Your Road to Wellness

Anti-Aging

Adding this to your exercise routine will help improve cognition.

Posted by on 2:37 pm Anti-Aging, Cognition, Exercise, General Health, Get in shape | 0 comments

 

We know that sedentary behaviour is associated with impaired cognition and exercise can improve cognition.

This research is interesting because it added a component to the exercise (Wheeler MJ, et.al., 2019).

The participants were sedentary overweight/obese older adults with normal cognitive function. Cognitive testing were done and brain-derived neurotrophic growth factor (BDNF) was assessed.

The study consisted of 3 different protocols which the participants completed with 6 days in between.

One time they were sitting uninterrupted for 8 hours which was the control condition. Another time they were sitting for 1 hour, then they did moderate-intensity walking for 30 minutes and uninterrupted sitting for 6.5 hours.  The third protocol were sitting for 1 hour, then moderate-intensity walking for 30 min, and sitting interrupted every 30 min with 3 minutes of light-intensity walking for 6.5 hours.

The results showed that moderate-intensity walking for 30 min, and sitting interrupted every 30 min with 3 minutes of light-intensity walking improved blood levels of BDNF and working memory or executive function.

This means that we need to be active throughout the day. Just set reminders to take short breaks and do an activity that increases your pulse rate. 

It does not mean that you have to get out and walk for 3 minutes. There are other things you can do for just a couple of minutes or less without going outside, so you have a very minimal interruption.

Reference

Wheeler MJ1,2, Green DJ3, Ellis KA4, Cerin E5,6, Heinonen I3,7, Naylor LH3, Larsen R2, Wennberg P8, Boraxbekk CJ9,10, Lewis J, Eikelis N2,11, Lautenschlager NT12, Kingwell BA13, Lambert G11, Owen N14,15, Dunstan DW, Distinct effects of acute exercise and breaks in sitting on working memory and executive function in older adults: a three-arm, randomised cross-over trial to evaluate the effects of exercise with and without breaks in sitting on cognition.Br J Sports Med. 2019 Apr 29. pii: bjsports-2018-100168.

 

 

Research has shown that sitting for a long time can be bad, but you don’t have to be active for very long to reap huge benefits.

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Can a simple thing like this help us stay healthier as we get older?

Posted by on 2:29 pm Anti-Aging, Cholesterol, Fish Oil, Flaxseeds, General Health, Low glycemic meals, Omega-3, fish oil, Research, Stay healthy, Supplements | 0 comments

There is not much point in living a very long life if we don’t feel and function good.  So what can you do to improve your odds of staying healthy? A low glycemic index, high nutrient plant based diet and regular exercise would help you do that, but you probably already know that.

According to this research it can be quite easy to improve your odds of staying healthy as you get older by just adding one simple thing (Lai HT, et.al., 2018).  The study participants were 2622 adults with an average age of 74.4 years. They were healthy at the start of the study and were followed for 15 years.

The phospholipids of omega 3 fatty acids from both plant sources and seafood were measured in the blood.  The results showed that higher levels of long chain omega 3 fatty acids from seafood were associated with an 18% lower risk of unhealthy ageing.  The researchers wrote that the findings support guidelines for increased dietary consumption of omega 3 fatty acids.

You can eat fish a couple of times a week, but fish is getting more and more polluted.  You can, however, decrease your exposure to these pollutants and instead use high quality fish oil capsules which has been verified to contain lower levels of pollutants.

You can raise your blood levels of omega 3 fatty acids by taking capsules as long as it is a product that has high enough levels of these fatty acids, it’s not more difficult than that.

Reference

Lai HT, de Oliveira Otto MC, Lemaitre RN, McKnight B, Song X, King IB, Chaves PH, Odden MC, Newman AB, Siscovick DS, Mozaffarian D. Serial circulating omega 3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and healthy ageing among older adults in the Cardiovascular Health Study: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2018 Oct 17;363:k4067.

 

 

Better Fish Oil

The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3 fatty acids are well known. Most people that eat a western diet can benefit from increasing the intake of Omega 3 fatty acid. Most fish oils on the market are ethyl esters because that’s cheaper to produce.

The Better Fish Oil comes in the form of triglycerides which offers better stability to the fatty acids and prevents breakdown and oxidation.

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Do you want to react less to anxiety provoking stimuli?

Posted by on 1:55 am Anti-Aging, Blood Pressure, Breathing, Happiness, Meditation, Stay healthy, Stress, Wellness | 0 comments

The world can be a stressful place, and that is most likely not going to change anytime soon.

The solution is to get to a state where we are not affected much by things that cause most people to react with anxiety.

Is that possible or just wishful thinking?

According to the following research it is possible with practice.

In this study, participants who practiced Loving-Kindness Meditation were compared with a group new to meditation (Chen C, et.al., 2018).

Both groups were exposed to anxiety provoking images as well as images to evoke happiness. They had their anxiety scores assessed and their amygdala scanned for a reactivity response.

This is what the researchers found.

The participants that had practiced meditation longer had a weaker amygdala response to fear and also lower anxiety scores.

The same group also had a stronger positive functional connectivity with the ventrolateral prefrontal cortex to happiness.

The vagus nerve may be a part of the neurophysiological response to meditation (Gerritsen RJS, Band GPH, 2018).  It is well worth it to take time to regularly practice meditation.

References

Chen C, Chen YC, Chen KL, Cheng Y. Atypical Anxiety-Related Amygdala Reactivity and Functional Connectivity in Sant Mat Meditation. Front Behav Neurosci. 2018 Dec 4;12:298.

Gerritsen RJS, Band GPH, Breath of Life: The Respiratory Vagal Stimulation Model of Contemplative Activity. Front Hum Neurosci. 2018 Oct 9;12:397.

 

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Want to slow down brain atrophy?

Posted by on 5:46 am Anti-Aging, Cognition, Dementia, Fish Oil, Flaxseeds, General Health, Stay healthy, Supplements, Vitamin B, Vitamin B12, Vitamins | 0 comments

Most likely everybody would like to slow down brain atrophy.  Who wouldn’t like more brain power? But is that even possible?  Take a look at the results from this research.

168 elderly people (≥70 y) with mild cognitive impairment were included and randomly assigned to either a placebo group or to a group taking a high-dose of B vitamins.

This is what they  took daily, 0.8 mg of folic acid, 20 mg of vitamin B-6, and 0.5 mg of vitamin B-12 (Jernerén F, et.al., 2015).

The participants underwent cranial magnetic resonance imaging scans when they started and 2 years later. The omega 3 fatty acid levels of EPA and DHA was also measured.

This what the researchers found.

The B vitamin treatment slowed the average atrophy rate by 40.0% compared with the placebo group. This happened however only in the participants who had high levels of omega 3 fatty acids at the start of the study.

Another study investigating cognitive decline in 266 participants 70 years or older found similar interesting results (Oulhaj A, et.al., 2016).

When omega-3 fatty acid concentrations are low, treatment with B vitamins had no effect on cognitive decline, but when omega-3 levels were in the upper normal range, B vitamins slowed cognitive decline.

Eating a lot of fish is not a good way anymore to increase your omega 3 fatty acid levels because all fish is now contaminated. A better choice is to use a high quality fish oil with high amounts of EPA and DHA, since that would not expose you to the same levels of contaminants.

It is also a good idea to take a B-complex formula that has the metabolite of folic acid, 5-methyltetrahydrofolate, because many people does not metabolize folic acid effectively.

References

Jernerén F, Elshorbagy AK, Oulhaj A, Smith SM, Refsum H, Smith AD. Brain atrophy in cognitively impaired elderly: the importance of long-chain ω-3 fatty acids and B vitamin status in a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jul;102(1):215-21.

Oulhaj A, Jernerén F, Refsum H, Smith AD, de Jager CA.Omega-3 Fatty Acid Status Enhances the Prevention of Cognitive Decline by B Vitamins in Mild Cognitive Impairment. J Alzheimers Dis. 2016;50(2):547-57.

 

This is not a regular B vitamin formula.

The B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 (cobalamin) comes in their physiologically active form, making them easier to absorb.

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Better Fish Oil

The anti-inflammatory effects of Omega 3 fatty acids are well known. Most people that eat a western diet can benefit from increasing the intake of Omega 3 fatty acid. Most fish oils on the market are ethyl esters because that’s cheaper to produce.

The Better Fish Oil comes in the form of triglycerides which offers better stability to the fatty acids and prevents breakdown and oxidation.

Get your bottle here.

Oxidative stress is involved in cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by on 8:28 am Alzheimer’s, Anti-Aging, Cognition, Diseases, General Health, Health Risk, Research, Stress, Wellness | 0 comments

Increased oxidative stress has been documented in the frontal cortex in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease and in patients with mild cognitive impairment (Ansari, MA 2010).  One of the emerging causative factors associated with Alzheimer’s pathology is oxidative stress. This AD-related increase in oxidative stress has been attributed to decreased levels of the brain antioxidant, glutathione (Saharan and Mandal, 2014). 

The body uses antioxidants to limit the damage done by oxidative stress and glutathione is the body’s most effective self-made antioxidant.  Glutathione is a part of the body’s natural defense against free radical damage.

The following study used proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy to measure glutathione levels in both healthy individuals and patients with alzheimer’s disease (Mandal PK et. al, 2015).

The researchers found a reduction of glutathione in both the hippocampus and frontal cortex–which are two different areas of the brain–in Alzheimer’s patients.  It is interesting to note that glutathione reduction in those regions correlated with a decline in cognitive function.  The researchers concluded that the study provides compelling evidence that the glutathione levels in specific brain regions are relevant markers for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.  

So how can we ensure that our glutathione levels remain at healthy levels?  One way is to add it into our daily routine via supplementation.  It is now possible to supply glutathione in a bioavailable form–which gets it into the cells where it is needed–and that is by using S-Acetyl Glutathione (Cacciatore et. al., 2010).

The body is making less glutathione as we get older, that happens to everybody, but some are making less than others.

References

Ansari, A, and S W Scheff. “Oxidative Stress in the Progression of Alzheimer Disease in the Frontal Cortex.OUP Academic, Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology , 1 Feb. 2010, academic.oup.com/jnen/article/69/2/155/2917186.

Cacciatore I1, Cornacchia C, Pinnen F, Mollica A, Di Stefano A. “Prodrug approach for increasing cellular glutathione levels.” Molecules, 3 Mar. 2010, https://www.mdpi.com/1420-3049/15/3/1242

Mandal PK, Saharan S., Tripathi M., and Murari G. “Brain glutathione levels–a novel biomarker for mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.” Biol Psychiatry, 15 Nov. 2015,  https://www.sciencedirect.com/ science/article/pii/S0006322315003121

Saharan S., Mandal P.K., “The emerging role of glutathione in Alzheimer’s disease.” J Alzheimers Dis. 23 April 2014. https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad132483

 

 

 

Glutathione helps your cells reduce free radical damage and also helps lower inflammation.

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Stress shortens your telomeres…but why does that matter?

Posted by on 7:26 am Anti-Aging, General Health, Happiness, Health, Meditation, Stress, Wellness | 0 comments

A telomere is a region of repetitive nucleotides consisting of DNA and RNA at the end of a chromosome that protects the chromosome from deterioration.

Shorter telomeres are known to determine cell longevity and shorter telomeres lead to a shorter lifespan.  Telomeres can therefore give us information on how fast we age.

Several factors can affect the length of the telomeres. We will look at one of these factors here.

Psychological stress, both perceived stress and chronicity of stress. is significantly associated with higher oxidative stress, lower telomerase activity, and shorter telomere length (Epel ES, et.al., 2004).

In a study which included 2911 men and women aged 30-64, a significant association was found between work exhaustion and telomere length related to the acceleration of the rate of biological aging (Ahola K, et.al., 2012).

In this study the researchers  examined relative telomere length in a group of individuals experienced in Loving-Kindness Meditation, a practice derived from the Buddhist tradition (Hoge EA, et.al., 2013).

The meditation practitioners had longer telomeres than the group not practicing meditation indicating an effect on longevity.

When family dementia caregivers were practicing Kirtan Kriya meditation or listening to relaxation music for 12 min per day for 8 weeks, this was the results.

The meditation group showed 43% improvement in telomerase activity compared with 3.7% in the relaxation group (Lavretsky H, et. al., 2013).

The meditation group also improved mental and cognitive functioning and had lower levels of depressive symptoms.

This is one of the things you can do to keep your telomeres longer and counteract stress.  Starting to meditate regularly is well worth the time you spend on the meditating,

References

Ahola K, Sirén I, Kivimäki M, Ripatti S, Aromaa A, Lönnqvist J, Hovatta I.Work-related exhaustion and telomere length: a population-based study. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e40186.

Epel ES, Blackburn EH, Lin J, Dhabhar FS, Adler NE, Morrow JD, Cawthon RM, Accelerated telomere shortening in response to life stress. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2004 Dec 7;101(49):17312-5.

Hoge EA, Chen MM, Orr E, Metcalf CA, Fischer LE, Pollack MH, De Vivo I, Simon NM. Loving-Kindness Meditation practice associated with longer telomeres in women. Brain Behav Immun. 2013 Aug;32:159-63.

Lavretsky H, Epel ES, Siddarth P, Nazarian N, Cyr NS, Khalsa DS, Lin J, Blackburn E, Irwin MR. A pilot study of yogic meditation for family dementia caregivers with depressive symptoms: effects on mental health, cognition, and telomerase activity. Int J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2013 Jan;28(1):57-65.

 

 

Are you feeling stressed?  With the Stressed to Relaxed in 60 Seconds program, you will learn how to literally feel more relaxed and also feel less pain and stiffness in your neck in just 60 seconds

This is not difficult and it does not require expensive equipment. You can, without a doubt, do this. 

Click here to find out more!