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March 2010
In This Issue...
Recently in Aging Well...

Exercise as Medicine
Boomers recognize exercise as a vital component in preserving both physical and cognitive function as they age.
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Addressing Anesthesia Concerns
Help ensure a safer experience with anesthesia administration and recovery for your older patients.
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Essential Care: Learning Patients’ Healthcare Wishes
A critical aspect of physicians’ care of older adults lies in ascertaining their philosophy and personal desires.
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Other Aging News...

Nursing Home Cat Predicts Patients’ Deaths
With remarkable accuracy, a nursing home cat identifies residents as they approach their final hours of life, according to an article in The Post-Standard.

For Some Survivors, Polio Won’t Fade Into the Past
Experts find that postpolio syndrome affects older adults in their 60s and 70s who suffered from polio as children, as reported in The New York Times.

Heart Device Offers Hope of a Longer Life
A new mechanical device offers the possibility of extending life for older adults who suffer from heart failure, according to an article in The Columbus Dispatch.

Older Entrepreneurs Target Peers
Boomers’ vitality and niche needs give birth to entrepreneurial second careers for older adults looking to utilize their time and talents, as reported in The Wall Street Journal

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Editor’s E-Note

Opinions exist on both sides of the antioxidant issue. Subscribers to theories espousing the benefits of antioxidants’ role in slowing the aging process suggest that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables works to neutralize free radicals that would otherwise damage the body’s cells and cellular DNA.

Research conducted by David Gems, PhD, of the Institute of Healthy Ageing at London’s University College and published in a late-2008 issue of Genes & Development led scientists to conclude that evidence of dietary antioxidants’ ability to slow or prevent aging is clearly lacking.

Recent studies at Kansas State University point to possible harmful effects antioxidants can exert on the body through potentially impairing muscle function. Researchers at Kansas State are seeking ways to help older adults overcome the decreasing mobility and muscle function that often accompany the aging process.

This month’s E-News Exclusive highlights the importance of ongoing research that aims to get to the bottom of aging issues and enables you to provide the best possible advice to your patients and clients. There may be significant benefits of antioxidants to your patients and clients, but there’s reason to continue to evaluate the potential for both risks and rewards related to antioxidants.

We welcome your comments at And visit Aging Well’s Web site at for news, articles, and information important to professionals in the field of aging, as well as to subscribe to our print or digital issues.

— Barbara Worthington, editor

E-News Exclusive

Doubts About Antioxidants

Antioxidants increasingly have been praised for their benefits against disease and aging, but recent studies at Kansas State University show that they also can cause harm.

Researchers in the university’s Cardiorespiratory Exercise Laboratory have been studying how to improve oxygen delivery to the skeletal muscle during physical activity by using antioxidants, which are nutrients in foods that can prevent or slow oxidative damage to the body. Their findings show that sometimes antioxidants can impair muscle function.

Antioxidant is one of those buzzwords right now,” says Steven Copp, a doctoral student in anatomy and physiology and a researcher in the lab. “Walking around grocery stores you see things advertised that are loaded with antioxidants. I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that the antioxidant and pro-oxidant balance is really delicate. One of the things we’ve seen in our research is that you can’t just give a larger dose of antioxidants and presume that there will be some sort of beneficial effect. In fact, you can actually make a problem worse.”

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