Getting frail as you age can ruin your life.
The chronic, weakening condition known as frailty restricts the life of one out of every four people over age 65. And by the time you’re in your 80s, your chance of becoming frail climbs to over 50 percent.
Frailty means you lose your ability to comfortably move around as your muscle tone basically vanishes and you lose much of the physical resilience needed to bounce back after a health issue like an infection, a fall or surgery.
Frailty increases your risk for poor health, disability and early death. But starting today you can easily bolster your well-being and put the odds on your side for stronger, healthier aging, free from frailty.
Nutrients That Keep You Stronger
Recent research at Trinity College Dublin shows that if you want to age better and avoid frailty, you need to take dietary supplements and eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
The Irish scientists are conducting a large study known as the Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging (TILDA). Their analysis centers on the effects of vitamin B12, folate, vitamin D, lutein and zeaxanthin. Lutein and zeaxanthin are carotenoids – pigments found in plants.1
They point out that vitamin B12 and folate are required to repair DNA and support energy metabolism. Vitamin D, they note, is crucial for keeping bones healthy, maintaining muscle strength and improving mood.
According to this research, if you’re low in any one of those nutrients, your chance of frailty goes up. Even worse is being low in two of the nutrients – the depletion multiplies your risk of becoming frail.
Plus, the Irish scientists warn, don’t think frailty only lies in wait for older folks. The condition is “commonly associated with aging but also common in patients of any age who have major surgery, cancer treatments and severe infections,” says researcher Rose-Anne Kenny.
So, if you think you have any issues with becoming frail, you better start eating right and taking supplements soon. And do some exercise to build up your strength.
As Dr. Kenny says, “The hallmark of frailty is muscle weakness. If it is recognized in its early stages, it can be reversed. However, the longer it is present, the more difficult is it to ‘bounce back,’ and generalized weakness and fatigue become progressively worse.”
Keeping Strong to Carry On
Other research shows that getting fit and building bigger muscles when you’re young, even if you stop exercising for years, makes it easier to recover fit muscles at a later stage.
A study at the University of Massachusetts shows that when you perform exercises that build muscle, you create extra structures called myonuclei in your muscle tissue that remain even if your muscles shrink from disuse. Those myonuclei form a kind of muscle memory that facilitates making muscles stronger again when you’re older and exercise them.2
The best time to acquire those myonuclei is when you’re an adolescent. That’s when you have the richest supply of muscle-supporting hormones and stem cells to boost your efforts. But really, you can still build muscle at any age. It just gets a bit more challenging with the passing years. And those built-up muscles are an investment against frailty.
Protects Your Memory, Too
I think it’s important to add that aside from protecting your physical well-being, taking steps to stave off frailty can also reinforce your intellectual capacity.
Research in Canada shows that when older people fall victim to frailty, they become more liable to develop Alzheimer’s disease and the disease progresses faster if they do have it.3
Remember – frailty seriously impacts both your physical abilities and the way your mind functions. You need to pay attention to what your brain and body need as you age. The best way to fight frailty is to head it off before it begins.
Our sister company, Green Valley Natural Solutions, recently introduced a formula called Bone and Muscle Defense. As the name implies, we designed it to help you create stronger bones and muscles and keep them as you age. The research backing its ingredients is remarkable and I think it can be a valuable addition to your supplement regimen.