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Dr. David Sinclair's Principles for Longevity: Aging, Diet, Exercise, and More

Updated: Jul 9, 2023

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Dr. David Sinclair is the co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for Biology of Aging Research at Harvard Medical School. He is a professor in the Department of Genetics and a co-founder of several biotechnology companies.

Key takeaways:

Dr. David Sinclair's core principles for aging and longevity include diet, exercise, and fasting.

Although Dr. Sinclair does not endorse specific supplements, he does have a suggested list of supplements that benefit longevity.

Dr. Sinclair endorses exercise and cold therapy as a modality to treat many conditions and extend life.

He has earned a reputation as an expert in the field of aging longevity and is the Founder and Editor of the journal, Aging.

Key principles for a longer life by David Sinclair

In recent years, Dr. Sinclair, a 53 years old Harvard scientist, has become one of the most vocal proponents of the idea that aging is a disease that can and should be treated. He has even gone so far as to say that aging is humanity's "biggest epidemic" and that we should devote more resources to finding a cure. His work has already led to the development of several promising new therapies, and there is no doubt that he will continue to be a leading voice in reverse aging.

Dr. Sinclair has several main anti-aging principles for longevity. These include healthy foods, intermittent fasting, regular exercise, meditation, and cold therapy. Dr. Sinclair follows these principles, and, in addition, he avoids excessive sun exposure, x-rays, microwaved plastics, and smoking. Let's look at some of his core components for longevity in detail.

The David Sinclair diet

Dr. David Sinclair's diet is plant-based, with a very low intake of sugar, pasta, and other starchy foods. He drinks lots of water while eating probiotic-rich yogurt throughout the day! His advice? Try different diets until you find one that works best for your body type.

Mediterranean food has been known to help weight loss when looking into healthier lifestyles; low-protein diets can be great, too, if done properly. It's not just how much protein we eat that is important but also its source. A great question to ask is 'where does my meat come from?'

The Sirtfood Diet is a relatively new eating approach based on the belief that certain foods can help activate "sirtuins" in the body. These sirtuins are thought to have several health benefits, including improved metabolism, better cellular health, and even longer life. Dr. Sinclair believes that high animal protein diets (carnivores) can accelerate aging by inducing inflammation. He is a proponent of Keto diets because studies have found that high-carb diets have the highest mortality and fat.

David Sinclair about intermittent fasting

Dr. David Sinclair uses intermittent fasting in his daily practice. He suggests, and eats, two meals per day. He currently uses a 16:8 intermittent fasting schedule which means that he fasts for 16 hours a day and has an eight-hour window where he will eat. Although he doesn't specify the number of calories he takes daily, he suggests keeping them as low as 1000 mg per day.

Dr. Sinclair is a huge proponent of intermittent fasting and eating lower amounts of calories daily. One of the key ways in which intermittent fasting may promote good health is by activating a process known as autophagy. Autophagy is the body's mechanism for recycling old or damaged cells, and it has been linked with many health benefits, including increased lifespan and protection against diseases like cancer.

This is what Dr. Sinclair eats while intermittent fasting:

A plant-based diet

Skips breakfast

Takes a small amount of olive oil or yogurt with supplements

Drinks a lot of water

Consumes very low sugar and starchy foods

The importance of exercise

David Sinclair is a big proponent of using exercise to keep our cells healthy and prevent aging. He believes we should exercise more frequently and with greater intensity to see the benefits of improved health and longevity. Sinclair's research has shown that exercise can help slow the aging process by improving the function of our cells.

"Exercise is really important for keeping our cells healthy. It helps to clear out the cellular garbage and keeps our cells functioning optimally."

David Sinclair

He recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily and says the benefits are cumulative. Even if you can't do 30 minutes all at once, you'll still see benefits from doing short stints of exercise throughout the day.

Some of his recommendations include:

High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Running and walking

Using your body weight to measure biological age (push-up and sitting rise test-SRT)

Aim to raise both heart and respiratory rate

You should be sweating during your workout and unable to speak more than a few words

Best supplements for longevity by David Sinclair

While Dr. David Sinclair does not endorse specific vitamins or other supplements, they are an important part of his research. Here are some of the supplements that David Sinclair recommends and takes.

Vitamin D3

Omega-3 fatty acid



Nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN)


Quercetin and fisetin

Vitamin K2

Other longevity factors David Sinclair takes into account

David Sinclair has spent his career studying aging and longevity, but he doesn't just focus on just one factor to improve these aspects of life. This renowned 53-year-old scientist endorses meditation practices as well as using cold therapy, not only for those who suffer from aches and pains but as an everyday practice.

In his book, "Lifespan: Why We Age-and Why We Don't Have To," Dr. David Sinclair talks about ways to slow down the aging process potentially. He mentions things like eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep.

You can also find him tracking various body metrics such as blood pressure, glucose levels, and other biometrics, like daily steps. Let's take a closer look at some of the longevity factors he espouses and incorporates into his life, including meditation, cold therapy, and other lifestyle choices.


David Sinclair has become increasingly interested in the potential of meditation to help people live longer, healthier lives. In a 2018 interview, he described meditation as "a way to reset the body" and "a form of stress reduction." He also said that meditation could help people age gracefully by reducing the amount of inflammation in the body.

Sinclair is not the only scientist investigating the potential anti-aging benefits of meditation. A growing body of research suggests that meditation can help improve cognitive function, reduce stress levels, and even slow aging.

Cold therapy

David Sinclair has found that cold therapy can help to improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and speed up the healing process. Cold therapy is also effective in relieving pain and reducing swelling. Sinclair has conducted several studies on the benefits of cold therapy and found that it is an effective treatment for many conditions.

One of the conditions that cold therapy can be effective in treating is arthritis. Arthritis is a condition that causes pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joints. Cold therapy can help to reduce the pain and swelling associated with arthritis. Sinclair has also found that cold therapy can effectively treat other conditions, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, tendinitis, bursitis, and headaches.

Lifestyle choices

Dr. Sinclair's book Lifespan talks about the importance of tracking one's health data, including having frequent blood tests, tracking glucose levelsand other biometrics, like daily steps. By understanding what is happening inside your body, you can stay on track with your exercise and diet goals.

Sinclair believes that having access to these numbers is a huge motivational factor in maintaining your health. He personally uses InsideTracker to measure biomarkers such as LDL, HDL, A1C, CRP, and cholesterol, among others.


Dr. David Sinclair's principles for aging and longevity provide valuable insights into strategies for improving health and extending life. By adopting a plant-based diet, practicing intermittent fasting, engaging in regular exercise, and considering the recommended supplements, individuals can take steps towards enhancing their well-being. Additionally, incorporating meditation, cold therapy, and monitoring health data can further contribute to longevity. Dr. Sinclair's research and expertise offer a comprehensive approach to aging, emphasizing the importance of multiple factors in the pursuit of a longer, healthier life.

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