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Slow metabolism

A slower metabolism has been linked to increased longevity

Friday, July 08, 2011 by: T.M. Hartle
Tags: slow metabolism, longevity, health news

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(NewsTarget) In our superficial society products, pills, and programs claiming to boost your metabolism generate a lot of revenue. The general population wants to increase their metabolism, so they can eat whatever they choose and still lose weight. While this scenario may sound great, it is not the path to health and longevity. The reality is there is research indicating that there are health consequences to revving up your metabolism causing the body to expend more energy.

A review published in the Journal of Nutrition evaluated studies on daily energy expenditure, calorie restriction, and variations in metabolism and lifespan. Researchers discovered a strong negative relationship between residual longevity and residual daily energy expenditure. Higher daily energy expenditure in this review was associated with a shorter lifespan. As we metabolize food for energy, metabolic waste is produced that can cause free radical damage to the body. The higher the metabolism, the greater the metabolic waste produced. This scenario can lead to increased oxidative damage, accelerated aging and earlier natural mortality.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology last year concluded that higher metabolic rates in humans led to earlier natural mortality. Participants in this study were evaluated for metabolic rate in two different ways: resting metabolic rate and 24 hour energy expenditure. Participants of the study were followed for 11-15 years. At the conclusion of the study for every 100 calorie increase in 24 hour resting metabolic rate the risk of natural mortality increased by 23-29%. Increasing longevity and slowing the aging process has been linked to lower thyroid and slower metabolism.
The Leidan longevity study published in The Journals of Gerontology reported on the hypothalamo-pituitary-thyroid axis and longevity. This study evaluated the serum hormone levels of long living nonagenarian siblings to a control group, their partners. Researchers concluded that lower thyroxine levels and lower free triiodothyronine, without deficiency, were associated with increased health and longevity.

This research highlights the importance of consuming a healthy diet with adequate calorie intake for our needs and for the avoidance of metabolic stimulation. The key to health and weight loss is not boosting the metabolism. A healthy lifestyle requires regular physical activity while consuming adequate calorie intake for our needs and optimal weight maintenance. Rather than striving to increase our metabolism, leading a healthy active life may be a greater predictor of longevity than merely increasing the metabolism to manipulate weight loss.


About the author

T.M. Hartle has a Bachelors degree in Natural Health Science with a concentration in Clinical Nutrition as well as a Certificate in Plant Based Nutrition from Cornell University. She is a student midwife who teaches pregnancy nutrition courses to midwives and childbirth educators throughout the country. She has a certificate in the Essentials of raw culinary arts from Living Light Culinary Arts Institute and is the Owner and Chef of The Peaceful Kitchen. http://www.thepeacefulkitchen.blogspot.com

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