Wed, 11 November 2020
This week, I'm excited to welcome Erin Sharoni to the podcast. Erin is a digital health expert with deep roots in the longevity industry. She has studied biology and genetics at Stanford and Harvard university, and is also on the leadership team of the Harvard Biotech club. Erin is also the co-founder of Juvicell, the first longevity supplement of its kind. In this episode, we discuss the fundamentals of aging from a holistic approach, covering nutrition, movement technology, and the latest in longevity research.
Questions asked during our conversation:
This week, I'm excited to welcome Erin Sharoni to the podcast. Erin is a digital health expert with deep roots in the longevity industry. She has studied biology and genetics at Stanford and Harvard university, and is also on the leadership team of the Harvard Biotech club. Erin is also the co-founder of Juvicell, the first longevity supplement of its kind. In this episode, we discuss the fundamentals of aging from a holistic approach, covering nutrition, movement technology, and the latest in longevity research. Over to Erin.
Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and I'm delighted to welcome Erin Sharoni to the podcast. Erin, how are you?
I'm great. Thanks for having me.
Thank you for sharing some time, really appreciate it and very keen to dive into some of the questions that I'd love to ask you this morning as well, but first up for all of our listeners that may not be familiar with you or your work. I just wondered if you could tell us a little bit about yourself please.
Sure. It's always so odd when someone asks you to give a synopsis of yourself. You're like, "Where do I start?" Well, I'll start with why I'm here today. I'm the co-founder of Juvicell, which is a new really exciting longevity nutraceutical, so a supplement, and I also have a background in biology and biotech. I worked in the digital health and biotech space for the past six years. I'm wrapping up my Master's thesis right now at Harvard in biology with a focus on aging and epigenetics. And prior to that, I have a very interesting career path where I spent quite a few years on television here in the States doing sports presenting actually. And previous to that, I worked in finance as a trader at a couple of Wall Street banks and hedge funds. So very broad experience right there.
Yeah. Well look, no thank you. Yeah. Very interesting and wide ranging background and of particular interest to us because nobody wants to get old really, or at least nobody wants to look like they're aging, I think. So I'm really keen to tap into your knowledge and try and understand I think first and foremost, what's actually happening in the body when we age?
Yeah. Well, that's a great question. No one wants to look like they're aging, but I would say even more importantly, and I'll be the first to admit, I can be very vain, nobody wants to feel like they're aging. Right? And I would say that ultimately if we're honest with ourselves, that's really the more important thing that's at stake, right? If you really want to look good, there's plenty of options. You can spend some money and somebody can make you look better, but no one to date can wave a magic wand or use a scalpel to turn back your biological age significantly if you're not also supporting your biological aging in other important ways.
So as we age on a cellular level, there are a bunch of these different hallmarks of aging. So I'm sure you're familiar with my friend, David Sinclair. I don't know if you've had him on, but I'm sure you've read his book, and other people have talked about stuff, and he's a fellow Australian and I recommend his book Lifespan, which is incredible. People always ask me, "What was the best book you read last year?" It was 2019. And I said, "David's book." It's awesome. He talks quite a bit about that. And so if you're talking about a loss of physiological integrity, that's what's happening over time. We see it happen in a plant in your house, right, over time or an apple, as it's exposed to oxygen, starts to brown, and wilt, and shrivel, and so that's this sort of microcosmic view of aging, you see in a very compressed timeframe.
But aging is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide so it's associated with all of the leading causes of disease and there's a lot of different biochemical processes, but there's a couple of hallmarks in aging which you might've heard of, and so I'll just take them off here. It's genomic instability so you accrue DNA damage over time. Telomere shortening. So we've all heard of the end caps on our genome. Epigenetic changes over time, loss of proteostasis, mitochondrial dysfunction, so a decline in your cells ability to produce energy correctly, cellular senescence, which is a topic that I worked on in in my research at school and I'm really interested in. Stem cell exhaustion. So you do have a finite amount of those stem cells that can turn into other types of cells. Nutrient sensing, deregulation, so not being able to sense insulin for instance, right, as we age we become less insulin-sensitive, and a change in intracellular communication.
So I'm always of the mindset that communication is key, and that is true on a macrocosmic level and a microcosmic level. So when the cells do not communicate appropriately, you can imagine what would happen when you're talking about hormones getting into the right places at the right time at a very high level. So that's what's happening technically as we're aging. And then what you see are these phenotypic physical presentations, whether it's frailty or degeneration of cartilage in your knee if you're an athlete, right, over time, you get some of these aches and pains, and then of course, thinning hair and thinning skin, you lose that cellular matrix, that collagen functionability, stuff like that.
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