effect of CR, or are simply just a waste of money! Another study showed that people taking large doses of multiple supplements had no effect on health (2). One supplement in particular that I have kept on taking is the Allicin Max. As long as I am taking this supplement, I haven’t come down with any colds, flu, or stomach bugs that go around. If I feel that I am more at risk of catching something, I will sometimes increase the number of capsules I take during the day. This seems to be the most effective supplement that I’ve found to prevent infections.

I had some blood tests done a few weeks ago and had a few surprising results. I barely slept the night before the test and this might have caused my neutrophil count to be higher than it normally is. I found a few studies that suggested even one night of sleep deprivation causes an elevation in white blood count, specifically neutrophils (reference in my blood test results link to the right of this page). My C reactive protein was undetectable, indicating no inflammation or infection either. My lipid profile was still good, but not where I want it to be. I suspect the reason for this is because in 2012 I got depressed after a serious breakup and went off CR a little by including bad foods in my diet and not getting much exercise. Since early on this year I’ve been back on a more strict CR diet and very focused. Overall the blood results were still excellent.

I feel back to myself now and so much happier than before. I’ve focused on my diet, exercise, relationships with family and friends, and the things I really want to do with my life. I feel so much healthier, I sleep very well, and things are just looking so much better right now. There’s going to be big changes to come in the near future that I’m very excited about. I’ll share with you soon!

1. Spindler SR, Mote PL, Flegal JM, Teter B. Influence on longevity of blueberry, cinnamon, green and black tea, pomegranate, sesame, curcumin, morin, pycnogenol, quercetin, and taxifolin fed iso-calorically to long-lived, F1 hybrid mice. PMID: 23432089

2. Soare A, Weiss EP, Holloszy JO, Fontana L.
Multiple dietary supplements do not affect metabolic and cardiovascular health. Aging (Albany NY). 2013 Sep 4. PMID: 24036417