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Natural Food-Based Supplements Offer On-the-Go Nutrition

Healthy Aging
Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued.—Socrates
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Top Supplements
Learn more about these popular supplements that people use for a variety of reasons—to address an acute condition, such as cold or flu, to manage a chronic condition, such as heart disease, diabetes, or arthritis, or to prevent health problems from getting a foothold.
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Common Questions

Health News

  • For Women Under 55, a Healthy Diet May Reduce Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Wednesday, October 21, 2020
    New Science
    For Women Under 55, a Healthy Diet May Reduce Risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis

    Proving once again that you are what you eat, a study published in Annals of Rheumatic Diseases found that women under 55 with healthy eating habits had a reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease involving chronic joint inflammation. Researchers looked at data from 76,597 women, aged 30 to 55, who participated in the Nurses' Health Study, and data from 93,392 women, aged 25 to 42, who participated in the Nurses' Health Study II. All of the women did not have rheumatoid arthritis or other connective tissue diseases when they enrolled in these studies. Every two years for an average of 21.6 years, researchers collected information regarding the women’s health, environmental exposures, and lifestyle habits, including their dietary patterns. Then, researchers scored the quality of the women’s diets using the 2010 Alternative Healthy Eating Index—a measure of how closely a person’s diet follows the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans. After comparing these scores to the incidence of rheumatoid arthritis throughout the study, researchers found that:

    • In women 55 and under, those with the highest diet scores (healthiest eating patterns) had a 33% lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis compared with those with the lowest diet scores (unhealthiest eating patterns).
    • In women over 55, however, diet scores were not associated with the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

    Other research has demonstrated the plethora of benefits associated with eating well, and this study adds to the evidence, providing yet another reason to eat healthily. If you’re unsure where to start, the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans can help. Following the current guidelines will ensure you get the recommended amounts of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fish in your diet, and help put a cap on foods that, when eaten in excess, can contribute to poor health, such as added sugars and red meat.

    Source: Annals of Rheumatic Diseases

  • Women: Ways to Regulate Hormones Naturally

    Monday, October 19, 2020
    Women: Ways to Regulate Hormones Naturally

    Looking to regulate your hormones sans medications? Here are a few methods to consider as curated by our subject matter experts:

    • Include certain foods in your diet. Soy foods, ground flax seeds, and lentils are especially rich in plant nutrients called phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens work by binding to estrogen receptors on cells and causing very slight estrogen-like stimulation within those cells. During the reproductive years, when estrogen levels are high, phytoestrogens lower the overall estrogenic activity in the body by blocking estrogen’s ability to bind to cells.
    • Work with a nutrition-oriented practitioner. Clearing hormones efficiently through the liver and bowels is also important for regulating their activity at this time of life, so many nutrition-oriented healthcare providers recommend eating plenty of fiber and nutrient-dense foods (especially fruits and vegetables) to support these elimination channels.
    • Add herbs to your supplement regimen. Medicinal herbs such as black cohosh, wild yam, burdock, dong quai, and chaste tree are sometimes used to assist in hormone regulation by altering hormone activity and promoting cleansing through the liver and bowels. Of course, always consult with your healthcare practitioner before taking new supplements.

    Source: American Journal of the Medical Sciences

  • Fact or Fiction: Collagen Supplements Help Skin and Joints

    Wednesday, October 14, 2020
    New Science
    Fact or Fiction: Collagen Supplements Help Skin and Joints

    As we age, our skin becomes less firm and our joints stiffen and ache. Why is this? It’s partially due to the slowing of the body’s ability to produce collagen, the main structural protein of connective tissues that, among other things, helps repair our skin and joints. Those seeking to maintain youthful skin and ease joint pain may turn to collagen supplements for a lift, but are these supplements really the fountain of youth they claim to be? To cut through the hype, the Washington Post reported on the following studies exploring collagen’s effects in the body:

    • A research review, published in the Open Nutraceuticals Journal, found hydrolyzed collagen supplements, which contain small collagen peptides that are easy to digest and absorb, improved skin hydration and elasticity and reduced the formation of deep wrinkles in women taking 10 grams daily for more than six weeks.
    • A 2017 study, published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, found 25 participants had increased nail growth and decreased nail brittleness after taking 2.5 grams of collagen peptides daily for 24 weeks.
    • A 2018 review and meta-analysis, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, looked at randomized controlled trials testing supplements used to treat osteoarthritis and found both hydrolyzed and un-denatured collagen supplements were associated with meaningful reductions in joint pain.

    While collagen’s benefits seem promising, it’s important to note that much of the research so far has come from small trials looking at short-term benefits. Longer and larger clinical trials are needed to understand collagen’s role, if any, in your beauty or pain management regimen. While we wait for answers, look to a nutritious diet containing plenty of vitamin C, which plays an essential role in your body’s collagen production.

    Source: Washington Post

  • Strength Training Plus Fish Oil May Give Older Women an Immune System Boost

    Monday, October 12, 2020
    New Science
    Strength Training Plus Fish Oil May Give Older Women an Immune System Boost

    A study found that fish oil increased immune system activity in elderly women who engaged in strength training. Published in the British Journal of Nutrition, the study divided 45 women with an average age of 64 into three groups: one group performed strength training exercises without fish oil for 90 days; the second group performed strength training exercises for 90 days while taking 2 grams of fish oil per day; and the final group took 2 grams of fish oil per day for 60 days, followed by 90 days of strength training while taking 2 grams of fish oil per day. After measuring several immune parameters in the participants before and after strength training and fish oil supplementation, the researchers discovered that:

    • Fish oil increased phagocytosis—a part of the immune system’s defensive response to foreign objects (including bacteria and viruses)—in both groups taking the supplement.
    • Fish oil also increased immune cell levels (lymphocytes) in the group taking fish oil for 150 days—both before and during strength training.
    • Strength training, by itself, did not improve any of the immune parameters measured in the study.

    The findings are of potential importance since it is thought that immune function worsens with age, and fish oil may provide one way to counteract that in healthy older women. However, since the study was small, more research is needed to confirm these results.

    Source: British Journal of Nutrition

  • Raspberries May Have Benefits for Metabolic and Bone Health

    Wednesday, October 07, 2020
    New Science
    Raspberries May Have Benefits for Metabolic and Bone Health

    When deciding which fruit to feature in your breakfast bowl, research points toward red raspberries. Findings from various animal studies suggest that red raspberries, which are an excellent source of vitamin C and high in fiber, are associated with a decreased risk of several health conditions, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes-related complications, and bone inflammation. Here is a quick look at some of the red raspberry-related research presented at the 2016 Experimental Biology conference and published in the FASEB Journal:

    • Bone backup. Red raspberry polyphenols (antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables) were found to prevent the release of inflammatory chemicals and to inhibit the expansion of the number of bone cells that cause bone breakdown in cultured cell lines from mice. This indicates these polyphenols might have the potential to help prevent bone loss.
    • Diabetes defense. Diabetic, obese rats were divided into two groups and fed either freeze-dried red raspberries or a placebo for eight weeks. The red raspberry group, but not the placebo group, was protected against a rare diabetes complication called cachexia—appetite and weight loss, fatigue, and muscle atrophy—that is usually associated with extreme nerve pain. They also had lower fasting blood sugar than the placebo group, although this difference was not statistically significant.
    • Cardiovascular care. Researchers fed obesity-prone rats a high-fat diet in addition to either a freeze-dried red raspberry powder or a sugar placebo for eight weeks. At the end of the study, the two groups did not show differences between body weight gain, LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, or systolic blood pressure; however, the red raspberry group had lower fasting triglycerides and blood sugar levels, as well as lower heart rates, than the placebo group. The red raspberry group also experienced heart enlargement and wall thickening, which may indicate a reduced heart failure risk.

    Source: EurekAlert!

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Copyright © 2020 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.

The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. Self-treatment is not recommended for life-threatening conditions that require medical treatment under a doctor's care. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over the counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2020.