Or just stressed and pulling your hair out?
A new study from UC San Francisco is the first to show that while the impact of life’s stressors accumulate overtime and accelerate cellular aging, these negative effects may be reduced by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and sleeping well.
“The study participants who exercised, slept well and ate well had less telomere (the protective caps at the ends of chromosomes that affect how quickly cells age) shortening than the ones who didn’t maintain healthy lifestyles, even when they had similar levels of stress,” said lead author Eli Puterman, PhD, assistant professor in the department of psychiatry at UCSF. “It’s very important that we promote healthy living, especially under circumstances of typical experiences of life stressors like death, caregiving and job loss.”
Shorter telomeres have become associated with a broad range of aging-related diseases, including stroke, vascular dementia, cardiovascular disease, obesity, osteoporosis diabetes, and many forms of cancer.
“This is the first study that supports the idea, at least observationally, that stressful events can accelerate immune cell aging in adults, even in the short period of one year. Exciting, though, is that these results further suggest that keeping active, and eating and sleeping well during periods of high stress are particularly important to attenuate the accelerated aging of our immune cells,” said Puterman.
In the first large, population-based study of its kind, a team of researchers has found a link between vitamin D consumption and the risk of developing dementia. Older people who do not get enough vitamin D could double their risk of developing the condition. Similarly, younger people who do not consume enough vitamin D increase their risks of developing dementia later on.
Vitamin D is important for the body’s immune function, growth and repair of bones, and normal calcium and phosphorus absorption. It can be obtained from fish, milk, eggs and cheese.
Dementia is a collective term used to describe the problems that people with various underlying brain disorders can have with their memory, language and thinking. Alzheimer’s disease is the best known and most common disorder under the umbrella of dementia.
Alzheimer’s disease is the sixth leading cause of death in the US and is believed to currently affect 5.3 million Americans. It is most common in people aged over 65, in which a tenth of the population has the condition, but has been known to afflict individuals as young as 40 years of age.
The authors of the study, published in Neurology, state that low concentrations of vitamin D are associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Worryingly, there are high rates of vitamin D deficiency in older adults – the group most at risk from developing dementia.
The CDC report that one third of the US population do not get sufficient amounts of vitamin D, with 8% of the population at risk of vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is obtained from sun exposure and foods such as milk, eggs, cheese and fatty fish.
The study could provide a good starting point for this area of research. “Our findings are very encouraging and even if a small number of people could benefit, this would have enormous public health implications given the devastating and costly nature of dementia.” New deitary guidelines are supporting eating vitamin D rich foods once a day and oily fish a minimum of once a week.
This is Carol and here is what she has to say: “I am so fortunate to have found this healthy lifestyle! In my early 50’s I started to put on weight- a little more each year until I was overweight, tired and had sore knees. I was fat and my clothes did not fit. I was not going to go up another size. I could not lose the weight. Now in my late 50’s I have lost 39 pounds and have gone from a size 12 to a size 4!! In just 16 weeks. I feel younger and have energy again, my knees don’t hurt and I even sleep better! I have learned to eat right and develop healthy habits for the rest of my life. This program worked so well for me I had to be a part of it, and share it with my family and friends.”
Down 60 pounds in just 2 1/2 months and still going. This is Dave and he’s using my program to build healthy habits that will serve him for a lifetime and help him keep from gaining back what he’s losing.
It’s not just about weight loss….it’s about keeping that healthy, trim body for the rest of your life.
Mitchelle began this program with a 90 Day Fat Loss challenge. In that time, he dropped 58 pounds. A year and a half later, he’s down a total of 69 pounds and is running marathons. He feels great. What could you be doing a year from now?
For today I want to celebrate an amazing couple. My friend Erica who lost over 100 pounds & her hubby Brian who lost 70.
She texted me and said “we lost an entire overweight person”. Yay for happy couples!
Results vary. Average weight loss 2-5 pounds per week for the first 2 weeks and 1-2 pounds per week thereafter.