Professor Cynthia Kenyon, whom many experts believe should win the Nobel Prize for her research into ageing, has discovered that the carbohydrates we eat — from bananas and potatoes to bread, pasta, biscuits and cakes — directly affect two key genes that govern youthfulness and longevity.
We have Paul Jaminet talking about "Safe Starches" and we have Dr Ron Rosedale saying there are no safe starches in the posting by Jimmy Moore and their back and forth on PH. http://livinlavidalowcarb.com/blog/more-safe-starches-stuff-and-why-ive-decided-not-to-test-them-on-myself/12068
Are you willing to cut back your non veggie carb intake and sugar intake to almost zero if you knew you would live a long life free of disease?
Professor Kenyon, based upon her research has done just that in her own life.
Carbohydrates, and especially refined ones like sugar, make you produce lots of extra insulin. I’ve been keeping my intake really low ever since I discovered this.
I’ve cut out all starch such as potatoes, noodles, rice, bread and pasta. Instead I have salads, but no sweet dressing, lots of olive oil and nuts, tons of green vegetables along with cheese, chicken and eggs.
How about you? Is giving up some of your short term pleasures in food worth it to have a long, healthy life?
No I would not do this. I'm having cannoli cake for my birthday today and intend to enjoy it. I know that I have a certain level of control but not much. God is the pilot. I'm the copilot. Almost all of my first degree relations have lived above 80, my maternal grandpa lived to 103 eating fruit and pork and drinking rum. He died from a fall. The old coot was picking mangoes. So maybe that's how carbs will kill me.
There are no real long-term studies on this, but thankfully there are dozens of Arctic tribes that ate a low-carb high-fat diet. We have the Inuit, Saami, Athabaskans, Eveny, Nenets, Itelmen, and Koryak peoples for example. It's a diverse collection of people if geographically distant, but similar environments.
Were they healthy historically? Yes, but there is no evidence they are especially long-lived and early explorers often noted that the Inuit seemed to age quite quickly. There are some arctic areas in Russia with some notable longevity, but health is similar there to other "blue zones" where a high-carb diet is eaten. What these peoples do have in common is use of traditional medicines passed down through the generations.
This ethnographic evidence makes me seriously question high-fat low-carb per se as some sort of longevity secret.
Too bad the theory doesn't seem to work in practice considering that the people who live the longest all eat high carb diets for the most part.
How do we know carbohydrates aren't effecting these genes in a beneficial way?
Do experiments on round worms have any biological significance for humans?
The elevated insulin levels associated with aging are the compensatory response to insulin resistance. I'm going to hedge my bets on a diet that optimizes my body's secretion of, and sensitivity towards, insulin.
For those that don't know my background, I lost around 100 lbs doing VLC with some planned cheats in there -- started sometime Summer 2007 and lost most of it by Spring 2008. When I plateaued out in weight I started to look into the science to assure myself that my way of eating was going to be healthy for the long haul which is when I was introduced to all the LC gurus out there and such circa Spring 2009. Early on I was struck by the number of people who seemed to want to be T1 diabetics! The goal is the lowest insulin possible and the highest level of free fatty acids possible.
Looking into what occurs metabolically as we age, it now appears that many of these same people are trying to have the metabolism of an old, fat person. Seriously, there's all this commotion in the mitochondrial dysfunction debate over how the pre and post obese are burning carbs so not as much fat, and this is supposedly why they eventually become obese or regain to become obese. But once they are obese, well, then they are fat burners! And as we age, what happens to RQ? It goes down ... we become fat burners. The defect is in our carbohydrate metabolism, forcing us to burn more fat. This is almost definitely due to insulin resistance. So why would you want to manipulate your metabolism to that of an old, fat person? I've yet to see any evidence that fat burns cleaner than carbs, indeed I think it's probably the other way around (I differ with Paul Jaminet on this aspect).
Since I'm a woman heading rapidly towards 50, the first study I blogged on HERE has really stuck with me. The longest living group of women had RQ's resembling the "adults" -- e.g. higher RQ -- though age and RQ are negatively correlated in the whole group.
I'm going for the "it's not all or nothing" approach ... essentially a "quality, not quantity" kind of thing. Sounds like that's what the Drs Eades do (given Mike Eades' reports of croissants in Paris at AHS11).
I wouldn’t cut it back to near zero because I know that doesn’t work for me, but the thing is it is pretty silly to go from “reduced insulin in worms” to “near zero carbohydrates in humans”. It is always kind of funny to see one simple mechanism (insulin-sensitive gene in worms) translated to a new lifestyle for humans (near zero carb diet).
Insulin and carbs are not synonymous, and insulin has more than one function and is part of a huge symphony of biochemical activity that goes on in the human body - a symphony that we likely are missing a lot of understanding. Leptin was just discovered a short time ago. What else is going on that we have no knowledge of. Somebody thought anabolic steroids were a really good idea at one point.
I also believe the longevity studies in mice based upon reduced calories showed that there was very little benefit to longevity if the protocol was started as an adult.
No, I guess I'm not. I've already given up potatoes--1/4 sweet potato about once per month is my quota--and grains and refined sugars.
But I still eat honey (local) and water kefir and yogurt and non-starchy veggie carbs like summer squash, broccoli, asparagus and even rutabagas. I love my grapefruit and occasional dates, figs, fresh cranberries.
At this level, I have great quality of life and it's worth it--if I have to go to none, it's not worth it because I'd spend every day walking in fear of accidentally ingesting a couple grams of stray carbs.
Besides, let's get real here. I made it to 64 eating all the no-nos and as soon as I stopped eating them I felt fabulous and have lost weight. I can believe staying off the industrial foods could add a little time to my life, but I don't believe I have to give up whole and traditional foods like the ones I mentioned above.
EDIT: After drinking 2 mugs of coffee with heavy cream and local honey, My BP is 132/74, pulse 75 and BG is 101. How much should I sacrifice in hopes of even better numbers? Answer: I won't.
if one subscribes to the fact that insulin ages us i would give up all carbohydrates that trigger insulin in favor of calories that do not trigger insulin. i can, i have , and i will continue to do so because it is easy, doesnt require thought. and will make you feel great anyway. i have no idea what my HGBA1C was befor and i have no intention of measuring it after my diet change. As for blood tests, im not interested in a snap shot of lipid, sugar or whatever being transported by blood into my cells or from my cells to somewhere else. i can get naked and look into a mirror to measure my health. I am an old man, but if i see youth and vigor in the mirror im not going to let some expert tell me low carbs are not a cure for the disease we call ageing. i have had a life time of fugly experts telling me how to live. when i die im going for the open casket.
If I could be absolutely certain, then absolutely yes, it's worth dropping all carbs, if I could tolerate it! I am middle-aged and old age is therefore not so far away for me.
I can personally see quite short-term health benefits of carb restriction, and long-term benefits from things like fat-loss see likely to me.
Unfortunately, if I go below 25g/day then cortisol goes up, blood sugar goes up and insulin follows. So for me, going too low has the opposite effect of what I intended. This effect does not seem to wear off with time.
Having said that, I cannot deny that it's nice to be able to have the odd potato and dark chocolate dessert!