HERBS FOR HEALTH MANAGEMENT

Herbs are a foundational root in medicine and health treatments, dating back thousands of years throughout every culture around the world. Modern Western herbalism comes from ancient Egypt. The Greeks developed a comprehensive philosophy of herbal medicine by 100 BCE and the Romans built upon it to create a variety of medical practices, some of which are still used today.

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ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE IMPACTS PSYCHOLOGICAL HARDINESS

Psychological hardiness is an individual’s resistance to stress, anxiety and depression. It includes the ability to withstand grief and accept the loss of loved ones. Alternative medicine is a more popular term for health and wellness therapies that have typically not been part of conventional Western medical approaches but are often used along with conventional medicinal protocols.  Coping and dealing with stress in a positive manner play a major role in maintaining the balance needed for health and well-being.

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ALTERNATIVE REMEDIES FOR ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION

Interest in complimentary and alternative medicine (CAM) is increasing as consumers and health care professionals search for additional ways to treat anxiety, depression and other mental health disorders. Some of these remedies include:

St. John’s Wort.  More than 30 studies show it to be effective for treatment of mild forms of depression,…

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In this observational study, no definitive conclusions can be drawn about cause and effect. The findings confirm other, smaller studies that reported an increased risk of dementia in young people who are obese, but a reduced risk in older obese people.


The researchers posit a possible explanation for the particularly high risk found in early to midlife: Heavier weight is associated with diabetes and cardiovascular risk factors, which are linked to a heightened risk of dementia. These results were published last summer in the British Medical Journal, JAMA and other journals. The findings have significant implications as the population of Americans with Alzheimer’s will more than double from the current 47 million Americans by 2060, according to the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.

OVERWEIGHT INDIVIDUALS MORE SUSCEPTIBLE TO DEMENTIA

ANGELA S. HOOVER

Angela is a staff writer for Health & Wellness magazine.

more articles by Angela s. hoover

It was the first study ever to specifically assess entire age ranges in the population of one country.


Using anonymized data from hospital records for all of England from 1999-2011, the researchers looked for obese patients who had received care for or died from dementia. During those three years, 451,232 people admitted to a hospital were diagnosed with obesity. Early to mid-life obesity appears to be linked to heightened risk of dementia in later life, the researchers reported. People in their 70s with obesity were neither at heightened or lowered risk of developing dementia, while those in their 80s were 22 percent less likely to develop the disease, the findings indicated.


There were some age differences between the risk of developing vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease; those in their 30s were at greater risk of both. A diagnosis of obesity in the 40s through the 60s was associated with an increased risk of vascular dementia, while the risk of Alzheimer’s disease was lower in those diagnosed with obesity from their 60s onwards.  

It has been established that overweight individuals do not perform as well on tests of memory and visual-spatial ability as those of normal weight, but it wasn’t known how extra weight impacted older adults. Researchers from Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, not only found older adults’ cognition can be impaired by excess weight, but where the weight is located matters. The researchers found a higher waist-to-hip ratio was associated with reduced cognitive function. A higher ratio of fat-free mass is likely a protective factor in cognitive degeneration. An increased secretion of inflammatory markers by belly fat has been previously associated with a higher risk of impaired cognition.


“While we have known for some time obesity is associated with negative health consequences, our study adds to emerging evidence suggesting obesity and where we deposit our excess weight could influence our brain health. This has significant public health implications,” said Conal Cunningham, the study’s senior author. The findings were published in the British Journal of Nutrition in August.


Data from more than 5,000 adults over age 60 years indicates as waist-hip ratio increases, so do cognitive impairments. There has been growing evidence that obesity is linked to dementia. The National Institute on Aging, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke enlisted researchers to investigate age- related effects of obesity on dementia.