At 20, 40, 60 and 70 years: how to eat healthily at any ageAt 20, 40, 60 and 70 years: how to eat healthily at any age

Sometimes the body needs more protein, sometimes more carbohydrates and after a certain age it should be less overall. If you want to eat healthily for a lifetime, you should always keep an eye on your age when shopping and cooking.

According to today’s recommendations, a healthy diet consists of plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit, good oils, as little industrially processed food as possible, economical consumption of animal products, white flour and sugar – from children to old people.

So there is only healthy and unhealthy diet, but no age-related diet. But: Over the years and depending on the situation in life, the need and utilization of nutrients change. And here age definitely plays a role. For example, the nutritionists at the University of California in San Diego have put together an overview of what to look out for .

This is what matters from 20 to 40:

The basal metabolic rate is highest in young adults, which means that the body consumes the most calories even without physical activity. At this age, many people can “eat what they want” without getting fat. At least at this age, the body forgives a few fast-food orgies and other antics.

In general, it is important to build up muscles, bones and connective tissue between the ages of 20 and 30 , also with the help of a sensible diet. Everyone can benefit from this basis in later years, when it is no longer so easy to maintain fitness.

In these years, special attention to nutrition requires more of a life circumstance for women: pregnancy.

Special dietary instructions for young pregnant women only

In addition to a diet full of high-quality nutrients and the natural avoidance of tobacco and alcohol , it is important to ensure an optimal supply of vitamins, minerals and trace elements so that the child develops well. Eating for two, on the other hand, is completely unnecessary and wrong.

Therefore, all expectant mothers should take folic acid in the first 3 months of pregnancy . Iodine tablets can also be useful. And vegans also have to pay attention to a number of micronutrients that they lack by avoiding animal foods: iron, zinc , calcium, vitamins B12, B2 and D as well as an appropriate intake of omega-3 fatty acids.

This is important from 40:

From the age of 40, the metabolism begins to slow down. While the body can usually break down too much sugar and carbohydrates by the age of 30, it loses this ability by the age of 40 at the latest. Suddenly, an unchanged diet is reflected in the stomach and hips.

Anyone who is only now finding an adequate diet can still set the course for a healthy future.

Anyone who has already eaten reasonably healthy should now pay more attention to the following elements:

  • Fruits and vegetables in bright colors – the antioxidants they contain act as cell protection with an antiaging effect in the body.
  • more whole grains on the menu
  • a (small) portion of red meat twice a week – good for building muscle , also important for women because of the prevention of iron deficiency
  • Vegetarians should pay particular attention to green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale or Swiss chard.

Here are some things to watch out for in your 50s and 60s:

Now begins a dangerous age for cardiovascular problems such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Anyone who has neglected their diet and has not taken much exercise must expect type 2 diabetes .

It is now important to have a diet that keeps the blood sugar level stable and prevents deposits in the blood vessels. It should be low in cholesterol, high in fiber and slowly digestible carbohydrates, so:

  • lots of vegetables
  • little animal fat
  • no sugared soft drinks
  • little white flour products

In addition:

  • nuts
  • Good oils (olive, flaxseed)
  • Fish (omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D)
  • Low-fat dairy products (calcium)

Changes in hormones accelerate the loss of calcium from the bones. The substitution of calcium plus vitamin D can now counteract the threat of osteoporosis . Because of the breakdown of estrogen during menopause , it occurs earlier and more frequently in women. But bone loss threatens men too.

An omega-3 supplement can benefit heart health if someone doesn’t eat sea fish. Omega-3 fatty acids stabilize the blood vessels.

Proper nutrition with 70 plus:

With age, various physiological and psychological changes occur that directly affect nutritional needs. The taste buds and appetite decrease, as does the desire to cook freshly and by yourself.

The body is less able to absorb and use many vitamins and minerals. With age, the digestive juices in the stomach change, reducing the absorption of iron, calcium, and vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid.

Long-term use of prescription drugs can decrease the absorption of certain nutrients.

Less calories, but not less nutrients

Seniors need fewer calories than younger people, but no fewer nutrients. Protein becomes important again in old age: it can delay muscle loss in old age, especially when combined with strength training.

As a rule of thumb, one gram of protein per kilogram of body weight per day . However, it should not be exclusively protein from meat, as it promotes inflammation, especially in the joints.

Because digestion becomes sluggish with age, fiber is important for the 70+ generation. A teaspoon of psyllium husks are a recommended alternative to the vegetables or whole grains that would be necessary for an optimal supply. To do this, seniors have to drink plenty, even if that is difficult for many.

7 Day Plan: What to Eat to Cleanse Your Colon7 Day Plan: What to Eat to Cleanse Your Colon

The intestine can recover in just one week, complaints such as flatulence and sluggishness of stools disappear, the intestinal flora regenerates – and the immune system increases significantly. Everything about the wellness regimen for the intestines, with simple recipes for every day and extra tips for a healthy digestion.

The intestine affects our health much more than was known a few years ago. The intestinal mucous membrane with its special flora made up of billions of microorganisms has a decisive influence on how well our defenses are set up, whether there is a risk of chronic inflammation, acne, autoimmune diseases or obesity.

But even if these connections have now been proven, the way we deal with the most important factor influencing intestinal health has hardly changed: diet.

We know how important the intestines are, but we still don’t pay attention to them

Most of us still eat too much meat and sausage, sugar and fat, fast food and ready meals, plus the “intestinal enemies” smoking and alcohol .

  • The direct consequences: The intestinal flora is out of balance, flatulence , constipation and obesity result.
  • The indirect ones: there is a risk of immunodeficiency, skin problems, inflammation and, last but not least, an increased risk of cancer, at least for colon cancer.

Particularly harmful: Leftovers lie in the intestines for days

Especially when food remains in the intestine for a long time, it is harmful to health. In the process, animal protein (from meat and sausage residues) in particular forms toxins that can cause damage not only in the intestines, but also in the whole body.

The medical term is intestinal auto-intoxication. Typical toxins that arise in the intestine: including neurin, putrescin, indican and cadaverine, the dead body poison.

Cleanse the bowel, but do not drain it aggressively

A mild intestinal regeneration cure with the right diet, so that the intestinal flora can recover naturally, is therefore recommended, as a kind of wellness for the intestine , so to speak . A week can go a long way. In principle, there are only two things to keep in mind:

1. At the beginning there is colon cleansing. It often takes several days for the residues to pass after a meal. This can be supported with healing earth and flea seeds. These natural measures have a gentle laxative effect and are usually better tolerated than strong laxatives such as Glauber’s salt.

The mild cleansing is complemented by light fasting. Both measures work together like a “reset” of the bowel, driving it back to zero, so to speak. This can be rebuilt with the right, this time intestinal healthy diet.

2. This diet should contain probiotics (including lactic acid bacteria) because they can help the intestinal flora to repopulate with beneficial intestinal bacteria. In addition, fiber-rich fresh food is part of it. Because dietary fibers act like prebiotics, so they serve as food for the “good” intestinal bacteria.

In contrast, you should avoid red meat, sausage, high-fat dairy products, sugar, alcohol and coffee (and preferably not only) during the intestinal diet. Of course, it is important that you drink a lot during the bowel treatment. Only then will the fiber swell up well and be able to absorb, bind and transport a lot of pollutants out of the body.

Make rice water yourself

You can support these measures with rice water, the insider tip for a healthy bowel. The slightly milky brew contains dissolved fiber, mucilage, minerals and, above all, B vitamins. This combination cares for the intestinal mucosa and supports its healthy structure.

Make rice water yourself and drink a glass every day:

  • ½ cup of organic rice
  • 1 liter of water

Bring the water to the boil, pour in the rice, simmer for a good 20 minutes until it is almost boiled over. Strain, catching the water. The rice water can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Recipes for seven days of intestinal treatment

The bowel cure is suitable for all adults, except pregnant and breastfeeding women. Anyone who has chronic illnesses and / or has to take medication regularly should consult their doctor before beginning. And off you go:

1st day of the intestinal diet

In the morning : Drink a glass of lukewarm water with a level teaspoon full of healing earth on an empty stomach. This recommendation applies to the entire course. Healing earth attracts the toxins, so to speak, binds them and transports them out of the body.

Porridge – briefly toast a good handful of oat flakes in the pan without fat, add a little water and, if you want, a pinch of salt. After a few minutes, the gruel thickens a little. With this homemade porridge there is herbal tea to taste, after the meal a teaspoon of psyllium husks, like the healing earth, stirred into a large glass of water. Flea seeds also divert pollutants, swell up strongly in the intestine, in this way stimulate the natural intestinal peristalsis and thus shorten the time leftover food remains in the intestine. The mucilage in the flea seeds also nourishes the intestinal mucosa and helps it to regenerate.

Lunch : vegetable soup with potatoes and carrots, seasoned with a pinch of sea salt and caraway seeds.

In the evening : Sweet potatoes with dip – cut sweet potatoes into small pieces, sauté, plus there is probiotic yoghurt, which is seasoned with a little dill and a pinch of salt.

In between : drink a lot, herbal tea and mineral water, apples and pears (please chew each bite several times and slowly until a porridge has formed)

2nd day of the intestinal diet

In the morning : Serve oatmeal muesli with probiotic yoghurt, rub an apple under it, flea seeds and healing earth as on day 1

Lunch : Vegetable soup with easily digestible vegetables of your choice – such as fennel, celery, potatoes

In the evening : potatoes with quark – boil the potatoes in their skins, peel them and season with fresh herbs

In between : drink a lot again, apples, a banana

3rd day of the intestinal diet

In the morning : flea seeds and healing earth as on day 1, oatmeal muesli with yogurt and banana

Lunch : Polenta with vegetables – boil polenta in vegetable stock for ten minutes, let it steep for 15 minutes, stir in a small amount of butter, with steamed vegetables with fresh herbs of your choice

In the evening : vegetable soup made from carrots and potatoes

In between : drink a lot, apples, pears

4th day of the intestinal diet

In the morning : oatmeal muesli with seasonal fruit such as blueberries and strawberries; Flea seeds and healing clay as on day 1

Lunch: asparagus with potatoes, drizzle asparagus with a little butter and season with fresh herbs, with jacket potatoes

In the evening : Lukewarm vegetable salad with fresh goat cheese, sauté vegetables of your choice, such as celery and carrots, serve with fresh radicchio, season with salt and lemon juice, spread two tablespoons of fresh goat cheese over it

Occasionally : spelled crackers, apples, 1/2 liter of buttermilk

5th day of the intestinal diet

In the morning : Muesli of your choice (oat flakes, three- or five-grain flakes), yogurt, fruit, flea seeds and healing earth as on day 1

Lunch : Gnocchi with chicken and fennel – make your own gnocchi from boiled, mashed potatoes, flour and an egg, shape the gnocchi from the potato dough and cook in water until they float on top. In the meantime, clean the fennel bulb and cut into strips, sauté in a little safflower oil, cut a chicken breast into strips and add, season with salt, stir in a little sour cream and serve with the gnocchi.

Evening : Avocado sandwich – make avocado cream yourself from a mashed avocado, mix with a little yoghurt, season with lemon juice and salt, with graham bread (whole grain bread, but chewed … slowly)

Occasionally : banana, apples, drink a lot

6th day of the intestinal diet

In the morning : banana porridge made from oat flakes – briefly bring the oat flakes to the boil in salted water, let them cool down, add a little yogurt and a mashed banana. Flea seeds and healing clay as on day 1

Midday : Wholegrain penne with vegetables and ricotta, cook the penne while chopping the carrots and onions and sautéing them in a little vegetable stock, seasoning with salt and a touch of garlic powder, adding the parsley, serving with the penne, spreading a little ricotta over the top.

In the evening : Sweet potato casserole, cut the sweet potatoes into fine wedges, place in a casserole dish, whisk an egg with a little sour cream, season with salt and pour over the vegetables, bake in the oven over a mild heat for about 25 minutes.

Occasionally : spelled crackers, apples

7th day of the intestinal diet

In the morning : porridge with a dash of kefir and fruit to taste, a few walnuts, psyllium and healing clay as on day 1

Midday : Cod on carrots and kohlrabi – chop kohlrabi and carrots and sauté in a little safflower oil, season with salt, season the cod fillet with salt and lemon, fry in a non-stick pan with a little fat, place on the vegetables, close the lid and leave to stand for another five minutes . Garnish with fresh parsley and, if you want a side dish, serve with potatoes.

In the evening : Beetroot bulgur salad with cottage cheese – boil the beetroot, cut it open and flavor it with a little lemon and salt while still warm, let it steep. In the meantime, bring the bulgur to the boil and let it steep until it is soft, then strain. Serve with the beetroot, season to taste, for example with turmeric. Crumble the cottage cheese over it and serve.

In between : banana, apples, sesame crackers

So that the intestine remains healthy in the long term

After this week the intestines have usually recovered well and digestion is working optimally. This means that the passage of food through the digestive organs has accelerated without the presence of diarrhea – which is undesirable, as is constipation. If you eat a healthy bowel diet now in the future, you will create the best basis for optimal digestion. Eating healthy intestines means:

  • drink a lot
  • Use fleas for intestinal care
  • take yoghurt, kefir or buttermilk more often because of the helpful lactic acid bacteria
  • Reduce sugar and fat
  • eat a lot of fruit and vegetables instead
  • Eat meat only once a week, fish once
  • it is best to cook it yourself, largely eliminate ready meals and fast food from the menu

It also makes sense to refrain from cigarettes and limit alcohol consumption. With this simple yet powerful program, you will not only support your bowels, you will also be doing the best for your overall health, preventing illnesses and probably even losing weight in the long run.

Tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins: medical professionals are sure that vegetables make us sickTomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins: medical professionals are sure that vegetables make us sick

Grains and vegetables protect themselves against predators and diseases with special substances. They are unsuitable for human digestion and make us sick, says a US nutritionist. Is he right?

According to popular belief, those who eat vegetables, fruit and whole grain products every day have a particularly healthy diet – and thus possibly make a dangerous mistake, get fat and sick. The American cardiologist and nutritionist Steven R. Gundry is convinced of this, as he explains in his bestseller “The Plant Paradox”, which has also been available as a German version since this year (Steven R. Gundry: “Bad vegetables. How healthy Food makes us sick ”, Beltz).

Vegetable plants use lectins for defense

Lectins are said to be responsible for the harmful effects of supposedly healthy foods. These are certain proteins that plants have developed for defense so that they are spared from fungi, bacteria and parasites. In fact, lectins act similarly to antibiotics and can be toxic, especially when raw.

The substances can harm people

Lectins make green potatoes and raw beans inedible . The best-known lectin is gluten, avoided by many because it can lead to bowel inflammation and celiac disease . Gluten, known as adhesive protein, illustrates the negative properties of lectins particularly impressively: These proteins are extremely easy to bond, stick to cells and tissues, preferably in the intestine. The mucous membrane cells change, the intestinal wall becomes permeable for pollutants, which in turn can make the entire organism sick.

Sick from lectins – from Alzheimer’s to rheumatism

But not only celiac disease is caused by the harmful effects of lectins. The proteins bind to red blood cells, thicken the blood and thus promote arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. Steven Gundry also explains many other diseases of civilization with the negative effects of lectins.

Because they can actually dock on all tissues, such as the pancreas, joints, bronchi, nerves, brain, and the immune system attacks them there as intruders, autoimmune diseases would develop: diabetes , arthritis and rheumatism, asthma , Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s .

These foods are high in lectins

The doctor therefore promotes a diet that is as free from lectins as possible (LFE, lectin-free diet). The negative list of foods rich in lectin includes the following products:

  • loaf
  • Potatoes and potato products
  • rice
  • pasta
  • Beans and legumes
  • soy
  • tomatoes
  • Cucumbers
  • pumpkin
  • Grain
  • Vegetable oils
  • sugar

Steven Gundry also largely avoids fish and meat, or at least restricts consumption – because breeding animals are mainly fed with corn and soy. Both types of food naturally contain lectins. If they are genetically modified, however, they provide even more of it to protect the plants from pests even better. With the feed they get into the animal and thus into the meat that is put on the plate.

How to eat a lectin-free diet

The negative list is long, but there are also a number of foods that contain little or no lectins. The positive list of desirable foods suggests, among other things:

  • Coconut oil
  • Coconut milk
  • Hazelnuts
  • Walnuts
  • Sweet chestnuts
  • Olives
  • Tigernut flour, chestnut flour
  • Dark chocolate
  • cream cheese
  • Goat cheese
  • butter
  • cream
  • Crustaceans, fish (rare)
  • certain types of fruit in small quantities (apples, pears, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi, plums, peaches, citrus fruits)
  • Cabbage vegetables of all kinds
  • artichokes
  • garlic
  • Onions
  • Meat (no more than 125 gr per day)
  • Eggs
  • Sweeteners such as erythritol, stevia, xylitol
  • 1 glass of red wine per day

Of course, all products should come from organic cultivation or rearing if possible, i.e. have the best organic quality.

Lectin-free diet – new fad diet or serious prevention and therapy?

At first glance, the impression arises: after fructose, gluten and carbohydrates, lectins are now supposed to be the bad nutrients that lead to obesity and make you sick. But the impression is deceptive. Steven Gundry’s observations should probably be taken seriously. There is some evidence for his theses:

  • It has long been known that lectins are unfavorable and are therefore even referred to as ” anti-nutrients ” in nutritional science . But this fact has had little impact on nutrition plans and diets until now.
  • Initial studies show that lectins can be linked to rheumatism and Parkinson’s disease .

However, there is (still) a lack of larger studies on the extent to which lectins can promote obesity and illness. However, in a self-experiment, Steven Gundry lost 35 kilograms within a year and at the same time lowered his high blood pressure , and the arthritis had also disappeared.

The doctor treated around 1,000 patients on the basis of these positive experiences with the LFE. He observed 200 of them as part of a study . For six months, the patients who all had cardiovascular diseases such as coronary artery disease ate according to this diet. After completing the examination, her heart function and blood values ​​had improved significantly.

Conclusion: It should definitely not be a fashion diet. However, LFE cannot be easily integrated into everyday life, the usual nutrition plan has to be fundamentally redesigned. But to make this as uncomplicated as possible, the doctor gives many tips and simple to fine recipes in his new guide on “bad vegetables”.

The big meat check: how much you can eat and how you can prepare it healthilyThe big meat check: how much you can eat and how you can prepare it healthily

Givers of strength with essential vitamins and protein or cholesterol bombs loaded with antibiotics – the subject of meat is hotly debated. FOCUS Online names the most important facts about the individual types of meat – and shows what “healthy” fat traps are.

The hunger for meat in Germany is great. Every inhabitant eats around 60 kilograms per year. Around 750 million animals are therefore slaughtered every year. Meat consumption has been falling for years, but only in the single-digit range. However, statistically speaking, every citizen still consumes around 1,100 animals in his life, including mainly chickens, but also just under 50 pigs and four cattle, as the BUND’s last meat atlas in 2018 calculated.

Meat causes a lot of CO 2 , but provides the best protein

Meat is thus undoubtedly one of the staple foods. However, it is left out of the picture that meat consumption is devastating for the climate balance: Through animal production, a meat eater pollutes the atmosphere with a good 1,800 kilograms of CO 2 per year and thus heats the climate catastrophe, vegetarians only make up about half of this.

Aside from that: nutritionally, meat offers a lot of positives. “Meat is definitely a high-quality food because it provides us with protein in particularly good bioavailability,” says Antje Gahl, press spokeswoman for the German Nutrition Society ( DGE ).

Animal protein, i.e. from meat and dairy products, can be used so well by our body because the composition of the amino acids is very similar to that of human protein. Animal protein usually contains all of the essential amino acids that we need in sufficient quantities, while plant-based foods often do not have the full spectrum of these amino acids. The body can therefore produce protein particularly quickly and appropriately from animal protein – for the muscles, for example.

In addition, meat is also characterized by other valuable ingredients:

  • readily available iron,

  • Selenium and

  • zinc

– all minerals and trace elements that are indispensable for blood formation, immune system, cell health, fertility and much more. Another unique feature is the high proportion of B vitamins, including vitamin B12 , which is only found in sufficient quantities in animal foods such as meat, eggs, milk and dairy products.

Preserving nutrients through proper cooking

To ensure that these nutrients are preserved as well as possible during preparation, the expert recommends steaming and slow frying, preferably with little fat. Some B vitamins are sensitive to heat, such as vitamins B1, B2 and B6 – vitamin B12 a little less.

The way in which meat and meat products are prepared determines how many vitamins are destroyed and how undesirable pollutants are formed. Therefore, everyone should consciously pay attention to high temperatures such as when grilling or the duration of heating. The longer and hotter it is cooked, the more pollutants are created or parts of the valuable B vitamins are destroyed.

Nevertheless, barbecuing is particularly popular . An important tip from the expert for grilling: “Dab the marinade before you put the meat on the grill.” Otherwise it will drip into the embers, burn and, among other things, produce polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. PAHs are strongly suspected of increasing the risk of cancer.

Meat is healthy when prepared correctly. But is it also an indispensable food? “No”, says the qualified ecotrophologist. Apart from vitamin B12, which is also contained in milk and dairy products, each of these nutrients can be obtained from plant-based foods – even if not in the ideal composition and high quality that is given with meat.

The “dark side” of meat: cholesterol, purine and arachidonic acid

However, meat is also the main source of cholesterol. In high amounts, cholesterol is a risk factor for arteriosclerosis and thus heart attack and stroke. It is not only present in the visible fat in the meat, but also in low-fat pieces. 100 grams of lean meat provide around 50 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams. 300 milligrams per day is the maximum limit for the intake of cholesterol per day for healthy people, i.e. without a lipid metabolism disorder.

In addition, meat, especially offal, contains purine, i.e. uric acid, which supports gout. Arachidonic acid plays a role as the third negative, natural ingredient in meat. The body creates inflammatory substances from this fatty acid. Diet suggestions for diseases with an inflammatory character such as rheumatism are therefore always meat-free or strictly reduced in meat.

“The majority of the amount of cholesterol and purine ingested with food actually comes from meat and meat products such as sausage and ham, a particularly large proportion of which have offal,” confirms the scientist. Nevertheless, cholesterol is an indispensable substance in the body because it takes on important tasks in building cells and nerves. “But our body also produces cholesterol itself and is therefore not dependent on the intake with food,” she explains. Anyone who then eats a lot of meat and sausage quickly absorbs high amounts of cholesterol.

Red meat vs. White meat

However, not all meat is created equal . When it comes to health, a distinction is made between red and white meat. Red meat, i.e. beef, pork, lamb, sheep and goat, is considered particularly unhealthy because it is said to favor diseases.

“Anyone who eats a lot of red meat and especially processed red meat has a higher risk of colon cancer, as many studies indicate, according to the current state of knowledge, consumption of white meat (poultry) is not related to cancer,” says the qualified ecotrophologist. Overall, however, the quality, quantity and method of preparation of the meat are decisive in contributing to a healthy diet.

Pork is leaner, chicken is fatter than expected

But the animal from which the meat comes also plays an important role. How about pork, the most popular meat in Germany and the other types of meat consumed in this country?

pig

Depending on the fat content, pork provides between 100 and 250 kilocalories per 100 grams, 70 milligrams of cholesterol. It also has a high content of vitamins B1 and B6.

So pork is surprisingly low in calories, but provides more cholesterol than, for example, beef. “Reach less for high-fat parts,” advises Antje Gahl, “but because of its vitamin B1 and B6, zinc and iron content, pork can make a contribution to a wholesome diet.”

Pork is popular because of its fine taste and can be used in many ways, quickly prepared and is particularly suitable as pan-fried meat (schnitzel) or roast with a crispy rind.

Beef

In terms of calorie content, beef is comparable to pork, depending on the fat, has around 150 to 200 kilocalories per 100 grams and 50 milligrams of cholesterol. It scores with high levels of vitamin B12, zinc and iron.

The strong taste of beef is particularly appreciated by many meat eaters. Because of its long fibers, beef lean meat must be specially prepared; apart from the fillet pieces, it requires a longer cooking time.

poultry

White, tender meat and a nutty taste are the characteristics of chicken, duck, turkey and goose. Because of the layer of fat under the skin, poultry meat provides a relatively large number of calories, around 270 kilocalories per 100 grams. If you choose a skin-free steak, you only get around 160 kilocalories. The fat content is around 25 grams per 100 grams of poultry meat.

In addition, poultry meat is particularly rich in protein, so it provides a lot of energy. Zinc, potassium and B vitamins make poultry meat particularly healthy.

But be careful, the crispy skin of chicken and duck contains lots of purines, so it can increase the risk of gout. This is particularly relevant for those who already have elevated purine levels, warns the expert. However, poultry is safe for healthy people in this context.

But: “Poultry meat contains significantly more cholesterol than is generally assumed, namely around 90 milligrams per 100 grams,” she adds. Chicken may be low in fat, but that doesn’t mean it’s low in cholesterol, as is often assumed.

lamb

The tender, dark meat with its strong taste is not one of the Germans’ favorite varieties. However, it contains many B vitamins as well as iron and has a high proportion of valuable protein. What is surprising, however, is that on average lamb provides more calories than pork, almost 200 kilocalories per 100 grams of fresh meat, as well as 70 milligrams of cholesterol and many saturated (unfavorable) fatty acids.

Particular attention should be paid to the fatty acid composition with many saturated fatty acids in lamb. Like chicken, lamb is not fundamentally unproblematic when it comes to fat – as is often assumed.

Wild

It looks different with game meat. Saddle of venison, venison ragout, roast venison and wild boar are rarely served in Germany, although the meat is actually very low in fat, rich in protein and rich in vitamins B1 and B2, potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc and selenium – and therefore healthy. Depending on the variety, it provides only 100 to 160 kilocalories per 100 grams of fresh produce, with less than ten grams of fat, around 60 milligrams of cholesterol and hardly any purine.

However, game meat should only be enjoyed well cooked because it can contain parasites, as the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment ( BfR ) warns. The radiation exposure of venison can also be high, depending on the region. “In wild boars, values ​​are still occasionally measured today that exceed the limit value for marketing 600 Becquerel per kilogram by more than ten times,” reports the Federal Office for Radiation Protection BfS .

horse

Horse meat is also controversial, although it is very healthy with a high content of minerals, vitamins and protein, but low in fat (around two grams per 100 grams of meat) and low in cholesterol. Here there are more psychological reasons why the meat of the popular sport animals is frowned upon, in contrast to France , where it is coveted as a delicacy.

You can eat that much meat

Meat is therefore quite healthy. “Nobody has to go without meat in principle, because it is a valuable part of our diet,” says the expert. However, it depends on the amount, and the following applies: less is more.

The DGE recommends that people who eat meat do not consume more than 300 to 600 grams of meat and meat products per week. That goes for adults. So it’s practical: eat meatless for a few days, then a meat dish. A portion of meat can weigh 100 to 150 grams, a slice of cold cuts 15 to 25 grams, depending on the type.

“Meat makes perfect sense in a wholesome diet, because it covers the need for many important nutrients with a single food. Even these small amounts are sufficient for this. It is best to choose predominantly plant-based foods and supplement them with animal-based foods, ”emphasizes Antje Gahl.

Of course, that doesn’t mean everyone has to eat meat. Those who prefer a vegetarian diet can supply these nutrients through a targeted selection of different types of vegetables and fruits, whole grain products, legumes, nuts and dairy products.

Organic meat or meat from conventional farming

Meat consumption in moderation is therefore quite healthy. It is not necessary to weigh one type of meat against another. Variety as well as personal preferences, taste and last but not least religion are important, emphasizes the qualified ecotrophologist. For more and more people, the ecological balance of rearing and animal welfare also play a role, keyword antibiotics, but also manure pollution and thus nitrate in the groundwater.

In organic animal husbandry, even fewer antibiotics may be used than in conventional farming, although there has also been a reduction recently. It is different with manure, whether organic or bulk, every animal produces just as much of it.

The best advice: eat less animal foods and more plant-based ones. In this way, fewer resources are used, the environment is less polluted and CO 2 emissions would be significantly reduced. Because meat production in particular produces a lot of the climate gas methane, which is many times more harmful to the climate than CO 2 .

Halve meat consumption

But as mentioned at the beginning: With 60 kilograms of meat consumed per person per year, Germany is far from the moderate recommendations of the DGE, which make up at most half of this amount. Accordingly, healthy meat consumption should hardly exceed around 30 kilograms per year – for the benefit of health, animals and the environment.

These tricks help against the bellyThese tricks help against the belly

From the age of 30, German men are growing rapidly. It doesn’t look good and is a health hazard. Nevertheless, the stronger sex has difficulties with weight loss programs. FOCUS Online explains why this is so and which diet works best for men.

Surveys by the Federal Statistical Office show that Germany’s men are getting fatter year after year: If the body mass index is used as a benchmark, 62 percent of men are currently overweight (BMI over 25) and 18 percent are obese (BMI over 30) . And while only a third of the 20 to 25 year olds are overweight, the proportion among the over 50 year olds rises to more than 70 percent. Among women, 43 percent carry too many pounds around – but the proportion of people who are overweight shrinks slightly every year.

Visceral belly fat is a health risk

But while many of the overweight women have the word “lose weight” at least in the back of their minds, the term “diet” bounces off most men. Somehow, around 30, they gradually lose their firm body, but they feel comfortable with their figure, which they do not find too fat at all. Men seem to be more tolerant of their paunch than women of their love handles.

This has nothing to do with reason, because it is now known that so-called visceral belly fat in particular poses a health risk. The metabolically active tissue releases inflammatory substances and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and erectile dysfunction.

The traditional image of the man promotes obesity

Papa gets the biggest piece of meat because a man has to eat properly – this age-old belief persists in Germany. And so men eat an average of 1.1 kilograms of meat every week. That is twice as much as for women and twice as much as recommended for a healthy diet. In addition, there are plenty of carbohydrates in the form of pasta, potatoes or white bread, sausage, butter and cheese – and the plates are often scooped up on the “all-you-can-eat” principle.

Many men get fat because they eat and drink too much of the wrong things, for example six times as much beer as women. And they stay fat because it is very difficult to change established eating habits.

Men need a lot of motivation to diet

Doctors and nutritionists find time and again that men rarely lose weight because they find themselves too fat. It almost always takes an external spark for the average man to change something in his lifestyle, for example when the doctor diagnoses diabetes or a heart problem, or when a relationship breaks up.

This was also the result of an evaluation of two major diet programs by the British health authority NHS. And there were even more men-specific issues on the subjectLose weight:

  • Only ten percent of men had received a referral from their doctor for the programs.
  • But: Once men start with such a measure, they develop ambition to lose weight and get out less often than women.
  • Men are more likely to respond to programs that avoid the word “diet” and place great emphasis on exercise.

Proper diet and exercise

Weight loss results mainly from diet changes. However, if men also expand their muscle cushion in the process, the effect is increased because of the high energy requirements of the muscles. Men should exercise all muscle groups in the body and not just squint at the fast-growing biceps.

A sporting program that includes a mix of strength and endurance is often better accepted by men than women. Sport should be fun in any case, because after actively losing weight, exercise can stabilize the desired weight – without the man having to constantly watch the calories.

What men should eat for weight loss is no different from a diet for women:

1. less red / fatty meat, sausage and animal fat

2. more vegetables

3. less white flour and sugar (carbohydrates)

4. more white / lean meat, tofu, or legumes (protein)

5. no alcohol

Intermittent fasting – as invented for men

Intermittent fasting is a suitable diet method for those who like it simple and uncomplicated. With the simple principle, there are time windows for food intake, which alternate with fasting episodes. The fat metabolism is activated, excess pounds can melt – especially if you keep an eye on the calories.

  • The popular “16: 8” method is suitable as a permanent nutritional principle: During the day, people eat in an 8-hour window, two to three meals without snacks in between. The nocturnal eating break is extended to 16 hours – ideal for men who do not like breakfast.
  • The “5: 2” interval fasting allows you to eat normally on five days, then there are a maximum of 500 calories on two days.
  • The “1: 1” method is considered to be the most difficult to stick to: alternately eat one day and one fast.

For men (and women), the combination of two protein shakes and a normal meal a day is a good start to losing weight. US presenter and comedian Jimmy Kimmel lost over twelve kilos before he switched to intermittent fasting “5: 2”.

The man’s body is the best weapon against obesity

Once men have decided to lose weight, they enjoy a great advantage over women. Men are taller, heavier and have more muscles – as a result, their bodies burn more energy even when they are resting.

If they also save calories, they lose more weight and lose weight faster than women. This was shown by a study with 2000 male and female participants who had exactly the same general conditions. After eight weeks, the men saw 16 percent more weight loss. Their bodies cling less to fat deposits, which in women are a stubborn reservoir for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

9 facts: What it means for your health if you cut out meat9 facts: What it means for your health if you cut out meat

Vegetarians and vegans are no better people. But mostly they are slimmer and healthier than meat eaters. New scientific studies have now found further differences – they even affect the psyche.

The latest news from German slaughterhouses have certainly given the vegetarians and vegans community a new boost. In addition to animal welfare and ecological aspects, avoiding meat is usually also based on the desire for a healthy diet. What does science say

1. Consensus: little meat is okay, but not really necessary

Every German eats 150 grams of meat and meat products on average every day. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but it clearly exceeds the maximum 600 grams that the German Nutrition Society per week finds acceptable. Many consumers are also significantly higher. It is these “meat eaters” who are mentioned in the studies on the harmful effects of meat consumption.

But even with those who eat a lot of meat, there are differences: because those who eat a lot of unprocessed meat, and at the same time high in fiber and low in sugar, have a low risk of disease. This is the case, for example, with the Paleo diet.

Experts consider the Mediterranean diet to be the best nutritional method in the world, and it has been for two decades. In 2019 she was once again named the best diet of the year by “US News” . A lot of vegetables, fish and olive oil end up on the plate, but little meat and processed foods.

In comparative studies, it is not vegetarians and vegans who do well, but people who eat little meat.

But you can also say with a clear conscience to Tilmann Kühn, nutritional epidemiologist at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) in Heidelberg: “If you eat wholesome vegetarian food, your body is fine. On the contrary, according to scientific findings, a vegetarian diet is actually very healthy. ”With one small caveat:“ Less meat ”only makes sense if the calorie advantage is not topped up with pizza, biscuits or meat imitations.

2. Those who do not eat meat also live more healthily in other ways

Numerous studies have shown that the biggest meat fans usually do not have good eating habits. Even if you neglect the nutritional value of individual foods, a diet high in meat and sausage as well as sugar, white flour and saturated fats from ready-made foods is unhealthy. Because healthy foods such as vegetables, fruit, legumes, whole grains or nuts are definitely neglected.

3. meat or plant? Nutritional studies are conditionally meaningful

In the laboratory, it is possible to determine how certain nutrients affect human cells. Studies with humans don’t work like that. The health comparison “meat eaters versus vegetarians” is only possible in observational studies. Their conclusions are only an approximation of reality. Too many factors play a role in health for the question to be reduced to schnitzel and tofu . For example: is a chain-smoking vegan healthier than an athletic meat eater?

Epidemiological studies can never conclusively prove that meat consumption is unhealthy. And it is also not conclusively clear which individual ingredients are harmful to health.

4. When it comes to meat, it depends on the color

Beef, pork, lamb or sheep provide the so-called red meat. It is said to cause cardiovascular diseases and problems with the blood vessels.

For US researcher Stanley Hazen from the Cleveland Clinic, a metabolic product of the carnitine contained in red meat is responsible for this. To prove this, he had 113 test subjects eat 250 grams of steak a day for four weeks. A two-week break was followed by four weeks with a correspondingly large amount of (white) poultry meat and, at the end, a meat-free month.

The result , published in the “European Heart Journal”, showed a significant 3-fold increase in the TMAO plasma concentration during the steak weeks. TMAO is produced during the metabolism of carnitine and is a risk marker for hardening of the arteries in the blood vessels. The diet with poultry and vegetables led to a decrease in plasma concentrations in the test subjects.

Red meat is also directly or indirectly involved in the development of cancer.

For example, studies by the DKFZ have shown that people who eat a lot of red meat have increased biomarkers of certain roasting substances, such as those produced during roasting and grilling, swim in the blood. These people were at an increased risk of developing colon cancer.

In the large-scale EPIC study across Europe, 519,000 test persons were examined to find out the connection between diet and cancer .

The results show that red meat can increase the risk of colon cancer. Accordingly, the risk of the disease increases by almost 50 percent if the daily consumption of meat is 100 grams above the recommended amount. The same amount of sausage products increases the risk by as much as 70 percent.

The risk of stomach cancer is also said to be related to heavy meat consumption. In people infected with the Helicobacter pylori bacterium, the risk increases by a factor of five.

5. Theory 1: Iron makes meat unhealthy

There are various theories about why red meat is so problematic. The so-called iron load hypothesis is based on the fact that red meat contains a comparatively high amount of iron. This so-called heme iron has a high bioavailability, unlike iron from plant food, and thus enters the organism in larger quantities.

It has long been suggested that high levels of iron in the blood increase the risk of cancer . However, this theory has not yet been proven by studies.

6. Theory 2: BMMF make meat unhealthy

Scientists working with Nobel laureate Harald zur Hausen believe they have found another cause: a previously unknown class of pathogens is responsible for the increased risk of colon cancer .

These “Bovine Milk and Meat Factors (BMMF)” enter the human intestines through the consumption of meat and dairy products from European cattle. There it comes to a chronic inflammation, which indirectly promotes the development of colon cancer.

7. Avoiding meat protects the intestines

Vegetarian foods contain fiber, which has a positive effect on the microbiome in the gut. Vegans have a particularly large number of them. In addition to fruit and vegetables, lactic acid foods such as yogurt also support the intestinal flora. Vegetarians often consume these. Researchers from the University of New York have confirmed that vegans and vegetarians have more protective types of gut bacteria than meat eaters.

Meat also poses a cancer risk through its preparation and processing: for example, when meat is heated up, several potentially harmful substances are formed at the same time, including so-called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); curing also produces nitrosamines. These substances can promote the development of cancer, and above all they increase the risk of colon cancer. Methods such as curing and intense heating are particularly used for industrially processed meat, such as sausage and ham. Accordingly, processed meat products are particularly unhealthy.

8. Avoiding meat makes you slim

Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Neurosciences (MPI CBS) and the Leipzig University Hospital examined almost 9,000 people, what connections there are between body and mind on the one hand and not consuming animal products on the other. regardless of age, gender and level of education. The study was published in June 2020 in the specialist magazine “Nutrients”.

The result of the physical impact: the less food of animal origin was on the menu, the lower the average body mass index (BMI) and thus the body weight. “Products that are excessively high in fat and sugar make you fat. They stimulate the appetite and delay the feeling of satiety. If you do without animal foods, you eat fewer such products on average, ”explains Evelyn Medawar, first author of the work.

9. Avoiding meat and the psyche

With regard to the psychological effects of the meatless diet, the Leipzig study found no particular susceptibility to neuroses in vegetarians. The study director Veronica Witte says: “Previous analyzes had found that more neurotic people generally leave out certain food groups more often. We focused solely on avoiding animal products and could not observe any correlation. ”No connection was found between a predominantly plant-based diet and depressive moods. There was evidence of this in previous studies.

However, the researchers found a difference in one of the determining factors of personality: the extroversion or introversion. People with predominantly plant-based foods on the menu are more introverted than those who eat primarily animal products. The study authors have not yet found an explanation for this.

Magnesium is vital – you need to look out for it to stay healthyMagnesium is vital – you need to look out for it to stay healthy

Magnesium is involved in hundreds of different processes in the body. Therefore, the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency can be different. What surprising signs are possible, who is particularly at risk and how you can intelligently compensate for a magnesium deficiency.

Magnesium is particularly well known in connection with magnesium deficiency and cramps. This applies to nocturnal calf cramps, but also massive cramps in athletes. But this important role that magnesium takes on for well-functioning muscles, only reflects a tiny aspect of its very broad spectrum of activity with diverse, vital functions.

What is magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral and belongs to the group of metals. This mineral is essential. This means that the body cannot produce magnesium itself, but the mineral is vital and must therefore be supplied with the diet. It is then absorbed through the intestinal walls and gets into the blood. Any excess is excreted through the kidneys with the urine. High fat foods, oxalates and phosphates can slow down the absorption of magnesium in the intestine.

Around 25 grams of magnesium are present in the organism (in a person weighing 70 kilograms). A good half is in the bones, a little less in the muscles and only one percent in the blood. The bones also act as magnesium stores. However, the magnesium content in bones decreases over the course of life.

In addition, minerals are divided into bulk and trace elements. Magnesium is one of the bulk elements because the body needs relatively large amounts of it, unlike trace elements such as iodine and copper.

Why Magnesium is Vital

Magnesium is involved in the activation of over 300 enzymes in the body, including in the protein structure. The mineral takes on decisive tasks for energy and cell metabolism and regulates many vital functions, including:

  • Impulse transmission in muscle and nerve cells, magnesium ensures normal conduction of excitation in nerves and muscles. In connection with nerves, magnesium also supports brain functions and via the muscles, for example, the heart muscle. Adequate magnesium intake even seems to reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death, a study suggests.
  • Magnesium influences the heart rhythm and blood pressure.
  • It relaxes muscles, nerves and blood vessels and can reduce the production of stress hormones. This normalization of the excitability of nerves and the vascular tension is probably responsible for the fact that with an adequate supply of magnesium, among other things, the number of migraine attacks demonstrably decreases, as the analysis of several studies showed.
  • Magnesium can reduce the clumping of blood platelets, so it can support normal blood clotting. The risk of having a stroke decreases when the body receives enough magnesium, further research shows .
  • It is involved in the utilization of glucose and in blood sugar control. The risk of type 2 diabetes has been shown to decrease if the mineral is taken in sufficiently.
  • Magnesium is an important antagonist of calcium, prevents too much calcium from being stored, for example in muscles, but also vessels and organs. Magnesium can prevent the formation of kidney stones, which often consist of calcium oxalate.
  • In addition, magnesium can neutralize too much stomach acid somewhat and thus reduce the risk of heartburn.
  • In conjunction with calcium and vitamin D, magnesium controls the bone metabolism. Among other things, magnesium supports the activation of vitamin D in the kidneys. Magnesium is therefore an important factor in preventing osteoporosis. Already existing osteoporosis could be slowed down somewhat by adequate intake, as a study suggests.
  • The mineral regulates important messenger substances that also play a role in the mental mood. Studies show that magnesium can have a similar effect on mild depression as certain antidepressants , the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs). 

Overall, these and similar studies provide strong indications that an adequate supply of magnesium, including through dietary supplements, is associated with a lower risk of numerous common diseases.

Bad habit or dangerous? That’s why it cracks when we pull our fingersBad habit or dangerous? That’s why it cracks when we pull our fingers

Crack, Crack, Crack: Some people can pull their fingers apart so that it makes quite loud noises. Scientists wanted to know where this pop is coming from. 

  • So far there have been various theories about the origin of noise.
  • Researchers observed the process in the magnetic resonance tomograph.
  • There is no indication of whether the cracking is bad or good for the joints.

The cracking noise when pulling apart of fingers formed according to a study by the formation of a cavity in the joint.

Finger in the magnetic resonance tomograph

In the investigation, Greg Kawchuk’s team from the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada, took a closer look at a man’s metacarpophalangeal joints in an MRI scanner. The scientists present their results in the journal “PLOS ONE” .

Is there a threat to health?

Some people can crack their joints when they pull their fingers apart. There is currently no evidence as to whether this phenomenon is bad or good for the joints. “So far, no one has ever been able to prove that this  cracking is harmful to health in the long term,” says Professor Jörg van Schoonhoven from the Clinic for Hand Surgery at the Rhön Clinic in Bad Neustadt an der Saale.

Different theories

For a long time there have been various theories about where the popping sound when clicking your fingers comes from. Some scientists suspected that the crackling sound was caused by a bursting bubble in the joint space.

Other researchers hypothesized that the sound is caused by the flapping of ligaments.

Another explanation for the origin of the cracking is what is known as tribonucleation: a mechanism in which the movement of surfaces creates gas bubbles in a liquid.

Study author as guinea pig

To date, there has not been any direct experimental evidence that solidly supports any of the theories. Kawchuk’s researchers wanted to change that. 

For their study, the scientists needed someone who had the ability to crack their metatarsophalangeal joints on request. These joints connect the bones of the metacarpus to the base members of the fingers. The choice fell on Jerome Fryer, one of the study authors.

Pull until it cracks

In the experiment, the researchers examined each finger of the test subject in isolation in a special magnetic resonance tomograph, with which movement sequences can be recorded.

The finger was attached to a kind of tube that was connected to a cable at the other end. Then the cord was pulled until Fryer’s fingers cracked. The entire process in the joint was recorded with an MRI scanner.

Is a cavity the cause?

Shortly before the cracking could be heard, the researchers were able to observe the formation of a cavity in the images.

The scientists therefore assume that tribonucleation has taken place in the joint: “It is a bit as if a vacuum is being formed,” explains Kawchuk in a communication on the study. “If the joint surfaces suddenly separate, there is no longer any liquid left to fill the increasing joint volume. This creates a cavity.” The noise is generated by this event. 

“It is interesting to know what acoustic phenomenon is behind the cracking of the fingers,” said the hand surgeon van Schoonhoven. However, by including only one person in their study, Kawchuk’s researchers would be able to explain the phenomenon only for that person. “The experimental setup does not allow any generalized statements,” said van Schoonhoven.

 

What really helps against joint painWhat really helps against joint pain

Natural active ingredients such as devil’s claw or NSAID drugs and opioids: These drugs are supposed to relieve joint pain in osteoarthritis. But what helps whom? FOCUS Online explains which treatments work for joint pain caused by osteoarthritis and what side effects they have.

  • Osteoarthritis results from wear and tear on bones and joint capsules.
  • Five million Germans suffer from the consequences.
  • Briefly explained: which osteoarthritis treatment helps whom?

If the joints hurt, it is usually osteoarthritis : it is the most common of all joint diseases. About five million Germans suffer from it. Osteoarthritis occurs when bones, ligaments, tendons and joint capsules wear out.

This is important to differentiate the disease from rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation is the cause here.

This is important for osteoarthritis treatment

“Arthrosis is a disease that runs in waves,” explains Johannes Flechtenmacher, President of the Professional Association of Orthopedists and Trauma Surgeons. Less painful phases alternate with those that torment those affected.

The aim of the treatment is to relieve the pain on the one hand and to maintain or restore the ability to move on the other.

Osteoarthritis needs combination treatments

Ideally, the doctor combines non-drug treatments such as physiotherapy, nutritional recommendations, and hot or cold applications with medication. These are mainly used in the acute pain phase.

“In the less painful episodes, patients should try to avoid medication,” explains Flechtenmacher. In principle, movement in particular is an important component of therapy. His motto: “Move a lot, load little.”

Five osteoarthritis treatments put to the test:

1. NSAIDs: cortisone-free pain relievers

This is how the drug works: The non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are the classic all-rounders in pain relief. They have both anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects, but do not contain cortisone.

Medicines include ibuprofen, diclofenac, or naproxen. They block two important enzymes that play a role in the sensation of pain: Cyclooxygenase (COX) isoenzymes I and II.

The so-called Cox II inhibitors are therefore well suited to treat acute joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.

NSAIDs also have an antipyretic effect.

Side effects: Gastrointestinal complaints and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases are among the risks of NSAIDs. “That is why it is particularly important to tailor the osteoarthritis treatment to the patient,” explains orthopedist Flechtenmacher.

For example, ibuprofen is not suitable for patients with kidney problems, and diclofenac hits the liver. Both drugs also have a negative effect on the cardiovascular system. Naproxin is therefore better suited for heart disease patients with osteoarthritis.

2. Opioids

This is how the drug works: Opioids are effective remedies that are used against severe joint pain. By attacking the opioid receptors, they prevent pain from developing and being transmitted.

Tramadol is one of the morphine-like drugs. “Morphines are not suitable for treating acute phases of pain in osteoarthritis,” says Flechtenmacher. This is especially true for plasters. Morphine should only be used for chronic treatment if no other therapy is helping the patient.

Side effects: Many sufferers suffer from the exhaustion caused by morphine. Especially in older people, opioids aggravate many age problems. These include, for example, constipation and dizziness. This also increases the risk of frail patients falling.

3. Hyaluronic acid

In addition to drugs that directly combat pain, there are active ingredients that intervene in the mechanism of the disease. A typical representative is hyluronic acid.

This is how the drug works: Doctors inject hyaluronic acid into the joint to treat osteoarthritis. That’s the only way it works. “In contrast, it is pointless in tablet form, as is sometimes offered,” explains Flechtenmacher. Only in the joint does the drug help the knees or fingers move more smoothly.

With regard to evidence-based studies, hyaluronic acid should be viewed critically, adds the doctor. For example, the relief of osteoarthritis on knock knees or bow legs, where it is biomechanically induced, works less well than on straight legs.

Nevertheless, medical professionals have high hopes for hyaluronic acid. They are currently researching the structure of cartilage: “There are actually very promising developments in which hyaluronic acid is combined with stem cells or other molecules,” says Flechtenmacher. Damaged cartilage structures could be rebuilt.

Side effects: As a rule, osteoarthritis patients tolerate hyaluronic acid very well. Since it is injected directly into the joint, there is the usual risk of infection from the method.

4. Natural medicine

This is how the treatment works: Natural active ingredients such as nettle leaves, willow bark or devil’s claw should also relieve pain. The latter contains, among other things, harpagoside. Similar to the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, they are supposed to inhibit the formation of the pain messenger prostaglandin.

“So far, however, nothing has been identified in evidence-based studies that proves the effectiveness of the natural active ingredients,” explains Flechtenmacher.

Side effects: They are dependent on the natural medicine product. The instruction leaflet of the devil’s claw, for example, warns of possible gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea, nausea, flatulence, vomiting as well as dizziness and headaches or rashes.

5. Acupuncture

This is how the treatment works: As with natural active ingredients, evidence of how acupuncture works for osteoarthritis has not yet been provided in scientific studies.

On the contrary. An Australian study looked at the effects of acupuncture. The results published in the “JAMA” magazine showed: Acupuncture with needles or laser has no relevant effect on pain and function in patients over 50 with knee osteoarthritis and moderate or severe chronic pain.

However, acupuncture helps some osteoarthritis sufferers. Johannes Flechtenmacher, for example, relies on the alternative form of treatment

  • light and irregular pain
  • when many illnesses in the affected person rule out other drugs.

In addition, there are many patients who benefit from the doctor’s attention and empathy alone.

Side effects: The symptoms can get worse at first, writes the German Pain Society on acupuncture . And adds: “Occasionally there are slight bruises or bruises, and brief circulatory reactions can also occur during acupuncture treatment.”

In any case, those affected should not treat their joint pain independently, but should always have it checked out by a specialist.

Every second German affected! How to prevent osteoarthritis in everyday lifeEvery second German affected! How to prevent osteoarthritis in everyday life

Around 35 million people in Germany suffer from osteoarthritis. Is sport good for the joints? Whether for prevention or for those affected: exercise is the best medicine. FOCUS Online explains which sports are suitable and what you should pay attention to.

  • If you want to do something about osteoarthritis, you should exercise.
  • With these sports you can prevent.
  • At the same time, those affected can still practice many sports.

Anyone who hurts movements in their knees, shoulders or ankles usually suffers from osteoarthritis. It is the most common joint disease. At least five million Germans suffer from it. Experts even speak of 35 million people affected in Germany for early forms of osteoarthritis.

From the age of 30, the risk increases linearly. Among those over the age of 60, 50 percent of women and a third of men suffer from osteoarthritis.

Strictly speaking, however, everyone would get osteoarthritis, says Karl-Dieter Heller, chief physician at the Orthopedic Clinic Duchess Elisabeth Hospital. From the age of 40 at the latest, arthritic changes appear in the X-ray. Osteoarthritis occurs when bones, ligaments, tendons and joint capsules wear out.

Many movements are therefore painful. That tempts you to keep calm. However, this is exactly the wrong way to go. Anyone who wants to prevent joint wear and tear should definitely be active in sports.

With these sports you can prevent osteoarthritis

On the one hand, the aim of sport is to move the joint and maintain flexibility. The movement supplies the cartilage with nutrients. Because this itself is not supplied with blood.

On the other hand, the movement strengthens the joint-stabilizing muscles, which relieves the joint.

Sport improves the metabolism in the joint and the control function of the joints is maintained. Bones and cartilage are relieved.

Cycling, Nordic walking, swimming and cross-country skiing are sports that do not put stress on the joints, but move them gently.

At the same time, a change in diet also plays an important role in prevention, as being overweight puts extreme stress on the joints.

This is how many hours of exercise a week should be

Heller recommends: Three quarters to an hour three times a week is a good workload.

Limit: If you experience swelling and pain in your knees, shoulders or feet, you should adjust the intensity of your training.

Stop-and-go sports can put too much strain on the joints. These include tennis, badminton and squash.