It is commonplace to see the promotion of narrowly-focused, goal-oriented diets that claim to help you lose fat and gain six-pack abs, etc. There are many conflicting claims about the best diet for “everyone” based on dubious, or even unstated, assumptions about metabolism and the absorption of “essential” nutrients and the best ratios, or the elimination, of macronutrients.
What is different about the proposed Longevity Cookbook by Maria Konovalenko and her colleagues, is that she is a molecular biophysicist and life-extension researcher whose aim is “to create a book that will tell the story about what longevity depends on, what processes are going on in our bodies during aging and how they can be slowed down, dieting in the right way, based on the current scientific knowledge.”
The most refreshing aspect of Maria’s proposal, contrary to many biased and ideological, dogma-driven diets, is that the approach of the Longevity Cookbook “will be bioinformatic meta-analysis of the literature. Whatever it shows, that would be the composition of the diet.”
This kind of science-based, “facts are king” approach is sorely needed in the realm of dietary recommendations. In service of this paradigm, Maria plans for the book to continue to evolve and keep up with the fast pace of new discoveries: “We will release updates according to the new published research. We would like to show the scientific method – correction of the hypothesis when new information arrives.” This kind of update process will presumably be facilitated by the ability of ebooks to be easily updated en masse, via an Internet connection.
Interestingly, Maria has received some feedback to the effect that there are much more important research areas, to which she should apply her talents and intelligence. Her reply: “Thank you, but I still will do the book…We have to make the first step. The ultimate cook book that takes into the [sic] account all the genetic differences of the population and all the differences in the environment is not possible in principle at this time, simply because there is not enough research data. Our book will advocate clinical trials for elucidating the effect of foods on different types of populations depending on their genome/other factors.” Additionally, “The book will promote aging research. The more people understand how their healthy and happy lives depend on the current state of science, the more support there will be and hence more money eventually for more scientific discoveries.”
Maria and her colleagues will be launching a crowdfunding campaign soon and I strongly urge all of my fellow human-mammals interested in improving their health-span to generously support this project.
Here is a link to the project announcement and the 4 part plan for the book:
*hero image obtained from http://scienceillustrated.com.au/blog/science/personality-may-be-the-key-to-longevity/