Episode 1: Peter Attia on how to live longer and better

Episode of: STEM-Talk

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Mar 1, 20161h 20m
Episode 1: Peter Attia on how to live longer and better
Mar 1 '161h 20m
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Dr. Peter Attia, the guest for this episode of STEM-Talk, is a modern-day “Renaissance man,” says IHMC CEO Ken Ford. That term gets tossed around a lot, but in Attia’s case, it’s true. He is a top-notch physician, a former McKinsey consultant, and an ultra endurance athlete—who once swam twenty-something miles to Catalina Island, off the coast of California. During the podcast show, Attia talks about his academic journey, from studying math and engineering, to then pursuing clinical medicine and developing research interests in longevity. The birth of Attia’s daughter marked his interest in quantity of life—as well as quality of life. Attia discusses his eight “drivers of longevity,” all of which depart from the concept of preventing the onset of chronic disease. These include optimal nutrition, exercise, sleep habits, hormone optimization, stress management, sense of purpose/social connections, medications, and avoidance of harmful behaviors. Check out Peter Attia’s blog “The Eating Academy,” at http://eatingacademy.com. You can also check out his TED talk “Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem? https://www.ted.com/talks/peter_attia_what_if_we_re_wrong_about_diabetes?language=en STEM-Talk’s host Dawn Kernagis and Ken Ford chats with Peter Attia. 3:25: In college, Attia volunteered at a children’s hospital, which inspired his interest in medicine. 4:08: Ford notes that math and engineering provide a useful background for medicine. Attia later notes that his early academic background in both these subjects “still colors how I look at the world.” 4:32: Attia’s advice to college students who are aspiring physicians: “I think you should study anything that you are not going to learn in medical school.” 5:25: Two things drive significant change in a person’s life: “abject misery and profound inspiration.” The former drove Attia out of clinical medicine. 6:27: The birth of Attia’s daughter spurred his interest in longevity. 7:05: Commercial break: 8:32: Centenarians get diseases 20-30 years later than most people. 9:20: Longevity is first and foremost about delaying the onset of chronic disease. 10:13: Animal literature shows that caloric restriction increases longevity; so do drugs that prevent mTOR (mammalian target of rapamycin). 11:52: Eight things improve longevity and quality of life: food, exercise, sleep patterns, management of chronic stress, hormone optimization, medications, sense of purpose/social support network, avoidance of harmful behaviors. 12:28: Accidental death is the fourth or fifth leading cause of death in the U.S.; 80 percent of these are auto accidents, accidental poisoning and falls. 13:09:  Ford and Attia agree that trade-offs sometimes exist between interventions likely to increase lifespan and those aimed at aimed at increasing healthspan. 15:50: People who consume fewer calories are likely to have a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer; they may also have more deficient immune systems and greater susceptibility to catastrophes like falls. 16:10: Caloric restriction creates an environment of cell signaling, cell growth, and nutrient sensing that slows down aging. 16:36: One of the greatest challenges in studying longevity is the inability to accurately measure biologic signals such as mTOR activity. 17:08: Attia characterizes protein optimization: “We want to see IGF-1 levels lower; AMP kinase more active; Ras less active.” 18:36: “Three things I walk through life wanting to keep at a minimum,” Attia says: How to minimize mean level glucose, variability of glucose, and insulin AUC (area under the curve). 19:24: Attia eats 125-150 grams of specific carbs per day, at times when he can maximally dispose of it. He also wears a continue glucose monitor that measures glucose every five minutes. 20:47:  Ford and Attia discuss the benefits of a ketogenic diets and the implications for IGF-1, mTOR, insulin,

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