Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Diet Change May Ease ADHD

(March 31, 2009, Canton,GA). An article authored by Nina Larson credits changes in diet with the successful treatment of hyperactivity in children.

As part of a long-term study that began in 1996-1997 in the southwestern Norwegian town of Stavanger, 23 children aged four to 11 — all suffering from hyperactive disorders including ADHD — were put on milk-free and/or gluten-free diets. Their development has been monitored by researchers ever since in a quest to prove a theory by scientist Karl Ludvig Reichelt that a metabolic disorder hinders the adequate breakdown of certain proteins in kids suffering from hyperactive disorders.

Eating certain foods like milk and gluten may accelerate ADHD in the children, because they lack an enzyme that breaks down proteins like casein (which is found in milk and enables milk-clotting to make cheese), explains Canton-based Mike Headlee, D.C. Moreover, the missing or inhibited enzyme has an opium-like effect on the children’s brains. By reducing the intake of foods containing proteins that require casein for proper digestion, the patients’ hyperactivity can be controlled.

Dr. Headlee points to the study published this year by Agence France Press.

In the study, 22 of the children taken off milk products and other foods containing casein showed an almost immediate improvement in their mental health, including overall behavior, enhanced attention-span and increased learning capabilities. The symptoms returned, however, as soon as the foods were reintroduced into their diets. Most kids had been taking medications, like Ritalin, to treat the disorders prior to changing their diets. After adjusting their food intake, however, they were taken off the medicine.

Similar international research has already been done to link the protein disorder with autism and schizophrenia. Now, ADHD may stem from the same digestive disorder as well.

“Digestive problems and metabolic imbalances have an overall effect on our bodies, even on our mental state,” explains Dr. Headlee, who also stresses the importance of a properly functioning nervous system. Dr. Headlee’s chiropractic practice features the Insight Subluxation Station, a technology used by NASA in the space program, to measure nervous system health and performance.

“Listen to your body and you can dramatically alter your well-being,” Dr. Headlee continued. “That old adage is true: You are what you eat.”

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).

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

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Big Fat Fib: Low-Fat is Not the Answer

It started a few decades ago, when well-known health experts began recommending that people eliminate fat from their diets. A lot of people jumped on the no-fat train because some studies at the time seemed to point to fat as the villain of our modern diet. It soon became obvious to health professionals that completely eliminating fat was not any kind of solution. First of all, most people couldn`t stay on this type of extreme diet for any length of time. Secondly, health problems like cancer, infection, fatigue and depression ran rampant when fat was eliminated.So over time we have seen a steady trend reintroducing the idea that fats can be a part of a healthy diet. It seems that every few years medical experts slightly raise the recommended amount of fat one should consume. It`s been happening so slowly it`s almost indiscernible, but if you look closely, low-fat diets are no longer in style.Even so, many people are still under the impression that a low-fat diet is healthy, and most people believe cutting out fat is still the best way to lose weight. This is a popular misconception that makes sense on the surface, but when you dig a little deeper the concept begins to unravel.First, it`s important to look at what the body actually does when you go on a low-fat diet. The most common belief is when you stop eating fat, your body will burn its own fat for energy. In reality what really happens is a little more complicated. Here are some common results of a low fat diet:- People who drastically lower their fat intake generally increase their carbohydrate intake.- Even complex carbohydrates can cause a rise in blood sugar and insulin levels, especially when they aren`t consumed with adequate protein and fat.- With this sudden influx of excess carbohydrates, there is simply too much sugar in the blood to be used for energy. The rest is converted into fat and cholesterol.- Without adequate fat and protein in the diet (which is common during a low-fat diet), the body is forced to break down lean body mass to use the nutrients it needs to function. This includes muscle and bone mass.- Losing lean body mass shows up as drastic weight loss on the scale at first, which may thrill the dieter, but over time the body uses less energy because of the loss of muscle. Combined with excess fat storage because of high insulin levels, eventually weight loss on a low-fat diet is almost impossible and you may even start to gain weight.Moreover, a low-fat diet can be downright harmful to your body, especially in the long-term. High insulin levels and the breakdown of lean body mass are not healthy. Over time, these factors can cause serious hormone imbalances and can even contribute to health problems like diabetes and heart disease. Cutting out fat is merely swinging the pendulum to another extreme that will have negative side effects.A 2008 report in the New England Journal of Medicine may interest dieters who think low-fat is the answer. The report showed the results of a study which compared the effectiveness of low-fat, low-carb and Mediterranean diets. The study was partially funded by the Dr. Robert C. and Veronica Atkins Foundation (which is not to be confused with the commercial venue of Atkins Nutritionals Inc.). There were 322 participants in the study, all of whom were moderately obese. One of the three diets was randomly assigned to each person.Study participants on the low-fat and Mediterranean diets had moderate calorie restrictions, while those on the low-carb diet did not have any. Overall, the low-fat diet had the least effect on both weight loss and cholesterol profiles, while the low-carb diet was most effective (the Mediterranean diet was a close second). It should be noted the low-carb dieters were consuming about 120 grams of carbs per day, which is a more balanced approach compared to extreme low-carb diets of yesteryear.So, it begs the question, is fat really all that bad? Well, that`s a loaded question if there ever was one. In our society fats can be good or bad, depending on the source and how they`re prepared. Processed fats that have been exposed to heat, light and air can be rancid and oxidized. Polyunsaturated oils like soybean, canola and corn oil are most susceptible to damage. These damaged oils are linked with many health problems such as cancer, premature aging and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer`s. Then we have oils that have been purposely altered like hydrogenated oils. These are chock full of trans fat, which is known to sharply increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and many types of cancer. These types of over-processed, damaged fats should be avoided as much as possible.Instead, if we are supposed to increase our fat intake, it should be with healthy, unprocessed fats from as natural a source as possible. Organic fats are best, since harmful chemicals and hormones tend to be stored in fat.Again, what we are really looking at here is a balance of nutrition. The body utilizes carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Cutting out any one of these nutrients is a mistake. To achieve optimum health, the best thing you can do is eat a diet consisting mostly of natural, unprocessed foods with an overall balance of fat, protein and carbohydrates.

Sources:http://www.westonaprice.org/knowyourfats/lowfatdiets.htmlhttp://articles.latimes.com/2008/jul/17/science/sci-diet17Schwarzbein, Diana. (1999) The Schwarzbein Principle: The Truth About Losing Weight, Being Healthy and Feeling Younger.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


The amount your heart disease risk drops from eating legumes four times a week.

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Want To Burn More Fat?

Feast on flax. The healthy lignans abundant in flaxseed as well as whole grains and berries have been linked to improved metabolism and reduced body fat.

Source: British Journal of Nutrition

Friday, March 27, 2009

Two Food Additives Found to Have Estrogen-Like Effects

Scientists have developed a fast new method to identify food additives that act as "xenoestrogens" -- substances with estrogen-like effects that are stirring international health concerns.
They used the method in a large-scale screening, and discovered two additives with previously unrecognized xenoestrogen effects. Xenoestrogens have been linked to a range of human health effects, including reduced sperm counts in men and increased risk of breast cancer in women.
The scientists used the new method to search a food additive database of 1,500 substances, and verified that the method could identify xenoestrogens. In the course of that work, they identified two previous unrecognized xenoestrogens -- propyl gallate, a preservative used to prevent fats and oils from spoiling, and 4-hexylresorcinol, which is used to prevent discoloration in shrimp and other shellfish.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Spelt can Replace Wheat for Improved Health

Triticum speltum, known as spelt, is a grain much like wheat. In fact, some experts have called it the grandfather of wheat. It was known in Biblical times and has seen a dramatic rise in popularity in the past two decades. Spelt is high in fiber and manganese. It also contains good amounts of copper, niacin and protein. It has a robust, nutty flavor and can be used the same as wheat with one notable benefit - spelt usually does not cause allergic reactions like wheat.Spelt contains different groupings of nutrients from wheat. As a result, it has been found to be helpful in preventing migraines and reducing risk of atherosclerosis and diabetes. The undigested fiber in spelt helps lower LDL cholesterol. In the human body, cholesterol is produced by bile acids combining with fats. Spelt fiber attaches to the bile acids and is expelled from the body by the digestive tract, so less cholesterol is made.Heart failure is the number one cause of hospitalization in adults over the age of 65 years. A study done by Harvard researchers resulted in data that shows there is a 29 per cent less likelihood of heart failure in those who eat an unrefined whole grain breakfast daily. Spelt fills the bill.In another study, data shows that it is possible to reduce the incidence of childhood-onset asthma by as much as 50 per cent by regular, sustained intake of unrefined whole grains (excluding wheat) and fish.Often sold in the form of "berries," the whole-grained form of spelt can be used like rice. Whether purchased as berries or flour, spelt must be stored properly to retain its nutrient value. Air-tight, moisture free storage is a must and spelt flour needs to be stored in the refrigerator. Hull-free, whole spelt berries must be rinsed under running water and soaked for at least eight hours before cooking. Use three ounces of water for each ounce of berries and bring to a boil. The mixture should be simmered for approximately one hour.Spelt owes its high nutritional value and excellent nutty flavor to the tough hull covering each kernel. Wheat loses its hull during harvesting and exposes the kernel to the environment during shipping before processing. With spelt, the tough hull must be specially processed to accomplish removal. The kernel is protected up until processing, enhancing nutrients, keeping the kernel fresh and protecting it from pollutants and insects.Spelt has an unusual genetic make up compared to other wheat-type grains. It is easily soluble in water which promotes easy digestion of nutrients. A distinct group of carbohydrates enhances spelt's contributions to blood clotting and stimulation of the immune system.Spelt is native to Iran and Central Europe. It contains gluten, so is not suitable for those who need gluten-free diets. Individuals with celiac disease also need to avoid spelt. Because it requires less fertilization than wheat, spelt has been adopted by many organic growers. Europeans use spelt for beer, gin and vodka.

Sources:Djouss L, Gaziano JM. Breakfast cereals and risk of heart failure in the physicians' health study I. Arch Intern Med. 2007 Oct 22;167(19):2080-5. 2007. PMID:17954802.Tabak C, Wijga AH, de Meer G, Janssen NA, Brunekreef B, Smit HA. Diet and asthma in Dutch school children (ISAAC-2). Thorax. 2006 Dec;61(12):1048-53. Epub 2005 Oct 21. 2006. PMID:16244092.Oplinger ES, Oelke EA, Kaminski AR, Kelling KA, Doll JD, Durgan BR et al. Alternative Field Crops Manual: Spelt. http://newcrop.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/spelt.html 2000.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Chronic constipation second most frequent pediatric complaint

Chronic constipation second most frequent pediatric complaint

Study Shows Chiropractic Care Benefits Constipated Infants

(March 25, 2009, Canton,GA). A very small study group—three infants, all under two years of age—was put into chiropractic care for periods of three weeks to three months in a controlled research project. Following the study, which was funded by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association of Media, PA, all three children showed marked improvement in their condition.

“Chronic constipation afflicts the very young and the aged among our population with more frequency than the rest of us,” said Canton-based Mike Headlee, D.C. “This problem accounts for 25% of all visits to pediatric gastroenterologists, but few formal studies have been conducted.”

Researchers chose three infants who were experiencing infrequent bowel movements of from once a week to once every 3 or 4 days. Parents of these infants had tried dietary changes and the use of cod liver oil and mineral oil, all under the direction of medical doctors. Nothing worked.

“The infants received full spinal chiropractic care,” said Dr. Headlee, “for periods ranging from three weeks to three months. All three experienced almost immediate improvement, and by the end of the study, all three had bowel movements at least once every 1-2 days.”

“This study represents a very preliminary level of findings, and much more research is needed,” Dr. Headlee added. “But the results should offer some encouragement for parents of children with this problem.”

Anyone wishing more information may contact Dr. Headlee, whose office is located at 206 Sawtooth Ct, Canton, GA 30114 (telephone 770-720-6813).

“The successful chiropractic care of pediatric patients with chronic constipation: A case studay and selective review of the literature,” Clinical Chiropractic (2008) 11, 138-147.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Breastfeeding Reduces Risk of SIDS

Breastfeeding Reduces Risk of SIDS
Women who breastfeed lower the chances that their baby might die of sudden infant death syndrome, also known as SIDS.A new study looked at more than 300 infants who died of SIDS and nearly 1,000 age-matched "control" infants. At 2 weeks of age, 83 percent of controls were being breastfed, compared to only 50 percent of SIDS infants.Exclusive breastfeeding at 1 month cut the risk of SIDS in half. Partial breastfeeding at this point was also tied to a reduced risk.The researchers recommend that public health messages aimed at SIDS risk-reduction should encourage women to breastfeed their infant through 6 months of age.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Magic Of Vitamin K

One of the keys to a long life is having good insulin sensitivity (meaning your body doesn't produce wild swings in blood sugar after you eat, a condition that leads to diabetes). New research from Tufts University found that vitamin K - a nutrient found in Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and dark, leafy greens - helps keep insulin levels in check. The researchers recommend eating five or more servings of these vegetables a week.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Smart Mouth

People with gum disease have worse mental functioning than those whose gums are healthy, according to a U.K. study. The researchers had 6,693 adults in their twenties through seventies take cognitive performance tests. They found that, regardless of age, those with bleeding gums or tooth problems caused by inflamed gums scored worse. This finding suggests that system-wide inflammation due to gum disease caused damage to white matter in the brain, resulting in deficits in mental function. Flossing every day will help keep your gums healthy and your mind sharp.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Are You A Binge Drinker?

You have a 56 percent increase in your risk of stroke if you binge drink (consume six or more drinks in one session), according to new research reported in the journal Stroke.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Slash Your Prostate Cancer Risk -- With Sunlight!

Men with prostate cancer are as much as seven times less likely to die if they have high levels of the “sunshine vitamin” -- vitamin D -- according to a new study.The research looked at 160 patients with prostate cancer who were classified as having either low, medium, or high blood levels of vitamin D. Over the course of the multi-year study, 52 of the patients died of prostate cancer. Low vitamin D levels were found to significantly affect chances of survival.The study’s authors theorized that since vitamin D has a similar structure to androgen, it might amplify the therapeutic effects of lowering androgen levels and improve the survival chances of men with prostate cancer.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Green Tea Protects the Heart

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) views the heart as the master of the body and the emperor of the organ networks. It generates chi, the vital energy of the body, and thus is the root of all life1. Without a healthy heart, the body is fragile and stale. While many of us know that heart disease is rampant in the United States, we remain largely unaware of a powerful tool in its prevention: green tea. The heart protective effects of green tea can be attributed mainly to its antioxidant and anti-obesity properties, while other mechanisms play supporting roles. Each of these mechanisms will be discussed below in terms of TCM as well as Western medicine.First, the antioxidant properties of green tea can be traced to its polyphenols, defined simply as groups of chemical substances in a plant. These polyphenols act as little superheros, taking the place of cells in danger of becoming oxidized and facing the oxidation themselves. In this way, they prevent the formation of free radicals - highly reactive atoms that can damage heart cells and, in TCM, leave cells incapable of generating chi2. Research at the Graduate School of Medicine in Kyoto, Japan confirmed that green tea polyphenols can protect a heart from oxidative stress, as well as maintain good left ventricular function after ischemic arrest (restriction in the heart's blood supply) and reperfusion (tissue damage caused when the blood supply returns)3. A study at Aichi Medical University in Japan similarly concluded that green tea is useful to ischemia-reperfusion hearts due to its ability to fight free radicals,4 and research at the University of Padova in Italy found that green tea extract prevented hypertension and targeted organ damage induced in rats, likely by scavenging free radicals.5There are four primary polyphenols in green tea and they are often collectively referred to as catechins, the most publicized of which is Epigallocatechin gallate, or EGCG. At Chungbuk National University in Cheongju, Korea, research suggests that EGCG prevents the development of left ventricular concentric hypertrophy (pathological thickening of the ventricle walls) due to high blood pressure and may be useful in preventing cardiac remodeling (changes in size, shape or function of the heart) in patients with diseases that strain the heart muscle.6 Furthermore, a 2004 review study at Complutense University of Madrid in Spain confirmed that catechins consumption decreases cholesterol absorption and plasma levels, scavenges free-radicals thereby inhibiting LDL oxidation, decreases systolic and diastolic blood pressures, and decreases body weight by interfering with fatty acid synthesis.7This ability of green tea to aid weight loss has been well-documented, and maintaining a healthy weight is intimately related to heart vigor. The tea's anti-obesity properties can be attributed to its effects on lipid metabolism as well as its thermogenic (heat-producing) activity. A 2006 study at the University of Madras in Chennai, India found that the administration of green tea extract decreased cholesterol, triglyceride, free fatty acid levels and lipoprotein lipase activity in the heart of diabetic rats.8 Lipase is an enzyme that allows fat to be broken down - if its activity is decreased, cholesterol and triglycerides are removed rather than stored. A 2003 study at Roche Vitamins in Basel, Switzerland,9 a 2006 study at the University of Hawaii10 and a 2007 study at the University of Connecticut11 further confirm green tea's lipid-lowering capabilities. In addition, a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study at the University of Medicine in Berlin confirmed that EGCG alone has the potential to increase fat oxidation in men and may thereby contribute to the anti-obesity effects of green tea.12 In relation to thermogenesis (heat production that leads to increased metabolism), green tea, by containing both catechins and caffeine, may promote thermogenesis through inhibition of certain enzymes (catechol O-methyl-transferase and phosphodiesterase). In addition, tea catechins have anti-angiogenic (enlarging of blood vessels) properties that may prevent the development of excess weight.13 In TCM, weight loss involves limiting salty and sweet foods and increasing bitter and pungent foods. Green tea, a bitter food, is recommended.14These two health-giving properties of green tea -- antioxidant activity and weight loss promotion -- combine to additionally protect the heart in those with diabetes, as hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress has been proposed as a cause of many complications of diabetes including cardiac dysfunction. Research at the University of Madras found that green tea extract ameliorates oxidative stress in the aorta and the heart of diabetic rats given streptozotocin (a chemical that is toxic to the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas). This suggests that green tea may be useful in the reversal of oxidative stress-induced cardiac dysfunction in diabetics.15 Another study at the University of Madras found that green tea improves the quality of heart collagen, also possibly therapeutic in the treatment of cardiovascular complications of diabetes.16Another mechanism by which green tea protects the heart is quelling inflammation. Research at the Children's Hospital Research Foundation in Cincinnati, Ohio found that ECGC inhibits the expression of the interleukin-8 gene--a key gene involved in the inflammatory response.17 In TCM, inflammation is a result of consuming too many heating foods, such as meat, cooked oils, and processed sugar. The treatment involves consuming cooling foods, of which green tea, although often served hot, is a superstar due to its alkaloid content.18To conclude, green tea is an excellent guard of the emperor, protecting the heart through a wide range of mechanisms. In this way, green tea is highly effective in ensuring a strong, healthy body pulsing vibrantly with chi, the energy of life..

1Li Ting, A Primer of Medicine (Yixue Rumen) as quoted by the Institute of Traditional Medicine. To view: http://www.itmonline.org/5organs/heart.htm.2Pitchford, Paul. Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, 3rd ed. North Atlantic Books: Berkley, 2002. Pgs. 84-85.3Interactive Cardiovascular Thoracic Surgery. 2004 Dec;3(4):612-5.4Life Science. 2007 Feb 20;80(11):1020-32. Epub 2006 Nov 25.5American Journal of Hypertension. 2007 Dec;20(12):1321-8.6Journal of Veterinary Science. 2007 Jun;8(2):121-9.7Archivos Latinoamericanos de Nutricion. 2004 Dec;54(4):380-94.8Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology. 2006 Dec;33(12):1184-9.9Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2003 Jun;14(6):326-32.10Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2006 Mar 8;104(1-2):24-31. Epub 2005 Oct 3.11Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2007 Mar;18(3):179-83.12Journal of the American College of Nutrition. 2007 Aug;26(4):389S-395S.13American Journal of Physiology: Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology. 2007 Jan;292(1):R77-85. Epub 2006 Jul 13.14Pitchford, Paul. Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, 3rd ed. North Atlantic Books: Berkley, 2002. Pgs. 116-117.15Chemico-Biological Interactions. 2006 Aug 25;162(2):114-20. Epub 2006 Apr 28.16Pharmacological Research. 2007 May;55(5):433-40. Epub 2007 Feb 2.17Inflammation. 2002 Oct;26(5):233-41.18Pitchford, Paul. Healing With Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition, 3rd ed. North Atlantic Books: Berkley, 2002. Pgs. 61-63.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Five Healthiest Beverages You Can Drink

When you’re feeling parched and need to quench your thirst, the beverage you choose can make a big difference to your health. And while most of us know that soda and other sweet drinks are not the healthiest choices around, which beverages are truly health-promoting remains more of a mystery.
Pure water is essential for your survival, and truly one of the healthiest beverages on the planet.
Ironically, while we need fluids for our very survival, continually choosing the wrong ones may push your health out of balance. So here we’ve detailed some of the best of the best when it comes to good-for-you drink choices. With these healthy beverages you really can do no wrong.
1. Water
Water is crucial for survival -- it's the base of all your body fluids, like blood and digestive juices, it helps nutrients from your food get absorbed and be transported, and it helps eliminate waste. Even becoming mildly dehydrated (when you lose as little as 1 percent to 2 percent of your body weight) can seriously impact your body's ability to function.
How much water do you need? It's commonly said that you should drink eight eight-ounce glasses of water a day to stay healthy, but this is really just a rule of thumb, as so many factors (weather, age, activity level, health) affect how much water your body needs.
In general, you can prevent dehydration by focusing on staying hydrated throughout the day. Keep water with you and drink it regularly -- before you get thirsty. If it's hot outside or you're exercising (or pregnant or breastfeeding), you'll need even more fluids so drink more water.
A word of caution: not all water is good for you. Tap water can be potentially contaminated with chemicals, pesticides or even pharmaceutical drugs. And bottled water, which is regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), has weaker regulations than the Environmental Protection Agency requires for tap water.
The Wellness Kitchen Filtration System combines the best filtration and enhancement technologies to deliver the purest and most natural tasting water available.
Plus, the bottles themselves often contain bisphenol-A (BPA), a chemical that mimics the female hormone estrogen, impacting fertility, reproductive health and potentially promoting cancer, heart disease, diabetes and liver problems.
To put your mind at ease and get safe, superior quality water that will promote your health rather than harm it, Sixwise.com highly recommends The Wellness Kitchen Water Filter. It reduces chlorine, chloramines, cysts, VOCs, pesticides, and herbicides below detectable levels for the life of the filter.
The Wellness Kitchen combines the best filtration and enhancement technologies to deliver the purest and most natural tasting water available. It effectively reduces harmful contaminants, while at the same time enhancing the water with adding important yet delicate wellness "ions and minerals" that your body needs.
And for times when you're on the go, the staff at Sixwise absolutely loves The Wellness H2.0.
The Wellness H2.O is a personal, reusable BPA-free water bottle that features a unique filtration system that not only purifies ordinary tap water, but also enhances the water for better absorption and hydration. With this special filtration process you'll have access to high quality water wherever you go.
2. Kefir
Kefir is a tart, yogurt-like beverage made from fermented milk that is popular in Russia at breakfast as well as an after-dinner snack. It has been a staple beverage in Russia since ancient times, and is just beginning to become popular among health-conscious U.S. consumers.
What makes kefir so healthy is that it’s full of beneficial bacteria (probiotics), which produce beneficial enzymes, aid digestion and promote healthy flora in your digestive tract. This nourishing drink is considered by many to boost the immune system, help fight disease and improve overall health (it is even customary for patients in Russian hospitals to receive kefir).
It's simple to make kefir at home using milk and kefir starter granules you can find online or in health food stores. You simply heat the milk slightly, add the granules, then let it sit, covered, for about a day.
3. Kvass
Kvass is another fermented beverage from Russia, this one made from stale dark, sourdough rye bread. Kvass has been enjoyed in Russia for at least 1,000 years, yet even today if you visit Russia during the summer months you will see people lining up to get a cool glass of this tangy beverage from a street vendor.
Kvass in traditional form, if you can find it, is an extremely healthy beverage. It is rich in B vitamins, thought to relieve intestinal problems and hangovers. But more importantly, like kefir kvass is fermented, which means it contains beneficial bacteria, or probiotics, that are regarded as a digestive aid, and that may destroy disease-causing microbes in your intestine.
Excessive juice consumption may lead to over-nutrition or undernutrition, which is why experts recommend infants less than 6 months old should not be given fruit juice, infants 6 months to 12 months old may have up to 4 ounces a day, and children 1 year to 6 years old may have up to 4-6 ounces a day.
If you’d like to try kvass for yourself, you can try the do-it-yourself recipe found in this past article.
4. Green Tea (and Other Varieties)
Green tea has emerged as a major natural player in fighting diseases like heart disease and cancer and helping with weight loss. Many people sip it religiously everyday in the hopes that it will make them healthier. Here is just a short list of some of the conditions green tea is supposed to help:
Rheumatoid arthritis
High cholesterol levels
Heart disease
Impaired immune function
Obesity, overweight
High blood sugar levels
Many of the health benefits are attributed to the fact that green tea is a rich source of catechin polyphenols, namely epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), which is a potent antioxidant. Other types of tea, such as black tea, may also have healthy antioxidant benefits, so feel free to expand your tea repertoire beyond green tea if you’re so inclined.
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Coconut water is more nutritious than whole milk -- less fat and NO cholesterol, and lower in calories than orange juice.
Coconut water is a Natural Isotonic Beverage -- it has the same level we have in our blood, thus does not have an adverse affect on blood sugar or pressure.
Coconut water contains more potassium (at about 294 mg) than most sports drinks (117 mg) and most energy drinks.
Coconut water has less sodium (25mg) whereas sports drinks have around 41mg and energy drinks have about 200 mg!

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5. High-Antioxidant 100% Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is high in sugar and because of this whether or not it’s truly healthy is debatable. And though most experts will unanimously agree that eating the whole fruit is always better than drinking fruit juice, certain types of juice do have their benefits.
A University of California, Los Angeles, study ranked 10 beverages according to their levels of disease-fighting antioxidants, and concluded that the 10 best were mostly fruit juices. The most antioxidant-rich beverages they found were:
Pomegranate juice
Red wine
Concord grape juice
Blueberry juice
Black cherry juice
Açaí juice
Cranberry juice
Orange juice
Apple juice
If you do choose to drink juice, doing so in moderation is recommended. Further, there are major differences in juice quality out there. Here's what to look for, and avoid, when choosing a fruit juice for yourself or your child:
Choose 100-percent fruit juice only.
Avoid "fruit drinks," "fruit-juice cocktails," "fruit beverages," and any juices that have added sugars, flavors or colors.
Choose dark-colored fruit juices (such as grape, cranberry, pomegranate, and blueberry), as they're rich in antioxidants.
Look for juice that has sediment on the bottom of the jar. This means the fruit skins, which are very nutritious, were used in the processing (and be sure to shake the bottle up before your pour a glass).
If you love fruit juice but want to limit your calories, mix half a serving with sparkling water.
Aside from fruit juice, if you’re looking for a delicious fruity taste that is also healthy, try Ajmera's Orang-O Energy, Coco Energy and Mang-O Energy.
These drinks are 100% natural with NO caffeine, no preservatives, synthetic food colors or artificial flavors. All three of Ajmera's beverages will keep you hydrated, helping you function better, and are best after a workout, tiring day or whenever you need a boost.
Orange-O contains vitamin C, an antioxidant that can protect your body from free radicals, which may cause heart disease and cancer. Vitamin C is responsible for producing collagen. Collagen is present in your muscles and bones and holds the cells together. Vitamin C also helps your immune system, helping you heal from scrapes and bruises, and keeps your gums healthy.
CoCo Energy is made with coconut water, which is a Natural Isotonic Beverage -- it has the same level we have in our blood, thus does not have an adverse affect on blood sugar or pressure. Coconut water contains more potassium (at about 294 mg) than most sports drinks (117 mg) and most energy drinks. It also has less sodium (25mg) whereas sports drinks have around 41mg and energy drinks have about 200 mg!
Mango-O Energy also contains vitamin C, giving you excellent protection against free radicals with the great flavor of mangoes!
Remember, if you get dehydrated, it will make you feel sluggish and can lead to a host of health problems. So drink up and drink healthy!Recommended Reading
The 6 Top Dangers of Energy Drinks, and 5 Healthy Energy-Boosting Alternatives
Coffee: An Eye-Opening Overview of the Health Benefits and Risks of Coffee According to Recent Research
Health.com July 2, 2008

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Choice Words

"Living your epitaph may be the most important ingredient for inner peace and serenity. When you actively align your choices with your life's purpose and goals, you live more honestly, more courageously, and with greater integrity, and these virtues bring with them a powerful kind of freedom." - Most Good, Least Harm by Zoe Weil

Monday, March 16, 2009

How To Avoid Dementia

Did you know that people who remain socially active and keep stress at bay are less likely to develop dementia in their elder years.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

How Healthy Is Your Shower Curtain?

108 is the number of volatile organic compounds released from a PVC shower curtain into the air over 28 days - 16 times greater than the recommended limit for indoor air quality established by the U.S. Green Building Council. - Center for Health, Environment, and Justice.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Fast Today: Easy Juice Fasts for Beginners

Even the healthiest of people will benefit from a juice fast, or juice feast, as some refer to it. The idea behind it is that by giving the body no solid food to have to digest, it can use that saved digestion energy to fix any damage or problems that may exist within. Even if you are on the raw food diet, your body is still working for many hours of the day. If you tend to eat late, then you are allowing your body even less rest. A juice fast feeds your body with nutrients and energy, without asking it to have to work to get that energy. The idea need not be intimidating, as it is not necessary to do really long juice fasts. Here are two easy juice fasts to attempt.The easiest fast to try out and possibly work into your life on a permanent basis is a one day fast. Keep in mind that your sleeping time can count as part of your 'one day'. So, you don't necessarily have to start the fast at breakfast and go until breakfast the following day. You can eat lightly throughout the day, and then at dinner time have just a juice, continuing to drink only juice until dinner time the next day. This method can be the easiest way to start, as you don't even feel like you're going without food. Once you do the one day fast, you can wait a few weeks and then try a longer fast. Alternatively, you will really feel great benefits by doing a one day fast every week or two weeks. It's not healthy for anyone to work seven days a week, nor is it so for your body!You can also try a slightly longer fast, of three days, which is good for those who have tried the one day fast and would like to extend it for a little bit longer. It's not a very challenging amount of time, but it is enough time to really give your body a good break from solid food. A one day fast is not really enough time to draw toxins out of your body, but with a three day fast, the process of detoxification will begin. This means that you may actually feel bad during those three days, as your body expels toxins into the blood stream. It's very important that you have bowel movements at least once a day, to ensure that your body is actually getting rid of those toxins properly. It will also pay to do some skin brushing whilst on the juice fast, to ensure that your lymph system is assisting in the expulsion of toxins (http://www.therawfoodworld.com/product_info.php?cPath=332&products_id=1001010)Once you've successfully completed a three day fast, you can extend your next fast for as long as you feel comfortable. A fast of any length of time will do your body good, so long as you don't push yourself to exhaustion and as you consume enough energy and nutrients.http://www.therawfoodworld.com/product_info.php?cPath=100211_100207&products_id=1001316http://altmedicine.about.com/od/detoxcleansing/a/juice_fasting.htmhttp://www.therawfoodworld.com/product_info.php?cPath=332&products_id=1001010

Friday, March 13, 2009

Big Pharma CEO Fakes Cancer while Pill-Pushing Doctor Fakes Clinical Trial Results for Bextra, Effexor and Celebrex

The culture of deceit and fraud that permeates conventional medicine became even more apparent today with the announcement that Howard Richman, the former vice president of a pharmaceutical company named Biopure, faked his own cancer and even impersonated a doctor in order to convince a federal judge that he was dying from colon cancer.This bizarre deceit was an effort by Richman to squirm out of an SEC lawsuit that accused Richman of misleading investors. According to the Associated Press, Richman misled investors about the potential for FDA approval of a blood replacement product called Hemopure, which is made from cow's blood. By faking his own cancer and forging a doctor's note, Richman was able to get a postponement of judgment in the SEC lawsuit, which effectively ended the legal action he would have otherwise faced.It all makes you wonder just how low the integrity standards really are at drug companies these days. If a highly-paid executive can fake his own cancer in order to avoid a lawsuit brought against him because he lied to investors, what other sorts of fabrications and deceits might be going on at these companies?
Faking clinical trial data for Vioxx and CelebrexMeanwhile, a researcher at Baystate Medical Center in Massachusetts, Dr. Scott Reuben, was found to have faked the data used in 21 "scientific" papers published in peer-reviewed medical journals from 1996 - 2008.The Associated Press is reporting today that journals have begun retracting papers authored by Dr. Reuben. The journal Anesthesia & Analgesia has retracted 10 studies authored by Dr. Reuben, and the journal Anesthesiology has also started retracting studies.But the damage has already been done: Dr. Reuben's work was reportedly relied on very heavily by pull-pushing doctors and medication advocates, who cited his studies to "prove" these drugs are safe and effective. In reality, though, it was all just made up!
The fictions of Big Pharma and clinical trialsThis is actually the story on just about everything Big Pharma pushes these days: It's all just fiction shrouded in scientific-sounding language, led by dishonest, corrupt drug company CEOs and deceitful doctors who lie to the world in order to make more money pushing dangerous prescription medications.Even when drug company executives aren't lying to their investors or lying to judges, they're still lying to the FDA and their own customers about the safety of their drugs. Through the cherry-picking of drug trials (and the burying of negative results), they lie to the entire scientific community about the real dangers of their chemical products.Modern medicine is largely one big lie. It doesn't work. People aren't getting any healthier from drugs and surgery, but they sure are becoming increasingly bankrupt.The "grand clinical trial" of medicating an entire nation and observing the results has proven quite conclusively that drugs and surgery do not produce a healthy nation. That's the one drug trial they will never report, of course: While people suffer from sky-high rates of degenerative disease, depression, obesity and chemical intoxication, the drug companies hilariously try to convince people they're somehow getting healthier by popping patented pills. But the results speak for themselves: Big Pharma is a big lie, and the people pushing the Big Pharma agenda are, themselves, some of the most dishonest and despicable human beings to ever walk the planet.It is no exaggeration whatsoever to say that if the entire drug industry shut down tomorrow, and all the doctors went on strike, and all the oncologists overdosed on chemotherapy and died, the health of the population would immediately improve.Modern medicine has become the enemy of good health, and those who advocate drugs and surgery have become well-paid destroyers of lives. We would all be better off simply abandoning nearly all of modern medicine and advocating nutrition, exercise, sunlight and the avoidance of man-made synthetic chemicals.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Eat Pecans

Rich in fiber and antioxidants, pecans may help lower cholesterol and support weight loss. To celebrate National Pecan Month, add the nut to your next meal.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Six Foods to Boost Your Libido,

Most couples desire a healthy sex life, but to get there numerous aspects of your personal and interpersonal well-being must all come together, and this is not always easy to accomplish. Ideally, couples whose sex life is fulfilling:
Couples with fulfilling sex lives tend to have strong relationships and confidence in themselves physically and mentally.
Feel good about themselves physically and mentally
Have a strong relationship
Communicate with each other about their sexual needs and preferences
Unfortunately, these factors are not coming together for many couples, because between 40 percent and 50 percent of U.S. women -- and 20 percent to 25 percent of U.S. men -- have a low sex drive. This is often the result of:
Stress, anxiety or depression
Low self-esteem
Lack of connection with your partner
Unresolved conflicts with your partner
History of physical or sexual abuse
Physical problems or fatigue
Menopause, pregnancy or breastfeeding
There are many natural methods that can help to restore your sex drive by addressing these underlying reasons why it's not what it used to be, and we’ve outlined eight of them in this past article.
But did you know boosting your libido may be as simple as adding a few precise foods to your diet?
Healthy Foods to Increase Your Virility
A healthy diet -- one full of fruits and veggies, lean proteins and whole grains -- is necessary for your body to function properly on every level. But beyond that, the following foods specifically may be great for your libido:
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Pomegranate juice: New research on animals shows it may reduce the risk of erectile dysfunction.
Oatmeal: Eating oats helps to produce a chemical that releases testosterone in your body, which may help increase your sex drive and orgasm strength.
Honey: The B vitamins in honey also boost testosterone production, while boron in honey helps your body use estrogen, which is important for arousal.
Eggs: Aside from being a symbol of fertility, eggs are high in vitamins B6 and B5, which may help your libido by balancing hormone levels and fighting stress.
Bananas: They contain an enzyme called bromelain, which may help increase libido and even reverse impotence in men.
Celery: Celery contains androsterone, a hormone released in men’s sweat that's said to be a turn-on for women.
Four More Sex Facts You Likely Never Knew
While we’re on the topic, let’s clear up some confusion and set the record straight on some common sexual beliefs.
Intimacy wanes as you get older. Not so fast! While it's true that intimacy does decrease slightly when you reach your 70s and beyond, it does not disappear. In fact, the frequency of seniors' sex lives is based on the same things as younger people's -- with lack of a partner or health issues among the two most prominent reasons for a slow down.
Men have more sex dreams than women. Not true! Women have just as many sex dreams as men. What varies, however, is WHAT men and women dream about, sexually speaking.
Overweight people have less sex than skinny people. Actually, the opposite is true. A 2008 study in Obstetrics and Gynecology found overweight women have more sexual encounters than average-weight women.
Taking a “virginity pledge” means a teen is more likely to wait until marriage. Not so, according to an analysis by The National Longitudinal Study on Adolescent Health. The analysis found that those who promise to remain virgins until after marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not take a pledge, and they’re also less likely to use condoms or other contraceptives when doing so. (All the more reason to talk to your kids about sex early on.)
Research Proves a Healthy Sex Life is Good for You
Assuming it is done with a partner you can trust, and no sexually transmitted diseases are involved, the benefits of sexual relations include:
Relief from depression and stress
Reduce risk of heart disease
Pain relief
A strong immune system
A reduced risk of prostate cancer
Women, if you’d like to get in on some of these benefits but your sex drive is low you can try Renaissance Natural Progesterone Cream -- one of the ONLY progesterone creams on the market containing 100% pure micronized USP progesterone powder in a topical cream -- to improve your sexual libido.
Further, two of the BEST ways to improve your sex life, for both men and women, are the simple lifestyle habits of exercise and stress management. This is good news as staying intimate may be one of the best things you can do for your health and your relationship.
Recommended Reading
The Intimate Lives of the Post-Reproductives: New Research Provides an Interesting Inside Peek
Daryl Hannah, Sex Slaves & the New Global Sex Trade
FoxNews.com February 26, 2009
RedOrbit.com February 16, 2008
AskMen.com 11 Foods to Increase Libido
MSN Health & Fitness: Seven Foods to Power Your Libido

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Asthma Risk in Children Raised by Traffic Pollution Exposure of Pregnant Mothers

Asthma rates in developed nations are soaring, and it is extremely clear that environmental pollution has a big part to play in the increase. A study recently published in the journal PLoS ONE has revealed that traffic pollution could cause genetic changes in a pregnant woman's womb, raising her child's likelihood of getting asthma later.Asthma StatisticsAs at 2005, it was estimated that 20 million Americans had asthma, while 2002 figures indicated that some 9 million American children under the age of 18 had an asthma diagnosis. Asthma rates soared 75% from 1980 to 1994, while, more alarmingly, asthma rates in children aged under 5 ballooned more than 160% in the same period. In the United Kingdom, it is estimated that one in ten children has asthma.Details and Findings of StudyThe study team had looked at the umbilical cord blood of 56 children, specifically looking at a gene called ACSL3. Using backpack air monitors, they also tracked the pregnant mothers' exposure to polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which is a by-product of the combustion process; PAHs are present in high amounts in areas with dense traffic.And the research team discovered a strong link between the degree of PAH exposure and chemical changes which control the activation of the said gene. This is an example of an "epigenetic change", whereby environmental factors influence gene activity but do not directly modify their structure or cause the genes to mutate."Our data support the concept that environmental exposures can interact with genes during key developmental periods to trigger disease onset later in life, and that tissues are being reprogrammed to become abnormal later," said Dr Shuk-mei Ho, the director of the Center for Environmental Genetics at the University of Cincinnati and also the leader of the study.Findings Could Help With Early Diagnosis of AsthmaResearch conducted in the past had suggested that the ACSL3 gene has a role to play in cell membrane structures. And while more detailed study into its role in asthma may be needed, the findings of this study could help with diagnosing pollution-related asthma."We know that children living in polluted areas have a higher incidence of asthma but what we didn't know was it was affecting a gene. If you look at cord blood and you find the gene has been modified you know the child is more likely to get asthma so you can treat them early," said Dr Keith Prowse, the vice-president of the British Lung Foundation.The Pollution-Asthma LinkPrevious studies have shown up a link between exposure to environmental pollution during one's younger years and higher asthma risk; asthma rates are also higher in areas with heavier vehicular traffic. A recent University of Southern California study, for example, had found that traffic pollution could heighten a child's risk of getting asthma, if he or she has certain genes which could make him or her susceptible. That study, which was published in Thorax, had analyzed the health and genetic information of about 3,000 children.The truth is, not all experts are convinced of why the pollution-asthma link exists, or if it even exists in the first place. While they are still making up their minds, what is clear is that polluted air triggers symptoms in asthmatics; on the flip side, cleaner air has helped many of them feel much better. If someone has asthma troubles or is at risk, the quality of air he or she breathes should definitely be one of the first things looked into.

SourcesPollution link to asthma in womb (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/7888735.stm)Pollution 'may boost asthma risk' (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6957139.stm)Statistics from the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology website at Aaaai.org

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Have A Laugh

With studies suggesting that laughter can boost immunity and heart health, be sure to have fun on April Fool's Day (April 1). Share the health perks by staging a practical joke or joining a "laughter club" (laughter yoga.org).

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Obese teens as likely as smokers to die early…

Likening obesity’s risks to those of smoking, a large European study spanning decades (published in the March, 2009 edition of the British Medical Journal) has found that young men who were overweight at age 18 were as likely to die by 60 as light smokers, while obese teens, like heavy smokers, were at double the risk of dying early.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Vigorous Exercise Protects Against Cataracts and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

More and more people are suffering from eye-related health problems. What can individuals do to lower their risk? In this regard, two recent studies conducted by the United States Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have given us some good news, revealing that vigorous exercise could lower the risk of cataracts as well as age-related macular degeneration.Details and Findings of StudiesThe studies, published in Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, had looked at about 41,000 runners for a period of over 7 years. They used data from the National Runners' Health Study, a project which began in 1991 to ascertain the beneficial effects of running. About 29,000 men and 12,000 women were followed, and, at the end of the study, 733 of the male runners reported a cataract diagnosis; the number of women who reported having the condition was not significant enough for analysis.The researchers found that males who ran more than 5.7 miles each day had a 35% reduced risk of developing cataracts, as compared to men who hit the road less than 1.4 miles each day. Using the men's performances in 10-kilometer races, which provide a good measure of overall fitness, it was also found that the fittest guys had only 50% the cataract risk of those who were the least fit. With cataracts affecting more than half of Americans aged over 65 and also being the number one cause of blindness, this is certainly interesting information for running enthusiasts and those hoping to fend off the disease.Another study looked at the link between running and aged-related macular degeneration. From the 152 men and women who reported a diagnosis of this condition, those who ran between 1.2 and 2.4 miles each day experienced a 19% reduced risk, as compared to those who covered less than 1.2 miles each day. The corresponding decrease in risk for those whose daily mileage was over 2.4 miles was between 42% and 54%. Again, with age-related macular degeneration being the number one cause of irreversible vision loss in older white Americans, this is another piece of interesting and useful information."In addition to obtaining regular eye exams, people can take a more active role in preserving their vision. The studies suggest that people can perhaps lessen their risk for these diseases by taking part in a fitness regimen that includes vigorous exercise. These findings are compelling because of the large size of the study, and the fact that we are looking at something that is fairly well defined: vigorous exercise, as opposed to more moderate exercise," said Paul Williams, an epidemiologist at the laboratory's Life Sciences Division and part of the study team.Is Running Required to Reap the Said Benefits?This study was among the first to draw a positive link between vigorous exercise and the prevention of vision loss. But many people cannot really run, or at least not much. Will walking help, too, then? "We know there are important health benefits to walking, including lowering heart disease risk. It is quite likely that the study results might apply to a lesser extent to smaller doses of more moderate exercise," said Williams.Importance of Nutrition for Eye HealthWhat else can we do to improve eye health? Most certainly, as with all other health conditions, nutrition plays a key role. Some research has suggested that antioxidants could reduce one's risk of cataracts as well as macular degeneration. In addition, vitamin A, found abundantly in carrots, can also protect against blindness, while vitamin C, richly found in oranges, may help prevent or alleviate glaucoma.Essential fatty acids found in cold-water fish and flaxseed oil is another group of important nutrients, possibly helping to protect against macular damage as well as to alleviate the symptoms of dry eye syndrome. Other useful nutrients include vitamin E, selenium, zinc and bioflavanoids - be sure to get enough of them in your diet.Avoid Cigarette Smoke, TooAnother risk factor for degenerative eye disease is smoking. A study published a few years ago in the British Journal of Ophthalmology found that smoking raised one's risk of developing age-related macular degeneration; it was also revealed that more smoking translated to higher risk.Those who regularly smoked a pack or more of cigarettes a day for 40 years had almost three times the risk of the condition as compared to non-smokers. Even non-smoking partners who had lived with smokers for at least 5 years had elevated risk - almost two-fold.ConclusionThese tips and suggestions would go a long way in helping to improve one's eye health. Vigorous exercise, good nutrition and avoidance of cigarette smoke, whether first-hand or second-hand - all these simple steps play a large part not just in eye health, but one's overall health and vitality, too? Certainly, the recent studies have given us one more reason to regularly don our running shoes.

SourcesVigorous Exercise May Help Prevent Vision Loss (http://newscenter.lbl.gov/press-releases/2009/02/09/vision-loss/)Nutrition and Your Eyes: In a Nutshell (http://www.allaboutvision.com/nutrition/nutrition_summary.htm)J C Khan, D A Thurlby, H Shahid, D G Clayton, J R W Yates, M Bradley, A T Moore, A C Bird. Smoking and age related macular degeneration: the number of pack years of cigarette smoking is a major determinant of risk for both geographic atrophy and choroidal neovascularisation. British Journal of Ophthalmology 2006;90:75-80.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Osteoporosis Drugs Linked to Rotting Jaw Disease

Widely used osteoporosis drugs can significantly increase the risk of bone death in the jaw, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Southern California (USC) School of Dentistry and published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.Researchers found an increased prevalence of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) among the 208 patients in the School of Dentistry's medical records database who were taking the osteoporosis drug alendronate (marketed as Fosamax).ONJ occurs when reduced blood flow to the bones in the jaw leads to the death of bone tissue, producing symptoms including infection, loose teeth, exposed bone, soft-tissue swelling and pain. Up until the publication of the current results, researchers had believed that the ONJ risk from oral osteoporosis drugs was "negligible."Fosamax is the 21st most common drug prescribed in the United States, and the most widely prescribed oral drug in the bisphosphonate family. Bisphosphonates protect against fractures and the loss of bone mass in osteoporosis patients by interfering with the process by which the body removes calcium and other minerals from bones. Well-known side effects of the drugs include an elevated risk of thigh-bone fractures, inflammatory eye disease and irregular heartbeat. Prior research has shown that patients taking high intravenous doses of bisphosphonates also have an elevated risk of ONJ.According to the current study, however, ONJ risk is increased even in those who take lower doses of oral bisphosphonates for as little as one year. The researchers found that ONJ tends to occur after a routine tooth extraction, perhaps because bisphosphonates have lowered the bones' resistance to bacterial infection.Researcher and dentist Parish Sedghizadeh was inspired to conduct the study when he noticed unusually high ONJ rates among patients at his dental clinic in recent years -- as many as four per week. The USC School of Dentistry has now adopted a policy of screening patients for bisphosphonate use before performing dental procedures.

Sources for this story include: http://www.washingtonpost.com/.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Fresh Vegetable Salads Provide Maximum Nutrition for Each Food Dollar Spent

It looks like food prices will continue to creep steadily higher throughout 2009, even in the face of an economic crisis that has reduced the purchasing power of most Americans. This makes it more important that ever to get the best nutritional value for every food dollar spent. When it is time for lunch, one of the best overall values is a salad, whether it comes from a salad bar or is made at home. But not all salads offer good nutritional value. The ingredients chosen will determine whether the salad is an energy booster full of excellent nutrition to help you sail through the afternoon, or one that deadens cellular energy and provides very little nutritional value for the money spent.Salads that offer the most nutrition for the money are made with fresh, unprocessed vegetables. Color is the key. Those veggies with the bright, vibrant colors are trying to tell you something. The more colors added to the bowl, the more the salad can keep you looking and feeling young, and put a bounce in your step for the rest of the day. That's because vibrant colored veggies are loaded with antioxidants, plant compounds that slow the aging process and ward off disease.Give your salad a solid foundationGet your salad off to a good nutritional start by making a bed of leafy dark green vegetables. Lettuce is the traditional favorite, but stay away from the iceberg variety. Its lighter color gives it away as being low on nutritional value. Choose instead from romaine, green leaf lettuce, and spinach. Better yet, mix in some of each. Baby greens, sometimes called spring mix, are a good choice too.All of these varieties are excellent sources of Vitamins A, E and K. Vitamin A supports eye and respiratory health, and makes sure the immune system is up to speed. It keeps the outer layers of tissues and organs healthy, and promotes strong bones, healthy skin and hair, and strong teeth. Vitamin E slows the aging process, maintains positive cholesterol ratios, provides endurance boosting oxygen, protects lungs from pollution, prevents various forms of cancer, and alleviates fatigue. Vitamin K keeps blood vessels strong and prevents blood clots.Greens are also excellent sources of folate, manganese, chromium, and potassium. Folate prevents heart disease, defends against intestinal parasites and food poisoning, promotes healthy skin, and helps maintain hair color. Manganese keeps fatigue away, helps muscle reflexes and coordination, boosts memory, and helps prevent osteoporosis. Chromium helps normalize blood pressure and insulin levels. It prevents sugar cravings and sudden drops in energy. Potassium regulates the body's water balance and normalizes heart rhythms. It aids in clear thinking by sending oxygen to the brain.Other green veggies offering big nutritional bangs are broccoli, green peppers, parsley, zucchini, asparagus, cucumber, okra, arugula, and sea vegetables.Pile on all the colors to stay looking and feeling youngLoad up your salad bowl with yellow vegetables like carrots, yellow peppers, sweet potatoes, and yellow summer squash. These are super rich in beta carotene, and vitamins A and C. They are powerful free radical scavengers that prevent damage to cells. Free radicals are thought to be responsible for clogged arteries and heart disease, cataracts, blood vessel damage, inflammatory diseases and arthritis, asthma, and even cancer. Vitamin C plays a big role in the formation of collagen, which is important for the growth and repair of body-tissue cells, gums, blood vessels, bones, and teeth. It helps keep the skin young and supple so wrinkles don't develop.Purple cabbage, purple endive, and eggplant are rich in the phytonutrient anthocyanin, another type of flavonoid that fights the damage to cells that comes from daily living. Besides making the salad look absolutely gorgeous, purple cabbage is able to signal genes to increase production of enzymes involved in detoxification, the cleansing process that eliminates harmful compounds from the body. This means free radicals, carcinogens, and toxins are disarmed and cleared from organs and tissues. Studies have shown that people who eat the most cruciferous vegetables like purple cabbage and broccoli have a much lower risk of several cancers including breast cancer. These veggies promote gastrointestinal health, and a clean and healthy liver. They keep away ulcers, and even help prevent Alzheimer's disease through the ability of anthocyanins to protect brain cells against the damage caused by amyloid-beta protein.Be sure to include some red in the salad. Along with being rich in vitamin C, tomatoes provide high levels of the carotenoid lycopene, known for preventing and fighting prostate cancer. Coumaric and chlorogenic acids found in tomatoes help keep lungs healthy even in smokers by blocking the effects of carcinogenic nitrosamines found in cigarette smoke. The carcinogenic effects of eating meats preserved with sodium nitrates can be blocked by adding tomatoes. Beets are another great red choice. Throughout history they have been used to detoxify and build the blood. Beets are high in folic acid, iron, and calcium. They contain betaine, a compound that detoxifies the liver and protects the liver and bile ducts from free radical damage. Studies show betaine contributes to coronary and cerebral artery health, and shrinks tumors.Other red veggies with big nutritional powers are radishes, red bell peppers, chili peppers, red onions, and radicchio.Many white foods are wastelands of nutrition. Not so for veggies. Cauliflower has many of the nutrients of other cruciferous vegetables. Onions and garlic are considered super foods for their potent health benefits that include high amounts of sulfur that protect collagen and connective tissues. Sulphur helps keep joints working well and hair looking shiny and healthy. Onions are considered a prebiotic, meaning they feed the probiotic bacteria and yeast in the intestinal tract. Both onion and garlic are known for lowering blood sugar levels and fighting inflammation, as well as having strong antibiotic properties that can be used to fight infections. They lower high cholesterol and blood pressure, help prevent heart attack and stroke, reduce colon cancer risk, and halt tumor growth.Other white foods that go great in a healthy salad are mushrooms, jicama, and daikon.Chopped salad gives the digestive system a head startChopped salads are popular fare in many restaurants that cater to people looking for a healthy meal. Chopping salad ingredients into very small pieces adds taste appeal because some of each ingredient is available in every bite. This means that a bit of each sweet ingredient like carrots, bell peppers and beets is included in each forkful, and all the flavors of the salad are included with each bite.Lunch is often eaten in a rush, and big chunks of veggies can make for an afternoon of digestive unease. Chopping a salad gives the digestive system a head start on its work of breaking down all the components and releasing their nutrients. It is a waste of food dollars to buy a salad and not get the full nutritional benefit it has to offer. Chopped salad fits nicely into the mouth and allows for adequate chewing, so necessary for complete digestion.If the salad is made at home, each ingredient can be chopped into very small pieces as it is added. If the salad is from a salad bar, chances are the veggies will be in large chunks, since chopping salad requires extra labor. After you have filled your bowl, grab a knife and fork and start chopping. As the afternoon wears on, you will probably be glad you did.How the salad is dressed makes all the differenceWhat you put on your salad is just as important as what you put in it. Most dressings sold in traditional and health food grocery stores are made with polyunsaturated oil, an oil that deadens cellular energy and promotes vitamin D deficiency by decreasing the ability of vitamin D to bind with D binding proteins. Polyunsaturated oils have been linked to a variety of diseases ranging from digestive disorders to cancer. Most of these dressings also contain the excitotoxin monosodium glutamate, a compound that tricks the brain into believing cheap ingredients taste really great. Monosodium glutamate is toxic to brain cells.Instead of reducing the nutritional punch of a salad, increase it with a dressing made from extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar. Fresh vegetables and olive oil are part of the basics of the anti-aging and longevity-enhancing Mediterranean Diet. Instead of deadening cellular energy, olive oil actually increases it through its antioxidant capabilities. Olive oil has been around for thousands of years. It contains monounsaturated fatty acids and has a health profile that is far superior to newcomer canola oil. Choose natural vinegars without the addition of preservative sulfites. Read the label before you buy. Raw apple cider vinegar is a good choice, or squeeze on some fresh lemon juice.Add herbs, fresh chopped garlic if you like, and a good pinch of sea salt to the dressing and mix it well. Dressing made with olive oil is so health promoting that it should be added liberally to the salad. Mix it up until dressing coats every tiny piece and the salad glistens with goodness. The salt helps release the juices from the vegetables adding even more flavor to the dressing and increasing digestibility.What to add and what to avoidA salad made with a large bed of dark green leafy vegetables contains some protein and a good amount of amino acids. The protein content of a salad can be beefed up by adding seeds and nuts. One ounce of pumpkin seeds or almonds boosts protein content by nine grams. Seeds and nuts add extra nutrition power and crunchy taste.Adding sprouts is another good way to increase protein. Alfalfa sprouts are 35% protein. Broccoli sprouts are 26% protein and provide super antioxidant power as well as compounds known to prevent and fight many cancers including cancer of the breast.Beans are another super nutritious choice, providing additional protein and nutrient power. If the salad is made at home, dried beans that have been soaked and cooked can be used. Prepared beans sold in glass jars work well too. Canned beans should be avoided unless cans are free of bisphenol-A.Leave out the animal protein. Studies are suggesting that the polyphenols in vegetables bind with animal protein, making them inaccessible to the body. Polyphenols are largely responsible for the disease fighting capabilities of vegetables, so maintaining their integrity is important. As for cheese, it tastes really great in a salad, but studies have shown conclusively that polyphenols bind with milk protein.If you are a salad bar visitor, those prepared salads look really tempting, but they are best left out too. They contain mayonnaise or other energy deadening dressings made with polyunsaturated oils. Many of them also contain monosodium glutamate and preservatives.

For more information see:http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/523785/M. Bunning and P. Kendall, Health Benefits and Safe Handling of Salad Greens, Colorado State University.Earl Mindell's Vitamin Bible.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Hit The Sack

Help your heart tonight by sleeping more. Regularly getting fewer than seven and a half hours of shut-eye can up the risk of heart disease, the top cause of death for U.S. women.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Children Eat Their Veggies When Parents Do

Parents can increase the amount of fruits and vegetables that their children eat simply by eating more plant foods themselves, according to a study conducted by researchers from the St. Louis University School of Public Health and published in the journal Preventive Medicine."When parents eat more fruits and vegetables, so do their children," lead researcher Dr. Debra Haire-Joshu said. "When parents eat and give their children high fat snacks or soft drinks, children learn these eating patterns instead."Researchers studied 1,306 parents enrolled in the national Parents As Teachers program. In addition to the regular parenting skills taught by the program, just under half of the parents also took part in the High 5 for Kids program. This program involved four home visits in which parents received education on nutrition and on ways to get their young children to eat more fruits and vegetables. Methods taught included eating fruits and vegetables in front of children and letting kids select their own food from among several fruit and vegetable options.They found that parents who participated in the High 5 for Kids program increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables relative to those who did not. Furthermore, the amount by which parents increased their fruit and vegetable intake correlated directly with how much their children's intake increased. For every extra fruit or vegetable serving per day that a parent ate, their child ate an extra half serving."This research shows that it's important to communicate with parents in real world settings," Haire-Joshu said. "They control the food environment for their young child. This environment is key to not only what children eat today but how they will eat in the future."Increased vegetable intake among parents of obese children, however, did not have any same effect."Overweight children have already been exposed to salty, sweet foods and learned to like them," Haire-Joshu said. "To keep a child from becoming overweight, parents need to expose them early to a variety of health foods and offer the foods many times."Sources for this story include: http://www.sciencedaily.com;/ http://www.reuters.com/.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Flu Was Not the Real Killer in the 1918 Pandemic

Strep infections, rather than the flu virus itself, may have killed most people during the 1918 influenza pandemic. This suggests that some of the most dire predictions about a potential new pandemic could be exaggerated.
Scientists looked at the available information regarding the 1918 flu pandemic, which killed anywhere between 50 million and 100 million people globally in the space of about 18 months. Some research has shown that on average it took a week to 11 days for people to die, which fits in more with the known pattern of a bacterial infection than a viral infection.
People with influenza often get what is known as a "superinfection" with a bacterial agent. In 1918 it appears to have been Streptococcus pneumoniae.
Many projections for a new pandemic have been based on a worst-case 1918 scenario, in which tens of millions of people would die globally. However, since strep is much easier to treat than the flu using modern medicine, a new pandemic might be much less dire than it was in the early 20th century.