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Do you feel like you are getting old before your time?  

Since some of my friends have been so rude as to suggest that I’m “older than dirt”, I was intrigued recently by an antiaging workshop.

The key speaker was Vincent Giampapa, M.D. cofounder of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, which now has more than 2,000 physician members. The seminar included the usual anti-aging strategies that we are familiar with but don’t always practice, such as reducing stress, eating the right foods, nutritional supplementation and of course exercise.

Doctor Giampapa and his associates have taken antiaging strategies to a new level by showing how our choices can impact our DNA and make a significant difference in the quality and length of our lives.

 The role that sugar and other refined carbohydrates play in the drama of health and aging was especially fascinating. Insulin, the chief hormone that controls metabolism, is the lead character is this production. Insulin is crucial for good health but needs to be kept in a narrow range. Too much insulin can have disastrous effects.

The typical American diet of white flour products, sugary snacks and fast foods quickly turns into glucose and our pancreas responds by sending a stream of insulin to counter the assault.            

Sugar is toxic to cells, and this glucose overload causes the cells to become insulin resistant over time. When this happens you develop insulin resistance, which opens the door and invites in diabetes, heart disease and a host of other life threatening maladies. If you are overweight by more than 30 pounds your odds of being insulin resistant multiply.

When glucose is oxidized by free radicals it coats the surface of brain cells causing memory loss. It is also responsible for skin wrinkling and impaired immune function.

“Persistent sleepiness after meals, which is common among older people, is one of the first signs that sugar problems exist,” says Dr. Giampapa.

Dr. Cynthia Kenyon, a noted antiaging researcher at UC San Francisco, has extended the life of earthworms by 600% by turning down the activity of a single gene, which is the human counterpart of genes known as the insulin pathway. Relatively speaking, that’s the equivalent of vibrant, healthy 500-year-old humans.

“I eat a diet that keeps my insulin levels low,” says Kenyon. “I actually do eat lots of carbohydrates, just not the starchy refined ones that turn into sugar quickly in your body.”

Jonny Bowden, a certified nutrition specialist and author of “Living the Low-Carb Life” says, “High carb diets are lethal because they produce high levels of insulin and prevent your body from burning fat.”

“Research data consistently finds three common factors in people who are mentally and physically fit and live to be at least 100 years old,” adds Bowen. “The first is low triglycerides, the second is high levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL, the good cholesterol), and the third is a low level of fasting insulin.”

“A low-carb diet improves all these variables,” says Bowden. “So bingo, you just hit your three longevity bull’s-eyes. Add exercise and sleep, which are proved to raise HDL, and you’ve got it made!”


How fast are you aging?


Notable Quotes
"I don't want to obtain immortality through my work; I want to achieve
it through not dying."

Woody Allen

“An unused engine rusts. A still stream stagnates. An untended garden tangles. Much of what we pass as age is disuse.” 
-Walter M. Bortz, M.D.

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