COVID flicks a self-destruct switch - here's your best chance to stop it
For every 1,000 people infected with the coronavirus who are under the age of 50, almost none will die. For people in their fifties and early sixties, about five will die. Studies reveal that age is by far the strongest predictor of a COVID-19-infected person's risk of dying.
To know that fact is to have information but to lack knowledge - you cannot alter your chronological age. I suspect age is the strongest predictor of anyone dying, i.e. to know that is not actionable.
In this post, I will explain to you the reasons that your mortality risk is higher from COVID-19 when you are older, and what you can do about it. There are concrete actions that you can take once you appreciate the underlying reasons. I'll bet that this has not been explained to you before.
Chronic stress triggers free radical storms
Our brain is negatively affected by chronic inflammation which is the metabolic imbalance caused by stress, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, or metabolic diseases. The bad news is that as we age our immune defence system becomes weaker, and we are more likely to develop chronic inflammation.
As we age we also exercise less, eat less variety of foods, go outside less often, and socialise less, which all contributes to accelerating chronic stress.
The good news is that scientists have recently come to the view (2016) that a nutritional approach to controlling chronic inflammation "opens a new window for healthy brain aging".
Do these 4 things to kick-start your weight loss
Dieting is confusing, especially when what works for your best friend doesn't work for you even when you know that you've been just as diligent. Guess what? Scientists have discovered that your gut plays a massive role in the success of dieting.
If you are over 50 now's the time to make these changes
We're swamped with nutritional information, but we rarely take action to improve our diets. Healthier eating matters at any age but it matters more as we age. Better choices will help us live longer better.
If you are over 50, now's the time to make those choices. When I was 50 I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. I had left my healthy choices too late, but since then, I've been learning every day. Here's what I know that will help you.
I'll never qualify for life insurance
When doctors give you a referral to a specialist, I sometimes wonder what they write. I found out recently and was shocked.
It's not as though we don't know our own medical history, but we never see it catalogued as a lifetime of ailments.
Brown fat prolongs our stress response
It's well known that chronic stress is associated with a shorter and less healthy life. Until now, short-term stress was considered less harmful to health.
Scientists have discovered just how toxic short-term stress can be. It spikes diabetes.
Why was I sleeping better? What I found surprised me
As we get older, our production of melatonin significantly decreases. This decrease does not just affect sleep quality, as melatonin is a hormone with a range of other vital functions.
It's possible this decline in melatonin production could be offset by dietary melatonin, i.e. eating foods with a high melatonin content. Recently I noticed that I was sleeping better, and what I found when I investigated it surprised me.
If my wife were pregnant, I'd prefer she avoided keto
High-Fat Diets are becoming increasingly popular, especially skyrocketing at the beginning of 2018, according to Google Trends. A just-published research paper might take the gloss off their popularity.
How I get five "doses" daily
I recently learned of the specific health benefits of black tea and decided to add it to my regular diet. However, I don't enjoy drinking it.
Here’s how I get the benefit of five “cups” of black tea daily. It’s a matter of process over preference. But why bother?
I'm drinking more tea since I learnt this
Tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world after water and is a major source of dietary flavonoids. Yet surprisingly, the way in which tea supports our health is still unknown (June, 2019).
If you don't yet drink enough tea (I don't) then perhaps it is time to take up the habit. Here's why.
For centuries, tea has been anecdotally linked to digestive health, and research studies have convincingly associated consumption of black tea with reduced cardiovascular risk. This benefit is attributed to substances called polyphenols, such as catechins.
Breakdown of black tea improves our gut biome
Polyphenols are also in other (non-black) teas and in orange skin, for example. What's different about the black tea polyphenols (BTP) is that they are heavier molecules and can resist breakdown in our stomach. In other words, BTPs are too large for direct bioavailability for our metabolism - like some fibres which are not readily digestible in our stomach.
It takes the power of our colon break down these big boys, and when that happens, other magic happens associated with our gut biome.
The microflora in the colon bioconvert the BTP to make the polyphenols available to other parts of our metabolism, and concurrently this breakdown improves gut microbial diversity.
Hence, BTPs give us direct benefits associated with polyphenols from their anti-inflammatory and blood pressure-lowering properties. They also give us indirect benefits from the byproducts of breaking down in the gut, such as improvements in platelet and endothelial functions (which may be why black tea benefits diabetics).
The interaction between the gut biome and the rest of our body is still far from understood. Humans are superorganisms, and the gut is part of our super-complicated system of how we stay healthy. Some studies suggest that the BTPs are even more effective when they are digested in conjunction with fibre and especially prebiotic fibres as in bananas.
Nine reasons to drink tea plus one more for the brain
Tea's benefits are all great news for tea drinkers because black tea offers such an impressive array of benefits - including:
Also, evidence continues to emerge that tea may act to improve cognitive function. For example, a study showed that green tea increases brain activation in a key area that improves immediate language processing and short-term recall. Other research suggests that tea polyphenols may be useful for the prevention or treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases.
For smokers, however, it has been found that black tea does not confer many of these benefits. If you smoke, this is one more important reason to quit.
How many cups should we drink daily?
What we need to know is what "dose" is effective? Some studies have not found beneficial effects, and this has been put down to too low a dose of black tea.
We need to know the "physiologically relevant dosage". We are looking for long-term persistent results, not just directly after drinking tea.
In a study of dose, two healthy volunteers drank 4 cups of Lipton green tea every day for four days. Tests recorded levels of BTP, and its byproducts which were sufficient to activate the associated benefits.
You want to get the most benefits without overdoing the caffeine. Therefore, consider drinking between 3 and 6 cups of tea per day. No sugar of course! Added sugar will do more damage than the benefits of the tea.
I mix green and back in the one pot and drink 4 to 5 cups a day. I also cheat a little by emptying a teabag into my oats each night, which I then heat and cool to make them prebiotic. That way I get the fibre as well as the tea BTPs.
Good luck. I'm off to have a cup of my mixed tea with lunch.
> More posts to help you with EXERCISES
> More posts to help you with DIABETES
> If you are a @MEDIUM reader my publication Body Age Buster has hundreds of categorised posts which I have written especially for men and women over 50.
Since I was diagnosed at 50 with Type 2 diabetes I've been learning how to do bone-building fitness training which lowers my age. You can too. It's your choice. Walter