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How Nutrition Affects Health and Longevity

How Nutrition Affects Health and Longevity | El Paso, TX Chiropractor

Research studies have demonstrated the fundamental role of nutrition in health and longevity. The standard American diet, which is generally high in fat and sugar, has been associated with a variety of health issues, including obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes. Moreover, these health issues can lead to kidney disease, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer. “Unfortunately, the type 2 diabetes curve is going in the wrong direction, and we’re living longer as well,” stated Gary Gibbons, director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. “So we have an aging population that’s more and more obese, and has more and more hypertension.” In the following article, we will discuss the effects of good nutrition on overall health, wellness, and longevity.

A healthy diet ultimately includes:

  • Fruits and vegetables

  • Low-fat dairy products, such as yogurt and cheese

  • Skinless poultry

  • Salmon and other fish, such as trout and herring

  • Nuts and beans

  • Whole grains

  • Non-tropical vegetable oils, such as olive, corn, peanut, and safflower oils

Calorie Restriction and Longevity

According to several research studies, nutrition, and specifically restricting calories, has been associated with aging itself. In the 1930s, research studies in a wide variety of research models, including yeast, drosophila and c. elegans (laboratory fruit flies and nematodes), rats, and inbred mice, demonstrated a connection between a limited-calorie diet and extended life span. Researchers today are starting to take these research studies to the next level by evaluating how different individuals respond to different calorie intakes in order to demonstrate the physiological and genetic variations associated with health and longevity. However, because it’s difficult for humans to follow any type of calorie-restricted diet, it’s impossible to determine lifelong results and further research studies are still required.

On the other hand, mice can ultimately provide further evidence due to their significantly short life span (average two years), as well as due to the ability to control every aspect of their laboratory environment, including diet. JAX Professor Gary Churchill is one of the architects of a special type of mouse colony known as Diversity Outbred (DO). As a result of the careful, cross-breeding of genetically defined inbred strains, these mice demonstrate the type of random-looking genetic variation you’d find in the general human population. “Several calorie-restricted mice in the DO population have lived incredibly long life spans,” stated Churchill, “several have even reached almost five years of age,” which is the equivalent of a human living about 160 years, according to research studies.

Churchill has also separated DO mice into several groups given different diets and calorie restrictions throughout their life span. Control animals are typically on an ad libitum (“all-you-can-eat”) diet. Several mice are given food daily but at a reduced amount. Fasting animals are given food ad libitum on most days but spend a period of time each week with no food access. All mice receive frequent and extensive physical evaluations to collect data that can later be associated with how long they live. And, because the genomic sequence of every mouse is well-known, overlaying the physiological data can ultimately help provide further unprecedented insights into the genetic impact of nutrition, diet, and calorie restriction on overall health, wellness, and longevity, among further evidence.

“Although it is understood that several animal models, like the inbred C57BL6/J mouse strain, can benefit from caloric restriction, there is also evidence which demonstrates that the effects can be different depending on the genetic makeup of the animal,” stated Churchill. “The same will probably be true for most people: caloric restriction may be beneficial for one person but not for another. Until researchers understand these individual differences, healthcare professionals must be very cautious about recommending nutritional and dietary changes to people.” Understanding how nutrition affects the genetic components of health and longevity can eventually lead to treatments that may ultimately help reverse the negative effects of poor nutrition, including health issues like heart disease and diabetes.

Research studies have found the important role of nutrition in longevity. The standard American diet, which is high in fat and sugar, is associated with many health issues, including obesity and type 2 diabetes which may lead to heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancer. Furthermore, several research studies have also found that nutrition, and specifically calorie restriction, is associated with aging. In the article above, we discussed the evidence showing the effects of good nutrition on health and longevity. – Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T. Insight

Image of zesty beet juice.

Zesty Beet Juice

Servings: 1
Cook time: 5-10 minutes

• 1 grapefruit, peeled and sliced

• 1 apple, washed and sliced

• 1 whole beet, and leaves if you have them, washed and sliced

• 1-inch knob of ginger, rinsed, peeled and chopped

Juice all ingredients in a high-quality juicer. Best served immediately.

Image of carrots.

Just one carrot gives you all of your daily vitamin A intake

Yes, eating just one boiled 80g (2¾oz) carrot gives you enough beta carotene for your body to produce 1,480 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin A (necessary for skin cell renewal). That’s more than the recommended daily intake of vitamin A in the United States, which is about 900mcg. It’s best to eat carrots cooked, as this softens the cell walls allowing more beta carotene to be absorbed. Adding healthier foods into your diet is a great way to improve your overall health.

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, physical medicines, wellness, and sensitive health issues and/or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health & wellness protocols to treat and support care for injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our posts, topics, subjects, and insights cover clinical matters, issues, and topics that relate and support directly or indirectly our clinical scope of practice.* Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. We understand that we cover matters that require an additional explanation as to how it may assist in a particular care plan or treatment protocol; therefore, to further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900. The provider(s) Licensed in Texas*& New Mexico* 

Curated by Dr. Alex Jimenez D.C., C.C.S.T.


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