Are your medications causing nutrient deficiency?

Long-term use of some medications, such as proton-pump inhibitors and statins, may lead to deficiencies of certain nutrients in the body. Deficiencies may occur because a medication interferes with the body’s ability to absorb a nutrient from dietary sources, or because a medication interferes with natural processes needed to produce nutrients. Medications may cause deficiencies of several nutrients at a time. Symptoms of deficiency may not be obvious. Doctors must supervise diagnosis and treatment of deficiency, sometimes by ordering tests to check nutrient levels in the body. (Locked) More »

Do we lose memories forever?

Scientists used to assume that memories lost to dementia were permanently lost. Now, some research suggests that memories aren’t lost but are buried deeper in the brain. (Locked) More »

At what age is alcohol use unsafe?

When older adults drink alcohol, they may be increasing their risk of falls. Otherwise, drinking alcohol in the older years poses the same risks as it does in the younger years. (Locked) More »

A workout for your brain

Some hospitals, research centers, and private practices offer brain fitness programs. They typically include a combination of physical exercise, cognitive training, good nutrition, better sleep, and meditation. Look for programs that offer a multidisciplinary approach with a neurologist, psychologist, social worker, physical therapist, and dietitian. Beware of promises of cures, and don’t assume that doing well on a computer game means there is improvement in cognition. Look for programs that measure the biological effect of the training and experts who can explain the results and how they plan to use that information. More »

The top 5 benefits of cycling

Bike riding has many health benefits. It’s easy on the joints, it’s an aerobic workout, it builds muscle and bone, and it helps with everyday activities, such as walking and stair climbing. People who have heart disease, arthritis, or thinning bones should be cleared for bike riding by their doctors. People with osteoporosis may consider riding a tricycle, which is more stable than a two-wheeler, posing less of a fall risk. The seat height should allow a slight bend at the knee at the pedal’s lowest point.  (Locked) More »

Coming to a shelf near you: The new Nutrition Facts labels

The new Nutrition Facts labels on food packages will have a refreshed design to help consumers make healthier food choices. Among the changes are a larger, bold type style for information about calories, servings per container, and serving sizes. Serving sizes will be changed to reflect the amounts of food people actually eat. The labels will remove the “calories from fat” line while continuing to list types of fat. And for the first time, the label will include a line about added sugars, so consumers will know how many grams of sweeteners have been added to foods during processing. (Locked) More »

Protecting your independence and health with transportation options

Driving cessation and a lack of transportation puts people at risk for chronic disease, malnutrition, isolation, loneliness, and depression. But there are transportation alternatives, such as government-sponsored affordable rides; volunteer driving services; private-duty care drivers; shuttles from retirement facilities; and nonprofit groups that to provide rides for older adults and people with disabilities. Experts advise older adults to consider transportation alternatives well before they stop driving, especially if they have a chronic condition that will make it difficult to drive in the future.  (Locked) More »