When you think of the diseases that can change your life dramatically– or even take your life– conditions like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke, and cancer are usually top of mind. But the truth is, there’s another condition that can dampen your active lifestyle, steal your independence, and even take your life.
I’m talking about frailty.
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. It’s linked to falls, fractures, hospitalization, and early death. But this doesn’t have to be your story.
Research shows there’s one easy way to lower your risk of developing this devastating disease by 35 percent. And it’s only the beginning. Keep reading to discover three easy ways to stop frailty in its tracks…
#1 Eat more fruit
One of the quickest, easiest ways to stop frailty is to eat more fruit.
Fruits are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. They’re chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other health-boosting nutrients. A certain family of fruit compounds – called flavonols –are especially powerful at helping you stay strong and steady well into your golden years.
For the recent study, scientists from Hebrew SeniorLife Institute for Aging Research analyzed the flavonol intake and frailty outcomes of 1,701 seniors. What they found was impressive.
More flavonols means less frailty
In the study, the participants with the highest intake of flavonols had a lower risk of developing frailty. In fact, frailty risk dropped by 20 percent for each ten mg intake of flavonols.
But there’s more to the story…
After taking a closer look at the data, the scientists found that folks who had a higher intake of a specific flavonol – called quercetin – saw a 35 percent lower risk of frailty onset for every ten mg of the nutrient they consumed daily.
“Our findings suggest that for every ten mg higher intake of flavonols per day, the odds of frailty were reduced by 20 percent. Individuals can easily consume ten mg of flavonols intake per day since one medium-sized apple has about ten mg of flavonols.”
An apple a day really does keep the doctor away, at least in terms of frailty. The researchers go on to say…
“Although there was no significant association between total flavonoid (the larger class of antioxidants) intake and frailty, higher flavonols intake (one of the subclasses of flavonoids) was associated with lower odds of developing frailty.”
“Specifically, higher quercetin intake was the flavonol that had the strongest association with frailty prevention. This data suggests that there may be particular subclasses of flavonoids that have the most potential as a dietary strategy for frailty prevention,” said coauthors Shivani Sahni, and Courtney L. Millar, PhD, both of the Department of Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, and the Hinda and Arthur Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Hebrew SeniorLife.
Other ways to get quercetin
Like the researchers said, all you have to do is eat one apple a day to get ten mg of this incredible nutrient. (Think about what getting two or even three servings could do for your strength!)
Other quercetin-rich foods you can try include:
- Red onions
- Hot peppers
Fruits and vegetables provide other frailty-busting benefits…
#2 Add B vitamins, vitamin D to keep you stronger
Recent research at Trinity College Dublin shows that if you want to age better and avoid frailty, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables will give you additional frailty-blocking nutrition.
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.
While they’re all important for preventing frailty, the Irish team points 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 and maintaining muscle strength—all of which is essential for preventing frailty.
According to this research, if you’re low in any one of those nutrients, your chance of frailty goes up. But being low in vitamin B12, folate and vitamin D multiplies your risk of becoming frail. They suggest, in addition to eating a healthy diet, to take supplements of these three nutrients.
#3 Try Bone & Muscle Defense
We’ve written about combatting frailty many times before. It’s a real problem and it’s important that you watch out for the hallmark symptom: muscle weakness. That’s also why we’ve developed Bone & Muscle Defense, a revolutionary formula to help prevent frailty. It contains a patented form of HMB, the muscle-saving nutrient shown to help people over age 50 hold on to their muscle mass, strength and more.
Among the HMB supplementation studies is a double-blind trial carried out by the University of Nottingham, England. The team found benefits in muscle cells and body composition in male seniors taking a dietary supplement of HMB on top of resistance training over six weeks.
Only those taking the dietary supplements saw an improvement in thigh mass and an increase in muscle protein synthesis compared to those taking the placebo. They concluded that “supplementation may result in long term benefits…”
What’s more, the resistance exercise training isn’t necessary to increase muscle growth, muscle mass and muscle strength.
Works without exercise too
A six-month double-blind trial in seniors carried out by researchers at the University of Central Florida concluded that HMB taken on its own, without resistance training, “enhances strength and MQ (muscle quality)… thereby supporting its potential as a nutritional intervention to prevent sarcopenia and its associated functional decline in people as they age.”
After reviewing the literature, researchers from Italy proposed that “HMB may be utilized to protect or rebuild muscle mass in older people with reduced lean body mass.”
The Aging Defeated Team