Harmful tests on our closest relatives must end

Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 9.11.58 AMFor International Primate Day on September 1st 2017, Animal Defenders International is calling for action to end the use of primates in research. Worldwide an estimated 200,000 primates are experimented on each year, with over 70,000 animals used in research across the US, one of the world’s largest users of primates.Animal Defenders International President Jan Creamer said: “The continued use of primates in research is unethical and unnecessary. Harmful to both our closest relatives and to science, governments must end primate tests and facilitate the adoption of modern alternatives without delay.”
Some primates are forcibly removed from the wild and used as breeding machines to supply the industry, or used themselves in tests. In addition to the trauma caused to individuals during the capture process, subsequent confinement, and during procedures until their deaths, this brutal practice harms local populations threatening their survival.
In Latin America, ADI has exposed the capture of owl monkeys for use in malaria experiments in Colombia. Taken from the trees, these nocturnal primates go from the forest to a barren cage. Our evidence led to a tribunal revoking the experimenter’s permits; although this groundbreaking decision has been overturned. Elsewhere, in Africa and Asia, ADI has revealed dire conditions inside the monkey breeders, who take primates from the wild to maintain their breeding stocks. At the monkey farms, individuals are confined to cages and routinely manhandled. In Florida, already home to a number of monkey breeders, ADI is opposing plans for a facility which seeks to import thousands of primates from outside the US.
Primates are frequently used in brain experiments because of their apparent similarity to humans. However, despite being our closest relatives, non-human primates differ from us in a number of ways, including the immune system. Their use in research therefore can never reliably predict potential human effects. Aspirin for example causes birth defects in monkeys, but is widely used by pregnant women without the same effect.
Such species differences are the fundamental flaw of using animals in research. Each species respondsdifferently to substances, with an animal’s age, diet, sex, even bedding material, also affecting results. As a result animal tests can delay scientific progress and lead to human tragedy.
Just days after being given trial drug BIA 10-2474, the six male volunteers in the highest dose group were hospitalized. Four volunteers displayed neurological symptoms, with at least one losing all his fingers and toes; one of the six volunteers died a week after receiving the dose.  No comparable effect had been seen in monkeys or other animals given high doses of the drug over long periods. Some monkeys were estimated to have received around 75 times the dose given to the volunteers.In another drug trial tragedy, TGN1412 was given to volunteers who then suffered multiple organ failure as the drug triggered an uncontrollable immune response. One volunteer was hospitalized for three months, another had their fingers and toes amputated, and all are likely to suffer permanent damage to their immune systems and live with the danger of developing cancer and lupus.  The drug had been tested extensively in laboratory animals including in doses 500 times greater in monkeys with no drug-related adverse events.Investment in animal research, predominantly with primates, has been wasteful and unsuccessful. A review has shown that not one of the 85+ candidate AIDS vaccines successfully tested in primates have been effective in human patients.ADI has documented the suffering of primates for product safety tests at the notorious contract testing facility Huntingdon Life Science (now known as Envigo). Monkeys were strapped down to restrain them while substances were pumped directly into their stomachs, and they suffered a range of debilitating symptoms.

Researchers claim that the use of primates in brain research is ‘necessary’ but sophisticated neuroimaging techniques are available to study human behavior and brain function. Comparing data from human electrical brain activity with data obtained by experimenters using electrodes in restrained monkeys, Professor Furlong and his team at Aston University in the UK have shown the same level of data can be obtained, directly relevant to human patients.

International Primate Day was established by Animal Defenders International in 2005 to highlight the threats to and abuses of our closest relatives in the animal kingdom – apes and monkeys – from their use in research and entertainment, for meat and the pet trade.

Around 20,000 primates are imported into the US every year, from countries such as China, Vietnam and Mauritius. ADI USA revealed the hidden suffering of primates bred for research on the tropical Indian Ocean island of Mauritius. Biodia, one of the biggest suppliers of laboratory monkeys in the world, sends thousands to miserable deaths in the USA and worldwide. At this facility we filmed baby monkeys torn from their screaming mothers to be tattooed, pregnant monkeys manhandled and pinned down in terrifying routine procedures and screaming monkeys being swung by their tails. http://www.ad-international.org/animal_experiments/go.php?id=3503

Over 2,000 primates were imported into the UK from Asia and Africa last year. ADI infiltrated Nafovanny in Vietnam filming the macaque monkeys in small, filthy, broken cages – images the huge dealer of monkeys to the USA and UK denied were on their premises – until we proved otherwise. They once roamed free only to be torn from the trees and forced to live for years in these dismal prisons. http://www.ad-international.org/publications/go.php?id=1577 Monkeys filmed Huntingdon Life Sciences were supplied by Nafovanny. http://www.ad-international.org/publications/go.php?id=1576

Non-animal methods

  • There are many alternatives to the use of animals which are more reliable and are based on better science such as, human cell, tissue and organ culture, including 3D models containing different tissues providing a better representation of the actual situation in a living human; databases of known information, and sophisticated analytical techniques.
  • Advanced non-animal methods include the lung-on-a-chip, which mimics the movements of the breathing lung, providing provide low-cost alternatives for drug screening and toxicology tests
  • Accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS) is an analytical tool of unprecedented sensitivity. It can be used to study samples from human volunteers given ultra-low, harmless, doses of new drugs (called micro-dosing). Obtaining early data from humans can avoid the unnecessary exposure of volunteers in clinical trials to potentially toxic drugs.  Safe, relevant to the correct species. Emerging technologies like AMS have many advantages, including speeding the development process and improving safety.
  • Other cutting edge methods available to develop and test drugs include computer simulations and modelling, high throughput screening for rapid analysis of compounds for drug discovery, epidemiological studies of human disease, transmission, genetics and environmental factors; fMRI and other imaging techniques.

Species differences

The fundamental flaw of using animals for safety testing, and other forms of research, is species differences. With each species responding differently to substances, primate and other animal tests can never reliably predict potential human effects.
  • Macaque monkeys are frequently used in toxicology testing, but they have specific genes which are vital for drug metabolism (when a drug works through the body). These genes are not found in humans and this is just one of the reasons for differences in drug metabolism between monkeys and humans.
  • The action of drugs also varies; for example Aspirin causes birth defects in monkeys, but is widely used by pregnant women without the same effect.
  • A review showed that none of the 85+ candidate AIDS vaccines successfully tested in primates have been effective in human patients Horses, rats and mice cannot vomit.
  • Morphine drugs are a depressant in rats, dogs, hamsters and other species, but produce tremors and convulsions at comparable doses in mice and cats.
  • The breast cancer drug tamoxifen was designed as an oral contraceptive. It is in rats, but in women it has the opposite effect. It is now used in the treatment of breast cancer, despite causing cancer in rats in some studies.
Animal Defenders International (ADI):  Los Angeles – London – Bogota
Ending the suffering of animals in captivity and protecting wild animals and their environments.Active worldwide to end the suffering of animals: animals in entertainment – film, television, advertising, circuses and sport or leisure; animals used for food or fur; protection of wildlife and the environment; trade in animals; zoos, pets, entertainment and laboratories. Funding and promotion of advanced scientific methods to replace the use of animals in research. ADI investigates, produces evidence and reports on the scientific, legal and economic issues for each case study, recommending solutions. Education and awareness to public, media and officials. Where ADI’s evidence has been a catalyst for change, we collaborate with governments to conduct large-scale seizures of wild animals in captivity and relocate them to forever homes – back to their natural habitat wherever possible.
Source: www.ad-international.org
ADI Media Desk, mediadesk@ad-international.org at Animal Defenders International.
United States, 6100 Wilshire Blvd Suite #1150, Los Angeles, CA, 90048

Discrimination Linked to Increased Stress & Poorer Health

American Psychological Association Survey Finds Stress in America™ poll shows many who experience discrimination live in heightened state of vigilance due to anticipated discrimination.

WASHINGTON, March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Nearly half of U.S. adults report they have experienced a major form of unfair treatment or discrimination, including being unfairly questioned or threatened by police, being fired or passed over for promotion or treated unfairly when receiving health care. These acts of discrimination are associated with higher reported stress levels and poorer reported health, according to the survey Stress in America™: The Impact of Discrimination released today by the American Psychological Association (APA).

The survey, which was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of APA among 3,361 adults in August 2015, found that nearly seven in 10 adults in the U.S. report having experienced discrimination, and 61 percent say they experience day-to-day discrimination, such as being treated with less courtesy or respect, receiving poorer service than others, or being threatened or harassed.

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Black adults are among the most likely to report experiencing some sort of discrimination. More than three in four Black adults report experiencing day-to-day discrimination and nearly two in five Black men say that police have unfairly stopped, searched, questioned, physically threatened or abused them. Black, Asian, Hispanic and American Indian/Alaska Native adults report that race is the main reason they have experienced discrimination.
“It’s clear that discrimination is widespread and impacts many people, whether it is due to race, ethnicity, age, disability, gender or sexual orientation,” said Jaime Diaz-Granados, PhD, APA’s executive director for education. “And when people frequently experience unfair treatment, it can contribute to increased stress and poorer health.”

For many adults, even the anticipation of discrimination contributes to stress. Three in 10 Hispanic and Black adults who report experiencing day-to-day discrimination at least once a week say that they feel they have to be very careful about their appearance to get good service or avoid harassment. This heightened state of vigilance among those experiencing discrimination also includes trying to prepare for insults from others before leaving home and taking care of what they say and how they say it.

The results from this year’s Stress in America™ survey also suggest that there are significant disparities in the experience of stress itself, and that stress also may be associated with other health disparities. The nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of adults who report that their health is only “fair” or “poor”  have a higher reported stress level on average than those who rate their stress as “very good” or “excellent.”

Certain populations consistently struggle with stress more than others, such as Hispanic adults, who report the highest stress levels on average. Younger generations, women, adults with disabilities, and adults who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender also report higher average stress levels and are more likely than their counterparts to say that their stress has increased since last year.

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“Stress takes a toll on our health, and nearly one-quarter of all adults say they don’t always have access to the health care they need,” said Cynthia Belar, PhD, APA’s interim chief executive officer. “In particular, Hispanics—who reported the highest stress levels—were more likely to say they can’t access a non-emergency doctor when they need one. This year’s survey shows that certain subsets of our population are less healthy than others and are not receiving the same level of care as adults in general. This is an issue that must be addressed.”

The report uncovered some good news about stress management related to discrimination. Despite their stress, the majority of adults (59 percent) who report experiencing discrimination feel that they have dealt quite well or very well with it and any resulting changes or problems.

In addition, many adults report having a positive outlook, and survey findings point to the strong impact of emotional support. Having someone they can ask for emotional support if they need it, such as talking about problems or helping them make a difficult decision, appears to improve the way that individuals view their ability to cope with discrimination. Adults who experienced discrimination and had emotional support are twice as likely to say that they coped quite or very well compared with those adults who experienced discrimination but did not have emotional support (65 percent vs. 37 percent of those who report not having emotional support).

Since 2007, the survey has found that money and work are consistently the top two sources of significant stress (67 percent and 65 percent in 2015, respectively). This year, for the first time, the survey found that family responsibilities were the third most common stressor (54 percent), followed by personal health concerns (51 percent), health problems affecting their family (50 percent), and the economy (50 percent).
While average reported stress levels in the United States have increased slightly in the past two years (5.1 in 2015 and 4.9 in 2014 on a 10-point scale, where 1 is “little or no stress” and 10 is “a great deal of stress”), adults are more likely than in past years to report experiencing extreme stress (a rating of 8, 9 or 10 on a 10-point scale). Twenty-four percent of adults report these levels, compared with 18 percent in 2014. This represents the highest percentage reporting extreme stress since 2010.

graphics stress

To read the full Stress in America report or download graphics, visit www.stressinamerica.org.

 

Source: www.prnewswire.com

Taste Moment

TravelingWineSandy, you are invited to Debbie Indoe’s Wine Tasting/Buying event with the Traveling Vineyard! This was my introduction into the traveling wine world. Carrie Ruggiero, our Wine Guide led us on a complimentary 5 bottle tour of the world of wine and taught us the 4 steps to wine tasting and how to properly pair food and wine, plus much more!  The much more is what I’m going to write about.  Debbie Indoe was the perfect hostess, as she introduced the more than a dozen who attended, into food flavors that complimented each wine.  Every wine was paired with something extraordinary; pumpkin chocolate treats, beef jerky with exotic flavors, aged artisanal cheeses, jewel-like chocolates shipped from Miami and to me the most interesting Piedmontese beef.  Never having heard of Piedmontese Beef I had to research this sublime tasting beef.  I learned a small group of select Piedmontese Bulls were imported into Canada in the late 1970s, and into the United States in the early 1980s.  Piedmontese Bulls and cows originated in the North West area of Italy called Piedmont in the 1800’s. The beef is exceptionally lean and incredibly tender and paired well with the Malbec wine.  I love learning new Food Facts.  Each chocolate had an intriguing name; Pistache, Scarlett Caramel and Galaxy Way. We tasted a selection of whites, reds, and sweet all exclusive to the Traveling Vineyard.  All of the wines tasted (and then some) were available for ordering. Tasting the wines gave us the opportunity to “Try Before We Buy.”  It was heart-warming catching up with old friends and making new ones.  For a foggy dreary winter night it was a great way to have a first-class vineyard experience indoors!

 

Taste Moment

Taste(4)‘The Best Of The Medina Chamber’ event held yesterday at Weymouth Country Club is referred to as the tastiest member meeting all year. Paul & Tara the new owners of Dan’s Dog’s debuted their new Chili Hot Dog Sauce at this member event. The Chili Hot Dog Sauce is made in house using fresh local beef from Beaver Meats in Smithville. Paul was quick to say there are no preservatives and no nitrates in the beef or any of the ingredients. The sauce is slow simmered for 6 hours in their famous in-house root-beer. The sauce is slightly sweet and when smothered over a Dan’s Dog’s was an Oh My moment. Paul is soon adding his version of a Fire House Dog Sauce to the menu. If it is anything like his Chili Hot Dog Sauce we are in for a taste treat!  Dan’s Dogs is located just off Medina Public Square.

Are Your Holidays Happy?

Celebrating…Shopping…Making Cookies…Decorating…Worshiping…

By Sarah Toman, Ph.D., Psychologist

From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve, many of us can struggle with the countless demands of making the holidays happy for others in our lives. We can experience joy in finding that perfect gift for someone special, or in creating the most delectably scrumptious treats wrapped in unique papers and ribbons. There are countless holiday concerts, parties, pageants and services intended to bring us closer to the spirit of the season. So much to do in so little time!

As a psychologist, I frequently hear about the joys of the holidays. However, I also hear about how holiday preparations can create exhaustion, stress, and even depression. Below are a few suggestions for helping you make your holidays as happy as you make them for others.

EXHAUSTION: SLEEP! Of course, that’s an easy one. Just SLEEP! Easier said than done for those with sleep visited by To Do Lists running through their heads and worries about the dinner where Aunt X sits across from Aunt Y with only a turkey between them. Maybe putting those To Do Lists down on paper could get them out of your head. Maintaining a sleep schedule could help regulate the body and brain to relax for sleep. Avoiding the use of caffeine, sugar, and alcohol, as difficult as that is in social gatherings, cutting back may help the exhausting energy swings.

STRESS: Avoiding stress is difficult, but not impossible. Planning ahead, not overspending, limiting extra obligations, walking slowly instead of rushing rushing rushing might make all the difference. Overwhelming stress might lead to panic and anxiety or feeling a racing heartbeat, sweating, shallow/rapid breathing, headaches. You might consider taking care of yourself with a relaxation tape, a massage, a walk in the snow, a chapel prayer, or a quiet lunch with a good friend. Counselors and psychologists are trained to support your experience and help you practice stress-reduction techniques.

DEPRESSION: Norman Rockwell has painted for us the perfect American family experience. We all hope our families will match his depictions, yet sometimes our family members don’t share our picture. If we have lost a loved one or are geographically separated from someone we love during the holidays, we may experience grief or depression. Some of the best anecdotes for depression are physical activity, gathering energy from being around others, putting in place distractions from depressing thoughts and monitoring sleep and eating. Since the holiday months also include gray skies and cold temperatures, Northeast Ohioans are prone to increased depression. Physicians, counselors and psychologists are available to help you knock out the winter and holiday blues.

If you, or the children, adolescents, adults in your life need some support during the holidays, please contact us at Therapeutic Associates of Medina for psychotherapy, counseling, coaching, energy work, massage and Reiki. We are here for you at 330-607-1560.

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How to Look & Feel Years Younger to Live An Active Full Life

By Jeff Tomaszewski, Chief Life Transformer, MaxStrength Fitness

Fitness trends come and go, but weight training in particular never seems to come into style. Part of the problem is that most people associate it with bodybuilding culture and women in particular are reluctant to join the guys at the back of the gym. But as the latest studies show, strength is a key factor in longevity and an extended healthy life. And in fact, resistance training may be the single most important thing you can add to your fitness regimen. Here’s how getting stronger will help you enjoy your life to the fullest as you age!

Gradual muscle decline
Simply put, we get physically weaker as we get older. Most people tend to reach the apex of their physical strength during their 20s and 30s, and it gradually declines from there. Exceptions to this rule exist, however, including genetic outliers and people who begin their resistance training later in life.

But once our strength starts to go, so do other things. For most people, extreme declines in strength tend to happen in their 80s and 90s. Frailty as a condition results in lower levels of physical activity, decreased muscle strength, increased fatigue, slower walking speed, and unwanted weight loss. It’s also associated with adverse health outcomes, an increased dependency on others, decreased mobility, disability, institutionalization, and even mortality. Weaker elderly people also tend to fall more frequently and have greater difficulty standing from sitting or lying positions.

Gerontologists place the blame on our defective mitochondria—the powerhouses of our cells. As we age, our mitochondria start to degrade, resulting in weaker cells and muscle fibers. We experience this as decreased levels of endurance, strength, and function.

Muscular strength and longevity
As a consequence of all this, muscular weakness is indelibly tied to not just our quality of life, but our life expectancy as well. And the science proves this. Two recent studies published in the British Medical Journal revealed that muscular strength is a remarkably strong predictor of mortality—even after adjusting for cardiorespiratory fitness and other health factors.

This conclusion was reached after an analysis of over 30 studies that recorded physical attributes like bench press strength, grip strength, walking speed, chair rising speed, and standing balance. What the researchers found was that poor performance on any of the tests was associated with higher all-cause mortality, anywhere from a 1.67 to a threefold increase in the likelihood of earlier mortality.

Now, here’s the good news: To a non-trivial degree, and despite the inexorable effects of aging, physical strength is an attribute we can control. As the science is increasingly showing, resistance training can literally add years to your life, and the earlier you get to it, the better.

Resistance training and rejuvenation
Weight training offers innumerable positive effects on our physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being. Taken as a whole, exercise has been shown to add between six and seven years to a life span, if not more.

Hit the weights, everyone
As these studies indicate, not all exercise is equal. Resistance training (like lifting weights), in conjunction with high intensity workouts (like aerobics and running), are key. And it’s never too late to start; and yes, ladies, this means you, too. (“Bulking up” is a myth; moreover, it’s arguably more important for women to lift weights on account of a higher propensity for osteoporosis). Seniors also need to lift weights. Actually, they really need to lift weights.

Studies show that elderly people still experience the benefits of gene shifting, even if they’ve never lifted weights before. It also results in an increased production of growth hormone and testosterone, and lower levels of dangerous cholesterol. It can also stave off the awful effects of neurodegenerative disorders and depression.

If you haven’t yet started a strength training program and would like to reap all of the benefits above by only spending 20 minutes twice a week, go to www.maxstrengthfitness.com or call us at 440.835.9090 to request your FREE initial consultation and demo workout TODAY!

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Max Strength Fitness
440-835-9090
www.maxstrengthfitness.com

Anti-Aging through Dentistry

Cosmetic dentistry should not just be about white fillings in teeth.

Dr. Rose Photo By Dr. Scott L. Rose

The first person one thinks about when talking about improving ones’ looks is the plastic surgeon. And while they really do offer some wonderful options, most people fail to look at other options. A dentist who is well trained and experienced in the combination of Cosmetic and Neuromuscular Dentistry can also achieve amazing “facelift like” results without surgery. While it is great to have nice skin, it is just as important to have a nice smile and a proportional lower 1/3 of the face. Cosmetic dentistry should not just be about white fillings in teeth.

For most dentists who say they do cosmetic dentistry, that is just what they do. That’s O.K. if all the other parts of your face are in balance. But my personal philosophy is that Cosmetic Dentistry is about creating or restoring the harmonious balance between the size, shape and color of the teeth with facial features and facial profile. It takes into consideration your bite position, the muscles of your face, and the proportion of the components of your face. A bite position that is placed in a neuromuscular relaxed position has many benefits. This usually results in a facial profile where the upper, middle, and lower 1/3 of the face are in proportion and balanced, a much more pleasing and natural look. It helps minimize wrinkles around the mouth. Teeth that are the correct color and shape help restore a more youthful “vibrant” appearance. Another benefit is that a bite restored to a more muscle balanced position reduces muscle tension and strain in the face. It helps improve headaches, neck pain, and jaw pain.

So what I consider real cosmetic dentistry is not just about looking good, it is also about feeling good. Both go hand in hand in improving and preserving our quality of life as we get older.

Rose Ad

Evaluating a Job Offer: The Financial Perspective

When evaluating a job offer, it’s important to keep an open mind, as well as a firm idea of your priorities.

 

johnPresented by Jonathan S. Merckens, CFP ®

Receiving an offer for a new career opportunity can be an exciting event in your life. But even if a prospective employer promises an attractive salary, other benefits can make a big difference in whether or not you come out ahead financially. To decide if a job switch makes good financial sense, you need to evaluate the full compensation package.

Here are some key areas to consider before you sign on with a new company, as well as important steps to take if you do opt to change jobs.

Health and Wellness
• Medical/dental insurance: How do the new coverage options compare with your existing plans, and how much would the employer contribute? With your current plans, are you paying for more than you really need? Now is a good time to review your coverage needs and consider making a change, even if you end up staying with your current employer.

• Other benefits: Does the new company offer subsidized child care or allowances for dependent care? What about tuition reimbursement? And don’t forget about a fitness subsidy, which may seem minor but can really add up over the long run.

• When would you be eligible for these benefits? Depending on your start date, there may be some lag time between coverage under your old employer and coverage under the new employer.

Before you leave: If necessary, discuss the process for continuing your health care coverage under COBRA with your current company’s HR department. Also be sure to cash in on any unused benefits you can’t take with you, such as fitness reimbursements and company discounts for goods and services. Be aware, however, that certain benefits (e.g., tuition reimbursement) may have a repayment requirement.

Paid Time Off
• Will you be gaining or losing time off ? How long will it take you to accrue the amount of time off you have now?

• Are all paid days off lumped together or separated into categories (vacation, sick leave, and so on)?

• What is the company’s culture and policy related to life events such as the birth of a child, illness, and bereavement?

Before you leave: Take stock of your accrued vacation time, and keep a written record of the amount you should be compensated for upon your departure.

Retirement and Investments
• How do your current benefits stack up with the new company’s options in terms of:
o 401(k) match
o Pension
o Stock ownership
o Executive benefits

Before you leave: Consider how much money you might be leaving on the table if you’re not fully vested in your current employer’s retirement plan. Depending on the situation, you may want to negotiate for a later start date or some other type of compensation to make up for lost retirement funds. Also, explore your options related to executive benefits or non-qualified compensation plans, including potential tax implications.

Annual Bonus
• Does the company offer a bonus program?
• Is the bonus fixed or variable? What is it based on?
• What were the average payouts over the past couple of years for someone in your position?
• Would you be entitled to a bonus in your first year? Can you expect a prorated payout based on your start date?

Commuting Costs
• Would the commute add costs or savings compared with your current situation?
• Is working from home a possibility?

Making a Smart Choice
When evaluating a job offer, it’s important to keep an open mind, as well as a firm idea of your priorities. If you decide to accept a new job, you want to be sure that you’re getting more than you’re giving up—both financially and in quality of life.

Jonathan Merckens is a financial advisor located at 11925 Pearl Road, Suite 403, Strongsville, Ohio 44136. He offers securities and advisory services as an Investment Adviser Representative of Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/ SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

Contact Jonathan at (440) 638-4757 or
Jonathan@GrahamAssoc.com

© 2015 Commonwealth Financial Network®

Eat Right, Sleep Tight???

Food Talks Blog | Sponsored by The Women's Journal

Eat Right, Sleep Tight??

SleepMost of us have heard that we need less sleep as we age. So when older people spend hours awake in the middle of night or wake before the sun comes up, they tend to accept it as a normal part of ageing.  I know I approach sleep as the enemy, something to be conquered.

But do you actually need less sleep as you get older?  Most research says we need as much sleep as a twenty year old. What does control our sleep?  Your “body clock”, which is actually the circadian centres in your brain, dictates your propensity to sleepiness and wakefulness across day and night. These centres are generally influenced by light and darkness, but can also be affected by other aspects of your daily routine, such as what you eat.

Our body clock also controls the production of a hormone called melatonin, which promotes sleep. As you grow older we produce less of this hormone, which may make it more difficult for you to sleep.  Certain foods can produce melatonin.

Snack foods that can promote better sleep.

But even though difficulty sleeping may be a part of aging, that does not mean men and women over 50 cannot take steps to improve their sleeping patterns. For example, certain snack foods may help to improve quality of sleep, especially when these foods replace less healthy snacking options. While men and women over 50 should always consult with their physicians before making any changes to their diets, AARP notes that the following are a handful of snack foods that promote better sleep.

  • Almonds: Magnesium is a mineral with muscle-relaxing properties, and almonds contain enough magnesium to help men and women get a better night’s sleep. A small amount of almonds before bed might be enough to make falling and staying asleep easier.
  • Bananas: Much like almonds, bananas provide a substantial amount of magnesium. Bananas also contain the amino acid tryptophan, which many people associate with Thanksgiving turkey. While tryptophan might be most often associated with the sleepiness people feel after eating a holiday meal, it also has been linked to better sleep quality, so a banana shortly before bed might be just what you need to fall and stay asleep.
  • Cheese and crackers: One more traditional snack may just help you get a better night’s sleep. Cheese and crackers contain tryptophan and carbohydrates, which can induce a better night’s sleep and help you fall asleep sooner.
  • Cherries: Cherries contain the sleep hormone melatonin, and the AARP notes that recent studies indicated that participants who drank tart cherry juice on a daily basis fell asleep more quickly and slept longer and better than participants who did not.
  • Hummus: The primary ingredient in hummus is chickpeas, which are loaded with tryptophan, folate and vitamin B6. Folate has proven especially beneficial to older men and women who need help regulating their sleep patterns, while vitamin B6 helps the body regulate its clock.
  • Peanut butter: Peanut butter is another snacking item loaded with tryptophan. Spread some peanut butter on a carbohydrate, whether it’s a slice of toast or some crackers, before going to bed, and you may enjoy a better, longer sleep.
  • Walnuts: Like cherries, walnuts contain melatonin, which can contribute to a longer, more restful night’s sleep. Walnuts also can help regulate stress, which is a leading cause of sleeping difficulty.

Many men and women experience difficulty sleeping as they age. But the right foods may just help combat such problems and help men and women get a more adequate night’s sleep.  I’m willing to try!  Let me know if you have success sleeping better by eating right at night.

 

2 Great Book Reviews

Have you had a chance to check out the two great book reviews we have in our East edition? If not, here’s your chance!

doreenConstantly Running
By Doreen S. Dunn-Berts

Were you ever bullied as a child or young adult? Do you know a child who is being bullied? Buy this book – read this book – then pass it on to someone who is being bullied. Constantly Running is a true story about a ninth grade girl, Constance, who was being bullied by Medusa and her girl friends in high school.

Constance was too afraid to tell her mother or her sister about the bullying. Her solution was to “run” home from school as fast as she could. That only delayed the bullying. Medusa and her friends would steal her supplies during class. Medusa even took her completed homework and turned it in as her own. The teacher seemed to be oblivious about what was happening and Constance was afraid to tell the teacher for fear that punishment of Medusa would lead to even more bullying.

Constance cried a lot. Her life was miserable, yet she held it inside and told no one. She didn’t want to fight back because her mother always said, “Violence is not the path to corrections.” So she took it day after day, feeling helpless. Then Ross moved into her neighborhood and they became friends. Ross had been a bully until he realized how his actions were negatively affecting others. Ross was a bully because he was unhappy with his own life. When he found out what was happening to Constance, he asked her, “Aren’t you tired of running?”

Ross confronted Medusa and her friends and they backed down. He suggested a school project where everyone determines what they liked and disliked about themselves and tells the class. When Medusa spoke, she revealed that both of her parents were sick and she was responsible for their care. She was angry and jealous and this was why she was a bully. Every bully has a story. Perhaps this book will help not only the person being bullied, but also the bully.

book1Constantly Running can be purchased at www.doreenberts.com, on Amazon (book or Kindle), or by phone 216.916.9410 Ext. 2212.

 

 

 

 

mellisaThe Naughtea Housewife
By Melissa Gallitto

This “Culinary Guide for the Modern Day Seductress” is so much fun to read! It is a helpful cookbook using foods and spices that claim to have aphrodisiac effects. As someone who has been married 21 years, I’ll gladly try something to “spice up” my relationship with my husband! Although there is no medical evidence to prove that certain foods increase sexual desire or performance, we all love to eat so why not experiment and cook a great meal at the same time.

The Naughtea Housewife is a culinary lifestyle for the contemporary woman who can learn to put a seductive spin on their boring old recipes. Naughtea is an attitude—mischievous with a passion for life. If you love your man (or men), this book will help you find “the way to a man’s heart through his stomach.” Aphrodisiac is derived from Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, lust and beauty. Whether they’re mythological or magical, several foods purport to have aphrodisiac effects: Fruits: Apples, Avocados, Bananas, Cherries, Raspberries, Strawberries, Dates, Figs, Mangos, Papayas, Peach, Pineapples, and Tomatoes. Vegetables: Arugula, Artichokes, Asparagus, Carrots, Celery, Chili Peppers, Cucumbers, Spinach, Squash and Sweet Potatoes. Seafood: Lobster, Clams, Mussels, Oysters, Salmon, Scallops, and Shrimp. Then there is a list of Alcohol, Aromatics, Herbs, Nuts, Spices, and Miscellaneous. “These vibrant and diverse ingredients have been adding flavor and temptation since the beginning of time.”

There are wonderful recipes from drinks to desserts with easy to follow instructions. These “Recipes for Love” aren’t just about the food, it’s also about how you serve them, the smell coming from the kitchen, the taste, and your conversations as you enjoy them. Melissa’s final thought, “Where there is love, there is life. Being loves gives you strength, and loving unconditionally gives you courage. Plan a date with the person you love, prepare an amazing dinner, and see where the night takes you…”

book2The Naughtea Housewife can be purchased through Barns & Noble, Amazon, or visit her fun website: www.thenaughteahousewife.com and put in code XP4DJK3V for a $5 discount.