Be Careful with Supplements

Choose your supplements wisely.

As part of our daily regimens, some of us take dietary supplements. BUT, we must be careful with these supplements.

In a very detailed and informative article, Markham Heid reports on issues related to supplement misuse. After just a short time, this article has received more than 11,100 likes!!!

According to Heid:

Background

“Earlier this year, federal authorities announced plans to strengthen oversight of the supplement industry. ‘The growth in the number of adulterated and misbranded products — including those spiked with drug ingredients not declared on their labels, misleading claims, and other risks — creates new potential dangers,’ said U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb in a February press release.”

“Heightened oversight is needed, Gottlieb argued, because expansion and change within the supplement industry has made it difficult for his agency to keep pace. ‘What was once a $4 billion industry comprised of about 4,000 unique products, is now an industry worth more than $40 billion, with more than 50,000 — and possibly as many as 80,000 or even more — different products available to consumers,” he said.”

BE CAREFUL!!!

“From multivitamins and botanicals to probiotics and protein powders, roughly three out of four Americans now take some kind of supplement on a regular basis. Since the days of palliative tonics and snake-oil salesmen, Americans have been readily lured by the promise of health or longevity in the form of a drink, pill, or powder. While the terminology has evolved — ’biohacking’ and ‘nutraceuticals’ are some of the buzzwords du jour — the implied benefits of most supplements still outpace or ignore the science. And despite recent studies that find supplements are frequently contaminated or that the best way to get nutrients is through food, Americans’ interest in supplements is only growing. And experts say many supplement users don’t recognize or appreciate the risks that accompany the use of these products.”

“The lesson here isn’t that supplements give people cancer. Rather, it’s that approaching supplements as though they’re all upside is a misguided and potentially harmful operating philosophy. When you swallow a capsule packed with concentrated amounts of a vitamin, nutrient, or other substance — a practice that did not become widespread until very recently — you can get into trouble.”

Click the image to access Heid’s full article.

Be Careful with Supplements

AN AUDIO SUMMARY

Click below to access a 15-minute audio summary from Heid.


 

Preparing for the First Day of Chemotherapy

Advice for getting ready for chemo.

From personal experience, I know how scary the anticipation of the first day of chemo can be. In my case, there was a month interval between my Whipple surgery and chemotherapy. That was to let me be strong enough to endure the rigors of chemo. And rigorous it was. With numerous side effects. BUT, I’d do it all over again because it has improved the overall quality of my life. Thank you Team Vacirca and all the folks at New York Cancer and Blood Specialists.

So, when I came across an infographic on preparing for the first day of chemotherapy, I knew it had to be shared.

As reported by Healthline:

The best advice comes from the person who’s been there herself. We polled our community of women living with breast cancer for their tips on what to bring, and what to wear, on your first day of chemotherapy. Read on for their advice.”

Preparing for the First Day of Chemotherapy
 

Life Is Too Short to Hold Grudges

Take the quiz. 🙂

Virtually all of us (myself included) have gotten upset enough to hold a grudge — at least for a while. Sometimes, we can’t even remember why a grudge was started. Life is too short hold grudges.

What exactly is a grudge? According to Vocabulary.com:

“Grudge comes from the now dead Middle English word ‘grutch,’ which meant ‘to complain or grumble.’ Someone who bears a grudge might often be grouchy. You can specify a type of grudge: political grudge, personal grudge, etc. You know Grandpa’s been holding a grudge against the neighbors for years, but you have to wonder: How long can he hold that shotgun?”

“If you tend to hold a grudge, you don’t let it go when you feel someone’s insulted or wronged you. I hope you won’t hold a grudge against me for bringing it up.”

As Tim Herrera reports for the New York Times:

“’Holding onto a grudge really is an ineffective strategy for dealing with a life situation that you haven’t been able to master. That’s the reality of it,’ said Dr. Frederic Luskin, founder of the Stanford Forgiveness Project. Whenever you can’t grieve and assimilate what has happened, you hold it in a certain way,’ he said. ‘If it’s bitterness, you hold it with anger. If it’s hopeless, you hold it with despair. But both of those are psycho-physiological responses to an inability to cope, and they both do mental and physical damage.’”

Now, click the image to take a quiz about YOURSELF and grudges.
Life Is Too Short to Hold Grudges
Getty Images

“This quiz helps you figure out how hefty your grudge should be, on a scale of one carat to 10 carats. (This is an excerpt from ‘How to Hold a Grudge,’ by Sophie Hannah, published by Scribner, with additional explanations of each grudge written by Ms. Hannah.)”

 

4,400 Steps Daily Are the New 10,000

No excuses now not to hit the proper number of steps.

Interesting blog title, huh? 4,400 Steps Daily Are the New 10,000. To put this in context, consider that for years we have been told that a minimum of 10,000 steps per day are needed to be healthy. Yet, for many of us, this may not be a realistic goal. So, what do we do? Suppose that the 10,000-step figure is wrong.

According to new research, the proper minimum number may be as few as 4,400 steps daily.

As Allison Aubrey observes for NPR:

“There’s nothing magical about the number 10,000. In fact, the idea of walking at least 10,000 steps a day for health goes back decades to a marketing campaign launched in Japan to promote a pedometer. And, in subsequent years, it was adopted in the U.S. as a goal to promote good health. It’s often the default setting on fitness trackers, but what’s it really based on?”

“‘The original basis of the number was not scientifically determined,’ says researcher I-Min Lee of Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She was curious to know how many steps you need to take a day to maintain good health and live a long life, so she and her colleagues designed a study that included about 17,000 older women. Their average age was 72. The women all agreed to clip on wearable devices to track their steps as they went about their day-to-day activities.”

“It turns out that women who took about 4,000 steps per day got a boost in longevity, compared with women who took fewer steps. ‘It was sort of surprising,’ Lee says. In fact, women who took 4,400 steps per day, on average, were about 40 percent less likely to die during the follow-up period of about four years compared with women who took 2,700 steps. Another surprise: The benefits of walking maxed out at about 7,500 steps. In other words, women who walked more than 7,500 steps per day saw no additional boost in longevity. The findings were published  in JAMA Internal Medicine.”

“So, if 10,000 steps has been feeling out of reach to you, it may be time reset those factory settings on your fitness tracker. Instead, try to hit at least 4,400 a day, along with daily activities that you enjoy. And stick to it.”

Listen to the brief NPR audio for an overview. And click on the image to access the full NPR article.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/05/29/727943418/do-you-really-need-10-000-steps-per-day
“New research shows that daily light walking is important for maintaining health as you age. But if you can’t hit 10,000 steps, don’t worry.” Peter Muller/Getty Images/Cultura RF

 

Improve Your Positivity

Eight tips to help you.

We have written often about the importance of our attitude in living well. Today, tips to improve your positivity.

Some related prior posts:

Improve Your Positivity

Improve Your Positivity

 

Bettering Your Immune System

Treat your immune system well!

According to the National Institutes of Health:

“The overall function of the immune system is to prevent or limit infection. An example of this principle is found in immune-compromised people, including those with genetic immune disorders, immune-debilitating infections like HIV, and even pregnant women, who are susceptible to a range of microbes that typically do not cause infection in healthy individuals.”

“The immune system can distinguish between normal, healthy cells and unhealthy cells by recognizing a variety of ‘danger’ cues called danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs). Cells may be unhealthy because of infection or because of cellular damage caused by non-infectious agents like sunburn or cancer. Infectious microbes such as viruses and bacteria release another set of signals recognized by the immune system called pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs).”

“When the immune system first recognizes these signals, it responds to address the problem. If an immune response cannot be activated when there is sufficient need, problems arise, like infection. On the other hand, when an immune response is activated without a real threat or is not turned off once the danger passes, different problems arise, such as allergic reactions and autoimmune disease.”

“The immune system is complex and pervasive. There are numerous cell types that either circulate throughout the body or reside in a particular tissue. Each cell type plays a unique role, with different ways of recognizing problems, communicating with other cells, and performing their functions. By understanding all the details behind this network, researchers may optimize immune responses to confront specific issues, ranging from infections to cancer.”

The Mayo Clinic notes the following:

“Primary immunodeficiency disorders — also called primary immune disorders or primary immunodeficiency — weaken the immune system, allowing infections and other health problems to occur more easily. Many people with primary immunodeficiency are born missing some of the body’s immune defenses or with the immune system not working properly, which leaves them more susceptible to germs that can cause infections. Some forms of primary immunodeficiency are so mild they can go unnoticed for years. Other types are severe enough that they’re discovered soon after an affected baby is born. Treatments can boost the immune system in many types of primary immunodeficiency disorders. Research is ongoing, leading to improved treatments and enhanced quality of life for people with the condition.”

Symptoms

“One of the most common signs of primary immunodeficiency is having infections that are more frequent, longer lasting, or harder to treat than are the infections of someone with a normal immune system. You may also get infections that a person with a healthy immune system likely wouldn’t get (opportunistic infections). Signs and symptoms differ depending on the type of primary immunodeficiency disorder, and they vary from person to person.”

“Signs and symptoms of primary immunodeficiency can include: Frequent and recurrent pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, ear infections, meningitis or skin infections. Inflammation and infection of internal organs. Blood disorders, such as low platelet counts or anemia. Digestive problems, such as cramping, loss of appetite, nausea ,and diarrhea. Delayed growth and development. Autoimmune disorders, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis or type 1 diabetes.”

Prevention

“Because primary immune disorders are caused by genetic defects, there’s no way to prevent them. But when you or your child has a weakened immune system, you can take steps to prevent infections:

        • Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands with mild soap after using the toilet and before eating.
        • Take care of your teeth. Brush your teeth at least twice a day.
        • Eat right. A healthy, balanced diet can help prevent infections.
        • Be physically active. Staying fit is important to your overall health. Ask your doctor what activities are appropriate for you.
        • Get enough sleep. Try to go to sleep and get up at the same time daily, and get the same number of hours of sleep every night.
        • Manage stress. Some studies suggest that stress can hamper your immune system. Keep stress in check with massage, meditation, yoga, biofeedback or hobbies. Find what works for you.
        • Avoid exposure. Stay away from people with colds or other infections and avoid crowds.
        • Ask your doctor about vaccinations. Find out which ones you should have.”

Other Immunity System Resources from the New York Times

To access the immunity system resources below, either click the image OR click the link of an individual resource.

Bettering Your Immune System
ILLUSTRATION BY SUPER FREAK

 

Health Benefits Available Through AARP

Great resources from AARP

AARP’s mission “is to empower people to choose how they live as they age.” In the United States, it has nearly 40 million members. And annual dues are about $15 per person. [NOTE: Our blog is a nonprofit. This is not an advertisement for AARP.]

The organization offers a number of health-related resources. Some are free. While others are offered at a discount.

Click the image to learn more about each health-related resource offered by AARP. When on the Web site, scroll down to health and wellness.

Health Benefits Available Through AARP