Meditation, Nitric Oxide, & Living a Very Long Life
Nitric Oxide: How Meditation Helps Us Live 130 Years
How To Live 60% Longer
Life ends at 80. That’s when, according to the World Health Organization’s latest statistics, we need to go coffin shoppin'.
But, wouldn’t it be much better to, assuming great health, live to 130? Of course! Well, according to an overwhelming number of studies dating back nearly a century, we can.
Before we tell you how, let’s put that Methuselah-like life span into perspective:
In a world where we all live up to 60% longer, instead of cruising around the country in a Winnebago, 70 year old grandma & grandpa (who look and feel 40) would be more likely cruising the countryside in their midlife crisis hatchback convertible.
Here’s the catch. All we have to do to see 130 candles on our birthday cake... is not eat it. Or any other birthday cake for that matter.
The only 100% certified method of extending life is, you guessed it... caloric restriction. Yes, you sort of have to starve yourself (25-50% fewer calories) if you want to live a whole lot longer (up to 60% longer!).
Whether it's rats, bats, dogs, monkeys, fish, spiders, or worms in the lab being tested, eating less food has been shown to extend life... without fail.
What’s the link? While meditation changes the mind and body in ways which naturally make us want to eat less food (weight loss is a very common benefit), that will not be the focus here.
Here, we discuss why scientists believe eating less leads to a longer life, and why meditation does the exact same thing without depriving ourself of life’s greatest pleasure (food!).
The Super Life Extending "Molecule Of The Year:" Nitric Oxide
So, what happens to our bodies when we no longer stuff ourselves like everyday is Thanksgiving? Why does going on a hunger strike make us live so much longer?
With more gold medals than Michael Phelps, the most credited molecule boosted through caloric restriction is 'nitric oxide' (chemical symbol 'NO'). Its life lengthening properties are off the charts.
While sometimes mistaken for laughing gas (yeah, it’s not "nitrous" oxide), "nitric" oxide is so intriguing that, in 1992, it took home chemistry’s highly coveted AAAS "Molecule of the Year" award.
In 1998, three scientists won the Nobel Prize in physiology for discovering a ridiculous number of ways this anti-aging molecule helps the human body.
Nerd awards are definitely cool, but what can this molecule actually do? Like Bo Jackson and Elon Musk, nitric oxide does it all.
Like what? It controls high blood pressure, gives rise to male erection, signals the immune system, dilates blood vessels, serves as a bacteria killing antioxidant, slows cancer, relays information from nerves to cells, and much more.
Your brain, arteries, immune system, liver, pancreas, and lungs would quickly shut down without this incredible stuff. And the more you have flowing through your beautiful body, the longer you will live.
Luckily, you don’t need to starve yourself to pump your body full of this natural life extending elixir.
In 2007, researchers from the Cleveland Clinic and Case Western Reserve University took blood samples from 88 Tibetans, with mind blowing results. What did they find?
Meditation Boosts Nitric Oxide By More Than 1,000%+!
When compared to non-meditating but otherwise healthy US resident volunteers, the Tibetans had more than 10 times the amount of nitric oxide flowing through their systems!
The result was so significant that Wired magazinerebranded nitric oxide as the "Zen Molecule."
Then, to supercharge our nitric oxide production, do we need to give up our earthly possessions, move to a Tibetan mountaintop, and practice meditation as our full time gig?
Cancel your flight to Lhasa, you can boost this super longevity juice from the comfort of your own sea level home.
While some claim the fantastic results from this particular study were owed to the Tibetans 15,000ft (4500m) altitude, Ohio State University (2014, Kemper et al) researchers have shown "amateur" low elevation meditators to have a colossal 213% nitric oxide boost (22.49 -> 47.91)!
Can meditation’s nitric oxide super-production mimic the longevity benefits of caloric restriction, and therefore, allow us to live up to 60% longer (130 years)?
While more studies are certainly needed, the early results indicate that meditation might just allow us to have our 130 candle birthday cake and eat it too.