10 Health Tips for Women Age 65 and Older

I just found this health related video on YouTube … and thought you might enjoy it!

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This video provides 10 health tips for women age 65 and older. These recommendations are based on expert clinical opinion presented in UpToDate online version 18.3. This video was produced by Dr. Nicholas Cohen, MD. The content of this video is not intended nor recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions.

Tell us what you think about this video in the comments below, or in the Battling For Health Community Forum!
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Milk: the ideal drink for the bone and the heart

July 27, 2010 by  
Filed under HEART AND STROKE

Milk is man’s first food, whether in the form of breast milk or substitutes like cow’s milk. But milk is not only for babies. Everybody needs the vitamins and minerals found in milk.

Milk is good for the bones.

How much milk do we need?

How much milk we need actually depends on the amount of calcium and potassium we need in order to maintain our bone health. The US Department of Agriculture (US DA) recommends the following:

  • The recommended daily allowance for calcium is 1000 milligrams for young adults and 1200 for adults aged 50 and older.
  • The recommended daily allowance for potassium is a whopping 4700 milligrams.

A cup of milk contains about 300 mg of calcium and 360 mg of potassium, plus lots of vitamins (A & D).

The US DA recommends daily intake of3 cups of milk of equivalent for those older than 8.

It is obvious that a large number of people do not meet the daily allowance. It is clear that milk is not only for the young but for the elderly as well.

Some experts believe that the RDAs for calcium and potassium are unrealistic. We need to drink about 13 cups of milk to meet our potassium RDA alone.

Luckily, there are other products which are rich in these minerals, including orange juice and other dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt. According to the US DA, one cup of yogurt, one and a half ounces of hard cheese, one-third cup of shredded cheese or two cups of cottage cheese counts as a cup of dairy and is equivalent to 1 cup of milk.

Milk is good for the heart.

A glass of milk per day can already provide lots of benefit to our heart. But not just any milk.

Even though milk and other dairy products may help meet our RDAs for these essential minerals, they also come with calories and fat. Thus, intake of low-fat dairy products is recommended.

According to Dr. Theresa Nicklas, a dairy researcher and professor of pediatrics with the Children’s Nutrition Research Center at the Baylor College of Medicine:

“Low-fat dairy is a way to meet these nutrient needs without a lot of fat and calories. It’s a unique nutritional package.”

Researchers report that “adults who had at least one serving of low-fat milk or milk products each day had 37 percent lower odds of poor kidney function linked to heart disease compared to those who drank little or no low-fat milk.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend drinking three glasses of low-fat or fat free milk each day.

Vitamin D and calcium do not prevent breast cancer

March 3, 2009 by  
Filed under CANCER

Here is another study from the Women’s Health Initiative that gives disappointing results. At least disappointing for those who are big fans of vitamins and other dietary supplements.

Previous studies suggested that vitamin D supplements may lead to a reduction in breast cancer risk. The current research by UCLA researchers looked at 36,282 postmenopausal women who were randomly assigned to two groups. One group took a pill containing 1,000 mg of calcium plus 400 IU of vitamin D every day while the other group took placebo which was identical in appearance to the vitamin pill. This way, the participants were not aware which drug they were taking. The study was originally designed to study the effects of supplements, especially calcium on the incidence of hip fractures. Fractures due to osteoporosis are quite common among women of postmenopausal age and calcium supplements are prescribed as primary care preventive measure. Vitamin D is also known to contribute to bone health and prevent rickets.

Unfortunately, the main findings of the study say

Calcium and vitamin D supplementation did not reduce invasive breast cancer incidence in postmenopausal women. In addition, 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels were not associated with subsequent breast cancer risk. These findings do not support a relationship between total vitamin D intake and 25-hydroxyvitamin D levels with breast cancer risk.

This wasn’t the first disappointing news regarding vitamin supplementation and cancer. Late last year, the National Cancer Institute prematurely stopped the SELECT trial which investigated the efficacy of selenium and Vitamin E in preventing prostate cancer – with negative results.

There have been many reports that vitamins and other nutritional supplements do not necessarily give us health benefits. Many health experts discourage the use of supplements with the exception perhaps of vitamin D. The American Academy of Pediatrics, for example, revised its guidelines last year to double the dose of vitamin D supplements for children to prevent vitamin D deficiency and rickets. This is in addition to the fact that baby formula and milk products in the US are fortified with vitamin D.

Recent research studies are putting a question mark on the benefits of vitamin supplementation and the current study also puts to doubt the necessity of vitamin D supplements, which taken in excessive amounts, can actually be toxic.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) has compiled some facts and figures on supplementation, as given below:

Grapefruit Pulp For Bone Health

July 23, 2008 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

The bone health ‘industry’ is dominated by Calcium and Vitamin D, as many people already know. I know this is an arthritis blog but for now I want to talk about our bone health. For somebody who has never been a religious milk drinker, I wanna take this opportunity to remind myself of the importance of starting early on milk. While I cannot take back  or even make up for the years lost of not drinking milk (I’m a true-blue coffeeholic!), I remain a work in progress in putting milk into my diet. (The time I was pregnant and breastfeeding and of course when I was a kid was the only times in my life I was on milk!)

There is always the option of taking the supplemental Calcium with Vitamin D. I was on this too when I got pregnant and even afterwards. However, I have always believed that taking the dietary sources are a lot better than taking the supplements. That’s why I have always resorted to other dairy products ( and other food sources rich in calcium) such as cheese and fruit yoghurt (yikes, i never thought the day would come I’d be brave enough to try yoghurt!). Just think non-fat dairy folks, that’s arthritis-friendly.

Speaking of grapefruit. Who likes it? It isn’t one of the nicest citrus fruits to eat but it has become popular in lose-weight fad diets. One time I bought grapefruit juice and was repulsed by the taste. Really. That time I thought maybe that’s why people lose weight with grapefruit because after eating (or drinking the juice) you feel horrible in the stomach and the mouth and then you can’t eat anything else anymore.

Now results of  Texas AMU research showed that red grapefruit pulp may compete with Calcium and Vitamin D for bone health, at least in their study using male rats:

The pulp of grapefruit may improve bone health and reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis, according to a new study with male rats.

Consumption of the red grapefruit pulp led to a slow down in bone resorption, and an increase in bone mineral build-up and calcium absorption, according to researchers from Texas A&M University.

If the results can be repeated in humans, grapefruit pulp may offer a new ingredient to the growing bone health market dominated by calcium and vitamin D.

Well…if grapefruit pulp later becomes a supplement, I guess I can take it better than eating fresh grapefruits! But then that’s just me. Other people may disagree and find grapefruit appealing to their taste buds.

So there, I’m just saying there goes maybe another option in the future for people who can’t drink milk. There are always substitute, even for people with cow’s milk allergy and even for the lactose-intolerant. Really I should be thankful because I only cannot take the smell and taste of fresh milk that’s why I have turned creative and put them in my fruit shake. Yum!

What about you, I want to here how you take care of your bones. And joints too!

Best Arthritis-Friendly Foods

May 31, 2008 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

If you dig into my old posts, I have always mentioned that a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, fish and non-fat dairy is good for people suffering from arthritis.

Once more from Reader’s Digest. But this time, a list of nutrient-rich food that is best for people with arthritis:

1. Salmon – one of the riches sources of healthy fats and omega-3 fatty acids. I guess most fish will be good as well?

“…especially because it’s less likely than other cold-water fish to harbor high levels of toxic mercury. In addition to its fatty oils, salmon contains calcium, vitamin D, and folate.”

2. Bananas — though best known as a rich source of potassium, bananas also contain arthritis-fighting vitamin B6, folate, and vitamin C. The first thing that my doctor “prescribed” to me was eat lots of bananas. One good thing is that, you can prepare bananas in many different ways. You can eat the ripe ones as is, you can preserve it or put them into your salad. More so, you can blend it with other fruits such as berries or peaches to turn into into a nice fruit drink.

3. Sweet peppers – also rich sources of Vitamin C, vitamin B6 and folate.

4. Shrimp – I love shrimps. Thankfully it is rich in nutrients too! Too bad for people with shrimp allergies.

Taste and convenience make shrimp the most popular shellfish around. But shrimp also deserves acclaim as one of the few major dietary sources of vitamin D, with three ounces providing 30 percent of the recommended daily amount — more than a cup of fortified milk. Shrimp also contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin C, along with other nutrients essential for general health, including iron and vitamin B12.

5. Soy products – for somebody like me who isn’t very much a fan of dairy milk, I find this a good alternative. I need not even drink milk, I can just eat soy foods.

But soybeans also protect bones, thanks to compounds called isoflavones and significant amounts of both vitamin E and calcium. Long a staple of Asian diets, soy can also be found in soy milk — a boon for people who want to avoid lactose or cholesterol in regular milk.

6. Sweet Potatoes – as a child, this was one of my favorite snacks. Even just boiled, sweet potatoes are yummy already. I do not know anybody who never liked sweet potatoes. However, since maybe I feel that I had enough of sweet potatoes as a kid, that’s why I kinda ignored this in my adulthood. Maybe I should start eating sweet potatoes again?

These tropical root vegetables (which, technically, not related to white baking potatoes) are such a nutritional powerhouse, they once topped a list of vegetables ranked according to nutritional value by the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Sweet potatoes are a rich source of vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber, among other nutrients.

7. Cheese – my 5-year old son will never eat cheese. Anything with cheese, he will not touch. I often wondered why. Maybe he doesn’t like the taste of cheese? I don’t remember not liking cheese as a child, I often eat cheese still. Because I don’t drink milk, I find this a good substitute for my calcium needs.

Hard or soft, fresh or ripened, cheese in all its variety is an excellent source of calcium for bones, and protein for muscles and other joint-supporting tissues. Depending on type, cheeses (especially hard varieties such as cheddar and Colby) are also a good source of vitamin B6 and folate.

8. Lentils.

These dried legumes, with their rainbow of earthy colors, are prime sources of folate, with a single cup providing about 90 percent of your daily needs. But lentils also provide one of the richest plant-based sources of protein, contain large amounts of soluble dietary fiber, and hold significant stores of vitamin B6. These and other nutrients make lentils protect the body against heart disease and cancer in addition to arthritis.

9. Green tea! Which reminds me, I haven’t had green tea in the last two years. It isn’t my favorite, but it is okay for me to drink it. I guess I just think of its nutritional value. Otherwise, I won’t give green tea a second look.

This mild, slightly astringent tea contains hundreds of powerful antioxidant chemicals called polyphenols and has been cited for helping prevent problems ranging from cancer to heart disease. But studies also suggest green tea may help prevent or ease symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. In one study of induced arthritis in mice, green tea cut the disease onset rate almost in half, and follow-up studies by the same researchers, at Case Western Reserve University, in Ohio, show promise in humans.

So…do the above foods included in your diet? You might wanna include them already, especially of you have arthritis.

Sun Exposure and Arthritis

April 30, 2008 by  
Filed under ARTHRITIS

We’ve always been told to lessen our exposure to the sun in order to lower our risk of developing skin cancer.

However, according to The Arthritic Association, avoiding the sun totally can lead to arthritis.

That makes sense became sunshine is necessary for the body to produce Vitamin D. Vitamin D is then necessary for the absorption of calcium for general bone health.

Which reminds me to take my calcium supplements and spend sometime in the sun each morning! It’s summer around here and most days are sunshiny.

The national arthritis charity warns that sunshine is crucial for the body to produce vitamin D which is required to ward off degenerative conditions such as arthritis and osteoporosis.

Earlier this year, James E Dowd, an American rheumatologist, published details of his use of vitamin D in treating arthritic patients. However, The Arthritic Association states that supplementation alone is not the answer.

“The body needs sunshine in order to synthesise the vitamin D required for optimum health,” explains The Arthritic Association’s John Wedlake-Griffiths. “Although you could take a vitamin D supplement, it’s easy to overdose, and that can be counter-productive. So moderate exposure to sunlight is better – for example, earlier or later in the day, for short periods of time.”

I really think that it won’t be difficult to get enough exposure to the sun, enough against arthritis and not too much as to risk skin cancer. Morning persons won’t have a problem at all as it is best to catch the sun early in the morning.

Of course, we have to remember the supplementation of Vitamin D-Calcium combo will always be not enough. We gotta drag ourselves out of bed early and catch some some good sunlight. Yeah, right. I am definitely speaking for myself. Ha ha!

Source: Nursing in Practice

The Arthritis Association, is by the way UK’s organization promoting natural arthritis treatment and remedies.

The Arthritic Association aims to relieve the suffering and pain of arthritis by natural methods.

Our Home Treatment Programme, developed by Charles de Coti-Marsh, is a natural, drug free way to treat arthritis, based on a 3-stage recovery process.

The Programme offers an easy to follow holistic approach to managing your own health. A lessening of arthritic symptoms can be realistically achieved within 4 months.

Believed to be an effective natural treatment for most forms of arthritis, the Home Treatment is essentially a self-care programme: the patient’s motivation, pro-activity and willingness to investigate every aspect of the treatment are crucial.

Visit The Arthritic Association for more information on natural arthritis treatments.

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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.