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🧊 The Plunge - December 21, 2023

Published 6 months ago • 3 min read

Clarity on staying healthy and happy arrives every day, from all corners of the globe. The Plunge brings you the information you always wanted: current, clear-cut answers from the world's leading scientists and creators.



PODCAST

GLP-1 Agonists - What to expect?

Ben Thompson dug into GLP-1 Agonists on his Plain English podcast recently. In part one, he looked at the science behind the drugs and how they work on the body. Perhaps more interesting was the second part, where he discussed their future and potential impact.

According to a recent ​research report​ from Morgan Stanley that Thompson cites, patients are showing massive changes in their eating habits. 54% are eating more fruits and veggies than before while over 65% are consuming less alcohol, sugary drinks, and sweets.

Zach Ritano, founder of the telehealth platform Ro, comes on to make his case for the inevitability of these drugs. After hearing him, it's hard to see how the number of users won't grow by an order of magnitude in the coming years. Costs are coming down, and even if they weren't, tens of millions are already covered by insurance. The conversation gets especially interesting when they turn to the evolving viewpoint of companies with regard to insurance coverage. Are employers responsible for helping people lose weight? Is that even the right question to ask?

Next, Thompson brings in Robert Lustig, endocrinologist and admitted skeptic. Lustig's apprehension comes from several areas: who the drugs are suitable for, how increased insulin can possibly lead to weight loss, whether the loss of muscle mass makes these drugs potentially dangerous, and the potential long term mental health impacts given the way they influence the brain's reward system.

There's so much to unpack and this conversation is an excellent overview of two sides of the debate. Given the impact these drugs are already having, it's certainly worth a listen.

​Spotify​ - ​Apple Podcasts​

WATCH THIS

What Drives You?

When I get to a new city, I want to wake up early and run the streets. Feel the city. I want to say no to the Uber and take public transport. Give up my seat for people on the subway, without hesitation. That's living.

That's why I put in miles at home.

What drives you?

Watch this video. As it says - best 2 minutes of the day.


RESEARCH

Om nom nom

We're all snacking too much - and getting nothing from it. A study out of THE Ohio State University reports that snacks make up a quarter of daily calories in U.S. adult diets. All this snacking offers almost zero nutritional value but contributes significantly to added sugar intake. The analysis of 20,000 people's data showed that average snack consumption adds up to 400 to 500 calories every day, usually more than breakfast.

The problem with snacking is the calories they add without delivering protein and fiber. Instead, they're packed with carbs and sugar. The study analyzed snacking for non-diabetics and three different categorizations of diabetics. Surprisingly, people who manage type 2 diabetes effectively are the most responsible snackers, consuming less than all other groups, including non-diabetics.

PLOS

Another L for Social Media

Only half an hour, that's all it takes to improve mental health, work commitment, and job satisfaction. All you need to do, or rather not do, is stay away from social media. The data is coming in droves and this recent study of 166 participants out of Ruhr University Bochum in Germany is another reason to rethink how you procrastinate.

The value of less social media comes from a few places: decreased FOMO, less feeling of being overworked, and more job commitment. With their extra time, participants went in various directions from engaging more with colleagues to taking care of work tasks.

Restricted web browsing sucks, but it might be in everyones interest if our companies put up limits.

Behaviour & Information Technology

Watch Your Isoleucine

Not all calories are equal. A team at University of Wisconsin has been studying the amino acid isoleucine, found in eggs, dairy, soy, and meats. Published recently in Cell Metabolism, the study showed that reducing isoleucine in mice extended lifespan, reduced fat, lowered cancer risk, and improved overall health. All while allowing for higher calorie consumption.

Low-isoleucine diets led to a 33% longer life for male mice. They also showed improved muscle strength and higher metabolic rate. The exact mechanism for how this works is unclear and benefits were far greater in males than females. It is clear, however, that the findings were linked to the mTOR gene.

It's tricky to translate this research directly to humans. However, lean individuals tend to consume less isoleucine, suggesting healthy eating may naturally lead to lower levels.

University of Wisconsin


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The Plunge

by Corey Garvey

Hey I'm Corey, the curator of The Plunge, my newsletter focused on healthspan and longevity. The Plunge gives subscribers up to date articles, podcasts, and videos about longevity and remaining mentally fit while living a long, happy life. ~Corey

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