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  • Writer's pictureDennis Clifton

A Primal Longevity Primer

Updated: Aug 23, 2023

Wouldn't you love to know the best way to live a long healthy life for yourself and your loved ones?

Here’s one way to find out.

Just type “best way to live a long healthy life” into your Google search engine and in less than 2 seconds you’ll have around 6 BILLION answers.

Try it yourself, if you don’t believe me.

You could easily spend a lifetime or two just reading through all the “secrets,” “tips,” and “strategies” that can lead to a longer lifespan. In the meantime, that Google list of longevity hits would continue to grow longer by the minute.

So where can you possibly begin any meaningful research into extended health and survival?

I have a suggestion.

You can start at the beginning—and by that I mean the beginning of human life as we know it on our planet.

Of course putting an actual date on the origins of human history itself is a challenge, as it’s currently a hotly-debated topic among scholars and historians. So just for our purposes, we’ll simply start at the beginning of anatomically modern humans (Homo sapiens). While you might think Homo sapiens have only been around for forty or fifty thousand years, recent archaeological discoveries have now dated their first appearance as far back as approximately 300,000 years ago!

Can I take a moment to put this ENORMOUS stretch of time into some sort of perspective?

Think about this. Most people can trace their ancestry back about four to five generations (this would be your great-great-great-grandparents). A “generation” is usually defined as a period of around 20-30 years, roughly the time between the birth of a parent and the birth of their child.

Using this definition, going back only 100 generations would take us to somewhere around the time of the construction of the Great Colosseum in Rome. One of your distant relatives may have actually been involved in designing or building that structure. You may even have had an ancestor who fought in that very colosseum as a gladiator. (Can you say “survival of the fittest?” )

But that’s only a mere 100 generations.

By applying a little mathematics here you quickly discover that you would have to go back a staggering 15,000 generations or more in order to reach the earliest Homo sapiens in your family tree.

As you begin to realize the immense amount of time our species has been around, there are a couple of mind-boggling facts that stand out.


You have to admit that a history of human struggle and survival lasting hundreds of thousands of years is a pretty solid track record of success. Furthermore, when you think about the brutal and primitive living conditions that were endured during the VAST MAJORITY of that time, it has to be considered an astonishing accomplishment, and yet, much of their daily lives and survival strategies remain a complete mystery.


We understand that humans must have passed on massive amounts

of cultural knowledge and practices across countless generations, allowing their descendants to better face the challenges of an unpredictable, often dangerous world. Otherwise you and I wouldn’t be here today.

However, because much of their existence was before the development of a written language and because fossil records are so limited, we can only speculate as to how our earliest ancestors managed to adapt to daily life and overcome their circumstances.

As a result, most of their regular habits, dietary practices and day-to-day lifestyles have been hidden and separated by the passage of time.


Around 70 years ago a monumental breakthrough in cellular research revealed a meticulously designed source of information embedded within every cell of the human body. This previously unidentified source of information has been perfectly preserved and passed down for us to discover and decode some 300,000 years later!

As you probably know by now, this implanted treasure trove of information I’m referring to is called Deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA.

However what you may NOT know is that the DNA within your cells right now is virtually identical to the DNA carried by your ancestors hundreds of thousands of years ago—as much as 99.9% identical. This fact has been repeatedly established by scientists who have extracted DNA from fossils of early Homo sapiens and compared it to genetic markers of modern humans.

To me this raises a very reasonable question.

Could it be that this inherited design is somehow behind the extraordinary ability of our ancient ancestors to adapt, persevere and survive across eons of time? I believe it is.

This genetic information shared by all Homo sapiens that have ever existed is at the core of what I refer to as Primal Longevity.

Primal Longevity is a scientific approach to modern living based upon acknowledging and releasing our own inherited potential for optimal health, fitness and long-term survival.


The very moment you were conceived you came into an inheritance that would be with you throughout your entire life. This inherited gift provides you with the ability to influence and point the cells of your body in the direction of creating an ideal state of health and well-being.

I’m talking about a science-based method of awakening and restoring your intended, primal design in order to receive everything you were originally meant to possess.

Let me explain exactly what I mean.

Scientists estimate that an average human body is made up of about 37 trillion cells. If you look inside the nucleus of each one of those cells, you would find your unique DNA—consisting of somewhere around 25,000 genes, organized into 23 pairs of chromosomes. These chromosomes carry the genetic information that determines our physical traits, such as eye color, height, and even susceptibility to, or resistance to, certain diseases.


One of the strongest held beliefs of our time is that physical health and life expectancy is largely determined by our genes. Not true at all.

In fact, various analyses of data from large population-based studies have estimated that genetic factors only account for approximately 20-30% of the variation in human lifespan.

What about the other 70-80%?

While your genes play a crucial role in the functioning of your body, they don’t just sit there holding on to all that information. They work around the clock sending out highly specific messages to cells throughout the body, regulating processes such as growth, development, and metabolism.


All the signals and directions that are sent out from those genes to your 37 trillion cells can be… (wait for it)… influenced and even modified.

These signals are part of your epigenome—meaning they sit “above your genes”, producing what is referred to as your gene expression.

Like a light switch on the wall, these genetic signals can be influenced in the direction of turning “up or down,” or “on or off” over the entire course of your lifetime. This unique characteristic is hard-wired into every cell throughout your body, and lies at the very source of human aging and survival.

Whether your genes are sending out confused signals that lead to chronic disease and early death, or clear signals that lead to health and long life is entirely (or at least 70-80%) determined by YOU and the choices YOU make.


We all come into this world with genes “pre-programmed” to support stable health and survival, but as I mentioned, those genes can be influenced for better or for worse. In fact, most of the chronic health issues of today arise because so many of our behaviors are at a mismatch between our genetic expectations and the chronic inflammation caused by typical diet and lifestyle choices.

We now have the ability to correct this modern mismatch and fundamentally improve our overall health, fitness and lifespan.

When you combine our understanding of gene expression with what we know from biochemistry, anthropology, and cultural traditions of the past, you have what Ancestral Health trailblazer Mark Sisson refers to as our Primal Blueprint. These are clearly identified behaviors that align with our inherited genetic expectations for nutrition, movement, rest, social connection, appropriate stress, and so much more.

In other words, there are specific foods, behaviors and activities that can actually “throw the switch” and RESET your genes so that they’re transmitting appropriate signals of strength and healing to biological systems throughout your body.



The inherited ability to influence and restore our genes to optimal expression is one of the greatest gifts we will ever possess. By making a few deliberate choices in terms of food, movement, and lifestyle habits you will be able to “open this gift” and enjoy it throughout your lifetime.

Coming into alignment with your intended design will unlock and release your true potential for physical and mental strength, endurance, flexibility, fat-loss, energy, and what I call "longevity peace"–the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re doing everything you can to live a VERY long and healthy life.

Are you ready to begin?

If you are, I welcome you to the journey of your life.


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