Discover more from Understandably by Bill Murphy Jr.
Eat early today?
A simple study, which is my favorite kind. Also, 7 other things worth knowing today.
Sometimes I come across a cool new health study, and it makes sense, but I'm leery of promoting it too hard because—well, because this isn't exactly my field.
So take this one with a grain of salt (wait, not salt; that's not so great for you).
With that caveat, a group of scientists out of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center say their experiments on mice suggest changing the way you eat— moving your meals earlier in the day—could have a significant effect on longevity.
How much of an impact? Well, they found that cutting calories and/or feeding mice during the hours of the day when they were most active correlated to significant additions to their normal two-year lifespan.
Reducing calories correlated to a 10 percent increase in lifespan.
Feeding them only at night—when mice are most active —correlated to a 35 percent longer lifespan.
Doing both added nine months to each mouse's life on average, which works out to about 37.5 percent increase in longevity.
As the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a nonprofit medical research group reviewing the study put it:
For people, an analogous plan would restrict eating to daytime hours.
The research helps disentangle the controversy around diet plans that emphasize eating only at certain times of day, says [Joseph] Takahashi, a molecular biologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Such plans may not speed weight loss in humans, as [another] recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported, but they could prompt health benefits that add up to a longer lifespan.
See what I mean? This study was published recently in the respected, peer-reviewed journal Science, but I don't claim to be anything other than an interested amateur.
Still, I get excited about these kinds of studies because they seem promising, and because the fulfill one of Bill's Keys to Self-Improvement: They involve changes that are easy to make—or at least simple—meaning it's much more likely that I'll actually stick with them.
Tell me to make doctor's appointments as early in the day as possible and I'll make a practice of it. Tell me I should drink more coffee and it's like: yep, already doing it.
Making a conscious effort to shift at least for some sizable percentage of calories? It also seems doable.
Helpful, and perhaps related: If you were to tell me I could only eat one meal a day for the rest of my life, it would be breakfast—maybe more like brunch, actually, since I make the rules. No question.
Anyway, I find as I get a bit older that I'm willing to consider changes that might eke out a few extra years for me here on this Big Blue Marble.
It's funny; when you're 20 I don't think you see much difference between the notion of living into your 70s versus your 80s or 90s or even later. They all seem so far away. and, they are.
But now that I'm past 50, I see the difference. So, if that means changing some of my worst habits, like eating stupidly too late in the day, it’s worth the shift.
(Join me for my next installment, whenever I figure it out: Changing my work habits so I have fewer nights of writing this newsletter at 11 p.m.)
7 other things worth knowing today
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in an interview with USA Today that a national abortion ban is “possible” assuming Roe v. Wade gets overturned this summer. (I anticipate a lot of arguing over what "possible" means, but that's the quote.) Separately, the governor of Mississippi declined in a TV interview to rule out the idea of banning contraception in his state assuming Roe is overturned. (The Hill, Press Herald)
Amazon tribes turn the tables on intruders with social media: A fast-expanding network of antennae is empowering Indigenous groups to use phones, video cameras and social media to galvanize the public and pressure authorities to respond swiftly to threats from gold miners, land-grabbers and loggers. (AP)
The number of wealthy Americans applying for citizenship or residency in foreign countries has skyrocketed over the past three years as US billionaires, tech entrepreneurs, and celebrities look to create a "plan B" for their families, multiple investment migration firms told Insider. According to one expert, there are "four C's" currently driving the investor citizenship industry: COVID-19, climate change, cryptocurrency, and conflict. (Insider)
An Andy Warhol portrait of Marilyn Monroe worth an estimated $200 million headlines this month's spring sales in New York that collectors say are among the most anticipated ever. ADVERTISING Christie's expects Warhol's 1964 "Shot Sage Blue Marilyn" to become the priciest 20th century artwork when the auction house puts it under the hammer on Monday. (France24)
How the U.S. became the top fanbase for Formula 1, after years of most sports fans in this country not caring. (Short answer: Netflix's “Drive to Survive” series.) (NY Post)
At the Kentucky Derby, 80-to-1 long shot Rich Strike stole the show with the second-biggest upset in the Derby’s 148-year history. Even if you're not into this sort of thing, it was a pretty thrilling come-from-behind victory. (AP, NBC via Twitter)
Thanks for reading. Photo credit: Pixabay. Want to see all my mistakes? Click here.