Your Road to Wellness

Anti-Aging

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.

 

 

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Do you want a bigger brain and better memory?

Posted by on 7:33 am Alzheimer’s, Anti-Aging, Cognition, Dementia, Exercise, General Health, Memory, Research, Stay healthy, Wellness | 0 comments

 

Is it really possible to increase the size of the brain later in life?

Data from a randomized controlled study of 155 older women, who participated in 52 weeks of resistance training showed reduced cortical white matter atrophy on MRI scans when compared with the control  group (Best JR, et.al., 2015).

This means that they ended up with a bigger brain than they would have had if they had not done the resistance exercise.

Twice-weekly resistance training also promoted memory and increased peak muscle power when they were followed up after 2 years.

The control group did balance and toning.

If you instead prefer aerobic type of exercise, that may also improve your cognition.

Research showed that an individual’s cardio-respiratory fitness was a better predictor of cognitive gains than the exercise dose (Vidoni ED, et.al., 2015).

To improve cardio-respiratory function you can do regular aerobic exercise, or you can do high intensity short interval training which will save you time.

This study compared the effects of long slow distance training with high-intensity interval training in rowers (Ní Chéilleachair NJ, et.al., 2017).

High intensity short interval training was more effective than long and slow distance training in improving performance and aerobic characteristics.

References

Best JR, Chiu BK, Liang Hsu C, Nagamatsu LS, Liu-Ambrose T.Long-Term Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Cognition and Brain Volume in Older Women: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2015 Nov;21(10):745-56.

Vidoni ED, Johnson DK, Morris JK, Van Sciver A, Greer CS, Billinger SA, Donnelly JE, Burns JM,Dose-Response of Aerobic Exercise on Cognition: A Community-Based, Pilot Randomized Controlled TrialPLoS One. 2015 Jul 9;10(7):e0131647.

Ní Chéilleachair NJ1,2, Harrison AJ2, Warrington GD,HIIT enhances endurance performance and aerobic characteristics more than high-volume training in trained rowers.J Sports Sci. 2017 Jun;35(11):1052-1058

 

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What else can you do to improve your cognition other than pay attention to the food you eat?

Posted by on 10:31 am Anti-Aging, Cognition, Exercise, General Health, Health, Vigorous Activity, Wellness | 0 comments

 

You actually have quite a lot of control over how functional your brain is going to be.

Research has shown we can slow down memory loss and even improve our memory.

The food we eat is extremely important, but another tool we have is exercise.  Resistance exercise is especially effective.

The following study included 155 older women participating in resistance training 2 days a week for a year (Best JR, et.al., 2015).

They were compared with a group doing balance and toning twice a week and were evaluated at the beginning of the study, after 1 year and after 2 years.

Resistance training improved executive function compared to balance and toning. It also improved memory, reduced cortical white matter.

Atrophy verified on MRI and increased peak muscle power at 2-year follow-up. The balance and toning exercises did not do that.

Men and women doing resistance exercises 2-3 times a week for 6 months significantly improved overall cognitive function, with maintenance of executive and overall benefits over 18 months (Fiatarone Singh MA, et.al., 2014).

They were compared with a group doing seated calisthenics which did not result in the same benefits.

Doing resistance exercise twice a week does not require a lot of time and can help to keep your brain healthier.

That’s time well spent.

References

Best JR, Chiu BK, Liang Hsu C, Nagamatsu LS, Liu-Ambrose T. Long-Term Effects of Resistance Exercise Training on Cognition and Brain Volume in Older Women: Results from a Randomized Controlled Trial. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2015 Nov;21(10):745-56.

Fiatarone Singh MA, Gates N, Saigal N, Wilson GC, Meiklejohn J, Brodaty H, Wen W, Singh N, Baune BT, Suo C, Baker MK, Foroughi N, Wang Y, Sachdev PS, Valenzuela M. The Study of Mental and Resistance Training (SMART) study—resistance training and/or cognitive training in mild cognitive impairment: a randomized, double-blind, double-sham controlled trial. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2014 Dec;15(12):873-80.

 

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What is the best predictor of aging?

Posted by on 3:10 am Anti-Aging, Diet, Eating, Health, Inflammation, Low glycemic meals, Vegetables | 0 comments

 

Chronological and physiological age is not the same.

You can be younger than your actual years or you can be older. This depends a lot on your diet and lifestyle.

The referenced research was conducted to figure out the most important drivers for successful aging (Arai Y, et.al., 2015). This is important because you don’t want to just live for a long time, you want to stay healthy as you get older.

1554 individuals were included in the study, and 684 were 100-105 years old and 105-109 years old. There were also 536 who were 85-99 year old and some children of the 100-105 years old.

The researchers looked at multiple biomarkers and this is what they found.

Inflammation predicted all-cause mortality in the 85-99 years old and in the 105-109 years old.

Inflammation also predicted capability and cognition in 105-109 year olds better than chronologic age.

The inflammation score was also lower in the children of these individuals compared to age-matched controls.

if you want to function well  as you get older, Inflammation is the most important factor to keep low. 

It is important to keep in mind that oxidative stress is also involved in inflammation.

Oxidative stress due to oxidant/antioxidant imbalance, and also due to environmental oxidants is an important component during inflammation and respiratory diseases, asthma being one of those conditions (Biswas SK, Rahman I, 2009).

This is what you can do to keep inflammation low.  Implement a high nutrient, low glycemic index, plant based diet.

Take a well absorbed form of  Curcumin and Boron. Both of these compounds have shown to reduce inflammation.

Take S-Acetyl Glutathione which is a form of Glutathione shown to get into the cells. Glutathione is the body’s most effective protection against free radical damage. It also regulates the immune function.

References

Arai Y1, Martin-Ruiz CM, Takayama M, Abe Y, Takebayashi T, Koyasu S, Suematsu M, Hirose N, von Zglinicki T,Inflammation, but not Telomere length, predicts successful ageing at extreme old age: A Longitudinal Study of Semi-supercentenarians.EBioMedicine. 2015 Jul 29;2(10):1549-58.

Biswas SK, Rahman I.Environmental toxicity, redox signaling and lung inflammation: The role of glutathioneMol Aspects Med. 2009 Feb-Apr;30(1-2):60-76.

 

 

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Can B Vitamins Affect Your Mood?

Posted by on 10:51 am Anti-Aging, Depression, Health, Vitamin B, Vitamin B12 | 0 comments

You would most likely prefer to feel happy and excited about life and ready to get going to accomplish your goals when you wake up. Do you think almost everybody feels that way?

No, that is not the case, because depression is the second leading cause of disability, and it is increasing.

There can be many reasons for depression, and if you know why your mood is not good, you should of cause take action to correct the reason if possible. It is however not always easy to pinpoint the exact reason, and it may also be several things contributing.

 

When depressed adults were given either a vitamin B complex or a placebo and were accessed at the beginning and at 30 and 60 days from when they started, the treatment group showed significant and more continuous improvements in depressive and anxiety symptoms, compared to the placebo group (Lewis JE, et.al., 2013).

 

If you, however, have a genetic polymorphism (genetic variation) making it more difficult to metabolize folic acid, you can experience even better results if you take a metabolite of folic acid.

There are several genetic variations that can make it difficult for the body to utilize folic acid, and this is not that uncommon.

After 8 weeks of taking metabolites of B vitamins and micronutrients, these patients showed a 12-point improvement on a depression scale, and 42% achieved full remission.

A good vitamin B complex formula which includes metabolites is easy to take. This can for some people make a big difference.

 

 

References

Lewis JE, Tiozzo E, Melillo AB, Leonard S, Chen L, Mendez A, Woolger JM, Konefal J. The effect of methylated vitamin B complex on depressive and anxiety symptoms and quality of life in adults with depression. ISRN Psychiatry. 2013 Jan 21;2013:621453

Mech AW, Farah A. Correlation of clinical response with homocysteine reduction during therapy with reduced B vitamins in patients with MDD who are positive for MTHFR C677T or A1298C polymorphism: a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled study. J Clin Psychiatry. 2016 May;77(5):668-71.

 

Vitamin B Complex

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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Can Omega 3 Fatty Acids Reduce Muscle Loss In Older People?

Posted by on 2:36 am Anti-Aging, General Health, Omega-3, fish oil | 0 comments

 

Losing muscle mass is common for most people as they get older, and for some, it leads to disability.

This can, however, be avoided. Exercise is the obvious recommendation to avoid losing muscle, but there is also something else you can do, and this is a lot less strenuous.

If this appeals to you, keep on reading.

I would of course, still recommend exercising since that provides a lot of benefits, and should be a part of a healthy lifestyle.

First, we are not going to build muscles as easy when we are 70 years old as we did when we were 20 years old. It is, however, possible to maintain most of the muscle mass as we get older by exercise effectively and implement some additional strategies.

This is, however, going to show you research you can implement that works even without exercising.

Sixty healthy 60-85-year-old men and women took either omega 3 fatty acids or corn oil as a control for 6 months (Smith GI, et.al., 2015).

They were evaluated for thigh muscle volume, handgrip strength, one-repetition maximum (1-RM), lower- and upper body strength and average power before they started and after 6 months.

 

This is what the researchers found.

When compared with the control group the omega 3 fatty acid group increased thigh muscle volume by 3.6%.

They increased handgrip strength with 2.3 kg.

They increased 1-RM muscle strength by 4%.

They increased average power by 5.6%.

 

This was from only taking 1.86 g of EPA and 1.50 G of DHA from fish oil daily.

 

EPA and DHA are the active ingredients in omega 3 fatty acids.

How easy can it be, I think that is amazing, and there are other studies showing that omega 3 fatty acids increase the rate of muscle protein synthesis (building of muscles) (Di Girolamo FG, et.al., 2014, Smith GI, et.al., 2011).

Another interesting study showed that patients who ingested 3.4 g per day of EPA and DHA from fish oil 2-3 weeks before having heart surgery showed increased mitochondrial respiration in the atrial myocardium (Anderson EJ, et.al., 2014).

The patients that took the omega 3 fatty acids also had a greater activity of key antioxidant/anti-inflammatory enzymes.

 

Sometimes you can get a lot of benefits from doing very little.

 

Just be sure that you take a high-quality fish oil supplement., since the contaminants in fish can prevent the benefits from fish oil.

 

References

 

Anderson EJ, Thayne KA, Harris M, Shaikh SR, Darden TM, Lark DS, Williams JM, Chitwood WR, Kypson AP, Rodriguez E. Do fish oil omega-3 fatty acids enhance antioxidant capacity and mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation in human atrial myocardium via PPARγ activation? Antioxid Redox Signal. 2014 Sep 10;21(8):1156-63.

Di Girolamo FG, Situlin R, Mazzucco S, Valentini R, Toigo G, Biolo G. Omega-3 fatty acids and protein metabolism: enhancement of anabolic interventions for sarcopenia. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2014 Mar;17(2):145-50.

Smith GI, Julliand S, Reeds DN, Sinacore DR, Klein S, Mittendofer B Fish oil-derived n-3 PUFA therapy increases muscle mass and function in healthy older adults.  Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jul;102(1):115-22.

Smith GI, Atherton P, Reeds DN, Mohammed BS, Rankin D, Rennie MJ, Mittendorfer B. Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):402-12. 

 

BETTER FISH OIL – OMEGA 3

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 since their diet usually contains too much Omega 6 from vegetable oils and saturated fat from dairy and other animal sources.

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