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Found 23 results

  1. CarstenR

    Carsten's Current Diet

    Hey, I would be glad about all sorts of suggestions and questions about my diet. I do not have fixed times for meals. Most of the time I start eating around 10 in the morning and eat the last one at 10 in the evening.
  2. Dear colleagues, A very interesting conference will be held July 26-27 at the George Washington University Medical Center: https://PCRM.org/ICNM Among the many presenters is Dr. Dean Ornish, the well-known vegan guru (who is often cited by our own mikeccolella). Looks interesting, and, IMO, worth attending. -- Saul
  3. Dean Pomerleau

    Dean's Current Diet

    Someone asked me off-list what my current diet looks like, and I realized I haven't updated the on-line information about it in a long time, although I've alluded to it in scattered places on this forum. I figured I consolidate and expand on what I've shared, for others to criticize : These days I eat the following (by calories): ~30% vegetables ~15% starch, ~35% fruit, ~20% nuts/seeds by calories a few other miscellaneous things. Vegetables The vegetables are a huge variety, and prepared once per week into a big mix. Its a combination of 'chunky' vegetables (just about any veggie in the produce aisle), and greens - where the greens typical include a mix of Kale, collards, chard, spinach, and spring mix - mostly organic. I also eat about 80g of homegrown sprouts and microgreens per day, a mix of broccoli, fenugreek, radish, and arugula sprouts. Starches The starches are about 1/2 sweet potatoes, and the other half and even mix of lentils, black beans, chickpeas, wild & brown rice, quinoa, and barley, all cooked al dente. Fruit My fruit calories come from the following. Below the first two, which are the biggest calorie contributors, the others are probably similar in calorie contributions: Berries - Mix of strawberries, blueberries, wild blackberries, cranberries, sour cherries every day Bananas - I modulate these depending on my weight trajectory - I'm around 2-3 per day these days. Melon - Alternating between cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, papaya, pineapple Durian - I admit it, I'm addicted to durian... Orange - 1/2 an small orange per day, with a bit of the peal/pith Apples - One small-to-medium (crabapple-like) wild apple per day, picked in the fall from wild trees near my house Other Tree Fruit - Persimmons (one of my favorites), plums, peaches, nectarines, pears, pomegranate. Depending on the season. About 1/2 of one of these per day. Note - this does not include the non-standard fruits I eat, like avocado (1/2 per day), cucumber, zucchini, tomato (~100g / day), etc. Nuts / Seeds The nuts I eat include: Hazelnuts, Almonds and Walnuts, in equal parts. The seeds I eat are a mix of the following (in descending order of calories): Flax, chia, hemp, sunflower, pumpkin, sesame. Miscellaneous The miscellaneous category includes the following per day: 1/3 ear of corn - 'buttered' with avocado and 'salted' with curry powder, because its tasty. 12g of natto - for vitamin K2 and amyloid breaking. 1.5 tsp of fresh chopped mix of garlic, ginger, tumeric root & horseradish 2 tbsp of cider vinegar 2 tbsp of my ketchup - a homemade mix of cider vinegar, water, tomato paste, sriracha, hot mustard and psyllium as a thickener ~2 tbsp of wide mix of herbs and spices, heavy on the tumeric, but just about anything from the spice aisle you can think of, in a mixture I sprinkle into my "salad dressing" and on my starch mix. 1 Tbsp of fiber & resistant starch - Used as thickener for my salad dressing. Even mix of psyllium husks, plantain flour and potato starch. A small amount of sweetener in my salad dressing (see below) - erythritol & pure stevia. Other Notes: The dressing I make to put on my salad is taken from some of the items listed above, blended together until smooth in my Vitamix. It includes: About 150g of the salad greens - so I don't have to eat them all in leaf form :-) 60g of berry mix The 1/2 orange ~60g of cucumber 100g of tomato 2 tbsp of cider vinegar ~100ml of water 1 Tbsp fiber / resistant starch ~1 tbsp of spice mix A bit of sweetener - erythritol & pure stevia - to make it a little tastier. I eat the exact same thing every day - except for minor variations in fruits and veggies depending on seasonal availability The macronutrient ratio of my diet is about 70:15:15 C:P:F I eat one meal per day, from 6-7:30am. I also drink a lot of lemon water (distilled) before and after my meal from this stainless steel tumbler to avoid coffee/tea close to meal which impedes mineral absorption - ~40oz per day. I also drink a mix of cold & hot brewed, heavily filtered, coffee, black/green/rooibos/herb tea, & ground cacao - about 40-50oz per day. I haven't been counting calories - but it is probably shockingly high, given that I'm weight stable at a BMI of 17.3 (115lbs @ 5'8.5" tall) and my Fitbit tells me I'm exercising in one form or another for an average of about 8-9 hours per day, about 5 hours of that pedaling leisurely at my bike desk. That's it (I think). Criticize away! --Dean
  4. Hi all, I’m a researcher from MIT working on making a predictive model for skin, measuring what impact different environment, lifestyle and products used have on someone’s skin health. I thought this would be a great community to ask about what you’ve seen as the impact of diet on your skin. How might this relate to a tool that could help you track it? One initial thought is to look at information from people’s food tracking apps like MyFitnessPal and apply data science techniques to see how it affects the health of their skin. Would love to learn from this experience of you all and how different diet changes have shown up in your skin! Best, Meg mmaupin@mit.edu
  5. The strategies are pretty standard but still pretty interesting for anyone who’s looked into ‘biohacking’. The guy is a CEO of a company that does half a billion dollars a year in revenue so he definitely has to be high performing. Funny enough he follows a ketogenic diet, fasts frequently and uses ssri’s for mood improvement. Here’s his whole protocol: https://hackernoon.com/im-32-and-spent-200k-on-biohacking-became-calmer-thinner-extroverted-healthier-happier-2a2e846ae113
  6. Valter Longo's work has been discussed around here quite frequently as of late, particularly his work on the fasting mimicking diet. In typical Rich Roll fashion, he goes long form and tries to gain deep insight into Longo's understanding of nutrition, longevity, and health. Rich says that he considers it one of his most important conversations to date.
  7. - Some media articles interviewing an author of the new study and also referencing previous studies showing links between B12 and B6 supplementation and cancer: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/08/170822175515.htm https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2017/08/b12-energy/537654/
  8. All, I've been engaged in an off-forum Q&A dialog with a CR friend, and I figured some of you other crazies might appreciate reading about (and hopefully commenting on / criticizing) some of the details of my current diet & exercise regime, as well as tips & my motivation for them. If not, feel free it skip this post! I've only included my sided conversation, but I think from my answers it is pretty clear what the questions were. Feel free to ask for clarification on anything that's unclear. Regarding eating once per day. It's very hard, especially when just starting out on this regime, to eat once per day in the afternoon. It takes a lot of willpower. So I recommend, and always try myself, to wait a couple / few hours after waking before I eat, but then eat in the morning rather than waiting until afternoon, and definitely never try to grocery shop on a (very) empty stomach! For large scale chopped veggie storage, I use glass containers because I'm a bit paranoid about leeching from plastics. The glass jar I use is from Anchor Hocking. Turns out it is only 2gal. Here is a link. I believe both Target and Walmart have them as well, although I'm not sure about in-store availability. I chop my "chunky" veggies once per week, and store them in this glass jar, all mixed up, between layers of paper towels to absorb moisture and keep them fresh. I chop my "leafy green" veggies at the same time, throughly spin-dry them using salad spinner, and then store them in another containing between layers of paper towels to preserve freshness. Both go into my fridge, which I temperature control to maintain a very steady 34degF. Vegetable prep takes me just over one hour per week, but after many years I've got it down to an art/science. It used to take me about 2 hours. I find meditation and practices that cultivate mindfulness are helpful for fostering one's self-discipline. Other than that, I don't have much specific advice on that topic. I used to cook for my family when we were 4 rather than 3 . But now that it is just the three of us, and my daughter has an extremely busy schedule, my wife and daughter's eating schedule is pretty irregular. So they cook for themselves. I also found it hard to cook for them. Not because I was particularly tempted by the food I was making for them (although on occasion that too was the case), but more that I was conflicted by the opposing goals of cooking as healthy meals as possible for them, but also meals they would enjoy, and not waste by not eating. When practicing CR for a while, I've found you become extremely averse to wasting anything, but especially food. Plus I'm an ethical vegan. Both kids are (were) vegetarian, and my wife eats mostly vegetarian. But they enjoy quite a bit of dairy, which I had trouble buying/cooking for them for ethical reasons. Regarding exercise, I'll enumerate everything I do in a day, in order: [Get up at 2:45am - yes I'm kind of a early riser ] 4min - straight arm planking 2min - 100 body weight squats 10min - "10 minute abs" workout - Originally from YouTube video of that name, but after doing it several thousand times, I've got it memorized. . Video embedded at bottom. Warning - this will really hurt anyone not used to doing an ab workout, but her accent is strangely compelling... 20min - Jogging on treadmill at 4mph and 15% incline (very steep). 1.07miles, 200 kcal 120min - Stationary road bike. Modest intensity. HR around 95bpm. My Resting HR is about 45bpm. [breakfast - 1.5 hours] 10min - One mile run outdoors. Moderate pace . usually with my dog. 20min - Resistance training. 4day split to work all body parts on successive days, but giving each enough time to recover. Little rest between sets to keep it mildly aerobic. Pretty light weights. Pull-ups, pushups, light squats, triceps extensions, curls, shrugs, etc. All the standard exercises. Using dumbbells and body weight. 4min straight arm planking 2min - 100 body weight squats 2min - Ab Slide machine. Quite a good Ab exerciser 90min - Stationary road bike again. [Time now around 10:30am - Shower & 6min inversion therapy (to decompress spine and stretch back) & 20min power nap] [Puttering around for a while, light food prep, errands etc - 1-2 hours] 10min - One mile run outdoors. With dog. ~240min - pedalling at my bike desk while reading, surfing web, posting to CR forums [Off and on throughout afternoon evening - spend time with wife and daughter, especially when they eat dinner] 30min - brisk walk with my wife (and dog) [8:00pm - bedtime. 8:15 sound asleep] So in total I run for about 40min, do resistance training / calisthenics for about 45min, walk 30-45min, and then pedal for about 7h per day. On an average day, my Fitbit tells me I log about 45K steps (or step equivalents, including bike pedal revolutions), and about 23 miles. All of it at home, by myself (except if you count the mile walk with my wife and jogging with my dog ). I don't enjoy the hassle of working out with others at a gym. I don't seem to need the motivation of having other people around to exercise with. What motivates me to such extreme exercise? Hmmm... A few ideas: I like to eat, and to stay slim. Extreme exercise let's me do both. I'm exploring the possibility of getting CR benefits while eating lots of calories, but burning them off via lots of exercise and cold exposure. It makes me feel good. I like the endorphins, opiates, whatever makes exercise feel good. With my stationary bike and bike desk, I'm able to do other things while pedaling, like composing this message! I like being different from other people. I like pushing myself to extremes, to see what's possible. Pushing the envelope of human possibliity. I think exercising one's abilities and strengths is why we are here, and what makes life meaningful and significant. My biggest strength is probably self-discipline / conscientiousness. Exercising discipline strengthens the will. As Nietzsche said in Twilight of the Idols, "From life's school of war, what does not kill me makes me stronger." He was a big proponent of hormesis before it became fashionable. I hope being very different from others, and sharing my results, will enable people (like you!) to learn from my experiences and experiments, and figure out what might work best for them. Regarding sleep. I sleep for 6.5 hours per day (8:15pm - 2:45am) + a 20min power nap. Lately I've been sleeping like a baby, without my former problem of early waking (unless you count 2:45am as early ). I hope this is helpful. --Dean
  9. Dean Pomerleau

    Impact of Diets on the Environment

    There has been a lot of popular press coverage with headlines like Why It's Bad To Go Vegan: Lettuce Three Times Worse Than Bacon In Creating Greenhouse Emissions focusing on a new study [1] from researchers at my alma mater (Carnegie Mellon University), investigating the environmental impact of different foods and diets. Their results, if true (and after reading the full text, they seems pretty rigorous and convincing), are surprising and somewhat troubling, particularly for smug vegans (like me ) and others who consume a healthy diet low in meats, but high in fruits, vegetables, seafood and some dairy. From the CMU press release that accompanies the paper: [E]ating the recommended “healthier” foods — a mix of fruits, vegetables, dairy and seafood — increased the environmental impact in all three categories: Energy use went up by 38 percent, water use by 10 percent and GHG )greenhouse gas) emissions by 6 percent. "Eating lettuce is over three times worse in greenhouse gas emissions than eating bacon," said Paul Fischbeck, [CMU] professor of social and decisions sciences and engineering and public policy. "Lots of common vegetables require more resources per calorie than you would think. Eggplant, celery and cucumbers look particularly bad when compared to pork or chicken." “What is good for us health-wise isn’t always what’s best for the environment." Here is the most interesting and important graph from the full text of [1]: It shows the energy use, "blue water" footprint (surface and groundwater required to produce the food) and greenhouse gas emissions for various food categories when compared on a per calorie basis. One thing that is strange it that the authors didn't break out legumes as a category, which I think would come out looking good. While meats and seafood were worst for greenhouse gas emissions, fruits in particular, along with vegetables and seafood require the highest amount of energy to produce and transport per calorie. While other studies have also found that meat production is a large contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, they've generally also found that the water footprint of meats was high as well, contra to what this current study found. And meats are worse for water usage than some categories of vegetarian foods, like grains fats/oils and sugar. But it would appear the combination of higher energy density in meats, coupled with the fact that farm animals are typically fed low-impact foods (like grains) in a highly optimized factory farm setting, couple to make their water footprint relatively modest, especially compared with fruits, which require a lot of water to produce and provide relatively few calories. The same analysis seems to be true for energy usage - i.e. high for fruits and vegetables because of low calorie density, and high energy cost for production and transportation. Here is the popular press discussion of the study titled A Study Did NOT Actually Find That Vegetarianism Hurts The Planet that I found most insightful and balanced by a reporter who actually interviewed the researchers. [T]he researchers behind this new study say that’s a total mischaracterization of what they found [referring to the idea that meat eating good, vegetarianism bad] . Rather, in terms of environmental impact, it turns out that not all foods in a particular food group are created equal, Michelle Tom and Paul Fischbeck of Carnegie Mellon University told The Huffington Post. “You can’t lump all vegetables together and say they’re good,” Fischbeck said. “You can’t lump all meat together and say it’s bad.” But sadly, what I think it is reasonably safe to conclude from this study is that a diet that is healthiest for people, and that many of us CR practitioners eat (i.e. heavy in all kinds of fruits and vegetables, with some nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, perhaps with modest amounts of seafood and dairy, but little meat), isn't necessarily the healthiest diet for the planet. Even more sadly, the foods groups that have the lowest impact on the environment are added sugars, grains and refined oils - foods that many of us try hard to avoid. Perhaps we can atone for our environmental sins by growing some of our own fruits/vegetables, and by composting, that latter of which this new study [2] (accompanying press release) in the journal Compost Science & Utilization (who knew...) found to be quite beneficial for reducing greenhouse gas emissions when compared to throwing food scraps in the trash, which produces a lot more methane when the scraps decay in a landfill. --Dean --------- [1] Environment Systems and Decisions pp 1-12 First online: 24 November 2015 Energy use, blue water footprint, and greenhouse gas emissions for current food consumption patterns and dietary recommendations in the US Michelle S. Tom , Paul S. Fischbeck, Chris T. Hendrickson Full text via sci-hub.io: http://link.springer.com.sci-hub.io/article/10.1007%2Fs10669-015-9577-y Abstract This article measures the changes in energy use, blue water footprint, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with shifting from current US food consumption patterns to three dietary scenarios, which are based, in part, on the 2010 USDA Dietary Guidelines (US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services in Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010, 7th edn, US Government Printing Office, Washington, 2010). Amidst the current overweight and obesity epidemic in the USA, the Dietary Guidelines provide food and beverage recommendations that are intended to help individuals achieve and maintain healthy weight. The three dietary scenarios we examine include (1) reducing Caloric intake levels to achieve “normal” weight without shifting food mix, (2) switching current food mix to USDA recommended food patterns, without reducing Caloric intake, and (3) reducing Caloric intake levels and shifting current food mix to USDA recommended food patterns, which support healthy weight. This study finds that shifting from the current US diet to dietary Scenario 1 decreases energy use, blue water footprint, and GHG emissions by around 9 %, while shifting to dietary Scenario 2 increases energy use by 43 %, blue water footprint by 16 %, and GHG emissions by 11 %. Shifting to dietary Scenario 3, which accounts for both reduced Caloric intake and a shift to the USDA recommended food mix, increases energy use by 38 %, blue water footprint by 10 %, and GHG emissions by 6 %. These perhaps counterintuitive results are primarily due to USDA recommendations for greater Caloric intake of fruits, vegetables, dairy, and fish/seafood, which have relatively high resource use and emissions per Calorie. Keywords Energy use Blue water footprint GHG emissions Food consumption Diet ---------- [2] Compost Science & Utilization Volume 24, Issue 1, 2016 DOI:10.1080/1065657X.2015.1026005 pages 11-19 Greenhouse gas accounting for landfill diversion of food scraps and yard waste Sally Brown ABSTRACT Diverting organics from landfills to compost piles is generally recognized as a means to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This article provides a detailed review of the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) and the U.S. EPA Waste Reduction Model (WARM) protocols on landfill diversion and composting for food scraps and yard waste. The primary benefits associated with diversion are methane avoidance. The equations used to quantify methane avoidance include first-order decay rate constants for different feedstocks to predict how quickly organics will decay. The total methane generation potential of the different feedstocks is also included. The equations include estimates of gas collection efficiencies in landfills. The decay rate constants have been determined from laboratory incubations and may not be representative of decomposition within a landfill. Estimates of gas capture efficiency have been improved and more closely reflect actual landfill conditions. Gas capture efficiency will vary based on landfill cover material, portion of the landfill where measurements take place, and whether the gas collection system is operational. Emissions during composting are included in these calculations. Only the WARM model includes a consideration of benefits for compost use. Nevertheless, significant benefits are recognized for landfill diversion of food scraps. The WARM model suggests that landfilling yard waste is superior to composting.
  10. All, I'm often critical in my posts about how badly the popular media butchers studies of diet, health and nutrition - and it often only becomes apparent how badly the media distorts and exaggerates research when you read the actual text of the study with a critical eye. For example, the bogus data low-fat gurus use to criticize olive oil. Even Dr. Greger, whose perspective and analysis I'm generally very impressed with, is guilty of spinning the evidence (also discussed here) in favor of a plant-based diet on occasion. That's why I was pleased and amused to see this new segment from late-night talk show host John Oliver in which he humorously tears to shreds the typical coverage we see of diet/nutrition/health studies in the mainstream media. It's a rather long segment (20min) embedded below, but I highly recommend it. If you're just in it for the laughs, I suggest jumping ahead to 15:45 (here is a direct link to that spot), featuring "TODD Talks - where the format of TED Talks meets the intellectual rigor of morning news shows". It is extremely amusing, while effectively driving home the point that you should believe very little of what you hear about "new research" on TV or via online news sources (except this one of course☺). --Dean
  11. All, I'm sometimes asked by friends and family who aren't quite as obsessive as I am about health & longevity for a few tips they might be able to adopt that might help them stay healthier longer but without "going overboard" like I do. Today I stumbled across an article that I think fits the bill really well, and that I'll point such people to in the future. It is titled 13 Habits Linked to a Long Life (Backed by Science) and it is from the website AuthorityNutrition.com, which I've never considered much of an authority on nutrition, but this article is quite good so I may have to reconsider... Here is the list: Avoid Overeating Eat Some Nuts Use The Spice Turmeric Eat Plenty of Healthy Plant Foods Exercise and Be Physically Active Don’t Smoke Keep Your Alcohol Intake Moderate Prioritize Your Happiness Avoid Chronic Stress and Anxiety Nurture Your Social Circle Increase Your Conscientiousness Drink Coffee or Tea Develop a Good Sleeping Pattern Each of the 13 is explained in clear, easy to understand language. The article describes the science to back up the recommendations, and has references for people who want to learn more. Finally, it's really brief for those with a short attention span. There are three additional items I can think of that I would add to the list: 14. Don't Sit Too Much (ref) 15. Practice Good Oral Hygiene (discussion, discussion) 16. Ask Your Doctor - Get regular medical checkups and recommended tests after age 50, or earlier if you've got risk factors (discussion) Anyone else have health and longevity "best practices" you would or do suggest to friends/family that aren't included on the list? --Dean
  12. I came across this gem - a cross sectional/correlational study on being a father and T levels. The reason I think it's important is that Tanzanian hunter gatherers are known to eat 100-150g of fibre daily, something many of us here do. In addition they have a low BMI and low energy intake. http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/276/1655/347 I'm typing this from my phone so my response has to be limited, but here were some points I picked up on: -their T in general is far lower than Americans - 150 pmol vs Americans being 250-400pmol (I'm not familiar with this unit and google didn't help) -caring for offspring closely lowered AM T by 30% and PM T by 50% (same trend not seen in America) -more closely caring for children lowered T more, while distance parenting didn't -fidelity lowered T -T didn't vary by age in these groups, suggesting you can maintain some T as you age Maybe this is why some CR practitioners like Paul McGlothin are able to maintain youthful T levels. Thoughts?
  13. Al posted a new study [1], that appears to me to support the theory I've been promulgating for a while that what's important for health and longevity is the quality of one's diet and lifestyle, rather than the quantity of calories one eats. The study followed over 90,000 postmenopausal women for about 13 years to see how the baseline quality of their diet (as quantified by 4 popular dietary quality metrics) impacted subsequent mortality. The dietary quality metrics were designed to gauge how well the women adhered to commonly-accepted 'good' dietary patterns, like following a Mediterranean Diet, or a DASH-like diet. All four shared much in common (emphasize fruits & vegetables, whole grains, avoid red & processed meat, etc.), and fortunately all four resulted in similar outcomes in this study, so I'll collapse all four in my brief discussion of the results below into a single notion of a "good diet". What they found was the women who had the best diet (i.e. were in the highest quintile of 'good diet' score relative to lowest quintile) had about a 20-25% lower risk of dying during the 13 year follow-up period. They also had a lower BMI (25-26 vs. 28-29) although weren't especially slim, and the exercised more than the women who ate the crappiest diet, although the researchers attempted to factor out BMI, exercise, and calories (see next point) from their statistical analysis to focus on the link between diet quality and mortality. On average the women who were eating the best diet and hence were healthier & longer-lived didn't report eating any fewer calories than the women eating the crappiest diet (although as we know food frequency questionnaires are fraught with difficulties...), they were just eating healthy foods rather than unhealthy ones. In short, this is yet one more study showing that dramatic improvements in health/longevity, on par with what we hope to achieve via CR, seem to be attainable by following a healthy obesity-avoiding diet & lifestyle, but without calorie restriction. --Dean -------- [1] Comparing indices of diet quality with chronic disease mortality risk in postmenopausal women in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study: evidence to inform national dietary guidance. George SM, Ballard-Barbash R, Manson JE, Reedy J, Shikany JM, Subar AF, Tinker LF, Vitolins M, Neuhouser ML. Am J Epidemiol. 2014 Sep 15;180(6):616-25. doi: 10.1093/aje/kwu173. Epub 2014 Jul 17. PMID: 25035143 Free PMC Article http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4157698/ http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4157698/pdf/kwu173.pdf Abstract Poor diet quality is thought to be a leading risk factor for years of life lost. We examined how scores on 4 commonly used diet quality indices-the Healthy Eating Index 2010 (HEI), the Alternative Healthy Eating Index 2010 (AHEI), the Alternate Mediterranean Diet (aMED), and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH)-are related to the risks of death from all causes, cardiovascular disease (CVD), and cancer among postmenopausal women. Our prospective cohort study included 63,805 participants in the Women's Health Initiative Observational Study (from 1993-2010) who completed a food frequency questionnaire at enrollment. Cox proportional hazards models were fit using person-years as the underlying time metric. We estimated multivariate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals for death associated with increasing quintiles of diet quality index scores. During 12.9 years of follow-up, 5,692 deaths occurred, including 1,483 from CVD and 2,384 from cancer. Across indices and after adjustment for multiple covariates, having better diet quality (as assessed by HEI, AHEI, aMED, and DASH scores) was associated with statistically significant 18%-26% lower all-cause and CVD mortality risk. Higher HEI, aMED, and DASH (but not AHEI) scores were associated with a statistically significant 20%-23% lower risk of cancer death. These results suggest that postmenopausal women consuming a diet in line with a priori diet quality indices have a lower risk of death from chronic disease. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health 2014. This work is written by (a) US Government employee(s) and is in the public domain in the US. KEYWORDS: diet; diet quality indices; mortality risk; postmenopausal women; prospective cohort study
  14. Diet & Colon Cancer Prevention While researching the Adventists diet study for prostate cancer prevention, Al Pater kindly pointed me to a similar study [1] of diet and colon cancer risk among the Adventists in the AHS-2 study by the same authors (thanks Al!). It followed 96,000 Adventists of both genders for an average follow-up time of 7.3 years to see which diets were associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. As expected, all vegetarians combined were 22% less likely than omnivores to develop any form of colon cancer during the follow-up (HR 0.78: 95% CI, 0.64-0.95). Here is the breakdown of colon cancer risk by various types of vegetarian diets, again relative to omnivores: Vegans 0.84 (95% CI, 0.59-1.19); lacto-ovo vegetarians 0.82 (95% CI, 0.65-1.02); pescovegetarians, 0.57 (95% CI, 0.40-0.82) semivegetarians, 0.92 (95% CI, 0.62-1.37) For colon cancer, it appears to be the pesky pesco-vegetarians who have the lowest risk of colon cancer. But vegans win overall, at least among this healthy Adventist population relative to all cancers (not just prostate or colon cancer), according to [2]. From the abstract: ... vegan diets showed statistically significant protection for overall cancer incidence (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.72-0.99) in both genders combined. Here is the diagram from [2] comparing the overall cancer risk for different forms of vegetarian diets, relative to omnivores: If we look at the male & female line (first highlight) or the male-only line (second highlight) in the fully adjusted model (including adjusting for BMI), it is only the vegan dietary pattern that reaches the level of 0.05 significance, and is P < 0.05 for the combined gender group. The other vegetarian subgroups failed to show a statistically significant lower overall risk of cancer relative to omnivores. Go ahead - call my Dr. Greger. But thems the data... --Dean ----------- [1] JAMA Intern Med. 2015 May;175(5):767-76. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.59. Vegetarian dietary patterns and the risk of colorectal cancers. Orlich MJ(1), Singh PN(2), Sabaté J(1), Fan J(2), Sveen L(2), Bennett H(2), Knutsen SF(1), Beeson WL(2), Jaceldo-Siegl K(1), Butler TL(2), Herring RP(2), Fraser GE(1). IMPORTANCE: Colorectal cancers are a leading cause of cancer mortality, and their primary prevention by diet is highly desirable. The relationship of vegetarian dietary patterns to colorectal cancer risk is not well established. OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the association between vegetarian dietary patterns and incident colorectal cancers. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: The Adventist Health Study 2 (AHS-2) is a large, prospective, North American cohort trial including 96,354 Seventh-Day Adventist men and women recruited between January 1, 2002, and December 31, 2007. Follow-up varied by state and was indicated by the cancer registry linkage dates. Of these participants, an analytic sample of 77,659 remained after exclusions. Analysis was conducted using Cox proportional hazards regression, controlling for important demographic and lifestyle confounders. The analysis was conducted between June 1, 2014, and October 20, 2014. EXPOSURES: Diet was assessed at baseline by a validated quantitative food frequency questionnaire and categorized into 4 vegetarian dietary patterns (vegan, lacto-ovo vegetarian, pescovegetarian, and semivegetarian) and a nonvegetarian dietary pattern. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The relationship between dietary patterns and incident cancers of the colon and rectum; colorectal cancer cases were identified primarily by state cancer registry linkages. RESULTS: During a mean follow-up of 7.3 years, 380 cases of colon cancer and 110 cases of rectal cancer were documented. The adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) in all vegetarians combined vs nonvegetarians were 0.78 (95% CI, 0.64-0.95) for all colorectal cancers, 0.81 (95% CI, 0.65-1.00) for colon cancer, and 0.71 (95% CI, 0.47-1.06) for rectal cancer. The adjusted HR for colorectal cancer in vegans was 0.84 (95% CI, 0.59-1.19); in lacto-ovo vegetarians, 0.82 (95% CI, 0.65-1.02); in pescovegetarians, 0.57 (95% CI, 0.40-0.82); and in semivegetarians, 0.92 (95% CI, 0.62-1.37) compared with nonvegetarians. Effect estimates were similar for men and women and for black and nonblack individuals. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Vegetarian diets are associated with an overall lower incidence of colorectal cancers. Pescovegetarians in particular have a much lower risk compared with nonvegetarians. If such associations are causal, they may be important for primary prevention of colorectal cancers. PMCID: PMC4420687 PMID: 25751512 ------------ [2] Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2013 Feb;22(2):286-94. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-12-1060. Epub 2012 Nov 20. Vegetarian diets and the incidence of cancer in a low-risk population. Tantamango-Bartley Y(1), Jaceldo-Siegl K, Fan J, Fraser G. Author information: (1)Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Loma Linda University, School of Public Health, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA. ytantamango@hotmail.com BACKGROUND: Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Dietary factors account for at least 30% of all cancers in Western countries. As people do not consume individual foods but rather combinations of them, the assessment of dietary patterns may offer valuable information when determining associations between diet and cancer risk. METHODS: We examined the association between dietary patterns (non-vegetarians, lacto, pesco, vegan, and semi-vegetarian) and the overall cancer incidence among 69,120 participants of the Adventist Health Study-2. Cancer cases were identified by matching to cancer registries. Cox proportional hazard regression analysis was conducted to estimate hazard ratios, with "attained age" as the time variable. RESULTS: A total of 2,939 incident cancer cases were identified. The multivariate HR of overall cancer risk among vegetarians compared with non-vegetarians was statistically significant [hr, 0.92; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.85-0.99] for both genders combined. Also, a statistically significant association was found between vegetarian diet and cancers of the gastrointestinal tract (HR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.63-0.90). When analyzing the association of specific vegetarian dietary patterns, vegan diets showed statistically significant protection for overall cancer incidence (HR, 0.84; 95% CI, 0.72-0.99) in both genders combined and for female-specific cancers (HR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.47-0.92). Lacto-ovo-vegetarians appeared to be associated with decreased risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal system (HR, 0.75; 95% CI, 0.60-0.92). CONCLUSION: Vegetarian diets seem to confer protection against cancer. IMPACT: Vegan diet seems to confer lower risk for overall and female-specific cancer than other dietary patterns. The lacto-ovo-vegetarian diets seem to confer protection from cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. PMCID: PMC3565018 PMID: 23169929
  15. All, Dr. Greger had another fascinating video out today on the link between inflammation and depression, and why an anti-inflammatory diet might be effective for treating depression. Apparently, it has long been known that systemic inflammation and depression are pretty highly correlated. And apparently, based on several studies cited in the video, you can induce depression in people by increasing the inflammation level in their bodies. Researchers have made an argument for why evolution might have set it up this way. Throughout our evolutionary history, systemic inflammation has been almost exclusively associated with infections of some sort, many of which are contagious. When we develop an infection, and our body responds with an inflammatory response, it would have been 'good' for our kin (and therefore our genes, which they share), if we felt crappy, and all we wanted to do is curl up in a corner and avoid contact with other people - in order not to infect them. So, the evolutionary theorists say, we developed a mechanism by which systemic inflammation triggers a depressed mood. Fast forward to today. We've pretty much defeated pathogenic infections, but still feel like curling up and dying when we get an infection - not much we can do about that. But in addition, despite few pathogenic infections, the bodies of most people are still inflamed continuously these days, largely as a result of the crappy diet most people eat. So the same depressive response to inflammation that used to provide a survival advantage, now simply makes us depressed, as a result of the food we're eating. Not surprisingly, Dr. Greger goes on to advocate an anti-inflammatory diet centered around whole plant foods. He says meats in general, and even fatty fish, are proinflammatory for a variety of reasons, including endotoxins. He says that may be why the early hopes for fish and fish oil as a treatment for depression haven't seemed to pan out in larger studies. I thought the most interesting graphs in the whole video are shown below, taken from [1]. In this study, researchers injected into human subjects an endotoxin derived from E. Coli, and then measured both their blood markers of inflammation and their mood over the next few hours. As their bodies mounted an inflammatory response to the endotoxin (as indicated by the IL-6 and TNF-a markers of inflammation), subjects reported a depressed mood. As the inflammation subsided, so did the depressed mood. The correlation between the inflammation and the depressed mood was high, and wasn't observed in the subjects injected with a placebo. I thought it was a really thought provoking video, and a reasonable explanation for the mystery of why depression might have evolved and persisted in our highly social species. Maybe the fact that CR practitioners generally eat a highly anti-inflammatory diet, and have low levels of inflammation as measured by blood tests like C-reactive protein (CRP), may explain why, after the initial weight loss period when toxins may be released from the fat we're losing, triggering inflammation and therefore depressed mood, CR practitioners generally report being in very good moods - quite in contrast to the expectation most people have that CR would make you permanently irritable. Finally, I don't want to oversimplify true clinical depression - which is an incredibly complex and debilitating condition. The kind of "depression" Dr. Greger is talking about in this video and that may be associated with chronic inflammation might be better characterized as "depressed mood", as opposed to true clinical depression. For more info on some of the complexities of clinical depression, including its genetic component, check out this short video on the science of depression. --Dean ------------ [1] Brain Behav Immun. 2010 May;24(4):558-63. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2009.12.009. Epub 2010 Jan 4. Inflammation and social experience: an inflammatory challenge induces feelings of social disconnection in addition to depressed mood. Eisenberger NI(1), Inagaki TK, Mashal NM, Irwin MR. Free full text: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2856755/ Although research has established links between feelings of social isolation and inflammation, the direction of these effects is unclear. Based on the role that proinflammatory cytokines play in initiating "sickness behavior," which includes symptoms such as social withdrawal, it is possible that inflammatory processes heighten feelings of 'social disconnection.' Here, we examined whether exposure to an inflammatory challenge increased self-reported feelings of social disconnection. In addition, because both inflammatory processes and feelings of social disconnection contribute to depressive symptoms, we also explored whether increases in feelings of social disconnection played a role in the link between inflammation and depressed mood. Participants were randomly assigned to either receive endotoxin, an inflammatory challenge, or placebo. Proinflammatory cytokines (IL-6, TNF-alpha) were collected at baseline and then hourly for 6h. Participants completed self-reports of sickness symptoms ("fatigue"), social disconnection ("I feel disconnected from others"), and depressed mood ("unhappy") hourly. Results revealed that endotoxin led to significant increases (from baseline) in IL-6 and TNF-alpha levels as well as feelings of social disconnection and depressed mood. Moreover, controlling for increases in social disconnection eliminated the relationship between exposure to inflammatory challenge and depressed mood. This study demonstrates that inflammation can have social psychological consequences, which may play a role in cytokine-related depressive symptoms. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. PMCID: PMC2856755 PMID: 20043983
  16. Your mom didn't know how right she was when she told you to eat your fruits & vegetables (F/V), at least if you are a girl... This new study [1] in the journal Circulation assessed the diets of 2500 young black and white men and women (~25 years of age, 62% female) and then measured their level of artery calcification 20 years later using computed tomography - arguably the 'gold standard' for assessing artery health. It found that people eating the most F/V (highest tertile - 7-9 servings / day) were 25% less likely 20 years later to have developed calcified arteries relative to the lowest F/V eaters (2-4 servings / day). From the full text, here are a few of the highlights, including one kicker: Fruits and vegetables were about equally protective Including legumes in with the vegetable category kept the association about the same - i.e. legumes were about as good for arteries as fruits & veggies. Of course people eating lots of F/V had healthier diets in other ways as well, but the inverse association between F/V and artery calcification was still significant even after controlling for these other dietary factors. Shockingly left out of the abstract was the fact that the inverse relationship between F/V intake and artery calcification (CAC) was only observed in women! To quote the full text: [R]eported intake of F/V did not appear to be associated with prevalent CAC among men: OR (95% CI) 1.0 (ref), 0.77 (0.52-1.12), 0.89 (0.60-1.31), p-value for trend 0.67 Here was their explanation for this surprising results: The lack of association between F/V intake and CAC in men in our study may be due to a lack of power, as our study included only 935 male participants. However, a less significant association between CVD and F/V intake in men has been seen in other studies. Data from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Heart study demonstrated a 15% (95% CI: 6% to 23%) lower risk for CHD mortality per 80gram/day increase in fruit and vegetable intake in women, but a non-significant 2% (95% CI: -2% to +2%) CHD mortality reduction in men (p-value for heterogeneity 0.007) [2] Similar findings were reported in a cohort of Japanese women and men.3 In the CHD risk factor study INTERHEART, the 3 lifestyle behaviors associated with a lower risk of CHD were F/V intake, exercise, and moderate alcohol consumption, and the protective effects of exercise and moderate alcohol consumption were larger in women compared to men with a trend towards F/V intake being more protective in women as well.[3] So why did the researchers leave out this surprising lack of inverse relationship between F/V intake and later artery calcification in men from both the abstract and from the popular press coverage of this study? Perhaps so as to avoid undermining the credibility of their (laudable) public health message, as summarized in the concluding sentence of the abstract: Our results reinforce the importance of establishing a high intake of F/V as part of a healthy dietary pattern early in life. Somehow I was unaware of the attenuated CVD benefits men seem to get from eating lots fruits and vegetables. --Dean ---------- [1] Circulation. 2015 Oct 26. pii: CIRCULATIONAHA.114.012562. [Epub ahead of print] The Association of Fruit and Vegetable Consumption During Early Adulthood With the Prevalence of Coronary Artery Calcium After 20 Years of Follow-Up: The CARDIA Study. Miedema MD(1), Petrone A(2), Shikany JM(3), Greenland P(4), Lewis CE(3), Pletcher MJ(5), Gaziano JM(2), Djousse L(2). Free full text: http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2015/10/14/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.012562.long BACKGROUND: -The relationship between intake of fruits and vegetables (F/V) during young adulthood and coronary atherosclerosis later in life is unclear. METHODS AND RESULTS: -We studied participants of the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) study, a cohort of young, healthy black and white individuals at baseline (1985-1986). Intake of F/V at baseline was assessed using a semi-quantitative interview administered diet history and CAC was measured at year 20 (2005-2006) using computed tomography. We used logistic regression to adjust for relevant variables and estimate the adjusted odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) across energy-adjusted, sex-specific tertiles of total servings of F/V per day. Among our sample (n=2,506), the mean (SD) age at baseline was 25.3 (3.5) years and 62.7% were female. After adjustment for demographics and lifestyle variables, higher intake of F/V was associated with a lower prevalence of CAC: OR (95% CI) =1.00 (reference), 0.78 (0.59-1.02), and 0.74 (0.56-0.99), from the lowest to the highest tertile of F/V, p-value for trend <0.001. There was attenuation of the association between F/V and CAC after adjustment for other dietary variables but the trend remained significant: OR (95% CI): 1.00 (reference), 0.84 (0.63-1.11), and 0.92 (0.67-1.26), p-value for trend <0.002]. CONCLUSIONS: -In this longitudinal cohort study, higher intake of F/V during young adulthood was associated with lower odds of prevalent CAC after 20 years of follow-up. Our results reinforce the importance of establishing a high intake of F/V as part of a healthy dietary pattern early in life. PMID: 26503880 ------------ [2] Eur Heart J. 2011;32:1235–1243. Fruit and vegetable intake and mortality from ischaemic heart disease: results from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC)-Heart study. Crowe FL, Roddam AW, Key TJ, Appleby PN, Overvad K, Jakobsen MU, Tjønneland A, Hansen L, Boeing H, Weikert C, Linseisen J, Kaaks R, Trichopoulou A, Misirli G, Lagiou P, Sacerdote C, Pala V, Palli D, Tumino R, Panico S, Bueno-de-Mesquita HB, Boer J, van Gils CH, Beulens JW, Barricarte A, Rodríguez L, Larrañaga N, Sánchez MJ, Tormo MJ, Buckland G, Lund E, Hedblad B, Melander O, Jansson JH, Wennberg P, Wareham NJ, Slimani N, Romieu I, Jenab M, Danesh J, Gallo V, Norat T, Riboli E; ------------ [3] Yusuf S, Hawken S, Ounpuu S, Dans T, Avezum A, Lanas F, McQueen M, Budaj A, Pais P, Varigos J, Lisheng L; INTERHEART Study Investigators. Effect of potentially modifiable risk factors associated with myocardial infarction in 52 countries (the INTERHEART study): casecontrol study. Lancet. 2004;364:937–952.
  17. Dean Pomerleau

    Telomeres, Diet & Longevity

    It's not clear whether telomere shortening is a cause or a side-effect of aging, and Aubrey de Grey is concerned that direct manipulation of telomeres to make them longer (i.e. via increased expression of the telomerase enzyme) is likely to be a bad idea due to concern about allowing cancer cells to replicate more readily. But longer leukocyte telomeres do seem to be associated with longevity: study [2] found that centenarians have leukocyte telomeres as long as people who are much younger than themselves (and therefore unlikely from a statistical perspective to make it to 100), and the offspring of centenarians have longer telomeres than age and gender matched offspring of parents who died at a "normal" age. So having longer telomeres might be a sign of healthy aging (I can hear Michael Rae revving up his engines now :)). With this in mind this new study [1] (provided to me by Al Pater - thanks Al !), found that components of a person's diet was predictive of their telomere length 10 years later. From the abstract: The first factor labeled 'prudent dietary pattern' was characterized by high intake of whole grains, seafood, legumes, vegetables and seaweed, whereas the second factor labeled 'Western dietary pattern' was characterized by high intake of refined grain, red meat or processed meat and sweetened carbonated beverages. In a multiple linear regression model adjusted for age, sex, body mass index and other potential confounding variables [including from the full text - income status, smoking status, alcohol consumption status, physical activity and calorie intake, and presence of hypertension, diabetes mellitus or hypercholesterolemia], the prudent dietary pattern was positively associated with [leukocyte telomere length - LTL]. In the analysis of particular food items, higher consumption of legumes, nuts, seaweed, fruits and dairy products and lower consumption of red meat or processed meat and sweetened carbonated beverages were associated with longer LTL. So for what is may be worth (he says, expecting to be corrected and chastised by Michael :) for oversimplifying and ignoring important evidence...), eating what is considered by most to be a healthy diet may help to preserve your telomeres, and improve your chances of healthy aging. --Dean ----------- [1] Eur J Clin Nutr. 2015 Sep;69(9):1048-52. doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2015.58. Epub 2015 Apr 15. Association between dietary patterns in the remote past and telomere length. Lee JY(1), Jun NR(1), Yoon D(2), Shin C(2,)(3), Baik I(1). BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: There are limited data on the association between dietary information and leukocyte telomere length (LTL), which is considered an indicator of biological aging. In this study, we aimed at determining the association between dietary patterns or consumption of specific foods and LTL in Korean adults. SUBJECT/METHODS: A total of 1958 middle-aged and older Korean adults from a population-based cohort were included in the study. Dietary data were collected from a semi-quantitative food frequency questionnaire at baseline (June 2001 to January 2003). LTL was assessed using real-time PCR during the 10-year follow-up period (February 2011 to November 2012). RESULTS: We identified two major factors and generated factor scores using factor analysis. The first factor labeled 'prudent dietary pattern' was characterized by high intake of whole grains, seafood, legumes, vegetables and seaweed, whereas the second factor labeled 'Western dietary pattern' was characterized by high intake of refined grain, red meat or processed meat and sweetened carbonated beverages. In a multiple linear regression model adjusted for age, sex, body mass index and other potential confounding variables, the prudent dietary pattern was positively associated with LTL. In the analysis of particular food items, higher consumption of legumes, nuts, seaweed, fruits and dairy products and lower consumption of red meat or processed meat and sweetened carbonated beverages were associated with longer LTL. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that diet in the remote past, that is, 10 years earlier, may affect the degree of biological aging in middle-aged and older adults. PMID: 25872911 -------------------------- [2] Exp Gerontol. 2014 Oct;58:90-5. doi: 10.1016/j.exger.2014.06.018. Epub 2014 Jun 27. Leukocyte telomere length and prevalence of age-related diseases in semisupercentenarians, centenarians and centenarians' offspring. Tedone E(1), Arosio B(2), Gussago C(3), Casati M(4), Ferri E(3), Ogliari G(3), Ronchetti F(3), Porta A(3), Massariello F(3), Nicolini P(4), Mari D(2). Centenarians and their offspring are increasingly considered a useful model to study and characterize the mechanisms underlying healthy aging and longevity. The aim of this project is to compare the prevalence of age-related diseases and telomere length (TL), a marker of biological age and mortality, across five groups of subjects: semisupercentenarians (SSCENT) (105-109years old), centenarians (CENT) (100-104years old), centenarians' offspring (CO), age- and gender-matched offspring of parents who both died at an age in line with life expectancy (CT) and age- and gender-matched offspring of both non-long-lived parents (NLO). Information was collected on lifestyle, past and current diseases, medical history and medication use. SSCENT displayed a lower prevalence of acute myocardial infarction (p=0.027), angina (p=0.016) and depression (p=0.021) relative to CENT. CO appeared to be healthier compared to CT who, in turn, displayed a lower prevalence of both arrhythmia (p=0.034) and hypertension (p=0.046) than NLO, characterized by the lowest parental longevity. Interestingly, CO and SSCENT exhibited the longest (p<0.001) and the shortest (p<0.001) telomeres respectively while CENT showed no difference in TL compared to the younger CT and NLO. Our results strengthen the hypothesis that the longevity of parents may influence the health status of their offspring. Moreover, our data also suggest that both CENT and their offspring may be characterized by a better TL maintenance which, in turn, may contribute to their longevity and healthy aging. The observation that SSCENT showed considerable shorter telomeres compared to CENT may suggest a progressive impairment of TL maintenance mechanisms over the transition from centenarian to semisupercentenarian age. PMID: 24975295
  18. All, Here is a short video (1:30) and a longer one (13min) profiling a Ellsworth Wareham, 100-year vegan man who appears to be still going strong, both physically and mentally. He was a heart surgeon who didn't retire until 95. He is (not surprisingly) one of those long-lived, clean-living Seventh Day Adventists from Loma Linda California. He attributes his longevity to his low-fat vegan diet (which he adopted ~50 years ago) and his ability to avoid stress. His total cholesterol is 117, which he says makes him very unlikely to develop heart disease. He now sees it as his mission to educate people about preventative medicine. Here is his wikipedia page for more information. He is quite an inspiration and the kind of person I think CR practitioners should aspire too! --Dean
  19. Guest

    Rice Diet

    So, I have done a lot of research online, and have found that Asian cultures (especially Japan and Hong Kong) have life expectancies that are higher than the United States. Part of me wonders why this is. Since a major part of longevity depends on diet and exercise, I thought about what Asian cultures eat and drink. The first thing that came to mind was: rice and green tea. Would it be healthy if (most days) I ate a cup of rice with some red beans and olive oil? I would eat this 200 calorie meal four times per day totalling 800 calories per day. While this meal contains protein, carbs, and a small amount of fat, it does not have any real vegetables in it which is why I'm worried about not having enough variety in my diet... What do you think??
  20. All, One of the initial motivations for studying the possible benefits of the Omega-3s PUFAs DHA & EPA came from observations that the Inuits of Greenland, whose diet contains a very high proportion of polyunsaturated fat from cold-water fish and marine mammals, suffer from relatively low rates of cardiovascular disease. But randomized control trials of the benefits of DHA / EPA supplements for (primary or secondary) prevention of cardiovascular disease have generally been disappointing (e.g. [1]). This new study [2] in Science, might suggest at least part of the explanation for this apparent paradox. That paper used population-genetic analysis of Greenland Inuits to discover regions of two chromosomes that seem to have experienced strong selection in the recent past. Those regions also happen to contain genes involved in fatty acid metabolism; and the variants of the genes that have increased in frequency in Inuits are also associated with small stature and lower weight. From the abstract: By analyzing membrane lipids, we found that the selected alleles modulate fatty acid composition, which may affect the regulation of growth hormones. Thus, the Inuit have genetic and physiological adaptations to a diet rich in PUFAs. In an accompanying commentary, there is a fascinating map of relatively recent human genetic variations and where they occur around the world (click to enlarge): The one that isn't shown that I find very interesting is the salivary amylase gene (AMY1) for digesting starch. Several studies (e.g. [3]) have found that the number of duplicates of the AMY1 a person has can vary from 2 to about 15 from one individual to the next. The more AMY1 copies you have, the better you are at digesting starch / carbohydrates, and the less prone you are to obesity [3]. Study [4] looked at how the number of AMY1 copies varied between people of different ethnic groups and found a striking correlation between the amount of starch in their ancestral diet and the number of AMY1 copies their genome contained. Here is that result illustrated on a map (click to enlarge): In short, it appears that in cultures whose ancestral diet contained a large fraction of carbohydrates, more copies of the AMY1 gene were selected for since it helped them better process carbs. The bottom line appears to be that there is no "one size fits all" diet that is right for everyone. To some extent at least, the best diet for an individual depends on his/her genes. --Dean -------------------------------- [1] Arch Intern Med. 2012 May 14;172(9):686-94. doi: 10.1001/archinternmed.2012.262. Efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplements (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid) in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis of randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials. Kwak SM(1), Myung SK, Lee YJ, Seo HG; Korean Meta-analysis Study Group. Collaborators: Myung SK, Ju W, Oh SW, Bae JH, Kim YK, Park CH, Jeon YJ, Lee EH, Chang YJ, Park SM, Eom CS, Lee YJ, Jung HS, Kwak SM. BACKGROUND: Although previous randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials reported the efficacy of omega-3 fatty acid supplements in the secondary prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), the evidence remains inconclusive. Using a meta-analysis, we investigated the efficacy of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid in the secondary prevention of CVD. METHODS: We searched PubMed, EMBASE, and the Cochrane Library in April 2011. Two of us independently reviewed and selected eligible randomized controlled trials. RESULTS: Of 1007 articles retrieved, 14 randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trials (involving 20 485 patients with a history of CVD) were included in the final analyses. Supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids did not reduce the risk of overall cardiovascular events (relative risk, 0.99; 95% CI, 0.89-1.09), all-cause mortality, sudden cardiac death, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, or transient ischemic attack and stroke. There was a small reduction in cardiovascular death (relative risk, 0.91; 95% CI, 0.84-0.99), which disappeared when we excluded a study with major methodological problems. Furthermore, no significant preventive effect was observed in subgroup analyses by the following: country location, inland or coastal geographic area, history of CVD, concomitant medication use, type of placebo material in the trial, methodological quality of the trial, duration of treatment, dosage of eicosapentaenoic acid or docosahexaenoic acid, or use of fish oil supplementation only as treatment. CONCLUSION: Our meta-analysis showed insufficient evidence of a secondary preventive effect of omega-3 fatty acid supplements against overall cardiovascular events among patients with a history of cardiovascular disease. PMID: 22493407 ----------------- [2] Science. 2015 Sep 18;349(6254):1343-1347. Greenlandic Inuit show genetic signatures of diet and climate adaptation. Fumagalli M(1), Moltke I(2), Grarup N(3), Racimo F(4), Bjerregaard P(5), Jørgensen ME(6), Korneliussen TS(7), Gerbault P(8), Skotte L(2), Linneberg A(9), Christensen C(10), Brandslund I(11), Jørgensen T(12), Huerta-Sánchez E(13), Schmidt EB(14), Pedersen O(3), Hansen T(15), Albrechtsen A(16), Nielsen R(17). The indigenous people of Greenland, the Inuit, have lived for a long time in the extreme conditions of the Arctic, including low annual temperatures, and with a specialized diet rich in protein and fatty acids, particularly omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). A scan of Inuit genomes for signatures of adaptation revealed signals at several loci, with the strongest signal located in a cluster of fatty acid desaturases that determine PUFA levels. The selected alleles are associated with multiple metabolic and anthropometric phenotypes and have large effect sizes for weight and height, with the effect on height replicated in Europeans. By analyzing membrane lipids, we found that the selected alleles modulate fatty acid composition, which may affect the regulation of growth hormones. Thus, the Inuit have genetic and physiological adaptations to a diet rich in PUFAs. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science. PMID: 26383953 ----------------- [3] Nat Genet. 2014 May;46(5):492-7. doi: 10.1038/ng.2939. Epub 2014 Mar 30. Low copy number of the salivary amylase gene predisposes to obesity. Falchi M(1), El-Sayed Moustafa JS(2), Takousis P(3), Pesce F(4), Bonnefond A(5), Andersson-Assarsson JC(6), Sudmant PH(7), Dorajoo R(8), Al-Shafai MN(9), Bottolo L(10), Ozdemir E(3), So HC(11), Davies RW(12), Patrice A(13), Dent R(14), Mangino M(15), Hysi PG(15), Dechaume A(16), Huyvaert M(16), Skinner J(17), Pigeyre M(18), Caiazzo R(18), Raverdy V(13), Vaillant E(16), Field S(19), Balkau B(20), Marre M(21), Visvikis-Siest S(22), Weill J(23), Poulain-Godefroy O(16), Jacobson P(24), Sjostrom L(24), Hammond CJ(15), Deloukas P(25), Sham PC(11), McPherson R(26), Lee J(27), Tai ES(28), Sladek R(29), Carlsson LM(24), Walley A(30), Eichler EE(31), Pattou F(18), Spector TD(32), Froguel P(33). Comment in Nat Rev Endocrinol. 2014 Jun;10(6):312. Common multi-allelic copy number variants (CNVs) appear enriched for phenotypic associations compared to their biallelic counterparts. Here we investigated the influence of gene dosage effects on adiposity through a CNV association study of gene expression levels in adipose tissue. We identified significant association of a multi-allelic CNV encompassing the salivary amylase gene (AMY1) with body mass index (BMI) and obesity, and we replicated this finding in 6,200 subjects. Increased AMY1 copy number was positively associated with both amylase gene expression (P = 2.31 × 10(-14)) and serum enzyme levels (P < 2.20 × 10(-16)), whereas reduced AMY1 copy number was associated with increased BMI (change in BMI per estimated copy = -0.15 (0.02) kg/m(2); P = 6.93 × 10(-10)) and obesity risk (odds ratio (OR) per estimated copy = 1.19, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.13-1.26; P = 1.46 × 10(-10)). The OR value of 1.19 per copy of AMY1 translates into about an eightfold difference in risk of obesity between subjects in the top (copy number > 9) and bottom (copy number < 4) 10% of the copy number distribution. Our study provides a first genetic link between carbohydrate metabolism and BMI and demonstrates the power of integrated genomic approaches beyond genome-wide association studies. PMID: 24686848 ------------------------- [4] Perry, G. H., Dominy, N. J., Claw, K. G., Lee, A. S., Fiegler, H., Redon, R., et al. (2007). Diet and the evolution of human amylase gene copy number variation. [10.1038/ng2123]. Nat Genet, 39(10), 1256-1260.
  21. Here is another study posted by Al Pater that particularly interested me, both because it focused on inflammation (now understood to be an important contributor to all of the major chronic diseases of aging) and because it focused on CR vs. exercise vs. both. It compared the effects of one-year of a calorie restricted diet, aerobic exercise (without calorie restriction) or both exercise and calorie restriction on biomarkers of inflammation in overweight/obese postmenopausal women. The results can be summarized as follows: The diet-only group and the diet+exercise group lost close to the same amount of weight (8.5% vs 10.5%, respectively). The exercise-only group lost much less on average (2.5%), although there were some women in the exercise-only group who lost > 5% (see below). "There were no significant differences between the diet and diet+exercise groups or between the exercise[-only] and control groups, in any inflammatory biomarker." Virtually everyone* in the study who lost >5% of body weight saw a significant reduction in hr-CRP, an important marker of inflammation, independent of whether they lost weight via diet-alone, exercise-alone, or diet+exercise. So by my reading, it looks like its either the weight/fat loss or possibly the energy deficit, rather than simply eating fewer calories, that determines the benefits, at least when it comes to biomarkers of inflammation in this population. In particular, the women who lost nearly 10% of their bodyweight saw a dramatic (and equivalent) improvement in biomarkers of inflammation whether they achieved this weight loss via a large calorie deficit, or via a more modest calorie deficit "topped off" with exercise. --Dean * Except for two outliers with very high hr-CRP who were excluded ------------------------ [1] Effects of a caloric restriction weight loss diet and exercise on inflammatory biomarkers in overweight/obese postmenopausal women: a randomized controlled trial. Imayama I, Ulrich CM, Alfano CM, Wang C, Xiao L, Wener MH, Campbell KL, Duggan C, Foster-Schubert KE, Kong A, Mason CE, Wang CY, Blackburn GL, Bain CE, Thompson HJ, McTiernan A. Cancer Res. 2012 May 1;72(9):2314-26. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-3092. PMID:22549948 Free PMC Article http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/72/9/2314.long http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/72/9/2314.full.pdf+html Abtract Obese and sedentary persons have increased risk for cancer; inflammation is a hypothesized mechanism. We examined the effects of a caloric restriction weight loss diet and exercise on inflammatory biomarkers in 439 women. Overweight and obese postmenopausal women were randomized to 1-year: caloric restriction diet (goal of 10% weight loss, N = 118), aerobic exercise (225 min/wk of moderate-to-vigorous activity, N = 117), combined diet + exercise (N = 117), or control (N = 87). Baseline and 1-year high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP), serum amyloid A (SAA), interleukin-6 (IL-6), leukocyte, and neutrophil levels were measured by investigators blind to group. Inflammatory biomarker changes were compared using generalized estimating equations. Models were adjusted for baseline body mass index (BMI), race/ethnicity, and age. Four hundred and thirty-eight (N = 1 in diet + exercise group was excluded) were analyzed. Relative to controls, hs-CRP decreased by geometric mean (95% confidence interval, P value): 0.92 mg/L (0.53-1.31, P < 0.001) in the diet and 0.87 mg/L (0.51-1.23, P < 0.0001) in the diet + exercise groups. IL-6 decreased by 0.34 pg/mL (0.13-0.55, P = 0.001) in the diet and 0.32 pg/mL (0.15-0.49, P < 0.001) in the diet + exercise groups. Neutrophil counts decreased by 0.31 × 10(9)/L (0.09-0.54, P = 0.006) in the diet and 0.30 × 10(9)/L (0.09-0.50, P = 0.005) in the diet + exercise groups. Diet and diet + exercise participants with 5% or more weight loss reduced inflammatory biomarkers (hs-CRP, SAA, and IL-6) compared with controls. The diet and diet + exercise groups reduced hs-CRP in all subgroups of baseline BMI, waist circumference, CRP level, and fasting glucose. Our findings indicate that a caloric restriction weight loss diet with or without exercise reduces biomarkers of inflammation in postmenopausal women, with potential clinical significance for cancer risk reduction.
  22. Guest

    Master Cleanse

    Hi, My name is Frederick Sebastian and this is my first post. I am just wondering if anyone here has had any experience with the "Master Cleanse" diet. It is a diet where you drink nothing but a lemonade made of Maple Syrup, Lemon Juice, and Cayenne Pepper for 10-40 days. I have done it once before (for 20 days) and had great results. I lost 20 lbs! I am wondering if any one else has had positive results from this diet. I am starting the diet today for ten days and possibly extending it for up to 123 days (which would make my last day on the diet July 20th). I will be consuming only 800 calories per day, so this would make this like a cr diet. The only thing I'm worried about is not having enough vitamins in my system, which is why I decided to buy the multivitamin "Alive!" yesterday. I am just looking for any tips/advice on going on such a diet that is dramatically low in calories. Is this unsafe? or will I be alright taking in only 800 calories per day? I noticed that in the mouse studies, the mice living on a 65% CR Diet lived the longest. Is it wise for a human to go on a 65% CR Diet. If so, why/why not? Btw, the master cleanse can be found online at http://www.themastercleanse.org. Hope everyone is haveing a nice day. Frederick :) .
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