Spring Health Trends
Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.
Fitness is Best Longevity Test
A study of 6,500 people aged 70 and older has found that fitness is a better predictor of longevity than other routinely used health markers such as blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking status. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine noted that these conventional indicators of risk are very common in the older age group, but do not predict how long older people will live. However, there is evidence that controlling blood pressure and cholesterol, preventing diabetes, and not smoking earlier in life can help prevent heart disease and early death. For anyone who is over 70 and not all that fit, it’s never too late to get moving.
Ashwagandha Boosts Testosterone
In traditional Ayurvedic medicine, ashwagandha is used to increase vigor and endurance, and improve overall health. For men, it’s also viewed as an aphrodisiac and a remedy for infertility. Now, an Australian study of overweight men, between the ages of 40 and 70, has found that with daily use for 8 weeks, the herb boosts levels of testosterone and DHEA-S, hormones related to youth and virility. The daily supplement tested in the study was an extract of ashwagandha containing 21 mg of withanolide glycosides, the key active ingredient in the herb. Earlier research found that the herb enhances sperm quantity and quality in men with low sperm counts.
Did You Know? On average, a human being walks about 74,580 miles in their lifetime. That’s the equivalent of walking around the world three times.
Seaweed Extract Lowers Blood Sugar
Healthy levels of blood sugar help to prevent diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease, and they make it easier to lose weight and stay trim. In addition to a diet that isn’t too high in starches and sugars, help is available from a supplement made from sea vegetables: InSea2. A study of 65 otherwise healthy people with elevated blood sugar found that taking InSea2 daily for 6 months normalized blood sugar in one of five people and reduced levels in the rest. In contrast, a placebo did not produce any improvement. InSea2 is an ingredient in some supplements designed to support healthy levels of blood sugar, e.g., Life Extension CinSulin and Nature’s Plus Sugar Armor.
That’s how much time is devoted to nutrition education during four years of medical school in this country. And, it doesn’t cover what patients need to know: How to eat a healthier diet that will prevent disease. Instead, the focus is on biochemistry and deficiency diseases that have all but been eliminated, such as scurvy, according to an analysis of medical education published in JAMA. No wonder there’s a lot of confusion about healthy diets.
Spring Allergies: Worse Than Ever?
Many experts believe 2019 may go down as one of the worst allergy seasons on record due to multiple factors. If you’re not taking a daily supplement for allergies, start now. Top remedies to try (look for combination formulas that have a mix of these remedies):
- Vitamin C: helps prevent the formation of histamine during a response to an allergen.
- Quercetin: a flavonoid that helps block the production and release of histamine.
- Magnolia: often used in traditional Chinese medicine formulas to ease nasal congestion from allergies and headaches associated with sinus pressure.
- Stinging nettle: has a strong antihistamine effect—in one study, nettle outperformed over-the-counter allergy drugs.
- Reishi: enhances immune function and helps support lung health.
To check daily pollen counts in your area, go to airnow.gov.
Think Amla for High Cholesterol & Triglycerides
A study in the journal BMC, Complementary and Alternative Medicine reveals that a simple extract from the amla plant (Emblica officinalis), also known as Indian gooseberry, helps promote healthy triglyceride and cholesterol levels. The 12-week, placebo-controlled study involved 98 people with high lipid markers. A whopping 73 percent of participants in the amla group showed a significant reduction in total cholesterol. And 44 out of the 49 subjects in the amla group also had significant reductions in total triglyceride levels. A full-spectrum amla supplement was used in the study.