Living high and healthy: Why Coloradans and others who live at high altitude live longer and what flatlanders can learn from them
Studies show that moderate hypoxia activates several hermetic processes that produce strong health benefits. Before the modern era, our ancestors followed some hormetic dietary and lifestyle practices which we can employ in our daily life to improve health and live longer
Todd is very interested in geographic factors in obesity. It is well known that obesity rates track consistently with altitude. There is very good data from both the US and Europe. Even the Appalachians stand out with lower rates in a sea of lower level obesity.
Why? Doesn't seem to be related to exercise, ethnicity, UV radiation, air quality but seems to be related to chronic hypoxia.
Hypoxia decreases obesity, diabetes, dementia thru complex effects including spontaneous decreased food intake, increased metabolic rate, increased leptin sensitivity. Hypoxia also increases life span and decreases CVD. Athletes living high and training low have increased performance.
Pathways here are complex but include optimization of leptin and insulin, hormetically driven BDNF production, and anti-aging factors such as REDD and mTOR.
Hypoxia activates a powerful "stress sensor " called PGC1a (its actually a alpha but I dunno how to type it on my phone).This triggers a wide ranging metabolic cascade including effects such as autophagy and mitochondrial biosynthesis. You will have to watch the video to see the various effects which include the REDD mTOR pathway, BDNF, leptin and insulin.
So...do we all need to move to the mountains?
....There are three theories of aging
1. genetic programming ie programmed senescence. Solution: hacking supplements. Telomerase
2. damage accumulation by free radicals. Solution: antioxidants.
3. hyperfunction - overactive cellular processes involving mTOR , inflammation. Solution: hormesis.
Hormesis is a beneficial response to a low dose stressor that would be harmful in high doses because it stimulates defense and repair mechanisms and produces increased resilience
There are 4 basic types
1. structural eg weight lifing, exercise, sun tanning
2.defence eg polyphenols such as curcumin, green tea,caffeine.
3.metabolic eg CR, exercise, cold exposure, hypoxia
4. psychological eg phobia desensitization
Hormetic activation of the PGC1a cascade may also combat obesity thru a hypothalamic pathway encouraging us to be more active.
Hormesis shortage = metabolic syndrome.
Solution: cold showers. hike and lift heavy things. eat less frequently.
My opinion: excellent lecture - watch it on the AHS16 youtube channel when it's up.