This page highlights some of the recent research and new products in health and well-being.
Once you have reached a certain age, aches and pains start to occur. There is a device called the Tens machine that has been approved by the US FDA to stimulate muscle activity. There are multiple models depending on the area of the body you want to target. I have been getting TENS treatment from a physio but this device enables you to do it yourself at home.
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One of the biggest fears people have is loss of cognitive functioning. In a review of the literature, factors that increase neurogenesis are learning new things, sex, running, calorie restriction, intermittent fasting, dark chocolate, blueberries and foods that requires chewing. Factors that decrease neurogenesis are stress, sleep loss, getting older and a diet high in saturated fat. Meditation was not included in the review. Research on brain regeneration and stroke has been reviewed by Cameron Magg at the Vancouver Coastal Research Institute.
Diets/Food/Supplements and cognitive functioning
The diet and food supplement industry is a big business. I will attempt to link to some studies that help to separate out the hope and the hype. One study recently published was on fasting. The important finding was there is some cellular regeneration with re-feeding after fasting. Most of the studies are tracking people with cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes and are in animals or small short-term studies of humans. Compliance and drop outs are a problem with some studies. This summary of the research suggests fasting might be a benefit to a small subgroup of people, perhaps those with diabetes. More research is underway.
Meditation/Mindfulness and cognitive functioning
The topic of meditation and mindfulness is experiencing an uptake in research. This article covers a lot of diverse information on meditation and brain functioning. A 2018 study has shown some benefits of meditation on brain functions in a 7 year follow-up. The study used very detailed statistics to measure the effect and a copy of the paper is available free online. Here is a link to Free Guided Meditation
Hearing testing and hearing aids.
A recent review in the Lancet of factors affecting the development of dementia included hearing loss in mid life as a contributing factor. The study estimated a 9% reduction in the rates of dementia if hearing loss was prevented. However there was no evidence that hearing aids mitigate the risk of dementia.
If one was to believe that hearing aids might help to prevent dementia, there are hearing devices that are cheaper than hearing aids that provide similar amplification according to a JAMA article. In a comparison between hearing aids and hearing devices, the mean accuracy of hearing without an aid was 76.5, 88.4 with a hearing aid and from 87-65 with the Personal Sound Amplification Devices.
Here are links to the top three Personal Sound Amplification Devices based on accuracy of sound amplification in the JAMA article. The Sound World is the most accurate of the devices tested in the JAMA article above. Accuracy was 87.4. $ 349 US each. The second most accurate was the Sound Hawk. This is a link to an extensive review of this product by a third party. The Sound Hawk site as down as this time but the product is available on Amazon with reviews. Accuracy was 86.7. The third most accurate was the Etyomtic Bean available on Amazon (84.1). $489.15 CDN each.
You might also take a look at Empower Hearing Shop Quality Hearing Devices Online. From $379, Free Shipping Included! Small & discreet · Starting at $379 · Already assembled · 30 day risk free trial who claim to have low cost ($ 600 US pair ) hearing amplifiers.
My local contacts tell me that Costco has the best prices for hearing aids. One should also investigate the WIFI hearing devices currently available that run with recharging like an Iphone and which can be controlled from an app on an IPhone.
Estrogen Cream- Premarin
I have had a recent experience using this and was very unhappy with the adverse effects. I have reported the adverse effects to the Health Canada website where you can do a search for any product or you can report an adverse event.
Curious about your DNA? There is a growing number of sites that offer to test your DNA for a variety of things. The U of Washington has done an article on the limitations of DNA testing.
There is a site that offers to test your DNA for your weight loss and diet profile. I can’t assess the evidence on this but it’s intriguing.
And this site offers to do blood tests online.