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specific nutrition by age and gender

 

 
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references

 

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The future of nutrition: Healthspan vs. Lifespan

Preface: Because of tremendous strides as of July, 2014, I have added this page of research based actions you should discuss with your physician.

Lifespan is how many years we experience between life and death.  The average lifespan of people, life expectancy, rose dramatically during the 20th century.

RECENT HISTORY OF THE INCREASE IN LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH (source)

Year

Life Expectancy

1900

47

1950

68

1990

75

2000

77

2004

78

INCREASE AT AGE 65

Year

Life Expectancy

1950

14

1990

17

2000

18

2004

19

"However, the physiologic functions and health status of persons who are 50 to 60 years old are very different from those of persons who are 80 to 90. Although much more research still needs to be done, estimating RDAs for older adults by extrapolating from data collected in younger people is no longer appropriate. A growing body of scientific literature and human studies with elderly subjects provides ample evidence today for altered nutrient requirements with aging." Nutrition Today,  Sept-Oct, 1992  by Jeffrey B. Blumberg

Healthspan is a different measure - how long we are healthy enough to really enjoy being alive. For healthspan, our nutritional concerns must address both short term deficiencies like scurvy and long term chronic damage like macular degeneration.  Most people do not enjoy the prospect of being bedridden and blind for many years when they reach old age.  Nutrition began primarily to extend the healthspan of soldiers, which led to the RDAs. Now called Daily Values, these levels of nutrients will prevent short term nutritional deficiency diseases like rickets and scurvy.  With the new millennium, the Food and Nutrition Board began setting an Upper Limit (UL) on nutrients.  These are levels that may be hazardous when taken regularly.  The nutrition level needed to get the maximum healthspan is somewhere between the Daily Value and the Upper Limit.

The goal of Nutrition Investigator is to help people achieve the maximum healthspan based on current nutrition research. Below is a table of some nutrients for which evidence is accumulating.  Clearly there are individual circumstances of age, weight, genetics, and behavior that make a difference.  But at least these values will give reason to consider what you are getting from your diet and supplements.  A good diet ought to provide the daily values by itself.

Nutrient (Year the need was announced)

Purpose

Daily Value

Nutrition Investigator Level

Upper Limit

Vitamin C (1994)

Water-soluble antioxidant

90 mg

100 to 500 mg twice a day

1,000 mg twice a day

Vitamin E (1998)

Fat-soluble antioxidant

30 IU

200 to 400 IU

1,500 IU

Vitamin D (2005)

Signaling vitamin

400 IU

2,000 IU

2,000 IU (50 mcg)

Folate (Vitamin B9) (1999)

DNA methylation

400 mcg

400 mcg

850 mcg when pregnant or over 65

1,000 mcg

Fish oil - long omega-3s (2000)

Brain development and maintenance

n/a

1,000 mg daily

2,000 mg daily over 65

 

Choline (2002)

Brain development and maintenance

550 mg

850 mg (2-4 eggs per day)

3,500 mg

Blueberries (2006)

memory

n/a

Some every 12 hours

n/a

Strawberries (2007)

memory

n/a

Some every 12 hours

n/a

Egg or lutein and zeaxanthin (2005)

eyes

n/a

1 egg per day or multivitamin with these nutrtients

n/a

SAMe (2001)

Vitality

n/a

1-2 tablets for those over 40

n/a

green tea Health EGCG   1 or more cups n/a
nuts Health weight   a handful n/a
Yogurt Microbiome   at least some n/a
exercise Health   30-90 min n/a

So there's some ideas to consider to help increase your healthspan.  It's getting to be a pretty long list of supplements to take every day.  But lots of research supports these recommendations, and all are safe and likely to add years of good health to your life.

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