Category Archives: Longevity

R.I.P., Mary Tyler Moore

Actress Mary Tyler Moore died today at the age of 80. She is probably the most famous type 1 diabetic of a certain generation, those watching TV in the 1960s and 1970s. According to her NYT obituary, her diabetes started in her 30s.

Average life expectancy in the U.S. is 78.8 years, based on 2014 data. It’s longer for women, shorter for men. That average is reduced by 10–12 years for those with type 1 diabetes.

It still amazes me that one of the very first users of insulin injections, Elizabeth Hughes, lived to be 73, having started insulin around age 22.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Filed under Longevity, Uncategorized

Gastric Bypass Surgery May Increase Risk of Suicide

according to an article at MedPageToday.

Steve Parker MD, bariatric surgery

Band Gastric Bypass Surgery

Self-harm emergencies rose by 50% after gastric bypass surgery in the Canadians in this study.

Folks on my diets lose weight without an increase in suicide risk, as far as I know. Click on my name for the diets.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: If you’re thinking about killing yourself, please please please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline or some other reliable source for help!

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Filed under Longevity, Weight Loss

New research: Mediterranean diet linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and death

This tower is in Pisa, Italy

This tower is in Pisa, Italy

This won’t surprise you if you’ve been reading this blog for a while:

“Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, killing around 610,000 people annually. Heart attack affects around 735,000 Americans each year, while around 800,000 people are affected by stroke.

Adopting a healthy diet is considered key for reducing the risk of CVD, and numerous studies have suggested the Mediterranean diet fits the bill.

A study published in the European Heart Journal earlier this year, for example, found older adults who adhered to the Mediterranean diet were at lower risk of heart attack, stroke, and cardiovascular death than those who followed a Western diet.”

Source: Mediterranean diet linked to reduced risk of CVD – Medical News Today

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Filed under Health Benefits, Heart Disease, Longevity, Mediterranean Diet

Intensive Program Extended Lifespan By Eight Years in Type 2 Diabetes

"I don't mind dying. I just don't want to be there when it happens."  --Woody Allen

“I don’t mind dying. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” –Woody Allen

MedPageToday has some details:

“Type-2 diabetics lived nearly 8 years longer when treated with an intensive, multifactorial approach that employed behavioral and pharmacological interventions.

The 160 patients with type-2 diabetes mellitus and microalbuminuria, now followed for 21 years, received either conventional or intensified therapy.

Thirty-eight intensive-therapy patients died during the follow-up period compared with 55 conventional-therapy patient deaths during the same time. This translated to a median survival period 7.9 years longer for the intensive-therapy cohort, as well as a median delay of 8.1 years to a first cardiovascular event, the investigators reported in the journal Diabetologia.

“The outcome of our study is very encouraging and emphasizes the need for early and intensified treatment of multiple modifiable risk factors for a poor prognosis of patients with type 2 diabetes,” said lead study author Peter Gaede, MD, of the University of Southern Denmark in Odense, in a statement.”

Source: Intensive Program Extends Lifespan in T2D Patients | Medpage Today

Study participants were northern Europeans (Danes) who had small amounts of protein (albumin) in their urine and were mostly in their 50s when this long-term study started.

Medical intervention included diet changes, drugs for diabetes/blood pressure/lipids, and exercise. Therapy for the intensive therapy group was “target-driven, with stepwise implementation of both behavioral and pharmacological treatment following a structured approach.”

If you’re a researcher and want to test how my diabetes diets would perform in a study like this, contact me for a discount on books.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Filed under Diabetes Complications, Longevity

Fight Aging With Fish-Derived Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Cold-water fatty fish loaded with omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, trout, sardines, herring, and mackerel

Cold-water fatty fish loaded with omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, trout, sardines, herring, and mackerel

A daily fish oil supplement for six months improved muscle size and strength in a group of elderly folks.

Admittedly it was a small study but it was randomized and the only intervention applied was for the experimental group to take 1.86 grams of EPA and 1.5 grams of DHA daily for six months. The control group was given corn oil. Study participants were 60–85 years old. The specific form of the fish-derived fatty acids was a proprietary product called Lovaza.

Improved strength during aging should help with maintenance of independent daily activities and prevention of falls. In other words, these fatty acids are anti-aging. I’d like to see the study replicated with more study participants.

I don’t know if the study was paid for by Lovaza’s manufacturer, nor whether that would influence results.

This study supports my recommendation of cold-water fatty fish (great sources of omega-3 fatty acids) in all my diets:

Steve Parker, M.D.

 

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Filed under Exercise, Longevity

You Want Long Telomeres, Don’t You?

Judicious wine consumption is one component of the traditional healthy Mediterranean diet

Judicious wine consumption is one component of the traditional healthy Mediterranean diet

Telomeres are very trendy in the biomedical research community. Like kale and chia seeds with hipster foodies.

Telomeres are repetitive chains of amino acids attached to strands of your DNA. The longer your telomeres, the lower your risk of chronic disease and premature death, generally speaking.

The massive Nurses Health Study showed that women who ate a Mediterranean-style diet had the longer telomeres, which is good. That fits with other evidence of greater longevity and lower chronic disease rates in Mediterranean dieters.

Click for a brief pertinent article at NEJM Journal Watch, which includes a link to the original research report.

To lose weight with the Mediterranean diet, check out my book, Conquer Diabetes and Prediabetes: The Low-Carb Mediterranean Diet.

Steve Parker, M.D.

 

PS: If you didn’t know chia pets have their own Wikipedia page, see my other books.

PPS: We don’t know if telomeres are longer in men eating Mediterranean-style

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Filed under Health Benefits, Longevity, Mediterranean Diet

Obesity Will Lower Average Life Span Soon

That excess weight can shorten your life

That excess weight can shorten your life

“The medical community seems to be under a fog that we can constantly and forever reduce death rates, and that’s simply not true,” said Professor Olshansky, who published a study in 2012 showing that life spans for white women without a high school diploma had declined, a rare event in developed countries.

“You need to look at the health status of the living,” not the mortality statistics of the dead, he said, adding that obesity is afflicting younger generations in a way that will eventually make the numbers worse.

RTWT at The New York Times. 

Do something about your obesity before it’s too late.

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Filed under Longevity, Overweight and Obesity