Archive for category Education
Can taking vitamin D and calcium help you live longer?
By Susan E. Matthews
Older people who take vitamin D supplements along with calcium may live longer than others, according to a new review of previous studies.
The researchers looked at data regarding the vitamin D intake of more than 70,000 adults in their 60s and 70s. They found that people who took vitamin D, along with calcium supplements, were 9 percent less likely to die over a three-year period, compared with people who took neither supplement.
However, they found that taking vitamin D alone had no effect on mortality rates.
For every 151 people who took with daily vitamin D and calcium for three years, one life would be spared, according to the researchers’ calculations.
The finding comes on the heels of several studies with conflicting results about the health benefits of vitamin D, including its possible effects on longevity. The new review is the largest of its kind, and included eight randomized controlled trials, said study leader Lars Rejnmark, of Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark. Such trials are considered the strongest type of scientific evidence.
Study participants were generally older people with health conditions, and possibly had inadequate nutrition. Therefore, it’s “not guaranteed that anyone in good health who takes these vitamins would increase life expectancy,” Autier said.
In the review, the researchers found that 5.5 percent of the 35,412 people who didn’t take vitamin D or calcium died during the study period, whereas 5.3 percent of the 35,116 people who took vitamin D died.
Taking vitamin D, with or without calcium, had a significant effect on mortality rates only after three years; mortality rates were not significantly different among those taking the vitamin after one or two years, according to the study.
Vitamin D and calcium are important throughout life, because of their role in bone health, Rejnmark said. But he recommends people start paying particular attention to their intake “around menopause for women, and around the age of 50 for men.”
While the review was based on studies of people who took supplements, Rejnmark said he does not believe the benefits would be any different for people who get the nutrients through food.
Autier noted that the greatest source of vitamin D is what the skin makes naturally when it is exposed to sunlight. People with darker skin tones, who are less able to produce vitamin D in response to sunlight, should consider supplements as a viable option, he said.
A total of 87 percent of the studies’ participants were female, but Rejnmark said this had no bearing on the results, and vitamin D and calcium are equally beneficial to both sexes in terms of preserving longevity.
More from MyHealthNewsDaily:
9 Good Sources of Disease-Fighter Vitamin D
8 Tips for Healthy Aging
7 Common Summer Health Concerns
- Vitamin D Plus Calcium Tied to Longer Life (nlm.nih.gov)
- Vitamin D plus calcium tied to longer life: Study (todayonline.com)
Joseph Burgo, one of our bloggers here at Psych Central, has recently inaugurated a new series of videos about psychodynamic psychotherapy, aimed at people who may be considering treatment and don’t know quite what to expect from this particular type of therapy.
His first video deals with the intake or initial consultation, focusing on the anxieties felt by both client and therapist as they embark upon a new relationship with a total stranger. His next video will focus on the types of issues that come up during the first few sessions; in future, he plans to cover other issues such as: the emergence of the transference, vacation breaks, the role of humor, therapist errors, etc.
These videos will appear on his YouTube channel and Dr. Burgo will announce each new one via his Therapy Case Notes blog. Even if you’re already familiar with psychodynamic psychotherapy, his thoughts about first sessions apply to all types of treatment and may be of interest:
- The Geezer’s Dirty Dozen on Interpersonal Psychotherapy (jajsamos.wordpress.com)
- Psychotherapy to Treat Erectile Dysfunction (everydayhealth.com)
- Finding a Good Psychotherapist (my.psychologytoday.com)
Learning Works Best When You Rest
By JANICE WOOD Associate News Editor
Reviewed by John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on March 25, 2012
A new study shows that sleeping soon after learning new material is best for recall.
Notre Dame psychologist Jessica Payne and colleagues studied 207 students who habitually slept for at least six hours each night. Participants were randomly assigned to study declarative, semantically related or unrelated word pairs at 9 a.m. or 9 p.m., and returned for testing 30 minutes, 12 hours or 24 hours later.
Declarative memory refers to the ability to consciously remember facts and events. It can be broken down into memory for events — known as episodic memory — and semantic memory, which is memory for facts about the world.
People routinely use both types of memory every day, such as recalling where we parked or learning how a colleague prefers to be addressed, Payne said.
At the 12-hour retest, memory was superior following a night of sleep compared to a day of wakefulness, she said.
However, this performance difference was a result of a pronounced deterioration in memory for unrelated word pairs, she said, noting there was no difference for related word pairs. At the 24-hour retest, with all subjects having received both a full night of sleep and a full day of wakefulness, memories were superior when sleep occurred shortly after learning, rather than following a full day of wakefulness.
“Our study confirms that sleeping directly after learning something new is beneficial for memory,” she said. “What’s novel about this study is that we tried to shine light on sleep’s influence on both types of declarative memory by studying semantically unrelated and related word pairs.”
“Since we found that sleeping soon after learning benefited both types of memory, this means that it would be a good thing to rehearse any information you need to remember just prior to going to bed,” she continued. “In some sense, you may be ‘telling’ the sleeping brain what to consolidate.”
Titled “Memory for Semantically Related and Unrelated Declarative Information: The Benefit of Sleep, the Cost of Wake,” the study was published March 22 in PLOS One.
Source: University of Notre Dame
7 Keys to Becoming a Positive Person
By MARGARITA TARTAKOVSKY, M.S.
“The quality of your thinking about whom you see in the mirror largely determines the quality of your life,” according to speaker and bestselling author Brian Tracy and therapist Christina Tracy Stein in their book Kiss That Frog! 12 Ways to Turn Negatives into Positives in Your Life and Work.
“If you change your thinking about yourself, you change your life — almost immediately.”
As such, the authors help readers morph their negative thoughts and emotions into positive ones and fulfill their potential. They note that developing high self-esteem and a positive attitude takes practice. In the last chapter of their book, Tracy and Stein spell out the seven keys they say will help you be the best that you can be.
1. Use positive self-talk.
Tracy and Stein believe that how we talk to ourselves determines 95 percent of our emotions. If we don’t talk to ourselves positively, then our default is negative or worrisome cognitions. As they write, “…your mind is like a garden. If you do not deliberately plant flowers and tend carefully, weeds will grow without any encouragement at all.” They suggest saying statements that are positive, present and personal, such as “I can do it!” and “I feel terrific.”
2. Use positive visualization.
According to Tracy and Stein, visualization is probably the most powerful ability we have. They suggest readers “Create a clear, exciting picture of your goal and your ideal life, and replay this picture in your mind over and over.”
3. Surround yourself with positive people.
The people we live and interact with play a big role in our emotions and success, Tracy and Stein write. “Decide today to associate with winners, with positive people, with people who are happy and optimistic and who are going somewhere with their lives.”
4. Consume positive mental food.
The authors suggest feeding your mind educational, uplifting and inspirational information. (As they say earlier, “Good in, good out.”) Seek out info that makes you “feel happy and more confident about yourself and your world.” This might come from books, magazines, CDs, audio programs, DVDs, online courses or TV programs.
5. Practice positive training and development.
Dedicate yourself to a lifetime of learning and growing. Tracy and Stein quote entrepreneur and motivational speaker Jim Rohn: “Formal education will make you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.”
6. Practice positive health habits.
“Some of the factors that predispose us to negative emotions of all kinds are poor health habits, fatigue, lack of exercise and nonstop work,” write Tracy and Stein. So they suggest taking great care of your physical health by eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly and getting plenty of rest and relaxation.
7. Have positive expectations.
“Your expectations become your own self-fulfilling prophecies.” That’s why Tracy and Stein encourage readers to expect the best. “Expect to be successful. Expect to be popular when you meet new people. Expect to achieve great goals and create a wonderful life for yourself.”
What are your thoughts on these steps?
Do you think positivity is key for our lives?
Learn more about Brian Tracy and Christina Tracy Stein. If you’re interested, we also reviewed Kiss That Frog! here.