Monthly Archives: November 2016

Combatting Alzheimer’s: Continued

At A4M, our mission is to spread awareness regarding the need for research, funding, and further education in order to prevent age-related diseases. This will not be the last you hear from us concerning Alzheimer’s, as it is a topic that both deserves and requires a significant amount of attention.

Alzheimer’s disease currently affects more than five million Americans, a number that could potentially skyrocket to 16 million in the next three decades. Not only is Alzheimer’s the sixth-leading cause of death in the country, but it also leads to tremendous financial and emotional instabilities, in addition to extensive family strain and stress.

The cognitive losses that accompany Alzheimer’s disease are, at first blush, signs of normal aging: forgetfulness, disorientation, and impairments in functioning that lead to one’s inability to perform basic, rudimentary tasks. Yet these symptoms are merely the tip of the iceberg: depression, anxiety, aggression, and a detachment from reality are some of the emotional and behavioral problems that stem from Alzheimer’s.

Within the past week, the first drug designed to acutely treat Alzheimer’s failed to show significant benefit for those with mild forms of the disease. The drug, Solanezumab, is among the first of a new array of treatments designed to address and diagnose the disorder at its root cause, rather than merely alleviating symptoms. Had the pharmaceutical been successful, it would have been the first form of therapy that slowed the disease’s progression.

While the past two decades have incontrovertibly seen significant advances in our understanding of the disease, there is still no cure. Continued and increased funding in research is critically necessary, as most scientists and doctors believe that early detection is the primary way in which to stop the disease’s progression—or even ultimately cure it.

To become further involved with research, funding, or learn more about ways to prevent aging-related diseases, take a look at what being an A4M member means.  Enhancing health is always our top priority, and we believe if you are reading this, it is also yours.

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Studies on Supplements

There has been an ongoing vigorous debate in the past decade regarding the effectiveness of supplements, and whether or not taking additional doses of vitamins and additives is ultimately beneficial for health. The industry of dietary supplements, minerals, herbal products, and vitamins generates annual revenue of over $30 billion in the U.S. A recent study published in a medical journal in October revealed that 52% of adults used one or more supplements in 2012.

Data reveals that supplements are essential in treating vitamin and mineral deficiencies; moreover, certain combinations of nutrients have been found to help treat several medical conditions, like age-related macular degeneration. Evidence further suggests that those at high risk for Vitamin D deficiency—which is highly prevalent in several areas—may face serious, long-term implications for public health.

While no pill can supply the nutrients found in healthy, wholesome food, it is critical that we learn more about the ways in which vitamins and supplements work and interact, in addition to their untapped potential for wellness and nutrition.

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Dangers of Dieting

A new study presented to the American Heart Association on Tuesday communicated the real, imminent dangers of the fad ‘yo-yo dieting.’ The research conveyed the possibility of this type of dieting increasing the risk for coronary heart disease—which can lead to heart attacks and other serious health issues— and sudden cardiac death, in post-menopausal women.

On-and-off dieting has been a trend for 20% to 55% of the female U.S. population, a common issue that has received little attention in terms of its inherent risks. Dr. Michael Miller, a professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, stated: “You can look and appear healthy, but you don’t know what your risk factors are.”

The findings from a group of normal-weight women who ‘weight cycled’ indicated that they were 3 ½ times more likely to have sudden cardiac death than women with stable weights. Yo-yo dieting in normal-weight women was also associated with a 66% increased risk of coronary heart disease deaths. Weight cycling can additionally result in fluid shifts and electrolyte changes, which have the potential to cause deadly heart arrhythmias in susceptible middle-aged women.

Popular diet fads and trends advocate for losing weight quickly, primarily by severely reducing caloric intake. When this occurs, the dieter’s levels of magnesium, calcium, and electrolytes become depleted, which is dangerously hazardous to the body, and engenders adverse effects on health.

Losing weight in a drastic fashion is now not only considered unhealthy, but also scientifically proven to be possibly deadly. Restricting food should be replaced with the implementation of a healthy diet and increasing physical exercise.

Learn more about our Certification in Weight and Lifestyle Management, and help patients achieve weight loss goals through effective lifestyle changes, techniques, and tools. 

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