Category Archives: Longevity

Purpose: Secret to a Longer, Healthier Life

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NO, I’m not obsessed with the subject of longevity, even if I do hit 70 this summer (after all, 70 is the new 50, right?!) But this is good stuff from Life Reimagined

Having a clearly defined the purpose not only makes your life more meaningful, but can extend it as well. This is one of the newest and most exciting trends in health research. Eric Kim, a research fellow at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health studies how aging, positive thinking and physical health are linked. Here are some of his encouraging findings.

Research in psychology has almost exclusively focused on how negative factors lead to worse health. Now, we’re learning that positive psychological factors like optimism, satisfaction and purpose in life appear to have a unique positive impact on health—an impact above and beyond the absence of psychological distress. We also find that positive factors that are beyond an individual’s control—for example, the psychological functioning of your partner—can have an impact on health. Our research suggests that you would be healthier if your partner was more optimistic. Further, the level of cohesion in your neighborhood appears to impact your health and create a healthier lifestyle.

Are meaning and purpose the same?

For hundreds of years philosophers and theologians have been writing about purpose and meaning in life. It is only very recently that scientists have begun examining this topic. In general, meaning looks backward and helps us process and make sense of life events that have happened in the past. In contrast, purpose in life looks forward and helps motivate us into the future through aims, goals and directions.

Is purpose different than optimism? Do you need both?

Purpose is indeed different than optimism. Purpose is a self-organizing life aim that helps people stimulate and organize goals, which in turn helps manage behaviors. Optimism on the other hand is a generalized expectation that good things will happen. I don’t know of any studies that examined whether we need both purpose and optimism in order to have a positive impact on health, but my educated guess is that having both will lead to better health compared to having only one or the other.

What does your research reveal about the health benefits of having purpose?

I have had the good fortune of leading studies on purpose in life with a number of experts in different fields. In a nutshell, we found that higher purpose in life was longitudinally associated with a reduced risk of stroke, myocardial infarction and sleep disturbances. We also found that purpose in life was associated with an increased likelihood of obtaining several preventive screenings, including cholesterol tests, colonoscopies, mammograms, pap smears, prostate exams and flu shots. Further, purpose in life was associated with fewer overall doctor visits and fewer overnight hospitalizations. In all of these studies, we found that these associations between purpose and health persisted in several statistical models that adjusted for plausible confounders.

Can having purpose make anybody healthier?

We are tackling the question of whether the health benefits of purpose cross all socioeconomic lines. The preliminary answer appears to be yes. This study is not yet published, but we have found the association between purpose and a healthy life persists across levels of wealth and education. We also plan to see if the health benefits of purpose persist across racial/ethnic lines.

Are there any projections on how much the health care industry could save if everyone lived more purposefully?

This is difficult for me to calculate, however here are some results from our study, conducted in a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults over the age of 50. Compared to people with the lowest purpose, people with the highest purpose make 32% fewer doctor visits and spend 61% fewer overnights in the hospital. Further, compared to people with the lowest purpose, people with the highest purpose are 121% more likely to obtain flu shots, 228% more likely to obtain cholesterol tests, and 133% more likely to obtain colonoscopies. Women are 330% more likely to obtain a mammogram and 210% more likely to receive a pap smear, while men are 386% more likely to receive a prostate exam. Each hospital stay for an adult aged 65-84 costs approximately $12,300. Physician visits average $218 per visit.

What’s the future of research on purpose and its relationship to wellness?

There is rapidly growing interest in this topic. Religion and philosophy have explored this topic for several centuries, but recently scientists, healthcare, and even the world of business is realizing how important purpose is. Also, there is an interesting concept called Blue Zones, places where people seem to live longer. People in these zones have some things in common including an active lifestyle, healthy diet and a sense of purpose. Okinawa Japan is a Blue Zone where they have a term called “ikigai,” which translates into “a reason for which you wake up in the morning.” This reason for living isn’t always large and grand in scope—although it is sometimes. For example, some people say their “ikigai” is tending a vegetable garden that helps feed his/her children and grandchildren. More research has to be done on these Blue Zones, but it’s a fascinating concept.


Some of us are working on maintaining our own Blue Zones. My Life Purpose is “to encourage others to their full potential”. My Life Goal is “to know and love my great-grandchildren”. Can you connect them? I can! That means these kiddos children!!

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How Can We Keep Our Brain Healthy?

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Answer: Eat. Sleep. Hydrate. Exercise.

About 20 percent of the calories we consume are utilized by the brain. Besides the constant need for energy, our complex neural systems require a vast amount of nutrients to keep them churning full speed ahead. This is especially true as we age and are more susceptible to cognitive decline.

Asides from vitamin B12 and iron, there is a plethora of antioxidants and other micronutrients that help the brain function at peak levels. These nutrients are sorely missing from processed foods. If you want to keep your brain healthy and happy, make sure to eat real foods.

Here are some tips to help your brain be at its best.

  • Get moving: physical exercise is not only important for your body’s health; it also helps your brain stay sharp.
  • Get enough sleep. This not only ensures you are thinking clearly, it lessens the chance of you eating junk food.
  • Drink enough water.Lack of water to the brain can cause numerous symptoms including problems with focus, memory, brain fatigue and brain fog, as well as headaches, sleep issues, anger, and depression.
  • Get your vitamin D, essential for proper brain functioning, either from the sun, mushrooms, fish oil, or supplements.
  • Reduce your consumption of sugars and refined carbs. Although the brain is partially responsible for the addiction we have to sugars, in this age of plenty, most people overdose and damage their brain’s health.
  • Avoid inflammatory fats and focus on good fats from avocado, fish, nuts, and seeds.
  • Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables. Each color represents a different set of antioxidants. Berries, especially, are very high in antioxidants.
  • Eat an abundance of berries: the polyphenol compounds in the fruits activate the brain’s natural “housekeeping” mechanism, clearing out stored toxins.
  • Add spices to your life. Fresh or dried, many spices and herbs have very high antioxidant values.

More articles on brain health….


These recommendations are all inline with our #OneSimpleChange program:

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Elderly people who exercise live five years longer

relay3Regular exercise in old age has as powerful an effect on life expectancy as giving up smoking, researchers say.

The analysis of 5,700 elderly men in Norway showed those doing three hours of exercise a week lived around five years longer than the sedentary.

The authors, writing in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, called for campaigns to encourage fitness in older people.

In the study – conducted by Oslo University Hospital – researchers found that both light and vigorous exercise extended life expectancy.

Official advice in the USA and UK recommends 150 minutes of moderate to intense exercise per week for all ages.

The study, tracking 68 to 77 year olds, found that doing less than an hour a week of light exercise had no impact.

But overall those putting in the equivalent of six, 30-minute sessions of any intensity, were 40% less likely to have died during the 11-year study.

The report said: “Even when men were 73 years of age on average at start of follow-up, active persons had five years longer expected lifetime than the sedentary.”

It added that physical activity was as “beneficial as smoking cessation” at reducing deaths.

familyjoggingThe British Heart Foundation published a report showing that the percentage of adults doing no moderate exercise across Europe is:

  • 69% in Portugal
  • 55% in Poland
  • 46% in France
  • 44% in the UK
  • 34% in Croatia
  • 26% in Germany
  • 14% in the Netherlands

Here in the USA, we are worst of all: surveys show that a full 79% of adults don’t meet the physical activity guidelines of at least 2½ hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as brisk walking, or one hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as jogging.

Regular physical activity has been shown to lower the risk of early death, help control weight and reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, depression and some types of cancer and a host of other conditions. It lowers the risk of cognitive decline and hip fractures. That’s pretty compelling!

Other research indicates that people are even less active than these statistics suggest. Scientists with the National Cancer Institute, using actual motion sensors, found that fewer than 5% of adults in the USA get at least 30 minutes a day of moderate-intensity physical activity in bouts of at least 10 minutes. That’s not a lot!

If you are like me, over 65, this information can extend your life. If you are younger but having older parents, please pass this on to them with the encouragement that you want them around longer! Finally, whatever your age, know that exercise is vital for wellbeing, optimum health and longevity. The younger you get in the habit, the more likely you are to continue exercising into old age.

So, (if you aren’t already) START NOW! Your life depends on it!

#OneSimpleChange – physical activity.


Antioxidant supplements or fruits and vegetables? 

Antioxidants have been touted as one of the central components of fruits and vegetables that make them healthy for humans and extend their life span. But it may not be that simple.

People who get a lot of antioxidants in their diets, or who take them in supplement form, don’t live any longer than those who just eat well overall, according to a long term study of retirees in California, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

While many studies have shown that eating lots of fruits and vegetables lengthens your life, it was never clear if antioxidants or some other compound was responsible. The authors looked at antioxidant vitamins A, C and E.

“There was no association between the amount of vitamins A or C in the diet or vitamin E supplements and the risk of death. Vitamin users may have different lifestyles or underlying disease states that are related to their risk of death.”

The researchers say their findings emphasize that the benefits of vitamin supplements are still unclear and that they should not be used to replace a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables.

“There is good scientific evidence that eating a diet with lots of vegetables and fruits is healthful and lowers risks of certain diseases. However, it is unclear whether this is because of the antioxidants, something else in these foods, other foods in people’s diet, or other lifestyle choices.” said lead author Annlia Paganini-Hill of the Clinic for Aging Research and Education at the University of California, Irvine.

The researchers used mailed surveys from the 1980’s in which almost 14,000 older residents of the Leisure World Laguna Hills retirement community detailed their intake of 56 foods or food groups rich in vitamins A and C as well as their vitamin supplement intake.

Two-thirds of the original group took vitamin supplements, most often vitamin C. The authors note, though, that the participants’ diets alone were generally more than adequate to meet minimum dietary requirements for vitamin intake.

With periodic check-ins and repeated surveys, the researchers followed the group for the next 32 years, during which time 13,104 residents died.

When Paganini-Hill’s team accounted for smoking, alcohol intake, caffeine consumption, exercise, body mass index, and histories of hypertension, angina, heart attack, stroke, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer, there was no association between the amount of vitamins A or C in the diet or vitamin E supplements and the risk of death.

“In the general population, health-promoting habits often cluster; e.g. those who take vitamin supplements often exercise, do not smoke, and are not obese,” Paganini-Hill said. “Thus, these factors may explain the observed association between longevity and vitamin supplements.”

On the other hand, the authors note, people with unhealthy habits might be more likely to take supplements. For instance, they found that men who were current smokers were about twice as likely to take in high or medium amounts of vitamin C compared to men who had never smoked. A similar pattern held for men’s vitamin A intake and women’s intake of both A and C.

Some large studies have found a connection between vitamin intake and risk of death, but most have not, the study team points out.

“We know quite a lot about how antioxidants act and what they, theoretically, can prevent,” said Sabine Rohrmann of the Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine at the University of Zurich.

“One of the critical issues is that we don’t know very much about how antioxidants act at different concentrations and how they act in humans who have, or who do not have, sufficient vitamin/antioxidant intake,” said Rohrmann

Participants in the new study were largely white, educated and well-nourished.

“We know that the most important factors that influence mortality are smoking and excess body weight,” Rohrmann said. Many studies support the notion that vitamin supplements are usually not necessary because our nutrient intake via a healthy diet is usually sufficient, she said.

Antioxidants can have risks as well. According to the National Institutes of Health, high doses of beta-carotene may increase the risk of lung cancer in smokers, high doses of vitamin E may increase risks of prostate cancer and one type of stroke, and antioxidant supplements may also interact with some medicines.

Since they can interact with medicines, you should discuss your supplement intake with your doctor, Paganini-Hill said.

“Antioxidant supplements should not be used to replace a nutritionally adequate diet,” she added.


We agree. However, it should be noted that Juice Plus+ clinical research (more than 30 published studies) has very effectively connected the dots between the increase in phytonutrients (including antioxidants) and results which clearly indicate a reduction in the risk of disease. These results include improvements in immune function, cardiovascular wellness and DNA protection. Ongoing research, once published during the next year or so, will conclusively document the disease prevention power of Juice Plus+.

Just one more reason we will ALWAYS take Juice Plus+ every day.

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Having a Sense of Purpose in Life May Protect Your Heart

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Having a high sense of purpose in life may lower your risk of heart disease and stroke, according to a new study led by researchers at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai Roosevelt and presented on March 6 at the American Heart Association’s EPI/Lifestyle 2015 Scientific Sessions in Baltimore.

The new analysis defined purpose in life as a sense of meaning and direction, and a feeling that life is worth living.

Previous research has linked purpose to psychological health and well-being, but the new Mount Sinai analysis found that a high sense of purpose is associated with a 23 percent reduction in death from all causes and a 19 percent reduced risk of heart attack, stroke, or the need for coronary artery bypass surgery (CABG) or a cardiac stenting procedure.

“Developing and refining your sense of purpose could protect your heart health and potentially save your life,” says lead study author Randy Cohen, MD, a preventive cardiologist at Mount Sinai St. Luke’s and Mount Sinai Roosevelt. “Our study shows there is a strong relationship between having a sense of purpose in life and protection from dying or having a cardiovascular event. As part of our overall health, each of us needs to ask ourselves the critical question of ‘do I have a sense of purpose in my life?’ If not, you need to work toward the important goal of obtaining one for your overall well-being.”

The research team reviewed 10 relevant studies with the data of more than 137,000 people to analyze the impact of sense of purpose on death rates and risk of cardiovascular events. The meta-analysis also found that those with a low sense of purpose are more likely to die or experience cardiovascular events.

“Prior studies have linked a variety of psychosocial risk factors to heart disease, including negative factors such as anxiety and depression and positive factors such as optimism and social support,” says Alan Rozanski, MD, study co-author and Director of Wellness and Prevention Programs for Mount Sinai Heart at the Mount Sinai Health System. “Based on our findings, future research should now further assess the importance of life purpose as a determinant of health and well-being and assess the impact of strategies designed to improve individuals’ sense of life purpose.”

Full article… 

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One Simple Change … to make you Younger

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One Simple Change … then another… then another … can make you younger! Don’t we all want that? To look good, feel good and stay young – whatever our chronological age?! I know I do, even if it’s a bit late for me in the look good category (69 this summer!)

One Simple Change is our new program to help Inspire Healthy Living Around the World.

Since you and I can’t always see or feel prevention, we often turn to our doctor to order blood tests, scans, etc to see how we are doing on the inside.

Ever wonder if it’s all worth it? After sorting through all the conflicting information about what’s good for you and what’s not, are the things you’ve decided to do in the name of better health, actually doing any good?

Now you don’t have to wonder; iHeart claims they can tell you your age on the inside, your internal age, your biological age, in 30 seconds.

Make One Simple Change after another – with our recommendations below, then monitor yourself with iHeart‘s clever fingertip device and app and watch yourself get younger!

Interestingly, we heard last week about a major cardiovascular study of Juice Plus+  underway at none other than Cambridge University in England. This study will answer the question: “Can Juice Plus+ improve vascular and metabolic functions in overweight and obese adults?” It will study vessel calcification and elasticity, chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and much more. Of course, we already know the answer from the extensive body of research already conducted on Juice Plus+.

Staying fit as you age keeps you young

cyclist-bike-2We often hear that nothing stops the physical decline of aging. But research consistently demonstrates otherwise.

Research published in 2011 in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, exercise reduced or eliminated almost every detrimental effect of aging in mice that had been genetically programmed to grow old at an accelerated pace.

Brand new research out this week has found that highly active older adults are fitter than previously thought … and younger.

In a new study, published this week in The Journal of Physiology, scientists at King’s College London and the University of Birmingham in England decided to use a different approach, not least that they tested humans instead of mice.

They removed inactivity as a factor in their study of aging by looking at the health of older people who move quite a bit.

Scientists recruited men and women between 55 and 79 who were serious recreational riders but not competitive athletes. The scientists then ran each volunteer through a large array of physical and cognitive tests. The scientists determined each cyclist’s endurance capacity, muscular mass and strength, pedaling power, metabolic health, balance, memory function, bone density and reflexes.

In comparison to their younger counterparts, these active older adults performed far beyond expectations. On almost all measures, their physical functioning remained fairly stable across the decades and was much closer to that of young adults than of people their age. As a group, even the oldest cyclists had younger people’s levels of balance, reflexes, metabolic health and memory ability.

Only muscular power, muscular mass, and aerobic endurance succumbed to the ravages of time. If you gave this dataset to a clinician and asked him to predict the age of one of the cyclists based on his or her test results, it would be impossible. On paper, they all look young. The numbers suggest that aging is simply different in the active.

Read the full article… 

“Vitamin L” Is The Best Way To Prevent Aging

Excellent article by Dr. Joel Kahn.

A new vitamin, superfood, pose, exercise equipment, or workout that promises to restore our vitality and youth. In my opinion, we’re unlikely to find a single breakthrough that will dramatically alter the odds that we live free of chronic diseases and medications and perform at our maximum.

Rather, it is a multifaceted lifestyle supported by a number of large medical studies that holds the “magic” bullet. Vitamin L, or “Lifestyle,” is the special sauce we need, and it accounts for about 80% of our health promotion. Reviewing a few of the foundational research studies will acquaint you with best practices for a healthy life full of joy.

1. In 2001, the Harvard School of Public Health reported on a study of 84,941 healthy female nurses that were free of heart disease, cancer and diabetes.

A low-risk lifestyle was defined as a body mass index of less than 25, a diet high in fiber and polyunsaturated fat while low in trans fat and glycemic load, regular moderate to vigorous exercise (at least 30 minutes a day), no smoking, and drinking at least half an alcoholic drink daily.

During follow-up, 3,300 women were diagnosed with diabetes. The single most important predictor of this was being overweight or obese. Only 3.4% of the almost 85,000 women fit all of the low-risk lifestyle markers. These women, however, had a 91% lower chance of developing diabetes compared with the other members of the study.

2. In 2004, the INTERHEART study group evaluated the factors predicting heart attacks in 52 countries.

They reported on 15,000 cases of heart attacks and chose the same number of controls. Researchers found nine risk factors which accounted for 90% to 95% of the cases of heart attacks. Those were smoking, elevated ApoB (think bad cholesterol) to ApoA1 (think good cholesterol) ratio, high blood pressure, diabetes, abdominal obesity (waist over 35 inches for a woman and 40 inches for a man), stress, low intake of fruits and vegetables, alcohol intake and lack of physical exercise. All nine risks for heart attack can be eliminated by lifestyle.

3. In 2006, researchers analyzed data from 43,000 men in the Health Professionals Study between the ages of 40 and 75 who had no heart disease.

Low-risk men were considered to have a BMI under 25, be nonsmokers, be physically active for more than 30 minutes a day, have moderate alcohol intake and have a diet comprised of more than 40% healthy plants. Over the 16 years of follow-up, a heart attack developed in 2,183 men, some of which were fatal heart attacks. Men who had five out of five low-risk characteristics had an 87% lower rate of heart attack.

4. In 2007, Swedish investigators studied more than 24,000 women after menopause who were free of heart disease.

There were 308 cases of heart attacks over six years of follow-up. A low-risk diet (high scores for fruits and vegetable intake, whole grains, legumes, fish, moderate alcohol intake), along with not smoking, walking or biking 40 minutes daily and maintaining a trim waist-to-hip ratio reduced the risk of heart attacks by 92%.

5. In 2008, Harvard scientists reported on more than 43,000 men, again from the Health Professionals study, and more than 71,000 women from the Nurses’ Health Study.

The risk of stroke was assessed and evaluated in terms of lifestyle habits in persons with no history of stroke. Stroke risk was reduced 50% by not smoking, having a body mass index of under 25, exercising 30 minutes a day of moderate activity, having a modest alcohol intake and eating a diet in the top 40% of fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

6. In 2013, researchers in the Netherlands studied almost 18,000 men and women without heart disease.

They followed them for up to 14 years, and in that time more than 600 of the group had heart attacks, including fatal ones. They found that if people followed four steps they were able to lower their risk of heart attacks by 67%: averaging 30 minutes a day of physical activity, eating a healthy diet in the Mediterranean style rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, not smoking, and enjoying more than one alcoholic beverage a month. People who added a fifth health habit — sleeping seven or more hours at night on average — lowered their risk of heart attacks by 83%.

7. In 2014, scientists in Sweden examined more than 20,000 men free of heart issues and followed them for 11 years.

They found that there were certain habits that lowered the risk of heart attacks, including: a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, whole grains and reduced fat, not smoking, moderate alcohol consumption daily, thin waistlines, more than 40 minutes of daily physical activity. Men who followed all five of these lifestyle habits had an 86% lower chance of developing or dying of heart attacks than those who followed none. Only 1% of the Swedes studied followed all five habits.

As a university-certified anti-aging cardiologist, a rather small group worldwide, I’m tracking trends in research on aging and strategies to slow or even reverse damage done to our cells, our mitochondria and our DNA. I’m optimistic that we are going to see some important advances in this field which is attracting major investments by such prominent futurists as Craig Venter and Peter Diamandis. For now, the backbone of all strategies to preserve health and vitality are six or seven daily habits that run as a common thread through the studies above.

We can prevent or reverse the vast majority of strokes, diabetes, heart attacks, and now Alzheimer’s with lifestyle medicine, and it’s so simple and available to everyone.

Never Leave the Playground

As we age, many of us have a fatal flaw that can lead to a fatal fall — we lose our balance, stability and coordination.

What if you could prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s without a pill, without major surgery and in just a few minutes a day? Stephen Jepson — artist, athlete, inventor and entrepreneur — says he has a simple prescription that could change the lives of millions. And all it takes is an open mind and a willingness to play.

Stephen Jepson says he can change that for everyone. And as a bonus, he believes it can help you build brain cells, develop neural pathways and prevent or delay Alzheimer’s and dementia.

What is his prescription? Play!

Stephen believes the key to never losing your balance — or your mind — is in the games and activities of our youth.

Jepson has built a backyard playground where he tests out his theories, walking on tightropes, balancing on boards while barefoot, throwing knives and juggling. In his 70s, Jepson says that since he started training, he has never fallen, his memory has gotten much sharper and he’s a happier, healthier man.

Falls can be deadly as we get older, and are one of the main reasons that people lose their independence. When we lose our balance and coordination, it can be nearly impossible to get them back. So Jepson says that his program is the key — especially because it’s never too late to start.

“It makes your memory better, it makes you feel just absolutely juiced and jazzed and revitalized,” Jepson tells Growing Bolder. “You can do it at any moment in time.”

Jepson is one of the world’s most renowned potters, and his work has been featured in the Smithsonian Museum. He’s also the founder of the World Pottery Institute. In addition to his art, Jepson is a prolific inventor.

Watch the video that is capturing the imaginations of people across the world. Wait until you see his incredible playground!

A former college arts professor, whose work is in the Smithsonian, is the unlikely ringleader behind a brain health philosophy that is gaining support from big brains across the country.

He may have discovered the closest thing to the fountain of youth … and it involves playing.

Stephen Jepson says the secrets to staying vibrant and strong are hidden in the activities that we used to do as children. The 72-year-old’s program, Never Leave the Playground, is showing people it’s never too late to improve their balance, energy and health. He believes his activities just may ward off brain diseases, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, and can prevent one of the most serious threats to older people — falls.

Stephen explains the kinds of exercises in his program and how the beginning activities are so simple but fun. He says you’ll never grimace doing his activities.

Plus, find out why he doesn’t use the word exercise and why he believes you don’t need to spend any money on expensive gym memberships or supplements to get healthy.

To find out more, visit Stephen’s website neverleavetheplayground.com.

Original article…

Veggie-Heavy Stress Reduction Regimen Reverses Aging

itci9vM5M42YThe fountain of youth may simply be a healthy diet and reduced stress after all, not a magic pill or expensive cosmetics.

Comprehensive lifestyle changes, including more fruit and vegetables as well as meditation and yoga, were shown to reverse signs of aging at the cellular level for the first time in a study published today.

Adopting a diet rich in unprocessed foods combined with moderate exercise and stress management over five years increased the length of telomeres, the ends of chromosomes linked to aging, according to a study of 35 men published in the Lancet medical journal. No previous study has shown the effect of lifestyle changes on telomere length, the authors said.

The research, led by Dean Ornish, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, adds to evidence of the benefits of healthy habits. Ornish’s Lifestyle Heart Trial, published in 1998, showed a reversal of coronary heart disease over five years. Patients who receive 72 hours of training from medical professionals on Ornish’s program for reversing heart disease have been reimbursed by Medicare since January 2011.

“So often, people think it has to be a new drug or laser, something really high-tech and expensive, to be powerful,” Ornish said in a telephone interview. “Our studies are showing that simple changes in our lifestyle have powerful impacts in ways that we can measure.”

Ornish collaborated on the study with Elizabeth Blackburn, who shared the Nobel Prize in medicine in 2009 with Carol Greider and Jack Szostak for research on the telomerase “immortality enzyme,” which prevents telomeres from being shaved off.

He was inspired by Blackburn’s research showing that the shortening of telomeres, and therefore aging, is accelerated by emotional stress such as that experienced by women who have parents with Alzheimer’s disease or children with autism.

“My general experience is that things in biology go both ways,” said Ornish, a professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. “If bad things make them shorter, maybe good things make them longer. So we had lunch together and I said, ’Why don’t we find out?’”

The study included 35 men with low-risk prostate cancer enrolled between 2003 and 2007. Ten men adopted the lifestyle changes, while 25 underwent active surveillance as a control group.

The diet encouraged in the lifestyle change group was largely a whole foods, plant-based regimen of fruit, vegetables, whole grains and legumes, with few refined carbohydrates, Ornish said. It wasn’t strictly vegetarian or vegan.

Read the complete article.

Juice Plus+ products are the foundation of our personal anti-aging regimen, providing exactly those components of the diet that Ornish recommends.