Dr. Sinclair stays a whole decade younger than his actual chronological age in years, likely from consuming a plant- and nut-based diet along with getting plenty of sleep.
David Sinclair is 53 years old, but according to his biological age, he’s 10 years younger. Biological age measurements are important, because they’re based on the body’s internal status at the cellular level, which can impact one’s overall life expectancy.
As a Harvard professor and co-Director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School, Sinclair has devoted much of his career researching aging and longevity. Along those lines, his biological age readings strongly suggest that he’s made strides in applying what he’s discovered through research to his own health. Sinclair has broken down his diet and longevity-promoting habits, which others can follow to get a better handle on how to stay young.
According to Sinclair, our epigenetic clocks — an age estimation based on DNA molecular tags (DNA methylation) — start ticking from birth. As such, people in their 20s who think they’re impervious to aging and illness are mistaken, because what we do during our 20s can modulate our epigenetic clocks to affect our longevity. For this reason, it’s never too early to start watching your health and thereby begin to slow the aging clock.
According to Sinclair, he started working on slowing his aging clock in his early 30s. To slow his aging, he began skipping breakfast, avoiding sugar, and taking resveratrol — a molecule found in red grapes that has anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.
Sinclair says that three meals per day plus snacks are just too much. Consuming this much food puts the body in a state of abundance, which turns off longevity genes. Along those lines, people should start incorporating a period of fasting, like skipping breakfast, into their daily routine starting in their 20s. Younger people should avoid this form of fasting to avoid malnutrition or starvation.
Sinclair says that going 16 to 18 hours without eating a large meal is important for his diet, which incorporates this form of daily fasting. “That’s basically having a very late lunch or large dinner,” said David Sinclair in an interview.
A typical day for Sinclair encompasses sleeping at least six hours per night, preferably seven to eight hours, though. While sleeping, Sinclair lays on a temperature-adjusting bed that lowers his body temperature during the night so that he can get the deepest of sleep. The bed also warms the body back up toward the morning. Intriguingly, the bed monitors and records his heart rate throughout the night so he can assess how well he slept.
Once awake, Sinclair focuses on his oral health. He starts his day by rinsing his mouth with coconut oil to improve his mouth microbial composition — microbiome. Then, he has hot water with a fresh lemon. Once that’s finished, he brushes his teeth with non-toxic toothpaste.
Following his oral health routine, he makes his way down to the kitchen and eats a little bit of yogurt mixed with polyphenols — plant-derived molecules with anti-inflammatory effects. One of the key polyphenols he mixes with yogurt is resveratrol, a compound from red grapes shown to confer anti-aging benefits in rodent studies. He then drinks one or two green matcha teas, containing polyphenols and another anti-aging compound called EGCG that may prevent cancer.
When Sinclair goes to his office at Harvard, he works at a standing desk throughout most of the day and does his best to avoid sitting. He also continuously drinks water and hot tea throughout the day until dinner.
Once dinner arrives, Sinclair consumes plant- and nut-based meals, including rice, almonds, couscous, crushed cassava, and milk made from nuts. Interestingly, Sinclair has completely eliminated alcohol from his diet. He’s also dumped dairy products from his dietary regimen. Since stopping his former red wine and cheese-based diet, he has regained a sharper memory. For example, while on the former diet, he had difficulties remembering phone numbers and key codes, but since eliminating alcohol and cheese, he finds these tasks simple enough. In essence, he says he’s been able to recover his 20-year-old brain.
Sinclair aims for doing a weight-lifting routine three times per week. He also tries to go for a run daily, and if he doesn’t have the energy for a run, he’ll go for a walk instead. Along those lines, he says that his most significant health-related challenge has become getting himself moving.
Sinclair’s biggest piece of advice for people wanting to extend their lifespan is to remain consistent with their age-slowing health habits. He recommends trying your best to adhere to your longevity-promoting plans under whatever circumstances you find yourself in. Also, don’t find excuses to splurge or disregard your healthy habits.