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Better aging

It should come as no surprise that aging is an inevitable, natural process and day by day we are getting older. However, what if there was a test to assess how well we were doing at aging? What if there were lifestyle changes you could make to positively influence that test result to age better? The answer is yes to both of these questions and I am going to explain exactly how you can accomplish it.

So often, I have patients who are doing everything they can to feel good in the present and set themselves up for many healthy years ahead. Many of these patients are putting an emphasis on things such as exercising, getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet. But, how well is this working for them?

These good lifestyle choices can influence a hormone called the growth hormone. Research has shown that urine growth hormone levels can be used to help assess healthy aging. The best part is that all it requires is a simple urine test and the results are analyzed by a lab in Calgary.

The growth hormone naturally declines with age and low levels can lead to health concerns such as loss of muscle mass and increased belly fat leading to an inability to lose weight despite significant efforts, struggling with mild depression and experiencing memory disturbances. On the flipside, having more growth hormone promotes fat loss as research has shown that those who are obese have an overall lower growth hormone level.

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Hope for the Future

I heard dozen times that the “youths are the hope of the future and the Fatherland...”

The youths are the ones to continue the past and present generations.

In a smallest unit of the society—a family—the children are the hope of the family’s generation.

They are the ones carrying the names, cultures, traditions and treasures of the family.

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Multivitamins — useful or useless?

Multivitamins come in all shapes, forms, sizes and colours. Some are chewable, some are liquid. Some promise to give you a longer lifespan while others guarantee they will help to ward off heart disease.

With so much advertising around the use of multivitamins, it may come as no surprise that most people presume they should be consuming a daily supplement.

However, is it really worth your time, research and investment?

Taking a multivitamin is a popular practice and many of our new patients coming into the clinic are already on a multivitamin supplement. Most people have one of two beliefs about multivitamins; either that they have all of their daily nutritional intake covered by taking one, or that multivitamins make “expensive urine” and have little benefit.

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Making it all add up

Whenever the education experts (including media pundits), government bureaucrats and parents would all line up to bemoan the latest international test scores of Alberta students — and then proceed to blame the teachers for them — I would always tell myself how glad I was that my kids were safely out of school.

And then I started having grandchildren. Does this mean I have to be invested in the next round of the “new math” debate, all over again? I guess so.

Here’s a question from an international Grade 8 level math test: Find 1/3 minus 1/4.

Four possible answers below the question are presented to test whether the student knows the method to finding the answer, which is 4 minus 3 over 3 times 4 (that’s 1/12 in the old math I was taught).

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Wellness Foundation can’t deal with what kills us

Does Alberta need another arms-length or autonomous foundation, funded by a dedicated tax levy, to convince us that better lifestyle choices can lead to better health?

Apparently many of us do. An informal coalition of communities and organizations representing fully a million Albertans is asking the provincial government to create a new foundation that would fund wellness initiatives around the province.

It’s easy enough to get those kind of numbers if you ask municipalities to join your cause. It’s not like Red Deer city council, for instance, would be using any of its own money to promote this initiative. So last week’s decision to join the coalition doesn’t come with much of a downside.

Quite the opposite. The upside potential for the city is huge, considering what is spent here by the city and partner organizations dealing with the outfall of illnesses and conditions that better lifestyle choices can easily prevent.

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