A unique service we provide at the Palms of Chatsworth is nutritional counseling. John Mallon, certified in Lifestyle Medicine by The Metabolic Medical Institute (MMI) and a member of the American Anti-Aging Academy of Medicine (A4M), thoroughly researches the resident’s health history. He works closely with the resident’s medical doctors and reviews blood tests in order to discover any nutritional deficiencies. Many elderly residents benefit by having a higher quality of life as well as longevity due to a nutritious diet and supplementation of essential foods and nutrients that aid the body in healing. Some examples are as follows:

 1. Coconut Oil: The findings in recent research indicate that the Medium Chained Fatty Acids, MCT’s, are extremely beneficial for the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s. The liver is able to produce ketones that provide nourishment to the mitochondria which create energy for the brain cells. The brain consists of about 60% fat. Adding coconut oil to the daily diet, about 2 tablespoons per day, produces excellent results with those who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s.

2. Curcumin: Adding Tumeric to a meal not only enhances flavor, it also acts to reduce inflammation and supports the circulatory system as well as the nervous system. It is no secret that the residents of India do not have the high incidence of Alzheimer’s that we experience in the United States. It is believed that the spices used in Indian dishes, such as Tumeric and Curry, have high quantities of Curcumin, a substance that reduces inflammation that may lead to memory loss.

3. Vitamin D: A blood test normally detects low levels of vitamin D in the elderly. This vitamin, technically a hormone, is essential to many bodily systems and contributes to many health benefits for the individual such as stronger bones and muscle. Recently, there has been much research performed documenting the necessity to supplement Vitamin D. The lack of sunshine obtained by the elderly and the insufficient UV rays from the sun due to the solstice contribute to the deficiency.

4. Vitamin B12 and Folic Acid: A lack of B12 and Folic acid can contribute to high homocysteine levels in the blood which can indicate cardiovascular disease. If deficient, supplementation usually causes the resident to experience an increase in energy and can elevate moods.

5. Omega 3 Fatty Acids: EPA and DHA Omega 3 fatty acids help to reduce inflammation and improve cardiovascular function. These acids also compose approximately 11% of the brain and can enhance cognitive abilities. Although Flax Seed oil with lineolic acid will allow the body to produce Omega 3, it is easiest obtained by ingesting fish oil in the elderly.

6. Cinnamon: Used as a delicious addition to certain foods such as oatmeal, it helps to regulate the sugar level in the blood. Many diabetics benefit from using this spice as it helps to keep the blood insulin level lower and reduce the symptoms of diabetes. Used in conjuction with a low carbohydrate diet, it can help diabetics reduce the need for certain medications that control diabetes.

7. Minerals: Electrolytes (Calcium, Magnesuim, Potassium, and Sodium) improve the body’s ability to remain hydrated. Studies performed using athletes who ingest liquids containing electrolytes such as Gatorade, have proven their effectiveness in enhancing athletic performance. When electrolytes are administered to the elderly, who often resist liquid consumption, hydration is increased which can help to prevent urinary tract infections and dementia. Trace minerals that are essential to health are also needed in order to balance the body’s need for such minerals.

In our bodies, electrolytes include sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), bicarbonate (HCO3-, magnesium (Mg2+), chloride (C1-), hydrogen phosphate (HPO42-), and hydrogen carbonate (HCO3-). Electrolytes regulate our nerve and muscle function, our body's hydration, blood pH, blood pressure, the rebuilding of damaged tissue. Various mechanisms exist in our body to help keep the concentrations of different electrolytes under strict control.

Our muscles and neurons are thought of as electric tissues of the body. They are activated by electrolyte activity between extracellular fluid or interstitial fluid, and intracellular fluid (fluid inside and outside or between cells).
A muscle contraction needs calcium (Ca2+), sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+) to be present. If levels of vital electrolytes are wrong, the muscles either become too weak, or their contractions are too severe. Our heart, muscle and nerve cells use electrolytes to maintain voltages across their cell membranes to carry electrical impulses across themselves and to other cells.

The level of an electrolyte in the blood can become too high or too low. Body electrolyte levels tend to change when water levels in the body change - when our level of hydration is altered.
Electrolyte levels are kept constant by our kidneys and various hormones - even when our bodies trigger changes. When we exercise we sweat and lose electrolytes, mainly sodium and potassium. To maintain electrolyte concentrations of our body fluids constant these electrolytes must be replaced. Fresh fruits and vegetables are good sources of sodium and potassium and replace lost electrolytes

8. Vitamin C: The findings of Linus Pauling have proven the many benefits of supplementing with vitamin C. Balance of nutrients is essential as vitamin C can deplete the body of copper and also should be used with bioflavonoids to enhance its effect.

9. Protein drinks using whey powder can supplement the building blocks for making collagen and muscle tissue. We serve them in all flavors mixed with various ingredients such as fruit, yogurt, lecithin, and probiotics.