Is the “Oldest Living Person” Really That Old?

Exercise is a fountain of youth available to every one

In The Blue Zones book, Dan Buettner discusses geographic regions where people live significantly longer than average. Sardinia, for example.

From Vox:

We’ve long been obsessed with the super-elderly. How do some people make it to 100 or even 110 years old? Why do some regions — say, Sardinia, Italy, or Okinawa, Japan — produce dozens of these “supercentenarians” while other regions produce none? Is it genetics? Diet? Environmental factors? Long walks at dawn?

A new working paper released on bioRxiv, the open access site for prepublication biology papers, appears to have cleared up the mystery once and for all: It’s none of the above.

Instead, it looks like the majority of the supercentenarians (people who’ve reached the age of 110) in the United States are engaged in — intentional or unintentional — exaggeration.

Source: Study: many of the “oldest” people in the world may not be as old as we think – Vox

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: I still think the Mediterranean diet improves longevity.

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What’s a Reasonable Rate of Weight Loss?

paleobetic diet, low-carb, diabetic diet, paleo diet

Java had to lose weight when he developed metabolic syndrome

P.D. Mangan posted a good article on the risks of rapid weight loss. I agree with him that a max of 1–2 pounds a week is a reasonable weight-loss goal, and that a bit more than that is OK in the first week but highly inadvisable for the long run. Most folks do well if they settle into one pound a week.

From P.D.:

Slower Metabolism

A slower metabolism is another side effect of losing weight too quickly; since your body’s metabolism is essentially determining how much fuel you are needing to burn every day based on your activities and food intake, dropping calories out of your diet can considerably lower your metabolism. While this might not seem like a big deal, it is! A lower metabolism essentially causes your body to burn fewer calories each day than it typically would, and some research even shows up to a 23% decrease in calories that are burned each day. This doesn’t always go away when you stop losing weight quickly, either, your metabolism might take a while to get back on track and burning appropriately, which could affect your health and weight for a long time.

Muscle Loss

Lastly, your body could end up losing muscle as part of your quick weight loss routine. Granted, eliminating calories from your diet will have you lose weight, yes, but aside from a lot of that weight being water, some of it can also be muscle. A recent study done with people on a 500 calorie diet versus a 1250 calorie diet showed significant results; by the end of the trial, the participants on the 500 calorie diet lost six times more muscle than those on the 1250 calorie diet – an astounding loss in muscle in just a five-week span of time.

Source: Risks of Losing Weight Too Quickly – Rogue Health and Fitness

Steve Parker, M.D.

low-carb mediterranean diet

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Mediterranean Diet Reduces Need For Diabetes Medications

diabetic mediterranean diet, Steve Parker MD

Pharmacist counting pills

From Diabetes Care:

OBJECTIVE

To examine the effects of two Mediterranean eating plans (Med-EatPlans) versus a low-fat eating plan on the need for glucose-lowering medications.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS

From the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) trial, we selected 3,230 participants with type 2 diabetes at baseline. These participants were randomly assigned to one of three eating plans: Med-EatPlan supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO), Med-EatPlan supplemented with mixed nuts, or a low-fat eating plan (control). In a subgroup (15%), the allocation was done in small clusters instead of using individual randomization, and the clustering effect was taken into account in the statistical analysis. In multivariable time-to-event survival models, we assessed two outcomes: 1) introduction of the first glucose-lowering medication (oral or injectable) among participants on lifestyle management at enrollment and 2) insulin initiation.

RESULTS

After a median follow-up of 3.2 years, in multivariable analyses adjusting for baseline characteristics and propensity scores, the hazard ratios (HRs) of starting a first glucose-lowering medication were 0.78 (95% CI 0.62–0.98) for Med-EatPlan + EVOO and 0.89 (0.71–1.12) for Med-EatPlan + nuts, compared with the control eating plan. After a median follow-up of 5.1 years, the adjusted HRs of starting insulin treatment were 0.87 (0.68–1.11) for Med-EatPlan + EVOO and 0.89 (0.69–1.14) for Med-EatPlan + nuts compared with the control eating plan.

CONCLUSIONS

Among participants with type 2 diabetes, a Med-EatPlan + EVOO may delay the introduction of new-onset glucose-lowering medications. The Med-EatPlan did not result in a significantly lower need for insulin.

Source: Effects of a Mediterranean Eating Plan on the Need for Glucose-Lowering Medications in Participants With Type 2 Diabetes: A Subgroup Analysis of the PREDIMED Trial | Diabetes Care

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Mediterranean Diet and Good Blood Sugar Levels Improve Brain Function in Type 2 Diabetes

MRI scan of brain

From Diabetes Care:

CONCLUSIONS

Both adhering to a Mediterranean diet and effectively managing type 2 diabetes may support optimal cognitive function. Healthy diets, in general, can help improve memory function among adults without type 2 diabetes.

Source: The Mediterranean Diet and 2-Year Change in Cognitive Function by Status of Type 2 Diabetes and Glycemic Control | Diabetes Care

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Mediterranean Diet May Prevent Gestational Diabetes

You can’t tell if she has gestational diabetes just by looking

From Newsweek:

Eating a Mediterranean diet while pregnant could prevent women at risk of gestational diabetes from developing the condition, a study has found.The women who took part in the study followed a Mediterranean-style diet, by eating more nuts, extra virgin olive oil, fish, white meat and pulses; while cutting their levels of red meat, butter, margarine, and cream. Researchers also asked the women to avoid sugary drinks, fast food, and those high in animal fats.

Source: Eating Mediterranean Diet During Pregnancy Could Cut Gestational Diabetes Risk: Study

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Is It the Olive Oil That Make the Mediterranean Diet So Healthy?

I like this Newman’s Own dressing. First ingredient is olive oil blend, unlike most commercial vinaigrettes that first list water or canola oil. In 2019 they changed the formula and I don’t like it as much.

C-reactive protein and interleukin-6 are measurable blood markers of inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation may be the cause of diseases like hypertension, strokes, hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), and heart attacks. One theory holds that if you can reduce the level of the inflammatory markers, your risk of the aforementioned illnesses will be lower.

Olive oil is a key component of the healthy Mediterranean diet. Could that healthfulness be mediated by anti-inflammatory effects of olive oil?

Fr0m the journal Nutrition:

[Randomized controlled trials] reveal beneficial effects of olive oil by reducing levels of inflammation markers. Olive oil taken on a regular basis can be a good dietary fat alternative, especially to manage IL-6 [interleukin-6]. However, further research is required to clarify the effects of olive oil consumption on inflammation comparing to other fats. Moreover, olive oil daily dosage, different time-length intervention and follow-up periods should be taken into consideration.

Source: Is olive oil good for you? A systematic review and meta-analysis on anti-inflammatory benefits from regular dietary intake – ScienceDirect

These researchers found no consistent effect of olive oil on C-reactive protein (CRP).

Steve Parker, M.D.

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Ascension Shared Confidential Healthcare Info on Millions with Google

…according to Daily Mail:

Lawyers, medical professionals and tech experts have reacted with a mixture of horror and fury after it emerged that Google has been secretly acquiring sensitive medical data on millions of people without their knowledge or consent.

Questions were immediately raised around the ethics of the data-gathering operation – code-named Project Nightingale – as well as the security of patient data after the program was first reported on Monday.

Others called for an immediate change to privacy laws after Google and Ascension, the healthcare organization it has partnered with, boasted that the scheme is completely legal.

Dr. Robert Epstein, an author, medical researcher and former editor-in-chief at Psychology Today, summed up the mood when he tweeted: ‘You can’t make this s*** up. #BeAfraid.’

Source: Furious backlash after it emerges Google has secretly amassed healthcare data on millions of people | Daily Mail Online

The “confidential” date reportedly included names, dates of birth, lab results, diagnoses, and hospitalization records.

Thanks, Ascension. How much did you make off the deal?

I’ve increasingly noticed that I have to depend on Daily Mail or other non-U.S. sources for news that “the powers that be” apparently don’t want me to hear about.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Keep your sensitive healthcare data out of Google’s and Ascension’s clutches by getting healthier.

PPS: I wonder if Google will censor this post by keeping it out of search results. Nah, my readership isn’t big enough. It would naturally show up on page 46 of results, and nobody goes that far down.

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