Dr Rand McClain discusses age as a biomarker for healthcare and how longevity science is improving healthspan by leveraging the basics.
Dr Rand McClain is a key figure in the world of longevity therapies and innovative antiaging solutions. However, he is also keen to convey that he is not just a doctor – he’s also a patient. In his new book, McClain details how his past health battles do not define his healthspan or longevity, encouraging his readers to adopt the same mindset.
Longevity.Technology: McClain’s new book Cheating Death:The New Science of Living Longer and Better is out on 7 March, and in it, McClain reveals his strategies for longevity and discusses what the future of regenerative medicine holds. These topics are right in our sweet spot, so we were delighted to sit down with Dr McClain to find out more.
Rand McClain on…
Cutting edge techniques and leveraging the basics
Part of the book talks about some of the methods to extend healthspan we should have in the very near future, whether that’s use of peptides, hot and cold therapies or do-it-yourself techniques, right through to more cutting edge techniques such as gene editing. Obviously there are the basics – proper sleep, hygiene, nutrition and exercise – but we can leverage their effects with things like new drugs such as rapamycin, or things that we know can set the cells back in their original order and give us a bit of a “do-over” so we can extend our healthspan.
Coming together – and into the future
What’s fascinating for me is how longevity is coming together – and different groups are facilitating this. We’re all competing for the same research funding from the NIH, but we bringing the information together, so we’re cross-platforming. For example, we can now test new drugs to an extreme that we’ve never seen before using stem cells. Instead of growing a liver to test a drug, we can grow millions of livers, and test various drug prototypes that have been developed with artificial intelligence. With just that combination of three different fields, we can set ourselves ahead logarithmically in medicine into the future.
Age as a biomarker for healthcare
The professional healthcare community would have to see the value of age as a biomarker – they’d have to do the math. And now there is enough math that can be done, because we’re generating it more and more. There’s more data, and they can see that it absolutely makes sense to start using some of these biomarkers, and rather just admonish patients – smoke less, drink less – we could demonstrate a before and after scenario. With DNA methylation we can get an age estimate to at least within a year and a half, sometimes to within 6 months, but it’s not so much about the accuracy, it’s about showing the patient that the changes they have made are having a real effect on their biological age. That is incredibly valuable as motivation. It’s about the precision, not necessarily the accuracy, that will improve over time.
The Death Clock app
The app gives you something you can put your finger on, something that’s motivational.
We all know about certain things – how many steps you take a day, what your current age is, male or female, where you live, how much sleep you are getting, &c. These all have a relationship to your biological age, and there are also tests you can do, like DNA methylation testing or telomere testing. The app will present all that data, along with ways to connect with your physician, and to keep track of all your data, whether that’s from wearables like Fitbit or Apple watch, and have it all in once place.