Saturday December 7, 2019

Begin Intermittent Fasting For A Healthy Life

Scientists says that intermittent fasting leads to a longer and healthier life

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People who practice intermittent fasting live longer. Pixabay

Intermittent fasting may sound like another diet fad but researcher have conclusively found that the practice of routinely not eating and drinking for short periods of time resulted in longer life in heart patients.

In the study by Intermountain Healthcare Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, Utah, researchers found that heart patients who practiced regular intermittent fasting lived longer than patients who don’t.

In addition, they found that patients who practice intermittent fasting are less likely to be diagnosed with heart failure.

“It’s another example of how we’re finding that regularly fasting can lead to better health outcomes and longer lives,” said Benjamin Horne, principal investigator of the study.

While the study does not show that fasting is the causal effect for better survival, these real-world outcomes in a large population do suggest that fasting may be having an effect and urge continued study of the behaviour.

In the study, researchers asked 2,001 Intermountain patients undergoing cardiac catheterization from 2013 to 2015 a series of lifestyle questions, including whether or not they practiced routine intermittent fasting.

Researchers then followed up with those patients 4.5 years later and found that routine fasters had greater survival rate than those who did not.

Fasting affects a person’s levels of hemoglobin, red blood cell count, human growth hormone, and lowers sodium and bicarbonate levels, while also activating ketosis and autophagy – all factors that lead to better heart health and specifically reduce risk of heart failure and coronary heart disease.

Intermittent fasting by heart patients
Heart patients should definitely practice intermittent fasting. Pixabay

“This study suggests that routine fasting at a low frequency over two thirds of the lifespan is activating the same biological mechanisms that fasting diets are proposed to rapidly activate,” said Dr Horne.

Researchers speculate that fasting routinely over a period of years and even decades conditions the body to activate the beneficial mechanisms of fasting after a shorter length of time than usual.

Typically, it takes about 12 hours of fasting for the effects to be activated, but long-term routine fasting may cause that time to be shortened so that each routine faster’s daily evening/overnight fasting period between dinner and breakfast produces a small amount of daily benefit, they noted.

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Fasting is not for everyone. Researchers cautioned that pregnant and lactating women should not fast, as well as young children and frail older adults.

People diagnosed with chronic diseases – especially those who take medications for diabetes, blood pressure, or heart disease – should not fast unless under the close care and supervision of a physician. (IANS)

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Here are Ways to Protect your Bones as you Age

Here's how to protect your bones as you age

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Bones
Here are ways to take care of your bones and improve your bone health as you age. Lifetime Stock

The skeleton system of our body plays a vital role throughout our lifetime. It acts as pillar of support for our body’s framework and protects our vital organs. Additionally, bones help in storing minerals like calcium and phosphorous, as well as support the muscles for locomotion. From birth to old age our bones go through series of changes.

By the age of 30, the bone mass density reaches its peak. After which it tends to lose more bone mass than it is deposited. Osteoporosis is a frequently occurring condition developed by people as they grow old. In this condition, bones become weak and fragile. Consequently, it becomes difficult to heal a broken bone after an osteoporotic fracture.

According to statistics, adult population above the age of 50 tends to break their bones easily. Where it is seen, 1 in 2 women and 1 in 4 men fracture their bones due to osteoporosis. Hence, it is important to take care of our bones from young to old age.

Skeleton bones
By the age of 30, the bone mass density reaches its peak. Lifetime Stock

There are certain risk factors which may act as a catalyst for accelerating osteoporosis early. Lack of vitamin D and calcium in diet, lack of physical activity, being underweight, smoking and drinking, irregular hormonal levels and intake of certain medications are some common examples of risk factors.

The risk factors increase the vulnerability of osteoporosis as we age. Dr Harish Ghoota, Additional Director-Orthopaedics, Fortis Escorts Hospital, Faridabad shares the following steps to incorporate in your lifestyle to better bone health:

  • Incorporating food and drinks rich in calcium and vitamin D is a good step. For example, low-fat dairy, tofu, soy milk, green leafy vegetables, leguminous pulses, salmon and nuts are good sources for calcium. Exposing one’s body to sunlight for 10-15 minutes twice or thrice a week acts as a good source for vitamin D. Food products like fortified milk and cereals, salmon, tuna, shrimp and oysters are also good sources for vitamin
  •  Indulging in regular exercise for minimum half an hour keeps the muscles and bones strong. Strength building, weight training exercises and dancing are one of the best ways to keep fit and healthy bones
  • Avoid tobacco and alcohol abuse. According to medical advice, women should not consume more than one drink per day and men should not consume more than two drinks per day
  • With increasing age, regular bone density tests and health check-ups with doctors helps prevent excessive bone density loss.
    Exercise bones
    Exercising everyday is beneficial for your bones. Lifetime Stock

    Taking care of your bones from a young age becomes essential to prevent poor bone health. During childhood and adolescent years, bones rapidly grow. These form crucial years for developing good bone health. Proper balanced diet with increased intake of calcium rich foods and minimum one hour of physical exercise everyday helps to maintain good bone health. Additionally, adults after 30 years of age must integrate healthy lifestyle practices. These activities help to prevent poor bone health after the age of 30:

  • Exercising daily for 30 minutes least
  • Being cautious from falls or accidents
  • Going for regular check-ups
  • Regular bone density tests. Especially, after age of 50 with a fractured bone

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  • Additional intake of calcium and vitamin D over the age of 50
  • Regular medication, if prescribed by doctor, for bone density
  • Periodic Dexa scan test for high risk or vulnerable patients. (IANS)