Link To Vitality – Defying the Biology Of Aging

By Nabil El-Hag

A series of articles inspired by Dr. Nabil El-Hag health journey and his upcoming book.


I was born without a user manual. It took me 40 years to find it. I’m 75 years old now. Most people are shocked when I reveal my biological age. In truth, I feel like I am still a young man. I have continued to build strength and muscle mass long past the age when we are expected to decline. My reflexes are quick, my stamina is good and in many ways I feel like I have improved with age. This result is by design, not an accident of fate. I want to share my story with you, so you too can defy the biology of aging.

The human body is a marvelous and complicated machine, but it doesn’t come with directions. When we buy any new equipment, like a camera or a car, it comes with a user manual. In that manual, you find out how all the systems work, how to maintain your new purchase over its lifetime and how to use all the bells and whistles that are built into the design. Human beings live and experience the world through their bodies, but unfortunately, this miraculous piece of machinery is something most of us take for granted until it breaks down.

I was no different. I have been blessed with good genes and tremendous athletic potential. At the age of 16, I was a world-class judo champion and Olympic athlete. My primary focus was my skill development. Because I was young and in good health, I never thought beyond my next competition. A few broken bones and muscle sprains were my only cross to bear, but they healed quickly and I never thought about optimizing or maintaining my health. It was a state of being that I took for granted.

While advances in biology, nutrition and cellular medicine are changing our understanding of health, I think my early experience is typical. Young bodies can thrive, despite providing them with less than ideal nurturing. Young minds experience the world differently. In our youth, we feel invincible and take tremendous risks, often abusing our bodies in the process. The information on how to take care of ourselves is available, but we don’t apply it.

However, at some point most of us face a crisis. It may be an accident, the unexpected onset of disease, or the slow creep of age-related physical or mental decline. My wake up call came in my forties, when I was diagnosed with Lyme disease.

Thirty five years ago, Lyme’s disease was not well understood and the diagnostic tools and treatment protocols were in an early stage of development. Despite my many symptoms, including fatigue, night sweats, vision changes, muscle and joint pain, stiffness, numbness, and mental confusion, it took nearly eight months to get a diagnosis. I was infected with both Babesiosis and Ehrlichiosis, the first of which is fatal 50% of the time.

I was literally in a fight for my life. Standard antibiotic treatment was not having an impact on my symptoms. Doctors were unsure of how to proceed. In the meantime, my symptoms were worsening.

Fortunately, I have a master’s degree in microbiology and a doctorate degree in nutrition. I had been trained to look at the anatomy and the behavior of an organism in both healthy and diseased states, but I had never applied this knowledge to my own body. Having knowledge and applying knowledge are two very different things. It was in the application of my education to regaining my own health that I found my user manual.

I developed my own treatment plan, based on an understanding of the invading tick-borne spirochetes, as well as an understanding of my body’s defensive mechanisms and healing potential. Two pioneering doctors were willing to help me implement the plan. It was untested and risky, but for me, it was a risk worth taking. Luckily, it worked and within a matter of a few weeks, my symptoms improved. Within two months, I was symptom-free. The specifics of my program are not something I can share, since I am not a physician and my protocol has not been tested in large populations. However, developing the program was the first time I tackled my health like the trained scientist I am. It was also the real beginning of my health journey.

Once I realized I couldn’t take my health for granted, my attitude changed. For the past thirty five years, I have been in pursuit of optimizing my health and preserving my vitality. I have learned to listen to my body and to understand what needs it is trying to communicate. I prioritize my well-being, because without our health, we have nothing. A sick organism is consumed with survival and managing symptoms. A healthy body is what enables us to live to our fullest potential. My goal is to strive for maximum health for as long as possible. Without the experience of Lyme’s disease, I might never have discovered my user manual.

Here is some of what I learned from that experience:

The human cell is the building block of the whole body.

Cells need to eat, digest, breathe, and get rid of waste to remain healthy and grow.

All disease starts on cellular level and restoring health must also begin at the cellular level.

Health requires that we provide the right macro and micro environment for our cells.

We are only 10% human. There are 100 trillion single cell friendly microbes that help our body function. These too require our care.

Maintaining health requires an integrated approach. We must attend to our nutrition, our physicality, our environment, our lifestyle habits, our mental well-being, all at the same time, and we need to do it with religious fervor and consistency if we want to enjoy optimum health.

When we experience disease, infection, inflammation, gastrointestinal upset or an injury, we need to pay attention and take responsibility for or own self-care

No one will care for your well-being as much as you do.

In the series of articles that will follow, my goal is to simplify the science that underpins good health so you can apply that understanding to your own body and find your own user manual. I also plan to share more details regarding the protocols I follow and why I have chosen to incorporate them into my regimen.

The core principles of my program center on providing the optimum environment for cell health. It is estimated that your body makes 3.8 million new cells every second. In order to ensure those new cells are healthy, we need to feed them properly. More importantly, we must assist them in the process of detoxification and repair. A full and rapid recovery, from disease, infection, overuse or just from the toxic by-products of cell turnover is the key to vitality.

Despite the plethora of how-to books available promising improved well-being and the ever-growing number of supplements, devices and other health tools at our disposal, Americans are sicker than ever. For the first time in modern history, we can expect the future generation’s life span to be shorter than that of their parents. This is a sad commentary on our collective experience of health.

I’d like to see that change. My goal is to motivate you to apply the knowledge that is out there. Knowing what to do is only half the battle; doing it is what makes the difference!

It is my mission to simplify the biological sciences that have guided me in my pursuit of optimum health. I’ll explain what I do and why I do it. Some of my program may seem familiar, while other protocols are more cutting edge. You’ll have to decide for yourself which elements of my routine makes sense for you. Each of us has a different capacity for work, strength, endurance, and speed. We vary in our dietary needs, our capacity for recovery, and our need for sleep. Your goal should not be do what I do, but to pick and choose from my menu of options, to do what’s best for your body, age and lifestyle. As you experiment with these ideas, you’ll need to pay attention to your body’s feedback and adjust accordingly. So keep reading…and keep doing as we move forward in our journey together.

In the next issue, we’ll explore the phases of inflammation; the good, the bad and the ugly and what you can do to navigate through the ugly phase.

2 thoughts on “Link To Vitality – Defying the Biology Of Aging

    • Author gravatar

      Great article! Discovering our “users manual” seems as though it should be a topic/focus in schools.
      It is a sad statistic that our parents are beginning to outlive us. As smart as we are as a species, we are falling prey to preventable and curable diseases.

      I’m looking forward to the next article👍🏼

    • Author gravatar

      Dr. Nabil El-Hag is helpful in reminding us how our bodies operate on a cellular level. Whenever a doctor asks about my primary care physician; the response is always me. Nobody can care for your body, mind and spirit like yourself. We live in such a fabulous epoch where tests like the biome life science health test can give anyone insight into your own cellular function. Thank you good doctor for your leadership in health.

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