As I sit here thinking about what junk food I’m going to indulge in today, Fat Friday, I fully realize that it is probably not the greatest idea. On top of the obvious reality that I will be feeding both of my longstanding sugar and salt addictions, I can appreciate that making this a habit will likely not help extend my life-expectancy.
I normally wouldn’t let such thoughts creep in on a Friday, except for the fascinating article I just read on the quest for longer life. This is just a bit of what I learned (some of it new to me, some not so new):
· Extreme longevity is determined largely by genes – that includes a long life span, as well as a long "health span". Noteably, the research has apparently revealed that of the centenarians studied none of them exercised regularly, almost 30% were two-pack-a-day smokers, and 30% were overweight or obese back in the 1950s (a time when this was not that common). Fat Friday here I come!
· That said, the most important observation in life-extension research was reportedly first made in 1935 – that feeding rats just barely enough to stay alive extended their life span by 50%. Since then, calorie restriction on health and longevity has been shown to hold true for more than just rats. Among other things, it also reportedly prevents heart disease, cancer, diabetes, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. It may also preserve intellectual function in rodents.
According to the article, researchers cannot tell whether calorie restriction extends human life, but they are trying to see if it improves the biomarkers of health status. Even if true, I certainly don’t think I have the desire to subject myself to a regimen of barest of nutritional necessities (and we all know the serious risks of taking this lifestyle to the extreme). So while it isn’t probably the best idea I’ve had this week, I think I may not toss my Fat Friday feast ritual out the window just yet….hey, my genes may dictate how long I last anyway!
Have a great weekend!
Natalia R. Angelini – Click here for more information on Natalia Angelini.