Tag: Aging

Magnificent Muscle

A research study out this week indicates type II muscle mass associated with strength training not only helps reduce body fat but alters overall metabolism.
Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have demonstrated that in mice, the use of barbells may be as important to losing weight and improving health as the use of running shoes. The discovery builds upon the fact that skeletal muscle consists of two types of fibers. Endurance training such as running increases the amount of type I muscle fibers, while resistance training such as weightlifting increases type II muscle fibers. Using a mouse genetic model, BUSM researchers demonstrated that an increase in type II muscle mass can reduce body fat which in turn reduces overall body mass and improves metabolic parameters such as insulin resistance. These studies indicate that weight bearing exercise, in addition to endurance training, may benefit overweight people.
via Science Daily

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Mature Muscle?

A few weeks ago we tackled the importance of lean muscle mass in aging and its typical correlation with organ reserve. Conventional wisdom tells us that muscle is easiest to develop when you are young, that we tend to lose muscle as we age, and that it becomes more difficult to put on muscle as we grow older. We thought we’d investigate and give you a clearer picture of what the research has to say.

Just to review, we’re talking skeletal muscle here, which includes two types of fibers. Type I fibers are associated with endurance training, while type II fibers are associated with weight training. It’s true that adults do tend to lose muscle mass during typical aging (typical being the operative word here), and it’s the type II fibers that are depleted. Type I fibers are generally preserved. But the type II fibers, research is finding, play a crucial role in regulating the body’s metabolism. These guys help direct the activities of tissues in other systems of the body. Given their influential roles, maintaining type II fibers (i.e. muscle mass) as we age can reduce the risk for diabetes and obesity.

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The Role of Lean Muscle Mass and Organ Reserve in Aging

There’s been a lot in the news lately about the question of longevity. This past week an article discussed the role of exercise in “biological aging,” the relative age of a person based on biomarkers (determined by telomere length in this study), rather than simple chronology.

To add to this discussion, I want to offer up a medically accepted dimension of biological aging that hasn’t gotten as much press lately. Lean muscle mass in happy tandem with organ reserve are two defining characteristics of both good health and longevity.

Have you ever heard someone say that a person died of “old age” or “natural causes”? Essentially, the person died as a result of the logical end of the aging process, the diminishment of organ reserve and corresponding muscle mass that supported his/her physical functioning.

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Study Finds Exercise Prolongs Lifespan

A study published Tuesday in the online edition of the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation suggests that frequent exercise can reduce the risk of death in men.

To examine the link between fitness and mortality, Veterans Affairs (VA) researchers gathered fitness data on 15,660 male VA patients undergoing treadmill testing for various medical reasons. The men, who had an average age of 60, where then assigned to one of four groups based on their level of fitness.

According to the results, mortality risk directly correlated with fitness level, with men in the highest fitness category being the least likely to die when compared to their less fit counterparts. For example, across the eight year study period, 44% of the men in the least fit group died, compared to 30% in the moderately fit group, 15% in the highly fit group, and 8% in the very highly fit group.

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The Hype Over Human Growth Hormone

A lot of questions hit the MDA doorstep about HGH, Human Growth Hormone, and with good reason. It’s been touted in some circles as a bottled fountain of youth among other grandiose claims. Countless companies have jumped on that bandwagon, peddling worthless products with HGH labels.

We love to take on the propagandists and snake oil sales industries, and today will be no exception. Shall we begin?

The Basics of HGH
The natural HGH coursing through your body right now is, indeed, a perfectly remarkable anabolic hormone. It’s produced by the pituitary gland throughout life, but the levels gradually decline with age. The hormone is key for children’s growth and the health of the body’s organs. It stimulates the growth of muscle, bone and cartilage and enhances immune function. HGH is prescribed for children who are abnormally short in stature and for adults with diagnosed pituitary deficiency.

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Drink up: Red Wine Ingredient Reduces Signs of Aging

Finally, the excuse you were looking for to hit the bottle: Researchers from Sirtris Pharmaceuticals this week announced that a derivative of an ingredient in red wine may help reverse the signs of aging!

The ingredient in question is resveratol, a naturally occurring substance in wine, that stimulates a gene known as SIRT1. In previous studies, the SIRT1 gene has been found to increase the lifespan of rodents, but this is the first study to test the theory in humans.

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Livin’ La Vida Long Time

Looking for a way to stave off a visit from the Grim Reaper? Follow four simple rules and you could earn yourself an extra 14 years as a mere mortal.
In a study of 20,000 British adults, researchers from the University of Cambridge and the Medical Research Council determined that people who exercise regularly, eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, drink moderately and quit smoking live 14 years longer than their less virtuous counterparts.

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Smart Fuel: Wine

Now this is some smart fuel we can live with! Step aside kale, move over broccoli: the best way to ward off a wintry cold is to drink red wine.
You’re not reading that wrong. Not one, but two major studies have just reported evidence that those who drink wine moderately – no more than two glasses a day – have better immunity and resistance to infectious cold viruses than those who do not drink. This benefit is cancelled out if you’re a smoker, however.
Of course, red wine is also healthy because it is rich in resveratrol, a vital antioxidant. To learn Mark’s great and creative ways to enjoy wine more often, read How to Drink More Wine and Eat More Chocolate Every Day.
polifemus Flickr Photo (CC)

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Medieval Serfs Ate Better Than We Eat

Here we are, the wealthiest nation on earth, from any time ever, with the greatest abundance of calories, variety, and nutrition, and wouldn?t you know: medieval peasants were healthier than we are.
The average peasant loaded up on root vegetables (referred to as ?pot herbs?), greens, several pints of antioxidant-loaded, nutrient-rich, full-bodied beer, and small portions of grass-fed meat or fresh fish totaling about 8 ounces by days? end. Daily bulk was provided in the form of millet, oats, and other sturdy, fibrous whole grains. Of course, peasants spent a minimum of 12 hours in hard labor every day, so their bodies quickly burned off the beer and barley.

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The Fountain of Youth, Coming to a Drug Near You

The anti-aging drug movement is upon us.

News reports out today inform us that Sirtris, a drug based upon the antioxidant resveratrol (found in red wine), will enter human drug trials as soon as next year. Aging – and so-called diseases of aging – is thought to be caused by cellular breakdown. And fundamental to the proper operation of a cell are the mitochondria. These “engines” of our cells are the key to disease prevention and longevity. From the article – which brings out the glamorous “Lance Armstrong has more powerful cells” example, naturally – we learn about the future of aging pharmaceuticals:

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