Category Archives: Longevity

The Three Questions #LifePlanning #FinancialPlanning

I’ve been reading and watching Downtown Josh Brown for three years. Recently at his website I watched Blair duQuesnay interview George Kinder. He’s a financial Life Planner who now trains financial planners.

The title of the interview was “How Would You Change Your Life If There Were Only Ten Years Left?”

Nobody knows how much time we have left on this planet. My answers to the questions at age 25, when I though I’d live forever, would be different than my answers now, at age 65.

Now that you’re under house arrest by your governor in this time of Coronavirus Pandemic, you should have time to watch the interview and answer the questions for yourself. If you have a “significant other,” the two of you should discuss.

So you’re not going to watch the video? Below are the questions, in order. Decide your answers before moving to the next question. In fact, it’s best if you don’t even read the subsequent questions before answering the earlier ones. I suggest writing down your (and your SO’s) answers. It may take a few hours or days of contemplation.

  1. If y0u had all the money you need for the rest of your life, how would you live? What would you do?
  2. Assume you don’t have all the money you need for the rest of your life. (Or maybe you do already?)  But now, you have a trusted physician who informs you that you have an ailment that will kill you between five and 10 years from now (you’ll be fine until you keel over unexpectedly), what would you do with your life?
  3. Your physician says you only have 24 hours left to live. The question is not how to spend your last 24 hours. The question is what did you miss? Who did you not get to be?

George says that five areas typically come up for consideration with these questions:

  1. Family and relationships
  2. Values or spirituality
  3. Creativity
  4. Community
  5. Planet Earth

Blair volunteered that when she considered the three questions, the issue of children came up. My sense is that she decided to have them, and did.

Go.

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Have you ever heard of The Sinner’s Prayer?

PPS: Happy Easter to all my Christian readers!

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

 

NO: Are medical errors really the third most common cause of death in the U.S.?

Hospitals are notorious for iatrogenic deaths

From Dr Gorski at Science Based Medicine (and he’s right):

I say this at the beginning of nearly every post that I write on this topic, but it bears repeating. It is an unquestioned belief among believers in alternative medicine and even just among many people who do not trust conventional medicine that conventional medicine kills. Not only does exaggerating the number of people who die due to medical complications or errors fit in with the world view of people like Gary Null and Joe Mercola, but it’s good for business. After all, if conventional medicine is as dangerous as claimed, then the quackery peddled by the likes of Adams and Mercola starts looking better in comparison. Unfortunately, there are a number of academics more than willing to provide quacks with inflated estimates of deaths due to medical error. The most famous of these is Dr. Martin Makary of Johns Hopkins University, who published a review (not an original study, as those citing his estimates like to claim) estimating that the number of preventable deaths due to medical error is between 250,000 and 400,000 a year, thus cementing the common (and false) trope that “medical error is the third leading cause of death in the US” into the public consciousness and thereby doing untold damage to public confidence in medicine. As I pointed out at the time, if this estimate were correct, it would mean that between 35% and 56% of all in-hospital deaths are due to medical error and that medical error causes between 10% and 15% of all deaths in the US. The innumeracy that is required to believe such estimates beggars the imagination.

Source: Are medical errors really the third most common cause of death in the U.S.? (2020 edition) – Science-Based Medicine

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Minimize your risk of iatrogenic death by getting and staying as healthy as possible. Let me help!

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

Tea May Prolong Your Life and Prevent Heart Disease

One of my favorite green teas

For years we’ve been hearing about the potential longevity and cardiovascular benefits of green tea. If memory serves, most of the data comes from Japanese studies. Now a Chinese observational study finds 15–20% reductions in atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) and death, compared to non-tea drinkers. Most of the participants drank green tea, and they did so at least thrice weekly.

From the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology:

Using large prospective cohorts among general Chinese adults, we have provided novel evidence on the protective role of tea consumption on ASCVD events and all-cause mortality, especially among those who kept the habit all along. The current study indicates that tea might be a healthy beverage for primary prevention against ASCVD and premature death.

Source: Tea consumption and the risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and all-cause mortality: The China-PAR project – Xinyan Wang, Fangchao Liu, Jianxin Li, Xueli Yang, Jichun Chen, Jie Cao, Xigui Wu, Xiangfeng Lu, Jianfeng Huang, Ying Li, Liancheng Zhao, Chong Shen, Dongsheng Hu, Ling Yu, Xiaoqing Liu, Xianping Wu, Shouling Wu, Dongfeng Gu,

The researchers point out that results may not apply to non-Chinese populations.

Steve Parker, M.D.

h/t to Jan at The Low Carb Diabetic (click link for more details about the study)

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

Mediterranean Diet Ranked as Best Overall of 2020

Santorini, Greek seaside

Not surprising!

Every year, the U.S. News and World Report puts together a panel of experts to rank various diets.

From MedScape:

For the third year in a row, the Mediterranean diet has been named the best diet overall in the U.S. News & World Report annual rankings.

In 2018, the Mediterranean diet shared top honors with the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet. Both focus on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The ketogenic diet, one of the most popular, again fared well in the annual survey, but only in the fast weight loss category. Overall, it was not rated highly.

Angela Haupt, managing editor of health for the publication, says this year’s list has ”no surprises,” as it includes many diets that have been named outstanding before. Trendy diets typically won’t be found on its list, she says, explaining that its experts look for plans that have solid research and staying power.

Source: Mediterranean Diet Repeats as Best Overall of 2020

Click for the traditional Mediterranean diet.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Click pic to purchase book at Amazon.com. E-book versions are also at Smashwords.com.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

 

Drastic Rise in Young American Suicides

This too shall pass

From The New York Times:

After declining for nearly two decades, the suicide rate among Americans ages 10 to 24 jumped 56 percent between 2007 and 2017, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And for the first time the gender gap in suicide has narrowed: Though the numbers of suicides are greater in males, the rates of suicide for female youths increased by 12.7 percent each year, compared with 7.1 percent for male youths.

If you or someone you know needs help dealing with suicidal thought, please please please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

If you are depressed and hopeless, I swear things can and will get better for you. But you must reach out for help. I implore you.

Steve Parker, M.D.

Should You Be Fasting?

This caveman probably went days without food

Dr Axel Sigurdsson published an epic post on intermittent fasting early in 2020. I don’t doubt anything in it although I haven’t yet taken a deep dive into the subject like he has. I touched 0n it here, here, here, and here. I’ve done some 24-hour fasting myself (here and here).

From the good doctor:

Animal studies suggest that intermittent fasting may have several health benefits. Some of these benefits, in particular, the effects on obesity, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular risk factors, have been confirmed in studies on humans.

However, the popularity of intermittent fasting within the general public is in stark contrast with the gaps in evidence on the clinical benefits of this approach.

Source: Intermittent Fasting and Health – The Scientific Evidence

Steve Parker, M.D.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

Longevity in the U.S. Is Decreasing

The U.S. empire’s future?

Sir John Glubb studied various empires that existed over the last 4,000 years. He deduced that empires have predictable lifecycles, from origin to ascendence, to great power then decline and collapse. The cycle takes 250 years, give or take 50. I’m not the only one to notice that the U.S.—244 years old—may be on the decline. Decreasing life expectancies are a potential marker of decline.

Glubb died in 1986 at the age of 88.

From JAMA Network:

U.S. life expectancy increased for most of the past 60 years, but the rate of increase slowed over time and life expectancy decreased after 2014. A major contributor has been an increase in mortality from specific causes (eg, drug overdoses, suicides, organ system diseases) among young and middle-aged adults of all racial groups, with an onset as early as the 1990s and with the largest relative increases occurring in the Ohio Valley and New England. The implications for public health and the economy are substantial, making it vital to understand the underlying causes.

Source: Life Expectancy and Mortality Rates in the United States, 1959-2017 | Population Health | JAMA | JAMA Network

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: Not many diets are proven to improve longevity. The Mediterranean diet is one.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

 

 

 

YES: Is olive oil good for you? 

Olive oil is a prominent component of the Mediterranean diet

From Science Direct:

Abstract

The prevalence of non-communicable diseases is rapidly increasing, and evidence shows that diet and lifestyle are key areas of intervention to decrease their burden. Olive oil is considered one of the key nutritional components responsible for the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, which is characterized by the use of olive oil in meals as the main source of fat; a high consumption of water, fruits, nuts, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, spices, and herbs; a moderate consumption of dairy products (mainly cheese and yogurt), fish, poultry, and red wine; and a reduced consumption of red meat and processed foods. The aim of this review was to summarize evidence from randomized controlled trials on the effect of regular dietary intake of olive oil on three inflammatory markers: C-reactive protein, interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor-α. Reviewed RCTs [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. 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-lenght 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

Steve Parker, M.D.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

Low-Carb Diets May Shorten Your Life

…and high-carb diets might be just as harmful. In the research at hand, low-carb was defined as under 40% of calories from carbohydrate, and high-carb was over 70% of calories.

Garlic Naan, a type of flat bread

The longevity sweet spot was 50-55% of calories from carbs. Guess what? That’s the typical carb percentage in the traditional Mediterranean diet.

If you want to eat low-carb, read further to identify the possibly healthier substitutions for carbs. Tl;dr version: Eat plant-derived protein and fats.

From a 2018 study in The Lancet Public Health:

Background

Low carbohydrate diets, which restrict carbohydrate in favour of increased protein or fat intake, or both, are a popular weight-loss strategy. However, the long-term effect of carbohydrate restriction on mortality is controversial and could depend on whether dietary carbohydrate is replaced by plant-based or animal-based fat and protein. We aimed to investigate the association between carbohydrate intake and mortality.

Methods

We studied 15 428 adults aged 45–64 years, in four US communities, who completed a dietary questionnaire at enrolment in the Atherosclerosis Risk in Communities (ARIC) study (between 1987 and 1989), and who did not report extreme caloric intake (4200 kcal per day for men and 3600 kcal per day for women). The primary outcome was all-cause mortality. We investigated the association between the percentage of energy from carbohydrate intake and all-cause mortality, accounting for possible non-linear relationships in this cohort. We further examined this association, combining ARIC data with data for carbohydrate intake reported from seven multinational prospective studies in a meta-analysis. Finally, we assessed whether the substitution of animal or plant sources of fat and protein for carbohydrate affected mortality.

Findings

During a median follow-up of 25 years there were 6283 deaths in the ARIC cohort, and there were 40 181 deaths across all cohort studies. In the ARIC cohort, after multivariable adjustment, there was a U-shaped association between the percentage of energy consumed from carbohydrate (mean 48·9%, SD 9·4) and mortality: a percentage of 50–55% energy from carbohydrate was associated with the lowest risk of mortality. In the meta-analysis of all cohorts (432 179 participants), both low carbohydrate consumption (70%) conferred greater mortality risk than did moderate intake, which was consistent with a U-shaped association (pooled hazard ratio 1·20, 95% CI 1·09–1·32 for low carbohydrate consumption; 1·23, 1·11–1·36 for high carbohydrate consumption). However, results varied by the source of macronutrients: mortality increased when carbohydrates were exchanged for animal-derived fat or protein (1·18, 1·08–1·29) and mortality decreased when the substitutions were plant-based (0·82, 0·78–0·87).

Interpretation

Both high and low percentages of carbohydrate diets were associated with increased mortality, with minimal risk observed at 50–55% carbohydrate intake. Low carbohydrate dietary patterns favouring animal-derived protein and fat sources, from sources such as lamb, beef, pork, and chicken, were associated with higher mortality, whereas those that favoured plant-derived protein and fat intake, from sources such as vegetables, nuts, peanut butter, and whole-grain breads, were associated with lower mortality, suggesting that the source of food notably modifies the association between carbohydrate intake and mortality.

Source: Dietary carbohydrate intake and mortality: a prospective cohort study and meta-analysis – The Lancet Public Health

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: These types of studies are often unreliable.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.

 

Is This the Optimal Anti-Aging Regimen?

dementia, memory loss, Mediterranean diet, low-carb diet, glycemic index, dementia memory loss

“Darling, think about upping your NMN dose.”

David Sinclair is a PhD professor and researcher at Harvard. Harriet Hall, M.D., reviewed his 2019 anti-aging book at Science-Based Medicine. Here’s his current anti-aging regimen as outlined by Dr Hall:

He makes no recommendations for others except “Eat fewer calories”, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, and “Exercise”.

But he argues that if he does nothing, he will age and die, so he has nothing to lose by trying unproven treatments, and he has personally chosen to do these things:

    • He takes a gram each of NMN [nicotinamide mononucleotide] resveratrol, and metformin daily.
    • He takes vitamin D, vitamin K2, and 83 mg. aspirin.
    • He limits sugar, bread, and pasta intake, doesn’t eat desserts, and avoids eating meat from animals.
    • He skips one meal a day.
    • He gets frequent blood tests to monitor biomarkers; if not optimal, he tries to moderate them with food and exercise.
    • He stays active, goes to the gym, jogs, lifts weights, uses the sauna and then dunks in an ice-cold pool.
    • He doesn’t smoke.
    • He avoids microwaved plastic, excessive UV exposure, X-rays, and CT scans.
    • He tries to keep environmental temperatures on the cool side.
    • He maintains a BMI of 23-25 [click to calculate your BMI].

He plans to fine-tune his regimen as research evolves. He acknowledges “It’s impossible to say if my regimen is working…but it doesn’t seem to be hurting.” He says he feels the same at 50 as he did at 30.

Source: Aging: Is It a Preventable Disease? – Science-Based Medicine

Steve Parker, M.D.

PS: P.D. Mangan posted an interview it Alan S. Green, M.D., who’s using rapamycin to slow aging.

PPS: The Mediterranean diet has an anti-aging effect if you consider improved longevity to be anti-aging.

Steve Parker MD, Advanced Mediterranean Diet

Click the pic to purchase at Amazon.com. E-book versions also available at Smashwords. com.