Cellular Senescence and the Anti-Aging Powers of Senolytics | Dr. Nick Bitz

The Longevity & Lifestyle podcast

The Longevity & Lifestyle podcast

The Longevity & Lifestyle podcast

Episode 122

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“Senescent cells take up physical residence in organs, and they impact not only the structure of organs but also the function. And that is the issue with them. In and of themselves, they're neither healthy nor bad. They're needed for normal physiology. But when they linger and take over healthy tissue, that healthy tissue can no longer function in the way that you want or need it to.” - Dr. Nick Bitz, ND, Neurohacker Collective

Healthy cells equal a healthy body!

Our body has around 37 trillion cells, making up every tissue, organ, and part of us. 

However, like every living thing, cells age and eventually reach a state where they can no longer function normally. But they don’t die. They enter a state called cellular senescence. 

While we are young, healthy, and vital, our immune system does a great job targeting these senescent cells, so they aren’t an issue. But as we age and our immune system weakens, we start accumulating them, and they start affecting our bodily functions. 

So, can we do anything to prevent aging at the cellular level and, consequently, aging in general?

Yes, there is! And today’s guest, Dr. Nick Bitz, knows all about it. He is a naturopathic doctor specializing in Ayurveda, anti-aging, dietary supplements, and cellular senescence.

In my interview with Dr. Nick, we talk about the anti-aging powers of senolytics, dietary and lifestyle recommendations that target aging cells, and the connection between brain aging and senescent cells. 

This insightful conversation has many great tips and information, so tune in! 


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Show Notes 


Intro (00:00)
Cellular senescence (01:01)
What are senolytics, and how do they target senescent cells? (07:59)
Brain aging (10:26)
Anabolic resistance and cellular senescence (13:13)
Testing the effects of senolytics on humans and Dr. Nick’s personal experiences (19:52)
Protocols and different use cases of senolytics (22:39)
Diet and lifestyle changes to prevent cellular aging (28:23)
Senolytics and cancer (34:21)
How Dr. Nick became an Ayurvedic doctor (36:34)
On longevity and the future of health (47:28)
Final thoughts and outro (54:08)


Intro (00:00)
Cellular senescence (01:01)
What are senolytics, and how do they target senescent cells? (07:59)
Brain aging (10:26)
Anabolic resistance and cellular senescence (13:13)
Testing the effects of senolytics on humans and Dr. Nick’s personal experiences (19:52)
Protocols and different use cases of senolytics (22:39)
Diet and lifestyle changes to prevent cellular aging (28:23)
Senolytics and cancer (34:21)
How Dr. Nick became an Ayurvedic doctor (36:34)
On longevity and the future of health (47:28)
Final thoughts and outro (54:08)

People mentioned


“Senescent cells take up physical residence in organs, and they impact not only the structure of organs but also the function. And that is the issue with them. In and of themselves, they're neither healthy nor bad. They're needed for normal physiology. But when they linger and take over healthy tissue, that healthy tissue can no longer function in the way that you want or need it to.” - Dr. Nick Bitz, Neurohacker Collective

“The older you are, the more senescent cells you’ve accumulated, the greater the effects and benefits of senolytics will be. So I think I'm getting less benefit than somebody who might be 60 or 70. But I'm certainly noticing changes in skin health. I'm noticing less joint inflammation and less pain after exercise. And overall, I just feel well, and I feel like it's making me more vital and more strong.” - Dr. Nick Bitz, Neurohacker Collective

“Generally speaking, the immune system does a very good job at targeting senescent cells and getting rid of them. But we know that the immune system cells go through senescence themselves. This is called immunosenescence. And so, over time, as the immune system ages, we see this accumulation of senescent cells throughout all tissues in the body.” - Dr. Nick Bitz, Neurohacker Collective
“There's no way to target all senescent cells in the body. They all have slightly different SCAP networks, and we need to disrupt as many cells as we can to have the broadest effect in the body. So, multiple ingredients will target multiple SCAP networks and give the body the greatest amount of effects.” - Dr. Nick Bitz, Neurohacker Collective

“There are many things you can do daily to increase your immune vitality. Some of my favorite things are beta-glucan, a polysaccharide from medicinal mushrooms, vitamin A, vitamin D, and zinc. These are really great for turning on the immune system daily. I think about them as coffee for the immune system. And there has been a lot of interest in spore probiotics recently. We even developed a gut-brain product with them.” - Dr. Nick Bitz, Neurohacker Collective

“We have 37 trillion cells in our body. They make up every tissue, every organ, and every part of us, and they all go through the same lifecycle. Each cell replicates and duplicates on average about 50 times during its lifetime, which is called the Hayflick limit. After that, it moves into this kind of limbo, where it no longer functions healthily and no longer contributes to our tissues. But it's not dead. It's just there in the tissue, and it lingers, and that is the state of senescence.” - Dr. Nick Bitz, Neurohacker Collective

“Spores are a type of probiotic. They’re dormant cells that have protein shells. They're alive, but they're dormant. So, when you consume them, they move through your GI tract, and as soon as they reach your small intestine, the pH change awakens them. They always reach the GI tract alive and tend to have these temporary effects. They take up residence for about two to three weeks. They shift the microenvironment in the GI tract. They change the pH. They help to get rid of the bad guys. They help promote the good guys. They do everything that you want from a probiotic.” - Dr. Nick Bitz, Neurohacker Collective

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Claudia von Boeselager: Welcome to another episode of the Longevity and Lifestyle Podcast. I'm your host, Claudia von Boeselager. I'm here to uncover the groundbreaking strategies, tools, and practices from the world's pioneering experts to help you live your best and reach your fullest potential. Don't forget to subscribe to the podcast to always catch the latest episodes.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note, to avoid any unnecessary headaches, Longevity & Lifestyle LLC owns the copyright in and to all content in and transcripts of The Longevity & Lifestyle Podcast, with all rights reserved, as well as the right of publicity. You are welcome to share parts of the transcript (up to 500 words) in other media (such as press articles, blogs, social media accounts, etc.) for non-commercial use which must also include attribution to “The Longevity & Lifestyle Podcast” with a link back to the longevity-and-lifestyle.com/podcast URL. It is prohibited to use any portion of the podcast content, names or images for any commercial purposes in digital or non-digital outlets to promote you or another’s products or services.


Dr. Nick Bitz 0:00  
The immune system is our internal system for getting rid of the senescence cells. And so the older we get, the more diminished our immune function becomes. And so there are a lot of things you can do on a daily basis to really increase your immune vitality.

Claudia von Boeselager 0:16  
Are you ready to boost your longevity and unlock peak performance and welcome to The Longevity and Lifestyle Podcast. I'm your host Claudia von Boeselager, longevity, and peak performance coach. Each week we'll explore groundbreaking science, unravel longevity secrets share strategies to grow younger and stay up to date with world-class health and peak performance pioneers. Everything you need to live longer, live better, and reach your fullest potential. Ready to defy aging, optimize health and promote peak performance? Visit LLinsider.com for more. Welcome to The Longevity and Lifestyle Podcast. Dr. Nick, it's such a pleasure to have you on today.

Dr. Nick Bitz 0:59  
So good to be here. Thanks for having me on.

Claudia von Boeselager 1:01  
So I'd like to start with cellular senescence, aka zombie cells and which are also considered a hallmark of aging. Can you share with my audience what it is and why it's important in aging?

Dr. Nick Bitz 1:15  
Yeah, absolutely. Cellular senescence has become a passion of mine over the last year. It's a rather new discovery. For me. It's, in general, it's just a new discovery for the scientific community as well. It is one of the 12 hallmarks of aging. And we know that these 12 hallmarks of aging are really what underlie the aging process overall. But what I think is so interesting about cellular senescence is that it is perhaps the best example of taking this concept or this theory. And within a very short amount of time, creating these clinical therapeutic or clinical applications that can undercut that whole cause of aging, which is remarkable. And just in short, senescence means to grow old, right? And so it's a widely used term that comes from the Latin root cynics, which means old man. And so cellular senescence, then, is really a cell growing old and aging. And so, you know, we have 37 trillion cells in our body; they make up every tissue in Oregon and every part of us, and all of these cells go through the same lifecycle. Generally, they will replicate and duplicate on average about 50 times during their lifetime. At this point, that cell moves into this kind of limbo, a Noman state, where it's no longer functioning in a healthy way; it's no longer contributing to our tissues. But it's not dead. It's just there in the tissue, and it lingers, and that is the state of senescence. And so anywhere throughout the body, in virtually every tissue, we get senescence cells, the cells that go through their lifecycle, they either have replicated that 50 times, which is called the Hayflick limit, or they've been damaged enough where they essentially just move out of the cell lifecycle. And so senescence cells are, are interesting; they can take up physical residence in any tissue in the body. You know, they, as an example, on the skin, they take up physical residence in the skin, and they not only impact the structure of an organ, such as the skin, but they impact the function. And that becomes the issue that we see with senescent cells. So in and of themselves, they're neither healthy nor bad; they're needed for normal physiology. But when they linger and take over healthy tissue, that healthy tissue is no longer can function in the way that you want or need. And so you get a decrease in tissue function. And so, again, that can impact every tissue in the human body. And we're linking it up to several health conditions that arise over the course of the aging process.

Claudia von Boeselager 4:18  
Can you explain how the linking up, if you will, with the healthy tissue, like what is going on there? And why is that detrimental?

Dr. Nick Bitz 4:26  
Yeah, so So I alluded to the first point, which is it's just taking up physical residence, so it's taking up space where an otherwise healthy cell would reside. And so the tissue function then decreases, but these senescence cells are also known as zombie cells because they secrete these inflammatory compounds. And they can impact all of the healthy cells around them and turn those cells into senescent cells as well. And so, these senescence cells have an amine immediate impact on the kind of microenvironment that surrounds them. But we know they get systemic as well. And they can cause this low-grade inflammation throughout the body.

Claudia von Boeselager 5:10  
So for skin, for example, just to take a bit of a deep dive into this, I've had Karolina rise from the one skin, I'm not sure if you're familiar with that. So they have. Yeah, exactly, I find it so fascinating. And just for people to maybe like help to visualize it as well. So the whole like natural bodily process and say the cell has gone through that the 50 rhythms, right? And so it's occupying space, let's say, on your face, right? So your skin is on your face. And it then, as you said, has this seismic effect. So it's, in essence, aging, the cells around it if it's not cleared, so I would think naturally, the body has a rhythm that would clear it out straight away. But as we age, that ability to clear the senescence cells that decline. Is that what's happening?

Dr. Nick Bitz 5:55  
Yeah, you nailed it. And so, again, all of these cells age; they move into senescence. And generally speaking, the body does a very good job at targeting the cells and getting rid of them. It really is the job of the immune system to do that. But we know that the immune system cells go through senescence themselves. It's a term called immunosenescence. And so the immune system ages, it becomes less functional and less effective over time. And so, over time, because those cells are aging, they do a worse job at targeting senescent cells and eliminating these senescent cells. And so, over time, we see this accumulation of senescent cells throughout all tissues in the body, the skin is one of the examples, and the other way that we get rid of them is just through a process called apoptosis. apoptosis, a very technical biology term. It essentially means self-destruction or cell suicide. It's this kind of programmed cell death that all cells go through. And in essence, the cell just implodes. It breaks off into little pieces, it's absorbed by the other neighboring cells. And its parts are recycled to regenerate new cells and new tissues, as it were. And so the senescence cells are really interesting because they are basically secreting proteins that are anti-apoptosis. So they actually prevent cells from going through the apoptosis process, much like a shield. And so that is, in essence, how these things work. And we've just identified that which is really exciting. And the reason I think that it's so exciting is because once you understand the mechanism of the cells, you understand how to undercut those mechanisms. And so that's when you get into the field of senolytics. And they're really starting to target these anti-apoptotic pathways in very significant ways so that the cells then can reenter the lifecycle and go through apoptosis, which is normal and healthy. So

Claudia von Boeselager 7:59  
let's dive into senolytics. Another beautiful term. So again, just to help people understand what it is and then where do you see the potential applications of this, in what type of applications as well in terms of diseases or even just to maintain a healthy lifestyle?

Dr. Nick Bitz 8:18  
Yeah, so senolytics. So it really all started in 2015. With one study, it was a group of scientists from the Scripps Institute and the Mayo Clinic. And they had identified for the first time two compounds that had this anti-apoptotic anti-senescence property. And so they coined that term, see analytic. And again, it's just a conduit conjunction of two different terms, cynics which means to grow old analytic, which means destroying. So these synthetic compounds are fascinating. And there's a lot of energy, a lot of money, and a lot of big minds moving into this space right now trying to identify various senolytic compounds and to prove their efficacy over time. And the senolytics are, are interesting. I mean, they can be synthetic, they can be pharmaceutical, or they can be natural, but in essence, they go in, and they're disturbing those upregulated proteins that senescent cells express, and by disturbing that or disabling that, even temporarily, the cells go through apoptosis, and they self destruct as it was so from

Claudia von Boeselager 9:29  
a skin perspective, right? It's from a little bit more vanity one but essentially means that you are rejuvenating, regenerating more youthful-looking skin. Yes, while you still have the benefits of the protein, self-destruction is still happening, and it's not being protected. Is that correct?

Dr. Nick Bitz 9:49  
Yeah, that's right. I mean, if your skin's not functioning properly, if you have senescence cells in there, that is at the root of lack of skin elasticity, lack of Skin, moister, wrinkling, all of those physiologic processes that we know that you can see visibly, senescence cells are directly related to that. And so the thinking is if you can get rid of those old nonfunctional cells, new cells, new stem cells are going to come in, turn into fibroblasts, dermal blasts, all these different cells that you need to be functioning properly and to have beautiful, glowing radiant skin overall.

Claudia von Boeselager 10:26  
Beautiful. And so let's look at senescence cells and, for example, brain aging; what's going on there?

Dr. Nick Bitz 10:33  
I mentioned we have 37 trillion cells in the body; virtually all cells turn over, they turn over at different rates. We know, you know, blood cells turn over at about 120 days; we know the intestinal lining cells turn over, you know, somewhere between three and seven days. However, brain cell neurons never turn over. We're starting to learn that that may be some of them are capable of that. And that's getting into the world of neuroplasticity and neurogenesis. And, you know, some of the medicinal mushrooms we're finding might have some benefit in that area. But what we know right now is that neurons don't turn over, and so you have one set of neurons, and so neurons then don't become senescent. Right. So they just exist, but the supporting glial sounds in the brain that kind of support these neurons that are important for cleaning up the metal, the metabolites, the toxins, the byproducts that are important for facilitating cell-to-cell communication, and on and on, those cells do turn over and become senescent. And so we know that the brain, just like any other tissue, is impacted by senescent cells. And so there are studies going on right now looking at how can we utilize C analytics to undercut a lot of these cognitive health diseases such as Alzheimer's, or even just day-to-day functioning around, you know, brain fog, depression, mood disorders, and such. And so we're, you know, it's still early days; we're just starting to get into the science there. But it's really, I think, quite amazing that we know already that there are senolytic compounds that cross the blood-brain barrier and can help clean up those surrounding cells in the brain space specifically.

Claudia von Boeselager 12:25  
So we know also that there are neurons in the gut as well, assuming that they're the same type of neurons as the brain. I mean, I find it fascinating that they don't turn over, so like 120-year-olds, right, will still have the same neurons as they did as a baby, a newborn baby,

Dr. Nick Bitz 12:40  
you're spot on. Yeah, and a neuron is a neuron. So yeah, we have millions, if not billions, of neurons in our gut lining as well that make up the enteric nervous system that is directly linked to the brain. And so the gut, brain access is a very real thing. They are one and the same. I know. We talk about them as two separate systems. But it really is just one system. And it's all related. And so a lot of that information from the brain to the gut happens through these permanent neurons that need support, and Sustainalytics gives you some of that support.

Claudia von Boeselager 13:13  
So it's fascinating. I love this space, and it's a new frontier of science, I find it really exciting. What is anabolic resistance? And how does it connect to senescent cells?

Dr. Nick Bitz 13:24  
Ooh, that's a great question. Anabolic resistance, generally, is an inability to grow muscle as we age. And so it's, uh, you know, again, scientists are exploring muscle development and trying to figure out how can we optimize muscle growth at all ages, especially over the age of 50. And we find that after exercise, we do produce senescence cells. And the older we are, the less efficient we are at getting rid of those senescent cells, of course, and so the muscles then become less efficient at growth. And so there are studies showing that certain senolytic compounds can go into muscle, specifically clear out those senescence cells and include improve muscle growth, especially in aging individuals.

Claudia von Boeselager 14:18  
And we know also for living a long and healthy life, maintaining muscle mass is one of the key criteria there was a research study correlating grip strength in older years and the state of aging basically in humans as well. So I think, for Hormonal Health, etc., just making sure to maintain healthy muscle mass is so fundamental. So with the compounds that you're discussing, it would be really exciting if they could complement each other. What type of timeline do you see in terms of developing these compounds to assist with

Dr. Nick Bitz 14:53  
the research is ongoing; there are, you know, anywhere between 20 and 30 human clinical that are registered right now in this space. But we already know a lot. We know, you know, office attend as an example, which is a plant polyphenol. It's a yellow pigment found throughout the plant kingdom. We know that that's one of the most potent senolytic compounds, and it can be pretty powerful and its effects overall; we know quercetin is another natural agent that has a similar effect. However, these nutrients don't focus on any one tissue, meaning you can't take one compound and expect to have full senolytic effects throughout the body, you're only getting a limited effect on a subset of the cells in the body. And so what we're finding is that you need a broad array of senolytic compounds to get a broad effect in the body. And so that's critically important. We're learning that more and more here; we also know that the intermittent dosing cycle looks to be the most favorable. And so that is generally how senolytics are used in a clinical setting. An intermittent dosing schedule might mean that they're using a big dose of a compound or a mixture of compounds for a very short amount of time, generally one or two days. And that's it. And so it's called a hit-and-run dosing schedule. And so it's not like you should be you shouldn't be using senolytics Every day; there maybe are some potential safety issues around that. But more than that, it's just not effective in that area. And so scientists have really identified short-term dosing schedules to be the most preferable way to dose these compounds.

Claudia von Boeselager 16:42  
How much testing or how much research do you think is still needed for this to become a more widely scaled application from, like, where are we, would you say, in the stages of development and understanding the dosing? I mean, you said that hit and run right is the current one, but where we are in the development of things. You know, I

Dr. Nick Bitz 17:03  
think in the next 12 months, we're going to have a better idea about the promise and the potential and how real these agents will be because we're now running the studies in humans. We have a little bit of data, but certainly, there's a lot more needed. Right now. We're relying mostly on animal studies. And if you look at five to 10, which, again, is the most perhaps the most compelling synthetic compound out there right now. In animal studies, they're using a dose of 20 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. And so we know that there's an equivalency dose in humans that is quite effective. And so if you take that same dosing schedule and apply it to us, that gets you in the ballpark of about 1400 milligrams of phytoplankton. And so, when you look at the studies that are being done in humans, now, they're using that equivalency dose, above 1000 milligrams per day of phytoplankton, in hopes of getting that beneficial effect. And so, it's really is really early days, there's a lot of promise and potential and a lot of energy in this field right now. But there's still a lot to learn, I think we're going to uncover a lot of compounds that we never knew or seen the lytic. curcumin from turmeric, we know, is a senolytic. And you know, we've never really talked about curcumin or turmeric as a senolytic compound. And it's never really been of interest. But the more and more we dig into it, we're finding all of these pretty common nutraceutical ingredients are really powerful senolytic compounds, and so one by one, I think we'll start to tease those out and figure out amongst all of them, which ones are the most effective in humans,

Claudia von Boeselager 18:42  
and then you're saying that the combination of them would be the most powerful to drive that that synesthetic process? Is that where you think this is going to

Dr. Nick Bitz 18:52  
be? Yeah, and I talked about senescence cells and their mechanism, you know, they basically produce these anti-apoptotic proteins that prevent them from going through apoptosis. But they do that in different ways. And so there's no one way to get in there and undercut all senescent cells in the body. And so they all have slightly different. They're called SCAP networks. And so, we need to disrupt as many cells as we can to have the broadest effect on the body. And so, multiple ingredients will target multiple scab networks and give the body the greatest amount of effects. So, again, we're teasing apart the science there to figure out the full profile of all Scout networks in the body. But so far, we know it's very complex. And so the recommendation now is not to lean on any one ingredient but to use a variety of ingredients to make sure you're getting that. That big effect. Have you

Claudia von Boeselager 19:52  
tested this on yourself yet? Is this something for some biohackers, and it's something

Dr. Nick Bitz 19:57  
that's alive and well on the biohacking. Community, of course, there's a lot of no-one studies on Reddit forums and such. However, I am working with a company called Neurohacker Collective; we did, in the last 12 months, create a product called qualia senolytic. So senescence is not a quantifiable thing in the body, yet there's no lab test to quantify the amount of senescent cells in the body. And so, the only way to show that these things are working presently is to do much broader outcome studies. And so we did run this through our small pilot clinical program. And we tested it in 10 individuals using three rounds of the product, dosing intermittently as we spoke about. And we tested its effects on joint health as well as activities of daily living. And we did show that almost across the board, it increased joint comfort and some aspects that we know are directly related to senescence and cell health. So I think there's a lot of development that needs to happen upfront from testing. But from my own personal experience, I'm probably on my sixth round now of doing senolytic. And it's been profound. I mean, I'm fairly young, right? The older you are, the more that you've accumulated senescence cells, and the greater the effects or the benefits, you will notice. And so I think I'm getting less benefit, perhaps, than somebody who might be 60 or 70. But I'm certainly noticing changes in skin health, I'm noticing less joint inflammation or pain after exercise. So I'm noticing some subtle things. But overall, I just feel well, I feel like it's making me more vital and more strong. And so we're getting input from our broad customer base, and they're telling us their experiences with the product. And it's been pretty amazing to hear these different stories. And I will say that there is really no one way that people experience analytics; it really depends on the person and where they have that senescent cell load in their body. So again, certain people can have it in the brain, others can have it in their skin, others in their joints, their bones, their liver, their lungs, literally all of these tissues can be impacted by that. And so it depends on the individual's needs. So it's been interesting. It's been 12 months now with this product, I'm going to continue to use it because it's just fascinating. I'm feeling the benefits. And again, I'm just fascinated with this whole area of science.

Claudia von Boeselager 22:39  
Yeah, me too. So I'm going to ask you a few follow-up questions. So that so first of all, what is your protocol for doing it? And obviously, this is what you are doing, and everybody's different. And please seek medical advice from your healthcare professional, right? And then I'm curious to also think about use cases like people who maybe have some lung damage from the pandemic we had, right? So there are some people with, like, these long COVID symptoms to people experiencing brain fog. I mean, what are some of the anecdotal stories you've heard from your customer base and user base, but also from yourself? So protocol, and then some of the different use cases and benefits that you've, you've heard?

Dr. Nick Bitz 23:16  
Yeah, so our formula has nine botanical extracts. You know, we went, and we looked at all of the different compounds out there, and we chose some of the most powerful ones; we did introduce two new compounds that are just really aren't in the literature, but we know the how they work, and we know that they can impact Scout networks. And so we've put these nine compounds together.

Claudia von Boeselager 23:40  
They're all natural science that didn't exist to say they're all-natural, natural.

Dr. Nick Bitz 23:43  
Yeah, so we have it's a dietary supplement. Right now, it's only available in the United States. But it's all-natural. It's from plants and roots and fruits. Primary ingredients, if I had to choose just a couple, the first one is facing it in. As we've talked about, in face attendance, the plant Foley polyphenol is abundant in our diet. However, we only usually eat about four, maybe four milligrams per day, and that's on a heavily plant-based diet, and we need upwards of 1400 milligrams to give you that animal dose equivalency dose. So, five to 10 is a major, major ingredient in there. Quercetin is another one, turmeric, as we've talked about. We've also incorporated an ingredient called Piper long Amin, which comes from the IR Vedic tradition, which is another passion of mine, iron Vedic physician. And it's powerful in terms of its rejuvenating effects. And that's how it's always been used for 1000s of years. But we know that, in part, it's working through that senolytic action that it imparts to the body, which is amazing. And that seems to have enough In addition to the lungs, this nine-ingredient blend, I use it on two days. So I do six pills of the formulation on day one, I do six pills on day two, and then I take a break for four weeks or more. And it's critically important to take that break, you don't want to keep hitting the body too hard; you want to give the body a chance to rest and recover. We do know that senescence cells take a while to start accumulating again. And we do know that senolytics, In general, tend to have a lingering effect. And so the animal studies show that even one round of senolytic compounds can have this kind of amplified lingering effects for up to seven months or so, I think is what the data shows. And so you don't need to do these things every day. And I like that because I have a whole supplement regimen that I use day in and day out. I don't want to complicate that more. So it's nice. It's just two days, and then you stop.

Claudia von Boeselager 26:02  
And so, what was the gap between the first one using six months of visits every six months, two days, and then six months? And then the four

Dr. Nick Bitz 26:09  
weeks? A recommended minimum of four weeks? I would say the older you are, the shorter that gap should be

Claudia von Boeselager 26:19  
the health define older, please Dr. Niccole, generally join

Dr. Nick Bitz 26:26  
it over the age of 40, You start to accumulate senescent cells much more rapidly. And we don't have hard data to show exactly how many senescence cells were accumulating and when but we know that there are things there tend to be this threshold point when you don't accumulate senescence cells and suddenly you do, and so I will say just from experience and working with patients 40 tends to be that age when people are like wow, okay, I actually feel different. I sleep differently my skin's different. I don't recuperate as quickly from colds or flu. My digestions change, and I feel old. And so it's that moment, I think, when people start accumulating senescence cells, and I think there's a lot of variants. But I will say, you know, it's good to find a regimen that works for you. For a lot of people, maybe this just means doing this product one time per year. Other people might need it, you know, seasonally every couple of months. But for people that are more interested in biohacking, being super proactive about their health. Yeah, we recommend just taking that four-week break and then getting back into it again; then that

Claudia von Boeselager 27:37  
can continue on as we age and grow younger. Are you doing any research around biological age before and after I've requested things like them?

Dr. Nick Bitz 27:50  
So we're just now getting into that. So we're now working with the lab to get into some of these biomarker tests to figure out how we quantify and track senescence cells over time. But we are working with a few of our influencer friends that are amazing that are using the product on several doses several times. And they're testing their biological age before and after. And so that's in progress. We don't have data from that yet. But I'm hopeful that that can be a useful tool for people to follow and track the benefits of senolytics.

Claudia von Boeselager 28:23  
Yeah, that's exciting as well, either further diets or lifestyle behaviors. Obviously, we all know a healthy diet, etc. But is there anything in particular related to senescent cells and cellular aging that you recommend? In order to optimize that even further?

Dr. Nick Bitz 28:40  
Yeah, so there are a couple of things that are not dietary supplement related. Exercise is definitely number one. You know, it's probably only mildly senolytic. But we do have, we have human studies showing that even moderate exercise can reduce the biomarkers of senescence cells in the body. So we all know exercise more, but in part because of its senolytic effects, which is really amazing. Fasting, or even a fasting-mimicking diet, seems to be really helpful. And importantly, we know that fasting really helps turn on a toffee G or cell repair in the body. And so if a cell can repair itself, it won't actually reach that senescence stage. And so that's a really good thing if you can keep cells functioning and turning over. That's good. It prevents them from getting into senescence, but we do know that it looks like a fasting or fasting-mimicking diet, which is a low-calorie diet that looks like it's Prime's senescence cells for elimination. So I think that there is an autophagy benefit as well as a senescent benefit. We talked about this earlier, but one of the major ways that we get rid of senescent cells is through our immune system. And so we, you know, suddenly, we've all begun talking about the immune system through COVID. And then the challenges over the last couple of years. But it is critically important for daily maintenance, not just when you become ill because the immune system is our internal system for getting rid of these senescent cells. And so the older we get, the more diminished our immune function becomes. And so there are a lot of things you can do on a daily basis to really increase your immune vitality. I talked about this a lot, but some of my favorite things would be beta-glucan, which is a polysaccharide, from mushrooms, medicinal mushrooms, really great for just really turning on the immune system on a daily basis. So I think about them kind of as coffee for the immune system. And so you're just awakening your immune system every time that you consume these substances. vitamin A, vitamin D, zinc, fantastic. A lot of interest in spore probiotics as of late recently, we have developed a gut-brain product using spore probiotics. And there are some really good studies showing that it can actually increase the number of parameters of the immune system, so huge proponent of spores,

Claudia von Boeselager 31:18  
especially dig into that for a moment for someone who might like What is he talking about, spores? What is this? Can you share a bit more about what you mean by spore probiotics?

Dr. Nick Bitz 31:29  
Yeah, so traditional probiotics are lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. They're thought of as live probiotics, you know, everybody thinks, oh, you eat yogurt, and you're getting those live bacteria. And they're making their way down to your GI tract, and they're populating your intestinal lining. In fact, that's, that's really not how those things work at all. Generally, those types of bacteria are dead before they even arrive in your GI tract, which doesn't mean that they're not beneficial. Your body does initiate a whole cascade of responses once you consume these dead bacteria, which are beneficial for the immune system, and for inflammation, etc, so they have benefits, but those types of bacteria that everybody knows and loves and eats, they generally are not arriving alive and populating your GI tract. So spores are another type of probiotic. And these are really dormant cells, they are probiotics or bacteria, beneficial bacteria that have these protein shells. And so these, these cells are essentially asleep, they're, they're alive, but they're dormant. And when you consume them, it moves through your GI tract. And as soon as it reaches your small intestine, the pH change in the small intestine will awaken the bacteria, and that bacteria then becomes alive. So it always reaches the GI tract alive, which is a benefit. And they tend to have these temporary effects. So they take up residence for about two to three weeks, they shift the microenvironment in the GI tract, they change the pH, they help to get rid of the bad guys, they help promote the good guys, they do everything that you want for a probiotic. But they're temporary; your body then gets rid of them after about three week time period. So these things are going in and really helping to restore the microbiome and kind of the inner ecosystem in the gut in a very effective way. And so I'm a big fan of spore probiotics, namely Bacillus coagulans, Bacillus subtilis, and Bacillus claws, i.e., these are all really traditional bacteria that are found in the dirt. And so back when we used to eat foods, and they weren't really overly sterilized, and they had a lot of dirt and soil already embedded in them, we were getting a lot of those organisms. But now I think the food chain supply has, has really removed most of this area. So we don't get it on a daily basis. So it's important to continue taking that our bodies know how to use these substances, but we're not getting them on a daily basis.

Claudia von Boeselager 34:21  
And they love the idea that they're thick. Well, so first of all, thank you for explaining that as well. And that the spores are really only becoming activated when they get the GI tract because of the pH changes as well because I think so many people are like, Oh, well, I eat a lot of yogurts, or I do these different things, but they do not realize that it only has a limited benefit. So it sounds like you put this for a probiotic that you're really solving for that, which is exciting. I wonder if there are use cases or if I'd be interested to hear your view on senolytics and cancer and cancer research. What do you think of the potential there?

Dr. Nick Bitz 34:56  
so in the US, generally, dietary supplements And companies can't talk about diseases, right? So it's always one of those areas that we kind of we shy away from generally. But it's, it's, it's a very interesting area. And we know that, in part, senescent cells are not all bad. And so when a cell becomes malignant, or there's damage to the DNA, you don't want that replicating throughout your body, right? And so you want it to move into that senescent mode, you want that cell to become dormant or, you know, nonfunctioning, you don't want it to replicate anymore. And so cancer cells, in theory, and ideally, you want them to become senescent. So your body can go in and pluck them out and get rid of them. And so, senescence cells are really important for a couple of different functions. wound healing is another one. But we know that you know, it seems to be you don't want too many or too little, I think you got to find that sweet spot. And so I think when you get in the area of cancer, it's kind of like the Goldilocks syndrome. You want to be somewhere in the middle. But most people tend to have too many of these cells over time. And so we know that generally speaking, in order to create balance, in order to kind of swing the pendulum, you need fewer senescence cells overall. So so, it's not totally clear right now. And I'm not the foremost expert when it comes to cancer because, again, we generally don't touch that here in the US. But it certainly is an interesting area. And I think we're going to learn more here soon.

Claudia von Boeselager 36:34  
That sounds exciting. Dr. Nick, I also want to tap into something very interesting; you said that you are an Ayurvedic doctor. So I don't think I've had an Ayurvedic doctor. And yet, I'm just thinking, but I have not. So can you explain to my audience exactly what an eye Vedic doctor is and does? Obviously, based on Indian medicine, but we'd love to share if you could share a little bit about your journey and how you ended up becoming an Ayurvedic doctor.

Dr. Nick Bitz 37:00  
Yeah, so you know, I'm actually a naturopathic physician, which is an old school form of medicine that comes out of the 1800s really comes out of Germany and kind of the Nature Cure philosophy of medicine. But it became alive and well, early in the 1900s. In the US, there were a lot of naturopathic medical schools. And then, when you get into about 1913, there was something called the Flexner Report, where these organizations and the government only decided to fund certain models of health care and medical schools. And so naturopathic medical schools got pushed aside, and then what we see in the US, this conventional allopathic model, became the gold standard at that time. And so, naturopathic medicine really kind of fell away for many years. In the last few years, with an interest in integrative medicine, functional medicine, and Eastern medicine, I think people have started to open up to the possibility of naturopathic medicine becoming more prevalent in the US. And so we now have naturopathic medical schools in the US that are a four to six-year medical school program, very rigorous in terms of academics. And then, on the tail end, you do the clinical. And so it's very complementary, I think, to the current conventional medical system we have in the US, but it definitely takes a more holistic, natural approach. And, you know, I started out studying allopathic medicine; I transitioned over to naturopathic medical school because it became just really my passion. And then I discovered AI or Vedic medicine, my first-year past year university up in Seattle, and, you know, growing up, I had exposure to Jewish traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. I practiced a lot of yoga. But I never really understood either VEDA, which is the sister science of yoga. And, you know, it's often considered the first form of medicine. It comes from India, it's incredibly vast and fascinating. It's really all based on Sanskrit, which may or may not be one of the first languages ever. And it's a really powerful, powerful language. And so I just, I became interested in that it was the mystery of that, that I was really lured by, and so I stopped my medical training up in Seattle, and I moved to India. I, I did a what's called a punch of karma detox program for a month, and that's a whole nother topic, but that's this really comprehensive detox program that is the core of Ayurvedic Medicine, and so I jumped into that. And then, after that program, I started studying with a mentor over in South India, where Aveda is still alive and well started working out of an Ayurvedic hospital there and really just started doing a deep dive into that form of medicine. And so I brought that back to the US, I continued my naturopathic training, but I started mentoring a lot of Ayurvedic physicians in the Pacific Northwest. And so that became kind of my thing. And still, to this day, our Veda is the lens through which I see the world. It's the lens through which I work with patients. And it's really the lens through which I formulate a lot of these natural health products that I currently formulate.

Claudia von Boeselager 40:49  
Oh, phenomenal, so beautiful. And I spent a bit of time in Shanghai. And I remember my first encounter with traditional Chinese medicine, and I have such respect for it as well because the actual training goes on for years and years and years. But honestly, when they were explaining how and what they were going to do, my Chinese at the time was pretty bad. Well, it continues to be but a few words, but they said yes, the doctor that when you go upstairs, do the tour of all these amazing, medicinal products that are out, including scorpions and all these interesting things. Then the doctor will go upstairs, and we'll look at your tongue and tape to check your pulse and tell you what's how you are. And I was like, Yeah, with what else? You know, like, no, that's it. And I obviously highly suspicious at the time; clearly, I've gotten one ad and my thing, but I was so impressed. And again, this is obviously not a Vedic it's traditional Chinese medicine. But there is an overlap, she was able to tell me that in my meridians, there was an imbalance. And this is, again, based on looking at my tongue and my pulse, that there was Meridian balance with my left knee and my lower back on the left side as well. And at the time, those were the two points where I had pain, and I had done something to ski injury to my left knee as well, so I needed to have more ginseng and certain things like that as well. And for my type. And then, another friend, who at the time was drinking too much coffee, had to rebalance. This was the type of person, and I was like, how did she see that in his tongue? I literally was mind blown at the time, but it was spot on and really, really phenomenal. So I have such respect for these incredibly wise traditions and medical history that's been going on for 1000s of years that we, the Western a little bit less familiar with; you're clearly quite the probe. And I still, to this day, and I am a Vedic doctor here in London, was doing this like cooking thing with a few friends. And she said it is Tumeric if you've any inflammation in the gut and is beautiful and cinnamon for the lungs. And my youngest daughter suffers from lung issues. So I always sprinkle cinnamon on things with her. For years and years and years has not had any chest infections or any issues as well. You know, some people listening might be suspicious, but I'm happy that she doesn't have any lung issues, or whatever it is, it's working phenomenally, as well. So it's exciting that you're bringing that obviously to the US as well. But more and more people are open to understanding this phenomenal history of medicine and what it can do,

Dr. Nick Bitz 43:15  
you know, I'm a little fearful that the medicines are going to disappear. You know, I think people are very progressive right now. And they're very interested in technology. And I think we're moving away from a lot of these traditional aspects of living, and especially medicine. And so it'll always persist. But I wonder if it's going to continue to grow or if it's going to be pushed to the side as we look to technology. And so it's, for me, it's the end all and be all it's, it's, it's based in truth. And, you know, I'm all about technology, and I think it can be wonderful, especially for diagnosis. But I think when you get into treatment, it really gets down to the basics. And that's where TCM and I are VEDA just get it, right? I mean, they look at the body as a whole unit, and it's personalized. Their recommendations are personalized to you so that you can create balance. And they definitely look at the body in a different way. It's a very different worldview, which I think can turn people off, unfortunately, but the mystery is still alive and well. And when you apply these kinds of esoteric laws and strategies to your own body in your own life, you can see that these things create change, and you can experience that change. And for me, that's the most powerful thing. I personally have had great benefits using these Eastern medical systems over time, and so I definitely am an advocate for them. I'm trying to keep that wisdom alive. And impart, we're seeing that there is an emphasis in the US at least Looking at the energetic properties of foods and botanicals and matching those things up with people based upon their body type or their constitution. So I see the door opening here, I think this interest in natural medicine is suddenly opening up. And so overall, I'm hopeful, I'm excited, but I just don't want us to lose this wisdom

Claudia von Boeselager 45:24  
over time. And just to share maybe with people for a moment, that wisdom, I mean, just, you know, if you had the patient comes to you and says, I'm not really sure what's wrong with me. My energy levels are down, like. How does your body scanning happen? Like, what analysis do you do? What what do you look for?

Dr. Nick Bitz 45:41  
Yeah, I mean, in part, it's, there's face diagnosis, there's a tongue diagnosis, there's the pulse diagnosis. You know, it really is a true science. There's a lot of intuition that goes into these things. But it is a science, and the Ayurvedic physicians and sages, over time, have mapped the seven layers of the pulse. And so you can, with a lot of practice, you can get in there and start to experience the pulse and read somebody through and through. And so all of those things go into it. For me, the most important thing is sitting down with somebody and hearing their story; people will always tell you what's wrong and what they need to do to get healthy again. And so if you can, just pinpoint that and give it back to them. It's, it's quite amazing. And so I find that that really is the gift of naturopathic medicine. We work with patients for 3060 or 90 minutes at a time to really get the full comprehensive intake and to do a thorough physical exam. And I think that's lacking in a lot of the conventional medical systems today, people come in, they have a symptom, the doctor does a couple of things for insurance reasons, listens to the heart, takes the blood pressure. But they're not actually listening to the full story and then using that information to provide a customized regimen. And so, in part, that's, it's everything at the very end when I can tailor a program for somebody that is unique and hopefully effective, and if not, you know, again, working with them at the next offices, and we can figure out what is working and what's not working and make those changes.

Claudia von Boeselager 47:28  
Yeah, that's exciting. I think that now the statistic is average; let's say the traditional Western doctor has six or seven minutes per patient. I mean, it's like they're a machine, right? It's like, okay, what's wrong with you? No time for the story. No time for chitchat, like getting, you know, to speak with the patient at all. So having that almost luxury of 60 minutes, 90 minutes, to go really deep on the history and understanding is, is really powerful. Yeah. Doctor, Nick, if you could live to 150 years old, with excellent health? How would you spend your time? Oh, wow.

Dr. Nick Bitz 48:04  
Hopefully, I will be able to, with the help of Ira data and such as Analytics, you know, I? That's a really good question. You know, my grandfather right now is at the end of his life. He's 93. He's lived a long life, a happy life, he's done a lot. And I think everybody in my family is happy that he's happy. For me, I would want to continue giving back. And that is the most important thing, and I don't know what that looks like quite yet. But giving back to my family, giving back to my local community giving back to, you know, the larger framework from which I came, that would be critically important, as well as just new experiences travel would be critically important. I love camping, I love, you know, getting outside in nature. So I would love to buy an Earth Romer, which is this huge truck with a trailer in the back. That's beautiful. And you can live out of crazy expensive and over the top. But I would love to have that and be able just to roam free. And to be able to be outside all the time. I would love that. So and little by little, we're checking off the national parks in the US. So I want to continue to check off all of the national parks here in the US.

Claudia von Boeselager 49:29  
If it will. Yeah, there are quite a few. I have some of my list too. You mentioned you're 70 Coming up on your list soon. Beautiful as well. What excites you most about the future of health, well-being longevity in the coming years and beyond?

Dr. Nick Bitz 49:46  
I'm excited that we're getting into energetic medicine. You know, reading or listening to Joe Dispenza is really powerful and just really excites me. You know again when you when I leave, and I am Vedic medicine too, they're looking at the subtle energies of the body, the subtle energies of food. And I think that once we can put science to that, it will be that much more convincing for people. And I think that the whole area will just explode. And so I'm seeing that energy medicine is starting to emerge. And I really want to play a part in that. And so I'm doing my best. In the US, psychedelics are starting to emerge as well. And so, you know, it's, it's more of a cause rather than an industry so far, which, which I love. Because I think we need better tools for mental health and mental wellness. And so I'm intrigued by that, for those purposes. And so I think if, at least in the US, we can grab hold of it and do the right things with the science, I think that a lot of people can get benefits in that area. So you know, the idea of micro-dosing or using mega doses of psychedelics can be profoundly impactful for people, and I think we're, again, just starting to get into that area. And so I would say energetic medicine and psychedelics are really fascinating areas right

Claudia von Boeselager 51:19  
now. Yeah, agree, um, John Hopkins University in the US and Imperial College in London, and they collaborate as well. I have some phenomenal research coming out. As Dr. Nick, for my listeners interested in understanding senolytics, Senescence cells, and a Vedic medicine as well for longevity, where would you recommend they start with in terms of online resources, books,

Dr. Nick Bitz 51:43  
what neuro hacker.com is a fantastic resource. We are a science-first organization. We have enormous amounts of information on our website. So there are blogs, there are monographs and all botanicals, a lot of really cool information there. So that's always a good starting point. We also have a podcast called Collective Insights, where we bring on amazing guests and have some really cool conversations. So that's always good to tap into. You know, in terms of books, when I started getting into IR VEDA, there really was no one resource. You know, there's no really amazing schools that people can tap into and become a student of and, you know, in the end, become an Ayurvedic physician. It really is a philosophy and a self-discourse. It's something that everybody needs to discover through books. The author that I probably most respect is a gentleman named Robert Svoboda. And he is a Texan and D, who moved to India by chance, got stuck there with a health condition and cured himself through our Veda, and became this Ayurvedic guru. And so he communicates our VEDA I think in the most poetic ways to the Western mind, and so he's written a number of books that I think are really good intro points for people into the world of AI or Vana.

Claudia von Boeselager 53:19  
How do you spell his last name? It sounds like a bit of a tricky one

Dr. Nick Bitz 53:22  
is a bit Yes. Let me see if I can do it. S VOBOD. A Svoboda?

Claudia von Boeselager 53:31  
Svoboda, the text with the Scandinavian sending. Exactly. Dr. Nick, where can people learn more about what you are up to with social media websites? And we can link all of these in the show notes as well. Yeah, I

Dr. Nick Bitz 53:46  
think again, neuro hacker is probably the best avenue there I'm active on that on their social media accounts. I'm actively writing for their blogs. Otherwise, I don't do social media. Unfortunately, I need to Yes, in part, but so you know, that's probably the best way neuro hacker.com

Claudia von Boeselager 54:08  
you to film, do you have a final ask recommendation or any parting thoughts or a message for my audience today?

Dr. Nick Bitz 54:16  
I've started doing more and more podcasts people are like what is the one thing that you would recommend for people across the board? And it's so hard to do I thought I just downloaded your 10 hacks for life and lifestyle, and I was like, Oh, these are all great recommendations I'm like those of Yes, yes. All 10 of them. Yes. You know, if I had to just say if there's one thing, it would be to start a meditation regimen, and it just is the most powerful one thing that you can do, and I have so many different benefits, especially with the mind and we know the mind is central to everything in terms of health In wellbeing and longevity. And so it really helps to focus your mind, helps you to control your mind and clear it in a way that's meaningful and tried and true. And so, I would recommend diving into a specific form of meditation so that you have a tool. You know, I wouldn't recommend sitting on a pillow by yourself and being left with your thoughts on a daily basis. Not very effective. Yeah, people go crazy sitting there watching their thoughts, you know, and then they're off, you know, the monkey mind. They're, they're all over the place. It is important, I think, to get plugged into a tradition, and it doesn't have to be religious-based. For me, I plugged into the Vipassana tradition, which is Buddhist based, but not the system or the religion of Buddhism, more of the philosophy of the mind. And in the US, and I think Worldwide, there are 10-day silent meditation and vipassana retreat centers; they're free. They teach you how to meditate. You will meditate for, I think it's about 11 to 13 hours a day, but you walk away

Claudia von Boeselager 56:10  
listening, they're not for the light-hearted, I know people who had to leave them couldn't serve, but

Dr. Nick Bitz 56:15  
they are it, it definitely takes grit to get through it. But when you walk out, you're pretty blessed, and you have that tool that then you can go home. And you can use that tool to really develop your meditation regimen. And so, for me, that's been invaluable. I've done maybe 1010-day silent meditation and Vipassana retreats; you can find out more about that on dharma.org. And that's D H, A, M M, a Dharma. And there are centers all over the world, but very hard to do. But again, the results, ultimately, are amazing because then you know how to meditate. And you can take it home and do it every single day.

Claudia von Boeselager 56:57  
So yeah, if you want to dive into the deep-end studio audience, you can do that. But the people that I know, yourself included, that have done these, they say that I have been so transformative. And you can almost feel almost tell that it's very calm, or at the weekend, I was at an event there was a health optimization Summit here in London, and I met the DJ now and they Oh, but he also has this beautiful system, where he of helping people kind of reawakened to themselves, clear baggage, rejuvenate, and then find their purpose. And he was saying what he does is have a passenger 2.0 Almost he sits in a dark cave by himself for a week, 10 days, with only water. So I was like, I know, the lesson is hardcore, but like, that was amazing. But this, he was just blissed out. So yeah, I think if you're offered a challenge, Dr. Nick can try that version as well.

Dr. Nick Bitz 57:55  
But even five months or five minutes a day, I mean, just try to get hold of your mind. It's just got to start somewhere.

Claudia von Boeselager 58:02  
It's a game-changer. Yeah. And I've trained in different things in TM as well. And yeah, I love it. I tried to do once a week, one hour of deep meditation. I think it was Navall, rava Kanter, who said to his Buddhist monk advisor that it's the bliss point comes after 40 minutes. So if you're able to be a bit more trained and able to calm the mind that you just entered this altered state from 40 minutes to 60 minutes. So for those of you on a journey to continue, it's worth it. Although I'm still at the beginning, the eternal student over here, so I love it. Thank you so much for your time today. It's been such a pleasure to have you on, yeah.

Dr. Nick Bitz 58:41  
Thanks for having me on. This was fun, so much fun.

I’m Claudia von Boeselager

Longevity Coach, detail-loving educator, big-thinking entrepreneur, podcaster, mama, passionate adventurer, and health optimization activist here to help people transform their lives, and reach their highest potential! All rolled into one.

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