david sinclair covid-19 bulletproof radio

How Harvard Researcher David Sinclair (and Dave Asprey) Manage COVID-19 Risk | Bulletproof Radio

Check out the Bulletproof Radio Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways (David’s Immunity-Boosting Protocol)

  • Keep your vitamin D levels up
  • Intermittent fast
  • Keep your blood sugar levels low by avoiding sugary foods
  • Quercetin (500-600 mg, 1-2x a day)
    • Research indicates quercetin inhibits viral replication
  • Liposomal vitamin C (500 mg/day)
  • Alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) (0.5-1 g, 1-2x a day)
    • Data indicates ALA is helpful in fighting viral infections
  • Zinc (30-40 mg/day)

Other Supplements & Products Mentioned

  • David wears blue light blocking glasses a few hours before going to bed
  • David supplements with CoQ10 for mitochondrial health
  • David takes Doc Parsley’s Sleep Remedy every night before bed
  • The two best NAD+ precursors:
    • NR
      • For us at Podcast Notes, based on their unmatched quality standards and our personal experience, we strongly recommend Elysium Basis (use the code “podcast10” at checkout to receive 10% off)
    • NMN
      • David supplements with 1 gram of capsulized NMN every morning (he doesn’t disclose his preferred brand)
  • David supplements with ~1 gram of powdered resveratrol every morning mixed in with some yogurt (once again, brand not disclosed)
    • Why yogurt? It’s essential to take the resveratrol with fat to increase absorption.


The Cool Fact of the Day

  • By monitoring your brain waves when you’re sedentary, it’s possible to predict how likely you are to be empathetic

David Was Worried About a Viral Pandemic Before COVID-19

  • In David’s book, Lifespan, he writes, “The gains in life expectancy we’ve witnessed over the past 120 years could be wiped out for a generation unless we address the greatest threat to our lives: other lifeforms that seek to prey on us”
  • And it’s not just David; Bill Gates sounded the alarm years ago in his Ted Talk

COVID-19 Preferentially Kills Unhealthy Older Individuals

  • (i.e., it’s killing people who were going to die anyway)
  • In Italy, the average age of someone killed by COVID-19 was ~80
    • Also, the average person who died of COVID-19 had three other, serious morbidness (e..g., diabetes, heart, disease, cancer, etc.)
  • BUT…. just because you’re young, doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk

Because of COVID-19, There’s No Better Time to Improve Your Health

  • “If you ever had a good reason to start being healthy and stop eating crap—lots of sugar and processed food, especially the sugar and carbohydrates, now is that time. Stop it right now.” – David Sinclair

Does intense exercise reduce immune system function?

  • Some studies claim that excess endurance cardio lowers immunity (and thus, increases your risk of COVID-19 infection)
    • Because of the above, David’s exercise of choice: short bursts of high-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • Any exercise is better than no exercise—just don’t push yourself to exhaustion too frequently

David’s Immunity-Boosting Protocol

  • Keep your vitamin D levels up (you might also think about taking vitamin A—it increases vitamin D’s bioavailability)
    • Dave recommends taking 10,000-15,000 IUs of vitamin D3 and 10,000 IU’s of vitamin A. If you start getting sick, up your intake even further.
      • If you don’t feel light supplementing: get more sunshine (vitamin D), or eat more liver/animal meat (vitamin A)
    • “It’s pretty clear that if you don’t keep your levels of vitamin D up (to the same level you have during the summer), you can lose some of your immunity, and now would not be the time to do that” – David Sinclair
  • Intermittent fast (David skips breakfast and tries to eat a late lunch)
    • In animal models, intermittent fasting has been shown to boost immune system function and shut down chronic inflammation
  • Keep your blood sugar levels low
    • Because of this, David is avoiding sugary foods & white rice (white rice has a VERY high glycemic index)

What about resveratrol? Does it boost immunity against COVID-19?

  • In short, no
  • Let’s give some background:
    • Sirtuins are a class of genes that make enzymes that control our body’s natural defenses against ANY insult. Sirtuins have been proven effective at combating viral infections in Petri dish & mouse studies.
    • Sirtuins need NAD+ to function. Think of NAD+ as their fuel and resveratrol as their accelerator pedal.
    • Great! So just take NAD+ & resveratrol, and you’ll reduce your risk of COVID-19 infection? Things get more complicated…
      • In mice, resveratrol has been found to upregulate the lung’s ACE2 receptors. Here’s why this matters: COVID-19 gains access to the lungs through the ACE2 receptors, so you definitely don’t want more of them (smoking & vaping also upregulate the lung’s ACE2 receptors).

If You’re Taking a Beta Blocker, Be Even More Careful of COVID-19

  • (Beta blockers are a type of medication used to treat high blood pressure)
  • Why?
    • Beta blockers also upregulate the lung’s ACE2 receptors

What else does David supplement with?

  • Every morning, David supplements with ~1 gram of powdered resveratrol & NMN (an NAD+ precursor) mixed in with some yogurt (once again, brand not disclosed)
    • Yes, he’s still taking resveratrol despite the evidence that it upregulates the lung’s ACE2 receptors
    • NR (nicotinamide riboside) is another NAD+ precursor. For us at Podcast Notes, based on their unmatched quality standards and our personal experience, we strongly recommend Elysium Basis (use the code “podcast10” at checkout to receive 10%).
  • Quercetin (500 mg 1-2x a day)
    • Research indicates that quercetin inhibits viral replication & increases the half-life of resveratrol
    • Dave also takes quercetin (~600 mg, 2-3x a day)
  • Liposomal vitamin C (~500 mg/day)
  • Zinc (30-40 mg/day)
  • Alpha-lipoicacid (ALA) (~500 mg)
    • Dave also takes ALA (1 gram, 2x/day)
    • Why? Data indicates it’s helpful in fighting viral infections.
  • CoQ10 for mitochondrial health (~300 mg/day)
  • David also takes a statin to lower his cholesterol (he’s aware of the adverse side effects, but his cholesterol levels run way too high without it)
  • Doc Parsley’s Sleep Remedy
  • David wears blue light blocking glasses a few hours before going to bed

Oleic Acid Activates Sirtuins

  • Oleic acid is produced when we’re fasting as part of the fat degradation process (it’s also found in olive oil)
    • It acts similarly to resveratrol (it accelerates sirtuin function)
  • Because of the above, David has been upping his olive oil intake

How long until we have a COVID-19 vaccine?

  • No time soon—it’ll probably take 12-18 months until something is approved for use in the U.S.
  • Why will it take this long?
    • The FDA has to be very careful. They MUST be 100% sure of a vaccine’s efficacy.

Should you avoid alcohol and smoking/vaping cannabis to improve your immunity?

  • Binge drinking: yes, but a daily glass of wine is probably fine
  • Smoking/vaping: probably

David’s General Outlook on COVID-19 (How the Virus Will Impact Humanity)

  • “Most experts I’ve spoken with—those who actually understand epidemiology—think we’re not going back to normal as a society for another year. We’ll go back to work just like China, so don’t don’t panic about that. The economy is going to get back on its feet, but life will not be the same for probably a year—maybe even two.”David Sinclair
  • “For humanity, it’s not all doom and gloom … Think about the history of life on earth … This is the first time a species that’s all over the world has united to fight one fo.” – David Sinclair

Additional Notes

  • Nexstrain allows you to track SARS-CoV-2’s (the virus that causes COVID-19) mutations
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