Aging expert Dr. Nir Barzilai has conducted extensive research on the topic of slowing down the aging process. He is keenly aware that the aged are far more likely to die from Covid-19 than their younger counterparts. He says, though, older people who are fit and don't have underlying conditions are more likely to survive an encounter with Coronavirus.
Barzilai concedes changing habits in time to stave off the insidious virus is difficult. He believes there are key things we can do to slow down the aging process and thus make us less vulnerable to Covid-19. His research suggests intermittent fasting can lengthen lifespan and keep us healthier.
"If you caloric restrict animals, they live thirty, forty percent longer and are much healthier," he said enthusiastically. "We took it to mean that if you have less for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you'd live longer. But, in fact, what we've done with animals, we gave them all the food in the morning. They were hungry, so they finished within an hour. And, now they are fasting for twenty three hours. When we started giving the animals less food, but throughout the day, they were leaner, but they didn't live longer. So, you need the fasting."
In addition to exercise and fasting, Barzilai says there are certain drugs that have the effect of increasing lifespan. Chief among them, Metformin. The drug is an effective first-line agent for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Barzilai's research indicates the drug is also a possible anti-aging wonder pill that influences a host of metabolic and cellular processes closely associated with the development of age-related conditions.
Barzilai says doctors will not prescribe Metformin as an anti-aging formula, but allows that if a person is diagnosed as pre-diabetic, the drug could be prescribed to treat that condition.
Barzilai's research suggests that a combination of exercise, fasting and perhaps pharmaceutical agents can dramatically change the aging process and make us less vulnerable to chronic illnesses and even a global pandemic.