Health

Blood levels of proteins reflect the starting, stopping, and changing of biological processes linked to aging. We make significant changes at three ages.

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Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

“The wiser mind mourns less for what age takes away than what it leaves behind.”

This is the insightful observation of William Wordsworth (1770–1850), the English romantic who (along with Samuel Taylor Coleridge) helped initiate the Romantic Age in English literature. Together, they published Lyrical Ballads in 1798.

Today is not a day for literature. Instead, I want to share with you the remarkable findings of researchers from Stanford University. They looked at almost 3,000 proteins in the blood of 4,263 subjects ages 18 to 95. Here’s what they discovered:


Seventeen percent had a skin rash as the first symptom.

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Photo by United Nations COVID-19 Response on Unsplash

A new study adds to a growing body of evidence pointing to skin rash as a possible symptom of Covid-19 infection. Publishing in the British Journal of Dermatology, researchers analyzed data from over 335,00 subjects in the United Kingdom. Let’s look at the study in more detail.

The scientists obtained data from the COVID Symptom Study app to evaluate whether they could use the presence of skin rashes to help diagnosis Covid-19 infections. Also, they performed an independent online survey of nearly 12,000 respondents to gather information on skin-related symptoms of Covid-19.

Here’s what you need to know:


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Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

We underestimate the importance of sleep for weight regulation.

“I want to be like a caterpillar: eat a lot, sleep for a while, wake up beautiful.” — Anonymous.

We just turned the page on 2020. With that, you may have ramped up your physical activity and dialed in your diet. But have you incorporated sleep optimization into your performance enhancement scheme? Are you ignoring what may represent fully one-third of your day?

If you want to optimize your physical health, mental well-being, cognition, and immune function, I have one word for you: Sleep. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society consensus recommendations offer that adults ages 18 to 60 should sleep seven or more hours daily to achieve optimal sleep health. …


Enjoy food and maintain a healthy weight.

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Photo by Ice Tea on Unsplash

Dieting, which causes excessive loss of weight and the feeding-up of an emaciated person, is beset with difficulties. — Hippocrates.

Well-done studies of diet and chronic diseases have improved our understanding of the relationship between diet and the development of various diseases. While dietary guidelines vary globally, they are often quite similar in terms of emphasizing certain foods and nutrients.

Stop eating when you’re 80 percent full

Today, I do not want to focus on what represents the ideal diet. Instead, I want to introduce you to an interesting Japanese concept known as hara hachi bun me (腹八分目). Derived from Confucian teaching, it instructs people to eat until they are 80 percent full. …


Health

Surgery may be an accelerator of Alzheimer’s disease.

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Photo by Federico Beccari on Unsplash

IT IS NOT RARE for my older patients to suffer from memory loss following major surgery or hospital admission. Still, the conclusions of a recently published study stopped me in my tracks. Researchers at Marqués de Valdecilla-IDIVAL University Hospital, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Bonn Medical Center, propose that major surgery is a promoter of Alzheimer’s disease.

Alzheimer’s disease is one of our most significant public health challenges. It is the most common cause of dementia and is a leading source of morbidity and mortality in the aging population. In the United States in 2011, 4.5 million individuals over the age of 65 had Alzheimer’s. …


The athlete’s approach to exercise and diet.

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Photo by Cian Leach on Unsplash

The American football player Tom Brady is arguably the greatest of all time. Brady has already won six Super Bowls (more than any other player), including one a year ago. At 43 years old, he continues to play at a remarkably high level, cruising along in the National Football League’s playoffs. In 2019, he offered that he could play until he is 46 or 47 years old.

Listen to what Brady’s trainer, Alex Guerrero, told Boston radio station WEEI-FM (93.7) in 2019:

“Every year, he just adds another year,” Guerrero said. “He goes in, and he’s like, ‘Guys, I feel so good still. I think I am going to go until 45.’ I am like, ‘OK.’ …


Intriguing link between blood iron levels and longevity.

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Photo by Paweł Czerwiński on Unsplash

A progressive drop in our ability to maintain homeostasis (stable equilibrium between physiological elements) marks human aging, leading to the onset of age-related diseases and ultimately death. As you know, there is significant variability among individuals. Some of us develop chronic diseases earlier in life, while others can live to an extraordinary age (often without significant illness until very late in life). Before we look at the iron and longevity connection, let’s take a quick turn to aging.

The New England Centenarian Study is a longitudinal look at centenarians, designed to determine if they may be a model of healthy human aging. The majority of these long-lived individuals appeared to delay high-risk diseases markedly. Others suffered from chronic age-related disorders for many years, a phenomenon more common among women than men. Those who achieve extreme ages (at least 107 years) appear to compress morbidity and disability to the very ends of their lives. …


Health

Does short-term abstinence help? Yes.

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Photo by Amy Shamblen on Unsplash

Many of you may have chosen to take a month away from alcohol as the New Year unfolded. Does such brief abstinence lead to better health? You may be aware of Dry January. British individuals initiated this tradition in 2013 to raise awareness about alcohol abuse. The practice has spread worldwide. You, too, can join millions of others to kick off the new year in a healthy fashion.

Before you jump on the bandwagon, we probably should establish whether there are any health benefits associated with teetotaling for only one month. Is Dry January helpful in any meaningful way? Enter Richard de Visser, Ph.D. …


A 20-minute nap may make you more productive and creative.

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Photo by Isi Parente on Unsplash

What is the optimal length for your nap? The available scientific literature points to these observations:

I want to look at these two observations in more detail. Researchers from the School of Psychology at Flinders University (Australia) studied 24 healthy, young adults who were good sleepers and not regular nappers. …


It depends.

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Photo by Vitor Pinto on Unsplash

The morbidity and mortality associated with being overweight have been known to the medical profession since the Hippocrates of Kos more than 2500 years ago. This physician is considered the “father of medicine” and is the first who believed that diseases are caused naturally and not by the gods.

Hippocrates believed an excellent diet had medicinal qualities. Also, he used lifestyle changes (including physical activity) to manage diseases such as diabetes. Ont the subject of obesity, he joined his fellow citizens in ancient Greece in considering the excess weight to result from a lazy lifestyle. …

About

Michael Hunter MD

I have degrees from Harvard, Yale, and Penn. I am a radiation oncologist in the Seattle area. You may find me regularly posting at www.newcancerinfo.com

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