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Take a Hike

There is a popular misconception that when it comes to exercise, it's all or nothing. If you don't intend to turn yourself into one of the lean, sunset joggers that haunt your neighborhood, you might as well have seconds for dinner washed down by a several cans of beer.

In "Reverse Aging Now," the Telly Award Winning feature length documentary, Walter Willett, MD, author of Eat Drink and be Healthy, and professor at both Harvard Medical School and the Harvard School of Public Health punctures this myth. Through his Nurse's Health study he learned that a series of little steps can produce dramatic positive results. As he told us, "Even a half hour of vigorous walking a day can have a significant health effect."

Hiking is one of the better forms of walking, working more of the thighs and glutes, while giving you a better aerobic workout in fresh air. This month, as the lingering snow melts across the United States, we feature a video romp through the wilds of California, with Carolisa Pomerantz, the Associate Producer of "Reverse Aging Now," that is included on the DVD. We now host a total of eight free videos playing on line. Access the video archives links next to Take a Hike.

Carolisa Hikes by Paul M. J. Suchecki
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Nuts over Coconut: If you've been staying clear of coconut oil and some of your favorite Thai dishes because of the supposed adverse health effects of this white meat fruit, there could be good news developing. It seems that a lot of the reported negative results were due to tests done with hydrogenated coconut oil. Hydrogenated fat is the worst fat we can eat, both raising your bad cholesterol and lowering your good. However population studies of South Pacific Islanders who cook with large amounts of natural coconut oil show that they have a very low incidence of heart disease. Studies are on going, but prelimary results are promising. Coconut could emerge as a health food. One reason is that coconut products are laden with the anti-microbial fat lauric acid, which boosts the immune system and is found in breast milk. Click here for a delicious recipe for a coconut ginger chicken soup that will take the chill off spring evenings. See more in our archives.

Coconut by Luis Brito

BPA to be Considered a Toxin: Canada has decided to list bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used to make hard, clear plastics a toxin, according to a report in the New York Times. The National Toxicology Program in the United States released a draft report this month, reporting that some rats given low doses of BPA developed tumors and reached puberty earlier than normal. BPA is thought to mimic estrogen. In a survey four years ago, the Centers for Disease Control found detectable levels of BPA in 93% of 2500 adults and children over 6. The clear hard plastics containing BPA are used in baby bottles, food containers, soda can liners, and in Nalgene drinking bottles. Nalgene's manufacturer, Thermo Fisher Scientific, has just started to manufactuer a line of bottles without BPA, although the company still consider the compound to be safe. To be safer, don't microwave foods in plastic containers, or use them to store acidic foods like lemondade, orange juice or vinegar, since heat and acid can break down BPA.


Coffee's Picture Clouds: Although coffee is relatively benign, and can help lower the incidence of both gallstones and suicide, a 2008 study draws a correlation between women consuming large amounts of coffee and an increased incidence of miscarriage. According to Dr. De-Kun Li, MD, PhD, a Kaiser Permanente Researcher, in a study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, pregnant women who consume 200 milligrams or more of caffeine a day may double their risk of miscarriage. That's the amount found in two cups of coffee or twenty-five ounces of tea. Pregnant women should either limit consumption to a single cup a day or either a day, or switch to decaf. Dr. De-Kun Li goes further urging caffeine abstinence for the first three or four months of a pregnancy.

Coffee Delight by Marja Flick-Buijs

With spring in full bloom, this is the best time of year to resolve to take charge of your aging. Learn how with the 2007 Telly Award Winning feature length documentary, "Reverse Aging Now." Each DVD includes an Interactive Longevity Workbook with over 100 pages of material for you to track your progress. This is not science fiction. It is fact. To see how one middle aged man is applying these principles to his own life, go to Anti-Aging Diary.com


There is a limit to willpower according to a simple new study with a life lesson. Psychologist Roy Baumeister asked people to eat radishes while trying to solve a difficult puzzle while others received freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. The radish eaters lasted half as long as those eating the cookies. This study does explain why many of us tend to gain weight as students, or drink during difficult times. We've used up our willpower on meeting the challenge of must do activities, and have little will left to cope with temptation. It makes sense to limit the number of demanding tasks we undertake at the same time. Think of it as drawing on a limited willpower budget.

There seems to be a biological factor at work here as well. According to Editor Sandra Aamodt, of Nature Neuroscience and Professor Sam Wang at Princeton, planning and self control are two mental activities directly linked to small changes in blood sugar. In a different study, subjects who drank a glass of sugared lemonade between two tasks requiring willpower did equally well on each, while those who drank sugarless lemondade made more errrors on the second task. It's a trick endurance athletes have employed for years to rise to their challenges, drinking glucose rich Gatorade - from their Nalgene bottles.

Willpower Wins by John Nyberg

Since dieting require willpower, these two studies explain why diets fail so often. The are very hard to start or maintain in tough times. This finding explains the origin of the term "comfort food," which emphasizes neither taste, nor nutrition, but emotional fulfillment. If you can focus your willpower on a diet, the key to success is in finding a way to maintain a constant level of blood sugar, while restricting calories. Higher protein diets like The Zone or Atkins, incorporate food that is more slowly digested than a diet with a larger percentage of carbohydrates, forestalling hunger longer. Unfortunately, according to the scientific evidence presented in "Reverse Aging Now," the Atkins Diet is not condusive to long term heart health.

Reverse Aging News c. 2008 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki, Editor

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