Light Exercise Helps Older Men Live Longer

Read the source article at this link.

The researchers report that any amount of physical activity, including light exercise, was linked to a lower risk of dying.

Also, each extra 30 minutes a day of light intensity activity, such as gentle gardening or taking the dog for a walk, was associated with a 17% reduction in the risk of dying.

Aerobic exercise may also slow cognitive decline  in Alzheimer’s according to a recent  literature review.

“Exercise can change the brain chemistry. It can change neurotransmitters associated with depression, anxiety and stress as well as brain chemicals associated with learning,” said Carol Ewing Garber, Director of the Applied Physiology Lab at Columbia University, Teachers College, in New York City, who wasn’t involved in the study. “These changes can result in improved mood, resilience to stress and improve functions of the brain such as processing speed, attention, short term memory and cognitive flexibility among other things.”



Aging – Ignore, Deny or Embrace?

Perhaps the science will advance so that telomere reconstitution is a practical reality, that the DNA epigenetic changes can be reversed, that senescent cells can be eradicated, that the free radical damage to mitochondria can be dismantled, that the microbiome can be altered back to a youthful status. Perhaps metformin, rapamycin or resveratrol will have a significant impact. Perhaps.

But for now, it might be a more fruitful and meaningful personal use of time and endeavor to consider what the normal aging process means, not only physically and mentally but also spiritually and consider adjustments to lifestyles, behaviors and thought processes that will help usher in a productive and meaningful and hopefully healthy later years.

Source article here.

I see ignore and deny every day.  Male 35 5.6 220, elevated liver enzymes, elevated BP, and tobacco use within the past year.

Every now and then I see an embrace.  But this is rare.

My plan is to embrace and to live forever or die trying.

The Mortality Effects of Retirement

WSJ: What do the numbers show?

DR. FITZPATRICK: There’s a sizable, 2% increase in male mortality at age 62 in the U.S. Over the 34 years we studied, there were an additional 400 to 800 deaths per year beyond what we expected, or an additional 13,000 to 27,000 excess male deaths within 12 months of turning 62. That 2% is 2 of every 100 men in the whole male population who turn 62. We really think these deaths are concentrated among the 10% of men who retire at 62, so instead of 2 in 100, it’d be 2 in 10. So, the increase in the probability of death for men who retire could be as high as 20%. I actually think that’s a pretty big deal.

You can find the original WSJ article at this link. 

If you can’t get past the firewall or if you want to read the original study go here.

    Social Security eligibility begins at age 62.
    1/3 of Americans immediately claim benefits upon reaching this age.
    There is a discontinuous increase in male mortality at age 62 of 2%.
    This increase in mortality is closely connected to changes in labor force participation.
    Our results suggest mortality rises because men retire once Social Security is available.




Eat More Hummus

The Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Chickpeas and Hummus
Taylor C. Wallace 1,*, Robert Murray 2 and Kathleen M. Zelman 3
1. Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030, USA
2. Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
3. Atlanta Nutrition Communications, Atlanta, GA 30062, USACorrespondence: Tel.: +1-270-839-1776
Received: 18 August 2016 / Accepted: 22 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016


The 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advocate for increasing vegetable intake and replacing energy-dense foods with those that are nutrient-dense. Most Americans do not eat enough vegetables, and particularly legumes, each day, despite their well-established benefits for health. Traditional hummus is a nutrient-dense dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and spices. Consumers of chickpeas and/or hummus have been shown to have higher nutrient intakes of dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and iron as compared to non-consumers. Hummus consumers have also been shown to have higher Healthy Eating Index 2005 (HEI-2005) scores. This may be, in part, due to hummus’ higher Naturally Nutrient Rich (NNR) score as compared to other dips and spreads. Emerging research suggests that chickpeas and hummus may play a beneficial role in weight management and glucose and insulin regulation, as well as have a positive impact on some markers of cardiovascular disease (CVD). Raw or cooked chickpeas and hummus also contain dietary bioactives such as phytic acid, sterols, tannins, carotenoids, and other polyphenols such as isoflavones, whose benefits may extend beyond basic nutrition requirements of humans. With chickpeas as its primary ingredient, hummus—and especially when paired with vegetables and/or whole grains—is a nutritious way for Americans to obtain their recommended servings of legumes. This manuscript reviews the nutritional value and health benefits of chickpeas and hummus and explores how these foods may help improve the nutrient profiles of meals.

Health Outcomes Associated with Consumption of Chickpeas and Hummus

Traditional hummus contains a unique combination of chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, and spices that may provide additional benefits beyond satisfying nutrient requirements. While the scientific literature is emerging, several studies support hummus/chickpea consumption in relation to weight control, glucose, and insulin response, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and/or GI health.
 This is not a bad overview despite the study’s funding source.

Conflicts of Interest

The funding sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript; or in the decision to publish the results. R.M. and K.M.Z. are on the Scientific Advisory Board of Sabra Dipping Co., LLC.

Vegan Diet, Subnormal Vitamin B-12 Status and Cardiovascular Health


Vegetarian diets have been associated with atherosclerosis protection, with healthier atherosclerosis risk profiles, as well as lower prevalence of, and mortality from, ischemic heart disease and stroke. However, there are few data concerning the possible cardiovascular effects of a vegan diet (with no meat, dairy or egg products). Vitamin B-12 deficiency is highly prevalent in vegetarians; this can be partially alleviated by taking dairy/egg products in lact-ovo-vegetarians. However, metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency is highly prevalent in vegetarians in Australia, Germany, Italy and Austria, and in vegans (80%) in Hong Kong and India, where vegans rarely take vitamin B-12 fortified food or vitamin B-12 supplements. Similar deficiencies exist in northern Chinese rural communities consuming inadequate meat, egg or dairy products due to poverty or dietary habits. Vascular studies have demonstrated impaired arterial endothelial function and increased carotid intima-media thickness as atherosclerosis surrogates in such metabolic vitamin B-12 deficient populations, but not in lactovegetarians in China. Vitamin B-12 supplementation has a favourable impact on these vascular surrogates in Hong Kong vegans and in underprivileged communities in northern rural China. Regular monitoring of vitamin B-12 status is thus potentially beneficial for early detection and treatment of metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency in vegans, and possibly for prevention of atherosclerosis-related diseases.


Metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency is prevalent in vegetarians and, in particular, in vegans. Those subjects with normal or relatively high salt intake may be associated with unhealthy early vascular changes in function and structure, which have not been well documented in the past. In individuals with subnormal vitamin B-12 status, vitamin B-12 supplementation may significantly improve such vascular changes. Regular monitoring of vitamin B-12 profile may thus be beneficial for early detection and treatment of metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency, and possibly prevention of atherosclerosis-related diseases.

You can download a copy of the full study at this link.

It’s not easy to overcome confirmation bias.  So my research often takes me to studies and articles that challenge my firmest held beliefs.  This literature review study does confirm one of my longest held beliefs.  Some of the sickest people I see are the shoppers in health food stores.

Take some B-12.  Or as this study demonstrates get your B-12  from dairy, meat, and fish and shellfish.


Eat Yogurt

Higher intakes of yogurt were associated with a 30 percent reduction in risk of myocardial infarction among the Nurses’ Health Study women and a 19 percent reduction in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study men.

In both groups, participants consuming more than two servings a week of yogurt had an approximately 20 percent lower risks of major coronary heart disease or stroke during the follow-up period. When revascularization was added to the total cardiovascular disease outcome variable, the risk estimates were reduced for both men and women, but remained significant.

Higher yogurt intake in combination with an overall heart-healthy diet was associated with greater reductions in cardiovascular disease risk among hypertensive men and women.

Read the source article here.


Consumption of ultra-processed foods and cancer risk: results from NutriNet-Santé prospective cohort

Conclusions – In this large prospective study, a 10% increase in the proportion of ultra-processed foods in the diet was associated with a significant increase of greater than 10% in risks of overall and breast cancer. Further studies are needed to better understand the relative effect of the various dimensions of processing (nutritional composition, food additives, contact materials, and neoformed contaminants) in these associations.

We categorized all food and drink items of the NutriNet-Santé composition table into one of the four food groups in NOVA, a food classification system based on the extent and purpose of industrial food processing.94243 This study primarily focused on the “ultra-processed foods” NOVA group. This group includes mass produced packaged breads and buns; sweet or savory packaged snacks; industrialized confectionery and desserts; sodas and sweetened drinks; meat balls, poultry and fish nuggets, and other reconstituted meat products transformed with addition of preservatives other than salt (for example, nitrites); instant noodles and soups; frozen or shelf stable ready meals; and other food products made mostly or entirely from sugar, oils and fats, and other substances not commonly used in culinary preparations such as hydrogenated oils, modified starches, and protein isolates. Industrial processes notably include hydrogenation, hydrolysis, extruding, moulding, reshaping, and pre-processing by frying. Flavouring agents, colours, emulsifiers, humectants, non-sugar sweeteners, and other cosmetic additives are often added to these products to imitate sensorial properties of unprocessed or minimally processed foods and their culinary preparations or to disguise undesirable qualities of the final product.

Read the BMJ study here.