Monday, December 29, 2008

Could Marijuana Substance Help Prevent Or Delay Memory Impairment In The Aging Brain?


If you really think about it, how many deaths were caused because of Marijuana? NONE! But with Alcohol and Tobacco: millions of deaths reported. I think it should be legalized. And that we should ban Alcohol and Tobacco. I mean Weed isn't all bad. I have never tried it, but I don't do all three that's for sure. haha But read it up on the internet, that Weed is harmless! Their research suggests that the development of a legal drug that contains certain properties similar to those in marijuana might help prevent or delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Though the exact cause of Alzheimer’s remains unknown, chronic inflammation in the brain is believed to contribute to memory impairment.

Any new drug’s properties would resemble those of tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the main psychoactive substance in the cannabis plant, but would not share its high-producing effects. THC joins nicotine, alcohol and caffeine as agents that, in moderation, have shown some protection against inflammation in the brain that might translate to better memory late in life.

“It’s not that everything immoral is good for the brain. It’s just that there are some substances that millions of people for thousands of years have used in billions of doses, and we’re noticing there’s a little signal above all the noise,” said Gary Wenk, professor of psychology at Ohio State and principal investigator on the research.

Wenk’s work has already shown that a THC-like synthetic drug can improve memory in animals. Now his team is trying to find out exactly how it works in the brain.

The most recent research on rats indicates that at least three receptors in the brain are activated by the synthetic drug, which is similar to marijuana. These receptors are proteins within the brain’s endocannabinoid system, which is involved in memory as well as physiological processes associated with appetite, mood and pain response.

This research is also showing that receptors in this system can influence brain inflammation and the production of new neurons, or brain cells.

“When we’re young, we reproduce neurons and our memory works fine. When we age, the process slows down, so we have a decrease in new cell formation in normal aging. You need those cells to come back and help form new memories, and we found that this THC-like agent can influence creation of those cells,” said Yannick Marchalant, a study coauthor and research assistant professor of psychology at Ohio State.

Marchalant described the research in a poster presentation November 19 at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in Washington, D.C.

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Thursday, December 18, 2008

Birth Control Methods


I've been taking birth control for regulating my period and I also learned that it helps you out with preventing ovarian cancer as well. Which is also an upside. But a lot of women always have a hard time figuring out which birth control methods work out for them.
“Basically, all of these methods were similar in preventing pregnancy,” said lead investigator Laureen Lopez, Ph.D., research associate at Family Health International in Research Triangle Park, N.C.

Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration added warning data to the drug label for the contraceptive skin patch, advising users that the women using the patch have a greater risk of blood clots than pill users. The study prompting the FDA action was not part of the review.

For the review, the researchers looked at 11 randomized controlled trials — three comparing the patch to the pill, and eight comparing the ring to the pill — comprising more than 6,000 women.

Women using the patch were more likely to use the medication as prescribed than those on the pill were. However, patch users experienced more side effects and were more likely to abandon their method eventually than pill users were.

Ring users generally had fewer serious side effects than pill users, but had more vaginal irritation and discharge. Despite this, vaginal ring users tended to stick with their approach longer than the pill group.

The patch is a small adhesive square that dispenses hormones and which a woman must replace every week for three weeks, and then leave off for a week. The Ortho Evra contraceptive patch is the only patch approved for use to date.

The NuvaRing, which Organon manufactures, releases hormones into the vaginal cavity. A woman inserts the ring, a flexible piece of plastic tubing, where it remains for three weeks; she then removes it for one week. Many consider the ring and patch easier to use than birth control pills because women do not have to attend to them every day.

Compared with pill users, patch users had more bleeding breakthroughs, breast discomfort, painful periods, and nausea and vomiting. Rings users, on the other hand, had more vaginal irritation and discharge. Of the two, patch users tended to discontinue the method more readily.

The contraceptive review updates one done in the past, for which only two studies of the patch versus the pill were available. The ring data are new. For all methods, several studies had women drop out, which can limit the value of the results according to the researchers.

“Women who used the ring had fewer bleeding problems than those on the pill, but they did have irritation,” Lopez said. “But discontinuation was similar for the ring and the pill in most of the studies.”

Clinicians have seen the ring increase in popularity, Lopez added.

Mitchell Creinin, M.D., professor and director of gynecological specialties at the University of Pittsburgh, is familiar with all of the review studies. “It all comes back to compliance.” Creinin said. “Once a week versus once a day, twice as much hormone entering the body (with the patch), or half as much (with the ring).”

Creinin, who was not involved with the review, said it is important to understand the people who would enter these studies: “These studies were done primarily when only the pill was available. Women who were unhappy with their present method of birth control were the ones likely to enter them.” He noted that the results differ among studies between European and American women. “North American women tend to have more complaints and are less compliant,” he said.

Overall, Creinin said, women are happy with their birth control because they are not getting pregnant.

Lopez said that women have to consider many issues when choosing a method of birth control. Ease of use, side effects and life situation are each important. For a contraceptive to be effective, the woman must be willing and able to follow the prescribed regimen.

“Women are finally beginning to understand that taking a pill every day is difficult.” Creinin said. He is working on an upcoming study comparing the ring to the patch.

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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Can Tilapia Be Bad?


Like many, possibly millions, of other people in the world, I began to recently enjoy and incorporate the fish, Tilapia, into my diet. This usually bland fish was perfect to manipulate and add whatever flavors I wish to have that day. I felt very proud of myself, being able to cut down on my four-legged meats and add more fish into my diet. I felt I was on the right track, maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

However, I recently came upon an article that shook me out of my tilapia eating ways. The article discussed the possible negative effects of eating farm-raised tilapia. I did further research and came upon a very credible source, Andrew Weil, MD. Dr. Weil states that eating fish IS good for you, but the type of fish matters. He recommends eating fish high in levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, such as wild Alaskan salmon or black cod. The problem with tilapia? According to a study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, they found that farm raised tilapia contained very low levels of omega-3 fatty acids and very high levels of omega-6 fatty acids. Omega-6 is not necessarily bad for you, but we get much more of these fatty acids than we need. They're found in many of the snack foods we consume search as cookies and crackers. Omega-3 fatty acids are the fatty acids that are constantly promoted and praised about. They're good for your brain as well as being anti-inflammatory. Researchers claim that the combination of fatty acids in tilapia could pose a danger to people with heart problems, arthritis, and asthma.

So should we stop eating tilapia? That's the question I asked myself when I learned of the possible health risks associate with tilapia. Well Dr. Weil states, "I would not characterize farmed tilapia as "dangerous," but there are certainly better choices out there." I guess the bottomline is balance. Don't eat to much tilapia so that you decrease the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids. Incorporate the necessary nutrients into your life and remember eating fish IS good for you, it's just the type of fish that matters.

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Saturday, December 6, 2008

Vegetarian and Iron Deficiency


I once tried to be a vegetarian. I cut out all meats and tried to live on vegetables and tofu. I was young and enthusiastic and after a few days, I began to few unwell. I felt fatigued and lost a lot of energy. I decided then that maybe being a vegetarian wasn't for me, and began my life as a meat-eater again.

A few years later I took a nutrition course and learned of what is called Iron Deficiency. My professor then said, "Many people who attempt to become vegetarians are iron deficient because they don't know how to do it correctly. They don't get enough iron in their body." She might have said it differently but it was something like that. I knew then, that I was one of those people who didn't go vegetarian correctly.

In an article found on the Savvy Vegetarian website, they discuss being vegetarian and avoiding iron deficiency. A well-balanced vegetarian diet can provide all the necessary amouont of iron that one needs daily. However, it is not only the amount of iron that is consumbed by the body, it is the amount that is absorbed that is significant. Some research shows that vegetarians may absorb only 10% of what they consume while omnivores absorb about 18%. Some factors may help absorption such as Vitamin C and leavened bread.

The bottomline is, being vegetarian is great. You save the lives of animals as well as live a more healthy and saturated fat free life style. However, it is important to not neglect the body of its nutritional needs such as iron. According to the Savvy Vegetarian, if you are concerned about your iron intake, take a simple blood test at your hospital or local medical center, and speak to your doctor about what you can do to increase your iron intake and absorption.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

New HIV Cases Could Be Reduced By 95% With Universal Voluntary Testing And Immediate Treatment


As you all know, HIV/AIDs were and always will be sucha a tragic epidemic. It's sad that they have yet to find a cure that will absolutely take away this problem that has been around for many many years. But this is why I absolutely love Science Daily just because you find out so much! haha Authors of the study also report that the universal voluntary testing followed by immediate ART could have additional public health benefits, including reducing the incidence of tuberculosis and the transmission of HIV from mother to child. Additionally, the model suggests that there could be a significant reduction of HIV-related morbidity and mortality in resource-limited countries with generalized HIV epidemics.

The current WHO policy on treatment involves voluntary testing and clinical and/or immunological evaluation (e.g. CD4 count) to determine eligibility for treatment with antiretrovirals.

The authors emphasize the theoretical nature of the exercise based on data and raise a number of concerns regarding feasibility, including the protection of individual rights, drug resistance, toxicity and financing challenges.

The paper does not signal a change in WHO guidance. WHO-recommended preventive interventions need to be maintained and expanded. This includes male circumcision, partner reduction, correct and consistent use of condoms, and interventions targeting most-at-risk populations, also known as "combination prevention."

WHO will convene a meeting early next year bringing together ethicists, funders, human rights advocates, clinicians, prevention experts and AIDS programme managers to discuss this and other issues related to the wider use of antiretroviral therapy for HIV prevention.

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Category: Clearance
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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

8 Glasses of Water Per Day


I'm speaking for myself, when I say that I don't regularly drink 8 glasses of water a day. But hey I'm still alive! haha I wonder if I don't drink that then my life expectancy will be shortened. But here I found a great article that goes with the mandatory rule of 8 glasses a day. In an invited review published online by the American Journal of Physiology August 8, Valtin, professor emeritus of physiology at Dartmouth Medical School, reports no supporting evidence to back this popular counsel, commonly known as "8 x 8" (for eight, eight-ounce glasses). The review will also appear in a later issue of the journal.

Valtin, a kidney specialist and author of two widely used textbooks on the kidney and water balance, sought to find the origin of this dictum and to examine the scientific evidence, if any, that might support it. He observes that we see the exhortation everywhere: from health writers, nutritionists, even physicians. Valtin doubts its validity. Indeed, he finds it, "difficult to believe that evolution left us with a chronic water deficit that needs to be compensated by forcing a high fluid intake." The 8 x 8 rule is slavishly followed. Everywhere, people carry bottles of water, constantly sipping from them; it is acceptable to drink water anywhere, anytime. A pamphlet distributed at one southern California university even counsels its students to "carry a water bottle with you. Drink often while sitting in class..."

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Category: Health Concern

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Urinary Tract Infections Don't Sound Too Bad

I decided to write a blog about this just because I was recently diagnosed with it. And let me tell everyone who reads this blog, UTI's are no joke. I remember reading that they were really common, especialy towards women of all ages. I never would have thought that I would get it and I did. I think I remember readings that one out of every five women have come across a Urinary Tract Infections. But how could we stop this?

There's a few ways of catching a UTI that everyone should avoid. Sexual Intercourse is one of the ways you can get it. When you have sexual intercourse it is vital that you urinate right after so you can flush all the germs out of your body. Another way of catching it is wearing tight clothes, and last but not least: you can get it by not drinking enough water. I'm sure there are other ways of catching the virus.

What is UTI? Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the most common infections of childhood. It distresses the child, concerns the parents, and may cause permanent kidney damage.

In some instances, UTI results in recognition of an important underlying structural or neurogenic abnormality of the urinary tract. The febrile infant or child with clinically significant bacteriuria and no other site of infection to explain the fever, even in the absence of systemic symptoms, has pyelonephritis (ie, upper UTI). Children with a UTI and voiding symptoms, little or no fever, and no systemic symptoms have lower UTI (cystitis).

The site of infection is often unclear when a child with pyuria and clinically significant bacteriuria has another potential source of fever (eg, otitis media, pharyngitis). When UTI is diagnosed in a child, an attempt should be made to identify any risk factors for the UTI (eg, anatomic anomaly, voiding dysfunction, constipation).

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Monday, November 24, 2008

High-Protein Meals Help Heavy Folks Burn Fat


Higher-protein meals may help overweight and obese people burn more fat, the results of a small study suggest. Research has shown that overweight people are less efficient at burning fat after a meal than thinner people are. In the new study, Australian researchers looked at whether the protein composition of a meal affects that weight-related gap. They found that overweight men and women burned more post-meal fat when they ate a high-protein breakfast and lunch than when they had lower-protein meals. That is, the added protein seemed to modify the fat-burning deficit seen in heavy individuals.

"Our research suggests that people with higher body fat burn fat better after a high-protein meal than people with lower levels of body fat," lead researcher Dr. Marijka Batterham, of the University of Wollongong in New South Wales told Reuters Health. A number of studies have suggested that high-protein diets may help people shed weight more easily — possibly, in part, because protein suppresses appetite better than fat or carbohydrates do.

The current study did not look at weight loss, so it's not possible to tell whether the increased fat-burning seen in overweight participants would translate into fewer pounds over time, Batterham said. But answering that question, she said, will be the next step.

Just in time for Thanksgiving!

Original Article from MSNBC Health

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Prostate Cancer and Selenium


Cancer is no doubt a scary word. I spend a great portion of my life staying healthy and avoiding becoming succeptible to cancer. Being a woman, I know of the cancers that can affect women such as Breast, Ovarian, Cervical..etc. I also know of the cancers that do not discriminate against gender such as Colon cancer, Lung cancer, and Thyroid cancer. However I've recently learned of a cancer that targets men, Prostate Cancer.


According to MedlinePlus, Prostate cancer is the third most common cause of death from cancer in men. Scary statistics! However, there are ways to fight and avoid being part of the stats. Selenium, is a mineral that has been studied and found to decrease the risk of prostate cancer in men. From the Office of Dietary Supplement, "Selenium is incorporate into proteins. Which are important antioxidant enzymes."

How do you get selenium? Selenium can be found in most plants foods, but the amount of selenium depends on the soil content. Most people are aware that living a healthy life style, which includes, eating balanced meals and incorporating consistent excercise into daily activity is crucial. Unfortunately, sometimes due to factors beyond your control such as geography, you may not being able to incorporate enough selenium into your diet.

Luckily, selenium supplements are available. According to the Prostate Cancer Research Institute, organic selenium supplements are recommended to prevent the incidence of prostate cancer. Mixture of organic forms found in brewer's yeast have a better safety profile. So do your research! Find out if selenium supplements are right for you and start fighting your way from the scary prostate cancer statistics.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

1 in 4 U.S. girls received HPV Vaccines



HPV is the most common STI nect to HIV/AIDS. Yet it is not as known. Why is that? HPV could be cause for STI's or especially cervial cancer. I'm sure all of you guys have seen commercials on it, but haven't really done it. I think it's time that every woman should! The vaccine protects against strains of the virus that cause about 70 percent of cervical cancers. Health officials recommend that girls get the shots when they are 11 or 12, if possible, before they become sexually active. Also, age 11 is when kids are generally due for another round of vaccinations.

The survey only covered children in the 13-17 age range.

Vaccine proponents had been hoping for much higher vaccination rates, saying the shots could dramatically reduce the nearly 4,000 cervical cancer deaths that occur each year in the United States.

But many families are cautious about the safety of new vaccines, said Patti Gravitt, a Johns Hopkins University associate professor of epidemiology.

Other things about the vaccine may give some families pause. It is expensive, retailing for about $375, although many health insurers now cover it. And there are questions about whether it confers lifetime immunity or if a booster shot will be needed.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

Food Allergies on the Rise


I dont know about you guys, but i have really bad allergies. Especially with all the fires in Southern California, the air quality has been disgusting. It seems now a days that more and more kids are having the same symptoms as I am. Even with food allergies too, although i do not (or at least i don't think) i have food allergies. So why the sudden increase in allergies?

Experts said that might be because parents are more aware and quicker to have their kids checked out by a doctor. About 1 in 26 children had food allergies last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Wednesday. That’s up from 1 in 29 kids in 1997. The 18 percent increase is significant enough to be considered more than a statistical blip, said Amy Branum of the CDC, the study’s lead author.

The 18 percent increase is significant enough to be considered more than a statistical blip, said Amy Branum of the CDC, the study’s lead author. Nobody knows for sure what’s driving the increase. A doubling in peanut allergies — noted in earlier studies — is one factor, some experts said. Also, children seems to be taking longer to outgrow milk and egg allergies than they did in decades past. But also figuring into the equation are parents and doctors who are more likely to consider food as the trigger for symptoms like vomiting, skin rashes and breathing problems.

“A couple of decades ago, it was not uncommon to have kids sick all the time and we just said ’They have a weak stomach’ or ’They’re sickly,”’ said Anne Munoz-Furlong, chief executive of the Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network, a Virginia-based advocacy organization. Parents today are quicker to take their kids to specialists to check out the possibility of food allergies, said Munoz-Furlong, who founded the nonprofit in 1991. The CDC results came from an in-person, door-to-door survey in 2007 of the households of 9,500 U.S. children under age 18.

Original Article from MSNBC

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Holiday Season is Here! (Step Away From the Food!)


The holiday's are coming, there practically already here. And you know what that means, some of us just cat help but be tempted and put on a few extra pounds. Food temptations are everywhere during the holidays. Office parties, tins packed with homemade cookies, and festive cocktails offer little escape. But if you follow these tips, you’ll survive the season a little happier and healthier.

I know that I always tell myself that it's okay to over eat because it's the holiday season, but not anymore! Don't tell yourself, "It's okay, it's the holidays." That opens the door to 6 weeks of splurging. Switch out of holiday mode as soon as the party's over. Don't turn Thanksgiving through New Year's into one long binge. For the duration of the holidays, wear your snuggest clothes that don't allow much room for expanding waists or bums. Wearing sweats -- or your favorite fat pants -- is out until January.

It's all about calories in vs. calories out, so make exercise a nonnegotiable priority. Try squeezing exercise minutes into each day to get your heart pumping. Remember: minutes, not hours. Ten minutes is better than nothing. In fact, 10 minutes in the morning is often the best time for weight loss during the holiday since our days get busy with extra to-do’s and social events. A mere 10 minutes can burn off a few hors d'oeuvres, a glass of wine or it can just simply be a healthy release of stress. A brisk walk on the treadmill or elliptical can keep your jeans from feeling tight, especially at this time of the year when you're ingesting more calories.

Try using a schedule, I heard it really helps. Make sure to get your fruits and vegetables. In a bid to cut calories and save time, we often forgo the foods that would nourish us during the holidays. The excess sugar often consumed during the holidays gives us an energy high and then a crash. So fill up on healthy food -- eat five fruits and vegetables a day BEFORE you allow yourself to snack on holiday treats. Those few extra minutes you take to plan some healthy snacks and meals will save you many minutes of burning off extra calories later!

Try your hardest to not be tempted. I know it's hard, but I think you can do it. Avoid constantly putting yourself in situations that tempt you. For example, don’t walk through the break room at work 10 times a day when you know it's filled with holiday treats and candies. Spend a few minutes in the morning packing a healthy snack (like almonds, a piece of fruit or a yogurt) so you'll have a healthy weight-loss alternative. And don't place treats on your kitchen counter to stare you in the face or take four desserts off the buffet vowing to take only one bite of each. Remember, EAT before you meet. Have this small meal before you go to any parties: a hardboiled egg, apple, and a thirst quencher (water, seltzer, diet soda, tea).

If you absolutely need to indulge in something, dont waste it on the little stuff, wait for holy grail. Indulge only in new, interesting foods; have one taste of each. Avoid feeling deprived and distracted by food all evening long —allow yourself one dessert or holiday truffle per event. When you’re done, destroy the plate. If you've had enough to eat but others are still picking, dump salt over any food you have left.

I've also heard that by keeping a food journal help keep off the pounds as well. Just the simple act of recording what you eat can help you cut calories. In a recent study of 1,685 adults published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the more food records a person kept, the more weight they lost. For a modern method, try e-mailing the information to yourself or using a computer program such as http://www.prevention.com/foodlog.

Happy Holidays!

Original Article from MSNBC.com


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Migraines Reduce Women's Chances of Getting Breast Cancer?



What would you rather have? Migraines or breast cancer? Well there's a new study that shows that women who have a history of pain headaches, or migraines, then the chance of getting breast cancer is cut by 30%!

The study is the first to look at the relationship between breast cancer and migraines and its findings may point to new ways of reducing a woman's breast cancer risk, they said. "We found that, overall, women who had a history of migraines had a 30 percent lower risk of breast cancer compared to women who did not have a history of such headaches," said Dr. Christopher Li of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, whose findings appear in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

Li said the reduction in risk was for the most common types of breast cancers — those driven by hormones, such as estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer, which is fueled by estrogen, and progesterone-receptor positive breast cancer, which is fueled by progesterone. Hormones also play a role in migraines, a brutal type of headache often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and heightened sensitivity to light and sound. Women are two to three times more likely than men to get migraines.

While it is not exactly clear why women with a history of migraines had a lower risk for breast cancer, Li and colleagues suspect hormones are playing a role. "Women who have higher levels of estrogen in their blood have higher levels of breast cancer," Li said in a telephone interview. And he said migraines are often triggered by low levels of the hormone estrogen, such as when estrogen levels fall during a woman's menstrual cycle.

Women who get migraines "may have a chronically lower baseline estrogen. That difference could be what is protective against breast cancer," Li said.

Original Article from MSNBC.com


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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Important New Hair-loss Gene Discovered

At least one person in your family must be bald right? It could be your grand-father, your father, or even you! Male Pattern Baldness comes from genetics, yet we want to know where it all came from and how to keep your hair from losing. It could hit a person at any age possibly. for example. my brother is 27 and his hair line is already receiding. But the real complication goes out that no one in our family is bald (immediate family). Researchers have been trying to find ways of removing that and other methods of hair loss. In 2005, these scientists had already characterized the first hair-loss gene inherited through the maternal line, which explained why hair-loss in men often reflects that of their maternal grandfathers. This newly discovered gene, on the other hand, may now account for the similarity in cranial hair growth between father and son.

The researchers had concentrated their attention on the genomes of just under 300 men suffering from marked hair loss, investigating for this purpose over 500,000 variable sites in the genomes of their test subjects. Two positions frequently displayed a clear correspondence with baldness in these men – a clear indication that the genes located at those points were involved in hair-loss. "In one of these conspicuous regions lies the gene for the androgen receptor", Dr. Axel Hillmer of the Life & Brain Forschungszentrum (research centre) in Bonn states. "We had already learnt from an earlier study that this receptor was linked to hair loss. However, the other region was new to us".

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pregnant Women must Avoid Caffeine

We all know that any sort of Caffeine stunts your growth when your body is still trying to grow. But it actually effects a woman who is pregnant and stunt HER babies growth. weird right? I found this really interesting article that caught my eye. I knew that Caffeine was bad when you are having a baby but didn't know the effects would be if you did put that in a woman's body. It does make a dramatic difference in the baby's life.
The researchers report that the average caffeine intake during pregnancy was 159mg/day, much lower than the limit of 300mg/day recommended by the UK government's Food Standards Agency. Interestingly, 62% of the caffeine use reported came from tea. Other sources were coffee (14%), cola (12%), chocolate (8%), and soft drinks (2%).

Most of the babies were born at full term, with an average birth weight of 3450g (which is around the UK average), while 4% were born prematurely, 0.3% were stillborn, and 0.7% were miscarried late. Overall, the results confirmed that these were low risk pregnancies. However, the authors found a 'dose-response relationship', showing that increasing caffeine intake was associated with increasing risk of fetal growth restriction (FGR).

Compared to pregnant women consuming less than 100mg/day (the equivalent of less than one cup of coffee), the risk estimates of having a lower birth weight baby increased by 20% for intakes of 100-199mg/day, by 50% for those taking between 200-299mg/day, and by 40% for over 300mg/day.

There was no level of caffeine intake at which the increased risk of FGR stopped increasing during pregnancy. Caffeine consumption of more than 100mg/day, the equivalent of one cup of coffee, was associated with a reduction in birth weight of 34-59g in the first, 24-74g in the second, and about 66-89g in the third trimesters. This effect was significant and consistent across all trimesters with consumption of over 200mg/day. The authors also noted that the link between caffeine and FGR was stronger in women who metabolised caffeine more quickly.


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Monday, November 3, 2008

Red Wine is Good for the Heart


Who knew that alcohol could be good for the heart? Not quite a hard liquor or other things like that. It's a simple red glass of wine that can make a difference in a person's health life. Don't mistake a bottle of Patron to be good for the heart. Who would have thought right? I remember my mom drinking a red glass of wine on a weekday night. I wondered to myself, "What's the occassion?" It's actually a miracle that it's good for the heart!
The new study, scheduled for the Aug. 23 issue of the ACS Journal of Agricultural & Food Chemistry, challenges the idea that red wine is more heart-healthy white wine.

Past studies indicated that the cardioprotective compounds in grapes -- polyphenolic antioxidants -- reside in the skin and seeds. Grape skins, which contain purple pigment, are crushed with the pulp to make red wines. But the skins are separated from the pulp to make most white wine. That situation led to the conventional belief that red wines and red grape juice are the most heart healthy.

Dipak K. Das, of the University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine, headed the study. It was done with colleagues form the University of Milan and several other research institutes in Italy.

"Although further study is needed to identify the principle ingredients responsible for the cardioprotective abilities of the grape flesh, to the best of our knowledge, our study provides evidence for the first time that the flesh of grapes is equally cardioprotective with respect to the skins," the researchers report.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Grapes And Grape Extracts May Lower Cardiovascular Disease Risk


A growing body of research data suggests that consuming foods rich in polyphenols from grapes, including red wine, helps reduce the risk of heart disease, according to a review article in the November issue of Nutrition Research.

"Consumption of grape and grape extracts and/or grape products such as red wine may be beneficial in preventing the development of chronic degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease," write Wayne R. Leifert, Ph.D., and Mahinda Y. Abeywardena, Ph.D., of Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation in Adelaide, Australia.

The authors review the accumulating evidence that grape polyphenols work in many different ways to prevent cardiovascular and other "inflammatory-mediated" diseases. Polyphenols are natural antioxidants found in grapes and some other plant foods. Their types and actions vary, depending on where in the grape they are found. Grape seeds, grape skin, and grape juice contain several types of polyphenols, including resveratrol, phenolic acids, anthocyanins, and flavonoids.

Through their antioxidant effects, grape polyphenols help to slow or prevent cell damage caused by oxidation. Polyphenols decrease oxidation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol)—a key step in the development of atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries). Grape polyphenols also have other protective effects on the heart and blood vessels, including actions to reduce blood clotting, abnormal heart rhythms, and blood vessel narrowing. It's not yet clear exactly how these benefits of polyphenols occur, although there is evidence of effects on cellular signaling and on the actions of certain genes. The wide range of health-promoting effects suggests that several different, possibly interrelated mechanisms may be involved.

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Mother's Diet Can Affect Genes And Offspring's Risk Of Allergic Asthma


New research suggests that a pregnant mother's diet can induce epigenetic changes that increase the risk her offspring will develop allergic asthma

A pregnant mouse's diet can induce epigenetic changes that increase the risk her offspring will develop allergic asthma, according to researchers at National Jewish Health and Duke University Medical Center. Pregnant mice that consumed diets high in supplements containing methyl-donors, such as folic acid, had offspring with more severe allergic airway disease than offspring from mice that consumed diets low in methyl-containing foods.

"Our findings suggest that a mother's diet that alters DNA methylation can affect the development of the fetus's immune system, predisposing it to allergic airway disease," said David Schwartz, MD, senior author on the paper and Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health. "It also suggests the dramatic increase in asthma during the past two decades may be related in part to recent changes in dietary supplementation among women of childbearing age."

The current research suggests too much folic acid (and other dietary supplements) during pregnancy may be related to an increased risk of allergies and asthma, and may even play a role in the dramatic increase in asthma prevalence during the past two decades. The U.S. Public Health service recommended in 1992 that all women of childbearing age consume 400 micrograms of folic acid daily to reduce their risk of birth defects of the spine and brain. In 1996 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration required that folic acid be added to specific flour, breads and other grains to prevent birth defects. Research has suggested that these measures have helped reduce birth defects.

Given the important role folic acid supplementation has played in prevention of birth defects, Drs. Schwartz and Hollingsworth do not advise any changes in folic acid supplementation, but do believe the issue is worth further investigation.



For more information, visit the Original Article

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Category: Vitamin B Complex

Monday, October 27, 2008

Vitamins for Healthy Hair

Yes! There is a cure for damaged hair! haha I found this article that I thought would be beneficial for women and some men. With the sun and it's rays threatening your hair.. you need some way to protect it other than shampoo. Of course, you can't keep shampoo in your hair while out side.. so there has to be something! Taking Vitamins are a great way to make your hair healthy! There's Vitamin A, C, and E (the main ones I'm curious of) If you guys have plenty of vitamins in you, then you should already have healthy hair! I'm guessing of course.. it sounds pretty common sense.

-Vitamin A - Antioxidant that helps produce healthy sebum in the scalp. Food sources: Fish liver oil, meat, milk, cheese, eggs, spinach, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, apricots and peaches. Daily Dose: 5,000 IU. Warnings: More than 25,000 IU daily is toxic and can cause hair loss and other serious health problems.

-Vitamin C - Antioxidant that helps maintain skin & hair health. Food sources: Citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwi, cantaloupe, pineapple, tomatoes, green peppers, potatoes and dark green vegetables. Daily Dose: 60 mg.

-Vitamin E - Antioxidant that enhances scalp circulation. Food sources: Cold-pressed vegetable oils, wheat germ oil, soybeans, raw seeds and nuts, dried beans, and leafy green vegetables. Daily dose: Up to 400 IU. Warnings: Can raise blood pressure and reduce blood clotting. People taking high blood pressure medication or anticoagulants should check with their doctors before taking Vitamin E supplements.

-Biotin - Helps produce keratin, may prevent graying and hair loss. Food sources: Brewer's yeast, whole grains, egg yolks, liver, rice and milk. Daily dose: 150-300 mcg.

-Inositol - Keeps hair follicles healthy at the cellular level. Food sources: Whole grains, brewer's yeast, liver and citrus fruits. Daily Dose: Up to 600 mg.
Niacin (Vitamin B3) - Promotes scalp circulation. Food sources: Brewer's yeast, wheat germ, fish, chicken, turkey and meat. Daily dose: 15 mg. Warnings: Taking more than 25 mg a day can result in "niacin flush" - a temporary heat sensation due to blood cell dialiation.

-Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5) - Prevents graying and hair loss. Food sources: Whole grain cereals, brewer's yeast, organ meats and egg yolks. Daily dose: 4-7 mg.

-Vitamin B6 - Prevents hair loss, helps create melanin, which gives hair its color. Food sources: Brewer's yeast, liver, whole grain cereals, vegetables, organ meats and egg yolk. Daily dose: 1.6 mg. Warnings: High doses can cause numbness in hands and feet.

-Vitamin B12 - Prevents hair loss. Food sources: Chicken, fish, eggs and milk. Daily dose: 2 mg.

Original Article

CATEGORY: Vitamin A

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Reasons To Avoid Grapefruit And Other Juices When Taking Certain Drugs


Scientists and consumers have known for years that grapefruit juice can increase the absorption of certain drugs - with the potential for turning normal doses into toxic overdoses. Now, the researcher who first identified this interaction is reporting new evidence that grapefruit and other common fruit juices, including orange and apple, can do the opposite effect by substantially decreasing the absorption of other drugs, potentially wiping out their beneficial effects.

The study provides a new reason to avoid drinking grapefruit juice and these other juices when taking certain drugs, including some that are prescribed for fighting life-threatening conditions such as heart disease, cancer, organ-transplant rejection, and infection, the researcher says. These findings - representing the first controlled human studies of this type of drug-lowering interaction.

"Recently, we discovered that grapefruit and these other fruit juices substantially decrease the oral absorption of certain drugs undergoing intestinal uptake transport," says study leader David G. Bailey, Ph.D.,

In the most recent research, Bailey's group had healthy volunteers take fexofenadine, an antihistamine used to fight allergies. The volunteers consumed the drug with either a single glass of grapefruit juice, water containing only naringin (substance in grapefruit juice that gives the juice its bitter taste), or water. When fexofenadine was taken with grapefruit juice, only half of the drug was absorbed compared to taking the drug with water alone, Bailey says. Loosing half of the amount of drugs taken into the body can be critical for the performance certain drugs, he points out.

To date, grapefruit, orange and apple juices have been shown to lower the absorption of etoposide, an anticancer agent; certain beta blockers (atenolol, celiprolol, talinolol) used to treat high blood pressure and prevent heart attacks; cyclosporine, a drug taken to prevent rejection of transplanted organs; and certain antibiotics (ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, itraconazole). But additional drugs are likely to be added to the list as physicians become more aware of this drug-lowering interaction, Bailey says.

Bailey advises patients to consult with their doctor or pharmacist before taking any medications with grapefruit juice or other fruits and juices. Unless it is known to be a problem, he recommends taking most medications only with water. This research was funded by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the United States Public Health Service.

For more information see the Original Article

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Olay Regenerist vs. The Rest

Many women have been trying to overcome aging and wrinkles with Anti-aging cream. Some might have worked but some were a hoax. From what I've heard through word of mouth, is that the brand Olay actually works and you will see results. I found this article that actually compared Olay and different other brands to see if one could beat or be almost at the same level. There was a top 3 of the brands that were most effective out of the bunch: Dermitage, LIFTSP, RoC Retinol.

1. Dermitage
Dermitage's line of skin care crèmes really caught our panel by surprise. An ambitious company from San Francisco Dermitage has pioneered a breakthrough formula to beat back the effects of aging.
Their patented ingredient is called Rejuvaline™ and it has been scientifically proven to:
1. Restore youth and vigor to mature skin
2. Preserve the youth and glow of young skin
To prove that it works the creators of Dermitage took a step that many facial beauty companies feverishly avoid. They submitted their product to a panel of skeptical scientists for testing… and published the results for all to see.

2. LIFTSP
What Lift SP does is provide a short yet extremely convincing solution for wrinkles and aged skin. Apply it in the morning before work or at night before you go out and it will instantly lift and firm your skin in all the sensitive areas.

Lift SP can actually make you look years younger in seconds and works in conjunction with all brands of make up.

3. RoC Retinol
Roc has been a trusted and revered name in the skin care market for years. Their Retinol brand represents the higher end aging solution of their products. It should be noted that Retinol refers to a line of products, not just one particular aging solution. The Retinol products researched in this review are the Retinol Deep Wrinkle Serum and Deep Wrinkle night cream.

Original Article

CATEGORY: ALGAE

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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Better Living Tips


Maintaining a healthier body can help you live life to the fullest. From learning to help a backache to tips to get you fit. Better body tips can be the first step to get fit.

Neck
The neck is the most flexible part of the spine, it has seven cervical discs, along with muscles and ligaments. Caring for you neck can help your back stay healthy.

Arm
Using proper form for a sport, whatever it is, can help avoid muscles problems. Getting expert advice on sport techniques is an investment that will pay performance and health dividends.

Core
Did you know that you are likely to succeed in making healthy diet changes if you start gradually? If you want to eat more fruits and vegetables, try eating one more extra serving each day. Try eating healthier versions of foods you enjoy, such as lower fat cheeses and lower fat mayonnaise and salad dressings.

Legs
If running a the sport for you, experts recommend never increasing your mileage by more than 10 percent a week.
Walking is great for the legs, for weight loss, and for cardiovascular health. If you are not use to exercising then try 5 or 10 minutes at a time and gradually build up to 30 minutes on most days.

Original Article

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Monday, October 20, 2008

What Women Need to Know About Birth Control

As a woman who grows older and is more curious to different things, Birth Control might come across her mind. I found an article that could spark up some minds of a woman. It's very interesting to read! I just thought it might do some of you women some good. I really thought that it was informative and well written. There are drugs that cause Vitamin Deficiency and they could cause less problems during unwanted pregnancy and birth. Which is very vital for people who take a lot of pills and they probably don't know what can effect a birth control to less likely work.
Many prescription drugs cause vitamin and mineral imbalances or deficiencies. Diuretics used to lower blood pressure deplete heart-essential minerals such as magnesium. The cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins (Mevacor, Zocor) deplete coenzyme Q10 which is essential for healthy heart muscles. Birth control pills deplete vitamin B6 and folic acid. Folic acid protects against birth defects and both vitamins protect against cervical dysplasia, the abnormal cell growth detected by a pap smear. You're much better off if you can avoid birth control pills, but if you must take them, be sure to get 50 mg of vitamin B6 and 200 mcg of folic acid daily.

Also, the following drugs can make birth control pills less effective, increasing the risk of an unwanted pregnancy and the risk of birth defects: antibiotics (including macrolides, penicillins, tetracyclines), rifampin for TB, antifungals such as metronidazole (Flagyl), anti-HIV drugs, and epilepsy drugs.

Original Article

CATEGORY: FOLIC ACID

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Supplements helpful for Acne Treatment


What is Acne? Well Acne is a disease caused by an increase in both keratin and sebum (oil) production within the gland. Acne is the most common of all skin problems/disorders. The lesions are mainly on the face, but can also present on the back, shoulders, and chest.

Do have Acne and are you tired of it? Well here are some helpful supplements for Acne Treatment.

First of all, Herbal Acne Treatments, like Melaleuca alternifolia (tea tree oil) and Ocimum gratissiumum (basil species) are two herbal supplements that have been affective in the topical treatment of acne.

1. Tea tree oil - The oil is harvested from the leaves of a native tree species in Australia. The oil has certain antiseptic properties and is effective in combating a wide range of organisms, including most of the natural skin bacterium that contribute to severe acne. Tea tree oil also exhibits antifungal properties and is used as an astringent. A 5% tea tree oil concentration is best effective against superficial forms of acne, and concentrations of 15% may be used for deep acne.
2. Oil of Basil - Another topical herbal preparation that is useful for the treatment of acne, oil of basil has similar properties to preparations containing tea tree oils. Interestingly, it is often effective in a lesser percentage solution - 2% and 5% concentrations. In one particular study, oil of basil was shown to be significantly more effective than 5% benzoyl peroxide. However, the 5% solution of ocimum (basil) was too irritating to use regularly on the skin.

Next, supplements for Acne treatment are also very helpful.
1. Vitamin A is essential for the treatment of acne. Retinol, a bioactive component of Vitamin A, reduces sebum and keratin production from the sweat glands. In clinical application, this water-soluble vitamin has proved effective in treating acne at an oral dose of 150,000-400,000 IU per day. However, it is important to note that doses ingested in this elevated range are considered toxic and should only be taken under a physician's care. When females supplement with Vitamin A, it is important to avoid higher dosages if there is possibility of pregnancy.
2. Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring antibiotic. It is primarily dispensed in a 20% cream. It has been found to be as effective as benzoyl peroxide, erythromycin, tetracycline, and tretinoin. The only conventional treatment proven to be more effective is oral isotretinoin, though azelaic acid has fewer side effects and produces little or no irritation and toxicity to the body.
3. Vitamin B3 has been shown to be a legitimate treatment for acne. As an effective antioxidant, it is protective to the cell membrane and prevents cellular breakdown by free radicals and lipid peroxidation.

For more information visit the Original Article

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Category: Acne

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Foods that Prevent Cancer


Of course, there were foods that we all knew it wasn't healthy for us. If you guys have ever heard of the movie Supersize Me, you guys would know what I'm talking about. After seeing that movie you probably don't want to eat Mc Donalds for awhile. But check this out! I found an article that did an interview with Mike Adams about the foods that actually prevent cancer. It's true.. and I'm not surprised at all. For those of you who don't know who Mike Adams is.. he's basically a health freak. And in this article, he is 100% aware that he stays away from cancerous foods. He even gives a little bit of a few tips in this article! A Natural chemotherapy type deal. People don't realize that health is very important, but yet we continue to abuse it often.

Did you know that there’s an active ingredient in turmeric, which is an ingredient in curry, called curcumin? Curcumin causes cancer tumors to be unable to grow by destroying the blood vessels that feed those tumors, making the tumors die inside your body. If you combine curcumin with black pepper, it multiplies the effectiveness of curcumin by 1,000 times. It makes it the most powerful natural chemotherapy you can ever experience. You eat curry and pepper, and add some broccoli, and for the next 48 hours, your body will be destroying cancer tumors better than any chemotherapy known to modern science.

Original Article

CATERGORY: VITAMIN D

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Vitamin Pills a Waste of Money?

I remember posting a blog not too long ago about Vitamin Pills help against diseases. Now, I found an article about how Vitamin Pills that are supposed to help fight diseases are a waste of money. The Heart Protection Study did testing that the Vitamin bills were rarely beneficial. Don't get me wrong though, it's not like vitamins aren't good for you.. they are.. but not to help fight against cancer. Vitamins are taking to fill up the things that we don't ear.. like vegetables and fruit. At least we know taking our vitamins are doing some good in our body. I'm just disappointed to see that there's not a lot you could do to prevent cancer.

"There is a lot of evidence that vitamins in the diet are a good thing such as eating fresh fruit and vegetables."

The people studied were given relatively high doses of vitamins - 600mg of vitamin E, 250mg of vitamin C and 20mg of beta-carotene.

Rory Collins, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology at Oxford who led the study which is published in the Lancet, said: "Over five years we saw absolutely no effect.

"Vitamin pills are a waste of time. There was no evidence of any protective effect against heart disease, cancer or any other outcome. They are safe but they are useless."

Original Article

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CATEGORY: VITAMIN E

Steps for a Younger You


Time sure goes by fast!! And those days that pass are valuable days that can even make you younger. Using these tips will not only help to prevent premature aging, but they may also help you look and feel younger than you currently do-no matter what your condition. Start thinking fresh and keep your body and mind vibrant this year!

1. Count your Calories
Several studies have found that eating a highly nutritious, calorie restricted diet slows the aging process.
2. Maintain a healthy muscle mass with resistance training
After the age of 30 we lose approximately one pound of muscle per year if we don't continue resistance training. So it is very important to remain active and get yourself those rubber stretching bands, to strengthen your muscles.
3. Take antioxidants like vitamins A, C and E and minerals like selenium and zinc.
These help to prevent cellular damage from free radicals. This damage is linked to the aging process.
4. Ship the Coffee.
Caffeine in coffee and tea causes dehydration, increases the secretion of stress hormones and causes loss of minerals like magnesium.
5. Take essential fatty acid supplements to keep your skin supple and inflammation low.
Take a high quality fish oil supplement daily. Fish oils are great natural anti-inflammatory compounds.

For the rest of the list (Original Article)

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Monday, October 13, 2008

No Cold Remedies for Children Under Four


Gave you ever wondered what age you should start giving your child flu and cold remedies? Well the big drug companies say that no child under 4 should be given flu and cold remedies. On Tuesday drug companies said in a concession to pediatricians who doubt the drugs work in kids and worry about their safety.

The voluntary changes came less than a week after federal health officials said they also saw little evidence that the drugs work, but feared that parents would give kids adult medicines if the products were taken off store shelves. In addition, the drug makers said they will add a warning to their products that parents should not give children antihistamines to make them sleepy. These are allergy-relief medications often found in medicines that combine several ingredients to treat a variety of symptoms.Problems with OTC cough and cold medicines send some 7,000 children to hospital emergency rooms each year, with symptoms ranging from hives, to drowsiness, to unsteady walking. Many kids overdose by taking medicines when their parents aren't looking. Since a majority of the problems involve 2- to 3-year-olds, the industry's new instructions, if followed by parents, should help. "The 2- and 3-year-olds are definitely the highest risk," said Sharfstein. "More than 50 percent of the problem is with these kids. "If they don't have this stuff around the home, they're less likely to grab it and ingest it."

Pediatricians still support recalling the medicines for children under 6, and the Food and Drug Administration is studying their effectiveness for children under 12. But it could take a year or more for federal health officials to reach a final decision. The industry is also expanding an educational campaign aimed getting parents to be more careful in giving their kids cough and cold medicines.

Original Article

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

US govt policy displays fear of bioterrorism


IN a recent article from the Associated Press, I found out that the US government is controlling America's export of bird flu vaccines to countries which it considers to be nests of terrorist activity. On this list are Iran, Cuba, Syria, and Sudan. The article also mentioned North Korea, but just today the US government removed North Kora from its terror blacklist. I have yet to find out how this policy affects North Korea now. The bird flu vaccines is just one of the many vaccines whose export is heavily watched by the US government. The worry is that other countries might use it as a biological weapon against the United States. Peter Palese, chairman of the microbiology department at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, said that the regulations bird flu vaccines made "no scientific sense", because the vaccines were mainly used on chickens, ot on humans in order to prevent the bird flu virus from mutating into a form that would in fact be harmful to humans.

I am not sure as to the full implications of this government policy, but I do agree that the US must rethink its policies in such a way that each action is not counterproductive. Often times, well intentioned regulations can lead to harmful and even catasthropic results.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081011/ap_on_re_as/as_bird_flu_biological_warfare;_ylt=AteSu4sb9IuQd6490RXOil7VJRIF

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Sizing up the presidential candidates' health plans


Since health care is on top of the political agenda in this year's elections, it would be good to look at the proposals of Barack Obama and John McCain on how to solve the current health issue.

Barack Obama's plan is more government oriented and the centerpiece of his plan is to start a health program which would cater mainly to people who are uninsured. He also wants to give poor people subsidies in order that would help them secure insurance policies. Obama's plan also involves requiring businesses to offer health insurance or else put a tax on them, which would fund insurance for those who do not have it. Lastly, he would require that children be insured, contenidng that it is cheaper to insure them than adults.

Now let's take a look at John McCain. To be sure, John Mccain's plan relies on the strength of the market. The centerpiece of his plan is to provide a refundable tax credit to families (for $5000) and individuals (for $2500) to allow them to purchase insurance policies in the private sector. He would also work with governors to set-up a "high risk insurance pool" for people who ahve pre-existing conditions. Finally, he also plans to deregulate the insurance markets.

So which one better? Well, fundamentally I agree with john McCain that our health care crisis can be solved by the free market. However, I would still refuse to put my endorsement on him because his plan misses out on some key components that would make it work properly. These things include abolishing the FDA, pullin the plug on costly government health progams such as Medicare and Medicaid, and ending mandates on employers to provide health insurance to their employees. All of these things drive up the costs for individual consumers and unless McCai pays attention to these things, his plan will not work. His tax credits will only truly help people if costs go down and the only way to do this is to eliminate third party insurance payers such as the government (who currently pays for 50% of the nations health care expenses) To McCain's credit, however, I do agree that we should have a high risk insurance pool that would end discrimination against those with pre-existing conditions.

Obama's plan to expand government health care, while flowery and politically sound, but I believe it is counterproductive and unwise at a time when we are already mired in soaring deficits and fianancial meltdowns.

ORIGINAL PHOTO and ARTICLE: http://www.latimes.com/features/health/la-he-candidates-healthcare-intro13-2008oct13,0,7066440.story

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Vitamins prevents Diseases?


We have always wondered what we could take to prevent us from any serious health issues. With an article I just found, I thought it would be interesting to share with all of you. In this article, it stated that you could actually prevent diseases in two ways. I'm not sure if this one, but I think they mean for example if your body takes in a lot of Vitamin C you could gain stronger bones; thus, you cannot get osteoporosis. That's just how I'm thinking though. I really think that people should start taking in more vitamins. It's natural resources that we could all get and we could basically be living in a more healthy state of life. I think that we really tend to focus more on junk foods and stuff that could cause serious health issues, when we should really be focusing on vitamins. I partially think that taking away junk foods from school is the best thing to do but i also think that schools should offer more vitamins in their selection. (yeah i know that sounds crazy) but it's true!

Vitamins can help prevent disease in two main ways: By preventing the deficiency syndromes characteristic of the respective vitamin, and through the health benefits conferred by that specific vitamin. For example, Vitamin A is important for our vision. It also plays a major role in bone growth, reproduction, cell division and cell differentiation. It helps maintain the surface linings of the eyes and the respiratory, urinary, and intestinal tracts. When those linings break down, bacteria can enter the body and cause infection.

Original Article

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Monday, October 6, 2008

Exercise in a Pill?



For every couch potato out there, LISTEN UP! What if a drug could help you gain some of the benefits of exercise without working up a sweat? Scientists reported Thursday that there is such a drug, there's just a small catch, you have to be a mouse.

Sedentary mice that took the drug for four weeks burned more calories and had less fat than untreated mice. And when tested on a treadmill, they could run about 44 percent farther and 23 percent longer than untreated mice. Just how well those results might translate to people is an open question. But someday, researchers say, such a drug might help treat obesity, diabetes and people with medical conditions that keep them from exercising.

"We have exercise in a pill," said Ron Evans, an author of the study. "With no exercise, you can take a drug and chemically mimic it." Evans, of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Calif., and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute reports the work with colleagues in a paper published online Thursday by the journal Cell. They also report that in mice that did exercise training, a second drug made their workout much more effective at boosting endurance. After a month of taking that drug and exercising, mice could run 68 percent longer and 70 percent farther than other mice that exercised but didn't get the drug.

But Eric Hoffman of the Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., noted that AICAR mimics only aerobic exercise, not the strength training that might be more useful to bedridden people or the elderly, for example. He also cautioned that it's not clear whether the new mouse results can be reproduced in people. Goodyear said exercise has such widespread benefits in the body that she doubts any one pill will ever be able to supply all of them. "For the majority of people," she said, "it would be better to do exercise than to take a pill."

Original Article

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

SF's health care program


Barry Goldwater once said that we would be better off if we saw off the northeastern seaboard and let it float away. I do not share the same bluntness as the former Senator about the east coast, but I certainly do think that we have a problem out here in the West. It's called San Francisco. Now do not get me wrong. I happen to agree with the civil libertarians out there who believe that gays should get married and that abortion is a woman's right.

But lately, that place has been going to far. First off, the city/county has been caught harboring illegal immigrants (some of them young drug dealers) and then sending them out to neighboring counties. Now, I do believe we should have open borders, but for the sake of decency and the rule of law, please contain your criminals and do not send them to other places.

The latest outrage form San Francisco, however, is its "citywide healthcare system". This is SF's miniature of the common liberal's fantasy: universal health care. And with the 9th Circuit of Appeals upholding it, it seems that such idea is well on its way to greater prominence. Governor Schwarzenegger got a boost of confidence because of this court decision and is probably plotting to ressurect his idea of a statewide health care system. It won't be long if the idea is finally done in the national arena.

Which scares me.

Get this: if the government provides your health care, then the gvvernment has control over your health care. That is the philosophical argument. But maybe that won't cut it.

But what if I told you that government intervention in health care is the reaosn behind skyrocketing prices? In my opinion, and reasonable economists would agree, that the government's intrusion in health care (i.e. Medicare; its mandates on employers to provide health insurance to workers, etc.) has driven up the costs for individual insurance buyers to the point that folks are choosing to be uninsured instead. If we truly want to drive down the cost of health care and allow people to purchase cheap health insurance, it is time to pull the plug on government health entitlements and return control of health matters to where it belongs: private individuals.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://www.latimes.com/features/health/policy/la-fi-sfhealthtax1-2008oct01,0,4967157.story

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Annother example of medical ethics dilemma


In a recent LA Times article, it was reported that Dr. Charles B. Nemeroff, a psychiatrist at Emory University, is being tied to conflict of interest allegations. He had apparently received $2.8 million "from companies whose drugs he was evaluating" and did not report all of his earnings. One of his donors is the drug company GlaxoSmithKline who had given him money while he was studying five of the company's drugs which was claimed to treat depression. He had also received large sums of money for giving speeches to fellow doctors despite signing "university documents pledging to accept no more than $10,000 a year from any one company."

Despite the depth of Dr Nemeroff's case, his situation is not an isolated one. Just as corporations and special interests are lobbying government officials to do favors for them, drug companies are pampering doctors in exchange for their support and favor of a certain drug. This is a growing trend in the medical field, although not all doctors engage in this dubious practice.

Now, I am one to tend towards a free market system, in which government has a limited role. I do believe, however, that government has the duty to protect the public from health risks and fraud. I believe that if any doctor or company exaggerates and falsifies their claims about the efficacy of a medicine, they should be persecuted under federal law. I do not care how much drug companies pay off doctors, but there should be strong punishments for any physician or company who makes fraudulent claims about their products.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://www.latimes.com/features/health/medicine/la-sci-doctors4-2008oct04,0,6123791.story

PHOTO SOURCE: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thruartisticeyes/2120216212/

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Monday, September 29, 2008

How About a Double Scoop of Mama's Milk?



These kids are enjoying ordinary treats from Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream, but the Virginia-based nonprofit group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)wants the famous company to consider using human breast milk instead of cow's milk in their products. Yes you've read right, PETA wants world-famous Ben & Jerry's Homemade Ice Cream to tap nursing moms, rather than cows, for the milk used in its ice cream.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is asking the ice cream maker to begin using breast milk in its products instead of cow's milk, saying it would reduce the suffering of cows and calves and give ice cream lovers a healthier product. The idea got a cool reception Thursday from Ben & Jerry's officials, the company's customers and even La Leche League International, the world's oldest breast-feeding support organization, which promotes the practice — for babies, anyway.

PETA wrote a letter to company founders Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield on Tuesday, telling them cow's milk is hazardous and that milking them is cruel. "If Ben and Jerry's replaced the cow's milk in its ice cream with breast milk, your customers — and cows — would reap the benefits," wrote Tracy Reiman, executive vice president of the animal rights advocacy group. She said dairy products have been linked to juvenile diabetes, allergies and obesity. As a standardized product under federal regulations, ice cream must be made with milk from healthy cows. Ice cream made from goat's milk, for example, would have to be labeled as such. Presumably, so would mother's milk ice cream.

To Ben & Jerry's, the idea is udderly ridiculous. "We applaud PETA's novel approach to bringing attention to an issue, but we believe a mother's milk is best used for her child," spokesman Sean Greenwood said in an e-mail.

Leon Berthiaume, general manager of the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery, which provides milk products to Ben & Jerry's, called the dairy products "among the safest in the world." "Milk from cows has long-term health benefits and has been proven to be safe and healthy and an important part of the American diet for generations," he said. "I'm not ready to make that change."

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Vitamin Water: coming near you


We all know that our first love of powering up is Gatorade. Gatorade has made a breakthrough to many athletes. It gives you some boost without actually drinking an energy drink such as "Monster" or "Rockstar" There has been a new and improved breakthrough that swept out Gatorade. You might of seen these commercials from this new competition. Naomi Campbell is like the "Cover girl" to this product. It's called Vitamin Water. Who would have thought that 50 cent would be a partial owner to Vitamin Water. Unlike Gatorade, Vitamin Water has much more variety when it comes to flavors. They know that people like to have a lot of choices and they knew that Gatorade clearly didn't have as much choices as they did. They have Charge, XXX, Formula 50, Defense, Vital-t, Endurance Peach Mango, and much much more. They all do something different with your body for example the Charge:

Glaceau’s B vitamin and electrolyte drink, Charge has a lemon lime flavor that drinks very much like a sports drink. Still, the product gets the job done and it does drink more smoothly and cleanly than Gatorade. Overall, it’s a good product, but it’s honestly somewhat hard to get excited about it – nothing terribly innovative as far as the brand goes.

Original Article

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Salmonella Scare Hits Dog Food


Lately, there have been plenty of scares that have to deal with salmonella in our tomatoes and jalapenos. But now its taken its wrath into a new target, dog food. With very popular brand at risk like one of the top selling dog dog foods out there, Pedigree, everyone is on edge. Mars Petcare US announced a voluntary recall Friday of all dry pet food products produced at its plant in Everson, Pa. between Feb. 18 and July 29, citing potential contamination with salmonella. Mars, in a news release, did not say how much pet food is involved, but said the recall reaches 31 states and various brands and said the action was taken as a precaution. "Even though no direct link between products produced at the Everson plant and human or pet illness has been made, we are taking this precautionary action to protect pets and their owners," the company statement said.
Mars said it stopped production at the plant July 29 when it was alerted of a possible link between dry pet food produced in Everson and two isolated cases of people infected with salmonella. Mars said salmonella can cause serious infections in dogs and cats and, if there is cross contamination caused by handling of the pet food, in humans also.

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

Lab manufactured meat might make its way to markets


Recently, I read an article regarding the Food and Drug Administration's regulation proposals for genetically engineered meat. Such meat is not yet available in the markets, but the FDA's actions might signal a move toward that direction. In a recent USA Today story, it was reported that such kinds of meat are beneficial it can lead to the production of new drugs,"serve as models for human disease; produce industrial or consumer products, such as fiber; or have improved food-use qualities, such as being more nutritious." The fact that manufacturers can alter the genetic makeup of meat make it much easier to formulate it to human needs. Of course, there are ethical implications to genetic meat, but I think this should not hinder us from putting them into the market. I believe that philosophical ideologies, especially the religious ones, should not be used to block scientific progress. Genetic meat offers humans a viable alternative food source, that could actually be formulated exactly according to their needs. In the same vein, the Food and Drug Administration should loosen up its regulations and allow market mechanisms, instead of the bureaucracy, to judge whether genetically engineered meat is actually a boon or bane to people.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-09-18-genetically-engineered-animals-food_N.htm

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Lay off the salt


Salty foods would have to take a backseat for those with resistant high blood pressure. This term is used to define anyone who continues to have high-blood pressures even after taking three medications to try lowering it (Reinberg 2008). A person is also considered to have resistant high blood pressure if it takes more than three medicines to decrease its level. Associated Press reported a study in which people with such illness were put into a research project. The study aimed to find out whether the amount of salt in a diet would help quell resistant high-blood pressure. The answer was a yes. Those who were given low-salt diets ended up having a more normal blood pressure than those who were placed under a high-salt diet. The results are probably not too counter-intuitive, but it does provide one more anecdotal advice for those dealing with high blood pressure. I advice, however, that people take this study with a grain of salt (pun intended), because only 13 patients were tested in this research. The sample could possibly be too small to actually be representative of the whole population of people suffering from high-blood pressure.


ORIGINAL ARTICLE: http://news.yahoo.com/s/hsn/20080920/hl_hsn/saltcontributestoresistanthighbloodpressure;_ylt=AiTbYrpKEUKnKVBm8NDLGyqCSbYF

PHOTO SOURCE: http://www.cosmosmagazine.com/system/files/20070416_bloodpressure.jpg

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Hyaluronic Acid Serum will make you GLOW

This kind of serum will help make all the worried women with worried lines on their forehead go buy. We all know that young skin has characteristics of it being smooth and elastic and it contains a lot of Hyaluronic Acid. I think this is a very healthy way to capture a look that anyone would be satisfied with. Not only will your skin look better, but your skin will rejuvenate and restore your skin with a youthful glow. I think this is very eco-friendly just because this product is made with 100% pure, non-animal based bio-identical hyaluronic acid.

Topical HA can help by increasing endogenous HA in the dermis and by attracting a water layer on top of the skin surface to protect against water loss. Bio-identical HA, topically applied, can buffer the decreased production of HA that occurs with age. Topical HA can serve as a hydrating agent, rejuvenating skin and improving the tone and appearance by enhancing the skin’s ability to retain moisture. Applying a special HA serum that has a light, non-oily texture, can soothe skin, smooth fine lines and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.


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