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Biomarkers (Simon & Schuster, 1991) has stood the test of time impressively, says Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter (May 2006). “While research has of course added to our knowledge about all 10 of the biomarkers described in the book, the basic lessons still hold true today.”

For many years, aerobic exercise was thought to be practically synonymous with good health. Weight training or bodybuilding was considered mainly cosmetic. That changed with the publication of Biomarkers by William Evans, PhD, and Irwin H. Rosenberg, MD, professors of nutrition and medicine, respectively, at Tufts University. Strength training took its rightful place as an equal partner with aerobics. Moreover, strength training became the senior partner for taking the worry out of aging.

The book features landmark studies at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) showing that people past middle age are able to gain muscle and increase strength by as much as 200%. What’s more, muscle and strength were found to be the key controllable physiological factors associated with aging. One 93-year-old study participant observed: “I feel as though I were 50 again→Pills won’t do for you what exercise does!"

The HNRCA was and is located at Tufts University. Evans was the Chief of the Human Physiology Laboratory at the HNRCA; Rosenberg was the Director and subsequently became dean of Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy. Both have moved on to other posts. Quite appropriately, Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter (May 2006) includes a Special Supplement assessing how well the 15-year-old program for controlling the aging process has stood the test of time.

“The bottom line of Biomarkers remains as true now as then,” they conclude: “Exercise is the key to a healthy and rewarding old age. Even for the frail elderly—and this is still a bold concept—a regular exercise program can have a strong positive health impact. A combination of regular aerobics, flexibility and strength training is the best strategy for retarding—even reversing—the effects of aging on the 10 biomarkers the authors identify.”

I have a firm goal to improve my biomarkers; anyone who wishes to collaborate is welcome.

resting heart rate59         
avg blood pressure (systolic mmHG)129         
avg blood pressure (diastolic mmHG)74         
total cholesterol (mg/dL)175         
HDL cholesterol (mg/dL)53         
LDL-cholesterol (mg/dL)101         
CHOL/HDLC RATIO3.3         
resting metabolic1142 Kcal/D         
PSA, TOTAL1.6         

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