- Are you alive, well and reading this email because of MUSSELS?
- The oil that’s stops you ageing on a cellular level
- A proven, lazy way to stop cognitive decline in later life
Here’s a weird idea…
The only reason you are alive now and able to read this email is because of shellfish.
Without our little friends from the sea, you might not exist.
I know, I know, sounds stupid, right.
But just hear me out.
There’s a scientific theory about how humans developed our big, complex brains.
It all comes down to our diet of shellfish 164,000 years ago.
At that time primitive humans lived on the African coast, hunting and gathering the fruits of the sea. Shellfish are a powerful source of omega-3 fatty acids – essential for higher brain function. Some scientists believed this was a boost for the development of our brains.
In 1999 paleoanthropologists discovered a cave near Mossel Bay in South Africa where there were not only tools but masses and masses of shells.
Our early ancestors were clearly harvesting mussels and other shellfish on an enormous scale, using this food source to nourish and expand the community.
Eventually, these humans migrated north until, almost 100,000 years later, they crossed from Africa into what is now Yemen, gradually populating the rest of the world.
Of course, some scientists claim that the big brain came first. This is what made humans smart enough to seek out and harvest shellfish.
But nobody disputes the brain-boosting qualities of shellfish like mussels… or the many other benefits of consuming high levels of Omega 3 fatty acids.
From brain protection to joint pain relief
For instance, a week ago I told you about a supplement made from the oils of Green Lipped Mussels from New Zealand. Lyprinol can help reduce inflammation from problems like arthritis, joint pain, psoriasis and asthma.
This is something you can take even if you dislike – or are allergic to – shellfish. This is because the protein and carbohydrate elements are removed. It means there’s no aftertaste, fishy breath, or danger of a bad reaction.
Why it’s even more important to get enough Omega 3’s
Okay so in 164,000 years we may have conquered the globe and triumphed (or failed perhaps) as the dominant species on earth…
We may have iPhones, Netflix and driverless cars….
But we are biologically no different to our ancestors on the South African coast.
Foods like shellfish, or rather, the OILS that prevalent in shellfish, are still important. Particularly as we begin to live longer and longer.
Particularly because omega-3 fatty acid supplements are considered a major bulwark against cognitive decline.
In 2009 there was a systematic literature review entitled Fish consumption, long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and risk of cognitive decline or Alzheimer disease. [Nat Clin Pract Neurol 2009]
In three of the studies, Omega 3s were shown to help slow the ageing process of the brain.
Then in 2010 a study in the ‘Journal of the American Medical Association’ showed that omega-3s may slow down the shortening of telomeres.
Telomeres are structures that help support, stabilise and replicate your chromosomes. Some scientists believe that by keeping Telomeres healthier for longer, Omega-3 fatty acids protect against the ageing process on a cellular level.
If you’d like to ensure you get high dosages of Omega 3s for joint pain or inflammation then Lyprinol is our top recommendation.
However if it’s for daily use and you want to keep your brain functioning at its best, while feeling more energetic, then an option is to use a krill oil supplement like this one.
Krill are tiny shrimp packed full of omega-3 fatty acids in the form of ‘phospholipids’. These help protect the walls of your cells, stopping free radicals getting in, while allowing other omega-3 fatty acids through.
You can try regular fish oils, of course, but beware the many issues regarding quality (many are over-treated or rancid) and also high mercury levels.
Because they feed on phytoplankton, microscopic plants near the ocean’s surface, krill are relatively uncontaminated by pollutants.
Finally, you can also try this really lazy way to keep your brain from ageing…
The power of napping
I mentioned this in an issue of The People’s Doctor last year, but there’s been a new study to back it up.
A Chinese study has found that men who had an hour’s nap each day kept their brains from ageing by five whole years!
The leader of the research, Junxin Li, said: “Non-nappers also had significantly poorer cognition than short nappers.”
David Reynolds from Alzheimer’s Research UK commented on this study, saying that there was “growing evidence that sleep has a beneficial impact on learning and memory, and it’s positive to see this holds true in a study of older adults.”
And it’s not only your brain that benefits from taking a nap.
In November last year there was another Chinese study that looked at men who worked night shifts.
Those who had worked 20 years of nightshifts had a 27% increased risk of cancer. The men that took a nap during the day HALVED their cancer risk.
So the answer to long life might be to have more short sleeps during the day.
As I pointed out in my previous emails about sleep, it’s not possible for many people to control when and how they take a nap. Life can be just too hectic.
However, if you can try to arrange your life so that occasional daytime naps become possible, then you should do so!
Certainly, you should never feel ashamed of having a sleep during the day. Far from being a sign that you’re getting old, it could be a way to stay younger!
I’ll be back with more next week.
Until then, stay Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!