Uncategorized, Vitamins and Supplements

Omega 3 and Omega 6 Fatty Acids Could Control Aging

omega3

Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids Could Slow Aging

 

New US research has found evidence that including omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the diet can help to promote healthy brain aging.

 

Led by Marta Zamroziewicz from the University of Illinois, the research team carried out two studies which looked at omega-3 and omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acids in the blood of adults ages 65 to 75, and a possible relationship between these fatty acids and the participants’ brain structure and cognitive performance.

 

As the brain is made up of interconnected parts which age at their own pace, some brain structures and their function deteriorate earlier than others.

 

The first study, published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience, focused on the frontoparietal network. This part of the brain plays an important role in fluid intelligence, which is the ability to solve new problems that have not been encountered before.

 

The team looked for a link between the size of this network, performance on tests of fluid intelligence, and the levels of several omega-3 fatty acids in the blood.

 

 

The results showed those with higher blood levels of three omega-3 fatty acids — ALA, stearidonic acid and ecosatrienoic acid — also tended to have a larger frontoparietal cortex, which predicted the subjects’ performance on tests of fluid intelligence.

 

The second study, published in the journal Aging & Disease, looked at the white matter structure of the fornix, which is found at the center of the brain and is important for memory. Previous research has also found that the fornix is one of the first brain regions to be affected in Alzheimer’s disease.

 

In the new research the team also found that the size of the fornix was associated with a balanced level of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in the blood, and that a larger fornix was linked with better memory in older adults.

 

Although the team noted that further research is needed to test their hypothesis, Zamroziewicz added that “These findings have important implications for the Western diet, which tends to be misbalanced with high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids and low amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.”

 

“A lot of research tells us that people need to be eating fish and fish oil to get neuroprotective effects from these particular fats, but this new finding suggests that even the fats that we get from nuts, seeds and oils can also make a difference in the brain,” she added.

 

Call us and make an appointment for your personal health care plan.

 

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

High Fat-High Carb Diet Causes Arthritis

arthritis

High-Fat, High-Carb Diet Causes Arthritis

 

Australian researchers have found that a diet high in saturated fat is a prime suspect in the onset of osteoarthritis after finding that it changes the composition of cartilage, especially in the weight-bearing joints of the hip and knee.

 

“Our findings suggest that it’s not wear and tear but diet that has a lot to do with the onset of osteoarthritis,” said lead researcher Professor Yin Xiao.

 

In possibly the first study to investigate the link between osteoarthritis and common dietary fatty acids, scientists at the Queensland University of Technology studied the effects of diets rich in a variety of fatty acids, found in butter, coconut oil, palm oil, and animal fat, and simple carbohydrates. Simple carbs found in sugar, corn syrup, and high-fructose corn syrup and the combination of high-fat, high-carb foods are commonly known as “junk food.”

 

“The main function of cartilage is to seal the bone ends in a joint and absorb pressure on the bones during weight-bearing movement such as walking,” said Xiao.

 

 

“We found that a diet containing simple carbohydrates together with 20 percent saturated fats produced osteoarthritic-like changes in the knee.

 

“Saturated fatty acid deposits in the cartilage change its metabolism and weaken the cartilage, making it more prone to damage. This would, in turn, lead to osteoarthritic pain from the loss of the cushioning effect of cartilage.

 

“We also found changes in the bone under the cartilage on a diet rich in saturated fat.”

 

But when the team tested lauric acid, a saturated fatty acid found in coconut oil, their findings were different. “Interestingly, when we replaced the meat fat in the diet with lauric acid we found decreased signs of cartilage deterioration and metabolic syndrome so it seems to have a protective effect,” said researcher Sunder Sekar.

 

He said fatty acids could cause tissue inflammation throughout the entire joint. “We tested a variety of saturated fats and found that long term use of animal fat, butter, and palm oil could weaken the cartilage.

 

“Replacement of traditional diets containing coconut-derived lauric acid with palm oil-derived palmitic acid or animal fat-derived stearic acid has the potential to worsen the development of both metabolic syndrome and osteoarthritis,” Sekar said.

 

Other studies have found that coconut oil benefits the body in many ways, including reducing the deep abdominal fat that’s a risk for heart disease, and reducing the buildup of proteins in the brain associated with Alzheimer’s.

 

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Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Depression Harms Your Heart

depression

Depression Harms Heart as Much as Obesity and Cholesterol

 

Depression is as big a risk for cardiovascular disease in men as high cholesterol and obesity, according to a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis.

 

 

“There is little doubt that depression is a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases,” explained researcher Karl-Heinz Ladwig. “The question now is: What is the relationship between depression and other risk factors like tobacco smoke, high cholesterol levels, obesity or hypertension — how big a role does each factor play?”

 

To answer the question, German researchers analyzed data from 3,428 male patients between the ages of 45 and 74 years over a period of 10 years. They compared the impact of depression with the four major risk factors.

 

 

“Our investigation shows that the risk of a fatal cardiovascular disease due to depression is almost as great as that due to elevated cholesterol levels or obesity,” Ladwig said. Only high blood pressure and smoking were found to be associated with a greater risk.

 

 

 

The researchers came to the conclusion that depression accounts for roughly 15 percent of deaths from cardiovascular disease. “That is comparable to the other risk factors, such as hypercholesterolemia, obesity and smoking,” Ladwig states. These factors cause 8.4 to 21.4 percent of the cardiovascular deaths.

 

Cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 killer in the U.S. and throughout the world, and accounts for about 1 in 3 deaths in America.

 

 

Depression is also prevalent in the U.S., affecting approximately 14.8 million Americans each year. Studies have shown that depression raises the risk of heart attack fourfold.

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Dr Sylvia Hubbard

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Uncategorized

Yoga Reduces Major Depression

yoga

Yoga Reduces Major Depression: Harvard Study

 

A study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that yoga combined with coherent breathing instruction significantly reduced symptoms in people with major depressive disorder.

 

Major depressive disorder (MDD), which is also known simply as depression, is characterized by persistent depressed mood along with a loss of interest in daily activities, low energy, and pain without an obvious cause that interferes with daily activities and enjoyment of life. It is commonly treated with medication or psychotherapy (talk therapy), or a combination of the two.

 

In the study, adults 18 to 64 years of age with MDD participated in either three (high-dose intervention) or two (low-dose) yoga classes per week and practiced coherent breathing at five breaths per minute. Symptoms of depression were measured at the beginning and throughout the 12-week study.

 

Volunteers who took three yoga classes a week were more likely to achieve lower depression scores after 12 weeks than subjects who took two classes.

 

 

“The practical findings for this integrative health intervention is that it worked for participants who were both on and off antidepressant medications, and for those time-pressed, the two times per week dose also performed well,” says John Weeks, Editor-in-Chief of The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine.

 

The study was conducted by researchers from major institutions including Harvard School of Medicine and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

 

Other recent studies have found that yoga is beneficial for a number of health issues. A study by scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine concluded that yoga may ease low back pain and improve ease of movement in patients.

 

Researchers from Boston’s Massachusetts General Hospital found that people who practice deep relaxation techniques, including yoga and meditation, make 42 percent fewer trips to their doctors, and lab use dropped by 44 percent when compared to the year before training.

 

Yoga may also be a safe and effective way for people with arthritis to keep moving, according to a study from Johns Hopkins. A group of 75 volunteers with two common forms of arthritis, knee osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, were either put on a wait list or participated in twice-weekly yoga classes plus a weekly at-home session.

 

After eight weeks, those who were in the yoga group reported a 20 percent improvement in pain, mood, and the ability to perform daily activities when compared to the control group.

 

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Dr Anna Sullivan

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Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Banning the Salt Shaker Has Little Effect on Your Heart Health

saltshaker

Banning the Salt Shaker Has Little Effect on Heart Health

 

If you think tossing out the salt shaker can help you cut down on sodium and boost your heart health, think again. Most of the salt that Americans consume comes from processed foods and restaurant meals — and is not added at the table or in home-cooked dishes, a new study finds.

The findings, published online in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, indicate only 10 percent of salt in the diets of 450 Americans came from food prepared at home. About half of that was added at the table.

 

But restaurant meals and processed foods — such as crackers, breads, and soups — accounted for nearly three-quarters of the participants’ salt intake

 

“Telling patients to lay off the salt shaker isn’t enough,” says Dr. Lisa J. Harnack, lead author of the study and a professor at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.

 

“Rather, commercially processed and restaurant foods should be the primary focus when educating patients on strategies for lowering sodium in the diet. Food manufacturers and restaurants should be encouraged to lower the sodium content in their food products to support Americans in consuming a diet consistent with sodium intake recommendations.”

 

The average American adult consumes far more sodium each day than the recommended maximum of 2,300 milligrams, researchers say. Sodium is an important contributor to high blood pressure, one of the leading causes of heart attack and stroke.

 

To get a clear picture of Americans’ swooning love affair with salt, Harnack’s team recruited 150 participants ages 18-74 in each of these three cities:

 

Birmingham, Ala.

Minneapolis, Minn.

Palo Alto, Calif.

Half the participants were male, and half were female. Equal percentages of the participants were:

 

Non-Hispanic white

Hispanic

African-American

Asian

Participants visited a clinic once at the beginning of the study and then kept records of daily food intake for four days, which they reported to researchers in four telephone interviews. They also provided samples of salt to replicate the amount they added to food at home.

 

 

Across age groups, the researchers found similar intakes of dietary sodium: an average of 3,501 mg per day (higher than recommended daily maximum of 2,300 mg — about a teaspoonful — for healthy adults). This average even more dramatically exceeds the 1,500 mg daily limit recommended for 70 percent of American adults based on their age, race or ethnicity, or existing high blood pressure.

 

In addition to restaurants and processed foods found in stores, the researchers found that the most common sources of dietary sodium were:

 

Sodium naturally found in food (14.2 percent)

Sodium added in home food preparation 5.6 percent)

Sodium added to food at the table (4.9 percent)

Sodium in home tap water, dietary supplements, and antacids accounted for less than 0.5 percent of total intake

Sodium can be difficult to avoid, especially when people eat a lot of processed food from grocery stores or restaurants. To address this serious health threat, the Institute of Medicine recommends gradually decreasing sodium levels in commercially processed foods.

According to the American Heart Association, restaurant and prepackaged food companies must be a part of the solution to reduce sodium and give Americans the healthy options they need and deserve. The AHA encourages packaged food companies and restaurants to reduce the sodium in their products to help make meaningful impact on the health of all Americans. The association has developed a sodium reduction campaign to help.

 

But there’s much consumers can do for themselves, Harnack says.

 

“If you’re aiming to limit your sodium intake to the recommended level of less than 2,300 milligrams per day, you’ll need to choose foods wisely when grocery shopping and dining out,” she notes.

 

“For packaged foods, the nutrition fact panel may be useful in identifying lower sodium products, and for menu items diners can request sodium content information. Also, if you frequently add salt to food at the table or in home food preparation, consider using less.”

 

A recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that more than 89 percent of adults and 90 percent of children exceed the recommended limits for sodium, not including salt added to food at the table.

 

This includes more than 75 percent of these at-risk populations:

 

Adults over age 50

African-Americans

People diagnosed with either hypertension or pre-hypertension

The authors observed excessive sodium intake in all demographic groups. But they found that such intake was more common in men than in women (98 percent versus 80 percent), and in white adults than in black adults (90 percent versus 85 percent).

 

They also found that Americans ages 19-50 had the highest sodium consumption as well as the highest calorie consumption.

 

For More information on salt intake, sodium levels, and supplements needed to reduce salt, call us and make an appointment for your personal health care plan.

 

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Dr J Jaranson

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Rx to Wellness, Uncategorized

Seniors Do Not Need Statins

statins

Seniors Don’t Need Statins: Study

 

Senior citizens with no history of heart problems appear to gain no health benefit from cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, a new study suggests.

 

People 65 and older treated with pravastatin (Pravachol) as part of a major clinical trial had about the same risk of death as people in a placebo group, according to the results. They also appeared to suffer strokes and heart attacks at about the same rate.

 

“Our study shows there may not be any benefit for taking a statin therapy for primary prevention for people who are over the age of 65,” said Dr. Benjamin Han.

 

Statins might even pose a risk to people 75 and older, added Han, an assistant professor of medicine and population health at New York University School of Medicine.

 

“There was some suggestion the statin group had a little bit higher mortality than the placebo group” at that age, Han said. But, this result was not statistically significant, he noted.

 

Experts from the American Heart Association and Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City urged doctors and patients to take these findings with a grain of salt.

 

“The only merit to the study is that it raises questions that haven’t been adequately answered,” said Dr. Robert Eckel, an AHA spokesman. “This is not the kind of evidence that should influence guidelines about statin therapy in adults 65 and older,” said Eckel, chair of atherosclerosis at the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

 

For the study, Han and his colleagues analyzed data from a clinical trial conducted from 1994 to 2002, called the Antihypertensive and Lipid-Lowering Treatment to Prevent Heart Attack Trial (ALLHAT-LLT).

 

Most statin studies have focused on middle-aged people, so there’s little known about the effect of these medications on seniors, Han said.

 

 

With an aging population, the question keeps coming up, “Should you be on a statin medication even if you don’t have a history of cardiovascular disease?” Han said. “Will this help you in the long run?”

 

From the antihypertensive trial data, the researchers drew a sample that included almost 3,000 adults 65 and older with high blood pressure, but no plaque buildup in the arteries that would occur due to high cholesterol.

 

About half of those adults took pravastatin while half received usual care.

 

The researchers found no health benefit from pravastatin in these older patients. In fact, more deaths occurred in the pravastatin group than in the usual care group — 141 versus 130 among adults 65 to 74, and 92 versus 65 among adults 75 and older.

 

The side effects of statins, which include muscle pains and fatigue, might weigh more heavily on older people, Han said.

 

“Anything that can affect their physical function, anything that can affect their ability to do activities on a daily basis, puts them at a higher risk for further decline and a higher risk for mortality,” Han said.

 

Dr. Robert Rosenson is director of cardiometabolic disorders at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. He said the new study is flawed because its conclusions rely on data from a very small number of patients. For example, the analysis of people 75 and older included only 375 people taking pravastatin and 351 in the control group.

 

“That’s such a small number to detect difference in events, let alone mortality when you’re dealing with a low-potency statin,” Rosenson said.

 

Because of this, the effects noted in the study often aren’t backed up by the statistics, he said.

 

“From a fundamental statistical standpoint, I think they’re far overstating their conclusion,” Rosenson said.

 

Rosenson also criticized the research team for choosing the ALLHAT-LLT clinical trial as source of their data.

 

That trial has been controversial because “it was one of the few cholesterol studies that failed to show a reduction” in heart attacks and strokes, Rosenson said.

 

“If you wanted to make the point that statins don’t help older people and may harm them, then that would be the study you would pick to show that the hypothesis is going to fail,” Rosenson said.

 

Eckel said he is “somewhat underwhelmed” by the study.

 

“There are so many limitations to this paper, and the authors, to their credit, list most if not all of them,” Eckel said.

 

The U.S. National Institutes of Health funded the study. The results were published May 22 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

 

If you need help with alternatives for statins, and getting your cholesterol down, then give us a call and we will set up an appointment for you.

 

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