Thursday, April 30, 2009

How Obesity Causes Disease

An inflammatory factor already linked to several diseases, including pulmonary disease, lung cancer, and arthritis, may also be responsible for the insulin resistance that comes with obesity, according to a new study.Researchers have found that the inflammatory chemokine known as CXCL5 rises and falls along with obesity and weight loss in humans. They also found evidence tying the inflammatory factor, which is secreted at high levels by fat tissue, to insulin resistance in mice.Treatments designed to block CXCL5 were found to improve the animals' sensitivity to insulin.CXCR5 affect a variety of cells including muscle cells, cells that line blood vessel walls and cells in the lung and intestine. This means that increased CXCL5 circulating levels, as observed in obesity, could also lead to other problems such as atherosclerosis and other inflammatory diseases.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Swine Flu Do’s and Don’ts: Is a New Pandemic Coming?

The United States has declared swine flu a public health emergency, with growing numbers of U.S. cases being reported.
With growing numbers of cases of swine flu being reported in the United States, most experts believe the virus is now spreading from person to person, whereas it was once confined to people who had direct contact with pigs. This means “when”, NOT “if,” it will be in many areas of the U.S. -- which poses the question: What to do?
What is the Swine flu? It is a respiratory disease that commonly infects pigs, but is not typically seen in humans. In the time spanning December 2005 through February 2009, just 12 human infections were reported in the United States. However, since March 2009, infection with a new strain of swine flu A (H1N1) has been increasing in the U.S. and internationally.
While we recommend you do NOT panic, it is important to be aware of swine flu and the simple steps you can take to minimize any risks for you and your loved ones.
Why this could be serious: In 1918 there was a worldwide pandemic during which over 50 Million people lost their lives.
Monitoring the incremental impact in your community (if or when any occurs) will be very important. Watch your local news to be informed of possible odds of people in your area having been infected to then raise the level of your precautions.
In Mexico, by the end of April 2009, over 100 people died and 1,400 were sickened by the disease, while 10 New Zealand students who had recently returned from Mexico were also to be infected. Cases have also been discovered in Canada, Spain, Scotland, Israel, Britain and France.
In Mexico they are now distributing face masks to reduce the possibility of people acquiring an airborne strain of the virus.
However, most viruses are transferred by direct contact of touching a person’s hands or the surface they touched then touching your hands to your mouth, nose, eyes or ears.
So to start, reduce contact and use “hospital-grade micro-fibber hand-wipes.”
Also reduce kissing, hugging, handshakes, etc. for the next few days or weeks until you are confident there is no record of the swine flu in your area.
Of the first 20 cases reported in New York, Ohio, Kansas, Texas and California, at least two patients were hospitalized but all have recovered or are recovering. In the United States, so far the cases appear to be milder than those in Mexico, though health officials aren’t sure this will last.
"As we continue to look for cases, we are going to see a broader spectrum of disease," Dr. Richard Besser, acting chief of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), told the Associated Press. "We're going to see more severe disease in this country."
Experts are currently debating whether swine flu has the potential to become a pandemic. In Mexico City, the country’s government has closed public and private schools and universities, museums, libraries and theaters in order to curb the outbreak, while the CDC has said the virus “cannot be contained.”
The World Health Organization, meanwhile, has urged governments around the world to be on alert as the full risks of the new swine flu strain develop.
New viruses like H1N1 can develop into pandemics because no one has been exposed before, and therefore no one has immunity. However, the severity of the virus, along with how easily it’s spread, remains to be seen. What’s known already is now the virus is spreading from person-to-person, even among those who had no contact with animals and had never been to Mexico.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Swine Flu?
Swine flu is contagious and capable of spreading from person to person. The incubation period seems to be approximately 12 hours to 24 hours before symptoms appear. Like any flu, the symptoms can range from mild to severe, and include:
Fever (100.5 degrees F or higher)
Sore throat
Body aches (muscle aches)
Diarrhea & Vomiting
When diarrhea and vomiting are present see your doctor immediately as severe cases have progressed to pneumonia, respiratory failure and deaths.How is it Diagnosed? A respiratory specimen must be collected within the first four to five days of illness, when the infected person is most likely to be shedding the virus. However, some patients (such as children), may shed the virus for 10 days or longer, according to the CDC. Specimens must be sent to the CDC for laboratory testing in order to identify swine flu.
R.E. Bates / Centers for Disease Control viaSwine flu virus
How Can You Catch Swine Flu?
Typically swine flu is spread through contact with infected pigs or environments contaminated with swine flu viruses. However, human-to-human spread has also been documented, which means you can catch it through others’ coughing or sneezing but most likely by directly touching an infected person or by indirectly touching something they touched recently that left the flu viruses on it and then touching or rubbing your eyes, mouth or nose (or possibly even your ears).
You cannot get swine flu from eating pork or pork products, as the virus isn’t transmitted in food.
People with swine flu remain potentially contagious while symptoms are present and for up to seven days following the illness, although children can be contagious for even longer.
Steps to Minimize Your Risk of Catching Swine Flu
Currently the CDC recommends the use of two antiviral drugs, oseltamivir (Tamiflu) or zanamivir (Relenza), for the treatment and/or prevention of infection with swine flu viruses, though many point out that the drugs may not be effective for long given the rapid potential for flu viruses to develop resistance.
If you have signs of the flu ranging from fever to body aches and fatigue, see a health care professional to see if you should be tested for swine flu.
The United States is expected to release 25 percent of the 50 million anti-flu drugs from the strategic national stockpile, according to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. She also said the U.S. declaration of a public health emergency would free up federal, state, and local agencies’ resources and authorize the release of funds to purchase more antiviral drugs.
The United States has also created a “seed strain” from the virus, which is a virus that can be used to make vaccines. So far tests show the H1N1 component of the seasonal flu vaccines does not protect against the new H1N1 swine flu virus, and experts say a vaccine will take several months to be developed.
That said, some of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of swine flu and any other respiratory illness have nothing to do with pharmaceuticals and everything to do with simple everyday precautions, including:
You can minimize your risk of catching swine flu and other contagious illnesses by using Hospital-Grade PerfectClean Hand Wipes. They're small enough to carry in your pocket or purse, yet effective enough to absorb or even kill most contaminants that can't be seen with the naked eye -- especially once washed in bleach as the fibers encapsulate the bleach that can kill bacteria as they too are encapsulated within the micro-fibers. We recommend wiping your hands every time you touch public areas or shake hands and definately before touching your face, nose, eyes, or mouth, or eating.
You can use them wet or dry to effectively remove germs from your hands, such as after a handshake or before eating. And because they're made of highly durable ultramicrofiber cloth, you can use them for 100+ washes before you need to replace them -- making PerfectClean Hand Wipes incredibly economical for everything from wiping the handle of the shopping cart before touching it to using on vacations and for everyday use.
Also excellent for keeping and wiping your hands after each time you shake hands or touch things in public places plus in public gatherings. For instance, if in a wedding party standing in the meet and greet line, just casually have a PerfectClean in your pocket or a silk PerfectClean in your hand so you can continue to wipe off your hand inconspicuously between each greeting with guests.
Learn More About PerfectClean Hospital-Grade Hand Wipes Now!
Washing your hands with soap and water often.
Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throwing away the tissue.
Surgical masks, which many people in Mexico are now wearing, can add a level of protection as you have likely seen on the news.
Reducing, where possible, being in contact with masses of people in public places.
Avoiding close contact with sick people.
If feeling sick with what are above symptoms then go immediately to your doctor, clinic or hospital. Stay home from work or school, and limit close contact with others and wear a surgical mask especially in public places, as you don’t want to pass along the flu if you do get sick.
Further, to most effectively keep contagions from making your family sick, a three-pronged approach works best.
1. Keep Potential Contagions Out of Your Home. A chief way microorganisms and other contaminants enter your home is through dust and dirt you track in on the bottom of your shoes. It's then circulated directly into the air you and your family breathe.
Trapping dirt right at the door, via doormats placed strategically around your home, can therefore go a long way toward reducing the amount of potentially contagious contaminants in your home's air. highly recommends the Waterhog Grand Premier Mats for this purpose. Unlike other mats out there, Waterhogs have a distinctive "water-dam" border that traps soil and liquids in the mat so they don't drain or track onto your floors ... while vastly minimizing slipping.
2. Eliminate Contagions in Your Home. Of course, you can't possibly keep all organisms from entering your home. Those that do get in can be effectively removed by using the proper cleaning tools. highly recommends the PerfectClean line of terry cloths and dusters -- used by hospitals, schools, leading hotels, and other leading commercial organizations -- for this purpose. Rather than just pushing dust and dirt around, or worse, stirring it up into the air, all PerfectClean products are made with positively charged ultramicrofibers that pick up everything in their path--including dust and all of its microscopic attachments.
3. Boost Your Body's First Line of Defense. Your Immune System. If you are exposed to a contagious disease, a strong immune system is key to fighting it off. You can keep your immune system strong by getting plenty of sleep, eating healthy foods including vegetables and fruits, and keeping stress under control.
Short-term the good news is that even during the 1918 Flu Pandemic, the first wave in 1917 affected very few people.
Long-term (being within a year to two years), the real problem occurred in the second year 1918 when 50 Million people died worldwide.
Consider what you can do today “if” tomorrow your area was quarantined and you couldn’t go to work or your children couldn’t go to school.
Ounce of prevention to eliminate the need of a pound of cure.
What steps can you take today to be assured you are able to function both at home and in public areas? Addressing such concerns in advance is your first line of defense regarding exposure to swine flu.
Consider how you can best provide for your loved one’s short term to long term needs if this was to occur.
The one thing you can be certain of. IF there is a major outbreak, there will be short supplies (if any are available) for even such simple solutions as Hospital-Grade PerfectClean hand wipe terry cloths, silk wipes, etc.
Recommended Reading
The Rise of Contagious Disease & How to Minimize Your Risk of Contagious Disease Exposure
H5N1 Kills 70% of Those Infected: Experts Say a Pandemic of this Lethal Flu Strain May be Coming
Yahoo News April 26, 2009
Reuters April 26, 2009
New Scientist April 26, 2009
ABC News April 26, 2009
Associated Press April 26, 2009
ABC News April 24, 2009 Swine Influenza

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

4 Ways to Shed Belly Fat

4 Ways to Shed Belly Fat
1. Exercise. You can't exercise to spot reduce, but it will help you shed excess pounds -- and often, the fat your body sheds first comes from your belly. Abdominal crunches can help tone muscles to make your stomach look flatter, but to truly get rid of fat, you have to burn it off through aerobic activity.
2. Be a mindful eater. Researchers are currently investigating whether really paying attention to what you eat can help redistribute body fat from your waist to your hips. Plenty of studies, though, have shown that mindful eating can help with weight loss efforts.
3. Get adequate amounts of sleep. Too little sleep (less than six hours) or too much (more than eight hours) results in an excess production of the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone promotes the storage of fat in the belly.
4. Reduce stress. Penciling in 15 minutes a day for relaxation can also lower your cortisol levels, helping you shed belly fat. Deep breathing, a stroll outdoors under the blossoming trees, or a bubble bath can help you leave the world behind.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Are You Laughing Enough?

Laughter has a real beneficial effect on your physical health, according to research. In the study, subjects were observed as they watched both serious movies and comedies. During the comedies, their arteries dilated and their blood pressure dropped, suggesting that laughter can in fact be a powerful medicine indeed.The study looked at 20 healthy participants with an average age of 33. The results showed for the first time that laughter is linked to healthy function of blood vessels. It appears to cause the endothelium, which is the tissue that forms the inner lining of blood vessels, to dilate or expand in order to increase blood flow.The study also showed that the opposite effect occurred when the subjects watched suspenseful films, suggesting a link between mental stress and the narrowing of blood vessels.A separate study also found that viewing a humorous film may be helpful for the study and treatment of local IgE production and allergy in the reproductive tract.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

The Disgusting Truth about Sports Drinks Revealed

Dental experts placed teeth in sports drinks and in water to compare the effects, and they found the sports drinks caused corrosion that could result in severe tooth damage if left untreated.The researchers cut calves' teeth in half and immersed each half in either a sports drink or water. They compared the results after 75 to 90 minutes. The erosion on the half placed in the sports drink was clearly visible -- dozens of tiny holes appeared. There was no damage on the half that was immersed in water.Brushing teeth immediately after the drinks would actually compound the problem, because the citric acid in the drink softens tooth enamel, leaving it vulnerable to abrasive brushing.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Irradiated Food Causes Brain Damage

A company testing the effects of irradiated food on growth and development reported that some cats fed such a diet developed severe neurological dysfunction, including movement disorders, vision loss and paralysis.The cats developed the symptoms, which appeared to be the result of a demyelinating disease, after being on the diet for three to four months. Myelin is a fatty insulator of nerve fibers that degrades in a host of human central nervous system disorders, such as multiple sclerosis.The afflicted cats were shown to have severe and widely distributed demyelination of the central nervous system. In cats removed from the diet, demyelinated axons slowly became remyelinated, but the restored myelin sheaths were still not as thick as healthy myelin.The exact cause of the neurological affliction in the cats on the experimental diet is unknown.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Words of Wisdom From a 97-Year-Old Physician

At the age of 97 years and 4 months, Shigeaki Hinohara is one of the world's longest-serving physicians and educators. He has been healing patients at St. Luke's International Hospital in Tokyo and teaching at St. Luke's College of Nursing since 1941.
He has published around 150 books since his 75th birthday, including one Living Long, Living Good that has sold more than 1.2 million copies. As the founder of the New Elderly Movement, Hinohara encourages others to live a long and happy life, a quest in which no role model is better than the doctor himself:
Energy comes from feeling good, not from eating well or sleeping a lot. Hinohara says we all remember how as children, when we were having fun, we often forgot to eat or sleep. He believes that we can keep that attitude as adults, too, and that it's best not to tire the body with too many rules such as lunchtime and bedtime.
All people who live long -- regardless of nationality, race or gender -- share one thing in common: None are overweight. For breakfast Hinohara drinks coffee, a glass of milk and some orange juice with a tablespoon of olive oil in it. His lunch is milk and a few cookies. His dinner is veggies, a bit of fish and rice, and, twice a week, 100 grams of lean meat.
Always plan ahead. His schedule book is already full until 2014. In 2016 he plans to attend the Tokyo Olympics!
There is no need to ever retire, but if one must, it should be a lot later than 65. The current retirement age was set at 65 half a century ago, when the average life-expectancy in Japan was much lower.
Share what you know. Hinohara gives 150 lectures a year, some for 100 elementary-school children, others for 4,500 business people.
When a doctor recommends you take a test or have some surgery, ask whether the doctor would suggest that his or her spouse or children go through such a procedure. Contrary to popular belief, doctors can't cure everyone -- so why cause unnecessary pain with surgery? Hinohara thinks that music and animal therapy can help more than most doctors imagine.
To stay healthy, always take the stairs and carry your own stuff. He take two stairs at a time, to get his muscles moving.
Pain is mysterious, and having fun is the best way to forget it. Hospitals must cater to the basic need of patients, and we all want to have fun.
Don't be crazy about amassing material things. Remember: You don't know when your number is up, and you can't take it with you to the next place.
Hospitals must be designed and prepared for major disasters, and they must accept every patient who appears at their doors. Hinohara helped design St. Luke's so that it was possible to operate anywhere: in the basement, in the corridors, in the chapel. Most people thought he was crazy, but on March 20, 1995, he was unfortunately proven right when members of the Aum Shinrikyu religious cult launched a terrorist attack in the Tokyo subway. St. Luke’s accepted 740 victims and in two hours figured out that it was sarin gas that had hit them. Sadly they lost one person, but they saved 739 lives.
Science alone can't cure or help people. Illness is individual. Each person is unique, and diseases are connected to their hearts. To know the illness and help people, there is a need for liberal and visual arts, not just medical ones.
Life is filled with incidents. On March 31, 1970, when Hinohara was 59 years old, he boarded the Yodogo, a flight from Tokyo to Fukuoka. The plane was hijacked by the Japanese Communist League-Red Army Faction. He spent the next four days handcuffed to his seat. As a doctor, he looked at it all as an experiment and was amazed at how his body slowed down in a crisis.
Find a role model and aim to achieve even more than they could ever do. Hinohara’s role model was his father, who went to the United States in 1900 to study at Duke University, in North Carolina.
It's wonderful to live long. Since the age of 65, Hinohara has worked as a volunteer. He still puts in 18 hours, seven days a week, and loves every minute of it.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Keep these little tips handy for when you're in need of an instant pick-me-up, dust me-off and get-me-back-on-my-feet.

  1. Push play. Listen to that song that never fails to put a smile on your face and a swing in your step.

  2. Performa random act of kindness. Doing good equals feeling good.

  3. Let something go. Cross one of those hundred and one little things off your to do list, without doing it.

  4. Take a time out. If you're feeling overwhelmed and undermotivated, a few minutes of quiet, distraction free "you time" can help refresh and refocus.

  5. Phone a friend. There's a reason they call it a "life line."

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Confront Salt Confusion

Salt is currently considered a leading culprit for high blood pressure and other health problems. This is based on the premise that a high sodium intake creates high blood pressure, which can lead to heart attacks, arterial, and kidney problems. Salt is high in sodium. But sodium is essential for proper absorption of other major nutrients and functioning of nerves and muscles, as well as being necessary for balancing water and minerals in the body.Lately there have been studies that strongly question the research on sodium hazards, as well as the recommended maximum sodium intakes from that research. There has been a survey in New York, conducted over several years on hypertension prone locals, which showed that those with high sodium intakes had proportionately less heart attacks than those who were put on low sodium diets! And now there are even MD`s who claim that the right type of salt, unrefined, has more health benefits than health hazards.A major confusion is that only refined commercial and household salt is known as salt to most of medical science and consumers. It is the most prevalent, by far. Refined salt, stripped of its natural mineral structure, is virtually all sodium. As a matter of fact, it is 97% to 99% sodium! That`s why it is called Sodium Chloride. Processed foods are laced with Sodium Chloride refined salt as well as with other types of sodium, such as sodium benzoate, sodium nitrate, and the notorious monosodium glutamate (MSG). So if you are concerned about your sodium levels, then cut out processed foods!Part of the process for refined salt, or commercial table salt, involves the use of aluminum, ferro cyanide and bleach. These are all toxic materials that your body takes in with refined, commercial salt. And because of that process, almost all the vital minerals that real, unrefined salt can offer are removed! One or two servings of refined salt won`t send you to the grave. But continued almost daily use will avail you to the perils of aluminum toxicity. Ferro cyanide is listed by the EPA as a toxic material for human consumption. You are probably aware of the hazards to human health of chlorine, which is used to bleach the salt.There's more on aluminum toxicity here: to Dr. David Brownstein, author of Salt Your Way to Health, unrefined salt is an excellent detoxification aid, as well as a provider of mineral nutrients in a naturally bio-available balance. There are usually around 80 minerals and essential trace elements in unrefined, organic salt. Soil grown food is lacking in many of these because the soil has been depleted of trace elements and minerals. Some of the major minerals included with unrefined salt are: Magnesium (a very essential metabolic agent), calcium, potassium, and sulfate. Obviously, sodium is present also, but it comprises only 50% of the total mineral content rather than the 99% sodium in refined table salt.Regular consumer table salt, refined, sometimes has iodine added in order to promote thyroid health. Dr. Brownstien has devoted a good deal of his practice and research on thyroid and glandular health. He says there is less iodized salt now than before, and the amount of iodine in iodized salt is insufficient for optimum thyroid health anyway. Iodine is an important agent for glandular health, and it is also scarcely present in our food anymore. Unless you eat a lot of seafood and roll the dice with mercury!Dr. Brownstein strongly advocates the use of unrefined, organic salt with iodine supplements, preferably a combination of potassium iodide and iodine. He maintains that these two dietary items contribute largely toward optimum endocrine health, which is vital for a strong immune system.Unrefined salt has a distinctively different look from refined salt. It is usually too course to be used in salt shaker. You may want to invest in a salt grinder. And it is usually not very white. Off white is more common, even pink or gray for unrefined pure salt. The extreme white of common household or commercial salt is a result of bleaching. But buyer beware, some so called sea salts offered on line and especially in health food stores are at least partially processed. Avoid sea salt that is too white and too fine as a rule of thumb.If you are very concerned about getting the purest available product, and you don`t have anyone`s advice you can trust, look for "organic certification". Since salt is mined or taken from salt water beds, organic has different implications than produce and animal product organic requirements. But the standards are there and they are strict. The two groups that certify salt as organic are BIO-GRO of New Zealand, and Nature & Progresre of France.You may come across an analysis of organic salt minerals, or a commentary on such, that mentions fluoride as a constituent. But there are two types of fluoride. One, Calcium Fluoride, is an element that occurs as a natural process over time within the earth`s soil, rock, and water areas. This is the fluoride that originally was claimed as a deterrent against tooth decay. Wikipedia notes that while all other fluorides are dangerous for human consumption, calcium fluoride is not. And it`s Calcium Fluoride that would be in any unrefined salt analysis.The other fluoride, Sodium Fluoride, is a synthetic, poisonous fluoride. It has been used as rat poison. It`s a waste by-product of the aluminum industry, fertilizer industry, and nuclear industry. It`s their way of picking up a lot of easy bucks by selling it to municipalities for their water supplies instead of suffering the expense of getting rid of it. That`s the stuff that`s been going into our water supplies, causing health problems, and assisting in the dumbing down of America. Either the dentists didn`t distinguish between those two, or perhaps they didn`t even know there were two types of fluoride.It appears that organically produced, unrefined salt should be a healthy addition to our diets. It offers bio-available, balanced minerals that aren`t naturally present in our food chain. It does not contain the poisons of industry that are a part of refined salt. Yes, too much of a good thing can be bad. But again, the sodium of refined salt and other food additives is curbed best by eliminating processed foods, which contain several toxic sodium sources as well as unrefined salt, from the diet. Dr. Brownstein`s advice, using organic, unrefined salt with a little bit of iodine supplementation, seems like a natural and economical way to boost one`s immune system.

Sources:Crusader Health News, January 18, 2009 - Interview of Dr. David BrownsteinSalt Institute, (New Brunswick) Health Education Newsletter, 2002Wikipedia

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Prevent Cancer with a Good Night Rest

If you've been exercising to lower your risk of cancer, you should know that logging those extra hours on the treadmill may not do as much good if you aren't logging in enough hours of sleep, too. A recent study shows that getting at least seven hours of sleep nightly can maximize the cancer prevention benefits in physically active women. This information was presented at the November 2008 cancer prevention meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.Researchers who were a part of the study reviewed the information on 5,968 Maryland women. In 1998, these women answered detailed questions regarding their activity level and typical sleep habits. Cancer statistics in the group were tracked over the following nine years. During this time, 604 new cancer cases were reported in the group.In women between the ages of 18 and 65, those who slept at least seven hours per night in addition to averaging about an hour per day of moderate exercise were 47 percent less likely to have cancer compared to women who averaged less sleep at the same activity level.Dr. James McClain from the Cancer Prevention Institute says, "What that suggests to us is among younger and middle-aged women, both physical activity and sleep habits might play an important role in reducing cancer risk." McClain points out the full cancer prevention benefit comes from being active and getting enough rest, not just sleeping more without exercise. But he adds, "Getting adequate sleep has been long associated with health."In fact, lack of sleep has been linked to serious conditions such as diabetes, stroke, heart disease and depression. The fact that sleep may help to prevent cancer in active women is just another reason to make an effort to catch those extra hours when you can.Dr. McClain makes a suggestion: "You might want to think about your lifestyle as a whole. Think about multiple lifestyle behaviors in more of a holistic perspective." And that makes perfect sense. It's rare that one singular action can prevent all disease, but when you combine many healthy lifestyle habits you have a much better chance of maintaining good health.Physical activity, a balanced diet of natural foods, and proper stress management are some of the other factors that have a strong influence on your health. Incorporate these principles with a good night's sleep and you've given your body a fighting chance against modern disease.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Steaming Hot Tea Linked To Cancer

Drinking steaming hot tea has been linked with an increased risk of esophageal (food tube) cancer. A study found that drinking black tea at temperatures of 70 degrees Celsius or higher, increased the risk.This could explain the increased esophageal cancer risk in some non-Western populations. Adding milk, as most tea drinkers in Western countries do, cools the drink enough to eliminate the risk.Compared with drinking warm or lukewarm tea, drinking hot tea (65 to 69 degrees Celsius) was associated with twice the risk of esophageal cancer, and drinking very hot tea (70 degrees Celsius or more) was associated with an eight-fold increased risk.Esophagus cancers kill more than 500,000 people worldwide each year.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Shampoos and Conditioners are Frequent Causes of Common Skin Problem

Considerably more people than previously believed are allergic to the most common fragrance ingredient used in shampoos, conditioners and soap. In a study, over 5 percent of those who underwent patch testing were allergic to the air oxidized form of the fragrance ingredient linalool.
Linalool is found in 60 to 80 percent of perfumed hygiene products, soap and household cleaning agents that can be bought in the supermarket, so it can be difficult for people who are allergic to avoid these products.
In the study, oxidized linalool was added at patch testing for more than 3,000 patients who wanted to find out what was causing their eczema. Between 5 percent and 7 percent proved to be allergic.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Can Juicing Really Lead to Happiness?

Do you want more energy? Maybe drop a couple of sizes? Do you want to improve your health? Look years younger? Give your immune system a boost? If so, then it’s time to consider juicing.
I have previously written an extensive guide to juicing but Cherie Calbom, the original Juice Lady, released the third edition of her best-selling book The Juice Lady's Guide To Juicing for Health: Unleashing the Healing Power of Whole Fruits and Vegetables in October 2008.
I recently spoke with her about what she learned in preparation for her new book. The most remarkable news from the juicing world is in the area of clinical research, offering mounting scientific evidence for juicing’s health benefits.
One notable study explored the effects of beetroot juice on blood pressure. Those who consumed 20 ounces of beetroot juice started to show reductions in blood pressure after just one hour. After about 2.5 hours, all participants who had the juice began to show significant reductions in both their systolic and diastolic readings.
Another significant study called the Kame Project concluded that fruits and vegetables might play an important role in delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. People who drank juices (fruit and vegetable) more than three times per week, compared to less than once a week, were 76 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease.
Many more studies have yielded positive findings, which are nicely outlined in Cherie’s book. The research is just confirming what you already know—that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can greatly improve your fitness and vitality.
Why Should You Juice?
You might think that you can get the same benefits by eating your veggies whole, why go through the trouble of juicing them?
According to Cherie, juice is therapeutic. It is a nutrient-dense “living” broth that is absorbed almost instantly, requiring little effort by your body. It is almost like receiving an intravenous infusion of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes that goes right into your system without having to be broken down. Since it can be utilized by your body immediately, those who juice report feeling the “kick” of energy almost instantly.
This is not to suggest replacing all your veggies and fruits with juice. Juicing is a supplement to your diet, and you need the insoluble fiber from whole foods as well. But juicing is a fantastic way to pack in more vegetables than you would ordinarily eat.
Speaking of fiber, you might be surprised to know that juice actually contains some fiber—of the soluble variety. Soluble fiber is present in juice in the form of pectin, gums, and mucilage. This soluble fiber helps lower your cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and encourages good bowel bacteria.
Juicing concentrates the most nutrient-dense parts of the plants in the juice. In the past, some have claimed that a significant amount of nutrients remained in the fiber after juicing, but that theory has been disproved. The Department of Agriculture analyzed twelve fruits and found that 90 percent of the antioxidant activity was in the juice, rather than the fiber.
Making your own juice allows you to use a wider variety of vegetables, leaves, and stems that you might not otherwise eat, expanding your range of nutrients.
Raw juice also contains something very special—biophotonic light energy—which revitalizes your body. Fresh, raw juice is a “live food” with a full complement of vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and enzymes. Commercially processed, canned, bottled, frozen or otherwise packaged juices have been pasteurized, meaning the juice has been exposed to high temperatures, and many of the vitamins and enzymes have been killed or removed.
The light of “living juice” has actually been seen with Kirlian photography. Kirlian photos of cooked vegetables and pasteurized juice reveal very little “light” emanating from them.
One very important benefit of juicing has to do with alkalizing your body. Most people’s bodies are too acidic. Nearly all who suffer from chronic illness have this acidity problem. Vegetables are alkaline, so when you juice, it will raise the pH of your body to a more beneficial level.
Remember, as good as juicing is, you still need to pay attention to your nutritional type, in terms of how much juice to consume daily, and what kind. You might want to review my guidelines about juicing for each nutritional type before employing juicing into your food plan. For tips on choosing a juicer, my juicer page might helpful.
The Top Three Benefits of Juicing
Cherie shared her thoughts about what she considers to be the top three benefits of juicing:
1. Weight management
2. Increased energy
3. Boosted immune system

by Dr. Mercola

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Osteoporosis Drugs Linked to Heart Rhythm Problems

The television commercials for the anti-osteoporosis drug Boniva feature remarkably youthful, happy and healthy looking actress Sally Field extolling the wonderful ease of popping a pill once a day to prevent and even reverse bone loss. But for countless women taking this or other drugs in the class of medications known as bisphosphonates, their experiences could turn out to be anything but better health.Already the drugs have been linked to a host of side effects including debilitating muscle pain and a serious bone problem, osteonecrosis of the jaw, which literally causes the jaw bone to die. Now comes a study from Wake Forest University School of Medicine scientists that evaluated a possible association between bisphosphonates and the development of irregular, sometimes fatal, heart arrhythmias.The study, just published in the journal Drug Safety, does not say the drugs cause heart arrhythmias -- but it also strongly suggests there needs to be more and urgent studies on this issue. And a close reading of what the researchers do say won't put anyone's mind at ease over the safety of drugs like Boniva, Fosomax, Reclast and Actonel."Some trials show there could be a potential link between the use of bisphosphonates and the development of serious heart rhythm problems, but in our study the link wasn't conclusive," Sonal Singh, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor of internal medicine and lead investigator for the study, said in a statement to the media. "So we urge that additional investigations be conducted."Previous studies initially sounded the alarm that using bisphosphonates might cause heart rhythm, especially upping the chance of developing atrial fibrillation. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), atrial fibrillation results when the heart's two small upper chambers (the atria) quiver instead of beating effectively. Because blood isn't totally pumped out of them, it may pool and cause blood clot, resulting in a stroke. The AHA says about 15 percent of strokes occur in people with atrial fibrillation.For the recent study, the Wake Forest researchers analyzed data from previous observational studies and clinical trials to see if they could characterize a link between bisphosphonate therapy and irregular heart rhythms. They found that bisphosphonate use was associated with a significant increase in the incidence of heart rhythm disturbances, classified as "serious" because they resulted in hospitalization, disability or death.However, when they added "non-serious" cases of heart arrhythmias in their analysis, that watered down the results and produced no overall increased risk of atrial fibrillation.Confused? You aren't the only one. Dr. Singh stated in the media statement: "Our findings were discordant, with conflicting results. The challenge now is to figure out what it all means."Adding to the confusion is this statement by Dr. Singh: "We found no risk of stroke and cardiovascular mortality in the trials. That was very reassuring." Meanwhile, in the same media release, his colleague and co-searcher Vinodh Jeevanantham, M.D., an instructor of internal medicine and co-researcher on the School of Medicine study, said: "The amount of data on the outcome of bisphosphonate use is insufficient to make a definitive conclusion."Bottom line: in no way does the new study rule out serious heart rhythm problems resulting from taking widely prescribed bisphosphonates.And there's more news about a different kind of health problem potentially linked to the drugs, too. Two worrisome case studies were recently reported in Ophthalmologica: International Journal of Ophthalmology indicating bilateral uveitis developed after women took bisphosphonate drugs. Uveitis is comprised of a group of diseases characterized by intraocular inflammation that can lead to permanent blindness. The women recovered after going off the drugs.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Chiropractic Care May Ease Learning Disabilities

(April 15, 2009, Canto, GA). A renowned Swiss doctor has authored research which concludes that chiropractic care has benefited those with learning disabilities and should be included in a multidisciplinary approach to treat affected individuals.

The published work of Dr. Yannick Pauli – the president of the Swiss Chiropractic Pediatric Association – is entitled The Effects of Chiropractic Care on Individuals Suffering from Learning Disabilities and Dyslexia: A Review of the Literature. “Pauli’s culmination of data certainly gives hope to those afflicted and their loved ones,” said Dr. Mike Headlee, a chiropractor whose family wellness practice is located in Canton.

Of all school-age children in the United States, 3-10% are affected with a learning disability. These range from speech and language disorders to academic skills disorders like dyslexia (which affects 8 in 10 children diagnosed as learning disabled) and include motor skills disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

These neurodevelopmental disorders have long-term effects as well. It is not only about the inability to read, write or concentrate. The disorders may also interfere with self-esteem, family and peer relationships later on in life. And, they can cause loss of motivation and/or problems in socializing.

“Since most learning disorders are based in the brain, they are central nervous dysfunctions thought to be triggered by nerve interference or misalignments called vertebral subluxations,” added Dr. Headlee.

Pauli writes that these spinal misalignments “alter the quality and quantity of neural inputs to the central nervous system […] and result in an asymmetric function of brain hemispheres […], [thus preventing] the achievement of temporal coherence between the two hemispheres.”

“In other words, a reduction of spinal misalignment may restore proper joint and central nervous system function and improve motor balance overall,” noted Headlee.

In this analysis, Pauli also found that chiropractors are not primarily interested in the cure of cognitive and behavioral disorders. He states, “The chiropractor does not attempt to take over the role of a speech therapist, educational psychologist or neuropsychologist in diagnosing or treating the disorder, but rather offers a unique perspective by attempting to correct a central nervous system dysfunction thought to impair the individual’s potential to learn properly.”

Pauli explains that correcting the underlying cause may be the key in maintaining various cognitive abilities that are essential to learning, because the only source of constant stimulation to the brain comes from the spine. And misalignment of the spine causes inadequate stimulation of the brain, which in turn triggers problems throughout the body.

“It is important to point to Dr. Pauli’s call for a multi-disciplinary approach when assisting those with a learning disability,” said Headlee. “Chiropractic care – a combination of adjustments, proper diet and exercise plus a healthy mental approach – is not a cure all. But, it is a wonderful maintenance program for the nervous system. And, a full functioning nervous system allows the incredible organism known as the human body to do some amazing things,” concluded Headlee.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sweat to Beat Diabetes

Quick bursts of intense exercise could boost your diabetes defense, suggests a small study on young men. After two weeks of performing daily cycling sprints, participants showed improvement in their ability to regulate blood sugar. Until those results are replicated in older populations, however, endocrinologist Samuel Dagogo-Jack, M.D., recommends reducing your diabetes risk by engaging in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five or more times per week.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Pass On Processed Foods

Another reason to avoid processed foods: New research suggests that a high intake of inorganic phosphates (chemicals used to improve the texture of meats, cheeses, and baked goods) may increase your risk of lung cancer. Reporting in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers found that a diet abundant in inorganic phosphates prompted the growth of lung cancer tumors in mice (possibly by altering pathways involved in cell proliferation in lung tissue).

Along with staying away from cigarette smoke, you can give your lung health and overall wellness a boost by eating a mostly plant based diet, says American Institute for Cancer Research nutrition advisor Karen Colins, R.D.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What Are Trans Fats?

Did you know? According to a recent report, 92 percent of Americans know they should avoid trans fats, but only 21 percent can name three sources.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Increased C-Section Rate

A study indicates women who are short on vitamin D are more likely to have a cesarean section delivery. The findings can be attributed to the work of a larger study which looked at the vitamin D levels in women within 72 hours of delivery. None of the women in the study had previous c-sections, and the rate of cesarean deliveries during the study was 17 percent. Researchers found 36 percent of women who had delivered babies to be vitamin D deficient, and 23 percent were found to be severely deficient. The findings indicate that a woman with low vitamin D levels is four times more likely to deliver by cesarean than a woman with higher levels.Anne Merewood, an assistant pediatrics professor at Boston University School of Medicine and co-author of the study from the Boston Medical Center, says the theory behind these study results involves the connection between vitamin D deficiency and muscle weakness. The uterus, which is made of muscle, may possibly lose some amount of strength if a woman is significantly low on vitamin D. If a woman's muscles are weak due to a lack of vitamin D, this may hinder her ability to deliver the baby vaginally.But Merewood adds, "That is really just a theory at this point. We definitely haven't identified a causal pathway."Daniel Hirsch, an assistant pediatrics professor at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey, says it is too soon to tell if these findings indicate that pregnant women need extra vitamin D in supplement form. There are too many variables, he says, and larger studies are needed to confirm these results.However, the study certainly reveals a large percentage of women are very deficient in vitamin D. Women in general are more likely to be vitamin D deficient. Those with darker skin or in northern climates are at an increased risk.With research linking c-section deliveries with problems such as respiratory difficulties and longer hospitalization in newborns, natural prevention of c-sections is beneficial whenever possible. Obtaining enough vitamin D during pregnancy may prove to be very helpful.It is not difficult to naturally increase your intake of vitamin D. The body actually manufactures it in the presence of sunlight, so a few minutes (not hours) in the sun each day is highly beneficial. Eggs and tuna are good natural sources of this vitamin, although tuna consumption should be limited during pregnancy because of the risk of high mercury content. You can also drink milk that has been fortified with vitamin D.If you are pregnant and believe you are at risk for vitamin D deficiency, it would be a good idea to discuss this with your doctor. A blood test can determine if you are deficient. If you are, a few simple lifestyle changes and a daily supplement might be in order to keep you and your baby in optimum health.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Elderly Being Poisoned by Cocktail of Prescription Drugs at Hospitals

An estimated one in seven hospital patients suffer an adverse reaction to a drug they are prescribed there, with many of those reactions caused by drug combination effects, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust, and published in the journal PLoS One.The researchers observed more than 3,000 patients at 12 hospital wards for a period of six months. They found that taking a larger number of drugs placed patients at a much higher risk of dangerous side effects, and that adverse reactions were most common among the elderly."A significant predictor of adverse drug reactions in hospitals is the number of medications a patient is taking; each additional drug treatment increases the risk of experiencing an adverse drug reaction," said researcher Munir Pirmohamed. "This is one of the reasons why elderly people experience a higher incidence of reactions than young people, as they have more health conditions and generally take more medications."In more than 80 percent of cases, the drug that caused the adverse reaction was first given to the patient inside the hospital. The most common culprits were anticoagulants (blood thinners), analgesics (painkillers) and diuretics.Patients who had adverse reactions ended up spending an average of six hours longer in the hospital than those who did not. Reactions ranged from the relatively mild, such as constipation, to more severe effects such as confusion, drug-resistant infection, kidney damage or internal bleeding. Over the course of the study, 14 patients died in part due to adverse drug reactions, and one was killed directly by such a reaction."There is no easy solution, but we can and have to do better as it is putting a burden on the National Health Service," Pirmohamed said. "Hospitals should look to improve their monitoring of patients and doctors should also consider in what situations patients are given drugs, how long they are put on them and consider if it is always necessary. It is vital that doctors and patients understand the need to regularly review prescriptions and personally tailor treatment to clinical need."

Sources for this story include:;/

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Body Clock Regulates Metabolism

UC Irvine researchers have discovered that circadian rhythms – our own body clock – regulate energy levels in cells. The findings have far-reaching implications, from providing greater insights into the bond between the body's day-night patterns and metabolism to creating new ways to treat cancer, diabetes, obesity and a host of related diseases.

24-hour circadian rhythms govern fundamental physiological functions in almost all organisms. These circadian clocks are the essential time-tracking systems in your body. Disruption of these rhythms can profoundly influence human health.
In a new study, researchers showed that an enzyme protein which is an essential molecular gear of the circadian machinery interacts with a protein that senses cell energy levels and modulates aging and metabolism.
This suggests that proper sleep and diet may help maintain or rebuild the balance between your circadian clock and your metabolism, and could also help explain why lack of rest or disruption of normal sleep patterns can increase hunger, leading to obesity-related illnesses and accelerated aging.

Source: ScienceDaily (Mar. 19, 2009)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spring Cleaning for Your Body:

Traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, the ancient healing system from India, both recommend springtime as the ideal season to detox your body. The rebirth of nature that happens during this time harmonizes with a cleansing and renewing of your body. Plus, some of us tend to get lax about our diets and exercise routines during the cold winter months, which means come spring we’re ready to come out of hibernation.
Spring is an ideal time to detoxify your body, according to ancient healing traditions.
Why Do You Need to Detox?
Modern living isn’t exactly pure. Every day we’re exposed to chemicals in our food and water, pollution in our air, and emotional stress in our lives. Over time, these toxins accumulate in your body and can manifest as insomnia, fatigue, digestive problems, aches and pains or even chronic disease.
Detoxification gives your body a chance to rest, clear out toxins and become nourished. Generally this is done by first removing and eliminating toxins, then providing your body with healthy nutrients. There are numerous over-the-counter supplements you can take to aid in your detox, and some people even do so by fasting.
During a fast, your body uses up glucose, the body's main source of energy, and then moves on to its next source of energy, fat. It is therefore said that fasting helps with weight loss and to detoxify your body, as toxins from pollution, food, water and more that are stored in your body fat begin to dissolve and are released by your body.
There are, however, steps you can take right now to help cleanse and renew your body, none of which involve expensive supplements or extreme fasting diets, and we’ve described the top ones below.
10 Ways to Detox Your Body Naturally
Eat fresh, whole organic foods.
Processed foods contain preservatives, artificial colors and flavors and many other additives that are not good for your body. To really give your body a break, cut back on processed food and focus on whole, natural foods instead.
Adding more raw foods to your diet is also a popular way to start a detox, as eating raw foods is said to increase energy while boosting mood, slowing aging and fighting chronic diseases.
And as much as possible, choose foods free of pesticides, genetically modified ingredients and other additives.
If you must budget, choose organic animal products (meat, eggs and dairy) first, as they tend to accumulate toxins faster. Next, choose organic versions of the most heavily polluted produce, such as these 15 fruits and vegetables with the most pesticides.
It will help you relieve stress and improves your circulation and overall health.
Quit smoking.
Cigarettes contain over 4,000 different chemicals.
Drink more pure water.
Drinking pure water helps flush toxins from your system while helping your cells function more efficiently. But be careful not to drink just any water. A recent Environmental Working Group study found 141 unregulated chemicals, and 119 regulated ones, in U.S. drinking water supplies. And bottled water, which typically comes in BPA-containing bottles and may in fact be nothing more than bottled tap water, is not a safe alternativ.
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To put your mind at ease and get safe, superior quality water from your own kitchen, 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, a personal, reusable 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.
Remove contaminants from your shower.
When you step into your hot shower, you are inadvertently exposing your body to a slew of toxins that can damage your health, inside and out.
These toxins stem from a chemical that is added to the water supply on purpose, ironically to kill bacteria. The chemical is chlorine, and it's added to all public water supplies to kill disease-causing bacteria in the transport pipes and the water itself.
By taking a hot shower you end up absorbing over 600 percent more chlorine and other chemicals than you would from drinking the same un-filtered water all day!
The good news is that chlorine and other chemicals can be easily removed from your family's shower with The Wellness Shower Filter.
The Wellness Shower effectively reduces up to 99 percent of chlorine from your shower's water for up to 24 months, which is two or three times longer than any other shower filtration system available. But that's not all. The Wellness Filter concept was developed in the 1980s by Harusuke Naito, a renowned Japanese sports physiologist and Olympic swimming coach who wanted to produce "perfect water" for his professional athletic clients.
Haru believed that even subtle differences in water purity, surface tension and mineral content could affect body hydration, cellular function, and athletic performance. After extensive field research and study he began experimenting with various natural filtering media in an effort to produce the world's best water.
At the heart of its enhancement ability is an array of permanent, exotic media that until recently have not been seen outside of Japan. After the water is purified, these media induce into the water a unique combination of water-soluble trace minerals and ions that Japanese researchers believe aid the body's biochemical functions and cellular health.
In addition, the filter also contains a special far-infrared emitting ceramic media, which imparts reduced ions into the water. These ions provide a mild antioxidant effect in the body when consumed and on the skin when bathing. This aids your body in neutralizing free radicals, which are believed to be a primary factor in aging and in the development of cancer.
Use natural cleaning products in your home.
Using typical cleaning sprays and air fresheners at least once a week can increase your risk of asthma by 30-50 percent.
Instead, opt for PerfectClean cloths, dusters and mitts for all of your cleaning needs. PerfectClean terry cloths contain patented built-in antimicrobial protection and are made of ultramicrofibers that are only 3 microns in size, which is even smaller than many bacteria. Because of this unique ultramicrofiber construction, you can reduce the amount of chemical cleaners you use, or even eliminate them altogether.
So, unlike ordinary cleaning rags and sponges, you don't need to use chemical cleaners to achieve the deepest clean, which makes them perfect for anyone who's looking to keep toxic cleaners OUT of their home.
If you choose to use cleaning products, you can opt for natural varieties such as Enviro-Rite. Enviro-Rite has an excellent line of safe cleaning products -- they contain no hazardous ingredients, petrochemicals, perfumes, dyes or animal byproducts, and they have products for all of your cleaning needs, from carpet and upholstery cleaner to spot lifters.
Regular daily exercise is one of the best ways to help your body eliminate toxins and stay healthy.
Be careful of what drugs you take.
Sometimes medication is necessary, but you may want to think twice before constantly popping pills for every ache and pain. Many can cause side effects and may contain chemicals that can damage your kidneys.
Limit your alcohol intake.
Alcohol is a poison, and in excess amounts it will cause harm to your body. How much is too much? According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, most adults can use alcohol moderately -- meaning up to two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women and older people -- and not experience problems. (One drink equals one 12-ounce bottle of beer or wine cooler, one 5-ounce glass of wine, or 1.5 ounces of 80-proof distilled spirits.)
Switch to natural personal care products.
The vast majority -- some 89 percent -- of the 10,500 ingredients used in personal care products (products that you rub into your scalp and skin, spread onto your face and trust on your body) have never been evaluated for safety by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) panel, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or any other institution. has done the research for you and is happy to offer the following safe alternatives for your own personal care.
Surgeon’s Secret Skin Moisturizing Sticks -- an environmentally friendly way to truly moisturize and pamper your skin.
Vermont Soap Organics -- luxurious, super mild handmade bar soaps, liquid castile soaps and bath/shower gels.
Meditate and focus on the positive.
It's a simple (and free) way to detoxify your mind and spirit.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Chiropractic Care Helps Child With Headaches, Chronic Ear and Sinus Infections

Chiropractic Care Helps Child With Headaches,
Chronic Ear and Sinus Infections

(April 7, 2009, Canton, GA). An article published in Proceedings, a respected journal of the Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics of the International Chiropractors Association, reports the case study of an eight-year old female patient suffering from recurring headaches and chronic ear and sinus infections. The child had been through repeated rounds of antibiotic treatments and sinus surgery. Even the extreme procedure of two typanectomy surgeries to one of the child’s eardrums failed to alleviate her condition.

“Children are often plagued with sinus and ear conditions,” said Canton-based Mike Headlee, D.C. “This case study illustrates that when medical treatment fails to bring about the desired results, chiropractic care may be an effective alternative. It is a non-invasive approach.”

In the case of this 8-year old, the parents had taken their child to several medical practitioners, but symptoms persisted. The child’s regular pediatrician was about to recommend another tympanectomy and a continued regimen of antibiotics. Before following that recommendation, the parents took their daughter to a chiropractor.

The examining chiropractor found the existence of a subluxation in the child’s upper cervical area and, using sEMG scanning technology, evidence of muscle hypertonicity, or tightness, in both the cervical and thoracic areas.

“A subluxation is a misalignment of the spine that disturbs normal nervous system function,” said Dr. Headlee. “Many chiropractors, including myself, have technology that allows them to conduct Surface Electromyography (sEMG) tests to assist in locating where such conditions exist.”

The patient underwent chiropractic care, including spinal adjustments. After one month of such care, child and parents noted an absence of headaches, and sinus and ear pain had also decreased markedly. As a result, the planned third ear surgery was cancelled. The patient’s sEMG scans showed improvement, but chiropractic care was continued. After four months, the patient reported that headaches had ceased and that ear and sinus infections were absent. Her sEMG scans and x-rays were at, or near, normal.

“This is just one case study,” explained Dr. Headlee, and more studies are needed before any absolute conclusions can be drawn.”

Dr. Headlee’s chiropractic practice features the Insight Subluxation Station. This technology is certified by the Space Foundation, which was co-founded by NASA, and is used by 8,000 chiropractors worldwide to measure nervous system health and performance.

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).

Monday, April 6, 2009

Natural Options for Turning Breech Babies

About 4.5% of single baby pregnancies result in a breech (head up instead of head down) presentation. Breech presentations result in an increased number of Caesarean sections and an increase in perinatal mortality. Rarely are women who have breech babies allowed to attempt a vaginal birth. Because a C-section is a major abdominal surgery with associated risks and recovery time it is important to attempt to get the baby into a proper vertex (head down) position. An external cephalic version (an obstetrician manually attempting to turn the baby from the outside) is often attempted but can be very uncomfortable and poses its own risks. There are three other popular and effective alternatives available that do not carry the same risks and are much more comfortable.The Webster Technique is a chiropractic technique that is helpful in allowing babies to get into a proper position. Many people know of it as a "breech turning technique" but it really is about balancing the joints and ligaments of the pelvis to allow the uterus, and therefore the baby, to be in a proper position. A chiropractor who is certified in the Webster Technique will evaluate the woman's sacrum for a subluxation (misalignment) and adjust as necessary. Next, the chiropractor will gently release any tension being held in the round ligaments of the uterus with a gentle pressure at any tight areas. The technique is very gentle and usually very comfortable.Acupuncture is another option to use to help turn breech babies. Small, thin needles are placed in specific areas to facilitate the turning of the baby. Acupuncture treatments for turning breech babies are typically started between weeks 32 and 34 of pregnancy. Studies have shown that acupuncture alone has about a 70% success rate in turning a breech baby.Moxibustion is a third option and is often used in conjunction with acupuncture. Moxibustion is a traditional Chinese medicine practice which involves the use of burning a mugwort stick near a specific place on the pregnant woman's little toe. The moxibustion stimulation of this point (Bladder 67) helps to relax the uterine wall and increase fetal activity. Studies have shown it to have a success rate between 69% and 85%. Patients are often given these sticks to continue the treatment at home multiple times per day.Other conservative and gentle options for turning a breech baby include pelvic tilts, placing a cold compress (such as a cold bag of peas) at the top of the stomach (fetuses are sensitive to cold too), and swimming.

Sources:International Chiropractic Pediatrics Association ( Babies: Breech Birth ( Acupuncture Help to Turn a Breech Baby? (

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Myth Busted: Eating Eggs Has Virtually No Effect on Cholesterol Levels

Eating eggs does not significantly raise the body's cholesterol levels, according to a new study conducted by researchers from the University of Surrey and published in the Nutrition Bulletin of the British Heart Foundation.The researchers reviewed the results of several different studies on eggs and nutrition, concluding that eggs did not contribute significantly to the body's cholesterol levels. Although eggs are in fact a high-cholesterol food, the researchers note that only one-third of the body's cholesterol comes from dietary sources; the rest is produced by the body from saturated fats. As a consequence, saturated fat intake plays a far more significant role."The ingrained misconception linking egg consumption to high blood cholesterol and heart disease must be corrected," researcher Bruce Griffin said. "The amount of saturated fat in our diet exerts an effect on blood cholesterol that is several times greater than the relatively small amounts of dietary cholesterol."The researchers note that other factors, such as obesity, a sedentary lifestyle or smoking also have greater effects on cholesterol levels or the risk of cardiovascular disease than egg consumption does."The UK public does not need to be limiting the number of eggs they eat," Griffin said. "Indeed, they can be encouraged to include them in a healthy diet, as they are one of nature's most nutritionally dense foods." Up until 2007, the British Heart Foundation (BHF) recommended that people limit their intake of eggs to three per week, as a way of reducing the risk of heart disease. That advice is now considered outdated, however."We recommend that eggs can be eaten as part of a balanced diet," said Victoria Taylor of the BHF. "There is cholesterol present in eggs, but this does not usually make a great contribution to your level of blood cholesterol. If you need to reduce your cholesterol level, it is more important that you cut down on the amount of saturated fat in your diet from foods like fatty meat, full fat dairy products, and cakes, biscuits and pastries."

Sources for this story include:

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Colon Cancer Caused by Western Diet

A so-called Western diet eaten by the majority of Americans and many Europeans is loaded with meat, fat and processed foods. It also lacks complex carbohydrates. Put these facts together and you have a perfect recipe for developing colon cancer, Professor Stephen O'Keefe from the University of Pittsburgh, stated before the Society for General Microbiology meeting at Harrogate International Centre in the UK on March 31.So what specifically is the connection between diet, colon cancer and other diseases of the colon? According to Dr. O'Keefe, evidence has accumulated showing foods directly influence the amount and kind of microbes in the human gut. "Our investigations to date have focused on a small number of bacterial species and have therefore revealed but the tip of the iceberg. Our colons harbor over 800 bacterial species and 7,000 different strains. The characterization of their properties and metabolism can be expected to provide the key to colonic health and disease," Dr. O'Keefe told scientists attending the conference.In a statement to the media, he explained that when people eat a healthy diet with lots of complex carbohydrates, they have significant internal populations of bacteria called Firmicutes. These micro-organisms take undigested residues of both proteins and starches in the colon and turn them into short-chain fatty acids and vitamins, including folate and biotin, which maintain a healthy colon. One type of these fatty acids, called butyrate, not only keeps gut walls healthy but also keeps cell growth and differentiation under control -- probably the reason butyrate has been shown in human studies to reduce the risk of colon cancer.However, gut microbes can also make health-harming toxins from food residues, too. If you eat a lot of meat, for example, sulphur is produced that hampers the activity of "good" bacteria. The result, Dr. O'Keefe pointed out, is an increase in the production of hydrogen sulphide and other suspected carcinogens. "A diet rich in fiber and resistant starch encourages the growth of good bacteria and increases production of short chain fatty acids which lessen the risk of cancer, while a high meat and fat diet reduces the numbers of these good bacteria," he said in a press statement.According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), colorectal cancer is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the U.S. The American Cancer Society (ACS) web site states that approximately 108,070 new cases of colon cancer (53,760 in men and 54,310 in women) and 40,740 new cases of rectal cancer (23,490 in men and 17,250 in women) were diagnosed in 2008."Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in adults in Westernized communities," said Professor O'Keefe. "Our results suggest that a diet that maintains the health of the colon wall is also one that maintains general body health and reduces heart disease".

Friday, April 3, 2009

Diabetes Increases Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

New research confirms that diabetics have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the Stockholm Gerontology Research Center reported that people with diabetes are 70 percent more likely to develop Alzheimer's compared to those with normal blood sugar levels.Type II diabetes is characterized by insulin resistance, a condition where chronic high blood sugar levels have caused an overproduction of insulin. Along with many other side effects, high insulin levels produce inflammation in the body. This inflammation can cause damage in the brain."Diabetes does damage some of the vessels particularly neuropathy, which is when your nerves and vessels are damaged in your feet. And now they're saying that damage has gone as far as even brain cells," states Kelly O'Connor, a diabetes educator with Mercy Medical Center.Another study, led by Rachel A. Whitmer of the Division of Research at Kaiser Permanente in California, looked at the history of more than 22,000 patients with Type II diabetes whose records had been followed for eight years. The study revealed that higher blood sugar counts correlated with an increased risk of developing dementia. Those with very high blood sugar levels showed a dramatically increased risk of dementia."With the whole diabetes epidemic we're seeing much more Type II, so are we going to see even more Alzheimer's than we thought we would see? If we continue in this direction, it's a little bit frightening," says Dr. Whitmer.For someone with type II diabetes, when blood sugar rises, brain function begins to slow. This occurs even before a diabetic may notice symptoms of blood sugar swings, which is why it is so important for diabetics to develop lifestyle habits that help them control their blood sugar.The link between diabetes and Alzheimer's goes even deeper. In both diseases, there is a buildup of the protein amyloid--in the brain in Alzheimer's patients, and in the pancreas in those with diabetes. Too much insulin, a condition common in diabetics, can contribute to the buildup of amyloid in the brain."It by no means means that you're going to develop Alzheimer's disease, and certainly many people with Alzheimer's don't have diabetes," says Dr. Ralph Nixon of New York University, vice chairman of the Alzheimer's Association's scientific advisory council. His advice for diabetics is not to panic.While there may be no reason to panic, there is strong urging for both diabetics and pre-diabetics to take every measure possible to properly manage blood sugar levels. And since diabetes is a disease which develops because of years of high blood sugar, even people who are not yet at risk for diabetes should do what they can to stay that way.Managing your blood sugar is not at all complicated. Exercising and maintaining a healthy weight are two simple ways to combat diabetes. It's also important to consider how your eating habits affect your blood sugar. Refined carbohydrates and sugar are especially known for causing high blood sugar. Eating carbohydrates alone can cause blood sugar to spike, so try eating whole carbohydrates with some protein and healthy fat to prevent this. Making permanent healthy lifestyle habits is your best chance at preventing disease.