Finger on the Pulse of Longevity

Finger on the Pulse of Longevity
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To maximize our lifespan, the target resting heart rate may be one beat a second, or less.

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Immanuel Kant, the 18th century philosopher, described the chemistry of his day as a science, but not really science, because it wasn’t grounded in mathematics – at least not until a century later. The same could be said for biology, the study of life.

In math, physics, quantum physics, etc., there are constants: physical quantities thought to be both universal and unchanging. Biology, though, was considered too complex, too messy to be governed by simple, natural laws. But in 1997, a theoretical high energy physicist from Los Alamos joined up with two biologists to describe universal scaling laws that appear to apply across the board. Are there any clinical implications of these types of theories?

Well, a fascinating observation was published. The number of heartbeats per lifetime is remarkably similar, whether you’re a hamster, all the way up to a whale. So, even though mice only live less than two years, their heart rate is like 500 to 600 beats a minute—up to ten beats a second, whereas the heart of a Galapagos tortoise beats 100 times slower, but they live about 100 times longer.

There’s such a remarkable consistency in the number of heartbeats animals get in their lifetimes that a provocative question was asked: “Can human life be extended by cardiac slowing?” In other words, if humans are predetermined to have about three billion heartbeats, period, in a lifetime, then would a reduction in average heart rate extend life? This is not just some academic question. If that’s how it works, then one might estimate that a reduction in heart rate from an average of more than 70 beats per minute, down to what many athletes have, 60 beats per minute, could theoretically increase lifespan by over a decade.

Seems a bit off the wall, but that’s how the scientific method works: you start out with an observation, like these striking heartbeat data, and then you make an educated guess, or hypothesis, that you can then put to the test. How might one demonstrate a life-prolonging effect of cardiac slowing in humans?

Well, perhaps a first attempt in this direction would be to see if people with slower hearts live longer lives, lamenting the fact that there is no drug that just lowers heart rate that researchers can give to people, since drugs like beta blockers lower heart rate, but also lower blood pressure. So, these drugs aren’t ideal for testing the question at hand, but we can do that first part.

And indeed, from the evidence accumulated so far, we know that a high resting heart rate, meaning how fast our heart beats when we’re just sitting at rest, is associated with an increase in mortality in the general population, as well as those with chronic disease. A faster heart rate may lead to a faster death rate. Faster resting heart rates (RHRs) are associated with shorter life expectancies, and are considered a strong independent risk factor for heart disease and heart failure. You can see how those with the higher heart rates were about twice as likely over the next 15 years to experience heart failure, in middle-aged people, older people, men, and women. And what’s critical is that this link between how fast your heart goes, and how fast your life goes, is independent of physical activity.

At first, I was like, duh, of course, lower resting heart rates are associated with a longer lifespan. Who has a really slow pulse? Athletes. As you can see, the more physically fit we are, the lower our resting pulse. But no, they found that, irrespective of level of physical fitness, people with higher resting heart rates fare worse than people with lower heart rates; so, it appears it’s not just a marker of risk, but a bona fide risk factor, independent of how fit we are, or how much we exercise.

Why? Well, when our heart rate is up 24 hours a day, even when we’re sleeping, all that pulsatile stress may break some of elastic fibers within the arterial wall, causing our arteries to become stiff. It doesn’t allow enough time for our arteries to relax between beats. And so, the faster our heart, the stiffer our arteries. But there are all sorts of theories about how an increased resting heart rate can decrease our time on Earth. Regardless, this relationship is now well recognized.

It’s not just a marker of an underlying pathology. It’s not merely a marker of inflammation.

The reason it’s important to distinguish a risk factor from a risk marker is that if you control the risk factor, you control the risk. But if it was just a risk marker, it wouldn’t matter if we brought our heart rate down. But now, we even have evidence from drug trials (now that there are actually medications that just affect heart rate) that lowering our heart rate lowers our death rate.

It’s now been shown in at least a dozen trials so far, basically, we don’t want our heart to be beating more than about one beat per second at rest—you can measure your pulse right now! For the maximum lifespan, the target is like one beat a second, to beat the clock. But don’t worry if you’re too fast; heart rate is a modifiable risk factor. Yes, there are drugs, but there are also lifestyle regimens that can bring our resting pulse down. And, this video is already too long; so, I’ll cover what we can do about it next.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to odolphie, Public Domain, and HerPhotographer via Flickr and MG via Wikimedia Commons.

Immanuel Kant, the 18th century philosopher, described the chemistry of his day as a science, but not really science, because it wasn’t grounded in mathematics – at least not until a century later. The same could be said for biology, the study of life.

In math, physics, quantum physics, etc., there are constants: physical quantities thought to be both universal and unchanging. Biology, though, was considered too complex, too messy to be governed by simple, natural laws. But in 1997, a theoretical high energy physicist from Los Alamos joined up with two biologists to describe universal scaling laws that appear to apply across the board. Are there any clinical implications of these types of theories?

Well, a fascinating observation was published. The number of heartbeats per lifetime is remarkably similar, whether you’re a hamster, all the way up to a whale. So, even though mice only live less than two years, their heart rate is like 500 to 600 beats a minute—up to ten beats a second, whereas the heart of a Galapagos tortoise beats 100 times slower, but they live about 100 times longer.

There’s such a remarkable consistency in the number of heartbeats animals get in their lifetimes that a provocative question was asked: “Can human life be extended by cardiac slowing?” In other words, if humans are predetermined to have about three billion heartbeats, period, in a lifetime, then would a reduction in average heart rate extend life? This is not just some academic question. If that’s how it works, then one might estimate that a reduction in heart rate from an average of more than 70 beats per minute, down to what many athletes have, 60 beats per minute, could theoretically increase lifespan by over a decade.

Seems a bit off the wall, but that’s how the scientific method works: you start out with an observation, like these striking heartbeat data, and then you make an educated guess, or hypothesis, that you can then put to the test. How might one demonstrate a life-prolonging effect of cardiac slowing in humans?

Well, perhaps a first attempt in this direction would be to see if people with slower hearts live longer lives, lamenting the fact that there is no drug that just lowers heart rate that researchers can give to people, since drugs like beta blockers lower heart rate, but also lower blood pressure. So, these drugs aren’t ideal for testing the question at hand, but we can do that first part.

And indeed, from the evidence accumulated so far, we know that a high resting heart rate, meaning how fast our heart beats when we’re just sitting at rest, is associated with an increase in mortality in the general population, as well as those with chronic disease. A faster heart rate may lead to a faster death rate. Faster resting heart rates (RHRs) are associated with shorter life expectancies, and are considered a strong independent risk factor for heart disease and heart failure. You can see how those with the higher heart rates were about twice as likely over the next 15 years to experience heart failure, in middle-aged people, older people, men, and women. And what’s critical is that this link between how fast your heart goes, and how fast your life goes, is independent of physical activity.

At first, I was like, duh, of course, lower resting heart rates are associated with a longer lifespan. Who has a really slow pulse? Athletes. As you can see, the more physically fit we are, the lower our resting pulse. But no, they found that, irrespective of level of physical fitness, people with higher resting heart rates fare worse than people with lower heart rates; so, it appears it’s not just a marker of risk, but a bona fide risk factor, independent of how fit we are, or how much we exercise.

Why? Well, when our heart rate is up 24 hours a day, even when we’re sleeping, all that pulsatile stress may break some of elastic fibers within the arterial wall, causing our arteries to become stiff. It doesn’t allow enough time for our arteries to relax between beats. And so, the faster our heart, the stiffer our arteries. But there are all sorts of theories about how an increased resting heart rate can decrease our time on Earth. Regardless, this relationship is now well recognized.

It’s not just a marker of an underlying pathology. It’s not merely a marker of inflammation.

The reason it’s important to distinguish a risk factor from a risk marker is that if you control the risk factor, you control the risk. But if it was just a risk marker, it wouldn’t matter if we brought our heart rate down. But now, we even have evidence from drug trials (now that there are actually medications that just affect heart rate) that lowering our heart rate lowers our death rate.

It’s now been shown in at least a dozen trials so far, basically, we don’t want our heart to be beating more than about one beat per second at rest—you can measure your pulse right now! For the maximum lifespan, the target is like one beat a second, to beat the clock. But don’t worry if you’re too fast; heart rate is a modifiable risk factor. Yes, there are drugs, but there are also lifestyle regimens that can bring our resting pulse down. And, this video is already too long; so, I’ll cover what we can do about it next.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to odolphie, Public Domain, and HerPhotographer via Flickr and MG via Wikimedia Commons.

136 responses to “Finger on the Pulse of Longevity

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  1. In my distance running days, my resting pulse rate dipped to the mid to high 40s (which startled at least one of my physicians). When I later read the heartbeat hypothesis, I tried to calculate whether the extra beats I clocked while running for an hour or two (averaging around 150 BPM) canceled out the ones that didn’t beat during my non-exercise hours, and concluded it was more or less a wash. Presumably that’s one of the cliff edges on which we’ve been left hanging.




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        1. I walk about 3 miles in 45 minutes and my resting heart rate is usually in the high 50s, so pretty good. Running is too hard on my joints, but I love walking.




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      1. But the studies you referenced, Dr. Greger, equated total heart beats per lifetime across different species as a basis for suggesting heart rate as a proxy for longevity. In that case, wouldn’t it be average heart rate that serves as a predictor of longevity and not resting heart rate? In your video, you did refer initially to average or mean heart rate as a marker for longevity, but then switched to saying that it is resting heart rate that is the marker.

        True, a lower resting heart rate may well have been correlated with longevity, but wouldn’t that be due to the fact that for many people (not necessarily all) a lower resting heart rate is correlated with a lower average heart rate?

        However, if in bringing one’s resting heart rate down, one does so by increasing one’s exercise heart rate, any benefit would have to come from a reduction in resting heart rate that is greater than the increase in exercise heart rate. Maybe it does, but then the benefit would stem from a lower MEAN heart rate, wouldn’t it, rather than simply from a lower RESTING heart rate?




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        1. Those are good questions William. From my interpretation, a lower resting HR would also mean a lower MEAN HR, even if it’s because of exercise that created the lower heart rate.

          I’ll use Know Beans’s example from above. He/she said resting heart rate was mid – high 40s (I’ll use 46 for this calculation) and exercise HR averaged 150 bpm for 1 – 2 hrs (I’ll use 2 hrs for calculation to be generous) That means heart beats per day = (150 bpm X 2 hrs) + (46 bpm X 22 hrs) = 1,312 beats per day

          Now suppose someone doesn’t exercise much. A “normal” resting heart rate according to medical literature is 60 – 100 bpm. Let’s say that person is just a bit above the ideal 65 bpm, as referenced in the video, and has a resting heart rate of 70 bpm and has a sedentary lifestyle. That person’s total heart beats per day = 70 bpm X 24 hrs = 1,680 beats per day.

          So you can see that even when exercise raises heart rate, it’s still creating a lower total number of heart beats per day since it makes the heart much more efficient at rest. I hope that answers your question.




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          1. Missing a factor of 60 in your calculations. 78720 vs 100800 beats per day. Assuming that can be maintained for all the persons life of 3 billion beats, it would equate to ~20 years longer life expectancy.




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          2. Not sure what calculation i used originally, but here’s my back-of-the envelope reconstruction:

            Resting pulse, as I understand it, obtains only while you’re sleeping or vegging out–say 8 hours a day (we’re talking my active salad days here, not my current state of grizzled lethargy). So, 8 hours for Distance Runner (DR) @ 46 BPM = 22,080 beats at resting pulse. 2 hours of running @ 150 BPM = 18,000 beats. The other 14 hours of waking time is a mix of more or less active pursuits, averaging, say, 55 BPM = 46,200. Day’s total for DR: 86,280 heartbeats.

            By contrast, Confirmed Walker (CW) has a higher resting pulse of, say, 55, or 26,400 during 8 hours of sleep. The other 16 hours (because CW is less fit than DR) also average a higher rate of, say, 62, for 59,520 beats. Day’s total for CW: 85,920 heartbeats.

            Like I said, more or less a wash. Though, if I’m understanding Dr G correctly, the determinative figure is the resting pulse — 22,080 for DR vs 26,400 for CW. A nearly 20% improvement is nothing to sneer at, certainly, but these calculations give me another reason to hope that high-intensity interval training offers the benefits of aerobic conditioning minus the hours of pavement-pounding.




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      2. Changing the subject with what may be a possible topic?

        I found something weird in the “wild” – people are claiming ketogenic diets fight cancer:

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/548019
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3267662/
        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1819381/

        I won’t post the original source, but suffice it to say that it is usually less rigorous than this. Is it possible that starch goes from being healthy to unhealthy when you have certain types of cancer?




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  2. Although I’m no athlete, mine is normally in the low 40’s which causes raised eyebrows among my various doctors. I wore a 24 hour portable heart monitor to calm my GP’s fears – all was normal. It’s just a hereditary thing – I have a diesel heart. My mom did too and lived to be 94 – although she was sedentary and ate bad stuff and had severe circulatory problems later in life. I’m no couch potato and maybe my vegan diet will keep my ticker ticking for a long while. Maybe.




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    1. Wow! I don’t know what else you got going for you but seems you might live well into the triple digits with a healthy diet.




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    2. I’m another “rester” in the 40s. I’m not an athletic but when I went from 306 pounds to 185, my resting pulse went from the 60s to the 40s. I think that’s one reason my fingers are often cold. Not enough circulation. I’ll report back to this thread when I die. I’m sure everyone wants to know how long I lived.




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      1. Stands to reason. The less you weigh, the less body mass the heart has to service, and the slower it needs to beat to get enough blood to the tissues. I once knew an anorexic woman who, believe it or not, was a medical doctor. She told me that her resting heart rate was 40 bpm, even though she did no exercise. I don’t know what her life expectancy would have been, however. I should think shorter than average.




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        1. Your anorexia comment is an interesting and important one. Those who suffer from anorexia often have an extremely low heart rate (I work with this population and have seen HRs as low as the mid 20s during sleep). Of note, heart attacks and heart failure are a major cause of death in these patients. The heart suffers from repeated episodes of starvation. A low heart rate from healthy diet and fitness is great! From starvation, not good and possibly fatal.




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            1. There doesn’t seem to be enough good scientific research yet to say that fasting definitely prolongs life (let along how often and for how long), although it may turn out to be true. Regardless, anorexia is a potentially fatal illness with lots of medical complications. That said, not all anorexics fast and they do often engage in other dangerous weight control behaviours.




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      2. Same here, and my BP dropped to 80/50 and my doctor wanted me to go to a specialist for tests. No thanks! As long as I feel good, if I drop dead at least I died happy!




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    3. The neat thing is that we can all, for $150 or so, wear a portable heart rate monitor 24/7/365. It is called a FitBit Surge HR, or Apple iWatch, or other similar fitness device. I have had mine for 6 months and it is interesting to watch my resting heart rate change as my activity rate has increased. As the weather has warmed up and I am spending more of my evenings and weekends pushing an old-style reel mower (no engine, just me powered) around my 1/2 acre of lawn my level of fitness is rapidly improving and with it I can watch the resting heart rate recorded by the FitBit fall from 59 bpm to 50 bpm.

      And like you my wife’s resting heart rate is in the low to mid 40s. Her MD was mildly concerned at her last physical so she showed him several months worth of 24 hour heart rate traces on her iPhone. A few minutes review and he was reassured that her low heart rate wasn’t because she was suffering from cardo-electrical issues with the pacemaker nerves.

      In addition to data about how quickly your heart rate increases with exercise and to what level when you are active, the 2-minute heartbeat recovery rate after exercise is a real key indicator of cardiovascular health.

      While my FitBit itself doesn’t calculate the 2 minute recovery rate, you can do this yourself by noting the heart rate when you finish exercising and then seeing what it is after two minutes. If you have an iWatch, the iPhone app has a feature to automatically do this .




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        1. Yeah the distance isn’t all that accurate. Maybe more accurate for walkers. I use a Garmen for my runs but our family had a Fit Bit competition going. A lot of fun but my Fit Bit was off by quite a bit–I would wear both devices for my runs.




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        2. I have the Fit Bit surge Hr also. My running and walking partners also have Fitbits but not the Surge. Mine is quite accurate and in line with their Runkeepers and other trackers. My resting HR is in the low 50’s and has been for many years and this is reflected in my FitBit reports. However, my partner’s FitBits always report different steps/mileage than mine but, as I said, they do not have the Surge.

          Are the problems with the other FitBit models or is the Surge also being found to be inaccurate/part of the lawsuit?




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      1. I’ve owned a Fitbit Charge (no HR monitor) for the last year or so. Main issue is that the band starts to come away from the tech part. I’ve had one replaced under warranty after 6 months…now the second one is doing the same thing…plus the battery now needs recharging too often. Think the issue is skin oils that affect the adhesive they use(d).

        To avoid the band issues you’d need to buy the one made like a watch…unless they have improved the way they make them.




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    4. Mine was in the mid to low 40’s 80+% every reading I took, before bed, before getting out of bed in the morning, even while working lightly; this happened for about 6-8 months of 2013. I had several upper 30’s (37 was the lowest I believe) during that time period too. When I started seeing those 30’s I was slightly concerned




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      1. Hi Ryan; Mine is about 39. I was wondering what is your BMI and age; mine is 20.1 and 53. What do you suspect as to why you have a low pulse rate?




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        1. 23.3 and 26yrs. I contribute it to my extremely low level of stress, my diet was incredibly clean, and I had lots of free time to spend breathing deeply.

          Breathing slow and deep almost all day long probably has more to do with it than the stress or diet; these days, when I consciously make a point to breathe deep and slow at different points of the day, my heart rate is slower that night, regardless of recent stress/diet.




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    5. It would be nice to see your calculation, so we could compare it across training regimes. If it is neutral for endurance sports, then there may still be an interesting impact for the other types of sport — which are more impulsive (as in Parkour) or of high-intensity interval form (as in Survival runs).




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  3. In my distance running days, my pulse rate was also very low. The conditioning must stay with us because now immediately after an hour of cardio exercise (Zumba), my rate is only 68-70. I haven’t taken my resting rate upon waking up in a while. I’ll do that tomorrow.




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  4. I have seen this myself. The days I eat food with cheese or oil, I can see my resting heart rate rise. I have been on Whole Foods Plant based No Oil Diet for more than 2 months and seen my resting heart rate fall from 72 to 63. Thanks to my Fitbit surge, I can keep track of my resting heart rate on a daily basis. This is without any exercise results.




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  5. Dr. Greger I think you should avoid all this sort of metabolic theory, test tube experiments and in general “applying the laws of physics to biology”. People involved in this sort of thing get extremely excited and try to make their data fit their theory. And they are susceptible to this weird type of dogma where you have the “a calorie is a calorie” sort of mythology that persists. All contrary evidence is explained away. All those experiments showing how bad fructose (and therefore fruit) is is based on metabolic models and test tubes and they are obviously not close to reality. “Calorie restriction” may not even work in mice – wild mice can live longer than CRed mice when they’re not predated on – the non-CRed mice in the lab are overweight and that’s how they get the dramatic results. There is also the different breeds of mice. The mice are also not even eating normal mice food, they’re eating “nutritionally sufficient” diets concocted by man, and Dr. Greger I think we both know how that goes. It’s a joke. The primate experiments were supposed to prove it once and for all and what they proved is no difference with it all being explained away after the fact.




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    1. I’m not trying to argue your point one way or the other, I don’t know enough about it. But as an aside, I recall watching a PBS documentary years ago on diet restriction in primates for testing life extension. And in that show they did oxidative testing of tissue in two groups of lab monkeys that were 17 years old (which, for that species was middle age). One group was the control and the other was on the calorie restriction diet. They tested the tissue of both for cellular oxidative stress (markers of aging) and the experimental diet group showed an oxidation consistent with that of a normal two year old monkey. But the control group’s markers reflected what they’d expect to see in 17 year old monkeys. They showed the two groups. The monkeys on calorie restriction looked younger, almost no gray hair and were very active in their cages. The control looked old and tired and were inactive. It seemed pretty conclusive, at least for monkeys.

      Mark G




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      1. Calorie restriction and life extension is one of the most repeated studies in biology. I think Vegan diet is one of the ultimate ways to perform calorie restriction. One man, a Vitamin D3 advocate, says water restriction is also effective. I believe life feels it is very important to pass on genes. If only I could be a parent, perhaps that is what biology is saying. Maximize genes and cope with stress well. Did you know sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in the human body. It is possible Sulfur is profoundly effective for life extension and that a sulfur deficiency is a real health concern. If only there was a way to simulate calorie restriction. Did you know that the Sulfur containing amino acid might be very stressful for the body because the body wants the sulfur, not the amino group in my opinion?




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        1. Interesting. I didn’t know about the water nor the sulfur. I did know that some plants that live in ponds will not put out flowers if there’s not enough nutrients. The hypothesis is that plants have evolved to not produce more plants that the habitat can support. Makes sense. Ones that didn’t do that probably crashed and died or were out competed by something else.




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    2. I hate that “a calorie is a calorie” farce. Although added fructose may be evil, I don’t recall anyone saying whole fruit was.




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  6. What is the definition of “resting heart rate” in this study? I can be in the low 50’s in the morning right before getting out of bed and up in the 90’s just walking around making breakfast.




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    1. Hi Rolling Vegan, Resting Heart Rate is the heart rate when you are at rest, not moving around or doing things. I don’t know how long you need to be at rest before measuring but presume 5 minutes or so. Once you start to move around the demand for oxygen increases and the heart responds by supplying more blood, i.e. beating faster.




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    2. Hi Rolling. Resting heart rate in the athletic world is your heart rate first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. But I have found that there isn’t a huge difference between first thing in morning and sitting quietly for 5 minutes. But for people training it is an important number because it is used to set training rates. Also used as a tool to note over-training. If an athlete is overtraining their resting HR will increase.




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  7. Appreciate all you do to keep us informed. Looking forward to your return to MI Dr Greger I thought a slow heart rate without meds was called sinus bradycardia. The best Rx to achieve a slow resting heart rate is exercise . It works for me ,54 resting thank the Good Lord




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    1. Hi Deb,mSinus bradycardia refers to a resting heart rate below 60 with a normal regular rhythm. usually due to athletic training, as you pointed out, or hypothyroidism. There are other kinds of bradycardia which have an irregular rhythm due to various forms of heart block. These often require a pacemaker because the heart is not beating fast enough to meet the body’s oxygen demands. Hope this is helpful.




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      1. Very helpful I’m on the elliptical 365d for 45-50 min I enjoy the endorphins and do 20-30min yoga m-f That helps to keep with a low resting heart rate that has been this way for years
        Again thanks for the information
        Dr and team are fantastic




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    1. Unlikely. Logical doesn’t necessarily mean true. If the premise(s) are invalid (e.g., low heart rate always extends lifespan), then the conclusion will also be invalid.




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    2. Good question Matthew, and the answer seems to be, maybe. Have a look at this Open Access article, The thyroid gland and the process of ageing; What is new? Adam Gesing et Al; Thyroid Research; Dec 2012 5:16. They discuss mainly sub clinical hypothyroidism. Overt hypothyroidism should be treated, and treatment would tend to bring the heart rate up. Not treating, in hopes of living longer, would probably not be wise, since all body systems require thyroxine (thyroid hormone) and if chronically low there are multiple body effects such as cold intolerance, low mood, menstrual problems and fertility problems as well as effect on the foetus, constipation, my deems, and even “my deems madness” a form of psychosis due solely to low thyroid hormone, which goes away when thyroid hormone is replaced. Really! It is rare but I have seen a case so I know it does exist. I do believe though, that when the thyroid disease is not autoimmune in nature (no antibodies) it may be due to lack of iodine and especially if the person is not consuming the usual sources of iodine such as fish, iodised salt and dairy. Iodine levels are not commonly tested but I hope in the future this will become the norm, and for low iodine patients treatment will be first, to use an iodine supplement and get levels up into the normal range. Then if thyroid is still low, of course treat with thyroxine, but if it is not low, continue to supplement with iodine. Seaweeds contain iodine and are delicious but with the level of pollution in the oceans, Inhabe some worries about using these too much.
      Hoping that is helpful.




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      1. Dr. Maisel, I think autocorrect did you foul. It took myxedema and made it into “my deems”, and not once, but twice.




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      2. Hi Dr. Maisel! Thank you for your reply!

        (Unrelated tangent:)

        I have a theory, that autoimmune thyroid disease, in some cases, may not be your typical autoimmune disease at all, but may be a case of chronically malformed T4 due to low iodine supply which is exacerbated by overeating. When these malformed T4 molecules are created, the body reacts by eliminating the disfigured T4 with highly specialized antibodies that the body has long known very well how to manufacture. When overeating, the body attempts to ramp up metabolism, but there isn’t enough iodine to form the increased amount of hormone correctly, and antibody count is increased. Women have much higher incidence of Hashimoto’s, coincidentally they also have much higher incidence of overeating disorder. Proverbs 23:21, “For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.” Perhaps gluttony and drowsiness, or “numah” have some long-known connection? Just a theory anyway!

        Interestingly it also seems that 80% of vegans are iodine deficient!

        https://www.drfuhrman.com/learn/library/articles/15/why-take-a-multivitamin-what-to-take-what-not-to-take




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        1. I don’t know Matthew your theory sounds a little anecdotal. I treat many women with autoimmune thyroid disease and many if not most are thin and do not overeat. Furthermore once most of them fix their leaky guts and/or better mange their stress their antibody levels drop like rocks and so do their thyroid hormone requirements.
          Just curious, did you get this theory from any literature? The literature does certainly describe cases where conversion of T4 to T3 (the active form of thyroid hormone) does not happen efficiently due to lack of nutrient co-factors like selenium and zinc. In addition there are other nutrient co-factors that are necessary for proper production of T4 (iodine being one of several) so the idea that low iodine can be a causative factor in hypothyroidism has merit. I’m just not sure it warrants the leap to overeating being a causative factor in Hashimoto’s.




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          1. To take anecdotal to new heights, with my own case of Hashimoto’s I can eat 3000-4000 calories per day and not gain any weight, I don’t assume a thin person to not be an over eater. In fact, my own case of fatigue corresponded with eating in excess without subsequent utilization of calories via exercise. I was eating a great deal due to heavy exercise, and took a short break due to injury, but didn’t alter calorie intake. Next thing I know, massive fatigue. Anecdotal to the max!

            Afterwards, my antibodies dropped by 50% virtually overnight by switching to a plant-based diet in 2014, but after the initial honeymoon-drop the antibodies have held in place, even as digestion has improved significantly. Waiting on hair test results to see what iodine levels are.

            Thank you for responding payoung!




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  8. So, am I to believe that if I can’t get my HR down naturally and use the drugs like beta-blockers and nitrates, then these drugs will have same effect on longevity as HR reduced by healthy lifestyle?




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    1. Sean, I don’t think there is any support for the idea of using medications to lower heart rate in order to increase longevity. Besides all the medications have side effects. I really wouldn’t go there!




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  9. There are also foods and nutritional supplements that can act as SAFE chronotropes AND inotropes. We’ve been helping clients for decades with them. It would be interesting to look at decreasing inotropic activity for longevity as well. Oral Ouabain has been shown to do this quite effectively. ZERO fatal heart attacks in 15,000 heart patients over a 21 year period in Germany… at a cost of $5 a day in today’s money.




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    1. I think I would rather eat a WFPB diet and learn about those spices and foods that positively effect my body than take a supplement. I will keep my supplement consumption down to a B12.




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      1. And don’t forget the message of hope he video! Get your heart rate up and maintain it for a while. The heart likes to train just like my other muscle in the body. Cheers!




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  10. I’ve taken Toprol for 20 years to control my migraines. Without the meds I typically will have 2 or 3 migraines a week. Is it save to take this long term?




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      1. No offense, but my healthcare providers had me on a dozen plus medications and said diet had nothing to do with any of my issues, except for diabetes, which of course carbohydrate restriction was the recommendation. Turns out the opposite is true in all regards because after going WFPB, they all went away. My advice is see your healthcare provider and their pills as little as possible, and take care of yourself! :)




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    1. I’ve only taken Imitrex and other “migraine arresters” but want to inform you that I’ve only had one, possibly two migraines in _over a year__–since I went WFPB. I used to have 1-3 per month-for 40 years. Sorry I can’t comment on Toprol. I bet I’ve only had three or four doses of ibuprofen since I changed the way I eat.




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      1. I am amazed every time I reflect on not just the major issues that resolved or improved on a plant based diet, but ALL of the other less lethal but really annoying things like migraines, moodiness, sinus issues, ear aches, UTIs, dry eyes, tinnitus, nail fungus, brain fog, psoriasis, dandruff, and on and on. I sound like a snake oil salesperson, but it is so true!




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        1. My migraines got worse after changing to the WFPB no junk lifestyle from a vegetarian. They are different in the last year in that they are 24/7 “silent migraine” with occasional mild attacks. I am extremely sensitive to odors and weather changes. It makes life really challenging.




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        2. Someday the tide will shift, how can everyone not WANT to feel better and be healthier? It’s just too easy once you get over the meat/sugar/oils addictions.




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  11. Well-trained athletes have lower resting heart rates. MOF, it’s an elevated resting heart rate that athletes use as a sign of over-training. I started riding again yesterday. 12 miles and I hurt myself pretty good. Felt better when it quit hurting, was active until late, SLEPT wonderfully, and still feel the “exercise buzz” today.

    My regimen is riding a bike. I should “baseline” myself now. Used to wear HRM’s and all that. Still use a power-meter when really training. Sometimes I “race” on the mountain bike (pass/fail racing).

    I got so caught up in the weight loss WITHOUT exercising when I first went WFPB, that I didn’t ride for a while. I’m back now, cycling _with_ WFPB life is going to be SO MUCH WONDERFUL!




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    1. Inspiring! WFPB + Exercise is an amazing combination. I also love to throw in a little meditation for good measure. :)




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      1. Meditation is ultra difficult for the ADHD, but I’ll try some more. It can only help-since I’ve leaned to “let it go” when the distractions mount. I MAY BE moving to my “remote location” soon, and this will help tremendously. The worst distraction there, aside from nature, is commercial air traffic (50 miles from BNA), and those tractor-slow Cessnas (from local(er) launches).




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        1. Right there with you on the ADHD and meditation thing. I don’t even try to keep my mind from wandering. I just count my breaths. I’ll lose count and start over again. The real trick though seems to be exhaling for twice as long as you inhale. In no time at all you get that whole boneless, melt right out of your chair feeling of absolute and total relaxation. The article I read on this talked about this being your natural breathing pattern when in a state of deep relaxation or sleeping when the parasympathetic nervous system is most active. Just “faking” the same breathing pattern consciously a few times tricks the brain into thinking everything is right with the world and so it downregulates the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight, constant vigilance system) and up regulates the parasympathetic system.




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          1. Thanks. I have some breathing techniques instruction on CD from Andrew Weil. I’ll listen to that again as well. Namaste




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          2. I’ve been listening to some guided meditations to fall asleep because I can’t shut my brain up very well myself by trying to focus on breathing or body scans. It actually helps too, I guess I listen better to another voice that has a focus! Training wheels?




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    2. Hey and BTW, for those who haven’t “played the resting pulse game”, the lowest rate you’ll record (naturally) is in the morning before rising. Wake, don’t rise and check it there.

      Just checked mine, sitting with work clothes on and got 17 in 15 seconds so 68 is my number until I get a better number in the morning.




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  12. Hey Michael and anybody who reads this
    I’ve been watching your videos for a couple of months now and i have made som drastic changes to my eating. I made these changes because im getting sick with fever and headache and sore throat. I’ve had some blood tests to see my levels of diffrent thing in my blood. And they say it’s just fine but when i look at it and search around the internet it dosent make any sence. I live in Denmark.
    So if you can see if you can tell me anything i can do about it it would be great. Im gonna show you some of the things from the blood test because it is all in danish so if i should show you all it would take a long time

    leukocytes has been falling for about 5 months now from 4.3 10^9/L to 2.8 10^9/L
    my B12 levels have been falling in the past 2 months from 354 pmol/L to 228 pmol/L

    These under here was taking to see if my metabolism was bad, slow or what you wanna call it
    Parathyrin [PTH];P

    pmol/L

    9,83 Høj værdi/high value in our country

    Thyrotropin [TSH];P

    10^-3 IU/L

    6,49 Høj værdi/high value in our country

    Thyroxin [T4];P

    nmol/L
    121

    Thyroxin frit [T4];P

    pmol/L

    17,8

    Triiodthyronin [T3];P

    nmol/L

    1,7

    Triiodthyronin frit [T3];P

    pmol/L

    6,5
    I really hope you can answer me or if anyone in here is able to because i have droppet out of school because im getting sick and back pain all the time. So if anyone can say something that could be a factor in changing this i would be really happy




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        1. Hello Sebastian, I am a family physician, and volunteer website moderator for NutritionFacts. It sounds to me like you have some type of viral infection, based on the fact that you have fever, headache, sore throat, and a dropping white blood cell count (leukopenia). Leukopenia is common in viral infections, as discussed in this introductionin UpToDate — an excellent medical resource, if you have access to it.

          If I understand your data correctly, you also have a high level of parathyroid hormone (PTH), and a high TSH. The high PTH can cause high calcium levels, which can be a serious problem. Your high TSH indicates that you are slightly HYPOthyroid. A possible explanation for all of your symptoms could be that you have thyroiditis — either “subacute thyroiditis” (viral cause), or Hashimoto’s disease (autoimmune thyroiditis).

          I can’t be your doctor over the internet. I suggest that you consult an endocrinologist.




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          1. Thanks alot Dr.Jon it really means alot to me that you have answered so i can go to my doctor with some more knowledge thanks again!




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  13. Does epigenetics (science of gene expression) play a role here? I know that studies have shown that famine affects all sorts of things, from rates of cardiovascular disease and diabetes to life expectancy. In some cases the next generation is even affected.




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    1. Hi plant_this_thought, that’s an interesting question. I found this article that covers the topic pretty extensively. The full article is available to read for free and I did skim through it but essentially the conclusion is that although heritability of age at death is about 25% among the population as a whole there are many other factors that influence longevity (of course diet and lifestyle being two of the most important) and thus there haven’t been any consistent studies that show that epigenetics plays a significant role.




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      1. As with conditions like schizophrenia, genetics can predispose but is insufficient to cause disease. Identical twins, despite having identical genomes, may have different outcomes based on their respective environments. As your article points out, genetics is only responsible for about 25% of our longevity. The rest is very much controllable via our choices.




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  14. I’ve managed to get mine down to below 40 bpm, yesterday I measured it at 38 bpm. I do one hour of running 5 times per week and some strength exercises (pushups, core exercises) a few times a week. My resting heart rate has been below 50 bpm since I was about ten years old. I first measured it in primary school, our teacher told us how to measure it, and I was surprised that mine was so low compared to the others. When I started to exercise more it dropped to the mid to low 40s. When I was in my 20s, I started to do some heavier cardio exercise and it then dropped to below 40 bpm for the first time. But I could not maintain that fitness level, a decade later it was back to the mid 40s. I decided that I wanted to get as fit I was a decade earlier, so I started with a rigorous running routine, gradually building it up to one hour of running at a decent pace on most days of the week. When I started this (about 8 years ago) I was running for 20 minutes, 3 times per week, it gradually increased to 40 minutes 4 times per week to what I’m doing now.

    The resting heart rate did not come down gradually, it looks more like it came down in steps, as if the heart prefers to beat at certain rates. Also when measuring the heart rate, you need to consider your energy levels. I could get readings below 40 bpm when I was less fit, e.g. when traveling and having to stay awake in the middle of the night. So, you need to exclude such readings. Another thing is to consider the way the heart rate relaxes to normal value after exertions. If you are not very fit it will gradually relax to normal after a short exertion, say running up a few stairs. But if you are very fit and you run up a few stairs and sit down, what happens is that it will go down much faster and it will then undershoot the normal resting value. I have measured values as low as 34 bpm just after running up stairs (about 10 meters up), sitting down and then measuring the heart rate, it goes down very fast from more than 100 bpm to the low 30s and then it will slowly climb up to the normal resting value of just below 40 bpm.




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  15. New Nutrition Facts Label:

    Forgive me for starting an off topic discussion, but I have to. Am I the only one who’s disappointed at the FDA’s new nutrition labels? The good: added sugars are now reflected. The bad: % of calories from fat has been removed:

    “Calories from Fat” will be removed. That’s because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount, the FDA explains. “Total Fat,” “Saturated Fat,” and “Trans Fat” will continue to be required. “I’m not sure anyone understood what calories from fat even meant to begin with,” Gans says. “This change will reflect what we’ve learned from research about the importance of type of fat.”

    OK, so now I’ll have to do the math myself, but its still doesn’t justify giving fat a free ride. At a glance I used to be able to see how much fat was in a food. So now, all fats other than saturated fats are given ride? I’m sorry, not by me. While I don’t bother counting macros, I still guesstimate the proportions I ingest daily, and the amount/ percentage of fat, regardless of type, matters.

    Yeah I know, whole foods yada yada yada… but we all, or at least I always have pantry items in stock; soups, whole grain crackers, bread, etc.

    IDK, one step forward, one step backward…




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  16. New Nutrition Facts Label:

    Forgive me for starting an off topic discussion, but I have to. Am I the only one who’s disappointed at the FDA’s new nutrition labels? The good: added sugars are now reflected. The bad: % of calories from fat has been removed:

    “Calories from Fat” will be removed. That’s because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount, the FDA explains. “Total Fat,” “Saturated Fat,” and “Trans Fat” will continue to be required. “I’m not sure anyone understood what calories from fat even meant to begin with,” Gans says. “This change will reflect what we’ve learned from research about the importance of type of fat.”

    OK, so now I’ll have to do the math myself, but its still doesn’t justify giving fat a free ride. At a glance I used to be able to see how much fat was in a food. So now, all fats other than saturated fats are given a ride? I’m sorry, not by me. While I don’t bother counting macros or calories, I still guesstimate the proportions I ingest daily, and the amount/ percentage of fat, regardless of type, matters to me.

    Yeah I know, whole foods… but we all, or at least I always have pantry items in stock; soups, whole grain crackers, bread, etc.

    IDK, one setp forward, one back.




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    1. Baggman,

      From where I stand, a WFPB diet does not contain any ‘nutritional labels’. Foods with ‘nutritional labels’ are processed foods. My road to health is…consume nothing that comes in a bag, bottle, jar, can, container, wrapper, etc. ‘Whole’ foods…




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      1. I feel the same way, but like he said, there are pantry items that get used occasionally that are nice to know the values of for comparison when purchasing if nothing else, since I always have a general idea of what is acceptable and what isn’t. For example,. recently I got happy when I found a box of vegetable broth in the store for the same price as the dead animal broths, until I saw all the oil it had in it, and it went back on the shelf. Also, I am very careful about what I buy for others besides myself who have chosen more leeway in their diet, so it isn’t always as cut and dried as we would like it to be.




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        1. I had a similar experience. A “100% whole grain” cracker in a box boasted, “100% whole grain, low sodium, low saturated fat”. OK, so far so good. Flipping the box over, 50% of the calories in the food is from canola, cotton seed, corn, and/or soybean oils. How are these industrial oils in any way healthy? OK, so they’re not saturated per say, but their consumption still should be minimized.

          Guess its time to buy stock in the industrial food oil additive industry?

          People generally are confused enough when it comes to nutrition, and this is a backward step that need not happen. I can foresee processed food manufacturers replacing sugars with these junk oils, and only exacerbating our health/ obesity epidemic.




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          1. I think my “favorite” has to be the nonstick sprays whose labels boast fat free, 0 fat…when in reality they are actually 100% fat mixed in with mostly propellant. The manufacturers get to base their sleazy claim on everyone using a microsecond of spray. Most people I know read “fat free” and just spray away!

            And apparently no need to *replace* sugar with oil, about every label of anything in the grocery store now seems to have both, and throw in lots of sodium to make sure everyone gets blitzed with their ‘tasty triad’!




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            1. I’m assuming because US law allows them to say that less than .5 grams of fat/serving is legally allowed to be labeled as zero. Or at least that’s the threshold with regard to trans fats.




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            2. Hi Vege-tater,
              “Tasty Triad” – that’s brilliant!
              That’s a great way to remember what to look for on packaged foods.
              There’s still a few items that I buy that are processed, like Dijon mustard, Tabasco sauce and a particular brand of crackers, and they’re OK WFPB-wise.
              But anything else I buy will get the “Tasty Triad” treatment from me!




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        1. I do like the idea of showing added sugar because one Coke has more than 1 serving per day. What would a person do? Drink part and throw the rest away? Or do the sugary drink makers make cans smaller? But you are right. People need to know fat as well. I guess they lobbied harder.




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          1. The amount of fat matters, just as much as the type. I don’t see why something as simple as that needed to be removed.




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    2. bagman774: I’m most upset to hear this. I use the “calories from fat” number all the time. This is really frustrating and I believe is based on very faulty reasoning. Yes, saturated fat is a problem, but excessive total fat is also a problem, one that many people face. Furthermore, many people trying to judge the health value of a packaged food use that number. I don’t think seeing grams of fat based on serving size is helpful enough. Argh.




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      1. We’re in complete agreement. All fat matters, period. Last year when it was proposed, I urged this suggestion, that is, to not remove “percent of calories from fat” from the label to the FDA several times via e-mail. Sadly, it fell on deaf ears.

        There’s still time… maybe. Let’s all contact them and insist “percentage of calories from fat” not be removed.




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  17. Some cultures are obsessed with numbers and speculations. The weight scale and mortality. The breathing rate and mortality. The heart rate and mortality. What else? I believe is the mitochondrial theory of aging (lifespan). Keep them many and strong and live long.




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    1. Obsessing just leads to more stress, which is not a good thing, but it’s still nice to know the most beneficial options! I just like to keep it simple…in the most advantageous way!




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      1. While having my coffee, I found the following. Elephants heart rate is only 8 to 10 times per minute while at rest, but their lifespan is 48-70 years (Google). It should be much higher than men according with this numerical theory. Did they cherry pick the animals?




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        1. Good question. Who would want 100 years of “bad” life as punishment? But happiness is not all there is. For example. Is living a longer life with 50% dead brain better than with a 100% brain but shorter life?




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  18. Just read about sisters planning on having this surgery done. Wow!
    The recommended treatment to prevent the development of this aggressive form of stomach cancer in CDH1 gene mutation carriers is prophylactic (preventive) total gastrectomy – complete removal of the stomach.




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  19. I think this is misleading, it really is a marker, but it is very interesting and useful. I think the number of heartbeats is related to the size of the heart, and the overall cellular channels that cause the heart contraction, rather than some mysterious end of life clock ticking down your limited life span for each heartbeat which is implied even if, it tries to discourage this deduction. Exercise is important, but definitions vary. Diet is also important but definitions vary.




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  20. Heart study shows healthy senior citizens (70-88 year olds) reduced cardiovascular mortality by 54% through supplementation of selenoprecise and myoqinon ubiquinone. Maybe strengthening the heart is more essential than letting it expire? More on trial, supplements and longevity: http://healthandscience.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=739:warning-to-all-women-take-care-of-your-cardiovascular-health-and-avoid-premature-death-us&catid=20&lang=us&Itemid=374




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  21. No one brought this up, so I will: Men generally have a slower heart rate then women, yet they don’t in general, live as long as women. So there are other, more important factors than just heart rate that affect longevity. Iron overload could be one of them when comparing the two sexes. Men tend to retain iron while woman have a monthly safety valve. However, avoiding meat helps with this problem and reduces the risk in men, since it’s primarily heme iron that causes the problem.




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    1. Good point, James. Yes, there are other, more important factors than just heart rate that affect longevity. However, if Dr. G’s video gets people to increase their exercise (or increase their consumption of beans — see his next video) in an effort to decrease their resting heart rate, that is a good thing!




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  22. I’m about to turn 65 and am wondering about changing nutritional needs in seniors. I read that loss of muscle mass starts accelerating at this age, but that it can be prevented in elders by eating more protein. This makes me wonder, where do senor vegans get their protein? I’m also starting to suffer from senior moments. Anyone have a suggestion or two for that? I’ll try not to forget your answer.




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    1. Hello, G. I am a family physician, and a volunteer website moderator for NutritionFacts. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of protein for adults is 0.8 gm per kg of body weight per day. Seniors may have a slightly increased need for protein, as you suggest. But senior vegans get plenty of protein from various plant sources, including, especially, beans. The idea (common in the 1970s) that vegans need to eat “complementary proteins” because most plant proteins were “incomplete” has been known to be wrong for many years. Dr. Greger discusses that in this video. Exercise, including weight lifting, is an excellent way to combat loss of muscle mass as you age. By both eating a plant-based diet, AND exercising, you will maintain healthy circulation to your brain which decreases your risk of dementia, as Dr. G. discusses in this video.




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  23. Interestingly, in ancient yoga texts, life span is counted as number of breaths one takes during the life. Faster the breathing, more breaths you take in a given time and the shorter you live.

    Heartbeat just scratches the surface. It seems heart rate variability is more important and the magic underlying this is how one breathes.




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  24. Interesting video. Some experts believe that a high metabolic rate with high resting heart rate is they key to longevity. I’m always seeing contradictions like this. From my experience, a body temperature below 98.6 leads to more of a stress response. Giving increase in susceptibility to bacterial infection due to lower body temp, think of your body ramping itself up to kill a virus, and increase in urination, hair loss and the ability to easily gain weight. I know bodybuilders drink gallons of water to slow their metabolic rate because this is a way to build muscle, people with high metabolism tend to not gain muscle as well. A higher metabolic rate/ Heart rate could be associated with youth. Traditional Chinese medicine also goes into the hot and cold aspect, favoring a balanced heat because being too cold or hot can cause problems.




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  25. My husband’s uncle has just turned 100 – a very fit 100 – still living independently, looking after an acre of garden, playing golf (he only took this up at 85!), walking his dogs, travelling solo, computer-literate, etc. Your video is very interesting, as my husband has attributed his uncle’s longevity to the fact that he was a cross-country running champion (back in the 1930s.) Maybe he is right….




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  26. I have a question, I have Wolff Parkinson white syndrome and my resting heart rate is in the 80 most of the time. I have been a vegan for about 2 years now and exercise frequently. Can you advice on what I should be doing to help bring it down to a lower number.




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  27. I hate articles like this. Not because I think Dr. Greger is wrong, but because it’s one of those “I’m screwed and not a damn thing I can do about it” articles. For most of my life, my HR has been high. Exercise has helped some but not enough to ever get it consistently below 60 (not even close). Doesn’t help that I have anxiety and panic issues. But that aside, my HR just runs higher. I could try beta blockers (and did a while back when I had a brief period of HBP) but because my BP now runs low normal, I wouldn’t be able to function on them. Based on this news, I guess I can kiss longevity goodbye despite dietary improvements and regular exercise. Might as well switch to a Mexican food/couch potato lifestyle since none of this matters.




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    1. I have had a resting heart rate of 93 since I was treated for Hodgkin’s disease 23 years ago. I eat healthy (was vegetarian for over 20 years, now plant-based), I workout almost every day, have run marathons, and am at an ideal weight. Yet no matter what I do, I can’t get my RHR down. My doctors have never commented on my heart rate, even though it’s always in the low 100s when I visit.

      So am I, who doesn’t smoke, eats healthy, and works out, going to die sooner than a couch potato? It’s kinda depressing. :-(




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      1. Apologies for adding to the depression, but after I read this, I did some more looking online about the topic. Although other articles didn’t sound as bleak, I ran across one that said women appear to be able to mitigate the effects of a high resting HR with exercise (not that the exercise significantly brought down resting heart rate but that exercise still improved longevity in women.). But the same was not seen in men. Seriously? Don’t know if you’re M or F, but I’m male and that prompted a WTF?? moment from me.




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        1. I’m female, so that great news, for me. I wonder if there is anything else that would help men?

          RHR has always been a mystery to me–why some people can be so low and others not. I guess I’ll just keep doing what I can and let life take its course. :-)




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      2. @CatapultemHabeo, These kinds of things are markers, not absolutes. If you are doing all things correctly with regards to diet and lifestyle, it may not prove significant in the end, as numbers are often … well, numbers. Case in point – some research shows that statins bring down the cholesterol numbers for people with high cholesterol, but don’t reduce overall mortality at all.

        Better to do everything you can personally and leave the rest to the powers that be. Maybe you won’t live to 100, but I’ll take a healthy 90 anytime compared to the disabling chronic disease we see so often now among people who are only in their 40’s and 50s. :-)




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  28. Hey Dr. Greger, I had a question about the significance of visibly vascular arms (or whatever body part.) I have been lifting consistently for a few years now and have a good amount of muscle accumulated; I’m at about 10-12% body fat as well. The only thing is, I have a lot less vascular arms than my friends who lift, and they are at much higher body fats (maybe 15-20%) Could my plant based diet be why my arms aren’t so veiny, like if my heart doesn’t have to work so hard and it’s effortless for my blood to return? Or do you just think that’s how I’m wired, and vasularity has no precursor to poor heart health?
    Thank you!




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  29. Besides the regular Dr Greger-suggested diet, supplement, and exercise recommendations, is there anything extra I can do to slow my rapid heart rate? Or anything I should do differently from his normal recommendations?

    I’ve ditched caffeine from coffee and tea, swapped cocoa powder for carob, and don’t eat things that contain salt, except for dulse and wakame. Are these changes of any benefit?

    I had a heart ablation at age 28 for super ventricular tachycardia. I’m now 37. I hear there are medications that slow heart rate. Are they worth it? Are they dangerous? My blood pressure is extremely good and I feel and appear very healthy now.

    From the front, pictures of my insides looked like my heart was in backwards, but from the back you also saw the back of a heart. Doctors at first said I had an extra heart but when I asked if I could donate it they said no, as both were malformed and stuck together. I guess they were like conjoined twins.

    I’d love to hear any ways people have improved their heart rate or have heard might help with this. Also recipes for tasty ways to replace coffee, cocoa powder, and salt. Thank you everyone.




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  30. This is a fascinating video with some fascinating information, however, I am not sure how accurate it is. I’ve done a bit of checking around on the Internet, unless all the rest of the info I’m seeing is wrong, the first study quoted by Dr. Greger has questionable numbers. From what I’ve seen, giraffes and dogs all have on average substantially less than one billion heartbeats per lifetime. Many mammals are in the billion beat range, while humans and chickens are outliers, with upwards of two billion.

    Even without equity in total heartbeats across the mammal world, there may be some correlations as suggested in the video. For example, large whales live approximately the same 80 years on average as humans. They only average about 840 million heartbeats per lifetime. However, their hearts beat 1/3 as fast as humans, about 20 beats per minute, so they make up the 2/3 less total heartbeats with a pulse rate 2/3 less than a human. A giraffe has a heart rate 8.03% faster than a human, 1/3 a number of average heart beats and a life expectancy of 20 years, which if converted to humans would equate to 75 years. So there is some correlation, but again not completely.




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  31. Dr. Gregor has made it very clear in his book, “How Not To Die” that the whole blood pressure mentality is wrong – that your BP should go up after a certain age, and has shown that diet fixes that. I’m proof of that. 55 and BP is 117/75 or so….

    My question is related to Maximum Heart Rate, and wondering if it’s similarly poor medicine. Why does it have to be that your maximum HR is 220-age. If I am in shape (I am very physically fit, not overweight, about 17% body fat, vegan, etc.) I walk 5.5 miles a day and do other manual labor or weight lifting. But every year, when I factor in my Max HR, I wonder if it’s true that you have to use the 220-age formula.

    Is that true? And why is it true if it is?




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