Archive | Science & Health

Could Drinking Milk Shorten Your Life?


A big new Swedish study on milk consumption has gained some attention. It suggests that people who drink a lot of milk live shorter lives on average, and perhaps in addition have an increased risk of bone fractures:

BBC: High milk diet “may not cut risk of bone fractures”

Again, this is only based on statistics from questionnaires – i.e. an observational study. Thus it’s by no means proof that milk shortens life. To know for sure, the theory has to be tested in intervention studies, which is much harder and vastly more expensive.

But the statistics from the study are still worth pondering. My conclusion is that it’s wise to only drink milk regularly in larger quantities only as a child, not as an adult. Milk is very insulin stimulating, both through lactose, and through a special milk protein, which stimulates desirable growth in young children.

As an adult, it may be wiser to drink water on a regular basis and wine for festive occasions. As well as tea or coffee at your convenience.

Reducing milk consumption may also help to maintain a stable weight, by keeping insulin levels down. In particular, low-fat milk should be avoided. It could also be called white soda. Continue Reading →


New Year’s Tip: The Benefit of Not Smoking


Are you looking to quit smoking now that the new year is here? Then the statistics below – from a new article in The Lancet – may make you go for it.

A Decade

The graphs below illustrate how big the chance is for a 30-year-old to survive until a certain age, depending on wether they smoke or not:


What do the graphs show us? That non-smokers live on average a decade longer than smokers. The chance of reaching your 80th birthday is now good in the western world… unless you’re a smoker. Then you’ll probably die earlier.

Previous smokers who quit, according to the same article, dramatically improve their odds. They will live almost as long as people who never smoked.

Do you want to see your grandchildren grow up? Then dump the cigarettes.

The Taxation Route

The article also includes intriguing figures on what happens in countries applying a hefty penalty tax on cigarettes. Presumably, a similar tax on sugar would yield similar results: Continue Reading →


Does Semi-Starvation Prolong Life? Maybe Not


Semi-starvation has been thought to be life-prolonging in animals and perhaps even in humans. But a new experiment in monkeys casts a lot of doubt on that hypothesis:

New York Times: Severe Diet Doesn’t Prolong Life, at Least in Monkeys

In a way this is disappointing, in a way it’s good news. Who would want to be hungry forever?

Maybe there is a smarter way to actually prolong life though. Eating enough to feel great, but reducing carbs and insulin. Eventually we’ll see if the Rosedale-fans out there get really old, or not.

What do you think?


Longer Lives with Less Insulin?

This is a fascinating new TED talk. Certain genes, when activated, make worms, flies and mice live much longer. Almost identical genes exist in humans and may have the same effect. But these genes are turned off by insulin and IGF-1.

Cynthia Keynon curiously does not mention it in this talk, but drugs and gene therapy is not the only way to get this effect. There is another simpler way and she is doing it herself. Removing excess carbs from the diet is a very effective way to lower insulin and IGF-1, activating the long-life genes.

Here is an earlier interview with her: Can cutting carbohydrates from your diet make you live longer?