Life Extension Magazine®

Woman eating salad to follow dietary programs for longevity

Growing Older and Healthier the CR Way®: Wonderful Possibilities!

Case histories of people following dietary reduction programs reveal remarkable systemic benefits, including optimizing blood glucose and blood pressure. A new program enables one to improve overall biochemistry by altering their dietary patterns.

Scientifically reviewed by: Dr. Kathy Wilson, Ph.D, in August 2023. Written by: Paul McGlothin.

When I was younger, I was afraid of getting old.

Turning age 70 would be the beginning of the end, it seemed.

Developing a life-threatening disease like cancer or diabetes was a fearsome prospect. And what about quality of life?

Would my joints be achy and swollen from arthritis or my eyesight dimmed so I could no longer see the world around me in all its glorious detail?

Well, it finally happened: I turned 70 a few weeks ago. To celebrate, I went to my doctor for my annual wellness exam to evaluate key markers of my health.

The results* were an extraordinary birthday present:

  • Blood pressure: 100/60 mmHg
  • Resting heart rate: 50 beats-per-minute
  • Total cholesterol: 97 mg/dL
  • LDL cholesterol: 47 mg/dL
  • Fasting glucose: 71 mg/dL

*Results from blood work done at CareMount® Medical, Mount Kisco, New York, ordered by Dr. Jennifer LaPorta and reported February 2018.

I am delighted that a 70-year-old can have biomarkers that are like those of a healthy school-age child.1-3

My body mass index (BMI) is 20 and I am strong and energetic. I have no aches or pains and I do not take medications. I read without glasses and my distance vision is 20/10—better than it was in my 50s and better than most people of any age.4 I am optimistic that I can look forward to a long, healthy life.

What you need to know

Calorie restriction is an extremely well-documented method of increasing longevity by modulating biomarkers and pathways related to aging and disease.

Mediocre Results in my 40s

I wasn’t always so healthy. Flashback 25 years—I was in my forties and my test results were mediocre: Blood pressure was 140/90 mmHg. Fasting blood glucose was at risk levels, in the mid-90s mg/dL. I was on a trajectory to disease. If I hadn’t made significant changes in my approach to health, my life could have gone downhill easily—fast.

“No!” to Age-Related Decline

blood glucose at risk levels  

Having experienced the sadness of losing family loved ones, I knew that in my own life I would not be able to simply accept age-related decline and death. Instead, I made a resolution: to make life extension in good health my life’s mission.

And I started to fight—mustering resources and talent to move life-extension science forward faster. The best way to begin was to understand and practice dietary restriction, a non-genetic, non-pharmacological intervention known to increase active and healthy lifespan in a variety of species.5

Many people think dietary restriction is synonymous with calorie restriction, but it can also include restriction of specific nutrients such as dietary protein or methionine (an amino acid).

As my dietary restriction practice developed, I learned that glucose control could significantly enhance the benefits that I was getting. So I decided to focus on that, because high blood glucose is linked to increased risk for many major diseases such as cancer,6 diabetes,7 heart disease,8 and dementia,9 as well as mortality from all causes.

Longitudinal Studies?

dietary restriction  

Some researchers believe that longitudinal studies are required as proof that any form of dietary restriction extends life in humans, but one thing is certain: You can measure objectively how well you are doing. Consider these inspiring stories from members of LivingTheCRWay:

- Ev, 81, lives in Hawaii and joined LivingTheCRWay four years ago with challenges. Having had metastatic melanoma twice, and living with high blood glucose in the 90s and blood pressure higher than optimal, his markers now are more like those of a person considerably younger than 81: blood pressure at 88/53 mmHg, achieved naturally without medication, no recurrence of cancer, and fasting glucose in the 70s.

- Debbie, 60, from Tennessee, is an active woman who lives on a farm. Before she joined LivingTheCRWay, her cholesterol was 216 mg/dL. Her fasting blood glucose was at prediabetic levels. Since joining the CR Way only a few months ago she has lowered her fasting blood glucose to the 70s, and her cholesterol readings are perfect—total cholesterol is 146 mg/dL and LDL is down from 90 mg/dL to 50 mg/dL.

- Dave, 60, from Virginia, works hard daily as a professional landscaper. When not working, Dave and his wife, Jenny, like to go on trips and visit with family and friends. As often happens when one reaches 60, Dave’s blood glucose had crept up to prediabetic levels. Now, after taking The CR Way to Great Glucose Control classes, Dave’s high fasting glucose has fallen into the 70s and low 80s mg/dL.

- Ellen, 65, from Wisconsin, is an RN whose work as a massage therapist is demanding. “I have evolved into better health and dietary habits that are demonstrably improving not just my glucose levels but all aspects of my life. Thank you both and the CR Way for helping me guide my ship in these positive ways.”

- Thomas, 68, from Colorado, summed up how members of the LivingTheCRWay community feel: “I have had a good life and I want more of it!”

No one should promise that life extension is guaranteed. We do, though, expect these and many other CR Way members to continue to live healthy, active lives, as if they were younger than their chronological ages.

CR Way Secrets to Extraordinary Health

The CR Way of living helps people achieve such extraordinary health by showing them how to activate the biochemistry associated with extending life and preventing age-related disease.

Lowering mTOR

Standing originally for mammalian Target of Rapamycin (and more recently mechanistic Target of Rapamycin), mTOR is an enzymatic complex that drives growth in humans and other organisms.11 This is essential in our younger years but can turn dangerous as we age.

You may have heard of rapamycin, a drug used to reduce the immune response in organ-transplant patients in the hope that their bodies will not reject their newly transplanted organ.

Rapamycin’s downregulation of mTOR prompted researchers to give it the name “mammalian target of rapamycin.”

Drugs and nutrients that boost AMPK indirectly suppress mTOR. Another way of lowering mTOR is to reduce one’s calorie intake.

mTOR Activity Accelerates Aging

TORC1 (Target of Rapamycin Complex 1) and TORC2 (Target of Rapamycin Complex 2) are the two parts of the large mTOR molecule. TORC1 has been studied more than TORC2 and is identified as a master regulator of cell growth and metabolism.12

Whether or not you know every nuance associated with mTOR, you must understand that overstimulating it increases risk of cancer and accelerates aging. You should also know that if you overfeed your body with calories, protein, or glucose-raising foods, your cells will go wild. You will store fat and put on weight, and your risk of disease will soar.

We help new participants in The CR Way to Great Glucose Control to turn down mTOR with diet. It’s easy, really: Make your diet plant-based, and you are halfway there.

Role of AMPK in Cell Energy Metabolism

AMPK (adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase) evolved early in the history of living organisms. AMPK fulfills the need to fuel cellular processes when energy (food) supplies become limited.13

When you follow the CR Way lifestyle, you manage your glucose levels better in ways that activate your AMPK beneficially. The metabolic changes that take place are extraordinary, as can be seen on the chart on the next page.

Role of AMPK in Cell Energy Metabolism

Metabolic Changes in Response to Healthier Eating Patterns

In response to consuming healthy foods that are part of the CR Way program, multiple changes occur throughout your body that slash your risk of degenerative illnesses while helping to decelerate aging itself. Below is a summary of just a few of the benefits we’ve seen in people who follow our dietary restriction program:

  • Blood pressure declines: 100/60 mmHg is normal for CR Way practitioners, a benefit that may be a result of increased eNOS (endothelial nitric oxide synthase) levels.
  • High-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) fall to the low end of the reference range, indicating reduced inflammation.
  • Fat synthesis decreases and fat burning increases. That’s probably why body fat percentages are as low as 12% in CR Way men and 18% to 24% in CR Way women.
  • Triglyceride levels reduce, running between 45 mg/dL and 65 mg/dL.
  • Cholesterol reduction150 mg/dL is routine for CR Way members, and even lower can be normal.
  • IGF-1 is stable at moderate levels.

Moderate dietary restriction is a fundamental starting point for CR Way living. We continue to add complementary aging interventions like meditation and friendly support.

Begin with Glucose Control

Many successful CR Way members begin with The CR Way to Great Glucose Control and for good reason: About 84.1 million Americans14 and millions more worldwide15 have fasting glucose levels at dangerous prediabetes levels—100 mg/dL or above. If you are one of them and you don’t do anything about it, your likelihood of developing type II diabetes, as well as other diseases, will soar.15

Hundreds of people have used the CR Way three-month online course—with live teleconferences—to reduce their glucose to healthy levels and improve their prospects for a long, disease-free life.


A five-part e-book, updated with delicious recipes, food suggestions, and ideas for improving your body’s microbiomes

Weekly participation in the CR Way Support Group, where participants discuss successes and challenges of glucose control and other CR Way practices and get real, practical solutions for day-to-day issues

Instructional videos, describing key steps for great glucose control

Six live 30-minute classes by teleconference

Personalized guidance: Glucose control experts Paul McGlothin and Meredith Averill teach the classes—live!

Recordings and transcripts of the teleconference classes

A Great Glucose Control Library on where recordings of classes and all instruction materials are available 24/7 for your use

Growing Older: Wonderful Possibilities

Wonderful Possibilities  

Twenty-five years ago we decided to create The CR Way.

It has now blossomed into a community where people make striving for great health fundamental to their way of life. Imagine the potential that offers: As you begin to feel terrific, you enjoy life more. You function well and can take better advantage of life’s possibilities. And you have like-minded people supporting you in your efforts.

With your newfound energy and verve, you could choose to go back to school and learn a new skill, or simply apply your new vigor to the career you already love. With the return of your youthful health, retirement becomes optional rather than necessary.

You’ll again enjoy your life as you once did, and not have to worry about draining your savings because you need expensive medications. This is what LivingTheCRWay offers.

Paul McGlothin and Meredith Averill have discovered how to bridge the gap between the scientific research into low-calorie diets and how to practically apply that research. Their work brings real results and longevity benefits to CR Way practitioners. Their CR Way® lifestyle is based on decades of research showing favorable changes in genes, gene expression, and other aging biomarkers. They’ve played a pivotal role in this research on aging at Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine, and the University of California at both San Francisco and Riverside.

If you have any questions on the scientific content of this article, please call a Life Extension® Wellness Specialist at 1-866-864-3027.


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