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Calcium Supplements May Harm Your Heart, Exercise to Keep Your Arteries Healthy, and Laugh Your Way to 100 Years Old!

admin - June 1, 2012

Friday Roundup:


Calcium Supplements May Pose Heart Health Risks

As individuals age – particularly women who are concerned about osteoporosis and bone-density loss – taking calcium supplements has proven to be one proactive tactic used to ward off these unpleasant aspects of the aging process. A new study, published in the journal Heart and reported by the New York Times, suggests however that while calcium intake from a wide range of sources is likely good for the human heart, getting one’s calcium solely from supplements may raise the risks of heart attacks considerably.

According to the Times article, “People who got their calcium almost exclusively from supplements were more than twice as likely to have a heart attack compared with those who took no supplements. The researchers speculated that taking calcium in supplement form causes blood levels of the mineral to quickly spike to harmful levels, whereas getting it from food may be less dangerous because the calcium is absorbed in smaller amounts at various points throughout the day. The authors of the study said their findings indicate that people getting their calcium from supplements should do so ‘with caution.’”

If you’re concerned about bone density-loss and osteoporosis and the use of calcium supplements, please talk to your doctor. You can also consider an osteoporosis screening test from Life Line Screening to see how your bone density is faring these days.

You can read the full article on calcium supplements and heart attack risk by visiting this website page:


Serious Exercise Can Benefit Middle-Aged Arteries

Great news for serious exercise devotees and for those who are concerned about the effects of stiffening of the arteries as we age and its influence on cardiovascular disease – a new study proves what health aficionados have long assumed anyways: high levels of exercise help prevent arterial stiffening in middle-aged people.

The study, conducted by Indiana University and reported by, explains that serious and rigorous exercise that gets the blood and heart moving rapidly in an aerobic capacity, helps to prevent hardening of the arteries – a strong risk factor associated with heart disease. According to the article, “The Indiana University study included 21 men and 28 women. Of those 49 participants, 33 were highly active U.S. Masters Swimmers who did more than 200 minutes of vigorous exercise a week. The other participants were either moderately or completely inactive. The highly active people had far less arterial stiffness than the others. The researchers also found little difference between men and women in the highly active group, but considerable difference between men and women in the inactive and moderately active group. This research “reinforces the idea that activity could be more influential than aging on some health factors,” Joel Stager, professor and director of the university’s Counsilman Center, in the department of kinesiology, said in the news release.”

The bottom line according to this study is that a healthy heart can be encouraged by rigorous aerobic exercise, such as one experiences through brisk walking, jogging, running, swimming, cycling or dancing. An important caveat to this study is that one should always consult with their physician before starting a rigorous exercise program.

You can read the full article on exercise for heart health by visiting this website page:


Laughter and Optimism ARE the Best Medicines!

According to a new study published in the online journal Aging and covered by in their WHAT’S NEW section, optimism and a positive outlook on life truly do make a difference when it comes to longevity issues. Centenarians, it turns out, are quite often extroverted personality types who look at the world optimistically and with a care-free perspective.

As reported in the very interesting and inspiring article, “The findings stem from the Longevity Genes Project, launched by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. All the participants in the latest study were over the age of 95, and all were of Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jewish descent. “We really were not sure what got them to their advanced age,” admitted study co-author Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of Einstein’s Institute for Aging Research and chair of its division of Aging Research. “Was it their personality, or something more in their genetics? Our findings that these centenarians share such positive personality traits suggest that they may be associated with longevity,” he added.

While admittedly it is not easy to keep a positive attitude at all times and we certainly acknowledge that everyone goes through periods of depression and hardship, it’s important to try to hang onto and aim for positive experiences and to have an ‘attitude of gratitude’ as much as possible. As the article affirms about its research subjects, “The majority of near-centenarians were found to be relaxed, friendly, conscientious and upbeat about life. Importantly, said the authors, an easy laugh and an active social life were observed to be a group norm, while neuroticism was notably the exception. What’s more, feelings were more commonly shared as they arose, rather than stifled and squelched.”

You can learn more about longevity through optimism and laughter by visiting this website page:


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