Autoimmune conditions are a group of diseases where the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells and tissues in the body, causing chronic inflammation and tissue damage.
There has been a rise in the incidence of autoimmune conditions over the last 20 years.
Autoimmune conditions are a group of disorders in which the body’s immune system attacks its own healthy cells, tissues, and organs.
Some of the most common autoimmune conditions include:
Rheumatoid arthritis: A chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the joints and other tissues in the body.
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): An autoimmune disease that can affect various organs and tissues, including the skin, joints, kidneys, brain, and blood vessels.
Multiple sclerosis (MS): A chronic autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system and can cause a range of symptoms, including muscle weakness, balance and coordination problems, and vision loss.
Type 1 diabetes: An autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin.
Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: An autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, leading to an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism).
Graves’ disease:An autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, leading to an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): A group of disorders that cause inflammation in the digestive tract, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Psoriasis: An autoimmune disorder that causes patches of thick, red skin covered with silvery scales.
Sjögren’s syndrome: An autoimmune disease that attacks the glands that produce moisture, leading to dry eyes and mouth.
Ankylosing spondylitis:A type of arthritis that affects the spine and other joints, causing stiffness and pain.
Several factors may contribute to this increase, including: Exposure to environmental toxins, pollutants, and chemicals, processed foods, sedentary lifestyle and on top of all these chronic stress is a huge contributor to the autoimmune epidemic.
The good news? With life style interventions and stress management you can bring the immune system back to balance. This was also my personal experience after being diagnosed with Spondylitis. And a deep dive to the topic over the last 5 years taught me that it can be reversed. You CAN go back to balance and health.
Caffeine is one of the most used psychoactive drug in the world, it can be found in coffee, tea, chocolate and other foods. Studies show that coffee could be beneficial for lowering the risk of developing certain age related diseases, improve mood and boost cognitive abilities. But its caffeine content could also impact sleep and stress in a negative way.
In the first article in the series we discussed the effects of cocoa on our health and longevity. In the following article we’ll examine the effect of coffee and caffeine on our health span on our health span and well-being.
Let me just say that I love coffee, It helps me wake up less groggy for work, gives me a little pick me up at noon, and of course, helps my ability to write articles. Even now as I’m writing these words I drink a cup of coffee with a bit of dark chocolate on the side.
Michael Pollan also loves coffee and in his new book “caffeine” he describes he’s experience of giving up coffee. He did so to help him understand more deeply the effect has on him and our society as a whole. Pollan says that modern society uses caffeine in order to control our biological clock and that this type of usage is of great importance to our ability to work in the evenings and nights. That is one reason why he believes that coffee has a large impact on our society. Pollan said to NPR:
“Caffeine really helps capitalism conquer the frontier of night. And that’s why it was so important to the Industrial Revolution, where you had these expensive machines you wanted to keep running all night and you moved to two and three shifts. Did people work at night before that? Not very much. “ (1)
The needs of society also impact our individual selves, if the society needs coffee in order to work, so are we. A lot of people drink coffee in order to adjust themselves to their work hours and of course also for the pleasure and taste of it. But could our use of coffee help us to live healthier and longer?
Could be. Caffeine is one of the most studied psychoactive substance in the world. hundreds of studies examined its effects on different health components and found that coffee could help decrease the risk of age related illness like Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Coffee is also found to have the ability to improve our mood and cognitive performance.
Decreased Alzheimer’s risk
A number of studies show that caffeine consumption is associated with lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease. a quantitative review shows that coffee consumers has a 30% less risk of getting Alzheimer in comparison to those who didn’t consumed caffeine (2). Another review showed that consumption of 3-5 cups of coffee per day is associated with around 65% lower risk of Alzheimer in comparison to lower amounts of consumption (3,4). One possible explanation for the results can be found in rat studies. Rats who consumed water with added caffeine showed lower amounts of the Aβ peptide in the hippocampus compared to rats who drank normal water. High amounts of the Aβ peptide is one of the characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease (5).
Lower risk of type 2 diabetes
a statistical analysis on 457,922 participants from 8 different countries has shown an significant association between coffee consumption and lower risk of type 2 diabetes (6). Another review from 2018 on more than a million participants shows that higher amounts of consumption relates to lower risk of diabetes. Those who consumed 5 cups of coffee per day had 29% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes then those who did not consumed coffee (7). Interestingly, those who consumed decaffeinated coffee also showed similar results (but not in every study). One possible explanation for these results may be the effect of a unique type of polyphenols found in coffee called chlorogenic acids (CGA’s) that has a positive effect on glucose regulation (8).
Lower risk of cardiovascular diseases
A systemic review and meta-analysis that examined the relation between coffee consumption and cardiovascular diseases shows a positive association between coffee consumption and lower risk of heart failure. The results show that this relation is at its highest when participants consumed 4 cups per day, and that consumption of more then that had an opposite effect of higher risk instead of lower (9). Another 2014 study showed similar results, that consumption of 3-5 cups of coffee per day had lower association of cardiovascular diseases, and that more than that had an opposite effect (10).
Improved mood and cognitive performance
Lowering the risk of age related diseases is extremely important but as the title of the article show, we went also to have a good mood and to perform at our best. Consumption of one cup of coffee every 4 hours is positively related to a stable increased in mood with a larger effect for those who suffer from fatigue. On the other hand the study also found that consuming too much caffeine is related to higher stress and anxiety levels (11). Coffee also has a positive effect on cognitive abilities, with a greater effect seen in times of arousal. Coffee consumption is positively related to enhanced concentration, safety while driving at night and in monotonous roads, reaction time and maybe even short term memory (12).
So how much coffee is a good amount?
When observing the studies shown you could see that different amount of coffee could have different results. It is important to note that most studies of coffee are observational, it could mean that maybe there are more components that effect the results. With that said, it seems like coffee could help us in times of tiredness, for improving our mood and lowering our risk of certain age related diseases.
But as we all know coffee also has its downsides. Caffeine could negatively impact our sleep and stress levels. Psychologist Matthew Walker addresses coffee in his book ‘Why We Sleep’, he explains that our amount of deep sleep decreases with age and that coffee could also lower our deep sleep (13). Caffeine has a half life of around 6 hours, what means that quarter of the amount of the caffeine you had in noon, will stay in your body at midnight (14).
For these reasons we’ll recommend you stop your coffee consumption around 14 pm. This way you can have the benefits to your mood and health span and also lower the negative effects on sleep. It is also recommended that the coffee will be without sugars and milk which can also effect health in an unwanted way.
And what about addiction, it does exist, but with all of the benefits of coffee, maybe addiction is not the right word. Michael Pollan eventually got back to his coffee habit. He addresses addiction In his NPR interview:
“I think the word ‘addiction’ has a lot of moral baggage attached to it, as Roland Griffiths told me, if you have a steady supply of something, you can afford it and it’s not interfering with your life, there’s nothing wrong with being addicted.”
Exciting anti-aging research has been taking place under the umbrella of TAME (Targeting Aging With Metformin), a six year long series of clinical studies conducted at 1t laboratories across the US . . . In addition to controlling diabetes, Metformin has shown great promise in helping to reverse the effect of aging.
Is there a diabetes medication out there that can reverse aging?
Type 2 Diabetes is a condition in which blood sugar levels are dangerously elevated. It is often the result of obesity, lifestyle and genetic factors. This condition can lead to a number of serious health effects. It is, in fact, the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. In this article, we take a look at what causes diabetes and the warning signs. We’ll also identify what steps you can take to reverse the trends nd take a look at the latest research on Metformin, a diabetes medication which may help reverse aging.
What Causes Diabetes?
Age – As we age the regenerative capacity of the pancreas slows down and it’s ability to make insulin declines. Despite the fact that an alarming number of people under 25 are developing the condition, most people who are diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes are aged between 55 and 60. (1)
* Family History – one in every three people with Type-2 diabetes has a close family member who also has the condition.
* Race – We don’t quite know why, but people of certain ethnic origins, such as African Americans, Hispanics, American Indians and Asian-Americans, are more likely to develop Type-2 diabetes.
* Pre-existing health conditions – High blood pressure, metabolic syndrome, impaired glucose tolerance along with heart disease and stroke all put you at higher risk of getting diabetes.
* Viruses – Infections such as mumps, rubella, adenovirus, cytomegalovirus and coxsackievirus B can lead to the onset of Type-2 diabetes.
* Bottle feeding – A number of recent studies have linked formula feeding with cow’s milk with Type-2 diabetes. Breastfeeding is highly recommended as is supplementing with vitamin D.
* Liver or pancreatic disease – Any condition that impairs the ability of the pancreas and liver to do their job is going to make you more likely to become diabetic.
There are some vital other factors that are major contributors to type-2 diabetes. These ones come under the category of lifestyle factors – they are things that we can control and make choices around. Here are the main avoidable risk factors:
Lack of exercise
Warning Signs for Diabetes
There are a number of warning signs for diabetes. These include:
Uncommon thirst and appetite
Weight gain or weight loss
Tingling of the extremities
Darkening of skin and possible skin infection
Pre-diabetes is a condition in which a person’s blood sugar levels are elevated. It is a precursor to diabetes. It is important for people who are at risk of developing diabetes to regularly have their blood sugar levels tested.
The test that doctors use to assess blood sugar levels is called the A1C test. It is also known as the Haemoglobin A1C test and the HbA1C test. This test will provide you with an average of your blood glucose levels over the previous three months. (2)
The A1C test is a simple blood test that can be done in a doctor’s office or a lab. The following A1C test results provide a guideline as to your diabetes risk:
Normal: 5.7% or lower
Diabetes: 6.5% or higher
The key to preventing Type 2 Diabetes is to capture the trend in rising A1C levels before it gets into the pre-diabetes range. That requires getting a regular A1C test. If you are over the age of 45, we strongly recommend getting this done annually.
Reversing the Diabetes Trend
Incorporating the following lifestyle habits into your routine will go a long way toward helping you manage your diabetes.
Take a hot shower before going to bed: By doing so, you’ll be enhancing your circulation to such vital organs as the pancreas and kidneys.
Exercise: Regular exercise, including strength training, will help to control blood sugar levels. It will even reduce the need for oral medications and insulin. (3)
Yoga: Many people have discovered that yoga, a mental, physical and spiritual discipline that originated in India more than 5,000 years ago, can do wonders in keeping diabetes in check while improving the diabetics overall quality of life.
Drink a daily detox liver cleanser every day.
Drink 10 8-ounce glasses of mineral water every day
Eat a nutritious meals, consisting of lean proteins, fibrous and starchy carbs and healthy fats. (4)
Eliminate sugars from your diet – use healthy substitutes such as Erythritol sweetener and stevia.
Get 8 hours sleep every night
In conjunction with these positive steps, you should also remove the following from your life:
White flour, pasta and rice
Instant and processed foods
Fruit and vegetable juices
The TAME Trials: Can Metformin Reverse Aging?
Exciting anti-aging research has been taking place under the umbrella of TAME (Targeting Aging With Metformin), a six year long series of clinical studies conducted at 1t laboratories across the US. The trials are led by AFAR Scientific Director Nir Barzilai, MD.
The trial focuses on the ability of the FDA approved diabetes treatment drug Metformin. In addition to controlling diabetes, Metformin has shown great promise in helping to reverse the effect of aging. A number of studies have already shown that Netformin can significantly delay aging in animals. The TAME trials will determine whether Metformin has the ability to influence metabolic and cellular processes associated with the development of age-related conditions.
This is the first major study to provide proof of concept that aging is a condition that can be reversed! (5)
Dr. David Sinclair is a world leader in the filed of anti aging research. He has done a lot of research regarding taking Metformin as an anti-aging hack. Dr. Sinclair, who is professor of genetics, advocates taking 1 gram of Metformin per day, broken up into a morning and evening dosage of 0.5 grams. (6)