The Science of Longevity

Why You Need to Clear Your Senescent Cells.

What are senescent cells?

As we age our cells die and our body dutifully clears them away. Or so we think. Research has shown that not all dead cells are flushed out and some hang around staying very stable, refuse to divide and cause mayhem such as sending chemical signals to other cells to join them in their damage party. They encourage inflammation which can lead to an increased risk of cancer and play a part in the development of age-related disease. Once we advance in years we have a notable number of these cells and need to take action to remove them from our bodies.

What do they have to do with longevity?

Of particular relevance is the role of senescent cells in the development of age related diseases . It is implicated as having a role in such conditions as osteoporosis , frailty, cardiovascular diseases and metabolic disfunction to name but a few. Ridding of or reducing these senescent cells in our bodies is highly desirable for quality of life in our later years.

What can we do to reduce senescent cells?

It should be noted that as we age the likelihood of the presence of senescent cells increases and therefore if we are in our later years then we should be prudent and proactive when deciding to embark on a journey to increase our NAD+ levels. We have two options to do this – through drugs (senolytics) or by natural means. such as fasting, autophagy or increasing our resveratrol intake. One other natural way to reduce these cells would be to take tocotrienols combined with quercetin which is a powerful antioxidant in the form of a natural pigment present in various fruits, vegetables and grains. (Tocotrienols can be found in such foods as wheat germ, barley, oat, rye, certain nuts cranberries, blueberries, kiwi, plum, and coconut and are a form of Vitamin E)

A caution about fasting, resveratrol and NMN.

It is true that fasting/ autophagy, resveratrol and NMN consumption assist in the removal of senescent cells however there is a caveat. It has been noted that should cancer already be present in your body already then the NAD+ (descriptor) created by taking for example NMN protects the damaged DNA therefore our bodies cannot repair the DNA damage and stop the cancer growth. Therefore if you have cells which are not yet cancerous then NMN, fasting and resveratrol are friends but quickly turn to foes should cancer be present in your body. NAD+ appears to be a fair-weather friend favouring and feeding healthy cells and actually being involved in the prevention of cancer but on the other hand supporting the development of cancer should it be present . If we boost our NAD + levels when we are healthy then we get optimum results.

This remains to be a contentious subject with further research necessary.

Further viewing/reading

Dr Brad Stanfield explains it far better than I can!

Disclaimer-The information in my blog posts are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified health care professional. There is no intention for the information to be  medical advice. 
Anti- Aging Beauty

The Best Natural Anti-Ageing DIY Sheet Masks


For hundreds of years nature has provided a brilliant range of beauty products. We can’t fail to notice that current advertising is focusing more and more on promoting the natural ingredients that are in their products (often accompanied by their lesser advertised  chemical co-partners )But,why not make your own products? They are often cheaper, you know exactly what is in them and you can exactly tailor each one to your particular concerns.

DIY Sheet Masks

Get your glow on by harnessing the power of all-natural ingredients which pack an anti-ageing punch. Add a cotton or paper sheet mask and the active ingredients get locked in. Not to mention that the mess that usually accompanies a home-made mask is contained. Sheet masks are a staple of the Korean beauty regime and no one can deny the perfect skin that Korean women are famous for. With cotton and paper blank masks readily available the world of personally tailored face masks is at your fingertips. Here are a few recipes to get you started. Once you become familiar with the properties of the ingredients then you can get creative with your customisations.


Rose Hip Wrinkle Reducer Sheet Mask


Rosehip Oil-Approximately 6 drops

Distilled Water- 60mls (1/4 of a cup)

Honey- ½ a teaspoon

Optional -Glycerin- A few drops

1 blank sheet mask


In a glass bowl mix together all of the ingredients. Soak your blank sheet mask for a short time in this liquid. As you remove it let the excess drip of but try not to squeeze out any of those essential ingredients. Place on your face for 20 minutes. If you feel the mask drying out at any stage during this 20 minutes you can spray lightly with distilled water.

Please Note-Don’t leave your mask on for any more than 20 minutes as it can do exactly the opposite of what you want and dehydrate rather than plump up your skin.

Rosehip oil is outstanding at fighting those pesky free radicals which destroy our skin. Honey is full of antioxidants which slows down ageing. Win, win.

Vitamin C D.I.Y Anti-ageing Face Mask

Vitamin C is renowned for its anti-ageing benefits. It is a superhero in the skin world that can boost collagen and may prevent and treat photo damage from the sun. It can also even out your skin tone- in fact it has been reported that Vitamin C can be almost as effective as lasers for treating age spots.


Vitamin C based DIY Sheet Mask from XOJane

Customised Tea Sheet Masks

Harness the power of tea. Cooled and ditch the milk! Ingredients contained within tea promote a healthy skin glow by evening out skin tones. Not only that tea can also inhibit the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

Customised Sheet Mask Recipes from Stylecaster

And there you have it. A list of masks to get you started on your journey to plump and glowing skin. Which ones could you recommend? Have you a bespoke recipe that you’d like to share with our community? Be sure to share the wealth!

Disclaimer-The information in my blog posts are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified health care professional.There is no intention for the information to be  medical advice. 


Anti- Aging Beauty

The Amazing Anti- Ageing Benefits of Brazil Nuts

Amazing Anti-Ageing Benefits of Brazil Nuts

Not got time to read the full article? Scroll down to the end of the article for an ‘In a nutshell’ synopsis.
This post contains one affiliate link.

 Nuts are amazing. Close inspection of these tiny powerhouses reveals a multitude of anti-ageing benefits that can make a serious contribution to the quest for longevity both in functions of the body and in our appearance.

I recently watched an incredible presentation by Dr Michael Greger (Author of ‘How not to Die’) where he extolled the virtues of the brazil nut with specific reference to the lowering of cholesterol.(1) In his usual inimitable style he described how just four brazil nuts consumed once a month reduces cholesterol levels, not only for the immediate time following consumption but for at least thirty days after. (The researchers stop measuring after this time.)

He outlined how these four nuts worked faster than any medication  including statins. This small amount also does not contribute to liver or kidney toxicity from the selenium content. (more about that later)

As cholesterol issues increase as we age utilising this information will be beneficial in our quest for longevity.

Putting aside this amazing attribute, to maximise high quality longevity we want the foods we consume to multi task for us and the brazil nut does not disappoint. Primarily the source of concern with this blog is longevity and anti-ageing so the consequent avenues explored will relate specifically to these aspects.

Glowing, dewy skin with fewer wrinkles

Again, the wonder ingredient selenium shines but how exactly does it contribute to anti-ageing? The answer lies in its antioxidant properties which perform a range of actions. It improves the functions of vitamins E and C which ultimately results in decreased aging of the skin.

Brazil nuts also contain zinc, combine this with selenium and the skin is assisted in protecting itself against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. Selenium can also increase the elasticity of the skin by stimulating the production of glutathione- an enzymatic antioxidant.

The fore-mentioned zinc content also helps to reduce and prevent acne.

Consuming brazil nuts can also bring other skin benefits such as assisting in the healing process and the prevention of dry skin.

Healthy Metabolism

As we age our metabolism slows down. This can be due to a range of factors such as loss of muscle (muscle burns calories even at rest), general aging and tendencies to be less active as we get older.

The selenium in brazil nuts helps the thyroid gland to convert its hormones to a suitable format which then becomes available to your cells. Not only does it regulate thyroid hormone synthesis, it also exhibits a protective factor against free radicals.


Yip you guessed it,selenium again. Ageing can bring with it the onset of arthritis. Brazil nuts hold within them high amounts of good fats, antioxidants vitamins and minerals. The ability of selenium to keep free radicals in check is thought to reduce oxidative damage to joint tissues and cartilage. Inflammation is the enemy here and just one brazil nut per day can reduce oxidative stress in such a manner that it can indeed prevent the development of osteoarthritis. The high selenium content can also reduce the severity of arthritic conditions.

Heart Health

Brazil nuts contain calcium, magnesium and potassium which can assist with the regulation of blood pressure. Polyunsaturated ad monounsaturated fats are present in high quality format within brazil nuts. This decreases your risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease. (2)

In conclusion

Brazil nuts are tiny but mighty. They should take their place proudly on the medal winning podium for their ability to contribute to a vast range of anti-ageing health benefits.

 In a Nutshell

  • Just 4 brazil nuts can lower your cholesterol for at least 30 days
  • Brazil nuts contain selenium
  • Selenium has antioxidant properties that fight free radicals
  • A combination of components within brazil nuts can fight aging of the skin
  • Brazil nuts can prevent sun damage
  • Brazil nuts can reduce the risk of arthritis and alleviate the severity of arthritic conditions
  • Brazil nuts can reduce your risk of suffering from cardiovascular disease
  • 2-4 brazil nuts per day are sufficient

Points to note
Please note that in large quantities selenium is toxic. The recommended dosage is 200mg
Cancer sufferers should research the issues raised that selenium from brazil nuts may not be beneficial in their circumstances- read more here.

1.Colpo, Elisângela & Dalton de Avila Vilanova, Carlos & Reetz, Luiz & Duarte, Marta & Farias, Iria & Muller, Edson & Lima Hermes Muller, Aline & Flores, Erico & Wagner, Roger & Rocha, Joao Batista. (2013). A Single Consumption of High Amounts of the Brazil Nuts Improves Lipid Profile of Healthy Volunteers. Journal of nutrition and metabolism. 2013. 653185. 10.1155/2013/653185.

2.Souza R.G.M., Gomes A.C., Naves M.M.V., Mota J.F. Nuts and Legume Seeds for Cardiovascular Risk Reduction: Scientific Evidence and Mechanisms of Action. Nutr. Rev. 2015;73:335–347. doi: 10.1093/nutrit/nuu008. [PubMed] [Cross Ref]

Disclaimer-The information in my blog posts are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified health care professional.There is no intention for the information to be  medical advice. 

Anti- Aging Beauty

Red Light Therapy

Red Light Therapy- Boost your Collagen

Affiliate Links are included in this blog article.

Exploring Red Light Therapy-My previous articles have introduced the notion of longevity and being fit and healthy. They have discussed the ability to sustain a high quality standard of living well into one’s nineties. Whilst I will continue to research and personally take on board the rules of Blue Zone living, like most people I want to ensure that I look as good as I can, for as long as I can too! 
About eight years ago I started to research red light therapy for skin rejuvenation. I wanted something that would boost my dwindling collagen supplies which was non evasive and was safe to use.
I didn’t want to pay for monthly treatments at a beauticians so I opted for an in-home device that I could use at my own convenience.
Beware though, although the cost of treatments at a clinic are more expensive, the initial outlay for the unit is not cheap. I considered it an investment however . I’d invested in myself. It felt proactive. It felt good!

The unit I purchased, came from Amazon, and is still available today.


The unit uses conventional tube bulbs within a casing on a stand that folds in at either side. The light therefore is able to penetrate all contours of my face.


After the initial treatment cycle has been completed , the instructions suggest using  the unit once per week for 20 minutes. Since there are no known side effects it is safe to use more regularly and you should take your skin and its appearance as a guide.  (The instructions do state that you should only use the unit once per day though) I place the unit on a sturdy table and pull my seat in as close as I can . The treatment distance is quite close 15 cm, so I like to be as far forward as possible. I place my elbows on the table , place my face towards the middle section  and use the palms of my my hand on the ‘wings’ of the unit to push them closer to my face. There is also a  facility to angle the unit to your desired gradient. During the treatment the light gets warm but not unbearable and it is a pleasant sensation which usually makes me want to nap ! This unit does not have the capacity to tan your face-with tanning being the enemy of collagen this would be counter productive!

The benefits of the unit are outlined by the manufacturer-

  • Stimulates natural collagen production without injections or surgery
  • 88% improvement in deep wrinkles
  • Targets your face and neckline with 97% success rate
  • Rejuvenate skin in as little as 3 weeks
  • Collagen plumping in the comfort of your own home

    I can personally  confirm that the unit does work and count on this as one of the best current anti-aging products. I notice an increased plumpness to my skin. The texture of my skin improves and it appears healthier. The best results are immediately after use .The overall effects are however temporary and if I skip sessions then my skin reverts to its previous condition.

Pros– The treatment works! It does exactly what it says on the tin. Having used the product for over 8 years I can vouch for its efficacy. The treatment pleasant and non evasive. 

Cons-The unit itself is cumbersome and not very portable. (For a solution , please see below) You have to sit at a table to use and that can be uncomfortable if you have back or neck issues. Obtaining new bulbs can be difficult and the initial cost of these is high- although they last for a few years.

I’ll probably update my unit in the next few years and have been looking at 

This uses a range of colours of  LED light to tackle myriad of skin issues plus the technology is more advanced and the longevity of the bulbs is increased. Husband please take note for birthday and or Christmas. 


In the last few years, technology has advanced and I now own a small hand held red light LED device which perfectly complements the larger unit. I use this when I want to watch TV while treating my skin.I can sit on the couch and interact with my family instead of being the crazy cat lady upstairs on the scary light.  It is an excellent size for portability and can be slipped into a bag for holidays- not that I pack light- ever. 


Love My Skin Anti-Ageing 32 Led Compact

Dr. Josh Axe, DNM, DC, CNS, is a doctor of natural medicine and on his website accurately describes the science behind red light therapy so I don’t have to. Thank you Dr Axe . Truly indebted.

Please read below.

Anti-Aging Effects for Skin and Hair Loss

One use of red light laser therapy that’s growing in popularity is reversing signs of aging on the skin (i.e, wrinkles and fine lines). Results from a 2014 study published in Photomedicine and Laser Surgery demonstrated both efficacy and safety for red light therapy in promoting anti-aging skin rejuvenation and intradermal collagen increase when compared against controls. (7) Researchers concluded that red infrared therapy “provides a safe, non-ablative, non-thermal, atraumatic photobiomodulation treatment of skin tissue with high patient satisfaction rates.”

Subjects treated with red light therapy experienced significantly improved skin complexion, improved skin tone, improved texture/feeling, reduced skin roughness, reduced signs of wrinkles and fine lines, and increased collagen density as measured through ultrasonographic tests. Patients with rosaceaand redness have also found relief using LLLT, even those who are unable to tolerate higher-heat laser therapies.

To read the rest of the article- please click on this link.

All in all,  an excellent therapy in the wrinkle war.

Disclaimer-The information in my blog posts are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified health care professional.There is no intention for the information to be  medical advice. 

Blue Zones Recipes Uncategorized

Blue Zones Recipes

The Blue Zones are 5  geographical areas which display similar attributes that can be assigned to longevity of a healthy and purposeful life. One of these is the consumption of a mainly plant based diet. If you are looking to change you diet to one which has been scientifically proven to add quality years to your life then read on for recipe inspirations.

Within the findings of the Blue Zone study, breakfast( and importantly  the amount of food within this first meal of the day) is an essential component to this lifestyle. Follow the links for delicious suggestions!





Cameron Diaz likes to wake up with a probiotic bowl filled with nutrients and healthy fats from avocado and sauerkraut. Try it for lunch today!



It’s time to get creative ! For most of us lunch provides a welcome break from a morning’s work and it needs to pack a punch to get us through the rest of the working day. Even if we are not working , the  Blue Zone’s lifestyle advocates activity so fueling this is essential.

White Bean Hummus


This meal should be light – having breakfasted like a king,  lunched like a prince and now you should dine like a pauper. The digestive system needs time to work its magic.


How to make Kitchari





The finale of the meal- not strictly necessary but life is too short (longer if you follow the Blue Zones tips!) 

FRUITY CHOCOLATE BARKFruity Chocolate Bark with Freeze-Dried Fruit

Fruity Chocolate Bark


If you loved mint chip ice cream as a kid, then you are going to freak out over this nutrient-dense but scrumptious dessert.



Snacking, following Blue Zone etiquette , is still healthful. inspiration follows below.


Want to know the secret to perfectly roasted chickpeas? Click to find out the recipe!

How To Roast Chickpeas


So there you have it, a starter for ten on healthy but delicious recipes that will nourish and extend high quality life. Please also see my Pinterest boards on ‘Vegan Vices’,  ‘Raw Recipes’  ‘Healthy Drinks’  ‘Blue Zone Lessons’ and ‘Perfectly Plant Based ‘ for further inspiration.

Disclaimer-The information in my blog posts are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified health care professional.There is no intention for the information to be  medical advice. 

Blue Zones Blue Zones Introduction

Making it to 100 years old – Blue Zone Lessons


No time to read the full article?  Scroll down to the bottom  for an ‘In a Nutshell’ synopsis.

Most people would not harbor a desire to live to a hundred years old if that life was not one which was vibrant, healthy and independent  If the later years of our lives could be lived with physical and mental good health that desire to live on  to centenarian  status might become far more attractive .

In 2005 educator Dan Buettner wrote an article in National Geographic magazine entitled ‘The Secrets of a Long Life’.  In this article he shared the discovery of lifestyle and environmental similarities across  five geographic locations, which led to a significant rise in the life expectancy of the inhabitants. He labelled these ‘Blue Zones’. These were-

Okinawa- Japan, Sardinia – Italy, Nicoya (Costa Rica) , Icaria (Greece), Loma Linda (California)

It has to be noted that in Loma Linda the section of the population identified was Seventh- Day Adventists.

What lessons can we take forward from this research?

  1. Whole food, plant based diet

All of the identified zones had specific similarities in their food choices. Given prominence were, nuts and seeds, beans, vegetables, fruits, herbs, high quality fats such as olive oil, grass- fed goat milk and cheeses made at home, whole grains, fermented products such as kefir and yoghurt. These health promoting foods provide the consumer with the nutrients to boost their immune system , fight disease and tackle inflammation. The presence of fibre within this diet is also highly beneficial- eliminating toxins and cleansing the digestive system. The diet also interesting included regular,  moderate amounts of alcohol. Specifically red wine. 1- 2 glasses. This could not however be saved up and consumed in bulk over weekends! (Giving with one hand and taking away with another)

None of the diets included processed foods. Consumption amount was tied to the meal – ie breakfast like a king, lunch like a lord and dine like a pauper and most groups were found to stop eating when 80 percent full as such preventing unnecessary weight gain.

The amount of meat eaten too was found to be key to the success of longevity. Most of the groups ate this infrequently and in smaller portions.

Life Purpose

When you wake in the morning does you life have a clear sense of purpose? If it does then you are well on your way to living a good 7 years longer than those without this vision. An 11 year NIH study conducted by Dr Robert N. Butler and his colleagues showed a correlation between longevity of life and a pronounced understanding of why you are on this planet. They studied healthy people Having a positive outlook, taking time to express gratitude and surrounding yourself with like minded people all contribute to living a longer more satisfying life. Some Blue Zones  residents have even allocated words to name this with the Okinawans calling it “ikigai “and Nicoyans calling this purpose ” plan de vida. ”

It is also though that having this steadfast purpose may provide  preventative measures against arthritis, strokes and even dementia.

Moderate Physical Activity

Within these unique Blue Zones it has been found that attention to moderate physical exercise is another of the beneficial factors to living a long and healthy life. Most of the  the exercise is mindless in the sense that it is  integrated into the inhabitants daily lives. It is interwoven into their work and socialisation times. For example, walking a considerable to distance to visit a friend or working the land as part of their jobs. However the 7th Day Adventists make no secret of their time in the gym!

4  Stress Management, Spirituality and Importance of Family

Also noted was the Blue Zones inhabitants ability to manage stress. Stress has long been known as the ‘silent killer’. It inhibits our body’s immune systems and reduces our abilities to fend off disease and infection. The emphasis that the Blue Zones populations place on spiritual engagement, family interaction and socialising is seen as a major contribution in the battle to reduce stress.


The Blue Zones are 5  geographical areas which display similar attributes which can be assigned to longevity of a healthy and purposeful life.

Key areas to note are-
Plant Based Diet ( not necessarily vegan)
Having a purpose in life
Moderate Exercise
Moderate alcohol consumption (typically wine)
Effective stress management
Connections – spiritual, friends and family

Disclaimer-The information in my blog posts are not intended to replace the advice of a qualified health care professional.There is no intention for the information to be  medical advice.