Even though science has yet to discover how to revert old age, decelerating the process of aging is indeed a reality today. Dr. Sandra Kaufmann dedicated her free time to this field, turning her simple side study into an organized longevity regimen called the Kaufmann Protocol. She joins Steve Farber to discuss the findings of her research, which primarily focuses on taking care of the body at the cellular and DNA levels. She goes deep into the seven tenets of aging everyone should concentrate on, as well as the most recommended agents to regularly consume if they want to live a longer, healthier life. Dr. Sandra also shares how she continuously helps people start their longevity practices despite her busy schedule by developing her own application.
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The Kaufmann Protocol For Health And Longevity: Why We Age And How To Stop It With Dr. Sandra Kaufmann
My guest is Dr. Sandra Kaufmann. She is the developer and author of The Kaufmann Protocol: Why We Age and How to Stop It. She developed this incredible system, protocol about understanding what aging is and how to decelerate it. In fact, it’s the first comprehensive theory of aging and then at the same time, presents a solution for all the ailments that befall us as we age, which we all do. The question is, can we slow that bugger down? That’s what we’re going to discuss in this episode. She is an absolute brainiac, especially when it comes to this area of longevity. She spoke in our Extreme Leadership Experience back in the beginning of 2020 and I asked her to make the connection between her incredible work and leadership. Her answer to that was beautiful and elegant. She put it this way, “You can’t lead if you’re dead.”
It’s hard to argue with that. I would add to that, the more energy we have and the healthier our bodies are, the better we are capable of bringing ourselves fully to the work that we do every day and operating in a way that helps to change people’s lives and the world for the better at the same time. That’s what this is all about. We’re going into the weeds on physiology a little bit but I promise you, it’s worth reading even if you’re a layman as I am and not a geek as far as physiology goes. She will, towards the end of the episode, get us to the point where she will make some specific recommendations as to what we can all do to, at the very least, decelerate our own aging process and live a life of greater health. Here she is, Dr. Sandra Kaufmann. Enjoy.
Dr. Sandra Kaufmann, welcome to the show. It’s great to have you here.
It is great to be able to do this with you, Steve.
This is like the story of my life. I want to start with a little bit about your story because it’s a non-linear path. In some ways, you did not start out to pursue this whole field of health and longevity. When you were first starting to look ahead towards your professional career, where did you start?
I was a tropical ecologist, which basically means I got to go to jungles, play, catch bats, hack down trees and get bitten by a lot of bugs. It was incredibly fun. As my father pointed out while I was going through all those, plants don’t pay bills and I better get a real job. I ended up getting a Master’s in Tropical Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, which means I know a ton about cells, evolution and all of those things. I backed off, went to med school, and thought I was going to be a general surgeon. I did a year of that and it was depressing. I did a year of brain surgery, which even was more depressing. It was super fun to muck around in people’s heads. I can give you great stories about that. As a quick aside, I actually declared Versace dead. I was the one person on the entire planet that got to stick my hands through his head and that’s disgusting and cool at the same time.The length of your telomeres has a direct connection with how long you will live. Click To Tweet
Why was brain surgery depressing?
It’s because you can’t fix a whole lot. If you’re an orthopedic surgeon and the bone is broken, you fix it and then you’re back to normal. There are very few things in brain surgery that you can fix and go back to normal. There are some tumors that you can get out and they do fantastically but in general, if you have a traumatic brain injury, it’s a tough road and a hard outcome. It wasn’t as happy and easy as it should be, maybe in a few years but not now. I bailed on neurosurgery and ended up at Hopkins doing anesthesia. I stayed because they offered me a year of fellowship doing pediatrics. I’m now a Pediatric Anesthesiologist, which is way different from being a plant physiologist.
Where do you practice?
There is a fantastic children’s hospital in Hollywood, Florida. It bears the name of Joe DiMaggio. How they got that, I don’t know but I know he used to hang out down here a lot. It’s the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital. It’s a free-standing, four soon to be an eight-storey hospital. It is truly amazing. I’ve had the privilege of working there for eighteen years and I’ve been the chief for the last ten. It’s been a remarkable journey.
Your interest in longevity and aging, where did that begin? Obviously, we’re all interested in that on some level. Most of us I would guess have a desire to stretch out this experience on this planet but that doesn’t mean that we all go and study it to the degree that we have. What got you down that path?
In a multifactorial approach, I think that’s what happens to most people making these crazy decisions. I’ve never been an uber athlete. I’m certainly not an Olympian. I didn’t play anything in college but I’ve always been a runner, a climber and such. I’m a rock climber. I love rock climbing and I love mountain climbing. When I was in my mid-40s, I thought, “I’m hanging from this cliff surrounded by twenty-year-olds. I have got to do something to be able to continue doing this.” It’s super fun. The other thing that hit me is being in hospitals all the time. You see people that are unwell and there’s a natural decline. Everyone accepts that you’re going to get diseases and have poor health as you get older. I don’t necessarily want to live forever. I want to live as well as possible, as long as possible, to be able to do what I want to do. If I’m 90 and I fall off a cliff and die, that would be way cool. I don’t want to be the 90-year-old with a trach in a wheelchair. Where’s the fun in that? Life is fun. I continue to have fun and I want to keep having fun. That’s how this whole thing evolved.
You started doing research into what that’s going to take for you and for the rest of us. Tell us a little bit about how you’ve gone about to establish what you now call the Kaufmann Protocol.
We all are born and I don’t want to say given because it’s a whole other can of worms. We all have certain gifts. I don’t have big boobs. I’m not 7 feet tall but what I have is a pretty damn good brain and I can read well. I took all of the information that I’ve accumulated over the last however many years since med school. I started reading, I have read bazillions and bazillions of scientific articles. You should see my office. I need to start learning how to read on the computer. It looks like I cut down an entire forest of trees, which is embarrassing as an ecologist. People have been trying to figure out aging for years and years. Probably many years ago, they were full of shit.
People try to figure it out and they didn’t make a whole lot of a significant inroad until many years ago. What I did is as a cell biologist, I took the perspective that your cells age before everything else ages. You’ve got molecular biology, cells, tissues, organs and full body systems. I thought if you go back to the very basics, which are molecular biology and cell biology and you figured out what went wrong at that level, it would all make sense to follow. After reading a zillion theories, I put them in clusters and decided essentially that there are seven basic reasons that your cells age. I then went about trying to figure out how to reverse or decelerate the changes based on things you could put into your body to make that happen.
Your approach is about what you can take. In pill form, you’re going to benefit you on a molecular level. The seven areas that you identified were what?
This is where people get glassy-eyed and stop reading so I’ll get over it pretty quickly. I call them The Seven Tenets of Aging. Tenet 1 is DNA alterations. That, in a nutshell, is telomere shortening and then DNA modifications basically are epigenetic modifications. People in the know, know that they can get their telomeres measured and they tell you how long you’re going to live and you can get an epigenetic clock done, which will roughly tell you how old you are and how old you can be.
Telomeres are the ends of the DNA strands. Is that right?
That is correct.
I can only speak in layman’s terms, by the way. I try to translate this into a moronic language for my own benefit. I’m doing this with my fingers too so that the telomeres and there’s a correlation the way I understand it between the length of the telomeres and aging.
That is correct. You get a certain length at the end of each of your chromosomes and where you start is genetically determined. Everyone doesn’t get the same number to start with but every time a cell replicates or a cell is under stress, you lose the length of those telomeres. You lose roughly 50 to 70 base pairs per year. You’ve got billions so it doesn’t seem like that much but over the course of 60, 70, 80 years, it’s extremely significant and you can get your telomeres measured, which is amazingly cool. There is a definite correlation between how long they are and how long you’re going to live.
That’s category number one.
Category number two then is the energy requirements for yourself. The energy requirements boil down to the health of your mitochondria. This is where everyone tries to remember what they learned in the fifth grade about the powerhouse organ. Basically, glucose comes in and ATP comes out. That’s the coinage for energy in your cell and mitochondria fail overtime. They’re perfect when you’re probably up to 30, 35 and then they start crumping and we know why they crump. There are innumerable reasons but the big two, which I like to focus on, are nicotinamide deficiency and then the production of something called free radicals. Every time an oxygen molecule gets used, 1% to 5% of it becomes radicalized, meaning it has an extra electron connected to it. In layman’s terms, it means you’ve got these little bombs going off all over your cell destroying tissues. The more energy you use, the more bombs you make and it’s self-limiting and very destructive but we can defeat both of those reasons since we know that they exist.As you get older, your intrinsic systems go weaker Click To Tweet
The free radicals, what is that we’re supposed to take that’s supposed to minimize free radicals in the body?
Another technological term. It’s been a popular thing. We’ve been told that we should be taking those long time now.
Drinking one glass of something with a very small aliquot of an antioxidant is great for advertising and salesmanship but it doesn’t do a whole lot for your body. You need to go with the big potent ones on a regular basis.
Category three is pathways. It’s very exciting. There are pathways for aging and pathways for not aging. As you get older, there’s something called the sirtuins, there are seven mammalian sirtuins in your body and they control all of the pathways of your DNA through your proteins. They control things like how well you sleep, where your fat gets deposited, what proteins you’re going to make around your body, how many endogenous antioxidants you’re going to make. As you get older and your sirtuins fail, all of these intrinsic systems stop.
The easiest one to understand is everyone in their 50s, 60s and 70s can’t sleep at night. It’s because your sirtuins are turned off. As soon as you turn them back on, people go, “I’m not fat anymore and I can sleep well.” We can control sirtuins. We can control something called AMP kinase. This is another pathway. People like to talk about this one because this is where the starvation diets kick in. When people go on these, “I’m not going to eat for eighteen-hour tirade thing,” you activate your AMP kinase, putting your cells in a state of hibernation and that increases your longevity. That’s in the cool world at this moment.
I’ve been hearing a lot and I’ve read a little bit about this correlation between very low-calorie intake and longevity. It seems that people who eat fewer calories tend to live longer. It means I’ll be dead tomorrow.
Absolutely not. This is the brilliance of knowing the system. There are things called caloric restriction mimetics that tell your body that you are starving despite the fact that you are not. You can activate the very same pathways and get the same benefit without actually being a skeleton.
The next category.
The next category has to do with quality control. This is DNA and protein repair mechanisms and then another subcategory called autophagy. The gist of this is that your body in every cell every day has 10 to the 5th DNA errors. Your DNA gets beat up by a lot of stuff like drugs, chemicals, smoke, the environment, the sun, etc. Every time you have an error in your DNA, you’ve got these little proteins and enzymes running around trying to fix it. You do a reasonably good job of that as you are young but as you get older, these systems are less active. If you don’t fix the errors in your DNA, you get cancer essentially. The same thing works for protein repair.
You must repair proteins or you’re doing absolutely no good. Protein failure is one of the reasons that we get protein accumulations in our brain, which is one of the reasons that we get Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. The repair mechanisms are incredibly important. Briefly, just in case anyone’s heard of autophagy, it’s Greek for self-eating. It’s a recycling system in the cells whereby if your mitochondria or some other organelle isn’t working as it should, it gets consumed and all the little pieces and parts get reorganized and you make a new organelle so that you work better over time. You can increase and decrease your cellular autophagy to increase the efficiency of your cells.
This is one of the many reasons that fasting is becoming more and more popular. If you’re fasting long enough, your body switches into that autophagy dynamic and it starts to eat the bad stuff. It will clean itself up.
You have to think about real-world analogies. If you are out of money and you want to go roller skating, for example, you’re not going to buy new roller skates. You’re going to look in your garage, find some pieces and parts and you’re going to make yourself new ones out of what you already have. The cell does the same thing. We need some mitochondria and we’ve got some old ones sitting around. They’re junky. We can’t afford to buy the new ones because we’re nutrient-deficient. We’re going to take the old pieces, reorganize them and make a new one from what we have. The very normal, commonsensical thing to do.
You’re saying there are nutrients or whatever category you call them that will stimulate autophagy?
Yeah. There’s a wonderful thing called spermiting that comes from a variety of places. It was discovered in sperm, thus the name. It comes from whey protein and a variety of other places and it absolutely increases autophagy all over your body.
What category are we up to now?
That is four. Now we’re at five. Category five is inflammatory issues. I call it the Security System because this is a system that is supposed to protect you while you were young. It turns on you when you are old and when your immune system does not work, several things go awry. Number one, you get chronic infections. As you get older, you’ll see that people get sicker and sicker, which is why they don’t respond to vaccines as well because you need your immune system to create the response. Secondly, the cells that are supposed to be doing this because they don’t work as well, they become more cancerous so you end up with more leukemias and lymphomas. Lastly, these immune cells get jacked up and they release all of these systemic cytokinins and you become placed in a high inflammatory world. They call it inflammaging. With age, you are more inflamed. We can combat all of those issues since we know that they exist.
Does that have an impact on the immune system, etc.?
“I remember back in the days of the COVID,” that’s what we’re going to be saying in a few years. Nowadays, immunity is on everybody’s mind. Is there a way to shore up the immune system that we could intentionally and consciously in addition to all the other safety measures that we have to take?
Absolutely. Depending on the pathogen that you are trying to guard against, be it a bacteria or virus and in those subcategories, there are zillion different types of things that are going to attack us. When the COVID started attacking us, I went back and I looked at every similar virus and realized that there are 6 or 7 steps to this virus getting into you and causing problems. I figured if you could block each of those steps, at least a little bit, you’re lowering the relative risk of getting sick. Despite the fact that I’m probably an idiot, I threw myself into many COVID areas and I couldn’t catch it to save my life. I’m pretty sure it works.People who eat fewer calories tend to live longer. Click To Tweet
That’s not why you would catch it.
Testing my own hypothesis and it seemed to work. In reality and in all seriousness, as you get older, your immune system is not as good. You don’t respond to vaccines as well either, which is why the older people are not doing so well with COVID.
Six is what I call Individual Cell Requirements. As much as I talk about cells as if they’re exactly the same thing, they’re not. A red cell is different than a liver cell, which is different than a brain cell. We also have categories such as stem cells and senescent cells. Stem cells are things that we need to protect to the nth degree because that’s where our future lies and senescent cells are old grumpy zombie-esque cells that we need to get rid of. Anything in this category has particular ramifications for very specific cells.
The last, Tenet 7, is?
Waste Management because you have to take out the trash. It falls into two things. The biggest category here is going to be glucose management. We all know that glucose will kill you. No one knows why but I can tell you why. Glucose, when it gets into your body, bonds non-enzymatically, meaning it does it all by itself to structures in your body. It sticks to lipids such as fats. It sticks to proteins and it sticks to your DNA. These globs are called AGEs. It’s my favorite acronym, Advanced Glycation End Products. These things are evil. Number one, they stick to collagen. Anything that’s collagen in your body falls apart over time. Unfortunately, we’re mostly collagen-based. That sucks. Secondly, they cause a lot of inflammation so that is quite bad and whatever they’re sticking to doesn’t work anymore. If you spent all this time and energy making very specific proteins, now they’re glycated, they’re not going to function. This is why diabetics do so poorly because their entire bodies are glycated.
With these seven tenets and tell me if I’m interpreting this right, what you’re saying is in order to increase our lifespan, to live a better quality of life for a longer period of time, we need to focus on all seven of those areas. This is essentially from the level of the DNA all the way through the pathways and how we get rid of the toxins, the waste management, etc. Your protocol, therefore, is about finding the things that will positively affect each one of those areas. When I say things, I mean the things that you can take with a glass of water.
That is exactly correct. What I discovered is that it’s not a one-to-one ratio. Agent X doesn’t take care of Tenet number 1. It doesn’t. There are many drugs or agents that cover many of them.
What is agent X?
Agent X is meaning like anything. That’s a mathematical term for something nonspecific. For example, let’s take resveratrol as an example. It does something in every category and in some categories it’s better and in some categories it’s not so great. I started off with a huge grid with pluses and minuses and then it became two pluses. I then got the three pluses because it was amazing and I’m like, “This is bullshit,” so I changed it to a numerical rating system based on what it did and I created something called the hierarchy of evidence. If it did something theoretically in a test tube, let’s say spermiting helps your DNA in a test tube. Does it do something in a lab animal? Is there human evidence? Going up the chain of more complex organisms, how much evidence do we have? Everything got rated on a 0 to 3 scale in each of the 7 categories. The book that I wrote has fifteen agents in it. I’m writing a second book and it’s going to be 33 agents. I’ve written up to 23, 24 but they’ll each have a seven-digit rating number, which allows people to decide what they want based on information in each of the categories.
A couple of questions, more about context and then I’d love for you to give us a few examples. It’s because I’m old.
I think I’m older than you so I don’t buy that one.
I don’t think so, my dear.
Let’s pull ages. How old are you?
I win. When I was ten, you were nothing. Let’s put it that way. This was back around maybe the late ’80s, early ’90s. You started to hear the phrase, “Reversal of the aging process.” That’s when all these theories started to emerge that aging is not a requirement, that there are things that we could do to get younger as we chronologically get older. I don’t hear much about that anymore. Is that still a thing? Is it more like we’re trying to not so much to stop the aging process or reverse it but decelerate it?
The reversing of age is a fantastic sales pitch but no one has been able to do that yet. I’m pretty happy with massive deceleration. There are gene therapies and protein therapies. There’s a whole lot of stuff that people are working on now. Ultimately, we may be able to do that, right now not so much. I think you haven’t heard the term because people realized that it makes all the sound more like snake oil than reality.
How do you prove that? Longevity is something that we still use. That’s a popular phrase and term. How do you prove that certain things lead to longevity?
That’s an extremely good question. The way I figure it is number one, you start with the theory. Does it make sense in principle? You then move on to small rodent models and primate models, these and those models. The problem with having human models is that it’s going to take far too long to do a prospective study. I personally don’t have 50 years to wait around to see if something works, which means you go by risk-benefit ratio. “Is it going to do you any harm versus what is a potential good it’s going to do?” Number two, if you look at drugs that people have been on for a long time for other reasons, then you can extrapolate. There’s a famous study that came out and I forget who did it. It was probably years ago.
They looked at hundreds of thousands of diabetics retrospectively, people who are pretty much already dead or dying. A third of them were diabetics on metformin. A third of them were diabetics on sulfonylureas and a third of them were not diabetic so they were on no drugs at all. You would think looking at these numbers that, “The diabetics would do poorly. It’s a disease and you get bad side effects.” It turns out that the diabetics on metformin did 15% better than the non-diabetics in both morbidity and mortality. We know that whatever metformin is doing, it’s got to be good for you. It reduced cancer risk by 50% in diabetics. It’s an anti-inflammatory, it lowers your blood sugar, it activates your AMP kinase. It does something in almost every category of my tenets. Is there proof there? Is it absolute proof? No, but it’s darn indicative that it’s beneficial for you.
You look at that and you say, “That’s worth it.”
You would say, “This is a drug,” and people go, “Drugs are terrible,” but what are the side effects? The risk-benefit ratio, under duress, it can cause lactic acidosis. For example, when I go on my crazy mountain hiking adventures and I’m under severe stress, I don’t take it. For a normal human, it’s benign. It gives you some GI upset for the first week or two but after that it’s pretty much like taking nothing. It cannot cause you to be hypoglycemic because there’s a backup system via lactic acid. In terms of the risk-benefit ratio, it can only help you.
Using that risk-benefit ratio, all the agents, the compounds, the nutrients, the supplements and whatever the category of things that we can swallow with a glass of water, the idea is for us to find those elements that hit as many of your categories as possible with that best possible number in each category. I’m asking about the ideal scenario. That’s going to change depending on what my own individual desires, needs, physiology is. That is your protocol. I’m going to plug in my numbers and you’re going to generate the supplement regimen that I’m going to take.
That is correct.
I want to get to some of the, “I know how I am.” The first time I heard you speak and every time I get in a conversation like this, a similar conversation with anybody, the question I have is, “What should I take? What am I going to do? Read my horoscope. Enough about you. What about me?” For people reading, is there a baseline regimen that you recommend that most human beings take?As you get older, your immune system doesn't respond to vaccines as it should be, which is why old people are not doing well with COVID-19. Click To Tweet
Of course. People say, “How do you know that’s true for me?” It’s called statistics. Over the age of 40, most things are in decline. I created something called the PANACEA, which is the top five things that will benefit most people over the age of 40. A hundred percent of people, not necessarily, but absolutely most people. It’s called the PANACEA because conveniently when I played with the letters, it spelled out panacea and then not so much at the end but I was close. It’s like, “I needed some vowels. I couldn’t buy a vowel. I tried. Maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t.” PANACEA starts with a P. The first thing people usually take is something called Pterostilbene, which is a relative of resveratrol.
They do amazing things in many of the categories. The most important thing is that they’re two inactivators. This is the resveratrol in red wine is what led to what they call the French paradox of, “Why French people drink like a fish and they seem to be healthier than everybody else.” Resveratrol is in wine and pterostilbene is in blueberries. People always say, “I can’t. I have a few blueberries with my breakfast cereal.” The answer is no because you’d have to eat three gallons of them. That’s number one on the PANACEA list. Secondly is my favorite molecule. Everyone always laughs because honestly, who has a favorite molecule? My favorite molecule is something called Astaxanthin. There was like, “Asta what?” It’s astaxanthin and it comes from algae and it’s one of the strongest natural, free radical scavengers that we have. You consume it. It goes into your cells. It embeds itself in your mitochondria. It sucks up radicals for 24 hours and then you pee it out. No harm, no foul. It’s pretty damn amazing.
As a caveat, I’m the world’s worst tennis player but I have fun trying. My daughter is a huge tennis player. We spend a lot of time out there on the tennis court and her 30-some-year-old instructor was burning because kids don’t believe in sunblock. I gave him some astaxanthin. He thought I was nuts. Now, he’s addicted to this stuff because he can play outside all day in Miami without sunscreen and not burn. Sun causes free radicals, which causes inflammation, which is why you burn and it’s a risk for skin cancer. If you block it with astaxanthin, it’s amazing.
N is Nicotinamide. We know that your mitochondria fail from nicotinamide deficiency. When you talk about the electron transport system, you need it in the form of NAD and you need more over the course of time and you have less in your body. It’s a complicated system but essentially you need NAD for four different reasons. Many parts of your cells fall apart if you don’t have it. It comes in various forms. There’s a war right now with manufacturers. There’s something called nicotinamide riboside that’s put out by ChromaDex and it’s competing with something called nicotinamide mononucleotide.
They both get the job done. Other people get nicotinamide infusions. Other people use patches. Some people get injections. It doesn’t matter how you get it but you need to get nicotinamide. Here’s where it falls apart. There are two Cs that follow. The first C is Curcumin and people go, “I eat a lot of turmerics.” I go, “That’s nice.” I’m sure your food tastes great but you need to get something called bioavailable curcumin. It is one of the most amazing anti-inflammatories that we have. The problem is that the bioavailability is terrible. If you eat normal curcumin, it is gone from your body in less than an hour.
It doesn’t do a whole lot of anything. If you get one like the jacked-up version so it’s either a nanomicelle or some nanotechnology, the results are amazing. Lastly, I put people on carnosine. It’s not carnitine. People like to think it’s carnosine. The reason that this one is important is it takes care of category seven, which is glucose. It is a transglycosylation agent, which is fancy for it helps get rid of the sugar that you have ingested. That is the top five PANACEA. If you need to buy a vowel, I’ll throw an ECGC of green tea. It is an extraordinary epigenetic modifier and it also helps people lose weight and everyone seems to like that.
By the way, so people know, you’re not in the supplement business and now it’s time to buy Dr. Sandy’s.
Not at all. In fact, people have asked me to do that and I refuse. I don’t want to say, “You need to take this. Here’s my brand.” I don’t have a brand. I don’t make a dime. My whole goal in this is to help people understand health and give them information.
If I’ve got this PANACEA regimen then I’ve got to figure out the dosage. Is there a rule of thumb around how much, in other words, is more better? For example, when you talked about the curcumin. If it’s that good and if I’m having inflammation problems or whatever, should I take a bunch of it?
My rule of thumb is that however much is on the bottle, take one. Don’t take 3 to 4 capsules per serving bullshit. Take one. One of each and then we see what happens. It depends on why you’re taking them. If your body hurts from head to toe every day then inflammation is clearly your problem and then you do need more curcumin. We go up to three per day of something called MetaCurcumin, which is one of my favorites because it’s a nanomicelle. More than that, you start turning yellow and that may not be all that beneficial necessarily. It depends on who you are. For example, you can take carnosine twice a day but if you take more than that, your body will sting and I can’t tell you why exactly but it makes you feel like you’re on fire. That’s not necessarily a good thing because I’ve done it a few times by accident.
Why is this something that you want?
I don’t know. Don’t take too much of carnosine. Once a day is fine.
The dosage to start with is whatever it says on the bottle, take one?
Yeah. I always say ignore the bottle because they’re trying to sell you far too much. The other thing is people sometimes have reactions and then lastly, I don’t know if I’m talking to a 50-kilo woman who’s 90 years old or a 300-pound dude. It’s not one size fits everybody. It’s your metabolism. There are many variables. Start low and if you tolerate it then work up.
That’s your basic protocol and you have other ones depending on what a person’s individualized needs are. I imagine you can get to the point where you’re taking a giant bowl of these things every day.
I do. In fact, I have my giant bowl that I take every day.
How many pills do you take a day?
Probably 30 to 40.
Do you take it all at once?
No. I divide them into piles and I probably don’t need to do it exactly but I feel like I should know what they feel like before I suggest them to somebody else. I spend so much time with these molecules. I feel like I’m related to them and I love and adore them. How could I possibly give up Aunt Sally? She’s done so much for me that I must consume her as well.
Let’s say Aunt Sally is not sleeping. Melatonin, something that’s been touted for a long time, “Take melatonin and everything will take care of itself.” This is a quiz now for me. Does melatonin fall into the category of something that turns on sirtuins?
The circadian cycle is very complex. It’s driven by sirtuins and then it affects sirtuins. Melatonin is a free radical scavenger and it’s both. It’s turned on by them in the opposite. It’s a little bit of a complex one because it’s a messenger from your pituitary.
Does it help people sleep? Is this one of these advertising?
It totally helps people sleep. The key here is that when you are young, however you want to define young, you should be making enough of your own endogenous melatonin. That’s true for most of your proteins, your testosterone, your estrogen, etc. When you are young, your body should be doing all of these things all by itself without help. The fear is that if you take too much of something endogenous that your body is making, you get a negative feedback loop where your body stops making it. If you are young, taking too much exogenous melatonin isn’t exactly fantastic for you. As you get older, your melatonin levels drop therefore augmenting it is perfectly acceptable.
In the days of the COVID, is there anything that you would add to that PANACEA list to greater boost the immune system?
I tell people to take something called quercetin and it does two fantastic things. It decreases viral replication rates. The virus has to number one, get through your mucus to get into your cells. If you increase your IGA, you’re decreasing that risk. The cool thing is that astaxanthin increases IGA on mucosal membranes. That helps. The second thing it does is it goes to your ACE receptors and you can actually block your ACE receptors and you can down-regulate them as well but that’s a whole other story. Once the virus gets into your cell, it uses your cell’s devices to replicate. Quercetin blocks viral replication. Quercetin can’t block you from getting the virus but it can block potential severity because you’re reducing the load of virus that it produces. It has to get out of the cell and you can block that with various things. It goes to your mast cell and then you get a whole release of evil cytokinins. These cytokinins are exactly the same as the inflammasome and you can block that with your curcumin. Between quercetin and curcumin, you’re very much better off.
The other cool thing about quercetin, at least in anti-aging world, is that it’s a senolytic. A regular cell, when it gets too much DNA damage, shuts itself down and then your DNA either repairs itself and it goes back to being a normal cell or it dies called apoptosis or it becomes a senescent cell. These cells are like old grumpy fat guys. They get fatter, change their morphology and exude inflammatory cytokinins. It’s like the fat guy yelling at someone on the corner. We want to get rid of the cells because they’re contagious. They can make other cells become senescent. These are some of the reasons that pathology begets pathology. Quercetin at high doses is a senolytic and it can clear out some of those cells. I like to think that’s a cool twofer.
What I’m hearing a lot about nowadays is vitamin D. Are there some indicators that high levels of vitamin D help you to resist the virus? Am I getting that right?
Most people, for whatever reason, are vitamin D deficient. I don’t know where you live. I live in Miami and you’d think that we’d get enough sunshine and we’d all have enough vitamin D but for whatever reason, we don’t. We were probably all rather deficient and deficiency lowers your immune system. Adding D increases or improves all of your immunity not just for the virus but for most infections in general. For example, they give it to kids with cystic fibrosis on a regular basis so they can fight off whatever infections they’re going to have.
This is cool stuff. Most people are like me. We want to get the edge so we have more energy throughout the day. We want to be able to stick around longer and to do so with a higher quality of life. I remember when you spoke at our event back in February 2020 here in San Diego, I asked you to make a connection between the work that you do and leadership. It was a very elegant, simply stated connection that you made. You said something like, “It’s hard to lead if you’re dead.”
The elegance is unbelievable, isn’t it?
It’s hard to argue with that as well. It’s also hard to lead if you’re alive but lethargic, foggy and unclear. One of the reasons that I wanted to have you on the show, Sandy, is because you and I had a conversation shortly after the event and you gave me a whole regimen of things to take. I’ve been taking those now. I’m pretty good at taking pills. I know some people have resistance to it. I don’t take 30 or 40 as you do but it’s a good handful every day. I have to say, in some ways, I do notice a difference particularly in my energy levels. It’s related to the nicotinamide more than anything else because one out of it and I’ve gone for a few days without it and I haven’t noticed the same kick from it.
Nicotinamide depends on the half-life of the drugs. Before you started, you were extremely nicotinamide-deficient. It took a while to catch up, probably two weeks-ish and then you were probably steady state for a while. As your levels dropped when you forget to take it for a few days, you still have a bit in reserve. You couldn’t go for a week or so without realizing that you need it. For those people that have not tried it, it’s not cocaine. You don’t go, “I’ve got energy.” It’s more of normalization and an energizing sense that you’re not limited by wanting to sit on your butt.
I’m sure that people have been reading, they’re asking the, “What about me?” question and that’s where your app comes into play. You’re the chief of anesthesiology at a pediatric hospital. You’re not taking calls all day long from people saying, “What’s my regimen?” so you developed this app. A person can use that to customize their own regimen. Let’s talk a little bit about that.Supplements are not cocaine that gives you an energy boost, but they strengthen your immunity against viruses and infections. Click To Tweet
It’s an algorithm and you’re right. I can’t see people and I don’t have a clinic. I do answer a bazillion emails on a daily basis for people asking simple questions, and I do some consults for people if they want me to read medical charts and that thing. For generic human A that wants to know, “What about them?” the algorithm is based on number one, how old you are. Number two, how many pills can you swallow? Number three, what issues are you concerned about? Is it weight loss? Is it neurologic family history? Is it my vision is going, my hearing is going or whatever it is that you are focused on? Following my algorithm, it spits out what you should be taking.
The name of the app is the Kaufmann Protocol. There is a trend on my show. Some people may have noticed that I’ve had a couple of folks who have focused on health, fitness and longevity. It’s important. Nowadays, people say, “Now, more than ever,” as long as we’re in this mode of being hyper-aware of how we’re feeling. I know that’s been my experience when I go out and if I’m around people, which I’m not very much at all. If I go to the store or I meet some friends for coffee outside socially-distanced and wearing a mask, for the next couple of days I’m being hyper-aware of my own physiology to see if there’s any difference.
To some degree, that’s the way it should always be. It shouldn’t be because of what’s going on now. We should do a better job. The generic we, a better job of tuning in to our own physiology, protecting it, enhancing our energy levels so we can make a better contribution, not only to our own quality of life but to the world around us. The work that you’re doing is extraordinary. On its basis, it can sound complex to the uninitiated including me but ultimately, it’s very simple. If you want to do these, get these effects, take these things and see how you feel over time. Thank you for making that contribution and pretty much all in your spare time. This has been a labor of love for you, a hobby of sorts.
It is probably the most ornate hobby that anyone could ever come up with. As my friends like to point out, I created an extra 50 years for myself so I have tons of time.
That’s the point, plenty of time. Sandy, thank you so much for spending this time with us and folks, thanks for reading. You’ll find all the more information about the Kaufmann Protocol, the app, etc. What do you call them? Do you call them agents? Do you call them compounds?
I call them Molecular Agents. It’s because you’re super cool and you reach a lot of people, I have to say I see many people that are interested in this going to restaurants, less so now but in general and pulling out the bag of their drugs. They all look like drug addicts. It’s painful. Either that or they’ve got their granny box with all their little things in them. What I do is I carry what I call the stack and I want that to be the new cool terminology. You take your stack wherever you go so that we all know that we’re cool and we’re not aging together.
I got one of those.
I know, you need to use it.
I got the Kaufmann stack. It is easier to do nowadays because I’m not having to take it anywhere because I’m not going anywhere. Thank you, Sandy. Folks, I encourage you to avail yourself of her incredible knowledge. Until next time, do what you love in the service of people who love what you do.
- The Kaufmann Protocol: Why We Age and How to Stop It
- Dr. Sandra Kaufmann
About Dr. Sandra Kaufmann
Dr. Kaufmann began her academic career in the field of cellular biology, earning a Master’s Degree from the University of Connecticut in Tropical Ecology and Plant Physiology. Turning to medicine, she received her medical Degree at the University of Maryland, and completed a residency and fellowship at Johns Hopkins in the field of pediatric anesthesiology.
For the last seven years she has been the Chief of Pediatric Anesthesia at the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital and the Wellington Outpatient Facility. Her avid interest in the science of anti-aging begun many years ago as an intense hobby. Utilizing her knowledge in cell biology, human pharmacology and physiology, this hobby has now become a main focus.
The Kaufmann Protocol represents years of non-clinical research leading to the first-ever, comprehensive theory of aging, complete with an explanation of why we age and the tools to decelerate the process. She is the author of The Kaufmann Protocol: Why we Age and How to Stop it which encompasses this information. Dr. Kaufmann has lectured at innumerable Longevity conferences including RaadFest, People Unlimited, The Church of Perpetual Life and can been heard on talk radio as well as innumerable podcasts.
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