Saturday, February 28, 2009

Add Raw Foods To Your Diet

A raw food diet is made up of uncooked and chemically unprocessed foods. By virtue of its definition, most items on a raw food diet are fruits and vegetables. Purified water, beans, grains and nuts are also included. Concerns about taste and texture can be easily put to rest if you try a variety of different foods.A diet rich in raw foods may still use cooked items. Special cooking techniques will preserve all nutrients while increasing digestibility. Drying and blanching are two cooking methods that preserve nutrients. Investing in a food dehydrator may be just the ticket. Dried strawberries, pineapple, apricots and cherries just can't be beat. Dried yams, chick peas and carrots are also tasty. It may take a little time to get accustomed to eating this type of diet, but the improvement in your overall sense of well-being will surely please you. There are other benefits to a raw food diet. Healthy weight loss, better sleep quality, easier digestion, more energy and fewer heart problems have all been documented. Additional pluses include intake of less sodium and more natural vitamins and minerals. Raw food meals give the immune system a natural boost, also.If you experience cravings, headaches or transient nausea after you begin eating a majority of raw foods, do not despair. Your body is simply experiencing withdrawal from your previous diet of meats and sweets.Increasing your liquid intake will help flush your kidneys and clean your system faster. Be sure you drink at least 64 ounces of non-chemical liquids daily. Water is an excellent choice. When water seems boring, add non-caloric flavorings such as instant tea.Study a food list to learn which raw foods contain the most vitamins and minerals. Concentrate on adding those to your diet every day. Remember that B vitamins are not stored by the body. They need to be taken every day, either in the form of a commercial preparation or in specific foods such as bran and wheat germ. These are easy to get in cereals.A raw food diet may put you at risk for certain vitamin and mineral deficiencies. You will want to eat foods that include calcium, iron and Vitamin B 12 to prevent these deficiencies. Drinking fat-free milk will provide calcium. It is treated, that's true, but osteoporosis is more dangerous. The standard raw food diet fosters at least 75% raw or living foods, so milk won't make you a traitor. Almonds, dried fruits and pumpkin seeds are high in iron. The only truly reliable sources of natural B 12 are dairy, eggs and meat. Look for cereal and vegetable sources that have been fortified with B 12. Nearly all dry cereals fill the bill.Raw foods are not only healthy but also flavorful and varied. The addition of raw fruits and vegetables will be healthy, no matter what kind of eating plan you choose for your daily intake. Try many different foods to learn what you find tasty and attractive. You may be surprised at what you decide to eat regularly.Sources:Pierce, Kim. in The Dallas Morning News. 2008. The case for a raw food diet. Apr 7.Rauma AL, Torronen R, Hanninen O, Mykkanen H. 1995. Vitamin B-12 status of long-term adherents of a strict uncooked vegan diet ('living food diet') is compromised. Journal of Nutrition, Oct; vol. 125, pp. 2511-5.Hanninen O, Nenonen M, Ling WH, Li DS, Sihvonen L. 1992. Effects of eating an uncooked vegetable diet for 1 week. Appetite. Dec; vol. 19, pp. 243-54.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Exercise Poses Virtually No Danger to Your Joints

There is no good evidence supporting a harmful effect of regular exercise on normal joints, according to a review of studies.
Exercise is beneficial for weight control, management of cardiovascular disease and diabetes, and improving psychological well-being. However, there is also a perception that exercise is potentially harmful to joints, in particular those of the lower extremities.
Researchers reviewed existing studies on the relationship between regular exercise and osteoarthritis (OA) and concluded that in the absence of existing joint injury there is no increased risk of OA from exercise.Sources:
Eurekalert January 27, 2009
Journal of Anatomy January 21, 2009; 214(2): 197-207

Thursday, February 26, 2009

900 Studies Show Statin Drugs are Dangerous

A new paper cites nearly 900 studies on the adverse effects of HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors, also called statins, which are a class of drugs widely used to treat high cholesterol. The review provides the most complete picture to date of reported side effects of statins.
Muscle problems are the best known of statin drugs' adverse side effects, but cognitive problems and pain or numbness in the extremities are also widely reported. A spectrum of other problems, ranging from blood glucose elevations to tendon problems, can also occur as side effects.
The paper summarizes powerful evidence that statin-induced injury to the function of the body's energy-producing cells, called mitochondria, underlies many of the adverse effects that occur to patients taking statin drugs. Statins lower levels of coenzyme Q10, a compound central to the processes of making energy within mitochondria and eliminating dangerous compounds called free radicals.
Higher statin doses and more powerful statins are linked to greater risk of developing side effects.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Spain Withdraws Gardasil After Illnesses

Spanish health authorities have withdrawn tens of thousands of doses of Gardasil, a vaccine against the human papillomavirus vaccine (HPV), after two teenagers who received the shots were hospitalized.The two girls were vaccinated last week as part of a vast government program targeting adolescents. A batch of nearly 76,000 doses of the vaccine has been withdrawn from the market.The vaccine has been available since 2006.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Add Spirulina to Your Diet and Replace those Expensive Supplements

Spirulina is considered one of nature's most perfect foods because it performs such a broad spectrum of activities in the body. Its nutritional profile shows it can replace many more expensive supplements, and its research profile reveals its dedication to promoting good health. Several animal studies have documented the ability of spirulina to arrest the development of cancer progression, reduce risk of cancer initiation, and boost the immune system. Spirulina has anti-viral and anti-allergic effects, and is a natural antihistamine. Recently, spirulina has been found effective at lowering the immune response when it has become overactive, a function that may make it effective against autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.Spirulina's credentials date back more than three billion yearsSpirulina are microscopic coiled blue-green algae that have been around for the past 3.6 billion years or so. Spirulina and other blue-green algae were the generators of the oxygen found in the atmosphere that allowed higher life forms to evolve. These algae contain every nutrient needed by life to evolve into the diversity of life seen on earth today.Documented use of spirulina dates back to the Aztecs who consumed it in Mexico over five centuries ago. In the recent past, millions of people around the world have used spirulina as a food supplement to their diets based on recommendations of the United Nations and the World Health Organization. Spirulina was chosen by NASA to enrich the diets of astronauts on space missions.Spirulina is sustainable food, offering more nutrition per acre than any other food. It is able to provide 20 times more complete protein per acre than soybeans, and 200 times more per acre than beef. It contains the eight essential amino acids as well as ten non-essential amino acids, making it an excellent choice for anyone not consuming animal protein. It is rich in enzymes, chlorophyll, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and phosphorous. It is rich in B complex vitamins including B6, biotin, B12, pantothenic acid, folic acid, inositol, niacin, riboflavin and thiamine. It is a good source of essential fatty acids, including linoleic, and arachidonic acid. Spirulina contains 4,000 mg/kg of carotenoids as alpha and beta carotene, xanthophylis, cryptoxanthin, echinenone, zeaxanthin, and lutein.The pigment that gives spirulina its blue cast is phycocyanin, found in a concentration of about seven percent. Phycocyanin is related to the human pigment bilirubin, which is important to healthy liver function and digestion of amino acids. Another pigment in spriulina is porphyrin, a red compound that forms the active nucleus of hemoglobin.Spirulina is low in sodium and low in calories.This nutritional profile, coupled with the ability of spirulina to be grown vertically as well as horizontally, makes spirulina a potential answer to the deepening world food crisis. On the individual level, spirulina's nutrient density gives it the potential to replace many more costly individual supplements and expensive whole food multi vitamin capsules. The nutrients found in spirulina exist in natural harmony and integrity, making them much more highly bioavailable that those found in multi-vitamin and mineral capsules, or in supplements containing isolated nutrients. Many toxicological studies have proven spirulina's safety, even when consumed in large amounts.Study reveals spirulina's power to suppress an overactive immune systemThe study, reported in the December, 2008 issue of the journal Natural Medicine (Tokyo) was designed to test the ability of spirulina to modulate the immune system. The in vivo effect of spirulina on humoral immune response, cell-mediated immune response, and tumor necrosis factor alpha was investigated in mice. In vitro, its effect on induced T lymphocyte proliteration was analyzed.The researchers found spirulina significantly inhibited the humoral immune response, cell mediated immune response reaction, and tumor necrosis factor alpha in the mice in a dose-dependent manner. In vitro, spirulina decreased the mitogen-induced T lymphocyte proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner when compared with controls. The scientists concluded that spirulina's ability to suppress the immune response was remarkable.Spirulina fights Chronic Fatigue SyndromeSpirulina restores the body to a state of high energy according to those who use it. The process may be through its high levels of polysaccharides and essential fatty acids. It is one of the few sources of gamma linolenic acid (GLA), providing 30 mg per serving. Spirulina may also boost energy through the lactobacillus in the intestinal tract, which aid in the release of nutrients from food, and enable the production of energy promoting Vitamin B6.Spirulina is a powerful anti-inflammatoryThe anti-inflammatory and anti-histamine properties of spirulina have been well documented. In a recent double-blind, controlled study, people with allergic rhinitis were fed daily with either a placebo or spirulina for twelve weeks. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated before and after the spirulina feeding, and levels of inflammatory marking cytokines were measured. The researchers found that high doses of spirulina significantly reduced interleukin-4 levels by 32%, demonstrating its protective effect against allergic rhinitis.Other studies have demonstrated the ability of spirulina to promote mucosal immunity, and improve the symptoms of nasal discharge, sneezing, nasal congestion, and itching. Production of Natural Killer (NK) cells in the body is increased by spirulina.Spirulina contains 2250 units of superoxide dismutase (SOD), the powerful antioxidant made naturally by the body. As youth is left behind, levels of SOD decline and should be replenished by the diet to slow the aging process.Spirulina found to cause regression of cancerThere have been few human studies to date using spirulina. Such studies looking for an endpoint of lower cancer incidence are usually based on review of data collected from longitudinal studies designed to provide information in several areas. They reflect existing behaviors and habits rather than the introduction of a substance to be studied.In one trial with human subjects, the effects of spirulina on oral carcinogenesis were studied. Researchers found that 45 percent of their 77 subjects showed complete regression of leukoplakia, an oral cancerous conditions, after taking spirulina supplements for one year.Several animal studies have revealed that spirulina produced tumor regression. The most recent of these, reported in the January 21 edition of Medical Oncology reported a study of male hamsters introduced to a potent carcinogen through their buccal pouches. They were divided in four groups. Group one received the carcinogen three times a week for 32 weeks. Group 2 received the same carcinogen and at the same time was given 10 mg daily of spirulina. Group 3 received a shorter exposure to the carcinogen and the same amount of spirulina. Group 4 had neither the carcinogen nor the spirulina administered. Hamsters were examined periodically throughout the 32 weeks of the study. Findings revealed a highly significant difference between the different groups, revealing that the spirulina intervention had a beneficial role in regression of cancer progression.Spirulina is a potent antioxidant and body detoxifierSpirulina contains a wealth of antioxidant vitamins C and E, as well as the antioxidant minerals selenium, manganese, zinc, copper, iron, and chromium. Its antioxidant capabilities have been shown to reduce the toxic effects of cadmium, and of free radicals generated by inflammatory processes. It has also been highly effective against mercuric chloride induced oxidative stress.Spirulina has been found to reduce kidney toxicity resulting from heavy metals including mercury, and from pharmaceutical drugs. It has also been shown to promote the elimination of dioxin.Spirulina promotes lower blood pressure and LDL cholesterolStudies with men in Japan and India showed that several grams of spirulina daily can reduce serum LDL and improve the cholesterol ratio. Human studies in Germany and India found a weight reduction effect from spirulina along with the cholesterol normalizing effects.In a 2007 study reported in Lipids Health Digest, 36 human subjects ingested 4.5 grams of spirulina daily for six weeks without making any other modifications in their diets or lifestyles during the course of the study. After the six week period, total cholesterol concentrations and levels of body fat were lowered. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure was reduced.Spirulina improves digestive tract healthSpirulina provides a tremendous boost to digestive functioning. When it is added to the diet, an improvement in regularity and elimination is almost immediate. Spirulina suppresses bacteria like e-coli, and stimulates beneficial flora to assure protection against infection and maximum nutrition from food that is eaten.Spriulina flakes are now on the marketSpirulina has been available as powder or tablets. Now crystal flakes of spirulina are on the market, making adding spirulina to meals much easier. Flakes can be added to smoothies, or sprinkled on salads, pasta or popcorn. The flakes blend into guacamole, soups and sauces. Spirulina flakes contain all the nutrition of powdered spirulina and have been dried at low temperatures that protect enzymes.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Low-Dose Aspirin Not Answer for Heart Health

If you listen to the reigning experts from the pharmaceutical world, aspirin appears to be the cure-all for everything. Now, a new Yale University study suggests that low-dose aspirin may prevent liver damage caused by side effects of drugs, alcohol, and obesity. Specifically, aspirin reduced mortality caused by Tylenol overdose in mice. Given together with Tylenol, it offered significant protection, increasing survival from 22 to 43%. Other drugs that block inflammation were also shown to protect the liver (Imaeda et al., 2009). As usual, no mention was made of anti-inflammatory vitamins and minerals in this study.A number of pharmaceutical industry-sponsored studies support the use of aspirin for prevention. Low-dose aspirin is positioned as a widely available, inexpensive, and relatively safe drug regimen. Its anti-clotting effect is used widely to prevent heart attacks, strokes and blood clot formation. Given immediately after a heart attack, aspirin is said to reduce heart damage and the risk of another heart attack. Now, low dose aspirin may be promoted to inhibit liver inflammation from drug use. Consider, however, that higher doses may increase liver toxicity.Thus, from one single mouse study, the authors conclude that aspirin should be taken daily to help prevent or treat liver damage from a host of non-infectious causes. They even suggest that drugs previously discarded due to liver toxicity might be resurrected if combined with aspirin. Soon enough, a new OTC drug combining Tylenol and low-dose aspirin is likely to show up in drugstores.However, aspirin is not the cure-all that the industry makes it out to be. Aspirin is not recommended for those with intolerance or resistance to nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs, or by those with bleeding problems, asthma, kidney disease, peptic ulcers, diabetes, gout or gastritis. There is an increased risk of stomach bleeding when aspirin is taken with alcohol or warfarin. Up to 28% of patients who take low-dose aspirin to ward off heart attacks develop peptic ulcers, though often without symptoms (Yeomans et al., 2005). Factors that increase ulcer risk include old age or infection with H. pylori. Aspirin should also not be given to young people for colds or flu, as this has been linked with Reye`s syndrome. As with any drug, the benefits of aspirin should be carefully assessed before taking it for long periods.Generally speaking, no drug is a solution for chronic degenerative disease. Aspirin is no exception, as it is in fact a metabolic poison. Indeed, aspirin`s side effects may far outweigh any benefits. Aspirin can increase the risk of pancreatic cancer (Schernhammer 2004), damage kidneys, and promote gastric bleeding. The WASH (Warfarin/Aspirin Study in Heart failure) study provided no evidence that aspirin is effective or safe in patients with heart failure. Indeed, there were trends toward a worse outcome among those taking aspirin, including heart failure (Cleland et al., 2004). It is likely that aspirin is not as safe as suggested. It may also not be as cheap as advertised, when calculating the costs of treatment for adverse effects. Perhaps the greatest detriment of aspirin is that it diverts attention away from treatments that are truly beneficial.Nevertheless, it is not wise to go cold turkey with any medication. People who stop taking aspirin once they`ve been doing it for a while risk serious heart problems. More than 10% of people taking daily aspirin for heart reasons were hospitalized within one week of stopping the therapy. It`s a Catch-22 situation, since aspirin can increase the risk of heart damage, but stopping long-term therapy can do the same. Solutions? Start by asking your doctor to safely wean you off blood-thinners without shocking your system into a heart attack. In the future, take these drugs only when needed. There are many natural alternatives to aspirin that are heart healthy without the damaging side effects.So, what are the best alternatives to aspirin? Simple lifestyle changes such as reducing refined carbohydrate and trans fat intake, eating more alkaline foods (low-carb veggies and fruits) and exercising can have a tremendously positive effect on your cardiovascular system. There are also natural supplements with blood-thinning properties, such as Fish Oil, Vitamin E, Nattokinase, and Bromelain. Among the spices, Basil is known for preventing blood clotting. Scientists caution not to take these potential blood thinners with aspirin, as the combination may thin the blood excessively. However, fish oil may safely enhance the anti-platelet effect of baby aspirin (Larson 2008). A basic supplement regimen for cardiovascular health includes a high quality multivitamin, natural mixed vitamin E and pharmaceutical grade fish oil. There are also many minerals and antioxidants from food and supplements that boost circulatory health. Remember to buy top shelf supplements, not the cheap drugstore junk produced by the pharmaceutical industry. The extra cost is well worth the investment. Remember also to stop taking all blood thinners at least a week before surgery to avoid internal bleeding.Furthermore, be careful with excessive calcium supplementation. Too much calcium, without other nutrients to prevent its crystallization in the body, leads to hardening of the arteries and abnormal blood clotting. Reducing calcium intake to 800 mg daily combined with magnesium, vitamin K2, vitamin D3, boron and fish oil is by far a better bone building strategy that can also improve heart health. Unfortunately, most magnesium supplements come in the oxide form, which is not absorbed by the body. Take 100-200 mg magnesium daily as citrate or taurate (or another absorbable form) to soften calcium. Vitamin K2 (but not vitamin K1) has been shown to decalcify blood vessels (Beulens et al., 2008). Vitamin D3 should be on everyone`s list to improve calcium metabolism and reduce inflammation.There are also special foods and supplements that prevent excessive blood clotting. Nattokinase is an enzyme made from fermented soybeans that can prevent or dissolve clots. It is comparable to aspirin in enhancing blood flow, without the side effects. Nattokinase provides longer lasting benefits than aspirin without the potential for abnormal bleeding. By increasing circulation, Nattokinase enhances tissue oxygenation and increases nutrient and supplement utilization. This, in turn, increases energy, supports vision, promotes bone and joint health, alleviates minor joint and muscle pains, and supports memory (Peng et al., 2005). Nattokinase in combination with appropriate lifestyle and dietary modifications can provide excellent protection from heart attacks.Flavonol-rich cocoa drinks and dark chocolate also compare favorably with low-dose aspirin for healthy blood clotting (Mehrinfar 2008). Cocoa may be the preferred way to thin blood, since it tastes so good, and bolsters antioxidant defenses. In contrast, aspirin may reduce antioxidant activity by blocking Vitamin C entry into cells. Tomato extracts have also been shown to help thin blood, and may contribute to cardiovascular health. By reducing platelet activation, tomato contributes to a reduction in clotting events that lead to heart attack and stroke, as shown in clinical trials (O`Kennedy 2006). Garlic`s blood-thinning effect is part of an ancient tradition. It stems from garlic`s ability to lower blood triglyceride levels. Indeed, a wide variety of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds derived from fruits and vegetables work in synergy to promote cardiovascular health. Many of these phytochemicals are available as supplements, either separately or in synergistic blends.If you insist on taking aspirin, consider that zinc and selenium may prevent aspirin`s impairment of antioxidant, liver and kidney function (Kesik et al., 2008). These antioxidant minerals can be found in ideal form and sufficient quantity in high quality multivitamins.In conclusion, virtually all pharmaceutical approaches to health should be considered with caution. Drugs are not the best answer to improve health, and should not be anyone`s first choice. Furthermore, drug combinations are likely to cause more problems than they fix. Unfortunately, the pharmaceutical industry seems more concerned with profit than with health and welfare. Even well meaning doctors typically have no training in nutrition, and are not the best source of information in many areas of health. With so many beneficial nutrients available to improve blood flow and reduce inflammation, wholesome food and supplements are the cornerstone to health. Those who would recommend drugs for these purposes, especially to counteract the toxic effects of other drugs, have another agenda altogether.

ReferencesBeulens JWJ, Bots ML, Atsma F, et al. High dietary menaquinone intake is associated with reduced coronary calcification. Atherosclerosis. 2008 Jul 19. [Epub ahead of print]Cleland JG, Findlay I, Jafri S, et al. The warfarin/aspirin study in heart failure (WASH): a randomized trial comparing antithrombotic strategies for patients with heart failure. Am Heart J 2004;148:157-64.Imaeda AB, Watanabe1 A, Sohail1 MA, et al. Acetaminophen-induced hepatotoxicity in mice is dependent on Tlr9 and the Nalp3 inflammasome. J Clin Invest Jan 26, 2009.Kesik V, Lenk MK, Kurekci AE, et al. Do zinc and selenium prevent the antioxidant, hepatic and renal system impairment caused by aspirin in rats? Biol Trace Elem Res 2008;123:168-78.Larson MK, Ashmore JH, Harris KA, et al. Effects of omega-3 acid ethyl esters and aspirin, alone and in combination, on platelet function in healthy subjects. Thromb Haemost 2008;100:634-41.Mehrinfar R, Frishman WH. Flavanol-rich cocoa: a cardioprotective nutraceutical.Cardiol Rev 2008;16:109-15.O`Kennedy N, Crosbie L, Whelan S, et al. Effects of tomato extract on platelet function: a double-blinded crossover study in healthy humans. Am J Clin Nutr 2006;84:561-9.Peng Y, Yang X, Zhang Y, et al. Microbial fibrinolytic enzymes: an overview of source, production, properties, and thrombolytic activity in vivo. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 2005;69:126-32.Schernhammer ES, Kang JH, Chan AT, et al. A prospective study of aspirin use and the risk of pancreatic cancer in women. J Natl Cancer Inst 2004;96:22-8.Yeomans ND, Lanas AI, Talley NJ, et al. Prevalence and incidence of gastroduodenal ulcers during treatment with vascular protective doses of aspirin. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2005;22:795-801.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Which Color Bell Pepper Is Best?

Choose red bell peppers for their high levels of antioxidant vitamins A and C, which help protect cells from free radicals. One cup of chopped red peppers contains three times the minimum amount of vitamin C and nearly 100 percent of the vitamin A recommended for a typical 2,000 calorie a day diet. Green and yellow peppers fall short in vitamin A. Raising blood plasma levels of vitamin C can lead to a lower risk of developing diabetes, according to a recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine. All peppers, however, are naturally fat free and low calorie, and they contain three grams of fiber per chopped cup, making them excellent snacks or mealtime fillers.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

An Apple A Day Keeps Cancer Away

Over the past 12 months, half a dozen studies published by Rui Hai Liu, Cornell associate professor of food science and a member of Cornell's Institute for Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, show apples fight cancer. Dr. Liu's research adds to a mounting body of data that apples, as well as other fruits and vegetables, are powerful ways to help prevent breast cancer.In a study just published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Dr. Liu found fresh apple extracts significantly inhibited the size of mammary tumors in rats. In fact, the more extracts they gave the animals, the more breast tumors were inhibited. This research backs up earlier findings of another study conducted by Dr. Liu in rats that was published in 2007.In his new study, Dr. Liu found that a highly malignant type of breast cancer called an adenocarcinoma developed in 81 percent in the control animals. However, it developed only in 57 percent, 50 percent and 23 percent of the animals that received a diet supplemented by low, middle and high doses of apple extracts (the equivalent of one, three and six apples a day in humans), respectively, during the 6 month study.Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed invasive cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in U.S. women. The anti-cancer property of apples is particularly important because adenocarcinoma is the main cause of death of breast-cancer patients, as well as of animals with mammary cancer."That reflects potent anti-proliferative [rapid decrease] activity," Dr. Liu said in a statement to the media. "We not only observed that the treated animals had fewer tumors, but the tumors were smaller, less malignant and grew more slowly compared with the tumors in the untreated rats."The Cornell studies emphasize the valuable, health-protecting role of phytochemicals, such as phenolics or flavonoids, found in apples as well as other fruits and veggies. In additional research published in the same edition of Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, Dr. Liu announced a variety of new phenolic compounds he has discovered in apple peelings that also have "potent antioxidant and anti-proliferative activities" on tumors.In still another Cornell study published in the same journal, Dr. Liu reported on his research group's discovery of the specific modulation effects that apple extracts have on cell cycles. What's more, Liu and his colleagues have also uncovered the fact phytochemicals in apples inhibit an important inflammation pathway (technically known as NFkB) in human breast cancer cells.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Chiropractic Care May Improve Infants’ Sleep

(February 20, 2009, Canton, GA). A pilot study conducted by Joyce Miller and Matts Klemsdal evaluated whether routine chiropractic care in infants had also improved the patients’ sleep pattern.

Sleep problems plague about 25 percent of all infants; they are measured by the time it takes the child to settle down, the amount of consecutive sleep hours the child accumulates and the quality of sleep. All this can add a great amount of stress to new parents. And according to Canton-based Mike Headlee, D.C, in many cases, a disturbed sleep pattern is usually also accompanied by an infant’s excessive crying.

Dr. Headlee points to a pilot study published this year in the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics.

In the study, 116 infants, who were in chiropractic care for various health challenges, were rated on their sleep behavior during the course of their care. Of the infants, only 10 percent had initially come to the chiropractor because of dysomnia or sleep disturbances, while the majority of the children received chiropractic care for excessive crying.

The parents were asked to complete a questionnaire on their child’s sleep pattern after the 1st, 4th and 7th visit to the chiropractor on the amount of hours the child slept, the quality of sleep and the time it took for the child to fall asleep. The data was analyzed and showed a significant improvement in the children’s sleep pattern after the adjustments.

After the 1st visit, almost 40 percent of infants slept deeper. That percentage jumped to more than 60 percent after the 7th visit. The percentage of children who had difficulty falling asleep fell from more than 65 percent after the 1st visit to just over 22 percent after the 7th visit. Most children had received adjustments to the upper cervical spine.

“This is an important finding that warrants more scientific and clinical research,” adds Dr. Headlee. “Chiropractic care seems not only to help children get a better night’s sleep, it also reduces the stress on parents. And stress, as we all know, has its own health challenges.”

Anyone wishing more information may contact Dr. Headlee, whose office is located at 206 Sawtooth Ct, Canton, GA, (telephone 770-720-6813).

“Can Chiropractic Care Improve Infants’ Sleep?” by Joyce Miller and Matts Klemsdal, Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics, Volume 9, No. 1, 2008.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

10 Diseases Linked To Soda

Statistics shows that Americans drink more soda than ever before. They account for more than 25 percent of all drinks consumed in the United States. More than 15 billion gallons were sold in 2000 -- about one 12-ounce can per day for every man, woman and child. But here’s some information that may keep you away from opening the can:
1. Extra pounds
Soda is a significant contributor to obesity. Drinking a single can a day of sugary drinks translates to more than a pound of weight gain every month. And diet soda is just as likely to cause weight gain as regular, or even more -- it may sound counterintuitive, but people who drink diet soft drinks actually don’t lose weight. Artificial sweeteners induce a whole set of physiologic and hormonal responses that actually make you gain weight.
2. Liver damage
Soda damages your liver. Consumption of too many soft drinks puts you under increased risk for liver cirrhosis similar to the increased risk faced by chronic alcoholics.
3. Tooth decay
Soda dissolves tooth enamel. Soft drinks are responsible for doubling or tripling the incidence of tooth decay. Soda's acidity is even worse for teeth than the solid sugar found in candy.4. Kidney stones and chronic kidney disease
Colas of all kinds are well known for their high phosphoric acid content, a substance that changes the urine in a way that promotes kidney stone formation. Drinking one quart (less than three 12-ounce cans) of soda per week may increase your risk of developing kidney stones by 15 percent.5. Diabetes
Anything that promotes weight gain increases the risk of diabetes. Drinking soda also stresses your body's ability to process sugar. Some scientists now suspect that this may explain why the number of Americans with type 2 diabetes has tripled from 6.6 million in 1980 to 20.8 million today.6. Heartburn & acid reflux
Heavy consumption of soda is a strong predictor of heartburn. Many carbonated beverages are very acidic. They also deliver a lot of air in the form of carbon dioxide, which can cause distension of your stomach. And that distension appears to be associated with more reflux.
7. Soft drinks = Soft Bones = Osteoporosis
Soft drinks containing phosphoric acid are definitely linked to osteoporosis (a weakening of your skeletal structure) because they lead to lower calcium levels and higher phosphate levels in your blood. When phosphate levels are high and calcium levels are low, calcium is pulled out of your bones.
8. Hypertension (high blood pressure)
Experts have reasons to believe that overconsumption of soda leads to an increase in blood pressure. It doesn't matter if the soda is regular or diet.9. Heart disease
Heavy soda drinkers are more likely to develop risk factors for heart disease. Research shows that drinking more than one soft drink a day is associated with an increased risk of developing metabolic syndrome -- a group of symptoms such as central obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting blood sugar, elevated fasting triglycerides, and low levels of HDL or "good" cholesterol. Having three or more of the symptoms increases your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
10. Impaired digestion (gastrointestinal distress)
Gastrointestinal distress includes increased stomach acid levels requiring acid inhibitors, and moderate to severe gastric inflammation with possible stomach lining erosion. Drinking sodas, especially on an empty stomach, can upset the fragile acid-alkaline balance of your stomach and other gastric lining, creating a continuous acid environment. This prolonged acid environment can lead to inflammation of your stomach and duodenal lining.
Squidoo January 23, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Most Common Source of Calories in U.S. is LOADED With Mercury!

Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, according to a new study. Mercury was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient.HFCS has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods. A high consumer can take in about 20 teaspoons of HFCS per day. The chemical was found most commonly in HFCS-containing dairy products, dressings and condiments. The use of mercury-contaminated caustic soda in the production of HFCS is common.
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy January 26, 2009
Washington Post January 26, 2009
Environmental Health January 2009, 8:2

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Extra Virgin Olive Oil Helps People With Cancer

Researchers from the Catalonian Institute of Oncology (ICO) in Girona and the University of Granada in Spain have discovered that extra virgin olive oil appears to be a powerful weapon against breast cancer. In a study just published in the scientific journal BMC Cancer, the scientists report polyphenols -- powerful natural antioxidants found in abundance in extra virgin olive oil (the least processed form of the oil) -- have bioactivity against breast cancer cell lines.In laboratory experiments, the researchers documented how phenolic compounds directly extracted from extra virgin olive oil were effective against both HER2-positive and HER2-negative breast cancers cells. That's particularly significant because HER2-positive breast cancer is a breast malignancy that tests positive for human epidermal growth factor receptor-2 (HER2) -- a protein which promotes the growth of cancer cells and makes HER2-positive breast cancers usually more aggressive than other kinds of breast cancer and less responsive to treatment. The research, conducted by Javier A. Menendez, coordinator of the Translational Research Unit of the ICO and doctors Alberto Fernandez Gutierrez and Antonio Segura Carretero, confirms that polyphenols (especially those known as secoiridoids and lignans) found in extra virgin olive oil not only inhibit the activity of cancer-promoting HER2 activity but also promotes the protein's degradation.Humans have safely consumed olives and olive oil, and the secoiridoids and lignans these foodstuffs contain, for thousands of years. In a statement to the media, the researchers noted this fact, along with the results of their research, shows phytochemicals could be an excellent and safe basis for the design of new anti-HER2 cancer-fighting treatments.In a review of olive oil research set for publication in the March edition of the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition (2009 Mar;49(3):218-36), scientists from Deakin University in Victoria, Australia, point out the health benefits of the so-called Mediterranean diet (such as a lower incidence of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis as well as several types of cancers) have been partially attributed to the regular consumption of virgin olive oil by Mediterranean populations.The Australian researchers conclude this is likely due to the healthy physiological effects of virgin olive oil. For example, laboratory studies as well as those in humans and animals have shown that olive oil phenolics have a host of positive physiological effects, including preventing oxidative damage, quelling inflammation, regulating platelet and cellular function, and fighting infections.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Vitamin E

55% is the amount vitamin E can lower lung cancer risk. Note: research supports taking vitamin E in its natural form, l-alpha-tocopherol.

Source: University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Are You At Risk For A Stress Facture?

75% is the amount calcium and vitamin D supplements can lower a woman's risk of stress fracture.

Source: study presented to the Orthopedic Research Society, by the U.S. Department of Defense

Saturday, February 14, 2009

When To Go Organic

Not sure which fruits and veggies have enough of a pesticide load to inspire you to splurge on organic? Go to and print out the wallet sized list of the "dirty dozen" so you know when to go organic.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Go Bananas

An apple a day might keep the doctor away, but if you want to avoid the cardiologist, reach for a banana. Research presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 41st Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in November linked low dietary potassium with high blood pressure in an analysis of more than 3,300 people. Doctors most often tell their heart patients to cut down on sodium, but "the effect of low potassium on increasing blood pressure may be even greater than the effect of high sodium," says Julie Stefanski, RD, a clinical dietitian at York, Pennsylvania. She recommends getting plenty of potassium from whole foods. We do love bananas, but some other potassium rich foods include avocados, prunes, and yogurt. Caution: If you have kidney problems, check with your doctor before significantly increasing your potassium.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Share The Water

For World Water Week (March 22-28), join the Tap Project and donate $1 or more at restaurants nationwide for the tap water you usually get free. Proceeds support UNICEF'S global clean water programs. Find a spot near you or make a direct donation at

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Eat Vegetarian

Going meat free helps the planet, since the meat industry is a top source of the greenhouse gas methane. Curious? Try it for a day with the Great American Meat-out (March 20;, a campaign to promote vegetarianism.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Walk Away Cravings

Taking a brisk 15-minute walk can help you fight chocolate and other food cravings, says new research. Put science to work for you and get two-for-one benefits: Conquer mindless eating and get a burst of heart-healthy cardio while you're at it.

Monday, February 9, 2009

See Red

Fight winter blahs with red flowers or anything else in this hue. Seeing the color can boost heart rate and adrenaline, which can rev up your energy.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Elderly In Trouble In Hospitals

The charity Age Concern has sounded a warning that elderly people in British health-care facilities are not getting the special attention needed to make sure that they get enough food."Our evidence shows unacceptable inconsistencies across the country," said Patrick South, head of public affairs for the charity. "It's shocking that many older people still find themselves trapped within a 'postcode lottery of commitment' to improve nutritional standards on hospital wards. For older people, missed meals in the hospital can be as big a risk to safety as missing medication."The Age Concern investigation found that 43 percent of the National Health Service (NHS) trusts studied failed to maintain "protected mealtimes," in which all non-critical care is halted to make sure that everyone gets a chance to eat. Investigators found facilities that conducted routine examinations or took patients to the bathroom during meals, causing those patients to go hungry.The investigation also found that 33 percent of the trusts studied had not yet implemented a "red tray system," with meal trays color-coded so that staff can easily see which patients need extra assistance during mealtime.More than 29,000 reports of poor patient nutrition incidents were reported to the British National Patients Safety Agency in 2007, including improper care of patients who had trouble swallowing or were too weak to eat properly, poorly fitted feeding tubes, and deaths due to malnutrition."Tackling malnutrition should be a top priority for all NHS trusts," South said.Alison McCree, national secretary of the Health Estates & Facilities Management Association, said that she was "very disappointed" that the nutritional issues had yet to be addressed in a systemic fashion, and called upon the government to take action."Although it is primarily a nursing responsibility, the situation can only be improved with a multidisciplinary approach," she advised. "Education is also important - the message about malnutrition needs to get out there."

Sources for this story include:;

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ritalin May Be Addictive

According to an article published in the 02/02/07 online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from The Rockefeller University in New York City said the study’s findings suggest that chronic exposure to Ritalin in high doses could prove addictive, and that highlights the need for more research into its long-term effects.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Chiropractic Care Eases Severe Depression

(February 6, 2009, Canton, GA). A case study authored by Alain M.J. Desaulniers credits regular chiropractic care with helping a 46-year old man overcome his major depression and increase his quality of life.

More than 15 million American adults are diagnosed with mood disorders every year, which include major depression, Dysthymia and Bipolar Disorder. The disease is usually treated with antidepressants, according to the study, but the quality of life of people who are clinically depressed is subdued by the medications’ many unwanted side effects.

The prevalence of the disease has Dr. Headlee pointing to the case report published this year in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research. The report states the important role chiropractic care can play in the management of depressions.

In this particular study, a 46-year old man suffered from major depression and was taking an antidepressant with unwanted side effects, such as decrease in his sex drive, dizziness, muscle weakness and insomnia. A chiropractic evaluation revealed that he had suffered physical trauma in the past, which led to vertebral subluxations. A subluxation is a condition in which the body is unable to function properly because of interferences with the nervous system, and the condition may be corrected with chiropractic adjustments.

The patient had a total of 34 adjustments done on various parts of his spine over a period of 11 months. After the first visit, his dizziness subsided, and he experienced a decrease in lower back and neck pain. After three visits, he felt less anxious and fatigued and reported an increase in muscle strength. Over time, his depression significantly improved, and he was eating healthier.

Previous studies have shown a correlation between injury or trauma to the spine and the onset of social disorders, in addition to biochemical changes in the brain.
One of the areas that chiropractic care focuses on in the spinal cord is enriched with neuropeptides receptors, which are responsible for the so-called brain reward cascade that triggers a feeling of well-being.

“An impairment of these receptors due to subluxation in the corresponding area of the spine can be one of the underlying causes for depression and for mood or social alterations,” said Dr. Headlee. “However, more studies of this kind are needed. But one thing is clear: An adjusted spine is vital to our health, to our overall state of well being and thus to our quality of life.”

Editor’s note:
Anyone wishing more information may contact Dr. Headlee, whose office is located at 206 Sawtooth Ct, Canton, GA (telephone 770-720-6813).

“Effect of Subluxation-Based Chiropractic Care on Quality of Life in a Patient With Major Depression” by Alain M.J. Desaulniers, Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research, April 23, 2008.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Are Energy Drinks Safe?

The way that energy drinks are marketed and used places consumers at significant risk of caffeine intoxication, according to a study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence."The caffeine content of energy drinks varies over a 10-fold range, with some containing the equivalent of 14 cans of Coca-Cola, yet the caffeine amounts are unlabeled and few include warnings about potential health risks of caffeine intoxication," said study co-author Roland Griffiths.The symptoms of caffeine intoxication include anxiety, nervousness, restlessness, insomnia, pacing, tremors, rapid heartbeat and digestive upset. In particularly high doses, caffeine can be fatal.The researchers noted that because energy drinks are marketed as dietary supplements rather than food products, manufacturers are not required to disclose how much caffeine they contain. In addition, the FDA maximum of 71 milligrams of caffeine per 12 ounces does not apply. The average 12 ounce cola contains approximately 35 milligrams of caffeine, while a six-ounce cup of brewed coffee contains anywhere from 80 to 150 mg. Yet some energy drinks may contain hundreds of milligrams of caffeine per can.Part of what makes energy drinks dangerous is that companies mainly market them at teenagers and young adults, pushing them as performance enhancers without warning of potential side effects. As a consequence, many youths drink the products in large quantities throughout the day, like any other beverage."It's notable that over-the-counter caffeine-containing products require warning labels, yet energy drinks do not," co-author Chad Reissig said.Also dangerous is the regular practice of mixing energy drinks with alcohol, which 27 percent of college students report doing at least once per month. Because caffeine is a stimulant and alcohol a depressant, people who mix the two tend to feel as if they are less intoxicated than they actually are.

Sources for this story include:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Are Bacteria Good or Bad?

Consuming healthy bacteria, or probiotics, can improve your body's overall balance of good versus bad micro-organisms, boosting your general health. But be careful -- not all of the probiotic-containing products found on store shelves provide the health benefits they claim.Some regular foods contain healthy bacteria naturally, such as yogurt and naturally fermented pickles. But pasteurization has eliminated many of the probiotics that should be found in modern foods. The recent boom in probiotic products reflects an effort to re-introduce bacteria that promote good health.When choosing a probiotic, look for products that list a specific strain of bacteria on their label, such as Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG -- the final two letters identify the strain. A product that simply uses the first two names may include a similar, but not identical, bacterium that doesn't have the same scientific testing behind it. It’s best when the actual product -- not just the bacterium -- has been tested in humans. Don’t be afraid to do a bit of research, especially when a simple Web search can yield a lot of information.Some additional tips: Look for the word "live" on the package, since organisms killed by processing won't be helpful. The expiration date may be particularly important, because even if a product still tastes good the bacteria may no longer be alive. For maximum benefit, try to consume a variety of different bacteria, as each may contribute something slightly different.
Wall Street Journal January 13, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Women's Health Alert

New research shows that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) may be on the rise among women. While most RA patients need medication to stop joint erosion, the following natural approaches may help, says rheumatologist Daniel Muller, M.D.

  • Fish oil: it contains omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation, the driving force behind this autoimmune disorder.

  • Mind-body practices: Yoga, meditation, and the like can help relieve stress, a known trigger for RA flare-ups.

  • Fasting: Scientists don't know why, but fasting can help people with RA recover more quickly from flare-ups.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Our Cells Respond to Human Touch

Our Cells Respond to Human Touch

(February 2, 2009, Canton, GA). A 2-year research study headed by Gloria A. Gronowicz of the Department of Surgery at the University of Connecticut Health Center in Farmington, New Jersey, credits certain forms of alternative energy medicine with the successful stimulation and growth of normal human cell cultures.

Energy medicine includes such biofield therapies as Reiki, quikong and Therapeutic Touch (TT), according to Canton-based Dr. Mike Headlee, D.C. The study focused on TT, which was credited with directly impacting how human cells respond to external stimulation.

Dr. Headlee points to the case report published this year in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. The findings suggest that external stimulation with TT may also be effective in decreasing abnormal cell growth in cancer patients.

In this particular study, three different cell cultures — fibroblasts (derived from neonatal foreskin obtained during circumcision), tendon cells (derived from human hamstring discarded during orthopedic procedures) and bone cells (obtained from healthy bone chips) — were grown and isolated.

All cultures were obtained from different patients. In addition, each of the three cell types that were simultaneously subjected to the various tests all came from different patients.

The cultures were subjected twice a week, over a period of two weeks, to the healing hands of three experienced TT practitioners. During that time, the cultures also underwent sham treatments, or they received no stimulation at all. Each experiment was repeated three times at a minimum.

TT was performed by sweeping hand motions at least 4-10 inches above the plate without ever touching the specimen itself, for a period of 10 minutes, twice a week. “These hand motions direct positive intentions through the hands,” explained Dr. Headlee. Control groups of the cultures underwent sham treatments — random hand motions without any thoughts or intentions — or they received no treatment at all.

All cultures were assessed at the same time. The results were obtained by statistical analysis and were rather surprising: TT resulted in a measurable change in all three cell cultures. Osteoblasts (bone cells) showed a significant increase in cell growth, compared to the untreated cells; a slightly smaller increase was seen in fibroblasts (cultures from neonatal foreskin).

But the largest increase in growth compared to the control group occurred in tenoctytes (cells derived from hamstring tendon).

“We see that human touch has the capacity to affect even cell growth and thereby has a real healing potential,” exclaimed Dr. Headlee. “More studies are needed, but the findings also give hope to many patients who suffer from abnormal cell growth — in particular cancer patients. By and large, energy medicine treatments, in particular TT, promise significant benefits for our bodies.”

Editor’s note:
Anyone wishing more information may contact Dr. Headlee, whose office is located at 206 Sawtooth Ct, Canton, GA (telephone 770-720-6813).

“Therapeutic Touch Stimulates the Proliferation of Human Cells in Culture” by Gloria A. Gronowicz, Ankur Jhaveri, Libbe W. Clarke, Michael S. Aronow, Theresa H. Smith, The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Volume 14, Number 3, 2008.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Train Your Brain

Studies say staying sharp as you age is all about keeping the gray matter active. Give your noggin a boost with the mind games on The site targets five key cognitive functions (including memory and logic) and tracks your progress as your brain gets in tip-top shape.