Am I Getting Any Younger?

First follow-up on "Anti-aging pills aplenty"

I started taking “life extension” supplements about a year ago. About time. I’m 80. Here them are:

Nicotinamide Riboside 300mg/day
Trans-Resveratrol 100mg 3/2days
Pterostilbene 100mg 3/2days
quercetin 800mg/day

(“3/2days” means that I take those two every night, and alternating between them every morning. I take the NR every morning and the quercetin morning and night.)

This little mix is what’s new in my fairly wide-spectrum and ever evolving “regular” supplements mix. I’ve been doing one variation or another of that for almost 60 years. One of these days, I’ll run over that list and tell you why I use each one. Fascinating stuff; I’m sure you can’t wait.

I started with NR based on the reading I referenced here. Added in Pterostilbene after I realized my first NR product Basis by Elysium had it, so I added it as a solo ingredient when I tried Live Cell Research’s Niagen - straight NR.* Trans-resveratrol, derived from Japanese knotweed came next after I was fascinated with new research I was reading about resveratrol in general and the trans version struck me as “exotic.” And cheaper. Quercetin is being redefined lately based on a few research papers that say it helps dispose of, sometimes accelerate, dead cell accumulation. I’m doing it for the helluvit. It’s not too expensive, and I can find no downside effects.  I’ve been at this…

Nicotinamide Riboside   ---  12 months
Pterostilbene                  ---   11 months
Trans-resveratrol           ---     8 months
Quercetin                       ---    3 months [Update on quercetin]

It’s high time I made a subjective report.

Long story short:  I feel better generally than I have felt in some years. Hard to know how many years, but maybe 10 - 12. 

Slightly more specifically, I’d put the main improvement in my head and (wait for it!) my mitochondria, i.e. all my parts that are made of cells. I’m talking All Over.

The “head” part is easiest to describe. My attitude has improved, more optimistic, better humored, slightly daffier. Sometimes it feels very slightly hypo-manic, but mostly just “a better attitude.” This is significantly different than where I seemed to be slowly sliding into over the last few years: a worsening attitude, less optimistic, grumpier and less daffy. And way less glib. 

Example. Elsewhere on this blog there are descriptions of the crazy YouTube thang I’m doing, “Spider and Olde Scooter.” I did not have the energy and audacity to try something like this in the last three or four years. I used to have it. Pretty much my whole life I did a lot of audacious stuff, so I recognize the feeling as something “younger.”  I’ve also picked up the pace of my writing, and the ideas are coming easier again.  So that’s the head thing.

The “all over” mitochondria improvement is just a construct in my head based on a few observations and maybe some high power placebo effects. I think skin abrasions, cuts, etc. are healing faster. I get a lot of them here on the farm. My sense of smell had been fading badly in the last ten years. Now my smeller is working better, and occasionally I get a real olfactory rush, the smells of spring or home cooking blasting through full throttle. I’ve lost weight and I feel stronger in the arms. My typing speed is back to prime time. Almost. 

The “glib” part goes like this: There has been noticeable (to me, maybe to everyone) slippage in my extemporaneousness. To do the Spider thing, I have to ad lib parallel tracks of game narration and bonkers asides, and do both without a lot of pauses, ahs and ums. I am convinced I could not have done this last year. I was running into word holes, some loss of threads and the usual olde fart stuff. This new state actually reminds me of my overnight DJ days when I was a Ken Nordine wannabe. That was when I was 20.

Every time I experience something like that, I am just sure it’s the pills. For certain I could be wallowing in self deception, but I like how it feels.

Full disclosure here, in early January this year, I went in for my annual checkup with my cardiologists. Atrial fibrillation! showed up on the electrocardiogram. This jibed with the occasional breathlessness and vertigo I have experienced for years. Timing is everything, and I happened to be “in a-fib” when the wires were attached with little, hair-pulling stickies.

I scheduled a “cardioversion” treatment, electroshock paddles to startle my heart rhythm back into sinus (regular) beating. It worked. My a-fib hasn’t come back, even though all the docs kept saying that cardioversion had a spotty record for long-lasting remission effect.

Also, cold turkey, I stopped drinking on Jan 25, just after my 80th birthday. This is after 60 years of drinking some almost every day. Wine most nights, booze fairly regularly, beer when I’m hot. It’s not settled, but there is a case that long time, chronic boozing raises your chances for a-fib.

So there’s an argument that much of the improvements I’m seeing comes from suddenly living cleaner. However, most of the improvements were evident in the months before that. I do think the weight loss comes from the considerable calorie cutback.

What’s needed here are some actual, factual measurements. Are my wounds really healing faster? Can I talk better? Was my a-fib recovery unusual? Impossible stuff because I have no data on those issues to track.  So, subjective are us.

I have, according to a CT scan a couple years ago, a spine “packed with arthritis” and scoliosis that makes one leg an inch shorter than the other and stuff like standing up straight after sitting an act of self discipline. I’m 2 ½ inches shorter that I was at 60. My hips hurt on hikes. 

I’m pretty sure none of the supplements I’m taking would have prevented that deterioration, even if they had been available. When I isolate the effects of this cranky spine, and check the rest of me, that’s where I judge myself to be feeling just swell.

So I am going to stick with this regimen. I figure it’s costing about $60 a month, which thank heavens I can afford. Lots couldn’t. 

I’ll report again in a year, or whenever anything really good or bad happens.

*I'm currently trying Tru-Niagen, another straight NR product. If I settle on one, I'll tell you.

** pix credit
*** pix credit


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