How much protein should I have in a day? Is milk an ideal protein drink?  

The answer is we really do not know, but data says that for optimal growth and to delay aging and chronic disease, you need more protein before age 25 and after age 70, and should have much less – especially much less animal and milk protein – between 25 and 70.   

Protein, especially from animals, stimulates Insulin Growth Factor-1, needed for growth in young and to prevent decline in function after age 80. But data from Valter Longo’s laboratory at University of Southern California shows that, like sugar, this protein induced increased IGF-1 and stimulation of the TOR receptors increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and many tumors and cancers.  

So at most, he and others in the optimal aging field recommend 1 gram of protein every day for every two pounds of weight, and for those under 25 or over 70 not in vigorous weight training, and only about 1½times that if you weight train for three 30-minute periods a week.  

Milk protein may be especially problematic. It usually comes with a lot of sugar in the form of lactose. Lactose is difficult to digest and is associated with unpleasant releases of gas for the 81-plus percent of adult Americans short on lactase in their intestines. It also increases growth of many cancers, including breast and prostate.  

And 87 percent of milk protein is casein. Casein in Chinense studies and in laboratory studies is especially potent at increasing IGF-1 and cancers in humans and animals. Only the young of every other species enjoy milk, and we are the only species that consumes another species’ milk after weaning. 

Lower bp ups brain power

A new study in JAMA Neurology followed more than 1,600 patients ages 70-plus for 10 years. Those with a systolic blood pressure higher than 150 had much more cognitive decline than those whose number was below 150.  Folks cruising along under 120 had the least cognitive decline. 

Aim to work with your primary care doctor to bring your systolic blood pressure below 120 for better body and mind. If it usually hovers just above that, in the 121 to 139 range, you probably can lower it using regular exercise and a healthy diet. If it’s 140 or higher, talk to your doctor about taking medication in addition to making lifestyle changes. 

Change your stereotypes of food

A new study in Neurology of 960 folks with an average age of 81 found that the top 20 percent of leafy green eaters decreased their cognitive aging by 11 years compared to the 20 percent of folks who had never seen a salad they liked.

We don’t know the specific nutrients in green leafy veggies, such as spinach, collard greens, kale, bok choy, turnip greens, dark green leafy lettuce, watercress, arugula and mesclun that are that are brain boosters, but they could include Vitamin K, lutein, beta carotene, nitrate, folate, the flavonol kaempferol, several forms of Vitamin E, andomega-3s and omega-9s in extra virgin olive oil, often used in dressings. 

Dr. Michael Roizen writes about wellness for the Cleveland Jewish News. He is chief wellness officer and chair of the Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. 

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