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Dr. Bea's June, 2019 Newsletter
A Brave New World: The May 20, 2019 New Yorker had an interesting article called "Younger Longer" by Adam Gopnik. It's all about a subject I am fascinated with, which is: Not necessarily striving for immortality or a very long life span, but living long and dying short, or as the title of the article says, younger longer.
The AgeLab in Cambridge, Mass. Is studying just that, and I just wanted to share a couple of tidbits from the article: "Our goal (They study genetics.) is youthful wellness rather than an extended long period of age-related decline. You know that many people who live productively past a hundred years, "live a youthful life then they die very quickly... They are here, living well, then they're not. It's not a bad picture." I couldn't agree more.
One takeaway is a delightful simplification of hormesis, or the practice of inducing metabolic stress by short intense exercise (HIIT: Ask me for a handout on this) and intermittent fasting. Just remember this short quote: "Everyday try to be hungry and out of breath." There you have it, one concise sentence to add to your Super Aging Program.
Interesting study on food: This from All Things Considered on NPR and the subject is ultraprocessed foods. These foods are made from cheap industrial ingredients and engineered to be super-tasty and are generally high in fat and sugar. And guess what? The rise of these foods has coincided with the growing rates of obesity. Now you're saying, Duh, I already know this, Dr. Bea, tell me something I don't know. Well, I know you are thinking that it's the chemicals and the sugar and the fat and the HFCS, but it's not just that it's that the high-processing and the creation of the Frankenfoods somehow DRIVES people to overeat which is kind of spooky.
It seems that these foods are just too, too tasty. And the people who eat a preponderance of these foods "ate an average of 508 calories more per day and ended up gaining an average of 2 pounds over a two-week period. People on the unprocessed diet, ended up losing about 2 pounds on average over a two-week period." (NIH, May, 2019) Stick to your salads, veggies and organic meats and remember, if it doesn't come from the ground, grow on trees or bushes or doesn't walk around a pasture mooing or clucking, it's probably processed.
Vitamins and Pancreatic Cancer: I don't know of another cancer that scares me any more than pancreatic cancer, so I pounced on this 2015 research from The University of Pittsburgh which found that the risk of pancreatic cancer is greatly reduced if a person increases (or makes sure they are getting enough) choline and vitamin B6 in their diet. The first conclusion from the information gleaned from 63,000 participants was that people getting large amounts of B6 on a regular basis are 48% less likely to develop pancreatic cancer and the second conclusion was that people who consume high amounts of choline have a 33% reduced risk of getting pancreatic cancer. I'm taking both, how about you? (I have both Thorne's P5P and Xymogen's Phosphaline on my shelves).
The Keto Diet and fiber: Oh, I agree with you it's really hard to get enough fiber eating the Keto way. Many fiber molecules live in grains and legumes and as you know, the Keto way of eating restricts grains and legumes. So what should I do to get my 25 grams (minimum!) of fiber daily? Get them from veggies like Avocados, Beets, Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Carrots, Green Beans, Collard Greens, Green Peas, Spinach, Artichokes and Sweet Potatoes. And from fruits like Stewed Prunes, Apples and Pears with the skin, Bananas, Avocados, Tomatoes, and all of the berries. Then there are the seeds like flaxseeds and chia seeds. Make a pudding or throw them in your morning smoothie. And nuts, too, are high in fiber. When all else fails, add psyllium to your smoothie or just do a tablespoon or two per day in unsweetened nut milk. With these suggestions, I think you will be able to cobble together a daily fiber intake of 25 or so grams.
Now, how about enough protein? I have noticed lately that most all of the health gurus are out of sync as to how much protein we need. Steven Gundry of the Plant Paradox says a person of my weight of 104 lbs. should eat no more than 17 grams of protein per day, which is really not very much. He seems, however to be in a minority, and most others say about 40 grams of protein for my weight. So, here I am pathetically vacillating trying to please everyone and I do this by reconciling my protein gram numbers to maybe 30 grams of protein per day, more than Gundry, less than most others. You really don't want to eat too much protein, as that can cause cancer to grow. (Just take my word for it - about the cancer thing - you don't want to hear all about the mTOR regulatory system.)
I find it easy to get my 30+ grams of protein per day because I eat eggs and meat, but not too much. Eggs are 7 grams each, and animal based proteins are about 21 grams for 3 oz. I also drink Kefir and eat sheep yogurt and goat cheese, all of which add up very fast to 30 grams of protein.
Dr. Wolfson's suggestions to prevent Alzheimer's: (He is a cardiologist out of Arizona who specializes in longevity medicine). Eliminate all simple carbohydrates, eliminate gluten and processed foods, reduce stress, increase your sleep duration (take melatonin if you need to), make sure your levels of B12 are adequate and take a 5,000 mcgs. methylcobalamin supplement daily, optimize your vitamin D levels to around 60-70 and add vitamin K, take 200 mgs of CoQ10 every day, improve your dental hygiene by flossing and using an electric toothbrush, fast for a minimum of 12 hours between dinner and breakfast, exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes 4-6 times a week, take targeted supplements and use a powder product called Brain Sustain (Xymogen) in your morning smoothies. I heed his advice 100%. How about you?
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