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Posts Tagged ‘calcium’

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

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: http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/24/taking-calcium-may-pose-heart-risks/?ref=health

 

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 Health.com, 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 Health.com 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: http://news.health.com/2012/05/31/serious-exercise-may-benefit-middle-aged-arteries/#more-56336

 

Laughter and Optimism ARE the Best Medicines!

According to a new study published in the online journal Aging and covered by Health.com 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: http://news.health.com/2012/05/30/optimism-laughter-may-bring-long-life/




Sugar & Saturated Fats on the Brain, Calcium & Heart Attacks, Longer Lives for Diabetics

May 25, 2012

Friday Roundup:

 

Sugar & Saturated Fats – Not Friends to Brain Function & Memory

Two recent articles on the Food Navigator website are continuing an interesting trend in reporting about the detrimental effects of saturated fats and sugars – veritable foundations of the fast food industry – and their detrimental effects on cognitive brain function and memory. Both articles tout the apparent fact that certain beloved substances simply are not good – either for the human heart or for the human brain. In the article on saturated fats and brain function, a research team studied data from more than 6,000 women, finding “that women over 65 who consumed the highest levels of saturated fats had worse overall cognitive function than those who consumed the least.” In the article on the detrimental effects of sugar in the body and the positive effects of omega-3 oils instead, “The study….suggests that a diet consistently high in fructose “slows” the brain and hinders memory and learning. However, the study also finds that consumption of omega-3 fatty acids can counteract the effect.”

That’s good news to know for those who have determined to take charge of their health and watch what they eat. Knowledge is indeed power when it comes to healthy living.

You can read the full articles on sugar and fat consumption and their negative influence on brain function by visiting these website pages: http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Sat-fats-hamper-brain-function-and-memory-study/?c=I4yCUtO7kH%252B2AHZkvKIizA%253D%253D&utm_source=Newsletter_Subject&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Newsletter%252BSubject

http://www.foodnavigator.com/Science-Nutrition/Sugar-makes-you-dumber-fish-oil-can-help-research?nocount

 

Calcium Supplements May Raise Heart Attack Risks

For those women (and men) who are concerned about osteoporosis and have begun a regimen of taking calcium supplements to help maintain or increase their bone density, this Swiss study may not be what you really want to hear. According to the Swiss researchers, calcium supplements may contribute to a greater risk of heart attack, although the cause and effect nature of the connection seems hard to explain currently, and the dietary supplement industry is taking issue with the findings.
According to the WebMD article released this Wednesday, “‘The increase [in risk] is, I would say, moderate,’ says Sabine Rohrmann, PhD, assistant professor of chronic disease epidemiology at the University of Zurich.

Rohrmann and her team followed nearly 24,000 men and women for 11 years. Those who took calcium supplements had an 86% increased risk of heart attack compared to those who used no supplements. However, the actual number of heart attacks during the follow-up period was small, with 354 recorded. The researchers found a link, or association, between calcium supplements and heart attack, but the study cannot show cause and effect.”

While this subject will clearly be receiving more attention in the future, Life Line Screening encourages everyone who begins a major supplementation regimen to consult with their doctor first, particularly if taking prescription medicine for some other condition. Life Line Screening also offers osteoporosis screenings across the United States to help men and women understand the state of their skeletal framework.

You can read the full article on calcium supplements and heart disease risk by visiting this website page: http://www.webmd.com/heart/news/20120523/calcium-supplements-may-raise-heart-attack-risk

 

Death Rate Dropping for People with Diabetes

Great news was reported this week on the pages of WebMD.com – “from 1996 to 2006 the risk of dying from heart disease and stroke decreased by 40% among people with diabetes.” In other words, people with diabetes are living longer lives. Since individuals afflicted with diabetes do tend to die earlier in life compared to those without the malady, heart-healthy habits such as exercise and diet control as well as better control of blood sugar levels are being credited with the large improvement in life expectancy and disease control.

“‘This is good news,’ says researcher Edward W. Gregg, PhD,” in the WebMD article. “He’s the acting director of the division for heart disease and stroke prevention at the CDC in Atlanta. ‘We are seeing a reduction in death rates in people with diabetes, and this is largely due to prevention efforts. This should be a source of empowerment and motivation for people with diabetes. People can cut their risk of developing cardiovascular disease in half if they are able to manage their risk factors.’”

At Life Line Screening, we’re committed to helping men and women with proactive health screenings in order to find developing illnesses earlier in their history, thus increasing their chances of battling the disease or at least mitigating its severity. Type 2 diabetes screenings are one of our core service offerings.

You can read the full article on the dropping diabetes death rate by visiting this website page: http://diabetes.webmd.com/news/20120522/death-rate-dropping-for-people-with-diabetes




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