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Avoiding sarcopenia can prolong your life

Avoiding sarcopenia can help you draw your pension for 30 years

Avoiding sarcopenia can prolong your life NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Who doesn’t want to enjoy their retirement to the full? Savouring the fact of having “outsmarted” the pension provider by living healthier and longer than the actuarial tables predicted.

To do that, you need to avoid sarcopenia.

Sarcopenia is loss of lean muscle mass and strength

Sarcopenia not a term that trips off the tongue or is often mentioned in health articles. But we are all vulnerable to it – especially over the age of 60.

It’s the progressive loss of lean muscle mass and strength as you get older. Sarcopenia greatly increases the risk of disability, of osteoporosis (bone loss), of insulin resistance, fatigue, falls, poor quality of life, and premature death.

And it’s a very significant factor in the health care costs faced by the elderly, their family, and indeed the state.

One medical article defines sarcopenia as:

“a downward spiral that leads to decreased strength and functionality – frailty”.

Put another way, you don’t get to enjoy that retirement for as long as, or in the style, you hoped.

But there’s good news. You can start to reverse sarcopenia in as little as 2- 3 weeks. At any age.

The (muscle mass) ages of man (and woman)

From birth to about 30 years old, your muscles grow larger and stronger.

But during your 30s, you begin to lose muscle mass and function.

From then onwards, you lose about 5% of your muscle mass per decade, so by 60 you are some 20% weaker.

Sarcopenia can then accelerate, so that by 80 you may have lost as much as 50% of your muscle mass as a young adult.

The vicious circle of muscle mass and calories

Since muscle burns energy (calories), you either need to eat less and less, or you become progressively fatter.

Eating less reduces your nutrition at just the time you should be increasing it.

Becoming fatter drives the weakening process even further.

Moreover fat, especially fat around the midriff, releases toxic compounds that increase inflammation and free radical damage to DNA.  These are the two key factors in heart disease, stroke and cancer.

So it’s a vicious circle that’s vital to break.

Factors causing sarcopenia

Lack of physical exercise is a key factor in sarcopenia, but other factors include:

  • reduced levels of growth hormone
  • reduced testosterone (in both men and women)
  • a decrease in the ability to digest protein and turn protein into energy
  • neurological decline
  • increased inflammation and oxidative stress (free radical damage) in body tissues
  • reduced functioning of mitochondria (the tiny energy factories in each body cell)

Contributing to all these negative factors is widespread sub-optimal nutritional intake.

Indeed, the US National Library of Medicine concludes:

“Adequate nutrition and targeted exercise remain the gold standard for therapy against sarcopenia”.

So to stay strong as you age – and revel in that long retirement – exactly what nutrition do you need and what exercise works to stave off the threat of sarcopenia?

The six-point plan to beat sarcopenia

It may shock you to learn that most of us now normally spend at least 20 hours of every day inactive!

That’s 8 hours asleep, 8 hours in a sedentary job and at least 4 hours a day relaxing on a couch. If you include sitting down to eat, it can be more!

ONE – EXERCISE

Exercise stimulates the release of hormones that promote healthy muscle mass. These include testosterone and growth hormone, which act throughout the body. The regime you need to start warding off progressive weakness can be as simple as:

Fast walking while swinging your arms
. This should be for about 30 minutes on 5 days a week, but vigorous housework also counts.  That’s a total of just 2.5 hours over a 112 hour waking week. Fast walking builds muscle in the legs, increases aerobic capacity and improves the activity of mitochondrial enzymes – which is why exercise increases energy levels.

But walking alone is not enough. You also need to include some strength training or resistance training exercises to avoid muscle loss. Fortunately, I am NOT talking about pumping iron!

Try these 4 simple strength builders that need no gym:

Press-ups – or press-aways. Press-aways are as simple as standing away from a wall, leaning into it and then pressing yourself away from the wall.

Repeat this at least 10-15 times or as many times as you can. Day by day you will find you can do more ‘press-ups’ or ‘press-aways’.

Dumbbell Lifts. Avoiding sarcopenia can prolong your life NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsStand with a dumbbell in each hand with your elbows bent so the dumbbells are level with your shoulders. Then raise your arms towards the ceiling. Repeat as many times as you feel comfortable – but at least 10 – 15 times.

You don’t even need dumbbells – bags of sugar will do.

Bicep Curls. Take your dumbbells or bags of sugar, one in each hand. Sit upright in a chair with your spine against the back of the chair. Your arms should be at your side, level with your knees.

Bend your arms at the elbow and lift the weights to become level with your shoulder. But keep your arms tight in against your body and don’t lean your body forward. Repeat about 10-15 times.

Half Squats against a wall. Stand with your back leaning lightly against a wall, with your legs placed slightly wider than your shoulders.

Bend your knees, sliding your bottom down the wall. Keep your kneecaps in a vertical line with your foot.

If you can, lower yourself down until your position is as if you’re sitting on an invisible chair. Hold for a few seconds before raising yourself back up. Repeat 10 to 15 times.

These four strength-builder exercises will increase your mobility, and combined with walking, will help prevent arthritis, diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

Once you have mastered these four, check out other older-adult exercise videos on YouTube. Yoga and Pilates also often incorporate similar exercises to these to add strength training to their excellent suppleness and mobility activities.

It is NEVER too late to start strength training – and it is fundamental to slowing and preventing the march of sarcopenia!

TWO – PROTEIN

Women over 60 in particular may eat less protein than they need.

Protein is key to repairing and building muscle fibres. The recommendation is 1 gram per kilo of body weight a day. So a 65 kilo woman will need 65g of good quality protein per day.

The amino acid Leucine seems especially important to stimulate muscle synthesis and is found in meats, eggs and milk but also in seeds, lentils, beans and nuts.

Protein is important after exercise. Although it does not enhance athletic performance, it assists muscle recovery. You may want to consider a protein drink on occasions.

THREE – OMEGA 3

Supplementation with Omega 3 fatty acids increases the rate of protein synthesis in older adults – according to a well-conducted study.

Avoiding sarcopenia can prolong your life NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsBut Omega 3 has another benefit – it helps reduce internal inflammation which is a contributor to sarcopenia.

A 2015 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that supplementing with omega-3 fish oil slowed the normal decline in muscle mass and function in older adults. They proposed that:

Omega 3 should be considered a therapeutic approach for preventing sarcopenia and maintaining physical independence in older adults”.

Vegetarians can supplement with Omega 3 derived from flax seed – although this vegan form is slightly less effectively metabolised.

FOUR – BALANCE HORMONES

The levels of some hormones in older adults are as much as two thirds less than in a teenager.

Anti-ageing researchers are concentrating on testosterone which is essential in maintaining lean muscle mass – as well as bone mass.

Fortunately, you can increase the level of this hormone in men and women naturally. (Although women, of course, naturally have lower testosterone levels, the hormone is still important in creating lean muscle mass and crucial in the production of oestrogen.)

Avoiding sarcopenia can prolong your life NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsTestosterone levels increase by attaining a normal weight and with exercise. Your diet and cooking should include nuts, beans, olive oil and garlic – all of which contain compounds that have been found to positively affect testosterone levels.

Any supplement should include a full range of anti-oxidants like vitamins A, C, E, plus vitamin D3 and zinc, which are precursors to testosterone production. An Australian study on 685 older adults concluded that supplementation with vitamin D, combined with exercise, significantly improved lean muscle mass.

Another study in Endocrine Abstracts showed that a glass of pomegranate juice a day was linked to an average increase of 23% in testosterone levels – and the side benefit was an improvement in mood and a drop in blood pressure.

What not to eat?  Sugars and carbohydrate lead to a surge in insulin levels and high levels of insulin reduce blood levels of testosterone. And drinking too much alcohol can weaken muscles as well as remove important nutrients from your body.

FIVE – EAT AN ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DIET

Inflammation that builds up in body tissues over time is now acknowledged in the medical literature to be a key driver of most age-related diseases – certainly it is central to heart disease, stroke, diabetes and sexual dysfunction in men. It also creates the conditions where cancer can more easily metastasise. It is a major health threat.

This link will take you to a printable recommendation of a food plan that will significantly lower inflammation and, with it, sarcopenia. It pulls together the best health research from universities like Cambridge, Harvard, Berkeley and Tufts into one simple plan.

Avoiding sarcopenia can prolong your life NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

SIX – TAKE A COMPREHENSIVE SUPPLEMENT

As we get older, the threats to health increase, so the level of nutrition we need to maintain the health of our bodies increases. But at precisely the same time, the body’s ability to absorb that nutrition begins to weaken.

In conjunction with Dr Paul Clayton – a previous Chair of the Forum on Food and Health at the Royal Society of Medicine – we designed a nutritional supplement for the over 50s called Nutrishield Premium.

Nutrishield is high in vitamins, minerals, D3, Omega 3 and a range of anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant nutrients.

 

Follow this 6 point plan to live healthier, stronger, and longer. And outsmart that pension provider!


If you enjoyed this article, please share it with family and friends. You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily headline health tweets.

Avoiding sarcopenia can prolong your life NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsAvoiding sarcopenia can prolong your life NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsAvoiding sarcopenia can prolong your life NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Avoiding sarcopenia can prolong your life NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsAnd register now for a free regular e-newsletter on the latest in nutrition and health research.


Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive healthAvoiding sarcopenia can prolong your life NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients including Vitamin D. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.


Avoiding sarcopenia can prolong your life NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsDr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from bookstores or from Uni-Vite Healthcare here.

A free summary report and the opportunity to read the book online is available here.


See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook  incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet. Avoiding sarcopenia can prolong your life NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals


References:

Sarcopenia: European consensus on definition and diagnosis. Report of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in Older People. Alfonso J. Cruz-Jentoft et al : Age Ageing. 2010 Jul; 39(4): 412–423.

Sarcopenia in older adults. Jeremy D. Walston; Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2012 Nov; 24(6): 623–627.

Dietary omega-3 fatty acid supplementation increases the rate of muscle protein synthesis in older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Smith GI, Atherton P, Reeds DN, Mohammed BS, Rankin D, Rennie MJ, Mittendorfer B. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011 Feb;93(2):402-12. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.110.005611. Epub 2010 Dec 15.

Fish oil-derived n-3 PUFA therapy increases muscle mass and function in healthy older adults. Smith GI, Julliand S, Reeds DN, Sinacore DR, Klein S, Mittendorfer B. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015 Jul;102(1):115-22. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.114.105833. Epub 2015 May 20.

Novel Insights on Nutrient Management of Sarcopenia in Elderly. Mariangela Rondanelli, Milena Faliva, Francesca Monteferrario, Gabriella Peroni, Erica Repaci, Francesca Allieri, and Simone Perna; Biomed Res Int. 2015: 524948.

A prospective study of the associations between 25-hydroxy-vitamin D, sarcopenia progression and physical activity in older adults. Scott D, Blizzard L, Fell J, Ding C, Winzenberg T, Jones G. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 2010 Nov;73(5):581-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2010.03858.x.

Pomegranate juice intake enhances salivary testosterone levels and improves mood and well being in healthy men and women. Emad Al-Dujaili & Nacer Smail. Endocrine Abstracts (2012) 28 p313.

Exercise and the stress system. Mastorakos G, Pavlatou M, amanti-Kandarakis E, Chrousos GP. Hormones (Athens). 2005 Apr;4(2):73-89.

The pathogenetic bases of sarcopenia. Simona L. Budui, Andrea P. Rossi, and Mauro Zamboni;  Clin Cases Miner Bone Metab. 2015 Jan-Apr; 12(1): 22–26.

 

 


8 reasons why chia seeds should be on your shopping list

Chia seeds are a nutrient-dense superfood

Chia’ means strength in the Mayan language, and in Mexico – where they originally come from – they were once even used as currency. They are the dried seeds of the Salvia hispanica plant.

8 reasons why chia seeds should be on your shopping list NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

Chia seeds are high in fibre, very ‘nutrient dense’ and can give you a low-calorie energy boost. In fact, Aztec soldiers used to eat chia seeds for endurance on a long march – so the seeds were known as ‘runners’ food’.

Since they are so rich in nutrients (see below), chia seeds have many proven benefits:

  1. Heart health

    When eaten with a liquid – for example, sprinkled over your breakfast cereal – the fibre in chia seeds forms a gel that has been shown to lower cholesterol.

    Chia seeds also contain nutrients that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Since internal inflammation in body tissues is a key driver of heart disease and stroke (and some cancers), a diet that’s high in anti-inflammatory nurients is important for your health. (See the free e-booklet “Inflamm-ageing” here).

    The heart-healthy benefit of chia seeds is further boosted by the fact that they are a very good vegetarian source of Omega 3. Their high content of Alpha Linolenic Acid (ALA) is converted into Omega 3 – although not as powerfully as in fish oil.

    Linolenic acid helps with the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, E, D and K.  Studies have shown that chia seeds can also help prevent damaging high triglyceride levels in the bloodstream.

    Medical News Today recommends chia seeds as “an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, rich in antioxidants, providing fibre, iron, and calcium.”

  2. Filling, low calorie and very low carb

    The fibre/gel effect we noted means that a meal that includes chia seeds will make you feel fuller longer, which should help in weight maintenance.

    The fibre/gel formed when chia seeds absorb water can also act as a prebiotic which in turn acts as food for healthy probiotics – the beneficial ‘friendly bacteria’ that have other benefits including improved immune function.

  3. Good for digestion

    Because of their very high fibre content (35%) – chia seeds are good for digestion. Indeed just 75g (3 ounces) provides 30g of fibre – the recommended daily level that most modern diets fail to reach. The high fibre content also means that chia seeds contribute to healthy regular bowel movements.

  4. Stabilises blood sugar – essential to help prevent and reverse diabetes

    This high fibre content means that the seeds – like flax seeds – help keep blood sugar levels steady and balance insulin levels. So diabetics should definitely include them regularly in their diet.

    An animal study reported in the British Journal of Nutrition 2009 showed that rats on an incredibly high sugar diet – 62.5% sugar – when also fed chia seeds, did not develop insulin resistance as would certainly be expected.

    Insulin resistance is, of course, the pre-cursor of diabetes. In a second part of this same study, rats who already had diabetes began to recover. Of special importance was the fact that their belly fat was reduced. It is this ‘belly fat’ or technically ‘visceral adipose tissue’ that releases damaging toxic and inflammatory compounds into the bloodstream.

    A review by the National Institute of Medicine found that diets with 30 grams of fibre for every 2,000 calories were associated with significant reductions in the risk of both coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

  5. Part of ‘anti-ageing’ diet

    Chia seeds are high in anti-oxidants which means they help fight excess free radicals that are strongly linked to premature ageing and damage to DNA. That also makes them good for healthy skin appearance.

  6. Stronger bones

    Chia seeds contain both calcium and boron – important elements for sturdier healthier bones.

  7. Ideal for work-outs

    Chia seeds absorb up to 10 times their own weight of water. This means they can keep you hydrated longer and improve the absorption of electrolytes. Plus they are a good source of minerals you need to replace like zinc, magnesium, copper and niacin (B3).

    The capacity of chia seeds to absorb water, however, means that people who have difficulty swallowing should take care – and very small children should avoid chia seeds for the same reason.

  8. In pregnancy

    Omega 3 is an important nutrient for a growing baby’s brain. Chia seeds are one of the best sources of vegetarian derived Omega 3.

How to include chia seeds in your diet

Unlike flax seeds, you do not need to grind up chia seeds to obtain their full nutritional benefits. You can, however, soak them in water for about 30 minutes before use if you want them in gel form – at about a 1 to 6 ratio of chia seeds to water.

If you grind them, however, store in a glass container in a fridge. Being high in polyunsaturated fatty acids, they can otherwise oxidise.

Because they are slightly nutty and mild in flavour, there are many easy ways to chia-enrich your diet:

  • Add chia seeds to home-made smoothies*
  • Add chia to cereals
  • Add chia to stir fries
  • Add chia to rice dishes
  • Add chia to baked recipes
  • Eat chia seeds raw – but chew thoroughly
  • You can even replace eggs with chia in some dishes. Grind and add water. Check out recipes.

*For a nutrient-dense smoothie, blend 2 tablespooons of chia seeds with 2 cups of spinach, a cup of strawberries and one of blueberries. It’s an anti-oxidant fest!

Nutritional content of chia seeds

Chia seeds are very low in sodium and contain no allergens or gluten. The nutritional values are:-

per 25g (2 tbsp) serving) per 100g
Energy (calories) 109 436
Protein 5g 20g
Fibre 9.48g 37.9g
Carbohydrate (Net) 0.5g 2g
Fat 7.75g 31g
of which Omega 3 fats as Alpha Linolenic Acid 4.4g (57%) 17.6g

PLUS (per serving)
Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
They also contain significant amounts of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.

Nutrient-dense foods

One of the key benefits of chia seeds that health researchers have noted is that they are ‘nutrient dense’.  We developed the NutriShield nutritional supplement to be the most nutritionally dense supplement available. You can see it here.

 


If you enjoyed this article, please share it with family and friends. You can follow us on Facebook or Twitter for daily headline health tweets.

8 reasons why chia seeds should be on your shopping list NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals8 reasons why chia seeds should be on your shopping list NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals8 reasons why chia seeds should be on your shopping list NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals

8 reasons why chia seeds should be on your shopping list NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsAnd register now for a free regular e-newsletter on the latest in nutrition and health research.


Dr Paul Clayton designed NutriShield as a comprehensive health8 reasons why chia seeds should be on your shopping list NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals supplement with OPTIMUM levels of essential nutrients including Vitamin D. See more detail elsewhere on this site or click on the button.


8 reasons why chia seeds should be on your shopping list NutriShield Multi Vitamins and MineralsDr Paul Clayton’s best-selling book Health Defence is available from bookstores or from Uni-Vite Healthcare here.

A free summary report and the opportunity to read the book online is available here.


See online here for delicious recipes from the Health Defence Cookbook  incorporating healthy foods featuring in a Mediterranean Diet. 8 reasons why chia seeds should be on your shopping list NutriShield Multi Vitamins and Minerals


References:

Chicco AG, D’Alessandro ME, Hein GJ, Oliva ME, Lombardo YB (2009) Dietary chia seed (Salvia hispanica L.) rich in alpha-linolenic acid improves adiposity and normalises hypertriacylglycerolaemia and insulin resistance in dyslipaemic rats. Br J Nutr 101:41–50

Vuksan V, Whitham D, Sievenpiper JL, Jenkins AL, Rogovik AL, Bazinet RP, Vidgen E, Hanna A (2007) Supplementation of conventional therapy with the novel grain Salba (Salvia hispanica L.) improves major and emerging cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: results of a randomized controlled trial. Diabetes Care 30:2804–2810

Burdge GC, Wootton SA (2003) Conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to eicosapentaenoic, docosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids in young women. Br J Nutr 88:411–420 June 2012, Volume 67, Issue 2, pp 105–110