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Hello and welcome to my website. I am a British-born, naturalized American, living in California. Based in Los Angeles, I work as a correspondent for BBC television, radio and digital outlets, covering everything from US politics and world affairs to technology, natural disasters and Hollywood. I also host the Live Long and Master Aging (LLAMA) podcast. My special interest is the science of human longevity - food, fasting, exercise and long-term health. All views expressed reflect my personal experiences. I advise anyone considering adopting a new diet or fitness regime to first consult with their doctor. Links on this site are to my personal portfolio of audio, video and text. Copyright of broadcast works remain with the BBC and LLAMA podcast content with Healthspan Media LLC. Thanks for the visit!

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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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