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Archive for February, 2009

Smokers around the world today found themselves in complete shock to learn that eating a healthy diet may help them quit smoking. Seriously.

The connection between the two is not what one would expect. Certain items enhance the taste of cigarettes – such as alcohol, caffeinated beverages, and meat. Dairy products, vegetables, and fruit may worsen the taste for many people.

Now, don’t try cheating by eating healthy and not giving up on the cigarettes.

Smokers of menthol cigarettes were less likely to report that any foods or beverages altered the taste of cigarettes, a finding that suggests menthol covers up bad tastes stemming from items consumed with cigarettes, the researchers said.

Remember, at the end of the day, it is entirely up to the individual to make the decision to quit. If that doesn’t happen, nothing will work.

“Every deterrent treatment requires willpower,” Rose said. “This approach alone will not work. It may make cigarettes less pleasurable, but ultimately, if a person is craving a cigarette, he will start smoking again.”

Rose recommends that diet modifications be used in combination with standard nicotine replacement therapy, such as the nicotine patch and nicotine gum, to help with withdrawal.

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There’s an entire area of research dedicated to discovering all the various ways in which people age, and the things that could be done to halt and eventually reverse those effects.

One particularly interesting area of study involves calorie restriction. Mice living on an extremely limited calorie diet have been shown to live significantly longer. Although it has not been proven to work in humans (and seems really uncomfortable) some have been willing to give such an extreme diet a shot.

We’re firm believers in the next best thing – taking a pill. The closest thing to that would be something like resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, which mimics the effects of a calorie restricted diet.

Sirtris, the company Dr. Sinclair co-founded, says it has made progress. Test-tube and animal studies suggest that its early-stage drugs may help treat various neurological killers as well as diabetes, says Dr. Westphal. The company plans soon to begin testing a drug in people with MELAS syndrome, a rare metabolic disorder that afflicts youngsters with potentially fatal brain and muscle deterioration.

At a recent meeting on aging research, a Sirtris scientist reported that SIRT1-activating compounds, including resveratrol, dramatically lowered blood levels of glucose and insulin in mice that get diabetes on high-fat diets, as well as helped to keep their weight down — just as CR does.

Go check out all the sources for a more detailed look.

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