One of the blue zones – regions of the world where author Dan Buettner found that people live much longer than average – is Icaria, a Greek island in the Aegean Sea that was named after Icarus, the son of Daedalus, the creator of the Labyrinth in Greek mythology. In a famous tale, Icarus and his father attempted to escape from Crete on wings that Daedalus made from feathers and wax. Icarus ignored his father’s instructions to not fly too close to the sun and his wings melted in the sun’s heat. Icarus fell into the sea and drowned. The Icarians believe the headstrong young man fell nearby, hence the name of their island.
Had Icarus been lucky enough to be a Greek god, he wouldn’t have perished, because he would have had access to ambrosia, the food of the gods mentioned in the poems of Homer. By eating ambrosia and drinking something called nectar – both of which sound a lot like derivatives of honey – the Greek gods had not blood but a fluid called ichor flowing in their veins.
Humans have puzzled over possibilities of immortality since the time Adam and Eve bit into the apple and got chased out of Eden. Consider the etymology of the word “nectar” – *nek = death” and *tar = overcoming.”
In Hindu mythology, amrita was a drink conferring immortality (but only for the gods). In Chinese mythology, the Peaches of Immortality made forever happen, while Thor and the Norse gods had the apples of the goddess Iðunn.
Apple, peaches, nectar – is there really something that truly helps people live longer? As the tales of the gods show, living forever might have its problems, but is a few extra decades a possibility?
You’re in luck!
Whether you live in a blue zone or not, you probably don’t have ichor in your veins, or a steady supply of ambrosia, nectar, or any other god or goddess food.
What you do have in all your cells is nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD), a substance that helps convert nutrients into energy and helps proteins do things like fight DNA damage. The form of NAD that does the work is called NAD+ – an oxidixing agent – and levels of it decline as we age.
At year 40 or so, the drop in NAD+ levels starts becoming crucial. It’s not as bad as falling into the Agean Sea, but if something isn’t done, by age 60 your levels might be cut in half.
Thankfully, NAD+ has its own ambrosia, a molecule known as NMN (nicotinamide mononucleotide). In January 2019, a study published in Nature Metabolism revealed that the Slc12a8 gene transports NMN into cells to fuel the production of NAD+, but it does not transport nicotinamide riboside (NR), another niacin derivative that is sold for anti-aging. One might say that NAD+-boosting NMN supplements give you a quick modern-day ambrosia, while NR supplements fall like Icarus.
One of the best NMN products is Herbalmax Reinvigorator, an advanced daily nutraceutical designed to enhance cellular repair and generate metabolic optimization and energy production. This enhanced formula is formulated to promote healthy aging and help provide consumers with nutrients needed to support a healthy, strong, and energetic body.
Why does NAD+ decline during aging? It’s destroyed, like wax and feather wings in hot sunlight. That has to do with enzymes called sirtuins that can sense NAD+ fluctuations. Without diving too deep into the science, suffice it to say that research has been done that “identifies the key cellular mechanisms behind vascular aging and its effects on muscle health and has successfully reversed the process in animals.” Human trials are currently taking place.
You might want to visit lovely Icaria on the beautiful blue Agean Sea someday and experience first-hand the attitudes, diets, and social habits of its long-lived residents. People there regularly live to be over 100 and get along well. They’re not trying to escape an island like Icarus and his father – they enjoy their island life very much. If you ask their age, they’ll tell you the year they were born, and don’t be shocked if it’s early in the 20th century.
Meanwhile, you could get a head start on living longer by trying a product like Reinvigorator. You might find yourself winging your way to happier and longer life, with more energy and sunnier days.