What Would David Sinclair Do? An In-Depth Look at the Supplement, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Regimen of a Top Longevity Researcher

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What Would David Sinclair Do? An In-Depth Look at the Supplement, Nutrition, and Lifestyle Regimen of a Top  Longevity Researcher

If you’re interested in anti-aging — whether with a passing curiosity or as a full-blown fanatic — it’s likely that you’ve heard of Dr. David Sinclair, one of the world’s most prominent researchers in the longevity field. Having spent most of his career studying the science of why we age, Sinclair has posited that unhealthful aging is not an inevitable part of growing older. In fact, he believes that targeting specific cellular and biological processes can not only slow down aging and its associated bodily decline but may also reverse it. 

Despite his 52 years of age, Sinclair appears at least a decade younger, exemplifying that he practices what he preaches. So, what exactly does this youthful longevity researcher eat, drink, and supplement with on a daily basis? Although Sinclair doesn’t disclose or endorse specific brands he uses, he is forthcoming with his diet and supplement regimen — let’s take a closer look at what Sinclair does to maintain his youthful glow.

Why We Age and Why We Don’t Have To

In his New York Times bestselling book from 2019, Lifespan: Why We Age — and Why We Don’t Have To, Dr. Sinclair delivers a page-turning narrative that flips the script about what most people think they know about aging. In it, he also details the steps he’s taking to stay alive and well long enough to meet his great-great-grandchildren. 

However, his goal is not solely to live longer. As Sinclair reflects in his book, “There’s also a difference between extending life and prolonging vitality. We’re capable of both, but simply keeping people alive — decades after their lives have become defined by pain, disease, frailty, and immobility — is no virtue. Prolonged vitality — meaning not just more years of life but more active, healthy, and happy ones — is coming. It is coming sooner than most people expect…And by the turn of the next century, [reaching the age of] 120 years might be not an outlier but an expectation, so much so that we won’t even call it longevity; we will simply call it ‘life,’ and we will look back with sadness on the time in our history in which it was not so.”

Dr. David Sinclair is a prominent scientist in the anti-aging and longevity field — and he practices what he preaches. Find out what this youthful researcher eats, drinks, and supplements with on a daily basis.

Sinclair’s Supplement Stack

Dr. Sinclair has been outspoken about his daily dietary supplement regimen. However, he carefully broaches the subject with a caveat, stating, “While human trials are under way, there are no treatments or therapies for aging that have been through the sort of rigorous long-term clinical testing that would be needed to have a more complete understanding of the wide range of potential outcomes.” 

With that said, Sinclair is passionate about a handful of compounds thought to support a healthier aging process. To note, Dr. Sinclair also takes a couple of medications — both over-the-counter and prescribed — that he believes helps keep him young. But, we’re strictly talking about his dietary and nutritional supplements here today. 

  • NMN: 1,000 mg (1 gram) each morning

NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide) is a precursor to the vital coenzyme NAD+ (nicotinamide mononucleotide) — a compound that is required by every cell in our bodies but declines precipitously with age. Concurrently with this drop in NAD+ is an increase in signs of accelerated aging or physiological decline — the dysfunctional ​​changes that can occur across all organ systems and contribute to disease states. 

It’s worth noting that Sinclair prefers to take NMN rather than the other well-known NAD+ precursor called NR (nicotinamide riboside). As he states in his book about the differences between the two, “We find NMN to be more stable than NR and see some health benefits in mouse experiments that aren’t seen when NR is used. But it’s NR that has proven to extend the lifespan of mice. NMN is still being tested. So there’s no definitive answer, at least not yet.” 

  • Resveratrol: 1 gram each morning 

In the morning, Sinclair mixes his NMN with 1 gram of resveratrol into a couple of spoonfuls of his homemade yogurt, which increases the bioavailability of the compounds.

Resveratrol is a natural compound found in red grapes and wine, cocoa, peanuts, raspberries, blueberries, and cranberries. It acts as a potent antioxidant and activates a family of longevity-promoting and NAD+-dependent proteins called sirtuins. Resveratrol and NMN are also thought to be synergistic — the consumption of one augments the purported benefits of the other. 

  • Vitamin D: 2,000 IU or more

Vitamin D, which is sometimes referred to as the “sunshine vitamin,” is produced in the skin in response to sunlight exposure. However, most people don’t get enough of this crucial vitamin. Although most commonly touted for its benefits to bone health, vitamin D impacts human health in many other ways as well, including modulating the activity of at least 200 of our genes. 

  • Vitamin K2 

Vitamin K2, the lesser-known form of the fat-soluble vitamin K, is found in the fermented soybean dish called natto, liver, certain hard cheeses, grass-fed butter, and egg yolks. Vitamin K2 is thought to support bone, metabolic, oral, heart, and cognitive health.

  • Quercetin: Up to 500 mg per day

Quercetin is a compound in the flavonoid family, a group of antioxidant-rich molecules found in fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The most significant dietary sources of quercetin are apples, onions, peppers, leafy greens, berries, asparagus, and capers. 

Research has found that quercetin can cross the highly selective boundary between the circulating blood and the nervous system called the blood-brain barrier, linking the compound to supported brain health and cognition. Plus, quercetin acts as a sirtuin activator, especially with sirtuin-1 (SIRT1). 

However, despite promising results in animal studies, quercetin supplementation studies with humans have not always produced the same beneficial outcomes. This discrepancy could be because quercetin has low bioavailability in the human gut — meaning, it’s difficult for our bodies to digest and absorb it effectively. Additionally, although quercetin can pass through the blood-brain barrier, the penetrability of the compound reaching the brain may be too low to affect cognition. 

  • Fisetin

Like quercetin, fisetin is a dietary flavonoid and antioxidant found in lab research to extend the lifespan of mice and worms. Both quercetin and fisetin are thought to be senolytics, or compounds that can kill off senescent cells — cells that have stopped growing and dividing but remain in the body, despite their lack of function. An accumulation of cellular senescence is thought to be a large part of the aging puzzle. 

Lots of vegetables and plant foods

Diet and Nutrition

Dr. Sinclair has stated that although he’s not perfect, he aims to keep his diet relatively consistent with these practices:  

  • One cup of coffee per day, followed by plenty of green tea 
  • Minimal amounts of added sugar, bread, pasta, desserts, and red meat.
  • Lots of vegetables and plant foods
  • Intermittent fasting: Skipping one or more meals per day

Exercise and Movement

  • Walking constantly
  • Weight lifting or boxing, about three times per week 
  • Jogging 1 to 2 times per week
  • Spending plenty of time in nature 

Lifestyle Choices

  • He goes to the sauna weekly, followed by an ice-cold plunge or cryotherapy (standing in a super-chilled box for 5-10 minutes). Altering body temperature in this way is thought to induce the activation of both brown fat, which supports metabolic health, and mitochondria — our cells’ energy production centers.
  • Avoids microwaved plastics, excessive UV exposure, X-rays, and CT scans — these can create oxidative stress, a buildup of inflammatory and damaging compounds called reactive oxygen species. 
  • No smoking — this one’s a no-brainer! 

While there is mounting evidence that David Sinclair’s daily supplements and habits are beneficial to longevity, you certainly don’t need to replicate all of his choices to support your health. Plus, many of the mentioned compounds are still in the early stages of research — especially when it comes to studies with humans. There are a few things that can be recommended across the board, like exercising, eating more vegetables, and limiting sugar, but as far as the supplements go, try to find a regimen that works best for you and your individual needs. 

Key Takeaway:

  • Dr. David Sinclair is a prominent scientist in the anti-aging and longevity field — and he practices what he preaches. 
  • Sinclair has stated that he regularly takes NMN, resveratrol, vitamins D and K2, quercetin, and fisetin, along with a couple of medications. 
  • His lifestyle habits include intermittent fasting, exercise — both aerobic and strength training — with regular visits to the sauna and ice bath, and avoidance of things that stress our cells, like smoking, plastics, and excess UV exposure. 

Show references
 

Sinclair, D., and LaPlante, M. D. (2021). Lifespan: Why We Age — and Why We Don't Have To. New York: Atria Books. 

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