Age Gracefully

Article Highlights

  • Omegas, carotenoids and vitamins improve cognition
  • Folate and healthy DNA
  • Vitamin D, calcium and balance

It’s never too late to improve one’s approach to a healthier future. Diet and exercise choices become even more important every day we age. Simple changes, like adding a brisk walk to your daily routine, can make surprising differences to the way you feel and look, especially if you have been under a lot of stress.

In these studies, omega-3s, vitamin D and folate offer some promising prospects for the quest to age gracefully. Find out more below.

Omega-3s, carotenoids, vitamins improve cognition

The usual way doctors measure nutrients in the diet is by a food questionnaire. Here, researchers measured groups of nutrients circulating in the bloodstream—nutrient biomarker patterns (NBPs)—and compared to several measures of brain function including general intelligence, executive function, memory, and brain network efficiency.

Doctors measured NBPs in 116 older adults with healthy cognition. Overall, five NBPs were linked to better cognitive performance: omega-3s and -6; lycopene; omega-3s alone; carotenoids; and the B vitamins riboflavin, folate, B12, and vitamin D.

Three NBPs were linked to better brain network efficiency: omega-6, omega-3s, and carotene. Also, omega-3s stimulated the brain region for general intelligence while omega-6 and lycopene stimulated the brain region controlling attention and executive function.

Summarizing the results, doctors said the connection between brain network efficiency and cognitive performance has a direct link to the level of nutrients.

Reference: Neuroimage; December, 2018, Vol. 188, 239-51

Photo by Anastasiya Vragova on Pexels.com

Folate for Healthy DNA

While doctors know mothers’ low folate increases chances for neural tube birth defects, new research shows folate deficiency impairs healthy cell division and DNA replication in adults, creating far more chromosomal damage than previously thought.

In this study, when white blood cells from men were deficient in folate, abnormal cell division increased. Doctors said the deficient cells lost all or part of their chromosome, causing the daughter cells to inherit the incorrect amount of DNA after cell division. This could explain why diseases like infertility, mental health issues, and cancers, may have a link to low folate.

Reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA); 2018, Vol. 115, No. 51

Vitamin D, calcium reduce vertigo

A sudden change in head position can give a sense of spinning, a condition called benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV). The cause is calcium carbonate crystals, normally embedded in gel in the inner ear, breaking loose and migrating to the semicircular ear canals.

In this study, about half of 1,030 people with BPPV took 400 IU of vitamin D plus 500 mg of calcium carbonate per day, while the other half took no supplements. Compared to this group, after one year, those taking D with calcium saw BPPV recur 24 percent fewer times per year.

Reference: Neurology; 2020, Vol. 95, No. 9, 10343

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BetsyHealth Note: This article is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease, nor have any of the statements been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Consult your healthcare provider before trying a supplement, especially if you have a medical condition, including being pregnant or nursing, or take prescription or over the counter medications. Report any adverse events to your healthcare provider.

Article copyright 2021 by Natural Insights for Well Being. All rights reserved. Used with permission.