Health News Around The Web for Week Ending 2nd Feb 2013

in-the-news

Well I missed last week due to a hectic Shcedule But looking around the usual Health blogs and news sites theres allot going on as usual…. Here are some highlights I liked and some good information…

On Natural News there have been tons of articles. There are so many these days it is hard to keep up!

The first article i chose made me laugh. Piers Morgan trying to get more attention and being the usual d*** that he is got himself a flu shot on the Dr Oz show, apparently to prove their effectiveness and safety. 10 days later he had flu!!! HA HA HA is all I can say (childish? I don’t care!)

Next on Natural news I picked a story showing the dangers of GMO corn! You really need to stay AWAY from this stuff! There has been NO good from GMO crops so far. My third choice from Natural news is an article telling how “childhood vaccines contain aborted human fetal protein, DNA” WHAT???? Yeah, see the article below, it’s really not good.

There is also an article talking about the benifits of alkaline foods for maintaining muscle mass which is worth a read. However. The article does contain one of THE most ridiculous statements ever!! “Adequate protein plays an integral part in muscle health. However, getting this protein from meat could be counter-productive because it raises the acidity of the body, possibly negatively impacting muscle mass” This is where people get too singular minded and need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. We know that MEAT is massively important to build muscle. Vegetarians have for a long time struggled to gain decent muscle mass. But, as I say, take a read below.

Science daily shows us that not all dairy is created equal and some products such as milk and yogurt imprive hip bone density where as cream didn’t. I would like the study to have used Raw Dairy from cows free to roam and eat grass but you can’t have it all! ALso on Science daily there is an article of interest about Vitamin D and Breast Cancer.

Over on Mercola there is an interesting article about exercise and whey protein supplementation increasing Growth Hormone production to help keep the body young, and over on Chris Kresser’s blog he has an article that asks “Do fat people live longer?” Which Chris discusses in his usaual methodical way.

Ok, for now that is it! You can find all articles below, or check out the websites / people mentioned above and get educating yourself!!!

Until next time, Be Healthy!

Piers Morgan receives flu vaccine injection from Dr. Oz, then gets sick

NaturalNews) In a recent publicity stunt gone terribly but humorously wrong, Piers Morgan, the infamous CNN personality and British journalist whose unconstitutional views on gun control have sparked petitions for his deportation, agreed to take his first ever flu shot during a live taping of The Dr. Oz Show that aired on January 11, 2013. But just 10 days later, Morgan, who promised to “go after” Oz if he developed the flu following the shot, ironically came down with flu-like symptoms that all but debilitated him from hosting his own Piers Morgan Tonight show.

An obvious ploy to both quell the growing public distrust of the flu shot and advocate for its alleged safety and effectiveness, Morgan agreed to be this year’s media guinea pig in receiving a flu shot injection directly from vaccine advocate Dr. Mehmet Oz, who we recently exposed as being a shill for industrial agriculture (http://www.naturalnews.com/038157_Dr_Oz_organic_food_sellout.html). In front of a live studio audience, Morgan rolled up his sleeve and received the injection to help dispel the “myth” that flu shots cause the flu or are in any way dangerous.

You can view the clip of Morgan receiving a flu shot from Dr. Oz here:

But just a few days later, Piers reportedly began to develop flu-like symptoms that clearly inhibited his ability to speak properly. His symptoms quickly worsened, prompting him to publish a “tweet” on January 23, just 11 days after getting his flu shot, explaining that his voice had “plunged to [a] ludicrous level, fading in and out.” Following this, Morgan added, “Not entirely sure I’ll make tonight’s live show at this rate.”

So much for all that talk about the safety and effectiveness of the flu shot, and Dr. Oz’s absurd claim that flu shots cannot cause the flu. As made perfectly evident for millions of Americans to see, Morgan’s health quickly began to declined almost immediately after getting a flu shot from Dr. Oz, which is highly suspicious and greatly concerning. Morgan himself essentially affirmed just days later during an interview with country signer Dwight Yoakam that the flu shot he received was responsible for spurring his illness.

“We’re both doing the math, aren’t we,” retorted Morgan to Yoakam, who had just advised the controversial television personality to never again get a flu shot. “We both saw him put that thing in my arm, and within 10 days I’ve been struck down.”

You can watch the segment with Morgan and Yoakam here: http://youtu.be/X5SQPPvR-JA

Millions of Americans now know that flu shots can make them sick, thanks to Piers Morgan

It is difficult not to chuckle at the whole ridiculous charade. What was meant to further pull the wool over the eyes of gullible Americans literally blew up in the face of those that perpetrated it, as millions of Americans have now had their eyes opened to the fact that flu shots are dangerous and can, indeed, cause flu-like symptoms and other health damage.

And what better elitist personality to take the fall for this failed attempt at promoting worthless flu shots than Piers Morgan, whose unabashed hatred for the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is helping to fuel a resurgence of appreciation for our precious right as Americans to own weapons for our own protection. With that said, it just might be appropriate to actually thank Piers Morgan for hammering what is hopefully the last nail in the coffin of the flu vaccine scam.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.infowars.com

http://theintelhub.com

Scientists, health authorities blatantly lied to public in wake of study showing GMO corn causes organ damage and cancer

NaturalNews) It has been more than four months now since the most comprehensive study evaluating the health risks associated with a lifetime of consuming genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) was published in a credible, peer-reviewed scientific journal. And to this day, the mainstream scientific community is still busy manufacturing lies about the study in an attempt to discredit it.

In case you missed it, a French study back in September found that rats fed a lifetime of Monsanto’s GM NK603 corn developed severe organ damage and cancerous tumors, among other major health problems. The study is the only one, to date, to fully evaluate the effects of GMO consumption over a lifetime, as opposed to the typical 90 days maximum typically evaluated by the biotechnology industry. (http://www.naturalnews.com)

But the release of this timely and pertinent study has not been received well by those with a vested interest in promoting GMOs, not to mention scientists who benefit handsomely from industry-backed grants and other corporate financial support. Thus, there has been an onslaught of misinformation released regarding the study that aims to minimize and discredit its findings.

“Within hours of the study’s release, it was shouted down as flawed and meaningless by a chorus of scientist critics,” writes Claire Robinson for Public Service Europe (PSE) about the unfolding scenario surrounding the study’s release. “The focus of the story shifted from the alarming health risks of a poorly tested GM food to ‘junk science’ that should never have been published.”

Politicians, mainstream media attempt to destroy GMO rat study

One particularly vocal purveyor of lies following the study’s release was Corinne Lepage, a member of the European Parliament. Almost immediately after the study was published, Lepage declared it to be a “bomb,” echoing the irrational sentiments of many others throughout government and industry who were apparently deeply offended by the the study’s findings.

The mainstream media quickly joined in on the deception as well, repeating lies that the study was poorly conducted, for instance, or that the rats used were already prone to developing tumors regardless of what they ate. In truth, the rats were of the same common breed used by Monsanto and many other companies to test product safety. And the study itself was conducted in accordance with rigorous scientific standards.

“Contrary to the critics’ message, the ‘scientific community’ has not united to condemn Seralini’s study,” adds Robinson. “Many scientists, unconnected with Seralini’s group, are alarmed by what they see as suppression of scientific findings that are inconvenient to commercial or political interests … All studies have flaws and limitations. But many said that this was the most detailed study that had ever been done on the health effects of a GM food that’s already in our food supply.”

PSE has since set up a support page for Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen, the main author of the GMO rat study, that contains further details about this landmark study, as well as responses to the critics’ lies about its findings. You can access that page here: http://gmoseralini.org/

Sources for this article include:

http://www.publicserviceeurope.com

http://www.publicserviceeurope.com

http://gmoseralini.org/

Warning: Many childhood vaccines contain aborted human fetal protein, DNA

NaturalNews) The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), a non-profit vaccine safety group, recently conducted an independent review of the contents of childhood vaccines and found that many of them are tainted with ingredients that would shock most parents. According to the manufacturer-produced package inserts included with each vaccine batch, many vaccines are made with disturbing ingredients like aborted human fetal proteins, altered DNA material, and even genetically-modified (GM) human albumin.

This shocking information was compiled as part of an NVIC safety review on the childhood vaccination schedule, which has been called into question in recent years due to a steady increase in cases of autism and other forms of neurological and brain damage among vaccinated children. As it turns out, there are at least eight, and as many as 23, vaccines routinely administered to children that contain one or more of these questionable ingredients — and if the general public truly knew about this, there would likely be a massive vaccination fallout resulting in the complete collapse of the vaccine industry.

Back in 1966, researchers extracted lung tissue from a 14-week aborted baby and developed a cell line from it known as MRC-5 that is still used in many vaccines today. MRC-5 has admittedly been used to developed the Varivax vaccine for chicken pox, the ProQuad vaccines for both chicken pox and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella), and several other vaccines for Hepatitis A, DTaP, Hib, polio, and rabies. Similarly, a cell line known as RA 27/3, which was derived from another aborted human baby in 1964, is still being used today to produce both ProQuad and MMR II.

The controversial MMR II vaccine also reportedly contains a genetically-engineered human protein known as Recombumin, or recombinant human albumin, that most parents are unaware is being injected into their babies. MMR II is the only known vaccine that contains GM human protein, according to NVIC, but its unique presence in this contentious combination vaccine could help explain the unusual uptick in vaccine-induced neurological damage associated with it in recent years.

You can view the full NVIC graph showing which vaccines contain these and other heinous ingredients here: http://www.vaccine-tlc.org/human.html

Are hidden vaccine ingredients responsible for increasing disease rates?

According to NVIC, there are three main sources of human protein in vaccines: fetal cell lines, human albumin derived from human blood, and human albumin genetically engineered from yeast. Concerning human albumin derived from human blood, NVIC says “package inserts do not contain any information about where the human blood is sourced from,” but the other two sources are clearly questionable, at best.

So what we know is that aborted fetal cell lines, GM human albumin, and human albumin and DNA derived from other unknown sources are all being used to develop many of the vaccines being injected into society’s most fragile and sensitive members today. If this is not a serious cause for concern, then it is hard to know what is, especially as allergies, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, autism, and many other chronic health conditions continue to escalate inexplicably.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.vaccine-tlc.org/human.html

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-31727_162-20049118-10391695.html

New Study Sheds Light On Link Between Dairy Intake and Bone Health: Not All Dairy Products Are Equal

Feb. 1, 2013 — A study by researchers at the Institute for Aging Research (IFAR) at Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School (HMS), has found that dairy intake — specifically milk and yogurt — is associated with higher bone mineral density (BMD) in the hip, but not the spine. Cream, on the other hand, may be associated with lower BMD overall. Published February 1 in the journalArchives of Osteoporosis, these findings suggest that not all dairy products are equally beneficial in promoting bone strength.
“Dairy foods provide several important nutrients that are beneficial for bone health,” says lead author Shivani Sahni, Ph.D., Musculoskeletal Research Team, IFAR. “However, cream and its products such as ice cream have lower levels of these nutrients and have higher levels of fat and sugar. In this study, 2.5 — 3 servings of milk and yogurt intake per day were associated with better bone density. More research is needed to examine the role of cheese intake (some of which can be high in fat and sodium), and whether individual dairy foods have a significant impact in reducing fractures.”
IFAR researchers based their findings on data collected from a food frequency questionnaire completed by 3,212 participants from the Framingham Offspring study. They then compared participants’ dairy intake with BMD measurement, which revealed the benefits of milk and yogurt versus cream in largely middle-aged men and women. According to the study, nutrient composition varies among dairy foods. Choosing low-fat milk or yogurt over cream can increase intake of protein, calcium and vitamin D while limiting intake of saturated fats.
This study is an example of a growing area of research focused on the relationship between nutrition and bone health. Past studies suggest that dairy products contain more than one beneficial nutrient, and for this reason certain dairy products may contribute towards maintaining healthier bones.
Research like this supports the idea that proper nutrition can help combat osteoporosis and fractures. Osteoporosis is considered a major public health threat for an estimated 44 million Americans, or half of those aged 50 and older.
• An estimated 10 million in the U.S. already have the disease. Women are at higher risk than men.
• Another 34 million Americans have low bone density, putting them at increased risk for osteoporosis and fractures, especially of the hip, spine and wrist. About one-quarter of those who suffer a hip fracture die within a year of the injury.
• Osteoporosis-related fractures were responsible for an estimated $19 billion in health care costs in 2005, with that figure expected to increase to $25 billion by 2025.
Co-authors on the study include, Katherine L. Tucker, Ph.D.; Douglas P. Kiel, M.D., M.P.H.; Lien Quach, M.P.H, M.S.; Virginia A. Casey, Ph.D.; Marian T. Hannan, D.Sc., M.P.H.
This work was supported by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (AR # 053205 and also AR/AG41398) and by the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute’s Framingham Heart Study (N01-HC-25195), the Melvin First Young Investigator Award and General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition


Quantum Dots Deliver Vitamin D to Tumors for Possible Inflammatory Breast Cancer Treatment

Feb. 1, 2013 — The shortened daylight of a Maine winter may make for long, dark nights — but it has shone a light on a novel experimental approach to fighting inflammatory breast cancer (IBC), an especially deadly form of breast cancer.
The new approach enlists the active form of Vitamin D3, called calcitriol, which is delivered therapeutically by quantum dots. Quantum dots are an engineered light-emitting nanoscale delivery vehicle. This new preliminary work shows the dots can be used to rapidly move high concentrations of calcitriol to targeted tumor sites where cancer cells accumulate, and also through the lymph system where the cancer spreads. With this approach, the calcitriol can fight on multiple fronts and the targeted location can be visualized with an imaging system tracking the quantum dots.
The research will be presented at the 57th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society (BPS), held Feb. 2-6, 2013, in Philadelphia, Pa.
University of Delaware cancer researcher Anja Nohe was living in Maine when she first received funding from the Maine Cancer Foundation to determine the effect of calcitriol on breast cancer cells. Reading cancer literature helped her make connections between cancer, vitamin D, and the daylight regime of higher latitudes. “By talking with talented colleagues about these ideas, the foundation was set for the current project,” she says. After moving to the University of Delaware, she began working with Kenneth Van Golen, “an expert in the biology of IBC,” to evaluate calcitriol.
Compared to other forms of breast cancer, IBC is especially difficult to treat. It has a five-year survival rate of 40% versus 87% for all other breast cancers. A big part of what makes IBC treatment difficult is its multi-site growth pattern. Current aggressive treatments such as combinations of chemotherapy, surgery and radiation, have failed to significantly improve IBC survival rates.
This early experimental work on mice is encouraging because data show calcitriol can inhibit invasion and migration of SUM149 cells, an IBC cell line. “New IBC therapies are urgently needed, which is why the goal of my work is to find a successful treatment for inflammatory breast cancer, especially one with fewer side effects,” Nohe says.

Mercola

Study: Both Exercise and Whey Augment Human Growth Hormone Production, Which Can Keep Your Body Young

Exercise is one of the “golden tickets” to preventing disease and slowing the aging process. One reason for this is because exercise is one of the most effective ways to regain insulin and leptin sensitivity and reverse insulin and leptin-resistance, which is a key to staying healthy as you get older.

But another reason why exercise is sometimes regarded as a real-life fountain of youth is because, when done intensely, it boosts your body’s natural production of human growth hormone (HGH), a synergistic, foundational biochemical that addresses the serious muscle loss and atrophy that typically occurs with aging.

Intermittent fasting has many of the same benefits, including dramatically boosting HGH and optimizing insulin- and leptin sensitivity, which I’ll discuss more toward the end of this article.

Recent research1 also shows that ingesting carbohydrates (sucrose) with added whey protein isolate during short-term recovery from 90 minutes of treadmill running increases the growth hormone response to a second exhaustive exercise bout of similar duration.

However, I’ve previously discussed the issue of implementing an exercise and diet plan based on your desired goal, either:

Athletic performance, or
Health, longevity and reproductive success
If you are seeking to optimize competitive athletics, then carb-loading as used in the featured study can be useful. However it is not a wise strategy if you’re seeking long-term optimal health, as that requires a different approach. Avoiding carbs then becomes paramount, along with making sure you’re using only high quality protein sources. (Clearly, competitive athletes could also improve if they used high quality organic, grass-fed whey rather than the far inferior whey protein isolate.)

Interestingly, in the wake of Lance Armstrong being stripped of his seven titles and banned from cycling for life after being found guilty of doping, one study known as the Goldman Dilemma, showed that more than half of Olympic-level athletes would gladly use a drug that would kill them within five years as long as it guaranteed them a gold medal.2

To most people, however, this would be an unacceptable exchange. The featured approach clearly will not kill you in five years, and I suspect most of the adverse longevity consequences are reversible, but in my opinion carb-loading is not ideal for long-term health.

Why Carb-Loading is Not Recommended if You Exercise for Longevity

The idea behind carb-loading is to saturate yourself with carbs so your muscles will have plenty of glycogen to go on while you exercise. This works fine for really fit athletes that have an intense workout regimen. They also have the muscle mass that could accommodate large glucose surges as muscles can rapidly utilize glucose. Additionally most athletes have optimized insulin and leptin signaling and are exercising which also allows them to better use the carbs.

However, I believe it is totally inappropriate for the vast majority of non-athletes that exercise casually, or just to get healthy as their muscle mass isn’t as well developed and their insulin and leptin signaling is typically impaired. Another point to consider in this study is that, while whey is great for stimulating muscle protein synthesis, I disagree with the use of whey protein isolate as whey protein concentrates are clearly superior.

As I’ll discuss below, the focus on carbs is one of the most detrimental pieces of advice that is still widely promoted to athletes and non-athletes alike, and there are FAR better ways to boost HGH production than what was tested in the featured study, in which participants ran for 90 minutes with a four-hour long break in between repeated session.

First, it’s important to remember that what you eat can either add to or detract from your exercise benefits, and if you’re devoting the time to exercise for health and longevity, you’d be well advised to harness your meals to support your goals, not detract from them.

First and foremost, contrary to popular advice, to maximize the benefits of exercise you’ll want to avoid fructose and other sugars unless you are engaged in intensive and prolonged cardio exercises that will allow you to burn these sugars, especially fructose, and not store them as fat.

However, exercise, which in and of itself improves insulin and leptin sensitivity, will NOT completely compensate for excessive use of fructose. This means that most casual exercisers and those seeking to improve their body composition and optimize health and fitness rather than boost athletic performance or competitiveness, need to ditch the energy drinks, sports drinks, most energy bars and even “healthy” drinks like vitamin water, as these will effectively sabotage your exercise benefits.

Fructose, which is found primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup, is particularly detrimental as it tricks your body into gaining weight by turning off your body’s appetite-control system. This happens because fructose does not appropriately stimulate insulin, which in turn does not suppress ghrelin (the “hunger hormone”) and doesn’t stimulate leptin (the “satiety hormone”).

The end result is that you end up eating more, causing uncontrolled accumulation of sugar metabolites in your liver, which then leads to insulin resistance. Fructose also rapidly leads to decreased HDL (“good” cholesterol), increased LDL (“bad” cholesterol), elevated triglycerides, elevated blood sugar, and high blood pressure – i.e. classic metabolic syndrome. And if that’s not bad enough, fructose has shown to increase the levels of TNF-α, a pro-inflammatory cytokine known to inhibit fat burning and promote muscle wasting.

Eating Whey Protein During Your Exercise Recovery May Boost HGH

Your production of vital human growth hormone increases by up to 771 percent during a high-intensity, interval workout like Peak Fitness because you are stimulating your fast twitch muscle fibers, which are rarely used during most exercise programs. The higher your levels of HGH, the healthier and stronger you will be.

Once you hit the age of 30, you enter what’s called “somatopause,” at which point your levels of HGH begin to drop off quite dramatically. This decline of HGH is part of what drives your aging process, so maintaining your HGH levels gets increasingly important with age.

Some athletes choose to inject HGH for its performance enhancing potential, though it is a banned substance in nearly every professional sport. I do not recommend injecting HGH however, due to the potential side effects, the cost and, more importantly, its potential to cause more long-term harm than good. Besides, as we now know, taking such risks is unnecessary because if you eat and exercise correctly, you will naturally optimize your HGH.

What You Eat in the Two to Three Hours After You Exercise is Extremely Important

After an intense workout, there’s an exercise recovery phase of two to three hours during which you have to be somewhat careful about what foods you choose to eat. Specifically, in order to promote HGH release, you do need to restrict sugar intake post-exercise (although carbs can benefit those more interested in fast recovery, such as professional athletes). Fitness veteran Phil Campbell explains:

“What we recommend… is to get 25 grams of protein afterwards within that 30-minute golden window. There is a lot of research to support that, but there’s also some research done by Dr. John Ivy of the University of Texas, a great researcher on a young cyclist who made recovery. They’re not looking at growth hormone or maximizing growth hormone. They’re trying to get to recover as quickly as possible so they can cycle several days in a row.

They showed that getting a ratio of 4:1 carbs to protein is better for recovery… 4:1 starts recovery faster. If you’re going after recovery, that’s the best strategy… [if] you’re not looking for growth hormone, that is.

But on the other side, if your goal like most middle-aged adults and older is to maximize growth hormone, and to get this wonderful hormone circulating for that full two hours in the surging window for going after body fat (just about like you’re doing cardio for two hours), you can do that. …if you throw too many carbohydrates in… then that releases the hormones called somatostatin. That, for whatever reason, just shuts down growth hormone. That’s clear in the research.”

So it’s important to avoid carbs, especially sugar or fructose-containing foods, in the two hours after your workout, and this includes sports drinks, to be sure you’re getting the full HGH benefits. Consuming whey protein, however, appears to be nearly ideal, as it is a protein that assimilates very quickly, and will get to your muscles within 10-15 minutes of swallowing it, supplying your muscles with the right food at the right time to stop the catabolic process in your muscle and shift the process toward repair and growth.

Whey Helps With Muscle-Building, Too

An important review found that consumption of ~20–25 grams of a rapidly absorbed protein, such as whey protein, may serve to maximally stimulate muscle building after resistance exercise in young healthy individuals;3 high-quality leucine-rich proteins, such as whey, may be particularly important for the elderly to maximize muscle protein synthesis as well. Further, consuming whey not only immediately following your workout but also for up to 48 hours after resistance exercise may still offer some benefit:4

“…since resistance exercise increases MPS for up to ~48 h [hours] consumption of dietary amino acids 24-48 h post-exercise recovery would also likely convey the same synergistic effects on MPS [muscle protein synthesis] as those that are observed when amino acids are provided immediately after resistance exercise. The synergistic enhancement of pre-existing resistance exercise-induced elevations in MPS by protein provision is greatest immediately post-exercise and wanes over time, but may still be present up to 48 h later.

We have recently shown that feeding 15 g of whey protein, a less than optimally effective dose of protein for maximizing MPS, ~24 h after acute resistance exercise results in a greater stimulation of …protein synthesis than the same dose provided at rest. …We propose that there is, at least in young individuals, an extended ‘window of anabolic opportunity’ beyond the immediate post-exercise period that persists for at least 24 h…”

A recent study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports & Exercise demonstrated that consuming whey protein (20g protein / serving) 30 minutes before resistance training also boosts your body’s metabolism for as much as 24 hours after your workout.5 In practical terms, consuming 20 grams of whey protein before exercise and another serving afterward will most likely yield the double benefit of increasing both fat burning and muscle build-up at the same time.

Intermittent Fasting: Another Way to Boost HGH Naturally

Just as combining whey protein with high-intensity exercise appears to work together synergistically to boost HGH production, so too does exercising while in a fasted state. Research has found that fasting raised HGH by 1,300 percent in women and 2,000 percent in men!6 And the combination of fasting and exercising maximizes the impact of cellular factors and catalysts (cyclic AMP and AMP Kinases), which force the breakdown of fat and glycogen for energy.

It’s important to realize that this fitness-enhancing strategy is more about the timing of meals, as opposed to those fad plans where you essentially “starve” yourself for several days in a row.

On intermittent fasting, the longest time you’ll ever abstain from food is 36 hours, although 14-18 hours is more common. You can also opt to simply delay eating. For example, skipping breakfast may be just the step to get you off a plateau in your fitness routine. Personally, I’ve revised my own eating schedule to eliminate breakfast and restrict the time I eat food to a period of about six to seven hours each day, which is typically from noon to 6 or 7 pm.

For more information on healthy, safe intermittent fasting, read this.

Intermittent Fasting for General Health and Longevity

There’s plenty of research showing that fasting has a beneficial impact on longevity in animals. There are a number of mechanisms contributing to this effect. Normalizing insulin sensitivity is a major one as insulin sensitivity is critical for the activation of the mTOR pathway, which along with IGF-1 plays an important part in repairing and regenerating your tissues including your muscles and thereby counteracting the aging process. The fact that it improves a number of potent disease markers also contributes to fasting’s overall beneficial effects on general health.

Even if you take the exercise component out, modern science has confirmed there are many good reasons for fasting, including:

Normalizing your insulin sensitivity, which is key for optimal health as insulin resistance (which is what you get when after prolonged periods of over-secreted and elevated insulin) is a primary contributing factor to nearly all chronic disease, from diabetes to heart disease and even cancer
Normalizing ghrelin levels, also known as “the hunger hormone”
Promoting human growth hormone (HGH) production, which plays an important part in health, fitness and slowing the aging process
Lowering triglyceride levels
Reducing inflammation and lessening free radical damage
Tying it All Together

Whether you seek to optimize your athletic performance or health and longevity, incorporating 1-3 sessions of high-intensity exercises per week will help you achieve your aims by significantly boosting HGH production. Adding intermittent fasting can kick it up another notch. The same cannot be said for your diet, however.

Whereas carb-loading can be useful for professional athletes, those seeking health and longevity will not benefit from this strategy. On the contrary, severely limiting sugars and grains is part and parcel of any diet designed to optimize overall health and prevent chronic disease. Furthermore, it’s important to note that consuming fructose within two hours prior to or after high-intensity exercise will nullify HGH production… So carb-loading while doing Peak Exercises will amount to wasted effort

Do fat people live longer? By Chris Kresser

We’ve all heard the recent news story splashed all over the TV and internet: overweight people actually have a lower risk of dying than those of normal weight. (1) What a shock to the millions of Americans on a weight-loss diet, not to mention the hundreds of health professionals, research scientists, and government policy makers who are working around the clock to combat the obesity epidemic in this country! Could it be that we’re all wasting our time trying to lose weight if we want to maximize our life span? Do fat people really live longer?

As with most epidemiological research, this report needs to be taken with a big grain of salt. While there may be some level of protection to the “extra padding” that many Americans are trying to lose, there are also serious shortcomings when using BMI as a determinant of body fatness. Someone with a normal BMI may have a high body fat percentage, while your average bodybuilder can have a BMI that falls within the obesity range while still boasting a single-digit body fat percentage. So is being overweight really health protective, or is this another case of mass media jumping to unfounded conclusions?

Are you wasting your time trying to achieve a “perfect” BMI?

When body fat is protective

First, the authors of this study admit that its limitations include a narrow focus on BMI as opposed to body composition as a predictor, and an outcome of all-cause mortality without addressing morbidity or cause-specific mortality. (2) This generalized view of the data leads to an omission of certain factors such as body fatness, overall indicators of health besides mortality, and risk of dying from obesity-related disease as opposed to risk of dying in general. In other words, body composition likely plays a significant role in overall mortality, and overweight people may still be more likely than normal weight people to die from certain diseases attributable to excess body fat. This study does not control for these important factors, and therefore cannot be used to make general health recommendations to the public.

However, this study does bring into question the benefits of weight loss for those who are metabolically healthy. It is reasonable to suggest that having a bit of extra body fat may be generally protective. In an accompanying editorial to this report, Drs. Heymsfield and Cefalu of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center observed that the “obesity paradox” of all-cause mortality may have more to do with survival rates during both chronic and acute disease states, where a small excess of adipose tissue may provide the extra energy needed for recovery during catabolic illness. (3) A slight excess of body fat may also protect against death from traumatic injury, when metabolic rate skyrockets in response to inflammation and infection following the trauma, and body tissue is broken down rapidly.

In any situation where the body’s energy needs are high, having extra fat stores can help prevent the deadly tissue wasting that can cause deterioration of vital organs such as the heart. So if you’re trying to lose the last ten or fifteen pounds, you may be reassured to know that body fat can serve a purpose when it comes to protection against catabolic illness or traumatic injury. Thus, if your overall goal is to live a long, healthy life, that “extra padding” could actually be helpful rather than harmful in the long run.

BMI versus Body Fatness

On the flip side, BMI calculations pay no attention to a person’s body composition. As I mentioned before, a person can be quite lean but still fall into an overweight BMI category if they’re stocky or extremely muscular. And we’ve all heard about the danger of being “skinny fat”, where one’s BMI appears healthy but his or her body fat percentage is dangerously high. In fact, research suggests that the sensitivity of classifying a high body fat mass from a high BMI may be as low as 20 to 50%, demonstrating the potential inaccuracy of judging one’s health based solely on BMI. Therefore, we must consider body composition more carefully when determining the health risks or benefits of being in a higher BMI class. What does the research have to say about the role that body fatness plays in overall health and mortality?

A comprehensive analysis of NHANES data found that for men, an overall BMI of 27 was associated with the lowest risk of mortality, but that both fat mass and fat free mass were more directly correlated to mortality. (4) When body composition was controlled for, the data demonstrated the lowest risk for men at a BMI between 19.5 and 20.5, suggesting that mortality risk is more related to leanness than it is to BMI. Another study conducted on 60 year old Swedish men found that a high percentage body fat was significantly associated with a 40% increase in total mortality, compared with a low percentage body fat, suggesting that a high fat mass is more strongly associated with mortality risk than a high BMI. (5)

A 2012 study found that body fat is inversely associated with mortality in patients with already-established coronary heart disease (CHD), with low body fat being an independent predictor of an approximately 3-fold higher mortality in these patients. (6) This is surprising, considering that high body fat is generally associated with a worse overall CHD risk profile. The researchers also found that higher lean mass was associated with a better prognosis for survival. They theorized that those patients with higher body fat and/or higher lean mass had a better response during times of negative caloric balance (catabolic stress) and may have had more muscular strength than patients with lower body mass, protecting against death.

Another 2012 study found that there is a significant gender difference in survival rates for older adults (≥65 years) with varying BMIs. (7) In both men and women, lean body mass was associated inversely with mortality, where those with the lowest lean mass had the highest risk of dying. The results also showed that higher body fat in women was generally protective against mortality, provided that the waist-to-hip ratio was low. This is an important distinction, as healthy men and women have very different body compositions and must be studied independently from one another.

Take home message: Body composition matters!

These studies all have their limitations, but the general pattern seems to suggest that a slightly higher BMI with a higher proportion of lean mass is associated with better mortality outcomes for both men and women. For women specifically, healthily distributed body fat is actually protective against mortality, even at higher levels. There are several explanations for this finding, including a greater caloric reserve during catabolic illness, overall greater muscle strength, and possibly a more adequate food intake, particularly for older adults.

It’s important to remember that a person’s body fat may increase for a variety of reasons, and that BMI is a poor indicator of overall health in most cases. As a clinician, I believe certain indicators of health such as insulin sensitivity, markers of inflammation, and overall digestive function are far more important predictors of health than BMI or total body weight. If you’re a metabolically healthy person with a few extrapounds that just won’t budge, current evidence suggests that getting to your “perfect” weight may not increase your lifespan. In fact, if you’re a woman, it may even be counterproductive.. I This casts doubt – at least from a scientific perspective — on our culture’s (pathological?) obsession with skinniness. It also suggests that maintaining adequate lean body mass by eating a nutrient-dense diet and doing regular weight-bearing exercise may be more important than shaving off those final few pounds of fat.

These findings do not, however, detract from the large body of evidence linking significant excess body fat and positive calorie balance (i.e. overeating) with numerous health problems ranging from metabolic dysfunction to cardiovascular disease. So if you’re substantially overweight and have a higher than normal body fat percentage, nothing in this article gives you an excuse to abandon your fat loss efforts.

Eat high quality, nourishing food, find strength-building exercise that you enjoy, get enough quality sleep, and manage your stress, and you’ll set yourself up for a long and healthy life – even if you’re carrying a few extra pounds along the way!