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

  • Turmeric Curcumin and Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Turmeric Curcumin and Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Randomized controlled trial comparing the safety and efficacy of drugs versus curcumin, the yellow pigment in the spice turmeric, for the treatment of autoimmune inflammatory rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Eggs and Diabetes
    Eggs and Diabetes
    Even just a single egg a week may increase the risk of diabetes, the leading cause of lower-limb amputations, kidney failure, and new cases of blindness.
  • One in a Thousand: Ending the Heart Disease Epidemic
    One in a Thousand: Ending the Heart Disease Epidemic
    Many of our most common diseases found to be rare or even nonexistent among populations eating plant-based diets.
  • Phosphate Additives in Meat Purge and Cola
    Phosphate Additives in Meat Purge and Cola
    The consumption of phosphorus preservatives in junk food and injected into meat may damage blood vessels, accelerate the aging process, and contribute to osteoporosis.
  • Lifestyle Medicine: Treating the Causes of Disease
    Lifestyle Medicine: Treating the Causes of Disease
    If doctors can eliminate some of our leading killers by treating the underlying causes of chronic disease better than nearly any other medical intervention, why don’t more doctors do it?
  • BRCA Breast Cancer Genes and Soy
    BRCA Breast Cancer Genes and Soy
    One reason why soy consumption is associated with improved survival and lower recurrence rates in breast cancer patients may be because soy phytonutrients appear to improve the expression of tumor...
  • Increased Lifespan From Beans
    Increased Lifespan From Beans
    The intake of legumes—beans, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils—may be the single most important dietary predictor of a long lifespan, but what about concerns about intestinal gas?
  • Testing Your Diet with Pee & Purple Cabbage
    Testing Your Diet with Pee & Purple Cabbage
    Plant-based diets tend to be alkaline-forming. This may help protect muscle mass and reduce the risk of gout and kidney stones. The pH of one's urine can be estimated with natural pigments using...
Page 2 of 1012345...10...Last »