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Are those extra kilos putting your joints at risk?

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Obese? You may want to start hitting the gym as according to a recent study, those extra kilos can up your arthritis risk.

A University of Pennsylvania study revealed that the adults with rheumatoid arthritis and obesity experienced more rapid progression of disability than patients who were overweight.

According to the study, the patients who lost weight tended to become disabled more quickly, especially in those who were already thin.

 

“We believe that this is because when people get older and acquire illnesses, they tend to lose weight. Therefore, the important weight loss in this study is unintentional. So, this study suggests that patients with rheumatoid arthritis and obesity would benefit from intentional weight loss through a comprehensive management strategy; however, when we see that someone is losing weight without trying, it’s probably a poor prognostic sign, especially if they are already thin,” said researcher Joshua Baker.

New therapies and approaches to weight loss are becoming available to people and the results will help promote their use in patients with arthritis, to help prevent disability over the long-term. It may also encourage health providers to recognize unintentional weight loss as a poor prognostic sign and refer patients for strength training, physical therapy, and other interventions to prevent disability.

The findings are published in the Journal of Arthritis Care & Research.


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If You’re In Your 50s/60s, Eat This Much Protein Every Day

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Protein is an essential mineral required for building muscle mass. It is a nutrient popular for weight loss, thanks to its appetite reducing and fullness promoting properties. Everyone from children in their growing age to older adults need protein, as it is the building block of human body which strengthens bones and builds muscle mass. People above 40 or 50 or those in their 60s also need protein to prevent loss of muscle. Nutritionist Nmami Agarwal says that since protein is publicised for its benefits on bone health, it is as important as calcium and Vitamin D for older adults.

How much protein is required for people in their 50s/60s?

Ask her about the amount of protein intake that is recommended for people above 50, 60 and she says, “55-60 gms of protein per day is the recommended intake of protein for 50, 60 plus. Protein helps in healing of tissues, a process which slows down in old age. Also, we have to keep in mind that, protein levels should not exceed these recommendations, as kidneys may not be able to perform optimally around that age. However, 55-60 gms of protein is recommended on daily basis to maintain muscle and bone health.”

 

However, apart from protein, people above the age of 50 and 60 require other nutrients like Vitamin A, D, iron, calcium and fibre as well. Diet requirements change as you age and including the right kind of foods in your diet can help you have a healthy old age. ” Fibre is key for good digestion and prevention of constipation. Fresh fruits and vegetables are rich in fibre. Examples of iron-rich food includes eggs, bread, green vegetables, and breakfast cereals. Calcium-rich food is important to prevent osteoporosis. Soy, tofu, and green leafy vegetables like broccoli have a good amount of calcium. Other essential vitamins for old age are Vitamin A and D. Also, people above the age of 60 should cut down intake of salt in order to reduce risk of heart disease,” recommends Nmami.

Lifestyle tips for the 50, 60 plus

  1. Eat nutrient rich foods only. Every time you eat, consider it as a chance to nourish your body. Vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein are all important for people of this age group.
  2. Try to maintain a healthy weight by being physically active and having a balanced diet. Exercise regularly. Go for brisk walking every day, do yoga and also some strength training to maintain a healthy weight. These exercises can help maintain strength and promote cardiovascular health. They can reduce your stress levels and help you have a positive outlook towards life.
  3. Keep yourself well hydrated. Make sure you drink sufficient water every day. It is also an effective way to maintain hydration levels. You can also eat more hydrating foods like watermelon, cucumber, banana, milk, strawberries, etc. Good hydration levels will improve your immunity at old age.

4.Quit on caffeine to keep away from harmful toxins.

(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)

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Plant cellulose may be used to create bone implants

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Scientists have used plant cellulose to develop a strong, lightweight sponge that could be used as bone implants of the future. Researchers from the University of British Columbia (UBC) and McMaster University in Canada have developed an airy, foamlike substance that can be injected into the body and provide scaffolding for the growth of new bone. It is made by treating nanocrystals derived from plant cellulose so that they link up and form an aerogel that can compress or expand as needed to completely fill out a bone cavity.

“Most bone graft or implants are made of hard, brittle ceramic that doesn’t always conform to the shape of the hole, and those gaps can lead to poor growth of the bone and implant failure,” said Daniel Osorio, a PhD student at McMaster. “We created this cellulose nanocrystal aerogel as a more effective alternative to these synthetic materials,” said Osorio.

Researchers worked with two groups of rats, with the first group receiving the aerogel implants and the second group receiving none. Results showed that the group with implants saw 33 per cent more bone growth at the three-week mark and 50 per cent more bone growth at the 12-week mark, compared to the controls. “These findings show, for the first time in a lab setting, that a cellulose nanocrystal aerogel can support new bone growth,” said Emily Cranston, a professor at UBC.

 

The implant should break down into non-toxic components in the body as the bone starts to heal. “We can see this aerogel being used for a number of applications including dental implants and spinal and joint replacement surgeries,” said Kathryn Grandfield, at McMaster. “And it will be economical because the raw material, the nano-cellulose, is already being produced in commercial quantities,” said Grandfield.

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Skin diseases more prevalent than thought: Study

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Skin diseases may be much more prevalent than thought, but many affected people do not consult a physician, a study has found.

The published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology estimated the prevalence of skin diseases outside the typical medical setting.

To include people who never or rarely seek medical aid, the study did not rely on health insurance data, but rather on data collected at the Munich Oktoberfest in Germany.

 

Screening examinations were performed randomly on participating visitors by researchers from University of Munich in Germany. Of the 2,701 individuals in the study, at least one skin abnormality was observed in 1,662 of the participants (64.5 per cent). The most common diagnoses were actinic keratosis (26.6 per cent), rosacea (25.5 per cent), and eczema (11.7 per cent). Skin diseases increased with age and were more frequent in men (72.3 per cent) than in women (58.0 per cent).

Nearly two-thirds of the affected participants were unaware of their abnormal skin findings.

“Skin diseases might be even more prevalent than previously thought. Considering their significant impact on individual, family, and social life as well as their heavy economic burden caused by inadequate self- or non-physician treatment, the public health importance of skin diseases is underappreciated,” said Alexander Zink, of the Technical University of Munich. “Information and awareness campaigns are needed to better address this neglected issue and to reduce the global burden of skin diseases,” said Zink.

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