Category Archives: Aging

Can Eating Healthy Lengthen Life?

Many diet programs claim to help you lose weight, prevent chronic disease, and improve your overall well-being. However, could eating a healthy diet lengthen your life? A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine reveals that healthy eating can extend life.hypertension, heart, blood pressure

Nutrition affects overall health in many ways. For example, those with diabetes must control intake of sugar. Therefore, natural sugars from fruits, veggies, and dairy products should be eaten versus processed sugars from colas, candy, and other sweets. On the other hand, those with high blood pressure should have a lower sodium diet. You can lower sodium in your diet by eating less processed food products such as deli meats, fast foods, and canned soups.

Vitamins and minerals from the food you eat help keep your body alive. Calcium and vitamin D keeps bones strong, while vitamin C provides immune protection.  Also, magnesium helps the body to use glucose efficiently, while potassium helps produce energy and nerve impulses.

A recent study looked at 74,000 people over 12 years, during which 10,000 of them died. The review of the study looked at the dietary habits of the people in the previous 12 years of their life before the study. Those who added more fiber-rich fruits, veggies, and whole grains had a lower risk of death than those whose diets stayed the same.

The Alternate Healthy Eating Index, Alternate Mediterranean Diet Index, and the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet Index set the score of the diets reviewed. Fruits, veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and other whole foods got higher scores.  On the other hand, unhealthy processed, fatty and sugary foods got lower scores. A minor 20-percent change in diet helped decrease risk of death by about 8 to 17-percent. You could exchange a serving of red meat with a plant-based bean protein for such a change.

Other ways to make sure you have a healthy diet include the following:

  • Limit sugary foods like candy, cola, and ice cream. If you have a sweet tooth, find lower-calorie options like fruits, low sugar dairy products, or flavored teas.
  • Cooking foods with dry cooking methods such as steaming, baking, broiling, or grilling. These dry cooking methods reduce the amount of fat added to foods.
  • Fill most of your plate with plant-based foods such as fruit, veggies, legumes, and whole grains. These foods are lower in fat and higher in fiber than most meat and dairy-based foods.
  • Add in a multivitamin like Zestia from Vita Sciences to fill your nutrition gap. If you are feeling tired, low on energy, or feel like your diet is lacking, a multivitamin can make sure your body gets the nutrition it needs to be its best. Zestia not only contains a full profile of vitamins, but also contains probiotic and Superfood compounds.

-written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN

Sources:

MedLine  Plus (July 12, 2017) “Better Diet, Longer Life” https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_167146.html

Texas Heart Institute (August 2016) “Minerals: What They Do, Where to Get Them” http://www.texasheart.org/HIC/Topics/HSmart/mineral1.cfm

World Health Organization (accessed July 16, 2017) “Diet, Nutrition, and the prevention of chronic diseases”  http://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/trs916/summary/en/


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    Could Obesity Increase Your Risk For Hot Flashes?

    As you get older, it can be harder to lose weight due to loss of lean muscle mass. In women, aging can also bring menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes, anxiety, dry skin, mood swings, as well as weight gain.  Recent research shows that there may be a link to being obese and having intense hot flashes.

    A study in the journal Menopause looked at 750 Brazilian women between 45 and 60 years old. Obese women had more intense hot flashes that impacted daily living and work performance than those non-obese women. It is suggested that body fat acts as insulation, which traps heat in the body.

    Joint pain, muscle pain, and urinary issues can also greatly impact obese women. This can be due to the extra pressure that excess body fat has on the bones, muscles, and organs. It is suggested that maintaining a healthy body weight can help improve quality of life in women as they age. Losing weight and staying within a healthy range is not easy. However, follow these tips to help get to menopause, hot flashes, obesityand keep a healthy weight for life.

    • Consume a healthy balanced diet by limiting processed and convenience foods. Processed and convenience foods contain more sugar, fat, and sodium than their whole food counterparts. Instead, focus more on consuming lean proteins, fiber-rich fruits and veggies, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.
    • Stay active most days of the week.  Exercise such as walking, gardening, dancing, biking, or stair-climbing can all benefit health. At least 30 minutes of exercise for most days of the week can help heart health and weight management.
    • See a doctor on a regular basis. When you are overweight, going to the doctor can be a scary thing. The doctor’s office may be a place where such people have been told to lose weight without getting to voice other health concerns.  However, it is still very important to visit a healthcare provider at least once a year. Early detection of health problems can prevent chronic disease.  Visit the doctor more often if you already have chronic health issues such as heart disease or diabetes.
    • Have vitamin levels checked. Recent research is finding there may be a link between vitamin D deficiency and the risk of overweight or obesity in children. Also, a 2013 study found a link between vitamin B12 deficiency and being overweight or obese. This research shows the importance of checking for vitamin levels to prevent health issues.  Therefore, ask your doctor to have these extra labs checked each year.
    • Have thyroid and hormone levels checked. Thyroid disorders and hormone imbalances can cause weight gain and make it hard to manage weight.  Medication can help with treatment of such conditions if diagnosed. Therefore, ask your doctor to test for your levels if weight gain is difficult even with diet and exercise.
    • Take supplements such as Estrosa by Vita Sciences.  This supplement contains natural black cohosh and the antioxidant resveratrol. Estrosa can help reduce hot flashes, bloating, weight gain and mood swings.

    -written by Staci Gulbin, MS, MEd, RD, LDN

    Sources:

    Abraham, S.B, et al (January 2013) “Cortisol, obesity, and the metabolic syndrome: A cross-sectional study of obese subjects and review of the literature” Obesity, 21(1):  E105-E117.

    American Thyroid Association (accessed June 3, 2017) “Thyroid and Weight” https://www.thyroid.org/thyroid-and-weight/

    Baltaci, D., et al. (August 2013). “Association of vitamin B12 with obesity, overweight, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, and body fat composition; primary care-based study.” Medicinski glasnik, 10(2):203-10.

    Mayo Clinic. (April 21, 2016). “Menopause weight gain: Stop the middle age spread” http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/menopause/basics/symptoms/con-20019726

    MedlinePlus (May 31, 2017) Obese Women May Have More Intense Hot Flashes” https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_166108.html

    Wakayo, T., et al. (April 2016) “Vitamin D Deficiency is Associated with Overweight and/or Obesity among Schoolchildren in Central Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study” Nutrients, 8(4): 190.


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    How to Remove Wrinkles Naturally

    How to Remove Wrinkles Naturally

    Let’s talk about how to remove wrinkles and lines from your face naturally. Without needing a facelift or any plastic surgery. If you suffer from dull skin, dryness, or wrinkles, then you’re going to love this. Here are some great tips for putting some firmness back into your skin texture.

    The following home remedies are wonderful for attaining a healthy complexion. For chronic skin issues such as wrinkles, crow’s feet, eczema, or sagging skin, try this:

    How to remove wrinkles- Great tips and treatments!

    Wrinkles are annoying and disappointing. It’s hard to feel youthful when you see the signs of aging every time you look in the mirror. Conventional treatments like Botox, face peels and plastic surgery aren’t the way to go. Many of these invasive procedures cause negative side effects like painful skin inflammation.

    To prevent wrinkles permanently, use natural, healthy ingredients that promote skin elasticity and moisture.

    Vitamin B12 for the skin

    This is one of the most important nutrients for your body, especially the skin. Sadly, many people over the age 30 have vitamin B12 deficiency and don’t know it.

    Vitamin B12 levels drop as you age, so it’s important to take extra doses of vitamin B12.

    How does vitamin B12 help your skin?

    • Vitamin B12 supports healthy cell renewal, resulting in firm young skin.
    • It also combats eczema symptoms such as dryness, flaking, and painful skin patches.
    • Scientists have long touted the anti-aging benefits of vitamin B12. Increase vitamin B12 to promote hair fullness to prevent graying.
    • Vitamin B12 aids in skin pigmentation. Skin whitening (vitiligo) and age spots are symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
    • Skin lesions sometimes show vitamin B12 deficiency. Boosting your vitamin B12 levels will reduce instances of lesions caused by low B12.

    How do I get more vitamin B12?

    You can get vitamin B12 from protein foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products. Unfortunately, as you age, it gets harder to digest vitamin B12 from the food you eat. To combat this problem, it’s necessary to take vitamin B12 supplements. The best are transdermal B12 (through the skin), versus oral.

    Vitamin B12 creams and vitamin B12 patches are popular with online retailers.

    Relax!

    You’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating. Stress makes you frown, scowl, and look distracted. It also puts strain on your eyes, making you squint more. These expressions become embedded as wrinkles and lines on your forehead, cheeks and mouth. Besides, stress also causes many health problems.

    • Take deep breaths throughout the day.
    • Take some “me” time every day, even if it’s just 10 minutes.
    • Practice mindful meditations.
    • Cut back on caffeine and sugar.
    • Take plenty of healthy vitamins and minerals.
    • Exercise at least 20 minutes each day.
    • Get plenty of sleep! Melatonin can be helpful for that.

    Use a daily moisturizing cream

    Vitamin creams are your best tools for youthful skin. Vitamin-enriched skin lotions have rich moisturizers for wrinkles. Plus, they nourish your skin with beneficial vitamins. Your skin will continue looking fresh and vibrant all day long.

    Look for skin lotions containing vitamin B12, vitamin D, and vitamin E.

    Can you suggest any other ways to remove wrinkles naturally? We’d love to hear from you!

    Image from Fotolia

     


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    Worth It- Melatonin Cream for Sleep

    Not getting enough rest at night? Scientific studies support using melatonin cream for sleep. The hormone melatonin supports a healthy sleep cycle, helping you get more restful rejuvenating REM cycles. If you wake up often in the middle of the night or have trouble settling into your bedtime routine, then you may just need a soothing melatonin night cream.

    Vita Sciences blog- vitamin B12 deficiency, migraine

    Fotolia_65478151_Subscription_Monthly_M.jpg

    For skin renewal, revitalization and allover health and wellbeing, read more about the therapeutic qualities of topical melatonin.

    Sleep isn’t a luxury!

    In order to function well, your body needs plenty of quality restorative sleep at night. This is true for your emotional and physical health, as well as for your complexion. Wrinkles, bags under the eyes, deep lines, sagging skin- these are all signs of premature aging that happen when you don’t get enough deep sleep.

    As you get older, it becomes harder to get the same quality of rejuvenating sleep as you did when you were younger. Studies have even shown that not getting enough sleep can lead to type 2 diabetes, obesity, anxiety, memory loss, and autoimmune disorders.

    Symptoms of insomnia:

    • Morning fatigue, drowsiness
    • Brain fog
    • Disorientation
    • Memory problems
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Frequent illness
    • Dry, flaky skin
    • Wrinkles
    • Facial lines
    • Grey, haggard skin
    • Sagging skin pouches
    • Under-eye bags and shadows

    The sleep hormone

    Melatonin is nature’s alarm clock. Scientists have found that the hormone melatonin is crucial for healthy refreshing sleep, as it promotes a normal sleep/wake cycle. Your brain begins secreting melatonin as the sun sets, increasing production during nighttime, and then slowly decreasing melatonin levels as the morning draws near.

    Unfortunately, as you age, your body slows down melatonin production. Plummeting levels of melatonin make it harder for you to get to sleep and stay asleep the entire night.  That’s why it’s important to supplement with extra melatonin as you get older. Often, signs of aging such as constant tiredness, haggard skin tone, dryness and wrinkles are just symptoms of sleep debt.

    Melatonin cream for sleep

    Topical melatonin cream may be one of the greatest, most efficient anti-aging supplements available; therapeutic moisturizers, vitamins and oils team up with powerful sleep-inducing melatonin to help you attain maximum mind and body rejuvenation while sleeping.

    • Melatonin cream assists your skin’s nightly repair cycle.
    • Melatonin helps people who have trouble getting to sleep quickly and sleeping the entire night.
    • You can rub melatonin directly into your skin, the largest organ of your body.
    • Incorporating massage lotion into your bedtime routine is an excellent way to promote relaxation.
    • Establishing a nighttime ritual is beneficial for good sleep hygiene.

     

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    Get more proactive about your health and wellbeing- Add melatonin sleep cream to your daily health regimen.


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    5 Causes of Memory Loss in Midlife

    Constantly forgetting important errands? Avert your midlife crisis by fixing some typical causes of memory loss that can happen to anybody under the age of 50. Stress, medication, and menopause are all examples of things that can lead to short-term memory loss, even if you’re not a candidate for age-related dementia.

    Causes of Memory Loss in Midlife

    Memory loss in midlife- it happens.

    The good news

    “I’m too young for this!” you think as you wrack your brain trying to remember the password for your ATM card… or your son’s birthdate…or your own age (without doing the math). It seems like you’re always getting sidetracked, confused, or lost in a fog. You’re constantly forgetting words that are just on the tip of your tongue.

    These are all typical symptoms of brain fatigue. Once you understand what’s causing it, the road to recovery is that much closer.

    Here’s the good news: Most likely, it’s not dementia. Even if you’re getting along in years, brain loss from Alzheimer’s disease or other degenerative illnesses are not a given, and don’t happen to all senior citizens.

    Often, other factors such as vitamin deficiency, exhaustion, health problems or even daily medications can cause an endless cycle of brain fog, tiredness, forgetfulness, dizziness, and irritability that can make it difficult to function.

    Causes of memory loss

    The sooner you address these problems, the sooner you can start feeling more focused, energized, and relaxed.

    Listed are some common causes of memory loss that can occur in middle age:

    1) Vitamin B12 deficiency

    Vitamin B12 is necessary for healthy brain functioning. It’s one of the most beneficial nutrients for supporting your nervous system, red blood cell production, and proper metabolism.

    Some of the earliest signs of vitamin B12 deficiency are all symptoms that occur in the brain:

    • Memory loss
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Fatigue
    • Dizziness
    • Confusion
    • Irritability
    • Distractedness
    • Paranoia

    If constant memory loss is interfering with your life, then one of the best things you can do for yourself is to dramatically increase your uptake of high-quality vitamin B12 supplements. Most people find that even one week’s worth of B12 supplementation results in an immediate improvement in such symptoms that occur with B12 deficiency- especially chronic fatigue and memory loss. With time, cognitive impairments linked with low vitamin B12 will gradually disappear.

    2) Stress

    When you’re stressed, your adrenal glands produce cortisol, the stress hormone. If you suffer from daily stress, then you’re making it round the clock. Too much cortisol in your blood supply is directly linked to memory problems, dizziness, and other signs of mental fatigue.

    Stress is a common cause of memory loss for people who suffer from chronic depression. Again, this can be linked to excess cortisol.

    Stress management, relaxation, exercise, and a healthy diet are all cited as effective ways to reduce stress and improve your memory.

    3) Alcohol

    Heavy drinkers may experience memory impairments and forgetfulness caused by Korsakoff’s syndrome. While under the influence, your brain simply isn’t “paying attention” to things that are happening around you. The more time spent drinking, the less memory you will have retained by midlife.

    4) Prescription medications

    Certain drugs and medical treatments can cause memory loss, brain fog, and confusion. If you’re currently taking a prescription drug that makes you feel forgetful or unfocused, then tell your doctor.

    5) Menopause

    Also known as “menofog,” memory loss during midlife is a common indicator of menopause. Hormone fluctuations, stress, mood changes and sleep problems can all make it difficult to concentrate, relax, or stick with your everyday routine. As a result, many women approaching their fifties wrongly think they’re going crazy or experiencing the first signs of dementia, when they’re really undergoing the beginnings of menopause.
    To find out if menopause may be causing memory problems, speak to a doctor who specializes in women’s health.

    What other causes of memory loss can you add to this discussion?

    Image by stockimages


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    Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Osteoporosis

    Just in the news- scientists have discovered a connection between vitamin B12 deficiency and osteoporosis that may change the way doctors treat bone loss. To promote good bone health, the key may be in sustaining maximum levels of vitamin B12 in your blood supply.

    Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Osteoporosis

    Vitamin B12 deficiency and osteoporosis

    Vitamin B12 deficiency is a form of anemia that occurs when your vitamin B12 levels in the blood drop to a dangerous low. In most people, B12 deficiency occurs from vitamin B12 malabsorption- the inability to digest vitamin B12 from foods such as meat, chicken, and fish.

    For many people, this occurs as an autoimmune impairment, an improper response to intrinsic factor, a protein needed to completely break down and utilize vitamin B12.

    Among the many ailments attributed to vitamin B12 deficiency caused by lack of intrinsic factor, increased risk for osteoporosis was the focus on a study led by researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute.

    “We were amazed to find a new system that controls bone mass through a protein expressed, of all the places, in the stomach.” – Dr Pablo Roman-Garcia, study author

    Vitamin B12, the liver, and bone health

    In the study, scientists found dramatic bone loss in mice born to mothers with vitamin B12, noting that low vitamin B12 levels accounted for nearly 70% less bone mass than healthy specimens.

    While injecting vitamin B12 didn’t improve bone health, researchers did find that vitamin B12 supplements had a therapeutic effect on liver cells.  On closer inspection, they noticed that subjects with vitamin B12 deficiency were unable to produce taurine, a natural substance produced in the liver that promotes good bone cell production in preventing osteoporosis.

    “While the importance of taurine is yet to be fully understood, this research shows that vitamin B12 plays a role in regulating taurine production and that taurine plays an important role in bone formation.” -Dr Vidya Velagapudi, Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland.

    Previous studies also confirm these findings, such as one that examined children in Turkey born to mothers with vitamin B12 deficiency where taurine deficiency was also present.

    Also, scientists from the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland saw positive results in bone cell production and taurine synthesis when vitamin B12 supplements were provided.

    Helpful Links

    More details on the study about vitamin B12 deficiency and osteoporosis can be found here: Pathway between gut and liver regulates bone mass

    Watch the video on YouTube: Vitamin B12: A Bone Pathway

    Vitamin B12- Essential for Chronic Pain Management

    Image by renjith krishnan


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