The intention of this guide is to aggregate information on the state of the art to extend human healthspan and lifespan. It is simply meant to serve as a useful resource on your personal longevity journey.
No single person is an expert on all aspects of human health, and no single guide will ever be able to capture the entirety of research on human health. With this in mind, this guide summarizes and includes "plain language" overviews. These may not be perfect or capture all of the nuance, but should serve to get the main points across and make longevity research accessible to more people. Because longevity research is constantly evolving and new findings come out frequently, the information in this guide will also be updated over time. This also means this guide will perpetually be a work-in-progress. If you feel that something should be added or that something is wrong, please don't hesitate to get in touch through the links below in "Contact Info".
Information has been organized into 5 sections: sleep, diet, exercise, lifestyle, and therapeutics. While this guide is linear and organized neatly into discrete sections and subsections, biology is not. Complex relationships exist between most all of the subtopics discussed. Please keep this in mind when thinking about potential therapies, as they often affect many things at once (e.g. metformin, quercetin, etc). Here's an image that helps to illustrate this point.
This guide will not go over the ethical concerns or implications of increasing healthspan and lifespan. Good summaries can be found here.
Aging associated diseases are diseases where chronological age is the primary risk factor. Among others, these include atherosclerosis, cancer, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases. Aging associated diseases are both individually and collectively the leading causes of death in the world.
An example from Lifespan by David Sinclair: smoking makes the average person ~5x more likely to develop lung cancer. Turning 50 makes non-smokers ~100x more likely to develop lung cancer, and turning 70 increases lung cancer risk by ~1,000x. This same general pattern holds true for other aging associated diseases as well.
Yet population disease analysis shows that if you could wave a magic wand and completely cure all forms of cancer, you would only extend average human lifespan by about 3.5 years. Why? Because other aging associated diseases would quickly catch up to you.
It's clear that slowing or reversing aging itself should be the ultimate goal.
Yes. Because aging fundamentally is a biological process, it's theoretically possible to slow, halt, or even reverse the underlying causes of aging. In practice, we're still a long way from perfect. For most people, lifestyle optimizations (e.g. exercise, diet, sleep) are the lowest hanging fruit to slow aging.
If you're totally new to aging research, Laura Deming's Longevity FAQ and Nintil's Longevity FAQ are the best places to start.
Aging treatments are tested on different types of organisms. Small organisms tend to be relatively cheap to study and don't require a lot of time to see results. Large organisms (that are evolutionarily closer to humans) tend to be more expensive to study and require more time to see results, but have a greater likelihood of results successfully translating to humans. The following is a list of common organisms studied by researchers: