Senior Health: GMOs & Healthy Aging

By Pete Lane, 9:00 am on

The use of genetically modified organisms, simply referred to as GMOs, has sparked significant controversy over the last decade. While many of the studies and statistics have focused on the ill effects of these substances on infants and children, the senior population should also be concerned. According to Centennial senior home care agencies, seniors may actually be more sensitive to these effects simply due to their advancing age. Studies indicate that health conditions with higher prevalence in the senior community, such as diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and even some forms of dementias may be linked to these substances.

What Are GMO’s?

Simply put, GMO’s are just that, genetically modified organisms, typically in plant-based crops that are found in several common foods. The plant DNA has been altered in an effort to use fewer pesticides and grow healthier plants. However, this may come at a cost to consumer health. Genetic modification can decrease the nutrient value of the plants in question and lead to other problems, such as toxicity of the plant to those that ingest them or their byproducts.

Why Are Seniors at Greater Risk?

As previously mentioned, a higher risk of diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and dementia may be linked to consumption of foods containing genetically modified organisms. Other specific health concerns that pose a greater risk to the elderly may also include but is not limited to slow gut motility, furthering the risk of constipation, acceleration of the aging process in general, and even increased risks of certain types of cancers. Given the fact that these risks are already imposed by changes in the body related to aging, GMOs may turn out to be even more dangerous for seniors.

How Can Seniors Eliminate or Reduce GMO Consumption?

While the Food and Drug Administration does not require products with GMOs to be labeled as containing such, there are still ways to safeguard seniors against these foods. Many companies and even some restaurants have decided against using GMOs within their products, including some well-known name brands. Searching for products labeled GMO free or opting to purchase organic products can also effectively assist in efforts to eliminate these substances from the senior diet.

Find out more about senior wellness from the trusted staff at Centennial Home Care Assistance. All of our caregivers are expertly trained in the Balanced Care Method, which helps seniors maintain physical, mental, and emotional health. To learn more about our care services, including Centennial respite care and live-in care, call our office today at 303.957.3100 and speak with a friendly Care Manager.