Saturday, August 20, 2016

Scientists unlock a secret to Latinos' longevity, with hopes of slowing aging for everyone

Very interesting research by UCLA bioinformatician Steve HorvathThanks to Dr. Rudy Acuña for sharing.

Latinos' measured longevity, he finds, is largely genetic, but also related to levels of educational attainment.  This is what surprised me in this report:
Horvath emphasized that Latinos’ slower aging rate cannot be explained by lifestyle factors such as diet, socioeconomic status, education or obesity, because researchers adjusted for the influence of such factors.
They are of course referring to findings in populations so on an individual level, variation on such things matter.  Moreover, these findings do not at all mean that we shouldn't eat nutritiously, but rather to shed light on what has been termed, the Hispanic paradox,” which according Horvath,

“It suggests that what gives Hispanics their advantage is really their Native American ancestry, because they share ancestry with these indigenous Americans.”
Further worthy of note is the finding of beyond the age of 85 for African Americans, their lifespans tend to be longer than comparable whites.  

Barring the ravaging effects of colonization (for example, read this illuminating piece that advocates for food sovereignty for Native Americans in the U.S.), to this I would add that "sharing ancestry" is a living, breathing thing, too, since Mexican Americans and others that emanate from Central and South America often eat an ancestral diet.

Every time we eat a corn (not flour) taco, that's an indigenous meal.  The whole planet can thusly benefit from this diet and I encourage everyone to read this book titled, Decolonize your Diet by  Luz Calvo and Catriona Rueda Esquibel, and to also check out this website for more resources on how to do this.  

I personally try to consume nopales or nopalitos (cactus) regularly.  I use the small, tender leaves from my cactus in my garden to regularly make jugo verde (green juice) that you can read about here.  One of the ingredients, parsley, is also a natural teeth whitener.  I notice my teeth whiten with regular use.

Hope folks find this helpful.  I'm making me a jugo verde today!

Angela Valenzuela

Scientists unlock a secret to Latinos' longevity, with hopes of slowing aging for everyone

A new way to measure how humans age suggests that Latino Americans withstand life’s wear and tear better than non-Latino whites — and that they may have their Native American ancestors to thank for their longer lives.

The findings offer some insight into a long-standing demographic mystery: Despite having higher rates of inflammation and such chronic diseases as obesity and diabetes, Latinos in the United States have a longer average lifespan than do non-Latino whites.

The research also helps answer questions about why some people die young while others live to old age, and what chronic diseases have to do with aging.

To get a handle on some of these thorny issues, UCLA bioinformatician Steve Horvath and his colleagues have been trying to devise a biological clock that measures age more comprehensively than simply counting up birthdays. Their method reflects the activity level of the epigenome, the set of signals that prompt one’s genes to change their function across a lifespan in response to new demands.

This “epigenetic clock” captures a key feature of aging: that as we grow older, there are complex but predictable changes in the rate at which our genes are switched on and off.

Continue reading here.

#NativeAmericans #FoodSovereignty #LatinoParadox #HispanicParadox #LatinoHealth


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