Monthly Archives: October 2016

Enzyme Found in Vegetables Can Help Stop Aging

broccoli

Recent research has uncovered a specific enzyme in vegetables that has the potential to slow some of the effects and conditions of aging.

A paper published in Cell Metabolism by researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine reports that the compound, when given to mice, negates several of the biological problems of aging. The substance, nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is also found in several natural foods–including cucumbers, edamame, and broccoli.

When given infusions of NMN, the animals demonstrated improved eyesight, lower weight gain, and were able to convert food into energy at a much more efficient rate. Moreover, the report stated that the mice were able to prevent some of the genetic changes associated with aging. The lower rates of age-related diseases have led scientists to believe that–essentially–the mice will live longer.

While the findings have been limited to the experiments conducted with mice, the research team is spearheading an early study on people by utilizing NMN pill supplements. The findings further confirm the discovery and potential of other anti-aging compounds that have proven success in animal studies, including the diabetes drug metformin, rapamycin, and sirtuins–all of which are also involved in the energy-making process.

The ability to keep cells young provides a critical foundation for the potential to stop, or at least slow, diseases that manifest as cells age and gradually lose their overall function. This unprecedented information will help develop and solidify the infrastructure for future research with humans, which could have incredible and far-reaching consequences across the globe.

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Doctors ‘De-Prescribing’ Medications

Recent investigations and research show that more healthcare providers are ‘de-prescribing’ drugs, as too many medications often yield greater risks than benefits.

Doctors have pinpointed a host of dangers when patients are over-medicated and take several pharmaceuticals—particularly during older age, with multiple chronic conditions. Because all drugs potentially interact with each other, they have the ability to cancel out each other’s effects. Moreover, the drugs often accumulate in the body, which can ultimately impair memory, cause physical accidents, and even lead to hospitalizations.

Because pharmaceuticals all have different properties and compositions, they also produce various side effects. With many medications, particularly heart disease and different cancers (compounded by the toxicity of chemotherapy), the ‘pile-up’ of side effects regularly decreases the drug’s benefits and initial targeted purpose. Several diabetes medications can make blood sugar too low, while anti-psychotics lead patients to become too sedated.

The American Geriatric Society has expressly stated that sleeping pills are no longer recommended for older adults, as they put the brain to sleep; if they stay in the body too long, the brain continues to be shut off. For patients with dementia, it is recommended that they are not prescribed anti-psychotic medications—which are generally utilized to de-agitate—as their sedative effects frequently disguise the real root problem.

Unfortunately, not all physicians are aware of these possible dangers. It is critical to wean off medications, rather than stopping abruptly, in addition to making lifestyle changes, and investigating potential over-the-counter medications.

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Wireless & Wearable Technology

A recent study at the 2016 Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons confirms the burgeoning theory that wearable health technology, an innovation that has progressively gained traction in medical and consumer arenas, can positively affect healthcare and patient wellness.

By utilizing a wireless activity tracker, physicians now have the ability to monitor their patients’ postoperative recovery: the device is capable of detecting real-time changes in surgical patients’ functional recovery, states principal investigator Virginia Sun.

The simplicity behind wearing a fitness wristband, and any wearable health technology, can more easily help surgeons detect which patients are at risk for complications. The evidence-based study has demonstrated that the integration of wireless technology strongly correlates with ‘postoperative quality-of-life data,’ and reinforces research that surgeons should consistently track their patients’ results and quality of life.

These findings reaffirm the belief that surgeons have the capability to routinely measure patient-centered results–including anxiety, postoperative pain, and the ease with which patients can perform daily tasks and activities. While surgeons do not regularly practice this type of aftercare, and follow up on patients’ recoveries, this monitoring system establishes an exciting and inventive kind of versatility, portability, and ultimate healthcare awareness that should be incorporated and put into practice.

Learn about the latest emerging technologies of innovative medical equipment at MedTech Impact, a conference and exhibition that focuses on the latest trends in healthcare. 

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