Associating Fat With Damage

As time moves on, scientists continue to add weight of evidence to demonstrate that ever smaller amounts of excess body fat are in fact quite bad for your health and longevity over the years. Here's another example of this sort of research:

For the study, Dr. de Lemos and his colleagues examined data from the ongoing Dallas Heart Study, which is evaluating risk factors for heart disease in a large, multiethnic, urban population with a median age of 45. The new substudy focused on a group of 2,744 participants who had noninvasive imaging tests to look for early signs of plaque build-up in the arteries, which signals an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life.

Electron-beam computed tomography (EBCT) was used to identify calcium deposits in the arteries of the heart. These deposits indicate the onset of atherosclerosis, or so-called hardening of the arteries, and can be detected years before a person experiences chest pain or has a heart attack. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to look for early signs of atherosclerosis in the walls of the aorta.

Researchers then examined the relationship between body shape and early signs of arterial disease. They found that the likelihood of calcium being found in the arteries of the heart grew in direct proportion to increases in the waist-to-hip ratio (WHR). In addition, when they divided the WHR into five groups from smallest to largest, they found that people with the largest WHR were nearly twice as likely to have calcium deposits in their coronary arteries as those with the smallest WHR. The likelihood of atherosclerotic plaque in the aorta was three times as high in those with the largest WHR as compared to the smallest.

The relationship between WHR and arterial plaque remained strong even after other risk factors, such as blood pressure, diabetes, age, smoking and high cholesterol levels were taken into account.

One of the many ways in which calorie restriction benefits healthy longevity is no doubt through minimizing this sort of age-related damage - but avoidance of damage scales with avoidance of fat, as noted above. Pick the level that works for you, but why damage yourself unnecessarily?

An era of growth, change and wonder will commence in the decades ahead, far greater and more glittering than anything seen to date. We will build technology to take us to the stars and bring control over all matter. Disease will be a memory, and we will all have access to capabilities beyond the reach of billionaires today. Youthful lives of centuries and more will be enabled by rejuvenation medicine we can visualize today - but only those of us still alive and healthy for the first steps towards real anti-aging therapies will be able to take part.

The first years of the 21st century are the gentle foot of an exponential curve of wealth, life and technology - up and away. Why increase your risk of missing that ride by failing to keep up with the health basics today?

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I've read this blog a long time.
There's always this "it's just around the
corner" kind of sentiment. I believe there's
gonna be great things happening. But I think
timelines are blown way out of proportion on the
optimistic side. How long ago did De Grey begin
talking about SENS only being 25 years away ?
Was it 6 or 7 years ago ? The years roll on.
Look at the year 2000 and look for very optimistic
predictions about "the next 5 years" on many things: anti-obesity drugs, hair multiplication, etc.

I'm sure the future holds exciting developments.
But it may be more like 30 or 40 years away before
something really big, like the very beginnings of SENS, and then they'll see "it's just around
the corner", in other words, maybe another 30

Posted by: jay at August 18th, 2007 12:02 PM

I have to agree with Jay I'm afraid. I don't think aging will be significantly reduced in our lifetimes.

Posted by: ADBatstone at August 19th, 2007 5:15 PM

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