Wednesday, March 31, 2021

David Walker: University of California, Los Angeles

Cracking the code behind aging has long since fascinated, frustrated and captivated scientists.  In our quest to live longer and better, a desire to fully understand the mechanisms that explain how and why we grow old, has been central to longevity research. In recent years some significant progress has been made. A clearer picture is emerging of the changes that occur, at a cellular level, that could dictate how our bodies respond to the passing years. In this episode of the LLAMA podcast, Prof. David Walker, a researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) discusses his work with tiny worms and fruit flies, and explains the significance of myriad age-related issues, such as dysfunctional mitochondria, leaky intestines and inflammation. 

Recorded: March 2, 2021 | Read a transcript and show notes at the LLAMA podcast website.

Disclosure: Prof. Walker is a member of the scientific board of JUVICELL, a sponsor of this LLAMA podcast episode. 

Topics covered in this interview include:
  • Dr. Walker's academic journey from Belfast to Manchester and Los Angeles. 
  • Inspiration through  Jonathan Weiner's Time, Love Memory - a biography of Seymour Benzer, the biologist renowned for his study of genetics through experiments with fruit fly genes.  
  • Working with nematode worms and fruit flies.  
  • Aging - a great scientific mystery.  How our understanding of what is driving aging, at a cellular level, has evolved. 
  • Developing novel ways, using genes, to prevent age- related health decline.  
  • Changing awareness of aging as we grow older.
  • Accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria and how it appears to be an important cellular hallmark of aging. 
  • The importance of autophagy for maintaining cellular health.
  • Why do we age at different rates?  
  • The pathophysiology of aging: How do age-related changes that affect organ function, relate to the health and viability of the aging organism?    
  • Leaky intestines in fruit flies and humans . 
  • Inflammation and the link to age-onset diseases
  • Gut bacteria and relevance to various diseases and health interventions. 
  • Diet and variability of our gut microbiome.
  • High/low  protein diets and the aging gut, based on fruit fly studies.  
  • Does eating less protein enhance longevity? 
  • Making better informed decisions about diet and dietary supplementation. 
  • Practicing "  common sense" lifestyle goals. 
  • Exercise and everyday diet    to counter the effects of aging. 
  • Memory loss  as we age and a better understanding of the mechanisms involved based on studies with fruit flies. 
  • Lifestyles focussed on living life to the full.
This episode is brought to you in association with JUVICELL, the all-in-one longevity supplement that contains 10 key ingredients shown to have a positive impact on healthspan, as validated by scientific studies. To find out more, visit

The Live Long and Master Aging podcast, a HealthSpan Media LLC production, shares ideas but does not offer medical advice.  If you have health concerns of any kind, or you are considering adopting a new diet or exercise regime, you should consult your doctor.

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