All posts tagged: Longevity

Okinawa Diet: Secret to Longevity

Orgaia’s Professor Giovanni Scapagnini attended the FOOD, WATER and HEALTH conference in VENICE, ITALY where he presented THE OKINAWA DIET – SECRET TO LONGEVITY.

The FOOD, WATER and HEALTH conference was organised by the Umberto Veronesi Foundation.

The event presented insights into health topics related to water and food, starting from the contribution that science can give for improving access to drinking water and more nutritious foods in developing countries. There is increasing interest in the link between our diets and modern health problems, such as obesity, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

The conference discussed how our diet has evolved over the past four million years and the evidences suggesting that our health problems are due to a mismatch between the hunter-gatherers diet (Paleolithic diets) and how our genome is best adapted to and our modern post-agricultural diet (Neolithic diet). The event presented a snapshot of the epidemic diffusion of chronic diseases in our society and the research goals of nutrigenomics, the science concerned with the relationships between nutrients, human genome and health. Food is not only energy for life. The nature of food preferences was also explored. How do our taste genes shape our diet? Which factors influence our perception and enjoyment of food and drink? How is food perceived in different cultures? The conference addressed the importance of a healthy diet rich in food bio-actives to prevent chronic diseases and promote healthy aging, with a special focus on the emerging role of intestinal microbiota in our health.

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Orgaia to Develop Innovative Natural Sweeteners

Orgaia is in the planning stages to work on developing new natural functional sweeteners and sugar substitutes.

This project is in response to the global diabetes and obesity epidemic and the great need to find sweetener alternatives to sugar with low calories that carry new added functionalities.

These ‘functional sweeteners’ project will use Orgaia’s NaturaGenomics™ philosophy and science deriving its innovation from Orgaia’s great expertise in integrating nature and nutrigenomics knowledge.

“It is clear now, that caloric restriction is vital to longevity but people want sweetness in their lives. It is how we balance these two ideas that can make a difference. We are now in the early stages of the new generation of sweetener development in the food industry. At Orgaia we are passionate about truly innovating by providing a sweetener that carries major functional properties based from nature”

said Nicolas de Santis, CEO of Orgaia.

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Orgaia’s Top Scientist Chairs NY Roundtable on Mediterranean Diet with focus on longevity

The President of Orgaia’s Scientific Board, Prof. Giovanni Scapagnini, Phd in Neurobiology, was the Chair of the Mediterranean Diet Roundtable Summit held in New York on 9th April 2015

Organised by global scientific leaders, the Mediterranean Diet Roundtable is an exclusive networking event bringing together the entire spectrum of decision-makers in the U.S. Food Industry, along with Doctors, Nutritionists, and Directors of Food Service programs. The goal of the event was to address the important topic of providing Mediterranean food choices, to grant a balanced diet in structures such as schools, hospitals, cafeterias, seniors’ centers, as well as stores. Research has shown that the traditional Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of certain illnesses such as heart disease and cancer among others. A team of leading experts and professionals discussed all levels of Mediterranean nutrition aspects, menu’s engineering, stores and cafeteria strategies. Prof Giovanni Scapagnini was part of the key discussion on ageing Diet, Health and Longevity: Scientific Evidence of the Mediterranean Diet” that included leading experts such as Artemis P. Simopoulos, M.D. (Founder, Center for Genetics, Nutrition and Health) and Dr. Tara Narula, M.D. (Cardiologist at Lenox Hill Hospital and CBS Health News Contributor).

Prof Scapagnini of Orgaia and Chair of the event said:

“With obesity growing as a major real problem around the world and with the food and drinks industry being a huge business, the event focused on the positive impact of what the Mediterranean Diet can have on health, longevity and the well-being of society while dealing with major non communicable diseases such as cancer, obesity and diabetes.”

Improving Longevity

The Mediterranean Diet is a path to longevity with numerous studies showing that it protects from heart disease and cancer, top causes of death in the western world. Many Mediterranean countries have the highest life expectancies in the world. The Italian island of Sardinia and the Greek island of Ikaria are two of the five identified blue zones in the world. A blue zone is a location in which its inhabitants live much longer lives. This may be attributed to genes but also to the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle: plant based diet, physical activity and plenty of social contact. The Mediterranean diet includes certain “ingredients” that have been associated consistently with longevity, better heart and cognitive health. The “longevity ingredients” in this eating pattern are vegetables, plants in the form of greens and herbs, legumes, fish, dairy from free-range animals, olive oil as the main source of fat, very little meat and a bit of alcohol.

Last year a comprehensive literature review conducted by Italian researchers on an overall population of over 4,000,000 showed that a Mediterranean diet can reduce risk of death by 8%. The EPIC Elderly Study which included information of over 74,000 Europeans showed that adherence to a Mediterranean diet was associated with lower cause mortality. Another study that analyzed and compared the diets of centenarians from the Sicani Mountains in Sicily who had a close adherence to the Mediterranean diet with those of Palermo residents who were following a more westernized diet, found that adherence to the diet had a significant effect on mortality. It was noted that low animal protein, low glycemic index and high polyphenol content regulates and influences certain pathways and chemicals of the body that are involved in longevity. Strategies on how to incorporate the Mediterranean diet and lifestyle for a US population were discussed at the roundtable.

Sergio Davinelli, Scientific Board Member of Orgaia, and member of the Department of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Molise, Italy, who also attended the event, said:

“The Mediterranean Diet is recognized by UNESCO as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of many countries, in truth it cannot be codified as a unique set of recipes and food patterns. Most people know by now what its main philosophy is and its main components are, i.e., the use of olive oil, rich in monounsaturated fats, the abundant use of legumes, fresh vegetables and fruits, some dairy products, lots of fish, little meat, and a surprising variety of cereals, used in many different ways. We at Orgaia believe such diet can become a huge asset in improving global health and nutritional education while reducing the obesity epidemic humanity faces”.

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The Inner Life of the Cell

A journey through the microscopic world of the cell

This incredible video animation developed by Xvivo for Harvard University takes people through the world of cellular biology and on on a journey through the microscopic world of a cell, illustrating mechanisms that allow a white blood cell to sense its surroundings and respond to an external stimulus.

Humans are made of cells. At Orgaia we believe that it is critical to make people understand how cells and cellular mechanisms work in their complexity and how critical nutrition is to maintain cell health. Videos like this are perfect to demonstrate that cells live in a world of their own and that not only our genetic make-up, but also nutrition affects the life and messages that cells send and receive, says Nicolas De Santis, CEO of Orgaia.

The Inner of the Cell follows a white blood cell’s movement along the endothelium and its response to an external stimulus — a process known as leukocyte extravasation.

Xvivo is the Premiere Creator of Medical Animation and Scientific Media. This award winning piece was the first topic in a series of animations XVIVO is creating for Harvard’s educational website BioVisions at Harvard.

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