In this month's Bulletin, we bring you the latest news on the FDA’s regulation of GMO salmon, a new study about the mortality risk of a poor diet, and research that reveals the ability of a simple physical test to check your fitness level and predict longevity.
Genetically Modified Fish To Reach Market Soon
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has allowed seafood producer AquaBounty to begin importing genetically modified salmon eggs to its Indiana facility. The eggs that will hatch in that location will contain DNA from other types of fish to speed their growth.
The FDA did not allow AquaBounty to import the eggs until new regulations governing how bioengineered foods must be labeled were passed. Now that the rules are set, they’ve allowed the salmon farming to begin.
“The move comes despite a pending lawsuit filed by a coalition of consumer, environmental and fishing groups that challenged the FDA’s approval of the fish.
“We think a remedy in our case would stop sale of the fish before they’re allowed to be sold,” said George Kimbrell, legal director for the Center for Food Safety, one of the groups suing the FDA.
AquaBounty was founded in 1991, and it has been working through years of safety reviews and regulatory hurdles to sell its fish in the United States. In 2015, its salmon became the first genetically modified animal approved by the FDA for human consumption. But the agency subsequently issued an alert that stopped the Maynard, Massachusetts-based company from importing its fish eggs until disclosure guidelines for genetically modified foods were resolved.
AquaBounty CEO Sylvia Wulf said the company expects to get a final certification for its Albany, Indiana, growing facility in the coming weeks. Salmon eggs could then be sent from the company’s research and development facility in Canada, and would be harvested after about 18 months when they reach 10 pounds, she said.”1
The outstanding lawsuit is over the potential for environmental contamination if the GMO fish escape into the wild, but it remains to be seen if that will slow down the company's plans. Kimbrell noted that the new disclosure regulation uses the term “bioengineered” instead of the more familiar GMO or “genetically modified,” potentially leading to consumer confusion.
Implementation of the labeling regulation starts in 2020 and is mandatory in 2022, although new disclosure labels may appear on packaging sooner.
The Save Institute recommends avoiding GMO products entirely. However, non-GMO salmon, and especially wild Alaskan salmon, is an excellent source of heart-healthy fatty acids and protein.
The FDA has allowed seafood producer AquaBounty to begin raising GMO salmon after finalizing new regulations that will require them to label the fish as “bioengineered.”
Study Finds A Poor Diet Is Deadlier Than Tobacco Or High Blood Pressure
According to a new study, a poor diet contributes to more worldwide deaths than other well-known killers like tobacco and high blood pressure. Specifically, a diet that doesn’t contain sufficient vegetables, fruits, and grains has been linked to premature death.2
“In 2017, a poor diet was responsible for 11 million deaths, whether related to excessive consumption of bad foods or inadequate intake of the good stuff, the study said. Specifically, three main dietary factors—low consumption of whole grains and fruits and high intake of sodium—accounted for more than half of all diet-related deaths.
While high consumption of red meat, processed meat, trans fat and sugar-sweetened beverages did contribute to global deaths, these factors “were towards the bottom in ranking dietary risks … for most high-population countries,” the report found. Policies encouraging healthful eating, therefore, may have greater impacts than those targeting unhealthy foods.
“There needs to be a food system transformation,” said Dr. Ashkan Afshin, lead author of the study and an assistant professor at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. He calls for increased and better production of foods: More fruits, vegetables and nuts and grains that haven’t been stripped of their nutrition. Environmental sustainability must also be considered in improving agriculture systems, the report notes, including impacts on climate change, biodiversity, land and water usage.”2
The Save Institute's nutritional plan consists of an easy-to-follow pH-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables. Although acidifying, whole grains are the preferred choice over simple carbohydrates. This new study reinforces the existing scientific evidence that a pH-balanced diet improves health and lengthens lifespan.
A recently-published study revealed that a poor diet (lacking in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains) kills more people worldwide than tobacco or high blood pressure.
Research Finds That Stair-Test Predicts Longevity
A new study has found a direct link between exercise capacity and participants’ longevity. People capable of high levels of physical exertion had less chance of dying early of any cause.3
While researchers used echocardiography and a treadmill to measure exercise capacity, you can perform a simple test that can likewise indicate your risk of early death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other causes.3
The equivalent test consists of climbing three floors of stairs very fast, or four floors fast, without stopping. If you can complete the climb without needing to pause, your exercise capacity predicts a lower risk of mortality. If not, you should expand your regular exercise routine to receive the risk reductions described by the study.3
“The study included 12,615 participants with known or suspected coronary artery disease. Participants underwent treadmill exercise echocardiography, in which they were asked to walk or run, gradually increasing the intensity, and continue until exhaustion. The test also generates images of the heart to check its function.
During a median 4.7-year follow-up, there were 1,253 cardiovascular deaths, 670 cancer deaths, and 650 deaths from other causes. After adjusting for age, sex, and other factors that could potentially influence the relationship, each MET (metabolic equivalent)* achieved was independently associated with 9%, 9%, and 4% lower risks of cardiovascular death, cancer death, and other causes of death during follow-up.
The death rate from cardiovascular disease was nearly three times higher in participants with poor compared to good functional capacity (3.2% versus 1.2%, p<0.001). Non-cardiovascular and non-cancer deaths were also nearly three-fold higher in those with poor compared to good functional capacity (1.7% versus 0.6%, p<0.001). Cancer deaths were almost double in participants with poor compared to good functional capacity (1.5% versus 0.8%, p<0.001).”3
These results underscore the importance of regular exercise, which increases exercise capacity.
Most sources recommend 150 minutes of moderate aerobic physical activity per week.4 Part of that regular physical exertion should be weight-bearing exercise, which stimulates bone growth, reducing the risk of fracture. Walking, running, jogging, weight lifting, yoga, targeted bone-building exercises, and many more activities both strengthen your bones and increase your exercise capacity, two outcomes that increase and extend your quality of life.
A study found that high exercise capacity correlates to lower risk of premature death from a variety of causes. The stair test is an excellent way to see whether you’re getting enough exercise to reduce your risk of common causes of death.
Diet And Exercise Are Powerful Forces
Diet and exercise, the two themes of this month's Bulletin, are at the heart of overall health and bone health. Following a pH-balanced diet and practicing bone-targeted exercises are evidence-backed actions for preventing and reversing osteoporosis.
Take Exercising For Your Bones to the Next Level!
Learn the 52 exercise moves that jumpstart bone-building – all backed by the latest in epigenetics research.
The studies above show that a bone-healthy diet and bone-building exercises not only reduce your risk of fracture, they also improve your general health, prevent disease, and extend the length and quality of your life.