The important thing to remember while you are doing this self-evaluation, which may extend over a period of months or even years, is that in almost every situation or condition, you can make choices that will improve your thinking and improve your life. Whether you believe it at this very moment or not, you have unique interests, strengths, skills and feelings that suit you for many purposes and, in the long run, can be of great benefit to you and those around you. As you think about who and why you are, be sure to be on the lookout for these unique aspects of yourself – they will speak to you if you listen for them. And when you do, when you feel in synch with what makes you unique, your self-esteem meter just might register some of its all-time highest ratings.
Mice and humans with growth hormone receptor/IGF-1 deficiencies display major reductions in age-related diseases. Because protein restriction reduces GHR-IGF-1 activity, we examined links between protein intake and mortality. Respondents aged 50-65 reporting high protein intake had a 75% increase in overall mortality and a 4-fold increase in cancer death risk during the following 18 years. These associations were either abolished or attenuated if the proteins were plant derived. Conversely, high protein intake was associated with reduced cancer and overall mortality in respondents over 65, but a 5-fold increase in diabetes mortality across all ages. Mouse studies confirmed the effect of high protein intake and GHR-IGF-1 signaling on the incidence and progression of breast and melanoma tumors, but also the detrimental effects of a low protein diet in the very old. These results suggest that low protein intake during middle age followed by moderate to high protein consumption in old adults may optimize healthspan and longevity.