Fiber May Lower Risk of Osteoarthritis

Millions of people, worldwide and across the United States are affected by Osteoarthritis. The latest research showed that diets rich in fiber may lower the risk of developing painful knee osteoarthritis.  

What is osteoarthritis? It’s known as the most common arthritis also named the “wear and tear,” arthritis, over 30 million U.S. adults are affected by it. Almost 10 percent of men and 18 percent of women aged 60 and over love with symptomatic OA, worldwide. Women over the age of 50 are more likely to develop the condition compared to men.

Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases recently published new research that investigated the link between having a diet rich in fiber and the risk of developing knee OA. The study consisted of a meta-analysis examining two long-term studies on the benefits of a fiber-rich diet. The collaborative study was conducted by researchers from Tufts University in Boston MA and the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. Dr. Zhaoli Dai, of the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University was the first author of the study.

For years, studies have concluded that diets rich in fiber provided a variety of health benefits like lowered blood pressure, lower weight, reduced inflammation and even improved blood sugar levels. Fiber sources include nuts, legumes, fruits, whole grains, and non-starchy vegetables.

Studying the link between OA and fiber intake

The new studies included 4,795 participants – Osteoarthritis Initiative (OAI) and 1,267 participants – Framingham Offspring Osteoarthritis Study. Fiber intake was determined by researchers before beginning the study using a food frequency questionnaire. They also assessed incident radiographic OA and symptomatic OA – that is, they used X-ray to determine OA and recorded OA symptoms, the most common of which include knee pain, stiffness, and swelling.

During the study OAI participants were clinically followed ever year for 48 months, and they were evaluated after 9 years as part of the Framingham study. Data was also collected by researcher that may have influenced results like a knee injury, medication, lifestyle, alcohol consumption, and physical exercise.

Low Fiber Intake

During the study, on average, patients consumed 15 grams of fiber daily in the OAI study and 19 grams of fiber daily for the Framingham study.

By the end of the 4 year period – OAI study – a total of 869 participants had OA knee symptoms, 152 showed signs of OA on the X-ray, and 1,964 participants said their knee pain got worse.

At the end of the 9-year period – Framingham study – 143 participants had OA symptoms, and 175 saw signs of OA in their X-rays.

The statistical analysis indicated that higher intake of fiber correlated with a lower risk of OA. Participants were broken up into fourths or quartiles, with the top quartile being compared the the lowest in terms of fiber intake.

Participants who consumed the most fiber had a 30 percent lower risk of OA in the OAI study, and 61 percent lower risk of OA in the Framingham study compared with those who consumed the least amount of fiber.

Furthermore, the study revealed that consuming more fiber in general, as well as more cereal fiber in particular, significantly reduced the risk of the knee pain getting worse. However, as the study is observational, it cannot establish causality.

“Findings from two longitudinal studies consistently showed that higher total fiber intake was related to a lower risk of [symptomatic OA], while the relation to [incident radiographic OA] was unclear.” – Dr. Zhaoli Dai

By Kristina Mancino

Soda Lovers Beware: Stroke & Dementia Risk

Soda Lovers Beware: Stroke & Dementia Risk

Study links artificially sweetened drinks with higher risk of stroke and dementia.

We’ve been told countless times in the last 20 years that regular soda is bad for our health. It’s packed with sugar which experts have been saying for years, the dangers of consuming excessive amounts of sugar can cause numerous health issues like obesity. As companies try to combat the “bad ingredients” they try to roll out “healthier” versions of sodas like “sugar-free,” “diet,” “caffeine-free.” Soda companies try to praise themselves on making people think theses versions are healthy for them.

New research published by the American Heart Association’s journal Stroke found that the artificial sweeteners used in “diet drinks” are just as much a concern. Diet soda is linked to a greater risk of stroke and dementia. The April 2017 study involved 2,888 adults older than 45 and 1,484 adults older than 60. During a seven year period, researchers asked participants a series of questions about their eating and drinking habits, at three points in the study. For the next 10 year, researchers kept tabs on those who participated, noting those who suffered from a stroke or developed dementia.

By the end of the study, researchers concluded that those who drank at least one artificially sweetened drink per day were nearly three times more likely to have a stroke or develop dementia. Even after adjusting for other factors such as age, gender, calorie intake, diet quality, physical activity and genetic risk factors for Alzheimer’s disease, their findings still held up.

The data in the study did not distinguish which types of artificial sweeteners were used in the drinks.

Lead researcher Matthew Pase of the Boston University School of Medicine stated that the findings only showed a correlation. It’s not a definitive causation but did provide one more piece of evidence that diet drinks are not a health alternative to sugary drinks. In a statement, Pase said, “We recommend that people drink water on a regular basis instead of sugary or artificially sweetened beverages.” He further stated that the study showed the need for more direct research to this area, with the increased amount of people drinking artificially sweetened drinks.

American Beverage Association released a statement responding to the study saying that low-calorie sweeteners found in beverages have been proven safe by worldwide government safety authorities.

“The FDA, World Health Organization, European Food Safety Authority and others have extensively reviewed low-calorie sweeteners and have all reached the same conclusion — they are safe for consumption,” the statement said. “While we respect the mission of these organizations to help prevent conditions like stroke and dementia, the authors of this study acknowledge that their conclusions do not — and cannot — prove cause and effect.”

Regardless, based on studies and researcher statements, you should think twice about reaching for a diet soda or soda of any kind. In a 2015 study of adults aged 65 and older, those who drank diet soda had an increased weight gain compared to those who didn’t drink it. Other studies have connected diet soda and the disruption of gut bacteria, leading to glucose intolerance in some people and raising the risk of type 2 diabetes.

 

Written by Kristina Mancino

Elderly Exercises Using Theraband

Elderly Exercises Using Theraband

By Kristina Mancino

         Resistance band exercises have become popular in recent years. Now there is an exercise designed to strengthen muscles without putting too much stress and pressure on elderly aging bodies. Low-resistance resistance-bands involve numerous repetitions and can simply be done in a gym, with a personal trainer, or even at home. Here are some recommendations of isolated areas you can exercise with resistance bands.

Resistance Shoulder Exercise

This exercise is to help strengthen your shoulders and back muscles. First, start by sitting down on the floor with you back upright and your legs straight. Second, wrap the center of the band around both of your feet and grab the handles with your hands. Once you are finally in position, pull back on the band until you feel the tension in your shoulders and back. Hold for 5 seconds and release. Do 25 reps before taking a break.

Ankle Strengthening

Focusing on your ankle muscles as well as other leg muscles, grab a chair and resistant band (use whichever level you are comfortable with) and beginning this exercise sitting down with your back straight and knees bent. With your resistance band around your foot while holding the knotted end of the band with your other hand. Now, the leg with the resistance band, lift it off the floor and straighten it out and away from your body. While your leg is still up and straight, flex your leg muscles and twist your ankle against the tension of the resistance banc. Repeat on other ankle and leg before resting.

Seated Leg Presses with Resistance Bands

This exercises we will focus on strengthening your quadriceps. Sit at the front edge of your chair with both ends of the resistance band in each hand, bend your right foot and loop the band around the bottom of this foot (For a more comfortable feel, place the band where the arch of your foot it). With your left foot remains flat on the floor, exhale and extend your right leg as you press against the resistance of the band. Inhale and bend your right knee and slowly return to the starting position. Repeat 15 to 20 times on each leg.

Alternative Chest Presses

Again, using your resistance bands, we will be using them to aid a chest press which will strengthen your pectoral muscles and biceps. Lie flat on your back, divide your band in two with each end of the band in your left and right hand. Alternate extending each arm out in front of your body. Use only your arm and chest muscles and try not to use your neck muscles. This defeats the purpose of this exercise. Do 10 repetitions for each arm before taking a break.

Son Documents Mother’s Lewy Body Dementia For Awareness

This son is documenting his mother’s dementia in a heartbreaking video series.

Click here: You can watch all his videos on youtube – Joe Joe Youtube Channel

10 Ways To Fit Fitness Into Your Day

10 Ways To Fit Fitness Into Your Day

By Kristina Mancino

         We’ve been told that we should exercise at least 30 minutes a day. With how busy we’ve become, finding that 30 minutes to exercise can be difficult. We completely understand! So how can you get the same blood pressure, cholesterol and waistline benefits within the day without having time for a long workout?

         One study suggests you can do simple workout motions throughout the day in one minute increments. Here’s what top trainers Chris Freytag, founder of gethealthyu.com, and Lindsay Hunt, founder of walkonthehealthyside.com say about being more active all day long.

  1. Standing around waiting…

 

Waiting in line? Here’s a full body routine that isolates certain areas and muscles. Squeeze your behind 10 times. Tighten your stomach muscles 10 times. Stretch your arms downward behind you and squeeze your triceps 10 times. Rise up on your toes and squeeze your calves 10 times.

  1. While sitting around…

Keep a tennis ball at your desk and at home to improve your grip strength. Twice a day, grip the ball and squeeze it tightly, holding for 10 seconds, repeat 10 to 15 times per hand.

  1. Walking around in the supermarket…

Do you need to grab some things at the grocery store? Why not skip the shopping cart and opt for reusable totes. Put one over each shoulder and walk around the aisles for your items. The weight of your items in the reuseable totes will mimic walking with a backpack which boosts your heart rate and burns calories.

  1. While sitting at your desk…

Does your job require you to sit all day? Time to switch it up! Sitting all day can be just as harmful as smoking. Opt for a stability ball and sit on it for 20 to 30 minute periods throughout the day. The stability ball activates your core muscles and builds them while you work and it may reduce back pain. Make sure to stand up and walk around frequently.

  1. When brushing your teeth…

With age, our balance starts to waver. Here’s a trick to getting it back! While brushing your teeth, stand on one foot for 60 seconds and then switch. Once that becomes easier, try balancing while lifting your leg to the side.

  1. Waiting for dinner to cook…

To relieve joint pain and to keep your shoulders strong and flexible, do some arm circles. Use the time that your dinner is cooking to lift your arms up out to the side and do 15 circles in the clockwise direction. Then do 15 counterclockwise arm circles.

  1. While making a beverage…

While waiting for your morning drink, tea to steep or coffee to brew, loosen up your calves and Achilles tendons. With ages comes common heel pain like plantar fasciitis. To keep your calves and Achilles tendons from tightening up, stand at arm’s length from the wall and place one foot behind the other. Keep your heels down and knees straight, lean towards the wall bracing with your arms. Bend your forward leg to stretch the calb of your back leg, holding for 30 seconds before switching.

  1. When getting up from a chair…

Surprisingly, getting up and down in a chair can give you implications of your health and longevity. When standing up or sitting down, use your legs – if you need assistance, use one hand at first. Do this 10 times a day and without knowing it, you’ve done 10 squats.

  1. Stuck at a stoplight…

Overtime muscles to our uterus, bladder and bowels can weaken leading to incontinence issues.  While sitting at a stoplight, tighten up your pelvic floor muscles (like you have to pee and you’re “holding it’). Hold for a 10-count, releasing for 10. Repeat this until the light turns green.

  1. While watching tv…

Do a lower body workout! Lie on your side and do 3 sets of 15 leg lifts. Then do 3 sets of leg circles – raising your leg and rotating it in a circular motion, then switch sides and repeat on the other leg.

 

Each exercise increment takes a few minutes each task and can be work into any part of your day. Make sure you find time within your day to do this simple task and help boost your health.

What The New Healthcare Bill Could Do To You

What The New Healthcare Bill Could Do To You

by Kristina Mancino

AARP has maintained its opposition for the possible new healthcare bill that could replace Obamacare. In a statement from AARP’s Vice President Nancy LeaMond said,

“AARP opposes this legislation, as introduced, that would weaken Medicare, leaving the door open to a voucher program that shifts costs and risks to seniors.

“Before people even reach retirement age, big insurance companies could be allowed to charge them an age tax that adds up to thousands of dollars more per year. Older Americans need affordable health care services and prescriptions. This plan goes in the opposite direction, increasing insurance premiums for older Americans and not doing anything to lower drug costs.

“On top of the hefty premium increase for consumers, big drug companies and other special interests get a sweetheart deal.

“Finally, Medicaid cuts could impact people of all ages and put at risk the health and safety of 17.4 million children and adults with disabilities and seniors by eliminating much-needed services that allow individuals to live independently in their homes and communities. Although no one believes the current health care system is perfect, this harmful legislation would make healthcare less secure and less affordable.

The House plan’s to make drastic changes to the healthcare that is currently in place. Changes such as shortening the life of Medicare, hiking costs for those who can least afford higher insurance premiums, risking seniors’ ability to live independently, and giving tax breaks to big drug companies and health insurance.

In a recent survey, American families stated they were more worried than ever about being able to pay their medical bills. With the new bill, waiting to be voted on, health care could become less affordable and less secure for millions of Americans. The “American Health Care Act” would hike premiums for older Americans, weaken Medicare, and 17.4 million low-income seniors and people with disabilities could be at risk if they reply on Medicaid. People between the ages of 50 and 64 could get hit with an “age tax” when buying new health insurance on their own. There is no longer a limit for how much insurance companies can charge older Americans while providing reduced tax credits that don’t put rising cost of coverage into account. This part of the bill hits hard and will have rippling devastation for older Americans who’s budgets are already stretched.

“Here are a few examples from an AARP Public Policy Institute analysis: A 55-year-old earning $25,000 a year could see premiums go up $3,600; a 64-year-old earning $25,000 a year would pay $7,000 more in premiums, while someone the same age earning $15,000 a year could see insurance premiums go up as much as $8,400. These are increases the American people simply can’t afford. Higher premiums are bad news for consumers and great news for insurance companies.”

Medicare is taking a huge hit, as of today, the Medicare Trust Fund is projected to have enough money to pay 100 percent of benefits through 2028. With the new bill, it shortens the timeline cutting 4-years which opens the door for future cuts and potentially turning Medicare into a Voucher System. Vouchers would increase healthcare costs for all current and future retirees.

Medicaid will also take a major hit, which is a vital lifeline that cover health care and long-term care for millions of Americans. The bill will shift costs onto states cause cuts to critical services in the future. This could hinder individuals who want to live independently in their homes and communities.

So who exactly is the American Health Care Act helping? We’ll make it simple, Drug Companies. The huge tax break will be given with nothing ask in return. No provisions are currently addressed for the skyrocketing cost of prescriptions. There isn’t even restrictions to control the cost of medical care at all.

“Our current health care system certainly isn’t perfect. There is a lot of room for improvement, and AARP stands ready to work with both parties on legislation that put Americans’ health care first. Unfortunately, that’s not what the American Health Care Act does. We cannot support policies that make health care less affordable and less secure for the millions of Americans that we represent.”