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Want to live longer? Ditch meat; eat vegetables

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Vegetables...    A study has shown that going vegetarian for at least 17 years, extends a person’s life expectancy by 3.6 years. Physicians should advise patients to limit animal products when possible and consume more plants than meat.                       PHOTO CREDIT: google.com/search

Vegetables… A study has shown that going vegetarian for at least 17 years, extends a person’s life expectancy by 3.6 years. Physicians should advise patients to limit animal products when possible and consume more plants than meat. PHOTO CREDIT: google.com/search

Scientists have discovered keys to living longer. Experts have suggested that eradicating meat from your diet could add nearly fours years to your life. A study has shown that going vegetarian for at least 17 years, extends a person’s life expectancy by 3.6 years.

Eating red and particularly processed meats on a daily basis was linked to rising mortality rates.Investigations of more than 1.5 million people found death from all causes was higher for those who regularly eat meat.The study is published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.Physicians from the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, United States, analysed six studies that showed the effects of meat and vegetarian diets on mortality.

Primary care physicians were then given evidence-based guidance about whether they should discourage patients from eating meat.Their recommendation was that physicians should advise patients to limit animal products when possible and consume more plants than meat.

Meanwhile, a ‘miracle drug’ found in the soil at Easter Island is believed to have qualities that could one day help humans live longer – and it may already be working for dogs.

Scientists from the University of Washington are testing the effects of a drug called rapamycin on dogs to see if it will slow down the ageing process.Researchers were shocked by results of the initial trials, finding that some dogs showed improved heart functionality after just a few weeks.

The study was published in the journal Neuroscience.Rapamycin is a bacterial by-product discovered in the shadows of the Easter Island’s famous statues.It is already used in transplant patients to prevent organ rejection and scientists say it can improve learning and help treat cognitive decline.

However, it comes with some serious side effects. For instance, the compound suppresses the immune system and makes patients vulnerable to any viruses and bacteria.The existing version of the drug also increases the risk of cancer and would need to be modified before using in human trials. The study is led by biologist Matt Kaeberlein and his colleague, Daniel Promislow.

According to Fusion, the researchers began clinical trials this year, expanding on earlier findings that rapamycin increases the lifespan of mice.

Professor Brookshield Laurent, from the department of family medicine and clinical sciences at New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine, said: “This data reinforces what we have known for so long – your diet has great potential to harm or heal.

“This clinical-based evidence can assist physicians in counseling patients about the important role diet plays, leading to improved preventive care, a key consideration in the osteopathic philosophy of medicine.”

Also, while findings for United States (U.S.) and European populations differed to an extent, the data found steep rises in mortality – even during the smallest increases in red meat consumption.

As part of the same 2014 study, more than one million people were followed over a number of different yearly time spans – ranging from five and a half years to 28 years.

Researchers considered the link between eating processed meat like bacon, sausage, salami, hot dogs and ham on their diet as well as unprocessed red meat like pork, lamb and unsalted beef.

It was discovered that processed meat significantly increased the risk of all cause mortality – with possible links to cardiovascular disease and ischemic heart disease.

A further review of more than 500,000 participants also found that those with a very low meat intake had a decreased risk of 25 per cent to nearly 50 per cent of all-cause mortality compared with those with a high meat intake.

Laurent added: ‘This clinical-based evidence can assist physicians in counselling patients about the important role diet plays, leading to improved preventive care, a key consideration in the osteopathic philosophy of medicine.’’Dogs age very quickly compared to a human lifespan; most live between 10 and 13 years.

This allows researchers to study the entire aging process in a short amount of time.The team recruited 40 dog-owners, who were each to give their pets three tablets of rapamycin a week, Fusion reports.After the researchers weeded out dogs with heart conditions and other medical factors, they were left with 24 middle-aged dogs, who would each receive low doses of the drug.

This continued over the course of 10 weeks, and the researchers took echocardiograms throughout to determine any changes in the animal’s heart function.

The team discovered that dogs receiving rapamycin showed improved heart functionality, or showed no change. And, those who had come in with worse conditions initially saw the most improvement, Fusion reports.Kaeberlein says the results are ‘astonishing’ and he was ‘shocked’ when he got the data. The team discovered that dogs receiving rapamycin showed improved heart functionality, or showed no change. And, those who had come in with worse conditions initially saw the most improvement. Moving forward, the researchers plan to conduct further tests with the drugs that will span multiple years

Rapamycin is already used in transplant patients to prevent organ rejection and several years ago, and scientists in the journal Neuroscience said it can improve learning and help treat cognitive decline.


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