In my bestselling books “The Fat Flush Plan” and “Radical Metabolism,” I discuss the neglected and overlooked weight-gain factors, beyond just diet and exercise, which are major contributors to our current obesity epidemic. I target liver and gallbladder congestion, sluggish thyroid, excess inflammation, yeast overgrowth, and hormonal imbalance as potent factors “weighing us down” and which also lead to accelerated aging.
Now, in “Radical Longevity,” I turn my attention to the multiple factors and underlying Rules that play a pivotal role in longevity. My 7 New Rules for Radical Longevity are:
New Rule #1: Immunity Is Everything
New Rule #2: Take On Toxic Overload
New Rule #3: Stop AGEs (Advanced Glycation End Products)
New Rule #4: Free Up Fascia for Youthful Movement
New Rule #5: Activate Cellular Rejuvenation
New Rule #6: Mind Your Minerals
New Rule #7: Optimize the Gut-Brain Connection
We live in a wondrous yet still challenging time. Just consider that Alzheimer’s is the fastest-growing disease in our day and age, more people have cancer now than did in 1971 at the start of the “war on cancer,” and the number of individuals with diabetes and prediabetes is more than the entire population of our grandfathers’ era.
At the same time, it’s exciting to reimagine our future and find new meaning and purpose in our later years in this era of increased longevity. We can fearlessly and boldly embrace lifestyle strategies that address our physical and spiritual needs. We are all yearning to maintain health, create community, and leave a legacy. We’re taking salsa lessons. Starting businesses at fifty. Planning our “second act” at sixty-five. Jumping out of airplanes at seventy. Hiking the Himalayas at seventy-five. We’re living much longer than our parents and grandparents did. We are “sage-ing,” aging wisely and gracefully, growing in all ways as we age. We’re driven to retain and regain our vitality. We’re on fire with purpose and possibility as we enter the third trimester of our lives. We will not settle for platitudes, and we will not be patronized.
Yet there are several threats to our vitality and overall health. Quite simply, a healthy body depends on a clean body. As we approach our prime-time years, a clean body becomes increasingly unattainable. Toxins are all around us, hiding in the food we eat, surrounding us in the environment, and even created by our body’s own metabolic processes. Our immune system weakens from the toxic toll, and we grow old before our time, gaining weight and becoming vulnerable to heart disease, cancer, and a host of autoimmune disorders.
Staying young and healthy in a toxic world can be a daunting task. Although not terribly radical, one of the most reliable, viable, and widely accepted theories today is that aging itself is caused by oxidative stress. Free radicals (also known as reactive oxygen molecules) do their dirty damage to our cells and tissues by weakening and altering cellular membranes, which allow bacteria and viruses to enter the body. Free radical damage destroys genetic coding, resulting in cellular chaos that can lead to deteriorating changes in our tissues and organs, including our brain.
Those most fundamental things we do—even breathing and eating—can cause our body to react with an oxidation response. It’s perfectly normal. But with a larger toxic burden already present in the body, it’s a process that often goes awry. You may not realize it, but you’ve likely seen this process in action. When metal becomes oxidized, for example, it develops rust. When you slice open an apple and leave it in the air, you can plainly see that it turns brown. Oxidation turns fats rancid (if you’ve ever had old olive oil, you know what I’m talking about). You should also know that the same thing happens in your body: Fat becomes rancid—a process that scientists call lipid peroxidation. This process can set your cardiovascular system at risk for the buildup of unwanted lumps of fat and other debris in your arteries. These clogs are often the instigators of heart attacks and strokes.
These free radicals contribute to arthritis by oxidizing joint fluid, making it less lubricating. They can cause DNA damage to your cells, making cell membranes so rigid that nutrients can’t get in, and ultimately make the cell so fragile that it breaks, allowing toxins to come in and fluid to drain out before it finally collapses. This is why this process is considered the root cause of aging and disease, from cancer to Alzheimer’s.
Most approaches to fighting free radicals focus only on controlling their devastating effects. Yet the root causes of oxidative stress are shockingly ignored: the hidden killer that is iron overload and copper toxicity; the deceptively innocent but potentially harmful substances appropriately known as AGEs (advanced glycation end products) from certain foods and cooking methods; invisible radiation from cell phones and Wi-Fi; and bioincompatible materials in our mouth (dental materials, cavitations, gum infections, and root canals in the oral cavity).
Radical Longevity is my effort to expose the top toxic invaders of our time and, most importantly, show you how to eliminate them from your life. You can find the book and three free health guides at RadicalLongevityBook.com.
An adapted excerpt from RADICAL LONGEVITY: The Powerful Plan to Sharpen Your Brain, Strengthen Your Body, and Reverse the Symptoms of Aging by Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS. Copyright © 2021. Available from Hachette Go, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc., on May 11, 2021.