How to Hack Zombie Cells and Maximize Your Lifespan


Think back to when you were in your early 20s. 

Did you have more energy? Could you bounce back more quickly from jet lag, exercise, lack of sleep, late nights, and injuries? Was it easier to build muscle and stay in shape? Was your sleep better? Did you feel like you had more in reserve to pull from when you needed it? 

Conventional wisdom says that slowing down is an inevitable part of aging. The truth is that everyone ages at a different rate—and you have a lot more control over aging than you might think. 

You probably know some people who have stayed healthy and vigorous well into old age and others who seem to be old before their time. Part of this difference comes down to genetics. A lot more it is down to your nutrition, lifestyle, and environment.

I’ve talked a lot about anti-aging. Today I want to explore one of the hallmark signs of aging, cellular senescence, and how you can hack it to feel (and look) younger. 

What Are Zombie Cells and Why Do They Speed Up Aging?

As you age, your body accumulates damaged cells. When the cells get to a certain level of damage, they go through an aging process of their own called cellular senescence. 

When your cells become damaged or if they replicate too many times, they start to release compounds that cause inflammation. Their goal is to grab the attention of your immune system, which can come in and clear up the damaged cells, making room for new, healthy ones. 

As you get older, however, those aging, damaged cells stop flagging your immune system to clean them up. Instead they turn into senescent cells, which researchers sometimes call zombie cells—they aren’t fully functional but they refuse to die, just like a zombie. 

Zombie cells build up in your body as you get older, clogging your cellular systems and sapping your performance. They also secrete compounds that turn nearby cells into zombie cells too. This process is called cellular senescence and it’s a major reason you age. 

Upgrade Your Cellular Performance to Age like a Superhuman

If you make your cells more efficient, you’ll age like a superhuman. Regardless of your chronological age—the number of years you’ve been alive—your cells will be young, and you’ll look, feel, and perform like you’re in your prime. 

There are a few different ways to upgrade your cells (and stop zombie cells that sap your energy and make you weak). 


Boost Your Energy and Focus with NAD+

ATP is the most basic unit of energy in your body. Your cells convert the food you eat into ATP, which you can then use to power everything you do. 

When you’re young, your ATP production is fast and efficient—but it slows down as you age. 

NAD+ is a compound that helps your cells make ATP. NAD+ decreases as you age—unless you supplement with it, which keeps levels high so you can make plenty of energy. Boosting NAD+ also turns on several longevity pathways, keeping you young. 

NAD+ is especially important in your brain, and keeping NAD+ levels high will enhance your focus and clear up brain fog[*]. 


Keep Your Mitochondria Strong

I’ve talked a lot about mitochondria. They’re the power plants that produce ATP, keeping your cells running. 

Your mitochondria will slow down if you let them. Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do to charge them up and make sure they create all the energy you need to kick ass at life. 

Exercise, a high-fat diet, plenty of antioxidants, and coffee are all good ways to enhance your mitochondria. As you age, lifestyle changes may not be enough—which is why it’s a good idea to add a mitochondrial booster in supplement form (more on that in a second). 


Bonus Biohack: Decrease CD38

CD38 is a secret biohack that almost nobody knows about. It stands for cluster of differentiation 38—a protein that builds up as you age, damaging your mitochondria and decreasing your cellular energy production[*]. 

Zombie cells cause CD38 to gradually accumulate in your body as you get older, causing brain fog and fatigue. High CD38 levels also mess with your metabolism, promoting fat loss and making it harder for you to stay in shape.[*][*]

But if you decrease your CD38 levels, the opposite happens—your metabolism increases, you become faster and more mentally focused, your body makes more energy at a cellular level, and your overall performance goes through the roof. 


The Best Supplement to Keep Your Cells Young

Aging is a complex process. It hits a lot of different parts of your body at once, moving the wheels of time forward and gradually breaking down your body and mind. 

The good news is that you can influence the aging cycle at a bunch of different points. If you upgrade enough longevity targets, aging will grind to a halt, and you’ll look and feel amazing regardless of your biological age.

I used to take close to 100 different supplements every morning. About half of them were for anti-aging. There’s a video of it somewhere—a reporter came to my house and got footage of me knocking back handfuls of pills. 

That worked well for keeping me at peak performance, especially in terms of hacking longevity. It was also a huge pain in the ass. 

The good news is that the supplement world has become a lot better in recent years. There are a few companies that make legit products I trust and use, and thanks to them, I’m not swallowing pills by the palmful every morning. 

One of the best supplement companies is Neurohacker. You may recognize the name—they’ve been at almost every Bulletproof Conference and I’ve been partnered with them for years. 

Neurohacker started out by making an exceptional broad-spectrum nootropic stack called Qualia. Now, they’ve brought that same level of quality to an anti-aging stack: Qualia Life. 

Qualia Life has more longevity-related nutrition and cellular support in one serving than most people factor into their entire daily diet. It’s also the only all-in-one supplement I know that targets everything you read about above: zombie cells, NAD+, ATP, mitochondrial function, and CD38. 

Qualia Life contains 36 impeccably researched nutrients, including clinically studied ingredients like:

  • Sirtmax® Kaempferia parviflora Extract and BioVin® French Red Grapes Extract for sirtuin support and AMPK activation*
  • ElevATP® (an apple fruit extract and ancient peat extract) to support ATP Output*
  • Sensoril® Ashwagandha and Cinnulin PF® Cinnamomum burmannii Bark Extract for blood sugar and hormone balance*
  • 9 different polyphenol sources to optimize your mitochondria and protect them from oxidative stress. 

When it comes to the latest in biohacking, I always try to get good deals for my readers. I’ve partnered with Neurohacker, the makers of Qualia, several times before, and I’m happy to announce that I’m partnering with them once again. You can use code DAVELIFE for 15% off any purchase. 

I don’t often recommend supplements but these guys are legit. Give them a try—you’ll feel the difference within a few days.




Not Harder

Smarter Not Harder: The Biohacker’s Guide to Getting the Body and Mind You Want is about helping you to become the best version of yourself by embracing laziness while increasing your energy and optimizing your biology.

If you want to lose weight, increase your energy, or sharpen your mind, there are shelves of books offering myriad styles of advice. If you want to build up your strength and cardio fitness, there are plenty of gyms and trainers ready to offer you their guidance. What all of these resources have in common is they offer you a bad deal: a lot of effort for a little payoff. Dave Asprey has found a better way.

Also Available


Start hacking your way to better than standard performance and results.

Receive weekly biohacking tips and tech by becoming a Dave Asprey insider.

By sharing your email, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy