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Review of the Changing Protein Requirements for Seniors
Youth, it is said, is wasted on the young. Too busy figuring life they hardly take the time to enjoy it. Fortunately, with medical research and scientific progress, lifespans have doubled over the last century. We can now start life at fifty and have another go at youth. Health consciousness, appropriate diet and exercise, can make the later years of life a pleasant experience. Dietary principles play as especially important role in this regard. Compensating for the physiological changes of aging, they can give us better odds at achieving our genetically determined lifespans.
The advancing years experience a complex interplay of changes affecting the mind, body, and the environment. Alterations in organs systems and cellular function can often predispose to malnutrition and a host of chronic illnesses (Servan 1999). Some of these problems can be attributed to the decrease in the total protein content and are in themselves preventable with appropriate attention to the protein content of the diet.
A decrease in protein turnover, such as that seen in aging, has far reaching effects (Chernoff 2004). Vital organ systems like the heart and lungs slow down, becoming incapable of further exertion. Neural processes like thought, planning and cognition are also affected. The immune system becomes weak, exhibiting a delay and difficultly in dealing with infections (Thompson 1987). Wound healing and repair, which requires a constant supply of amino acids, is also compromised.
Another issue associated with aging is the reduced capacity to deal with free radical species. These highly reactive molecules are produced by cells under stress. Free radicals can precipitate a chain reaction, damaging cell membranes and the genetic code. They have been implicated in a variety of disease processes from infection, heart attacks and cancer. This inability to handle free radicals is also responsible for aging. It is now believed a high protein diet can be helpful in attenuating many of these problems (Chernoff 2004).
Merely providing proteins through regular diets fail to meet the special requirements of the elderly. A protein supplement is often needed to ensure easy digestion, rapid absorption and assimilation. The protein supplement should also be of good quality and contain all the essential amino acids in adequate quantity. Such a supplement can adequately provide essential amino acids irrespective of the gut's ability to assimilate them. Such a protein supplement will be able to address the increase protein demand and malnutrition seen in the elderly, restoring the ability to build and repair tissues. A good protein supplement also has other significant benefits in the elderly that often go unrecognized.
A high protein diet has a 'thermogenic' or fat-burning effect. The body spends more energy to assimilate protein than carbohydrates or fats. This energy is often derived from the adipose tissue, thus burning fat in exchange for protein (Bloomgarden 2004). Then if the protein supplement has whey in it, it can also inhibit cholesterol absorption in the gut, reducing the risk of obesity and cardiac disease (Nagaoka 1996). Protein supplements that have casein can form a clot in the gut, thereby slowing down intestinal motility (Boirie et al. 1997) and giving the gut enough time to absorb all the amino acids from a meal. This property is important considering that aging also slows down and compromises digestion.
Protein supplements that combine casein with whey multiply the advantages of each component. Both casein and whey protein have a group of substances called kinins that can lower blood pressure by relaxing the blood vessels (FitzGerald, 2004.). Both proteins enhance the immune system through several mechanisms (Ha and Zemel, 2003). Lactoferrin, in whey protein, binds iron and depriving many micro-organisms of a growth stimulus. Free iron induces the formation of free radicals and is one factor responsible for colon cancer. This is also prevented by protein supplements that contain lactoferrin (whey).
Whey also has other antioxidants to offer. It is rich in cysteine, a precursor of Glutathione that is potent at mopping up free radicals (Counous, 2000). This generalized improvement in antioxidant capacity can counter cancerous and aging processes seen in the later years of life. Whey protein is also known to enhance memory as it promotes the synthesis of a neurotransmitter, serotonin that is involved in cognition and thought (Markus 2002). Milk basic protein, a component of whey, has the ability to stimulate proliferation and differentiation of bone forming cells as well as suppress bone resorption as found in vitro and animal studies. This can protect against weak bones, or osteoporosis, especially in the post-menopausal women (Toba 2000).
Thus there is extensive medical literature in support of a high protein, casein and whey supplement in the elderly population. These studies have also failed to document any major adverse effects with long-term intake of such supplements. Such a supplement can go a long way in making the later years of life more productive and fruitful.
Founded in 2001, Protica, Inc. is a nutritional research firm with offices in Lafayette Hill and Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. Protica manufactures capsulized foods, including Profect, a compact, hypoallergenic, ready-to-drink protein beverage containing zero carbohydrates and zero fat. Information on Protica is available at http://www.protica.com
You can also learn about Profect at http://www.profect.com
1. Arnal MA, Mosoni L, Boirie Y, et al (1999). Protein pulse feeding improves protein retention in elderly women. Am J Clin Nutr; 69: 1202-1208.
2. Bloomgarden ZT, Diet and Diabetes. Diabetes Care, volume 27, number 11, 2004
3. Boirie Y, Dangin, M, Gachon P, Vasson, M.P et al. (1997) Slow and fast dietary proteins differently modulate postprandial protein accretion. Proclamations of National Academy of Sciences, 94: 14930-14935.
4. Bounous G (2000). Whey protein concentrates (WPC) and glutathione modulation in cancer treatment. Anticancer Res 20:4785-4792.
5. Campbell WW, Crim MC, Dallal GE, Young VR and Evans WJ(1994).Increased protein requirements in elderly people: new data and retrospective reassessments. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 60, 501-509.
6. Chernoff R (2004). Protein and Older Adults. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, Vol. 23, 627S-630S.
7. Counous, G (2000). Whey protein concentrates (WPC) and glutathione modulation in cancer treatment. Anticancer Research, 20: 4785-4792
8. FitzGerald R J, Murray B A, and. Walsh D J (2004). Hypotensive Peptides from Milk Proteins. J. Nutr. 134: 980S?988S.
9. Ha, E. and Zemel, M.B (2003). Functional properties of whey, whey components, and essential amino acids: mechanisms underlying health benefits for active people. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, 14: 251-258.
10. Hernanz A., FernaŽndez-Vivancos E., Montiel (2000). Changes in the intracellular homocysteine and glutathione content associated with aging. Life Sci, 67: 1317?1324.
11. Kent KD, Harper WJ, Bomser JA (2003). Effect of whey protein isolate on intracellular glutathione and oxidant-induced cell death in human prostate epithelial cells. Toxicol in Vitro, 17(1):27-33.
12. Lands LC, Grey VL, Smountas AA (1999). Effect of supplementation with a cysteine donor on muscular performance. J Appl Physiol 87:1381-1385.
13. MacKay D. Miller AL, 2003. Nutritional support for wound healing. Altern Med Rev; 8:359-377
14. Markus C R, Olivier B, and Haan E (2002). Whey protein rich in α -lactalbumin increases the ratio of plasma tryptophan to the sum of the other large neutral amino acids and improves cognitive performance in stress-vulnerable subjects. Am J Clin Nutr, 75:1051?6.
15. Meyyazhagan S,. Palmer R.M (2002). Nutritional requirements with aging. Prevention of disease. Clin Geriatr Med, 18: 557?576.
16. Nagaoka S (1996). Studies on regulation of cholesterol metabolism induced by dietary food constituents or xenobiotics. J Jpn Soc Nutr Food Sci, 49:303-313.
17. Servan R P, Sanchez-Vilar O, de Villar G N (1999). Geriatric nutrition. Nutr Hosp, 14 Suppl 2:32S-42S.
18. Shah NP (2000). Effects of milk-derived bioactives: an overview. Br J Nutr, 84:S3-S10.
19. Thompson JS, Robbins J, Cooper JK (1987). Nutrition and immune function in the geriatric population. Clin Geriatr Med, 3(2):309-17.
20. Toba Y, Takada Y, Yamamura J, et al (2000). Milk basic protein: a novel protective function of milk against osteoporosis. Bone 27:403-408.
21. Walzem RL, Dillard CJ, German JB (2002). Whey components: millennia of evolution create functionalities for mammalian nutrition: what we know and what we may be overlooking. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr, 42:353-375.
22. Weinberg ED 1996. The role of iron in cancer. Eur J Cancer Prev, 5:19-36.
Copyright Protica Research - http://www.protica.com
Why Everyone Over 50 Should be Training for the Senior Games
by Phil Campbell, M.S., M.A., FACHE Senior Games participant and author of Ready, Set, GO! Synergy Fitness - 2nd Edition
Solitary Confinement -- for Life
Sixty-five year old Arthur Jones served a self-imposed life sentence - in his own home.
As the Baby Boomers Age
Many employees today are calling in sick - not to care for themselves or their children, but to care for their aging parents. Baby boomers are rapidly moving into the role of caregivers for their parents, but with a few extra challenges due to the changing face of our workforce. Nearly 25% of U.S. households are now involved in caring for a senior family member, spending an average of 20 hours a week in caregiving services. Nearly 65% of those individuals providing the caregiving are employed outside of the home. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, approximately 15 million days of work per year are lost due to these circumstances. These numbers are forecasted to increase since the longevity of life is being extended by modern medicine.
If Using The Stairs Has Become A Daily Struggle, A Stair lift Could Change Your Life
Using stairs is an everyday nightmare for many people. As we grow older the stairs in our home can become more of a struggle due to mobility problems associated with old age, an accident or illness. Often when out shopping or in a public place an alternative can be found such as a lift or escalator, but the stairs at home can become a daily challenge. Many people who experience difficulty climbing the stairs come to dread having to use them. For people whose bathroom or toilet is upstairs it can be even more of an issue.
Caregiving Across The Miles?Tips for Successful Long Distance Caregiving
Caring for a parent or a loved one is a difficult job. Your duties as a caregiver become increasingly difficult as the miles increase between you and your loved one. The following are a few helpful tips in order to plan ahead in the event your loved one needs your help, as well as ideas on how to become a successful caregiver once your caregiving duties begin.
Honey, Where Are The Car Keys?
Q: My mother is always losing, hiding and hoarding things, I am losing my mind! What can I do to get her to stop?
Arizona Assisted Living Homes -- The Alternative to High Priced Senior Care
The cost of skilled nursing care is slowly rising. Currently, the average cost of care in Arizona ranges from $3,500 to $4,500 per month. Skilled nursing facilities are great for seniors who require skilled nursing care by medical professionals such as registered nurses or physicians. However, is skilled nursing care appropriate for those who only require assistance with their activities of daily living (ADLs) such as bathing, dressing and going to the bathroom? Is it realistic for someone to pay $3,000 to $6,000 a month for skilled nursing care when their only requirement is assistance with their ADLs? Believe it or not, there are many seniors who do not require skilled nursing care and remain in nursing homes due to their lack of knowledge of the options available to them. There are affordable alternatives to nursing home care. When a senior requires long term care without 24 hour medical supervision, the preferred alternative is Assisted Living Homes.
Hinged Rail Stair Lifts
If a door at the top or the bottom of the stairs may be blocked by the rail of the stairlift, there are a number of models designed to overcome this problem. Some manufacturers are able to produce a rail with reduced overhang upstairs, so the lift will not protrude as far into the hallway. This may solve the problem at the top of your stairs and is a very cost effective solution.
Who Wants to End Up in a Nursing Home? NO ONE!
As a long-term care consultant for seniors and their families I have visited many different types of facilities. But my favorite type of facility to visit is adult family homes.
The Truth About Christmas
Every year, as Christmas approaches, you hear Christmas carols everywhere. Sometimes to the point where another Silent Night would make you want to silent the sound system. Everyone is scrambling to buy Christmas gifts for everyone in a list that seems miles long. The queues to pay up and the queues for a parking lot seem endlessly long too. Christmas cards are sent out to friends and family, some of whom you might not have seen for years. Beautifully decorated christmas trees pop up every where. Buildings are dressed in lights, mistletoes, bells, and other Christmas decorations. Santa Claus, his elves and reindeer are seen every where. Kids get more and more excited as Christmas approach. Even grown ups prepare for the onslaught of Christmas partying during that time of the year. Party dresses are purchased. Everyone gets ready to dress to their nines. In all this excitement, do you know what you are celebrating? What is Christmas actually? It sometimes seems like a brillian invention of the toy makers to push sales of toys to all the parents around the world. A sales marketing ploy of the retail industry. Actually, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. Long ago, a little baby was born to a girl who was still a virgin. The baby was born in a manger, among the animals, yet angels proclaimed his birth. Wise men followed a star that marked his birth and presented him with precious gifts, to pay homage to him. It all seemed so beautifully sweet.. until you realise the reason why this child was born. This baby was born to die. To be crucified on the cross while still in his prime. Killed alongside murderers, on the insistence of the crowds, even though he had not committed a crime... days after being welcomed into Jerusalem by crowds of people waving palm leaves, shouting Hosanna, praising him. It was a gruesome death. He was whipped and then his body, all covered with blood, still a live, was nailed to a cross and left to die. Upon his death, the skies turned dark. There was an earthquake The curtain separating the holiest place in the temple in Jerusalem from the rest of the area was torn in two. 3 days later, his tomb was empty and the heavy stone was rolled away. His disciples and those close to him saw him. He spent time with them, ate with them, showing he was alive and not a ghost. Later, while talking to a crowd of people, he rose up in the sky disappeared into the clouds. All this happened for a reason. The first man and women, Adam and Eve disobeyed God. That was the first sin. From then on, every one of us sins. A tiny white lie, doing what we know we shouldn't do... The penalty for sin is death. The only one who did not sin is Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God. Mary was a virgin when she conceived Jesus. Jesus had to die on the cross to win forgiveness for anyone who chooses to accept his gift. The real Christmas gift. Sounds far fetched? That's why they are called miracles. Miracles are still happening today. All over the world. Check out Lighthouse which has miracle services every Saturday. You can read the pastor's latest sermon each week there too. A good resource that explains every detail of the Christmas story is http://www.answersingenesis.org/ Actually, that site explains the creation vs evolution theories, dinosaurs and a lot more. So the next time the pressures of Christmas preparations drive you up the wall and you wish you could kill the person who invented Christmas, don't worry. You already have.
Prepare to Make Long-term Care Choices
Several months ago, I was coming out of a gas station when a woman stopped me and asked me what I did for a living. On the back of our van is our web address. On the side wing windows is "Free Senior Home Placement." I explained to her that I am a Long Term Care Consultant. She breathed a sigh of relief. "Great I need you!"
Paying For Elder Care Just Got Easier
It's not a surprise that thousands of families across the nation are facing the challlenges of an aging population. The "sandwich" generation, those who are caring for their children as well as their parents, have been feeling the financial pinch of caring for loved ones. Paying the high cost of Elder Care can cost a family thousands of dollars a month. Too many families are unaware of how utilizing a loved one's life insurance policy can not only pay for Assisted Living and Nursing Home care, but can maintain the standards of living for the remaining spouse.
Arizona Assisted Living: Resident Rights
According to the Arizona Administrative Code (R9-10-710), those who reside in assisted living facilities in Arizona have certain rights. In addition to having the right to live in an environment that promotes dignity, independence, self-determination, individuality, privacy and the right of choice, the following are a few of the rights given to residents who reside in assisted living facilities:
Prevent or Delay Alzheimers Disease
Argh! Where are my glasses? I put them down . . . to do what? And when?
The Right Wheelchair Accessories Will Ease Your Life and Your Journeys on Wheels
Wheelchairs come in every shape and size with sufficient options that you can find the wheels you like to take you where you want to go with the assistance you need. To enhance the comfort and convenience of your journey, choose accessories tailored to provide the best support for your activities and your health concerns.
Skilled Nursing Homes - What Are They?
A skilled nursing home is a medical facility providing services similar to a hospital. The homes are staffed with licensed nurses, shared rooms, hospital beds, regular scheduled doctor rounds, meals and housekeeping. Skilled nursing homes often provide a more pleasant setting with optimal nurse to patient ratios and relaxed atmospheres.
The Dryer Ate Your Underwear!
Q: My mom is in the early stages of dementia and she is also incontinent we have tried to get her to stop wearing her underpants and have her start wearing pull-up diapers, she throws the Depends out the door and puts her underpants on. Of coarse we have a lot of laundry! How should I handle this?
Scaling Down (Almost) Painlessly
Moving to a smaller house or apartment in a retirement community almost always involves a certain degree of trauma, both for the elder who's moving and for family members. However, by planning ahead you can reduce the discomfort involved and turn what might well become a nightmare into a pleasant event.
What Colour was Your Great-grandmothers Hair?
I've just made another Photoshop video. This one is about colour tinting (or "colorizing") an old photo. You may not know this, but back in the 1800's - long before colour photography was invented - people used to hand-tint black and white photographs with coloured inks or water-colour paints, and I wanted to achieve that type of effect. Tinting monochrome prints using Photoshop is considerably less messy!
The Golden Years
1) What does Adrian Mitchell say we do to people when their working lives are over?
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