NutritionFacts.org

lifespan

Japan has the number one life expectancy of any nation; the US falls around 19th. A study recently suggested that eating a single serving of berries every day could add an extra year to our lifespan. The available evidence also suggests that eating nuts may extend our life by years. A plant based diet overall is thought to be capable of reversing heart disease and, thus, extending the lifespan (see also here, here, here, here). However, British vegetarians do not appear to live longer than British meat eaters (possibly due to the fact that they are less likely to supplement their diet with vitamin B12). And lastly, coffee has been associated with decreased all-cause mortality. Besides diet, sleeping 7 hours a night may maximize longevity. Severe caloric restriction has been found to extend the lives of animals in laboratories.

On the other hand, there are a number of vitamin supplements that have been found to increase all-cause mortality, or shorten the lifespan (see also here). Iron pills have also been linked to a shorter lifespan. Eating just one egg a day has been found to shorten our lifespan (see also here). Meat intake means increases in total mortality according to the massive NIH-AARP study (the largest forward looking study of diet and health in history). Processed meats and fish have likewise been associated with accelerated aging. Similarly, the Harvard Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Harvard Nurses’ Health Study linked red meat consumption to living a significantly shorter life—increased cancer mortality, increased heart disease mortality, and increased overall mortality. Not surprisingly then, people on animal-based low carb diets have been found to live significantly shorter lives. Untreated celiac disease may shorten the lifespan. Early puberty has been associated with a shorter lifespan. Kombucha tea has been associated with life threatening effects and should be avoided. Dark fish consumption (such as salmon) has been linked with atrial fibrillation (a heartbeat arrhythmia, which can significantly shorten the lifespan).

Moderate alcohol consumption does not affect the lifespan of healthy people either positively or negatively. Vitamin C and multivitamin supplements appear to have a neutral effect on our lifespan. Vitamin D, however, seems to be the only supplement that actually appears to make us live longer (see also here, here, here, here, here). And women with breast cancer who eat soy appear to survive longer.

See also the related blog post: How to live longer in four easy steps

Topic summary contributed by Denise.
To help out on the site, email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org

Watch videos about lifespan

  • Inhibiting Platelet Aggregation with Berries
    Inhibiting Platelet Aggregation with Berries
    The number one killer of Americans may be not eating enough fruit. Even if we just met the recommendations for fruit and vegetable intake we could save more than 100,000 people a year. One of the...
  • From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food
    From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food
    Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this new presentation based on the latest in cutting-edge research exploring the role diet may play in...
  • Prevent Cancer From Going on TOR
    Prevent Cancer From Going on TOR
    Suppressing the engine-of-aging enzyme TOR (Target of Rapamycin) by reducing intake of leucine–rich animal products such as milk may reduce cancer risk.
  • Turning the Clock Back 14 Years
    Turning the Clock Back 14 Years
    Four simple health behaviors may cut our risk of chronic disease by nearly 80%, potentially dropping our risk of dying equivalent to that of being 14 years younger.
  • Fruits, Veggies, and Longevity: How Many Minutes Per Mouthful?
    Fruits, Veggies, and Longevity: How Many Minutes Per Mouthful?
    The first study to gauge how much longer we live based on the number of fruits and vegetables we eat suggests that a daily salad could add years to our lifespan.
  • Xenohormesis: What Doesn’t Kill Plants May Make Us Stronger
    Xenohormesis: What Doesn’t Kill Plants May Make Us Stronger
    A new concept in biology tries to explain why the consumption of certain natural compounds in plants may mimic the lifespan-enhancing benefits of caloric restriction.
  • Debunking Egg Industry Myths
    Debunking Egg Industry Myths
    The latest meta-analysis of studies on egg consumption and heart disease risk found that even less than a single egg a day is associated with increased risk of both cardiovascular disease and...
  • Walnuts and Artery Function
    Walnuts and Artery Function
    Not eating walnuts may double our risk of dying from heart disease (compared to at least one serving a week), perhaps because nuts appear to improve endothelial function, allowing our arteries to...
Page 1 of 1112345...10...Last »