Here is the secret to longevity by Dr Valérie Leduc

It is possible to live a long and healthy life. Doctor Leduc – founder of the Maison Epigenetic in Paris, which calculates the patients’ biological age and offers pro-grammes with which they can optimise it through preven-tative health – explains that, “Measuring how fast we are aging and comparing that with our chronological age is the basis for drawing up an optimisation programme; whether it focuses more on performance or longevity or both.”

What does “living a long and healthy life” mean?

In her latest book, “La Médecine de la Beauté – Choisissez votre âge” (Medicine for Beauty – Choose your age) [Seuil – 2021], Doctor Leduc explains how a balanced diet, com-plemented with protective substances and combined with physical activity (such as walking) and a stable lifestyle can improve your life expectancy and health. “You can live up to age 120. The ultimate enemy of longevity is chronic inflammation associated with diabetes and autoimmune disease, as well as chronic illnesses connected with aging. The aim is to maintain peak physical and mental health, and to stay free from illness, until the last day of your life,” the expert said. “The concept of healthy longevity includes all of the ways that we can grow older while preventing or minimising the duration of our biological decline. Unfortunately, the most serious pan-demic of the 21st century is unhealthy longevity. In the United States, children born in recent years risk becoming the first generation to have a lower life expectancy than their parents. Let us make sure that does not happen in France, or even Europe.

The most positive thing is that we are responsible for our future health, so it is down to us to change our lifestyle habits and adopt a healthier and more epigenetic way of life. It is never too early or too late! The most recent scientific study into the subject proved that after adopting a healthy lifestyle for 8 weeks (healthy diet, 30 minutes of exercise per day, 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night, 30 minutes of meditation per day, vitamin and probiotic supplements), participants gained an average of 3 years in terms of their biological age! Welcome to the world of epigenetics…

By treating our body well, we age more slowly biologically than we do chronologically, and we stay younger for longer while avoiding age-related illnesses. This way, we fight against chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, glycation, insulin resistance and acidosis, which are all responsible for the onset of disease. We should also consider the health of our microbiota and protect our bodies from heavy metal poisoning”.

By taking care of our bodies, we can stay young and in peak condition for a long time and live our lives to the full!

What is the cause of premature aging?

The major enemy of longevity is chronic inflammation caused by an unhealthy diet that lacks in protective substances such as vitamin D, omega 3s, polyphenols and sirtuin activators (the longevity molecules). In recent years, more and more people with a long lifespan are suffering from chronic degenerative diseases: 90% of over 65s. This segment of the population is set to double in the next 20 years. Not forgetting that this costs the public healthcare system a huge amount of money.

Talking of diabetes, what are the main risk factors?

A diet too high in fat, omega 6s, refined sugar and processed foods is certainly one of the main risk factors for type 2 diabetes, as is a sedentary lifestyle, though we are starting to understand that even in the case of autoimmune diabetes (type 1), “inflammatory” diets and a lack of protective substances can predispose or increase the risk not only of type 1 diabetes but also other autoimmune diseases. In these conditions, the body’s stem and progenitor1 cells lose their ability to repair and regenerate the tissues quickly, as the body’s production of certain protective substances – such as polyphenols and sirtuin activators – starts to decrease.

What are sirtuins?

These are the longevity proteins that gradually decrease with age, but more noticeably after age 35.

How can we compensate for this deficiency?

“First of all, with a healthy diet that includes more omega 3s and less omega 6s, flavonoids and polyphenols. To stimulate the sirtuins, we need to take food supplements containing maqui berry 2, pomegranate, blueberry and polydatin. Vitamin D is very important.”

Vitamin D divides doctors and researchers? What is your opinion?

“I am in no doubt about the fact that vitamin D is essential. We had confirmation of this with Covid: people with low levels of vitamin D have a 14 times higher risk of developing serious forms of Covid-19 than those with healthy amounts of vitamin D. These people are not only capable of responding more efficiently to Covid-19 but also preventing autoimmune diseases and other illnesses linked with aging, in particular in the over 65s.”

How important is lifestyle?

“Smoking is undeniably harmful to health. A sedentary lifestyle is the most important negative factor connected with a long yet unhealthy life.” Sleep must also be good quality (amount of deep sleep) and should last between 7 and 8 hours per night. This is the time when the body detoxifies and regenerates itself. Managing stress, a real plague of the 21st century, is a priority for staying healthy. Meditation, sport and light therapy are very effective for lowering chronic stress, which is a vector for chronic inflammation.

What type of physical exercise do you suggest?

“If we are talking about elderly people, even a walk can make a difference. A general suggestion, however, is to move regularly throughout the day. Physical activities also contribute to mental health (anxiety-reducing and antidepressant effect) and activate the sirtuins.”

How can you tell if you are aging well?

“With an AA/EPA test, which evaluates the ratio between the omega 6 and omega 3 fatty acids. The ratio should be between 1.5 and 3.0, but it is almost always omega 6-heavy, which indicates the presence of silent inflammation (connected with the diet). We can measure insulin resistance as well as homocysteine, which is a marker of DNA and cardiovascular health.” Today, we are able to measure our biological age, which is a veritable marker for our future health. This way, changing our lifestyle can have a significant impact on this measurement and can help us to live longer and in good health. Anything that can be measured can be improved upon!

Are we able to stop aging?

“Stop, no, reverse the signs, yes.”

What does that mean?

“I am referring, of course, to biological age, not chronological age.” Living for a hundred and twenty years in good health is an ambitious objective. “The safest way to fail is not to try.”

1. A progenitor cell is a biological cell which, like a stem cell, tends to transform into a specific type of cell, but it is already more specific than a stem cell and is more likely to turn into a target cell; a progenitor cell can only divide a limited number of times.

2. Maqui berry [Aristotelia chilensis] is a powerful antioxidant. If consumed regularly it offers many benefits and is an excellent source of vitamins, potassium, calcium and iron. It grows on a shrub in lush, volcanic regions of Patagonia, Argentina and Chile, geographical regions that are extremely clean and fertile.

Dr Valérie Leduc: Angiologist, aesthetics and anti-aging doctor. Author of “La Médecine de la Beauté – Choisissez votre âge” (Medicine for Beauty – Choose your age) [Seuil 2021] Founder of 85% Epigenetic – Maison Epigenetic Paris

More informations: drvalerieleduc 

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