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Boost Brain Health with Prebiotic Fiber: New Study Reveals

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As we age, maintaining brain health becomes increasingly important, especially considering the heightened risk of developing dementia. While strategies like crossword puzzles and daily walks can contribute to keeping the brain young, recent research suggests that adding certain supplements to your routine could also be beneficial. A study conducted by the School of Life Course & Population Sciences at King’s College London found that two prebiotic plant fiber supplements, fructooligosaccharide (FOS) and inulin, can improve brain function in just 12 weeks.

The researchers focused on the effects of these supplements on cognition and muscle strength in adults over 60. Prebiotics, according to the Mayo Clinic, are foods that aid in improving the beneficial bacteria in your gut, distinguishing them from probiotics. Inulin is a dietary fiber naturally found in plants, while FOS is a carbohydrate found in various plants like onions, garlic, artichokes, bananas, and asparagus. FOS is also commonly used as an alternative sweetener.

The study aimed to understand the impact of these prebiotic supplements on the gut microbiome, which previous studies have suggested plays a role in muscle physiology and cognition as we age. To examine this relationship, 36 pairs of twins were given either a placebo or a supplement daily for 12 weeks.

“By the end of the study period, the group that received the fiber supplement performed better in tests that assessed brain function, including one that is an early marker for Alzheimer’s disease (the Paired Associates Learning test) when compared with those who received a placebo. Participants taking the supplements also made fewer errors when taking a memory test.”

The research further supported the connection between the brain and the gut, often referred to as the gut-brain axis. After 12 weeks, the fiber supplements “led to significant changes in participants’ gut microbiome composition, particularly an increase in the numbers of beneficial bacteria such as Bifidobacterium.”

Mary Ní Lochlainn, a post-doctoral National Institute for Health and Care Research Fellow from the Department of Twin Research at King’s College London, expressed her enthusiasm about the results. “We are excited to see these changes in just 12 weeks,” she said. “This holds huge promise for enhancing brain health and memory in our ageing population. Unlocking the secrets of the gut-brain axis could offer new approaches for living more healthily for longer.”

Senior study author Claire Steves, professor of aging and health, and clinical director of TwinsUK at King’s College London, highlighted the accessibility and affordability of these supplements. “These plant fibres, which are cheap and available over-the counter, could benefit a wide group of people in these cash-strapped times. They are safe and acceptable too,” Steves said.

However, the study didn’t find any significant effects of the supplements on muscle strength over the 12-week period. Participants also engaged in resistance exercises and took a separate protein supplement “aimed at improving muscle function.”

The study was conducted remotely, with patients monitored via video, and taking questionnaires and cognitive tests online. This method was praised as a potential benefit for future research, as it doesn’t require older adults to travel or get to a hospital.

Despite the promising results, the study had some limitations, including a predominantly female participant pool and the inability to assess muscle mass due to the remote setting. The authors also acknowledged the need for larger research projects to address digital literacy and access to technology.

Looking ahead, Steves mentioned that researchers plan to investigate “whether these effects are sustained over longer periods and in larger groups of people.” It’s important to note that while this information is current and comes from top experts and health agencies, it should not replace professional guidance. Always consult your healthcare provider directly regarding any medication or health-related questions you may have.

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Dereck Hough’s Wife Makes Radiant Return to Spotlight After Brain Surgery

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Derek Hough and his wife, Hayley Erbert, recently graced the red carpet together for the first time since Erbert’s emergency brain surgery. The couple was spotted at the Hulu on Disney+ launch event on April 5 in Los Angeles, looking radiant in matching pastel outfits. The event marked Erbert’s return to the public eye following a health scare in December 2023 that required her to undergo a craniectomy.

Erbert experienced a medical emergency during a performance when she suffered from bleeding in her skull. She was diagnosed with a cranial hematoma caused by a burst blood vessel, necessitating the removal of a portion of her skull. Since then, the couple has been open about her recovery journey, including her triumphant return to dance.

On the day of the Hulu event, the couple announced via social media that Erbert would be rejoining the “A Symphony of Dance” tour. In a video posted on Hough’s Instagram story, he expressed their excitement to be performing together again and thanked fans for their unwavering support during this challenging time. “We cannot wait to dance together again on stage and be back with all of our fans and thank them,” Hough shared. “Thank you all for the amazing support that you’ve shown during this time. We cannot wait and we’ll see you very, very soon.”

Erbert also took to Instagram to share her feelings about her journey to recovery and her return to dance. She described her healing process as “extraordinary” and expressed her gratitude to her medical team for prioritizing her health and safety. She concluded her post by expressing her excitement for fans to see the upcoming show, which she described as even more special after her recent health ordeal.

Hough first shared the news of Erbert’s hospitalization in December 2023, revealing that she had been rushed to the hospital after becoming disoriented during a performance. He later posted a video of the couple walking hand in hand, with Erbert wearing protective headgear. He expressed his gratitude for the support they received during this difficult time and acknowledged the fragility of life.

Erbert’s health scare was due to an intracranial hematoma, a condition where a blood vessel ruptures in the brain, causing blood to pool in the skull. This often occurs after a traumatic event, such as a car crash, fall, or accident. Following her craniectomy, Erbert underwent another surgery to replace the portion of her skull that was removed.

In February, the couple shared an emotional video on Instagram where Erbert opened up about her recovery process. She acknowledged the emotional and physical challenges she faced but emphasized her progress and gratitude for the support she received. “Life is so precious and, just spend time with the ones you love. Hold them close because you never know what can happen,” she advised.

Hough and Erbert’s journey through this health crisis has been marked by resilience, gratitude, and an outpouring of support from their community. Their return to the red carpet and the dance stage is a testament to their strength and the power of a supportive community.

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Boost Longevity: Embrace Holistic Health in Your Golden Years

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Today, individuals are enjoying longer and healthier lives, with many engaging in exciting activities and new hobbies well into their senior years. In fact, a significant 82% of adults between the ages of 65 and 74 describe their health as excellent, very good, or good. However, senior health and wellness extend beyond how one feels in the present. The choices made today significantly impact future health, with lifestyle choices being a key determinant of longevity. For instance, one study revealed that the absence of major lifestyle risk factors could extend men’s lives by 12 years and women’s lives by 14 years.

Regardless of your current health status, it’s never too late to prioritize your health and wellness. Aging often brings a renewed focus on well-being, with many seniors becoming more concerned about their health over the coming decades. This concern may be due to the effects of aging or the realization that there is now more time to focus on health and wellness, particularly for those no longer working or raising children.

Holistic health goes beyond taking the right medication, visiting the doctor, or lifting weights. It involves a comprehensive approach that considers your needs, goals, and feelings about your health. Embracing a wellness approach empowers you to understand your body better and take control of your health.

Holistic health and wellness are crucial for seniors, and adopting a few simple lifestyle changes can set you on the path to a lifetime of good health. Lifestyle is a significant predictor of longevity, and it’s never too late to start making healthier choices. Even small changes, such as incorporating just 11 minutes of exercise into your daily routine, can make a significant difference in your life expectancy.

Holistic health and wellness encompass various aspects, including finding new ways to enjoy life. Happiness plays a crucial role in health and can make it easier to maintain healthy lifestyle choices. Even with chronic health conditions or disabilities, you can still embrace holistic wellness, which can lead to a reduction in symptoms like pain, insomnia, and stress, and lower the risk of developing health conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Holistic health and wellness for seniors is not about giving up everything you enjoy; it’s about finding opportunities to optimize health. Exercise, for instance, increases the production of endorphins, the body’s feel-good chemicals. Becoming more active can help you feel better right away, especially as the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle become more apparent with age.

Living healthier involves integrating healthy decisions into daily life, forming better habits, and doing things that feel good to your body and mind. Some tips to help you on this journey include eliminating unhealthy habits like smoking, cultivating a feeling of safety and security, making a balanced diet part of your daily life, staying socially engaged and active, keeping your mind active, giving back to your community, continuously improving yourself and your relationships, getting stress under control, and staying physically active.

Contrary to popular belief, healthy living doesn’t have to be unpleasant. Fitness can be fun, healthy food doesn’t have to be bland, and a wellness-oriented lifestyle doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, enjoying life is beneficial for mental and physical health and can inspire you to continue making healthy choices.

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Madonna’s Miraculous Recovery: From ICU to Stage in Two Months

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Last year, fans of the iconic pop star Madonna were left worried when a health crisis landed her in the ICU. The singer’s manager, Guy Oseary, disclosed on Instagram that Madonna was battling a “serious bacterial infection”. This health scare forced her to halt all her activities, including her ongoing “Celebration” tour. Fortunately, the “Like a Prayer” singer made a full recovery and resumed her tour a few months later in October 2023.

Madonna has recently opened up about her “near-death experience” and a profound conversation she believes she had with God.

During her first show at the Kia Forum arena in Los Angeles, Madonna shared the intensity of her health scare. She has faced numerous challenges in her life, including multiple injuries, “fallen off a lot of horses and broken a lot of bones” and even has a titanium hip.

“I mean, the list goes on and on, but nothing can stop me,” the pop star declared. She then delved into her recent frightening experience and the induced coma she was in for four days. Madonna revealed that the first word she uttered after waking up from the coma was “no.” According to her, this was in response to a question she heard God ask her while she was unconscious.

“I’m pretty sure that God was saying to me, ‘Do you wanna come with us? You wanna come with me? You wanna go this way?’ And I said, ‘No. No. No!'” Madonna shared on stage.

She expressed gratitude to her physician, David Agus, MD, who she said tolerated “so many entertaining phone calls.”

“When I was sick this summer and I literally couldn’t walk from my bed to the toilet, I would call him every other day and ask him why I didn’t have any energy. ‘When was my energy gonna come back? When was I gonna feel myself again? When could I go back on tour again?’ When, when, when, when, when, when, when?” Madonna recounted. “And all he would say was, ‘Go outside in the sun.'”

She followed Agus’ advice to soak up some vitamin D, which he assured her would help her kidneys function.

“I hate the sun, but I did it anyways and it was so hard for me to walk from my house to the backyard and sit in the sun,” Madonna confessed. “I know that sounds insane, but it was difficult and I didn’t know when I could get up again and when I could be myself again and when I would have my energy back. It was a strange thing to finally not feel like I was in control. And that was my lesson to let go.”

Madonna expressed her gratitude to everyone who cared for her during her illness. She was adamant about getting back on tour, even while still in the hospital. When Oseary asked when she planned to return to the stage, she boldly declared two months.

“I swear to God, I just said it. And sometimes you just gotta say [expletive], put that in the universe, and it happens,” she told the audience.

She thanked her children for their support, helping her to “pull through,” and expressed her determination not to let them or her fans down.

“I just set a date and that date became a reality,” the pop legend said. “And I didn’t wanna disappoint my fans. I never do.”

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