In Episode #249, I’m joined by biologist Dr Matt Kaeberlein for a deep dive into biological aging.
“If we can understand and eventually modify biological aging, we can have an impact on all of these different functional declines and diseases that go along with old age.”
Humans have long been interested in the phenomenon of aging – today, scientists across the world are pursuing ways we can increase our lifespan. From pharmaceutical interventions to nutrition, supplements to sleep, there are endless roads to pursue. In Episode #249, I sit down with Professor Matt Kaeberlein to explore what we know about biological aging, and whether we can really achieve a significantly longer life.
Dr Matt Kaeberlein is the Chief Science Officer at Optispan Geroscience and a Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University (UW) School of Medicine. His research interests are focused on understanding biological mechanisms of aging in order to facilitate translational interventions that promote health span and improve quality of life for people and companion animals. Dr Kaeberlein has published more than 250 scientific papers and has been recognized by several prestigious awards including young investigator awards from the Ellison Medical Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association, the Star in Aging Research Award, the Murdock Trust Award, the NIA Nathan W. Shock Award, and the Robert W. Kleemeier Award for outstanding research in the field of gerontology.
“Biological aging is the root cause of most of the major diseases, causes of death, and disabilities in developed countries.”
In this episode, we examine where the science surrounding biological aging is now. You’ll gain a comprehensive overview of biological aging, including health span vs life span, and how we can extend them. Dr Kaeberlein explains the significance of genetics vs environmental factors, and offers his informed perspective on cell reprogramming, protein restrictions, polyphenols (including resveratrol), and much more.
Specifically, we discuss:
- Intro (00:00)
- Aging and disease (03:42)
- Evolutionary conserved processes and human life span (17:41)
- Biological aging: Are epigenetic tests more accurate in telling how well you’re aging? (26:29)
- Aging process and the burden of senescence cells (34:06)
- Keys to a longer, healthier life (45:08)
- Sleep and exercise (55:38)
- Calorie restriction, longevity, and prolonged fasting (1:15:23)
- Protein restriction and its implications (1:32:14)
- Plant protein vs animal protein (1:43:31)
- Natural occurring polyphenols and supplements related to longevity (1:53:06)
- Rapamycin and rapamycin derivatives (2:13:53)
- Anti-aging compounds (2:29:38)
- Ethical implications of prolonging the life (2:51:08)
- Outro (2:57:23)
With so much conflicting information available online – including from science communicators – it was very informative to hear a leading expert’s perspective in this conversation. Dr Kaeberlein approaches this topic with nuance and evidence, providing measured insight in a field often clouded by extrapolation and misinformation. There’s a lot to learn from this detailed conversation, and I hope you gained some valuable takeaways.
To connect with Dr Matt Kaeberlein, you can find him on Twitter and LinkedIn. Head to his website, https://kaeberlein.org, to learn more about his work. If the Dog Aging Project interests you, you can visit the website or read this article in Nature. Keep up to date with Optispan here.
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More about Matt Kaeberlein, PhD
Dr. Matt Kaeberlein is the Chief Science Officer at Optispan Geroscience and a Professor of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine, with Adjunct appointments in Genome Sciences and Oral Health Sciences. Dr. Kaeberlein’s research interests are focused on understanding biological mechanisms of aging in order to facilitate translational interventions that promote healthspan and improve quality of life for people and companion animals. He has published more than 250 scientific papers and has been recognized by several prestigious awards including young investigator awards from the Ellison Medical Foundation and the Alzheimer’s Association, the Star in Aging Research Award, the Murdock Trust Award, the NIA Nathan W. Shock Award, and the Robert W. Kleemeier Award for outstanding research in the field of gerontology. Advancement of Science (AAAS), the zerican Aging Association (AGE), and the Gerontological President of AGE, has served on the Board of Directors for the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology FASEB) and AGE, and has served as Biological Sciences Chair and on Council for GSA. Dr. Kaeberlein is the founding Director of the University of Washington (UW) Healthy Aging and Longevity Research Institute, the Director of the NIH Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging at UW, Director of the Biological Mechanisms of Healthy Aging Training Program, and founder and co Director of the Dog Aging Project. Dr. Kaeberlein received a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in Mathematics from Western Washington University in 1997. He then received his Ph.D. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2002. He has been a faculty member at the University of Washington.
- Caloric restriction improves health and survival of rhesus monkeys • PMID: 28094793
- Dietary intake of total, animal, and plant proteins and risk of all cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies • PMID: 32699048
- Exercise, Dietary Protein, and Combined Effect on IGF-1 • PMID: 33564731
- The association of grip strength from midlife onwards with all-cause and cause-specific mortality over 17 years of follow-up in the Tromsø Study • PMID: 27229009