Scientists have discovered a quick and easy method of adding 7½ years to your life, and it doesn’t require four easy payments of $19.95. All you have to do is be happy as you age. In fact, the benefits of a positive attitude towards aging may be greater than those for regular exercise and a non-smoking lifestyle, according to a study by Yale and Miami University of Ohio.
“People’s perception of aging predicted the length of their survival,” said Dr. Suzanne Kunkel, co-author of the study. Kunkel and her colleagues analyzed data collected on about 660 people age 50 and older in Oxford, OH. The researchers recorded how the 338 men and 322 women answered several questions about aging in 1975. Then 23 years later, they examined how those responses predicted the subjects’ survival.
The increase in life expectancy due to a positive attitude was evident even after taking into account factors such as age, gender, socio-economic status, functional health, and loneliness.
Alzheimer’s Linked to Depression
Seniors who suffer from depression may be more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who are not depressed, according to a recent US study. The study involved more than 650 men and women 65 and older. Researchers found that the subjects’ risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease increased in tandem with the number of depressive symptoms they reported. In fact, the increase in risk was nearly 20% per symptom.
However, the study could not determine whether depression increased the risk of Alzheimer’s or whether depression was a common symptom of the early stages of Alzheimer’s. People who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s often report symptoms of depression.
Source: Reuters Health 8-12-16
And, as if we needed another reason to drink coffee and the morning (and to be happy about it) then we have definitely found it with this tidbit of information:
Caffeine May Prevent Skin Cancer
Caffeine may prevent skin cancer, according to a recent study conducted at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Researchers tested both caffeine and a substance called epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG)—both of which are found in green tea—on a strain of hairless mice. The mice were exposed to harmful ultraviolet B light, but they did not develop tumors. Further research will be needed to determine how caffeine and EGCG may work in preventing skin cancer in humans.
And to end on a happy and healthy note, here is a small change you can make to your diet that will have a big impact:
More Joys and Wonders of Folic Acid
Folic acid could soon become the newest health craze among seniors, with studies showing it may help reduce the risk of stroke, blood clots, and heart disease, only weeks after other studies indicated the vitamin may also reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease.
The new study, which took place over three years, involved 368 men and women between the ages of 65 and 75. They were given folic acid tablets of varying strengths over six weeks.
The group given the highest level of folate (400 to 600 micrograms) experienced a drop in homocysteine levels. Homocysteine is an amino acid that has been linked to heart disease and Alzheimer’s, among other problems.
The researchers stressed the importance not only of increasing intake of folic acid, but also of increasing vitamin B12 intake. Too much folic acid, they explained, can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency, which can lead to a potentially dangerous condition called pernicious anemia. The elderly are especially prone to vitamin B12 deficiency because they often develop an inability to absorb it from their diets.