How to stay young – was BBC’s programme accurate?

Could you sit down cross legged and stand up without hands? I’m 58 and worked out how to do it – just! My 100% Health programme includes a few simple tests like this that more accurately give you a biological age.

Volunteers then had their DNA methylation tested. Methylation is what controls reading and repairing DNA. It’s totally dependent on your B vitamin intake, especially B12 later in life. That’s why measuring your homocysteine is the best measure of methylation. Lowering homocysteine with B vitamins is the only proven disease-modifying treatment for preventing dementia and slowing the ageing process, but I’ll bet you £100 that the H-word doesn’t get a mention, nor the need for older people to supplement B vitamins.

The other really good measure is your telomere length. These are like the hard bit at the end of a shoelace, except the shoelace in question is your spiralling DNA contained in a chromosome. When you run out of telomere length it’s game over because you can’t make new cells. I wrote about this in my report How to lengthen your life and your telomeres.

Dr Chris van Tulleken did particularly badly on his methylated DNA test and put it down to stress. My guess is it partly because he believes that you can get all the nutrients you need from a well balanced diet and probably doesn’t take supplements. In previous broadcasts he been anti-supplements and ill-informed about vitamins. I wrote about this in The Vitamin C Pee Myth.

Beans and lentils got a plug due to their presence of high-resistant starch. Inulin, a resistant starch, is present in chicory root. It’s one of my favourite ‘sweeteners’ with close to zero effect on blood sugar. I’m going to be writing about resistant starch in my next newsletter. Then next plus were nuts. They are high in plant sterols and part of my low GL diet, together with lots of foods high in resistant starch.

We met Elsworth, a vegan, looking and feeling great at 101. He’s a Seventh Day Adventist who follow a very healthy lifestyle. In studies on these people the vegans did best. However, colorectal cancer risk was lowest in fishitarians. Meat eaters do the worst.

Exercise and stress were mentioned, and especially the danger of having too much cortisol. If you’ve read The Stress Cure you’ll know the many ways to lower your cortisol, and the excellent research on Heart Math and also how pets help to lower stress levels. My black cat, Toots (short for Tutankhamun), is part of my low stress lifestyle. She follows me to the office and attends important meetings.