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Longevity in a pill to fight aging?
Sergey Young: Longevity investor, author
BY PETER BOWES | LOS ANGELES | JANUARY 7, 2022 | 0700 PT
Longevity science has been moving at breakneck speed in recent years, reinforcing the view of some innovators that we are on the cusp of a 200-year lifespan. Whether it be longevity in a pill, artificial organs or gene therapy to cure diseases, recent breakthroughs suggest many of us already have the tools needed to live much longer and better. Sergey Young is a longevity investor and visionary with a mission to extend healthy lifespans of at least a billion people. He founded the Longevity Vision Fund to accelerate life extension through technological innovations and recently published his book, The Science and Technology of Growing Young. In this LLAMA podcast interview, Sergey explores his passion for the emerging science and explains why he believes that optimizing healthspan – extending our healthy years – is within the reach everyone. Sergey seeks, with pragmatism, to energize the aging process, celebrating what he calls the “the near horizon of longevity innovations.”
Interview recorded: October 20, 2021 | Read a transcript
- This episode is brought to you in association with Clinique La Prairie, the award-winning spa-clinic – and pioneering health and wellness destination – nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland. Combining preventative medicine with bespoke lifestyle and nutrition plans, Clinique La Prairie offers a holistic approach to living fuller, healthier and longer lives.
“It’s just amazing to be part of this whole movement to transform our health care, to be much more efficient, cheaper, preventive, data-driven, technology-based.”Sergey Young
Transcribed using Sonix AI. Please check against audio recording for absolute accuracy.
Peter Bowes: [00:00:00] Hello again, welcome to the first LLAMA podcast of 2022. Let’s look to the future.
Sergey Young: [00:00:06] What are the most exciting things currently from scientific, technological, investment point of view?
Peter Bowes: [00:00:11] LLAMA is Live Long and Master Aging. I’m Peter Bowes. This is where we explore the science and stories behind human longevity.
Sergey Young: [00:00:22] Number one – gene editing and gene therapy. Second is longevity in a pill, a new class of drugs which will fight aging rather than particular disease. And the third one is our ability to regenerate organs.
SPONSOR MESSAGE : [00:00:35] This episode is brought to you in association with Clinique La Prairie. The award winning spa clinic and pioneering health and wellness destination nestled on the shores of Lake Geneva in Montreux, Switzerland. Combining preventative medicine with bespoke lifestyle and nutrition plans, Clinique La Prairie offers a holistic approach to living fuller, healthier and longer lives.
Peter Bowes: [00:00:59] Now how do you feel about living to the age of 200? Is that fantasy? Is it science fiction or is it feasible given the current state of longevity science? Well, our guest today has spent a lot of time pondering that very question. Sergey Young is one of the loudest, one of the most rational, one of the most fascinating voices in the longevity space, as he points out in his new book, The Science and Technology of Growing Young. He is not a scientist or a technology innovator. His first degree was in chemical engineering. His second was in business. But Sergey’s work exploring the infinite possibilities that come with what he calls the longevity revolution is in a class of its own. Sergey Young. Welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast!
Sergey Young: [00:01:47] Hi, Peter. Hi, everyone. I’m so excited to be here with you today
Peter Bowes: [00:01:51] And I’m very excited to talk to you as well. It’s a wonderful book and we’ll get on to it in some detail in a second and also that question about reaching the age of 200. I’m just curious to start with, incidentally, you’re joining us from Moscow in Russia. Is there much of a longevity science scene in Moscow?
Sergey Young: [00:02:09] Not really. I mean, if you look at longevity, technology and longevity science, I mean, we geographically we can see two big hubs. So one is U.S. The other one is in China, and like, you know, pre-2016, you can combine both – post-2016, you need to focus on just one of them. There’s too many kind of sensitivities if you want between two hubs. So you know, we at Longevity Vision Fund and everything I do is is mostly focused on the US.
Peter Bowes: [00:02:43] Understood. So the longevity revolution, what is that?
Sergey Young: [00:02:47] So we’re living in unique moments of time where scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs finally give us the opportunity to break the sound barrier. The maximum lifespan limit on Earth, which is currently 122 years. So and this is first time in the human history when we can focus on fighting aging and age related diseases by using so many means, including influence in that on the genetic level and therefore being able to reverse aging by itself. So that’s great. And that’s that’s the essence of longevity evolution. But basically, there are so many trends which are, you know, forming this moment and this concept of longevity revolution from environment becoming much more longevity and health friendly. We can discuss that. To scientific breakthroughs, specifically in gene editing or regenerative medicine, our ability to replace regenerate organs or create longevity in a pill, new class of drugs, which will fight aging at its core. Or some regulatory changes, like recognizing aging as disease or important risk factor, and therefore creating sustainable and viable economic and regulatory model to invest in fighting aging and age-related diseases. And some crazy stuff like augmented humans and thinking and working for the future when men and machine will become one. And therefore we will change our purely biological view on on the human body and complement it with engineering view.
Peter Bowes: [00:04:31] And you mentioned the maximum known longevity at the moment is 122. And that, of course, is because there’s a very famous lady who reached that age actually 122 and six months. And this is something you you write about in your book.
Sergey Young: [00:04:44] Yes. So thanks to this beautiful French lady actually who died 20 years ago, the current record is current is 122 years. It is interesting. It seemed to many of us that Mother Nature put this like a natural break or expiry date on our body and mind and its ability to leave somewhere around 120 years. And what we’ve done so far is actually maximum lifespan has been always somewhere around 120 years. And unless you read Old Testament where it’s nine hundred years, but you need to believe in that. So but then the average lifespan on Earth has been increasing all the time. We managed to increase it by two times from 35 to somewhere around 70-75 years in the last hundred years or so, and it’s been basically mostly done by avoiding early death. So like early death was like the only thing that we were fighting with. And right now, again, first in human history, we can actually switch to more like an age reversal mode if you want on so many levels, including genetic ones.
Peter Bowes: [00:05:58] It’s quite a good line, isn’t it? And you use it in your book. What’s the secret to living longer? First, do not die. Yeah, it’s kind of obvious, isn’t it?
Sergey Young: [00:06:05] It is. I mean, it sounds obvious, but like in so many cases we’ve seen when people do detrimental choices if you want for their own lifespan and healthspan as well. And this is what I discuss in the last part of the book, it’s a bonus chapter. It’s actually called Who Wants to Live Forever, but it covers 10 longevity choices that you can make today to live healthier, happier and longer version of your life. And one is that what I call this don’t die stupid or the polite version of that is passive longevity – is just making safe choices like avoid tobacco smoking, which is minus 10 years from your life. Always using seatbelts. It’s another two years to your lifespan, and we’re making these choices every day. So I have a few friends who just decided they need to ride a motorcycle after the age of 40. It’s probably a midlife crisis, but your chances to die in a motorcycle accident is 17 times 17 one seven times more than chances to die in a car accident. So and I think it’s a smart choice to kind of switch from one meaning of transportation to the other one and. And by the way, this is just the other sign of longevity, evolution and environment and technology supporting our health and longevity when we switch to driverless cars, a car which will be driven by computer and artificial intelligence, not by human intelligence and human being. Mortality rates for driverless car accidents as 10 times below the current mortality rates for car accidents as well. So we constantly improving everything around us to support our longer healthy and safe living.
Peter Bowes: [00:07:53] I think that’s a great point. I’m always super conscious. I live in Los Angeles that whenever I get into my car on the freeway, that that is probably the highest risk of my day of getting from A to B.
Sergey Young: [00:08:03] Exactly.
Peter Bowes: [00:08:04] On the 405 through Los Angeles that yeah. Yeah, it is the most danger that I’m putting myself at risk.
Sergey Young: [00:08:10] We actually speaking from two capitals of traffic jams, so we need to have someone from New York. Yeah, it’s top three cities in the world in terms of traffic jams at New York, L.A. and Moscow.
Peter Bowes: [00:08:23] But I suppose the little edge I have on you in Los Angeles is at least there’s a lot of longevity innovation going on in this city. University of Southern California.
Sergey Young: [00:08:32] Oh yeah,
Sergey Young: [00:08:32] Especially the Longevity Institute there and UCLA. I mean, California is a hugely exciting place to to live. And I’m sure, you know, many of the scientists involved in the in the longevity space here.
Sergey Young: [00:08:45] Yeah, exactly. I mean, if you look at where where the centers of innovation is is mostly, you know, Boston and Boston area and L.A. and Bay Area on the West Coast. So that’s that’s kind of two places. And that’s why LVF have two offices, one in Boston. The other one is Santa Monica on Santa Monica Boulevard.
Peter Bowes: [00:09:05] Beautiful Santa Monica. Yes. I just want to go back to the extraordinary French lady who got to 122. I think she really illustrates that any of us could get there, and we just don’t really know who, and we all have very different lifestyles. She had a very interesting relationship, didn’t she, with her lawyer?
Sergey Young: [00:09:21] Yeah. Yeah, that’s true. Well, let’s discuss this story, right? And what has happened? It was common, and it’s still common in some of the countries, like when you, you know, make sure your flat or apartment or the house, you know, goes to someone else in exchange of him or her covering your almost like a retirement costs every month. So she made a deal that upon her death, the apartment that she owns will will be transferred to her lawyer. And this guy took the obligation to pay her certain amount of money in every month. What has happened and she’s been obviously lucky in genetic lottery, and he hasn’t realized that, the poor guy he died before she died and actually his wife has taken an obligation to pay that. So it was like pretty expensive purchase for the apartment. But I do think it’s illustrate the other point, which is right now we don’t have a right model for a longer living people. So we look in centenarians and like with the exception of centenarians, you know, right now, they they’re more or less concentrated around blue zones or the countries with great health care system and the great kind of climate composition to support that. They all been lucky in genetic lottery. And this is what we try to change. This is what we try to avoid in the current process of development solution against aging. So if you look at the past and you look today, you need to be genetically lucky to live beyond 100 years. And what we’re trying to do is what if we we will be able to amend our genetic code and help, you know, all three thousand genes inside our DNA, which are responsible for longer and healthier living to manifest themselves to work properly inside your body? And well, that’s that’s the whole idea. So rather than just relying on luck, what we want to do is just to have a systematic set of interventions, technologies, scientific discoveries, which will help all of us to live longer and healthier.
Peter Bowes: [00:11:41] And that’s why this field is is so exciting. And let’s delve into it a bit further. First of all, though, I just want to embellish a little bit on what I said in my introduction. And that is that your name actually quite literally has become synonymous with this real explosion in interest that we’ve seen in recent years surrounding longevity and the quest to better understand the aging process. You’re an investor, you’re a prolific writer. You’re an evangelist. I think when it comes to understanding the scientific breakthroughs that relate to longevity, so what I’m curious about is how it actually started for you. Did something happen in your life early on to to pique your interest in this?
Sergey Young: [00:12:21] Yes, so well, think about health. Health is always important for us, but it’s never urgent in majority of cases, so our life is always full of, you know, a lot of problems which are both urgent and important and well, what? Unfortunately, like 90 percent of of us needs is to go through our personal health crisis to be much more interested, to start develop the interest towards health, healthy living longevity overall. So I had to. One was a lung cancer case for my father back in 2005. He survived, but the quality of his life has never recovered. And then for me, it was back in 2014 when I discovered I have extremely high cholesterol level, which is one of the important risk factors for heart disease, and I had a choice to live on medication for the rest of my life, just taking this medication every day. You know taking the special class of drugs called statins. We all know that and this is not a drama, you know, depending on the country. Well, well, I know the figure for US is like 32 percent of people in the US are suffering from high cholesterol level. Well, that’s the way statistics work, by the way. So that’s just a normal distribution. But well, the other option was just changed my lifestyle and rely on the ability of my body to heal itself, not from all diseases, but just explore this relationship and correlation between changes in lifestyle and my state of my health. So very simple changes in my physical activity level in my diet and supplementation produced almost the same, almost the same result. Like, you know, if I would take this statins and I was so impressed that I can change this in six months without relying on Big Pharma. And well, this is this whole thing started and I started to dig into that. And I’ve been investing for 20 years, so I thought if I would like to support the development of the space. I need to just to set up relatively small, at this time, Longevity Vision Fund so we we can support scientists and entrepreneurs who are working on bringing affordable and accessible version of longevity to the world, and this is where this whole thing started. And frankly speaking, I saved so many lives. I’m not M.D., so, but I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to help a lot of people, and it’s all the same scenario. I push someone to do comprehensive medical screening. He or she discovers early stage cancer because it’s early stage. Recovery rates these days are up to 90 or even 100 percent, depending on the cancer type. So they call me back and say, Well, Sergey, you saved my life and you feel so good, so you always on the hook of, you know, doing this great things to other people. And again, it’s such a rare opportunity without spending decades of building MD career profession and passion has been able to help so many people. And I’m so delighted, like almost like every second company at the start up, the scientific group that we are supporting through Longevity Vision Fund, they bringing 10 to 20 note percent, but times improvement against current intervention or in comparison to current protocol to treat, you know, certain condition. And it’s just amazing to be part of this whole movement to transform our health care, to be much more efficient, cheaper preventive, data driven, technology based. So it’s been, you know, one of the most rewarding parts and periods of my life.
Peter Bowes: [00:16:13] There are infinite possibilities, as you suggest just going back to your inspirations as you were growing up. I’m curious about what kind of childhood you had. And also just a little aside, did you choose your parents very well to get that second name of Young?
Sergey Young: [00:16:30] Great. Well, let’s go to this kind of Russian route. So before age of 17, I was living in a really small town. Some people say they’re from the middle of nowhere. I’m from the end of nowhere, my hometown with fifteen thousand people living there and just one factory like chemical factory. That’s chemical engineer was my first degree was on the shore of Japanese sea in the Russian far far east. It was actually closer to Japan. It was 200 miles to Japan, just across the sea, to Hokkaido Island, then to regional capital, which is Vladivostok. So it’s just interesting. It was during communist times and every evening I would just stay in my room and I had a huge world map on my wall and I was traveling in my dreams, just going through the countries. And on one side, it was amazing specifically thinking about the countries which are much, much smaller than USSR at this time or USA. And you know, all these smaller countries like San Marino, the Vatican, Luxembourg in Europe. My mind couldn’t really imagine how it feels to still live on, you know, there’s just few acres of land and it’s called country, but I do. I did realize at this time that because of the communist regime, the travel of my dream would be go to Poland or to Hungary or to Czechoslovakia, followed by KGB agent for the week. And that’s it. Like, you know, I was pretty mature before the age of 17 and I moved to Moscow to do my first degree, and then I moved to London to do my next degree that I will never be able to see US, I will never be able to see Japan. The then perestroika came, you know, Gorbachev time and this whole thing changed. It was amazing and I was. I’m so grateful. You know, I have this opportunity to travel around the world. So I’m speaking with you from Moscow next. Next week I’m on Maldives. Next week I’m in London, then I’m in Boston, the biotech capital of the world, and it feels really great that I can leverage the best of the world and the best of the countries that we work through Longevity Vision Fund and change so many lives. Or be part of this movement of bringing the digital version of health care to the world. Speaking about the name, I changed my name when I started to work in in the U.S. So if you look at statistics like 27 percent of Americans are afraid of Russians, it just simply on on political premise. And before I did that, so I created this Sergey Young guy. So before I did that, the first conversation, the first 15 minutes of conversation will be about Russia. Like guys, you still have like bears walking the streets of Moscow? What about vodka? You know, what about sanctions and like, can I have this conversation? Yes, I can. But like, is it the best time, the best use of my time given my mission, my desire to work on the future for the planet, rather than explaining this whole, you know, political nuances, which we currently have between two countries? And well, if you look at figure for China, like forty seven percent of people are afraid of Chinese, so I can just, you know, feel sorry about my, you know, Chinese friends. So what I did, I just I registered trademark Sergey Young is my brand name that I’m using to when I work on longevity and it’s it’s immediately changed everything. So from minute from the first minute, I can concentrate on longevity or on on technologies, on on beautiful scientific discoveries, on a mission and aspiration and desire and ability for all of us to live much longer, healthier and happier life.
Peter Bowes: [00:20:35] I think it was an inspired move. And let’s move forward then and talk about the science and talk about longevity. And I guess at some point during that incredible journey that you’ve just described, you started to think about what if, what if I could or if any of us could get to the age of 200. And that’s really where you start your book and it’s beautifully written. It’s very, it is quite inspiring the way that you imagine what it could be like to wake up on your 200th birthday. And this is, as you describe it, an existence that is maintained. Life is maintained through technology and you’ve got robots running through your home and through your body and cursing through your veins and repairing damage and a body that is, as you describe it, biologically 175 years younger than your chronological age and amazingly, a body that still looks like you are 25 years old as you look in the mirror now, is this hugely wishful thinking? Is it, as I mentioned earlier, purely science fiction at this stage? Or is it really a realistic vision of of what will be the future?
Sergey Young: [00:21:42] Yeah. So look, well. First of all, this is what I call in the book. There’s a far horizon of longevity innovations. This is 25 50 years from now. I mean, we don’t know how the world will look like in 50 years from now. But and then before we go into like technological details of that, this we just need to recognize there’s a huge ethical aspect behind that. There’s so many ethical dilemmas that I cover actually in the last chapter of the book the morality of immortality, and in a nutshell, we have creating technologies to extend our life, but we haven’t created life that we want to extend 60 to 80 percent of people say no to any life extension opportunity, even theoretical one in today’s world. So we need to sort out what is happening with the planet, with our society, with human beings before we embrace that. So but having said that, there are there are so many technologies which are currently in early development stage which are going to be part of our future. And just to go through some of them, well, human brain AI integration or it’s called brain computer interface. And the best example is Elon Musk and what he does in Neuralink. Now he currently does it with pigs and some other animals, but I’m pretty sure he’s going to get approval to work with humans pretty soon. So. And if you are afraid of integrating your human intelligence with artificial intelligence, I just wanted to share a few thoughts. Well, number one, we are already integrated with our smartphones. We just use very inefficient interface. I’m using my eyes, my ears, my fingers to type something. So it’s obviously the next step is just to integrate to have the level of integration at a much higher level, if you want. So that’s one second. Every time I’m scared about it, about some of the technologies I’m thinking about the group of people on Earth today, which would benefit from that. So if you’re scared of the genetic editing, for example, think about people who have rare genetic diseases and they are not so rare, like 400 million people on Earth are suffering from so-called rare diseases. So what if we can help them? So that’s one or brain computer interface is I’m always thinking about people who are suffering from neurodegenerative diseases like dementia. I don’t know if you watched the movie called The Father with Sir Anthony Hopkins. Yeah, the whole movie is just done through the eyes of the person who is suffering from dementia. And it’s it’s it’s just heartbreaking movie. And when I’m when I’m thinking about brain computer interface, what if we can help people who are? Suffering from Alzheimer’s today to live the last year of their life in the best possible way and be essential part of community or the family, be an asset rather than liability. So that’s that’s technology number one. Technology number two is human avatars, and we add Longevity Vision Fund. We’re about to invest in some of them. We decided that we will not because right now we are going through the huge kind of crossroad on where technology on avatars will go. On one side, there are a number of companies, mostly Japanese and American ones are working on robotic avatars and this is great. I can sense, you know, the avatar to Mars while I’m here with my family. And still, can I have my Mars experience? This is real story. Well, the problem is is you will need to create a robot and like everything in material world is is expensive. And it’s the other route which is currently in development and it’s actually in developing much faster is virtual avatars. And I did discuss it in the book as well. It’s actually really cheap to create the your own avatar, and I’m actually working on the project right now to and this is my resolution for the next 12 month to create a virtual avatar for Sajan because I’m everything I do in longevity is born out, right? This is my contribution to the world.
Sergey Young: [00:25:54] So I do have a lot of demand for speaking on the other side, you know, like my biological body and mind because, well, certain resource, you know, has like twenty four hours, you know, seven days a week limitation. So I just want to have like the other Sergey Young guy to like, co-host some podcast with me or speak in the conferences as well. So I just started to work with the team from London to create the virtual avatar on the other side, which is, you know, more of the common use for us in the future. You know, I wouldn’t mind to speak to the virtual avatar of my grandfather. He was so instrumental in terms of like growing me up or, you know, helping me to understand the world better. So if I can have like 30 minutes with him, you know, every month with a virtual version of him, he’d died twenty five years ago. I think it’s kind of cool. It’s called wisdom transfer. You know, it can happen through by this means. So again, every time you are scared and afraid of particular technology to think about, like the positive use of that, what else? Internet of bodies, what I call and what I explain in the book, we’re all going to be full of sensors. I’m full of sensors and we’re speaking today Peter.
Peter Bowes: [00:27:07] I think we both are.
Sergey Young: [00:27:08] Yeah, yeah, yeah, too. I can see you have your Oura ring. I have my Whoop. Yeah, Apple Watch continuous glucose monitor and they are all going to be embedded in our body and what will happen. We are similar to Internet of Things as we know it today. The world will have internet of bodies. We are going to be interconnected and did centralized AI based network going to monitor and help us to manage our own health. And or, you know, we we can discuss nanobots, right? There’s going to small robots which which are going to be flowing in our blood and other liquids inside our body and help us to fight cancer cells or, you know, take care of any other health problems as well. So on one side, this is sounds like science fiction. On the other side, you know, for all of the four technologies that I highlighted in the last three to five minutes, I already know quite a few startups working on development of that. I even seen like a small boat of this size like, you know, one centimeter, and they managed to put like a four engines there. It’s like a small rocket. It’s unbelievable to see this level of development of these technologies.
Peter Bowes: [00:28:24] Yeah, it is clearly and you’ve just explained it beautifully. The possibilities are very exciting and very realistic. But you said something just now that the piqued my interest because my biggest interest, I’m interested. I’m excited about the the possibilities for 50 years time, 100 years time. But I’m also passionately interested in right now and the next 20 or 30 years. And you mentioned people with Alzheimer’s and using technology in the science, perhaps to make life easier for people with Alzheimer’s. Or, let’s hope, find a cure for Alzheimer’s and other conditions that are similar to it and focus on healthspan and I don’t want to give the impression that your book is all about the distant future because it’s very much about the present as well, which arguably you could say is perhaps more important to the vast majority of people right now. And I think that’s where the science is equally exciting that we’re, a, we’re beginning to understand the concept of healthspan, and I think more and more people are beginning to realize what that is as opposed to lifespan, but the technology? We talked about the ring and the watch and the wearables that we’re using right now, that could really make a huge difference.
Sergey Young: [00:29:36] Exactly. So I don’t even know where to start. There’s so many exciting things which are happening now, so well, let’s talk about before we talk about today, which is like, super important. This is my favorite horizon because we all can change it tonight or tomorrow morning. Well, let’s talk about what is in development today and will be massively and widely available in the next five, 10, 15 years. In the book, and you’re right Peter. This is the main part of the book. We concentrate on so-called the near horizon of longevity innovations. And when people ask me, like, what are the key three things that I’m seeing there? What are what are the most exciting things currently from scientific technological investment point of view? I’m always talking about a number one gene editing and gene therapy. Second is longevity in the pill, a new class of drugs which will fight aging rather than particular disease. And the third one is our ability to regenerate organs called. It’s part of regenerative medicine. It’s called organ regeneration. So let’s go with that a little bit. Gene editing, gene therapy it’s actually called genomic medicine. Overall, 25 years ago, it took 13 years here in the U.S. and three billion dollars to sequence one human genome. Imagine that right now, just a few hours and a few hundred dollars, that’s it. And look at gene therapy. We all today, we all participate in the global positive, I do hope it’s positive, experiment in gene therapy because Moderna, you know, some other MRNA vaccines are the outcome of gene therapy. So that’s amazing. And again, it’s it’s we already know all three thousand genes inside our DNA, which are responsible for longer living so-called longevity genes. So it’s it’s up to us to modify it and help people to live longer. And it’s not about lifespan, it’s about healthspan. I’ve never seen any startup who was working on artificially extending now or like a number of lives without influencing a number of years, without influencing the quality of this years. So again, gene editing, gene therapy, amazing. We’ve done already so many things. I was just looking at title one of the articles, and I think it was New York Times a couple of months ago. And it says Moderna vaccine has been developed in the course of two days. He mentioned that, you know, honey, two years ago, it will take us, take us decades to develop vaccine. Yeah, and actually usually discovered this by coincidence, like two thirds of the previous discoveries in the field of medicine and and health care to fight this kind of virus, we would lose, I don’t know, up to 10 percent of people on Earth and probably more from the virus like COVID. So that’s one second is longevity in a pill. And again, if you if you look at the drugs today, they all going to trying to find, you know, usually symptoms, but sometimes, you know, going to the roots of particular disease. But we all know after age of 50, we all our chances to get one of the four killer monster diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, neurodegenerative diseases are increasing exponentially. In fact, this war killer monster diseases that I just mentioned are responsible for 90 percent of deaths at the age of 50. So what’s going to happen to you if you will be able to influence your like aging processes inside your body on on different levels, whether it’s genetic, epigenetic or on cellular level? What will happen? Your chances to die and suffer from age related diseases will decrease. And that’s that’s the beauty. So I’m not working on creating, you know, forever young humans who are always 25 years old or 25 years young. I’m working on fighting these diseases, so we don’t need to suffer from that and longevity in a pill in five, 10, 15 years from now, you can see your doctor, you can go to pharmacy and and you’re going to see like a special class of drugs. This can be one of the existing drugs like metformin or rapamycin. Metformin, it’s a generic drug. It’s been known for probably 60 years. For now, it’s a diabetes drug. And we just need to repurpose them, and we need to go through the trial with humans before we embrace and use it as a longevity drug. Or it can easily be the new drug developed with the help of artificial intelligence. Because A.I. today, we already invested in two companies which use artificial intelligence to help drug discovery process. With the help of A.I., we can compress the two to three years of drug discovery process into two or three months. You mentioned like, what’s the efficiency gain? For the industry and for all of us as consumers and patients would be. And the third piece is organ regeneration, right? And the field of regenerative medicine, and there are so many technologies which are currently in development phase, which will help us to replace organs like we replace spare parts in our cars and it can go like a 3D bioprinting route. And there are a number of companies radiologic companies who are using today biomaterial to 3D print organs. More than 90 percent of this organs end up in labs. They help academia to do foster cheaper trials and obviously safer trials rather than using human organs. Or we can use some of the animal material to regrow some of the organs like it’s called external transportation, like using combining the best of the animal world and the human world to produce this organs. Or we can use our lymph nodes to regrow organs. And this is the company that I cover in the book. It’s called LyGenesis. This is we invested two years ago. They based in Pittsburgh and we invested in them. What they do? They take donor liver, split it in fifty to seventy five pieces and put these pieces in in individual patients. And each of them in the course of three to six months has been able to develop like an additional liver inside their lymph node, which support the function of your liver, which is currently not working. And it’s just it’s an opportunity to to use one donor organ to help fifty to seventy five people. Unlike today, where we have one to one donor and recipient relationship and it’s really expensive, we have a hundred seventeen thousand people on the waiting list in the US, only waiting for donor organs.
Peter Bowes: [00:36:22] And with this vast array of potential developments, developments that are a and now or just around the immediate corner that are going to help everyday people improve their everyday health and perhaps extend their healthspan, how is important? Is it as a communicator which you are to involve as many people and get those people to actually understand what you’re saying? And by that, I mean, there’s a, I think, a temptation from some people to ridicule those in the longevity community as being extreme or perhaps being a little sci fi too futuristic and not thinking too much about the present day. And it always strikes me. Often the word obsessive is used. You’re obsessed with not growing old or you’re obsessed with staying young. Shouldn’t you be thinking about other things? It’s sometimes the criticism. I’m sure you’ve heard that kind of thing. Yeah, what is your answer to that?
Sergey Young: [00:37:21] Yeah, I love. I love all of these people, and I just want to give them a choice. That’s it. I’m not even going into arguments, right? So I choose my mission. I want to help the world. No one can argue that more data driven, technology based version of medicine, which would cost all of us 10 to 20 times less than today and have much better efficiency, will save more lives, will improve the quality of people’s lives and going to be affordable and accessible to everyone. And you know, all of the technologies that we investing today, they’re going to be available to us, not in 10 20 years, like some of them, you know, some of like affordable ultrasound devices that we invested in three years ago going to be on the market early next year, and they cost fifty five zero times less than the ultrasound device you have in the hospital next door. This is amazing or colon cancer test that we are invested in. It’s an opportunity for all of us to test to do a diagnostic of early stage colon cancer. It’s it’s a very dangerous type of cancer because usually … when it manifests itself, it’s too late to save their person and to do it even at home. And it’s between 100 and 200 dollars and it’s much cheaper than any other alternative in terms of diagnostic like colonoscopy, right, which is anywhere between 1000 and 2000 dollars. Yeah. Like if drugs are going to be developed at much lower cost, which much higher efficiency, you know how you can argue with that. So, you know, I know what I want and I’m trying to help as many people as possible, and I’m not a big fan of immortality. Some people say, like, you know, I don’t care, you know, I want to be immortal. I don’t want to be immortal, but I want to have more healthy and happy decades in my life. So I can, you know, hang around with my, you know, grow and grow and grandkids and do so many things on this planet.
Peter Bowes: [00:39:17] I’m totally with you. I’m not for immortality and eternal life either. I think there’s there are far greater, beneficial things to think about that are going to affect you and I over the next well, however many decades we have, whether it’s four or five or eight or 10 decades, who knows what the maximum age is going to be by the time you and I are getting up to those higher echelons, shall we say. And you’ve kind of answered my next question and you’ve answered it in the same way that most people answer it. And that is what motivates you to aspire to a great healthspan. And you mentioned being with grandchildren. Very often the answer is not about me, as some people might think it is. It is about others that you want to still be with. You can share your wisdom with. You can spend your time with and perhaps share the fruits of your labor with. And is that for you? The main point of getting old and being, well, that it’s not just a me me thing.
Sergey Young: [00:40:13] Of course. Yeah, look I do think that so many of us have found passion in this life discovered like we are happy when we are given more than we take. And I’m at this period of my life, you know, I discovered my passion back in 2014, with the personal health crisis and like this is like the only thing which makes me happy, like seeing other people succeeding, being and being in the healthier, happier state. That’s the most rewarding thing in my life.
Peter Bowes: [00:40:44] And with everything that you’ve learned – a vast array of of knowledge over the decades, you’ve been working in this area. How do you live your life every day with your own longevity in mind? If you could give me a few bullet points of your must do activities every day, perhaps your routine that you adhere to to pursue your own long life?
Sergey Young: [00:41:06] Well, first of all, let’s start with the annual thing, right? So the most important day of your life every year is your medical screening day, OK? This is super important to to be able to do early diagnostic of always. You know, for, you know, killer monster diseases is super important. So that’s that’s that’s important. But on everyday basis, it’s about diet, physical exercise and what I call peace of mind, the importance of mental health, right? So diet is, I’m heavily plant based. I’m not vegetarian or vegan. I do a lot of I do have a lot of sympathy for this choice. But you know, I do it in know wild fish. It’s it’s my mostly my biggest source of proteins. Sometimes I very rarely, you know, have organic meat. Very rarely, you know, I don’t have any sugar in my diet. And you know, all of the sweet drinks replaced with a lot of water, tea and coffee. I love coffee and once a week red wine. I’m guilty of that as well.
Peter Bowes: [00:42:12] Guilty. Some would say you don’t need to be guilty about red wine.
Sergey Young: [00:42:16] I agree with you Peter, and I do fasting, so I fast thirty six hours every week from Monday evening to Wednesday morning. So we’re speaking on Wednesday. I just break my fast this morning and it’s amazing, like thirty six hours without food, just simply running on water and herbal tea. It does a great job in terms of like detoxifying the body and and bringing you, you know, more and more energy and desire to live
Peter Bowes: [00:42:44] And you get that mental hai that that buzz the synapses napping sort of feeling after about 10 to 12 hours of fasting.
Sergey Young: [00:42:53] Yes, it’s actually it’s it feels a little bit spiritual in a way. Well, that’s why fasting is, as is as as a routine, right, as a protocol is part of so many religions in the world. Physical exercise, you know, I have my ten thousand steps a day, you know, I’m using my wearables to close the circles and and I usually take like even if I’m in the office, I’m taking like 30 minutes walk and, you know, making sure I do it at least twice a day to do it. So we about to finish its evening here in Moscow. So I’ll have my Zoom physical exercise with the trainer in 15 minutes from now. But like, literally like two thirds of physical activity agenda, it’s like 10000 steps a day. And like you can put whatever you want. On top of that, you can do yoga, weightlifting, cardio. It’s like whatever you like. It’s it’s your choice. But but you can integrate walking into any part of your life. And in terms of what I call peace of mind. It’s literally about three things for me. One is sleep. My rule is eight hours in the bed, which is at least seven hours of sleep every day. Is this as my very good friend, the founder of Longevity Clinic in London, Dr. Jay Kradle, told me once; well Sergey, every evening we can visit the most powerful clinic in the world. We go to bed and we sleep, so this is really important for so many aspects of our health. Mindfulness meditation, you know, I meditate somewhere on, you know, 10 to 12 minutes every day, every day in the morning. And the final piece of this peace of mind is a sense of purpose being the best version of yourself, helping other people sharing more than you take, being, you know, integrated into your community and competing with yourself. Really? That’s it.
Peter Bowes: [00:44:51] Sergey Young it’s been a huge pleasure to chat all the very best with the book and everything that you do. Thank you very much indeed.
Sergey Young: [00:44:58] Thank you, Peter, and thanks, everyone. Stay healthy and happy.
Peter Bowes: [00:45:02] It’s a great message. In the show notes for this episode, you’ll find a link to Sergey’s book, The Science and Technology of Growing Young, some of his other work and his bio. There’s also a transcript of this conversation, all at the Live Long and Master Aging website LLAMAPodcastcom That’s LLAMApodcast.com In social media you’ll find us @LLAMApodcast. You can direct Message me @PeterBowes. The LLAMA Podcast is a HealthSpan media production. If you have concerns about your health or you’re considering a new diet or exercise regime, I strongly recommend that you discuss it with your own doctor or healthcare professional first, someone who understands your health history. We don’t give advice here, but we do share ideas in this very exciting field of human longevity. Hopefully, that’s what we’ve managed to do today with Sergey. Thank you very much for listening.
The Live Long and Master Aging podcast, a HealthSpan Media LLC production, shares ideas but does not offer medical advice. If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.