Aging & Longevity

Harvard Scientist David Sinclair’s Techniques for Reducing His Biological Age by a Decade

Despite being 54 years old, Sinclair says his health is better than a 20-year-old, and he maintains a reduced biological age — a measurement indicating slowed aging — by exercising and managing what and when he eats.

By Bennett M. Sherman

Key Points:

  • David Sinclair says exercising at least three times per week, emphasizing the importance of reaching a state of hypoxia — lowered oxygen levels — for at least 10 minutes per session to stimulate muscle building, better blood flow, and tissue secretion of age-slowing chemicals.
  • Sinclair eats less often, within a period of about six hours per day, and often skips meals.
  • He avoids four key foods — sugar, bread, meat, and dairy products — as well as alcohol to decelerate aging.

Harvard’s David Sinclair maintains a biological age a whole decade younger than his chronological age. Biological age can be measured with blood markers like sugar (glucose) levels/patterns of DNA tagging (methylation). From these, a biological age that is lower than one’s chronological age is indicative of decelerated aging. The notable reduction in Sinclair’s biological age raises curiosity about his specific practices that contribute to slowing down the aging process.

Now, a YouTube segment featuring David Sinclair has been published where he reviews his routine for lowering his biological age. Accordingly, Sinclair exercises at least three times per week, focusing on activities that lead to breathlessness for about 10 minutes each time to induce hypoxia. This, he explains, stimulates muscle building, blood flow, and secretion of pro-longevity chemicals from body tissues. Sinclair also regulates his dietary schedule, eating only within a six-hour window and often skipping meals. The intent is to induce liver secretion of glucose for metabolic needs. Furthermore, Sinclair avoids sugar, bread, meat, dairy, and alcohol in his daily diet. These insights regarding Dr. Sinclair’s exercise routine, eating schedule, and the foods he avoids may be a start to lower one’s biological age and possibly decelerate the rate of aging.

“I’m better than a 20-year-old for health. I think a lot of that’s due to my new diet that I’ve adopted, because I can just see things getting better and better all the time,” says Sinclair.

Sinclair’s Routine Includes Exercising and Eating Less Often

Sinclair says his blood biochemistry is younger and healthier than it’s ever been, having testosterone, glucose, inflammation, and blood cell composition better than a 20-year-old. His biological age-lowering regimen of exercising three times per week so that he loses his breath for 10 minutes or so initiates hypoxia. The hypoxic state stimulates muscle building, better blood flow, and tissues putting out chemicals that slow aging, according to Sinclair. Importantly, Sinclair says that exercising this way lowers the rates of disease by about 30%. Along those lines, exercising three times per week can help to promote physical function, prevent frailty, and help drive physiological processes like better blood flow, which may contribute to decelerated aging.

What’s more, Sinclair says that eating less often is the most important facet of his biological age-lowering routine. He says he skips meals and does not eat a large meal until dinner, allowing for a short, six-hour feeding window during a 24-hour cycle. Reducing the time during the day that we eat gives the body a deep cleanse and stimulates cellular autophagy — a process that recycles proteins. Sinclair goes on to say that eating nuts, providing small amounts of protein, and drinking plenty of fluid during the day can help to ward off hunger.

Moreover, after two weeks of reducing the time window for eating, the liver starts producing sugar to maintain one’s metabolism — a physiological process called gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis compensates for less food and overcomes the sensation of hunger. David Sinclair says that eating less to trigger gluconeogenesis is key to his age-decelerating routine.

(Gluconeogenesis | Fasting stimulates gluconeogenesis, where the liver produces sugar (glucose) for metabolism. After two weeks of fasting, gluconeogenesis is adaptively triggered, facilitating the liver to release glucose into circulation for metabolism. Also, gluconeogenesis helps to overcome the sensation of hunger.

Sinclair Avoids Sugar, Bread, Meat, Dairy, and Alcohol

Sinclair recommends abstaining from four foods — sugar, bread, meat, and dairy — along with alcohol, to optimize his body’s function. He says the best predictor of your longevity is your blood sugar. Along those lines, cutting sugar from one’s diet is important to lower blood sugar. Sinclair explains that elevated blood sugar levels can lead to sugars attaching to proteins, a phenomenon he likens to ‘caramelization’, which can contribute to age acceleration. The body can make its own sugar from the liver through gluconeogenesis, which works to promote health better than dietary sugar consumption, according to Sinclair.

Another food Sinclair has cut from his diet is bread. Avoiding bread has also helped to lower Dr. Sinclair’s blood sugar. Since Sinclair’s body has entered a state of gluconeogenesis, in part by avoiding bread, he says he does not experience brain fog or the crashes that come after consuming excessive amounts of sugar or carbohydrates.

Furthermore, Sinclair avoids meat due to the fat that goes along with consuming it. Instead, he gets protein from plants. He says that plant-derived proteins stimulate genes like sirtuins that may promote longevity.

He has also eliminated dairy from his diet. He cut out dairy from his diet just to see what would happen. Sinclair notes that by eliminating dairy from his diet, he has significantly reduced his protein intake. He believes this reduction has suppressed an aging-related cellular pathway known as mTOR, which is also inhibited by the pro-longevity compound rapamycin.

Last, Sinclair has eliminated alcohol from his diet, saying that it is really not good for you. He goes on to say that if you cannot exclude alcohol from your diet, consume wine with grapes high in polyphenols — plant-derived molecules associated with stimulating pro-longevity sirtuin genes — like pinot noir. As such, eliminating sugar, bread, meat, dairy, and alcohol from your diet may help to lower blood sugars, stimulate gluconeogenesis, contribute to better cognition, and decelerate aging.

Following David Sinclair’s Routine and Testing One’s Biological Age

In addition to taking the supplements NMN and resveratrol along with the anti-diabetes drug metformin, Sinclair exercises, eats less, and avoids certain foods to lower his biological age. By following David Sinclair’s techniques, one may improve overall physical health and cognition with the possibility of decelerating aging processes. However, before engaging in drastic dietary changes, such as reducing your feeding schedule to a six-hour window in a 24-hour cycle, it is important to consult with a physician.

If someone who has utilized some of Dr. Sinclair’s exercising and dietary techniques wants to test his/her biological age, a number of testing kits are available online. Many of these tests measure patterns of DNA tagging (methylation) for biological age prediction. To undergo these tests, one must order a kit and then send a saliva sample to a lab. After a biological age is computed with methylation pattern analysis, results are emailed to the test participant. By doing this, one can then monitor whether implementing some of David Sinclair’s exercising and dietary routines lowers biological age, thereby possibly decelerating aging processes.


Medaris, A. A 53-year-old longevity researcher says his ‘biological age’ is a decade younger thanks to 4 daily habits — but the science behind them is mixed. Insider


Weichhart T. mTOR as Regulator of Lifespan, Aging, and Cellular Senescence: A Mini-Review. Gerontology. 2018;64(2):127-134. doi: 10.1159/000484629. Epub 2017 Dec 1. PMID: 29190625; PMCID: PMC6089343.

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