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Diet / Aging - Cretan Diet/ Exercise For HIV+
  from Jules: HIV can lead to accelerated aging, premature aging, increased numbers of & earlier onset of comorbidities including bone, heart, diabetes, mental & kidney diseases. Other viruses can contribute to this aging process so studies report CMV in HIV+ and HCV in HIV+ contribute to the aging process putting these patients at greater risk for inflammation, activation, and comorbidity onset. There is a little controversy in that a very few of researchers suggest aging is not accelerated but they prefer accentuation meaning it can increase comorbidity risk but not accelerate it. In my opinion they do not know what they are talking about, there are numerous studies reporting HIV accelerates aging & prematurely - here is just 1 link .........http://www.natap.org/2009/HIV/021009_01.htm........http://www.natap.org/2015/HIV/060115_01.htm the Cretan is more fish & vegetables & fruit & less red meat and chess/milk products vs the Mediteranean Diet. Exercise is a crucial part of staving off aging & immunity decline which is premature & a hallmark in HIV. There are many studies reporting exercise & good diet in the general population staves off aging based loss of immunity & diseases and improves mental function, and in HIV there are a bunch of studies showing exercise improves cognitive function. Many studies show exercise & diet can reduce inflammation, a hallmark of premature aging in HIV, stave off aging related loss of immunity and diseases including heart disease, cognitive dysfunction, cancers, bone and probably more. I personally prefer the Cretan diet for myself vs the Mediteranean diet however I do not eat red meat or milk products, and I exercise 5 days a week for at least 1 hour each day with aerobic workout, biking now but I ran for 35 years, and some weights. However, one can walk as well or do more intensive workouts, walking for 30-60 minutes will provide benefits, the feds recommend 150 minutes a week of exercise. Another dietary approach is complete vegetarian meaning one would get protein from soy products & beans. Studies have reported this diet improves immunity, can prevent cancer & heart disease, and is effective. I prefer including fish in the diet for better protein as well as poultry, chicken & turkey but no red meat & milk products. This is the only recipe that can hold off premature aging in HIV, which is related to several factors, HIV causes immune activation because there is always ongoing viral replication even if viral load is undetectable, lower CD4 can contribute and higher CD4 can help to reduce replication & improve immunity, the higher the CD4 the better, 1000 is better than 750 and 750 is better than 500. Immuno-senescence is the hallmark of aging in the general population, the immune system declines for all people as they age, and the hallmark of this are biomarkers that measure the amount of senescence called senescence biomarkers. HIV disrupts the immune system, studies report shortly after HIV-infection immune senescence sets. There are mixed results regarding the affect of ART & undetectable viral load with some studies suggesting achieving undetectable viral load may normalize senescence markers while other studies finding senescence markers remain dysfunctional despite undetectable viral load.
Regardless, inflammation & immune activation persist despite undetectable viral load & I think despite 1000 CD4s but achieving & maintaining undetectable viral load, not taking treatment intereuprions which disrupt this suppression process, and achieving high CD4s are crucial to maintaing as best as possible some suppression of inflammation, immune activation & perhaps reversing senescence that emerged after HIV-infection.
Until recently the Cretan diet was simple and wholesome: olive oil of course, which counted for the 1/3 of the individual's daily need in energy, but mainly cereals, principally bread, pulses, vegetables and fruit and, to a lesser degree, cheese, milk, eggs, fish and a little red wine with every meal....http://www.explorecrete.com/cuisine/cretandiet.html


Taking the conditions of modern life into account, we would recommend a return to the traditional Cretan diet, but with a noticeable decrease in the amount and frequency in the consumption of meat and other animal products. On the other hand, cereals (mainly bread), pulses, vegetables and fruit should represent 85% of our daily food.
Why the Mediterranean/Cretan diet WAS the best
Posted on Thu 23 Aug 2012
Greece offered an opportunity to study populations that eat a high-fat, though low-saturated fat, diet. Investigators here were able to study the effects of a diet consisting largely of monounsaturated fats from olive oil and polyunsaturated fats from fish, grains, vegetables, and legumes.
The 1950s Cretan Diet
Residents of rural Crete in the 1950s ate significant amounts of olive oil, olives, fish, fruits, vegetables (especially wild greens), and nuts. They consumed moderate amounts of wine and cheese and small quantities of meat, milk, and eggs. Foods comprising the core of their diets provided ample amounts of many beneficial nutrients, including fiber, antioxidants, vitamins E and C, selenium, phytochemicals, and omega-3 fatty acids.3
The Cretan residents had the lowest rates of CVD of all populations observed in the Seven Countries Study, followed closely by rural Japanese.1 This statistic is interesting because Cretans had one of the highest-fat diets (37% of calories from fats), while the Japanese had the lowest (9% of calories from fats). Most fats in the Cretan diet came from olive oil, but Cretans also consumed large amounts of fish (more than the Japanese) containing omega-3 fatty acids.1,3 The men also ate substantial amounts of wild plants, including purslane, a succulent green that is a good source of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Other sources of ALA in the Cretan diet included walnuts, a variety of green vegetables, legumes, and figs. Sources of protein other than fish included free-range meats and chickens-animals that were never fed grain but lived on purslane, grasses, insects, worms, and figs.3-5 Because animals in Crete consumed foods high in ALA, their meat products, milk, and eggs became good sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
The Seven Countries Study researchers attributed the low incidence of heart disease in Crete to a diet based on large amounts of monounsaturated (olive) oil and low quantities of saturated fat. In contrast, the high rates of heart disease in Finland were attributed to very high intakes of both total and saturated fat. In fact, scientists concluded after a 20-year follow-up that 81% of the difference among populations in coronary deaths could be explained by average saturated fatty acid intake alone.2
Researchers did not, however, explain why a high total-fat diet in Crete was more protective against CVD than a low total-fat diet in Japan. In the 1980s, a new group of scientists began to address this concern. They determined that the rural Cretan diet contained omega-3 fatty acids and/or ALA-both protective against heart disease-in every meal. Figs and walnuts, both sources of ALA, were common snacks. Meals generally featured green vegetables or animal products with ALA and/or omega-3 fatty acids. Even noodles made with local eggs contained these healthy fats. The Japanese cohort, in contrast, also consumed ALA and omega-3 fatty acids daily (from canola oil, soybeans, soybean oil, and fish) but not in as large amounts.3,6
Scientists in the 1980s also analyzed blood samples from the original study. They found that the serum cholesterol esters from blood samples of people living in Crete and Japan contained the highest concentrations of ALA.7 This discovery led to the hypothesis that it was not the olive oil, fish, and wine that primarily lent protection against heart disease to the people of Crete; rather, it was their consumption of high levels of ALA and, likely, omega-3 fatty acids.
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