In This Issue:
Who says you can’t compare apples and oranges? We’re doing it in today’s quiz, analyzing the nutrients in each fruit (a 3-inch diameter apple and a 2 7/8-inch orange). Play along.
1. Oranges contain how many more calories than apples?
2. How much more of the recommended daily percentage of vitamin C does an orange contain?
a) 78 percent more
b) 8 percent more
c) 128 percent more
3. Which fruit contains more fiber?
c) same amount
4. Both apples and oranges pale in comparison with bananas (422 milligrams) for potassium, but which fruit contains a higher level?
5. How much more water is present in an orange compared with an apple?
a) 13 grams
b) 53 grams
c) 103 grams
ANSWERS: 1: a; 2: c; 3: c (3 grams of fiber); 4: b (orange, 232 mg; apple, 134 mg); 5: a
Date: Dec 20, 2010
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Is There a Risk-Free Way to Fight Joint Discomfort?
If you’re one of the 46.9 million Americans struggling with joint discomfort due to arthritis, you know that mainstream solutions for pain relief might work but they also come with a hefty load of potentially serious risks. So if you’re wondering whether there are any natural ways to deal with your pain without risking your life in the process you’re not alone.
The good news, however, is that there are several safe and effective nutrients available that will help reduce discomfort and improve mobility.
DL-phenylalanine is both an amino acid precursor of L-tyrosine, plus the D-form inhibits the breakdown of enkephalins, which are key neurotransmitters in the endogenous analgesia system (EAS)-your body’s internal pain-blocking center. Given this unique ability, it’s no surprise that clinical research on chronic pain patients shows that positive response rates double with DL-phenylalanine supplementation.1
Cooling inflammation is another key aspect-and for that, you won’t find a stronger natural ally than turmeric (Curcuma longa). This antioxidant powerhouse inhibits key inflammatory enzymes-including cyclooxygenase (COX), lipoxygenase (LOX) and the inducible nitric oxide synthetase (iNOS)-on the molecular level.2-3 Animal studies have shown that turmeric can inhibit joint inflammation and the erosion of bone in models of rheumatoid arthritis-while preliminary research also reveals that it may offer crucial protection against other inflammation-related disorders, including psoriasis, high cholesterol, and inflammatory bowel disease.4-5
Boswellia serrata is another effective anti-inflammatory and analgesic herb, with a long history of use in Ayurvedic medicine. Like turmeric, clinical trials show that its applications are wide-ranging, from gastrointestinal support to lung and joint health.6 In fact, one placebo-controlled study showed that patients with osteoarthritis of the knee all reported significant improvements in pain, swelling, flexibility and walking distance after just eight weeks of Boswellia supplementation.7
Finally, there’s nattokinase-a proteolytic enzyme derived from the Japanese superfood natto.8 Not only can enzyme therapy with nattokinase inhibit the inflammatory cascade and speed up healing time, this enzyme also has a direct influence on key receptors linked to chronic pain.9 What’s more, nattokinase demonstrates potent fibrinolytic activity, too. Animal studies show that it can prevent and reverse damage (including clot formation and blood vessel wall thickening) resulting from inflammation and injury within the cardiovascular system.10-12
The bottom line: When it comes to natural, risk-free relief, you have several powerful options to choose from. And you can find them all in a single formula called Back in Action - available now through Vitamin Research Products.
1. Walsh NE, Ramamurthy S, Schoenfeld L, et al. Analgesic effectiveness of D-phenylalanine in chronic pain patients. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1986 Jul;67(7):436-439.
2. Menon VP, Sudheer AR. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:105-125.
3. Rao CV. Regulation of COX and LOX by curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:213-26.
4. Funk JL, Frye JB, Oyarzo JN, et al. Efficacy and mechanism of action of turmeric supplements in the treatment of experimental arthritis. Arthritis Rheum. 2006 Nov;54(11):3452-3464.
5. Hsu CH, Cheng AL. Clinical studies with curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:471-480.
6. Ammon HP. Boswellic acids (components of frankincense) as the active principle in treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases [in German]. Wien Med Wochenschr. 2002;152(15-16):373-378.
7. Kimmatkar N, Thawani V, Hingorani L, et al. Efficacy and tolerability of Boswellia serrata extract in treatment of osteoarthritis of knee–a randomized double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 2003 Jan;10(1):3-7.
8. Sumi H, Hamada H, Tsushima H, et al. A novel fibrinolytic enzyme (nattokinase) in the vegetable cheese natto; a typical and popular soybean food in the Japanese diet. Experientia. 1987;43:1110-1111. 56-67.
9. Klein G, Kullich W. Reducing pain by oral enzyme therapy in rheumatic diseases. Wien Med Wochenschr. 1999;149(21-22):577-580.
10. Urano T, Ihara H, Umemura K, et al. The profibrinolytic enzyme subtilisin NAT purified from Bacillus subtilis Cleaves and inactivates plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1. J Biol Chem. 2001 Jul 6;276(27):24690-24696.
11. Fujita M, Hong K, Ito Y, et al. Thrombolytic effect of nattokinase on a chemically induced thrombosis model in rat. Biol Pharm Bull. 1995 Oct;18(10):1387-1391.
12. Suzuki Y, Kondo K, Ichise H, et al. Dietary supplementation with fermented soybeans suppresses intimal thickening. Nutrition. 2003 Mar;19(3):261-264.
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Green Tea Protects Against Cancer
A study published recently in Taiwan showed that drinking green tea is effective in preventing cancer caused by smoking.
Lin Yi-hsin, a student from the Graduate School of Public Hygiene at Taiwan’s Chung Shan Medical University, said many studies have shown that drinking green tea is effective in preventing cancer, but her study focused on green tea’s effectiveness in preventing cancer caused by smoking.
Lin recruited 500 people, including 170 lung cancer patients, for her study.
“I analyzed their lifestyles and habits of smoking, eating and drinking tea,” she told a news conference at her university in Taichung, central Taiwan.
The study found that those who do not drink green tea are five times more likely to develop lung cancer than those who do. And those who do not drink green tea but smoke have 13 times the risk of getting the disease compared with people who drink at least one cup of green tea each day.
This is because tea polyphenols are an antioxidant which can inhibit the formation of lung cancer cells, she said.
Professor Wong Jui-hung, who supervised Lin’s research, said: “This study has shown that drinking green tea can check the growth of insulin-like growth factor, which is a hormone that stimulates the growth of cancerous cells.
“Lung cancer is common in Taiwan but rare in Japan because the Japanese like to drink green tea,” he said at the news conference.
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Six Supernutrients That Can Transform Your Health
Imagine sustained energy…a flawless memory…perfect vision and hearing…and the physical endurance of someone half your age-all as you reach fifty, sixty, seventy and beyond.
This may sound like an unreachable fantasy. But there’s no rule that says your health has to fall apart once you reach middle age-especially not when a carefully chosen combination of the right phytonutrients can provide you with comprehensive protection against all of the most common pitfalls of aging …and add years of vitality onto your life in the process.
Take turmeric, for example: This is the spice that gives curry its kick-but it’s also a clinically proven antioxidant powerhouse. Turmeric-and more specifically its primary constituent curcumin-has been tested with great success against of number of inflammation-related conditions, including psoriasis, chronic pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel and eye diseases plus rheumatoid arthritis.1
Green tea is another powerful life-extending nutrient-rich in a number of health-promoting polyphenols, including the powerful antioxidant epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG). Extensive research shows that, among other benefits, green tea can help to balance blood sugar and insulin levels, fight inflammation, protect against stroke-related brain damage and increase cognitive function plus help to prevent atherosclerosis resulting from elevated LDL cholesterol.2-8
Grape seed extract is a good source of a class of phytochemicals called proanthocyanidins and has emerged as another key anti-aging staple. Studies show that this antioxidant compound can support healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels, reduce plaque-causing lipid peroxidation, inhibit clot-forming platelet aggregation and reduce inflammation.9-11 Other notable benefits of grape seed supplementation include accelerating wound healing and supporting skin health.12-13
As the most popular staple of the “French paradox”-that is, the phenomenon of low rates of coronary artery disease paired with a diet rich in saturated fat-there seems to be no limit to the health benefits of red wine…especially where your heart is concerned. Not only is it packed with both polyphenols and stilbenes-powerful antioxidants that can raise “good” cholesterol and protect against artery damage— it’s also rich in the anti-aging compound resveratrol. Research shows that resveratrol can mimic the beneficial effects of caloric restriction-including improved heart function and bone density, better motor function, delayed cataracts and longer lifespan-without strict dieting.14-19
Your liver is your body’s filter, responsible for pushing out damaging toxins on a daily basis-so keeping this organ in perfect shape is another crucial aspect of longevity. Luckily, numerous clinical trials offer compelling modern-day support for the historical use of milk thistle-and more specifically, its main constituent silymarin-for this very purpose. Research shows that daily silymarin supplementation can improve recovery time dramatically in patients with acute hepatitis, cirrhosis, and other forms of liver disease – while additional studies indicate that it can help to maintain healthy blood sugar and offer critical protection against damaging UV radiation.20-23
Finally, the last few decades have seen the ancient herb Ginkgo biloba emerge as a superstar in the supplement world-most notably for its clinically proven benefits to nerve and cognitive health. Extensive research shows that it can increase blood flow to the brain, reduce memory deficit in Alzheimer’s patients and boost vision.24-25
The bottom line: Each of these six botanicals is a vital addition to any longevity-boosting supplement regimen-and that’s why Vitamin Research Products has combined them all into a single daily formula called Extension Phytonutrient.
1. Hsu CH, Cheng AL. Clinical studies with curcumin. Adv Exp Med Biol. 2007;595:471-480.
2. Tsuneki H, Ishizuka M, Terasawa M, Wu JB, Sasaoka T, Kimura I. Effect of green tea on blood glucose levels and serum proteomic patterns in diabetic (db/db) mice and on glucose metabolism in healthy humans. BMC Pharmacol, 2004 Aug 26;4(1):18.
3. Lee H, Bae JH, Lee SR. Protective effect of green tea polyphenol EGCG against neuronal damage and brain edema after unilateral cerebral ischemia in gerbils. J Neurosci Res, 2004 Sep 15;77(6):892-900.
4. Kim HK, Kim M, Kim S, Kim M, Chung JH. Effects of green tea polyphenol on cognitive and acetylcholinesterase activities. Biosci Biotechnol Biochem, 2004 Sep;68(9):1977-9.
5. Hussain T, Gupta S, Adhami VM, Mukhtar H. Green tea constituent epigallocatechin-3-gallate selectively inhibits COX-2 without affecting COX-1 expression in human prostate carcinoma cells. Int J Cancer, 2004 Sep 28 [Epub ahead of print].
6. Pezzato E, Sartor L, Dell’aica I, Dittadi R, Gion M, Belluco C, Lise M, Garbisa S. Prostate carcinoma and green tea: PSA-triggered basement membrane degradation and MMP-2 activation are inhibited by (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate.Int J Cancer, 2004 Dec 10;112(5):787-92.
7. Zhang M, Lee AH, Binns CW, Xie X. Green tea consumption enhances survival of epithelial ovarian cancer. Int J Cancer, 2004 Nov 10;112(3):465.
8. Ouyang P, Peng WL, Lai WY, Xu AL. [Green tea polyphenols inhibit low-density lipoprotein-induced proliferation of rat vascular smooth muscle cells] [Article in Chinese]. Di Yi Jun Yi Da Xue Xue Bao, 2004 Sep;24(9):975-9.
9. Edirisinghe I, Burton-Freeman B, Tissa Kappagoda C. Mechanism of the endothelium-dependent relaxation evoked by a grape seed extract. Clin Sci (Lond). 2008 Feb;114(4):331-7.
10. Freedman JE, Parker C, Li L, et al. Select flavonoids and whole juice from purple grapes inhibit platelet function and enhance nitric oxide release. Circulation. 2001;103:2792-8.
11. Shafiee M, Carbonneau MA, Urban N, Descomps B, Leger CL. Grape and grape seed extract capacities at protecting LDL against oxidation generated by Cu2+, AAPH or SIN-1 and at decreasing superoxide THP-1 cell production. A comparison to other extracts or compounds. Free Radic Res. 2003 May;37(5):573-84.
12. Katiyar SK. Dietary grape seed proanthocyanidins inhibit photocarcinogenesis through prevention of UV-induced suppression of immune responses via induction of interleukin-12 in mice. Presented at the 233rd national meeting of the American Chemical Society, Chicago, March 25, 2007. Abstract: AGFD 011.
13. Hughes-Formella B, Wunderlich O, Williams R. Anti-inflammatory and skin-hydrating properties of a dietary supplement and topical formulations containing oligomeric proanthocyanidins. Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2007;20(1):43-9. Epub 2006 Oct 11.
14. Baur JA, Pearson KJ, Price NL, et al. Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high-calorie diet. Nature. 2006 Nov 16;444(7117):337-342.
15. Lagouge M, Argmann C, Gerhart-Hines Z, et al. Resveratrol improves mitochondrial function and protects against metabolic disease by activating SIRT1 and PGC-1alpha. Cell. 2006 Dec 15;127(6):1109-1122.
16. Pfluger PT, Herranz D, Velasco-Miguel S, Serrano M, Tschöp MH. Sirt1 protects against high-fat diet-induced metabolic damage. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2008;105(28):9793-9798.
17. Sun C, Zhang F, Ge X, et al. SIRT1 improves insulin sensitivity under insulin-resistant conditions by repressing PTP1B. Cell Metab 2007;6:307-319.
18. Pearson KJ, Baur JA, Lewis KN, et al. Resveratrol delays age-related deterioration and mimics transcriptional aspects of dietary restriction without extending life span. Cell Metab. 2008 Aug;8(2):157-168.
19. Barger JL, Kayo T, Vann JM, et al. A low dose of dietary resveratrol partially mimics caloric restriction and retards aging parameters in mice. PLoS ONE. 2008 Jun 4;3(6):e2264.
20. El-Kamary SS, Shardell MD, Abdel-Hamid M, Ismail S, El-Ateek M, Metwally M, Mikhail N, Hashem M, Mousa A, Aboul-Fotouh A, El-Kassas M, Esmat G, Strickland GT. A randomized controlled trial to assess the safety and efficacy of silymarin on symptoms, signs and biomarkers of acute hepatitis. Phytomedicine. 2009 May;16(5):391-400.
21. Huseini HF, Larijani B, Heshmat R, Fakhrzadeh H, Radjabipour B, Toliat T, Raza M. The efficacy of Silybum marianum (L.) Gaertn. (silymarin) in the treatment of type II diabetes: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, clinical trial. Phytotherapy Research. Published online ahead of print on October 30, 2006.
22. Meeran SM, Katiyar S, Elmets CA, Katiyar SK. Silymarin inhibits UV radiation-induced immunosuppression through augmentation of interleukin-12 in mice. Mol Cancer Ther. 2006 Jul;5(7):1660-8.
23. Svobodova A, Zdarilova A, Maliskova J, Mikulkova H, Walterova D, Vostalova J. Attenuation of UVA-induced damage to human keratinocytes by silymarin. J Dermatol Sci. 2007 Apr;46(1):21-30. Epub 2007 Feb 7.
24. B. Hofferberth. The Efficacy of EGb 761 (Ginkgo biloba extract) in Patients with Senile Dementia of the Alzheimer Type, A double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study on Different Levels of Investigation. Human Psychopharmacol 1994, vol. 9, 215-222.
25. Wu ZM, Yin XX, Ji L, Gao YY, Pan YM, Lu Q, Wang JY. Ginkgo biloba extract prevents against apoptosis induced by high glucose in human lens epithelial cells. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 2008 Sep;29(9):1042-50.
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Build Muscle with Resistance Training
For many, those three words are the beginning, middle and end on the path to fitness. It’s a good start, to be sure, but it’s not the whole story.
Jose Flores of TrueFit Training and Dwayne Fowler of the Kerrville Family Sports Center recommend resistance training as the third pillar to a healthy, productive fitness regimen.
Resistance training is more than “pumping iron” – it’s anything that puts stress on the muscles in your body. It comes in hundreds of forms, making the options of where and how to begin more overwhelming than the workouts themselves.
With that in mind, here are five items to consider if looking into a weight lifting or resistance program.
From bulking up to slimming down, resistance training offers advantages for all age groups. As part of a healthy diet and moderate cardio, a workout program can give your body a new dimension of fitness.
“It’s going to be a catalyst for everything else, because it’s going to add lean muscle mass,” Fowler said. “It raises your metabolism, so it takes more calories just to sustain you, and you’ll lose more weight quicker. You’ll burn more calories even while you’re sleeping.”
Fowler noted that it’s common for people to say they’ll only start lifting weights when they’ve shed some of those unwanted pounds. Considering the all-around benefits of resistance training, Fowler considers that to be a major mistake.
“It’s going to help you in everything,” Fowler said. “If you’re older, it’s going to prevent injuries carrying in the groceries and taking out the trash. There’s so many benefits to it.”
2. Do what you like
The number one reason people start then quit a workout program is they become bored with it. To give yourself the best chance of meeting your goals, find something you like to do, then stick with it.
“If I tell you to eat broccoli at every meal and you hate broccoli, you’re setting yourself up to fail,” Fowler said.
When you’ve found something that motivates you, add exercises from there. Flores equates the process to building callouses – keep at it, keep building.
“In evolution, we go a little bit at a time,” Flores said. “We change through time by maintaining the same thing and changing a little bit here and there.”
3. Stay consistent
It’s not uncommon for those new to a weight lifting program to get burned out quickly. It’s a mistake that can be counteracted with a steady plan and a basic approach.
“You’ve got to remember that it’s a life-long deal,” Fowler said. “If you burn out in a month and you’re not doing it anymore, you’re going to suffer.”
And, as Flores notes, a successful fitness plan usually is complemented by a strong routine. The more structure in your workout timing, the more likley you are to continue it.
4. Taking the first step
Getting into weight lifting or any sort of resistance program is overwhelming. There are hundreds of options, thousands of bits of information and a million opinions on each.
The safest first step is to contact a trainer. Many gyms even give out a free training session upon sign up or at least offer them to members at a discounted rate. A trainer can give you the necessary tools and direction to improve your workout and your health, as well as helping to avoid injury.
As Flores said: “I charge $225 for four sessions. How much does it cost you to do one exercise wrong?”
Far more damaging than not exercising is exercising incorrectly and putting your body at risk. Both Flores and Fowler, who see plenty of clients after they’ve already injured themselves, stress meeting with someone who can work with you to meet your fitness goals.
5. Keep it simple
The last piece of advice is the most important. Avoid the fad chasing and latest gadgets that promise “easy results,” and stick with the basics.
“Simple sit-ups, simple push-ups and simple pull-ups make somebody fit,” Flores said. “There’s nothing to it. It really is that simple. What happens is sometimes people dismiss the simplest things.”
More basic than the workouts, and more important, according to Flores, is an emphasis on other aspects that a well-rounded resistance routine can reinforce and improve.
“Strength is the last area you should be focusing on,” Flores said. “Form, movement, flexibility, balance and coordination. If you don’t have those, strength is nothing.”
Date: Jan 22, 2010
To see more of the Kerrville Daily Times or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.dailytimes.com/.
Copyright 2010, Kerrville Daily Times, Texas
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From Fat to Functional by Rajesh Ragbir, Naturopath at FeelGood Clinic in Oshawa
Despite what the current fad says, fats are essential to the functioning of the human body. Each cell is encased in a membrane and this membrane is composed of two layers of a fatty substance. This serves a dual purpose, namely to keep water from moving freely across it and to keep the membrane flexible. Think of the cell as a watery soup encased in an oily bubble.
Fat cells are amazing in that they can grow to enormous sizes to accommodate all that extra food that we eat. So when we eat low fat foods and believe that we are going to reduce the size of our gut or lose weight, meanwhile we are over eating carbohydrates and protein, we are actually feeding the fat cell to grow. Low fat foods from that perspective, is a delusion. It is also why liposuction without a lifestyle change to reduce caloric intake often fails over the long term.
Carbohydrates and proteins will be broken down and stored as fat as long as there is no immediate need for it by the body. The body is very conservative in that sense, it will store anything that is unused, as long as it can convert it to a form that can be stored. There is a very interesting body of research on the effects of a calorie restricted diet on long term health, and again, it goes beyond just weight loss and fitting into a bikini, dress, or that high school tuxedo when you are 40.
The reason that the body stores excess energy as fat is that, firstly it holds more energy than protein or carbohydrates and is the lightest of the three. So the body stores a high energy molecule that weighs less than other forms; that contributes to the maneuverability of the animal and its ability to resist famine. Fat also is a great insulator, which is why people who have more fatty tissue tend to be able to resist the cold more easily and can have trouble in the warmer climes.
Fats are removed from the body via bile. So liver function as well as gut function needs to be optimized in order that fat excretion is efficient and effective. So yes, a liver and intestinal cleanse will help you to be healthier, but it is not as simplistic as the ads make it sound. Doing those cleanses will not allow you to “flush the fat”, at least not in the way that they insinuate. You will lose stored fat from your body by eating less, eating differently and exercising more, there is no secret.
In the coming weeks, I will continue along this series on fats and oils, from the common to the essential. I will also focus on weight loss, cleanses and cholesterol, that oft maligned beast that is central to our daily functioning. Fish oil and the omega fatty acids will also be discussed. Stay tuned as this tel (hindi for oil, pronounced “tail”) unfolds.
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Ladies, Is Your Mate Making You Fat?
By Nicholas Bakalar,The New York Times
It is widely known that women tend to gain weight after giving birth, but now a large study has found evidence that even among childless women, those who live with a mate put on more pounds than those who live without one.
The differences, the scientists found, were stark.
After adjusting for other variables, the 10-year weight gain for an average 140-pound woman was 20 pounds if she had a baby and a partner, 15 if she had a partner but no baby, and only 11 pounds if she was childless with no partner. The number of women with a baby but no partner was too small to draw statistically significant conclusions.
There is no reason to believe that having a partner causes metabolic changes, so the weight gain among childless women with partners was almost surely caused by altered behavior. Moreover, there was a steady weight gain among all women over the 10 years of the study.
This does not explain the still larger weight gain in women who became pregnant. The lead author, Annette Dobson, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Queensland in Australia, suggested that physiological changes might be at work.
The study covered more than 6,000 Australian women over a 10- year period ending in 2006.
At the start, the women ranged in age from 18 to 23. Each woman periodically completed a survey with more than 300 questions about weight and height, age, level of education, physical activity, smoking status, alcohol consumption, medications used and a wide range of other health and health care issues.
By the end of the study, published in the January issue of t he American Journal of Preventive Medicine , more than half the women had college degrees, about three-quarters had partners and half had at least one baby. Almost all of the weight gain happened with the first baby; subsequent births had little effect.
Also by the end of the study period, there were fewer smokers and risky drinkers than at the beginning, more women who exercised less and a larger proportion without paid employment.
But even after adjusting for all of these factors and more, the differences in weight gain among women with and without babies, and among women with and without partners, remained.
Despite the study’s limitations – weight was self-reported, for example, and the sample size diminished over time because people dropped out – other experts found the results valuable. “It’s interesting and brings out some important points,” said Maureen Murtaugh, an associate professor of epidemiology at the University of Utah who has published widely on weight gain in women. Perhaps, she suggested, a more active social life may help explain why women with partners gain more weight.
“Think of going to a restaurant,” Murtaugh said. “They serve a 6- foot man the same amount as they serve me, even though I’m 5 feet 5 inches and 60 pounds lighter.”
The study included only women, but the researchers cited one earlier study that showed an increase in obesity among men who had fathered children, adding further evidence that social and behavioral factors are part of the explanation.
Dobson said the finding of weight gain among all the women, with families or without, was troubling. “This is a general health concern,” she said. “Getting married or moving in with a partner and having a baby are events that trigger even further weight gain.
“From a prevention point of view, one can look at these as particular times when women need to be especially careful.”
woman with no partner and no child woman with partner and no child woman with partner and child
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Could This Common Bug Cost You Your Life?
It’s hard to believe that Helicobacter pylori wasn’t always a household name. In fact, it was only as recently as 1989 that scientists recognized this bacterium as the real smoking gun behind serious conditions like stomach ulcers, chronic heartburn and gastritis-not stress or spicy foods, as once thought.1-3
The statistics are shocking: As many as half of all Americans over the age of 50 will be infected with this gut-eroding pathogen. And it’s a potentially lethal epidemic, too-H. pylori is known to significantly raise your risk of heart disease, atherosclerosis and even several forms of cancer (most notably stomach cancer) in the long run.4-6
To make matters worse, H. pylori is anything but an easy target: its unique shape and constitution protects it from being destroyed by your stomach acid and immune cells, and conventional “cures” call for an aggressive combination of several drugs- including H2 blockers, proton pump inhibitors and antibiotics. And unfortunately for the growing number of patients suffering with antibiotic-resistant strains, the risk of re-infection looms large.7
All things considered, eradicating H. pylori for good might sound like a complicated-and expensive-endeavor. So you might be surprised to learn that powerful, safe and simple protection from this ulcer- and heartburn-causing bacterium is possible…thanks to an ancient stomach-soothing secret called mastic.
Modern clinical research shows that this natural gum is highly effective for heartburn and gastric and duodenal ulcers-and that oral doses as small as one gram per day deliver relief in 80 percent of patients within just two weeks.8-9 The result-total repair of ulcerated mucosal tissues and vital protection from ongoing damage.10
Published research also shows that this natural compound is a powerful antibacterial agent: in vitro testing against seven different types of H. pylori revealed that mastic effectively kills 99.9 percent of the damaging bacteria-including three drug-resistant strains-even at very low concentrations of this plant-derived gum.11
Luckily, mastic gum is available now as a daily supplement through Vitamin Research Products. Look for it paired with deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) as part of a cutting-edge combination called CeaseFire - for strong natural heartburn and ulcer protection in a chewable, cinnamon-flavored wafer.
1.Fukuda Y, Tomita T, Hori K, Tamura K, Shimoyama T, Nishigami T. The history of Helicobacter pylori. Rinsho Byori 2001 Feb;49(2):109-15.
2.Xia HH, Yu Wong BC, Talley NJ, Lam SK. Helicobacter pylori infection – current treatment practice. Expert Opin Pharmacother 2001 Feb;2(2):253-66.
3.Peterson WL, Ciociola AA, Sykes DL, et al. Ranitidine bismuth citrate plus clarithromycin is effective for healing duodenal ulcers, eradicating H. pylori and reducing ulcer recurrence. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 1996;10:251-61.
4.Pakodi F, Abdel-Salam OM, Debreceni A, Mozsik G. Helicobacter pylori. One bacterium and a broad spectrum of human disease! An overview. J Physical Paris 2000 Mar-Apr;94(2):139-52.
5.Uemura N., Okamoto S., Yamamoto S., Matsumura N., Yamaguchi S., Yamakido M., Taniyama K., Sasaki N., Schlemper R. J. Helicobacter pylori Infection and the Development of Gastric Cancer. N Engl J Med 2001; 345:784-789, Sep 13, 2001.
6.Fox JG and Wang TC. Helicobacter pylori – Not a good bug after all. N Engl J Med 2001; 345:829-32.
7.M.R. Fattahi, M. Saberi-Firoozi, A.R. Saadat, S. Massarrat. Helicobacter pylori re-infection and recurrence rates of duodenal ulcer following treatment with three different anti-H. pylori regimens: A two-year follow-up study. Irn J Med Sci 1999; 24(3&4):82-86.
8.Huwez FU, Al-Habbal MJ. Mastic in treatment of benign gastric ulcers. Gastroenterol Jpn 1986;21:273-274.
9.Al-Habbal MJ, Al-Habbal Z, Huwez FU. A double-blind controlled clinical trial of mastic and placebo in the treatment of duodenal ulcer. J Clin Exp Pharm Physiol 1984;11:541-4.
10.Al-Said MS, Ageel AM, Parmar NS, Tariq M. Evaluation of mastic, a crude drug obtained from Pistacia lentiscus for gastric and duodenal anti-ulcer activity. J Ethnopharmacol 1986;15:271-278.
11.Huwez FU, Thirlwell D. Mastic Gum Kills Helicobacter pylori. N Engl J Med 1998; 339:1946, Dec 24, 1998.
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Spaghetti Squash for a Low Cal Pasta Dish
I love spaghetti squash. I have to admit a good part of its appeal is that it turns into strands. Every time, I somehow think that when I the fork to the squash, it will turn into mush or chunks or something. And every time, there’s a whole, nice pile of strings. Why this phenomenon continues to impress me, I can’t say. But it does.
No, spaghetti squash is not really like pasta, as much as diet books would try to convince you it is. But it is really tasty – not as sweet as some other winter squashes, which I get tired of, but sweeter than its summer cousins.
I like it with Asian spices and with stews. In this recipe, Moroccan spices complement the squash’s many strands. If you want to make a one-dish meal, try spicing and searing tofu. Tasters on the Epicurious Web site also suggest toasted almonds and raisins – golden ones would be my preference.
Spaghetti Squash with Moroccan Spices
1 (31/2-4-pound) spaghetti squash
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Directions: Pierce squash (about an inch deep) all over with a small sharp knife to prevent bursting. Cook in an 800-watt microwave oven on high power (100 percent) for 6 to 7 minutes. Turn squash over and microwave until squash feels slightly soft when pressed, 8 to 10 minutes more. Cool squash for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a small heavy saucepan over moderately high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, about 1 minute. Stir in spices and salt and remove from heat.
Carefully halve squash lengthwise (it will give off steam) and remove and discard seeds. Working over a bowl, scrape squash flesh with a fork, loosening and separating strands as you remove it from skin. Toss with spiced butter and cilantro.
Note: Alternatively, you can bake the squash in a preheated 350-degree oven for 1 to 11/4 hours.
Source: Gourmet February 2002 via epicurious.com
Date: Nov 11, 2009
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Copyright 2009, Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.
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