Tag: Aging

10 Interesting Predictors of Longevity

This isn’t a Homeric epic. There are no oracles laying out our destiny and predicting our inevitable demise. But even if we can’t know the precise date of our death, we can use certain biomarkers, measurements, and characteristics to make predictions—with a reasonable amount of accuracy—about a person’s propensity to kick the bucket.

As is the case with any observational data, these predictors may not be malleable. And if they are malleable, actively changing them won’t necessarily confer the longevity they’re associated with. Getting plastic surgery to appear younger probably won’t make you live any longer. But they do tell a story. They suggest the qualities, activities, behaviors, and exercise patterns that may, if maintained, lead to a better, longer life. At the very worst, walking a bit more briskly and gaining some lean muscle won’t hurt you, and it will very likely help you.

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10 Reasons to Eat More Collagen

For years, the bodybuilding, protein-gorging community has maligned collagen for its inessentiality and lack of input into the muscle-protein synthesis process. From their perspective, it sort of makes sense. Why bother with “low quality” protein like gelatin/collagen when you can pound the whey, eat the meat, and focus on other sources of the essential amino acids directly involved in building muscle?

Except the research is showing that these “nonessential” proteins are actually pretty darn useful.

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Dear Mark: Too Late for Health? Never.

For today’s Dear Mark, I’m answering just a single reader question, but it’s a big one. Janice and her husband have endured their family’s light-hearted ribbing about their “caveman lifestyle” for years. Now that the paterfamilias of the clan is severely obese, almost 80 years old, and recovering from a relatively mild stroke, the family has turned to Janice’s expertise for help changing his ways. How can she convince her father that it’s never too late to get healthy? That changing your diet, exercise, and lifestyle can improve even the most unhealthy person’s trajectory and enjoyment of life? She’s confident that if she can just get through to her dad, the rest of the family—who also needs an intervention—will inevitably follow suit.

Let’s give it a shot:

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Health Perspective for Every Stage of Life: Part 2

Last week I took up the subject of health through the varying stages of life. What does health mean to us? How should we develop it or live it within the scheme of the different stages we go through as logistical events and developmental maturity shift the focus and parameters of our lives? How do our major milestones challenge our approach to well-being? Let’s pick up that topic again and finish off the discussion. I hope you’ll share your own thoughts on how differing stages of life influenced your thinking about health and what approaches fit the times best for you.

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Health Perspective for Every Stage of Life: Part 1

Through my personal experience and through coaching and working with thousands of people over the years, I’ve had the privilege (and sometimes surprise) of more or less seeing it all. And, I’d like to think I’ve picked up some helpful perspective along the way. I thought I’d highlight some of that perspective on the unique challenges or “spirit” of health at each age—how to live well and take care of yourself through each of life’s phases. Look for part two next week!
Childhood – (a.k.a. Play Is All You Need)
Let me jump right in with the young ‘uns….

You lucky ones are as close to Grok instinct as it gets. Embrace it for all it’s worth. Don’t be in a rush to surrender your inner cave child.

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Dear Mark: The Latest Forbes Organic Column, Low Sodium Senior Napping, and Weston A. Price

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions from readers. First up, a Forbes columnist recently penned an anti-organic agriculture screed. In it, he makes the oft-repeated claim that organic is just a scam and really no different from conventional produce. Is he saying anything new — or useful? Should we avoid the often higher price tag of organic produce? The second comes from Susan, a healthy and active 70 year-old without any complaints — except that a midday nap is starting to sound more and more attractive every day. Could her low salt intake be the cause of her midday fatigue? Maybe. Next, what’s my take on Weston A. Price? How do his nutritional guidelines jibe with the Primal Blueprint?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Metformin for Life Extension, Too Many MEDs, MED for Lifting Addict, and Horseback Riding

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering four questions. First, does the diabetes drug metformin have life-extending potential for non-diabetics? Then, the final three questions come from the comment board of last week’s Minimum Effective Dose post. First, is it possible to try to do too many minimum effective dose workouts in a week. Yes, absolutely. I explain why a reader who seems to want to incorporate every single routine listed in last week’s post probably shouldn’t try. Next, what if someone truly loves training? Should he or she still try to figure out the minimum effective dose for his workouts? And finally, is horseback riding an effective stand-in for walking?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Diet for Alzheimer’s, and the Role of Competitiveness in Modern Life

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got just two questions, but they’re meaty ones. The first concerns a new study seeming to claim that all the foods we hold dear on the Primal eating plan — or at least a big portion of them — cause Alzheimer’s disease. Could it be true, or is the study, which is an epidemiological massage of existing data, maybe not quite so definitive as that? Also, what if we had a study showing that exact opposite: that following a Primal lifestyle (not just diet) could actually reverse Alzheimer’s-associated cognitive decline? Then, I discuss the role of competitiveness in life. Having been a top endurance athlete, I know a little bit about the subject. What does it mean these days, though?

Let’s go:

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Dear Mark: Preventing Age-Related Muscle Loss, Sprouted Barley-Fed Meat, and a Pistachio Downside

For today’s edition of Dear Mark, we’ve got three questions and three answers. First up is a question from Casey, whose father is losing strength and muscle despite maintaining an active lifestyle. What can he do — dietarily and otherwise — to staunch and reverse the losses? Next, Australian cattle farmers are increasingly turning to sprouted grain as a replacement for standard grain feed. How does it compare to pasture feeding? Are there nutritional differences between sprouted and regular grain fodder? And finally, what do we make of the recent study showing negative effects in cyclists who ate a high-pistachio diet for two weeks? Should we rethink our stance on pistachios — and nuts in general?

Let’s go:

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How We Die: End of Life Planning

Last week’s post on the fear of death got quite a discussion going, and I appreciated the perspectives that folks shared on the subject. One interesting issue that people raised involved the circumstances of dying itself – specifically dying within a traditional medical setting where interventions and technology to prolong life abound. It reminds me of the old Woody Allen quote, “I’m not afraid of death. I just don’t want to be there when it happens.”

As a whole we do, indeed, die differently these days compared to our ancestors – certainly Grok and his clan but perhaps even our grandparents/great-grandparents. Science, to its credit, has developed ways to save and even restore quality of life in situations that would’ve been our inevitable demise even a few decades ago. But it’s a different focus than efforts that simply prolong life in a technical sense. That leads me to today’s question: in a decidedly un-Primal medical world, what role can self-determination play in a “desirable” death as it does in a vibrant life?

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