Multiple Sclerosis is a relevant human condition for our Well Past Forty Project which merits mention – and I’ll take that for action.
A Master of Science graduate degree? Not “that” M.S.”
“M.S.” as the subject of this post, is a rather ominous sounding condition for far too many folks – METABOLIC SYNDROME.
Too many Americans – as in three (3) million each year become part of this infographic’s terrible statistics (Thank you, Dr. Axe). OY!
And, if age 60 is indeed the new 40, we’ve got a major societal problem.
Aussies label Metabolic Syndrome as “CHAOS” – for good reason! “It affects one in five people, and prevalence increases with age. Some studies estimate the prevalence in the USA to be up to 25% of the population.”
Are there markers for a “3 outta 5” cluster on which your Primary Care Physician will alert?
Definitely – review entries in this American Heart Association table for five (5) possible eye-opener ELEVATIONS or epiphanies:
Elevated waist circumference:
Men — Equal to or greater than 40 inches (102 cm)
Women — Equal to or greater than 35 inches (88 cm)
(I’ll blog more about pear- and apple-shaped silhouettes in a future post – visceral and subcutaneous fat locations matter!)
2. Elevated triglyceride levels:
Equal to or greater than 150 mg/dL
3. Reduced HDL (“good”) cholesterol:
Men — Less than 40 mg/dL
Women — Less than 50 mg/dL
4. Elevated blood pressure:
Equal to or greater than 130/85 mm Hg, or use of medication for hypertension
5. Elevated fasting glucose:
Equal to or greater than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L), or use of medication for hyperglycemia
(Our American Diabetes Association is in stride with these AHA markers above).
Americans – We HAVE MAJOR PROBLEMS here!
Is there hope for millions of us? It depends, regrettably.
If a person chooses to break away from CHAOS, a statistical answer is YES (if and when he or she complies with lifestyle, diet and fitness improvements).
Herman Wouk wrote some pretty fine fiction and won a Pulitzer Prize.
After he celebrated his 100th birthday, his good words (from a WSJ article by Marc Myers) about life are worth a scan!
“when you reach my age, you don’t yearn for friends who are no longer here… I do have the same excitement each morning when I see the sun. That sense of enjoying being alive is still very real. When you reach 100, you’re glad you’re alive. Very glad.”
Atlantic and NPR also cited his longevity and good words:
Ten Rules of Thumb, which I’ve gathered from professional sources, suggest that longevity can be guesstimated by:
Lung capacity (which can generally relate to low resting heart rates) – see: fitness age . A related rule of thumb: How quickly one can expel all of one’s lung capacity. Your VO2 MAX is a good parameter to know.
Strong grip / handshake strength
Do well on a sitting rising test aka SRT (honest!) What’s this test? How many times can you get up from a sitting position (knees crossed) without assistance? More sit-rises means longer lifespans.
Live in a “blue zone” and/or practice what centenarians do in them (eg. Seventh Day Adventists, Okinawans). Right – “Mediterranean” diet and other factors help to maintain blood pressure levels under control. Click to Eating to Break 100.
Satchel Paige was spot on – “everything in moderation”. Live smartly -> counter the four causes of free radicals and bodily inflammation (which are: smoking, sun burns, stress and EXERCISE). Yes – be sure to replenish your body with plenty of natural anti-oxidants after exercise (Top anti-inflammatory-foods). Judiciously use ergogenic supplements if your natural sources are inadequate (Doctor’s supervision).
Don’t Eat Crap, As Younger Next Year (Crowley and Dodge) assert. Well, you can and should go off the reservation occasionally. Then get back to the reservation!
Avoid Falling by getting (keeping) your toes, feet, lower legs strong and stable (BALANCE)
A gallon of gas costs less than a good cup of coffee, but it seems America still has a serious energy crisis. Boomers—folks 50-plus—who probably should know better, are downing more and more energy drinks to fuel their endeavors or just make it to bedtime. Some are getting more than they bargained for: ER visits due to heavy consumption of energy drinks are up, especially among men over 40. The massive caffeine dump can increase blood pressure and heart rate and even cause symptoms that can be mistaken for a heart attack. Can’t remember where you stashed your energy? Try these expert-endorsed solutions to help you find it again.
1. Buster:Too-big meals A huge dinner sends blood to the digestive tract and away from muscles and other areas that need it for energy, says Michael F. Roizen, M.D., chief wellness officer at Cleveland Clinic and author of This is Your Do-Over: The 7 Secrets to Losing Weight, Living Longer, and Getting a Second Chance at the Life You Want (Scribner). What’s worse: “Over time, those big meals probably cause damage to mitochondria, the cells’ energy factories,” Roizen says. The sugar dump from a big plate of food produces more cell-damaging free radicals than your natural antioxidant defenses can handle, and your mitochondria may take the hit.
Booster: Smaller snacks Eat throughout the day for ongoing energy. At snack time, don’t just eat pretzels. “Every snack should have complex carbs plus protein,” says Elizabeth Ward, RD, author of several nutrition books. Add peanut butter or cottage cheese to that pretzel break.
2. Buster: Your “bad” bacteria Your gut is home to an array of bacteria, some beneficial, others not. “You eat steak, you change the bacteria inside your gut to those that like steak,” says Roizen. Too many of these “bad” bugs leads to inflammation, which saps energy.
Booster: Probiotics Start taking a probiotic pill, such as Digestive Advantage (available at Walmart and drugstores), every day to repopulate the gut with “good” bacteria, Roizen suggests.
3. Buster: Your older gut People over 50 sometimes have trouble absorbing nutrients, such as B12, from natural sources like red meat. “B12 is involved in nerve conduction, and the central nervous system is involved in feeling fatigued,” Ward says.
Booster: Take supplements or eat fortified grains “It’s recommended that you get the majority of nutrients in fortified foods or as dietary supplements,” says Ward. Roizen suggests half a multivitamin in the morning and half at night to keep the level in your body steady (you lose the soluble vitamins in 12 to 16 hours).
4. Buster: Your meds Sometimes the drugs you take to keep you healthy can have an impact on energy production, says Ward. “Certain diuretics deplete potassium, for example. That can lead to an energy slump,” she says.
Booster: Fill in the gaps with supplements Talk to your doctor. “You’ve got to drill down and find the potential nutrient interactions and compensate,” says Ward.
5. Buster: Lack of protein “I find people, especially women, are really short on their protein. They save it up for dinner,” says Ward.
Booster: Eat protein at every meal and snack “Getting 20 to 30 grams of protein per meal is a very good way to give your body a steady source of amino acids that it needs to build neurotransmitters, which help you to feel in a good mood and more energetic or awake,” says Ward. Her favorite sources of concentrated protein: Greek nonfat yogurt and cottage cheese. Her favorite protein tips:
» Blend cottage cheese and marinara in a blender for creamy, high-protein pasta sauce.
» Mix cottage cheese with fruit, honey and nuts and add to whole-grain toast for a high-protein breakfast.
6. Buster: Your weight Being overweight saps your energy.
Booster: Walnuts before meals Try this: 30 minutes before a meal, have six walnut halves. “That decreases your desire for food because when it hits your intestinal wall, it decreases ghrelin production,” says Roizen. (Ghrelin is a hormone that makes you hungry.)
Bonus: Walnuts contain an amino acid that helps blood vessels dilate for better blood flow. More blood flow means better delivery of ATP, a coenzyme known as the “energy currency of life,” to muscles, Roizen says.
7. Buster: Sugar Sugars “give you that energy rush, but you’ll pay for it” with an energy crash, says Ward. “In the long term, sugary food and drinks inhibit your blood flow,” says Roizen. Without good blood flow, nutrients aren’t delivered where you need them for get-up-and-go.
Booster:Complex carbs “Foods rich in complex carbohydrates almost always have vitamins, minerals and fiber in them. Complex carbs take longer to digest, so you get a more even source of energy rather than the sugar rollercoaster,” says Ward.
8. Buster: Alcohol “Alcohol is an energy drainer. You have one or two drinks and you just don’t sleep as deeply,” says Ward.
Booster:Water Skip the booze, and drink more water. Dehydration contributes to fatigue.
9. Buster: Staying up late Not enough Zs leaves you depleted.
Booster: Go to bed one hour earlier Can’t fall asleep? Take 1/2 to 3 milligrams of melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone supplement, two hours before bed. Don’t take more or for more than two weeks at a time, says Roizen.
10. Buster: Your electronics Blue wavelength light can inhibit your body’s natural production of melatonin.
Booster:Banish the blues “Eliminate TVs and cell phones in your bedroom,” Roizen suggests. You can find red wavelength lights that filter out blue light in the hardware store.
11. Buster: A ribose deficiency Ribose is a sugar produced by the body that’s essential for mitochondria to create energy-producing ATP. “Some people with chronic fatigue aren’t making it efficiently,” says Roizen.
Booster: Ribose supplements Start with 500 milligrams three times a day. Work up to 5 grams total per day, Roizen suggests.
12. Buster: Medical conditions Thyroid dysfunction is one common cause of low energy.
Booster: Get your thyroid checked You’ll need medication if your levels are low.
13. Buster: Too much sitting “Sedentary people typically have lower-than-average energy levels,” says Patrick O’Connor, PhD, a professor in the Department of Kinesiology at University of Georgia.
Booster: Any type of exercise “A single 20- to 40-minute bout of exercise reliably increases feelings of energy,” says O’Connor.
14. Buster: Low-grade infections Gingivitis and sinus infections are energy zappers.
Booster:Mouth and sinus TLC Get your teeth cleaned twice a year and brush and floss
routinely. If you’re prone to sinus infections, rinse your nasal passages with a Neti pot (a nasal irrigation system that flushes out mucus), Roizen suggests.
15. Buster: Boredom “People are energized when they have fun,” says Roizen.
Booster:Pursue an interest “When we see people who have a lack of energy,” says Roizen, “we ask them two questions: ‘How are you sleeping?’ and ‘What’s your passion?’ If they can’t tell us that second thing, we know that’s one of the things that is needed to get them energized about life.”
Please consider these anti-aging food hints from biotrustnews.com:
“Reader Question: I just turned 40 and more than ever want to do everything I can to slow the aging process. I’ve heard about anti-aging nutrients, but I’m not sure what foods these are in. Can you steer me in the right direction? Thanks!
-Catherine Z., Texas
Joel’s Answer: Hi Catherine, yes, absolutely! If you’re in your 40s, 50s, or even 70s and want to defy each passing year while promoting more youthful hair, nails and skin, the below 7 foods will help you stock up on some of the most powerful anti-aging nutrients around.
1. Olive Oil – Not only do the monounsaturated fats contained in olive oil support healthy arteries and a healthy heart, but olive oil also contains polyphenols, a potent anti-oxidant that may help prevent a number of age-related diseases. We recommend organic extra virgin olive oil for the most anti-aging bang for your buck.
2. Red Wine – That’s right, a glass of wine daily may indeed have a positive effect on your health due to its resveratrol content, a unique anti-oxidant that can help fight against diabetes, heart disease, and age-related memory loss.
3. Beans – The unique proteins in beans thicken and strengthen your hair cells, so you can enjoy a full head of hair as you lengthen your years. 🙂
4. Brazil Nuts – Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, a mineral which aids in the production of the anti-oxidant glutathione to help slow down the skin aging process. Just 2 nuts a day will provide you with enough selenium to reap its anti-aging benefits.
5. Tomatoes – Tomatoes are rich in lycopene, which has been shown to support heart health and healthy cholesterol levels as you age. Lycopene also acts as a natural sun block to keep skin youthful and protected from harmful UV rays.
6. Raspberries & Blueberries – These two berries contain important anti-oxidants to help offset inflammation and oxidative stress that contribute to skin aging and wrinkles. Just one serving of either or these berries contains more anti-oxidants than 10 servings of most other fruits and vegetables!
7. Organic Eggs – Despite the bad rap eggs get because of their cholesterol content, which is based on completely erroneous science, eggs are rich in biotin and iron which help to promote healthy, youthful skin and hair.”
Even with these great anti-inflammatory foods – active folks MAY still need supplements.