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SUBJECT: Notes for Jan from Roc Nutrition Investigator

For everyone:
Cancer - I, Roc, said one day for cancer you will be able to go to the store and buy a bottle of anti-oncotics. That day may now be here. See a letter I sent to my alumni here.

Burnout -  Here’s a path to help you. NIH Pathways to Prevention Workshop: Total Worker Health®—What's Work Got to Do With It? Download the Panel's Draft Report (PDF - 114 KB). The report summarizes the workshop and identifies future research priorities. Physician burnout is skyrocketing - 52% of doctors report feeling burned out during the past year.

For younger people:
Here’s an exercise and nutrition website targeted at college students:    - Wellness tips for college students, including places to eat and exercise on campus
 - Facts and figures about student obesity and fitness in America
 - Interviews with two leading nutrition experts
 - Tips for healthy eating and exercise at home

For mature people:
Linus Pauling Institute newsletter -  There is so much in this 16 page letter about how to increase your health span, it is worth reading.  Here are a few headlines:
Balz Frei is retiring after just 19 years. 
Many Americans do not consume the RDA for vitamin E (22.5 IU/day), esp. during pregnancy. It appears that vitamin E protects an omega-3 fatty acid (docosahexaenoic acid, DHA) in the brain from peroxidation and depletion, and so it is important for pregnant women to get enough vitamin E. Low levels of vitamin E also deplete choline in the brain. DHA and choline play important roles in neurodevelopment and in the health of adult brains.

Inflamm-aging is a major factor shortening healthspan - Miriam Capri (University of Bologna) addressed the agerelated problem of “inflamm-aging,” which is characterized by sustained low-level inflammation, chronic activation of certain immune cells called macrophages, oxidative damage, and a physiological blurring of “self” and “non-self.” The gut microbiome declines in diversity with age and, in
centenarians, exhibits altered proportions of bacterial phyla. There are over 100 bacterial phyla in the gut and over 1,000 species; the biological function of about half of these is still unknown. Inflammation also occurs in centenarians, but these long-lived people show resilient adaption that increases healthspan.

Senescent cells have stopped dividing, but they continue to be metabolically active and secrete pro-inflammatory molecules that help in wound healing and injury repair but are otherwise damaging.  Smoking, excessive alcohol intake, high-fat diets, and other factors induce cellular senescence. Vitamin E and other antioxidants, as well as exercise, may be protective.

Vitamin D, lipoic acid, a Mediterranean diet that emphasizes polyunsaturated fats and flavonoids, exercise, an enriched environment, and mental training, as well as caloric restriction, dietary polyphenols, and polyunsaturated fats,  helps old brains. Studies have shown that these factors can improve cognitive and motor functions like balance and gait instability in older age. Although the number of neurons doesn’t decline much with age, they shrink and the number of synapses decreases. Exercise increases neurogenesis and brain volume, an enriched environment increases neurogenesis, vitamin D increases certain brain receptors, lipoic acid improves longterm memory, and a Mediterranean diet that emphasizes polyunsaturated fats and flavonoids helps old brains.

This study show how important  social interactions are to delaying frailty in people over 65.  It demonstrates the close relationship between frailty and psychosocial factors, suggesting the need to take into account simultaneously physical and psychosocial components of human functioning.

We found evidence of altered circadian rhythms with a reduced nocturnal melatonin response at 4 am in men with cognitive impairment.  Getting enough sleep and using melatonin may be helpful to delay cognitive decline.

There is preliminary evidence showing the potential benefit of momentum-based dumbbell training for improving cognitive function in older adults with MCI.

Since 1965, life expectancy for people age 65 has increased 15 years. Someone now 60-65 can expect to live to 85-90!

- Roc, Nutrition Investigator
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I don't need time.  What I need is a deadline. -Duke Ellington

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