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Category Archives: Longevity Medicine

Im Sick of Asking the Children of Flint to Be Resilient – The New York Times

FLINT, Mich. A baby born in Flint, where I am a pediatrician, is likely to live almost 20 fewer years than a child born elsewhere in the same county. Shes a baby like any other, with wide eyes, a growing brain and a vast, bottomless innocence too innocent to understand the injustices that without her knowing or choosing have put her at risk.

Some of the babies I care for have the bad luck to be born into neighborhoods where life expectancy is just over 64 years. Only a few miles away, in a more-affluent community, the average life span is 84 years. The ravages of Covid-19, which disproportionately affect low-income families and people of color, are surely widening this gap even further.

Throughout the United States, geography defines and describes inequities in health, wealth, mobility and longevity. The reasons for this are both visible and hidden. Life in a distressed neighborhood means limited access to health care and healthy food. It means living with violence, racism, poverty and uncertainty. It means bearing the brunt of environmental injustice not having safe and affordable water, as Flint knows too well, or living in the shadow of a polluting factory. More air pollution increases rates of respiratory disease and reduces student achievement as well as life span. We are also beginning to understand the interplay of water access and air quality with Covid-19 severity.

These disparities between neighborhoods are rarely accidental; they are the product of purposeful policies and practices that have widened gaps in income, opportunity and equality. Over the decades, city inhabitants have been battered by deindustrialization; racist banking and real estate practices; white flight and population loss; austerity cuts to public education, public health and safety net programs; the corporate-driven weakening of unions; dilution of environmental regulations; housing and nutrition insecurity; and racially driven mass incarceration. And so much more.

Science tells us that children exposed to multiple adversities, both in their home and in their neighborhood, have a far greater likelihood of challenges later in life. From addiction to eviction, these constant pressures change children on a molecular, cellular and behavioral level and make them sick. The effects of toxic stress can be as disruptive as environmental pollution on their bodies and brains, increasing risk for chronic diseases like asthma and hypertension, and lowering life expectancy. Exposure to six or more adverse childhood experiences can cut a life short by as much as 20 years.

The pandemic hot spots in Michigan follow this pattern: Outside of metropolitan Detroit, the troubled Flint area has been hardest hit. In Flint, we just marked the sixth anniversary of the water crisis, when poisonous, lead-laced water was used to fill baby bottles and sippy cups of unsuspecting Flint kids who just happened to be born in the wrong city. Now were being ravaged by another preventable public health emergency. With over 200 deaths, the county where Flint is has more Covid-19 fatalities than 19 states to date.

All of us who live or work in this beleaguered community know somebody who has died from the disease caused by the coronavirus. Theres Wendell Quinn, the gentle giant of a hospital public safety officer who always gave me a warm smile and a nod when I walked into work; and Ruben Burks, the dedicated United Auto Workers leader; and Nathel Burtley, the first black superintendent of Flint schools; and Karen Dozier, the kind and loving custodian at the early child care center. And bringing a level of grief that is difficult to comprehend, Calvin Munerlyn, a Family Dollar store security guard and devoted father of six, was recently shot and killed after telling a shopper to wear a mask. The epidemic of gun violence has compounded tragedy upon tragedy.

At a multigenerational level of loss, there are the Jones and Brown families. Within weeks, a Flint elementary school principal, Kevelin B. Jones II, lost his father, Pastor Kevelin B. Jones; his uncle Freddie Brown Jr.; and his cousin Freddie Brown III. At the combined burial for her husband and only child, Sandy Brown waved to the parade of cars that drove by quietly as she stood alone next to two freshly dug graves. Reflecting on the difficult losses, a church elder, Keimba Knowlin, spoke on resilience, a quality that Ive long observed and admired in the people of Flint. Were going to rise above this and get past this, he said.

The will to survive and endure can be the deciding factor between a child who overcomes adversity and thrives and a child who never makes it to adulthood. But how long can we ask people born in the wrong ZIP code to rise above and persevere in circumstances beyond their control, no matter how central the idea of overcoming is to our archetypal American identity? When Hazim Hardeman, a 2019 Rhodes scholar, was asked about his journey from public housing in North Philadelphia, where many of his friends were shot or stabbed to death, he spoke a truth that we all need to hear: Dont be happy for me that I overcame these barriers. Be mad as hell that they exist in the first place.

Surviving lifes hardest blows should not be celebrated or expected. Recovery and reconciliation require reparations and resources. To expect resilience without justice is simply to indifferently accept the status quo.

Just as the New Deal sprang from the Great Depression and public health best practices were born in response to a previous plague, we need to embrace the bold innovations that are certain to arise.

To begin with, we need to establish policies and practices rooted in science. And science tells us that where you live matters. For children raised in places replete with the stresses of misfortune, these adversities rooted in historic and systemic bias are scarring. Just as new Covid-19 cases can represent a time lag from infection two weeks earlier, adversities in early childhood play out later, filling our hospital beds and deteriorating the publics health.

As this pandemic makes painfully visible, medicine alone ventilators, pharmaceuticals, defibrillators, I.C.U.s will not save us. Its always an ego-deflating moment for my medical residents when they learn that medical care contributes only 10 percent to 20 percent to positive health outcomes. Our medical interventions are largely reactive measures and happen too late. Addressing the upstream root causes is the only answer.

This means mandating universal basic income and living wages, for a start, and enhancing health and safety protections, along with benefits like paid parental and sick leave. This means establishing desegregated and well-funded public education, starting with child care, as a fundamental right. Universal health care needs to be untethered from employment and free of racial disparities. And environmental health regulations need to be strengthened and enforced so that all children no matter the ZIP code can breathe clean air and drink safe water.

These big and bold ideas are not new. They are measures proved to improve health, quality of life and longevity standards that most developed countries already employ. And to ensure we are moving in the same direction together, the pathogens of divisiveness and bigotry need to be treated as the deadly, life-shortening contagions they truly are.

This is how we begin to transform the concept of resilience from an individual trait to one that describes a community and society that cares for everyone. Rather than hoping a child is tough enough to endure the insurmountable, we must build resilient places healthier, safer, more nurturing and just where all children can thrive. This is where prevention and healing begin.

Mona Hanna-Attisha (@MonaHannaA) is a pediatrician and professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in Flint. She is also the director of the Pediatric Public Health Initiative and author of What the Eyes Dont See: A Story of Crisis, Resistance, and Hope in an American City.

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Illustration by Giacomo Bagnara

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Food and Immunity: Correlation to combat against COVID-19 – IBG NEWS

Jyoti Sharma / S.K. Varshney

The outbreak of the current pandemic has affected the lives of people, their health, and wellbeing. The sudden disruption of daily routine, undesired laws of social distancing, and receiving a flood of information puts all of us at risk of mental stress and dilemma. Persistent fear, anxious mood, irritability, feelings of guilt, pessimism and worthlessness, insomnia, loss of appetite or weight gain, poor concentration and, worsening of chronic health problems may be an indication that stress is affecting our health and immunity. During the lockdown period, our existing underlying diseases may also trigger in the absence of adequate physical activities and fear of the pandemic. So, there is a need to strengthen our physical strength and immunity system even if we do not have any lifestyle disease.

In the absence of any prescribed treatment, vaccine and therapeutic recommendations being available against COVID-19, governments ofmost countries andseveral authorised international health agencies like the World Health Organisation, the British Dietetic Association, and the UD Food and Administrationare emphasizing onmaximum use of raw vegetables and fruits, nuts, and seeds; pulses and wholegrain foods; unsaturated oils; limit the intake of soda, salt, sugar, and trans fats; and stop eating junk and sugary food. Apart from food, guidelines also recommend physical exercises, meditation and adequate sleep, and good exposure to sunlight.

These recommendations and guidelines have already been a part of the ancient healing system of India, i.e. Ayurveda, which suggests that life is standing on four pillars, namely, Aahar (diet), Vihar (lifestyle), Achar (conduct of individual with the external world) and Vichar (mental health). According to this, food is like a medicine that can recuperate an individual by establishing the connection between elements of life, food, and body. Individuals temperament, physical and emotional states can be determined and regulated by their food choices, quantities, and lifestyle. It is well known that there is a close relationship among genes, environment, food, and emotional factors that lead to a bidirectional vicious cycle of mood, food, and lifestyle diseases. Ayurveda recommends the intervention of healthy lifestyles, meditation, pranayama, adequate sleep, and Satvik food to live a healthy, peaceful life and fight against various diseases including COVID-19.

Ayurveda considers that proper food selection and dietary schedule help to maintain holistic health with a calm mind.BhagwadGitaand Yoga Shastras divided food into three types based on their qualities (termed as gunas).They are Sathva (satoguna), Rajasa (rajoguna), and Thamasa (tamoguna). Sathva means goodness, whereas Rajasa means aggressive/active, and ordered from best to worst. Thamasa means inactive.A Satvik diet is meant to include foods and eating habits that are natural, vital and energy-containing and provides calmness, purity and promote longevity, intelligence, strength, health and delight. Examples ofSatvikfood items are fruits, vegetables,sproutedgrains, cereals,nuts and seeds, low fat milk and milk products, pure fruit juices,and cooked food that is consumed within 3-4 hours of cooking, etc.

A Rajasic diet, the mode of passion,is one that is overly spicy, hot, or fried with pungent, sour, and salty taste. Rajasic food possesses attributes of negativity, passion, and restlessness. Examples of Rajasic food are caffeinated drinks (like coffee, fizzy soft drinks, tea), sugary foods (chocolate, cake, biscuits, chips, etc), or spicy food. As these foods are rich in glucose, they may provide immediate energy but eventually destroys the mind-body equilibrium, feeding the body at the expense of the mind.

A Tamsik diet, the mode of ignorance, is one thatconsists of overcooked, stale, fast, reheated, microwaved, or frozen food; dead food such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs; alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs of addiction.Tamsik foods are hard to digest and gift inertia, dullness, and induce sleep. All these are an important cause ofobesity, diabetes, heart, and liver disease.

Rajasic and Tamsik foods, available as processed and junk foods, are full of of carbohydrates, sugar, and trans-fat in high proportions. The combination of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and table sugar has become a primary choice of food industries as a sweetener due to its better shelf-life, more palatability and competitive price. This resulted in an additional 30% increase in overall sweetener intake and inability to regulate the hormones insulin and leptin and to inhibit the production of ghrelin, all factors that are known to affect the satiety centre in our brain, regulate blood glucose levels and appetite. Fast foods and fried foods like French fries, doughnuts, cakes, pie crusts, biscuits, frozen pizza, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines are made up by using hydrogenated or artificial trans-fats (or trans-fatty acids) which meets their food processing needs, easy to use, inexpensive and can be used many times in the commercial fryers. High sugar, high-fat and animal protein diets lead to disruption in the regulation of blood glucose levels,fat build-up in the liver, highuric acid concentrations,reduced kidney function and increase in arteriolar thickening, and fat deposition.

On the other hand,food rich in Prana (life-force) isa combination of carbohydrates, fats, rich in dietary fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants with a limited amount of sugar, salt and oil, and no animal fat.Itcan be digested easily and utilize the six tastes in Ayurveda (sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, astringent). Satvik food with recommended physical exercise, adequate rest, and a positive mindset is a source of energy and can reduce the risk of high body mass index, coronary artery disease, obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis. Satvik food is pure, natural, strong, wise, and full of energy to provide calmness and peace to the mind, thereby resulting in longevity of life in an individual.

On the other hand, Rajasic and Tamsik food like onion, garlic, asafoetida, caffeinated tea, and coffee; fried, spicy, high in sugar, and junk foods inducerestlessness, lethargy, and sleep. Food like garlic and onion may be good as medicine but not for daily consumption. The daily consumption of food, which stimulates the nervous system, may lower the possibilities of experiencing life.

Food choices during the current pandemic

The current guidelines of the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, recommend self-care guidelines for preventive health measures and boosting immunity. These guidelines recommend herbal tea and decoction (Kadha) made from Tulsi, Dalchini, Kalimirch, Shunthi (Dry Ginger) and Munakka (Raisin) with jaggery and/or fresh lemon juice to enhance the taste as immunity promoting measures against COVID-19. Guidelines also recommend avoiding cold, frozen, and heavy foods, which is a clear indication to avoid Rajasic and Tamsik food. Recommendations such as to take appropriate rest, timely sleep, exposure to sunlight, and practice of Yogasana and Pranayama also help to balance our body, mind, and lifestyle.

It is recommended that in this time of uncertainties and non-availability of treatment, it is important to remain healthy and peaceful. Good food with other recommendations, as explained in the above table, would help in building up our immunity as well as burst the stress while combating against COVID-19.

(Written by: Jyoti Sharma,Senior Scientist, DST and S.K. Varshney, Head, International Bilateral Cooperation Division, Department of Science and Technology.

The views expressed in the article are those of the authors and not of the organisation they belong to.)

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COVID-19: How the world is coping with restrictive measures – Medical News Today

Restrictive measures aimed at curbing the new coronavirus pandemic have changed the lives of people all over the world in drastic ways. For this Special Feature, we have asked readers and contributors to share their best coping strategies.

People from all over the world have been reporting that current restrictive measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have significantly altered the daily course of their lives.

In April, dozens of respondents told Medical News Today about the impact the current public health emergency has had on the well-being of themselves and their loved ones.

But what are people doing to cope? A survey from March, 2020 indicates that in the United States, at least, many individuals have turned to unhealthful coping strategies, such as increased alcohol consumption or the use of other recreational substances.

The same survey also suggests that a majority of U.S. respondents were actively seeking to improve their situation by taking affirmative action.

So what are some helpful coping strategies? To find out, Medical News Today asked readers on social media to tell us what they do make their lives better at this uncertain time.

We also spoke to contributors from all over the world about their top coping tips.

In this Special Feature, we give you an overview of some top coping strategies. We also look at why scientists agree these actions can help improve our well-being.

Many people told MNT that exercising indoors or outdoors, as well as practicing yoga, meditation, or forms of prayer have helped to keep them grounded and focused.

One reader told us that, for them, walking and running [are] [g]reat stress reducers after long days at work, while another mentioned yoga, books, and praying as their go-to in these uncertain times.

Diana, from France, told MNT that it is thanks to regular exercise that she now feels less anxious and more optimistic. I have been exercising every morning with my neighbor, so for the past few days or past week, I have been feeling super positive, and everythings been O.K., she said.

We are permitted 3 hours for any activity, either alone or with one other person, Christina, from Greece, told us. I use this option to go out every day for a run. Therefore, physically and mentally, I feel very good.

It is not surprising that these activities have benefited the mental and physical well-being of people worldwide during the pandemic.

Numerous studies have demonstrated that physical activity, yoga, meditation, and prayer are all linked to better overall health.

Researchers have shown that exercise could prevent depression, boost aspects of our memory, reduce inflammation, and even increase lifespan.

Yoga and meditation could have a direct impact on physiological drivers of stress and resilience to hardship, while the simple presence of religious faith in someones life has ties to longevity.

In countries with less stringent public health emergency measures in place, many people have been taking advantage of the opportunity to take walks in nature.

One reader, reaching out to MNT on social media, said: I go for a walk every day, and I really appreciate nature [and] fresh air.

Researchers have linked walking, as a form of casual, non-strenuous exercise, to a variety of health benefits, including lower blood pressure, improved psychological well-being, and a longer lifespan.

Some of our readers have also said that they try to take advantage of nature and fresh air in any way they can. This might be by stepping outdoors for a while or just sitting out on the balcony.

Since the weather got warmer, [my family and I] have started going out on occasional walks in the forest near our house, Mihai, from Romania, told us.

During the day, [our young son] stays out on the balcony for a while, he tries to [entertain himself by spotting] cats, dogs, pigeons, he added.

One of the main lifelines for me has been reading in the garden in the sunshine, another MNT reader commented on social media.

Many readers have also told us that they have taken up gardening as a means to enjoy the fresh air and sunny weather, if they have access to a garden or a balcony.

While gardening can certainly be calming, it may bring many health benefits besides stress reduction. An older study published in The Medical Journal of Australia associated gardening with a 36% lower risk of developing dementia.

And a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that gardening also has associations with a lower risk of cardiovascular events such as stroke and heart attack.

But even just taking a moment to admire nature can do wonders for our well-being whether that be in the form of a potted plant, a fresh crop of cilantro grown on the window sill, or observing newly hatched baby ducks at the park.

A research paper published in the Journal of Positive Psychology in 2017 found that simply stopping to notice a bird or a tree has associations with a heightened sense of overall happiness.

Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of the current pandemic has been of the physical distancing measures adopted by many countries.

Readers from all over the world have told MNT that they are worried about family members and friends whom they cannot see in person. They mention how they miss being able to meet up and engage in fun activities with those they love.

Yet many of them have expressed a strong determination in maintaining that human connection despite all the obstacles.

Almost all of the people reaching out to MNT have said that they have regular phone calls or video calls with friends and family. Some have found ways of replicating the interactions they would typically have with their loved ones over the internet.

Martina, who lives in Belgium, told us that she has been grateful for all the creative get-togethers that the people in her life have been planning:

To cope, I take advantage of the many initiatives organized by friends and family to keep us together. I do yoga online with a friend who is a teacher every day. [] I see my boss and my colleagues every Tuesday for a virtual coffee that [replaces] the ritual of our usual Tuesday lunch together. I have lunch with my family on Zoom almost every Sunday.

Some of the people we spoke to also noted that their employers have been taking steps to maintain their employees team spirit, and an atmosphere of collegiality.

For example, Mihai, in Romania, said that his company has been organizing 2-weekly meetings of 30 minutes each, in which we discuss anything aside from work.

[That is] to reduce our sense of isolation, he explained.

Studies suggest that long, deep conversations help us feel more connected and can enhance peoples sense of well-being. Social interaction may also help protect memory, according to some researchers.

Some experts have also linked lasting friendships and a good social life with better overall health and longevity.

Given all this, it is no wonder that frequent calls with friends, family, and colleagues provide a tangible sense of relief.

Readers who happen to be living with partners, family, or housemates, have also reported that playing board games helps them cope. Others play board games or computer games online with friends.

That, for instance, is the case of Ramona and Simona, who live in Sweden, and Stephen, in Canada, who told us that: Socially, weve been doing video calls and playing online board games and video games with friends and family. We even took part in a Zoom pub quiz.

Researchers have shown that playing and playfulness can help reduce stress levels in adults and increase their overall sense of well-being.

Some people have even linked board games to better brain function, and some studies have suggested that romantic partners who play together stay together, as the excitement and fun of board games help strengthen their bond.

Another favorite coping strategy from respondents all over the world is learning a new skill.

I also spend a lot of time teaching myself web coding through a free online course, taking and editing photos, and brushing up on my French with Duolingo, Stephen also told us, and other readers have sent us similar comments.

Research suggests that learning activities in adulthood may help improve life satisfaction and that learning new languages could help rejuvenate the brain.

All of these activities suggest that growth and adaptability have been key in facing the often life-altering circumstances that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to everyone.

By scheduling frequent video calls with friends and sticking to a regular exercise routine, people have been doing their best to recreate their usual lifestyle at a different scale while relegated to their home environment.

Some, indeed, have gone to some lengths to do so. Misato, from Japan, told MNT that what she misses most is working from her favorite caf, a place that stimulates her focus and creativity. So she has recreated it at home.

[C]afs used to be one of my favorite places to refresh my thinking and mood but, by analyzing [] why cafs made me comfortable, I made [a] caf section in my room, which eventually reduces my stress, and I currently dont feel any stress not going to cafs.

Misato, Japan

Some researchers think the pandemic may kickstart a boom of creativity, not just in individual contexts but also in diverse economic fields.

While challenging in many ways, the current pandemic may end up proving that humans have what it takes to find a way out of any crisis. Perhaps all that we need, in the end, are some creative strategies.

For live updates on the latest developments regarding the novel coronavirus and COVID-19, click here.

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18 Ways to Impress Mom This Mother’s Day – Longevity LIVE

In the USA: Perhaps this Mothers Day is more special. Its more than any important time to let the moms in your life know just how much each means to you. Of course, absolutely nothing can replace a loving hug or a compassionate touch. Or even knowing glances and those comfortable silenceshighly personal and togetherness moments that perhaps exemplify strength-of-relationship above all other. Even so, overt gestures of love and appreciation through gift-giving are always a welcome occasion. With this in mind, Ive curated a cross-section of gift ideas suited for nearly any kind of mom. These include an array of tech innovations to ease and enhance various facets of life to beauty. It also includes wellness, self-care, style, travel, and, of course, fine chocolate!

Help mom spoil herself on her special day, and every other day, with the RevAir Reverse Air Dryer. This ingenious invention replaces your blow dryer and in many cases, your flat iron too. Its a multi-functional hair tool that uses patented suction technology to dry hair in the natural direction of the cuticle (downward). It does so without damaging brushes or hot plates. This then locks out frizz and seals in shineand with minimal use of heat. So, mom can avoid those sweat-inducing blow-dry sessions. And its fast! RevAir dries, stretches, smooths, and straightens your hair in less than half the time of a blow dryer and flat iron. It reportedly performed 3.25 times faster than conventional blow-drying and straightening routines, according to third-party trials.

Unlike traditional devices, RevAir thrives when being used for final or stretch styles on the toughest hair types, even curly and coily hair. The system closes cuticles in their natural direction, reducing flyaways and increasing shine. Allure, Elle, and OK! Magazine have all agreed that its a Game-Changer, and mom surely will too.

The Orion and Radiance Photo Rejuvenation Red and Infrared LED Light Therapy Beauty Devices by Azure Medical Technologies will help mom put her best face forward. These high-tech tools use concentrated beams of red and infrared light to help remove and diminish skin blemishes, acne scars, and wrinkles.

Dermatologists and clinicians worldwide have used LED clinical devices for years to treat all types of facial wrinkles. But, with these, mom can experience the efficacy and convenience of this gentle and clinically proven light therapy technology in the privacy of her own home. Azures Radiance has a two times larger medical-grade lens than Azures Orion, a small version of the device. However, both devices are equally powerful and both have added features. These include proprietary beneficial microstructure diffusers and higher performing LED treatments.

The treatment is gentle and safe for in-home, clinical-level treatments and the sleek USFDA 510k cleared devices are cordless, rechargeable, portable, and simple to operate with a one-button operation. Both Radiance and Orion provide true super intense red through infrared light use, with four wavelengths of red and infrared, and very even beam patternsa MUST for quick and effective results and features the company reports as unmatched by any competitive device. Just a three-minute treatment, per three-inch-long area, five days a week for two months is recommended for optimal results.

Lets face it. All most moms want is help. And you can get her just that this Mothers Day with the Neato D7a premium and highly advanced robot vacuum that does the dirty work so mom (or anyone else in the family, perhaps including YOU) will not have to. This smart and powerful robot helper features top-of-the-line technology and is highly feature-rich.

This includes LaserSmart technology that allows it to intelligently navigate the home; zone cleaning that lets it clean specific areas on demand; no-go lines to keep the robot out of places it shouldnt be; turbo mode that boosts suction to pick up pet hair and tough debris; voice compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Siri Shortcuts; and up to120 minutes of battery life.

Beyond all of those impressive considerations, what makes Neato particularly unique? First, the D-shape (which Neato first brought to the industry) was specifically designed to deep clean corners, unlike its round-shaped competitors. The extended battery life is also best-in-class, allowing for a bigger brush and dustbin. This makes it particularly perfect to give even large homes a more regular deep clean. Lastly, Neato is the only robot vacuum to use LiDAR technology for its laser mapping. So, Neato can scan and map the entire house, creating up to three multi-floor plans for the robot to follow. With lasers, Neato can even clean in the dark, getting those hard-to-reach places under furniture.

Cat ladies rejoice! While we all love our feline fur-babies, cleaning those messy and stinky litter box bins leaves much to be desired. However, Ive found a perfect solution, which offers a gift idea thatll keep on giving each and every day. Its the Litter-Robotthe highest-rated automatic, self-cleaning litter box on the market. It uses an innovative patented hands-free sifting system that is triggered automatically just minutes after your cat exits the unit, reducing the chance of a lingering unpleasant odor.

Beyond the luxury of not having to inhale all of those nasties, Litter-Robot also saves owners time by eliminating scooping. Plus it saves money by reducing overall litter usage up to 50%. This is because it only removes the clumps from the litter. Whats also super handy is that Litter-Robot 3 Connect pairs with the Connect smartphone app to help keep track of one or more units from anywhere at any time, which provides yet more freedom from litter box duties. It also allows for remote monitoring of waste drawer levels and usage history, providing insight into the cats overall health, as well as providing alerts for when the waste drawer is full. Being a good cat parent has never been this easy. Its better for mom and kitty as well. Oh, happy day!

As temperatures rise in May and into the summer months ahead, you can easily keep mom from getting too hot under the collar. In fact, you can readily keep her cool and collected with the powerful Honeywell Weatherproof Outdoor Portable Evaporative Cooler thats built to cool large outdoor spaces. This includes outdoor patios, porches, backyard decks, large common areas, studios, workshops, and more. The units triple-sided honeycomb and high-velocity fan deliver robust cooling to make any hot and humid outdoor space far more enjoyable.

This Honeywell cooler is definitely a welcome upgrade to outdoor living. This model is even equipped with an ice compartment, wide 14 metal fan blades, and a continuous water supply option since this unit uses water to cool hot air instead. New to evaporative air cooling? The sensation is like a lakeside breeze. Evaporative air coolers do not use heavy compressors or refrigerant gas to lower air temperatures, nor do they spray mist. Instead, they effectively reduce heat by evaporating water vapor into the air. They work most effectively in hot, dry climates. So keep momand all of her family and friendscool, comfortable, and confident in the summer months courtesy of the geniuses at Honeywell.

Help out your busy mom all year through by inviting Chef Emeril Lagasse into her kitchen! With this Power AirFryer 360 unit, mom can enjoy nearly effortless, one-touch cooking for almost any type of mealfrom healthier daytime snacks to decadent family roasts, all cooked in one appliance right on the countertop. The Emeril Lagasse Power Air Fryer 360 gives the versatility of an all-in-one and multi-cooker, with this particular unit using seamless airflow in combination with powerful, even heat.

Twelve one-touch pre-sets give endless cooking options: Air fry meals golden crisp using superheated hot air instead of the unhealthy oil of a deep fryer; dehydrate fresh fruit or jerky without added sugar or preservatives; air roast an entire 12-pound turkey; toast up to six slices of bread; slow cook stews; air bake decadent desserts and much moreall in one easy-to-use countertop appliance. Unlike ordinary units, the five all-over heating elements combine with 360-degree airflow cook meals to a perfect, even crisp on all sides, not just the top and bottom. The package even includes a cookbook full of Lagasse-created air fryer recipes developed exclusively for the Power Air Fryer 360. Plus, mom can do even more with the included accessory kit, which gives two additional Crisper Trays, one additional Pizza Rack, and a Rotisserie Stand.

Heres a style-savvy idea thatll help mom keep perfect time while looking fabulous all the while. Its unisex watches from KYBOE as featured on ShopLC! She can wear these snazzy timepieces anywhere. From the beach and gym to the office and those nights out on the town!

Highly versatile, these attention-getting accessories are great to pair with her dressier ensembles down to those casual outfits. These fashionable and functional KYBOE watches are constructed with sturdy stainless-steel cases, durable silicone bands, and sapphire-coated mineral glass. Each watch is operated with accurate Japanese quartz movement and is designed to keep ticking no matter what life throws at her.

Formed in 2007, Shop LC was originally known as The Jewelry Channel (TJC). In 2017, they decided to change the name to match what they offer: The opportunity to shop low cost (Shop LC means Shop Low Cost). Over the years, the Shop LC business model has evolved into an expansive shopping experience far beyond jewelry and gemstones, precious metals, and collectibles. Today, Shop LC features handbags and fashion accessories, beauty essentials, the latest in cooking and kitchen supplies, as well as luxurious, comfortable bedding and bath products for the whole family. So explore everything Shop LC has to offer this Mothers Day, youre sure to find the perfect fit for any type of mom.

Especially during these trying times, its more important than ever to let mom relax when she can. Life is busy and stressful enough, so heres a way to promote moms desire for fitness and mindfulnessall while staying stylish: Perfect Balance World clothing.

What makes this yoga brand unique is that its pieces have friction landmarks in the fabric. These landmarks help the yogi get a proper grip on the floor and, thus, better control over their own body. This enhanced grip allows yogis to keep their center of gravity resting in the ideal, balanced position while doing it with less strain and struggle. As a result, yogis achieve better, longer poses from the added control Perfect Balance World gear proffers.

One of my favorites from the collection is the Innovator Capri pants, featuring Landmark Grip that helps yogis to bend, stretch and invert beyond their traditional center of gravity. By building the balance into the Capris, users can hold those poses stronger, steadier, and longer.

Mom will love the intuitive fit that flatters the body, with a wide waistband that can be worn folded or unfolded. Made from a non-slip material, this polyester/spandex blend creates a soft, silky, and stretchable feel.

Another of my personal faves is DNA Leggings, which new students and seasoned yogis alike adore. The patented Landmark Grip design is again utilized and was built with the intention of keeping you accurately positioned during your practice so you can strike that pose with confidence!

Discover an activity that can not only help mom maintain her sanity in a time of upheaval, but also teach the entire family how to relax silently and focus (what more could mom want for her holiday, right?).

Buddha Board is a unique mindfulness tool that uses the act of creating as an outlet for emotions, thoughts, fears, and anxieties. By putting brush to slate, stress begins to be painted away. Simply paint the surface with water and the creation will come to life in bold design. Then, as the water slowly evaporates, the art will magically disappear leaving behind a clean slate and a clear mind, ready to create a whole new masterpiece all over again.

The simplicity of the products design creates a quiet space for adults and kids, alike, to explore their thoughts, reconnect with their feelings, and get grounded again. Buddha Board is inspired by the idea of living in the moment, wholly unplugged. It is also environmentally friendly as it only uses waterno ink, no paint, no chemicalsand it will last for years with proper care. Its a really soothing option and a great way for mom to enjoy simple acts of creative expression.

If youre anything like me, you travel heavy. But, were not alone, as throngs of women do. We overpack, making sure were fully prepared for any and every scenario during a trip. As such, it can take a village of suitcases to get to the final destination. But, luxury luggage purveyor Ebby Rane endeavors to change that with its Quartermaster option that any mom is sure to appreciate.

This suitcase is unique in many ways, including an interior boasting a patented packing design that helps better ensure full preparedness for those itinerary intensive jaunts. Efficiently designed for all carryalls to fit together, the Quartermaster boasts 12 pieces total to ensure theres a place for the essentials. Its also lightweight at just seven pounds; comes with a TSA-approved lock; has four 360-degree wheels that give the case an upright posture and a gentle glide, and a sturdy telescopic handle. Beyond functionality, the luggage also exudes elegance.

The Quartermaster has 10 luxurious gold-stamped Carryalls with hand-woven monkey knots and beautiful feminine ruffles; a branded dust cover for storage; and is trimmed in-and-out with vegetable-tanned fine quality leather. Also highly durable, its made of a 100 percent virgin polycarbonate shell that withstands those nasty bumps in the road; a leather top and side handles that are crafted and stitched to last; a water-resistant zipper; and an underside handle for effortless retrieval from overhead bins. A five-year guarantee ensures shell enjoy the Quartermaster for years to come.

Another fabulous option for those moms on-the-go is the Samsonite Mobile Solution Spinner Mobile Office. Like the name says, this is an office thats on the move! With a little bit of everything in one bag, the Spinner Mobile Office combines practicality, style, and functionality in a silhouette thats ideal for adapting from treks to the office, through that commute and wherever she needs to be overnight.

It features nylon twill fabric with vinyl trim and water-resistant coating, a retractable push-button handle, and front zippered pockets that are great for storing smaller items needing quick and easy access. Plus, an integrated USB Port provides power connectivity (battery not included). The Spinner Mobile Office even includes a patent-pending Wireless Charging Pocket that is designed to fit wireless batteries and phones for effortless charging on-the-run.

There is also an organized front pocket with accessory slip pockets therein, pen sleeves, card slots, and a larger slip pocket thats sized to fit most tablets up to 9.7-inches. A laptop compartment is made with a dedicated, padded section of the bag that fits most laptops up to 15.6-inches; including two accessory storage pockets.

There is also a dedicated compartment that maintains a separate packing area featuring cross straps to secure items and a divider to store additional travel or business items. The SmartSleeve technology fits over most upright luggage handles for easy mobility as well.

From the same company, and with the same ideals in mind, comes the Samsonite Encompass Womens Convertible Brief Backpack.

The model takes the guesswork out of organizing and packing so mom can get on with enjoying her day. Four wearable modes provide the flexibility and convenience needed for the fast-paced, modern commuter.

It has four-to-one convertibility: Backpackclip the strap to the secure D rings and adjust the fit to create the traditional backpack mode. Shoulderunclip the strap from backpack D rings and attach the adjustable shoulder strap to comfortably carry on the shoulder. Crossbodywhen packed full, adjust the shoulder strap to wear across the body for a more comfortable, secure, hands-free commuting mode. Toteremove the crossbody/shoulder strap and carry it by the tote handles on your arm or on your shoulder. It also has water-resistant body fabric that features a deep coating for protection against the elements.

A personal organization pocket is unique to this collection as the front includes pen sleeves and a slip pocket to hold all of her need-it-now business and personal essentials. The Brief Backpack also includes an RFID Data Vault, a protected pocket that will safeguard her otherwise vulnerable travel essentials from identity theft.

Does mom get nauseous when traveling via plane, train, boat, or automobile? Heres a sound, medicine-free solution to ease her pain.

Blisslets are fashionable wristbands that provide fast, drug-free, and effective nausea relief. How? Well, acupressure on the P6 (Nei-Kuan) point, located between the two central tendons below the wrist, has reportedly been used for thousands of years, by millions of people, as a natural remedy for nausea and vomiting due to motion, pregnancy and other causes.

While there are competing explanations for why exactly P6 acupressure has this soothing effect, multiple randomized scientific studies controlling for the placebo effect have indeed shown that it does offer relief. Blisslets deliver pressure to the P6 point on the wrists by means of a specially designed bead embedded in a comfortable elastic band.

For each arm, its as simple as positioning the pressure bead on the P6 acupressure point, which is located three finger-widths below your wrist creaseright between the two tendons on the underside. Blisslets come in two basic forms: elastics or as a combo with an elastic core that snaps into a decorative leather cover. In either case, the bracelets should feel snug but comfortable.

Blisslets come in pairs and mom can use them for as long as the condition causing nausea persists. Users may wear them for up to 48 continuous hours before taking a break. So help mom to experience greater comfort this year while traveling or amid other nausea-inducing incidences.

Theres perhaps no greater gift than the gift of health, and cautious moms out there will enjoy the peace-of-mind provided by the GermAwayUV Surface Sterilizer Wand. This travel-friendly handheld gadget uses natural UV-C light to sanitize and disinfect surfaces no matter where she may be: at home, a hotel room, a restaurant, a doctors waiting roomanywhere germs are sure to lurk (which is pretty much everywhere)!

This device uses the same advanced UV-C light technology that hospitals have been using to sterilize equipment for over 30 yearsbut now the technology is available to everyone at economical price points. This wand will eliminate bacteria, viruses, fungus, molds, and a host of other pathogens! Ultraviolet (UV-C) light technology is a really efficient and effective way to keep things germ free, and its certainly a better option than using harmful and messy chemicals to keep things sanitary.

Use on linens, bathroom fixtures, airline seats and trays, and nearly any other surface where germs live. It should also be mentioned that in addition to its germicidal usefulness, this UV wand also fights unwanted odors and allergens such as mold and dust mites. So, use it on those old gym sneakers, the kids grungy soccer bag, anything that stinks really. Its miniature size is convenient for daily life and for travel.

Should thisGermAwayWand be out-of-stock due to its efficacy and relatively economical price point, another handheld sterilizer solution worth considering isCureUV.coms18-watt UV-C Sterilizer,as its also a portable light-based tool that will disinfect and sterilize high traffic areas and other locations where bacteria and viruses congregate.

For moms who like to keep self-care in mind (or should), Royal Suttons Ultra Hydrating Body Souffl is a thoughtful gift idea. This indulgent product rejuvenates the skin from head-to-toe with luxurious moisturizing properties.

Infused with Thyme Extract and Vitamins A, C, and E, it helps the skin flourish and shine at its most natural peak. Its a great Mothers Day option because a little goes a long way. In fact, users only need a small amount to achieve great results.

I also love that its not too heavy and soaks into the skin quickly. In fact, thats one of the main differentiators of this item and others of its type on the market. Some are often overly greasy and do not absorb well.

The effects of this Ultra Hydrating Body Souffl will last all day. Its also an effective method for rejuvenating and conditioning a dry skin condition while helping retain moisture. This will leave the skin feeling softer, smoother, and more restored. The pleasant fragrance is also soft and not overpowering.

Heres a way to help enhance moms relaxation and soothe her mind this Mothers Day, courtesy of Yesterday Wellnesss Broad Spectrum Hemp Balm.

This light, gel-like balm formula is designed to promote a sense of calm while leaving skin feeling soft and refreshed. Its infused with lavender and eucalyptus oils, found to help with relaxation, sleeplessness, and anxiety.

Unlike oils, which need to be metabolized, the benefits of a balm take effect as soon as its absorbed into the skin. This particular U.S.-made product fully contains 1,000 milligrams of hemp extract per container and, according to the company, is independently lab-tested and verified to ensure potency, purity, and quality. Broad-spectrum CBD contains cannabidiol as well as over 100 other compounds found within the remarkable hemp plant, but no THC so theres no psychogenic effectunlike full-spectrum CBD.

All those incredible compounds work together synergistically to greatly enhance the potential health benefits of the plant; also known as the Entourage Effect. For its part, eucalyptus has been found to treat dry skin by boosting production of ceramides. Ceramides are a type of fatty acid responsible for retaining moisture. High in antioxidants, eucalyptus may also protect the body from free radicals and oxidative stress.

This balm also contains many anti-inflammatory compounds as well as eucalyptus. The company cites this as useful for decreasing anxiety and easing congestion. Meanwhile, when lavender is applied topically, it can reportedly help ease various conditions like menstrual cramps, eczema, sunburns, and acne. The scent is also believed to promote calmness and relaxation, as well as decrease stress, anxiety, and sleeplessness.

Another gift idea utilizing the benefits of CBD for particularly active moms, or those with frequent soreness, is Level Select. Designed as high-quality personal care CBD product, the company seeks to help people maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. This includes smaller everyday activities and physical exercise, to competitive sports and travel. It offers a comprehensive line of performance-based CBD Sports Creams, Roll-Ons and Oil Drops. These products are made with only the purest form of CBD oil, and without any THC. THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis.

Overall, CBD is a non-intoxicating cannabinoid found in cannabis. After tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD) is the second most abundant cannabinoid in the hemp plant. It is known to have many therapeutic benefits, including anti-inflammatory, analgesic, anti-anxiety, and seizure-suppressive properties. Level Select products are available in three levels of intensity. This allows consumers to choose the right option for their individual needs.

Level 1 is best used to relax muscles and treat everyday discomfort. On the other hand, Level 2 is higher in strength for a higher level of muscle soreness and relief. Level 3 provides maximum strength when its needed most. Level Select Sports Cream has a proprietary blend of Broad Spectrum and Nano CBD. With high-quality ingredients in a non-greasy formula, these products are soothing to the touch and are perfect for daily application. Level Select Sports Roll-ons also have a proprietary blend of Broad Spectrum and Nano CBD. Using high-quality ingredients in a massaging roller ball application, they help target the areas that need it most.

Finally, what Mothers Day would be complete without giving mom that quintessential box of chocolates? For a true delight, check out Dallmann Confectionsan Austrian-born, San Diego-based artisan chocolatier that recently launched an assortment of Chocolate Survival Gifts thatll keep mom longing for more. These exquisite, handmade confections are made with family recipes using high-quality European chocolate.

The gourmet gift boxes are designed with heartfelt messaging intended to offer comfort during these trying times. Chocolate is the way to many a womans hearts. As a result, company owner Isabella Knack has conceived three assorted survival kits. These are Sanity Saver, Chocolate and Chill and Chocolate Makes Everything Better.

Each comes with the option of nine pieces for $25, 16 pieces for $35, or 25 pieces for $45. Orders can be placed through the Dallmann Confections site and shipped within just two days. Some select items also sold on Amazon. But dont wait, because your perfect goodie giftable might not be there by the time you want to spoil mum! A Gift Box from Dallmann Fine Chocolates has the power to leave a lasting impression. Not just on her palate but in her heart, mind, and soul.

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COVID-19 may be here to stay, even after a vaccine – Burlington Hawk Eye

The debate over when to reopen states amid the coronavirus pandemic has escalated quickly.

Frustration with the extended quarantine is mounting on social media, and residents around the country have defied social distancing orders to attend rallies demanding an easing of restrictions.

Protesters say the COVID-19 pandemic has slowed enough to justify reopening, given the mounting economic and health impacts.

One viral Facebook post making the case to move toward reopening in Wisconsin says we need to get used to living in a world with COVID-19.

It was posted April 26 by Dr. David Murdock, a research cardiologist with the Aspirus health system in Wausau who was placed on leave after attending an April 19 reopen rally.

The consensus medical view is that this virus is here to stay. In other words, this virus cannot be defeated simply by staying inside for a couple of months, wrote Murdock, who said he was observing from the rear of the rally at a safe distance to gather material for a memoir. The world will likely see periodic outbreaks, and we need to accept that and be prepared to deal with COVID long term.

Murdock makes an array of points in the wide-ranging post, which has been shared more than 2,000 times. But were especially interested in the claim about the longevity of COVID-19.

Of course, the Safer at Home order from Gov. Tony Evers and similar efforts across the country, including guidance from President Donald Trump is not designed to eradicate the disease. It was implemented to slow the spread so hospitals arent overwhelmed.

Claim: COVID-19 is 'here to stay'

Many experts have said a true return to normalcy likely isnt possible until a vaccine is widely available, which could be a year or more.

"We're going to probably all need to be used to social distancing for the next 12 to 18 months," John Raymond, CEO of the Medical College of Wisconsin, said during an April 27 online briefing for the Greater Milwaukee Committee. Until hopefully we have an effective vaccine, it's likely we're going to be living with COVID-19.

But a vaccine doesnt necessarily mean the end of COVID-19.

Absent a vaccine, I think it would quite likely become like seasonal flu or perhaps like some of the other coronaviruses that we are familiar with, said Bill Hanage, an associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard Universitys School of Public Health. It is entirely plausible that this could become part of our regular landscape of respiratory viraI infections.

The vaccine he references would be a theoretical one that is 100% effective and gives lifelong immunity. But vaccines are almost never perfect, notes Barry Bloom, a professor of public health at Harvard.

Bloom also expressed concern over the volume of misinformation about COVID-19 vaccinations on social media, which include a host of conspiracy theories about pushing people to vaccinate and concerns about how the vaccines may be dangerous. That could affect willingness to take a vaccine once its available.

The vaccine is only a tool if its used, Bloom said.

What we dont know

Hanage said an array of key unknowns will determine the long-term future of COVID-19:

Whether people can get reinfected, and how severe those recurrences would be;

How much immunity results from minor infections; and

How the summer warm-up alters infectiousness (based on both peoples behavior and the reaction of the virus itself; generally, coronaviruses dont survive as long in warmer weather).

Even if the virus does stick around, though, it may not be the threat it is today.

If that immunity is not very long-lasting and we have good reason from other coronaviruses including the original SARS, that it wont be what type of infections will people have when their immunity starts to wane? Hanage said. The first thing to say is we dont know, but I think its also plausible to suggest they might be milder.

Its worth noting that SARS a disease caused by a coronavirus that killed 774 during a 2003 outbreak has been eradicated. But there are key differences that make COVID-19 a more formidable foe.

In a March 5 article for The Lancet medical journal, Annelies Wilder-Smith noted COVID-19 can be passed on by those with minor symptoms or none at all; SARS patients generally werent contagious until they had severe symptoms. And COVID-19 is more easily transmitted and has had a more prevalent community spread.

The virus remains, and we need to learn how to deal with it, said Wilder-Smith, a professor of emerging infectious diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Certainly lockdown is only a temporary solution whilst we gear up to provide the true solution. Yes, we need to prepare for this reality.

Charles Branas, chair of the epidemiology department at Columbia Universitys Mailman School of Public Health, said eradicating the virus like we did with smallpox will be challenging, to say the least. Ali Khan, dean of the College of Public Health and professor of epidemiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, said COVID-19 sticking around is likely, but not inevitable.

Khan noted that some countries already are attempting to eliminate the virus. China, New Zealand, Australia and Vietnam have all set a goal of not just containment, but elimination. The New York Times reported April 24 that the adjoining nations of Australia and New Zealand are seeing just a handful of new infections each day and closing in on their extraordinary goal.

Our ruling: True

Based on what we know now, we rate this claim as TRUE. Experts say its still too early to know this with complete certainty, since much remains unknown about the nature of immunity. And we have no clue how effective a future vaccine may be. But a best guess at this point is that COVID-19 could indeed stick around long-term, waxing and waning similar to the seasonal flu. Experts say theres also reason to believe that lingering version could be less severe, though.

Contact Eric Litke at (414) 225-5061 or

COVID-19 may be here to stay, even after a vaccine - Burlington Hawk Eye

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Why Fasting Causes Autophagy and What’s the Deal With That, Anyway? – LIVESTRONG.COM

In recent years, the buzz around fasting and especially intermittent fasting has grown louder. While weight loss is the main draw for many, there's another benefit of fasting that's piqued a lot of interest.

Fasting prompts autophagy, which you can think of as your cells' self-cleaning function.

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Researchers have found that when your body is in a fasted state, it undergoes a process of cellular housekeeping called autophagy, which they've linked to disease prevention and longevity.

Here, we'll break down the science behind fasting and autophagy to give you a clearer picture on what it really means for your health.

Autophagy (pronounced ah-TAH-fah-gee) is an opportunity for your cells to take out the garbage, says Cynthia Thurlow, NP, nurse practitioner and functional nutritionist who specializes in intermittent fasting. It's a natural process of cellular repair and cleaning. "Autophagy gives your body a reboot and allows your body to function more effectively," Thurlow tells

Think of your cells like an oven. Over time and as you age, your cells collect damaged proteins, fragmented pieces of white blood cells or enzymes, and other metabolites that no longer work well or efficiently much like your oven collects grease and grime from your meals. If this "waste" isn't removed, your cells don't work as well or as efficiently.

Autophagy is like your cells' self-cleaning function.

"It slouches off this junk, this inflammatory debris, that it should be sloughing off but has kept around," says Myles Spar, MD, MPH, a board-certified physician and author of Optimal Men's Health.

Cells then recycle that material for fuel and building blocks for new cellular parts, according to a January 2012 paper in Experimental & Molecular Medicine.

So, our cells have a decluttering routine. What's the big deal?

According to the paper in Experimental & Molecular Medicine mentioned above, autophagy is necessary for our cells to survive. It provides nutrients and materials for cell growth and development, and it breaks down proteins and other damaged material that could lead to diseases and other negative effects of aging.

However, research on the health benefits of autophagy is still in early stages. Most studies has been conducted in cells like yeast and animals, and it's not clear if the findings translate directly to humans.

Plus, there's no accurate way to measure autophagy in humans, according to an August 2017 review published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences. And, according to the authors of a January 2015 study published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation (JCI), it's not always clear if the results are tied directly to autophagy or something else.

Still, researchers have identified some promising potential benefits of autophagy:

By removing accumulated, damaged cellular material, autophagy may lead to a decline in age-related diseases and increased longevity. According to the JCI study, autophagy contributed to longer lifespans in cells, animals and humans.

A May 2018 review published in Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy found that autophagy can suppress cancer. Indeed, when genes that regulate autophagy are disrupted, there are higher rates of cancer.

Thurlow says that's because autophagy discards diseased cells that could potentially become cancerous. However, the authors note that there are also times when autophagy protects cancerous cells and helps them grow.

Another paper, published November 2018 in Clinics, found that autophagy induced by fasting may make cancer treatment more effective.

3. Improved Immune Response:

In addition to getting rid of unwanted cellular material, autophagy may also remove bacteria, viruses and other pathogens that can cause infections, according to a June 2015 study published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine. It also helps keep the body's inflammatory response in check.

4. Lower Risk of Neurodegenerative Disease

The authors of the above 2015 study also found that autophagy plays a role in protecting against neurodegenerative disease by removing proteins associated with conditions like Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's disease.

5. Better Blood Sugar Regulation

According to the authors of the Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy review, research in mice shows that autophagy decreases obesity and insulin resistance by removing oxidative stress and damaged mitochondria.

A March 2013 study of women published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that intermittent fasting led to greater insulin sensitivity.

"We know higher insulin levels are associated with metabolic conditions like diabetes, vascular disease and higher levels of inflammation," Thurlow says.

Experts recommend fasting for 16 to 18 hours a day to reap the benefits.

Image Credit: Westend61/Westend61/GettyImages

Autophagy is one way your body responds and adapts to stress. According to a November 2018 study published in Ageing Research Reviews, fasting is one of the most potent ways to stimulate autophagy in the body.

"In a fed state, the cells don't have to be efficient, so they don't clean up as much," Dr. Spar says. "When you strain the system in a good way, like with fasting, suddenly the cell senses that it doesn't have a ton of nutrients and that it shouldn't be wasting what it does have."

But autophagy needs to cycle on and off, Thurlow says. Too little or too much cellular cleaning can cause problems.

"Fasting is a super efficient way to tap into autophagy, and it doesn't require any special products or technology."

For the average American, though, Thurlow says we don't give our bodies a chance to fast because we eat frequently and often, which can overtax our systems. As a results, you bypass opportunities to tap into this beneficial process.

In particular, intermittent fasting when you restrict what you eat to certain hours of the day or to specific days of the week is one way to allow your body to regularly cycle through periods of eating and fasting. This triggers a hormonal response in the body that jumpstarts the cell's stress response, immune defense and mitochondrial function (the cell's energy powerhouse) in addition to its self-cleaning cycle, according to a December 2019 paper published in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

"Fasting is a super efficient way to tap into autophagy, and it doesn't require any special products or technology," Thurlow says.

The trick is that your body needs to flip the metabolic switch from burning glucose (aka sugar) for fuel to using fatty acids and ketone bodies for energy, according to the authors of the NEJM paper. This can take between 10 to 14 hours of fasting.

Both Dr. Spar and Thurlow say there are many benefits to intermittent fasting aside from autophagy. And it's pretty simple to follow. They recommend fasting for anywhere between 16 to 18 hours a day to reap the benefits. However, fasting for more than 24 hours can start to overstrain the body, Dr. Spar says.

"Skip breakfast. Have lunch and dinner, and you can have a social life," Dr. Spar suggests.

Thurlow says that intermittent fasting works well with any nutritional ideology too, whether it's paleo, keto or a gluten-free diet.

But you don't have to be rigid about your fasting schedule, especially if you're trying intermittent fasting for longevity and disease-prevention reasons.

"You're in this for the long run so don't stress out because stress is bad for longevity," Dr. Spar says.

Just try to be consistent. "Even if you fast twice a week, that's going to be beneficial compared to not doing it at all," Thurlow says.

Consider working with a registered dietitian to ensure that you're meeting your nutritional needs.

However, if you have diabetes or other blood sugar issues, are pregnant or breastfeeding, are underweight or have a chronic disorder such as vascular, kidney or liver disease, Thurlow suggests steering clear of fasting.

Dr. Spar doesn't recommend intermittent fasting for children under 18 or if you're training for an endurance event like a marathon or triathlon. In both cases, you'll need all your energy stores, he says.

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