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Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 09 April 2014

vitamin-d_3by Tracy Smith

Technically, Vitamin D is not a true vitamin because, under the right circumstances, the body can synthesize its own using sunlight and cholesterol. It 's really a steroid hormone that strongly affects gene expression and resistance to multiple diseases. It 's vitally necessary for life and health, and new discoveries show that it 's more important for vibrant, youthful health than we ever thought before. Vitamin D deficiency is chronic around the world, even in developed countries. It 's estimated that the incidence of many cancers could be cut in half if we all got enough of this important nutrient. (ILLUSTRATION: Vitamin D3 is often available in gel caplet form.)

Humans and, in fact, most mammals create their own Vitamin D when exposed to direct sunlight. But, because excessive exposure to the Sun is known to increase the risk of skin cancer, doctors generally don 't recommend being out in the sunlight as a way to get adequate Vitamin D. Instead, supplements are called for.

Vitamin D, in its D3 form known to chemists as cholecalciferol (don 't worry, I won 't force you to pronounce it!), is absolutely necessary for health. It was first discovered over a century ago when doctors were trying to find a cure for rickets, a serious bone disease that often affects children. It was noticed that this disease started to become much more common during the Industrial Revolution, when large numbers of people moved from the countryside and outdoors work to polluted cities where they worked in dark, dingy factories. Scientists also found that those living in warm, sunny places were much less likely to contract rickets than those living in cloudy, northern, high-latitude climates. Eventually it was discovered that Sun exposure or the taking of cod liver oil could absolutely prevent the disease, proving it to be a deficiency disease, meaning that it is not caused by a virus or other microorganism, but by a simple lack of something essential in the victim 's diet. That "something " proved to be Vitamin D.

Vitamin D deficiency is very common. A study in France showed that fully 14 percent of otherwise healthy adults had extremely low levels of Vitamin D. Another study, this one of medical professionals living in New England, indicated that 42 percent of them had a Vitamin D deficiency by the end of Winter among those who did not take D3 supplements. But among those who did supplement their diet with D3, the deficiency rate was only 11 percent!

It 's pretty clear that without enough of this vitamin, you can get very sick indeed. And it 's also clear that many of us, in fact, aren 't getting enough. But there 's a lot more to Vitamin D3 than preventing rickets. The vitamin has anti-aging and anti-inflammatory aspects, and it has been shown to positively affect your mental outlook, too, helping to combat depression. Vitamin D3 can even help improve the lifespan and survival of the neurons which make up your brain and nervous system. Let 's take a look at what it can do for you!

One of the major problems faced by older women is osteoporosis, which greatly increases the risk of bone fractures and hip fractures late in life can sometimes amount to a death sentence. In a study commissioned by the Women 's Health Initiative, it was found that women on a Vitamin D3 and calcium carbonate supplementation program had 12 percent fewer hip fractures that women taking a placebo. These effects were seen on fairly high doses of D3 over 800 IU per day.

Vitamin D3 boosts your immune system and your body 's ability to fight off all kinds of diseases. Immune system cells have structures with Vitamin D receptors, and it 's been shown that being deficient in this vitamin increases your risk of of infection generally and especially increases your risk of autoimmune diseases.

Vitamin D3 helps your body fight off viral respiratory infections.

Vitamin D3 also has been shown to be beneficial in helping your body fight off the flu.

Vitamin D3 can help your body fight off tuberculosis.

In 2010, a presentation at the American College of Cardiology showed that patients with low Vitamin D levels who were suffering from the leading cause of death among human beings worldwide cardiovascular disease were about 30 percent less likely to die if they took Vitamin D3 supplementation.

Studies suggest that Vitamin D has a role in inhibiting the proliferation of cancer cells: Even though high sunlight exposure increases the risk of skin cancer (and a few other kinds), a large number of cancers have a risk profile that is actually decreased with large amounts of sun exposure (which increases the body 's own Vitamin D production). Hodgkin 's lymphoma and myeloma, cancers of the small intestine, pancreas, and kidneys; as well as cancer of the colon, bladder, vulva, uterus, stomach, rectum, and prostate all have this inverse relationship with sun exposure and Vitamin D production.

Vitamin D also evidently has a role in reducing the incidence of Parkinson 's and Alzheimer 's diseases: 41 percent of Alzheimer 's patients and fully 55 percent of Parkinson 's disease patients were found to be deficient in Vitamin D.

Among Multiple Sclerosis (MS) patients, Vitamin D3 supplementation was found to both decrease the number of lesions and increase the ability to walk and perform daily tasks. It 's also been discovered that relapses are more common among victims of MS who are deficient in Vitamin D. And it has long been observed that the incidence of Multiple Sclerosis decreases the closer you get to the equator, where there is more exposure to the Sun and hence more natural Vitamin D production.

Vitamin D3 taken in combination with calcium has been shown to decrease mortality in the elderly by some nine percent.

Some call Vitamin D the "sunlight vitamin" because our bodies synthesize it naturally when we are exposed to direct sunlight. The only danger is that too much sunlight isn't good for you -- it can increase your risk of skin cancer. So be careful!

Some call Vitamin D the "sunlight vitamin " because our bodies synthesize it naturally when we are exposed to direct sunlight. The only danger is that too much sunlight isn 't good for you it can increase your risk of skin cancer. So be careful!

One way to insure you 're getting enough Vitamin D is the natural way: Sun exposure. But you have to be careful with this approach, since more than 15 minutes a day of direct, unscreened sunlight on your skin has been shown to increase your chances of developing skin cancer. But getting five to ten minutes a day, two to three times every week, of direct sunlight on your arms, hands, and face should be safe, and should also be enough to prevent any deficiency in the vitamin, according to experts.

The body can also absorb extra Vitamin D if you eat certain foods. Making sure you consume fat-containing fish, like eel, catfish, tuna, salmon, mackerel, and sardines can help. If you 're a vegetarian, cereals, cheese, fortified milk, and egg yolk are also rich in the nutrient.

The United States Institute of Medicine has established a recommended daily intake of Vitamin D3 at 600 IU (International Units) for those 70 and under and 800 IU daily for those 71 and up. The International Osteoporosis Foundation recommends even more, suggesting that Vitamin D levels that require a daily intake of 800 to 1000 IU daily are more appropriate.

Much higher doses can be taken safely, too, but don 't ever get close to 300,000 IU in any 24-hour period or 10,000 IU per day for three months or more: such doses can be toxic. Remember that too much of anything, even the most harmless things like water, can be harmful.

Unlike drugs, Vitamin D is a natural compound one that your body needs and one that your body also makes itself every time you go out in the Sun. You need it, and, thanks to modern technology, you can easily and inexpensively make sure you 're getting the maximum benefit possible from this health-boosting and life-improving nutrient the vitamin that isn 't really a vitamin!


Tangpricha V, Pearce EN, et al. "Vitamin D insufficiency among free-living healthy young adults. " Am J Med. 2002; 112:659-62
Mohr, S.B. "A brief history of vitamin D and cancer prevention. " Annals Epidemio. 2009 Feb; 19(2):79-83

Schleithoff S.S., et al. "Vitamin D supplementation improves cytokine profiles in patients with congestive heart failure: a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. " American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2006 Apr; 83:4, 754-759

Holick, M.F. "Sunlight and vitamin D for bone health and prevention of autoimmune diseases, cancers, and cardiovascular disease. " Am. Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2004 Dec; 80(6 Suppl):1678S-88S

Regulska M, et al. "Involvement of PI3-K in neuroprotective effects of the 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 analogue PRI-2191. " Pharmacol. Reports. 2006 Nov; 58:6,900-907

Jackson RD, et al. "Calcium plus vitamin D supplementation and the risk of fractures. " New England Journal of Medicine. 2006;354:669-83

Aranow, C. "Vitamin D and the immune system. " Journal of Investig. Medicine. 2011 Aug;59(6):881-6

Evatt, M.L., et al. "Prevalence of Vitamin D Insufficiency in Patients With Parkinson Disease and Alzheimer Disease. " Arch Neurol. 2008; 65(10):1348-1352

Rejnmark, L., et al. "Vitamin D with Calcium Reduces Mortality: Patient Level Pooled Analysis of 70,528 Patients from Eight Major Vitamin D Trials. " Journ. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. 2012 May 17

Vitamin D Council, "Am I getting too much Vitamin D? ",, retrieved 22 March, 2014


Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 09 May 2015

Ten Ways to Live Ten Years Longer, Youthfully

by Dean Darcy

NO MATTER how old you are now, 21 or 71 - or older - the time to start extending your lifespan is now. The aging process is inevitable, but many new discoveries of the last few years can slow down its effects, leaving you healthier and more youthful and active, longer than your parents or grandparents - or any prior generation we know of.

But life extensionisn't just going to happen because you're alive in the 21st century. Agribusiness and the big drug companies aren't necessarily going to give you the right kind of products or information to maximize your lifespan and quality of life - they're going to promote the products that make them the most profit. It's up to youto do the reading and research and critical thinking to take charge of your health and your life.

Living in the 21st century does give you some tremendous advantages, though. Never before has there been more research into life extension and health - and never before has access to that research been easier, thanks to electronic publishing and the Internet.

Let's review some of the things we know are very important if you want to maintain radiant health during an active and long life - ten things that could help you live ten years longer, youthfully.

1. Exercise:

We know now that modern lifestyles - where we typically sitand work, sitas we drive from place to place, sitand watch television, sitwhile we access the Internet - make our waistlines balloon. But did you know that this sedentary lifestyle can also take years off your life?

The latest research shows that one cause, perhaps the major cause, of the aging process is the shortening, over time, of the protective segments of DNA - called telomeres - at the ends of the chromosomes in every single cell of your body.

Every time your cells divide, the telomeres get shorter and shorter, and shorter telomeres eventually prevent cells from dividing further, spelling cellular death. Telomere shortening has also been found in association with many symptoms of aging, including senile dementia and elevated blood pressure.

There is an enzyme called telomerasewhich counteracts this constant telomere shortening, however. And, according to a study published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, regular, intense exercise - in addition to giving us innumerable and well-known benefits like weight loss, increased energy, sense of well-being, resistance to depression, less bad cholesterol, lower resting heart rates, and lower blood pressure - alsowas found to activate telomerase and stabilize telomeres!

That means that exercise has a benefit we didn't know about until just recently - it directly addresses a major cause of aging. To get this benefit, the study suggests that the exercise must be both intenseand long-term, like that of professional athletes. If you've been out of shape for some time, you might have to start slowly and build up to an intense regimen over a period of many months. Remember, even though exercise seems like hard work if you haven't been active for a long time, most people report that, after a while, it gives them moreenergy throughout the day, and feels so good (as a result of the release of pain-suppressing endorphins) that they never want to miss a session. Since it has so much health- and lifespan-increasing potential, what's your excuse for not giving it a try?

2. Replace processed foods with natural foods:

The big food corporations add huge quantities of preservatives, salt, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, and texturizing agents to many of the foods on our grocery store shelves. Needless to say, these additives are notput there to enhance your health. Industrial-scale food production and distribution involve lengthy time delays and huge inventories. If these companies didn't load them with preservatives, these foods would go bad while being transported or stored.

And competition in the food business is cutthroat, with fortunes made or lost by capturing or losing a few percentage points of market share. The executives at these companies know that market share can often be gained by adding a bit more salt or a bit more sugar or a bit more artificial flavoring or coloring than the "other guy."And we, the consumers, get accustomed to - or even addicted to - that sweet, salty, zippy, "flavor enhanced" taste. So, over time, use of these additives ratchets up - almost never down - and we consumers end up eating food that is increasingly composed of chemicals and empty calories and less and less real nutrition (processing often strips foods of nutrients, too).


For example, food corporations responded to the publicity about the bad health effects of saturated fats by replacing them with what was thought to be a heart-friendly alternative: trans fats. But new research has now proved that trans fats are in fact twice as badfor your heart as saturated fats. Some studies say they cause up to 100,000 heart disease-related deaths every year. Trans fats decrease cholesterol, all right - but it turns out they reduce the "good cholesterol" (HDL cholesterol) and actuallyincrease the bad LDL kind. By increasing your LDL levels, and also increasing your levels of lipoprotein and triglycerides, something that saturated fat doesn't do, trans fats contribute to clogged arteries.

Trans fats can hide under a number of different names on ingredient labels: Look for the terms "partially hydrogenated," "hydrogenated," or "fractionated." Cutting out trans fats can make you 53 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup is another additive to avoid. It's been linked to increased chances of arthritis, high blood pressure, diabetes, and obesity. You'll have to give up all sweetened soft drinks to avoid it, and a lot of other things, even cheap rolls and hamburger buns - so read your ingredient labels.

Grains and Starches

Refined grains are another culprit, providing your body with empty calories with much of the beneficial nutrients and fiber naturally present in grain stripped away. Avoid white bread, white rolls, low-fiber cereal, white rice, and white pasta.

Replace them, consistently, with whole grain products - like kasha or bulgur, dark bread, cooked oatmeal, brown rice, popcorn, bran, and others - and see your risk of heart attacks go down by almost a third. Read the ingredient labels and look for whole oats or whole grain with a high fiber content of two, three or more grams per serving.

Avoid Processed Food

A great way to minimize the amount of processed foods you eat is to start buying food at your local farmers' market, where you can eliminate the middlemen and all their additives and practices. If you still shop at the supermarket, there are organicfoods there if you take the trouble to look for them. Use extra virgin olive oil for cooking, and consume lots of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. A widely varied diet, eating foods that are as fresh, unprocessed, and natural as possible should be your goal.

3. Don't smoke or abuse drugs:

Do I really have to tell you not to smoke tobacco or abuse drugs, prescription or "recreational" (including alcohol)? Do I really have to tell you that inhaling smoke - whether from cigars, pipes, cigarettes, or marijuana "joints" - is very bad for your throat and lungs, proven again and again to severely increase your risk of painful, irreversible, fatal cancer?

Do I really have to point out that overmedicating yourself to "feel good" - as a substitute for having and happy and healthy lifestyle that naturallymakes you feel better than any drug - is a very bad, health-destroying idea? Looking at human behavior as a whole, I suppose I do!

The human body was made to take in natural food and drink that enhancebodily and mental function, notelevated levels of the artificial compounds of Big Pharma - or misused natural substances that make you intoxicated. There's a reason the word "toxic" is contained within the word intoxicated. There may be exceptions for illness and extraordinary situations (for example, chronic severe pain is more dangerous to health if untreated than the painkillers needed to treat it), but overmedication as a lifestyle choice kills thousands of people every year, and blights the lives of millions.

Alcohol accelerates age-related brain deterioration, which can manifest itself as early as age 30 and accelerates rapidly by age 50. Cognitive deficits and an increased chance of dementia are associated with misuse of amphetamines, "ecstasy," marijuana, heroin, oxycontin, and other opiates. In a very real sense, your brain is you. Are you really sure you want to impair it temporarily and possibly damage it permanently?

Think on these facts and then act:

A 30-year-old non-smoker of tobacco can expect, on average, to live 18 years longerthan a 30-year-old smoker.

Heavy marijuana use can increase your risk of lung disease, chronic cough, mucus, nasal congestion, and can trigger lack of motivation, decrease in sexual desire, and weight gain - and long-term use can lead to significant deficits in memory, attention, and other cognitive abilities.

Heavy alcohol use can take ten to 12 years off your lifespan. Not only does it increase risk for heart disease, liver disease, and stroke, but your chances of death by violence or accident are increased by alcohol abuse - and alcohol overdose itself can be a cause of death.

4. Take a good vitamin supplement:

There's no substitute for eating a highly varied diet of fresh, natural foods. You can't just pop a few vitamin pills while subsisting on a diet of junk food and expect to be healthy - there are so many nutrients, minerals, fibers, and trace elements in good food that no cocktail of supplements can adequately replace them. Scientists admit, furthermore, that there are probably unknown beneficial elements in natural food that haven't even been discovered yet!

Nevertheless, taking vitamins and other nutritional supplements can benefit your health: You can't always eat your preferred diet every day - schedules and unplanned emergencies sometimes prevent it. Taking supplements can ensure that we get specific required nutrients nevertheless. Some of us practice veganism or religious diets that make it harder to get certain nutrients. Sometimes stress or illness depletes some elements in our bodies, and age can cause lower production of certain hormones to below replacement levels. Supplements can help in many of these situations, when lifestyle changes and intense exercise are added to the mix.

A daily (sometimes several times daily for certain formulations) multivitamin can make sure that you're getting the basic minimum nutritional requirements for vitamins and certain other substances as set out by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Many anti-Aging physicians believe that some of the FDA suggestions for daily vitamin intake are lower than they should be.

There are so many different brands and manufacturers of vitamins and other supplements that it can be quite confusing to the end user. Several independent organizations have testing procedures and manufacturing requirements that must be met before their seal of approval - shown on the product's packaging - can be displayed. These include U.S. Pharmacopeia,, Life Extension Foundation, and NSF International.

5. Exercise your mind:

For many years, the "received wisdom" in the health community was that you could never increase the number of cells or neural connections in your brain - what you were born with was what you were stuck with, and any losses, such as from injury or alcohol abuse or aging, were permanent. You simply couldn't recover.

But the latest research has shown that that's not true. With proper stimulation, nutrition, and exercise the human brain can create new brain cells and connections between them. This growth of new cells -- called neurogenesis-- takes place in a part of the brain called the hippocampus, which is associated with learning, memory, and emotion - and, properly stimulated and nourished, this growth can continue throughout a person's lifespan.

Synapsesare the connections between nerve cells in our brains, and our thinking processes are totally dependent on communication between cells. This communication relies on the exchange of chemical signals, called neurotransmitters, at each of these, literally, trillions of synapses. For proper mental functioning, our brain cells and synapses must be maintained in top condition. Breakdown of cells and synapses can occur due to injury, disease, disuse, or aging. Such breakdown can negatively affect our mood and cognitive functioning, possibly leading to depression, memory loss, lower intelligence and problem-solving ability, and, in extreme cases, even dementia or Alzheimer's disease.

Stress, especially long-term stress, can cause synapses to malfunction. Removing sources of severe, long-term stress can improve brain health (and overall health, too). Loss of synapses can also be caused by alcohol, PCP, ketamine, and exposure to heavy metals and pesticides.

One source of synapse dysfunction is totally under our control, thankfully: lack of stimulation. A lack of proper stimulation has recently been found to correlate with with reduced synaptic function, which, if it goes far enough, can increase the likelihood of contracting Alzheimer's disease. It was found that older subjects who had demanding jobs requiring a high degree of skill or education actually had between 15 and 20 percent more synapses per neuron than average. Studies have also shown that senior citizens who engage in mentally-challenging activities, such as working crossword, chess or Sudoku puzzles, or playing a musical instrument, have significantly less chance of developing dementia.

Brain health and mental acuity are directly linked, so follow these tips to maximize your synaptic function throughout your life:

Exercise - a good, and regular, workout maximizes brain function and promotes the factors that allow brain growth. Don't sit and vegetate - keep that body moving! Walk, run, hike, lift weights. It's good for your brain as well as your muscles.

Cut down on stress - relax, engage in hobbies, do lots of pleasant activities with your loved ones, meditate, and don't overwork yourself. Chronic stress actually damages the brain.

Expose yourself to mental challenges and new experiences - take up activities you've never done before, learn a new and complex skill, visit places you've never seen, do puzzles, read widely, meet new people, take classes in unaccustomed subjects. All of these can be very beneficial in warding off the usual affects of aging on the brain and can add many top-functioning, happy years to your life.

6. Be spiritual and positive:

Having a positive attitude can add years to your life - to be specific, studies show that being positive about aging itself can add an average of seven and a half yearsto your lifespan. No one knows for sure why this is, but many researchers believe that there is a connection between positivity and the will to live. Having a strong will to live encourages the individual to take action to improve health, and positivity is linked to lower stress levels.

Aging-positive people don't deny the beauty and strength of youth, and in fact many exercise and stay in shape as much as their age allows, but they also recognize that maturity and experience and depth of understanding can increase as we grow older. Appreciation for one's own good qualities gives a sense of well-being that apparently has a positive effect on health - and on how long we live.

Spirituality- believing that our lives are a part of something greater - has also been shown to help us live longer. A study by the National Institute on Aging found that people who attended some kind of religious service once a week were 46 percent less likely to die in a given period of time than those who did not. Even when corrected for factors such as age, sex, race, prior health, and other factors, there was still a 28 percent difference - comparable to the difference between smokers and non-smokers!

It doesn't always seem to be the religious services themselves that make the difference: Other studies have shown comparable benefits among people who simply consider themselves spiritual- lowered blood pressure, less chance of suffering strokes, and less incidence of anxiety and depression. You can also benefit greatly from the social networks you form when part of a church or other spiritual community.

7. Boost your antioxidants:

One of the ways we age is through oxidationof our cells: Oxygen, as we all know, is necessary for life - but oxygen also interacts with the other substances in our bodies, causing cellular damage. Oxidation causes changes in body chemicals that result in particles called free radicals. Alcohol, cigarettes, and air and water pollution can also induce free radical production. Free radicals damage cells, alter important body chemicals, and can even lead to changes in cellular DNA, so cells don't reproduce properly and quickly die. Heart disease, diabetes, and cancer can be exacerbated by free radical damage, and research has shown that the ever-increasing number of free radicals in our system as we get older is a significant factor in the aging process.

An antioxidantis a natural or man-made substance that can prevent or reverse the damage caused by free radicals. Though the body produces some antioxidants on its own, it's a good idea to include antioxidant-rich foods as a substantial part of your diet. Try whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, especially foods containing seeds and nuts. Don't overdo supplements, but some that have antioxidant properties are vitamins E, C, and A, as well as selenium, beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene.

8. Sleep well:

Humans evolved over millions of years to be diurnal creatures: sleeping during the hours of darkness and being active during the hours of light. Acting in accord with our inner nature is wise, and science confirms the health benefits of deep, long, and regular sleep. You can juggle the hours around a bit, but consistently denying yourself proper sleep can take years off your lifespan.

Of course, we all know that a tired driver or equipment operator can end up dying violently, but that's far from the only risk. For the maximum lifespan-boosting effect, researchers have found that, for most of us, sleeping more than six and less than nine hours every night is best - with the higher hours best for young people and the shorter best for older folks. Studies have shown that those who get regular, restful sleep have a lower incidence of heart disease, depression, and stress-related disorders.

Here are some tips for sleeping well:

Shut out distractions while you relax and read, or meditate, just before turning out the light.

Let your room temperature be a bit on the cool side during your hours of sleep.

If others are up in the home, close your bedroom door, and ask others to close theirs and be reasonably quiet.

If noises keep you awake, consider getting a "noise machine" that can mask them with a rushing noise, a simulation of ocean surf, or other pleasant sounds. Simply running a fan can help too.

Keep your room reasonably dark while you sleep. A little light, like that from a night light (or from behind closed blinds if you must sleep during the day) is all right, but flashing or moving lights (such as those from some modems, car headlights, or a television screen) can easily disturb your tranquility.

9. Protect your skin:

Probably nothing affects your appearance more than your skin - and no organ of the body is more subject to impact from your environment. One of the main factors in aging your skin (and also possibly causing cancer) is sun exposure. The ultraviolet (UV) rays of the sun can do damage to the microscopic underlying structure of the skin, and, even though this damage can be almost invisible when you're young, it is cumulative. The days you spent baking under the hot rays at 20 or 30 can really haunt you when you're 50 or more.

To avoid UV damage to your skin, severely limit your time spent outdoors when the sun is most intense, roughly between 10AM and 2PM: 15 minutes or less is best. And, when you must go out, wear a sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or more, and wear long pants, long-sleeve shirts, and wide-brimmed hats if possible. And don't smoke: Studies show that smokers experience more age-related skin damage than non-smokers.

Although some inevitable effects of aging will impact the appearance of your skin - the long-term effects of gravity on your cheeks, and the lines on your face from your customary expressions repeated again and again over a lifetime, for example - there arenutrients that can help heal the skin from the inside out, and often these are more effective than slapping on some skin cream or moisturizer. Vitamin D is vital for good-looking, healthy skin. It's not naturally found in foods - the body synthesizes it from sunlight - so some of us need supplements if we stay inside all the time or live at higher latitudes. Soy milk and foods containing vitamin C are known to decrease wrinkling, and the caffeine that moderate tea and coffee drinkers consume helps block a protein that skin cancer cells need to divide, providing some protection. Vegetables, nuts, and whole grains are also thought to be beneficial in keeping your skin youthful-looking.

10. Have a healthy sex life:

I'm sure that none of you doubt that having an active, healthy sex life is beneficial. But not only does regular sexual intercourse give intense pleasure, improve self-esteem, banish sadness, make the next generation possible, and foster closeness, bonding, and love - but it also can improve your health and help you live years longer than you could without it.

Here are some of the benefits:

Oxytocin is a chemical released during orgasm that has been shown to increase trust and facilitate a bond of loyalty and love between partners - and it also lowers blood pressure, calms the nerves, and counteracts the effects of cortisol, a stress hormone.

The more often a man engages in sex, up to once a day, the less likely he is to get prostate cancer, according to an Australian study in 2003, research later confirmed by the National Cancer Institute.

Women who have frequent vaginal intercourse have a lower risk of breast cancer than those who don't.

Frequent intercourse enhances your ability to communicate emotions effectively and leads to enhanced intimacy and honesty in interpersonal communications, as well as an increase in self-esteem and sense of well-being.

Levels of the hormone prolactin rise significantly immediately after orgasm, which can actually help form new neurons in the part of the brain receptive to both smells and new memories.

Men and women who have sexual intercourse a couple of times a week or more have higher levels of the antibody that fights colds and flu.

It's been proved that another beneficial effect of oxytocin, released during orgasm, is a reduction in headache and body pain by as much as one half.

Most importantly, many studies have proved that an active sexual life actually helps you live longer: Make love two times a week - or preferably more - and you'll have a notably lower risk of experiencing strokes, heart attacks, and heart disease generally.

Final words

What's the lesson here? Just this: You can take charge of your life, and improve both its quality and length, to an extent never known before in history. By following a few simple guidelines, investing some effort, time, and a little money, and by being informed by the latest research, you can live longerand be happier- and be a better lover, partner, parent, and friend than you ever thought possible. The only thing that can stop you is inertia - so get moving today!


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Written by Dr. Welsh, Article reviewed and edited by Dr. Fine M.D..
Published on 15 March 2014

The Truth About the Zone Diet

One of the most effective ways to safeguard your health, live longer, and alleviate the impact of aging on your body is to eat a good diet. The Conscious Evolution Institute offers strong diet and nutrition plans in combination with our various Hormone Replacement Therapy options in order to help you maximize the potential benefits of therapy. The Age-Free Zone Diet is one of many viable diet options if you are looking to improve your health and reduce your risk of a number of Age-Related Medical Conditions

Age-Free Zone Diet

This diet was created by a man named Doctor Barry Sears. The goal of this diet is to simultaneously help you lose weight and help you live an optimized life full of vitality. The central premise of the Age-Free Zone Diet is that there certain factors which contribute to the aging process which can be controlled, and that four of the factors which speed up the aging process the fastest are free radicals, cortisol, blood glucose, and insulin. The goal of this diet is to control and reduce the levels of these Aging-Associated Factors through lifestyle and diet so that you can balance them in order to significantly reduce your mortality risk.

Zone Diet Overview

  • Goal of the diet is to balance hormone levels in order to slow down aging

  • Calorie-restricted diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates

  • Involves the use of diet supplements

Who Should Consider the Zone Diet?

This diet is best for individuals that love meats like chicken, fish, and pork, and also for individuals that don't feel that they can completely restrict their carbohydrate consumption but would be able to limit their consumption modestly.

Who Should Not Consider The Zone Diet?

This diet is not suitable for individuals that need to limit their protein consumption, such as individuals with kidney problems. If you have Type-Two Diabetes, you should discuss this diet with your physician before initiating your plan because most medical professionals recommend eating slightly more carbohydrates than are allowed in this diet.

The Specifics of the Zone Diet

This diet is not explicitly designed as a plan to lose weight, but caloric-restriction plays a significant role in the diet, making it also effective for people that want to lose weight. Sears is a fan of caloric restriction because he is of the opinion that restricting calories is an effective means to limit the impact of aging even in individuals at a healthy weight.

The Age-Free Zone Diet is a combination of lifestyle changes and diet, which combine in an effort to optimize health and wellness. The three primary factors of this health plan are dieting, moderate physical activity, and meditation.

Although lifestyle choices play a big role in this diet, the primary focus of the plan is scaling back calories consumed in the daily diet by avoiding simple carbs and limiting total carb consumption. By tightly controlling the consumption of carbohydrates, the body does not rely so heavily on insulin, which is responsible for converting carbohydrates into glucose.

In addition to controlling insulin, the diet plan also impacts the balance of a number of different hormones, including Melatonin, DHEA, Testosterone, Human Growth Hormone, Progesterone, Estrogen, and Thyroid Hormone, all of which are important to maintain properly in order to optimize one's health. In men, for example, efforts are made to optimize Testosterone and Human Growth Hormone Secretion and to limit DHEA and Estrogen Levels in the body.

How Does the Zone Diet Slow Down the Effects of Aging?

Based upon the theory behind this diet, Caloric Restriction is an effective means both to lose weight while also limiting the negative impacts of elevated Insulin and Blood Sugar. Living by this health plan also limits the impact of Free Radicals on health. Free Radicals are the byproducts of oxygen reactions in the body which can damage cells if not controlled effectively.

Sears does not recommend severe caloric restriction, however. The goal of his diet is to intake just enough carbs to function optimally without experiencing unnecessary side-effects of over consumption. Maintaining these limited-yet-optimal levels will still give your body all the energy it needs to sustain itself effectively while also keeping Insulin, Glucose, and Free Radicals in check.

A high-protein, low-carb diet is the central feature of this diet plan, but the Zone Diet also involves the use of anti-aging supplements and antioxidants. In spite of these recommendations, Sears insists that exercise and foods play the most significant role in balancing hormone production in order to enhance longevity.

How is the Age-Free Zone Diet Organized?

The Zone Diet takes a common approach to stimulate metabolism: spreading out meals and snacks throughout the day. In the case of this particular method, the dieter will ideally eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner with two snacks distributed between meals. Every meal will involve four courses per meal for men, and three courses per meal for women. Each meal will have one source of fat, one source of carbohydrates, and one source of protein. This diet plan even comes with a diet cookbook which provides fourteen days worth of meals as well as a number of additional, helpful recipes.

To provide a more clear vision of what you can expect from your meals with this diet, breakfast might involve fruit salad, low-fat cheese, and soy patties. Lunch would involve reduced-fat cheese, turkey breast, lightly dressed tossed salad, and a fruit choice. An example of a Zone Diet Dinner would be grilled fish, grapes, green beans, and tomatoes topped with olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

In addition to meal plans, the Age-Free Zone Diet Book will provide you with examples of a number of quality choices for your meals and snacks in general, and provide you with knowledge needed to maintain a healthy diet.

The Rules of the Zone Diet

  • Eat within an hour of waking up.

  • Never wait for longer than five hours between meals and snacks. Eat something light even if you aren't hungry.

  • Every snack and meal should involve protein.

  • Place an emphasis on vegetables and fruits and make strong efforts to cut back starches, grains, pastas, and breads.

  • Never skip snacks.

  • Consume at least sixty four ounces of healthy drinks every day.

  • Always have a small snack a half-hour before physical exercise.

How Do Nutrition Experts Feel about the Age-Free Zone Diet?

Experts agree that there are a lot of good ideas behind the Zone Diet, but there are certain aspects which have not been fully proven. One niggling point with regard to the Zone Diet is that Sears asserts that an important aspect of the diet is discovering ideal carbohydrate consumption to slow down aging, but he makes no special effort to help the potential dieter to discover what that personal limit is. The Diet Plan also provides no specific information regarding how to make the diet fit the needs of the individual.

A lot of what Sears supports is backed by compelling medical research. Responsible caloric restriction is highly correlated with reduced mortality. Elevated Insulin Levels do wreak havoc on the body and increase the risk of conditions such as diabetes and hypertension. Finally, free radicals do have the capability to damage healthy cells and increase the rate of aging from wear and tear as well as potentially damage the genes themselves.

The potential issue with regard to these scientifically-backed aspects of Sears' diet approach is that he takes the basic scientific wisdom and goes further, inferring benefits that may or not be the reality. One major issue that many nutritionists have with this diet is that the Zone Diet involves a lot of unneeded supplements that are sometimes combined in potentially damaging ways.

The Zone Diet is based on 1,500 calories per day for males and 1,200 calories per day for females. This level of caloric restriction will guarantee weight loss for individuals that are overweight or obese, but his plan does not provide necessary levels of certain nutrients, such as calcium and B-Vitamins, from nutrition alone. The lack of these vitamins from the diet is mitigated through the use of mineral and vitamin supplements.

In general, this diet recommends too much protein and not enough fiber and carbs. The result of this is that you may experience constipation and fatigue. Also, Sears believes that this diet is ideal for men and women with Type-Two Diabetes, but most experts with experience with diabetes patients generally advocate a diet with more carbs than the Zone Diet recommends. Of course, you could take the advice of the Zone Diet and alter it slightly to account for these dietary discrepancies in order to amplify the positive potential of a diet of this kind.

Still, the diet is too high in protein and too low in complex carbohydrates and fiber, which could leave you low on energy and constipated. And while Sears advocates the diet for people with type 2 diabetes, most diabetes experts recommend a diet much higher in carbohydrates than the plan provided in the book.

Age-Free Zone Diet Approved Recommendations:

Healthy Fats, Limited Complex Carbs, Proteins with Every Meal, Vegetables, Fruits, Caloric Restriction

Age-Free Zone Diet Things to Avoid:

Low-Fiber, Processed, High Fat, and High Carb Foods

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