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VAlter Longo recent review article on nutrition and longevity


mccoy
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I really find the low protein finding curious. Among 50-65 years old people, high vs. low protein increased all cause mortality by 75% in the 2014 paper references by Longo. But there is no connection to mortality in people 65 and older.

On the other hand, there are studies (not in the Longo paper) finding that muscle mass and strength is even more strongly associated with all cause mortality - i.e. low vs. high strength increases mortality by 100%-150%. One would assume, that protein is required for muscle building and maintenance.

 

Now, you could argue, that people eating medium to high protein are mostly not exercising and therefore don't get the benefit of having an easier time to build/maintain muscle.

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Thanks for posting the latest Dr. Longo, I listened to it but I regret I didn't take notes. Right now I'm listening to an interview to Don Layman with the same host of 'the proof' channel. he specifically asks Layman about Valter Longo's studies. Layman is a harsh critic of Longo and collaborators.

Layman and longo in a way are at the extremes. Personally, I like to hear all narratives and then use logic and discrimination to custom tailor them to my individual requirements. About Longo, I remember two things:

  1. To the question about bodybuilders and optimum protein he says a sensible thing, that growing muscles and pursuing longevity are two different things 
  2. On the other side, he suggest a way to optimize protein intake, that is we choose the degree of musculature we wish, we reach it, then we decrease protein until muscle mass is decreasing, then we stop at the minimum requirement to maintain the muscle mass we wish. Of course this does not apply to bodybuilders, who have no limits to the desired size of muscles.
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On 12/16/2022 at 6:25 AM, Guest said:

Now, you could argue, that people eating medium to high protein are mostly not exercising and therefore don't get the benefit of having an easier time to build/maintain muscle.

That study has been adjusted for reported caloric intake, waist circumference and other factors but not for exercise, so that nuance is lost. As you say, most people are probably not exercising. In another podcast, Longo explicitly says that older people (> 65 yrs) can avoid to increase protein if they exercise every day, increasing local IGF-1 in muscles (by the so called mechano-growth factor).

I find that the truth is far more complex and different for every individual. Before deciding what to do, individuals should measure their own IGF-1 level. If it is already high in an elder, then increasing protein is not needed. Conversely, the most common case is that of decreasing IGF-1 with increasing age, so we may increase protein or increase exercise, but they are not independent variables, since more exercise needs more protein to maintain the same muscle mass.

Edited by mccoy
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I mean - we DO have data that shows higher muscle mass and strength in advanced age being heavily correlated with lower mortality. They don't seem to be unrelated. It's the same type of evidence that Longo uses: observational cohort studies. The evidence he cites is in no way stronger - to the contrary: people older than 65 show no harm of high protein intake in the one 2014 study he seems to rely on all the time.

 

Ideally we would do a randomized placebo controlled trial: one group of elderly is doing resistance exercise for muscle building. The other group is doing something that looks and feels like exercise, but is not actually exercise. Each of them is subdivided into low and high protein intake. Do that for 5 years and compare the results.

 

Unfortunately that's never gonna be approved.

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11 hours ago, mccoy said:

Longo explicitly says that older people (> 65 yrs) can avoid to increase protein if they exercise every day, increasing local IGF-1 in muscles (by the so called mechano-growth factor)

Although I'm utterly uninterested in the opinions of Longo (and other such gurus), curiously I fall exactly into that category.  I'm 83, exercise in a local gym near me for a little over a half hour six days a week on a large Matrix elliptic cross trainer with hand motion at resistance 21 (max resistance is 25) for a distance of 2 miles or more -- heart rate always goes to over double my resting heart rate.  Also, despite keeping protein low, my IGF1 is always a little high in comparison to the " normal Z-score for my age group".  Maybe that's because of my exercise?  (Also IGFB3 is a little low.)

  --  Saul

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On 12/18/2022 at 4:38 PM, mccoy said:

Saul, how low do you keep your daily protein dose? Also, I think I remember you eat fish, which is a protein rich in EAA with high DIAAS score (less of it is needed to satisfy requirements compared to low DIAAS).

Actually, my diet is nearly vegan -- I eat very little fish. 

 

Almost all of my protein comes from beans and nuts.

  --  Saul

 

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8 hours ago, Saul said:

Actually, my diet is nearly vegan -- I eat very little fish. 

 

Almost all of my protein comes from beans and nuts.

Saul, then it is Longo who was inspired by your example! He suggests little fish (3 times a week) and lots of beans, I don't remember how many nuts. His longevity diet is pesco-vegan, the same as yours.

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