The 7 Keys To A Long And Healthy Life: Sleep

Sleep is such an integrated part of our lives that we tend to not give it much thought. Some people get just a few hours of sleep, and some are able to function on even less. What’s the big deal, anyway? We all get at least a bit of sleep, right? Does sleep really matter? If so, what’s considered “enough” sleep and is it possible to get too much?

In a previous article, we discussed the seven keys to longevity found by the Alameda County Health Study. The keys were:

  1. Sleeping seven to eight hours per night
  2. No eating between meals
  3. Eating regular breakfasts
  4. Maintaining a proper weight
  5. Exercising regularly
  6. Moderate or no drinking of alcohol
  7. Not smoking

Let’s start with number one: sleep.

How much sleep do you need?  

Studies have shown that it is possible to get too little and too much sleep, but in general, six to nine hours of sleep tend to be ideal for most people. It was shown that those that got less than six hours of sleep or more than nine hours of sleep had 60-70% increased the risk of dying during the nine-year period of the study. 1

The importance of sleep versus exercise

Can getting proper sleep be as important as exercise? In men, it was found that too much or too little sleep carried the same risk to of dying as not exercising regularly. Within the nine-year period of the study, those that did not exercise regularly were found to have a 50% increased risk of dying compared to those that exercise regularly.1

From this data, it appears that getting proper sleep can be even more important than exercise in order to preserve life and vitality. Obviously, getting both proper rest and exercise would be even better! In fact, they’re connected. Getting an hour of exercise can boost your natural melatonin levels by two or three times!Melatonin has been shown to increase sleep quality and is also linked to increased longevity.3

The link between sleep and stroke risk

Researchers have been increasingly interested in sleep and its effect on health. In a recent study, scientists in Japan followed 100,000 middle-aged men and women for fourteen years. Upon observation, those that got four or fewer hours of sleep and those that got ten or more hours of sleep had a 50% increased risk of dying from stroke.4

In 2014 a similar study was conducted among 150,000 Americans. Individuals that slept for six hours or less or more than nine hours had the highest stroke risk. The lowest risk was found among those that got seven to eight hours of sleep per night.5 Other studies conducted in China, Europe, and elsewhere have confirmed that seven to eight hours of sleep is optimal for health and longevity.

Tips for better sleep 

  • Make sure to get natural light during the day and avoid nighttime light exposure, such as light from television and phone screens. This has been shown to boost melatonin production. 6
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat foods with natural melatonin, like oats, corn, rice, ginger, tomatoes, bananas, and barley). 7
  • Sleep as early as possible. In general, the closer your bedtime is to sundown, the better for restful sleep. You know what they say, “Early to bed, early to rise.”
  • Eat foods high in tryptophan, such as tofu, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, almonds, and black walnuts. Tryptophan is one of the eight essential amino acids and is a precursor for melatonin production.

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Beer Phytoestrogens

The Most Potent Phytoestrogen is in Beer

Image Credit: Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr. This image has been modified.

Why do alcoholic men develop so-called man boobs and other feminine traits? We know estrogens produce feminization, and our liver clears estrogens from the body. As such, the original theory was that alcohol-induced liver damage led to the retention of excess estrogens. The problem was that when researchers measured estrogen levels, they weren’t elevated. What’s more, even those with cirrhosis of the liver appeared to clear estrogens from the body normally, and men’s testicles started shrinking even before serious liver disease developed.

So, alternative explanations were considered. If it’s not due to estrogens produced endogenously, meaning within the body, maybe alcoholics are being exposed to “exogenous estrogenic substances from dietary sources”—perhaps from phytoestrogens in the plants that alcoholic beverages are made from. The discovery that plants could contain hormonal compounds was made back in 1951 by two Australian chemists charged with finding out the cause of an “epidemic of infertility in sheep that was ravaging their nation’s wool industry.” It took them ten years, but they finally figured out the cause: a compound called genistein, present in a type of clover, and the same phytoestrogen found in soybeans.

You can read about the dreaded clover disease on scare-mongering websites, but you’ll note they never talk about the difference in dose. To get as much as the sheep were getting from clover, you’d have to drink more than 1,000 cartons of soymilk a day or eat more than 8,000 soy burgers or about 800 pounds of tofu a day.

This is not to say you can’t overdo it. There are two case reports in the medical literature that describe feminizing effects associated with eating as few as 14 to 20 servings of soy foods a day. But at reasonable doses, or even considerably higher than the one or two servings a day Asian men eat, soy phytoestrogens do not exert feminizing effects on men.

So, back in 1951, we realized plant compounds could be estrogenic. Two German researchers realized that perhaps that’s why women who handle hops start menstruating, and, indeed, they found estrogenic activity in hops, which is the bittering agent used to make beer. They found trace amounts of the soy phytoestrogens, but in such tiny quantities that beer would not be expected to have an estrogenic effect. In 1999, however, a potent phytoestrogen called 8-prenylnaringenin was discovered in hops, which I discuss in my video The Most Potent Phytoestrogen Is in Beer. In fact, it’s the most potent phytoestrogen found to date, fifty times more potent than the genistein in soy, “provid[ing] an obvious explanation for the menstrual disturbances in female hop workers in the past.” Today, we have machines to pick our hops, so our only exposure is likely via beer consumption, but the levels in beer were found to be so low that they shouldn’t cause any concern.

Then in 2001, a study on a hops-containing “dietary supplement for breast enhancement” raised the concern that another phytoestrogen in hops called isoxanthohumol might be biotransformed by our liver into the more potent 8-PN, which would greatly augment the estrogenic effect of hops. This study was conducted on mice, though. Thankfully, a study using human estrogen receptors found no such liver transformation, so all seemed fine…until 2005. “[T] he liver is not the only transformation site inside the human body.” The human colon contains trillions of microorganisms with enormous metabolic potential. It’s like a whole separate organ within our body, with a hundred livers’ worth of metabolizing power. So, let’s effectively mix some beer with some poop and see what happens.

Indeed, up to a 90 percent conversion was achieved. Up to then, “the concentration of 8-PN in beer was considered too low to affect human health. However, these results show that the activity of the intestinal microbial community could more than 10-fold increase the exposure concentration.” This can explain why you can detect 8-PN in the urine of beer-drinkers for days: Their gut bacteria keep churning it out. Obviously, the amount of straight 8-PN in beer is not the only source of estrogen effects given this conversion. So, a decade ago, the question remained: Might drinking too much beer cause estrogenic effects and feminize men? See my video What Are the Effects of the Hops Phytoestrogen in Beer? for the update.


ENAD Conference 2019

We are pleased to announce that…

Wir sind glücklich, mitteilen zu dürfen…

registration for the ENAD Conference 2019 is now open – Registration in English

die Registrierung für die ENAD Conference 2019 ist ab sofort eröffnet – Registrierung auf Deutsch 








The program of this year’s ENAD-conference:

Among our speakers for plenary and seminars will be Christopher Kramp, Daniel Binus (MD), Dr. Heidi Schulz (PhD), Dr Nick Dan (PhD, MPH), Dr. Andreas Binus (MD; MPH), Dr Helgi Johnson (MD), Dr Marco Clemens. (subject to modifications)

Transportation to this year’s venue: check here

ENAD conference 2019 prices:

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Tanzania Bible-School LIFE

by Stefan Vogt

ENAD wants to support a local church in their medical missionary efforts and to provide professional help to an already existing mission project.
Haven ́t you ever dreamt about being more practical in our Adventist Mission efforts? We
have! Instead of just talking and discussing about things we could do. Let’s get active!!
For the first time we have the great opportunity to carry out what we have learned and get more practical. In particular – this year we will support Stefan Vogt in his center of influence with medical help and the local church of Liwale in Tanzania by sending teachers to the Bibleschool LIFE (Liwale Institute For Evangelism) who will help in the training of bibleworkers at LIFE.

Why have we chosen Liwale?
The local church of Liwale and Stefan have purposed to reach out to the mostly non-christian community by training lay members to become dedicated evangelists & medical missionaries for their community.  Already planned is the start of the next training course and they are in need of medical professionals and non-medical teachers, both people with passion for mission.

Now it ́s up to YOU! Your choice to get out of the comfort zone! We as the ENAD-Missions-Team and the local church of Liwale need you to get involved in this project, whether you are a professional or not in the medical field, just be passionate! Everyone is warmly welcome!

Here is a short course outline for the 5 month course of LIFE:

▪  Presentations on Bible Knowledge, Discipleship, Mind, Character and Personality, Christian Living, True Education, Adventist Identity, SDA History, Sacred History, Spirit of Prophecy, Evangelism, CARE groups, Worldviews and Religions, Leadership, Pastoral Ministry, Sabbath School, Health, Newstart, Make-up of a Health Expo, Natural remedies, Anatomy/Physiology, Massage, Nutrition, Mental Health, Wholesome Plant-based Diet Preparation, Agriculture, Business and Entrepreneurship

▪  Practical Training of Bibleworkers on Media (Videoschooting, Editing, Lighting,Sound)
These are just a few activities in which you can participate. You can also give your own suggestion of how you want to contribute to the program to us. Please contact Stefan Vogt to share your idea of meeting the needs of people in Liwale.  Be active, share and join the ENAD-Missions-Week!

Time: 1. November 2019 – 31. March 2020

Location: Liwale, Tanzania

Language: English/Swahili

Accomodation: Liwale Seventh Day Adventist Church. Sleeping will be at the Bibleworkers house near the Church.

Own arrival in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. We will welcome you and take over from the Airport. Please contact us for scheduling within the above mentioned timeframe.
150 Euro for a one week stay and 250 USD for the Visa – including meals, accommodation and transport from Dar Es Salaam to Liwale!

Flight to Dar Es Salaam, Busdrive from Dar Es salaam to Liwale (600 km)
Cost: 150 Euro (Stay) & 250 USD  (Visa) & Flight

For more information on this project follow this LINK


Stefan Vogt

ENAD MISSION 2019 Honduras

ENAD MISSION 2019 Honduras — 9.05.2019- 23.05.2019 —

Liebe Freunde von ENAD,

Warum führen wir eine ENAD-Missionswoche durchführen? Die Idee von ENAD-Mission ist es, unser Gesundheitswissen anzuwenden und uns mit diesem im Missionsfeld zu engagieren. Das bedeutet, dass ENAD eine örtliche Kirche bei ihren medizinischen Missionsbemühungen unterstützen oder einem bereits bestehenden Missionsprojekt professionelle Hilfe leisten möchte.

Habt ihr noch nie davon geträumt, euer Wissen in die Tat umzusetzen und zu erleben, wie Gott euch in euerem Engagement segnet! Wir haben es erlebt und wollen euch nun die Möglichkeit geben auch so tolle Erfahrungen mit unserem Gott zu machen! Anstatt nur über Dinge zu reden und darüber zu diskutieren, könnten ihr nun aktiv werden! Sei dabei!

WO ? Honduras, Missionscampus VIDA international in El Suyatal bei Cedros


Ein Projekt das von jungen, gottesfürchtigen Leuten auf die Beine gestellt wurde! Der Missionscampus verfügt über eine Grundschule, ein Gesundheitsstation, eine große Gartenanlage mit einer Avocatoplantage und vieles mehr. Ihr könnte euch sowohl medizinisch als auch nicht medizinisch in verschiedensten Bereichen auf dem Missionscampus VIDA mit einbringen.

ENAD MISSION 2019 Honduras


Es besteht eine sehr große Nachfrage nach Zahnreinigung und Zahnbehandlungen. In der Vergangenheit ist immer eine Zahnhygienikerin aus der Schweiz jährlich nach El Suyatal gekommen, und hat sowohl die Kinder, als auch Erwachsene behandelt. Ich werde immer wieder gefragt, wann mal wieder jemand kommen wird. Im Anhang eine Beschreibung von Rene (der Zahnhygienikerin). Es ist eine Maschine vorhanden, mit der man Bohrungen und andere Dinge durchführen kann.

1  Zahnmedizin.

2  Krankengymnastik:

Es gibt nur wenige Krankengymnasten in Honduras. Die Leiterin des Gesundheitszentrums ist ausgebildete Krankengymnastin. Patienten kommen aus einem großen Radius nach El Suyatal, einem Dorf, wo die Schotterstraße endet, um behandelt zu werden. Wenn wir wüssten, dass Kgs mitkommen würden, könnte man das publik machen. Es gibt viel zu tun!

3  Gesundheitsaufklärung:

Abhängig davon, wie viele und wer mitkommen kann, gibt es verschiedene Bedüfnisse:

  • Unterricht für die Kinder in Campos Blancos, der bilingual Grundschule. In einem weiteren Anhang findest du die Themen für die verschiedenen Klassenstufen, die Jenny, die Direktorin der Grundschule zusammengestellt hat. Es wäre eine RIESEN Erleichterung, wenn jemand sich berufen fühlen würde, die vorgegebenen Themen zu unterrichten. Geplant sind 1 Stunde/Tag in einer Woche (also 5 Stunden insgesamt) Gesundheitsaufklärung per Gruppe. Es gibt 3 Gruppen. Das würde also bedeuten, dass 15 Stunden unterrichtet werden müssten.
  • Unterricht für Gesundheitspersonal:
  • Je nachdem, wie viele Teilnehmer mitkommen werden, möchten wir Klassen für Krankenschwestern im Dorf organisieren. Das würde helfen, weitere Kontakte im Dorf zu knüpfen.

4 Ärzte:
Abhängig davon, welche Patienten es gerade im Gesundheitszentrum gibt, könnten sie auch bei den Untersuchungen helfen. Es gibt normalerweise keinen Arzt vor Ort, der das macht.

Nicht medizinisch

5  Lehrtätigkeit:

Die Grundschule braucht immer wieder ‘Lehrer’, die keine ausgebildeten Lehrer sein brauchen, um beim Unterricht auszuhelfen. Voraussetzung: relativ fließend Englisch sprechen. Zumindest so gut, dass man mit den Kindern auf Englisch reden kann.

6  Landwirtschaft:

Abhängig vom Wetter, das auch wie in Europa nicht mehr so ‘vorhersehbar’ ist.

ENAD MISSION 2019 Honduras

  • Normalerweise beginnt im Mai/Juni die Regenzeit. Es ist der Plan, weitere Avocadobäume zu kaufen (als Einnahmequelle für die Zukunft), die dann auf dem Grundstück auf den Bergen gepflanzt werden sollen. Das erfordert viel manuelle Arbeit. Löcher müssen vorbereitet werden, damit die Bäume kurz vor Beginn der Regenzeit eingepflanzt werden können, die dann vom Regen ‘bewässert’ werden. Köperlich anstrengend, aber eine sehr befriedigende Arbeit.
  • Wenn das wegen Regen ausfallen sollte, dann gibt es ausreichend Arbeit direkt dort, wo das Projekt ist. Der Boden muss vorbereitet werden, viel Gemüse gepflanzt etc. Letztendlich entscheiden die Wetterbedingung und die Manpower, was gemacht werden wird. Es besteht auf jeden Fall ein großer Bedarf! ANREISE: Muss selbst organisiert werden! ANSPRECHPERSON: Bei Fragen Zwecks Unterkunft, Verpflegung und Anreise meldet euch bitte baldmöglichst bei Heike! E-mail: Telefon: 017647303538