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How to Limit Your Exposure to Phthalates

Posted: January 11, 2020 at 9:21 am

Phthalates are ester compounds used to change the characteristics of plastic products and products containing plastic. Depending on the type and concentration of Phthalates in the product, it alters the malleability and strength of the product. Phthalates are in a wide variety of products. In addition to being “plasticizers” that impact the structure of plastics, they also act as lubricants in skin products like make-up.

Phthalates are incredibly useful and good at what they do. The problem is that they can be very bad for you. Phthalates belong to a class of chemicals known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals. These are chemicals that have the ability to alter the way that your body produces or utilizes various hormones, like Testosterone, Estrogen, and Human Growth Hormone.

In particular, many Phthalates have the ability to reduce the ability of Testosterone to function in the body, leading to reduced Testosterone Levels and increased Estrogen dominance. Phthalates have been correlated with postnatal issues related to Testosterone inhibition, and in high enough concentrations, they can lead to birth defects (though these concentrations are very high). In adults and adolescent males, Phthalates have been clinically shown to reduce Testosterone Levels and sperm health in direct correlation to their concentrations in the blood stream.

What Are Some Examples of Phthalates?

There are a number of forms of Phthalates. Some of the most common Phthalates are BBzP, DEHP, DEP, and DBP:

BBzP – This chemical is used in many products, from artificial leather, to road cones, to PVC pipe. This product is associated with an increased risk of eczema in children whose mothers were exposed to high levels of the chemical.

DEHP – This is the most commonly used form of Phthalate, and is used primarily as a plasticizing agent. This chemical is widely used in medical tubing devices such as air tubes, dialysis bags, and catheters. It is also used in many food packages, although it is regulated that DEHP can only used in packaging for products that are water-based. Cheeses and other fats are particularly vulnerable to DEHP, because fat can draw the chemical into the food product under certain circumstances.

DEP – Whereas most common Phthalates are solid at room temperature, DEP is actually a liquid at room temperature, and this can be transmitted much more easily. DEP is popularly used in fragrances and cosmetics, to help the products stick to the skin more easily. They are often used as ingredients in pill coatings. There is evidence that high exposure to these chemicals can have adverse effects for people that work with them in high doses at a regular basis, but this form of Phthalate appears to have a low risk of toxicity, although more research is needed.

DBP – This form of Phthalate, like DEHP, is often used as a plasticizer, but its characteristics also make it well suited for printing ink and adhesive products. It is also often used as an ingredient in solvents that are designed to kill germs. This product was recently used in products such as kids toys and nail polish, but has been banned in the United States for this purpose due to concerns regarding the products Endocrine Disrupting characteristics.

How Are Phthalates Commonly Used?

If you have any knowledge regarding Phthalates, then you likely known that they are frequently used in drink and food containers, but they are in a lot of other products that you may use every day. Each year, there are about one billion pounds of this chemical manufactured around the globe on an annual basis.

This means that, although it can be incredibly beneficial to your health to limit your exposure to Phthalates, there really is no way to cut off your exposure completely. In fact, 95% of Americans are exposed to levels of Phthalate high enough to be detected in a urine sample.

Here is a list of products that commonly contain Phthalate compounds:

Medical Products, including IV bags and plastic medical tubing
Car Interior, including the gearshift, dashboard, and steering wheel
Childrens Toys
Raincoats
Shower Curtains
Wire Coating
Vinyl
Carpet
Pesticides and Repellents
Nail Polish
Most Products with Artificial Fragrances
Deoderant
Hair Spray
Perfume
Make Up

Phthalates in the Environment

We are not only exposed to Phthalates through man made products, but also through the water that we drink and the food that we eat. Dairy products are frequently laced with Phthalate products for example. Phthalates are drawn to fat, and do not react directly with water, and cheeses and meats often contain measurable levels of Phthalates.

Your tap water can even be tainted with Phthalates, resulting from exposure to agricultural runoff and industrial byproducts that may not be completely filtered out during the purification process. Also, since pesticides usually contain these Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, your vegetables and fruits are also exposed to these chemicals, unless they come from sources that explicitly do not use these products.

How Can Phthalates Effect My Health?

So, we basically live, eat, and breath Phthalates, at least to a certain extent. We take them in through the skin, through the air we breath, and through the products we eat and drink. After they are absorbed, they pass directly into our bloodstream.

There are some groups that claim that Phthalates are perfectly safe, but most of these groups are industry lobbyist groups, including the American Chemistry Council. In spite of the reassurances of these industry groups, there is a long history of research that says that many Phthalates are powerful Endocrine Disruptors. From the 1940s, we've had evidence that Phthalates have the capacity to inhibit hormone balance, specifically with regard to the body's use of Testosterone. This can affect both sexes significantly, but obviously has a greater impact men and boys.

Fetuses exposed to high levels of Phthalates prenatally are actually more likely to experience issues such as partially descended testicles or slightly under-developed sexual organs. Exposure during adolescence and adulthood reduces Testosterone Levels in the blood stream, which increases the risk of Low-T and the various conditions from hypertension to heart disease that are associated with the condition.

What Are Hormones and What Do They Do?

Hormones are chemicals that are produced by the human body that keep our systems functioning in sync. Hormones help organs throughout the body know what the others are up to, and encourage certain processes based upon the needs of the body.

As anyone who has ever met a teenager knows, hormones affect emotion and psychology as well as physical and physiological processes. The brain is the primary control center for hormone production and balance, although many hormones are produced by other parts of the body.

All of the glands that produce hormones are collectively referred to as the endocrine system, and any outside influence that alters the natural function of these hormones are known as Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals.

Phthalates almost universally belong to this class of compounds, because, when introduced to the human body in sufficient quantity, they block or copy the normal function of hormones present within the body and disrupt hormone balance, which leads to a variety of negative effects, dependent upon the specific chemical at play.

Examples of the Endocrine Disrupting Capabilities of Phthalates

A study in 2007 discovered that adult male patients with elevated Phthalate Levels were more likely to show signs of Insulin Resistance and Obesity.
A study in 2009 conducted in Taiwan showed that Elevated Phthalate Levels were associated with early puberty and breast growth in girls.
Women that work in an atmosphere with high levels of ambient Phthalates during pregnancy have up to triple the average risk of having a child with hypospadias, a urethral birth defect.
Boys that experience elevated levels of specific Phthalates prenatally show statistically significantly less masculine characteristics during childhood, as measured by their predisposition to play fighting and playing with toys gender-associated with boys, such as trucks.
Another Taiwanese study, conducted in 2009, showed that Phthalate exposure can alter normal sexual development in the womb.

What Plastic Products do Not Contain Phthalates?

Although Phthalates are present in many soft plastic products, they are not ubiquitous. For example, most food containers, water containers, and plastic wraps do not contain Phthalates. On the other hand, some of these products do contain chemicals which are closely related to Phthalates, which may also be problematic under certain circumstances or at certain concentrations of exposure. For this reason, if you are interested in limiting your exposure to Phthalates, you may wish to avoid plastics as much as possible.

Seven Way to Limit Phthalate Exposure

1. Be conscientious when buying perfumes and any products with fragrance. This can be difficult, because Phthalates are rarely listed directly on the list of ingredients. Instead, you'll likely see a blanket term such as Parfum or Fragrance. If you see these terms in the ingredients, this almost universally means that Phthalates are an ingredient in the product.

What To Look For—Products with labels such as Phthalate Free, or labels which reassure that they do not contain synthetic ingredients, or that they only use essential oils for for fragrance.

2. Did you know that the recycling code on the side of plastic containers refers to the ingredients used in the production of that product? Codes 1, 2, and 5 mean that the product does not contain Phthalates. 3 and 7 indicate that the product likely has Phthalates or Bisphenol-A, another potent Endocrine Disrupting Chemical which impacts Testosterone-Estrogen Balance.

3. If you have children, be wary of old toys made of plastic. Your stuffed animals and other non-plastic products will be just fine, but laws banning the use of Pthalates in children's products was only enacted in 2009, so many old toys made of soft plastic contain these Phthalates. Hard plastic toys like Legos and Transformers should be just fine, but soft-plastic products should be discarded.

4. Limit your use of plastic of any kind. Some exposure to plastics is inevitable, but the less that you interact with plastic products, especially those associated with food and drink, the more that you expose yourself to Pthalates. It's important to never cook your food in a plastic container, because the elevated temperatures speed up the leaching process.

If you must use plastics, opt for plastics which you know to be free of Phthalates, even if they contain Bisphenol-A. If you need a good, tough container for food or drink, use products made of glass, silicone, or stainless steel.

5. Go organic! In the past, this wasn't as useful of an option, as there were few regulations regarding what amounts to organic food, but today, there are trustworthy organizations which provide their seal of approval to true organic products. Organic-certified fruits, vegetables, and meats are not allowed to use pesticides or treated sewage as fertilizer.

Because so many of the Phthalates we are exposed to from day to day come to us through our diet, it is significantly important to choose foods wisely if you are looking to limit your consumption of Phthalates.

6. Buy a water filter! Many water pipes contain Phthalate, most commonly DEHP. Appropriate carbon filters have the ability to draw DEHP out of your drinking water, protecting you from Phthalates. There is some evidence that the filtration of DEHP might not be perfect, but it is still highly effective. If you are willing to make the investment, nano-filtration is a superior option.

7. Do your research and vote with your wallet. There are many companies that make a concerted effort not to use Phthalates. There are also companies that have bypassed these chemicals from the start!

Although there is no way to protect yourself entirely from Phthalates and other similar Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals, you can take steps to limit your exposure. The body can handle a certain concentration of these chemicals without any significant issues, so if you distance yourself from these chemicals when possible you can keep their influence in a more acceptable range.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Testosterone Therapy and the Heart-Is It Worth the Risk?

Posted: January 7, 2020 at 12:38 am

Testosterone Hormone Therapy continues to grow in popularity. In fact, over the last decade, the number of patients using Testosterone has tripled in size, and the Low-T Treatment industry is a huge national and international enterprise, with over two billion dollars spent on Testosterone Therapy Products in the United States alone.

How Many Men Use Testosterone?

As of 2010, 1.3 million people in the United States were prescribed Low-T Therapy. In just three years, this number grew to 2.3 million. This suggests that patients and their doctors believe in the potential benefits of Testosterone, in spite of the fact that certain groups, including the FDA, have not made a definitive statement on the potential effectiveness of the treatment, nor its heart risks.

In spite of its great potential benefits for many men, there are some potential health risks associated with Testosterone. There is a large amount of debate in the medical community regarding the effect that Testosterone Therapy Treatments have on the heart. Some studies seem to suggest that Testosterone increases the risk of heart issues, whereas others provide evidence that Testosterone Therapy may actually promote heart health.

Research Unclear Regarding the Risks of Low-T Treatment

Even recent studies have been published whose results seem entirely at odds. One study produced in July by the University of Texas, for example, showed no evidence that Testosterone Treatments have any negative effect upon the heart, whereas a study produced by UCLA provided evidence that men with heart disease that take Testosterone have twice the risk of heart attack as compared to their healthier peers.

Furthermore, a review published just days ago by the Food and Drug Administration showed that it could not determine any benefit or risk associated with Testosterone Replacement Therapy. The research survey comes to the conclusion that, based on current available evidence, Andropause does not lead to changes in sexual ability and energy level. They do not rule out the potential for Testosterone Therapy to provide benefits for patients with Age-Associated Low-T, but they do not have the evidence to conclude that Testosterone Therapy for men with Andropause is a necessary treatment.

Though there are studies which seem to suggest that Testosterone Therapy may be associated with Cardiovascular issues, the United States FDA does not consider any of these studies to be ultimately convincing.

Because of this lack of concrete evidence, there are a wide variety of opinions regarding Testosterone Therapy. Many physicians have been providing the treatment for years or even decades, and believe that they have seen the benefits of the treatment firsthand.

Testosterone Study Results Depend on Their Design

Dependent on the way that the studies were designed, Low-T Studies have come to a wide variety of conclusions. Some studies show that Testosterone appears to be perfectly safe for the heart, or even somewhat protective. Other studies suggest the opposite, that Testosterone is a danger to heart health. Even among studies which present evidence that Testosterone negatively impacts the heart, some studies suggest this threat is minor, whereas other studies suggest that the danger is more significant. Still more studies provide evidence that this risk is connected to the underlying condition of the patient's heart.

UCLA Testosterone Heart Health Study

As we mentioned earlier, one study published by UCLA suggests that Testosterone Treatment is correlated with heart risk. This study analyzed the medical data of almost 56,000 males that used Testosterone. They found that in the first three months of therapy, patients experienced twice as many heart attacks as they did in the year previous to engage in treatment, if they were over the age of 65 or otherwise suffered from heart disease.

Of course, this could be the result of underlying health issues which encouraged the patients to seek Testosterone Therapy. Also, this could also simply be evidence that people that have had a heart attack in the last year are less likely to seek Testosterone Treatment.

University of Texas Testosterone-Heart Health Study

The study conducted at the University of Texas, on the other hand, evaluated 6000 males, all at least 66 years of age that were currently taking Testosterone Replacement Therapy. They evaluated that data in comparison to 19,000 males at least 66 years of age that did not use any form of Testosterone.

In this study, there was no significant evidence that suggested that Testosterone Restoration had any impact on heart attack risk among patients. In this study, the evidence even suggested that patients that are at an elevated risk of heart attack may actually have a lower chance of having a heart attack if they are on Testosterone. Future research will have to be conducted, of course, in order to corroborate this evidence.

Why Do Different Studies Reveal Different Results?

On it's face, it would appear quite strange that the results of these studies differ so significantly. However, there are some important differences. For example, the Texas Testosterone Study only evaluated the condition of older men that took Testosterone Therapy, whereas the UCLA research cast a wider net. Also, the Texas Study was limited to patients that were currently on Medicare, and monitored patients that were treated from the years 1997 and 2005.

One of the lead researchers of the UCLA study was doctor Sander Greenland, a professor of statistics and epidemiology. He explains that an important area of research with regard to monitoring the effects of Testosterone Replacement Therapy is to look at how Low-T Treatment effects patients during various times. In his case, he and his associates were interested in how Testosterone potentially affects the heart in the initial three months of treatment.

By What Mechanisms Would Testosterone Therapy Impact the Risk of Heart Attack?

Another reason why there is debate with regard to how Testosterone Therapy might impact heart health is because there are competing hypotheses that simultaneously at least hold some merit. For example, there is evidence that suggests that healthy Testosterone Levels promote improved body composition, and also promote healthy cholesterol while reducing inflammation.

On the other hand, there are some mechanisms by which Testosterone could also increase the risk of heart disease. For example, men taking Testosterone Treatments may be more prone to fluid retention, which could possibly increase the risk of hypertension and other conditions.

How Does the Body of Research Stand with Regard to Testosterone Therapy and Heart Health?

It really depends on who you ask. The lead researcher of the Texas Study, Dr. Anawalt, says that there is no overwhelming evidence that shows that Testosterone Treatments, when administered appropriately, elevate the risk of heart conditions such as stroke and heart attack. There is also no strong evidence that Testosterone increases the formation of blood clotting.

Although the body of evidence is not complete, the Food and Drug Administration chooses to err on the side of caution, demanding that all Testosterone Therapy Products display a clear warning to inform the patient of the potential risk of blood clotting. Dr. Greenland feels that the FDA warning is justified, and that more research has discovered a link between blood clots and Testosterone than have given the all clear.

Of course, in spite of their disagreement with regard to the potential risk to the patient, most Hormone Therapy and Endocrinology experts do believe that Low-T Treatment can be incredibly beneficial for many patients, even with these increased risks.

What is Low-T, and How Common is the Condition?

The National Institutes of Health estimate that around five million American males suffer from Low Testosterone. Often, Low Testosterone is related to natural changes that occur during aging which suppress the production of the hormone. Testosterone is incredibly important for both sexes, especially men, who produce the hormone in much greater concentrations.

Testosterone is responsible for supporting reproductive health, and it is also a vital anabolic factor which promotes bone and muscle health while keeping fat in check. Testosterone also has a potent psychological influence, and Low-T is associated with low libido, anxiety, irritability and depression.

It is important to specify that Testosterone Deficiency is not a disease, but a condition which is a side-effect of underlying health issues which impede hormone health. Testosterone is produced via a complex mechanism which involves various organs, including the testes, adrenal glands, pituitary, and hypothalamus, and any disorder that disrupts this balance can lead to Testosterone Deficiency.

In order to be diagnosed with Low-T, the patient must display symptoms associated with Low Testosterone while also displaying clinically low levels of the hormone via blood testing. Because Testosterone Levels are variable, these levels should be measured twice, both in the morning, when Testosterone Levels are at their highest and most consistent.

Who Should Think About Testosterone Therapy?

Testosterone Replacement is available in a variety of FDA-approved forms, including Testosterone Injections, Testosterone Creams, and Testosterone Patches. Testosterone is approved for patients which are unable to produce sufficient Testosterone to meet the needs of the body as a result of underlying clinical issues.

Testosterone is often prescribed off-label for other non-FDA approved uses as well. Testosterone is not explicitly FDA-Approved for Andropause, but is widely prescribed for such purposes. Testosterone is also often prescribed to women as a treatment to restore libido and relieve the symptoms of Menopause.

How Low is Too Low?

Every patient responds to Low-T in his own way, but, according to the Endocrine Society, Low-T is associated with Testosterone Concentrations in the blood stream under 300 ng/dl. Of course, some patients may experience these Low Testosterone Levels without experiencing any issues associated with the disorder, so patients must also display symptoms of their diagnosed deficiency.

Who Should Use Testosterone Therapy?

Before being prescribed Testosterone, it is important to undergo blood testing to confirm the diagnosis. Often, physicians will prescribe their patients Testosterone without doing these important tests which can reveal the deficiency, which could potentially place patients at risk.

But, for men that suspect that they may be suffering from Low-T, there's no reason not to visit a doctor. If lab testing confirms Testosterone Deficiency, Low-T Therapy will likely produce real and significant results. For men that have been clinically diagnosed with Low-T that show no major risk factors for heart attack or other conditions which can potentially be exacerbated by Low-T Treatment, they should certainly think about taking advantage of the treatment option, although they should be evaluated by a medical professional at least once every six months to one year in order to make sure that the treatment is working as expected with no serious, unwanted side-effects.

Who Should Not Use Testosterone Therapy?

Of course, some men should avoid Testosterone altogether until the safety profile of the treatment is more clearly delineated. For example, men with a prior history of heart attack should avoid Testosterone.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Comprehensive Therapy Regimen Shown to Reverse Symptoms of Early Alzheimer’s and Cognitive Decline

Posted: January 5, 2020 at 11:04 pm

In a groundbreaking new clinical trial, three patients suffering from mild to moderate degenerative memory loss experienced a reversal of their misfortune as a result of a new medical regimen.

Alzheimer's was first outlined around a century ago, although it has surely existed throughout human history. And for one hundred years, scientists and medical professionals attempted without success to find treatments which would benefit Alzheimer's patients, leaving them resigned to neurological degeneration and the meager benefits of palliative care.

Fortunately, a new and revolutionary treatment regimen may be the beginning of a sea-change with regard to Alzheimer's therapy and treatment. In this study, ten participants were provided a comprehensive and personalized regimen with the ultimate goal of reversing their memory loss. In the end, nine out of the ten patients benefited from the treatment, experiencing enhancements in their memory capabilities in the first three to six months of treatment.

Memory Issues Significantly Impacted Patients

Out of the nine patients, six had major issues which made their work difficult, or forced them to quit their jobs. Every one of those six patients was able to either improve the quality of their work or get back in the work force as a result of the benefits provided by their treatment.

This clinical trial is long term, and 2.5 years after the first treatment regimen began, all patients have retained all of the benefits of their memory therapy. Patients in this preliminary study suffered from a few different forms of degenerative memory loss, including Subjective Cognitive Impairment, Amnestic Mild Cognitive Impairment, and Alzheimer's Disease. Although the personalized treatment was successful for patients suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer's disease, the one patient that did not respond effectively to treatment was deep into the progression of Alzheimer's, and was simply too far gone for the treatment to be successful.

How Were Patients Impacted by Memory Loss?

The following are three patient profiles, of the ten patients that were treated:

One patient had been struggling with a deteriorating memory for two years. She was still working, but issues with her memory were getting in the way of her ability to perform her job, which involved data analysis and creating reports. In addition to her issues at work, she was also beginning to have trouble correctly remembering the names of her pets, and she was starting to lose her sense of place and direction while driving.

A second patient was also having issues at work, specifically with regard to his schedule and his coworkers. He would often simply forget the names of the coworkers he spent extensive time with, and he also had trouble remembering the combination to his gym locker.

A third patient had significant memory issues. In order to keep track of her thoughts and her schedule, she had to record everything important into her iPad. Her kids started to notice problems as well. For example, she would often forget what she was saying in the middle of her thoughts, and she would frequently forget to request that her children perform certain tasks, while later on believing that she had done so.

As you can tell, all three of these patients were having major issues in their life because of their degenerating memory.

Comprehensive Therapeutic Approach First of Its Kind

This clinical research trial was the result of the combined efforts of the Buck Institute for Research on Aging and the UCLA Center for Alzheimer's Disease Research. Of all of the studies conducted in the last century regarding Alzheimer's disease, this is the only study thus far that suggests that memory and neurological health can be maintained and improved in at-risk patients through the use of an intensive 36-point therapy regimen that focuses on a variety of aspects of one's life. The following is a short list of the aspects of this comprehensive approach:

  • Medications
  • Supplements
  • Sleep Optimization
  • Physical Activity
  • Mental Stimulation
  • Diet

Using this comprehensive approach, it appears possible to reverse the cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer's in at least some patients.

This study was released in the academic journal, Aging, and the lead researcher of the study is Dr. Dale Bredesen, the Director of the Easton Center and the University of California-Los Angeles. Dr. Bresdon is also an Augustus Rose Professor of Neurology at the University.

The following image is that of an Alzheimer's Patient. Patients with Alzheimer's have smaller brains than healthy patients, the result of deterioration of tissues within the brain.

Drugs Alone Ineffective at Treating Alzheimer's

For decades, researchers have attempted to find a pharmaceutical drug which effectively treats Alzheimer's Disease and its related memory degeneration, to no avail. There are a few drugs that have been found that can mitigate the symptoms very slightly, but no drugs have been effective at changing the course of the disease or even slowing its progression. Over the last ten years, there has been over a billion dollars spent worldwide in an effort to treat Alzheimers, and scores of clinical trials have produced little tangible benefit.

Of course, there are a variety of other chronic conditions which have been treated effectively through the use of combination therapy, but these approaches have not been thoroughly tested in the paradigm of memory disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and dementia. Conditions such as HIV, cancer, and heart disease are not treated particularly effectively by one particular drug, but by a combination or medical approaches including pharmaceutical, nutritional, physical, and/or radiation therapy. By combining approaches, huge strides have been made in the treatment of these conditions. For example, HIV/AIDS, which was practically a death sentence in the 1980s, is simply a chronic condition for many men and women across the country that are able to live perfectly normal lives in spite of having a once life-threatening disease.

As We Learn More About Alzheimer's, Successful Treatments Are Just Around the Corner

The last two generations of Alzheimer's Disease research have changed the way that doctors think about the disease. It is apparent and obvious that genetics plays a central role in the disease, but a variety of other factors are also at play in how Alzheimer's Disease takes place and progresses. Some have even likened Alzheimer's Disease to other chronic and degenerative conditions such as Osteoporosis. As a result of this research, it has become apparent that a broad approach to Alzheimer's is likely necessary to produce real results, as no individual aspect of the ideal treatment will be as potent as the sum of its parts.

Although no “cure” or effective treatment has been previously found with regard to Alzheimer's, that is not to say that strides have not been made in the science of understanding Alzheimer's and similar degenerative neurological diseases. For example, a number of studies have implicated specific different factors which appear to contribute to the incidence and pathology of Alzheimer's, but no single treatment based off of that acquired knowledge has been effective at treating Alzheimer's.

No Single Approach Will Cure Alzheimer's

All science to this point suggests that Alzheimer's disease is brought on by a number of factors, and that, although one form of treatment may be scientifically sound, it may not produce significant benefit unless combined with other approaches which affect other aspects of the condition. It appears that combining treatment options into a synergistic program can provide real results for patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease.

Where previous studies failed, Dr. Bredesen found inspiration for his combination therapeutic approach. He feels that these “silver bullet” Alzheimer's treatment strategies don't take into account the full breadth of the causes of the disease, and that is why they don't benefit the patient sufficiently.

Alzheimer's a Degenerative Disease Related to Lifestyle?

In his clinical research, Dr. Bredesen has discovered significant evidence that the root cause of Alzheimer's Disease is the result of a malfunction in the way that nerve cells interact with one another to form a cohesive memory. In an optimally functioning brain, there are processes which support the maintenance of important memories while also allowing unimportant memories to be forgotten. It appears that some people have brains which malfunction over time, and the brain starts to suppress and delete memories that are important, from where you left your keys to the names of your coworkers or even your family members.

Previous Hypotheses Regarding Alzheimer's May be Incorrect

This goes against the current popular hypotheses regarding the source of Alzheimer's disease. It is commonly hypothesized that amyloid beta peptides are the source of Alzheimer's, believed to be proteins run-amok in the brain, degenerating brain matter, beginning in the areas of the brain associated with memory and cognitive function. Although many researchers believe that these proteins are toxic, they do provide vital functions in the healthy brain. They are proteins that are supposed to promote the deterioration of memories which are unimportant.

Dr. Bredesen hypothesizes that the issue isn't that these Amyloid Beta Peptides are toxic, per se, but because they are normal proteins in the brain that are functioning in overdrive as a result of other underlying factors, which contributes to the degeneration associated with Alzheimer's Disease.

This means that, in essence, Alzheimer's is the result of a collection of factors which cause these proteins to act in a degenerative fashion, and that these proteins specifically are not the root cause of Alzheimer's, but the way that those causes manifest themselves in the brain of the patient.

Alzheimer's Treatment Analogy

Dr. Bredesen uses an analogy to describe how his approach works—Say that you have a roof filled with leaks. Each leak needs to be patched to keep rain out of the house. The roof represents the brain, and each hole in the roof represents a single symptom of Alzheimer's disease. Each Alzheimer's drug has the capacity to patch one of these holes, but simply patching one hole isn't going to secure your roof, and you're still going to be in a heap of trouble. A comprehensive approach to Alzheimer's seeks to use a variety of different approaches in order to patch each individual hole, resulting in a leak-proof roof and a brain in recovery.

Therapeutic Treatment Regimen Designed to Meet the Patient's Needs

The approach that Dr. Bredesen has designed is specific to each patient and his or her needs. Each patient goes under thorough evaluation, in order to figure out exactly what is going on in the patient's brain, and what is leading to the cognitive and memory issues plaguing the patient.

Lets take one patient in particular, a patient that found herself getting lost on her way home from work. The following are the changes made to the patient's life that led to her cognitive recovery:

  • A nightly dose of melatonin
  • Twenty minutes of meditation, twice each day
  • Yoga classes to relieve stress
  • Increased consumption of wild-caught fish, fruits, and vegetables
  • Elimination of processed food, gluten products, and simple carbohydrates
  • CoQ10 supplementation
  • Fish oil capsules
  • Vitamin D3 Supplementation
  • Methylcobalamin Supplementation
  • Seven-eight hours of sleep each night
  • Daily use of electric toothbrush and electric flosser
  • Thirty minutes of exercise at least four times per week
  • No food for 12 hours after dinner and before breakfast, and no food three hours before she went to bed
  • Reinstatement of Hormone Replacement Therapy, which she had used in the past

All ten patients followed a unique regimen, but each regimen did take cues from the regimen listed above. By following the detailed and personalized program assigned to them, all of the patients but one experienced improved memory, and were able to sustain that improved memory over the course of an extended period of time. The patients are still under treatment, and still being followed to assess the long term effectiveness of the treatment.

Of course, Dr. Bredesen notes, that this study is the first of its kind, and was not fully controlled. In order to more fully assess the effectiveness of the treatment, a future study will be needed with a wider array of patients as well as a more controlled atmosphere. Of course, all signs point to the success of a program such as the one that Dr. Bredesen prescribed to his clinical patients, but the specifics need to be more sufficiently ironed out.

Alzheimer's Treatment Appears Effective, yet Complex

The main issue with this therapy regimen is that it is incredibly complex. Because of how many parameters the patients are supposed to follow, it is inevitable that the patients will have a difficult time sticking to every aspect of the regimen as prescribed. In fact, none of the ten participants were able to follow the therapy regimen perfectly. The two primary issues that the patients and their helpers had with the treatment was that they had to take so many pills each day, and that the lifestyle and nutrition guidelines were a huge change to their normal day-to-day routine.

However, Total Adherence Unnecessary for Alzheimer's Treatment to be Effective

In a way, both the complaints and the inability of the patients to follow their personalized programs to a T, is beneficial to proving the underlying mechanisms of Alzheimer's Disease as described in Dr. Bredesen's hypothesis. That the patients had to undergo a significant lifestyle change showed that their current lifestyle was one that was not conducive to optimal health, both physically or psychologically.

Secondly, the fact that the patients were able to benefit greatly from the treatment without following it strictly provides evidence that Alzheimer's disease is not the result of any single factor, but a collection of factors which contribute to neurodegeneration. By treating multiple factors of that degeneration simultaneously, it is possible to produce real and significant gains in cognitive health and memory capacity, but each factor of treatment plays only a small, synergistic role. Even limited non-compliance specific to each patient still led to results.

Alzheimer's Treatment Benefits both Body and Mind

In addition to providing neurological and psychological benefits, it is also notable that this therapeutic regimen also led to a significant improvement in overall health as well as body composition. Many drugs which are currently used in an attempt to treat and mitigate Alzheimer's actually have negative side-effects which can deteriorate both health and body composition.

Dr. Bredesen is cautious, as any scientist should and must be, but he does admit that the results of the study are incredibly promising. And, given the lack of success with other Alzheimer's protocols, it makes a major statement that this study had a 90% success rate, with the only patient that did not respond being in a significantly poor neurological state.

Future Study Considerations

With the efficacy of the treatment illuminated, there are a variety of other questions that must be answered, and those questions can only be answered with a full-scale clinical trial. The following questions must be answered:

  • How deep into cognitive decline can this treatment regimen reverse Alzheimer's Disease?
  • Does this treatment regimen produce long-term or life-long results?
  • How much improvement can the average patient expect to see from such a treatment?
  • Is there a difference in effectiveness dependent upon a patient's family history of Alzheimer's Disease?

As men and women in the United States live longer and longer, preserving neurological health becomes one of the biggest concerns of aging patients. As treatments for cardiovascular disease and heart disease become more advanced and mortality rates from these conditions decline, the next big issue that must be tackled to achieve longevity is treating conditions like Dementia and Alzheimer's which become more common as a patient enters their seventies, eighties, and beyond.

Alzheimer's Is an American and Global Epidemic

Alzheimer's disease is common in America, with almost 5.5 million elderly patients with the disease. Across the world, there are more than thirty million patients with the condition. As populations worldwide continue to live longer and longer, it becomes more and more important to figure out a way to effectively treat or prevent Alzheimer's. In 36 years, it is believed that as many as 13 million Americans will have Alzheimer's disease, a fraction of the 160 million people world wide that will likely experience the condition.

As men and women lose the ability to sufficiently take care of themselves as a result of cognitive degeneration, the societal costs of the condition become significant for a family, and across a society, the scale is astronomical. Finding a way to prevent or cure Alzheimer's is one of the most important areas of study in medicine today. With no cure or effective preventative treatment, the cost of Alzheimer's treatment alone could leave Medicare bankrupt.

Most other chronic health conditions in America have peaked or have fallen in incidence over the years, but Alzheimer's continues to become more common, largely as a result of our extending lifespans and the improved treatment of cancer and heart conditions. Today, Alzheimer's is approximately the third leading cause of mortality in the United States, behind just cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Seven Traits Associated with Good Health and Longevity

Posted: January 3, 2020 at 8:49 pm

When we talk about what it takes to live a long life, we have a tendency to get hung up on the physical parameters associated with wellness, whether it be diet, exercise, or the myriad of other lifestyle factors associated with a healthy life. On the other hand, however, the way we live and enjoy our lives plays just as much of a role in longevity as our physical wellness.

Although smart nutrition and regular exercise both play a role in a healthy heart and a healthy body, when researching people that live long lives, especially those over the age of 100, there aren't a whole lot of factors that can be definitively associated with long life.

Longevity Not Always Associated with Health Choices

For example, two groups that have a tendency to live the longest are Okinawans from Japan and Ashkenazi Jews. Both have a tendency to have some habits that you might not associate with long life. For example, the Ashkenazi are more likely to drink to both be drinkers and smokers. They are also more sedentary than the average man. Okinawans, on the other hand, consume a lot of dairy and starches, and they also have a high-sodium diet.

There's one woman that's 107 years old, and she doesn't trust modern medicine, has never practiced a fitness lifestyle, and practically considers butter a food group. Furthermore, there are others that claim that their longevity is due to caloric restriction, whereas others that are able to reach the same age with a diet full of sweets, wine, pork, and liver.

So, based on these brief descriptions above, it is clear that there are a number of paths to longevity. Perhaps none are devoted to extreme excess, but different lifestyles can still be conducive to a long and healthy life.

Genetics and Longevity

One of the main factors associated with longevity appears to be genetics. Different people have different genetic predispositions which allow them to live longer than others. This is both with regard to individual-individual and culture-culture. Perhaps some cultures have lived a similar lifestyle for so many generations that their bodies have acclimated, allowing them to live a long life? Who knows? Of course, don't think of longevity as entirely predetermined, there's so much more to it than that, and there is a lot that you can do to maximize your lifespan.

Personality and Longevity

Diet, nutrition, and activity level play some role, but, perhaps surprisingly, it appears that your social profile and your personality play a significant and undeniable role. Are you happy? Do you feel like an active participant in your own life? Do you live with purpose? All of these are factors which keep your body primed and ready to take and enjoy what is thrown at you.

Your personality and your predisposition are factors which are engrained and genetically influenced, but you do have a huge amount of control over both. You don't have to resign yourself to the way you've been. You can make the concerted effort to facilitate such factors in yourself and improve both your quality of life and potentially your longevity! At worst, you won't live any longer, but you'll get more joy and pleasure out of every year that you have left!

The Following are Seven Social and Personal Characteristics Associated with Enhanced Longevity:

Social Connectedness is Important for Longevity

A big part of living a more profound and happy life is to cultivate bonds with your family and community and facilitate interconnectedness. When we live our lives solo, or don't reach out to others or maintain social contacts, it is a burden on us which inhibits health and wellness. Of course, don't think of connectedness as some sort of race. It's the quality of your relationships and their importance to you that matters over the quantity of connections that we make. Everyone understands in this Facebook culture how it feels to have connections to others which don't add meaning to your life.

One of the primary drives in our lives is to feel important to others and feel that we are making a difference—that we add something to someone else's life that makes you feel invaluable to them. And the best thing is that these are the types of relationship which are reciprocal and fulfilling.

In addition to this, people that are surrounded by those that they care about are more likely to reach out for help when they need it. If life gets tough they have someone to turn to. On the other hand, people that don't foster these relationships are more likely to develop habits which are conducive to poor health, such as smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity. There is even evidence that being around people that you care about helps stressful situations have less of an effect upon cardiovascular response. These connections even appear to enhance the strength of the immune system!

What Can I Do to Foster Strong Social Relationships for Longevity?

Even though things like Facebook can create interpersonal distance when used passively, they can be a great way to actually set up and arrange to hang out with your friends and family. Make the concerted effort to arrange plans and actually follow through. It's easy to get locked into a pattern and even avoid the people that you love and care about because you get so fixed on not making waves, but understand that there are a lot of people out there that would love to see you, and they are just a text, phone call, email, or message away. You have to remember that the same reasons that you haven't reached out to your friends are why they haven't reached out to you. It's no one's fault. Just make the call!

Conscientiousness and Thoughtfulness Lead to a Long Life

Awareness plays a big role in longevity. People that are more rash and prone to impulsiveness are more likely to get into accidents, fights, or other activities that can put them at risk. In 1921, a massive study followed 1500 children from childhood to death, and they discovered that the children that took the time to plan out their actions and those that engaged in thoughtful persistence had the greatest chance of living deep into old age. On the other hand, the positive and happy children were less likely to do so.

The children that grew up thoughtful were more likely to have strong relationships and be health conscious, while less likely to take risks. Also, the conscientious children were more likely to have jobs in which they were successful and satisfied with. The four attributes which were most likely to lead to a long life were conscientious discipline, organization, industry, and persistence. People that are conscientious as children are most predisposed to thoughtful action and therefore most likely to continue that thoughtfulness throughout their lives. Happy, optimistic children were more likely to turn into adults that didn't pay enough attention to their diet, and were more prone to poor habits.

People that are prudent and thoughtful are more likely to retain their cognitive function deeper into the lifespan, and this may even be associated with a lower incidence of Alzheimer's Disease. People with these characteristics are also more likely to handle stress more effectively, or at least able to reach out for help more quickly. Of course, these attributes can also turn into negative factors. Prudence can easily become compulsiveness, and thoughtfulness can become anxiety, for example.

What Can I Do to Become More Thoughtful and Conscientious?

Although the study discussed above followed children from an early age without influencing their outcomes, there's no reason you can't make the effort to improve your thoughtfulness. Take the time to organize your life. Make plans and stick to them. Maintain a budget and keep track of it. Not everyone is a natural at this sort of thing, but by sticking your mind to it, you can make yourself organized and conscientious through a mix of want-to and brute force. It's also important not to rely solely on your own interpretation of your thoughtfulness. Get perspective from those around you and allow them to hold you accountable for your own desires and plans.

Don't Dwell on Anxiety and Worry to Live a Longer and Happier Life

While becoming more thoughtful and prudent can extend your life, getting worried and anxious can shave years off your life. When you dwell and focus too much on the negative, you put yourself on edge and increase the catabolic actions of depression and cortisol. If you obsess over things that cause you anxiety, you lose touch with the things that make your life enjoyable.

Emotional anxiety can even lead to physical stress, which can impact your health heavily in the short and long term. Stress can disrupt healthy sleeping habits, and it can increase your blood pressure. It can make you more likely to become obese as well as more likely to experience life-threatening conditions such as stroke and heart attack.

Don't let go too much, however. Anxiety is a tool that your body uses in its attempt to keep you on the right path, and if you throw it off your shoulders entirely, you could end up putting yourself in potentially risky and dangerous situations in which you could get yourself into some serious trouble! Acknowledge your stress and work to mitigate it, but don't cast it totally from your mind.

What Can I Do To Stop Worrying and Learn to Love Life?

 

Worrying is a subconscious activity that takes control of your conscious thought processes. When you start to feel anxious and stressed, take the time to thoughtfully process those feelings and take steps to mitigate that stress, either through action or by recognizing that what is causing you worry isn't nearly as big of an issue as your brain is making it out to be. Whenever you feel worried about something, Stop, think, and answer the question “Why is this worth worrying about?” More often than not, you'll realize that things that feel big are really not important or worth caring about when you really think about it.

People also have a tendency to worry about things that people have done to them, or worry that they might have done something wrong. Try to make the effort to maintain an open dialog with those around you. Also, don't be afraid to forgive. Holding grudges is a major source of anxiety and worry that is ultimately pointless.

Take what you learned from the previous step and take action to limit stress and worry. Grab a sheet of paper and write down the things in your life that make you worried. Stop and think clearly about all of those things and then rewrite the list according to which issues are most impactful upon your life and which are more minor. Strike out the minor issues that don't really matter, and make the effort to push worries related to these subjects out of your mind. Regarding the more major issues on your mind, use this time of reflection to plan out a course of action to make these larger worries less troublesome.

Other options include meditation and herbal supplements and teas which are designed for relaxation. Even scents can be beneficial. Lavender, for example, is scientifically proven to induce feelings of relaxation.

People that Are Optimistic Tend to Live Longer

This may seem a bit odd, given that optimism in children was linked to lower longevity, but it's important to recognize that optimism and positivity during adulthood is different that being born with optimism. There are a number of studies that show that optimism does a lot of powerful things to increase resiliency. As compared to pessimists, optimists are more likely to take care of themselves and brush off stress. Seeing the glass half full provides immense benefits to the individual.

In fact, there are scientists that hypothesize that evolution selects for positivity and optimism. People that are optimists are more likely to meet or exceed their expectations. When things get tough, they are more likely to keep a smile on their face. People that are optimistic are more likely to push harder to survive and persist. When faced with diseases like cancer, optimists are more likely to survive because of their will to fight.

How to Foster Optimism in Your Own Life

Like any other character trait, we have innate tendencies and predispositions, but they can be manipulated and adjusted. If you feel that you are not as much of an optimist as you want to be, take the time to take stock of your negativity or issues seeing the bright side of your life and your circumstances. Understand that even if things seem tough, you probably have things going alright in the big picture.

Hesitation breeds pessimism. If you are feeling down on yourself, and you have something that you want to do, just throw yourself out there and face your fear. You'll feel relief that you followed through on your impulse, and you'll see that things aren't as terrible as they seem. Optimism is bred through small victories, and those victories will get easier to come by over time.

People that Know How to Laugh Easy Are More Likely to Live Longer

Study after study has shown that laughter is powerful. It diffuses social situations of all kinds, and it even improves blood flow, circulation, and hormone balance. The feeling that you get when you laugh is great, and the inspiration for the laughter is often a comfort as well. There is even evidence that laughter increases the strength of the immune system, improving the ability of the body to fight off infection and cancer.

When you laugh, it acts as a switch to slow down the parasympathetic activity that burns you down and stresses you out. There is even evidence that laughter alters the way that your body uses Human Growth Hormone for the better. Although HGH has a number of widespread benefits, there is evidence that it can exacerbate rheumatoid arthritis. In these patients, laughter has been shown to limit the influence of HGH upon the joints.

How to Laugh Easier to Cultivate Longevity

Unlike the earlier character traits, it doesn't even take a concentrated effort to improve your ability to laugh. Just find a show, movie, podcast, or funny book that you like and relax. Laughter comes natural to human beings as long as you open yourself up to it. Get with your friends. Hang out. Cut up. Make some jokes yourself! Do whatever it takes to put a smile on your face and a laugh in your heart.

People That Are Happy Are More Likely to Live Long Lives

This may seem like a no-brainer, but people that self-report happiness are more likely to live a long life. A recent study, published in 2011, found that aging patients that reported themselves to be happy had a longer average lifespan. Surprisingly, the influence of happiness on longevity persists strongly even when a number of other variables were taken into account, such as their current health, age, and weight.

Like laughter, it is hypothesized that the feeling of happiness encourages positive physiological balance, and feelings of happiness have been shown to relieve the pains and struggles associated with many chronic medical conditions.

Of course, happiness and optimism are related, and they share many aspects in common. Like optimists, people that are happy are more likely to feel like their lives have meaning and purpose, and are more encouraged to engage in positive and enriching activities. There are a wide variety of influences that encourage happiness. A loving family, a fulfilling job, and enjoyable life experiences just to name a few. The feeling of happiness, divorced from its cause, is enough to facilitate a healthier life.

What Can I Do to Live a Longer and Happier Life?

One of the best ways to be happier is to get out and engage with life. It's difficult, if not impossible, to cultivate happiness just through want-to. If you struggle with depression, there are treatments available that may be able to help, but its still up to you to facilitate your own happiness. Just take the time to do things that give you joy and provide you with meaning. Happiness is largely the result of cultivating the other characteristics in this life. There are a million things in this world that can make you happy, you just have to go out there and find them.

Also, be willing to make short term sacrifices to enjoy more meaningful happiness. Take the time to create a world around you that allows you to be happy. Procrastination is a happiness-killer, because you spend your time dwelling on the things that you are supposed to do and don't give yourself the time to really appreciate what you want to do. Understand when to put your nose to the grindstone to fight through to the joy in your life!

Extraversion is Associated with a Longer Life

People that are extraverts tend to foster a lot of other character traits that are associated with long term health and survival. People that are extraverts are more likely to take positive risks, and do what they want to do in spite of the risks. They are more likely to remain impervious to negative influences in their life, thereby cultivating improved happiness and purpose.

This isn't to say that it's strictly bad to be an introvert. This is actually one thing that could be culturally specific to America and the West. The fast-paced world that we live in today naturally benefits the type of person that is willing to get out and participate, while leaving many introverts wanting more, or unable to actualize their wants and needs.

Extraversion makes it easier to simply do a lot of things that introverts tend to find exhausting or have trepidation about, such as presentations, business meetings, interviews, and flirting. Of course, there's nothing wrong with being an introvert. It's just important to either come to terms with that fact or make the conscious effort to take the dive.

What Can I Do to Be More Extroverted and Live Longer?

A big part of cultivating extroversion is to get yourself out of your comfort zone. If you are an introvert and don't like it, look at those around you that are more extroverted and try to emulate certain aspects of their social aspect. Sometimes just getting out there and putting yourself out in front of people is all you need to let the rush of endorphins carry you through the rest of your interaction.

Make the effort, at least once daily, to talk to someone that you wouldn't normally talk to. It's important to separate the concept of isolation wfrom that of introversion. You don't have to get out and be wild, you just have to get out and learn to enjoy yourself, even if you aren't as naturally gregarious as many of those that you find yourself in the company of.

Like all of the rest of the traits in this article—Learn to appreciate yourself while also facilitating incremental change!

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

The Ethics of the Future: Human Genetic Engineering and Human Immortality Medicine is Coming in 19 years!!

Posted: January 2, 2020 at 12:46 pm

The Ethics of the Future: Genetic Engineering and Immortality Medicine

2015 is Going to Be a Fascinating Year for Longevity Science

By Professor Mark

How do you feel about the potential for great advances in Human Longevity Science that have been occurring in recent years? Do you feel excited about the prospect of living a much longer life, or are you indifferent? Are you nervous about the prospects of what this sort of tinkering with genetics and human nature might bring?

Is the potential for a vastly expanded lifespan going to be something that everyone can enjoy, or will it be an advantage simply for those that can afford it? If you could live 100 years longer, would you want to? Would you care if the opportunity were afforded to you as an individual? Would such a huge opportunity lead to a new and beautiful life on earth, or would earth somehow take these momentous advantages and turn the world on its head?

My Beliefs Regarding Advanced Genetic Engineering

Many years ago, when I was an undergraduate at Penn State, our professor posited similar questions in our Genetics Class, which played a major role in affecting my beliefs toward the subject of hyper-longevity and Genetic Engineering. The class was large, with more than 100 students, and my professor asked the class what their opinions were regarding the use of genetic manipulation and engineering to alter human life.

Surprisingly, the class was completely silent. In response to this silence, the professor called up two students to debate the subject. One of my classmates volunteered to voice his opposition to genetic engineering, and I chose to volunteer, providing an argument in favor of it.

My opponent voiced his opinion to the class that genetic engineering for this purpose would be ethically wrong because it is not in man's best interest to play God. Most of our classmates seemed to agree, nodding subtly in agreement.

Personal Aesthetic: Choosing to Be Different

I felt as though I was standing upon a grand crossroads of history. As I looked around the class, it felt as though all of my classmates, for all of their cliquish differences, were being incredibly closed-minded, like they just accepted what they had been told all their lives and were afraid to think for themselves.

After the professor gauged the response of the students, I had my opportunity to argue in favor of this advanced human genetic engineering. I glanced around the class, and felt my argument come together cleanly in my mind. I saw white girls with bleached hair stretching down their backs, more than a few of which had fake breasts. I saw black girls with expensive weaves and complex and expensive hairstyles.

There were white students mimicking their hip hop and rap idols, and I even saw a young Asian student that had very obviously dyed her hair red. In my class I saw a great commingling of different styles. People both attempting to exemplify American standards of beauty and those taking on the aspects of other cultures, adopting them as their own.

As I looked around at all of this, recognizing the great diversity in my class, I had a strong feeling that there was not one person in the class that didn't have at least one thing they wanted to alter about the characteristics they were born with. I continued thinking to myself, that these students probably wanted to be different in a variety of different ways: some wanted to be smarter, some taller. Some girls wish they had larger breasts, and some guys wanted larger penises. Others probably wish that they didn't have to go through the trouble to put in contacts and hair dyes to look like the person they wish they were. For myself, I would have given anything just to be a few inches taller.

A Call for Genetic Freedom

After standing quietly for a moment, with all of these thoughts running through my at head a rapid place, I spoke from my position, in the back of the class, and suddenly stated loudly: Genetic Freedom!

I felt that just those two words spoke for themselves, but my professor threw a dejected glance in my direction, and I could detect her shaking her head almost imperceptibly. Her silence was a sign that she needed more. After the brief silence, I continued. I argued to the class that the individual should have full control to alter his DNA as he sees fit, so long as it doesn't negatively impact society or the rights of anyone else.

She seemed thoroughly unhappy with the argument, and the class began to chatter loudly, nearly in unison. After the short spate of controlled chaos, the class continued with liveliness and energy, but I felt that others in the class largely shunned me as a result of the fervent beliefs I expressed in regard to what legitimately amounted to the potential future of the human race.

Will People Be Able to Resist Genetic Alteration?

I still laugh to myself to this day about how my belief met such incredulity in the face of so many. In the future, once science makes it possible to make such powerful changes to humanity at the genetic level, I am confident that these same students, if given the actual opportunity to improve themselves through futuristic genetic methods, would absolutely jump at the chance with no second thought.

It wouldn't be Playing God. It wouldn't be unethical. It would simply be the new reality. In fact, once the time comes to pass when Genetic Alteration becomes a reality, the exact same people today that seek out plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery will clamor for these procedures as soon as they become available. In the end, I believe I made a B in the course, which is regretful, because I've always remained highly interested in genetics.

The Future of Humanity: The Organic and the Engineered

Another of my professors at Penn State, himself with a doctorate in genetics, explained an interesting aspect of human evolution, one which I had never thought of before. He explained that the many races that make up humanity as a whole developed their differences as a result of dispersing far from one another, and slowly adapting to their new environments over time.

After they migrated, geography, distance, and other factors kept them from interacting heavily with one another, which caused their minor adaptations to become more pronounced. In the same way that they developed their own habits and cultures, their aesthetic and physical makeup also changed. Some grew taller, others grew paler, and each individual culture became maximally resistant to the diseases which were prominent in their area.

Even though these physical and genetic changes were significant, any healthy woman on earth could still mate with any other healthy man, no matter how different he looked or acted. What he said that truly sparked my mind was that if the different races of human beings stayed geographically isolated from one another for longer period of time, eventually the different races could have changed enough to where they could no longer produce children with one another.

Could Genetically Engineered Humans Evolve Beyond Humanity?

This can also apply to the future of genetic engineering. The modern world is so interconnected that geography has no impact on the ability of humans to breed with one another, but genetic enhancement may lead to a point at which a human born today would not be able to mate with an individual that was the result of generations of genetically altered parents.

As Genetic Engineering becomes more advanced, humans may change enough at the genetic level to prevent interbreeding between lineages which have undergone these advancements and those that chose not to. This change would of course be gradual, first reducing the ability to conceive before denying that ability altogether. At this point, it would take genetic engineering just to create a viable child for two disparate humans. Interestingly enough, it may even come to pass that different species of humans evolve from such endeavors, as distinct from one another as they are from humans themselves.

The beginning of this story could begin sometime in the next hundred years, as scientists and medical specialists develop the ability to safely and effectively alter DNA to meet the specifications of the individual.

The Future is Coming: the Great Human Divergence and the Neo-Sapient

The people that choose to reject Genetic Modification and Advanced Longevity Treatments in the near future will create an interesting binary world. This could be the beginning of a grand human experiment. This could be the focal point of a genetic divergence so strong that it literally fragments the human race, creating a new class of post-humans that have advanced to a point where they qualify as their own unique species.

I think back to the genetics course I mentioned earlier. I remember the absolute ocean of diversity that was contained within the 100-student course, and I was able to visualize a future in which Genetic Modification leads to even greater diversity, and a uniqueness that has never existed in the history of the human race. It made me think of the diversity of the universe, and the unlimited options for diversity that it represents. As someone with an affinity for astronomy, I find it utterly inconceivable that planet earth is home to the only lifeforms in the universe.

Of course, along with my great optimism, I do recognize that there are risks and unknowns related to the future of Genetic Modification. There is even the potential that the science behind Genetic Modification could be used for Genetic Warfare. There is certainly the potential that the same science that creates a new humanity could be used to destroy large swathes of it. I can imagine an apocalypse that is not nuclear and grandiose, but genetic and nanoscopic.

Post-Humanism and the Search For Other Worlds

In the end, will humans be able to develop interplanetary travel and colonization in order to insure itself against such potential apocalyptic scenarios? It's a subject that I am particularly concerned with, and is the core reason why I support NASA and the United States Space Program. As the world moves faster and the dangers become greater, it is imperative that we are able to save humanity even in the case of a state of mutually assured destruction.

If there truly is a Genetic Revolution on the horizon, it is vitally important that we use all of the resources we have available in order to make our dreams of space colonization a reality. Imagine a future so spectacular: A future where a multitude of post-human species advance outward from earth in order to colonize space like a rainbow across the galaxy.

This journey will be arduous and epic, as earthlings spread across the cosmos in order to find new viable homes and potentially interact with other life forms.

What Would Aliens Be Like?

Can you imagine how literally otherworldly that would be? If we found advanced aliens, would they have unlocked the key to eternity? Would we have done the same? There is no doubt that the first time that we make contact with an extraterrestrial species, they will come from worlds and cultures which are absolutely unimaginable in the face of everything that we have experienced.

I may have delved a bit into the realm of science fiction, but the future of humanity in the face of Genetic Modification has the potential to be every bit as exciting and otherworldly as the potential future that I just described. It instills a tremendous sense of fear, awe, and most importantly, unlimited potential.

Do You Think That You Could Handle Immortality?

If you ask the average person out on the street about the potential future afforded by Genetic Engineering, Advanced Longevity, and Immortality medicine, you'll likely get a number of different responses, some positive, some negative, others simply incredulous. If you surveyed 100 people, I believe that you would find that the majority would ultimately reject the idea of immortality.

Some people think that eternity would take the excitement out of life. Others fear that they would eventually just become a broken shell of their former selves as their bodies physically decline in spite of science's ability to prevent death. For many, the concept of eternity is just as fearsome as the concept of death itself. It's not all that different from the way that people feel about retirement these days. They are frustrated because they have to work so hard all through the healthiest part of their lives only to be too frail and broken down by the time they retire to enjoy it.

Longevity Medicine and the Future

That's why Longevity Medicine is so important. We want our retirement years to last as long as possible, and we want to be able to enjoy them. Maybe one day, we will be retired as long in our lives as we are at work, or longer! That's what the approach to immortality will be like!

There are a growing number of people that are optimistic about a lengthy future. They understand that even with regard to a concept like immortality, life is the sum of individual experience. Some will take advantage of a life bordering on immortality, while others would simply choose to be boring. People that live lives full of happiness and vitality shouldn't be deprived the opportunity to extend that joy, simply because there are others who wouldn't appreciate it!

The arguments stemming from the subject of Human Immortality continue to become both more interesting and more complex, both for those that long for such a fate, and those that oppose the concept. No matter how you feel about the idea of Advanced Longevity, there is no doubt that such opportunities to live lives we now consider unimaginable will eventually come to pass.

As long as human beings are able to engage in scientific advancement without destroying ourselves or sending ourselves back to the stone age, such opportunities will present themselves to the human race in the near future.

Gene Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy: The First Steps to Hyperlongevity

The seeds of these future endeavors are being planted today, in the fields of gene therapy, genetic medicine, and stem cell therapy. This is also the core concept behind medical treatments which seek to optimize hormone production in the body in order to alleviate the medical conditions associated with hormone imbalance and aging.

Hormone Replacement Therapy: Streamline Your Body for the Future!

Treatments such as Testosterone Replacement Therapy, Sermorelin Acetate Therapy, and Bio-Identical Human Growth Hormone Replacement Therapy seek to correct common hormonal imbalances that occur as a result of the aging process. There is even a strong argument that these hormone imbalances are actually the root cause of many symptoms of aging, including frailty, osteoporosis, and cognitive decline.

There are many Health, Wellness, and Longevity Physicians that believe that these forms of Hormone Replacement Therapy are some of the must effective means to prolong a healthy and active life when used in combination with a healthy and conscientious lifestyle. These medical treatments are the best way to decrease your mortality risk so that you are more likely to experience the next great advancement in Anti-Aging Medicine.

If you feel that your quality of life has been on the decline as a result of changes in your body and mind resulting from the aging process, I strongly encourage you to get your hormone levels checked, because there is a significant chance that you may be suffering from a reversible form of hormone deficiency.

The Future of Human Genetic Engineering

This is truly an exciting time to be alive. We are quickly approaching the point at which scientific breakthroughs in health science will continue to occur at an ever-increasing pace, with groundbreaking new health advances occurring on a regular basis. The following years will be incredibly interesting, because there are a multitude of clinical trials regarding the promise and potential effectiveness of both gene therapy and stem cell therapy.

By 2012, these studies, and other similar studies, were already displaying high levels of potential to both treat and protect both animals and humans from disease. Beyond Hormone Optimization and Genetic Therapy, the next stage of advancement will most likely be in the field of nanomedicine. Beyond nanomedicine is femtomedicine.

At this stage of scientific inquiry, this is as far as even the most forward-thinking physician or philosopher could imagine, but there is no doubt as we create new medical treatments and expend our knowledge of medical science, new opportunities for advancement will be conceptualized that could be even more life-altering and fantastic than those that we just mentioned.

When you consider the future of medicine and longevity, you realize that human beings as they are now aren't simply the end result of millions of years of evolution, but also a gateway to the next state of terrestrial life, a transitional state between what was and what will be, an opportunity to experience even greater consciousness and enlightenment by conquering time, itself.

What is the Idea Behind Human Immortality?

When we discuss the idea of human immortality, it doesn't just mean allowing a human being to live forever, human immortality represents the idea that it will be possible, with future biomedical and genetic enhancements, for human beings to experience a practical immortality in which one is able to live as they were in the prime of their life, for all of their life.

It seems just as you master your body and your mind in the late twenties and early thirties, your body and mind start to enter a slow and unstoppable decline. What if you could preserve that period of physical and psychological perfection forever? It is during this period that the average person reaches his or her functional peak as an individual, with regard to strength, cognitive ability, immunity, and overall health.

How Much Better Would Life Be if You Lived to 200?

Think about how different and exciting that life would be if you could have the body and mind of a 29 year old for 120 years. There are a number of people that think that humans should not have this opportunity, but it sounds much better than spending the whole sum of those years in slow and steady decline.

How Much Better Would Life Be if You Could Live Indefinitely?

Immortalists subscribe to the belief that individuals that truly enjoy life and are creative or passionate enough to find interesting or fulfilling things to do would be able to easily take advantage of a significantly lengthened lifespan. I do understand how such a long life would feel to someone that lacks passion or imagination, however. I can imagine two hundred years of absolutely drudgery. If one does not have the propensity to invest or save to create wealth, I can imagine two hundred years of hard work with nothing to show for it.

With luck, a more automated world would allow us to enjoy our lives while actually working less. Imagine a world of eco-friendly machines could do the work of one hundred men. This could be a wonderful world of leisure for all, but it could also lead to a world where machines are used as a method of control and domination, like in Frank Herbert's dystopian novel Dune.

The Temptation of Human Immortality

Whether the opportunity for Human Immortality comes in twenty years or two hundred years, there will be those that seek out the opportunity for such a life, and there will be those that choose to reject the opportunity for immortality.

The central question that Immortalists posit is a simple one: Why would anyone actually want to die or grow old? When you think of it that way, it sounds absolutely silly. Who would ever want to do such things? But in reality, it seems as though most human beings are resigned to such a fate.

Who Really Wants to Grow Old?

More than simply growing old, who wants to lose their lust for life or their libido? Who wants to experience their own body slowly deteriorate as they are beaten down by illness and disease? Human Immortalists are those that are willing to fight against what is perceived as inevitable by society at large. They believe that those that have resigned themselves to decay and death are simply not willing to imagine a post-human age where they could evolve beyond the inevitability of death.

It seems that many humans think of Human Immortalists as harbingers of doom which are going to bring about a new genocide. They believe that Immortalists are going against the will of God by altering the Human Genetic Code in an attempt to foster extreme lifespans, improved aesthetic, and vastly improved health outcomes.

The Great Schism of Humanity

There is a strong chance that a rift will develop between those that choose genetic alteration and those that choose to forgo such opportunities. In the end, it is likely that humanity will rift into two distinct groups. Over time, greater and greater numbers will opt for Genetic Modification, and those that opt out of such procedures may potentially lose footing in society as a result of their choice.

If modification indeed has the ability to create such disparity, genetically modified humans will spread their genes with one another, and their offspring may have greater potential for both prosperity and intellect, which will create a socioeconomic rift between GM Humans and Unmodified Humans.

Will Post-Humans be able to act ethically under these circumstances? Will Unmodified Humans be able to accept a place in the world where they are unequivocally inferior to their GM counterparts? This new world will be different and exciting, and it's up to us to create a civil world where we can act in the best interest of all.

What Other Strange Opportunities May Become Available in the Future?

On top of our ability to vastly extend and improve our long-term health, the future will also provide us with enhanced opportunities with regard to personal aesthetic. We will not only be able to cure conditions such as psoriasis which plague millions in the world today, but many may choose to move beyond mere optimization and may choose to fully customize their appearance. Perhaps one may choose not to have olive or alabaster skin as many in society desire today, but go for a different color all together.

What if someone chose to color their skin orange, green, or blue? What if they wanted to be leopard print or covered in zebra stripes? This may appear otherworldly and unnatural to our minds, but when presented with an entire array of customization, what would be so strange about doing something like that to stand out? How different would it be to dying your hair blue or rainbow, if there were no dangers in undergoing such a change?

But, given enough time and scientific innovation, skin color and other basic augmentations like genetic breast and penis enlargement will be just another evolution in the concept of general aesthetic. The potential for more extreme changes would eventually become possible. What if humans wanted to take on the characteristics of animals? What if someone wanted the ears or tail of a cat, for example? There would even be the potential to do even more drastic things that we can barely imagine today.

Genetically Engineered Pets

These genetic advancements won't occur in a human vacuum. They will also apply to animals as well. Today people are paying top dollar for basic genetically modified hypo-allergenic dogs, and glow-in-the-dark mammals have even been developed in laboratories.

In the future, it is likely that scientists will come up with scientific modifications which significantly enhance both the aesthetic and intelligence of animals. It's even likely that animals will experience the benefits of genetic engineering more quickly than humans, as this future will largely be facilitated by means of animal testing.

The Post-Human Era Starts with Basic Genetic Engineering and Ends with Post-Humanism, Hyperlongevity, and Potential Immortality

You may not be able to tell, but we are already in the midst of the first phase of the Post-Human era. The beginning of this era was marked by the first time that egg and sperm from two different individuals was combined and implanted into an adoptive mother. It was such a grand event in retrospect, but the passing into this new era was not met with massive celebrations, but simply with concerns over the ethics of the new future.

Post-Humanity will have a litany of moral conundrums to unravel, some that we can imagine, and others that are unfathomable to us today. The state of the mortal mind is simply not equipped to handle the moral and ethical quandaries that the genetically modified mind will face. What if there are other lifeforms just like us in other parts of the galaxy, that have also learned to take control of their very existence on the cellular level? What if the number of unique alien civilizations in the universe is unlimited? What if we as earthlings are just one form of intelligent life among a countless litany of others?

The Current State of Genetic Modification and Gene Therapy

Today, scientists, researchers, and physicians are taking the first step into this future, with the quickly growing field of genetic therapy. We are on the cusp of doing some truly amazing things, like genetically altering viruses in order to protect humans from genetic disorders and conditions. At first, these initial treatments have been risky, reserved for those in most dire need, but as medical science becomes more well-versed in these therapeutic advancements, they will become safer and more widely available to the general public. Could you imagine reducing your risk of cancer by 80% just with a single injection? That may be the future for you.

The Current State of Organ Regeneration and Stem Cell Therapy

Another aspect of genetic therapy has to do with the advancing field of Stem Cell Therapy. There are new, state of the art treatments available which utilize stem cells in order to improve the health of the heart. Patients that have experienced heart attack or heart disease can be treated with stem cells which have the ability to develop into new and healthy muscle tissue.

Similar techniques have also been used in order to regenerate other parts of the body or parts of individual organs. In one famous case, scientists biomanufactured a windpipe for a patient with the patient's own cells. They were able to do this by taking the stem cells and allowing them to grow in culture before pouring them over a scaffold in the shape of a windpipe. Just by providing the cells with the nutrients to grow, they were able to recreate a human windpipe in the laboratory just in a matter of days.

Because the windpipe was created from the patient's own cells, the body did not reject the windpipe when it was surgically implanted into the body. This is one of the first successful cases where a patient's life was changed through the scientific advancements of genetic organ replacement.

Stem Cell Therapy Will Be Available in the Near Future: Hormone Replacement Therapy is Here Today!

Stem Cell Therapy is exciting and will become increasingly common and popular over the next century in the United States. Today, there are a few places where Stem Cell Therapy is available internationally, especially in Asia, but they have yet to be medically certified, and there are still a number of pertinent risks involved. In the Western World, Stem Cell Treatments are currently going through clinical trials. Although the results are mixed, continual progress is being made.

There are many scientists that believe that Stem Cell Research will lead to a new future in medicine, but policies enacted during the presidency of George W. Bush have set the United States behind by at least a decade, and other nations in Europe and Asia are currently taking advantage of their head start, and may one day eclipse us in these new and futuristic medical therapies.

In just a few short years, genetic testing will become affordable enough that it will become a common and recommended part of prenatal care as well as regular checkups throughout the lifespan. Over time, more and more Genetic Disorders will be able to be effectively treated with Gene Therapy, and with every breakthrough, people will be that much more likely to live a longer and healthier life.

Once the clinical science is sound, it won't even be a difficult ordeal for the patient. It would simply be like going to visit the pharmacist, or making a call to a specialist pharmacy. After receiving the medication, one will be able to administer the medication on his or her own and without the frequent oversight of a medical professional.

Not long after these Genetic Treatments are made available to the public, Stem Cell Therapies will quickly become more and more advanced as well. There are even companies that have expressed a desire to take your stem cells and develop them in a laboratory environment. The goal of this treatment would be to take your own stem cells and foster the healthiest cells to multiply. After these cultures are developed, they would be mailed back to you in order for you to inject them to alleviate health conditions and other symptoms related to the aging process.

Beyond Genetic Engineering and Stem Cell Therapies, will come new forms of medical treatment that we are just beginning to research today, but will surely flourish in the coming decades: nanomedicine and femtomedicine.

Nanoscience and the Healthcare of the Future

These are tiny, genetically engineered cellular machines that will be able to improve your health by altering the functions of your body in a positive manner. They will be able to repair and alter particular forms of cells so that they function optimally, even after a period of long life in which you would expect to see physiological breakdown. It is even believed that these treatments can also preserve and repair the brain itself! Isn't that exciting?

There are countless people in the world that have a litany of big dreams, more than they could ever hope to accomplish in a single lifetime in some cases. They have these long checklists of things they want to do in their life, a whole wide world they want to explore. Some have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, and want to read thousands of books or learn dozens of languages in their life.

There are countless more people that have spent their early lives living on the edge, and suffer from issues such as alcohol dependency or drug addiction which have harmed their bodies and their brains. With these forms of genetic and nanomedicine, it will be possible to repair the bodies and minds of these individuals, allowing them to make a fresh start. It is possible that addiction itself may become a historical curiosity as a result of these medical advances.

What Would Do If You Had 200 More Years to Live?

  • Would you learn to play multiple musical instruments?

  • Would you research for decades in order to write the perfect novel?

  • Would you visit every country on earth?

The number of dreams that humans have yearned for is nearly infinite, and most never live to achieve all of their dreams, if they achieve any of their dreams at all. If you are still alive in the near future, around 2032, you will be able to take full advantage of what Longevity Medicine and Anti-Aging Therapy have to offer!

Some time in the future, we will finally overcome the condition of aging. We will be able to prevent all illness and be able to live in perpetuity, as long as we don't succumb to an accident or similar fate. This is the extreme vision of Immortality Medicine.

The First Immortals Could be Alive Today!

By the time we make it to the 22nd century, there will already be individuals that have taken the road to Hyperlongevity, and there will likely be millions of humans that have taken part in this great leap forward into Post-Humanism. They will not only be healthier, but smarter too, with further advances in Genetic Science that allow us to amplify the capacity of our brains.

As people continue to develop down this evolutionary road, will we even consider them humans anymore? They will represent a new version of humanity, and they will likely use a new term to define themselves, whether that be Neohuman or some other clever word or phrase.

I believe that this advance into Neohumanism will also lead to a new era in space travel and human colonization. With these extensive lifespans, many Neohumans will inevitably turn their eyes to the stars in a desire to find new worlds and discover new lands and extraterrestrial lifeforms. Brave Neohumans from all over the planet will take to interplanetary space vessels in order to colonize and experience new worlds and lands that are beyond the scope of human imagination.

Can I Live to Experience This New Era of Humanity?

All of the things we've discussed may seem incredibly exciting to you, but we understand that these innovations are going to come in the near future. If you want to take part in this grand human experiment, it's important that you live long enough to seize these innovations as they come! There are steps you can take now to alleviate the negative symptoms of the aging process and increase your odds of experiencing the new, human revolution.

My suggestions will not ensure that you will live for the next twenty years or longer, but they will potentially drastically decrease your mortality risk so that you are able to seek out this new and exciting future that we have laid before you.

Today, the door to Neo-Humanism, Hyperlongevity, and even Human Immortality is slightly open, and there are many alive today that will experience these magnificent and life-altering advances.

Will You Take Advantage of the Advances of Hyper-Longevity and Anti-Aging Medicine? Are You Willing to Commit to a Longer and more Youthful Life?

It's quite plain to see that we are at the crest of an event horizon, beyond which it will truly be possible to lengthen lifespans indefinitely. The most important thing is to breach that horizon. By taking steps to increase health and lifespan now, you allow yourself the opportunity to take care of further, greater medical enhancements down the road.

The most modern advances available today are in the form of Recombinant Hormone Replacement Therapies. By optimizing your hormone balance, you increase the odds that you will live long enough to experience the new, up-and-coming breakthroughs of the mid-21st century.

If you live just a few more years, new genetic medical treatments will become available which will significantly increase your lifespan. While you are enjoying the benefit of genetic medicine, researchers and medical scientists will advance and perfect Genetic Therapy and Stem Cell Therapy, allowing you to live even longer!

There are a number of Stem Cell and Gene Therapies going through clinical trials as you read this, which show great promise in preventing or treating serious illnesses which severely inhibit lifespan today. As the medical community becomes more adept at using these new tools for the purpose of treatment, they will begin to utilize these treatments as forms of Positive Medicine.

They will be able to treat patients before they even get sick in order to optimize their health and greatly improve lifespans as a result, because the incidence of illness will decline significantly. In addition, these same treatments will be able to streamline existing physiological processes, keeping the body physiologically stronger and more youthful. They will be able to tailor these treatments uniquely to the individual in order to give the best care to each individual patient.

Stay on the Cutting Edge of Longevity Medicine to Perpetually Extend the Human Lifespan

With each of these breakthroughs and treatments, we will come one step closer to Immortality. Eventually, scientists and researchers will crack the code of human life, and finally figure out how to allow us to truly live indefinitely. It may take 100 years or it may take 500 years to achieve true Immortality, but each life-extending advance will allow people to survive until the next great advance. Hyper-Longevity will eventually become a universal reality, barring accident, war, or any other form of life-ending catastrophe.

You may feel that this is a science fiction world that I am describing, but it very well may be possible for you to experience this all for yourself. It is estimated that at some point between 2032 and 2052 we will have perfected medical practices which allow us to live significantly longer lives than we do today. Those that are optimistic feel that we are just twenty years away from this era, while those that are more cautious suggest that fifty years would be a more reasonable estimate.

Twenty to fifty years may not seem like that long in scientific study, but in terms of your own life, it is a significant period of time. Are you willing to make the sacrifices now in order to experience Hyperlongevity in the near future?

Eight Ways to Extend Your Lifespan

There are a lot of steps that you can take in your life today in order to significantly increase the odds that you survive to experience this new and amazing future. If you follow the suggestions below, conscientiously, you will maximize your potential to extend your life until further longevity advances develop in the coming decades.

These eight factors have been shown to be most important when determining the length of an individual's lifespan:

  • Nutrition

  • Exercise

  • Environment

  • Social Circles

  • Vice

  • Climate

  • Calorie-Restricted Diet

  • Hormone Replacement Therapy

The Diet of the 21st Century: Caloric Restriction and Fasting for a Longer Life

A recent article in Newsmax Health explained that the future of longevity isn't fad dieting or strenuous exercise, but a Calorie-Restricted diet which manages metabolism and ensures a long and healthy life.

Over the last century, there have been more than twenty thousand studies regarding caloric restriction in animal species from around the globe. All of these studies have unequivocally shown that restricting the calories in an animal's diet has the ability to significantly increase the lifespan, and the same appears to apply to human beings..

This may sound like a starvation diet at first, but conscientiously and significantly restricting calories in the human diet is a powerful means to a longer life. Of course, most people consume at least 1500 calories per day and some consume several thousand! But, it appears that the sweet spot for human longevity is quite a bit lower than that 1500 calorie threshold.

For those that are struggling with Caloric Restriction, especially those that are currently overweight, HCG Injections can help relieve the feeling of hunger associated with the initial phase of the diet in order to acclimate to their new dietary lifestyle more effectively.

At first it may seem counter-intuitive, that too much of the Bread of Life can actually shorten the lifespan, but that absolutely seems to be the case. A diet that provides high levels of nutrients through the consumption of a small number of calories is the number one way to increase human longevity effectively. Intermittent Fasting and Caloric Restriction slow down aging and also reduce the incidence of a wide variety of illnesses that plague so many in America today.

The Modern Media and the Culture of Food in the West

In the United States, as well as other countries in the West including the United Kingdom, children were raised in a reality in which starvation was one of the greatest evils of the 19th and 20th century. The various forms of media available all showed the terrible fates of so many who were denied the food needed to live. Nowhere is this imagery more vivid in Western Civilization than in the footage captured after the end of World War II as the true horrors of the Holocaust were revealed to the world at large.

During the Cold War we also experienced further evidence of the horrors of famine as communist Russia and China struggled with providing their populations with proper nutrition, leading countless to die of starvation over many decades. Today, on modern television, there are advertisements for charities throughout Africa and Asia which show the plight of the starving in these third world nations.

I do not mean to discount the real and significant struggles that those that came before us experienced in the not so distant past, but it had a powerful impact on food culture in the West, particularly the idea that it is better to eat too much than too little. In our elementary education and beyond, we are confronted with story after story of mass famine, and it seems that part of the way that we culturally appreciate our current abundance is by partaking in it.

This appreciation for our abundance has led directly to a culture of overeating that borders on obsession. In the West, we simply love our food too much, and the expansion of cuisine in the West has allowed anyone to get whatever they want, when they want it, whether they go to the grocery store, the pizza parlor, or the Chinese buffet.

A Culture of Overeating Develops into a Culture of Force Feeding

Throughout the twentieth century, we have always been taught that we need to eat every last bite on our plates. Often times, we were also strongly encouraged, if not forced, to go back for a second portion. In addition to this, the proliferation of soda drinks has led directly to a significant increase in the empty calories that the average American consumes.

As the twentieth century barreled on, parents on average had less time to cook and prepare meals at home, which led to the greater proliferation of both fast food and microwavable dinners, loaded with sugars, salts, and carbohydrates which increased our caloric consumption even more!

During this age, restaurants like Burger King and McDonald's became the captains of the fast food industry, generating billions of dollars in profit funneling cheap calories into the mouths of men, women, and children all across the country.

Because of all these pressures to overeat, the longevity gains that people in the West experienced as a result of modernization all began to slip away, the combination of unhealthy eating and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle is threatening today's generation with the prospect of living shorter lives than their parents on average!

The United States would be stronger in every way, if it could foster greater consciousness about the importance of eating smarter to eat longer. If we all just made the proactive decision to engage in a lifestyle of at least mild caloric restriction, it would both decrease the price of health care and allow the citizens of this nation to live longer, happier, and healthier lives.

Do You Dream of a Healthier, Happier Life? Contact the Conscious Evolution Institute Today!

If you are a man or woman over the age of thirty and currently live in the United States, the Conscious Evolution Institute can help you improve your health and longevity. We provide Doctor-Monitored Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy to patients all across the United States.

With just a simple phone call, we can arrange for you to meet with one of our affiliate physicians in order to set you on the road to a new you. We offer a variety of Hormone Replacement options, including Testosterone Replacement Therapy, Human Growth Hormone Injections, Sermorelin Acetate Injections, and HCG Injection Therapy for Weight Loss.

We also provide nutrition and lifestyle counseling in order to help you maximize the results of your treatment by choosing foods, supplements, and exercises that will get your body running on all cylinders!

If you feel that you may be a candidate for Hormone Replacement Therapy, don't hesitate, call us today, and one of our friendly specialists will walk you through the process and answer any and all questions that you may have.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

6 Reasons To Always Take The Stairs in 2020 – Longevity LIVE

Posted: May 28, 2020 at 11:49 am

Its the start of a new year, and for a lot of us, that means re-prioritizing our health and wellness. That said, a lot of us are guilty of falling into crazy January, restrictive fads that force us to cut back on large amounts of food, that serves to be more detrimental than beneficial to our health. Therefore, its important to remember that the best way to adopt a healthy lifestyle is slowly. Picking up simple and easy habits that you can maintain throughout the year is the best way to ensure a healthy 2020. That said, an easy habit that you can pick up that will surely benefit your health throughout the year is choosing to always take the stairs.

Not only are they often easily accessible (and free), but choosing to take the stairs in 2020 can have a profound effect on your health throughout the year. In fact, an article from Harvard University revealed that walking up the stairs was more demanding in fact, twice as taxing as brisk walking and 50% more difficult than lifting weights. With that said, perhaps the only fitness resolution you should have this year is to avoid the elevator at all costs.

Do you ever feel that your breathing deepens as you climb the stairs? Well, thats because climbing stairs can strengthen both your heart and lungs, forcing them to take in more oxygen. As a result, your heart then pumps more oxygen-rich blood into all your muscles and organs, and thats just the half of it.

In fact, according to a study published in the journal ofApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, spending just a few minutes climbing the stairs at short intervals throughout the day canhelp to boost your cardiovascular health. This is because climbing stairs has been found to lower blood pressure, as well as levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol (1,2).

As we age, our bones tend to lose more density and mass. Therefore, its important to help maintain the health of our bones in any way that we can. One of the best ways to do so would be by regularly taking the stairs.

According to research found in the Biomed Research International journal, climbing the stairs which is a weight-bearing exercise was found to help increase bone mass.

As its such a vigorous-intensity exercise, taking the stairs can burn a lot of calories.In fact, even taking the stairs at a slow pace will help you burn calories three times faster than walking on a level surface.

Could taking the stairs be the secret to longevity? A study from Harvard Health seems to think so.

The study, published in Preventive Medicine Reports, involved over 8,000 men between ages 65 and 71 and found that climbing the stairs was associated with a lower risk of mortality from any cause.

Climbing the stairs is a form of physical activity, doing it on a regular basis can help to release endorphins. Endorphins are brain chemicals that have been found to alleviate pain, discomfort, and stress. Theyre great stress relievers, and they can help to improve your mental health.

In fact, low levels of endorphins have been linked to an increased risk of depression (3). That said, if the new year has you feeling a bit low, perhaps taking the stairs may serve to boost your mood.

Climbing the stairs makes use of all the muscles in your legs, as well as activating the muscles in your back. As a result, you get an intensive muscular workout, all whilst improving the health of your musculoskeletal system.

In fact, a strong musculoskeletal system can help to improve your coordination, increase bone density, reduce the risk of injury, alleviate your bones, as well as boost your metabolism.

Opting to take the stairs, or using the stairs as a form of exercise, is really an easy and effective way to improve your fitness level, all whilst enhancing your cardiovascular health. Whats more, its not just going up the stairs that can improve your health.

According to a study published in the Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise journal, climbing down the stairs can also help to levels of blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar, bone density, as well as enhance functional fitness.

With the aforementioned in mind, if you really care about your health in 2020, you may want to make sure that you take as many stairs as you can this year.

Benedetti, M. G., Furlini, G., Zati, A., & Letizia Mauro, G. (2018). The Effectiveness of Physical Exercise on Bone Density in Osteoporotic Patients.BioMed research international,2018, 4840531. doi:10.1155/2018/4840531

BorehamCAG,KennedyRA,MurphyMH, et al. (2005) Training effects of short bouts of stair climbing on cardiorespiratory fitness, blood lipids, and homocysteine in sedentary young women British Journal of Sports Medicine;39:590-593.

Chen, T, Hsieh, C. Tseng, K., et al. (2017). Effects of Descending Stair Walking on Health and Fitness of Elderly Obese Women. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise. 49. 1. 10.1249/MSS.0000000000001267.

Hegadoren K.M. ODonnell, T, Lanius, R, et al, (2009) The role of -endorphin in the pathophysiology of major depression, Neuropeptides, Volume 43, Issue 5, Pages 341-353, ISSN 0143-4179, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.npep.2009.06.004.

Jenkins E, Nairn L, Skelly L, Little J., et al. (2019) Do stair climbing exercise snacks improve cardiorespiratory fitness? Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism,, 44:681-684,https://doi.org/10.1139/apnm-2018-0675

Rey-Lopez J, Stamatakis E, Mackey M, et al, (2019), Associations of self-reported stair climbing with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: The Harvard Alumni Health Study, Preventive Medicine Reports, Volume 15, 100938, ISSN 2211-3355, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pmedr.2019.100938

Wong, A., Figueroa, A.,et al. (2018). The effects of stair climbing on arterial stiffness, blood pressure, and leg strength in postmenopausal women with stage 2 hypertension. Menopause. 25. 1. 10.1097/GME.0000000000001072.

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6 Reasons To Always Take The Stairs in 2020 - Longevity LIVE

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

What Are Lupini Beans & Should You Be Eating More Of Them? – Anti Aging News

Posted: May 28, 2020 at 11:49 am

What Are Lupini Beans & Should You Be Eating More Of Them?  Anti Aging News

Continued here:
What Are Lupini Beans & Should You Be Eating More Of Them? - Anti Aging News

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

A view from Dave Trott: Never ask a barber if you need a haircut – CampaignLive

Posted: May 28, 2020 at 11:49 am

When doctors go on strike, fewer people die.

Take Los Angeles: in 1976, hospital staff went on strike for 52 days and deaths went down by 18%.

In Israel, in 1973, a hospital strike lasted 28 days and deaths went down by 50%.

In Bogot, Colombia, in 1976, a hospital strike lasted 52 days and deaths went down by 35%.

We think that increased technology in healthcare has resulted in increased longevity.

But researchers Sonja and John McKinley found that, since 1900, medical intervention has increased average lifespan by just 1% to 3%, thats about a year.

So whats actually happening?

It seems the main problem is unnecessary intervention medical conditions that would be better left alone.

It seems to be the old clich: "Never ask a barber if you need a haircut."

Its the same if you take your car to a mechanic and ask if theres anything wrong.

Hell find something wrong, thats his job.

Thats how it is with plumbers, soldiers, chefs, teachers, doctors, everyone.

When you go to a doctor, they recommend a treatment, drugs or surgery.

During a doctors strike, only emergency cases got seen, and deaths went down, so what does that tell you?

It tells you that a lot of deaths are from treatments prescribed for non-emergency conditions.

Especially in the US, doctors are constantly incentivised by drug companies to prescribe the medicines they make.

According to the FDA, in 1978, 1.5 million Americans were hospitalised for prescription drugs, and one in seven hospital beds were used by people with adverse drug reactions.

According to the General Accounting Office, 51% of all drugs between 1976 and 1985 caused adverse reactions, such as: heart, liver or kidney failure, birth defects, blood disorders, respiratory arrest, seizures or blindness.

Prescription drugs are reported to kill 100,000 patients a year in US hospitals.

Robert Mendelsohn, ex-chairman of the Medical Licencing Committee for Illinois, put it this way: "The great danger to health is the doctor who practises modern medicine. I believe modern medicines treatments for diseases are seldom effective, and theyre often more dangerous than the disease theyre designed to treat. I believe that much modern medicine could disappear from the face of the earth (doctors, hospitals, drugs, and equipment) and the effect on our health would be immediate and beneficial."

Mendelsohn is saying that an awful lot of problems could be solved without medical intervention just plain old-fashioned common sense.

Of course, a specialist, in any area, would never agree with that.

Its in their interest to find a complicated problem, because thats their job.

Murray Chick, our head of planning, once told me about the advice one of the cleverest men in advertising gave him when he was a young planner.

He said: "Its your job to make the client believe his problem is unbelievably complicated, and youre the one person who can solve it for him."

As a client, or a creative, its worth remembering that.

The real solution to most problems is the radical application of common sense, thats what creativity is.

Dont ask a specialist for help unless youve already decided you cant solve theproblem with common sense.

In other words, never ask a barber if you need a haircut.

What would you expect him to say?

Dave Trott is the author ofCreative Blindness and How to Cure It,Creative Mischief, Predatory Thinking and One Plus One Equals Three

Original post:
A view from Dave Trott: Never ask a barber if you need a haircut - CampaignLive

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

How The ‘Lost Art’ Of Breathing Can Impact Sleep And Resilience – NPR

Posted: May 28, 2020 at 11:49 am

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Breathing is something we take for granted unless we have respiratory problems or are sick or worried about the coronavirus, which attacks the lungs. In the new book "Breath," my guest, journalist James Nestor, writes about many aspects of how we breathe and how we can train ourselves to breathe in ways that may improve our health and the quality of our sleep and decrease anxiety. He reports on why mouth breathing is related to snoring, sleep apnea and other problems, what the nose has that the mouth doesn't, different breathing techniques to destress, reduce blood pressure and balance the nervous system, and how free divers train to expand their lung capacity so that they can dive deep and stay underwater for up to 12 minutes on one breath.

When possible, Nestor's tried what he's written about, including participating in an experiment at Stanford in which his nose was completely plugged for days to test the impact of breathing solely through the mouth. The results were fascinating, but the experience of total mouth breathing was unpleasant and disrupted his sleep. Nestor is also the author of a previous book called "Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, And What The Oceans Tell Us About Ourselves" (ph). And he helped found a research initiative to investigate how sperm whales communicate with each other through clicks.

James Nestor, welcome to FRESH AIR. How are you?

JAMES NESTOR: Doing very well. Thanks so much for having me.

GROSS: Has your research into breathing taking on a slightly different meaning because of COVID-19, because of its respiratory systems and the anxiety that it's creating?

NESTOR: I think the awareness of breathing has definitely increased. When I first started this research several years ago, a lot of my friends were saying, you're writing a book about breathing? I've been breathing my whole life. Why would you want to write a book about that? But now these are the same friends who are seeing how essential respiratory health is in helping us both prevent the onset of many illnesses and to help us get through illnesses like COVID - to help us better get through them.

GROSS: So you had been a mouth breather, and you did some snoring. You had a deviated septum, which was affecting your ability to breathe through your nose because that kind of clogs part of the nose - or blocks part of the nasal passage, I should say. So to understand whether mouth breathing was really a problem, you participated in a study at Stanford University that forced you to breathe through your mouth. Describe what the setup was.

NESTOR: Yeah. So I had been in contact with the chief of rhinology research, Jayakar Nayak, for months and months. We had had several interviews. We'd been talking a lot. And he was telling me all the wonders of nasal breathing and how bad mouth breathing was. And none of that was controversial. That's very well-established now. But nobody really knew how - all the problems of mouth breathing - no one knew how soon those came on.

So I asked him. I said, well, why don't you test it? You're in a position to test it. He's like, how am I going to test it? It would be unethical to ask someone to plug their nose for a certain amount of time and measure what happens. And I said, well, I'll do it. So it was never, like, a "Super Size Me" study. That wasn't our intention. If - 25 to 50% of the population is breathing through their mouth, so I was just lulling myself into a condition I already knew and that so many other people already knew.

So the plan was, for 10 days, I would have silicone plugs up my nose - me and one other subject, a breathing therapist from Sweden; I convinced him to do this study as well. And for the other 10 days, we would change the pathway of how we breathe and breathe through our noses instead of our mouths. So that was it. That was the setup. And you know, we thought that mouth breathing for 10 days was going to be bad, but we had no idea it was going to be so damaging.

GROSS: How bad was it?

NESTOR: (Laughter) Well, I went from snoring a couple minutes a night to - within three days, I was snoring for hours a night. I developed sleep apnea. My stress levels were off the charts. My nervous system was a mess. We had a whole home lab here at my house, so we were testing each other three times a day every day and writing out all of these metrics. We even had - were looking at blood glucose, how that was affected.

So I felt awful. I felt fatigued - snoring, sleep apnea, all the rest - and even performance - athletic performance really decreased as well. And the good thing about this is, I was able to take these god-awful plugs out of my nose and breathe nasally again. And once I did that, snoring disappeared; sleep apnea disappeared; nervous system came back into balance - I mean, completely transformed by just changing the pathway through which we breathed.

GROSS: So what's in the nose that makes nose breathing better than mouth breathing 'cause mouths don't have that stuff?

NESTOR: So the nose filters heat and treats raw air. Most of us know that. But so many of us don't realize - at least, I didn't realize - how it can trigger different hormones to flood into our bodies, how it can lower our blood pressure, how the stages of a woman's menstrual cycle are correlated to different areas of the nose, how it monitors heart rate - on and on and on - even helps store memories. So it's this incredible organ that is not represented in any of the departments of the National Institutes of Health, and this is something that Nayak has, you know, just hammered down over and over again. He's like, why aren't we studying this more? And why don't people - more people realize how important nasal breathing is? So it's - it orchestrates innumerable functions in our body to keep us balanced.

GROSS: What I found most surprising was that the nose actually has erectile tissue like men's and women's genitals.

NESTOR: (Laughter) So the nose is more closely connected to our genitals than any other organ. So it is covered in that same tissue. So when one area gets stimulated, the nose will become stimulated as well. Some people have too close of a connection, where they get stimulated in the southerly regions - they will start uncontrollably sneezing. And this condition is common enough that it was given a name called honeymoon rhinitis. So the...

GROSS: Wow (laughter).

NESTOR: That - the - yeah. This is the weird stuff you never thought you'd discover when you start writing a book about breathing. But another thing that is really fascinating is, that erectile tissue will pulse on its own, so it will close one nostril and allow breath in through the other nostril. Then that other nostril will close and allow breath in. And our bodies do this on their own, and this switching happens between 30 minutes and every three hours.

And a lot of people think - a lot of people who have studied this believe that this is the way that our bodies maintain balance because when we breathe through our right nostril, circulation speeds up; the body gets hotter; cortisol levels increase; blood pressure increases. So breathing through the left will relax us more, so blood pressure will decrease - lowers temperature, cools the body, you know, reduces anxiety as well. So our bodies are naturally doing this. And when we breathe through our mouths, we're denying our bodies the ability to do this and to keep us in balance.

GROSS: But what about if you can't breathe through your nose because either you have a cold or a respiratory illness or you have a bad deviated septum?

NESTOR: Sure. Around 70% of the population has a deviated septum that's clearly visible to the naked eye. So this is just rampant. And I certainly do. When I got a CAT scan of my head, it was an absolute mess. But some conditions are so severe that you will need surgical intervention for sure. But the vast majority are not. And something Nayak kept telling me is, he said, you know, if a sink is clogged in your house, you're going to find a way of unclogging it. The nose should be considered in the same way.

For noses clogged, you need to find a way of unclogging it. You can do that by breathing more through your nose because it's really a use-it-or-lose-it organ. The more you breathe through it, the more you're going to be able to breathe through it. I was just talking to a clinician who's trained something like 7,000 people to nasal breathe. And only four of them could not breathe through their noses after about three weeks of training. So it's really something - the more we focus on it, the more we really concentrate, the more we're able to open it up and to get all those benefits of nasal breathing.

GROSS: So after you do this experiment about breathing exclusively for your - through your mouth, you decided, at night, to try taping your mouth so that you couldn't breathe through your mouth and you'd have to breathe through your nose. How did that go?

NESTOR: (Laughter) Yeah. So this is something - a hack that I had heard about and was extremely skeptical about. It sounded very dangerous to me until I talked to a breathing therapist at Stanford, who said that she had cured her own mouth-breathing by taping her mouth at night, and until I talked to a dentist, who'd been in the field for 20, 30 years who prescribes this to his patients.

Now, I'm not talking about getting a fat piece of duct tape and taping that over your mouth. That's a really bad idea. I'm talking about a teeny piece of surgical tape about the size of a stamp. Imagine, like, a Charlie Chaplin mustache moved down an inch. And my personal experience with this is it has allowed me to sleep so much better, wake up so much more rested and to not have that dry mouth every morning.

GROSS: So with the kind of tape you're talking about, if your mouth really needed to open, it could because that's not - like you said, it's not, like, really strong tape. It's just, like, surgical tape and a little piece of it. So you're not...

NESTOR: Of course.

GROSS: You're not gagging yourself (laughter).

NESTOR: Yeah. And I'm not prescribing - I'm not qualified to...

GROSS: And you're not prescribing it, and neither am I (laughter).

NESTOR: I'm not prescribing anything. No, no, no.

GROSS: Yeah. Yeah.

NESTOR: I'm saying, this personally worked for me. But don't go on YouTube. Don't go on the Internet and see these people with nine pieces of tape over their lower jaw. It's like, bad idea. I've found all you need is a very small piece of tape. And there's even a product out right now that is being sold as a remedy for snoring. And what is it? It's a piece of tape that you put on your lips at night (laughter). So other people - and they've conducted studies to show how effective it is. So this worked well for me. It's worked well for many other people. But I'm not prescribing anything.

GROSS: And I should mention that my guest, James Nestor, is also not a doctor. He's a journalist. And he's reporting on what he's learned by talking to many researchers and doctors and people who practice breathing techniques and teach breathing techniques. If you're just joining us, my guest is journalist James Nestor, author of the new book "Breath: The New Science Of A Lost Art." We'll talk more after we take a short break. This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF GERALD CLAYTON'S "ENVISIONINGS")

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. Let's get back to my interview with journalist James Nestor, author of the new book, "Breath," about what ancient forms of Eastern meditation, as well as new science, tell us about breathing and how, by controlling our breath through various techniques, we can improve our sleep, our health and decrease our anxiety.

Breathing is automatic. But we can control, when we consciously try, the quality of the breath, the length of inhales and exhales, and how deeply or shallowly we breathe. Can you explain why breath would, for instance, affect anxiety and how breathing in certain ways, certain breathing techniques, can decrease anxiety...

NESTOR: Sure.

GROSS: ...Anxiety being a very important subject right now.

NESTOR: So for so many of us, we think that it's just important that we're breathing because if we're breathing, that's good. That means we're alive. If we're not breathing, that's bad, you know, we could be dead. But it's how we take those breaths. We take 25,000 breaths a day. And 30 pounds of air enters and exits our lungs every day. So it's how we take those breaths and the nuances of those breaths that I've found play such an important role in health, happiness and longevity.

So specifically, with anxiety, talked to a neuropsychologist, went out to his lab at the Laureate Institute of Brain Research. And he explained to me that people with anxieties or other fear-based conditions, typically, will breathe way too much. So what happens when you breathe that much is you're constantly putting yourself into a state of stress. So you're stimulating that sympathetic side of the nervous system.

And the way to change that is to breathe deeply, because if you think about it, if you're stressed out - a tiger is going to come get you, you know, you're going to get hit by a car - you're going to breathe, breathe, breathe as much as you can. But by breathing slowly, that is associated with a relaxation response. So the diaphragm lowers. You're allowing more air into your lungs. And your body immediately switches to a relaxed state.

So we may not be able to control the function of our hearts, other organs in our body, but we can control our breathing. And when we control our breathing, we can influence so much of how our bodies operate. And that includes - as a treatment or at least a practice for people with anxieties, depression, just changing their breathing, psychiatrists have found, can have a very transformational effect. It seems so simple to be true. But some of these people have been studying this subject for decades. And that's what they've found.

GROSS: There are many different breathing techniques. There are many different breathing meditation styles. What do they all have in common? Is there something they all have in common in terms of inhale and exhale and the basic principles underneath?

NESTOR: So breathing has been studied for thousands and thousands of years. There are seven books of the Chinese Tao that deal only with breathing, what happens when we do it improperly and all of the benefits we can get by doing it properly. So all of those ways, all of the different practices do have one thing in common. And that's because they allow you to slow down and consciously listen to yourself and feel how breath is affecting you. So there is many different tools in this toolbox. If you want to slow down and become more relaxed, you can exhale longer than you inhale. So that will have a very powerful effect on you for relaxation.

If you want to stimulate yourself and get going, you can breathe much faster. So what I've found is, throughout time, throughout millennia, these different cultures at different times, different peoples were discovering the same exact thing over and over. So it's very interesting that, right now, we have the science and the techniques and measurements to really prove what these people have been saying for so long.

GROSS: Why does the exhale quiet the system?

NESTOR: Because the exhale is a parasympathetic response. Right now, you can put your hand over your heart. And if you take a very slow inhale in, you're going to feel your heart speed up. As you exhale, you should be feeling your heart slow down. So exhaling relaxes the body. And something else happens when we take a very deep breath like this. So the diaphragm lowers. When we take a breath in. And that sucks a bunch of blood, a huge profusion of blood, into the thoracic cavity.

As we exhale, that blood shoots back out through the body. So the diaphragm is considered the second heart because it plays such a huge role in circulation. And it lowers the burden of the heart if we breathe properly and if we really engage the diaphragm. So these slow and low breaths, people should be practicing these as much as possible. This is the way your body wants to take an air.

GROSS: If you want to start breathing to calm yourself down, do you have any suggestions for the length of the inhale and the length of the exhale?

NESTOR: Sure. And this was a study I'd stumbled upon that's about 20 years old now, that some Italian researchers gathered a group of subjects. And they had them recite the Ave Maria, so the Catholic prayer cycle. And then they had them recite om mani padme hum, which is a Buddhist prayer. What they found is that it took about 5 1/2 seconds to recite each of these prayers, and then about 5 1/2 seconds to then inhale.

And so by breathing about 5 1/2 seconds out, 5 1/2 seconds in, they found that blood to the brain increased. The body entered this state of balance in which all of the organs, all of the system worked in harmony with one another. And they covered these people with sensors and were able to see all of this all on data sheets. And the study is widely available. So they later found that you don't need to really pray to get these benefits even though you can do that if you'd like.

But just by breathing at this rate, about 5 1/2 seconds in, 5 1/2 seconds out - don't worry if you're a second off, you know, the point is to relax yourself - you are able to get the perfect amount of air into your body and out of your body and really allow your body to do what it's naturally designed to do, which is function with the least amount of effort. And they've taught this breathing - psychiatrists have taught this breathing pattern to people with anxiety, depression, even 9/11 survivors who had this ghastly condition called ground-glass lungs. And it had significant effects on them by just breathing this way.

GROSS: You've said if you exhale longer than you inhale, that that can be very calming. So if both the inhale and the exhale are 5 1/2 seconds, you're not doing a longer exhale. Does that matter?

NESTOR: So the body wants to be balanced, right? We want sympathetic balance. We want parasympathetic balance. So just in regular day-to-day activity, you want to have that balance. Before you go to sleep, you can extend that exhale and become more relaxed. But I would not be extending that exhale before a meeting or before an important phone call.

So you can use these different tools to do different things. You can also inhale longer and exhale shorter if you want a little boost of energy. So the even-steven, like, the most balanced way of breathing that I've found after studying this stuff and talking to the leaders in the field was that five to six seconds in, five to six seconds out.

GROSS: My guest is journalist James Nestor, author of the new book "Breath: The New Science Of A Lost Art." We'll talk more after we take a short break. I'm Terry Gross, and this is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF FRED KATZ'S "FOGGY, FOGGY DEW")

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Let's get back to my interview with journalist James Nestor, author of the new book "Breath: The New Science Of A Lost Art." It's about the impact of how we breathe on our health, our sleep and our anxiety level. He investigates different ancient and new breathing techniques that can improve our health and expand our lung capacity. Nestor's previous book, "DEEP," was about free diving, in which divers go deep underwater, for up to 12 minutes, on one breath.

James, you know, in talking about breath and its impact on our health and our anxiety, you referred to the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Without going into too much detail, can you just explain briefly what each of them are and why they're relevant to breath?

NESTOR: Sure. The sympathetic nervous system is the system that triggers a fight-or-flight reaction. So when we sense danger, the sympathetic nervous system switches on, floods our bodies with stress hormones and allows us to become meaner and leaner and to fight harder or to run really fast. That's what that does.

So the parasympathetic is the opposite. This is the side of the nervous system that triggers a rest-and-relax response. And we want to be in this state when we're eating food. Mostly, throughout the entire day, we want to be in a parasympathetic state. The problem is that, nowadays, all of us are kind of half-stressed. We're not really running away from a tiger or a lion or fighting for our lives, but we're not really relaxing, either. So we're staying in this gray zone, where during the night, we're half-awake and during our days, we're half-asleep.

So that's what I found was so interesting about breathing, is by just breathing, you can elicit these different nervous system states. So you can take command of something that was supposed to be autonomic. That's what it's called - the autonomic nervous system. But you can control it, and you can stress yourself out if you want, or you can relax yourself, just by breathing.

GROSS: What are the things that we typically do wrong when we breathe? Like, speaking for myself, I think I'm a very shallow breather when I'm not paying attention to my breathing. I think my kind of go-to state is just shallow breaths. So what's wrong with that?

NESTOR: Well, you can think about breathing as being in a boat, right? So you can take a bunch of very short, stilted strokes, and you're going to get to where you want to go. It's going to take a while, but you'll get there. Or you can take a few very fluid and long strokes and get there so much more efficiently. So your body doesn't want to be overworked all the time because, if it is, then things start to break down.

So you want to make it very easy for your body to get air, especially if this is an act that we're doing 25,000 times a day. So by just extending those inhales and exhales, by moving that diaphragm up and down a little more, you can have a profound effect on your blood pressure, on your mental state, on - even on longevity because so much of longevity is correlated with respiratory health and lung size.

GROSS: One of the trips that you took as part of your research was to Philadelphia to go to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and look at their skull collection with Dr. Marianna Evans. And she told you some fascinating things about how the skull has changed through human history - I mean through the evolution (laughter) of human history and how the nose has changed. So tell us some of the most interesting things you learned about how our nose evolved.

NESTOR: So - sure. You know, when I was first starting out researching this book, I thought I had a pretty good idea of where all of the research was going to lead me. I identified the leaders in the field, different areas I was going to go into.

But about six months into it, I realized that so much of what I had planned had to be thrown out because there was a much stranger story several layers deep. And it was the fact that so many of us are breathing poorly not because some sort of psychological problem, not because we're anxious, but because we can't, because our skulls have changed so much, especially in the last 400 years, that it's blocked our sinuses, and it's made us breathe more through our mouths.

And at the beginning, when I heard this, I didn't believe it. But I started talking to biological anthropologists who kept telling me the same thing over and over. They said if you take a skull that's a thousand years old and compare it to a new skull, that skull that's a thousand years old, there's a very good chance its teeth are going to be perfectly straight, whereas the modern skull, there's a very good chance its teeth are going to be very crooked.

So those perfectly straight teeth in that thousand-year-old skull, they would be the same teeth you'd find in a 10,000-year-old skull, hundred-thousand-year-old skull and on back. So just in the past 400 years, humans now have - about 90% percent of us - have some problems with our teeth that make them grow in crooked. And the reason is our mouths have grown so small that our teeth have nowhere to go. So they come in crooked. And another problem with having too small of a mouth is it also gives us too small of an airway to easily take air in and out.

So this was a story about evolution I never heard about in school, that I didn't think could be possibly true, unless you start looking at skulls. So she welcomed me, Marianna Evans, to go to the museum with the largest collection of preindustrial skulls. And time in, time out, didn't matter if the skulls were coming from Asia or Africa or South America, they all had straight teeth. And if you - again, if you look at a skull now, it's a very good chance it's going to have crooked teeth.

GROSS: So the obvious question is, why did skulls get smaller?

NESTOR: Well, I think that - you know, I had learned in school that evolution always meant survival of the fittest. But it doesn't; it means change. And life forms can change for the better or worse, and humans have certainly been changing in ways that are a detriment to our health. And this change, this catalyst that caused our mouths to go smaller, is tied to industrial food. It's not vitamins and minerals, as many people would suspect; it's chewing. The fact is, for the past 300 years, our food has been so processed, so soft, that we're not chewing anymore. So our mouths never quite develop right, which means our airways are clogged.

GROSS: Didn't Dr. Evans also tell you that as the human brain expanded, it left less room for the nose and the mouth?

NESTOR: This was about a million years ago, when we started processing foods, bashing prey against rocks. And we started cooking foods about 800,000 years ago, our brains started growing so rapidly, and they needed real estate. So they took it from the front of our faces, and they took it from our mouths. But these changes happened over tens of thousands of years, these morphological changes. So the changes that happen to our mouths happen very quickly, and we haven't been able to adapt fast enough to really acclimate to it.

So that is one of the reasons why we have so many chronic breathing problems. It's tied to the shrinking of the front of our faces.

GROSS: Well, let me take a short break here, and then we'll talk some more. If you're just joining us, my guest is journalist James Nestor, author of the new book "Breath: The New Science Of A Lost Art." We'll talk more after we take a short break. This is FRESH AIR.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GROSS: This is FRESH AIR. Let's get back to my interview with journalist James Nestor, author of the new book "Breath," about what ancient forms of Eastern meditation as well as new science tell us about breathing and how, by controlling our breath through various techniques, we can improve our sleep, our health and decrease our anxiety.

So you had respiratory problems 10 years ago, when you started all this research into breathing techniques. Have your respiratory problems improved?

NESTOR: I have not had pneumonia since I've been using these techniques. I haven't had bronchitis. I've been breathing clearly through my nose. I've had one stuffed nose in the past year and a half, when I came down with a flu. So I'm not using that as confirmed data that says this stuff works; I'm saying that it worked for me.

And I just want to also make clear that I had no slant going into this world. My job, as a journalist who writes about science a lot, is to take all the data, talk to as many people as I can and come out with a very objective view of what's going on here. That's what I really tried to do with this book. So I don't want to be preaching slow breathing or heavy breathing or whatever. I wanted to present the facts and the studies and say, this is what's worked for people; this is what the science says.

But on a personal point, you know, I will say, you get pretty emotionally invested in the subject once you've been in it for years and years. And once you've seen these people so profoundly transformed, the more you dive into these worlds and become consumed by it, the more you want to feel these benefits and try to understand them in a certain way so you can relay that back to the reader.

GROSS: You know, so many doctors now are trying to figure out how the coronavirus works in the body and why it does the damage that it does and how they can help patients, you know, get over it and recover. And I know that some doctors now, instead of using respirators, are doing what's called proning, in which the person who is having the breathing problems because of the virus, instead of lying on their back, they lay on their side or, I think, on their chest, and that that seems to somehow make it easier for them to breathe. And I'm wondering if you have been reading about that and what your understanding of it is.

NESTOR: So about four weeks ago, five weeks ago, when a patient would have very severe symptoms of COVID, they would bring them in and lay them on their back and sometimes intubate them, and this seemed to work for a lot of the patients. But what they found more recently was that by laying them on their sides or on their stomachs, they could breathe so much better.

I found this was so interesting because 2,000 years ago, Chinese doctors prescribed side-sleeping as well. And then you have a cardiologist 80 years ago, 70 years ago, named Buteyko that asked all of his patients with pneumonia or other respiratory problems to always sleep on their sides. So he would even tape balls to their back so they could not sleep on their backs. So it seems like this science that has been around for hundreds, sometimes thousands of years just keeps popping up in these different ways.

And they've found that prone breathing - and they've even put some patients in a chair because they don't want them lying down - is extremely effective. And a lot of this has to do with how we breathe. When you take a big breath, your back is - more of the lungs are on your back, so your back is going to be expanding. Your chest expands a little bit, but most of that is happening at the back. So when you're lying someone on their backs, they're not going to be able to access their lungs as efficiently.

So it's simple physics. By flipping them around, they're going to be able to breathe better. So this was just another example. I was sending this back and forth to my father-in-law, who's a pulmonologist, been a pulmonologist for 40 years. And I was just like, it's more of the new science of a lost art here. We're just rediscovering all of these hacks that have been around for so long.

GROSS: I didn't realize your father-in-law was a pulmonologist, which means he works with patients who have lung issues. What does he make of the research that you present in the book? Is it consistent with what he's found as a doctor? And I'm wondering if he's adding anything to his toolbox (laughter).

NESTOR: All I can say is we've had some very lively Thanksgiving dinners together talking about this stuff over the years.

GROSS: (Laughter).

NESTOR: But at the beginning, he thought a lot of what I was uncovering - he was like, I never heard of that; I don't know about this. He's a pretty conservative guy in his beliefs, as far as medicine is concerned.

But over the years, one of the most fascinating things for me has been presenting him with more of this research, more of these studies, more of these investigators and scientists who have been saying the same stuff and watching him really change his mind. That's not what I set out to do. I want him to be critical and trust me. He was when I was bringing up a lot of these issues.

But watching him come around and get very exciting about using these other hacks, especially now, especially with COVID, when so many of us aren't breathing well - we've got masks on; we feel tightness in our chest - to be able to focus on our breathing and really allow us to be healthier and to have more of a calmer state of mind. So it's been a fantastic conversation over several years, and he's very excited about some of this really weird stuff I've uncovered.

GROSS: You know, your previous book was about divers who dive deep with one breath, and they can hold one breath for about 12 minutes. How do they train their lungs to expand enough to hold enough air to do all that on one breath?

NESTOR: So the world record is 12 1/2 minutes, the breath-hold. And most divers will hold their breath for eight minutes or seven minutes, which is still incredible to me. When I first saw this - this was several years ago. I was sent out on a reporting assignment to write about a free-diving competition. You watch this person at the surface take a single breath of air and completely disappear into the ocean, come back five or six minutes later. So

the way they were able to do this was by breathing.

Excerpt from:
How The 'Lost Art' Of Breathing Can Impact Sleep And Resilience - NPR

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Posted: May 28, 2020 at 11:48 am

Xiaolei Xu,1,2,* Xudan Liu,1,* Yingchun Yang,1 Jianyi He,1 Mengqi Jiang,1 Yue Huang,1 Xiaotong Liu,1 Li Liu,1 Hailun Gu3

1Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, China Medical University, Shenyang, Peoples Republic of China; 2Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, Beihua University, Jilin, Peoples Republic of China; 3Department of Orthopedics, Shengjing Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang, Peoples Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Hailun GuDepartment of Orthopedics, Shengjing Hospital, China Medical University, Shenyang 110004, Liaoning Province, Peoples Republic of ChinaTel +86-18940257206Email guhailun_@163.comLi LiuDepartment of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, School of Public Health, China Medical University, Shenyang 110122, Liaoning Province, Peoples Republic of ChinaTel +86-18900910766Email lliu@cmu.edu.cn

Purpose: Osteoarthritis (OA) is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation. Resveratrol exerts protective effects on OA through its anti-inflammatory property; however, the mechanism of resveratrol on anti-inflammatory signaling pathways has not been fully elucidated yet. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether resveratrol-mediated PI3K/Akt expression is linked to TLR4/NF-B pathway and the role of TLR4/Akt/FoxO1 axis in the anti-osteoarthritic effect of resveratrol.Methods: SW1353 cells stimulated by IL-1 (10 ng/mL) were cultured in the presence or absence of resveratrol (50 M) and then treated with TLR4 siRNA, PI3K inhibitor LY294002 or FoxO1 siRNA, respectively. The associated proteins of TLR4 signaling pathways and TLR4/Akt/FoxO1 axis were evaluated by Western blot. The level of IL-6 in the supernatant was detected by ELISA.Results: IL-1 treatment increased the expression of TLR4/NF-B and phosphorylation of PI3K/Akt and FoxO1, while additional resveratrol further upregulated the expression of PI3K/Akt and FoxO1 phosphorylation but downregulated TLR4 signals in SW1353 cells. Further analyses by the inhibition of TLR4, PI3K/Akt and FoxO1 signaling pathways, respectively, showed that the activation of TLR4 can induce PI3K/Akt phosphorylation, which increases the phosphorylation of FoxO1 and inactivates it. Next, inactivated-FoxO1 can reduce the expression of TLR4, which forms a self-limiting mechanism of inflammation. Resveratrol treatment can upregulate PI3K/Akt phosphorylation and inactivate FoxO1, thereby reducing TLR4 and inflammation.Conclusion: This study reveals that TLR4/Akt/FoxO1 inflammatory self-limiting mechanism may exist in IL-1-stimulated SW1353 cells. This study reveals a novel cross-talk mechanism which is between integrated PI3K/Akt/FoxO1 signaling network and TLR4-driven innate responses in IL-1-stimulated SW1353 cells. Resveratrol may exert anti-OA effect by enhancing the self-limiting mechanism of inflammation through TLR4/Akt/FoxO1 axis.

Keywords: resveratrol, toll-like receptor 4, osteoarthritis, interleukin-1, forkhead box O1, phosphoinositide-3-kinase/protein kinase B

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Resveratrol Exerts Anti-Osteoarthritic Effect by Inhibiting TLR4/NF-&k | DDDT - Dove Medical Press

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Resveratrol Market 2020 Global Share, Growth, Size, Opportunities, Trends, Regional Overview, Leading Company Analysis, And Key Country Forecast to…

Posted: May 28, 2020 at 11:48 am

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Resveratrol Market 2020 Global Share, Growth, Size, Opportunities, Trends, Regional Overview, Leading Company Analysis, And Key Country Forecast to...

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith


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