NMU 134 – Longevity Indicators
Nutrition / Natural Medicine Update No 134 (July 4, 2019)
with Dr. James Meschino
Topic: Novel Blood and Urine Tests Predict Disability and Mortality
Source: The Journal of Gerontology (June 2012)
We all hope to live as long as possible and be highly functional and disease-free throughout our lives. To this end, a breakthrough study in The Journal of Gerontology, a few years ago, identified three important blood and urine tests that were shown to predict mobility disability and mortality as people age. In this study, data was collected from over 2,000 community-dwelling non-disabled older persons enrolled in the Health Aging and Body Composition Study. Various blood and urine tests were conducted on these individuals over an 11-12-year period. The study showed that both men and women who had higher blood levels of the inflammatory chemical known as Interleukin-6 had a significantly increased risk of mobility disability, severe mobility disability, and mortality. As well, significantly increased risk of death was seen in subjects with higher urine levels of fat oxidation products (i.e. 8-iso-prostaglandin F24) and chemicals related to increased blood stickiness (11- dehydro-thromboxane B2).
So, what does this all mean? Well, we know that certain dietary and lifestyle habits can increase or decrease blood and urine levels of these important longevity indicators. For instance, remaining at your ideal body weight, exercising regularly, not eating deep-fried foods, or foods with trans-fats, or foods with lots of saturated fat, help to keep inflammatory chemicals lower in the body (such as Interleukin-6) and make your blood less sticky. These are the kind of outcomes you want to shoot for. Choosing leaner protein foods such a chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, egg whites, soy, and plant-based protein alternatives and non-fat milk and yogurt can help to reduce inflammatory chemicals like interleukin-6.
These lower-fat foods, along with regular exercise, also help to reduce the stickiness of blood platelets – another key indicator of mortality risk. Consuming more fruits, vegetables and legumes provides the body with antioxidants, which also lower the release of inflammatory chemicals (i.e. Interleukin-6) and fat oxidation products (i.e. 8-iso-prostaglandin F24).
What aging research has taught thus far, is that eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and remaining at your ideal weight, helps to keep these blood and urine indicators of disability and mortality in a range that is associated with improved longevity and healthy life expectancy. It’s not always easy to do, but it does pay off over time. The same is true for not smoking and being cautious with alcohol consumption.
I have included the research reference in the text below. Once again, I would encourage you to Eat Smart, Live Well and I know you’re going to look and feel great.
Cesari M et al. Oxidative damage, platelet activation, and inflammation to predict mobility disability and mortality in older persons: Results from the Health Aging and Body Composition Study. The Journal of Gerontology Series A, Volume 67A, Issue 6. June 2012: pages 671-676.
Eat Smart, Live Well, Look Great,