Posts Tagged ‘calcium’

What steps can people take today to ensure healthy aging in their future?

September 18, 2015

I am frequently asked by patients about how to grow old gracefully and in good health. Unfortunately, the fountain of youth has not been discovered. However there are steps that everyone can take to make the senior years enjoyable ones providing we have our mental and physical health. This blog will provide some suggestions that I think can lead you to healthy lifestyle in your middle age and older years.

The risk of Alzheimer’s disease
One in eight adults above the age of 65 years old in the United States has Alzheimer’s disease and some cognitive decline is a normal part of aging. The greatest known risk factor for Alzheimer’s is advancing age. The likelihood of developing Alzheimer’s doubles about every five years after age 65 and after age 85, the risk reaches nearly 50 percent.

Those who have a parent, brother, sister or child with Alzheimer’s are more likely to develop the disease. The risk increases if more than one family member has the illness.

Genetics (heredity) also plays a role. There are two types of genes that can play a role in affecting whether a person develops a disease—risk genes and deterministic genes. Alzheimer’s genes have been found in both categories. Risk genes increase the likelihood of developing a disease, but do not guarantee it will happen. Deterministic genes directly cause a disease, guaranteeing that anyone who inherits them will develop the disorder.

So what can you do?
Live an active life. Regular exercise is one of the greatest keys to physical and mental wellbeing. Regular exercise may prevent or even provide relief from many common chronic conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, depression and arthritis

Maintain your brain. Studies have shown that a lifestyle that includes cognitive stimulation through active learning slows cognitive decline. That means getting off the couch and onto the sidewalks, parks, or jogging paths. A brisk walk 20-30 minutes a day is all that you need.

Get enough sleep. Older adults need just as much sleep as young adults – seven to nine hours per night. Lack of sleep can cause depression, irritability, increased fall risk and memory problems

Make an effort to reduce stress. Long-term stress can damage brain cells and lead to depression, memory loss, fatigue and decreased ability to fight off and recover from infection.

What are some foods people can eat now for healthy aging later?
Eat nutrient-dense foods like fruits, vegetables and whole-grains to keep your body and mind sharp.
Colorful fruits and vegetables contain antioxidant which help stop unstable molecules from damaging healthy cells. I suggest you consume colorful vegetables and fruits, such as leafy greens, tomatoes, blueberries and carrots as they contain the highest quantities of antioxidants. You want to enjoy five to nine servings a day.

You need calcium and vitamin D. The calcium and fortified vitamin D in dairy foods are crucial to strong bones and help prevent osteoporosis. I suggest 3 cups of low-fat milk, yogurt, or other dairy products a day.

Whole grains are rich in fiber and help lower cholesterol and provide for regular bowel movements. Examples are oats, quinoa, barley, wheat and brown rice, which also lowers your chance of developing type 2 diabetes and keeps blood vessels in peak condition. You should strive for three servings of whole grains a day.

Fish contains omega-3 fatty acids in fatty fish help protect your heart, lower your odds of having a stroke and may even help guard against Alzheimer’s disease. Help yourself to two servings a week of fatty fish such as salmon or tuna.

Finally, maintain a healthy sex life. Sex serves as a form of exercise and can help reduce stress, improve moods and increase overall health. Another advantage of regular sex is that it can actually lower your total cholesterol level, and increase the high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or the good cholesterol. And besides….it’s a lot of fun!

Bottom Line: You can’t change your genes or your parents but you can lead a healthy lifestyle by having a regular exercise regimen and having a healthy diet. Both of these will lead to good health and enjoyment of your senior years.

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Dietary Changes To Prevent Kidney Stone

November 1, 2014

In the U.S., one in 10 men and women will develop a kidney stone. About 70% of men and women who have one kidney stone will develop a recurrent stone. This blog will discuss preventive measures to decrease the risk of recurrence.

Dilution is the Solution

The single most effective step to prevent recurrence is to increase your fluid intake. By drinking eight to ten glasses of liquid a day, you will dilute your urine, making it less concentrated. This will keep crystals from forming and reduce the likelihood of stone formation. Men and women who drink more than 8 glasses of water a day were less likely to have a kidney stone recurrence.

At least half of your fluid intake should be water. Although one cup of coffee or tea per day may slightly decrease the risk of stone formation, excessive intake of caffeinated beverages such as coffee, tea, or soda has been shown to increase the risk of stone recurrence.

Pay attention to your urine’s color. Dark urine usually indicates you are not getting enough fluid. The goal is consume enough fluids to turn your urine white or pale yellow.

Reduce Your Protein Intake

Diets high in animal protein (meat, eggs, cheese, etc) can increase levels of calcium, uric acid, and oxalate in the urine, all of which can increase the risk of calcium stone formation. Diets lower in animal protein and salt have been shown to lower calcium and oxalate in the urine. Low carb diets, generally high in protein and fat are not recommended for individuals with a history of calcium kidney stones. To help reduce your risk of calcium stone formation, eat less meat, and substitute a vegetarian meal a few times a week.

Deep Six the Salt

Studies have consistently shown that higher sodium (salt) intakes lead to increased calcium in the urine. Reducing sodium in the diet decreases urinary calcium levels. Many experts believe restricting sodium to 2000 mg\day while increasing fluid intake is one of the best ways of reducing calcium stone recurrence. High levels of sodium, however, are found in many prepared foods, and not just in the saltshaker. Try to reduce your intake of canned or processed foods, look for reduced sodium products, and avoid adding extra salt to food.

Eat Calcium-Rich Foods

The calcium we get from eating calcium rich foods, such as low fat milt and yogurt is not a problem for calcium kidney stone formers. Moderate intake of calcium-containing foods actually protects against stone formation by binding dietary oxalate and reducing oxalate levels in the urine. So do not eliminate calcium-rick foods from your diet.

Taking high does of some calcium supplements may increase your risk of stone formation. If your doctor has recommended you take a calcium supplement for bone health, chose one with calcium citrate. Calcium citrate helps inhibit stone formation.

Hesitate on the Oxalate

Your doctor may suggest that you decrease the amount of oxalate in your diet. Try to limit the amount of oxalate-rich foods particularly chocolate, cocoa, spinach (and other leafy greens) beets, strawberries, wheat germ, pecans, and soy.

See That You Don’t Take Too Much Vitamin C

Avoid high doses of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplements. Generally, the amount of vitamin C found in a multivitamin is safe, but higher amounts (more than 500mg) from supplements may increase the risk of kidney stones by increasing the oxalate levels.

Don’t Inhibit Inhibitors

Citrate and magnesium are considered kidney stone inhibitors. Lemon juice has been found to increase the level of citrate in the urine. Nutritional supplements containing magnesium, potassium, and citrate may also help increase the concentrations of stone inhibitors in the urine.

Be good about Vitamin B6

Vitamin B 6 is effective in decreeing oxalate production, and therefore, vitamin B6 supplements are helpful to decrease the risk of calcium oxalate kidney stones.

Bottom Line

Kidney stones are a common affliction and the solution to preventing recurrent kidney stones can often be accomplished naturally without medications. Best solution of all is to drink lots of water.

Bones Break Just Like Hearts-Strengthen Yours With Calcium and Vitamin D

November 13, 2012
Fracture of Hip

Fracture Of Hip

Although bone-weakening osteoporosis is quite common among older people, it isn’t an inevitable part of aging. There’s a lot you can do to shield your bones from this disease.
The best insurance against osteoporosis is building the strength of the bones by increasing the calcium content of the bones. There is still much you can do to preserve the bone you have and perhaps even to replace lost bone. Daily weight-bearing exercise, like walking, is the best medicine. Getting enough calcium and vitamin D are two other critical strategies for keeping bones strong.

Calcium
Calcium is an important nutrient for building bone and slowing the pace of bone loss. How much calcium? The recommended daily intake for calcium is 1,000 milligrams (mg) a day for adults up through age 50 and 1,200 mg a day for people ages 51 and older, when bone loss accelerates. With age, the intestines absorb less calcium from the diet, and the kidneys seem to be less efficient at conserving calcium. As a result, your body can steal calcium from bone for a variety of important metabolic functions. If this happens bone suffers and bone loses its strength and is at risk of falls and fractures.

Vitamin D
In building bone, calcium has an indispensable assistant: vitamin D. This vitamin helps the body absorb calcium, and some researchers think that increasing vitamin D can help prevent osteoporosis. Milk sold in the United States is fortified with vitamin D. Vitamin D is also prevalent in fortified breakfast cereals, eggs, and vitamin supplements. Some brands of yogurt are fortified with it, as well as some juices.

If possible, a small amount of sun exposure can help your body manufacture its own vitamin D — about five to 30 minutes of sunlight between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. twice a week to your face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen will enable you to make enough of the vitamin. People with fair skin that burns easily should protect themselves from skin cancer by limiting sun exposure to 10 minutes or less.

Food and sun exposure should suffice, but if not, some experts advise getting 1,000 IU of vitamin D daily from a supplement.

Bottom Line: Take 1000mg of calcium and 1000units of vitamin D and you will take good care of your bones and prevent bone fractures.