My Most Recent Diet: Could I Be Gaining More Muscle But Aging Faster? I’ll Be Testing to Find Out

  • by Nils Osmar. September 11, 2023
  • This post is not intended as, and should not be taken as, medical advice. 
  • See full Medical Disclaimer

I’ve been doing more blood testing recently, to see if I can sort out the results of shifting my diet and supplements in different directions – for example, eating a more plant-based or animal-based diet.

I started my anti-aging journey by following David Sinclair’s advice, but found that I was slipping into sarcopenia when I cut back on protein and leucine and went more plant-based. So I started eating more animal-based. I went further in this direction a few of months ago, when I began significantly more meat and (for 2 or 3 months) very few plant-based foods. I cut back specifically on greens.

I then tested to see if I could see a difference in how Pheno Age and v3, both of which correlate to a degree with the DNAm Grimage clock, interpreted what was happening internally.

The results so far

Eating more animal-based felt great actually, and helped perceptibly with my concussion recovery. (I had had a concussion three months ago when a folding chair I was sitting in suddenly collapsed and the top of my head cracked into the wall behind me.) (This was fortunate, actually, because, according to the doctor, if I’d hit with that much force on the back of my nead, I might have needed speech therapy to communicate.)

My recovery started off a little slow then seemed to gain steam once I cut back further on plants. So it’s been an interesting experiment. I also got a gash on my head during the fall, and some minor cuts; they healed almost literally overnight. My impression was that, for me at least, more animal foods and fewer plants correlated with more stamina, more mental clarity, and more rapid healing.

I also noticed a bit faster muscle growth when I increased my consumption of meat, eggs and dairy, Since I’m 70 years old and was slipping visibly into sarcopenia two or three years ago. I’m trying not to start sliding back in that direction again. So animal-based has been good in that sense.

However… could I be aging faster?

While I was happy to be maintaining and even adding a bit more muscle, my most recent blood draws suggests that I may be getting (just a little) epigenetically older instead of younger. (I’m still quite a bit younger than my chronological age.

For example, according to the age calculator v3 I was 38 years old about four months back, but it estimates me as 42 in the most recent blood test. (I’m really 70 years old, so both numbers are good.)

Of course, this “aging effect” could also be a result of the concussion. I felt for several weeks as if I’d aged two or three decades overnight after it occurred. But it also could be because I’ve been cutting back on plants,

So I’m trying an experiment…

… eating “more” plant-based again

To be clear, I have not given up eating animals. I’ve tried several times over the years to give up eating animal foods, including three years as a vegan. Every time, I developed health problems which cleared up immediately when I added back in animal foods. I wouldn’t go vegan again for a million bucks; it’s just not worth it to me.

But I am experimenting with adding a few more p[ant-based foods into my diet (temporarily), as a way of testing the effect on my epigenetic aging). (While still eating what to me is a healthy amount of fish, poultry, meat and eggs.)

For the past few months, I was decreasing consumption of foods like green salads, mushrooms, kidney beans, down to almost zero; now I’m increasing them again, and cutting back a little on animal foods. I’ll be doing another blood test at the end of this month; it’ll be interesting to see whether the shift in a somewhat more plant-based direction is reflected in the results.

I’ll share the results

\I’m holding off on posting the specifics because, as the saying goes, “one swallow does not make a spring”, and one blood test, when viewed alone, may be misleading. Various random factors can affect the results, including whether you slept well the day before the test. When I’ve taken another test, that’ll give me four, so I should have a good idea of any trends, I’ll post all of the results and how they end up correlating (or not correlating) with my dietary changes.

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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