Pollution is a fact of life in an industrialized society. Pollution, by its very definition, can cause harm to people, animals, and plants. As far as humans are concerned, pollution contributes to a number of serious illnesses including obesity and increased mortality.
Pollutants in the Atmosphere
A major pollutant produced by combustion is NO, nitrogen oxide. This reacts with ozone to for NO2. Another pollutant is SO2 which is produced by burning sulphur-containing fossil fuels (primarily coal and heavy oils).
Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are another class of atmospheric pollutants. These includes numberous chemicals or an organic nature such as benzene.
Most atmospheric pollutants affect the respiratory system, but some can get into the blood and cause other diseases such as cancer.
These chemicals last a long time in the environment and move though the food chain. These include pesticides, dioxins, and PCBs. Dioxins are formed by incomplete combustion and whenever plastics are burned. While dioxins are not dissolved by water, they enter the food chains by binding to lipids or fats. Continue reading →
Loss of skeletal muscle. As we age we usually exercise less and do less heavy lifting. Without being stressed, our muscles begin to atrophy, or lose muscle mass. Most people will lose about 30-50% of their muscle mass as they age.
Reduced physical function. Due to loss of muscle mass and increasing aches and pains, most older people have increasing difficulties with normal everyday activities. Climbing stairs, walking and balancing become more difficult and painful.
Weight increase. Because of lack of activity fewer calories are burned each day. If food consumption is not reduced significantly, the older person will gain weight. Bad food choices in both quality and quantity will produce metabolic effects such as obesity or type 2 diabetes.
More vulnerable to stress. Mental, physical, and emotional stress increases as we grow older. Reduced resilience to handling these stressful challenges means reduced control over our lives, less capacity to fulfill goals, and less enjoyment of life.
Reduced bodily functioning. Physical activity, or the lack of activity, has an affect throughout the body. Movement enhances your cardiovascular system, helps lymph system circulation, improves sleep, and elevates your mood. Movement changes the expression of your genetic blueprint by turning on or turning off genes. Lack of movement or exercise has negative effects throughout the body.
Can You Reverse Aging?
While there are many ideas about why we age, one idea is that the cells in your body no longer communicate with other cells the way they did when you were younger. Components of your cells become damaged so they can no longer communicate as they once did.
For proper function, the mitochondria in your cells must receive direction from the cell nucleus. When communication breaks down, your body cannot function properly.
A compound in your body, NAD or nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, is a communication enhancer that helps the cells in your body function. Unfortunately, the concentration of NAD decreases over time. Some evidence indicates that NAD levels decrease 50% every 20 years after birth.
Another natural compound in your body, NMN or nicotinamide mononucleotide, stimulates production of NAD. In fact, increasing NMN in your body has amazing effects including.
Lower body weight
Better mitochondrial function
Better insulin sensitivity
Activation of the Sir1 longevity gene
Increased bone density
Reduced muscle loss
Enhanced immune system
Researchers have worked so hard to find an enzyme that can slow down some of the chronic conditions that come with age.
Up to now the tests were done on mice, but they feel confident enough to try them on people as well. It is interesting that this enzyme is found in natural foods such as broccoli and cucumbers.
This ongoing quest for the “Fountain of Youth” has included an international team of researchers that may have discovered a compound that make cells act younger than they really are, but so far tested only on mice.
Researchers led by the Washington University School of Medicine published in Cell Metabolism paper stating that they found an agent that can balance out what happens in aging cells so that they can behave as they would in a younger mouse. That compound is also found in many organic foods like cucumbers, broccoli, cabbage and edamame.
The compound is called nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN), and it is incorporated in producing another compound that is crucial for energy metabolism. So, when a normal aging mouse gets infusions of NMN, where researches produced more of that energy-fueling compound, certain biological problems related to aging were gone. The subject NMN animals did not gain as much weight, but converted food into energy more efficiently, and their blood sugar and eyesight were improved. The mice receiving NMN could prevent certain genetic changes related to aging.
Because most of the lab mice live only for several years, the researchers started the NMN treatments at five months, and lasted for a year. The study could not conclude that mice live longer; only that there are lower rates of age-related diseases.
However, even if you eat as much as possible of broccoli or cabbage you cannot achieve the sufficient amount from natural foods to extend your life says Dr. Shin-Ichiro Imai, professor of developmental biology and medicine at Washington University and senior author of the paper.
Keio University in Tokyo is launching an early study on people by using pill form of NMN. Here is what Imai says, quoting: “It’s clear that in humans and in rodents, we lose energy with age.” Furthermore, “We are losing the enzyme NMN. But if we can bypass that process by adding NMN, we can make energy again. These results provide a very important foundation for the human studies.”
These findings are correlated along with other anti-aging compounds tested on animals like the diabetes drug metformin, rapamycin and sirtuins; and all of them are as well as involved in energy-making process. Imai says, quoting: “All of these pathways cross-talk with each other.” Furthermore, “We don’t know the precise details of how, but they are communicating with each other.”
The general hope is that studies performed on humans will give more information about how to keep cells young, moreover to stop or hold off the diseases that typically occur as the cells get older and lose their function. Video Rating: / 5
NMN is a derivative of niacin, vitamin B3. So, foods with NMN or niacin will be helpful in combating aging. Some of these foods include:
Some studies indicate that foods do not contain enough NMN to cause a significant increase in NAD. So, supplements will probably be necessary.
A recent study of supplements has shown positive results for increasing NAD. The study showed “initial results of its second human clinical study of NIAGEN® nicotinamide riboside chloride (NR) have confirmed NR significantly and sustainably raises the co-enzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) in 140 healthy human volunteers over 8-weeks.”
Obesity is a worldwide public health problem, and the US is the fattest country on the planet: 55% of it is people are believed heavy enough to severely jeopardize their health.
The causes of this developing problem are numerous. While a protein may play a factor, personal decisions are also crucial. Both hereditary and environmental factors must be considered when confronting this medical and psychological condition.
People who are overweight have tried many methods to reduce their weight. Some of these methods include dieting to restrict calories, changing eating habits, taking fat-loss pills, exercising, getting counseling and surgery. And, while people often do lose weight, to often the weight returns when the weight loss program ends.
Too many people simply want to lose weight fast. Their goal is to take short-term measures to “solve” their weight problem. But, unless they address the basic long-term factors that caused their weight gain, they will never see permanent changes.
Key to Obesity
Photo by JeepersMedia
And, let’s be honest. The increase in obesity rates has coincided with the increase in fast food restaurants. Fast food restaurants in the US serve more than 50 million people each day. Nearly 44% of Americans eat fast food every week — some multiple times per week. The American Beverage Association tells us that the average American drinks 54 gallons of carbonated soft drinks each year. Both fast food and carbonated beverages represent a lot of added calories in the American diet.
You may remember the classic video by Morgan Spurlock, Super Size Me, in which he ate at McDonald’s for a full month. He gained 24.5 pounds, increased his cholesterol by 65 points, and his body fat percentage went from 11% to 18%. And, he found he was becoming physically addicted to fast food.
Being overweight is not fun. There is a lot of weight bullying or fat shaming among younger people. And, adults with weight problems are often discriminated against. Depending on the personality of the individual, overweight bullying or shaming can lead to a loss of self-esteem or to a determination to overcome the condition.
Obesity prevention is a real key to a healthy body. For most people, prevention involves healthy eating, avoiding fast food, not drinking your calories with carbonated beverages, and good healthy exercise.
Stories Behind Obesity
This film looks at the hereditary and environmental factors adding to the startling rise in obesity, and observes four patients fighting for their lives and their health.
This video series explores the science of human appearance as we navigate our modern world of fast food, celebrities, extreme wealth and outrageous ideals to find out the physical effects the 21st century has had on our bodies. We investigate the stories behind obesity, anorexia and body dysmorphia and what happens when plastic surgery goes wrong.
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Fiber is the indigestible part of plants that goes completely through our digestive system without being broken down and absorbed into our bodies. Fiber absorbs water and helps make bowel movements easy.
Most Americans consume about half the fiber they should. The guidelines indicate we should consume about 14 grams of fiber for ever 1000 Calories we consume. Most people who consume about 2000 Calories a day get only about 15 grams of fiber.
Getting enough fiber means chewing raw vegetables and fruits, plant food. Consuming enough fiber is rare, especially when you consume fruit juices and fast foods.
We all want vitamins and minerals in our diets. One way we think is helpful is by getting them from fruits and vegetables. So, many people drink fruit and vegetable juices. You might think that this is an easy way to get our recommended 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables.
But, real juices (not sugary fruit “drinks”) consist mostly of the fluid contained in the fruit or vegetables. Most of the the pulp or fiber does not make it to the juice. Most people who buy juices or practice juicing at home to get the nutrients in fruits or vegetables but not the benefits of the fiber.
For example, it takes about 4 large carrots to make one cup of carrot juice. The four large carrots contain 8 grams of fiber. But only two grams of fiber makes it to the carrot juice. You lose 75% of the fiber when juicing carrots or buying carrot juice.
If you want and need more fiber, you should consider blending smoothies instead of consuming juices. Smoothies have the nutrients of fruits and vegetables plus all the fiber.
What About Fast Foods?
Most fast foods contain very little fiber. This helps you consume them faster without a lot of chewing on the bulky fiber. It gets you out of the restaurant quick and on your way!