Sunday, December 13, 2009

Research suggests gene action through nutrition could cure diabetes

According to a study by Texas AgriLife Research, understanding the action of the PFKFB3 gene could prevent and possibly cure diabetes. Changes in nutrition, or supplements in the diet that activate the PFKFB3 gene could also control metabolic inflammation could reverse diabetes.

Study author Chaodong Wu, MD says "Because we understand the mechanism, or how the gene works, we believe a focus on nutrition will find the way to both prevent and reverse diabetes. First we will need to identify what effective compounds will trigger the gene to regulate metabolism, then we need to determine what combinations within foods are more effective."

Dr. Wu and colleagues identified the PFKFB3 gene as a regulator of metabolism. Diabetess leads to metabolic dysfunction because the body is unable to use glucose for energy. Inability of the body to metabolize food leads to high blood sugar levels. Activating the gene through nutrition could reverse that type of inflammation that causes diabetes.

According to Dr. Wu, being overweight does not necessarily cause diabetes. The researcher says "metabolic inflammation", that differs from classic inflammation from virus or bacteria, is the cause of diabetes. He believes that a nutritional plan could be developed to prevent or cure diabetes.

The study suggest that changing our diet could lead to a gene action that controls metabolic inflammation and might even sure diabetes. For now Dr. Wu suggests focusing on a healthier diet that includes fish and other seafood. Omega 3 fatty acids found in seafood also control inflammation. ◦

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Improved lung cancer survival found with anti estrogen drugs

Estrogen may play a role in lung cancer deaths. Anti-estrogen drugs used to treat breast cancer were found to reduce lung cancer mortality in women, according to results of a study from Switzerland. The therapy used for breast cancer treatment could also play an important role for improving survival of lung cancer patients.

According to Elisabetta Rapiti, M.D., M.P.H., medical researcher with the Geneva Cancer Registry, University of Geneva, Switzerland, "We found a reduction in lung cancer mortality among women treated with anti-estrogens for breast cancer. This work builds on previous studies that had suggested estrogens have a role in lung cancer development and progression."

The researchers say their findings could have important clinical significance for the treatment of lung cancer. The study included 6715 women diagnosed with breast cancer who were treated with anti-estrogen drugs in Switzerland between 1980 and 2003The anti-estrogen drug used was primarily tamoxifen, used in 46 percent of the women.

Forty cases of lung cancer had developed among women being treated for breast cancer. The incidence of lung cancer was the same with or without anti-estrogen drugs, but women who received it tamoxifen survived longer.

Anti-estrogen drugs could prolong survival in lung cancer patients.Phase II clinical trials are underway to evaluate the effect of anti estrogen drugs for improved lung cancer survival.

American Association for Cancer Research

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Senior doctors unite to form International Climate and Health Council

Yesterday a group of physicians launched the International Climate and Health Council. The goal is to drive policy makers toward action on climate change policies that affect human health. In conjunction with colleagues from Australia, Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, the group of doctors are speaking out about carbon emissions, climate change, and the impact on human health.

According to the group, failure to address climate change would lead to global catastrophe. Multiple studies show that even low level carbon emissions promote inflammation that affects respiratory health, even in unborn children whose mothers are exposed to particulate matter. Other impacts of climate change on health include increased risk of heart disease and stroke, second heart attack, and asthma.

The Climate and Health Council includes Professor Ian Gilmore, President of the Royal College of Physicians, Sir Muir Gray, Director of the Campaign for Greener Health Care, Dr Hamish Meldrum, Chairman of Council at the British Medical Association, Dr Fiona Godlee, Editor in Chief of the British Medical Journal and Lancet Editor, Dr Richard Horton.

According to Dr Fiona Godlee, doctors are in a position to push for climate change ..."because some of the necessary changes to the way we live won't please voters.”, adding "we have a responsibility as health professionals to warn people how bad things are likely to get if we don't act now. The good news is that we have a positive message - that what is good for the climate is good for health."

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a priority for reducing risk of disease in humans. The Climate and Helath Council coincides with a with a series of papers published by the Lancet on the health impact reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The senior doctors have united to warn politicians that climate change is needed to protect human health. Serious efforts to curb carbon emissions and produce sustainable lifestyles are needed to prevent catastrophe, according to the doctor's group.

Professor Mike Gill and Dr Robin Stott, co-chairs of the UK Climate and Health Council said, "This is the first step towards a global network of health professionals which by speaking out has the potential to protect and improve the health of people in both rich and poor worlds."

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bacteria in Cigarettes and more

New discovery shows cigarettes full of disease causing bacteria
Researchers from France have used a technique called DNA microassay to find that cigarettes are full of a variety of disease causing bacteria. In the past, scientists used small pieces of cigarettes and lab cultures to test cigarettes for bacterial contamination. Some of the disease causing bacteria also found in soil, responsible for food-borne illness and respiratory infections could have widespread implications for human health. Read more

Sexercise for women gets attention
Sexercise for women can prevent future problems and is getting renewed attention for its benefits. With age and repeated childbearing, urinary incontinence and organ prolapse of the bladder or uterus can lead to embarrassment and the need for expensive treatments. Sexercise for women can improve overall sexual function. The exercises can be practiced alone or with a partner, and are regaining some attention. Read more

How drug ads can harm health
Results of a new study shows that drug ads are not doing a good job at helping consumers improve decisions about their health. The findings, released online in the American Journal of Public Health November 12, offer some guidelines to minimize the potential harm to health spawned by drug ads that leave out information or misguide consumers. Drug ad opponents say pharmaceutical companies need to improve consumer information by answering important questions and providing more useful information to the public. Read more

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

BPA and Sexual Dysfunction in Men Linked and More

Work exposure to BPA linked to erectile and ejaculation dysfunction
In a first study that involves human exposure to Bisphenol-A, scientists find a link between erectile dysfunction and BPA exposure at work. The findings come from Kaiser Permanente and are published in the journal Human Reproduction, finding quadruple the risk of erectile dysfunction among men exposed to high levels of BPA, the chemical used to make polycarbonate plastics. Read More

Low fat diet better for mood than low carb

New research, published in the November 9 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine shows that dieters who consumed a low fat diet for a year experienced mood improvement compared to a group given a very low carbohydrate diet. A low fat diet might be best for improving mood, versus a low carbohydrate diet, though both are shown to lead to weight loss. Read More

N95 respirator not best for H1N1 flu protection
Lack of scientific evidence regarding the need for N95 respirators among health care workers has prompted three scientific organizations to urge that OSHA change current recommendations for personal protection from H1N1 flu among health care employees. N95 respirators that require fit-testing are not scientifically proven to be best to protect health care workers from H1N1 flu. Read More

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Stop Cancer by Curbing Obesity and Other Health Matters

Research links over 100000 cancer cases yearly to obesity
According to new research from the American Institute for Cancer Research, several types of cancer are linked to obesity. Weight management plays an important role in cancer prevention, yet public awareness of the link between obesity and cancer is low. Estimates show that that more than 100,000 cancer diagnoses each year are linked to obesity. Read More

Findings show green tea could halt oral cancer

Results of a new study from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center found that polyphenols in green tea could halt the development of oral cancer in patients with pre-cancerous cell changes. Researchers say that half of patients with pre-malignant lesions known as leukoplakia responded to treatment with green tea extract. The findings suggest that polyphenols found in the popular brew might halt oral cancer. Read More

Tai Chi is good therapy for osteoarthritis knee pain
If you are looking for a non-surgical option for painful knee osteoarthritis, Tai Chi might be the answer to pain and mobility issues. Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine have found that people over age 65 can increase mobility and reduce pain associated with knee osteoarthritis by performing Tai Chi exercises. Read More

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Antioxidants could fight respiratory effect of H1N1 flu and other Health Matters

Antioxidants fight H1N1 respiratory damage in studies
A series of new studies from University of Alabama researchers, published November 2009, show how antioxidants could help fight respiratory complications of H1N1 flu. Respiratory damage from the virus has taken a toll, leading to death in otherwise healthy individuals. Through a series of experiments, the researchers found that antioxidants, the type found in plant based foods, prevent lung damage from the H1N1 virus. Read more

BPA in canned food awaits FDA decision
The FDA will soon decide what level of BPA in canned food is safe for human consumption. Concerns about BPA and canned food liners and in baby bottles has raised health concerns among consumers. According to an online study from Consumer Reports, BPA was found in most name brand canned food; even some that are labeled “BPA free”. Read more

Gaining competency keeps us happy
A study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, October 29, 2009, shows that gaining competency by learning new skills can lead to long term happiness. Learning something new might make us frustrated in the moment, but ultimately leads to greater day to day happiness. The study also showed that feeling connected to others is an important psychological need that can lead to self satisfaction and well-being.
Read more

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Anti-cancer food, vitamin D deficiency, resveratrol and diabetes

How to Fight Cancer with Food
Eating a well balanced and nutritious diet is the best way to fight cancer with food. There are studies that support the notion that we can fight cancer with food by making the right choices. It is easy to incorporate cancer fighting foods into your diet. Remember to focus on fresh foods. Avoid processed and pre-packaged foods that contain chemicals. Read more

How to know if you have Vitamin D deficiency
Research shows how important it is to know if you are vitamin D deficient. Vitamin D deficiency can cause a variety of health problems, found recently in studies. The best way to know if you have a vitamin D deficiency is by asking your doctor for a 25-hydroxy vitamin D test. Normal levels of vitamin D in the blood are 30.0 to 74.0 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL), but there is ongoing research about optimal levels. Read more

Resveratrol in grapes could protect from diabetes
New research shows that rats fed high fat diets experienced lower insulin levels when scientists injected resveratrol from grapes directly into their brains. The findings suggest that resveratrol could be developed to target specific brain proteins, in turn offering some protection against diabetes in humans. Read more

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Benefits, Facts and Advantages Of YOGA

Consider the benefits of yoga as a valuable exercise that just might suit your needs. The gentle stretching of yoga, or more vigorous movements when desired, can be incorporated into your daily life, regardless of fitness level. We all need more exercise, and yoga has many benefits that are worth considering when choosing an exercise routine.

Yoga reduces depression, can improve balance, lead to mindful eating that reduces chances of obesity, and helps us learn to focus. Breathing associated with yoga can lower blood pressure, and help maintain blood vessel health. Yoga can help with sustained weight loss because it teaches us to focus on the moment.

Read the entire story at

More reasons to eat Mediterranean diet - It reduces depression

Focus on a Mediterranean diet is now linked to lower depression. Eating wholesome foods is important for good health.

Foods in the Mediterranean diet are consistently linked to better health, including lower risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and even cancer. Eating a Mediterranean diet is now shown to reduce chances of depression - a condition that also increases risk of many other diseases and chronic illness.

Foods in a Mediterranean diet reduce risk of inflammation, preventing wide variations in blood sugar. Researchers are not sure why a Mediterranean diet is linked to lower depression, but a recent study shows the benefits.

Read the whole story at

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Low Vitamin D found in women with breast cancer and other health matters

Women with breast cancer likely to lack enough Vitamin D
Results of a new study show that women with breast cancer are likely to lack enough Vitamin D to protect from bone loss and protect from fracture. The findings, from University of Rochester Medical Center, suggest that women with breast cancer should work closely with their doctor to ensure that vitamin D levels are adequate. Read more

Flexibility could lower heart disease risk
Findings of a new study reveal that people who can touch their toes from a sitting position have a lower risk for heart disease. Flexibility is normally associated with the muscles. New research shows that flexible muscles might also mean flexible arteries and less risk of heart attack and stroke among older adults. Read more

Soccer benefits for women beat running
A new study compares the benefits of soccer for women to running. Research led by Associate Professor Peter Krustrup, University of Copenhagen in collaboration with 30 other scientists shows that soccer has unique benefits for women that surpass running for fitness. Read more

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Well-Being Linked to Sexual Satisfaction in Women and other Health Matters

Study: Sexually satisfied women experience well-being

Results of a new study show that women who are sexually satisfied experience greater vitality and well-being compared to sexually dissatisfied women. The findings, published The Journal of Sexual Medicine, studied women age 20 to 65 to find the correlation between sexual satisfaction, vitality and well-being in women. Read more

High heels today cause foot pain later

Results of a new study show the importance of making smart shoe choices during our younger years. High heels worn by young women could cause hindfoot pain later in life. The study, published in Arthritis Care & Research, also reveals older men have less foot and heel pain with aging, making high heels, sandals, and slippers suspect for foot and ankle problems that primarily affect women. Read more

Researchers explore pets for health and happiness

Researchers from University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction (ReCHAI) are exploring how pets contribute to health and happiness. Pets could help us solve many of our societal problems by promoting psychological well being and by encouraging exercise, aiding in the fight against obesity and other chronic illnesses. Pet ownership can make us healthy and happy in ways that are not yet completely understood. Read more

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Toad Venom for Cancer Treatment and other Health Matters

Could toad venom cure cancer?

Scientists from MD Anderson are exploring toad venom for cancer treatment. The researchers say a drug used in China, huachansu, derived from dried toad venom, could slow the progression of cancer for some patients, following results of a Phase 1 clinical trial. Read more

Rub it on: Erectile dysfunction cream uses nanoparticles

Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have developed a nanoparticle delivery system using a cream that can be rubbed on to treat erectile dysfunction (ED). The unique delivery system allows controlled release of drugs and delivers nitric oxide to tissues that improves blood flow. Topical erectile dysfunction creams could prove to be safer than erectile dysfunction drugs taken orally. Read more

Green tea safe but unlikely to prevent cancer

According to a review from Cochrane researchers, green tea is safe for habitual consumption, but there is little evidence that shows the brew can prevent cancer. The conclusion that green tea probably cannot prevent cancer comes from a review of 51 studies of more than 1.6 million participants. Read more

Study review reveals cell phone health risks

A ten month review of cell phone studies from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) found there are indeed health risks associated with the radiation that come from cell phone use. Some phones emit higher radiation than others, meaning some cell phones pose even greater health risks than others. Read more

Exercise 101: Older women benefit from endurance training

Women who are post menopausal can make significant health gains by engaging in endurance training. With aging, aerobic capacity declines. Anew study shows that women in their 50’s respond as well as younger women to vigorous exercise. The benefits to postmenopausal women in the study included increased vigor, body shape changes, decreased joint pain, and new (smaller) dress sizes without weight loss. Read more

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Green Tea Boosts Bone Health and other Health Matters

Green tea boosts bone health in new study

A new finding from Hong Kong researchers shows that a specific ingredient in green tea can help bone cells grow. The same ingredient also blocked destruction of bone mineral, providing a boost that could help keep bones healthy and strong. Read more

Fatty foods signal brain to eat more

New research explains why we get hungrier when we eat fatty foods. According to a study from UT Southwestern Medical Center, saturated fat tells our brain to ignore signals that tell the brain to stop eating. The effect of consuming a high fat diet can last up to three days, causing us to stay hungry. Read more

Chinese plant root kills H1N1 flu in lab tests

Chinese scientists have found that the root of the Ferula assa-foetida plant, also called “Dung of the Devil”, kills H1N1 swine flu in lab experiments. The plant root, used during the Spanish flu epidemic is shown to have powerful effects against H1N1 flu. The results showed that "Dung of the Devil" was more effective against H1N1 flu than antiviral drugs currently on the market. Read more

Virus could trigger aggressive prostate cancer

Researchers have discovered a virus in prostate cancer cells. The new findings leave many unanswered questions about cancer’s origins. If the virus proves to cause cancer in humans, researchers could develop a vaccine, much like the HPV vaccine that prevents cervical cancer. Read more

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Study: How Manuka Honey Fights Infection and Other Health Matters

Manuka honey infection fighting power studied

Results of a new study show that Manuka honey can inhibit proteins in bacteria, including MRSA. The results show how helpful natural compounds are for helping humans treat disease. Researchers studied MRSA in the lab, finding that Manuka honey has properties that can kill bacteria, and that it is not just the result of sugars found in honey. Read more

Insomnia 101: It can hurt your heart

Results of a new study show that insomnia raises blood pressure during the night, and can lead to heart disease. Over time, insomnia can hurt your heart. Researchers from Université de Montréal, its affiliated Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur de Montréal Sleep Disorders Centre and the Université Laval recently studied people with insomnia, compared to people who sleep well, finding the connection between lack of sleep and heart disease. Read more

Depression treatment lowers breast cancer inflammation

Results of a new study show that women newly diagnosed with breast cancer experienced decreased markers of inflammation in the blood when therapy sessions were included to treat depression. Inflammation is known to promote cancerous tumor growth. Depression is known to increase inflammation, and can compromise breast cancer treatment outcomes. Read more

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Hookah Bars may Not Be Healthy and other Health Matters

Hookah bar health risks

With cigarette bans in full force in restaurants, the appeal of a hookah bar gains popularity in younger crowds. Appeal among young people has been increasing since the 1990’s, and more bars are popping up in the United States. Smoking herbal tobacco, called shisha, from at a hookah bar could pose health risks, but is currently the subject of some debate. Read the entire story

KFC has a new sandwich to promote dementia

Health conscious consumers should probably be wary of the new sandwich from KFC, called the double down sandwich. The sandwich eliminates bread altogether, putting Swiss cheese, pepper jack cheese, bacon and the ‘Colonel’s Special Sauce’ between two pieces of KFC’s original fried chicken filets to form a sandwich. The new sandwich from KFC offers a lot of meat – and a lot of fat. Read the entire story

Study: Chinese herbs could treat heart disease

Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston are actively studying the ingredients in ancient Chinese herbal remedies used to treat heart disease. The results show that the herbs have heart healing properties, akin to prescription medications typically used to improve blood flow to the heart. The findings open the door for further developing the specific ingredients found in Chinese herbal remedies for treatment of heart disease. Read the entire story

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Health News: Protein Injection Instead of Bypass and More

Protein injection fights heart disease by growing new blood vessels

A researcher from Tel Aviv has found a protein that grows new blood vessels "almost immediately", providing new hope for patients with coronary artery disease and other diseases of the blood vessels. An injectable protein has been shown to grow healthy new blood vessels within a matter of weeks, and has been tested with no side effects in animal studies. The findings could eliminate the need for cardiac bypass surgery, and help heart patients suffering from disabilities. Keep reading

Breast cancer 101: Review shows use of MRI before surgery needs more study

Women who face breast cancer surgery generally undergo MRI to find the extent of cancerous tumors. Results of a new review suggest that routinely imaging women with early stage breast cancer in preparation for surgery may do more harm than good, and that large randomized studies are needed to define the role of MRI for improving outcomes for women with breast cancer. Keep reading

Millions in America risk disease from lack of physical fitness

A new analysis from leading exercise scientist Steven Blair, PED, shows that 40 to 50million Americans are inactive, doubling their risk of disease and early death from inactivity and lack of physical fitness. Blair recently spoke at the American Psychological Society's (APA's) 117th Annual Convention. He says, inactivity among Americans is "the biggest public health problem of the 21st century", and he is asking psychologists for help to get Americans physically fit. Keep reading

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Black cohosh no help for hot flashes | Women at risk for cancer choose breast removal | Yoga helps weight loss

Study: Natural hot flash remedies no help for menopause

Results of a new study show that natural hot flash remedies, black cohosh and red clover offered no relief from hot flashes among women studied. Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University found that the natural hot flash remedies also had no effect on memory loss, a frequent complaint among menopausal women. Keep reading

Women at high risk choosing breast removal to beat cancer

According to a report in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, more women are making the choice to have their breasts and ovaries removed rather than risk cancer. The study showed that older women were less likely to opt for mastectomy, but were more willing to have their ovaries removed to beat the chances of ovarian cancer. Keep reading

Yoga can help with sustained weight loss

Results of a new study led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center shows that regularly practicing Yoga could help promote weight loss and maintenance. Preliminary findings of the benefits of Yoga for preventing thick waistlines mid-life were reported four years ago by Alan Kristal, Dr.P.H., and colleagues, prompting the current study. Yoga leads to mindful eating that could help with sustained weight loss. Keep reading

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Sugery for migraines, Zinc and immunity, Resveratrol discovery

Forehead surgery treats migraine headaches

According to the results of a new study published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery®, plastic surgeons have been able to cure migraine headaches by performing a modified forehead lift. Plastic surgeon Bahman Guyuron, MD, of Case Western Reserve University, says the type of forehead lift used to cure migraines could also lead to a more youthful appearance. Keep reading

Study says Zinc helps us fight virus and infection

Researchers at the University of Florida Center for Nutritional Sciences find that zinc boosts immunity and could help fight viral and bacterial infection. The study, published in the August 2009 print issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology suggests that zinc could be developed to treat antibiotic resistant infections because it stimulates activation of immune enhancing T-cells needed to fight viruses and infection. Keep reading

Resveratrol from red wine could treat major illnesses

Resveratrol in red wine is known for controlling inflammation and promoting health. Until now scientists did not understand how the ingredient in red wine works. New research from scientists in Scotland and Singapore shows that resveratrol from red wine could be used to treat major illnesses such as overwhelming systemic infection (sepsis), appendicitis, and peritonitis (a serious condition related to inflammation in the abdominal cavity). Keep reading

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Researchers Study Happiness Through Bloggers | Safe Ozone Levels Harm Lungs | Restless Leg Gene Isolated

Researchers use bloggers, Twitter to measure happiness

Researchers have found a way to measure collective happiness by mining data from blogs, Twitter and personal online writings. By just looking at the first few words of what bloggers and other internet writers have to say, a group of researchers from University of Vermont have successfully used weblogs of bloggers and other online writers to measure happiness. Read more

Study: Healthy lungs suffer from ozone levels deemed safe

Researchers from University of California Davis show that even healthy lungs can suffer from ozone levels believed to be safe. Ozone levels deemed safe have been found to have a negative impact on lung function after just a few hours of walking, cycling, or performing light exercise. Decreased lung function from exposure to “safe” ozone levels improved over several hours, but questions remain about what happens after repeatedly being subjected to low level ozone polllutants. Read more

First gene found linked to restless leg syndrome

Restless leg syndrome (RLS) is considered a difficult problem to treat. The origins and causes are a mystery. Researchers at the Mayo clinic have uncovered a gene mutation linked to restless leg syndrome. The findings may help scientists better understand the disorder. Read more

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Health Matters Blog: Fish Oils Reduce Risk of Dementia, Aloe Vera gel toothpaste, MRSA

Large study - Eating fish reduces dementia risk

A large recent study shows that regular fish consumption can reduce our risk of dementia, a condition that affects 24 million people worldwide. The benefits of fish oil have been widely studied. The new study is the first to explore dementia and dietary fish intake in low to middle income countries. Read more

Study shows Aloe Vera soothes pain and fights cavities

A new study shows that aloe vera gel in tooth gel can soothe pain and fight cavities. The findings, published in the May/June 2009 issue of General Dentistry, show that aloe vera tooth gel was as effective, and even outperformed some other commercial toothpaste when it comes to controlling mouth bacteria. Read more

How to avoid MRSA at the gym

MRSA (methicillin resistant staph aureus) has not gone away, and may even be here to stay. We have all been warned of the risks, and should continue to remain vigilant about spreading infection. MRSA might be hiding in your gym where you spend some quality time in search of healthy workout. Read more

Monday, July 13, 2009

Health Matters: Breast cancer, Childhood Obesity

Migraine Diagnosis Means Lower Risk of Breast Cancer

Scientists from the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center have conducted a second, more diverse and larger study that links migraine headaches with lower risk of breast cancer. The research follows previous findings examining breast cancer risk and migraine headaches among women age 55 to 74, in targeted geographic locations. Read more

Childhood Obesity Not Genetic Says Study

Results of a new study show that behavior learned from parents of the same sex may be responsible for childhood obesity rather than genetics. According to the International Journal of Obesity mothers who struggle with weight are more likely to have daughters who become obese. The same holds true for father and son. Childhood obesity does not seem to be genetic, but rather the result of influence from the parent of the same sex. Read more

Overweight Kids Suffer Depression, Loneliness

A new study shows that children who are overweight can suffer from depression and loneliness. A new study from University of Missouri shows that girls especially are affected, beginning as early as kindergarten. As obesity rates climb, researchers try to uncover the negative consequences of being overweight in childhood. Read more

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Can fewer calories extend life? High cholesterol foods may put us at risk for liver disease, Check out top lip balms for lip cancer prevention

Calorie restricted diet curbs disease and aging in monkeys

A twenty year study concludes that a calorie restricted diet helped primates live longer and disease free. The research comes from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center and the William S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital, showing that monkeys placed on a nutritious restricted calorie diet experienced fifty percent less incidence of diseases normally associated with aging - cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and loss of brain mass. Read More

High cholesterol foods linked to liver cancer and cirrhosis

For the first time, researchers have found a link between consuming foods high in cholesterol and liver disease. Diets high in protein and cholesterol are now associated with cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. Conversely, eating more carbohydrates may lower the risk of liver disease. Read More

Thirty two percent of balms no protection from lip cancer

We all know a day in the sun requires skin protection. Lip cancer is a reality and can happen without the right protection, yet thirty- two percent of lip balms offer low protection, or contain toxic ingredients. Sun exposure is a major cause of lip cancer. Read More

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Health Matters - Plenty of people use vibrators, Women who sleep less risk heart disease, Heartburn drugs can get you hooked

Survey shows vibrator use common among women and men

Good sexual health is an integral part of overall health and happiness. Results of two new studies reveal that 53 percent of women, and 45 percent of men, use a vibrator. The studies also show that using a vibrator enhances sexual health, and is associated with other positive health behaviors. Keep reading

Less sleep boosts heart attack risk in women

Researchers at the University of Warwick Medical School in the U.K have found that poor sleep can increase risk of heart attack in women - but not in men. Women who reported at least eight hours of sleep most weekdays had significantly lower inflammatory markers that increase risk of heart disease, measured by high reactive CRP levels and interleukin-6 (IL-6) in the bloodstream. Keep reading

Heartburn drugs may be addictive

Results of a new study show that popular heartburn drugs known as PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) may be addictive. According to the report, published in the journal Gastroenterology, taking acid reducing drugs for just eight weeks can result in dependency. When the drugs are stopped, symptoms of heartburn, reflux (regurgitation), and stomach upset occurred in forty percent of patients with no previous symptoms. Keep reading

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Mind Massage - Happiness Gene, Obesity Gene, Coffee Breath Mint, Alcohol and Deaths

My Articles on the Internet:

Happiness Gene Discovered

Researchers at Tel Aviv University suggest that happiness may be in our genes. Professor Yoram Barak of Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine is trying to find the happiness gene, which he says may be fifty percent responsible for happiness and a positive outlook. Happiness is not always easy to come by. For those without a genetic predisposition, finding happiness may be even more difficult. Read more

Obesity Linked to Brain

Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have isolated a new gene found in the central nervous system that increases risk of obesity. The gene is the third that links obesity to the brain. The new discovery of the obesity gene may explain the connection between the brain and obesity in individuals who possess a variance of the NRXN3 gene. Read more

Coffee Breath Mint Could Eliminate Halitosis

Breath specialist Professor Mel Rosenberg of TAU's Sackler Faculty of Medicine says contrary to popular belief, coffee does not cause bad breath. In fact, coffee may be more effective than a breath mint because it can really cure halitosis rather than masking it. Components in coffee are now found to reduce bacteria in the mouth that cause bad breath. Read more

Alcohol Causes One in Twenty Five Deaths

Alcohol abuse is now found to cause one in twenty five deaths worldwide. A new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Canada (CAMH) shows that the increased incidence of alcohol related deaths is primarily attributed to more women consuming alcohol. Alcohol addiction occurs mostly in younger people. The study targets alcohol as a major contributor to disease worldwide. Read more

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Treating Periodontal Disease may Help Rheumatoid Arthritis

New research shows that fifty-six percent of people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) also have periodontal disease. Studies continue to show the link between inflammation and gum disease and overall health. Individuals with periodontal disease also displayed more symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, including elevated anti-CCP (cyclic citrullinated peptide) antibodies, according to findings from researchers at Grigore T Popa University of Medicine and Pharmacy, Rehabilitation Hospital, Iasi, Romania.

Treating rheumatoid arthritis was also found to help periodontal disease in the study. After six months of RA treatment with anti-TNF therapy, used to prevent destruction of joints from rheumatoid arthritis, 20 out of 25 individuals studied showed significant improvement in the health of their teeth and gums.

According to Dr Codrina Ancuta who led the study, "There is a growing body of evidence to demonstrate an association between periodontal disease and systemic conditions involving inflammatory rheumatic disease (especially RA), cardiovascular disease and diabetes”. The link between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis is not surprising, given the mounting evidence that inflammation from periodontal disease can also lead to other systemic disease.

Studies presented recently at the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark (EULAR) also showed that just having periodontal disease increased the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.

Among forty-five individuals studied who had rheumatoid arthritis, blood testing revealed that having moderate to severe periodontal disease was also associated with increased markers in the blood, indicating more severe rheumatoid arthritis.

Unfortunately, many individuals forgo dental exams, especially those who are uninsured. Investing in the health of your teeth and gums has widespread implications for better health. The new study shows a significant link between periodontal disease and the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis. Taking care to prevent periodontal disease, combined with known treatments for rheumatoid arthritis, appears to limit symptoms for both diseases.

European League Against Rheumatism


Monday, June 8, 2009

Creative Problem Solving Easier with REM Naps

A new study shows that taking a nap can help with creative problem solving. Rather than waiting to figure things out, new problems can be easier solved by taking a quality nap – more precisely, a nap complete with REM (rapid eye movement).

The study, conducted by Sara Mednick, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at UC San Diego and the VA San Diego Healthcare System, and first author Denise Cai, graduate student in the UC San Diego Department of Psychology reveals that REM sleep affects the brain in such a way that creative processes are stimulated.

Dr. Mednick says, "We found that – for creative problems that you've already been working on – the passage of time is enough to find solutions. However, for new problems, only REM sleep enhances creativity." We have to wonder if a nap might become acceptable at work when new problems arise – Dr. Menick’s research suggests that the brain works better to solve problems by connecting associations between previously unrelated ideas during REM naps.

It is not just the quiet and lack of distraction associated with a nap that makes problem solving easier. To test the association between problem solving and taking a nap, the researchers gave a word association task to three groups of study participants, called a Remote Associates Test (RAT). The groups were asked to find a word to associate with three other words.

All of the groups were tested in the morning and again in the afternoon. One group was given quiet time, one group just rested, and a third group had a nap with REM sleep prior to the afternoon session. "Although the quiet rest and non-REM sleep groups received the same prior exposure to the task, they displayed no improvement on the RAT test. Strikingly, however, the REM sleep group improved by almost 40 percent over their morning performances”, says Denise Cai.

The authors concluded that taking a nap, complete with REM sleep, helps brain function by forming new networks, facilitating creative problem solving.


Monday, June 1, 2009

Tai Chi Reduces Arthritis Pain

Researchers from The George Institute in Sydney, Australia suggest that Tai Chi can improve quality of life for arthritis sufferers and reduce arthritis pain. Though no large studies have been performed, an analysis of existing data suggests that Tai Chi not only reduces arthritis pain, relaxes, but it also leads to an improved outlook regarding overall health status.

Tai Chi is a form of exercise that can be practiced alone or in groups. Reduction in arthritis pain is shown to occur with exercise, but Tai Chi is not considered a conventional form of exercise regularly prescribed for those suffering from arthritis in clinical settings.

The study, published in the June issue of Arthritis Care & Research, analyzed the results of seven controlled studies that used Tai Chi as a primary intervention for reducing arthritis pain, disability, physical function and quality of life. The findings show that Tai Chi can reduce arthritis pain.

The study, led by Amanda Hall of The George Institute in Sydney, Australia suggests that Tai Chi exercises should be supported to help arthritis pain. The authors write, “The fact that Tai Chi is inexpensive, convenient, and enjoyable and conveys other psychological and social benefits supports the use this type of intervention for pain conditions such as arthritis.”

Placebo controlled trials are needed to further the study of Tai Chi for reducing arthritis pain and improving functional status. The analysis shows that Tai Chi should be investigated as a useful modality to help arthritis sufferers improve quality of life, improve functional status, and reduce musculoskeletal pain associated with arthritis.


Saturday, May 23, 2009

Prostate Cancer Risk Drops with Herbal Preparation

A promising herbal preparation has been shown to reduce risk of prostate cancer in phase 1 clinical trials. Men with high-grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (HGPIN), between age 40 and 75 dropped their risk of developing prostate cancer by taking the herbal preparation Zyflamend.

The study comes from the Center for Holistic Urology at Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia. The herbal preparation was not shown to produce toxicity or side effects among twenty-three men studied with HGPIN, a condition known to precede prostate cancer.

Aaron E. Katz, M.D., senior author of the study says "Since we know that men with HGPIN have an increased risk for developing prostate cancer, new strategies formulated to decrease cancer risk, prevent or delay surgery, and improve quality of life, will be greatly beneficial for these men.” The herbal preparation was found to reduce spread of abnormal prostate cells that can be precursors to cancer, perhaps because of its anti-inflammatory properties.

The men reduced their risk of prostate cancer by taking Zyflamend for eighteen months, three times a day. The herbal preparation consists of holy basil leaf, curcumin rhizome, (Turmeric), ginger rhizome, green tea leaf, rosemary leaf and essential oil, Hu Zhang root, Chinese goldthread root, barberry root, oregano leaf, and skullcap root. Previous studies showing the anti-inflammatory effects of Zyflamend have also been performed, dating back to 2005.

Prostate cancer risk drops with the herbal preparation, according to the study, though the number of participants was small. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2009 there will be 192,280 men diagnosed with prostate cancer. Finding ways to reduce risk of prostate cancer using a safe herbal preparation may be worth discussion with your doctor.

Columbia University Medical Center


Friday, May 22, 2009

Vitamin D may Stop Cancer in Early Stages

Researchers at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego suggest that cancer in its earliest stages may be linked to low levels of Vitamin D, versus genetic mutations. The link between low Vitamin D levels and cancer may be related to loss of communication between cells, which in turn allows cancer to become aggressive. Maintaining adequate vitamin D levels may stop cancer in its early stages.

Lead researcher and epidemiologist Cedric Garland, DrPH, professor of family and preventive medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine explains, “The first event in cancer is loss of communication among cells due to, among other things, low vitamin D and calcium levels. In this new model, we propose that this loss may play a key role in cancer by disrupting the communication between cells that is essential to healthy cell turnover, allowing more aggressive cancer cells to take over."

The new view that low levels of vitamin D can lead to cancer rather than genetic mutations is dubbed DINOMIT. The proposed view of how cancer develops may have important implications for cancer prevention and treatment.

According to Dr. Garland, D" stands for disjunction, or loss of intercellular communication; "I," for initiation, where genetic mutations begin to play a role; "N" for natural selection of the fastest-reproducing cancer cells; "O" for overgrowth of cells; "M" for metastasis, when cancer cells migrate to other tissues, where cancer can kill; "I" refers to involution, and "T" for transition, both dormant states that may occur in cancer and potentially be driven by replacing vitamin D.” The study suggests that by ensuring that Vitamin D levels are not low, it may be possible to stop cancer in its earliest stages.

Maintaining vitamin D levels can be accomplished by supplementing with vitamin D3 at 2000 IU/day, and perhaps help with cancer prevention by keeping communication between cells intact. Dr.Garland suggests, “Vitamin D may halt the first stage of the cancer process by re-establishing intercellular junctions in malignancies having an intact vitamin D receptor."

More research is needed to establish how vitamin D and calcium could reduce cancer risk and improve outcomes for patients with breast, colorectal and prostate cancer, but for now Dr. Garland suggests annual testing for Vitamin D levels.

Source: University of California San Diego

Cedric Garland, Dr. P.H., discusses the expected vitamin D serum level for cancer prevention. Series: Vitamin D Deficiency - Treatment and Diagnosis [2/2009] [Health and Medicine] [Professional Medical Education] [Show ID: 15767]


Saturday, May 16, 2009

Chewable Aspirin Best during Heart Attack

Researchers find that swallowing or chewing aspirin during a heart attack work equally, as long as you choose a chewable brand of aspirin. A recent study measured how quickly three different aspirin types enter the bloodstream to help thwart heart attack, finding that chewable aspirin is best.

Education aimed at the public has make the message clear – aspirin can prevent damage from a heart attack by providing beneficial blood flow to the heart muscle when a heart blockage is suspected. Until now, no one was sure which type of aspirin provided the best protection during a heart attack.

Researchers from University of California measured aspirin levels in the bloodstream among a group of volunteers. The study, led by Dr. Sean Nordt, looked at the effect of regular whole aspirin swallowed, regular aspirin chewed, then swallowed, chewable aspirin swallowed completely, and chewable aspirin, chewed then swallowed. They found that chewable aspirin, swallowed completely or chewed enters the bloodstream rapidly, making it the best choice for heart attack.

The researchers say the simple findings can lead to better care of patients experiencing heart attack. Aspirin, when given early, can help in the prevention of heart attack, and the new study shows that chewable aspirin is best. If you have had a previous heart attack, or are at risk, keeping chewable aspirin at hand may be beneficial, provided you are not allergic, or have any history of bleeding problems.

Stroke can also be prevented by taking aspirin, but the American Heart Association does not recommend chewable aspirin for treating stroke symptoms. Some strokes can be caused by bleeding. Chewable aspirin could only make things worse.

If you think you are having a heart attack, call 911 before doing anything else. You may then be advised to take an aspirin. We now know that chewable aspirin is best heart attack prevention, thanks to the new research.


Four Simple Ways to Prevent Heart Attack:

Buy Omega 3 Fatty Acids - Known to Reduce Heart Attack Risk

Friday, May 15, 2009

Pathfinders Mind Body Program Helps Women with Breast Cancer

Researchers at Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center find that women with cancer can benefit through improved quality of life by participating in programs that address mind, body and spirit.

Amy Abernethy, M.D., an oncologist at Duke University Medical Center, lead investigator of the study says that Pathfinders, a program that takes a holistic approach to caring for women with metastatic breast cancer, helped women cope with their diagnosis of cancer, showing that a mind, body, spirit approach can help meet the psychological needs of women diagnosed with cancer.

The Pathfinder program utilizes hope, balance, inner strengths, self care, support, spirit and life review to teach women how to cope with being diagnosed with cancer.

“Even though the women were getting sicker and experiencing more symptoms related to their cancer, they reported that they felt less distress and despair as a result of being able to better cope with the cancer," explains Dr. Abernethy.

Tina Staley, director of Pathfinders says the goal is to teach women diagnosed with cancer effective ways to communicate with physicians, nurses, and Pathfinders, using a common language. The program also encourages women to seek alternative and complementary services.

"There is a growing body of data that shows cancer patients have unmet psychosocial needs, and with programs like Pathfinders we are able to care for the whole person. As a result, we found that this group of women reported a higher quality of life three months after being diagnosed than was expected”.

The study enrolled fifty women with a life expectancy of less than six months, diagnosed with breast cancer. The women met with a Pathfinder and social worker monthly, in addition to receiving e-mails, and telephone conversations to provide support. The women were taught how to find their inner strength, helping them to deal with breast cancer, and improving quality of life.

Duke Medicine News and Communications

Learn to Eat for Breast Cancer Prevention:


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Vibration Plate Exercise Better for Weight Loss, Belly Fat

Results from a study performed by the European Association for the Study of Obesity show that vibration plate exercises work better for sustained weight and belly fat loss than aerobic exercise and dieting, or dieting alone. The new study emphasizes that performing vibration plate exercise properly is essential. Combined with calorie restriction and aerobic activity, the results are encouraging, and may provide an alternative to using weights, because vibration machines contract muscles.

The researchers looked at the effect of the Power Plate 51, studying four groups of people over six months. The groups were given dietary counselling, delivered daily, and personalized for calorie restriction. One group only dieted, another dieted and performed vibration plate exercises, a third group performed aerobic exercises combined with calorie restriction, and a fourth group was used as a control, doing nothing for weight and belly fat loss.

Lead author of the study, Dirk Vissers, a physiotherapist at the Artesis University College and the University of Antwerp in Belgium led the study, and says this is the first time vibration plate exercises have been compared to other types of weight loss. The study showed that vibration plate exercise machines that are becoming popular in gyms work well for sustained weight loss, when used properly, and with supervision.

Vissers says, vibration plate exercise machines “are increasingly found in gyms across the industrialized world and have gathered a devoted following in some places, but there has not been any evidence that they help people lose weight. Our study, the first to investigate the effects of vibration in obese people, indicates it's a promising approach. It looks like these machines could be a useful addition to a weight control package." Vibration plate exercise was better for weight and belly fat loss, perhaps because the vibration adds something extra to workouts.

The study yielded better results for those performing vibration plate exercises, combined with dieting when compared to dieting alone. Vibration plate exercisers also lost more weight than the group performing aerobic exercise with calorie restriction. The group properly instructed on the use of vibration plate exercise machines not only lost the greatest amount of weight and belly fat, but they sustained most of the weight loss at one-year follow-up. Dieters did lose weight, but weight loss was not sustained. The control group in the study only gained weight.

Vibration plate exercise, over six months, yielded an eleven percent weight loss, trimming approximately seven percent of belly fat. After twelve months, total weight loss was sustained at 10.9 percent. The aerobic exercise group, who swam, ran, and performed resistance training three days a week lost seven percent of their initial body weight, sustaining weight loss at 6.9 percent after twelve months.

Vibration plate exercises resulted in trimming 47.8 sq. cm of belly fat when combined with a calorie-restricted diet alone, during the first six months of the study. Physiotherapists helped the group in performing lunges, calf raises, abdominal crunches, squats and pushups. Aerobic exercise and dieting resulted in 24.3 sq. cm of belly fat loss.

The researchers hope to continue studies on obese people, using vibration plate exercises on larger groups. Vissers explains if vibration plate exercises seem easy, you are not performing the exercises correctly. "Supervision in the beginning is imperative and the longer the better. What we see in gyms very often - people just standing on the machine holding the handles - is not going to do anything."

Calorie restriction, combined with proper use of vibration plate exercises might work better than aerobic exercise and dieting because of increased circulation to abdominal viscera, changing the harmful effect of hormones that lurk in belly fat. You can watch a short video about vibration plate exercise below.

What is the Power Plate? - Click here for more free videos

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Weight Loss is Easier with Competitions

Results of a new study show that people who enroll in weight competitions lose weight easier. Analysis of the Shape up Rhode Island 2007 weight competition showed encouraging results that weight loss competitions work.

The internet-based program showed that weight loss competitions could help people lose weight at low cost, while targeting large groups of people, helping in the fight against obesity.

Rena Wing, professor of psychiatry and human behavior at the Waren Alpert Medical School of Brown University examined the results of the weight loss competition in Rhode Island. “We evaluated the results and showed that this is an effective way to reach large numbers of people.” The weight loss competition was developed by conceived and implemented by Rajiv Kumar, a study co-author and a medical student at the Alpert Medical School.

The weight loss competition reduced obesity rates from 39 percent to 31 percent. Increases in activity resulted in the greatest amount of weight loss. Shape up Rhode Island was started in 2005. Teams compete for weight loss, pedometer steps and exercise minutes.

Team members who completed at least twelve weeks of the weight loss competition lost a modest amount of weight, and included 70.2 percent of the original participants. Those who were heaviest lost the most amount of weight.

Weight loss competitions encourage people to keep moving, promoting more exercise and weight loss. The researchers hope the study will spawn similar programs that involve large numbers of people in weight loss competitions. Losing weight is easier when performed as a group, and as a competition.

For the weight loss competition, 62 per cent of employers paid the $15 fee for their employees. The current study shows encouraging results for fighting obesity through weight-loss competitions.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Study Shows Dairy Intake Best for Bone Health

Eating foods fortified with calcium, or taking calcium supplements may not be as good as dairy intake according to a new study from Purdue University. Researchers looked at the difference in bone health between rats fed a nutritious diet supplemented with calcium carbonate and rats given dairy products.

The study showed that dairy intake led to the best bone health between the two groups of rats. After ten weeks of diet followed by comparison of bone measurements, the rats given non-fat dry milk had longer, stronger, and denser bones than those fed calcium carbonate.

Kids drink plenty of milk early in life. According to the study, dairy intake then declines, likely from peer pressure. Bone health later in life is best facilitated by a steady intake of dairy products throughout life, suggested by the current study.

Professor Connie Weaver, head of the food and nutrition department at Purdue University says, "A lot of companies say, if you don't drink milk, then take your calcium pills or calcium-fortified food. There has been no study designed properly to compare bone growth from supplements and milk or dairy to see if it has the same effect. We found it was an advantage having milk or dairy while bones were growing over calcium carbonate, and it protects you later in life."

Weaver also says it is not just about the way calcium is absorbed. Rats given half as much calcium in adulthood still maintained better bone health, compared to rats who did not receive dairy products when they were younger.

"It's not due to increased calcium absorption. It's more about protecting against bones losing calcium, according to our results of calcium metabolism. Bones are in constant turnover, especially when they are growing. Youth need to have bone formation to outweigh bone loss."

More research will reveal why dairy products, equivalent to 1300 mg. of calcium daily from milk, yogurt and cheeses leads to better bone health, compared to food fortified foods and calcium carbonate supplements. Natural whole food sources of nutriton seem to offer our best options for optimal health, and in this study, dairy intake is shown to be best for bone health.

Enjoy a video all about milk.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Diabetic Study Shows Laughter is Good for the Heart

Laughter has been studied as a way to better health. Laughter Yoga clubs have been gaining popularity worldwide. Diabetes is associated with an increased risk for heart disease, and a new study shows that laughter is literally good for the heart. Laughter can reduce heart disease risk among diabetics. The study showed that regular laughter lowered all markers of inflammation among the diabetics studied, resulting in a lower risk of heart disease.

Laughter induces the release of beta-endorphins, improving mood. Laughter also releases the beneficial hormone HGH (human growth hormone), necessary for optimal cellular function.

Diabetics who chose funny videos to watch for twelve months were compared to diabetics who received standard medical care alone. Both groups of diabetics received medication for diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure management throughout the study.

Researchers Lee Berk, DrPH, MPH, a preventive care specialist and psychoneuroimmunologist, of Loma Linda University, and Stanley Tan, MD, PhD an endocrinologist and diabetes specialist at Oak Crest Health Research Institute found that the diabetics, who regularly engaged in laughter from watching self-chosen humorous videos, were able to raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels, and lower stress hormones after two months.

After twelve months, the diabetics who regularly laughed had a twenty-six percent increase in HDL cholesterol. C-reactive protein levels (a marker of inflammation) was lowered by sixty-six percent as the result of laughter. Compared to the diabetics who received standard medical treatment alone, and not prescribed a regular regimen of laughter, the scientists saw a three percent rise in HDL, and a twenty-six percent reduction in C-reactive protein.

The study builds on previous research about the beneficial health effects of laughter. Dr. Berk, a pioneer of laughter studies beginning in the 1980’s says, “The best clinicians understand that there is an intrinsic physiological intervention brought about by positive emotions such as mirthful laughter, optimism and hope.
"Lifestyle choices have a significant impact on health and disease and these are choices which we and the patient exercise control relative to prevention and treatment,” sats Berk.

Regular laughter, combined with a positive outlook is now shown to be good for the heart – seen in the newest study that included twenty high-risk diabetics who lowered their risk of heart disease as a result of regular laughter.

Enjoy a heart healthy laugh:


Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rejection Teaches us to Spot a Phony Smile

Can you spot a phony smile? If so, you may be feeling rejected.

Last year Psychological Science published a study (October 2008), showing that social rejection improves one’s ability to recognize a phony smile.

Psychologist Michael J. Bernstein and his colleagues from Miami University set out to see how well rejected individuals could identify a phony smile. The researchers asked a group to think about a time they felt isolated socially. Another group was asked to think about a time when they were included in social activities, and felt accepted. As a control, a third group was asked to merely think about what they did the previous morning.

The group of psychologists then showed movies to the study participants. Some movies contained people smiling genuinely, while others displayed fake smiles. The results showed that socially rejected people were better able to spot a phony smile.

The researchers concluded that rejected people are more motivated to sniff out disingenuous behaviors, like a phony smile. Conversely, detecting genuine smiles might mean a chance for acceptance.

“It seems essential to detect legitimate signs of positivity that indicate possible reaffiliation with other people. Otherwise, rejected individuals could miss out on new chances for acceptance or 'waste' affiliation efforts on people who are not receptive."

Feelings of social acceptance lead to better overall physical and mental health. Avoiding people with phony smiles should simply make us all feel better.

Can you spot a phony smile?


Saturday, April 11, 2009

Omega 3 Fatty Acids Help Cancer Patients Maintain Muscle Mass

A new study shows that omega 3 fatty acids can prevent loss of muscle mass and preserve body composition in patients who undergo surgery for esophageal cancer.

Scientists from Dublin conducted a randomized double-blind study to find astonishing effects of omega 3 fatty acids for helping cancer patients maintain muscle mass following lengthy and usually debilitating major surgery for cancer of the esohagus.

Lead researcher John V. Reynolds, Professor of Surgery at Trinity College Dublin and St James’s Hospital and colleagues compared nutritional supplements given to cancer patients before and after cancer surgery. The study showed that a purified form of EPA from Omega 3 fatty acids, given orally in liquid form, resulted in preservation of muscle mass. Patients who were given a nutritional boost without omega 3 fatty acids experienced weight loss comprising 100% loss of muscle mass.

Dr. Reynolds explains, “The surgery is a serious operation lasting several hours and can take weeks to recover from surgery and up to six months to recover pre-illness quality of life. Weight loss is extremely common both before and especially after this type of surgery, and any approach that can preserve weight, in particular muscle weight and strength, may represent a real advance”.

Dr. Reynolds suggests that omega 3 fatty acids, given five days before any major surgery, immediately after, and for three weeks thereafter, could help any patient having major surgery recover more quickly. Maintaining muscle mass after major surgery led to fewer complications, less inflammation and fever, quicker recovery among the group who received omega 3 fatty acids. The purified EPA from omega 3 fatty acids used in the study was more expensive, but in the end, the researchers say omega 3 fatty acids, used as nutritional support for surgery patients, could save health dollars.

For the study, the researchers used two types of nutritional supplements with the same amount of calories, protein and other nutrients, beginning five days before the patients were scheduled for surgery for esophageal cancer. One group took the omega 3 fatty acid supplement.

For fourteen days after cancer surgery of the esophagus, nutrition was given to the patients through a feeding tube. Both groups continued nutrition for three weeks after surgery. The patients given omega 3 fatty acids maintained body composition, but the control group had severe weight loss after esophageal cancer surgery, losing an average of four pounds of muscle mass.

Dr Aoife Ryan PhD, a research dietitian at St James’s Hospital, Dublin says the benefits seen from omega 3 fatty acids among the cancer patients are significant.

“The results were extraordinary in the sense that no previous nutritional formulation had revealed such an outcome, with supplemented patients maintaining all aspects of their body composition in the three weeks following surgery. Patients given the standard supplement without omega 3 lost a significant amount of weight comprising 100% muscle mass. In fact, 68% of patients suffered ‘clinically severe’ weight loss post surgery in the standard group (without omega 3) versus only 8% in the omega 3 group. The significant finding was that the patients did not lose just fat, as one would expect with weight loss, but instead they depleted their muscle stores significantly. Research has shown that a loss of 5lbs of weight produces significant effects on quality of life and a patient’s ability to mobilise and perform simple activities of daily living. Losing 4 lbs of muscle is even more significant”.

The researchers would like to see more studies to determine whether nutritional supplementation with omega 3 fatty acids, given throughout cancer treatment should be considered. He says the findings are unlikely to be unique to patients who undergo cancer surgery. Any patient in need of major surgery for problems unrelated to cancer might benefit from the added nutritional provided by omega 3 fatty acids including liver transplantation or major cardiac surgery.

Source: Trinity College Dublin

You can buy essential fatty acids from: Good Health USA, including Krill oil, Eskimo oil, and Hemp oil. Omega 3 fatty acids have many benefits including promotion of good cholesterol levels. Omega 3 fatty acids control inflammation in the body. Omega 3 fatty acids also reduce the risk of heart disease, and may also help protect men from developing advanced prostate cancer.

Never take nutritional supplements that can interfere with bleeding or other medications without your doctor's knowledge. ◦