Is Your Protocol Aging or De-Aging You? How to Get Tested and Find Out

  • by Nils Osmar. September 12, 2023
  • This post is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. 
  • See full Medical Disclaimer

How is our aging going? Testing can help us find out

We may “feel” healthy and fit and think we’re on an ideal diet, we can’t know what’s going on on a cellular level without testing.

  • The first time I did a blood test and entered the data into Aging,ai v3 in the past, it estimated my age as around 38 years. A more recent test came in at 42 years. I’m actually 7o. correlates well with the results of Grimage (it’s not identical, but shows the same trends). So both tests suggest I’m doing well, and may be reversing my epigenetic age.
  • It is possible, though, that the drift upward in age from 38 to 42 (in my most recent test) may be because I’ve cut so many plant foods from my diet – i.e., I may have gone a bit too far in an animal-based direction.
  • But it could also be that the opposite will turn out to be true; it could even be that going completely animal-based will move all my markers younger. The only way to find out for sure is to test.
  • On my current diet, I am healthier than I’ve ever been. Still it should still be interesting to shift the ratios and see what happens. It may be that sliding the lever a little toward more plant-based foods may make me age faster, on a cellular level; the only way to know for sure is to make the dietary changes then do the blood tests.

The tests I’m having done

The blood tests I’ve been getting, which give me all of the data needed to enter into v3 and the PhenoAge calculator (plus some data I want to clarify how my DHEA, testosterone and other hormones are looking) are all from LifeExtension. LE’s tests are pricier than some, but they use Labcorp, which is just a couple of blocks from me. The others use Quest, which is an hour’s drive away. The tests I’m getting from LE are:

  1. Male basic hormone panel (with sex hormones) $75
  2. CBC $35
  3. C-reactive protein $42
  4. So my total cost is about $152 every time I get tested.

About PhenoAge

PhenoAge looks at a few key markers, including:

  1. Albumin
  2. Alkaline Phosphatase
  3. Creatinine
  4. Glucose
  5. C-reactive Protein
  6. Lymphocyte – be sure to enter the % lymphocytes, not absolute lymphocytes
  7. Mean Cell Volume
  8. Red Cell Distribution Width (RBC)
  9. White Blood Cells

The latest PhenoAge calculator

  • The latest version of the PhenAge calculator is at the link below. Don’t use the older one online, it had an error. Use this one instead (which Mike Lustgarten was kind enough to share with me):
  • DNAmPhenoAge_gen v3 calculator

This test checks many more biomarkers, but its results come in very close in my experience to PhenoAge. See this page:

I posted a note recently in the Life Extension and Anti-Aging group saying that I’ll be trying an experiment, i.e., eating a few more plant products and a few less animal products for a few weeks, to see whether doing so affects my epigenetic age, as approximated by the aging calculators v3 and PhenoAge (both of which correlate closely with Grimage).

I realized after posting it and reading some of the comments that my post may have been confusing. One person actually PMd me to ask if I was “going vegan again”.

So to clarify:

  • This is just an experiment, which will last one month.
  • I’m not going fully plant-based on it. Been there, done that, it didn’t work for me. I lost muscle visibly and my immune system went on the blink during my three years as a vegan. I also developed mood and memory problems. My teeth hurt. My short term memory went on the fritz till I added more animal foods into my diet.
  • Something similar happened when I was eating Dr. Valter Longo’s so-called “longevity diet”. I started looking like the “before” image in the “before and after” images below. (The flabby, sarcopenic guy on the left is me when I was on Dr. Longo’s diet; the one on the right is me today, having gone more animal-based.)

Me these days

Okay, I’m not Hugh Jackman in Wolverine, but I do have more muscle than I had in my fully plant-based days.

Shifting the lever

  • What I will be doing is shifting the lever for one month, as an experiment, in a more plant-based direction, then testing to see whether doing so has any benefits.
  • I’ll still be eating my usual staples, i.e., fish, eggs, shrimp, meat and dairy. I’ll just be adding in more foods from the plant kingdom for a few weeks (green salads, lentils, avocados) before my next blood test to see what affect it has on my markers.
  • I’ve been eating in an “almost carnivore” direction for a few months; I’ll be shifting back to a diet that’s about 50% plant-based, by volume, for a while, to test my blood markers. The other 50% will continue to be a combination of fish, eggs, poultry and meat.

For example

  • Here’s an example of how I’m eating this month (since going “slightly” more plant-based): a meal that has both animal-based foods (salmon) and plant-based foods (lettuce and tomatoes and avocado, lemon) (Yes, I know there are some oxalates in the avocado.).
  • A totally animal-based diet, like I was eating for a while, would have only the salmon.

When this test is over…

… I plan to try different variations, including:

  • Eating strictly carnivore (meat only) (Anthony Chaffee’s approach) for a month.
  • Eating carnivore-plus-fruit (Paul Saladino’s approach) for a month
  • Eating a “strict” Acciarolin diet (lots of fresh garden vegetables plus lots of sardines, anchovies, rosemary, and some eggs, chicken and rabbit meat)

…. and getting tested at the end of each to see the effect on my biomarkers.

Not medical advice

This article is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. I’m not advising that people eat any particular diet or take any particular supplement(s), just reporting on what I’m doing. Supplements, like medications and other interventions, can have side effects; I would encourage people to research both possible benefits and side effects before starting on any supplementation regimen, and consult with a medical professional about any issues which might have a medical component.  See full Medical Disclaimer

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