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Can you really have a “farmacy” right in your own kitchen?
For some, the passage of time is a constant reminder that we’re all getting older, and becoming ever more susceptible to health problems. But many others already know the secret to help keep age-related diseases at bay. Adopting herbal wellness strategies that have been used for centuries – along with other healthy life style choices – needs to be part of any plan to get healthy and stay fit for 2013 and beyond.
Aging and Vitamin Deficiency… Did You Know?
- Your Eyesight – The National Eye Institute’s (NEI) Age-Related Eye Disease Study found that supplementation with zinc, antioxidants (vitamins C and D), and beta-carotene (vitamin A) reduced the rate of advanced Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) in high-risk patients by about twenty-five percent over a six-year period.1
- Your Hearing – Scientists found a relationship between vitamin B12 deficiency and hearing problems such as tinnitus and other associated complaints. Researchers recommended that vitamin B12 levels be tested in patients with chronic tinnitus.2
- Your Bones – Forty-four million Americans have low bone density (osteoporosis or mild bone loss), representing fifty-five percent of Americans fifty years of age and over. Vitamin D and calcium deficiencies, low levels of phosphorus and other minerals, and lack of exercise can result in lower peak bone mass and a higher rate of bone loss later in life.3
- Your Life Span – In June 2009 the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that multi-vitamins help women live 9.8 years longer. Researchers found that multi-vitamin use was associated with a decrease in age-related DNA shortening. The potential to maintain longer DNA ends and, therefore, a longer life is possible with multi-vitamin supplementation.4
- Mortality – Poor nutrition and physical inactivity was the second leading cause of death in 2000, after tobacco use, in the United States.5
Why Are Multi-Vitamins Vital to Good Health As We Age?
There’s no getting around it… we’re all getting older. But how we choose to age is in our control. The old saying “it’s not the number of years in your life that matter, it’s the life in your years” is very true. And we have more power to add life to our years than you may realize.
It is true – as we age our bodies face greater nutritional challenges than the rest of the general population for a variety of reasons. To begin with, as we get older we tend not to eat as much, so our vitamin and nutrient intake decreases. This puts the aging population at risk for deficiencies of essential vitamins such as B 6 , B 12 , D, E, folic acid, and calcium.
Aging also takes a toll on the body’s ability to absorb vitamins and nutrients. Poor dietary choices, health conditions, inactive lifestyle, and/or medications (the use of which tends to increase as we get older) also interfere with the body’s ability to absorb adequate nutrition from food.
It can become a vicious cycle. In middle age, men and women begin to experience digestive disorders because their digestive systems are no longer as efficient at absorbing vitamins and nutrients from the food they eat. And then deficiencies can set in, creating further problems.
Health Problems Associated with Aging and Vitamin Deficiency
Vitamin deficiencies can have an enormous impact on every aspect of your body…everything from digestion and malabsorption problems resulting in abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, and gas, to skin ailments, arthritis, deteriorating eyesight and bone mass, and hearing and memory loss.
Nutrient deficiencies have also been linked to more life-threatening problems such as calcification of the arteries and kidneys, various forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, a compromised immune system, stroke, Alzheimer’s, and even overall mortality.
Start the Year off Right!
What can you do to kick-off a healthy start to the year, and do everything you can to protect yourself from health problems that tend to present later in life? The simple answer is a multi-pronged approach to health maintenance that begins with vitamin supplementation.
Resolution #1: Advanced Supplementation
While there is no magic pill to halt the aging process, multi-vitamins can help you meet your body’s daily vitamin and nutrient requirements. And, as you can see from the statistics above, taking a daily supplement can help to delay and even prevent many age-associated diseases.
Eating your vegetables is no longer enough. With today’s standard American diet consisting mainly of processed, junk, and fake foods, our bodies are so depleted of life-giving nutrients that they constantly scramble to find nourishment.
A rich, pharmaceutical-grade multi-vitamin is an essential part of any twenty-first century health regimen. Choose a multi-vitamin that contains calcium, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acid. Advanced Supplementation will help your body make up for what is lacking in your food, as well as ensure your body has the right balance of essential vitamins such as B 6 , B 12 , D, E, folic acid, and calcium…deficiencies common in our aging population.
Resolution #2: Digestive Enzymes
As we age our bodies’ enzyme production slows down. In addition, the enzymes themselves become less active. So it’s understandable that many digestive ailments develop in middle age.
Bodies need a variety of different enzymes to facilitate complete digestion and, by extension, make the most of the vitamins and nutrients they ingest. Look for digestive enzymes that include,
Since enzymes are secreted naturally when we eat, it makes sense to take a comprehensive d igestive enzyme supplement during or after each meal.
Resolution #3: Begin NOW… with a Clean Slate
It’s been said that the hardest part of any journey is the first step. Some physicians and medical professionals recommend regular colon cleansings and periodic liver flushes as part of an ongoing health regimen. A variety of herbs have been used over the centuries for colon cleansing, and they have a proven track record for efficacy. Herbs help to increase peristalsis – the wave-like motion in the colon that propels waste along – while at the same time toning colon muscles.
Herbal cleansings can help to remove impacted waste, toxins, and parasites that have built up in your colon over a lifetime. Removing these impurities can go a long way toward helping your body absorb nutrients, enhancing energy levels, and increasing regularity…all necessary aspects of health as you approach middle-age and beyond.
Additional Digestive Wellness Tips for Older Adults
Increase your fiber intake – Fiber reduces the likelihood of constipation and its associated diseases (such as diverticulitis, caused by pressure from hard stools); it cleans out the intestines by way of a natural scrubbing action; increases the transit time, and reduces opportunities for damage caused by the drugs, food additives, and chemicals in our diets.
A fiber-filled diet can also help to lower blood cholesterol levels by decreasing the transit time of dietary cholesterol, thereby minimizing the absorption of cholesterol from foods.
A dietary supplement containing psyllium is one way to increase fiber and, in some people, tends to produce less gas than some high-fiber foods. But there are many easy and fun ways to incorporate traditional and exotic fiber-filled foods [link blue bolded word to attached fiber article] into your diet.
Increase your water intake – As you age your thirst mechanism is reduced, so you may have to consciously remind yourself to drink fluids. Drinking plenty of water will ensure adequate hydration in the colon, which helps to ward off constipation.6
And if you’re eating more fiber to stay healthy, fiber works to carry water out of your body, so if an adequate amount of fluid isn’t consumed, stool can become hard and dry, resulting in difficulty eliminating.
Increase your activity level – Staying active throughout life and on into old age is advised by most medical professionals. Not only is activity good for your physical health, it’s also good for your emotional wellbeing. Exercise reduces stress levels and keeps your heart healthy, which reduces the likelihood of arthritis, cardiovascular diseases, and obesity. Use moderation, and be consistent with your exercise regimen.
As our bodies age, they often have difficulty coping with many of the bad habits we developed in our youth. The key to warding off the onset of many age-related ailments is to establish new life style regimens – including supplementation, exercise, and healthy eating – early in the game.
This may sound challenging at first, but if you go slowly and implement changes one step at a time, you may start to feel better than you have for a very long time and, hopefully, have plenty of reasons to celebrate the start of every new year that lies ahead.
Live Right for Longevity
Additional articles that discuss age-related problems and their digestive solutions from Puristat’s extensive Digestive Wellness Library