Goat Farming

Goat farming is not a new enterprise. Rearing goats is a profitable business. Goat has been rearing since the time immemorial. Generally goat farming means rearing goats for the purpose of harvesting milk, meat and fiber. At present, goat farming has become a profitable business and it requires a very low investment because of its multi-functional utility. Commercial goat farming business is contributing greatly to the economy and nutrition of a country. Goats are multi-functional animal. You can produce a wide variety of products from goats, such as milk, meat, fiber, manure etc. Goat’s milk is used for producing full cream goat powder, skimmed goat milk powder, goat butter, goat milk cream, fresh goat milk etc. Goat meat is a great source of consumable meat which is very testy, nutritious and healthy. And goat’s wool is being used in many purposes and skin of goat plays a vital role in leather industry. However, here we are describing more about the advantages of goat farming business and the required steps for starting a lucrative business.
Advantages of Goat Farming
There are many advantages of goat farming business. You can also raise goats along with your other livestock animals. Goats have been considered as poor man’s cow (mini cow) for the poor people because of it’s immense contribution in rural economy and national income. Goat products like milk and meat is not only nutritious and easily digestible food but also a great source of regular income for the poor, landless and marginal farmers. As goats are small sized animal , so they are easily maintained. Even they are easily maintained and cared by women and children. For successful goat farming business, you need to do some common tasks such as feeding, milking and caring. These simple tasks do not require much equipment, capital, labor or hard work. The main advantages of starting goat farming business are described below.
• Starting a goat farming business requires low initial investment or capital.
• Goats don’t require huge area for housing because their body size is comparatively smaller than other livestock animals.
• Usually goats are very friendly in nature and very lovable.
• Goats are good breeders and they reach sexual maturity within their 7-12 months of age and give birth of kids within a short time. And some goat breed produce numerous kids per kidding.
• Risks are less for goat farming (even in drought prone areas) than any other livestock farming business.
• Both male and female goats have almost equal value/price in the market.
• No religious taboo against goat farming and meat consumption.
• Goat meat and milk are cholesterol free and easily digestible.
• Goat milk is used for making various types of foods and it’s very easy to digest than milk of cows.
• Commercial goat farming business has created a potential way of employment for unemployed people.
• Goats are multi purpose animal. They can produce milk, meat, skin, fiber and manure at the same time.
• There is no need of a high end housing system for goats. Even they can easily share their living place with their owners or his/her other livestock animals.
• Goats are very suitable for mixed farming with other domestic animals.
• Diseases are less in goats than other domestic animals.
• Goats are easily available, comparatively cheaper in price, easy to maintain and always have a friendly disposition.
• They are capable of adopting themselves with almost all types of agro climatic environments or conditions. They can tolerate high and low temperature throughout the world and live happily. They also can tolerate hot climate more than other animals.
• According to the investment per unit they produce more than other domestic animals. And the ROI (return of investment) ratio is very good.
• Goats are generally smaller in size but reach slaughter age faster.
• Goats are called the “foster mother of human”. Because their milk is considered as the best milk for human consumption than any other species of livestock animal’s milk. And their milk is low cost, nutritious, wholesome and easily digestible. All aged people from child to old one can easily digest goat’s milk. Goat milk also has lesser allergic problems. And used as an Ayurvedic medicine for the people who are ailing with diabetes, asthma, cough etc.
• Goat milk is suitable for preparing various types of milk products. And goat meat has a huge demand and high price in the local and international markets. Even you can consider exporting your products to the foreign countries for more profits.
• Goats can be milked as often as required. This also prevent refrigeration costs and milk storage problems.
• You can use the goat’s manure as a high quality natural fertilizer in crop field. This will directly help to maximize crop production.
• As goat farming business is very profitable, so many govt. and non govt. banks are providing loans for starting this business.
• This business require less labor and you can easily use your family labor for raising goats.
• Commercial goat farming business is a great source of employment and income. So unemployed educated people can easily create a great employment and income source through raising goats commercially.
• Along with the above advantages, there are also many advantages of raising goats commercially.
Steps For Starting Goat Farming Business
For starting and maintaining a profitable and successful business, you must have to make a proper and effective goat farming business plan and go according to the plan. Here we are shortly describing the necessary steps for starting goat farming business.
Selecting Farm Area
Always try to select a suitable farm land/area for your business that has all required facilities for successful goat farming business. The necessary facilities for goat farming business includes the followings.
1. Great source of fresh and clean water supply.
2. Availability of all types of equipment.
3. Easily available food source.
4. Fertile field for crop, grasses and other green plant production. Feeding green food keeps the animal healthy, productive and reduces feeding costs.
5. Availability of full time labor.
6. Good transportation and veterinary service.
7. A market near the farm land so that you can sell your products easily and buy necessary commodities.
Goat Breeds
There are different types of goat breeds available around the world for rearing in the goat farm like Pygmy goats, Dwarf goats of Nigeria, Cashmere goats, Black Bengal goat, Mountain goats, Boer goats etc. Some of the available goat breeds are famous for tasty and nutritious meat and some breeds are famous for milk production. Some Indian goats are also highly meat and milk productive. Pygmy goats originated in Africa. They are good as pets and mainly used in the program and goat show. A lot of people rear them as pet instead of meat and milk production. Nigerian dwarf goats and pygmy goats are of the same origin. Dwarf goats are of different colors like black, chocolate, gold, color, etc. Wide variety of colors is a major factor that makes them so popular. Dairy goats are raised mainly for commercial milk production or for family milk consumption. They can also be displayed at trade shows. According to the association of dairy goats Nubians, Lamanchas, Alper, Oberhasli, Saanen and Togenburgs are the world famous dairy goat breed. Cashmere goats are popular for wool production. Mountain goats are blunt, square looking covered with soft white, woolly, dense undercoat. Boer goats originated in South Africa and suitable for highly meat production. Some studies say that Boer goats are very expensive and demand exceeds supply which attracts investors. However, choosing the right breeds for commercial goat farming will ensure high profit. Choose proper breed according to your desired production and geographical location. You can also visit some of your nearest goat farm or livestock training center to learn more about the suitable goat breeds in your area.
Housing is an important factor for profitable goat farming business. Small scale farmer generally keep their goats with their other livestock animals. But for commercial production, a good quality goat housing system is highly recommended for better production. A good house not only give shelter and protects the goats from predators but also prevent them from various types of goat diseases. Always keep the house neat, clean and dry. Make proper ventilation and drainage system inside the house. Also ensure the availability of sufficient fresh air and light inside the house. Housing and goat farm design are of various types according to the production type and breed.
Well goat feed management is also very essential for commercial goat farming business. Goats are not carnivorous animal. They don’t eat other animals. Usually goats prefer to eat grasses, plants, shrubs, weeds and herbs. Besides those feeds, goat also need energy, portion, vitamins, fiber and water for proper growth and for making better profits from this business. It will be better if you have sufficient knowledge about what to feed goats.
Care & Management
Always try to take good care of your goats. Never feed them contaminated food or polluted water. Keep their house as much neat and clean as possible. And clean their house on a regular basis. For commercial production, keep kids, bucks and does separated for each other. Take extra care to the breeding bucks, kids and pregnant does. Keep the kids with their mother for several weeks after their birth. Avoid using same buck for mating with numerous does at same day. Artificial insemination is also a great way for breeding your does. Vaccinate them timely, for keeping them free from all types of diseases and health problems. If possible, stock some necessary vaccines and medicines and keep good relation with a veterinary doctor.
Various types of viral diseases like PPR, goat pox, foot and mouth diseases and bacterial diseases like anthrax, brucelosis etc. are very harmful for goats. So, proper vaccination is a must to prevent this types of diseases. The does which was not vaccinated PPR, goat pox, brucellosis vaccines previously, vaccinate them at the fifth month of gestation period. Vaccinate the kids PPR vaccine when they reach 5 months of age. Always take good care of your animals and vaccinate them timely to prevent unwanted health hazard and diseases. See the chart below.
Goat Vaccination
Vaccine Name Applying Rate Applying Method
PPR 1 ml Injection Under Skin
Foot & Mouth Disease 2 ml Injection Under Skin
Anthrax 1 ml Injection Under Skin
Marketing is the most important but easiest step of goat farming business. Goat products like meat and milk has a huge local and global demand and popularity. Almost all types of people like goat milk and meat. So, a good market is already available in almost every place of the world. You can easily sell your products in your nearest market. Commercial producers can target the international market and export the products in foreign countries.
Total Expenditure & Profit
Total expenditure and profit from goat farming business depends on the farming system, location, breeds, feeding cost and some other factors. By good planing and proper management you can easily make goat farming business profitable. Small scale farming require less investment and profit can contribute your regular income. Large scale or commercial production require high investment and some other additional costs. See goat farming project report for some idea about the total expenditure and profit from goat farming business.
Some Essential Tips For Raising Goats
For getting desired production and profit from goat farming business, you have to know properly how to raise goats. Here are some tips for raising goats and making maximum profit.
• Always try to keep your goat healthy and strong.
• Always choose the right and high productive goat breeds for your business.
• Try to learn more about goat farming business from the nearest livestock training center or expert producers in your area.
• Ensure a big area so that your goats can roam freely, because they like to live in groups.
• Make sure the availability of all equipment which are essential for goat farms.
• To produce better milk, meat and to keep the goat free from diseases, make sure a well bred conduct.
• Provide them sufficient clean water, food and fresh grasses according to their daily demand.
• Be more careful about goat feeding. Never feed them contaminated food or polluted water.
• Take some extra care to the pregnant doe, breeding buck and kids.
• Feed the buck some extra nutritious food during the period of mating.
• To improve your goat’s health contact with a veterinarian regularly (if possible).
• Give salt and mineral with a lot of water during the summer season.
• Keep your goats away from cold and rain to avoid mass death.
In short, goat farming is a traditional, profitable, risk-less and very easy business because of its multi utility and fast growing rate. Goats also can be used as a tool for poverty reduction and play an important role in the economic growth of a country. Although some risks go with every business. Proper care and good management can ensure better production and high profit. Wish your success!


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In a few years, 80 will be the new 40′

In a few years, 80 will be the new 40′

Terry Grossman is one of the new-age gurus of longevity. He shot into fame after penning a book on how `to live forever’ with Ray Kurzweil, futurist and chief engineer at Google. They are confident that science is going to end death -people will live for centuries if not indefinitely, and that this is not some dream of the distant future but a certainty by the middle of this century. Grossman has been practising what he preaches at his clinic in Denver, US, and claims he feels youthful at 68. He was full of zing talking to Subodh Varma
Why do you say that we have reached a point after which lives will be longer and healthier?
In the year 1900, life expectancy was 47 years.By 2000, it had jumped to 72 years. In 2015, in some places like Japan, people’s average life is 82 years. On an average four-five months are being added to life every year. Very soon, one year will be added for every year that passes. We are poised at a point when life expectancy will grow exponentially . Aubrey de Gray , the Cambridge biomedical and aging scientist, calls it the “longevity escape velocity“ when life will be extended by periods larger than the time passed. This has happened because medical science is increas ingly merging with information technology , which grows exponentially . By focusing new medical research on stopping the aging process, human life will be extended to centuries -and this will happen within decades.

But do we want to live for, say, 200 years in an old, diseased condition? That’s not desirable!

The concept of `old age’ keeps changing. A few decades back, 65-70 years was thought of as `old’. Now it is considered `young old’ as compared to 85 years, which is `old old’.What is going to happen in the coming years is that youthful life will be extended. Eighty years will become the new 40. `Old’ people will have such healthy bodies that they will be able to go surfing or mountain climbing or do other activities associated with youth.I believe that in the next 10-12 years these dramatic changes will become more visible.

So, what do you prescribe for extending a healthy life?

In my book TRANSCEND -Nine Steps To Living Forever, written with Ray Kurzweil in 2009, we describe the whole system.TRANSCEND stands for: Talk with your doctor, Relaxation, Assessment, Nutrition, Supplements, Calorie reduction, Exercise, New Technologies, Detoxification. The book explains how people can take full advantage of the available information to help eliminate their chances of disease and to drastically slow down the aging process.Note that when I say “Talk with your doctor“, I mean consult an anti-aging special ist. That’s because most doctors are trained to detect and treat diseases, not prevent them. Also, while doing an “assessment“ by getting various tests like cholesterol or liver function done, I don’t go by just `good’.I want to see best or optimal numbers. New research is constantly coming out and technologies are constantly improving. These changes also need to be taken on board.

Do you keep updating the programme as new research comes in?

Yes, here are some examples. I now recommend interval training rather than continuous training. Instead of, say, jogging at a constant pace for five minutes, it has been found that a minute of slow jogging followed by a minute of fast and so on gives better results. Various testing parameters also change as new research results come in. New drug properties are found. I have myself started taking metformin, which is a well-known antidiabetic drug. But I am taking it because it has an effect on a master enzyme called AMKP which, in turn, helps reduce calories and lessen the risk of cancer. Stem-cell therapy , which was projected in the future in the book, is already being used at my clinic. We are also using nanotechnology-based products for better delivery of supplements. I am also using a cranial electro-stimulator which has the same effect as meditation -it calms and relaxes the brain.

All this sounds very expensive. Will people be able to afford it, especially in the Third World?

Everything is expensive when it is first introduced. An LCD TV or monitor was beyond reach earlier but now everybody has it.After a time lag, products become accessible.The same thing will happen with life extension technologies. Testing prices will come down, devices will become cheap. Already ,I can download apps on my smartphone that can test blood sugar, hypertension or even take an ultrasound. Self-monitoring will become the norm. Meanwhile some other new expensive product will enter the market, but over time that too will get cheap. In the long run, the whole of humanity will benefit.

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Posted by on April 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


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Hyderoponics fodder for animals

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While we aren’t too keen on dairy farms, we do believe the study below is powerful research about the benefits of sprouts to both humans and dairy cattle. This experiment was conducted by the Govind Dairy in India. The study was made available by the International Sprout Growers Association, of which we are members. The summary of the study follows:

Test Summary
Govind dairy is always looking for ways to lower the cost of milk production by reducing expenses. Our respected Dr. Ganpatrao Dhumal has studied the health benefits of sprouts and the effects of natural foods on humans, and has begun adding sprouted seeds and grains to his regular diet. He experienced excellent results by adding sprouts in his diet and so shared the same with his colleagues, they also started sprouting and they experienced similar health benefits.

As cattle feed cost are a major challenge and an expensive part of the milk business, milk prices necessarily go up along with the increasing cost of feed. Dr. Dhumal considered that if sprouts provided him a benefit, why not cattle? He asked our field staff to conduct a sprouts trial at the farm of Mr. Dhanaji Jadhav Adarki. The farm has six cows of which two were taken for experiment and four were kept as control. For the two cows fed sprouted grains and seeds, we found that the cost of cattle feed is reduced and milk yield and quality improved significantly, as did the health of the animals. After this initial trial we shared our findings with other local producers.

What we can use for sprouts and its importance:
We used sprouted soybeans, lentils, green peas, black eyed peas, cow peas, chick pea (garbanzos), pigeon peas, wheat, oats & corn. Generally the sprouted legumes have 2.5 times weight after sprouting due to the adsorption of water and the single seeded grains about double in weight.

  • Minerals: In sprouts the grains regular mineral get converted into the chelated form which got good absorption in body.
  • Proteins: Sprouts are a great source of proteins due to availability and increased percentage of amino acids. These important factors are easily absorbed in body.
  • Vitamins: Sprouts have many vitamins, mainly vitamins A, B and K are increased to 200 – 600% vs. the non-sprouted seed.
  • Enzymes & antioxidants: Sprouts have many types of enzymes which help the digestion process. Antioxidants react with the toxins produced during the digestion and deactivate them.

Sprouted cereals/legumes with incremental availability of nutrients:

Nutrient % proportion
Proteins 30 % more
Calcium 34 % more
Potassium 80 % more
Sodium 690 % more
Iron 40 % more
Phosphorus 56 % more
Vitamin A 285 % more
Vitamin B 1 208 % more
Vitamin B 2 515 % more
Vitamin B 3 256 % more
Vitamin K much more

Use of sprouts as cattle feed provided the following benefits:

  • Cattle feed expenses: Cattle feed expenses have been reduced by 30 to 50%. Sprouted grains gives 2 to 2.5 times increased weight, thus the animals gets a good return in less quantity.
  • Milk Yield: The animal are getting chelated minerals, required proteins and enzymes from sprouts, which has produced an increased milk yield of 10-15%. The increased yield began on about the 2nd or 3rd day of sprout feeding.
  • Milk Quality: Milk Fat and SNF (solids not fats) increased effectively. Amino acids help to boost the fat % whereas the chelated minerals in sprouts contribute to SNF rise.
  • Animal Health: Cattle exhibited improved glaze to hide and the animals look healthier. Sprouts have had positive effects on fertility with percent conception rate increase. Acidity is one of the major factors which decrease the profitability of milk production. The cow dung show healthy symptoms of digestion. As animals are fed more concentrate & less fibers acidity tends to increase. To control acidity, sprouts act very effectively. Many enzymes , minerals, vitamins, essential amino acids etc. all are useful to maintain the normal digestion environment in animal body. Thus after feeding sprouts the dung which was loose became thick.

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We have received the following feedback from other producers:

  • Dhanaji Jyotiram Jadhav – Adarki: I had started the sprouts feeding as directed; it has reduced my expenses cattle feed. Earlier I was using Rs.66 cattle feed is replaced by sprouts of cost Rs. 34 Thus there is saving of Rs.32 straight. Also the milk yield is increased by 1.5 lit. costs me benefit of Rs. 24. The fat is increased by two points has additional benefit of Rs.7 @ 0.20 per point of fat for total milk. Thus I received gain of Rs.63 net per cow after feeding the sprouts. Initially I done experiment on two cows only but after getting positive results I started for whole and finding good results as well.
  • Vivek Shinde – Thakurki: I had started sprouts to two cows out six cows, earlier the feeding of cattle feed was Rs. 45 per cow whereas the sprouts costs us Rs. 35. It has resulted incremental milk 1.75 lit of Rs.32 additional. Two points fat is increased adds Rs. 5 thus I received Rs. 46 additional per cow and the health has improved. Eight day later my farm is affected with FMD but it’s strange to find that only the cows with sprout feeding are found fit and are not affected with FMD.
  • Anil Keshavrao Nimbalkar – Vinchurni: I received information regarding sprouts feeding to cow from Govind Dairy so I started feeding the same on my farm to the two cows. Earlier I was spending Rs. 52 for them which now come down to Rs.33. And I received incremental 2 lit milk per cow giving additional Rs.36 whereas the fat is increased by 3 point adds my payment Rs.6 per cow. Thus I am earning additional Rs. 61 and feel effective difference in routine.
  • Prakash Dhaygude – Kolaki: Feeding cattle feed cost me Rs. 18 in which I made changes and started sprouts of Rs.10 as feed to animal. It has reduced my feeding cost and also added glazing to the animal skin now looks fresh. My farm heifer was infected with FMD but due sprout feeding the animals come on track and now FMD is under control and animal started eating grass as well.

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How To Live to be 100!

Sleep and sushi’ were the world’s oldest woman’s secret of longevity. But surely more factors contribute to the increasing number of centenarians, especially in US and Japan?

Sau saal jiyo‘ May you live a 100 years’ is the traditional Indian blessing. Sto lat, sing the Polish. Cent’anni, say Italians. Greeks wish each other na ta ekatostisis, while Swedes sing Må han / hon lever i hundraår…

Who wouldn’t want their loved ones to hit a century, and beyond? The world’s oldest living woman, 117-year-old Japanese Misao Okawa died on April 1, passing on the title to 116-year-old Gertrude Weaver, an American. Misao said on her birthday last month that 117 years didn’t seem such a long time really! Really?! And this is a woman who lived across 3 centuries, four Japanese emperors, six British monarchs and 20 US Presidents!!

Misao’s secret of longevity? Eight hours of sleep a night and eating sushi, she stated. Gertrude Weaver, now the oldest, is passionate about manicures, Bible studying and wheelchair dancing. She shared her longevity secret with Time magazine –“Kindness. Treat people right…”She also credited an unwavering faith in God for her long years. In sharp contrast, Jeralean Talley, 116, now the world’s second oldest living person, leads a fun life! She bowled, played the slot machines in casinos and even mowed her lawn till she was 105! She still goes on fishing trips and caught 7 catfish at 114!

From three hearty meals a day to sparse eating, from being super active to confined to a wheel chair; from playing casino slot machines to following God; eating raw eggs to sushi to bacon – the world’s oldest people have credited many things with contributing to their long innings. Desperately seeking the elixir of life, the rest of us lap up their words as gospel. But is there a strategy that can help you actually live to 100?

Interestingly the 10 oldest people living at present are all women, ranging from the ages of 116-114. Then come two men in the over-110 category at 112 years of age. The 10 oldest people ever to have lived are also ALL women. Of 56 oldest living people since 1955, 50 were women! Studies quote deferred heart conditions as compared to men, better ability to deal with stress, lesser alcohol and tobacco culture, and lesser iron as some reasons for women’s longer lives.

As nationalities go, the US boasts the largest number of the world’s oldest living, followed by Japan. Of the 12 oldest living, six are from the US, while four are Japanese. What could be the possible common denominator between these two nations that helps nurture long years?

Lessons from Nagano in Japan, which is the longest-living place on earth, with maximum centenarians, suggest that a healthy diet, regular physical activity and extended work years help their inhabitants live longer. Just about 35 years ago, Nagano had Japan’s maximum heart stroke rate, which is when the government intervened, aggressively promoting healthy eating and exercise habits along with preventive healthcare. Most Japanese people are encouraged to postpone retirement or begin second careers. People live in a caring community that looks after its old. Low stress lifestyles and spirituality also help one live longer and better. Importantly, the goal is not just to live longer, but to stay healthy as long as possible in those years, points a Japanese doctor!

John W Santrock in his book, ‘Life-Span Development’ identifies five factors important to longevity — Heredity and family history; Health, (weight, diet, smoker/non-smoker, amount of exercise); Education level; Personality, and Lifestyle. The author also notes that the biggest group of centenarians has been of women who never married . People who have been through traumatic events may also live longer as they learn to cope better with stress and poverty.

Countries with better healthcare facilities and a better ratio of doctors and population report longer life expectancy. Japan has the highest life expectancy of 86.2, ranking first for males and second for females (WHO 2012). US at 79.8, ranks 32nd for men and 35th for women. Andorra ranks first in female life expectancy. India with a life expectancy of 60, ranks 64th for men and an embarrassing 150th for women!

When will we live to be 100?

(Gertrude Weaver, barely reigned six days as the world’s oldest living person and died on April 6, 2015. Now the world’s oldest living person is Jeralean Talley, 116, also an American.)


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Eat Less, Live Longer?

John Apollos is losing weight the old-fashioned way — by eating less. A whole lot less. As a volunteer in the two-year Comprehensive Assessment of Long-Term Effects of Reducing Intake of Energy (CALERIE) study at Tufts University in Boston, Apollos has lowered his daily caloric intake 25% over the past eight months. The fat, not surprisingly, has melted away; the 52-year-old physical trainer has lost more than 25 lb. (11 kg) since the study began and is down to his high school weight.
But that’s not the real reason Apollos and the other participants in the program are eating only three-quarters of what they used to. The researchers running the multicenter CALERIE study are trying to determine whether restricting food intake can slow the aging process and extend our life span. “I feel better and lighter and healthier,” says Apollos. “But if it could help you live longer, that would be pretty amazing.”

The idea is counterintuitive: If we eat to live, how can starving ourselves add years to our lives? Yet decades of calorie-restriction studies involving organisms ranging from microscopic yeast to rats have shown just that, extending the life spans of the semistarved as much as 50%. Last July a long-term study led by researchers at the University of Wisconsin nudged the implications of this a bit closer to our species, finding that calorie restriction seemed to extend the lives of humanlike rhesus monkeys as well. The hungry primates fell victim to diabetes, heart and brain disease and cancer much less frequently than their well-fed counterparts did
But there may be more than just the absence of disease operating here. Anytime you go on a diet, after all, you stand a good chance of lowering your blood pressure, cholesterol level and risk of diabetes and other health woes. All that can translate into extra years. With calorie restriction — usually defined as a diet with 25% to 30% fewer calories than normal but still containing essential nutrients — something else appears to be at work to extend longevity.

Finding out what that something is — and determining if it works in people — is what CALERIE is all about. By putting people on a carefully reduced diet for two years, investigators hope to home in on the biological mechanism that links eating less to living longer. They will also explore whether such a strict diet is even feasible in the overweight U.S. “We want to see if the same metabolic adaptations occurring in calorie-restricted rats and monkeys occur in humans,” says Dr. Luigi Fontana, a researcher at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo., who is helping lead the CALERIE study. “But we also want to know if people will really stick with this.”
Scientists have suspected that calorie restriction could extend the life span of animals since at least 1935, when researchers at Cornell University noticed that severely food-restricted lab rats lived twice as long as normal ones and were healthier. Other investigators began exploring the idea and learned that the secret is not merely a matter of body weight: lab mice that ate normally but became skinny by exercising a lot showed no longevity improvements. Only the ones that didn’t get many calories to begin with benefited.

One theory is that a state of slight hunger acts as a mild but constant stressor that makes an organism stronger and more resistant to the ills of aging. (The effect could be an evolutionary adaptation, increasing the odds that animals would survive periods of scarcity.) Taking in fewer calories also slows metabolism, and some data indicate that humans with a slower metabolism live longer. But even if these theories are correct, simply defining the mechanism is not the same as identifying the molecular pathways behind it. If researchers could determine those pathways, they might be able to pharmacologically mimic the effect of calorie restriction. That could be the ultimate benefit of the CALERIE study. “Calorie restriction is pretty much the only thing out there that we know will not just prevent disease but also extend maximal life span,” says Dr. Marc Hellerstein, a nutritionist at the University of California, Berkeley, who studies the biological effects of fasting.


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Living Long and Living Well

When explorer and longevity investigator Dan Buettner guided me into the Costa Rican rain forest last year in preparation for an Oprah show on longevity, each of the centenarians I met there greeted me with the customary “Pura vida” — variously translated as “Pure life,” “Full of life” or even “This is living!” Those are all fair ways of describing these remarkably vibrant people, who are indeed living the pure life. We’d all do well to learn their secrets.
While we’re certainly born with genes that help determine everything from our height to our eye color to our risk of heart disease, we’re making a monumental mistake if we assume we can’t influence those genes — especially when it comes to aging. Science is rapidly uncovering miraculous biological processes that control how and why we age the way we do, piling up evidence that even our unwanted genes can work in our favor — or at least do us less harm.

Indeed, there’s no reason we can’t live to 100 — and do so with energy and good health. Here’s why: longevity is not really about preventing disease. After all, getting rid of heart disease and cancer gains us, on average, less than a decade of life. And if we lived those extra years still struggling with the frailty that can make a long life less desirable, what would we have gained? No, the real goal isn’t to avoid inevitable illness or breakdown. The goal is to recover from them faster and better.
Identifying optimal solutions will require decades, in part because it takes 30 years of research to determine whether taking a pill for 20 years will add a decade of life. So here are some reasonable steps I’ve offered my own family, culled from what I’ve learned studying long-living populations around the world and cutting-edge scientific research.

Daily rigorous physical activity not only helps strengthen bones and the heart, but it also teaches balance, critical in preventing the falls that have become a leading cause of death as we age. For all the medical tests we have in our modern arsenal, the ability to exercise remains the single most powerful predictor of longevity. If you can’t walk a quarter-mile in 5 minutes, your chance of dying within three years is 30% greater than that of faster walkers.
Humans are designed to be physically active throughout their lives, so don’t take it easy on yourself. Shoot for at least three 30-minute workouts weekly — and break a sweat. You should also add a half hour per week of weight lifting and another half hour of stretching. I complete a simple daily 7-minute morning routine that I recommend. You can find it at

Get 15 minutes of sun every day (or take 1,000 IU of vitamin D), and take 1,000 mg of calcium. Supplement the calcium with 500 mg of magnesium to avoid constipation. All of this will help promote bone strength as you exercise. Costa Ricans get these benefits naturally: they’re exposed to lots of sun between bursts of rain, which keeps their vitamin D levels high, and they drink hard, mineral-rich water and eat a traditional diet with dairy and legumes that is rich in calcium.
In the U.S. we’re not so lucky. Insufficient vitamin D is our most important vitamin deficiency and is possibly a factor in our high levels of cancer, autoimmune ailments and heart disease. If you live north of a line between Atlanta and Los Angeles, the winter sun is probably too weak to give you the dose of light you require, so you’ll need supplements. And while hard water occurs naturally in some parts of the country, it’s by no means found in all of them.

Choose foods that look the same when you eat them as when they come out of the ground. The powerful phytochemicals and micronutrients in whole foods (ones without food labels) support the natural rejuvenating processes of the body.
Obese people, in whom such processes become compromised, tend to die younger in part because of systemic inflammation that occurs as a result of their weight. That leads to elevated blood sugar, lousy LDL-cholesterol levels and high blood pressure. These damage the thin lining of our arteries. The fat also wreaks metabolic disarray that increases cancer rates and leads to joint pain that limits physical activity. Automate your meal choices to create routines that make it easy to eat the right foods. Snacking on healthy foods every few hours helps you avoid hunger and the associated overeating.

Sleep more than seven hours a day. Sleep increases your levels of growth hormone, a critical vitality booster. Half of mature Americans have difficulty sleeping, and all of them may pay a longevity penalty. Try some simple sleep hygiene like dimming the lights 15 minutes before bedtime to stimulate melatonin.

Finally, have a purpose — your family, your work, your community. There may be no better longevity booster than simply wanting to be here. You have one life; it makes sense to love living it.

Mehmet Oz is the vice chairman and a professor of surgery at Columbia University, a best-selling author and the host of the nationally syndicated television talk show The Dr. Oz Show


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How to live to up to 100 years

Dan Buettner knows the secret to longevity
His mantra: set up your life, home and social environments, as well as your workplace so that you are constantly nudged into behaviours that favour longevity. It’s something the explorer, educator and author follows himself: he’s the holder of three separate Guinness World Records for distance biking — a 15,500-mile ride from Alaska to Argentina in 1987 as a 27-year-old; a 12,888-mile journey across the Soviet Union in 1990; and a 12,172-mile jaunt through Africa completed in 1992! But it was his research on longevity first published in the National Geographic magazine that really established his expertise on the subject.
In his book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest, he reveals, “Adopt the right lifestyle; chances are you may live up to a decade longer…”Excerpts from an interview:
What attracted you to exploring the idea of living longer?
When I travelled around the world, I discovered that living longer has less to do with diet, or even exercise, and more to do with the environment you live in: social and physical. The world’s oldest people live rewardingly inconvenient lives. They walk to the store and to their friends’ homes and live in houses set up with opportunities to move mindlessly. So, that set me thinking. Along with a team of scientists, I explored five parts of the world — ‘Blue Zones’ where people live long lives. We found a bronze-age culture in Sardinia’s interior where there are more male centenarians; a peninsula in Costa Rica where 50-year-olds have a higher chance of reaching 90; a Greek island completely free of Alzheimer’s; and islands in southern Japan where people are prone to one-sixth the average risk of heart disease.
Which cultures have cracked the mystery of a long and happy life?
Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece; and the Seventh Day Adventists in Loma Linda, California.
What are the secrets of healthy centenarians?
The secrets lie in everyday living. The people who live longest live in strong families that keep them motivated to support loved ones. Centenarians are still living near their children. Instead of being mere recipients of care, they contributors to the lives of their families. They grow vegetables, and continue to cook and clean. This has a powerful two-fold effect — their children and grandchildren benefit from their wisdom while the centenarians themselves feel the motivation to stay active, to get out of bed in the morning.
We know from the Framingham studies that happiness, smoking and obesity are all ‘contagious’. If three of your closest friends are obese, there’s a 70 per cent chance that you’ll be overweight. For this reason, centenarians proactively surround themselves with people who practise the right behaviours. These are people whose idea of fun is gardening or swimming, who eat meat sparingly, are trusting and trustworthy, and have faith.
How important is spirituality to a person’s well-being?
Religious faith is the one element that most centenarians have in common. Even among the non-religious, those with spiritual beliefs are less depressed, have better immunity and lower rates of heart disease. They tend to have larger social networks, more social support and a greater sense of purpose.
What is the optimal diet for making it to a healthy 90?
Meat is more of a condiment than a staple diet. Moderate drinking has positive benefits. Most people who live longer eat plant-based diets, heavy on beans (fava, black beans, soy) and nuts. They do eat meat but usually as a celebratory food perhaps once or twice a week and in small portions (think the size of a deck of cards). Oddly, they don’t eat much fish either. No one is “on a diet”. They typically eat their largest meal at the beginning of the day while dinner is the smallest.
The Okinawans specially practise eating until they are 80 per cent full, so they don’t overeat. To aid this practice, make food look bigger, use smaller plates, make snacking a hassle, eat more slowly, and have a seat! Eat meals with your family — with the TV and computer switched off — if you want to consume fewer calories.
What is the key to living to 100?
The key lies in simple things. Get 105 minutes of mindless physical activity every day. Move mindlessly. Live in strong families that keep you motivated. And live out of a purpose.
What are the roadblocks?
People in general don’t stick to doing anything for very long. After smoking, stress is probably the most harmful thing for your body. Chronic stress builds chronic inflammation, which leads to premature ageing.
Drive down any street at 9 pm and you can see the greenish glow of the television or the computer in people’s windows. This urban trend of isolation is a mistake. It shaves good years off your life.
If you eat a perfect diet but are stressed out all day, you are not going to live longer or better. Socialising with the right people, having a sense of purpose, and a routine of downshifting are inextricably intertwined.
Nine secrets to a long life
Move: Find ways to stay active

Plan de vida: Discover your purpose in life

Downshift: Take a break

80% rule: Don’t overeat

Plant power: Choose greens

Red wine: A glass a day

Belong: Stay social

Beliefs: Get ritualistic

Your tribe: Family matters

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Posted by on April 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


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