Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Norwegian study decries effects of sugar on teenagers; US study says multivitamins help.

Norwegian study decries effects of sugar on teenagers; US study says multivitamins help.

(December 31, 2008, Canton, GA). The opening line of a McGuire Sisters’ pop hit of the 1950’s went like this: “Sugar in the morning, sugar in the evening, sugar at suppertime… ” According to researchers at the University of Oslo in Norway, far too many teenagers today are taking that advice literally, and the long-term effects on their physical and mental health are just beginning to be uncovered.

The Norwegian researchers examined the eating habits –including intake of soft drinks with sugar – of 5,000 teenagers. The participants in the study – all ages 15 & 16 – were then given a questionnaire designed to gauge their mental well-being. The researchers found a strong correlation between soft drink consumption and mental health problems. This association remained significant after adjustment for social, behavioral, and food-related disorders.

““The study revealed that hyperactivity and distress were more prevalent in teenagers who consumed an inordinate amount of sugar-based drinks – with those who drank four or more soft drinks a day displaying increased symptoms,” said Dr. Mike Headlee, a chiropractor whose family wellness practice is located in Canton.

“These findings emphasize the need for young people to limit their consumption of sugar – especially the sugar-loaded soft drinks that so many teens crave,” added Headlee whose standard course of care includes nutritional planning.

Not all the news is bad for today’s teens.

The University of Minneapolis School of Public Health studied 2,761 high school seniors to explore the correlation between multi-vitamin supplement use and lifestyle decisions. The study – published in the December 2006 edition of The Journal of the American Diabetic Association – established that teenagers who take multi-vitamin supplements are more likely to exhibit a healthier attitude toward life including a greater willingness to exercise and eat more nutritious foods.

“Vitamins are not magic pills. But, it was clearly evident in the study that vitamin users were more likely to be involved in school and extra-curricular sports, they watched less television per day, and they were less likely to be smokers or to be overweight,” noted Headlee.

“This is not rocket science. If you want to lead a healthier life – both physically and mentally – the equation is simple. Be fit. Eat right. Think well. It’s a credo that applies to people of all ages and walks of life,” concluded Headlee.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Are You Living Well With Cancer?

For people dealing with cancer, living well might mean living longer. After asking 3,700 people with late stage cancer to rate their quality of life on a scale of 0 to 10, Mayo Clinic researchers determined that those with as score of 5 or higher lived 7.5 months longer than people with a poor quality of life.

One of the best ways to improve quality of life is through stress reduction. "We don't have an anti stress pill," says Moshe Frenkel, M.D., medical director of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's Integrative Medicine Program, "but research shows that mind-body techniques can relieve stress and support the immune system, which is especially helpful for patients with cancer." What's more, many practices can ease cancer-specific problems: Yoga, for instance, may promote sleep, and acupuncture can ease pain and nausea.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Childhood Obesity Can Be Deadly

Harvard study finds that overweight kids risk premature death.

(December 29, 2008, Canton, GA). Overweight children most often become overweight adults. Sure, there are those who seek guidance or find inspiration and commit themselves to a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, those success stories are few and far between. The majority of obese children leave adolescence for an adult life already ripe with health concerns. And, according to a study by Harvard’s School of Public Health, those lives often end prematurely.

The Harvard study – published by the Annals of Internal Medicine – evaluated the health habits and medical records of more than 100,000 women who had provided data through the Nurses’ Health Study (an ongoing federally financed study on women’s health issues) since 1989. Researchers found that those women who were overweight or obese at age 18, had a far greater risk of dying from cancer or heart disease before reaching middle age.

“Today, one-third of U.S. children are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight,” said Dr. Mike Headlee when contacted about the study. “And, the Harvard research confirms that childhood obesity is a death sentence, “ added Headlee, whose chiropractic office are located in Canton, GA.

“The physical and emotional strain on an overweight child is compounded by the

type of behavior uncovered in this study. The obese youth were found less likely
to exercise and more likely to have smoked and consumed alcohol. Let me be the master of the obvious, this is a recipe for a shorter life,“ continued Headlee.

While the Harvard study did not establish whether permanent weight loss after age 18 decreases the risk of dying prematurely, Dr. Headlee urged parents and children to address their health regimen.

“Change the way you live, and you can alter the life path you currently travel,” noted Headlee. “I preach to my patients that chiropractic care is part of a maintenance program that includes proper diet, exercise and a healthy mental outlook. There is a reason that clichés become clichés. Treat your body like a temple, and that temple will stand for a long time,” he concluded.

Editor’s Note:
Those seeking additional information regarding this study may contact Dr. Mike Headlee directly at 206 Sawtooth Ct, Canton, GA, 30114, telephone (770) 720-6813.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Can Your iPod Give Relief for High Blood Pressure?

Tuning in to mellow music could bring your blood pressure down, suggests a study from the University of Florence in Italy. For a half hour daily, 28 people on medication for mild hypertension listened to classical, Celtic, or Indian music and performed abdominal breathing exercises. After four weeks, they showed a significant drop in systolic pressure. A control group showed no significant changes.

Doing breathing exercises and listening to mellow music help slow down your sympathetic nervous system, resulting in lower blood pressure, explains Stephen Devries, M.D., preventive cardiologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. If you can't carve out a half hour each day, Devries recommends taking 10 minutes whenever you get the chance. So before bed, on your lunch break, or on the train, he says, "pop in your earbuds, call up a play list of soothing songs, and practice breathing techniques."

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Brain Food?

An antioxidant in celery and green peppers might shield against memory loss, a recent University of Illinois study finds. Called luteolin, the compound squelched brain-cell inflammation in areas of the brain involved in memory formation in a series of preliminary tests. Since the study's authors have yet to test the antioxidant's effects on humans, National Institute on Aging neurobiologist Andrew Monjan, Ph.D., says there's no reason to load up on luteolin just yet. For now, Monjan advises enhancing brain health by sticking to a Mediterranean-style diet, linked to reduced Alzheimer's risk in past research.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Holy Mackerel!

Research identifies fatty fish oil’s many health benefits.

(December 26, 2008, Canton, GA). It’s no fish story that those who include seafood as a staple in their diet benefit from the ingestion of high levels of omega-3 fatty acids — known to reduce the risks for heart-related diseases, age-related cognitive decline, abnormal brain development and functioning, even obesity and mood disorders. Now, new studies have shown that it is the oil from fatty fish (salmon, herring, sardines and mackerel) that may offer the most health benefits.

During the course of a 10-year study conducted in Sweden, it was established that the consumption of fatty fish oils might inhibit a commonly found receptor for kidney cancers in women, the Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC), which triggers more than 80% of kidney cancers. Consistent long-term intake of fatty fish oil reduced the RCC risk by up to 74% in the Swedish women tracked for the report. At the same time, the intake of fatty fish oils triggered an increase in the level of serum vitamin D in these women. Low levels of vitamin D are believed to trigger the development and progression of RCC.

“You might say that fatty fish oil is phat!” said a smiling Dr. Mike Headlee when contacted about the study. “Even lean fish — although to a lesser extent — provide similar health benefits,” the doctor continued. Headlee, whose chiropractic office is located in Canton, GA, follows developments in chiropractic science closely.

“Consuming fish oil or eating raw, baked or broiled fish — not fried — can also
protect your heart’s electrical system by decreasing the risk of fatal heart-rhythm disorders,“ noted Headlee. “Omega-3 fats have been found to benefit a healthy heart rhythm,” he added.

In addition, according to a study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, fish oil consumption by the elderly prevented a decline in heart rate variability that was caused by same-day exposure to indoor airborne pollutants (which can trigger arrhythmia and sudden death.)

This study also found that a diet including fish at least once a week has other significant health benefits for the elderly. These finds included a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease as well as a 10% slower rate of annual age-related cognitive decline (and a 13% slower rate decline when fish was consumed more than once a week). In addition, seafood and by products decreased incidences of strokes because high levels of omega-3 fatty acids (especially DHA or docosahexaenoic acid) are crucial for normal brain functioning.

There’s even more to this school of thought.

“ Several epidemiological studies find a correlation between omega-3 fatty acids intake and mood disorders like depression — which are affected by an omega-3 fatty acids deficit. In addition, people suffering from coronary artery disease may benefit from omega-3 fatty acids as well since there is an established link between the disease and depression,” stated Headlee.

“An increased omega-3 intake, even through supplementation, may have therapeutic benefits,” he declared.

Fishing for compliments about a reduce waistline?

A study conducted by the University of South Australia noted that daily omega-3 fatty acids intake — when combined with exercise — can aid in weight loss because fatty acids increase blood flow to the muscles during exercise and thereby assist in fat burning.

“The studies are overwhelming. Will people change their dietary habits due to the promise this research shows? It’s certainly food for thought,” concluded Doe.

Editor’s Note:
Those seeking additional information regarding this study may contact Dr. Mike Headlee directly at 206 Sawtooth Ct, Canton, GA, 30114, telephone (770) 720-6813.

Reference Material:
Alicja Wolk, Susanna C. Larsson, Jan-Erik Johansson, and Peter Ekman: Long-term Fatty Fish Consumption and Renal Cell Carcinoma Incidence in Women, JAMA, September 20, 2006, Vol. 296, No. 11

Journal of the American College of Cardiology, July 12, 2006.

Fish Oil Prevents Potentially Deadly Heart Rate Variability, Science Daily, December 2005.

Fish Consumption May Be Linked to Reduced Cognitive Decline, Medscape, Oct. 11, 2005.

Gordon Parker, Neville A. Gibson, Heather Brotchie, Gabriella Heruc, Anne-Marie Rees and Dusan Hadzi-Pavlovic: Omega-3-Fatty Acids and Mood Disorders, The American Journal of Psychiatry, June 2006.

Reuters, Australian Study Finds Fish Oil Helps Weight Loss, July 28, 2006.

(Edited and re-written by Tekla Szymanski)

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Get a Dose of D

According to research, most Americans lack sufficient vitamin D, and that's a problem. "Not getting enough D is linked with chronic diseases such as cancer," says Eastwood. The body creates vitamin D from sunlight. But since few of us live near the equator or spend much time in the sun, at least without lots of sunscreen or protective clothing, we don't get enough of this crucial vitamin. Eastwood recommends supplementing with 1,000 to 2,000 IU daily.

Natural Solutions 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Are You a Little Nutty?

The saying goes "You are what you eat."

It turns out that it might not be an apple a day that keeps the doctor away: A new study in the Journal of Nutrition reports that eating a handful of nuts five or more times a week can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. Reach for almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts, says Sari Greaves, RD, a nutritionist in Bedminster, NJ. These are packed with monounsaturated fatty acids that raise HDL (good cholesterol) while lowering LDL (bad cholesterol). "Like a broom, these fats help HDL sweep the cholesterol buildup to the liver for excretion," says Greaves. To reap their heart-healthy benefits, snack on these nuts or sprinkle them in salads and stir-fries.

Now Go Nuts.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Another Reason to Quit the Pill

Listen up, ladies: If you've got a knee injury, using birth-control pills may hinder your healing time. "Women have four to eight times more knee ligament injuries than men, even when playing the same sports," says Ross Hauser, MD, a rehabilitation specialist in Chicago. This is because men's bodies heal more quickly; testosterone encourages the production of tissue-rebuilding collagen. Estrogen, on the other hand, inhibits this process, so the excess estrogen from birth control may slow your body's ability to heal torn ligaments. Hauser's recommendation: Shelve the Pill during your rehab, and use another form of birth control.

Yet another example where better health doesn't result from artificial pills, potions, or lotions.

Nature need no help, just no interference.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Avoid The Bunion

Women have long sacrificed comfort for fashion, so it's no surprise that teetering in 3-inch heels has made women 10 times more likely to have painful bunions than men. Heredity can make you more susceptible, but "any kind of pressure on the side of your foot or on your toes can lead to bunions," says Kathy Thorpe, a Boulder, Colorado, homeopath. This pressure causes inflammation around your big toe joint, which creates a bony bump (or arthritic deposit). Over time this bump pushes your big toe inward, making it crooked. "Most women don't understand that their feet get bigger and wider as they age. It's normal for them to go up one foot size or more," she says. Wearing shoes that are too narrow, short, or high can inflame the joint and eventually lead to bunions. For serious cases, Western doctors recommend an injection of cortisone to ease the pain. Anti-inflammatory analgesics like aspirin or ibuprofen get the call for less painful bunions. But these solutions don't fix the deformity, they merely treat the symptom.

The three vital thing to take care of regarding your health are your spine and nervous system )obviously), your teeth, and your feet. Prevention is the key.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Healthy Feet

Contrary to its name, athlete's foot can infect even a couch potato. This is highly contagious fungus is most commonly contracted after walking barefoot at the gym or pool. All it needs to flourish is a warm, moist environment. The infection usually starts between your toes (the most moisture-prone part of your foot) and spreads into an itchy, burning red rash on the sole of your foot. Serious cases blister, crack, and bleed. Up to 70 percent of Americans get athlete's foot at some point in their lives, and once you get it, you're more prone to repeated infection.

The best way to combat this fungus is to make the infected areas less inhabitable. Dry your feet thoroughly after showering, and if you wear close-toed shoes, replace your synthetic socks, which lock in moisture, with organic cotton ones to better soak up wetness. Also any kind of topical antifungal cream you treat athlete's foot with will be absorbed by your body and into your bloodstream. Frequent use can lead to side effects such as liver damage, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and menstrual and sexual irregularities.

Also, remember to get your spine checked for subluxations, because with subluxations, you get a compromised nervous system and therefore you get a compromised immune system and delayed healing time.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Route to Obesity Passes Through Your Tongue

According to neuroscientists, obesity gradually numbs the taste sensation of rats to sweet foods, and drives them to consume larger and sweeter meals. There is apparently a critical link between taste and body weight.
Previous studies have suggested that obese persons are less sensitive to sweet taste, but little is known about the specific differences in sense of taste between obese and lean individuals. Researchers investigated these differences by studying the taste responses of two strains of rats.
Compared to the lean and healthy LETO rats, the taste responses in OLETF rats mirror those in obese humans. These rats tend to chronically overeat due to a missing satiety signal, and they become obese and develop diabetes. The obese rats also show an increased preference for sweet foods.
The researchers implanted electrodes in the rodents' brains to record the firing of nerve cells when the rats' tongues were exposed to various tastes. The OLETF rats had about 50 percent fewer neurons firing when their tongues were exposed to sucrose, suggesting that obese rats are overall less sensitive to sucrose.
Science Daily November 26, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Exercise Can Have a Positive Impact on the Brain

Researchers see benefits beyond traditional thinking

(December 19, 2008, Canton, GA). It has long been accepted wisdom that exercising several times a week has many health benefits – from weight loss to preventing cardiovascular diseases, osteoporosis and Type 2 diabetes. Now, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign believe you can add better brain function to the list.

After reviewing clinical data from the past 40 years, the researchers established that regular exercise might help brain structure and function in the elderly to the point of delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and reducing mortality. They found that people who exercise several times per week for at least 15 to 30 minutes, may delay the onset of neurological diseases, age-related cognitive decline, brain atrophy, depression and dementia.

“I’m not surprised. Exercise increases neuroprotective molecules in the brain while physical and mental activity sustains the levels of cerebral blood flow,” said Dr. Mike Headlee when contacted about the study. Dr. Headlee, whose chiropractic offices are located in Canton, GA, follows developments in chiropractic science closely.

In addition, the research concluded that the benefits of exercise could last for up to several decades – even for people predisposed to Alzheimer’s disease.

“The findings are encouraging,” added Headlee. “Vanity is not the only reason to lace up your jogging shoes. Documentation regarding the long-term effects of a healthy lifestyle is a step in the right direction in the fight to prevent Alzheimer’s disease and perhaps other neurological disorders,” he continued.

For those looking to partake in a wellness regimen, the Illinois-based researchers believe that aerobic exercise seems to have the most health benefits because it strengthens brain plasticity as well.

“There’s validity in comparisons of the human body and a fine automobile. The care and maintenance you provide often make the ride longer and more enjoyable,” concluded a smiling Headlee.

Editor’s Note:
Those seeking additional information regarding this study may contact Dr. Mike Headlee directly at 206 Sawtooth Ct, Canton, GA, 30114, telephone (770) 720-6813.

Reference Material:
Laurie Barclay, “Exercise May Have Neuroprotective Effect,” Medscape, August 11, 2006 (Edited and re-written by Tekla Szymanski)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Not So Late-Breaking News?

It's taken far too long, but the FDA has finally decided that amalgam fillings may be dangerous to our health, something that an increasing number of dentists have long suspected. In June the FDA cautioned that these fillings may pose a risk for young children, developing fetuses, pregnant women, and people particularly sensitive to mercury. (WHO ISN'T) "When you chew on food, drink hot beverages, and brush your teeth, mercury vapor escapes from the filling and you inhale and swallow it," says John Neustadt, ND, director of Montana Integrative Health.

Luckily, safe and equally effective alternatives to amalgam already exists, says Todd Kinney, DDS, an integrative dentist in Bozeman, Montana. Find a dentist who uses porcelain, gold, and composite resin (ask specifically for BPA-free composite). Since the off-gassing of mercury decreases over time, you may not need to remove fillings more than 10 years old. But if you wish to replace them, "choose a good dentist who uses a dental dam and suction to prevent inhalation of mercury vapor during the replacement." says Neustadt.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Food For Life

Try this diet for 60 days and see how good you feel. Food is the fuel for our lives and we are what we eat.

  • Only eat foods that will rot or spoil, but eat them before they do.

Eat these: all vegetables. all fruits

Not these: potato chips, donuts, pastries soda, fast food, processed food

  • Only eat foods that are processed the way they were 100 years ago.

Eat these: nuts, seeds, sprouts, cod liver oil, beans, olive and flax oils

Not these: white bread, hydrogenated oils, instant anything, microwaved foods, canned fruits, lunch meats, MSG, aspartame, high fructose corn syrup

  • Eat lots of color.

Eat these: purple cabbage, tomatoes, green/red peppers, carrots, green leafy vegetables, beets, squash, red grapefruit, organic spices

Not these: White flour, cookies, pastries, most breads, white rice, crackers, white lettuce

Avoid foods that you are allergic or sensitive to, always eat organic food when possible

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Walking Meditation to Ease Stress

Start out by setting aside 10-15 minutes to walk. Leave all things that you don't absolutely need (keys, etc.), at your home or office. Outside, walk slowly, at about a third your normal pace, maintaining silence. Breathe in and out through your nose. Be aware of the breath as it passes in and out of your nostrils. Notice everything that you see, feel, smell, or hear, as well as everything that comes into your mind. As you notice, name the thought, feeling, or sensation to yourself. Breath in right nostril...tickle in left eyebrow...seeing tree bark...air around my face...and gently return to the breath. Just like any new habit, it takes time and patience to get good at this. As you get better, you can melt away emotional stress and re-focus in just a short period of time.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Why You Should Avoid Frozen Foods

Those who use frozen diet meals sometimes argue that their portion-controlled nature makes them an easy way to get a healthy low-calorie meal. However, they are likely not your best option.

Some such meals have so few calories that they are actually too low for most people, which either encourages unhealthy snacking or, if that does not occur, causes the metabolic rate to slow down, making weight control more difficult.

These low calorie meals also have too small a portion of vegetables, and a high sodium content.

If you do use low calorie frozen meals, it's recommended that you check the label to choose one low in fat, in sodium, add extra vegetables, and don't restrict yourself to them entirely.


Sunday, December 14, 2008

Feed Your Flora

Popping probiotics and still having digestive problems? Here's a novel solution: Gobble a handful of almonds. The Institute of Food Research recently reported that almonds act as prebiotics that function as food for probiotics, the good bacteria that restore a healthy balance of gut flora. "This results in better digestion, fewer infections, and less inflammation," says Gary Huffnagle, PHD, author of The Probiotics Revolution (Bantam, 2007) and a professor of internal medicine, microbiology, and immunology at the University of Michigan Medical School. Almonds are also an excellent source of vitamin E, protein, fiber, and monounsaturated fats.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Spinal Adjustments May Lower Blood Pressure

Chiropractic journal reports results of new study.

(12-13-08)Canton, GA. According to a recent article in The Journal of Chiropractic Education, a team of New Zealand researchers has found a correlation between chiropractic adjustments of the neck and lower back and reduced blood pressure.

The 63 participants in the case study were divided into two random groups. After subjecting those studied to a short period of relaxation in a sitting position, chiropractors took blood pressure readings from both arms of the subjects. In the experimental group, a spinal adjustment of the cervical (neck), lumbosacral (lower back), and thoracic (chest) area was performed – depending on needs of the individual patients. In the control group, patients received only gentle digital pressure on their spine. The same doctors who recorded the initial blood pressure results (and who performed the adjustments or digital pressure) then took new readings.

The results were surprising. To date, most studies concerning the effects of a chiropractic adjustment on one’s blood pressure have been inconclusive. The New Zealand study, however, showed a direct impact on participants’ blood pressure levels. Those in the experimental group showed “statistically significant changes of systolic and diastolic blood pressure.” Subjects whose cervical (neck) and lumbosacral (lower back) were adjusted showed a decrease in their blood pressure, while subjects whose thoracic (chest) was adjusted showed an increase in blood pressure. In contrast, the control group, which received no adjustments but only gentle digital pressure, showed much less significant changes in blood pressure.

It is too early to assess the clinical aspects of these results,” Dr. Mike Headlee said when contacted about the study. Dr. Headlee, whose chiropractic office is located in Canton, GA, follows developments in chiropractic science closely.

“I am encouraged by these promising results,” Dr. Headlee said. “However, further trials on vertebral subluxation—that is, a mechanical problem in the spine that disrupts proper functioning of the body’s nervous system—and its effects on blood pressure are needed and should include longer term follow-up as well.”

Those seeking additional information regarding this study may contact Dr. Mike Headlee directly at 206 Sawtooth Ct, Canton, GA, 30114, telephone (770) 720-6813.

Kelly Holt, B. Sc. (Chiro), Randy W. Beck, B. Sc., D.C., Ph. D., New Zealand College of Chiropractic, and Stephen G. Sexton, B. App. Sc. (Clin.), B. Chiro. Sci., D.A.C.N.B., Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies. “Reflex Effects of a Spinal Adjustment on Blood Pressure,” The Journal of Chiropractic Education, Vol. 20, No. 1, 2006.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Get More Greens

Red produce like apples and peppers have gotten a lot of buzz lately thanks to their antioxidant-packed nutrition profiles, but that doesn't mean you should give up your green veggies, especially if you worry about memory loss. A new study from the University of Illinois reports that celery and green peppers may prevent Alzheimer's. These greens are packed with a flavonoid called luteolin, which impedes inflammation in the brain. "Alzheimer's begins when a protein in the brain, called CD40, sends out stress signals triggering an inflammatory response that ultimately kills brain cells," says Beth Reardon, RD, an integrative nutritionist at Duke Integrative Medicine. "Luteolin blunts CD40's signals and in turn protects your brain's cells fom inflammation and premature death."

Natural Solutions 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ear Infections May Lead to Weight Gain

It sounds crazy, and eeven a bit cruel, that those ear infections that made you miserable as a kid may have returned to haunt you in the form of fast-food cravings and persistent belly fat. But new research shows that people who suffered moderate to severe middle ear infections when they were young were 62 percent more likely to be obese at the time of the study. Researchers believe the taste-bud damage caused by frequent ear infections leads to a strong preference for sugary and fatty foods later in life--which, in turn, leads to weight gain. Previous studies have made the same connection between childhood tonsilectomies and obesity.

-Natural Solutions 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Harmful Hand Sanitizers

Every purse, diaper bag, and glove compartment in America seems to house an antibacterial hand sanitizer. And while that chemical rub may keep your hands germ free, it is hardly doing your health a favor. A recent study by University of California, Davis, Researchers showed that an antibacterial chemical called triclocarban (TCC), commonly added to sanitizers and soaps, may interfere with the way sex hormones function.

Researchers found that TCC actually increases the effects of testosterone, causing abnormal growth in the prostate gland of male rats. This isn't the first time that research has voiced concerns about this chemical: A 2006 study at the University of Victoria, Sweden, linked a variation of TCC called triclosan to thyroid dysfunction. Clinical studies show that antibacterial soap is no more effective than regular soap at protecting against disease in healthy people, so why even use it?

In instances where dangerous bacteria could be present and hand sanitizing is a must, you can substitute natural alternatives. "Several essential oils have demonstrated significant antibacterial activity in the laboratory," says Andrea Joy Cohen, MD, integrative physician and founder of the Complementary and Alternative Medicine Research Program in Cancer at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. "Tea tree, clove, eucalyptus, manuka, lavender, and orange oils look very promising."

Monday, December 8, 2008

Eat Berries to Beat Cancer

Berries are bursting with compounds that could help thwart cancer at its earliest stages, a recent study from Cancer Research finds. In tests on rats, scientists found that a diet rich in black rasberries restored more than 20 percent of carcinogen-damaged genes to normal activity.

Berries of all types offer antioxidants, minerals, and a unique blend of phytochemicals that seem to boost the production of enzymes that knock out carcinogens, says Karen Collins, R.D., nutrition advisor to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Since the frozen and freeze-dried fruit still packs an anticancer punch, Collins suggests choosing them when fresh berries aren't available.

For optimal cancer protection, it's important to broaden your approach beyond berries, adds Collins. "Berries do provide some pieces of the cancer prevention puzzle, but you're going to need other foods that deliver different compounds," she says. Aim for a broad variety of cancer fighting foods every day, including dark-green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, legumes, and whole grains.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Trans Fats Linked to Colon Cancer

If saving your heart isn't reason enough to avoid trans fats, how about keeping your colon healthy? New research from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill links high trans-fat intake with increased growth of polyps that can lead to colorectal cancer. Study participants who ate 6.5 grams of trans fats daily were 86 percent more likely to have polyps than those who took in only half that amount. But why put your, ahem, health on the line when experts advise you to eliminate trans fats entirely?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Dangers of GM Foods

A long-term feeding study commissioned by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety confirms genetically modified (GM) corn seriously affects reproductive health in mice. Non-GMO advocates, who have warned about this infertility link along with other health risks, now seek an immediate ban of all GM foods and GM crops to protect the health of humankind and the fertility of women around the world.Feeding mice with genetically modified corn developed by the US-based Monsanto Corporation led to lower fertility and body weight, according to the study conducted by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. Lead author of the study Professor Zentek said there was a direct link between the decrease in fertility and the GM diet, and that mice fed with non-GE corn reproduced more efficiently.Other studies have also found that offspring of rats fed GM soy showed a five-fold increase in mortality, lower birth weights, and the inability to reproduce.
Institute for Responsible Technology November 13, 2008