Diet

The three-day fast: Day Four

The three-day fast: Day Four

Last week, an article about the cell biology of fasting made headlines in the science news press. Valter Longo cites evidence that a 3-day fast can rejuvenate our immune systems, with broad anti-aging benefits. 4 or 5 days may be better yet.

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Cholesterol, Part II

Cholesterol, Part II

Mea culpa. Almost three weeks ago I promised to do a little reading and report back on what to believe about cholesterol and heart disease. It was hubris to imagine that I would be able to untangle the thicket of conflicting claims with a short course of study. Today, my goals are far more modest, and I offer my scaled-back conclusions. Here, I offer a tentative analysis, which I hope will pro...

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Forget exercise

Forget exercise

Physical activity is one of the best things you can do for yourself, even if it didn’t increase your odds for a long and healthy life. For those who would like to be more active, the trick is to find activities that don’t feel like a chore, but that you enjoy for their own sake. Then, gradually build more of these into your routine. There’s no hurry. There are five kinds of exercise that contribut...

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Creative Deprivation: How to Get Less from Your Food

Creative Deprivation: How to Get Less from Your Food

When it comes to calories, inefficiency is the name of the game. We know that less weight is healthier and leads to longer life, but the desire to eat runs deep, and dieting through willpower works for almost no one. So we look for tricks that will let us eat more and weigh less. Two articles from Scientific American this month are most enlightening. One demonstrates that the number of calor...

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New Take on Free Radicals

New Take on Free Radicals

One of the oldest and best-established theories of aging holds that we age because of oxidative damage. In the classic version, the body exploits high-energy chemistry based on oxidation for an energy supply at the cellular level, but this involves constant exposure to these high-energy species and the free radicals that are their by-products, species which can attack sensitive biomolecules. Damag...

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Natural Selection has Rewarded those who Contribute to the Community with Long Life

Natural Selection has Rewarded those who Contribute to the Community with Long Life

New research supports a thesis that makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside – and that feeling itself is good for our health and longevity. People who seek gratification through personal aggrandizement and accumulation of wealth may achieve a kind of hedonistic satisfaction, but this leads to negative health consequences and shorter life span. Meanwhile, people who seek fulfillment through servi...

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How to be Skinny

How to be Skinny

We know that cutting calories has multiple health benefits and makes you thinner. But suppose we play tricks to be thinner without eating less – is there still a benefit for health and longevity? This week we review Irvingia, Metformin, Pycnogenol, Green Coffee Extract, Acarbose, and old-fashioned amphetamines for weight loss. Also avoiding carbs and increasing fiber, intermittent fasting and burs...

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Could cutting this one nutrient make you live longer?

Could cutting this one nutrient make you live longer?

Eating less helps you live longer, but eating less is hard. One line of experiment suggests that eating less of just one protein component, methionine, is sufficient to extend life span, perhaps as effectively as though less calories were being consumed. It’s an intriguing idea, though the research is fraught with contradictions, and to separate methionine from other protein components is not ea...

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