The Harmful Effects of Vitamin B12 Deficiency (and How to Heal It)

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Are you suffering with fatigue and low energy? Do you struggle to get through your day? Are you no longer motivated to hit the gym? While there are many causes of fatigue, we’re going to dig a little deeper and look at how the deficiency of one nutrient in particular, vitamin B12, can lead to fatigue and low vitality. 

What Does Vitamin B12 Do?

Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is one of eight essential B-vitamins, and essential for maintaining your energy levels via the production of your red blood cells, the oxygen- and nutrient-carrying “taxis” traveling through your bloodstream. However, you may be surprised to learn just how many other key processes are regulated by this essential vitamin.

 B12 plays a crucial role in melatonin production, your sleep hormone critical for recovery, rejuvenation and building resiliency.
For example, B12 plays a crucial role in melatonin production, your sleep hormone critical for recovery, rejuvenation and building resiliency. It’s also important for myelin formation, which keeps your nerves and nervous system running on all cylinders.

Vitamin B12’s role goes right down to your DNA and RNA production, the genetic material that lays the blueprint for your health and performance. B12 works together as a team with other B-vitamins to convert your food to energy (crucial for fighting winter fatigue) and also keeps your heart healthy by controlling pro-inflammatory homocysteine levels, a reliable marker associated with heart disease. (1)

If your B12 levels are low, you may suffer from increased fatigue, poor memory, lack of concentration, anemia, muscle weakness, low vitality and poor sleep. (2) Let’s take a closer look at why your B12 may be low and how you can top it up.

Why Is My B12 Too Low?

 

Common causes of low B12 that you may have already read about are vegan/vegetarian diets, inability to absorb B12 (e.g. due to inflammatory bowel disease like Crohn’s disease or weight loss surgery), bacterial infection (e.g. h. pylori infection) and aging.

However, if we dig a little deeper and do some more detective work, we find a few more very commonly seen causes that go unnoticed by many doctors.

1. Your Stomach Acid Is Too Low

Your stomach plays a key role in supporting the absorption of B12 via the production of a protein called intrinsic factor (IF), which is needed to effectively take up B12 into your cells.(3) If your stomach acid levels are too low – due to stress, vegan/vegetarian diet, heartburn drugs, aging, etc – then your stomach can’t produce adequate IF, leading to B12 deficiency. A gentle fix for supporting optimal stomach acidity is to take apple cider vinegar before your meals.

2. Genetic SNiPs

Your DNA may be holding you back from achieving optimal B12 levels. Genetic single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNiPs, pronounced “snips”) are small genetic variants or blips that occur in your DNA can lead to inadequate production of key enzymes needed to absorb certain vitamins.

New research shows the genetic SNiP FUT-2 gene may strongly contribute to low levels of B12. (4) However, it’s important to remember that even if you test positive for a SNiP on a genetic test, it doesn’t mean you’ll have lifelong deficiency. It simply means you’ll need to take extra steps to ensure your diet is rich in B12 foods.

3. Medications

It’s not just the classic proton-pump inhibitor drugs and H2 blockers (i.e. drugs like omeprazole or ending with the suffix “–azole,” or ranitidine or drugs ending in “-tidine”), designed to treat heartburn by reducing stomach acid that can lower your B12 levels. There is a whole host of other drugs that can lead to low B12 levels and fatigue; metformin (to treat diabetes), antibiotics, methotrexate (used in chemotherapy), colchicine (used to treat gout) and a group of cholesterol-lowering drugs (e.g. cholestyramine). If you’re on one of these medications, talk to your doctor about getting your B12 levels assessed.

How Do I Get Tested?

The classic method for assessing vitamin B12 status is to perform a blood draw. A frank deficiency is typically classified as blood levels below approximately 150-200pg/mL (depending on the lab). However, this level falls short of the ideal “functional range,” a term used to describe the amount needed to support good health (not just prevent disease). Most functional medicine doctors aim for about 800-1,000pg/mL; anything less is considered insufficient. A dietary insufficiency reflects a level too low to promote and support your best health, and while not a frank deficiency, can still lead to many of the adverse symptoms associate with B12 deficiency.

Another key test to perform if you suspect low B12 is methylmalonic acid (MMA). If you have deficient or insufficient B12, you’ll begin to produce significant amounts of MMA, which may occur despite a “normal” finding of your blood B12 levels. This can be measured via blood draw along with B12. Genetic testing can also be useful to identify any SNiPs in your DNA that may predispose you to insufficiency or deficiency.

What Are The Best Foods To Increase My B12 Levels?

The best way to boost your B12 levels is to follow a dietary approach that provides a robust source of dietary B12. A Paleo approach to eating is the perfect foundation for correcting low B12 for good, because animal protein is hands down the best dietary source of B12.

Boost your levels by including more of the following foods regularly in your diet; shellfish (which has 85g per 3oz. serving), organ meats, cold-water fatty fish (e.g. salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines), beef and wild game meats, and pasture-raised eggs. Aim for 1-4 servings (3oz) per day of these nutrient-dense foods, depending on your level of deficiency.

What About B12 Shots, Are They A Good Option?

If find you have insufficient or deficient B12 levels and need to restore your levels quickly to fight off fatigue and low energy, then B12 shots can be a great option. The injection is given intra-muscularly (IM), normally in the back of your shoulder, bypassing your digestive system (an area that may be compromising your ability to absorb B12) and dramatically increasing the bioavailability or your capacity to absorb it. In short, B12 shots are a great way to increase your levels acutely, while you ramp up your dietary intake.

B12 shots can help restore ideal levels and provide a nice energy boost. But remember, your diet is the foundation for good health and performance, so be sure to include B12-rich animal protein to keep your levels topped up throughout the year.

It’s important to note that the typical form of B12 used in doctors offices is cyanocobalamin, an older form of B12 that is not actually found in nature. While some of it does get converted to the active form in the body, those with conversion problems (i.e. digestive issue) or SNiPs will likely not absorb this form very well.

Instead, choose the methylcobalamin form, the “active” form of vitamin B12, that requires no conversion in the body and will give you the most benefit. B12 shots are typically given in 1,000mcg doses, weekly for 4-8 weeks depending on your levels and clinical picture. (Ask your doctor for more information.)

Low energy, fatigue and brain fog are no fun anytime of year, but they’re especially difficult in the winter months when colder, darker days and the hectic nature of the holidays can easily leave you rundown. If you need a quick boost, a series of B12 shots can help restore ideal levels and provide a nice energy boost. But remember, your diet is the foundation for good health and performance, so be sure to include B12-rich animal protein to keep your levels topped up throughout the year.

Source: http://blog.paleohacks.com/effects-of-vitamin-b12-deficiency/

For more information on our therapies including B12 therapy and appointments, please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England
www.BostonTestosterone.com
CBlaisdell@CORENewEngland.com
Clinic: 781-269-5953

Elite Athletes Try a New Training Tactic: More Vitamin D

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Professional and college sports teams think they have found a cutting-edge advantage hidden in one of the most basic nutrients: vitamin D.

With millions of dollars at stake, elite teams are tracking player health more precisely than ever to make sure their athletes keep playing. As part of this push, teams in all U.S. major leagues, some college athletic departments and the U.S. men’s and women’s soccer teams have started monitoring players’ vitamin D levels and intake. A few are even recommending more time in the sun, which helps the body produce the nutrient.

The focus on vitamin D is part of a growing emphasis on player wellness, from proper sleep to carefully planned nutrition, to maximize performance. Team officials also are acting on eye-opening research that suggests vitamin D deficiency might increase an athlete’s risk of injury.

A study of the Pittsburgh Steelers published in 2015 in the American Journal of Sports Medicine was especially striking. It found that vitamin D levels were significantly lower in players with at least one bone fracture. Players who were released during the preseason due to injury or poor performance also had significantly lower D levels than those who made the team, the study found.

THE ABCS OF VITAMIN D

  • How can you get vitamin D? Through certain foods such as fatty fish and eggs, or sun exposure. More than 1 billion people world-wide are estimated to have insufficient or deficient vitamin D levels. Vitamin D3 is the preferred form of the nutrient in a supplement because of its similarity to the form produced by the body.
  • Who’s at risk? People at higher latitudes and in colder climates such as the northern U.S. and Europe are at risk because of their lack of sun exposure. Those with darker skin are at risk because pigmentation slows vitamin D production in the skin. Those who are older, overweight or obese also are at higher risk.
  • How much is necessary? The Institute of Medicine recommends 600 International Units (IU) daily for most adults (800 IU for those over 70). That’s equivalent to six cups of milk, most of which in the U.S. is fortified with 100 IU. Some sports dietitians encourage athletes to get 1,000 to 2,000 IU daily. Adults shouldn’t take more than 4,000 IU daily, the Institute says, though vitamin D toxicity is rare.
  • What are the risks of vitamin D deficiency? Low D levels have been associated with higher risk for diabetes, heart disease, many cancers and bone loss, among many other conditions.

Sources: Institute of Medicine, Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

A 2011 study of the New York Giants, presented at a meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, found an association between low vitamin D levels and injuries. Team officials launched that study to see whether levels of vitamin D, a hot research topic at the time, might be connected to soft-tissue injuries such as muscle strains, saysMichael Shindle, the study’s lead researcher.

Both studies were small—fewer than 100 players each. But they were intriguing enough that researchers plan to do a larger study with about 320 NFL players, says Mark Duca, a Steelers team physician and co-author on the Pittsburgh study.

“You can’t draw a definitive conclusion” that low vitamin D levels increase fracture risk, Dr. Duca says. “But it certainly piques our interest, particularly in a violent contact sport like football.”

For most people, sunlight is a major source of vitamin D. It is also found in foods such as fish, eggs and fortified milk, as well as pills and drops. Vitamin D helps the body absorb calcium to keep bones dense, and helps maintain a variety of metabolic functions.

Doctors are testing more patients in the general population for vitamin D deficiency as research connects the nutrient to more important functions. Debate continues about how much vitamin D is best, even after the nonprofit Institute of Medicine in 2010 tripled the minimum recommended daily intake to 600 international units (or 800 IU for those over age 70).

That is equivalent to six cups of fortified milk. But some sports dietitians say athletes should get at least 1,000 to 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily through food, supplements or both.

The U.S. women’s national soccer team is among those that charts the vitamin D levels of its players.

The Institute of Medicine recommends no more than 4,000 IU of vitamin D daily to avoid potential risks, which include a calcium buildup in the blood, which can disrupt appetite and cause nausea and vomiting. Taking 50,000 IU a day of vitamin D for months can cause toxicity but such cases are rare, according to a 2015 study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Pro and college sports engage in “smack talk” about maintaining healthy vitamin D levels in their athletes, says Lisa McDowell, sports dietitian for the Detroit Red Wings and a member of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association. “It’s a source of pride when your team checks in with a good level.”

Some teams also test athletes for other nutrients such as iron and magnesium to make sure deficiencies aren’t slowing them down.

Ms. McDowell aims to get her hockey players’ vitamin D levels between 40 and 80 nanograms per milliliter. Many players show up to training camp with vitamin D levels in the teens, she says.

An adequate vitamin D level for the average person is between 20 and 50 ng/ml, with a level over 50 potentially producing adverse effects, according to the IOM. But some experts have said the bottom end of that range is too low, and the Endocrine Society recommends maintaining a level between 40 and 60 ng/ml.

The Detroit Red Wings made a point to get sun, which produces vitamin D in the body, on their recent trip to California.

Red Wings players get little sun due to the team’s Midwestern locale. Ms. McDowell encourages players to spend time outside when the team plays in California so they can soak up vitamin D.

Only a handful of studies have focused on elite athletes and vitamin D. But a few larger studies of military populations have drawn a link between vitamin D levels and injuries. One study, of more than 5,000 female U.S. Navy recruits, found a 20% drop in stress fractures after recruits received doses of calcium and vitamin D.

The University of Virginia has made 2,000 IU vitamin D supplements available to all of its athletes for at least the past six years, says Randy Bird, director of sports nutrition. It is the only vitamin he encourages every athlete to take, he says.

“The research on it outside of muscle and bone injuries is that it’s great for your immune system,” Mr. Bird says. “And we can’t afford to have athletes missing for illness.”

Even the University of Southern California, where sunshine abounds, checks its varsity athletes’ vitamin D levels annually. Despite all that sun, more than one-third of 223 USC athletes tested for a study published in 2015 had insufficient vitamin D levels.

The University of Virginia has made vitamin D supplements available to all of its athletes, including its women’s soccer team, pictured here.

Some USC athletes’ low vitamin D levels, along with conversations about player tastes, spurred a surprising addition to the athletic department’s food offerings: Frosted Flakes. It’s fortified with vitamin D. Along with vitamin D-fortified milk, it provides quick fuel for morning workouts and an important dose of the nutrient, says Becci Twombley, USC’s director of sports nutrition.

“After we put Frosted Flakes out, their vitamin D levels were much better,” she says. USC aims to get athletes to consume 1,000 to 2,000 IU daily of vitamin D through foods, including yogurt and fish, but provides vitamin D supplements for players who need them, she says.

The USC study, along with those of the Giants and Steelers, showed African-American athletes tend to have lower vitamin D levels. Athletes with darker skin are at higher risk for D deficiency because pigmentation slows vitamin D production in the skin.

Researchers are still exploring how race affects vitamin D levels. That is an important question in leagues such as the National Basketball Association, where a majority of players are African-American, says Elliott Schwartz, former physician for the Golden State Warriors.

In that team’s training camps of 2007, 2008 and 2009, between nine and 12 of 16 players tested vitamin D insufficient and were given 5,000-IU supplements daily, Dr. Schwartz says.

Dr. Schwartz, founder of the Northern California Institute for Bone Health and a physician for the Oakland Athletics, still tests and treats dozens of injured pro athletes for vitamin D deficiency. Yet he says the evidence isn’t overwhelming that vitamin D helps prevent injury.

He treats deficiency with supplements, he says, because “there’s no harm, and it may be helpful.”

Source: http://www.wsj.com/articles/elite-athletes-try-a-new-training-tactic-more-vitamin-d-1453745154

For more information on our therapies including Vitamin D and appointments, please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England
www.BostonTestosterone.com
CBlaisdell@CORENewEngland.com
Clinic: 781-269-5953

What Is Sleep Apnea?

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Do you suffer from daytime fatigue? Do you snore? If so, you may suffer from something called “obstructive sleep apnea.” This occurs in up to 10% of our population, but is thought to be one of those underestimated health conditions where a lot more people suffer from it, but just don’t know it yet (like diabetes). That is why I think it’s a good idea to make sure all my listeners learn about sleep apnea, to potentially help themselves or someone they love who may be affected by this disruptive ailment.

What is Sleep Apnea?

 

Sleep apnea is defined as pauses in air flow of greater than 10 seconds in length (hence the term “apnea”) during sleep. These pauses are caused by the collapse of the soft tissues in the back of the throat called the “pharyngeal” tissue. Sometimes the pauses are significant enough to cause a decrease in oxygen reaching the brain. This causes fragmentation in sleep, and patients are often very sleepy during the daytime as a result. Some report diminished functioning at work, along with the need to nap during the day. Patients may be so sleepy during the day, that they even fall asleep at the wheel of a car while driving—very scary.

People with the following conditions are more prone towards developing sleep apnea:

  • Males
  • The elderly
  • High BMI (body mass index)
  • Obesity
  • Snoring
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Sleep aid use
  • Sleeping without dentures
  • Increased neck girth (over 17 cm in men and 16 cm in women, if you feel the urge to get the tape measurer)

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea

As a physician, whenever a patient comes to me complaining of fatigue, I always ask about the following other possible symptoms of sleep apnea:

  • Snoring
  • Insomnia
  • Restless sleep
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep (often reported by the significant other)
  • Daytime napping or snoozing
  • Headache upon awakening in the mornings

Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea

If your doctor thinks you may be suffering from sleep apnea, you will likely need special sleep testing using a home portable monitor or in the laboratory, where they measure your airflow, oxygen saturation, and breathing.

Consequences of Sleep Apnea

At this point, you may be thinking, “So what if there are a few pauses of air flow during sleep?” It doesn’t seem like a big deal, right? Well, sleep apnea can cause some pretty serious medical consequences, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Heart disease
  • Stroke
  • Automobile accidents
  • Increased mortality, in general

Treatment of Sleep Apnea

If your doctor diagnoses you with sleep apnea, your main treatment consists of a special mask called a CPAP that blows air into your throat during sleep. I know what you’re thinking: Who in their right mind would be able to sleep with a big mask on their face, let alone one that blows air down your throat when you are trying to sleep? Patients often complain that it’s uncomfortable and takes some time to get used to it. However, they also tell me that they are able to regain their energy level and that it truly changes their lives as a result. Learning to fall asleep with the mask seems to be a very small price to pay for what they gain in return.

Weight loss is often the second method of treating sleep apnea and should really be the ultimate goal in every patient who is overweight and suffering from this condition. It’s really your only hope in curing the sleep apnea without having to wear a CPAP mask. Some patients no longer need the CPAP once they lose the weight and a sleep retest may be indicated once at least 10% of your initial weight has been lost.

In addition, it would be wise to avoid alcohol and sleep aids since both can exacerbate the condition. And don’t forget to wear your dentures to bed!

Take Home Message

Snoring and daytime fatigue are quite common symptoms. I cannot tell you how many patients I see who suffer from fatigue and snoring, and are also overweight. My little doctor antlers light up every time I see this combination of symptoms. Sleep apnea is underestimated, and your doctor may not think of it right away. If you have these symptoms, make sure to ask your doctor about sleep apnea.

Source: http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/health-fitness/mens-health/what-is-sleep-apnea

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Testosterone helps bind antidepressants in brain

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Female sex hormones have a strong effect on the psyche. This has been confirmed by numerous scientific studies and by phenomena such as the “baby blues,” a bout of low mood following childbirth, or recurrent mood swings that occur prior to menstruation. However the male sex hormone testosterone also affects our mood and emotions, as well as our libido — and in a positive way.

In a study published in the highly journal Biological Psychiatry, researchers from the MedUni Vienna have now discovered a potential biological mechanism behind this relationship.

As they grow older and as their sex hormone output falls, men suffer more commonly from depression and some studies have already demonstrated a positive effect of testosterone supplementation on the moods of the test subjects. Now, the study led by Rupert Lanzenberger from the University Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy has demonstrated for the first time worldwide that testosterone increases the number of serotonin transporters (proteins) in the human brain. These proteins regulate the concentration of serotonin and are also the target for antidepressants.

Serotonin transporters increased after just four weeks of hormone therapy

As a model for investigating the effect of testosterone, the researchers from the MedUni Vienna chose hormone therapy given to transsexuals. Says primary author Georg Kranz: “Transsexuals are people who feel that they are living in the wrong body and who therefore want high doses of opposite gender hormone therapy to adapt their appearance to that of the other gender. Genetic women are given testosterone, while genetic men are given oestradiol and medications to suppress testosterone production.”

Using the imaging method of positron emission tomography (PET), the scientists together with Wolfgang Wadsak and Markus Mitterhauser from the Clinical Department of Nuclear Medicine and Ulrike Kaufmann from the University Department of Gynaecology have demonstrated that serotonin transporter levels in the brain are significantly higher after just four weeks of hormone therapy with testosterone and that they rise further if therapy continues. Moreover, a close relationship has also been demonstrated between testosterone levels in the blood and the concentration of serotonin transporters.

“The study has shown that testosterone increases the potential binding sites for commonly prescribed antidepressants such as SSRIs in the brain and therefore provides major insights into how sex hormones affect the human brain and gender differences in psychiatric illnesses,” says Siegfried Kasper, Head of the University Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the MedUni Vienna.


Story Source:

The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Medical University of Vienna. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.  http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/01/150126083816.htm

 

Boston Testosterone is a Testosterone Replacement, Wellness and Preventative Medicine Medical Center that treats and prevents the signs and symptoms associated with Andropause and hormone imbalances.  With affiliates nationally, Boston Testosterone offers hormone replacement therapy, weight loss protocols, erectile dysfunction (ED), Sermorelin-GHRP2 therapy and neutraceutical injectable therapies for men and women.  Their medical facilities offer physician examinations and treatment programs that incorporate the latest in medical science.

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Mature Muscle?

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A few weeks ago we tackled the importance of lean muscle mass in aging and its typical correlation with organ reserve. Conventional wisdom tells us that muscle is easiest to develop when you are young, that we tend to lose muscle as we age, and that it becomes more difficult to put on muscle as we grow older. We thought we’d investigate and give you a clearer picture of what the research has to say.

Just to review, we’re talking skeletal muscle here, which includes two types of fibers. Type I fibers are associated with endurance training, while type II fibers are associated with weight training. It’s true that adults do tend to lose muscle mass during typical aging (typical being the operative word here), and it’s the type II fibers that are depleted. Type I fibers are generally preserved. But the type II fibers, research is finding, play a crucial role in regulating the body’s metabolism. These guys help direct the activities of tissues in other systems of the body. Given their influential roles, maintaining type II fibers (i.e. muscle mass) as we age can reduce the risk for diabetes and obesity.

The fact is, resistance training can allow anyone to gain muscle mass at any age, and older adults, in most respects, can indeed keep up with their younger counterparts.

Let’s take a closer look.

A recent study examined the theory that mitochondrial dysfunction contributes to the loss of muscle mass as we age. The study compared older adult subjects’ strength levels and “gene expression profiles” before and after six months of weight training. Their tissue samples and strength levels were also compared with those of young adult subjects. Ready for some good news? Results showed that the weight training had allowed the older subjects to not only dramatically increase their strength but to reverse the aging process itself. Their genetic fingerprints had been “reversed to levels similar to those seen in the younger adults.” Granted, the older adults didn’t achieve the same strength levels as those of the younger set within the six month period. This result, however, isn’t to be taken as an absolute lesson in limitation.

An Ohio University study found that older subjects gained strength “at the same rate as untrained young men.” The older men didn’t achieve the same “heft,” but researchers noted that the difference in muscle size could at least partly be attributed to the “smaller, less developed” state of their muscle tissue upon beginning the study. Still, the older subjects experienced a 30-40 % growth in muscle and up to a 100% stamina increase at the end of 16 weeks.

With all this said, our upper years do take their toll on muscle mass. Research out the University of Minnesota (logically) shows that muscles with a higher proportion of type II fibers are impacted by age more than those muscles with a more balanced proportion of type I and type II fibers. While we’re able to rebuild muscle mass as older adults, we may not be able to rebuild it to the same degree as younger adults do. It can also take longer to recover between weight training sessions, which means our goals might take us longer than they would’ve a couple decades earlier. The University of Minnesota’s research, however, suggests that we have the ability to build muscle strengths into our nineties.

The lesson here? Building muscle is absolutely possible, but the best scenario is to both build and maintain muscle mass throughout your life.

Here are a few extra tips for doing just that.

Exercise: Include regular weight training in your fitness routine, and avoid the sabotages of chronic cardio. Check out the Dear Mark post this week for suggestions on a lifting and recovery routine as well as other activities to round out your work out program.

Nutrition: Grains and sugars not only cause inflammation, which perpetually taxes your organs, they throw off your hormone levels. (You definitely want to keep your endocrine system running in top shape.)

Obviously, protein is key. In our Pondering Protein post a few weeks ago, we mentioned the University of Texas at Galveston study that found older adults have the same capacity as their younger counterparts for converting protein-rich food into muscle. Earlier research, including a study out of the University of Nottingham, found that older adults had diminished ability to recognize and process amino acids. Their study, however, used protein drinks rather than actual food, which the Galveston study used. The researchers at Nottingham had suggested older adults eat a protein rich snack or meal directly following a weight training session, since they believed the body was better able to process protein post-workout.

We think there’s good advice to be taken from both studies. Older adults should certainly eat a protein-rich diet with natural protein food sources. In addition, it’s not a bad idea to go for that protein-rich snack after your weight workout. While we’re on the subject of protein, omega-3s from fish oil can enhance the conversion process of food protein to muscle protein. Be sure to include a good fish oil supplement in your diet.

Sleep: A good amount of shut-eye is imperative for the release of HGH (human growth hormone), which aids the development of muscle mass.

Other suggestions: Beyond the suggestions above, avoid toxins/additives/livestock hormones as much as possible. Endocrine disruption can lower testosterone levels and wreak other havoc in the body. Choose organic when you can and take other protective measures when you can’t, such as washing veggies and fruits well and looking for dairy and meats from livestock raised without hormones. Although we appreciate dietary fat around here, we’re not fans of the toxins found in meat and dairy fat. Of particular concern are dioxins, which can remain in the system for decades. (The kicker: dioxins are even found in organics as a result of acid rain on grass and feed grains.)

In short, those of us in the more “seasoned” crowd have all kinds of opportunity (and few excuses) to not give those youngsters at the gym a run for their money.

Source: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/muscle-aging/#axzz3yGOBiPaq

For more information and appointments, please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England
www.BostonTestosterone.com
CBlaisdell@CORENewEngland.com
Clinic: 781-269-5953

The Best Predictor for Heart Disease

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Cholesterol has been blamed for just about every case of heart disease for the last 20 years, when in reality, you need the good cholesterol (HDL) in order to be healthy. Your body uses cholesterol for cell membranes, hormones, neurotransmitters and overall nerve function. 

Your total cholesterol number isn’t the best  indicator of heart disease risk. One of the most important tests you can get to determine your risk is the NMR lipoprofile, which measures your LDL particle number. This test also has other markers that can help determine if you have insulin resistance, which is a primary cause of elevated LDL particle number and increased heart disease risk 

 If you’ve had your cholesterol levels checked, your doctor most likely tested your total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. But the newest research shows those are not accurate predictors for cardiovascular disease risk. A much more accurate predictor is testing your LDL particle number.  

 Imagine your bloodstream’s like a river, the LDL particles are like the boats that carry the cholesterol and fats around your body. The cholesterol and fats are like cargo in the boats. Right now doctors are usually measuring the amount of cargo or cholesterol in the LDL particles. But what we should be measuring is the number of LDL particles, or the number of boats in the river, so to speak, because that’s a much more accurate risk factor for heart disease.” 

 Therefore, it’s possible to have a normal total or LDL cholesterol level, yet have a high number of LDL particles.  

Fortunately, there are now ways to test for your LDL particle number and Core Medical Group is offering this test. The results of this test will help determine if you truly need a statin medication, and which treatment modality is the most beneficial.  

For more information and appointments, please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England
www.BostonTestosterone.com
CBlaisdell@CORENewEngland.com
Clinic: 781-269-5953

Active Seniors Have Fewer Heart Attacks and Strokes

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A ten-year study of older Americans shows that those who are physically active have a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes. The study included more than 4,000 men and women whose average age at the beginning of the study was 73 years old.

Walking Reduces the Risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes:

Those who walked faster than three miles an hour were only half as likely to develop heart disease or a stroke as those who ambled slower than two miles an hour. The researchers found that those walking seven blocks a day or so cut their risk of stroke or cardiovascular disease by around 50 percent compared to people who walked five blocks or fewer a week.

Having Fun Can Help the Heart:

Active leisure activities such as yard work, swimming, biking or hiking were also protective against heart attacks and strokes. The lead author noted,

“Our study of older Americans shows that, even late in life, moderate physical activity such as walking is linked to lower incidence of cardiovascular disease.”

One of the highlights of the study is that even people who were 75 or older at the beginning of it (and thus 85 or above by the time it ended) got protection from heart attacks and strokes by being active. Just the amount of walking needed to cover seven blocks in Boston, where the study took place, was helpful.

Circulation, online Nov. 4, 2015

What Can You Do?

The take-home message here is Move! It’s never too late to start. To get the most benefit from your activity, pick something you like to do (dancing? yoga? walking the dog? all are good) so you will do it regularly and stick with it. Getting a buddy or a group of friends to join in is even better, as most people don’t want to let the gang down and so will show up for the walk. That way, all your friends can also enjoy the benefits that you will gain against heart attacks and strokes.

A Holiday Gift Suggestion:

Early this year, researchers found that devices that track activity or count steps can be helpful in giving walkers motivation or feedback to keep going. While you don’t need a fancy gadget to do this, you might know someone who would appreciate an electronic device or even an ordinary pedometer as a gift this year. It might help ward off heart attacks and strokes.

Source: http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2015/11/26/active-seniors-have-fewer-heart-attacks-and-strokes/

For more information and appointments, please contact Clinic Director Charlie Blaisdell at CBlaisdell@CoreNewEngland.com

BTP/CORE New England
www.BostonTestosterone.com
CBlaisdell@CORENewEngland.com
Clinic: 781-269-5953

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