This week a meta-analysis of seven studies involving a total of 6,250 subjects in the American Journal of Hypertension found no strong evidence that cutting salt intake reduces the risk for heart attacks, strokes or death in people with normal or high blood pressure. In May European researchers publishing in the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that the less sodium that study subjects excreted in their urine—an excellent measure of prior consumption—the greater their risk was of dying from heart disease. These findings call into question the common wisdom that excess salt is bad for you, but the evidence linking salt to heart disease has always been tenuous.
Well, sort of. ;) Researchers have found that tea companies have been over-touting the health benefits of their tea products (big surprise, I know). Turns out the antioxidants in bottled tea are no where near the amount available in old-fashioned brewed tea.
Reseachers [sic] tested bottled teas for antioxidants called polyphenols and found that most brands contain very little of them.
“Out of 49 samples, half of the bottle teas contain less then 10 milligrams of polyphenols,” says Shiming Li, a natural products chemist at WellGen, a company that’s working to develop foods for medical use.
A cup of home-brewed green or black tea has 50-150 milligrams of polyphenols. So you’d have to drink between 5 and 20 of those pint-size bottles of tea to get the same amount of antioxidants. That’s a lot of tea.
So, yeah — take a few minutes and brew your tea. Or let the sun do it, like my wife Denyse has been doing lately.
For some reason known only to the BBC News website gnomes, the story “Guinness good for you – official” is #1 in their lists of most popular stories today. Which wouldn’t be that interesting, except that it’s a story from 2003.
Dan Buettner, writer for National Geographic, and a team studied communities around the world where a higher percentage of people lived to older ages, even into their 100s. In this TED video, Dan describes three communities they found where folks both grow older and grow older better. He refers to the talk as “How to Live Past 100+”, but really it’s about how to better your chances of a longer, healthier life — more years and better ones.
At the end, he outlines the nine common elements they distilled from studying the Nuoro Province in Sardinia, Okinawa, and Loma Linda, right down the road here in Southern California.
The big do’s:
Move Naturally — physical activity every day, but not in gyms.
Right Outlook — downshifting intensity during the day, sense of purpose.
Eat Wisely — wine, plants (legumes, nuts, leafy greens), some meat, but don’t overeat.
Connect — belong in your family, friends, tribe.
Fascinating talk. I was worried it was going to be a bit snake oily, but it wound up being quite interesting.