The Morning Blend


Fountain of youth? The science behind living longer

Posted at 2:57 PM, Nov 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-16 16:57:48-05

Let’s face it: life expectancy in the U.S. is an issue. Ranked 39th in the world at 78.93 years, Americans’ life expectancy lingers behind dozens of comparable countries (take Japan’s 84.67 years). As if this trend weren’t hard enough to navigate on its own, the Coronavirus pandemic has taken over 200,000 American lives – and age is among the top risk factors for severe illness.

Americans are feeling overwhelmed. The pandemic has thrown their lives off track – physically, mentally, and emotionally. A recent survey shows 8 out of 10 Americans have changed their eating habits; they’re snacking more and moving less. 80% of mothers are dealing with mild to high levels of anxiety around COVID – it’s keeping 23% of moms up all night.

With no end in sight to the pandemic, Americans are desperate for advice on how to adjust and find ways to live their best life. American longevity expert Dr. Brian Kennedy is famous for his research in the biology of aging. He’s a visionary, translating research discoveries into new ways of delaying, detecting, and preventing human aging and associated diseases. Dr. Kennedy is joining viewers virtually from Singapore to give them knowledge and tools as they seek to find harmony, balance, and longevity amid the chaos.

Dr. Brian Kennedy will share key insights with viewers, and discuss the three top factors to increasing longevity:

Sleep for success: Did you know that sleep and longevity are directly related and can affect memory and immunity? Deep, consistent sleep is tied to good health – and too little of it may end up shortening your life. Researchers say that every 5% reduction in REM sleep increases mortality rates by 13% to 17% among middle-age and older adults.

Human Connection is Key: Social isolation and feelings of loneliness have become widespread issues in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic. Studies show loneliness and weak social connections are associated with a reduction in lifespan, and are as lethal as smoking 15 cigarettes per day. Recently, researchers found links between poor physical and mental health outcomes and major risk factors like social isolation, especially in older adult populations. In general, Dr. Kennedy will explain why social connection is so important to our emotional health and overall longevity and will share ways to stay connected despite distance.

Mindfulness over matter: One of the most essential aspects to preserving and enhancing your health is mindfulness – the ability to be fully present in the moment. Studies have linked “quieter brains” with longer lifespans. Dr. Kennedy will explain that mindfulness isn’t just about observing the thoughts in your brain – it also includes practices like forgiveness and time in nature that benefit emotional and physical health, and can reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety. Dr. Kennedy will share his tips and favorite reads on the subject.

The Science of Eating and Moving: Americans say the pandemic has thrown their eating habits out of whack. A recent survey shows Americans are snacking more and thinking about food more than usual. Dr. Kennedy believes a combination of proper nutrition and exercise leads to increased energy, mental clarity, and longevity. He will share how overall wellness and longevity can be positively impacted by eating foods that give your body the nutrients it needs to function at its best. Additionally, Dr. Kennedy will explain how periods of fasting can allow the body to rest and reset, and benefit processes in the body including cell rejuvenation.

About Dr. Brian Kennedy:
Dr. Brian Kennedy is internationally recognized for his research in the basic biology of aging and as a visionary committed to translating research discoveries into new ways of delaying, detecting, and preventing human aging and associated diseases. He is a Professor in the Departments of Biochemistry and Physiology at National University Singapore and Director of the Centre for Healthy Longevity in the National University Health System. From 2010 to 2016 he was the President and CEO of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. Currently he remains as a Professor at the Institute. Dr. Kennedy also has an adjunct appointment at the USC Davis School of Gerontology. He is also actively involved biotechnology companies, serving in consulting and board capacities, as well as Scientific Director of Affirmative Health. Dr. Kennedy is on the Board of Directors for L-Nutra, Inc. and serves as a Co-Editor-In-Chief at Aging Cell.