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Protein intake may reduce disability risk in older people: Study

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Consumption of more protein-based foods could contribute to helping older people to delay disability, according to a study published in the Journal of American Geriatrics Society.

To live successfully and independently, older adults need to be able to manage two different levels of life skills: basic daily care and basic housekeeping activities.
Basic daily care includes feeding yourself, bathing, dressing, and going to the toilet on your own. You also need to handle basic housekeeping activities, such as managing your finances and having the mobility to shop and participate in social activities.

If someone has trouble performing these two types of life skills, this may bring on problems that can reduce the quality of life and independence. People aged 85 and above are at higher risk for becoming less able to perform these life skills.

Protein is known to slow the loss of muscle mass. Having enough muscle mass can help preserve the ability to perform daily activities and prevent disability. Older adults tend to have a lower protein intake than younger adults due to poorer health, reduced physical activity, and changes in the mouth and teeth.

The research team used data from the Newcastle 85+ Study conducted in the United Kingdom (UK). This study’s researchers approached all people turning 85 in 2006 in two cities in the UK for participation. At the beginning of the study in 2006-2007, there were 722 participants, 60 percent of whom were women.

The participants provided researchers with information about what they ate every day, their body weight and height measurements, their overall health assessment (including any level of disability), and their medical records.

The researchers learned that more than one-quarter (28 per cent) of very old adults in North-East England had protein intakes below the recommended dietary allowance.

The researchers noted that older adults who have more chronic health conditions may also have different protein requirements.

To learn more about the health benefits of adequate protein intake in older adults, the researchers examined the impact of protein intake on the increase of disability over five years.

The researchers’ theory was that eating more protein would be associated with slower disability development in very old adults, depending on their muscle mass and muscle strength.

The results indicated that participants who ate more protein at the beginning of the study were less likely to become disabled when compared to people who ate less protein.

“Our findings support current thinking about increasing the recommended daily intake of protein to maintain active and healthy aging. Older adults should aim to eat about 1.0 to 1.2 grams of protein for every 2.2 pounds of body weight. For example, for a person who weighs 160 pounds, that would be about 58 grams of protein a day (a 3.5-ounce serving of chicken contains about 31 grams of protein),” said study author Dr. Nuno Mendonca.


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Can Diabetics Eat Rice And Potatoes? Top Diabetologist Answers

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Diabetes is not a battle in which we have to fight with ourselves and let win the part which makes us unhappy. It is a part of our life which we should enjoy by balancing our lifestyle. One part of enjoyment is through food, which is a very important game to play what to eat and how much to eat. If we talk about our Indian diet, the staple diet is carbohydrate based, which is rice, wheat, potatoes or sweet potatoes. These are the major sources of carbohydrate in our diet.

How to balance these important sources which gives us satiety?

As per guidelines accepted by most of the associations (FDA, ICMR, ADA, WHO, USDA), carbohydrate should be included in our major meals (Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner).

In each major meal, one- fourth of our plate should contain carbohydrate which comes from rice/roti/potato/sweet potato. The carbohydrate requirement is different for different individuals who are guided by a nutritionist depending on their Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) and lifestyle.

Why we should consider portion size and follow food plate?

To understand the answer of above question we should know what glycemic index (GI) is and glycemic load. Glycemic index is a score given to different food item which indicates the effect of a carbohydrate rich food to raise our blood glucose level. It is scored between 0-100 which is categorized into 3 categories a. High (70 & above) b. Medium (56 to 69) and c. Low (55 & less). We should prefer taking low GI food. In today’s scenario, not only glycemic index of food is seen but glycemic load of a particular food is taken into consideration for example potato has high glycemic index but low glycemic load.

Glycemic load is to quantify the overall glycemic effect of a portion of food. The higher the glycemic index and glycemic load, higher will be the capacity of the food to elevate blood sugar level. One should know the glycemic index, glycemic load and carbohydrate content in our staple food sources. The table provides this information in 100g of these food items.

The glycemic index of our major carbohydrate sources is high but the glycemic loads of these food items are not high considering the portion size. Also, if we add fibre sources (Vegetables & fruits) it decreases the rapid digestion of glucose.

It is important to understand the quantity and quality of food that can be consumed as there are numerous myths related to diet in diabetes.

(Dr. Sujeet Jha is the Director of Institute of Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism at Max Healthcare)

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Obesity may cause depression even in absence of health issues

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Overweight and obese people may be at increased risk of depression, even in the absence of other health problems, warns new research.

The research, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, showed that the psychological impact of being overweight causes depression, rather than associated illnesses such as diabetes.

“Our research shows that being overweight doesn’t just increase the risks of chronic diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease; it can also lead to depression,” said study co-author Elina Hypponen, Professor at the University of South Australia.

For the study, the researchers looked at UK Biobank data from more than 48,000 people with depression, comparing them with a control group of more than 290,000 people born between 1938 and 1971, who provided medical and genetic information.

Hospital data and self-reporting were used to determine whether people had depression.

The team used a genetic research approach to explore the causal link between the two conditions.

They separated out the psychological component of obesity from the impact of obesity related health problems, using genes associated with higher BMI but lower risk of diseases like diabetes.

“These genes were just as strongly associated with depression as those genes associated with higher BMI and diabetes. This suggests that being overweight causes depression both with and without related health issues – particularly in women,” Hypponen said.

“Our robust genetic analysis concludes that the psychological impact of being obese is likely to cause depression. This is important to help target efforts to reduce depression, which makes it much harder for people to adopt healthy lifestyle habits,” said Jess Tyrrell of the University of Exeter Medical School in Britain.

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Why music is used as a potential sleep aid?

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Besides its potential to help reduce anxiety as well as the negative effects of physical pain, a new study suggests that music might serve as a cheap, non-pharmaceutical sleep aid for people facing difficulty in getting proper sleep. Sleep loss is a widespread problem and poses serious physical and economic consequences. However, there is a lack of systematic data on how widely it is used, why people opt for music as a sleep aid, or what music works.

The study found that music both stimulates sleep and blocks an internal or external stimulus that would otherwise disrupt sleep. “The study offers new understanding into the complex motivations that drive people to reach for music as a sleep aid and the reasons why so many find it effective,” said researchers including Tabitha Trahan from the University of Sheffield in the UK.

Further, to understand why people opt for music as a sleep aid, or what music works, the team investigated music as a sleep aid within the general public via an online survey that scored musicality, sleep habits, and open-text responses on what music helps sleep and why.

They examined 651 adults, who provided new evidence into the relationship between music and sleep in a population that ranged widely in age, musicality, sleep habits and stress levels. The results, published in the journal PLOS ONE, showed that 62 per cent use music to help them sleep. Even those who do not suffer from sleep disorders use music in their everyday lives to help improve the quality of their sleep experiences.

Studies have shown that music has many promising neurological and physiological effects that may be indicative of its effective use in the fight against sleep loss.
The subjective psychological benefits of music have also been linked to chemical changes observed via hormone levels as music increased oxytocin and accordingly levels of relaxation as well as decrease negative thoughts, the study noted.

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