Follow this checklist of 15 tips and you could add up to 77 years to your life. Sound too good to be true? Not according to new research from Norwich Union. The insurer's actuarists have crunched some numbers that shows simple things like enjoying a good laugh and eating well can give a huge boost to your longevity.
The list ranges from the fairly obvious - quit smoking - to the more esoteric. Who would have thought that flossing your teeth could add six years to your life?
Here is the the list:
1. Be married/live with a partner - add 1 year
Norwich Union data shows people who are married or live with a partner can expect to live on average a year more than their single friends. Read more
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
The average person walks the equivalent of three times around the Earth in a lifetime. That is enormous wear and tear on the 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 tendons, ligaments and muscles that make up the foot.
In a recent survey for the American Podiatric Medical Association, 53 percent of respondents reported foot pain so severe that it hampered their daily function. On average, people develop pain in their 60s, but it can start as early as the 20s and 30s. Yet, except for women who get regular pedicures, most people don’t take much care of their feet.
“A lot of people think foot pain is part of the aging process and accept it, and function and walk with pain,” said Dr. Andrew Shapiro, a podiatrist in Valley Stream, N.Y. Though some foot problems are inevitable, their progress can be slowed. Read more
Thursday, March 26, 2009
The news is abuzz with reports of the latest study to come out showing that eating meat, especially red meat, kills us off before our time. (You can read some of the reporting here, here, here and here.) Google shows 547 new articles about this study.
Although this study is totally worthless from a causality perspective because it is an observational study, it does serve to confirm the biases of those non-critical thinkers who have already bought into the idea that meat is bad. To give you an example of such a soft thinker, here is the second comment on the blog post about this study in the New York Times. Read more
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
... Unlike drugs which must be approved for safety and efficacy before entering the market, dietary supplements marketed before 1994 are presumed to be safe. FDA must demonstrate that a product presents a significant or unreasonable risk to the public to get it off the market. But that may change.
An ominous sign of things to come – the FDA just classified a form of vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) as a new drug (Pyridorin, Biostratum).
Despite recent outbreaks of foodborne disease (Salmonella in peanuts) and approval of deadly or problematic drugs (recently Vioxx, Seroquel, many others) compared against few if any reported deaths in the newly implemented Adverse Event Reporting for dietary supplements, the Federal government is aiming its regulatory muscle at vitamin, mineral and herbal pills. Read more
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Thursday, March 19, 2009
When Jane Simpson’s mother, then 91, started showing signs of memory loss in December 2007, Ms. Simpson thought age had finally caught up with her. “As this had been a gradual process, and considering her age, we were not unduly alarmed — just saddened that it seemed we were losing my mother mentally,” she wrote in an e-mail to this blog.
But on a visit six months later, Ms. Simpson, a 61-year-old advertising copywriter in North Carolina, was struck by how much worse her mother’s memory loss had become and by her confusion about everything happening around her.
Just typical 91-year-old behavior? Just the first signs of the inevitable slide toward dementia we all may face if we live long enough? Not at all.
Since the ’70s, geriatric specialists have been aware of many unusual causes of memory loss, confusion and disorientation in older people. These include not just medical conditions ranging from urinary tract infection to hydrocephalus to the flu, but also side effects from many commonly used medications. Read more
Monday, March 16, 2009
1. Well Man clinics are a good idea
WHAT ARE THEY? These are clinics, run by GPs and private companies, that offer health once-overs for men, checking their hearts, weight and all the bits that women don’t have.
WHO SAYS THEY’RE A GOOD IDEA? Men’s health enthusiasts with too much time on their hands and private screening companies trying to drum up business.
HOW WRONG IS IT? Totally, and will remain so until the average unhealthy male has a lobotomy.
GIVE ME THE FACTS The main problem is that Well Man Clinics attract only well men. Read more
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Some salt is crucial for good health, of course — to regulate blood pressure and assist with muscle and nerve function — but too much (that is, at the levels we currently consume) can lead to hypertension, heart disease and stroke. If Americans halved their salt intake, as many as 150,000 premature deaths could be prevented each year, according to the American Medical Association. And new research presented March 11 by Bibbins-Domingo at the AHA's annual conference shows that even small reductions — as little as 1 g of salt per day — could have dramatic effects, saving 200,000 lives over the course of a decade. Read more
Thursday, March 12, 2009
... Researchers at the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada, found that men with higher intakes of vitamin C were less likely to develop the condition than men with lower levels. Read more
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
If you google "High Fructose Corn Syrup," the first thing that pops up is www.sweetsurprise.com. It's a sponsored link, right at the top. Go to the pretty website and you'll see healthy stalks of corn poking into a clear blue sky. A racially diverse group of kids and adults are pictured smiling around tables of pancakes, cereals, berries, and cornbread.
"HFCS is the chemical and nutritional equivalent of table sugar (sucrose). The two substances have the same calories, the same chemical composition and are metabolized identically." - Arthur Frank, M.D., Medical Director, George Washington University Weight Management Program. The Washington Times, December, 6, 2006
"In 1983, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration formally listed HFCS as safe for use in food and reaffirmed that decision in 1996. The FDA noted that "the saccharide composition (glucose to fructose ratio) of HFCS is approximately the same as that of honey, invert sugar and the disaccharide sucrose (table sugar)." - Food and Drug Administration Federal Register, August 23, 1996
Sounds convincing. I had to retreat to Michael Pollan's "In Defense of Food" for a reality check. Read more
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Women who drink two or more cans of soda pop per day are nearly twice as likely to show early signs of kidney disease, a recent study has found.
However, researchers did not find an elevated risk for men, or for people who drink diet soda, said lead researcher David Shoham of Loyola University Health System.
Women who reported drinking two or more sodas in the previous 24 hours were 1.86 times more likely to have albuminuria, a sensitive marker for early kidney damage. Albuminuria is an excess amount of a protein called albumin in the urine. Since healthy kidneys filter out large molecules such as albumin, an excess amount can be a sign of damage to the kidneys. Read more
Monday, March 2, 2009
Drinking two glasses of milk every day could help protect against memory loss and Alzheimer's disease in old age, according to research.
Scientists working at the University of Oxford have discovered that milk is one of the best sources of a key vitamin thought to reduce the neurological damage to the brain that can lead to forms of dementia. Read more