Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The secret to successful ageing

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13 December 2011

UK Edition

Dear Reader,

In my line of work, ageing is pretty much always on my mind. How do you age gracefully? How do you stay "young" as long as possible? What's the secret to successful ageing?

Successful ageing, as defined by the massive Nurses' Health Study (which involved 13,894 women), means getting to the age of 70 without a major chronic disease like cancer, heart disease, or diabetes; with no major cognitive or physical impairments.

In that massive study, only 11 per cent of the women met that criteria.

What's their secret? It seems to be enjoying a regular glass or two of wine. Women who saw the largest benefit were those who enjoy 15.1 to 30 grams of alcohol per day — that's one to 2.5 drinks per day.

Frequency seems to be the key here. Women who drank on only one or two days a week didn't have much of an increase to their likelihood of successful ageing. Women who indulged at least five days a week were 50 per cent more likely to age successfully than their non-drinking counterparts.

Of course, this isn't the first study to link alcohol consumption to good health. After all, we all know resveratrol as the "red wine antioxidant." But it's a good reminder that good health doesn't always come in a pill bottle — sometimes it comes in a wine bottle.

Tonight, when I open a bottle of wine with dinner, I will toast to you, dear reader, and your health. I hope you'll think to do the same for me.

Continues below...
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Q: I know that most cries of "herbs are dangerous!" are unfounded. But can herbs react with drugs? Are those reactions dangerous?

Dr Jonathan V. Wright: Herb-drug interactions can be dangerous, depending on the herb, the drug, and the combination of the two. A few years ago, regular Nutrition & Healing columnist Kerry Bone outlined some basic guidelines for using herbs in conjunction with other medications. Those guidelines are as follows:

1. If you are taking any drug and wish to take herbs as well, it's best to seek the advice of a professional trained in herbal therapy.

2. The following drugs have a narrow therapeutic window (meaning that they can become dangerously toxic or dangerously ineffective with only relatively small changes in their blood concentrations): digoxin, Coumadin, antirejection drugs, many anti-HIV drugs, phenytoin, and phenobarbital. Never take any herbal supplement with these drugs except under professional guidance.

3. If your heart, liver, or kidney function is impaired, if you are elderly, pregnant, if you have received an organ transplant, or if you have a genetic disorder that deranges normal biochemical functions, do not take herbal supplements with drugs except under professional guidance.

4. Never take drugs and herbal supplements at the same time of day. Always separate them by at least an hour, preferably more.

5. If you have any type of serious disease and are being treated with chemical drugs, do not take any herbal supplement except under professional guidance.

6. Stop all herbal supplements about one week prior to surgery.

7. Research any herbal supplement you wish to take to see if there are known (not speculative) herb-drug interactions. Much is known, for example, about St. John's wort, but there is still some speculation. Learn to differentiate between the two.

8. If you believe that a herbal supplement you are taking is causing an interaction, stop taking it and seek professional advice.
Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone's personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own physician before acting on any recommendations contained herein.

Wishing you the best of health,

Andrew Miller
UK Editor
Nutrition and Healing

P.S. In the latest issue of Nutrition & Healing, Dr. Wright explains how to read your body's blueprint for treating – or preventing – depression... We'll also tell you what the best proven remedy is against winter infections... don't be unprepared! You'll also learn about the five unexpected benefits of vitamin A... plus much, much more...

All new members who sign up will receive important updates like these in addition to receiving Dr. Wright's 7 Volume Library of Natural Healing.

Read here for full details.


"Relationship Between Alcohol Consumption And 'Successful Ageing,'" Medical News Today (medicalnewstoday.com)

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