Improve Your Health and Longevity by Building Muscle

weightsIn contrast to the well known BMI (Body Mass Index) which has been shown over and over that being thin is better for your health than being overweight or obese,  Independent of BMI, for men over 55 and women over 65, in this study; all cause-mortality was significantly lower for those with greater muscle mass.

The study analyzed 3,659 participants from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey III for those 55 (65 for women) at the time of the survey (1988-94), with mortality analyses in 2004.   Risk of death for the most muscular (4th quartile) was 0.71-0.91 compared to the least muscular (1st quartile). Those frail and already dying were excluded by excluding those underweight or dying in the first two years of the study. 

In addition to maintaining a good weight for your height (look in the mirror), building muscle is good for your health. Muscles are definitely cells that shrink when not used.  If you have ever been stuck in bed for a month or stopped exercising for a month or longer, you know how difficult it is to get going again.  USE THEM (MUSCLES) or LOOSE THEM.  

Health and wellness is mostly about eating real organic and GMO-free food, drinking filtered water, maintaining a low-stress life with a community of emotional support, taking your needed supplements (at least Vit D3) and as this article suggests, get moving.  Add some weight training to your exercise program.  Those who do well in building muscles may already know that the BMI index doesn’t work for them as it will be high. 

This study used bioelectrical impedance, which runs an electrical current through the body and allows the determination of muscle relative to fat since muscle allows the current to pass more easily.  What this study really shows is that it is your muscle mass that lowers your risk of death, and rather than worrying about BMI, we should be doing what we can to build muscle.  A superior method for measuring body muscle and fat is the water submersion technique, available here in Portland at Portland Adventist Hospital. 

Due to endocrine disrupters in our environment, I am seeing young men and old alike suffering from hypogonadism (low testosterone). Women also can have low testosterone, though one would not supplement testosterone for pre-menopausal women.  If you find it difficult to build muscle or suffer from fatigue or low libido, consider having your hormones checked. 

Below are links to the study described as well as a past blog on the topic of testosterone reviewing the literature.

You can read the study here…

Previous blog on testosterone…


 Dr. Paul



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