Flashback Friday: How to Counter the Inflammation of Aging

Flashback Friday: How to Counter the Inflammation of Aging
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What can we eat to combat “inflamm-aging,” the chronic low-grade inflammation that accompanies the aging process?

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One of the most recognized consequences of aging is a decline in immune function, illustrated by vulnerability to dying from the flu and poor response to vaccinations. But, about 20 years ago, a paper was published showing that the immune cells of 80-year olds produced significantly more pro-inflammatory signals, suggesting the worst of both worlds, a decline in the part of the immune system that fights specific infections, and an aggravation of nonspecific overreactions that can lead to inflammation. This has since been formalized in a concept referred to as “inflamm-aging,” a chronic low-grade inflammation we now know is typical of aging, which may be responsible for the decline and the onset of disease in the elderly.

 So, what can we do about it? Inflammaging appears to be a major consequence of growing old. Can it be prevented or cured? The key to successful aging and longevity may be to decrease chronic inflammation without compromising an acute response when exposed to pathogens. How are we going to do that? Nutrition. What we eat is probably the most powerful and pliable tool that we have to attain a chronic and systemic modulation of the aging process.

 In the first systematic review of the associations between dietary patterns and biomarkers of inflammation ever published, the dietary patterns associated with inflammation were almost all meat-based or so-called “Western” diet patterns, while vegetable and fruit-based or “healthy” patterns tended to be inversely associated, meaning more plant-based, less inflammation.

The reason why meat is associated with inflammation may be because of both the animal protein and the animal fat. In the  first interventional study that separately evaluated the effects of vegetable and animal protein on inflammatory status as it relates to obesity and metabolic syndrome when you’re trying to lose weight, what they found was that a higher intake of animal origin protein—specifically meat—is associated with higher plasma levels of inflammatory markers in obese adults.

The reason obesity is associated with increased risk of many cancers may be because of obesity-associated inflammation. Obesity-driven inflammation may stimulate prostaglandin-mediated estrogen biosynthesis in breast tissues. The inflammation may activate the enzyme that allows breast tumors to make their own estrogen via this inflammatory compound called prostaglandin. If you measure the level of prostaglandins in women’s urine, it correlates with breast cancer risk. And how do you get high levels of this inflammatory compound?  Smoking, a high-saturated fat diet, and obesity. Why does eating saturated fat lead to prostaglandin production? Because prostaglandins are made from arachidonic acid, and arachidonic acid is a major ingredient in animal fats. Animal fats contain arachidonic acid, and arachidonic acid is what our body uses to produce inflammatory compounds, like prostaglandins, with. Inflammatory compounds can then go on to stimulate breast cancer growth, and may also play a role in colon cancer, lung cancer, and head and neck cancer as well.

 In contrast, whole plant foods have anti-inflammatory effects, though some plants are better than others. The folks made to eat five-a-day of high antioxidant fruits and vegetables, like berries and greens, had a significantly better impact on reducing systemic inflammation and liver dysfunction compared to five-a-day of the more common low antioxidant fruits and veggies, like bananas and lettuce.

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 Sara Fasullo via Flickr.

One of the most recognized consequences of aging is a decline in immune function, illustrated by vulnerability to dying from the flu and poor response to vaccinations. But, about 20 years ago, a paper was published showing that the immune cells of 80-year olds produced significantly more pro-inflammatory signals, suggesting the worst of both worlds, a decline in the part of the immune system that fights specific infections, and an aggravation of nonspecific overreactions that can lead to inflammation. This has since been formalized in a concept referred to as “inflamm-aging,” a chronic low-grade inflammation we now know is typical of aging, which may be responsible for the decline and the onset of disease in the elderly.

 So, what can we do about it? Inflammaging appears to be a major consequence of growing old. Can it be prevented or cured? The key to successful aging and longevity may be to decrease chronic inflammation without compromising an acute response when exposed to pathogens. How are we going to do that? Nutrition. What we eat is probably the most powerful and pliable tool that we have to attain a chronic and systemic modulation of the aging process.

 In the first systematic review of the associations between dietary patterns and biomarkers of inflammation ever published, the dietary patterns associated with inflammation were almost all meat-based or so-called “Western” diet patterns, while vegetable and fruit-based or “healthy” patterns tended to be inversely associated, meaning more plant-based, less inflammation.

The reason why meat is associated with inflammation may be because of both the animal protein and the animal fat. In the  first interventional study that separately evaluated the effects of vegetable and animal protein on inflammatory status as it relates to obesity and metabolic syndrome when you’re trying to lose weight, what they found was that a higher intake of animal origin protein—specifically meat—is associated with higher plasma levels of inflammatory markers in obese adults.

The reason obesity is associated with increased risk of many cancers may be because of obesity-associated inflammation. Obesity-driven inflammation may stimulate prostaglandin-mediated estrogen biosynthesis in breast tissues. The inflammation may activate the enzyme that allows breast tumors to make their own estrogen via this inflammatory compound called prostaglandin. If you measure the level of prostaglandins in women’s urine, it correlates with breast cancer risk. And how do you get high levels of this inflammatory compound?  Smoking, a high-saturated fat diet, and obesity. Why does eating saturated fat lead to prostaglandin production? Because prostaglandins are made from arachidonic acid, and arachidonic acid is a major ingredient in animal fats. Animal fats contain arachidonic acid, and arachidonic acid is what our body uses to produce inflammatory compounds, like prostaglandins, with. Inflammatory compounds can then go on to stimulate breast cancer growth, and may also play a role in colon cancer, lung cancer, and head and neck cancer as well.

 In contrast, whole plant foods have anti-inflammatory effects, though some plants are better than others. The folks made to eat five-a-day of high antioxidant fruits and vegetables, like berries and greens, had a significantly better impact on reducing systemic inflammation and liver dysfunction compared to five-a-day of the more common low antioxidant fruits and veggies, like bananas and lettuce.

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 Sara Fasullo via Flickr.

92 responses to “Flashback Friday: How to Counter the Inflammation of Aging

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  1. Is there a more thorough list of other high antioxidant foods & how they compare to the fruit & veg (also some ,probably those in the medium category I guess of fruit & veg are not listed like kale,watercress ,mango)
    How do nuts,spices,herbs & seeds compare to this in terms of what antioxidants the body can actually take up & use to fight infllammation ?

    I read on examine.com that although rooibos tea has a lot of antioxidants ,the body can’t use a lot of them compared to green tea.
    (When looking at the main claim, the bioactives in Rooibos appear to be relatively potent antioxidant but even when tested in vitro (outside of a living body) they are not as potent as the green tea catechins; the main bioactive, aspalanthin, also has a pretty poor absorption in living models which limits how it can increase plasma oxidation capacity. The antioxidant potential of Rooibos is present, but both lacklustre as well as unreliable.) https://examine.com/supplements/rooibos/

    Anybody have any info on this?
    Thanks!

    1. Some antioxidants are soluble in oil rather than water.

      I combined 12 powdered spices and antioxidant herbs and whisk them into water with a few squirts of hemp seed oil. Tangy, I assure you.

      Another hint: black pepper extract (peperine) at a ration of as little as 250:1 greatly enhances the bio-availability of whatever “potions” it is taken with.

    2. The list does seem mighty incomplete. Missing Kale, Beets, Blueberries, Blackberries, Sweet potatoes, etc.

      It is interesting that Broad bean was the only bean on the HT list and that “bean” is listed on the LT side.

      1. That video uses ORAC,I’m wondering if ORAC is still a valid tool for assessing benefits.Does anybody know?

        To assess berries and other plants, the federal government used to rely on an antioxidant scale called “oxygen radical absorbance capacity” (ORAC), but it stopped a few years ago based on the failure of ORAC to correlate with actual health benefits.

  2. This is a little off topic, but I found this article under the “Odd News” category in my local paper:

    It would seem that Burger King is rolling out its new “Impossible Whopper” shortly, https://www.bk.com/menu-item/impossible-whopper

    They boast that this Whopper is a savory, flame-grilled patty made from plants (soy)… but it still has 11 grams of saturated fat, 12 gm of sugar, and a “whopping” 1080 mg of sodium.

    Any takers?

    1. that product has 14 grams of fat and only 3 grams of fiber. As Dr. Greger might say, it would be good for someone eating Standard American Diet as a transition food but not to get healthy, better if you’re just trying to avoid eating animal products.

      1. Brenda – I agree. And I also wouldn’t eat it for long. Of those 14 grams of fat that you mention 8 of them are saturated fat. They also recreate heme iron for this burger. Heme iron is the type known for being unhealthy for us. For me, this is yet another example of a food company trying to replicate meat. The better path is to just eat a whole food plant based diet (as we all know).
        What’s interesting to me is that food companies can create a product that is not healthy for us and can kill us over time. As long as it doesn’t kill us in the first 48 hrs its perfectly legal to unleash on the public.
        I’ve already contacted the Impossible Burger company and let them know that I and my family would not be consuming their unhealthy product. It’s important that I speak up (politely) to offer feedback.

      2. “In case of an emergency it may be better than starvation”, is the way I would characterize that sandwich. I would never characterize something like that with 14 gms of fat as being “better than anything”. However, it is, “less bad” than swallowing flesh.

    2. Dr. Cobalt,

      I saw that and I am excited about it.

      I am hoping that people try it.

      My brother started eating Boca Burgers after I cooked vegan lunches for him all Spring.

      His wife started ordering Freshly and that isn’t vegan, but there might be vegetables. I think.

    3. The stats improve quite a bit when leaving mayonnaise off…

      Calories: 640 -> 470
      Fat: 34 -> 16
      Sat Fat: 11 -> 8
      Cholesterol: 10 -> 0
      Sodium: 1080 -> 940

      1. Sorry, still unacceptable to me. Eight grams of saturated fat is equivalent to what, three strips of bacon? It still has nearly a gram of sodium w/o mayo and still has all the sugar. Not for me.

        I wasn’t trying to promote the product, just marvel at it. Burger King studied market interests and decided to try to lure in a few people who have heard bad press about meat burgers. They want to capture a few of the “transitional” folks who can’t quite leave animal products behind. It’s revenues BK is after, not healthy customers.

        I am squarely situated in the WFPB camp. I would not eat a transition-burger, even holding the mayo.

        1. The ad page says the product contains eggs, wheat, and soy. I’m guessing the eggs contribute most of the saturated fat – and that’s animal saturated fat, not plant saturated fat.

    4. Hard pass. Fake meat products are made from isolated proteins, are very processed, are loaded with oils (much of it saturated fat), and are hard to digest compared to whole food plant based nutrition.

    5. dr. cobalt, definitely not a taker but I am certainly very happy to hear it! There are plenty of people who will want to eat pure junk once in a while and some who will even choose to eat it regularly, I don’t think the health conscious will regularly frequent placed like Burger King in general, but the important thing is that there is a CRUELTY FREE option! And a much more sustainable option. So if you’re going to eat a greasy fast food burger, it’s glorious and brilliant and wonderful that it can be 100% plant based! Major props to Burger King for this and I hope it succeeds. I can’t bring myself to try it out, as a WFPB vegan.

      1. The point of the vegan option at these places are not about healthier choices, they’re about compassionate, just, and sustainable choices. Ideally the burger would be palm oil free as well, hopefully it is. No one goes to Burger King for a nutritional, healthy meal.

    1. Yes, I think so. I believe that Dr. G. added Obesity along with Saturated animal fat as a source of the prostaglandins in the equation. (See my post below re chemistry lesson.)

    1. Lida, :-D

      I was going to say that the gnarled hand of the decrepit, wrinkled OLD person looks exactly like my left hand. :-)

      1. YR,

        Wouldn’t it have been possible to discuss aging without using a photo of a hand that looks as if it was exhumed from a crypt?

        1. Llda, for some reason Dr. G. (or one of his staff) likes to post the most ghoulish photos up there. One is worse than the other.

          They like to scare the folks with fear porn, or else maybe they just have a sick sense of humor. :-(

          1. ?????

            So we should discuss aging and disease but not use photos that illustrate common aspects of aging and disease that we see every day in real life?

            That sounds …. a little strange.

            1. Fumbles, it’s like rubbing salt into a wound, that’s why. Is it necessary to be so up close and personal?

              Why not show a nice-looking, albeit OLD, person smiling happily at a grandchild or something. Aging can be a beautiful experience if done right. Nothing to be dreaded.

                1. Isn’t that the point? And shouldn’t we be applauding such effective communicationn strategies?

                  I don’t know about the US but, in Australia and a number of other countries, cigarettes are required to be sold in funereal blak packets with photos of mouth cancers, gangrenous limbs etc on them. Perhaps NF is deliberately employing a watered-down version of the same tactic?

                  1. Yes, I’m sure that is indeed the point.

                    Fumbles, how ’bout you show a more up-to-date mugshot? This one musta been taken 10-20 years ago or more. Let the folks see how well you’ve aged on a no-animal-foods diet.

                    And not from a distance either….so your wrinkles won’t show. A close-up. And no air-brushing. :-)

                    1. I have no idea how to change the photo … which is about 6 years old. It probably comes from some old account.somewhere but I don’t know where NF got hold of it

                      Isn’t this one of those ‘I’ll show you mine, if you show me yours’ type situations, though? Shouldn’t we see a photo of you first? Without the pointy hat and broomstick, natch.

                    2. “Shouldn’t we see a photo of you first? Without the pointy hat and broomstick, natch.”
                      – – – –

                      Cute. No, I’m afraid I’d have all the guys (young and old) flocking to my door if I showed my pic. They’d track me down somehow.

  3. I, too, would love to see a more complete list than the one that Dr. Greger highlights here in this video if anyone has that info.
    But, also, this might be a place to share my antioxidant hot toddy. In a mortar and pestle, I smash a chunk of ginger, couple/few whole cloves and cinnamon, a chunk of turmeric root (my grocery store is carrying it, interestingly), and make a paste. The point is to smash the cells open. Oh ya, add a bit of pepper to potentiate the turmeric. Put the mess in a cup with water and heat (I do not boil) and steep. I then pour it through a small strainer into a fresh cup, add sweetener to taste and believe me it is really yummy. You can also add a squish of lemon as well as steep some green tea in the cup. I haven’t tried it as a cold summer drink but I bet pouring it over ice cubes would be great as well.
    I’ve had my CRP tested (C-reactive protein, a measure of inflammation in the body) twice in the last year. As a WFPB vegan for a decade ‘Im pleased to report that my CRP was 0.04 and 0.07. Under 1.0 is considered excellent. At 66 post menopausal I am beyond pleased with my blood work results and the fact that I take no pharmaceuticals. I think the average for folks my age is to be taking 2 prescribed drugs that “old people typically take”.

    Interestingly, I saw a piece recently where Goldman Sachs stated that its preference is that the pharmaceutical companies dispense with the idea of curing cancer and just focus on managing cancer as a chronic disease. The reason? Once the patient is cured they don’t need to be spending money on drugs. With chronic disease the income flow for them is endless. The abject blatant immorality of the greedy groups (as I call them) is beyond astounding!

    1. That sounds delicious!

      I do golden milk with turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom. I haven’t tried adding cloves.

      My only memory of cloves is that when I was young, we took an orange and put cloves on it and made it for my great-grandmother who was blind. We had to find gifts she could smell or feel or taste and some of us still love the smell of oranges.

      1. Deb – yes, it’s very tasty. Yours sounds good too!
        Dr. G did a video on the antioxidants in spices and clove is one of the spices high in antioxidants. https://nutritionfacts.org/2015/01/20/the-top-four-anti-inflammatory-spices/
        In another video that Greger did on spices rated 3100 products for it’s ORAC scores ( a measure of antioxidants). Here is a quote:
        “Sorted by antioxidant content, clove has the highest mean antioxidant value, followed by peppermint, allspice, cinnamon, oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary, saffron and estragon, all dried and ground, with mean values ranging from 44 to 277 mmol/100 g. ”
        Here’s the antioxidant chart on the 3100 foods:
        https://static-content.springer.com/esm/art%3A10.1186%2F1475-2891-9-3/MediaObjects/12937_2009_259_MOESM1_ESM.PDF

    2. Hi Ruth,

      I really enjoy a turmeric/ginger similar beverage in the colder weather, but when it warms up I switch to hibiscus tea. It’s delicious and full of anti-inflammatory polyphenols! It of course, can be blended with lots of other things: cucumber, green tea, rose hips, etc, ginger, calendula, chamomile.
      Pubmed has lots of abstracts about its ant-inflammatory effects.

      And, now that I am almost 60, I am getting vain about the sun damage on my skin. My face pretty good, as used sunblock for 30 years, but hands, arms, and chest looking spotty. I recently started making a 10% Vitamin C serum weekly and applying twice a day, and it seems to be helping. I wear SPF clothing now, but hard to turn back the clock on sun damage you acquired 40 years previously. You youngsters out there: respect the sun!

      1. Mims – any chance you might share your Vit-C serum recipe?

        I, too, have lots of sun damage on my skin as I work outdoors and, I know, shame on me, am not great at using sunscreen. But let me share with you that lycopene is skin protective from the inside out. It really helps. The greatest source of lycopene is in tomato that has been cooked a long, long time as cooking increases lycopene. So tomato paste is a great way to get lycopene into your body. I use tomato paste on bread as a spread instead of or in addition to mustard, horseradish, etc or whatever floats your boat.
        Also, a really great skin care regimen is to use Neutrogena acne cleanser who’s active ingredient is 2% salysalic acid. It exfoliates the skin well but be sure to replace moisture and peptides afterword. I use it on my arms and hands to get the outer layer of skin off and then apply a good creamy moisturizer. Another good product is Gold Bond Rough and Bumpy Skin cream. It also exfoliates and then lets the new, younger skin come shining through. There are generic versions of the Neutrogena product – just look for the active ingredient 2% salysalic acid (which is a plant acid). Also, let it work for 2-3 minutes when you use it.
        Nice hearing from you.

    3. Ruth,

      My husband and I, at ages 76 and 68, take no prescription meds. Knock wood. And thank PBWF eating and exercising. Not smoking. Drinking alcohol moderately (very moderately).

      I did, however, take one drug that breast cancer patients “typically take;” I didn’t like it. (My risk of breast cancer, due to family history, was about 1 in 2.) But it theoretically cut my chances of recurrence by 50% relative risk, 10% absolute risk. It was an older, cheaper drug.

      And I am not surprised by your comment about Goldman Sachs. I don’t think there is any profit to be made in preventing cancer. In my increasingly cynical outlook, I would not be surprised if that is one reason that air and water quality standards are lax, and becoming more relaxed every day; otherwise, where will more Big Med/Big Pharm customers, er, cancer patients, come from? (There is of course, another profit aspect: that of externalizing the costs of manufacture and production, which means that society bears the cost of piss poor polluting practices in terms of additional illness burden, while the corporation rakes in increased profits by manufacturing with fewer costs incurred to clean up their harmful by-products.)

      Then there is Big Food, which keeps us just alive enough, but in disability and illness, to seek the help of Big Med/Big Pharma. Diabetes T2 is a huge market. So is kidney dialysis. Cardiovascular disease. Etc. All very disheartening.

      And it all seems quite a racket.

    4. “At 66 post menopausal …”

      It’s obvious you’re not the same Ruth who has posted 2 or 3 times that she’s in her mid-80s.

  4. I know this is off topic, but I haven’t lost any weight since I started my vegan/veggie diet . it will be 2 years this August. I feel healthier, but I am not losing, any suggestions???

    1. Try following the plant perfect diet of Dresselstyn.com. Eliminate added oils (including vegan sources like avacado and nuts), added sugar, and flour (stick to whole grains).

    2. It would help if you gave an example of your regular diet. Also, just eating plant based doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to be eating very healthy and lose weight because there is a lot of highly refined plant foods out there. So if you’re still eating what I would call a plant based version of a standard american diet, which would be totally plant based but a diet with a lot of processed foods, that would be your reason.

    3. Brenda, I am walking through the same thing.

      Are you doing something closer to The Starch Solution or Eat To Live or Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen?

      I can give you a list of things to look for:

      Juice, Smoothies, Oils – check your plant-milks, and are you eating too many nuts or too much avocado.

      If you eat nuts or avocado, you have to watch calories.

      Same if you are eating smoothies and oils.

      Also, are you eating any processed foods? Salad dressings? Hummus?
      Look for oils and things in that.

      Are you doing organic? RoundUp is an Obesigen.

      Are you doing refined carbs? Are you using Ezekiel bread or breads made from flour?

      Are you eating sweets/sugar? (I am specificially saying sugar. The low carb craze tries to call all carbs sugar and I am not asking “Are you eating potatos?” I am asking are you eating Oreos?

      1. You know what else, you might want to consider your thyroid. Make sure you’re getting enough iodine for proper thyroid function and selenium I believe is important as well which shouldn’t be a problem unless you live in a region with very little selenium in their soil. The U.S thankfully does not have that problem. I take 1/4th tsp of Maine Coast kelp granules for iodine assurance. Also keep in mind that exercise is an important part of losing weight as well. So if you’re sedentary it will be difficult to lose weight. If you’re really out of shape, start out with just walking daily.

        1. Yes, iodine, selenium, Vitamin B12, D3

          Infrared or red light – they sell LED bulbs for $35-ish dollars on Amazon and they can be used with regular light sockets.

          As far as exercise goes, yes, it is part of health, but people like Dr. McDougall and Dr. Lisle say that most people can lose weight without it.

          Depending on how many pounds they have to lose.

          I haven’t been upping my exercise yet because I am trying to understand the dietary end of things.

          I think I really may have lost 2 pounds last week. That is with no oil and no avocado and without juices or smoothies.

          I basically am eating a huge green salad with no oil dressing. Berries in yogurt with cacao and some honey. And I am doing Sweet Earth’s The Curry Tiger as a control. I am manipulating everything else and that is my easy dinner. When I got rid of the avocados and nuts, I added in the no oil hummus and rye crisps. 2 of those are 40 calories.

          I am hoping to lose another pound or 2 this week.

          That would be progress.

          If I haven’t lost weight by September, I will add in exercise and see whether that will work.

      2. I forgot coconut.

        For plant milk, West Soy is a brand without oil.

        Soup is good – of you make your own.

        If you absolutely love smoothies, the rule is to drink them very, very slowly. (See Dr. Greger’s video)

        I think Dr. Klapper said that if you drink juice and take 20 minutes drinking it that even juice is doable, but most people drink it straight down.

    4. Losing weight is as simple as addition and subtraction. The amount of calories in must be less than the amount of calories used in a typical day for someone who wants to lose weight. Eat smaller portions, and most importantly EXERCISE. Don’t go exercising hard as that is not necessary but get a minimum of 30 minutes exercise daily doing something that makes you break a sweat. (I ride a stationary bike for 1 hr at 60% heart rate then do 20 minutes of yoga)
      Stick with this and you will lose weight. I lost 30 lbs.

    5. Brenda – There have been times when I, too, didn’t drop the weight I was wishing for. I’ll share with you things that have been helpful to me. I am post menopausal so weight comes off more slowly. Something I had to be honest about was/is my nightly glass of wine (or two). Drinking alcohol is going to make weight loss more difficult no matter what you’re eating. Also, I saw a video from Dr. John McDougall’s son (Craig?) who explained that, in general, if you are having trouble losing weight on a WFPB diet that, in his experience, one is eating too much starch and not enough green and yellow vegetables. He said half your plate needs to be green and yellow non-starchy vegetables plus add a salad to your meal. After you eat that, then fill up with beans and a small amount of whole grains. For me, I now eat brown rice with whole rye berries (cooked of course) and have eliminated bread if I’m trying to lose weight. Also, I eat the starchy part of my diet earlier in the day so that I have energy for work. In the evening I eat a bowl of green/yellow steamed or raw veggies with perhaps some balsamic vinegar or soy sauce or a thinned mustard sauce along with a full/large fresh salad with red leaf lettuce, arugula, artichoke, beet, kohlrabi (raw, yum) and other “salad type” fresh raw vegetables. I also chop up some fresh pear in my salad – a great way to fill the tummy with low calories. So the evening is lower calorie but high volume, filling food. Fruit for dessert. No processed foods and that includes bread, crackers, etc. Perhaps 1/4-1/2 cup of beans in the salad. I also build in a 12 fasting time frame every day which is done mostly at night while I sleep.
      There was a time that I gained weight on my WFPB diet – I was eating too many grains and starchy items and not enough green and yellow vegetable. I made the adjustment and my weight is now where I want it to be and I am comfortable. If you’re hungry, eat a green leafy salad. If you’re still hungry, eat another one.
      Something I found extremely helpful is the presentation by Jeff Novick, RD on calorie density. Here it is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CdwWliv7Hg
      Otherwise I concur with others who have posted on this topic. Stick with it and best of luck to you!

    6. Hello Brenda,

      I’m glad you’re on the veggie train now! There could be some reasons for you not losing weight. Processed foods and oils without any fiber are very calorie dense and can lead to weight gain or prevent weight loss. If you have already cut out all processed foods and are eating strictly whole plant foods, then you may want to limit some things like nuts/avocado, which are more calorie dense and increase fruit and veggie intake. It’s difficult for me to make great recommendations without knowing more of your history, but that’s a start for you.

      I hope this helps,
      Dr. Matt, Health Support

  5. The image in this video strikes me. Totally off topic but our society is so ageist. Instead of revering those who’ve spent more years on earth, we all hope to remain stupid 12 year olds or something and act like being “old” is bad and to be avoided which is actually quite literally insane. It’s really pathetic. And we’re so obsessed with beauty which I’m not gonna lie, I’m into good skin and so on, but they have chemical crap that people shellac their faces with now to give the illusion of less wrinkled skin and such because without saying as much, visibly aged or even remotely “flawed” skin is bad and wrong and ugly and we need to mask it. But what’s funny is the hand in this image–which you would NOT see in a L’oreal commercial–is actually kind of profoundly beautiful. There’s nothing ugly about it and it looks like a person who has lived and experienced a lot and has presumably loved a lot and went through hardships and gained a lot of wisdom and it’s actually quite literally beautiful.

    1. I grew up surrounded by very elderly women and thought all of them were so beautiful. They had the most beautiful twinkling eyes and laugh lines and their hands had so much character.

      Like an old tree.

  6. I do appreciate the chemistry lessons in these videos. It’s not just information for information’s sake, but there’s a definite take away you can use to protect yourself.

    In this lesson I learned the complex chemistry lesson (t=2:26f):

    Saturated animal fat + arachidonic acid –> prostaglandins + aromatase –> estrogens –> stimulation of breast cancer tumors.

    And then the Cliff’s Notes version is: Saturated animal fat produces compounds called prostaglandins that can stimulate breast cancer tumors.

    Pretty important information one way or the other, imho.

    1. Dr. Cobalt,

      Thanks for writing it out that clearly.

      I have been trying to learn science during this process and I can only handle the Cliffs Notes version.

      I am starting to recognize more vocabulary words and I am slowly grasping concepts.

      It is a long process.

      1. You have a beautiful mind that handles complex concepts well, as your posts clearly show. And you have a beautiful spirit that I find refreshing.

        I think you’re doing great.

        1. You just made me cry. Happy, grateful tears. You are so sweet.

          I am working hard at this.

          I know that this site has helped so much and you are one of the ones who patiently walk me through as I comment circles around everybody else. I appreciate you more than you will ever know.

    1. Mic the Vegan did an excellent job Deb, and I’m glad I watched it. I have bookmarked the video to show to a newly-diagnosed Type 2 diabetic friend. The short clips of personal testamonies are amazing!

    1. George, the bottom line is interesting.
      “It is currently not possible to distinguish whether diseases are caused by inflamm-aging alone or immunosenescence alone [30, 89]. Therefore, we propose that inflamm-aging is accompanied by immunosenescence, and they occur together. We propose the novel concept of immune/inflammatory aging (immuno-inflamm-aging), instead of the individual concepts of inflamm-aging and immunosenescence.”

    1. https://jandonline.org/article/S2212-2672(13)00242-6/fulltext
      he ORAC database previously available on the USDA website has been withdrawn for the following two main reasons:

      1

      “ORAC values are routinely misused by food and dietary supplement manufacturing companies to promote their products and by consumers to guide their food and dietary supplement choices.”2
      2

      “The data for antioxidant capacity of foods generated by in vitro (test-tube) methods cannot be extrapolated to in vivo (human) effects and the clinical trials to test benefits of dietary antioxidants have produced mixed results. We know now that antioxidant molecules in food have a wide range of functions, many of which are unrelated to the ability to absorb free radicals.”2

  7. I was wondering about histamine intolerance, having had it suggested as a possible cause for some health issues I’m experiencing.
    I’m 51 and have been on a plant based diet for almost two years. When I looked up histamine intolerance I was shock to find that fermented food, nuts, legumes, nightshades, beans, spinach, citrus, bananas, strawberries, chocolate, spices and tea are all culprits. That is everything that I eat!
    So the only way to know for sure is an elimination diet, I’m not happy to say the least. Anyone else know much about it?

    1. Michelle, you might find this article helpful https://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11175/everything-you-need-to-know-about-histamine-intolerance.html Dr Amy Myers explains about ways to diagnose the problem, the elimination diet, and the enzymes that can help. The elimination diet is only meant to be short term and there looks like plenty of low histamine foods to eat. The blood tests might be an option for diagnosis if available. The symptom list is a little vague – I suffered the same, and was found recently to be hypothyroid. I have also found in my case, allergies to increase dramatically approaching menopause. Hope you can get this resolved comfortably Michelle!

      1. Thank you Barb, I’m so grateful for your advice. I have had hashimitos since my mid 20s and now having sinus, bronchial and joint problems that come and go for reasons not yet known.

  8. According to this 2018 review

    ‘The only [plant] products found to contain significant levels of histamine were eggplant, spinach, and tomato, each showing a great variability in content, both in samples from the same study and among different studies.’

    However, some other amines are produced by spoilage and may also provoke a reaction. The review therefore suggests

    ‘It is recommended to consume plant-origin foods that are boiled or are of maximum freshness to reduce biogenic amine intake.’

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6306728/

    1. Interesting article Fumbles, ty! Spinach and tomatoes are daily fare for me, though tomatoes are always cooked, (can’t tolerate them raw) and spinach is often thrown in soup or bean dishes.

      I took betahistine (raises histamine) last year to help with vertigo. It doesn’t work for everyone, but I sure was thankful for it.

        1. YR, vertigo in my case lasted about 3 to 4 months (too long!), though it depends on the initial cause. It’s not uncommon. It was caused by a virus infection of the middle ear. Once it cleared up, I was fine though the fear of it returning is real. I keep a bottle of the betahistine pills in my purse. It’s like like being really sea sick or standing in an earthquake.

          Another cause of it is falls which is why it happens to the elderly more often. Crystals in the middle ear get shaken up, and a physiotherapist can usually fix it with head and neck adjustments. Just be glad you haven’t had it.

  9. The beginning of this video talks about the degradation of the immune system as we age. This might be a good time to remind us of Dr. Valter Longo’s work in rejuvenating the immune system. His work on fasting is so successful that trials are now ongoing using fasting as an adjunct to chemotherapy because the fasting is so beneficial for the immune system. Basically, a 5 day fast will “eat up” old immune cells (i.e., the old immune system). When re-feeding begins the body creates a whole new immune system. It’s like a jump start for the immune system. He created a fasting program that you follow – certain foods you eat in certain amounts at certain times – that make it easy to do the 5 days. It’s called Prolon. All of his profits go to research to further understand the immune system. So if you’re having immune system issues like the histamine thing or autoimmune disease it might be worth it to follow his program a bit and see if it helps. I don’t know about anyone else but I would rather put my money toward prevention rather than treatment in today’s chemical-pharmaceutical driven medical world.

    I am SO glad to have this site and like-minded people with whom to engage!

    1. Yes, you sound like a different “Ruth” all right. :-)

      I have to have a tooth yanked on Monday *ouch* and will need to fast for hours after that, whether I want to or not. And then can eat only soft foods for a couple or more days. Fun times ahead. Not. :-(

      1. Don’t forget banana (n)ice cream. Freeze a couple bananas, add some unsweetened soy or almond milk, (I prefer soy for the creaminess,) and some cacao powder in a high speed blender till the consistency of a soft-serve ice cream. Pulse in some frozen dark sweet cherries and walnuts (if you want.)

        When I first tried this recipe, I had it every day for the entire summer.

        Moving along from this, you can imagine maybe peanut butter and ???
        or maybe ginger and mango?

        (Sigh! I’ve already had mine for the day….)

    2. I found Dr. Longo’s system of fasting mimicking harder than regular water fasting. It gave me just enough food to stimulate my appetite and made me just too hungry to continue for quite the whole 5 days. With regular water fasting, I’m fine the first day, a little distressed the second, the only day that takes real willpower, and then fairly comfortable with only a few occasional waves of hunger for the remaining days of a 5 or so day fast. Don’t buy his fasting kit. Instead, fast the old-fashioned way and you’ll not only have an easier time of it, but save a couple of hundred dollars as well.

    3. I’m pretty sure that the benefits of fasting for cancer treatment had been reported long before Longo’s work with mice was published.

  10. Mark,

    The publication you indicate is indeed appropriate as to the need for some amount of the AA.

    However, the key to the AA issue is amount and the ratio relative to both inflammatory markers and other oils. This ration is so out of wack with excessive levels due to dietary intake, from animal products is the basis of the NF video.

    Start with this article, https://www.kcbd.com/story/1467213/arachidonic-acid-the-good-and-bad/ and then https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5492028/.

    Balance is the key and you can check your blood levels easily.

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

    1. The key seems to be the difference between PGE2 and PGF2a when it comes to AA, the latter being the bad guy.

      There is some evidence that when it comes to meat not all meats are equal when concerning PGE2. Grass fed seems to have some evidence to back its adoption should people want to stay with meat or occasional meat

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22153516

      If you have any other studies shwoing PGE2 by meats I would be glad to see them

    2. Dr Kadish, or anyone else for that matter, I do hope you can provide a bit of insight here. I was a bit flummoxed here. The reminder of the importance of arachidonic acid and countering it with antioxidants (and just reducing it) was very useful for me. However, as a 50 year T1 diabetic I am particularly concerned with advanced glycation end products as a factor in aging and its impact on the inflammation of aging. So, are there plans to discuss this more in the future? And, do you know of any references on the possible mechanism of the reversal of the integration of AGEs into our various tissues?

      This topic, I would think, speaks to the necessary reduction of endogenous as well as exogenous AGEs as well as consuming high antioxidant foods.. Yes this is crucial for reduction of future AGEs accumulation but,,, I keep hoping for indications of reversal possibilities. (I’ve always empathized with the goals of Ponce De Leon)

      1. Stewart,

        Great question….. in terms of reversal of AGEs please see: https://www.leafscience.org/reversal-of-two-advanced-glycation-end-products-achieved/. In this Yale study (in vitro) they have recently found an enzyme that does break down two of the AGEs and more info is forthcoming. (the pubmed version https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31013547)

        The doors to discovering the mechanism and the reversal are now well under way and better understood. The potential dollar signs should drive this and other allied discoveries for the anti-aging pills of the future.

        Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

  11. I always been fascinated by the effects of aging. From concepts such as antagonistic pleiotropy (what can be beneficial in young age might be detrimental later) to cells that go into senescence (due to running out on divisons or DNA damage). If I didn’t know any better I would name the vehicle that I’m living in a miracle.

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