Whole Life Magazine

December / January 2015

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Page 14 of 43

healthy living By Laura G. Owens STEMCELL "SOUP" NIXES JOINT SURGERY Rock Body YOUR Professional athletes are doing it. So are people with arthritis and Alzheimer's. In fact, anyone who wants to skip knee surgery and is willing to shell out at least $15,000 is doing it. A specialized stem cell replacement called the "Soup" combines human cells harvested from a patient's own fat to repair infl ammatory and degenerative injuries that might otherwise require invasive surgery. Stem cell therapy allows the body part—in this case knees, hips, elbows, necks and more—to heal itself through a process of regeneration. "Traditional medicine and traditional drugs do not work for a lot of patients," said Steven Victor, founder and chairman of the Soup's manufacturer, IntelliCell BioSciences. This kind of cellular therapy can really be a savior to them." In 2012, however, the FDA issued a warning to IntelliCell saying the Soup should be considered a new drug, which requires long and expensive clinical trials to determine if it's safe and effective. Victor insists that unlike other cellular therapy clinics, his lab follows the law because it's registered with the FDA. Legalities and established science haven't slowed the popularity of stem cell clinics. In the U.S. they've quadrupled in the last fi ve years and now number nearly 200. GOT MILK? DON'T DRINK IT FOR YOUR BONES Despite what doctors insisted for years, it turns out calcium doesn't strengthen bones. A 2015 study published in the British Medical Journal found little evidence that upping calcium through dietary sources or supplementation builds bone density or decreases fractures. In addition, the government- funded U.S. Preventive Services Task Force determined that calcium supplementation alone might actually increase hip fracture and mortality risk, although vitamin D and magnesium can help mitigate that danger. Bones naturally thin with age, but studies show regular weight-resistance exercise increases bone density, and human growth hormone may help. Do you still have a decades-old bone to pick with obnoxious Aunt Pat? Forget about it. A 2014 study published in the Social Psychological and Personality Science found that people who bury the hatchet (even if they simply imagine forgiving someone) move from feeling like a victim to increasing their sense of personal power. What's particularly interesting, however, is that increasing your sense of personal power also amps up physical strength. "Our research shows that forgivers perceive a less daunting world and perform better on challenging physical tasks," writes a research team led by Xue Zheng. "A state of unforgiveness is like a heavy burden that victims bring with them when they navigate the physical world. Forgiveness can lighten this burden." Holding a grudge also increases mental rumination (repetitive thoughts), which lowers cognitive resources, such as glucose, that could be put to better use, such as coping with a physical challenge. So take a deep breath during your holiday dinner, cram in some more cranberry and just let—it—go. BURYING THE HATCHET BUILDS BODY STRENGTH december/january 2016 15

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