Archives for December 2018

Lifespan vs. Healthspan: Why Not Both?

Hello again everyone: This newsletter is a from one year ago, and it still very pertinent, and this is the time of year where we take stock of the past 12 months and make resolutions/plans for the coming year. This newsletter is centered around an intriguing concept of Lifespan vs. Healthspan. This concept was first brought to my attention in 1992 when I read this book: Biomarkers: The 10 Keys to Prolonging Vitality by Evans and Rosenberg. 1991 (Tufts University and USDA collaboration studies). This important concept is simple: our lifespan is how long we live, and our healthspan is how long we live without any disability of any sort. Ideally, our healthspan should be only slightly shorter than our lifespan, and we should function well until just a few months before we move on. There is a lot of ... Read more

Smell Anything?

Hey there everyone: Did you know that loss of sense of smell can be an early sign of loss of brain function? Well, sorry to tell you, but it is an important marker that can be used to see how well your brain is aging. “To increase the opportunity to delay or prevent mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer disease (AD) dementia, markers of early detection are essential. Olfactory impairment may be an important clinical marker and predictor of these conditions and may help identify persons at increased risk.” Their conclusions are clear: “Olfactory impairment is associated with incident aMCI and progression from aMCI to AD dementia. These findings are consistent with previous studies that have reported associations of olfactory impairment with cognitive impairment in late life and suggest that olfactory tests have potential ... Read more

Stress and Brain Health: To Shrink Or Not To Shrink

Hello again: Here is another report that chronic stress can shrink our brain because the stress hormones (specifically the stress hormone cortisol) damage the brain. The authors conclude: "Conclusion Higher serum cortisol was associated with lower brain volumes and impaired memory in asymptomatic younger to middle-aged adults, with the association being evident particularly in women." Furthermore, the researchers found that people with high levels of blood cortisol had much poorer memory when compared with peers with normal cortisol levels. Importantly, impaired memory was present in these individuals even before obvious symptoms of memory loss set in. They went on to comment that it is very important to find ways to reduce stress by daily lifestyle activities: “So it's important for people to find ways ... Read more

Vit. D Protects Against Dementia

We all know that Vitamin D deficiencies are very, very common…but did you know that making sure that you have adequate amounts of Vitamin D can be a part of a healthy lifestyle to prevent dementia?!? Well, it turns out to be true: The author’s findings included this statement: “25(OH)D deficiency was associated with a nearly three-fold increased risk of AD (hazard ratio = 2.85, 95% confidence interval 1.37-5.97).” Bottom Line: Get your Vitamin D levels tested and aim for a value of between 60 to 80. The normal range is a broad one, 30 to 100, however optimal levels are between 60 to 80. It is important not to settle for a number less than 60. So if you are told your numbers are fine, make sure you actually get to look at the lab report and check the numbers for yourself and if they are lower than 60 then supplement ... Read more