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Fast food is a hallmark of modern living, and while it may be convenient, it's not doing us any favors.
A new study from Penn State, West Virginia and Michigan State universities suggests it's one of several factors contributing to a decline in American life expectancy.
The research, published this week in the journal Social Science & Medicine, found that people living in communities with more fast-food restaurants are living shorter lives. Another major factor found to negatively impact life expectancy was the number of people in a community with jobs in the extraction industry, which includes mining, quarrying and natural gas production. A third key factor was a community's population density, with people living in rural areas having a longevity edge over those in more urban environments. In this case, more people is not necessarily merrier.
Life expectancy defined as the length of time a person born in a specific year can expect to live is one of the most critical ways to gauge a society's overall health. But, after making steady gains over the previous decades, American life expectancy flat-lined in 2014 and then began reversing. From 2014 to 2017, the average years in an American life rolled back from 78.9 to 78.6 years.
"American life expectancy recently declined for the first time in decades, and we wanted to explore the factors contributing to this decline," lead author Elizabeth Dobis of the Penn State-based Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development explained in a press release. "Because of regional variation in life expectancy, we knew community-level factors must matter."
For the study, the team looked at how life expectancy in 2014 has changed from a 1980 baseline on a county-by-county basis. They ended up combing through data from more than 3,000 counties enough to build a comprehensive statistical model that weighed the impact of 12 community variables. They were also able to control for personal variables that are already established as factors on lifespan, including sex, race, education and alcohol use.
"By analyzing place-based factors alongside personal factors, we were able to draw several conclusions about which community characteristics contribute most strongly to this variation in life expectancy."
Their findings? People who lived near fast-food restaurants are having time shaved from their lives.
But that factor wasn't the only thief of time. People who worked in "extraction industries" i.e. mining and oil and gas extraction were also dying younger than those who did not. The population density of a community also had an adverse impact on lifespan. Indeed, the researchers found people living in less dense, rural communities lived longer lives, on average.
It seems at least a few of the reasons why people move to the city conveniences, jobs, and simply to be around more people are also bad for their health.
How bad, exactly?
"For example, for every one percentage point increase in the number of fast-food restaurants in a county, life expectancy declined by .004 years for men and .006 years for women."
Expanding on that grim arithmetic, for each 10 percentage point increase in the number of fast-food restaurants took a 15- to 20-day hit on life expectancy. Researchers found a similar relationship between oil and gas jobs and how long people lived.
"Another interesting finding was that lower population density, or living in more rural areas, is associated with higher life expectancy," study co-author Stephan Goetz adds. "This suggests that living in large, densely-settled metropolitan areas, with all of their amenities and other advantages, comes at the expense of lower life expectancy, at least in a statistical sense."
One thing that stood out to researchers, regardless of a community's density, was how strongly people living there acted like an actual community. Factors like access to doctors and how well people supported each other were seen as having a positive impact on life expectancy.
"We were surprised by the strong positive contribution of social capital to life expectancy within communities," says coauthor Goetz. "Places with residents who stick together more on a community or social level also appear to do a better of job of helping people in general live longer."
What does proximity to fast food have to do with longevity?
A new study looks at the community factors behind the dip in American life expectancy.
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What does proximity to fast food have to do with longevity? - Mother Nature Network
Israel can and should become an important contributor to the international geroscience research, development, application and education – Institute…
Vetek (Seniority) the Movement for Longevity and Quality of Life (Israel)
Due to the aging of the global population and the derivative increase in major aging-related non-communicable diseases and their economic burden, there is an urgent international need to promote the research, development and application of and education on effective and safe therapeutic geroscience interventions. These interventions are designed to mitigate degenerative aging processes, thus preventing and eliminating the main underlying contributors for major chronic aging-related diseases and thus improving the healthy and productive longevity for the elderly population. Insofar as aging is the main contributing factor of major chronic age-related diseases, the research and development efforts in the fields of geroscience and of major chronic diseases are integrally related. Israel can be an important contributor to these international R&D efforts, for which it can offer its proven record of scientific and technological achievements and innovation, its strong supportive infrastructure for research and development, its highly skilled scientific and technological work force, including leadership in diverse branches of biomedical research on aging and aging-related diseases. Yet a stronger effort will be needed to build on those strengths and realize the countrys potential in the field for the benefit of the Israeli and global population. Israel can help further promote the field, not only locally, but internationally, by creating and sharing policy suggestions for the advancement of the field.
1. Israel has made significant progress in the fields related to geroscience and combat of major aging-related diseases.
Israel can and should be an important contributor to the global geroscience endeavors, building on its scientific, technological and societal achievements in the field of aging and related fields:
Building on the past achievements, there is still a vital need to develop the geroscience and healthy longevity field in Israel, and there exists a large space for the growth of the field.
There are several specific pressing needs and demands for the development of the geroscience and healthy longevity field in Israel. The needs and the corresponding recommendations listed below closely follow the points made by the Vetek and allied associations in their recommendations for Enhancing research, development and education for the promotion of healthy longevity and prevention of aging-related diseases in the Israel National Masterplan on Aging. Yet, here they are given a wider international perspective, insofar as these needs and recommendations are quite common and applicable for virtually any country. Moreover, these needs and recommendations can be advocated and promoted via international frameworks and organizations, both globally and for specific countries on a case-by-case basis.
Today, there are about 980,000 people in Israel over the age 65 (about 11% of the countrys population), and it is expected that the number of the elderly will increase to 1.6 million by 2035. This reality demands the preparedness of the healthcare and welfare systems to provide worthy and sufficient services for the elderly, adequate solutions for the prevention of systemic economic and healthcare collapse, as well as for the equitable social inclusion of the elderly, and as a result the improvement of their quality of life and the countys economic growth. To achieve those goals, the advancement of medical research and development is a necessary condition. The aging-related health decline is the major cause of mortality, morbidity and disability. It is thus the root cause of all healthcare and economic challenges related to the population aging and should be addressed according to the severity of the problem. Therefore, considerable resources must be dedicated to the advancement of research, development and education aimed at the amelioration of degenerative aging processes and debilitating aging-related diseases in order to extend healthy longevity as much as possible for the entire population.
Yet, the investment of human and material resources in the field is still insufficient in Israel. Presently, the State of Israel expends only about 0.5% of its general research budget for the research of aging and aging-related diseases (just about $5M dedicated annual state budget). Except for the budget framework for science, technology and innovation for the older persons within the Ministry of Science and Technology, there are no other defined budget frameworks in Israel for research and development in the field of aging, healthy longevity and prevention of aging-related diseases. There are limited support frameworks that can be adapted to the subject, such as research budgets for specific diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, cancer, etc., which by their nature are aging-related diseases. But in fact, there are no dedicated support frameworks specifically addressing aging-related ill health as a whole (old-age multimorbidity), neither addressing aging as the primary contributing factor for age-related diseases, and there is almost no reference to the special medical needs and characteristics of the aging individuals and the older population. Their characteristics and medical needs are often dramatically different in terms of diagnosis and treatment from the younger population, and the difference may have a decisive impact on the effectiveness of treatment. There is also a lack of centralized R&D support frameworks for the field of aging in Israel, such as the NIH's National Institute on Aging that exists in the US.
Therefore, defined budget frameworks must be established for medical research and development that will specifically address the issue of aging, and promote healthy longevity and prevention of aging-related diseases. Specifically, a defined significant percentage of the research and development budgets of the relevant ministries must be dedicated to the field. These should include the Ministry of Health; the Ministry of Science and Technology; the Planning and Budgeting Committee of the Council for Higher Education; the Israel Innovation Authority; the Israel Science Foundation; the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities including the National Infrastructure Forum for Research and Development; the Ministry for Social Equality; the National Insurance Institute; the bi-national and international research programs in which Israel is a partner, particularly in the divisions concerning the research and treatment of non-communicable chronic diseases.
These frameworks must provide funding for calls for research proposals, grants, scholarships, services and action plans designed to alleviate the degenerative aging process and improve the longevity and quality of life of the older population, on behalf and in cooperation of the relevant ministries and institutions.
There is a now a severe deficit of relevant educational materials of any kind in Israel, in the field of aging generally, and particular areas of geroscience and healthy longevity promotion in particular. Currently, aging research is severely under-represented in all academic and other educational frameworks. Good education may be considered a primary condition for progress. There is a need to address the large deficit of knowledge and training on the subject of biological aging, its biomedical improvement and healthy longevity, in most existing institutions of learning. The need should be obvious. It should be clear that prior to any research, development and application on biological aging, there is a need to educate specialists who will be able to contribute to the various aspects of the field. There is an even prior need to educate the broader public on the importance of such research to prepare the ground for further involvement.
Such education is currently very limited. In practical terms, there are presently rather few dedicated structures in Israel to promote and coordinate knowledge exchange and dissemination on biological aging and healthy longevity promotion. There is an urgent necessity for such educational structures to make the narrative on biology of aging and healthy longevity prevalent in the public and academic discourse. To improve the communication and integration, it appears to be crucially important to commonly include the subjects of biogerontology, geroscience and healthy longevity promotion as central parts of learning curricula, and not only in universities, but in every learning and teaching framework, especially those related to biology, medicine or natural sciences generally. Yet, unfortunately, and strangely enough, the study of the biology of aging and longevity is rarely a part of university curriculum and virtually never a part of high school or community education curriculum. Thus, there is a vast range of opportunities to develop educational and training materials and courses, including materials and courses of professional interest, from undergraduate to postgraduate levels, as well as of general interest, presenting recent advances in aging and longevity science. Educational teaching and training materials on the subject should be developed and disseminated for people at all education levels, both for the academia and the general public, for all age groups, for different sectors and in different languages, in accordance with their specific abilities and characteristics. Teaching programs that increase motivation and stimulate scientific thinking in the field should be developed for children, university students at different study stages (undergraduate and graduate), for interns and specialists, and as a part of adult enrichment studies.
In particular, it is necessary to develop study materials, such as courses, text books, problem solvers, guidelines and professional specialization programs in the biology of aging, especially for physicians and biologists in the fields adjacent to aging research, as well as educational materials for the general public. The materials for the general public should include lectures, reviews of the latest scientific developments in the field and practical recommendations for the promotion of healthy longevity and for the preparation of the younger generation to the challenges that expect them. There must be prepared and disseminated authoritative, evidence-based information about lifestyle regimens (such as nutrition, physical activity and rest) that promote healthy longevity and prevent aging-related ill health. A variety of educational teaching and training means should be developed, including conferences, printed materials, knowledge competitions, interactive web platforms, games and other accessible technological means. Relevant ministries and institutions should be involved in the development of and providing access to these educational programs, from the Ministry of Education and the Council for Higher Education to local authorities, public associations, and community centers. In order to facilitate the progress, there is a need to encourage the establishment of educational pilots and the examination of good practices in relevant ministries and other institutional frameworks.
One of the primary specific needs to develop the geroscience field, in Israel and elsewhere, appears to be the establishment of agreeable, scientific evidence-based evaluation criteria for the efficacy and safety of geroprotective (geroscience or healthspan-enhancing) therapies. Such commonly agreed evaluation criteria are presently lacking, in Israel and elsewhere. Yet, they appear to be absolutely necessary in order to set up the end points for the development of geroscience-based therapies and diagnostics and provide value-based incentives for academic, public and commercial R&D entities involved in the field. The field of geroscience is predicated on the recognition of aging as a major contributing and modifiable factor of pathogenesis, including such recognition in regulatory and budgeting frameworks. Yet, it appears that the primary necessary requirement for the degenerative aging process to be recognized as such a modifiable factor and therefore an indication for research, development and intervention, is to develop evidence-based diagnostic evaluation criteria and definitions for degenerative aging and for the efficacy and safety of potential means against it. Without such scientifically grounded and clinically applicable diagnostic evaluation criteria and definitions, the discussions about treating, postponing, intervening into or even curing degenerative aging processes will be mere slogans. It appears to be impossible to treat, postpone, intervene into or cure a condition that it is impossible to diagnostically evaluate and measure the effectiveness and safety of treatment. Such evaluation criteria and measurements would need to become the basis for public geroscience-oriented health programs designed for the prevention of aging-related diseases, while measuring the effectiveness and safety of the interventions.
Therefore, it is necessary to develop and implement improved evaluation measures and criteria for assessing the aging process, for the early diagnosis and prediction of multiple aging-related diseases (old-age multimorbidity), for examining the effectiveness of treatments for their prevention and for estimating and improving the older persons functional and employment abilities. Commonly agreed, science-based and authoritative guidelines should be provided for such measures by authoritative and representative national and international organizations. To develop such measures, it is necessary to increase and improve the collection and processing of various types of data on aging, including biological and medical data in combination with behavioral and social, economic and environmental data. In this process, it is necessary to establish and/or expand relevant databases (registries) and analytical platforms and tools (knowledge centers) in order to facilitate the collection, design, accessibility, analysis, integration and sharing of data on aging, promotion of healthy longevity and prevention of aging-related diseases. These databases and analytical tools should be used predictively to model large amounts of data for more effective diagnosis and treatment and to allow personalized medicine for the older subjects, with reference to their aging process.
In Israel, in order to establish and expand these measurement and analysis systems, it is necessary to involve the relevant ministries and institutions, in particular the Ministry of Health, with the maximum possible cooperation of other entities who have access to data on aging, such as research institutions, hospitals, health maintenance organizations, local authorities and public and commercial research communities. The goals of evaluating the aging processes, early detection and prevention of aging-related ill health as a whole (preventing old-age multimorbidity) and extension of healthy lifespan, should be specifically defined in relevant frameworks and programs, such as the National Program for Personalized Medicine and the National Program for Digital Health, as well as relevant international health promotion programs where Israel takes part. Initiatives and pilots of different extents on the subject should be encouraged in all sectors, while supporting their cooperation.
The above needs and demands for the development of the geroscience and healthy longevity field, directly yield policy recommendations for the fields advancement. Currently, official policy recommendations for the promotion of the geroscience and healthy longevity field are lacking in most major international as well as national frameworks. Such recommendations, for both international and national policy frameworks, must be developed and advocated by authoritative and representative international organizations promoting geroscience research and education.
An exemplary effort to develop and advocate such policy recommendations is the position paper of the International Society on Aging and Disease (ISOAD), entitled The Critical Need to Promote Research of Aging and Aging-related Diseases to Improve Health and Longevity of the Elderly Population (2015). This position paper makes the general appeal that Governments should ensure the creation and implementation of the policies to promote research into the biology of aging and aging-related diseases, for improving the health of the global elderly population. It further provides specific policy suggestions with reference to enhancing funding, institutional support and incentives for biomedical aging research. This position paper has been translated to 12 languages and submitted for consideration to several governments. It has stimulated further discussion, encouraging the academic community, the general public and decision makers to elaborate on the policies to support the aging R&D field.
Such position papers and consultations can have tangible effects on public health policy and research policy, as evidenced by another position paper, jointly advanced by the International Society on Aging and Disease, American Federation for Aging Research, International Federation on Aging, International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics and other leading organizations on aging, entitled Aging health and R&D for healthy longevity must be included into the WHO Work Program (2018). Largely thanks to this position paper and the associated advocacy campaign, the subject of healthy aging that had been originally absent, was eventually included into WHOs 13th General Programme of Work for 2019-2023, including specific end points for the reduction of elderly disability and increasing their healthy life expectancy. The contribution of this advocacy campaign was acknowledged by the director of the WHO Ageing and Life Course Division. Another position paper followed the recent establishment of the UNESCO-affiliated Executive Committee on Anti-Aging and Disease Prevention, entitled The urgent need for international action for anti-aging and disease prevention.
These are preliminary examples, and more of such position papers, guidelines and advocacy efforts are needed to advance the geroscience and healthy longevity field, both at the national and international levels. Authoritative and representative international organizations should take on this work, preparing and advocating policy suggestions and guidelines, creating educational materials and providing platforms for scientific cooperation in the geroscience and healthy longevity field.
Specifically, building on the experience of the Israeli program for Enhancing research, development and education for the promotion of healthy longevity and prevention of aging-related diseases within the Israel National Masterplan on Aging (see the previous section), such international organizations may consider advancing the following activities and policies, within specific countries and globally:
International organizations should advocate for a significant increase in the level of governmental and non-governmental funding for basic, applied, translational and clinical research and technological development for the mitigation of degenerative aging processes, aging-related chronic non-communicable diseases and disabilities, in order to extend the healthy and productive life expectancy for the entire population throughout the entire life course. Specifically, the international organizations should advocate for the allocation of defined significant percentages of the research and development budgets of the relevant budgeting frameworks to be dedicated explicitly for the geroscience and healthy longevity field, including bi-national and international research and development programs.
International organizations should create and expand academic and public education frameworks, programs and educational materials, considering the basic and applied research on aging processes and aging-related diseases, promoting healthy longevity, preventing aging-related diseases and improving the quality of life for the elderly, including biological, medical, technological, environmental and social aspects.
International organizations should develop and implement and/or advocate for the development and implementation of evidence-based evaluation criteria, measures and indicators to estimate the effects of aging, predict and detect at an early stage multiple aging-related diseases, and examine the effectiveness and safety of therapeutic and preventive interventions against them. Concomitantly, evaluation criteria, measures and indicators must be developed and advanced for the functional and employment capacity of the elderly and for the improvement of their functional capacity. Such evaluation criteria, measures and indicators should be used for establishing and/or improving public health systems for the early detection and prevention of degenerative aging processes and aging-related diseases.
Combined, these measures and policies should advance the geroscience and healthy longevity field, nationally and internationally, for the benefit of the elderly and the entire population.
 Stambler I, Jin K, Lederman S, Barzilai N, Olshansky SJ, Omokaro E, Barratt J, Anisimov VN, Rattan S, Yang S, Forster M, Byles J (2018). Aging health and R&D for healthy longevity must be included into the WHO Work Program. Aging and Disease, 9(2): 331-333 http://www.aginganddisease.org/article/2018/2152-5250/ad-9-2-331.shtml.
Ilia Stambler is an IEET Affiliate Scholar. He completed his PhD degree at the Department of Science, Technology and Society, Bar-Ilan University. His thesis subject, and his main interest, is the History of Life-extensionism in the 20th Century.
OLDSMAR, Fla. (PRWEB) March 13, 2020
Cryo-Cell Internationals announcement is concurrent with the most recent research regarding the lifespan of stored cord blood performed by Dr. Hal Boxmeyer and colleagues, which determined sample viability of 23.5 years and suggested possible, indefinite length of storage time for cryogenically preserved cells under proper conditions. Cryo-Cell International marks the first family cord blood bank to release results concerning specimen viability for this length of time.
Since cord blood banking has only been in existence for 30 years, these findings indicate that specimen longevity nearly spans the lifetime of the industry. Research points to the idea that other cryogenically preserved cells remain undiminished by time, as long as cells are preserved at optimal storage temperature, where cellular activity is known to halt. Cryo-Cell International, Inc., stands as the only private use cord blood bank in the U.S. to receive the Foundation for the Accreditation for Cellular Therapy (FACT) accreditation, which addresses all quality aspects of cord blood collection, processing, testing, banking, selection and release of specimens.
Todd Schuesler, Director of Cryo-Cell Internationals laboratory and cryopreservation facility, noted, Cryo-Cell is accredited by FACT, AABB, and ISO13485, making us one of the most accredited cord blood banks in the U.S. These accreditations are only awarded to organizations with exceptional quality systems and acute commitment to customer care. Its our employees who make the difference; for many, it is personal, based on previous or current experiences with diseases that can or will potentially be treated with stem cells. Having access to cord blood and cord tissue for the treatment of diseases developed much later in life will prove to be invaluable as evolving research continues to reveal potential uses.
These are simply amazing results that validates our belief that, if properly processed and maintained at the proper temperature, cryogenically preserved cord blood stem cells can provide regenerative benefits for at least the babys lifetime and likely for generations thereafter, said David Portnoy, Cryo-Cell Internationals Chairman and Co-CEO. Currently, cord blood stem cells have been FDA-approved for standard treatment in nearly 80 diseases. Numerous clinical trials are underway to explore the use of umbilical stem cells in the treatment of various degenerative conditions, including autism and cerebral palsy.
About Cryo-Cell International, Inc.
Founded in 1989, Cryo-Cell International, Inc. is the world's first private cord blood bank. More than 500,000 parents from 87 countries trust Cryo-Cell to preserve their family members' stem cells. Cryo-Cell's mission is to provide clients with state-of-the-art stem cell cryopreservation services and support the advancement of regenerative medicine. Cryo-Cell operates in a facility that is FDA registered, cGMP-/cGTP-compliant, and is licensed in all states requiring licensure. Besides being AABB accredited as a cord blood facility, Cryo-Cell is also the first U.S. (for private use only) cord blood bank to receive FACT accreditation for adhering to the most stringent cord blood quality standards set by any internationally recognized, independent accrediting organization. In addition, Cryo-Cell is ISO 9001:2008 certified by BSI, an internationally recognized, quality assessment organization. Cryo-Cell is a publicly-traded company, OTCQB:CCEL. For more information, please visit http://www.cryo-cell.com. For a complete list of references, visit http://www.cryo-cell.com/references.
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Cryo-Cell Confirms Specimen Longevity of 23+ Years with Optimal CD34 Viability - PR Web
Fruit-flavoured shisha could be more damaging to smokers health than unflavoured pipe tobacco, new research suggests.
Scientists at UAE University found that mice exposed to apple or strawberry-flavoured shisha underwent harmful biochemical changes not seen in those that breathed unflavoured shisha smoke.
Shisha cafes have been shut-down this week across much of the UAE due to fears over coronavirus, with sharing pipes more likely to pass on the virus.
The research findings are the latest piece of evidence revealing the more general health risks associated with smoking shisha, a common pastime in the UAE.
Thousands of people across the country indulge in the habit on a daily basis, often opting for popular flavours including mint, orange, cherry or grape.
Overall, the toxicity of flavoured tobacco WPS (waterpipe) smoking, in particular strawberry-flavoured WPS, was found to be greater than that of unflavoured WPS, the researchers wrote in their paper in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity.
The smoke contains not just burned tobacco smoke, but particles from charcoal, which if anything is going to worsen the impact of tobacco smoke
Professor Kamran Siddiqi
The current experimental findings provide biological plausibility for the harmfulness of flavoured tobacco used in WPS and support calls for interventions to counteract the increase of attractiveness and use of WPS, particularly among young people.
Mice used in the new study were exposed to shisha smoke for 30 minutes per day, five days a week for one month.
Tissue samples were analysed biochemically to look for inflammation and oxidative stress the presence of certain highly reactive chemical substances.
Oxidative stress and inflammation can result in DNA damage and are associated with an increased cancer risk in smokers.
The researchers found that mice exposed to apple and strawberry-flavoured shisha had higher levels of certain chemicals linked to inflammation than mice exposed to unflavoured shisha.
Similarly, flavoured shishas were associated with higher levels of some chemicals linked to oxidative stress.
The same team of scientists, led by Professor Abderrahim Nemmar at UAE University, also recently published a study using mice in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences indicating that apple-flavoured shisha produced greater harmful effects on the heart than unflavoured shisha.
The finding that flavourings could be harmful is not particularly surprising, said Professor Gordon Ferns, a professor of metabolic medicine and medical education at Brighton and Sussex Medical School in the United Kingdom who has researched shishas health effects.
The flavourings will likely be due to their content of aromatic compounds and these may be prone to modification and lead to chemical chain reactions that lead to reactive chemical species that may in themselves be injurious, said Professor Ferns, who was not connected with the study.
Because the research involved mice and was undertaken in carefully controlled conditions, he said it was difficult to draw conclusions about health effects on humans, but that the impact on inflammation appears to be consistent with other studies.
The inflammation caused by shisha smoking may, he said, affect several chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
It is possible that flavoured shisha may have a greater impact on these clinical outcomes, and perhaps increase the likelihood of shisha smoking in young adults and perhaps children, he said.
Dr Mohanad Diab, a consultant oncologist at two NMC hospitals in Abu Dhabi, said that for sure better regulation over what substances were used to flavour shisha was needed.
Earlier studies, he said, found that companies producing shisha flavours did so under poorly regulated conditions using cheap and harmful materials.
Smoking shisha for one-and-a-half to two hours can be equivalent to smoking 10 packets of cigarettes, according to Dr Diab.
We in the medical field have started to request [that] our patients, if they cant stop shisha, replace it by normal smoking, he said.
Many other risks associated with smoking shisha have previously been highlighted, according to Hazel Cheeseman, director of policy for the UK-based anti-smoking organisation Action on Smoking and Health (ASH).
Evidence indicated that it more than doubled the risk of lung cancer, respiratory illness, low birthweight and gum disease.
Although shisha smoking has not yet been as extensively researched as cigarette smoking, the existing research suggests that it is associated with many of the same risks as cigarette smoking and may incur some unique health risks too, she said.
As well as the tobacco and it now appears the flavourings, additional risks are known to come from the charcoal used.
The smoke contains not just burned tobacco smoke, but particles from charcoal, which if anything is going to worsen the impact of tobacco smoke, said Professor Kamran Siddiqi, a professor in public health at the University of York in the UK, who has also researched shisha.
Updated: March 14, 2020 10:07 AM
Therapy using light has accumulated some convincing science. This has led us to think that it could be a very healthy kind of drug, which is why its getting more popular in the wellness sphere. It sounds a bit crazy. However, weve got reasons to believe that light therapy might help prevent the aging process. As you know, marketing and anti-aging gimmicks are not uncommon. Especially when theres more money to be made.
Weve got to be careful about the kind of therapy we choose. There are many new companies promising the amazing effects of sitting under a small panel of red lights. But are these claims true and does light therapy work? Supposedly light therapy can help improve sleep and athletic performance, and speed up muscle recovery and joint repair. If this is true, then light therapy is a good way to go. Its said to increase melatonin production and promote a healthy circadian rhythm. Better yet, it may even be able to improve skin quality because it can reduce inflammation and increase collagen production. Wow!
Interestingly, this kind of therapy is becoming quite mainstream too. In fact, these kinds of treatments are not just found in spas, gyms or dermatologists offices. These gadgets are affordable for the average consumer, like you and I. The question remains, what does it do and does it work? Theres research about these new treatments coming out of our ears. Studies today show how light therapy can heal the brain and body of just about anything and everything. Perhaps its just the light we need in general? Either way, we are very intrigued.
This treatment is usually conducted using a line of red lights. You are meant to expose yourself to them for a certain amount of time to get the benefits. There are some may home-versions available nowadays too. Experts call this treatment light therapy, photo medicine, or photobiomodulation. Its based on the idea that light can change us on a cellular level.
New studies have even made jokes about the treatment since it seems kind of obvious. Just get more sunshine guys! Just like plants, we too need more light to thrive. However, there might be more to it than that. Lets take a closer look. It seems logical that light could help improve ones skin. Think about babies with yellow jaundice and how they need to sit under a light to heal their skin. Or when you sit in the sun, you tan or get burnt if done without sunblock. Then theres those who experience seasonal depression. Apparently light technology can help lift their mood and reduce the effects of depression. So, theres definitely some truth in the theory.
The part that gets us is how does light help somebody with diabetes? It also doesnt explain how certain studies related light therapy to improve neurological problems. These include Alzheimers and even traumatic brain injuries. Light and neurology? How do they connect? Theres no doubt that vitamin D from the sun is good for our skin, but how would light therapy alter or improve the skin? Were talking epic results like reducing wrinkles and acne. Perhaps were more like plants than we thought.
The treatment uses different kinds of light, from invisible, near-infrared light through the visible-light spectrum (red, orange, yellow, green, and blue). However, the light stops before you get exposed to harmful ultraviolet rays. Studies seem to have only covered the effects of red and near-infrared light. Apparently red light is often used to treat skin conditions. Then near-infrared allows you to penetrate much deeper, so it can work its way through skin and bone and even into the brain. How amazing is that?
Then you get a blue light. Researchers believe this light therapy is brilliant at treating infections and can help treat acne. The effects of green and yellow light are less understood. However, green light might improve hyper pigmentation, and yellow light might reduce photoaging. When it comes to sunlight, people have used it as a means of healing for centuries. People believe that it can help cure diseases and destroy bacteria. So light therapy is nothing new to us. Even astronauts who experienced wounds and exposed themselves to LED lights were able to heal quicker than those without light. So theres a lot we dont understand yet about tissue repair.
Scientists are fascinated by the healing potential of light therapy. In fact, other studies discovered that people who exposed themselves to blue light improved their depression. They also experienced a reduction in other concussion symptoms including sleep disturbance, fatigue, concentration, restlessness, and irritability.
The technology today is incredible. We are able to complete treatments like light therapy in the comfort of our own homes. Some of these gadgets are small enough to keep on your bedside table. You can complete targeted treatments for your face, joints, and muscles, or one at a time.
Apparently theyre not hot to touch either. They are room temperature. Yet after a few minutes of sitting in front of them, you feel warm. The theory says that this is your cells, heating you from the inside out. I suppose its very similar to a day out in the sun, just without the skin damage. Apparently light therapy is also effective for reducing the appearance of scars.
Light therapy scientists say that they arent exactly certain of how the mechanism works. However, they know that light sparks a cellular response because our cells respond to light. In addition, scientists think that red and near-infrared light interacts with something called cytochrome c oxidase, or CCO. This is a photosensitive enzyme found within the mitochondria. This enzyme is light that basically gives the mitochondria a little kick in the pants. Scientists dont know if the mitochondria favors this zap of light. However, it does tell the cell to start making the proteins that will protect it and make it healthier.
Essentially when CCO finds the light, it converts it to energy. It then uses that energy to do whatever that cell is supposed to do, only more efficiently. SO instead of applying expensive creams every day, this light is meant to help you protect your skin naturally.
Experts state that mitochondria and chloroplasts in plants are basically evolutionary kissing cousins. Chloroplasts absorb light and make energy for plants during photosynthesis, and our mitochondria convert light to energy in a similar way. So youre not a plant, but your cells behave very similarly to a plant.
As confusing and complicated as the treatment is.
We all need to pause for a moment because its the most obvious concept around. We need light to survive and thrive.
Take time to ensure youre getting the basics to healthy living before thinking of everything else. Dont overlook the basics of being human. Water is good, sleep is good, socializing with friends is good, alcohol is not always so good. Light is good.
Whilst theres no doubt that getting lots of light is beneficial for our health. Try not to fall victim to marketing tactics that claim the yellow or green light will do magical things. The science just isnt there yet. Theres nothing wrong with a bit of scepticism. A lot of these concepts are just based on theories. The problem with wellness fads is that they often blur the lines between the science of photo medicine and light therapy gimmicks.
You know how it goes, ancient natural practices are always better than modern ones. It makes sense as to why light therapy would be so much more popular now. These theories do have some truth and even celebrities like Shailene Woodley are claiming the benefits of exposing yourself to more light. There is some evidence that blue light can destroy fungi likeCandida albicans, which can cause yeast infections. This is particularly important for those who live in cold or winter climates.
There is also a massive shift in mindset patterns. A lot of youngsters are feeling distressed about climate change. Were seeing an increase in environmental anxiety and not knowing what to do to prevent the end of the planet. Some are fearing that we might not even be able to live in a world where it is safe to go outside. No wonder light therapy is getting so popular. Smoke and dust storms from wildfires have caused heart disease, lung disease, and even premature death.
So the thought of a future indoors terrifies many of us. Its no surprise there that were revelling at the opportunity for new technologies to use artificial light therapy to help us heal. More science is required to decide whether light therapy truly works.
Nobody stops to think twice about the fact that they can eat berries in January or avocado on toast every day of the year. In reality, this isnt how its supposed to work, and were not really meant to be eating fruits and vegetables when theyre not in season. This is why.
Light Is My New Drug The Actually Convincing Science Of Light Therapy. The Cut. https://www.thecut.com/2020/03/does-light-therapy-work.html
Best Beauty Tools And Gadgets In 2020: Nuface, Foreo And More. CNET. https://www.cnet.com/news/best-beauty-tools-gadgets-2020-nuface-foreo/
Can Light Therapy Help Improve Mood In People With Concussion? Science Daily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200302162250.htm
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Therapy From The Light Might Be The Best Kind Of Drug - Longevity LIVE
CALGARY Canadians can begin collecting Canada Pension Plan payments as early as age 60, but financial advisers warn it rarely makes sense to do so.
And there are even fewer reasons to start drawingretirement funds early whenyoure still working.
Contributors to Canadas national pension plan can elect tostart receiving benefits as early as age 60.If they are still working, they must continue to contribute to CPP until age 65, at which timethey have the option to stop or to keep paying in until age 70.
CPP beneficiaries who continue to work and chip into the pension fund earnwhats called apost-retirement benefit.
I dont advise taking CPP until youre actually retired, said Willis Langford, retirement income and investment planner at Langford Financial in Calgary.
I think the government benefits like CPP and Old Age Supplement form the very base of a retirement income plan and you shouldnttap into it until youre ready to start accessing all of your sources of income in retirement.
Even so, in 2018, there were 658,000 CPP beneficiaries who worked and contributed to a post-retirement benefit, which they received the following year. Thats about 12.6 per cent of the 5.2 millionCPP beneficiaries.
The math, according to figures supplied by Employment and Social Development Canada,favours waiting.
If you start collecting CPP at age 60, instead of the usual 65, your monthly benefit will be reduced by 36 per cent (0.6 per cent for each month for each month before you turn 65). If you wait until 70, your benefit will increase by 42 per cent compared with age 65 (0.7 per cent for each month).
A long-term contributorwho earns $50,000 per year could bein line to receive about $897 per month or $10,760 per year if he waits until age 65. Hewould get just $551 per month about $6,600 per year if he starts at age 60.
If he continues to work, he would have to pay about $2,300 a year in CPP contributions.
Five years of accumulated post-retirement benefits will boost his CPP income butit willonly rise to about $658 a monthstarting at age 65 (ignoring increases due to inflation and enhancements).
On the other hand,if the same person works until age 70 while contributing to CPP and doesnt start benefits until then, hewould earn $1,422 per month.
So why do some people start their CPP as soon as possible?
If you knew you were going to live for a very, very long time, generally you would wait. The longer you wait, the more you would get, said Brad Goldhar, senior vice-president, senior investment adviser and portfolio manager for BMO Private Wealth.
But if you knew at age 60 that your family history suggested not many years of longevity, you might take it early.
In other words, taking a smaller amount of CPP after years of contributions is better than not living long enough to get any payback at all. Some people would rather have the money while theyre young and healthy enough to enjoy it.
Some start collecting their CPP early because they have no choice, Goldhar said. Theyve been laid off or are working part-time or have big debts to pay down and theres no other source of income.
Some retirees grab CPP as early as possible because of worries that the plan might not be around in later years, although the analysts saysuch fears are unfounded.
Those who are concerned about their longevity may start CPPearlyto provide neededincome without having to touch their other savings, thus leaving an estate for their heirs, Langford said.
There are tax considerations to taking CPP early because it is taxable incomethat could boost your tax rate. Alternatively, as a pension, it can beshared between spouses to reduce tax rates.
TakingCPP too sooncould increase net income and lead to a greater clawback of Old Age Security, which you can begin receiving at 65.
The situation is complex enough thatdecisions on CPPshould be part of a comprehensive retirement income strategy, arrived at after careful planning and with proper professional advice, analysts say.
Eventually, if you live long enough, waiting will bear fruit.
If you take three people aged 60, 65 and 70, all taking their CPP at that time, the break-even points are between age 74 and age 76, said Langford.
The person who waited until age 70 is going to get far more if they all live to be 90.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 12, 2020.
Dan Healing, The Canadian Press