How Do Women Outlive Men?

You probably know that women outlive men.

The question is, why do they have a higher life expectancy? What advantage do women have that allows them to live from 5 to 10 years longer?

The answer could be “good genes”… but not in the way you think.

Because despite what you may have been told, you aren’t just born with good genes. You can now create good genes for yourself so you can live healthier, better and longer. And today I’m going to show you how.

I started thinking about this as I was looking at the latest list of “supercentenarians” on my long plane ride here to Africa.

Every year the members of the Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group put together a list of people verified to be 110 years old or older.

It’s fascinating to see where everyone comes from and how old they are. Right away you notice that three of the four oldest people in the world live in Japan.

It surprised me to see that seven of the world’s 12 oldest people live in America.1 That should give all of us who live in the States a bright outlook.

But what struck me the most is that almost all of the supercentenarians are women. And it got me to wondering what they might have in common? What secrets can we learn that can help you live healthier and longer?

In looking at the supercentenarians list for clues, there’s really no way to know who lives what lifestyle. But when we do research on what helps people stay young, we find that women generally have longer telomeres than men.

That’s not entirely due to women having inherently “good genes” though. They do, but it’s more than that.

I found, when I dug a little deeper, that it’s not that women are born with longer telomeres. Men have telomeres that shorten faster, while women’s telomeres stay longer.

Part of the reason is that women have much less oxidative stress than men. You produce fewer free radicals that cause inflammation, and more antioxidants like glutathione and SOD to douse inflammation. And as it turns out, telomeres are VERY sensitive to oxidative stress. Studies show that oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA is four times higher in men than in women.2

Women also have stronger immune systems than men, helping them live longer. When you put these two findings together, the connection becomes clear. The telomeres of immune cells are very responsive to increased telomerase, the enzyme that helps rebuild telomeres. And there’s a lot of evidence that estrogen helps regulate telomerase, protecting women’s telomeres as well.

What we can take away from this isn’t that you need more estrogen for longer telomeres. But that whether you’re a man or a woman, we now know of two easy ways to live longer, healthier lives.

You can restore up to 10 years of youth in a very short time by maintaining your telomeres and reducing oxidative stress to your body.

Fortunately, there’s an easy, effective way to accomplish both. By increasing a little-known liver hormone called IGF-1.

We already know that IGF-1 is a cell regulator, and that when you have more of it, you have less body fat, a higher IQ, more muscle mass, stronger bones, sharper hearing, better joint health and a more robust heart.

IGF-1 is also known to be a powerful protector against all forms of oxidative stress.3

But new studies show that more IGF-1 also means longer telomeres.

One study looked at 476 unrelated people of mixed ages and gender. At every age and no matter the gender, higher IGF-1 meant longer telomeres.4

Another study looked at 2744 older men. Those with the longest telomeres had significantly more IGF-1 in their bodies compared with those who had the shortest telomere lengths.5

So how do you increase your IGF-1? One of the best ways I know is with a nutrient called creatine.

Creatine Supplement Guidelines

Lean Body Mass in lbs. Loading Dose in Grams for Men Maintenance Dose in Grams for Men Loading Dose in Grams for Women Maintenance Dose in Grams for Women
80 9 3 6 2
100 11 3.5 8 2.5
120 14 4.5 10 3
140 16 5 11.5 3.5
160 18 6 13 4
180 20 6.5 14.5 4.5`
200 22.5 7 16 5
220 25 8 17.5 6

Your body – primarily the liver – makes a small amount of creatine naturally. Creatine not only protects cell membranes (they leak with age), and reduces oxidative damage,6 but it also increases IGF-1.7

Many studies show that increases in IGF-1 and increases in creatine correlate with each other.8

You can get creatine from foods like grass-fed beef, fish and apples. For every 2 lbs. of beef you eat, you will gain 5 grams of creatine.

If you don’t think you can get enough creatine through your food, you can easily supplement. The amount you should take is related to body weight and gender. See the table for guidelines.

Take the loading dose daily for 10 days. Then continue with the maintenance dose. Be sure to avoid taking creatine with your morning coffee as creatine and caffeine do not interact well.

1. Hesslink R Jr, et al, “Cetylated fatty acids improve knee function in patients with osteoarthritis,” J Rheumatol. 2002;29(8):1708-12.
2. Kraemer WJ, et al, “Effect of a cetylated fatty acid topical cream on functional mobility and quality of life of patients with osteoarthritis,” J Rheumatol. 2004 Apr;31(4):767-74.

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