Health Talk Today


How Fast are you Aging?

Have you ever noticed that some people age faster than others? Scientists are learning that we may actually be able to slow the aging process by changing some of our unhealthy habits.

To find out what your aging speed might be, take our quick quiz:

Quiz: Just How Fast are you Aging?

Scientists who study aging have found there are many things that can speed your aging:

High Stress
Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life and usually aren’t a problem until they become an everyday event. Stress raises many hormones, including cortisol, which can impact the way we look and how fast we age.1 In a recent study, women with a high level of anxiety had biological markers of women who were six years older.2

When you look at the faces of people who are long-term smokers you can see that smoking destroys our skin and is associated with many chronic diseases including heart disease and stroke, as well as lung cancer.3

Too Much Sun Exposure
While the sun is good for us as a great source of vitamin D, ultraviolet radiation is well known to age skin.4

Poor Sleep
Short-term sleep restriction (such as having a bad night’s sleep) has a variety of adverse effects including aising blood pressure, impairing blood sugar control, and increasing inflammation which all accelerate aging. But when people don’t sleep well over a long period of time (less than 7 hours of sleep) they are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and all-cause mortality. 5

Eating Poorly
Many foods seem to increase aging including trans-fats, processed and hydrogenated oils.6 Refined sugars produce a chemical reaction called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) in our bodies and these have been tied to diseases including cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.7

Obesity has been called a state of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress8 and is associated with a variety of diseases, including diabetes, colon cancer, gallstones, hypertension, heart disease, and stroke (men only).9,10

Not Exercising
Sedentary lifestyles have long been associated with being less healthy. People who don’t exercise are more likely to be overweight, have higher risk for diabetes, heart disease and even certain cancers.11

What’s your score?
Leave a comment.

1 Wikgren M, Maripuu M, Karlsson T, et al. Short telomeres in depression and the general population are associated with a hypocortisolemic state. Biol Psychiatry. 2012 Feb 15;71(4):294-300. PMID: 22055018.

2 Okereke OI, Prescott J, Wong JY et al. High phobic anxiety is related to lower leukocyte telomere length in women. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e40516. PubMed PMID: 22808180.


4 Polefka TG, Meyer TA, Agin PP, Bianchini RJ. Effects of solar radiation on the skin. J Cosmet Dermatol. 2012 Jun;11(2):134-43. PMID: 22672278.

5 Alvarez GG, Ayas NT. The impact of daily sleep duration on health: a review of the literature. Prog Cardiovasc Nurs. 2004 Spring;19(2):56-9. PMID: 15133379.

6 Stender S, Dyerberg J. Influence of trans fatty acids on health. Ann Nutr Metab. 2004;48(2):61-6. Epub 2003 Dec 16. PMID: 14679314.

7 Luevano-Contreras C, Chapman-Novakofski K. Dietary advanced glycation end products and aging. Nutrients. 2010 Dec;2(12):1247-65. doi: 10.3390/nu2121247. Epub 2010 Dec 13. PMID: 22254007.

8 Vincent HK, Innes KE, Vincent KR. Oxidative stress and potential interventions to reduce oxidative stress in overweight and obesity. Diabetes Obes Metab. 2007 Nov;9(6):813-39. PMID: 17924865.

9 Hubert HB, Bloch DA, Oehlert JW, Fries JF. Lifestyle habits and compression of morbidity. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2002 Jun;57(6):M347-51. PMID: 12023263.

10 Field AE, Coakley EH, Must A, et al. Impact of overweight on the risk of developing common chronic diseases during a 10-year period. Arch Intern Med. 2001 Jul 9;161(13):1581-6. PMID:11434789.

11 Kruk J. Physical activity in the prevention of the most frequent chronic diseases: an analysis of the recent evidence. Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2007 Jul-Sep;8(3):325-38. PMID: 18159963.

© Shaklee Corporation 2000-2014

Understanding the Latest Media Attention on Multivitamins

Guest post by Jamie McManus, M.D., FAAFP. Chair of Medical Affairs, Health Science, & Education at Shaklee Corporation

Want to guest post? I’d love to publish your health related article.
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Many of you have probably seen the headlines regarding multivitamins and their inability to prevent chronic disease in the past few days – the result of three studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Starting from a 30,000-foot view, the premise of these studies is the first problem: looking at the use of a multivitamin alone as a way to prevent disease. The purpose of a multivitamin is to fill in nutritional gaps and provide optimum levels of vitamins and minerals. It is well established that the vast majority of Americans fail to obtain even adequate levels of these nutrients.

Prevention of any disease is a multi-factorial process that has to include diet, weight management, and lifestyle. To expect to see disease prevention accomplished by virtue of taking a daily multivitamin is a flawed premise. So, why are these large-scale (and very expensive) studies undertaken? It is simply the model of research that scientists and physicians understand – studying a single drug to determine what effect it may have on a single disease. Studying nutrition is far more complex.

While a drug has a primary effect (usually something positive), they also have a myriad of side effects (which are usually negative and even life threatening). Every year pharmaceuticals are removed from the market because of these serious side effects. A study published in JAMA in 1998 showed that as many as 125,000 Americans die each year of properly prescribed pharmaceuticals – wow! When was the last time a vitamin was removed from the market?

Vitamins and minerals all have multiple positive functional roles to play in our bodies – which is why so many Americans pop a multi each day. People simply feel better when they take a multi because they are filling in those all too common nutrition gaps.

All three of these studies showed that multivitamins have an excellent safety profile. Well, of course they do! The only “potential harm” that continues to be mentioned every time we have a study such as this published is the slight increased risk of lung cancer in smokers who took beta carotene. My response to that is – smokers: stop smoking!

Let me quickly summarize these studies. The largest one is another report from the Physician Health Study – previous publications of data from this large government funded study did show an association of reduced cancer associated with multivitamin usage.

The next study looked at cognitive decline in physicians – who are at the upper end of the intelligence scale and pretty well nourished. Showing a significant change in cognitive decline in this population is going to take some intervention beyond a multi – as this population is most likely doing lots of the right things to protect their brain function.

The third study tried to show that higher doses of specific vitamins decrease the likelihood of a second heart attack in folks who have already had a heart attack. Hmmm. Maybe we should look at weight reduction, cholesterol, blood pressure lowering, and blood sugar management as opposed to putting the burden of prevention of a second heart attack in someone with heart disease on vitamins!

I have been recommending a multivitamin (and beyond) to my patients, and consumers in general, for my entire 30 years as a physician – and nothing in these studies changes my mind. The statistics on inadequacies in our American diet are clear – most everyone is deficient in multiple nutrients. Here at Shaklee, we have the Landmark Study, published in the journal Nutrition in 2007 that showed a nice correlation of better health with multiple supplement usage, starting with a multivitamin. We have over 100 published studies that validate the connection of nutrition and health. I urge you to continue taking your Shaklee supplements – but also, to remember the importance of eating healthfully, avoiding fast foods, and getting to a healthy weight on your journey to better health.

Be well!

The Landmark Study

Jamie McManus, M.D., FAAFPChair of Medical Affairs, Health Science, & Education
Dr. Jamie McManus is an acclaimed author, board-certified family physician, and highly regarded educational speaker who has been featured in numerous radio and television shows. She is responsible for ensuring best practices in clinical research, scientific design, product development, and product messaging. A longtime advocate of preventative medicine, Dr. McManus is most passionate about inspiring others to take charge of their health through simple lifestyle changes and proper nutrition. In her downtime, she enjoys running, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, and playing with her 3-year-old granddaughter.

She doesn’t go a day without taking her Shaklee products, starting her day with a Shaklee 180™ Shake and Shaklee Vitalizer™.

Do you take vitamins every day?
Are they synthetic or all natural and organic?
Does it matter to you whether you take them or not?
Leave a comment with your opinion.

Effective and Fun Exercise Ideas For Seniors

Guest post by Felix Marsh, team member at Heritage Independent Living.

Want to guest post? I’d love to publish your health related article.
Contact me

It is vitally important for seniors to exercise regularly in order to maintain a good level of health, fitness and independence. And it is a mistake to think that because you are getting older it is less important to exercise!

If muscles are not used regularly, they will begin to shrink. And unfortunately, because people have a tendency to slow down and do less as they grow older, this can become a problem and overall health can suffer. With regular gentle exercise however this can be avoided and joints and muscles can remain healthy and flexible for much longer.

I am not necessarily talking about going to the gym or jumping up and down in an aerobics class. Although, if you are fit and energetic enough, this would be an brilliant way to keep fit. There are a number of different types of exercise for seniors to choose from. And as well as being good for your health, exercise can be great fun and open up all kinds of social opportunities.

It is important to be aware of your limits when participating in any kind of exercise. Take it at your own pace so as not to overdo it. Seniors who have pre-existing health conditions are advised to consult their medical practitioner to discuss any doubts or worries they have before taking part in any strenuous activities that could potentially compromise their current level of health or fitness.

Here are some ideas to get you thinking…

Effective & Fun Exercise Ideas For SeniorsWater
Exercising in water is a great way to stay in shape. Even those with limited mobility can take part in this type of exercise due to the great support and resistance water provides for the joints and limbs.

Swimming is of course, an excellent way to stay healthy. But even if you cannot or would prefer not to swim, another option would be to take part in exercise classes in a pool, which can be great fun and good for your health.

Effective & Fun Exercise Ideas For SeniorsWalking
Getting out for regular walks is easy and of course this option is completely free! Just a short stroll around your neighborhood a few times a week can help to keep unwanted weight at bay and strengthen your bones. Stopping to chat or say hello, or even better, walking with a buddy can be beneficial socially, too. Simply getting outside in the natural sunlight avoids the risk of many health conditions including osteoporosis which is caused by a lack of calcium, leading to weakness in the bones.

Effective & Fun Exercise Ideas For SeniorsYoga
Joining a yoga class for seniors is a wonderful choice as yoga offers both physical and psychological benefits through its combination of gentle cardiovascular exercise, relaxation and breathing techniques. Having mastered the basics, it is possible to fit in a little yoga practice at home, too, as yoga requires nothing more than a mat and some comfortable, loose clothing!

Many seniors have a great time strutting their stuff in local groups. And even if you were only blessed with two left feet, this is a highly sociable way to stay fit whilst meeting friends and having a lot of fun whilst listening to some ‘proper music!’

Effective & Fun Exercise Ideas For SeniorsCycling
Cycling doesn’t have to mean lycra shorts and shiny space age bikes despite what a lot of the cyclists one sees racing around this summer would tell you. Nipping down to the shops or going out for half an hour for a ride around the neighborhood every few days on a comfortable bike is a brilliant way to get some fresh air and work your muscles.

Take it easy at first if it has been a while since you got on a bike. But once you get the hang of it again, you will discover the freedom of the road without a scrap of lycra or Kevlar required! The final thing to say on bikes is that nowadays they all come with lots of gears as pretty much standard, so don’t worry too much about the hills!

Many seniors already do this activity perhaps without realizing the health benefits. Gardening is a low impact form of exercise with a wide range of positive physical and psychological side effects. Stretching, bending, pulling, digging, squatting are all part and parcel of gardening. And therefore, as you complete the activities you can say to yourself that you are keeping the garden looking good and staying fit at the same time. Perfect!

Quality of Life
There are of course, many other kinds of exercise you could get involved with. The important thing is to choose something that you will enjoy and make it part of your daily or weekly routine. If you don’t enjoy it and it feels like a chore you will feel less motivated and be less likely to exercise regularly. Should this happen just try something new. Simple!

Being part of a club or group, getting out regularly and participating in any activity you love is good for you. So, if you know you could be doing more to maintain your health, look locally to see what is available and go for it!

Getting into good habits early on is the key, but better late than never definitely applies to exercising at any stage of our lives whether young or old.

Eating a healthy diet and keeping fit whilst enjoying a hobby, sport or class of your preference will ensure you enjoy a good quality of life throughout your senior years, keeping both your mind and body active and you happier and healthier to boot!

Felix Marsh, Heritage Independent LivingHeritage Independent Living is a respected Live-in Care introductory agency. We match experienced live-in or daily companions and carers with a wide range of people from elder citizens, wishing to maintain an independent lifestyle, to physically or mentally disabled clients of all ages.

Whether you’re a senior or not, what fun exercise do you recommend?
Leave a comment with your effective and fun exercise ideas.

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