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Posted at: Sep 8, 2018, 1:22 AM; last updated: Sep 8, 2018, 1:22 AM (IST)HEALTH CAPSULES

What causes malnutrition in elderly

Malnutrition can occur at any age but elderly people aged 65 and above are particularly prone to it. It is a condition where people have a drastically reduced dietary intake and the body lacks energy and nutrients as a result. The consequences can range from weight loss to a weakened immune system or functional impairment of muscles and all organs. The body falls back on all its reserves. For a new study, a team of researchers explored this issue. It found 23 variables, ranging from difficulties with chewing and swallowing or cognitive impairments to loneliness and depression or moving into a care home, were decisive for malnutrition. The results suggested that it was caused by a surprisingly narrow range of factors. Age, marital status, difficulties with walking and coping with stairs and stays in hospitals had a major role. The average age of the 4,844 participants was between 72 and 85. Most lived in private homes in Europe and New Zealand. Between 4.6 and 17.2 per cent of the participants developed malnutrition during the study period. The findings appeared in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. 

Whole grains canprevent diabetes

Add whole grains to your diet. According to a new study, it doesn't matter if it is rye, oats or wheat. As long as it is whole grain, it can prevent type 2 diabetes. That whole grains help in prevention of type 2 diabetes has been known, but the role of different wholegrains and how much whole grain is needed to reduce the risk of developing diabetes have been unclear. The study was conducted in Denmark, where there is a big variation in wholegrain intake. It showed that it made no difference which type of whole grain product or cereal  the participants ate. Rye bread, oatmeal and muesli seem to offer the same level of protection against type 2 diabetes. What is more important is how much wholegrain one eats each day. The study also provided information on daily dosages. The participants were divided into four groups, based on how much wholegrain they ate. Those with the highest consumption ate at least 50 gm of whole grain each day equivalent to a portion of oatmeal porridge and a slice of rye bread. The group which had the highest consumption had the lowest rate of developing type 2 diabetes. In the group with the highest whole grain intake, the diabetes risk was 34 per cent lower for men and 22 per cent lower for women, than in the group with the lowest intake. The study had 55,000 participants, studied over a span of 15 years. Consuming whole grains, as against other foods, is one of the most effective ways to reduce the diabetes’ risk. Drinking coffee and avoiding red meat, are other factors that can similarly reduce the risk. Whole grains are defined as consisting of all three main components of the grain kernel, endosperm, germ, and bran. Those who avoid all cereals in an attempt to follow a low carb diet, therefore lose out on the positive health effects of wholegrain, which come principally from the bran and the germ. The findings appeared in the Journal of Nutrition.  — Agencies


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