Win Bio-Oil skincare for scars, stretch marks, ageing and dehyrated skin – comp now closed!

Bio Oil is a specialist skincare product that helps improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone.

Its advanced formulation, which contains the breakthrough ingredient PurCellin Oil, also makes it highly effective for numerous other skin concerns, including aging skin and dehydrated skin.

Bio Oil is formualted with the following all-natural ingredients: Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Calendula Oil, Lavender Oil, Rosemary Oil and Chamomile Oil.

Elixir has one 60ml worth £8.99 to give away. Just answer the simple question below. If you can’t wait you can buy at


Costs £8.99 at Boots

Bio Oil is a non-comedogenic (acnegenic), hypo-allergenic product that is suitable for use by individuals with sensitive skin.

Improving the Appearance of Scars

Bio-Oil helps improve the appearance of all scar types. It is also highly effective in helping to maintain the elasticity of scar tissue on joints and other high-mobility areas.

Bio-Oil should be massaged in a circular motion into the scar and surrounding skin, twice daily, for a minimum of 3 months. Younger scars have a greater chance of improvement within a shorter time period, however, older scars will also benefit from the regular use of Bio-Oil. On new scars, Bio-Oil should be applied only once the wound has healed, and should never be used on broken skin.

What is a scar and how is it formed?

Scars are an integral part of the healing process and result from an imbalance in the production of collagen at the wound site. Scars go through numerous changes as they mature, but they are permanent in nature. Bio-Oil is specifically formulated to help improve the appearance of scars, but will never remove them entirely.

Improving the Appearance of Uneven Skin Tone

Bio-Oil helps to improve the appearance of uneven skin tone caused by hormonal fluctuations, skin-lighteners or excessive sun exposure. Visible as dark patches on the face or body, uneven skin tone often becomes most apparent during pregnancy, menopause or after exposure to high volumes of UV light.

Improving the Appearance of Stretch Marks

Bio-Oil is highly effective in helping to improve the appearance of existing stretch marks. Bio-Oil helps to increase the elasticity of the skin, thereby the possibility of new stretch marks forming is reduced.

Ageing Skin

Sagging and wrinkled skin commonly associated with aging is largely caused by the weakening of the collagen and elastin support system in the dermis. Bio-Oil contains numerous ingredients that help to plasticize the skin, making it softer, smoother and more supple, thereby reducing the appearance of wrinkled and sagging skin. Bio-Oil also moisturizes, which improves the texture, tone and appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Dehydrated skin

Bio Oil helps replenish the skin’s natural oils that have been stripped away by factors such as:

  • Frequent bathing/cleansing with harsh soaps
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Atmospheric conditions including exposure to the sun and wind
  • Central heating and air conditioning
  • Poor diet and/or insufficient water intake

To win our full size 60ml sample worth £8.99 please answer the simple question below and if you can’t wait buy at


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Friendship more valued than money after retirement

Friendship, good health and avoiding supermarkets at weekends are the biggest unexpected pleasures of retirement for Britons, new research has revealed.

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According to a study by the Oddfellows Friendly Society, we significantly underestimate the value of each of these joys as we approach a life of leisure.
It’s only when we finally reach retirement that we come to realise the true worth of companionship, staying active and steering clear of the aisles on a Saturday.

The research surveyed almost a thousand over-50s to gauge how near-retired and retired people view their place within their own communities and society as a whole.
Just under half of those who took part were members of the Oddfellows, which was founded more than 200 years ago and is one of Britain’s largest friendly societies.

Its annual Friendship Month will see the Society’s 146 branches stage scores of special events to connect old and new friends throughout September.
Oddfellows Chief Executive Officer Jane Nelson said: “What our research shows is that it’s perfectly possible for life to begin at 50, 60 or even 70.

“The very simple message that emerges is that if you approach retirement in the right way you can become happier as you get older.”

Some 45% of study respondents aged in their 50s said spending time with friends was what they were most looking forward to about being retired.
Yet nearly two thirds of participants aged in their 70s said they considered it the most enjoyable element.

Similarly, only 31% of those in their 50s said they were most looking forward to a healthier life – while 56% of those in their 70s said it was the thing they valued most.
The biggest disparity was for not having to visit supermarkets at weekends, which was chosen by just 12% of non-retired participants but 24% of retired respondents.
Selected by over 60% of those questioned overall, less stress was the aspect of retirement that was both most looked forward to and most enjoyed.

The research also highlighted the strong links between friendship, happiness and a sense of worth within the community for Britain’s over-50s.
Some 80% of Oddfellows members described themselves as happy or very happy, and 49% recommended joining societies or clubs as the best way of making new friends.

In addition, only 9% of 70-somethings said they didn’t feel they had a meaningful role to play in their own community, compared to 22% of 50-somethings.
Mrs Nelson added: “Our research shows that the reality of retirement doesn’t necessarily meet expectations for a lot of people.

“Many simply look forward to having a lot more time on their hands, but that can translate into loneliness, a lack of purpose and a longing for social interaction.
“Above all, people often discover that they miss the kind of camaraderie and everyday engagement that they took for granted in the course of their working lives.
“As our own members attest, membership of clubs and societies can bridge the gap between expectation and reality by providing friendship and a genuine sense of belonging.”
The Oddfellows helps 280,000 members in the UK enjoy the social side of life, as well as providing care, advice and support in times of need.

Professor Tarani Chandola, of the University of Manchester, a leading expert on the links between work, stress, friendship and happiness, backed the findings.
He said: “There’s a wealth of research on how people with stressful jobs get a temporary boost in happiness upon retirement, but this boost isn’t sustained by everyone.
“Older adults who remain socially active in community and voluntary organisations like the Oddfellows are the ones most likely to maintain their happiness in retirement.”
Life can begin at 70: the Oddfellows’ tips for a happy retirement
·        Maintain existing friendships and build new ones
·        Join clubs and societies to expand your social circle
·        Stay mentally and physically active
·        Acquire new skills
·        Shop on a Wednesday!
The Oddfellows Society is one of the largest and oldest friendly societies in the UK. Its branches organise active social programmes and provide help and support to members in local areas. Members also have access to an advice line, care support and a range of financial benefits. Membership is just £30 a year (or £28 by direct debit).

Age Defence by MyChelle Dermaceuticals

MyChelle Dermaceuticals is the No.1 natural skin care brand, hot off the streets of the USA and has recently become available in the UK. 
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Since its launch 12 years ago in Colorado, MyChelle has grown a large global following. And there is a good reason why – this unique skincare collection is formulated with the highest quality, cutting-edge natural ingredients (dermaceutical-grade and bioactive ingredients) that are skillfully and scientifically combined to give visibly quick, beautiful results.
In fact MyChelle were the first range to include anti-ageing peptides, clinically proven bioactives and plant stem cells into their formulations which actively deliver results.
They are also free of nasties like phthalates, parabens, fragrances and artificial colours, Mychelle come housed in fresh and wholesome packaging which highlights skin type and skin care concerns. To make things even easier for the consumer the brand have grouped the products into categories and suggested daily regimes.
All the products are formulated to deliver ‘exceptional targeted results’ across a vast spectrum of skin types such as oily, dry and all combination, and skin conditions such as blemishes, hyperpigmentation, photo aging, inflammation and sensitivity.
We Tried & Tested the Age Defence range – these are products that  hydrate, increase cellular turnover and help renew collagen and elastin. And they are all vegan and gluten free too. There is a family of complimentary products including moisturiser, a fruit peel, day and night creams:
Our favourite is the  MyChelle G2 Instant Firming Serum £ 52.50, 30ml.  This firms and lifts in less than a hour – so a great product for the party season. It contains collagen,  phytonutrients and skin-smoothing Peptides.  It also contains
ArgirelineTM, a wrinkle relaxant is clinically proven to reduce wrinkle depth up to 27% and prevent new wrinkles forming. Fast-acting InstaliftTM, from Goji Berries, has been shown to dramaticallyincrease skin firmness in only one hour. Fermented Pomegranate Extract, a super-antioxidant,refines skin texture as it fights free-radical damage.
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Our verdict: 

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The MyChelle range is available now from Whole Foods Market, and will soon be other stockists nationwide 2012.

Lifestyle keeps you active in older years

London:  Positive lifestyle choices can pave the way for a healthy old age, new research has discovered.

Fotolia_9734660_XS-2.jpgA study of more than 5,000 people, in Britain and France, aged from 42 to 63, revealed individual behaviours such as staying active, had a small benefit.

Researcher Dr Siverine Sabia, from the University College London, said the study revealed that  the cumulative impact of healthy behaviours on successful ageing – the greater the number of healthy behaviours, the greater the benefit.

Those who were active, ate fruit and vegetables, didn’t smoke and limited their alcohol had the best chance of enjoying n active old age. Participants who engaged in all four behaviours had more than triple the chance of enjoying a healthy old age compared with those who engaged in none.

The study lexamined the records of 5,100 men and women who did not have cancer, heart disease or stroke in the assessment phase during 1991-1994. Those still alive were then re-assessed in 2007-2009.  Of the total participants, 549 had died during follow-up, 953 were classified as successfully ageing while the remaining people aged normally.


    Successful agers were more likely to have a higher education than the normally ageing group – 32 per cent against 24 per cent – and 18 per cent in the deceased group.

    In the study population, five per cent of people did not engage in any of the four healthy behaviours.

    Dr Sabia said: ‘Although individual healthy behaviours are moderately associated with successful ageing, their combined impact is quite substantial.

    ‘Multiple healthy behaviours appear to increase the chance of reaching old age disease-free and fully functional in an additive manner.’

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    Charles Eugster: the world’s fittest 91-year-old on spreading the Viagra-effect of exercise

    London: When we meet Dr Charles Eugster, a former dentist, is wearing a stylish grey cashmere suit, with a white cotton shirt, complimented by a pink silk tie and matching pocket handkerchief. The suit doesn’t hang as it would on most men his age but fits perfectly on his trim and moderately defined muscular physique. He may be 91-years-old but unlike the majority of his contemporaries he has no superflous hair peeking from his nostrils or ears and has a decent haircut.

    When I compliment him by telling him he looks 30 years younger than his real age – which he does. He responds by saying that he doesn’t need Viagra nowadays (not that he took it before). And as a once-divorced widower he is looking forward to his next internet date.  His last relationship was with a 72-year-old synchronised swimmer.

    The secret to his youthfulness is not down to any cosmetic surgery. His “elixir of life” is exercise.  And not a punishing regime either – just 45 minutes, three times a week.

    Charles October 2010 2.JPG  Charles in competition – October 2010

    His workout, is based on building and retaining muscle mass.  The dramatic fall in muscle mass in older people, known as sacrophenia, is a major contributor to frailty among the elderly.  He lifts weights and combines this with resistance training and cardio workout through rowing.  His regime has not only changed his body shape – his weight has decreased from 85 to 65 kilos,  but has also boosted levels of his youth hormones. It is scientifically proven, that levels of Human Growth Hormone – the main youth hormone – are boosted through exercise.

    A blood analysis has also revealed he has the profile of an athlete and an absence of the nasty substances that usually accompany ageing such as high levels of bad LDL cholesterol. His resting heart rate is also in the 50s which is near athletic.

    He also claims that exercise has also had an interesting affect on the colour of his body hair. He tells me that his once grey pubic hairs have returned to their original colour – although Elixir clearly cannot testify to this!

    He claims to be the fittest nonogenerian on the planet.  And looking around on the streets of the UK where woman are now the most obese in Europe – he may well be right.

    BILD1192.jpgCharles Eugster brims over with enthusiasm for life and is now on a one-man mission to not only get older folks off their feet to take more exercise but also to reinvent themselves in new careers.

    “After all”, he says, “they have another thirty years to live.” And he believes this is where “vanity” has a positive role. “I am vain and it has its place as a motivator.  If you want to stay young then act young – join a gym, be competitive and find a new job.”

    Charles doesn’t take hormone replacement, or expensive supplements, or even count calories. He does have a personal trainer who advices on changes to his exercise regime so that his body is constantly challenged. He recently decided to target his derierre which his personal trainer says is now “firming up nicely”.

    As far as diet goes, he eats lots of fruits, vegetables and porridge. He also he takes whey protein which helps build lean muscle, confesses to the odd glass of wine and drinks green tea.

    There is no question that Charles is a role model for older people.  He “retired” as a dentist and publisher of a newsletter for dentists well past the usual retirement age at the age of 75. And has now embarked on a career to promote positive ageing.  He has his own website , is a prolific Tweeter and is also in the process of writing an “inspirational book” about ageing. He is also a “Fitness Ambassador” for  INJOY, a gym chain in Continental Europe aimed at babyboomers.

    Born in England but now living in Zurich, Switzerland, Charles has an accent that is “cut glass” British. His wealthy parents sent him to St Pauls, the London public school which is where he learned to row.

    The turning point for his health came in his 50s when he discovered varicose veins on his legs and was diagnosed with low blood. His doctor said he needed to take more exercise so he took up walking and then jogging

     “To my surprise my first wife was not interested in sport at all so I tried to adapt to her lifestyle which was not good for me at all.” They later divorced and his second wife died tragically in a car crash in France.

    At the age of 87, he decided to take up body building  to counter muscle loss.  Last year (2010) he won the Strenflex World Championship (an international fitness competition) in the over 80-age group with the highest number of points ever scored.  His winning performance featured 57 dips, 61 chin-ups, 50 push-ups and 48 abdominal crunches, each in 45 seconds!

    Dr Eugster has won 31 International rowing Gold medals and added 5 more Gold’s at the recent World Masters Regatta in Canada.

    He is a vehement supporter of the UK’s Government’s decision to phase out the Default Retirement Age (DRA). As a passionate evangelist for being fit in old age, he has clear views about making sure one has correctly provided for one’s later years and he points out that a healthier ‘old old’ population will make fewer demands on an exceptionally stretched health service.

    Dr Eugster says:  “The aged are considered not only to be unproductive but to put an enormous strain on the health service. It is claimed that in the UK, services for the aged already cost £126 Billion or 60% of all social services.” He continues, “The blessings of work have been underestimated – those that work are statistically healthier and recover faster from illness. There is satisfaction in earning one’s keep.   The horror of retirement has also been underestimated – the prospect of no longer making a contribution to society, of loss of status, of loss of satisfaction of earning money and of slow mental and physical decline.

    “The retirement age of 65 was first introduced at the turn of the century when life expectancy was 46.  In the meantime life expectancy has increased by about 74%, but retirement age has remained the same.  The enormous growth of the aged population has made the present pension system unaffordable.  An increase in retirement age and a reduced pension is politically difficult but would be made easier by encouraging work after retirement with training facilities with the object of learning a new profession or starting a new career- which could be full-time, part-time or temporary.”

    Dr Eugster surmises:”It is absurd that we should spend about a third of our lives being unproductive and supported by other people’s children. The discovery of the enormous plasticity of the human body means that it is possible to rebuild one’s body and mental ability in old age through specific exercises and changes in diet.  This in turn cannot only prevent decline but can increase physical and mental powers.  Thus the possibility of work in old age together with fewer demands on the health services is feasible.”

    And you only have to look at Charles to know that he is right.

    To find out more about Dr Eugster

    Interview by Avril O’Connor

    Scientific breakthrough in skin ageing from Vichy

    London:A new scientific discovery, the fruit of 10 years research into understanding skin ageing, has resulted in the creation of a new generation cream.

    Vichy LiftActiv Derm Source the skin cream that has been dubbed by the press as a ‘wrinkle cream first’ targeting the skin’s ageing process went on sale in Britain last week, following a wave of media and consumer interest in the product ever since scientific research on its breakthrough formulation was revealed at the beginning of the year.

    femme_liftactiv.jpgThe breakthrough, backed by rigorous scientific testing and independent analysis, with the findings published in various medical journals such as PLoS ONE*, has seen scientists identify the key role of papillary fibroblasts in the Derm Source (also known as the papillary dermis), in the production of collagen fibres which keep the skin plump and elastic.

    Taking its lead from the expert and scientific methodologies used in the pharmaceutical industry, researcher’s trialled 50 different compounds to identify the most effective ingredient to specifically target the Derm Source and actively stimulate the production of collagen fibres and through this testing, identified Rhamnose, a derivative of the Silver Birch Tree and Cat’s Claw (Uncaria) as the clear winner.

    The product containing this active ingredient is called LiftActiv Derm Source by Vichy. It has been tested on 800 women, 40% of which have sensitive skin and there have been 6 clinical tests carried out plus 2 in vivo studies.

    Dermatologists found a measurable decrease in the five leading types of wrinkles in the areas tested (face and neck).

    Watch our video below to see how the product works and how the experts predict it will revolutionise the skin care industry.


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    One in four UK children will live to 100

    London: More than a quarter of all children living in Britain today will become centenarians, according to new UK government statistics.
    children.jpgThis means that of the 4 million children now aged 16 and under, 3.3million (27 per cent) will celebrate their 100th birthday.Across all age groups there is a one in six change of reaching 100.

    A 16-year-old boy is expected to live until he is nearly 88, while a girl of the same age will reach 91. Around 900,000 future ‘centenarians’ are pensioners over 65.
    Nearly 10 per cent of people over 65 will get to 100, rising to 12.3 per cent of people aged 51 to 65 and 18.5 per cent of people aged 17 to 50.

    The figures are a worry for pension providers including the UK state pension. One proposal being considered is that the age will continue to go up whenever official life expectancy forecasts are increased.

    It also raises anotehr issue of millions of people surviving until their 100th birthday with a dwindling income and poor health. 

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    Sun is No1 cause of skin ageing, say cosmetic doctors


    London: As the nation prepares for summer, think twice before soaking up the sun or jumping on a sun bed to accelerate your tan as you could be one of the many people having to seek help from a cosmetic practitioner for their sun damaged skin. Despite the growing awareness of the dangers of sun exposure the message is still not getting through.

    According to a new survey carried by Cosmetic News magazine at the launch the first Cosmetic News Expo conference and exhibition, 55% of cosmetic doctors cite sun damage as the most significant cause of ageing in the patients they see and a staggering 84% believe that sun beds should be banned. And while prevention is better than cure, 88% of women and 61% of men are having non-surgical injectable treatments to fill in lines and wrinkles, lift the face and hold back the years, but the frozen look is out with the majority of doctors predicting that the biggest trend for 2010 is a more natural look.

    Survey Highlights:

    · The most popular cosmetic treatment for women is botulinum toxin injections such as BotoxÒ/VistabelÒ and DysportÒ/AzzalureÒ (47%) followed by dermal fillers (31%) and Sculptra (10%). Botulinum toxin was also the most popular treatment for men (47%) followed by dermal fillers (14%) and laser hair removal (9%). Significantly 89% of doctors would not use permanent fillers because they deem them too risky and 39% did not think that mesotherapy works.

    · 76% of cosmetic doctors were opposed to remote prescribing to nurses or beauty therapists stating that the practice was too risky with unexamined patients being treated.

    · 71% think that newly launched IHAS Shared Regulation scheme will work.

    · 29% of doctors surveyed stated that improved dermal fillers to treat the face were the biggest innovation in aesthetic medicine over the last five years and Sculptra (26%) and Juvederm Ultra (17%) were selected as the two treatments that had revolutionised cosmetic practices

    · 84% believed sun beds should be banned and 55% cited sun damage as the most significant cause of ageing, followed by smoking (33%) and genetics (9%)

    · The biggest trend in aesthetics for 2010 was predicted to be the natural look with treatments that stimulate natural collagen production.

    · The age group having the most non-surgical cosmetic treatments was 40-50 years olds with botulinum toxin injections being the most popular procedure for mum’s post pregnancy followed by weight reducing treatments such as radio frequency and VASER Lipo (15%)

    · 50% of doctors currently use non-surgical radio-frequency treatments for body contouring with 7% using VASER Lipo. 29% believed that VASER was the biggest innovation in medical aesthetics in the last five years.

    · Laser hair removal was the most popular laser treatment for patients (50%)

    · 86% of cosmetic doctors have their own private clinics but 59% are still working within the NHS.

    Dr Patrick Bowler, Co Founder and Fellow of the British Association of Cosmetic Doctors says:

    “Non surgical treatments are the most popular and fastest growing area in aesthetics. This survey shows no real surprises but it is pleasing to note the trend for natural looks rather than the overdone, overcooked appearances of the last decade. Subtle use of botulinum toxins and the latest fillers is the way forward. However I was rather disturbed that 24% of doctors thought it OK to remote prescribe to nurses and beauticians. There seem to be a significant number of doctors treading a dangerous path in the pursuit of commercialism.”

    The survey was carried out in association with the British Association of Cosmetic Doctors (BACD) and Cosmetic News readers.

    Top Aging Tips from Actress Nanette Newman and daughter Emma Forbes


    London: Listen to showbiz mother Nanette Newman and duaghter Emma Forbes’ on graceful and effortless ageing.

    Nanette Newman is one of Britain’s most glamorous grannies, and her daughter Emma Forbes is following in her mother’s pedicured footsteps – but how do they look so young at their respective ages?

    In this video feature Nanette and Emma talk about what keeps them in fine fettle, including hair, make-up and other little tips for not only feeling great but looking great too.

    Where Nanette and Emma lead others can follow – and they are. Ordinary women are preserving their looks and joie de vivre – pushing the boundaries of staying fit, healthy and desirable well into middle age and beyond. Most of us also realise that looking after our eyes is also vitally important. In fact according recent research by Optrex Actimist Eye Spray, two-thirds of us are aware that eating a balanced diet can help maintain good vision.

    So whether it be eating more fruit and vegetables, drinking more water, or taking more exercise – today we are more aware of the simple lifestyle changes we can make to stay fit and healthy. But for some inside tips on how the age with a little extra glamour and style from Nanette and Emma
    Listen to Emma & Nanette here

    Banish wrinkles with radio waves – see the video


    London: The world’s first salon-grade radio-frequency anti-ageing skin device is now on sale in the UK.

    This is yet another amazing anti-ageing gadget from those technical innovators in Israel. Priced at just £470 (Euro 490) it is a mini version of the in-salon ReGen treatment – to combat wrinkles and cellulite.

    It works by using two kinds of radio (Tripollar Radio Frequency) frequencies to heat up the collagen under the skin. This has an immediate and visable tightening effect. Over the next few weeks it works on the fibroblasts in the epidermis which create new collagen and younger skin.

    This new gadget, is plugged into your electricity powerpoint, has a safety feature which cuts out the power when the skin has reached the optimum temperature – and turns on again when it has cooled down. The radio-frequency energy penetrates a mere 1-3mm and feels like a warm massage.

    STOP has four metal “poles” which you hold against the skin. It is recommended mainly for facial, neck and decollete use – for lifting sagging jowels and chin, neck lines, facial wrinkles and marionette (nose to mouth) lines. And should be used 2-3 times a week until the desired effect has been achieved.

    It seems easy to use and only takes a few minutes for each session. See the video…

    Certainly the before and after photos at the London launch this device looked fantastic. The gadget is fairly affordable and would probably achieve optimum results after a few of the more powerful salon treatments.

    Click on this link for more information/or to buy STOP


    Japanese longevity continues to grow


    Tokyo: Japanese people are living longer than ever, with the average life expectancy now 86.05 years for women and 79.29 years for men, the country’s health ministry has revealed.

    The life expectancy of Japanese women increased by almost 22 days in 2008 from the previous year, while men added another 37 days, the ministry said.

    The longevity of the Japanese is attributed in part to a healthy traditional diet including fish and vegetables and an active lifestyle.

    But longevity is causing economic problems for Japan, which has one of the world’s lowest birth rates, leaving a shrinking working population to support a mass of retirees.

    Positive people live longer


    Boston: Children of parents who live to be 100 have been found to have distinct personality traits that seem to be inherited and contribute to healthy ageing and longevity.

    Boston University School of Medicine researchers conducted a study of centenarians, finding that longevity runs in families. The children studied experienced delays in heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Personality traits associated with healthy aging included agreeableness, extroversion, and low levels of neuroticism.

    Studies involving children of centenarians have shown that, compared to the norm, children whose parents live a long life have a 120 percent lower mortality. They live longer and experience healthy aging by avoiding typical age-related illnesses until much later in life.

    The study authors say, “Interestingly, whereas men and women generally differ substantially in their personality characteristics, the male and female offspring (of centenarians) tended to be similar, which speaks to the importance of these traits, irrespective of gender, for health aging and longevity”.

    Thomas Perls, MD, MPH, director of the New England Centenarian Study, and senior study author says the reason children of centenarians live longer may be in the way they handle stress, contributing to longevity and healthy aging. . “For example, people who are lower in neuroticism are able to manage or regulate stressful situations more effectively than those with higher neuroticism levels. Similarly, high extraversion levels have been associated with establishing friendships and looking after yourself.”

    Dr. Perls says studies are underway that may tell us why some people live longer than others do. Maybe the secret to healthy ageing is in our genes – or perhaps living longer is as simple as maintaining an outgoing personality, not worrying, and remaining agreeable with whatever comes our way.

    Healthy lifestyle delays ageing


    London: Chromosomes of people who lead a healthy lifestyle do not age as rapidly as those who have a poor diet and take little exercise.

    A healthy lifestyle may also slow the process of ageing, according to a study conducted by researcher from the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and published in The Lancet Oncology.

    “This might be a powerful motivator for many people to beneficially change their diet and lifestyle,” the researchers said.

    The diseases of ageing have been linked to a shortening of chromosome components known as telomeres, which protect the ends of chromosomes and keep the DNA in the middle from being damaged.

    Over time, telomeres shorten and both cells and DNA become more vulnerable to various forms of damage. Researchers have speculated that this may be one of the primary mechanisms connected to age-related decline. Shorter telomeres have been correlated with an increased risk of both cancer and cardiovascular disease.

    Prior studies have discovered that the telomeres of smokers, the obese and those with sedentary lifestyles tend to be shorter than average. This spurred the researchers to investigate if an improvement in lifestyle could be directly connected to telomere protection.

    The researchers recruited 24 men and measured their blood levels of telomerase, an enzyme responsible for repairing and adding to telomeres. They then prescribed a variety of healthy lifestyle and measured telomerase activity again after three months.

    The lifestyle changes included a moderate aerobic exercise routine, classes in stress management and relaxation techniques, breathing exercises, a diet high in fruits and vegetables, and supplements of vitamins and fish oil.

    By the end of the study, telomerase activity had increased among the participants by an average of 29 percent. The level of telomerase increase was also correlated with a decrease in levels of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and the frequency of intrusive thoughts (a marker of stress).

    Vitamin D – the hot anti-ageing nutrient for 2009


    Vitamin D, one of the cheapest supplements on the market, is effective against most of the diseases of ageing, say experts.

    But most men and women, do not have adequate levels to protect their immune system, according to several studies.

    Vitamin D is a fat-soluable vitamin, which is sythesized by the skin from sunlight and also from dietary sources including diary foods such as milk, cheese and butter, oily fish and offal.

    But 90% of the amount required by humans is synthesized from the sun – so if you live in the Northern Hemisphere you will likely be Vitamin D deficient, especially in winter.

    Low levels of Vitamin D cause the serious bone disease rickets, which was prevalent in the 19th century.

    According to the UK’s Health Supplements Information Service 71% of men and 78% of women are below the recommended daily average.

    Today various studies have shown that men with low levels of Vitamin D suffer 2.42 times more heart attacks. There is good reason to believe that vitamin D protects the arterial system from fat and plaque build up which leads to ablocked arteries and atherosclerosis (narrowing of the arteries).

    It also helps preven common forms of cancer – again, according to various studies, vitamin D deficient women have a 253% increased risk of colon cancer; women with the lowest levels were at at 222% increased risk of breast cancer and men with higher levels have a 52% reduced incidence of prostate cancer; low levels of vitamin D are predictive of fatal strokes. It also regulates blood pressure and immune function and cancer.

    Dr John Jacob Cannel MD founder of the non-profit Vitamin D Counsel in the US says:”Current research indicates vitamin D deficiency plays a role in causing seventeen varieties of cancer as well as heart disease, stroke, hypertension, autoimmune disease, diabetes, depression, chronic pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, muscle weakness, muscle wasting, birth defects and peridontal disease.

    “This does not mean that vitamin D deficiency is the only cause of these diseases, or that you will not get them if you take vitamin D. What it does mean is that Vitamin D, and the many ways ia affects a person’s health, can no longer be overlooked by the health care industry nor by individuals striving to achieve and maintain a greater state of health.”

    Vitamin D seems to reduce the risk of almost every killer disease of ageing. In fact, a recent study shows that humans with low Vitamin D status are twice as likely to die over a seven year period.

    Doctors are not trained to recognise vitamin D deficiency until rickets develop in children or osteomalacia (softening of the bones) developes in adults. Clinical vitamin D deficiency is diagnosed when blood levels of a vitamin D metabolite (25-hydroxyvitamin D) drop below

    According to the world’s foremost experts, however, optimal levels of vitamin D are between 30 and 50 and higher. Those with blood levels below 30ng/ml are considered to have insufficient vitamin D.


    FACE THE FACTS: The Truth About Plastic Surgery Procedures


    New York: New York cosmetic surgeon Andrew Jacono reveals all about the procedures that work and those that don’t in his latest book.

    This is an easy to read and clear book designed to demystify and define the latest surgical and non-surgical cosmetic facial treatments for ageing. Filled with up to the minute information, helpful analogies, top notch before and after photos and descriptive illustrations, this crash course in facial plastic surgery, dermatology and skincare helps readers make educated decisions about the techniques they are considering.

    The book helps readers avoid common pitfalls, like choosing the wrong procedure to achieve a desired effect and identifies procedures which have been popularised by the media, but don’t really work. Throughout the book the author, Dr Andrew Jacono shares “Pearls of Wisdom” – garnered from his extensive training and stellar expertise in the field including information on:

    • FACIAL COCKTAILS 101: What they are, what they treat, how they work and how long they last
    • LASER TRUTHS: Fraxel works / Thermage does not…
    • THE BOTOX LIFT: Non Surgical Lifting
    • PROCEDURES FOR CELEBRITY FEATURES (Lip Augmentation Techniques for lips like Angelina, etc.)
    • THE TRUTH ABOUT SKINCARE INGREDIENTS: What you need based on the scientific facts

    FACE THE FACTS is available on and at Barnes & Noble. The book retails for $ 15.95 (£8, €12) and ten percent of the proceeds from each book will go to “FACE TO FACE,” a US project offering free consultation and reconstructive surgery to victims of domestic violence. Dr. Jacono has been highly recognized for his work with “FACE TO FACE” and other charitable organisations

    Andrew Jacono M.D., F.A.C.S: is a Dual Board Certified, Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon and Assistant Clinical Professor, Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, Dr. Jacono is also the Director of The New York Center for Facial Plastic and Laser Surgery in Great Neck, NY.

    With surgical privileges at six New York area hospitals, an extensive background in Head and Neck Surgery with a subspecialty training in Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Jacono is recognized amongst his peers for his innovative surgical techniques and skills. His clinical research has been presented at several national meetings and symposiums and he has authored numerous manuscripts and published articles in leading medical journals on a variety of surgical techniques, including minimally invasive endoscopic facial plastic surgery, which has become one of the specialties at his thriving practice. Dr. Jacono is adored by his high profile patients (including television news personalities, models and actresses) who turn to him for his masterful cosmetic and corrective work, flawless results and soothing bedside manner.

    To learn more about Dr Jacona and his practice, visit

    Antioxidants fail to slow ageing

    London: Anti-oxidants don’t slow down the effects of ageing, according to a new study published this week in the journal Genes and Development.

    The research, carried out by scientists at the Institute of Healthy Ageing at University College London (UCL), questions the theory that excess superoxide free radicals increase the effect and speed of the ageing process. Free radicals are unbalanced oxygen molecules produced naturally in the body and are believed to damage tissue.

    For their study, the team modified key genes involved in removing excess superoxide free radicals in the worm Caenorhabditis elegans. They found that the gene changes didn’t affect the worms’ lifespan.

    Caenorhabditis elegans is often used in genetic research into ageing because it has a similar genetic structure to more complex organisms, and is easy to control and change.

    Bupa’s Assistant Medical Director, Dr Virginia Warren, told the health information team: “The results of this study challenge what has been regarded as obvious for half a century – that superoxides are a key factor in ageing and so mopping them up should be beneficial.”

    In 1956, Denham Harman – widely known as the father of the free radical theory – suggested that damage done by too many free radicals in the body was responsible for ageing. Since then a number of papers have been published in support of this theory, so it has remained unchallenged for over 50 years. However, this new study has questioned the theory.

    A recent Cochrane review, published in April 2008, looked at the results from 67 studies into anti-oxidant supplements and increased mortality. This independent review found no evidence to suggest that anti-oxidant supplements such as vitamin A, C and E, selenium and beta-carotene can decrease mortality. The review goes on to show that supplements of vitamin C, E and beta-carotene may actually reduce lifespan.

    These recent results from UCL, combined with the Cochrane review, add weight to the argument that anti-oxidants in food and beauty products may not be the quick fix many people are looking for. Dr Warren commented: “Of course, we all still need to eat a healthy diet to reduce our chances of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and osteoporosis.”

    Numbers of “oldest old” set to double in 25 years – UK report

    London: The ageing population in the UK is growing rapidly, according to new Government statistics.

    Nearly one in four of the population will be over 65 in less than 25 years, and the number of those over 85 – the “oldest old”, would more than double.

    The forecast from the Office for National Statistics says this will result more resources being directed towards the elderly including health and social care and transport.

    Improvements in medical treatments and social conditiions mean that many more people are living longer and the younger generation will have to work longer and pay more in taxes.

    The ONS said that the number of people expected to live more than 85 years would rise to more than three million by 2032. It added that the number of people with dementia could double to 1.4 million within 30 years.

    By 2032 the 85-plus group will make up 4 per cent of the population. That means the proportion of people who use public services the most and who depend on family, neighbours and so on is increasing.

    The report also said that increasing the retirement age was the key to supporting the millions of extra older people who will need assistance.

    But increasingly men and women will face the dilemma of how to look after their elderly relatives when they themselves are reaching retirement.

    Demand for long-term care is inevitably going to increase over the coming years as the population aged 85 and over grows.

    The new figures show there were 9.5 million over 65s in 2007. By 2032 the figure is projected to increase to 16.1 million, 23 per cent of the estimated total population.

    In 1982 there were 600,000 people over 85, or 1.1 per cent of the total population. By last year this had doubled to 1.3 million and will rise to 3.1 million by 2032.

    In spite of the growing number of old people, the proportion of over 65s living in communal establishments fell between 1991 and 2001 as a result of government policies to support people in their own homes and communities.

    The analysis also showed that men are living longer and closing the gap with women.

    Norway’s oldest woman dies

    Oslo: Norway’s oldest woman, Gunda Harangen, who had attributed her longevity to celibacy and her daily glass of cognac, has died at the age of 109.

    Harangen, the eldest of seven children, was born on December 28, 1898.

    In a 2006 interview on the secret of her longevity, she said she believed she had lived so long because she drank one glass of cognac every day and did not have a man in her life.

    She passed away in her sleep on November 25, her nephew told the local Laagendalsposten daily in south-eastern Norway.

    Ageing biomarkers identified?

    Medical experts move towards identifying “biomarkers” of ageing, according to a new study published by Ageing Cell.

    If scientists are able identify such markers in humans, they suggest it could provide the means for the scientific validation of anti-ageing therapies.

    “This is the first evidence that physiological age can be predicted non-subjectively,” said lead study author Simon Melov.

    “We were able to predict the ages of the animals 70 per cent of the time, which is far better than anything … done before,” the scientist added.

    Meanwhile another team of researchers suggests it has gained an insight into how some people appear able to maintain extremely sharp powers of memory despite being aged in their 80s or older.

    The experts from the Feinburg School of Medicine said such individuals’ brains were found to contain far fewer fibre-like tangles than those of other people who had aged in a more typical fashion.

    Scientists move closer to human immortality

    Madrid: Scientists at the Spanish National Cancer Centre found evidence that a natural protein could be the key ingredient in an elixir of eternal youth.

    According to the scientists, boosting the amount of the naturally forming substance, telomerase, in the body could prevent cells from dying and thereby slow the process of ageing.

    Telomerase helps maintain the protective caps at ends of chromosomes which act like ends of shoelaces and stop them unravelling. As people age and the cells divide, these caps become frayed and shorter and are so damaged that the cell dies eventually.

    So far the scientists have only carried out an experiment on laboratory rodents. They found that those mice genetically engineered to produce ten times the normal levels of telomerase lived 50 per cent longer than normal. Those animals also had less fat, had better co-ordination and were better at processing sugar.

    Lead researcher Maria Blasco said that the enzyme was capable of turning “a normal, mortal cell into an immortal cell” and a similar approach could eventually lead to extended human lifespans.

    “You can delay the ageing of mice and increase their lifespan. (But) I think it is very hard to extrapolate data from mouse ageing to human ageing,” she told the New Scientist magazine.

    One of the problems with boosting telomerase is that it can increase the risk of cancer. However, she said that the obstacle could be overcome by issuing cancer drugs that could offset the negative affects.

    Life expectancy in Britain falls

    London: Britons have one of the lowest life expectancies in Europe, according to a new study published in the medical magazine, The Lancet.

    Researchers at Leicester University discovered that a British woman who reached the age of 50 in 2005 can expect to live for another 32.7 years – reaching 82 years and eight months – ten months less than the European average.

    This figure is lower than that for France and Germany, according to the league table of 25 European Union countries.

    Britain came just 16th, just above the poorer nations of eastern Europe, and Denmark.

    The figures also revealed that while British men’s relative position is slightly better than women’s, they still lag behind countries such as France.

    A British man who reached 50 in 2005 – the most recent year for which figures are available – can expect another 29 and a half years of life.

    This is about ten months above the European average, but a month lower than France and 11 months lower than Italy.

    New pill can “jumpstart” youth hormone

    New York: A new drug can boost levels of one of the most important “youth hormones” in older people, according to a new study by the University of Virginia.

    Patients aged between 60 and 61, took doses of an experimental drug called MK-677, that prompts the body to release growth hormone, over a two-year period. This lead to them gaining lean fat-free muscle mass and a redistribution of “middle-age spread” to the arms and legs. There was also a decrease in insulin sensitivity.

    Altogether the trial involved 65 healthy people, some of whom were given a placebo. Doctors found that patients who had received the therapy experienced an increase in growth hormone levels equivalent to levels seen among healthy young adults. The findings are reported in the Nov. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

    This compared to those who didn’t get the growth-hormone boosting therapy losting about one pound of muscle in a year, wheras those who got the drug gained about two pounds of muscle mass

    Growth hormone levels are highest during mid-puberty, but drop by about half by the time men and women turn 30. The decline continues , with levels diminishing at a rate of about 50 percent every 7 years.

    Study author, Dr Michael Thorner said: “As we all get older, our body composition changes. So, people in their 80s and 90s all look the same: their fat is distributed in the center and the abdomen, and they lose a lot of muscle mass.”

    “This has become an increasing problem as life expectancy has increased from 45 at the turn of the century to now over 80,” he continued. “Obviously people would like to remain independent and functional as long as possible, but these changes work against them.

    “Because this age-related reduction in muscle mass is associated with a decrease in growth hormone secretion, the rationale for the therapy we’re studying is to try and address the problem by boosting the normal secretion of this hormone,” Thorner said.

    Human growth hormone, produced naturally by the body’s pituitary gland, is essential to healthy development and the maintenance of tissues and organs. But as people enter their 30s and 40s, levels of the hormone start to decline.

    Synthetic versions are legally prescribed for children with “dwarfism” and for adults with a abnormal deficiency – the decline brought about by ageing is not considered abnormal.

    Nevertheless, a growing number of adults spend thousands of dollars on buying self-injectable human growth hormone which can be bought on the internet or prescribed by anti-ageing doctors.

    Its use is controversial and has also become the focus of “sports doping” headlines, with well-known athletes allegedly turning to the drug for its reputed performance-enhancing properties.

    According to the American College of Physicians, it’s estimated that some patients spend as much as $1,000 to $2,000 per month on the drug for anti-aging purposes.

    Read more about muscles and ageing the US National Institute on Aging

    Don’t talk down to your olders!

    New York: “Sweetie”, “Dear” and “What can I do for you today, young lady?” are all phrases that raise the hackles of the otherwise easy-going 83-year-old New Yorker.

    “That sort of rhetoric changes me from a “sweet”, “dear” little old lady into a fierce cranky virago,” declared the feisty 5-ft tall retired charity fundraiser, occasional actress and yoga enthusiast.

    But the condescending terms that so exasperate Miss Kelly are not just insulting to many elderly people; they can also be bad for their health, according to two ground-breaking studies.

    So-called “elderspeak” – defined by researchers as overly caring, controlling and infantilising communication – bears many similar traits to “baby talk”, including simplified grammar and vocabulary and overly intimate endearments.

    And such verbal ageism can harm longevity by delivering a self-fulfilling message that older people are incompetent, frail and feeble, sending them into a negative downward spiral, researchers say.

    “Elderspeak is indicative of general negative stereotypes of the elderly,” said Becca Levy, a Yale School of Public Health professor. “It is another example of how people are treated differently based on their age in health care, in the workforce and in everyday life. And we have found a clear connection between the how the elderly are treated and their health and functioning.”

    In a study that first alerted the academic world to these dangers, she found that older people exposed to negative stereotypes associated with ageing, reinforced by belittling phrases and condescending attitudes, performed markedly worse in memory and balance tests than peers who were not.

    Indeed, in one Ohio town, she and her fellow researchers concluded that people aged over 50 who held positive perceptions about ageing lived on average of 7.5 years longer than those who did not, even when other health factors were allowed for. Remarkably, those perceptions – fuelled by even apparently innocuous words and phrases – had a greater impact than exercise or not smoking.

    The worst offenders in elderspeak are often health care workers, whether it is doctors telling older patients who question them “You don’t want to upset your family, do you?” or nursing staff who deal with the elderly every day.

    Indeed, Kristine Williams, a trained nurse and associate professor at Kansas University, found that nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s who are addressed like children are more likely to resist medical care – with obvious detrimental effects for their health.

    Dr Williams and her team filmed the relationship between 20 patients with dementia and nursing staff. When spoken to and treated like children, many pulled faces, yelled or refused to do what they were told or co-operate with care.

    Even for older patients receiving medical care for conditions not related to mental health, being spoken to and treated like a child can have a marked impact on their welfare.

    “I was in hospital for two months after a fall and the whole time was subjected to condescending treatment and phrases such as “sweetie”, “dear” and “good girl”,” said Elaine Smith, 78, a retired Chicago schoolteacher.

    “I often didn’t feel strong enough to answer back. But even worse, I felt that this sort of attitude and message was grinding me down. It reduces your self-esteem and at times I felt it was just easiest to give in to the stereotype that I didn’t know what I wanted or needed.”

    Concern about ageism in all its forms, including elderspeak, has grown as the US population greys. The 85-and-over age group is the country’s fastest-growing demographic while Americans turning 65 now will live on average to 83.

    Yet, says Dr Robert Butler, president of the International Longevity Centre-USA, that seems to do little to challenge the growth of ageism – the term he first conjured nearly four decades ago. “Daily we are witness to, or even unwitting participants in, cruel imagery, jokes, languages and attitudes directed at older people,” he said.

    The current US presidential contest, in which John McCain is hoping to become the oldest candidate to win the presidency for the first time at the age of 72, has also thrust attitudes towards the elderly into the public spotlight.

    Late night comics have regularly lampooned him as an angry or doddery old man while the Democratic candidate Barack Obama came under fire from the McCain campaign for allegedly deploying barely-coded language when he remarked that his rival had “lost his bearings”.

    As a principle, Miss Kelly now makes clear her objections to patronising forms of address. “I really am a little old lady but there is nothing wrong with my mind and I don’t like being talked down to,” she said.

    “When I tell people they have offended me like that, they can be quite indignant and enunciate very slowly that they were just trying to be nice.

    “But I believe that the people who heap these endearments upon us are reacting to their own fears of ageing in a youth-oriented culture. My advice, darlings – get over it.”

    Western diet cause of most heart attacks


    New York: A Western diet rich in fried foods, salt and meat accounts for 35 per cent of heart attacks worldwide, researchers say.

    They said their findings support evidence that animal fat and junk food can lead to heart attacks.

    “This study indicates that the same relationships that are observed in Western countries exist in different regions of the world,” says the study’s senior author, Salim Yusuf, a professor of medicine at McMaster University in Hamilton.

    The study published in the current issue of the journal Circulation, examined 16,000 people in 52 countries, and analysed 5,761 cases of heart attack.

    Participants gave blood samples and filled in detailed diaries on what they ate between February 1999 and March 2003. Depending on what participants reported, they were divided into three dietary groups.

    The report found that:

    * People who consumed the “prudent” diet of more fruits and vegetables had a 30 per cent lower risk of heart attack compared with people who ate few or no fruits and vegetables.
    * People who consumed the “Western” diet had a 35 per cent greater risk of having a heart attack compared with people who consumed few fried foods and little meat.
    * The “Oriental” diet, which is loaded with tofu but also high in salty soy sauce, showed no relationship with heart attack risk.

    The results clarify that it’s the eating of Western food that drives up the risk of heart attacks, rather than other lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise, Yusuf and his colleagues say.

    “Diet is serious for the individual, but also if we can make population-level changes, we can prevent a lot of heart attacks, using, you know, relatively simple measures,” said study author Dr. Sonia Anand, a medical professor at McMaster.

    Also on Monday, a series of reports published in the medical journal the Lancet concluded that worsening diets and unhealthy habits in China are contributing to a looming health crisis in the increasingly wealthy country.

    “The pace and spread of behavioural changes including changing diets, decreased physical activity, high rates of male smoking and other high-risk behaviours has accelerated to an unprecedented degree,” one report says.

    The journal said 177 million Chinese adults suffer from hypertension, which it blamed in part on high salt consumption.

    “People don’t want to eat boring when they eat healthy,” says Julie Lau of the B.C. Heart and Stroke Foundation in Vancouver. Lau consults with large restaurant chains to help them offer healthier choices.

    “They want to have lots of flavour, so we tried to recreate the flavour without using a lot of salt, without using a lot of fat.”

    Yusuf’s study was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research; the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario; the International Clinical Epidemiology Network; and unrestricted grants from several pharmaceutical companies.

    More Britons live to 100

    London: More Britons are living to their 100th birthday – and beyond – thanks to better nutrition, healthier lifestyles and improved drug treatments, government figures have revealed.

    The latest report from the Office of National Statistics shows one in 15 people in their 80s now living in the UK will hit the age of 100, with many expected to live for longer.

    In 2005 there was around 8,300 people aged 100 or older, but this figure jumped by almost a 1,000 to 9,300 Britons last year. There were only 100 centenarians in 1911, said the ONS.

    The ONS said the number of centenarians is growing at around 5.4% a year. The main reasons we are living longer are due to better nutrition, improved housing and living standards and better drugs and medical treatment.

    Pamela Holmes, head of healthy ageing at Help the Aged, told the Times, ‘By making healthy choices in mid-life, we can greatly improve our chance of living longer and better. Educating people in the importance of eating well, exercising and stopping smoking can make real improvements years down the line.’