There are tens of thousands of genes in your body that decide everything from your height to your eye color – but is your overall health determined by nature or nurture? Science says the answer is both.
“When it comes to your health, your genetics write a lot of your history, but you write the final chapter,” E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says.
As a photographer for rock band Foster the People, Andy says one day the lead singer, Mark Foster, rallied the rest of the band to motivate Andy to get his health back on track with The Foster Challenge.
“I need to lose 80 pounds in eight months, and if I do, I’ll get $20,000,” Andy says.
Since taking on The Foster Challenge, Andy says he’s eating more vegetables and exercising.
“Two and a half weeks in and I’m down 13 pounds,” he reports.
Mark joins The Doctors over the phone to talk about The Foster Challenge.
"It was one of those things where if I could give $20,000 to save my friend’s life, I’ll do it,” Mark says. “We’re still in the process and it’s going to be encouraging for other people as well. The fact that he’s dropped 13 pounds already is incredible.”
Dr. Travis explains how you can fight fat by changing your body and changing your genes.
“People magazine identified you as one of seven stars who looks half their age,” plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says.
“It was very flattering,” Aisha says. “I’m 42 and part of that is genetic. I’m lucky I have young-looking parents, that is a big part of it. They’re both in their late sixties and they’re really healthy.”
However, genetics aren’t the only reason for Aisha’s youthful glow, as she took action by significantly decreasing her sugar intake.
“I realized sugar was really my drug. I ate it to pick myself up in the afternoon, when I was depressed, when I was happy. So, I slowly cut it out, I didn’t go cold turkey. It was a slow slide, but I’ve cut it almost completely out of my diet.
“It’s not the calories you get from the sugar, it’s the way your body uses sugar,” she adds.
A Cure for Baldness?
It’s an inherited condition affecting hundreds of millions of people: 80 percent of men and 20 percent of women suffer from hair loss in their lifetimes. But have scientists finally found a cure? Recent reports claim that a cure for baldness could be on sale in just two years.
“First the bad news: There’s no chance a baldness cure will be hitting shelves in the next two years,” Dr. Ordon says. ”But the good news is, researchers identified the gene responsible for baldness, which means clinical trials for a cure are expected to come out in the next two years.”
What to do until then? The latest hair-loss hope is platelet-rich plasma therapy combined with laser treatment. See how it works!
Alzheimer’s is an irreversible, progressive brain disease and the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. But there are steps you can take to protect your brain. Editor-in-Chief of Reader’s Digest, Liz Vacariello, reveals simple tips for radically reducing your risk for Alzheimer’s and dementia.
“Research is very clear that overall health has a great and dramatic impact on your dementia risks,” Liz says.
Tips to Help Defeat Dementia
1. Drinking beet juice can increase blood flow and white matter in the brain.
2. Eat more beta carotene. Researches found that beta carotene and vitamin C may help prevent neurodegeneration.
3. An aspirin a day could keep Alzheimer’s at bay. Studies show those who took a daily aspirin for NSAID had a 45 percent lower risk of Alzheimer’s, as the disease is thought to be caused by inflammatory processes in the brain. Be sure to consult your doctor before taking any type of medication, even aspirin.
4. Use a computer! A study by The University of Western Australia found a 40 percent decrease in cognitive decline in older men who use personal computers.
Sleep Needs in Your Genes?
Are you someone who can function on just a few hours of sleep? Or are your days determined by a full eight hours of shut-eye? Whatever your schedule, the amount of sleep you really need may be written in your genetic code.