Parkinson's disease can be slowed with vigorous exercise.
The study found that high-intensity exercise improved tremors and slowed the progression of symptoms. Symptoms of the disease did not change or improve significantly for most of those who took part in the high-intensity exercise. Participants in the moderate-intensity exercise group saw their symptoms worsen by 7.5%, while symptoms of those in the control group worsened by 15%.
Medicines that stimulate dopamine are currently standard treatment but can cause unwanted, uncontrolled movements, called dyskinesia, as the disease progresses.
NEW PODCAST! Today's episode features Dr. Eric Verdin, the president and CEO of The Buck Institute for Research on Aging
And we talk about... the ketogenic diet! Or rather, a cycling version of it that has been shown by Dr. Verdin's research to increase longevity and memory in mice when started in mid-life.
Additionally, Dr. Verdin shares MANY of his broad insights in the field of aging, including...
• How beta-hydroxybutyrate (BHB), the major circulating ketone body during fasting and nutritional ketosis, may regulate inflammation and gene expression by acting as a signaling molecule.
• How BHB by acting as an inhibitor of "class 1 histone deacetylases" (epigenetic regulator) increases the expression of notorious longevity gene Foxo3 and how this helps protect against physiological contributors to the aging process.
• The role of the nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+) in the aging process and how replacing declining levels (or preventing them from declining in the first place) may prove to be an important anti-aging strategy.
• Recent research on nicotinamide riboside (an NAD+ precursor) and its effects on longevity.
... and so much more!
If you enjoy this episode, please consider tagging someone in the comments that you think might like the episode or just click share! This is a great way to support the podcast and it costs nothing. Thank you for your consideration.
The sauna to improve the health of arteries?
People with a high risk for heart disease improved artery function and blood pressure after a single 30-minute sauna session (163.4 degrees F, 10-20% humidity).
To learn more about how the sauna improves cardiovascular health and brain health...check out my podcast with the senior author of this study, Dr. Jari Laukkanen.
Just released! The new "episodes" page on FoundMyFitness.
This is the start of a really big improvement to my website where every episode will get a dedicated page with helpful information, expanded notes and more. Hope you like it! More to come.
24 sessions of high-intensity interval training over eight weeks improved VO2 max by 12% in healthy individuals.
Better VO2 max has previously been linked to lower all-cause mortality independent of other health factors such as obesity and to improved cognitive function in old age.
In this study, the 24 sessions were done either over the course of 3 weeks or 8 weeks. VO2 max improved by 7.5% in the 3-week group and by 12% in eight-week group suggesting that efficient recovery is needed in order for adaptations to occur that improve VO2 max.
Exercise changes the gut microbiome independent of diet.
People that underwent an aerobic exercise routine (30-60 minutes three times a week for six weeks) increased gut bacteria that produce butyrate, which promotes healthy intestinal cells and reduces inflammation. This was also confirmed in mice, which were more resistant to experimental ulcerative colitis after the exercise-induced changes in the gut microbiome.
Supplementation with PQQ decreased biomarkers of inflammation and oxidation and increased markers of mitochondrial activation in a small trial in humans. Previous studies have also demonstrated that PQQ improved mitochondrial efficiency in humans.
The major source of PQQ is from fruits and
vegetables. PQQ has a potent antioxidant capacity and has 20,000 catalytic cycles, as compared to 4 for ascorbic acid.
Fecal microbiota transplant by swallowing capsules?
Capsules containing frozen donor bacteria taken orally were shown to be 96% effective in treating C. difficile, the same success rate as those receiving a transplant by colonoscopy.
Coffee consumption for a longer life?
Over 200 studies find that drinking coffee is associated with a lower risk of getting heart disease, a lower risk of some cancers, diabetes, liver disease and dementia compared with drinking no coffee.
Overall, there was no consistent evidence of harmful associations between coffee consumption and health outcomes, except for those related to pregnancy and for risk of fracture in women.
Interesting observation that warrants future clinical research to establish causation.
Supplemental NAD+ source to combat mitochondrial aging?
A single dose (1X) of nicotinamide riboside and pterostilbene increased plasma NAD+ levels by 40% and a double dose (2X) by 90% after 4 weeks (compared to placebo).
NAD+ is a cofactor for many metabolic enzymes and becomes depleted across various tissues as we age. This causes the mitochondria to suffer and mitochondrial decay is also thought to also be a key driver of aging.
Three other blood biomarkers also showed differences that reached statistical significance. First, diastolic blood pressure was significantly reduced at day 60 in the NRPT 1X group. Second, the liver enzyme ALT showed a significant decrease in the NRPT 1X group at both day 30 and day 60. Third, a small increase in total and LDL cholesterol was observed in the NRPT 1X group at day 60 and larger increases in the NRPT 2X groups.
Bright light therapy helps people with bipolar depression.
Randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial finds 68% of patients using bright white light therapy achieved remission of depression compared to 22% of patients who received the placebo light.
Circadian-related genes, particularly NPAS2, have also been implicated in bipolar and major depressive disorder. For versions of 23andMe raw data that include the appropriate SNPs, this can be found in the comprehensive report at foundmyfitness.com/genetics.
(Unfortunately, these SNPs are only available for the last version and not v5.)
Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends! I started my morning off with another high-intensity interval cycling class! I've been doing these hour-long classes 2-3 times per week for the past couple of months and I absolutely love them. I cannot emphasize enough how incredible I feel all day after a class. There are many positive benefits to this type of training including making old mitochondria young!
In a study published last March, younger volunteers in the interval training group saw a 49% increase in mitochondrial capacity, and the older volunteers saw an even more dramatic 69% increase. Interval training also improved volunteers' insulin sensitivity. Mitochondria are key for every function in the body. If you can keep your mitochondria young as you chronologically age, your biological age will be much younger!
#spinning #highintensity #mitochondria #cycling #exercise #vo2max
Physical fitness involving aerobic exercise and motor-agility tasks was associated with greater gray matter volume, which in turn positively influenced the academic performance of children.
Other studies have shown that cardiorespiratory fitness has been shown to be implicated in cortical and subcortical structures related to executive function and learning, motor and visual processes. Speed-agility has been related to cortical structures involved in reading and language processing.
A growing body of evidence links gut health to brain health.
Injecting Lewy bodies purified from deceased Parkinson’s patients into the brains or guts of monkeys caused Parkinsonian pathology in the brain and gut.
Another study in mice found that probiotics decreased gut leakiness and inflammation and boosted memory performance in mice with "Alzheimer's-like pathology."
When vegetables are closer in price to chips, people eat more vegetables.
The study found that for every 14% increase in the price of healthy foods compared to unhealthy foods, the odds of having a healthy diet dropped by 24%.
Why do we need a mountain of plastic to contain foods like baby spinach?
More than 50% of ninety different types of deep sea creatures that are found 4-7 miles deep in the ocean had plastic inside of them. One researcher involved in the study said: “There were instances where the [plastic] fibers could actually be seen in the stomach contents as they were being removed.”
Personally, I am trying to reduce the amount of plastic I consume. For example, I like buying baby spinach and kale for salads but they come in this gigantic plastic container that generates so much plastic waste just for a couple of salads. I'm going to stop buying those vats of plastic. What can you do to reduce your plastic footprint?
#plasticpollution #reduceplasticwaste #cleanoceans
Mushrooms are the highest dietary source of ergothioneine and glutathione, two anti-oxidants that protect mitochondria from aging. Porcini mushrooms have the highest amount.
Breastfeeding could reduce the risk of eczema in children.
A study examining the impact of breastfeeding support programmes shows 54% reduction in eczema for children.
Other studies have shown that antibiotic exposure in the first year of life significantly increases eczema risk in children suggesting the microbiome may be involved. It will be interesting to find out if the special glycans found in human breast milk, which function as a prebiotic helping to establish commensal bacteria, play a role in protection from eczema.
Exercise for your brain?
Aerobic exercise found to maintain brain volume in the left hippocampus in 14 different controlled trials suggesting aerobic exercise may prevent brain aging.
The exercise protocols in the 14 trials ranged from walking to jogging to cycling. The duration range was from 6 weeks to 24 months.
Aerobic exercise has been shown to increase brain-derived neurotrophic factor, IGF-1, and serotonin in the brain. All of these growth factors play a role in maintaining neurons and neurogenesis (the growth of new neurons) and have been shown to cause exercise-induced neurogenesis in animal studies. Just so many reasons to be physically active.
A single session of whole-body hyperthermia (similar to the sauna) produced a significant antidepressant effect apparent within a week of treatment that persisted for 6 weeks after treatment in people with major depressive disorder.
Multiple mechanisms likely at play here including the immune system. I just interviewed the senior author of this study...a killer 2-hour podcast coming soon!
Probiotics to treat anxiety?
Probiotics decrease anxiety values in populations with anxiety (compared to controls) in 10 different studies.
Several studies have identified a the gut-brain the relationship is that is bidirectional such that changes in the gut microbiome can affect behavior, and behavioral changes (ie. psychological stress) can affect the gut flora. There are several proposed mechanisms including immune system modulation (ie. inflammation) and changes in brain neurotransmitters via vagal nerve stimulation.
More studies still need to confirm the efficacy of probiotics for the treatment of anxiety but results look promising.
Circadian biology influences tissue behavior in interesting and subtle ways...
Skin wounds suffered during the day heal more quickly than those at night, according to new research in Science Translational Medicine. The finding suggests patients might recover from injury more quickly if they have surgery during the right time of day.
To learn more about how circadian biology influences human health watch my two podcast episodes with Dr. Satchin Panda. Check out the summaries and glossary definitions as well as the timeline to skip to points of interest.
A new study finds that people who are obese with no health complications still have a 50% greater risk of heart disease and ~2x the risk of developing heart failure than people who are not overweight and in similar metabolic health.
One possible mechanism for this is that being overweight and obese is often associated with low-grade inflammation that may contribute to cardiovascular disease, regardless of metabolic measures.
People who did strength-based exercise had a 23% lower all-cause mortality and a 31% reduction in cancer-related death. This study shows that exercise that promotes muscular strength may be important for longevity. Other studies have shown that muscle mass is positively correlated with a longer lifespan.
As with all observational studies, causality cannot be established. However, adjustments were made to reduce the influence of other factors such as age, sex, health status, lifestyle behaviors and education level.
Clearing out senescent cells can extend healthspan by 25% in mice. Great summary of current state of research on senescence!
Cellular senescence is so important when we discuss aging and cancer because as our cells accumulate damage, which naturally happens as we age there are only so many outcomes that we can expect. The first possibility is that the cells can die. The next is that they can become senescent where they stop dividing but stay alive all-the-while secreting molecules that influence surrounding tissue… or the worst of all possible outcomes, the cells can really go off the rails and become malignant.
Accumulating senescent cells is inevitable but there are varying strategies of how to tackle senescence and this is of great interest to the field of aging. There are ways to clear out senescent cells with drugs or even dietary and lifestyle interventions. Not only are there ways to kill senescent cells, there are also ways to influence what sort of molecules they produce, possibly limiting the inflammatory ones… even without killing them.
To learn more about this...watch the episode of my podcast with Dr. Judy Campisi. She talks about the role of cellular senescence in the aging process and cancer, what causes senescence, and how viable lifestyle interventions (ie. fasting) and certain compounds (ie. senolytics) that can clear senescent cells may be plausible life extension strategies.
Astaxanthin, which is found in salmon and krill, increased the activation of the longevity gene Foxo3 by 90% in mice.
Humans with a polymorphism that makes more of the foxo3 gene have a 2.7-fold increased chance of being a centenarian (that is, living to be at least 100 years old).
The reason why having more foxo3 is associated with longevity is because it turns on a whole host of genes that are involved in stress resistance making you more resilient to the damage associated with aging that occurs every day.
One more reason to eat your salmon!
Inspired by my recent podcast with circadian biologist Dr. Satchin Panda, I added a couple of new gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that influence circadian rhythm to our genetic tool.
The SNPs are in a gene called NPAS2 which regulates genes involved in circadian rhythm, cell growth, metabolism, DNA repair and more. There are two different common SNPs in this gene. One affects mood, and the other affects cancer risk. The good news is there are lifestyle interventions that interact with these specific SNPs that can help decrease the risk of depression and cancer.
If you have a 23andMe genetic report, you can use the genetic tool. We will be adding other DNA testing services like ancestry DNA really soon. Also, I'm adding many more interesting SNPs so please check back occasionally. :)
If you missed the episode with Dr. Satchin Panda, make sure to check that out by heading here...
NEW EPISODE! Today's is a round 2 episode with none other than Dr. Satchin Panda of the Salk Institute!
At nearly two hours of dialog, this episode touches on a lot of material but has a special focus on practical implementation of time-restricted eating. Put another way, I kept a list of a lot of questions that seem to keep coming up and present them directly to Satchin.
We talk about dealing with shift work, black coffee when fasting, and some of the distinctions between Satchin's approach to time-restricted eating which is influenced by his deep background in circadian biology and more conventional protocols like 16:8 that many people are familiar with.
In addition to these important and very practical how-to tidbits, we dive into lots of interesting new territory as well, including...
• How human anecdote and animal evidence suggests time-restricted feeding may be especially useful for gut-related issues, including inflammatory bowel disease and acid reflux.
• The fascinating way Dr. Panda is using human anecdote from his trial to ask new scientific questions he wouldn't think to ask and then going back to animal data to figure it out and how this unique approach forms a sort of closed loop pattern: animal → human feedback → back to animal for mechanism.
• How labs doing caloric restriction research may have actually been reaping the benefits of time-restricted without realizing it as an incidental to their experimental design.
• The revelation that 70% of FDA drugs are subject to circadian effects and are either less effective or more effective at certain times of the day.
• The effect melatonin has on the pancreatic production of insulin and the insight this lends to why we should probably stop eating 3-4 hours before we go to bed.
• The bizarre way circadian rhythms affects everything from susceptibility to UV damage to recovery from surgery to cancer risk (at least if you think the World Health Organization knows what they're talking about).
NEW WEBSITE UPDATE!
Almost as exciting as the podcast itself is the new episode page that the episode is sitting on. You'll find new exhaustive resources, meaning: an in-depth timeline with links to studies we discuss when possible, show notes, an on-screen glossary, relevant related links… and more!
This couldn't have happened without the amazing help of my crowdsupporters, so if you like what we're doing, learn more about how to participate in supporting the podcast at your own pace with a pay-what-you-can subscription at foundmyfitness.com/crowdsponsor.
Open heart surgery appears to be safer in the afternoon because of the body's internal clock.
The reason for this is thought to be because many genes that control heart function are on a circadian rhythm.
Every other day fasting (in mice) changes the microbiome and leads to more mitochondria in fat tissue which decreases obesity.
Every other day fasting primarily alters the gut microbiota composition to promote the generation of acetate and lactate and this increased mitochondrial density in adipose tissue.
The higher mitochondrial density in white adipose tissue caused the "browning" of the fat which results in increased energy expenditure through non-shivering thermogenesis.
A diet high in refined sugar may increase the risk of opioid addiction.
Consumption of refined sugar dampened the reward associated with opioids (in mice) and may promote consumption of higher quantities.
Oxycodone is also highly addictive. The U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health revealed that approximately 27.9 million people aged 12 or older used oxycodone products.
Physical exercise reduces cancer incidence, lowers the risk of recurrence and inhibits tumor growth.
Some of the mechanisms by which exercise protects against cancer and sensitizes cancer cells to death include:
• Increased blood flow, shear stress on the vascular bed,
temperature increases, sympathetic activation
and endocrine (release of catecholamines and exercise
hormones, myokine secretion)
• Increased tumor perfusion, oxygen delivery,
• Metabolic stress within the tumor, cellular damage, and
reactive oxygen species production. These acute changes
are able to elicit signaling pathways that prevent metastasis.
• Improved immune function, reduced systemic inflammation,
and improved metabolic health, as well as intratumoral
changes in the form of enhanced blood perfusion,
immunogenic profile, and immune cell infiltration.
Very healthy 90-year-olds have the same gut microbiome as healthy 30-year-olds.
Aging is associated with a loss of diversity in the composition of the gut microbiome. A new study looked at gut bacteria from people of varying age ranges and found that the healthiest elderly people that were 90-years-old had a composition of gut bacteria that was similar to people that were 30-years-old. This suggests that maintaining the diversity of your gut as you age may be a biomarker of healthy aging.
High physical activity levels were associated with delayed biological aging by 9 years as measured by telomere length.
In this study, high physical activity was defined as those performing > 1000 metabolic equivalent minutes per week, which is the ratio between one's metabolic rate while physically active and at rest. Participants reported their activity by recording which, if any, of 62 physical activities they participated in during the past 30 days and how often.
Telomere length and cell senescence are closely related to inflammation and oxidative stress. Research shows that chronic physical activity suppresses inflammation and oxidative stress.
Stress caused similar changes to the gut microbiome as an unhealthy diet.
Female mice that were put under stress experienced changes in their gut microbiome composition similar to when the animals were put on a high-sugar, high-fat diet. The stress caused inflammation via gut health.
This may be a mechanistic link by which stress is linked to depression via inflammation caused by gut dysfunction.
A new small pilot study suggests that exogenous ketone salt supplements improve endurance performance but may inhibit high-intensity performance.
The study suggests that elevated blood ketones may inhibit the use of glycogen for energy in favor of fat. Ketone bodies are great for aerobic exercise which requires mitochondria to produce energy. Short bursts of high-intensity exercise do not use mitochondria which means glucose is the only energy source for anaerobic exercise.
This is an interesting study but still, a pilot trial and more data are needed before conclusions can be made.
Fermentable fiber (prebiotics) reduce waking cortisol and response to negative stimuli in people (compared to placebo).
Vigilance to cues of threat or danger is greater in highly anxious individuals and those with high cortisol levels compared with low-anxious individuals.
Prebiotics promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria such as Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria and also have been shown to have neurotrophic effects in animals.
Blueberries may improve attention and executive function in children.
This was a small pilot trial that included twenty-one children were recruited to a double-blind cross-over study consuming 30 g freeze-dried blueberry powder or placebo before being tested at 3 hours.
Broccoli improved digestive issues similar to symptoms of leaky gut and colitis in mice.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli contain a compound called indole glucosinolate that is converted into indolocarbazole. The indolocarbazole compound binds to a receptor in the intestinal lining which then helps maintain a healthy balance in the gut microbiome, immune surveillance, and enhances host barrier function.
Fish oil supplementation reduced inflammation by 50% and increased anti-inflammatory markers by 100% in boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.
This double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed that supplementation with 2.9 grams of omega-3 fatty acids per day for 6 months has a significant effect on the immune system by decreasing inflammatory biomarkers by 50% and increasing anti-inflammatory markers by 100%. Inflammation is considered an important factor in disease progression. Although no clinical endpoints were measured in the study, the robust effects on the immune system would almost certainly improve some symptoms of muscular dystrophy.
Healthy men given a high refined sugar diet for 12 weeks increased their risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
After 12 weeks on the high sugar diet, the men developed non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and showed other changes in their fat metabolism that are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attacks, and strokes.
UC San Diego students and researchers have produced the world’s first algae-based, renewable flip-flops. One of the largest pollutants in the ocean is polyurethane from flip-flops that have been washed or thrown into rivers and flow into the ocean. The flip-flops are estimated to cost of $3 a pair.
Special request! If you're joining me tomorrow for the crowdcast, which is Saturday at 11 AM pacific, please make sure to vote on all of the questions! It is necessary to click "LOAD MORE" two or three times before you see all of the questions.
Here's the page you need to go to vote:
If you're wanting to sign up and haven't already, it is open to all supporter levels ($1+) and you can get the access code for the event here:
Polyphenols in tea increased weight loss and improved energy metabolism by changing the composition of gut bacteria in mice.
Both black and green tea changed the ratio of bacteria in the gut which corresponded with lean body mass. Polyphenols specifically in black tea stimulate the growth of a species of gut bacteria called Pseudobutyrivibrio which increased levels of short-chain fatty acids, a type of bacterial metabolites that have been shown to alter the energy metabolism in the liver.
Using the sauna 4x per week lowered hypertension by 46% in men. Using the sauna 3x per week was associated with a 24% reduction in high blood pressure.
This study included close to 2,000 middle-aged men that were followed for 20 years. The results were adjusted for many possible confounding factors including baseline age, alcohol consumption, BMI, physical exercise, socioeconomic status, systolic blood pressure, smoking status, type 2 diabetes, previous heart attack, resting heart rate and serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
Anyone that follows me knows that I talk about saunas A LOT. I interviewed the senior author of this study, Jari Laukkanen, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Laukkanen has been conducting long-term trials looking at the health effects of sauna use in a population of over 2,000 middle-aged men in Finland. The results? Massive reductions in mortality and memory disease in a dose-response fashion at 20-year follow-up. In the podcast, we talk about the details of how long each sauna session was and the average temperature of the saunas. It is a short episode (~25 minutes) that is well worth a listen!
Supplementation with pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) improved cognitive function and blood flow to the brain in humans.
PQQ is present in a variety of foods such as parsley, green tea, and fermented soybeans. PQQ is also abundant in human breast milk. The estimated daily intake of PQQ from typical foods and beverages are 0.01–0.4 mg/day. PQQ is an anti-oxidant and promotes mitochondrial biogenesis. Reduced PQQ exhibits a high anti-oxidant capacity that is 7.5-fold greater than that of ascorbic acid.
Mothers who supplemented with a high-dose probiotic during late pregnancy and while nursing lowered inflammatory biomarkers in breastmilk and improved symptoms of colic in their newborns.
This was a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial. Mothers were given the probiotic visbiome (900 billion probiotics which equals 2 packets per day) at the start of the third trimester and continued until four weeks after delivery.
Resistance exercise is associated with a reduction in anxiety symptoms comparable to medication and psychotherapy. The effect was found in people regardless of whether or not participants had a mental health disorder.
The study was an analysis of data from 16 previously published studies with a total of 922 participants who were randomly assigned to do resistance training or be inactive.
There are likely multiple mechanisms at play here. It is known that exercise (both aerobic and non-aerobic) causes branched chain amino acids to be taken up into muscle cells. This alleviates competition with tryptophan for transport into the brain thus allowing tryptophan to be converted into serotonin. This is why exercise increases serotonin.
Exercise also decreases inflammation which has been shown to play a causal role in depression and anxiety.
Go get some exercise today!
Only 30% of pregnant women in New Zealand meet the international recommendations for DHA of 200mg per day. The mean intake in Western society is ~135 mg/d::dose per day (~2 servings of fish/mo). The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume 500 mg/d::dose per day of EPA and DHA (~2-3 servings/wk or ~8 oz of fish/wk). However,
Many pregnant women are afraid of eating fish because of mercury...but a 2015 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition study showed that eating omega-3 fatty acids from fish actually protects the brain from the toxic effects of mercury even in the developing fetus (which is the most susceptible to mercury effects).
Atlantic salmon, sockeye salmon, sardines, oysters, and tilapia are all low on the mercury scale and have 2 micrograms of mercury per 4 ounces cooked. Whereas albacore tuna has 40 micrograms of mercury per 4 ounces cooked and swordfish has 147 micrograms of mercury per serving.
Hoping to ask me a question or get in a little bit of chat time? I'll be taking questions LIVE via an upcoming crowdcast. Moreover, you can even submit your questions *right now* on crowdcast (not here)... voting has already begun on pre-submissions! Don't worry if you don't get your question in on time, I will take live questions via chat as well.
This opportunity is open to ALL patreon supporters. Learn more and GAIN ACCESS by visiting here:
NOTE: You will need to make a pledge to support FoundMyFitness (of some amount) if you have not done so already.
If you are supporting directly instead of through patreon, I want you to join also! I will be emailing you an access code a few days before the event so that you can also participate.
Here are just a few of the topics I anticipate discussing:
• fasting & time-restricted eating
• mitochondrial health
• Alzheimer's disease
• effects of saturated fat
• my pregnancy diet and routine
• broccoli sprouts and sulforaphane
(Basically, probably a broad sampling from the various podcast discussions that have been published.)
If you are unable to make it to the online event, I will also be posting the video to patreon and emailing it to supporters afterward. I look forward to chatting with all of you!!!!!!! Thank you.