Saturday, January 31, 2009

Ban Plastic Bottles

Bottled water is typically considered to be a healthy alternative to drinking plain tap water. In fact, Americans drink approximately eight million gallons of bottled water every year. While bottled water is definitely a better choice than soft drinks or sports drinks that contain high fructose corn syrup, bottled water is not a good choice for the wellbeing of the earth. Here are some of the health and environmental issues associated with consuming bottled water.1.It takes three to five times more water to manufacture the plastic water bottle than actually is contained in the water bottle itself. Because each bottle should only be used one time (so as not to contaminate water with phthalates) this seems to be an inordinate amount of water utilized in the manufacturing process.2.Plastic is a petroleum product so using plastic water bottles depletes this non-renewable resource. The Pacific Institute has calculated that the manufacturing process for making plastic water bottles used in the US consumes roughly 17 million barrels of oil every year.3.Plastic water bottles are not recycled the way they should be. It is estimated that in 2005 only about 12% of plastic water bottles were recycled. This is partly because water bottles are many times not included in local recycling plans. Another factor is that bottled water is often consumed away from home and so is disposed of in mixed-trash containers instead of being recycled. In a 2002 study by Scenic Hudson it was reported that 18 percent by volume of recovered litter from the Hudson River was beverage containers. In landfills, water bottles will remain biodegrading for approximately 1,000 years. Incinerating used water bottles produces toxic byproducts including chlorine gas and ash that contains heavy metals.4.Roughly 94 % of the bottled water in the U.S. is bottled domestically. Of this percentage, approximately 25 percent sold is just reprocessed municipal water according to a 1999 study by the National Resources Defense Council.5.Using plastic bottles that contain Bisphenol A is detrimental to human health. Bisphenol A behaves similarly to estrogen. This means that when enough of this accumulates in the body there will be negative health effects. Bisphenol A has been linked to obesity, diabetes, breast cancer, and hyperactivity.Alternatives to Plastic Bottles: Stainless steel, glass, and aluminum water bottles are safer and more earth-friendly. There are also many companies manufacturing BPA-free and phthalate-free plastic water bottles.Whatever kind of plastic is used, it is important to hand wash any plastic food and beverage items in warm (not hot) water. Washing plastic items at the high and sustained temperatures of an automatic dishwasher is detrimental to human health and should be avoided at all costs.Source:

Friday, January 30, 2009

Daily Health Defense

Exercising every day and filling up on calcium-rich foods could shield you from metabolic syndrome. In surveying 5,077 adults, researchers found that those who got little or no daily exercise or ate low-calcium diets were at least 1.5 times as likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions (including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and excess belly fat) that up your risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Working out regularly helps trim abdominal fat and lower blood pressure, while calcium-packed foods may help keep blood pressure in check and curb fat production, says Jennifer Tremmel, M.D., clinical director of Stanford Hospital's Women's Heart Health Clinic. Tremmel recommends eating calcium-rich foods such as low-fat yogurt, dark-green leafy vegetables, almonds, and salmon.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

What Really Causes Autism?

California's sevenfold increase in autism is most likely due to environmental exposures, according to scientists. A new study advocates a nationwide shift in autism research to focus on environmental factors such as pesticides, viruses and chemicals in household products.Throughout the U.S., the numbers of autistic children have increased dramatically over the past 15 years. More than 3,000 new cases of autism were reported in California in 2006, compared with 205 in 1990.Many medical officials argued that the rise was due to changes in diagnoses or migration patterns rather than a real rise in the disorder. But the new study concludes that those factors cannot explain most of the increase in autism.Researchers analyzed 17 years of state data that tracks developmental disabilities. Migration to the state had no effect, and changes in how and when doctors diagnose the disorder can explain less than half of the increase.It is possible that a pregnant woman's exposure to chemical pollutants, particularly metals and pesticides, could be altering a developing baby's brain structure, triggering autism. Many parent groups also believe that childhood vaccines could be responsible.
Scientific American January 9, 2009
Epidemiology January 2009, Volume 20(1) pp 84-90

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sea Vegetables: Why You Should Eat More of This Delicious Asian Supefood

Sea vegetables, better known as seaweed, are the leafy greens of the sea. Though not technically a vegetable (they're actually classified as algae), seaweed is loaded with nutrition and has a unique, slightly salty flavor that’s been a staple in Japanese cuisine for more than 10,000 years!
In the U.S. seaweed is most widely known for its roll as a sushi wrapper, but it has many other culinary uses as well.
In ancient China, meanwhile, sea vegetables were a delicacy reserved for honored guests and royalty. In fact, numerous cultures that live near their coasts have been enjoying sea vegetables for quite some time. This includes not only parts of Asia but also Iceland, Norway, New Zealand, coastal South America, Scotland, Ireland, and the Pacific Islands.
In the Western world, you can find sea vegetables in health food stores, Asian markets and even some local grocery stores, in a variety of ocean and freshwater varieties such as kelp, wakame, arame and dulse. Some of the most popular varieties are:
Nori: The deep purple type used to make sushi rolls
Kelp: Light brown to dark green, often in flake form
Hijiki: Small, black wiry strands
Kombu: Sometimes used as a flavoring for soups, often sold in strips or sheets
Wakame: Most often used to make miso soup
Arame: A lacy, wiry shape and mild flavor
Dulse: Reddish brown with a soft, chewy texture
Why might you want to think about adding sea vegetables to your family’s dinner table?
Seaweed contains the broadest range of minerals of any food -- the same minerals found in the ocean and in human blood. For instance, seaweed is rich in:
Pantothenic acid and riboflavin -- two B-vitamins needed for your body to produce energy
Vitamin K
Lignans, which have cancer-fighting properties
The Health Benefits of Sea Vegetables
Sea vegetables contain a unique blend of potent nutrients for your health.
Protect Against Cancer
The lignans in seaweed inhibit blood cell growth, which can nourish tumors and spread cancer cells. They have also been shown to fight breast cancer and other hormone-related cancers. Meanwhile, sea vegetables contain folic acid, which may help reduce your risk of colon cancer.
Promote Healthy Thyroid Function
Seaweed is rich in iodine, which is essential for the proper functioning of your thyroid glands. In short, it helps your thyroid to synthesize the amino acid tyrosine to create hormones.
Prevent Heart Disease and Birth Defects
Folic acid in seaweed is not only essential for protecting against birth defects, it is also needed to breakdown a dangerous chemical called homocysteine. Homocysteine can damage blood vessel walls and increase your risk of heart disease and stroke. Sea vegetables also contain magnesium, which helps reduce high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks.
Relieve Menopausal Symptoms
The magnesium in sea vegetables can help relieve sleep trouble due to menopause. Further, the lignans are phytoestrogens, which can help to relieve menopausal symptoms such as hot flashes.
Why Choosing Organic Sea Vegetables is Important
Sea vegetables actively take up minerals from the water in which they grow. Unfortunately, they can also pick up pollutants in the surrounding waters, including heavy metals such as arsenic, lead and cadmium. In fact, sea vegetables are so efficient at absorbing contaminants that some marine ecologists use them as a monitor to determine levels of heavy metal pollution in water.
Sea vegetables come in a variety of forms, such as fresh, powdered, flakes, and sheets.
Because many waters are now polluted, it’s recommended that you eat only organic varieties of sea vegetables to avoid these risks.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Flu Shot "Totally Worthless" at Reducing Death Rate in Elderly

Influenza vaccination has no significant effect on death rates among the elderly, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Alberta, Canada.Previous studies have concluded that getting a flu shot reduces an elderly person's risk of dying from any cause by 50 percent, a claim that other scientists have challenged as unlikely."Over the last two decades in the United Sates, even while [flu] vaccination rates among the elderly have increased from 15 to 65 percent, there has been no commensurate decrease in hospital admissions or all-cause mortality," researcher Dean T. Eurich said. "Further, only about 10 percent of winter-time deaths in the United States are attributable to influenza, thus to suggest that the vaccine can reduce 50 percent of deaths from all causes is implausible in our opinion."Researchers compared rates of influenza, pneumonia and death among 700 people, 85 percent of them over the age of 64. Half the participants were given a flu shot, while half were not.The researchers found that prior to adjusting for any confounding factors, 15 percent of those in the unvaccinated group died, compared with only 8 percent of those in the unvaccinated group - consistent with the previously reported 50 percent mortality reduction. However, once researchers adjusted for other predictors of mortality such as overall health and socioeconomic status, the difference between the two groups disappeared.This suggests, the researchers said, that the previously observed decreases in mortality from flu vaccination merely come from the so-called "healthy-user effect" and have nothing to do with the vaccine itself."The healthy-user effect," said lead researcher Sumit Majumdar, "is seen in what doctors often refer to as their 'good' patients - patients who are well-informed about their health, who exercise regularly, do not smoke or have quit, drink only in moderation, watch what they eat, come in regularly for health maintenance visits and disease screenings, take their medications exactly as prescribed, and quite religiously get vaccinated each year so as to stay healthy."It is thus the healthy habits that reduce the risk of death, the researchers suggested, and not the flu vaccine.

Sources for this story include:

Monday, January 26, 2009

HPV Vaccine Shot Causes 500 Percent Increase in Allergic Reactions Compared to Other Vaccines

The "cervical cancer" vaccine against the human papillomavirus (HPV) is between 5 and 26 times more likely to cause severe, potentially fatal allergic reactions in young women than other vaccines, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Children's Hospital at Westmead in Sydney, Australia, and published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.Researchers compared the occurrence of severe allergic reactions among 114,000 young women who had received Merck's Gardasil vaccine in 2007 with the rate among women of similar age who had received other vaccines.Gardasil protects against four HPV strains associated with cervical cancer and genital warts. The researchers found eight confirmed and four suspected cases of anaphylaxis among women who had received Gardasil, which translated into 2.6 cases per 100,000 vaccines. In contrast, there were only 0.1 anaphylaxis cases per 100,000 women who received a meningitis vaccine in 2003.Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that can cause rash, nausea and breathing problems, and can be fatal in the most extreme cases.HPV vaccines have come under increased scrutiny recently, with a recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine calling their effectiveness into question. The authors noted that while the vaccines have only ever been tested on women between the ages of 15 and 24, they are regularly given to younger girls - even though there is no knowledge of how those patients might be affected. In addition, because the vaccines are so new, it is also impossible to know how long their protective effects will last, or how they might affect women's natural defenses against other strains of HPV. The authors concluded that HPV vaccination is not cost-effective for women over the age of 17.Because HPV vaccines do not protect against all strains of the virus that cause cervical cancer and because a woman who has previously been exposed to the virus receives no protection from the vaccine, even vaccinated women are advised to continue receiving regular Pap smear tests.Sources for this story include:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Olives Are Awesome

Truly raw olives can be a little hard to come by, though the processed and heated kind are found everywhere. This doesn`t help those of us on a raw food diet very much, as the heated kind can wreak havoc on a body that is accustomed to eating raw. So should you make the effort to procure the raw kind? Is it worth it? Decide for are some benefits which the inclusion of raw olives into your diet can bring to you.The taste factorFirstly, adding olives to a salad, with a few Italian herbs, can make what was a simple tomato and lettuce salad into a really tasty meal. If you are having people over for dinner who do not subscribe to the raw lifestyle, the addition of olives will go down very well. As most people are accustomed to strong flavors, they might find a more simple salad boring. Also, olives make excellent raw snacks; because of their high oil content they are very satiating and make great substitute for traditional `movie` snack foods such as popcorn and potato chips.Good fatOlives have a high fat content. Most people are now over the idea that all fat is bad, and that fat leads to flab (no rhyme intended). We know now that there are good and bad fats, and olives have plenty of the good ones, as they have a high content of monounsaturated fats. These types of fats are quite stable, meaning that they provide good protection for our body. They are not as easily damaged as polyunsaturated fats, and so, if we have them in our cells, we are better protected. People of the Mediterranean countries are thought to be as healthy as they are due to their high consumption of olive oil.Weight lossStudies have shown that the consumption of foods high in monounsaturated fats may lead to weight loss. This could be due to its satiating affects, just a handful of olives will ward off hunger, or it may also be that these fats increase the metabolism. Furthermore, other studies have shown that monounsaturated fats, such as those found in olives, can decrease the amount of fat held around the stomach area, when compared to diets high in carbohydrates.Excellent source of Vitamin EOlives have high levels of Vitamin E, in fact, a cup of olives will give you twenty percent of your recommended daily amount. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant which neutralizes free radicals in the body. Tests have shown that Vitamin E may protect the body against cardiovascular disease and it may also enhance the immune system.Olives make excellent snacks, and they also really make a salad a lot more interesting. Another favorite is olive tapenade, which makes a delicious dip for chopped vegetables.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Vitamin C Lowers Blood Pressure In Women

This "strongly suggests that vitamin C is specifically important in maintaining a healthy blood pressure," lead author Dr. Gladys Block, of the University of California, Berkeley, told Reuters Health.
Previous research linked high plasma levels of vitamin C with lower blood pressure among middle-age and older adults, typically those with higher than optimal blood pressure readings, Block and colleagues report in the Nutrition Journal.
The current study involved 242 black and white women, between 18 and 21 years old, with normal blood pressures, who were participants in the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute Growth and Health Study. The girls had entered the trial when they were 8 to 11 years old. Over a 10-year period, their plasma levels of ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and blood pressure were monitored.
At year 10, Block and her colleagues found that blood pressure, both the systolic and diastolic (top and bottom reading), was inversely associated with ascorbic acid levels.
Specifically, women with the highest levels of ascorbic acid had a decline of about 4.66 mm Hg in systolic and 6.04 mm Hg in diastolic blood pressure compared with women with the lowest ascorbic acid levels. This difference still held true after researchers allowed for differences in body mass, race, education levels, and dietary fat and sodium intake.
Women with the lowest levels of plasma ascorbic acid likely consumed average amounts of fruits, vegetables, and fortified foods while those with the highest plasma ascorbic acid levels likely ate diets rich in fruits and vegetables or took multivitamins or vitamin C supplements, the researchers note.
Further analyses of vitamin C and blood pressure changes over the previous year, "also strongly suggested that the people with the highest blood level of vitamin C had the least increase in blood pressure," Block said.
Since these findings infer a possible association between vitamin C and blood pressure in healthy young adults, Block and colleagues call for further investigations in this population.
SOURCE: Nutrition Journal, December 17, 2008

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fatty Foods Disrupt Internal Biological Clock

(NaturalNews) A luxuriously decadent cheesecake, a thick slab of marbled ham and a whipped cream-topped milkshake have something in common that might not be obvious. Sure, they are all loaded with fat. But new research concludes eating these and other high-fat foods can do more than add pounds. They may also seriously disrupt your internal biological "clock" that mimics the 24-hour cycle of the turning of the Earth. The result could be health problems ranging from insomnia and obesity to cancer.The biological clock, or circadian rhythm, regulates the expression and/or activity of hormones and enzymes involved in sleep and metabolism. Although light is the strongest factor affecting the internal biological clock, Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers say they`ve discovered that fat laden diets can also disturb circadian rhythms and trigger hormone imbalances, obesity, psychological problems, sleep disorders and even cancer. In fact, according to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), a growing body of evidence from both animal and human studies indicates that disruption of circadian rhythms can spur cancer in a variety of ways, including the rate at which some malignancies develop.Dr. Oren Froy and his colleagues of the Institute of Biochemistry, Food Science and Nutrition at the Hebrew University`s Robert H. Smith Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment in Rehovot, Israel, demonstrated a cause-and-effect relation between diet and biological clock imbalance in experiments with laboratory mice. Dr. Froy, Ph.D. student Maayan Barnea and Zecharia Madar, the Karl Bach Professor of Agricultural Biochemistry at Hebrew University, tested the impact of both fasting and a high-fat diet on circadian rhythms. First, the scientists fed mice either a low-fat or a high-fat diet, followed by a fasting day. Then they measured components of the adiponectin metabolic pathway. Adiponectin is a protein hormone produced and secreted by fat cells ( adipocytes) that regulates the metabolism of glucose and fats. It also influences how the body responds to insulin. Low levels of adiponectin are found in people who are obese and high levels are found in people at low risk for heart disease.In the Hebrew University study, which will be published in the upcoming edition of the journal Endocrinology, the researchers found high-fat diets induced changes in the animals` internal biological clocks and, in turn, the adiponectin signaling pathways. This suggests that eating a lot of fat could contribute to obesity, not only because fat has a calorie count, but also because high-fat diets disrupt the phases and daily rhythm of clock genes. What`s more, the researchers contend also that eating a high-fat diet may cause havoc in other circadian rhythm-controlled systems associated with metabolic disorders. In a statement to the media, the researchers said their findings could also explain why people who eat high-fat diets often have problems with blood pressure and insomnia.

For more information: see "High-Fat Diet Delays and Fasting Advances the Circadian Expression of Adiponectin Signaling Components in Mouse Liver",

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Sleep Well

Even if you're just a few hours short of a good night's sleep, you may be amping up inflammation throughout your body. Studying healthy adults, scientists recently found that activation of inflammatory signaling was much greater in female volunteers the morning after they'd stayed awake from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., compared with when they got a normal night of sleep.

Published in Biological Psychiatry, these findings shed new light on the link between sleep loss and inflammation-related conditions such as heart disease and diabetes, says Donna Arand, Ph.D., medical director of Sleep Disorders Center at Kettering Hospital. "Moreover, studies show that the shorter the sleep, the greater the impact on health." For sounder slumber, Arand recommends keeping a regular bedtime, getting a safe amount of sun exposure daily (this helps maintain your circadian rhythms), and using relaxation techniques like meditation and yoga to manage your stress.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Smile And Be Happy, It Does A Body Good

(NaturalNews) People who are happier and more satisfied with their lives might also enjoy better health, said a study led by Mohammad Siahpush, Ph.D., professor of health promotion at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha."Everything else being equal, if you are happy and satisfied with your life now, you are more likely to be healthy in the future," said Siahpush.And, very significantly, factors which usually also affect health, such as exercise and cigarette smoking, were already accounted for. According to Siahpush, "importantly, our results are independent of several factors that impact on health, such as smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and age".Details of StudyThe study team examined data collected from two Australian surveys conducted on nearly 10,000 adults in 2001 and 2004. In the surveys, the participants were asked about various health indicators, including their level of physical health and whether or not they had long-term, limiting health conditions.The questions "During the past four weeks, have you been a happy person?" and "All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life?" were used to assess happiness and life satisfaction respectively.The results were satisfying and happy news. "We found strong evidence that both happiness and life satisfaction have an effect on our indicators of health," Siahpush said.Happiness and life satisfaction, as assessed at the baseline survey, both brought about better health three years later, as indicated by three factors: excellent, good or very good health; absence of long-term and limiting health concerns; as well as better levels of overall physical health.On top of that, the results of the study suggested the possibility that improving levels of happiness or satisfaction with life might also give rise to better health in the future. "There are indications that as you become happier and more satisfied with your life, you tend to become healthier as well," Siahpush added.One very poignant fact of these findings is that greater happiness and life satisfaction can actually translate to better health in as short a timeframe as three years."Their unique contribution is the short, three-year time period of their study. To my knowledge, this the shortest time I've seen where looking at baseline happiness predicts future health. It is compelling to me that measuring someone's happiness now accounts for some differences in physical health in as little as three years," said Paul Hershberger, Ph.D., a professor at the Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine in Dayton, Ohio.Hershberger, who had no affiliation with the study, also found it interesting that the study team was able to isolate happiness and satisfaction with life from all the other factors which were able to influence future health.More Evidence that Happiness Improves HealthIs it any surprise at all that happier people are healthier, and also become healthier? Well, not really.For one thing, we know that happiness gives the immune system a boost. Conversely, a person undergoing depression also suffers depressed immunity.For example, a study carried out by Associates for Research Into the Science of Enjoyment (ARISE) in the UK some ten years ago had revealed that the amount of the antibody, secretory Immunoglobulin-A (sigA), which is found in saliva and protects against respiratory infections, doubled within a mere 20 minutes of having happy thoughts. The levels of sigA increased even more 45 minutes thereafter, and remained about 60% higher even three hours after the start of the experiment.Conversely, recollection of guilty memories had an adverse effect on the levels of sigA.Another study conducted a few years ago by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh found that people with positive emotional attitudes did not suffer colds as often as well as experienced fewer symptoms, when compared to those with negative emotional states.The study, which interviewed 334 healthy volunteers three times a week for two weeks to get a sense of their emotional states, found that people who were happy, relaxed and energetic had a lower likelihood of being hit by a cold. On the flip side, people who were angry, depressed or nervous had a higher chance of complaining about cold symptoms, regardless of whether they actually got infected.For years, we have heard the phrase, "don't worry, be happy". That certainly still applies. Perhaps, now, we can also add a new one –- "be happy, be healthy".Cheer up!Main SourcesHappiness and Satisfaction Might Lead to Better Health ( Official: A little of what you fancy does you good ( protects against colds (

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fishy Business

Tilapia may not be the best way to bump up your intake of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. A new study from the Journal of the American Diabetic Association shows that the increased popular farm-raised fish may be short on omega-3s but rich in omega-6s (a type of fatty acid that could trigger inflammation when consumed in excess).

There's no need to shun tilapia altogether, notes Laurie Tansman, R.D., a nutritionist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. "When it comes to omega-3s and omega-6s, you need to look at the ratio of what you're getting in your whole diet, not just from one food," she explains. (Red meat and refined vegetable oils, such as corn, sunflower, and soybean, also contain omega-6s.) To fill up on omega-3s, Tansman recommends eating at least 8 ounces of fatty fish such as salmon, herring, trout, and mackerel per week.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Study Shows Chiropractic Care Aids Asthmatics

Doctor and Technology Offer a Breath of Fresh Air

(January 19, 2009, Canton, GA). Dr. Curtis Fedorchuk, a chiropractor from Dahlonaga, Georgia armed with technology that has been used by NASA, has made remarkable inroads in the battle against asthma. Fedorchuk’s research was recently published in The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research and detailed the wonderful transformation of his star patient — a 7-year old girl who had suffered from severe asthma and chronic cough for almost her entire life.

Before encountering Dr. Fedorchuk, this little girl was using multiple oral medications and inhalers that totaled 24 inhalations per day — yet her symptoms persisted. Her parents were not only shouldering the financial burden of their daughter’s care, but the hours of lost sleep caused by asthma attacks impacted the entire family. Concerned about the volume of medications that their daughter was consuming, the parents sought help from Dr. Fedorchuk.

Following an examination using the Insight Discovery Subluxation Station (the diagnostic tool that has not only benefited the Space program, but has been used by chiropractors treating Super Bowl champions and Olympic gold medalists), the young girl began receiving chiropractic adjustments. By nightfall after her first adjustment, the little girl’s coughing ceased. Over the next three weeks (while visiting Dr. Fedorchuk for adjustments 2-3 times per week), the little girl’s mom reported no attacks, an increase in activity levels, and a decrease in the need to use an inhaler. After 4 weeks, she was no longer using the inhalers. Her teachers noticed the change in the child’s demeanor, while swimming and running became part of her everyday life. Subsequent tests showed an increase in lung capacity and the little girl’s visits to the chiropractor became less frequent. Within 10 months of from the onset of care, Dr. Fedorchuk’s young patient was no longer using any medications — only carrying Albuterol in the event of an emergency.

“Childhood asthma is a prevalent in the United States with nine million people under the age of 18 suffering from this debilitating lung ailment, four times as many as 20 years ago,” noted Dr. Mike Headlee, a Canton-based chiropractor whose has invested in the Insight technology. “For some, this leads to a lifetime of

suffering or, for those less fortunate, death. There are approximately 5,000 deaths annually in the U.S. that are linked to asthma. After reading about Dr. Fedorchuk’s research, I wanted to do more for those in my community who fight respiratory ailments,” continued Headlee.

“The use of technology identifies areas of disturbance in the nervous system that could be caused by stress, trauma or toxins. Asthmatics have more frequent incidents of misalignment of the upper and lower thoracic region, which is the area of the shoulders and below,” explained Headlee. “That condition can lead to dysponesis — best described as a short circuit effect between the brain and muscles — which in turn causes abnormal tonic muscle activity. Shoulder tension triggers a decrease in lung volume, which increases the likelihood of respiratory ailments. The patient simply has less air to breathe. Since dysponesis can lead to asthma, we can now help prevent or manage the disease by treating its underlying cause,” he added.

Today’s medical treatment of asthma remains largely pharmacological. Despite the increase in prescription drug usage, the prevalence of asthma increased 75% from 1980-1994. Direct health care costs for asthma-related illnesses in the U.S. amount to more than $11.5 billion annually — with over $5 billion of that figure being directed towards prescription drugs.

“Aside from the obvious physical benefits this little girl derived from her chiropractic adjustments, one can’t dismiss the financial ramifications during this time of economic woe. Her need for medication decreased along with her medical bills. With all that in mind, you might say that chiropractic care for asthmatics is a breath of fresh air,” concluded a smiling Headlee.

Curtis Fedorchuk, “Correction of Subluxation and Reduction of Dysponesis in a 7 Year-Old Child Suffering From Chronic Cough and Asthma: A Case Report,” Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, November 26, 2007.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Mediterranean Diet Study

Results from the largest meta-analysis of the Mediterranean diet and health status were recently published in the British Journal of Medicine. Italian researchers reviewed 12 studies that tracked more than 50,000 people for three to eighteen years and found that those who were following the diet were 9 percent less likely to die from heart disease, 6 percent less susceptible to fatal cancer, and 13 percent less likely to die from Alzheimer's disease.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Are You A NSAID Junkie?

"New news on anti-inflammatories" 58,432 men and women between 1995 and 2002 after a first acute heart attack, compared with people not taking NSAIDs, men and women taking: Celebrex - 4.24 x greater chance of death Vioxx - 5 x greater chance of death As much as 2 x greater chance of death from over the counter (e.g.: Advil, ibuprofen, Motrin) "The studies in this field have revealed that major safety concerns were present where none were expected."Copyright: 2005 the New York Times News Service. All rights reserved.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sleepless Nights Equals More Colds

Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:13pm EST

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - People who sleep less than seven hours a night are three times as likely to catch a cold as their more well-rested friends and neighbors, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.
The study supports the theory that sleep is important to immune function, said Sheldon Cohen and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh.
Volunteers who spent less time in bed, or who spent their time in bed tossing and turning instead of snoozing, were much more likely to catch a cold when viruses were dripped into their noses, they found.
People who slept longer and more soundly resisted infection better, they reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine.
"Although sleep's relationship with the immune system is well-documented, this is the first evidence that even relatively minor sleep disturbances can influence the body's reaction to cold viruses," Cohen said in a statement.
"It provides yet another reason why people should make time in their schedules to get a complete night of rest."
Cohen's team tested 153 healthy volunteers, locking them in a hotel for five days after infecting them with a cold virus.
They had been interviewed daily for the previous two weeks to get details on their sleep patterns. They were tested for cold symptoms after the five-day lockup and had blood tests for antibodies to the virus.
The men and women who reported fewer than seven hours of sleep on average were 2.94 times more likely to develop sneezing, sore throat and other cold symptoms than those who reported getting eight or more hours of sleep each night.
Volunteers who spent less than 92 percent of their time in bed asleep were 5 1/2 times more likely to become ill than better sleepers, they found.
Sleep disturbance may affect immune system signaling chemicals called cytokines or histamines, the researchers said.
"Experiments that explore the relationship between sleep and immune function often involve sleep deprivation or study subjects with sleep disorders, which are often rooted in psychiatric conditions that influence other aspects of health," Cohen added. "This research points to the role played by ordinary, real-life sleep habits in healthy persons."

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Do You Have A Spare Tire?

Sporting a spare tire in your forties could lead to a threefold increase in your risk of dementia 30 years down the road, according to a recent study in Neurology. Researchers at Kaiser Permanent evaluated the medical records of more than 6,500 elderly patients and found that those with severe abdominal obesity 36 years ago were nearly three times as likely to have dementia today. Patients who had significant belly fat and normal scores for body mass index were twice as likely to be diagnosed with the brain disease.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eat Nuts to Shed Pounds

Nuts might have a high fat content, but munching on them doesn't promote weight gain, according to a new meta-analysis of studies reported in the Journal of Nutrition by researchers at Purdue University, Penn State University, and Temple University. In fact, eating a handful of chestnuts, almonds, or peanuts has a high satiating effect, helping to curb your appetite and prevent the accumulation of extra pounds. Also, some of the fat content in nuts is flushed from the body before it settles around the midriff, says the researchers. Unsalted raw or dry roasted varieties are the healthiest.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Say "C" to Stave off Arthritis

Eating vitamin C-rich foods may protect your knees from osteoarthritis, reports a recent study in Arthritis Research & Therapy. Here's why: They're packed with antioxidants, which protect cells from oxidative damage, and oxidative damage breaks down cartilage, the "shock absorber" in the knee joint. Vitamin C slows down deterioration by strengthening cartilage and reducing inflammation in the joint. "To get the full benefits, eat food with lots of vitamin C on a daily basis," says Marissa Lippert, MS, a dietitian in New York City. But oranges have stolen the vitamin C spotlight for far too long. Here's how to sneak the top five runner-ups into your diet:

  1. Papaya

  2. Red, Yellow, and Orange Bell Peppers

  3. Broccoli

  4. Brussel Sprouts

  5. Strawberries

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Be Grapefruitful for Grapefruit

Cutting edge research suggests that naringenin, the metabolized form of the natural flavonoid naringin, which gives grapefruit its bitter taste, may curb the spread of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) by up to 80 percent. Previously shown to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol, naringenin may block the secretion of HCV from infected cells, mitigating the spread of this dangerous virus to vital organs like the liver. - NS 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Better Berries to Fight Cancer

The next time you toss a handful of berries into your morning smoothie, reach for freeze-dried instead of fresh or frozen. Science now indicates that freeze-dried berries, specifically black raspberries, inhibit cancer development by restoring hundreds of cancer-altering genes to their normal state.

"There are certain genes that play a role in the development of cancer, and while most cancer treatments only target one gene at a time, the berries have a 'genome-wide' effect, meaning they target many cancer-causing genes at once." says lead researcher Gary D. Stoner, professor of pathology, human nutrition, and medicine at Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Berries are about 90 percent water and freeze-drying them removes the water while leaving the structure intact. This concentrates the cancer-preventive compounds-vitamins, minerals, phenols, and phytosterols, about ten times, explains Stoner. He adds that fresh and frozen berries are probably protective as well, but we'd have to eat a lot more of them to get the same benefits. Also, keep in mind that some nutrients are lost when the fruit is heated or cooked, so it's best to eat your berries (freeze-dried or fresh) just as they are.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Study Offers Hope to Those with Traumatic Brain Injuries

Crash Victim Responds to Chiropractic Care

(January 9, 2009, Canton, GA). A Canadian doctor has authored a study detailing the positive impact that chiropractic care has had on those suffering from Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI). The article – published in The Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research – highlights the incredible recovery of a 55-year old woman with a severe brain injury caused in a horrific car accident. What makes the case even more remarkable is the fact that the noticeable strides in the healing process began nine years after a half-ton truck had plowed into her parked car – and only after chiropractic care was initiated.

A TBI occurs when an external force causes damage to the head by inducing motion of the brain within the skull. TBI’s are divided into two sub-categories: primary and secondary. The primary injury occurs at the point of the trauma while secondary injuries occur after trauma and produce effects that continue for long periods of time.

“There are physical, biochemical and emotional stresses associated with Traumatic Brain Injuries,” noted researcher Dr. Andrea Ryan from her Barrie, Ontario practice. “Since one of the aims of chiropractic care is to reduce those stresses and find a balance in a person’s life, it has proven to be a vital component to the healing process of anyone afflicted with a TBI,” she added.

“In 1910, D.D. Palmer – the Founder of chiropractic – stated that if the spinal column is free of interference that compromises neural integrity, then the human body is able to adapt to its inner and outer environment to the best of its ability,” said Dr. Mike Headlee, a Canton-based chiropractor. “Dr. Ryan’s work really illustrates this long held chiropractic principle,” continued Headlee.

And, there is no greater example than Dr. Ryan’s star patient.

Nine years after her dehabilitating accident, the aforementioned 55-year old woman came to Dr. Ryan still suffering from significant neurological and neuromuscular symptoms including disturbed vision, dizziness when bending over or standing too quickly, and pain throughout much of her body.

She was forced to walk with a cane or walker. Her quality of life deteriorated to the point where depression set in and she attempted suicide.

“Dr. Ryan was able to identify and monitor nerve interference through the use of chiropractic technologies called surface electromyography and thermal scanning. These technologies have proven invaluable to the likes of NASA and professional sports teams who seek to maximize the physical capabilities of their employees. Today, they are benefiting those in the general public,” explained Headlee, whose practice features such state-of-the-art equipment.

Dr. Ryan’s course of care included chiropractic adjustments twice a week. Within a month, the woman’s dizziness had decreased dramatically. After seven months, the patient reported spectacular health improvements including no dizziness and increased muscle strength in her shoulders, arms and legs – all while living virtually pain free. She became more stable and comfortable while walking (although she still used a cane). Her quality of life improved to the point where she could accomplish numerous daily activities – and depression was a thing of the past.

“Dr. Ryan’s work offers hope to those afflicted with Traumatic Brain Injuries. And, the case of the accident victim is a vivid account that underscores the value of her research. But, it is important to note that chiropractic care did not cure anything that ailed the woman involved. The adjustments she received decreased or eliminated nerve interference which in turn allowed her body to adapt and function as it was intended – which is exactly the premise that D.D. Palmer defined nearly a century ago,” summarized Headlee.

“And, as impressive as today’s technology that allows chiropractors to effectively evaluate the nervous system may be, there is nothing more impressive than the human body itself,” he concluded.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Do You Eat When You Are Stressed?

According to a study published online July 1, 2007 in the journal Natural Medicine, the combination of chronic stress and a junk-food diet causes more weight gain than the diet would on its own. The researchers advised, "Our brains are hard wired to seek fat when we're stressed." "If you are stressed and hungry, try to eat something health,y."

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Are You Still On Track With Your New Year's Resolutions?

Here is a list of the most common New Year's Resolutions: from

The question is, why don't most people stick to their resolutions? I think it is because of the same reason why most people don't stick to most plans. They don't have a crystal clear written statement of exactly what they want. Next is to have a specific date of achieving this goal. Following this you need to have the reasons and benefits of achieving this goal. The hardest part of the process is next, writing down the action steps to achieve your written goals and then taking consistent action on it. Lastly, you must celebrate on your accomplishments along the way.

The list of the most common resolutions is very vague and non specific. Instead of saying I want to lose weight, say I am so excited to weigh xyz pounds on July 1, 2009. I will jog for 30 minutes during my lunch break on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Friday's as well as drink water instead of coke with meals, etc.... The benefits will be: increased energy, feeling better, better confidence and self image, and overall sense of accomplishment. To celebrate I will eat chocolate and ice cream on July 1, 2009. No, No ,No, not that kind of celebration, go out and buy a new pair of jeans since your old ones are getting to baggy.

The key is consistent discipline. Also if you need help, don't be afraid to get a coach or have a close friend or family member support you. Good Luck in 2009.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A low dose of caffeine when pregnant may damage the heart of offspring for a lifetime

New article in the FASEB Journal shows that caffeine during pregnancy affects heart development and function
A new study published online in The FASEB Journal shows that the equivalent of one dose of caffeine (just two cups of coffee) ingested during pregnancy may be enough to affect fetal heart development and then reduce heart function over the entire lifespan of the child. In addition, the researchers also found that this relatively minimal amount of exposure may lead to higher body fat among males, when compared to those who were not exposed to caffeine. Although the study was in mice, the biological cause and effect described in the research paper is plausible in humans.
According to Scott Rivkees, Yale's Associate Chair of Pediatric Research and a senior researcher on the study, "Our studies raise potential concerns about caffeine exposure during very early pregnancy, but further studies are necessary to evaluate caffeine's safety during pregnancy."
To reach their conclusion researchers studied four groups of pregnant mice under two sets of conditions for 48 hours. The first two groups were studied in "room air," with one group having been injected with caffeine and another injected with saline solution. The second two groups were studied under conditions where ambient oxygen levels were halved, with one group receiving caffeine and the other receiving saline solution. They found that under both circumstances, mice given caffeine produced embryos with a thinner layer of tissue separating some of the heart's chambers than the group that was not given caffeine.
The researchers then examined the mice born from these groups to determine what long-term effects, if any, caffeine had on the offspring. They found that all of the adult males exposed to caffeine as fetuses had an increase in body fat of about 20 percent, and decreased cardiac function of 35󈞒 percent when compared to mice not exposed to caffeine.
"Caffeine is everywhere: in what we drink, in what we eat, in pills that we use to relieve pain, and even in candy," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "This report shows that despite popular notions of safety, there's one place it probably shouldn't be: in the diet of an expectant mother."

The FASEB Journal ( is published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Are You a Risk Taker?

A new study by researchers at Vanderbilt University in Nashville and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City suggests a biological explanation for why certain people tend to live life on the edge — it involves the neurotransmitter dopamine, the brain's feel-good chemical. Dopamine is responsible for making us feel satisfied after a filling meal, happy when our favorite football team wins, or really happy when we use stimulating drugs like amphetamines or cocaine, which can artificially squeeze more dopamine out of the nerve cells in our brain. It's also responsible for the high we feel when we do something daring, like skiing down a double black diamond slope or skydiving out of a plane. In the risk taker's brain, researchers report in the Journal of Neuroscience, there appear to be fewer dopamine-inhibiting receptors — meaning that daredevils' brains are more saturated with the chemical, predisposing them to keep taking risks and chasing the next high: driving too fast, drinking too much, overspending or even taking drugs.
David Zald, a professor of psychology and psychiatry at Vanderbilt, studied whether the brains of those thrill seekers differed in any way from those of the less adventuresome when it comes to dopamine. He gave 34 men and women a questionnaire to assess their novelty-seeking tendencies, then scanned their brains using a technique called positron emission tomography to figure out how many dopamine receptors the participants had. Zald and his team were on the lookout for a particular dopamine-regulating receptor, which monitors levels of the neurotransmitter and signals brain cells to stop churning it out when there's enough.
Earlier studies in rats had shown that animals that tend to explore and take more risks in new environments also tend to have fewer of these inhibitory receptors, and Zald wanted to find out if the same was true in people.
"This is one of those situations where the data came out essentially perfectly," he says. "The results were exactly as we predicted they would be, based on the animal data." That is, like the rats, humans who were more spontaneous and eager to take risks had fewer dopamine-regulating receptors than those who were more cautious.
The findings support Zald's theory that people who take risks get an unusually big hit of dopamine each time they have a novel experience, because their brains are not able to inhibit the neurotransmitter adequately. That blast makes them feel good, so they keep returning for the rush from similarly risky or new behaviors, just like the addict seeking the next high.
"This finding is really interesting," says Dr. Bruce Cohen, director of the Frazier Research Institute at McLean Hospital in Boston and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. "It's a piece of the puzzle to understanding why we like novelty, and why we get addicted to substances ... Dopamine is an important piece of reward."
Cohen suggests that a better understanding of novelty-seeking behavior may even help researchers find more effective treatments for addiction. If future studies validate Zald's findings and show that addicts also have fewer dopamine-inhibiting receptors than average, then medicines designed to replace the function of those receptors may help bring their dopamine levels down to normal and weaken their addiction.
On a more theoretical level, Zald's results may also help inform a long-ranging debate in the addiction field. Some experts believe that addicts suffer from a natural deficit of dopamine and self-medicate with drugs; others think addicts' brains make normal amounts of the neurotransmitter but just can't break it down and regulate it properly.
"We think a person who finds novelty and excitement more rewarding does so because he gets more dopamine release, or more of a boost," says Zald. "But it's one of the big controversies in the field of addiction research now." And it's yet another area for researchers to explore in trying to come up with a better treatment for substance abuse. -CNN

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Public Safety Workers Find Comfort with Their Chiropractor

Study links chiropractic care with improved health.

(January 3, 2009, Canton, GA). A study of public safety personnel placed under chiropractic care reveals an improvement in the overall health of these workers.

Changes in Physical State and Self-Perceptions in Domains of Health Related Quality of Life among Public Safety Personnel Undergoing Chiropractic Care — authored by Spartanburg, SC Drs. Wesley McAllister and W.R. Boone — was published in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. The firefighters, emergency and public utility workers who took part in the study averaged 5.5 months of chiropractic care. The patients ranged in age from the mid-20’s to the late-60’s. They were assessed on a weekly basis and adjusted when necessary.

The research demonstrated that chiropractic care coincided with a decrease in back pain and other physical ailments after a relatively short period of time. The research also revealed that the patients themselves gave their general health and well-being a higher rating following care.

“Even in the short term, chiropractic care benefited the health of the study group,” commented Dr. Mike Headlee, a Canton-based chiropractor. “The study depicts the workers’ significant physical improvements and enhanced self-perceptions of their overall wellness — combining one’s physical, mental and emotional status,” added Headlee.

“This is yet more research that defines the chiropractic profession,” he stated. “Chiropractic in itself is not a cure, but a means of allowing the human body to operate as it was designed. And, when operating at peak efficiency, the human body can do great things — as these public safety workers came to find out,” added Headlee.

Before the first physical assessment (cervical and lumbar range of motion, spinal balance, leg length, orthopedics, motor strength, reflexes and sensory tests) by their chiropractor – and then again at the end of the trial study — each patient was asked to rate his or her overall state of health. They were also asked to assess physical and mental well-being, stress level, quality of life perception and overall life enjoyment.

The report found that, as a group, the individuals’ physical discomforts decreased. Most importantly, all participants assessed their overall health and wellness to be much better than before they underwent regular chiropractic care. And, the subjects reported an improvement in their job performance and a substantial decrease in stress.

“We have a vested interest in the well-being of our emergency and public safety personnel,” said Headlee. “Regular chiropractic care can have tremendous positive effects on a patient’s performance level, which translates into fewer sick days, a decreased risk of injury — and, with that, substantially lower medical expenses,” he continued.

“Public safety workers endure stress and stress-related injuries — both physical and emotional,” concluded Headlee. “But, in this case, the chiropractic care they were afforded allowed their bodies to operate at a higher level. It just goes to show you that if you treat your body right, your body will take good care of you.”

Wesley McAllister and W.R. Boone, “Changes in Physical State and Self-Perceptions in Domains of Health Related Quality of Life among Public Safety Personnel Undergoing Chiropractic Care,” Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, August 6, 2007

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Study Links Enzyme Disorder with Neurological Health

When Little Johnny Shouldn’t Drink Milk…

(January 1, 2009, Canton, GA). The results of a decade long study conducted in the Norwegian town of Stavanger offers this simplistic option to parents with children suffering from hyperactive disorders including ADHD: Change their diet.

23 children from Norway’s southwestern region — ages four to 11 and all diagnosed with hyperactive disorders — were put on milk-free and/or gluten-free diets based on theories developed by Dr. Karl Ludvig Reichelt. Reichelt believes that children afflicted with such disorders suffer from a metabolic problem that hinders the adequate breakdown of certain proteins. So, eating certain foods like milk and gluten may accelerate ADHD (and other disorders) because these children lack an enzyme that breaks down proteins like casein (which is found in milk and enables milk-clotting to make cheese). Reichelt felt that reducing the intake of foods containing proteins would assist proper digestion thus allowing the patients’ hyperactivity to be controlled.

22 of the Norwegian children taken off milk products and other foods containing casein showed an almost immediate improvement in their mental health (including overall behavior), an enhanced attention span plus increased learning capabilities. But, the symptoms returned as soon as the foods were reintroduced into their diets. Most of those involved in the study had been taking medications like Ritalin to treat their diagnosed disorders prior to changing their diets. However, after adjusting their food intake, they were soon taken off the medicine.

Long-term monitoring of these children has found their disorders to be manageable while the challenges they once faced have virtually disappeared.

The study’s result came as no surprise to Dr. Mike Headlee, a Canton-based chiropractor. “There are three types of stress that impact how our bodies perform. Psychological stress is commonly enhanced by money problems, struggling relationships or issues at work. Our ability to deal with those problems has a positive impact on our bodies. Physical stress is remedied by how we care for our bodies through exercise, etc. The children described in the study battled bio-chemical stress fueled by what they put into their bodies. The food and medicines we intake directly affect how we function,” states Headlee.

Similar international research has already linked the protein disorder with autism and schizophrenia. Now, this study points to ADHD and its kind stemming from the same digestive disorder.

“Be fit. Eat right. Think well. That’s the road towards good health. Like those 22 children in Norway, it is often enough to simply adjust our diets before administrating any medications. The old cliché, ‘You are what you eat,’ is a fairly accurate statement,” concluded a smiling Headlee.

“Diet Changes Give Hyperactive Kids New Taste for Life in Norway,” by Nina Larson, AFP and Yahoo! News, Feb. 24, 2008.