Health news that caught our attention in 2022
Colin Rose is a Senior Associate Member of the Royal Society of Medicine, and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is the Founder and Director of Research and Innovation of Uni-Vite Healthcare and author of a recent book: Delay Ageing: Healthy to 100, where he reveals how to slow ageing and, therefore, help prevent later-life illness.
New blood test can flag up Alzheimer’s years in advance
A new blood test was announced in December 2022 that can pick up small, misfolded and toxic beta amyloid proteins which scientists believe trigger the development of Alzheimer's. And discover them before any overt signs of cognitive impairment or memory loss.
Developed at the University of Washington, it is a potential breakthrough because early detection and defensive action is essential.
Meantime our article on a comprehensive programme to help avoid dementia is here How you can avoid Alzheimer's - NutriShield
Good hydration linked to fewer health problems
Adults who stay well-hydrated appear to be healthier, develop fewer chronic conditions, and live longer than those who may not get sufficient fluids.
Data gathered from 11,255 adults over a 30-year period, shows that sodium levels -- which go up when fluid intake goes down – are an important indicator of health. Adults with serum sodium levels at the higher end were more likely to develop chronic conditions and show signs of advanced biological ageing than those with serum sodium levels in the medium ranges.
"The results suggest that proper hydration may slow down aging and prolong a disease-free life," said Dr Natalia Dmitrieva, a study author and researcher in the Laboratory of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
The US National Academies of Medicine suggests that most women should consume around 6-9 cups (1.5-2.2 litres) of fluids daily and for men, 8-12 cups (2-3 litres).
Positive effects of omega-3 on the brain confirmed
Some 60% of your brain is constructed of fat, and half of that fat is comprised of omega-3 fatty acids. Your brain uses omega-3s from the diet to build brain and nerve cells, which are essential for learning and memory.
We know that deficiencies in omega-3s (and B12) are linked to learning impairments and depression. Conversely, omega-3 may slow age-related mental decline and help prevent Alzheimer’s disease 1,2,3,4.
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the most important types of omega-3 fats, and they are found in oily fish like salmon and sardines - and algae.
You can also get omega-3 from seeds and nuts, like flax seeds and walnuts. These foods contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), but only a relatively small part can be converted into EPA and DHA in your body.
There is no official RDA for omega-3, but averaging several respected sources indicates that adults should aim for approximately 600mg combined EPA and DHA per day. You could get that from 2 servings of oily fish a week.
That’s also the level in NutriShield Premium or Essentials – which also contain polyphenols like green tea, grapeseed and bilberry extract. Plus betaine in NutriShield Premium, all of which have a role in keeping the brain and heart healthy.
- Novel insights into the effect of vitamin B₁₂ and omega-3 fatty acids on brain function - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids and Oxylipins in Neuroinflammation and Management of Alzheimer Disease - PubMed (nih.gov)
- The pleiotropic effects of omega-3 docosahexaenoic acid on the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Association between fish consumption and risk of dementia: a new study from China and a systematic literature review and meta-analysis - PubMed (nih.gov)
The best omega-3 dose for reducing blood pressure
600mg of omega-3 keeps you healthy, but what if you need to combat a condition eg heart disease or high blood pressure? The latter is not uncommon as blood pressure tends to rise with age.
The American Heart Association (AHA) has long recommended that people with coronary heart disease take omega-3 supplements containing EPA and DHA daily. Their suggestion was typically 850mg to 1,000 mg. This followed a study on 11,000 people with heart issues who took an 850mg dose of combined EPA and DHA every day for 3.5 years. They experienced a 25% reduction in heart attacks and a 45% reduction in sudden death.
A new review in the Journal of the American Heart Association2, however, suggests the optimal dose of omega-3 to reduce blood pressure may be as high as 2-3 grams a day.
Overall, 71 clinical trials were reviewed published over a 30-year period, including nearly 5,000 participants ranging in age from 22 to 86 years. Participants took dietary and/or prescription supplement sources of fatty acids for an average of 10 weeks.
This level equates to about 3-5 servings of oily fish a week. [Note that if you are on blood thinners like Warfarin, this level of supplementation may thin the blood further, so needs to be carefully monitored.]
- Dietary supplementation with n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and vitamin E after myocardial infarction: results of the GISSI-Prevenzione trial. Gruppo Italiano per lo Studio della Sopravvivenza nell'Infarto miocardico - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Omega‐3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids Intake and Blood Pressure: A Dose‐Response Meta‐Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials | Journal of the American Heart Association (ahajournals.org)
Fruit, vegetable and plant juices that can reduce blood pressure
Omega 3 is not the only nutrient that affects heart health, of course.
A randomized pilot study1 shows that the juice of raw and cooked beetroot improved blood pressure. But the effect of raw beetroot juice was stronger.
Beets are rich in dietary nitrates, a compound known to have blood pressure-lowering effects. They strengthen artery walls, reduce inflammation and also contain betaine which lowers homocysteine levels which are otherwise a risk for cardio problems.
There is 450mg of betaine in NutriShield.
Pomegranates are rich in folate and vitamin C, and have an anti-inflammatory impact.
A literature review2 of eight randomized, controlled trials found that consuming pomegranate juice may help lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. If you do drink pomegranate juice, ensure it has no added sugar.
Black and green tea are both derived from the same plant Camellia sinensis. Both can help lower hypertension over the long term, but green tea has a more pronounced effect3.
A clear conclusion from especially microbiome research is that ensuring a variety of foods over the week’s intake is vital. So, you may want to include some of the above drinks in your diet.
- Improvement of hypertension, endothelial function and systemic inflammation following short-term supplementation with red beet (Beta vulgaris L.) juice: a randomized crossover pilot study - PubMed (nih.gov)
- Effects of pomegranate juice on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials - ScienceDirect
- The effects of regular consumption of green or black tea beverage on blood pressure in those with elevated blood pressure or hypertension: A systematic review and meta-analysis - PubMed (nih.gov)
Probiotics can tackle inflammation
Changes in the composition of gut microbes and gut permeability (leaky gut) are among the main sources of inflammation in tissues. This inflammation is linked strongly to ageing and most age-related diseases.
A review of studies over the period 1990 to 2020 provided evidence that probiotic supplementation can significantly improve inflammatory markers in healthy seniors – markers like C-reactive protein and cytokine levels.
Top anti-inflammatory strains appeared to include Lactobacillus acidophilus, L. plantarum, Streptococcus thermophilus, L. paracasei, Bacillus coagulans, Bifidobacterium bifidum, Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium lactis.
We were pleased to see that this new research validated our own research and strains in MicroBiotic Plus MicroBiotic Plus - Best and Most Effective Probiotic for Women and Men (uni-vite.com)
The biggest health trend of 2022? Advances in healthy ageing
Spurred by major discoveries of the interlinked causes of ageing, Google, Bezos, Zuckerberg and numerous other Silicon Valley tycoons are investing billions in research.
But most of the ways to counteract the ageing process – and therefore the diseases related to ageing – do not need high tech procedures or novel drugs. They are based on nutrition and lifestyle.
We created a 5-part article series to inform you of these – and if you haven’t already read the articles – here are the links.
The top food plans of 2022
US News & World Report just released its top diets for 2022. The winners? The Mediterranean and DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diets.
Thanks for reading
I spend my time researching the new science of healthy, successful ageing. And how to extend health span rather than just lifespan.
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NutriShield Premium Health Supplement
NutriShield Premium was originally designed by Dr Paul Clayton, former Chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine.
It contains 6 different capsules, combining a total of 43 powerful nutrients to support healthy ageing and has been updated and improved every year since 2002 based on the newest longevity research.
Delay Ageing book explains the ageing process and how you can postpone it
Medical researchers agree that if you slow ageing, you also delay the onset of age-related disease. And we know that it’s not just nutrition. Sleep, reducing stress and cardio and strength exercise are also essential to longevity and ageing well.
My book Delay Ageing: Healthy to 100, published in 2020, explains the latest ageing science in an accessible way.
It’s been rated 5-star and I am sure you will get a lot of benefit from it, as so many have already.
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