Obesity Impacts Knee Replacements!

In his mid-forties, Charles Carroll, a letter carrier in Shrewsbury, Mass., started taking anti-inflammatory medicine for his achy knees. Despite his young age, osteoarthritis had begun to settle in.

Over the next decade, the pain became so bad that at times he had difficulty walking. Eventually he began skipping lunch because standing up afterward was too painful.

“My knees would snap like dry wood when I got up in the morning,” said Mr. Carroll, describing the sound of bone grating on bone.

So last year, at the age of 54, Mr. Carroll underwent his first knee replacement. He will receive his second replacement in December.

It is becoming a familiar story. While the number of annual knee replacements has doubled in the last decade, the number in people under age 65 has nearly tripled. Experts have puzzled over this surgical trend. Some attributed it to aging baby boomers trying too hard to maintain active, weekend-warrior lifestyles. Other researchers blamed it on aggressive marketing of the procedures.

Now figures from a new national database of knee replacement patients strongly suggest that obesity is the most likely reason for these surgeries in younger patients. For Mr. Carroll, who was six feet three inches and 284 pounds before his procedure, obesity was likely a factor in his knee problems.

Experts generally agree that obesity increases the risk of osteoarthritis, the leading cause of knee replacement surgery. Yet most of the data in support of this association has come from Medicare, which largely covers older patients.

“Unfortunately, it’s not surprising that people getting knee replacement are overweight,” said Dr. Patricia D. Franklin, principal investigator of the new database and director of clinical outcomes research at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. “But we were surprised that the younger population wasn’t healthier and that they didn’t have the profile of healthy active adults.”

The new database, called Function and Outcomes Research for Comparative Effectiveness in Total Joint Replacement (FORCE-TJR), collects data on total joint replacement surgeries from more than 125 orthopedic surgeons in 22 states.

A recent analysis of the data found that younger patients were more likely to be obese than older patients. In the first 9,000 patients whose outcomes were tracked in FORCE-TJR, 55 percent of patients under age 65 were obese compared with 43 percent of those 65 and older. About 11 percent of younger patients were in the morbidly obese category, with a body mass index, or B.M.I., greater than 40, compared with 5 percent in the older group.

“The average B.M.I. in those patients under 65 is 33, which makes them obese, and that means that half of them are even heavier than that,” said Dr. Franklin, who presented the findings at the annual meeting of the American College of Rheumatology in San Diego in October.

Experts had wondered whether younger patients were opting for surgery prematurely to preserve an active lifestyle. “Many people assume that younger patients have less pain and better function than older patients, that they’re doing it earlier in their disease process,” said Dr. David Ayers, a co-author of the study and chair of orthopedic surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

The data also showed that younger patients had the same levels of disability from their knee pain before the surgery as did older patients. Younger patients were equally likely to have other serious medical conditions such as diabetes and pulmonary disease as their older counterparts, and were more likely to smoke.

“It’s not a fit weekend warrior who has had a sports injury,” said Dr. Ayers. “These younger patients have significant pain and very severe functional limitations at the time of their total knee replacement surgery. They’re heavier and they’re sicker.”

The number of total knee replacements more than doubled in the past decade, from 313,618 in 2001 to 644,243 in 2011, according to national data. In patients between the ages of 45 and 64, the number jumped to about 274,000 from 102,000 in that decade. Younger people now make up 43 percent of all knee replacement patients, about an 11 percent increase in the last 10 years.

Prior research has found a strong association between obesity and osteoarthritis. Excess weight puts stress on joints, causing them to break down, and some research suggests that inflammation associated with obesity adds to the damage. Weight loss reduces knee pain in patients with osteoarthritis.

“I do believe patients are getting more osteoarthritis because of the obesity, and getting more severe arthritis at a younger age, and needing the surgery sooner,” said Dr. M. Elaine Husni, director of the arthritis and musculoskeletal center at the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. Husni was not involved with the study.

“Obesity has a tremendous impact on total joint replacement, and it’s something that every orthopedist is facing now,” said Dr. Michael Parks, an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Often patients with obesity have medical problems that raise the risk of complications during surgery, such as diabetes, pulmonary artery disease and poor circulation. Knee replacements are often more complicated in heavier individuals, requiring special larger implants and tools. Some studies have also reported lower implant survival time in obese patients.

The new analysis found that at six months post-surgery, those who were severely obese had similar if not greater improvement in pain and function after knee replacement therapy as those who were not. But because the implants last about 20 years, many younger patients may need surgery again in the future.

Obesity “is a modifiable risk factor for knee surgery,” said Dr. Husni. “We can change this.”

Factor4 is here to help deal with Obesity and many other Metabolic Syndrome Issues!

Poverty Retards Brain Development

HHS Healthbeat (11-12-13)

Researchers say poverty can interfere with a child’s brain growth. Brain scans on 145 8 to 12-year-olds showed that poor children tended to have smaller hippocampuses, important in learning and memory – possibly from stresses of poverty on the developing brain. The same study showed that nurturing parents could partially compensate for this deficiency.

According to Dr. Scheele, this study shows that poor dietary and environmental conditions have adverse effects on brain development, particularly in the Hippocampus, which promotes learning and memory. This finding suggests that Factor4 Health might benefit brain development in poor communities and further suggests that adding Factor4 Dietary Health to the Food Stamp Program would greatly help to offset health disparities in economic-challenged communities across America.

The study was conducted by child psychiatrist Joan Luby of Washington University School of Medicine and published in the journal JAMA Pediatrics was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

The #1 WORST Food that CAUSES Faster Aging (beware!)

Do you eat these foods that HARM your blood sugar and age your joints and skin faster? Some are even deceptively marketed to you as “healthy” by giant food corporations. Avoid or minimize these and look 5-10 years YOUNGER than your real age.

by Mike Geary – Certified Nutrition Specialist
& Catherine Ebeling – RN, BSN

Due to biochemical reactions in your body that occur with every type of food you eat on a daily basis, some foods age you FASTER than your real age, while other foods help to FIGHT aging.

Eat the wrong foods regularly, and you can look and feel 10 or more years OLDER than your real age (not fun!) … but eat the right foods, and over time, you can start to look 5-10 years YOUNGER than your real age.

Three of the processes that go on inside your body that have a MAJOR impact on your rate of aging are called “glycation”, “inflammation”, and “oxidation”. When we talk about aging, we’re not just talking about wrinkles on your skin or how thick your hair is… we’re also talking about factors that you can’t see, such as how well your organs function, and whether your joints are degrading.

Yes, I’m sure you’ll agree this is much more important than just how you look superficially (although we’ll show you how to improve BOTH!)

With the title of this article, you might have guessed that obvious answers like sugar or trans fat would be what we talk about in this article. Yes, those are bad, but I want to discuss another food that ages your body faster than normal… and it’s one that you might not expect!

So let’s dig right in and I’ll show you how your rate of aging can be directly related to the foods you might eat every day, and how to protect yourself…

The #1 WORST food that ages you faster:

Wheat based foods (yes, even “whole wheat”)

Before I tell you why wheat can actually speed up the aging process in your body, let’s clarify some simple biochemistry in your body…

This deals with “glycation” in your body, and substances called Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs). These nasty little compounds called AGEs speed up the aging process in your body including damage over time to your organs, your joints, and of course, wrinkled skin.

So with that said, what is one of the biggest factors that increase production of AGEs inside your body? This may surprise you, but high blood sugar levels over time dramatically increase age-accelerating AGEs in your body. This is why type 2 diabetics many times appear that they have not aged well and look older than their real age. But this age-increasing effect is not just limited to diabetics.

So, let’s get back to how “whole wheat” relates to this…

Here is a little-known fact that’s often covered up by the massive marketing campaigns by giant food companies that want you to believe that “whole wheat” is healthy for you… but the fact is that wheat contains a very unusual type of carbohydrate (not found in other foods) called Amylopectin-A, which has been found in some tests to spike your blood sugar higher than even pure table sugar.

In fact, amylopectin-A (from wheat) raises your blood sugar more than almost any other carbohydrate source on earth based on blood sugar response testing.

This means that wheat-based foods such as breads, bagels, cereals, muffins, and other baked goods often cause much higher blood sugar levels than most other carbohydrate sources. As you know now, the higher your average blood sugar levels are over time, the more AGEs are formed inside your body, which makes you age FASTER.

You’ve probably heard about the potential health-damaging effects of gluten (also found in wheat) in the news recently, but this blood sugar aspect we just covered is not talked about that often, and is yet another reason to reduce or eliminate wheat-based foods in your diet. Your body will thank you by aging slower and looking YOUNGER! And losing bodyfat is typically a fun side effect of eliminating or reducing wheat in your diet!

Another problem with wheat-based foods and aging…

As it turns out, baked wheat products contain carcinogenic chemicals called acrylamides that form in the browned portion of breads, cereals, muffins, etc. These carcinogenic acrylamides have been linked in studies to possible increased risk of cancer and accelerated aging. Note that acrylamides are also found in high levels in other browned carbohydrate sources such as french fries or any other browned starchy foods.

Don’t worry though… There’s a trick that you can use to protect yourself from these carcinogenic acrylamides, and it has to do with eating the RIGHT foods that COUNTERACT damage from these nasty chemicals. I’ll show you how to find the EXACT foods that protect your body on the next page!

Other foods to watch out for that can increase aging in your body include corn-based foods that also disrupt blood sugar highly (corn cereals, corn chips, corn syrup), soybean oil and other “vegetable” oils that contain excessively refined and processed fats that cause inflammation in your body, and also excess sugars from candies, cakes, and sweetened drinks.

But the good news is…Factor4 fights all these issues as well as Anti-Aging!

Check us out at factor4health.com