Finnish study is more evidence for life extending effect of increased toughness

A study of Finnish adults found that hitting the sauna four times a week lowered stroke risk, echoing previous research that found heat therapy has positive effects on the cardiovascular system.

Older adults who like to bask in the heat of a sauna may be less likely to suffer a stroke, a new study suggests. The study (Journal Neurology – Sauna bathing reduces the risk of stroke in Finnish men and women) , of more than 1,600 Finnish adults, found that those who hit the sauna at least four times a week were about 60 percent less likely to suffer a stroke over the next 15 years — versus people who had only one weekly sauna session.

Stressing your body to boost its ability to recover and restore balance is recommended by Dr Joon Yun. Sitting in a hot sauna forces the body to be able to maintain and restore its temperature. It also helps the body to regulate blood pressure.

Frequent sauna users have lower rates of heart disease and dementia, compared to infrequent users. There’s also evidence the sessions lower people’s blood pressure, and make the blood vessels less stiff and more responsive to blood flow.

50% lifespan boost and then beyond

Dr. Joon Yun, Palo Alto Partners, discussed his efforts to increase human longevity at the 2017 Foresight Vision Weekend.

Teams of scientists and medical researchers are competing for the Palo alto Longevity Prize’s two $500,000 awards, the Homeostatic Capacity Prize and the Longevity Demonstration Prize. The former will go to the first team to demonstrate that it can restore homeostatic capacity of an aging mammal to that of a young adult. The latter will go to the first team that can extend the lifespan of its mammal by 50 percent of acceptable published norms using an approach that restores homeostatic capacity.

The ultimate goal is to apply any successful findings by the teams to humans. A 50 percent increase in today’s average lifespan would take today’s baby boomers to around 110 years. The oldest person in recorded history lived to 122. It’s already common to hear that today’s young people will have an average lifespan of 100 years, which would take them to 150 years if the Longevity Demonstration Prize’s results were successfully applied in time.

While Yun would welcome a healthy 150-year lifespan, even that is a baby step compared to what he thinks is, at least theoretically, possible: a healthy lifespan beyond biblical proportions. A normal 25-year-old has a one in 1,000 chance of dying from outside forces in a given year. If declining homeostatic capacity were not a factor, a 1,000-year healthy lifespan is theoretically achievable. The mortality rate of a healthy 15-year-old is 0.01 percent in a given year, which could theoretically translate to a 10,000-year lifespan.

Homeostatic capacity is the capability of systems to self-stabilize in response to stressors. A simple way to visualize homeostatic capacity is to imagine a WeebleTM, the popular self-centering children’s toy. For organisms, it is life’s foundational trait—itself comprised of a hierarchy and network of traits—endowed by nature and shaped by selection. Because the trait is inborn and so pervasively effective, feeling healthy feels like “nothing” when we are young. We become aware of it only after we start losing it midlife. Roller-coaster rides begin to leave us nauseated instead of joyous. We can’t tolerate hot or cold weather like before. Sunny days feel too bright and reading menus in low lights becomes more difficult. Recovering from stressors—a late night, hangover, or injury—suddenly take far longer than it used to, if at all. Consider changes that we can’t feel. When we are young, homeostatic capacity returns elevated blood glucose and blood pressure to base levels. As homeostatic capacity erodes with age, those levels may no longer self-tune. We call these conditions diabetes and hypertension, respectively. Indeed, the panoply of ailments associated with aging may be epiphenomena of eroding homeostatic capacity. If so, could restoring homeostatic capacity end or reverse aging?

Functional Longevity

New tests and approaches can let you measure and improve your functional health.

Reinvent Diagnostics

We use heart rate and blood pressure and other static variables but those do not change. We need to have dynamic diagnostics.

The speed that heart rate recovers after exercise varies with age and health. Heart Rate Variability and other dynamics diagnostics can measure your current health.

Your dynamic health can be increased beyond what you were born with. High-performance athletes have been able to achieve this.

Allostasic response can be measured for
– body temperature. Increase or decrease the temperature and see how quickly the body can restore temperature
– altitude
– body ph

Reinvent therapeutics

Currently high blood pressure drugs lower blood pressure. However, we should try the opposite. Give doses of medicine that increase blood pressure to increase the capacity of the body to recover. Train the body to recover more and recover faster.

Reinvent lifestyle

Try to increase the variability in diet, variability in exercise.

Joon Yun recommends the Wim Hof breathing exercise

Take 30-50 deep breaths. Then breath out and hold your breath for as long as you can. Then take a deep breath in and hold it.

Regular people can increase their breath holding capacity to 3 minutes or more.

The Yun family has a $500,000 Homeostatic Capacity Anti-aging prize

A $500,000 Homeostatic Capacity Prize will be awarded to the first team to demonstrate that it can restore homeostatic capacity (using heart rate variability as the surrogate measure) of an aging reference mammal to that of a young adult.