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Research Explains How Low Nutrient Diet Increases Lifespan latest research paper shows a diet low in nutrients might help increase the lifespan of humans.

The research conducted on laboratory animals argues that dietary restrictions can result in higher rates of cellular recycling and repair mechanisms in the body. But, according to them, this effect evolved to help organisms during famines.

The authors explain that animals need less food for survival as the stored nutrients in the cells can be recycled and reused.

“This is the most intriguing aspect, from a human health stand point. Although extended lifespan may simply be a side effect of dietary restriction, a better understanding of these cellular recycling mechanisms that drive the effect may hold the promise of longer, healthier lives for humans,” said lead study author, Dr Margo Adler, an evolutionary biologist at UNSW Australia in a press release.

“This effect has been demonstrated in laboratories around the world, in species ranging from yeast to flies to mice. There is also some evidence that it occurs in primates,” Adler said

“But we think that lifespan extension from dietary restriction is more likely to be a laboratory artifact,” said Adler. She further explained that the most commonly believed theory is that this effect evolved to enhance the survival chances during times of famine.

The authors explained why no extension in lifespan is seen in the wild. This is because restricted diets lower the ability of the immune system to fight diseases and reduce the muscle strength necessary to defend against predators.

“Unlike in the benign conditions of the lab, most animals in the wild are killed young by parasites or predators,” Adler explained

“Since dietary restriction appears to extend lifespan in the lab by reducing old-age diseases, it is unlikely to have the same effect on wild animals, which generally don’t live long enough to be affected by cancer and other late-life pathologies,” she added.

The paper is published in the journal ‘BioEssays.’


Top 15 myths about blood pressure

Blood PressureBlood pressure is a growing health problem in India but there are several blood pressure myths.

Blood pressure can lead to heart diseases which can prove fatal. Hence it is important to get your facts straight on blood pressure. Here are top 15 myths on blood pressure that you may consider to be true.

1 – Blood pressure myth # 1: It is ‘NO-BIG DEAL’

Blood pressure fact: Take your initial symptoms of high/low blood pressure, seriously because high blood pressure can also kill you by damaging your blood vessels, heart, kidneys, and other organs in your body.

The worst thing is that, you may be a victim of high blood pressure even without knowing it.

2 – Blood pressure myth # 2: You cannot do anything, if it runs in your family

Blood pressure fact: If you have inherited high/low blood pressure, then you are most likely to develop it. However, make sure that adopting certain lifestyle changes can help you avoid the disease, even if it runs in your family history. Eating a good diet, lowering the intake of sodium, exercising regularly, staying away from stress, limiting alcohol and quitting smoking are important changes that one needs to make.

3 – Blood pressure myth# 3: Cholesterol is worse than blood pressure

Blood pressure fact: Cholesterol is bad, we agree, but if your ratio of good and bad cholesterol level is healthy, then your risk of a heart attack is very less. But high blood pressure is worse than cholesterol, because it puts lot of stress on your blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. In high blood pressure, the bad cholesterol particles can easily enter the inner lining of your vessel walls, eventually causing a heart attack or a stroke.

4 – Blood pressure myth # 4: I am young, so should I be worried?

Blood pressure fact: High blood pressure related problems are not just an old age related problem. Young people are at a high risk of developing high blood pressure too! This is primarily due to lifestyle changes; due to which blood vessels tend to weaken ultimately increasing the risk of developing blood pressure related problems.

5 – Blood pressure myth # 5: Blood pressure cannot be controlled

Blood pressure fact: High blood pressure is easily detectable and can be controlled as well. To get back your normal blood pressure reading, all you need is some lifestyle modifications and taking prescribed medications on time.

6 – Blood pressure myth # 6: If I have hypertension, I should check my blood pressure 24*7

Blood pressure fact: Blood pressure can change during a 24 hours period, due to stress, tension or various emotions, but that doesn’t mean you need to check your blood pressure every second. Your average blood pressure changes very slowly. Hence, if you have stable blood pressure reading, then there is really no need to measure it more than once, every week.

7 – Blood pressure myth # 7: I can take a break from medicines, once I’m OK!

Blood pressure fact: You can stop taking your medicine for high blood pressure, once you start feeling better. But if your doctor has prescribed some time period for your medicines, then follow what has been advised to you. Without your doctor’s consent, it can be dangerous for you to stop taking the medications completely.

8 – Blood pressure myth # 8: It is ok if one of the blood pressure readings is normal

Blood pressure fact: When you or your doctor measure your blood pressure, it includes two numbers – one written on top (systolic), and the other below (diastolic). Most of us tend to pay more attention to the systolic rate rather than diastolic reading. Both of the numbers are very important. If either of your blood pressure readings is consistently above normal, then you need to take action right away.

9 – Blood pressure myth# 9: I have no symptoms, so I don’t have to worry about high blood pressure

Blood pressure fact: Most of the high blood pressure patients fail to experience any symptoms. Even if you are hale and hearty, it is important for you to check your blood pressure at least once in six months, to avoid severe health complications.

10 – Blood pressure myth # 10: Hypertension is gender-biased

Blood pressure fact: Both males as well as females are at high risk of developing high blood pressure. However, the condition is more common in men under 45 years and in women, it usually occurs after menopause. But is imperative you check your blood pressure levels every six months.

11 – Blood pressure myth# 11: Hypertension can be cured with medication

Blood pressure fact: Hypertension is easier to manage than curing it completely. Medication is not the only solution to control blood pressure, you will need to make dietary and lifestyle changes as well.

12 – Blood pressure myth# 12: Salt control, is all about adding no salt in my cooking

Blood pressure fact: Salt control is beyond limiting salt consumption in your cooking. You have large amounts of salts in pickles, processed foods and papads, which you should try and avoid as well.

13 – Blood pressure myth# 13: A single high blood pressure reading means I am a hypertension patient

Blood pressure fact: Blood pressure can change throughout the day, it can rise when you tensed or nervous. Hence, a single reading of high blood pressure doesn’t make you a hypertension patient. In order to check if you have blood pressure, you should persistently have high readings every time. However, one normal reading doesn’t mean you don’t have high blood pressure.

14 – Blood pressure myth# 14: If I have a headache it means I have high blood pressure

Blood pressure fact: There are no symptoms most of the time. High blood pressure in most cases are established during a visit to the doctor.

15 – Blood pressure myth# 15: Kosher salt will not cause trouble

Blood pressure fact: Chemically kosher salt and sea salt are the same as table salt – 40 percent sodium – and accounts the same for total sodium consumption. If you are thinking that kosher salt won’t damage your health and you can consume as much as possible, you are wrong!

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