How can older people prolong life? Switch to a Mediterranean diet, study suggests
A new study suggests that switching to a Mediterranean diet in the later years can prolong your lifespan.
A new study suggests that switching to a Mediterranean diet in your later years can prolong your lifespan.
The Mediterranean diet includes many dishes, but it’s generally inspired by foods that were common in Greece, Southern Italy and Spain during the 1940s and 1950s. It includes high consumption of olive oil, vegetables, nuts and fruits; moderate amounts of fish, wine and dairy products; and low consumption of non-fish meat.
“We all know that [the] Mediterranean diet is good for health, but there are few studies focusing on the elderly,” Marialaura Bonaccio, an epidemiologist at the Mediterranean Neurological Institute, IRCCS Neuromed, and first author of the study, told The Guardian.
The study, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, analyzed a group of 5,200 individuals aged 65 and over from the Molise region of Southern Italy, all of whom had participated in an earlier study that tracked their health and diet from as early as 2005 up to 2015.
Before that study began, each participant completed a questionnaire measuring how closely they stuck to a Mediterranean diet based on a 0 to 9 scale.
The results showed that participants who closely adhered to a Mediterranean diet (scoring 7 to 9 on the scale) were 25 percent less likely to die from any cause compared to those who didn’t stick to the diet (scoring 0 to 3).
The study doesn’t necessarily prove a causal link between longer lifespan and the Mediterranean diet. Also, those who stuck to the diet were also more likely to pursue exercise and physical activity.
Still, the researchers noted that general risk of death seems to drop by about 5 percent for each point gained on the Mediterranean diet scale. What’s more, some past research has shown associations between the Mediterranean diet and a lower risk of cancer, and particularly with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.
As an unprecedented amount of people worldwide begin to enter old age, Bonaccio said it’s important that scientists investigate all the available tools that might smoothen the aging process.
“If you start a good healthy lifestyle when you are young, probably your benefit will be even greater,” Bonaccio told The Guardian. “But even if you are old and you start having a healthy lifestyle including diet you can [live longer].”
What can 3D printing do for medicine? The "sky is the limit," says Northwell Health researcher Dr. Todd Goldstein.
- Medical professionals are currently using 3D printers to create prosthetics and patient-specific organ models that doctors can use to prepare for surgery.
- Eventually, scientists hope to print patient-specific organs that can be transplanted safely into the human body.
- Northwell Health, New York State's largest health care provider, is pioneering 3D printing in medicine in three key ways.
- "I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose," Sherlock Holmes famously remarked.
- In this lesson, Maria Konnikova, author of Mastermind: How to think like Sherlock Holmes, teaches you how to optimize memory, Holmes style.
- The goal is to expand one's limited "brain attic," so that what used to be a small space can suddenly become much larger because we are using the space more efficiently.
The controversial herbicide is everywhere, apparently.
- U.S. PIRG tested 20 beers and wines, including organics, and found Roundup's active ingredient in almost all of them.
- A jury on August 2018 awarded a non-Hodgkin's lymphoma victim $289 million in Roundup damages.
- Bayer/Monsanto says Roundup is totally safe. Others disagree.
- Our ability to behave rationally depends not just on our ability to use the facts, but on our ability to give those facts meaning. To be rational, we need both facts and feelings. We need to be subjective.
- In this lesson, risk communication expert David Ropeik teaches you how human rationality influences our perception of risk.
- By the end of it, you'll understand the pitfalls of your subjective risk perception system so that you can avoid these traps in the future.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.