woman holding oil bottle

The Oils Of Longevity

You may have heard people saying they can’t live without their morning coffee, but we usually don’t take them literally. Just when you thought your caffeinated cup had reached the limit in positive attributes, there comes proof that having a cup of coffee each day may be just what you need to keep having more days to have more cups of coffee! And while you’re at it, you may want to pop some fish oil pills too; they apparently have similar effect.

Recent studies show that both coffee and fish oil contain properties which can actually promote longevity. Not convinced? Here’s a look at some of the latest research on drinking coffee and taking fish oil capsules and why it may just be the latest recipe for long life.

What Are Telomeres?
You may have heard of these little caps at the end of our DNA. Telomeres control our lifespan by determining how many times our cells divide and stay alive. As we get older, environmental stressors take their toll, and these telomeres get shorter, meaning our lives do as well. Therefore, keeping them long is key to longevity. The latest way to do that is by drinking your morning coffee with a side of fish oil.

Fish Oil and Longevity
A study in the 2016 issue of Nutrients looked at the effect of omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil on tele mere length in a controlled trial. Experts attribute the increase in length to a reduction of oxidative stress.

An additional study in Brain, Behavior, and Immunity seems to support these findings. The study included 106 individuals with an average age of 51 who were considered relatively healthy, divided into three groups. One group received 2.5 grams of long chain omega-3’s per day, a second received 1.25 grams a day, and one received placebo pills that had proportion of fatty acids similar to those found in an average American diet. After four months, results showed a significant increase in telomere length and a decrease in oxidative stress among those who received the omega-3 supplements.

The two main types of long chain omega-3 fats are most often found in fish such as sardines, herring, salmon, and mackerel. Alpha-linolenic acid is a short chain omega-3 fatty acid that can be found in flaxseeds and walnuts.

Coffee and Longevity
Coffee is already a well known source of antioxidants which makes it a life lengthening beverage. Scientists ar the Journal of Nutrition used data from the Nurse’s Health Study form 1976 to explain the link between coffee drinking and telomere length in 4780 female nurses, and found a direct correlations. Of the nurses, those who drank 2 cups of coffee daily had a 29% higher chance of having an average telomere lengthen while the odds were 36% higher in those who drank 3 cups.

However experts are quick to point out that while coffee may be very beneficial to your health, caffeine may not. Although researchers from the University of Scranton say coffee is America’s number one antioxidant source, they are also quick to remind us that regular and decaf have the same antioxidant levels, and too much caffeine can cause unwanted side effects. Try to keep caffeine consumption at a moderate 300-400mg daily, about 3 to 4 cups of coffee to keep away anxiety and depression.

What do you think? Is fish oil and coffee the new Breakfast of Champions? Let us know!

senior woman smiling at her caregiver

A Generous Heart May Help You Live Longer

Usually, when it is said of someone that he or she has a good heart, it means that someone is generous, or caring. That they take time out to do unto others. However, in more literal terms, a good heart is associated with good cardiovascular health. Having a good heart means quite simply that your heart is in good condition. But, could they be one and the same? New studies show that volunteering, besides being mentally beneficial, can also have a positive impact on physical health. Need evidence? Here are what some experts are saying about how having a good heart can lead to having a good heart.

Mental and Physical Benefits
Anyone who has ever volunteered knows how mentally and emotionally rewarding it can be. Not only do volunteers feel as if they have made a positive change, studies show that donating time can lead to a feeling of greater social connectedness, and less depression and loneliness. However, new evidence reveals that people who volunteer may also be gifted with long lifespans and low blood pressure readings.

A study from Carnegie Mellon University, published in this month’s edition of Psychology and Aging, shows that those who give time to others may have better health than those who do not. Findings revealed that adults over 40 who volunteered regularly were at a lower risk for high blood pressure than those who did not volunteer. High blood pressure is an accurate health indicator because it is linked to stroke, heart disease, and premature death.

Because it is possible that volunteers may also take part in other health conscious activities, such as exercise and healthy eating, it is not possible to prove that volunteering was the sole reason for the lower blood pressure readings, but the results do seem to point in that direction.

woman working at animal shelter

How It Works
If you are wondering how exactly volunteering contributes to better health and longer life, Rodlescia Sneed, lead author of the Carnegie Mellon study, may have some insight on the phenomena. One explanation may be the increased physical activity volunteering can provide for those who are not otherwise very active. Another may be stress reduction. According to Sneed, “Many people find volunteer work to be helpful with respect to stress reduction, and we know that stress is very strongly linked with health outcomes.”

If you are thinking of volunteering, and want to know how to get the maximum benefits from your do-gooding, Carnegie Mellon is on top of it. According to the study, it takes 200 hours of volunteering annually to reap the rewards of low blood pressure, although other studies have found as little as 100 hours will do the trick. As for types of volunteering, that remains unknown. However, Sneed speculates that it is the more mentally stimulating activities, like reading and tutoring, that lead to sharper thinking and memory skills, whereas “activities that promote physical activity would be helpful with respect to cardiovascular health, but no studies have really explored this.”

In conclusion, one thing does seem clear; the best results of volunteering come when it is done for the right reasons. A 2012 study published in the Health Psychology journal found that those who benefitted most from volunteer work were those whose intentions were altruistic. In other words, it has to come from the heart if the rewards are going to end up there.

Do you do volunteer work? How do you find it affects you? Let us know what you’re doing for others and what you think it might be doing for you!

Sirtuin structure

Resveralife Examines the Link Between Resveratrol and Longetivity

Vine Vera reviews a recent study that shows how important this Sirutins are for the aging process.

 

This study focused on the SIRT3 gene, a gene that is found in the mitochondria of the cell. It seems that the age gap usually occurs because the system doesn’t function as well as it used to when the body was younger, it suffers from oxidative stress and over the years the stress levels build up as well. Under such conditions, the normal anti-oxidative system cannot take care of the body. This is when it gives into aging.

 

Reports suggest that researchers have finally managed to actually turn back the molecular clock in the blood stem cells of mice by infusing them with a unique longevity gene. Yes, you got that right. The experiment actually managed to rejuvenate aged stem cells, thereby providing new hope for the development of cures for age related diseases in human beings. This study was conducted by the University of California, Berkeley. Researchers associated with the tests believe and this study provides new hope for advancements in the understanding of molecular mechanisms. The findings of the study were also published in the Cell Reports Journal.

 

According to biologists, the SIRT3 gene, a gene that is found in the Sirtuin proteins, played a huge role in allowing aged stem cells to be able to cope up with stress. Researchers infused the blood stem cells of old mice with SIRT3. This led to the formation of new blood cells, thereby representing a reversal in the age decline of the stem cell function of the aged cell.

 

Danica Chen, the head investigator of the study mentions that it is already known that Sirtuins can regulate aging. However, this study can show that Sirtuins can actually reverse age-related degeneration. This is by far one of the most exciting discoveries made by the medical industry since the discovery of Resveratrol.

 

Over the past 10 – 20 years, scientists have managed to make countless breakthroughs when it comes to aging. We might not have the Fountain of Youth as yet, but we’re definitely close. Instead of a being a random and uncontrolled process, aging can actually be controlled. It is believed that as science progresses further, the secrets to the Fountain of Youth shall finally be unlocked in front of mankind.

 

A couple of studies conducted in the recent past had also shown how Resveratrol, the red wine compound, is beneficial for the skin and the body. These studies had shown that Resveratrol is an excellent antioxidant which protects the body from free radical damage and damage from the UVA and UVB rays of the sun. It is also known to be the only polyphenol that can activate the SIRT1 gene. The SIRT1 gene helps in promoting the creation of new cells and also goes a  long way in ensuring that the old ones last for longer.

 

Thus, when you combine the studies of this SIRT1 gene to the results obtained in the University of California study, the results actually look quite promising for all those looking for solutions to aging. It remains to be seen whether the SIRT3 gene can actually help in prolonging life, but Danica pointed out that this wasn’t the main goal of the research. She stated that the main goal was to use the knowledge to treat age-related diseases. Well, if not aging, we’re also happy with the next best thing – cures to age-related diseases.