Posts Tagged ‘BDNF’

ag亚博网站

Posted 21 Aug 2016 — by Todd
Category Uncategorized

I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at the Ancestral Health Symposium, in Boulder Colorado, August 11-13. My podium presentation was entitled “Living High and Healthy: Why Coloradans and Others Who Live at High Altitude Live Longer, and What Flatlanders Can Learn From Them”.   On several visits to Boulder and the Rocky Mountains, I was surprised that I had lost about 5-10 pounds after returning home to California. Subsequently, I was intrigued to learn that Boulder has the lowest obesity rate in the U.S., and that alpine regions around the world are distinguished by statistically lower prevalence of  obesity and diabetes, and also increased longevity.

My curiosity about this issue spurred a deeper investigation, resulting in this  talk at AHS16. From the scientific literature, I learned that there is a specific hormetic mechanism involving hypoxia (reduced oxygen levels) that probably accounts for the health-promoting effects of living at high altitude.  However, it was particularly exciting to discover that hypoxia is not the only means of activating this hormetic mechanism, which can still be accessed even if you live at sea level!

The Ancestry Foundation is kind enough to produce excellent videos of the talks and release them for free viewing on YouTube.  Enjoy watching!

 

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Live longer!

Posted 31 Mar 2015 — by Todd
Category Uncategorized

Spring Chicken

So you want to live a long life, or at least age gracefully?

Bill Gifford has provided a well-researched and engrossing account of the quest for longevity. In his new book, Spring Chicken, Gifford critically examines the claims of scientists, enthusiasts and hucksters in their attempts to extend life using hormone replacement therapy, telomerase, supplements, drugs, exercise, caloric restriction, yabo亚洲 and other practices. Along the way, he visits with a 108-year old investment advisor and a 76-year old female sprinter who can run a 6:58 mile, and he  takes a close look at mice, monkeys and microbes that live much longer than species norms.

I found the book hard to put down. That’s not merely because Bill’s hilarious account of my wintry swim with him in the Pacific Ocean appears in Chapter 12–as a bracing illustration of how hormesis builds stress tolerance.  I was captivated by reading of his up-close encounters with a diverse set of gerontologists, centenarians and odd, long-lived creatures such as the naked mole rat. Most interesting of all was his meticulous detective work in probing the major competing theories of aging, leading to some unconventional conclusions about what may or may not actually help prolong life and healthspan.

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yabo亚洲 and the limbic brain

Posted 02 Jan 2012 — by Todd
Category Health, yabo亚洲 , 亚搏体育客户端下载

There is a powerful way to re-program your brain that has been largely overlooked.  A way to change your relationship with eating, sleep, sex and basic emotions like fear, love and aggression.  While cognitive therapies can modify behavior, they are of questionable help in altering these basic drives.

Our drives are largely governed by two small primitive brain structures, the hypothalamus and the amygdala — shown in red in the drawing at right.  Remarkably, these two tiny structures are respectively the size of a pea and an almond — representing less than 1% of the brain’s three pounds of neural matter. Together, they constitute the control center of the paleomammalian brain–the “limbic” brain that governs our basic urges and desires as well as our homeostatic “set points” for temperature, sleep, body fat and behavioral urges like sex drive and aggression.

You can attempt to change your behavior by conscious determination and cognitive therapies.  But most attempts at intentional change are temporary and are doomed to fail in the long term because they are strongly resisted by powerful homeostatic processes encoded in our limbic brain.  Modern medicine recognizes the importance of homeostatic drives, and has developed pharmaceuticals to override them with diet pills, sleeping pills and antidepressants.  In fact, these medications do shift the balance of neurotransmitters and neural activity — at least in the short term.  But such chemical interventions are short-sighted “crutches” that promote dependency and come with side effects.  Often they exhibit  a “tolerance” effect: the brain’s control system fights back and weakens the impact of the medication.  To maintain the benefit, doses are increased, but this strategy may not always work.

This article will explain how the hypothalamus and amygdala contribute to the regulation of basic drives like eating, sleeping and sexuality, and how the amygdala can actually override the hypothalamus by enhancing the reward value of foods and other stimuli. (As I will explain, however, my take on “food reward” is different from that of Stephan Guyenet and other advocates of the Food Reward Hypothesis). This dual-control model can help explain anomalies such as obesity, addiction, and disordered sleep.

Finally,  I will provide suggestions on effective and natural ways to re-program the hypothalamus and amygdala and change your homeostatic set points, using the principle of hormesis.

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Intermittent fasting for health and longevity

Posted 28 May 2011 — by Todd
Category 亚搏体育客户端下载 , Health, yabo亚洲

One of the primary topics covered on this blog is yabo亚洲 (IF).  Many approach IF as a diet or weight loss method.  I know from research, personal experience and conversations with others that IF can indeed be an effective way to drop unwanted pounds.  However, viewing IF as merely a new way to diet entirely misses what I believe is the most important reason to pursue it:  the activation of hormetic processes that foster improved health, keep degenerative diseases at bay, and hold out the promise of a longer, more vibrant life.  These benefits are a known consequence of calorie restriction, but yabo亚洲 offers a more comfortable and versatile way to reap the benefits of calorie restriction without the sense of deprivation, the loss of lean body mass, and the metabolic risks that have been associated with simple calorie restriction.

It is because I’ve found yabo亚洲 to be an attractive practice, both scientifically and personally, that I was so excited to be invited to give a lecture on IF at The 3rd Door, an innovative health and fitness studio, cafe and social center in downtown Palo Alto. The fitness director at The Third Door, Johnny Nguyen, is himself an advocate and practitoner of IF, which he blogs about with great flair and common sense at The Lean Saloon. The talk gave me an opportunity to reframe yabo亚洲 in the terms of the philosophy of Hormetism, or applied hormesis that I write about on this blog.  I believe that the framework of hormesis helps to make sense of why IF works, and why it is so much more than a diet.

What follows is a video of my talk on the benefits of yabo亚洲 , presented on May 18, 2011 at The 3rd Door.  I would like to thank Dianne Giancarlo and Johnny Nguyen for inviting me to speak, Vaciliki Papademetriou for technical assistance, Francesca Freedman for introducing me to The Third Door, Tom Merson for the still photos and Ken Becker for the masterful video production.

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Calorie restriction and hormesis

Posted 23 May 2010 — by Todd
Category 亚搏体育客户端下载

One of the first scientifically rigorous demonstrations of the benefits of hormesis was a 1934 study of calorie restriction (often abbreviated “CR”) in laboratory rats, conducted by Mary Crowell and Clive McCay at Cornell. They found that reducing the calories of rats by 30-50%, supplemented with adequate micro-nutrients, could almost double their lifespans. Later studies found continued lifetime extension with calorie restriction up to 65%. In addition, the rats remained energetic and youthful in appearance, with greatly reduced incidence, and delayed onset, of age-related diseases. This same phenomenon has been observed in a variety of other animals.

Studies on calorie restriction in primates or humans are as yet inconclusive. Controlled primate studies only started in the late 1980s and have yet to be completed, although the preliminary indications are very promising. And in humans it is more difficult to conduct controlled studies for both ethical and compliance reasons. An additional factor to consider is that animals raised post-weaning on calorie restricted diets typically have much smaller adult body sizes that animals not restricted in their eating.  Because of the social and physical implications of this consequence, advocates of calorie restricted diets for humans advise that they be started only upon reaching adulthood.

Whether or not a restricted calorie diet extends the human lifespan, the evidence is becoming overwhelming that a nutritionally complete diet with reduced calories has the potential to greatly improve our health, particularly as we age. But is it practical and possible for humans to happily adhere to such a diet?

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