Plant Based Diet. Yes or No?
Longevity Expert and Professor of Genetics, Dr David Andrew Sinclair, has the following to say about a Plant Based Diet: “There’s a set of longevity genes that are helpful when you don’t have a lot of meat,” Dr. Sinclair explains. For example, a longevity pathway called nTor is sensitive to the number of amino acids that come into the body. In particular, to some of the branched-chain amino acids that are more abundant in animal products.
“What’s good about having low levels of branched-chain amino acids is, first of all, you’ll probably be less hungry. But second of all, you’ll turn on those nTor defensive pathways that, at least in the lab, extends lifespan of animals quite dramatically—even late in life when it’s applied.”
Plants have another resiliency benefit. “They make molecules that turn on their own defenses,” he shares.
“We have a theory called xenohormesis and that’s the idea that stressed plants make molecules that help them, but also when we eat those plants we turn on our defenses.” In following this theory, eating stressed plants that have been exposed to a lot of sun before harvest can help activate our body’s natural defenses.
“The best example is resveratrol in grapes. We bottle that in red wine and we’ve found resveratrol activates a particular longevity pathway in the body. That’s in part why we think red wine over the long run can be healthy.”