Live longer, feel younger? A Top Ten of things I’ve learned lately.

Deborah_green_bkground.jpegI attend a lot of conferences, and I read many, many health newsletters from respected university-based medical institutes. Recently I attended a symposium hosted by the USC Davis School of Gerontology and the USC Longevity Institute, where the presenters were distinguished faculty members—doctors and researchers all.

I offer my latest top ten of news heard there that caught my attention, if only to pique your interest rather than redirect any course of self or supervised medical regimen that you are currently following. As always, a healthy diet (and much less food than most people eat) is key. Your health so often begins with the oldest of phrases—“you are what you eat”—but the latest addendum also may well be: “you are what you don’t eat!”


 1.

If one looks at historical accomplishments, raising life expectancy is as great as anything humankind has done...from 47.3 to 79.7 in last half century. Can we keep it up…? No.


 2.

If we can’t improve lifespan as much, how then do we improve “health span?” Delay the process. Focus on young people. Add a focus on [improving treatment and prevention of] conditions and diseases that are causes of disability but not important to mortality (i.e. arthritis).


 3.

The more we search, the more it looks like there are many individual pathways to longevity and it’s not one big general gene we’re going to find. Aging is “polygenic” — many genetic influences are in play as we get to be very old…


  4.

Sitting is the new smoking. A carrot is the new hotdog. Wearable tech (i.e. Fitbit) is the new diamond necklace.


 5.

[Here’s a mystery.] An Amazon tribe, the Tsimane:, are forager farmers in the lowlands of the Bolivian Amazon who live on a watery maze of stream in pre-modern-world conditions—a highly infectious environment causing very high levels of inflammation in the tribe. And yet… the tribe has NO heart disease and NO strokes. So…do chronic infections slow vascular disease? Do they have special genes? The study continues... 


 6.

Defining what you eat may be critical to (fighting) cancer.


 7.

If you are under 65 in America and eat a low-protein diet you are less likely to die from cancer. Over 65? That’s a different story.


8.

It is difficult to not eat (it’s called starving!). Can we tweak the diet? USC researcher Dr. Valter Longo has created a patented Fasting Mimicking Diet or an “FMD” that seems to slow aging. {For an explanation, see this news release from USC.)


9.

Today’s best selling vitamin supplement may be tomorrow’s killer.

 


10.

[Some other problems with supplements include...] many supplements are contaminated by prescription medications; if you buy a supplement and the dosage claims 1000 mg, who regulates that it’s REALLY 1000mg?


And finally...

A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than men who mention it!

OK, that’s not scientific. That’s common sense.


PHOTO: Carol Sonstein


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  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-08-08 19:57:14 -0400
    Live longer, feel younger? A Top Ten of things I’ve learned lately.
  • commented 2016-03-22 10:50:26 -0400
    Education, as always , is inspiring and preventive for course corrections, especially if you take the time to check in with your self and see what is true and needed for you and to ask for help. THANK YOU, Deborah, for continuing to care, attend these conferences, and educate us. Natalie Caine
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