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Protein Structure and Folding

After a polypeptide is produced in protein synthesis, it's not necessarily a functional protein yet! Explore protein folding that occurs within levels of protein structure with the Amoeba Sisters! Primary, secondary, tertiary, and quaternary protein structure levels are briefly discussed. Video also mentions chaperonins (chaperone proteins) and how proteins can be denatured.

Table of Contents:0:41 Reminder of Protein Roles1:06 Modifications of Proteins1:25 Importance of Shape for Proteins1:56 Levels of Protein Structure2:06 Primary Structure3:10 Secondary Structure3:45 Tertiary Structure4:58 Quaternary Structure [not in all proteins]6:01 Proteins often have help in folding [introduces chaperonins]6:40 Denaturing Proteins

*Further Reading Suggestions*

Related to Protein Misfoldings:

https://www.nature.com/scitable/topic...https://www.scientificamerican.com/ar...

Learn About "The Protein Folding Problem":https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/arti...

Factual References:

OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Jun 1, 2018 http://cnx.org/contents/185cbf87-c72e....

Reece, J. B., & Campbell, N. A. (2011). Campbell biology. Boston: Benjamin Cummings / Pearson.

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Center For Anti-Aging Medicine & Hormone Wellness

Dr. Peters has spent most of his 25 years in medicine as a board certified reproductive endocrinologist. During this time, his main focus was in vitro fertilization (IVF) helping couples who were unable to have children through simpler means. In addition, he has vast experience in academic work including teaching and scientific publication in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Peters also has taken care of many women with hormonal disorders including polycystic ovary syndrome, female acne and unwanted body hair growth as well as menopause. Along with his Western methodology his unique approach to patient care blends Eastern philosophies such acupuncture, yoga, and herbology.

He earned his undergraduate degree from The Pennsylvania State University followed by his medical degree from The Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. His residency training was completed at Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, PA., followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in reproductive immunology at Methodist Hospital/Indiana University, Indianapolis, IN. Dr. Peters completed a second postdoctoral fellowship in reproductive endocrinology & infertility at Prentice Womens Hospital at The Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago, IL. He is double board certified in obstetrics & gynecology and reproductive endocrinology & infertility.

Dr. Peters has presented more than 35 national and international abstracts and authored over 30 articles in peer reviewed journals, including the co-authoring of the book, Unexplained Infertility and Miscarriage: The Immunology Link.

Despite his extensive background in endocrinology, he grew frustrated when his own wife presented a challenge for him in her menopausal struggles. He tried many traditional medical options for her, but none seemed to restore her premenopausal health. Through research and study, he discovered that a carefully formulated individualized regimen of bioidentical hormones, selective diet, nutritional supplements and exercise restored his wifes vitality without the side effects of traditional synthetic hormone replacement. This led him to pursue yet another postdoctoral fellowship in Anti-Aging, Metabolic and Nutritional Medicine so that he could effectively offer other women and men these restorative methods in order to optimize their wellness and quality of life. He uses these same principles for himself.

When Dr. Peters is not working in his clinical practice, he enjoys an active lifestyle of participating in triathlons, practicing Chinese martial arts, and dancing with his wife. They also both enjoy time with their children and grandchildren.

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Anti Aging and Regenerative Medicine and Health …

California Age Management Institute (formerly Los Gatos Longevity Institute) is thefirst full service anti-aging center established in 1996. Serving thousands of men and women just like you for over 22 years.

Why Anti Aging Age Management Medicine? Variably termed holistic, preventive, longevity, regenerative, integrative, complimentary, functional, and/or nutritional medicine. Because you want to look, feel and act like you did 10- 15 years ago. Because you want to be actively engaged in your 60s, 70s and 80s. Because you want to remain competitive in your work or business. And because you owe it to yourself, your family and your work to maintain your optimal health and well being. Its what we term maximal healthspan even more than lifespan.

You want long-term solutions, searching for root causes, imbalances and dysfunction not quick fixes.

You want a promise of Individualized and unsurpassed attention in resolving your challenges and problems. To regain lost energy, youth and vitality. Rejuvenating.

Age Management is not drive through medicine. It is not a 15 minute encounter. It is a total look at your entire health blueprint. That is holistic the total you. Are any of the conditions below challenging you?

Anti-Aging Age Management Medicine is the new paradigm for the 21st century. It is based on restoring vital function and balance not simply treating symptoms. It is functional medicine the new paradigm. Searching and pinpointing root causes and correcting imbalances. It is goal based. That is achieving your set of goals that you determine.

We have helped thousands over the past 24 years. Now its your time and your turn.

Call us at408-358-8855or email [emailprotected]Read more

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Protein Folding – Chemistry LibreTexts

Introduction and Protein Structure

Proteins have several layers of structure each of which is important in the process of protein folding. The first most basic level of this structure is the sequence of amino acids themselves.1 The sequencing is important because it will determine the types of interactions seen in the protein as it is folding. A novel sequence-based method based on the assumption that protein-protein interactions are more related to amino acids at the surface than those at the core.2 This study shows that not only is the amino acids that are in a protein important but also the order in which they are sequenced. The interactions of the amino acids will determine what the secondary and tertiary structure of the protein will be.

The next layer in protein structure is the secondary structure. The secondary structure includes architectural structures that extend in one dimension.1 Secondary structure includes -Helixes (Figure 1) and -sheets (Figure 2). The -helices, the most common secondary structure in proteins, the peptide CONHgroups in the backbone form chains held together by NH OC hydrogen bonds.3 The -helices form the backbone of proteins and help to aid in the folding process. The -sheets form in two distinct ways. They are able to form in both parallel -pleated sheets and anti parallel -pleated sheets.1 When the -helix or -sheet is formed, the excluded volumes generated by the backbone and side chains overlap, leading to an increase in the total volume available to the translational displacement of water molecules.4 This is important because it leads to a more thermodynamically stable conformation and leads to less strain on the protein as a whole and thus are aided by the conformation.

Figure 1: (left) typical example to an -helix, from Wikimedia CommonsFigure 2: (right) typical example of an -sheet, from Wikimedia Commons

The tertiary structure is the next layer in protein structure. This takes the -Helixes and -sheets and allows them to fold into a three dimensional structure.1 Most proteins take on a globular structure once folded. The description of globular protein structures as an ensemble of contiguous closed loops or tightened end fragments reveals fold elements crucial for the formation of stable structures and for navigating the very process of protein folding.5 The globular proteins generally have a hydrophobic core surrounded by a hydrophilic outer layer. These interactions are important because they lead to the global structure and help create channels and binding sites for enzymes.

The last layer of protein structure is the quaternary structure. The folding transition and the functional transitions between useful states are encoded in the linear sequence of amino acids, and a long- term goal of structural biology is to be able to predict both the structure and function of molecules from the information in the sequence.6 The Subunit organization is the last level of structure in protein molecules.1 The organization of the subunits is important because that determines the types of interactions that can form and dictates its use in the body.

Proteins are folded and held together by several forms of molecular interactions. The molecular interactions include the thermodynamic stability of the complex, the hydrophobic interactions and the disulfide bonds formed in the proteins. The figure below (figure 3) is an example of protein folding.

Figure 3: Protein Folding, from Wikimedia Commons

The biggest factor in a proteins ability to fold is the thermodynamics of the structure. The interaction scheme includes the short-range propensity to form extended conformations, residue-dependent long-range contact potentials, and orientation-dependent hydrogen bonds.7 The thermodynamics are a main stabilizing force within a protein because if it is not in the lowest energy conformation it will continue to move and adjust until it finds its most stable state. The use of energy diagrams and maps are key in finding out when the protein is in the most stable form possible.

The next type of interaction in protein folding is the hydrophobic interactions within the protein. The framework model and the hydrophobic collapse model represent two canonical descriptions of the protein folding process. The first places primary reliance on the short-range interactions of secondary structure and the second assigns greater importance to the long-range interactions of tertiary structure.6 These hydrophobic interactions have an impact not just on the primary structure but then lead to changes seen in the secondary and tertiary structure as well. Globular proteins acquire distinct compact native con- formations in water as a result of the hydrophobic effect.7 When a protein has been folded in the correct way it usually exists with the hydrophobic core as a result of being hydrated by waters in the system around it which is important because it creates a charged core to the protein and can lead to the creation of channels within the protein. The hydrophobic interactions are found to affect time correlation functions in the vicinity of the native state even though they have no impact on same time characteristics of the structure fluctuations around the native state.7 The hydrophobic interactions are shown to have an impact on the protein even after it has found the most stable conformation in how the proteins can interact with each other as well as folding themselves.

Another type of interaction seen when the protein is folding is the disulfide linkages that form in the protein. (See figure 4) The disulfide bond, a sulfur- sulfur chemical bond that results from an oxidative process that links nonadjacent (in most cases) cysteines of a protein.9 These are a major way that proteins get into their folded form. The types of disulfide bonds are cysteine-cysteine linkage is a stable part of their final folded structure and those in which pairs of cysteines alternate between the reduced and oxidized states.9 The more common is the linkages that cause the protein to fold together and link back on itself compared to the cysteines that are changing oxidation states because the bonds between cysteines once created are fairly stable.

Figure 4: Disulfide Bonds, shown in the picture in yellow, from Wikimedia Commons

Proteins can miss function for several reasons. When a protein is miss folded it can lead to denaturation of the protein. Denaturation is the loss of protein structure and function.1 The miss folding does not always lead to complete lack of function but only partial loss of functionality. The miss functioning of proteins can sometimes lead to diseases in the human body.

Alzheimer's Disease (AD) is a neurological degenerative disease that affects around 5 million Americans, including nearly half of those who are age 85 or older.10 The predominant risk factors of AD are age, family history, and heredity. Alzheimers disease typically results in memory loss, confusion of time and place, misplacing places, and changes in mood and behavior.11 AD results in dense plaques in the brain that are comprised of fibrillar -amyloid proteins with a well-orders -sheet secondary structure.12 These plaques visually look like voids in the brain matter (see figure 5) and are directly connected to the deterioration of thought processes. It has been determined that AD is a protein misfolding disease, where the misfolded protein is directly related to the formation of these plaques in the brain.13

Figure 5: Comparison of healthy brain (left) with brian with Alzheimer's (right)From Wikimedia Commons

It is yet to be fully understood what exactly causes this protein misfolding to begin, but several theories point to oxidative stress in the brain to be the initiating factor. This oxidation results in damage to the phospholipids in the brain, which has been found to result in a faster accumulation of amyloid -proteins.14

Figure 6: Beta-Amyloid Plaque Formation, from Wikimedia Commons

Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is a chronic disease that affects 30,000 Americans. The typical affects of CF is a production of thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs and leads to life-threatening lung infection, and obstructs the pancreas preventing proper food processing.15 CF is caused by protein misfolding. This misfolding then results in some change in the protein known as cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), which can result in this potentially fatal disease.16 In approximately 70% of CF cases, a deletion of phenylalanine at position 508 in the CFTR is deleted. This deletion of Phe508 seems to be directly connected to the formation of CF.17 The protein misfolding that results in CF occurs prior to birth, but it is not entirely clear as to why.

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Protein Folding: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – Science …

We often think of proteins as nutrients in the food we eat or the main component of muscles, but proteins are also microscopic molecules inside of cells that perform diverse and vital jobs. With the Human Genome Project complete, scientists are turning their attention to the human proteome, the catalog of all human proteins. This work has shown that the world of proteins is a fascinating one, full of molecules with such intricate shapes and precise functions that they seem almost fanciful.

A proteins function depends on its shape, and when protein formation goes awry, the resulting misshapen proteins cause problems that range from bad, when proteins neglect their important work, to ugly, when they form a sticky, clumpy mess inside of cells. Current research suggests that the world of proteins is far from pristine. Protein formation is an error-prone process, and mistakes along the way have been linked to a number of human diseases.

There are 20,000 to over 100,000 unique types of proteins within a typical human cell. Why so many? Proteins are the workhorses of the cell. Each expertly performs a specific task. Some are structural, lending stiffness and rigidity to muscle cells or long thin neurons, for example. Others bind to specific molecules and shuttle them to new locations, and still others catalyze reactions that allow cells to divide and grow. This wealth of diversity and specificity in function is made possible by a seemingly simple property of proteins: they fold.

A protein starts off in the cell as a long chain of, on average, 300 building blocks called amino acids. There are 22 different types of amino acids, and their ordering determines how the protein chain will fold upon itself. When folding, two types of structures usually form first. Some regions of the protein chain coil up into slinky-like formations called alpha helices, while other regions fold into zigzag patterns called beta sheets, which resemble the folds of a paper fan. These two structures can interact to form more complex structures. For example, in one protein structure, several beta sheets wrap around themselves to form a hollow tube with a few alpha helices jutting out from one end. The tube is short and squat such that the overall structure resembles snakes (alpha helices) emerging from a can (beta sheet tube). A few other protein structures with descriptive names include the beta barrel, the beta propeller, the alpha/beta horseshoe, and the jelly-roll fold.

These complex structures allow proteins to perform their diverse jobs in the cell. The snakes in a can protein, when embedded in a cell membrane, creates a tunnel that allows traffic into and out of cells. Other proteins form shapes with pockets called active sites that are perfectly shaped to bind to a particular molecule, like a lock and key. By folding into distinct shapes, proteins can perform very different roles despite being composed of the same basic building blocks. To draw an analogy, all vehicles are made from steel, but a racecars sleek shape wins races, while a bus, dump truck, crane, or zamboni are each shaped to perform their own unique tasks.

Folding allows a protein to adopt a functional shape, but it is a complex process that sometimes fails. Protein folding can go wrong for three major reasons:

1: A person might possess a mutation that changes an amino acid in the protein chain, making it difficult for a particular protein to find its preferred fold or native state. This is the case for inherited mutations, for example, those leading to cystic fibrosis or sickle cell anemia. These mutations are located in the DNA sequence or gene that encodes one particular protein. Therefore, these types of inherited mutations affect only that particular protein and its related function.

2: On the other hand, protein folding failure can be viewed as an ongoing and more general process that affects many proteins. When proteins are created, the machine that reads the directions from DNA to create the long chains of amino acids can make mistakes. Scientists estimate that this machine, the ribosome, makes mistakes in as many as 1 in every 7 proteins! These mistakes can make the resulting proteins less likely to fold properly.

3: Even if an amino acid chain has no mutations or mistakes, it may still not reach its preferred folded shape simply because proteins do not fold correctly 100% of the time. Protein folding becomes even more difficult if the conditions in the cell, like acidity and temperature, change from those to which the organism is accustomed.

A failure in protein folding causes several known diseases, and scientists hypothesize that many more diseases may be related to folding problems. There are two completely different problems that occur in cells when their proteins do not fold properly.

One type of problem, called loss of function, results when not enough of a particular protein folds properly, causing a shortage of specialized workers needed to do a specific job. For example, imagine that a properly folded protein is perfectly shaped to bind a toxin and break it into less toxic byproducts. Without enough of the properly folded protein available, the toxin will build up to damaging levels. As another example, a protein may be responsible for metabolizing sugar so that the cell can use it for energy. The cell will grow slowly due to lack of energy if not enough of the protein is present in its functional state. The reason the cell gets sick, in these cases, is due to a lack of one specific, properly folded, functional protein. Cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, Marfan syndrome, and some forms of cancer are examples of diseases that result when one type of protein is not able to perform its job. Who knew that one type of protein among tens of thousands could be so important?

Proteins that fold improperly may also impact the health of the cell regardless of the function of the protein. When proteins fail to fold into their functional state, the resulting misfolded proteins can be contorted into shapes that are unfavorable to the crowded cellular environment. Most proteins possess sticky, water-hating amino acids that they bury deep inside their core. Misfolded proteins wear these inner parts on the outside, like a chocolate-covered candy that has been crushed to reveal a gooey caramel center. These misfolded proteins often stick together forming clumps called aggregates. Scientists hypothesize that the accumulation of misfolded proteins plays a role in several neurological diseases, including Alzheimers, Parkinsons, Huntingtons, and Lou Gehrigs (ALS) disease, but scientists are still working to discover exactly how these misfolded, sticky molecules inflict their damage on cells.

One misfolded protein stands out among the rest to deserve special attention. The prion protein in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, also known as mad cow disease, is an example of a misfolded protein gone rogue. This protein is not only irreversibly misfolded, but it converts other functional proteins into its twisted state.

Recent research shows that protein misfolding happens frequently inside of cells. Fortunately, cells are accustomed to coping with this problem and have several systems in place to refold or destroy aberrant protein formations.

Chaperones are one such system. Appropriately named, they accompany proteins through the folding process, improving a proteins chances of folding properly and even allowing some misfolded proteins the opportunity to refold. Interestingly, chaperones are proteins themselves! There are many different types of chaperones. Some cater specifically to helping one type of protein fold, while others act more generally. Some chaperones are shaped like large hollow chambers and provide proteins with a safe space, isolated from other molecules, in which to fold. Production of several chaperones is boosted when a cell encounters high temperatures or other conditions making protein folding more difficult, thus earning these chaperones the alias, heat shock proteins.

Another line of cell defense against misfolded proteins is called the proteasome. If misfolded proteins linger in the cell, they will be targeted for destruction by this machine, which chews up proteins and spits them out as small fragments of amino acids. The proteasome is like a recycling center, allowing the cell to reuse amino acids to make more proteins. The proteasome itself is not one protein but many acting together. Proteins frequently interact to form larger structures with important cellular functions. For example, the tail of a human sperm is a structure composed of many types of proteins that work together to form a complex rotary engine that propels the sperm forward.

Why is it that some misfolded proteins are able to evade systems like chaperones and the proteasome? How can sticky misfolded proteins cause the neurodegenerative diseases listed above? Do some proteins misfold more often than others? These questions are at the forefront of current research seeking to understand basic protein biology and the diseases that result when protein folding goes awry.

The wide world of proteins, with its great assortment of shapes, bestows cells with capabilities that allow for life to exist and allow for its diversity (e.g., the differences between eye, skin, lung or heart cells, and the differences between species). Perhaps for this reason, the word protein is from the Greek word protas, meaning of primary importance.

Contributed by Kerry Geiler, a 4th year Ph.D student in the Harvard Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology

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Vegetarianism – Wikipedia

Practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat

Vegetarianism is the practice of abstaining from the consumption of meat (red meat, poultry, seafood, and the flesh of any other animal), and may also include abstention from by-products of animals processed for food.[1][2]

Vegetarianism may be adopted for various reasons. Many people object to eating meat out of respect for sentient life. Such ethical motivations have been codified under various religious beliefs, as well as animal rights advocacy. Other motivations for vegetarianism are health-related, political, environmental, cultural, aesthetic, economic, or personal preference. There are variations of the diet as well: an ovo-lacto vegetarian diet includes both eggs and dairy products, an ovo-vegetarian diet includes eggs but not dairy products, and a lacto-vegetarian diet includes dairy products but not eggs. A strict vegetarian diet referred to as vegan excludes all animal products, including eggs and dairy. Some vegans even eschew honey, believing that exploiting the labor of bees and harvesting their energy source is immoral, even feeling that beekeeping operations can harm and even kill bees.[3]Avoidance of animal products may require dietary supplements to prevent deficiencies such as vitamin B12 deficiency, which leads to pernicious anemia.[4][5]

Packaged and processed foods, such as cakes, cookies, candies, chocolate, yogurt, and marshmallows, often contain unfamiliar animal ingredients, and so may be a special concern for vegetarians due to the likelihood of such additives.[2][6] Feelings among vegetarians may vary concerning these ingredients. Some vegetarians scrutinize product labels for animal-derived ingredients[6] while others do not object to consuming cheese made with animal-derived rennet.[2] Some vegetarians are unaware of animal-derived rennet being used in the production of cheese.[2][7][8]

Semi-vegetarian diets consist largely of vegetarian foods but may include fish or poultry, or sometimes other meats, on an infrequent basis. Those with diets containing fish or poultry may define meat only as mammalian flesh and may identify with vegetarianism.[9][10] A pescetarian diet has been described as "fish but no other meat".[11] The common-use association between such diets and vegetarianism has led vegetarian groups such as the Vegetarian Society to state that diets containing these ingredients are not vegetarian, because fish and birds are also animals.[12]

The first written use of the term "vegetarian" originated in the early 19th century, when authors referred to a vegetable regimen diet.[13] Modern dictionaries explain its origin as a compound of vegetable (adjective) and the suffix -arian (in the sense of agrarian).[14] The term was popularized with the foundation of the Vegetarian Society in Manchester in 1847,[15] although it may have appeared in print before 1847.[15][16][17] The earliest occurrences of the term seem to be related to Alcott Housea school on the north side of Ham Common, Londonwhich was opened in July 1838 by James Pierrepont Greaves.[16][17][18] From 1841, it was known as A Concordium, or Industry Harmony College, from which time the institution began to publish its own pamphlet entitled The Healthian, which provides some of the earliest appearances of the term "vegetarian".[16]

India is a strange country. People do not killany living creatures, do not keep pigs and fowl,and do not sell live cattle.

Faxian, 4th/5th century CEChinese pilgrim to India[19]

The earliest record of vegetarianism comes from the 7th century BCE,[20] inculcating tolerance towards all living beings.[21][22] Parshwanatha and Mahavira, the 23rd & 24th tirthankaras in Jainism respectively revived and advocated ahimsa and Jain vegetarianism in 8th to 6th century BC; the most comprehensive and strictest form of vegetarianism.[23][24][25] Vegetarianism was also practiced in ancient Greece and the earliest reliable evidence for vegetarian theory and practice in Greece dates from the 6th century BC. The Orphics, a religious movement spreading in Greece at that time, also practiced and promoted vegetarianism.[26] Greek teacher Pythagoras, who promoted the altruistic doctrine of metempsychosis, may have practiced vegetarianism,[27] but is also recorded as eating meat.[28] A fictionalized portrayal of Pythagoras appears in Ovid's Metamorphoses, in which he advocates a form of strict vegetarianism.[29] It was through this portrayal that Pythagoras was best known to English-speakers throughout the early modern period and, prior to the coinage of the word "vegetarianism", vegetarians were referred to in English as "Pythagoreans".[29]

Vegetarianism was also practiced about six centuries later in another instance (30BCE50CE) in the northern Thracian region by the Moesi tribe (who inhabited present-day Serbia and Bulgaria), feeding themselves on honey, milk, and cheese.[30]

In Indian culture, vegetarianism has been closely connected with the attitude of nonviolence towards animals (called ahimsa in India) for millennia and was promoted by religious groups and philosophers.[31] The ancient Indian work of Tirukkural explicitly and unambiguously emphasizes shunning meat and non-killing.[32] Chapter 26 of the Tirukkural, particularly couplets 251260, deals exclusively on vegetarianism or veganism.[32] Among the Hellenes, Egyptians, and others, vegetarianism had medical or ritual purification purposes.

Following the Christianization of the Roman Empire in late antiquity, vegetarianism practically disappeared from Europe, as it did elsewhere, except in India.[34] Several orders of monks in medieval Europe restricted or banned the consumption of meat for ascetic reasons, but none of them eschewed fish.[35] Moreover, the medieval definition of "fish" included such animals as seals, porpoises, dolphins, barnacle geese, puffins, and beavers.[36] Vegetarianism re-emerged during the Renaissance,[37] becoming more widespread in the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1847, the first Vegetarian Society was founded in the United Kingdom;[38] Germany, the Netherlands, and other countries followed. In 1886, the vegetarian colony Nueva Germania was founded in Paraguay, though its vegetarian aspect would prove short-lived.[39]:345358 The International Vegetarian Union, an association of the national societies, was founded in 1908. In the Western world, the popularity of vegetarianism grew during the 20th century as a result of nutritional, ethical, andmore recentlyenvironmental and economic concerns.

There are a number of vegetarian diets that exclude or include various foods:

Within the "ovo-" groups, there are many who refuse to consume fertilized eggs (with balut being an extreme example); however, such distinction is typically not specifically addressed.

Some vegetarians also avoid products that may use animal ingredients not included in their labels or which use animal products in their manufacturing. For example, sugars that are whitened with bone char, cheeses that use animal rennet (enzymes from animal stomach lining), gelatin (derived from the collagen inside animals' skin, bones, and connective tissue), some cane sugar (but not beet sugar) and beverages (such as apple juice and alcohol) clarified with gelatin or crushed shellfish and sturgeon, while other vegetarians are unaware of, or do not mind, such ingredients.[2][6][7] In the 21st century, 90% of rennet and chymosin used in cheesemaking are derived from industrial fermentation processes, which satisfy both kosher and halal requirements.[42]

Individuals sometimes label themselves "vegetarian" while practicing a semi-vegetarian diet,[10][43][44] as some dictionary definitions describe vegetarianism as sometimes including the consumption of fish,[9] or only include mammalian flesh as part of their definition of meat,[9][45] while other definitions exclude fish and all animal flesh.[12] In other cases, individuals may describe themselves as "flexitarian".[43][46]These diets may be followed by those who reduce animal flesh consumed as a way of transitioning to a complete vegetarian diet or for health, ethical, environmental, or other reasons. Semi-vegetarian diets include:

Semi-vegetarianism is contested by vegetarian groups, such as the Vegetarian Society, which states that vegetarianism excludes all animal flesh.[12]

On average, vegetarians consume a lower proportion of calories from fat (particularly saturated fatty acids), fewer overall calories, more fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, than do non-vegetarians. Vegetarians generally have a lower body mass index. These characteristics and other lifestyle factors associated with a vegetarian diet may contribute to the positive health outcomes that have been identified among vegetarians.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 A report issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services[47]

Studies on the health effects of vegetarian diets observe mixed effects on mortality. One review found a decreased overall risk of all cause mortality, cancer (except breast) and cardiovascular disease;[48] however, a meta-analysis found lower risk for ischemic heart disease and cancer but no effect on overall mortality or cerebrovascular disease.[49] Possible limitations include varying definitions used of vegetarianism, and the observation of increased risk of lung cancer mortality in those on a vegetarian diet for less than five years.[49] An analysis pooling two large studies found vegetarians in the UK have similar all cause mortality as meat eaters.[50]

The American Dietetic Association has stated that at all stages of life, a properly planned vegetarian diet can be "healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may be beneficial in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases."[51] Vegetarian diets offer lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol and animal protein, and higher levels of carbohydrates, fibre, magnesium, potassium, folate, and antioxidants such as vitamins C and E and phytochemicals.[52][53]

Vegetarian diets have been studied to see whether they are of benefit in treating arthritis, but no good supporting evidence has been found.[54]

As of 2011[update] the relationship between vegetarian diet and bone health was unclear. According to some studies, a vegetarian lifestyle can be associated with vitamin B 12 deficiency and low bone mineral density.[55] However, a study of vegetarian and non-vegetarian adults in Taiwan found no significant difference in bone mineral density between the two groups.[56]

Vegetarian diets might reduce the risk of developing diabetes.[57] There is some evidence that a vegetarian diet may help people with type 2 diabetes achieve glycemic control.[58]

The American Dietetic Association discussed that vegetarian diets may be more common among adolescents with eating disorders, indicating that vegetarian diets do not cause eating disorders, but rather "vegetarian diets may be selected to camouflage an existing eating disorder".[59]

Vegetarian diets may lower the risk of heart disease, as well as reduce the need for medications prescribed for chronic illnesses.[60]

There have been many comparative and statistical studies of the relationship between diet and longevity, including vegetarianism and longevity.

A 1999 metastudy combined data from five studies from western countries.[61] The metastudy reported mortality ratios, where lower numbers indicated fewer deaths, for fish eaters to be 0.82, vegetarians to be 0.84, occasional meat eaters (eat meat less than once per week) to be 0.84. Regular meat eaters had the base mortality rate of 1.0, while the number for vegans was very uncertain (anywhere between 0.7 and 1.44) due to too few data points. The study reported the numbers of deaths in each category, and expected error ranges for each ratio, and adjustments made to the data. However, the "lower mortality was due largely to the relatively low prevalence of smoking in these [vegetarian] cohorts". Out of the major causes of death studied, only one difference in mortality rate was attributed to the difference in diet, as the conclusion states: "...vegetarians had a 24% lower mortality from ischaemic heart disease than non-vegetarians, but no associations of a vegetarian diet with other major causes of death were established".[61]

In Mortality in British vegetarians,[62] a similar conclusion is drawn:

British vegetarians have low mortality compared with the general population. Their death rates are similar to those of comparable non-vegetarians, suggesting that much of this benefit may be attributed to non-dietary lifestyle factors such as a low prevalence of smoking and a generally high socio-economic status, or to aspects of the diet other than the avoidance of meat and fish."[63]

The Adventist Health Studies is ongoing research that documents the life expectancy in Seventh-day Adventists. This is the only study among others with similar methodology which had favourable indication for vegetarianism. The researchers found that a combination of different lifestyle choices could influence life expectancy by as much as 10 years. Among the lifestyle choices investigated, a vegetarian diet was estimated to confer an extra 11/2 to 2 years of life. The researchers concluded that "the life expectancies of California Adventist men and women are higher than those of any other well-described natural population" at 78.5 years for men and 82.3 years for women. The life expectancy of California Adventists surviving to age 30 was 83.3 years for men and 85.7 years for women.[64]

The Adventist health study is again incorporated into a metastudy titled "Does low meat consumption increase life expectancy in humans?" published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, which concluded that low meat eating (less than once per week) and other lifestyle choices significantly increase life expectancy, relative to a group with high meat intake. The study concluded that "The findings from one cohort of healthy adults raises the possibility that long-term ( 2 decades) adherence to a vegetarian diet can further produce a significant 3.6-y increase in life expectancy." However, the study also concluded that "Some of the variation in the survival advantage in vegetarians may have been due to marked differences between studies in adjustment for confounders, the definition of vegetarian, measurement error, age distribution, the healthy volunteer effect, and intake of specific plant foods by the vegetarians." It further states that "This raises the possibility that a low-meat, high plant-food dietary pattern may be the true causal protective factor rather than simply elimination of meat from the diet." In a recent review of studies relating low-meat diet patterns to all-cause mortality, Singh noted that "5 out of 5 studies indicated that adults who followed a low meat, high plant-food diet pattern experienced significant or marginally significant decreases in mortality risk relative to other patterns of intake."[65]

Statistical studies, such as comparing life expectancy with regional areas and local diets in Europe also have found life expectancy considerably greater in southern France, where a low meat, high plant Mediterranean diet is common, than northern France, where a diet with high meat content is more common.[66]

A study by the Institute of Preventive and Clinical Medicine, and Institute of Physiological Chemistry looked at a group of 19 vegetarians (lacto-ovo) and used as a comparison a group of 19 omnivorous subjects recruited from the same region. The study found that this group of vegetarians (lacto-ovo) have a significantly higher amount of plasma carboxymethyllysine and advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) compared to this group of non-vegetarians.[67] Carboxymethyllysine is a glycation product which represents "a general marker of oxidative stress and long-term damage of proteins in aging, atherosclerosis and diabetes" and "[a]dvanced glycation end products (AGEs) may play an important adverse role in process of atherosclerosis, diabetes, aging and chronic renal failure".[67]

A strict vegetarian diet avoiding consumption of all animal products risks vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to hyperhomocysteinemia, a risk factor for several health disorders, including anemia, neurological deficits, gastrointestinal problems, platelet disorders, and increased risk for cardiovascular diseases.[4][5] This risk may be offset by ensuring sufficient intake of vitamin B12 by consuming fortified foods with vitamin B12 added during manufacturing, or by using a dietary supplement product.[4][5][48]

Western vegetarian diets are typically high in carotenoids, but relatively low in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12.[68] Vegans can have particularly low intake of vitamin B and calcium if they do not eat enough items such as collard greens, leafy greens, tempeh and tofu (soy).[69] High levels of dietary fiber, folic acid, vitamins C and E, and magnesium, and low consumption of saturated fat are all considered to be beneficial aspects of a vegetarian diet.[70] A well planned vegetarian diet will provide all nutrients in a meat-eater's diet to the same level for all stages of life.[71]

Protein intake in vegetarian diets is lower than in meat diets but can meet the daily requirements for most people.[72] Studies at Harvard University as well as other studies conducted in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and various European countries,confirmed vegetarian diets provide sufficient protein intake as long as a variety of plant sources are available and consumed.[73]

Vegetarian diets typically contain similar levels of iron to non-vegetarian diets, but this has lower bioavailability than iron from meat sources, and its absorption can sometimes be inhibited by other dietary constituents.[74] According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, consuming food that contains vitamin C, such as citrus fruit or juices, tomatoes, or broccoli, is a good way to increase the amount of iron absorbed at a meal.[75] Vegetarian foods rich in iron include black beans, cashews, hempseed, kidney beans, broccoli, lentils, oatmeal, raisins, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, black-eyed peas, soybeans, many breakfast cereals, sunflower seeds, chickpeas, tomato juice, tempeh, molasses, thyme, and whole-wheat bread.[76] The related vegan diets can often be higher in iron than vegetarian diets, because dairy products are low in iron.[70] Iron stores often tend to be lower in vegetarians than non-vegetarians, and a few small studies report very high rates of iron deficiency (up to 40%,[77] and 58%[78] of the respective vegetarian or vegan groups). However, the American Dietetic Association states that iron deficiency is no more common in vegetarians than non-vegetarians (adult males are rarely iron deficient); iron deficiency anaemia is rare no matter the diet.[79]

Vitamin B12 is not generally present in plants but is naturally found in foods of animal origin.[4][80] Lacto-ovo vegetarians can obtain B12 from dairy products and eggs, and vegans can obtain it from manufactured fortified foods (including plant-based products and breakfast cereals) and dietary supplements.[4][81][82]

The recommended daily dietary intake of B12 in the United States and Canada is 0.4 mcg (ages 06 months), rising to 1.8 mcg (913 years), 2.4 mcg (14+ years), and 2.8 mcg (lactating female).[80] While the body's daily requirement for vitamin B12 is in microgram amounts, deficiency of the vitamin through strict practice of a vegetarian diet without supplementation can increase the risk of several chronic diseases.[4][5][80]

Plant-based, or vegetarian, sources of Omega 3 fatty acids include soy, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, canola oil, kiwifruit, hempseed, algae, chia seed, flaxseed, echium seed and leafy vegetables such as lettuce, spinach, cabbage and purslane. Purslane contains more Omega 3 than any other known leafy green. Olives (and olive oil) are another important plant source of unsaturated fatty acids. Plant foods can provide alpha-linolenic acid which the human body uses to synthesize the long-chain n-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA. EPA and DHA can be obtained directly in high amounts from oily fish or fish oils. Vegetarians, and particularly vegans, have lower levels of EPA and DHA than meat-eaters. While the health effects of low levels of EPA and DHA are unknown, it is unlikely that supplementation with alpha-linolenic acid will significantly increase levels.[83][clarification needed] Recently, some companies have begun to market vegetarian DHA supplements containing seaweed extracts. Whole seaweeds are not suitable for supplementation because their high iodine content limits the amount that may be safely consumed. However, certain algae such as spirulina are good sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), linoleic acid (LA), stearidonic acid (SDA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and arachidonic acid (AA).[84][85]

Calcium intake in vegetarians and vegans can be similar to non-vegetarians, as long as the diet is properly planned.[86] Lacto-ovo vegetarians that include dairy products can still obtain calcium from dairy sources like milk, yogurt, and cheese.[87]

Non-dairy milks that are fortified with calcium, such as soymilk and almond milk can also contribute a significant amount of calcium in the diet.[88] The calcium found in broccoli, bok choy, and kale have also been found to have calcium that is well absorbed in the body.[86][87][89] Though the calcium content per serving is lower in these vegetables than a glass of milk, the absorption of the calcium into the body is higher.[87][89] Other foods that contain calcium include calcium-set tofu, blackstrap molasses, turnip greens, mustard greens, soybeans, tempeh, almonds, okra, dried figs, and tahini.[86][88] Though calcium can be found in Spinach, swiss chard, beans and beet greens, they are generally not considered to be a good source since the calcium binds to oxalic acid and is poorly absorbed into the body.[87] Phytic acid found in nuts, seeds, and beans may also impact calcium absorption rates.[87] See the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements for calcium needs for various ages,[87] the Vegetarian Resource Group[88] and the Vegetarian Nutrition Calcium Fact Sheet from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics[86] for more specifics on how to obtain adequate calcium intake on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Vitamin D needs can be met via the human body's own generation upon sufficient and sensible exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light in sunlight.[90][91] Products including milk, soy milk and cereal grains may be fortified to provide a source of Vitamin D.[92] For those who do not get adequate sun exposure or food sources, Vitamin D supplementation may be necessary.

Vitamin D2, or ergocalciferol is found in fungus (except alfalfa which is a plantae) and created from viosterol, which in turn is created when ultraviolet light activates ergosterol (which is found in fungi and named as a sterol from ergot). Any UV-irradiated fungus including yeast form vitamin D2.[95] Human bioavailability of vitamin D2 from vitamin D2-enhanced button mushrooms via UV-B irradiation is effective in improving vitamin D status and not different from a vitamin D2 supplement according to study.[96] For example, Vitamin D2 from UV-irradiated yeast baked into bread is bioavailable.[97]By visual assessment or using a chromometer, no significant discoloration of irradiated mushrooms, as measured by the degree of "whiteness", was observed[98] making it hard to discover if they have been treated without labeling. Claims have been made that a normal serving (approx. 3 oz or 1/2 cup, or 60 grams) of mushrooms treated with ultraviolet light increase their vitamin D content to levels up to 80 micrograms,[99] or 2700 IU if exposed to just 5 minutes of UV light after being harvested.[100]

Various ethical reasons have been suggested for choosing vegetarianism, usually predicated on the interests of non-human animals. In many societies, controversy and debate have arisen over the ethics of eating animals. Some people, while not vegetarians, refuse to eat the flesh of certain animals due to cultural taboo, such as cats, dogs, horses or rabbits. Others support meat eating for scientific, nutritional and cultural reasons, including religious ones. Some meat eaters abstain from the meat of animals reared in particular ways, such as factory farms, or avoid certain meats, such as veal or foie gras. Some people follow vegetarian or vegan diets not because of moral concerns involving the raising or consumption of animals in general, but because of concerns about the specific treatment and practices involved in the processing of animals for food. Others still avoid meat because meat production is claimed to place a greater burden on the environment than production of an equivalent amount of plant protein. Ethical objections based on consideration for animals are generally divided into opposition to the act of killing in general, and opposition to certain agricultural practices surrounding the production of meat.

Ethical vegetarians believe that killing an animal, like killing a human, especially one who has equal or lesser cognitive abilities than the animals in question, can only be justified in extreme circumstances and that consuming a living creature for its enjoyable taste, convenience, or nutrition value is not a sufficient cause.[101] Another common view is that humans are morally conscious of their behavior in a way other animals are not, and therefore subject to higher standards.[102] One author proposes that denying the right to life and humane treatment to animals with equal or greater cognitive abilities than mentally disabled humans is an arbitrary and discriminatory practice based on habit instead of logic.[103] Opponents of ethical vegetarianism argue that animals are not moral equals to humans and so consider the comparison of eating livestock with killing people to be fallacious. This view does not excuse cruelty, but maintains that animals do not possess the rights a human has.[104]

One of the main differences between a vegan and a typical vegetarian diet is the avoidance of both eggs and dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter and yogurt. Ethical vegans do not consume dairy or eggs because they state that their production causes the animal suffering or a premature death.[105]

To produce milk from dairy cattle, farmers separate calves from their mothers soon after birth or fed milk replacer to retain cow milk for human consumption.[106] To prolong lactation, dairy cows are almost permanently kept pregnant through artificial insemination.[106] After about five years, once the cow's milk production has dropped, it is considered "spent" and processed for beef and hide. A dairy cow's natural life expectancy is about twenty years.[105]

In battery cage and free-range egg production, unwanted male chicks are culled or discarded at birth during the process of securing a further generation of egg-laying hens.[107]

Ethical vegetarianism has become popular in developed countries particularly because of the spread of factory farming, faster communications, and environmental consciousness. Some believe that the current mass demand for meat cannot be satisfied without a mass-production system that disregards the welfare of animals, while others believe that practices like well-managed free-ranging and consumption of game, particularly from species whose natural predators have been significantly eliminated, could substantially alleviate the demand for mass-produced meat.[108]

Jainism teaches vegetarianism as moral conduct as do some major[109] sects of Hinduism. Buddhism in general does not prohibit meat eating, while Mahayana Buddhism encourages vegetarianism as beneficial for developing compassion.[110] Other denominations that advocate a vegetarian diet include the Seventh-day Adventists, the Rastafari movement, the Ananda Marga movement and the Hare Krishnas. Sikhism[111][112][113] does not equate spirituality with diet and does not specify a vegetarian or meat diet.[114]

While there are no dietary restrictions in the Bah' faith, `Abdu'l-Bah, the son of the religion's founder, noted that a vegetarian diet consisting of fruits and grains was desirable, except for people with a weak constitution or those that are sick.[115] He stated that there are no requirements that Bah's become vegetarian, but that a future society should gradually become vegetarian.[115][116][117] `Abdu'l-Bah also stated that killing animals was contrary to compassion.[115] While Shoghi Effendi, the head of the Bah' Faith in the first half of the 20th century, stated that a purely vegetarian diet would be preferable since it avoided killing animals,[118] both he and the Universal House of Justice, the governing body of the Bah's have stated that these teachings do not constitute a Bah' practice and that Bah's can choose to eat whatever they wish but should be respectful of others' beliefs.[115]

Theravadins in general eat meat.[119] If Buddhist monks "see, hear or know" a living animal was killed specifically for them to eat, they must refuse it or else incur an offense.[120] However, this does not include eating meat which was given as alms or commercially purchased. In the Theravada canon, Buddha did not make any comment discouraging them from eating meat (except specific types, such as human, elephant meat, horse, dog, snake, lion, tiger, leopard, bear, and hyena flesh[121]) but he specifically refused to institute vegetarianism in his monastic code when a suggestion had been made.[122][123]

In several Sanskrit texts of Mahayana Buddhism, Buddha instructs his followers to avoid meat.[124][125][126][127] However, each branch of Mahayana Buddhism selects which sutra to follow, and some branches, including the majority of Tibetan and Japanese Buddhists, do eat meat, while many Chinese Buddhist branches do not.

Early Christians disagreed as to whether they should eat meat, and later Christian historians have disagreed over whether Jesus was a vegetarian.[128][129][130] Various groups within Christianity have practiced specific dietary restrictions for various reasons.[131] The Council of Jerusalem in around 50 AD, recommended Christians keep following some of the Jewish food laws concerning meat. The early sect known as the Ebionites are considered to have practiced vegetarianism. Surviving fragments from their Gospel indicate their belief that as Christ is the Passover sacrifice and eating the Passover lamb is no longer required a vegetarian diet may (or should) be observed. However, orthodox Christianity does not accept their teaching as authentic. Indeed, their specific injunction to strict vegetarianism was cited as one of the Ebionites' "errors".[132][133]

At a much later time, the Bible Christian Church founded by Reverend William Cowherd in 1809 followed a vegetarian diet.[134] Cowherd was one of the philosophical forerunners of the Vegetarian Society.[135] Cowherd encouraged members to abstain from eating of meat as a form of temperance.[136]

Seventh-day Adventists are encouraged to engage in healthy eating practices, and ova-lacto-vegetarian diets are recommended by the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Nutrition Council (GCNC). They have also sponsored and participated in many scientific studies exploring the impact of dietary decisions upon health outcomes.[137] The GCNC has in addition adapted the USDA's food pyramid for a vegetarian dietary approach.[137][138] However, the only kinds of meat specifically frowned upon by the SDA health message are unclean meats, or those forbidden in scripture.[139]

Additionally, some monastic orders follow a vegetarian diet, and members of the Orthodox Church follow a vegan diet during fasts.[140] There is also a strong association between the Quakers and vegetarianism dating back at least to the 18th century. The association grew in prominence during the 19th century, coupled with growing Quaker concerns in connection with alcohol consumption, anti-vivisection and social purity. The association between the Quaker tradition and vegetarianism, however, becomes most significant with the founding of the Friends' Vegetarian Society in 1902 "to spread a kindlier way of living amongst the Society of Friends."[141]

According to Canon Law, Roman Catholics ages 14 and older are required to abstain from meat (defined as all mammal and fowl flesh and organs, excluding water animals) on Ash Wednesday and all Fridays of Lent including Good Friday. Canon Law also obliges Catholics to abstain from meat on the Fridays of the year outside of Lent (excluding certain holy days) unless, with the permission of the local conference of bishops, another penitential act is substituted. The restrictions on eating meat on these days is solely as an act of penance and not because of a religious objection to eating meat.[142]

Since the formation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in the 1860s when the church began, wholeness and health have been an emphasis of the Adventist church, and has been known as the "health message" belief of the church.[143] Adventists are well known for presenting a health message that recommends vegetarianism and expects adherence to the kosher laws in Leviticus 11. Obedience to these laws means abstinence from pork, shellfish, and other animals proscribed as "unclean". The church discourages its members from consuming alcoholic beverages, tobacco or illegal drugs (compare Christianity and alcohol). In addition, some Adventists avoid coffee, tea, cola, and other beverages containing caffeine.

The pioneers of the Adventist Church had much to do with the common acceptance of breakfast cereals into the Western diet, and the "modern commercial concept of cereal food" originated among Adventists.[144] John Harvey Kellogg was one of the early founders of Adventist health work. His development of breakfast cereals as a health food led to the founding of Kellogg's by his brother William. In both Australia and New Zealand, the church-owned Sanitarium Health and Wellbeing Company is a leading manufacturer of health and vegetarian-related products, most prominently Weet-Bix.

Research funded by the U.S. National Institutes of Health has shown that the average Adventist in California lives 4 to 10 years longer than the average Californian. The research, as cited by the cover story of the November 2005 issue of National Geographic, asserts that Adventists live longer because they do not smoke or drink alcohol, have a day of rest every week, and maintain a healthy, low-fat vegetarian diet that is rich in nuts and beans.[145][146] The cohesiveness of Adventists' social networks has also been put forward as an explanation for their extended lifespan.[147]Since Dan Buettner's 2005 National Geographic story about Adventist longevity, his book, The Blue Zones: Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who've Lived the Longest, named Loma Linda, California a "blue zone" because of the large concentration of Seventh-day Adventists. He cites the Adventist emphasis on health, diet, and Sabbath-keeping as primary factors for Adventist longevity.[148][149]

An estimated 35% of Adventists practice vegetarianism or veganism, according to a 2002 worldwide survey of local church leaders.[150][151]

Illustrative of vegetarian Hindu meals.

Though there is no strict rule on what to consume and what not to, paths of Hinduism hold vegetarianism as an ideal. Some reasons are: the principle of nonviolence (ahimsa) applied to animals;[152] the intention to offer only "pure" (vegetarian) food to a deity and then to receive it back as prasad; and the conviction that a sattvic diet is beneficial for a healthy body and mind and that non-vegetarian food is not recommended for a better mind and for spiritual development.

However, the food habits of Hindus vary according to their community, location, custom and varying traditions. Historically and currently, those Hindus who eat meat prescribe Jhatka meat,[153] Hindus believe that the cow is a holy animal whose processing for meat is forbidden.[154]

Some followers of Islam, or Muslims, chose to be vegetarian for health, ethical, or personal reasons. However, the choice to become vegetarian for non-medical reasons can sometimes be controversial due to conflicting fatwas and differing interpretations of the Quran. Though some more traditional Muslims may keep quiet about their vegetarian diet, the number of vegetarian Muslims is increasing.[155][156]

Vegetarianism has been practiced by some influential Muslims including the Iraqi theologian, female mystic and poet Rabia of Basra, who died in the year 801, and the Sri Lankan Sufi master Bawa Muhaiyaddeen, who established The Bawa Muhaiyaddeen Fellowship of North America in Philadelphia. The former Indian president Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam was also famously a vegetarian.[157]

In January 1996, The International Vegetarian Union announced the formation of the Muslim Vegetarian/Vegan Society.[158]

Many non-vegetarian Muslims will select vegetarian (or seafood) options when dining in non-halal restaurants. However, this is a matter of not having the right kind of meat rather than preferring not to eat meat on the whole.[156]

Followers of Jainism believe that all living organisms whether they are micro-organism are living and have a soul, and have one or more senses out of five senses and they go to great lengths to minimise any harm to any living organism. Most Jains are lacto-vegetarians but more devout Jains do not eat root vegetables because they believe that root vegetables contain a lot more micro-organisms as compared to other vegetables, and that, by eating them, violence of these micro-organisms is inevitable. So they focus on eating beans and fruits, whose cultivation do not involve killing of a lot of micro-organisms. No products obtained from dead animals are allowed, because when a living beings dies, a lot of micro-organisms (called as decomposers) will reproduce in the body which decomposes the body, and in eating the dead bodies, violence of decomposers is inevitable. Jain monks usually do a lot of fasting, and when they knew through spiritual powers that their life is very little, they start fasting until death.[159][160] Some particularly dedicated individuals are fruitarians.[161] Honey is forbidden, because honey is the regurgitation of nectar by bees [162] and may also contain eggs, excreta and dead bees. Some Jains do not consume plant parts that grow underground such as roots and bulbs, because the plants themselves and tiny animals may be killed when the plants are pulled up.[163]

While classical Jewish law neither requires nor prohibits the consumption of meat, Jewish vegetarians often cite Jewish principles regarding animal welfare, environmental ethics, moral character, and health as reasons for adopting a vegetarian or vegan diet.[164][165]

Rabbis may advocate vegetarianism or veganism primarily because of concerns about animal welfare, especially in light of the traditional prohibition on causing unnecessary "pain to living creatures" (tza'ar ba'alei hayyim).[166]

Jewish vegetarian groups and activists believe that the halakhic permission to eat meat is a temporary leniency for those who are not ready yet to accept the vegetarian diet.[167]

Jewish vegetarianism and veganism have become especially popular among Israeli Jews. In 2016, Israel was described as "the most vegan country on Earth", as five percent of its population eschewed all animal products.[168] Interest in veganism has grown among both non-Orthodox and Orthodox Jews in Israel.[169]

Within the Afro-Caribbean community, a minority are Rastafari and follow the dietary regulations with varying degrees of strictness. The most orthodox eat only "Ital" or natural foods, in which the matching of herbs or spices with vegetables is the result of long tradition originating from the African ancestry and cultural heritage of Rastafari.[170] "Ital", which is derived from the word vital, means essential to human existence. Ital cooking in its strictest form prohibits the use of salt, meat (especially pork), preservatives, colorings, flavorings and anything artificial.[171] Most Rastafari are vegetarian.[172]

The tenets of Sikhism do not advocate a particular stance on either vegetarianism or the consumption of meat,[173][174][175][176] but leave the decision of diet to the individual.[177] The tenth guru, Guru Gobind Singh, however, prohibited "Amritdhari" Sikhs, or those that follow the Sikh Rehat Maryada (the Official Sikh Code of Conduct)[178] from eating Kutha meat, or meat which has been obtained from animals which have been killed in a ritualistic way. This is understood to have been for the political reason of maintaining independence from the then-new Muslim hegemony, as Muslims largely adhere to the ritualistic halal diet.[173][177]

"Amritdharis" that belong to some Sikh sects (e.g. Akhand Kirtani Jatha, Damdami Taksal, Namdhari[179] and Rarionwalay,[180] etc.) are vehemently against the consumption of meat and eggs (though they do consume and encourage the consumption of milk, butter and cheese).[181] This vegetarian stance has been traced back to the times of the British Raj, with the advent of many new Vaishnava converts.[177] In response to the varying views on diet throughout the Sikh population, Sikh Gurus have sought to clarify the Sikh view on diet, stressing their preference only for simplicity of diet. Guru Nanak said that over-consumption of food (Lobh, Greed) involves a drain on the Earth's resources and thus on life.[182][183] Passages from the Guru Granth Sahib (the holy book of Sikhs, also known as the Adi Granth) say that it is "foolish" to argue for the superiority of animal life, because though all life is related, only human life carries more importance: "Only fools argue whether to eat meat or not. Who can define what is meat and what is not meat? Who knows where the sin lies, being a vegetarian or a non-vegetarian?"[177] The Sikh langar, or free temple meal, is largely lacto-vegetarian, though this is understood to be a result of efforts to present a meal that is respectful of the diets of any person who would wish to dine, rather than out of dogma.[176][177]

Environmental vegetarianism is based on the concern that the production of meat and animal products for mass consumption, especially through factory farming, is environmentally unsustainable. According to a 2006 United Nations initiative, the livestock industry is one of the largest contributors to environmental degradation worldwide, and modern practices of raising animals for food contribute on a "massive scale" to air and water pollution, land degradation, climate change, and loss of biodiversity. The initiative concluded that "the livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global."[184]

In addition, animal agriculture is a large source of greenhouse gases. According to a 2006 report it is responsible for 18% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions as estimated in 100-year CO2 equivalents. Livestock sources (including enteric fermentation and manure) account for about 3.1 percent of US anthropogenic GHG emissions expressed as carbon dioxide equivalents.[185] This EPA estimate is based on methodologies agreed to by the Conference of Parties of the UNFCCC, with 100-year global warming potentials from the IPCC Second Assessment Report used in estimating GHG emissions as carbon dioxide equivalents.

Meat produced in a laboratory (called in vitro meat) may be more environmentally sustainable than regularly produced meat.[186] Reactions of vegetarians vary.[187] Rearing a relatively small number of grazing animals can be beneficial, as the Food Climate Research Network at Surrey University reports: "A little bit of livestock production is probably a good thing for the environment".[188]

In May 2009, Ghent, Belgium, was reported to be "the first [city] in the world to go vegetarian at least once a week" for environmental reasons, when local authorities decided to implement a "weekly meatless day". Civil servants would eat vegetarian meals one day per week, in recognition of the United Nations' report. Posters were put up by local authorities to encourage the population to take part on vegetarian days, and "veggie street maps" were printed to highlight vegetarian restaurants. In September 2009, schools in Ghent are due to have a weekly veggiedag ("vegetarian day") too.[189]

Public opinion and acceptance of meat-free food is expected to be more successful if its descriptive words focus less on the health aspects and more on the flavor.[190]

Some groups, such as PETA, promote vegetarianism as a way to offset poor treatment and working conditions of workers in the contemporary meat industry.[191] These groups cite studies showing the psychological damage caused by working in the meat industry, especially in factory and industrialised settings, and argue that the meat industry violates its labourers' human rights by assigning difficult and distressing tasks without adequate counselling, training and debriefing.[192][193][194] However, the working conditions of agricultural workers as a whole, particularly non-permanent workers, remain poor and well below conditions prevailing in other economic sectors.[195] Accidents, including pesticide poisoning, among farmers and plantation workers contribute to increased health risks, including increased mortality.[196] According to the International Labour Organization, agriculture is one of the three most dangerous jobs in the world.[197]

Similar to environmental vegetarianism is the concept of economic vegetarianism. An economic vegetarian is someone who practices vegetarianism from either the philosophical viewpoint concerning issues such as public health and curbing world starvation, the belief that the consumption of meat is economically unsound, part of a conscious simple living strategy or just out of necessity. According to the Worldwatch Institute, "Massive reductions in meat consumption in industrial nations will ease their health care burden while improving public health; declining livestock herds will take pressure off rangelands and grainlands, allowing the agricultural resource base to rejuvenate. As populations grow, lowering meat consumption worldwide will allow more efficient use of declining per capita land and water resources, while at the same time making grain more affordable to the world's chronically hungry."[198] According to estimates in 2016, adoption of vegetarianism would contribute substantially to global healthcare and environmental savings.[199]

Prejudice researcher Gordon Hodson observes that vegetarians and vegans frequently face discrimination where eating meat is held as a cultural norm.[200]

A 1992 market research study conducted by the Yankelovich research organisation concluded that "of the 12.4 million people [in the US] who call themselves vegetarian, 68% are female, while only 32% are male".[201]

At least one study indicates that vegetarian women are more likely to have female babies. A study of 6,000 pregnant women in 1998 "found that while the national average in Britain is 106 boys born to every 100 girls, for vegetarian mothers the ratio was just 85 boys to 100 girls".[202] Catherine Collins of the British Dietetic Association has dismissed this as a "statistical fluke" given that it is actually the male's genetic contribution which determines the sex of a baby.[202]

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Many proponents of vegetarianism say that eating meat harms health, wastes resources, causes deforestation, and creates pollution. They often argue that killing animals for food is cruel and unethical since non-animal food sources are plentiful.

Many opponents of a vegetarian diet say that meat consumption is healthful and humane, and that producing vegetables causes many of the same environmental problems as producing meat. They also argue that humans have been eating and enjoying meat for 2.3 million years. Read more background...

For the purposes of this site a "vegetarian diet" is one that does not contain any meat (including poultry and seafood), but can contain eggs (ovo) and dairy (lacto) products, which is why the diet is sometimes called the ovo-lacto vegetarian diet. Vegans do not eat any animal products including meat, eggs, and dairy products.

It is cruel and unethical to kill animals for food when vegetarian options are available. Animals are sentient beings that have emotions and...

Human anatomy has evolved to support a primarily vegetarian diet.Humans do not have the large mouth or long, pointed teeth of carnivores...

A vegetarian diet delivers complete nutrition and can provide health benefits. According to the American Dietetic Association, a vegetarian...

A vegetarian diet can help alleviate world hunger. Over 10 pounds of plant protein are used to produce one pound of beef protein. If these grains...

A vegetarian diet reduces the chances of developing kidney stones and gallstones. Diets high in animal protein cause the body to excrete calcium...

A vegetarian diet provides a more healthful form of iron than a meat-based diet. Studies have linked heme iron found in red meat with an increased...

A vegetarian diet helps build healthy bones because vegetarians absorb more calcium than meat eaters. Meat has high renal acid levels which...

A vegetarian diet lowers the risk of heart disease. According to a peer-reviewed 1999 study of 76,000 people, vegetarians had 24% lower...

Eating meat increases the risk of getting type 2 diabetes. A peer-reviewed 2004 study from Harvard researchers found that eating meat increases...

Vegetarians live longer. A Mar. 12, 2012 peer-reviewed study of 121,342 people found that eating red meat was associated with an increased risk...

A vegetarian diet promotes a healthy weight. According to a peer-reviewed 2003 Oxford University study of 37,875 healthy men and women aged...

Studies show that vegetarians are up to 40% less likely to develop cancer than meat eaters. In 2015 the World Health Organization classified red meat as...

Overgrazing livestock hurts the environment through soil compaction, erosion, and harm to native plants and animals. About 70% of the 11...

A vegetarian diet conserves water. It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of beef, and about 660 gallons to make a pound...

A vegetarian diet leads to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Greenhouse gases are created by enteric fermentation (aka animal farts and burps)...

Producing one hamburger destroys 55 square feet of rainforest. Between 1996-2006, 25 million acres of Amazon rainforest were cleared80% of...

Raising animals for food contributes to air and water pollution. Manure produces toxic hydrogen sulfide and ammonia which pollute the air and...

Many animals raised for food in the United States are not slaughtered humanely. The Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA) mandates that livestock...

Raising animals in confinement is cruel. About 50% of meat produced in the United States comes from confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs)...

A vegetarian diet reduces overuse of antibiotics. 70% of antibiotics sold in the United States go to livestock like cows, pigs, and chickens...

Eating fish is not more ethical, environmentally sound, or healthful than eating other animal protein sources. The US EPA states that...

Eating meat is not cruel or unethical; it is a natural part of the cycle of life. Vegetarians mistakenly elevate the value of animal life over plant...

Eating meat has been an essential part of human evolution for 2.3 million years. The inclusion of meat in the ancestral diet provided a dense...

Meat is the most convenient protein source available. In one serving, meat provides all the essential amino acids (the building blocks of protein)...

Eating meat provides healthy saturated fats, which enhance the function of the immune and nervous systems. Saturated fats contain the...

Meat is the best source of vitamin B12, a vitamin necessary to nervous and digestive system health. Although it is also found in eggs and dairy...

Eating meat provides a better source of iron than a vegetarian diet. The body absorbs 15% to 35% of the heme iron in meat, but only absorbs 2% to...

A meat-centered diet can help with weight loss. It takes fewer calories to get protein from lean meat than it does from vegetarian options. One...

Raising beef is often the most efficient way to produce food for humans. About 85% of US grazing land is not suitable for raising crops humans...

Vegetarian diets are not necessarily better for the environment. About 90% of US cropland suffers from top soil loss at 13 times the sustainable...

Vegetarians do not live longer. This myth stems from the fact that vegetarians tend to be more health conscious overall, eating a more balanced...

US meat consumption does not significantly contribute to global deforestation, or loss of US forest land. In 2001 about 95% of animal products...

Processed vegetarian protein options such as tofu can cause more greenhouse gas pollution than farming meat. . A 2010 report from the World...

Becoming vegetarian will not help alleviate world hunger. The 925 million people in chronic hunger worldwide are not hungry because people in...

A diet that includes fish provides the body with essential omega-3 fatty acids. Fish are a powerful source of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and...

Saturated fats from meat are not to blame for modern diseases like heart disease, cancer, and obesity. Chemically processed and hydrogenated vegetable oils...

Lean red meat, eaten in moderation, can be a healthful part of a balanced diet. According to researchers at the British Nutrition Foundation...

Modern slaughter techniques minimize the suffering of animals. US slaughterhouses must conform to the Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (HMSA)...

There is nothing inherently cruel about raising animals for food. There is a growing movement to raise "cruelty free" organic meat...

The right to eat what we want, including meat, is a fundamental liberty that we must defend. Animal-rights and health groups are attempting to...

It is not necessary to become vegetarian to lower our environmental footprint. Some vegetarians eat an unhealthy diet, drive SUVs, and consume...

Vegetarian diets can cause the death of animals too. According to a 2003 study by Steven Davis at Oregon State University, about six animals...

NEW ProCon.org Website! - 2020 Presidential Election: The Candidates and Where They Stand on the Issues8/29/2019 Learn about the presidential candidates' views on important issues, compare them with a side-by-side chart, take our matching quiz, track their finances, and so much more on our 2020 Presidential Election website. The New York Times called our previous presidential election site "The most comprehensive tool for researching the candidate's stance on issues." Check back monthly for expanded issue coverage.

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Low T Center – Men’s Health Clinic – Testosterone Replacement

Men's Clinic - What's Offered?

With little to no energy, you just cant function at times, and you certainly dont want to eat right or exercise. The lethargy could be caused by any number of health conditions such as obstructive sleep apnea, low testosterone levels, severe allergies, or even low thyroid.When men suffer from any of these conditions, poor lifestyle choices are made, especially when it comes to diet and exercise which can lead to more serious health problems down the road such as hypertension, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Lets gain control of your health issues before the conditions worsen.

The good news is you dont have to feel sluggish. Our mens health clinic staff at the Low T Center nearest you can quickly and easily determine what type of help is needed. We listen and learn about you, your symptoms, and your health goals. The combination of that knowledge along with a thorough analysis of your lab results will be used to prescribe a healthcare plan tailored to you.

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5 Best Testosterone Supplements For Men Over 50

Testosterone supplements are far and away the most popular type of supplement in the industry as of late. Many of them are clinically tested and proven to be effective.

The problem is that there are hundreds of testosterone boosters out there, and most guys have a hard time weeding through the duds to get to that miracle supplement. If you don't choose the right one, you could end up wasting your money and experiencing unwanted side effects.

In addition, there are several testosterone boosters out there that are designed for younger men who are looking to use testosterone boosting as a bodybuilding aid.

Men over the age of 50 should avoid supplements that are directed towards younger bodybuilders because they often do not contain the ingredients that are most beneficial to aging men.

We have done the research and weeded out the duds and the supplements that are strictly designed for bodybuilders, and discovered the 5 best testosterone supplements for men over 50.

The biggest reason testosterone supplements are so widely used today is because almost all men end up suffering from low testosterone levels at some point in their lives.

Generally, testosterone levels tend to gradually decrease when men reach their thirties. This decline in testosterone tends to get progressively worse over time, causing some serious problems.

Symptoms of Low Testosterone (Low T) include

If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, you more than likely have Low Testosterone to some extent and could benefit significantly from an effective testosterone supplement.

Men over 50 are the most likely to suffer from these issues. The main reason men seek natural testosterone supplements, is because they want to avoid testosterone replacement therapy.

Hormone replacement therapy generally costs several hundreds of dollars per month and can actually pose some detriments to ones health. It is an unnatural way to go about correcting the problem.

Testosterone supplementation is an all-natural, risk-free, inexpensive, and usually effective way to correct the symptoms of Low T.

TestoTEK is in our opinion, the best testosterone boosting supplement on the market. And while it is very close to the other well-respected products in the top 5, it beats them out for a number of reasons.

Every test0-booster supplement is a little unique but there are a handful of ingredients that should be in every booster. And they should be represented in high potencies so that they have a genuine impact on the body. Some companies merely want the ingredient listed on the label and include them in such low potencies that they have minimal results.

TestoTEK has all the core ingredients and they are in big-time potencies. D aspartic acid, vitamin D3 and zinc are probably the most important testosterone ingredients in existence. Much clinical research has shown these to be unquestionably the most important. TestoTEK has as much or more of these three ingredients than any other supplement we have reviewed.

Furthermore, TestoTEKis tied with Prime Malewith the most ingredients in their formula, twelve, and these cover a broad spectrum of mens health. And lastly, TestoTEKcosts less than both Prime Male and TestoFuel and with their coupon code, is also less expensive than Testogen.

The product has no real weakness it is more potent, has more ingredients and is less money than the other top 5.

Testogen is anastoundingly effective testosterone booster that strives to make improvements in multiple areas in which men with low testosterone struggle. The manufacturer refers to the product as a testosterone triple action formula, and it truly is.

Strengthen, stimulate, sharpen. Those are the goals as stated on the bottle, referring to increased muscle production, stimulation of boosted testosterone levels, and improved performance both in the gym and in bed.

The ingredients back the claims of the manufacturer with clinical studies, significant potencies and the absence of the dreaded proprietary blend so you know how much of each ingredient you are ingesting.

The nutrition label tells you everything you need to know. It was a difficult decision to rank this product #1 because it is so close to Prime Male and TestoFuel, andis a huge accomplishment considering how competitive the testosterone supplement industry is.

The primary reason this product is so popular is because of the whopping 2,000 milligrams of D-aspartic acid. D-aspartic acid is perhaps the most popular testosterone-boosting ingredient (or at least in the top 3) and can be found in the vast majority of effective testosterone supplements.

However, it is usually found in much smaller amounts. A standard amount is about 1,000 milligrams, but you will see that the top 5 all contain about 1,500 milligrams or more. (Monster T contains 3,500 milligrams per serving but is missing other ingredients.)Testogen contains the highest amount of D-aspartic acid that we have seen except for Monster T.

A huge amount of D-aspartic acid isnt the only thing keeping this supplement ranked elite. Testogen has much more to offer, including proven ingredients such as tribulus terrestris, ginseng extract, zinc, and more. To learn more about what each individual ingredient does and how they work to boost your testosterone levels, be sure to check out the full review.

Click Here to Read the Full Testogen Review

Prime Male is a highly effective testosterone supplement that is designed specifically for aging men. It is a carefully formulated supplement youve been looking for that can catapult your libido into overdrive, improve bedroom performance, spike energy levels to where they were in your 20s, harden your body with quality muscle mass, melt unnecessary body fat, and more. The high quality scientifically backed ingredients are the secret to this powerful testosterone booster.

Before you buy a testosterone booster, or any supplement, you want to make sure the ingredients are clinically proven. When you do, you reduce the risk of purchasing a worthless, ineffective product.

The clinical studies often include any side effects reported. The key is to find the ingredients that are backed by science and have no major side effects reported.

Prime Male is one of our bestchoices for men over 50 because it contains exactly this type of ingredients. Each ingredient is linked to several clinical studies for their ability to naturally, effectively and safely boost the bodys testosterone production.

You also want to make sure that theres enough of the ingredient in the product. Though difficult, try and avoid proprietary blends whenever you can. A proprietary blend is essentially a blend of ingredients of which the amounts are undisclosed.

You are able to see what ingredients the blend contains but not the amount of each ingredient. Manufacturers claim that they use a proprietary blend in order to protect their formulas, but really they use it so they can include small amounts of key ingredients in order to save money.

Prime Male uses no proprietary blend format on their label. In fact, it contains just less than 3,000 milligrams of overall nutrition per serving. That is an astounding amount of nutrients for one supplement to contain, and the individual amounts of each ingredient are disclosed on the label.

When choosing a testosterone booster supplement, last but not least, determine if the ingredients are synergistic with each other? In order for a product to do its job, the ingredients must be able to work well together. (And if you dont want to do this type of research, thats what were here for.)

The ingredients of this supplement were carefully chosen based on their synergistic properties.

All of these facts are part of what makes this the #2testosterone supplement on the market, but one final piece is what ranks this supplement among the best testosterone supplements for men over 50 specifically.

The finishing touch is the inclusion of 300 milligrams of mucana pruriens. This ingredient is vitally important to men over 50 because of its ability to boost libido.

Mucana pruriens is an ingredient that you wont find in many supplements designed for younger bodybuilders because its not necessarily beneficial to them, but it plays a very special role for aging men with Low T.

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American Testosterone Clinics of the United States: https://www.testosterone.me

Recommendation and review posted by Alexandra Lee Anderson

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Longevity – Wikipedia

The word "longevity" is sometimes used as a synonym for "life expectancy" in demography. However, the term longevity is sometimes meant to refer only to especially long-lived members of a population, whereas life expectancy is always defined statistically as the average number of years remaining at a given age. For example, a population's life expectancy at birth is the same as the average age at death for all people born in the same year (in the case of cohorts). Longevity is best thought of as a term for general audiences meaning 'typical length of life' and specific statistical definitions should be clarified when necessary.

Reflections on longevity have usually gone beyond acknowledging the brevity of human life and have included thinking about methods to extend life. Longevity has been a topic not only for the scientific community but also for writers of travel, science fiction, and utopian novels.

There are many difficulties in authenticating the longest human life span ever by modern verification standards, owing to inaccurate or incomplete birth statistics. Fiction, legend, and folklore have proposed or claimed life spans in the past or future vastly longer than those verified by modern standards, and longevity narratives and unverified longevity claims frequently speak of their existence in the present.

A life annuity is a form of longevity insurance.

Various factors contribute to an individual's longevity. Significant factors in life expectancy include gender, genetics, access to health care, hygiene, diet and nutrition, exercise, lifestyle, and crime rates. Below is a list of life expectancies in different types of countries:[3]

Population longevities are increasing as life expectancies around the world grow:[1][4]

The Gerontology Research Group validates current longevity records by modern standards, and maintains a list of supercentenarians; many other unvalidated longevity claims exist. Record-holding individuals include:[5][6][7]

Evidence-based studies indicate that longevity is based on two major factors, genetics and lifestyle choices.[9]

Twin studies have estimated that approximately 20-30% the variation in human lifespan can be related to genetics, with the rest due to individual behaviors and environmental factors which can be modified.[10] Although over 200 gene variants have been associated with longevity according to a US-Belgian-UK research database of human genetic variants,[11] these explain only a small fraction of the heritability.[12] A 2012 study found that even modest amounts of leisure time physical exercise can extend life expectancy by as much as 4.5 years.[13]

Lymphoblastoid cell lines established from blood samples of centenarians have significantly higher activity of the DNA repair protein PARP (Poly ADP ribose polymerase) than cell lines from younger (20 to 70 year old) individuals.[14] The lymphocytic cells of centenarians have characteristics typical of cells from young people, both in their capability of priming the mechanism of repair after H2O2 sublethal oxidative DNA damage and in their PARP gene expression.[15] These findings suggest that elevated PARP gene expression contributes to the longevity of centenarians, consistent with the DNA damage theory of aging.[16]

In preindustrial times, deaths at young and middle age were more common than they are today. This is not due to genetics, but because of environmental factors such as disease, accidents, and malnutrition, especially since the former were not generally treatable with pre-20th-century medicine. Deaths from childbirth were common for women, and many children did not live past infancy. In addition, most people who did attain old age were likely to die quickly from the above-mentioned untreatable health problems. Despite this, there are many examples of pre-20th-century individuals attaining lifespans of 85 years or greater, including Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Cato the Elder, Thomas Hobbes, Eric of Pomerania, Christopher Polhem, and Michelangelo. This was also true for poorer people like peasants or laborers. Genealogists will almost certainly find ancestors living to their 70s, 80s and even 90s several hundred years ago.

For example, an 1871 census in the UK (the first of its kind, but personal data from other censuses dates back to 1841 and numerical data back to 1801) found the average male life expectancy as being 44, but if infant mortality is subtracted, males who lived to adulthood averaged 75 years. The present life expectancy in the UK is 77 years for males and 81 for females, while the United States averages 74 for males and 80 for females.

Studies have shown that black American males have the shortest lifespans of any group of people in the US, averaging only 69 years (Asian-American females average the longest).[17] This reflects overall poorer health and greater prevalence of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and cancer among black American men.

Women normally outlive men. Theories for this include smaller bodies (and thus less stress on the heart), a stronger immune system (since testosterone acts as an immunosuppressant), and less tendency to engage in physically dangerous activities.

There is debate as to whether the pursuit of longevity is a worthwhile health care goal. Bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel, who is also one of the architects of ObamaCare, has argued that the pursuit of longevity via the compression of morbidity explanation is a "fantasy" and that longevity past age 75 should not be considered an end in itself.[18] This has been challenged by neurosurgeon Miguel Faria, who states that life can be worthwhile in healthy old age, that the compression of morbidity is a real phenomenon, and that longevity should be pursued in association with quality of life.[19] Faria has discussed how longevity in association with leading healthy lifestyles can lead to the postponement of senescence as well as happiness and wisdom in old age.[20]

All of the biological organisms have a limited longevity, and different species of animals and plants have different potentials of longevity. Misrepair-accumulation aging theory [21][22] suggests that the potential of longevity of an organism is related to its structural complexity.[23] Limited longevity is due to the limited structural complexity of the organism. If a species of organisms has too high structural complexity, most of its individuals would die before the reproduction age, and the species could not survive. This theory suggests that limited structural complexity and limited longevity are essential for the survival of a species.

Longevity myths are traditions about long-lived people (generally supercentenarians), either as individuals or groups of people, and practices that have been believed to confer longevity, but for which scientific evidence does not support the ages claimed or the reasons for the claims.[24][25] A comparison and contrast of "longevity in antiquity" (such as the Sumerian King List, the genealogies of Genesis, and the Persian Shahnameh) with "longevity in historical times" (common-era cases through twentieth-century news reports) is elaborated in detail in Lucian Boia's 2004 book Forever Young: A Cultural History of Longevity from Antiquity to the Present and other sources.[26]

After the death of Juan Ponce de Len, Gonzalo Fernndez de Oviedo y Valds wrote in Historia General y Natural de las Indias (1535) that Ponce de Len was looking for the waters of Bimini to cure his aging.[27] Traditions that have been believed to confer greater human longevity also include alchemy,[28] such as that attributed to Nicolas Flamel. In the modern era, the Okinawa diet has some reputation of linkage to exceptionally high ages.[29]

Longevity claims may be subcategorized into four groups: "In late life, very old people often tend to advance their ages at the rate of about 17 years per decade .... Several celebrated super-centenarians (over 110 years) are believed to have been double lives (father and son, relations with the same names or successive bearers of a title) .... A number of instances have been commercially sponsored, while a fourth category of recent claims are those made for political ends ...."[30] The estimate of 17 years per decade was corroborated by the 1901 and 1911 British censuses.[30] Time magazine considered that, by the Soviet Union, longevity had been elevated to a state-supported "Methuselah cult".[31] Robert Ripley regularly reported supercentenarian claims in Ripley's Believe It or Not!, usually citing his own reputation as a fact-checker to claim reliability.[32]

The U.S. Census Bureau view on the future of longevity is that life expectancy in the United States will be in the mid-80s by 2050 (up from 77.85 in 2006) and will top out eventually in the low 90s, barring major scientific advances that can change the rate of human aging itself, as opposed to merely treating the effects of aging as is done today. The Census Bureau also predicted that the United States would have 5.3 million people aged over 100 in 2100. The United Nations has also made projections far out into the future, up to 2300, at which point it projects that life expectancies in most developed countries will be between 100 and 106 years and still rising, though more and more slowly than before. These projections also suggest that life expectancies in poor countries will still be less than those in rich countries in 2300, in some cases by as much as 20 years. The UN itself mentioned that gaps in life expectancy so far in the future may well not exist, especially since the exchange of technology between rich and poor countries and the industrialization and development of poor countries may cause their life expectancies to converge fully with those of rich countries long before that point, similarly to the way life expectancies between rich and poor countries have already been converging over the last 60 years as better medicine, technology, and living conditions became accessible to many people in poor countries. The UN has warned that these projections are uncertain, and cautions that any change or advancement in medical technology could invalidate such projections.[33]

Recent increases in the rates of lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, may eventually slow or reverse this trend toward increasing life expectancy in the developed world, but have not yet done so. The average age of the US population is getting higher[34] and these diseases show up in older people.[35]

Jennifer Couzin-Frankel examined how much mortality from various causes would have to drop in order to boost life expectancy and concluded that most of the past increases in life expectancy occurred because of improved survival rates for young people. She states that it seems unlikely that life expectancy at birth will ever exceed 85 years.[36] Michio Kaku argues that genetic engineering, nanotechnology and future breakthroughs will accelerate the rate of life expectancy increase indefinitely.[37] Already genetic engineering has allowed the life expectancy of certain primates to be doubled, and for human skin cells in labs to divide and live indefinitely without becoming cancerous.[38]

Reliable data from 1840 through 2002 indicates life expectancy has risen linearly for men and women, albeit more slowly for men. For women the increase has been almost three months per year, for men almost 2.7 months per year. In light of steady increase, without any sign of limitation, the suggestion that life expectancy will top out must be treated with caution. Scientists Oeppen and Vaupel observe that experts who assert that "life expectancy is approaching a ceiling ... have repeatedly been proven wrong." It is thought that life expectancy for women has increased more dramatically owing to the considerable advances in medicine related to childbirth.[39]

Currently living:

Non-living:

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Longevity - Wikipedia

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