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Viral respiratory and gastrointestinal infections are a significant problem in the elderly. As we age, our immune systems decline, which makes it harder to ward off infection. Therefore, simple viral infections can lead to additional illnesses and even death. Finding ways to strengthen immune responses in the elderly is an important goal of modern healthcare. Nutritional supplements, including probiotics, may help support the aging immune system both directly and by balancing the gut microbiota.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) affects between 10 and 15 percent of the population worldwide. IBS is a chronic disorder that affects the large intestine and causes an array of digestive symptoms, including constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and abdominal cramping. Its causes are poorly understood, but the intestinal microbiota is thought to play a role. Conventional treatment for IBS focuses on symptom management. Success is limited, and this approach may not be effective for long-term management of the condition.

Fruits and vegetables are thought to be important in maintaining bone health, in part because they contain polyphenols, micronutrients known to have effects against degenerative diseases. Polyphenols are linked to physiological effects on bone mineral density and bone metabolism, making them potentially useful in promoting bone health. 

According to the World Health Organization, cardiovascular disease is the world’s number one cause of death. Diet and lifestyle factors can greatly affect cardiovascular disease risk and are an important way to lower cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the United States making these disorders the most common mental illness. It’s estimated that these disorders cost more than $42 billion a year. What’s more, in nearly 50 percent of individuals diagnosed with anxiety, they also suffer with depression.

As we age, there is a natural decrease in muscle mass and metabolic rate which can lead to increased risk of obesity, sarcopenia and chronic illness. Protecting muscle mass and delaying these changes can positively impact quality of life in older individuals.

Potent polyphenols found in grape juice have been shown to enhance brain health. According to research presented at the 2015 International Conference on Polyphenols & Health, grape juice enhanced memory function and performance in a group of working mothers.

The hallmark symptoms of degenerative joint disease, or osteoarthritis, are pain, swelling and stiffness. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that nearly 1 in 2 people are at risk of developing osteoarthritis by age 85.

When children with asthma get an acute respiratory infection, their asthma symptoms can become much worse. Vitamin D supplementation may be the answer for these children. Chinese researchers uncovered this information during their systematic review and meta analysis of studies primarily looking at vitamin D to prevent respiratory infections in healthy children.

In the last 25 years, rates of childhood obesity have nearly tripled in the United States. Childhood obesity puts these children at risk of developing a wide range of chronic illnesses as adults, including heart disease. Researchers from the University of Colorado set out to determine if the type of fats consumed by children could have an impact on their obesity risk.

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