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"Keep your blood clean, your body lean and your mind sharp."
- Henry Rollins

In this post:

  1. World's oldest living person on record shares her secrets to keeping a sharp mind.
  2. How do ketones work?
  3. Have we got the science of obesity back to front?
  4. Metabolic flexibility: Your capacity to adapt to different fuels (fats or carbs) is associated with many pathological conditions including metabolic syndrome, T2D & cancer.
  5. Eye drops to correct blurry vision are here.

1. World’s oldest person celebrates 119th birthday

Kane Tanaka the oldest person

Born prematurely on February 2, 1903, Tanaka has had several major illnesses, and was infected with paratyphoid fever at the age of 35. She underwent pancreatic cancer surgery at the age of 45. In 2006, Tanaka was diagnosed with colorectal cancer and underwent surgery when she was 103 years old. Despite these health struggles, she is reached 119 years of age and with a sharp mind.

Kane Tanaka's secrets of staying sharp in extreme longevity:

  1. Kane likes to keep her mind active, and on a normal day at the nursing home, she wakes up at 6 a.m.
  2. She loves number puzzles and stays busy studying maths -- her daily routine for the afternoon hour.
  3. She was actively involved in the running of her family's grocery stores till the age of 103. In fact, Kane Tanaka was preparing to carry the Olympic torch ahead of the postponed Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics.
  4. Her love for fizzy drinks continues. Her great-granddaughter says chocolate and carbonated drinks are the centenarian's guilty pleasures.
  5. Tanaka has said that her family, her faith in God, sleeping well, always being positive and hopeful, eating good food, and practising mathematics has helped her live so long.
  6. One of Kane's favourite pastimes is a game of Othello and she's become an expert at the classic board game.
  7. The sense of community, inclusion and care of the old in the family and society keep their stress levels low and the society culturally rich.
  8. The Japanese never stuff themselves with food until they are full but practice "Hara Hachi Bu", which means eating until you’re about 80 per cent full.
  9. The Japanese diet mainly comprises fermented foods, roots, greens and fish. This also makes for a high intake of Omega-3 fats, known to protect against heart disease.

Source: Wikipedia | The Guardian Article | The Times Now Article

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 2. How do ketones work?

We know from previous studies that our brain metabolism can readily use ketone bodies as a primary source of fuel for the brain. What's more, it is widely accepted that ketone bodies (e.g., βHB), are not only a potential energy source for different tissues of the body, but also potent signaling molecules in the central nervous system and systematically.

We also know that taking exogenous ketones can acutely increase and sustain blood levels of ketone bodies, which is safe and well-tolerated method to reach the state of nutritional ketosis.

Because of this, exogenous ketones may be able to alleviate symptoms of different central nervous system diseases by elevating blood ketone levels without having to change dietary macronutrient composition.

Exogenous ketones have shown therapeutic potential, for example, in the treatment of anxiety and mental health, different types of seizure disorders and various neurodegenerative disease.

More at KetoNutrition.org

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3. Have we got the science of obesity back to front?

obesity concept

Image source: New Scientist

Dr David Ludwig: As their growth rate speeds up, teenagers may eat hundreds of calories more each day than they used to. Does this “overeating” cause the rapid growth? Or does the rapid growth, which requires more calories to build new body tissues, make teens hungrier so they eat more? Clearly the latter, as adults won’t grow taller, no matter how much they eat.

The key to how this works in obesity is hormones, especially the fat-storage hormone insulin. Processed, rapidly digestible carbohydrates – foods like sweetened breakfast cereals, potato chips and sugary beverages – raise our insulin level too high. This causes our fat cells to take in and store too many calories, leaving fewer available for the rest of the body. A few hours after eating a high-carb meal, the number of calories in the bloodstream plummets, so we get hungrier sooner after eating.

Replacing processed carbs with high-fat foods – such as nuts, full-fat dairy, grass fed ghee, olive oil, avocado and dark chocolate – lowers insulin levels, making more calories from the meal available for the rest of the body.

Counter-intuitively, higher-fat foods may help shed body fat, a possibility supported by clinical trials comparing high-fat diets with low-fat ones.

This way of thinking might help explain why calorie restriction usually fails long before a person with obesity approaches an ideal body weight. A low-calorie, low-fat diet further restricts an already limited supply of energy to the body, exacerbating hunger without addressing the underlying predisposition to store too many calories in body fat. Consequently, weight loss becomes a battle between mind and metabolism that most people will probably lose.

Source: New Scientist | @davidludwigmd 

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4. Metabolic flexibility

The efficient switching in metabolism depending on environmental demand.

eric berg metabolic flexibility

The loss of metabolic flexibility is a hallmark of many chronic metabolic diseases, but is likely something that can be restored and optimized through proper meal timing, food selection, exercise and specific biomarker tracking.

Mitochondria play a crucial role in determining metabolic flexibility.

Metabolic inflexibility is a hallmark of many age-related metabolic diseases but also plays a central role in, for instance, cancer and immune metabolism.

Molecular and signaling pathways drive metabolic flexibility and often serve as metabolic sensors.

Metabolic flexibility pathways are therapeutic targets for age-related diseases, similar to caloric restriction or exercise.

Read more: Metabolic Flexibility as an Adaptation to Energy Resources and Requirements in Health and Disease


5. Magic eye drops

First FDA-approved eye drops to replace reading glasses go on sale.

anatomy of the human eye

As we age, our lenses begin to harden, with the result being that it begins to take more and more effort for our eye muscles to squeeze them into different shapes to change their focal point. So we start squinting to see, or holding things at arm's length to read them; "reading with my [crotch]," as my grandpa used to say in slightly more florid language.

New prescription medication Vuity is administered once daily to the eyes, and its active ingredient pilocarpine is designed to stimulate the eye to reduce its pupil size, an effect which should last most of the day.

Reducing the size of the pupil, as any photographer who's ventured out of automatic mode will attest, increases the depth of field of an image, meaning that more of it should look sharp wherever the lens is focused. It's the reason why pinhole cameras give you sharper images than hole punch cameras.

Source: New Atlas

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Guest Author
Guest Author

This article was contributed by a guest author with expert knowledge in their field.

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