An amusing moment occurs two or three times a week when I am finishing up with a middle-aged patient who asks, health-wise, how she’s doing. I tell her that my best guess is she’s got “X” number of decades left.
They pause for a second, doing the math.
“Why, that makes me 95.”
“Why not?”, I say. “You’re healthy. You eat right. You exercise. You don’t skydive. You live in a Blue State (an amazing two years difference in longevity compared to Red States).”
She’ll then assume a momentary “thoughtful” look. “Gee,” she seems to be thinking, “if I’m going to live that long, I’d better start eating even better (exercising more, saving money, stop making resolutions).”
I bring this ‘surprise of a longer life than expected’ moment up for one good reason. WholeHealth Chicago patients really do take care of themselves better than most patients that doctors see on a day-to-day basis. And because of their efforts, they do need to know it will pay off in years and years of good health.
HERE’S A ROLE MODEL
Look at this article in the New York Times about the exercise routine of Elaine Lalanne, the great-looking 97-year-old widow of fitness guru, Jack Lalanne. Jack, who exercised until his dying day (at 96), literally introduced exercise and fitness to the entire world with a daily TV show, gyms, and gym equipment.
“Exercise is king. Nutrition is queen. Together you have a kingdom.”
Confirming Jack’s motto, the statistics prove it:
The data-driven statistician-physicians from the University of Sydney recently went through 346,000 surveys and came up with the fact: if you want to reduce your risk of developing heart disease, stroke, cancer, etc., in other words, enjoy a longer and healthier life, you’ve got to do both, eat well and exercise regularly. Here’s the article from the New York Times.
And another Jack Lalanne motto, of getting older is, “Be mobile or become immobile.”
MORE LONGEVITY RECOMMENDATIONS (Easier Than Nutrition & Exercise)
Scientists agree coffee drinking helps longevity.
In a huge study (over 170,000 men and women with an average age of 55 tracked over seven years), the “all-cause death rate” was dramatically lower among the coffee drinkers than among those who did not drink coffee. The “best amount” to drink was 1.5 to 3.5 cups a day, and interestingly, with or without sugar or artificial sweeteners.
Although you might not think of coffee as a health beverage, during the past few years, other studies have shown coffee has been helpful for:
- Reducing your risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Type 2 Diabetes, congestive heart failure, and even colon cancer.
- Improving the detoxification pathways of your liver and strengthening your DNA (these may account for the cancer protective aspects of coffee).
- Helping fight depression.
- Increasing your metabolic rate and therefore useful in weight management.
The saltshaker on your dining room table will subtract a couple of years OFF your life.
This was the conclusion of another “mega-study” (over 500,000 Europeans) surveying those who sprinkled more salt on food after it was served versus those who left their meals well enough alone.
It’s mainly patients with heart disease, high blood pressure and/or visible fluid retention (swollen feet and ankles) who are advised to “cut back on the salt”. Unfortunately, I can tell you that few people follow this advice. The problem with salt (sodium chloride) is that it causes fluid retention, swells up your arteries, stresses your heart, and raises your blood pressure. Food prepared at home or in restaurants is often already over-salted, although on the plus side, these days I’m not seeing saltshakers at restaurants, maybe a post-COVID precaution phenomenon.
But adding more salt, i.e., your saltshaker, places you at a risk for premature death, which the authors define as dying before age 75.
The Latest of the Anti-Aging Supplements
This list periodically changes. Adding or subtracting supplements is based on two factors:
- Theoretical models: we are better off with less inflammation (hence, the anti-inflammatory Curcumin is on the list); we are better off with antioxidants to clear free radical damage (green tea, Resveratrol, UBQH); we are also better off with mitochondrial support for cellular energy (Ubiquinol, UBQH).
- Laboratory/animal models: The amino acid taurine declines with age; lab animals (mice, worms) fed taurine lived longer than those not fed taurine. The mushroom, Ergothioneine, increases cellular anti-aging mechanisms. Nicotinamide regulates cellular aging.
- Curcumin (Theracumin HP by Integrative Therapeutics), one, twice a day (anti-inflammatory and antioxidant capable of crossing the blood-brain barrier, so this even reduces brain inflammation of early Alzheimer’s Disease).
- EGCG (Green Tea Extract), one, twice a day (mitochondrial health, reduces cancer risk). If you drink green tea daily, you don’t need this supplement.
- Resveratrol with Nicotinamide (ResveraCel by Thorne Labs), one, twice a day (high-potency antioxidant, anti-aging, and anti-inflammatory).
- Ergothioneine (by Real Mushrooms), one daily (species of mushroom with high-potency antioxidant properties).
- Taurine ,by Thorne, once a day.
- Ubiquinol, 50 mg Pure Encapsulations once a day.
BTW, all these antioxidants and anti-inflammatories will also mop up and clear the toxins your body is absorbing from our environment (air, food, water). In addition to anti-aging supplements, arm yourself with the usual basics:
- A good multiple (we’re currently recommending ONE by Pure Encapsulations simply because everything you need is in “one” single capsule daily).
- Adding Thorne D 5,000 IU in winter or with COVID still hanging around, the immune boost of D wouldn’t hurt.
- Same goes with Buffered C, 1,000 mg, once a day.
If you don’t eat fish, add Pure Omega HP by Integrative, one or two capsules daily. If you eat fish twice a week, don’t bother with this one.
And to remind you, have some coffee, toss the saltshaker, eat healthily, go exercise, and…
David Edelberg, MD