Hold onto Your Independence Longer with These Easy Tips
Chances are you’ve heard a lot about taking care of your bones as you get older. But another health issue presents almost as big a threat… and often gets overlooked completely.
The threat is muscle wasting. Millions of mature adults already suffer with this problem. And it can easily lead directly to losing your independence.
You begin losing muscle mass by the time you’re 40. Within 10 years, you can lose as much as 2% of your muscle every year. As this loss adds up, you lose strength… your balance suffers… and the loss of muscle mass can even weaken your bones.
For millions, their independence evaporates with their muscle mass. Falls, weakness, and fear land them in assisted living… or worse.
But this doesn’t have to happen to you. Studies going back 25 years show simple changes can cut your risk. And new research reveals nutritional supplements may be able to help you fight muscle loss – and win.
For example, animal studies suggest a powerful antioxidant, called superoxide dismutase (SOD), may play an important role in helping you hold on to muscle.
Animals engineered to lack SOD show signs of advanced muscle loss even at a young age. Without SOD, the mitochondria – the “energy factories” that power their cells – in their muscles break down. The connections between their muscles and nervous system do, too.1
The good news here is that we know how to increase SOD levels. Using an animal model, Canadian scientists showed that endurance training can boost SOD levels in the muscles, liver and heart.2 In other words, taking a brisk walk on a regular basis may be enough to help preserve muscle mass.
In Australia, doctors discovered a simple nutritional supplement can have a big impact on your muscles. They studied the muscles of two groups of mature adults.
They gave one group CoQ10. The other group took a placebo. Taking CoQ10 triggered a change in gene expression in the first group. That is, CoQ10 turned some genes “on” and others “off.” The result was a muscle profile normally found in much younger people.
The placebo group didn’t show any of these changes.3
CoQ10 isn’t the only nutritional supplement that may help fight muscle loss, either. Another anti-aging compound appears to block free radical damage in muscle cells… and boost SOD activity, too.
At West Virginia University, scientists put mice through an exercise program. Giving the mice resveratrol made a big difference. Mice taking resveratrol had less post-exercise damage from free radicals… and greater SOD activity.
And here’s even better news… The older the mice were, the better resveratrol worked.4
Finally, there’s one other simple step to keep in mind. And that’s getting enough lean protein. Everyone’s needs are different, based on size and activity levels. But, on average, women should get about 46 grams of protein a day, and men about 56.
A 3-ounce serving of lean meat has about 21 grams of protein and a cup of yogurt contains about 11. Eggs are another excellent source of protein. Hard cheeses and nuts can also add to your daily total, but they carry a fair amount of fat. Eat these fattier foods in moderation.
With a balanced approach, these simple steps can help you stay stronger, sexier – and independent – longer.
Yours in continued good health,
Best Life Herbals Wellness Team
1 Jang, Y.C., et al, “Increased superoxide in vivo accelerates age-associated muscle atrophy through mitochondrial dysfunction and neuromuscular junction degeneration,” The FASEB Journal. May 2010; 24(5): 1376-1390.
2 Gore, M., et al, “Endurance training alters antioxidant enzyme gene expression in rat skeletal muscle,” Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology. 1998; 76(12): 1139-1145.
3 Linnane, A.W., “Cellular redox activity of coenzyme Q10: effect of CoQ10 supplementation on human skeletal muscle,” Free Radic Res. Apr 2002; 36(4): 445-453.
4 Ryan, M.J., et al, “Suppression of Oxidative Stress by Resveratrol After Isometric Contractions in Gastrocnemius Muscles of Aged Mice,” J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. Aug 2010; 65A(8): 815-831.
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