Showing posts with label Health Aging. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Health Aging. Show all posts

March 8, 2020

Eye Circles Although Not Dangerous It makes Us Look Older and Not as Healthy

What's to know about raccoon eyes?
 Source: Medical News Today

Although dark eye circles are not dangerous, many people seek ways to treat or hide them. However, it may not be possible to remove them altogether.
Some people may think that dark circles under their eyes make them look tired and older, so they search for home remedies and treatments that can minimize their appearance. 
Keep reading to learn more about how to remove or improve the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. 

two men asleep to try to remove dark circles under eyes permanentlyShare on Pinterest
A person may reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes by getting adequate sleep.
Once a person understands why dark circles develop under their eyes, they can select an appropriate treatment. Some people change their lifestyle habits, while others turn to treatments and products that they find in beauty stores. While these are likely safe, most of these home treatments may be ineffective.
People may not be able to remove dark eye circles altogether, but several techniques and remedies can help minimize their appearance.

1. Getting adequate sleep

Some people notice dark eye circles when they experience periods of low-quality sleep. Lack of sleep may aggravate dark eye circles. Limited studies have shown that rest and good general health lessens the dark of eye circles. 

2. Elevating the head during sleep

People who experience darkening of the skin under their eyes in the morning that fades slightly throughout the day may have increased blood vessels or vasculature around their eyes. The darker color can also be the result of swelling. 
By elevating the head during sleep, blood will travel away from the head and face and may reduce swelling and lessen the dark color under the eyes. 

3. Applying cold compresses 

People with increased vasculature under their eyes may benefit from applying cold compresses. Cold compresses can constrict the blood vessels around the eyes, which can reduce their appearance at the skin’s surface. Compresses can also reduce swelling around the eyes and lessen the dark color. 

4. Minimizing sun exposure

People can reduce dark eye circles by protecting their skin from the sun. Ultraviolet radiation can worsen dark eye circles in some people. Protection with sunglasses, moisturizers with sunscreens, and hats can protect the skin from the sun and prevent worsening of dark eye circles. 

5. Cucumber slices and tea bags

Sometimes. people apply cucumber slices to their eyes to reduce the appearance of dark eye circles. Although the mechanism of its effect is unknown, the cold temperature of the cucumber slices may improve swelling due to sleeping, eczema, or allergies. 
Some people also use tea bags. Letting them cool off in the fridge and then placing them on the eyes might produce the same effect as cold compresses or cold cucumber slices. Some suggest using caffeinated tea bags because caffeine can also constrict blood vessels and reduce their appearance on the skin surface.
Caffeine can also speed up blood flow across blood vessels around the eyes and can give a youthful and fresh appearance to the skin.
It is important to note that researchers have not studied the effects of applying cucumber slices or cold tea bags to the eyes to prevent or treat dark eye circles. 

6. Vitamin C

Vitamin C can increase collagen production. Increasing collagen production under the eyes can reduce blood stasis, which may cause discoloration. Blood stasis refers to blood that pools in blood vessels. 
People may notice an improved appearance of dark circles under their eyes when using beauty products with high concentrations of vitamin C. 

7. Retinoid creams

Retinoid creams, found in beauty stores, can also help promote collagen production and improve the appearance of dark eye circles. These vitamin A-derived creams also decrease the melanin content in the skin. Melanin is what gives skin its color. 
Retinoids creams are not appropriate for everyone. People should talk to their doctor or another healthcare professional before using retinoid creams. 

8. Hydroquinone, kojic acid, and arbutin creams

Hydroquinone, kojic acid, and arbutin are compounds that disrupt the production of melanin in the skin. According to an article in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, low concentrations of hydroquinone and kojic acid can be effective. People in some countries have limited access to hydroquinone creams because they may cause side effects. 
Kojic acid and arbutin are naturally derived substances. In small doses, arbutin can improve the appearance of dark circles under eyes, but high concentrations can cause hyperpigmentation. 
Before using a beauty product containing hydroquinone, kojic acid, or arbutin, people should consult a doctor or dermatologist. 

9. Vitamin K

In one study, researchers evaluated the efficacy of an antiwrinkle and dark eye circle pad that contained 3% caffeine and 1% vitamin E. Participants wore the eye pads for 1 hour every night for 4 weeks. The researchers noticed a reduced appearance of dark eye circles at the end of the study.
Further studies are needed to confirm the efficacy of vitamin K and caffeine loaded pads for reducing dark eye circles. 

10. Concealers and makeup

Some people choose to use makeup to conceal their dark eye circles. Mineral makeup foundation can conceal dark patches under the eyes. 
Optical diffusers are a type of cosmetics that reflects light away from the skin and can improve the appearance of dark circles. These techniques do not treat or prevent dark eye circles.  Causes
To remove dark eye circles permanently, people need to figure out their cause. People can develop dark eye circles for multiple reasons, including: 
  • genetic factors
  • presence of melanin in the dermal layer of the skin
  • post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
  • secondary to eczema or allergies
  • anemia
  • lifestyle habits
  • swelling of the eyes
  • presence of blood vessels at the skin surface
  • shadowing due to thin skin
Some lifestyle factors that may influence the appearance of dark eye circles include:
  • lack of sleep
  • stress
  • alcohol overuse
  • smoking 
People can change certain lifestyle factors to improve health and reduce the appearance of dark eye circles. However, a person cannot modify some other factors, such as genetics. 
People can try to use products or methods to reduce the appearance of dark eye circles, but they may not be able to remove them entirely or permanently.  When to see a doctor
Dark eye circles under the eyes are not detrimental to a person’s health, but some people may choose to consult a doctor or dermatologist for cosmetic purposes. People who experience low self-esteem or poor quality of life because of dark eye circles may benefit from seeking medical help.
A doctor or dermatologist can help to diagnose and classify dark eye circles, which can help people choose the most appropriate treatment or lifestyle change. Doctors can also help people manage their expectations around the effectiveness of each treatment. 
Bear in mind that most treatments require months of daily use before a person notices any significant change. 
Sometimes doctors may suggest noninvasive techniques, such as intense pulsed light, radiofrequency, q-switched lasers, and pulsed dye lasers, to reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. 
However, some people may require invasive techniques, such as: 
  • chemical peels
  • medical tattoos
  • ablative laser resurfacing 
  • hyaluronic acid gel soft tissue fillers 
  • fat transfer 
  • surgery
  • implants 
People should only consider these options in extreme cases. 
Dark eye circles are a common reason people consult a dermatologist. 
Some people may not like the appearance of dark circles under their eyes and experience low self-esteem and reduced quality of life as a result, but it is important to remember that they are harmless. 
Several medical treatments and home remedies can help reduce the appearance of dark eye circles. These may include cucumber slices and beauty products. 
Although most of these treatments are safe to use, researchers have not confirmed their effectiveness in reducing dark eye circles.

February 21, 2020

Are You At Risk for Developing Dementia? Yes, I Should Know, I Discovered I Have It

Yes, I have dementia which is something I dreaded my whole life because I have seen people go through that cycle and is nothing short of sad and scary. My mom had a stroke a year before she died and her already shortening short memory was obvious. Repeating the same question, not remembering the answer and not have the ability to remember new names. I always thought it was one of those diseases in nature with no cure or even prediction if you are at risk. Since most things are, And I had to deal with my mom temporarily not recognizing me and at times even cursing me for bathing and taking care of her. My hurt was so enormous since I was always close to mom and she to me. 48 hrs could not pass without a phone call when she was traveling, visiting the family.

Four or so years ago I notice that my forgetfulness could not be natural. At the time I was working as a Test Center Administrator with a lot of security and testing information to remember. You were also certified every year with a test. I made it ok originally when I first started but two years into it was stressing me out. I could not understand it. One day this homophobic black girl figured out I was gay, I was out but not a topic of discussion in any of the workplaces. I could have taken legal action but my temper did not allow me to go quietly and even though I did not call her anything racist, they *F you and so forth came streaming out of the mouth. I expected the District manager that worked there to take action. He did not because he said he heard the two of us having a verbal altercation. That was a good time to say "Adios Amigos."

To make this story short because the idea behind is to instill in you and if you are lucky to live with someone or are close to your family, a plan of action in case this awful disease attacks and things go fasts. There is Dementia and there is Alzheimer's, Alzheimer's tends to be family-related. Dementia not necessarily. All you need is some brain transmitter to get damaged due to old age, accident or just nature. Dementia tends to go slower and it starts in those individuals with short term memory. My long term memory is excellent. If something becomes a long term memory, meaning that it was very important when it happened I will remember that. Faces I don't easily forget but new names are a problem. Public speaking can be a problem because from time to time I forget my vocabulary and I am not able to continue the conversation unless reminded where I left off. So you see is not so bad.
I am writing without now purely from memory. I am relaxed now but the problem seems to get worse when I get nervous about something.

I am able to speed read to find the stories I'm looking for. I can see with searches how much attention is getting since I'm looking for the important stuff that the media is not concentrating at the time. Current and affecting many of us and if I'm lucky something that makes people take a double look. I used to feel good when I published stories that didn't appear for 24-48 hours but It was not what I was looking for. Sometimes now I will sit on a story to see how much coverage it gets. If it's being covered unless I see a different angle it will not get published. These happen with a defective brain, so if you are in my shoes or become one of the people whose brain begins to fail at any age, there is stuff you can do and I don't mean crayons and numbered flowers. Ronald Reagan had it very advanced but he was able to fool most people until he was done with his presidency. Feel free to comment or ask about this or email for more privacy. I just came out with it so very few will give you the same amount of privacy. privacy. The worse thing I've done publishing this blog is to let a story get published that was supposed to stay in draft so it could be checked proof. I hope I have been forgiven for that but I do go back and edit the mistakes.

Now let me share with you a new article that just came out today in The New York Times written by 

 My mom newly arrived in New York City to a new life. She learns as much English as she could and went to work. She never worked in her life. She was just a housewife to my dad and he kept her busy having kids, (12); After I was born, being the last one, convinced my mom to never sleep with him again (she knew he was unfaithful). When the opportunity came, she grabbed me and three adopted kids and a homeless girl and gave us new lives, if we wanted it. Her older kids had not done well in NYC., Particularly the three males. Losers the three of them. The girls were different. At least I was lucky I was just a kid and everybody else had grown, was married and with heir own lives, so my mom and I had the support of my sisters, not the brothers, they were the opposite. (Do you notice the plastic on the furniture? Whoever came with that stupid idea? I was so happy when one day my mom just took those things off and now when I sit my butt was not wet perspiring). The kids are grandkids of mom, my niece Anabel and nephew Eduardito.

Do I know I’m at risk of developing dementia? You bet.

My father died of Alzheimer’s disease at age 72; my sister was felled by frontotemporal dementia at 58.

And that’s not all: Two maternal uncles had Alzheimer’s, and my maternal grandfather may have had vascular dementia. (In his generation, it was called senility.)

So what happens when I misplace a pair of eyeglasses or can’t remember the name of a movie I saw a week ago? “Now comes my turn with dementia,” I think.

Then I talk myself down from that emotional cliff.

Am I alone in this? Hardly. Many people, like me, who’ve watched this cruel illness destroy a family member, dread the prospect that they, too, might become demented. The lack of a cure or effective treatments only adds to the anxiety. It seems a common refrain, the news that another treatment to stop Alzheimer’s has failed. 

How do we cope as we face our fears and peer into our future?

Andrea Kline, whose mother, as well as her aunt and uncle, had Alzheimer’s disease, just turned 71 and lives in Boynton Beach, Fla. She’s a retired registered nurse who teaches yoga to seniors at community centers and assisted-living facilities.

“I worry about dementia incessantly: Every little thing that goes wrong, I’m convinced it’s the beginning,” she told me.

Because Ms. Kline has had multiple family members with Alzheimer’s, she’s more likely to have a genetic vulnerability than someone with a single occurrence in their family. But that doesn’t mean this condition lies in her future. Risk is just that: It’s not a guarantee.

The age of onset is also important. People with close relatives struck by dementia early — before age 65 — are more likely to be susceptible genetically.

Ms. Kline was the primary caregiver for her mother, Charlotte Kline, who received an Alzheimer’s diagnosis in 1999 and passed away in 2007 at age 80. “I try to eat very healthily. I exercise. I have an advance directive, and I’ve discussed what I want” in the way of care “with my son,” she said.

“Lately, I’ve been thinking I should probably get a test for APOE4,” the gene variant, or allele, that can raise the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, “although I’m not really sure if it would help,” she added. “Maybe it would add some intensity to my planning for the future.”

I spoke to half a dozen experts, and none was in favor of genetic testing, except in unusual circumstances.

“Having the APOE4 allele does not mean you’ll get Alzheimer’s disease. Plenty of people with Alzheimer’s don’t have the allele,” said Mark Mapstone, a professor of neurology at the University of California, Irvine. “And conversely, plenty of people with the allele never develop Alzheimer’s.”

Tamar Gefen, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, strongly suggests having an in-depth discussion with a genetic counselor if you’re considering a test.

“Before you say ‘I have to know,’ really understand what you’re dealing with, how your life might be affected, and what these tests can and cannot tell you,” she advised.

Karen Larsen, 55, is a social worker in the Boston area. Her father, George Larsen, was diagnosed with vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s at age 84 and died within a year in 2014.

Ms. Larsen is firm: She doesn’t want to investigate her risk of having memory or thinking problems.

“I’ve already planned for the future. I have a health care proxy and a living will and long-term care insurance. I’ve assigned powers of attorney, and I’ve saved my money,” she said. “Eating a healthy diet, getting exercise, remaining socially engaged — I already do all that, and I plan to as long as I can.”

“What would I do if I learned some negative from a test — sit around and worry?” Ms. Larsen said.

Currently, the gold standard in cognitive testing consists of a comprehensive neuropsychological exam. Among the domains examined over three to four hours: memory, attention, language, intellectual functioning, problem-solving, visual-spatial orientation, perception and more.

Brain scans are another diagnostic tool. CT and M.R.I. scans can show whether parts of the brain have structural abnormalities or aren’t functioning optimally. PET scans (not covered by Medicare) can demonstrate the buildup of amyloid proteins — a marker of Alzheimer’s. Also, spinal taps can show whether amyloid and tau proteins are present in cerebrospinal fluid.

A note of caution: While amyloid and tau proteins in the brain are a signature characteristic of Alzheimer’s, not all people with these proteins develop cognitive impairment.

Several experts recommend that people concerned about their Alzheimer’s risk get a baseline set of neuropsychological tests, followed by repeat tests if and when they start experiencing worrisome symptoms.

“When it comes to thinking and memory, everyone is different,” said Frederick Schmitt, a neurology professor at the University of Kentucky. Having baseline results is “very helpful” and “allows us to more carefully measure whether, in fact, significant changes have occurred” over time, he said.

ImageNora Super, left, holds her nieces, with father Bill Super, center, and aunt Trudy Super.
Nora Super, left, holds her nieces, with father Bill Super, center, and aunt Trudy Super.
Nora Super, senior director of the Milken Institute Center for the Future of Aging, watched her father, Bill Super, and all three of his siblings succumb to Alzheimer’s disease over the course of several years — falling, she said, “like a row of dominoes.”

One of her sisters was tested for the APOE4 genetic variant; results were negative. This is no guarantee of a dementia-free future, however, since hundreds of genes are implicated in Alzheimer’s, Lewy body dementia, frontotemporal dementia, and vascular dementia.

Rather than get genetic or neuropsychological tests, Ms. Super has focused on learning as much as she can about how to protect her brain. At the top of the list: managing her depression as well as stress. Both have been linked to dementia.

Also, Ms. Super exercises routinely and eats what is known as a MIND-style diet, rich in vegetables, berries, whole grains, nuts, fish and beans. She is learning French (a form of cognitive stimulation), meditates regularly and is socially and intellectually active.

According to a growing body of research, physical inactivity, hearing loss, depression, obesity, hypertension, smoking, social isolation, diabetes, and low education levels raise the risk of dementia. All of these factors are modifiable.

What if Ms. Super started having memory problems? “I fear I would get really depressed,” she admitted. “Alzheimer’s is such a horrible disease: To see what people you love go through, especially in the early stages, when they’re aware of what’s happening but can’t do anything about it, is excruciating. I’m not sure I want to go through that.”

Dr. Gefen of Northwestern said she tells patients that if cognitive testing “is something that’s going to stress you out, then don’t do it.”

Nigel Smith, 49, had a change of heart after caring for his mother, Nancy Smith, 81, who’s in hospice care in the Boston area with Alzheimer’s. When he brought his mother in for a neuropsychological exam in early 2017 and she received a diagnosis of moderate Alzheimer’s, she was furious. At that point, his mother was still living in the family’s large home in Brookline, Mass., which she refused to leave.
Eventually, after his mother ended up in a hospital, Mr. Smith was given legal authority over her affairs, and he moved her to a memory care unit.

“Now, she’s deteriorated to the point where she has about 5 percent of her previous verbal skills,” Mr. Smith said. “She smiles but she doesn’t recognize me.”

Does he want to know if something like this might lie in his future?

A couple of years ago, Mr. Smith said he was too afraid of Alzheimer’s to contemplate this question. Now he’s determined to know as much as possible, “not so much because I’m curious, but so I can help prepare myself and my family. I see the burden of what I’m doing for my mother, and I want to do everything I can to ease that burden for them.”

Kim Hall, 54, of Plymouth, Minn., feels a similar need for a plan. Her mother, Kathleen Peterson, 89, a registered nurse for over 50 years, was diagnosed with vascular dementia five years ago. Today, she resides in assisted living and doesn’t recognize most of her large family, including dozens of nieces and nephews who grew up with Ms. Hall.

Ms. Hall knows her mother had medical issues that may have harmed her brain: a traumatic brain injury as a young adult, uncontrolled high blood pressure for many years, several operations with general anesthesia and an addiction to prescription painkillers. “I don’t share these, and that may work in my favor,” she said.

Still, Ms. Hall is concerned. “I guess I want to know if I’m at risk for dementia and if there is anything I can do to slow it down,” she said. “I don’t want what happened to my mother to happen to me.” Probably, she speculated, she’ll arrange to take a neuropsychological exam at some point.
Several years ago, when I was grieving my sister’s death from frontotemporal dementia, my doctor suggested that a baseline exam of this sort might be a good idea.

I knew then I wouldn’t take him up on the offer. If and when my time with dementia comes, I’ll have to deal with it. Until then, I’d rather not know.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a nonprofit news service covering health issues. It is an editorially independent program of the Kaiser Family Foundation that is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

March 21, 2018

From The NIH " Minoxidil May Improve Blood Vessel Structure"

Grow your 'hair while making your blood vessels stronger'. I can already see the ads but that is not the reason this is being published but because you have two conditions that affect millions and you have a known substance that helps one and possibly the second. On the second it could be a lifesaver not just cosmetics like having more hair. Adam

Blood vessel sliced open to show wallThe structure of blood vessel walls can affect the flow of blood through the vessels. alex-mit/iStock/Thinkstock 

Elastic fibers in the walls of large blood vessels enable them to bounce back after being stretched. The diameter of vessels is controlled by both the amount of elastic fibers present and the degree of squeezing from smooth muscle cells in the vessel walls. A larger diameter allows more blood through. As adults age, their blood vessels slowly begin to lose flexibility. The increased vessel stiffness and reduced vessel diameter that result contribute to the aging-related risk of heart attack, stroke, and dementia. There are also rare diseases that can cause lifelong vessel stiffness from insufficient elastic fibers.

The dozens of drugs on the market for reducing blood pressure work in very different ways. Minoxidil, which also promotes hair growth when used on the scalp, can relax the smooth muscle cells in blood vessels by opening certain potassium channels. Prior studies with animals suggested that another function of the drug is to turn on the genes for elastin (a protein found in elastic fibers) and other elastic fiber genes, such as Fbn-1 and Lox, causing elastin deposits within the blood vessel wall.

To find out whether an oral form of minoxidil can remodel the vessel’s wall to reduce blood vessel stiffness and enhance blood flow to the brain, researchers studied the drug’s effects in mice. The team was led by Dr. Beth A. Kozel of NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) and Washington University School of Medicine’s Dr. Joel R. Garbow and Dr. Michael Shoykhet (now at Children’s National Hospital). The study was also funded in part by NIH’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). Results were published online on March 2, 2018, in the American Journal of Physiology-Heart and Circulatory Physiology.

The research team studied mice that were genetically modified to have low levels of elastin in their blood vessels. As a result, the mice had high blood pressure, increased blood vessel stiffness, and reduced blood flow to the brain. One group of modified mice received minoxidil in their drinking water from weaning until 3 months, a second group was treated for only the two weeks before elastin gene studies, and a third group had plain water instead.

The scientists found that minoxidil lowered blood pressure and vessel stiffness to levels similar to healthy mice. Imaging tests showed that vessel diameter and blood flow to the brain increased in the minoxidil-treated mice. One month after the drug was stopped, the diameter was still enlarged, suggesting that the structure of the blood vessel walls had changed. Using protein analyses and tissue studies, the team showed that minoxidil increased elastin deposits in blood vessels. Gene studies revealed that minoxidil revs up not only elastin and elastic fiber genes but also more than 100 other genes related to blood vessel structure.

Taken together, the findings suggest that treatment with minoxidil lowers blood pressure in part by remodeling large blood vessel walls. The structural changes reduce stiffness, increase blood vessel diameter, and improve blood flow to the brain.

“These results in mice are promising,” Kozel says. “We are looking forward to future clinical trials to test how this medication impacts blood flow in people.”

 —by Geri Piazza
National Institutes of Health

It is adamfoxie's 10th🦊Anniversay. 10 years witnessing the world and bringing you a pieace whcih is ussually not getting its due coverage.

August 29, 2017

20,000 People and10 Yrs Suggests Heavy Coffee Drinkers Live Longer

Feel free to pour that second, third, or even fourth cup of coffee this morning.
Higher consumption of coffee is connected to a lower risk of death, says a study presented by Spanish researchers during the European Society of Cardiology Congress held in Barcelona.
The study, conducted by Hospital de Navarra in Pamplona, Spain, featured nearly 20,000 participants and followed up with them for an average of 10 years. 
The study found participants who drank at least four cups of coffee a day had a 64% lower risk of death than those who never or almost never drank coffee.
The research also found for participants who were 45 or older, drinking two additional cups of coffee was linked to a 30% lower risk of death.
"Our findings suggest that drinking four cups of coffee each day can be part of a healthy diet in healthy people," said Dr. Adela Navarro, a cardiologist at Hospital de Navarra, in a statement.
The findings back up a pair of studies published earlier this year touting the benefits of drinking coffee. One of the studies found coffee was linked to a lower risk of death due to heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

March 9, 2017

The Challenges and Lack of Fairness for Aging LGBT

Whether it's transgender teens trying to find informed providers to help them navigate their life-changing physical transformations; lesbians who are less likely than others to get preventive breast-cancer care; or gay and bisexual men who had to push an indifferent health care system to respond to the early AIDS epidemic, LGBT individuals have faced many challenges in the health space. As researchers look for ways to improve LGBT health, one issue hasn't received much attention with respect to this population, although it is an equal-opportunity process: aging. Now, groundbreaking research is taking a closer look at the unique ways middle-age and older LGBT adults experience getting older, revealing some key obstacles and disparities.

The National Institutes of Health-funded study tracking more than 2,400 LGBT U.S. adults shows gaps in their physical and emotional health, as well as widespread concerns about safe options for accessing high-quality health care and long-term care.

An estimated 2.4 percent of the older population self-identifies as LGBT, with many more who haven't yet "come out," according to Karen Fredriksen-Goldsen, principal investigator of the multifaceted study, "Aging With Pride: National Health, Aging and Sexuality/Gender." “We need to develop interventions to reduce disparities, promote health in these communities, and ensure we have services for these older adults that are culturally competent,” she says. 

On the brighter side, her research team also discovered the health-promoting power of resilience among LGBT seniors who are leveraging communities of mutual support. That support, she found, can provide a buffer, of sorts, against some of the disparities identified.
More than two-thirds of participants had experienced victimization, such as physical and verbal assaults, and discrimination more than three times in their lives, says Fredriksen-Goldsen, who is also a professor of social work and director of the Healthy Generations Hartford Center of Excellence at the University of Washington.

"LGBT seniors are more likely to have poor general health, more chronic conditions, higher rates of disability and more psychological distress," she says. Discrimination and victimization are the strongest predictors of poor aging, she adds. In particular, gay and bisexual older men are more likely than heterosexual men to have poor general health and to live alone.

Lesbian and bisexual older women have higher rates of cardiovascular disease, and are more likely than heterosexual women to have multiple chronic conditions. "In our study, about 47 percent have a disability," Fredriksen-Goldsen says. “And disability starts at younger ages, likely due to higher rates of chronic conditions and other stressors."

Among LGBT people, transgender and bisexual older adults are at even greater risk for victimization and discrimination, and bisexual and transgender adults are more likely to live in poverty, which heightens their risk for health care disparities and poor health.

Within the LGBT population, greater health disparities exist for older adults in racial and ethnic minority groups, Fredriksen-Goldsen says. However, she adds, “religious and spiritual activities are also greater in those communities, which tends to offset some of the risks."

Social support matters. "We do find that even though there are many disparities, most LGBT older adults are aging well and have good health," she says. "Linked to that, we keep finding consistent predictors are greater levels of social support, less victimization and discrimination, more community engagement and a sense of community connectedness and belonging."
Social Health

While she wasn't part of the study, 72-year-old Rita Smith – who came out as a lesbian in the 1970s – embodies that sense of connectivity and social engagement. A retired community education director for recycling and waste prevention in Seattle, Smith now throws herself into activities from serving on the board of the nonprofit Generations Aging With Pride to pruning fruit trees in Seattleites' yards and teaching them to prune via workshops – a carryover from her "idyllic" childhood among apple orchards. "It's a way to be out with there and celebrate the fact that I'm relatively fit and capable," she says. And her health is fine. "It could be better if I were more diligent with my exercise but I feel quite healthy," Smith says.

Unfortunately, Smith's situation is not the case for everyone. Past and present social biases affect the quality of care LGBT people receive – a 2009 national survey, for example, found that some LGBT patients were being refused needed care and that some health professionals were refusing to touch them – as does their attitude toward the health care system on which they become more dependent with age.

Health Consequences

Unhealthy habits that people maintain as young adults – such as smoking, overeating, being sedentary and heavy drinking – catch up to most people with age. But health consequences may be more likely in LGBT seniors, says Dr. Jesse Joad, president of GLMA: Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality, a U.S.-based association whose members include LGBT physicians, nurses, physician assistants, researchers and other health professionals in several countries. One example is that lesbians and other sexual-minority women tend to be more obese, she notes. The result, she says, is higher risk for heart disease, arthritis, stroke and Type 2 diabetes. 

LGBT people tend to smoke more than others, Joad says, raising their risk of chronic pulmonary obstructive disease, or COPD, and lung cancer. Added to all this is a reluctance in some LGBT people to seek out preventive health care, including screening exams like mammograms, and medical treatment for existing health problems, due to concerns about health care biases.

Evidence shows transgender people, in particular, are more resistant to seeing health providers. "Either they have been treated poorly in the past, or they're just aware of what has happened to other people," Joad says.

Stigma is at the root not only of health care disparities but many unhealthy behaviors in the LGBT community, Joad adds. For instance, she says, higher rates of substance abuse, smoking and problem drinking "are thought to be the ways LGBT people have coped with the stigma they face all the time."

For Smith, substances were never an issue. "I had not been inclined to be a drinker or smoker," she says. But others were. "Part of the reason the [Seattle-based] Lesbian Resource Center existed back in the 60s [was] it had been founded by people who were recognizing that the only place lesbians were getting together were bars," she recalls. "So the LRC was intentionally alcohol-free." While alcohol can act as a social lubricant, it can also provide a dicey refuge for isolated people who don't feel accepted.
Coming out as LGBT is considered empowering and emotionally healthy. However, staying out can be tricky for older people who need assistance from in-home caregivers or residential facilities, especially if they fear potential victimization and discrimination.

"Many of the LGBT seniors, especially if they have increased needs, and don't have the support around them, say that they feel that they have to go back into the closet when they're most vulnerable," Fredriksen-Goldsen explains. "If they're going to go live in a long-term care facility, certainly it can create isolation for them."

LGBT study participants shared fears that some facility residents might be biased, and some reported feeling bullied by other residents. “Facilities need to consider how they’ve provided a welcoming environment," Fredriksen-Goldsen says. 

Smith and her friends are at a stage where they visit others in their social circle who now live in residential facilities, and also consider their own future options. As a rule, they don't feel particularly drawn to any of the sites. "It's not necessarily so much that we think it would be a horrific kind of setting, but just an uncomfortable place where we feel that we don't necessarily belong," she says. "Where we can't be our whole selves."

However, she adds: "For me – bless the women's movement – I'm more inclined to say, 'They'll just have to get over themselves.' And I do tend to be pretty bold in terms of standing up for myself.”

November 19, 2015

(MIT’s Lenny Guarante) Hits pay Dirt in Aging Research “A Pill”

Say someone came up to you selling a dietary supplement—a pill that you take once a day—that could boost your energy, improve your body’s ability to repair its DNA, and keep you healthier as you get older.
It might sound like a scam, or more likely just another in a sea of confusing, undifferentiated claims that make up the $20 billion dollar supplement industry.
But let’s say that someone is MIT’s Lenny Guarente, one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of aging research. And he’s being advised by five Nobel Prize winners and two dozen other top researchers in their fields. You might pay a little more attention.

Elena Ray via Shutterstock


Cofounding a supplement company seems an unlikely career move for someone like Guarente, a man who is one of the most well-respected scientists in his field. ("It is a departure," Guarente admits). Mostly, for him, getting involved in Elysium Health is a decision born out of opportunity and frustration. The opportunity is the chance to make a difference by translating findings in the booming field of aging research directly to consumers today. The frustration is that doing this has taken so long in the first place.
"My biggest hope is that we can make available to people something that is currently unavailable, and that it will have a positive impact on their health," Guarente says.
Elysium Health actually had its beginnings in conversations between its other two, younger cofounders, Eric Marcotulli and Dan Alminana, who were then tech investors and gym buddies. Even though they’re both quite health-conscious, they knew they couldn’t halt the march of aging and all the ailments that come with it. Far more than diet or anything else people can control, the biggest risk factor for many of the diseases that kill us—including diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease—is simply getting older.

Straight 8 Photography via Shutterstock

Marcotulli knew something about the market opportunity too, which has also lately attracted the likes of Google (with its Calico Labs project) and other SIlicon Valley investors. He had studied the story of a company called Sirtris Pharmaceuticals, which in the mid-2000s was working to take resveratrol, the natural anti-aging compound found in red wine, and alter it into a more potent form that could be patented and developed into a medical drug. In 2008, Sirtris—founded by Guarente’s former postdoc David Sinclair—was acquired by the drugmaker GlaxoSmithKline for a jaw-dropping $720 million.
"The fundamental question was: Are there other natural products out there that could be meaningful? I think resveratrol was the first, and I was thinking there’s maybe the potential for many others," Marcotulli remembers thinking as he studied the story while in business school.
The two started cold-calling scientists involved in aging research and were surprised how many were enthusiastic about the idea, including Guarente. The FDA doesn’t recognize aging itself as a condition, so, instead, companies like Sirtris and GSK are are taking scientific findings about how we age and translating them into drugs that treat specific age-related diseases. The issue is that the clinical trials involved in doing this can take more than a decade, and even then that is no guarantee a drug will be approved. The result has been that, though scientists have made major strides in understanding how and why we age and demonstrating that this aging can be delayed, they’ve so far seen few results in translating their work to help people.
The two entrepreneurs wanted to take a very different approach than the drug makers: sell only unaltered natural products, which generally aren’t patented and don’t need FDA approval, and create new kinds of supplements that make no claim to treat a specific disease but promote general wellness instead.
"If there’s a benefit that can be had now, then I think it doesn’t make sense to wait a decade or more until some derivative [from a drug company] becomes available—though I’m not saying that’s not a good thing to do too" says Guarente.

The three cofounders have been taking the company’s first product, a pill they are calling BASIS, for the last three to five months. Through its website, Elysium Health will sell a one-month supply to consumers for $60, or $50 with a monthly subscription.


The theory behind the pill is built on work first pioneered in Guarente’s lab on sirtuins, a group of enzymes involved in cell metabolism and energy production that are common to a wide range of living organisms. Researchers have found that boosting the activity of sirtuins, which is sometimes done by calorie restriction diets, can extend lifespan of yeasts, worms, mice, and other animals. Efforts to develop a drug that can have the same effect, without the lack of calories, have been going on for the last two decades, including at Sirtris and GlaxoSmithKline. There are also natural compounds that elevate sirtuins—one is resveratrol, which is already sold as a dietary supplement today. Another is called NAD.
NAD—Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide—is one of the most compelling bits of chemistry related to aging. Its presence in the body is directly correlated with the passage of time: An elderly man will have about half the levels of NAD is his body as a young person. There’s no amount of healthy eating or exercise that can stop the decline. But in a scientific paper published in 2013 that generated headlines about "reversing aging," Harvard’s Sinclair showed that after a week of giving two-year-old mice a boost of NAD, their tissues looked more like six-month-old mice.
Elysium’s pill is an attempt to replicate that process naturally in humans. It contains the building blocks of NAD, so the body can easily absorb the smaller molecules and synthesize its own. The pill also contains pterostilbene, a compound, that is a close relative of resveratrol, but which Guarente says is potentially more potent and effective.
Elysium explicitly wants to avoid the charlatan feel of the countless "anti-aging" products on the market today. It isn’t selling the pill as a key to a longer life or to preventing any particular disease, since there isn't any evidence the pill will do that. A press release the company put out with its launch hardly mentions aging at all. (Another reason is they want to appeal to young people too, who don’t necessarily care about aging, but may want to feel healthier and more energetic). Instead, the founders talks about enhancing basic biological functions: improving DNA repair, cellular detoxification, energy production, and protein function.
"We have no interest in being an anti-aging company and extending lifespan," says Marcotulli. "For us this is about increasing healthspan, not lifespan."


There is a downside to the model: They can't patent their work. Some companies already sell supplements for each of the two ingredients in BASIS, and others could copy Elysium as soon as it releases its next products. That’s where Elysium’s business model— and its scientific superstars—come in.
The company aims to be very different type of dietary supplement company—the founders cite the hip, design savvy consumer brands Warby ParkerOscar HealthHarry’s, and Nest as their role models. (Warby Parker co-CEO Dave Gilboa and one of its early investors, Kal Vepuri, are angel investors in Elysium. Martin Lotti, creative director for Nike’s soccer division, is a strategic advisor.)
"Our vision and mission is to bring scientifically validated natural health products to market through these traditional retail channels," says Marcotulli. "But it also takes the best aspects of the pharmaceutical model—the R&D focus, clinical rigor, and following these consumers over time."
Its products will only be sold on its website, where Elysium can control more nuanced messaging than on store shelves. Branding, trust, and scientific expertise are what the team hopes differentiates them from the faceless companies that line Whole Foods’ shelves. At the most basic level, that means trust that the pill contains what it says it contains, but also beyond that, trust that it is doing a person any good. 
Elysium assures the ingredients in its products will all be pure, and it will do its own safety testing, as well as test for a basic level of efficacy. Already, says Guarente, it has tested BASIS at a range of doses for safety and to assure that NAD levels in the body actually increase from taking its pill. Over time, the team hopes to also collect data back from customers to start demonstrating some of the longer-term benefits over months and eventually years.
Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, says Elysium has a good business idea based on sound science and an impressive team. As someone who is not involved in the company, his one fear is that if something went wrong with a top scientist like Guarente’s name attached, it might set back the whole field of research. Though not required by the FDA, he urges the company to go above and beyond in all of its testing. "People are going to overuse it, and I’m sure if you have too much of it, it could have some effect we can’t predict," he says.
For Elysium’s next products, which might touch on other areas such as brain health or musculoskeletal health, it will start to tap into the expertise of the formidable list of more than 30 scientific advisors signed on—everyone from Eric Kandel, a brain scientist who received the 2000 Nobel Prize in medicine to Tom Sudhof, a cellular physiologist at Stanford who received the prize in 2013. Eventually, it hopes to expand this network of scientific expertise further to as many scientists that want to get involved.
If anything, Elysium might make more people aware that aging is becoming something that we may one day treat.
"There has been an explosion of science in the field of aging. And I think the public doesn’t really realize how far aging research has come. We have a lot of ideas about the mechanisms of aging, and tons and tons of pathways that can be optimized, tweaked, or activated to possibly extend lifespan," says Stanford University aging researcher Stuart Kim, who is on Elysium’s scientific advisory team. "I think the public is probably about 30 years behind our thinking about aging. It’s as if we thought about cancer in the way we did in 1960.”
Originally published on Fast CoExist
[Top photo: Sarah Salmela/Getty Images]

Adamfoxie blog International is not endorsing this product nor has received any compensation to publish this article. This article which is based at ongoing research on aging is complimentary to articles we publish on health. Born at the end of the*“baby boomer’s” generation myself  rightly or wrongly I don’t think I will get significant and affordable benefits from current research  products but I truly believe the generation behind me definably will. Adam Gonzalez
A Comment from a user: Well, I've been taking Basis for a while now. I feel great, but then, since I take good care of my diet and exercise, I always feel great, so I can't say I've seen any huge change. Guess we should all meet back here in twenty or thirty years and I'll report in then!
*Baby boomer:A marked increased in births after WWII and lasting until the early part of 1960 when birth control became universal in the US. 

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