Canadian researchers examined the effects of two supplements-creatine monohydrate (CrM), a compound found in meat, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid in dairy products and plant oils—believed to have a synergistic effect. For six months, 39 men and women, ages 65 to 85, did two hours of muscle-building resistance exercises twice weekly and took either placebos or 5 g of CrM plus 6 g of CLA daily.

Results: On average, supplement users lost 4.2 pounds of body fat, compared with a loss of 0.88 pounds of body fat for placebo users. Supplement users also showed greater increases in muscle mass, strength and endurance.

My view: Strong muscles make it easier to perform tasks of daily living, maintain balance and avoid falls. Reducing body fat lowers blood pressure and improves blood sugar regulation. Seniors should ask their doctors about incorporating resistance training, such as weight lifting, into their exercise program.

Recommended: Adults over age 65 who are overweight or who have muscle weakness should take 5 g of CrM plus 6 g of CLA daily for six months, continuing indefinitely if strength improves. Both are sold at health food stores. Do not take CrM if you have kidney or liver disease—you may have problems metabolizing it.

Foods That Fight Macular Degeneration

Vitamin-rich foods reduce risk of macular degeneration, the leading cause of severe vision loss in Americans age 60 and over. A diet rich in vitamins C and E, beta-carotene and zinc lowers risk for the disease. Vitamin E and zinc are especially effective. Vitamin E is found in whole grains, eggs, nuts and vegetable oil...zinc in meat, poultry, fish, whole grains and dairy... vitamin C in citrus fruits and juices, broccoli, green pepper and potatoes...beta-carotene in carrots, spinach and kale.

Better Therapy for Hip Fractures

In a study of 2,127 adults undergoing hip fracture surgery, half received annual intravenous (IV) infusions of zoledronic acid (Reclast) within 90 days of the surgery, and half were given a placebo.

Result: Those who received zoledronic acid had a 35% lower risk, on average, for a second hip fracture than the placebo group.

Theory: Zoledronic acid works to reduce bone breakdown.

If you have recently broken your hip: Ask your doctor if this therapy is right for you.

DHEA Doesn't Work to Fight Aging

An extensive two-year study conducted on the popular anti-aging supplement DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) found that it provided "no beneficial effects" for either men or women. The study findings are expected to be controversial because DHEA is a very big seller in the health food supplements industry.

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