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Is Milk the Ideal Protein Drink?

And, Try a Salad for Dinner Tonight.

You know from past BLOGS that I believe most of you will be able to live well beyond age 100 with all your faculties intact. We’ve just begun the longevity revolution.

Today I hope to answer a readers question and give you action steps from a recent article in the medical literature. Next month I will cover the amazing science (and more importantly what these reports will mean to you) of the recent World Stem Cell Conference, and what it implies about my belief (and that of my ping pong opponent) that “Longevity Will Be the Next Major Disruptor” (The silicon chip was the last and current disruptor).

Let’s start with the question about protein then proceed to the recent data about why a salad a day may really be an ideal dinner.

1. A 54 year old guy who says he reads this column religiously asks: “How much protein should I have in a day? And is Milk an ideal protein drink?

The answer is we really do not know, but much data says that for optimal growth and to delay aging and chronic disease you need more protein before ages 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 (IGF-1), needed for growth in the young (that’s till age 25) and to prevent decline in function after age 70. But data from Valter Longo’s laboratory at USC (presented in lay fashion in his recent book, “The Longevity Diet” and in many scientific papers) shows that, like sugar, this protein induced increase inIGF-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 every day 1 gm of protein for every 2 pounds of weight (best in morning like a morning filet of salmon, or a dish with quinoa) for those under 25 or over 70 not in vigorous weight training, and only about one and a half times that if you weight train for 3 thirty minute periods a week.

As to milk protein, it may be especially problematic. It usually comes with a lot of sugar in the form of lactose. Not only is lactose hard to digest and associated with unpleasant releases of gas in an elevator for the 81+ percent of adult Americans short on lactase in their intestines, it increases growth of many cancers including breast and prostate.

And 87 percent of milk protein in casein. Casein in the China studies (I and II) and in laboratory studies is especially potent at increasing IGF-1 and cancers in humans (the China studies) and animals. Remember, only the young of every other species enjoy milk, and we are the only species that consumes another species milk and after weaning. I look at milk for those over age 25 like I look at playing tackle football at any age; I wouldn’t take the risk till I knew it was safer.

So because of the plethora of scientific data indicting both of milk’s two major components, lactose and casein, as powerful stimulants to cancer growth, I’ve avoided milk, and especially advised my patients whose RealAges are between 25 and 80 to avoid dairy products also.

2. Change Your Steriotypes of Food– Have a Salad (and Only a Salad) for Dinner Every Day

A new study in Neurology of 960 older folks—average age 81—found that the top 20 percent of leafy green eaters (they at an average of 1.3 servings daily–Raw green leafy veggies: 1 cup is 1 serving. Cooked green leafy veggies: ½ cup is a serving because they cook down so much.) decreased their cognitive aging by 11 years compared to the 20 percent of folks who had never seen a salad they liked (they ate less than a tenth of a serving of leafy greens daily).

We don’t know the specific nutrients in green leafy veggies that are the brain boosters, but they could include vitamin K, lutein, beta carotene, nitrate, folate, the flavonol kaempferol, several forms of vitamin E, and of course the omega-3’s and (as a dressing) omega-9 extra virgin olive oil.

To benefit from the Longevity Disruptor and the incredible aging research advances occurring, you’ve got to make it to 2030 at the top of your curve—these blogs will give you the action steps to do just that—so remember to cut up apple and put it in your daily salad with tomatoes and walnuts—what wonderful tastes on your way to staying young. I think that salad combo is what I’ll have for dinner tonight.

Thanks for reading. Feel free to send questions—to [email protected]

Dr Mike Roizen

You can follow Dr Roizen (and get updates on the latest and most important medical stories of the week) on twitter @YoungDrMike, or download and rate his podcasts released every Tuesday at 7 am on RadioMD.com (That podcast is also available on iHeartRadio.com and Tunein.com).

Michael F. Roizen, M.D., is chief wellness officer at the Cleveland Clinic. 

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