Select Page

Raising metabolism makes you age faster?

Blog Forums Raising Metabolism Raising metabolism makes you age faster?

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • Author
  • #14853

    Two nights ago I was one of three speakers at a nutrition class at my chiropractor’s office. I talked about traditional foods/WAPF, gut health, and raising your metabolism/eat for heat (I confused the heck out of everyone I’m sure!), but the underlying message was listen to your own body and what works for you today may not work tomorrow, what works for someone else may not work for you.

    The other two speakers were pretty cocksure in their messages. One of the speakers was one of the chiropractors. He said something that made my head spin and want to jump up and tell him he was FLAT WRONG!
    He said that yes, organic is more expensive, so the solution is to EAT LESS. You don’t want to speed up your metabolism because that speeds up the rate in which cells use up energy and die, and the more cells replicate the more they do so imperfectly(I’m assuming he’s referring to the Hayflick limit), which causes aging. Slow down the process, slow down the rate in which cells replicate, slow down the aging process. He argues that this is why marathon runners who are 30 look like they are 60, because of their high metabolism.

    WHAT THE HELL!!! Apparently metabolic syndrome does not exist in his world! I would like to go to that place!

    Now I understand he is wrong because I understand what happens when you slow the metabolism down (Helloooo, this is what happened to me!). That’s our side of the story. But can someone please help me dismantle his logic from his side of the story?


    I have heard this argument before from the Caloric Restriction (CR) camp. I think it’s bunk. CR is like a cult though and they are very persuasive. Also their argument is that it is worth depriving yourself and eating 25%+ less than the average person in order to buy a few more years of crappy, deprived life.

    Even his example is wrong. Marathon runners age faster due to higher metabolism? Sorry, runner here, and I am fairly certain that the running SLOWS my metabolism significantly and I suspect most other runners experience this too.


    So what about a faster metabolism, metabolism being defined the rate which energy is gained and then used by our cells? If they do this faster, does their DNA thus replicate faster and reach the hayflick limit sooner? How does this relate to aging? There’s something missing in here somewhere……


    That chiropractor sounds crazy!

    My view on calorie restriction is that it’s like you’ve been given a Ferrari, and instead of driving it and enjoying it, you keep it in the garage.

    I’m also not sure if it applies to humans as neatly as it does to lab mice or whatever.

    My late grandfather in-law was very interesting, he lived to 97. He was very thin, but ate very well, drank coffee every day, liked sugar and sweets. His exercise was a daily bike ride until he was about 94 and became less mobile. He developed some kind of mild dementia after he stopped going out everyday. A year or so before he died, he had a moment of lucidity and we asked him what his secret to long life was, he said “don’t drink water with meals”, that was it, no complicated rules or restrictions :)

    He experienced genuine starvation in his youth during world war 2, which I suppose gave him an appreciation of eating well thereafter.

    When he died, there was no obvious cause of death, his body just seemed to stop suddenly – like a machine that finally conks out.

    ETA: if anyone is wondering, he didn’t follow a particular diet, but ate mostly carbs (potatoes, bread, pasta, rice, cake, cookies), a little deli meat and cheese almost daily, had a salad on the side of each meal (even if the meal was soup!), and some basic fruit daily like an apple or two.

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 5 months ago by Rosie123.

    I definitely don’t agree that having a slow metabolism increases life span whatsoever. BUT! For the sake of argument, let’s imagine that it did, in fact, increase your number of years on this earth. So what? I know that when my metabolism was at its lowest point, I didn’t even FEEL like living really. I was cold, fatigued, anxious, depressed, sleep-deprived, had zero-sexual interest, and lots more of those terrible symptoms associated with having a slow metabolism. In a word, I was miserable.
    I’m now determined to add more life to my years than years to my life. Speeding up my metabolism (I’m still early on in that stage, but have noticed remarkable improvements during the first few days!) has given me my life back. Heck, I’d rather be the happiest guy alive and pass on a few years earlier than to add three years of zombie-esque existence to my life. That’s just me, though, and that’s also assuming that having a slow metabolism increases lifespan, which I’m pretty sure is bull.
    So let’s focus on adding more LIFE to our YEARS, which is quite likely the best way to add YEARS to our LIFE. Who’s with me?
    Just my 2 cents :)


    I first heard Dr. Joel Fuhrman express this idea in his book “Eat to Live.”


    Then, in a 2012 episode of BBC’s “Horizon” titled “Eat, Fast and Live Longer,” I heard about Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition (CRON).


    Personally, I have no idea if lowering the metabolism will extend my life. However, what I *do* know is I already have cold hands and feet (one of the admitted symptoms of CRON) and it sucks. So, that’s enough of a reason for me to pass.

    It reminds me of something I once heard in a podcast. It was about increasing lifespan by wearing socks to bed. (I just searched Google for a reference, but couldn’t find it.) The increase was something like hours or days.

    For me, I plan to focus on the low-hanging fruit to help me optimize my longevity:

    – Wear my seatbelt
    – Avoid drugs
    – Eat good food
    – Don’t diet
    – Sleep more
    – Don’t shave with a broken beer bottle
    – Don’t keep a rattlesnake as a pet
    – When asked “Do these pants make my butt look big?” always answer “No.”

    You know, commonsense stuff.

    Having been involved with Paleo, Low-Carb, Intermittent Fasting, Ketosis, and everything else that goes along with those topics, all I managed to do it seriously complicate my life, obsess over food to the point I could only eat a small group of foods, over-exercise, drive my mental and physical stress through the roof, and, ultimately, crash from the sum of it all. I’m still trying to dig out of the hole, over six months later.

    In other words, being “healthy” nearly killed me.

    I guess my point is there should be some risk vs. reward assessment with all the various “hacks” to “improve” our lives. I don’t think it should be so complicated. Every other animal is pre-programmed and knows how to live. Humans, however, the brainiacs that we (think we) are, mostly ignore or override our basic instincts.

    Speaking of instincts, mine are telling me to have another Virgil’s Root Beer. Won’t you join me?


    “Being ‘healthy’ nearly killed me.”
    I couldn’t have said that better myself. We try to make everything so complicated, when it is in reality the simplest thing imaginable. I for one don’t care if eating raw foods and grass-fed beef is going to increase my life by a year. I’d rather enjoy a nice, greasy five-guys burger every once in a while and improve the QUALITY of my life.

    A man recently turned 65 and had to choose a new primary care physician for his Medicare program.

    After two visits and exhaustive lab tests, the doctor said the man was doing “fairly well” for his age.

    A little concerned about that comment, the man couldn’t resist asking, “Do you think I will live to be 80?”

    The doctor asked: Do you drink alcoholic beverages?”

    “Oh no,” the man replied.

    “Do you go out late at night partying with friends?”
    “No, I usually go to bed early.”

    “Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?”
    “No, my other doctor said that all red meat is unhealthy, especially grain-fed!”

    “Do you eat gluten containing foods?”

    “No, I’ve been told they are bad for you, and that I shouldn’t since our ancestors didn’t eat them.”

    “Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?”

    “No, I don’t. My other doctor told me the sun can cause skin cancer.”

    “Do you gamble and drive fast cars?”

    “No. I don’t do any of those things.”

    The doctor looked at the man and said, “Then why do you care if you’re going to live to 80 or not?”


    Calorie Restriction vs. Intermittent Fasting

    I’ve read somewhere that Matt only recommends overeating 12 hrs a day.. giving your body a break. This may be the key. And maybe even a longer break?

    I knew I’d read this before, but I found it in an article so you could read the about the actual study.

    An enterprising scientist decided to try a little twist on the CR experiment. He divided the genetically-similar animals into two groups, fed one group all it wanted and measured the intake, then fed the other group all it wanted ? except every other day instead of daily. When the intake of the group fed every other day was measured, it turned out that that group ? the intermittently fasted group ? ate just about double on the eat days, so that overall both groups consumed the same amount of food. Animals in the one group at X amount of food per day while the animals in the other group ate 2X amount of food every other day. So both groups ate the same number of calories but the commonality ended there.

    The intermittently fasted group of animals despite consuming the same number of calories as the ad libitum fed group enjoyed all the health and longevity benefits of calorically restricted animals. In essence, they got their cake and ate it, too. They got all the benefits of CR plus some without the CR.


    Sorry, I missed the most important part! They talk about how the calorie restricted (CR) rats had such a low quality of life, depression, irritability, etc.. but the intermittent fasting rats were much more balanced even though they were eating the same amount of food..

    Here is the whole article..


    So I wonder if intermittent fasting does slow down metabolism….
    Not that I want to be the guinea pig and try it!

    I suppose I’ll have to do some research on this subject. Of course, I KNOW all of the issues that occur with a slow metabolism, but I just want to know if a metabolism is too high, if that’s going to age a person faster. My brother in law eats whatever he wants, loves going to the gym, looks like an underwear model, and is happy all the time. He wears shorts and t-shirts in 20 degree weather. I don’t know if he even owns a jacket! He’s 42 but looks more like mid-30’s. I just wonder if his super hot metabolism is causing ANY cell damage and decreasing his life span.

    But the dude is happy, so even if it was decreasing his life span, I don’t think he cares!


    Check out the Warrior Diet.. at least Ori Hofmekler’s arguments for it. No calorie restriction, but it does involve fasting for most of the day. He argues it increases all the hallmarks of a great metabolism.

    I’m curious if anyone has any thoughts on this..


    Any thoughts about the video in Issue #3 of Matt’s newsletter?

    Sandra Aamodt: Why Dieting Doesn’t Usually Work

    The body is a self-regulating system. It seems the more we try to manipulate it, the more it will take countermeasures to remain in homeostasis. For every action, there is a reaction.


    The only ‘diet’ I would consider doing is one that increases my happiness and quality, rather than quantity of life. After taking Matt’s advice from Diet Recovery 1/2, I’ve begun to notice definite changes in my mood, sleep, physiology, etc., so I think I’m on the right track.

    I haven’t really tried IF very seriously before. The few times I have tried it I was pretty miserable – I got hungry and couldn’t stop thinking about eating. I suppose if I gave it more time, a week or so, I might feel differently. I guess we’ll never know ;)


    I thought I’d throw in a quick answer to the first/original poster here. In terms of the story of ‘high metabolism = die early’ thing, this appears to be true ACROSS species. This means, as a general rule of thumb, anxious animals like rats live shorter lives than slower animals like turtles. So, typically calculated as a per body weight basis, increased metabolic rates lower average lifespan. BUT, this is not necessarily true WITHIN a species; so humans with healthy highish metabolisms (not HYPERthyroid per se) DO NOT live shorter lives than humans with clinically or sub clinically hypo metabolisms (as judged by temperature or thyroid hormones levels). I think this community is finding the opposite is often true.

    The other issues is Calorie Restricted animals, which shows that IF you begin CR (or Intermittent Fasting) in young animals, they live longer than those who eat at liberty. But this has several large caveats:

    First, the average lifespan is reduced in animals upon being placed in captivity and the increase in lifespan the average in the population gets back after being calorie restricted ALMOST gets back the length lost due to captivity.

    Second, several other restrictions have comparable effects to CALORIE restriction, including METHIONINE (a sulfurous amino acid) and glucose restriction (carb restriction). In all restrictions, the animals grow up to be quite small (meaning small bone frame and less muscle mass). However, a recent paper showed that the Met restriction only helped longevity due to a decreased Met/Glycine ratio. Rats eating at liberty PLUS a glycine supplement gave the same longevity increase as Met restriction (and same as overall CR), but resulted in body size equivalent to the rats eating at liberty without restriction. Glycine is found naturally in collagen/gelatin; methionine is high in muscle meat, eggs, and dairy.

    Third, the lifespan benefits of CR or any restriction ONLY benefits animals when the restriction begins as YOUNG animals. If the CR begins a while after this young age, the animals live shorter lives than those fed at liberty. I think Matt Stone also had mentioned this somewhere in a past (now erased) blog post. I have never seen a study that posted this information in the abstract, but I have seen this evident in the results pages of several studies. I think this is showing that young animals essentially ‘grow into’ the food they eat; but a body that has ‘grown into’ calorically dense foods, will become severally HYPOmetabolic when switching to a lower caloric intake and die of disease. My hunch, though I haven’t seen this ever studied, would be that the restriction will be deadly to an adult animal whether the restriction is via eating a lower amount of the same calorically dense food or simply switching to paleo/natural foods and eating lower total calories. I also surmise that the larger the body size and higher the metabolic rate of the adult, the more drastic the health deterioration will be upon restricting. Sound familiar anyone?

    • This reply was modified 10 years, 5 months ago by celticphoenix.
    The Real Amy

    The other issue with a low metabolism is, you become more susceptible to germs and can die of an infection more easily. So much for living longer.

    I think one reason endurance runners don’t usually age well has nothing to do with metabolism. They are out in the sun a lot more than most of us, and that takes a toll. People who sail a lot usually look old before their time, too.

    I think there is something to fasting, but personally I’m not willing to do IF. I have a feeling you get decent effects by having just 3 meals a day so you get some longer fasting times, and also probably doing a 1-2 day fast a few times a year. Supposedly French women do that, but who knows. I agree with the others on here who think quality of life is most important, and that pretty much disappears when you’re starving.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.