Precision Medicine Doctor’s 3 Tips for Living Longer

  • Dr. Florence Comite is a precision medicine doctor who tailors healthcare to individual patients.
  • She shared how to use the principles of precision medicine in your own health and fitness routines.
  • These include making accommodations for your body and tailoring the supplements you take.

Healthy aging is a buzzy topic right now, so you may be wondering how you can increase your longevity. But copying what your friends or multi-millionaire biohackers are doing isn’t necessarily the best approach.

Certain life-shortening diseases are unavoidable because of our genetics and other things out of our control. But Dr. Florence Comite, an endocrinologist and founder of the New-York based Comite Center for Precision Medicine and Health, told Business Insider that it’s possible to increase our chances of living longer by using the basic concepts of personalized medicine.

“If you look at a person’s health data, beneath the surface, you can figure out how they are living life from what their numbers show and predict what their future health trajectory could look like,” she said. Data such as blood sugar, insulin, and hemoglobin levels can be used in a variety of ways, including creating a plan that targets conditions a patient is predisposed to or at risk of developing.

For Comite, the dream is everyone will one day be able to access personalized healthcare. But in the meantime, Comite has tips for tweaking your health and fitness routines to improve your health span.

Listen to your body

Instead of trying to significantly change your lifestyle in the pursuit of health, Comite said plan around the times your body works best, your likes and dislikes, and how you react to certain foods and exercise routines.

“Each one of us is unique, so make sure you know enough about yourself to be able to apply what works for you specifically. Just because your two best friends fast and do fabulously doesn’t mean you can — you may need to eat every two to three hours to keep your blood sugar even and to feel good,” she said.

“In my case, I don’t really make time for breakfast because I’d rather work out in the morning, and I know that I can fast — but not everybody can, and trying to fast can hurt somebody who can’t,” she said.

Tailor your diet and supplements to you

Comite said that everyone should ensure they are getting enough protein in their diets — or a gram per kilogram of body weight per day and up to two grams per kilogram if you’re especially active.

Dietitians agree that a food-first approach is best when it comes to getting all the nutrients you need. But Comite suggested tailoring your supplements based on what you like to eat.

Comite loves dark chocolate, which contains polyphenols and antioxidants and is rich in iron, magnesium, and zinc. But if someone deficient in iron, magnesium, or zinc didn’t like foods that contain it, they could consider supplementing, she said.

Know your family’s health history

Comite said that, as much as possible, you should understand your family’s health history, which can reveal risks for conditions or give an indication of whether you will respond to certain medications or supplements better than others.

“Make it your business to learn what your makeup is,” she said.

“If you have a history of kidney stones, or it runs in your family, then you want to avoid over-the-counter vitamin D because it might precipitate kidney stones,” she said, suggesting prescription vitamin D supplements instead.

It’s also important to check if conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s, osteoporosis, and cancer, run in your family, so you can take steps to reduce your risk of developing them, she said, adding that it may be helpful to get tested for biomarkers for these disorders and others related to aging.