Longevity Medicine is an emerging field of medical research that seeks to improve the longevity and quality of life for individuals with a Precision Medicine approach. This involves applying a combination of personalized interventions to address an individual’s unique health needs. Longevity Medicine has researched long and hard to take a page out of the ‘Blue Zones’ – geographical regions with high concentrations of people living to be over 100 years old, in relative health. On this week’s blog, we discuss the commonalities that Blue Zones share and how Longevity Medicine can help support the longevity of our lives.
WHAT ARE BLUE ZONES?
Blue Zones originates from a research project conducted by National Geographic researcher Dan Buettner. He identified five different regions in the world with a higher than average concentration of centenarians (individuals over the age of 100), and coined them “Blue Zones”. These ‘Blue Zones’ are located in Ikaria, Greece; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica; Okinawa, Japan and Loma Linda, California. The commonalities found in these areas are now known as the nine key principles for longevity prescribed by Buettner himself (aka, Blue Zone Lifestyle):
9 Key Principles for Longevity
- Move Naturally: This involves low-intensity activities such as gardening and walking regularly throughout the day.
- Adopt a Diet High in Plant-Based Foods: This includes eating a plant-based diet rich in legumes, vegetables and fruits.
- Prioritize Your Social Life: Having meaningful and supportive relationships with family, friends and neighbours is key to both physical and mental wellbeing.
- Have A Purpose: Having an active sense of purpose helps to reduce stress levels and set goals that you want to achieve.
- Get Regular, Restorative Sleep: Getting quality and regular sleep allows for a better daily functioning and improved overall health.
- Manage Stress Levels: Stress can trigger the body’s “fight or flight” response, so it is important that this is managed and monitored in order to ensure wellbeing.
- Moderate Alcohol Consumption: Consuming moderate amounts of alcohol can be beneficial for physical and mental health, but should be done in moderation.
- Find Faith or Spirituality: Having a sense of faith or spirituality contributes to an enhanced quality of life and increased sense of belonging.
- Minimize Toxic Exposures: Minimizing exposure to toxic elements such as air pollutants and cigarettes can reduce the risk of lifestyle diseases.
ARE THERE ANY BLUE ZONES IN THE USA?
The “American Lifestyle” has been adopted by many countries around the world, and this can come with negative consequences for longevity. Interestingly enough, there was a location in the USA. Loma Linda in California is one of the few Blue Zones left in the USA. This area stands out due to it being home to a large population of Seventh Day Adventists who prioritize their health as part of their religious practice.
HOW CAN LONGEVITY MEDICINE SUPPORT OUR HEALTH?
The research conducted by Buettner has allowed us to gain valuable insight into the lifestyle practices that help to promote longevity.
The nine principles of Blue Zones are all important factors to consider when it comes to longevity and overall wellbeing. However, for individuals looking to improve their own longevity, the approach of Longevity Medicine can provide a more targeted approach to managing one’s health and wellbeing.
Longevity Medicine combines genomic testing with lifestyle interventions such as diet, exercise, sleep optimization, supplementation, among many things in order to provide individuals with a more personalized and precise approach to their health. This means that rather than following the broad guidelines of Blue Zones, individuals can make use of the knowledge gained through genetics testing and medical consultations in order to tailor lifestyle interventions specifically for themselves. Medicine has advanced tremendously and we have the resources, research, and therapuetic modalities to “hack” the aging process and help us to achieve optimal health.
In addition, Longevity Medicine also includes functional laboratory tests such as metabolic panel, hormone panel, cardiovascular risk panel, and other advanced diagnostic tests. These tests measure biomarkers which can help determine an individual’s risk for certain diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. By monitoring these markers throughout the process of Longevity Medicine, health care professionals can provide tailored recommendations based on the patient’s current state of health.
ABOUT THE INSTITUTE FOR HUMAN OPTIMIZATION
The Institute for Human Optimization (ifHO) led by Dr. Bajnath, is a premier center for longevity, health optimization, and precision functional medicine. Our individualized precision medicine approach connects the molecular dots between the omics of medicine, lifestyle, advanced diagnostics, advanced therapies, and more to create a truly personalized plan for achieving optimal health. Through our comprehensive programs, we strive to optimize patient’s health utilizing the most advanced research and modalities leveraging the power of Longevity Medicine. Want to learn more about our Longevity Medicine Services? Click HERE.