Diet and Longevity

Can our Lifestyles Slow Down the Clock?

Our bodies are constantly creating new cells through cell division.  Unfortunately, the cells become “old’ and reach a state called senescence where they no longer replicate themselves.

The old cells do not die but linger in the body systems causing damage and inflammation to healthy cells.

But, during cell division, structures called telomeres (stretches of DNA protein) come into play. They are likened to the plastic tips at the end of shoelaces that prevent fraying. The are located at the ends of chromosomes (genes) to protect and keep cells stable. However, every time a cell divides, the telomeres shorten slightly. The length of telomeres and the rate at which they shorten have been linked to aging. An enzyme called telomerase is often referred to as “anti-aging helps maintain the telomeres, helping to keep them long.

Studies at this point have suggested that various nutrients could possibly influence the expression of a particular gene (TERT) that is linked with telomerase activity. These included genistein found in soy and broccoli; EGCG, a polyphenol in green and black tea, sulforophane found in vegetables such as cauliflower, kale, and collard greens. Data from the Nurses Health Study indicated that intake of dietary fiber was linked to longer telomeres in middle-aged and older women. But research is limited at this point and should be further investigated.

An interesting study indicates that telomere length is connected to the amount of soda we consume. Sugar sweetened beverages are thought to be a major contributor of sugar in the U.S. diet.

In 2024, researchers looked at a group of people who regularly consumed 20 ounces or more of soda daily. The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health, reported that the soda drinkers’ telomeres shortened much more quickly than the norm – the equivalent of more than four and a half years in addition to the normal aging that would occur over the course of a year. This is not good news.

The researchers had included only healthy adults with no history of diabetes or cardiovascular disease in their study. The potential connections with metabolic disease are fascinating.

Consider, for instance, that obesity is also associated with reduced telomere length – even for children. The authors of the study of course recommended that further research be done to examine any reasonable associations with dietary factors and telomere length.

  Source: Findlayson, Judith. You Are What Your  Grandparents Ate. Page 228, 2019. 

The New Food Culture? Plant-based Diets

“So many people are confused about food; the eating plan of the moment changes and suddenly there are new rules to follow. But with plant-based eating, there is [more] freedom to eat what you want.” —Cassidy Gundersen, holistic nutritionist.

This article is quite long but worth reading to reflect on what type of food culture may be waiting for the future. Interesting topic!!


More About Garlic?

I am not a promoter of supplements except in situations when you don’t want to smell like a raw garlic bulb every day.

More Good News for Garlic Lovers

Editors Note: Metabolic syndrome is becoming a marker for good health especially in the older population; however its presence can occur even in younger people. It is diagnosed as having three of the following disorders: high triglycerides, high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar and low levels of HDL cholesterol. These disorders collectively are thought to contribute to a higher risk of developing diabetes and/or heart disease

A randomized clinical trial included 90 men and women with metabolic syndrome were supplemented with tablets containing 1600 mg of garlic powder daily for three months, or a placebo.

Garlic supplementation Improves metabolic syndrome. Phytother Res. 2021, May 11.

In the garlic group, results were as follows:

All parameters were reduced along with appetite, fatty liver index,and waist circumference. Additionally,  beneficial HDL cholesterol was significantly higher than at the beginning of the study compared to the placebo group. 

The Power of Plant-Based Nutrients. Life Extension, October, 2021.

“Then, there is cancer. Compounds in garlic have been shown in many laboratory studies to be chemoprotecive. Epidemiological studies shows a decreased risk in stomach and colon cancer in areas where consumption of garlic is high. An article In the Journal of Nutrition stated that “evidence continues to point to the anticancer properties of fresh garlic extracts, aged garlic, garlic oil.”

Source: Jonny Bowden, Ph.D., CNS. The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth. 2007.

What Does Organic actually Mean?

Organic Foods

  • What does any label that says “organic” mean? What are the criteria for organic certification?

USDA rules for qualifying as organic. 


  • Must be grown in soils not treated with synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides for at least three years
  • Cannot be fertilized with sewer sludge
  • Cannot be treated with radiation
  • Cannot be grown from genetically modified seeds or contain genetic modified ingredients


  • Cannot be raised in “factory-like” confinement conditions
  • Cannot be given antibiotics or hormones to prevent disease or promote growth.
  • Must be given feed products that are 100% organic.

Omega 6 and Omega 3 Fatty Acids: The Good and the Bad


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Fat is a key nutrient in our diet and is often the first thing you may note on a food label. Most foods contain a mixture of many different types of fat: the commonest are saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans fats. Polyunsaturated fats are divided into two major families: omega-6 and omega-3’s. Are some good and some bad.? This conundrum is often debated among nutritionists and still a definitive answer remains elusive.

What exactly are the omega-6 and omega 3 fats?

We have to begin with the polyunsaturated essential fatty acids, linoleic (omega-6) (LA) and alpha linolenic acids (omega-three) (ALA). They are called essential because they cannot be made in the body and must be acquired from the diet.

Linoleic acid (LA) is required for growth, healthy skin and normal functioning of the reproductive system and is a structural part of cell membranes. Foods high…

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The Effects of Food on our Mind and Body

Does food affect our minds and bodies? According to a new self-imposed study, it sure does. The article is interesting and makes one wonder how different behaviors would be if more people were aware of this and changed their diets to a healthier approach.

In America today, even when food is abundant, fast-paced lifestyle and poor food choices made available through modern technology can contribute to a diet that contains too much of some nutrients and too little of others.