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Hardening of blood vessels which can result in stroke or heart attack is mainly caused by high cholesterol and high blood pressure (Fig. 1).
It has been found by recent researches that there are 2 ingredients which prevent and improve high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
The ingredient to prevent and improve high blood pressure is Tofu.
Tofu is rich in magnesium.
Tofu is made from soy milk and brine (Nigari) which is actually magnesium chloride, a byproduct of extracting salt from sea water. One hard tofu contains 390 mg of magnesium.
Magnesium excretes extra salt from the body.
When salt in the blood increases, water in the blood also increases because salt draws water. As a result of that, pressure to the wall of blood vessels increases, leading to high blood pressure.
Magnesium promotes the function of the kidney which excretes salt from the body as urination.
Experiment: if you eat a lot of tofu, how much salt can you excrete?
Young and healthy people generally take 24 hours to excrete 80 % of salt taken for a day. The amount of salt excretion of the couple with the age of 51 and 56 who produced and ate a lot of tofu were 84 % and 97 % while the amount of salt excretion in 40s to 70s was about 40 % in a research.
Their blood pressures are 114 and 126, and their age of blood vessels are early 50s and early 40s (actual age: 56 and 51). This mean that they keep their blood vessels healthy.
Firm or Extra firm tofu contains more magnesium than soft tofu.
It has been found that “Shoelaces” in the body stop aging and extend our life span by newest researches. 8 years ago the research about “Shoelaces” awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
What is “Shoelaces” in the body?
Red parts in Fig. 1 play the same role as plastic parts of shoelaces which bind the shoelaces not to be loosened. These red parts are called Telomer.
Young people have the red parts clearly, but as we age, they become very small. It is like the plastic part of a shoelace becomes short (Fig. 2).
It is said that telomer becomes short as we age and is related to our life span.
It has started to be reported that telomer becoming short is related to various diseases.
Cancer and Telomer
People whose telomer is short have 3 to 4 times more risk to have cancer. But if you can keep your telomer long, the risk of cancer occurrence becomes low and it can be effective to prevent cancer.
Hardening of blood vessels and Telomer
Both people who have hardening of blood vessels and people who have died due to hardening of blood vessels have short telomer. So it is important to maintain the length of telomer in order to prevent hardening of blood vessels which causes serious conditions such as heart attack or stroke.
Dementia and Telomer
If telomer is short, the function of the brain becomes low and sea horse of the brain is shrinking. So if you can maintain the length of telomer, you can stop the decline of brain function and prevent forgetfulness.
How can we maintain the length of Telomer?
According to a recent research of UCLA in CA, it has come to light that a method slows down the speed that telomer becomes short and maintain the length of telomer.
Why does life span become short if telomer becomes short?
Our body consists of about 60 trillion pieces of cell. Every cell has 46 “shoelaces”. If telomer, plastic part of a shoelace, becomes short, the tip of the shoelace becomes loosened, and our body condition worsens and our life span becomes short. Even if one of 46 telomers is damaged, our body condition worsens.
What makes telomer short?
Telomer becomes short by happening of cell division. After a few hundred times of cell division, telomer becomes as short as the shoelace is not loosened, and telomer transmits a signal to stop cell division. Once cell division stops, old cells stay while new cells are not created and aging is progressed.
Shortening of telomer happens to everybody, but some people’s telomer is long while some people’s telomer is short even at the same age.
One of the causes of shortening of telomer is a way of thinking.
If you think about things negatively, the speed your telomer becomes short is fast.
It is considered that people who think about thing negatively have more stress than people who think about things positively, and the stress makes the speed telomer becomes short faster.
There is more dangerous negative-thinking which makes the shortening of telomer much faster.
That is pessimistic view about the future which has not happened yet by predicting a bad result.
An example is like before you have a physical examination, you predict that some serious diseases will be found in the physical examination.
The length of telomer is measured by blood test.
4 women with the age of 60s were checked for the length of telomer.
2 women who had more positive thinking had longer telomer than the guide line and 2 other women who had more negative thinking had shorter telomer than the guide line.
One of the 2 negative women is always anxious about the future of her son.
The method expected to slow down the speed telomer becomes short
That is Mindfulness.
Mindfulness is listening to the sound of breathing.
The Method of Mindfulness
1. Sit straightening your back.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Put your hands on wherever you feel comfortable.
4. Breathe as you always do.
5. Listen to the sound of your breath. Just focus on breathing in and breathing out. Even if worldly thoughts come across your mind, you don’t need to mind it. Just accept the worldly thoughts and focus on your breath again.
6. Do this for 3 minutes, using a timer.
It is recommended to do this for multiple times a day.
Why does focusing your attention on your breath lead to controlling the length of telomer?
Because Mindfulness reduces stress which a cause of shortening telomer. Focusing on your current breathing pushes out your negative thoughts like your past mistakes or anticipating your bad future from your mind. If you practice Mindfulness every day, you will be able to focus on the present moment, leading to stress reduction.
The above 60s woman whose telomer was shorter than the average of 60s tried Mindfulness 4 to 5 times a day for 6 days. Before the verification, her stress level was high (Sympathetic nerve was more active than para-sympathetic nerve). After the 6 days Mindfulness, her stress level became lower (Para-sympathetic nerve was more active than sympathetic nerve). So stress that was the cause of shortening telomer was reduced.
Hong Kong is the longest life country in the world. We can learn what to do to have healthy and long life from their life style.
1. Build up muscles by the exercise with moderate intensity
The movements of Tai Qi is very effective to build up the muscles of legs. If you have muscles a lot, sugar taken from meals is absorbed by the muscles and the elevation of the blood sugar is suppressed, preventing the hardening of the blood vessel.
Exercises with moderate intensity which raise the pulse a little such as fast walking, climbing up and down the stairs or the hill every day are expected to have the same effects.
2. Prevent high blood pressure by taking warm food
Elderly people in Hong Kong go eat Dim Sum and enjoy conversations after Tai Qi. They always drink hot tea even if it is hot outside.
Drinking cold beverage activates the sympathetic nerve which raise the blood pressure.
It is recommended that drinking the beverages in the room temperature in summer.
3. Intake protein after the exercise
Intaking protein after the exercise helps building up the muscle efficiently. This is recommended especially to the elder people.
4. Eat nuts frequently
They eat nuts after Dim Sum as a desert.
Nuts are rich in unsaturated fatty acid which prevents the hardening of the blood vessel.
Best 5 nuts rich in unsaturated fatty acid are
1. Macadamia nuts
5. Reduce salt by eating foods rich in potassium
Chinese herbs are essential ingredients for the people in Hong Kong. Chinese herbs are rich in minerals.
Especially potassium among minerals has the function to promote excreting salt from the body with urine.
Even if you are not familiar with Chinese herbs, you can intake potassium from foods rich in potassium such as avocado, spinach, natto, Horse mackerel., sardine, chicken fillet and pork fillet.
There is a bad substance which progresses the aging of all over the body. If you can decrease the bad substance, it can be expected that you can control your aging such as wrinkles, spots, hardening of blood vessels, cancer, dementia, osteoporosis.
But the research about the bad substance has just started and there are a lot of unknown things.
The following information is based on the latest research.
The bad substance progressing aging is Osteopontin.
Osteopontin is a type of protein that is required to produce bones and kill bacteria from outside. But if osteopontin is secreted too much, inflammation of the whole body is caused.
In general, inflammation is like swelling of gams caused by toothache or sore throat caused by a common cold.
But the inflammation caused by osteopontin is as small as we can’t see, happens all the time in our body and progresses the aging of our body without cure.
In the body of centenarian, inflammation is not happening very much. That means the more there is inflammation in the body, the faster the aging can progress.
There are a lot of substances that cause inflammation, but it has turned out that osteopontin is something like a general manager of those substances.
What is the difference between people who have a lot of osteopontin and people who have less osteopontin?
People who have a lot of osteopontin have abnormality of Immune cells that kill external pathogen. The abnormality of immune cells causes the secretion of osteopontin, causing the inflammation everywhere in the body and progressing aging.
What makes immune cells abnormal?
That is visceral fat that is body fat that is stored around internal organs. The detailed mechanism is unknown yet, but the more visceral fat is, the more abnormal immune cells are.
Even if you lose weight and decrease visceral fat, osteopontin doesn’t decrease.
How can we prevent aging by decreasing osteopontin?
This is still under research but there are 3 things we need to pay attention to decrease osteopontin.
1. Oil: change oils from animal oil to oil rich in unsaturated fatty acid such as olive oil.
2. Stress: Try not to build up stress.
3. Intestinal bacteria: harmonize the balance of intestinal bacteria by eating fermented food or others.
If you carry out the above 3 things, there is a possibility that osteopontin decreases by the improvement of immune cells.
Do you know what diseases rapidly increase among women after menopause?
The diseases are stroke and heart attack which are life-threatening blood vessel diseases. The cause is menopause. After menopause, the secretion of female hormone (estrogen) which protects women’s body decreases, causing not only wrinkles and sagging but also hardening of blood vessels, and makes it easier to have lifestyle-related diseases.
The decrease of female hormone happens to all the women with age and it is not avoidable. That has been the common sense of medicine.
However, it has tuned out that a substance protects the body instead of female hormone.
The substance is Equol.
If you can get Equol, the blood vessels that arteriosclerosis progressed with age can be rejuvenated. The prevention of stroke and heart attack also can be expected. Another good news is that it can be expected that wrinkles will disappear and you look younger, and the prevention of cancer also can be expected.
Equol is not only effective for women but also effective for men and the same effect such as rejuvenation of blood vessels can be expected.
What kind of substance is Equol?
Equol can be extracted from urine of pregnant horses.
Why does Equol protect the body instead of female hormone?
Because the chemical structure of Equol is very similar to female hormone, so Equol has the same function as female hormone.
There is a research result that administration of Equol makes age of blood vessels younger, and Equol prevents breast cancer for women and prostate cancer for men.
In fact, you can create Equol in your body without depending on urine of horses.
How can Equol be created in the body?
Equol protects blood vessels like female hormone (estrogen).
Equol improves wrinkles, shallowing the depth of wrinkles and shrinking the area of wrinkles.
There are people who can create Equol and who can’t create Equol, and among people who can create Equol, there are people who can create Equol a lot and people who can’t create Equol very much.
The secret to create Equol is Soy Products (Fig. 1).
Equol is created in the intestine. When Soy products come to the intestine, the intestinal bacteria break down soy products and create Equol.
If you regularly eat soy products for a long time, the number of the intestinal bacteria creating Equol increases and more Equol is created.
How much soy products have been eaten until now decides whether you can create Equol or not.
The foodstuff helping increase Equol if you eat with are burdock and onion.
Burdock and onion contains Fructooligosaccharides which are food of the intestinal bacteria. Fructooligosaccharides increase good bacteria in the intestine, making better environment to create Equol. Other foodstuff containing Fructooligosaccharides are tomato, banana, garlic and asparagus.
Even if you can’t create Equol, if you continue to eat soy products for a long time, there is a possibility that you can become a person who can create Equol.
A prefecture is the highest of all the prefectures in Japan about both the average life span and the healthy life expectancy in both men and women.
Average life span: Men: 80.88 years old, Women: 87.18 years old
Healthy life expectancy: Men: 79.46 years old, Women: 80.04 years old
What kind of food are the people in the prefecture eating?
There are 3 factors considered to have a healthy and long life.
1. Reducing salt
High intake of salt can cause high blood pressure and can result in sudden death due to stroke.
The prefecture’s countermeasure is encouraging the people to increase vegetables when they eat soup (miso soup). Increasing vegetables reduces the amount of soup which contains salt and vegetables are rich in potassium which excretes salt from the body.
2. Preventing cancer by eating Mushrooms
Mushrooms have the effect to suppress cancer.
Enoki mushrooms, Nameko mushrooms and beech mushrooms are known to prevent cancer.
3. Eating Agar which is the king of dietary fiber
Agar which is vegetable gelatin is rich in dietary fiber. (Fig. 1)
The dietary fiber of agar is very good to absorb water. 1 gram of agar absorbs more than 100 ml of water. It is important for health to eat dietary fiber containing a lot of water.
Health Effects of Agar
(1) Prevention of Obesity
Agar jelly (Fig. 2) containing a lot of water makes you feel full, preventing over eating which leads to obesity.
(2) Improvement of Constipation
Agar jelly containing a lot of water increases the amount of stools and makes the stools softer, so it is effective to improve constipation.
(3) Prevention of Rapid Elevation of Blood Sugar
Elevation of sugar in the body ages the body. Sugar damages the blood vessel from the inside of the blood vessel, causing aging of the blood vessel. Sugar also attaches collagens in the skin and damages them, causing flaccid skin.
(4) Decrease of LDL Cholesterol
Continuous eating of agar jelly decreases LDL cholesterol which is the cause of hardening of the blood vessel.
How much agar should be eaten a day?
It is effective to eat 2 grams of dried agar stick (about one fourth of a stick) a day.
If you avoid eating vegetables, decline of cognitive recognition and memory can happen.
Peppers change the colors depending on the stage of growth. Red pepper is richest in nutrition.
Red pepper prevents sun burn and rough skin with strong vitamin C!
One red pepper contains vitamin C of about 15 tomatoes and of about 7 mandarin oranges (Fig.1).
Vitamin C prevents a copy error of genes.
Metabolism is carried out by the copy of genes. A copying error of genes leads to aging and diseases. Vitamin C decreases the copying error, leading to antiaging and preventing diseases. Vitamin C is like ink of a copy machine, so if there is not enough ink, blurring of a copy occurs, which means information of genes is not copied accurately. The information of malnutrition is inherited to the next generation.
Q1. Which cooking method can enrich the nutrition of red pepper most?
(A) Blanch red pepper quickly (B) Boil red pepper until they become soft
A1. (B) Boil red pepper until they become soft
The point is how you handle the water used to boil red pepper. In the case of blanching, nutrition dissolved in the water flows out. In the case of boiling, dissolved vitamin C stays in the soup and they also become soft and sweet.
Q2. Which cooking method can enrich the nutrition of red pepper most? (Fig. 2)
(A) Sprinkle dried bonito flakes (B) Sprinkle grated cheese
A2. (A) Sprinkle dried bonito flakes
Eating with infiltrating dried bonito flakes with the soup is good. Dried bonito flakes are also good source of protein.
Cutting red pepper lengthwise makes them sweeter because it doesn’t damage the cells very much, so bitterness doesn’t come out very much.
The amount of vitamin D in the body is proportionate to cognitive function and the strength of legs.
Function of Vitamin D
Vitamin D restores declining body cells.
We have about 60 trillion cells. The cells are damaged and decline by aging and others.
Vitamin D restores the cells and protects around the cells.
Usually nerve cells in the brain and muscle cells are not easily restored, but vitamin D is expected to be able to restore them.
How to increase Vitamin D
The amount of vitamin D in the blood expected to be effective for our health is 30 ng/ml
There are very few people whose vitamin D is more than 30 ng/mL. In a research, there are only 2 people among tested 300 people.
1 slice of salmon (100 grams) contains vitamin D of 40 shiitake mushrooms which is considered containing a lot of vitamin D.
In a town in Japan where the cultivation of salmon is popular, there were 30 time more people whose vitamin D is more than 30 ng/mL.
The efficient way to intake vitamin D from salmon is eating the skin of salmon as well.
Vitamin D is oil soluble and there is a lot of vitamin D between the skin and the flesh of salmon. The skin of salmon has more vitamin D than the flesh.
There are 5 kinds of oil.
Fat which is solid at normal temperature: butter, lard
Oil which is liquid at normal temperature: Omega 3, Omega 6, Omega 9
Omega 3 makes the blood vessel flexible and prevents heart attack and stroke.
Omega 6 rich in sesame oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, etc. is used for ordinary cooking.
Omega 9 is rich in olive oil, canola oil, rice oil, etc.
The image of oil or fat is calorie or obesity but cellular membranes of our body cells are made of fat, so taking right fat in a right way keeps our body young.
Omega 3 is expected to be effective for dementia or depression and to make blood fluent and clean, rejuvenating our body.
Omega 3 and Omega 6 can’t be produced in our body so we have to take them from outside.
According to a research in University of Texas, which was performed to 819 people, the decline of cognitive recognition of people who took Omega 3 was suppressed and shrinkage of the brain was decreased.
RLP cholesterol (Remnant-like particle cholesterol, should be less than 7.5 mg/dL) goes into the blood vessel and becomes the cause of arteriosclerosis. If RLP cholesterol is high, there is high possibility that arteriosclerosis will be progressed.
The followings are oils that a family often use at home.
Omega 3: None
Omega 6: Sunflower oil, sesame seed oil, walnut oil
Omega 9: Olive oil, cashew nuts oil, truffle oil
The family tries to use various kinds of oils but oil rich in omega 3 is not used. This is a pitfall that a lot of people fall into.
Because the oil that you can take omega 3 efficiently is a few such as linseed oil or perilla oil, it is difficult to take required amount of omega 3.
The ideal balance of omega 6 and omega 3 is 4 to 1.
The important thing is increasing omega3 and decreasing omega 6.
Omega 3 is weak at heat so it is not good for cooking with heat. Oxidization by cooking with heat lowers the effect of omega 3 to prevent dementia and arteriosclerosis. To prevent oxidization, it is necessary to store oil rich in omega3 in the refrigerator.
Omega 3 oil which overcomes 2 weak points
Oil rich in omega 3 has 2 weak points which are
(1) Unique flavor
(2) being easily affected by a long cooking with heat.
The oil overcoming the weak points of omega 3 is Sacha Inchi Oil.
Sacha Inchi Oil can be durable against heat up to about 180 degrees C (356 degrees F).
There is no unique taste.
You can take required omega 3 for a day with 1 tea spoon of Sacha Inchi Oil (about 5 grams).
Antiaging oil with 5000 years history
There is an oil called the strongest oil in Āyurveda which is the oldest medicine with 5000 years history.
The oil is Ghee.
Ghee is prepared by skimming fermented unsalted butter, which removes proteins and water and makes it pure milk fat. So ghee is more difficult to be oxidized than normal butter.
Why is ghee effective for antiaging?
Because antioxidant effect of ghee is very strong and ghee is also rich in vitamin A and E which are antioxidant substances.
It is recommended to take ghee, putting it in coffee. You can use ghee for various dishes.
How to make ghee at home
(1) Prepare fermented unsalted butter.
(2) Heat the butter over medium heat in a pan until it melts and once all melts, heat it over low heat.
* Don’t mix the butter during heating to make clear ghee.
* Confirm whether it is burned or not shifting the bubbles on the surface sometimes.
(3) Heat it over low heat for 30 minutes as it is.
(4) Filtrate it once the bottom part of the butter becomes clear.
(5) Cool the filtrated butter in a heat resistant container without a lid.
* The hand-made ghee can be stored in normal temperature for half a year.
This Blog is for a memo of my clinical realizations, information about health I have learned recently and update information.