How to lower blood pressure

High blood pressure is one of the most preventable conditions. But it plays a contributing role in more than 15% of deaths in the United States, according to a new Harvard study. Although it causes no symptoms, high blood pressure boosts the risks of leading killers such as heart attack and stroke, as well as aneurysms, cognitive decline, and kidney failure. 28% of Americans have high blood pressure and don't know it, according to the American Heart Association. If you haven't had yours checked in 2 years, see a doctor. While medication can lower blood pressure, it may cause side effects such as leg cramps, dizziness, and insomnia. Fortunately, most people can bring down their blood pressure naturally without medication. First get to a healthy weight. Then try these strategies to reduce the risk of heart disease.

1. Go for power walks

Hypertensive patients who went for fitness walks at a brisk pace lowered pressure by almost 8 mmhg over 6 mmhg. Exercise helps the heart use oxygen more efficiently, so it doesn't work as hard to pump blood. Get a vigorous cardio workout of at least 30 minutes on most days of the week. Try increasing speed or distance so you keep challenging your ticker.

2. Breathe deeply

Slow breathing and meditative practices such as qigong, yoga, and tai chi decrease stress hormones, which elevate renin, a kidney enzyme that raises blood pressure. Try 5 minutes in the morning and at night. Inhale deeply and expand your belly. Exhale and release all of your tension.

3. Pick potassium-rich produce

Loading up on potassium-rich fruits and vegetables is an important part of any blood pressure‚ lowering program, says Linda Van Horn, PhD, RD, professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medical. Aim for potassium levels of 2,000 to 4,000 mg a day, she says. Top sources of potassium-rich produce include sweet potatoes, tomatoes, orange juice, potatoes, bananas, kidney beans, peas, cantaloupe, honeydew melon, and dried fruits such as prunes and raisins.

4. Read food labels for sodium

Certain groups of people—the elderly, African Americans, and those with a family history of high blood pressure—are more likely than others to have blood pressure that's particularly salt (or sodium) sensitive. But because there's no way to tell whether any one individual is sodium sensitive, everyone should lower his sodium intake, says Eva Obarzanek, PhD, a research nutritionist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. How far? To 1,500 mg daily, about half the average American intake, she says. (Half a teaspoon of salt contains about 1,200 mg of sodium.) Cutting sodium means more than going easy on the saltshaker, which contributes just 15% of the sodium in the typical American diet. Watch for sodium in processed foods, Obarzanek warns. That’s where most of the sodium in your diet comes from, she says. Season foods with spices, herbs, lemon, and salt-free seasoning blends. Get more tips on how to lower your sodium intake.

5. Indulge in dark chocolate

Dark chocolate varieties contain flavanols that make blood vessels more elastic. In one study, 18% of patients who ate it every day saw blood pressure decrease. Have 1/2 ounce daily (make sure it contains at least 70% cocoa).

6. Drink alcohol--but not too much

According to a review of 15 studies, the less you drink, the lower your blood pressure will drop—to a point. A study of women at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, for example, found that light drinking (defined as one-quarter to one-half a drink per day for a woman) may actually reduce blood pressure more than no drinks per day. One "drink" is 12 ounces of beer, 5 ounces of wine, or 1.5 ounces of spirits. Other studies have also found that moderate drinking—up to one drink a day for a woman, two for a man—can lower risks of heart disease. "High levels of alcohol are clearly detrimental," says Obarzanek. "But moderate alcohol is protective of the heart. If you are going to drink, drink moderately."

8. Switch to decaf coffee

Scientists have long debated the effects of caffeine on blood pressure. Some studies have shown no effect, but one from Duke University Medical Center found that caffeine consumption of 500 mg—roughly three 8-ounce cups of coffee—increased blood pressure by 4 mmhg, and that effect lasted until bedtime. For reference, 8 ounces of drip coffee contain 100 to 125 mg; the same amount of tea, 50 mg; an equal quantity of cola, about 40 mg. Caffeine can raise blood pressure by tightening blood vessels and by magnifying the effects of stress, says Jim Lane, PhD, associate research professor at Duke and the lead author of the study. "When you're under stress, your heart starts pumping a lot more blood, boosting blood pressure," he says. "And caffeine exaggerates that effect." If you drink a lot of joe, pour more decaf to protect your ticker.

9. Take up tea

Lowering high blood pressure is as easy as one, two, tea: Study participants who sipped 3 cups of a hibiscus tea daily lowered systolic blood pressure by 7 points in 6 weeks on average, say researchers from Tufts University—results on par with many prescription medications. Those who received a placebo drink improved their reading by only 1 point. The phytochemicals in hibiscus are probably responsible for the large reduction in high blood pressure, say the study authors. Many herbal teas contain hibiscus; look for blends that list it near the top of the chart of ingredients—this often indicates a higher concentration per serving

10. Work (a little) less

Putting in more than 41 hours per week at the office raises your risk of hypertension by 15%, according to a University of California, Irvine, study of 24,205 California residents. Overtime makes it hard to exercise and eat healthy, says Haiou Yang, PhD, the lead researcher. It may be difficult to clock out super early in today’s tough economic times, but try to leave at a decent hour—so you can go to the gym or cook a healthy meal—as often as possible. Set an end-of-day message on your computer as a reminder to turn it off and go home. Follow these tips to make your weekends stress-free

11. Relax with music

Need to bring down your blood pressure a bit more than medication or lifestyle changes can do alone? The right tunes can help, according to researchers at the University of Florence in Italy. They asked 28 adults who were already taking hypertension pills to listen to soothing classical, Celtic, or Indian music for 30 minutes daily while breathing slowly. After a week, the listeners had lowered their average systolic reading by 3.2 points; a month later, readings were down 4.4 points.

12. Seek help for snoring

It's time to heed your partner's complaints and get that snoring checked out. Loud, incessant snores are one of the main symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). University of Alabama researchers found that many sleep apnea sufferers also had high levels of aldosterone, a hormone that can boost blood pressure. In fact, it's estimated that half of all people with sleep apnea have high blood pressure. If you have sleep apnea, you may experience many brief yet potentially life-threatening interruptions in your breathing while you sleep. In addition to loud snoring, excessive daytime tiredness and early morning headaches are also good clues. If you have high blood pressure, ask your doctor if OSA could be behind it; treating sleep apnea may lower aldosterone levels and improve BP. Take Care of Your Ticker! 20 favorite comfort foods made heart-healthy

13. Jump for soy

A study from Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association found for the first time that replacing some of the refined carbohydrates in your diet with foods high in soy or milk protein, such as low-fat dairy, can bring down systolic blood pressure if you have hypertension or prehypertension.

Top 10 Reasons To Have Sex Tonight

When you're in the mood, it's a sure bet that the last thing on your mind is boosting your immune system or maintaining a healthy weight. Yet good sex offers those health benefits and more.

That's a surprise to many people, says Joy Davidson, PhD, a New York psychologist and sex therapist. "Of course, sex is everywhere in the media," she says. "But the idea that we are vital, sexual creatures is still looked at in some cases with disgust or in other cases a bit of embarrassment. So to really take a look at how our sexuality adds to our life and enhances our life and our health, both physical and psychological, is eye-opening for many people."

Sex does a body good in a number of ways, according to Davidson and other experts. The benefits aren't just anecdotal or hearsay -- each of these 10 health benefits of sex is backed by scientific scrutiny.

Among the benefits of healthy loving in a relationship:

1. Sex Relieves Stress

A big health benefit of sex is lower blood pressure and overall stress reduction, according to researchers from Scotland who reported their findings in the journal Biological Psychology. They studied 24 women and 22 men who kept records of their sexual activity. Then the researchers subjected them to stressful situations -- such as speaking in public and doing verbal arithmetic -- and noted their blood pressure response to stress.

Those who had intercourse had better responses to stress than those who engaged in other sexual behaviors or abstained.

Another study published in the same journal found that frequent intercourse was associated with lower diastolic blood pressure in cohabiting participants. Yet other research found a link between partner hugs and lower blood pressure in women.

2. Sex Boosts Immunity

Good sexual health may mean better physical health. Having sex once or twice a week has been linked with higher levels of an antibody called immunoglobulin A or IgA, which can protect you from getting colds and other infections. Scientists at Wilkes University in Wilkes-Barre, PA, took samples of saliva, which contain IgA, from 112 college students who reported the frequency of sex they had.

Those in the "frequent" group -- once or twice a week -- had higher levels of IgA than those in the other three groups -- who reported being abstinent, having sex less than once a week, or having it very often, three or more times weekly.

3. Sex Burns Calories

Thirty minutes of sex burns 85 calories or more. It may not sound like much, but it adds up: 42 half-hour sessions will burn 3,570 calories, more than enough to lose a pound. Doubling up, you could drop that pound in 21 hour-long sessions.

"Sex is a great mode of exercise," says Patti Britton, PhD, a Los Angeles sexologist and president of the American Association of Sexuality Educators and Therapists. It takes work, from both a physical and psychological perspective, to do it well, she says.

4. Sex Improves Cardiovascular Health

While some older folks may worry that the efforts expended during sex could cause a stroke, that's not so, according to researchers from England. In a study published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, scientists found frequency of sex was not associated with stroke in the 914 men they followed for 20 years.

And the heart health benefits of sex don't end there. The researchers also found that having sex twice or more a week reduced the risk of fatal heart attack by half for the men, compared with those who had sex less than once a month.

5. Sex Boosts Self-Esteem

Boosting self-esteem was one of 237 reasons people have sex, collected by University of Texas researchers and published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior.

That finding makes sense to Gina Ogden, PhD, a sex therapist and marriage and family therapist in Cambridge, Mass., although she finds that those who already have self-esteem say they sometimes have sex to feel even better. "One of the reasons people say they have sex is to feel good about themselves," she tells WebMD. "Great sex begins with self-esteem, and it raises it. If the sex is loving, connected, and what you want, it raises it."

6. Sex Improves Intimacy

Having sex and orgasms increases levels of the hormone oxytocin, the so-called love hormone, which helps us bond and build trust. Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of North Carolina evaluated 59 premenopausal women before and after warm contact with their husbands and partners ending with hugs. Tey found that the more contact, the higher the oxytocin levels.

"Oxytocin allows us to feel the urge to nurture and to bond," Britton says.

Higher oxytocin has also been linked with a feeling of generosity. So if you're feeling suddenly more generous toward your partner than usual, credit the love hormone.

7. Sex Reduces Pain

As the hormone oxytocin surges, endorphins increase, and pain declines. So if your headache, arthritis pain, or PMS symptoms seem to improve after sex, you can thank those higher oxytocin levels.

In a study published in the Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, 48 volunteers who inhaled oxytocin vapor and then had their fingers pricked lowered their pain threshold by more than half.

8. Sex Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk

Frequent ejaculations, especially in 20-something men, may reduce the risk of prostate cancer later in life, Australian researchers reported in the British Journal of Urology International. When they followed men diagnosed with prostate cancer and those without, they found no association of prostate cancer with the number of sexual partners as the men reached their 30s, 40s, and 50s.

But they found men who had five or more ejaculations weekly while in their 20s reduced their risk of getting prostate cancer later by a third.

Another study, reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, found that frequent ejaculations, 21 or more a month, were linked to lower prostate cancer risk in older men, as well, compared with less frequent ejaculations of four to seven monthly.

9. Sex Strengthens Pelvic Floor Muscles

For women, doing a few pelvic floor muscle exercises known as Kegels during sex offers a couple of benefits. You will enjoy more pleasure, and you'll also strengthen the area and help to minimize the risk of incontinence later in life.

To do a basic Kegel exercise, tighten the muscles of your pelvic floor, as if you're trying to stop the flow of urine. Count to three, then release.

10. Sex Helps You Sleep Better

The oxytocin released during orgasm also promotes sleep, according to research.

And getting enough sleep has been linked with a host of other good things, such as maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure. Something to think about, especially if you've been wondering why your guy can be active one minute and snoring the next.

4 Essential Nutrients You May Not Be Getting Enough Of

Last year, the USDA released its Dietary Guidelines, as well as information on the so-called “shortfall nutrients” that Americans are not getting enough of. Here are four important nutrients you may not be getting enough of and how to get them through the foods you eat.

1. Fiber

Why You Need It: Fiber can help prevent type-2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, and heart disease. Research also suggests that consuming fiber-rich foods might boost weight loss by helping you to feel fuller after you eat. Fiber is also important to keep the digestive tract moving. But most of us eat only about half as much fiber as we should. Nutrition guidelines recommend that women eat 25 grams daily and men eat 38 grams daily; the average American consumes only about 14 grams.

How to Get It: Load up on plant-based foods—the less processed the better. (Consider this: a medium orange has 3 grams of fiber; a cup of OJ has zero.) Whole grains, such as oatmeal (3 grams per 1/2 cup), and beans (about 6 grams per 1/2 cup) are also great sources.

2. Calcium

Why You Need It: Calcium is important for keeping bones and teeth strong, but it also helps muscles contract, nerves transmit signals, blood clot and blood vessels contract and expand. Adults aged 19 to 50 need 1,000 mg per day; for women 51-plus (and men 70-plus), it’s 1,200 mg daily.

How to Get It: Dairy products are good choices (choose nonfat or low-fat to limit saturated fat), delivering between 300 mg (milk) to 490 mg (nonfat plain yogurt) per 1-cup serving. Some dark leafy greens also offer calcium that’s well absorbed by the body: for instance, kale and collard greens provide 94 mg and 266 mg per cup, respectively.

3. Potassium

Why You Need It: Potassium is critical for helping nerves transmit signals, muscles contract and cells maintain fluid balance inside and out. Newer scientific evidence demonstrates that potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure.

How to Get It: By eating a variety of fruits and vegetables—they’re full of this nutrient. But according to the Centers for Disease Control, only 32.5% of adults eat 2 or more servings of fruit per day and only 26.3% eat the recommended 3 or more servings of vegetables per day. Here are a few easy ways to increase intake of fruits and vegetables:

• Make fruit filled smoothies with fresh or frozen (not canned) mixed fruit, bananas, orange juice and pomegranate juice for an anti-oxidant boost

• Have a side salad with lunch and dinner.

• Use leftover veggies in a protein packed veggie frittata

• Have mixed fruit with a drizzle of chocolate sauce for an anti-oxidant packed dessert

4. Vitamin D

Why You Need It: Vitamin D is a fat-soluble nutrient that’s important in bone building and has been linked with lower incidences of cancers and lower rates of immune-related conditions, such as type-1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis. The primary way we get vitamin D is by making it ourselves—UV rays from the sun help us to produce it. In the wintertime, in northern latitudes, many people start to run out of their internal vitamin D stores.

How to Get It: Soak up some sun (ultraviolet, or UV, rays cause skin cells to produce vitamin D). Eat vitamin-D-fortified foods, such as milk, soymilk and cereals. Vitamin D is also found naturally in a few foods: fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel and sardines, and in egg yolks.

If you live in the northern part of the United States, spend lots of time indoors and/or slather on the sunscreen anytime you’re outside, you may not be getting enough. Some studies suggest that as many as 7 out of 10 Americans are deficient in vitamin D. To be absolutely sure you’re covering your needs for this nutrient, consider a vitamin D supplement (for folks ages 1 to 70, the recommended amount is 600 IU).

Surprising Ways to Keep Your Brain and Memory Sharp

Memory enhancement has become a hot topic in modern society. A quick Internet search reveals long lists of specially designed memory-enhancing games created by psychiatrists and dozens of pills and supplements the manufacturers guarantee will improve memory. Experts on talk show after talk show recommend intellectual stimulation: difficult crossword puzzles, logic puzzles, or strategy games like chess.

However, while research shows that cerebral activities do have plenty of benefits to memory and cognition, many other studies reveal that a strong social life and a sense of fun give a person’s memory definite advantages. Here are two Fun ways to keep your brain sharp:

Be a Social Butterfly

Humans are and have always been social animals. Even the most curmudgeonly of us generally want someone to socialize with on occasion. It has long been accepted that a satisfying social life helps a person stay emotionally healthy, but new research is showing that social activity also benefits a person’s cognitive health. A recent study done by the Harvard School of Public Health discovered that the most socially active subjects had the slowest rates of memory decline, and that’s just one study among many suggesting the same conclusion.

Increasing social interaction is not as difficult as you might think. Try joining a club that relates to your interests or finding a volunteer association. Put more effort into visiting with friends or relatives. The Internet has made it a simple matter to reconnect with friends and find times to meet up. Even people who find making and keeping friends difficult can get plenty of cognitive value from having a pet, especially very social ones like dogs. If you don’t have a dog, go visit a nearby animal shelter or pet store; the simple joy of playing with a fury little puppy or kitten is underrated.

Laugh it up!

Having a good laugh not only benefits your heart, it’s god for the brain as well. A standard emotional response will cause neurons to fire in only a specific section of the brain, but laughter actually causes many areas throughout the brain to activate. Listening to jokes and trying to figure out punch lines uses areas of the brain important to creativity and learning, much like solving puzzles.

Try increasing laughter in your life by finding fun people to spend time with, whether adults or children. Children especially are always good for a laugh; their playful attitude towards life will lighten your heart as well. Learn to laugh at yourself and take yourself less seriously. Surround yourself with fun items, such as small toys, pictures of yourself and your friends having a good time, or amusing posters. Remember all those nights sitting in front of the TV laughing hysterically? Re-runs of your favorite funny TV shows like I Love Lucy, The Benny Hill Show, and Johnny Carson are all available on DVD. Seek out laughter whenever you can; most often the cheerful people will be more than happy to let you in on the joke.

6 Foods to Ease Your Pain Naturally

"Ooh, my aching . . . " When gripped by chronic pain, reach beyond the medicine chest -- for the right foods at the grocery store. What you eat can directly and indirectly help reduce pain in three ways: by controlling inflammation, which contributes to the nagging pain associated with some chronic diseases like arthritis; by reducing the damage caused by oxidative stress, which occurs when the body is exposed to more cell damage than it can handle; and by helping to regulate your body's immune response, which helps manage inflammation more effectively.

"We get in the habit of taking Advil or Aleve to treat pain symptoms, without getting at the underlying cause of pain. Over time these medications, because of their side effects, can do more harm than good," says integrative nutritionist Beth Reardon, director of nutrition at Duke Integrative Medicine, part of the Duke University Health System. "Changing your diet, on the other hand, protects your cells from damage and reduces the number of inflammatory compounds the body produces." Bonus: An anti-inflammatory diet is an effective path to weight loss, which reduces pain that's caused by extra stress on joints. New research in the journal, Cancer Research, links losing just 5 percent of body weight to significant reductions in biochemical markers for inflammation.

These six food categories -- and six standout examples -- can result in meaningful changes for your pain level:

More non-animal sources of protein

Such as: Canned salmon. The fish highest in inflammation-busting omega-3 fatty acids, salmon, is available in cans year-round. And it's the most affordable source of wild salmon. Wild-caught is healthier than farm-raised salmon, which may contain toxic chemicals and antibiotics, depending on their feed and the conditions in which they're raised.

Other examples: Cold-water fish that supply omega-3 fatty acids include black cod, tuna, sardines, halibut, mackerel, herring, and anchovies. And for protein don't overlook legumes and dried beans, such as lentils, soybeans, and black beans, and ancient grains including quinoa, millet, and spelt. Plant sources of omega-3s include pumpkin seeds, walnuts, and flaxseed.

Why: Replacing animal protein with proteins from fish increases your consumption of DHA and EPA, so-called "long chain" omega-3 fatty acids, which have been linked to improvement in symptoms of both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Plant sources provide also-essential "short-chain" omega-3 fatty acids.

Anti-inflammatory herbs and spices

Such as: Turmeric. Turmeric contains a powerful anti-inflammatory compound known as curcumin. (In fact, turmeric is sometimes simply called curcumin.) This deep yellow-gold spice has a smoky, peppery flavor and is used in curries and mustard. "It's such a powerful anti-inflammatory, it's one of the spices I recommend eating every day," says Reardon, who adds it to almond milk with cinnamon and a touch of honey.

Other examples: Garlic, ginger, cinnamon, tart cherry, curry, rosemary. (Dried tart cherries, while not technically a spice or herb, are another antioxidant-superstar way to "spice up" other foods.)

Why: Several studies have shown an anti-inflammatory effect of turmeric on patients with rheumatoid arthritis. These spices and herbs help inhibit the formation of inflammatory prostaglandins and COX inhibitors (the same enzyme-inhibiting substances in medications such as Vioxx or Celebrex). Healthy fats

Such as: Coconut oil. Available in specialty groceries (such as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods), coconut oil provides good fuel for the cells that line the gut, which is fundamental to proper immune system functioning. You can use coconut oil in cooking and baking where a light, slightly sweet flavor is desired, or to pop popcorn (another plant food high in antioxidants).

Other examples: Olive oil, grape-seed oil, avocados, ground flax, nut butters (especially almond, almond-flaxseed, cashew, or sunflower seed, which are less inflammatory than peanut butter), omega-3-fortified eggs.

Why: You'll be displacing unhealthy, omega-6 saturated fats (found in highly processed foods), which far outnumber good-for-you omega-3 fats in most American diets -- a backwards ratio that fans inflammation. Healthy fat sources fuel both pro-inflammatory hormones, which fight stresses to cells, and anti-inflammatory hormones, which regulate the healing process after a threat (injury or infection) is gone.

A wide variety of plants

Such as: Kale. It's fibrous, low in calories, rich in dozens of beneficial flavonoids, and is one of the most nutrient-dense greens. Chop it into vegetable- or bean-based soup, blend it in a smoothie, or add it to salad or pasta dishes. To bake kale chips, tear leaves into bite-sized pieces, sprinkle or spray on olive oil (one tablespoon per cookie sheet), and add some sea salt. It's a pretty awesome vegetable.

Other examples: Whole grains, beans, lentils, and all dark green, red, orange, yellow, blue, and purple fruits and vegetables -- the whole rainbow. Rule of thumb: The more intense the color, the more antioxidants are packed inside. But even whites (cauliflower, garlic, onion) and blacks (black beans) provide plenty of benefits.

Why: A plant-based diet emphasizing whole (unprocessed) foods is like a force field, or sunglasses, protecting your lipid membranes and DNA from oxidative damage. Ideally, amp up the plant foods at the same time you eliminate refined and processed foods (such as white flour, sugar, and packaged goods like cakes, cookies, chips), which can raise blood glucose, increasing insulin production and, in turn, inflammation.

Variety is the key word, because the cumulative effect of many different nutrients is what creates the beneficial synergy. It really does take a village.


Such as: Greek yogurt. This thick type of yogurt packs more than twice the protein of regular yogurt, and it contains probiotics -- live microorganisms that help supplement the healthy bacteria already in your digestive tract. It's also a good source of vitamin D.

Other examples: Probiotics are also found in any yogurt containing live cultures (check the label for Lactobacillus acidophilus and L. bifidus, two common types) and in any fermented food -- such as kimchee, sauerkraut, and kefir. Probiotics are also available in supplement form.

Why: Probiotics help your gut preserve a healthy balance of good bacteria, which are often under siege from factors ranging from poor nutrition and stress to smoking and pollution. A healthy population of bacteria needs a plant-based diet to survive -- it's its own biosystem that needs to be cultivated. This dairy food is another way to supplement that healthy ecosystem. It's especially beneficial after finishing a course of antibiotics, which can disrupt the balance of healthy bacteria.

Lots of supplemented water

Such as: Green tea powder. Also called matcha, powdered green tea -- basically the tea leaves, finely ground -- provide the same powerful antioxidants that green tea beverages do, but in a more concentrated and versatile form. In steeped tea, the liquid contains the water-soluble antioxidants from the tea leaves, but in tea made from green tea powder, you're literally consuming the whole leaf. Stir it into water (hot or cold) for tea, or add to smoothies or lattes. It can even be added to baked goods or soups.

Other examples: Black tea and coffee also contain anti-inflammatory properties, but in lesser amounts. However, their caffeine can help treat headache pain. Why: The vital organs and blood supply are composed of as much as 90 percent water. Water is needed by the liver to help detoxify chemicals and the other compounds we come in contact with. Water helps all the body's processes work, right down at the cellular level.

10 Ways to Calm Deadly Inflammation

Chronic inflammation plays a significant role (as either a cause or effect) in many diseases, including type 2 diabetes, autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, and the three top killers in the United States: heart disease, cancer and stroke. Emerging research is focusing on the link between inflammation and brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. The good news is that diet, exercise and lifestyle changes can be powerful tools against inflammation. Here are 10 ways you can help stave off—or tamp down—inflammation.

1. Balance Your Omega Fats

Americans are gorging on too many inflammation-promoting omega-6 fats (found in vegetable oils, such as sunflower and corn, and processed and fast food made with them) and not consuming nearly enough inflammation-soothing omega-3 fats (found in salmon, tuna, flaxseeds, walnuts, canola and olive oils). In short: a diet high in omega-6s and low in omega-3s increases inflammation in the body, says Floyd Chilton, Ph.D., director of the NIH-sponsored Center for Botanical Lipids and Inflammatory Disease Prevention at Wake Forest Baptist Health School of Medicine. To better balance your omega fats, opt for as much fresh, unprocessed food as possible, swap your omega-6-rich corn or sunflower oil for omega-3-packed canola and load your plate with omega-3-rich foods. “If you eat one healthy source of omega-3 fatty acids every day, you’ll be doing good things for inflammation,” says Christopher P. Cannon, M.D., a professor at Harvard Medical School.

2. Get Your Om On

A 2010 study in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine found that women who had regularly practiced 75 to 90 minutes of Hatha yoga twice-weekly for at least two years had markedly lower levels of interleukin-6 and C-reactive protein (CRP), two key inflammatory markers, compared to those who were new to yoga or practiced less frequently. “A central tenet of yoga is that practicing can reduce stress responses,” explains Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, Ph.D., study co-author and professor of psychiatry and psychology at the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State University College of Medicine. Researchers think that yoga’s benefit is that it minimizes stress-related physiological changes.

3. Up Your Soy

The Food and Drug Administration has indicated that eating 25 grams of soy protein daily helps to reduce your risk of inflammation-driven cardiovascular disease. But according to two 2009 studies, even as little as half that may be helpful. “We saw a reduction in inflammation after drinking just two [12-ounce] glasses of soymilk a day for three months,” says study co-author Elvira de Mejia, Ph.D., associate professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana. (Each glass contained 6 grams of soy protein.) Apparently, lunasin, a peptide found in soymilk and tofu, in combination with other soy proteins, can quell inflammation. (If you have a hormone-sensitive condition, such as breast cancer or endometriosis, check with your doctor before increasing the amount of soy in your diet.)

4. Enjoy a Massage

A massage isn’t just a treat—it can be part of staying healthy. Receiving a 45-minute Swedish massage can greatly lower levels of two key inflammation-promoting hormones, according to a study in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. “Massage may decrease inflammatory substances by [appropriately] increasing the amount of disease-fighting white blood cells in the body,” says Mark Hyman Rapaport, M.D., co-author of the study. “It may also lower stress hormones. Either way, these inflammation-lowering results can be seen after just one massage.”

5. Limit Bad Fats

The famed Nurses’ Health Study out of Harvard (well known for being one of the largest and longest-running investigations into women’s health) found that trans-fatty acids are linked to a significant bump in total body inflammation, especially in overweight women. Trans fats can be found in items including fried foods, packaged cookies, crackers, margarines and more. And buyer beware: “Even if a food label reads 0 grams trans fats, it can still contain less than 0.5 gram per serving, so if you eat multiple servings, you could be eating a few grams,” advises Erin Palinski, R.D., C.D.E. Instead, check the ingredient list for partially hydrogenated oil. If you see this, the product contains trans fats. While you’re trimming the fat, cut back on the saturated variety as well, replacing butter with olive oil and being choosy about your protein sources. “Saturated fat, found in fatty cuts of meat, whole milk and butter, can convert to pro-inflammatory compounds when digested. Instead, aim to eat more lean proteins, such as fish, white-meat poultry and plant-based proteins like beans,” Palinski says.

6. Eat Your Greens

Here’s yet another reason not to skimp on green leafy vegetables, whole grains and nuts: they are all rich in magnesium, a mineral that about 60 percent of us don’t consume enough of. “I encourage anyone who’s susceptible to inflammation to assess their magnesium intake,” says Forrest H. Nielsen, Ph.D., a research nutritionist at the USDA’s Grand Forks Human Nutrition Research Center in North Dakota. (Ask your doctor to check your magnesium levels with a blood test.) “There’s a lot of evidence that people with high inflammatory markers often have low magnesium levels. Plus, people who have conditions associated with inflammation, like heart disease and diabetes, also tend to have low magnesium levels,” Nielsen says. In short: eating more magnesium-rich foods could help lower your chances of inflammation.

7. Keep Stress at Bay

Frequently frazzled? You may be opening the door to inflammation. A recent study in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity found that people who have a strong emotional reaction to stressful tasks (you bite your nails when you have to make a presentation at work or get tense when someone presses your buttons) experience a greater increase in circulating interleukin-6 during times of stress than those who take stressful tasks in stride. While stress harms your body in many ways, Cannon puts it like this: “Stress increases blood pressure and heart rate, making your blood vessels work harder. Essentially, you’re pounding on them more often and creating damage. If that damage happens over and over, inflammation persists.”

8. Sleep More

If you’re not clocking at least 6 hours of restful sleep a night, you’re more susceptible to inflammation than those who have a solid night of slumber, according to research presented at the American Heart Association 2010 Scientific Sessions in Chicago. Getting less than 6 hours of sleep was linked to significantly increased levels of three key inflammatory markers—interleukin-6, CRP and fibrinogen.

9. Exercise Often

Losing excess weight via exercise (or eating better) is a great way to lower inflammation. Working out, however, can lower inflammation even if you don’t drop one single pound. The reason? Exercising at about 60 to 80 percent of your maximum heart rate—think brisk walking where you can still talk but it would be difficult to carry on a conversation—lowers levels of the key inflammation marker CRP, Chilton says.

10. Drink Green Tea

Even if coffee is your beverage of choice, you might not want to bag tea altogether—especially the green variety. Green tea is full of potent antioxidants that help quell inflammation. In fact, researchers from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock recently found that green tea can inhibit oxidative stress and the potential inflammation that may result from it. “After 24 weeks, people who consumed 500 mg of green tea polyphenols daily—that’s about 4 to 6 cups of tea—halved their oxidative stress levels,” says Leslie Shen, Ph.D., the study’s lead author. (The placebo group didn’t see a single change.)

Slim down with Grapefruit Juice? Berkeley Study Adds Weight to Idea

If you’re planning on hitting up your favorite restaurant for a pepperoni pizza or cheeseburger and fries, you may want to swap your chocolate malt for grapefruit juice instead.

New research from UC Berkeley showed that mice who consumed sweetened grapefruit juice while consuming a diet high in fat may gain less weight than those who opted for sweetened water. The juice guzzling mice also had better metabolic health measures, insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels.

Studies also found that the weight loss or gain was not affected by grapefruit juice when the mice were put on a low-fat diet. However, it did affect their sensitivity to insulin.

While the studies sound favorable when it comes to shedding pounds, it does come with several warnings. The California Grapefruit Growers Cooperative paid for the study. However, the researchers from Berkeley began the study with a lot of skepticism when it came to the power of this delectable citrus fruit.

They were so blown away by the end results of the study that they re-checked the sensors and calibrations to ensure that they were accurate.

The study was in the smaller range with only six mice being used to test their consumption of liquid, diet and nutrients. While the research may have shown the powerful results of grapefruit juice in mice, it doesn’t mean that it will prove just as beneficial to humans. However, the positive findings may show why grapefruits are typically featured in many of today’s fad diets.

The bitter flavors in grapefruit juice come from naringin. This powerful flavonoid is not a particular favorite of mice. The cause for the weight loss in previous studies that used both mice and grapefruit juice may have stemmed from the fact that the mice’s appetites were suppressed because of their disdain for the taste of grapefruit.

The Berkeley studies hoped to resolve this issues by sweetening the juice with saccharin first. They also gave the mice in the alternate group sugar water sweetened with saccharin and glucose. The number of calories was also the same as the juice that was sweetened.

Mice given grapefruit juice drank and ate similar amounts. However, after eating a diet higher in fat for approximately 100 days, the mice who consumed grapefruit juice had a weight reduction by as much as 18.5 percent than the rodents with the sweetened water. Their weight loss also became apparent after 15 days and significant enough by the time 78 days rolled around.

At the end of the 100 day study, the grapefruit juice laden mice were in much better metabolically than those who drank the sugar water. They also had less sensitivity to insulin, low fasting blood sugar numbers and a reduced level of liver triglycerides.

A follow-up experiment also allowed the mice to increase their girth before the grapefruit juice study was introduced. At the end of the 55 days, there was a noticeable weight reduction in the mice who consumed grapefruit juice as opposed to the ones who stuck to water. Their metabolic functioning was also much better.

The researchers then compared the effects of grapefruit flavonoid enriched naringin, grapefruit juice and diabetes pharmaceutical metformin. While all three of the treatments were found to reduce the blood sugar levels in mice, the grapefruit juice drinkers weighed less by as much as 14 percent after 100 days.

How grapefruit juice promotes weight loss isn’t exactly clear at this time. However, researchers did find that the juice drinking mice did express a particular protein that was crucial in regulating their metabolism. Grapefruit juice can also affect the way the body metabolizes specific pharmaceutical drugs in regards to allergies, cholesterol, anxiety and blood pressure. The problem is so serious that scientists are looking into a hybrid species of grapefruit that would be safe to consume with certain medications.

Scientists Have Discovered an on/off Switch for Aging Cells

A recent discovery found in a molecular switch could help control how quick a person ages and whether they'll develop cancer.

It’s the job of our cells to consistently divide, so they can rejuvenate our skin, liver, lungs and other organs. Unfortunately, they can’t do this forever, and our tissues and organs are left to suffer and degrade over time.

Telomeres are the DNA caps that settle at the end of the chromosomes. Every time the cell is able to divide, the telomeres continue to get shorter until they are so small that they are unable to properly divide.

Researchers have found a switch to stop the beat down of the telomere. Telomerase is an enzyme that helps to rebuild the telomere and allows them to indefinitely divide. However, finding out why some of the telomerase responds to cells in some and not others is still difficult to ascertain.

The Salk Institute or Biological Studies have realized that the on/off switch in the telomerase may be found in a cell, but when it comes to slowing down the aging process, it won’t work if the switch is turned off.

Studies in the past have shown that once the telomerase has been collected, it should be accessible when needed. However, findings have proven that the telomerase have an off switch instead.

This is a significantly major breakthrough because scientists can now determine how to manage the off switch and slow the aging process down. It could also help in finding treatments for many of today’s age related illnesses and diseases. The ways the telomerase uncontrollably divide could also prove insightful when it comes to studying cancer cells.

Researchers discovered the on/off switch while incorporating a new technique using yeast. They were then allowed to monitor how the cells grew and methods that they used to divide.

Every time the cells are allowed to separate, a genome is replicated. While the cell is waiting for its duplication, the telemorase is in a sit and wait mode waiting for the process to come to fruition.

However, once the assembly was completed, the dismantling of the telemorase took place, and it was switched to the off position.

The off switch is what has given researchers new hope when it comes to cancer and cell growth and ensuring that the cells divide for longer periods of time.

The recent research done with the help of yeast may not seem very telling at the moment, but the experiments have certainly provided a foundation for future discoveries when it comes to human beings.

Further studies will be able to help researchers understand more about how the switch works, and it’s relation to both the aging process and cancer. Once they figure this out, they can use their findings to help people live a longer and healthier life.

A Common Virus is Eating Your Gut: Bacteria

The time a person is most human is before birth. After you’re born, the environment’s microbes surround your body and outnumber them by as much as 10 to one.

Because some microbes offer protection and others may make a person sick, scientists have been instrumental in exploring the correlation they have when it comes to a person’s health and wellness.

Instead of growing the species and deciphering their DNA sequence in order to make genomes, researchers obtain samples from a particular location such as the belly. Metagenome is collected material that is found when the DNA is chopped and read.

Through this inexpensive process, metagenome data can be generated in significant amounts through the nose, skin, mouth and both the gastrointestinal and urogenital regions of an adult. It can also be used to discover unfamiliar microbes such as a bacteriophage virus known as crAssphage.

crAssphage is a bacteria eating virus that can infect and ravage the gut. While it has been known to behave both in bad and good respects, it spends most of the time in a creative and harmonious companionable home that allows an individual to digest the foods they eat. However, it can also wreak havoc by causing complicated issues such as obesity, cancer and diabetes.

Discovered by Dr. Bas Dutilh, the genome was reconstructed from DNA fragments. When it came to programming, the initial name was touted solely as the new virus. However, Dr. Dutilh wanted the chance to endorse his computer tool as a method of terminology and ended up naming it crAssphage (cross Assembly).

Because the metagenome has DNA fragments that make up the populace of microbes, reconstructing the genome was a difficult challenge to accomplish. Some may even compare this to pieces in a puzzle that are combined together from hundreds of different designs. In order to put it all together the various species are uses as a method of guidance. However, how do you even complete the process if you aren’t sure that it actually exists?

Based on the fragmented DNA, the computer tool is able to piece the genomes together and match them to the metagenome. To make this easier to understand, say you would find a puzzle piece with thats distinct shape is the same from other boxes. Unfortunately, box A would contain 10 copies, and the other container houses 100. Using is crAss computer software, Dutilh worked with other researchers at San Diego State University. Here they took 12 individuals and analyzed the faecal metagenomes to reveal the distinct DNA fragments. Based on one of the stool samples, their crAssphage diagnosis was confirmed.

It was then the responsibility of the researchers to look through the public databases. Approximately 70 percent of the virus was detected from areas that include South Korea, United States and Europe. With over three-quarters of crAssphage occurring throughout the world, there could be trillions of viruses taking over your belly at this moment.

Since crAssphage is too tiny to be witnessed through a microscope, it’s difficult to ascertain as much information as researchers would like. The researchers have evidence that shows how crAssphage is infected with Bacteroides. In addition to controlling the amount of bacteria that exists in a healthy belly, crAssphage might be used as a way to fight disease in the future. crAssphage could also deliver vitamins and drugs to a person therapeutically.

In summation, research in regards to metagenome has primarily centered on bacteria. Because DNA advances faster than it’s able to detect, viruses have been overlooked. However, crAssphage has shown the important role viruses can take in the microbial community.

Foods That Fight Off an Afternoon Slump

We’ve all experienced that tired feeling after an afternoon lunch. Being unable to focus, a decline in energy levels and wishing you could curl up under your desk with a blanket for a quick nap are just a few cozy thoughts that may be running rampant through your mind. However, important deadlines and group meetings are more vital to your busy day than the slow close of your eyelids.

To placate your sagging energy and raging food cravings, you may rely on the hallway vending machine. While the sodium-laden treats and refined sugars in the snacks may give you that added burst, you’re sure to fall back into a fit of slumber within the hour.

Fortunately, you no longer have to suffer through the afternoon snooze fest. The following four foods will help you stay focused and alert, so you can conquer the remainder of your workday.

Dark Chocolate

Chocolate is often viewed as a decadent treat better left untouched. However, this aromatic and delicious indulgence can help you fight afternoon fatigue. While it does contain miniscule amounts of caffeine, phenylethylamine is the primary power source behind the feel good compounds being released to the brain. Just the smell of this intoxicating snack is enough to make you stay alert.

Green Tea

Most individuals reach for a cup of Joe as an afternoon wake-up-call. However, the nutrients in green tea can pack quite the punch. The caffeine in the tea and amino acid theanine can work to improve a person’s creativity, reaction time and ability to multi-task. The theanine’s in green tea interact specifically with the neurotransmitters in the body’s brain, so you’re feeling alert and calm, instead of jittery and nervous.

Greek Yogurt

In addition to afternoon fatigue, the body has been known to signal certain cravings. To quell the dangerous urges of doughnuts and birthday cake calling your name from the break room, you may want to try reaching for a container of Greek yogurt. The protein in the yogurt curbs the cravings by controlling your blood sugar levels. Try to aim for at least 20 to 23 grams of protein per snack.


Nuts were shunned in the past because they were high in fat. However, this recharging snack can keep you feeling fuller longer and aid in your weight-loss. The fat, protein and fiber in this delicious treat will easily control your blood sugar levels by keeping your body focused and energized. Almonds can also reduce your risk of heart attack by as much as 50 percent.

10 Tips for Better Digestive Health

There are a number of factors that affect your digestive system such as your lifestyle, stress, and the foods that you choose to eat. Getting the required amount of fiber, drinking plenty of water and exercising can all aid in developing better digestive health. Your body works by breaking down the foods you consume into nutrients and if you fail to be kind to your digestive health, you could run into complications later on.

The following are ten important tips that will help boost and maintain your digestive system.

1. Consume a diet high in fiber. According to the latest studies, a diet that is rich in fiber, whole-grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, can make great strides in the way that you digest your foods. Fiber laden foods provide regularity by keeping things moving throughout your digestive system. This makes you less susceptible to constipation, bloating and fatigue. It can also aid in preventing digestive ailments such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. A smooth running digestive tract can also aid those who are trying to shed pounds by helping you to maintain a normal weight range.

2. Insoluble and soluble fiber. Both forms of fiber can aid in your digestive tract. Insoluble fiber is difficult to be digested by the human body and can add solidness to your stools. Forms of insoluble fiber can include vegetables, whole-grains and wheat bran. Soluble fiber attracts water in and discourages your stools from becoming watery. You can get soluble fiber from items such as legumes, seeds, oat bran and nuts.

3. Reduce your consumption of fatty foods. Fatty foods can slow down your digestive system and contribute to constipation. However, getting rid of all that fat is not necessary, as pairing high fibered foods with some that are fatty can bring digestive relief to many individuals.

4. Lean meats a good source of protein. Fatty cuts of meats can irritate your bowel and lead to gas and bloating. Lean protein is necessary to any diet and can be found in food source items such as skinless chicken breasts, pork loin, turkey breast and other lean cuts of meats.

5. The importance of probiotics. Probiotics are a necessary part of any healthy diet, and they can keep your digestive system on target with the amount of healthy bacteria. By combating foods that are not good for you, they can contribute to proper nutrient absorption, aid in breaking down lactose and give your immune system a boost. They may even aid those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics can be found in healthy products such as kefir and low-fat yogurt.

[Printable Version of This Page] 10 Tips for Better Digestive Health July 8, 2014 By Dr. William S. Gruss, M.D.

[Image 1]There are a number of factors that affect your digestive system such as your lifestyle, stress, and the foods that you choose to eat. Getting the required amount of fiber, drinking plenty of water and exercising can all aid in developing better digestive health. Your body works by breaking down the foods you consume into nutrients and if you fail to be kind to your digestive health, you could run into complications later on.

The following are ten important tips that will help boost and maintain your digestive system.

1. Consume a diet high in fiber. According to the latest studies, a diet that is rich in fiber, whole-grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, can make great strides in the way that you digest your foods. Fiber laden foods provide regularity by keeping things moving throughout your digestive system. This makes you less susceptible to constipation, bloating and fatigue. It can also aid in preventing digestive ailments such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. A smooth running digestive tract can also aid those who are trying to shed pounds by helping you to maintain a normal weight range.

2. Insoluble and soluble fiber. Both forms of fiber can aid in your digestive tract. Insoluble fiber is difficult to be digested by the human body and can add solidness to your stools. Forms of insoluble fiber can include vegetables, whole-grains and wheat bran. Soluble fiber attracts water in and discourages your stools from becoming watery. You can get soluble fiber from items such as legumes, seeds, oat bran and nuts.

3. Reduce your consumption of fatty foods. Fatty foods can slow down your digestive system and contribute to constipation. However, getting rid of all that fat is not necessary, as pairing high fibered foods with some that are fatty can bring digestive relief to many individuals.

4. Lean meats a good source of protein. Fatty cuts of meats can irritate your bowel and lead to gas and bloating. Lean protein is necessary to any diet and can be found in food source items such as skinless chicken breasts, pork loin, turkey breast and other lean cuts of meats.

5. The importance of probiotics. Probiotics are a necessary part of any healthy diet, and they can keep your digestive system on target with the amount of healthy bacteria. By combating foods that are not good for you, they can contribute to proper nutrient absorption, aid in breaking down lactose and give your immune system a boost. They may even aid those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics can be found in healthy products such as kefir and low-fat yogurt.

Prosentials: Suffering with nasty digestive problems? This probiotic formula can make a difference. 6. Follow a healthy schedule. Following a regular eating schedule can keep your digestive system running right. Plan to eat around the same time every day and include a healthy balance of snacks and regular meals.

7. Drink plenty of water. Water is refreshing and can help the body stay hydrated. It can also contribute to a healthy digestive system by helping to dissolve fats and soluble fiber. This can contribute to keeping the body running regularly and alleviate bloat and discomfort.

8. Ditch the bad habits. Alcohol, smoking and excessive caffeine usage are all bad habits that can hinder your digestive system from running right. It can also lead to other health issues such as heartburn and stomach ulcers.

9. Regular exercise. Exercising on a regular basis can keep the foods that you eat moving throughout your digestive tract. It can also reduce your chances of experiencing constipation and help you maintain a normal weight.

10. Dealing with stress. Stress and anxiety can lead to a dysfunctional digestive system. Stress reducing activities such as yoga and meditation can be helpful and should be practiced regularly. The foods you eat and a well-maintained digestive tract can go hand-in-hand. By following the above ten tips, you’re sure to enjoy comfort and regularity.

12 Foods That Control Your Appetite

[Image 2]

When it comes to losing weight, portion control and curtailing the amount of food you eat is important in order to see the best results. However, it can come at the price of hunger pangs and falling off the diet bandwagon in just a matter of weeks.

Without raiding the refrigerator and eating additional calories, there are ways you can calm your ravenous stomach. As a matter of fact, there are specific foods that will send a signal to your brain that you’re done eating.

In order to tune out the tempting voice of the pint of ice cream that keeps calling out your name in the freezer, you’ll want to concentrate on the following satisfying and healthy foods.

Dairy Whey

Whey protein is one of the heartiest and most satisfying of milk products. Individuals who drank this important protein-enriched beverage were found to reduce their calorie intact dramatically then those who consumed a carb-loaded beverage.


Avocados are just as filling and incorporating them into your lunch is easy to do. Whether you fill one half with diced broiled chicken breast and vegetables or top them on your favorite salad, you won’t be tempted to visit the nearest vending machine.


Lentils, beans and chickpeas are nutrient and protein-rich foods that can pack a lot of B vitamins, iron and antioxidants. Because they are also high in fiber, they are great at appetite control. When consuming super foods such as these, a recent study found that individuals were found to be at least 30 percent more satisfied after the conclusion of the meal.


An apple one half hour before meal time can keep your cravings at bay. Consuming an apple shortly before you eat can leave you feeling full longer. The water and fiber in the apple helps prevent hunger pangs, so you eat less during meals.


Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi are known as short-chain fatty acid (SCFAs) foods. In a recent study, researchers found that the correlation between the brain and stomach were often strengthened after consumption. In addition to relieving hunger pangs, the SCFAs were also known to host probiotics and aid in digestion. Probiotics have also been thought to aid in weight loss and reduce appetite.


A latest Penn State study concluded that broth-based soups are great at curbing your appetite when consumed right before the entrée. Since they take up a lot of space in your stomach, you can reduce your caloric intake by as much as 20 percent and with a lower number of calories.

Chili powder

The capsaicin responsible for giving chili’s their fired up kick can also rev up your metabolism. Research also pointed out that the same compounds when added to a meal can also keep your appetite from getting out of control. Simply adding ¼ tsp to your meal can increase your level of fullness and lessen the desire to snack later on in the evening.


A healthy dose of eggs in the morning can help your body feel more satisfied and full. Researchers indicate that the power of not wanting to snack comes from the protein. A breakfast made up of 39 grams from eggs and sausage can help lessen the desire to snack in between breakfast and lunch. When consuming this high-protein breakfast, dieters were also found to consume a lower number of calories by the end of the day.

Dark chocolate

If you have a craving for something sweet and decadent, dark chocolate holds the key to your weight loss goals. Researchers found that in addition to protecting the heart, brain and lowering blood pressure, this delectable snack can prove more satisfying than its milk chocolate counterpart. As a matter of fact, participants in the study who consumed dark chocolate were shown to eat as much as 17 percent fewer amount of calories during meal time.


While cold cereal can be good for you, a warm bowl of oatmeal can keep your tummy feeling fuller longer. Participants in a recent study were given either cereal or oatmeal to eat. The group who consumed oatmeal was found to be satisfied longer than those who didn’t. Since oatmeal is high in protein and fiber, this nutritious bowl of gooeyness can also aid in heart problem and hydration.


While an essential nutrient to aid in your health and wellness, nuts are another feel good and filling food. Based on a study found in the British Journal, overweight women who paired orange juice, 3 tablespoons of peanut butter and Cream of Wheat had the capacity to feel fuller longer by as much as 12 hours. Nuts are a natural appetite suppressant because they are high in protein, fiber and unsaturated fat. This powerful food booster can regulate blood sugar and slow down digestion when mixed together with carbs such as brown rice and oatmeal.


Running low on water can trick your body into thinking it’s ravenous. Because hunger symptoms are the same to feeling of dehydration, a reduction in cognitive development, crankiness and low energy can often ensue. The next time you get the afternoon munchies, reach for a tall glass of water instead. You’ll be amazed at how fast your hunger pangs dissipate.

The New Science Behind America’s Deadliest Diseases

[Image 2]These days there are all sorts of different body problems, diseases and sickness’ that people and scientists have a hard time figuring out exactly what is causing them; there are just so many different factors. But what some do not realize is that heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and cancer have a lot in common. All of these, for certain, have one thing in common; scientists have found a connection from each of these to a condition called chronic inflammation. Along with this, they are also studying how a diet that is high in fatty foods, as well as having an exuberance of body weight, can also increase the risk for fatal disorders.

Chronic Inflammation is nothing out of the norm but is rather a natural response for the body; naturally responding to injury and outside irritation. Often those irritations do not go away, and this happens because of poor diets, being overweight and smoking. All of these components can then negatively affect the immune system which then increases the risk for disease. If the inflammation becomes chronic it can cause damage to the heart, brain, increase the chance of stroke and bring on diabetes. The worst part is that chronic inflammation is also linked to the development of cancer. Chronic inflammation is most common due to its relation to cardiovascular disease. Inflammation is natural, for instance, when the body has a cut, scrape or wound, and then the immune system rushes to the rescue. However, too much inflammation causes serious damage.

Research is being done to fight chronic inflammation with drugs, but a number of scientists are researching how a change from an unhealthy, high in fat diet to a healthy diet can actually lower the risk; dietary fiber and even dairy may protect from inflammation. Eating healthy and watching your weight is a good way of lowering the risk of chronic inflammation. Consuming a diet high in complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, unsaturated fats and dairy in moderation is a great way to lower the risk of inflammation. Along with a healthy diet, exercise is a key component when battling inflammation. Obesity is one of the easiest ways to promote inflammation. Fat cells create molecules called cytokines, which then give the okay for inflammation to occur when there is an excess of fat cells in the body. Dr. Peter Libby, chief of the division of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a professor at Harvard Medical School says, “We’ve learned that abdominal fat tissue is a hotbed of inflammation that pours out all kinds of inflammatory molecules.” Losing excess body weight can dramatically decrease inflammation in a short period of time.

Cancer is caused by many different abnormalities but one for sure is inflammation. Inflammation can be dealt with by keeping off excess body fat and eating a healthy diet. By living a healthy lifestyle the chance of inflammation is lowered which then eliminates at least one factor towards cancer.

12 Foods That Help You Fall (and Stay) Asleep!

According to the National Sleep Foundation, close to 60 percent of individuals across the United States say they have a problem sleeping every night. While it can be frustrating tossing and turning, you’ll find that a sleepless night can also cause certain health issues and weight gain, especially in the abdomen. Failing to get enough sleep is a unique form of stress that causes the body to respond with a chronic one. However, an overlooked approach to sleep restoration is through a healthy diet. The following foods will contribute to a restful evening of sleep and allow you to remain that way throughout the entire night.

1. Salmon

If you’re anticipating a good night’s sleep, you can begin with a sleep-inducing evening meal. Salmon is an excellent form of omega-3 fatty acids, and it’s crucial in lessening the stress hormones that can be keeping you from getting a good night’s sleep. If you’re not a fan of salmon, you’ll find other varieties of fish such as halibut to be just as beneficial.

2. Tart Cherry Juice

Before you’re hit with a bout of insomnia, you may want to think about having a drink. While alcohol can disrupt your normal sleep patterns, a glass of tart cherry juice can reduce your symptoms of insomnia significantly. This natural source of melatonin makes the ideal bedtime companion when you mix it with almond or soy milk, ice and mix it in the blender. If you can’t find tart cherry juice at your local retail establishment, you can exchange the juice for dried or fresh cherries.

3. Bananas

Finding it difficult to get to sleep? You may want to try eating a banana. In addition to be full of potassium and helping to calm restless legs, bananas can help combat nasty leg cramps that can plague restless sleepers. Studies published in the Journal of Neuroscience in 2007, a correlation has been shown between getting enough potassium and obtaining the highest level of restful sleep. This amazing yellow fruit is also chalk full of magnesium to aid in promoting circulation, digestion and helping the muscles and nerves to relax. To get your recommended dose of magnesium and potassium, you can peel and place the banana in a favorite smoothie recipe or cut it up and serve over cereal.

4. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a delicious, healthy and inexpensive staple to keep in your pantry. Known as a good source of potassium, sweet potatoes can aid in digestion, circulation and help promote relaxation. In addition to baking, you can make homemade sweet potato fries by cutting them into slices, laying them on a cookie sheet and drizzling with a little olive oil. Other excellent sources of potassium include white potatoes, papaya or lima beans.

5. Kale

Biochemists sing the praises of this cruciferous vegetable for its sleep inducing properties. Known for being high in both calcium and potassium, kale can contribute to a peaceful night of sleep. Whether you include it in your evening meal or munch on it as a pre-bedtime snack, this leafy green is great for a good night’s rest. If you aren’t a fan of kale, never fear. Green veggies such as spinach and Swiss chard contain a healthy dose of potassium and host the same benefits as kale.

6. Almonds

A handful of almonds before you hit the sheets can help promote a restful night’s sleep. Because they contain proteins that help stabilize your blood sugar levels while you rest, you’re able to switch from a stage of alertness to drowsiness. If your tastes lean toward something more substantial, you can spread a tablespoon of almond butter on a piece of whole-grain toast for a night of good slumber.

7. Chickpeas

Also referred to as garbanzo beans, chickpeas are instrumental in relieving stress and elevating your mood because of its high levels of vitamin B-6. Adding chick peas to an evening meal can help promote a better night’s sleep. You can best utilize this healthy melatonin producer by placing them on top of a salad. You can also make it into a hummus spread and dip crudité such as red peppers, carrots, celery and cucumber spears.

8. Eggs

Eggs aren’t just for breakfast anymore. High in protein and used to keep your blood sugar levels stable, eggs can also help you catch enough Zzzs at night. Whether you hard boil a few eggs ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator or scramble them with a little cheese, this protein enriched gem can make an easy evening snack. If you’re not a big fan of eggs, you can find protein in other places such as lean meat or cottage cheese mixed with fresh fruit.

9. Milk

Movies, T.V. shows and advertisements have sung the praises of milk when it comes to getting some sleep. While some individuals swear that a glass of milk contains enough melatonin to lull a body to sleep, the lack of evidence has caused some experts to back off on these statements. If you’re looking to fall asleep at a faster rate, soy products have been shown to place an individual into a deeper sense of slumber.

10. Herbal or Decaffeinated Green Tea

While you may be used to combating bouts of tiredness throughout your busy day with a cup of coffee, you want to put down your cup of java in favor of decaf tea in the afternoon. Because green tea contains sleep inducing ingredients such as theanin, you’re sure to feel the relaxing effects into the evening hours. In addition to being able to lessen the amount of time it takes to get to sleep, decaf tea can also increase the number of hours you stay asleep. Combine the warm mug with a comfy chair or bed, and you have perfect recipe for a good night’s sleep.

11. Cereal

Low-sugar cereals that are rich in whole-grains can set the stage for a slumber-filled night. Tryptophan isn’t just for Thanksgiving and turkeys. A carb-rich bowl of cereal can also have sleep inducing effects on the brain. In addition to cereal and milk, other carb-protein mates can include cheese and crackers or peanut butter and toast.

12. Oatmeal

While a delicious bowl of warmed oatmeal before bed can be a satisfying way to end your day, you’ll find this soothing snack to aid in helping you get to sleep faster. Because it contains nutritional resources such as potassium, calcium and magnesium, you’re sure to conquer any late-night jitters with this super food. However, topping your bowl of oatmeal with too much sugar can be counter-productive. Blueberries, raspberries, walnuts, almonds and cinnamon make better alternative toppers.

New Hope in Regenerative Medicine

Scientists have found a way to transform blood cells into blood-forming ones.

Researchers have taken mature blood cells from mice and reprogrammed them into the blood-forming variety using a combination of eight genetic switches. The transcription factors commonly known as HSCs are capable of self-renewal. They can also give growth to the cellular segments of the blood.

With the latest findings related to the HSCs production, the goals of regenerative medicine have finally become attainable. Bone marrow transplants, also known as blood transplants, are a method that has been used to save patient’s lives for over three decades. However, finding the right cell matches for the transplantation process has proved challenging for many patients and researchers.

HSCs are the starting basis for the transplantation process regardless if their source was from peripheral blood, bone marrow or umbilical cord blood. The patient’s transplant success rate is based on the number of HSCs that are available for usage. If there are a great number of cells available to be used, the better chance that the transplant will take hold for the patient.

Unfortunately HSCs are a rare commodity and are comprised of about one in every 20,000 bone marrow cells. If there was a way to manufacture HSCs from the other cells in a patient, they could be utilized for transplants and a way to model diseases related to blood development.

The latest findings screened gene expression using various types of blood progenitor cells taken from mice. By using 40 types of blood, they were able to identify control factors that turned the genes both on and off based on the exclusive HSCs.

The production of blood cells typically moves in one direction that includes stem cells, progenitors and mature effector cells. However, the main goal was to reverse the process by developing the HSCs from various blood cells that were specific to the HSCs.

Through this series of experiments, the team was able to find that six out of the 36 factors were able to reprogram two varieties of progenitor cells in the iHSCs.

This was done by exposing the cells to viruses that contained the 8 factors and molecular device that turned the genes on when in the presence of doxycycline. The exposed cells were then transplanted into the mice and activated by way of doxycycline. The iHSCs were then able to generate the stockpile of blood cells that were transplanted into the mice to show that they could differentiate into the various blood lines. It also marks the innovative direction mice are taking in response to HSC research.

Because questions such as how the eight factors contribute to the reprogramming process, and the success of the approaches on viruses and transcription, the latest findings are far from being recorded at the transplantation clinic. The studies are also inconclusive when it comes to the results related to human cells versus non-blood in correlation to the reprogrammed iHSCs.

Gene matched donors and utilizing the cells of a patient to develop iHSCs may be a long way away, but it’s definitely a movement in the right direction. The discovery could also have a major impact on the transplantation process down the road.

7 Nutrients That Help Increase Muscle Tone

When it comes to achieving an awe-inspiring body, calories aren’t the only factor to be taken into consideration. With a mixture of eating the right foods and exercising, you’ll be able to achieve your goal of slimming down and building strong muscles.

Your muscles actually break down and cause microtears in the tissues fibers every time you perform exercises such as curls and presses. When your body is at rest, it’s then able to strengthen and rebuild muscles. However, in order for it to repair properly, it needs the right amount of fuel to get the job done. Essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals can allow you to get the recommended daily dosage that will help you to look good and feel great.

Vitamin C

A little color added to your plate at every meal can help create better tone and definition in your arms. Fortunately, a healthy dose of vitamin C can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables. The health of your blood vessels is dependent on your vitamin C consumption. This essential nutrient can also contribute to the way your muscles work and recover after a workout. After your body receives the necessary 75 mg. daily requirements, you’ll be able to store the material properly in order to build strong bones and muscles. You can find the recommended allotment by consuming a cup of strawberries, medium orange or half a red pepper.

Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids are a crucial nutrient that will help decrease inflammation and help a body recover faster after a workout. Known to increase the flow of blood to the muscles and lessen the breakdown of muscle protein, consuming fish oil on a regular basis can even help prevent diabetes by improving an individual’s sensitivity to insulin.

The American Heart Association has guidelines in place that recommends consuming two servings of fish on a weekly basis. This could include anything from lake trout and herring to salmon and albacore tuna. If you can’t stomach the taste of fish or you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you can get your recommended 1,000 to 3,000 milligram supplement in chia seeds, walnuts, flax seeds or algae-based products.


If you’re looking to maintain strong bones and healthy muscles, you’ll find calcium to be an essential nutrient. With every weight you lift, this important mineral gives your body the nutrients that it needs to contract and grow.

To get your allotted 1,200 mg. per day, you’ll want to try to consume foods such as green veggies, yogurt, cheese, milk and cottage cheese. You’ll also find fortified dairy-free products and supplements for those who are lactose intolerant. If you’re shooting for a pill, look for one with vitamin D. You should also select supplements that contain 500 to 600 mg. of calcium.


The deficiency of magnesium is a rare occurrence in the U.S. However, when it comes to not getting enough of this essential mineral, it is women who are actually lacking. Since your body needs this important nutrient in order to build muscles and ensure that you’re heart keeps ticking properly, you’ll want to get at least 310 to 320 mg. per day. In addition to regulating your heart, magnesium can also relive muscle soreness and cramps associated with PMS and weight lifting. Foods high in magnesium can include whole-grains, spinach, legumes and nuts. You can also soak it up by drawing yourself a relaxing Epsom salt bath.

B Vitamins

From B1, B2 and B3 to B6 and B12, this gang of supplements can pack a powerful punch. Essential in maintaining overall good health. Because of the way they metabolize protein, provide energy and help the body maintain optimum nerve health, you’ll find the vitamins to be especially important when you’re trying to tone muscles and gain strength.

Adequate amounts of vitamin B can be sought through a daily diet when you consume foods that include whole-grains, lean meats, eggs, nuts, legumes, fortified cereals and leafy greens. Unfortunately, B12 can only be found through animal sources. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you’ll want to consider fortified food sources or taking a supplement to obtain the required 2.4 daily micrograms.

Vitamin D

It seems that everyone is singing the praises of this powerful sunshine vitamin today. From mood inducing powers and a strong immune system to muscle building properties, and the growth and development of your bones and teeth, you’ll find that vitamin D is an essential vitamin that you can’t do without.

While you can get adequate vitamin D through daily exposure to the sun, you have skin cancer to contend with. Mushrooms, eggs, fortified dairy products, oysters and cod liver oil can help you achieve your recommended 4,000 to 6,000 (IU) of vitamin D. You can also take a supplement. A simple blood test taken by your primary care physician can help you determine if you’re vitamin D deficient.

Vitamin E

Reaching for a handful of almonds after a workout can provide a wealth of nutrients that includes healthy fats, fiber, protein and vitamin E. This important antioxidant can be beneficial in your muscle recovery after you exercise. However, maintaining the right recommended dosage is important because anything over 300 mg. can cause weakness, nausea and stomach cramping

7 Times When Food is the Answer

While stuffing your face with food can bring momentary satiation, you’ll find it can fill you with remorse later on. However, noshing on fortifying foods can lead to greater satisfaction with every bite you take.

If You’re Going Through a Funk?: Reach for a Sweet Potato.

When you feel the urge to snack, try to resist the temptation to reach for unhealthy snacks such as candy or chips. A baked sweet potato is a nutritious alternative to junk food and a great source of carbohydrates. The surge of serotonin experienced when you consume an orange potato can boost your mood with this natural feel-good chemical. Because sweet potatoes are also loaded with fiber, the carbs will enter into your system gradually. This keeps your energy stabilized instead of crashing like you would experience after binging on peanut butter cups.

You Find it Difficult to Sleep?: Snack on Hummus

Hummus is a delicious and nutritious Middle Eastern snack that will help you sleep soundly. Chickpeas contain an important amino acid called tryptophan. This melatonin-like substance will naturally increase your sleep inducing hormones, making it easy to fall asleep at night.

Achy Muscles: Drink a Glass of Tart Cherry Juice

If you pushed yourself to extreme levels at the gym, and you want to ensure that you’re able to work out tomorrow, ditch your protein shake for a glass of tart cherry juice. The anti-inflammatory anti-oxidants in tart cherries can help an individual recover quicker after a workout. The anthocyanins can also reduce muscle soreness before and after you exercise.

Feeling Lethargic and Sluggish?: Try Adding a Glass of Coconut Water

Limited energy and feelings of tiredness indicate a lack of water consumption. Without this important nutrient, your muscles and brain won’t be able to function properly. Instead of turning to your typical cup of Java, you can switch to a glass of coconut water instead. This nutritious pick-me-up is chalk full of electrolytes, calcium, potassium and magnesium to keep your fluids flowing throughout your body.

Stomach Rebellion?: Make Time for Peppermint Tea

A heavy meal or unsettled tummy can leave you feeling bloated and doubled over in pain. However, drinking a cup of peppermint tea can relieve the discomfort and pain associated with stomach issues such as indigestion or IBS.

Pounding Migraine?: Consume Spinach

When a pounding headache or migraine appears, most people seek relief by popping a pill. However, spinach contains riboflavin, magnesium and other essential nutrients that can combat the pain and discomfort associated with a migraine. Most ERs and hospitals use a magnesium supplement to alleviate the pain, but greenery such as spinach is definitely worth a try.

Low Blood Sugar?: Get Out the Dried Apricots

If you’re looking to increase the levels of blood sugar in your system, you should consume something sweet. However, this shouldn’t send you scurrying for the nearest bowl of sugar. Apricots are a healthy and natural sweet source of sugar and a much better option for the body. Since they are also high in both fructose and glucose, dried apricots can also immediately spike your blood sugar levels. However, you don’t want to raise your blood sugar levels too high, so try to stick to three to five pieces.

Three Foods to Help You Avoid Heart Disease, Stroke and Improve Brain Function

Experts have stated for many years that what is good for your heart is also good for your head. Now, both the American Stroke Association and the American Heart Association have stated that the plaque buildup in the arteries that leads to heart disease can also have a negative impact on the brain.

Philip B. Gorelick is a medical doctor and the director of the Center for Stroke Research at University of Illinois College of Medicine. He has stated that the brain and heart are linked by the arteries that supply nutrients, oxygen and blood. If plaque builds up in the arteries and causes them to harden, then the brain and heart will be deprived of blood.

Fortunately, there are a number of delicious foods that can protect your cranium and ticker.

1.) Fish

There have been studies done to confirm that eating one or two four ounce servings of rainbow trout, salmon, sardines or mackerel can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by 36 percent. There was another study done that followed 80,000 women over the course of 14 years. The study found that the women who ate fish twice a week were 51 percent less likely to have a thrombotic stroke than women who consumed fish less than once a month. Clogged arteries are the cause of a thrombotic stroke. According to Ralph Felder, a medical doctor who wrote The Bonus Years Diet, the omega 3 fatty acids in fish help reduce inflammation in the arteries. This keeps blood flowing to the brain.

2.) Have A Glass of Red Wine

Red wine has polyphenols, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol as well as prevent blood clot formation. Resveratrol, which is one type of polyphenol, can increase blood circulation to the brain, which can lower the risk of stroke. Even though there are a number of health benefits that can be reaped from drinking wine, you do not need to start drinking it if you do not currently consume alcoholic beverages.

3.) Increase Your Produce Consumption

A study published in the Journal Circulation showed that hypertensive patients could improve their blood circulation and lower their blood pressure by eating more fruits and vegetables. There was another study performed on people who were over the age of 65. The study showed that the subjects who ate three servings of vegetables per day performed better on cognitive tests than those who consumed few or no vegetables. Potassium, which is a nutrient found in baked potatoes, artichokes and bananas, can help prevent the walls in the arteries from thickening. This will lower blood pressure.

5 foods with brain benefits you may not know about

We've all heard that fish is brain food, especially the kind that is rich with omega-3s. Blueberries and spinach also have notable brain-boosting abilities. However, these aren't the only foods which can help keep your brain strong and free of disease.

Red Wine

Certain compounds found in grape seeds may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. A 2011 study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that in mice, these compounds helped prevent the formation of proteins linked to the development of Alzheimer’s. Those same grape seed compounds are found in red wine, so wine may help protect the brain when consumed in moderation.


Fully caffeinated coffee may also help protect against Alzheimer’s. A study done at the University of South Florida fed caffeine to mice specifically bred to develop Alzheimer’s disease as they aged; some mice received caffeinated coffee, some received decaf, and others were given plain caffeine. The mice who received regular coffee showed higher levels of a hormone called granulocyte colony stimulating factor, which reduces Alzheimer’s symptoms by increasing neuron production and connection. For humans, the useful dose would translate to about four cups of coffee spread throughout the day.

Citrus Fruit

While the vitamin C in citrus may or may not be useful in preventing colds, it seems that citrus fruit may help to prevent strokes. Flavones, found in oranges and grapefruit, seem to act as anti-inflammatories and improve the function of blood vessels. A 2012 study in Stroke reported that people who ate two or more servings of citrus each day over a period of 14 years had a 10% lower risk of stroke than people who ate less. Be wary of choosing juice instead of whole fruit; many juices contain added sugar.


Onions are full of antioxidants which may help prevent brain damage if a person has a stroke; the antioxidants can work to block the formation of oxygen compounds which damage the barrier between blood and brain. A study published in Nutrition reported feeding some mice an onion supplement. When researchers induced stroke in all the mice, the control group showed significantly higher brain damage than did the onion-fed group.


Eggs are rich in choline, a nutrient which is required to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter which is linked to brain health and memory. A 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at nearly 1400 adults and found that those who consumed the most choline performed best on memory tests. The subjects with high choline intake were also less likely to have signs of potential dementia such as blood vessel disease in the brain.

10 Tips for Everlasting Energy

The following proven tips will help jump start your day and allow you to feel energized!

Get an Early Start

Individuals who get an early start by leaving the comforts of their bed by 7 a.m. will have a greater attention span throughout the day. An added bonus is that most of those early birds also experienced a happier and healthier outlook on life. Waking up early provides a person with the chance to sleep more sound at night as opposed to their night owl counterparts. Since society is on a nine-to-five schedule, early risers will find their internal alarm clocks to be more in sync.

You can engage a few tricks if getting out of bed early is not your thing. To snap yourself out of a night of slumber, you can try putting your alarm clock at the farthest part of your room. Your body will find it difficult to go back to bed once you’ve gotten up. You can also start your morning with a quick shower, brisk run or by drinking a refreshing glass of water.

Speed Up Your Metabolism with Sex

Getting frisky in the morning with sex can help release pent up tension. It can also speed up your metabolism and start your day off with an energized punch. Physical interaction in the early morning hours stimulates the body’s production of cortisol. For people who have obtained a good night’s sleep, higher levels of cortisol can contribute to their overall well-being and heightened energy levels. A great bout of sex can also increase a person’s endorphins. This will leave you with a skip in your step as you head off to work.

Replace Your Morning Cup of Java with Water

While a tall latte can sharpen your mental alertness, too much of a good thing can have the opposite effect. Drinking a cup of Joe can give you a much needed burst of energy. However, your body could experience quite the crash later in the day. Instead of becoming dependent on your morning java run, you can replace your mug of coffee with cold glasses of water. You can also be kind to the environment by ditching your plastic versions in favor of a stylish water bottle. Try to replenish your water a minimum of three to five times throughout the day.

If your body is still craving that cup of java to get you going, you can try to postpone your mug of coffee to later in the morning. Since most cortisol levels begin their decline between the hours of 9:00 and 11:30 a.m., the stimulant in coffee will be most effective.

Add a Meal to Your Day

The body requires food throughout the day and going for long periods of time in between can cause a reduction in energy. Low blood sugar caused by a lack of food can also make it difficult to focus. Replacing your morning and afternoon snack breaks with an extra meal can keep you fully functioning. They should also be spaced approximately four hours apart. Depending on your activity level, your meals should be between 400 and 600 calories.

To get the most out of your meals, try combining complex carbohydrates, lean protein and healthy fat. Menus options could include mixed greens, grilled chicken and an oil and vinegar based salad dressing and whole-grain toast with peanut butter and sliced banana.

Get Down with a Healthy Dosage of Vitamin D

Individuals who fail to consume the required amount of vitamin D can experience bone and muscle weakness, chronic fatigue and mental impairment. While the recommended daily intake is 600 IUs, most women average their daily intake around 276 IUs. The vitamin D deficiencies are most common in the winter months when the exposure to the sun’s light is more limited.

Fatty fish, fortified orange juice and non-fat milk are excellent sources, but you may need an additional daily supplement, especially when the sun is at its most limited levels. If you’re struggling with fatigue, you can also have your physician test your levels during your annual check-up.

Make a Commitment to Exercise

If you’re looking to recharge your batteries, a good workout is just what the doctor ordered. Unfortunately, convincing your body that it’s in need of exercise can be a difficult process. Strong motivators such as reminding yourself of how good you’ll feel afterward can help jumpstart your workout.

To lessen the levels of fatigue and improve your performance during your workout sessions, try scheduling your activity the same time each day. While any exercise and movement is great for your health and wellness, people who exercised early in the morning had the most effective boosts of energy after its completion.

Shake Up Your Routine

Whether you’re changing your route into work or you want to try a different workout, exposing your body to new experiences can increase your feel-good hormones. While you don’t have to make drastic changes such as scouring mountain tops or changing careers, you can open your normal routine up to new experiences.

Get Moving

Simple things around your home such as your comfy bed, chair and car can be stealing your energy levels. People who sit for long periods of time may find themselves more physically and mentally drained. It also raises your chances for illnesses and diseases, even if you get sufficient exercise each day.

You can prevent being chained to your desk by scheduling five minute bursts that allow your heart rate to get pumping and elevated. A simple run up and down the stairs, walk around the office building or session of group office jumping jacks can pump your blood. In addition to helping you stay more alert and focused, the brief bursts of activity could also contribute to weight loss.

Add Some Melody and Base

Music that is upbeat can be more inspiring than a good workout. The body is hardwired to subliminally tailor the body’s rhythm to rival what we are exposed to. If you find yourself tired and nodding off, you can select a song on your headphones that gets you moving.

If you’re at the gym, try selecting something with 140 beats per minute to get your body pumped and energized. If your gym mates don’t mind, you can even sing or hum along to the tunes. Individuals who incorporated music into their exercise routine also found it to be easier to do.

Steer Clear of Negative “Nancy’s”

Whether it’s the co-worker who seeks drama or the gym buddy who wants constant advice on their latest conquests, you need to avoid people who try to bring you down with their own problems. Listening to someone else’s hardships takes time. It can also be exhaustive to be the problem-solver.

While you don’t want to cut these people out of your life completely, you need to set some boundaries. Give them 10 minutes of your time to tell a condensed version of their story. Be brief and to the point in your response and move on. This allows you to help them out and retain your positive mental outlook on life.

5 Super Food Alternatives

If you’re looking to change up your food habits, you’ll find the following options an exciting alternative.

While super foods such as blueberries, quinoa, and garlic generate a lot of nutritional buzz, you’ll find that they’re not the only items that can prevent disease and improve your health and wellness. There are a number of foods equally loaded with nutrition that a person overlooks in favor of the originals.

Super Food: Quinoa
What it Does: The best whole-grain for losing weight
The Sleeper: Oatmeal

When you’re looking for a super grain, you don’t want to overlook the nutritional capabilities of oats. While quinoa has a total of eight grams of protein versus the six in oats, it doesn’t contain a unique ingredient like its counterpart. Beta glucan is a particular fiber that raises the body’s appetite controlling hormone called PYY. Oats can keep you feeling fuller longer and comes in at only 166 calories. That makes it a more weight conscious selection over the 220 in quinoa.

Super Food: Garlic
What it Does: Fights cancer
The Sleeper: Onions

Both garlic and onions come from the same vegetable family and are chalk full of organosulfur compounds. Onions also contain cancer fighting agents that can stall the growth of tumors. However, purple onions are loaded with a powerful disease fighting hue called anthocyanins and are more nutritious than both white and yellow onions.

Super Food: Blueberries
What it Does: Combats cardiovascular disease by protecting the heart
The Sleeper: Bananas

Bananas contain essential minerals and nutrients that can help combat cardiovascular disease. While blueberries are rich in nutrients, you’ll find that bananas contain over three times the potassium and magnesium. This can help regulate blood pressure and keep the heart in good physical condition.

Super Food: Almonds
What it Does: Some say they are the healthiest of nuts
The Sleeper: Peanuts

Some say almonds are the favorite nut at present. However, peanuts are just as delicious and nutritious. Similar in fiber and calories, you’ll find the peanut to be above average when it comes to protein. Peanuts are also a winner in antioxidants, as they contain just as many as the average berry.

Super Food: Black beans
What it Does: An excellent source of protein for vegetarians
The Sleeper: Peas

Black beans and split peas are both a great source of protein, complex carbs and fiber. While black beans offer 45 percent of a day’s worth of iron, split peas are just as nutritious and come in around 32 percent.

11 Surprising Facts About Your Heart

Straight from the Heart

One of the hardest working muscles in the human body is your heart. The heart beating capabilities of this extraordinary muscle are powerful with it being able to beat approximately 3 billion times throughout an individual’s lifetime. With every beat of your heart, it can also pump out close to two ounces of blood. Over the average day, this can equate to a minimum of 2,500 gallons of the red stuff.

Sedentary Lifestyle Could Equate to Trouble

For health conscious individuals who want to stay heart healthy, you may want to reduce the amount of time in front of the T.V. You may also want to do a little more walking than driving. A study of nearly 30,000 individuals across 52 countries showed that the group of people who owned a T.V. and automobile had a greater risk of a heart attack by as much as 27 percent over individuals without. However, the studies also cautioned that it was the lack of exercise that caused the increase risk of a heart attack and not the actual machines.

The Benefits of a Mediterranean Diet

A slimmed down Mario Batali isn’t the only one who has benefited from the Mediterranean diet. Research suggests that individuals with heart disease who follow this particular eating regimen can prevent a second heart attack from occurring. Mediterranean eating consists of consuming fruits, vegetables, fish, high-fiber grain, beans, monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids. Dieters are also asked to limit eating sweets and cheese.

Pollution is Just as Toxic for the Heart

Studies have shown the negative effects of pollution on a person’s lungs. Scientists are also finding the toxic air that you breathe can also be responsible for harming your heart. When the toxic air is inhaled, the harmful molecules can cause both your heart and lungs to become contaminated. Individuals who have been exposed to polluted air can also be at a higher risk for arrhythmias.

A Broken Heart

The despair and overwhelming feelings of depression and anger caused by grief can take a toll on a person. The sadness and shock of losing a loved one can also leave feelings of anguish and bring on a sudden heart attack. A recent study of more than 2,000 heart attack survivors indicated that the risk of a heart attack was greater after the death of a loved one than after any other time. As the grief subsided, so did the risk of a heart attack.

Your Heart as the Focal Point

When the Pledge of Allegiance is usually recited, you’ll notice that most individuals place their hands over the left side of their bodies. While the heart may feel like it’s favoring the left side, your heart is actually centered toward the middle of the chest. However, a heart defect called dextrocardia has the heart being placed on the opposite side.

A Cup of Java to Reduce Risks

Coffee with caffeine can cause the heart to beat faster. However, a surprising study found that individuals who drank coffee were less likely to be hospitalized or concerned about heart arrhythmia. While caffeine can often cause the heart to beat faster, studies have shown that consuming more than four cups of coffee daily were fund to lessen a person’s risk by as much as 18 percent. Individuals who drank between one to three cups per day found their risk to be at 7 percent. However, physicians are not likely to prescribe coffee as a way to protect the heart.

It’s the Size of an Apple

The heart is the size of an average apple and can weigh between seven and 15 ounces. This can equate to being a littler bigger than your fist.

It Never Stops Ticking

Your heart begins ticking approximately 22 days after you’ve been conceived. By the time it ends, the average heart can end up beating as much as 3.5 billion times according to research.

Men versus Women

Both male and female hearts experience the same rate of beat before conception. However, a male heart can beat approximately 70, while women can experience around 78 beats.

Does Sneezing Stop the Heart?

The age old saying says that sneezing can trigger the heart to stop. However, heart aficionados find that saying to be simply just a myth.

Top 10 Anti-aging Tips

You’ll have to learn some important anti-aging secrets that are centered round the body, mind and spirit mantra, if you plan on living an active and healthy life well past your 80s. Interdependent activities such as stimulating the mind to lighten the mood and exercising the body to obtain a sharper mind shows how the aspects of a healthy life are dependent on the other.

Heredity plays an important in a person’s health and wellness. However, you don’t have to be a slave to your family tree. While certain conditions may be passed down from generation to generation, you can plan for these obstacles and bypass them with proper education. You can even retool your life’s perspective and mood to reduce the stress and anxiety in your life. This can keep your mental capabilities sharp and enhance your cognitive abilities.

With a little education and an interactive approach, you can play a key role in the quality and longevity of your life. The following are 10 techniques that will help you retain your youth and good health as you age.

10: Mental Stimulation for the Brain

Living a long and vivacious life takes a sharp and positive mind. Mental stimulation is just as important for the brain in ridding it of disease and sluggishness, as it is for the remainder of the body. A recent study found that women who were highly educated had a reduced number of instances in Alzheimer’s disease. Autopsy result analysis also concluded that women who had interests away from work to challenge their minds had lower instances of the disease.

The brain requires mental stimulation in order to keep the neurological pathways flowing. Simple practices that can help include reading, learning a new language or hobby, puzzles and taking classes at the local community college. Following the old adage of use it or lose can prove beneficial when it comes to retaining your mental capabilities.

9: Consume a Healthy Diet

Consuming a healthy diet should consist of a healthy dose of fruits, vegetables, lean protein, whole-grains, minerals and other healthy nutrients. You should also consume over five glasses of water per day.

Your daily calorie consumption from fat should also be under 35 percent, with approximately one-fifth from olive oil, canola oil or 1 percent milk. Protein and carbohydrates are equally important and can include oatmeal, wild rice and whole-wheat breads.

8: Spirituality

Individuals who are spiritual or followed some sort of religion in their life had a more positive effect on their physical health. It can also help lessen the amount of pain and suffering in their life. Whether the spirituality comes from prayer, meditation or learning to forgive and forget, you can achieve a happier life with some form of a greater power.

7: Exercise

Depression, stress and compulsive disorders were shown to improve with Kundalini Yoga Meditation. Researchers have further investigated this theory between the body, mind and spirit and found it powerful in eliciting positive change, especially during the latter years of life.

Regular cardiovascular exercise is imperative for those interested in slowing down the aging process. Current studies have shown how important exercise can be in combating the loss of muscle tone, stamina, bone density and balance that often increases as a person ages.

If you’re ready to give it a go, the American Heart Association advices utilizing a cardio and strength training regimen a minimum of three times a week. After you get in the habit of your fitness routine, it can be a great addition to a healthy lifestyle.

6: Load Up on Anti-oxidants

According to the Dr. Jeffrey Blumberg of Tufts University, free radicals can add to the onset of the aging process. However, consuming a high number of antioxidants can neutralize the free radicals that are damaging your system.

You can start with the consumption of a healthy diet and supplements. Colorful vegetables such as squash, kale, tomatoes, spinach and carrots contain carotenoids. Blueberries, blackberries and raspberries are also nutritious and can contain important flavonoids. Because the foods contain important antioxidants, they are considered a super food source.

5: Choose a Healthy Supplement

There are only so many hours in a day to consume healthy foods such as a spinach salads, fish and quinoa. Fortunately, supplements can help pick up the slack when you’re not able to eat right.

Daily supplements can help the body absorb healthy nutrients when you’re eating habits aren’t at their best. Classic supplements can include important antioxidants of vitamin C, vitamin E and a mixed carotenoid. Consuming the essential antioxidants daily is similar to driving while wearing a seatbelt. While the protective gear is in place to save your life, it doesn’t give you the license to maneuver your vehicle recklessly.

4: A Good Night’s Rest

The expression I’ll sleep when I die is commonly heard among people who think that sleep isn’t important. However, a lack of a good night’s rest can actually contribute to a shorter life span. Insufficient rest of less than six hours nightly can increase your chances of a heart attack or stroke. The lack of sleep can also deteriorate your mind significantly.

Not enough rest can also increase your volatile emotions and make you more prone to bouts of anger. Viral infections and illnesses are also more common for individuals with poor sleep habits. To ensure your health, wellness and longevity, you want to shoot for a minimum of eight hours of sleep every night.

3: Wrinkle Reducer

It can be difficult being vigilant about staying out of the sun throughout a life span and fine lines, age spots and wrinkles are bound to emerge as you age.

A wrinkle reducing cream with retinol in it can reduce the appearance of fine lines. Tretinoin and retinal topical creams can increase the skins production of collagen by exfoliating the skin. They also come in various concentrations and are dependent on the individual’s tolerant level.

2: Raise Your Hormone Levels

It’s typical to experience the loss of libido, energy and stamina in both men and women as you age. They are also symptoms of a reduction in hormone levels. Hormone replacement therapy can combat the symptoms through the various anti-aging prescriptions on the market today.

1: Human Growth Hormone Therapy (HGH)

Human growth hormone therapy is a controversial method for individuals who are willing to dole out an exorbitant amount of money per month. However, the treatment can preserve a personal’s vitality and wellness with a simple injection. Several of the benefits include reduced body fat, increase in sexual performance, muscle tone, firm skin and elevated mood and positivity. While the FDA hasn’t approved it as routine anti-aging therapy, you can start your own wellness regimen by adopting a clean and healthy lifestyle.

The 14 Best Things You Can Do for Your Body


Hard working individuals can often be sleep deprived. Unfortunately, your sleep patterns can contribute to your health and wellness. The effort and time that you put into eating a healthy diet and exercising will be ineffective if you’re not getting the required seven to eight hours of sleep each night, especially if you try to play a game of catch up on the weekends. Researcher’s findings suggest that a lack of sleep can play havoc with the brain’s ability to flush out harmful toxins. It can also impair the way the brain functions properly.


Thought to be a passing trend, meditation is a popular method of exercise that packs a serious health punch. While the om-ing party is optional, you’ll find that taking a minimum of 10 to 20 minutes to relax, focus and unwind on a regular basis can help improve a person’s mental capabilities and longevity. Studies have also shown that meditation can help individuals obtain a better night’s sleep, improve the body’s immune system, strengthen cardiovascular function and reduce stress. Because you’re disconnected from the problems associated with everyday life, you’ll find that you can retain a more positive and happy attitude through meditation.

Refresh with Warm Water and Lemon

It’s important to start your day off right with a nutritious breakfast, as it can set the tone for the remainder of your day. Try to select something rich in protein and fiber, as it will keep you satisfied and less prone to snacking. However, starting your day with a glass of warm water and lemon can help detoxify the body and stimulate your intestinal track. It can even give you that caffeine-free energy boost needed to get you through a busy day.

Floss Those Pearly Whites

In addition to brushing your teeth, you’ll find that regular flossing can improve your health and wellness. Gums that are ignored can get infected and cause bacteria to build up. It can then enter the body’s bloodstream and cause inflammation and infection. Try to floss after each meal or at least once a day to get rid of food and particles littering the mouth’s atmosphere.

Consume More Tea

Water aside, consuming green tea on a regular basis has a host of benefits that include boosting your metabolism, improve mental capabilities, lower blood pressure, reduce bad breath and strengthening the body’s immune system. Research also shows that the consumption of green tea can also provide anti-inflammatory agents to aid the body.

The Popularity of Probiotics

Probiotics have been the hottest topic in recent commercials and magazine articles. In order to maintain overall good health, the answer may lie within your digestive system. In order to keep your digestive system smooth and regular, you’ll want to consume a probiotic product every day. In addition to regularity, probiotics can also boost your mood and strengthen your immune system.

Warm-up Before Exercise

Individuals who started their routine with static stretching before exercising had reduced strength as opposed to people who followed a proper warm-up routine. The latest studies has shown that people who began their exercise regimen with a muscle warming routine that included high skips and lunges enhanced their performance and enjoyed an injury-free workout.

Stay Fit with HIIT

Studies from Liverpool John Moores University suggested that high intensity interval training (HIIT) can garner similar benefits that you would normally get from endurance training. However, you’ll spend about half the time or less at the gym to gain the same outcome. While any type of sweat-induced workout is crucial to your health and wellness, HIIT can improve your level of fitness and combat diseases that include diabetes, heart ailments and hypertension.

Steer Clear of BPAs

Bisphenol A is a chemical that is used in producing many of today’s common household items such as cans of food and water bottles. Over the years, the effects of BPA have commanded a bit of controversy. Based on the latest findings, being exposed to BPA can cause serious harm with issues such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and reproductive problems. However, the FDA has evidence to support both sides of the debate. You can steer clear of BPAs by purchasing products in glass bottles and avoiding recycle codes that state 3 or 7 on the bottom.

Implement a Proper Skincare Regimen

Since your skin is one of the biggest organs, you need to take proper care of it. This means that you should begin your day by liberally applying sunscreen after you’ve cleansed your skin. You should also carefully choose your skin care products and avoid chemicals and other harmful toxins. You can read labels carefully and avoid products that contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate. These items are harmful and could strip your skin and hair of special nutrients needed to retain moisture. They could also prove toxic when mixed with other skincare ingredients.

Limit UV Rays

Slathering your body in sunscreen is especially important in preventing sun damage. However, you can go a step further and protect your eyes with the right sunglasses. The UV protection that sunglasses provide can keep your eyes healthy and protect them from cataracts, sunburn and skin cancer. UV-400 and 99-100 percent do the best at providing the proper eye protection.

Go Green

Antioxidant-rich leafy green vegetables should be added to your menu at every meal. They are chalk full of nutrients and can help prevent cancer, control weight management and keep the body regular. You can also supplement with a green powder such as spirulina if you’re pressed for time. This greenish-blue form of algae is high in protein, B vitamins, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene and zinc.

Enjoy the Benefits of Fiber

Fiber is the main component to eating a healthy diet, and it comes in all shapes and sizes. In addition to keeping your body regular, fiber can aid in weight loss and contribute to your longevity. It has also been shown to moderate the body’s inflammation, reduce blood pressure, lower bad levels of cholesterol and reduce your risk of diabetes.

Make Love

While you may not have to be told to have more sex, you’ll find that research is in your favor about regular time spent underneath sheets. Regular sex has a variety of benefits that can enhance your sleep habits, make you feel and look more youthful, boost your immunity, improve your cardiovascular health and protect against cancers. Research has also shown that you can live longer too, so go ahead and get busy!

Can Staying Positive Extend Your Life?

The latest study in Lancet medical journal has strengthened the belief that a positive outlook can keep cancer at bay and give new hope to staying alive. Six dozen patients who were recovering from breast cancer were the basis for the study. The individuals who showed a fighting spirit and reacted to their situation positively had a better survival rate and reduced signs of residual cancer than the people who experienced feelings of despair and hopelessness. Additional studies seem to back this evidence up, allowing the optimal benefits to get admitted into the medical doctrine.

On the pessimistic side, multiple studies have also found the evidence to be lacking. Neither positive nor negative emotions were shown to impact the outcome and prognosis of those suffering from a serious illness. While there will always be new claims to the power of positivity, experts believe that the earlier results were based on the importance of a person’s living conditions, health, and their happiness.

While the data may be lacking, the powerful belief may be doing widespread damage. Patients battling cancer may try to act happy and upbeat when they’re actually feeling down and distraught, especially if their disease progresses. It could also keep them from getting treatment or solace during their time of need. Positive thinking could even complicate future research since it can be difficult to tell if a patient is suppressing their actual feelings or truly retaining a conquering spirit.

Why Women’s Immune Systems Are Stronger Than Men’s

The age old stereotype of women overreacting has been long touted. However, there could be a smidge of truth to it when you’re talking about their immune system.
A new study has found that the immune system in women is significantly stronger than a man’s when it comes to their reaction to the flu vaccine. Women of various age groups had a higher antibody production rate and a raise in the inflammatory cytokine count than their male counterparts.

Male Versus Female Immune System

The gender gap related to immune reactions has been commonly known. However, the mechanics behind the reasoning has remained a mystery among scientists. The latest study has shined new light on the findings identifying various genes regaled by testosterone. They may also deem them as a major component to the response mechanism. The greater the testosterone levels of the individual involved, you’ll find the immune reaction to the vaccine to be lower.

In general terms, the immune system response of a woman is stronger than those of a man. While this can mean good news because they’re less susceptible to viral, bacterial, fungal and other various types of infections than men, their immune systems are more suspect to overreact.

An over stimulated immune system can go after healthy tissue as seen in autoimmune illnesses that include lupus. It can also pose life threatening complications in post-infection issues where an abundance of immune cells have compromised the way the body functions normally.

It’s All in the Genes

The current study examined the way the immune system responded to seasonal vaccinations in both men and women between the ages of 20 to 89. Based on the blood tests, they were able to ascertain and isolate the genes at the center of fat metabolism. Regulated by testosterone, the researchers found that the male genes showing higher hormone levels had tested lower for the antibody response.

The latest findings centered on genes, the sex chromosome location and how the response to vaccinations is affected by the immune system. The current research has also paved the path for testosterones important role, the treatment of immunological overreactions, and the reasoning behind the raised rate of autoimmune diseases in women.

Depression May Accelerate the Aging Process of our Cells, Study Finds

Depression may have harmful effects on more than just the mind per the latest findings. Physical conditions linked to depression typically include heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes. However, new research has shown that it may accelerate the way a person ages at a cellular level.

A recent study published in Molecular Psychiatry showcased the way investigators from the Netherlands utilized protective caps from the chromosome and how the ends are shortened when the cells are divided. This impact determined the effects of depression on the aging process. The telomeres length has always been used as a marker to determine the age of the cell, with animals and humans being shown to have the shorter versions.

The study divided over 2,000 adult participants into groups of three. They consisted of individuals who previous were diagnosed with a depressive disorder, people currently struggling with the illness and those who never experienced any form of depression. After controlling factors such as alcohol, consumption, smoking, nutrition and weight were considered, the people with a history of depression were found to house shorter telomeres than others in the group. The stronger the depression; the shorter the length in telomeres.

When compared with depressed participants to those healthy, you’ll find the individuals with depression to be at 5,460 bp compared to the healthier people in the group who were at 5,540 bp. The telomeres can also shorten by as much as 14 and 20 bp per the latest findings. Depression can play a significant role on the wear and tear of the human body and result in an accelerated rate of biological aging.

This study merely found a correlation between depression, and the length of the telomere and future studies will be needed to determine the exact relationship. While depression might be an important trigger for cellular damage by shortening the telomeres, it hasn’t been proven to shorten a person’s life span. More research will be needed to determine clinical relevance.

How Sleep Clears the Brain of Toxins

The latest studies have found that the brain gets rid of toxic materials through its cells after a good night’s rest. They also concluded that there is a biological purpose to sleeping and that waste disposal may be at the center of its restorative properties.

There could also be a significant connection for treating and comprehending certain diseases that include Alzheimer’s. The study also indicated the various functional states of the brain during the stages of sleeping and while awake.

The therapeutic nature of when you sleep is the outcome of activity clearance based on the neural movement that gathers during the waking up period.

Published in the journal of Science, the findings indicate the highest level of activity occurs during sleep, when the brain goes through its own method of cleansing. During the restful hours of slumber, the toxins that would typically build up and cause neurological complications such as Alzheimer’s disease instead clear away. It was also concluded the reduction of the size of the brain cells during sleep and how it allows waste to be effectively removed.

By pumping cerebral spinal fluid to the tissue of the brain and releasing the toxins into the liver and blood circulation system, you’ll realize the how the brain’s glymphatic waste disposal system runs.

It was also being speculated in regards to the compatibility between the cleaning process and brain functions that must be performed during wakefulness.

The brain has a certain amount of energy at its disposal, and it must make the selection between the two various states. Similar to a social gathering, you can either choose to entertain your guests or clean up after them. However, you can’t do both tasks at the same time.

5 Things Super Successful People Do Before 8 A.M.

Love it or hate it, morning time is inevitable, and taking advantage of the early bird hours before you head to work can hold the key to a healthy, happy and successful lifestyle. This common trait is found in some of the most influential early risers around the globe such as CEOs, government officials and world leaders who were known to get up before the crack of dawn. While most individuals think that they are at their best in the evening, a recent study concluded that people were more productive and energetic in the morning. The health benefits for morning revelers were also significant. The following are five productive activities successful individuals find to do before 8 a.m.

1. Exercise and Fitness

Exercising and keeping fit in the morning can pave the way for a successful and energized day ahead. Whether you work out at the gym, schedule a yoga session, bike ride, walk or run, a morning fitness routine can bring you a sense of accomplishment that carries over throughout your busy day. Tackling a mountain of paperwork is easier to do after starting your day with a couple of sets of push-ups. If the thought of a 5 a.m. wake-up call shocks your senses, try setting your alarm 15 minutes earlier and stretch or do a couple of reps of sit-ups. This can still prep you for your day ahead.

2. Implement a Plan

You can maximize your day’s potential by implementing a plan ahead of time. The morning is the ideal time to put things in motion and map out a schedule of your day’s events. In addition to it being peaceful and quiet, you’ll be more alert to schedule and prioritize the tasks that need to be dealt with. Make time for mental health breaks, especially after a grueling set of meetings. A walk around the block or brief meditation can be beneficial to managing your stress and relaxation. You should also set time aside to pack nutritious snacks for the following day.

3. Make Time for Breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and rushing out the door with a cup of coffee and an empty stomach won’t keep you satisfied all morning. Instead of relying on the vending machines or food trucks, you need to fuel your body with healthy food, especially if you’ve just worked out. Breakfast can keep you satisfied and in top physical shape to take on the challenges at work. Sitting down to an early morning meal with the family can promote bonding and lift your spirits before you start your day.

4. Meditation and Visualization

So much importance is placed on a person’s physical health now-a-days. However, mental health is equally important and can alleviate stress and mental exhaustion. Positive visualization and meditation can be beneficial in the early morning hours, when it’s most quiet. Focusing on your goals and accomplishments can improve your outlook for the day ahead.

5. Schedule Your Least Favorite Task for Early in the Day

Everyone has at least one dreaded task on their schedule that looms over them throughout their day or week. After much procrastination and nagging, you may finally set your mind to accomplishing it. To save yourself stress and aggravation, you should schedule a time to deal with the unpleasantness early on. In addition to getting it out of the way in the begining part of the day, you’ll find that you have more energy and a sharper mind to contend with the annoyance in the early morning hours. This can then leave you in a more jovial mood to enjoy the rest of your work day.

Could A Daily Dose Of Red Wine Reduce One's Risk Of Depression?

Individuals over the age of 55 were the subjects of a new study and found that those who consumed an average glass of wine per day were found to be less clinically depressed than people who either drank more alcohol or those who didn’t drink any. This poses a direct contrast to earlier findings that concluded a correlation between alcohol and an increased risk of depression. Before you head to your favorite local restaurant for happy hour, you need to understand the risks involved and reasons behind the latest study.

Approximately 5,000 men and women of Spanish decent were followed, between the ages of 55 and 80 for approximately seven years. They were asked a series of questions periodically about their habits and lifestyle by way of questionnaire and physician visits. At the very start of the study, there were no reports of any of the individuals suffering from depression. By the culmination of the seven year period, it was found that over 443 people had shown signs of depression.

As it turned out, alcohol consumed in low to moderate levels were found to have a reduced risk of depression. For those who consumed between two and seven glasses of wine during the course of the week, they experienced the greatest benefit with only a third of the risk of depression. While it wasn’t dramatically reduced as the low to moderate groupings, moderate drinkers were proven to have a lower risk of depression. Lifestyle factors such as marital status, smoking, diet, exercise and age can influence the risk of depression, but the results held true.

If there is a connection, the effects of antioxidants in wine such as resveratrol could have a lot to do with it and provide protection similar to the way it does for those with heart disease. Many believe that heart disease and depression share similar mechanisms related to inflammation. The antioxidants in wine could prove helpful in repairing brain damage where the depression has occurred.

Previous studies concluded that hippocampal complex can play a key role in major bouts of depression. When the neuroprotection is applied, it can prevent individuals who consume alcohol on a regular basis from showing signs of depression.

Social factors have nothing to with the content of wine, but they have been shown to affect depression. Individuals who indulge in a glass or two of wine may be doing so with friends or family members. People who enjoy a social setting surrounded by friends and loved ones can significantly reduce their risks of depression, and the studies could be influenced by this.

Another factor to keep in mind is the effects of alcohol and depression on each other. Hereditary, genes and environment are predisposed issues to both and could play a significant role in this equation. This could increase the chances of an individual experiencing the use of alcohol and depression.

Because of the above reasons, the findings should be taken with a grain of salt. The people involved in the study were taken from a restricted populace in the Spanish Mediterranean where nobody over the age of 55 had been showing signs of depression.

Looking for a single answer in this study is naïve and other variables need to be taken into consideration when looking for conclusions. Other factors come into play when determining the correlation of alcohol and depression such as the person’s health, mental wellness, type of alcohol and quantity. Moderation holds the key to happiness and enjoying an occasional glass of red wine for individuals who find it pleasing to the palate might benefit brain and heart health. However, for those who don’t have a fondness for the taste, you probably don’t want to pick up the habit because it carries a significant amount of risks.

The Secret to Staying Motivated

Stop focusing on losing weight! You’ll find the following five reasons more of a motivator to get moving.

Managing a hectic schedule can be a challenge and tasks with immediate payoffs can often fall to the wayside. Included in that checklist is exercise. Working out typically competes with other tasks that need to get done throughout your busy day. In order for it to make the top of the list, it has to offer something beneficial. A recent study focused on woman who kept track of instant results after exercising. Many found that they had more energy and felt an overall sense of happiness. They also worked out 34 percent more during the course of the year than individuals who made their appearance and weight-loss goals their primary focus. Since it can take months to see any actual physical changes, you’ll find that exercise can feel like just another obligation.

Focusing on the following five instant health benefits will help you retool your motivation and reap the benefits of exercise.

REWARD 1: Encourage Productivity and Brainpower

Skipping your workout to get ahead at work may feel like a wise decision, but you may reap more benefits out of a quick class at the gym. Research has indicated that 20 minutes of exercise can increase brain functioning and allow you to plan, coordinate and schedule. This ramped up focus can last up to an hour, so you need to plan your exercise when it can benefit you most during the day.

REWARD 2: Connect on a Healthy Level

Social communication can have a significant effect on your health and aid in preventing high blood pressure, mental illness, alcoholism, suicide and illnesses or diseases. Finding shared activities such as a Zumba class at the gym or running with a group can keep you on task and benefit your mind and spirit. People who make exercise a part of their daily lives were perceived as more outgoing, personable, kind and attractive to others than individuals who don’t work out.

REWARD 3: Healthy and Hydrated Skin

Facials can be a pricey affair. However, you’ll find that exercise and sweating to be an inexpensive way to score healthy looking skin. Getting your heart rate to rise will increase your blood flow and circulation to the skins surface. After the body uses some of the sweat droplets to cool its system, the rest will be absorbed back into the skin to give it a hydrated and healthy glow.

REWARD 4: Great Sex

A good workout can make your love making sessions more stimulating. A published study found that women who exercised 20 minutes before watching an erotic movie experienced increased genital arousal by as much as 150 percent. Working out stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and increases the blood flow and lubrication to the vaginal tissue. The rise in sexual arousal can last up to 30 minutes, so you may want to plan your workout at home.

REWARD 5: A Good Night’s Sleep

People who exercised moderately at least 30 minutes a day each week found that they were able to go to sleep faster each night. They also experienced less drowsiness during the daytime hours. A good workout can reduce stress and anxiety and aids individuals in getting a more peaceful rest each night. It doesn’t matter when you work out, as long as you get it in daily throughout the week.

10 Simple Rules for a Healthy Life

The following are tips for staying healthy, fit and happy for the rest of your life!

In order to stay healthy and keep the doctor away, you need to eat more than just an apple a day. Life is hectic and stressful for most people and bad habits such as high stress levels, limited sleep and too much alcohol can make it difficult for most people to maintain a healthy body. It can also increase your risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.

1. Ditch the Smokes

Even if you’re an occasional smoke, your body is still at risk for heart disease and cancer. Recent studies indicate that cigarette smoking can kill one in five people across the nation each year. Smoking is a preventable cause of death and one of the worst habits you could ever have.

2. Sun-Kissed-Glow

Tanning beds and sun worshipers are more likely to develop skin cancer and deadly melanoma than those who stay out of the sun. Sun exposure can also lead to premature aging and wrinkles. Sunscreen can help prevent overexposure to the sun and keep your skin looking young, healthy and radiant.

3. Chocolate is Your Friend

Consuming foods that you actually like can be enjoyed in moderation. When the occasional treat beckons, and you must indulge, you can still stay focused and on track with a small sampling. A strict diet will only cause you to overindulge and binge.

4. What’s Your Number?

You’re doing your body a disservice if you aren’t familiar with your HDL and LDL cholesterol numbers. Your blood sugar levels and cholesterol should be checked on a regular basis and will help you make knowledgeable decisions based on your test results.

5. Get Moving

Research shows that a minimum of 30 minutes of aerobic exercise can do a body good. Whether you hit the gym for your favorite boot camp class or take a brisk walk, you'll find that exercise has a positive impact on a person’s physical and mental wellness. If you can't fit in a full thirty minutes in the morning, you can break the time up until you reach your full thirty or more.

6. What Your DNA Says About You

Your family history can tell you a host of stories about your health. Genetics play a key role in your health, and it pays to know whether your father had prostate cancer or your grandmother had diabetes. Early health screenings can help you stay on top of serious health issues, especially those that run in the family. It can also play an important role in a physician’s care and treatment when they know your detailed familial history.

7. Make Time for Tea

Green tea is chalk full of antioxidants that are needed to ward off illnesses and diseases. It can also benefit those who are looking to lose weight. The next time you hit up your favorite coffee shop for a latte, skip the foam beverage and make it a green tea.

8. Say “No” to Soda

Soda is loaded with sugar and can ruin your hard-earned efforts of watching what you eat. Diet and regular soda can also be harmful to your health. Although diet soda is the lesser of the two evils, it is better than the calorie laden regular version. You may want to try replacing your favorite cola beverage with green tea or water instead.

9. Regular Health Exams

Breast exams and pap smears should be a yearly occurrence for women of all age groups. In between exams, women should also be doing their monthly self-breast exam and scheduling an annual mammogram once they’ve reached the age of 40.

10. The Colors of the Rainbow

Colorful foods are loaded with vitamins and nutrients and should take up a majority of your dinner plate. Fruits, vegetables, lean protein and legumes are packed with minerals and vitamins necessary for your body to run right. Healthy carbs are good for you when you replace them with healthy grains such as whole-wheat pasta, brown rice and quinoa.

How to lower blood pressure

High blood pressure, or hypertension, is very common. According to a new study done by Harvard, high blood pressure helps contribute to 15 percent of the deaths in the United States. Additionally, the American Heart Association has stated that 28 percent of people in America have hypertension and do not even know it. You should see your doctor if you have not had your blood pressure checked within the last two years.

There are several medications that have been approved to treat hypertension. These medications are very effective, but they can cause side effects such as insomnia, leg cramps and dizziness. The good news is that the majority of people can lower their blood pressure without using any medication. The first step in lowering your blood pressure is to bring your weight down to a healthy number. After that, here are a few suggestions:

1.) Power Walk Hypertensive patients who walked briskly were able to lower their systolic blood pressure, or top number, by 8 mmhg. They were able to lower their diastolic blood pressure, or bottom number, by 6 mmhg. If you exercise regularly, your heart will not have to pump as hard. Attempt to work out vigorously for 30 minutes a day, most days out of the week. Once you have gotten used to working out for a while, try increasing the distance and speed.

2.) Breathe Deeply Meditative and breathing practices, such as yoga, tai chi and qigong help decrease stress hormones. These hormones help increase renin, which is an enzyme in the kidney that causes the blood pressure to increase. Try inhaling and exhaling deeply for five minutes in the morning and five minutes at night.

3.) Eat Potassium-Rich Produce Linda Van Horn, who is a professor of preventative medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medical, has stated that potassium-rich vegetables and fruits should be part of every blood pressure lowering regime. She recommends that everyone get between 2,000 mg and 4,000 mg of potassium per day. Dried fruits, orange juice, tomatoes, honeydew melon, bananas and potatoes are foods that are rich in potassium.

4.) Check The Sodium On The Food Labels African Americans, people with a family history of hypertension and the elderly are more likely to have high blood pressure because they may be more sodium sensitive. There is no way to tell whether a person is sodium sensitive, so everyone should watch their sodium intake. Eva Obarzanek, who is a researcher at the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute, recommends that people reduce their sodium intake to 1,500 mg per day. Eating less processed foods and putting less salt on your food are two things that you can do to reduce your sodium intake.

5.) Have Some Dark Chocolate Have a ½ ounce serving of dark chocolate every day. There was a study done that showed that 18 percent of people who ate dark chocolate every day were able to lower their blood pressure.

6.) Consume Alcohol In Moderation You can lower your blood pressure by reducing the amount of alcohol that you drink. However, there was a study performed by Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital that showed that light drinkers may be able to lower their blood pressure more than people who do not drink at all. There have also been studies done to show that moderate alcohol consumption can reduce the risk of heart disease. Women should only consume one alcoholic drink per day, and men should consume two at the most. It is important to note that excessive alcohol consumption can be dangerous.

7.) Switch to Decaffeinated Coffee The debate about the effect that caffeine has on blood pressure has been going on for a long time. Some studies say that caffeine does not affect blood pressure, but there was a study done by Duke University Medical Center that showed that consuming 500 mg of caffeine per day can increase blood pressure by 4 mmhg. Jim Lane, who is a professor at Duke, states that caffeine can cause the blood vessels to tighten. That is why it is recommended to switch to decaffeinated coffee if you are a coffee drinker.

8.) Drink Some Tea There was a study done that showed the subjects who drank three cups of hibiscus tea every day were able to lower their systolic blood pressure by an average of seven points after six weeks. Hibiscus contains phytochemicals that can reduce blood pressure.

9.) Work Less If you work more than 41 hours a week, then you can increase your chances of developing high blood pressure by 15 percent according to a study that was done by the University of California, Irvine. Haiou Yang, who was the lead researcher in the study, stated that working overtime makes it harder for you to exercise and eat healthy. Even though it is hard, try to leave work at a decent time so that you can have time to cook a nutritious meal and go to the gym.

10.) Listen To Relaxing Music According to a study done at the University of Florence in Italy, listening to music can lower your blood pressure. The study involved 28 people who were taking high blood pressure medications. The subjects were asked to listen to Celtic, classical or Indian music for 30 minutes a day. The results of the study showed that the subjects were able to reduce their systolic blood pressure by an average of 3.4 points. After one month, the subjects were able to reduce their systolic blood pressure by 4.4 points.

11.) Get Help for Snoring Snoring is often a sign of obstructive sleep apnea. People who have sleep apnea have higher levels of aldosterone, which is a hormone that can raise blood pressure. In fact, approximately half of sleep apnea sufferers have high blood pressure. Daytime sleepiness and morning headaches are two other signs of sleep apnea. See your doctor so that you can get checked for obstructive sleep apnea.

12.) Get More Soy In Your Diet There was a study done by Circulation: Journal of The American Heart Association that showed that replacing refined carbohydrates with soy-based foods can lower your systolic blood pressure.

7 Foods That Fight Aging

1. Avocado

This green, pear shaped fruit contains monounsaturated fat, a compound found to protect cells from free radical damage. Eating avocados daily can improve mental clarity, skin texture and bone density. Boron is a mineral that is important to the absorption of calcium and can aid in preventing broken bones. Toxins are another component that contributes to the aging process. Fortunately, avocados have close to 14 grams of fiber and can help speed up the removal of the premature aging toxins. Avocados are delicious when served in their natural form and best eaten when ripe. You can incorporate this protein enriched fruit in soups by adding cucumber and fresh mint. Another great idea is to place it in a favorite wrap with baby greens and wild salmon or mix in slices of avocado with your favorite salad.

2. Turmeric

Turmeric is considered a must-have pantry staple. Known to contain important antioxidants that enhance the body, turmeric’s curcuminoid pigments can also protect brain and skin cells from free radical damage. It has also been shown to improve an individual’s focus, mental awareness and can reduce the formation of fine lines and wrinkles.

This warm, peppery spice can add depth to your favorite dish such as a coconut, almond milk and banana smoothie. After harvesting a bounty of vegetables this season, you can also sauté kale or spinach in coconut oil and turmeric.

3. Juice Your “Greens”

Give yourself a gold star if you’re a juicer. Juicing has a host of benefits, especially for those who mix their favorite greens into a healthy beverage. Because it breaks down the walls of the plant cells, you’ll find that the nutrients are absorbed quickly into your system, with little digestive effort. One eight-ounce beverage of your favorite “green” juice is equal to consuming two salads without the dressing.

You can take advantage of what each season has to offer with items such as cucumber, spearmint, fennel, kale, dandelion greens and spinach. Add apple, kiwi and lime into the mixture to prevent oxidation.

4. Arctic Char

If you’re looking for the nutrients of salmon without the harmful effects on the environment, arctic char is an excellent nutrient for you. Farmed in an eco-friendly, sustainable manner, it can contain similar amounts of omega-3 fatty acids as wild salmon. Anti-aging benefits can include reduction in wrinkles, brain clarity, improved eyesight and protection against sun damaged skin.

For optimum use, you can pan-sear the salmon and place on a bed of kale or watercress. Add a touch of citrus such as grapefruit sections or orange segments.

5. Hijiki

Hijiki should be included in your next sushi adventure. This pasta-like sea vegetable is loaded with iodine and works in tandem with the thyroid hormone to boost an individual’s metabolism level. Since it’s loaded with fiber, it can also aid in the detoxification of the liver and regulate hormone levels.

Hijki is an ideal texture for individuals who are on a gluten-restricted meal plan. Simply soak it in water, boil for approximately 10 minutes, and you have a dish that resembles pasta. It can also be added to a bowl of mixed greens and tossed with avocado, hemp seeds and tangy pumpkin seeds.

6. Hemp Seeds

No need to break out the Birkenstocks and tie-dye. The consumption of hemp seeds can be beneficial to your skins cells by promoting radiance and firmness. Hemp seeds are the only edible source of omega-6 fat which can contribute to the health and condition of your skins appearance. It’s also an excellent source of protein for those who adhere to a plant-based diet.

Heat and cooking can destroy the delicate oils in hemp seeds, so you’ll find them to be most beneficial when eaten raw. They can also be tossed in your favorite kale salad or protein-enriched mango smoothie.

7. Chlorophyll

No need to do penance for your food sins. Chlorophyll makes up the green pigment in plants and can be purchased in liquid form. Made from mulberry leaves or nettles, it can help countermand the effects of alcohol, coffee and non-organic foods.

Try making your own chlorophyll beverage by mixing chlorophyll with filtered water. You can also flavor to the drink by adding fresh mint or cucumber. A green tea smoothie mixed with chlorophyll is also nutritious and delicious.

14 Habits of Happy Men

Satisfying routines and activities to help achieve happiness and health.

A man’s happiness isn’t all about a cold beer and grilling, but it is close. Our poll took a look at a diverse group of men that included musicians, chefs, stock brokers, grand dads, lawyers and bottle washers and came up with the following list of activities and satisfying routines that help men achieve health and happiness.

A.M. Workout

Several of the men surveyed found they favored an early morning work that included playing tennis, running, walking or an indoor workout. They found that it set up the rest of their day both mentally and physically. Fitness experts have praised the many benefits of exercising in the morning and believe that it contributes to a boost in energy and a positive mood throughout the day. Most men that work out in the morning found it easier to stay with an exercise program too.

Making Room for Alone Time

Finding time to spend with family and friends is extremely important in order to achieve happiness. However, making room for alone time is also a necessity among men. It can be as simple as reading the Sunday newspaper with a cup of coffee before the family gets up or watching a favorite T.V. show alone. Some men surveyed chose to do something creative or educational while others wanted to vegetate and shut off their brain for few moments. Most chose mornings as their preferred time of day, although there were a few night owls in the group too.

Bonding with the Guys

Male camaraderie is especially important in the group of men that was polled. Bonding with the guys over hot wings and a cold beer evokes feelings of happiness and contributes to numerous health benefits. Research has shown that forming new friendships and reinforcing old ones over a game of pool or at a favorite sporting venue is good for your psychological welfare and longevity.

Date Night

It doesn’t always come up in conversation on nights out with the guys, but men can be protective about making time to spend with their significant other. Busy dads with a myriad of activities at work and home know the importance of date nights to help stay connected to their loved one. Couples committed to spending alone time together away from children and other household obligations seem to argue less and have better problem-solving skills when tensions arise at home.

Sports and Leisure

Men reap just as many benefits as children do with regular softball, hockey and baseball games. Some of the benefits include social interaction, mental sharpness and keeping on top of their physical skills. Experts on the subject note that healthy adult competition can play an important role in men’s lives and make them happier and more productive throughout their busy day.


Self-help books and seminars can provide you with the tools to effectively manage your time and organize your daily tasks. Fortunately, you don’t need someone to tell you that in order to achieve peace of mind; you need to tackle the chaos. An excellent way to organize your life starts with a calendar. Write down where you need to be and the jobs that need to get accomplished. Cross off each of the items on your list as you finish them.

Implement an Exercise Regimen

Implementing a regular exercise regimen can invoke feels of accomplishment and satisfaction in men. Some of the guys polled favored a vigorous run, weight lifting workout, an early morning swim and biking to work. A normal exercise routine can promote numerous health benefits such as improving sexual performance, combating diseases, controlling weight and mood boosting properties. The Surgeon General reported the coalition between a sedentary lifestyle and heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, depression, anxiety and stroke.

Giving Back

Feelings of happiness also included giving back to others. Men in our survey felt that volunteering, giving to charity or doing something nice stayed with them for the entire day and made them feel better about themselves. Getting a thank you lets them know that their work was appreciated and brings fulfillment to their lives.

Decadent Fare

Dieting and watching what you eat is at the forefront of everyone’s mind, but the occasional decadent meal such as a juicy steak, comforting bowl of pasta or pancakes and syrup evoke happiness in every man. Enjoying a big meal or tasty snack in moderation is deserving of every male, especially after a brutal day at the office.

Relaxing with Family

Whether it’s enjoying a favorite T.V. show, board game or making pizza together, relaxing with the family helps keep men happy. This not only opens up the lines of communication with your children and spouse, it provides an opportunity to do something fun together. This is also beneficial to your children and gives them the tools to grow up to be responsible and confident young adults.

The Company of Family and Friends

A meal shared with family, friends and loved ones tantalizes a man’s senses and sends signals of enjoyment to the male brain. Simple pleasures such as sitting around the table conversing, sharing a glass of wine, and indulging on good food defines serenity for many in our poll.

Musical Entertainment

Musicians and novices felt that sitting down at the piano or playing the guitar relieved tension and melted away stress caused by a chaotic day. Other creative activities such as woodworking, painting and working on cars tapped into a different side of their mind and brought men fulfillment as much as playing an instrument did.

Quality Time with the Kids

One of the leading sources of happiness among fathers surveyed included time with their children. It could be because men are just overgrown kids or they enjoy feeling the strains of youth again, many found that they wanted to catch whatever moment of alone time they could with their kids. Time spent on the drive to practice, waiting for the school bus or a nighttime chat before bed was precious to each of them.

Outdoor Walk

An invigorating walk outside can reduce stress, anxiety, tiredness and depression. Not only is it a great way to stay in shape and get your heart pumping, it can also be beneficial to your mind and spirituality. Whether you walk around the neighborhood or find a scenic spot along a local nature trail, getting outside for a minimum of 30 to 45 minutes each day can be peaceful and help relieve stress. Walking is also easy on the joints and can help those suffering from arthritis.

5 Foods You Shouldn’t Eat If You Are Post 50

As we age, you’ll find your circle of friends to be ever changing, and the people who were once your best friends may no longer qualify to hold that job title. As with friends, foods can hold the same significance, and the items that cause interrupted sleep, clogged arteries and an increase in blood pressure are no longer welcome in your inner circle.

The following five foods are a mid-lifers worst nightmare and experts advise you to stay clear of them.

1. Skip the Salt

Salt could have a negative impact on your body and increase your blood pressure. The white stuff can cause your body to keep excess water, and that extra bodily fluid could contribute to a rise in your blood pressure levels. As your blood pressure soars, you’ll find that your kidneys, heart, brain and arteries have to work harder. This could pose a significant strain on these important organs. High blood pressure could also lead to a host of problems such as kidney disease, heart attacks and strokes. An increased salt intake could further your problems by wreaking havoc with some blood pressure medications that include diuretics and cause them to not work as efficiently as they should.

2. Just Say” No” (to Bacon)

Approximately one in three adults across the nation can suffer from some form of joint related problems such as arthritis and specific foods can aggravate these issues. Studies have shown that COX-2 enzymes are more active and can cause a flare up when you consume foods that are higher in omge-6 fatty acids than omega-3 fatty acids. Foods high up on that list you want to avoid include bacon, meats, egg yolks and margarine.

3. One More Glass of Wine

Wine enthusiasts can verbally site the findings that wine in moderation may hold significant benefits for the heart. However, most individuals need to revisit what the word moderation actually means. Per the National Institute of Health, having between two to seven alcoholic beverages a week is light to moderate usage. Anything heavier than that can damage your liver and heart, with heart disease leading the pack in deaths among individuals who abuse alcohol.

4. The Two Faces of Sugar

In order to lose weight, most individuals find that they need to get rid of any sugar in their diet. However, there’s another evil side to sugar. Studies have shown that consuming too many delectable sweet treats can contribute to the aging process in numerous ways. Sugar in the form of candy, cookies, cake or ice cream is converted into glucose, which has been linked to diabetes. On its own, diabetes can be extremely dangerous. However, it could lead to further health complications such as heart disease and kidney and nerve damage. Those who suffer from diabetes can also experience issues related to their mouth, skin and bones that make them feel years beyond their actual age.

5. Soda

It’s recommended that individuals limit their consumption of sugar laden beverages to aid in the prevention of diabetes. A regular 12-ounce can of soda contains approximately 150 calories and at least 10 teaspoons of sugar. Sports drinks and energy beverages can be equally sweet, so you need to read the labels before purchasing the product.

10 Tips for Better Digestive Health

There are a number of factors that affect your digestive system such as your lifestyle, stress, and the foods that you choose to eat. Getting the required amount of fiber, drinking plenty of water and exercising can all aid in developing better digestive health. Your body works by breaking down the foods you consume into nutrients and if you fail to be kind to your digestive health, you could run into complications later on.

The following are ten important tips that will help boost and maintain your digestive system.

1. Consume a diet high in fiber. According to the latest studies, a diet that is rich in fiber, whole-grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes, can make great strides in the way that you digest your foods. Fiber laden foods provide regularity by keeping things moving throughout your digestive system. This makes you less susceptible to constipation, bloating and fatigue. It can also aid in preventing digestive ailments such as hemorrhoids, irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulosis. A smooth running digestive tract can also aid those who are trying to shed pounds by helping you to maintain a normal weight range.

2. Insoluble and soluble fiber. Both forms of fiber can aid in your digestive tract. Insoluble fiber is difficult to be digested by the human body and can add solidness to your stools. Forms of insoluble fiber can include vegetables, whole-grains and wheat bran. Soluble fiber attracts water in and discourages your stools from becoming watery. You can get soluble fiber from items such as legumes, seeds, oat bran and nuts.

3. Reduce your consumption of fatty foods. Fatty foods can slow down your digestive system and contribute to constipation. However, getting rid of all that fat is not necessary, as pairing high fibered foods with some that are fatty can bring digestive relief to many individuals.

4. Lean meats a good source of protein. Fatty cuts of meats can irritate your bowel and lead to gas and bloating. Lean protein is necessary to any diet and can be found in food source items such as skinless chicken breasts, pork loin, turkey breast and other lean cuts of meats.

5. The importance of probiotics. Probiotics are a necessary part of any healthy diet, and they can keep your digestive system on target with the amount of healthy bacteria. By combating foods that are not good for you, they can contribute to proper nutrient absorption, aid in breaking down lactose and give your immune system a boost. They may even aid those who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome. Probiotics can be found in healthy products such as kefir and low-fat yogurt.

6. Follow a healthy schedule. Following a regular eating schedule can keep your digestive system running right. Plan to eat around the same time every day and include a healthy balance of snacks and regular meals.

7. Drink plenty of water. Water is refreshing and can help the body stay hydrated. It can also contribute to a healthy digestive system by helping to dissolve fats and soluble fiber. This can contribute to keeping the body running regularly and alleviate bloat and discomfort.

8. Ditch the bad habits. Alcohol, smoking and excessive caffeine usage are all bad habits that can hinder your digestive system from running right. It can also lead to other health issues such as heartburn and stomach ulcers.

9. Regular exercise. Exercising on a regular basis can keep the foods that you eat moving throughout your digestive tract. It can also reduce your chances of experiencing constipation and help you maintain a normal weight.

10. Dealing with stress. Stress and anxiety can lead to a dysfunctional digestive system. Stress reducing activities such as yoga and meditation can be helpful and should be practiced regularly. The foods you eat and a well-maintained digestive tract can go hand-in-hand. By following the above ten tips, you’re sure to enjoy comfort and regularity.

14 Foods That Fight Inflammation

Inflammation is an integral part of the immune response and without it, it’s nearly impossible for the body to heal properly. However, when it’s out of control, such as in the case of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, it can do significant damage to the human body. It’s also thought to play a significant role in afflictions such as obesity, cancer and heart disease.

Foods with excessive amounts of saturated fats and sugar can cause the immune system to be over active and lead many to feelings of fatigue, joint pain and blood vessel damage. Other foods may reduce inflammation and should be added to your daily meal plan.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines and mackerel contain high levels of omeg-3 fatty acids and have been show to lessen the levels of inflammation. To gain the necessary benefits, you need to consume fish at least three times a week, and it should be baked, broiled or boiled. Individuals who consumed this necessary nutrient found their risk of heart disease to be reduced by as much as 20 percent.

Not everyone is a fan of fish and fish oil supplements can lessen the levels of inflammation. However, too much of a good thing can instigate inflammation, so you want to limit your consumption to the daily recommendations for your height and weight.

Consumption of Whole Grains

Whole grains have a greater amount of fiber than refined items such as white rice, bread and pasta and can help with inflammation. A main contributor of inflammation in the blood stream is C-reactive proteins.

Unfortunately, not all products labeled “whole grains” are healthy, and you have to do diligence when shopping. Choose foods that read whole grain as the primary ingredient and no sugars.

Eat Your Leafy Greens

Today’s research has shown that vitamin E can play an important role in guarding the body from pro-inflammatory properties known as cytokines. Cruciferous vegetables and dark leafy greens have been proven to retain higher levels of vitamins and minerals than their lighter counterparts. Veggies such as kale, broccoli, collard greens and spinach are full of iron, calcium and disease fighting properties.

Antioxidant Packed Nuts

Nuts are another inflammation-fighting food that is rich in calcium, vitamin E and fiber. Almonds and walnuts have a high level of omega-3 fatty acids and are chalk full of antioxidants to aid your body in keeping illnesses and diseases at bay. Whole-grains, nuts, fish and leafy green vegetables all play an important role in the Mediterranean diet. Folks following the diet have seen a reduction in inflammation in as short a span as six weeks.


Soy is beneficial to the human body, especially in adult women. Many studies have indicated that the estrogen compounds found in many of the soy products contribute to lowering inflammation and CRP. It has also been proven to lessen the negative effects of the heart and bone health when tested on mice.

However, overly processed soy products should be avoided, as they don’t have similar benefits, especially when loaded with preservatives. Tofu, soy milk and edamame are healthier options and should be consumed regularly.

Low-fat Dairy Products

Products high in calcium can be trigger foods for inflammatory diseases because some individuals have a sensitivity and intolerance to casein. However, for those who are able to tolerate low-fat calcium products, skim milk, cheese, cottage cheese and yogurt can be beneficial and lessen inflammation and irritability in the stomach.

Bell Peppers

The more color that is added to your diet, the better it is for you. Colorful choices can include peppers, tomatoes, leafy green vegetables and orange squash. In addition to their high levels of vitamins and antioxidants, they also produce lower levels of starch. Bell peppers can be found in an assortment of colors. Chili and cayenne peppers are a hotter variety and can aid as a property found in topical creams to lessen pain and inflammation.

However, physician’s advise that some peppers can irritate individuals who are suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, so you need to listen to your body and find items that work well for you.


Tomatoes are another inflammatory fighting food because they contain lycopene. This has been proven to help individuals fight inflammation in problematic areas of the body such as the lungs. Cooked tomatoes are better than raw because they contain higher levels of lycopene. Tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and tomato juice are all beneficial and have important healing properties.


Nothing is more brilliant in color than the beet, and its fine color showcases the levels of antioxidant properties. In addition to protecting an individual from heart disease and cancer, it has also been shown to reduce inflammation.

Ginger and Turmeric

Common spices found in Asian and Indian fare have been proven to have anti-inflammatory benefits to an individual. Turmeric regulates the immune system and can aid in the body’s process of reducing inflammation. Its spice relative ginger has also numerous benefits and in addition to reducing inflammation, it can relieve symptoms of indigestion and stomach upset issues.

Garlic and Onions

Aromatic vegetables such as garlic and onions can make a pasta sauce divine. It’s also known for boosting an individual’s immune system. Research has shown that garlic has similar benefits to medical products such as ibuprofen and can shut down the roads that lead to inflammation. Onions have similar anti-inflammatory properties and important compounds.

Olive Oil

Plant based fats such as olive oil is an integral part of a healthy diet, and it’s good for reducing inflammation. The Mediterranean diet has a host of benefits that are mainly due to the use of olive oil. The primary compound found in olive oil has been found to have similar effects of painkillers when consumed.


Fruits are low in fat and calories. Because they are high in antioxidants, they can aid in fighting inflammation. The properties that give them their deep color can help individuals with arthritis, intestinal inflammation and cancer.

Tart Cherries

One of the best foods for reducing inflammation is tart cherries and research has shown this magnificent fruit can aid it by as much as 50 percent. It’s also been shown to help athletes up their performance levels and recover properly afterward.

A recommended serving is approximately 1 ½ cups of the actual fruit or drinking one cup of the tart cherry juice each day to enjoy significant benefits. Unfortunately sweet cherries were not proven to be the same, so you need to make sure that you’re consuming the tart variety to gain the most benefits.

3 New Fat-Busting Supplements for Speedy Weight Loss

When you thought there couldn’t be more to say about weight loss supplements, researchers come out with some new information. By combining plant-derived compounds and methods of experimenting to boost their effectiveness, three new supplements can be added to the weight loss list.

1. Resveratrol: Boost Your Metabolism

Resveratrol was once praised for its anti-aging powers by extending the lifespan of mice, but it has since lost some of its magic. Taken from the skin of grapes and red wine, the extract had shown potential in reducing health issues such as cardiovascular disease.

As researchers began to give up on resveratrol, they found that it had great potential to aid in weight loss. Based on a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism, men who consumed a daily dose of 150 mg experienced low blood sugar, reduced levels of blood pressure and a decrease in liver fat over a 30 day period. A study taken the previous year focused on mouse lemurs. With the use of resveratrol, the primates were able to control their body mass. Lemurs typically gain weight over the course of the winter, and they were shown to have less of an appetite and eat less when their food was supplemented with resveratrol. Because the temperature of their body and metabolic resting rates were affected, it was found to be a significant metabolism booster.

Recent published studies have proven the theory on resveratrol anti-aging effects by recognizing the pathway behind the energy production and prolonged lifespan. The company founded to test, study and market resveratrol was recently shut down. However, resveratrol is already showing up in a variety of weight loss supplements on the market.

2. White Kidney Bean Extract: Blocking Starch

White kidney bean extract rose in popularity thanks to Dr. Oz. Scientifically named Phaseolus vulgaris, it’s been praised as a fat blocker by slowing or preventing starch absorption.

Since 2007, the excitement over white kidney bean extract has been significant. Based on a study in the International Journal of Medical Science, individuals who took 445 mg per and were somewhat overweight, found that they were able to shed pounds, even while consuming a diet high in carbohydrates. The extract works by stopping alpha-amylase from breaking down the eaten carbs. Carbs that are normally broken down get absorbed in your body’s system and stored as fat.

Researchers followed 60 moderately overweight individuals for 30 days, while taking the white kidney bean extract. When taken 30 minutes before the consumption of a high carb diet, they noticed a decrease in the individual’s body measurements and BMI. A study in China found similar results, while over 90 percent noticed a weight loss over the course of two months.

3. DHEA: Regulate Hormones

DHEA is produced by the adrenals glands, and it’s found to be a natural steroid hormone. The many benefits include boosting energy levels and raising and maintaining the body’s muscle mass. As you age, you’ll notice a significant decrease in DHEA. Researchers wondered if supplementing the body with DHEA could have an effect on the way a body ages. Estrogen and testosterone play a significant role in the sexual hormones throughout the aging process and DHEA has been proven to boost the levels significantly.

While DHEA supplementation may come into play in aiding overweight men to lose weight, studies have been unable to replicate the same findings in younger individuals.

The Mayo Clinic summarizes the DHEA research by admitting that further research is needed on the subject before confirming any weight loss results. Other studies have recommended the energy boosting properties of DHEA as a cure of adrenal fatigue and lupus.

For those interested in learning the pros and cons of DHEA, you can check out the comprehensive analysis from the University of Maryland. Women should take 25 mg and men 50 mg. Because the DHEA supplement needs to be chemically synthesized, you won’t be able to enjoy the same results by consuming wild yams or soy.

Potential side effects could affect individuals who take a higher than recommended dosage and women may experience oily skin, acne and facial hair growth. Women under the age of 40 should still be producing enough DHEA naturally and should not take the supplement.

15 Surprising Heart Attack Risks

Heart attacks are more complicated than you might think. The risk is partially determined by the well-known factors of diet, activity level, and family history, but heart attack risk can be increased or decreased in some surprising ways a typical patient might not even consider. Take a look at these fifteen little-known possible contributors to heart attack and see if you may be increasing your risk without realizing it.

Calcium Supplements

A 2012 study in Heart indicated that people who take calcium supplements are at higher risk for heart attacks than people who don’t. The problem is not the calcium itself, but the supplements. “I tell patients to get calcium in their diet,” explains Dr. Malissa Wood, co-director of the Corrigan Women’s Heart Health Program at the Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center. “Eat oily fish twice a week along with other foods that have calcium.”


Azithromycin, an antibiotic common because of its effectiveness and because it only requires five doses in one course, may be linked to increased risk of heart attack fatalities. The evidence is not yet conclusive, but patients who already have heart disease may want to discuss different antibiotics with their physicians.

Quitting Aspirin

Heart patients who want to end treatment with aspirin or other anti-inflammatories should do so gradually and under medical supervision, says Dr. Matthew Sorrentino, a University of Chicago cardiologist. The patients’ risk for heart attack is higher for at least a week after the treatment has been discontinued.

Urban Settings

Living in close proximity to high levels of traffic can actually double a person’s risk of a cardiac-related death, according to two studies. A German study found that the risk holds steady whether a person travels by car, public transit, or bicycle.


In 2001, The New England Journal of Medicine printed a study showing that people who live in low income neighborhoods are three times more likely to suffer from heart disease than people with similar income levels and lifestyles who live in more affluent areas. “It’s very true and something you can’t do much about other than change where you live or spend time in places where the air quality isn’t so toxic,” says Dr. Wood.

Relationship Problems

Valentine’s Day hearts look nothing like real hearts, but a problem in one’s love life can be a literal heartbreaker. Epidemiologists at University College London determined that relationship problems can increase heart attack risk by 34 percent.

Job Stress

Mental strain from work can increase someone’s risk of heart attack by 23 percent. A 2005 study of British government employees found that heart disease was far more likely in people who didn’t feel their opinions were valued or who felt a lack of control in decision-making processes.


The Journal of the American College of Cardiology reported in 2009 that women diagnosed with depression are twice as likely to develop heart disease as their non-depressed peers. Similarly, patients who have already had one heart attack are more likely to have another if they are depressed.

Gum Disease

Poor oral health can increase cardiac risk by up to 25 percent. Scientists believe the culprit is oral bacteria, which can slip into the bloodstream by way of inflamed gums and trigger inflammation in blood vessels.

Respiratory Infections

Influenza and other respiratory infections can increase a patient’s odds of heart attack by five times during the first three days of illness. The inflammatory response brought on by the immune system’s fight against infection can create a heart attack or a stroke. Flu vaccines are particularly important for cardiac patients because they help prevent this risk.

Prostate Cancer Treatment

A 2006 Harvard study indicated a possible link between heart attack and the hormone treatments used for prostate cancer. The research has not yet proven that the link is causal, but it should be considered, particularly in determining prostate cancer treatment for patients already at increased cardiac risk.

Kidney Disease

A Dutch study found that patients who have kidney disease or weakened kidneys are at higher risk for a heart attack. An unrelated study of 10,000 men determined that men who have chronic kidney disease are twice as likely to have cardiac trouble as are their counterparts.


Along with the many other terrible health issues it brings, diabetes can increase a person’s risk of fatal heart disease by up to four times. Fortunately, the risk is lessened greatly by the exercise and healthy diet prescribed for all diabetic patients.

Autoimmune Disorders

The leading cause of death among patients with lupus, an autoimmune disorder which causes the body to attack its own cells, is heart attack. The constant activity of the immune system leads to chronic inflammation, which increases cardiac risk. Even psoriasis, which seems like a skin issue but is actually caused by immune function, can increase heart attack risk. “In certain patients, psoriasis is a risk factor for heart attack comparable to diabetes,” points out Dr. Joel M. Gelfand, a University of Pennsylvania assistant professor of dermatology.

Low HDL (Good) Cholesterol

A study done by Indiana University found that low HDL cholesterol is actually the third highest predictor of heart attack risk, coming lower than only prior heart issues and age. “If young people have heart attacks, I can almost always tell you they have low HDL,” says Dr. Wood. However, HDL levels can be increased by weight loss and exercise.

15 Ways to Get Better Sleep Every Night

Adults are supposed to get an average of seven to eight hours of sleep each night and anything less can leave you tired and out of sorts the next day. Since getting sufficient rest can contribute to a healthy and happy life, you’ll find the following tips to be helpful when getting ready for bed.

1. Catch Some Z’s

Thanks to the developer of YeloSpa’s, the public has taken power naps to a whole new level. David Edward’s educated the populace on the advantages of taking a 20 to 40 minute nap each day. Instead of digesting caffeinated products to stay awake, your body is more satiated when taking a 40 minute or less bit of shut eye. Without the caffeine coursing throughout your veins, you won’t be jittery and may even seem more focused and alert. However, anything more than 40 minutes will leave you feeling groggy.

2. Caffeine in Moderation

No need to stop your morning coffee ritual at Starbucks as long as you know when to quit. Julie Ruelle is a BluePrint Cleanse nutritionist and advises holding off on the afternoon and evening caffeine consumption. Beverages with moderate amounts of caffeine can cause you to wake up in the middle of the night and disrupt your normal sleep patterns. Water, fresh-squeezed juices and seltzer are better alternatives. For those that need an afternoon pick-me-up, a 3 p.m. cut-off may be more of a forgiving timeframe.

3. Get Up and Go

Exercise has been shown to be beneficial in every aspect of your life, including improving your sleep patterns. Josh Holland is a personal trainer to the stars and has helped shaped celebrities such as Madonna. He believes that a high intensity workout can aid the body in how it recovers. Since recovery and sleep go in tandem, you’ll sleep like a baby after a vigorous exercise regimen. For example, working out in the morning can be a great way to start the day and boost your mood. It’s also the ultimate stress reliever and can last until you’re ready to hit the sheets. However, working out three hours before going to bed has been shown to make it more difficult to get to sleep.

4. Add Melatonin to Your Diet

Produced by your brain to help aid your sleep and wake patterns, consuming melatonin can be beneficial when added to your daily diet. Found in a variety of foods such as meat, vegetables, fish, whole-grains and fruit, you’ll find the nutrients to be sleep inducing. For those on the go, you can also purchase it in supplement form.

5. Digest a 5-HTP

If you’re looking for a natural supplement that helps with stress and sleep related disorders, you may want to pop a 5-HTP. It’s been highly touted as causing your brain to produce chemicals that affects the way your body sleeps. However, the evidence in regards to the side effects and its actual effectiveness are still inconclusive at the present.

6. Pressure Points of Acupuncture

When it comes to getting to the root of your sleep issues, acupuncture can help cure your insomnia blues. There are certain patterns and culprits behind your sleeping woes and by focusing on the various pressure points, and the right combination of Chinese herbs, you can address sleep disorders, anxiety, stress and indigestion through acupuncture.

7. Watch What You Eat

The foods you consume and how you digest them can have an effect on the way you sleep. Some nutritionists suggest eating almonds or one tablespoon of almond butter approximately two hours before bedtime. Almonds are rich in magnesium, which is a nutrient that’s beneficial to a sound sleep. The protein also helps keep your blood sugar at a normal level. For those unable to fall asleep easily, you may find your problems related to a weak digestion. Try to avoid heavy meals later in the evening and foods such as broccoli, cabbage and those with a lot of zip.

8. Get Your Zen On

The best way to relax before bedtime is to clear your mind. Yoga and meditation can benefit individuals who are having difficulty sleeping because it teaches the mind and body to get rid of stress. You’ll find numerous benefits through each of the poses and breathing exercises. Practicing yoga can be as simple as lying down and breathing for 10 minutes. In addition to being a great stress reliever, yoga teaches an individual how to calm the mind.

9. Ditch the Electronics

Electronic gadgets such as cellphones, computers, laptops, notebooks and reading devices can hinder your ability to get to sleep. In addition the bright lights emanating from the electronic screens, you may be consumed with thoughts of checking emails, playing games and doing business before bedtime. Make it a habit to turn off all electronic devices at least one hour before you hit the sheets.

10. Strive for a Healthy Relationship

Nothing can cause a disrupted night sleep more than getting into an argument with a loved one. Your bedroom should be used for passionate sex and sleeping. Strong emotions such as arguing or sadness can affect your sleep patterns. Save your serious discussions for earlier in the day and never argue before going to bed.

11. Reading

If you’re tossing and turning and can’t seem to fall asleep, you may want to open an audiobook. This allows your brain to go from alert to drowsy as the soothing voice reads the story. Reading on your own is another great option and can induce sleep quite a bit faster than counting sheep.

12. End the Day with Tea

Tea has been used to overcome insomnia since the ancient times. Herbal teas are free of caffeine and can help you relax. The best options include chamomile, lemon balm, lavender and teas infused with valerian root.

13. Soak Away Your Worries

Taking a bath at the end of the day is a great way to relax and ease away your stress and worries. Essential oils geared toward relaxation can help you sleep and keep your skin hydrated.

14. The Power of Crystals

Crystals have other powers than just an adornment to your finger. Many have healing properties and can induce peace and tranquility. Amethyst and rose quartz are favorites at balancing your emotions and relaxation.

15. The Benefits of Binaural Beats

Binaural tones have been proven to aid in relaxation and assisting in getting a good night’s rest. As they activate specific areas in your brain, the waves are produced to help individuals achieve a restful slumber.

How Much Protein Do You Need?

There’s no truth behind the statement that a body is only able to process so much protein at one time, and it’s interesting to surmise as to what happens when you exceed that number.

The topic of protein is a very misunderstood subject. Most of this stems from the way we use it in our diets to stave off a deficiency instead of its optimal amount. To make sure that you’re getting a sufficient amount of the vital amino acids, you’ll need to ingest between 50 to 60 grams of protein daily. Many nutritionists feel that to exceed that number is a waste.

Most individuals find they want to utilize protein in a way to train at peak levels, optimum performance and lose weight. In order to do this, you need to look beyond the deficiencies to see what is needed to build muscle. Protein synthesis is at the center, and the force needed to ignite the process.

Studies from the University of Texas are looking into perfecting the process and trying to determine if timing can affect your protein intake. One group of volunteers consumed a high protein meal of 90 grams at the end of the day, while another consumed 30 grams of protein throughout the day. Eating protein at every meal yielded greater success at increasing the protein synthesis.

It would seem that 30 grams of protein is the ideal amount to achieve maximum protein synthesis and any more at one sitting would do nothing to further increase things. Fortunately, protein has a number of uses and any excess can be used for other things such as energy.

Protein is a metabolic nutrient and estimates have shown that it can take twice the number of calories for your body to break down than it does with a meal high in carbohydrates.

Protein also exudes different hormonal elements than it does with carbohydrates and can create and keep a lean body. Insulin and glucagon are released when an individual consumes carbs and puts the brakes on fat release. The insulin also moves sugars in the muscle cells, resulting in low-blood sugar. As your body releases the glucagon, it takes the stored sugar from your liver and places it into your system to help maintain a normal blood sugar level. Glucagon also satiates your hunger and may stimulate your cells to release fat.

This is more than a collegiate introspection because protein is extremely effective in every day life. A diet high in protein has been shown to achieve greater weight-loss results and better body composition. However, any increase in your protein synthesis can be put to good use, and your body will find other ways to utilize it.

10 Ways to Burn Fat Faster

The following are some medically proven tips to help lose weight:

Up Your Green Tea Consumption

Green tea isn’t just for helping to fight cancer: In addition to the number of amazing cancer fighting properties found in green tea, it can also help individuals rev up their metabolism too. Those who consumed green tea extract a minimum of three times per day noticed an increase in their metabolism by as much as four percent. What this translates to is that you could burn an additional 60 calories per day, the equivalent of six pounds each year. Nutrition experts think the reasoning behind this is due the catechins in green tea, which raises the levels of norepinephrine.

Lift Some Weight

Looking for a way to burn calories quickly? Pump some iron. Exercise physiologists praise the benefits of weight training and find it can burn a pound of muscle nine times the calories of fat. People who lift weight will find their metabolic rate boosted more than a cardio workout. After a strength training workout, you’ll find an added caloric increase that can last up to two hours after your most recent squat according to a Medicine & Science published study. If you find yourself short on time, quick moves such as squats, push-ups, crunches, lunges, bench step-us, and pull-ups will give you optimum results.

Consume Enough Iron

Iron isn’t just for lifting; you need to consume it too. Individuals short on iron will notice a slower rate of metabolism since the body is limited on its oxygen cells. The RDA for adults is around 18 mg and can be found in most multivitamins. You can also get the proper daily allotment by consuming foods rich in iron such as chicken, lean red meat, soy nuts and fortified cereals. For those experiencing feelings of weakness or fatigue, your physician can perform a simple blood test for anemia during your next physical exam.

Stay Hydrated

A current German study found that those who consumed approximately two glasses of water within a specific time frame found their metabolic rate to skyrocket up to 30 percent. Per this research, increasing your water intake by close to 1.5 liters per day could burn an extra 17,000 calories per year. This could result in significant weight loss yearly of up to five pounds.

Have Your Thyroid Tested

Is your metabolism slow and sluggish? Individuals who suspect that they have a slow metabolism may be experiencing an underactive thyroid or hypothyroidism. This condition can affect nearly 25 percent of women in America and most are unaware that they even have it. The thyroid gland has the means to control the body’s metabolism and one of the first indicators that something isn’t right could be ineffective weight loss. A simple blood test can be performed by your physician and a synthetic supplement for the thyroid will be prescribed if you test positive. In order for you to experience a normal metabolism and weight loss, you’ll need to take the thyroid supplement for the remainder of your life.

Skip the Alcohol

Looking for a way to keep your favorite foods from going to your belly, hips and thighs? Alcohol can slow your metabolism down by affecting the central nervous system. Those who wash their meal down with alcohol instead of a healthy glass of water found that less fat was burned and more remained in storage throughout the body.

Ramp Up Your Workouts

Boost your workout with interval training. Incorporating burst of high intensity movements throughout your workout is a great way to raise your metabolism. Researchers found that through the interval training moves, you could burn more fat than normal aerobic exercise. If an individual typically jogs at a 10 minute per mile pace, adding a 30 second burst or running uphill for one minute can raise the intensity and calorie burn of your workout significantly.

Increase Your Dairy Intake

According to a published study in the Obesity Research Journal, women who consumed low-fat dairy at least three to four times per day lost between 60 and 70 percent more fat than those with a lower dairy intake. Some of the beneficial products included non-fat yogurt, skim milk and low-fat cheese. Calcium can trigger your body to burn extra fat faster only when you consume the actual dairy products and not fortified food items such as orange juice with calcium. To reap the maximum benefits, you want to shoot for 1,200 mg per day.

Find a New Activity

If you’ve been doing the same moves, you need to find a new sporting activity. The body adapts to the same activity and causes it to burn fewer calories as it becomes used to the movements. To take your workouts to a new level and fire up that metabolism, you may want to consider something different such as rock climbing, cross training, jogging, swimming and biking. Most studies show that changing a workout every six weeks can improve your metabolic rate and give the body a wake-up call.

Catch of the Day

High levels of leptin have contributed to a lower metabolism and obesity and those who consume fish on a regular basis experience lower levels of the hormone. Eating three or more servings of salmon, tuna or another fatty type of fish each week can be beneficial in boosting your metabolic rate, so go fish!

Three Foods to Help You Avoid Heart Disease, Stroke and Improve Brain Function

Experts have stated for many years that what is good for your heart is also good for your head. Now, both the American Stroke Association and the American Heart Association have stated that the plaque buildup in the arteries that leads to heart disease can also have a negative impact on the brain.

Philip B. Gorelick is a medical doctor and the director of the Center for Stroke Research at University of Illinois College of Medicine. He has stated that the brain and heart are linked by the arteries that supply nutrients, oxygen and blood. If plaque builds up in the arteries and causes them to harden, then the brain and heart will be deprived of blood.

Fortunately, there are a number of delicious foods that can protect your cranium and ticker.

1.) Fish

There have been studies done to confirm that eating one or two four ounce servings of rainbow trout, salmon, sardines or mackerel can reduce your risk of developing heart disease by 36 percent. There was another study done that followed 80,000 women over the course of 14 years. The study found that the women who ate fish twice a week were 51 percent less likely to have a thrombotic stroke than women who consumed fish less than once a month. Clogged arteries are the cause of a thrombotic stroke. According to Ralph Felder, a medical doctor who wrote The Bonus Years Diet, the omega 3 fatty acids in fish help reduce inflammation in the arteries. This keeps blood flowing to the brain.

2.) Have A Glass of Red Wine

Red wine has polyphenols, which have been shown to reduce blood pressure and cholesterol as well as prevent blood clot formation. Resveratrol, which is one type of polyphenol, can increase blood circulation to the brain, which can lower the risk of stroke. Even though there are a number of health benefits that can be reaped from drinking wine, you do not need to start drinking it if you do not currently consume alcoholic beverages.

3.) Increase Your Produce Consumption

A study published in the Journal Circulation showed that hypertensive patients could improve their blood circulation and lower their blood pressure by eating more fruits and vegetables. There was another study performed on people who were over the age of 65. The study showed that the subjects who ate three servings of vegetables per day performed better on cognitive tests than those who consumed few or no vegetables. Potassium, which is a nutrient found in baked potatoes, artichokes and bananas, can help prevent the walls in the arteries from thickening. This will lower blood pressure.

7 Nutrients That Help Increase Muscle Tone

If you’re looking to achieve a lean, strong body, you’re going to want to make sure your diet includes the right mix of minerals and vitamins.

Many think that curbing your caloric intake is the only thing that leads to an amazing body. However, if you’re not consuming the right amount of nutrients, you’re not going to shed weight or tone and strengthen your muscles.

When you curl or bench press, the muscles break down and cause minuscule tears in the fibers. As you rest, the body uses that time to rebuild and strengthen, but it needs the proper nutrition in order to do so. The experts recommend the following seven vitamins and minerals to see a noticeable transformation in your body from head to toe.

1. Vitamin C

Loading your plate with color can lead to toned and well-defined arms. Vitamin C can be found in a variety of fruits and vegetables and is at the center of healthy blood vessels. It’s also a building block of collagen which is a necessary material needed to build strong bones and muscles.

In order to get the proper recommended nutritional requirement each day, take 75 mg. supplement or consume a cup of strawberries, medium orange or half of a red bell pepper.

2. Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids are the right component for effective weight training and increasing the blood flow to support the muscles. It’s also a faster mode of recovery and can decrease inflammation in sore and tired muscles. The fatty acids found in omega-3 fish oil hold a variety of benefits such as toning muscles and preventing diabetes.

To get the proper nutrients, the American Heart Association recommends consuming two servings of fatty fish on a weekly basis. This includes items such as mackerel, herring, salmon, albacore tuna or sardines. For those that can’t tolerate fish, you may want to try taking a daily supplement consisting of 1,000 to 3,000 mg. of DHA and EPA. Vegetarians can also enjoy the benefits of omega-3 by consuming hemp seeds, walnuts, chia seeds and algae based vitamins.

3. Calcium

Calcium is an important nutrient that builds strong and healthy bones and muscles. It goes hand in hand with weight lifting and helps the muscles contract and develop.

In order to get the proper nutritional values, you need to consume at least 1,200 a day. This can be found in dairy products, leafy green vegetables, dairy-free milk or supplements. If you go the pill route, stick to 500 to 600 mg. and space them hours apart to avoid stomach upset. It should also contain vitamin D to help your body absorb the calcium quicker.

4. Magnesium

When it comes to magnesium, most women find themselves lacking. This is an important nutrient that keeps your muscles strong, and your heart beating steady. It’s also great for muscle recovery, cramps and can alleviate PMS symptoms.

The daily recommendation is anywhere between 310 to 320 mg. For individuals that lift weights more than three days a week, you can increase your intake to 400 mg. Magnesium can also be found in foods such as whole grains, legumes, spinach and kale or using Epsom salt in your bath water.

5. B Vitamins

If you’re looking to gain muscle and strength, B vitamins play an important role and include B1 (thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), B7 (biotin) and B12 (cobalamin). Each of the essential vitamins are essential to maintaining proper health from energy boosting and metabolism to breaking down fat and carbs and maintaining a health nervous system.

B vitamins can be found by consuming a basic diet of whole grains, lean meats, eggs, nuts, leafy green vegetables, legumes and fortified cereals. Since B12 can only be found in animal sources, vegetarians and vegans may want to eat fortified foods and beverages or try taking a supplement that consists of 2.4 (mcg) on a daily basis.

6. Vitamin D

It seems that everyone is touting the benefits of the “sunshine” nutrient. Some of its magical powers include mood lifting properties, strong immune system and muscle tone. In order for your muscles to contract, grow and function, your body needs sufficient vitamin D. It’s also important for bone development and strength.

Most people get adequate vitamin D through their exposure to the sun, but you could be at risk for skin cancer. Instead of risking overexposure to the sun, you could take 4,000 to 6,000 (IU) of D3 every day. Your primary physician can also draw blood to measure your levels to ensure you’re getting an adequate amount.

7. Vitamin E

The next time you reach for a snack, grab a handful of almonds. They not only are a good source of vitamin E, they provide your body with protein, healthy fats and fiber necessary after a good workout. This amazing antioxidant also helps cells to recover and develop quicker after the stress of exercise.

Doses that exceed 300 mg. daily could lead to stomach pain, nausea, weakness or even death, so keep an eye on your intake. Try to stick with the recommended daily allotment of 15 mg. and consume nuts or seeds instead of a supplement.

Biological Computer: Stanford Researchers Discover Genetic Transistors That Turn Cells Into Computers

A recent study from Stanford University has shown how the treatment of diseases has become revolutionized through the creation of genetic receptors.

The research team found that by inserting the genetic transistors into the living cells, they could be turned on and off depending on the specific criteria. They have hopes that the transistors can be eventually constructed into living computers to tackle tasks such as locating a particular cell toxin, determining the number of times a cancerous cell has been divided and understanding the interaction between cells and administered drugs.

When the transistor concludes that the criteria have been met, it could be used in other ways such as making the cell and other cells surrounding it and destroying cancerous cells.

Head researcher at the Stanford School of Engineering Drew Endy explained, “We’re capable of placing computers into any living cell and maintain computing in areas where silicon has yet to work.”

The researchers showcased their work utilizing E. coli bacteria, which is an organism that is most often used in genetic research.

Conventional computers can use millions of miniscule transistors to help stem the flow of electrons. Logic gate, multiple transistors that work in tandem, will serve as the basis for all computations run by computers worldwide.

The biological transistors, which the researchers have labeled “transcriptors,” control the flow of RNA proteins using enzymes. This is similar to the way a computer would select silicon transistors to curtail electron flow.

It’s a great way for humans to rethink their views on the human body. It can also be used to educate others on a host of other living systems such as microbes and plants to better monitor the environment.

Extreme Tech reports:

In addition to the use of logic gates, you also need to think about data storage and a way to connect the various transcriptors in order for them to operate together. Many research groups have found a successful way to store data in DNA. Stanford has also implemented a brilliant plan for using the M13 virus to channel DNA strands between cells. In the end, it’s safe to say that the solid basis for a biological computer has now been formed.

Highly functional biological computers may not be imminent, but progress has been made through the biological sensors, and the way they measure and record cell changes. The contributions Stanford has made should pave the path for other research facilities such as Harvard’s Wyss Institute to start on the first biological computer. Many of their findings are listed under a public domain, making it easy for other scientists to build off these discoveries.

Three Super Foods to Boost that Libido

There’s no great mystery involved that by eating a healthy diet you’ll be in top shape. You may even find yourself performing at peak levels……in bed! With the following three super foods added to your daily diet, you may experience your heart pumping faster, blood racing to all the right extremities and an extra helping of yum.

Scallops are chalk full of zinc. Zinc is necessary in both men and women to retain a healthy sex drive, fertility, potency and good sexual health that can be enjoyed into your golden years. The mineral is necessary for sperm production and low amounts have been blamed for a decrease in testosterone levels and a reduction in semen production.

Almonds have a host of benefits such as zinc, vitamin E and selenium. All of these trace minerals benefit your sexual health and can contribute to a healthy reproductive system.

Cherries go beyond average and are considered a “super food” packed with antioxidants and melatonin necessary for promoting good sleep cycles. They are also rich in beta carotene and vitamins C, E, magnesium, iron, potassium and folate. Cherries have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce soreness and pain related to a great workout at the gym or in bed.

To achieve optimum performance and a side of zing:

Stay Physical: Staying in shape and keeping active can increase testosterone levels in men and increase self-confidence for everyone.

Little changes mean BIG results: Simple changes such as reducing stress, getting adequate sleep and eating a healthy diet loaded with zinc can reap big results.

The Key is Stamina: If both parties are physically fit and feel attractive, you’re sure to feel confident, exude sex appeal and perform better in between the sheets. Stamina is everything, so get eating!

Six Quick Skin Fixes

Simple Ways to Take Care of Your Dry Skin During The Winter

The winter is more than half over, but if you are like us, then you may have noticed that your skin is dryer during this time. Cold temperatures, hot showers and dry indoor heat are some of the many the things that can cause our skin to become dry during the winter.

Jessica Krant is an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and a board-certified dermatologist. She has stated that the humidity is lower when the weather is colder. Dry air removes moisture from our skin more quickly than normal. Our skin also dries out when we go inside to seek warmth. We just cannot win. We take a steamy, hot shower to get moisture, but we do not realize that the water from the shower takes water out of our skin by osmosis. Additionally, the water and heat strip natural moisturizing oils from our skin. When the shower is over, the last little bit of dampness evaporates. This causes our skin to dry out even more.

You may be wondering, “What can I do to prevent this problem?” Below are some tips from experts:

1. Use Cream Instead of Lotion

Dr. Krant has stated that people should choose a moisturizer that protects the dermis and locks in moisture. She recommends using a fragrance-free, thick cream instead of lotion. She also recommends putting it on after you take your shower.

Bobby Buka, a dermatologist who practices in New York City also recommends that people use a thick moisturizer. Dr. Buka prefers non-petroleum-based moisturizers. Ceramides are natural moisturizers that can be found in several emollients today.

2. Do Not Wear Perfume

Perfume irritates your skin, and the alcohol in it can interfere with your skin’s ability to retain moisture. That is why Buka recommends that people avoid using fragrances.

3. Reduce Your Shower Time

You might not like the idea of showering in cooler water or reducing your shower time, but your skin will benefit in the long run. Dr. Krant says that lengthy, hot showers can remove natural oils from your skin. Dr. Buka adds that you should not shower more than once a day.

4. Increase Your Water Intake

Dr. Krant advises that people drink plenty of water throughout the day. This will help replace the water that you are losing.

5. Wear Your Food

Patricia Fitzgerald, a physician and wellness editor for HuffPost Healthy living, has stated that coconut oil, olive oil and avocado oil are great for your skin when they are applied topically. She has recommended these food-grade oils to many of her patients.

6.) Get Some Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Dr. Fitzgerald recommends that people take fish oil supplements or another supplement that contains omega 3 fatty acids. Eicosapentaenoic acid, or EPA, is one of the omega 3 fatty acids components. According to Discovery Health, EPA helps regulate oil production in the skin.

Six Weird Signs You Are Stressed Out

1.) Vomiting

Dry-heaving, or retching, is one of things that can happen when you are stressed. This often indicates anxiety. Anxiety and stress can also trigger a condition called cyclic vomiting syndrome. Cyclic vomiting syndrome is a condition that occurs when a person experiences vomiting and nausea that lasts for a long time. In many cases, the vomiting and nausea occurs at the same time every day. Resting and drinking plenty of water are two ways that you can help manage dry heaves or vomiting. You should also find practical ways to reduce your stress, such as meditating or walking.

2.) Hair Loss

Stress is among the many things that can cause hair loss. Alopecia areata is one of the conditions that can trigger stress-induced hair loss. This is an autoimmune disorder where the white blood cells mistakenly attach the hair follicles. Telogen effluvium is another hair loss condition that is triggered by stress. This condition can cause a person to suddenly lose up to 70 percent of his or her hair. Telogen effluvium can cause hair loss months after a stressful event is over, which is why it can sometimes be hard to link to stress. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology has stated that this problem usually goes away on its own.

3.) Nosebleeds

Experts are currently debating about whether stress really triggers nosebleeds. However, there have been studies done that showed some people can experience nosebleeds when they are in stressful situations. A slideshow that was done in 2001 by the British Medical Journal suggested that the blood pressure spike that occurs when you are stressed out can cause your nose to bleed. Drinking hibiscus tea can help lower your blood pressure.

4.) Memory Loss

If you find that you cannot remember what you discussed during a meeting, then it could be a sign of a shrunken hippocampus. Your short-term memory is controlled by your hippocampus. According to Jeffrey Rossman, who is the director of life management at Canyon Ranch in Lenox, Massachusetts and a psychologist, chronic stress can expose your hippocampus to high levels of cortisol. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone. The best way to get your memory back is to deal with the causes of your stress. You can write down importation information until you are able to do that.

5.) A Weakened Immune System

Weakened immunity is one of the most noticeable effects of stress. Stress causes the body to release catecholamines. These hormones assist in regulating the immune system. However, prolonged release of cathecholamines can actually interfere with their ability to regulate the immune system. Chronic stress can also cause your thymus gland to shrink. That is the gland that produces white blood cells. Additionally, stress damages your telomeres. Telomeres assist in immune cell reproduction.

6.) Excessive Sweating

You probably already know that stress can cause you to sweat more. However, there are some people who suffer from a condition that causes excessive sweating called hyperhidrosis. Meditation and yoga can help you cope with stress-relates sweating. If you think that you have hyperhidrosis, then you should consult with a doctor who specializes in this condition. Last fall, there was a study published in PLOS One that showed that stress sweat can possibly cause others around you to become stressed.

12 foods with the gift of healing

Whole foods have been shown over and over again to help our bodies function more efficiently, but some can do more than just provide the body with nutrients. The twelve foods on this list actually have properties that can help the body prevent and recover from illness, from cancer to heart disease. These healing foods can also help ease traits that can lead to serious illness, like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

The very same yellow flowering plants which give gardeners fits has actually been used as a healing herb by cultures around the world for centuries. Traditional Chinese medicine uses a concoction of dandelion mixed with other herbs to ease bronchitis and other respiratory illnesses, and the white sap from the stems and roots can be used to treat warts.
Dandelion greens are packed with nutrients; one cup of raw greens contains 112% of the RDA for vitamin A and 535% of the RDA for vitamin K. Dandelion is actually one of the best food sources for vitamin A and beta-carotene. The greens also contain copious amounts of potassium, calcium, iron, fiber, and vitamin C.
Dandelion is a natural diuretic. The increase in urine production helps flush the kidneys of toxins and excess salts which may develop into kidney stones and provides relief to patients suffering from high blood pressure, bloating, edema, and water retention. Not only that, but the potassium in the greens helps a person on any kind of diuretic to maintain a healthy level of potassium in the body. Dandelion is also used to treat liver disorders like jaundice and hepatitis.
Dandelion has digestive benefits as well. It can act as a gentle laxative by stimulating bile production, but it also has anti-diarrheal properties; like apples, dandelions help the digestive system maintain balance. The leaves and roots can both be used as a treatment for indigestion and heartburn, and the inulin fiber found in the leaves provides a healthy probiotic meal for the useful digestive bacteria in the gut. Inulin also helps balance blood sugar levels, which prevents diabetes, and increases the efficiency of calcium absorption. The vitamin C and pectin in dandelions work together to reduce cholesterol.

Kale, a relative of broccoli, is full of nutrients and anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Chinese healers have traditionally used kale as a treatment for lung congestion. In just one cup of cooked kale, you can find 89% of the RDA for vitamin C, 192% of the RDA for vitamin A, and a staggering 1,328% of the RDA for vitamin K, plus loads of iron and calcium. The bountiful vitamin K helps skeletal strength by anchoring calcium to bone. It also protects the heart and helps blood platelets clot more efficiently.
Kale contains high levels of a compound called sulforaphane, which has been shown to help protect against cancers of the colon, cervix, and breast. It provides large amounts of beta-carotene and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. In fact, kale gives its eaters more antioxidants than spinach or broccoli.

Eastern medicine looks to cabbage as a treatment for colds, whooping cough, irritability, depression, constipation, and stomach ulcers, and they’re onto something; the glutamine in cabbage acts as a natural remedy for peptic ulcers. Cabbage also promotes general intestinal health, along with easing allergic reactions, reducing inflammation, and strengthening bones.
Cabbage is another leafy green full of important vitamins. One cup of cabbage can provide 50% of the RDA for vitamin C, which is actually 11% higher than oranges. That serving of cabbage can also supply 91% of the RDA for vitamin K along with abundant manganese, folate, vitamin B6, and fiber.
Like kale, cabbage contains high levels of sulforaphane antioxidants which neutralize free radicals harming DNA. Sulforaphanes also cause the body to release enzymes which nullify carcinogens trapped in the body. Cabbage and related vegetables are better at reducing cancer risk than any other fruits and vegetables, and researchers believe this dual-action attack is the reason.

For being as remarkably low-calorie as it is, watercress provides an amazing array of nutrients. Compared on a calorie-to-calorie basis, watercress supplies four times as much calcium as milk, more iron than spinach, and as much vitamin C as oranges. Like other leafy greens, it’s full of carotenoid antioxidants and vitamins A and K.
The combination of nutrients in watercress help strengthen the immune system, build healthy bones, and transport oxygen through the body more efficiently. Some compounds in watercress help to block carcinogens and protect healthy cells; there’s even evidence that watercress can help to destroy cancer cells.
Natural health proponents use watercress to treat urinary problems, jaundice, mumps, sore throat, and bad breath. Traditional Chinese medicine uses watercress to improve night vision, reduce tumors, and improve digestion.

Spinach can do quite a lot. It contains 1111% of the RDA of vitamin K, which helps calcium stick to bone. Popeye’s favorite snack is also a great source of iron, folate, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A and C. It contains a carotenoid antioxidant which destroys prostate cancer cells and keeps them from spreading, and the large concentration of folate lowers the risk of breast, ovarian, and colorectal cancers. The vitamin C and beta-carotene reduce inflammation and work to prevent colon cancer.
Aside from all that, spinach also helps to prevent heart disease and stroke, lower blood pressure, protect against dementia and promote general brain health, and prevent eye disorders.

If you’re asked the question about which food you’d want with you if stranded on an island, beans should be one of top choices. Beans are a very complete food; they contain protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and antioxidants. Red beans, kidney beans, and pinto beans are in the top four on the USDA’s list of most antioxidant-rich foods. They also provide good amounts of vitamins B1, B2, and K as well as folate, magnesium, and potassium. Soybeans even supply omega-3 fatty acids.
Harvard researchers found that women who have two or more servings of beans per week have a 24% lower chance of developing breast cancer. Many studies have linked beans to reduced risks of breast and colon cancers, high blood pressure, heart disease, and Type 2 diabetes.
Beans have many functions in Chinese medicine; various forms have been used to treat rheumatism, alcoholism, food poisoning, diarrhea, edema, high blood pressure, kidney stones, and myriad other disorders.

Sure, they have a strong odor and flavor, but onions are also strong in antioxidants. They contain a natural antihistamine called quercetin, which reduces allergy symptoms, and large amounts of vitamin C to fight off colds and flu. Onions provide a peptide which helps prevent bone loss and sulfides which lower cholesterol and blood pressure.
Eating onions lowers the risk of prostate, esophageal, and stomach cancers as well as the risk of death from heart disease. They’re even a pain reliever; onions contain anti-inflammatories which help ease arthritis.

Chinese medicine uses carrots as a sort of all-purpose medicine; it treats night blindness, ear infections, indigestion, tumors, rheumatism, and many other ailments. Given the high number of caretenoid antioxidants delivered by carrots, this is not surprising. Studies have linked caretenoid-rich diets to lower risk of cancers of the breast, cervix, prostate, bladder, esophagus, and larynx. Some studies indicate that carrots also reduce the risk of kidney, ovarian, and lung cancers. On the other hand, people whose diets are low in carotenoids have a higher risk of chronic diseases, such as various cancers and heart disease.
One compound in carrots, alpha-carotene, may be able to prevent tumor growth. Carrots are full of vitamins A and C, fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium. Nutrients provided by carrots help to maintain healthy ears and eyes, boost the immune system, protect the colon, and work against cardiovascular disease.

Broccoli combines an amazing amount of nutrition into one simple food. A cup of steamed broccoli provides about twice the RDA amounts of vitamins C and K, 50% of the RDA for vitamin A, and a strong supply of B vitamins, fiber, sulfate, folate, and iron. It also contains protein; in fact, it contains almost two times as much protein as steak.
Broccoli is full of anti-cancer nutrients called indoles, which inhibit tumor growth and help the body rid itself of carcinogens. Research has shown that broccoli can be linked to reduced risk of cancers of the prostate, lung, esophagus, stomach, breast, cervix, and skin. Other studies have found that eating broccoli can reduce the risk of heart disease by 20%.

Cherries can fight bacteria and viruses, and they also contain a multitude of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Anthocyanins act as natural painkillers. They also reduce the risk of colon cancer and lower uric acid in the blood, which cuts the risk of gout. The quercetin and ellagic acid found in cherries can help reduce tumors and cause cancerous cells to self-destruct.
Cherries are used to treat anemia, arthritis, and gout in Chinese medicine.

Guavas are still somewhat rare in the U.S., but they’re worth looking for. They are full of vitamin C and potassium; in fact, a serving of guava contains 60% more potassium than a serving of banana.
Guavas are also a wonderful source of lycopene, an antioxidant which fights cancer. Guavas actually contain 20% more lycopene than tomatoes.
Lycopene defends cells against free radicals which can cause cancer, clog arteries, cause joint pain, and irritate the nervous system. Lycopene has been shown to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells and lower the risk of prostate cancer. In men who had already been diagnosed with prostate cancer, men who took lycopene supplements improved more quickly than men who did not. Some research suggests that lycopene may also work to prevent coronary artery disease.

Kiwifruit has a unique property; it actually makes itself more edible when someone cuts into it by releasing enzymes which cause the flesh to become more tender. This is a fortunate thing; kiwifruit is one of the most nutrient-rich fruits around. It supplies more potassium than bananas, more fiber than apples, and more vitamin C than oranges.
Kiwifruit is also a natural blood thinner without the stomach-irritating side effects of aspirin. It helps to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and lessen the formation of dangerous blood clots. The antioxidants in kiwifruit reduce the oxidation which damages DNA and even encourage the damaged cells to heal themselves.

4 Ways Poor Oral Hygiene Can Make You Sick

We all know the benefits of good oral hygiene. Regular brushing and flossing prevents tartar buildup, gingivitis, and periodontal disease with its painful, bleeding gums; it’s in all the toothpaste commercials. However, even people who brush regularly may still have bacteria hiding in their mouths, and these bacteria could lead to complications far beyond the teeth and mouth. Recent studies have shown that poor oral hygiene can cause illness in other parts of the body.

Blood Sugar

People who have diabetes are more prone to infections than non-diabetics, and this includes periodontal disease. Some studies indicate that periodontal disease and diabetes actually make each other worse; gum disease may make it more difficult for the body to regulate blood sugar. These studies also show that treating periodontal disease can help to relieve diabetes symptoms.

Cardiac Health

Periodontal disease sufferers are nearly two times more likely to be diagnosed with coronary artery disease as are people with good gum health. Research has yet to determine a cause for this tendency, but some scientists believe it has to do with the higher count of oral bacteria. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the bleeding gums. Once there, they attach to the fatty plaques building up in the arteries, leading to inflammation and an increased risk of blood clots.

Lung Health

The Journal of Periodontology reports that gum disease can increase the chance of respiratory infections like bronchitis, pneumonia, and even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Oral bacteria can easily be inhaled and inflame the airways and lungs.

Memory and Dementia

Poor oral health may increase a person’s chance of memory deterioration. A study of 118 nuns aged between 75 and 98 discovered that the women who had fewer teeth were more likely to have some form of dementia. Researchers theorize that oral bacteria can spread to the brain either through the bloodstream or by way of the cranial nerves which run through the jaw. Oral bacteria may contribute to the development of the neural plaques linked to Alzheimer’s disease.

How can you improve your oral hygiene and lower your health risks?

Keeping your mouth clean is the key. “Your teeth and gums should not bleed, be painful, or feel rough or sharp to your tongue,” explains registered dental hygienist Pam Atherton. “Your breath should be fresh for at least a couple of hours after brushing in the morning.” Here are some dentist-recommended techniques which can help improve oral health.

1. Don’t use too hard of a toothbrush. Brushes with hard and medium bristles can damage the teeth by scraping away the enamel over time and by hurting the tender gums. “Gum tissue can’t make a callous,” Atherton points out. The loss of enamel and gum tissue eventually exposes the root below the tooth and leads to sensitivity, pain, and possible bone loss in the jaw. Dentists and hygienists recommend toothbrushes with soft or extra soft bristles.

2. Floss before brushing. Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat, DMD, a professor of periodontology at the University of Philadelphia School of Dental Medicine, explains that brushing after flossing helps to brush away any of the particles removed by flossing. For people who have difficulties using plain floss, Atherton recommends floss holders or floss picks.

3. Use proper brushing technique. Teeth should be brushed for a full two minutes, according to Atherton. “Make sure you brush your tongue and cheeks as well as the chewing surfaces to improve the removal of harmful bacteria in the crevices,” she says. Children can try brushing for the length of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” or “The Alphabet Song” twice through at normal speed for each half of their mouths. Toothbrushes should be replaced every three months.

4. Rinse with a mouthwash. People who rinse twice a day cut their risk of gum disease by 60 percent, according to Jeffcoat. The best mouthwash to use is one which has microbial protection against plaque, and the rinsing should last for about 30 seconds.

11 Foods to End Your Bad Mood

Because many people live a fast-paced lifestyle and have a very hectic schedule, they are forced to eat quick meals on the go. Today’s packaged meals are lacking in essential nutrients. They are also packed with processed chemicals. If you constantly eat the wrong types of food, then you may become lethargic, anxious and grouchy.

It is also important to note that a diet that is lacking in essential “happy” nutrients can cause us to gain weight. You are much more likely to overindulge on high-calorie foods when you are feeling stressed. This is how the never-ending unhappiness cycle goes: You eat bad foods, then you feel bad after you eat them. You feel so bad that you start eating worse, and then you feel even worse than you felt before.

Fortunately, you can shrink your belly and boost your spirits by eating brain foods. Yes, feeding your brain the right foods can boost your energy, improve your mood and keep you from reaching for the chip bag. Below are 11 foods that contain the essential nutrients that keep your brain and body healthy.

1.) Mussels
Mussels are very high in Vitamin B12, which happens to be a nutrient that many of us are lacking. Vitamin B12 helps insulate brain cells. This not only helps boost mood, but it also helps keep your brain sharp. Mussels also have small amount of selenium, zinc and iodine, which are nutrients that support thyroid health. What is another benefit that can be reaped from eating mussels? Mussels are low in fat and calories, but they contain a large amount of protein. That is why mussels are one of the healthiest seafood options that you can find.

2.) Swiss Chard
This leafy green is rich in magnesium. This nutrient helps increase energy levels. There was a 2009 study published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry that showed that increasing one’s intake of magnesium can help reduce depression. Swiss Chard is not the only food that is rich in magnesium. Halibut, soybeans and spinach are some of the other foods that are an excellent source of this nutrient.

3.) Blue Potatoes
Blue potatoes are hard to find in the supermarket, but you should definitely look for them the next time that you go to the farmer’s market. Anthocyanins are antioxidants that give the blue spuds their color. Anthocyanins help reduce the inflammation that can decrease one’s mood. They also help boost short-term memory. Additionally, the skin from the blue spuds are rich in iodine, which is a nutrient that keeps your thyroid healthy. Black beans, egg plants and berries are examples of other foods that are rich in anthocyanins.

4.) Grass-Fed Beef
Grass-fed animals have higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, in their bodies. CLA is a happy fat that blasts belly fat and reduces stress hormones. Grass-fat beef is also low in fat, but contains more omega 3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef. Want another great grass fed option? Try lamb. Lamb is packed with iron, which is a nutrient that helps keep the mood stable.

5.) Dark Chocolate
The cocoa from chocolate improves blood flow to your brain and gives you an instant boost in concentration and mood. However, snickers do not count. Cocoa is the ingredient that is good for your body. Pure dark chocolate is your best choice. You should not overdo a good thing. There is a study that was recently published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology that said that you only need to eat a few ounces of pure dark chocolate per day.

6.) Asparagus
Asparagus is one of the best plant-based sources of tryptophan. Tryptophan helps create serotonin, which is a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood. Asparagus also contains folate. Studies have shown that 50 percent of depressed people have low folate levels. Eggs, turkey and tuna are other sources of tryptophan.

7.) Greek Yogurt
Greek yogurt has more calcium than regular yogurt or milk. Calcium helps your brain release those feel-good neurotransmitters. People who do not get adequate amounts of calcium are prone to irritability, anxiety, slow thinking, impaired memory and depression. Greek yogurt is also abundant in protein.

8.) Honey
Honey has kaempferol and quercetin, which are two compounds that keep the brain healthy, reduce inflammation and ward off depression. Additionally, honey does not raise your blood sugar as much as regular sugar does. You should add some honey to a bowl of oatmeal or a cup of tea. However, you should not overdo it. Honey contains 64 calories and 17 grams of sugar per tablespoon.

9.) Cherry Tomatoes
Tomatoes are abundant in lycopene, which is a nutrient that fights the inflammation that causes depression. It also helps protect your brain. Lycopene is in the skin of the tomato, so you should put some cherry tomatoes in your salad instead of slicing one tomato. You can also add olive oil to your tomatoes. Olive oil can help increase the body’s absorption of lycopene. You should also try organic tomatoes because they have more lycopene.

10.) Coconut
Coconut is filled with medium-chain triglycerides. Those fats improve your mood and brain health. You can put some coconut shavings in your oatmeal or yogurt. You can also put some coconut shavings in your smoothie.

11.) Eggs
Eggs are filled with B vitamins, iodine, zinc, omega 3 fatty acids. All of those nutrients help boost mood. They are also high in protein, which can give you energy and keep you feeling full longer. Furthermore, a study that was done in 2008 showed that people who ate two eggs for breakfast lost a lot more weight than people who ate a bagel for breakfast.

5 Ways Sex Leads to Better Overall Health

Most standard guides to improving your health will tell you the basics; eat more fruits and vegetables, exercise, drink plenty of water. They’re not quite as likely to tell you to have an active sex life. A recent survey taken by Healthy Women, a nonprofit organization, indicates that a majority of women have sex more because they feel obligated to do it than because they enjoy it. Unfortunately, these women are depriving themselves of the many health benefits sex provides even above and beyond the good feelings of the moment. Here are five examples out of the many health advantages sex can give.

Sex is a good workout. “You can burn anywhere from 85 to 250 calories every time you have sex,” explained Dr. Naomi Greenblatt, medical director of The Rocking Chair, a women’s wellness center in New Jersey. Different positions lead the participants to work different muscle groups. Sex has also been shown to have a cardiovascular benefit; a research study in Ireland discovered that men with active sex lives are 50 percent less likely to die of a cardiac event than their less active counterparts.

Sex can decrease stress levels. Dr. Greenblatt pointed out that sex causes the body to release endorphins, the hormones responsible for feelings of contentment and well-being. A 2002 study done at the State University of New York at Albany showed that women who have regular sex display fewer signs of depression than women who do not; furthermore, women who have regular unprotected sex showed fewer indications of depression than women who have regular protected sex. This study is consistent with other research indicating that sex is a mood-booster on its own and that the compounds in semen may also have mood lifting capabilities.

Sex can help with pain relief. According to Dr. Greenblatt, people on the verge of orgasm have five times more oxytocin in their bodies than they would ordinarily have. Oxytocin is known to relieve many sorts of pain, from arthritis to menstrual cramping.

Sex can boost your immune system. “People who have sex also tend to have higher levels of immunoglobulin A,” explains Dr. Greenblatt. Immunoglobulin A is an antibody produced by the body to protect the mucus membranes from infection by germs.

Sex can help maintain a youthful appearance. Scottish researchers designed a study which consisted of a panel of viewers looking at various women through a one-way mirror and attempting to guess the women’s ages. The women who were judged to be seven to 12 years younger than their true age turned out to be the ones who had sex most often, as many as four times per week. Dr. Greenblatt says sex can also elevate the body’s production of estrogen and vitamin D, which help keep skin and hair healthy.

Researchers do point out that the strong correlations between frequent sex and well-being do not necessarily mean that sex is the cause of good health. It may instead mean that people with better health are more interested in sexual activity. Even so, no evidence shows that sex is bad for the general population, so most people have nothing to lose by increasing the frequency of their sexual activity

Smarter Snacking

It is possible to enjoy snacks without ruining your diet or gaining weight. If you follow these tips, then you will be able to choose healthy, low-fat snacks.

Cupcakes, cookies and potato chips are some of the things that may come to mind when you think about snacks. That is one of the reasons that people try to avoid snacks completely. However, healthy, low-fat snacks can make a nice addition to any diet plan. Healthy snacks can keep you feeling full, which can prevent you from overeating during mealtime. Jennifer E. Seyler, RD, president of the Chicago Nutrition Association, has the following to say about healthy snacking, “From a dietitian’s perspective, all foods within moderation can fit in a healthy meal plan.” “The key is the serving size of each food, with the realization that the foundation of the plan is based in variety.”

Top tips to Try for Healthy Snacking

*Exercise portion control.* Some people think that it is okay to eat healthy foods in abundance. However, Seyler warns people that 1,000 calories is still 1,000 calories, regardless of whether the calories come from fruit or chips. She also cautions people that eating that many calories in a short amount of time can lead to weight gain.*

* Make wiser food choices.* Seyler says that making healthy snack choices is one of the things that people can do to avoid overindulging on food. Low-fat cheese sticks, vegetables with a small amount of ranch dressing and fruits are examples of healthy snack choices. Vegetables and fruits are rich in fiber, and they also contain water, which can help keep you feeling full longer. As a result of this, you will naturally consume fewer calories. Low-fat cheese snacks are an excellent snack choice because they have adequate amounts of fat, carbohydrates and protein, which are the three macronutrients.

* Start planning ahead.* It is very easy to say that you will eat vegetables and fruits. However, if you are not prepared when hunger hits, then you can very easily get into trouble. Sue Decotiis, who is a physician in New York, urges you to plan ahead of time. You should bring your lunch to work and have two snacks in your car. Decotis also urges that you eat a healthy snack before you to go the party. You will be less likely to spend all of your time at the hors d’oeuvres tray if you eat something before you attend an event.

*Intelligent eat low-fat snacks*- You are bound to see a lot of low-calorie and low-fat options if you take the time to peruse the snack aisles. Seyler says that low-fat, low-calorie snack options can be great options if you consume the recommended serving size. She also reiterates that the key to snacking healthy is to exercise portion control. There are 100-calorie packs available now, but many people consume more than one pack. That really defeats the whole purpose of choosing a 100 calorie pack.

* Find good replacements.*- It is very hard for some us to give up ice cream, chips and cookies because those are some of our favorite foods. That is why Decotiis recommends that you satisfy your cravings with healthy replacements. Below are some of the healthy replacements that she recommends:

*Sweet potato chips* *Walnuts or almonds* *Protein bars *Low-fat yogurt *Yogurt dip

You will be prepared for a snack attack if you have a couple of healthy choices available.

Antioxidants from 10 unexpected sources

Some foods, like tea, spinach, and blueberries, get all the praise for their antioxidant properties, but they’re not the only ones that bring a high number of antioxidants to the table. Registered dietician Alexandra Caspero, owner of, did some research and came up with 10 lesser-known healthy superfoods.

Cocoa powder

This is the part of the cacao bean which is left once the fatty cocoa butter is removed. Up to 10% of a portion of cocoa powder consists of flavonoids, which help protect against strokes and heart attacks. Cocoa powder also contains calcium and magnesium. You can add some to your diet by including a small amount in savory sauces or chili or by making a Mexican mole sauce.


The little boxes of dried grapes so common in lunchboxes may be healthier than suspected. All types of raisins contain boron, necessary for healthy bones. Dark raisins are also full of energy-boosting anthocyanins. Try including some in your oatmeal or cereal, or just eat them plain.

Kidney beans

You might know these as red beans or chili beans, but whatever you call them, they’re a wonderful addition to a healthy diet. A quarter cup of kidney beans contains over 6000 antioxidants, not to mention loads of protein and a full three grams of fiber. You can try mashing them and mixing them into ground beef or turkey for burgers or meat loaf. Bean soups and red beans and rice are also good ways to get a serving of kidney beans.


Even though it’s often overlooked, barley is full of nutrients and incredibly versatile in cooking. Barley contains fiber to help lower cholesterol, not to mention folate, manganese, and molybdenum. It can be used in place of rice in a risotto, added to soups, or sprinkled on salads for texture.


The antioxidants in this dark leafy green can help gym-goers recover from their workouts more quickly by neutralize the free radicals which can damage DNA, according to a recent study in the British Journal of Nutrition. There are only four calories in an entire cup of watercress, but it contains lutein and zexanthin, which keep the eyes healthy, as well as vitamins A, C, and K. Watercress has a light peppery flavor and can be substituted for lettuce in salads and sandwiches.


Sorghum resembles wheat berries in texture and flavor, but the grain is gluten free. It contains a balance of carbohydrates and protein which make it a reliable energy source. Sorghum is full of B-complex vitamins and helps lower cholesterol. It can be used in place of bulgur wheat in dishes like tabbouleh. The syrup can also be used as a substitute for honey.

Ginger root

Nine chemicals in ginger are known to help improve digestive health. Ginger can also ease muscles sore from exertion. It has a spicy, citrusy flavor. Ginger is common in Asian cuisine, but the flavor pairs well with many different dishes.


Coffee is the most common source of antioxidants for most Americans. Whether it’s regular or decaf, coffee contains many antioxidants, particularly chlorogenic acid, which helps neutralize bad cholesterol.


In spite of the scaremongering, eggs do not raise the risk of heart problems. In fact, eggs contain more nutrients per calorie than any other food. They also provide choline, which helps the body burn fat. As long as you don’t cook them in unhealthy fat, eggs in any form can be part of a healthy diet.

Surprising ways to keep your brain and memory sharp

Memory enhancement has become a hot topic in modern society. A quick Internet search reveals long lists of specially designed memory-enhancing games created by psychiatrists and dozens of pills and supplements the manufacturers guarantee will improve memory. Experts on talk show after talk show recommend intellectual stimulation: difficult crossword puzzles, logic puzzles, or strategy games like chess.

However, while research shows that cerebral activities do have plenty of benefits to memory and cognition, many other studies reveal that a strong social life and a sense of fun give a person’s memory definite advantages.

Humans are and have always been social animals. Even the most curmudgeonly of us generally want someone to socialize with on occasion. It has long been accepted that a satisfying social life helps a person stay emotionally healthy, but new research is showing that social activity also benefits a person’s cognitive health. A recent study done by the Harvard School of Public Health discovered that the most socially active subjects had the slowest rates of memory decline, and that’s just one study among many suggesting the same conclusion.

Increasing social interaction is not as difficult as you might think. Try joining a club that relates to your interests or finding a volunteer association. The Internet has made it a simple matter to reconnect with friends and find times to meet up. Even people who find making and keeping friends difficult can get plenty of cognitive value from having a pet, especially very social ones like dogs.

Having a good laugh conveys benefits to the memory as well. A standard emotional response will cause neurons to fire in only a specific section of the brain, but laughter actually causes many areas throughout the brain to activate. Listening to jokes and trying to figure out punch lines uses areas of the brain important to creativity and learning, much like solving puzzles.

Try increasing laughter in your life by finding fun people to spend time with, whether adults or children. Their playful attitude towards life will lighten your heart as well. Learn to laugh at yourself and take yourself less seriously. Surround yourself with fun items, such as small toys, pictures of yourself and your friends having a good time, or amusing posters. Seek out laughter whenever you can; most often the cheerful people will be more than happy to let you in on the joke.

Six Tips for People Who Hate to Exercise

If you hate exercise, then following these tips will help you get the most out of your workout.

Set Small Goals

If you set the bar too high, then you will probably end up getting frustrated. Start with small goals. For example, you can set a goal to exercise 15 or 16 days out of the month. You will feel really good about yourself if you set a goal to exercise for 15 days out of the month but end up exercising for 20.

Keep A Record of Your Workouts

Every day, write down whether you have or have not been active. You can also keep an online log. When are working out, keep a journal of what weight you used and how many reps you could do. If you have trouble staying on track, then you should get your friends or online workout buddies to hold you accountable.

Be Mindful of Willpower Drains

Listening to a speaker or making decisions can drain the willpower that you need to exercise. That is why you should schedule exercise during the times when your willpower is at its peak. Morning workouts are a great way to start the day. You will feel stronger and be in a better mood throughout the day.

Put More Emphasis on Initiative

Starting an exercise program is hard, and you may get frustrated at first. However, once you have been working out for awhile, it will become easier for you to find a couple of minutes to exercise every day. Who knows, you may even begin to enjoy it!

Forget About Failures

Do not deal on failures. You should view them as the obstacles that you must overcome in order to reach your goal. Failure is not an option.

Adapt Your Workout So That It Fits Your Lifestyle

If you are a parent, then you may want to consider coaching your child's team or going for bike rides with your family. You can go for a run with your dog if you love animals. Best friends or coworkers are great workout partners and motivators.

The 10 Most Counterintuitive Health and Beauty Tips

Sometimes the things everyone knows aren't exactly true, and that holds as well for health and beauty treatments as well as for anything else.

Chocolate is good for your skin

The National Institute of Health explains that chocolate’s reputation for causing breakouts is completely undeserved. “Chocolate and greasy foods are often blamed, but there is little evidence that foods have much effect on acne in most people.” In fact, dark chocolate contains antioxidant flavonoids which reduce inflammation of the skin and help acne heal. Keep portion size in mind; chocolate has health benefits, but it is still a fattening food.

Too much shampoo damages your hair

Too much cleaning can be a bad thing; shampoo strips the natural oils from hair, leaving it dry, brittle, and easy to break. In fact, hair health experts recommend shampooing only once every two to five days depending on your hair texture and scalp. The products which are supposed to add shine to hair don’t do much good either; most of them are silicone-based and cause a dull layer of build-up in your hair over time. The best ways to keep hair healthy and shiny are to use a deep conditioning treatment, allow time between washes, and keep the use of hot styling tools to a minimum.

Too much brushing can weaken and damage your teeth

Many people believe they need to brush their teeth after each meal and snack, but the truth is that the American Dental Association advises patients to brush only twice a day. Frequent brushing can wear away tooth enamel, making the teeth susceptible to cavities and discoloration. Brushing within a short time of having acidic foods or drinks is also a bad idea. The physical brushing can actually move the acid more deeply into your teeth, leaving the enamel at greater risk of erosion.

Bacteria in your gut help reduce the smells of flatulence

Thousands of bacterial species are living in your digestive system as you read this, and they’re absolutely supposed to be there. They actually aid your body to digest food for the most effective absorption of nutrients. One of the early signs of an imbalance in the bacterial ranks is an increase in the unpleasant odors of flatulence. The imbalance, most often caused by antibiotics or an unhealthy diet, can be corrected with a probiotic supplement or fermented foods like yogurt with active cultures.

Drinking more water reduces water retention

Water retention and bloating are actually caused by your kidneys going into a panic mode when they detect a drop in your overall fluid levels and cause your body to keep all of its current water. To keep your kidneys happy and prevent bloat, drink water during the day. The eight glasses a day rule is not hard and fast; any increase in your fluid intake will help. In fact, it doesn't even have to be water. Flavored and caffeinated beverages also count towards your total daily fluid intake.

Keeping the right kinds of food around helps you make healthy eating choices

Dr. Brian Wansink of Cornell University discovered a strong link between visual cues and choices about eating while researching his book Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think. Each person makes over 200 decisions about eating every day, and a pleasing package or food appearance can influence a person to eat junk food or eat more than they intended. Dr. Wansink recommends that people buy healthy, convenient snacks and leave them in plain sight while hiding the treats away.

Gaining weight helps you burn fat

At least, gaining weight helps the body burn fat more effectively if the weight is lean muscle mass. Muscle is denser and weighs more than fat. More than a few women have found that after they start a weightlifting program, their weight on the scale goes up a little, even though they look more toned and their clothes are starting to fit more loosely.

Less repetitions with heavier weights increase strength

The common advice tells us that if women do weight training, they should do more reps with lighter weights than a man would use so they don’t bulk up. This is actually a very inefficient way of building strength, and women don’t develop bulky muscles without using steroids or having a terrible hormonal imbalance to start with. The small brightly-colored weights have their place for people who are just starting weight training or rehabilitating an injury, but real gains in strength come from pushing harder with heavier weights.

Unlike cardio exercise, frequent workouts are not good in weight training. Muscles should be allowed to rest between workouts so they can rebuild themselves; a good rule of thumb is to work the muscles every other day.

Adding walking to your training can improve your marathon time

Olympic runner Jeff Galloway popularized this method of training. His strategy is to walk one minute of each mile during his training runs. The rest before the body is worn out helps increase endurance and hasten recovery, which eventually shortens the marathon running time. Tim Deegan, a skeptic of Galloway’s method, tried the run-walk training and shortened his marathon time by 20 minutes.

Talking about your problems can make you unhappy

Dr. Guy Winch told Psychology Today that frequent complaining can cause someone to develop a learned helplessness which leads them to believe they can’t have any effect on their problems. “When we become convinced our actions will not have the impact we desire, we cease our efforts and become passive and helpless,” Dr. Winch explained.

On the other hand, a certain amount of venting can be helpful during times of stress. The key is to blow off the steam and be done with it, not complain continuously. Examining and being grateful for the good things in your life can also increase your happiness.

Non-alcoholic red wine may be better for men's health than regular wine

Red wine has long been touted as beneficial to cardiovascular health, but a research study from the Hospital Clinic of Barcelona has found that non-alcoholic red wine may actually have stronger effects.

The study involved 67 men who have either diabetes or at least three cardiovascular risk factors such as family history, obesity, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure. After a two week detox period, each man was asked to spend four weeks drinking prescribed amounts of either non-alcoholic red wine, regular red wine, or gin. After the four weeks were up, the men switched to a different beverage for the next four weeks, and finally finished with four weeks of the third beverage.

Researchers found that the non-alcoholic red wine lowered blood pressure significantly. The average drop was 6mmHg for systolic pressure and 2mmHg for diastolic pressure. This represents a risk reduction of up to 20% for stroke and 14% for heart disease. The study did not show significant effects from alcoholic red wine or gin.

Researcher Dr. Ramon Estruch, a senior consultant in the Hospital Clinic’s internal medicine department, believes these results are evidence that it is the antioxidant polyphenols in wine rather than the alcohol which cause the beneficial cardiovascular effects. In fact, the alcohol may lower the beneficial effects of the polyphenols.

Cardiologist Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of Women and Heart Disease at New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital, welcomes the results because the non-alcoholic wine would be a way for people who can’t or don’t want to drink alcohol to get the beneficial polyphenol effects. “It’s not so much the alcohol as it is the polyphenols in wine,” said Steinbaum, who did not participate in the study.

However, Mayo Clinic cardiologist Dr. Sharonne Hayes thinks the study’s small size and lack of a control group may mean the results are skewed. This research, she explained, generated a good hypothesis to use as a point from which to start new research, but that no conclusions should be drawn just yet. She points to the lack of a detox period between each of the four week beverage-drinking periods as a potential flaw in the research. It is well-accepted that when a person who consumes even moderate amounts of alcohol stops drinking, their blood pressure will rise. The study participants could have had higher blood pressure than they normally do at the beginning of the research, which could create misleading results regarding non-alcoholic wine’s ability to lower blood pressure.

Hayes also pointed out that many previous studies have shown that alcohol is more likely the beneficial substance than polyphenols.

The Barcelona study was published in “Circulation Research” online on September 6th.

5 foods with brain benefits you may not know about

We've all heard that fish is brain food, especially the kind that is rich with omega-3s. Blueberries and spinach also have notable brain-boosting abilities. However, these aren't the only foods which can help keep your brain strong and free of disease.

Red Wine

Certain compounds found in grape seeds may help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. A 2011 study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that in mice, these compounds helped prevent the formation of proteins linked to the development of Alzheimer’s. Those same grape seed compounds are found in red wine, so wine may help protect the brain when consumed in moderation.


Fully caffeinated coffee may also help protect against Alzheimer’s. A study done at the University of South Florida fed caffeine to mice specifically bred to develop Alzheimer’s disease as they aged; some mice received caffeinated coffee, some received decaf, and others were given plain caffeine. The mice who received regular coffee showed higher levels of a hormone called granulocyte colony stimulating factor, which reduces Alzheimer’s symptoms by increasing neuron production and connection. For humans, the useful dose would translate to about four cups of coffee spread throughout the day.

Citrus Fruit

While the vitamin C in citrus may or may not be useful in preventing colds, it seems that citrus fruit may help to prevent strokes. Flavones, found in oranges and grapefruit, seem to act as anti-inflammatories and improve the function of blood vessels. A 2012 study in Stroke reported that people who ate two or more servings of citrus each day over a period of 14 years had a 10% lower risk of stroke than people who ate less. Be wary of choosing juice instead of whole fruit; many juices contain added sugar.


Onions are full of antioxidants which may help prevent brain damage if a person has a stroke; the antioxidants can work to block the formation of oxygen compounds which damage the barrier between blood and brain. A study published in Nutrition reported feeding some mice an onion supplement. When researchers induced stroke in all the mice, the control group showed significantly higher brain damage than did the onion-fed group.


Eggs are rich in choline, a nutrient which is required to produce acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter which is linked to brain health and memory. A 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition looked at nearly 1400 adults and found that those who consumed the most choline performed best on memory tests. The subjects with high choline intake were also less likely to have signs of potential dementia such as blood vessel disease in the brain.

7 Health Risks for Middle Aged Men

The most common causes of death for men of middle age and older are all the usual suspects--cancer, stroke, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, respiratory disease, injuries, and suicide. Fortunately, some minor changes to bad habits can reduce the chances of dying of one of these perils.

Sun Overexposure

Men are two times more likely than women to develop fatal skin cancer. 60% of the cases of the deadliest skin cancer, melanoma, are found in white males of age 50 and older. Unfortunately, less than half of adult men protect themselves with shade, sunscreen, or protective clothing, as opposed to 65% of adult women.

Nor are men overexposed to sun likely to have their skin tumors found and treated early; a 2001 Academy of American Dermatology study found that men middle aged and above are less likely than other demographics to see a dermatologist or examine their own skin for signs of tumors. Men over 65, however, have a higher chance of having skin tumors found by a physician, possibly because older people have more medical appointments in general.

Excess Time Sitting Down with Electronics

Psychologists have not yet worked out whether Internet addiction is a valid diagnosis, but it is true that time which could be devoted to healthy activities like social interaction, walking, and other forms of exercise is instead being spent staring at computer monitors, laptops, smartphones, televisions, and video games. Physical social isolation has been linked to an increase in the risk for depression and dementia.

A 2011 study in JAMA found that on average, Americans spend five hours watching television each day, and that doesn’t account for time spent seated at computers. Extended sitting over a long period is associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. In fact, a 2012 Australian study found that adults 45 and older who spent 11 hours or more per day seated had a 40% increase in their risk of death.


In 2009, 79% of all suicides were men. Men over age 65 commit suicide seven times more frequently than do women in the same age group. Social isolation, common in the elderly, is often a key cause.

More than 60% of people who commit suicide have major depression. Men tend to equate depression with ordinary sadness or grief, so they fail to recognize the warning signs such as fatigue, trouble concentrating or thinking clearly, agitation, and changes in sleep patterns.

The National Institute of Mental Health has found that depression can be successfully treated no matter the age of the patient.

Being Single

Many studies have shown that married men, particularly of middle age, are healthier than their unmarried peers. One theory is that marriage tends to increase a man’s overall social circle, which decreases stress and depression which can cause chronic ailments.

Unmarried men may also have less healthy habits than married men, such as poor eating and rare medical checkups.

However, men who marry after age 25 tend to have better health than those who marry at a younger age, and staying in a strained marriage actually causes poorer overall health than does singlehood.

Poor Diet

Men on the younger side of middle age are likely to eat an excess of junk food and red meat, which leads to common ailments like high cholesterol and high blood pressure. Older men may fail to prepare adequate meals for themselves and wind up suffering malnutrition.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found in 2010 that 35.5% of men are obese, compared to 27.5% in 2000.


The negative effects of smoking tend to be worse in older people. They are likely to be heavier smokers and to have smoked for longer, which means their lungs have sustained more damage. 90% of all cases of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder, the fourth leading cause of death in men, are caused by smoking, as are 80 to 90% of lung cancer cases. Men over 65 who smoke double their chances of fatal stroke.

Quitting shows immediate results, no matter the person’s age. The risks of lung disease, stroke, and cancer drop immediately, and the risk of heart disease is cut in half after only one year.

Driving Errors

Males in their 50s and 60s are twice as likely to die in car accidents as their female peers. Injuries, including car accidents, are the leading cause of death for men in the 40 to 44 age group, third most common cause in men aged 45 to 64, and eighth most common in men 65 and older.

The car accident causes tend to be avoidable, such as running red lights and stop signs, driving over the speed limit, and falling asleep at the wheel.

Seven Foods That Help You Lose Weight

Many people are under the misconception that food is their enemy. However, you should not get sucked into that idea. In fact, if you eat the right foods, then you will be able to reach your weight loss goals much faster than you would if you were to just cut calories. Below are seven foods that nutritionists recommend that you eat if you are trying to lose weight:


You may be thinking to yourself, "Oats are a carb, aren't they?" The answer to that question is yes and no. Oats are a type of whole grain, and they help keep you full longer. Oats are also rich in soluble fiber, which means that they can lower blood pressure and blood fat. Oats are slowly digested by the body, so they will not cause your blood sugar to rise. Rolled oats and steel-cut oats both contain about five grams of fiber per serving. A serving of instant oatmeal has about three or four grams of fiber.


Eggs have received a lot of negative attention over the years because they contain a large amount of cholesterol. However, nutritionists have stated that the cholesterol in eggs is different from the cholesterol in humans. Studies have shown that people who eat an egg in the morning along with their breakfast lose more weight than people who eat a carb-filled breakfast.

Skim Milk

Skim milk is filled with Vitamin D, calcium and low-fat protein. There have been numerous studies published in the Journal of Obesity that have shown that the combination of those nutrients can help build lean muscle and promote weight loss.


If you want to lose weight, then you should definitely consider eating one or two apples per day. Apples are an excellent source of fiber, which can help keep you feeling full. Apples are also filled with antioxidants that help prevent a condition called the metabolic syndrome. The metabolic syndrome is the combination of high cholesterol, pre-diabetes and high blood pressure. This condition is strongly correlated with excess fat around the midsection. Additionally, apples contain pectin. Pectin helps reduce the amount of fat that gets absorbed by the cells.

Red Meat

Are you surprised to see red meat on this list? Many people think that red meat is unhealthy, but a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that red meat can actually help promote weight loss. Red meat is rich in protein, which helps you maintain muscle mass. However, it is important to note that you will also have to exercise to build muscle.


A study done by the USDA has shown that cinnamon can help metabolize sugar. You can lower your blood sugar level and cut your cholesterol by up to 25 percent by eating 1/4 to 2 teaspoons per day. You should add some cinnamon to your cereal, smoothies or coffee.

Almonds And Almond Butter

Nuts and nut butters are two other foods that you may not expect to see on this list. Even though almonds are very high in calories, they can still help lower your triglyceride and cholesterol levels. In fact, there was one study that was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that showed that eating almonds can be just as effective as statins. You should spread some almond butter on your morning toast because that will give you a nice boost of protein.

Lengthy sitting doubles risk of diabetes

A British meta-analysis published in the November 2012 issue of the journal Diabetologia shows strong indications that extended time spent sitting greatly increases a person’s risk of diabetes, severe heart issues, and death. Previous studies have found a link between extended television watching and poor health, but this is the first study to specifically research the connection between any extended sedentary behavior and health.

The analysts searched previous studies for terms involving health outcomes and sedentary lifestyles. They looked at data involving 794,577 participants across 18 different studies. The data was adjusted to account for differences in measurement frequency and study length and then sorted with a random effects model.

Dr. Emma G. Wilmot of the University of Leicester, one of the study’s authors, says the research showed a particularly strong link between a sedentary lifestyle and diabetes. Analysis of the data showed that people with the highest levels of sedentary activity included in the study had twice the risk of developing diabetes than did the people with the lowest levels of sedentary behavior. People in the highly sedentary group also had 2.5 times the chance of suffering a cardiovascular event, a 90% higher chance of suffering a death related to cardiovascular problems, and a 49% greater chance of death from any cause.

Deeper analysis of the data indicated that the predictive effects were significant for diabetes, but far less so for the other health issues, which suggests that the diabetes results will be the most likely to be reproduced in future studies.

The results of the research, Wilmot says, may cause some changes in the way we think about fitness. “We've traditionally been focused on making sure we meet the physical activity guidelines of 30 minutes per day, but with that approach we've overlooked what we do with the other 23 and a half hours in the day,” she explained. “If you sit for the rest of the day, that is going to have an impact on health, and that's essentially what our meta-analysis shows.”

The health dangers of extended periods of sitting were first noted in the 1950s. Researchers realized that London bus drivers, who spend most of their day in the driver’s seat, had twice the risk of suffering a heart attack as did bus conductors, who move around inside the bus frequently. Unfortunately, the implications of this finding was more or less overlooked until recent researchers started looking for connections between lifestyle and the growing number of people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Wilmot and her colleagues estimate that on average, an adult is engaged in sedentary activities for 50% to 60% of each day. Modern lifestyles contribute to an increase in time spent sitting down. In a typical day, an adult might drive to work, sit at the office computer for hours on end, drive home, and spend the evening watching television or playing video games. "People don't realize that doing just small amounts of activity—it doesn't even need to be a proper walk—are important," she says. "If you are having a chat with a friend at your desk or the phone rings, stand up and chat. Just these small changes could make a big difference."

Sitting seems to have a negative effect on our body’s ability to metabolize glucose. Earlier studies have shown that people who sit immediately after eating have glucose levels 24% higher than do people who walk slowly after they eat. “When we sit, our muscles are not used, and we quickly become more insulin resistant," explained Wilmot. She also pointed out that people who have a genetic predisposition to diabetes may wish to be even more careful about prolonged sitting. Wilmot and her colleagues are not entirely certain of the exact mechanism by which extended sitting affects glucose metabolism.

Wilmot and her colleagues are currently undertaking a study of 200 young adults at risk for diabetes in hopes of increasing their evidence.

Journalists from around the world have been calling to ask Wilmot about the results of the study, indicating that these concerns are universal.

Future diabetes prevention programs might wish to use this evidence to start promoting less sedentary lifestyles along with traditional exercise and diet, Wilmot said. The possibilities include standing desks, treadmill desks, and alarms which can alert someone if they’ve been sitting for 40 minutes straight.

Wilmot was quick to add that physical activity is still very important to health and that people should not rush to give up their exercise programs if they start spending larger portions of the day standing. “There's a wealth of data showing that physical activity is important, but if people are spending a large percentage of their time sitting, they need to start thinking about how they can reduce this," said Wilmot.

6 Types of Food to Ease Your Pain Naturally

People suffering from chronic pain have options besides rummaging around in the medicine cabinet or visiting a doctor to try to figure out which painkiller works best for them. Certain foods have the ability to diminish pain over time. Foods containing antioxidants can help reduce the damage the body goes through when food and oxygen react and create free radicals as byproducts. Some foods have the ability to reduce the inflammation causing the body’s pain response. Still other foods strengthen the immune system, which helps to prevent and reduce illness as well as to limit inflammation.

Beth Reardon, the director of nutrition at Duke Integrative Medicine, claims that dietary changes are much healthier in the long term than the extended use of painkillers. “We get in the habit of taking Advil or Aleve to treat pain symptoms, without getting at the underlying cause of pain. Over time these medications, because of their side effects, can do more harm than good,” she explained. "Changing your diet...protects your cells from damage and reduces the number of inflammatory compounds the body produces."

Anti-inflammatory foods have also been linked to weight loss, which makes the pain reduction even more effective. A recent study published in the journal Cancer Research found that losing 5% of body weight eases joint strain and reduces inflammation.

Choosing more foods from the categories below can make a real difference in a person’s pain level.

Fish and plant protein

Protein from fish and plant sources provide far more omega-3 fatty acids than typical protein sources like beef and chicken. Fish like salmon, mackerel, tuna, and herrings are a good source of the long chain omega-3s which have been linked to reductions in both rheumatoid and osteoarthritis. Protein-rich plants provide a good supply of essential short chain omega-3s. Vegetable sources of protein can include legumes, such as beans and lentils; seeds and nuts; and ancient grains like spelt and quinoa.

Salmon is by far the most omega-3 laden of fish, but fresh salmon can be pricy. Canned salmon, however, is less expensive and may even be healthier, since it uses wild-caught salmon instead of farm-raised salmon which may be contaminated with toxins.

Herbs and spices

Certain spices, including garlic, turmeric, dried tart cherry, cinnamon, ginger, rosemary, and curry, act to prevent inflammation by decreasing the body’s production of COX inhibitors and prostaglandins, a similar mechanism to the painkiller Celebrex.

Reardon particularly recommends turmeric as a pain-killing spice. Its anti-inflammatory properties have been shown to decrease rheumatoid arthritis pain.

Healthy fats

Certain oils, like olive, coconut, and grape seed, contain a high number of omega-3s, as do flaxseeds and nut butters, particularly almond butter and cashew butter. Most Americans have an unhealthy ratio of omega-3s to the unhealthy omega-6s found in processed foods and red meats. By replacing unhealthy fats with these healthy ones, the ratio can be reversed, which will help the body better regulate the hormones which produce and reduce inflammation.

Coconut oil has the added advantage of being a good food for the cells of the stomach lining, which aids in efficient digestion and keeps the immune system running well.

Fruits and Vegetables

A diet consisting primarily of unprocessed, plant-based foods creates antioxidant protection for your cell membranes and DNA. Processed, high-sugar foods are already well-known for increasing blood glucose and eventually leading to type 2 diabetes, but the extra insulin the body creates to try to deal with the extra glucose can also cause inflammation.

When looking for fruits and vegetables, it’s important to select a wide variety; good health requires a number of different nutrients from different sources to work in harmony. A good rule of thumb is to select food of different colors: green spinach, yellow squash, purple eggplant, red grapes, and so on. As a general rule, plants with more intense color have a higher number of antioxidants, but even naturally pale foods like cauliflower will provide many benefits.

Kale is one of the most beneficial vegetables around. This dark leafy green is full of fiber, nutrients, and beneficial flavonoids. It’s also easy to prepare; it can be chopped fine and included in soups or sauces, used raw in salads and pasta, or baked into crispy kale chips.


Probiotics are beneficial to the bacteria which live in the digestive system and help break down food. These good bacteria can lose population from stress, pollution, or poor nutrition. Antibiotics prescribed for illness kill the good bacteria right along with the ones causing infection, so additional probiotics can be useful once the infection has cleared. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods such as kimchee and sauerkraut and in yogurts which have live cultures; Lactobacillus acidophilus and L. bifidus should be listed on the label.

Greek yogurt contains all the probiotics of regular yogurt, but it also contains extra vitamin D and nearly twice as much protein as regular yogurt. Greek yogurt can be eaten plain, but it does have a sour taste so some people mix fruit or honey into it.

Plenty of Fluids

Plain water is an absolute necessity to the human body. The body’s organs and blood are comprised of nearly 90% water. The liver and kidneys need water to detoxify the blood of chemicals which shouldn’t be there. Even cellular processes require water. Good hydration is essential to keeping the body’s internal processes running smoothly.

Coffee, black tea, and green tea work against inflammation, and their caffeine content can help ease headache pain. Green tea contains more antioxidants than black tea or coffee. Powdered green tea, a finely ground version of the tea leaves, provides more benefit than regular green tea steeped from a tea bag. The steeped tea contains the tea’s water-soluble antioxidants, but consuming the powder provides the benefit of all antioxidants in the leaf. Green tea powder, or matcha, can be added to soups and baked goods or mixed in to beverages.

Young Blood May Contain Chemical Factors Which Can Prevent or Reduce Some Effects of Aging

It seems like a horror story hearkening back to legends of the “Blood Countess” Elizabeth Bathory, who reportedly bathed in the blood of slain maidens to keep her youthful complexion, but rumors persist that late North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il would inject himself with the blood of young people (presumably donated blood from still-living donors) to slow his aging process.

Surprisingly, scientists have found hints that Countess Bathory and Kim Jong Il may have been onto something. Researcher Saul Villeda of Stanford University presented a study done on mice to the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans. His results indicate that an older mouse injected with the blood of a younger mouse shows a reversal of some signs of aging. In fact, the older mice who received the treatment showed greater cognitive and memory abilities than did untreated mice of similar age.

Villeda's research involved connecting the circulatory systems of two mice by a technique known as heterochronic parabiosis, which is typically used to study immune systems. After the blood of the old mice and young mice had mixed, Villeda found that the older mice showed distinct signs of a slowdown or even a small reversal in the aging process. The brains showed an increase in stem cells, and the connections between neurons had increased by 20%. "One of the main things that changes with ageing are these connections, there are a lot less of them as we get older," Villeda explained. "If you have less connections, neurons aren't communicating, all of a sudden you have [problems] in learning and memory."

This new study, not yet published in a peer-reviewed journal, is a follow-up to a study Villeda and his colleagues published last year in Nature. The earlier study showed that young mice exposed to old blood showed brain deterioration, and old mice exposed to young blood showed an increased stem cell count. In the new study, Villeda and his team also tested the mice’s behavior.

Villeda injected small amounts of blood plasma, the liquid portion of blood, from two-month-old mice into 18-month-old mice eight times over the course of a month. The amount of plasma used was approximately 5% of a mouse’s total blood volume. Villeda then had the mice solve a water maze, an activity in which mice have to remember the location of a platform. Untreated older mice made mistakes as they attempted to solve the maze, such as swimming down blind alleys. Mice who had received the young plasma, however, often found the platform on their first try and performed similarly to mice four to six months of age.

Villeda thinks the plasma may have helped improve the older mice’s brain power by replenishing chemical factors which decrease during normal aging. "All of a sudden you have all of these plasticity and learning and memory-related genes that are coming back,” he said.

Much more research will be required before these findings can help develop an effective anti-aging treatment for humans, particularly because blood contains thousands of chemical factors and researchers were unsure of which ones helped rejuvenate the older mice. Villeda, however, believes that treatments based on factors found in youthful blood may eventually be able to help middle-aged people prevent some of the worst effects of age-related deterioration, possibly even Alzheimer's disease.

Andrew Randall, a professor of applied neurophysiology at Exeter and Bristol Universities, thinks these findings show potential for future treatments. “Temporarily plumbing teenagers' blood supplies into those of their great-grandparents does not seem a particularly feasible future therapy for cognitive decline in aging,” he said. “Instead this fascinating work suggests there may be significant benefit in working out what the 'good stuff' is in the high octane young blood, so that we can provide just those key components to the elderly."

University College London professor of regenerative medicine bioprocessing Chris Mason agrees. "Even if the finding leads only to a drug that prevents, rather than reverses the normal effects of ageing on the brain, the impact upon future generations will be substantial – potentially outweighing other wonder drugs such as penicillin."

Villeda says the results of his research have changed his opinion on how anti-aging treatments might be developed. "Do I think that giving young blood could have an effect on a human? I'm thinking more and more that it might," he said. "I did not, for sure, three years ago."

7 Myths (and Outright Lies) About Male Hormones

1. Outright Lie: DHEA is a dangerous “anabolic steroid drug.”

In 2007, a campaign of lies about DHEA was spread in the halls of Congress. Printed material distributed by lobbyists for Big Pharma claimed that DHEA was a dangerous “anabolic steroid drug” and a law was introduced that would make DHEA available by prescription only. Fortunately, due to the activism of many Americans for freedom to take dietary supplements, the law failed to pass.[i]

The claims were scientifically false and intentional lies. According to the conservative Council for Responsible Nutrition, “The proposition that DHEA is any way comparable to illegal anabolic steroids is invalid and unfounded.”

They continued: “DHEA is not an anabolic steroid, its use is not associated with the anabolic and side effects that accompany anabolic steroid abuse, and the potential for DHEA abuse by athletes is remote.” [ii]

The question is, why is Big Pharma so threatened by DHEA that it would go to all this trouble and expense to try to outlaw it? No one really knows. But could it be that taking DHEA helps men stay so young, healthy, sexy and yes, even better looking that it threatens the profits of the “sickness industry?”

The TRUTH is that DHEA is not a dangerous steroid and can help many men stay active and virile as they age. [More]

The New Science Behind America’s Deadliest Diseases

[Image 2]These days there are all sorts of different body problems, diseases and sickness’ that people and scientists have a hard time figuring out exactly what is causing them; there are just so many different factors. But what some do not realize is that heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, stroke and cancer have a lot in common. All of these, for certain, have one thing in common; scientists have found a connection from each of these to a condition called chronic inflammation. Along with this, they are also studying how a diet that is high in fatty foods, as well as having an exuberance of body weight, can also increase the risk for fatal disorders.

Chronic Inflammation is nothing out of the norm but is rather a natural response for the body; naturally responding to injury and outside irritation. Often those irritations do not go away, and this happens because of poor diets, being overweight and smoking. All of these components can then negatively affect the immune system which then increases the risk for disease. If the inflammation becomes chronic it can cause damage to the heart, brain, increase the chance of stroke and bring on diabetes. The worst part is that chronic inflammation is also linked to the development of cancer. Chronic inflammation is most common due to its relation to cardiovascular disease. Inflammation is natural, for instance, when the body has a cut, scrape or wound, and then the immune system rushes to the rescue. However, too much inflammation causes serious damage.

Research is being done to fight chronic inflammation with drugs, but a number of scientists are researching how a change from an unhealthy, high in fat diet to a healthy diet can actually lower the risk; dietary fiber and even dairy may protect from inflammation. Eating healthy and watching your weight is a good way of lowering the risk of chronic inflammation. Consuming a diet high in complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, nuts, eggs, unsaturated fats and dairy in moderation is a great way to lower the risk of inflammation. Along with a healthy diet, exercise is a key component when battling inflammation. Obesity is one of the easiest ways to promote inflammation. Fat cells create molecules called cytokines, which then give the okay for inflammation to occur when there is an excess of fat cells in the body. Dr. Peter Libby, chief of the division of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and a professor at Harvard Medical School says, “We’ve learned that abdominal fat tissue is a hotbed of inflammation that pours out all kinds of inflammatory molecules.” Losing excess body weight can dramatically decrease inflammation in a short period of time.

Cancer is caused by many different abnormalities but one for sure is inflammation. Inflammation can be dealt with by keeping off excess body fat and eating a healthy diet. By living a healthy lifestyle the chance of inflammation is lowered which then eliminates at least one factor towards cancer.

How Sex Might Affect Your Ability to Grow Muscle

[Image 2]Have you ever been concerned that sex may be cutting your ability to grow muscle? If so, you are not alone. This is an age old concern, and many have sacrificed their bedroom time in order to maximize their gym time. There is a connection, but it may not be what you expect. Here are some important points on sex and muscle building.

Zinc-Testosterone Relationship

Possibly the most important relationship between sex and muscle building is the affect your activities have on your zinc levels. Every time a male has an orgasm some zinc is lost in his semen. Zinc is needed for sperm growth and development but also affects testosterone levels.

Reduced testosterone will often lead to diminished muscle growth, and eventually a lower sex drive, too. Without properly resupplying zinc lost through sex and your workouts, it is possible to become deficient. To achieve libido and muscle building balance, a diet high in zinc rich foods like oysters, pecans, cashews and more may be appropriate.

Sex vs Strength

Many sports coaches warn their athletes to abstain from sex before competition. The feeling is that burning your energy in the bedroom will sap your strength on the field. This may have to do with relaxation hormones, such as oxytocin, that are released after sex. The stereotypical image of a tired and sleepy post-sex male holds some truth in this case.

Needless to say, going from the bedroom to the gym may result in a flat workout.

Testosterone and Your Libido

Aside from zinc depletion, there is a close relationship between testosterone levels and libido. More frequent sexual activity often elevates libido. Less sex will often lead to a lower libido. In turn, higher testosterone levels often raises libido as well. Maintaining high testosterone should benefit both sex and your workout, meaning an active sex life may actually lead to muscle growth if everything else is in balance.

Sexual deprivation can cause a lack of focus for many people. Excessive amounts of sex may do the same. For many, this is a non issue, but maintaining a proper balance between your sex life and gym time is essential for your quality of life.

The next time you question the impact sex has on muscle growth, consider these points. A healthy balance between sex and gym time can lead to the best of both worlds.

New Initiative Prompts National Strategy to Fight Alzheimer’s

[Image 2]The U.S. government announced it allocated millions of dollars to fund new research into the prevention and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease, enabling scientists to launch ambitious new testing. The National Alzheimer’s Plan has a goal of finding effective treatment for the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s related dementia by the year 2025. The plan is funding research that has never been done before, including testing possible therapies in people who are not yet showing severe symptoms. The theory behind the research is to stop the advancement of the disease before the brain is severely destroyed and dementia has set in. More than five million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s and it’s estimated that 16 million will have the disease by 2050 if effective preventative treatments are not discovered.

Top Alzheimer’s scientists met just this past week to discuss research and possible treatments. Their consensus was that treatment of the epidemic will require the development of a cocktail of treatments, such as those used to help AIDS patients. Since Alzheimer’s affects the brain in different ways, multiple drugs are needed to aggressively prevent the ravages of the disease.

Two Landmark Studies
The initiative will fund two new research studies. First, a $7.9 million clinical trial will test an insulin nasal spray as a treatment. Separate research links diabetes with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s, prompting scientists to theorize that sending insulin to the brain could help people who are showing early signs of memory loss.

A second study, costing an estimated $16 million, is the first prevention trial of its kind. It will monitor people with the highest risk for developing Alzheimer’s based on genetics. As part of the research, about 300 people in Columbia that form an extended family and share the gene that triggers Alzheimer’s will test an experimental preventative drug called Genentech’s crenezumab. Researchers hope to see a delay in the onset of symptoms in the group, comprised of people in their 40s. The research will also include family groups of Americans with the same genetic mutation.

Prevention studies are critical to developing treatments because the disease starts causing brain damage about a decade before symptoms appear. “Once the train leaves the station of degeneration, it might be too late to stop it,” says Dr. Reisa Sperling of Harvard Medical School. Physicians and scientists recognize early treatment is crucial just as it is for disorders such as heart disease, cancer or diabetes.

Today there are just five medications available to treat Alzheimer’s and they only mildly and temporarily delay the advancement of the disease. Sperling further emphasized the need for more research by pointing to the fact that 10 drugs have been tested and failed over the last decade. A new breakthrough is desperately needed.

Increased Support and Awareness
Two of the major goals of the National Alzheimer’s Plan is to provide more resources and better support for families who are caring for Alzheimer’s patients, as well as raise awareness within the community. Families will now be able to access, a “one-stop shop for families,” according to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. In addition, the plan funds new training to help doctors and other health care providers identify patients in the beginning stages of the disease and what treatments are best for them.

Six million dollars has been allocated to educate caregivers, physicians and hospital administrators. Additionally, $8.2 million will go toward an outreach program to improve public awareness. Patient advocates feel this step is important to overcoming the stigma associated with the disease that causes many to be diagnosed in the late stages. One report estimates 85 percent of Americans can identify symptoms, but misconceptions lead to late diagnosis.

Causes of the Disease
Further emphasizing the need for research is the fact that scientists still do not know what exactly causes Alzheimer’s. They theorize that abnormal amounts of proteins form amyloid plaques and tau tangles in the brain, causing neurons to malfunction. As the disease progresses, neurons lose more and more functionality and the ability to communicate with each other, eventually dying. The damage then spreads to the hippocampus, the part of the brain that forms memories. Based on this theory, scientists have tested anti-amyloid drugs but found they failed to stall the disease.

Known Prevention Techniques
For those at risk of developing Alzheimer’s or in the beginning stages, Dr. Carl Cotman, with the University of California, suggests three “brain-protective steps” to take now.

  • Exercise your brain. Cotman says you can build your “cognitive reserve,” the ability to prevent dementia, through intellectual and social stimulation.
  • Exercise your body. Heart and brain health are directly related. Clogged arteries prevent or slow blood flow to the brain. Getting healthy in your middle age years will lower your risk of Alzheimer’s later in life.
  • Eat healthy. Foods good for your heart are also good for your brain, such as fruits, vegetables and fish, which is high in omega-3 fatty acids.

Sugar Can Make You Dumb, US Scientists Warn

Washington- There was a study published Tuesday that suggests eating too much sugar can reduce your brain power. The study was performed at the University of Los Angeles California and involved two groups of rats. Both of the rats were fed high-fructose corn syrup for six weeks. One of the groups were supplemented with omega 3 fatty acids, while the other group did not get a supplement.

Before the study was carried out, the rats were enrolled in a training course in a difficult maze. After the experiment was completed, the rats were put back into the maze. Fernando Gomez-Pilla, who is a professor of medicine at the University of Los Angeles California, stated that the rats who were not given any omega 3 fatty acids were slower. He also found that their brains showed a decrease in synaptic activity. This means that the rats’ brain cells had trouble sending signals, which made it more difficult for the rats to think clearly and recall information.

Dr. Gomez-Pilla also found that the rats that were not given an omega 3 fatty acid supplement were starting to become insulin resistant. Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for regulating blood sugar. Dr. Gomez-Pilla believes that insulin may also play an important role in the brain. It seems that this hormone may disrupt learning and memory.

Dr. Gomez-Pilla also stated that high-fructose corn syrup damages the brain and the body. High-fructose corn syrup is an additive found in processed foods, baby food, sodas, condiments and apple sauce. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has found that the average person in America consumes over 40 pounds or 18 kilograms of high-fructose corn syrup every year.

However, it is important to note that the effects of high-fructose corn syrup on the brain have not yet been studied. Researchers do believe that the findings of the study suggest that the metabolic syndrome can also have a negative effect on the mind.

Dr. Gomez- Pilla concluded by saying that everything that you consume will have a direct effect on your mind and the way that you think. If you eat a lot of foods that contain high-fructose corn syrup, you could be altering your brain’s ability to process information. You can minimize this damage by adding an omega 3 fatty acid supplement to your diet. More information about the results of this study can be found in the Journal of Physiology.

New hope for Aids vaccine as scientists find ‘Achilles heel’

[Image 2]The search for an HIV vaccine has taken a major step forward with the discovery of a potential Achilles heel of the virus that causes Aids.

Two powerful antibodies that attack a vulnerable spot common to many strains of HIV have been identified, improving the prospects for a vaccine against a virus that affects an estimated 33 million people and kills over 2 million each year.

The discovery is important because it highlights a potential way around HIV’s defences against the human immune system, which have so far thwarted efforts to make a workable vaccine. The hope is that a vaccine that stimulates the production of these antibodies could remain effective against HIV even as the virus mutates.

New Hope for Aids vaccine continue reading here…

The monkeys that prove babies can be born to THREE parents… and may be the key to halting genetic illness

Scientists have produced four baby monkeys who each have three biological parents.

They used an IVF procedure designed to stop the spread of incurable inherited diseases.

Scientists believe the breakthrough could lead to the first genetically engineered children within a few years.

[Image 2]

Revolutionary: Twins Mito and Tracker are two of the monkeys who were born using an IVF technique that creates babies with three biological parents. They were named after a dye called Mitotracker used in the procedure

It has provoked an ethical storm, however. Critics say it is a step towards an era of hybrid children and warn that it erodes the sanctity of life.

The technique is intended to help women who carry genetic diseases. It involves transferring healthy DNA from the mother’s egg cell into an egg donated by another woman.

Children conceived by the technique would inherit DNA from three sources - their mother, the donor and their father.

The American team who produced the macaque monkeys - named Mito, Tracker, Spindler and Spindy - say the technique could be used to eradicate potentially fatal forms of inherited epilepsy, blindness and heart disease.

[Image 3]The diseases, which affect some 150 UK babies a year, are caused by mutations in the mitochondrial DNA which is passed down from mothers to children.

Mitochondria are sausage- shaped ‘power packs’ that float around inside cells, converting food into energy that the body can use. Each contains a tiny

strand of DNA, carrying just 37 of the 20,000 or so human genes. The rest are in the DNA in the cell’s nucleus.

Spindler is another of the four monkeys who appear healthy after they were conceived using the new technique

Mitochondrial DNA can only be passed on via mothers’ eggs, not through sperm.

Doctors have identified around 50 diseases caused by mutations of this DNA - some of which kill before adulthood. Symptoms include muscle weakness, dementia, blindness, hearing loss and heart and kidney problems.

The U.S. experiment, reported today in the journal Nature, involved researchers at the Oregon National Primate Research Centre. They took an egg cell

from a mother carrying a mitochondrial disease and removed its nuclear DNA. This was then transferred into a second, healthy egg, whose own nuclear DNA had been removed.

The resulting ‘hybrid’ eggs contained nuclear DNA from the mother and fully-functioning mitochondrial DNA from the donor, and produced apparently healthy baby monkeys.

Such a process alters the DNA inherited by future generations, however - an idea that has long worried ethicists - although mitochondrial DNA affects only how cells convert food into energy, so children would inherit physical characteristics from their real mother’s nuclear DNA.

Josephine Quintavalle, of the campaign group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: ‘This is genetic engineering.

‘We should avoid at all costs interfering in the pattern of reproduction that has evolved

over millions of years. The objective is to stop mitochondrial diseases in the next generation - but it would be absurd if it unleashed something worse in generations to come.’

Stephen Green, director of pressure group Christian Voice, said he had concerns that scientists were going ‘too far, too fast’ and ‘playing God’.

[Image 4]

He said: ‘These things are always done with the best of intentions but we have to think whether this will lead to any unintended consequences. When the child finds out they have two mummies, how will they feel?

‘We have to have a lot of sympathy for those with inherited conditions but we need to be very careful before we start interfering with nature.

‘There’s a thought that because scientists can do something they always want to do it and that’s not necessarily the right way’. But

Professor Sir Ian Wilmut, of the MRC Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Edinburgh University and leader of the team that cloned Dolly the sheep, said: ‘This demonstrates an exciting new route to therapy for diseases such as myopathy, in which muscle fibres do not function properly.

‘It also seems likely that mitochondrial malfunction predisposes patients to diseases such as osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke.’

Last year Newcastle University researchers created ten human embryos using a similar technique. They were destroyed after six days because current UK law says they cannot be kept longer than 14 days.

But the new Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, which comes into effect on October 1, could open the door for a change in the rules.

Read more:

Nobel Prize Discovery Proves You Can Defeat Impotence Now!

Nobel prize-winning research discovered that impotence can be reversed or prevented with a natural health program. Impotence is almost always a physiological problem. It is very rarely psychological, “performance anxiety,” relationship difficulties, or “all in your head.” In the past, due to ignorance, many doctors promoted these beliefs.[1] In fact, many medical articles about impotence, also called erectile dysfunction or ED, were published in psychiatric journals. A Nobel Prize winning discovery changed all that—and opened the door to natural solutions that may prevent, and even reverse, ED.

Impotence is Common

ED is a devastatingly common problem. An estimated 18-20 million American men have some degree of ED. That means nearly one in five men age 20 and older has some degree of impotence. If 20 percent of men having impotence is bad (and I think it is), it only gets worse as men age. In men age 70 and older, up to 70 percent—or seven out of ten have ED. [ii][2]

Such a high rate of ED is tragic because men and women both say that as they age, sex is still very important to their relationship. A recent AARP study of middle-aged and older adults found that five out of six people surveyed disagreed with the statement that “Sex is only for younger people.” Six out of 10 people stated that sexual activity was crucial to a good relationship. A Harvard University report on male sexuality after 50 says that 50-80 percent of healthy couples over age 70 report sexual activity on a regular basis, with half having weekly intercourse.[iii][3] Obviously, the desire to have sex doesn’t go away with age. It may not be the all-consuming drive you had when you were 20, but it doesn’t disappear

If it’s not psychological, then what causes the dramatic increase in impotence as men age? Is there anything you can do if you already have ED? What can you do to help prevent impotence from happening to you? Fortunately, thanks to scientific research, there are answers to these questions.

The 4 Most Common Causes of Impotence[iv][4] [v][5]

1. Damage to your network of arteries, veins and capillaries (vascular system) — 60%

2. Medications — 25%

(Please see “Men: Are Your Medications Making You Impotent” for vital information about the dangers of common meds.)

3. Decline in hormones — 5%

4. Other: alcohol, physical injury, bike riding, anxiety, depression, relationship difficulties — 10%

The Power of NO

Most men don’t want to hear “NO” in regards to sex. However, a gas called NO, or nitric oxide, is the answer to impotence. As you can see from the statistics above, the main cause of erectile dysfunction is a problem with the network of tubing that carries blood throughout your body—your vascular system.

The three men who won the Nobel Prize in 1998 identified precisely that not enough NO—nitric oxide—in your vascular system causes impotence. (Don’t confuse NO with nitrous oxide—laughing gas. They are not the same.)

Nitric oxide is mainly produced in the lining of your arteries, veins and capillaries. If the lining of these blood vessels is damaged, you won’t produce enough NO to keep your vascular system healthy—and you won’t be able to have an erection.

Most commonly, damage to your arteries is from inflammation and by oxidation of cholesterol. This causes lesions and plaque to form and arteries to become rigid and clogged. Rigid and clogged arteries prevent a healthy flow of blood and lead erectile dysfunction! Having enough NO can prevent or reverse the problem of impotetnce.[vi][6]

Here’s what the Nobel Prize announcement said…
“NO can initiate the erection of the penis
by dilating the blood vessels to the erectile bodies.”[vii][7]

A failure to produce enough NO causes failure of erections. It’s that simple. And it’s not just sexual function that suffers.

A lack of NO may lead to:[viii][8]

  • Erectile dysfunction
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart attacks
  • Plaque-filled arteries
  • Stroke
  • Infections
  • Low immune system
  • Diabetic complications
  • Memory loss
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Arthritis and other inflammatory conditions

The discovery of nitric oxide and its importance to the health of virtually every human organ was so revolutionary that it won the Nobel Prize in 1998!

What is NO?

Nitric oxide or NO is a gas that is mainly produced in the lining of your arteries, veins and capillaries. This lining, called the endothelium, is so delicate that it is only one cell thick! Anything that damages the endothelium endangers your ability to produce healthy amounts of NO. When you have a healthy and well-nourished endothelium, it produces optimum levels of NO.

NO is also produced by the nerve cells in the erectile tissue of the penis, and also by the nerves in the brain and the lungs. In order for the penile nerves to work properly and stimulate an erection, the blood vessels and the nerves must have enough NO to keep them in good working order.[ix][9]

The Viagra Revolution — The Good and the Bad

Viagra was developed based on the NO research. Viagra and other medications for ED influence the activity of NO in the penile area. These medications were a revolution in the treatment of impotence. Like many revolutions, it had a major pro and con. The pro was that many men were helped to have functional erections. The con was that there was a price to pay—side effects.

If you’re reading this article and you have ED, you may have tried the prescription medications and decided you want to use something long term that actually goes to the root of the problem—and avoids the side effects. The prescription medications don’t solve the problem of a lack of NO. Fortunately, there are safe, all-natural solutions that can increase your natural production of NO.

How You Can Get More NO

Unfortunately, you cannot take a direct supplement of nitric oxide. There are ways, however, to naturally increase your levels of NO. Eating the right foods and taking supplements may dramatically increase your levels of NO

5 Best Foods to Increase NO

Scientists are discovering that special antioxidants in food and beverages help the body produce healthy amounts of NO.

    1. Red wine, red wine extract and grapes are high in resveratrol and other flavonoids that increase nitric oxide.[x][10]
    2. High-flavanol cocoa and chocolate increase nitric oxide. Processing can reduce the flavanol content. All chocolate does not increase NO, so look for raw, unfermented cocoa or dark chocolate that guarantees a high flavanol content.[xi][11]
    3. Green and black tea are high in flavanol antioxidants that increase NO.
    4. Almonds are high in arginine, an amino acid that is a precursor to NO.
    5. Wild salmon and other high-protein seafood, eggs and meats are high in the amino acid, arginine, that is a precursor to NO. [xii][12]

6 Best Supplements that May Prevent or Reverse Erectile Dysfunction Caused by a Lack of NO

  1. Resveratrol — a powerful antioxidant that increases NO in arteries.[xiii][13] It helps make more NO available and significantly improves the relaxation of blood vessels, even where there is high blood pressure.[xiv][14] [xv][15] Resveratrol’s ability to increase nitric oxide has also been shown to help increase longevity.[xvi][16]
  2. Red wine extract (95% OPCs) and grape seed extract — specifically support health of blood vessels.[xvii][17]
  3. Alpha lipoic acid — powerful antioxidant that protects the endothelium.[xviii][18]
  4. L-Arginine – amino acid that is a precursor to NO.[xix][19]
  5. Boswellia — a potent natural herb that specifically protects arteries and the endothelium from inflammatory damage.[xx][20] [xxi][21]
  6. Herbal potency formula that contains: Tribulus, American ginseng, Cnidium, Epimedium, GABA. All of these natural herbs and supplements increase levels of NO. They work best when taken as a formula.[xxii][22]

ED=Early Detection of Heart Disease and Diabetes

One of the dangers of heart disease is that it is difficult to detect in its early stages. Half of all heart attacks happen to people with normal cholesterol. It’s hard for doctors to know how much inflammation and oxidation is damaging your arteries until it’s fairly well advanced. Now, scientists have discovered that erectile dysfunction is a very accurate early warning sign of heart disease.

A study at the University of Chicago revealed that ED was a more accurate predictor of significant heart disease than family history, cholesterol, or blood pressure levels. Dr. Parker Ward, M.D., lead author of the study said,”…the fact that heart disease and ED are linked biologically should come as no surprise.” [xxiii][23] The penile arteries are smaller than coronary arteries and so they will clog up from oxidized plaque sooner than heart arteries.

Damage to arteries and capillaries resulting in ED is a well-known side effect of diabetes. If you have diabetes, support healthy sexual functioning with a program to increase levels of NO.[xxiv][24]

Single Best Supplement to Help ED for Men with Peyronie’s

Peyronie’s is a curvature of the penis that may lead to erectile dysfunction. Fibrous tissue forms inside penile tissue that causes the penis to curve. Acetyl L-Carnitine has been shown to be one of the most effective treatments—more effective than prescription medication.[xxv][25] Please discuss the research findings with your doctor to determine the best program for you. Acetyl L-carnitine for Peyronie’s is taken at high dosages (2000 mg/daily) with food. Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant supplements may also be helpful in reducing the scarring that causes formation of the fibrous tissue.



Pain reduction



Curvature reduction



Scar size reduction



PD worsening



DHEA Supplement May Help Improve Overall Sexual Function

Some men’s sexual difficulties are due to lower levels of hormones as they age. The data suggests that low hormones account for 5 percent of erectile difficulties. However, many men do not have trouble with erections, but have low sex drive and energy and reduced stamina and strength. Many men also have problems with depression and poor mood that can be helped with DHEA.

There is significant research that shows that oral or topical DHEA may help improve:

  • Erectile dysfunction[xxvi][26]
  • Mood and feelings of self-esteem[xxvii][27]
  • Stamina, energy and performance[xxviii][28]
  • Muscle mass and strength[xxix][29]
  • Bone mass[xxx][30]

Two Sure Ways to Put Yourself at Risk for Impotence

1. Oxidation

2. Inflammation

For those of you who have read my book or other articles in Natural Health News Report you know that the scientific evidence points to two root causes of all chronic disease—including erectile dysfunction. They are inflammation and oxidation. If you are really serious about avoiding impotence as you age, I strongly suggest you read A Cardiologist’s Guide to Anti-Aging, Antioxidants and Resveratrol. It will give you more insight into the two root causes of erectile dysfunction, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. It contains a step-by-step program to avoid inflammation and oxidation damage as you age. Aging does not have to be a time of weakness, sickness and loss of potency and vitality. By eating well, exercising and taking natural supplements, I believe you can live to a hundred—and still enjoy sex!


[1][1] Ignarro LJ. NO more heart disease. 2005. St. Martin’s Press: New York.

[1][2] Burnett Al, et al. American Heart Association Meeting Report: Erectile dysfunction’s heart risks may be offset by healthy lifestyle. Abstract P150(EP). Available from:

[1][3] Harvard Medical School. Life after 50: A Harvard study of male sexuality. A healthy sex life—at any age! Harvard Health Publications. Available online from:

[1][4] Viera AJ, et al. Newer pharmacologic alternatives for erectile dysfunction. Am Fam Phys. 1999 Sep 15; 60(4):1159-72.

[1][5] Uruology Channel. Erectile dysfunction. Available from:

[1][6] Ignarro (2005).

[1][7] Ignarro (2005).

[1][8] Ignarro (2005).

[1][9] Ignarro (2005).

[1][10] Hsieh T, et al. Resveratrol increases nitric oxide synthase. Cancer Res. 1999 June 1;59:2569-2601.

11 Hollenberg NK, et al. Cocoa, flavanols and cardiovascular risk. Br J Cardiol. 2004;11(5):379-86.

[1][12] Ignarro (2005).

[1][13] Hsieh T, et al. Resveratrol increases nitric oxide synthase. Cancer Res. 1999 June 1;59:2569-2601.

[1][14] Rush J, et al. Chronic resveratrol enhances endothelium-dependent relaxation but does not alter eNOS levels in aorta of spontaneously hypertensive rats. Experim Biol and Med. 2007; 232:814-822.

[1][15] Shin S, et al. Trans-resveratrol relaxes the corpus cavernosum ex vivo and enhances testosterone levels and sperm quality in vivo. Arch Pharm Res. 2008 Jan;31(1):83-7.

[1][16] Baur JA, et al. Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high-calorie diet. Nature. 2006 Nov 16;444(7117):337-42.

[1][17] Maffei FR, et al. Free radical scavenging action and anti-enzyme activities of procyanidins from vitis vinifera. A mechanism for their capillary protective action. Arzneimittelforschung. 1994 May;44(5):592-601.

[1][18] Ignarro (2005).

[1][19] Ignarro (2005).

[1][20] Gayathri B, et al. Pure compound from Boswellia serrata extract exhibits anti-inflammatory property in human PBMCs and mouse macrophages through inhibition of TNFalpha, IL-1beta, NO and mAP kinases. Int Immunopharmacol. 2007 Apr;7(4):473-82.

[1][21] Roy S. Regulation of vascular responses to inflammation: inducible matrix metalloproteinase-3 expression in human microvascular endothelial cells I sensitive to anti-inflammatory Boswellia. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2006 Mar-Apr;8(3-4):653-60.

[1][22] Achike FI, et al. Nitric oxide, human diseases and the herbal products that affect the nitric oxide signalling pathway. Clin Exp Pharmacol Physiol. 2003 Sep;30(9):605-15.

[1][23] Ward P, et al. Prediction of coronary artery disease by erectile dysfunction in men referred for nuclear stress testing. Arch Intern Med. 2006;166:201-6.

[1][24] Zheng H, et al. Lack of central nitric oxide triggers erectile dysfunction in diabetes. Am J Physiol. 2007 March.

[1][25] Biagiotti G, Cavallini G. Acetyl-L-carnitine vs tamoxifen in the oral therapy of Peyronie’s disease: a preliminary report. BJU Int. Jul 2001;88(1):63-7.

[1][26] Reiter WJ, et al. Dehydroepiandrosterone in the treatment of erectile dysfunction in patients with different organic etiologies. Urol Res. 2001 Aug;29(4):278-81.

[1][27] Hunt PJ, et al. Improvement in mood and fatigue after dehydroepiandrosterone replacement in Addison’s disease in a randomized, double-blind trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2000 Dec;85(12):4650-6.

[1][28] Morales AJ, et al. The effect of six months treatment with a 100 mg daily dose of DHEA on circulating sex steroids,body composition and muscle strength in age-advance men and women. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1998 Oct;49(4):421-32.

[1][29] Morales (1998).

[1][30] Jankowski CM, et al. Effects of DHEA replacement therapy on bone mineral density in older adults: a randomized, controlled trial. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006 Aug;91(8):2986-93.

Scientists Sound Alarm About Fructose-filled Sodas and Foods

NEWS – A recent study in a major nutritional journal notes a “remarkable increase in chronic kidney disease” plus a “remarkable increase in hypertension,” and dramatically rising rates of obesity and diabetes associated with the rise in fructose-filled foods and drinks. The authors present evidence that the unique ability of fructose (but not other sugars) to increase uric acid may be driving these increases. High levels of uric acid also increase risk of gout. See The Gout Report in this issue t for more information about how you can reduce your risk of gout and other uric-acid-related diseases.ACTION — If you must drink soda, consider switching to one made with cane sugar. (Diet sodas may also trigger health problems.) Switching to refreshing herb teas and water is an even better option. You can make your own healthy “soda” with a small amount of pure fruit juice or fruit juice concentrate and soda water. Check labels and avoid all drinks and foods made with fructose corn syrup.Johnson RJ, Segal, MS, et al. Potential role of sugar (fructose) in the epidemic of hypertension, obesity and the metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney disease, and cardiovascular disease. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007:86:899-906Vitamin D3 May Extend Life Span by 5 Years!NEWS — The good news about the sunshine vitamin just keeps getting better. Mounting scientific evidence links higher daily intake (over 1,000 — 2,000 IU) of vitamin D3 with dramatically reduced levels of pain, inflammation, cancer, MS, and even colds and flus. Now, British and American researchers say it may extend your life by up to five years, based on the measurement of telomere length in over 2,000 female twin pairs.ACTION — Take a supplement of 1,000-2,000 IU of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) daily. Do not rely on vitamin D2 (eregocalciferol) in milk and most multivitamins. Supplements of vitamin D2 are not used by the body in the same way as sunshine and are four times less effective than vitamin D3. Fifteen minutes of sunshine a day (without sunscreen) provides your body with natural vitamin D3.

Richards JB, Valdes AM, et al. Higher serum vitamin D concentrations are associated with longer leukocyte telomere length in women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Nov;86(5):1420-1425.

Coffee Lowers Risk of Gout 40%– Beer and Liquor Raise Risk, and Wine is Okay

NEWS — Researchers at Harvard Medical School and other institutions found compelling evidence that drinking four or more cups of coffee a day dramatically reduces the risk of gout for men. The risk of gout was 40 percent lower for men who drank 4 to 5 cups a day and 59 percent lower for men who drank 6 or more cups a day. Tea did not reduce risk of gout. The lead researcher, Dr. Choi, speculates that the mechanism of action may be the antioxidant action of phenol chlorogenic acid in coffee.

In a 2004 study, the same researchers found that beer and liquor raised serum uric acid levels, while moderate (1-2 glasses daily) wine drinking did not.

ACTION — If you have no health problems from drinking four cups of coffee a day — enjoy! (Avoid the new, sweetened coffee drinks. They have high levels of fructose.) If coffee gives you the jitters, prevents you from sleeping, or you just don’t like it, read the The Gout Report in this issue and discover easy, natural ways to lower your levels of uric acid—without drinking coffee!

Choi HK, Curhan G. Coffee consumption and risk of incident gout in men: a prospective study. Arthritis Rheum. 2007 Jun;56(6):2049-55.

Choi HK, Curhan G. Beer, liquor, and wine consumption and serum uric acid level: the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Arthritis Rheum. 2004 Dec 15;51(6):1023-9.

Resveratrol May Protect Eye Sight

A recent study published in the American Journal of Pathology has found that the compound found in red wine known as resveratrol can stop out-of-control blood vessel growth in the eye. It’s a finding researchers say could have implications for preserving vision in some common blinding eye diseases such as diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.

Conducting experiments in mouse retinas, researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis found that resveratrol can inhibit angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels. When the mice were given resveratrol, they found that the abnormal blood vessels in their eyes began to disappear.

Researchers say because resveratrol is given orally, patients may prefer it to many current treatments for retinal disease, which involve eye injections. The compound also is easily absorbed in the body.

“This could potentially be a preventive therapy in high-risk patients,” said the study’s lead investigator, Rajendra Apte, M.D., Ph.D.

Resveratrol is one of the active, non-alcholic ingredients in red wine. It comes from the pulp of grapes used to make wine and has some of the highest levels of antioxidants found in nature.

Among its believed health benefits are increasing heart health, fighting cancer and delaying the aging process.


[Image 2]Drug-resistant TB is spreading across the world much faster than medical experts had feared, warned the World Health Organization on February 26, 2008. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the U.S. says the U.S. is likely to fall far short of its goal to eliminate TB as a public health problem.

ACTION: Take a vitamin D3 supplement daily. There is some good evidence that vitamin D3 raises your immunity to TB. One study gave healthy adults who had been exposed to TB a single, large oral dose of TB or a placebo. After six weeks, the researchers found that the vitamin D supplement significantly enhanced immunity to TB compared to placebo.

World Health Organization. New survey finds highest rates of drug-resistant TB to date. Available from:

Bornman L, et al. Vitamin D receptor polymorphisms and susceptibility to tuberculosis in West Africa: a case-control and family study J Infect Dis. 2004 Nov 1;190(9):1631-41.

Martineau AR , et al A single dose of vitamin D enhances immunity to mycobacteria. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. July 15, 2007.

Experimental Alzheimer’s drug shows early promise!

Breaking Anti-Aging News…

Experimental Alzheimer’s drug shows early promise!

Plus, Important Research Update on the “French Red Wine Paradox”

There’s some good news in the Anti-Aging battle.

There appears to be an exciting breakthrough with an experimental drug for Alzheimer’s disease.

I am thrilled to report to you that for the first time, there’s an experimental drug that is showing the promise of halting the progression of Alzheimer’s disease by taking a new approach: Breaking up the protein tangles that clog victims’ brains.

Read More…

New British Medical Study Indicates Daily Resveratrol Reduced Tumor Cell Proliferation in the Colon

A new study released by Cancer Biomarkers and Prevention Group, Department of Cancer Studies and Molecular Medicine, RKCSB, LRI, University of Leicester, Leicester LE2 7LX, United Kingdom indicate that daily doses of at least 0.5 g resveratrol were enough to produce an anticancer effect, and suggest that the drug may have potential as a chemopreventive agent. Researchers recruited 20 patients with resectable colon cancer who were scheduled to undergo surgical resection into the study. Ten patients were assigned to 0.5 g resveratrol prior for 8 days to resection and 10 were assigned to 1 g.Resveratrol sulfate glucuronide was a prominent metabolite in colorectal tissue of five patients assigned to the 0.5 g dose and nine patients assigned to the 1 g dose.In most cases, researchers said concentrations of resveratrol and its metabolic conjugates were higher in samples taken from the cecum, ascending colon and hepatic flexure/transverse colon compared with concentrations found in the splenic flexure, descending colon, sigmoid colon and rectum.The highest mean concentration of parent resveratrol was 18.9 nmol/g in the 0.5 g group and 674 nmol/g in the 1.0 g group, assuming 1 mL weighs 1 g, in normal tissue localized proximal to the tumor on the right side. In right-sided tumors, the highest mean concentration in the 8.33 nmol/g in the 0.5 g group and 94.1 nmol/g in the 1.0 g group.

Overall, tumor cell Ki-67 staining declined from 88.0% ± 6.64% in predose biopsy samples to 83.2% ± 10.0% in samples taken following surgery. When researchers analyzed the dosing groups separately, resveratrol decreased tumor cell Ki-67 staining by 5.6% in the 0.5 g group and 1.9% in the 1 g group, though the reduction was not considered significant.

Patel KR. Cancer Res. 2010;DOI:10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-10-2027.

Resveratrol May Inhibit Inherited Breast Cancer

A new study by the National Institutes of Health reveals that a key antioxidant contained in red wine, resveratrol may provide a defense against inherited breast cancer.

Investigators from the National Institutes of Health looked for the method by which mutations in tumor suppressor genes such as BRCA-1 lead to breast cancer. They found the normal form of BRCA-1 helps maintain the expression of a protein called SIRT1. SIRT1 in turn inhibits the expression of Survivin, an apoptosis inhibitor suspected of maintaining tumors and helping them grow. However, when BRCA-1 is mutated, SIRT1 levels drop, allowing Survivin to increase.

The researchers found resveratrol, a key component of red wine and grapes, strongly inhibits the growth of BRCA-1 mutant tumors in both cultured cells and animal models. The compound wards off the cancers by enhancing the activities of SIRT1, thus reducing the expression of the cancer booster, Survivin.

Resveratrol may serve as an excellent compound for targeted therapy for BRCA1 associated breast cancers,” study author Dr. Chu-Xia Deng was quoted as saying.

SOURCE: Molecular Cell, published online October 9, 2008


Interplay among BRCA1, SIRT1, and Survivin during BRCA1-Associated Tumorigenesis

Rui-Hong Wang,1 Yin Zheng,1 Hyun-Seok Kim,1 Xiaoling Xu,1 Liu Cao,1 Tyler Luhasen,1 Mi-Hye Lee,1 Cuiying Xiao,1 Athanassios Vassilopoulos,1 Weiping Chen,2 Kevin Gardner,3 Yan-Gao Man,5 Mien Chie Hung,6 Toren Finkel,4 and Chu-Xia Deng1,

1 Genetics of Development and Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

2 Microarray Core Facility, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

3 Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

4 Cardiology Branch, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, National Institutes of Health, 10 Center Drive, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA

5 Department of Gynecologic and Breast Pathology, Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, Washington, DC 20306, USA

6 Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77030, USA

Japanese Scientist Claims Breakthrough With Organ Grown in Sheep

The velocity of scientific breakthroughs is accelerating in literally all fields of study. The rapid growth in medical research should not be ignored. The day is fast approaching when the human life span will be substantially lengthened by breakthroughs in pharmacology. Instead of treating disease we will soon see major advancements in preventing disease. Another fascinating area of development will come from replacing worn out, diseased or otherwise damaged organs with organs that are literally grown in laboratories. This article appearing in the Times of London reads like a Philip K Dick novel. Perhaps real life is finally catching up with the science fiction on the 1950’s?

Huddled at the back of her shed, bleating under a magnificent winter coat and tearing cheerfully at a bale of hay, she is possibly the answer to Japan’s chronic national shortage of organ donors: a sheep with a revolutionary secret.

Guided by one of the animal’s lab-coated creators, the visitor’s hand is led to the creature’s underbelly and towards a spot in the middle under eight inches of greasy wool. Lurking there is a spare pancreas.

If the science that put it there can be pushed further forward, Japan may be spared an ethical and practical crisis that has split medical and political opinion.

As the sheep-based chimera organ technology stands at the moment, says the man who is pioneering it, the only viable destination for the pancreas underneath his sheep would be a diabetic chimpanzee.


Researchers in Boston found that living until you are a 100 isn’t all that hard. It’s not in your genes—it’s in your lifestyle. Avoiding obesity, inactivity, high blood pressure and not smoking were the keys to living a long and healthy life. A great deal of research points to a healthy diet high in antioxidants, grapes, berries, apples, vegetables and whole grains as the way to keep blood pressure normal and avoid obesity. Longevity researchers have found that the special polyphenols resveratrol and OPCs in red wine, red wine extract, grape skins, and seeds support healthy heart function and may extend lifespan. Recent research also found that one third of people still may live to 100 even with age-related diseases.

ACTION: Drink one glass of red wine daily or take a red wine extract high in OPCs from grape seed and skins, plus resveratrol. Eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Exercise daily. Stop smoking.

Yates, L. Terry, D. Archives of Internal Medicine, Feb. 11, 2008; vol 168: pp 284-290, 277-283. News release, American Medical Association.

Gruss W. A Cardiologist’s Guide to Anti-Aging, Antioxidants, and Resveratrol. Renaissance Education: Boca Raton, FL. 2007


A cocktail of three flu viruses are reported to have mutated into a single pneumonic plague, which it is believed may be far more dangerous than swine flu. The death toll has reached 189 and more than 1 million people have been infected, most of them in the nine regions of Western Ukraine.

President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko has called in the World Health Organisation and a team of nine specialists are carrying out tests in Kiev and Lviv to identify the virus. Samples have been sent to London for analysis.

Read on…

DOCTORS AREN’T TRAINED IN PAIN: What you must know to manage your pain


The problem isn’t pain. The problem is pain that doesn’t go away. Pain is a natural signal from the body that there is something wrong. You stub your toe—pain! You sprain your ankle—pain! Inflammation is destroying cartilage in your knee—pain! Lack of circulation causes nerve damage in your feet—pain! When you are in pain, you are motivated to solve the problem. That’s good.

Unfortunately, there are problems that are not accompanied by pain. One of them is internal bleeding. Later in this article you’ll learn why NSAIDS pain medications are so dangerous. One of the reasons is that there’s often no pain signal to sound the alarm that you may be bleeding to death. That’s bad.

[Read more...]

World first as swine flu found in US cat

AP is reporting …

“Vets in the US state of Iowa said Wednesday that a household cat had tested positive for swine flu — the first known case in the world of the new pandemic strain spreading to the feline population.

“The domestic shorthair, a 13-year-old castrated male, apparently caught A(H1N1) off its owners — two of the three members of the family had previously contracted the deadly virus.

“This is the first cat that we are aware of with the pandemic H1N1,” said Brett Sponseller,an assistant professor of veterinarian microbiology who helped treat the pet at Iowa State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.”

We hope this is some sort of hoax…

To read the complete article go to …



There are two main types of chronic pain. One is continuing pain that is clearly associated with a known physical problem. Arthritis, or pain in joints, is an example of chronic pain that is connected to a known physical problem.

The second type of chronic pain is pain that is not associated with a clear physical cause—the “nothing wrong” kind of chronic pain. Lower back pain is frequently in this category. All-over bodily pain (musculoskeletal pain) is another type of agonizing pain without apparent cause that doctors frequently dismiss, misdiagnose and mistreat. These kinds of pain can be extremely frustrating for doctors and patients. You know you’re in pain, but doctors can find “nothing wrong.” Fortunately, the latest research discoveries reveal there are real causes and natural solutions to these kinds of pain.

In this article you will learn about the latest research on safe, effective solutions to both kinds of chronic pain. One of the most exciting discoveries in recent years is the powerful effect of natural vitamin D3—the sunshine vitamin—on pain. Knowledge about vitamin D3 is one of the most important scientific breakthroughs of the decade and my personal top health story for 2007. For complete news about vitamin D3, look for the full report in the next issue of Natural Health News Report. Boswellia serrata is another natural solution to inflammation and pain with powerful new research to back up its effectiveness.

[Read more...]


You have a greater risk of dying if you have a heart attack in December than any other month of the year.[1] Why? Doctors don’t know. Researchers found that December heart attack patients had the same standard of care—but more died. Protecting your heart—in December and throughout the year—is the single most important thing you can do to stay alive and well. This special report will give you the latest news on how you can improve your chances of surviving a heart attack—in good shape.

Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women. In fact, more women than men die from heart attacks. Unfortunately, they may also get worse care from their doctors. Less than half the doctors in a survey even considered heart disease a threat to their women patients! Since they don’t think it’s a problem, many doctors don’t talk to their women patients about how to recognize and respond to heart attacks.[2] So women—pay especial attention to this report. You are at greater risk.

The Truth About Heart Attacks[3]

For many years, doctors and scientists believed that arteries got narrow from eating foods high in cholesterol and this caused heart attacks. You eat too many steaks and buttered baked potatoes, cholesterol builds up, the artery gets too narrow for blood to flow through, and bang! You have a heart attack. Now, scientists have discovered that it’s not that simple.

  • Half of all heart attacks happen in people with normal levels of cholesterol.
  • Only 14% of heart attacks occur where the artery is the narrowest.[4]Most heart attacks occur in fairly clear locations of the artery.
  • Damage to arteries by oxidizedcholesterol and inflammation triggers the process that leads to heart attacks.
  • Most heart attacks are caused by a piece of inflamed or “vulnerable” plaque that suddenly ruptures, forms a clot, and blocks circulation to the heart.
  • Standard testing by angiography and stress testing cannot detect vulnerable plaque.
  • You may not know it’s coming. Sixty-four percent of women and 50% of men who die suddenly of heart disease have no previous symptoms.

[Read more...]

Men: Are Your Medications Making You Impotent?

A shocking report was published in the prestigious Journal of Urology in May, 2006. Middle-aged and older men who take aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), or naproxen (Aleve) have twice the risk for impotence as men who don’t! The researchers concluded that the use of NSAIDs increased the risk of erectile dysfunction. The study estimated that nearly 17% of erectile dysfunction could be due to the use of NSAIDs. The researchers proposed that the NSAIDs may block the body’s release of nitric oxide, a natural body chemical needed to achieve erections.[i]

5 Worst Medications for Healthy Male Sexual Function[ii] [iii]


2. Blood pressure medications, especially beta blockers and diuretics

3. Antidepressants

4. Anti-anxiety medications

5. Antihistamines

Caution: Do not discontinue any medications without first consulting with your physician. There may be alternatives, both natural and pharmaceutical, that can replace them under your doctor’s supervision. For example, a recent study found that almost all anti-depressants were no more effective than a placebo.[iv] Alternatives such as St. John’s Wort may help depression as well, or better, without the side effects.[v] However, withdrawal from prescription anti-depressants must be done under your doctor’s care as there may be severe side effects.

Prevent Pain Without Impotence

If you are in pain, you probably reach for a bottle of aspirin or Advil. Who would ever have thought that common over-the-counter pain pills could cause impotence? Fortunately, there are natural alternatives that may be just as effective—without the side effects of impotence and GI bleeding. If you are taking NSAIDs for arthritis or other pain and inflammation, consider taking a natural alternative such as boswellia, turmeric, hops extract, ginger, vitamin D3 or a formula that combines several of these natural pain and inflammation relievers. Scientific research has shown that they can be as potent as NSAIDs, without the dangerous side effects.

Boswellia, for example, has been shown to be as effective as an NSAID for osteoarthritis in the knee. It is a potent anti-inflammatory.[vi]

[i] Shiri R, et al. Effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use on the incidence of erectile dysfunction J Urol. 2006 May;175(5):1812-16.

[ii] Viera AJ, et al. Newer pharmacologic alternatives for erectile dysfunction. Am Fam Phys. 1999 Sep 15: (60)4.

[iii] Shiri (2006).

[iv] Kirsch I, et al. Initial Severity and Antidepressant Benefits: A Meta-Analysis of Data Submitted to the Food and Drug Administration. PLoS Medicine Vol. 5, No. 2, e45.
Published online: February 26, 2008. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050045 Available from: doi

[v] Kirsch I. St Johns wort, conventional medication, and placebo: an egregious double standard. Complementary Therapies in Medicine, Volume 11, Issue 3, Pages 193-195.

[vi] Sontakke S, et al. Open, randomized, controlled clinical trial of Boswellia serrata extract as compared to valdecoxib in osteoarthritis of the knee. Indian J Pharmacol. 2007;39(1):27-29.

Who’s At Risk from the Vitamin D Deficiency Epidemic?

How did a humble vitamin that can be obtained free from sunshine make Time Magazine’s Top 10 Medical Breakthroughs for 2007? The other nine medical breakthroughs were all high-tech medications, vaccines and medical equipment. Vitamin D is about as low tech as you can get. It’s natural, it’s free, it comes from sunshine and it’s been known for over a hundred years. What’s so important about it now?

The First Vitamin D Deficiency Epidemic–Rickets

Vitamin D was identified in the early 20th century as an essential requirement of normal bone development. For several hundred years, children who lived in cities in northern Europe had been plagued by a devastating bone disease called rickets. Lack of sunshine as the cause was suspected as early as 1822. It was also noticed that children along the coastlines who were given a daily dose of cod liver oil did not develop the disease.[1]

By the beginning of the 20th century, more than 80% of children living in industrialized cities in North America and Europe suffered from rickets.[2] In 1921, two doctors in New York City demonstrated that sunlight could cure rickets when they exposed sick children to sunlight on the roof of a New York City hospital. Soon after that a way was found to fortify milk with vitamin D and this helped eradicate rickets in the United States.[3]

Scientists now know that when human skin is exposed to sunlight, it creates a natural compound called cholecalciferol—a form of vitamin D called D3. Almost every cell in your body must have vitamin D3 to stay healthy. Not enough vitamin D3 and you’re going to have problems. Lots of problems in lots of cells.

[Read more...]

New Study Suggest Key Ingredient In Red Wine May Lower Lung Cancer Risk

According to a new study conducted by Chun Chao, Ph.D., a research scientist at Kaiser Permanente in the October issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, an antioxidant contained in red wine called resveratrol may provide protection against lung cancer, told DOTmed News.

Dr. Chao reports that her study looked at demographic and lifestyle data from 84,170 Kaiser members aged 45 to 69, who were enrolled in Kaiser’s California Men’s Study between 2000 and 2003. The study identified 210 cases of lung cancer. As part of the study Dr. Chao measured the effect of beer, red wine, white wine and liquor consumption on the risk of lung cancer. Her research found there was a 2 percent lower lung cancer risk associated with each glass of red wine consumed per month, while there was no benefit noted for consumption of white wine, beer or liquor.

According to Dr. Chao’s research the most substantial risk reduction was indicated among smokers who drank one to two glasses of red wine per day. In percentage terms Chao’s study revealed a 60 percent reduction in lung cancer risk in the men included in the study. The study also revealed that men who smoke increased their risk of lung cancer by 10 percent, while red wine’s protective benefit for those in this group is roughly half that of non smokers.

Dr. Chao’s study is another step in proving the health benefits of resveratrol and its potential as a powerful cancer fighter.

Recent studies on mice that were given resveratrol supplements, showed the compound retarded lung cancer growth and also induced lung cancer cells to commit apoptosis. Apoptosis refers to cancer cells that are induced to self-destruct. The new biological drugs, like Velcade for multiple myeloma, are being engineered to perform this critical function.

Dr. Chao, says she’ll be looking at how drinking red wine affects prostate, colorectal and perhaps bladder cancer in upcoming studies.

Bill Gates funds British scientists in unorthodox health research

[Image 2]This story was posted by the Times of London. We think it is so interesting we highly recommend reading it…

There is a magnet that can detect malaria at the flick of a switch, a flu-resistant chicken, an “antiviral” tomato and a vaccine enhanced with the use of a laser. The ideas are so bold that, as the scientists behind them admit, they can often struggle for funding.

Today, though, more than 80 projects at the far edge of innovation in global health research will share millions of pounds of grants to support unorthodox thinking — and the outside chance of a world-changing discovery.

Among the recipients, announced today by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as part of their Grand Challenges initiative, are three British scientific teams pursuing novel approaches to prevent and treat infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and pneumonia, as well as viruses such as HIV.

Hidden Data Reveals Antidepressant Medications Don’t Work and May Make You Impotent

Many men who take the “new-generation” of antidepressants like Prozac (SSRIs) know first hand that they lower libido and increase impotence. Yet, that’s what their doctor told them to take for depression. And they felt better, so they kept taking them—even though there were serious side effects like impotence and loss of sex drive. Now, researchers who were able to review research trials that were never published by the pharmaceutical companies say that people feel just as good on placebo as they do on Prozac.[1]

Forty million people take Prozac and other similar drugs to beat the blues. They spend tens of billions of dollars for relief from depression. The latest research shows that placebo pills worked just as well. Dr. I. Kirsch and his research team had access to data that had not been previously published by requesting all trials through the Freedom of Information Act.

Dr. Kirsch, the lead author of the review, says, “Given these results, there seems little reason to prescribe antidepressant medication to any but the most severely depressed patients, unless alternative treatments have failed.”[2]

[Read more...]

A Cardiologist’s Guide to Anti-Aging, Antioxidants & Resveratrol.

Is it really possible to prevent heart disease and other devastating chronic illnesses as you age—without medication and surgery? Dr. William Gruss, M.D., a practicing cardiologist, says it is—and he cites over 200 published research papers to prove it in his new book A Cardiologist’s Guide to Anti-Aging, Antioxidants & Resveratrol.

In the book, Dr. Gruss explains how to reduce risk your risk of dying from heart disease by 40%, reduce your risk of cancer by up to 77%, reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s, diabetes and other chronic diseases and how you may even extend your lifespan. He explains in easy-to-understand language the real causes of chronic illness and what you can do to avoid them.

“Most practicing physicians don’t have the time to do this kind of research,” says Dr. Gruss. “I wrote this book to help people live a longer, healthier life—and also to inform their doctors about the cutting-edge research on anti-aging and chronic illness.”

Dr. Gruss is concerned that although research scientists have proven the connection between inflammation and oxidation and chronic diseases, many doctors aren’t getting the message. “Once you realize that all chronic diseases are caused by the same two things—oxidation and inflammation—you can start to do something about it,” says Dr. Gruss. (See The Gout Report in this issue.) What Dr. Gruss suggests you do is take a combination of five natural “super” supplements combined with some simple lifestyle changes.

One of the “super” supplements that Dr. Gruss recommends is resveratrol. Resveratrol, a compound found in red wine, red wine extract, grapes and a few other plants, has been in the news recently as an anti-aging “miracle.” Dr. Gruss thoroughly reviews the scientific literature on resveratrol and uncovers some astonishing research that has not yet hit the headlines.

“The work at Harvard on anti-aging and resveratrol is certainly exciting,” says Dr. Gruss. “However, as a cardiologist, I am equally excited about the use of resveratrol to prevent damage from heart attacks and strokes. Believe me, your doctor is not going to hear about this from the pharmaceutical companies.”

One of the most startling “secrets” revealed by Dr. Gruss in the book is the use of the antioxidant supplement alpha lipoic acid to successfully treat diabetic neuropathy. “The scientific evidence strongly supports the use of this natural supplement to help reduce the pain and numbness suffered by many diabetics,” he states.

Another highlight of the book is Dr. Gruss’s natural approach to reducing the risk of cancer. “People are so afraid of cancer they become apathetic. They think there’s nothing they can do to prevent it. Fortunately, that’s not true. You can reduce your risk of cancer significantly by a few simple lifestyle changes and the right natural supplements.”

“I don’t believe there is another book on the market like this,” concludes Dr. Gruss. “It presents the truth about what is really causing our epidemic of chronic diseases—and what you can do about it. There are very strong economic interests that do not want this information published and may attack me and the book. However, I am confident in the scientific evidence I present. As a physician, I believe my first duty is to help people be healthy.”

A Cardiologist’s Guide to Anti-Aging, Antioxidants and Resveratrol is available from or call 1-800-917-8914 (Florida residents call 1-561-750-4133) to place your order now.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine Scientists Study: ‘Universal’ vaccine for flu may become reality!

Scientists at New York’s Mount Sinai School of Medicine this past week unveiled lab-made human antibodies that can disable several types of influenza, including highly-lethal H5N1 bird flu and the “Spanish Flu” strain that killed tens of millions in 1918.

Tested in mice, the antibodies work by binding to a previously obscure structure in the flu virus which, when blocked, sabotages the pathogen’s ability to enter the cell it is trying to infect, according to the study.

Because this structure — described by one scientist as a “viral Achilles’ heel” — is genetically stable and has resisted mutation over time, the antibodies are effective against many different strains.

The breakthrough “holds considerable promise for further development into a medical tool to treat and prevent seasonal as well as pandemic influenza,” said Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which helped fund the study.

[Read more...]


Researchers in Finland found that men who use NSAIDS such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen had twice as much erectile dysfunction as men who did not use NSAIDs. The authors estimate that NSAIDs could be linked to nearly 17% of all erectile dysfunction. (See article “Men: Are Your Medications Making You Impotent?”)

ACTION — Avoid NSAIDs and use natural anti-inflammatory and pain supplements such as boswellia, ginger, turmeric, vitamin D3, hops extract. Change your diet to include more anti-inflammatory foods such as salmon, olive oil and fresh fruits and vegetables. Reduce your risk of erectile dysfunction by supporting healthy vascular health with resveratrol, red wine extract, grape seed extract and other antioxidants. Caution: If you have been prescribed aspirin for heart disease, discuss with your doctor before stopping aspirin.

Shiri R, et al. Effect of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug use on the incidence of erectile dysfunction J Urol. 2006 May;175(5):1812-16.

Gruss W. A Cardiologist’s Guide to Anti-Aging, Antioxidants, and Resveratrol. Renaissance Education: Boca Raton, FL. 2007.

Experts say radical measures won’t stop swine flu

LONDON – Health experts say extraordinary measures against swine flu — most notably quarantines imposed by China, where entire planeloads of passengers were isolated if one traveler had symptoms — have failed to contain the disease.

Despite initially declaring success, Beijing now acknowledges its swine flu outbreak is much larger than official numbers show.

Read on…

At least 46 million Americans drinking water tainted with trace amounts of pharmaceuticals

According to tests prompted by Associated Press the number of people drinking water that’s been contaminated with trace amounts of drugs increased by 41 million people from AP’s last story on the situation this past March. The news service has been reporting there’s a potentially dangerous presence of pharmaceuticals in the nation’s reservoirs.

The AP stories on the tainted drinking water prompted both federal and local legislative hearings, which yielded by partisan calls for mandatory testing and disclosure. The substantial interest the AP stories generated also led officials in at least 27 additional metropolitan areas to analyze their drinking water. More than half, 17 cases of water proving positive for contamination from pharmaceuticals well known points of origin like Reno, Nev., Savannah, Ga., Colorado Springs, Colo., and Huntsville, Ala. Results are for still pending for three of the metropolitan location.

The increase in the number of known to be exposed to drug-contaminated drinking water supplies has grown dramatically simply because testing has finally to increase. Experts widely believe the actual number of Americans drinking tainted water to be much higher than 46 million.

[Read more...]


There is no doubt about it. The Anti-aging Antioxidant Revolution has already begun and is gaining momentum as more and more scientific evidence comes forth. We have catapulted past the days of just taking vitamin and mineral supplements and are now dealing with exciting natural antioxidant compounds. When used in the right combination – synergistically – they can provide greater health benefits than when used alone. The sum of the parts may just be greater than the whole!

Recently, the remarkable news about Resveratrol, found in red wine, created such interest that nearly everyone has had to repeat the name out loud just so they are saying it properly. Examples of its benefits are as follows:

1. Improves the number, health, and function of the mitochondria, the tiny structures inside almost every cell that produces 95% of our energy.

2. Helps provide cardiovascular protection against damage from heart attacks and stroke.

3. May extend life span. Activation of the anti-aging Sirtuin gene.

4. Reduces oxidation of LDL-cholesterol (“bad” cholesterol) that leads to atherosclerotic plaque formation in the arteries.

5. Reduces blood clotting from platelet aggregation.

6. Increases stamina.

7. Helps to clear the type of plague that can cause Alzheimer’s.

8. Protects skin from UV (Ultraviolet radiation) damage.

9. Stimulates nitric oxide that supports healthy blood vessels.

[Read more...]

Mexican Health Officials Optimistic that Swine Flu Risk Waning

Good news on the swine flu. Mexican officials lowered their swine flu alert level in the capital today and are allowing cafes, museums and libraries to reopen this week, even as WHO (world health) officials weighed raising their pandemic alert to the second highest level this past week.

Mexican health officials declared the epidemic to be waning at its epicenter, announcing this coming Wednesday will conclude a five-day closure of nonessential businesses. They’ve credited the reducing the spread of the new flu virus with this closure so allowing commerce to resume appears to be a good sign.

It’s important to how ever note that Mexican health authorities haven’t decided when to reopen schools across their country and are insisting that inspections are necessary before students can return to class.

Meanwhile World Health Organization officials as well as health officials across the globe remain vigilant insisting the swine outbreak’s spread around the world remains in its early stages, but there were no imminent plans to raise the pandemic alert level from the level 5 it is currently set at.

[Read more...]

Finally a cure for the common cold: Remarkable discovery in a Cambridge laboratory may change immunology science forever

In a dramatic breakthrough that could affect millions of lives, scientists have been able to show for the first time that the body’s immune defenses can destroy the common cold virus after it has actually invaded the inner sanctum of a human cell, a feat that was believed until now to be impossible.

The discovery opens the door to the development of a new class of antiviral drugs that work by enhancing this natural virus-killing machinery of the cell. Scientists believe the first clinical trials of new drugs based on the findings could begin within two to five years.

The researchers said that many other viruses responsible for a range of diseases could also be targeted by the new approach. They include the norovirus, which causes winter vomiting, and rotavirus, which results in severe diarrhea and kills thousands of children in developing countries.

To read further….

One of the Biggest Medical Mistakes of All Time –And What You Can Do To Correct It

Medical research isn’t perfect. Government regulatory agencies aren’t either. Unfortunately, the combination of poor research plus a government agency’s failure to correct the researchers’ errors resulted in one of the biggest public health disasters in modern history. The mistake? Believing that taking adequate amounts of vitamin D3 is dangerous. The consequences? Millions of Americans are deficient in vitamin D3. How important is that? Very, very important.

Breast Cancer Reduced Up To 77%
with Higher Levels of Vitamin D3

A recently published four-year, double-blind, randomized placebo-controlled trial—the “gold standard” of clinical trials—studied over 1,000 postmenopausal women in Nebraska. The researchers found that women who received 1100 IU of vitamin D3 during the entire four-year period had 60% less breast cancer than the placebo group who took no vitamin D3. When the first year was “washed-out” due to the chance of some women already having breast cancer, the reduction in breast cancer was an amazing 77%![i][1] (The women also received 1500 mg calcium. Calcium alone had no effect on cancer.) I know of nothing else that has this kind of “gold standard” proof in preventing breast cancer—safely and economically. The dose of 1100 IU of vitamin D3 was almost three times what the government agency recommends.

To fully understand how this could affect you and your family, let me explain the statistics of this. First, one out of three Americans will be diagnosed with cancer. So, you or a loved one has a very good chance of getting cancer. According to this study, if you line up 100 women who would have gotten breast cancer— and they are all taking 1100 IU of vitamin D3—77 of these women who would have gotten breast cancer won’t.

[Read more...]

Resveratrol Linked to Positive Impact on Pre-diabetes

BRONX, NY – Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have linked resveratrol, a chemical compound found in red wine, to improved health of patients with impaired glucose tolerance (IGT), also known as “pre-diabetes.”

The results of the small pilot study presented at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) earlier this month showed promise. Among 10 patients with IGT given resveratrol supplements at concentrations higher than those normally found in wine, grapes or peanuts, all demonstrated lower post-meal glucose levels and improved insulin sensitivity – an encouraging outcome with potential implications for those with type 2 diabetes or at high risk for the condition. The study was led by Jill Crandall, M.D., associate professor of clinical medicine and director of the Diabetes Clinical Trials Unit at Einstein.

“The results of this pilot study are preliminary and need to be confirmed in larger numbers of patients,” said Dr. Crandall. “However, we are encouraged by these findings and plan to conduct additional studies to further explore the potential utility of resveratrol in improving glucose metabolism”

Also presented at the meeting was a related study by Meredith Hawkins, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Global Diabetes Initiative at Einstein. She reported on the effect of resveratrol in overweight, middle-aged subjects who were insulin resistant. Using a highly sensitive measurement technique, Dr. Hawkins detected a 40 percent increase in insulin sensitivity, as well as improvements in mitochondrial function. An unrelated, non-Einstein resveratrol study presented at the ADA meeting showed the substance may prevent harmful blood vessel growth in the retina of mice.



Observational studies had revealed that reducing our exposure to the sunshine vitamin—vitamin D—increased risk of cancer. Now a human intervention trial of over 1,000 postmenopausal women reported in the June 8, 2007, online edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition that women who took at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 and 1,500 mg of calcium daily for four years had a 60% reduction in breast cancer. Calcium alone had no effect on cancer. If the first year was washed out (to account for women who already had cancer) the reduction of risk was an astonishing 77%. That means that out of 100 women who would have gotten cancer, 77 won’t. Researchers said the study was applicable to other forms of cancer. If every person in America took at least 1000 IU of vitamin D3….the implications are enormous.

Action: Take at least 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 daily for life. Start now. Look for a full report on vitamin D3 in next month’s issue of Natural Health News Report.


Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus has been the scourge of hospitals for years and now a different and even deadlier strain is out in the community causing flesh- eating skin infections and death. A study published in the October, 2007, Journal of the American Medical Association found MRSA causing nearly 100,000 infections and about 19,000 deaths—more than died from AIDS.

Action: Wash your hands frequently. Don’t share personal items such as razors. If you are infected, consider alternative therapies such as topical essential oils and French clay in addition to prescription medication. Take natural remedies to support your immune system and prevent infection.


Perhaps this is not news to you after several rounds of antibiotics that didn’t help your sinus infection. A new study published in the December, 2007, Journal of the American Medical found that antibiotics work no better against sinus infections than a placebo. In addition, antibiotics may cause harm by increasing your resistance to medications. Nasal steroid spray also had the same results as a placebo. Antibiotics were recently found to be ineffective against ear infections and bronchitis as well.

Action: Use natural remedies that clear sinus infections.


Alpha lipoic acid turns on the basic cellular defenses of the body, including some that naurally decline with age. It restores glutathione, a powerful cellular antioxidant, and acts as a powerful anti-aging agent, reports researchers at Oregon State University in May, 2007.

Action: Take alpha lipoic acid supplement.


The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published evidence in the October, 2007, issue that fructose increases obesity, uric acid, kidney disease, heart disease, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and other chronic diseases. Our livers do not metabolize high fructose levels well.

Action: Stop drinking sodas and eating foods with high fructose corn syrup.



Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer

By Shannon Brownlee.


Growing public awareness of the dangers of over-the-counter and prescription medications and the unhealthy influence of drug companies over university research, peer-reviewed medical journals and the FDA.

Before you spend $2 on a bottled water again…Think Again!

I don’t know about you but as far as I’m concerned the persistent reports by researchers about the low quality standards followed by bottled water companies really gets under my skin. In a day and age where a small bottle of water can cost as much as $2 out of a vending machine or convenience store you would think the water would be at least be pure. Apparently this isn’t the case.

According to study released this week by an environmental advocacy group water tested leading brands of bottled water turned up a variety of contaminants often found in ordinary tap water.

These findings of course make a mockery of the advertising claims by bottled water companies and challenge the popular impression that bottled water is purer than tap water, the researchers say. While, all the brands tested in this study met federal health standards for drinking water, two brands did violate a California state standard, according to the study.

A bottled water industry group International Bottled Water Association of course immediately branded the findings “alarmist.” According to the associations President Joe Doss said the study is based on the faulty premise that a contaminant is a health concern “even if it does not exceed the established regulatory limit or no standard has been set.”

Lousy argument as far as most people paying up to $2 a bottle would retort. Especially when you look closely at the results of the lab tests on 10 brands of bottled water detected 38 chemicals including bacteria, caffeine, the pain reliever acetaminophen, fertilizer, solvents, plastic-making chemicals and the radioactive element strontium. Though some probably came from tap water that some companies use for their bottled water, other contaminants probably leached from plastic bottles, according to the researchers who prepared this latest study.

“In some cases, it appears bottled water is no less polluted than tap water and, at 1,900 times the cost, consumers should expect better,” said Jane Houlihan, an environmental engineer who co-authored the study.

The Washington-based Environmental Working Group, an organization founded by scientists that advocates stricter regulation conducted the study over 2 years. The study concludes the contaminants in bottled water purchased in nine states and Washington, D.C.

Of the 10 brands tested by Researchers, eight did not have contaminants high enough to warrant further testing. But two brands did, so more tests were done and those revealed chlorine byproducts above California’s standard. The researchers identified those two brands as Sam’s Choice sold by Wal-Mart and Acadia of Giant Food supermarkets.

In the Wal-Mart and Giant Food bottled water, the highest concentration of chlorine byproducts, known as trihalomethanes, was over 35 parts per billion. California’s limit is 10 parts per billion or less, and the industry’s International Bottled Water Association makes 10 its voluntary guideline. The federal limit is 80.

Wal-Mart insists its own studies did not turn up illegal levels of contaminants. Giant Food officials released a statement asserting that Acadia meets all regulatory standards. Acadia is sold in the mid-Atlantic states, so it isn’t held to California’s standard. In most places, bottled water must meet roughly the same federal standards as tap water.

The researchers also said the Wal-Mart brand was five times California’s limit for one particular chlorine byproduct, bromodichloromethane. The environmental group wants Wal-Mart to label its bottles in California with a warning because the chlorine-based contaminants have been linked with cancer. It has filed a notice of intent to sue.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Shannon Frederick said the company was “puzzled” by the findings because testing by suppliers and another lab had detected no “reportable amounts” of such contaminants. She said Wal-Mart would investigate further but defended the quality of its bottled water.

The researchers recommend that people worried about water contaminants drink tap water with a carbon filter.

Super Bowls, World Series and other championship Sporting Events Could Be Hazardous to Your Health

NEWS — German researchers discovered that heart attacks, cardiac arrests, episodes of irregular heartbeat and activation of implanted defibrillators can triple for people watching major sports events such as world soccer and the Super Bowl.

ACTION – Drink red wine, nibble on grapes or take a supplement high in resveratrol before you start eating. Avoid high-fat snacks. Resveratrol is known to help prevent damage from heart attacks in laboratory animals. If you have a heart condition, keep aspirin and medications handy. Chew an aspirin if you suspect you are having a heart attack and don’t delay getting to the hospital in order to watch the game. They probably have TV in the emergency room.

Gruss, W. A Cardiologist’s Guide to Anti-Aging, Antioxidants, and Resveratrol. Renaissance Education: Boca Raton, FL. 2007.

Wilbert-Lampen U, et al. Cardiovascular Events during World Cup Soccer. N Engl J Med 2008 358: 475-483.



NEWSThe New England Journal of Medicine published a study showing that nearly a third of antidepressant drug studies are never published and nearly all of them showed that the anti-depressant didn’t work. In studies that were published, results were rewritten to make the drug seem more effective than it really is. He found that 37 out of 38 positive studies were published.


ACTION—If you are taking antidepressant medications, ask your doctor about this article. Some types of antidepressants are much more effective than others. Ask your doctor about some of the natural therapies for depression, including sunshine, vitamin D3, and other supplements.

Turner EH, et al. Selective publication of antidepressant trials and its influence on apparent efficacy. N Engl J Med 358:252, January 17, 2008.


NEWS — A research team led by chemists at the University of California, Riverside, found that sunscreen chemicals can cause oxidative damage to skin if not used correctly. After a short period of time, sunscreen chemicals are absorbed into the skin allowing UV radiation to oxidize surface skin molecules. Other researchers are exploring the use of natural antioxidants such as resveratrol to prevent skin damage. See future issues of Natural Health News Report for more news about antioxidant skin protection.

ACTION — If you are going to be out in the sun for long periods of time, cover up with clothing or reapply sunscreen at least every two hours. Taking an anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory dietary supplement may help reduce skin damage.

University of California, Riverside (2006, August 29). Sunscreens can damage skin, researchers find. ScienceDaily.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2001, Sept 3).Study shows antioxidants play vital role in protecting skin. ScienceDaily.

What everyone with Gout should know…NOW!

The horribly painful affliction of gout has been with humankind for thousands of years. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks suffered from it. British royalty suffered from it. Perhaps your father or grandfather suffered as well. Gout primarily affects older men and has stayed at a relatively stable level in that population—until the last 30 years. Doctors and scientists are alarmed at the increasing prevalence of gout worldwide. In the United States the incidence of gout more than doubled from 1977 to 1996. In the United Kingdom, gout increased three fold from the 1970s to the 1990s. These are the latest data available. Gout may have increased even more in the last ten years.[1]

There are several causes for this dramatic increase that puts many more people—especially older men and post-menopausal women—at risk for gout. Knowing the new causes for gout will help you take steps to prevent getting it. If you have gout, or know someone who does, this report gives you the latest news about natural prevention and treatments. Warning: The latest research reveals that you may be drinking a common beverage every day that dramatically increases your risk of gout—and all major chronic diseases. Please read this report carefully.

[Read more...]

Powerful Proteins Raise Hopes for Vaccine

A new blood screening technique has turned up antibodies with the ability to neutralize many strains of the AIDS virus, a discovery that might help create a long- sought vaccine against the deadly disease.

The finding, published today in the journal Science is the result of an global effort by AIDS researchers using new methods developed by two companies, Monogram Biosciences, a unit of Laboratory Corp. of America Holdings, and closely held Theraclone Sciences of Seattle. Scientists searched the blood of HIV-infected people who were symptom-free for three years.

For the full article go to

A large glass of wine or beer every day may increase your risk of cancer of bowel by 25%

There’s a new study that suggests drinking a single large glass of wine or a tanker of beer a day may increase the risk of developing bowel cancer by around 10%.

The same study also suggests drinking around two large tankers of beer or about two large glasses of wine may increase the risk of bowel cancer by as much as 25%.

According to statistics about 35,000 new cases of bowel cancer are being diagnosed every year in Great Britain, and almost 16,100 people die from this virulent form of cancer.

Meanwhile, almost 480,000 people across 10 European countries were questioned about their drinking habits as part of the ongoing European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.

That research is funded by Cancer Research UK, the Medical Research Council and other European agencies.

The findings on bowel cancer, published online in the International Journal of Cancer, found that people who drank 15 grams of alcohol a day – equivalent to about two units – had around a 10% increased risk of bowel cancer.

Those who drank more than 30 grams of alcohol – equivalent to three to four units – increased their bowel cancer risk by around 25%.

In the United Kingdom, one unit equates to eight grams of pure alcohol.

But the number of units a drink contains depends on how strong it is and how large the measure.

All the participants in the study were followed for a period of six years. During that period, 1,833 people developed bowel cancer.

Professor Tim Key, Cancer Research UK Epidemiologist and Deputy Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Unit in Oxford, said: “The research shows quite clearly that the more alcohol you drink the greater your risk of bowel cancer.

“The increase in risk is not large but it is important that people understand they can reduce their risk of a number of different cancers – including bowel cancer – by cutting down on alcohol.”

Dr. Lesley Walker, Cancer Research UK’s Director of Cancer Information, said: “There is a lot of confusion over safe levels of drinking.

“This partly arises over the increasing strength of some wines and beers and the fact that many pubs offer a large glass of wine that is actually equivalent to one third of a bottle.

“It is important that people do not automatically equate one drink with one unit.

“A large glass of wine with a high alcohol volume is likely to be the equivalent of considerably more than that.

“Cancer Research UK recommends that women should drink less than two units a day and men less than three.

“While there is increasing evidence that over indulging in alcohol can increase the risk of some cancers, research also shows that by far the biggest risk for life threatening diseases is the combination of smoking together with drinking alcohol.”

The British government actually recommends that men drink no more than three to four units of alcohol per day and women drink no more than two to three.

Pregnant women and those trying to conceive are ALWAYS told to avoid drinking altogether.

Resveratrol May Be Key Weapon In Preventing and Treating Cancer!

Major Medical & University Studies Pile Up Suggesting: Resveratrol May Be Key Weapon In Preventing and Treating Cancer! One scientific study after another shows a key ingredient in red wine as a potential weapon against both CANCER and CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE. Read More…

Brain Washing Becoming a Scary Reality: Scientists Erase Specific Memories in Mice Now Testing Humans

All of a sudden the old book the Manchurian Candidate doesn’t seem so far fetched. Phillip K. Dick’s the famous Sci-Fi author of many mind control stories would be in his glory. This is because the stuff of science fiction is slowely becoming Science fact.

Scientists now report it might one day be possible to erase undesirable memories from the brain, selectively and safely.

Using a complex genetic approach, U.S. and Chinese researchers believe they have done just that in mice, but the feat is far from being tested on humans.

Study co-author Joe Z. Tsien, co-director of the Brain & Behavior Discovery Institute at the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, says the “work reveals a molecular mechanism of how [memory deletion] can be done quickly and without doing damage to brain cells.”

The finding is published in the Oct. 23 issue of Neuron.

Humans plagued by painful memories have long wished for a way to eject them from the brain. The concept was the premise of the popular 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, in which two former lovers pay a “memory-erasure” service to expunge the unhappy affair from their minds.

The subject of selective memory deletion was also covered in the film version of Philip K Dicks’ famous SciFi thriller PayCheck which starred Ben Affleck, who played the principal character Michael Jennings a reverse engineer who routinely has his recent memories erased after working on sensitive high-tech projects.

To explore the possibility of safely carving away bits of memory, the study authors first focused on the activity of a common protein found only in the brain, called CaMKII.

In both mice and people, this enzyme is often referred to as the “memory molecule” because of its key role in facilitating brain cell communication — especially people’s ability to learn and retain information.

To hone in on the specific workings of CaMKII, Tsien and his team first developed a “chemical-genetic method” that enabled them to instantly turn the protein “on” or “off” among mice intentionally bred to overproduce the molecule.

After exposing the mice to emotionally powerful stimulations, such as a mild shock to their paws, the scientists then observed how well or poorly the animals subsequently recalled the particular trauma as their brain’s expression of CaMKII was manipulated up and down.

When the brain was made to overproduce CaMKII at the exact moment the mouse was prodded to retrieve the traumatic memory, the memory wasn’t just blocked, it appeared to be fully erased.

This occurred without impacting the animal’s ability to recall any other memories, the scientists say.

A similar observation was made in experiments involving the mice’s recognition of specific objects. In those cases, overexpression of CaMKII appeared to eliminate all memory of toys with which the mice had previously been exposed.

According to Tsien, the animal study illustrates how the targeted erasure of specific memories might be genetically triggered in a controlled and harmless manner.

The authors stressed that their work is in its infancy, but they believe it opens up the theoretical possibility of therapeutic applications for humans down the road. Memory erasure might help relieve trauma among people plagued by fearful memories, such as those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), for example.

“While memories are great teachers and obviously crucial for survival and adaptation, selectively removing incapacitating memories, such as traumatic war memories or an unwanted fear, could help many people live better lives,” Tsien said.

However, Dr. Joe Verghese, an associate professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, cautioned that the animal work described in the study remains preliminary.

“I think the idea of selectively targeting memory processes is very interesting,” he said, “because it not only opens up a whole area of possible intervention but also reveals something about the neurobiology that goes into creating memory in the brain.”

“But memory in a human is much more complex than a memory in a mouse,” Verghese added. “So, this experimental model, while it brings to mind all sorts of possible applications, is many steps removed from any human application.

Great Britan Health Care: ‘Cruel and neglectful’ care of one million NHS patients exposed

[Image 2]

In the last six years, the Patients Association claims hundreds of thousands have suffered from poor standards of nursing, often with ‘neglectful, demeaning, painful and sometimes downright cruel’ treatment.

Click here to read

Vaccines on horizon for AIDS, Alzheimer’s, Herpes

MARIETTA, Pa. (AP) — Malaria. Tuberculosis. Alzheimer’s disease. AIDS. Pandemic flu. Genital herpes. Urinary tract infections. Grass allergies. Traveler’s diarrhea. You name it, the pharmaceutical industry is working on a vaccine to prevent it. Many could be on the market in five years or less. Contrast that with five years ago, when so many companies had abandoned the vaccine business that half the U.S. supply of flu shots was lost because of contamination at one of the two manufacturers left. Vaccines are no longer a sleepy, low-profit niche in a booming drug industry. Today, they’re starting to give ailing pharmaceutical makers a shot in the arm. Read on at …Click Here

Aids breakthrough reported!

An American man being treated in Berlin who suffered from AIDS appears to have been cured of the immune disease 20 months after receiving a targeted bone marrow transplant normally used to fight leukemia, according to his doctors.

The physicians and researchers involved are cautioning that this astonishing case may be no more than a fluke. Advocates of gene therapy say this is a prime example of why gene research is so important. AIDS claims approximately 2 million lives each year and the virus has infected 33 million people worldwide.

The patients’ physician Dr. Gero Huetter has reported that his 42-year-old patient on Wednesday, the patient who remains anonymous, claims to have been infected with the AIDS virus for more than a decade. However after 20 months after undergoing a transplant of genetically selected bone marrow, the patient no longer shows signs of carrying the virus.

“We waited every day for a bad reading,” say Dr. Huetter.

It has not come. Researchers at Berlin’s Charite hospital and medical school say tests on the patient’s bone marrow, blood and other organ tissues have all shown no sign of the AIDS virus.

Dr. Andrew Badley, director of the HIV and immunology research lab at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., is being quoted that the tests made by the German physicians have probably not been extensive enough.

“A lot more scrutiny from a lot of different biological samples would be required to say it’s not present,” Dr. Badley

This isn’t the first time marrow transplants have been attempted for treating AIDS or HIV infection. In 1999, an article in the journal Medical Hypotheses reviewed the results of 32 attempts reported between 1982 and 1996. In two cases, HIV was apparently eradicated, the review reported.

Dr. Huetter’s patient was under treatment at Charite for both AIDS and leukemia, which developed unrelated to HIV.

Dr. Huetter – who is a hematologist, not an HIV specialist – prepared to treat the patient’s leukemia with a bone marrow transplant, says that some people carry a genetic mutation that seems to make them resistant to HIV infection.

If the mutation, “Delta 32”, is inherited from both parents, it prevents HIV from attaching itself to cells by blocking CCR5, a receptor that acts as a kind of gateway.

“I read it in 1996, coincidentally,” Dr. Huetter told reporters while I was still a medical student. “I remembered it and thought it might work.”

According to the latest statistics one in 1,000 Europeans and Americans have inherited the mutation from both parents, and Huetter set out to find one such person among donors that matched the patient’s marrow type. Out of 80 suitable donors, the 61st person tested positively for the “Delta 32” mutation.

The bone marrow transplant was preceded by a therapy of powerful drugs and radiation designed to kill off his own infected bone marrow cells and disable his immune system – a treatment fatal to between 20 and 30 percent of recipients.

The patient was also taken off the potent drugs used to treat his AIDS. Dr. Huetter’s and his medical team feared that the drug therapy might interfere with the new marrow cells’ survival. They risked lowering his defenses in the hopes that the new, mutated cells would reject the virus on their own.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infections Diseases in the U.S., in an interview with AP the procedure was too costly and too dangerous to employ as a firstline cure. But he said it could inspire researchers to pursue gene therapy as a means to block or suppress HIV.

“It helps prove the concept that if somehow you can block the expression of CCR5, maybe by gene therapy, you might be able to inhibit the ability of the virus to replicate,” according to Dr. Fauci.

David Roth, a professor of epidemiology and international public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, said gene therapy as cheap and effective as current drug treatments is in very early stages of development.

“That’s a long way down the line because there may be other negative things that go with that mutation that we don’t know about.”

Even for the patient in Berlin, the lack of a clear understanding of exactly why his AIDS has disappeared means his future is far from certain.

“The virus is wily,” Dr. Huetter said. “There could always be a resurgence.”

At least 46 million Americans drinking water tainted with trace amounts of pharmaceutic

According to tests prompted by Associated Press the number of people drinking water that’s been contaminated with trace amounts of drugs increased by 41 million people from AP’s last story on the situation this past March. The news service has been reporting there’s a potentially dangerous presence of pharmaceuticals in the nation’s reservoirs.

The AP stories on the tainted drinking water prompted both federal and local legislative hearings, which yielded by partisan calls for mandatory testing and disclosure. The substantial interest the AP stories generated also led officials in at least 27 additional metropolitan areas to analyze their drinking water. More than half, 17 cases of water proving positive for contamination from pharmaceuticals well known points of origin like Reno, Nev., Savannah, Ga., Colorado Springs, Colo., and Huntsville, Ala. Results are for still pending for three of the metropolitan location.

Why a key ingredient in red wine is being called the “Holy Grail of Anti-Aging” and why Revatrol is an absolute must take supplement every day to improve your chances of living up to 35% longer without cardiovascular problems. Two 100% FREE special reports are available by clicking this underlined paragraph or going to

The increase in the number of known to be exposed to drug-contaminated drinking water supplies has grown dramatically simply because testing is increasing and the number widely by experts to be much higher.

Concern has grown so great communities and water utilities have bowed to pressure on this issue and are revealing and contributing data from previously unreleased test results.

There remain the vast majority of U.S. cities that have not tested their drinking water. Of the larger cities there were eight — including Boston, Phoenix and Seattle that get to brag their water remains untainted.

Andy Ryan, spokesman for Seattle Public Utilities was quoted by AP as saying…”We didn’t think we’d find anything because our water comes from a pristine source, but after the AP stories we wanted to make sure and reassure our customers.”

The substances detected in the latest tests reported showed the same kind of water contamination of those reported in the earlier AP report.

The pharmaceuticals found in Chicago drinking water included a cholesterol medication and a nicotine derivative. Anti-convulsant carbamazepine was found in the drinking water of several cities. One of those communities, Colorado Springs, officials reported the detection of five pharmaceuticals in all, including a tranquilizer and a hormone.

Steve Berry a spokesman of Colorado Springs was interviewed by AP and was quoted as saying “This is obviously an emerging issue and after the AP stories came out we felt it was the responsible thing for us to do, as a utility, to find out where we stand. We believe that at these levels, based on current science, that the water is completely safe for our customers,” He went on to say… “We don’t want to create unnecessary alarm, but at the same time we have a responsibility as a municipal utility to communicate with our customers and let them know.”

AP received a confirmation by Bruce Grubb Fargo’s water was discovered to have concentrations of three drugs detected there were so incredibly small — parts per trillion — but he still decided to send the test results to the local health officer in attempt to figure out how to interpret the report for the community.

Grubb told AP “We plan to put this into some kind of context other than just scientific nomenclature, so folks can get some level of understanding about what it means,”.

Tainted water is most often caused by human excretion being flushed into sewers and waterways. There have been numerous reports of pharmaceuticals slipping through sewage and drinking water treatment plants.

The danger is still unclear, researchers are however finding evidence water diluted to extremely small concentrations of pharmaceutical residues do harm fish, frogs and other aquatic species in the wild and impair human cells in the laboratory.

Testosterone Levels in Men Decline Over the Past Two Decades Causing Millions to Suffer

Major Scientific Studies Reveal…

In this issue of Natural Health News Report you’ll learn about… The alarming reason why so many men are suffering erectile dysfunction, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, depression, deadly falls and coronary plaque that can cause heart attack and stroke. Why healthy testosterone levels aren’t a luxury, they’re absolutely essential. How doctors got it terribly wrong about testosterone and prostate health—the latest research. How to start reversing the effects of low testosterone.


New Study shows Vitamin E, and drugs that reduce generalized inflammation, may actually slow the decline of mental and physical abilities in persons suffering with Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

There’s been a great deal of conflicting information and research for Vitamin E the past several years. Now there’s a report of “real-world” clinical data indicates that shows that vitamin E, and drugs that reduce generalized inflammation, may actually slow the decline of mental and physical abilities in persons suffering with Alzheimer’s disease (AD)

According to Dr. Alireza Atri “Our results are consistent for a potential benefit of vitamin E on slowing functional decline and a smaller possible benefit of anti-inflammatory medications on slowing cognitive decline in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.”

Dr. Atri, who has privileges and works with Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the VA Bedford Medical Center, and Boston’s Harvard Medical School, which led the National Institutes of Health-sponsored research. These findings, were reported at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society in Chicago, stem from data on 540 patients treated at the MGH Memory Disorders Unit.

All of the patients were receiving standard-of-care treatment with a drug intended to help patients with Alzheimer’s. As part of their clinical care, 208 patients also took vitamin E but no anti-inflammatory, 49 took an anti-inflammatory but no vitamin E, 177 took both vitamin E and an anti-inflammatory, and 106 took neither.

While the daily recommended dose of vitamin E ranged from 200 to 2000 units, the majority of patients were given high doses that ranged from 800 units daily to 1000 units twice daily.

Each patient’s performance on cognitive tests and their ability to carry out daily functions such as dressing and personal care were assessed every 6 months. After an average of 3 years, “there was a modest slowing of decline in function in those patients taking vitamin E,” study investigator Michael R. Flaherty noted in a telephone interview with Reuters Health.

Flaherty, a second-year student at the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine in Biddeford, Maine, presented the findings at the meeting. He added that the treatment benefit from vitamin E was “small to medium” but increased with time.

Taking an anti-inflammatory medication has long been associated with “very consistent but generally only slight effects on slowing long-term decline in cognitive functioning,” according to Dr. William Gruss, MD of Boca Raton Florida.

However, those patients included in this study who took both vitamin E and anti-inflammatory medications, there appeared to be an noticeable additive effect in terms of slowing overall decline.

“Clearly, between the results of past studies and the equivocal results of this latest National Institutes of Health-sponsored test, further studies are needed to assess the long-term balance of risks versus benefits for people with Alzheimer’s disease from taking vitamin E and anti-inflammatory drugs” insists Dr. Gruss. The upside potential is too promising to ignore.

World Health Organization Says Swine Flu Deaths Reach 2,837

[Swine Flu] The World Health Organization says at least 625 people have been reported dead from swine flu in the last week.

The swine flu virus has caused at least 2,837 deaths since it emerged in Mexico and the United States earlier this year and developed into a full-blown global epidemic. Most of the deaths are in the Western Hemisphere.

WHO said Friday that laboratory-confirmed cases of the disease have now reached 254,206.

Spokesman Gregory Hartl says the figure far understates the actual number of cases because countries are no longer required to report each infection as the caseload is so high.

He says the number of deaths is growing proportionately to the increase in number of infected people.

[Cell] Meanwhile, scientific advisers to the White House warned the Swine flu may hospitalize as many as 1.8 million patients in the U.S. this year, filling intensive care units to capacity and causing “severe disruptions” during a fall resurgence,

Swine flu, also known as H1N1, may infect as much as half of the population and kill 30,000 to 90,000 people, double the deaths caused by the typical seasonal flu, according to the planning scenario issued yesterday by the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology. Intensive care units in hospitals, some of which use 80 percent of their space in normal operation, may need every bed for flu cases, the report said.

The virus has sickened more than 1 million people in the U.S., and infections may increase this month as pupils return to school, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. If swine flu patients fill too many beds, hospitals may be forced to put off elective surgeries such as heart bypass or hernia operations, said James Bentley with the American Hospital Association.

[Injection] “If you have 1.8 million hospital admissions across six months, that’s a whole lot different than if you have it across six weeks,” said Bentley, a senior vice-president of the Washington-based association, which represents 5,000 hospitals.

The scenario projections were “developed from models put together for planning purposes only,” said Tom Skinner, a spokesman for the CDC, at a briefing in Atlanta today. “At the end of the day, we simply don’t know what this upcoming flu season is going to look like. It could be severe, it could be mild, we just don’t know.”

How to Get 6 Pack Abs

Everyone would love to be able to rip off their shirts and feel confident because they have a great set of abdominal muscles. The problem is that many people who try to build up their “6 packs” aren’t able to achieve their goals. And some of these folks have done quite a bit of exercise…maybe you’ve tried to build up your abs but didn’t have the results you’d been hoping for?

Well, I’ve got some good news for you. The reason that most people who try to develop their abdominal muscles and aren’t successful is that they quite simply aren’t doing the right kinds of exercises. I’ll explain in a moment why that’s the case, but let me start out by giving you a little bit of information about my background.

I’ve been training for the last 24 years and have owned my own fitness training facility for the last ten years. I started out as amateur boxer, then I moved to martial arts. I recognized the need for fighters to be well conditioned, so I earned a certification in fitness training.

I’m proud to say I’ve helped hundreds and hundreds of men and women from all walks of life get into shape. Let me make one thing clear. It’s a myth that it’s hard to get six pack abs!

It doesn’t require massive stomach work outs with hundreds of repetitions and tons of time. The reason so many people have trouble getting a great stomach is quite simply that they are doing exercises that aren’t the right ones. Sure sit ups can help you, but here’s what you’ve got to understand. Your stomach muscles essentially are comprised of three parts:

  • rectus abdominus – the large ab muscle that covers the body’s midsection
  • external obliques – located on both sides of the rectus abdominus and on top of the internal obliques
  • internal obliques – located directly beneath the external obliques

The problem with most people’s work outs is that they aren’t doing a combination of exercises that pinpoints the different muscle groups in the right quantity. In fact, some people are doing too many reps and are actually causing muscle degradation. If you use an exercise system that does this, you actually don’t need to exercise more than 5 minutes a day, three to four times a week.

The only exercise programs that will maximize your stomach muscles so you have a flat stomach with the six pack are the ones that do what I said above. So, if you want to have a stomach you can feel proud of just click onto the link below to get my free report on how you can get 6 pack abs in only 5 minutes a day. For more information on this subject click the link below…

How to get six pack abs by investing just 5 minutes a day in your health.

Be Sociable, Share!