David recently garnered attention with his appearances on the Rhonda Patrick and Joe Rogan podcasts. Using his moment in the spotlight to raise awareness for life extension research.

Despite being 50 years of age, David looks much younger. Given that his focus is on tackling aging and he appears to exemplify this work – it’s natural to ask – what’s his secret?

One thing David is fast to point out is that he’s a scientist – not a medical doctor, and doesn’t give health recommendations. Respecting that, this post will only look at what David does, noting that he isn’t recommending others do the same. David does not sell or endorse any brands – so the discussion below on “where to buy” will simply look at options.

David Sinclair Takes:

  • Resveratrol – 1g/daily – mornings with yogurt (see where to buy)
  • Nicotinamide Mononucleotide (NMN) – 1g/daily – mornings (see where to buy)
  • Metformin (prescription drug) – 1g/daily – 0.5g in the morning & 0.5g at night – except on days when exercising
  • Vitamins? Aims to get majority from diet, but does supplement a few including vitamin D & K2 – see this section
  • Statin (prescription drug) – taken since his early 20s due to family history of cardiovascular disease
  • Aspirin – 83mg daily

For a complete list of sources for the above, see this section.

What do Resveratrol & NMN do in relation to living longer?

David describes resveratrol and NMN as critical for the activation of sirtuin genes. Sirtuins play a key role in functions that help us to live longer – such as DNA repair.

He describes resveratrol as the “accelerator pedal” for the sirtuin genes (increasing their activation), and NMN as the fuel. Without “fuel”, resveratrol won’t work. The reason that resveratrol won’t work effectively without NMN, is that sirtuin activation requires youthful NAD levels, but by 50 years old, we have about half the level of NAD we had in our 20s (NAD being a molecule that is essential to energy production in our cells).

So in effect, you take resveratrol to increase activation of the sirtuin genes, and NMN to ensure the sirtuins have enough energy to work properly.

What else is David doing to stay healthy?

  • Intermittent fasting – skipping breakfast and/or lunch where possible. Helped by lots of green tea
  • Running 1-2x/week low impact and high intensity (using a curved treadmill such as Woodway)
  • Weight lifting (ideally!) 1-2x/week
  • Sauna weekly
  • Coffee in the morning (once per day), then green tea after that

Below we’ll dig deeper into the 3 longevity supplements David takes; NMN, Resveratrol & Metformin.

Resveratrol

Resveratrol is a molecule that’s found (in small amounts) in the skin of foods like grapes, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, and peanuts. If you remember the “hype” some time ago around red wine being healthy, part of that came because it contains tiny amounts of resveratrol. Unfortunately all foods sources contain tiny amounts, so we need to take it in a concentrated supplement form for it to be useful.

There’s actually a fair amount of controversy around the potential benefits of resveratrol. For example this 2019 literature review is quite critical of the health claims:

Whereas this paper (admittedly co-authored by David Sinclair), points to benefits:

In that paper they hypothesize that resveratrol acts a “caloric restriction memetic”, which activates beneficial cellular pathways.

Given that there are scientists much smarter than me on both sides of the fence, I find it hard to draw a conclusion. But certainly it’s interesting that a scientist like David has taken it since 2003 – and continues to do so to this day.

Left pic = 2009 (source), right pic = 2019 (source)

Resveratrol – Where to buy?

Whilst David’s resveratrol comes from excess product leftover from lab experiments, not all of us have this luxury! Therefore we are forced to look online. If you pop resveratrol into an Amazon search, you’ll find a host of different options, many of (potentially) dubious quality.

The first thing to note is that we should be looking for trans-resveratrol, not cis-resveratrol.

From David’s studies, cis-Resveratrol did not activate the sirtuin enzyme, but trans-Resveratrol did.

Next, the purity of the trans-resveratrol is important, we’re looking for 98%+. David mentions this at 1:17:54 of his Ben Greenfield interview, noting that 50% purity can even give diarrhea, because there’s other stuff that comes along with the molecule. He also confirms that Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese Knotweed) is a good source for the resveratrol.

To get closer to the quality that David is likely taking, we can look at research published by an old company of his; Sirtris (who were sold to GSK for $720 million). In this paper they were doing clinical tests on a formulation of resveratrol they call SRT501. Noting that:

Due to the poor aqueous solubility exhibited by resveratrol, digestive absorption is greatly influenced by drug dissolution rate. In an effort to increase absorption across the gastro-intestinal tract and thus systemically available parent compound, there has been considerable interest in the pharmaceutical manipulation of resveratrol. Decreasing the particle size of such chemicals can improve their rate of dissolution and thus their absorption. Therefore, the aim of this clinical study was to investigate whether consumption of SRT501, a micronized resveratrol formulation designed by Sirtris, a GSK Company is safe and generates measurable and pharmacologically active levels of parent agent in the circulation and in the liver.

That’s a wordy quote from the paper, but in essence, they were testing a micronized resveratrol formulation against a non-micronized version. Their study found that levels of resveratrol in the blood were 3.6x greater when using the micronized formulation, and other markers they were comparing also improved.

We see this with other molecules too; where reducing particle size increases bioavailability. For example with curcumin, whose absorption can be improved through micronization (for example Theracurmin). So this makes sense.

Searching Amazon for “micronized resveratrol” suddenly shrinks the options to just a few, including MegaResveratrol. However, I noticed something on the page for the Rich Roll interview with David Sinclair. He lists a micronized resveratrol by RevGenetics. This was interesting because during the interview Rich asks David where to get the supplements he takes, and David told him they’d talk about it after the podcast. Maybe RevGenetics was a brand that David mentioned post interview (possible), or perhaps it was just a brand Rich “plucked” from a Google search. Impossible to know without further info.

That said, I looked into RevGenetics a little more, and they certainly seem legitimate, with a high rating on ShopperApproved. They focus on longevity molecules and have been selling resveratrol since 2006. They offer a micronized 98% trans-resveratrol that comes in powder form, and thus could be taken in the morning with yogurt, as David does. It’s named M98 Super Micronized Resveratrol.

If like me, you’re curious about the daily cost… at 1g/day it works out at $3/day ($75 per 25g tub). If you buy 2 or 3 tubs you get a discount, and it comes down to $67.50 per tub, so $2.70/day.

Note: Whichever source of trans-resveratrol you take, ensure to mix it with a fat source (such as yogurt or olive oil) in order to maximize bioavailability.

Resveratrol – Storage

David mentions in his interview with Rhonda Patrick a few nuances around the storage of resveratrol:

  • Resveratrol is light sensitive, and when left exposed to light it turns brown. They found that brown resveratrol no longer works correctly.
  • Ideally resveratrol should be kept in the cold and dark – for example, in a sealed container in the fridge.

Homemade Yogurt

David takes his resveratrol in the morning, mixed into a spoon of homemade yogurt (using the Bravo starter culture), in order to increase its bioavailability.

His studies showed that without fat, resveratrol absorption was 5x lower. So consumption with yogurt (or another fat source) is important. David clarified on the recent podcast with Rhonda Patrick that the NMN doesn’t need to be taken with a fat source – he specifically mentions taking his NMN in capsules, downed with a glass of water in the morning.

Of course you don’t need to make your own yogurt, a store bought version will work adequately. However, if you’re interested to make your own version – expand the box below to learn more.

David has described his yogurt making process as so:

  • He takes a couple of Bravo yogurt starter culture sachets
  • Combines them with whole milk in a mason jar
  • Puts the jar in the oven over night on a low heat (~95F)
  • Next morning he takes it out, and it's ready to be chilled and eaten

David has specifically mentioned Bravo as the brand of yogurt culture he uses, for example at 1:12:28 of his interview on the Ben Greenfield podcast. Proponents of Bravo yogurt tout it as having having a very high amount of gut friendly bacteria, when compared to other similar products. Bravo seems like a fairly expensive product to me, however, once nice trick with yogurts is that you can make a new batch using a small amount from the old batch. Removing the need to use fresh starter sachets again 👌🏻


In terms of further details on the yogurt making process, I've summarized some of the key points below:

  • The core yogurt making process is combining yogurt bacteria with milk, and keeping the liquid at around 115°F for 5-10 hours (often overnight). During this period, the yogurt bacteria ferments the milk, turning the lactose sugars in the milk into lactic acid - causing it to thicken and change in taste.
  • A common step prior to this is to heat the milk to 180°F in order to sterilise both the milk and your storage container. David doesn't mention this part, but it's good practice in yogurt making to avoid unwanted bacteria multiplying later on.
  • After the milk has reached 180°F you can then cool it down to around 115°F (a milk thermometer makes this much easier; either analogue or digital), and then add your yogurt starter culture.
  • Next you want to store your yogurt mixture for 5-10 hours, keeping it at close to 115°F. David mentions leaving it in the oven, which is ok if your oven can maintain this temperature - worth checking yours to see if it can do so. You want to avoid the oven getting too hot, and then killing all the bacteria!
  • Alternatives to the oven are 1) Wrap your container in a blanket and place it in a warm part of your house. Whilst it won't stay at 115°F all night, it should hopefully stay warm enough to ferment and turn into yogurt - it's a very common method 2) Use a dedicated yogurt maker, or a slow cooker (both have thermostats to maintain the correct temperature).

This YouTube video gives a nice (but slow paced) example of the homemade yogurt making process.

 

NMN – Nicotinamide Mononucleotide

NMN falls into a category of supplements, along with Nicotinamide Riboside (NR), referred to as “NAD boosters” – which have become increasingly popular.

NAD is required for every cell of our body to help facilitate energy production. As we age, the amount of NAD our cells produce declines, and less NAD = reduced cellular function. According to David, at 50, you have about half as much NAD as at age 20.

The hope is that by supplementing precursors we can boost the cellular level of NAD closer to youthful levels.

There’s little to no doubt in the research community that we need to restore NAD function; but the jury is still out on what the best method will be. Currently David has his eggs in the basket of NMN.

NMN – Where to buy?

David’s NMN powder comes from excess product left over from lab experiments. This is good to know, but doesn’t help us when it comes to sourcing some. Below we will look at various possible buying options.

Potential considerations when buying include:

  • Accuracy – is the product you’re getting actually NMN?
  • Purity – assuming it is NMN, how pure is it? 98%… 99%…?
  • Contaminants – does it contain any contaminants such as heavy metals?
  • Fillers – are any fillers used?

Assuming all the above are ok, the last crucial question is:

  • Price – how much does it cost per gram?

What I’ve done below is put some of the more highly reviewed options (within USA) into a table, calculated the approximate price per gram, and added links to any 3rd party analysis certificates the companies display.

ProductApprox. price per gram3rd Party Analysis Certificate?
Powder
Double Wood (30g powder)$3.83/gram ($115 / 30g) - using $15 off coupon codeYes (link) - via Colmaric Analyticals
PureGen (15g powder)$4.60/gram ($69 / 15g)Possibly / Questionable (link) - via unspecified lab
RevGenetics Advanced NMN (25g powder)$15.8/gram ($395 / 25g)Yes (link) - via Intertek
Capsules
Double Wood (125mg capsules)$5.86/gram ($44 / 7.5g) - using $5 off coupon codeYes (link) - via Colmaric Analyticals
Maac10 (250mg capsules)$5.33/gram ($40 / 7.5g)Possibly / Questionable (link) - via unspecified lab
Infinite Age (250mg capsules)$6 ($45 / 7.5g)Yes (link) - via Colmaric Analyticals

The above table provides a start, but for a detailed analysis table see this post, which also includes options for UK buyers.

– Price per gram
The average price per gram appears around $4-$6. For products noticably cheaper, it would be worth exercising some caution around their authenticity.

– Capsulating the Powders
With the bulk powder versions of NMN above, you could put them into capsules yourself at home, using a capsule filling machine. Emulating the method David uses to take his NMN; in capsules swallowed with a glass of water. Using size 00 capsules, it takes 3 capsules to capsulate 1g of NMN. Depending on how tightly you fill them you may be a marginally over or under 1g, but it won’t be by much. With enough powder, most machines can fill 100 capsules per time – which would be 33 days (~1 month) supply.

– Testing
There are two main types of tests companies will do. The first is third party testing on the purity of their NMN. The second is contaminant testing, for things such as heavy metals. It’s a positive indicator if they can provide both.

NMN Price & Bioavailability

One thing that’s worth acknowledging is that NMN is currently a very expensive supplement, especially if you wanted to emulate David Sinclair’s dosage of 1g/day.

There are a few possible workarounds:

  1. It may be possible to use lower doses, perhaps 0.25 or 0.5g per day. Given that NAD levels decline with age, this approach of taking a lower dose may be more viable the younger you are - on the basis that if you're younger, you might need less NMN to raise your NAD back to youthful levels. However, this is all theory, we need studies to test the dose dependent effect, and which dose thresholds work for different age groups.
  2. An idea being discussed by the brand "Alivebynature" is sublingual dosing. Essentially you put the powder in your mouth, under your tongue, and let it dissolve fully before swallowing. With the intention that it's absorbed by the capillaries into the bloodstream, bypassing the liver, and increasing the amount that makes it to the bloodstream. If you can increase the absorption, you can potentially decrease the quantity needed per dose. Sublingual dosing is described in more detail on their site. Having read their description, it's evident that sublingual dosing is not a science backed approach (yet) - it's still speculative. David actually wrote a blog post about sublingual dosing, saying that we still don't have any evidence if this works, and that whilst he doesn't tell anyone what to do, or give health advice - he doesn't personally take NMN sublingually.

 

What does David think of Nicotinamide Riboside (NR)?

Nicotinamide Riboside is a precursor to NAD, similar to NMN. David states in his book that his lab finds:

  • NMN a more stable molecule than NR
  • NMN is able to do some things in mice studies that NR can’t

That being said, he isn’t against NR, he’s just more optimistic on NMN being the better molecule for raising NAD in the long run. He notes in a blog post on NMN & NR that:

  • The science is further along for NR, but it’s too early to say which is better for humans.

NR – Where to buy?

The brand leader in sales of Nicotinamide Riboside is Chromadex’s Niagen (pictured above). Amongst Chromadex’s scientific advisors is Charles Brenner, who first discovered NR, and showed it could extend the life of yeast cells.

Niagen’s recommended serving size is 300mg (1 capsule) – which may be less efficient at raising NAD levels than 1g of NMN.

If we compare NR & NMN at a price per gram, they’re more similar than I expected. Niagen works out approximately $5.22/gram, and NMN is around $5-$6/gram depending on brand.

NR & NMN Storage

In David’s recent interview with Rhonda Patrick, he discussed details around storage, saying:

  • NR and NMN need to be kept cold (fridge or freezer) because they don’t have a long shelf life.
  • If they are kept on a shelf, and are not in a stabilized form, they can degrade into nicotinamide. This is sub-optimal because Nicotinamide can have the opposite of the desired effect, and actually inhibit the sirtuins1. He didn’t elaborate further on what a “stabilized form” means in this context, which would be interesting to know.
  • If NMN gets wet, or gets a bit of humidity in the bottle, its only a short time before it’s degrading. This may be the case with NR too (because it applies to many supplements), but when David explained this he was explicitly talking about NMN.

Since David explained this I’ve come to learn that Nicotinamide Riboside, when it its chloride form; Nicotinamide Riboside Chloride (as sold by Niagen), is in a stabilized form. This means that it doesn’t need to be kept cold to have an adequate shelf life. More on that below…

Looking at the data online around stabilized NR, I found:

  • FDA document (link) mentioning the stability of Niagen up to 11 months in both normal and accelerated conditions. In both cases it maintained its NR chloride content well (98.8% under normal conditions and 92.1% under accelerated conditions). This document was published before they had completed testing beyond 11 months.
  • Then similarly a more recent “European Food Safety Authority” document discusses stability (link) of at least 36 months when stored under ambient conditions. Noting that the applicant (Chromadex) who make Niagen recommend it’s stored under refrigerated conditions with a shelf life of 36 months.

What I gather from that, is that NR in its chloride form is stabilized. But like most edible products, cooling it does slow down the degredation that occurs over time. However for most people, the product isn’t intended to sit on the shelf for a long time, and thus it will be consumed before the degredation becomes a problem.

 

NMN/NR & Methyl Group Depletion?

There has been some concern in the field that consuming NR or NMN could decrease the body’s methyl groups and lead to health problems. This section will discuss that issue…

So methylation itself, which utilizes methyl groups (CH₃), is an essential process for a host of critical functions in the body, including regulation of gene expression and the removal of waste products.

Consuming Niacin derivatives (which includes NR and NMN) will require the body to use up methyl groups in order to later degrade and excrete them. There has been some discussion and concern that by increasing the amount of methylation the body needs to do (through supplementation of NR/NMN), we might deplete the body of methyl groups needed to carry out essential processes.

David discussed this in his podcast with Paul Saladino (see 44mins mark), acknowledging that Niacin derivates (including NR/NMN) require methylation for excretion, but asserting that at this stage the idea of methyl depletion is anecdotal, and not something that has been shown in any NR/NMN studies.

Initially David mentioned taking a supplement called betaine (also known as trimethylglycine), and then he moved to taking a combination of methyl folate plus methyl B12. He didn't cite a particular brand, but examples include Jarrow Methyl B-12/Methyl Folate & Pure Encapsulations - B12 Folate. This was all "in an abundance of caution", rather than due to any new research that backed up the risk of methyl depletion.

After taking the B12/Folate supplement for a few months, David got some blood tests done, and found his B12 levels were double the recommended maximum - so he stopped taking it (source: David's Facebook post). I haven't seen him mention since if he's taking any supplements in relationship to methyl groups.

Methyl groups are primarily derived from nutrients in the diet, including; methionine (amino acid), folate (vitamin B9), choline, betaine, riboflavin (vitamin B2), pyridoxine (vitamin B6) and cobalamin (vitamin B12). For foods rich in these, see the table below (source):

  
CholineCauliflower, eggs, flax seeds, lentils, liver, peanuts, soybeans and wheat germ
Folate and folic acidAsparagus, cheese, eggs, fortified breads and cereals, legumes, liver, peanuts, oranges and spinach
MethionineDairy products, eggs, fish, meat, poultry and rice
Vitamin B2
(Riboflavin)
Cheese, eggs, meat and milk
Vitamin B6
(Pyridoxine)
Bananas, fish, grains, legumes, liver, meat, potatoes and poultry
Vitamin B12
(Cobalamin)
Eggs, fish, meat, poultry, dairy products

A further source to add to this discussion is the research done by Chromadex. They hold a patent on nicotinamide riboside production, and make Niagen. In a tweet thread by their chief scientific adviser Charles Brenner, he explains that Chromadex took the potential risk of NR depleting methyl groups seriously. To test this they performed a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial administering 100, 300, or 1,000 mg of NR over 56 days (study link). They used homocysteine levels as a proxy for methylation disturbance, and found no change to homocysteine in any of the dosage groups, including up to 1,000mg (see this image). If there was a shortage of methyl groups, they would have expected to homocysteine levels rise. It's worth noting the study used NR, not NMN.

 

Metformin

Metformin is actually a relatively old drug, first discussed in medical literature in 1922, and studied in humans in the 1950s. It is derived from a plant called the French Lilac. It’s primary use in medicine is for the treatment of diabetes, thanks to its ability to decrease blood glucose levels in patients.

Because Metformin has been used for years, and has an established track record of safety, this makes it more attractive as a longevity drug. Molecules that are discovered today will need years of testing before they can even come close to rival the amount of data and “patient years” accumulated by metformin.

It’s thought the longevity benefits are at least in part derived from activation of the AMPK cellular pathway. This has a host of knock-on effects (visualized below), some of which are involved in beneficial processes like mediating inflammation and increasing autophagy (cellular cleanup).

AMPK pathway activation (image via this paper)

Metformin – Where to buy?

Metformin is a prescription drug, and thus needs to be acquired through a doctor’s prescription, at least in most countries. It isn’t (yet) considered a drug that can help improve healthspan or lifespan, and so you may need to find a forward thinking doctor if you want it prescribed for general health. Typically doctors only prescribe Metformin for blood sugar control issues (type 2 diabetes).

Metformin – How often to take?

Typically Metformin is taken daily – both by diabetics, and by people using it for healthspan extension. However, on the latest interview with Joe Rogan, they discussed a 2018 paper which showed metformin inhibits mitochondrial adaptations to aerobic exercise training. David explained that this makes sense, and it’s exactly metformin’s inhibition of mitochondrial function that leads to some of the health benefits. Specifically, they cause the cell to think it’s in a nutrient restricted state, and it turns on pathways typically reserved for times of scarcity. The function of these pathways is hypothesized to lead to better healthspan outcomes.

With this in mind, David opts to take metformin at night, so that come the morning, the mitochondrial inhibition is lessened. He also opts not to take it on days when he has been exercising. For similar reasons he also skips resveratrol on exercise days (source: see last paragraph of section 1 – “Get Moving” on David’s blog post)

How to think (big picture) about the molecules David takes

We can attempt to summarize the function of the molecules David into 2 categories;

1) Molecules that emulate fasting
2) Molecules that restore prior function.

Expand the box below to read more.

1) Molecules that emulate fasting

Both resveratrol and metformin can be described as molecules that trigger cells to exhibit characteristics similar to when fasting. Metformin activates AMP-Kinase, Resveratrol activates SIRT1 and AMP-Kinase.

Why is this beneficial?

Cells have evolved to operate in 2 main states; fed and unfed. In times of plenty, they will grow and multiply, and in times of scarcity, they will hunker down and focus on maintenance. Part of maintenance includes things like:

  • DNA repair
  • Removing and re-using non-functioning or superfluous cellular contents (autophagy)
  • Removing toxins

These are all important tasks, and it's possible that when we exist in a constantly fed state, they don't get performed as often as may be optimal.

Thus when David takes resveratrol and metformin, and undertakes intermittent fasting, he's allowing for these fasting dependent processes to take place.

There may be other things going on too - but this is a big chunk of what's happening.

2) Molecules that restore prior function

Whilst metformin and resveratrol are primarily aimed at preserving existing function, we have NMN which is taken to boost our NAD back to youthful levels.

Fasting can actually boost NAD levels too, but the intention is that using NAD precursors like NMN raises NAD higher and for longer than can be achieved otherwise.

Other Supplements David Takes

Whilst David generally tries to get all the vitamins and minerals he needs from his diet, he does still take some supplements daily. Specifically he’s discussed taking:

  • Vitamin D3
  • Vitamin K2
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid
  • Coenzyme Q10

He uses testing from Inside Tracker (which he’s an investor in), to gauge where he may need to add or reduce supplementation.

To read more about these supplements and why David takes them, click to expand the boxes below:

Vitamin D3

On page 304 of his David's book 'Lifespan', he mentions taking vitamin D3 daily.

Vitamin D is an essential micronutrient, and is thought to exercise significant effect on at least 200 of our genes2. It's relatively scarce in foods, and so we rely on sunlight for producing adequate quantities. If you're not getting much sunlight, then it can be necessary to supplement.

Whilst David doesn't mention in the book what brand he uses, or how much he takes, he mentions in the podcast with Dave Asprey (link) that he takes at least 2,000iu per day.

Examples of reliable brands for vitamin D3 include Thorne D-1000 and Pure Encapsulations D3 1,000IU

 

Vitamin K2

David mentions taking Vitamin K2 daily on page 304 of his book 'Lifespan'.

Vitamin K is an essential micronutrient that’s plays a crucial role in the ability to form blood clots, and to transport calcium around the body. It comes in 2 different forms, vitamin K1 (phylloquinone) and K2 (menaquinone). Vitamin K1 is the most abundant in a western diet, primarily found in leafy green vegetables. Vitamin K2 on the other hand is found in fermented foods, which are less common in a western diet. A source that’s particularly high in K2 are fermented soya beans, also known as “natto” in Japan.

Unfortunately, many people are low in vitamin K1, and therefore may have inadequate levels of K1 to support adequate calcium transport. The NHANES 2011-2012 study found only 57% of men and 37.5% of women (N = 4,306) met the "adequate intake" of K13. This could lead to increased cardiovascular risk as a result4, although more research needed.

So where does the vitamin K2 supplementation come in?

Whilst vitamin K1 is prioritized for use in the liver, vitamin K2 appears to be prioritized for use in the periphery, which will support calcium transport5.

Examples of reliable brands for vitamin K2 include NOW K2 MK4 - 100mcg and Thorne - 3-K Complete

 

Alpha Lipoic Acid

In his podcast interview with Dave Asprey (link), David mentions taking alpha lipoic acid. Not to be confused alpha linoleic acid - which is a source of omega-3 fatty acids, often found in seeds. Alpha lipoic acid is found naturally in certain food, and when digested, is used in the cells as a cofactor in mitochondrial energy metabolism6.

At 37m 20s of the podcast, David shares an anecdote about an early pioneer in the field of aging called Denham Harman. Denham managed to keep working into his 90s, dying at the respectable age of 98. When David visited his family, they let him into a secret - Denham had been taking alpha lipoic acid for most of his life, primarily thinking it was an antioxidant. To which David suggests, at the least, it probably wasn't causing Denham any harm.

He goes on to say that he takes it daily, and uses the S form, rather than the R form; R-Lipoic Acid. He didn't however mention the dose that he takes.

Examples of generally reliable brands for alpha lipoic acid are Thorne - Alpha Lipoic Acid (300mg) and Pure Encapsulations - Alpha Lipoic Acid (400mg)

 

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

Also in the podcast with Dave Asprey (link), David says that he takes Coenzyme Q10 because he's taking a statin. He doesn't elaborate any further on specifics of why he takes Coenzyme Q10, but he's potentially referring research that suggests statins can reduce Coenzyme Q10 levels in blood7.

He doesn't mention a specific dose, but just says that he takes 1 large pill daily. Coenzyme Q10 supplements are commonly in the range of 100 to 200mg per capsule.

It's quite likely that David didn't talk about Coenzyme Q10 in his book because it's specific to him and his use of a statin. Which he takes due to a family history of cardiovascular disease.

Examples of reliable brands for Coenzyme Q10 include Thorne - Coenzyme Q10 100mg and Pure Encapsulations - CoQ10 120mg

 

To Conclude…

  • David is a longevity researcher who is certainly aging gracefully

Left pic = 2009 (source), right pic = 2019 (source)

  • He doesn’t give medical advice and doesn’t sell or endorse any brands, however, he’s open to sharing what he does for himself
  • We looked at what he does to stay youthful, and what supplements he takes. Covering:
  • How resveratrol works and where to buy
  • How NMN works and where to buy
  • We discussed how Nicotinamide Riboside (NR) is an alternative to NMN
  • How metformin works (noting that it’s prescription only)
  • He taking resveratrol around 2004, and added NMN & Metformin approximately 3 years ago
  • Lastly, we looked at a simple way to categorically think about how these 3 molecules work

Sources for David’s Supplementation

Sources for where David has mentioned taking these various supplements are shared below:

  • Resveratrol & NMN doses come via David’s recently released book; Lifespan, page 304
  • For Metformin dosing, David mentions taking 0.5g in the morning and 0.5g at night in his Ivy Lecture, at 1:16:45
  • Daily vitamin K2, D3 and aspirin all also mentioned in his book Lifespan, page 304
  • David has discussed taking a statin in his 2019 Joe Rogan interview (link) + 2020 Dave Asprey interview (link).
  • Mention of taking Coenzyme Q10 and Alpha Lipoic Acid in his March 2020 interview with Dave Asprey (link). Supplement discussion begins at ~19m 10s

David’s Coronavirus (Covid-19) Thoughts

Resveratrol & NAD

David recently wrote in his email newsletter that it’s not yet clear whether resveratrol or NMN are good or bad for Covid-19. To quote:

“Many people have asked me, “does NAD boosting or resveratrol work?” The answer is we don’t know. Lives are at stake here. In cell culture, resveratrol does counteract numerous viruses, including MERS, SARS-1, and HIV. Whether or not it works in the human body to slow viruses hasn’t been tested, but it’s relatively safe and I continue to take it while I’m safe at home. As for NAD, it’s plausible, but again we have no human data. NAD may increase the prevalence of the ACE2 that the virus uses to enter cells. But again, we just don’t know.”

Getting/Staying Healthy & Fit

In the email, David goes on to talk about the importance of getting in to the best physical and mental shape over the next couple of months. The specific tips he gave a friend are below:

  1. Maintain cardio fitness, which will increase capillary and red blood cell counts. Lift weights if possible. Move.
  2. Don’t be low in iron but also don’t overdose.
  3. Keep taking your medicines unless an MD says to stop.
  4. Eat less often during the day. I skip at least one meal, usually breakfast, and eat sensibly at other meals.
  5. Avoid super intense exercise or long-term fasting.
  6. Take 2500 - 5000 IU of vitamin D3 a day, which doctors say keeps your immune system in good shape.
  7. Keep blood sugar levels in check by avoiding sugar and processed grains.
  8. Focus on plants. Meats should include fish, preferably on the low end of the food chain to avoid heavy metals.
  9. Eat colored plants, either fresh or snap-frozen, and don’t overcook them. They contain xenohormetic molecules that activate cell defenses.
  10. Include nuts, avocado, and olive oil in your diet. Oleic acid from these foods will activate SIRT1, the defense enzyme, the same way resveratrol does (fasting also liberates oleic acid from fat stores). 
  11. Keep humidity up in the home to maintain airway health and mucus. If your house isn’t humidified, get a humidifier for the bedroom.
  12. Turn off breaking news channels. Read a book. Listen to a podcast. Make something.
  13. Get sufficient sleep. Consider L-theonine. Avoid screens at night. Avoid big meals and alcohol near bedtime. Download f.lux software to dim the screens. If you use your phone in bed, wear blue-light blocking glasses.

—-

Currently research is further ahead with nicotinamide riboside than nicotinamde mononucleotide. NMN has only been tested in animals so far, but human studies are in progress currently. I've listed some of the more interesting nicotinamide riboside studies below:

Nicotinamide Riboside

  • 2019 (August), a 12 person study, taking 1g/day nicotinamide riboside. Showed elevated NAD+ metabolome in skeletal muscle, which I take to mean there was greater metabolic function, which they evidenced by greater NAD and nicotinamide clearance products (need to look into what this means in more detail!) Also showed reduced level of circulating inflammatory cytokines. This was a placebo controlled, randomized, double blind crossover trial - study link
  • 2019, 32 person study in ALS patients, taking what they called EH301. EH301 is another name for Elysium's supplement; Basis. 2 capules (1 dose) contains 250mg Nicotinamide Riboside and 50mg Pterostilbene. Participants took 4 capules, twice daily, for a total of 1,000mg NR and 200mg Pterostilbene. The results showed disease modifying benefits for ALS patients - study link
  • 2017, An 8 person, non randomized, open label trial in healthy volunteers. Dose = titrated up to 1,00mg on day 9. No adverse effects. NAD+ was 2x baseline on day 9. - study link
  • 2016, 1 person study, showed that NR raises NAD+ by as much as 2.7x in human blood with a single oral dose of 1000 mg - study link

 

Any questions or comments, please leave them below.

If you liked this post, you may also find these interesting:

  • For more discussion on lifestyle modifications (intermittent fasting, foods to eat, optimizing sleep) – see my post on Dr Rhonda Patrick’s Diet
  • David Sinclair recently wrote an article on his blog around what his 80 year old father does to stay healthy
  • David Sinclair also wrote an article on his blog comparing NR to NMN – which I also linked to above.
  • Dr Peter Attia recently wrote a post on metformin and how it appears to blunt (positive and desirable) muscle and mitochondrial adaptations to exercise – raising questions on whether super healthy people want to be taking metformin if they’re exercising regularly

See Post Sources Below:

  1. Inhibition of Silencing and Accelerated Aging by Nicotinamide, a Putative Negative Regulator of Yeast Sir2 and Human SIRT1 – Bitterman et al (2002)
  2. A ChIP-seq defined genome-wide map of vitamin D receptor binding: Associations with disease and evolution - Ramagopalan et al. (2010)
  3. Vegetables and Mixed Dishes Are Top Contributors to Phylloquinone Intake in US Adults: Data from the 2011-2012 NHANES - Harshman et al. (2017)
  4. Circulating uncarboxylated matrix Gla protein, a marker of vitamin K status, as a risk factor of cardiovascular disease - van den Heuvel et al. (2014)
  5. The relationship between vitamin K and peripheral arterial disease - Vissers et al. (2016)
  6. Lipoic acid: energy metabolism and redox regulation of transcription and cell signaling  - Packer et al. (2011)
  7. Coenzyme Q10 and Statin-Induced Mitochondrial Dysfunction - Deichmann et al. (2010)
John Alexander

Posted by John Alexander

Note: Not a Medical Doctor or PhD. I'm a researcher and writer, with a focus on the subjects of health and longevity. My intent is to write about scientific research in an accessible, understandable way. If you believe something I've stated needs a reference, and I haven't done so, please let me know in the comments. Follow on: Twitter

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Thomas D Kehoe
Thomas D Kehoe
10 days ago

Dr. Sinclair’s book Lifespan never mentions DHEA. I’ve been taking 25mg for years. Why didn’t he discuss DHEA?

Edward
Edward
11 days ago

Cultures for Health sell several yogurt cultures from Bulgaria and Finland and elsewhere that are mesophilic, meaning they thrive at room temperature. This means no warm oven or yogurt maker required.
You can put the culture and milk (I use half and half for a thicker yogurt) in a mason jar, cover the top using the ring only, with a coffee filter held by a rubber band and put on your chest of drawers.
Within 12 to 18 hours you will have a very mild, non-acidic yogurt.

Last edited 11 days ago by Edward
Robert
Robert
11 days ago

Hello John,

I am little confused on resveratrol and exercise issue. I recently read Dr Sinclair stating he does not take resveratrol on days he exercises. Based on what I have read from him, it seems he only does exercise once a week. I however love to run, running 6 days a week. What can you comment on this issue.
Great website, Robert

Will
Will
22 days ago

Amazing article! Thank you so much for putting it together! Have a quick questin, too. I’m 45, eat a low calorie, near-vegetarian diet. I don’t fast, technically, but I don’t normally eat between 8pm and 7-8am. I exercise at least 10-15 minutes per day 6 days a week. Would it still be beneficial for me to take NMN? Or would that be overdoing it? Thank you!

Kenta
Kenta
1 month ago

Hi John,

Thanxs for your great work!!
I was just wondering, though David mentions at his book that the ideal BMI is around 23-5, isnt this difficult to balance with keeping low calorie diet? I appreciate if you could give me your thoughts.

Joe Smeets
Joe Smeets
1 month ago

Thank you for pulling all this information together. Is’s sure saving me a lot time. Embarking on a project like this or discovery via trial and error is outright dangerous.

Markus
Markus
2 months ago

Hi John,
may I ask, why you did remove the proHealth NMN powder from the table?
Thanks

Last edited 2 months ago by Markus
Peter
Peter
3 months ago

David Sinclair also takes alpha lipoid acid.

Markus
Markus
Reply to  John Alexander
1 month ago

There is some discussion on the web, whether alpha lipoic acid does activate or inhibit autophagy (e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKcVmP5ivMg) Personally, I think that David Sinclair wouldn’t take ALA if it inhibits autophagy. Unfortunately, the data on this doesn’t seem to be clear. Any thoughts or comments about this?
Thanks.
Markus

Peter
Peter
Reply to  Peter
3 months ago
emmo
emmo
3 months ago

With the FDA taking Metformin of the market for the time being, does David Sinclair still take it..?

Debbie Mueller
Debbie Mueller
3 months ago

John, I so appreciate this wonderful column. I have homozygous MTHFR (for 1298 or 677 – whichever the more critical one is – I can never remember) and APO-E4 allele. I appreciate your including the info on experimentation done to try to determine the danger of supplementing with NMN as regards methylation. You have helped me immensely! I am 65, and was set to participate in a brain study, but then the doctor broke her leg. I will proceed on my own to the best of my ability using your column alongside Dale Bredesen’s recommendations. Thank you so very much… Read more »

Dana Izofatov
Dana Izofatov
3 months ago

Hi John,

Thank you so much for writing this!
I was just wondering whether there is data regarding a minimum recommended age to start taking NMN and Resveratrol as I’m currently 20 years old.

Robert
Robert
3 months ago

Have you heard about the assay kit to test for NAD levels: https://www.abcam.com/nadnadh-assay-kit-colorimetric-ab65348.html#:~:text=The%20levels%20of%20both%20NADt,by%20absorbance%20at%20450%20nm.
Would be great if you could test for NAD+ levels.

Kate
Kate
3 months ago

Hi, Question about dosage here. I recently bought a batch of Revgenetics’ Nitro Super Micronized Resveratrol capsules (with tween). They’re 250 mg each and they say the following about dosage: “Because of the estimated increased absorption that we fashioned after Sirtris resveratrol, we recommend only 1 capsule a day. The dose is powerful as it is equivalent to taking up to 10 capsules of regular resveratrol that you would buy anywhere else. The dosage is based on Albert Einsteins College Of Medicine Study Where People Took about 2 grams a day with positive results”. I was planning on taking two… Read more »

mevcit
mevcit
Reply to  Kate
2 months ago

Dude, you wrote it yourself. It contains Tween 80 (polysorbate 80)! It’s a detergent which makes resveratrol water soluble. High levels of polysorbate 80 are harmful to your intestines. So, do not take 2 capsules. Moreover, resveratrol is a hormetic drug, so you shouldn’t aim for high doses. I would not even take 1 capsule of that product. If you wanna use it, use only 1 capsule daily on an empty stomach and away from any other supplements/medications.

Matthew Yourell
Matthew Yourell
3 months ago

Hi John, I have been intermittent fasting for about a year, not for weight loss, but for autophagy and ant-aging. I currently fast from dinner to late afternoon or dinner during weekdays and not on the weekends when I tend to do more physical morning exercise. I have just read David’s book and am wondering if it makes sense to reduce the daily doses David uses (1gm per day) for MNM and Resveratrol as i understand that frequent intermittent fasting produces a lot of the same benefits. Do you have a feeling for how much of the 1gm daily amounts… Read more »

Gayle Delaney
Gayle Delaney
3 months ago

Today, I was surprised to hear on the second Rich Roll interview (2/2020) that he eats yogurt and it seems he eats dairy. Has he a viable retort to the WFPB movement’s avoidance of same? Or ha just not got there yet? Does he know, and does he deal with Dr.s Greger, Barnard, Esselyton, Campbell and so on?
Thank you for a fabulous article!

Last edited 3 months ago by Gayle Delaney
mevcit
mevcit
Reply to  John Alexander
2 months ago

You don’t need a fat source for absorption of trans-resveratrol. See below. Food decreases the maximum concentration of trans-resveratrol in blood (Cmax) when compared to consumption on empty stomach, but the total absorption (AUC) is the same for both. See: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19000554/ Here is another study that compares trans-resveratrol consumption with standard breakfast vs with high-fat breakfast. The high-fat breakfast decreased both Cmax and AUC. See: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20528005/ So, don’t believe everything David Sinclair says. He also tells people nicotinamide riboside degrades at room temperature while he knows very well that the patented ingredient used in every product (nicotinamide riboside chloride) is… Read more »

Florian Rücker
Florian Rücker
3 months ago

Hey,
just read in YouTube comments, two users independently report that Sinclair has stopped taking methyl b folate because of unhealthy B12 levels:
user one: “David Sinclair recently just published some of his health results he had been taking methyl B folate with NMN and his B12 levels were twice what they should be so he said he was going to stop taking methyl B folate.”
another user: “Yes, I saw it too and also switched back to TMG.”
I asked for the source. Maybe someone else can help out.

Last edited 3 months ago by Florian Rücker
Robert
Robert
3 months ago

John, thanks for the in depth response. Since NR has had human clinical trials and NMN has not (to my knowledge) I wonder if there is any risk taking both (300 mg of NR and 1 gram of NMN per day) assuming the expense is not at issue (which it always is!)

John
John
3 months ago

Thank you for writing these, I get so much in being able to take time to read through. Due to the cost of NMN is there still health benefit in your mind of at least starting Resveratrol by itself?

Matthew Boston
Matthew Boston
Reply to  John
3 months ago

You can use Vit B3 Niacin to get the same results, its a different pathway for creating increased NAD+ and a lot cheaper.

Frank Rauhut
Frank Rauhut
Reply to  Matthew Boston
3 months ago

Hi Matthew
I also consumed B3 Nicotinamide until I red the article on top of this blog about Inhibition of silencing and accelerated aging by Nicotinamide. Then I changed to NMN.
Regards Frank

Sam
Sam
Reply to  Frank Rauhut
2 months ago

Dear Frank. There’s a difference between Nicotinamide and Nicotinic Acid. According to that research paper these negative effects are related to Nicotinamide only.

Robert
Robert
4 months ago

Hi John
Has David mentioned Rapamycin for longevity. It does seem to be tried and tested:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6814615/

Adrienne
Adrienne
4 months ago

Thank you so much for this article!! I’ve been looking for information like this since quite some time and haven’t found anything as detailed as this.
It still hurts my wallet, to pay for NMN, but I guess it’s worth it 😉

Julie
Julie
4 months ago

Thank you so much for writing this article!!! I’ve recently discovered David Sinclair and watched a number of his interviews on YouTube. Your article beautifully summarizes the details in a concise and organized way. I’ve been wondering where to buy NMN and trans resveratrol so your research helps a lot. Keep up the great work and thank you for the wonderful service 🙂

Gayle Delaney
Gayle Delaney
Reply to  John Alexander
3 months ago

Just as Julie writes, this is a perfect article for me on the day I discovered David Sinclair!

Bob
Bob
5 months ago

Is NMN related to B3?

Frank Rauhut
Frank Rauhut
5 months ago

Hi John
When studying the hallmarks of aging I found the topic telomere attrition and that this process can be reversed by activation of telomerase. Astragalus was mentioned being capable of doing this. Are there any research results about the usefulness of this drug or if the sirtuins are able to increase telomerase expression?
Kind regards from Germany.
Frank Rauhut

Alex
Alex
5 months ago

1. why did D.S. switch from TMG to methyl-B vitamin/folate chewable tablet (or was he taking it to start with) and does he intend to cycle it, now that he has stopped because of the significant increase in B12 levels methyl-B vitamin/folate?
2. do you have any information on how NMN effects estrogen levels in general and, especially, for those who take extra, along with progesterone, like my mother for hormone replacement – i.e. should she stop the HRT? Thank you, A

Reply

Ansel
Ansel
5 months ago

Thank you so so much for this amazing gathering of key information Dr. Sinclair has given. I was just watching the Joe Rogan interview with Dr. Sinclair and was trying to take notes, but John your notes were so organized and clean!

Appreciated so much.

You are helping people.

Nico
Nico
5 months ago

Hi there

Thanks for the great summary.

What I was missing was that David does not take metformin the day he exercises AND equally does not take resveratrol that day. Your article only states the fact regarding metformin.

Source (look in the exercise section): https://lifespanbook.com/4-interventions/

If I am wrong or you were aware and there is a reason you did not mention the resveratrol aspect, please let me know.

Thank you and best
Nico

Bob Dobbs
Bob Dobbs
5 months ago

Do we know what brand and type of Metformin Sinclair and Attia use/used?

Muse
Muse
6 months ago

Anyone interested below is the questions i asked D.Sinclair last week. 1- @davidasinclair hey David, I am a huge fan and opened an account to get your opinion on something that suprised me lately… 2- I just came across a comment from another respected figure in the field that Peter Attia expressing his thought after doing an interview with you and reading a paper from Rubinovitz, 3- Quote “I am completely unconvinced that taking supplemental NR or even NMN by mouth doing anything other than enriching companies that do it”… 4- He goes on saying, when given oral NR or… Read more »

Frank Rauhut
Frank Rauhut
Reply to  Muse
6 months ago

Hi
I started taking nmn orally (500mg) this year and felt an immediate effect. When I did my exercises (walking on the belt) I came up to a heart beat of 170, after nmn administration started it decreased to 150 with same stress level. I believe this is prove that nmn is converted to nad+, thus improving cellular energy level by about 12% in my case.
Regards Frank

paul johansson
paul johansson
6 months ago

NMN Authencity,

I found a place (vitamondo.net) that offers NMN to a much lower price.

Is this too good to be true? 32.36 € for 100mg NMN.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance,

br
Paul

Danny boy
Danny boy
7 months ago

Hey John, so are we to take NMN or NAD+? Was on the sight you linked that sells the sublingual versions of both. I’m confused, if we take MNM to have our body convert it to NAD then why do we take NMN? Cost?