Pregnancy after 50

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What is the age of the oldest "new" mom?

The oldest woman in the world who gave birth was a 63-year old Southern Californian in 1996. Women past 45 almost always become pregnant through in vitro fertilization (IVF), where a donor egg is fertilized with sperm and "implanted" in the woman's womb. Among women over 40, the success rate is about 40%. Among those 45-49 in the United States, the births have tripled (from 1,638 to 4,174) from 1990 to 1999. One hundred and seventy four women age 50-54 gave birth in 1999, up from 144 two years earlier. Last year, a 62-year-old French woman, a 60-year old Indian, a 60-year old Japanese, and a 56-year old British became their country's oldest new mothers. Obviously, the eggs were donated, and so the mothers' genes are not present in their babies. Some day, nuclear transfer may allow reconstitution and genetic material substitution in donor eggs with the birth mother's DNA.

Are beans good for us?

A Tulane University study revealed that people who ate beans, peas, or other legumes at least four times a week had a 22% lower risk of heart disease compared to those who ate them once a week or not at all. Their blood pressure were also noted to be lower. The only downside to this is some people who eat beans tend to produce and pass gas more often. A pill called "Beano" is now available in drug stores to help digest beans better and reduce gas formation and stomach discomfort among these intolerant individuals.

Why can't many Asians tolerate milk?

Many Asians cannot tolerate drinking milk or eating dairy products (cheese, chocolate, cakes, ice cream, etc), which make them feel bloated, gassy and cause stomach discomfort as early as a few minutes after ingesting them. This is due to lactose intolerance caused by Lactase deficiency. Lactase is an enzyme that helps digest milk and milk products. Since many Asians do not drink milk while growing up, the Lactase enzyme production in their body is greatly reduced. As adults, they have Lactase deficiency and are unable to digest milk and dairy products properly. This causes the symptoms described above upon intake of milk and milk products. Today, there is Lactaid (Lactase) tablet, which could be taken during or immediately before drinking milk and dairy products to aid in their digestion for a symptom-free event.

What are "tearless" onions?

From South Texas, U.S.A., comes Texas 1015 sweet onions, the ones that will not make you cry when you slice or dice or eat them. These marvelous Texas-grown onions are available only from April through May or early June. They have a low level of tear-causing pyruvate in them, hence "crying" is optional. Texas 1015 usually grow to softball-size and many weigh more than a pound, and more than 4 inches in diameter. Just like regular onions, Texas 1015 help lower blood cholesterol, are good for persons with high blood pressure, are low in calories, and a natural source of ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

Which home water filter works?

There are several brands of home water filter out in the market. The goal is to improve the quality of tap water by reducing unhealthy contaminants like pesticides, lead, microorganisms like cryptosporidium cysts and giargia, chlorine, mercury, lindane and others. The ones that are effective in filtering out all these are: Mounted-on-faucet---PUR Ultimate Faucet Mount; Under-the-sink type---OMNI Filter CBF3; OMNI CBF20; and PUR plus undersink; Water-pitcher type filters---PUR Ultimate Pitcher. We were surprised to find out that Culligan and Brita brands did not fare as well. An alternative to home tap water filtration is, of course, using commercially available filtered water. For more information, access the following on the internet: www.epa.gov/safewater.

Is alcohol good for the brain?

Researchers in the Netherlands reported in The Lancet that their six-year studies on nearly 8,000 men and women age 55 and older revealed that moderate alcohol intake (one to 3 drinks a day) reduced the risk of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia by 42%, compared to those who did not drink at all. Those who had more than one drink a week had a 25% lower risk, and consuming less than a glass a week had 18% reduced risk in developing dementia compared to teetotalers. On the other hand, heavy drinkers had a higher incidence of Alzheimer's, besides cirrhosis of the liver, of course. The type of drink did not seem to matter, although in general, red wines (like Pinot Noir or Cabernet Sauvignon), which have high levels of Resveratrol that is also cardio-protective, are preferred for their overall health benefits.

Are there drugs without side effects?

No, there are no medications that are totally devoid of potential adverse side effects. Even acetylsalicylic acid (aspirin), which people gulp like water, has possible side effects. Individuals have died from severe allergic reaction following ingestion of aspirin. Others develop allergic dermatitis (skin rash) from this common household items. More seriously, children have died from Reye's syndrome (following aspirin ingestion) decades ago when aspirin was still being given to children for fever or cold. Today, physicians do not prescribe aspirin for children anymore, except for limited and specific indication.

Are raw vegetables better for our health?

Yes, raw fruits and vegetables are better for our body. Cooking destroys the essential phytonutrients and other good ingredients in them. The same goes true with fish and meats. They are better eaten raw, like sushi and sashimi, but since most of us do not appreciate eating these items raw, we prefer them cooked. Besides, cooking also kills the harmful bacteria they may contain. Some of the vegetables that are usually served raw at cocktail parties are cucumber, carrots, cauliflower, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, etc.

What is "white coat" hypertension?

White coat or doctor's coat hypertension is high blood pressure brought on by the intimidating presence of a health personnel (physician, a nurse, a tech, etc.) wearing white or lab coat. Some of these patients have normal blood pressure but temporarily develop high blood pressure during the medical check-up. Those with high blood pressure could have aggravated blood pressure because of the anxiety. In both situations, the pressure comes down to its real level after half an hour or so, when the persons settle down.

Should children be on a diet?

Yes, all children, should be on a diet, on a proper balance diet, that is. Autopsies on children as young as five years of age who were accident victims have shown that their major arteries were already lined by a thin film of cholesterol deposits. Obviously, we are feeding our children too much red meat and eggs and other dairy products. It is essential that our children, starting from infancy, are fed enough fruits, vegetables and fish (for them to acquire as taste for these items), and much much smaller portions of red meat and eggs than we have been feeding them. Also, the trips to the hamburger and French fry restaurants must be no more than a couple of weeks apart. Our children are victims of our own vices and bad habits. In the name of love, we cater to their every whim, albeit bad for them. Its time for us to help save our children from our unhealthy life style. Let us not cause them to be "hooked on" red meats, eggs and other high cholesterol foods. As we have written before, let us stop killing our children with love.

©2003Raoul R. Diez, M.A.O.D.