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The Most Important Principles for Staying Young: If You Like It, Keep Drinking Black Coffee to Keep Your Brain Young!

10 May

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.

This month, I want to talk about how great coffee is, even in light of that judge in California who has mandated that all coffee in California be labeled “as containing a potential carcinogen”…

While it’s true that the acrylamide that coffee contains after roasting (French fries, chips, crackers, chocolate, and grains contain it too) is the same chemical that the International Agency for Research on Cancer has designated as a 2A carcinogen (that boils down to “might or might not be carcinogenic in humans”), it’s not likely to be risky in the minute amounts found even in unhealthy foods. The judge in this case sought “proof” that coffee confers a health benefit and/or is free of all risk.  Unfortunately, this judge needs a remedial course in high-school biology.  He apparently doesn’t understand relative risks and the basics of epidemiologic research for nutritional choices.

How does acrylamide get in coffee in the first place? Well, the chemical is formed by using what the FDA called “traditional high-temperature cooking processes for certain carbohydrate-rich foods.”

Those small amounts per billion (very dilute!) are far, far, far less than the straight dose of acrylamide fed to lab rats to test if it is potentially carcinogenic. Their dose is up to 10,000 times stronger than what you’re getting from the foods you’re eating. Plus, rodents absorb and metabolize the chemical differently than humans.  A cup of coffee has much less acrylamide than a small container of French fries (and a light roast has much less of this chemical than a dark roast).

When asked if the available tests mean humans should stop drinking coffee, the Washington Post quoted Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, the American Cancer Society’s deputy chief medical officer, as saying, “No. That’s not what the science shows us.”

A meta-analysis of multiple studies on coffee consumption found that, overall, coffee seems to offer health benefits that include a probable decreased risk of breast, colorectal, colon, endometrial, and prostate cancers and cardiovascular disease. In addition, observational studies showed caffeine was associated with a probable decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, and dementia—all by 20 percent or more.

So don’t forego your Joe, but do ditch added sugars and high-fat dairy. As for me, I’m still drinking more than six cups a day as I believe the preponderance of data that coffee offers fast metabolizers (those who do not get a headache, arrhythmia, gastric upset or anxiety from a cup in a one-hour period) a protection from cancer, dementia, and type 2 diabetes. And yes, I do believe all who enjoy coffee should continue as it does— IMHO and in more than four studies in humans—decrease brain dysfunction.

Next month, we’ll talk about another choice that keeps your brain young…

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send questions to: AgeProoflife@gmail.com

Dr. Mike Roizen

 

PS: Please continue to order the new book by Jean Chatzky and myself, AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip.

  1. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/food/wp/2018/02/02/coffee-in-california-may-soon-come-with-a-spoonful-of-cancer-warnings/?utm_term=.8da1c9f18940
  2. https://www.annualreviews.org/doi/full/10.1146/annurev-nutr-071816-064941
 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 two 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 OzThese makes great gifts—so do YOU: ON a Diet and YOU: The Owner’s Manual for teens.  
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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Are Egg Yolks and Grass Fed Beef Really What I Should Eat?

16 Apr

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.

To borrow from a chapter we are authoring for a book to be published about a year from now: “There are plenty of health concepts that are easy to visualize even if you can’t see them such as a broken bone, a clogged artery, or a torn muscle. At the chemical level, it gets a little trickier to see your anatomical world working. Because of that, perhaps, it can be harder to grasp the scale and importance of certain health events. That’s really the case when it comes to inflammation.”

Yet inflammation—in its chronic form—ranks as one of the most important concepts you should familiarize yourself with. That’s because, in the beginning, inflammation serves as a positive process in your body. Inflammation is a signal that your body is fighting off something that shouldn’t be there. But if your body thinks you’re constantly under attack, such is the case when you have too much blood sugar circulating through your veins, then inflammation can persist with negative consequences.

For example, when you eat egg yolks or red meat, it raises your inflammation, which damages your blood vessels, which makes it more likely to increase your lousy (LDL) cholesterol as your body attempts to heal itself. That cycle happens all over your body with all kinds of organs, cells, and systems. This places you at higher risk for developing heart disease, stroke, cancer, arthritis, memory issues, pain, hormonal issues, organ damage, and more.

However, you can do a lot to help quiet inflammation by eating foods that will help shush the immune response. Your anti-inflammatory all-stars:

Fruits and vegetables: Mix produce of all colors into your diet to get a wide range of vitamins and nutrients.

Fish, nuts, oils: Healthy fats are some of the strongest foods to bring down inflammation. This is one of the reasons why a salad with salmon and a little olive oil and a few walnuts may be the most powerful meal that your body can have.

What Not To Eat: Added sugars, syrups, simple or stripped carbs, foods with saturated or trans fats all stimulate inflammation. And anyone who says eating egg yolks with their choline content doesn’t cause inflammation should have their books, columns, and blogs banned from your reading materials.  The science of harm from carnitine, lechithin, and choline that Drs. Hazen, Tang, and colleagues first found at the Cleveland Clinic is strong and repeated in animals and four other human studies.  Anyone who says red meat (whether grass fed or not) or egg yolks are great or even okay for you to eat should justify to you why the Hazen-Tang science is wrong—it isn’t the saturated fat, although that is a little bad. The major bad is the inflammation caused by the amino acids and proteins that accompany that saturated fat in the red meat and egg yolks (egg whites are fine).

And it may take nearly 20 years for such bozos who are ignoring the science or don’t understand this science (even if some of them are from a noted institution like mine and ignore the data from their own noted scientists) to admit they caused more deaths and disabilities. Okay, let’s give ‘em a break and say they are just trying to stimulate more studies that confirm they are wrong…

I want you to thrive: The science was strong in 1998 (there were more than 4 studies that linked egg yolk and red meat consumption to shortening of life spans and an increase in disabilities) and there have been over 10 randomized studies since then confirming that data of harm from these on one or more aspects of heath.  Hopefully Hazen and Tang will find an antidote for this harmful effect of red meat and egg yolks.

 

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send questions to: AgeProoflife@gmail.com

Dr. Mike Roizen

 

PS: Please continue to order the new book by Jean Chatzky and myself, AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip.
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 two 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 OzThese makes great gifts—so do YOU: ON a Diet and YOU: The Owner’s Manual for teens.  
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.

The Most Important Principles for Staying Young: How Much Protein Should I Eat? Plus Your BP and Salads…

15 Mar

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.

  1. A 54-year-old guy who says he reads these articles religiously asks, “How much protein should I have in a day?”

The answer is: we really do not know.  However, for optimal growth and to delay aging and chronic disease, the current research suggests that you need more protein both before the age of 25 and after the age of 70. Conversely, you should eat much less protein—especially much less animal and milk protein—between 25 and 70 years of age.   Protein, especially from animals, stimulates Insulin Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), which is needed for growth in the young (until about age 25) and to prevent decline in function after age 80.  But data from Dr. Valter Longo’s laboratory at USC (presented in lay fashion in his recent book, “The Longevity Diet” and in many scientific papers) shows that, like sugar, this protein-induced increase in IGF-1 elevates your risk of heart disease, stroke, and many tumors and cancers.  So, he and others in the optimal aging field recommend consuming at most 1 gm of protein for every 2 pounds of weight (best in morning like a morning filet of salmon or a dish with quinoa) each day for those under 25 or over 70.  If you weight train, then perhaps 50% more protein each day is appropriate.

  1. Lower Your Blood Pressure to Up Your Brain Power…

A new study in JAMA Neurology followed over 1,600 seniors for ten years. Those with a systolic blood pressure (the top number) higher than 150mm/Hg experienced much more cognitive decline than those whose systolic blood pressure was below 150.  Folks cruising along under 120mm/Hg had the least cognitive decline.

So aim to work with your primary care doc to bring your systolic blood pressure down below 120mm/Hg for body and mind. If it usually hovers just above that, in the 121-139 range, you can probably lower it using regular exercise and a healthy diet.

  1. Have a Salad (and Only a Salad) for Dinner Every Day…

A new study in Neurology involving 960 older folks—average age 81—found that participants who ate more than 1.3 servings of leafy greens each day had brains that functioned about 11 years younger than the brains of the those who almost never ate greens.

We don’t know the specific nutrients in green leafy veggies—spinach, collard greens, kale, bok choy, turnip greens, dark green leafy lettuce, watercress, arugula, and mesclun—that are the brain boosters, but the key nutrients could be vitamin K, lutein, beta carotene, nitrate, folate, the flavonol kaempferol, or one or more of the several forms of vitamin E.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send questions to: AgeProoflife@gmail.com

Dr. Mike Roizen

 

PS: Please continue to order the new book by Jean Chatzky and myself, AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip.

 

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 two 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 OzThese makes great gifts—so do YOU: ON a Diet and YOU: The Owner’s Manual for teens.  
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.

The Most Important Principles for Staying Young: The World Has Death on the Run

8 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.

You know from past articles that I believe most of you will be able to live well beyond age 100 with all your faculties intact. We’ve gone from a life expectancy of 47 in 1900 to 77 in 2000 to 83+ today.  You may have heard that life expectancy just declined for the second year since 1970.  Do not be fooled. This decrease was caused by people not taking care of themselves, gaining weight, earning diabetes, and by drug abuse and overdoses. But for those who take care of themselves, life expectancy now exceeds 95. The good news is we’re making progress on not just illness treating, but on life-extension, too, and I expect you to be able to live past 110 by the year 2030.  Let me give you an example of how science is learning to make your repair systems work much better…

Prevention is critical, no doubt. But it’s not the only way to approach aging. Your goal should be to nurture your body so that it can repair itself expeditiously when it breaks. Accidents and illness happen. Stuff breaks. Cars, computers, and relationships all have their own breaking points. And to suggest that stuff will not break either through acute injury or from wear and tear over time would be misleading. While it’s obviously important to keep your biological systems from breaking down, the real secret to longevity isn’t whether or not you break; it’s how well you recover and repair when you do.

As with a car, you’ll get a lot more mileage out of your body if you perform routine maintenance. Aging is essentially a process in which your cells lose their resilience; they lose their ability to repair damage because the things you might never have heard of (until now), like mitochondria and telomeres, aren’t working the way they should. But it’s within your power to boost that resilience and keep your vehicle going an extra couple hundred thousand miles. And here is one indication research is progressing fast enough that you may have adjuncts to help you repair your mitochondria (your energy factories in each cell) even before 2030.  Yes, you may get the energy you had when you were 20 or 30 back again—that level. Imagine having that amount of energy daily. Scientists tended to view mitochondria as low-IQ biological drones that take glucose and turn it into ATP—the tiny molecular batteries that fuel your body. This is clearly an important role. Complex life forms like you couldn’t exist without mitochondria.

And recently, the view of mitochondria’s role in biology increased in importance.  When we are old, we lack at least one thing that mitochondria need to perform and communicate optimally: nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD).  NAD is a coenzyme found in all living cells. It is critical for enzymes that fuel reduction-oxidation reactions, carrying electrons from one reaction to another in the production of energy in your mitochondria.  Cellular NAD+ concentrations decrease during aging.  Without sufficient NAD, mitochondria can’t make the ATP energy our cells need. Researchers focused on the aging process are talking seriously about boosting this NAD with it’s precursor, NR (nicotinamide riboside); at an conference on aging that I attended last year, two-thirds of the researchers said they were taking NR already although human trials have only just begun.

Here are some data on that one supplement… NR may help you repair your mitochondria and you gain more energy. In a recent Nature article, Dr. Auwerx and colleagues showed that animals with Alzheimer’s lack sufficient NAD. Mitochondrial energy output is reduced, and damaged mitochondrial proteins are not recycled. Knowing that NR increases NAD levels, they gave the vitamin (NR is a form or niacin) to animals. The result was reduced amyloid deposits, higher energy levels, and improved memory. NR didn’t cause these improvements by directly attacking the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease. Rather, it improved mitochondrial function. That resulted in more efficient and healthier systems overall. This reduced Alzheimer’s disease, at least in animals. A recent article in the journal Circulation titled, “Nicotinamide Riboside Preserves Cardiac Function in a Mouse Model of Dilated Cardiomyopathy,” indicates this benefit of NR on mitochondrial energy function may also affect the heart muscle. This study showed that mice with heart problems have lower NAD levels. This includes dilated cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart) and cardiac hypertrophy caused by constriction of the transverse aorta. They also confirmed that low NAD levels are typical of humans with heart diseases.

So we now know that NR can improve the health of mice with at least two age-related conditions—memory impairment and inability of the heart to pump adequately—presumably by restoring NAD levels to improve mitochondrial function.

And we know that NR increases NAD levels in people. As stated above, cellular NAD+ concentrations decrease during aging. But what is new in addition to Dr. Auwerx work on Alzheimer’s and the Circulation study on cardiac function is that modulation of NAD+ usage or production can make the animal’s RealAge younger and prolong (in animal studies so far) life span substantially (by 20 to 80 percent). We don’t yet have evidence that it increases human health and lifespan, or if it fights or prevents specific human diseases.  But, we should know soon. Several human trials are underway—you can find those trials at clinicaltrials.gov.  Search for nicotinamide riboside for more information. In the meantime, you’ll understand that restoration of mitochondrial function is just one of 14 areas where aging research is progressing quickly. We’ll talk about some in this column in the next several years. And that research and that progress is why I am so optimistic about your (and my) chances of living a lot longer with great health.

All these developments are wonderful news from a human standpoint, but also economically. Think of all the potential genius and innovation the world never sees because disease robs it from us. By preserving these lives, this research can enhance everyone’s life.

But you got to make it to 2030 or so to benefit from these aging research advances, so we’ll continue to present in this column the medical news and our action tips based on that research for doing just that.  I’m not talking immortality—a five-alarm fire can happen or you can step in front of an RTA (Cleveland Metro) bus. Stuff happens. And, yes, I have thought a lot about how people will react when they realize they can actually be 150 years old in a youthful body that will have an extremely young RealAge. And, yes, I really have no clue how individuals and society will handle these transformations. But that is one of the things I’m looking forward to finding out. We’ll just have to live through the changes to figure them out.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send questions to: AgeProoflife@gmail.com

Dr. Mike Roizen

PS: Please continue to order the new book by Jean Chatzky and myself, AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip. 

 

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 two 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 OzThese makes great gifts—so do YOU: ON a Diet and YOU: The Owner’s Manual for teens.  

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.

The Most Important Principles for Staying Young: Exercise Increases Brain Game Benefits

11 Jan

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.

We’ve previously discussed how physical activity can increase the one organ in your body where size matters: your hippocampus.  Yes, when it comes to your hippocampus—the memory relay station in your brain—size matters.  The larger your hippocampus, the better your memory, and the lower your risk for developing dementia later in life.

Not long ago, a study found that doing 18 hours of Speed of Processing Brain Games (see AARP for a very low-cost version) over the course of a decade decreased the dementia risk for 73 to 83 year olds by nearly 50 percent.

A study from scientists at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, tested what these two activities—brain training and exercise training—did when combined. To find out, the research team studied a group of healthy, young college students—people expected to have good memories. The researchers hypothesized that if a program resulted in better cognitive function in people with good memories, it should also benefit those whose memories might be worrisome.

The investigators randomly assigned each of the 95 participants to one of three groups. The first group participated in 20 minutes of supervised, high-intensity interval training on stationary bicycles.  The second group did the same cycling program but with the addition of 20 minutes of computerized brain training before or after their workouts. Finally, the last group continued their normal lives and served as a control group.

In general, those who exercised—as would be expected based on prior data—performed better on memory tests than individuals in the control group. The researchers also observed that the benefits were greater among the volunteers whose fitness levels had improved the most, especially if they also practiced brain training.  And to address the purpose of the experiment, the participants in the combined exercise and brain training group experienced the greatest memory enhancements and the results appeared to be more than just additive.

So the take home message for all of us who want to keep our brain in tip top shape is to do both: move your body on a regular basis and work your brain with Speed of Processing games.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send questions to: AgeProoflife@gmail.com

Dr. Mike Roizen

 

PS: Please continue to order the new book by Jean Chatzky and myself, AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip.

 

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 two 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 OzThese makes great gifts—so do YOU: ON a Diet and YOU: The Owner’s Manual for teens.  

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.

The Most Important Principles for Staying Young: Avoid the Wild Bunch

11 Dec

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.

Recently, one piece of medical news about diet and children’s learning grabbed our attention…

In Sam Peckinpah’s 1969 classic Western, The Wild Bunch, Pike (William Holden), Dutch (Ernest Borgnine), and Deke (Robert Ryan) were former members of a bank- and train-robbing gang in the late 1800s. But the Wild West changed. By 1913 Deke was a bounty hunter pitted against his old gang. Bullets flew when Pike and Dutch tried one last heist. A pretty wild bunch for sure. But why the animosity, Deke?

According to researchers in Germany, what we eat has a lot to do with how we interact socially. For instance, they found a breakfast loaded with refined carbohydrates and few proteins increases “social punishment behavior.” Well, a morning donut might explain why Deke went after Pike and Dutch for trying to rob a bank. Maybe the conflict between old friends was a consequence of a Wild BRunch.

This new insight into the relationship of diet and behavior highlights the importance of a well-designed meal for school-aged children. It’s why healthy food efforts that promote meals that are low in simple carbohydrates, high protein, and contain more whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and only low-fat milk and less cheese and processed meat products should be championed, instead of challenged. Healthy meals are one way to help kids achieve productive social interactions, avoid conflicts, and display what the researchers called “fundamental expressions of cognition.”

 So, if you want you and your kids to have more positive social and cognitive interactions, ditch the wild brunch and go with a better lunch.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send questions to AgeProoflife@gmail.com

Dr. Mike Roizen

 

PS: Please continue to order the new book by Jean Chatzky and myself, AgeProof: Living Longer Without Running Out of Money or Breaking a Hip.

 

 

 

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 two 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 OzThese makes great gifts—so do YOU: ON a Diet and YOU: The Owner’s Manual for teens.  
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.