Sunday, December 11, 2011

Benefits Of Physical Activity

Here is a good collection of articles on the benefits of physical activity:

"Exercise Can Aid Sleep and Productivity"

The results of current research shows that people who exercise at least 150 minutes each week sleep much better and feel more alert than people who exercise less. Researchers discovered that 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity each week showed a 65% improvement in sleep quality, and participants experienced less drowsiness during the day.

"Exercise May Reduce Risk of Depression in Seniors"

Researchers in Europe have found that regular physical activity lowers the risk of suffering from depression in seniors. Programs are currently being developed to increase motivation for physical activity among the elderly.

"Higher Physical Activity Associated With Reduced Risk of Breast Cancer"

This association is stronger for estrogen receptor positive progesterone receptor negative tumors, which are more aggressive. Studies show that women with higher levels of physical activity may reduce the risk of breast cancer after menopause. One reason may be that physical activity reduces body fat, which is a major source of estrogen in postmenopausal women.

"Regular Exercise Reduces Risk of Dementia, Slow Aging"

Body deterioration experienced with the aging process can be slowed with regular exercise. It has been found that exercise can reduce the risk of developing about 2 dozen mental and physical health conditions including dementia and some cancers.

"Regular Physical Activity Really Does Boost Immune System in Older Men"

With regular and moderate physical activity of about 6 hours each week, elderly men can have the same immune response to an antigen as younger men.

"Physical Activity Extends Life of Patients with Peripheral Artery Disease"

Physically active patients of peripheral artery disease (PAD) have death rates that are a third of those in PAD patients who remain inactive.

Click on the link, Benefits of Physical Activity, for more articles.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Breast Cancer In Men

Can Men Get Breast Cancer?

Yes. Breast cancer in men is rare, but it does happen. Men have a small amount of breast tissue, which is not capable of producing milk. It is this breast tissue that can become cancerous in men.

Male Breast Cancer Statistics

Male breast cancer accounts for only 1% of all breast cancers. The American Cancer Society estimates that about 1,970 male breast cancers are diagnosed each year, and will cause approximately 390 deaths. Most men who develop breast cancer are between the ages of 60 and 70, although it can happen at any age. The statistical risks of a man developing this disease is about 1 in a 1,000.

Male Breast Cancer Symptoms

The early signs of male breast cancer may be a firm mass just below the nipple. Typically, the lump is painless and is about 2.5 centimeters in diameter. Skin changes near the nipple can include ulceration, puckering, redness or scaling, or the nipple may turn inward.

If the cancer spreads to the bones, you may experience bone pain near the area of the cancer. In advance stages, you may experience weakness, weight loss or malaise.

Types Of Male Breast Cancer
  • Ductal Carcinoma in Situ - This type is curable with surgery. The cancer cells do not grow into the fatty tissue of the breast nor does it spread outside the breast. It accounts for about 1 in 10 cases of male breast cancer.
  • Invasive Ductal Carcinoma - This type spreads outside of the breast tissue into other parts of the body. It accounts for about 8 of 10 cases of male breast cancer. It typically will spread to the nipple.
  • Invasive Lobular Carcinoma - This type if rare in men since men usually do not have lobular tissue. It typically spreads into the fatty tissue of the breast, and accounts for about 2% of all male breast cancers.
  • Lobular Carcinoma in Situ - It forms in the lobules, but does not spread into the fatty tissue of the breast. Very rare in men.
  • Paget Disease of the Nipple - It forms in the breast ducts and spreads to the nipple. The skin of the nipple may appear crushed, scaly and red. The area around the nipple may itch, ooze, burn and may bleed. You should feel a lump within the breast near the nipple.
  • Inflammatory Breast Cancer - This is an aggressive form of breast cancer, but fortunately rare especially in men. It causes swollen breast, which becomes red, warm and tender. It does not form a lump. It can be mistaken for an infection of the breast.
Possible Causes of Male Breast Cancer

  • Radiation Exposure - radiation therapy in the chest area can increase your risk of developing breast cancer.
  • High levels of Estrogen or Hyperestrogenism - All men produce small amounts of estrogen, but some may produce abnormally high levels. This can increase the risks of developing breast cancer.
  • Klinefelter's Syndrome - this is an inherited condition, where a male inherits an extra X sex chromosome. Men with this condition will produce high levels of estrogen, develop enlarged breast, have sparse facial and body hair, small testes and are unable to produce sperm. It also comes with an increase risk of developing breast cancer.
  • Cirrhosis of the Liver - this disease elevates blood estrogen levels and comes with an increased risk of breast cancer.
  • Familial Predisposition - men with several female relatives with breast cancer also have an increase risk of developing the disease.
  • Finasteride - this is a drug used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia and to preven prostate cancer. It may be associated with an increased risk of male breast cancer.
References: Male Breast Cancer
American Cancer Society: Breast Cancer In Men


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Possible Example Of What Roid Rage Is

It is being reported today that a 300-pound, naked bodybuilder beat a couple at their home in Colton, California Saturday night. It took four police officers, two stun gun blasts and four sets of handcuffs to restrain the rampaging bodybuilder. The couple suffered head injuries, but have been released from the hospital. The couple are lucky that they did not receive more serious injuries.

It was also reported that the bodybuilder was taking steroids and other drugs.

This may be an example of Roid Rage. It is one of the possible psychological side effects of anabolic steroids. Excessive use of anabolic steroids can cause psychological complications such as manic behavior, hallucinations and delusions. Roid Rage, which is aggressive behavior, is common.

This young man will have to ask himself if the benefits of steroids is worth all the legal problems that he is about to face. He probably convinced himself that this would never happen to him, or that roid rage was a myth. Unfortunately, he found out the hard way what roid rage is.


Monday, December 5, 2011

How Much Exercise Do I Need?

How Much Exercise Do I Need?

New physical activity and exercise guidelines have been released by the American College of Sports Medicine. These recommendations on how to stay physically active for optimum health show that it is also important to vary the types of exercise.

The recommended minimum exercise routines recommended by ACSM are:
  • Aerobic Exercise: Moderate Intensity exercise 5 days a week for a minimum of 150 hours each week, or Vigorous Intensity exercise 3 days each week for a minimum of 75 minutes a week. I personally prefer doing the 4x4 Interval Training routine recommended in an earlier post.
  • Resistance Exercises: Every other day, do 2 to 4 sets for each exercise with 8 to 12 repetitions for each set. has great illustrations on how to do various exercises for different parts of the body.
  • Flexibility Exercises: As we get older, staying flexible becomes more and more important. A recent post, "What is Viniyoga?", discusses recent studies that show that both yoga and flexibility exercises are equally effective, especially for lower back pain. Use the type of exercise that you most enjoy, whether it be just regular Flexibility Exercises, yoga, Pilates or Tai Chi.
These guidelines should help you determine just how much exercise you need. Learning to stay as physically active as possible will help you prevent many diseases such as
  • Dementia
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Strokes
  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • And many cancers.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Exercise for Cancer Treatment

When diagnosed with cancer and going through cancer treatment, there are many actions that a person can take in order to improve their life and assist in their own treatment. One extremely important thing that many cancer patients may not think of is to participate in regular exercise while going through cancer treatment. Though some people may be reluctant to get involved in exercise, thinking that it will use up energy needed to fight the cancer, many doctors and researchers have announced that doing light, moderate exercise can be extremely beneficial to cancer patients and survivors.

The benefit of exercise has been demonstrated in a number of different cancers, from lung cancer to mesothelioma. One of the most major benefits is the improved physical functioning and lesser fatigue. Doctors have noted that the overall quality of life of cancer patients who exercise is greatly improved.

Another reason that doing exercise is important while going through cancer treatment is that it helps strengthen muscles. There are many potential issues that can arise when a person is limited to bed rest and is not getting regular physical activity. These issues include stiff joints, breathing problems, and bedsores. Even small amounts of exercise and physical activity can assist in avoiding these issues. For those who are caring for a cancer patient, it is important to allow the patient to do as much on their own as possible. Naturally, do not let them attempt a task that they are unable to do, but doing everything for them reduces their own independence, and further limits their physical activity. Encourage small amounts of physical activity, such as taking a short walk every day. Another option is to complete light exercises that work on muscle strength and improved range of motion. Talk to a doctor or physical therapist as to what types of exercises would be most beneficial. Many of these exercises can be completed while the patient is in bed.

Maintaining an active, healthy lifestyle is an important way to increase the overall quality of life, and can even assist in the recovery from cancer. Focusing on statistics such as a mesothelioma survival rate are of no benefit; instead take the situation into your own hands and spend time taking action that can be used to help with treatment and recovery. Cancer patients should make sure to set aside time each day in order to get some physical activity, whether it's a walk around the neighborhood, some range of motion exercises, or just getting up and moving around. Friends and family of cancer patients can participate in these activities as well, as a way to spend time with those they care about, and assist in activities that will help with care.

By Jackie Clark

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Three Things That Help Me Sleep Better

As I approached my 50's, sleeping well was becoming a challenge. Over the last ten years, I have made these three changes that has helped me sleep much better.

Number 1: Elevating My Head While Sleeping

Breathing becomes much easier when you elevate your head while sleeping. I suspect many of us suffer from a mild case of sleep apnea, which is a reduction of breathing while we sleep. Raising your head 4 to 6 inches while you sleep is one way of treating sleep apnea.

Sleeping with your head elevated is also a good way to help you sleep without heartburn.

Elevating your head also reduces the blood pressure on your sinuses. This reduces the likelihood of blood gorging and swelling your nasal membranes, which can block air flow through your nose. Raising your head also helps your sinuses drain, and thus allowing you to breathe more freely while you sleep.

I have put blocks of wood to elevate the head of my bed. I also like to sleep on two pillows with the net effect of raising my head at least 6 inches above my heart. Some people may prefer to use either a Cervical Pillow or a Wedge Pillow . Whatever method you use, I think that you will have a better night's sleep with your head raised, which allows you to breathe freely while you sleep.

Related Link: "Changing Sleep-Related Habits for Better Respiratory Health."

Number 2: Melatonin

With the approval of my doctor, I now take 300 mcg of melatonin about 30 minute before going to bed every night. I haven't experienced any of the melatonin side effects. It does help me sleep much deeper and a little longer than I do without it. As with most drugs and supplements, more is not better. Just a little will help you sleep.

For men, you may find that melatonin helps you with prostate function as you get older. In my case, I have found that it does help with symptoms of enlarged prostate.

Number 3: Choline Supplement

As I approached 50, it started experiencing digestive tract cramping at night. I tried everything from changes in diet to Chinese herbs. Nothing worked and the cramping kept me from getting a good night's sleep.

Finally, I researched possible causes of liver and gall bladder dysfunction. I found that choline deficiency can be one possible cause. So I started taking a choline supplement in the form of phosphatidylcholine, which is found in soy lecithin. I will never forget that night after taking the lecithin supplement for about two days. I laid down in bed, and my digestive system was absolutely quiet for the first time in years. I slept like a baby.

I now routinely take a teaspoon of lecithin, three times a day with my meals.

After a ten year battle with sleep problems, I now have been sleeping extremely well for a year now. May you to sleep in heavenly comfort.


Thursday, November 24, 2011

What Is BPA?

BPA is back in the news with a new press release from the Harvard School of Public Health titled: "Consuming Canned Soup Linked to Greatly Elevated Levels of the Chemical BPA."

BPA is an abbreviation for the chemical name Bisphenol A. It is an additive used to harden plastics, especially polycarbonate plastic which has the Number 7 recycling symbol on the bottom. Many companies over the last few years that make food containers have stopped using BPA. However, it apparently is still used as a food can lining for some canned food products.

BPA Risks

A few studies suggest that BPA may cause brain and behavior problems, cancer and heart problems with long term use. All of these studies, however, involved animals rather than humans.

Results of the New Harvard Study

The new study determined the concentration of urinary BPA in people who consumed canned soup versus freshly made soup.

What is unique about this study is that it used human volunteers rather than animals. Urine samples of 75 human volunteers were studied after consuming canned soup and after consuming fresh, never canned, soup.

The results showed that just one serving of canned soup raised urinary concentrations of BPA by 1,221% compared to eating one serving of fresh soup. This large increase in BPA concentrations in the volunteer's urine samples after one serving of canned soup was a surprise to the researchers.

If BPA is a concern, you may want to avoid canned foods until the industry eliminates BPA from can linings completely. Canned foods may save time, but fresh, unprocessed foods are the healthier choice.

Related Links:

WebMD: "The Facts About Bisphenol A"
Mayo Clinic: "What is BPA?"


Saturday, November 19, 2011

What is Viniyoga?

I had never heard of viniyoga until I researched the topic of relieving lower back pain. Did you know that there is an American Viniyoga Institute?

Viniyoga is actually an individualized approach to yoga. It is an approach to yoga that is adapted for the individual needs of the yoga participant.

A study was conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to determine which of three methods was best in improving function and reducing the symptoms of those suffering from chronic lower back pain. The three methods tested are:

  • Viniyoga classes, which also used breathing and deep relaxation exercises.
  • Stretching or Flexibility classes which used 15 exercises. Each class included 52 minutes of stretching.
  • Or Reading a Self-care book on the subject.
The result showed that yoga and the stretching exercises were equally effective in reducing symptoms of lower back pain, and each was more effective than a self-care book. Back related function improved, and symptoms were reduced after 12 weeks of either yoga classes or stretching classes.

The test involved 228 adults with chronic lower back pain and lasted 12 weeks. Handouts, CD's (yoga) or DVD's (stretching) were given to the yoga and stretching groups, and these groups were asked to practice at least 20 minutes each day when classes were not scheduled. The self-care group was given a book that gave information on the causes of back pain, and provided advice on exercises, lifestyle changes and how to manage pain flare-ups.

The results suggest that yoga's benefits to reduce lower back pain is largely due to muscle stretching and strengthening rather that yoga's mental components.

Related links for further information on Yoga, Stretching Exercises and the benefits toward reducing lower back pain are:

ScienceDaily - "Yoga Eases Back Pain in Largest US Yoga Study to Date"
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine - "For Low-Back Pain, Yoga More Effective Than Self-Care But Not Stretching"
American Viniyoga Institute
Flexibility Exercises


Friday, November 18, 2011

10 Ways To Live A Shorter Life

If you want to live a shorter life than average, these are 10 ways to help you achieve your goal:

Smoke As Often As Possible

If you smoke frequently, you can cut as much as 7 years from your lifespan. Even if you are 65 years old, you can still cut as much as 2 years from your lifespan if you start smoking now.

Eat Only Foods High In Saturated Fat

Eating fast food as often as possible can increase your chances of developing cardiovascular disease and cancer. This will help you achieve your goal to reduce the length of you life.

Be As Sedentary As Possible

Living an inactive life can reduce your lifespan by as much as 2 to 4 years.

Strive To Be Extremely Overweight

Being overweight can increase your chance of dying young by 20 to 40 percent. Strive to increase your body mass index over 30 to decrease your lifespan by as much as 4 years.

Develop Poor Dental Hygiene

Not brushing your teeth and flossing can help you reduce your lifespan by as much as 6 years. Developing periodontitis and gingivitis can increase your chances of an early death by 25 to 45 percent.

Never Take A Break From Work

Being a workaholic can decrease your lifespan by 2 years. So keep slaving away to help you die an early death.

Develop Early Dementia With An Unhealthy Lifestyle

By being inactive combined with an unhealthy diet can lead to early onset of dementia. This will help you decrease your lifespan by as much as 2 years.

Snack On Salty, Sugary and Fatty Junk Food

Eating these unhealthy snacks and staying away foods like fresh fruits can help you reduce your lifespan by 2 to 6 years.

Sleep As Little As Possible

Not sleeping 7 to 8 hours a night will help you reduce your lifespan by more than 2 years.

Stop Having Sex

Having less sex can reduce your lifespan by 3 to 8 years.

There you go. The 10 best ways to die young.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

What are Stem Cells?

What exactly are stem cells?

These are cells that are called undifferentiated cells, since they have the potential of becoming almost any cell in the body. When a stem cell divides, they can remain an undifferentiated stem cell or become a differentiated or specialized cell, such as a brain cell, red blood cell, a muscle cell and so on.

Types of Stem Cells

There are three basic types of stem cells:
  • Embryonic Stem Cells
  • Adult Stem Cells
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Embryonic Stem Cells

Embryonic stem cells come from embryos, which are organisms in the early stages of development before birth or hatching. These cells can become any cell type in the body. In the embryo, these cells are numerous and are easily grown in cell cultures.

Adult Stem Cells

Adult stem cells, which are less numerous than embryonic stem cells, are found among differentiated cells in body organs and tissues. Their purpose is to maintain and repair damaged tissue.

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Induced pluripotent stem cells are adult cells that have been genetically reprogrammed to act like an embryonic stem cell.

Cardiac Stem Cell Research

Medical scientist have traditionally used bone marrow stem cells to try to repair damaged heart muscle. New research, however, is finding good success at repairing damaged heart muscle with cardiac stem cells.

One of the reasons for this new success is that cardiac stem cells are already programmed to form heart muscle. These stem cells are obtained from the heart patient and multiplied in a lab. The multiplied stem cells are then infused back into the heart of the patient.

Patients with infused cardiac stem cells have been showing significant improvement in their heart muscle capability. The researchers are currently trying to duplicate their results with a larger number of patients. If proven successful, it will be a huge advance in cardiac treatment.

Related Links:

American Heart Association - "Aged, Damaged hearts yield stem cells that could treat heart failure."
Science Daily -"Stem Cells That Could Treat Heart Failure"
CNN - "Stem Cells Reverse Heart Damage"
"Stem Cell Information"


Sunday, November 13, 2011

How To Help Prevent Memory Loss As We Age

We use to believe that memory loss is an inevitable consequence of aging. However, new research on physical exercise and memory is showing that this belief is false.

The area of the brain called the hippocampus is involved in memory formation. The hippocampus does tend to shrink as we get older. This shrinking of the hippocampus can lead to memory loss and sometimes dementia.

But, new research is showing that moderate aerobic exercise can help increase the size of the hippocampus and improve our mental capability. This is true of older adults who are not experiencing dementia. The benefits of aerobic exercise for individuals with symptoms of dementia is unknown.

The research team led by Dr. Arthur Kramer of the University of Illinois and Dr. Kirk Erickson of the University of Pittsburgh used 120 sedentary older adults who were not experiencing symptoms of dementia. The participants were divided into two groups. One group walked for 40 minutes a day (aerobic exercise) on 3 days of the week. The other group did stretching and resistance training exercises.

MRI results showed that the aerobic exercise group increased the size of their hippocampus on an average of 2%. The resistance training group showed a decrease in the size of their hippocampus size on an average of 1.4%. The test also showed that the aerobic exercise group showed a significant correlation between their increase in hippocampus size and improved memory performance.

The results suggest that inactive older adults may be able to reverse memory loss tendencies due to a decrease in hippocampus volume with moderate aerobic exercise, such as routinely walking. The trick is to stay physically active.

Stay physically active and retain your cognitive and memory capabilities even in old age.


Related Web Sites:

UCLA Longevity Center
Neurology Institute For Brain Health And Fitness

Sunday, November 6, 2011

4x4 Interval Training Routine Helps Keep You Young

Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have shown that a 4x4 Interval Training Routine can help you stay fit and trim, especially through your elderly years.

Their studies have shown that this exercise routine can help 50 year olds be as fit as 20 year olds who do not exercise much. In addition, this routine has been shown to be a quick and efficient way to increase your fitness level, and to maintain your fitness level.

For additional information on this exercise routine, see "Interval Training Routines."


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Another Reason To Eat A Healthy Diet

Science has found another good reason to eat a healthy diet.

A study that is published in PLoS Medicine shows that people with a genetic predisposition for cardiovascular disease can substantially lower their heart attack risks with a diet composed mostly of vegetables, fruits and berries. Actually, the study states that these people can reduce their heart attack risks to the same level as those without a genetic predisposition for cardiovascular disease by eating a healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables.

The research indicates an important link between genetics and diet concerning cardiovascular disease. It is recommended that we eat more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables each day for good health.

Previous studies have shown that a Mediterranean type of diet, which is high in fruits and vegetables, in conjunction with daily exercise can improve heart function, and reduce the risks of Alzheimer's disease. You can also find additional Benefits of the Mediterranean Diet at WebMD.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011

What Is Listeria?

Listeria Monocytogenes is a bacteria that can cause listeriosis. The recent outbreak involves cantaloupe from Colorado, which is linked to at least 16 deaths.

According to the CDC, the disease affects primarily older adults, pregnant women, newborns and those with weakened immune systems.


  1. Pregnant women experience mild, flu-like symptoms.
  2. Others experience fever, muscle aches, headaches, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance and possibly convulsions.
You can get listeriosis by eating listeria contaminated food. You can reduce your risks of being infected with listeria by
  • Thoroughly cooking raw food from animal sources
  • Rinse raw vegetables and the skins of fruits under running tap water
  • Keep uncooked meats separate from vegetables, fruits and cooked foods and ready to eat foods
  • Don't drink raw unpasteurized milk or dairy products
  • Wash hands and utensils before handling uncooked foods
  • Consume perishable foods as soon as possible.
Be aware the listeria can grow in foods in your refrigerator. The refrigerator should be kept 40 F or lower, and your freezer at 0 F or lower.

If you have a fever, muscle aches or stiff neck while feeling sick, consult your doctor as soon as possible. Antibiotics can cure the illness. However, death can still occur especially with older adults, and in people with other serious medical conditions.


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Lowering Your Risks Of Heart Disease

I watched Dr. Sanjay Gupta's CNN report titled "The Last Heart Attack" the other night. One of the things mentioned in the program was that large particle cholesterol has a lower risks of causing plague buildup in arteries than small particle cholesterol, especially small particle LDL. Unfortunately, the program did not go into detail on what causes small particle LDL.

Dr. Mark Hyman has a great article titled "Why Cholesterol May Not Be The Cause Of Heart Disease." Dr. Hyman states that it is not the amount of cholesterol that is important for cardiovascular health, but the amount of abnormal cholesterol in your system. Increased levels of abnormal cholesterol and small particle cholesterol will increase your risks of heart problems.

Trans fats, saturated fats and sugar all lead to the increased production of abnormal cholesterol and small particle cholesterol, which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. Of course, changing your diet to consume as little trans fats, saturated fats and sugars as possible is a big first step in lowering your risks of arteriosclerosis or heart disease from the buildup of plague in your arteries.

High baseline inflammation in your body is also a risk factor for heart disease. Baseline inflammation can increase from high consumption of sugars, trans fats and saturated fats, a sedentary lifestyle, stress, poor dental hygiene and other bodily diseases. Improving your diet, exercising, proper dental hygiene and reducing your stress levels can reduce your risks of heart disease. For some with your doctor's approval, low dose aspirin intake can also help reduce baseline inflammation.

Another thing to consider is the amount of chromium in your diet. In her book, "The Real Vitamin & Mineral Book," Shari Lieberman, PhD., states that in many Eastern nations where low cholesterol levels are common, high chromium levels have been found in their body tissues. Animal studies have also shown that rats given chromium supplements also result in low cholesterol levels and lower accumulation of fatty plagues in their arteries. She goes on to state that low chromium levels results in preventing glucose receptor sites on our cells to work properly. This results in elevated levels of glucose in our blood stream, which ultimately results in elevated cholesterol levels, and the increased risks of plague buildup.

Choline levels in your diet may also be an important consideration. David Canty, Ph.D. in his article "Lecithin And Choline Redeemed," states that an adequate intake of choline through lecithin can reduce the risks of cardiovascular disease. One of the functions of choline is to metabolize homocysteine. Increased levels of homocysteine in the body has been associated with increased risks of cardiovascular disease. Lecithin is considered by many to be one of the better sources of choline.

In summary, to reduce your risks of heart disease, you should take steps to reduce the amount of small particle LDL in your body. These steps include:
  • Avoid foods high in trans and saturated fats and sugar, including high fructose corn syrup.
  • Routinely exercise.
  • Proper dental hygiene.
  • Reduce stress in your life.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Make sure that your diet includes adequate amounts of chromium and choline.
  • And keep your blood pressure within normal, healthy ranges.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Prostate Cancer Prevention With Broccoli

Results of research published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, titled "Differential effects of sulforaphane", show that sulforaphane selectively targets and kills cancer cells while leaving normal cells unaffected. Sulforaphane is a phytochemical found in broccoli.

Sulforaphane is also found in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables. This report shows for the first time that sulforaphane selectively targets prostate cancer cells and benign hyperplasia cells. Since this phytochemical leaves normal cells alone, it is considered a safe way to help prevent prostate cancer.

Phytochemicals are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants. Some, like sulforaphane, have proven to be beneficial to human health.

Sulforaphane is a HDAC inhibitor. HDAC is a family of enzymes that turn on and off certain genes. An HDAC inhibitor can turn on tumor suppressor genes and help restore normal cell function. This is the role that sulforaphane plays to help prevent cancer.

See "Healthy Broccoli Soup Recipe" for a delicious way to put this cancer fighting vegetable into your diet.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

High Fat Diets Can Cause Diabetes

The results of a study published in Nature Medicine titled "Pathway to diabetes", has revealed that high fat diets can lead to the onset of diabetes.

Normally, pancreatic beta cells (shown on the right) monitors your bloodstream for glucose. When your blood glucose is high, healthy beta cells take in glucose and secrete insulin into your bloodstream. The insulin then alerts other cells in your body to take in glucose.

However, it has been found that high fatty diets interfere with this healthy process of processing high glucose levels. In other words, high fat diets prevent pancreatic beta cells from sensing and responding to blood glucose. Diminished glucose sensing ability by pancreatic beta cells is a determinant of type 2 diabetes.

This is another good reason to eat a Mediterranean type of diet, which is high in fruit and vegetable consumption and low in fat and fatty meat consumption. Since one common factor of all that have type 2 diabetes is obesity, it is also important to stay in a healthy weight range.


Thursday, August 18, 2011

Brain Eating Amoeba - Naegleria fowleri

The brain eating amoeba, which is also known as Naegleria fowleri or N. fowleri, can cause a rare but deadly infection. According to, only 32 infections were reported in the U.S. from 2001 to 2010.

N. fowleri is found in warm freshwater lakes and rivers. Most cases reported occur in Florida, Texas and Arizona. Typically, infections occur during the summer months of July through September. This amoeba infects people by traveling up their nose and into the brain. It then destroys the brain tissue of its victim.

You cannot be infected by drinking contaminated water. Contaminated water must enter your nose for any possibility of infection. Unfortunately, most infections are fatal. However, you are more likely to die from drowning, if you frequently enjoy freshwater activity. In the last 10 years, only 32 people were infected with N. fowleri, while 36,000 drowned.

You can minimize your chance of infection by avoiding freshwater activity during extending hot periods of the summer, especially if the water levels are lower than normal. Also avoid disturbing sediment on the bottom of warm lakes and rivers. As an added precaution, use nose clips.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Knowing Your Limits: When Your Body Says It's Taking Too Much

For those intent on reaching and maintaining a healthy bodyweight and composition, there are plenty of diet and exercise options. The basic idea for many, however, is to exercise and diet to the extreme until results are reached or they just can't take it anymore. The knowledge is emerging, however, that such an intense regimen is very healthy for many, if not most people. Here are some signs that it may be a good idea to readjust your current exercise and diet program to more easily reach your goals.

General Effects of Overtraining And Undereating

Some of the worst effects of overtraining and undereating are related to lack of hormones. Lowered production of hormones such as testosterone causes lowered sex drive, irritability, and even loss of lean muscle mass in both men and women. Lowered muscle mass can result in a deflated appearance, with lowered metabolism and a tendency to actually put on fat.

Undereating Causes Whole-Body Dysfunction

Along with the loss of muscle mass and strength that undereating causes, there are a number of other signs one is eating too little. In efforts to maintain function of the brain and heart, the body will divert nutrients away from processes such as hair production, resulting in thinning hair. Along these same lines is reduced bone density that can open one up to fractures and breaks, as well as injuries to connective tissues such as tendons and ligaments. Another effect of undereating on endurance is decreased oxygenation of tissues resulting from lowered production of red blood cells.

Excessive Strength Training

One's strength training regimen can become excessive as a result of too little rest and food, but simply lifting heavy every day is bad for most people. Overtraining in the gym can cause exhaustion of the sympathetic nervous system, with a host of ill effects such as excitability and restlessness and inability to sleep. The heart rate becomes elevated, and inability to focus is also
commonly reported. Joint problems can also occur due to lack of recovery time between workouts.

Excessive Aerobic Exercise

Most people are unable to practice aerobic activities, such as running, intensely every day without ill effects. Parasympathetic nervous system fatigue can result, with sex hormone depletion and cortisol overload, causing one to feel sluggish and exhausted. With this comes loss of muscle mass and an inability to lose body fat.

Getting Back On Track

When one finds oneself exhausted from excessive dieting and exercise, it is time to take a step back and rest a little. Taking a week off to rest and recuperate is not going to result in loss of progress. After the nervous system and muscles have had a chance to recover, one can start fresh on a more sustainable fitness program that includes sufficient food and rest. With a little moderation, fitness goals will come easier than before.

This guest article was contributed by Jennifer Bell from Health Training Guide.
Check out her site to learn more about dentist training and other exciting health careers.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Nasturtium - Good Source Of Vitamin C

There is not a lot of information on the nutritional content of the Nasturtium plant, but many report that it is high in vitamin C. The entire plant is edible - stem, leaves and flower. It is an easy plant to grow, and gives your salad a mild peppery taste. And while providing an interesting addition to your salads, it will give you beautiful blooms all summer.

It is also a good plant to have around the border of your vegetable garden, since deer and rabbits just don't like Nasturtium. It does attract various varieties of bees. The bees just love these flowers.

I have also included a video on how to collect the seeds to grow these plants in following years.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Melatonin And Proper Prostate Function

The Prostatitis Foundation has an informative summary of the importance of melatonin for proper prostate function.

Research has shown that healthy prostate tissue has melatonin receptors, which indicates that the hormone is important in the proper function of the prostate. Additional research shows that men who develop prostate cancer have low levels of melatonin.

In test tube studies, melatonin actually blocks the growth of prostate cancer cells. Melatonin treatments combined with conventional cancer treatments have improved survival rates in 9 out of 14 men with metastatic prostate cancer.

Melatonin has also been shown to lower prostate weight and shrink the prostate, which may help in preventing cancer. Studies at Tel Aviv University has shown that melatonin in human prostates can suppress prostate enlargement as we age.

Ever since I started taking low doses (300 mcg) of melatonin just before bedtime, it has improved my urine flow, which indicates that my prostate may be shrinking. Others have reported that symptoms of prostate inflammation or prostatitis have disappeared after taking low doses of melatonin at night.

You should take melatonin supplements under the supervision of your doctor. Some of the side effects are
  • Vivid dreams or nightmares
  • drowsiness
  • stomach cramps
  • dizziness
  • headache
  • irritability
  • And it may worsen symptoms of depression
For additional information on melatonin, see "Melatonin" by the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Dr. Al Sears also has a nice article called "The Melatonin Miracle."

"Melatonin: Unique, Potent Nutrient" by Ward Dean, MD

"How To Stop Aging?" by Walter Pierpaoli, MD, PhD

"Melatonin Supplement - Good of Bad" by Dr. Nor Ashikin Mokhtar


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Healthy Foods For Your Heart

WebbMD has a great slide show of healthy foods for your heart. Below is a summary with additional references for each food discussed.

Fresh Herbs
Rosemary, sage and thyme along with oregano contain heart healthy antioxidants. Packed with flavor, these herbs can be used to replace salt and fat in your diet.

Black Beans
Black Beans include fiber, folate, magnesium to lower blood pressure and antioxidants. I really like the mild taste of these beans in salads and with brown rice cooked with crimini mushrooms, bell peppers and tomato sauce.

Salmon and Tuna
Salmon and Tuna contain omega-3 fatty acids which help lower the risks of rhythm disorders, and lowers blood triglycerides and inflamation.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra Virgin olive oil is the first press of olives. It contains an antioxidant called polyphenols, which may protect your blood vessels.

Walnuts contain omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. Just a small amount of these nutritional nuts may lower your cholesterol and reduce inflamation.

Almonds are full of vitamin E, plant sterols, fiber and healthy fats.

Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes have a low glycemic index and are full of vitamin A and lycopene.

Oranges contain pectin, which is a cholesterol lowering fiber. They also help to lower blood pressure, since they contain potassium and the antioxidant hesperidin.

Barley is a whole grain that is great for reducing cholesterol and glucose levels. Hulled barley is the most nutritional version of barley, but does take a while to cook. I like eating it for breakfast with bananas, raisens and walnuts. I let it sit overnight in hot water, and then warm it for 20 minutes in the morning for a healthy breakfast.

Oatmeal is good for lowering the bad cholesterol, LDL. The healthiest version is considered to be steel-cut oats, since it is processed the least.

Flaxseed is full of fiber and the plant version of omega-3 fatty acids. I actually prefer hemp seed, since they contain even more omega-3 fatty acids than flaxseed and all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids.

Low Fat Yogurt
Low fat yogurt is high in calcium and potassium, which is good for bone health and helps to lower blood pressure. Calcium is also thought to help lower your fat intake.

Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper may help to prevent insulin spikes after meals. It also is thought to increase your metabolism, which will help you keep your weight down.

Cherries and Blue Berries
Cherries and blue berries are packed with anthocyanins, which is an antioxidant believed to protect blood vessel health.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

CNN - Can The Cell Phones We Use Everyday Cause Cancerous Brain Tumors?

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has stated that cell phone use might cause a type of brain cancer called glioma. It also stated that additional research is needed to determine the exact risk. So, cell phones may be carcinogenic to humans. Children are most at risk.

The highest risk comes from using your cell phone for voice calls. If you text or use hands free devices, you reduce your radiation exposure 10 fold.


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Risk of Dementia And Being Overweight

A new study from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden shows that having a Body Mass Index or BMI between 25 and 30 can increase your risk of developing dementia later in life by 80%. A BMI between 25 and 30 is classified as being overweight. A BMI over 30 is obese.

By being overweight or obese, you not only increase your risk of dementia's, but also increase your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. This study shows the importance of controlling your weight with diet and exercise. Studies conducted by Dr. Nikolaos Scarmeas have shown that eating a Mediterranean type of diet and staying physically active can reduce your risks of developing Alzheimer's disease by 60%.

You can calculate your BMI here.

Scan Health News Headlines


Thursday, May 5, 2011

What is Fatty Liver Disease?

Fatty liver disease involves the accumulation of fat, especially triglycerides, in liver cells. If excessive use of alcohol is not a factor, then this disease is called nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD. Generally, you may have NAFLD if the amount of fat in your liver is more than 5 to 10 percent of your liver's total weight.

Fatty liver is the initial phase of NAFLD and typically does not involve liver inflammation or liver scarring. Patients can have fatty liver for many years or even decades without serious medical implications. However, if left untreated, fatty liver can develop into a more serious phase of this disease.

Some patients with NAFLD develop the second phase of this disease known as nonalcoholic steatohepatitis of NASH. NASH is the accumulation of fat in liver cells along with liver inflammation. Again, if left untreated, this phase can cause liver scarring. Eventually, it can lead to irreversible scarring known as cirrhosis of the liver. When this occurs, your liver can no longer function properly and can develop into liver failure, liver cancer or liver related death.

However, if you undergo yearly physicals, your doctor can detect NAFLD in its early stages. Patients typically experience no symptoms in the early stages of this disease, and may be surprised to learn that they have NAFLD. But if patients do experience symptoms, they may have a dull ache just below their ribcage on their right side. Other symptoms that they may have are:

  • Nausea

  • Weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • And an enlarged liver.

Research indicates that a change in diet and exercise routine can reverse this disease in its early stages.

Losing weight is will also help stop and reverse fat accumulation in your liver. However, the weight loss must be gradual. Sudden and rapid weight loss can actually make NAFLD worse by causing liver inflammation. Patients should target a weight loss goal of just 1 or 2 pounds a week.

Guidelines for improving your liver health include:

  • Not abusing alcohol

  • Not abusing medications and drugs

  • Not eating food high in saturated fats

  • Not eating foods high in sugar content

  • Staying away from highly processed foods like bleached flour, white bread and white rice

  • You should exercise regularly and stay physically active

  • Don't smoke

  • Eat whole grains and brown rice

  • And get adequate amounts of choline in your diet to help prevent fat accumulation

Stay fit and trim, stay physically active and eat properly, and follow your doctor's instructions for insulin resistance and diabetes, and you will not have to worry about fatty liver disease.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Best Way To Lose Weight And Keep Your Weight Off

What is the best way to lose weight and keep your weight off. We can get good weight loss tips from those that have achieved their weight loss goals. A good place to look is the National Weight Control Registry. This registry includes people who have lost more than 30 pounds and kept their weight off for at least a year. Another source of good information is research results.

The first lesson is that you don't want to lose your weight too quickly. Research has shown that those who slowly decrease their weight by 1 or 2 pounds each week, and keep it off for at least 2 years are most likely to keep their slim figure for the rest of their life. Also, according to the American Family Physician:

  • 98% of adults who successfully maintain their weight loss have modified their eating habits.
  • 94% have increased their level of physical activity, especially walking.
  • 78% eat a healthy breakfast every day.
  • 75% weigh themselves weekly.
  • 62% watch less than 10 hours of television per week.

We find similar results from the National Weight Control Registry. Their secrets include:

  • Exercise - These people burn about 400 Calories per day. This is equivalent to 60 minutes of brisk walking or 35 minutes of jogging. I personally recommend 20 minutes of an interval training routine.
  • Eat fewer calories - they consume about 1400 calories each day.
  • Watch less TV
  • Limit fast food usage, cut back on sweets and sugar and eat more fruits and vegetables.

Research has also shown that low-fat weight loss strategies simply don't work. Those that have tried have actually gained weight on this strategy.

A Mediterranean type of diet appears to work best as far as diet is concerned. The Mediterranean type of diet includes a lot of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains and fish. Studies have shown that those on a low-fat diet gain weight, while those on a Mediterranean diet lose weight. In addition, only 20 percent on the low fat diet stay on that diet, while half on the Mediterranean diet remain on that diet plan.

Additional Weight Loss Tips

Lose Weight Slowly and Set Realistic Goals - If you cut your intake by just 100 calories each day, which is equivalent to an apple, and exercise for 20 to 30 minutes each day, you can weigh 20 pounds less in one year. Remember that those who lose slowly over a long period of time are most likely to keep their weight off.

Be More Physically Active and Watch Less TV

Keep Track of Your Weight - According to PsychCentral, those that keep track of their weight most often are also those most likely to keep their weight off.

Stay Away From Foods That Spike Your Blood Sugar And Insulin - Foods that spike your blood sugar and insulin quickly, and then crash to low levels contribute to weight gain. Stay away from white bread, white rice, and other processed grain products. Instead eat whole grains, brown rice, steel-cut oats, hulled barley, whole grain breads and pasta, beans, nuts, fruits and vegetables.

Eat Foods With Good Fats - Foods like seeds and nuts contain essential fatty acids that are not only healthy, but help to make you fell full. Also use extra virgin olive oil and canola oils.

Drink More Water - Water helps your to feel full and it has no calories.

Reference: How To Get To Your Healthy Weight


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Vitamin B12 May Keep Your Brain From Shrinking

The University of Oxford released the results of a study back in September of 2008, that showed that Vitamin B12 may help keep your brain from shrinking in old age.

None of the people in the study had vitamin B12 deficiency. However, the study showed that people with the highest levels of B12 in there blood were 6 times less likely to experience brain shrinkage compared to people with low levels of B12.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is rare, but some of the symptoms are:

  • Weakness
  • Pale skin
  • Sore tongue or bleeding gums
  • Loss of weight
  • Diarrhea
  • Numbness or tingling in fingers and toes
  • Poor sense of balance
  • Depression
  • Dementia

Good food sources are mollusks, and organs (especially liver and kidneys) of lamb and beef. For a list of foods with the highest levels of B12 click NutitionData. Milk, cheese and eggs are also good sources of B12. If you are a vegan, eat foods fortified with vitamin B12, and take vitamin pills.

Another benefits of B12 in conjunction with folic acid and B6, is that these vitamins keep homocystein from building up in your bloodstream. High levels of homocystein can lead to a higher risks of coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Cardiovascular Disease and Sitting

I is now well known that sitting too much can lead to cardiovascular disease or clogged arteries.

According to a study published in the European Heart Journal titled "Sedentary Time and Cardio-metabolic biomarkers in US Adults", prolonged periods of just sitting and being inactive results in
  • Larger waist sizes
  • Lower levels of HDL or good cholesterol
  • Higher levels of C-reactive protein, which is a marker of inflammation
  • And higher levels of triglycerides

However, there is good news for some couch potatoes.

The study also determined that even for people who spent a lot of time sitting, the more times they stood for a few minutes during their sedentary time, the smaller their waste size and the lower levels of C-reactive protein.

So taking many momentary breaks from sitting can improve your health. Some suggestions for the sedentary office based workplace include

  • Climb stairs as often as possible
  • Walk to talk to a colleague rather than using the phone
  • Stand to answer the phone
  • And go to the bathroom on a different floor than your office

So try limiting your sitting time in addition to a good exercise routine. Combining both will decrease your risks of developing cardiovascular disease.

For additional tips on diet and exercise, visit

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Hypnosis For Weight Loss

Hypnosis for weight loss is a popular topic with those who are struggling to lose weight. However, does it really work?

There are audio CD's that get good reviews from users, such as " Relax Your Way to Thin! Hypnosis Weight Loss Motivation ". But the clinical groups are a little more skeptical about such methods as CD's and internet hypnosis.

Katherine Zeratcky, who writes articles for the Mayo Clinic, states the problem well in her article " Is Hypnosis Effective For Weight Loss? " There just isn't enough solid scientific evidence about weight loss hypnosis to say for sure that it works or doesn't work for weight loss. She states that if other methods have not worked for you, you may want to give hypnosis a try, but there are no guarantees.

Bianca Hitt at the Vanderbilt University is much more negative on hypnosis for weight loss. In her article " Weight Loss Through Hypnosis? ", she states that hypnosis has achieved some success for low to moderate amounts of weight loss if the treatment is tailored to each individual with long term followup. She states that hypnosis requires a great deal of effort, and that success can not be achieved through "easy" methods such as audio CD's and internet hypnosis.

In another article by Indie Cooper-Guzman, RN, titled " Hypnosis For Weight Loss And Comfort", she stated that her daughter and herself did see some benefit in using hypnosis for weight loss. However, her daughter did regain her weight after an argument with her mother.

The bottom line is that you would just have to try this method yourself to see if it works or not. I may benefit some, but not others. And, there is no scientific guarantee.

For more information on how to lose belly fat, visit


Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Best Way To Lose Belly Fat For Life

The best way to lose belly fat for life involves three key components, which are:
  • Motivation
  • Good Diet Plan
  • And a Good Exercise Routine
The whole process can't even start without the proper motivation to lose that belly fat. A recent post titled "Motivation To Lose Weight" is an excellent summary on why motivation is important, and how to maintain your motivation to lose weight and belly fat.
What is important is your ability to maintain your inner motivation during the critical period between the fourth and eight week of your training program. This is easier said than done, which is one of the reasons why most fail to lose weight. That is why it is very important that you find ways to maintain your inner motivation as you struggle to lose weight.
You can find additional help at these sites:
You also can not lose your belly fat without changing your mindset concerning food and diet. Some of the key points to help you lose weight are:
  • Stay away from refined sugars and foods with added sugar or corn syrup
  • Replace some of your grain consumption with fruits and vegetables
  • When eating grain, eat only 100% whole grain
  • Eat high quality proteins from nuts, legumes, seeds and grass fed meats
  • Get adequate amounts of essential fatty acids from raw nuts, seeds, avocados, extra-virgin olive oil or canola oil and grass fed meats
When exercising, try doing more full body or total body workouts. This type of exercise works more than one joint and as many major muscle groups all at the same time. With full body exercises, you will lose more weight by increasing your metabolism and fat burning hormone production. A few examples of full body workouts are:
For more information on the best way to lose belly fat visit