Saturday, February 16, 2019

Run for your (long) life

While the adjective salty can be used in today’s slang to describe one’s personality, it also pertains to our food. It’s saturated in it. And that’s not good.
Salt: The good, the bad, and the too much

Sodium is an essential part of our diet. It helps nerves and muscles function as well as hold onto water. Sodium in the blood is what keeps it viscous, but too much sodium means your body could retain too much liquid. This surge in volume increases blood pressure, which is the root of many serious ailments including heart and kidney disease. Experts estimate that we could save 280,000 lives in the United States if we lowered the average daily sodium intake by 40% for the next 10 years. And that’s just because lowering blood pressure protects the heart.

The average American consumes 3,409 milligrams of sodium each day, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s way above the amount we should be getting per day: 1,500 mg. It means we’re ingesting 1.5 teaspoons of salt each day, when we really need only a third of that. And most of that sodium comes from prepared and processed foods — 75%, actually. Salt helps to preserve and add flavor to food, which is great when you want that strawberry Pop-Tart to taste the same whether you eat it the day after you buy it or a month after. But the CDC recently published a list of the 10 most sodium-dense foods in our diets. You know what’s at the top? Yeast bread, pizza, and sandwiches. The good stuff, the convenient stuff, the stuff like Pop-Tarts.
Dialing back the sodium

Cutting back on sodium in our prepared foods has been made easier by the increase in packaged food companies’ creating reduced-sodium versions of them, like low-sodium chicken broth. While that sounds simple, sodium lurks in some unexpected places. Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Brigham Health/Brigham and Women’s Hospital, says there are some ways to cut back on sneaky salt.

McManus says a good way to reduce the amount of sodium you eat is to focus on natural and whole foods. Preparing your own food, while sometimes inconvenient, can cut down on a lot of the sodium you consume. For instance, a frozen dinner of Marie Callender’s Vermont White Cheddar Mac and Cheese contains more sodium in one meal than you’re supposed to have in an entire day. But it’s not that hard to prepare a decadent mac and cheese yourself with Barilla pasta, your own white cheddar cheese, and a little cream. The sodium count comes out to around 715 mg. That is much more manageable when watching your sodium intake. It’s less convenient, but it works.

Buying low-sodium products and then adding salt to them is still better than buying the regular version. Cooking techniques can also help compensate for flavor lost when cutting back on salt. McManus suggests playing around with grilling or stir-frying with healthy oils to change the flavor. You can also add fresh or dried herbs to enhance taste. Over time, your taste buds will adjust. Your palate will change. You’ll be less accustomed to salt and less desensitized to it, so a little bit will travel farther in terms of flavor.

Restaurants remain at the top of the list for sodium-dense meals. Looking at the menu online ahead of time can help you prepare and research your options, but so can keying in on words that indicate healthier options. Look for baked, grilled, or steamed as a description for lean meats like fish or poultry. Keep an eye out for sides that are prepared simply, like vegetables. Avoid soups or pastas with sauces. Put salad dressing on the side, and definitely avoid the bread basket.
Top 10 high sodium foods

Nutrition is not a one-size-fits-all kind of science, but it does get us thinking about what we eat and how it affects us. You could never cut sodium completely out of your diet, nor would you want to, but you can be more aware of the sodium in the foods you eat. To see the complete list of high-sodium foods, check out the table below. In April, researchers announced empowering results from a pilot investigation of men with metastatic prostate malignant growth, or disease that has spread past the prostate organ. Since a long time ago viewed as hopeless, these propelled malignant growths are normally treated by giving men foundational drugs that objective new tumors framing in the body. The researchers who drove this new examination adopted an increasingly forceful strategy. Notwithstanding giving fundamental treatment, they precisely evacuated the prostate organ and influenced lymph hubs, and furthermore treated unmistakable malignancy during the bones with radiation. By tossing everything except for the kitchen sink at these malignancies, they accomplished a staggering outcome: a portion of the treated men are still disease free following four years, and one has lived without proof of malignancy for a long time. "On the off chance that these reductions endure sufficiently long, at that point we need to solicit whether some from these men have been relieved of their malady," said the examination's lead creator, Dr. Matthew O'Shaughnessy, a urologic oncologist at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, in New York.

How the investigation was led

The little pilot ponder enlisted 20 men, and O'Shaughnessy stressed that catch up with a bigger gathering is expected to affirm the outcomes. Five of the men had malignant growth that had spread to lymph hubs in the pelvis, and 15 of them had harmful injuries in their bones. Every one of the men were treated for somewhere in the range of six and eight months with hormonal treatment, which squares testosterone (the male sex hormone that influences prostate malignancy cells to become quicker). As noted beforehand, they likewise had their prostates and lymph hubs evacuated, and bone injuries were treated with radiation as required. What the analysts were going for is a finished nonattendance of prostate-explicit antigen (PSA) in blood for at least 20 months after the beginning of hormonal treatment. Prostate malignancy cells will shed PSA into blood, yet on the off chance that the organ has been expelled and all hints of disease expelled from the body, the dimensions should drop to zero and remain there, even after testosterone levels come back to typical.

Generally speaking, five men had imperceptible PSA at 20 months and tallying, despite the fact that that number is too little to even think about drawing any decisions about who may profit most from the methodology. As indicated by O'Shaughnessy, when utilized together hormonal treatment, medical procedure, and radiation all added to delayed reductions that would not have been conceivable if just a single treatment was utilized. An examination utilizing similar techniques is made arrangements for in the not so distant future.

What this implies for treating propelled prostate malignant growth

Up to this point, taking out the prostate and lymph hubs in men with cutting edge prostate malignant growth would have been unbelievable. Specialists stressed that medical procedure could discharge malignancy cells into the circulation system, however fresher examinations show it can securely protract survival. Specialists have additionally been joining hormonal treatment and radiation with empowering results, and now giving each of the three medications is "steady with a pattern of supporting propelled prostate disease than doing less," said Dr. Marc Garnick, the Gorman Brothers Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and manager in head of HarvardProstateKnowledge. All things considered, Garnick alerts that remedies for cutting edge prostate disease can take a long time to affirm. "Ideally follow-up research will bolster this transformative methodology," he said. “Researchers find that running can add three years to your life!” shout the headlines. And yes, a new study did find that cardiovascular exercise, including running, can decrease the risk of death, and potentially prolong life. But there’s more: the authors not only include analyses of piles of data, but also an exhaustive review of just about every other study of cardiovascular fitness and mortality out there. They cite (and discuss) almost 70 reference articles!
By popular demand…

Their newest study came about due to demand. The authors had previously published data from over 55,000 people followed for over 15 years, and found that running was associated with a 45% reduced risk of death from heart attacks and strokes, as well as a 30% reduced risk of death from anything. This benefit was seen even with as little as five to 10 minutes a day of running, even at paces as slow as six miles per hour, and after accounting for age, sex, weight, and other health risk variables (like high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and alcohol consumption).

These findings made sense, as other studies had found that in addition to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, running also lowered the chances of developing cancer and neurologic diseases (such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s). But there were questions:

    People demanded to know, was there any such thing as too much running?
    The original data set consisted of mostly college-educated, middle-class adult males. What about other populations?
    What about other cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, cycling, or other sports? Any benefits from those?
    The authors themselves point out that in the original study, running was based on self-report. Would their findings hold up if they looked at more objective measures of fitness?

The latest on running and longevity

So, the authors went back to their own data pool, and others. They found, again, that running just about any amount increased people’s lives by about three years; put another way, running for an hour provided seven hours of life benefit.

This benefit topped off at about 4.5 hours of running per week, so the people who ran more than that didn’t live any longer. They didn’t live any shorter, either: there was no risk associated with running longer or farther. They looked at other large studies, and saw that similar results had been found for women and other ethnic groups, as well. And, while other physical activities like walking and cycling offer some benefit, it’s less than running.

How can we explain these findings? The authors hypothesize that running is a particularly effective way to increase our cardiorespiratory fitness level, which is typically measured in metabolic equivalents (METs), like in a treadmill stress test. The authors had treadmill stress test data, and they found that a lower MET measurement (a lower fitness level) was associated with 16% of all deaths — more than high blood pressure, smoking, obesity, high cholesterol, and diabetes.
The takeaways from all these data are…

The lower our fitness level, the higher our risk of death, from just about any cause. Just being inactive accounts for approximately 9% of deaths worldwide (the fourth leading cause of death, by the way, after smoking, diabetes, and high blood pressure). This has been shown time and again. In this current study, even five minutes of running a day was beneficial.

The higher our fitness level, the lower our risk of death. The authors suggest that doctors should “measure” fitness levels, either self-reported physical activity or objectively measured cardiopulmonary fitness during routine physical exams. Fitness levels should be considered just as much as vital signs and the other things we currently measure, like body mass index and blood pressure.

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