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.