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Women Though Live Longer Can Live Better with an Improved Diet

Despite having longer lifespans than males, women experience higher rates of sickness. A diet rich in brightly colored fruits and may reduce these greater rates of sickness, according to University of Georgia studies.

Women usually live longer than males but have a greater incidence of disease. A recent study from the University of Georgia reveals that a diet rich in pigmented carotenoids, such as yams, kale, spinach, watermelon, bell peppers, tomatoes, oranges, and carrots, might reduce these increased risks of disease, minimizing cognitive and visual decline.

Nutritional Neuroscience published the article titled “The impact of macular carotenoids on the eye and brain health of women.” (Hammond et al., 2022).

Women Get Less Deadly Disease Than Men

Females surprisingly survive longer than males, and the observation is consistent throughout life starting from the beginning. According to worlddata.info, the average life expectancy worldwide for females is over five years longer than for males. Between the ages of 15 and 49, mortality rates for males are three times higher than for females (Zarulli et al., 2021). Even at the age of 0, female embryos get less frequently aborted than male embryos (Kraemer 2000).

There have been several speculative explanations for this substantial sex difference in mortality-morbidity. According to Austad and Fischer (Austad et al., 2016), endocrine differences, lack of genetic redundancy on the Y chromosome of males, and inflammatory and oxidative stress differences are why women live longer than men.

Whatever the driver, there is clear evidence that the paradox exists.

Despite longer lifespans, females suffer from more medical illnesses and disabilities throughout their lifetimes than male. For example, women have a higher incidence of autoimmune diseases (Jacobson et al., 1997), dementias, and notable Alzheimer’s disease (Collaborators 2019).

Billy R. Hammond, a professor of psychology behavioral and brains sciences program at the University of Georgia and co-author of the study, explains,

“The idea is that men get many diseases that are likely to kill them, but women get those diseases less often or later, so they live longer even though they have diseases that make them sick.”

“Two-thirds of all cases of macular degeneration and dementia in the world are in women, for example… These diseases that women have for a long time are the ones that can be helped the most by changing how they live,” Professor Hammond mentioned.

The study, which examined and evaluated data from earlier studies, described many degenerative disorders, ranging from autoimmune diseases to dementia, that women endure at significantly greater rates than males, despite variations in longevity. “Women account for about 80% of the total autoimmune disorders. Therefore, because of this risk, which is directly related to biology, women require more preventative treatment,” stated Hammond.

How Does Gender Affect Health?

The manner in which women retain vitamins and minerals in their bodies is a contributing factor to this sensitivity. Hammond notes that, on average, women have more body fat than males. Significant amounts of vitamins and minerals are absorbed by body fat, creating a beneficial reserve for pregnant women. This availability, however, implies that less is accessible for the retina and the brain, increasing the risk of degenerative disorders in females.

live longer diet healthy Diet Significantly Reduces Depression

For humans, pigmented carotenoids in the diet serve as antioxidants. Two particular carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin, are present in certain eye and brain tissues and have been demonstrated to ameliorate degeneration of the central nervous system.

“Men and women consume roughly the same quantity of these carotenoids, but women have substantially greater needs,” stated Hammond.

“There are no guidelines for men or women for dietary components that are not directly associated with deficient illness (such as vitamin C and scurvy),” Hammond stated. “Part of the article’s premise is that suggestions must be modified so that women are aware of these vulnerabilities they must proactively address to avoid these difficulties later in life.”

Carotenoids are also available as dietary supplements, and the National Eye Institute program of the National Institutes of Health has allocated money to particular carotenoids. Even while lutein and zeaxanthin pills are a means to increase consumption, according to Hammond, the best way to obtain them is through diet.

Dietary components impact the brain, including personality and our sense of self. “I do not believe most people are aware of the enormous impact eating has on who they are, their disposition, and even their tendency for anger,” Hammond said.

“Now, this extends to the microbiome and the bacteria that live in your gut; all of these components work together to produce the neurotransmitters and building blocks that make up our brain.”

Related Publication and Further Readings

Austad, S. N. and K. E. Fischer (2016). “Sex Differences in Lifespan.” Cell Metab 23(6): 1022-1033.

Collaborators, G. B. D. D. (2019). “Global, regional, and national burden of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, 1990-2016: a systematic analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2016.” Lancet Neurol 18(1): 88-106.

Hammond, B. R. and L. Renzi-Hammond (2022). “The influence of the macular carotenoids on women’s eye and brain health.” Nutr Neurosci: 1-7.

Jacobson, D. L., S. J. Gange, et al. (1997). “Epidemiology and estimated population burden of selected autoimmune diseases in the United States.” Clin Immunol Immunopathol 84(3): 223-243.

Kraemer, S. (2000). “The fragile male.” BMJ 321(7276): 1609-1612.

Zarulli, V., I. Kashnitsky, et al. (2021). “Death rates at specific life stages mold the sex gap in life expectancy.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 118(20): e2010588118.

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