Exploring the sense and nonsense of food and health

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Alcohol and Longevity ???

NEWS: Drinking a Glass of Wine and Taking a Walk May Be Key to Longevity

Two Types Of Wine White Wine Glass Grapes

Centenarians from the “Blue Zones” regions of the world often drink up to two glasses of wine every day as a way to “downshift” from the stressors of daily life. Drinking a glass of wine with a plant-slant meal and a group of your closest friends can only enhance the experience and the benefits.  Read the link HERE.

Ever heard of the glymphatic system in the brain?  I never had even with about 20 years of  teaching Anatomy and Physiology. I first thought it was a misprint but after some searches found out it is very new concept (actually around for a hundred years, but apparently no one had the tools to study it. ) You can read about in more depth HERE.

So a new study found HERE caught my attention and may shed some light on why it may be beneficial – wine drinkers rejoice??? And it may have something to do with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease since theories often describe that disease is associated with toxin -induced inflammation that builds up as amyloid plaques in certain parts of the brain involving cognition and memory functions. But this may be all conjecture?

There are many cautions about studies like this. Many people can read a headline and misinterpret its message. The title of the article is “Low levels of alcohol good for the brain, study shows.” The key here is “low levels” which is a moderate intake defined in the study as about 2 glasses a day. In other words, a higher intake did NOT curb inflammation but rather added to the problem. In addition this was an animal study (sorry, volunteers for the next study).  Of course, the results cannot be applied to humans as everyone should realize. There have been some studies, however, that modest amounts of alcohol have shown some cardiovascular health benefits, but again, these results always are accompanied by the common sense cautionary warnings.












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Looking at Lessons from the Blue Zones


Check out this 28 minute video that tells us what the author of The Blue Zones found out from his experiences with the longest living people of the world. Some interesting lessons emerge (it’s not so much about food).


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The Lessons from Okinawa

Okinawan Market

Some of my favorite ways to study the effects of diets and lifestyles on health  is to take an objective look at the healthiest cultures on the planet. Although these studies are observational, they study real people living in a real environment. They provide us with invaluable information about how health and longevity are affected by the culture in which we live.  Granted, your diet is only part of the total equation.  And it must be emphasized that these healthy patterns are based on traditional habits of these cultures. When Western-type diets invade these populations, time and time again, their positive health statistics change generally for the worst. Please watch the video and then go out and buy some sweet potatoes.


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Can a Supplement Extend Life?

One of the current theories of aging or longevity is the Telomere Theory. This theory claims that shorter or longer telomeres can predict how long we live. See a previous post HERE. Research tells us that the evidence of lifestyle interventions (diets, supplements, etc) to support these claims is weak. Bottom line: Be skeptical of companies that promote  diets or supplements that promise to affect your telomeres leading to increased health or longevity.