Cancer Related to Biological Age?

Of course, we’d all like to understand why some people develop cancers and others don’t and researchers are working tirelessly to crack these questions in order to find solutions. In one recent development, researchers have uncovered a potential link between accelerated biological aging and an increase in certain types of cancer among younger adults. Biological age, influenced by lifestyle, stress, and genetics, goes beyond chronological age to represent the body’s wear and tear. This concept is gaining recognition as a major risk factor for cancer, traditionally associated with advancing years. The study, with senior author Dr. Yin Cao, an associate professor of surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis was presented recently at the American Association of Cancer Research’s annual conference in San Diego.

The research, notable for its large participant base, offers a snapshot of risk at a single point in time rather than over an extended period. This limitation underscores the complexity of tracking biological aging and its implications for cancer risk. The study’s findings are preliminary and highlight the need for further research across more diverse populations and over longer periods to refine our understanding of these links.

The implications of identifying individuals at higher risk of cancer due to accelerated aging are significant, according to Dr. Anne Blaes of the University of Minnesota. While not involved in this particular study, she explained that

“We’re seeing more and more cancers, especially GI cancers and breast cancers, in younger individuals. And if we had a way of identifying who’s at higher risk for those, then really, you can imagine we’d be recommending screening at a different time.”

Early identification could lead to earlier screening and targeted lifestyle interventions for those at risk, potentially mitigating the impact of accelerated aging on cancer rates among younger adults. Additionally, senolytics, drugs targeting damaged aging cells, are under investigation as a means to slow or reverse the effects of accelerated biological aging, though their application in clinical practice remains to be fully realized. This research paves the way for a better understanding of cancer risks and prevention strategies tailored to the biological realities of individual patients.

Seasonal Affective Disorder and The Benefits of Darkness

The clocks have gone back and winter has begun, and one in fifteen people will be affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder, or SAD. Though the early darkness and gloomy mornings can be depressing, there are actually several health benefits to the increased darkness exposure.

Unnatural reliance on artificial lighting both at home and in the office can have negative effects on a person’s health, both physically and mentally. Sleep consultant Dr. Neil Stanley has found that all living things have an instinctive need for daily darkness.

Melatonin and Cancer

In fact, scientists have actually found connections between night-time light and breast cancer. Melatonin, the “darkness hormone,” is one of our body’s natural defenses against cancer. Produced by the pineal gland, melatonin is released in response to darkness. A powerful antioxidant, melatonin is believed to suppress the growth of several types of cancerous cells, including breast and prostate cancer. Not only does lighting reduce melatonin production, it also weakens the immune system and disturbs the biological clock, messing with the body’s most healthy and natural balance. Of course, the reduced sun exposure also lessens the risk of skin cancer.
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Take Advantage

While the dark can be depressing, it is important to utilize it and restore strength for next summer. Instead of turning all the lights up and forcing your body to stay up as late as it does during the summer months, why not take advantage of the early nights and catch up on the hundreds of hours of sleep you’re probably missing. And if you’re inclined to leave some lights on while you relax, you may want to consider dim ones, or even candles, for a healthy and relaxing evening.

Good News for Coffee Addicts

The Black Drink That’s Always Been Slammed

It’s true. We’re always told to cut back on the caffeine, stop drinking so much coffee. But now it seems that – for all those coffee addicts out there (and they do exist nationwide) – there is finally some good news about the black drink….or beige if you like it with milk. For example, if you just down one cup a day, you could see a reduction in blood pressure and a brainpower boost. For two cups, research from a Greek study based on 495 individuals aged between 65 and 100, healthy arteries could be your gift possibly due to the beverage’s antioxidants which “increases the production of nitric oxide, a compound found naturally in the body. Nitric oxide helps relax artery walls, and lowers blood pressure.” The downside however – to even one cup – is that it could still keep you up at night since it usually takes approximately 8 hours for its effects to fully leave the body.

But for those looking to avoid Alzheimer’s, two cups of coffee could be a good idea for you (although we’re not sure we want to trust this finding 100 percent since it came from research done on animals). Yet it could aid in stopping the build-up of proteins in the brain which have been “linked to memory loss associated with the disease.” As well, try it as an energy boost before exercise as it could improve performance. But be careful if you’re pregnant since two cups really is the upper limit – more could lead to miscarriage.


Is it possible that by drinking three cups a day you could reduce your risk for developing ovarian cancer by a fifth? According to the American Medical Journal Cancer Report of three years ago it is, following a study of over 122,000 women. But how does this help their male counterparts? If they drink three cups, their risk of developing gallstones is 40 percent lower than their non-3-cup-a-day male buddies. That’s very nice, but then by swallowing this amount of caffeine per day, you might end up upping your chances of getting a heart attack.

Save Money Drinking Coffee

Those women desperate for a breast reduction who don’t have the cash, might instead boil the kettle three times a day to make their beverage since Lund University, Stockholm, researchers found that just downing the drink could actually do the job of a surgeon and shrink their breasts! It’s not a guarantee but it might be worth a try. You’ll only be losing a few coffee granules at most.
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Fab Four

If you really want to reap some health benefits, then go for four shots a day. 400mg of caffeine has been “thought to provide the maximum benefit of coffee’s disease-combating antioxidants.” Utah University scientists discovered that four-cup-a-dayers were “39 per cent less likely to suffer from cancers of the mouth and larynx.” Type 2 Diabetes is also less likely to develop. But on the flip side, you’ll run a greater risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Get Your Five a Day

What happens when you’re really having a long day and you consume five cups of the beverage? According to researchers from the National Cancer Centre in Tokyo who studied 90,000 middle-aged individuals over ten years, you’ll lower your risk of getting serious liver damage by up to seventy-five percent. But, those susceptible to osteoporosis might want to find a different way of quenching their thirst in a different way as it could up their risk factor. But this still hasn’t been proven.

Six for Skin

And if you want to reduce your risk for skin cancer, go for six cups a day. Alternatively, you could just wear sunscreen… Hmm….drink for thought; ponder that over a freshly-brewed pot.

Study Confirms Health Benefits of Eco-Atkins

In yet another study designed to find out what it is about the food that we eat that is killing us, it seems to be indicated that “diets low in carbohydrates but heavy on meat” may be making us sick.  Apparently, according to the comparison of two long –term studies, it is much healthier to populate your low-carb diet with plant-based proteins rather than red meat.

The first study followed about 85,000 women for 26 years, from 1980 until 2006. The second study examined the outcome of the diets of about 44,500 men for the 20 years from 1986 until 2006. The researchers looked carefully at the health results the two types of low-carb diets produced in their practitioners. The results were striking.

Men and women on the plant-based protein low carb diet showed a marked reduction in overall death rate, and a pronounced diminishing in the death rates from cancer and cardiovascular disease. Often a low-carb/high-protein diet is referred to as an “Atkins Diet” after the developer of this way of eating. Those on traditional Atkins diets, which incorporates a lot of meat foods such as sausages, bacon, steaks and the like, showed a 23% increased risk of death overall, with a 14% increase in dying from heart disease and a 28% increase in the chances of dying from cancer.

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Those who got their protein from plant sources, known as the ‘Eco-Atkins’ diet, showed a lower rate of overall death by 20%, and 23% lower death rate from cardiovascular disease.

The conclusions to draw seem clear. A low carb diet is only beneficial to one’s health if the source of all the protein and fat in one’s diet is not meat, but is instead things like avocados, peanut butter, soy, legumes, and nuts. Just eating fewer carbohydrates is not enough. The source of protein is crucial, as this study has shown.