A recipe for liv­ing longer. Yes, re­ally

The Irish Times - Tuesday - Health - - Front Page - Muiris Hous­ton

“Maybe I just want to fly, I want to live I don’t want to die, Maybe I just want to breathe, maybe I just don’t be­lieve, Maybe you’re the same as me, we see things they’ll never see, you and I we’re gonna live for­ever”

What­ever about Noel Gal­lagher’s lyrics in the 1994 Oa­sis song Live For­ever, most of us would cer­tainly like to live longer. So how could I re­sist a ses­sion ti­tled “Liv­ing Longer: Tips and Tricks” at the re­cent Euro­pean Car­di­ol­ogy So­ci­ety congress in Barcelona?

Bear­ing in mind the ob­vi­ous caveat that the speak­ers were fo­cused on the pre­ven­tion of heart dis­ease and not other life-lim­it­ing ill­ness such as cancer, here are their tips for a longer life.

1. Eat dark choco­late First up, good news for us choc­a­holics: eat­ing dark choco­late en­riched with ex­tra vir­gin olive oil re­duces your risk of car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, ac­cord­ing to car­di­ol­o­gists from the Univer­sity of Pisa, Italy. In an ad­mit­tedly small study, they mea­sured blood lev­els of en­dothe­lial pro­gen­i­tor cells (EPCs) – which are crit­i­cal to the re­pair of dam­aged blood ves­sels – be­fore and af­ter a diet of dark choco­late en­riched with 10 per cent ex­tra vir­gin olive oil. They tested the ef­fects on 26 vol­un­teers who had at least three risk fac­tors for heart dis­ease (they were smok­ers, had high choles­terol and a fam­ily his­tory of heart dis­ease or high blood pres­sure).

Af­ter 28 days the re­searchers found that the choco­late en­riched with olive oil was as­so­ci­ated with sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased EPC lev­els com­pared to base­line. Olive oilen­riched choco­late was also as­so­ci­ated with sig­nif­i­cantly in­creased HDL (“good”) choles­terol and de­creased blood pres­sure. Lead au­thor Dr Rosella Di Ste­fano said “our study sug­gests that ex­tra vir­gin olive oil might be a good food ad­di­tive to help pre­serve our ‘re­pair­ing cells’, the EPC.”

2. Re­duce salt intake Mean­while Fin­nish re­searchers added to the known risks of a high-salt diet when they an­nounced the re­sults of a 12-year study in­volv­ing more than 4,000 peo­ple: they found high salt intake is as­so­ci­ated with a dou­bled risk of heart fail­ure. Di­ag­nosed when the pump­ing ac­tion of the heart be­gins to wane, heart fail­ure is a sep­a­rate dis­ease to coronary heart dis­ease and stroke, both of which we know are caused by a high salt con­sump­tion.

Prof Pekka Jousi­lahti, re­search pro­fes­sor at the Na­tional In­sti­tute for Health and Wel­fare, Helsinki, said: “Peo­ple who con­sumed more than 13.7g of salt daily had a two times higher risk of heart fail­ure com­pared to those con­sum­ing less than 6.8g. The op­ti­mal daily salt intake is prob­a­bly lower than 6.8g.”

3. Get mar­ried Had a heart at­tack or carry a num­ber of risk fac­tors for coronary heart dis­ease? Get mar­ried is the ad­vice from re­searchers at As­ton Med­i­cal School in Birm­ing­ham. Based on a large data­base of over 900,000 peo­ple, the study found that, of those who had a heart at­tack, mar­ried pa­tients were 14 per cent more likely than sin­gle pa­tients to sur­vive af­ter the event. Mar­riage was also pro­tec­tive in pa­tients with three ma­jor risk fac­tors for heart dis­ease: those with high choles­terol, di­a­betes and high

‘‘ Had a heart at­tack or carry a num­ber of risk fac­tors for coronary heart dis­ease? Get mar­ried is the ad­vice from re­searchers

blood pres­sure and who were mar­ried were more likely to be alive at the end of the study. In a nod to the qual­ity of a mar­ried re­la­tion­ship, re­searchers noted lower sur­vival rates among di­vorced pa­tients.

4. Sleep bet­ter When pick­ing a part­ner, the re­sults of Ja­panese re­search sug­gests you choose some­one who helps you sleep bet­ter. They found a link be­tween coronary artery dis­ease and pa­tients who slept less and had a pat­tern of brief wak­ing through­out the night.

So a recipe for a longer life: Get mar­ried to some­one who helps you sleep bet­ter and live hap­pily to­gether on a low-salt, dark choco­late with ex­tra vir­gin olive oil, diet. Easy!

Read­ers may be in­ter­ested in the In­ter­na­tional Still­birth Al­liance con­fer­ence at Univer­sity Col­lege Cork from Septem­ber 22nd-24th. isacork2017.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.