Seven Ways to Outwit Your DNA

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, author of Radical Longevity, shares tips on strengthening long-term health and reversing the symptoms of aging.
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My pioneering mentor, Dr. Hazel Parcells, the grande dame of alternative medicine, lived to the ripe young age of 106. When she left this world, she had all her senses, stamina and wit intact. Dr. Parcells was certainly not blessed with the “right” genes, because at the age of 40 she was diagnosed with terminal tuberculosis and managed to make a full recovery, healing her body back to complete health. She lived into her second century using the principles of the science of nutrition, dietetics and detoxification. From her I learned early on to root out the primary causes of disease; DNA does not equal destiny. I later adapted her secrets of longevity and built upon them with my own research and decades of clinical practice, culminating in my latest book, Radical Longevity. Here is a sneak peek at the steps you can take to ensure a more vibrant future of living joyfully in vibrant health.

1 IMMUNITY IS EVERYTHING. Surprisingly, when it comes to respiratory viruses, the most potent protective factor is a good old-fashioned humidifier. A 2019 Harvard University study concluded that the biggest risk factor for respiratory infection is the air we breathe. Dry air enables a virus to travel farther and survive longer, and it harms our natural immune barriers. Invest in a humidifier with an optimal range of humidity from 40 to 60 percent.

2 DIMINISH TOXIC OVERLOAD. You can decrease your vulnerability to old age and the diseases of aging, as well as autoimmune conditions, by systematically reducing the toxic burden of overflowing pesticides, chemicals, environmental pollutants, EMFs, mold and parasites—poisons that weaken your body at a cellular level.

3 COMBAT AGES. Foods that are high in animal fat, like bacon, cheese and butter, are also naturally high in advanced glycation end products, known as AGEs— a cause of inflammation, tissue hardening and the development of all chronic disease. Luckily, AGEs can be easily controlled and limited by both diet and methods of low-heat moisture cooking.

4 FREE UP FASCIA. Fascia, the connective tissue surrounding your joints, ligaments and muscles, can frequently be “glued” together due to infection, surgery, trauma and repetitive movements. Methods like massage, cupping, stretching and myofascial release can help loosen fascia so that chronic pain, digestive problems, pelvic pain and obstructions can be resolved.

5 ACTIVATE CELLULAR REJUVENATION. As many of us are aware, rejuvenation, restoration and repair all start at the cellular level. First and foremost, the cell membrane needs to become more flexible to let nutrients in and toxins out. That is where the good omega-6s like hempseed oil, with the perfect 4 to 1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3, come into play. Drizzle 1 to 2 tablespoons a day on steamed veggies or use as a salad dressing base.

6 MIND YOUR MINERALS. Both copper and iron overload are associated with the development of neurofibrillary tangles and beta amyloid plaque, the hallmarks of Alzheimer’s. Cast out the cast-iron and copper cookware; review your supplement regimen to ensure your daily multivitamins are iron- and copper-free.

7 OPTIMIZE THE GUT-BRAIN CONNECTION. The gut is the source of your immune system. It is also your second brain. Avoid overuse of antibiotics and take probiotics cautiously—no more than 10,000 CFUs per dose. Bring on the pickles, sauerkraut and miso.

Ann Louise Gittleman, PhD, CNS, author of Radical Longevity, shares tips on strengthening long-term health and reversing the symptoms of aging

In Radical Longevity, I delve much deeper into these rules and discuss how they affect the heart, brain, bones, sex life, hair, skin and nails. To order a copy of Radical Longevity and get three free bonus health guides, visit