Have you heard of the Rejuvenation Olympics?
This is a global “competition” currently comprised of 1,750 people designed to see who can reverse their rate of aging the most, and who can create the biggest reversal in their rate of aging through lifestyle changes.
Anyone can enter.
This is all made possible by the TruDiagnostics PACE epigenetic test, which is an at-home test that analyzes how fast or slow your body is currently aging at the cellular level.
For the first time ever, you are now able to accurately measure the rate at which your body is aging, based on your epigenetics. It appears to be quite accurate, so much so, that it’s now being used in clinical research, which I’ll cite later in this segment.
This test gives you a number based on a baseline of 1.00, which would be a standard rate of aging. If the test gives you a result larger than 1.00, you are aging at a rate faster than a normal human being, and anything under 1.00, means you are again at a rate slower than a normal human being.
The higher the number above 1.00, the faster your rate of aging, and the lower the number below 1.00, the slower your rate of aging.
For example, if you were to take a PACE test, and your result was a 1.12, that would mean you are aging at a rate of 12% faster than a normal human being. If you received a 0.85, you’d be aging at only 85% the rate, or 15% more slowly, than a normal human being.
This test also shows that through lifestyle and/or diet improvements or changes, you can directly affect the rate at which your body ages, and can, in fact, reverse, or slow your rate of aging.
Meaning, you don’t have to just accept aging, and all the age-related disease risks that come with it. Even better, you can now test your lifestyle and diet changes over time and see how they impact your rate of aging positively or negatively.
Take this test every 6 months, 12 months, et cetera, and you can see if your lifestyle at the time of taking the test and leading up to it is improving (slowing) your rate of aging, or causing you to age more quickly.
The ability to reverse aging is due to our epigenetics, so let’s do a quick primer on epigenetics.
Epigenetics refers to the study of changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence. These changes can be heritable and can influence how genes are turned on or off without altering the DNA sequence itself.
Epigenetic mechanisms include DNA methylation, histone modification, and non-coding RNA regulation, among others. These mechanisms play critical roles in regulating gene expression patterns during development, cell differentiation, and response to environmental factors.
The TruDiagnostics PACE test measures these epigenetic mechanisms and can then determine the rate at which your body is aging as a result of your epigenetic expression.
The key point to understand about epigenetic expression is that we can influence it both positively and negatively.
Only a portion of our genes are set in stone and inherited. The other portion is your epigenetic gene expression, and this can, and will change over time, and you can positively influence these gene expressions to live a longer, healthier life, free of disease.
How the PACE Test is Being Used to Draw Conclusions on Healthy Diet and Lifestyle
A recently published study titled, Diet Quality and Epigenetic Aging in the Women’s Health Initiative, was aimed at determining whether or not diet quality affected your rate of aging.
This may sound obvious, however, they state in the abstract that it is well-known and studied that poor diet quality increases risk of various diseases, however, it has not been studied as to whether or not poor diet quality has an actual impact on the rate at which the body ages.
Thanks to the PACE test, they now know the answer.
It’s important to note that this study was conducted on post-menopausal women, however, it’s reasonable to assume that the findings would carry over to humans of both sexes, and all age ranges.
It’s also worth noting that they did perform other epigenetic tests along with the PACE test, however, do note that the PACE was most noteworthy.
The authors of the paper state, “In postmenopausal women, diet quality scores were inversely associated with DNAm-based measures of biological aging, particularly DunedinPACE.”
Meaning, the lower the diet quality score, the faster the rate of aging, and conversely, the higher the diet quality score, the slower the rate of aging.
The results and subsequent conclusion aren’t surprising I’m sure, however, it is nice to be able to now actually test these kinds of variables and know for certain how they affect our rate of aging.
Lifestyle Habits of the Slowest Ages in the Rejuvenation Olympics
The great thing about the PACE test is that it allows you to test variables in your lifestyle, both lifestyle and diet, to see how they impact your rate of aging.
It can also lend proof or insights as to maybe how poor lifestyle habits are causing you to age more quickly, such as eating a poor quality diet rich in ultra processed goods, refined sugars, and seed oils, as exhibited in the aforementioned study.
A recent article titled, “This 55 year-old single mom makes less than $100k per year, and is reverse aging without spending millions. Here is her daily routine.”, highlights the habits and lifestyle of the individual with the slowest rate of aging on the Rejuvenation Olympics leaderboard.
Many of those “competing” in the Rejuvenation Olympics are uber wealthy, some billionaires, with million dollar plus yearly longevity and anti-aging budgets
Which means studying their lifestyles probably isn’t too realistic.
What makes this noteworthy of course is that the person at the top of the leaderboard, with the slowest rate of aging, makes less than $100k per year, and thus, studying her habits and lifestyle can probably provide some realistic takeaways that you can apply.
Julie Gibson Clark is aging at a rate of 0.665. At 55 years old, this means she biologically has the body of a 36 year old.
Here is a breakdown of her lifestyle and routine:
✔️ She limits refined sugars, grains, and eats veggies.
- Pretty simple right?
- She eats about 16oz of vegetables a day. That’s not too hard. Heck, a fresh, cold-pressed juice has on average 32-48oz of fruits and veggies in it.
- They don’t mention her protein intake, however, if she limits grains and refined sugars, and is eating a fair amount of veggies, but not an amount anywhere close to providing a significant amount of calories, it’s reasonable to assume the remainder of her diet is probably rich in high-quality protein.
- We do know a diet rich in protein is definitely associated with longevity.
✔️ Strength training and moderate cardio
- Her workouts consist of two days per week of upper body strength training, two days per week of lower body strength training, and one day a week of strength training targeting her core.
- She does 20-30 minutes of cardio 4 times per week, which is quite moderate, and then on the weekends, she likes to get outside and get moving by going for hikes, long walks, kayaking, and playing pickleball.
- Much like higher protein intake, we know strength training is closely associated with increased longevity.
✔️ Sauna and a cold shower
- At least 3 times per week, Clark uses the sauna for 20 minutes followed by a cold shower.
- A motivation to keep going
- Clark is quick to note that her routine isn’t hyper intensive, which probably allows her to play more of the long game and avoid over exertion or burnout.
- She credits a motivation to live a longer, healthier life as a key factor in her consistency.
All of the above findings in lifestyle and diet and how they impact the rate of aging mentioned in both articles above don’t tell us anything we didn’t already know to some extent.
However, the key takeaway from this is that we now have firm, substantial evidence both scientific, and anecdotal, on how diet and lifestyle affect our rate of aging.
Thanks to the PACE rate of aging test, we can directly correlate higher quality diet and positive lifestyle habits with a slower rate of aging, something I’m sure we’d all love to be accomplishing.
As for me, I’ve yet to take a PACE test, but as I mentioned last week in my blog, “The human body is a battery: how the body uses water, light, and native EMFs to generate cellular energy”, I mentioned that I’m turning everything up a considerable notch this year, testing more biohacks, supplements, and lifestyle habits to see how they improve my overall performance, output, and happiness on a daily basis, so it would appear that a PACE test is in my very near future.
Beginning with last December 21st, each and every subsequent day leading up the summer solstice is progressively getting longer and longer.
That said, we’re still in the winter months, dealing with later sunrises, and earlier sunsets, which means most of us wake up before the sun rises, and at the time of writing this, is around 7am.
Again, just last week I discussed how the body responds positively to natural light.
This is especially true in the morning.
Natural light exposure to start the day, especially with your eyes, sends a cascade of signals to the brain to properly set your circadian rhythm, which will have you sleeping more soundly at night, along with triggering a host of neurotransmitters and hormones that directly affect your sense of well-being, your energy levels, immune function, and even metabolism.
So what do you do if you are up before the sun rises and there is no natural light to expose your eyes to?
DO NOT immediately turn on those artificial LED or fluorescent bulbs most of your houses are probably outfitted with. These light waves are non-native, and will trigger a stress response, and not set your circadian rhythm, which is literally the opposite of what we should be after.
Rather, outfit your house with old-school incandescent bulbs that emit red or amber light.
Red light is a native light wave that is part of the morning sunrise, and exposing your eyes to red light first thing in the morning will mimic a natural sunrise, and help you set your circadian rhythm, as well as helping to yield that positive hormonal and neurotransmitter response, even if you wake before the sun is up.
You can buy separate lamps, outlet lights, and countertop fixtures that you outfit with red light bulbs, and use first thing in the morning. They provide plenty of light to get by before the sun is up.
I’ll even work out in my home gym area in pure red light if the sun is not up yet.
Furthermore, I even purchased a red light mask that I throw on first thing in the AM to get direct red light right on my face for 20 minutes as part of my morning routine. I actually wake up 20 minutes earlier now just to do this, as I find it that beneficial.
The illusion of choice.
In life, there are choices, and there are options.
Options are the numerous daily decisions we make that are inconsequential, like choosing the clothes you’re going to wear for the day.
Choices are the decisions we make that have consequences, whether good or bad.
These are the decisions that matter.
Making the decision to eat healthy, exercise, and focus on self improvement, over eating processed foods, skipping the gym, and focusing on stressors over self care, are, all decisions we make that have potential positive or negative consequences for us.
However, if you want to be happier, healthier, more successful in your life, heck, think of anything positive you aspire to be or accomplish, the decisions are pretty clear and obvious when faced with choices.
We know we should consume healthier, whole, unprocessed foods.
We know we should exercise more regularly.
We know we should go for more walks, journal, read more, spend more quality time with family and friends.
When it comes down to it then, choice is really just an illusion.
Of the many options we have in life, spend as little time on those decisions as possible. Don’t give these relatively inconsequential decisions much time, energy, and head space.
In doing so, you create more mental bandwidth, and thus more clarity when it comes to the real choices in life, and when you do that, you will find yourself more consistently on the right side of choice, the side we know we ought to be on.
After all, choice is a mere illusion.
If you want to be happier, healthier, more successful, all of the above, or whatever you aspire to be that is positive, it ultimately takes what it takes.
We know this.
Our gut doesn’t lie.
Lean into that, and if you do, you will find in most cases, the choice is clear.