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Slowing down may be inevitable, but good health need not be affected.

Slowing Down May Be Inevitable, But Good Health Need Not Be Affected

For many who have taken little time to think of the body that serves then twenty-four hours a day, the realization that they are aging arrives with a suddenness that can be unnerving. The shock is usually precipitated by illness or loss of vitality. But aging and disease are not synonymous.

Age does bring a diminished capacity to metabolize and excrete drug compounds, for example. The decline is gradual for healthy people, the less dedicated may experience harbingers of things-to-come much faster and earlier. People differ in the rate at which they age physically.

The decline usually manifests itself in the ability to absord nutrients, medications, and foods. Metabolism, the process of using vital nourishment from foods, varies in relation to speed of aging. Excretion of waste matter is another indication of the aging body's varying ability to function optimally.

The flow of blood through the intestines slows with age, also decreasing absoption. The stomach takes longer to empty, and metabolism is slower. In view of these normal changes, individuals dedicated to good health should not make stressful demands upon themselves: meals should be taken leisurely, a rest peiod after eating is advisable; and patience in excretory functions must be recognized.

Because so many of the elderly are taking one or more medications, the realization that drug transit time is affected by aging is vitally necessary.

For those who are aging gracefully, are in good health, and in full possession of their powers, prudence and wisdom in shepherding their resources are essential. Use them, but don't abuse them.
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Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Sep 22, 1990
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