Inflammation and Aging Issue#2

May 24, 2022

Joe Dillon holding hand weights for the article Inflammation and Aging Issue#2

Evolution and Life Span

As I continue to research and update The (New) Joe Dillon Difference Lifestyle, I revisited Caleb Finch. Caleb Finch, Ph.D. is one of the world’s most respected authorities on human longevity.

Who is Caleb Finch?  Caleb Finch earned his Bachelor of Science degree at Yale University. His focus was biophysics. He earned his Ph.D. in biology at Rockefeller University.

Caleb Finch is currently full professor of Gerontology (the study of social, cultural, psychological, cognitive, and biological aspects of aging and the aging process) and Biological Sciences at the USC (University of Southern California) Davis School of Gerontology. Dr. Finch has co-authored over 600 peer-reviewed scientific papers. He is also the author of 6 books including a classic 600 hundred page text book for both under graduate and graduate students of the biology of aging. This classic text book is called The Biology of Human Longevity: Inflammation, Nutrition, and Aging in the Evolution of Lifespans.

The title of Dr. Finch’s classic text book alerts us to the richness of this book: biology, human longevity, inflammation, nutrition, aging, evolution and life spans.  

Those of you who have been following me for years will hone in on a major theme of my speaking and coaching for over 40 years: inflammation.
I have been harping on and encouraging you to prevent and control inflammation. Inflammation, as you’ve heard me say a million times is a root cause of all degenerative disease including heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s.

3 Major Causes of Inflammation

Turns out inflammation is one of the 3 major causes of aging along with free radical damage, and sugar in all its forms including alcohol.

Professor Finch is also founder of USC’s NIH (National Institutes of Health) funded Alzheimer Disease Research Institute.
Inflammation is a major causes of Alzheimer’s disease which is preventable but not reversible.  

Now you see why I encourage you to do blood testing (Male or Female Panel respectively and add Fibrinogen) every 3 to 6 months to track the 4 major inflammation biomarkers: 1) CRP (hypersensitive C-Reactive Protein – Goal < 1.0 – lower is better – mine is .17); 2) HbA1c (Hemoglobin A1c – Goal < 5.7 – lower is better – mine is 5.2); 3) Fibrinogen (Goal 200-300 – mine is 230): 4) Insulin (Fasting Insulin Goal < 7.0 – lower is better mine is 2.0).
It is all too human to kid or delude ourselves. So we all need some periodic objective feedback to keep us on the straight and narrow. You can’t fake a blood test.

Another example of useful and accurate objective feedback is body composition testing. As many of you know this is how I started my company back in 1979. Excess body fat is a major contributor to inflammation. Excess body is where we store our toxins. The body does not lie. Excess body fat compromises our immune system as we learned from covid. Recall the 3 major underlying health conditions that determined who got serious covid and/or long covid, were hospitalized and died: obesity, type 2 diabetes, and low blood levels of vitamin D. Remember: we want our blood levels of vitamin D to be close to or even a little over 100. My blood level of vitamin D is 116.

We also learn from Professor Finch’s book that the primates we last shared a common ancestor with 5 to 7 million years ago (gorillas and chimpanzees) eat primarily or exclusively vegetarian diets and have an average life span of 15 to 20 years.  

Even our more direct ancestors like “Lucy” (3.5 million years ago) who ate a “chimp diet” primarily vegetarian with a couple of ounces of meat a week and who chewed 5-6 hours a day just to get a bare minimum of nutrition from such low quality foods only lived 15-20 years.  
That did not change until about a million years later which, as you may recall, a major global climate change (an ice age in the Northern hemisphere) and a colder drier Earth overall radically transformed Africa. The northern third became the Sahara Desert. The middle third changed from lush jungle and rain forest to savannahs like today’s Serengeti Plains.  

This massive change forced our ancestors to make a radical shift in their diet from the Lucy / chimp predominately vegetarian diet to animal protein (meat) and animal fat. This dietary change profoundly increased the nutrient density and quality of our ancestor’s nutrition.

As you have heard before, this was the point in evolutionary history when our ancestors, thriving on a richer, far more nutritious diet, began to grow significantly taller from around 3 feet tall to over 6 feet tall. It is also when we began to grow our hallmark big brains.  

About a million years ago our ancestors at the time (Homo erectus) figured out how to start fire on purpose whenever they wanted. As a result, our ancestors began to cook their animal meat and fat. Cooked meat enabled our ancestors to get 3 to 4 times more nutritional value out of their already dramatically more nutrient-dense diet. Cooking with fire further accelerated the grow of our big brains.

And as Dr. Finch details in his classic book, it also doubled our ancestors’ average life span from 20 years to an average of 40 years.  

An average lifespan of 35 to 40 years was the norm for hundreds of thousands of years. Then, starting in the 1800’s until the late 20th century, humans’ average lifespan doubled again to about 80 years. Some of the causes of this change include improvement in infant mortality, dramatic improvement in sanitation (no more raw sewage in the streets and doctors began to wash their hands with soap and water between patients), and the miracle of anti-biotics.  

I will continue to develop the Joe Dillon Difference lifestyle update in our next issue.

Lets' Improve the Quality of Life

In the meantime, let’s learn from Caleb Finch and evolutionary history and start our day with a nutrient-dense Joe Dillon shake for breakfast. Let’s improve the quality of our life and health span and our family’s. And let’s help your high school athletes maximize their physical and mental potential with a JDD shake after their workout or practice to kick-start their recovery and sharpen them up for their homework.

Thank you again for your business and your support

I am committed to help you and your family enjoy the highest quality of life.