Michael Caine health: ‘Thats the main worry’ – star, 89, on his health concerns
Michael Caine receives award at Karlovy Vary film festival
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The film which secured Caine’s second Golden Globe Award was the 1998 Little Voice, which is being shown today (Sunday, March 20). The star studded cast also includes Jane Horrocks, Brenda Blethyn and Ewan McGregor and came out to mostly positive reviews. Although having won awards for his acting, Caine’s fears for his health have only gotten worse as he ages and in an interview with The Sun on Sunday a few years back, the actor revealed how his old lifestyle drinking and smoking habits have led to him fearing he might develop cancer.
“I know my days are numbered and that’s the main worry,” he told the newspaper back in 2017.
“I’ve had to cut back on the drinking and I’m always looking up what’s the best thing against cancer, so I’ll eat that or do this or not do that.”
The actor’s old habits became so bad that he used to drink “a bottle of vodka and smoke several packets of cigarettes a day”, which put him at risk of multiple severe health conditions.
With credit to his wife Shakira, the star managed to lose an impressive 30Ibs in weight and swap sugar and salt for healthier alternatives, in the hopes that he will be able to see his grandchildren grow up.
“Without her, I’d have been dead long ago. I used to drink a bottle of vodka a day and smoke several packs of cigarettes,” he added.
“I’ll probably drop dead talking to you.” joked Caine to the interviewer, “But you know I’ve lost 30lbs just because I want to see my grandchildren.
“They’re twins of six and a boy of seven. I’d like to get to 17 for the boy.”
Despite drinking and smoking heavily in his early acting days, Caine has been blessed with overall good health since he was a young child, something that he credits to growing up on a farm.
Caine added: “Thinking back on it, health wise I was very lucky. And my mother insisted I ate porridge for breakfast for 15 years.
“We also had fresh vegetables because we lived on a farm so we would go and nick a cabbage. The food was wonderful.
“Another accidental healthy thing for me was the Second World War, you couldn’t get any sugar, you couldn’t get any of those drinks you have now with all this sugar in it.
“For 15 years I ate fish, every kind of fish you can imagine and I later realised it was a very healthy thing.”
Nowadays, one of the only things that the actor has to deal with is a debilitating spine problem, which affects one of his legs, making walking increasingly difficult.
In an interview with BBC Radio 2’s Mark and Kermode, Caine revealed more about his spine injury saying: “I have a spine problem which affects my leg, so I can’t walk very well.”
Despite his health struggles, the star dismissed any rumour of retirement, blaming a lack of work on scripts that do not want an elderly protagonist.
“Regarding retirement, I’ve spent over 50 years getting up at 6 a.m. to make movies, and I’m not getting rid of my alarm clock,” he explained to Kermode.
Although no one can completely escape the effects of ageing, the NHS states that a healthy balanced diet and getting enough exercise can help individuals to stay independent and avoid a number of health problems in older age.
The health body explains that there is strong evidence that people who keep active have a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, some cancers, depression and dementia.
Registered nutritionist Jo Lewin also explained that as we age, our interests, priorities and eating habits change. For those aged 60 and over, the body becomes less efficient at absorbing and using many vitamins and minerals, meaning the need for them both becomes more important.
Digestive problems, such as constipation, piles and diverticular disease, are more common as individuals age, so ensuring individuals keep their fluid intake up and avoid eating too much saturated fatty foods helps to keep the digestive system working whilst reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
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