Parking yourself in front of the TV may make you as likely to develop dementia as people genetically predisposed to the condition, a Canadian study suggests. In a study of more than 1,600 adults aged 65 and older, those who led a sedentary life seemed to have the same risk of developing dementia as those who carried the apolipoprotein E (APOE) gene mutation, which increases the chances of developing dementia.
Conversely, people who exercised appeared to have lower odds of developing dementia than those who didn’t, the five-year study found.
“Being inactive may completely negate the protective effects of a healthy set of genes,” said lead researcher Jennifer Heisz, an assistant professor in the department of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario.
However, the study didn’t prove that lack of exercise caused dementia risk to increase. It only found an association between the two.
Prevalence of Dementia Due to Inactivity
The APOE mutation is the strongest genetic risk factor for vascular dementia, Lewy body dementia, Parkinson’s disease and, especially, Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers said. People with a single APOE “allele” may have a three to four times increased risk of dementia than non-carriers, the study authors said. How exercise may reduce the risk for dementia isn’t known, Heisz said.
These study results, however, suggest that your physical activity level can influence your dementia risk as much as your genetics, Heisz said. “You can’t change your genes, but you can change your lifestyle,” she added.
The kind of exercise that’s best isn’t known, although the people who were physically active in the study reported walking three times a week, Heisz said.
“Which means you don’t have to train like an Olympian to get the brain health benefits of being physically active,” she said.
The report was published Jan. 10 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Dr. Sam Gandy directs the Center for Cognitive Health at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. He said the study findings aren’t “really a surprise, but it is good to see it proven.” Other scientists showed some years ago that people with the APOE mutation could virtually erase the risk of developing amyloid plaques in the brain if they became regular runners, Gandy said. Amyloid plaques are one of the hallmark signs of Alzheimer’s.
“That was an amazing report that, I believe, has been underpublicized,” Gandy said.
However, this new study suggests that if you are blessed with genes that lower your risk for Alzheimer’s, you could lose that benefit if you don’t exercise, he said.
“I cannot understand why the fear of dementia is not sufficient to induce everyone to adopt a regular exercise program,” Gandy said. “I tell all my patients that if they leave with one, and only one, piece of advice, that the one thing that they can do to reduce their risk of dementia or slow the progression of dementia is to exercise,” he said.
About 47.5 million people around the world are living with dementia, the researchers said, and that number is expected to surge to 115 million by 2050. With no known cure, there’s an urgent need to explore, identify and change lifestyle factors that can reduce dementia risk, the study authors said.
SOURCES: Jennifer Heisz, Ph.D., assistant professor, department of kinesiology, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; Sam Gandy, M.D., Ph.D., director, Center for Cognitive Health, Mount Sinai Hospital, New York City; Jan. 10, 2017, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
Additional Topics: Chiropractic Care for Older Adults
Chiropractic care is an alternative treatment option which focuses on the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of injuries and/or conditions associated with the musculoskeletal and nervous system, primarily the spine. Chiropractic utilizes spinal adjustments and manual manipulations to treat a variety of injuries and conditions. As people age, degenerative injuries and conditions can commonly occur. Fortunately, chiropractic treatment has been demonstrated to benefit older adults with spinal degeneration, helping to restore their original health and wellness.
A healthy eating plan should include at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Learn easy ways to include the right amount of produce in your diet.
Seniors are better than younger people at making their servings of fruits and vegetables part of their diet, but that’s still not saying much. According to a review published in August 2013 in the journal Maturitas, only 21 to 37 percent of men and 29 to 45 percent of women ages 65 and older eat five or more daily servings of fruits and vegetables, which is the minimum amount recommended for�good nutrition.
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables is especially important as you get older, because the nutrients and fiber in these foods can help reduce high blood pressure, lower your risk of heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers, stave off eye and digestive problems � and simply satisfy your hunger.
Before you try to eat an entire bunch of bananas or a bushel of apples, know this: One serving of fruit or vegetables equals half a cup, or about the amount you could hold in a cupped hand. Nutrition experts used to recommend five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, but that�s probably not enough, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Individual needs are different, so depending on age, gender, and level of physical activity, you�ll require between 5 and 13 servings of fruit and vegetables each day.
Meeting Your Healthy Eating Goal for Fruits and Vegetables
Follow these simple tips for increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables you eat each day:
Add fruits and vegetables to your favorite dishes.�Find ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into foods you already eat. For example, stir fruit into your cereal or yogurt, add strawberries or blueberries to your pancakes, pack your sandwich with extra veggies, add vegetable toppings to your pizza, stir greens into your favorite casserole or pasta dish, or stuff your omelet with extra vegetables.
Display your produce.�Put your fruits and vegetables out on the counter or in a prominent position in the refrigerator, so that you’ll be more likely to eat them.
Try new things.�Next time you go to the grocery store, pick out a new fruit or vegetable to try.
Cook vegetarian.�At least once every week, skip the meat (you could join in on�Meatless Monday) and try a new vegetarian recipe for dinner.
Snack away.�Try snacking on fresh or dried fruit, carrot and bell pepper strips with a low-fat dip, or baked chips with fresh salsa.
Why We Eat Less as We Age
As you get older, certain age-related changes can make it more difficult to get the fruit and vegetables you need, such as:
Difficulty chewing Some people have dental problems that make it harder to chew, resulting in a reduced interest in eating.
Changes in taste Your sense of taste can change as you get older, so you may avoid some of the foods you used to enjoy.
Mobility problems For older people who are no longer able to drive, it may be difficult to get out and shop for fresh produce.
Lack of motivation to cook If you live alone, you may not feel like cooking just for one.
Changes in appetite For many people, getting older means that you just aren’t as hungry as you used to be.
To get the most out of the fruit and vegetables you eat, aim for variety. Eat many different types of fruits and vegetables, in a rainbow of colors. This will help ensure that you get the variety of nutrients your body needs for healthy aging.
Following a healthy, balanced diet is ultimately essential towards an individual’s overall health and, while many people effectively implement fruits and vegetables into their eating plan, older adults can find it difficult to follow a proper, everyday nutrition. Fruits and vegetables are a fundamental part of a human’s diet. Several tips and tricks can help add these important foods to an individual’s diet.
For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .�
Hydration is key to staying and feeling healthy. Your body has an intricate system of keeping fluids and electrolytes balanced, and proper hydration is a main component of this process. If this system is not functioning properly, you may suffer the dangerous consequences of dehydration. In the elderly, this regulation system may no longer function properly on its own, making dehydration more common — making adequate hydration even more important.
The Importance of Hydration
Dehydration is a risk factor for increased morbidity and mortality, especially in the elderly. This condition can lead to hospitalization, infection, loss of cognitive function, and even death if not treated immediately. Due to changes in the body during aging, such as a decrease in total body water as well as a decrease in being able to sense thirst, dehydration can happen quickly in the elderly. Staying hydrated every day is the best way to prevent this.
Symptoms of Dehydration
Symptoms of dehydration include dry mouth, no urine or very concentrated urine, sunken eyes, lethargy, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate and dry skin. Symptoms of dehydration should not be overlooked. If you suspect that you are dehydrated, try drinking small, frequent amounts of fluids such as water. If your symptoms do not improve, call your doctor or go to the hospital, as severe dehydration may requires medical attention.
Daily Hydration Requirements
Water needs vary from day to day and from person to person. However, the general recommendation for fluids is at least 6 to 8 cups, or 48 to 64 fluid ounces daily. Your fluid needs may be increased if you are losing excess water through sweat or urine. As a rule of thumb, you should drink 4 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes during periods of excess loss.
Because the thirst mechanism in the elderly may be dysfunctional, focus on drinking small, frequent amounts of fluid throughout the day rather than waiting to feel thirsty. Water is the best option for hydration, but any fluids count toward the daily requirement. If you are drinking juice or soda, try mixing it with half a glass of water to cut down on the sugar and calorie content. Additionally, you can get fluids through foods such as soups, fresh fruits and vegetables, and ice pops.
Hydration is important to ensure the proper function of all the structures in the body. When people age, the body’s normal amount of water decreases naturally, making dehydration more likely to occur. As a result, the proper hydration is much more important in older adults. By following several hydration tips, elderly patients can maintain the correct levels of water in their body to ensure their overall health.
For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
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