Don't just live longer—live better! The Most Effective Ways to Live Longer provides a road map to a longer, healthier life, advocating key strategies for the food, supplements, and lifestyle adjustments that will keep us going stronger, longer. With these strategies, you can win the battle against aging. Living a long life isn’t only about measuring the number of years lived, but how we live them. Dr. Beth Traylor and nutritionist and weight loss expert Jonny Bowden provide recommendations that will keep you strong, healthy, energetic, and active with every decade of your life. These methods —all backed by the latest research and scientific studies—are easy, yet work anti-aging miracles. There’s no better time to start than now. You’ll learn how to rein in "The Four Horseman of Aging":
- Free radicals, which cause oxidative damage that wear you down from the inside out;
- Inflamation, the “silent killer” that is a factor in almost every degenerative disease;
- Glycation, a process that is implicated in many of the diseases of aging
- Stress, which can cause more damage to your overall well-being than you think.
The book includes fitness tips for your body's "key players"—the heart, brain, bones, muscles, joints, immune system, and hormones. More and more studies are proving that we can strongly influence how long and how well we live. This fully revised and updated edition offers the smartest program for living a longer, healthier, better life.
|Publisher:||Fair Winds Press|
|Edition description:||Revised ed.|
|Product dimensions:||7.90(w) x 9.90(h) x 0.70(d)|
About the Author
Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS, (Woodland Hills, CA), also known as The Nutrition Myth Buster, is a nationally known, board-certified nutritionist and expert on diet and weight loss. He has appeared on the Dr. Oz Show, Fox News, CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC, and CBS and has contributed to articles in the New York Times, Forbes, the Daily Beast, Huffington Post, Vanity Fair Online, Men’s Heath, Prevention, and dozens of other print and online publications. He is a popular speaker who presents at both academic and consumer events all over the world.
Dr. Beth Traylor graduated with her medical degree from the Chicago Medical School/ Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences in 1984. She completed her residency in Family Medicine at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, a Northwestern University affiliate program. Dr. Traylor has been a board-certified family physician since 1987. During her 30+ year career as a practicing physician, she has focused on women’s health and hormone replacement therapy. It was on her own personal journey for optimal health that she began to study the science of Age Management Medicine. This emerging field of medicine supports evidence-based guidelines that can lead us on a proactive approach to wellness and disease prevention. Dr. Traylor earned her certification in Age Management Medicine in 2002 and has practiced with the internationally renowned Cenegenics Elite Health Group, as a Senior Institute Physician since that time. Dr. Traylor has, for the past six years, served as the President of the Board of the Cenegenics Education and Research Foundation, whose mission is to train doctors from across the globe how to apply the science of Age Management Medicine and support research in the field. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, a Diplomate of the American Board of Family Medicine, a member of the International and North American Menopause Societies, the American Society for Nutrition, the Endocrine Society, and the American College of Preventive Medicine.
Read an Excerpt
Fight the First Horseman of Aging: Free Radicals
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If you've ever seen rust on metal, you're familiar with oxidation (also known as oxidative damage), even if you didn't know the technical name for it. You're also familiar with oxidation if you've ever left apple slices out on a picnic table where they were exposed to the air. They turned brown, didn't they? That's oxidative damage. Oxidative damage to metal looks like rust. Oxidative damage to your skin looks like ... well, aging skin.
Preventing — or combating — oxidative damage (also known as oxidative stress or oxidation for short) is one of the major anti-aging strategies under your control, and you're more likely to do it if you understand why it's so important.
For those of you who don't remember high school chemistry (or would understandably prefer to forget it), electrons travel in pairs and orbit around atoms. Every so often, one of those electrons gets "loose" and pandemonium ensues. The molecule with the unpaired electron — known as a free radical — starts running around like a headless chicken trying to find its head. Free radicals are like college sophomores on spring break — temporarily free from the constraints of dormitory living, they basically go nuts and will "mate" with anyone! Free radicals "hit on" existing, stable pairs of electrons thousands of times a day, trying to find an electron they can pair- bond with and meanwhile, inflicting enormous damage upon your cells, your cell membranes, and even your DNA.
Once one of the paired electrons breaks off, the molecule or atom where it used to reside is now running around with an unpaired single electron. The presence of that "unpaired" electron turns our formerly stable molecule into what is known as a free radical — the raging bull of molecules. It's not a happy camper.
THE FIRST HORSEMAN OF AGING: FREE RADICALS
What they are:
Free radicals are dangerous molecules created from oxygen — sometimes called oxygen free radicals or reactive oxygen species.
The irony, of course, is that when it does finally steal an electron away from a stable molecule, that molecule becomes unstable itself and turns into a free radical (because it's now left with an unpaired electron). And the process begins again. The whole process is kind of like having a vampire on the loose: Each time a new victim gets bitten, it turns into a vampire and the whole sequence repeats. Anti-aging expert Ron Rothenberg, M.D., has a clever name for the sequence: He calls it "Cellular World War III."
Every time these free radicals "hit" on your cells looking for a mate for their unpaired electron, they damage the cells. This cumulative damage is a huge part of aging. "If the DNA is damaged when the cell divides to make new cells, the copies will be wrong and whatever function that cell performs will not be done correctly," Rothenberg says.
If "aging" is another name for "breakdown," then you can see immediately why free radicals age us. Cells break down, organ systems don't function as well, DNA becomes damaged, DNA replication — an incredibly complex and delicate, enzyme-dependent process — doesn't happen efficiently, and DNA can become mutated. When this kind of damage, accumulates in the body, it contributes to all sorts of disorders typical of aging. For example, when it accumulates in the heart or vascular system, you have heart disease. When it accumulates in the skin, you have aging skin.
There's not a disease of aging in which free radical damage is not an important component. That's why fighting free radical damage is such a running theme throughout this book and why you'll be hearing the term "antioxidants" in virtually every chapter.
The cellular and DNA damage that result from free radicals contributes to just about every disease you can think of.
Antioxidants refers to a class of substances, including certain vitamins, minerals, and many plant chemicals, that help neutralize oxygen free radicals, soaking them up like little sponges, thus limiting the damage they can do to your body. The reason cut apple slices don't turn brown so quickly when you squirt lemon juice on them is because lemon juice contains a fair amount of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.
THE FREE RADICAL THEORY OF AGING
The role of free radicals in aging has been recognized at least since the 1950s, when an innovative scientist (and 1995 Nobel Prize nominee) named Denham Harman, M.D., Ph.D., proposed the free radical theory of aging. Harman believed that as go the cells, so goes the body; if our cells age, our whole body ages (which makes perfect sense because we are, after all, made up of nothing but cells). Harman saw aging as the cellular accumulation of free radical damage over time — that our bodies are essentially "rusting from within."
Years later, the free radical theory of aging was expanded to include not just aging, but degenerative diseases in general. We now know that oxidative damage plays a major role in every degenerative disease of aging, from Alzheimer's and cancer to heart disease and diabetes and even immune dysfunction.
AVOID ENVIRONMENTAL FREE RADICALS BY GOING ORGANIC
There are several sources of free radicals, including the environment: tobacco smoke, air pollution, pesticides, herbicides, and contaminants in our water. All of these form free radicals — which we then take into our body by breathing, drinking, and eating — that contribute to the aging process and the diseases that kill us. This is what we mean when we talk of a "toxic environment" (and this is why I consider detoxification one of the "Seven Pillars of Longevity" — more on this later).
People who are constantly assaulted by these environmental free radicals — and who don't have good defenses against them — tend to age badly. The free radicals come into our body and attack our cells. They destroy genetic material, damage and mutate DNA, burden the immune system, and virtually destroy a cell's identity. The damage is enormous, and it's a huge part of what ages us.
Some of the obvious sources of free radicals — tobacco smoke, pesticides, and certain chemicals — are also sources of cancer-causing chemicals called carcinogens. The combination is lethal to anyone wanting to live in optimal health for nine or more decades. Smoking, for example, creates free radicals that damage the lungs and just for good measure, exposes us to carcinogenic chemicals. Tobacco smoke is literally a turbocharged free radical factory on steroids.
Then, there are the pesticides sprayed on crops. "Pesticides kill the pest by creating free radicals," says Hari Sharma, M.D., a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons and a consultant to the National Institutes of Health. "If you consume them, you will be damaged by those free radicals, also." At least fifty-three carcinogenic (cancer-causing) pesticides are applied in large amounts to the major food crops, according to a study by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In the first edition of this book, I mentioned a 2005 study that found 73 percent of fresh vegetables and fruits contained pesticide residues, as did 61 percent of processed fruits and vegetables, 22 percent of soybeans, 75 percent of wheat, a whopping 99 percent of milk and cream, and 16 percent of bottled water.
Alarming right? But since then, it's gotten worse. Data released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 2016 shows that the percentage has risen. In the latest study, 85 percent of the 10,187 samples tested had pesticide residues. No wonder that when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention tested for 116 pesticides and other artificial chemicals in the blood and urine of 2,500 volunteers they found detectable levels of 89 chemicals, including pesticides, phthalates, herbicides, pest repellants, and disinfectants. The Environmental Working Group — a nonprofit, consumer advocacy group, has been testing fruits and vegetables in the American food supply for many years, and each year publishes a list of what they call the "dirty dozen" — fruits and vegetables assessed to be the most contaminated of all. The list is updated every year, along with a complementary list called "the clean 15" — those fruits and vegetables that tested to have the lowest levels of contaminants and chemicals. You can find (and download) the "Dirty Dozen" list from the EWG website: www.ewg.org. "The effects of these chemicals may be difficult to separate from normally mildly debilitating aspects of the aging process," says professor Harvey Blatt of the Institute of Earth Sciences at Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
AGING FREE RADICALS FROM OUR OWN BODIES
The environment isn't the only source of these toxic free radicals. Our bodies are a virtual free radical factory. Now why in the world would you produce free radicals in your body, you might ask, especially because these are such dangerous and health-robbing compounds?
Good question, and the answer is simple: All free radicals aren't bad.
Our immune system, for example, produces free radicals to help protect us from harmful microorganisms and fight infections. The very process of creating energy — respiratory metabolism, or in simpler terms, breathing — creates free radicals. Free radicals can help activate enzymes and produce hormones. The problem arises when the amount of free radicals in our body is excessive and out of control. Then, the damage significantly outweighs the benefits.
Although free radicals can search for that extra electron anywhere, they cause the most damage when they are derived from oxygen. Yup, oxygen — the stuff you breathe and without which you couldn't live for more than a few moments. But oxygen has a dark side. Oxygen free radicals are actually one of the most damaging kinds on the planet. When oxygen molecules are the ones that give up their electrons, we're in big trouble. It's like those wild unpaired electrons decided to pick on the biggest, toughest guy in the schoolyard — and mayhem ensues. Free radicals derived from oxygen are known collectively as reactive oxygen species, and they are a virtual aging factory.
Oxygen-derived radicals are a normal part of aerobic metabolism, so they're constantly being formed. In fact, anywhere there's oxygen, there are oxygen free radicals. Doing some aerobic exercise? You're making oxygen free radicals! Just breathing? Oxygen free radicals! White blood cells are especially talented at producing oxygen free radicals, which they then use as a defense against invading microbes. But all those toxins from the environment that we spoke about earlier also have oxidizing effects on cells and produce tons of oxygen free radicals. So does radiation, which actually produces the most damage in tissues that have a heavy concentration of oxygen (we call these heavily oxidized tissues).
Another way free radicals age us is through their effect on DNA. You may remember from high school biology that your DNA is kind of like your own individual genetic instruction manual. It's found in every cell, and it's like a set of master blueprints that tell every other cell what to do. When free radicals attack the DNA in your cells, they screw up their ability to replicate properly and pass on their instructions. This kind of DNA damage eventually shortens your DNA strands and triggers a process called apoptosis, or "programmed cell death." It's as if you were passing on a repair manual that constantly got dropped in the dirt, burned at the edges, or dropped in the water and finally became so worn that anyone trying to use it couldn't read the words anymore and had to guess what was written on the page. A mechanic relying on a manual like that couldn't be counted on to do a good job with your car, and DNA that's been damaged like that doesn't do a good job of repairing and rebuilding your cells, tissues, and organs. The result? What we know as aging!
But wait, there's more!
EAT THE RIGHT FATS FOR FLEXIBILITY
One of the best-known toxic effects of oxygen free radicals is the damage to cellular membranes. Nothing will age you faster than an assault on your cell membranes, even though it takes place under the radar and even though you can't see it (except with a microscope). Why? Because the membranes are critical to cell health — they're what hold the cell together. Cell membranes have to be flexible enough to allow information to pass in and out, but stiff enough so that they don't collapse. They're delicate structures. (One of the reasons trans fats are so harmful is that they damage the cell membrane.)
Lipid peroxidation is the technical name for the damage to cell membranes caused by oxygen free radicals. It has a number of effects, none of them good. It can make the membranes stiffer. It can decrease the activity of enzymes that are bound in the membranes. It can alter the activity of membrane receptors. Ultimately, on the cellular level, lipid peroxidation ages you from the inside out.
To me, one of the most God-awful missteps made by conventional medicine and conventional public health policy has been to focus on cholesterol lowering as an anti-aging strategy when in fact the big risk factors for disease are oxidative damage and inflammation. Cholesterol itself doesn't do any damage in the body at all — until it's oxidized. When cholesterol just sits there minding its own business, it is perfectly harmless. Only when it gets attacked by oxygen free radicals does it become a problem.
If we could prevent the oxidation of cholesterol by fighting off free radical damage, as well as preventing or reversing the inflammation that nearly always accompanies this oxidative damage, we'd be sitting pretty. Oxidized cholesterol is indeed a health risk, but blaming cholesterol is like blaming the St. Bernard for the avalanche.
The Great Cholesterol Myth
Speaking of fat and cholesterol, let's take a moment to examine one of the central tenants of conventional health wisdom — the notion that saturated fat and cholesterol are terrible for us and should be avoided at all costs. You'll be reading a ton of stuff in this book that contradicts that conventional wisdom — which as it turns out, is very far from wise — so let's confront the elephant in the room right now so you don't have to spend the rest of the book wondering, "Why on earth are these guys recommending so many high-fat foods? Aren't they worried about cholesterol?"
Well, actually, no. They're not. And here's why.
Whenever celebrities die of heart related issues — George Michael, Carrie Fisher, and Alan Thicke being examples from the last decade — it raises our collective awareness about heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States. Awareness is always a good thing, but it's even better when accompanied by action. Unfortunately, mainstream medicine's prescription for action — lowering cholesterol — is way past its expiration date.
As I stated on The Dr. Oz Show, "Trying to lower heart disease by lowering cholesterol is like trying to lower calories by taking the lettuce off your whopper."
About half the people admitted to hospitals for coronary artery disease have perfectly normal cholesterol. Tim Russert, the popular moderator of Meet the Press, died of a massive heart attack on a treadmill, his cholesterol perfectly under control. His LDL was 68 and his total cholesterol was a jaw-dropping 105, figures that would make any conventional doctor very happy.
But if I had those numbers, I'd be seriously scared.
Low cholesterol is associated with a baker's dozen of bad outcomes, including increased risk for cancer, stroke, and ... counterintuitively ... heart disease itself. It's even associated with a significantly increased risk of suicide.
Cholesterol is a vitally important molecule for the brain, for the immune system, and for the creation of sex hormones and vitamin D. And our obsessive fixation on lowering it has actually caused us to lose sight of the meaningful steps we can take to lower our risk for heart disease. If you take away nothing else from this, remember that lowering heart disease and lowering cholesterol are very far from the same thing.
This is not the place to go into the fascinating history of how we got the whole cholesterol thing wrong (while, until very recently, giving sugar — a far more dangerous substance — a free pass). There are excellent books on the subject for anyone interested in how we got here — Nina Teicholz's The Big Fat Surprise, Malcolm Kendrick's The Great Cholesterol Con, Gary Taubes' The Case Against Sugar, and the aforementioned The Great Cholesterol Myth by myself and cardiologist Stephen Sinatra. For now, let's talk about what to do next.
In our book, we identified four factors that promote heart disease, not coincidentally these are the exact same four factors that promote many other degenerative diseases as well, the four factors that we're calling The Four Horsemen of Aging: stress, sugar, inflammation, and oxidative damage. Rather than spending another minute worrying about cholesterol, I'd much rather see us focus on lowering inflammatory markers like homocysteine, IL-6, and small particle LDL-b, reducing triglycerides and blood pressure, reducing oxidative damage to our cells and organs with antioxidant-rich foods, managing our stress, and eating less sugar. That's a plan for reducing heart disease. Cholesterol has almost nothing to do with it.
We've already talked about the five basic lifestyle interventions that can reduce heart attacks by up to 80 percent. And throughout this book, we'll be talking about ways to reduce that risk even more. (See here.)
Meanwhile, here are a few more things that increase your odds of dodging the heart disease bullet.
Omega-3. Wild salmon and fish oil supplements contain two powerful omega-3s which have been found to lower triglycerides and blood pressure. Omega-3s are also one of the most anti-inflammatory molecules on the planet, and virtually everyone can benefit from more. Buy the best you can afford. (You'll be reading much more on omega-3s throughout the book.)
Breathing. Four or five minutes with your eyes closed, sitting quietly or lying down, breathing deeply (5 counts in, hold for 5, exhale dor 5) will do wonders for your stress levels, blood pressure, and sate of mind. Of course, if you can meditate, that's even better!
Excerpted from "The Most Effective Ways To Live Longer"
Copyright © 2019 Jonny Bowden.
Excerpted by permission of The Quarto Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
INTRO: Read This First! 8
Section I Rein In The Four Horsemen Of Aging 13
Chapter 1 Fight the First Horseman of Aging: Free Radicals 26
Chapter 2 Put out the Fire of the Second Horseman of Aging: Inflammation 44
Chapter 3 Avoid the Damage of the Third Horseman, of Aging: Glycation 54
Chapter 4 Calm the Silent Killing of the Fourth Horseman of Aging: Stress 60
Chapter 5 How Much Influence Do Genes Have on the Four Horsemen of Aging? 66
Section II How To Keep The Key Players In Your Body Fit 73
Chapter 6 Start with the Eight Pillars of living Young 76
Chapter 7 Keep Your Heart in Shape 92
Chapter 8 How to Keep Your Brain Sharp 106
Chapter 9 How to Protect and Maintain Strong Bones, Muscles, and Joints 130
Chapter 10 Boost Your Immune System 156
Chapter 11 What You Should Know about Hormones 174
Chapter 12 What Do I Do Next? 206
Section III The Secrets Of Emotional Intelligence: Underrated And Ignored-Until Now 211
Conclusion: A Plan for You: The 7 × 3 Matrix of Healthy Aging 228
My Emotional Intelligence Workbook 244
My Longevity Journal 246
About The Authors 258