You have to make the time to eat healthy!
I think we can all agree that eating a regular diet of fruits and vegetables, accompanied by routine physical activity are the keys to good health and longevity. We don’t need the Okinowa Study to tell us that, but by the way, that’s EXACTLY what the study tells us. See below…
Does this mean that Okinawan longevity is all genetic? Not at all. We believe the Okinawans have both genetic and non-genetic longevity advantages — the best combination. In fact, we have written extensively that the Okinawan traditional way of life — the dietary habits, the physical activity, the psychological and social aspects, all play an important role in Okinawan longevity.
While most studies of humans have suggested that about a third of human longevity is due to genetics, this depends on the age, sex, ethnicity and environment of the study population. The remaining two-thirds can be attributed to environmental factors.
Two-thirds can be attributed to our environement? That’s quite a bit. I recently attended a preventative medicine and anti-aging conference in Branson, Missour. Not solely for the benefit of my patients, but for my own selfish reasons. I’m not sure if it’s maturity or the aging process – or the perhaps the depressing by-products of the aging process such as my receding hairline, wrinkles, or the fact that a very good friend was recently diagnosed with some pretty awful cancer (I’m 39, am I really old enough that I have to start worrying about cancer?), but I’m really trying to turn back the clock. One of the subjects of the conference was a whole food supplement called Juice Plus.
Preventative Medicine Conference Day 1 – Following dinner and short cocktail hour (cocktail hours are never long enough for me), Dr. David Phillips took the stage as the first guest speaker of the night. Dr. Phillips is a Harvard educated MD, preventative medicine expert, Iron Man tri-athlete and all around cool guy. His presentation was about preventative care and the importance of fruits and vegetables in preventing free radical damage and oxidative stress. Within his presentation, he also addressed the subject matter of my current writing project. I think we’re all aware of the Human Genome Project, right? The humane genome was mapped out in the late 90s and was anticipated to be the new frontier of medicine. It’s certainly contributed to advancements in medical technology and treatments, but it hasn’t provided all the answers that medicine had hoped. Let’s face it, has the incidence or occurrence of cancer decreased since the Human Genome Project was completed? No, in fact it’s gone up. Sure, treatment options for cancer may have improved, allowing those with cancer to live longer with the disease, but it’s done nothing to slow the incidence of the disease. The same can be said for other killers such as heart disease and diabetes. People are living longer with chronic disease, but what’s the point of extending life while inversely robbing us of the quality of life?
Dr. David Phillips
Despite its shortcomings, what the Human Genome Project HAS done is open the door to a new field of study called epigentics. Scientifically, epigenetics is the study of the proteins that surround our DNA and the impact they have in turning on or off the actual expression of genes. Metaphorically however, it’s the study of that which exists outside our DNA – our environment. Our genome or DNA is that which we are born with and CANNOT change, but our epigenome is entirely determined by our environment and the choices we make on a daily basis – the food and beverages we consume (or don’t), our physical activity (or lack thereof), our habits (both good and bad), the amount of stress we carry and so on and so forth. The study of epigenetics is the scientific proof that our behavior and our environment really DOES matter to our overall health and wellness. Let’s look at a pair of identical twins, for example. Identical twins have the exact same genetic make-up. All 3 billion genetic pairs match 100% from twin to twin. So what would explain the fact that one twin develops pathological disease at an early age while the other goes on to live a healthy and full life? The answer is our epigenome – our environment. We’re all born with oncogenes that cause cancer, but something has trigger that oncogene to “turn on” causing a mutation that may ultimately lead to tumor and metastasis.
What can we do to prevent this? To steal from Dr. Phillips, the first and most important things are to increase our physical activity and to eat fruits and vegetables. But really, do you need a Harvard educated MD or a long-winded chiropractor like me to educate you on the importance of fruits and vegetables? Sure, I could bore you with words like phytonutrients or antioxidants or caratinoids, but what Dr. Phillips explained is that there is a gap between reality and ideal health. Juice Plus bridges that gap. This was a “wow” moment for me. I eat healthy, I exercise, I read, write and try to learn something new on a daily basis, but I don’t have time to get 11-14 servings of fruits and veggies every day and this is my “WHY.” This is why I take Juice Plus and why you should too. Don’t wait until it’s too late to have a healthy family. But don’t take my word for it, take Dr. Phillips…
Keywords: Juice Plus, oxidative stress, preventative medicine, epigenome, okinowa study, anti-aging, free radicals, epigenetics