Complementary and Alternative Therapies and the Aging Population

Ronald Watson

Research output: Book/ReportBook

8 Scopus citations


The major objective of this book is to review in detail health problems occurring with significant frequency in aging adults which are proposed to be treated or ameliorated using nutriceuticals as foods and dietary supplements as well as other complementary and alternative therapies. Chapters primarily focusing on nutrients have been excluded to maintain a focus on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Overview of the Book: The book is divided into three general sections as follows: I. Nutriceuticals and Botanicals in Health Promotion; (A) Specific Nutriceuticals Used in Treating Aged, (B) General Nutraceutical Approaches to Therapy with emphasis on cancer. II. Non-nutritional CAM Therapies. (A) Mind-mediated Therapies, (B) Physically Applied CAM Therapies I. Non-Nutritional Components in Diet and Supplements, Nutriceuticals and their Role in Health Promotion in the Mature Adult. Nutrient requirements for optimum health and function of aging physiological systems often are quite distinct from young ones. Nutriceuticals, without nutrients as foods or dietary supplements benefit the aged by both protecting nutrients from oxidative damage as well as through their direct biological activity. Recognition and understanding of the role of CAM nutriceuticals in health of the aged is being intensively researched and tested, especially due to the increases in the elderly in the general population. In developed countries, economic restrictions and physical inactivity during aging can significantly reduce food intakes, contributing to nutritional stresses and needs. Many disease entities and cancers are found with higher frequency in the aged. Cancer, trauma, or infectious disease can alter intakes of nutriceutical containing foods and/or requirements for various nutrients. Nutriceuticals, especially those of botanical origins have thousands of biologically active chemicals. Thus specific foods and nutriceutical supplementation may be helpful in treatment of aged adults including cancer patients. Many adults and elderly are using foods and nutriceutical supplements above the recommended daily allowance, which may not always be needed for optimal health. To some extent, treatment of these conditions with diet or nutriceutical supplements is a unique problem in the aged. In summary, increasing numbers of older adults and elderly in the population require detailed study and directed research to understand their health problems, using novel nutriceutical and CAM therapies. II. Nutriceuticals in Disease and Cancer Therapy in Seniors. Research continues to show that non-nutritional materials in the diet or as supplements can have important health promotion benefits. Those that are antioxidants act, in part, by protecting antioxidant vitamins. However much needs to be learned about benefits and risks of nutriceuticals which have a variety of biological activities in their own right. Therefore botanical extracts and components will be reviewed for their benefits to seniors. III. Non-dietary Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Use and Benefits to the Elderly in Health. The elderly are frequently using various non-traditional and often unproven CAM therapies, beyond nutritional and nutraceutical supplements. Therefore a variety of physical and psychosocial treatments will be evaluated by experts in CAM research for their benefits/risks and the extent of scientific testing. *Identifies the important nutritional requirements of the aging population, and how nutraceuticals and other CAM options affect those * Addresses the many disease entities and cancers are found with higher frequency in the aged, including cancer, trauma, or infectious disease that can alter intakes of nutraceutical containing foods and/or requirements for various nutrients. * Explores the nutritional materials botanical extracts and components that can have important health promotion benefits and risks, to ensure safe consumption * Reviews the frequently used non-traditional and often unproven CAM therapies, beyond nutritional and nutraceutical supplements, including a variety of physical and psychosocial treatments..

Original languageEnglish (US)
PublisherElsevier Inc.
ISBN (Print)9780123742285
StatePublished - 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Dentistry


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