David Sinclair, director of Paul F. Glenn biological aging center at Harvard University and professor of medical school, is famous for his first discovery of the anti-aging effect of β – nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN). Not long ago, David Sinclair was interviewed by Boston Magazine, the mainstream media of the United States. Sinclair firmly believed that “aging is a disease that can be cured, and he can live to 150 years old”. His practice is even more practical.The whole family (including his dog) is taking β – nicotinamide mononucleotide, which has improved significantly.
Here’s an interview with Sinclair by Catherine Elton, editor of Boston Magazine.
“Like all futurists, David Sinclair is passionate about living in the future.”
That day, we took him to Worcester to visit one of his many companies, which are developing an anti-aging drug. It was during that journey that I had this strong idea for the first time.
Sinclair told me that he recently measured it with a health tester and his biological age has been reversed by 10 years: biologically, he is now 40, not 50. I watched him carefully. Apart from the pillow he needed to sit on when driving, the wrinkles on his face when mischievous, and the scribbled memo on the back of his hand (to avoid forgetting what he had to do), there was no trace of his 50 year old peers on his body. He was thin, white haired, and looked like the eternal child, Alfred E. Newman, and even he felt like a child himself.
To experience Sinclair’s life, I didn’t eat breakfast that morning. Sinclair’s habit of not eating until the afternoon and then taking a bunch of mysterious pills is one of his habits of prolonging his life. When I asked him if he was taking one of the drugs, he reached into his pocket and pulled out a capsule with white powder from his laboratory. Sinclair told reporters that a magical molecule was wrapped in a capsule. I take the capsule and put it in my hand. It looks light. Obviously, that’s the point.
Since ancient times, human beings have been dreaming of finding a kind of material that can prolong life and even realize immortality. This is the elixir sought by medieval alchemists. Explorer Ponce de Leon once looked for the “fountain of youth” in today’s southern United States, but the funny thing is that he found Florida, a place where people can spend their old age. Over the centuries, life extending drugs and therapies have become professions for snake oil sellers and charlatans.
Recently, however, longevity has become a systematic research object in academia, and Sinclair is the superstar of these researchers. For the first time, they used the latest theories and technologies to analyze the biological mechanism of aging, hoping to develop substances that can slow down or even reverse aging. The goal is not only to make us young, but also to address the biggest risk factor for heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia and many other modern diseases: aging. In the field of medicine, there is a new way of thinking: if we can prevent and treat the causes of these diseases, we can treat these diseases (different from the current way of hitting ground mice) once and extend the healthy life. At the same time, experts say people can live longer by curing these diseases caused by aging. S. Jay Olshansky, Professor of public health at the University of Illinois in Chicago, said: “we are going to have an unprecedented breakthrough. Its meaning is earth shaking. “
Sinclair has made great achievements in the field of anti-aging. The Australian born professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School has published many articles in the world’s top academic journals and won dozens of scientific awards and honors. In 2017, he was awarded the Australian military medal for his contribution to humanity. Several capital tycoons, including Adam Neumann, co-founder of Wework, have bet hundreds of millions of dollars on his research and invested in the 17 companies he founded. Sinclair’s new book, “life expectancy: why we age and why we don’t have to,” came out in September 2018 and ranked 11th on the New York Times bestseller list in just a week.
Steven Austad, Professor of biology at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, who studies aging, said: “he is an outstanding scientist and an outstanding salesman. When you talk about science with him, you will not find a scientist who is more knowledgeable and more sensitive than him. But when you hear him speaking on TV, you want to explore what he’s going to say. “
As an outstanding scientist with laboratory background, he is an important advocate and practitioner in pursuit of the orthodoxy of his research field. However, this is a little cumbersome for a self proclaimed “Star Trek fan” who is eager for the future to come as soon as possible and is free in the world. He is probably the one who can unravel the secret of 10, 20 or even 30 years of life extension – as long as he is not lost in his search for the fountain of youth.
Sinclair still remembers the day when he first touched death. He lives in the house of his dear grandmother in tulamura, on the edge of the jungle in Sula, a wooded suburb of Sydney. When he sat on the floor that day, his grandmother told him that the cat could only live to be 15 years old. What’s worse, everyone would die, which shocked him deeply.
It’s not surprising that children are disturbed by death. But most children hide their fear and forget their deep heart until their hair turns white, their knees start to ache, their spirit starts to empty, and this fear reappears. But Sinclair is a little different, in a sense he never forgot.
Sinclair’s parents are biochemists and are busy with their work. So Sinclair spent most of her childhood with her grandmother. Grandmother is a fun loving, free and unrestrained person. Grandma told him never to grow up. Later he went to the University of New South Wales to study biochemistry, and he believed that one day science would realize his grandmother’s idea, and people would always be young. But at that time, he thought he was born too early, so he couldn’t wait for that day. They may be “the last generation in thousands of generations who are so miserable that their lives are so short,” Sinclair said in a chat with friends over coffee. But he felt that he might be wrong, maybe it could happen in his life, and he would be one of them. Sinclair has found her goal in life.
Sinclair’s next job is at MIT, 10000 miles away. At the age of 24, Sinclair became a postdoctoral fellow at Leonard guarante’s lab and began to study yeast aging. In the minds of his colleagues, Sinclair is an enterprising, ambitious and tireless man: he is often the first to enter the laboratory and stay as long as possible, so he often has to take the last night bus. Professor of developmental biology at the University of Washington School of medicine is a colleague of Sinclair. They met for the first time at the Guarente laboratory. He said of Sinclair that he could “keenly understand new concepts and build new research ideas faster than anyone else.”
At that time, the study of aging was only a marginal science, still in its infancy, but Sinclair was determined to promote its orthodoxy. In his three years at MIT, he made a breakthrough discovery, explained the mechanism of yeast aging for the first time, and laid a foundation for the study of human aging process.
Sinclair’s career has grown rapidly since then. Soon after, he left MIT to become an assistant professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, run his own lab, and continue his research on sirtuins (found in all organisms) at the Guarente lab. Sirtuins are usually dormant, but are activated by stress, such as calorie restriction, which enhances health and prolongs yeast life. Sinclair is determined to find a substance that mimics yeast to limit calories. One day, the substance could be developed as a drug to treat aging.
Sinclair predicted excitedly that “life expectancy can be extended to 150 years by the end of this century” – even that death will eventually become a rarity. Sinclair appeared on TV as a scientist and in the New York Times, spreading a hope to the world that in the near future, with only one dose of anti-aging medicine, our white hair will turn black. “Does it sound like science fiction? Is this a very distant future? ” Sinclair asks the reader and answers, “let me be clear, it’s not.”
In her new book, “we don’t have to grow old,” Sinclair questions angrily, “what’s wrong with those who force people to think that human beings must age and die?”
In 2013, Sinclair discovered a substance called β – nicotinamide mononucleotide. β – nicotinamide mononucleotide exists in every living cell, which can improve the level of NAD +, this substance can regulate the mitochondrial or energy metabolism of all cells. In 2017, he told time that NAD + is “the molecule closest to the fountain of youth”, but NAD + will decrease with age, unless there is a way to increase the level of NAD +.
Sinclair’s achievements in the laboratory continue to challenge the limits of science. When I met Sinclair, he was about to publish a paper on how to reverse the aging of rodents. He described a series of experiments using gene therapy, in which his team of scientists helped restore vision to mice with glaucoma, as well as to other mice with optic nerve disorders, which can no longer grow in their infancy. Sinclair’s team has rejuvenated some old mice.
When I got to Worcester’s destination, I bowed my head, frantically and casually wrote in my notebook, and suddenly felt the car turn right. Looking up, Sinclair is frustrated and fighting Tesla’s steering wheel. “My car seems to have turned to the ‘crazy Max’ driving mode,” he said in a pure Australian accent. “I promise I won’t kill us.” Then he said to himself, “otherwise, it’s too ironic!” After all, Sinclair wants to live much longer than most people think. He had persuaded dentists to fix some of the wear and tear on their teeth: Dentists told him that it was usually done only for teenagers; Sinclair also gave his books to his great grandchildren, who he was looking forward to meeting.
Sinclair was desperate to “meet his great grandson.”. He limits calories, eats vegetarians, and tries to avoid sugar and carbohydrates. On weekends, he goes to the gym first, then to the sauna, and then to the cold swimming pool, because the extreme temperature will stimulate our cells to survive. Sinclair regularly checks her biomarkers and takes vitamin D, vitamin K2 and aspirin. In addition, he takes three other drugs every morning: resveratrol, β – nicotinamide mononucleotide and metformin. Metformin is a drug for diabetes, and its potential anti-aging effect is being studied.
Sinclair raised a lot of money to start a series of companies. He co founded life Biosciences, a Boston holding company, with Tristan Edwards, an Australian investor. The company’s goal is to use the most advanced science and technology in the field of aging to promote clinical trials of biotechnology. Edwards has always been interested in longevity and is actively looking for scientists to work with. He called Sinclair. Sinclair on the other side of the phone convinced him, so he had booked a flight to Boston before he hung up. In 2017, the company raised $25 million in private equity and $500 million later.
Another company, Metro biotech, a subsidiary of edenroc Sciences holdings, is developing a drug based on the NAD + enhancer β – nicotinamide mononucleotide. It was on the way to the company that Sinclair nearly killed us driving Tesla. When we arrived, we were greeted by two slightly unkempt men in Hawaiian shirts. The task of these organic chemists is to develop drug molecules that may one day be approved by the FDA.
Later that day, I asked Sinclair why he took unapproved drugs, and he knew that they might be at risk. “Because I’m a scientist,” he said
Then, expressionless, he gave me another reason: “and, because I want to live longer than my enemies.”
At 5 p.m., we plan to go to the gym to meet his 12-year-old son Ben and his father, who is nearly 80 years old. Because we were late, Sinclair asked his wife to bring his father and Sinclair’s sportswear. Sinclair came out of the dressing room in Tuxedo SHOES. His wife, though she had brought her own beta nicotinamide mononucleotide, forgot to give him his sneakers. Fortunately, the coach had an extra pair of shoes, so the Sinclairs began to exercise.
The first is hard pull. Ben gave it a try. For a child of his age, he did a good job. Then Sinclair. He started to pull out in the middle of the second group, but stuck with it. At last, it was his father’s turn. He lifted 95 pounds, then 115 pounds, as if it were nothing. The coach told me that most 80 year olds are trying to balance or “pull” themselves out of their chairs. Sinclair’s dad was working out in the gym. “Well, I think it just proves how useless I am,” Sinclair said to me, frowning.
Of course, he hopes it means something else. His father has been on beta nicotinamide mononucleotide for two years, and since then, his life, attitude and strength have changed. The joy of his life is back.
When I asked Sinclair’s father directly what effect these pills had on him, I realized that Sinclair’s marketing skills must not have been inherited from his father. “I can’t say it,” he shrugged and said to me directly. “It’s just that all my friends are dead old, and I’m not.”
Not only was Sinclair’s father and wife on beta nicotinamide mononucleotides, but also his two dogs. Sinclair’s brother, who has developed white hair and wrinkles, later accused Sinclair of using him as a blank control in his family experiments. Sinclair admitted that he did have such an idea, but after all, blood is thicker than water, and now his brother is also eating β – nicotinamide mononucleotide. Even several of his graduate students are taking these pills.
However, one person never had the chance to take β – nicotinamide mononucleotide, which deeply troubled Sinclair. His mother was diagnosed with lung cancer at the age of 50 and had half her lungs removed. At the end of her life, when she got worse, Sinclair filled his suitcase with beta nicotinamide mononucleotides and boarded the flight to Australia. When he arrived, his mother’s condition was much better. The doctor removed the respirator and she did not take β – nicotinamide mononucleotide. She died unexpectedly 12 hours later. “I thought that β – nicotinamide mononucleotide could save her,” he admitted. “Would anyone not do what they could to save their mother?”
As the exercise went on, Sinclair’s son had something to say to me. He wanted me to know that he was willing to continue his father’s work “if he died.”. A word in this sentence attracted me.
“If?” I asked.
“He may never die.” Ben said.
I shrugged and smiled, but I thought to myself that if he wasn’t joking, someone would be surprised. Earlier that day, Sinclair told me that he was so outspoken that he had destroyed the children’s fantasy of Santa Claus – yet here his son might be thinking that his father might never die. This is the life of the Sinclair family.
But not every family wants to live long. Sinclair’s eldest daughter didn’t approve of his work and said it without hesitation. She asked him why previous generations had made the earth so bad, but why he thought it was a good idea to save those who caused the harm from death.
In response, Sinclair looks at many ways to fix the world he wants to create at the end of the book. He believes that if he is as hopeful as he is, people can live to 150 years old in real life, which will lead to overpopulation, inequality and limited natural resources. Just as I finished this article, scientists published a study that found that optimism is linked to longevity – which means Sinclair may live longer. In fact, if I squint, I can almost see him getting younger and younger in front of me.