HOW DIET AFFECTS BACTERIA IN THE INTESTINES (From IDEA Food & Nutrition, July 2017)

You have probably heard that you have more microbes (bacteria, fungi, etc.) in and on your body than you have actual human cells. It is shocking to most people, but when you consider the sheer number of microbes, collectively called the microbiota, you realize they must have an impact on your health.

The standard American diet and other Western industrialized diets, high in animal protein and refined carbohydrates, are associated with significantly different and less diverse populations of gut microbes than diets higher in unrefined foods and plants (Graf et al. 2015; Yatsunenko et al. 2012). Western diets are also associated with higher rates of inflammatory diseases, metabolic syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and some cancers. A different and less diverse microbiota explains some of the difference in disease rates.

To increase and maintain diversity in our microbiota, we need to feed them. What do they eat? Researchers call it “microbiota-accessible carbohydrate” or MAC (Sonnenburg & Sonnenburg 2014). Mostly, that means fiber from plants. We nourish our microbiota with fiber or prebiotics from a variety of vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds, which also provide phytochemicals and essential vitamins and minerals. It has been known for decades that low-fiber diets are associated with diabetes, heart disease and colorectal cancer. Another way to diversify your gut is to eat fermented foods containing live microorganisms. These foods include kimchi, sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, cheese, kombucha and miso (Marco et al. 2017).

Keep in mind that we still have a lot to learn about the microbiota, and we may never know if there is an optimal distribution of gut microbes for everyone, much less the foods that create it. Genetics, birth, childhood diet, medications and environment also help to determine what lives in your gut.

 

SOME TRUTHS ABOUT GETTING OLDER  (from WedMD  July 2017)

Your Hearing Will be Affected – Women and children naturally have higher-pitched voices. These types of sounds are often the first to go. Over time, the hair cells inside your ear that send sound waves to the brain become less sensitive. That makes it hard, for example, to distinguish “P” from “T.” The condition, called presbycusis, is sometimes passed down in families, but it can also be caused by loud noise, smoking, or illness. Sometimes it’s a side effect of antibiotics or aspirin.

Your Vision Will Be affected – You may first notice it while trying to read a menu. Almost all adults get a vision problem called presbyopia, which means you have trouble seeing close up. It often starts in your early 40s.

Non-prescription reading glasses usually help. Their lenses magnify things, and you can find an inexpensive pair at your local drugstore. If you already wear glasses or contacts for distance, consider getting bifocals or “no-line” progressive lenses.

Your Joints Do NOT Necessarily Need to Get Stiffer – Not everyone will have stiff, sore joints, but your chance of getting arthritis does go up as you age. Half of people 65 and older have it, and most of them have osteoarthritis. It happens when the tissue that protects bones in your joints starts to wear away. When there’s none left, the bones rub against each other. You’re most likely to have pain or stiffness in your hands, neck, back, knees, or hips. (DM Note – Exercise helps to maintain good posture, alignment and joint lubrication.)

You Will Probably Lose Height – Between ages 30 and 70, men can lose an inch of height. Women sometimes lose as much as 2 inches. After age 80, both groups might shrink even more. Why? The cartilage between your joints wears out and pushes your spine together. Your muscles get weaker and don’t hold you up as well. Thinning bones are often a culprit, too. (DM Note:  Maintaining good posture will slow this process.)

Getting shorter too quickly can be a warning sign that you’re at a greater risk for hip and spine fractures, so talk to your doctor if you notice a big or sudden change.

DM Note:  While these changes might not be welcome in your life, it is best to understand them, deal with them, do what you can to delay them, but do not ignore or deny them.

FREE WALKING CLINIC

Offered to our clients and the public – We meet Mondays and Thursdays, from 5:30-6:30pm, at the Wallace Bowl in Gillson Park, Wilmette.  Includes warm-up, stretching, intervals, stair climbing, core strengthening and a great way to get some extra exercise.  Contact Julie@pftl.net for information.

BREAST MODELS AVAILABLE

Did you know that mammograms miss 20%-60% of tumors?  Dense breast tissue (present in 40% of women) limits the accuracy of mammograms. Additionally, limited training of technicians, HRT, breast implants and rapidly growing tumors are all good reasons for women to do monthly exams themselves.

We have acquired two breast palpitation models from MonthlyBreastExam.org . Their mission is to teach women how to check their breasts for possible abnormalities These breast models come with simulated tumors and complete instructions to take home and learn what tumors feel like.

There is no charge for the models; you may sign them out and bring them back for others to use.

Contact Julie to borrow a model to take home.