Erin Sharoni – Juvicell, Changing The Way You Age

Content by: Erin Sharoni

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Stu: This week, I’m excited to welcome Erin Sharoni to the podcast. Erin is a digital health expert with deep roots in the longevity industry. She has studied biology and genetics at Stanford and Harvard university, and is also on the leadership team of the Harvard Biotech Club. Erin is also the co-founder of Juvicell, the first longevity supplement of its kind. In this episode, we discuss the fundamentals of ageing from a holistic approach, covering nutrition, movement, technology, and the latest in longevity research, enjoy …

Audio Version

downloaditunes Questions asked during our conversation:

  • What’s happening in the body when we age? (03:08)
  • Where does science currently sit in terms of longevity research? (07:47)
  • What habits or daily practices could be negatively impacting our lifespan? (15:09)

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Full Transcript

Stu

00:03

Hey, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition and welcome to another episode of the Health sessions. It’s here that we connect with the world’s best experts in health, wellness, and human performance in an attempt to cut through the confusion around what it actually takes to achieve a long lasting health. Now I’m sure that’s something that we all strive to have, I certainly do. Before we get into the show today, you might not know that we make products too. That’s right. We’re into whole food nutrition and have a range of superfoods and natural supplements to help support your day. If you are curious, want to find out more, just jump over to our website, that is 180nutrition.com.au and take a look. Okay. Back to the show.

This week, I’m excited to welcome Erin Sharoni to the podcast. Erin is a digital health expert with deep roots in the longevity industry. She has studied biology and genetics at Stanford and Harvard university, and is also on the leadership team of the Harvard Biotech club. Erin is also the co-founder of Juvicell, the first longevity supplement of its kind. In this episode, we discuss the fundamentals of aging from a holistic approach, covering nutrition, movement technology, and the latest in longevity research. Over to Erin.

Hey guys, this is Stu from 180 Nutrition, and I’m delighted to welcome Erin Sharoni to the podcast. Erin, how are you?

Erin Sharoni

01:27

I’m great. Thanks for having me.

Stu

01:29

Thank you for sharing some time, really appreciate it and very keen to dive into some of the questions that I’d love to ask you this morning as well, but first up for all of our listeners that may not be familiar with you or your work. I just wondered if you could tell us a little bit about yourself please.

Erin   

01:45

Sure. It’s always so odd when someone asks you to give a synopsis of yourself. You’re like, “Where do I start?” Well, I’ll start with why I’m here today. I’m the co-founder of Juvicell, which is a new really exciting longevity nutraceutical, so a supplement, and I also have a background in biology and biotech. I worked in the digital health and biotech space for the past six years. I’m wrapping up my Master’s thesis right now at Harvard in biology with a focus on aging and epigenetics. And prior to that, I have a very interesting career path where I spent quite a few years on television here in the States doing sports presenting actually. And previous to that, I worked in finance as a trader at a couple of Wall Street banks and hedge funds. So very broad experience right there.

Stu

02:41

Yeah. Well look, no thank you. Yeah. Very interesting and wide ranging background and of particular interest to us because nobody wants to get old really, or at least nobody wants to look like they’re aging, I think. So I’m really keen to tap into your knowledge and try and understand I think first and foremost, what’s actually happening in the body when we age?

Erin

03:08

Yeah. Well, that’s a great question. No one wants to look like they’re aging, but I would say even more importantly, and I’ll be the first to admit, I can be very vain, nobody wants to feel like they’re aging. Right? And I would say that ultimately if we’re honest with ourselves, that’s really the more important thing that’s at stake, right? If you really want to look good, there’s plenty of options. You can spend some money and somebody can make you look better, but no one to date can wave a magic wand or use a scalpel to turn back your biological age significantly if you’re not also supporting your biological aging in other important ways.

So as we age on a cellular level, there are a bunch of these different hallmarks of aging. So I’m sure you’re familiar with my friend, David Sinclair. I don’t know if you’ve had him on, but I’m sure you’ve read his book, and other people have talked about stuff, and he’s a fellow Australian and I recommend his book Lifespan, which is incredible. People always ask me, “What was the best book you read last year?” It was 2019. And I said, “David’s book.” It’s awesome. He talks quite a bit about that. And so if you’re talking about a loss of physiological integrity, that’s what’s happening over time. We see it happen in a plant in your house, right, over time or an apple, as it’s exposed to oxygen, starts to brown, and wilt, and shrivel, and so that’s this sort of microcosmic view of aging, you see in a very compressed timeframe.

But aging is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide so it’s associated with all of the leading causes of disease and there’s a lot of different biochemical processes, but there’s a couple of hallmarks in aging which you might’ve heard of, and so I’ll just take them off here. It’s genomic instability so you accrue DNA damage over time. Telomere shortening. So we’ve all heard of the end caps on our genome. Epigenetic changes over time, loss of proteostasis, mitochondrial dysfunction, so a decline in your cells ability to produce energy correctly, cellular senescence, which is a topic that I worked on in in my research at school and I’m really interested in. Stem cell exhaustion. So you do have a finite amount of those stem cells that can turn into other types of cells. Nutrient sensing, deregulation, so not being able to sense insulin for instance, right, as we age we become less insulin-sensitive, and a change in intracellular communication.

So I’m always of the mindset that communication is key, and that is true on a macrocosmic level and a microcosmic level. So when the cells do not communicate appropriately, you can imagine what would happen when you’re talking about hormones getting into the right places at the right time at a very high level. So that’s what’s happening technically as we’re aging. And then what you see are these phenotypic physical presentations, whether it’s frailty or degeneration of cartilage in your knee if you’re an athlete, right, over time, you get some of these aches and pains, and then of course, thinning hair and thinning skin, you lose that cellular matrix, that collagen functionability, stuff like that.

Stu

6:36

Boy Oh boy. Well, there’s a lot happening and a lot working against us, I think. And especially today in our fast-paced world where we’re really living on the brink of, I guess, kind of hormonal collapse where we’re tired and wired, we’re switched on 24/7, we got environmental toxins pollutants, we’re not present, we don’t sleep as well, which just kind of looks like it stacked against us. But then last year I read a really interesting paper in the National Geographic and it was all about aging and it was fascinating and it ran for a couple of months, but it kicked off with a really interesting question. And it said that aging is just a technology problem and we’re nearly there at solving it, which kind of puts everything that we’ve just been talking about in question. So I guess from my perspective, you’re the person to ask this question right now then, so where does science currently sit in terms of longevity research with that question in mind?

Erin 

07:47

Yeah, it’s a great question, and it’s a really exciting time to be in the field because you have this sudden burgeoning of all of these studies, and new information, new findings have been coming out, I would say over the last 10 years, really. And if you talk to someone who was in the field of aging previously, and we’re not talking about just working in the geriatric field, but actually doing for instance, with someone like Lenny Guarente, who studied caloric restriction in mice, or David Sinclair, or anyone in that field, what they’ve been doing, they’ll joke, or at least I know David will, that prior to the explosion in the anti-aging revolution, it was kind of [inaudible 00:08:27].

It was like, “Oh, there’s that guy over there studying longevity,” right? And so the application and the research has really unfolded quite rapidly so it’s really exciting. There’s still so much that we don’t know, but the good news is that there are lots of findings being published on a really regular basis. So if you went over to PubMed or Google Scholar and typed in, latest longevity research, or you typed in cellular senescence, or telomere attrition, right, you would get all of these hits, and if you filtered them within the last two years, I bet you’d see more than four years ago. So that’s really exciting.

In terms of seeing it as a technology, I guess I take more of a holistic approach to [inaudible 00:09:19] and I’m always hesitant to whittle anything down to a narrow box because there’s a lot for instance that technology can solve, there’s a lot of machines can do, but as we’ve seen with AI, machines can solve complex things, right, humans can solve simple things. I forgot what that paradox is called, there’s a name for it, but if you consider that in the broader equation of looking at treating a disease or a condition, something like aging, which I do think to some extent can be reversed, absolutely, or at least paused and improved, we have to think of the technology, but then we also have to think of all of the other factors, the context in which that technology exists and how that technology is applied.

And I’m very careful with things like that because when you do, we’ve seen this many times over the course of history, is that when you stumble upon a really powerful technology, it’s the yin and the yang, to be unscientific a bit, right? There’s always great promise and great destruction. So we can think of [inaudible 00:10:23] technology, we can also think of social media, and the internet that has been so undefinably beneficial for us in so many ways, but also extraordinarily damaging in other ways. So we have to be careful, I think with how we think about that. But the good news is that there are applications of technology, so to speak, as well as pharmaceuticals and nutraceuticals, which is what I’m doing, as well as lifestyle interventions that actually can improve how we age. And I think that is so important because we have an aging global population.

This is not an issue that is confined to 70 year olds. It’s also not an issue that’s confined to 20 something year olds. So it’s always interesting when you see who aging product people are marketing to, right? It’s this really weird sort of bifurcation there because you’re really not too old to start intervening, and you’re not really too young either, in some sense, it depends how young you are, obviously have to be an adult, but yeah. Sorry, that was a long-winded reply-

Stu

11:26

No, no, I love it. It’s a rabbit hole. Absolutely a rabbit hole. So genetics, are we burdened with just bad genes that may dictate that, “Hey, you’re not even going to make 80,” or can we do, with epigenetics in mind, can we do something about it?

Erin

11:47

Yeah. I think that’s a great question and it’s something that many people are confused about and rightly so, right? There’s tons of new information all the time. And you hear, “Oh, you are not your genes, but you are what you eat,” right? And so people are like, “Well, how does that work?” But the best example I think is that example of the genes are, sorry this sounds very American, the genes are the gun and the environment pulls the trigger. So the gene is maybe the loaded gun, but the environment pulls the trigger, which is the epigenetics, right?

The methylation, the expression of the gene. And so, sure, might some people be dealt a “bad hand”, might they have a couple of genes that predispose them genetically, for instance, to having higher triglycerides, which we know have a poor long-term outcome, potentially, sure. How about insulin dysregulation or iron dysregulation? Maybe, sure. But there are plenty of ways that we have now to address and mitigate those things with really simple and gentle interventions, like diet and other lifestyle choices and in some cases pharmaceuticals and in some cases nutraceuticals and minerals. So I wouldn’t say,

13:01

Except in the case of like a really highly penetrant genetic trait, where you’re… For instance Huntington’s disease. You have that genotype, you’re going to get that disease, at least as it stands until we figure out CRISPR or something better than we do today, but there are certain genes or sorry, certain conditions that are highly penetrant, highly genetically penetrant, meaning you are going to manifest that particular phenotype, and in some cases it may be particularly bad, but that is a very rare situation. It’s certainly tragic and we need to fix it, but it is rare, but in terms of things like a longevity gene, there’s lots of research being done into that. People have been looking for that, because everyone’s always looking for that golden solution or magic bullet.

I really don’t think we’re going to find one. I think we’re finding certain genes that are associated with longevity outcomes, but as any scientists knows, association is not causation, and I would be very wary of that because if you look at the blue zones, pockets areas like Loma Linda, California, and the parts of Greece, and parts of Italy where people are really long lived, there’s been… I think I actually, don’t off the top of my head, what the genetic outcomes of serving those populations have been particularly, but what I do know is that the number one factor is diet and lifestyle. That is what has been determined, and so that tells me, maybe it really doesn’t matter what your genotype is. I would say it matters some, there’s some percentage, but I don’t think that that’s the full story. I think that there’s a lot that we can do that we are not doing. That by the way, are really simple things to do that maybe are inconvenient, or people don’t want to hear it, so they don’t do it. That’s cool. That’s your choice, but you’ve got to live with the outcome.

Stu

15:09

I’m really keen to get into what those factors are in a second, but before we do that, I’d love just to talk a little bit about, perhaps, habits, daily practices that could be negatively impacting our lifespan, that we are unwittingly doing just on autopilot every day. I’m thinking maybe things outside the… Like the big ones, like perhaps smoking drugs and alcohol. Are there any things that we could be consuming, doing or not doing that could really be holding us back? Aging us unnecessarily?

Erin

15:51

My really good friend here in Miami, I’m currently in Miami. She is a head cardiothoracic surgeon at university of Miami at their hospital medical center. So she knows her stuff. She’s at a very prestigious place and she’s a great surgeon and a great cardiologist. This is a woman who looks into people’s chest cavities on a pretty regular basis and sees patients all day. She also works at the VA. So she actually sees a broad swath of patients. Patients with private health insurance and also folks in the VA veterans and across the board. She says, stress. Stress is the number one killer. It’s stress. She’s like, “I tell every single person, whatever you’re going to do, you better figure out how to manage that stress because that is associated with every poor physiological outcome that you can think of.”

It drives inflammation. It changes the new genetic expression. It shortens your telomeres. It causes all sorts of cellular dysregulation in different pathways, by different ways, hormonal imbalance, insulin, sensitivity issues because you’ve been… Factor in cortisol and adrenal fatigue and all of this stuff. There’s a lot of burgeoning research on the microbiome. I don’t want to quote anything off the top of my head because I didn’t prepare any references in particular for this specific commentary on that, but I know for a fact that there are studies showing a strong association between stress and changes in the microbiome, particularly a reduction of diversity, and when you have reduced diversity in the microbiome, we know that that also is associated with a host of poor health outcomes. I know it sounds a bit general to say like, “Oh, well, great Erin reduce my stress.”

“Well, my wife is stressful, I’ve got a screaming kid at home, I’m fighting with my spouse, I’m in debt, there’s a US election going on, so like my stress is too…” The whole world they’re probably, there’s a… You’ve got a collapsing environment, you’ve got the idiots in charge of all these countries. Of course, we’re stressed. I say that jokingly, but it’s not hyperbolic. Also, there are ways that you can manage that stress. Thankfully, we all have smartphones now and they all have access to meditation. That’s a huge one. If you don’t want to use a meditation app, like Simple Habit or Calm, there… I’m not religious, but there are people who are religious and they pray. That practice has been… Also, has been studied and it has been correlated with positive health outcomes. You can look at religiosity in a scientific manner as well. You’re being meditative. You are calming the nervous system, and so I think that those are really important, sleep is another huge one.

Stu

19:03

It’s a big one, isn’t it? If you don’t sleep.

Erin

19:06

Huge. That and stress is the chicken and the egg, of course. If you don’t sleep, stress. Stress, do you sleep. There’s this horrible cycle.

Stu

19:16

Exactly. Tricky times for sure. I’m very intrigued as to even some of the smaller things that you can do just to break that stressful cycle just with maybe breath work for five minutes a day when you’re in a stressful situation, things like that. So I was thinking, we’d love to talk about all of the things that we can do that could impact our longevity and reduce some of that stress as well, but I think what we’ll do is I’ll just ask you what things you do because clearly you’re all over this. So I’m really intrigued to find out what areas you’ve cherry picked for yourself, given your knowledge and information. What do you do, perhaps every single day? What’s your toolkit? Your non-negotiables to make sure that you’re on top of your game?

Erin

20:11

That’s a very fair question. I would also offer the adage of the shoemaker’s children have no shoes.

Stu

20:19

The mechanic has a crappy car.

Erin

20:21

Exactly. So that’s not really true in my case, but it’s easier to dispense information than sometimes to always live by it when you’re very busy, listen, nobody’s perfect. But then things that I do every day that are non-negotiable, I get seven plus hours of sleep. Do I do that on a regular basis? I try. Does it always work out? No. Not when I’m super busy and you’re launching a company, and you’re finishing a thesis and again, you’ll have a crazy election and a crazy president. So there are things that throw you off sometimes, but generally I’m pretty serious about that. I’m sure most of your listeners are familiar with Matt Walker, but I try and follow all of the advice that he dispenses, which is trying to go to sleep and wake up within that same hour window.

We know that that’s really critical. Is that sort of lack of extreme variation, consistency. I keep my bedroom really cold. I just ordered a weighted blanket actually. So I’m really curious to see how that works. I meditate every day and I do like a 15 minute when I can yoga sun salutation in the morning, I find that really helps to sort of set me up, again, regulate whatever might be imbalanced to the nervous system. When you wake up and you check your phone. That’s one thing I don’t do that I should do, and I’m really bad about, is I’m always on the phone and I know that there are many studies showing, “Hey, put your phone down an hour before bed, and also don’t have it in your bedroom, and when you wake up, don’t roll over and look at Instagram,” but unfortunately… I have not broken meditation. I also wear the aura ring, if you guys are familiar. You have one too, there you go.

Stu

22:11

I do. So I’m checking the stats.

Erin

22:16

And I work out, I work out pretty hard. I do a lot of weight training. I don’t do a lot of endurance training.

Stu

22:26

Tell us a little bit about that, because that has been an underlying theme probably for the last five years with a lot of the experts that we’ve spoken to. That have really moved towards a reduction in endurance, ultra endurance, that long-term cardio stuff in favor of lifting weights.

Erin

22:46

Well, I mean, you want to preserve muscle mass as you age. That’s highly the frailty index as we age and frailty scores. So you want to build muscle. This is not my particular area of expertise, but what I do know is that you do want to build a foundation in your younger years, or at least as soon as you can. Look, if you went your whole life, not working out, it’s not too late to work out. I always tell people, please, it’s never too late. You can be 75 and you can still learn something and do something and it can still help. But to the extent that, as you know, I mean, you’re a very fit person, obviously. You lift weights and you get it, but also as you want to reduce body fat.

So if you want to reduce fat, you want to preserve lean muscle mass, which involves weight training. I don’t think endurance activities are bad. I happen to not like them at all. I wish I was a good runner. I am a horrible runner. I despise long endurance stuff. In fact, when I first… I remember I first got my 23andMe results many years ago, with the first iteration that they ever did. I felt so validated because I was like, “Look, I’m a sprinter.” I have the double mutation. There’s no way I could run more than a mile. I think there is something to genetic predisposition. It does tend to fall along those lines that people go, “Oh yeah, that confirms, I am a power athlete and not an endurance athlete,” but then, I’ve also, I work in sports and I’ve also spoken to football, soccer players who say, “What are you talking about? I don’t have the endurance genes and I’m running up and down a field all day and not getting paid 20 million pounds a year for it, so what do you know?” I think that’s the importance with weight training, is to make sure that you maintain that foundation of muscle mass over time because as you age, you will lose bone density. You will lose muscle mass, and if you look at along endurance athlete who does ultra endurance stuff, they tend to be very sinewy and very, very lean. It takes a lot of energy. It’s also very hard on your joints, and so your joints are going to deteriorate over time until we learn how to fix that. I would say that’s probably why people have shifted towards it, but I also, again, I think holistically and I say, “Listen, if you hate weight training, but you love hiking and running and kayaking, then do it.” It’s better to be active and healthy even to say, “Oh, the experts were telling me I shouldn’t.”

Stu

25:23

Absolutely, and often times you find that whatever that your passion or sport is, it can become meditative. I know for me when I’m lifting weights, I’m not thinking about anything else when I’ve, back squat, deadlift, whatever it may be. You can’t think of anything else, and if you do you’re in trouble.

Erin

25:45

Totally. Or you’re just not getting as much out of your reps. If you really want to go hard, I can tell. Like today, I went to the gym in the morning and I obviously, again, I’ve been awake for 36 hours. We don’t know what’s happening with our country. Everyone’s freaked out.

26:00

And so even though I had slept a bit and eaten something, I was distracted. I was checking my phone, like, “Wow, I got a crummy workout. I don’t feel pumped.”

Stu

26:10

No, that’s right, absolutely right. And so with the sleep and the exercise in mind, so what kind of protocols would you use for nutrition? And it’s so confusing right now with just such a wide ranging scale from veganism to carnivore now, which is a new and emerging diet. Where do you sit on that scale and what types of foods would you eat?

Erin

26:41

So I’m vegan. I’ve been, I would say, 85 to 90% plant-based for… 85% plant-based for 12 years. I cut out dairy 12 years ago when I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease and it helped me greatly to remove those items. And then being a scientifically curious individual, I began research and well, why is that and what are the mechanisms going on here? I also love animals and that’s a different conversation and I love our climate and our environment. I want to save it. So all of the scientific evidence overwhelmingly was pointing me away from consumption of animal products. So even if we took the climate out of the equation, and even if we took the ethics out of the equation, I said okay, from a purely scientific standpoint, what is the research saying? And overwhelmingly time and time and time again for 30 years or however long plant-based diets have really been rigorously researched, the evidence just doesn’t meed_out any other way.

I’m sorry. I will debate a carnivore diet genius for however long they want and I feel confident that I would win that conversation because I think it is an egregious suggestion. People can feel free to disagree with me, but there is absolutely no evidence, no solid scientific evidence, to support that. And in fact, I think it’s, my God, how arrogant to think that you should walk around the earth and pillage it for… I mean, humans were not intended to consume a dead animal multiple times a day. If you really want to talk about living like your ancestors did, which we could break that down as well, that’s not what they did. I have no problem with people eating meat occasionally. I did until about two months ago when I said, “Okay, I’m going to try this veganism thing again.”

And in fact, my strength gain has improved, I gained muscle, I lost 1.5% body fat. I’m not a very heavy person, so it’s harder to lose fat. I have arthritis in my knee because I have no cartilage from an injury. That went away. I could squat, no pain. I also did a five-day Fasting Mimicking diet. I did Valter Longo’s ProLon Fast before I made that switch. So, anyway, to answer your question, my diet for the last decade has been largely plant-based with the exception of I would eat eggs and fish and seafood. And I would eat, if I went to someone’s home or I went out to a meal with people, I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone and so I would consume whatever they were serving, steak or chicken or something. I don’t do that anymore.

And for quite a while, I mean, I was caught in that trap of thinking I work out really hard in the gym. I’m not an endurance athlete, I’m a power athlete, and if I don’t eat eggs, what am I going to do? Even though every time I ate an egg from the time I was a little girl, I would get a tickling in my throat and feel really weird. And it’s like all of the inflammation disappeared as soon as I cut all this stuff out and I thought, “Wow, there is really something to this.” Nimai Delgado, the vegan bodybuilder, was right. Game Changers was correct. And of course when you read the research, you’re like, “Well, yeah, sure. It makes sense. It’s possible.” I’m not suggesting everybody has to do that. I’m just saying I’m really passionate about a movement towards consuming more of a plant-based diet, because that is the healthiest diet. That is proven over and over. Go look at anyone in [inaudible 00:04:30].

Stu

30:35

Yeah. I guess I’m laughing because it is such a contentious topic and we’ve had the-

Erin

30:43

I’m sure people are very mad at me now. They’ve turned off.

Stu

30:46

No, not at all. Because I also believe that it is, I mean, we are all unique individuals and we have our own programming and some people I think can adapt to any particular diet really easily and other people just don’t do well on meat, or don’t do well on large amounts of fiber or whatever it may be. And we have had so many different camps on the podcast that have been just like, it’s only this way or it’s this way, or somewhere in the middle. So totally another rabbit hole for another time, but I think whatever you’re doing that… I guess you’re the best reflection of your own health. If you’re crushing it every day, you’re sleeping well, you’ve got heaps of energy, no injuries, your immunity is high, your cloudy thinking has disappeared, then that’s a really great… I guess, I mean, that’s a thumbs up for whatever you’re doing.

Erin

31:51                    I would like to make it very clear to your listeners that I am not in the camp of you must do one thing or the other. I would never say that to someone-

Stu

31:59

Sure.

Erin

32:00

That that is the only way. Do I believe that if you really were honest, intellectually honest, and you looked at all of the studies and you compiled everything and it wasn’t that you excluded studies that were sponsored by industry, which is a very, very important thing to understand, I think that it would net out on the side of, hey, you need to consume more plants and eat less animal products and dairy, certainly. I’m sorry, there’s no argument for that. That’s just ridiculous. There is no other animal on this planet that consumes the pregnant growth serum of another animal. Come on.

I mean, it’s disgusting, The dairy industry is disgusting. I’m sorry. That I won’t debate with anyone, but in terms of do you keep some animal foods in your diet? Okay, fine. Sure. I would never tell anyone that they wouldn’t thrive if they did that, but what I would argue is that the proportions matter, the frequency matters, the sorts matters. And health is more than about only your body, right?

Stu

33:13

Sure, yep.

Erin

33:14

An election is about more than just my rights. It’s about everyone. And it’s about the planet. And so going forward, when we think of health and longevity, you have to think of the context in which we live. If you have a dying biosphere, it don’t matter if you live until 180 years old. That’s a vicious cycle. That’s a bad feedback. And so we have to make choices that ensure that we improve our health span, but that we also improve the health span of the community and that includes the planet on which we live. So I do feel quite strongly, obviously, about that.

Stu

33:53

No, absolutely. And it’s great. I mean, you’re passionate about that and rightly so. It’s working for you, it’s supported by science and yeah, everybody wants to reclaim as much of their health as they can. They want to feel optimal, so they listen to people like you and listen to shows like this and experiment and turn the dials and then hopefully come to a conclusion of a protocol that works.

Erin

34:24

I think that’s the right thing. Turn the dial, experiment, be a scientist.

Stu

34:28

That’s right.

Erin

34:29

Do it consciously and do it with the appropriate information-

Stu

34:35

Exactly.

Erin

34:36

But see what works for you.

Stu

34:36

Yeah, totally, totally. Fantastic. So I guess into the foodie space, it would be a good time to discuss Juvicell. So I’m really, really intrigued as to what this particular product offers and the power that it offers in its relation to science behind it as well. So I just wondered if you could give us the elevator pitch and then we’ll dig into the product a little bit more because it sounds like it could be hugely beneficial.

Erin

35:10

Yeah, sure thing. Thanks for giving me a platform to talk about this. I’m really excited about it. And I can be just as passionate about aging as I am about plant-based eaters. I try and temper myself. But yeah, Juvicell is a novel nutraceutical longevity, longevity nutraceutical, and we combine 10 key ingredients in one supplement, which I think is really important to note, because until now a lot of these heavily researched anti-aging ingredients have been available to some extent, but not altogether. And so people would say, “Oh yeah, I have 50 bottles in my cabinet.” People are taking a little of this, a little of that and they’re in all these different ratios and they really don’t quite know what they’re doing. I was one of those people. And so when my partners from Juvicell approached me and said, “Hey, we’ve spent three years researching all of this stuff and we’ve come up with this formulation, can we talk? Let’s talk about it.”

I was really interested because obviously health span, lifespan, is something that matters to me and I wanted to see what that was all about. And so the key with Juvicell is that all of the ingredients that we’ve included have tons of scientific research, almost a decade of research within each ingredient and mammalian studies. So some ingredients have been studied in humans and animals, some just in animals, but either way, they’ve been studied to be proven efficacious in the case of improving health span and or lifespan and safe, which was obviously very important.

And in fact, most supplement companies wouldn’t do this, but what we are doing is we have a pre-clinical trial going on and so we’re looking at how Juvicell actually does work as a single supplement that has all of these ingredients in it that we know separately, and sometimes one or two together have been working really well to improve health span and lifespan, and so now we’re looking at that in mice and we’ll see how that nets out. So we’ll be looking at things like a frailty index, so various physiological markers of frailty, as well as cytokinesis, so looking at markers of inflammation and blood biochemistry, and a number of other things to see how these ingredients are working synergistically and at what dose and all of that. So that’s really exciting. And yeah, we’ve had… I take it every day. Actually, it’s right here. I’ll show you the bottle. I don’t know if you can see it.

Stu

37:49

Yeah, it looks pretty clear. So for our listeners, this is not a multivitamin is it? Because it’s not like we can follow the standard Australian, the standard American diet, and we’re going to be deficient in X, Y, and Z. This isn’t a supplement for that. This is doing a whole heap of different things, isn’t it?

Erin

38:13

Exactly. And in fact, there’s been quite a lot of research into multivitamins showing that they really don’t do very much, or as some of my scientist friends would say, it’s expensive urine. Right?

Stu

38:25

Yeah.

Erin

38:25

You’re peeing most of it out. So some things like vitamin C and vitamin D, things that you might find as components in multivitamins, are actually really important and people may need to supplement with them separately, but this is not a multivitamin. It’s actually a 10 anti-aging… You can categorize it as anti-aging ingredients or longevity ingredients, and they’re phytochemicals, so things like green tea and turmeric, resveratrol, some things people probably have heard of and then some things people may not have heard of yet. And so yeah,

39:00

Not a vitamin, not a multivitamin, not any sort of vitamin, but actually phytochemicals, which are derived from plants.

Stu

39:07

Would you expect to feel any different when you’re taking this? Because I know that there are a whole heap of supplements out there, and I’m just thinking about NAC NMN GABA, CoQ10, all of these different compounds, and some of these things, Ginkgo for instance, makes you feel a little bit sharper when you take that kind of thing or NAC. Yeah, it makes you feel a little different. Are we expected to feel any different or not?

Erin

39:45

I think it depends on the person, but I would say Juvicell is intended to work at the cellular level.

Stu

39:45

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Erin

39:52

I wouldn’t be surprised if someone who maybe wasn’t particularly sensitive or generally tends not to notice really subtle things didn’t notice anything. Most people I know who take, for instance, a product like NMN don’t necessarily notice anything, at least not for a few months. And to be clear, that’s not in our product, but I definitely noticed something the first time I took it, but I also am an extremely sensitive person.

Stu

39:52

Sure.

Erin

40:22

And I track everything like you do, and so I’m looking at, how is it affecting my sleep? And sometimes I take my blood sugar in the morning, and how is that working? Totally anecdotally, and this is not backed up by any studies, it’s just an anecdote. My younger sister, I sent her a couple of the bottles. She’s really interested in trying it out. And she was like, “Oh my God, I have so much more energy. I’m so much clearer.” And what I found for me was that I felt a bit sharper, and I also found that it elevated my mood a little bit, very subtly, but again, I don’t necessarily expect that everybody would notice this sort of phenotypic difference right away. It’s more that it’s meant as a support or an adjunct to a healthy lifestyle. And that’s really key, is that people, if you’re looking for a magic bullet to keep you alive longer, healthier, they don’t exist. It doesn’t exist.

Stu

41:13

No.

Erin

41:13

Anyone who’s selling you, is selling you lies basically.

Stu

41:17

Yeah.

Erin

Are there many things you can do to support your health and lifespan? Absolutely. And so I like to think of a product like Juvicell as something really powerful in that arsenal that’s supporting all of the other things that I’m doing to improve my health and lifespan over time, all of my healthy diet choices, all of my healthy exercise and sleep choices. You’re working so hard to take care of yourself, if there’s something you can use that will subtly improve and support that and help build that foundation then why wouldn’t you do that when all these ingredients have been studied to do just that. That’s the goal of Juvicell, and that’s why I think it’s really exciting.

Stu

42:00

Yeah, absolutely.

Erin

42:01

[crosstalk 00:42:01] doing the right things.

Stu

42:05

I think everybody wants to follow the experts, because you’re clearly experts in your field, and we want to know what you’re doing and hopefully gain some benefits ourselves. If people wanted to find out more about Juvicell, where can we send them?

Erin

42:21

Oh, they can go to juvicell.com.

Stu

42:23

Okay.

Erin

42:23

J-U-V-I-C-E-L-L, juvicell.com. We’re also on Instagram and LinkedIn, as well.

Stu

42:30

Got it. Okay. And if they wanted to find out more about the strategies and the habits, tips, tools, techniques that they could be doing or should be doing just to support their holistic health, about all of the things that we’ve spoken about, it’s such a big rabbit hole, where would you start on that, if you’ve just want to figure out what the basics are really?

Erin

42:56

I would say, on our website, we have a science section, and while that science section is specifically about each ingredient. You’ll love it. It’s a pretty deep dive into each of them. Maybe it’s too heavy for some folks, but I would definitely check that out, because what it will do is, if you don’t already have an understanding, it will begin to clue you into certain keywords, reactive oxygen species and inflammation and all of these other words that are very common in the longevity space. Understanding what those things mean and how [inaudible 00:43:30] works at a [inaudible 00:43:31] level is really important. This is so funny, because it sounds like I’m plugging David’s book, which was not the invention of this podcast, but I recommend his book, Lifespan. It’s great, and he has a website to go along with it. He’s wonderful, and he’s been on every podcast and show, I think, in the world at this point. If you literally just go on YouTube and hit the search bar, you’ll find lots of really neat information. And then I would say also, you know what, Stuart, a lot of it is common sense.

Stu

44:00

Sure.

Erin

44:01

All the stuff we’ve all been told a million times, breathe-

Stu

44:06

Yeah.

Erin

44:06

Slow down, meditate, practice gratitude, and I know it sounds ridiculous, and 15 years ago, I would have laughed at myself for saying that, but it’s actually completely true. I’ve seen changes in my life from doing the five minute journal, which Tim Ferriss promotes often. This gratitude journaling is really a thing, five minutes in the morning, a couple of minutes in the evening, living in a space of gratitude and being happy and having… I have a dog, some people have kids. Appreciate everything that’s around you, getting out in nature, these are all… They’re free. Although you could argue, children are not free. They’re very expensive.

Stu

44:51

Yeah.

Erin

44:51

They’re simple. They’re available. There’s no excuse for anyone to say, “Oh, I can’t possibly shift my…” Yes, you can.

Stu

44:51

Yeah, of course.

Erin

45:01

It’s not expensive.

Stu

45:02

No.

Erin

45:03

Come on. Yes, you can. In fact, it’s probably cheaper if you ate a whole food plant based diet than eating processed garbage, right?

Stu

45:11

Yeah.

Erin

45:11

That you’re buying at a markup because the manufacturer has to package it. Now, come on.

Stu

45:15

Yeah.

Erin

45:16

There are many, many things that people… I think intuitively you know what you need to be doing. And there’s silly stuff that we all know, okay, don’t smoke, don’t drink, don’t whatever or drink less, don’t smoke, obviously. But aside from that, it’s like, okay, I feel really good when I get more sleep. I feel really good when I hug another person, and I spend quality time with an individual I love or with my pet. I feel great when I go for a slow walk out in nature.

Stu

45:46

Yeah.

Erin

45:46

Human beings intuitively know these things. They just completely disconnected and lost touch with that. I think my strongest advice would be, find that again, find what makes you feel good, that obviously isn’t bad for you. Those really simple things that are free and easy, and you can just begin to add them into your day one by one, little by little, and before you know it, you have these healthier habits, and you might choose to add a supplement to your regimen, and you might not. Different choices for different folks.

Stu

45:46

Totally.

Erin

46:19

But there’s plenty of resources available online, but I think that a lot of it is also intuitive. I think that if you’re really honest with yourself as a human being, you very well know what it is that’s going to be healthy for you, and what’s not.

Stu

46:35

Oh, I think so.

Erin

46:35

Forget all the noise.

Stu

46:37

Look, totally. We always say, “Look, find out what you love, what you’re really passionate about and just do more of it.”

Erin

46:45

Yeah.

Stu

46:46

Try and introduce a little bit more happiness into each and every day, and I think you’ll make better choices just from that mindset as well.

Erin

46:55

Absolutely.

Stu

46:56

Fantastic. Look, I’m very mindful of the time. I’d just like to dive in, couple more questions, what’s next for you? Clearly you’re mega busy. You’ve got so much on your plate in a crazy time as well. What have you got on for the rest of the year, maybe next year?

Erin

47:18

Yeah, sure. We’ll see what happens to America in the next week. I’m sure some people listening to this are laughing and other people are very annoyed, but what can I say?

Stu

47:28

Yeah.

Erin

47:28

It’s at the top of my mind at the moment, we’re in it.

Stu

47:30

Yeah.

Erin

47:31

Whatever side you’re on, you’re in it and you’re stressed, so hopefully that pans out okay and we can all move forward with our lives. But kidding aside, I’m really excited to see where we can take Juvicell. I really want it to be accessible to everyone, and to be something that at least brings awareness in the broader population to this issue of improving health span and lifespan, and like I was saying, understanding that we are not separate, but we’re all connected and our choices are connected, and just living better-

Stu

48:07

Yeah.

Erin

48:07

And making sure that is inclusive of others in the world and of our biosphere. That’s the mission to help everyone, and that’s where I really see my focus.

Stu

48:21

Fantastic.

Erin

48:22

Over the next year or so. Finishing my thesis would be nice, as well.

Stu

48:25

Yeah, throw that one in. And for all of our listeners that want to follow you personally as well, outside of Juvicell, do you have channels online that they could go to?

Erin

48:38

Oh yeah, sure. I’m most active on Instagram actually these days. Twitter has become something that causes me great stress.

Stu

48:46

You’re not alone.

Erin

48:46

I’m there. [inaudible 00:48:48] there @erinsharoni. You may or may not like my political content, but that’s for you to decide. And on Instagram where I generally just post workout stuff and my dog and help stuff, also @erinsharoni and LinkedIn. I’m on LinkedIn, so if anyone ever sends me a message there, I’m happy to say hi.

Stu

49:09

Fantastic. Look, Erin, thank you so much for your time, really appreciate it. We’ll put all of the links and any of the external stuff that we’ve spoken about today in the show notes, and we’ll blast that across our audience, but again, really appreciative of your time. Look forward to the launch of Juvicell and following that journey as well, and wish you all the best.

Erin

49:30

Thank you so much, and thank you for having me on and letting me spout off-

Stu

49:35

All good.

Erin

49:35

In a couple of directions.

Stu

49:37

Love it. That’s why we’re here. All right. We’ll speak soon.

Erin

49:40

Thanks, Stuart.

Stu

49:40

Thank you. Bye-bye.

Erin

49:40

Awesome.

 

Erin Sharoni

Erin is a digital health expert with deep roots in the longevity industry. She has studied biology and genetics at Stanford and Harvard university, and is also on the leadership team of the Harvard Biotech club. Erin is also the co-founder of Juvicell, the first longevity supplement of its kind.
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