Today’s Internet world can provide us with a truly amazing amount of information about virtually any topic. We simply click on a search engine like Google, and we don’t even have to know how to spell our topic of interest. The computer will politely offer us the right word(s). What it can’t do, however, is evaluate the data it presents.
Is it possible to extend lifespan? Although it hasn’t been proven for humans yet, the answer seems to be yes, at least for yeast, flies, mice and, according to recent research, primates.
I, for one, take little comfort in the recommendation to “age gracefully.” Is that really the only respectable action we can take when faced with the seemingly inevitable decline in mental and physical activity as we get older? Or is there evidence that we may be able to slow-down, possibly even reverse, some of those uninvited changes?
Summer is the season for baseball games, county fairs and tempting foods. Hot dogs, cotton candy, pork rinds, sausages, fried dough…it may be OK to yield to these energy-rich, nutrient-poor treats on occasion. But, in this issue of the Health Journal, we examine how they can wreak havoc on our bodies if consumed too often.
Our children and grandchildren continually remind us of our younger days, when we could perform physical and mental feats with seemingly no effort or fatigue. So, why the age-related loss of energy? And can we do anything to stop or attenuate its progression? Recent research suggests the answer to the second question is “yes.” But first questions first.
Cholesterol. Do you associate the word with poor health? Not surprising when you consider the pervasive advertising for an ever-growing list of drugs developed to reduce its levels in our blood. What may surprise you?
The food pyramid has recently been rearranged to promote more whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, and fewer simple carbohydrates (so-called bad). The major emphasis is to stay away from those simple carbohydrates with a high glycemic index (foods made from refined flour and sugar, and which the body readily converts to simple sugars). Simple carbohydrates have been shown to produce a sharp elevation in blood-glucose levels, which promotes disease. Why the sudden change away from these carbs?
Structurally, the difference between the acetyl-L-carnitine (ALC) and L-carnitine (LC) is that ALC is an LC molecule that also contains an attached acetic acid group. This structural difference is small, but it produces a considerable difference in the biochemical properties of the molecule and, consequently, in its effects on metabolism.
What are mitochondria, what are their functions and why are they so important? These tiny cellular structures specialize in energy production, but also play a role in aging, cancer, cell death, and degenerative diseases. Virtually all the energy needed for you to go about your daily life ultimately derives from the mitochondria.