Search Term: " Senior "
New findings show mushrooms protect brain health
May 10, 2019 02:15 PM
The culinary world loves mushrooms because they have rich flavors but yet they are packed with high amount of nutrition and possess antioxidant and anti-inflammation properties. But new findings show that mushrooms can even provide much more. They have been shown to help in brain health. The research highlighted in this blog shows that when people eat mushrooms they have reduced risk of a mild cognitive impairment that precedes Alzheimer’s disease. The study was conducted in the National University of Singapore and used 600 human subjects who were given various types of mushrooms such as dried mushrooms, white button mushrooms, and golden mushrooms. The researchers found at the end of the study that participants who had consumed mushrooms had reduced cognitive decline especially if they take two or more servings of mushrooms each week as seniors. Other benefits of mushrooms beyond brain health are that it helps prevent cancer, improves the immune function, reduces weight, and is a healthy source of vitamin D.
"Beyond the new findings that show mushrooms may boost brain health and lower the risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease, mushrooms offer other significant health benefits, too."
Read more: https://www.naturalhealth365.com/mushrooms-brain-health-2936.html
Coconut oil studied for its potential to reverse Alzheimer's
April 22, 2019 04:31 PM
A recent study that was conducted by scientists in Spain has shown that extra virgin coconut oil can actually result in the reversal of Alzheimer's symptoms. A controlled group was given 40 mL of olive oil each day while receiving cognitive evaluations by the researchers in order to determine how their cognitive functioning was coming along. The results showed an increase in this functioning when it came to those who were taking in the extra virgin coconut oil on a regular basis.
"Some research has indicated that it very well could be a natural way to boost cognition, and possibly even reverse the effects of this dreaded disease."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-02-27-coconut-oil-to-reverse-alzheimers.html
Whey protein supports recovery from muscle loss among the elderly
March 27, 2019 10:31 AM
Whey protein is good for building muscle especially in the elderly. Studies have shown that whey protein can help elderly people build lost muscle from long hospital stays or illness. Lack of strength in the elderly can affect their balance and the ability to perform simple tasks. A controlled study of sixteen men and fifteen women between the ages of sixty-five and eighty, were given whey protein or collagen for five weeks. During the study there was no difference between the two, but after the study, whey proved to recover more muscle than collagen. The right supplements can help keep you healthy when paired with a healthy diet and exercise.
"A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has found that whey protein can help seniors rebuild lost muscle from inactivity linked to illness or long hospital stays."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-26-whey-protein-supports-recovery-from-muscle-loss-elderly.html
Reduces homocysteine levels and acts as an Alzheimers bodyguard?
March 12, 2019 01:50 PM
The prevalence of Alzheimer's is steadily growing, and researchers are growing more and more concerned at the apparent epidemic. Approximately one in six adults will end up experiencing some form of dementia, and this statistic alone is enough to motivate medical experts to find solutions. Some physicians are finding that taking in adequate amounts of omega-3 fatty acids each day can help prevent the stiffening and inflammation of cells that have the potential to lead to a drop in cognitive function related to dementia.
"The influence of marine-based omega-3 fats on physical and mental health has been the subject of intense research for decades, and there’s compelling evidence they can help ameliorate a variety of psychiatric illnesses and degenerative brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s."
Read more: https://www.healthnutnews.com/reduces-homocysteine-levels-and-acts-as-an-alzheimers-bodyguard/
Can CBD oil help with pain, and can raisins really help you sleep?
March 09, 2019 09:44 AM
1.There is scientific support for the use of cannabis-based medicines to manage chronic pain. However, medicinal marijuana is not availabe in all states. Where it is not available, some are using CBD oil as an alternative. CBD is cannabidiol, a compound derived from cannabis. 2.Hot compresses are sometimes prescribed to treat a condition called blepharitis, which affects the eyelids. It can be difficult to keep a hot compress hot for more than a short time. Hand warmers and reheatable Dry Eye Relief Masks are a good alternative. 3.Eating a handful of raisins before bedtime can reduce the number of bathroom trips during the night.
"I live in an upscale retirement community, and a large number of people here are using marijuana oil to relieve pain without side effects."
Read more: https://www.seattletimes.com/life/wellness/pharmacy-marijuana-senior-citizens/
Carotenoids may also bolster brain function in older adults: Study
February 07, 2019 04:16 PM
Antioxidants and substances with anti-inflammatory properties have long shown to have great advantages on neurological function. Researchers are now finding that carotenoids can provide both of these beneficial properties, and that consuming carotenoids may help aid older adults in maintaining their brain health while preventing certain neurological disorders. The experts found that specifically lutein and zeaxanthin are the two carotenoids that have the most impact on successfully boosting cognitive function in seniors, as well as increasing verbal skills.
"However, while most studies have looked at the benefits of lutein and zeaxanthin in eye health, it should be worth noting that the two are also found in certain brain regions."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-19-carotenoids-may-also-bolster-brain-function-in-older-adults.html
Daily green tea consumption found to slash dementia risk by up to86%
January 10, 2019 04:26 PM
Green tea has long been touted for its many health benefits. It is full of antioxidants that help remove oxidation and free radicals from the body system. New studies reveal that it is also very effective in offsetting the risk factors of developing dementia later in life. Dementia effects the brain's memory system and in later stages the body's neurological system. Green tea helps to break down the plaque like build up of beta amyloid in the brain by over 80% and reducing the risk of development of dementia by over 50% in patient populous with a genetic history.
"Beta-amyloid plaques is shown to trigger the onset of cognitive disorders in patients. Researchers note similar effects regardless of whether the tea was green or black."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2019-01-02-daily-green-tea-consumption-found-to-slash-dementia-risk-by-up-to-86-percent.html
PQQ is effective in combating neurodegeneration that can affect theaging brain
December 21, 2018 08:53 AM
A nutrient called Pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) has shown potential for combating the degenerative neurological symptoms of Alzheimer’s, according to research published by Life Extension. Mice that were given a PQQ supplement developed smaller deposits of toxic proteins in their brains compared to the mice that did not, and also demonstrated better recall, memory, motor skills and learning relative to the control group. Other research suggests PQQ may help with Parkinson’s symptoms, and improve blood circulation within the brain.
"But there are many ways in which a person can reduce their risk of neurodegeneration as they age, like healthy eating."
Read more: https://www.naturalnews.com/2018-12-13-pqq-combats-neurodegeneration-that-can-affect-the-aging-brain.html
Beet juice may reduce walking pain with leg artery disease
October 10, 2018 03:26 PM
It may be hard to believe but beet juice is being considered as a way to improve the living conditions of someone with leg artery disease. Some may wonder how this is even remotely possible. However, reports are saying that people who suffer from this disease feel as if beet juice reduces some of the pain when walking. This is a massive revelation because, if true, now doctors and scientists have a sort of remedy for something they did not have before.
"“This makes it an attractive potential therapeutic approach for individuals with PAD who have severely limited blood/oxygen supply to the lower limbs which severely reduces their function and makes everyday tasks require a vigorous effort,” said senior study author Jason David Allen of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville."
Read more: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-blood-vessels-legs/beet-juice-may-reduce-walking-pain-with-leg-artery-disease-idUSKCN1LN2JC?feedType=RSS&feedName=healthNews
Vitamin B6 Benefits, Food Sources, Dietary Allowance & Deficiency
May 22, 2018 05:16 PM
Pyridoxamine (aka Vitamin B6) is a water soluble vitamin of the B Complex family with a range of important nervous system and stress regulation functions. B6 helps regular immunity, protect the skin, prevent cognitive decline (especially in seniors) and provide for a steady, healthy emotional state and sleep cycle. Foods rich in B6 run the gamut from plant-based sources like chickpeas, tofu, brown rice and avocados to beef liver, chicken breast, yellow tuna and other animal sources.
"In the research test groups, it was shown that Vitamin B6 benefits cognitive health in such a way that it can significantly reduce serum total homocysteine (tHcy) levels. This process is especially helpful when B6 is taken in supplement form; even then, it can better aid cognitive health when used alongside additional vitamins such as B12."
Read more: https://healthyfoodmaster.com/vitamin-b6-benefits-food-sources-dietary-allowance-deficiency/
Tell Your Grandparents to Start Consuming Weed: 8 Reasons Why Seniors Should Use Cannabis ...
October 30, 2017 01:14 PM
It's easy for me to believe that the elderly would benefit from cannabis. Considering the plant is useful for pain management and arthritis pain. While i was in favor of the first point, I wasn't sure of what to think of point two. The usual stereotype for a cannabis user is dad bod at best.
I do wish there was more studies done on the benefits of cannabis over prescription pain relief for elderly. With America going through an opioid epidemic, you can see instant and prolonged benefit from this issue. Younger patients could be introduced to cannabis from a medical standpoint immediately, and not need opioids at age 11 for an appendix surgery.
Endocannabinoids are apparently good for bone strength. Which is great for the elderly.
Again, chronic pain is relieved by cannabis. Dementia can also be treated with cannabis. And can be prevented by smoking as an adult.
Enjoying life doesn't mean smoking cannabis, but smoking cannabis makes life enjoyable.
"Every day, Baby Boomers and seniors are discovering the many benefits of the natural herb, and they’re using it to combat the consequences of age"
Read more: http://www.dopemagazine.com/8-reasons-grandparents-use-cannabis/
Marijuana for your memory? Study suggests wonder drug can reverse memory loss in older people
May 29, 2017 09:14 AM
Marijuana has been a hot topic for many years, but nothing like it is today. For years, people believed it caused addiction, destroyed brain cells, and many other nefarious results. Yet today, with legalization of this drug becoming ever more popular, many studies are looking into its efficacy for MS, pain, inflammation, anxiety and depression. A recent study indicated it might even help with the memories of elders. In Time we will learn its many benefits, but at the present, its used most for pain.
"The findings showed that marijuana clearly had a positive effect on mature and aging brains, though it has yet to be studied further in humans."
Read more: http://www.naturalnews.com/2017-05-15-marijuana-for-your-memory-study-suggests-wonder-drug-can-reverse-memory-loss.html
Increasing use by elders of CBD for anxiety
May 23, 2017 11:44 AM
Medical marijuana has helped those with issues such as dementia cope with the pain but limiting the side effects of getting 'high'. As an example, a woman named Grace in Oregon began using a strain of this to help with her anxiety. In doing so, she was able to stay more calm vs. normal medication. Various facilities in the area help support this with recommendations and for a nominal fee for those interested in learning more.
"If you are living in a facility that accepts Medicare or Medicaid, you cannot use marijuana in any form, even though it’s legal in Oregon."
Read more: http://www.dailytidings.com/news/20170516/increasing-use-by-elders-of-cbd-for-anxiety
Daily consumption of tea may protect the elderly from cognitive decline, study suggests
March 23, 2017 06:44 AM
A recent study of almost a thousand Chinese seniors aged 55 and over strongly suggests that drinking tea daily can help reduce the risk of cognitive decline by at least fifty percent, and as much as eighty-six percent in some. Starting in 2003, the seniors' tea drinking habits were tracked for two full years. Then their cognitive function was assessed every two years, ending in 2010. Possible confounding factors were controlled carefully. At this point in time, scientists believe this finding is due the bioactive compounds in tea.
Read more: Daily consumption of tea may protect the elderly from cognitive decline, study suggests
Having Children Increases Longevity
March 21, 2017 06:44 AM
A study of over one million Swedish men and women found that those who raised children could expect to have a longer lifespan than their childless counterparts. Researchers posited that the increased longevity may be caused by a number of factors including the consumption of healthier foods and engagement in pro-social activities as compared to their childless counterparts. In addition, as individuals aged, those with children also tended to have a greater network of socialization and physical / logistical support than those without. This additional support slowed the physical decline of adults in their senior years, especially amongst men.
Read more: Having Children Increases Longevity
Boost your memory now, avoid dementia later
February 17, 2017 05:59 AM
My father played tennis and basketball during his youth, then shifted to golf in his mid- 40s. He didn’t smoke or drink except occasionally, during special occasions. He shunned rich foods and had a simple diet of fish, lean meat, fruits, and vegetables. He is, to this day, still driving his car and playing golf at age 96! He is the chairman emeritus of the Senior Citizens Golfers and leads the group to attend golf tournaments abroad once a year.
Low levels of manganese in welding fumes cause neurological problems
January 10, 2017 10:59 AM
Recently a new study has found that welders that are exposed to airborne manganese at some estimated levels that are under safety standards set by federal law have developed neurological problems. In general the current standards that are set for safety might not be adequate enough to protect welders from the dangers that come with it.
""We found that chronic exposure to manganese-containing welding fumes is associated with progressive neurological symptoms such as slow movement and difficulty speaking," said Brad A. Racette, MD, a professor of neurology and the study's Senior author."
What is CBD? The Everyday Guide to Cannabidiol
January 01, 2017 11:19 PM
CBD, which is rapidly gaining popularity, is known for its immense healing properties that are just being discovered as scientific research into the cannabis plant expands. "CBD is quickly expanding beyond the medical marijuana community and into totally new demographics. This rapid growth is certain to continue as more and more individuals discover how CBD can play a positive role in their own healthcare outcomes," said Patrick O'Malley, President of Good Life Colorado. Dr. Noel Palmer, Ph.D., The Chief Scientist at Mary's Medicinals, is equally enthusiastic the excitement around CBD, "CBD has amazing therapeutic efficacy for a large variety of conditions, but it doesn't get you stoned. For those who want a plant-derived medicine, CBD is an great option with very few negative side effects."
"As America's fastest growing industry, the legal cannabis industry is navigating unchartered territory by producing and selling products made from a versatile plant that has been in the shadows for the last 80 years."
Want fewer wrinkles? Eat protein at every meal, plus fruits, vegetables, healthy fats
November 27, 2016 04:59 PM
Reduce wrinkles by following healthier diet habits. Maintain a steady intake of fluids for hydration, such as milk, orange juice, water. Regularly eating a combination of fruits like oranges, pineapples, some vegetables such as tomatoes, beets, and high protein foods like chicken, meat, and fish, will reduce the speed of wrinkles on your body. These simple tips will function much better than using anti-aging creams and lotions which are the most commonly followed rituals today.
"Eating an anti-inflammatory diet with healthy fats, including olive oil and avocado, along with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits, can help reduce inflammation."
Superaging: why some 80 year olds have the memory capacity of 20 year olds
November 08, 2016 09:54 AM
Superagers is a term used by researchers to describe a minority of Senior citizens who appear to maintain memories as dependable as those many years younger. Science is just beginning to explain why superagers have such strong memories. While certain sections of superagers’ brains may deteriorate, their memory networks stay as functional as those of an 18-32 year old person. Neurology researchers at the Journal of Neuroscience are surprised by these recent findings. By observing superagers, researchers hope to learn more about the slowing down of cognitive function and the conditions associated with it.
"Now, researchers have provided some insight as to why and how some of our Senior citizens are able to hold on to their robust memories."
The Health Benefits OF Avocado Oil
March 08, 2014 09:02 AM
Benefits of avocado
Avocado oil has a high attention of healthier fats and supplement E, that is a fabulous epidermis lotion. Icy pressed virgin avocado oil, taken consistently, may help decrease levels of cholesterol and ensure against coronary illness.
Actually avocado oil holds its own particular emulsifier, lecithin, and additionally the cancer prevention agents Vitamin An and Vitamin E that likewise help to administer a young looking skin. These cell reinforcement vitamins annihilate the free radicals that execute your skin cells and make you look more advanced in years. Avocado oil can help you to continue looking more youthful as you develop sequentially more Senior. It likewise holds vitamin D that is so paramount in large portions of the natural methodologies inside your skin - it is not called the 'daylight vitamin' to no end.
The Amazing Health Benefits of Curcumin
April 19, 2012 07:31 AM
Have you heard of curcumin? Curcumin is a popular spice that originated in Eastern culture. This spice is popular because it offers a lot of health benefits to people. For those individuals who are interested to achieve optimal health and want to live a longer life, it would be best to ad curcumin in their daily diets. This spice can definitely affect the overall health of individuals.
What is curcumin?
Curcumin is not just an actual spice, but it is one of the ingredients of Tumeric, which is considered a famous Indian spice. Curcumin is commonly used in making curries with a strong taste that are being appreciated in the West. However, this ingredient is consumed by many people because of the health benefits it could bring. Curcumin is very in demand in India, Middle East and Asian countries because they use curcumin as a medicine.
There are various health benefits of curcumin. If you want to take advantage of these benefits, it is important that you be aware of these health benefits:
• Helps treat certain illnesses- According to research and studies, it has been shown that curcumin can effectively treat and prevent particular ailments such as brain problems and cancer. Individuals suffering from Alzheimer's disease can definitely overcome their condition with regular consumption of curcumin.
• An effective body pain reliever- A lot of individuals, most especially the Senior citizens are always experiencing body pains because of weak bones. According to a recent study, curcumin has been believed to relive pain and improve mobility for sufferers with osteoarthritis and other body pains. Curcumin contains anti-inflammatory properties that help alleviate body aches.
• Positive effects on brain health- Another awesome benefit if curcumin is providing positive effects on brain health. According to reports, even just occasional ingestion of curcumin can improve brain power. It is necessary to have a healthy and powerful brain so that it is easier to think clearly all the time. It also effectively reduces the levels of toxic metals in the brain.
• Helps avoid premature aging- Curcumin is packed with antioxidants, which are responsible in preventing the occurrence of premature aging. Premature aging is a very common condition, most especially to people with an unhealthy lifestyle. It would be best to stop all your filthy habits and add curcumin in your regular diet to achieve a healthy body and younger looking skin.
These are some of the amazing health benefits of curcumin. If you want to achieve a healthy body and mind, this healthy supplement is the excellent supplement to utilize. There is no recommended dose for curcumin. Studies have utilized doses between 100 mg to 8000 mg without experiencing any over dosage side effects. In fact, individuals can consume up to 12,000 mg per day.
Curamin can either be consumed as a supplement, or it can be added in certain food or meals. Basically, people in India would add this spice to their every dish so that they could attain superior health. You can also add curcumin when you are cooking, but if you have no time to cook, nutritional supplements can be the perfect alternative.
May 17, 2008 10:17 AM
Recently, the Natural Products Association has experienced a flurry of activity on the legislative front. One month ago, Natural Products Association members went to Washington, D.C. to meet with their representatives and discuss legislation important to the association and the industry. Many who could not visit Washington in person were part of our "virtual march" on Washington that delivered e-mails, petitions, and videos to Congress on the importance of natural products. Natural Products Day was a great success, boasting higher than ever attendance at our evening Congressional reception, and resulting in additional co-sponsors for S. 771, the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act sponsored by Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). The bill now boasts co-sponsorship of more than a quarter of the Senate. Its companion bill in the House of Representatives, H.R. 1363, sponsored by Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), has gained an additional five co-sponsors as the result of Natural Products Day meetings and now has 140 co-sponsors. These bills continue to build momentum, thanks to your support.
More recently, the Natural Products Association urged supporters to contact their legislators to include an amendment to the "Farm Bill" allowing food stamp recipients to purchase dietary supplements. This provision was similar to free-standing bills that have been introduced in the current and previous Congresses by Sens. Harkin and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and have earned the association's support. Although the amendment advanced further than other versions in previous sessions, it did not make the final Farm Bill, which was reported out of conference today. The good news is that the Farm Bill did contain significant increases in nutrition programs and increased funding for organic farming, another supported goal of the Natural Products Association. Because of the strong effort of our supporters on the amendment's behalf, the bill was placed on Congress's radar screens and has greatly improved the chances as stand-alone legislation, S. 770, the Food Stamp Vitamin and Mineral Improvement Act, of seeing passage. We will continue to ask for support on this important bill as this legislative session progresses.
In addition, the Natural Products Association has been leading the fight to protect Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and to keep this important, safe, and effective supplement available to elderly consumers. The same players behind S. 762, which would wrongly classify DHEA as an anabolic steroid, proposed S. 2470 in late 2007 as a misplaced reaction the release of the Mitchell Report, which chronicled the abuse of steroids by professional baseball players. Although DHEA has no performance enhancing attributes, this bill was proposed to limit the access of minors to DHEA. The Natural Products Association and its supporters have worked hard to inform Congress of the benefits of DHEA, and that it is not an anabolic steroid and should not be classified as one. We have been able so far to prevent any movement on the bill, but the association continues to monitor its progress and make sure that this supplement remains accessible to the Seniors who need it most.
Thanks to your help, the Natural Products Association continues to have an active presence on Capitol Hill that is felt by legislators. We could not do it without the help of you, our supporters, who know how important it is to stand up for natural products. The impact of your messages to legislators continues to help the Natural Products Association to ensure all natural products - from natural and organic foods to dietary supplements and health and beauty aids - are accessible to Americans. With your continued support we will continue to be known as a vocal group with a wide base of support through the rest of this legislative session and beyond.
To get involved, please visit our action center at www.capwiz.com/nnfa/issues/
Seniors Need More Than a Multiple with Only 100 Percent of the RDA
January 21, 2008 03:14 PM
The aging process is a gradual one. That might seem obvious, and it is, but it is the fact that it is gradual that causes people not to notice the small but significant changes in their body that are taking place. Aging is more than just the oxidation of skin cells that cause them to wrinkle, but involves specific functional cell changes, such as their ability to multiply.
As this slows down the immune system is affected, and we find it more difficult to recover from injury and disease. Oxidation becomes more prevalent and free radicals become more common as the natural antioxidants of our bodies become overwhelmed. We are less able to recover from the effects of environmental stress, such as UV radiation from the sun, pollution and the effects of heat. We find it increasingly difficult to deal with a lack of nutrition or toxins in our food from pesticides. In short, we become less capable of dealing with attack by invaders, but do not notice this gradual lack of immune response.
Age also affects our joints from the vertebrae in the neck to the joints of our toes. The net result is a compression of the bones that causes a reduction in height. We also develop more body fat and less muscle tissue, which is a significant consideration in planning the nutritional needs of the elderly. However, of more critical importance when discussion the nutritional needs of our aging population is the possibility of malabsorption.
Malabsorption is an inability of the digestive system to absorb nutrients from food, and occurs in people of any age although it tends to be more prevalent in Seniors. It is predominantly due to a dysfunction of the liver, the pancreas or the small intestine that are the three major physical components of the human digestive system.
The liver produces bile that is needed to process the fats in your food, and if the bile is not delivered to the small intestine, then malabsorption is possible. The same is true of the enzymes that are produced by the pancreas These enzymes are important components in the biochemistry that allow us to absorb nutrition from our food, and since most of this absorption occurs in the small intestine, this too is essential for proper absorption. When any of these three are reduced in efficiency, as they are with advancing years, then malabsorption will occur.
When this occurs in Seniors, however, it is essential that a multiple supplement with more than 100% of the RDA (Rcommended Daily Allowance) is used. This type of nutritional deficiency can be very serious at an age when so many normal biochemical processes are slowing down, and it is important that steps are taken to avoid the serious problems that can arise.
The immediate symptoms of malabsorption are diarrhea and weight loss, although the more serious longer term effects are anemia due to a deficiency in folic acid and iron and a reduction in the blood’s ability to form clots due to a deficiency in vitamin K absorption. There are others, but not all problems associated with aging are actually due to malabsorption, or even with aging.
Many of the problems associated with aging are now believed to be connected with the patient’s lifestyle and diet. Heart disease such as atherosclerosis is now known to begin earlier in life, as are many other conditions once believed to be associated with age. A loss of cognitive ability can be age related, but also due to cigarette smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. However, irrespective of all this, it is essential that the aged are provided with vitamin and mineral supplements offering more than 100% RDA.
Calcium is of particular importance for older women who are particularly prone to osteoporosis due to malabsorption of calcium from their food. At least 1000mg daily should be taken, and extra magnesium and vitamins A and E will also be necessary since they are needed for the proper absorption of calcium. The extra does not infer that all of the supplement will be absorbed, but that enough should be to help reduce the possibility of bone density problems.
The elderly are particularly prone to vitamin B deficiencies, particularly of vitamin B12, due to absorption problems and a good vitamin B complex supplement is needed. Chromium too can be seriously depleted in the aged, and this mineral is necessary to enhance the activity of insulin. It is also believed to play a part in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. There are no known consequences of an excess of chromium so a good supplement can be provided. It is believed that vitamin B and chromium together are required for cardiovascular and neurological health that are so important as we age.
One important supplement for the elderly is Coenzyme Q10. Many older people are prescribed drugs such as statins for the treatment of high cholesterol levels. Statins work by depressing the biochemical synthesis of cholesterol by blocking the action of mevalonate, and this is known to interfere with the metabolism of Coenzyme Q10, otherwise known as ubiquinone.
CoQ10 is essential in allowing the production of energy within the cell mitochondria by allowing electron transfer back and forth between NAD and NADH to allow the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). A supplement of this important enzyme is therefore essential in maintaining the energy levels of the aged who are being prescribed statins.
Almost 20% of the elderly on prescription drugs are also taking herbal remedies and supplements, and there could be an interaction between them. Anybody taking prescription drugs should consult their physicians before taking natural remedies or any form of supplement, and this is particularly true of the elderly.
However, where the elderly are safely taking a vitamin and mineral supplement, it is extremely important that this contains more than just the RDA. Absorption problems are very common in the elderly, and this excess can make sure that they receive more than they would otherwise, if not the whole recommended dosage of the particular substance involved. Better safe than sorry, especially where an excess is not known to cause harm.
May 28, 2007 11:33 AM
Humankind has long searched for a special elixir that would confer immortality…or, failing that, at least prolong youthful vitality for a decent number of years. Resveratrol is no magic potion, but it has improved survival rates among mice at the ripe old age (for a mouse) of 114 weeks even overweight mice fed high-calorie chow (Nature online 11/1/06). What’s more the Resveratrol bolstered rodents stayed fit and trim well into their Senior years; as Dr. Rafael de Cabo of the National Institute on Aging told the news service heartwire, such a finding “suggests that this compound may not just extend life but may also enable individuals to lead healthy and functional lives for longer.”
While tests continue on how Resveratrol could produce these results, it is believed that this substance may actually mimic the effects of calories restriction, which has been shown to increase longevity. Resveratrol apparently activates a gene known as SIRT1 activation is also associated with greater exercise capacity and fat burning.) in addition, Resveratrol both acts as an antioxidant itself by mopping up dangerous molecules called free radicals and helps enhance the antioxidant effects of vitamin C and E.
An Interview with Congressman Sam Farr, Representing California’s Central Coast.
May 30, 2006 02:36 PM
Ambassador to Health Profile
An Interview with Congressman Sam Farr, Representing California’s Central Coast.
Congressman Sam Farr, a fifth-generation Californian, represents the state’s beautiful central coast. His district encompasses the length of the big Sur coastline in Monterey County, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, the Salinas Valley “Salad bowl,” the redwoods, mountains and beaches of Santa Cruz County, and the majestic rural landscape of San Benito County. The health and wealth of this region has been strengthened by Rep. Farr’s focus on the environment, education and the economy. Rep. Farr was raised in Carmel, California and graduated from Willamette University with a BS in biology. He later attended the Monterey Institute of International Studies and the University of Santa Clara. He is fluent in Spanish. As a tough advocate for the health food industry, he has lobbied for strict federal organic standards.
Todd: Congressman Farr, thank you for taking the time to speak with us! Id also like to thank you for all the great things you’ve done for our community, form funding marine sanctuaries and authoring the Ocean’s Act to expanding Pinnacles national Monument. The League of Conservation Voters and others have recognized you as an “Environmental Hero”. And, you’ve worked hard to support the economic vitality of central coast’s $3 billion agriculture industry which includes a substantial organic segment. Our backyard here is also the home of a robust group of nutritional supplement manufacturers. An estimated 187 million Americans are currently taking dietary supplements as part of their daily healthy diet. In California, we’ve got 792 natural product manufacturers and distributors. Where do you stand on the state of our industry?
Congressman Farr: Well, thank you for the introduction and for asking to talk to me about nutritional supplement issues. I am very supportive of this industry and include myself in the 187 million Americans taking dietary supplements. I think supplements offer many safe and viable tools to maintain your health. The continued growth of this industry is an indication of both consumer confidence in the products and the products’ ability to fill the gaps where conventional medical care falls short.
Todd: It is estimated that by 2030, more than 70 million Americans will be over the age of 65 and the cost of health care could reach $16 Trillion per year. A recent study by the Lewin Group showed that by taking certain dietary supplements, Seniors can lead healthier, more productive, independent lives while saving billions in reduced hospitalizations and physician services. Do you share our view that a Wellness Revolution is needed to counter the dilemma of an aging population versus shrinking health care support in the future?
Congressman Farr: Our health care system is definitely facing a challenge, especially as the Baby Boomers hit their 60’s and Americans are living longer than ever before. As a Baby Boomer myself, I am well aware of America’s aging population and the impact that will likely have not only on our social institutions but also our fiscal well-being. I agree that dietary supplements do play and will play an even larger role in the future as more Seniors look for a way to augment their diets in order to stay healthy and active longer than past generations.
Todd: Our industry is regulated by DSHEA (the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act), which was passed unanimously by Congress in 1994 to create a reasonable regulatory framework for access to, information about, dietary supplements. But many say that the FDA and DSHEA weren’t adequately funded to do the job as tasked. “Supplements are unregulated” is a false argument we sometimes hear. To ensure that the FDA is able to carry out the law as Congress intended, Representatives Dan Burton (R-Ind.) and Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) introduced H.R. 2485, the DSHEA Full Implementation and Enforcement Act of 2005. Did you support this bill and where does it stand today?
Congressman Farr: I think the DSHEA is a critical law and was proud to support it when Congress considered it in 1993 and 1994. I would certainly support H.R. 2485 if it came up for a vote in Congress. Unfortunately this bill has not moved since it was first introduced and referred to the Subcommittee on health in the house energy and commerce committee. Since this is an election year we have a tight schedule with only about 60 legislative days scheduled before we adjourn. That means it’s likely Congress will only finalize bills such as the appropriation bills that fund government before adjournment.
Todd: Our business climate has included some valid and rigorous challenges to improve our industry, from good manufacturing practices (GMP), to allergy labeling, to implications of Prop-65 in California. It’s disconcerting that a new bill, H.R. 3156 The Dietary Supplement Access and Awareness Act would try to capitalize on misconceptions about the industry. In an era of declining health care and declining insurance coverage, this bill would regulate supplements as prescription drugs. Among other things, it would also require adverse event reports to be turned over to the FDA, even though other foods, including those with identical ingredients, do not have the same requirements. This has the potential to be the next Prop-65-like Lawsuit mill. The result of H.R. 3156 would be chilling. It will knock smaller producers out of the market. It will result in higher prices for all supplements. It will decrease the availability of health-giving supplements to the public. What’s your feeling on this?
Congressman Farr: I am similarly concerned about H.R. 3156 and would oppose it if it came up for a vote in Congress. Like H.R. 2485, this legislation has been referred to a subcommittee on Health in the House Energy and Commerce Committee without any further action. The supplement industry has worked in good faith with the FDA since passage of DSHEA and H.R. 3156 would re-invent a wheel that isn’t needed. Instead, adequate funding as proposed in H.R. 2485 would provide ample oversight for the industry.
Todd: According to a recent study, 72% of the general population believe the government should fund more research on health benefits of nutritional supplements. Do you agreen and what can be done to meet this need?
Congressman Farr: I definitely agree that the federal government should play a bigger role in support of research regarding the health benefits of nutritional supplements. As a member of the House Appropriation Committee, I sit on the subcommittee that has jurisdiction over the FDA’s budget and I know the tight fiscal restraints the agency is under. I’ve worked with my colleagues to provide adequate funding, but it’s an uphill battle especially when we’re in a “robbing Peter to pay Paul” kind of situation. I recommend that people within the industry organize and use your consumer base to actively lobby Congress for additional funds. I’m fond of reminding people that the squeaky wheel gets grease – so let every Congress member and Senator know how much this issue matters to you.
Todd: When there is overwhelming scientific evidence that nutritional supplements provides relief for a disease condition, it currently takes a lawsuit to get the FDA to relent and allow the claim. Even then, the FDA strictly limits the claim and requires a disclaimer that does more harm than good in communicating this important information to the public. There is a new bill, H.R. 4282, The Health Freedom Protection Act that would end FDA and FTC censorship of health information. As an example, the 50% of all adult males who suffer from an enlarged prostate could receive relief from that condition by consuming a simple and safe ingredient, saw palmetto derived from the fruit of the dwarf American palm tree. The FDA censors that information. The public deserves a better opportunity to be informed about omega-3 EFA and heart disease, folic acid and birth defects, phosphatidylserine and cognitive impairment. Do you agree and do you support this bill?
Congressman Farr: I agree the public needs to access to the best information possible so they can make well informed choices about their health. I likely would support H.R. 4282 if it came up for a vote in Congress. Unfortunately this bill is in a similar situation as other we’ve mentioned in this interview – and again because of the tight schedule of an election year, it’s unlikely action will happen this year.
Todd: According to the barometer study, 85% of the US population is currently using some type of dietary supplement. Do you? Looking at your busy schedule from co-chairing the House Oceans Caucus to your seat on the Travel and Tourism Caucus, you are one busy congressman! Are you popping nutritional supplements please tell us!
Congressman Farr: I do take some nutritional supplements, though they vary and since Ginkgo Biloba isn’t among them I cant remember their names off-hand! One product I do use faithfully is Airborne to help me combat germs and colds that I might get from sitting on an airplane. But, like many Americans my life is over-scheduled and combined with the amount of air-travel I do, I find nutritional supplements helpful as I try to stay healthy despite my hectic lifestyle.
Todd: Thank you Congressman Farr! Live long and prosper!
DSEA Release of Health/Cost Impact Study Conducted by the Lewin Group, Initial Results, Wash DC; Nov. 2, 2005
NNFA database. Adam.F on 3-15-06.
DSEA Nutritional Supplement Barometer Study, 2005 Report, Prepared by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI).
Todd Williams; Source Naturals Marketing Programs Manager.
Soft Drinks Contaminated by Benzene
May 27, 2006 09:24 AM
A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing program has found cancer-causing benzene in soft drinks at levels averaging four times the standard for tap water. The brand names have not been released.
The test data were uncovered by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which posted the test results on the group’s website, www.ewg.org
Highly elevated Benzene Levels
Between 1995-2001 the RDA tested 24 samples of diet soda for benzene. The result: 79% tested at levels above the federal limit for benzene in tap water, which is 5 parts per billion (ppb). The maximum benzene level detected was 55 ppb. In addition to the diet sodas, the FDA tested a number of other non-diet soft drinks. One cola was contaminated at 27 times the tap water limit, and fruit drink had a 95 ppb level.
“These results confirm our suspicions there are highly elevated benzene levels in some very popular drinks,” Richard Wiles, EWG’s Senior vice president said in a press release.
Reaction Triggered by Preservatives
According to an article in beveragedaily.com, sodium benzoate and ascorbic acid in soft drinks can react together to form benzene. Sodium benzoate is a common preservative in soft drinks, and ascorbic acid is often added as an antioxidant to extend shelf life.
Negotiations between the FDA and the beverage industry in 1990 resulted in an agreement that the industry would voluntarily reformulate its soft drinks to prevent this combination. The recurrence of benzene contamination may be due to new soft drink manufacturers in the market who were not a part of, or aware of, the original negotiations.
Britain Pulls Soft Drinks from Shelves
In contrast to the U.S. situation, food safety campaigners in England were successful in having benzene –containing soft drinks removed from the supermarket shelves. The British Food Standards Agency pulled four soft drink brands which contained more than 1 ppb of benzene, and rushed out the results of tests on 149 drinks, including a range of fruit juice, iced tea, squash, fizzy and low-sugar drinks, according to The Times of London.
The Wellness Revolution and Contaminated Soft Drinks
The controversy over benzene in soft drinks is an example of how toxic exposure exists in our food and immediate environment. The constant exposure to toxics were-and especially our children—experience is a major cause of chronic illness.
In this situation, the organic products available for purchase in health food stores are especially vital. And since some exposure to toxics is unavoidable we must take advantage of the herbs and nutrients that support detoxification and the liver, the main organ of detoxification, as well as immunity for example, silymarin, N-acetyl cysteine, calcium D-glucarate, folic acid, Reishi and shiitake mushrooms, and turmeric.
Sources: www.ewg.org www.beveragedaily.com 02/25/06. Associated Press 04/11/06. www.fda.org.
Public Pressure Forces Corporations to Curtail Most Soda Pop sales to schools
The Nation’s largest beverage distributors have agreed to halt nearly all soda sales to public schools, according to a deal announced may 3rd by the William J. Clinton Foundation.
The companies have agreed to sell only water, unsweetened juice and low fat milks to elementary and middle schools, according to a spokesman for former President Bill Clinton. Diet sodas would be sold only to high schools.
The deal follows a wave of criticism by school districts and state legislatures amid reports of rising childhood obesity. Soda has been a particular target because of its caloric content and popularity among children.
Summary of Specific Actions Associated with Ginkgo
June 25, 2005 12:39 PM
Summary of Specific Actions Associated with Ginkgo
Unquestionably, ginkgo will continue to enjoy its current popularity. As baby boomers continue to enlarge the Senior citize n block of our population, supplements which have the ability to deter or even prevent age-related disorders will be vigorously sought after.
Ginkgo can be used in these combinations for bioenhancement:
Ginkgo: Primary Applications
The following are general areas that ginkgo biloba can be used effectively:
The following are areas of secondary application for ginkgo biloba:
The Colds & Flu Report
June 18, 2005 08:38 AM
The Colds & Flu Report by Sherrill Williams Energy Times, October 13, 2004
The nose knows the misery of a cold: stuffiness, watery eyes, sore throat and nagging cough. These annoyances are especially frustrating when there's not enough time in your busy schedule to be sick.
Traditional remedies help: Slurping a cup of Grandma's chicken soup. Sweating in a hot bath. Climbing under the covers until further notice.
While no one can guarantee you won't catch a cold this year, a few simple measures can limit your sick days and give you the best chance to dodge upper respiratory distress. The common cold is a frequent and expensive problem, causing about 15 million lost work days for Americans each year. Some people seem just about immune to the group of viruses that cause colds. But others may endure as many as 12 colds per year. For the lucky ones, a cold's irritations last a couple of days. For the unfortunate, a cold can drag on for a couple of weeks.
Influenza (commonly known as the flu) has many of the same discomforts as a cold, and both disorders originate in the upper respiratory tract. But while a cold usually stays on tract, the flu is often accompanied by fever, prominent headaches and severe aches and pains around the body. Fatigue from the flu can last as long as two to three weeks during recovery. All this distress demonstrates that your body is fighting off the invaders.
Traditional healers advocate the use of the herb echinacea at the first sign of getting sick. Echinacea, commonly known as purple coneflower, is native to North America and was listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia until the 1950s.
Rosemary Gladstar, a Vermont herbalist and author of Family Herbal (Storey Books), suggests taking echinacea (Echinacea ssp.) in frequent small amounts in tincture or tea form at the first sign of cold or flu.
" Most of the compounds in echinacea are water soluble, so it makes a fine tea," says Gladstar. She also encourages echinacea tea as a gargle or spray to relieve sore throats.
Research at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts validates what traditional healers such as Rosemary Gladstar have known: echinacea works best if taken at the onset of colds or flu. In an animal study, scientists found that echinacea triggered a humoral immune response, an immune reaction that spurs the production of special proteins that latch onto and destroy viruses (Immunopharmacology & Immunotoxicology 2003 Nov; 25(4):551-60).
In another study, researchers found that echinacea enhances immune actions called T cell subsets or helper cell activity (Biological & Pharmaceutical Bulletin 2004 Jul; 27(7):1004-9). Helper cells are lymphocytes that take part in the destruction of viruses. In the quest for the kind of immunity that makes you less vulnerable to infection by troublesome viruses, Gladstar says that "echinacea is safe for children, the elderly and everyone in between."
C Is for Colds-And So Is E
The reputation of vitamin C as the anti-cold nutrient has been batted back and forth in the media for decades. Your body can't store up much of this antioxidant water-soluble vitamin, so you have to consume it every day on a regular basis. And while vitamin C may not prevent the common cold, research does demonstrate that it can help reduce a cold's severity and make it go away faster (Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics 1999 Oct; 22(8):530-3).
Adequate vitamin C is crucial for a healthy immune system. Even a marginal deficiency of this nutrient can leave you more vulnerable to the viruses that cause cold and flu. Plus, if you get a runny nose, researchers believe vitamin C can act as a mild antihistamine, slowing that runny nose to a walk.
In a University of Texas study reported at the 60th Anniversary meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in 2003, daily doses of vitamin C were shown to significantly aid immunity.
After two weeks of taking vitamin C, the people in this study had their blood examined. Researchers found increased numbers of NK (natural killer) cells, immune warriors that destroy infected cells. In addition, vitamin C activated T cells, a class of immune cells that also fight viruses.
And now a newsbreak: you can add vitamin E, vitamin C's antioxidant companion, to your cold prevention shopping list, at least if you're a Senior citizen. According to research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (2004; 292(7):828-36), nursing home residents aged 65 and older who took vitamin E enjoyed a 20% risk reduction when it came to developing upper respiratory infections.
Don't Be Sick, Stay Happy
" When you smile, the whole world smiles with you" is a melody that is music to immunity. Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have found that folks who are relaxed, happy and maintain positive emotions are less likely to catch colds. In addition, people who are depressed, nervous or angry are more likely to complain of cold symptoms whether or not they actually have a cold (Psycho Med 2003 Jul; 65:652-7). According to Sheldon Cohen, PhD, "Study participants who had a positive emotional style weren't infected as often and experienced fewer symptoms compared to people with a negative emotional style."
So you don't have to be a passive cold victim this winter. When viruses threaten you, according to Mary L. Hardy, MD, you can also try:
" The first caution I give people is to get a good diagnosis," says Dr. Hardy. "If your cold is not acting like a normal cold, or if it has lasted more than a short amount of time, make sure you don't have a more serious condition, such as pneumonia." In that case, seek professional help.
But if you've contracted a run-of-the-mill winter cold, keep your spirits and immunity up! Even if you've been impulsively singing and dancing in the rain, the chill and wet won't result in a cold if you let a smile be your immune umbrella!
Fats: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
June 14, 2005 11:18 AM
Fats: The Good, the Bad, the Ugly by Thomas Sherman Energy Times, October 15, 2004
We need fat to absorb vitamins, to keep our brains sharp, to survive. But not all fats are our friends. Find out which ones are the heroes and the villains in your diet.
In a lot of cases health fads don't live up to their hype. But the case for consuming more good fats-the omega-3 fatty acids found primarily in fish, flax and hemp oils-is strong and growing stronger. As a nation we eat too little of these good fats, and our health would improve greatly if we relied a little less on the bad saturated fat in burgers, skipped the ugly trans fats in fries and indulged in more salmon and other seafoods.
Fish and the Heart
Need proof? A wealth of research supports fish oil's desirable effects, especially on heart health. While many people believe that heart disease is primarily a problem for men, women who have passed through menopause are just as susceptible to heart problems.
" [Our] findings suggest that all women, and most likely men, would benefit from regular fish intake," says Alice H. Lichtenstein, DSc, director of the Cardiovascular Nutrition Laboratory at Tufts University in Boston. "A tuna fish sandwich counts, as does almost any other type of fish that is baked, broiled, grilled, or poached." But she points out that fried fish, which is often cooked in hydrogenated oils, is not helpful.
In research on more than 200 women, performed at the Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts, scientists found that the arterial blockages among women who dined on fish were less (and impeded blood flow less) than in women who hardly ever ate seafood. Fish was especially helpful for women who had diabetes, a disease that makes you more prone to heart and circulation problems (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 9/04).
These effects are important: Heart disease is the number one cause of death for women, and older women who suffer from diabetes are particularly susceptible. The number of people with diabetes has been increasing of late, mainly due to the fact that Americans are overweight. Right now about 18 million people have diabetes and another 20 million are expected to suffer this condition in the next four decades.
" This study shows that following the current guidelines of eating at least two servings of any type of fish per week slows down the progression of heart disease in women with coronary artery disease (CAD), especially those who were also diabetic," says Dr. Lichtenstein, coauthor of the study. "We further found that eating one or more servings per week of fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as tuna or other dark-fleshed fish, is equally effective."
Dangerous disruptions in heartbeat, known as arrhythmias, may also be affected by fish oil. "[E]xperiments show that fatty acids from omega-3 fish oils are stored in the cell membranes of heart cells and can prevent sudden cardiac death or fatal arrhythmias," notes Alexander Leaf, MD, medical researcher and professor at Harvard University.
Fat for Your Brain
The right kind of fat is also crucial for the function of your nerves and brain tissue, which is 60% to 70% fat. Incorporating omega-3 fatty acids into those cells can help keep your brain firing on all synapses. It may lower your risk of Alzheimer's disease, an irreversible form of mental deterioration that kills 100,000 Americans a year. About a thousand people a day in the US are found to have Alzheimer's, and experts believe that over the next 40 years 14 million of us will be doomed to being enveloped by the mental fog this condition produces.
Research indicates that our brains probably need omega-3 fats for protection against the kind of damage that causes our mental capacities to slip. Once Alzheimer's starts, deterioration accelerates because brain cells start losing these fats.
In experiments performed at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA (Neuron 9/2/04), scientists looked at how a lack of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA, one of the omega-3 fats found in fish), affected the cellular processes that lead to Alzheimer's. They found that the part of brain cells that receive signals from other brain cells, the receptors, are vulnerable to damage from chemical reactions that take place inside the cells. However, DHA offers antioxidant protection against this destruction.
When brain cells were denied DHA, the cells' receptors suffered extra harm. But when fish oil was present, brain cells were protected. In addition, animals that received extra omega-3s were better able to learn and find their way through mazes.
Greg Cole, PhD, Senior researcher on this study and a professor of neurology at Geffen, says, "We saw that a diet rich in DHA, or docosahexaenoic acid, dramatically reduces the impact of the Alzheimer's gene [which made the animals more susceptible to Alzheimer's]. Consuming more DHA is something the average person can easily control. Anyone can buy DHA in its purified form, fish-oil capsules, high-fat fish or DHA-supplemented eggs." Fishes rich in omega-3s include salmon, halibut, mackerel, sardines and herring.
Protecting Kids from Asthma
A surprising benefit of omega-3s has been found in pregnant women and their newborns: Pregnant women with asthma who eat fish rich in omega-3s during their pregnancy lower their children's risk of asthma.
Not just any fish will do. The study (American Thoracic Society International Conference 5/25/04) discovered that mothers who ate fish sticks during pregnancy doubled the asthma risk in their kids. " Fish sticks are deep-fried, and they contain omega-6 fatty acids, which encourage inflammation of the airways," says study co-author Frank Gilliland, MD, PhD, professor at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California. "Oily fish [like salmon and trout] contain omega-3 fatty acids, which appear to be anti-inflammatory, and lead to the reduced potential for developing asthma and allergies."
The USC investigation showed that when women with asthma ate oil-bearing fish during pregnancy, the risk of asthma for their children dropped more than 70%. The more fish that mom consumed, the less likely her baby was to develop asthma. Unfortunately, the study did not find the same benefit in women without asthma.
" A family history of asthma is a very strong risk factor for a child developing asthma," Dr. Gilliland says. "It appears that oily fish interacts with the genes involved in the predisposition to develop asthma, and somehow reduces the risk."
Although most of us try to avoid accumulating unsightly fat around our hips, the right kind of fat plays an integral part in the functioning of our bodies and may even keep us alive. Fats don't get much better than that.
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number
June 13, 2005 07:43 PM
Celebrating Women: Age Is Just a Number by Carl Lowe Energy Times, March 10, 2004
As women age, their physical needs shift. The health challenges that face a woman in her thirties do not match those of a woman in her fifties.
At the same time, some basic health needs stay constant: At any age, every woman requires a wealth of vitamins, minerals and the other natural chemicals that fruits, vegetables and supplements supply. She also constantly needs families and friends to support her spiritual health.
As the internal workings of your body alter, your lifestyle must stay abreast of those adjustments. Peak health demands a finely tuned health program designed with your individual needs-and your stage of life-in mind.
Ages 30 to 45
When it comes to maintaining health, younger women might seem to have it easier than older women. If they exercise and stay in shape, they maintain more stamina than women 10 to 20 years their Senior.
Unfortunately, many women in this age group mistakenly think they don't have to be as careful about their lifestyle habits and their eating habits as they will in later decades. But even if your health doesn't seem to suffer from poor eating choices or a sedentary lifestyle right away, your foundation for health in later life suffers if you don't care for yourself now.
By age 45 you should have established the good habits that will carry you successfully through the aging process. As an added bonus, good lifestyle habits pay immediate dividends. If you pay attention to your nutrients and get plenty of physical activity when younger, you'll feel more energetic and probably enjoy better emotional health.
Set Health Goals
According to Gayle Reichler, MS, RD, CDN, in her book Active Wellness (Avery/Penguin), good health at any age doesn't just come to you-you have to plan for it. In order to stick to good habits, she says, "living a healthy lifestyle needs to be satisfying." Reichler believes that you need to picture your health goals to achieve them: "Every successful endeavor first begins in the mind as an idea, a thought, a dream, a conviction." Good health at this age and in later years requires a concrete strategy and visualization of how your body can improve with a healthy lifestyle.
Your long-term health goals at this age should include an exercise program that will allow you to reach a physically fit old age with a lowered risk of disability. In addition, your short-term plans should encompass losing weight, staying optimistic, living life with more vim and vigor, increasing your capacity for exercise and lowering your stress.
As Reichler points out, "Your long-term goal and your ideal vision establish what you want to achieve....[You should do] something good...for yourself every day and every week that makes your life easier and more consistent with your goals."
Develop an Eating Plan
Today, the average American gains about two pounds annually. As a result, every year a greater portion of the US population is obese and overweight. By controlling your food intake earlier in life, you may be able to avoid this weight gain. In his book Prolonging Health (Hampton Roads), James Williams, OMD, recommends basic changes to your diet that can provide long-term support of your health:
Get Supplemental Help
If you're in your thirties or forties and you don't take at least a multivitamin, start taking one today! A large body of research shows that taking vitamin and mineral supplements over a long period of time significantly supports better health.
Calcium and vitamin D are two of the most important supplemental nutrients, helping to build stronger bones now that can withstand the bone-loss effects of aging.
Calcium can also help keep your weight down. One study of younger women found that for every extra 300 milligrams of calcium a day they consumed, they weighed about two pounds less (Experimental Biology 2003 meeting, San Diego).
In the same way, taking vitamin D supplements not only helps strengthen your bones, it can also lower your risk of multiple sclerosis (Neurology 1/13/04). In this study, which looked at the health records of more than 180,000 women for up to 20 years, taking D supplements dropped the chances of multiple sclerosis (although eating vitamin D-rich foods did not have the same benefit). And if you're thinking about having children at this age, a multivitamin is crucial for lowering your baby's risk of birth defects and other health problems. A study at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that women who take multivitamins during pregnancy lower their children's risk of nervous system cancer by up to 40% (Epidemiology 9/02).
" Our finding, combined with previous work on reducing several birth defects with vitamin supplementation and other childhood cancers, supports the recommendation that mothers' vitamin use before and during pregnancy may benefit their babies' health," says Andrew F. Olshan, MD, professor of epidemiology at the UNC School of Public Health. "We believe physicians and other health care providers should continue to educate women about these benefits and recommend appropriate dietary habits and daily dietary supplements."
In particular, Dr. Olshan feels that folic acid (one of the B vitamins), and vitamins C and A, are particularly important for lowering the risk of childhood cancers and birth defects.
Ages 45 to 55
When you reach this in-between age-the time when most women have moved past childbearing age but haven't usually fully moved into the post-menopausal stage-you enjoy a propitious opportunity to take stock of your health and plan for an even healthier future. One thing that may need adjustment is your sleep habits, as sleeplessness is a common problem for women in this age group. Even if you haven't been exercising or watching your diet until now, it's not too late to start. Making lifestyle changes at this age can still improve your chances for aging successfully.
For instance, it is at these ages that women should have their heart health checked. Research published in the journal Stroke (5/01) shows that having your cholesterol and blood pressure checked at this time more accurately shows your future chances of heart disease than having it checked at a later date after menopause, in your late fifties.
" The premenopausal risk factors may be a stronger predictor of carotid atherosclerosis [artery blockages] because they represent cumulative risk factor exposure during the premenopausal years, whereas the risk factors...during the early postmenopausal years have a shorter time for influence," says Karen A. Matthews, PhD, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. In other words, Dr. Matthews' research shows that if you have high blood pressure and high cholesterol before menopause, you are at serious risk for a stroke or heart attack soon after menopause: These are important reasons that you need to start improving your health habits immediately.
Increase in Heart Disease
Before menopause, a woman's hormones and other physiological characteristics usually hold down her chance of heart disease. After menopause, when hormones and other bodily changes occur, the risk of heart attacks and stroke in women rises significantly. (Heart disease is the leading killer of women.) At least part of this increased risk is linked to the postmenopausal decrease in estrogen production.
Dr. Matthews studied about 370 women in their late forties, measuring their weight, their BMI (body mass index, an indication of body fat compared to height), blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar. Ten years later, after the women had entered menopause, she and her fellow scientists used ultrasound to measure blockages in these women's neck arteries (a sign of heart disease).
The researchers found that indications of potential heart problems (such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and being overweight) when women were in their forties did indeed forecast future difficulties.
" Women who had elevated cholesterol, higher blood pressures and increased body weight before menopause had increased blood vessel thickening and atherosclerotic plaque formation in the neck arteries after menopause. Such changes in the carotid arteries are associated with an increased heart attack and stroke risk," says Dr. Matthews.
Heart Health Factors
The four main lifestyle factors you should adjust at this age to support better heart function are diet, stress, exercise and weight. According to Dr. James Williams, "[M]ore than any other cause, dietary factors are the most critical factor in cardiovascular disease." He recommends eliminating "dietary saturated fatty acids as found in flame-broiled and fried meats." He also urges women to eat more fish and poultry, consume organic fruits and vegetables and cut back on refined sugar.
Stress becomes an ever more important heart disease factor at this age as estrogen begins to drop.
" Our study [in the lab] indicates that stress affects estrogen levels and can lead to the development of heart disease-even before menopause," says Jay Kaplan, PhD, of the Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (The Green Journal 3/02).
Dr. Kaplan's research shows that stress in women ages 45 to 55 may reduce estrogen earlier in life and make women more susceptible to the arterial blockages that lead to heart disease. "We know from [lab] studies that stress can lower estrogen levels to the point that health is affected," he says.
Stress can also hurt bone health: In a study of 66 women with normal-length menstrual periods, estrogen levels were low enough in half of the women to cause bone loss, making the women susceptible to osteoporosis.
Exercise and Weight
Although exercise used to be considered to be mainly a young woman's activity, the thrust of recent research suggests that physical activity actually becomes more important to health as you get older.
A 17-year study of about 10,000 Americans found that exercising and keeping your weight down is probably the most important thing you can do to lower your risk of heart disease as you enter your forties and fifties (Am J Prev Med 11/03).
Of the people who took part in this study, more than 1,500 people died of heart disease. Those who performed the most exercise were thinner and had a 50% chance less of dying of heart disease than overweight nonexercisers.
" The fact is that those who both exercised more and ate more nevertheless had low cardiovascular mortality," says Jing Fang, MD, a researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, New York.
An added benefit of exercise: If you burn up calories exercising, you can eat more and not have to worry as much about being overweight.
Supplements and Diet
If you're a woman at midlife, a multivitamin and mineral is still good nutritional insurance. Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables are also important for getting enough phytochemicals, the health substances in plants that convey a wealth of health benefits.
As you enter this age group, your immune system gradually slows down. To help support immune function, eating produce rich in antioxidant nutrients, and supplementing with antioxidants like vitamins C and E as well as carotenoids, can be especially important. For example, a study of people with ulcers found that people with less vitamin C in their stomachs are more likely to be infected with Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria that can cause peptic ulcers and is linked to stomach cancer (J Amer Coll Nutr 8/1/03).
This research, which looked at the health of about 7,000 people, found that vitamin C probably helps the immune system fend off this bacterial infection.
" Current public health recommendations for Americans are to eat five or more servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day to help prevent heart disease, cancer and other chronic diseases," says Joel A. Simon, MD, MPH, professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.
Calcium and Bones
At midlife, calcium continues to be a vital mineral for supporting bone health.
According to Gameil T. Fouad, PhD, "It has been routinely shown that a woman's calcium status and level of physical activity (specifically, the degree to which she participates in weight-bearing exercise) are positively associated with bone mineral density. It is less well appreciated that this is a process which takes place over the course of a lifetime."
Dr. Fouad adds that calcium works in concert with other vitamins and minerals to keep bones healthy: "Research in the United Kingdom involving nearly 1,000 premenopausal women over age 40 illustrates those women with the highest bone density tended to have the highest intake of calcium. Surprisingly, this study also demonstrated that calcium does not act alone: those women with the best bone health also had the highest intakes of zinc, magnesium and potassium."
Dr. Fouad stresses that supplements should go together with a lifestyle that includes enough sleep and exercise to help the body stay in top shape.
" As a general guideline," he says, "a woman concerned with her mineral intake should take concrete steps to make sure she is getting adequate rest, is eating a well-balanced diet focused on fresh fruits, vegetables and lean protein as well as getting adequate exercise....A multi-mineral containing bio-available forms of zinc, magnesium, copper and selenium is probably a safe addition to anyone's routine. Taking these proactive steps dramatically reduces the chances that deficiencies will arise."
Ages 55 and Beyond
Entering the post-menopausal phase of life can present challenging opportunities for a new perspective on life and health. While some signs of aging are inevitable, experts who have looked at how the human body changes with age are now convinced that healthy lifestyle habits can improve how well you can think, move and enjoy life well past age 55.
As Dr. Williams notes, "In your fifties, the force of aging is undeniably present: Your body shape changes and organ function declines, both men and women have a tendency to gain weight....Heart disease becomes more common, energy and endurance are considerably reduced and your memory begins to slip."
But Dr. Williams also points out that you don't have to age as rapidly as other people do. He believes you should employ a "natural longevity program...[that starts] to reverse the course of aging as early as possible."
One key to staying vital as you age is your outlook on life, an aspect of life that's greatly enhanced by strong social ties.
Avoiding the Aging Slowdown The latest research shows that one of the most crucial ways to slow the effects of aging is to exercise and keep your weight down. It won't necessarily be easy, though. The change in hormonal balance at this age makes the body more prone to extra pounds (Society for Neuroscience Meeting, 11/12/03).
" In women, it has been demonstrated that major weight increases often occur during menopause, the time in a woman's life in which cyclic ovarian function ends and the ovarian hormones estrogen and progesterone decline," says Judy Cameron, PhD, a scientist in the divisions of reproductive sciences and neuroscience at the Oregon Health & Science University.
In Dr. Cameron's lab trials, she has found that the decrease in estrogen after menopause "resulted in a 67% jump in food intake and a 5% jump in weight in a matter of weeks."
In other words, the hormonal changes you undergo as enter your late fifties causes your appetite to grow as well as your waistline: Developments that increase your chances of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, stroke and joint problems.
Vigilance against this weight gain is necessary to save your health: Start walking and exercising. Research on exercise in people aged 58 to 78 found that getting off the couch for a walk or other physical activity not only helps control weight but also helps sharpen your thinking and helps you become more decisive (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2/16-20/04, online edition). This recent study, done at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found that performing aerobic exercise improved mental functioning by 11% (on a computer test).
" We continue to find a number of cognitive benefits in the aerobic group," says Arthur F. Kramer, PhD, a professor of psychology at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois. "The brain circuits that underlie our ability to think-in this case to attend selectively to information in the environment-can change in a way that is conducive to better performance on tasks as a result of fitness." In simple terms, that means that walking at least 45 minutes a day boosts brain power as well as protecting your heart.
An Herb for Menopause
The physical changes that accompan> y menopause can be uncomfortable. But traditional herbal help is available: Black cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa), an herb used for eons by aging women, has been shown in recent studies to be both safe and effective (Menopause 6/15/03).
" This [research] should reassure health professionals that they can safely recommend black cohosh to their menopausal patients who cannot or choose not to take HRT [hormone replacement therapy]," says researcher Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of New Mexico Department of Family and Community Medicine.
While HRT has been used to help women cope with menopause, a flurry of studies in the past few years have shown that HRT increases the risk of heart disease and cancer. Instead, black cohosh, which alleviates such menopausal discomforts as hot flashes, has been shown to be much safer.
Keeping Track of Crucial Vitamins
While continuing to take multivitamins and minerals at this age is important, some experts believe that as we grow older, vitamin D supplementation, as well as taking antioxidant nutrients, is particularly vital. Arthritis is a common affliction of aging, and rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one particularly destructive form of this joint problem. But taking vitamin D can significantly lower your risk of this condition.
When scientists analyzed the diets of 30,000 middle-aged women in Iowa over 11 years, they found that women who consumed vitamin D supplements were 34% less likely to suffer RA (Arth Rheu 1/03).
Other vitamins are equally important to an older woman's well-being. For example, vitamins C and natural E have been found to lower the risk of stroke in those over the age of 55 (Neurology 11/11/03). In this study, smokers who consumed the most vitamin C and natural vitamin E were 70% were much less likely to suffer strokes than smokers whose diets were missing out on these vitamins.
Rich sources of vitamin C in food include oranges and other citrus fruits, strawberries, red and green peppers, broccoli and brussels sprouts. Sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils such as sunflower seed, cottonseed, safflower, palm and wheat germ oils, margarine and nuts.
Saving Your Sight
After age 55, your eyes are particularly vulnerable. Eight million Americans of this age are at risk for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that destroys structures in the back of the eye necessary for vision (Arch Ophthal 11/03). But you can drop your risk of AMD by taking supplements of antioxidant vitamins and zinc, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute.
Their research shows that a dietary supplement of vitamins C, natural vitamin E and beta carotene, along with zinc, lowers the chances of progressing to advanced AMD in certain at-risk people by about 25%. Daily supplements also reduced the risk of vision loss by about 19%.
The carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin also help protect aging eyes. When scientists compared healthy eyes with eyes suffering from AMD, they found that AMD eyes contained lower levels of these vital nutrients (Ophthalmology 2003; 109:1780). Furthermore, they found that levels of these chemicals generally decline as you grow older.
Healthy at All Ages
When it comes to designing a healthy lifestyle, general rules like these can be followed, but you should individualize your plan to fit your needs. No matter which type of exercises you pick out or what healthy foods you choose, look for a strategy and a plan you can stick to. If you think a selection of foods are good for you but you absolutely hate their taste, chances are you won't be able to stick to a diet that includes them.
The same goes for exercise: Pick out activities that you enjoy and that you can perform consistently. That increases your chance of sticking to an exercise program.
Staying healthy is enjoyable and it helps you get more out of life every day, no matter what stage of life you're in.
Hidden In Plain Sight - The spreading epidemic: Diabetes.
June 12, 2005 06:02 PM
Hidden In Plain Sight by Carl Lowe Energy Times, October 7, 2003
Today, a devastating disease is striking millions of Americans. Sixteen million Americans already have this disease, and every day another 2,200 Americans learn they have it. The spreading epidemic: Diabetes.
The potential ramifications: Millions of people more susceptible to heart disease, dementia, infections, amputations and blindness. Lowering your risk for diabetes is relatively simple and terribly important. Because dealing with some of its effects once you are its victim can be much more complicated.
Signs of Trouble
"Approximately one in four individuals over the age of 60 has type 2 diabetes, which is a remarkable statistic," says Gerald Shulman, MD, of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute at Yale University. "And, if you add impaired glucose tolerance [a condition that often leads to diabetes], you're talking about 40% of the population."
The economic burden of this epidemic is staggering, estimated at about $100 billion a year and growing.
If you never exercise, carry around a substantial amount of stomach fat and have seen your weight climb significantly over the years, you are among the people at higher risk for diabetes.
These lifestyle habits eventually render your body unable to efficiently process blood sugar. In technical terms, researchers investigating how the body uses and misuses blood sugar have identified what they have called "syndrome X" or "metabolic syndrome," a condition that puts you at high risk for both diabetes and heart disease.
If you have three or more of the following signs, you now have metabolic syndrome and, unless you change the way you live, may eventually suffer diabetes (Circulation 7/14/03):
* Fat around your middle
* High blood pressure
* High triglycerides (blood fats)
* Low level of HDL ("good" cholesterol)
* High fasting blood sugar
In a study of more than 6,000 men in Scotland, having three of these metabolic problems almost doubled the risk of heart disease and more than tripled the risk of diabetes. If you have four of these risk factors, your risk of heart disease just about quadruples, and your diabetes risk skyrockets almost 25 times.
The cells in your body get the energy they need to survive when they take sugar out of your blood and oxidize it along with fatty acids. Normally, insulin, a hormone-like substance released by the pancreas, speeds the absorption of blood sugar by the cells. When your pancreas cannot make insulin at all or makes too little, you suffer what is called type 1 or juvenile diabetes. This condition is usually treated by taking insulin.
But if your pancreas secretes what should be enough insulin for glucose absorption, and your cells are still unable to take sufficient sugar from your blood, you have what is called type 2 or adult-onset diabetes.
Understanding exactly why cells develop difficulties in taking sugar out of the blood and using it for energy has long troubled medical investigators. This condition, before it develops into full-blown diabetes, is called insulin resistance. Researchers have now linked it to malfunctioning mitochondria, the little structures in cells that make the energy that keeps cells functioning.
Scientists have long known that, as you age, you become more susceptible to diabetes. And when researchers compare the mitochondria in young people with those found in the cells of the elderly, they find that older mitochondria are more sluggish.
The mitochondria within the cells oxidize glucose and fatty acids to make energy. (They accomplish this in a complicated metabolic action called the Krebs cycle.) Difficulty with this process, or insulin resistance, can occur when fat and fatty acid waste products accumulate in your liver and muscle tissue.
"We hypothesized that there were two routes to this type of fat accumulation," says Dr. Shulman. "One is that the fat cells might release more fatty acids to be delivered to muscles and/or defects in mitochondrial oxidation might then lead to the accumulation of these fatty acids."
Research confirms that fatty molecules probably collect in muscle cells because the mitochondria's ability to burn fat breaks down over the years. On average, mitochondrial activity dips about 40% in older people.
Dr. Shulman thinks that the final coup de grace in the development of diabetes from insulin resistance takes place when the mitochondria malfunction in the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.
Although Dr. Shulman says that more research is needed to understand why mitochondrial function slips with age, he recommends keeping your mitochondria from slacking off by exercising. Studies now show that regular physical activity can probably increase the mitochondria in your muscles by activating release of an enzyme called AMP kinase. "...an encouraging note in this study is that-since we've shown that exercise leads to more mitochondria by activation of [the enzyme] AMP kinase-by staying active, the elderly might...maintain mitochondrial content and head off such health problems," says Dr. Shulman. "This is yet another reason for Seniors to maintain an active lifestyle," he adds.
Maitake for Metabolic Syndrome
Another natural way to fight the metabolic syndrome is with an extract of the maitake mushroom (Grifola frondosa). The extract, called sx-fraction, is attracting research investigating its ability to help the body manage blood sugar more efficiently. In one study, five people with diabetes improved their blood sugar levels with sx-fraction (Diab Med 2001; 18).
This research found that taking maitake sx-fraction is often accompanied by drops in blood glucose levels ranging from 30% to 63%. According to Mark Kaylor, PhD and Ken Babal, CN, in Syndrome X and SX-Fraction (Woodland), "...Studies have demonstrated that whole maitake or its fractions are potent agents for improving 'diabetic conditions.'"
Take the Whole Grains Home
Eating a daily dish of whole grains, like whole wheat and brown rice, can also reduce your risk of diabetes (AJCN 8/22/03). In a twelve-year study of more than 40,000 men between the ages of 40 and 75, researchers found that those who ate three servings of whole grains a day cut their risk in half.
The researchers found that even overweight people lowered their chances of diabetes by eating whole grains and exercising.
Consuming more magnesium also helped; whole grains contain amounts of this mineral missing in refined-grain foodstuffs. Magnesium improves insulin response.
In an age of junk food, our simple taste for sugar and refined grains may threaten our health. Yet, your defense against this scourge is no further away than simply eating more fibrous foods and going for a simple, everyday walk.
The Blood Sugar Blues - help lower blood sugar
June 12, 2005 08:08 AM
The Blood Sugar Blues by Carl Lowe Energy Times, July 10, 2003
The cells in your body run on the sugar they get from blood. Normally, this energy distribution system functions efficiently. When things go awry, however, blood sugar fluctuations can cause serious problems.
If your blood sugar stays too high, your pancreas, heart and other organs suffer. But stabilize your blood sugar and you can stabilize your health.
Problems linked to too much blood sugar are widespread. Diabetes, in which the body becomes increasingly unable to regulate blood sugar levels, is one of the most serious and widespread conditions. Plus, researchers now know that elevated blood sugar, even if you don't suffer diabetes, elevates your risk of heart disease and pancreatic cancer (JAMA 5/17/00).
Researchers at the Northwestern University Medical School have shown that with every bump up in your blood sugar levels, your chances of contracting pancreatic cancer rises significantly.
"Because the prevalence of type 2 (adult onset) diabetes and obesity, including childhood obesity, is steadily increasing, identifying a potential causal association between hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and pancreatic cancer could have important preventive and prognosticative implications for this cancer," notes Susan M. Gapstur, MD, a professor at Northwestern.
In other words, measuring your blood sugar can go a long way towards measuring the odds of developing this devastating condition. In the United States, pancreatic cancer is the fifth most deadly cancer. The disease is difficult to discover, and tumors in the pancreas usually remain hidden until the cancer has spread throughout the body.
Blood Sugar and Heart Problems
A collection of researchers now believes your blood sugar level so closely predicts your heart disease risk that blood sugar may be a more accurate heart disease predictor than cholesterol. According to a study in England (BMJ 2001; 322:15), the higher your blood sugar level, the higher your risk of heart disease and other serious health problems.
In particular, a type of blood sugar called glycated hemoglobin may provide an indication of what kind of trouble your heart and arteries may face in the future.
Glycated hemoglobin is blood glucose (sugar) that has latched onto your red blood cells. The levels of this type of attached sugar climbs when blood sugar levels consistently stay too high. After a while, this sugar not only sticks to blood cells, it also starts sticking to other tissues, an occurrence that can lead to cardiovascular disease.
While about one in twenty people in their late 40s or older has diabetes, experts estimate that almost three out of four have at least some degree of elevated glycated hemoglobin.
Higher and Higher
Men and postmenopausal women are at highest risk for elevated blood sugar. Your blood sugar also generally increases:
You can lower your risk of forming glycated hemoglobin by taking the antioxidant vitamins C and E and drinking three or four alcoholic drinks a week (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2000: 71(5)). In addition, losing weight and exercising also drops your glycated hemoglobin.
When glucose enters the bloodstream after a meal, it has a variety of possible destinations. It can be picked up by brain cells, which use glucose as their only source of fuel (this explains why low blood sugar can cause headaches, dizziness and shakiness). Glucose also can enter muscles, which can burn either glucose or fat for energy. Or glucose can enter fat cells for storage-not a desirable option for someone who is already overweight.
One reason blood sugar may rise to unhealthy levels is a condition called glucose resistance or intolerance, which occurs when insulin, the hormone-like substance that shepherds glucose into the body's cells, can't do its job efficiently. That leads to blood which is too rich in both sugar and insulin.
Researchers believe that the element chromium can help the body use insulin more effectively, which, when combined with adequate exercise, allows glucose to more easily enter muscle cells.
"In experiments, chromium supplementation has actually been found to improve glucose tolerance in some diabetics and in people with impaired glucose tolerance," says nutrition researcher and teacher Shari Lieberman, PhD, in The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book (Avery/Penguin).
In a number of investigations, chromium has not only helped improve glucose tolerance, but it has also decreased circulating insulin, glycated hemoglobin and cholesterol levels (Journal of the American College of Nutrition 1998; 17:548-55). (People with elevated glucose levels often suffer from elevations in cholesterol as well. In the search for ways to improve cholesterol levels, Germany's Commission E, an herbal authority respected around the world, has approved the use of garlic to help support healthy cholesterol.)
Ginseng and Blood Sugar
American ginseng, an herb known as an adaptogen (which means it helps the body cope with everyday stress) is another tool for controlling blood sugar. Research at St. Michael's Hospital and the University of Toronto shows that taking American ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) about 40 minutes before you eat can reduce your blood sugar (Archives of Internal Medicine 4/9/00).
According to Vladimir Vuksan, MD, lead investigator for the research team, these findings may have important implications for the treatment and prevention of diabetes. "Although preliminary, these findings are encouraging and indicate that American ginseng's potential role in diabetes should be taken seriously and investigated further. Controlling after-meal blood sugar levels is recognized as a very important strategy in managing diabetes. It may also be important in the prevention of diabetes in those who have not yet developed the disease," says Dr. Vuksan.
Fat vs Sugar
Supplemental helpings of the fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) have also been shown to control blood sugar and lower your risk of diabetes (Journal of Nutrition 1/03). "In previous work, we found that CLA delayed the onset of diabetes in rats," says Martha Belury, PhD, the Senior author of the investigation and an associate professor of human nutrition at Ohio State University. "In (our latest) study, we found that it also helped improve the management of adult-onset diabetes in humans."
Dr. Belury's research shows that CLA may help lower levels of leptin, a hormone believed to regulate fat levels. By reducing leptin, CLA may help reduce body fat, which, in turn, may lower the risk of diabetes and high blood sugar.
A consistent, long-term exercise program is one of the single best ways to convince your body to temper blood sugar levels and lower your risk of developing diabetes (Clinical Exercise Physiology 2/15/02).
"It now appears that there is...a long-term beneficial effect from regular exercise, most likely due to the fact that a significant amount of fat is lost," says exercise physiologist Cris Slentz, PhD. "Long-term exercise leads to loss of fat in the gut (stomach) region, which is especially beneficial since this fat is thought to be directly linked to increased risk of diabetes and heart disease."
Dr, Slentz's study examined how exercise influences the way the body uses sugar in people who have a high risk of diabetes.
In this research, five overweight individuals who had never exercised before engaged in an intensive workout program for nine months. Afterwards, they went back to their couch potato lives.
Dr. Slentz and other investigators measured their blood sugar before they started the exercise program and then remeasured these levels at one day, five days and thirty days after the nine-month regimen ended.
The researchers also looked at these people's insulin sensitivity, a measure of how well their bodies controlled blood sugar.
"Insulin sensitivity, or its ability to stimulate glucose metabolism, was higher after nine months of exercise, and the fasting insulin levels were lower," Slentz said. "Just as importantly, 30 days after stopping exercise, insulin sensitivity was still 24% higher than pre-exercise levels, indicating that beneficial effects of exercise persisted."
In this study, people pedaled exercise bikes, walked on treadmills and climbed stairs. By the end of the research, they were working out about an hour a day.
So if you've put off devoting yourself to an exercise program and taking care of your blood sugar, you now have more reason to start as soon as possible. Paying attention to blood sugar pays off.
Phosphatidylserine––A Nutrient for Mental Fitness...
May 11, 2005 10:26 AM
Phosphatidylserine––A Nutrient for Mental Fitness, an Anti-aging Nutrient for the Brainby Richard Conant, L.Ac., C.N.
As baby boomers age and the Senior population swells, more and more people are faced with the impact of aging on the brain. Loss of memory and thinking ability ranks high among aging's most debilitating consequences. Gradual memory loss in people over fifty, when not caused by a specific neurological disease or other medical problem, is defined as "age associated mental impairment" or "AAMI."1
Source Naturals® Phosphatidyl Serine Retains High Potency
May 09, 2005 09:54 AM
Source Naturals® Phosphatidyl Serine Retains High Potency
Formulation Guarantees Most Shelf Stable Product in Soft Gels
Scotts Valley, California - November 5, 2003 - Source Naturals, creators of the highly acclaimed line of health and wellness supplements, is touting its improved form of Phosphatidyl Serine (PS) soft gels as the most shelf-stable PS available. The activity of PS was investigated by the makers of Leci-PS®, and two critical aspects were identified which influence the concentration of PS in soft gels. First, an enzyme used in the manufacture of PS must be eliminated prior to encapsulation, because this enzyme reacts with glycerol (in the gelatin), causing a degradation of PS. Second, it was found that moisture from the gelatin shell must be blocked from migrating into the capsule fill, because the presence of water in the PS fluid will cause a further loss of content.
The new, patent-pending Leci-PS® 20V blend, introduced in Source Naturals Phosphatidyl Serine Complex soft gels, contains an advanced PS formulation, 100% free of residual enzyme activity, which continually inhibits moisture migration. While nearly all other PS soft gels lose potency while sitting on the shelf, Source Naturals' new Leci-PS® soft gels remain stable.
PS is best known for its ability to reverse the effects of age-related cognitive decline and loss of memory, as well as playing a vital role in other brain functions. Phosphatidyl serine has also been shown to reduce stress and depression. PS is found naturally in soy beans, green leafy vegetables, rice and certain meat products. However, consuming an effective amount of PS simply through food is difficult, because the typical American diet includes many refined and processed foods, resulting in a loss of PS content.
"The natural PS content in soybeans is quite low. Approximately 3 kg of soybeans would have to be consumed to attain 100 mg of PS," said Stephen Sturm, Senior Project Manager in Product Development at Source Naturals. "We recommend supplementing the diet with 100 to 300 mg of our pure PS per day. This supplementation is especially beneficial for vegetarians, people on low-fat or low-cholesterol diets, and the elderly."
Source Naturals' PS is derived strictly from plant sources, and manufactured by the company that pioneered the use of plant-based PS. Numerous animal studies and human clinical trials have proven that soy-derived PS is just as efficacious as bovine-derived PS for mental decline. A clinical trial by Crook (1998) showed that three months of supplementation has effects on memory and cognition that are comparable to those of bovine-derived PS, with results even slightly favoring the soy-derived Leci-PS®.