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June News 2023

"There is always something to do. There are hungry people to feed, naked people to clothe, sick people to comfort and make well. And while I don't expect you to save the world, I do think it's not asking too much for you to love those with whom you sleep, share the happiness of those whom you call friend, engage those among you who are visionary, and remove from your life those who offer you depression, despair and disrespect." Nikki Giovanni, poet and professor (b. 6/7/43)

Big is not necessarily better: In the case of telomeres, that is. For years we have been told that for longevity and good health while aging, it's important to have longer telomeres as that indicates that our mitochondria are healthy. Well, not so much. The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) just revealed that too-long telomeres are linked to cancer, and a blood disorder called CHIP (clonal hematopoiesis of indeterminate potential). Since I don't want cancer or a disease that I can't pronounce, I am hoping, for the first time in my life, that my telomeres aren't too long. But I don't want short ones either as that can lead to degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and heart disease. Oh dear, what do I do now? Can I go and measure my telomeres somewhere? And where exactly are they? After this startling news, all the NEJM has to offer is this deflating quote. "Rather than relying on telomere length as a measure of longevity or disease, harness the power of lifestyle strategies to slow the aging process and improve your health span."

Some simple antiaging strategies that work: Since MODERATION seems to be the key to EVERYTHING, I guess that the best we can do about the telomere dilemma is live the best, healthiest way possible. Here are some ideas for you: 1) Optimize your vitamin D. Ideally you want to maintain a level of at least 60 to 80. You could probably do this by taking 5,000 iu's daily, but let me test you on that. Better yet, get a lab test for D and we can go from there.

2) Be metabolically flexible: And that means intermittent fasting, time-restricted eating, not eating 3 hours before you go to bed, don't eat junk food and bad carbs, do eat good oils (not seed oils) and fats and plenty of them.

3) Get regular exercise, at least 21 minutes per day of hiking or walking with intention, i.e. not strolling. In one study of 1,481 older women, those who sat the longest and the most were, on average, 8 years older, biologically speaking, than the women who moved around more often

4) Manage your stress. The best way I know how to do this is just be chill, don't let anyone or anything "out there" disturb your equanimity. Remember always that you are not the target. Practice compassionate detachment. Meditate. Be in nature. Appreciate the trees.

5) Limit your consumption of unsaturated fats. Omega-6 linoleic acid is especially harmful because it is highly susceptible to oxidation and can remain in your cells for up to 10 years. So eliminate vegetable/seed oils which are high in LA. This is easier said than done: Seed oils are everywhere especially in restaurant foods because they are cheap. That burger? Yes. That salad? Yes. Those fries? Yes. Those chips? Oh, yes. You can easily control your consumption of seed oils in the packaged foods you buy. Just be diligent about reading labels now. Remember, the only oils you should be eating and cooking with are olive, avocado, coconut, butter, tallow and lard.

6) Sleep well, as that is critical for a healthy lifespan and overall health. Here are some facts for you to chew on: A) Among people with Alzheimer's 60-70% have at least one clinical sleep disorder. B). Poor sleep and circadian rhythm disruptions increase cancer risks. C) Poor sleep increases amygdala activity by 60%. This is your emotional control center and if sleep deprived can disrupt the communication between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex, our thinker. D) Getting less than 6 hours of sleep per night is associated with a 200% higher risk of heart attack. Let's talk about this. I have some suggestions - actually a lot of suggestions - for sleeping better.

Here are some of my own sleep hacks: Do you get leg cramps in the middle of the night ? I used to, but after I started taking Hyland's Leg Cramps - 3 of the quick dissolving homeopathic pills before bed - my night time leg cramps magically stopped. Buy on Amazon. As a matter of habit and because I sleep well now and I am afraid to stop, I also take Designs for Health PharmaGaba. They are chewable and tasty; chew one while you are reading before bed and another if you get up in the middle of the night. Buy from me. A couple of other things I do: I don't drink caffeine anymore, not even in the morning as caffeine has a half life of 12 hours which means your 9AM cuppa will still be rummaging around your body at 9PM. And I don't eat at least 3 hours before bed so my digestion is not fighting with my attempts to sleep. I routinely sleep between 7-8 hours every night... except when there is a full moon.

"People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits, and their habits decide their future." F.M. Alexander

Memory loss and what to do about it: First of all, there are at least 16 years of research linking age-related memory loss to changes in the dentate gyrus, a specific area within the brain's hippocampus which is the area for learning new memories. Remember this word: FLAVANOLS. Because it is a wonderful boost to the dentate gyrus and its production of new memories. A Flavanol deficiency is a driver of age-related memory loss. There are of course foods that are high in flavanols like leafy greens, berries, flaxseeds, dark chocolate, onions, apples, tomatoes, just google flavanols and see how many you are already eating and eat some more! There are great flavanol supplements, too, my favorite being quercetin. I take 1,000 mgs per day.

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