The Three Most Important Medical Stories of 2015 to Help YOU Stay Young…

16 Feb

Our basic premise is that your body is amazing. You get a do over. It doesn’t take that long, and it isn’t that hard if you know what to do. In these notes, we give you a short course in what to do so it becomes easy for you and for you to teach others. We want you to know how much control you have over both the quality and length of your life.

Here are our choices for the three most important medical stories of 2015 in regards to helping you stay young…

  1. Try A Periodic Fast. In a new study from the University of Southern California, researchers tested a super-short periodic fast diet strategy that offers the potential benefits of both continual calorie reduction and fasting—without giving up much when it comes to food. Mice ate low-calorie diets for five days twice a month for several months. Humans ate a low-calorie, healthy diet for just five days a month for three months. The results? Mice on the eating plan had less cancer, lost more heart-threatening abdominal fat, developed stronger immunity, and displayed sharper thinking skills than those who chowed down as usual. They also lived longer. Levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1)—a compound that can fuel the growth of cancer cells—decreased. Your fellow humans saw improvements in markers linked to a lower risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

This new “fast-mimicking diet” that combines a five-day low-cal plan followed by regular eating (an essential important component of the diet) seems to be an effective way to flip on healthy switches throughout your body—and you never miss a meal. In lab studies, the researchers observed the low-cal portion of the plan prompts the death of aging cells throughout the body, and that may increase cells’ resistance to stress. Then, eating normal-size meals again prompts an increase in the number of stem cells—the cells that help repair and rebuild tissue throughout the body.

  1. Test Your Grip Strength with Dr. Roizen’s Nutty Rice Bucket Challenge to Find Out How Long and Well You’ll Live. Don’t ignore your hands. Building grip strength in midlife protects you from inability to do activities of daily life, like dressing, and mobility problems later on and keeps you active longer. Several small studies over the last few decades indicate that your grip strength predicts your risk of disability and even death. This year, a large 17 country 142,000 person study found that your grip strength really does predict if you will live long and prosper. It is not obvious why your grip strength is such a good predictor of disability and death, but it is even a better predictor than your overall muscle mass, your blood pressure, your LDL cholesterol levels, etc. Go to NuttyRiceBucket.org to find a fun (and even entertaining) method using this rice bucket that can help predict if your biological age is older or younger than your calendar age. It’s also a method used by pole vaulters, rock climbers, and even defensive linemen in the NFL to strengthen their grip. Remember, no cheating, but beating 15 seconds will mean you may be much younger than you think.
  1. EAT DMB (Not dumb, but eating this may really make you smarter, and keep you younger much longer). A heart-threatening substance produced by bacteria inside your gut to chow down on foods like red meat and pork called TMAO can be a menace to your body by stimulating it to plug arteries with more and more plaque (and it might also help cancers thrive, and kill brain cells, too). Now we know how to stop it. Brand new studies from the Cleveland Clinic (where Dr. Mike is Chief Wellness Officer) have uncovered a “Superman” compound that thwarts TMAO. And you can start using it today—deliciously—to lower your risk for heart attack, stroke, even kidney problems and wrinkles. This protector is called DMB, but it’s far from dumb.

Found in some extra-virgin olive oils and red wines, DMB stops bacteria in your digestive system from turning choline, l-carnitine, and lecithin from food into the compound that becomes TMAO. In lab studies, DMB stopped gut bugs from making this “pre TMAO.” That means the liver couldn’t convert it into TMAO. With less TMAO in the bloodstream, atherosclerosis—the build-up of fatty, gunky plaque in artery walls—slowed down and even went into reverse. Wow! Meanwhile, back in the digestive system, there was a decrease in TMA-producing gut bugs. Double whammy! It doesn’t take many of these unfriendly bugs to cause problems in your arteries, so the fewer the better.

TMAO seems to matter as much or more than cholesterol in regards to heart and brain health. A study measured TMAO in more than 4,000 men and women, and those with the highest levels were 2 ½ times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke over the next three years than those with the lowest levels. Interestingly, the risk was high regardless of whether their levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol were high or low. Where did this TMAO come from? In related studies, people who ate two hard-boiled eggs or an 8-ounce sirloin steak saw blood levels of TMAO soar. TMAO traps cholesterol inside gunky, foamy cells that burrow into artery walls. Normally, some of this cholesterol is sucked out and whisked away by friendly HDL cholesterol. But dastardly TMAO shuts down that clean-up operation, inviting more and more cholesterol to pile in.

You don’t have to become a vegan to reduce TMAO levels, but it helps. It appears TMAO levels won’t increase if you eat less than four ounces of red meat, eight ounces of lean pork, or two egg yolks per week (not all of ‘em, but any combo of them). Fish is a better entrée, but limit servings of tilapia, cod, and Chilean sea bass—the samples of these tested contained more TMAO than other seafood.

Go for “EV” olive oil: There’s DMB in some cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oils—such as types produced in Spain, in some parts of Turkey and Greece, and California. You need 2-4 tablespoons a day; at 120 calories per tablespoon that could add up so be sure to use it instead of other fats and make other calorie adjustments as needed. Store olive oil away from light in a tightly-capped brown bottle to preserve DMB. Grape seed oil, balsamic vinegar, and red wine may also be good sources.

Now combine the grip strength strengthening of the Nutty Rice Bucket with the periodic reduced calorie diet, and eating DMB, and you just may be 50 years younger than your calendar age at age 95. Not Bad. Now you see why I think these are the three best medical breakthroughs for staying young in 2015….

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send questions—to youdocs@gmail.com, and some of them we may know enough to answer (we’ll try to get answers for you if we do not know).

Young Dr Mike Roizen (aka, The Enforcer)

NOTE: You should NOT take this as medical advice. This article is of the opinion of its author. Before you do anything, please consult with your doctor.

You can follow Dr Roizen on twitter @YoungDrMike (and get updates on the latest and most important medical stories of the week). The YOU docs have tow newly revised books: The patron saint “book” of this column YOU Staying Young—revised and YOU: The Owner’s Manual…revised —yes a revision of the book that started Dr Oz to being Dr Oz. These makes great gifts—so do YOU: ON a Diet and YOU: The Owner’s Manual for teens. And, the new book by Dr Mike Roizen: This is YOUR Do-Over

Michael F. Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at the Cleveland Clinic. His radio show streams live on http://www.radioMD.com Saturdays from 5-7 p.m. He is the co-author of 4 #1 NY Times Best Sellers including: YOU Staying Young.

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