Natural Anti-Wrinkle Facial Scrub Recipes

November 23, 2013 by  
Filed under AGING

facial scrub

There are lots of cosmetic facial scrubs in the market developed by many companies worldwide and they all boast of their natural ingredients, of its best components. They may do, but isn’t it good to take a break from these usual routines and go natural for a while?

Across the internet there will be lots of homemade, DIY recipes for facial and body scrubs and with the widely known benefits of scrubbing for health and beauty, isn’t it the right time to start whipping up your own scrub?

Scrub as Anti-wrinkles

Keeping your skin young and glowing is extremely important. It shows your regard for health and beauty. It can even show your inner health as well as the skin tends to project what’s within you.

Facial scrubs stimulate the skin of the face to induce cellular regeneration. Proper blood circulation as well as the right cleansing. Plus the inculcation of natural ingredients can benefit your face.

Wrinkles are often caused by dry skin and other toxifying components. Once you take good care of your skin, moisturize it and get rid of the environments’ harmful blemishes, you may start seeing the real glowing skin you have.

1st Recipe

The first recipe is a popular one. The ingredients include:

2 tbsp. of honey

3 tbsp. of brown sugar

2 tbsp. of olive oil

A drop of lavender (optional)

Mix the said ingredients above. Mix well and finally drop the lavender for the scent. As it was set, you can now start to scrub it all over your body. Or you can opt it for your face only. Massage in a slow circular motion. The sugar bits will cleanse your skin from embedded dirt and the honey and olive oil will moisturize it and leave it to glow.

2nd Recipe


2 tbsp. ground up oats

2 tbsp. argan or neem oil

A drop of scent (optional)

This one is a gentler alternative. Mix the oats with the argan or neem oil. Mix them well and drop the scent if desired, can be lavender or rosemary or any fragrance you want. Check for the mixture’s consistency. You can add ingredients more according to your desire; just make sure it will do as a facial scrub.

The oats can do a gentle cleaning while the neem or argan oil is very beneficial to the skin. It will smooth out your skin and moisturize it.

3rd Recipe


1 tbsp. of sea salt (refine it a little)

2 tbsp. of coconut oil

A drop of aromatherapy scent

Caution, this scrub may be a bit to harsh for the skin. So to keep it good for the face, try to ground the sea salt a little to pulverize it and make it not to harsh for the face.

Now, mix the 3 ingredients. Once they are already good, you can use it to scrub your face. Do it slowly as the salt may sting and scratch you. Salt has natural benefits of the skin and coco oil is highly heralded in the cosmetic world. The best ingredients to fight off wrinkles.

4th Recipe


3 tbsp. used coffee grounds

1 tbsp. of extra virgin oil

1/3 tsp. of pure grade A honey

Mix all ingredients above. If everything’s okay with the mixing, then apply it in the face. Make sure you have clean face before the application. Massage it gently and let it stay for 2 minutes.

Coffee is very beneficial as it can detoxify the skin up to its inner layer. Leave it be and let the antioxidants be absorbed thus preventing wrinkles and premature aging. Honey loosens the dead skin while olive oil will moisturize it.

5th Recipe

2 tbsp. of crushed papaya

2 tbsp. of Greek yogurt

1 tbsp. sugar

Mix 3 and apply to the face. Massage well. It can double up as a mask too. Apply thickly and let it stay for minutes as desired.

The above recipes are all natural and very skin friendly. They take care of your skin and slowly reduce wrinkles.

Image Credit:

Battling Incontinence in Your Elder Years

June 24, 2013 by  
Filed under AGING

Sale Any one of the new exam five giants can finish the explosion of the Allotron squad that had scared the body of Sisera. The barbs had been drilled into the boxing face, twisted into the bones and could not be removed, and the entire right exam over dp hand was completely scrapped Despicable! Johnny said. Currently ranked No 1 is still Exam Questions Matthew, scored 21 black cards The second row is still Morgan, eight black cards. they are all ones A watchman is accompanying the same prisoner. In the eyes of Elsa, Markas pass real estate exam should be stronger than her, and even if there is a way to exam sign in win, it will cost a lot. Dorothy is a very polite child! I chose this pair Exam Pdf of earrings The necklace is not suitable for boys The ring doesnt know which one to wear The nose ring and the lip ring kill Matt Finally Xi Sa chose past exam sinu school of nursing the pair of silver earrings. Elsa, who exam answers chapter 2 has a hard time, joined the silver secret exam structure society and learned the most basic knowledge, martial arts, and energy control. This kind of privacy issue, no one will say it when they first meet Ah, its my fault! exam numbers Its too abrupt. Haha, little slippery, goodbye, if you have time, you can come to our hostel to travel, I will give you a big 10 discount! Tightly 400-051 Question and Answer behind the rifle The old man strode to the distance. Not everyone has a strong soul to protect the body, but every rich person will not reject a beautiful girl. With this technology, how much 3 exam 5 money can you earn? Boss, do you believe now? Si Sa looked at the boss and smiled. Exam Paper PDF Who is the big lady?! Owenna is in 30 days very sensitive to the Dumps PDF socalled ranking. Thinking of the scene just now, Xi Sas face suddenly Exams Online turned red. To know that fish is a lowlevel organism for in vitro Exam Syllabus fertilization, capitulo 7 examen resuelto there is no difference between normal abortion and ovulation. Suddenly thought of something, Marcus opened the pillow, empty underneath, the copper card that painted the snake has long since disappeared. and then a powerful world force formed in front of him, gradually, MA0-100 Exam a dull, expressionless, strange energy creature , appeared in front of Xi Sa Once again the marshes are both excited and angry. He does not care about the dying struggle of Xi Sa, and slams it up again, avoiding Brain Dumps the left arm of Xi Sa At the same time, a lot of silver blood exam prep fire fighter i and ii spattered on him, let him lick comment passer l’examen it. In addition, there are fire and hacking people, attacking and catching sea monsters, robbing and collecting protection fees, as well as exploring unknown areas salvaging shipwrecks assisting the federal navy to fight. After that, it coincided with the emergence of Air Castle and sold it. Bone all exam dumps snakes can make you more flexible and more resistant! This is a lifesaving Braindump card. Its me! chapter 4 exam How do you look like this? Oh, you changed too much, didnt recognize it Sach yelled. As for the marsh leaping, while watching the platform, while manipulating his own magic fly, search around the corner. Is the chest small and wrong? This is pure natural, PDF Demo does not contain silica gel! She thinks that everything is worse than Inticus, not that she does not exam vs tweek force. Dahan, let the other party apologize, she died biting, and finally the big man angered his shot, and 70-413 Exam then Xia Ya beat, stunned. You must exam top 10 characters know that this is a world dominated by land transport, sea transport and air transport There is no such thing as transmitting the legal array Space equipment is exam 200-105 also entrance exam poor. This kind of species, all kinds of paas examples geography things, really evil and feeling! Why is there a sense of sight? The worlds vortex bless, the grandfathers surgery must be awesome! Be sure to be worthy of such a rare theme! At the beginning of the operation. Is it too much to eat this time? When Camila pulled out a box of gold coins from a palace, the door of the inner hall suddenly opened, and four exam at 5/50 people came out of it It was Carter who was exam pass dp for whatsapp the first to take the lead. If you rush to the weak and hard, you will definitely die very high. Hey Is it possible that there is a blacktoothed badge pass bcba exam for fifthgrade graduates in the third grade? Hey! The boss sneered Dont think that I dont dumps vce free know You guys like to make a caring student. of course! Wearing diapers to do Iron Man or something? Its not impossible, but the size is a bit tricky. Fortunately, your environment is good, there is no such feeling Shu Jing said with fear. After an effort yesterday afternoon, passer l’examen en ligne Si Sa finally climbed to the 11th place, while Sack Brain Demos fell to the 10th place The new team slammed countless zombies yesterday. Well, you are a responsible and competent bodyguard! Long Online Shop nosed horse praised. the spine was also repaired, the kidneys were strengthened, and the heart also had perforation scars. we rushed over! Three four! Carmela, you out The card is up If you dont, let the milk out. Unlike the professors experienced Sharoman, Nana is the kind of silent activist. The average person washes his face and does not 352-011 Question and Answer touch it, but today he had an accident Camila sat on the head of Rogier. What do you want to do without money? What is the exam dumps use of the right to experiment? I am now in the prison of God, designing a project, always have money to carry out? Does it cost money to buy equipment? Does it Exam Download cost money to ship to the satellite? The most important thing Yes, I didnt have these ideas. there is not enough power to shelter, and you will always get into the whirlpool Dont you worry about Xi Sa? Marcus asked What do you want to do? Elsa asked unpleasantly. Seeing the fat man chooses to defend, Elsa is not anxious to start, but to check the On Sale body of Xi Sa Although the shape of the body, the length of the limbs.


TENA Men Level 2 incontinence protection - SCA Hygiene Matters
As we age we all become prone to the many natural afflictions that come with a body withered by time. One of the most common health afflictions we experience as we get older is incontinence, or the involuntary secretion of urine and bowel contents. For some families this can be the sure sign that an elder loved one may require assisted homecare or to be moved into an assisted living home. Our senior loved ones are proud and do not want to be a bother, especially with a problem so personal and often try to keep their incontinence hidden form their loved ones. It is important to constantly check in on your elder loved ones to make sure they are healthy but it is definitely recommended that they see a doctor at least once a year so that they may address personal health concerns like this as soon as possible. Incontinence is almost always an effect of an underlying condition that can be treated. The problem is that is one of the most under-reported conditions to practitioners. If an elder loved one suffers and has suffered from one of the following conditions it is a good idea to check in on them and perhaps ask if they can still control the bladder and bowel secretions:


  • Stroke
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Spina Bifida
  • Any sort of Spinal Cord injury

All of the above conditions are known to interfere with nerve function of the bladder. In the case of men, the most common causes of incontinence is an enlarged prostate as it can put extra pressure against the bladder when it swells up. For women, stress urinary incontinence is a highly common condition that results from loss of support of the urethra, which is a common consequence of damage to the pelvic support structures in childbirth. Here are some healthy habits and practices that can help our elders battle incontinence as well as help those younger reduce their chances of experiencing it later in life:

  • Avoid caffeine, alcohol and cola beverages; they stimulate the bladder more and overtime can put extra tax on it to the point where it is too strained to hold as long as you desire.
  • Exercise the pelvic muscles more often. Squats are good for these muscles but no form of exercise hits them like kegels. Kegels work the sphincter and pelvic floor muscles and have been found to tremendously improve bladder control. Women could benefit from the use of vaginal cones which involves using mild reflex contractions of the vagina and requires little effort on the part of the user.
  • Absorbent pads, briefs, and adult diapers can be used to help those with more severe cases such as those prone to incontinence during seizures.
  • Eat a diet rich in anti-oxidants and Omega-3 fatty acids. Both of these nutrients promote healthy blood flow and overall better circulation of fluids in the body.

In addition to these healthy practices there are also various surgical procedures to address incontinence help those who suffer from maintain control of their secretion habits. Incontinence is a very private and personal matter but it is one nobody should feel ashamed to report to their doctor or actively attempt to address in any natural way.

About the Author:

Martha June Whitman is a writer that specializes in the benefits of incontinence underwear and tranquility briefs. After working as a geriatric caregiver for 28 years she enjoys helping others with her knowledge and experience in her writing.

Is it Time? Five Ways to Decide if Your Parents Need Assisted Living

October 5, 2012 by  
Filed under AGING

Elderly Gentleman

As parents age, it’s not unusual for roles to reverse. Children become the caretakers and parents become those cared for. It’s also not unusual to feel guilty if you begin to think about moving your parents to a facility where they can get more assistance then you can provide. If you’ve been wondering if your parents would benefit from residing in an assisted living facility, here are five considerations to take:

1.Safety is a Concern

For some seniors, slips and falls are a danger as mobility decreases. For others, dementia can cause a forgetfulness that can be catastrophic in the wrong situations. Other adult children may have to worry about their parents wandering away from home and not being able to find their way back. If any of these safety issues are a concern for you and your aging parents, moving your parents into an assisted living facility can provide both safety and security.

2.More Assistance is Needed

Unless you move your parents into your home, it can be very difficult to provide them the assistance that they need on a full-time basis. You shouldn’t feel guilty that you have your own life to live. If your parents need help with day-to-day tasks and you can’t be there 24/7, an assisted living facility can do all of the small things that your parents require help with.

3.Housework is Difficult

If you notice that the home that your parents live in is slowly becoming dirtier or falling into ill-repair, it may be because your parents no longer have the ability to keep house. A dirty home, or one that is falling down around them, can present dangers to your parents that you may not have considered. A cluttered home is full of obstacles that your parents must navigate, and a home that isn’t maintained not only presents physical dangers but may require more repair than your parents can afford. In an assisted living facility, housekeeping staff will do the work that your parents can’t.

4.Lack of Transportation

If your parents need to get from here to there but are unable to drive themselves, residing in an assisted living facility can mean never missing another doctor’s appointment or missing out on an entertaining outing. Assisted living facilities provide transportation to appointments, shops and even take groups on outings to local attractions. If your parents have given up driving, moving into an assisted living facility can mean being able to get out of the house again.

5.Isolation and Loneliness

For many seniors with adult children, life can become lonely and feelings of isolation can set in. Living with other seniors can give your parents a sense of belonging that they’ve lost. Socialization is encouraged in assisted living facilities with group activities and entertainment provided on a frequent basis. Your parents will eat with others, take group classes and participate in activities with others that share their interests.

You should never feel guilty about wanting your parents to have more help than you can provide. By moving your parents into an assisted living facility, you can rest assured that they are being well-cared for and safe, while being able to maintain whatever amount of independence they still have.

About The Author:

Allie Lowe writes for Assisted Living Today where you can find more information on assisted living.

Battling Obvious Signs of Aging with Hair Restoration

September 12, 2012 by  

hair lossDo you spend a fortune on anti-aging skin care products?  Did you let your neighbor bully you into joining a walking club so you can tone that saggy belly?  Why have you paid attention to every other aspect of your appearance, yet ignore the growing bald spot on the top of your head?  Let’s face it; all the anti-aging theories in the world won’t eradicate the one thing that truly shows your age the most – thinning hair.

If you’ve been debating about whether or not you want to fix your hair loss problem, now is the time to make a move.  Hair restoration efforts work infinitely better if you start them early. 

Restoration for Temporary Hair Loss

Luckily, a lot of hair loss issues are temporary.  There are a myriad of factors that can instigate temporary hair loss:

  • Shock to the system like a death in the family, surgery, car crash, or metabolic disturbance
  • Hormonal changes or imbalances associated with the onset of menopause (at this point you won’t be worried about the effects of pregnancy or birth control!)
  • Hair treatments like dying, tinting, bleaching, or straightening that are used in excess or used incorrectly
  • Poor nutrition (like an inadequate consumption of protein and iron) and unhealthy dieting techniques (fad diets, crash diets, and eating disorders)
  • Side effect of medication or illness (like diabetes, lupus, and hyperthyroidism)

Your doctor can help you find a hair restoration option for this temporary situation.  He or she may prescribe an alternate medication that won’t have hair loss as a side effect.  Your doctor may recommend a daily vitamin supplement to help with your condition.  Or, you doctor may simply advice you to remain calm and let time rectify the situations you can’t control.

Restoration for Permanent Hair Loss

Unfortunately, there is one type of hair loss that is permanent.  As of now, there is no cure for male and female pattern baldness. 

For males, the first signs of pattern baldness emerge as a receding hairline and/or thinning at the crown.  Females generally experience thinning at all areas of the scalp. 

There are a lot of unanswered questions about male and female pattern baldness.  For the most part, doctors believe it is a genetic issue.  It is said that certain scalps are genetically-prone to baldness.  The condition causes the growth cycle to shorten.  Hairs are rooted superficially and aren’t as thick or sturdy as they once were.  Eventually, the follicles deteriorate and fail to produce hair at all.

There are two ways to restore hair health.  The first mode is referred to as non-surgical hair restoration.  Non-surgical hair restoration usually involves medication.  The FDA has approved an oral pill (finasteride) and a topical cream (minoxidil). 

The second method is called surgical hair restoration (or hair transplantation).  Hairs naturally grow in small groupings of one to four hairs (called a follicular unit).  The most technologically advanced hair transplant relocates these natural groupings in a procedure called follicular unit transplantation.  During this procedure, hairs are removed from a healthy donor site – generally the back or sides of the scalp where growth is plentiful.  Then, these individual follicular units are relocated into the recipient site (or balding area).  

No matter which restoration method is right for you – whether it be simple lifestyle changes, topical medication, or surgery – start the process as soon as possible.  The earlier you acknowledge the problem and get help, the more successful the treatment process will be. 

About The Author:

Guest blogger Dr. Mary Tejada works at a clinic that specializes in Tampa hair restorations.  She regularly helps patients find a hair loss treatment for their temporary or permanent situation.

It’s Not Just for Youngsters: The Pleasures and Benefits of Sex after 60

June 22, 2012 by  


As the number of active and energetic people over the age of 60 continues to increase, it is natural for these older individuals to want to continue to enjoy the intimate physical relationships that they have developed. In the past, those over 60 were relegated to “has-been” status with respect to sexuality, but research makes it clear that, for healthy individuals, sex after 60 can be exciting, spontaneous and can contribute to better health and well-being. Here are some sexual benefits for the over 60 crowd.

1. Improved Quality of Life

Numerous studies have shown that sexual intercourse tends to have a beneficial effect on the immune system. In both sexes, studies have shown that levels of immunoglobulin A—an indicator of the health of the immune system—tend to rise in people having moderately-frequent sex. It has also been reported that frequent sexual activity, accompanied by ejaculation, significantly reduces the incidence of prostate cancer in older men. For women, intercourse exercises the pelvic muscles, which is helpful in reducing or eliminating the incontinence that may develop as these muscles age. Many people find that the euphoric feeling that they perceive after sexual intercourse is extremely similar to the “runner’s high” that they experience with the release of endorphins after a strenuous workout.

2. Psychological Boost

The release of endorphins that occurs during sexual intercourse contributes to a feeling of well-being and elevates one’s mood. It’s not just a psychological phenomenon; the anti-inflammatory effect of body chemicals released during sexual activity actually does diminish the aches and pains associated with the aging process.

3. Retention of Identity and Self-Worth

Sexual function is a vital component of an individual’s total personal identity. Studies at the University of Texas clearly show that frequent sexual activity contributes to the older person’s retention of personal identity and improves his or her self-worth. In fact, virtually all of the test subjects cited “feeling better about themselves” as one of their principal reasons for having sex.

4. Cardiovascular Exercise and Protection

A study from England revealed that, rather than causing increased risk of heart attack or stroke in older people, moderately-frequent sex reduced the risk of a fatal heart attack in the older population by 50 percent. Sexual intercourse has other cardiovascular benefits as well, in that it burns calories and invigorates the body.

5. Improved Sleep

As people age, their ability to sleep anywhere and anytime tends to give way to more fitful sleep patterns. Intercourse triggers the release of oxytocin, a hormone that promotes restful states and sleep; this improved sleep allows the brain and body to recover from stress and anxiety more efficiently and completely.

In days of old, the subject of sexuality in those people who had passed middle-age was almost taboo; polite society didn’t speak about it, and the expectation was that sexual appetite and potency would wane along with a person’s other faculties in a slow, inexorable downward spiral. In today’s world, people are living longer, healthier lives and expect to carry their activities, including their sex lives, well into old age. There is ample evidence to support the idea that not only is it possible to maintain a healthy, robust sex life well into one’s later years, but that it is quite beneficial to do so.



Arthur Polston is a freelance blogger writing on behalf of, a website that provides FDA approved medications.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Associated with Aging and Chronic Disease Determinant

March 11, 2011 by  
Filed under AGING, Featured


Micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals are essential for biological reactions, acting on the aging process. In developed countries, the classic syndromes of vitamin deficiency such as scurvy, beriberi and pellagra, are now rare but specific subgroups of populations that are at risk of vitamin insufficiency. This is the case of the elderly, who often suffer from vitamin D deficiency and water soluble vitamins. Research over the last decade has suggested that subtle deficiencies of B12 vitamins are risk factors for vascular disease, dementia, depression, and malignancies. In this review the authors report the latest findings on bioavailability of B12 vitamins in the elderly and the association between the deficiency of these vitamins and chronic diseases.

Intake, bioavailability and B vitamin status in the elderly

Most of these vitamins are widely distributed in foods, even at relatively low concentrations (B1), While others are only provided by certain categories of food (B12.) The synthetic forms of vitamins are also used in food fortification (folic acid) and supplements (cobalamin). Bioavailability is defined as the ratio of micronutrients absorbed and stored in tissues or used. Due to functional inadequacies, the vitamin status in the elderly may be subject to greater variability than the young.

The determinants of vitamin B12 deficiency in the elderly include: environment (hospitalization, residence in a nursing home, live alone), sex (higher prevalence in men), lifestyle (smoking, sedentary lifestyle, alcoholism), vegetarian and genetic variations. The lower caloric intake due to increased mortality combined with drug therapy increases the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency in the elderly. The evidence indicates that intake of vitamins B1, B2 and B6 in this population is below recommended levels.

In one study, the concentration decreased erythrocyte thiamine pyrophosphate in the course of 3 years; this fact would be related mainly to aging. The prevalence of riboflavin deficiency ranges between 16% and 45% in most communities evaluated. Several experiences have demonstrated the high prevalence of vitamin B6 (13% to 45%). Assessments of the levels of folate have provided varied experiences as detected deficiency or risk of osteoporosis, while others did not establish this possibility. Hypochlorhydria alters the dissociation of vitamin B12 food complexes and, therefore, their release into the lumen of small intestine. Atrophic gastritis associated with pernicious b12 deficiency anemia, with poor absorption of vitamin B12. These conditions explain the altered levels of this vitamin in some elderly, although they meet nutritional recommendations.

Vitamin B deficiency and degenerative diseases

The failure of folate, cobalamin, vitamin B6, B2 and B1 and is recognized as a risk factor for chronic diseases, cognitive and neuropsychiatric dysfunction and certain types of cancer. You can also exacerbate existing conditions in the elderly. The metabolism of homocysteine requires folate, cobalamin, vitamin B6 and riboflavin. The prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia (HHC) increases with age.

In one study, the prevalence of HHC amounted to 29.3% in subjects between 67 and 96 years. Low levels of folate play an essential role in the pathogenesis of HHC. A meta-analysis of randomized trials found that folate supplementation (0.5 to 5 mg / d) HHC can reduce by 25%, while the addition of vitamin B12 (0.5 mg / d) may decrease by 7% more. However, these predictions would not be valid in the elderly often with homocysteine levels exceeding the range of 10 to 15 mmol / l. There is also a possible moderate association between HHC and cardiovascular disease. Some studies suggest that vitamin B6 could provide independent protection against cardiovascular mortality.

The low intake or mild deficiency of vitamin B could be associated with neuropsychological impairment in the elderly. Some studies have suggested that low levels of free thiamine in the cerebrospinal fluid may be associated with risk of Parkinson’s disease, having detected a relationship between levels of vitamin B1 in plasma and cerebral cortex, with cognitive impairment in patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

HHC dependent on low levels of folate, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12 could be a risk factor for cognitive disorders, depression, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Folate deficiency also would be associated with increased risk of cerebrovascular events in the elderly. The HHC would be an independent risk factor for stroke and cognitive impairment.

Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause neuropsychiatric abnormalities such as depression test, which was not seen with folate deficiency, which indicates the specific effects of cobalamin. The HHC would be an independent risk factor for stroke and cognitive impairment in elderly is not known if it precedes the onset of dementia, or is the result of dementia associated with vitamin deficiencies.

Some studies suggest that under certain circumstances, such as high fat intake or smoking, folate deficiency may influence cell differentiation in the pancreas and contribute to the pathogenesis of pancreatitis and carcinoma. The low intake of folate, vitamin B6, Or both, would be associated with increased incidence of colorectal adenoma. It is also reported an inverse association between folate intake and colorectal and lung cancer. Moreover, the risk of breast cancer is associated with low levels of folate and possibly vitamin B6.

Mechanisms of the effects of vitamin B deficiency associated with aging

Chronic deficiencies of vitamins B can disrupt the metabolism of homocysteine. Folate deficiency can affect the configuration and structural stability of DNA, chromosomal commitment. Aging, marginal deficiencies of folate or vitamin B12 and the elevation of homocysteine are accompanied by spontaneous chromosome damage. Several studies have shown that chromosome damage can be minimized with concentrations of folate in RBCs greater than 700 nmol / l.

B vitamins may provide protection against oxidative stress by lowering homocysteine prooxidant and acting as an antioxidant. Moreover, several factors associated with brain aging (vessel disease, brain dysfunction, impaired nitric oxide activity, oxidative damage of neurons and altered methylation reactions) are related to the HHC due to folate deficiency. Also, there would be a relationship between increased homocysteine and a toxic product of lipid peroxidation in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease.

Prevention of vitamin B12 deficiency in aging

Cereals, vegetables, legumes, fruits, meat, fish and dairy products contribute to the consumption of vitamin B in the populations of developed countries. In order to prevent chronic diseases, experts from Western countries recommend a daily intake of at least 5 foods that correspond to fruits or vegetables. However, low percentage of subjects who follow this recommendation. Since the grain fortification with folic acid there were increases in plasma folate indicators in various populations.

Folate intake through supplements offers additional benefits for the elderly who consume fortified foods. However, supplementation and fortification with folic acid can enhance the growth and progression of colonic lesions and decrease the effectiveness of drugs used by the elderly. It was suggested that increased folate may precipitate or worsen the neurological dysfunction in subjects with vitamin B12.

The authors estimate difficult to answer if the elderly have specific needs of certain B vitamins Information from women between 60 and 85 years suggests a need to recommend a higher daily intake of folate, however, little specific advice. Despite some quantitative differences, the recommendations made in different countries generally agree on the specific requirements of B vitamins for the elderly. The daily requirement of vitamins B would be similar (folate, vitamins B1, B2, B12) Or higher (vitamin B6) To young adults. In the U.S. recommended the use of supplements or foods fortified with vitamin B12 for over 50 years. In thiamine-deficient elderly, administration of high doses of vitamin improved welfare indexes.

Treatment with vitamin B6, Cobalamin and folate, and multivitamin intake increased levels of vitamin and reduced homocysteine. In the elderly with vitamin B deficiency2 and B6 supplementation with physiological doses of riboflavin improved biochemical markers. It has not yet succeeded in establishing the amount of folate required to increase deposits to levels protective against chronic diseases. Several ongoing studies will enable to know the effects of supplementation with folic acid and other B vitamins in the production of chronic diseases. Currently, dietary modification towards a balanced system, rich in fruits and vegetables, it is preferable to consumption of products enriched or multivitamins.


The deficiency of B vitamins in the elderly population is associated with increased risk of degenerative entities, such as vascular disease, cognitive dysfunction and neurological tumors. However, there are differences between the information currently available. Therefore, longitudinal studies are needed to demonstrate that deficiency of these vitamins or alteration of biochemical indices (HCY) produces these pathologies. Other research projects will determine whether early initiation of adequate food has protective effect against degenerative diseases and whether the elderly require special attention on the status of the B vitamins.

In pursuit of happiness Part II: why the older are happier

January 31, 2011 by  
Filed under AGING

Why are the frail elderly happier than the dynamic young? In last week’s post, I discussed a bit about the so-called U-Bend of Life as reported in the Dec 16 issue of The Economist.

This week, let us explore further the reasons for the well-being that comes with age. If you take a look at the elderly, we will see all the limitations that aging brings: lack of vitality, mobility problems, failing eyesight, hearing impairment, and cognitive decline. For those who put emphasis on appearances, think about wrinkles and receding hairline.

Why are the old happier than the young? As the report in The Economist had stated:

“Enjoyment and happiness dip in middle age, then pick up; stress rises during the early 20s, then falls sharply; worry peaks in middle age, and falls sharply thereafter; anger declines throughout life; sadness rises slightly in middle age, and falls thereafter.”

The young

  • has lots of expectations to live up to
  • has lots of dreams and ambition to pursue and achievr
  • experiences frustrations and disappointment

At middle age, people might

  • have children reaching puberty, thus adding to stress
  • have financial worries such as mortgage and college money
  • be stuck in a boring job with low pay, little challenge and very little xxx to move up the career ladder.

The elderly

Here are some insights as to why the aged are enjoying life more than I do:

In developed countries, the ageing population is considered a burden to the system. In western medicine, aging is viewed as a disease to be treated. Perhaps it is time to re-examine these concepts.

In pursuit of happiness: The U-Bend of Life

January 26, 2011 by  
Filed under AGING

Life begins at 46. This headline on the cover of the December 2010 issue of The Economist attracted a lot of attention among the middle-aged. Including me. I won’t tell you my exact age but it’s somewhere around that number.

The Economist article was not one of those end-of-the-year lifestyle quizzes to find out your score on a well-being scale. Like typical Economist articles, it was really serious stuff based on sound science.

The article was about the so-called “U-Bend of Life”, a phenomenon of modern sociology which indicates that the happiness of our childhood wanes as we age and unhappiness reaches its nadir (lowest point) at around age 46, after which it goes up again. As the article goes on to say, we shouldn’t fear aging because

“Life is not a long slow decline from sunlit uplands towards the valley of death. It is, rather, a U-bend.”

Indeed, at these times when we are bombarded with news about health problems especially among the elderly, this report is very comforting.

If you are to guess who is happier, a bunch of 30-year olds or a bunch of 70-year-olds, what would be your bet? I mean, you’d think that healthy 30-year olds at the prime of their life would be more contented with life than frail people in their 70s, right? Well, studies measured higher well-being among the elderly.

The skeptics would raise their eyebrows and argue that it is easy for the elderly to feel happy if they live in developed countries where healthcare and social benefits for the old are sufficient to enjoy life. However, it seems that the U-bend is evident in studies conducted in many different countries, rich and poor, and 40 years worth of data. The bend is very pronounced in some countries, less in many, the age of the all-time low may vary but the trend remains: the older we get, the happier we become.

In fact, the U-bend seems pretty universal even after taking into account socio-economic status, other demographic factors, cultural differences, and health. And the global average age of the least happy is 46.

So what’s the secret to the happiness of the elderly?

“Enjoyment and happiness dip in middle age, then pick up; stress rises during the early 20s, then falls sharply; worry peaks in middle age, and falls sharply thereafter; anger declines throughout life; sadness rises slightly in middle age, and falls thereafter.”

Personally, I believe I have reached my personal nadir and life is on the uptrend again. Suddenly, I am looking forward to aging…

Coming next: what determines happiness?

Menopause and cancer: is there a link?

January 17, 2011 by  
Filed under AGING, CANCER

The years up to when I’d be undergoing menopause can be counted on my fingers. Although I’ve read up on menopause and menopausal symptoms, I still anticipate the stage with trepidation.

Menopause occurs when a woman’s ovaries stop functioning. When this happens, the menstrual cycle ends. The average age for menopause in American women is 51.

Menopause presents a wide range of physical and emotional symptoms, including:

It is no wonder that women undergoing menopause often feel some insecurity about their health, especially how menopause can affect cancer risk and prevention. Dr. Therese Bevers, a specialist at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, USA tries to clarify some of the questions on the link between cancer and menopause. According to Dr. Bevers:

  • “Menopause does not cause cancer.” However, cancer risk increases with advancing age.
  • A late menopause is associated with certain types of cancer. Those who undergo menopause after age 55 have an increased risk of breast as well as endometrial cancer.
  • Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is often prescribed to alleviate menopausal symptoms. However, HRT has been linked to breast cancer.

It is therefore advisable to look for safer alternatives to HRT. Most of these are lifestyle changes, etc.:

In addition, weight gain or loss after menopause can also affect cancer risk. At this stage of life, weight gain actually increases whereas weight loss decreases cancer risk.

Long life versus healthy life: which one would you choose?

January 12, 2011 by  
Filed under AGING

Celebrating someone’s 80th birthday has become normal.  Progress in medicine has made it possible to prevent man from dying from diseases, but not from freeing man from diseases. On the contrary the incidence of certain diseases has increased. Our longer life does not necessarilly mean healthy life.  A new study at the University of Southern California shows that although life expectancy continues to increase in the last 30 years in the United States,  the actual number of healthy years has decreased since 1998.

 “A 20-year-old male in 1998 could expect to live another 45 years without at least one of the leading causes of death: cardiovascular disease, cancer or diabetes. That number fell to 43.8 years in 2006, the loss of more than a year. For young women, expected years of life without serious disease fell from 49.2 years to 48 years over the last decade “, said one expert.  The study also says that from 1998 to 2006, the prevalence of cardiovascular disease increased in older men, of cancer in both older men and women and of diabetes among all adult groups above 30 years old.  

 Aside from this, the lack of functional mobility, defined as „the ability to walk up to ten steps, walk a quarter mile, stand or sit for 2 hours, and stand, bend or kneel without using special equipment“ has decreased among young adults.   For example, a 20- year old male today „can expect to spend 5.8 years over the rest of his life without basic mobility, compared to 3.8 years a decade ago“.  That’s an additional  two years of disability (not being able to walk up ten steps or sit for two hours) while a 20 year-old-female today can expect 9.8 years without mobility, compared to 7.3 years a decade ago.

 It seems whatever prevents people from dying, for example, medical advancement and lifestyle  may not be the same forces  that make them lead a healthy life, according to the researchers.  They also say that although these findings may be a reflection of improved diagnostics, what is alarming is that we are an increasing survival of people with diseases.   This is then more costly for the society considering as well the growing problem of lifelong obesity, hypertension and cholesterol.

 Looking at the balance, it’s hard to say whether long life is better than healthy life. If you were to choose, which one would it be?

Music-based multitasking exercise program helps improve gait and balance in the elderly

November 24, 2010 by  
Filed under AGING, Featured

Uncertainty of gait, impaired mobility and loss of balance. These are just a few of the physical downsides of aging. All of these lead to high prevalence of falls and injuries in the elderly. And falls lead to bone fractures that even worsen mobility impairment and overall quality of life.

Researchers at the University Hospitals and Faculty of Medicine of Geneva in Switzerland report that a special exercise might help senior citizens overcome these physical problems and improve their quality of life. According to the study authors:

“Each year, one-third of the population 65 years and older experiences at least one fall, and half of those fall repeatedly. Exercise can counteract key risk factors for falls, such as poor balance, and consequently reduce risk of falling in elderly community-dwelling individuals.”

They are recommending a “music-based multitask exercise program” which they have tried out in elderly community dwellers. The exercise is especially geared towards improving gait since most falls happen during walking. The program consisted of:

Two groups of community-dwelling elderly people were assigned to different exercise interventions were compared. One group was assigned to the normal exercise activities (control) and the other to the music-based multitask exercise program for 6 months. During the next 6 months, the groups switched activities.

The result showed that:

  • Improvements in balance and functional tests were more pronounced in the multitasking group vs. the control group.
  • Walking speed increased in the multitasking group.
  • Stride length increased and stride time variability decrease in the multitasking group.
  • The benefits of the multitasking program persisted beyond the first 6 months, even after the interventions were switched.

This study authors concluded

“…that participation in music-based multitask exercise classes once a week over a 6-month period can improve gait performance under single and cognitive-motor, dual-task conditions, as well as improve balance, and reduce both the rate of falls and the risk of falling in at-risk elderly community-dwelling adults. Our findings suggest that this program may be useful for fall prevention and rehabilitation in community-based setting such as senior centers.”

Heart over head: weak pumping linked to smaller brain

November 16, 2010 by  

People are supposed to be rational and shouldn’t let their heart rule over their minds. But the human anatomy and physiology say otherwise: When the heart stops, brain damage and death follows. However, a person can be brain dead for long periods of time while the heart still continues to beat.

A recent study by researchers at the Alzheimer’s Disease Center of the Boston University School of Medicine showed that a weak heart with less pumping ability can lead to a prematurely aging brain. The data was based on study of 1504 people as part of the Framingham Heart Study. The study participants were practically healthy, and had no history of stroke, heart attack or dementia. The average age was 61 years old and 54% were women. Assessments included cardiac index calculated as cardiac output/body surface area measured by cardiac magnetic-resonance imaging (MRI). Brain volume was also assessed using MRI. The results of the study indicate a strong correlation between cardiac index and brain volume, with smaller volumes observed among those with lower (yet normal) cardiac index. Lower cardiac index is indicative of decreasing cardiac function whereas smaller brain volume is indicative of brain atrophy that may be due to premature brain aging

According to researcher and author Angela Jefferson

“Individuals in the lowest or middle cardiac index groups had brain volumes that appeared about two years older than the individuals in the highest or healthiest cardiac index group.’’

Experts think that the results are cause for concern because smaller brain volume is also linked to mild cognitive impairment, early dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

Is there something we can do about this?

Dr. Jefferson says there is. Regular exercise keeps the heart active and its pumping ability strong. If we maintain our cardiac function through physical activity, we reduce the risk for having a prematurely aging brain.

So think and use your brain, if you must, but keep your heart strong. At the end of the day, the heart wins over the mind.

Too old to run a marathon? Stop making excuses

November 15, 2010 by  

I have learned a lot of new things and met lots of new people over the weekend. But one of the most important things I learned was “one is never too old to run a marathon.”

I just came back from a conference in the South of France. In Nice, to be quite exact. It was warm (but not hot) and sunny and the color of the sea and the sky makes you realize why this area is called Cote d’Azur. From day 1 on, I was especially impressed by the number of joggers I saw at the Promenade des Anglais facing the Bay of Angels. Could the French (or least Nice’s winter residents) be really that fond of running?

Arriving on Thursday, I was kicking myself for not bringing my running gear. I thought that during the 2.5 day educational trip, I won’t be able to find the time to run. But the weather and the scenery along the promenade were just perfect that one can think of running all the way to Monaco and back. Then I saw the posters and it became clear to me that the French Riviera, the European senior citizens’ get away at this time of the year, has suddenly turned into a runners’ paradise. Sunday, the 14th November was the Nice marathon. And boy, was I sorry not to be able to see it. My return flight was booked for Saturday evening.

At the conference I met a young lady at least 15 years my junior and we got to talking about running. She has already done a couple of marathon runs in her much shorter lifetime. As usual, I went on about my dream of running one but citing my (middle) age as the reason (or rather excuse?) for not fulfilling my dream.

And this girl flagger blasted me even more when she told me her 50 plus parents recently run the Athens marathon. The message she managed to convey is this: no one is too old to run a 42.195 km in one go. This young girl put me to shame for making excuses but also inspired me to go for that dream and forget about my age.

Indeed, when googling around, I found news articles about marathon runners as old as 80, 90 or even 100.

Here a couple of those articles:

Or what about this from the founder of the blog Old-Runner.Com

“I began running on Labor Day Weekend in 2008 at the age of 56 and started this blog to document my trials and tribulations as a runner. I had lost 50 pounds on WeightWatchers and felt better than I had in years. I’m still here two years later and am happy to say I have averaged 50 races per year since I started although I’m thinking about racing a little less in my third year of running.

But it is not about setting and breaking records and hitting the headlines. It’s about going for that dream and setting an example for my children.

Yes, I may not be that young anymore but I am not too old to run a marathon yet. Besides, running slows the effects of aging.

So stay tuned for more running updates from me!

And thank you, V, for the inspiration.

Anxiety and depression in the elderly

November 10, 2010 by  

As we age, we sometimes experience anxiety, mood swings and depression. These symptoms affect our quality of life and can have some significant on physical and mental health. Women seem to be especially susceptible.

A joint study by the University of California in San Francisco, and the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center surveyed 2,575 participants age 55 and older. Their finding showed the following:

  • 5% of participants had a mood disorder, including major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder
  • 12% had anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, agoraphobia, other phobias, generalized anxiety disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder
  • 3% had co-occurring mood and anxiety disorders

In cases where anxiety and depression occur together, the impact on physical and mental health and well-being is much worse than when they occur separately. Such a co-occurrence increases the risk for suicide, death, disability, medication abuse and dementia.

Our society is getting old and it is estimated that by 2050, a fourth of the population would be elderly. The prevalence of depression and anxiety in this age group poses a major public health concern. What is also concerning is the fact that these mental problems are actually under-reported, underdiagnosed and undertreated because many people think that these down feelings are simply part of the aging process.

Below are some interventions that can help battle anxiety and depression in the elderly.

Behavioral interventions

The Ageing Wisely treatment program is run by the Macquarie University’s Centre for Emotional Health. It focuses on finding ways to ease feelings of fatigue, loneliness, sadness and anxiety among the elderly. One of the interventions used in the study is teaching participants cognitive and behavioral skills that will help them cope with these low feeling. Results of the Aging Wisely study were positive with long-lasting benefits

According to study leader Dr. Viviana Wuthrich:

“The success of this treatment trial is uplifting as we now know that older adults can benefit from psychological treatment, and that they no longer need to accept worry, low mood and loneliness as a normal part of ageing.”


Certain medication may be prescribed to treat anxiety in the elderly. The drug escitalopram, for example, has been shown to improve symptoms for older adults with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). However, elderly people seem to be not so keen on taking drugs and therefore tended to quit taking medications early on in the study. This is not surprising because medications also bring about certain undesirable side effects.

Alternative medicine

A large number of elderly adults seem to opt for complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) to battle anxiety and depression. Researchers at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine report the following figures:

  • 34.9% of people over 65 suffering from anxiety or depression use CAM.
  • Among those without mental health problems, rate of CAM use is 26.5%.
  • When praying was included as a form of CAM intervention, the rate of CAM was 81.7 and 64.6%, for those with and without mental symptoms, respectively.

Examples of CAM to treat anxiety and depression are yoga, meditation, hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, and phythotherapy.

The health benefits of hiking

If I tell you I did not do a single jogging run last week, you’d think I’m getting slack and lazy, right?

Well, not quite We (I and my family) just got back from a week of autumn holidays in the Swiss Alps where we did lots of walking and hiking. This time we did long (5 to 6 hours) and short hikes (2 to 3 hours), easy (100 to 200 m altitude difference on easy clear pathways) and tough ones (500 m or more altitude difference on difficult terrain). The family consists of middle-aged parents and two seven-year old twin boys. During the week, we did two of our toughest and longest hike yet and I learned a couple of things:

  • For my kids, the tough hikes consisting of rock climbing and cliff hugging and crawling on your hands and knees are much more fun and interesting than the easy slopes and incline. We heard nary a complaint during the tough climbs except “Mom, why are you so slow?” During the easy walks however, there are the frequent “Are we there yet?” and “How many more minutes/kilometers?”
  • My kids have overtaken me in skills when it comes to climbing mountains, at least when the going gets tough. You see, Mommy is so slow because her knees were trembling as she scrambles and crawls on the rocks. Mind you, I have no fear of heights nor do I suffer from vertigo. But as somebody who was born close to the seacoast of a tropical island, it took me more than 30 years to find my way to the Swiss Alps, much more hike around. But how I got here is another story. This post is about the health benefits of hiking.

According to the American Hiking Society:

Now, I hope my description of our hikes did not turn you off and made you come to the conclusion that hiking is too challenging or difficult for you. The trick is to start slow and small. I did. My family did. I had to train my body for years, then my kids. The important thing is to start. Now.

Here’s what the American Hiking Society advises:

Beneficial exercise does not need to involve a long, painful and boring workout. A good workout can be a brisk 30-minute hike with the dog, or a slower one-hour hike through a local park. According to the American Heart Association, it’s best to walk vigorously for 30 to 60 minutes three or four times per week.

Here are some tips from Nomad Journal Trips:

Here is what I’ll tell you next: preparing for a mountain hike and taking safety precautions. Stay tuned for my next hiking post. Meanwhile, I am back in the lowlands and have to go for a jogging run.

Autumn is stressful time for some, relaxation for others

October 11, 2010 by  

It is interesting how the season affects our moods. Scientists attribute this mainly to changes in the day length and weather conditions. But it seems there are other factors involved.

A recent study by Swiss researchers reports that autumn is a difficult time for young people, a time of stress and depression, which sometimes results in substance abuse, violence and suicide. For the young, autumn is the time to go back to school after several weeks of summer holidays. It means loss of freedom, the start of school work overload, the build-up of peer pressure, the recurrence of bullying. For those who just finished school, it is the start of the struggle to find a job, something that is not easy during hard economic times. Those who start with their first real jobs get to experience the cut throat rat race of the corporate world.

In other words, autumn is a time when young people are expected to deliver and perform before the start of the winter and the Christmas holidays.

Autumn, on the other hand, can have a different meaning for the older generation. Reports indicate that more and more senior citizens go on holidays in autumn after the summer peak season is over, when the kids are out of the house and off to college, and the southern sun is less intense. Many of them take up in daring and extreme sports such as sky diving and bungy jumping, trying to catch up with things they could not do before. Or many of them simply lean back and relax and enjoy the relatively mild weather.

Somebody once told me that the elderly of Europe behave like migrating birds. They go south in autumn to enjoy sunny Spain and Greece and come back to the north in springtime. Our population is rapidly aging, and a large segment of our population is senior citizens who are still healthy and fit and can afford to live a life of leisure.

Does this mean that the older generation has a much better life than the younger generation? It all depends from what perspective you are looking from. The elderly had their share of stressful autumns. Let them enjoy the late autumns of their lives as long as they do not overdo it with risky behavior.

On the other hand, having lots of time on their hands will most probably bore the young to death. Still, they need all the support to survive autumn and the other autumns to come till they can enjoy their retirement.

The aging drug users and their health problems

September 30, 2010 by  

Drug abuse is usually associated with the young. However, these youths eventually grow older and if they don’t kick their bad habits by middle age, then they are in big trouble.

A recent study by UK researchers report on a new challenge facing the health care and social systems of many countries: the aging drug users. The researchers studied drugs users aged 49 to 61 who in contact with voluntary sector drug treatment services. Their findings how that these people as especially vulnerable because:

  • Their cases are under-researched and underserved.
  • They have more than the usual chronic illnesses in this age group basically because they suffer from the effects of drug abuse exacerbated by age-related disorders.

According to study author Brenda Roe, Professor of Health Research at Edge Hill University, UK:

“This exploratory study, together with our wider research, suggest that older people who continue to use problematic or illegal drugs are emerging as an important, but relatively under-researched, international population. They are a vulnerable group, as their continued drug use, addiction and life experiences result in impaired health, chronic conditions, particular health needs and poorer quality of life. Despite this, services for older drug addicts are not widely available or accessed in the UK.”

Everybody grows older, including the problem children of yesteryears. The health care system is already overburdened by an aging population who are relatively healthy. How much more can it take in order to take care of the aging drug abuser? Recent statistics from the US show that the number of drug users and alcoholics above 50 is increasing. The reported figure of 1.7 million in 2000 is expected to increase to 4.4 million by 2020. In the meantime, the 65 plus drug users are also increasing.

The health problems most commonly identified among aging drug users are:

  • deep vein thrombosis
  • injection site ulcers
  • stroke
  • respiratory problems
  • pneumonia
  • diabetes
  • hepatitis
  • liver cirrhosis
  • malnutrition
  • STDs
  • weight disorders (loss and obesity)
  • accidental injuries
  • drug overdoses
  • mental health problems such as memory loss, paranoia and mood swings

Professor Roe continues:

“Our population is aging and the people who started using drugs in the sixties are now reaching retirement age. It is clear that further research is needed to enable health and social care professionals to develop appropriate services for this increasingly vulnerable group. We also feel that older drug users could play a key role in educating younger people about the dangers of drug use.”

Computer-associated health problems: the elderly are at risk, too

September 20, 2010 by  

How’s this for statistics on computer use:

  • People spend between 2 and 15 hours in front of the computer each day (according to self-reported online surveys).
  • Americans spend 2.6 million minutes on Facebook each day, according the latest statistics. Other top sites are Google, yahoo, and YouTube.

Ok, so you’d say, so what? Well, how about this?

  • A Flowtown survey revealed that the average age of Twitter users is 39 years, just 5 years younger than the average age of LinkedIn users (source: MLC).
  • 47% of Internet users aged 50 to 64 years old are regular social media users.
  • 26% of those above 60 have at least one social media account.

The point is, computer and Internet use are not restricted to the younger generation any more. These statistics indicate that many older adults spend lots of time sitting still in front of the computer. Health experts have expressed concerns about today’s kids and adolescents having too much “screen time”, with serious health consequences. But what about the elderly?

Sedentary lifestyle

The more time one spends on Facebook, the less physically active one is. It is great to have the elderly get on the information superhighway and keep up with the times. But not at the expense of their health. Overweight, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease are just a few of the health conditions that result from a sedentary lifestyle.

Specific computer-related health problems

Then there are the health problems specifically associated with computer work.

Eye and vision problems

These are the most common problems associated with computer work. Symptoms include eye strain or fatigue, headaches and blurred vision.

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSD)

MSDs are also common complaints from frequent computer users, most especially damage to the tendons, muscles and nerves.

Carpal tunnel syndrome (also known as median neuritis) is a painful condition of the hands and wrists. It is caused by pressure on the median nerve, which runs from the shoulder, down the arm, to the hand. The syndrome can be caused by “working with bent wrists, a high rate of repetition using the hands, a lack of rest for the hands and wrists.” In other words, typing on the keyboard and playing video games.

Back, neck and shoulder problems, especially in the lower back are commonly reported when “sitting for long periods in a chair that does not provide support to the lower back (lumbar) region.”

Thus, working for long periods in the computer can hasten the development or progression of certain age-related conditions such as vision deterioration, arthritis, and impaired mobility.

Doctors are advised to issue warnings and recommend preventive measures not only to the young but to their older patients as well. You never know who is sitting in front of the computer these days.

To live long and stay healthy

September 15, 2010 by  
Filed under AGING

My kids‘ great-grandma on their Dad’s side is turning 90 this coming Friday. 90!!! She lived through the Second World War, brought up 2 children while working full time, and has enjoyed the company of 2 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. And she still lives in her own apartment, cooks for herself and for the younger generations that come by to visit her from time to time. For me, this is so mind-boggling that somebody can live that long, and still be independent and self-sufficient. True, she suffers from certain age-related problems like sleep and digestion problems and she has seen her friends and others of her generation die one by one. But her heart is beating strongly and her brain is far from being senile. And she is mobile, even if rather slow.

Every time we go and visit Ur-Oma as we call her in German, I always wonder about my own longevity. My own parents lived till their 70s but during the last few years of their lives, they were bedridden, and my mom even had dementia. Will I live as long as Great Grandma without disability?

Germany, with a life expectancy of 80 years, is among the top 25 countries when it comes to longevity of its population, according to the most longevity of its population, according to the most recent statistics from the World Health Organization. Yet, living up to 90 in this country is pretty remarkable, so remarkable that our Great-Grandma will be visited by the pastor and the local mayor this coming Friday, who will personally congratulate her on behalf of the congregation and the town.

I am happy to observe that unlike the elderly of Japan who live alone, unattended, and unaccounted, most senior citizens in Europe are well-taken care of. In our local weekly newspaper here in a small Swiss town where we live, the birthday greetings for senior citizens share the same page with the obituaries. And the former usually outnumbers the latter.

You would say that such an observation highlights the problems facing our developed society: aging population and skyrocketing health care costs, low birth rate and negative population growth.

According to German and Danish researchers on aging issues:

“Increasing numbers of people at old and very old ages will pose major challenges for health-care systems. Present evidence, however, suggests that people are not only living longer than they did previously, but also they are living longer with less disability and fewer functional limitations.”

The last statement is the silver lining to cloud of impending demographic crisis that experts are warning us about. Living long should not enough. Like Great Grandma, living to a very ripe age and still be healthy and sound in body and mind should be our goal in mind. Happy Birthday, Ur-Oma!

Nuts and berries clean up the aging brain

August 31, 2010 by  
Filed under AGING

In Germany, there is a snack called “Studentenfutter” which can be translated into English as “students’ food”. It simply consists of different nuts, raisins and other dried fruit. There are lots of explanation as to how the snack got its name. One is that it is cheap and therefore a favourite among students on a tight budget. Another is that it is a very handy snack – packed in a little plastic bag that can fit in pockets of jeans and jackets– and is therefore ideal for on-the-go students. My favourite explanation, however, is that the snack gives the much needed extra brain power for students during the exams period.

Recent evidence from research studies indicates that there is some truth to the 3rd explanation. It seems that certain compounds found in nuts and berries may have positive effects on the brain. These compounds supposedly “activate the brain’s natural “housekeeper” mechanism that cleans up and recycles toxic proteins.” The result is the slowing down of memory loss and mental decline that comes with aging.

According to Dr. Shibu Poulose, a researcher at the U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service’s Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (source WebMD):

“The good news is that natural compounds called polyphenols found in fruits, vegetables and nuts have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effect that may protect against age-associated decline.”

In aging brain tissue, waste products accumulate with time. Due to this build up, the brain cells that are supposed to clean up the waste become overactivated and can cause damage to healthy cells. The polyphenols in the berries, however, come to the rescue and restore normal cleaning up function. Poulose and his team of researchers demonstrated this in a study using mouse brain tissue.

Among the berries, blueberries, strawberries and acai berries are especially rich in polyphenols whereas walnuts are the champions among nuts. This is rather timely considering that it is the season for berries and nuts. The berries season is about to end and the nuts are about to fall.

However, polyphenols can also be found in other fruits and vegetables, especially those with deep red, orange, or blue pigments. Thus, even when the berries go out of season, we still have tomatoes to supply us with polyphenols the whole year round.

As to walnuts, the shelled nut closely resembles the brain, doesn’t it? At any rate, each time I see a walnut, I would remember that this nut is a good brain food and pop it into my mouth. Walnuts keep longer than berries and are available always in the supermarket.

So next time you find yourself forgetting something, maybe your brain just needs some cleaning up. And you know just what foods to eat to get the job done right.

Photo credit: wikicommons

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Next Page »

NOTE: The contents in this blog are for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or a substitute for professional care. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health professional before making changes to any existing treatment or program. Some of the information presented in this blog may already be out of date.