Is sugar linked to premature aging?

Sugar has been around for centuries, even though it was not always cheap or abundant as it is now. It was produced in ancient India and was first found in Europe as an imported medicine, not as a sweetener, in the 1st century CE. Sugar is a soluble carbohydrate which is used extensively in the food industry to provide a sweet taste and flavor. There are several types of sugar which is derived from a number of different sources. The “table sugar” or granulated sugar which is most commonly used is a sucrose. Sucrose is formed by the two simple sugars known as glucose and fructose. When sugar enters the body, sucrose is broken down into the simple sugars, fructose and glucose again.

Even though sugar is one of the most essential ingredients when it comes to preparing food, it is associated with several health effects. The impact of sugar is quite significant, so much so that many countries are setting quantitative targets for added sugar. Increased use of sugar is becoming a significant issue as it causes many diseases and has a harmful effect on metabolism. Sugar contains a large number of calories but does not have any essential nutrients. Therefore, consuming large quantities of sugar can cause various nutrition deficiencies. It can also cause issues with your teeth since sugar provides an easily digestible form of energy to the harmful bacteria in the mouth. The fructose present in sugar can overexert the liver since the liver is the only significant place which can metabolize it. Overloading the liver with sugar will cause serious problems in the liver. Increased sugar intake can also build up a resistance to insulin which is an important hormone in the body. This can lead up to diseases such as metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Insulin resistance is believed to be the major cause for obesity and cardiovascular diseases.

Recent studies have identified sugar to be a catalyst in the aging process, giving your skin the appearance that it has aged. According to a paper published by F.W Danby from the Department of Medicine, Dartmouth Medical School, glucose and fructose present in sugar gets combined with the amino acids found in collagen and elastin. Collagen and elastin supports the dermis, and when increased sugar levels are found in the body this combination with amino acids form Advanced Glycation End Products also known as “AGEs” which can elevate the aging of skin. This process will be further sped up during the presence of ultra violet radiation on the skin. Too much sugar in your diet can lead to dark circles, wrinkles and dehydrated skin, causing the aging process to occur much faster than normal. Therefore, to answer the question of whether sugar can age you simply, yes, it can.

The problem is that it is difficult to keep track of how much sugar you consume because almost all foods contain sugar. This is the main reason why we are ingested with more sugar than we realize. Therefore, it is important to understand how much sugar in what you eat and to maintain a healthy intake level. This will ensure that you can lead a healthy life free from diseases and untimely aging.


  • Moxham, Roy, The Great Hedge of India, Carroll & Graf, 2001 ISBN 0-7867-0976-6.
  • Danby, F. (2010). Nutrition and aging skin: sugar and glycation. Clinics in Dermatology, 28(4), pp.409-411.
  • R, N. (2018). Sugar Sag: Glycation and the Role of Diet in Aging Skin. – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].
  • Ruxton CH, e. (2018). Guidelines for sugar consumption in Europe: is a quantitative approach justified? – PubMed – NCBI. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 Mar. 2018].
Calorie Restrictive diets anti aging

Anti-aging benefits of calorie restrictive diets

The process of becoming older is known as aging. It represents the collection of changes in various physical and biological aspects of an individual over time (Bowen et al., 2014). As aging progresses, the body may become weaker and more susceptible to various kinds of diseases, however, knowledge and wisdom may increase.  Aging is identified as the greatest risk factor that can cause many of the human diseases (Dilin et al., 2014). Each day, of the approximate 150,000 deaths that take place, two thirds are due to age related causes. Humans are capable of controlling and manipulating the environment for the betterment of survival. However, avoiding aging altogether has been far from our reach.

Researchers are barely scratching the surface of identifying the biological basis for aging. Among what is known, there are two factors that influence aging. They are known as programmed and damage related factors. Programmed factors are the ones that follow a specific pattern. In other words, these follow a specific biological timetable. This is the genetic aspect related to aging. Damage related factors are those events that cause damage from the internal and surrounding environment (Shmookler et al., 2009). Even though not many studies have proven results for stopping the aging process or breakthroughs on immortality, caloric restriction has been identified as a proven method to regulate aging.

During 1934, it was first discovered that calorie restriction was capable of extending 50% of the lifespan in lab rats (McCay et al., 1935). This discovery paved the way for a multitude of follow-up studies on how aging can be slowed down with specific methods.  These studies were based on a variety of species which included rats, mice, fish, worms and yeast. Studies based on calorie restriction in monkeys has also shown that the mortality rates are lower in calorie restricted test animals (Kemnitz et al., 1993).

In addition, these studies show a decrease in body temperatures and the concentration of insulin. Both these traits are identified as factors that promote longevity in rodents. In addition, calorie restricted diets show an increase in dehydroepiandrosterone, which is suspected to be a marker of longevity in humans, however it is not consistently observed (Mazat et al., 2001).

This process is identified as the most effective dietary intervention that is capable of increasing the healthy lifespan of various organisms from unicellular to primates. This can be explained from an evolutionary standpoint. For many years until now, food was not available as abundantly as it is today. Reduction in food intake triggers responses of the body and prepares it for survival during shortages of food by making various hormonal changes and metabolic changes. However, this should be done right in order to avoid various negative effects such as malnutrition. Reducing the total number of calories via intermittent or periodic caloric restriction methods while also making sure that the recommended daily amounts of minerals and nutrients are included in the diet have the potential to provide a noticeable increase in lifespan with minimum adverse effects.


Bowen, Richard L.; Atwood, Craig S. (2004). “Living and Dying for Sex”. Gerontology. 50 (5): 265–90. doi:10.1159/000079125PMID 15331856.

Dillin A, Gottschling DE, Nyström T (2014). “The good and the bad of being connected: the integrons of aging”. Curr Opin Cell Biol. 26: 107–12. doi:10.1016/

Shmookler Reis RJ, Bharill P, Tazearslan C, Ayyadevara S (2009). “Extreme-longevity mutations orchestrate silencing of multiple signaling pathways”. Biochim Biophys Acta. 1790 (10): 1075–83. doi:10.1016/j.bbagen.2009.05.011.

McCay CM, Crowel MF, Maynard LA. The effect of retarded growth upon the length of the life span and upon the ultimate body size. J Nutr 1935;10:63–79.

Roth GS, Lane MA, Ingram DK, et al. Biomarkers of caloric restriction may predict longevity in humans. Science 2002;297:811.

Kemnitz JW, Weindruch R, Roecker EB, Crawford K, Kaufman PL, Ershler WB. Dietary restriction of adult male rhesus monkeys: design, methodology, and preliminary findings from the first year of study. J Gerontol 1993;48:B17–26.

Mazat L, Lafont S, Berr C, et al. Prospective measurements of dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate in a cohort of elderly subjects: relationship to gender, subjective health, smoking habits, and 10-year mortality. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2001;98:8145–50.

Resistance Training Anti Aging Health Benifits Weights

Resistance training and its associated health benefits

Resistance training, also known as strength training, is a great way to develop strength, anaerobic endurance and muscle size.  Defined by The National Library of Medicine as “a combination of static and dynamic contractions involving shortening and lengthening of skeletal muscles”, resistance training makes use of exerting a force against a form of resistance, such as weights. This form of exercise provides a plethora of benefits when done correctly. The main straightforward benefit is the increase in strength and muscle size. Resistance training builds muscle and even a small change in muscle strength can help a great amount in everyday activities. The basic principle here is the ability of the body muscles to overcome a resistance force when needed, and when repeatedly made to do so, these muscle groups eventually becoming stronger. The type of resistance used will divide strength training into a few categories such as free weights, body weight, weight machines and resistance bands. This essentially means that there are many ways that you can use to perform resistance training be it at home or at the gym. A complete and well-rounded resistance training program will focus on improving bone and joint functions, bone density and strength of muscles, tendons and ligaments. It should also include aerobic exercises to improve cardio and lung fitness as well as flexibility and balance exercises.

In addition to strength gains, resistance training includes a large number of physical and mental health benefits. These benefits are both short term and long term and will help along way as an individual ages as well. Increase in muscle size and strength provides direct benefits such as burning more fat during rest, protection of joints from injury and helps maintain balance and flexibility. According to the Department of Exercise Science, inactive adults will experience a 3-8% loss of muscle mass every decade along with fat accumulation and resting metabolic rates. Studies show that ten weeks of resistance training can remedy this situation by increasing lean mass by 1.4kg and reducing fat weight by 1.8kg while increasing the resting metabolic rate by 7% (Westcott, 2012). In addition, improved posture and prevention of heart diseases, osteoporosis and diabetes will greatly help you remain healthy and happy as you age. Resistance training provides a number of mental benefits as well, such as a feeling of achievement and self-esteem, improved mood and self-confidence as well as better sleep and avoids insomnia.

The nature of exercise provided by resistance training promotes the secretion of specific hormones such as testosterone and human growth hormone. The human growth hormone is very important as it provides a large variety of functions that helps in the development and survival of an individual. It provides direct effects and also initiates the production of insulin-like growth-factor I (IGF-I). IGF-1 is the most important arbitrator of the human growth hormone’s effects. The primary function of the growth hormone is promoting growth in children and adolescents. It also has a large number of metabolic functions in an adult’s life that are well established andbacked by studies. Human growth hormone plays a vital part in regenerating cells and maintaining healthy tissues in addition to boosting exercise performance. According to a study published in the International Journal of Endocrinology, identifying the effects of human growth hormone, it was found that the increased presence of human growth hormone induces body composition and improves exercise capacity and thermoregulation (Tavares et al., 2013). In addition to the boost in endurance and exercise capacity, the human growth hormone promotes healing and is associated with promoting cell regeneration and repairing wear and tear of cells and tissues and also healing of fractures (Schmidmaier et al., 2002). The increase in secretion of growth hormone during resistance training provides a natural way of promoting these benefits in the body ensuring great health effects. Another significant hormone that is secreted during resistance training is testosterone. It is a hormone that is associated with benefits such as gaining muscle mass, strengthening bones, increasing sex drive and improving erections.

Weight Lifting Increase Testosterone

During resistance training, the production of IGF-1 can have a significant effect on the cognitive function of individuals. This hormone is associated with the production of brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) which is related to the formation of neural pathways in the brain. Emerging studies show a significant positive impact on cognitive health from resistance training. According to a study conducted on 86 women with subjective memory complaints, aged between 70-80 years of age, it was found that resistance training conducted on a twice weekly basis for six months showed improvements in memory aspects such as selective attention, associative memory and improvements in brain plasticity (Nagamatsu et al., 2012). These studies show that resistance training is a potential way of fighting cognitive issues such as dementia and promoting improved brain health.

Even from very early studies, the relationship between physical exercise and libido has been established. According to a study published in the Archives of Sexual behaviour during 1990, it was found that engaging in physical exercise improves sex drive in men. The release of hormones such as testosterone is seen as a reason for this. A study conducted on 43 women in the ages of 18-37 years with polycystic ovary syndrome found that engaging in resistance training greatly enhanced total score in the desire, excitement and lubrication domains of the Female Sexual Function Index of the test, increasing the overall sex drive in women.

Another important benefit that comes from resistance training is the increase of bone density. Conditions such as osteoporosis has become an increased risk during aging in the recent years. This condition is characterised by the increased tendency of fractured bones due to low bone mass. Primarily affecting regions of the hip, spine and wrist, an estimated 1.5 million fractures are caused by osteoporosis annually in the United States alone. Both aerobic and resistant training has been identified as physical activities that promote bone density. However, nearly two dozen extensive studies conducted over the last decade has shown that resistance training has a far better influence in increasing bone density and promoting bone health compared to traditional aerobic exercises. These studies show a direct relationship between resistance training and positive increases in bone density. When compared to other traditional medical and nutritional approaches, resistance training provides the added benefits of treating other risk factors associated with osteoporosis such as increasing strength, muscle mass and improving balance (Layne & Nelson, 1999).

In summary, engaging in resistance training for three times a week for a period of 45-60 minutes can help improve your strength and form in addition to providing a tremendous amount of benefits. These benefits include increased endurance and strength, better cognitive function, increased libido and help fight effects of aging down the road.


Westcott, W. (2012). Resistance Training is Medicine. Current Sports Medicine Reports, 11(4), pp.209-216.

Tavares, A., Micmacher, E., Biesek, S., Assumpção, R., Redorat, R., Veloso, U., Vaisman, M., Farinatti, P. and Conceição, F. (2013). Effects of Growth Hormone Administration on Muscle Strength in Men over 50 Years Old. International Journal of Endocrinology, 2013, pp.1-6.

Schmidmaier, G., Wildemann, B., Heeger, J., Gäbelein, T., Flyvbjerg, A., Bail, H. and Raschke, M. (2002). Improvement of fracture healing by systemic administration of growth hormone and local application of insulin-like growth factor-1 and transforming growth factor-β1. Bone, 31(1), pp.165-172.

Nagamatsu, L. S., Handy, T. C., Hsu, C. L., Voss, M., & Liu-Ambrose, T. (2012). Resistance training promotes cognitive and functional brain plasticity in seniors with probable mild cognitive impairment: A 6-month randomized controlled trial. Archives of Internal Medicine, 172(8), 666–668.

LAYNE, J., & NELSON, M. (1999). The effects of progressive resistance training on bone density: a review. Medicine & Science In Sports & Exercise, 31(1), 25-30.

Ferri CP, Prince M, Brayne C, et al. Global prevalence of dementia: a Delphi consensus study. Lancet. 2005 Dec 17;366(9503):2112–2117.


Health benefits of consuming Astragalus root extract supplements

What is Astragalus?

Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus) is group of around 3000 herbs belonging to the legume family Fabaceae. Native to northern and eastern China, Mongolia and Korea, Astragalus can grow 16-36 inches in height, consisting of a hairy stem and leaves made up of 12-18 leaflets. This flowering plant has been used as an herb in China for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese Medicine makes use of Astragalus to boost the immune system and to fight against diseases.

The medical qualities are found in the plant’s roots which are harvested from plants that are 4 years old.


Medicinal properties and health benefits

There has been a vast number of studies conducted on the medicinal properties of Astragalus. Most of these studies correlate to positive health benefits from Astragalus including stress relief, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, protecting cells against damage as well as a possible treatment for the side effects of chemotherapy and weakened immune systems from exposure to radiation.

Astragalus is an adaptogen. An adaptogen is an herbal ingredient capable of managing the body’s hormonal response to stress. In other words, it benefits the body by protecting it from physical and emotional stress.

Flavonoids found in Astragalus provides antioxidants that are capable of protecting cells from damage. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Astragalus is used to treat or prevent colds. Modern laboratory tests and studies done on animals shows that it can act against viruses (which are also the cause to colds). A study has also shown that Astragalus may help people with seasonal allergies such as hay fever by reducing the symptoms as well as preventing upper respiratory infections.

Research done in China indicates the antioxidant properties of this plant may relieve symptoms of severe heart disease. This is achieved by the presence of Saponins, which are capable of lowering cholesterol levels and improving the functionality of the heart. It also acts as a lenient diuretic by getting rid of excess fluid in the body.

Studies done in the United States suggest that Astragalus supplements help reduce side effects of chemotherapy. These characteristics are also related to the properties of Flavonoids present in Astragalus which can help prevent cancer. Further research suggests the anti-tumor effects of Astragalus that is effective against leukemia and melanoma, according to a study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology. Studies further suggests that Astragalus can help people live longer and to recover faster.

Preliminary studies points to evidence that Astragalus may help treat Kidney disease and also reduce blood pressure. Triglycerides are a cause of many heart diseases. Astragalus are found to reduce the levels of triglyceride in the body, reducing the risk of strokes and heart attacks.

Available forms and doses

Astragalus supplements are found in various forms such as tincture, tablets, capsules, injectable forms and topically for the skin.  No serious side effects are present when taken at recommended doses, however, it can interfere with other herbs and medications, specifically drugs that suppress the immune system. It is highly recommended to consult your doctor to find a recommended dosage and to make the maximum benefits out of this amazing herb.


Shao BM, Xu W, Dai H, et al. A study on the immune receptors for polysaccharides from the roots of Astragalus membranaceus, a Chinese medicinal herb. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004;320(4):1103-1111.

Lipman, D. (2017). Adaptogens: Nature’s Miracle Anti-stress and Fatigue Fighters. [online] Dr Frank Lipman. Available at: [Accessed 29 Oct. 2017].

University of Maryland Medical Center. (2017). Astragalus. [online] Available at: [Accessed 30 Oct. 2017].

Chen KT, Su CH, Hsin LH, et al. Reducing fatigue of athletes following oral administration of huangqi jianzhong tang. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2002;23(8):757-761.

Hao Y, Qiu QY, Wu J. Effect of Astragalus polysaccharides in promoting neutrophil-vascular endothelial cell adhesion and expression of related adhesive molecules. Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2004;24(5):427-430.

Kim SH, Lee SE, Oh H, et al. The radioprotective effects of bu-zhong-yi-qi-tang: a prescription of traditional Chinesemedicine astragalus. J Chin Med. 2002;30(1):127-137

Astragalus Root: Heart Benefits and Side Effects. [online] WebMD. Available at: [Accessed 30 Oct. 2017].

Long-term effects of Human Growth Hormones

Ageing is of course inevitable, but we can help control how fast we age. Hormones play a huge role and most hormone levels decline as we age and therefor the effects of these hormones decline proportionately. Unfortunately the end result is a deterioration in the function of cells and our bodies as a whole.

The ageing of body cells is the direct result of a decrease in telemore length. Telemore caps protect the ends of the chromosomes against decline and the longer the telemores are, the better they function. We can eat well and take regular exercise to lessen the effects, but not stop the process altogether.


HGH Injections can help preserve telemores but they will cost you a lot of money and the procedure to obtain them is longer and more complicated. Growth Hormone injections are one way but to access these you will first have to make an appointment with your GP as you cannot get them without a referral. Unfortunately, even a referral is not a guarantee you can have the treatment.

The HGH injections themselves are not cheap and the cost required to have any sort of effect is several thousand dollars. In addition you will need to maintain the treatment and the regular payouts for life if the results are to be maintained. Even more frightening than the financial burden is the fact that once your body realises it is being pumped full of the growth hormone, its own production plummets, forcing those who take it to have regular breaks from the treatment to allow their bodies to recover and start producing it again.

Thankfully there are other ways we can slow the ageing process and astragalas root is a natural plant material that has been used for 2000 years in Chinese medicine for its anti-ageing benefits.  Astragalus, a plant native to China, is considered a very powerful herb that can stimulate the immune system and it also contains antioxidants and flavonoids which help contribute to good health and longevity. Astragalus is the primary active ingredient in DNA Plus+, which is produced by Telemore Biomedical with the aim of preserving th

e length of telemores.

DNA Plus+ comes in a very affordable and easy to take form of one tablet daily. Regular users say that after just a couple of weeks they can feel a marked improvement in their feelings of wellbeing. Benefits include skin feeling firmer, higher energy levels, improved hair and nails and the ability to think more clearly.  Clients taking DNAPlus+ have shown a stronger immune system, increased brain performance, improved memory and increased bone density.

DNA Plus+ offers a far more affordable and natural way to protect your precious telemores. It’s designed to help your cells to live longer and to remain healthy, as well as assisting old cells to function as they did when you were younger. Being a more gentle version your body will continue to produce its own growth hormones, so you won’t have the hassle of the ‘stop, start’ procedure involved with the injections.

Other important steps we can take to slow the loss of telemore length is to reduce our stress levels, sleep well, refrain from smoking, keep slim and exercise regularly (especially weight lifting as this maintains muscle and bone strength). In addition we do our bodies a huge favour by eating well. Processed foods should be eaten very sparingly, if at all, and fill your plate with fresh vegetables, fruits, proteins and healthy fats such as avocadoes and oily fish.

DNA Plus – an affordable pathway to a healthier, younger you.

Anti-Aging Benefits of Avocado

Avocados are so much more than the main ingredient in guacamole. They’re nutritional powerhouses and versatile must-haves in the kitchen and beyond.

The avocado is definitely a natural fruit that packs a heck of a punch when it comes to beauty and anti-aging benefits. This pear shaped fruit has long been known for its beauty benefits around the world.

So what’s all the fuss about?

1. Avocados are good for your skin.

Avocados can help reverse the signs of aging and make you look good.

Avocado is high in Vitamin A, which helps purge dead skin cells. The avocado contains glutamine, which is an amino acid that is excellent for cleansing the skin and protecting it from harsh environmental factors.


Avocados Reduce Wrinkles

The antioxidants found in avocados help to fight free-radicals which are thought to cause aging.  Therefore it may diminish fine lines and wrinkles giving your skin a younger, more youthful glow.


Avocados Rejuvenate Your Scalp

Avocado oil helps moisturize and rejuvenate the scalp. It’s an excellent treatment for dry, lifeless, damaged hair because it works to revitalize it. It will deep condition your hair and scalp, leaving them looking shiny and full of life.

Avocado is a rich source of amino acids, vitamins, and proteins, which all help to promote healthier hair.

4. Moisturise Your Skin

The benefits of avocado oil for your skin are truly endless. It’s excellent for parched and dry skin. Avocado oil works great as a moisturizer and is able to retain that moisture so the skin does not become dehydrated while nourishing it all at the same time.

5. Nourishes Your Skin

Your skin can easily absorb avocado oil and so it can penetrate deep into the skin, leaving it well cleansed, baby soft, and nourished. It may help with cell generation and promote circulation.

6. Sunscreen

Avocado oil is a natural sunscreen that will stop the UV rays from damaging your skin. It’s also excellent for treating sunburn.

7. Increased Resistance From Free Radicals

 A study conducted found that avocado helps to boost your cell’s ability to fight free radicals. This will help to slow the aging process of your skin and keep your skin looking younger and more youthful.

macronutrients VS micronutrients

“Macro and Micro” Nutrients.

Our bodies are pretty complicated, meaning that they have a whole of nutritional needs in order to survive and function. The composition of our diet is essential to meeting these needs and therefore it’s important to understand the two different types of nutrients it can be split into: macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals). You’ve probably heard these terms before but what do they actually mean?


The three macronutrients all have their own specific roles and functions in the body and supply us with calories or energy. For this reason, the body requires these nutrients in relatively large amounts to grow, develop, repair and feel good!

Each macronutrient is almost always found in every item of food, whether that’s a healthy snack bar (like Eat Nakd!) or a raw vegetable; the only difference is how the macronutrients are balanced. As an example, the nutritional composition of an avocado is generally made up of 75% (good) fats, 20% carbohydrates and 5% protein, therefore this is clearly a fat-based food. On the other hand a banana consists of 95% carbohydrates, with only small amounts of protein and fats.

The trick is to understand how each macronutrient plays a different role in the body and tailor your diet accordingly!


Don’t be scared of fats! Fats are an essential part of a healthy diet and should account for about 15-20% what you consume. They help by improving brain development, overall cell functioning, protecting the body’s organs and even helping you absorb vitamins found in foods.

Some examples of healthy fats:    Almonds, walnuts, seeds (pumpkin, chia), olives, avocados.


Protein is essential for repairing and regenerating body tissues and cells, a healthy functioning immune system and manufacturing hormones. This wouldn’t be possible without amino acids, which are found in protein-based foods. In total there are 20 types of amino acids,  9 of which are ‘essential’ and can only be found in certain foods.

Good sources of protein: Beans, pulses and legumes, seeds (hemp, chia, flax), nuts (unsalted), quinoa, avocado, beets, raw greens (kale, spinach).


Carbohydrates are comprised of small chains of sugar which the digestive body breaks down into glucose to use as the body’s primarily energy source and therefore need to make up around 45-65% of a diet.

Carbohydrates to choose: Apples, bananas, cauliflower, carrots, oats, brown rice, millet, quinoa, chickpeas, kidney beans.

What are micronutrients?

Micronutrients are not needed in the same quantities as macros, however are still equally as important. Micronutrients work in tandem with macronutrients to keep the body functioning and are crucial in order to maintain energy levels, metabolism, cellular function, and physical and mental wellbeing.

Finding micronutrients on a plant-based diet

No one plant can be certain to contain more micronutrients than another as the level largely depends on the mineral content of the soil each individual plant has grown in. There are a wide-variety of micronutrients, with everything from Vitamin A, B, C through to K, and minerals such as magnesium and zinc being vital for the body. To ensure you’re getting as many of these into your diet you should try to eat as varied as possible, incorporating various different ‘colours’ into each meal.

The Goodness of Coffee

Drinking coffee to excess will probably give you the jitters and keep you awake at night, but in moderate quantities it has a multitude of health benefits.

It improves concentration and many trials examining the effects caffeine has on the brain show it can improve reaction times, memory and general cognitive function.

In addition caffeine is found in many slimming products for a very good reason. Being a strong stimulant it can help boost the metabolism and maintain good energy levels; when we move we burn more calories.

A series of studies have shown that drinking coffee regularly can reduce our chances of developing Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease by up to 60%. Other studies have shown people who drink four or more cups of coffee a day are actually protecting their liver both from cirrhosis and cancer. Multiple studies have also shown that caffeine is a highly effective way to cut the risk of developing type II diabetes.

Research also shows that having a few cups of coffee a day will actually help you to live longer. Most recently scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer and at Imperial College, London, examined data from 521,330 people aged above 35 in ten European countries including Britain. During the study 41,693 of them died. Across all nations, the 25 per cent of men who drank most coffee were 12 per cent less likely to die, and women 7 per cent.

And last, but far from least, coffee is exceptionally rich in antioxidants, which are linked to a number of health benefits, including protection against heart disease and cancers.

So don’t feel bad when you are asking for that extra shot in your cappuccino or flat white – you are probably doing your health a good favour!

Breathe Easier With Longer Telomeres

Emphysema is a frightening lung problem that makes it hard to catch your breath. Researchers are only now understanding how it starts and how you can protect yourself against this malady.

Your vulnerability to emphysema begins at a genetic level. Unless the chromosomes in stem cells in your lungs function properly, the lungs’ ability to bring oxygen into the body falters. The result: breathlessness and life-threatening low levels of oxygen in your blood.

All of your strands of DNA, including the ones in lung cells, possess small structures that cap their ends called telomeres. These telomeres play a vital role in defending chromosomes against damage and enabling them to keep functioning correctly.

Lab tests at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine show that when stem cells in your lungs that are necessary for oxygen absorption have telomeres that are too short, it disrupts your breathing.

Because of the breakdown of these telomeres, the lungs’ stem cells age prematurely and they cease to divide and reproduce. That interrupts oxygen movement through the alveoli, small sacs in the lungs where blood absorbs oxygen.

Complicating the situation: At the same time as those stem cell telomeres are malfunctioning, the immune system sends immune substances to the lungs that cause the damaging inflammation that also takes place during emphysema.

Previously, it was believed that emphysema was just an inflammatory problem. But the Hopkins researchers have shown it is initially a telomere problem that leads to inflammation.

According to researcher Mary Armanios, doctors and researchers have presumed that “inflammation alone is what drives these lung diseases and have based therapy on anti-inflammatory drugs for the last 30 years.”

Armanios points out that merely trying to limit inflammation doesn’t touch the root cause of emphysema.

Fortunately, there are many ways generally to help the telomeres in your body stay longer and healthier. According to Dr. Isaac Eliaz, some of the best supplements to use include:

Vitamin D: Research demonstrates that this nutrient is linked to longer telomeres.
Omega-3 fatty acids: A study showed that higher omega-3 in the blood are linked to longer telomeres.
Astragalus: This herb has been traditionally used to boost immunity and its components may help telomeres retain their length


Exercise Your Way to a Younger You

While people exercise for a multitude of reasons (weight-loss, stress relief, social interaction, health and well-being) one of the primary motivations is to maintain health so we live longer. Just how much exercise per week is the ideal for optimised longevity?

The Australian Department of Health advises one 2 ½ to 5 hours per week of moderate physical activity or 1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours of vigorous intensity exercise, with muscle strengthening activities on at least two days per week.

However, two impressively large studies suggest considerably longer is actually ideal to maximise our health, both today and in the future.
The larger of these studies was coordinated by researchers from the National Cancer Institute (USA), Harvard University and other institutions pooled research and statistics. The clear conclusion was to maximise longevity, exercise for just over an hour a day.

This reduced the risk of dying prematurely to nearly 40% less likely than those who never exercised, compared to 31% of those who fell into the recommended category of at least 2 ½ hours per week.

In another study Australian researchers found those who exercised at a more intense level reduced their chance of early death even further.
Motivation is one of the key determining factors for getting regular exercise, but whatever exercise you do, research suggests it will all count towards you having better health both now and as you age.

Even if it’s just a matter of walking to work each day, walking or cycling children to school as opposed to taking the car or buying a gym membership for regular workouts, you are still helping yourself to live to an older age and enjoy all the benefits of good health along the way.

Learn about how DNAPlus+ can supplement your workouts and help with your Anti-Aging goals