Category: Longevity

7 Herbal Alternatives to Hormone Replacement Therapy, or HRT

For many women, menopause can introduce new health challenges. In addition to the symptoms that perturb basic quality of life like hot flashes, headaches, night sweats, and irritability, menopause is also associated with higher risks for serious health concerns like osteoporosis, cognitive decline, and metabolic syndrome. This has made the standard treatment for menopause—hormone replacement therapy, or HRT—a multi-billion dollar business.

A few weeks ago, I explored the benefits and risks of HRT. It has its merits certainly, but it’s not for everyone. Today’s post is for those people who want to try something else. Say you’ve waded through the morass of HRT research and would prefer a different route. Or maybe you’ve actually tried conventional or bioidentical HRT and found it just didn’t work for you. Whatever the reason, you’re probably interested in using “natural” products if you can swing it and if it’ll actually help.

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Dear Carrie: Hot Flashes

From time to time, my wife Carrie pops in to answer questions from readers requesting a Primal woman’s perspective. Today, we’re updating a post she a while back regarding hot flashes and menopause. This topic continues to generate a lot of interest, so we wanted to ensure that the info here is up to date. Enjoy!

Hi, everyone! Thanks for the opportunity to offer my perspective on living Primal. I love this community and always enjoy contributing!

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Why You Should Be Practicing Balance Drills (with Video)

If you look at a human being, we shouldn’t be able to balance on our feet, let alone run and jump and dance and lift. Look at other bipeds and they have fail safes built in to prevent them from falling. Kangaroos have those enormous feet. Chickens have a super low center of gravity keeping them weighted down and stable. Apes, our closest relatives, can manage awkward bipedalism for a few strides but always default to all fours. Humans somehow walk around completely upright and manage to avoid falling over despite stacking our entire bodies on top of relatively small feet.

Well, mostly.

We’re always on the brink of falling over, of teetering to one side or the other. When we walk, we are doing controlled falling. When we jump, we must land. And we do fall, we do become misaligned. Our sense of balance is precarious and can fail. After all…

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The Definitive Guide to Blood Sugar

What’s sweet, red, sticky, and deadly?

Blood sugar. (I’m sure there are other things that qualify, but most of them contain sugar of some sort so I’m sticking with it.)

Too little of it, and you go into hypoglycemic shock. That can kill you if left untreated.

Too much of it, and you waste away slowly. Chronic overexposure to sugar will degenerate your tissues and organs.

Yes, getting blood sugar right is extremely important. Vital, even.

Today, I’m going to explain how and why we measure blood sugar, what the numbers mean, why we need to control it, and how to maintain that control.

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Maintaining Bone Density as You Age

If I could tell my older readers (or younger readers who plan on becoming older readers) one thing to focus on for long-term health, longevity, and wellness, it would be to maintain your bone density. Not eat this food or do that exercise. Not get more sleep. Those are all important, and many of them fall under the rubric of and contribute to better bone density, but “maintain bone density” gets to the heart of aging. Even the importance of muscle strength shown in longevity studies of older people could actually indicate the importance of bone density, since bone density gains accompany muscle strength gains. You can’t gain muscle without gaining bone.

That’s because bones aren’t passive structures. They are organs that respond to stimulus and produce hormones and help regulate our metabolism.
Osteocalcin, a hormone produced by bone-building osteoblasts, communicates directly with fat cells to release a hormone that improves insulin sensitivity. The osteocalcin produced by bones plays a key role in testosterone production and male fertility, helps regulate mood and memory, and even interacts with the brains of developing fetuses. It may also help improve endurance, with studies in mice showing that older mice were able to run almost twice as far after being injected with osteocalcin.

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What We Can Learn from World’s Longest Living Populations

Why do some people live well into their nineties with zero health problems, while others get sidelined by diabetes, heart disease, and autoimmune conditions? Sure, your genes play a role, but it’s your lifestyle that pulls the biggest lever. If you’ve followed the Primal Blueprint for more than a minute, you know it’s possible to reprogram your genes, regardless of what health struggles your parents or their parents faced. As a health coach, and someone who fully intends to become a centenarian one day, I’m fascinated by cultures who have their diet and lifestyle totally dialed in. Take the Blue Zones, for instance. These regions are spread throughout the world — but it’s not where they’re located that’s so important, it’s more about what the locals do on the daily that makes the biggest impact on their health. What’s Up with Blue Zones? Named by Dan Buettner, the National Geographic journalist who studied them, Blue Zones are five regions where people are known to live healthier and longer than anywhere else in the world, reaching the age of 100 at a significantly greater rate than most folks living in North America. Despite being scattered throughout the globe (the zones are in Greece, Italy, Japan, Costa Rica, and southern California), they share nine key lifestyle habits, including: Move naturally Have a clear sense of purpose Manage stress Eat ‘til you’re 80% full Consume a plant-based diet (stay with me here…) Drink in moderation Be part of a community Put family first Maintain a fulfilling social life I’m not saying you should drop your carnivore diet for one rich in grains and legumes, but you can’t argue with the fact that certain behavioural, societal, and environmental factors play a huge role in health and lifespan.   Is It Genetics or Lifestyle? The study that fueled Buettner’s research was this one published in 1996, which evaluated 2872 pairs of Danish twins over a thirty-year period. Researchers looked at a variety of genetic and lifestyle influences and determined that only about 20% of how long you live is dictated by your genes, where the other 80% is all about lifestyle. Since then, more and more studies continue to roll out confirming his findings. Like this one that analyzed the DNA methylation levels of 318 men and women, ages 65-105, revealing that epigenetic control in aging had less to do with the participants’ chronological age and more to do with how they lived their life. Not only that, recent studies exposed the grim consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, showing how factors including stress, isolation, and lacking purpose had a direct correlation to a decline in mental and physical health. According to research, loneliness shaves fifteen years off your life expectancy – roughly the same impact as being obese or smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. Since Buettner’s research has been out, several cities have adopted the Blue Zone principals and seen dramatic results. They’ve implemented these nine secrets of longevity to make it easier … Continue reading “What We Can Learn from World’s Longest Living Populations”

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