• Top Secrets to Help You Live Longer, Longevity

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    As another person's life ends, a new one begins and that is the circle of life! Living longer than a century is possible and many do it.  There are some secrets out there that may help you love longer and this article touches on some of the best. This topic may show you some of the secrets to Longevity.

    By Dr. Mercola

    The search for “the fountain of youth” has a long history, from tracking down sacred, life-giving water sources in the days of antiquity, to the invention of “miracle pills” and stem cell research in the modern age, the fascination with extreme longevity is an enduring one.

    One of the most recent studies on this topic investigated the blood of a woman who lived to be just over 115 years old. At her death, she only had two blood stem cells left, and stem cell exhaustion, the researchers believe, may explain why people eventually die at an advanced age despite being in good overall health.

    longevityHow Blood Stem Cells May Affect Your Longevity

    You are born with approximately 20,000 blood stem cells, which your body uses to replenish your blood. Over time, and depending on the “abuse” you put your body through, these cells become damaged and die. As your blood stem cells dwindle, your body becomes less efficient at repairing and regenerating itself.

    In essence, your blood stem cells may be the proverbial “clock” that eventually runs out, no matter how well you take care of yourself. In the meantime, however, you have a great deal of control over how quickly those cells perish.

    The woman also had hundreds of non-coding mutations in her white blood cells, leading the researchers to speculate that certain mutations may promote longevity.

    Other recent research and accompanying editorial published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that low-intensity daily exercise leads to less disability in old age and a longer, healthier life, which shouldn't come as any great surprise. There are a number of other factors though that also appear to be instrumental for longevity, and many people fail to give them the consideration they deserve.

    Is Your Personality Geared for Longevity?

    According to results from The Longevity Project, a Stanford study spanning 80 years, your level of conscientiousness may have a great deal to do with how long you end up living. Having a personality that strives to do things well; being thorough and vigilant—this is a trait that most of the people who live the longest share. As noted in the featured Time Magazine article:

     “‘The qualities of a prudent, persistent, well-organized person, like a scientist-professor — somewhat obsessive and not at all carefree' are the qualities that help lead to a long life. ‘Many of us assume that more relaxed people live longer, but it's not necessarily the case.'

    Why? Conscientious behavior influences other behaviors. Conscientious people tend to make healthier choices, including who they marry, where they work, and the likelihood they'll smoke, drive too fast, or follow doctors' orders.”

    The Longevity Project also dismisses the idea that hard work will kill you early. On the contrary, those who stayed productive and worked hard all their lives tended to be happier, healthier, and more social compared to those who didn't work as hard.

    That's not to dismiss work stress as a factor that needs to be addressed and kept in check. There's plenty of evidence showing that chronic stress (and even acute and severe stress) can take a tremendous toll on your health.

    But being productive can also lend a sense of purpose, which is also important for longevity. And working—especially in your later years—tends to keep you socially connected, which has repeatedly been shown to be an important factor for longevity.

    For example, Harvard professor of public policy Lisa Berkman cites social isolation as a significant factor for premature death. This may be, at least in part, because those who don't have good social networks may not be able to get assistance if they become ill.

    The following compilation of news segments highlights several of the oft-ignored factors that tend to promote longevity, including having a sense of purpose in life, honoring family, and even having a strong religious faith.

    What and When You Eat May Greatly Impact Your Longevity Potential

    No discussion about longevity would be complete without addressing diet. A processed, high-sugar diet is undoubtedly the quickest route to an early death, barring a lethal accident. This is because consuming sugar and grains increases your insulin and leptin levels, which is the equivalent of slamming your foot on your aging accelerator.

    Besides that, research by Professor Cynthia Kenyon shows that carbohydrates have a direct and detrimental effect on two key genes that govern longevity and youthfulness.

    One of the primary mechanisms that make intermittent fasting so beneficial is in fact related to its impact on your insulin sensitivity. While sugar is a source of energy for your body, it also promotes insulin resistance when consumed in the amounts found in our modern processed food diets. Insulin resistance, in turn, is a primary driver of chronic disease—from premature aging to heart disease and cancer.

    Mounting research confirms that when your body becomes accustomed to burning fat instead of sugar as its primary fuel—which is what happens when you intermittently fast—you dramatically reduce your risk of chronic disease.

    Becoming fat adapted may even be a key strategy for both cancer prevention and treatment, as cancer cells cannot utilize fat for fuel—they need sugar to thrive. Fasting also improves mitochondrial energy efficiency, which also helps to slow down aging and disease processes.

    Ideally, you'll want to replace all forms of processed and refined sugars and grains with healthy fats such as butter, olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, grass-fed meats, and raw nuts. Many would benefit from getting as much as 50-85 percent of their daily calories from fats.

    While this may sound like a lot, consider that, in terms of volume, the largest portion of your plate would be vegetables, since they contain so few calories. Fat, on the other hand, tends to be very high in calories. For example, just one tablespoon of coconut oil is about 130 calories—all of it from healthful fat.

    Most people also eat far too much protein for optimal health. Consider reducing your protein levels to one gram per kilogram of lean body weight unless you are in competitive athletics or are pregnant. In pounds, this equates to less than half a gram per pound of lean body mass. The reason for this recommendation is because excessive protein intake (you do need some) can have a great impact on cancer growth, by way of your mTOR pathway (short for mammalian target of rapamycin).

    This pathway is ancient but has only become the subject of scientific investigation in the last 20 years. Odds are very high your doctor was never taught this in medical school and isn't even aware of it. Many new cancer drugs are actually designed to target this pathway. Other drugs using this pathway have been shown to radically extend the lifespan in animals. You don't need a drug to make this pathway work for you, though. You can “biohack” your body by restricting your protein intake and, again, replacing the decreased protein with healthy fats.

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    Read full article: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/05/26/secrets-longevity.aspx


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