The Secret to Protecting Your Eyesight

The Secret to Protecting Your Eyesight

 

 

 

 

Can you avoid age-related degenerative eye disease? Our eyesight naturally diminishes to some extent as we age, but regardless of our age, our eyes should provide us with good service for a lifetime. New research reveals that age-related eye disorders can be prevented and possibly even reversed. The key to maintaining good vision depends on your diet. (Sources listed at bottom)

The body has an amazing ability for self-repair. If we get a cut, a bruise, break a bone, or suffer some other injury, the body knows exactly what to do to repair the damage. In time, the cut is completely healed, damaged blood vessels in a bruise are repaired, and broken bones are fused back together, in many cases the repair is so complete that there is little or no trace that an injury ever occurred.

Like other tissues, peripheral nerves throughout our bodies have a high capacity for regeneration after injury, however injury to nerve cells within the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) do not. In fact, for many years it was believed that brain tissue, could not be repaired or regenerated. Once an injury occurred, the neurons, or brain cells, were gone forever. It was thought that the brain cells we were born with were all that we would ever have. We now know that this is not correct, brain cells can be regenerated and new brain cells do grow and develop just like other cells throughout the body.

The eyes are extensions of the brain and consist of neurons or nerve cells similar to those in the brain and, likewise, have the potential to regenerate. The light sensitive portion of the eye is the retina, which lines the inside of the eyeball. When light hits the retina it sends nerve impulses to the brain. These impulses are sent to the brain through long thread-like appendages of the retina that combine to  form the optic nerve.

Any damage that occurs to the retina or optic nerve can cause visual impairment and if serious enough, complete blindness. When injured, the retina and optic nerve generally have little ability for self repair and eventually die, eliminating any chance for regeneration. Injury to the optic nerve usually leads to lifelong visual impairment.

The most common degenerative eye diseases that involve damage to the retina and optic nerve are glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinopathy. These three conditions cause the vast majority of irreversible vision loss in people living in affluent countries.

 

 

Glaucoma

Glaucoma is believed to be caused, in part, by abnormal pressure within the eye. The eyeball is filled with a viscous fluid that helps maintain the shape of the eye and circulate nutrients. This fluid is constantly entering and leaving the eyeball. If it enters faster than it exists, the pressure within the eye builds up damaging the retina and optic nerve. Treatment is focused on lowering fluid pressure with the use of medicated eye drops, drugs, laser therapy, surgery, or some combination of these. However, once the retinal cells are damaged they are considered gone for good.

 

 

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetic retinopathy is caused by inadequately controlled diabetes. High blood sugar causes the blood vessels feeding the retina to degenerate and become leaky. This distorts the retina leading to permanent damage. Besides trying to get blood sugar under control, treatment may involve laser surgery to burn or cauterize damaged blood vessels to keep them from leaking. This permanently scars the retina, but may prevent or slow further vision loss.

 

 

 

Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is the slow destruction of the macula—the portion of the retina that is needed for sharp, central vision. In macular degeneration central vision is lost first and gradually progresses out affecting side or peripheral vision. Vision loss is permanent. The cause of macular degeneration is unknown and there is no effective treatment. When macular degeneration occurs later in life it is usually referred to as age-related macular degeneration to distinguish it from other forms that may be inherited and appear early in life.

 

 

 

 

For many years the inability of damaged retinal neurons and optic nerve to regrow was accepted almost as a “law of nature,” and on the clinical level, retinal injury was seen as being irreversible and corresponding vision loss was permanent. Today medical researchers are starting to unlock the secrets of neuronal regeneration. Under the right conditions, injury to the retina and optic nerve can be healed. A growing number of studies over the past two decades have demonstrated that the retina can be transformed into an active regenerative state allowing these neurons to survive injury and to regenerate the damaged optic nerve.

Almost all clinical studies using drugs as a means to protect the retina, optic nerve, and other components of the eye have failed. However, a special group of naturally occurring proteins called brain-derived neurotrophic factors (BDNFs) show great promise. BDNFs play a key role in regulating survival, growth, and maintenance of neurons. They help support the survival of existing neurons and encourage the growth and differentiation of new neurons.

Normally, injury to the optic nerve induces a rapid die-back leading to retinal cell death. However, when an adequate amount of BDNFs are present, the effects of injury are diminished and the optic nerve and retina can be repaired or regenerated.

Animal studies have shown that after cutting the optic nerve in adult rats, retinal cells progressively degenerate until, after two months, a residual population of only about 5 percent of these cells survive. When BDNFs are present, however, survival rate significantly increases. For example, in one study researchers cut the optic nerves in a group of rats. The injury to the optic nerve caused a rapid, progressive degeneration and death of the retinal neurons. After 3 weeks, only 10 percent of the retinal neurons survived. After 5 weeks, the number dropped to 8 percent, and by the 7th week only 5 percent remained. In a second group of rats BDNFs was injected into their eyes before the optic nerve was severed. In this group, two to three times as many retinal neurons survived compared to untreated controls.1

Studies show that after cutting the optic nerve, BDNFs not only protect the retinal neurons from dying, but promote regrowth. The retinal neurons sprout new growths that elongate and form functional connections with other neurons. In lab mice that have had their optic nerves severed, BDNFs allowed the animals to recover the ability of light-dark discrimination.2 In essence, researchers have been able to restore partial sight to blind mice.

We always have some BDNFs circulating in our central nervous system that helps protect our brains and eyes from degeneration. However, people with diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and macular degeneration have a deficiency of BDNFs, which makes them more susceptible to neurodegeneration and visual problems.3-4

BDNFs provide the potential for preventing degenerative vision loss and possibly even partially restoring lost vision. In animal studies, BDNFs can be injected directly into the eyeball to boost levels of these protective proteins. Clinically, this process is not feasible because in order to maintain therapeutic levels of BDNFs, multiple injections are needed over a period of time to maximize the benefit.5

 

 

Fortunately, BDNFs are produced naturally in our bodies. Using this fact, another approach to raise BDNFs to therapeutic levels is to boost the body’s own production of these protective proteins. This can be done quite simply through diet.

 

 

 

Ketones

 

The production of BDNFs is stimulated by the presence of ketones. Ketones are produced from fatty acids stored in body fat and provide an alternative to glucose as a source of fuel for the brain.

Normally, our cells, including our brain cells, use glucose as their primary source of fuel. Most the glucose in our bodies comes from carbohydrates in our foods. When we eat a meal, carbohydrates are converted into glucose and released into our bloodstream.

Between meals or when we don’t eat carbohydrates, blood glucose levels fall. Our cells need a continual supply of energy to function, so when this happens, fat stores in the body are mobilized and fatty acids are released into the bloodstream. Our cells can use fatty acids for fuel just like they do glucose.

 

 

The brain, however, cannot use these fatty acids and must have an alternative source of fuel. Some of these fatty acids are converted into ketones, which are readily used as fuel by neurons. Ketones not only supply the brain with energy, but also trigger the production of BDNFs.

 

Suggested: The Ketogenic Bible by Dr. Jacob Wilson and Ryan Lowery, PhD

 

One way to increase the body’s levels of BDNFs is to eat a low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet.

 

A low-carb diet keeps blood glucose levels low, which causes the release of fatty acids and the production of ketones. A very low-carb or ketogenic diet stimulates greater ketone production and higher BDNF levels. Therapeutic levels of BDNFs can be attained and maintained for an indefinite period of time on a very low-carb diet.

 

 

 

 

 

Example: Viva Organic Extra-Virgin Coconut Oil

Another way to raise ketones, and consequently BDNFs, is by eating coconut oil.

 

Coconut oil is composed predominately of the unique group of fatty acids known as medium chain fatty acids (MCFAs). When consumed, a significant proportion of these MCFAs are automatically converted into ketones, regardless of blood glucose levels. You can raise blood ketone and BDNF levels simply by adding coconut oil into your daily diet.

If you eat enough coconut oil, you can raise blood ketones and BDNFs to therapeutic levels. This would require the consumption of 2-4 tablespoons of coconut oil daily. A smaller amount would be needed if you combine coconut oil with a very low-carb diet.

 

 

Final Thoughts

If you want to preserve your vision and protect yourself from encountering age-related degenerative eye disorders that affect the retina and optic nerve, your safest and most effective approach would be to incorporate coconut oil into your daily diet.

If you have already experienced some vision loss due to glaucoma, macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy, combining coconut oil with a low-carb diet can help you prevent any further vision loss and possibly even regain some of your lost vision.

 

Recommended Reading:

Bruce Fife, CN, ND, a certified nutritionist and naturopathic physician. He is the author of over 20 books including The Coconut Oil Miracle and Stop Vision Loss Now!

 

References

1. Mey, J and Thanos, S. Intravitreal injections of neurotrophic factors support the survival of axotomized retinal ganglion cells in adult rates in vivo. Brain Res 1993;602:304-317.
2. Watanabe, M, et al. Survival of axotomized retinal ganglion cells in adult mammals. Clin Neurosci 1997;4:233-239.
3. Ola, MS, et al. Reduced levels of brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the serum of diabetic retinopathy patients and in the retina of diabetic rats. Cell Mol Neurobiol 2013;33:359-367.
4. Gupta, v, et al. BDNF impairment is associated with age-related changes in the inner retina and exacerbates experimental glaucoma. Biochim Biophys Acta 2014;1842:1567-1578.
5. Ko, ML, et al. Patterns of retinal ganglion cell survival after brain-derived neurotrophic factor administration in hypertensive eyes of rats. Neurosci Lett 2001:305:139-142.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

 

 

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Nail Fungus Laser Therapy Guide

Nail Fungus Laser Therapy Guide

 

 

 

Nail fungus, particularly in the toenails, is a common malady among older persons and laser therapy is being used as a treatment but is it worth it?

 

Dermatologist B.E. Elewski says that merely being over 60 years of age is a risk factor for this type of fungus. It is wise for elderly persons to use effective treatments, including new therapies that appear promising. Is laser therapy for toenail fungus one of the promising treatments?

There are many traditional treatments for nail fungus including oral and topical anti-fungal treatments.  In addition, the affected part of a nail or the whole nail plate can be removed surgically and rapidly as an outpatient procedure.

These traditional treatments have potential side effects. Oral medications can cause upset stomachs and even liver damage, according to the Mayo Clinic. They are not always effective in elder persons. Topical ointments may take months to work. Removal of the nail or a portion is painful and takes a long time for growth of the nail. Recurrence and reinfection are common.

Laser treatment of nail fungus, which was approved by the FDA in 2010, penetrates the nail plate and kills fungi underneath. Advocates of laser therapy for toenail fungus say the procedure is fast, painless and brings quick results. But scientists do not agree.

 

The Disappointing Truth:  Nail Fungus Laser Treatment is Ineffective

 

Becker and Bershow reviewed the scientific studies of laser therapy for toenail fungus and found no effective results in randomized, controlled, clinical trials. In addition, the therapy was not painless and recurrence of fungal infection was high.

However, the authors of the literature review acknowledged that reinfection is so common with nail fungus that it is possible that reinfection, not recurrence of the original infection, was responsible for the unpersuasive results.

Another study, published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, noted that laser treatment did not produce a cure when tested on humans with toenail fungus. The researchers noted that only one kind of laser light was tested. Nevertheless, they stated about their results: “In vivo treatment did not result in onychomycosis cure” meaning that the testing of laser treatment on human patients did not produce a toenail fungus cure. (see sources below)

 

Nail Fungus Laser Therapy is Expensive, Elective and Cosmetic

 

Another detriment of nail fungus laser therapy is cost. The expense is usually not covered by insurance because toenail fungus is deemed a cosmetic issue, not a serious health matter. Treatment is elective and based more on the appearance of the feet than an actual health threat. The cosmetic side of nail fungus is perturbing to those who have it. Symptoms of nail fungus include distortion of the nail surface, including a brittle or ridged appearance, discoloration of the nail surface (usually a dull yellow color) and brittle-looking or crumbling nails. But it is rarely a dangerous condition.

Until laser therapy passes more randomized, controlled, clinical tests elderly patients may wish to forego the expense. Although laser therapy for nail fungus may be the wave of the future, at this time it has not proven effective. Scientists recommend traditional treatments as they have proven to be more effective.

 

 

 

So What Can You Do to GET RID OF IT?!

 

Doctors will often recommend Oral antifungal drugs

Studies show the most effective treatments are terbinafine (Lamisil) and itraconazole (Sporanox). These drugs help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected part.

You typically take this type of drug for six to 12 weeks. But you won’t see the end result of treatment until the nail grows back completely. It may take four months or longer to eliminate an infection.

Treatment success rates with these drugs appear to be lower in adults over age 65. And treatment success seems to improve when you combine oral and topical antifungal therapies.

Oral antifungal drugs may cause side effects ranging from skin rash to liver damage. You may need occasional blood tests to check on how you’re doing with these types of drugs. Doctors may not recommend them for people with liver disease or congestive heart failure or those taking certain medications.

 

For more severe cases, there are surgical and other treatments such as Nail removal. If your nail infection is severe or extremely painful, your doctor may suggest removing your nail. A new nail will usually grow in its place. But it will come in slowly and may take as long as a year to grow back completely. Sometimes surgery is used in combination with ciclopirox to treat the nail bed.

 

In my research for a better option, I came across a natural product called Zane Hellas Fungus Stop Anti fungal Nail Solution, which really stood out among the many remedies marketed to toenail fungus sufferers. 

Fungus Stop is made in Greece by a company called Zane Hellas, and is the #1 bestseller in Nail Fungus Treatments on Amazon, with numerous positive testimonials and photos included in its over 1,500 customer reviews, which simply wouldn’t be possible with an ineffective product.

Zane Hellas Fungus Stop

 The main active ingredient in Fungus Stop is Carvacrol. Carvacrol is an ingredient found in the highest content in Oregano Oil and is completely natural.

Carvacrol  has very strong antifungal properties and can completely eradicate toenail fungus.

Used since ancient times and there are many published scientific medical studies on the properties and effectiveness of Carvacrol Oregano Oil.

 

  • Fungus Stop also contains Vitamin E and Vitamin C to nourish the skin and nails.
  • Fungus Stop produces fast results in the appearance and color of the nails.
  • Treatment can be completed only in 4 Weeks with this highly effective maximum strength solution.
  • Fungus Stop is Clinically Proven and formulated at Therapeutic Grade strength.
  • Fungus Stop kills 99.9% of Nail Fungus.
  • 100% Natural Herb Ingredients

 

 

Who Should Use Fungus Stop?

 

Fungus Stop is an Antifungal, suitable for Toenail Fungus, Athletes Foot, Bacterial Infections and Parasites Problems.  If you are diabetic and think you may be developing toenail fungus, see your doctor first, as diabetic foot problems may be more serious.

 

 

What’s In Fungus Stop?

 

  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Wild Essential Oregano Oil ( non GMO- 100% Organic & Wild)
  • Organic Almond Oil (From Real Almond Seeds)
  •  Organic Essentila Tea Tree Oil
  • Organic Calentula Oil,Organic Avocado Oil
  • Made in Greece

 

 

How Do I use Fungus Stop?

 

Brush Fungus Stop on to your nail (around and under nails), once a day for 4 weeks . Heat sensation is normal.

Wait 5-7 minutes until absorbed. Do not wash your feet or hands for 5-7 minutes.

During this time avoid the hand contact with eyes.

If the fungal infection it is on your toenails put clean socks.

Stop use if irritation occurs or there is no improvement within 4 weeks. Do not use on broken skin or any other foot conditions.

 

 

When to See a Doctor

 

You may want to see a physician if Fungus Stop hasn’t helped. Also, as previously mentioned, be sure to see a doctor if you have diabetes and think you’re developing nail fungus.

 

How Do I keep Toenail Fungus From Coming Back?

 

  • Wash your hands and feet regularly and keep your nails short and dry. Wash your hands and feet with soap and water, rinse, and dry thoroughly, including between the toes. Trim nails straight across and file down thickened areas.
  • Wear anti-fungal socks that absorb sweat. Fabrics effective at wicking away moisture include wool, nylon and polypropylene. Change your socks often, especially if you have sweaty feet.
  • Choose shoes that reduce humidity. It also helps to occasionally take off your shoes or wear open-toe footwear.
  • Discard old shoes. If possible, avoid wearing old shoes, which can harbor fungi and cause a reinfection. Or treat them with disinfectants or antifungal powders.
  • Wear rubber gloves. This protects your hands from overexposure to water. Between uses, turn the gloves inside out to dry.
  • Don’t trim or pick at the skin around your nails. This may give germs access to your skin and nails.
  • Don’t go barefoot in public places. Wear sandals or shoes around pools, showers, and locker rooms.
  • Choose a reputable nail salon. Make sure the place you go for a manicure or pedicure sterilizes its instruments. Better yet, bring your own and disinfect them after use.
  • Give up nail polish and artificial nails while you are treating nail fungus. Although it may be tempting to hide nail fungal infections under a coat of pretty pink polish, this can trap unwanted moisture and worsen the infection.
  • Wash your hands after touching an infected nail. Nail fungus can spread from nail to nail.

 

Toenail Fungal infections of the nails can be a persistent and sometimes embarrassing problem, and occasionally can become painful. 

If you suspect you are developing toenail fungus, I recommend that you begin a treatment with Fungus Stop right away, and give it a good 4 weeks.

See your doctor if you are diabetic, or if you don’t see any improvement within a few weeks of using the product. 

With time and consistency, you will very likely be able to cure your toenail fungus yourself, so be patient and apply the treatment daily.

 

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some helpful information about getting rid of toenail fungus; it’s much easier to do these days than most people think.

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

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Sources

Becker, C., Bershow, A. (September 14, 2013). Lasers and photodynamic therapy in the treatment of onychomycosis–a review of the literature. Dermatology Online Journal, 19(9): 19611. Available online at http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0js6z1kw. Accessed March 10, 2017.

Carney, C., Cantrell, W., Warner, J., Elewski, B. (October 2013). Treatment of onychomycosis using a submillisecond 1064-nm neodymium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 69(4): 578–582. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jaad.2013.04.054.

Elewski, B. E. (July 1998). Onychomycosis: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis, and Management. Clinical Microbiology Review, 11(3): 415-429. Available online at:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC88888/. Accessed February 17, 2017.

Great Neck Family Foot Care. (February 24, 2017). Safe & Effective Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus. Available online at http://greatneckfamilyfootcare.com/2017/02/safe-effective-laser-treatment-toenail-fungus/. Accessed March 10, 2017.

Mayo Clinic. Nail Fungus. Available online at: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/nail-fungus/basics/symptoms/con-20019319. Accessed February 17, 2017.

O’Connor, A. (March 14, 2014). Laser Treatments for Toenail Fungus. Ask Well. New York Times. Available online at  https://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/03/14/ask-well-laser-treatments-for-nail-fungus/?_r=0. Accessed March 10, 2017.

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

Are Genetic Testing Services Worth It?

 

 

Thinking about using a DNA sample to look at your heritage

—and predict your future?

 

 

Only a few short years ago, services like Ancestry.com and 23andMe that allow you to submit a saliva or tissue sample to find out where your ancestors came from was the stuff of science fiction.  The thought of sending a genetic simple to a company like Ancestry.com and receiving a detailed report on your genetic background—including a very detailed discussion of what part of the globe your forebears hailed from.

Yet today, Ancestry DNA and 23andMe have advanced these concepts to a point where they are both scientifically possible and economically feasible. Depending on what you are trying to do, and depending on the service you choose, it is possible to begin delving into your genetic background for as little as a few hundred dollars. Those wishing for a much more detailed look at their genes can anticipate paying upwards of $2,000; however, most people do not need the level of detail that such a and analysis would bring, and are able to achieve their goals for less than $200.

This is the world of genetic mapping: the practice of using a DNA sample to look at your heritage—and predict your future. If you are considering using a genetic mapping service, here is some more information that you may find to be useful.

 

How Does Genetic Mapping Work?

 

Of course, the number of laboratories and companies offering genetic mapping services is almost limitless and growing by the day. As technology continues to advance, making genetic mapping more feasible, more and more companies are offering this service—in one form or another—available to the public.

Ancestry.com, just as other services do, will request that you provide a sample of your DNA. This is usually done by placing saliva in a tube, then sealing it and mailing it to the lab. Other DNA samples that are commonly requested include a cotton swab of the cheek and gums or a small blood sample. Regardless of the specific type of sample, the process is essentially the same: a home collection kit is mailed to the consumer, who then collects the sample and returns it through the mail. This process is convenient, fast, and simple.

Once the genetic mapping company obtains the sample, it runs one or more of a number of tests on it. The results of the tests are then compiled into a report and sent back to the consumer. Reports can be as specific as testing for a few identified conditions, or as general as a lengthy list of various conditions and diseases, along with the consumer’s propensity for developing each.

In the case of genetic mapping that is used for other purposes—such as discovering one’s ethnic background—the reports may contain information setting out the consumer’s genetic makeup and ethnic background by percentage (for example, 62% Eastern European, 17% Southeast Asian, and 11% Northern African).

 

 

 

Why Would You Want to Map Your Genes?

 

Family Tree Testing Kit

 

Of course, there can be any number of reasons for using such a service, depending on what it is that the consumer is interested in. These services can be a valuable part of one’s preventive healthcare strategy, or can simply be an interesting source of information.

 

WalkInLab.com

 

In the case of genetic mapping reports that pertain to medical conditions or disease susceptibility, many people find them to be helpful in order to alert them to specific areas of concern. By identifying those diseases or conditions to which they are more likely to be susceptible, the genetic mapping process allows them to take preventive steps and enact rigorous monitoring procedures in order to minimize the likelihood that they will actually develop the conditions or diseases.

In the case of genetic mapping that is used to uncover one’s heritage, consumers who are seeking to find their roots may find the tests to be a valuable part of their efforts. Additionally, they can be used to assist in narrowing down a search for relatives, particularly in cases where someone was adopted at birth and is seeking to reconnect to his or her blood relations.

Sometimes, using a genetic mapping service is simply a way to help build a connection with someone else. For example, if you spend a lot of time with an elderly friend or relative, you may find that obtaining a genetic map of each person’s background gives you both something to talk about and explore together.

Other people simply want to be alerted as to any potential anomalies in their genetic makeup. For example, they may want to know if they have a certain gene mutation that would cause them to be more likely to fall prey to a certain fate—even if they have no blood relatives with a similar condition.

Whatever the specific reason for using a genetic mapping service, given the ease with which a genetic report may be obtained, along with the relatively lower cost of doing so, many people choose to obtain at least a cursory report on their overall genetic picture. Sometimes they do it for no other reason than because it is interesting and fun to do so.

A simple Internet search of genetic mapping services will return pages of results. With so many companies offering genetic mapping, it can be challenging to determine which one best suits your needs. As with so many other things, the answer is that it depends on what you are looking for.

 

 

Ancestry DNA

Many have used Ancestry.com to trace their ancestors and to utilize the rich hints that can make building a family tree much easier. But now, AncestryDNA also offers genetic tracking by using a “microarray-based autosomal DNA testing” matching a person’s entire genome from over 700,000 locations.  

The result will include information about your ethnicity across 26 regions/ethnicities and will identify potential relatives through DNA matching to others who have taken the AncestryDNA test.  It will disclose if you are partially Native American but the results cannot be used as a substitute for legal documentation.

 

 

 

23andMe

 

A company similar to Ancestry.com that combines both the ancestry and health concern tests is 23andMe. This business offers a basic test and a test with a more detailed report.

Similar to many of the other tests, it starts with a saliva sample.

Using the 23andme test provides consumers with a detailed report that provides a breakdown of their ethnicity by percentage, and can help them to determine their lineage going back as far as 1000 years. Those who opt-in are afforded the opportunity to connect with other people who share their DNA, making it possible to find blood relatives. This last option can be particularly useful to people who have been adopted and who are searching to discover their roots.

On the health risks screening front, 23andMe offers a test that screens consumers for a genetic propensity towards a number of potential conditions. These may be conditions that the consumers are more susceptible to, or it may be conditions for which consumers are carriers—meaning that they themselves don’t suffer from the condition, but they have the potential to produce offspring who would, under certain circumstances.

Other tests offered by this company include health and well-being issues (such as lactose intolerance—something that is not dangerous in and of itself, but can impact one’s well-being), genetic traits (such as the likelihood of developing male pattern baldness), and more.

 

Other Genetic Mapping Services

 

MyHeritageDNA

 

 

MyHeritageDNA provides two fascinating types of results:

Ethnicity Estimate: A percentage breakdown of your ancestral background, showing your ancestors’ origins from among 42 ethnicities, including Irish, Italian, North African, Japanese, East Asian, and many others. MyHeritage has the largest pool of supported ethnicities in the industry.

DNA Matching: This powerful feature uses your DNA to help you find new relatives from all around the world. Your matches, from both your mother’s and father’s side, will include information about your shared genetic sequences, and identify your estimated relationship.

 

 

 

 

GPS Origins

 

 

GPS Origins boasts the most complete DNA Ancestry results, with a new ancestral tracking technique that can pinpoint your ancestry down to the nearest town or village!  GPS Origins analyzes 800,000 genetic markers, 862 reference populations and 36 gene pools.

 

 

 

Colors BRCA Test

 

 

The Colors BRCA Test allows women to test their genetic risk for breast and ovarian cancer, by testing the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

These tests are physician ordered, and Colors will connect you with an independent physician who can order the testing on your behalf, if appropriate.

Your test result includes access to professional genetic counselors can help explain how your results may impact you. 

You can then take your clinical grade report to your healthcare provide, who can help you make a plan that reduces your risk of breast and ovarian cancer.  I noticed that the Colors BRCA Test has particularly positive reviews from nearly every user.

While this test is probably of more interest to women, the BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations can impact certain male cancer risks as well:

Things You Should Consider About Genetic Testing

 

Of course, as with any new technology, there are considerations with genetic mapping that many people may not have encountered before. By being aware of these issues, you can go into your genetic mapping with your eyes open.

First, genetic mapping is not always 100% accurate. There exists the potential that a certain test will return a false positive—or a false negative—for a given condition. As such, you should not panic if your genetic mapping report suggests a high likelihood of developing a certain condition or contracting a certain disease. Instead, you should take it with a grain of salt and use the genetic mapping report as a basis from which to investigate further.

Another thing of which you should be aware is that some experts have criticized the validity of many of the genetic mapping tests in use today. While it is certainly possible to evaluate a given individual’s genes and use them to form a relatively accurate picture of his or her potential for developing certain conditions, the fact of the matter is that some of the tests in use simply do not have the accuracy and reliability of other, more expensive, tests.

Another thing to consider is the potential for the information gained from these tests to fall into the wrong hands. Given the current political climate in our country, it is impossible to determine if genetic mapping test results might one day be used by insurance companies to deny coverage—or charge higher premiums—to people who have been determined to be more likely to develop certain conditions. While some naysayers may say that this is an invasion of privacy and illegal, the unfortunate reality of our country is that laws frequently change to make the once-unthinkable a reality.

For this reason, if you are considering a genetic mapping test in order to discover whether you may be likely to develop certain conditions or diseases, you may wish to do it anonymously or pay attention to the privacy policies of the company selected. Ancestry.com devotes a significant amount of website space to discussing privacy.  Some genetic mapping companies will allow you to purchase the kit and submit it under a random number instead of using your name. By taking steps to prevent your identity from being associated with any one genetic mapping report, you can help protect against the eventuality that the information in the report might one day be used against you.

Finally, one last consideration is that genetic mapping tests—at least insofar as they are used to provide health condition information—frequently lacked any actionable information. For example, they may tell you that you’re more likely to develop a certain condition, but they may not be able to give you any advice as to what you could do about the situation.

While some conditions, such as adult-onset diabetes, can be proactively addressed through things such as a good diet and plenty of exercise, other conditions are simply out of your control. As such, discovering that you have a tendency to develop a certain condition could end up bringing an increased level of stress in your life as you grapple to deal with something over which you have absolutely no control.

Because of this, some people have opted to engage in all the preventive actions they can—such as eating well and exercising regularly—and forgo taking any genetic mapping test. Ultimately, whether knowing that one has a likelihood of developing a certain condition about which there is nothing he or she can do is something that would cause him or her undue duress or not is a choice that every person must make for himself or herself.

This is an interesting, but really complicated, look at the differences (and similarities!) between the Autosomal DNA Testing services.  The largest variation seems to be in the SNPs (Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms) which are the places in the genome where people differ.  For 1 out of every 1000, there is no difference.  Most of these SNPs don’t do very much, but some of them confer a risk of disease which can be very important.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Although there are some very significant considerations to keep in mind, most people find that genetic mapping tests are something that they feel are worthwhile. They can be fun and a great conversation started and a hobby of sorts especially if it is followed with building a family tree such as you can do through Ancestry.  Having the knowledge that you are or are not likely to develop certain conditions can help you in a number of ways, from making smart food choices to engaging in proactive estate planning.  But those considerations can be secondary when considering how much fun it is to know where your ancestors came from and whether it matches up with what you have been told your whole life. Understanding your ethnic and genetic background, and knowing where your ancestors come from is something that many people find both fascinating and worthwhile.

Overall, genetic mapping is a wonderful way to quickly and easily find out more about yourself, your loved ones, and the world in which you live.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some practical, empowering information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

WalkInLab.com

 

 

 

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How to Support a Hospitalized Senior

How to Support a Hospitalized Senior

 

 

 

 

Helping a Senior While They’re In the Hospital

 

A stay in the hospital can be confusing, scary, and painful. When your older adult is seriously ill or after a medical emergency, they need extra support during their hospital stay.

Having an advocate, emotional support, and extra assistance reduces the risk of complications like delirium and can help speed up their recovery.

Here are some ways you can support your older adult while they’re in the hospital including plenty of practical suggestions.

 

Advocating for Hospitalized Seniors

 

Visit Often

It’s important to stay with your older adult or visit as often as you can. Familiar faces and trusted people who will watch out for their best interests are a great comfort.

Because your older adult is recovering from a serious health event, they may not be up to doing much.

Gentle, low-key activities they may enjoy during a visit include:

  • Sitting quietly together, perhaps holding hands or gently stroking their arm
  • Softly listening to their favorite music
  • Giving them a gentle massage on non-sensitive parts of the body
  • Reading aloud from books or the newspaper
  • Eating a meal together (you would bring your own)
  • Telling them about what you, close family, and friends have been doing lately so they won’t feel left out
  • Bringing a computer or tablet to watch a favorite show or movie together

 

 

Advocate and Monitor

Mistakes, especially with medication and food, often happen in hospitals and staff aren’t always around when needed for assistance.

When you’re with your older adult, make notes of the medication they’re being given to make sure it’s the correct drug at the correct dose, given at the right time. If other family and friends are available, work out a schedule to maximize coverage of hours and use a notebook to keep everyone informed.

It’s also important to check that your older adult is getting the right levels of medication. They shouldn’t be in pain or overmedicated. Improperly managed pain can slow the healing and recovery process. Overmedication can cause negative side effects and increases the chances of developing delirium.

Don’t assume that the staff is carefully reading the notes in your older adult’s chart (if there even are any). It’s necessary to make sure the nurse in charge and other staff are aware of any special needs and how to take care of those needs. If your older adult has dementia, dysphagia, severe arthritis, or other health conditions, they may need extra help and patience.

If your older adult has special needs for food, make sure to check all their food and beverages. They may need thickened drinks for dysphagia, a low salt diet for high blood pressure, low sugar for diabetes, etc. Things could get mixed up and they could get the wrong food or drinks. If they’re not aware enough to refuse the incorrect meal, they could accidentally eat or drink it and have a problem.

In terms of getting help, like assistance going to the bathroom or another blanket when they’re cold, sometimes it takes a strong advocate to get timely attention from busy hospital staff.

 

Anchor to Reality to Avoid Disorientation

Many cases of hospital-induced delirium are triggered by treatments that older adults are especially sensitive to, like large doses of anti-anxiety drugs and narcotics. Speak with the doctor to minimize the amount of these medications and, if you’re noticing negative side effects, ask them to make changes immediately.

Other cases of delirium are caused by the busy, noisy, brightly-lit environments where sleep is constantly interrupted. To reduce the risk, ask staff to lower the lights when possible, turn down noisy machines when possible, close the door to keep noise down, stay with them so they have a familiar face around, and arrange for them to get a maximum amount of sleep.

Periodic blood draws and vital sign readings are very disruptive to rest and sleep. Ask doctors and nurses if these can be done in coordination or less frequently (without harm to health). This keeps your older adult from being constantly poked and prodded, especially in the middle of the night.

You may also want to add some anchoring elements in their room. Make a large-print clock and calendar visible so if they like, your older adult can see the time and date. Add a family photo so they always have familiar faces to look at.

Example: This unique 8″ High Resolution Digital Clock clearly spells out the time, full day of the week, month and date in large, clear letters.

[Newest Version] Day Clock - Extra Large Impaired Vision Digital Clock with Battery Backup & 5 Alarm Options (Premium Mahogany Color)
American Lifetime Day Clock

 

Make Your Hospitalized Senior More Comfortable

Being in the hospital also means missing the comforts of home. Depending on the situation, it may help to bring in a few inexpensive items that would make them more comfortable.

Some items to consider:

 

Examples:

 

Snoozies Womens Brocade Shine Ballerina Comfort Split Slipper Socks - Pink, Large
Snoozies Slippers – sherpa lining, non-skid, memory foam comfort split sole, machine washable
MIXIN Men's Microsuede Vamp and Rubber Sole Indoor Outdoor Moccasin Flat Slipper Shoes Dark Brown US 11
MIXIN Men’s Comfortable Microsuede Slipper with anti-slip rubber sole
Woman Within Cardigan – Machine Washable

 

Perry Ellis Men's Shawl Button Front Cardigan, Black, Extra Large
Perry Ellis Men’s Cardigan, machine washable

 

Assist With Physical Activity

Moving around and doing prescribed therapy helps with recovery. Spending too much time lying in bed weakens muscles and increases the risk of blood clots, confusion, and bed sores. Of course, the priority is still to keep your older adult safe and not to overdo it.

If possible, go to any physical, occupational, or speech therapy sessions. Watch and take notes on what the therapist asks them to work on. Ask if there are exercises you can help them practice outside of the sessions.

Whenever possible, ask your older adult to take short walks or practice therapy exercises. With you at their side to keep them steady and safe, they’ll be able to increase their activity level and speed recovery.

 

 

Plan For Discharge and Recovery

Hospital discharge nurses are often overloaded and may not spend enough time helping patients and family understand everything they need to know. That’s why it’s so important to advocate for your senior and make sure you both have all the necessary information before leaving the hospital.

Even though your older adult is able to leave the hospital, they’ll still need extra care. They might even need an intense level of care for weeks or months.

Studies show that 40% of patients over 65 had medication errors after leaving the hospital. Even worse, 18% of Medicare patients discharged from a hospital were readmitted within 30 days. Many of the issues that cause problems with recovery can be prevented if you and your older adult are well-prepared for hospital discharge.

A hospital discharge checklist is an essential tool that prepares for a successful recovery. It tells you key questions to ask doctors and nurses, what information is must-have, the level of care needed, and what supplies to get.

A successful discharge means that your older adult leaves the hospital and continues their recovery without major problems.

Being prepared for the next step down in care, whether it’s at home or in a facility, is important for a strong recovery. You should receive the information, services, and resources needed to help your senior before they leave the hospital.

When your senior is discharged (released) from the hospital, it means their doctor has determined that they’ve recovered enough to no longer need hospital-level care. It does NOT mean they’re fully recovered.

Even though your older adult is able to leave the hospital, they will still need extra care. They might even need an intense level of care for weeks or months.

Some people are well enough to get proper care and rehab at home (like physical therapy). Others may need a short-term stay in a skilled nursing facility.

You can use this hospital discharge checklist from Medicare to help you remember the important things and prevent problems. A successful discharge helps your senior regain as much independence as possible.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided some helpful information and ideas. 

The links below provide guides on items you might need at home after hospital discharge.

-Laurie

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Cook for a Chemo Patient

How to Cook for a Chemo Patient

 

 

 

 

By Chef Ryan Callahan

 

The scariest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life was be the caregiver for my mother while she went through cancer treatments.

 

Between the surgical reconstructions and the effects both short term and long term of chemotherapy, it was a hard and grueling battle the whole way. No amount of preparation or reading or support groups could have prepared me for what it is like to watch your loved one be torn apart, stitched back together, and then have a series of chemical bombs dropped on them.

 

With all that being said, there are many things that you can do to make your loved ones battle with cancer easier for both of you and improve their quality of life in the process. The aspect of what I focus on is the cooking and eating portion of caregiver life.

 

Eating is not just an important part of existing, it is also an extremely important part of feeling happy and healthy. During chemotherapy, my mother had extreme difficulty dealing with loss of appetite, metallic tastes, mouth sores, and nausea.

 

Here are a few tips to help get you started:

 

Cooking for Chemo Tip #1: Hydration

 

 

Ingest lots of fluids! Dehydration is no joke! Water regulates many functions of your body including digestion, muscle movement, and taste. There are many ways to get water into your body: sports drinks, soup, vegetables, fruits, food in general, or even drinking plain old water.

As a caregiver, it is our responsibility to monitor and regulate fluid intake. I would suggest keeping a food and water log. You are also responsible for encouraging your loved one to drink and eat more even when they don’t want to. I frequently encouraged my mom by saying, “Just one more bite. Just one more sip.”

 

 

Cooking for Chemo Tip #2: Roundness of Flavor

 

http://www.sensientflavorsandfragrances.com/images/uploads/float_images/International_Flavor.jpg

 

In short, this is the key to cooking for people going through chemotherapy. Roundness of Flavor is my personal culinary theory that encompasses every aspect of the actual tasting experience.

When you eat food, you experience food with all of your senses not just your mouth. Roundness of Flavor teaches you to find all five flavors (salty, savory, spicy, sour and sweet) and sensory experiences (touch, taste, smell, sight, and hearing) and bring them into balance.

When your sense of taste and smell come out of balance, you have to find which aspect of the sense has come out of balance and compensate when you cook to bring balance back to your body.

 

For example, if you are extra salt sensitive during chemo you will reduce the salt content of a meal, but increase the savory or spicy characteristics to bring balance to your dish.

 

Example:   This McCormick Everyday Essentials Variety Pack is a convenient kitchen staple

 

As a caregiver, it is your responsibility to learn what flavors work for your loved one and what flavors do not and adjust accordingly. By catering your cooking to their specific taste and flavor changes, you will be able to help them eat more. This will also increase their quality of life.

 

 

 

Cooking for Chemo Tip #3: Palate Cleansing

 

http://farm7.static.flickr.com/6164/6182287517_9003f05a66.jpg?timestamp=1487203200033

 

Example:  Colavita Aged Red Wine Vinegar

Palate Cleansing is a technique where you utilize a subtle and almost imperceptible sour note in your cooking to create the illusion of lightness inside of a dish.

Palate Cleansing is important because as chemotherapy side-effects become progressively stronger, chemo patients tend to have increasingly strong tastes of metal inside of their mouth. This metallic taste can become so strong that sometimes your loved ones will lose the ability to taste anything but metal.

Palate Cleansing is an easy-to-use cooking technique for waking up those taste buds and clearing out that metallic taste from your mouth. Palate Cleansing is also a great way to make heavier foods feel light in your mouth, allowing you to eat more nutrient dense dishes without feeling ill or disgusted while you eat them.

Simply add 1-2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar to your meal as you are cooking it. Sour flavors should always be followed by equal parts sugar. Adding sugar after sour allows you to mask the actual sour flavor and smell of the vinegar while still allowing it to work its magic to rid your mouth of metallic tastes.

Remember, that is 1-2 tablespoons per entire dish not per serving. You can also cleanse your palate with fresh palate cleansing herbs like flat-leaf parsley, basil, and cilantro.

 

 

Cooking for Chemo Tip #4: Sanitation

 

http://www.howtoxp.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/Sanitation-Of-Kitchen.jpg

 

 

If you prefer not to mix your own solution, try Clorox Bleach Floral Scent Kitchen Cleaner. I use this cleaner and find it more convenient and pleasant to use than a straight bleach and water combination.

Sanitation is the act of keeping your house, home, kitchen, and work space clean and disinfected from hazardous bacteria, viruses, and chemical contaminates.

The easiest way to ensure that your space is sanitized is by creating a bleach and water sanitizing solution.

The typical recipe is one tablespoon of bleach to one gallon of water. This is the cheapest and most cost effective way to sanitize any hard, non-porous surface. Because bleach comes in varying concentrations, check the back of bottle for each brands specific sanitizing recipe. What you want to do is make sure to clean and then wipe down every kitchen surface with this sanitizing solution before and after cooking.

Cross-contamination is the most common (but easiest to prevent) cause of food poisoning.

A perfect example of cross-contamination would be cutting chicken on a cutting board, not sanitizing, then chopping a salad on that same cutting board.

That is a guaranteed way to give your loved one food poisoning, which will bring along a whole host of additional problems.

 

 

Food Temperature

 

When we store food, we want to make sure that our refrigerator is at 40 degrees or lower and that our freezer is at 0 degrees. This will ensure minimal bacterial growth during the storage period.

The next thing is need to consider as far as temperature is concerned is the proper temperature to which foods are cooked. What this means for you is that you are going to need to get a food thermometer and take the temperature of all food before you serve it.

 

 

Example: GDealer Instant Read Super Fast Food Thermometer

 

 

As a caregiver, you want to ensure that all foods are cooked to the well done temperature before serving.

By ensuring your food is cooked to proper temperature, it does two things:

1) It kills any harmful bacteria in the food and

2) Makes the food much easier to digest.

 

 

 

 

 

While being a caregiver can be scary, it truly is a rewarding experience. But, to be truly successful as a caregiver you will have to learn new skills and new information that you never thought that you would have to learn. The most important of these skills, is learning the difference between cooking and cooking for chemotherapy.

 

By Chef Ryan Callahan

 

 

 

Chef Ryan Callahan is a culinary industry veteran with over 15 years of hands on culinary experience.

 

 

 

Chef Ryan’s cookbook, Cooking for Chemo …and After!, is a 2016 Gourmand Award winning cookbook in the Health and Nutrition category.

 

 

His cookbook was created after spending a year as his mother’s caregiver while she went through cancer treatments.

 

 

 

Thoughts, questions, tips?  Feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Find the Best Luggage for Seniors

How to Find the Best Luggage for Seniors

 

A Shopping Guide for Seniors’ Travel Suitcases

 

 

Luggage can be a burdensome but all-important part of our travel plans. Ever-changing Federal Aviation Administration regulations can also make travel with baggage difficult, especially for an elderly passenger who may also be battling with limited strength, eyesight, stamina or dexterity. There are a few characteristics, however, that one can employ in rolling luggage that can make the travel experience more fun for the elderly.

(Photo above: Samsonite Aspire XLight Expandable Spinner)

 

What to Look For in Rolling Luggage

 

One of the most important decisions you have to make is about what luggage to choose. Make the wrong choice and it can put a damper on your entire experience. The best travel suitcases for seniors are designed to be as light as possible in weight without sacrificing strength. The types of handles and wheels used nowadays make them far easier to control than ever before.

If you are using old luggage that you have had for many years, you are not taking advantage of the most recent technology. Rolling suitcases are being made that make maneuvering of a suitcase more efficient than ever before. This may make the difference between spending your whole holiday nursing injuries and handling your luggage with ease and confidence.

 

Size

As with all gadgets elderly, size is a factor to consider when choosing luggage. Though you should always pick the smallest suitcase that meets your travel needs, you also want to keep in mind the weight and size of the physical carrier. TSA regulations state that carry-on bags can be no more than 45 linear inches, which is the total of the bag’s height, width and depth. Some suitcases are also made of lightweight material, such as nylon, which can cut down on your bag’s girth, making it easier to stow and access whether you’re on a plane, bus, train or in a car.

Consider choosing a small suitcase. This does mean that you have to be smarter when packing but the advantage is that managing your luggage is so much easier. When you choose a bigger suitcase, the tendency is to fill up the space just because it’s there.

Of course the size you choose will depend on factors such as the length and type of your trip. Many people prefer to use a suitcase that is small enough to work as a carry-on to avoid delays that come with checking in. Even if you find it difficult to lift a suitcase into an overhead locker, in-cabin flight staff are happy to assist.

 

Luggage Size Examples:

 

(Image: Coolife Luggage Expandable 3-Piece Set)

 

 

Weight

Everything is called “lightweight” today but it is important to check on the exact weight. Even if you have a rolling suitcase, it still has to be carried from time to time and the lighter the better. The weight should ideally come mostly from the clothes inside and not from the suitcase itself. Experts suggest that an empty suitcase should not weigh more than 7.5 pounds (3.4 kilograms) and many of them fall into this category today.

 

 

Space

Even among lightweight suitcases, some have more capacity than others. An expandable one is a good option.

 

For Example, this Skyway Luggage Mirage Superlight 24-Inch 4 Wheel Expandable Upright gains increased packing capacity with the simple pull of a zipper.

 

Skyway Luggage Mirage Superlight 24-Inch 4 Wheel Expandable Upright, Maritime Blue, One Size

 

 

 

Packing cubes help you to organize the space – a set of cubes in various sizes helps to keep your items organized. You can pack similar items together, making it  easier to find what you need without having to dig through your whole suitcase.

 

Packing Cubes Example: I have the Pro Packing Cubes 10 Piece Set and I feel it makes my packing and unpacking so much more organized and convenient!

 

 

 

Multiple Handles

While more bells and whistles aren’t always welcome when it comes to elder-friendly gadgets, luggage is one exception.

A telescoping suitcase with an extendable handle allows you to wheel your suitcase with one hand. The telescoping handle can be extended to different lengths and locked in place. The maximum extension must be right for your height so your back does not suffer strain.  A comfortable handle is also important for reducing stress on wrists and arms.

 

Samsonite Silhouette Xv Softside Spinner 19, Black
Samsonite Silhouette Xv Softside Spinner
Example:  This Samsonite Silhouette’s wide pull handle is made with thick cushioning and soft rubber seals to provide an exceptionally comfortable grip, plus, it’s “Right Height” system allows you to set the handle height at the position that’s best for you to reduce weight-bearing stress on your arm and back. 

Your suitcase should also have  carry handles on the top or side of the bag, allowing you to lift it whichever way you prefer. A comfortable handle will reduce stress on wrists and arms.

Numerous handles mean that a person can grab, push, pull, place, throw and lug their baggage in many different ways from many different angles. Extra handles also allow a second person to provide assistance when it comes to storing or accessing the bag – something that Boomers may appreciate when they travel with their stubborn parents.

 

 

The Samsonite Silhouette has an extra handles on the top and side of the bag

 

The reviews on this Samsonite are excellent, with many reviewers specifically impressed with the handle’s comfort and quality.  It also has an extra handle on the top and  on the side.

 

 

Zippers

The Samsonite Winfield has a high quality, double-ended zipper.

The most popular luggage zippers today are coil zippers which are flexible and smooth to operate but still strong. They consist of two coils on each side, stitched onto the zipper tape and the teeth are formed by the winding of the coils. The most durable zippers are chain zippers that have individual locking teeth fused onto the zipper tape but they are more expensive and not as flexible.

A closed-end zipper that opens up at the opposite ends and comes together in the middle is the most practical type as you can still use the suitcase even if one zipper breaks.

 

Samsonite Winfield

 

Easy-to-Operate Features

Speaking of handles and zippers – they should also be easy to operate!  The zipper should move back and forth with ease, and the handle should willingly raise and lower.

Many newer luggage models require users to push a button on the handle before it releases. This extra step may not be easy for elderly travelers, but it’s difficult to find luggage without it. Therefore, it’s best to find a handle that has a differently colored, clearly labeled and easily pushed button. If you have to push this button two or three times to get it to release the handle it’s time to move on to a better model.

 

*Important – if you will be flying, read Healthier Air Travel Starts With These Preboarding Tricks!

Wheels

For decades, suitcases have had small wheels that used the same technology as in-line skates. They are fixed to the side of the case and roll in one direction. These wheels allow you to pull your suitcase along behind you.

Newer models have four wheels that move in all directions rather than just backwards and forwards. These are called ‘spinners’ and they allow you to wheel your suitcase alongside you. They are easier to maneuver, especially in tight spaces as they don’t have to be tipped and pulled along behind you. Some people dislike spinners because they say they glide away from you on an incline and aren’t suitable for any surfaces other than in airports. However, the best spinners do not have these problems.

 

Example: The Ricardo Beverly Hills Roxbury uses a sturdy dual spinner wheel system that allows 360 degree mobility whether you push, pull or walk alongside the case.

 

 

Ricardo Beverly Hills Roxbury 2.0 19-Inch 4 Wheel Hybrid Wheelaboard, Brushed Silver, One Size
Example: Ricardo Beverly Hills Roxbury
Look for good wheel spacing.  Wheels that are placed too closely together can cause rolling luggage to tip, especially when taking corners. An overturned bag is not just an inconvenience – it can be a hazard as well. Aside from tripping the traveler behind you, a tipped bag can also roll an elderly person’s wrist, resulting in a sprang or even a fall. This is why it’s so important to check that your wheels are placed as close to the sides of the suitcase as possible.

When it comes to wheels, reliability is the most important consideration. You don’t want your wheels to break and you want them to be strong enough to wheel over uneven surfaces if necessary.

 

 

 

Example: This Samsonite DK3 has 3 compartments on the top-front of the case.

 

 

 

 

Accessible Compartments

Your luggage should have a good mix of large, medium and small compartments to accommodate items of all sizes. An outside pocket can carry a light jacket or sweatshirt and even a folding travel umbrella. This means you will be prepared for unexpected changes in the weather.

Some elderly individuals have problems accessing small compartments, however, making lighting and the location of these compartments key. While most luggage companies don’t place lights inside the bags, many will keep smaller compartments near the top of the suitcase, where light is more apt to penetrate. Individuals who have a particularly difficult time with smaller compartments should rely on suitcases with numerous medium-sized compartments that can hold smaller travel bags and makeup kits.

 

 

 

Quality of Materials

It does not make sense to compromise on the quality of the materials used when it comes to buying a suitcase.

There isn’t a single best material for a suitcase. They are made of all kinds of materials like ballistic nylon, polyester, aluminum, leather and polycarbonate. Each material has its pros and cons. For example, leather is very durable but it is heavy in weight. Blends or “poly” materials are not as durable and polyester is often used in less expensive ranges.

The choice between hard and soft-sided luggage depends largely on preference today because hard-sided suitcases are lighter in weight than ever before and soft-sided ones are more durable. The top fabric choices for soft-sided bags are ballistic nylon and cordura. Aluminum and polycarbonate are the most popular materials used for hard-sided cases.

Color Contrast Example: The Hauptstadtkoffer Alex Series is available in 19 color choices.

 

Color Contrasts

Everyone wants their luggage to look sleek, but the elderly may especially benefit from color contrasts, especially when it comes to zippers and handles. Picking luggage that has stand-out colors will allow the user to quickly and easily locate any zipper or handle.

It also helps to have a suitcase that stands out so you can easily identify it.  If you prefer a more classic color, like black or blue, it’s easy enough to attach a brightly colored tag. Even a brightly colored scarf tied around a handle can help you identify your suitcase.

 

Cost

Cost obviously plays an important part in your decision but it is not worth buying a cheap suitcase and struggling with a broken zipper or wonky wheels. Travel can be hard on your luggage. On the other hand, there is a happy medium and it’s not necessary to spend a fortune either.

 

 

 

Suggestions:

Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 Expandable 25″ Spinner

 

 

Check-In Luggage 

This Travelpro Platinum Magna 2 Expandable 25″ Spinner is a great choice for check-in luggage. The 25-inch model offers plenty of room without going over airline weight limits, looks good, comes with a warranty, and is considered extremely reliable by most travelers. 

The extension handle has three stops and its self-aligning magnetic dual wheel spinners ensure that the suitcase rolls in a straight line.

Read Reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hartmann Lineaire Carry On Spinner
Carry-On Luggage 

For air travel, many travelers are opting to limit their baggage to what they are allowed to bring on board. 

The Hartmann Lineaire Carry On Spinner is a terrific all-around performer. This suitcase is ultra lightweight at only 6 lbs, easy to roll, durable and it can contain about a week’s worth of clothes if you pack lightly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another carry-on bag I like is the Delsey Quilted Rolling Underseat Tote.  It’s loaded with pockets and compartments to keep you super organized, and is just the right size for slipping under your seat on the plane.

 

 

 

 

 

Best Overall Brand

Based on their survey of more than 3400 subscribers, Consumer Reports found that durability was a top concern for consumers.  They also found that most people were much happier with four wheels than two wheels. Surprisingly, some of the top brands did not come out on top on this survey. Two brands that performed well in all categories were Eagle Creek and Briggs and Riley

 

Briggs & Riley Kinzie Street International Carry-on Spinner

 

Example:  The Briggs & Riley Kinzie Street International Carry-on Spinner Suitcase is made of Proprietary Tartex,™  a unique, embossed, coated fabric that provides durability and moisture resistance.  It rolls well and the handle extends and retracts easily.

This suitcase is a little on the pricey side, but according to customer reviews, it’s well worth the extra cost.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Osprey Ozone Convertible 50L/22″

 

Most Versatile

Osprey’s Ozone Convertible 50L/22″ is a traveling chameleon. It easily converts from a wheeled piece of luggage to a backpack with a full suspension system that is carry-on compatible.

The Osprey combines a durable ABS plastic back plate with a lightweight aluminum frame, riding on large, sealed bearing wheels for easy rolling even on bumpy cobblestones.There’s a large front zippered panel pocket and a back pocket with a drain port for damp storage.

The detachable Ozone Convertible Daypack’s main compartment has storage for a laptop, tablet and extra clothes or food. There’s a front panel pocket and also a zippered pocket for securing small items. Plus, it’s covered by Osprey’s “All-Mighty Guarantee.”  Read reviews.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Super Lightweight

This IT Luggage World’s Lightest Tritex 4 Wheel Spinner Carry-On is truly ultra lightweight at only 4.3 pounds.

Its constructed from high density Tritex fabric and features a durable fiberglass frame with a sturdy locking handle system. 

It comes with 4 easy-glide wheels, practical zip pockets, and a 2 inch expander for increased packing capacity.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Your choice of luggage can affect the comfort of your travel experience.  Take some time to assess your needs, and opt for a high quality selection which fits your budget.  Pay attention to size, wheels and durability, and look for multiple compartments for added convenience.  Also consider packing cubes; they are a great value for the efficiency they add to your organizing and packing.  Finally, make sure your purchase is refundable.  That way, you can test drive the bag a bit at home to be sure its a good fit.

P.S.  For special senior travel deals and excellent customer service, I like CheapoAir.

 

 

Suggested Reading:


Are you planning to travel with an elderly companion? 

I recommend  Planes, Canes, and AutomobilesConnecting With Your Aging Parents Through Travel by Valerie M. Grubb

This super-practical book is the go-to guide for adult children: it combines the author’s wisdom from years of traveling with her own aging mother with sensible tips, checklists, and sample itineraries to help readers plan and enjoy a vacation with their parents!  It’s an enjoyable, informative read, and it will make traveling more comfortable and fun for both generations.

Read reviews.

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

RushMyPassport.com

 

 

 

 

 

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Science Proves Resveratrol Treats Gout

Science Proves It –

Resveratrol Treats Gout

 

 

Gout is a form of inflammatory arthritis. It is caused due to the buildup of uric acid crystals in the joints or elevated levels of uric acid in the blood. It is characterized by sudden attacks of pain, red, hot and swollen joints. It leads to a big toe which is pain and inflammation in the joint at the base of the big toe.

Gout may lead to other conditions like kidney stones, tophi or urate nephropathy. It occurs due to a combination of diet and genetic factors. There are various nonsteroidal drugs and steroids that are involved in the treatment of gout. However, changes in lifestyle and diet can play a major role in preventing gout.

However, changes in lifestyle and diet can play a major role in preventing gout.Occurrence of gout has been strongly associated with dietary patterns like consumption of alcohol,

The occurrence of gout has been strongly associated with dietary patterns like consumption of alcohol, fructose-sweetened drinks, meat, and seafood. It occurs due to consuming foods high in purines. Foods containing high purines are liver, beans, and meat (beef, pork) and beer.

On the other hand, there are various foods that can be incorporated in the diet to reduce the risk of gout. Resveratrol, a component of foods like the skin of grapes and raspberries has been found to have a preventative effect on the treatment of gout in arthritis.

 

 

 

What is Resveratrol?

 

https://i2.wp.com/health-tips-and-wellness.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Resveratrol.jpg

Resveratrol is a natural phenol that possesses mainly antioxidant and antimicrobial properties. It is produced by numerous plants under conditions of stress like in response to an injury or when attacked by a pathogen such as bacteria or fungi.

Resveratrol is found in foods like the skin of grapes, blueberries, raspberries, mulberries, and ligonberry. The consumption of resveratrol has found to be beneficial for curing symptoms like inflammation, sudden attacks and swelling in patients who are suffering from gout arthritis.

 

 

Proven Benefits of Reseveratrol as a Gout Treatment

 

Resveratrol Reduces Inflammation in Gout

 

Resveratrol is found to inhibit inflammation in the joints of patients suffering from Gout. It reduces levels of uric acids, prevents sudden attacks, inhibits inflammation and other related symptoms of Gout.

Experimental studies have revealed the therapeutic and preventative effect of resveratrol in preventing symptoms related to gout. One such recent study published in the Journal of clinical rheumatology in 2016 was performed on the animal model.

The results indicated resveratrol inhibited inflammation and swelling in the joints. It also reduced the serum uric acid levels.

The study concluded that resveratrol has the ability to prevent sudden attacks, inhibit inflammation and reduce serum uric acid levels in gout arthritis.

Another experimental study revealed the anti-inflammatory activity of resveratrol on addition with sodium alginate which is a pharmaceutic adjuvant on acute gout arthritis. It was observed that resveratrol had a better effect over colchichine, a medication commonly used to treat gout.

 

 

Resveratrol is a Natural Antioxidant

 

Resveratrol has anti-oxidant effects which can prevent pain and swelling in the joints associated with gout.

Resveratrol shows anti-oxidative properties which can prove to be essential in curing gout arthritis. An experimental study suggested that resveratrol when used alone or in combination with sodium alginate which is a pharmaceutic adjuvant, has beneficial effects in curing acute gout.

Its anti-oxidative effect can help in reducing the oxidation of uric acid accumulated in the joints hence relieving pain and swelling. Research identifies the benefit of antioxidant property of resveratrol in diseases like cancer.

Research shows that by counteracting harmful reactive oxygen species (agents that cause an oxidative imbalance in the body if not controlled) resveratrol alleviates pain and inflammation in arthritis.

 

Resveratrol Prevents Uric Acid Buildup in Gout

 

Example:  aSquared Resveratrol

Resveratrol reduces levels of uric acid in the blood which is found in significant amounts in patients suffering from gout. High uric acid levels is the first indicator of Gout and Resveratrol can be used to reduced it’s levels hence preventing occurrence of the disease.

In an animal study performed by Shi et al. in 2012, resveratrol was found to possess anti-hyperuricemic activities i.e. it was capable of reducing the uric acid levels. Thus, indicating its ability in curing gout.

In a study conducted by Silan et al. Blood urea levels were found to increase in animal model treated with gentamicin antibiotic. The study showed that treatment with resveratrol showed a significant decrease in lipid peroxidation and reduced activity of catalase.

Levels of urea and creatine were found to decrease in treatment with resveratrol than with gentamicin.

 

 

Resveratrol Protects Kidney Health in Gout

 

Gout leads to nephropathy. Resveratrol shows protective effect against nephrotoxicity and can be beneficial in treating nephropathy associated with Gout.

Acute uric acid nephropathy, chronic urate nephropathy, and uric acid nephrolithiasis are three forms of kidney diseases that are closely associated with gout.

An experimental study published in the Journal of Molecular nutrition and food research in 2012 described an experiment conducted to evaluate the nephroprotective effects of resveratrol. Resveratrol along with its analogs were found to prevent nephropathy in an animal model of gout.

In another study conducted by Silan et al.histopathological examination results showed that resveratrol had a protective effect against nephrotoxicity caused by gentamicin, lipid peroxidation, and cellular damage.

In an experimental study, the protective effect of Resveratrol was determined on nephrotoxicity in an animal model. Resveratrol alleviated nephrotoxicity by its antioxidant capacity. The study concluded that Resveratrol has the potential to protect against kidney damage in people exposed to carcinogen arsenic.

 

 

Resveratrol Reduces Blood Pressure and Protects Heart Health

 

Resveratrol shows protective effects in cardiovascular and renal diseases whose development is associated with Gout.

In an experimental study published by Braz et al.in 2015 suggested that High uric acid levels as seen in Gout increase risk of renal disorders like chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and acute kidney injury.

Studies have confirmed that increase in uric acid levels is related to hypertension. Resveratrol was found to inhibit oxidation of bad cholesterol, mitigation of liver disease, fat reduction, improvements in muscle function and cardiovascular and renal protection.

Resveratrol has effectively found to reduce hypertension including improvement in oxidative stress, inflammation, endothelial dysfunction, and vasodilation.

According to a study conducted by Kitada et al. Beneficial effects of Resveratrol on cardiovascular and renal diseases is due to its anti-oxidant properties against the reactive oxygen species.

 

 

Resveratrol Dosage for Gout

 

Example:  BRI Nutrition Resveratrol
Plant-derived natural components like resveratrol are safe and effective when taken at a low dose. They may have toxic or side effects when taken in high doses. Similarly, resveratrol benefits are dose dependent.

Low doses of resveratrol have protective effects on the health whereas high doses can be detrimental to health. For curing pathological conditions like cancer, high doses may be required under a doctors supervision.

Research studies show results of many doses of resveratrol. Resveratrol has not shown any toxic effects in humans but there are only a few studies supporting this evidence so far. A study conducted on ten human participants revealed that oral dosage of 5000 mg of resveratrol did not result in any adverse side effects.

Oral doses of 5-25 mg of Resveratrol is recommended for daily consumption.

 

 

Resveratrol Precautions

 

So far no studies indicate any adverse side effects of consumption or application of resveratrol. It is considered to be safe when consumed in amounts present in the foods. However, no side effects have been seen when resveratrol is consumed in high doses.

During pregnancy, resveratrol can be consumed in the amounts present naturally in foods. Alcohol must be avoided by pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Resveratrol might slow blood clotting and increase the risk of bleeding. It must, therefore, be avoided by people suffering from bleeding disorders like Hemophilia. Due to the same reason, its intake must be avoided two weeks prior by people who are going to undergo a surgery.

People already on medication for other diseases must consult a doctor before consuming resveratrol as it can react with their drugs and lower their effectiveness.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Gout is a life altering disease. There is an urgent need to look into the treatment related to Gout as more and more number of people are suffering from this disease as the years are passing by.

Resveratrol supplements promise to be an effective alternative to drugs involved in the treatment of gout. It is naturally occurring and has no adverse effects on consumption or application.

It’s anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and other effective properties can prove to beneficial in alleviating symptoms related to gout. But it is essential that one brings changes in his lifestyle like dietary changes and moderate exercise along with Resveratrol supplements that can help prevention of gout-related symptoms.

 

 

 

 

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Simple Kitchen Gadgets and Safety Tips for Seniors

Simple Kitchen Gadgets and Safety Tips for Seniors

 

 

Make the Kitchen Safer With These Inexpensive Products

 

Kitchens are considered one of the most dangerous areas of a home, for children and for seniors. Many accidents and falls occur in the kitchen due to a range of common scenarios: cooking fires, grease and spills on the floor, reaching for objects, appliance injuries and even inappropriate objects placed in a microwave.

Health conditions like arthritis, low vision, frailty, stroke, or dementia can make everyday tasks challenging for older adults. With heat, liquids, and knives present, working in the kitchen can be especially dangerous.

I found some simple kitchen aids for seniors that increase safety, prevent accidents, and help them stay independent longer.

Being able to perform everyday tasks on their own boosts mood and self-esteem. Plus, increasing their safety in the kitchen will give you peace of mind.

 

 

This Universal Knob Turner is really handy tool; it can be used to grip and turn many different types of small, slippery knobs found on stovetops, microwaves, dishwasher, etc.

 

 

 

Use this clever silicone Boil-Over Safeguard lid to avoid running to the stove to catch a pot that’s boiling over. Make sure to take off the cap to expose the holes.

 

 

 

Use these slim, cut-resistant gloves to keep fingers and hands safe from cuts when slicing meat or veggies.

 

 

 

 

This palm peeler sits in the palm of the hand and is easier for people with arthritis or joint issues to use.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protect your older adult’s arms from burns with these oven rack guards.

Simply Klever Oven Rack Guards

 

 

 

Make veggie prep faster, easier, and safer with one of these simple veggie chopping tools.

 

Pro Vegetable Chopper by Mueller

 

 

 

Hard-to-open jars shouldn’t stop your older adult from eating foods they enjoy. Let an automatic jar opener do all the work.

Hamilton Beach Automatic Jar Opener

 

 

 

 

 

Make it easier to access pots and pans with easy pull-out shelves that install into existing kitchen cabinets, available in a variety of sizes

Rev-A-Shelf Pull-Out 2-Tier Base Cabinet Cookware Organizer

 

 

 

This special kitchen stool lets seniors sit and get off their feet while working at the kitchen counter. The angled seat makes sitting and standing easy. The height is adjustable too.

Drive Medical Kitchen Stool

 

 

 

 

 

 

Important Safety Tips for Seniors Kitchen Safety

 

 

Fire

Fires in the kitchen are often a concern for seniors and can be very dangerous. Seniors should make sure that the outlets in their kitchen are safe and have cover plates and that the wiring in their kitchen is properly installed to prevent electrical fires from occurring.

When cooking, seniors should make sure that they do not wear long, loose sleeves because this can easily cause their clothing to catch on fire. Wearing short sleeves or rolling the sleeves up can help prevent the sleeves from touching the stove or other hot areas.

Stoves with front or side controls are often good for seniors to have because this keeps them from having to reach over the stove to operate it which can prevent burns and fires.

Family caregivers should also make sure that their loved ones do not have any dish towels or curtains that will touch the stove while it is on. If possible, it is helpful to have a gas stove that will shut off automatically. Those who do not have a stove that shuts off on its own can try clearly marking the on and off switches on appliances as this can also help prevent fires by making sure that heated objects do not get left on the stove in the kitchen.

 

Spills and Clutter

Spills and clutter in the kitchen can be another hazard for seniors. Many seniors spill things in the kitchen and do not notice it and then slip and fall in it later. Buying pots and pans with handles on both sides can help keep seniors from spilling things when cooking. If family caregivers notice spills, they should make sure to clean them up as soon as possible so that their loved one will not slip. Clutter around the kitchen can also cause seniors to fall, especially when there are cluttered cords on the floor. Small appliances should be unplugged when not in use so that seniors do not trip over the cords.

 

Organization

Keeping an organized and well-lit kitchen is another way to make sure that seniors are safe while in the kitchen. Lighting might not seem like a big deal but it can make a big difference for seniors who have trouble seeing by allowing them to see what they are doing better.

I really like these Stick-On Anywhere Portable Wireless Motion Sensor Lights.  They are so versatile and perfect for providing  a good amount of light when and where you need it.

 

 

When it comes to organization, sharp knives should be stored in a knife rack or in a separate drawer so that seniors do not cut themselves while looking for silverware.

All appliances, silverware and dishes should be stored in easy to reach places so that seniors will not get hurt getting them down. A sturdy step ladder can be used if necessary, but it is usually best to avoid using all out of reach cabinets. If possible, seniors should get unbreakable dishes so that if they do drop them they will not have to clean up broken glass. It is especially important to store heavy objects at waist level so that seniors will not drop them when trying to get them out because this can cause serious injury.

 

Example:  These Golanstar Unbreakable Dinner Plates are dishwasher, microwave, fridge and freezer safe.

 

 

 

 

 

Expired Food

To avoid poisoning or illness from expired food, family caregivers should regularly check their loved one’s kitchen. Hazardous items such as cleaners or chemicals should be stored away from food so that your loved one’s food will not be contaminated with things that are not safe to eat.

After carefully organizing the kitchen, family caregivers should make sure to regularly check their loved one’s pantry and fridge to ensure that there are no expired items. Eating expired foods can be very dangerous, but many seniors forget to check expiration dates when cooking.

The kitchen should also be bug and vermin free, so family caregivers should check to make sure that their loved one’s kitchen does not have rodents, ants or roaches which can contaminate food. If your loved one does have bugs or vermin in the house you should call in an exterminator to get rid of them so that your loved one will not get sick.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Kitchen safety is important at any age, but it can be a serious problem for the elderly. The kitchen is said to be one of the most dangerous areas in the home, especially for seniors. Many seniors are harmed by fires, spills or spoiled food in the kitchen. You can make some simple changes that help ensure your senior’s safety as they maintain their independence and enjoyment of kitchen activities.

 

Thanks for visiting and reading …

I hope this article provided you some helpful information. 

I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

 

 

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Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

 

 

 

Red Palm Oil Removes Arterial Plaque, Lowers Cholesterol and Fights Cancer

 

 

Palm oil, particularly virgin or “red” palm oil, is a traditional fat that has been a part of the human diet for at least 5000 years. For generations red palm oil has been revered as both a nutritious food and a valuable medicine. It was prized by the pharaohs of ancient Egypt as a sacred food. The oil was so highly valued that it was entombed with the pharaohs so that they would have access to it in the afterlife.

 

Palm oil comes from the fruit of the oil palm (Elaesis guineensis).Originating in tropical Africa, it has now spread throughout much of world. Today it is an important crop in Southeast Asia, West Africa, and South America.

 

 

Throughout history palm oil has served as the primary source of dietary fat for countless numbers of people. Its nutritional and healing properties have been recognized for generations. Until modern medicine arrived, red palm oil was the remedy of choice for nearly every illness in many parts of Africa. When someone was sick, downing a cup full of palm oil was common. Even today many people in the villages rely on this age old method of treatment. Palm oil is regarded among many as essential in the diet for pregnant and nursing women in order to assure good health for the mother and child.

 

 

Palm Oil Treats and Prevents Malnutrition

 

Today, medical doctors are recognizing the value of red palm oil in the treatment and prevention of malnutrition and vitamin deficiency diseases. Governments around the world are incorporating it into programs to wipe out deficiency diseases which are still rampant in many impoverished areas.

Red palm oil not only supplies fatty acids essential for proper growth and development, but it is packed with an assortment of vitamins, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients important for good health. Red palm oil gets its name from its characteristic dark red color. The color comes from carotenes such as beta-carotene and lycopene—the same nutrients that give tomatoes and carrots and other fruits and vegetables their rich red and orange colors.

Carotenes are valuable nutrients and powerful antioxidants. They are also important because our body can convert them into vitamin A, an essential nutrient. Vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness, weaken bones, lower immunity, and adversely affect learning ability and mental function. Vitamin A is only found in animal foods. Such foods, are too expensive for many people. Carotenes in fruits and vegetables can supply the needed vitamin A if an adequate amount of fat is also consumed. Carotenes require fat for conversion into vitamin A. Unfortunately, those who can’t afford animal products often do not eat much fat either. Populations with ample carotene-rich foods available often suffer from vitamin A deficiency because they don’t get enough fat in their diet.

Red palm oil provides a perfect solution. It supplies the needed fat and vitamin A precursors. Red palm oil is the richest dietary source of provitamin A carotenes (beta-carotene and alpha-carotene). It has 15 times more provitamin A carotenes than carrots and 300 times more than tomatoes. This has made it a valued resource in the treatment of vitamin A deficiency. Just one teaspoon a day of red palm oil supplies children with the daily recommend amount of vitamin A. Nursing mothers are encouraged to supplement their diet with palm oil to enrich their milk with the vitamin. Studies show that adding red palm oil into the diet can double or triple the amount of vitamin A in mother’s milk.

The children are not only getting the vitamin A they need but other important nutrients as well. Red palm oil is a virtual powerhouse of nutrition. It contains by far, more nutrients than any other dietary oil. In addition to beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and lycopene it contains at least 20 other carotenes along with vitamin E, vitamin K, CoQ10, squalene, phytosterols, flavonoids, phenolic acids, and glycolipids. Palm oil is one of the richest natural sources of vitamin E. In addition to ordinary vitamin E, it also contains the highest amount of a super potent form of vitamin E known as tocotrienol. There are four tocotrienols. Palm oil contains all of them. These tocotrienols have up to 60 times the antioxidant activity of ordinary vitamin E. The combination of vitamin E, tocotrienols, carotenes, and other antioxidants makes palm oil a super antioxidant food.

Red palm oil is loaded with so many nutrients and antioxidants it’s like a natural dietary supplement. In fact, it is currently being encapsulated and sold as a vitamin supplement. The oil is also available in bottles like other vegetable oils for kitchen use.

In government programs for the treatment of nutritional deficiencies, palm oil is simply incorporated into the food. It’s easy for a child to get a teaspoon of red palm oil when it is used to cook vegetables or bread. Palm oil is an excellent for cooking and baking. It consists of 50 percent saturated fatty acids, 40 percent monounsaturated fatty acids, and 10 percent polyunsaturated fatty acids. The high saturated and monounsaturated fatty acid content makes palm oil a very heat resistant and stable oil. It has a high smoke point of 437 degrees F. The high saturated fat and antioxidant content makes it extremely resistant to oxidation and free-radical formation.

 

 

Red Palm Oil and Cardiovascular Health

 

Over the past two decades researchers have painstakingly studied palm oil’s effect on cardiovascular health. The results have been surprising to researchers. Although high in saturated fat, it protects against heart disease.

Studies show that adding palm oil into the diet can remove plaque build up in arteries and therefore, reverse the process of atherosclerosis. This has been demonstrated in both animal and human studies.

Example: Best Naturals Red Palm Oil Softgels

In one study, for instance, 50 subjects were divided into two equal groups. All the participants had been diagnosed with atherosclerosis and had suffered at least one stroke. At the beginning of the study the degree of blockage of their carotid arteries ranged from 15 to 79 percent.

Without any other changes to their diets or medications, half of the subjects began taking a daily palm oil supplement. The other half received placebos and served as the control. The degree of atherosclerosis was monitored using ultrasound scans over an 18 month period. In the group receiving red palm oil, atherosclerosis was halted in 23 of the 25 subjects. In seven of these subjects atherosclerosis was not only stopped but regressed. In comparison, none of those in the control group showed any improvement, in fact, the condition in 10 of them worsened (Tomeo, 1995). This study demonstrated that red palm oil can not only stop, but even reverse atherosclerosis.

 

Example:  Nutiva Red Palm Oil – Organic and Unrefined

 

 

Red Palm Oil Lowers Cholesterol

 

Removing plaque is not the only way palm oil protects against strokes and heart attacks. Palm oil can also improve cholesterol values. In a study at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, researchers demonstrated a 10 percent decrease in total cholesterol in 36 hypercholesterolemic (high cholesterol) subjects given palm oil capsules for four weeks. A follow-up study of 16 subjects resulted in a 13 percent lowering of total cholesterol (Qureshi, 1995).

In another study 31 subjects took a red palm oil supplement every day for 30 days. No other changes were made to their diets. They continued to eat whatever they desired. The results showed that palm oil supplementation lowered both total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol in all the volunteers. The magnitude of reduction of total cholesterol ranged from 5 to 35.9 percent and the reduction of LDL cholesterol ranged from 0.9 to 37 percent. What was even more important was the effect the palm oil had on the cholesterol ratio. The cholesterol ratio was reduced in 78 percent of the subjects, demonstrating a highly significant and favorable response to supplementation (Tan, 1991).

 

 

Red Palm Oil Maintains Proper Blood Pressure

 

Example: Juka’s Organic Co. Red Palm Oil

Palm oil helps maintain proper blood pressure. The high antioxidant content of the oil quenches free radicals and keeps inflammation under control. In one study researchers induced inflammation in the arteries of test animals. Inflammation causes swelling which narrows artery passageways, restricting blood flow to vital organs such as the heart. Half of the animals received palm oil in their diet while the other half served as the control. In the control group artery passageways were severely constricted and 42 percent of the animals died. However, those that received the red palm oil showed far less inflammation and constriction resulting in a 100 percent survival rate.

 

 

Red Palm Oil Strengthens the Heart

 

Tocotrienols also strengthen the heart so that it can better withstand stress. Researchers can purposely induce heart attacks in lab animals by cutting off blood flow to the heart. This causes severe injury and death. However, if the animals are fed palm oil the survival rate is greatly increased, injury is minimized, and recovery quicker (Esterhuyse, 2005).

After looking at studies like this it becomes obvious that palm oil protects against heart disease. This is confirmed in populations where palm oil consumption is particularly high. Heart disease in Malaysia, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Nigeria—where palm oil is a major if not the sole source of visible fat in the daily diet—are among the lowest in the world (Sron, 2005).

 

 

Red Palm Oil Protects Against Cancer

 

The high antioxidant content of red palm oil makes it a potent anticancer food. Palm tocotrienols are especially benefical in this respect. Antioxidants have long been known to offer protection against various forms of cancer. Tocotrienols being highly potent antioxidants have demonstrated remarkable anticancer properties far superior to most other antioxidants.

Studies show palm tocotrienols inhibit the growth of skin, stomach, pancreas, liver, lung, colon, prostate, breast and other cancers. Most of the research to date has been done with breast cancer where tocotrienols show great promise. They not only prevent cancer from taking hold but actively block its growth and initiate apoptosis—a process where diseased cells commit suicide. This is a normal process that is programmed into all of our cells in order to remove old and diseased cells. However, in cancer cells this process is blocked and affected cells continue to multiply and grow without restraint. Ordinary vitamin E, does not induce programmed cell death in cancer cells. Only tocotrienols have this effect.

Initial research has been so impressive that cancer researchers have called tocotrienols the most powerful natural anticancer substances known to science (Yano, 2005). That’s quit a bold statement, but illustrates the potential tocotrienols have in cancer prevention and treatment.

 

 

Red Palm Oil Protects the Brain

 

Example: Praise African Palm Oil

The antioxidant power of red palm oil has also shown to be of benefit in protecting against neurological degeneration. Two of the most significant factors that affect brain function are oxidative stress and poor circulation. Oxidative stress generates free radicals that damage brain and nerve tissue. Poor circulation affects the brain by restricting oxygen and glucose which are vital for proper brain function. Researchers have found correlations between oxidative stress and reduced blood flow to the brain to senile dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and even schizophrenia. All of these conditions involve brain cell death. Tocotrienols aid the brain by reducing oxidative stress and improving blood flow.

Researchers can mimic much of the destruction seen in the above neurological disorders by feeding test animals glutamate—an amino acid that kills brain cells. The primary action of cell death is caused by free radicals. Ordinary vitamin E is not strong enough to prevent glutamate-induced cell death. But palm tocotrienols can quench the destructive action of glutamate. In laboratory studies tocotrienol-treated neurons maintain healthy growth and motility even in the presences of excess glutamate (Khanna, 2003).

 

 

Adding Red Palm Oil to Your Diet is Easy

 

Research is showing that the antioxidant power of red palm oil can be of help in protecting against a variety of health problems including osteoporosis, asthma, cataract, macular degeneration, arthritis, and liver disease. It can even stunt the processes that promote premature aging. It’s no wonder it was regarded as a sacred food by the ancient Egyptians.

Red palm oil is not just for pharaohs, it’s available to everyone. It is sold as a cooking oil and as a dietary supplement at most good health food stores and online.

For more information about the health aspects of red palm oil read The Palm Oil Miracle by Dr. Bruce Fife, ND. 

 

 

References

Esterhuyse, A.J., et al. Dietary red palm oil supplementation protects against the consequences of global ischemia in the isolated perfused rat heart. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2005;14:340-347.

Khanna, S. et al. Molecular basis of vitamin E action: tocotrienol modulates 12-lipoxygenase, a key moderator of glutamate-induced neurodegeneration. J Biol Chem 2003;278:43508-43515.

Qureshi, A.A., et al. Response of Hypercholesterolemic subjects to administration of tocotrienols. Lipids 1995;30:1171-1177.

Sron, B. Palm oil’s track record. Global Oil and Fats 2005;2:24-25.

Tan, D.T.S., et al. Effect of a palm-oil-vitamin E concentrate on the serum and lipoprotein lipids in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1991;53Suppl:1027S-1030S.

Tomeo, A.C., et al. Antioxidant effects of tocotrienols in patients with hyperlipidemia and carotid stenosis. Lipids 1995;30:1179-1183.

Yano, Y., et al. Induction of cytotoxicity in human lung adenocarcinoma cells by 6-0-carboxypropyl-alpha-tocotrienol, a redox-silent derivative of alpha-tocotrienol. Int J Cancer 2005;115:839-846.

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

How to Find the Right Pair of Reading Glasses

 

 

When you reach the point of not being able to read up close without stretching your arms to the limit, you may need to consider single-vision reading glasses.

Generally, people who have never needed glasses in the past will start out with a pair of reading glasses rather than bifocals or no-line progressive lenses, which are usually a better choice if you have a need for distance as well as near correction.

 

 

Types of Reading Glasses

 

Reading glasses come in two main styles: full frames, in which the entire lens is made in the reading prescription, and half-eyes, the smaller “Ben Franklin” style glasses that sit lower down on the nose.

Full reading glasses are suitable for people who spend a great deal of time concentrating on material close-up. If you try to look up and across the room through the reading lenses, everything appears blurry.

 

Example: TruVision Crystal Clear Unisex Full Frame Reading Glasses,

 


 

 

In contrast, half-eye reading glasses allow you to look down and through the lenses for near work, and up and over them to see in the distance.

 

 

 

 

Also available are tinted reading glasses, also known as sun readers, with UV protection for wearing outdoors in the sun.  Another outdoor option is a sunglass bifocal, with a nonprescription upper half for looking far away and a reading prescription in the lower half for close up.

 

Sun Reader Examples: 

 

Sunglass Stop - Vintage Round Unisex Rx Optical Wayfarer Reading Sun Readers Glasses Strength +1.00 Thru +3.50 (Black, 1.25 x)
Sunglass Stop Vintage Unisex Optical Wayfarer Reading Sun Readers
 

Viscare Unisex Spring Hinged Bi-focal Sun Readers

 

 

Computer Eyewear

 

Don’t confuse reading glasses with computer eyewear. If you’re using reading glasses to try to view your computer screen, it’s probably not working very well. For one thing, reading printed matter is done at a closer range than reading text on a computer screen.

Example:  EyeYee Computer Glasses

When you work at a computer for any length of time, it’s common to experience eye strain, blurred vision, red eyes and other symptoms of computer vision syndrome (CVS). This is because the visual demands of computer work are unlike those associated with most other activities.

If you’re under age 40, eye strain or blurred vision during computer work may be due to an inability of your eyes to remain accurately focused on your screen or because your eyes have trouble changing focus from your keyboard to your screen and back again for prolonged periods. These focusing (accommodation) problems often are associated with CVS.

 

 

 

Why Computer Glasses?

computer glasses from Gunnar Optiks include special lens coatings to reduce glare and a tint designed to eliminate eye strain.

 

Computer glasses differ from regular eyeglasses or reading glasses in a number of ways to optimize your eyesight when viewing your computer screen.

For example, computer glasses from Gunnar Optiks include special lens coatings to reduce glare and a tint designed to eliminate eye strain.

Computer screens usually are positioned 20 to 26 inches from the user’s eyes. This is considered the intermediate zone of vision — closer than driving (“distance”) vision, but farther away than reading (“near”) vision.

Most young people wear eyeglasses to correct their distance vision. Reading glasses are prescribed to correct near vision only. And bifocals prescribed for those over age 40 with presbyopia correct only near and far. Even trifocals and progressive lenses (which do have some lens power for intermediate vision) often don’t have a large enough intermediate zone for comfortable computer work.

Without computer eyeglasses, many computer users often end up with blurred vision, eye strain, and headaches — the hallmark symptoms of computer vision syndrome. Worse still, many people try to compensate for their blurred vision by leaning forward, or by tipping their head to look through the bottom portion of their glasses. Both of these actions can result in a sore neck, sore shoulders and a sore back.

Though they sometimes are called “computer reading glasses,” it’s best to call eyewear designed specifically for computer use “computer glasses” or “computer eyeglasses” to distinguish them from conventional reading glasses. Computer glasses put the optimum lens power for viewing your computer screen right where you need it for a clear, wide field of view without the need for excessive focusing effort or unhealthful postures.

University research also shows computer eyewear can significantly increase worker productivity.

 

 

Lens Designs for Computer Eyewear

 

Many special purpose lens designs work well for computer glasses. Because these lenses are prescribed specifically for computer use, they are not suitable for driving or general purpose wear.

The simplest computer glasses have single vision lenses with a modified lens power prescribed to give the most comfortable vision at the user’s computer screen. This lens power relaxes the amount of accommodation required to keep objects in focus at the distance of the computer screen and provides the largest field of view.

 

Eye fatigue is a common symptom of computer vision syndrome.

Computer vision syndrome causes eye fatigue, which can make you feel tired in general.

Single vision computer glasses reduce the risk of eye strain, blurred vision and unnatural posture that can cause neck and back pain, and can be used comfortably by young and old computer users alike.

Another popular lens design for computer glasses is the occupational progressive lens — a no-line multifocal that corrects near, intermediate, and, up to a point, distance vision. It has a larger intermediate zone than regular progressive lenses for more comfortable vision at the computer. But this leaves less lens area for distance vision. So these lenses are not recommended for driving or other significant distance vision tasks.

Other lenses used for computer glasses include occupational bifocal and trifocal lenses. These lined multifocal lenses have larger zones for intermediate and near vision than regular bifocals and trifocals, and the position of the intermediate and near zones can be customized for your particular computer vision needs.

Also, if your reading glasses are the type that force you to lean your head back in order to view your monitor, you’re placing unnecessary strain on your neck muscles. Computer users really should invest in prescription computer glasses.

When choosing ready-made reading glasses, always examine the lenses for little bubbles, waves, or other defects. Insist on the best quality, and if you can’t find it in ready-made readers, buy a custom-made pair, which many eye care practitioners offer at special prices.

 

 

Prescription Reading Glasses – Are They Better?

 

Reading glasses can be custom-made for each individual through an optical dispenser, or they can be purchased “ready-made” at a pharmacy or department store.

Ready-made readers became popular in the 1990s: three times more pairs were purchased during that decade than ever before, at an estimated rate of 30 million pairs per year. They are less expensive than custom eyewear, allowing you to own several pairs for a small amount of money.

Ready-made reading glasses are available in lots of fun styles and colors, too, so you can experiment with fashion, purchasing a somewhat outrageous pair of glasses without risking a lot of money.

If you don’t like the style, you can always get another inexpensive pair with a more conservative look. Pre-made reading glasses also allow you to stash extra pairs in different rooms of the house, as well as in your car, office, briefcase, purse, boat, and so on.

One drawback to purchasing ready-made (“drugstore”) reading glasses is that they are essentially “one-size-fits-all” items. The prescription is the same in both lenses, and the location of the optical center of the lenses is not customized for each wearer.

Most people do not have exactly the same prescription in both eyes, and almost everyone has at least a small amount of astigmatism correction in their prescriptions.

Astigmatism is probably the most misunderstood vision problem which accounts for a different prescription for each eye.

Like nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism is a refractive error, meaning it is not an eye disease or eye health problem; it’s simply a problem with how the eye focuses light. In an eye with astigmatism, light fails to come to a single focus on the retina to produce clear vision. Instead, multiple focus points occur, either in front of the retina or behind it (or both).

Astigmatism usually causes vision to be blurred or distorted to some degree at all distances. Other symptoms of uncorrected astigmatism are eye strain and headaches, especially after reading or other prolonged visual tasks.  Squinting also is a very common symptom.

 

 

Variable Focus/Adjustable Reader Glasses

 

Headaches, eye strain, and even nausea can result from wearing reading glasses that are too far off from your actual prescription or that have optical centers too far away from the center of your pupils. This is where the variable focus/adjustable reader glasses can really help.

Recognizing the “one-size-fits-all” limitations of conventional multifocal lenses, and the expense of multiple eyeglasses with single vision lenses, eyewear manufacturers have come up with an innovative solution: variable focus eyeglass lenses.

As an example, Adlens variable focus eyewear features an exclusive frame and lens combination with self-adjustable lenses that enable the wearer to focus on objects at any distance.

 Each variable focus lens in Adlens glasses contains an elastic membrane within a chamber between two thin, lightweight polycarbonate lenses. When fluid is injected into this chamber by turning a removable knob on the side of the frame, the elastic membrane bows inward or outward within the chamber, which changes the power of the overall lens system.

For example, Adlens variable focus glasses are designed for use as a temporary or spare pair of glasses, and the power of the lenses can be customized instantly to correct from -6 diopters (D) of nearsightedness to +3 D of farsightedness with the simple turn of a dial.

They also can be adjusted for special visual needs, including reading, or used to manage fluctuating vision for people with poorly controlled diabetes or after eye surgery.

 

In an interview conducted by First Vision Media Group in August 2013, Graeme MacKenzie, Director of Industry Affairs at Adlens, had this to say about the versatility of Adlens glasses:

“Given their utility — the fact that you can just adjust the lens power — they can be used in a really wide variety of situations. A lot of people use them at home in their home office environment because you can focus at different distances. A lot of people use them as a pair of monovision glasses, so one eye is set on the computer screen and the other is set on the keyboard. And that was quite a surprising find to us — how easy it is for people to adapt to that and use the glasses in that way.”

 

Adlens introduced Sundials in early 2014. The lightweight “spare pair” sunglasses offer UVA and UVB protection and have temple dials that adjust for near or far vision needs from -6D to +3D.

In October 2013, the company’s Adlens Adjustables line received a Silver Stevie Award at the 10th annual International Business Awards in Barcelona, Spain. The product was recognized for its utility, craftsmanship and technology in the “Best New Product of the Year” category in Health and Pharmaceuticals.

Adlens was founded in 2005 by James Chen, a Hong Kong-based businessman, and Dr. Joshua Silver, professor of atomic physics at Oxford University in the U.K. In addition to selling variable focus eyewear to consumers online and via select retailers, the company has established philanthropic programs to bring accessible vision correction to the developing world, particularly to areas where little or no affordable eye care is available.

Dr. Silver also is CEO of the Centre for Vision in the Developing World at St. Catherine’s College in Oxford.

 

 

Other Convenient Reading Accessories

 

Handy accessories for temporary use, such as an evening in a dimly lit restaurant, include tiny foldable readers that fit in pen-sized cases and magnifiers that hang around your neck like a pendant.

 

Examples:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pocket magnifiers – you may have also  seen plastic lenses mounted in credit card-sized holders that slip easily in a wallet — horrible for reading a book, but fine for those moments of desperation when you just want to know if the menu says “filet de boeuf” or “foie gras.”

 

 

Easy Pocket Magnifier with Light
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Checking for Presbyopia

 

If you’re over age 40, the problem may be due to the onset of presbyopia — the normal age-related loss of near focusing ability. This, too, can cause CVS symptoms.

Presbyopia usually occurs beginning at around age 40, when people experience blurred near vision when reading, sewing or working at the computer.

You can’t escape presbyopia, even if you’ve never had a vision problem before. Even people who are nearsighted will notice that their near vision blurs when they wear their usual eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct distance vision.

 

The eye's lens hardens with age, resulting in blurred near vision. This is called presbyopia.

 

The eye’s lens stiffens with age, so it is less able to focus when you view something up close.

Presbyopia is widespread in the United States. According to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, in 2014 more than 150 million Americans were age 40 and older, and the country is growing older: The median age reached 37.7 that year, up 2.4 years since 2000. This growing number of older citizens generates a huge demand for eyewear, contact lenses and surgery that can help presbyopes deal with their failing near vision.

More than a billion people in the world were presbyopic as of 2005, according to the World Health Organization, and 517 million of these did not have adequate correction with eyeglasses. In developing countries, glasses are available in urban areas, but in rural regions they are unavailable or expensive. This is unfortunate, because good near vision is important for literacy and for performing close-up work.

 

 

Presbyopia Symptoms and Signs

 

When people develop presbyopia, they find they need to hold books, magazines, newspapers, menus and other reading materials at arm’s length in order to focus properly. When they perform near work, such as embroidery or handwriting, they may develop headaches, eye strain or feel fatigued.

What can you do? For starters, have a comprehensive eye exam to rule out vision problems and update your eyeglasses prescription. Studies show that even small inaccuracies in your prescription lenses can contribute to computer vision problems.

If your glasses are up-to-date (or you don’t need prescription eyewear for most tasks) and you continue to experience eye discomfort during computer work, consider purchasing customized computer glasses. These special-purpose glasses are prescribed specifically to reduce eye strain and give you the most comfortable vision possible at your computer.

 

The Danger of Forgoing an Eye Exam

 

The other, more serious problem with using pre-fabricated reading glasses has less to do with the glasses than with one of the reasons that people purchase them.

Some people head to the drugstore instead of the eye doctor when they notice that it’s time for a stronger correction. In fact, a recent survey of presbyopes revealed that 17 percent purchased readers because they “didn’t want to bother with an eye exam.”

Common sense and good eye health dictate that you should consult your eye doctor when you need a change in prescription, or at least once every two years. The need for a new pair of reading glasses may be nothing more than the natural aging process at work. But it might also signal a serious problem with your eyes that can be treated if caught in time.

Glaucoma, for example, is a serious eye disease that has no symptoms at first but can steal your vision if it’s not controlled with medication. A simple test can detect glaucoma in its early stages, but you’ll need to visit your eye doctor for an eye exam in order to have the test.

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Picking out your first pair of reading glasses involves finding something that feels comfortable and looks great. You’ll want to find specs that fit with your personal style and look natural on your face, no matter how infrequently they’re used. Choose a retailer that accepts returns, and have fun finding the perfect pair(s)!

 

 

Thanks for visiting and reading … I hope this article provided you some helpful ideas.  I welcome your comments below.

-Laurie

 

 

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