Ultra-personalized health and lifestyle guidance
Gil Blander: Founder, InsideTracker
BY PETER BOWES | WEDNESDAY MARCH 2, 2022
There is a plethora of science-backed information about how to optimize our health and wellbeing. The challenge, for most of us, is how to filter it and then apply the latest knowledge and innovations to our own lives. There is undoubtedly a future in personalized medicine and the use of artificial intelligence, to guide our lifestyle decisions. InsideTracker is a health platform that curates peer-reviewed science and combines it with cutting edge technology, to provide insights for its users. The goal is to make it easier to reach informed decisions about how best to live our lives. Gil Blander, Phd., an MIT researcher in nutrition and aging, founded InsideTracker in 2009. In this LLAMA podcast interview, he explains its mission to provide actionable, evidence-backed recommendations to improve health and wellness.
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- 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.
“I decided to dedicate my life to try to find how can we extend lifespan, but also how can we extend healthspan because it’s not enough to live to 120. We want to reach to 120 when we are completely functional”Gil Blander
In this episode, topics we cover include:
- Thinking about the human body as a routinely maintained car
- Motivation to stay well and live to 120
- Gil’s bio and early work as a researcher
- The evolution of InsideTracker
- Why longevity and health science is not black or white
- How the platform curates peer-reviewed information
- Challenging the sick-care paradigm in medicine
- Playing life’s best cards
- Blood biomarkers and biological clocks
- Fasting, time-restricted eating and life extension
- Hey Inside Tracker, what should I eat for breakfast today?
- Will an app one say advise us on how our lives for optimum health?
DoNotAge.org is offering listeners to LLAMA a 10% discount on its range of products – NAD boosters, Sirtuin activators, senolytics and more.Use the code LLAMA at checkout. Any health queries can be answered by emailing the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Affiliation disclosure: This podcast receives a small commission when you use the code LLAMA for purchases at DoNotAge.org – it helps to cover production costs and ensures that our interviews remain free for all to listen.
This interview with Dr. Gil Blander was recorded on November 4, 2021 and transcribed using Sonix AI. Please check against audio recording for absolute accuracy.
Peter Bowes: [00:00:55] Now, as many of us try to pursue lifestyles that nurture our health and well-being, which interventions or lifestyle traits really make a difference to our healthspan. How can we trust the information that we’re bombarded with every day about diet and exercise and supplements? There are many enduring questions like these, and oftentimes it can be quite bewildering sifting through the latest guidance and data. If you really want to dig deep into the science. Well, today our guest is Dr. Gil Blander, the founder and CEO of Inside Tracker, the personalized health and performance analytics company, which you could say does the legwork in digesting and analyzing the latest innovations and research to help educate us about how to live our lives based on our individual data. Dr. Blander, welcome to the Live Long and Master Aging podcast.
Gil Blander: [00:01:53] Thank you, Peter. It’s my pleasure.
Peter Bowes: [00:01:55] It’s really good to talk to you. And just picking up on that final point that I made, based on our individual data, I think it’s always important, isn’t it, to remember that we’re all different, incredibly complex and varied in our biology and as far as longevity science is concerned? One size doesn’t necessarily fit. All were individual.
Gil Blander: [00:02:16] Yeah. One hundred percent agree with you and we need to look at ourselves as a unique creature. And I really like the analogy of the car. We are taking the car every five thousand miles or so to the technician, he plug a computer to the car and the computer tells the technician exactly what is not working well in the car. And based on that, the technician do whatever you need to do and then you take the car again after another 5000 miles and do it again and again and again. So it’s like a feedback loop. And results show that since we incorporate this routine maintenance of the car in the 80s, the lifespan of the car increased from around 100000 miles to around 200000 miles just by doing routine maintenance. So what I was trying to do with Inside Tracker, what we are trying to do with Inside Tracker, is do the same with our body. So every 5000 miles or so, we will plug a needle into your vein because we cannot plug a computer in into our brain yet, and the needle will extract liquid gold called blood. The blood will tell us exactly what are the issues that we have in our body. Hopefully, small issues and we can take care of them using a food supplement, exercise and lifestyle changes. And then five thousand miles after that, we’ll do it again and again and again, and hopefully that will allow us in the future to live a longer better life.
Peter Bowes: [00:03:43] Yeah, it’s a great analogy, and I want to dig a little deeper into that before we do that. Your PhD is in biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science, which is in Israel. He did postgraduate research on aging at MIT, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology here in the States. I’m curious how you got interested in this field. Did you study biology and then this whole field of longer term health and longevity kind of dawned on you? Or was it something you set out to do at the beginning?
Gil Blander: [00:04:15] Yeah, it came very early to me. When I was 12, a relative of mine passed away and instead of being sad about her, I started to be sad about myself that I won’t live forever. And I decided to dedicate my life to try to find how can we extend the lifespan? But also, how can we expect healthspan because it’s not enough to live to 120? We want to reach to 120 when we are completely functional. I like to cycle, so I want to continue to cycle at the age of 120 and not be lying on the bed and connected to a lot of tubes. So because of that, I study biology, as you said, the page they at the Weitzman Institute and at that time, we haven’t had any lab in Israel that studied aging. So I came to the best scientists at a department at that time and I said, I know that you are expert in cancer and I appreciate it, but I’m interested in aging. So I would like to study something that related to aging at your lab. And he said, Listen, I’m an expert in a cancer, if you won’t go to the library and find an idea of what you should work on. So I went to the library and spent a couple of weeks at the library. And then I found that at at that time, more or less, they found the reason why not the reason, but the gene that responsible for Werner syndrome. I’m not sure that you heard about it. It’s a premature aging syndrome, mainly in the Japanese population. Very rarely around one in eight million have this disease, and it’s similar to Progeria, but it’s called the Progeria of the adults because instead of them starting to age at the age of three or so, they started to age at the age Of 20 or so, and then they are dying at their 40s with a lot of signs of aging, like graying hair and cancer and other issues. So I said, OK. They found the gene for that. It was an interesting gene because it was both helicase and extra nucleus and again, for not the scientific audience. It’s both of them enzymatic activity that important to take care of of DNA. So it was an interesting gene.
Peter Bowes: [00:06:26] And in terms of and you referred to describing the science there in ways that I suppose ordinary people can understand in ordinary people language, what motivates you and especially on this issue of healthspan, which you nicely defined the number of years that we can optimize good health and enjoy life, whether it’s physically enjoy life, mentally enjoy life, socially enjoy life. What is your big motivator?
Gil Blander: [00:06:53] I enjoy life and I want to continue to enjoy it. And I think that a I hope that most of us also enjoy life. And I think that we can live longer. There is no reason why. I don’t see any barrier that say we have to live until, today the average is 82 or so. So we have to live until 82. We know that the maximum lifespan as of today, as much as I know, is around 122. There is a lady in France that died, I don’t know, 10 or 20 years ago that they live to that. That’s the, let’s say, the maximum burial that we know, but I’m not sure that that’s the maximum burial. There are some papers that published research recently using some computational biology that they done some complex computational biology and go to the point that they believe that a 150 is the limit. Ok, so somehow we can reach to the maximum lifespan can be 150. But I’m saying maybe it’s even more than that. Now, if the maximum is 150 and if you are looking at a, let’s say, one century ago, the average lifespan was around 40. So think about it that today’s 80 and it was 40. I don’t think that it’s a rocket, it’s a rocket science or a science fiction to come and say that we can have the average of 120 in another century or so. So I think that there is a lot of expansion of the lifespan ahead of us.
Peter Bowes: [00:08:19] Yeah, I think what’s interesting is that you refer to the lady that got to 122. There are others that have got certainly to hundred and teens, you know, between 10 and 120. And they did that without the benefit of the science that we understand. And the advice about nutrition, exercise, lifestyle and logic really follows that if individuals can without the benefit and the advice in their lives to get to a great age, we don’t really know how and why they got to that age. But it does stand to reason that certainly many more of us could potentially have the same opportunity to get to a very old age.
Gil Blander: [00:08:58] Absolutely.
Peter Bowes: [00:08:59] So let’s dive into Inside Tracker. You started by talking about it. I’d like to just fully understand exactly what it is and how it works, what led you to form this company and get involved in the first place?
Gil Blander: [00:09:13] When I have to MIT, I started to be exposed to the biotech pharma high tech environment of Kendall Square and Kendall Square is the area around the MIT. It’s like a one mile around MIT that you can find maybe almost 1000 different companies or startups that are doing a lot of cool, starting a lot of good, cool ideas. And I started to be involved with some of them via my supervisor, Lenny Guarente, or via someone that used to be a postdoc in the lab. David Sinclair, which I’m sure that you heard about and via some other entities, that I needed the reagent to do some experiment. And I realized that the reagent went out of the catalog, which is the catalog of all the reagent that you used to you can use in as a scientist. So I came to the company and say, I want to partner with you. And luckily, there have been in Boston, so I started to work with them. And also, I was fortunate enough that the Estee Lauder, the cosmetics company, came to Lenny and said, Hey, we want to support your research. And at that time, I done some research on the fibroblasts and keratinocytes, the differentiation and aging. So they funded my research. So all of that point me to the decision that actually being a professor in the academia is not the best use of my time to help humanity. And maybe if I start my own company, I can contribute more to humanity. And because of that, I decided to leave the academia and join the Computational Biology System Biology Company and work there for a couple of years. And this company develop a nice platform that allow you to take a lot of data, put it into this platform, and then it build you a pathway, how this, for example, you treat a mice with, let’s say, resveratrol. Ok, what are the changes that happened to the mouse in a global way, not in a one passed way? Like, most of the scientists today research, they know where metformin and IGF-1 and all of that and going down. But let’s look at the global effect. So they’ve done it for a lot of big pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and GSK. And others. And I said, OK, let’s use this platform. Let me collect all the publicly available data related to caloric restriction, and let’s try to build the model and understand, OK, what what caloric restriction is really doing. Because even if you are someone today, there are a lot of different answer that was in 2007 08. So that was long ago, and I took that information and put it into this platform and came with the option that it was around 16 different pathways or processes that were modulated by caloric restriction. And I said, OK, that’s that’s interesting. But as a good scientist, I said, OK, let’s say let’s have some controls because in science, you have to do some control. So one control that I use was a young versus old mice, again, all from peer reviewed scientific publication publicly available. So it wasn’t a new study that I’ve done. I just collected the data and reuse it. And the other one at that time, David Sinclair published a paper about how resveratrol actually increased the lifespan of obese mice and basically make them to live longer. So I said, let’s take the data of that as well, and let’s try to see what is the overlap between the caloric restriction and the mice that treated with resveratrol or the mice that the the young versus old mice. To my surprise, the caloric restricted mice have an overlap of only like two processes out of the 16, and the young versus old mice also had overlap of of two processors, but completely different processes. So basically, caloric restriction is not one percent overlap with aging and not one percent overlap with resveratrol. So that was an interesting result.
Peter Bowes: [00:13:23] So the data is telling you that none of this, none of the especially the biomarkers that we think are associated with longevity, nothing is cut and dry. There are gray areas.
Gil Blander: [00:13:34] Excellent. Yeah, exactly. And also, it’s telling me that at that time, resveratrol was it was at the height of the resveratrol after David Sinclair found that is a activator of a SIRT1. So everyone you’ve seen the consumption of red wine went to the roof and people are using resveratrol all over. And what it showed me that, yeah, maybe resveratrol is a good activator or good a mimetic, let’s say, of caloric restriction, but it’s definitely only mimic maybe 10 percent of caloric restriction. So what does it mean if that’s the best mimetic of caloric restriction, the second best? Maybe you will do half of the work and the third will do half of the second. So I calculated and I realized that it might be a few tenths of a good, a mimetic of caloric restriction that you need to make a mix of them in order to really mimic caloric restriction. And then I said, OK, but that’s all like a small molecules. They might have side effect and all of that. So then with a few of my colleagues at that company, we said, Why can’t we use food? Why can’t we use a food as a drug of choice? We know that there are 8000 or so foods available today for us as a people in the U.S.. And if you look at the average American in an average week, we may be consumed 20 of those eight thousand meaning that we have a universe like that and we are using a very small percentage of the universe. And also almost all of us consume the same food. So all of us eat the bread and cheese and the egg, and they are no chicken. So what? What we can do is, is it’s saying first, we need to expand it and find what what is the right intervention for the right person. So let’s find what are the issues that each of us, either Gail or Peter or anyone else in the in the U.S. or in the world have. And then let’s assign to him or her the best a food that we all or other interventions that will allow a team to get optimized.
Peter Bowes: [00:15:41] So you have all of this data. How is it of a practical help to the people that use your platform?
Gil Blander: [00:15:47] Yeah. So so first, I want to say that the platform is very scientific, so every recommendation that you receive is based on the peer reviewed scientific publication. And that’s why we decided to start with blood because the data about blood is really medical. We have a history and a lot of peer reviewed scientific publications for the last century or so. So basically, we can see a lot of information and extract a lot of information. For example, your glucose is high what are the natural intervention that you can do in order to improve glucose so it can be a consumable fiber. It can be a sleep better. It can be a lose weight. If you are overweight. It can be a exercise more, f you are not exercising enough. There are a lot of things that you can extract from the peer review scientific publication. What is nice about it also is that a it depends on your situation. So for example, for someone like you and me, losing weight is not won’t work so well because we we are not overweight or someone that is, let’s say, marathon runner to tell him to one that doesn’t want to improve his glucose if his glucose is high because they are already doing it. So we can find based on the peer reviewed scientific publication, what is the subpopulation that this intervention will work for? And then we can present it to the to the customer and say, Hey, we are, we are recommending you to run a half an hour a day. And the reason for that is this peer reviewed scientific publication, if you want to click on it and read it, if you don’t want to, we have a blog about it. If you don’t like to read blog, OK, you have a video of two minutes that explain it to you. So basically different layer of complexity, because not all of us are scientists. Some of us like to listen to a podcast like your podcast, some of us, they like to see video and some of us love to read. So we are trying to cater to each person for each profession, a preferred method of communication. And also, we are giving you all the information that you need. So some of us like a short communication, some of us like to go very deep. Everyone can do that. And also what we have done recently, we published a paper, a peer reviewed scientific paper that we looked at a cohort of around 1000 of our users that got tested in the baseline and then follow up on average seven months after the baseline. And we looked at the what is the effect of the Inside Tracker platform on the level of their blood biomarkers from baseline to follow up. We had this cohort of 1000 customers and we looked at subpopulation of them, for example, that started with high cholesterol, high glucose or high inflammation. And basically, we monitor them have seen on on average what was the effect on glucose or cholesterol or inflammation? I just want to say that this cohort of 1000 or so users selected around five hundred and twenty five different intervention. So it’s not all of them selected the fiber or not all of them selected the sleep longer.
Peter Bowes: [00:19:11] Right.
Gil Blander: [00:19:11] They selected a lot of different interventions. And what we have seen when we look at subpopulation that started with high glucose or high cholesterol or high inflammation or low vitamin D, we have seen a very significant improvement of the level of those blood biomarkers from baseline to follow up. So it was statistically significant, but also biologically significant. Again, it’s a observational study, so I cannot say that Inside Tracker worked one hundred percent. As a scientist, I cannot say it, but as an observation, it shows us that at least there is a coincidence between using Inside Tracker platform and improving your blood biomarkers.
Peter Bowes: [00:19:50] So how do users of your service benefit from the information that they can glean from you alongside what they can do with their own doctor, their own personal physician? Because at a more practical level, that is the person that people generally turn to. And I would advise turn to if they have health problems to speak to the doctor who has more intimate knowledge about their lifestyle and certainly health history than anyone else. How can they meld the two?
Gil Blander: [00:20:22] Yeah. So first, we are not trying to practice medicine at all. What we I think that the health care system is a good system for someone that is sick and they know very well how to treat someone that is sick and they are doing it amazingly in the last, I don’t know, in the last few centuries, let’s say, and we can see that the lifespan if we are going back, it was a 40 years, essentially ago. Now it’s around 80 years now. Most of it is due to what they done, and they are doing a great job. But I think that the issue is that is that they don’t know what to do with someone that is healthy. So let’s say that ninety five percent of us are healthy that but the healthy is like … I’m healthy and you are healthy. It doesn’t mean that we are in the same place. It’s not like a black and white. One day you are black and the other day you are white or vice versa. It’s like it’s a prism. There is a lot of gray. So what we are trying to do at Inside Tracker is to find how gray you are and try to take you as much further away from being sick. Meaning let’s assume that let’s take glucose as an example. So fasting blood glucose, today the normal range is sixty five to ninety nine. Doesn’t matter if you are young or old, male or female, Caucasian or African-American, marathon runner or couch potato, a monk or drinking like crazy. All of us have the same a normal zone. So what we said? Let’s build an optimal zone for each of us based on your age and gender and ethnicity and athletic activity and so on. Let’s bring an optimal zone. Again based on the science or based on the peer reviewed scientific publications, all based on a big database that we have. We have a database of hundreds of thousands of people, and based on that, we can find what is your optimal zone? So the optimal zone is always a narrower than the normal zone. And then let’s try to push you to the optimal zone. Why because as further away you are from the normal zone, in our opinion, is better. What we are doing in that case is giving you a recommendation to treat something that is very small and your physician will ignore it completely. But we are saying, yeah, it is right. But if you want to be completely optimized, you need to take care of it and pay attention to it.
Peter Bowes: [00:22:48] And another way, perhaps of describing what you’ve just talked about in terms of pushing someone into that optimum zone, you could say it’s essentially trying to lower the biological age of an individual.
Gil Blander: [00:22:59] Correct.
Peter Bowes: [00:23:00] As much as possible as opposed to the chronological age. So you might be 60 years old, but you might have the equivalent of the average body for someone of your sex of a 50 year old or 45 year old, which is to be desired.
Gil Blander: [00:23:15] Exactly. Yeah. And I think that now there are a lot of people that come in saying, Hey, all of it is basically based on my genetics and I cannot do anything about that because I got the bad genes. I heard a lot of people saying that, but my response to that is, yeah, you might have been born with the bad genes, but when you go and play a cards in the casino, sometimes you get a good cards and sometimes you get bad cards. And what are you doing when you are getting a bad card? So you’re playing the best that you can to beat the someone that got the good cards? So it’s the same here. The genes are basically the cards, the environment and your behavior is how you play the card. So if you will play the card well, you can beat someone that got a very good card and that’s what we need to do. You need to play the best that you can with what you have, because that’s what you have. You cannot change the card. The card is your body. That’s what you have.
Peter Bowes: [00:24:14] I think essentially what you’re saying is sometimes people use genetics, use that phrase. It’s in my genes. Almost as an excuse for a lifestyle that doesn’t promote good health.
Gil Blander: [00:24:23] Exactly. Yes. And and basically, they want to party and they want to have an excuse to party. And by the way, I don’t say I’m not saying that you shouldn’t party, but don’t party every day, party once a week or once a month. And the rest of the time, I try to be the best that you can be. And then the party will also get a lot of meaning because when you party every day, it’s your lifestyle. But when you party once a month, you are waiting for this party and you enjoy it so much more. So that’s that’s a philosophy that I have. Yeah, party, but don’t party every day.
Peter Bowes: [00:24:59] Well, it also depends on how you party as well. You can still party in a way that gives you a good feeling and being happy and being social. All those things that people associate with partying are actually good for our health in the longer term. You’re talking about obviously the extremes of partying, extreme alcohol, lack of sleep, those kinds of aspects of someone’s life that are clearly not good for us.
Gil Blander: [00:25:24] Exactly. Yeah.
Peter Bowes: [00:25:25] A lot of what you’ve been talking about is longevity, science from and developments in longevity science. I would say in the last decade, there’s really been an explosion of certainly of interest, but in developments as well during that time. I’m just curious in terms of your interpretation of where we are with longevity science now, the fact that people are, I think, beginning to realize what it’s all about. There’s certainly an element of people looking on into the longevity space with a certain amount of disbelief, thinking that it’s about eternal life and living forever, which I don’t believe it is, I think it’s all about healthspan, but I think we’re beginning to turn the corner. And maybe the COVID pandemic has had something to do with that, making people realize the value of everyday health.
Gil Blander: [00:26:14] And yeah, and I think that I agree with you. I’ve seen a lot of progress in the longevity science in the last decade or so. I think that one of them is the … all the clocks that we have right now. Some of them like the epigenetic clocks or what we call the Horvath Clock. That’s something that is interesting, but also we another develop some clocks that are more based on blood biomarkers and other and what is nice about those clocks that are more lifestyle responsive. So today, if you look at the Horvath Clock or the epigenetic clock is not responsive, too much to lifestyle, I think that the reason for that is that they haven’t been developed on the right training set. So basically the goal with those clocks was to try to find what is the best correlation between the age of a person and the methylation of his DNA. And what a the right way to do it, in my opinion, is to now take a database of people that they have had a high weight and lost weight, or haven’t been exercised and started to exercise or drank a lot of alcohol and stop drinking alcohol. And then when you train it like that, it can be lifestyle responsive because without that, it’s not exciting because you cannot modulate it. So I think that a clock like a clock that we develop that is based on the blood biomarkers are more exciting today because they are responsive. Ok, my glucose is high. I will get some penalty. I can decrease my glucose the next time I see my inner rage or biological age go down. So that’s one place that I think that is very exciting. The other one is that we are starting to see some, let’s say, small molecules or other intervention that they might be able to expand lifespan. Some of them are a long, long ago like a caloric restriction, which we discussed before. So that’s a I would say, almost a century ago it was found, and it still looks like a very robust way. Another one is the the diet that the longer you have the Prolon diet, that it’s starting to get more and more popularity. And I know that he even started a company based on that. So I think that it’s another way of a more like a lifestyle.
Peter Bowes: [00:28:41] That’s the fasting mimicking diet? We’ve talked about it quite a bit on this podcast. In fact, I’ve done the diet myself several times. I was part of the first human clinical trial with Dr. Longo looking at that regime. Listens to this can go back on previous episodes to listen to the detail, but I think it is fair to say isn’t that the fasting and different elements of fasting, or at least caloric restriction is probably still the most guaranteed intervention to extend our lives
Gil Blander: [00:29:11] As of today? I agree with you, but there are a few molecules that right now are in the trial, even in human. Metformin is one of them. It’s a it’s a drug for originally, for diabetic to maintain them in a low level of glucose that they have shown some promising data, mainly in humans, some in mice. But that’s debatable. And rapamycin is another one. I don’t know if anyone discussed with the audience, but it’s basically a inhibitor of a mTOR, and it’s have been shown in a lot of model organisms to expand the lifespan a significantly and significantly. I think that’s more than 10 percent, something between 10 to 20 percent, which is a very significant. And I think that a soon they will try to do some a human trial. There was some trial with analog of rapamycin that were done by Novartis, and they have shown some effect on the immunity, which was positive, but nobody have done yet research on data that related to lifespan and again doing lifespan in humans is very hard. It is exciting that we are starting to see at least the beginning of maybe coming of a small molecule, so other interventions that can help increase longevity. But I agree with you that none of those is. I’m not taking any of them. I’m and I’m not recommending anyone to take them, but I think that it’s a promising that we might have something in a few years.
Peter Bowes: [00:30:47] And what about the intervention that we haven’t spoken about yet? Arguably one of the most simple interventions that we could all make? And that is getting more sleep.
Gil Blander: [00:30:55] Yeah, so so yeah, so it’s talking about that. So definitely sleep and nutrition and the exercise that’s ever been shown a lot of time that it’s a can a prevent or delayed onset of aging related diseases, all the cardiovascular and the diabetes like and also a dementia like all of that can be delayed or even prevent by doing that. And definitely, there is a lot of value of taking the lifestyle intervention and that’s what actually Instant Tracker is doing. So I would say one hundred percent. Yes, everyone should do that. And there are a few ways to do that. The simple way is to just sleep better and eat better and exercise better, which is very hard to do because, OK. An average person said, OK, what do you want him to do? What? What does it mean better? And then you can go one layer deeper and they get something that is a bit more sophisticated and more tailored for you and more guidance like in such. And I’m not saying just doing Inside Tracker there are a lot of other platforms like Inside Tracker. And then you will get more guidance and hopefully a better result. But no doubt that the lifestyle changes and the optimize your lifestyle is definitely today the best intervention. And I think that caloric restriction is part of it. So it’s part of a lifestyle changes.
Peter Bowes: [00:32:25] I’m curious with all the knowledge that you’ve gleaned based on the research that you’ve done over many years now, I’m curious how you live your life, what are those interventions that you apply, perhaps on a daily basis in terms of your your morning routine, your daily routine, things that you based on the science that you really don’t want to miss because you, as you’ve described, you want to live to be healthy and and quite old.
Gil Blander: [00:32:49] So, so first, I’m following the Inside Tracker recommendation and I’m testing every quarter or so to to find what markers are not optimized. But generally what I’m doing is the first I’m trying to do caloric restriction or intermittent fasting, let’s say. So I’m trying to have the 16:8 as much as I can, then 16, meaning 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of feeding. And I think that it’s pretty easy to do after a while because there is one decision when you start eating and one decision when you stop eating. So it’s much easier than doing the two day fast and five days and not fasting because it’s more complex. It’s also better for your circadian rhythm or your 24 hour timing, because the other way it can make you a bit, you make your body a bit confused. So that’s one thing that I’m doing.
Peter Bowes: [00:33:41] It’s interesting that it’s evolved, perhaps into the one of the most popular forms of fasting 16:8. And it’s almost maybe it’s a little bit of a stretch to call it fasting because it’s only 16 hours and you don’t go into that deep fast that you would experience if you were fasting for a couple of days or for a week. So it’s a very it’s an extended nighttime fast, maybe more accurately described as time restricted eating, but certainly the science shows that it can still, and you mentioned circadian rhythm. It can have a very significant effect there and certainly help you sleep once you get into a rhythm.
Gil Blander: [00:34:16] Yeah, and I think that it’s in a way might resemble the the right lifestyle that the baseline lifestyle that we should have because we haven’t born, let’s say, thousands of years ago with the refrigerator next to our room that we could go at a 2 a.m. and I don’t know, eat a sandwich. We had to hunt and gather, and there have been a lot of days that we went to sleep hungry. And that’s maybe the way that evolution wanted us to be. So I think that the artificial it’s like taking a mice in the in the lab that you feed them as much as they want and say, Hey, we cut 30 percent of the food from the mice. I’m not sure that it’s a caloric restriction yet. It might be the normal amount of food that the mice in the wild eat. So, yeah, I agree with you, but it’s much better than the, let’s say, the Western society and nutrition. And yeah, I’m trying to exercise, but not exercise too much. So I may like, as I said, I like cycling, so I’m cycling, but I’m doing it every other day and the other day I’m doing some core. I think that the core exercise was so important and some yoga to relax my muscle, but also relax my mind. So I’m doing it every other day, and then I eat the right food that the Inside Tracker is telling me based on the markers that are not optimized and the central supplement, depending on the situation I’m trying to to take the right supplement that fits for me.
Peter Bowes: [00:35:43] Just diving into your food based on Inside Tracker. What kind of diet is that?
Gil Blander: [00:35:49] Yeah, so so for the food I’m trying to. My major issue is my glucose is slightly high again, it’s not a diabetic level, but I think that most of us and I have seen it in the database of Inside Tracker, maybe 40 or 50 percent of us have a glucose that is normal but not optimal. So I’m trying to eat as much fiber as I can. So I’m trying to eat whole grain and a food at a very high with fiber like berries and so on. I also currently trying a coenzyme Q10, which have been shown in the literature to modulate the level of glucose. I also, if we’re talking about lifestyle, I’m trying very hard to go to sleep every day at the same time and wake up at the same time and have the routine. And yeah, sleep is the sleep hygiene is a very long discussion, but there are a lot of things that most of us are not doing well, like bringing the TV to the home or watching the computer to the home or the phone to the home where the temperature is not high temperature and the light is not. So there are a lot of things that we can do to improve the sleep. It’s a vicious cycle. When you don’t sleep well, you are hungry and you eat more and your glucose is getting higher and your testosterone is going lower and your cortisol, the stress hormone is getting higher. So there are a lot of influence of just the sleep on a lot of biomarkers that and I think that is underrated. How important is sleep? So yes, I’m doing a lot of those.
Peter Bowes: [00:37:28] It’s a complicated equation, certainly just in closing for Inside Tracker. What is the next phase? Do you have a new project on the horizon in terms of how you like to see the platform develop?
Gil Blander: [00:37:40] Yeah. So I’m working now on the next phase, and I don’t know if you heard about Waze, the navigation system on the phone.
Peter Bowes: [00:37:47] Yes.
Gil Blander: [00:37:47] Yeah. So I’m I would like to build Inside Tracker as the Waze for nutrition. So basically, let me give you an example. You are. You ate something that you shouldn’t been eaten and we know that you’ve done it. So we will recalculate the route and all would change the all your nutrition for that day based on the change that you’ve done in the nutrition at that all the week even. Oh, you are getting into a restaurant and they will tell you, Hey Peter, the best dish for you in this restaurant is Dish A. But actually, this restaurant is not the best for you. And if you walk another one hundred yards there is a restaurant that is better for you.
[00:38:30] Or something like a Siri app you can say, Hey, Inside Tracker, what should I eat for breakfast today? And we’ll say, OK, what do you have in your refrigerator? I say X, Y and Z and say, OK, you eat that. So something that basically is like a guardian angel for health so that all the time will help you to make the decision when you need it or when you want our advice.
Peter Bowes: [00:38:48] That’s very interesting. So it’s you’re talking about instant feedback. I’m just wondering how many people are necessarily going to want that guardian angel hovering over them full time and maybe whether the novelty would wear off initially? I don’t know. I guess it depends on the individual and how invested in your health and your lifestyle you are.
Peter Bowes: [00:39:08] Exactly.
[00:39:09] Gil Blander, this has been a fascinating conversation. I wish you all the best with your future endeavors. Thank you very much indeed.
Gil Blander: [00:39:16] thank you Peter
Peter Bowes: [00:39:17] And if you’d like to read more about Dr. Blanders work and Inside Tracker, I’ll put some details into the show notes for this episode, along with a transcript of this conversation. You’ll find them at our website for Live Long and Master Aging. LLAMApodcast.com That’s LLAMApodcast.com. This has been a HealthSpan Media production. If you want to get in touch with me, you can email me at LLAMA podcast. That’s Peter@LLAMAPodcast.com Direct Message me @PeterBowes on Twitter. It’s always good to hear from you. We’ll be back soon. Many thanks 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.