Supercentenarians, people who live to be 110 years old or more, have long fascinated scientists and the general public alike. One of the most well-known researchers in this field is Dan Buettner, who identified regions in the world where people live exceptionally long, healthy lives. Buettner's research, known as the Blue Zones project, found that supercentenarians do not avoid red meat or saturated fat; but they do tend to consume a fiber-rich diet. This is in line with Paul Jaminet's work, which emphasizes the importance of a nutrient-dense, whole-foods diet for optimal health.
In addition to their diet, Buettner's research found that physical activity is also essential for the longevity of supercentenarians. They tend to stay active throughout their lives by engaging in activities such as walking, gardening, or farming, and they maintain a level of physical activity that keeps them strong and mobile even in old age. This is in line with Jaminet's emphasis on the importance of movement for optimal health.
Furthermore, Buettner's research found that social connections and a sense of purpose are critical for supercentenarians. They often live in close-knit communities where they have strong relationships with family and friends, and they have a sense of purpose, whether it be through work, volunteerism, or hobbies. This is consistent with Jaminet's work, which emphasizes the importance of social connections for overall health and well-being.
There is some discussion about supercentenarians eating lower protein. However, adjusted for body mass, the intake is not significantly lower. As far as researchers can tell, they do obtain sufficient amounts of all essential nutrients, particularly vitamins and minerals, which seems to contribute to their longevity.
Getting nutrient sufficiency, engaging in regular physical activity, maintaining strong social connections, finding a sense of purpose, and ensuring a balanced diet with all essential nutrients may contribute to a long and healthy life. While genetics may play a role in longevity, prioritizing a healthy lifestyle is critical for maintaining physical and mental health as we age.
Buettner, D. (2008). The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who've Lived the Longest. National Geographic Society.
Jaminet, P. (2010). Perfect Health Diet: Regain Health and Lose Weight by Eating the Way You Were Meant to Eat. Scribner.
Willcox, B. J., Willcox, D. C., & Suzuki, M. (2014). Demographic, phenotypic, and genetic characteristics of centenarians in Okinawa and Japan: Part 1--centenarians in Okinawa. Mechanisms of ageing and development, 145, 88-97.
Weightlifting has been a popular form of exercise for many years. While it has traditionally been associated with bodybuilding and strength training, recent studies have shown that lifting heavy weights can provide a variety of health benefits. In particular, the focus of this article will be on the effects of lifting heavy weights on brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), myokines, and psychological health.
BDNF is a protein that is essential for the growth and survival of neurons in the brain. It is also known to be involved in the development of new synapses, which are important for learning and memory. Studies have shown that lifting heavy weights can increase the levels of BDNF in the brain (1). This increase in BDNF has been linked to improved cognitive function, including better memory and a reduced risk of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's (2).
Myokines are a type of cytokine that is produced by muscle cells in response to exercise. They are known to have a variety of effects on the body, including reducing inflammation and improving metabolic health. Recent studies have shown that lifting heavy weights can increase the production of myokines (3). This increase in myokines has been linked to improved insulin sensitivity, reduced inflammation, and a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease (4).
In addition to the physical benefits of lifting heavy weights, there are also psychological benefits. Studies have shown that lifting heavy weights can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety (5). This may be due in part to the release of endorphins during exercise, which are known to have a positive effect on mood. In addition, the sense of accomplishment that comes from lifting heavy weights can improve self-esteem and confidence (6).
* Studies conducted by Dr. Martin Gibala, a professor of kinesiology at McMaster University, have shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) can provide many of the benefits of traditional endurance training with much shorter workouts
Wheat has long been considered a staple food in many cultures around the world. It is used to make bread, pasta, and various other baked goods. However, recent studies have shown that wheat may not be as healthy as previously thought. In fact, some experts argue that wheat may actually be detrimental to our health.
One of the main concerns with wheat is its high content of gliadin, a protein found in gluten. Gliadin is difficult for our bodies to digest, and it has been linked to numerous health problems. According to a study published in the journal Gut, gliadin may trigger the release of zonulin, a protein that can cause damage to the intestinal lining, leading to leaky gut syndrome and chronic inflammation (1).
Another concern with wheat is the depletion of nutrients in the soil. Modern farming practices have resulted in soil that is significantly lower in essential minerals and nutrients than it was a century ago. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that wheat today contains 19-28% less magnesium, zinc, copper, and iron than it did in the early 1900s (2).
Additionally, wheat is often treated with glyphosate, a herbicide that has been linked to numerous health problems. Glyphosate has been found in various food products, including wheat. A study published in the journal Environmental Health found that glyphosate was present in over 70% of wheat products tested (3). Glyphosate has been linked to cancer, reproductive problems, and developmental issues in children.
Another concern with wheat is the genetic modification that has occurred in recent years. While genetic modification was intended to increase crop yields and make wheat more resistant to pests, unintended consequences have been observed. For example, a study published in the journal Plant Biotechnology Journal found that a genetic modification in wheat caused unintended changes in over 1,000 proteins (4).
The prevalence of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten intolerance has also increased in recent years. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine and is triggered by the ingestion of gluten. Non-celiac gluten intolerance is a condition in which people experience symptoms similar to celiac disease, but do not test positive for it. It is estimated that 1 in 100 people worldwide have celiac disease, while the prevalence of non-celiac gluten intolerance is not yet known (5).
Autoimmune disorders, in general, have also been on the rise in recent years. While the exact cause is unknown, some experts believe that the widespread use of wheat in so many products over the past 100 years may be a contributing factor. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that a gluten-free diet improved symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, suggesting that gluten may play a role in autoimmune disorders (6).
In conclusion, while wheat has been a staple food for centuries, recent research has shown that it may not be as healthy as previously thought. From the difficulty of digesting gliadin to the depletion of nutrients in the soil and the use of glyphosate, genetic modification, and autoimmune disorders, there are many concerns surrounding the consumption of wheat. While more research is needed to fully understand the impact of wheat on human health, it is clear that we should be mindful of how much we consume and where it comes from.