Inflammaging is chronic low-grade inflammation that develops with advanced age. It accelerates the process of biological aging and contributes to many age-related diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, cancer and chronic heart disease. Inflammation is clearly one of the root causes of most diseases. It causes us to age more rapidly, but if we implement certain lifestyle changes, our actual age might be higher than our biological age.
All eight steps in my book “Unleash Your God-given Healing” decrease disease and inflammaging. Why? Because they enable your God-given immune system to work as God intended. Fasting is another way to keep inflammation and aging processes in check. COVID-19 is looking for weaknesses in our armor. And inflammation is behind the top comorbidities, which are causing an exaggerated reaction to the virus in the form of a cytokine storm.
Thankfully, most infected people are fully recovering from COVID-19. According to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, the top five deadliest underlying conditions for COVID-19 are heart disease (66%), diabetes (56%), neurological disease (30%), bronchitis/COPD (29%), and kidney disease (23%). COVID-19 is a wake-up call for all of us to get back in shape or stay in shape. The CDC adds sickle cell, thalassemia, pregnancy, smoking, and those with compromised immune systems to this list. In one study, the number of men who died from COVID-19 was found to be 2.4 times that of women.
Age (see chart below) is the number one risk factor for complications with COVID-19. Obesity is the number two risk factor. So anything we can do to improve our biological health and reduce our BMI to within normal ranges will help.
For the past week, I’ve been involved in an online week of intermittent fasting with 7500 other people and Dr. David Perlmutter. He is a well-respected neurologist and bestselling author who has also become quite a proponent of intermittent fasting for the health of our body and brain.
Interviews are posted daily and below is a part of a very interesting discussion about Inflammaging with Dr. Jeffrey Bland:
Dr. Bland: We know for a fact, and there are many, many studies now demonstrating this, that if you do certain things – time-restricted feeding, or fasting itself – you can reverse the biological age of your immune system. You can repattern the immune system through the process of autophagy, to get rid of these senescent zombie cells and to replace them with young, fresh, active immune cells through a process of how you eat, when you eat, and the amount you eat. This is a major scientific breakthrough. It goes way back to studies that were done in the 1950s and 1960s showing that caloric restriction in animals could lead to upwards of a 30% increase in their longevity. But then we didn’t have a mechanistic understanding. Now the mechanism is starting to become much more well understood, and it’s that we’re actually rejuvenating these cells, particularly immune cells, through a process that gets rid of damaged cells and replaces them with younger cells.
Dr. Perlmutter: I’d like you to tell us more about that, how that might be beneficial for our immune function.
Dr. Bland: To me, this is one of the major scientific breakthroughs of our era. This is the kind of stuff that wins Nobel Prizes. We’re starting to recognize that by taking the load of eating off our bodies, we move into a different physiological state function. This new state is such that it activates the ability of our body to cleanse damaged cells in the process of autophagy, while also simultaneously leading the renewal of new immune cells, and in so doing, because you’re getting rid of these damaged cells that are building blocks of inflammation, you’re also getting rid of the burden of inflammation. This enhances the resilience of your cells to be able to handle the stress of living, like coping with viral infections (of note right now), more effectively.
Dr. Bland: So I think we’re witnessing a true transformation in recognizing that it’s not just what you eat, but it’s how you eat it and when you eat. That is also extraordinarily important in modulating our biological function, our biological age, and our process of aging.
It’s encouraging to know that fasting reverses the biological age of our immune system. That’s great news as we continue to face COVID-19 and as I put a plan in place to prevent the recurrence of my cancer. This autophagy is key to our health and allows our biological age to be younger than our actual age. In addition, after one week of intermittent fasting, I’ve reduced my body weight by three pounds.
What are you doing to reverse the biological age of your immune system?
For Your Health,