Thursday, September 11, 2008

**** You – Staying Young by Mike Roizen MD & Mehmet Oz MD

This book will not only change your life, but it will help you extend it too! After reading many books about diet, exercise, health, evolution, etc. over the past ½ dozen years– I’ve found one that pulls many of these varied topics together in an easy to understand and to implement fashion. I highly recommend this book for anyone under 100 years of age.

You have the ability to live 35% longer than expected with a greater quality of life and without frailty… Restricting calories, increasing your strength, and getting quality sleep are 3 of nature’s best antiaging medicines. Together, these activities – as well as other actions we recommend – control 70% of how well you age. P15

Only 10% of people are classified as frail while in their 70s. By the time they reach 100, almost 100% are considered frail. P16

Stop blaming your parents!
Based upon twin studies, here’s what we know: your longevity is based ¼ on your genes, and ¾ on your behaviors and lifestyle choices. It’s not about the genes you have but how you express them. P19

Stress is not in your DNA, but it can eat your DNA
Researchers have found that mothers with chronically ill children [a huge source of stress] have shortened telomeres, indicating that chronic stress can have a huge influence on how cells divide or fail to. The implication is that if you can reduce the effects that stress has on you, through such techniques as meditation, you can increase your chance of rebuilding the telomeres and decrease the odds of having your cells die and contribute to age related problems. P23

Just make sure to walk with someone who’s not inflammatory
Just 10 minutes of walking turns on a gene that decreases the rate of cancer growth, and resveratrol (ingredient found in red wine) turns on a gene that slows or stops a dangerous inflammatory process that happens inside your body. P23

Start blaming your parents!
Twin studies also show that less than 50% of memory function is inherited, meaning that if you get a head start on the action steps of antiaging you can alter how your genes are expressed. P27

Honey, did you see where I left 10% of my brain?
The brain actually loses 10% of its weight between ages of 20 and 90. We lose around 40,000 neurons per day!, So by age 65, 1/10 of your brain cells are gone. The rate of loss is highest in the frontal brain region which controls problem solving, the ability to think abstractly, and the ability to carry out multiple tasks simultaneously. P28

Memory loss is common at age… Umm, give me sec… age… I’ll think of it…
Memory loss starts at age 16 and is relatively common by 40… People start losing hand eye coordination at age 25… There’s a natural slowing of the neuronal connections between your brain and body… p29

Men usually lose their ability to solve complex problems as they age, and women lose their ability to process info quickly... But across the board, both genders loss competency in the areas in which they are weak to begin with, so women lose spatial cognition, and men suffer verbal losses. P30

The most common neurotransmitter is called acetylcholine. When levels of this chemical fall, especially in the hippocampus (the part of the brain that controls memory) we develop cognitive impairments. Many treatments for Alzheimer’s are aimed at increasing the amount of acetylcholine in the brain. The other chemical that plays a significant role in memory is brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), which works like miracle grow for your brain. During infancy, BDNF helps develop nerves that help us learn, but as we get older, things like inflammation and stress can decrease BDNF. Research shows you can do things to improve your levels of BDNF, such as consuming tumeric, restricting calories, doing exercise, being in love, and taking SSRIs. You can decrease BDNF by eating high levels of saturated fats and refined sugars or low levels of tryptophan (which is found in spinach at twice the level of turkey!). p40

Eat your veggies
It’s been shown that vegetables – any kind – slow cognitive decline even more than fruits. Eating 2 or more servings per day (just 2!) decreases the decline in thinking by 35% over 6 years. P43 I’m very skeptical of this. Could it be that the fact of eating vegetables simply means that you have avoided eating something more harmful, and the true benefit is not inherent within the chemicals of the vegetable but the fact that your choice of eating them has allowed your body to be spared the harmful chemicals of something else? If you make the assumption that all food is BAD for you, and some foods are less bad (like veggies), then perhaps eating less of everything is the best of all –hence caloric restricition.

Exercise your mind, literally
More intense exercise preserves neurocognitive function by decreasing the expression of the Apo-E4 gene to help clear the beta-amlyloid plaque that gunks up your neurons… Exercise has also been correlated with within increased telomere length… Just 30 minutes/day of walking will help you burn 2000 calories a week – the minimum amount shown to increase telomere length. P44

How old is your heart?
Bring your heart to 80% or more of max (that’s 220 – your age). After you stop, how long does it take for your rate to drop by 66 beats less than 80% max? p55
a) less than 2 minutes (your heart is 8 years younger than your age)
b) more than 2 but less than 4 minutes (you're average)
c) oxygen stat!

Yoga, Yoga, Yoga
Yoga could very well be the ultimate destressor. It lowers blood pressure, heart rate, stress hormones, and increases relaxation hormones like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. P78

Yoga incorporates belly breathing and also offers poses that could help lower blood pressure and heart rate. P214

The stress feedback loop
Stress hormones cycle among 3 glands in a feedback loop… The coneshaped hypothalamus at the base of the brain releases CRH which causes the pituitary gland to release ACTH in your blood. ACTH signals your adrenal glands to release cortisol and facilitates in the production and release of adrenaline. Adrenaline increases your heart rate and blood pressure, while cortisol releases sugar in the form of glucose to fuel your muscles and mind. Then to close the loop, cortisol travels back to the hypothalamus to stop the production of CRH. P79

How stress makes you sick
Too much cortisol essentially suppresses your immune system and decreases your ability to fight infection. Stress also makes you more susceptible to diseases that you rely on your immune system to hold at bay or eradicate, like cancer. Men have a pretty quick rebound from cortisol, but women often sense a lingering impact of the hormone, which is why men are so chipper a day after a lover’s spat that they have already forgotten, while women retain near perfect recall of the event, together with the emotional undertones. P82

Why acting out can kill you
While you may think that lashing out or hitting a pillow or punching bag helps you release tension, the opposite is true. It teaches you to develop a behavior pattern: get mad, punch. Get mad, get even. Get mad, harbor stress until it eats away at you. Instead use techniques that have been shown to reduce anger and anxiety. P84

Maybe Constanza was right (Seinfeld reference #223)
Do the opposite: this is not withdrawing, but rather to develop empathy. So instead of swearing at the guy who cut you off, think that maybe there’s a reason he did so – like his wife is in labor or his mom is in the hospital. It helps to remind yourself that few people are actually jerks on purpose. Getting angry just forces you to justify your actions, so you act out to make sense of how crazily you just acted.
Deep breath or exercise (walk, do push ups) or something else rather than lashing out.
Choose smart words not words like NEVER, ALWAYS. These only help you justify your anger, and alienate and humiliate others in the process who otherwise might have been willing to help you on a solution.
Stop blaming yourself: Make sure you have realistic expectations of yourself and are not blaming yourself for things that are not under your control with a string of woulds, coulds, shoulds. P85

You aren’t what you eat, but what eats you
More than 90% of the cells in your body are actually not yours! They belong to foreign organisms. Even though our bodies have 10 trillion cells, our intestines alone have 10x that number of bacteria. Not only do these cells outnumber us, but we can’t live without them; it’s these bacteria in your gut that allow you to digest your food. P91

Vagus Baby!
The vagus nerve, the longest nerve directly connected to the brain, which sends messages to and from the gut and every other organ in your body. This nerve doesn’t come from your spine but from a separate path outside the spine down the neck into the lower reaches of the abdomen. Because 85% of this huge nerve carries info back to the brain, it’s the main mechanism by which your brain audits your body. The remaining 15% takes info from your brain to your body. One of the key processes in this message system involves toll like receptors, which stimulate an immune response once invaders have breached an area like the skin or gut. The toll receptors are able to distinguish between invaders and good bacteria in our body, and they work as sort of a smoke alarm for your body by putting your immune system on alert when foreign cells have invaded. However this early warning system is a very primitive defense. From experiments with rats which are given a gut infection, they go into septic shock and die. Now give the rats the same infection, but sever the vagus, and they live! By cutting that message system, you have not eliminated the infection, but you have altered the rat’s brain response so it doesn’t trigger a huge immune response leading to septic shock. Luckily we don’t have to cut our vagus nerves to get a similar effect. If you can do things to regulate your vagus nerve, you can block some of the bad stuff that you’re feeling, whether it’s caused by stress, infection, or red hot coals. Fire walkers have figured out a way of meditating to change how the vagus and other nerves interpret the world around them to block not just the pain, but also the blisters and other bad stuff that would happen if mere mortals attempted the same thing. We’re not suggesting that you can will away all disease and pain, but we are suggesting that manipulating this very powerful connection between your gut and brain may be one of the ways you can quite high level inflammation and immunity challenges. P102

Chi-gong is an exercise that combines meditation and movement to sooth the vagus… It also seems to help ward off and decrease shingles. P109

Poor man’s coronary bypass
Taking ½ an aspirin (162 mg) per day can decrease the risk of colon, esophageal, prostate, ovarian, and breast cancers by 40%. And it probably decreases the risk of other cancers as well. Aspirin provides this through the reduction of inflammation throughout the body. P123

Plant this
One NASA study showed that philodendrons, spider plants, and golden pothos were the most effective at removing pollutants from household air. P128

Hold your breath
Spending just 1 hour in the presence of 2nd hand smoke is the equivalent of smoking 4 cigarettes. P133

Keep holding…
One of the strongest toxins in the air – PM2.5 – doubles your risk of death stemming from respiratory disease. The biggest factor for this toxin is traffic density. We recommend that you live at least 100m, preferably 300m from a major road. P135
You can breath now

I need a fact checker on this one
Cellular respiration breaks down a molecule of glucose into C02, H20, and energy (ATP). The adult human produces 150lbs of ATP a day! P154 You must reuse the ATP over and over again obviously somehow or did he mean 1.5lbs?

Calorie Restriction Analogy: Your car and a tank of gas
The life span of a car in this example will be how far it can go on a tank of gas. Assume the car can go 500 with 25MPG on a 20gal tank. Now let’s put your car on a energy restricted diet. Instead of 20 gal, you get 14 gal (30% fewer). To replicate how rats live longer by eating 30% less, your car must now go 750 miles on just 14 gallons! What would you have to do to drive 50% farther on 30% less fuel? The first thing you’d do is get rid of excess weight; no cargo carriers, no bike rack, no fuzzy dice. Then you might start shutting down all non-essential systems – AC, radio, headlights; anything that is not critical to running the car. Next you’d make sure that the engine is running at peak efficiency. You’d make sure that all routine maintenance had been performed, all filters are replaced, belts tightened, oil changed… Over the millennia, rats (and other animals including us) have developed a 3 pronged approach similar to this for surviving famine like conditions:
1. Establish priorities: All efforts to reproduce are shut down during stressful times. The rats were living longer, but they were not making any more rats. Reproduction takes a lot of energy, and during stressful times, that energy can be used elsewhere.
2. Maintain what you have: Energy saved from delayed reproduction can now be put to work ensuring that maintenance levels are optimal so you can live beyond the stressful period and reproduce again.
3. Focus on efficiency: When calories are cut, the rats rely more on fat stores as a fuel source, and fat combustion is several times more efficient at producing ATP than burning glucose, and the same amount energy can be created with much lower levels of free radicals. Fewer free radicals mean lower levels of oxidative damage. Studies have shown that a 40% calorie reduction leads to 45% less mitochondrial free radical production, and 30% less oxidative damage to mitochondrial DNA. The next effect of these changes is a decrease of 50% in aging.
Fortunately just cutting back 15% gets you almost as much of an antiaging benefit. P155

Secondhand sleep
Spouses lose an average of 1 hour of sleep per night because their partner’s snoring (not continuous but a cumulative effect of a minute here and there). P182
Meditation seems to cause the release of melatonin to soothe your body and protect your own tissue friendly stem cells. P185

Why we sleep?
Sleep exercises the part of your brain that you don’t normally use while awake… During the day, other parts of the brain, say creative parts that would allow cavemen to come up with solutions and ideas for stronger weapons or shelter, didn’t get used much because the brain was focused on just keeping them alive by hunting, cooking, caring for the tribe and just surviving the moment. During sleep, the creative parts can strengthen and grow so that they’ll be fully developed when the situation arises for them. P187

The boob tube? Perhaps the exact opposite
People who don’t have TV in the bedroom have 50% more sex than those that do. P186

How coffee keeps you awake
When you’re asleep for a long time, you experience a buildup of acetylcholine, which wakes you up. That’s how caffeine works, by influencing the levels of acetylcholine. In contrast, a chemical called adenosine builds up with activity and hinders acetylcholine, so we get tired. P188

Good night, good morning, good night, good morning,… repeat 25 times
Unbelievably, people over 65 have an avg of 25 awakenings a night, and that number increases with age. 1/3 of us wake up repeatedly during the night, while 25% wake up early in the morning and can’t go back to sleep. P191

Now repeat 200 times
Apnea sufferers can have as many as 200 breathing interruptions per night! P191

So does that mean I can have 2 to 3 times as many girlfriends just to stay even with my current one?
Men need to be touched 2 to 3 times more than women to maintain the same levels of oxytocin. P205

Think hard about hormone replacement
Estrogen decreases death from all causes in the 1st 10 years after menopause by 30%... We believe that taking aspirin decreases the risk of heart attack enough to allow a significant benefit of hormone replacement therapy. P209

Does this mean the bigger the nose, the fewer the heart attacks?
Nitric Oxide (NO) is found in the highest levels in the nasal pharynx, and that’s why nasal breathing and meditation are so important. The flow of air that happens when you breathe through your nose allows very rich sources of NO to be fuel injected into your system. The NO then helps dilate your arteries, so that your blood keeps moving. P231 Can someone please do a correlation study on nasal volume and heart attack rate?

Does this mean the bigger the nose, the bigger the you know what?
rectile dysfunction hits about 50% of men ages 40-70, and 70% of men over 70… The biggest cause of erectile problems is fleeting levels of NO due to vascular disease. P237 Another study opportunity here for the taking.

Chocolate covered wine soaked grape skins and tea leaves for Valentine’s day
Chocolate, in the form of pure cocoa has flavonoids that increase NO, and its especially effective in people over 50. Since NO levels drop with artery hardening, it’s a good idea to consume flavonoids in the form of dark chocolate, tea, dark grape juice, and wine. P241

Dynamite for your Dick
To help understand how Viagra works, its good to consider Nitroglycerin, which is converted to NO, which opens arteries to allow blood to flow. Nitroglycerin selectively dilates arteries near the heart, instead of the ones down south. Nitroglycerin and Viagra are dangerous together because they can cause too much dilation and low blood pressure. P247

Quality vs. Quanity
Having monogamous, regular sex has been proven to extend your life. The more you have it (for men), and the higher quality (for women), the healthier you are. P235

Foot fetishes finally make sense!
The area of the brain that senses the foot is right next to the area that feels the penis/clitoris. It’s the reason why a foot rub is one of the most effective forms of foreplay. P242

Dance Alzheimers away
Dancing is one of a few activities shown to involve both physical activity and mental stimulation significant enough to reduce the risk of dementia. P269

Under construction
All of us remake our bones every decade. If we don’t nurture and challenge them, then the body doesn’t waste energy keeping them and the muscles that pull on them as we get older. P274

Crummy odds
The chance of dying in the 6mos after a hip fracture is 20-25%, and its twice as high in men. While men fall less frequently (15% of total falls), 40% of those who do fall and break a hip die within 1 year. Why? Being prone to falling and fracturing signals some other underlying pathology such as inflammation in your body, which makes you more susceptible to other acute types of problems like pneumonia. Ultimately osteoporosis gives you a sense of frailty that limits your activity and sets off a negative chain reaction that makes you feel and become old. P279

Shut up, you’re giving me a heart attack!
Chronic exposure to loud noise can increase your heart attack rates by 50%. It’s important that you live in quiet place. Pick an apt on a higher floor or in a suburban area. P299

Dope yourself
The chemical dopamine has a very important job when it comes to habits: it teaches your brain what you want and then drives you to get it, regardless of whether it is actually good for you or not. That’s because dopamine influences memory, desire, and decision making. In other words, it’s stimulated by learning… To break cycle of bad habits, you need to reset your dopamine cycles. How? By giving yourself robust rewards. We’re not suggesting sundaes and sausages. Instead reward yourself weekly with a little shopping or a manicure or anything that is NOT destructive. As you disable old pathways of bad habits, you’ll need to nurture the ones with new rewards. As you do, your brain will start producing BDNF which increases brain plasticity to set new pathways for good, turning them into habits. P315