I would guess that growing old does not worry most Americans. However, the loss of strength and balance that can go together with the aging process can be frightening.
Live Lean Today can help with its anti aging fitness plans. Is there a way to prevent the frailty that is often associated with an older age? The solution may include protein, selected vitamins and dietary supplements.
Frailty is characterized as low overall muscle strength, a regular feeling of exhaustion with minimal activities, slow walking speed, and an overall reduction in activities of daily living. Although the number of elderly who could be defined as frail is un-known, frailty may increase the risk of falling as well as susceptibility to disease. In addition, frailty also negatively affects quality of life.
A recent study published in the Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences demonstrated that the lack of specific nutrients increases the risk of becoming frail. In this study, 802 participants were assessed for nutrient intake and frailty. The study showed that the risk of frailty was correlated with a diminished intake of protein and vitamins A, D, C and the B vitamin folate.
If a person was deficient in two or more nutrients, the risk of frailty more than doubled. In addition, as we age, our ability to absorb nutrients from the food we eat decreases. The quality and quantity of food eaten also may be influenced by a fixed income. This suggests that nutrient insuffi-ciency may be more common in the elderly that we believe.
Fortunately, frailty may be easily prevented and even reversed. Meat is an excellent source of protein but, for those on a very fixed income, may not be part of the daily diet. However, beans and nuts can also supply a significant amount of excellent protein at a very reasonable cost. They also are rich in folate. Fruits and vegetables are good source of vitamins A, C and D. Dietary supplements may also be valuable and can provide more than adequate levels of folate and vitamins A, D and C in a number of easily digestible forms.
When I was in medical school, we learned that all nutritional needs could be met by having three “square” meals a day. We now know that nutrition and health involves a much more complex set of interactions and that proper amounts of protein and specific nutrients, like vitamins A, D, C and folate are essential. Frailty may be avoidable and, with a little effort, we all may be able to enjoy the “golden years” a little more.
Copyright (c) 2007 Charles Carter