Tuesday, August 06, 2013

How overcoming adversity DOES help you live longer: Men who survived the Holocaust outlive Jewish men of the same age

Rubbish!  Only the exceptionally robust survived the camps. So of course they live longer.  They are a more select group healthwise

Men who survived the Holocaust live longer than other Jewish men of the same age who did not go through the hell of the Nazi death camps, new research has revealed.

Researchers from Haifa University in Israel found a phenomenon known as 'post-traumatic growth' enabled Holocaust survivors to develop enhanced 'personal and inter-personal skills'.

As a result, male survivors lived up to 18 months longer than Jewish peers who  were not confined to concentration camps during the war.

Holocaust survivors also gained 'new insights and a deeper meaning to life' as a result of their intense psychological ordeal inside the concentration camps, the scientists said.

The study of more than 55,220 Polish Jews found men and women who escaped before Hitler started his campaign of terror had an average life expectancy 6.5 months shorter than those who made it to Israel between the armistice and 1950.

Study leader, Professor Avi Sagi-Schwartz, from the Department of Psychology at Haifa University in Israel, said he was 'surprised' by the finding that male survivors lived for up to 18 months longer.

He said: 'Holocaust survivors not only suffered grave psychosocial trauma but also famine, malnutrition, and lack of hygienic and medical facilities, leading us to believe these damaged their later health and reduced life expectancy.

A common belief among scientists is that psychological trauma shortens life expectancy by damaging the victims's DNA by shortening their 'chromosome ends' which control the lifespan of cells in the body.

This inspired the research, published in the journal PLOS ONE, which is the first of its kind to use the official database of the National Insurance Institute of Israel to look at the entire Jewish population who emigrated before and after World War Two.



Breastfeeding 'lowers Alzheimer's risk'

But why?  Because high IQ is a strong predictor of breastfeeding, and high IQ indicates generally better brain functioning.  So all that they are detecting below is IQ and its effects

Mothers who breastfeed their children may have a lower risk of developing Alzheimer's Disease, according to a new study.

The research, published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, suggests that the link may be to do with certain biological effects of breastfeeding.

It found that longer periods of breastfeeding lowered the overall risk.

Previous studies have established that breastfeeding can reduce a mother's risk of other diseases but until now little has been done to examine the impact of breastfeeding duration on Alzheimer's risk.

Researchers from the department of biological anthropology at the University of Cambridge, used data gathered from a group of just 81 British women.

However, they said the correlation between breastfeeding and Alzheimer's was highly significant and consistent, although the connection was much less pronounced in women with a history of dementia in their family.

The findings may point towards new directions for fighting the global Alzheimer's epidemic. It also may offer clues as to why people are more susceptible to the disease.

The study argues that there may be a number of biological reasons for the connection between Alzheimer's and breastfeeding.

One theory is that breastfeeding deprives the body of the hormone progesterone, compensating for high levels of progesterone which are produced during pregnancy.

Progesterone is known to desensitise the brain's oestrogen receptors, and oestrogen may play a role in protecting the brain against Alzheimer's.

Another possibility is that breastfeeding increases a woman's glucose tolerance by restoring her insulin sensitivity after pregnancy.

Pregnancy induces a natural state of insulin resistance and Alzheimer's is characterised by a resistance to insulin in the brain.

Dr Molly Fox, from the department of biological anthropology at the University of Cambridge, led the study.

She said: ""Women who spent more time pregnant without a compensatory phase of breastfeeding therefore may have more impaired glucose tolerance, which is consistent with our observation that those women have an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease."


1 comment:

Wireless.Phil said...

My grandfather lived to 89 and he survived by getting the hell out of Hungary and into the USA before the killings started.

So yes, by birth I'm a Jew, but I don't practice any religion!