50 minutes | Sep 13th 2020

Sue Armstrong: Unraveling the mysteries of borrowed time

The science of aging is rapidly evolving. Many of us are more aware of our capacity to live a long healthy life, than ever before. But the quest to understand human longevity - and perhaps figure out how we can slow down the process - is still a huge work-in-progress. Why do we age? Is it due to wear and tear on our bodies, is it all predetermined by our genes - or is there an invisible killer all around us, such as toxins in the environment, that is slowly eating away at our lifespan? These and many other compelling questions about aging are explored in a fascinating new book: Borrowed Time: The Science of How and Why We Age, by Sue Armstrong.  In this episode of the Live long and Master Aging podcast, Sue, a writer and broadcaster, based in Edinburgh, joins Peter Bowes to explore the latest research and the lessons to be learned from our growing understanding of what it means to grow old. 

  • Published: September 13, 2020 - 07:25 PT
  • Recorded: August 20, 2020

Visit the LLAMA podcast website for complete show notes, including a transcript of the conversation.

In this interview we cover:

  • Delving into the massive canvas that is the enormous issue of aging, and why it parallels climate change in its importance for the future of mankind. 
  • Adding life to years rather than years to life, as the main goal. 
  • Why the medical profession is behind the curve on the process of aging.
  • Why the goal of living to over a thousand or even forever is overly “narcissistic."
  • Our genetically predetermined fate, and why plays a relatively small role in our actual lifespan.
  • The centenarians that just keep on going and then die quickly
  • The goal of compressed morbidity
  • Peter’s meeting Roy Walford, one of the early proponents of a calorie restricted (CR) lifestyle for longevity. 
  • The mixed results from CR experiments involving monkeys. 
  • How society and marketing is pushing us into unhealthy lifestyles. 
  • The scourge of diseases of the mind and the latest theories on what causes dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.   
  • Ayurveda medicine and a holistic, whole body, approach to treating disease.
  • Could air pollution account for a significant proportion of Alzheimer’s cases? 
  • What is inflamm-aging?  Low grade inflation that could be accelerating the aging process.  
  • The lessons to be learned from longevity research. 
  • The relaxing, stress-reducing impact of yoga. 
  • The aging immune system, the dangers of sitting down for too long.
  • The mindful practice of eating: Why mealtimes should be stress-free and peaceful. 

The Live Long and Master Aging podcast shares ideas but does not offer medical advice.  If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.

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