The Most Important Question To Ask Before Surgery

A Surgeon Experience Is Most ImportantAccording to researchers at the University of Michigan who studied the case files of 460,738 patients who underwent eight types of surgical procedures, the most important question you can ask your surgeon is how many times he or she has actually performed the procedure.

Experience Counts - Not Age

The statistics found within the case files, which were published in the Annals of Surgery, indicate that a surgeon's case load of procedures is a better predictor of surgical skills than his or her age is... which seems to make a lot of sense to me. They noted that surgeons over 60 years of age who had high case loads had the same low patient mortality rates as high case load doctors in their forties. Conversely both age groups had similar mortality rates that were higher when the doctors in question had lower case load histories.

Now my opinion on this is that this is probably an obvious deduction that just about anyone could make, however, I would assume that many people probably never think to ask this question either out of a desire to show respect to the surgeon or out of the simple fact that they didn't know to ask. I personally don't have any upcoming surgeries but I'm sure I would rather have someone cut into me knowing that he or she had dome it many times before. Just something to think about.

Your Opinion

Is this a question you would ask of your surgeon? Leave your comments below and thanks for reading!

Annals Of Surgery, Sept. 2006
Photo Credit

What Causes Allergies – Houseplants Maybe?

An interesting allergy study was recently conducted by researchers from the Free University of Brussels led by Dr. Olivier Michel which identified common houseplants as the cause of or trigger to many allergies.

Houseplants Trigger Allergies

The researchers tested 59 allergy sufferers and 15 allergy free people to skin-prick tests using both the leaves of their own plants and extracts of the most common airborne allergens. The results were notable in that none of the allergy free people reacted to the skin-prick test whereas 78 percent or 46 of 59 allergy sufferers had a reaction to at least one of the common houseplants tested. Plants that were the most common triggers were figs, ivy, and palm. The researchers also noted that two suffers from Ficus noticed that "removing the plant from their environment stopped their symptoms completely".

Allergy Relief

My advice for those who suffer allergies in the house is to decrease the amount of plants you might have indoors or simply buy a good HEPA filter which pulls the allergens out of the air. You could also try the holistic method of acupuncture to decrease your symptoms, though admittedly this is not for me. It's important however to do something because first, nobody wants to live with the sniffles, and second, allergic reactions are basically inflammatory responses which could be tough on the body in the long term.  Finding sinus pain relief is another major reason to seek ways to eliminate household allergens.

Allergy, September 2006

Health Around The Web

This past week was a slow week for me in the carnival department. I was only included in one carnival this week, the Weight Management & Fitness Forum carnival hosted by Weight Master with my post on using Coconut Oil to aid in weight loss. This carnival featured many other fine articles on the topic of weight loss; I’d encourage you to take a look at it if you’ve got some time otherwise click through to the linked posts below which I felt were standouts from the carnival.
  • Because I consistently hammer down the benefits of exercise here on my blog I felt that I should point out that the Kizie Blog offered a nice introduction to fitness centers for first timers in her post titled: Your First Time In A Fitness Center? The post ironed out a lot of the basic assumptions, etiquette, and things to consider for the first time gym rat. I know many people, myself included won’t go out of their way to a gym or pay for it, but for those that can’t get the motivation to work out at home, the gym has to be a part of your routine.

  • Another article from this carnival that I found particularly notable despite it’s brevity was Keeping Up The Metabolism from the GetFitBlog. This post is about a 1 min read and I recommend it as a brief inspiration for overall wellness. The article compares people today to those who lived in the 1800’s and sees that their diet and lifestyle kept them thin as few of them were overweight. Portion control and moderate activity are staples according to the GetFitBlog.

Additional Reading

I’ve also noted a few good reads from my RSS Reader which I’d like to point out. These are well worth your time if you choose to read them. Just let the authors know what you think when you get there.
Thanks for reading and please use the social sharing buttons at the bottom of my posts from time to time. Sharing is caring. :)

Finish Your High Fat Meals With Walnuts for Your Arterial Health

Walnuts Cracked OpenYou’ve heard that eating a high fat meal has in immediate effect on the blood vessels right? Well, to combat this phenomena you can exercise after eating your high fat meals as this too has an immediate effect on the blood vessels, except it is a positive effect which counteracts the negative affects of the high fat meal. Additionally you can eat a solid handful of walnuts as they too might protect your heart immediately after indulging in a big fatty meal.

Walnuts Protect Your Arteries

Best Life reported on findings from the Journal of the American College of Cardiology back in early 2007. They had this to say:
Eating Walnuts after a high-fat meal might protect your heart better than olive oil does.

Researchers had 24 people dine on salami and cheese sandwiches and high-fat yogurt. Half of the dinners chased the meal with 40 grams of walnuts, while the other half sipped 5 tsp. of olive oil. Ultrasounds conducted immediately afterward revealed that eating walnuts preserves the elasticity of blood vessels after a fat-filled meal better than consuming olive oil.

Researchers say that although both olive oil and walnuts decrease inflammation in the arteries, walnuts work better at keeping arteries flexible, which is important for decreasing your risk of developing hypertension.

There’s a lot of information in those findings which are supported by findings which I’ve previously touched on (see above links). I hope you’ll take the time to read through some of these at your leisure.

Personally, I’m glad to hear eating walnuts is better than sipping olive oil because seriously, who does that?!? I can’t imagine having an after dinner drink of olive oil. Yuck!

Best Life, Feb. 2007
Photo Credit

The Health Benefits of Pot & THC

Yes, there are THC benefits. Marijuana's active ingredient THC may slow the progression of Alzheimer’s Disease, according to researchers at Scripps Research Institute, in La Jolla, CA.  Keep in mind - The health benefits of THC are still being studied but this is interesting in my opinion.

The lead author of this study, Dr. Lisa M. Eubanks and colleagues published their findings August 9, 2006 in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics. The researchers showed this about the health benefits from THC, the active ingredient in marijuana.  THC preserves an important neurotransmitter that regulates communication between nerves in the brain by preventing an enzyme from breaking it down.
THC Health Benefits

THC Benefits: May Slow Alzheimer's Progression

Excerpt from the Scripps press release:
“THC inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), which acts as a molecular chaperon to accelerate the formation of amyloid plaque in the brains of Alzheimer victims. Although experts disagree on whether the presence of beta-amyloid plaques in those areas critical to memory and cognition is a symptom or cause, it remains a significant hallmark of the disease. With its strong inhibitory abilities, the study said, THC may provide an improved therapeutic for Alzheimer's disease that would treat both the symptoms and progression of the disease.”
Alzheimer’s Disease is quickly climbing the top ten causes of death list in America so this research in treating the disease is quickly getting more and more important every year.

Alzheimer's and Marijuana

I have written on the topic of Alzheimer’s a few times already. You might be interested to learn more about clinical findings on the disease and treatment for it in some of my recent posts such as:
Additionally you might be interested in learning about the health benefits of turmeric which has been shown to be quite effective at lowering the risks of prostate cancer when used correctly in your diet..

Despite The Benefits of THC

This post wouldn't be quite complete however without stating the opposite side of the argument.  Pot wouldn't be considered illegal if it wasn't for it's sensory altering properties.  It is a controlled substance and it is illegal so despite the potential benefits of THC you would still be advised to stop smoking weed until acceptability occurs in the eyes of the law. 

Yes, there are many arguments for and against the leagalization of marijuana, this finding being one of them, so the fight is up to the American public and the clinicians that find legitimate uses for these kinds of products. In the mean time check out this resource on how to prevent early onset dementia... at least until THC is legal.

...and for those of you REALLY interested in learning as much as you can about THC, Canabis, and Pot you may want to pull out your reading glasses and check out this magnum opus by Julie Holland, M.D. It's a 576 page beast of a book called The Pot Book: A Complete Guide to Cannabis. It was recently released and has excellent reviews over on Amazon.

Source: NIH – PubMed Central -
Scripps Research Institute -

Smoking And Heart Disease

Smoking - A Major Cause of Heart Disease

Heart Disease Deaths By SmokingHeart disease has long been the number one on the leading causes of death in America list as published by the CDC.  However, of those annual victims of heart disease the CDC has compiled a report titled Smoking Attributable Mortality (SAM). This report has been updated and recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Feb. 11, ’09) and states that 126,005 mortal heart disease cases are caused primarily by smoking tobacco products as of 2004, the latest year that data is available. That equates to 20 percent of all mortal heart disease cases! This breakdown alone would make this the fourth leading cause of death in all of America!

Life Expectancy of Smokers

It’s further estimated that smoking plays a role in up to 40 percent of all mortal heart disease occurances, a full 252,000 people or 10.5% of all annual mortal events of any kind. Additional statistics show that the life expectancy of smokers is unchanged from non-smokers if they quit before they turn 30 years old, yet the life expectancy of smokers over-all is estimated to be roughly 14 years shorter than the general population. This seems to suggest that the increased risk of coronary heart disease pertaining to smoking is extremely noticeable and only so to those who haven't quit smoking entirely for at least a number of decades.

Back Smoking Out of the Stats

What I find interesting is that if you back out the smokers from the entire pool then mortal heart disease cases only account for ~25.2 percent of all mortal events because smoking is the primary cause of roughly 440,000 events combined. Smoking only inflates the percentage in 'mortal heart disease case' to 'overall mortal case' totals by about one percent. So, despite the fact that so many of these mortal cases can be easily prevented, not taking up smoking still wouldn’t change the 'cause-of...-statistics' very much other than lowering the absolute numbers a little bit.

Age Adjusted Mortality Rates For Non-Smokers

The significant change would only appear in the age-adjusted deaths-per-100,000 number which currently is at an all time low of 776.5 as reported by the CDC. Extending the lives of 440,000 people would mean increasing the life expectancies for everyone for all age groups and would probably drop this number down into the upper 600s. –Just my opinion though.-

Do you have any thoughts? It's aparent to me that not smoking can definately help you live longer and aparently the statistics indicate that quitting smoking early in life can help you live just as long as well.

Journal of the American Medical Association, Feb. 11, ’09 -
CDC - Deaths in 2006 (Final Data) -

Photo Credit
nyki m via flickr -

Coffee Consumption Decreases Stroke Risks

I recently found a nice CBS interview and discussion with Dr. Jennifer Ashton regarding the health benefits of coffee. Recent research findings by the UCLA Stroke Center, funded by the NIH, have shown that increasing the amount of coffee you drink has a direct affect on lowering your chances for having a stroke.

The cause of the benefits are unclear as they may be tied to the antioxidants in coffee, the caffeine, or the benefits may even be linked through the indirect benefit of coffee increasing the health of arteries. Despite the undetermined cause of the benefits the positive association is strong and duly noted.

Health Benefits of Coffee

From the below interview, the positive benefits of coffee are:
  1. Decreased Risk of Stroke
  2. Reduced Risk for Diabetes
  3. Reduced Risk for Parkinson's Disease
  4. Helps Treat Headaches
  5. Boosts Concentration
  6. Boosts Athletic Performance
  7. Improves Asthma
Additionally coffee consumption has been shown to decrease risks of liver cancer and cognitive impairment.

Dr. Ashton finally concludes in this interview that there is the risk for short term increase in heart rate and blood pressure with coffee consumption but that she's not dropping her consumption any time soon.

I'd personally like to add that all this is pointless banter when we drink coffee that's bogged down with spoonfuls of sugar and/or cream. Drink it black and it's quite healthy; bog it down with additives and you might as well just pop a caffeine pill for the quick jolt.

Coffee and Stroke Video

Exercise Saves Lives

The following is a guest post by Christina Crowe, author of Salad Sticks, who encourages her readers daily to "live a healthy lifestyle".

When you think about exercise, the first thing that will probably come to mind is how it can help you lose weight and build muscle mass. But did you know that exercise saves lives as well? Not only does it help you lose that extra few pounds you’ve always wanted to get rid of, but exercise also helps you fight certain types of cancer, strengthens your bones, and improves your skin. That’s more than enough reason to get on your feet and start jogging on that treadmill.
  • As you all know, exercise strengthens your muscles and burns those calories while you work out. But what you probably didn’t know is that strong muscles burn more calories even when you’re not exercising, which helps you lose weight faster. For this reason, men burn calories and lose weight faster than women because of the fact that men have more muscle mass. On a side note, strong muscles will also keep you energized. What more could you wish for?

  • Ah yes, stronger bones of course! Exercise, especially walking, running, jogging, and dancing, help build bone tissue and, in turn, keeps your bones strong. Not only will exercise benefit bones, but it will lower the risk of osteoporosis, which is a horrendous bone disease.

  • Exercise improves skin as well! It does this by increasing circulation in the blood stream and transferring nutrients to your skin, getting rid of toxins along the way. With blood circulation there is improved skin color as well. You’ll also find that exercise not only brings oxygen to the skin, but increases collagen. Collagen is what nourishes the skin.

  • Moreover, staying physically active will decrease your heart disease and stroke risks, since exercise reduces the number of stress hormones in the body. When exercising, the heart beats at a slower pace, blood vessels relax, and blood pressure is lowered. Blood also flows more smoothly and there are fewer buildups in your arteries. If that isn’t enough, exercise strengthens your heart muscle, making it function more efficiently.

  • If you have type 2 diabetes, you’ll be quite pleased to find that exercise will improve your condition by increasing insulin sensitivity, improving cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and reducing blood pressure.

  • Better yet, exercise helps fight depression and anxiety while improving moods of those who work out. When you’re exercising, chemicals in your body called endorphins, which improve your mood, are raised. Brain chemicals are also stimulated, increasing your mood and making you feel relaxed. To top it off, you’ll look and feel great, which will also boost your self-esteem.

  • Don’t want a stuffy nose? Exercise can lower the risks of getting sick with the common cold or flu. When your body is physically active, your immune system strengthens and, in turn, you’re able to prevent those icky viruses from corrupting your body.

  • Your brain power will increase with exercise, since your brain’s blood flow improves and there’s an increase of oxygen and nutrients to the brain. Your brain waves are raised as well, making you think faster than you did without exercise. If that’s not enough, you’ll have a better chance of preventing Alzheimer’s and senility.

  • Lastly, exercise improves sleep. This in turn boosts concentration, productivity, and mood. Frequently working out will help quicken how long it takes you to fall asleep. Exercising late at night will especially work well before bed time.


If you have anything to add I'd encourage you to voice your opinion in the comments... and if you enjoyed this post make sure to visit Christina Crowe and her readers over at Salad Sticks. Christina may also be contacted via email at (

The Easiest Way To Lose Weight: Sleep More

Weight and Sleep Patterns

My last post showed that increased weight had negative effects on one's sexual health and that the best way to counter these effects was to lose weight. Along those lines another finding published in the Archives of Internal Medicine has found an association between increased Body Mass Index (BMI) and lesser amounts of sleep.

The study tracked 990 people and found that for each hour of sleep less that the person got the BMI of those people were .42 higher, or approximately 3 pounds of weight.

Diminishing Returns

These findings can be extrapolated out to some basic assumptions. If you sleep 5 1/2 hours a night you probably are carrying on average an extra 5-7 pounds than you otherwise would be carrying if you slept the ideal amount nightly. You can also make further assumptions which are likely untrue due to the basic law of diminishing returns. You likely cannot sleep as a weight loss tool alone. Sure getting a full nights sleep helps but sleeping 14 hours a night will probably not make you lose an extra 21 pounds without further extreme practices such as significant exercise. Besides the body is just not made to run on so much sleep.

Thoughts on Calorie Intake

My thoughts on this are really based on nothing whatsoever other than good old fashioned deduction. If you are sleeping 8 hours rather than five hours you have a three hour longer window of opportunity to indulge in extra calories each and every day. If I get up after five hours of sleep I will have some breakfast. Three hours later when an eight hour sleeper gets up they will have breakfast and I am already starting to think about a snack or my second meal of the day already. In my opinion this is why the association likely exists. It could likely be snuffed out through simple discipline in portion control but then again I could be wrong. Maybe it has to do with something different altogether. What do you think?

Archives of Internal Medicine, Sep. 2006

Lose Weight To Increase Fertility

Picture of Sperm

Weight & Fertility

According to a published study in the Journal of Epidemiology, on average you decrease your fertility by 10 percent for every 20 pounds of excess weight you carry. This is yet another reason to be concerned with your health and weight if the risks for heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and Alzheimer’s don’t do it for you.


For motivation on losing weight I’d invite you to read my previous post on how exercise extends life and consider starting a regimen of increased physical activity. Remember; it doesn’t take strenuous exercise to see positive affects. Click through here for help finding exercises to lose weight.

Best Life, Feb. '07

Photo Credit
fatmanwalking via Flickr

How To Lower Blood Pressure in 10 Minutes

High Blood Pressure Complications

Man with High Blood PressureHypertension has long been linked to an increased risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke and is often one of the first treatments undergone in medicine for the prevention of worsening of heart disease. The leading causes of hypertension are many which is why treatment for the condition can be complex.  In addition to prescribed medicine, diet, exercise, and quitting smoking are the typical treatments for hypertension. 

Walks Lower Blood Pressure Naturally 

A recent study, however, published in the Journal of Hypertension by researchers led by Janet Wallace from Indiana University compared the effects of four 10-minute walks a day to one 40-minute walk a day in people with high blood pressure. While both walks decreased blood pressure, the four short walks kept it down for 11 hours compared to only 7 hours for the one long walk.

This indicates that an effective course of treatment for hypertension includes cutting back on smoking, eating right, taking medications if they are prescribed by a doctor, and most notably exercise spread out throughout the day rather than all at once. Whether you are walking, lifting, swimming, etc. you should keep in mind that shorter more frequent bursts of exercise will help lower your blood pressure more efficiently than acting like a bum for 23 and a half hours straight every day.

How To Lower Blood Pressure - 40 Minutes A Day 

If you break down the hours in a day, 40-minutes of exercise spread out throughout the day should keep your blood pressure down four hours longer every day than if you exercised for forty minutes straight. That four hours every day ads up to a little more than a full day every week. It also means that every two days of working out all day long is similar to three days of working out all at once. In my book efficiency is something we all should be more interested in. I hope this helps motivate you!

...and if you really want to supercharge your fight against blood pressure, check out this recent blog post on lowering LDL cholesterol.

Journal of Hypertension, Sept. 2006

Photo Credit
HazPhotos via Flickr

Spray-On Sunscreen and Vitamin D

Picture of the sun

Spray-On Sunscreen Is Better Than Cream

Considering the summer is upon us I thought it would be prudent to disclose the following potentially useful factoid for frolicking outdoors. When you spend time in the sun this summer, be it at the beach, hiking, or whatever it is that you do you’ll no doubt apply sunscreen to your exposed skin. Did you know however that if you use a cream application you will not be as protected from the suns cancerous UVB rays as you would be if you used a spray-on sunscreen.

The reasoning is quite simple and can likely be deduced by anyone but it is because creams do not go on evenly. They go on thick in some places, thin in others, and it accumulates in wrinkles, lines, and skin folds. The spray-on varieties go on all areas of the skin evenly and as a result they maximize the effectiveness of the product. You can never be completely sure you’re covering up properly but if you use a spray-on sunscreen you can be sure your doing better more times than not.

Don't Apply Sunscreen Too Early

Keep in mind though, the sun is not all bad though. It aids the body in the production of vitamin D and people as a whole often don’t get enough sun however it is important to moderate everything and thus you should only be in the sun for 15-20 minutes at a time without putting sunscreen on. Personally I try to go without sunscreen for the first 20 minutes I’m outside and then I apply the sunblock. By doing this my body takes in the rays it needs to prevent skin cancer in the first 15-20 minutes and then blocks out the unnecessary rays that cause cancer in excess.

I look at UVB rays a lot like I view alcohol. A little is good for you but know when to say when. Get your sun for a while then cover up right.

If you have any thoughts on the subject share them with our readers. Thanks.

Photo Credit
Dennis Collette...!!! via Flickr

Longevity Made Simple: Book Review

Longevity Made Simple: How To Add 20 Good Years To Your Life

The premise behind Longevity Made Simple is that 75 percent of all causes of death are caused by one of ten happenings. The risks of each of these, however, can be minimized through introspection and a little lifestyle modification... or simply shying away from certain lifestyle changes that you have not yet made.

The early sections of Longevity Made Simple identify the main causes of death, which inspired my post on the same subject, and then it goes on to identify how you can identify your risks associated with these causes of death. Point being, if you know what you are at risk for you can take steps to prevent it and safely extend your life expectancy.

The middle portion deals primarily with how you can manage your risks and what you can do to balance the work versus reward of preventative maintenance of your body through means of diet, exercise, habits, and mental health. Topics touched on include alcohol, tobacco, food, exercise, etc.

Finally the authors, Dr. Richard Flanigan and Kate Flanigan Sawyer, "put it all together" by providing supplemental information regarding the benefits of certain medications, vitamins, and nutritional supplements. The doctors advise what is necessary what goals should be set and how to monitor your health through preventative tests. A basic life-plan is laid out to assist in preventing disease and extending active good years to your life. An afterward of heart-healthy meals and food prep ideas have even been packed into this book to completely round out the sound longevity advice this book has to offer.

Some Thoughts In Review

As I read Longevity Made Simple I found that though it covers many scientific and medically sophisticated topics is was remarkable easy to read and very entertaining. The sections were broken up often with graphs and illustrations, boxed sub-stories. The material was light enough for a lay-person and heavy enough for a post-doc and all information was cited and referenced thoroughly, supported by research and clinical findings.

I enjoyed the book and hope you will pick up a copy via Amazon or your local library. Trust me, you can read this book in a few days very easily. Happy reading!

Also, if you are interested in learning about some other books on longevity hop on over to my page outlining the ten most popular books on longevity and take a look.

Note to Reader: The link to this book above are Amazon affiliate links. Regardless, however, this book is a superior read and if money is an obstacle to you I strongly recommend finding these books at your local library. Thanks.

Health Related: Showering Some Link Love

Recently some of my work has been published in a few carnivals, the Total Mind and Body Fitness Carnival over at FitBuff, the Carnival of Struggling Bumbling Newbies at SuccessPart2, and the Boomers and Seniors – News You Can Use carnival at Ageless Sages. I wanted first and foremost to thank the hosts of these carnivals for their work and for including my entries into these carnivals. You can read my inclusions if you haven’t already:
In addition to my work I wanted as usual to highlight a few articles from these carnivals that I found particularly interesting and suggest to my readers take a look at them as well

  • From Total Mind and Body Fitness I stumbled upon this post from FitJerk on Energy Bars & Protein Bars. In this post the author tries to dissect the various forms of bars based upon what their “purpose” is. Once you identify your purpose fro eating a bar then he gives guidance on what to look for to ensure you are eating something worthwhile rather than just a glorified candy bar. Check it out.

  • From the Bumbling Newbies Carnival I found this post from Personal Web Guide on Food, Stress, and Anxiety. This was a very well written essay on how our food choices and diet affect our mood and mental health. It has been clearly shown that good attitudes, moods, and low stress levels have an over all positive affect on health and longevity and thus I appreciate this post which reminds us that our diet has a lot to do with our stress levels. I invite you to check this article out.

  • Lastly from Ageless Sages’ Boomers and Seniors carnival, SandwichINK posted on the importance of Grab Bars in the Prevention of Falls. This is an important topic for those of us who are elderly or care for elderly family members or friends as most deaths by falls occur in our oldest generation. I’ve recently posted on the overall causes for death in the US and accidents (primarily falls) come it at number five on the list! In the future I plan on highlighting this issue in yet to be written posts but for now I’d encourage you to read this SandwichINK’s post as a primer for my series on accidents.

Diet Mixers Get You Drunk Quicker

Here’s an interesting finding on alcohol and diet mixers. Apparently regular mixers (those with sugar) as opposed to diet mixers (those without sugar) cause alcohol to enter your blood slower. For instance, a rum and coke made with diet coke may raise your blood-alcohol levels a lot quicker that the same drink made with regular coke. This suggests that having a few drinks while dieting might get you drunk a little quicker. Depending on your purpose for drinking this could be good or bad but I hope as readers of ‘How To Live A Longer Life’ you would find the overindulgence of alcohol to be less of a good thing.

Sugar Slows Alcohol Absorption

The study that identified this was conducted by Australian researchers who gave men an alcoholic beverage made with an artificially sweetened mixer one day and one made with a don-diet mixer the next day.
Blood-alcohol tests taken on both days revealed that the diet drinks caused more alcohol to be absorbed by the bloodstream, resulting in blood-alcohol levels of .05, versus .03 for drinks made with non-diet mixers. Scientists believe the difference is due to the lack of sugar, which typically slows the rate at which the body processes the drink and absorbs its alcohol.

In my opinion there isn’t too much to read into these findings because this is a trade off. You want your liver to filter alcohol out of your blood stream but to do this more efficiently it would appear you should have a regularly sweetened mixer. In contrast you should avoid excess sugars as they are not nutritionally relevant to your body and they add extra unnecessary calories to your diet. I guess if it were my call I’d stick with taking my drink straight up with no mixer at all… but hey, that’s just me.

For more info Heartstrong recently posted a short summary of the caloric content of various alcoholic drinks. You can make the call on your mixers as you like.

Best Life, Dec-Jan, 2007

Exercise After Eating | Walking After Eating Fats

Eating has been shown to make immediate changes to the blood. To illustrate this, many blood tests must be done in coordination with fasting or right after meals because of the changes food imposes. In fact I even wrote about how saturated fats have an immediate affect on the blood of those people with heart conditions. If you haven’t read that finding I hope you will take the time to do so.

See this post for more on clogged artery symptoms. If you are at risk then this is even more important.

Healing Arteries

Piggy-backing on this idea is another related finding that shows that you can repair the immediate damage of eating fats by simply doing some light to moderate exercise such as walking after eating your high-fat meal. Apparently exercising after eating may cause you to live longer.

Best Life brought this to my attention in their December/January 2007 issue. They wrote:
Instead of the garlic mashed potatoes, opt for a side of exercise with your steak. Exercising after consuming a high fat meal reverses the damage fatty foods cause to the arteries, according to a study in the European Journal of Applied Physiology. After eating a high-fat meal, a healthy person’s arteries resemble those of someone with heart disease. However, if you exercise after eating (within two hours) a high fat meal, your arteries return to their normal, healthy state. The researchers say a relaxed 45-minute walk is all you need.
Exercise After Eating

exercise after eating fats...and don't forget that the benefits of walking after eating (or any time of the day, every day) can essentially minimize your risks for early death by roughly 19 percent (this is worth a read if it's new to you). Light to moderate exercise is after all the best way to maintain a normal blood sugar range and prevent insulin resistance.

So if you are walking every day anyway, try to exercise after meals. Walking after lunch or dinner is a good option and it will help optimize your efforts.You might even find that if you plan on walking after eating you will likely eat less overall. After all, if you know that exercise after meal time is the routine you probably wont want to over eat. Every little bit helps us live longer.

UPDATE 9/4/09: You can also try popping a few walnuts after eating your high fat meals to counter the negative effects of the fats on your blood.

And if you are a devoted walker or or looking to add walking into your daily exercise routine then you may be interested in The Complete Guide To Walking which goes over everything there is know about walking for fitness, weight loss, and over all health.

Best Life, Dec-Jan, 2007

Leading Cancer Killers in the US

Cancer Statistics

Picture of Hands Wearing Livestrong BraceletsCancer is the number two killer in the US and has been for some time. It is not conducive to longer life.  The most recent cancer statistics compiled by the CDC was released in 2009 for the final data of deaths in 2006; If you haven't done so I'd encourage you to read my post on the overall leading causes of death in America which is based on this same CDC report.

Because cancer is such a leading cause of death I thought it might be interesting to break down the cancer statistics to see what the leading cancer types were and which cancers were actually the most widespread. This analysis allows us to identify which leading cancers we can actively take steps to lower our risk for. By taking these steps we can effectively decrease our risk for one of the leading killers and in turn live longer by increasing our own life expectancy.

As I've previously noted, leading causes of death are a great place to start in attempting to increase mortality rates. Of the many forms of cancers, the top five cancer killers account for 56 percent of all deaths via cancer. And the top form of cancer, lung cancer and COPD, is by far the leading cause of deaths due to cancer. This number also represents nearly 13% of all deaths nationwide, of any kind!

For reference purposes the list for the top 10 leading cancer killers for Americans in 2006 (2004 data) is as follows (Type of Cancer - Percent of Cancer Deaths).

Leading Cancer Killers in America - 2006 (2004 data)

  1. Lung Cancer 158,664 (28.3 percent)
  2. Colon Cancer 53,549 (9.6 percent)
  3. Breast Cancer 41,210 (7.4 percent)
  4. Pancreatic Cancer 33,454 (6 percent)
  5. Prostate Cancer 28,372 (5.1 percent)
  6. Liver Cancer 16,525 (3 percent)
  7. Ovarian Cancer 14,857 (2.7 percent)
  8. Esophageal Cancer 13,686 (2.4 percent)
  9. Bladder Cancer 13,474 (2.4 percent)
  10. Brain / Meninges Cancer 12,886 (2.3 percent)
Combined, the top ten cancer deaths in the US accounted for 69.1 percent of all deaths by cancer combined. According to the same cancer statistics the following cancers were numbers 11-15 on the list, and all other leading cancer killers after that accounted for less than 1 percent of total US cancer deaths in 2006 (2004). Cancer of Kidney was right at about 1 percent.
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Skin Cancer
  • Mouth Cancer
  • Cancer of the Uterus

Cancer Statistics at a Glance

You should immediately notice a couple things from the above cancer statistics. Lung cancers and associated conditions (i.e. Desmoplastic Mesothelioma for instance) far outweigh other forms of cancer by a wide margin. They greatly contribute to shorter life spans.  This is generally due to the habitual nature of people across the globe to continue smoking despite their better judgment. This is the single easiest thing you can do to decrease your odds for dieing of cancer and increase your odds of living a longer life; don't smoke.

Other notables identified in the preceding cancer statistics are the advantages you have in being a man. Death by prostate cancer is about half that of the female cancers (breast, ovary, and uterus) combined. Maybe this is why the woman's cancer movement (pink ribbons anyone) is so much more mainstream then the men's campaign for prostate cancer. Obviously this is merely my opinion but I think it's has some merit to it. What do you think?

A Longer Life

In future installments of "A Longer Life" I'm going to continue to break down the leading cancer statistics and begin identifying in greater detail which ailments are preventable... or at least which risks can be managed effectively. I hope you'll stick around for more of these posts as we learn how we can live longer with prevention.

You can always return to "How To Live A Longer Life" at any time but let me invite and encourage you to simply sign up for free automatic updates to your RSS feed reader or to your email box. You can opt out at anytime; I promise. :)

Avoid Cancer With Knowledge

Let me also suggest reading a bit about how the lowly Mediterranean Diet has been shown to decrease cancer risks of most all forms and how exercise can increase longevity by lowering death rates of most all kinds. Lastly I recommend keeping in mind how to live longer by not dying young. Leave me your thoughts on these cancer statistics in the comments.

CDC - Deaths in 2006 (Final Data) - Table 10 -

Photo Credit
Unhindered by Talent -

Macular Degeneration (AMD) Risks Double with Obesity

Picture of Fat Finger Reaching for Ice Cream

Photo by jonfeinstein

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Research by Barbara McLaughlan of the London based Royal National Institute of the Blind (RNIB) has shown that obesity makes you two times more likely to go blind.

Obesity & Sight Loss

As quoted Dr. McLaughlan's report, "Feeling great, looking good":
Obesity is increasingly being discussed as a risk factor for sight loss. A recent review of association states that obesity is a risk factor for all four major causes of sight loss: AMD, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts (30). Other eye conditions, such as retinal vein occlusion, and hypertensive retinopathy, can also result from high blood pressure and raised levels of cholesterol due to obesity.

One positive thing to note is that the link between obesity and diabetic retinopathy is a little less pointed. However risk factors do increase with progressive severity of obesity and with early onset obesity. The longer you are obese then the more heavily the risk is weighted. To combat this increased risk factor an obvious assault on weight and obesity is a must. Look into dietary changes, calorie restriction, and increases in activity as obvious starting points.

Aside from the loss of excess body weight you can also decrease your risks for Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) through your diet. Make sure you eat plenty of the carotenoids Lutein and Zeaxanthin, which can be found in many normal every day foods.

Royal National Institute of the Blind: Feeling Great, Looking Good

Enlarged Prostate May Benefit From Daily Aspirin

Prostate Cancer and Aspirin

As Reported in Best Life:
"That daily aspirin you are taking for your heart may also be good for your prostate. A preliminary study of 2,500 men suffering from enlarged prostates, published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, shows that a daily aspirin is associated with a 50 percent reduction in urinary problems. Researchers theorize that the drug might work by reducing prostate cell growth or increasing the natural death of these cells, but it is too early to know for sure."

Researchers led by Jenny St. Sauver and Eric Jacobs concluded in the publication that it didn't really matter what NSAID was being taken because they were statistically the same. It should be noted that the aspirin or NSAIDs did not shrink the prostate but that it decreased it's growth by about 50 percent and decreased frequent urination problems by about 35 percent.

They also said that Aspirin should not be taken as a precaution for cancer but should be considered in cases where aspirin might be an effective preventative measure for other ailments such as cardiovascular disease. This is just something to keep in mind when dealing with an enlarged prostate or when trying to prevent prostate cancer in the first place.

Best Life, January 2007
American Journal of Epidemiology, August 2006

Iced Green Tea For A Longer Life

Picture of Iced Green TeaAccording to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association you can decrease your risk of an early death due to cardiovascular disease by 22 percent by drinking five cups of green tea a day. Since more people die of this disease than any other reason this alone should be enough reason to drink more of this beverage as it obviously promotes longer, healthier lives.

Green Tea Versus Coffee

Now, I’m a huge coffee drinker and I don’t think I’ll be making a full time switch over to green tea in the mornings but there’s nothing to say that I can’t have it later in the day and in iced form. After all, why drink it hot when it’s just fine cold?

For a while now I’ve known that I don’t drink the amount of water that I should. I get my water predominantly in the form of foods, broths, and other drinks. Of course these are not as ideal as drinking it "straight up" but a nice iced green tea is pretty close in my book. It has no calories like coffee and even the caffeine content is not that bad, only a third of that of coffee.

In the evenings and weekends I often find myself lounging around the house wondering what to sip on. Often coffee seems wrong because I’ve already had half a pot in the morning already, beer or wine seems to over the top as it might not be something I want to do all day long, water by itself seems to bland sometimes, and soda is obviously a death trap.

In situations like these I can imagine that a nice iced, unsweetened, green tea would be a fine beverage to sip on all afternoon. Not only does it provide an unbelievable amount of antioxidants and promote heart health but it is bitter yet refreshing, two things I love in a drink but find hard to merge together aside from coffee.

My Recommendation

I recently did some shopping for green tea bags and good recopies to make iced green tea and came up with the following organic decaf tea bags from Bigelow Organics: Bigelow Organic Green Tea. This pack of 240 can make approximately 24 gallons of iced green tea and thus should last even the most avid drinker for quite while. Of course you could also run down to Walmart and find a generic brand pack of green tea bags for cheaper but hey; we live in an organic society these days. It's better for you.

How I Make Iced Green Tea

Anyway most people are into hot tea and from what I read from others some are savage about it. "You can't drink it cold!" Whatever, I'll drink it cold and we'll see if it makes me worse off; somehow I doubt it. Anything's better after all then drinking coke for dinner and this is no different. From what I've read you can just pour a gallon or so of water into a jug and drop in 10 or so tea bags and maybe a few lemon slices and just let it sit there for a few hours. Works for me.

Comments on the subject are appreciated, and thanks for reading. Live long!

Info Source
Journal of the American Medical Association

Photo Credit
Rob Ireton via Flickr

Throat Cancer Prevention With Your Breakfast Ceareal

Folate May Prevent Throat Cancer

Research has shown that Folate or Folic Acid, is capable of preventing throat cancer. It has been shown to even heal precancerous lesions.

Best Life writes:
"According to a new study in the journal Cancer, when [Giovanni Almadori, MD and other lead] researchers gave 15mgs of Folic Acid (daily for six months) to 43 patients with precancerous throat lesions, 31 of them experienced a 50 percent reduction in the lesion size. Leafy greens, citrus fruits, breakfast cereals, and breads are rich in Folate. Get at least 400mcg (micrograms) per day. A Folic Acid supplement is cheap insurance that you’ll hit that number daily.

Funny thing though is that to get 400mcg of Folate you would have to eat 15-20 slices of sandwich bread a day or you could just eat a bowl of a nutritious breakfast cereal in the morning and get twice the 400mcg of Folate you need. Here’s to breakfast in the morning and here’s to staving cancer as best as we can through our diets.

Best Life, Jan '07
Cancer, July '06

Walter Breuning - America's Oldest Man

Keeping Tabs on Our Supercentenarians

This is a fascinating story and interview with America's oldest living man: Walter Breuning of Great Falls, Montana, born 9/21/1896.

If viewing this in an RSS Reader you might have to click through to view the video.

Click through to read the full story of America's oldest living man.

This man is a character... and kind of makes me want to put on a suit.

Alzheimer's Disease and Atherosclerosis May Be Linked

Research by Alex E. Roher and others from the Sun Health Research Institute, published in the Journal of the American Heart Association in September 2003 showed a significant association between atherosclerosis in the Circle of Willis arteries (the arteries that lead to the brain) and the presence of Alzheimer's Disease.

Atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's Disease

The researchers examined 54 autopsy cases and found in that in the cases where Alzheimer's Disease was prevalent there was a significantly increased degree of atherosclerosis or plaque build up in the arteries that lead to the brain.

The researchers concluded that:
"an association between severe circle of Willis atherosclerosis and sporadic Alzheimer's Disease should be considered a risk factor for this dementia. Observations strongly suggest that atherosclerosis-induced brain hypoperfusion contributes to the clinical and pathological manifestations of Alzheimer's Disease."

An Association - Not Causation

Obviously these findings do not prove anything one way or another but they do demonstrate the clear association between atherosclerosis and Alzheimer's Disease. Considering Alzheimer's Disease affects predominantly older folk and people are living longer than ever before it is no surprise that the amount of Alzheimer's patients is on the rise. Currently Alzheimer's is the 7th leading killer in America and it's on the rise. I can be rationalized however that treating atherosclerosis as it relates to heart disease and stroke through diet, exercise, and medicine might have some benefit to staving Alzheimer's Disease as well. This however is still speculation and unproven, though it would be healthy and advisable anyway.

On a related note this seems to correlate with soda (i.e. sugar) causing increased amyloid plaque deposits in the brain. Sugars after all contribute to increases in insulin which contribute to heart disease which is often caused by arterial afflictions such as atherosclerosis. I'd welcome any thoughts on the subject in the comments. Am I stretching too far on this one or does it make some sense?

Journal of the American Heart Association, Sept. 2003

Recent Medicine, Longevity, and Health Carnivals

Over the past week or so this site has been featured in a few different carnivals; I’d like to share some of my favorite posts from these carnivals with you today.

  • Yesterday was the 110th edition of the Total Mind and Body Fitness Carnival at FitBuff. My post on 11 ways to reduce insulin resistance was featured and has since been increased to 13 ways. If you missed that post I’d invite you to click through and give it a read; I think it’s full of good information that should be better known.

    This carnival also featured a post by Gain Muscles-n-Weight titled: Want to Live Longer? Put on Muscle Weight. In this post a Japanese study was identified that showed that heavier people lived longer than lighter people. This indicates that people who are more muscular tend to have higher BMIs than people who are not muscular. Muscularity also indicates a certain level of physical activity that a skinny person might not have. The bottom line is that physical activity and exercise build muscles & weight and also increases longevity… inactivity however, regardless of weight, does not. I’ve even written some on this topic myself in my post: Plaque Build Up in the Arteries: What To Look For.

  • I was also included in the most recent Weight Management and Fitness Forum with my article on Grapeseed Oil a couple weeks back. In this post I highlighted findings that showed that OEA, found in Grapeseed Oil, will signal the brain that the stomach is full and thus cooking with it might help you limit portion size.

    The carnival however brought to my attention another post over at Fountains of Youth which brought up the important point of spotting anti-aging scams. Because I write on longevity, anti-aging, and disease prevention it’s important that I make sure to warn my readers that I will never be a salesman for a scam or will in no way attempt to lead my readers into a scam. This is a area where scams are a dime a dozen and many products are just that. That is why I try to always provide natural ways to get the nutrition needed to prevent disease rather than just offering a selfish sales pitch.

  • Lastly, I was also featured in Lisa Laser’s Medical Blogs carnival with my post on Soda and Alzheimer’s Disease. Alzheimer’s is the one disease I fear the most, probably because I watched my grandfather suffer from this for a number of years before finally passing on. It’s not something I’d like to get.

    And along the lines of the contraction of diseases another post in this carnival jumped out at me entitled Swine Flu (H1N1) Over Exaggerated posted by the What’s Good Blog. My wife and I have been off and on talking about this for a while now as she’s in the hospital every day and knows everything there is to know about H1N1, the bug that killed millions in the Great Pandemic of the teens. Today Flu & Pneumonia are still among the top killers in America but medicine has limited the damage significantly over the past 90 years as evidenced by the relatively few people dying from H1N1 today. Cross your fingers.

That’s it for this week; I’ll be featured in a few more carnivals over the coming days and will make it a point to highlight more interesting work from those as well.

Longevity in the News

Longevity is not something you see every day in the news... or at least not in the headline news. You have to kind of search for it. Because of this I figured it would be nice to make this news easy to find and read by offering some recent news on longevity right here on this site. Let me know what you think in the comments.
  • Centenarians Show It's Never Too Late To Tweet - Three percent of U.S. centenarians use Twitter, 10 percent send email, 12 percent share photos online, and four percent downloaded music. Tech's not just for the younger crowd after all.
  • Anti-Aging Study Shows Rapamycin Boosts Longevity - A drug known to suppress the immune system, and possibly inhibit cancer and other destructive aging processes, is the new front runner in federally supported anti-aging studies.
  • Restricting Calories Leads to a Longer Life - A study that began in 1989 and has been conducted for a period of 20 years has shown that monkeys that were fed a reduced-calorie diet lived longer lives than those that were given free reign to eat freely. Additionally, the research has also concluded that the brain health of the animals on the restrictive diet is also better.

Dr. William Castelli On Heart Disease

Dr. William Castelli, one of the lead researchers of the Framingham Heart Study was quoted as saying:

"Close to 90 percent of all coronary death could be prevented if the cholesterol was kept below 182 mg/dL, blood pressure under 120 mmHg, and no smoking or diabetes."

Considering high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and smoking all are risks for diabetes and that heart disease is the number one killer in America, this is saying a lot. Imagine if death by heart disease were cut by 90 percent... American and the world would live far longer on average and live much healthier lives.

It is also fairly easy to argue that if we cut all of these problems and actually started to prevent heart disease we might also see a remarkable reduction in people with type-2 diabetes.

Leading Causes of Death In America


Heart Disease Tops CDC "Causes of Death" Statistics

Heart Disease is the Leading Cause of Death in AmericaThe CDC compiles statistics on the "leading causes of death in the US" on an annual basis and the report out this past April (2010) was the completed data for the year 2007. In 2007 the US saw total rates reach an all time low with 2,423,712 deaths over all or 760.2 deaths per 100,000 people. This stat is 2.1 percent better than the year prior and is at a record low.

The average expected life span of new born babies hit an all time high of 77.9 years. Heart disease, as a result of clogged arteries, tops the list followed by cancer, stroke, lung diseases, and accidents.

See this post for more on lowering your cholesterol naturally and minimizing your chances for heart disease.

How To Live Longer

If you want to live a longer life and are interested in increasing longevity you should note the leading causes of death which shorten life in America. It is a great place to learn how to increase life expectancy rates across the board. After all, if 26 percent of all cases are due to Heart Disease and less than one percent are due to Parkinson's Disease it would probably be worth more of your time and energy in dealing with minimizing your risks for heart disease.  If you fear alcohol induced diseases note that they are not even in the top ten causes of death!

For reference purposes the list for the top 10 causes of death in America in 2007 (published in 2010) is as follows. Click through for a break down as appropriate.

Top 10 Leading Causes of Death in America - 2007 (2010)
  1. Heart Disease 616,067 (25.4%)
  2. Cancer 562,875 (23.2%)
  3. Stroke 135,952 (5.6%)
  4. Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases (Lung Diseases) 127,924 (5.3%)
  5. Accidents 123,706 (5.1%)
  6. Alzheimer's Disease 74,632 (3.1%)
  7. Diabetes 71,382 (2.9%)
  8. Influenza and Pneumonia 52,717 (2.2%)
  9. Kidney Disease 46,448 (1.9 percent)
  10. Septicemia (infection of the blood) 34,828 (1.4 percent)
Combined, the top causes of death in the US for 2007 accounted for 76.2 percent of all deaths combined 76.5 percent of all deaths combined the year prior in 2006. I've said it before; if you can lower your risks for these diseases you will live a longer life

The following top causes of death in America were a few of the next highest on the list, numbers 11-15. Minimizing your risks for these will also help you live a longer life however none of these causes of death accounted for more than 1 percent of total US deaths in 2007 by themselves.

Don't Join The Top Causes Of Death List

Heart Disease is the number one cause of death in America as if you hadn't noticed.  You can do yourself a great favor by striving every day to minimize your risk for developing heart disease.  You may also find these posts on heart disease enlightening:
And for even more additional reading let me suggest looking into some of the ways that exercise extends life by minimizing the risks of many of the above mentioned causes. Also I recommend taking a look at some additional easy ways to live longer.

Lastly, if you found this post valuable, I'd like to invite you to sign up for a free email subscription to future Live A Longer Life articles. I hope you'll take the time to do so; it's free to sign up and you can opt out at any time. Just click the subscription link above. Thanks!

CDC Deaths In 2006 Final Data -
CDC Deaths In 2007 Final Data -

Muscle Mass Versus Chronic Illness

The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association recently revised their physical fitness guidelines due to the mounting evidence that "maintaining muscle mass is key to preventing chronic illnesses such as diabetes and heart disease."

The guidelines continue to recommend 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five days a week and now also advise 8-10 strength training exercises on two non-consecutive days of the week.

Furthermore, the two associations are encouraging doctors to start prescribing exercise as medicine and offer advice and additional resources to their patients. For more information check out the official site of the campaign at and take a look at this run down on how exercise extends life and health.

Best Life, Nov. 2007

The Most Popular Books on Longevity

Last updated 7/21/09

Longevity is fast becoming a science in and of itself. There are many people working hard at identifying peak human health and these books are great resources for the casual reader as well as the devoted follower. Currently I am working my way through this list and I hope you will too.

Enjoy your reading and please consider subscribing to this site as I routinely provide updates with topics related directly to increasing longevityanti-aging, and extending life. I'd love to have you as a regular reader of this site as well as a reader of the books identified below.

Bestselling Longevity Books

Longevity Made Simple: How to Add 20 Good Years to Your Life: Lessons from Decades of Research - I actually just finished reading this book and I loved it. This book is concise and easy to read. The information is based upon research both old and new and statistics which are relevant to the real world. The authors are a team of doctors, father and daughter and they really seem to have a passion for the topic. Their book has provided me inspiration for this site and I recommend it to all my readers. Please click through to read my full Longevity Made Simple book review.

Book Review of The Blue Zones by Dan BuettnerThe Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest - I recently read this book and found it to be a very entertaining narrative of observational longevity. Buettner visited some of the longest living people in the world located in areas of the most long lived peoples and observes what makes there people special. Click through to read my full book review of The Blue Zones.

Note to Reader: The links above are Amazon affiliate links. Regardless, however, the books identified are all superior reads and if money is an obstacle I wholeheartedly recommend finding these books at your local library.

11 Ways to Reduce Insulin Resistance

One of the most popular pages on How To Live Longer is my post on how to reverse insulin resistance. Because of the high traffic that entry receives I felt a more fully developed post would be appropriate and appreciated by my readers.

The following list contains 11 ways to reduce insulin levels, increase insulin sensitivity, reverse insulin resistance, help reduce insulin, and decrease blood sugar levels without the use of medication.

reduce insulin resistanceIf this post resonates with you you may also want to check out this post on reversing type 2 diabetets naturally which is often the result of insulin resistance and poorly managed blood sugar levels.

I want to be clear however. If you need medication or your doctor prescribes it you should probably take it. He knows how to decrease insulin resistance better than anyone. I cannot supersede the doc's advice. Now go live longer and stay healthy!

And before you move on to the list below fill out this form to get a free summary of a simple plan to help reverse pre-diabetes.

How to Reduce Insulin Resistance and Manage Blood Sugar

  1. Insulin Levels and Vitamin K – “Vitamin K - a nutrient found in Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and dark leafy greens - helps keep insulin levels in check.”
  2. How To Reduce Insulin Levels with high intensity exercise – Only 15 minutes of high-intensity exercise, three days a week for at least two weeks is all that is needed to reduce blood-sugar levels and risk of diabetes.
  3. Insulin Production and Fiber - Fiber may reduce insulin production in those at risk for diabetes – Eating high fiber foods such as fortified cereals and have been shown to help manage insulin production in men with high insulin levels. This suggests that fiber and foods containing fiber could be a simple and effective treatment for those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And for those with low insulin levels who are wanting to know how to increase insulin production, it may even be among the few easy ways to increase insulin naturally with your diet alone.
  4. Reverse Insulin Resistance With Citrus Peel Extract - New research reported by Rachel Li indicates that citrus peel extract containing polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs) may help prevent diabetes… the results suggest that that a daily supplement of citrus peel extract could be a way how to improve insulin resistance and in at risk patients for developing diabetes.
  5. Improve Insulin Sensitivity with ALA - Alpha-Lipoic Acid (ALA) plays a fundamental role in converting glucose to energy. Stephan Jacob, MD, of the University of Tübingen, Germany, described his recent study of 74 diabetics given at least 600 mg of ALA supplements daily. The ALA stimulated insulin activity, which safely lowered and stabilized glucose levels. The best food source of ALA are green leafy vegetables like spinach or collard greens.
  6. Resistance Training Combined with Aerobic Training Improves Insulin Sensitivity – “The improved insulin sensitivity is related to loss of abdominal subcutaneous and visceral AT and to increased muscle density.”
  7. Limit your Diet to Low-Glycemic-Index Foods - “Some research indicates that using a low-glycemic-index diet can help to reduce insulin insensitivity and improve the regulation of glucose metabolism.”
  8. Eat Chromium To Reduce Insulin Resistance – “This mineral plays an important role in your glucose metabolism, has shown to improve the conditions associated with diabetes, and can help decrease insulin resistance. In simple form, the chromium mineral helps to escort the glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells of the body… Foods that are rich in chromium include ham, turkey, grape juice as well as whole grain cereals and various breads.” Basically this is just another good way how to lower insulin resistance with your diet.
  9. Yoga Might Help In Lowering Blood Sugar Levels – “People under stress have elevated blood sugar levels… [yoga may be one good way how to lower insulin levels and blood sugar because] asanas and meditation relax patients.”
  10. Use Turmeric In All of Your Cooking Endeavors – Dr. Drew Tortoriello found through published research that daily intake of curcumin via the common spice Turmeric “could nicely complement our traditional therapies [for people with diabetes] as a natural and safe treatment [to improve blood-sugar control]." Additionally, studies have shown that turmeric fights many diseases and cancers, especially when it is prepared with black pepper.
  11. Sleep Habits and Insulin Resistance – Develop a routine, healthy sleeping pattern. “Routinely missing out on a few nights of good sleep increases your risk for type-2 diabetes. Deep, restorative sleep, also called slow-wave sleep, is important for regulating blood sugar.”

More On Lowering Insulin Resistance

If you have any further thoughts on these natural ways to fight insulin resistance or if you would like to add an additional method of insulin resistance treatment to the list, please leave your thoughts in the comments.

Lastly, if you found this post valuable, I'd like to invite you to sign up for a free subscription to future Live A Longer Life articles. I hope you'll take the time to do so; it's free to sign up and you can opt out at any time. Just click the subscription link above. Thanks!

UPDATE 7/10/2009: Heartstrong just posted on reducing insulin resistance this morning and identified the blood sugar moderating benefits of cinnamon and how they help to manage insulin resistance. I thought it was timely and relevant so I figured it belonged on this list as number 12.

UPDATE #2: Additionally, it should be noted (as pointed out in the comments) that insulin resistance is the spawn of excess blood sugar (blood glucose levels) and for anyone looking to increase insulin sensitivity they should look to cut any excess sugars from their diet which should help keep the body in a more normal blood sugar range.

You can read more about how to lower your insulin levels in my post: The Insulin Resistance Diet where I talk more about how to manage insulin levels with diet and food primarily or you can see a simple plan to reduce insulin resistance at

Amazingly most people don't realize how a poor diet affects their health. They think that if they stay active and exercise then it doesn't matter what they eat. It's true that exercise is very important and that it is probably the best way how to increase insulin sensitivity but you are really just spinning your wheels and not decreasing insulin resistance if you don't eat right at the same time.

If you need a more focused plan to get your insulin under control this book on Amazon may be an option for you to consider. It's all about following an insulin resistance diet and it has nearly perfect reviews from almost 200 customers over on Amazon.

Good luck!

Leading Causes of Death

Heart Disease is easily the leading cause of death in America. One of the major contributors to heart disease is cholesterol. See the following posts for more on lowering your risk for heart disease:

How To Lower LDL Cholesterol Levels Naturally

Welcome to How To Live A Longer Life! This site focuses on human longevity and shows you how you can live longer by improving health and nutrition and by preventing disease. If you want to learn how to live longer then consider subscribing.