AARP Eye Center
The Takeaway: Boost Your B-12 for Brain Health; Alternatives to Knee Replacement Surgery
By Elizabeth Nolan Brown, September 27, 2011 08:14 AM
Grandma Always Said To Eat Your Liver: One easy way to protect your brain? Make sure you're getting enough Vitamin B12, researchers say. Not getting enough of this important vitamin could lead to memory problems as you age. Publishing in the American Academy of Neurology, scientists noted that in a study of people 65 and older, not only did those with a B12 deficiency scored lower on memory and cognitive tests, but brain scans showed they had a smaller total brain volume.
B12 is one of eight B vitamins, which also include niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid and biotin. It's found in meat (liver is especially high in B12), fish, shellfish, cow's milk and milk products. It's also available in supplement form, either on its own or as part of a B-vitamin complex. B vitamins as a whole may be good for brain health-in a recent British study, high doses of B vitamins reduced memory decline in at-risk patients by 70 percent. For more on essential vitamins and nutrients for those over 50-plus how to get them-check out AARP's vitamin and supplement guide.
Keep Knees In Shape (Without Surgery): Knee replacement surgeries are expected to rise 500 percent by 2030, fueled by demand from boomers who want to stay active longer despite injury or osteoarthritis. But surgery isn't the only solution for knee pain, stiffness, and swelling, experts say; in fact, there are simpler, self-care treatments that can help relieve pain and increase joint flexibility.
"Total knee replacement is an epidemic in our country," says Marj Albohm, president of the National Athletic Trainers' Association. "That circles back to the American way. Fix it. Give me an operation."
But instead of knee replacement surgeries, the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and the Arthritis Foundation say many aging adults could benefit from simply losing weight, exercising, increasing muscle and perhaps working with a physical therapist.
See Also: Exercising Your Aching Knees; The Difference Between Partial and Full Knee Replacements
Tuesday Quick Hits: New study finds many boomers are unprepared to take care of aging parents ... Counseling can boost a couple's sex life after prostate cancer treatment ... Congress dodges shutdown ... Cancer treatment costs rising 'unsustainably' fast ... Exploring Rick Perry's 'bi-national insurance' plan ... The Granny Peace Brigade takes part in 'Occupy Wall Street' protests ... New organization focuses on older parents of teens ... And the Obama administration won't seek further review of a federal appeals court ruling striking down a central part of the health care overhaul.
See "In the News" for more on current events, entertainment and how it all relates to you.