Want to live forever and feel spry at 100? Researchers dive into why the Amish stay young for longer. If you don’t have the Amish gene, no worries – you can still adopt a few key habits. There’s also a new pill on the horizon that’s “the closest we’ve gotten to a fountain of youth.” Speaking of pills, taking this supplement when pregnant could keep your kid from being overweight. Sound intriguing? Read on to see what other biohacking headlines had us clicking this week.
What keeps the Amish so healthy in old age?
Time magazine reveals the secrets of how Amish people stay healthy in old age. Spoiler Alert: It’s a combo of lifestyle and genes. It appears that intermarriage actually turned out to be a good thing, because the Amish got a lucky bid. What does this mean for you? Genes get turned on and off, depending on your habits, and those genetic activations have a ripple effect for generations to come. So even if you aren’t Amish, you can live like one: No smoking, no alcohol, exercise built into daily activities, and good sleep (no electricity means an early bedtime). And listen to this podcast if you’re game to understand how your environment hacks your genes.
The latest and greatest anti-aging pill on the horizon
A group of researchers honed in on a verifiable longevity elixir. The key ingredient? A compound called nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NAD+ — a molecule responsible for regulating cellular aging. “NAD+ is the closest we’ve gotten to a fountain of youth,” says David Sinclair, co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging at Harvard Medical School.
NAD+ levels decrease in humans over time, but when researchers re-upped NAD+ in mice, the mice looked and acted younger — and lived longer too. What can you do? The nootropic supplement Keto Prime shifts the bodily ratio of NADH to NAD+ – which makes mitochondrial energy production more efficient. Your mitochondria are what keep your cells healthy and vibrant. Another way to boost your longevity? Autophagy — your body’s natural detoxification process. Find out how to induce autophagy to boost your lifespan.
Vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women linked to child obesity
A new study from the Keck School of Medicine, USC reveals that vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women may result in obese children. Specifically, researchers observed that mothers with low levels of vitamin D fostered 6-year-olds with bigger than average waists – about half an inch larger than children born from vitamin D-sufficient mothers. The children also carried 2% more body fat. If you’re pregnant (or even if you’re not), be sure to get 20 minutes of daily sunshine; eat vitamin D-rich Bulletproof foods like fatty fish and egg yolks; and consider supplementing with vitamin D – in the morning, 1,000 IU per 25 pounds of body weight. Read more about the top 5 reasons vitamin D makes women bulletproof.
Gut bacteria play a role in obesity development and insulin resistance
In obesity-related news, this Johns Hopkins study reveals a direct correlation between gut bacteria and obesity in mice. The intestinal microbiome – home to a host of bacteria, viruses, and fungal genes – is known to play a key role in obesity development and insulin resistance. This study concludes that there is potential to prevent obesity and diabetes by manipulating gut bacteria levels or related genes that are responsible for metabolism.
Uber-processed foods cause cancer
What else makes you fat — and causes cancer? French researchers found mass-produced, packaged bread, chips, sodas and sweetened beverages, instant noodles and soups, frozen/ready-made meals, and even the bad kind of chocolate (less than 70% cacao) are the culprit. The BMJ study of 105,000 people revealed the more of these foods people consumed, the greater their cancer risk. The link between being overweight and disease risk is well known. However, what is a little murkier is the difference between processed foods that typically contain a lot of fat, sugar, and processed carbohydrates versus whole foods that naturally contain high levels of fat. You can understand the common health myths about sugar, fats, and meat here.
Is rock-climbing the ultimate full-body workout?
Time Magazine ran an online story touting rock climbing as the physical activity to live by. Here’s why: rock climbing engages all of your muscles in a way few other activities do. Because climbing terrain varies from one step to the next, you’re constantly mixing it up and challenging muscles in different ways, compared to workouts that rely on the same repetitive motions. Climbing combines the pushing, pulling, and lifting of high-intensity resistance training with a solid cardio workout for a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout. Read up on the benefits of HIIT and why HIIT is the key to keeping weight off.
Climb the stairs to lower blood pressure and strengthen leg muscles
If you can’t climb walls, climb the stairs instead. A new North American Menopause Society (NAMS) study finds that climbing stairs is another great way to combine cardio and resistance training into one activity. The study found that taking the stairs lowers blood pressure and builds leg strength, particularly in postmenopausal women. Catch up on the complete Bulletproof exercise guide, including what a typical routine looks like.