Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Breakfast Cereal: The Marketing of Sugar

It’s not often you see an advertisement for Shredded Wheat, All Bran, or low-sugar organic cereals. What you do see, in a very repetitive and aggressive way, are ads for high-sugar, low-fiber content cereals. You know, Trix (Trix are for kids!), Lucky Charms (they’re magically delicious), Corn Pops, and Cap’n Crunch (one of my childhood favorites).

Those Saturday morning cartoons may entertain the kids and even delight a few adults but they also offer up unhealthy choices in the form of commercials. A new study, conducted by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, shows that cereals marketed to our children have 85 percent more sugar, 65 percent less fiber, and 60 percent more sodium, not to mention the additional unnecessary calories that they add to the breakfast bowl.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

FamiliLink: Connecting Families through Technology

In a world where technology is growing faster and more complex by the day, there is bound to be a generation or two that may not be able to keep up with the latest tech trends. Even though I can barely keep up with the ever-changing popularity among social networking sites, touch screen phones, and thousands of mobile applications, my parents can barely text and I can’t even imagine how my grandparents would react if they were still around. For the generations now willing to work with technology in order to stay in touch with family and friends around the globe, a new company has a plan for you.

Declining Money Management Skills May Be Sign of Impending Alzheimer’s

If you’re 30 years old and having trouble managing your finances, it could be a sign you need to rethink your budget and perhaps seek professional guidance to get back on track and strengthen your financial skills. On the other hand, if you’re 65 and suffer from mild memory problems, a decline in your money management skills could signal progression toward Alzheimer’s disease, a new study suggests.

Researchers from the University of Alabama in Birmingham arrived at the conclusion after comparing the money management skills of 87 people with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) to 76 people with no memory problems. They measured the participant’s skills at the beginning of the study and again a year later using a tool called the Financial Capacity Instrument (FCI), which looks at preparing and paying bills, understanding a bank statement and balancing a checkbook, identifying fraud situations, counting coins and currency, and buying groceries.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Daily Aspirin Cuts Colon Cancer Risk in People Genetically Prone to the Disease

Colon cancer is one of the most common cancers in the United States, diagnosed in more than 130,000 new patients each year. For most people, the life-time risk for developing colon cancer is about six percent, but the risk is more pronounced for those with hereditary colon cancer syndromes. Patients who have inherited one of these syndromes have an extremely high risk for developing colon cancer, approaching 90 to 100 percent. However, European researchers say people with the most common of these syndromes, Lynch syndrome, could significantly reduce their chances of developing colon cancer by taking daily doses of an inexpensive over-the-counter drug that’s been around for better than a century and continues to be at the forefront of emerging science—aspirin.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Is Taking Antidepressants Safe During Pregnancy?

Women who are taking antidepressants are faced with a very difficult choice when they become pregnant, and for many of them the risks vs. benefits of continuing the treatment are not very clear, according to the findings in the joint report from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and American Psychiatric Association.

Gardasil is Now Recommended for Males to Fight Against HPV

Soon, boys may also be eligible to obtain the Gardasil vaccine, which is currently given to girls and young women to help prevent infection by four types of human papillomavirus. An advisory committee from the Food and Drug Administration voted Wednesday to recommend that the vaccine be made available to boys and young men between the ages of 9 and 26 to help protect against genital warts that are caused by HPV.

The Gardasil vaccine helps protect against four type of HPV, and two of those are believed to be responsible for approximately 70 percent of anal and cervical cancers, as well as HPV-associated penile and throat-and-neck cancers. Researchers say that the other two types cause approximately 90 percent of all cases of genital warts.

At Wednesday’s meeting for the advisory committee, pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., maker of the Gardasil vaccine, presented data from three clinical trials that the company claims supports broadening the distribution of the vaccine to include boys and young men. The three trials included more than 5,400 boys and men that were from 23 countries and 6 continents.

According to Anna Giuilano, who is an independent scientist at Moffit Cancer Center located in Tampa, Florida, and the trials’ principal investigator, “The data clearly demonstrates that there was a benefit to men in receiving Gardasil. Overall, we saw a 90 percent reduction in disease—genital warts and pre-cancerous lesions—caused by HPV in men and an 89 percent reduction in genital warts incidence.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

National Suicide Prevention Week

Death, even when expected, is hard for anyone to deal with, but a suicidal death is often more difficult for friends, family, and loved ones to fathom. Oftentimes there are warning signs, in the form of depression or a mental illness, and other times suicide seems to strike seemingly out of nowhere. Regardless of the motivation behind it, suicide is the most extreme case of self harm and for those who are contemplating such an act, or for those left behind, there are numerous resources available 24/7 to turn to. And to promote those services and provide awareness to the nation, today begins National Suicide Prevention Week, marking the days leading up to and after National Suicide Prevention Day on Thursday September 10, 2009.

This year is the 35th annual National Suicide Prevention Week with the theme: A Global Agenda on the Science of Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery. Starting Sunday September 6th, communities across the United States are banding together to host events to spread awareness.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mediterranean Diet Could Eliminate Prescriptions for New Type II Diabetics

A simple change in diet could mean the elimination of medications for Type II diabetics. When comparing the effects of two special diets for Type II diabetics, each combined with exercise, the Mediterranean low-carbohydrate diet came out on top, ahead of the low-fat diet. The Mediterranean diet illustrated that with a good diet and exercise program, many Type II diabetics may be able to avoid any type of medication.

Newly diagnosed cases of Type II diabetes may benefit from the Mediterranean diet and help to delay or eliminate the need for prescribed medication. While a lifestyle change, along with diet and exercise is necessary for all diabetics, not all adopt a good regimen. With the newly released study, we may have new support for a stricter diet combined with exercise. A stricter regimen may help to avoid taking unwanted medication while cutting some expense from a diabetic’s budget

During the team’s research, they not only realized that the low-carb diet was better for new suffering Type II diabetics, but the diet had several other positive effects. There were 215 overweight newly diagnosed Type II diabetics who were involved in the four year Italian study that compared the low-carbohydrate Mediterranean diet and the American Heart Association low fat diet. The participants were divided into two groups. One group was instructed to eat a diet low in fat and the other was instructed to eat a diet low in carbohydrates, in combination with regular exercise. The study was the longest so far to tackle the comparison of the two specific style diets and their effects on Type II diabetic’s treatment.

Do Retail Medical Centers Provide Quality Care?

Since the first one opened in 2000, retail medical clinics, such as those set up in grocery stores and pharmacies, have become increasingly widespread. There are currently about 1,200 of these in-store clinics in the United States, and more than 6,000 are expected to open across the country within five years. Typically staffed by nurse practitioners, these clinics offer care for minor illnesses, including coughs, body aches, and itchy eyes; perform routine exams, like college and camp physicals, and vaccinations; as well as providing diabetes and cholesterol screening. No appointment is required, there is little to no wait time and the clinics have convenient evening and weekend hours.

Retail clinics have already served more than 3.5 million patients, according to industry group Convenient Care Association, and surveys of patients who received care at them have been positive, but some doctors groups, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics, have expressed concerns that the clinics provide a lower quality of care than traditional medical facilities, have greater rates of misdiagnosis, and over-prescribe antibiotics.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

U.S. Life Expectancy Hits All-Time High—Deaths All-Time Low

Americans may not be living as long as the Japanese, whose estimated life span is 83 years, but we are gaining ground. According to a new report by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, average life expectancy in the U.S. hit a record high of 77.9 years in 2007, the latest year that data from death certificates has been compiled. Both men and women set new records, with life expectancy now 75.3 years for men and 80.4 years for women. And, for the first time, life expectancy for black males reached 70 years.

The increase in mortality can be attributed to a drop in death rates. The number of deaths in the U.S. in 2007 was 2,423,995, a 2,269 decrease from 2006. And the overall death rate fell to a record low of 760 deaths per 100,000 people, 2.1 percent lower than the 2006 rate of 776.5. This marks the eighth consecutive year the mortality rate has fallen, and is half of what it was 60 years ago (1532.0 in 1947).

Obesity Ages the Brain and Reduces Life Span

Overall, about two-thirds of adults in the U.S. are either overweight or obese and about 6 percent are extremely obese, putting them at an increased risk for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, osteoarthritis, stroke, gallbladder disease, sleep apnea, respiratory problems and even certain cancers. Researchers have also discovered that obesity increases the risk for dementia, and a new study detailed in the online edition of the journal Human Brain Mapping may help to explain why.

When researchers at UCLA and the University of Pittsburgh scanned the brains of 94 people in the 70s, they found that the obese individuals had 8 percent less brain tissue than their normal-weight peers, and their brains looked 16 years older than the brains of lean people—evidence of “severe brain degeneration,” according to study author Paul Thompson, a UCLA professor of neurology. Those classified as overweight had 4 percent less brain tissue and their brains appeared to have aged prematurely by eight years.

More Americans Concerned About Risk of H1N1 Flu

Americans appear to be taking the H1N1 flu more seriously than they did in the spring when the virus began causing widespread illness. The latest poll by USA Today shows that of the 1,007 adults surveyed, one in three believe they or a family member will probably contract H1N1, up from one in five in May. Sixty-one percent now accept the government’s assessment of the novel flu’s risks, up 5 percent since May, and the majority of people, 55 percent, say for the first time they will get vaccinated, up 9 percent.

Seventeen percent say they worried yesterday that they would get flu, up from 8 percent in June. “I’m not surprised to see that worry is increasing,” says Kristine Sheedy, who heads the H1N1 vaccine communication task force for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “When your kids go back to school, you naturally think more about the possibility that they’ll get sick.”

However, despite the increasing concern, the poll showed that 62 percent of people believe it’s unlikely that they or a family member will get sick. Sheedy says that may be the result of a misperception of the number of people who are susceptible to flu. “People recognize that influenza’s out there and that it can be severe, but they say, ‘I’m not personally worried,’” Sheedy says. “That’s one of the big challenges we face. Take seasonal influenza—when we add up the high-risk groups and their close contacts, that’s the majority of the population.”

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dental Care: Braces

Are you getting braces and have no idea what to expect? Maybe you had braces before and need them again? Or perhaps as an adult you are “finally getting your teeth done.” Whatever your situation, you are not alone; millions of people, including adults, wear braces.

As a matter of fact, more people over age 30 are getting braces today than ever before. There is no age limit for braces. As long as you have good periodontal health, braces can be used to straighten your teeth and correct your bite.

To better understand why braces are needed, let’s talk about teeth. Your first teeth probably came in when you were about six months old, and you most likely had all 20 of them by age three. During your childhood, these ‘baby’ teeth fell out one by one, and were replaced by permanent, adult teeth. A complete set consists of 32 teeth, including four “wisdom teeth.”

You May Need to Think Twice About Those Silver Fillings

Silver-colored fillings, officially known as amalgam fillings, contain mercury and have been used by dentists for over a hundred years to treat cavities in teeth, but the FDA is now saying they may have toxic effects on the unborn fetus and young children. In the past, regulators have warned pregnant women against eating certain fish that contain high levels of mercury, but now the FDA has also agreed to post warnings on the danger mercury in fillings may cause to a developing human's brain, in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of various groups.

As a result of the lawsuit, the groups agreed on a settlement where the FDA is conducting a review of the mercury contained in fillings that has to be completed mid-year 2009. Depending on the findings, the process may require that warnings be provided, through prescribing information, to dentists and patients to warn of nervous system dangers to fetuses and young children, said Pepper Long, the FDA's spokesperson.

The American Dental Association doesn't feel the settlement was very significant, because the FDA is not limiting the use of mercury fillings. The dental group has said that they feel the amalgam fillings remain safe for dental patients based on many studies and scientific reviews conducted by both government and independent agencies.

Consumers: Beware of Counterfeit Colgate Toothpaste

Consumers should be on the look-out for illegally manufactured counterfeit toothpaste falsely labeled as “Colgate” and imported from South Africa. Updated information shows this product contains harmful bacteria, but authorities did not elaborate as to what the bacteria are. This update comes from additional developments included in a report by Canadian health authorities as well as Colgate’s own investigation.

In the initial recall announcement, the importer, MS USA Trading, Inc. of North Bergen, N.J., said the toothpaste may contain diethylene glycol, a chemical found in antifreeze. The trading company said the problem was discovered in routine testing by the Food and Drug Administration.

Colgate-Palmolive assures customers that “counterfeit toothpaste is not manufactured or distributed by Colgate and has no connection with the company whatsoever”. They also add that diethylene glycol is not now and has never been an ingredient in Colgate toothpaste anywhere in the world.

According to a Colgate-Palmolive news release, the counterfeit products were found in several ‘dollar-type discount stores’ in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Updated information also includes small discount retailers in Canada.

Colgate-Palmolive, in cooperation with government health and law enforcement authorities, continues to remove counterfeit toothpaste from the shelves of retail stores. Here are some indicators to look for to identify the counterfeit product:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Genetic Link Discovered in Short Sleepers

The first ever gene linked to human sleep behavior has been revealed. Although the National Institutes of Health maintains that adults need seven to nine hours of nightly sleep in order to maintain good health, a group of researchers from the University of California in San Francisco have found an exception to the recommendation. The group has discovered a gene that diminishes the nightly sleep requirements of both a mother and daughter to only about six hours.

Sleep logs revealed that the 69-year-old mother and her 44-year-old daughter have naturally been short sleepers for the majority of their lives. They both go to bed at about 10 p.m. and rise at 4 or 4:30 a.m., while the other members of their family share typical sleep patterns. Neither of these women has suffered any ill effects from their sleeping habits. In fact, they appear to be quite healthy. The two women share a rare mutation in a gene known as DEC2 that is associated with regulation of circadian rhythms, also known as the body's internal clock. According to the researchers, people having this gene mutation simply need less sleep. Details on the finding are published in the journal Science.

Previous research has shown that many Americans suffer from chronic insomnia as well as other sleep disorders including sleep apnea. For most of us, getting less than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep nightly on a regular basis increases the risk for health problems such as memory impairment, a weakened immune system and more.

Regarding the study on the mother-daughter duo of short sleepers, lead researcher Ying-Hui Fu, a professor of neurology at the University of California at San Francisco, Mission Bay, concluded, “They really have shorter sleep requirements.” Another factor that may play a role in the two women’s sleep patterns is that both are very active. In fact, the mother often travels internationally and dances three to four times weekly.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Natural Abstinence: How to Avoid Weekend Food Indulgences

Food: One of life’s necessities and usually a hot topic of conversation. Whether it is the latest hot chef, food trend, cookbook, or diet craze, food crops up in conversations, news, blogs, and in our everyday lives. The topics of eating disorders, dieting, and health eating have been widely reported on HealthNews, including the obesity epidemic that has hit our nation. Common sense dictates eating a variety of foods, several times a day, without overindulging. However, that is easier said than done.

Forgetting meals, constant snacking, and all-you-can-eat buffets can be the thorns in our side. And weekends can be especially bad; at home with unlimited access to the refrigerator and pantry can lead to unhealthy temptations. Late nights, sleeping in, forgoing exercise, and eating without limits can all pack on the pounds and leave you feeling sluggish and reversing the effects of the good choices you have made during the week.

It’s important to avoid the overindulgence you may encounter during your two days of rest and relaxation. To avoid packing on the pounds during the down time on “S” days (Saturday and Sunday), here are a few tips adapted from fitness expert Joanna Hall’s latest book, The Weight Loss Bible:

Exercise Before & After: Keep your heart rate going and make sure to workout—even if it’s a quick walk around the neighborhood or a few laps in the pool—before and after a day you know you will be making less than great food choices, for example a summer barbeque chock full of meats and sweets.

Stay Hydrated: Continue to drink water, even if you are drinking other beverages throughout the day. The more hydrated you are, the less hungry you will feel and your body will thank you; especially if you are partaking in poolside margaritas, late-night pints, or tropical vacation piƱa coladas.

Cut Calories During the Week: Hall says that if you cut 300 calories (usually a small snack like a mini potato chip bag or granola bar) out of your daily intake before and after you know you will be eating more, it will curb any guilt you may feel and help stave off too many unnecessary calories.

Pile on the Veggies: Since studies show that eating vegetables with high water content (think carrots, celery, onions, etc.) make you full faster and have more energy, it may be easier to hold off temptation because your brain isn’t signaling hunger. Eating something substantial before a big night out, like vegetable soup, can leave you satisfied longer and keep off any unwanted bulge.

Stimulation Drinks: The New Craze Amongst Functional Beverages?

With energy drinks on the rise and Red Bull cans practically selling faster than bottled water, there is always another market for something new in the beverage world. Forget Rockstar, Monster, Amp, or any of the many other energy cans, bottles, or convenient shots out there and indulge in a new trend: stimulation drinks. What is a stimulation drink, you ask?

General Nutrition Centers, or GNC as they have been come to be known across America, are now stocking stimulation beverages called Fever that is described as a drink that “produces feeling of pleasure and euphoria” and is marketed as a wellness beverage that is supposed to naturally enhance your normal bodily functions throughout the day. In sweet, new enticing flavors such as Kiwi/Strawberry, Mango/Banana/Coconut, and Strawberry/Pineapple, the makers of Fever want consumers to know that this detoxifying, organic form of energy elixir is full of antioxidants.

A “stimulation drink” seems to be a puzzling phrase as I could claim that vodka is a stimulant, a drink, and is also made of natural resources—broken down to its roots, vodka is merely distilled and fermented grains or potatoes after all. Coffee is another that comes instantly to mind—you know…those beans that come from a plant that are roasted, ground, steeped, and served to millions of customers at Starbucks every singe day. The founder and CEO of Fever Beverage USA, Delmond Newton, insists that Fever is different than any number of other drinks out there providing stimulation, “Fever is not another energy drink. It is a stimulation beverage. This is a brand new category.” While the category stimulation beverage may be vague and I contend that vodka, coffee, and Fever can all fall under it, the 14-oz soft drink containing nine herbs just may turn out to be the healthiest of them all.

Perhaps the most interesting addition to Fever is the aphrodisiac qualities it produces in order to stimulate the libido in both women and men. The phyto-aphrodisiac is also supposed to promote bone health. Although I am not sure this product would be suitable for the normal workday, with its mascot being a lion sporting a cupid and bow on its back ready to aim, there is also no evidence that the beverage is distracting, it is merely supposed to help you get fired up. At 120 calories per bottle, Fever is safe to drink daily and is being toted as the sexy alternative to drinking healthy…sex sells, right?

Newton continues to say that these drinks have more potential as the growing popularity of natural health takes shape, “The functional beverage category offers endless opportunities for beverages to do more than just hydrate and energize….We are thrilled to be included in GNC’s family of products devoted exclusively to helping its customers improve the quality of their lives.”

Sunday, August 16, 2009

FDA Issues Rules for Early Access to Experimental Drugs

Patients who suffer from serious and fatal illnesses may be granted early access to drugs that are still in the experimental stage. By clarifying the rules for granting patients access to the so-called investigational drugs, U.S. health officials said this week that they hope to be able to expand the number of people who might benefit from these medications that are not yet approved.

Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, said, “The fact that patients can get the drugs hasn’t changed, but there is now a clearer pathway. We have always been afraid that only those in the know about this can get these drugs. Better dissemination is another piece of transparency that’s being provided.”

Woodcock stressed that these medications would potentially be available only to those individuals who are gravely ill or have life-threatening conditions and for whom there is no other reasonable treatment alternatives available. However, she could not say exactly how many more patients might be able to benefit from this program under the new protocol.

Lynda Dee, who is a patient representative for the FDA’s Antiviral Drugs Advisory Committee and who is a founding member of the AIDS Treatment Activist Coalition in Baltimore, stated that anything that the Food and Drug Administration does to help promote transparency is good for us, because this will go very far in helping people who need to receive these new treatments. Both Dee and Woodcock spoke at a news conference that was held on Wednesday to announce the publication of the two final rules related to these access questions, and to announce a new web site that is geared to patients and health-care professionals.

Friday, August 14, 2009

More Women Opting to Have Their First Child Later in Life

The number of women who are choosing to wait until they are older to start their families has been on the rise over the past three and a half decades. The average age of first-time mothers has increased by 3.6 years over last 36 years, from the age of 21.4 years in 1970 to the age of 25 in 2006.

Researchers T.J. Mathews and Brady E. Hamilton of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics, Division of Vital Statistics, Reproductive Statistics Branch, analyzed data from the birth data set to derive the new information. The birth data set is primarily used for analyzing U.S. birth trends and patterns, and is a part of the National Vital Statistics System that contains information on reported live births in the U.S.

The researchers were interested in pinning down the average age of first-time mothers since the age of a woman’s first birth has a bearing on the total number of births she may have within her lifetime. In turn, this has an impact on family size and future increase in the overall population. In addition, a mother’s age, whether younger or older has an effect on outcomes of births including birth weight, multiple births, and birth defects.

Breastfeeding Can Cut Risk for Breast Cancer

While the decision to breastfeed your baby is a personal one, there is new evidence that may tip the scales in favor of breast over bottle. Not only is breastfeeding best for your infant, if you have a family history of breast cancer, breastfeeding can cut the risk for breast cancer before menopause in half.

In a long-term study of approximately 60,000 women, researchers found that women that had a close family history of breast cancer had a significantly lower risk of developing breast cancer themselves before menopause if they breastfed their infants, when compared to the women who did not breastfeed. The lead researcher of the study, Alison Stuebe from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, stated that breastfeeding is good for both the mother and for their infant.

The findings of this study stem from data on 60,075 nurses who had given birth and also participated in the long running Nurses’ Health Study between the years 1997 and 2005. Stuebe and her associates reported that by the end of June 2005, 608 women, which is approximately 1 percent, had developed breast cancer when they were at the average age of 48. They also reported that the women who had a mother, sister, or other close relative that had breast cancer had a 59 percent lower risk of developing the disease if they had ever breastfed than if thy had not.

The researchers also noted that amount of the risk reduction “compared favorably” to that seen by women who were at a very high risk for developing breast cancer who take the hormone therapy tamoxifen to help prevent breast cancer. There also seemed to be no association between breastfeeding and breast cancer in the women who did not have a family history of the disease.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hopitalization and the Continuity of Care

We are undergoing fundamental and profound changes in healthcare in the United States. In order to make the care within a hospital more efficient, and discharge patients in a shorter length of time, many hospitals have changed the physicians who are responsible for the care of the patient while in the hospital. A group of physicians trained to give inpatient care, but not outpatient care, has developed and they are called “hospitalists.”

As a result of hospitalist care, the length of stays of individuals has shortened dramatically. The tests performed and care given for patients with the usual complaints or problems have been standardized and streamlined so that any necessary tests are not forgotten, and care is given according to guidelines so that no necessary treatment is omitted. With shorter hospital stays, hospitals are able to avoid losing money and being threatened with bankruptcy or closure. Patients benefit by earlier discharge, with fewer complications and less chance that some mistake will be made in their care.

Getting a Healthy Tan

Being born with pale practically see-through skin, I have always wanted to know what it was like to have the “kissed by the sun” look that tanning brings. Every summer I look down at my white skin slick with sunscreen instead of tanning oil and desire the ability to have golden skin instead of aching and peeling sunburns. However, the rising numbers of skin cancer have me thinking the grass may indeed not be greener on the other side. Skip the sunbathing, pass on the tanning beds, buy a new bottle of sunscreen, and use these alternatives to get your body glowing with a healthier tan.

Skin cancer cases are doubling and tripling each year, making it the fastest growing cancer in the United States. I wonder if that has anything to do with the thousands of tanning salons throughout America offering discounts and tanning packages to millions of patrons, many of whom are women under the age of 40. Unfortunately it has been said that most of the sun damage you acquire in your life happens before the age of 20, when young people are more ignorant and less concerned about damaging rays at the beach, in the backyard, or even while lingering with an arm outside the car window. Tanning beds have recently been in the news, not because of a booming business plan this summer, but because the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has finally shown these popular sun-alternative beds as a high risk for cancer.

If you like the look of bronzed skin but want to protect yourself from cancer, apply

Chronic Stress Promotes Excess Belly Fat

Do you ever feel like everything you eat goes directly to your belly? If you are under chronic stress, that may be truer than you think. When researchers at Wake Forest University fed monkeys a typical American diet high in fat and cholesterol, they gained weight. But those who were socially stressed developed much more belly fat, a known risk factor for heart disease. And although the study was conducted primarily on monkeys, the researchers say the results would be very similar in humans and could lead to new ways of combating the ever-growing obesity epidemic in America and other Western nations.

“We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic,” said lead researcher Carol A. Shively, a professor of pathology at Wake Forest. “Much of the excess fat in many people who are overweight is located in the abdomen, and that fat behaves differently than fat in other locations. If there’s too much, it can have far more harmful effects on health than fat located in other areas.”

To better understand the role social stress plays in the development of heart disease, Shively and colleagues studied female cynomolgus monkeys that were fed a high fat and cholesterol diet and housed in a natural setting where subordinate and dominant personalities emerged. The team observed that the subordinate monkeys were less likely to be included in group activities, such as grooming, and were often targets of aggression.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Staying Fit with Budokon

Sure yoga has had more than its fifteen minutes of fame and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be over any time soon, and pilates is still a popular offering for those looking to add a bit more intensity to their workout, but there is a new type of “miracle exercise” popping up in magazines, gossip rags, and newspapers over the last few years. Have you ever wondered why Friends Courteney Cox Arquette and Jennifer Aniston are able to keep their figures and their friendship so tight? If you enjoy yoga but are also in love with the high-intensity kickboxing class across the hall, try a fusion class like Budokon (bu-do-kon) and get hip with the Hollywood crowd. Budokon is spiritual rhythmic class involving the poses of yoga with the quick, cardio aspect of martial arts training that is quickly sweeping the red carpet.

Created in 2000 by Los Angeles-based trainer Cameron Shayne, the word Budokon is Japanese for “Way of the Spiritual Warrior” and Shayne is the embodiment of his creation. Budokon isn’t just the hyped-about new fusion workout that has celebrities praising his name, but is more about precision and technique while being true to your mind and spirit while tending to your body’s health needs. Shayne says that Budokon is a “living art,” he goes on to say that it encompasses your entire being, “It is your waking and your sleeping, your walking and your sitting, your living and your dying.” Shayne promises that he isn’t selling anything with Budokon and that there are no gimmicks, there is only something he calls "The Way."

New Study Finds Organic Doesn’t Mean More Nutritious

Organic food, which was once only available in small stores or farmers’ markets, is now the fastest growing sector of the American food marketplace, despite its higher costs. In 2008, the value of retail sales of organic food was estimated to be more than $28 billion, up from $1 billion in 1990. And, according to the Food Marketing Institute, more than half of Americans now buy organic food at least one a month. So why this surge in popularity? Why pay more for food because it’s organically grown? Do organic foods offer more nutritional value than their traditionally grown counterparts?

Whether or not organically grown foods are more nutritious has become a hotbed of debate, and the answer would likely depend on who one asked. For instance, The Organic Center (TOC), a pro-organic nonprofit research organization in Foster, Rhode Island recently concluded that organic foods, on average, offer a 25 percent higher nutrient level over conventional ones. And researchers at University of California at Davis claim to have found higher levels of nutrients in organic tomatoes, kiwifruit, corn, and strawberries grown side-by-side with conventional versions.

On the opposite side of the fence are major health organizations like the American Dietetic Association and the Mayo Clinic that hold an organic label is no assurance that a food is nutritionally superior, which is the same conclusion recently reached by a group of British researchers after reviewing 50 years of published data on the topic. The review, commissioned by Britain’s Food Standards Agency (FSA) and conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, found that organic food contained no more nutritional value than food grown traditionally.

Nutrition & Diet

Diet and Weight Loss News
The single biggest battle most people face these days is the battle of the bulge. Nearly everyone is trying to lose weight, or maintain a healthy weight. Probably the most crucial element of maintaining a healthy body weight is ones diet.

Need to cut through the mass of diet material on the web? The Diet and Weight Loss category does just that, with a focus on eating healthy – and naturally. Check here for great recipes and advice on natural eating.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Skin Care: Facial Steaming

Our search for a more youthful appearance seems a constant quest, and how ironic that we find answers in practices from ancient times. For instance, using steam to cleanse the body dates back to Roman times when baths featuring a combination of steaming, cleaning, and massage appeared wherever the Romans made conquests. In our more modern times, steaming is used as part of a beauty salon facial.

Facial steaming has many benefits:
• Opens your pores
• Removes dead skin cells
• Improves circulation
• Allows for deep cleansing
• Is helpful for acne and blackheads

Facial steaming can be done on a weekly basis as part of your beauty routine and is an excellent precursor for your facial mask.

Reaping all the benefits, without the high cost of a beauty salon treatment, you can easily perform the steam at home. All you need is your face, cleanser, a pot, water, and a large towel.

1. Remove make up and cleanse your face using soap and water or your preferred cleanser. Gently pat skin dry after rinsing.
2. Fill pot with approximately three cups of water and bring to boil.
3. Transfer the water to a shallow wide bowl.
4. Keeping your face at least one foot away from the steam, place the towel over your head to form a tent around your head and the bowl of water. The steam should feel warm and soothing-NOT HOT! If the steam is too hot or you are uncomfortable at any time, STOP IMMEDIATELY!
5. Remain under the towel for 5-10 minutes, then rinse with cool water to close and tighten your pores.
6. Follow with a facial mask or a light moisturizer.

Millions of American Children Are Vitamin D Deficient

It’s called the sunshine vitamin because given a sufficient amount of sunlight the human body manufactures vitamin D, which has long been known to be essential to bone and muscle health by aiding calcium absorption in the intestines and the production of enzymes involved in collagen formation in the bones. But more recent research has found receptors for vitamin D in almost every organ and tissue system in the body, suggesting that deficiencies may affect many types of cell functions and increase the risk of not only osteoporosis but many other diseases. Ten to fifteen minutes of sunshine 3 times a week is enough to produce the body’s requirement of this cheery nutrient, but apparently that is easier said than done—even for the nation’s youngsters.

Two new studies designed to assess the possible effects of low vitamin D levels on cardiovascular risk factors in young Americans uncovered some very disturbing facts. For example, one analysis showed that overall 7 out of 10 American children are not getting the vitamin D they need. About 7.6 million (9 percent) children, adolescents and young adults aged 1 through 21 are vitamin D deficient, with blood levels under 15 nanograms per milliliter. An additional 50.8 million (61 percent) have slightly higher levels, at between 15 and 29 nanograms per milliliter, but still low enough to be insufficient. “It’s astounding,” said the study’s lead, Dr. Michal L. Melamed of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. “At first, we couldn’t believe the numbers. I think it’s very worrisome.”

Depression Not Uncommon in the Youngest Among Us

Depression is a disorder that many people in the world are dealing with, but now it has been brought to our attention that childhood depression is on the rise. In recent years, the subject of childhood depression has received a lot of attention as we have tried to unravel how this disorder is affecting kids. However, little is still known about if, and how, depression is affecting very young children. New research suggests that children as young as 3 can be diagnosed with depression and that the disorder is often considered to be a chronic condition.

The recent study, which appears in the August issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry, is sure to raise eyebrows among the people who question if children that young are really emotionally mature enough to be depressed. The author of the study said that despite the skepticism, a growing body of research is suggesting that depression does in fact exist among preschoolers and they launched this new study to better understand it.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Wrinkles Be Gone: New Laser Treatment Approved for Home Use

Laser treatment to remove wrinkles around the eyes could now be at your fingertips. The FDA has approved the marketing of the first home-use laser device for removing wrinkles around the eyes. You may now be able to target those aging areas on your own without leaving the comfort of your home.

The new device was developed by Palomar Medical Technologies Inc. and will be marketed through retail channels by Johnson & Johnson Consumer Cos. Inc. There is no prescription necessary. The new device will be Palomar’s initial entrance into the consumer market. The company currently sells its large light-based equipment used for cosmetic treatments to health professionals. Details of the product are being held under wraps for now, but the company is excited about the opportunity their new product offers. Joseph P. Caruso, a chief executive for Palomar said, the new laser product "opens up a tremendous opportunity to tap into the multibillion dollar consumer skin care market with our patented technology."

Friday, July 31, 2009

Mental Health Risks with Popular Stop-Smoking Drugs

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that patients taking the popular stop-smoking drugs Chantix and Zyban should be watched closely for signs of serious mental illness. The warning was issued following mounting reports of bizarre behavior, including suicide, among users of the drugs. Pfizer is the maker of Chantix (varenicline), and GlaxoSmithKine is the manufacturer of Zyban (buproprion). Buproprion is also sold under the brand name Wellbutrin, as a treatment for depression.

Both of the drugs will now be required to carry “black box” labels warning that people who take the drugs should be closely monitored for signs of suicidal thoughts, depression, hostility, and other behavioral changes. In addition, both drug companies will be required to conduct clinical trials for the purpose of assessing the mental health risks associated with the uses of the drugs. Unlike the clinical trials leading to the FDA approval of the drugs, the new trials will enroll smokers with underlying psychiatric disorders. Pfizer has already begun enrollment of schizophrenia patients in a trial.

Increase In American Obesity Bulges Medical Spending

From being pleasingly plump to becoming overweight and continuing on the road to obesity, the ever-expanding waistlines of Americans are also doubling the size of medical spending on obesity-related conditions. In fact, the cost to the nation could soon reach $147 billion per year and account for 9.1 percent of total medical spending.

A recent study that was based on federal data collected in 1998 and 2006 found that the rate of obesity has increased 37 percent between the years of 1998 and 2006. The end result is that a total of 25 percent of Americans are now obese. This is compared to a total of only 18.3 percent nearly a decade ago that accounted for only 6.5 percent of all medical spending in 1998. The analysis was performed by researchers from RTI International, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), and the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality, and the results were published in the journal Health Affairs.

Circumcision Doesn’t Reduce Male-to-Female Transmission of HIV

In recent years, the male foreskin—a double-folded tube of skin and mucous membrane that covers the head of the penis—has taken center stage in the battle against HIV. The foreskin is rich in Langerhans cells, immune cells that are particularly easy for the virus to access. Following infection, these cells not only serve as reservoirs for replicating the virus, but also transport it to nearby lymph nodes where HIV spreads to other immune cells. Studies have shown that removal of the foreskin can reduce a man’s risk of heterosexually acquired HIV infection by 50 to 65 percent, findings that prompted large-scale circumcision campaigns in countries with high infection rates, such as sub-Saharan Africa, where heterosexual sex is primarily responsible for the HIV epidemic. Studies had also suggested that circumcision could reduce the rate of male-to-female transmission of the virus, but that turns out not to be the case.

A Ugandan study, led by Dr. Maria J. Wawer of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, was stopped early after it became apparent that male circumcision offered no protection to female partners. The study involved 922 uncircumcised, HIV-infected men between 15 and 49 years of age who were randomly chosen to either be circumcised or remain uncircumcised. The HIV-free female partners of the male participants were also enrolled in the study, 90 in the circumcised group and 70 in the uncircumcised group, and their HIV status was evaluated after 6, 12 and 24 months. All participants were intensively schooled in HIV prevention and provided free condoms.

New Blood Test Could Predict Success of In-Vitro Fertilization

An estimated 30,000 women undergo in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments each year. The possibility of a continuing pregnancy being achieved by IVF has improved dramatically from a nearly 0 percent chance to 1 chance in 4 to 6 at IVF centers worldwide. However, success rates continue to vary in predicting the probability of an IVF pregnancy. IVF treatments yield unpredictable results due to their success being dependent upon such variables as the age and reproductive health of both the hopeful mother and father.

IVF is a process by which egg cells are fertilized by sperm outside the womb in a controlled environment. A fertilized egg is then transferred to the woman’s uterus in hopes of establishing a successful pregnancy. IVF is an infertility treatment that couples turn to when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. Now, new research may have identified genetic predictors for the potential outcome for IVF patients.

Flu Shot to Be Priority for Pregnant Women

We all know that the swine flu has been hitting the people in the United States pretty hard, but it has been hitting women who are pregnant unusually hard. This is why they are most likely to be among the first in line to be advised to get a new swine flu shot this fall. Pregnant women account for approximately 6 percent of the U.S. flu death since this pandemic began in April, even though they only make up 1 percent of the population in the U.S.

On Wednesday, the federal vaccine advisory panel is meeting find the answer to the question of who should be the first group to get the swine flu shots when there are not enough to give everyone. At the top of the list will be health care workers, who would be very crucial to the society during a bad pandemic. However, women who are pregnant may be near the top of the list because suffered and died from the swine flu this year at disproportionately high rates.

Damaged Sperm May Be Improved Through Frequency of Sex

Couples with fertility problems receive varying recommendations for conceiving depending on their doctor’s opinions. The medical community has long debated whether refraining from sex for several days would improve the chance of pregnancy for couples hoping to conceive. Some doctors are now recommending the best way to have a baby is to have more sex.

Research presented by Dr. David Greening of Sydney IVF, an Australian center for infertility and in vitro fertilization, indicates that increasing sexual activity may be the right approach. Dr. Greening studied 118 men with above-average sperm DNA damage. The participants were told to ejaculate every day for seven days, and the damage to their sperm count fell to 26 percent down from 34 percent. Other studies have indicated that better sperm quality results in higher pregnancy rates.

Frequent sex does decrease semen volume and it did so in the 118 participants but Dr. Greening said in a statement, “It seems safe to conclude that couples with relatively normal semen parameters should have sex daily for up to a week before the ovulation date. In the context of assisted reproduction, this simple treatment may assist in improving sperm quality and ultimately achieve pregnancy.” Sperm quality is also better in men who do not smoke, drink little, exercise and ingest more antioxidants.

Many Adults Remain Unaware of the Importance of Keeping Vaccines Up to Date

Because children are required to have a number of vaccines before they can even attend school, parents have at least an annual reminder to keep their shots up to date. However, many young adults in America remain unaware of the need to keep their shots current. According to the 2008 National Health Interview Survey of almost 22,000 adults, few young adults are aware that they can get vaccinated to prevent many deadly diseases including meningitis, whooping cough, tetanus and pneumonia as well as to guard against painful conditions such as shingles.

The survey revealed that vaccination rates are still far below national target levels. As an example, although 84 percent of Americans over the age of 50 know that tetanus causes lockjaw, and that a booster shot for tetanus prevention is required every 10 years, only about half (49 percent) of adults between the ages of 18 to 26 are aware of this fact. In addition, only 15 percent of people aged 19 to 64 have received the Tdap vaccine, which protects against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. (A Tdap booster is recommended in place of one tetanus-diphtheria booster vaccine).

Weight Watchers Diet Program

Weight Watchers is another of the old-time standby diet programs, with over forty years in the business and an estimated 1 million followers across the globe at any given time. One of the reasons this weight loss plan has continued success is the focus on overall health: mental, emotional and physical. Weight Watchers provides the tools and support to change the way you eat and live.

The four tenets of the Weight Watchers program are Eat Smart, Move More, Helpful Habits and Get Support. In the Eat Smart category, Weight Watchers provides common sense advice, a Weight Watchers point list program that allows you to choose what you want to eat, and prepared meals available for purchase at supermarkets, online, and in Weight Watcher Diet Centers. There is also an extensive listing of recipes and meal suggestions available in books, at centers, and online.

Natural Bug Bite Remedies

Summer is here, the season of outdoor activities, and since mosquitoes tend to multiply in hot climates, summer is also the season of bug bites. Whether it is a mosquito bite or a bee sting, spraying your skin sticky with offensive-smelling bug repellants is only going to make you uncomfortable and possibly keep humans away from you as well. When I was a kid, my grandfather made my brother and I slather cotton balls in regular yellow Listerine and rub it on every part of skin that was showing before we were allowed outside. Thankfully, there are other natural remedies that keep the bugs—or if you have already been bitten—the sting and itch away.

Probably the safest way to keep bugs away from your home is to prevent your yard from inviting bugs. You can plant little repellent gardens all over your yard, front porch, or back patio to ward off unwanted bugs. Using nature-friendly plants like lemongrass (also known as Citronella, popular in mosquito-repelling candles), lemon thyme, catnip, and citrus-smelling geraniums which contain up to 60 percent of the power of popular spray DEET along with other commercial products, you can reduce your family’s bite ratio and reduce the amount of toxins they are subject to.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Cell phone radiation may cause brain tumour

Cell phone use in Pakistan has grown amid potential health risks, including cancer, through radiofrequency (RF) energy emissions from cell phones.

Up till now most studies have focused on whether RF energy can cause malignant brain tumour. The experts are of the opinion that cell phone users are exposed to RF energy, a non-ionising form of radiation, emitted by the cell phones and there is concern about the health implications due to widespread cell phone use, Health News reported.

"The experiments investigating the effects of RF exposure characteristics of cell phones on animals have suggested low levels of RF could accelerate the development of cancer.

However, many of the studies showing increased tumour development were using animals that had been genetically engineered or treated with cancer-inducing chemicals so as to be pre-disposed to develop cancer in the presence of RF exposure," said Dr Masood Ahmad, an expert.

He said the studies investigated any possible association between the use of wireless phones and primary brain cancer, glioma, meningioma, or acoustic neuroma, tumour of the brain or salivary gland, leukemia, or other cancers.

"However, none of the studies can answer questions about long-term exposures, since the average period of phone use in these studies was around three years," he added.

Vegetable protein linked to lower BP

A new study has shown that consuming an amino acid commonly found in vegetable protein is associated with lower blood pressure.

The study, conducted by Jeremiah Stamler, M.D., lead author of the study, and colleagues, showed that a 4.72% higher dietary intake of the amino acid glutamic acid as a per cent of total dietary protein correlated with lower group average systolic blood pressure, lower by 1.5 to 3.0 millimetres of mercury (mm Hg). Group average diastolic blood pressure was lower by 1.0 to 1.6 mm Hg.

In the study, researchers examined dietary amino acids, the building blocks of protein.

Stamler, professor emeritus of the Department of Preventive Medicine in the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago, Ill, said that glutamic acid is the most common amino acid and accounts for almost a quarter (23%) of the protein in vegetable protein and almost one fifth (18%) of animal protein.

In the study, researchers analyzed data from 4,680 middle-age people participating in an international population study on the effects of dietary nutrients on high blood pressure. Participants were from the U.S., U.K., China, and Japan.

The results showed that a nearly 5% higher intake of glutamic acid as a per cent of total protein in the diet was linked to lower average blood pressure. Systolic blood pressure was lower by an average of 1.5 to 3.0 points and diastolic blood pressure was lower by 1.0 to 1.6 points.

Stamler said that the study might help explain on a molecular level why the Dieatary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet lowers blood pressure. The DASH eating pattern, developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, is rich in fruits, vegetables and low-fat and non-fat dairy products as well as whole grains, lean poultry, nuts and beans.

The study has been published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Docs open up blocked arteries of brain

:A team of cardiologists at a private hospital here successfully performed an angioplasty on the four blocked arteries to the brain of a 27-year-old woman.

"The four-hour procedure was a complicated one and was conducted in two stages" said Dr Mukund who led the six-member cardiologists' team which performed the surgery in Omega Hospital on June 27.

Amitha was suffering from frequent bouts of loss of consciousness and severe pain in her hands for the last several months due to inflammation of the arteries and this angioplasty was the only solution, he told reporters today.

The procedure was done through the groin artery and using specially devised catheters. All the four blood vessels were opened using the 'protection device' to ensure safety, Mukund said.

”Since the surgery cost Rs 3.80 lakh and the patient is poor, we have requested the chief minister and legislators from this region to help with the expenses", he said.

The patient is fit and would be discharged tomorrow, Mukund said.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Alternative Medicine Expanding into the Mainstream

In recent times, an increasing number of people have begun directing their attention toward alternative medicine for preventing and treating illnesses and solving their day-to-day health-related issues. Consider these statistics: Between 1990 and 1997 there was a 47 percent increase in visits to alternative practitioners, from 427 million to 629 million, bypassing the estimated total number of visits made to all conventional primary care doctors in 1997; currently, one out of every three Americans use some kind of alternative medicine—despite skepticism and, in some cases, strong opposition by the modern medical establishment to the use of these unconventional techniques.

The public’s increased acceptance and use of alternative medicine suggests an inherent dissatisfaction with the conventional medical system. Research shows that patients want natural, safer remedies and physicians who regard them as whole persons—minds and spirits as well as bodies—and who have respect for the innate mechanisms of healing. For example, an integrative practitioner inquires into not only a patient’s specific symptoms but to all lifestyle, psychosocial, and spiritual influences affecting their quality of life. The subsequent treatment plan includes recommendations such as increased physical activity, dietary changes, stress reduction and positive coping skills such as yoga, meditation, prayer or biofeedback in addition to any specific therapies.

Magnesium: The Stress Buster

If someone told you that your stress level could go from 300 to 0 with a boost of magnesium, you probably wouldn’t believe them, but you might buy a hefty bottle of magnesium supplements the next time you were in the vitamin and natural health section. Since magnesium is a part of your cells and bones and is especially vital as the smoothing cells of your arteries, it protects those arteries from blood pressure that is caused by stress. Magnesium also helps the body control its absorption of potassium (the mineral found in bananas) and calcium (the reason your mother always made you drink all of your milk). If magnesium can multi-task by also helping the kidneys, adrenals, brain, heart, and nervous system functioning, why wouldn’t it also reduce your stress?

An Australian chemist and nutritionist, Peter Gillham says that between 90 and 95 percent of the world’s population is living with magnesium levels unhealthy for their body. So, what does an unhealthy magnesium level feel like? Here are just some of the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency: asthma, lowered energy levels, sleeplessness, headaches, muscle aches, tension and soreness, fatigue, anxiety, seizures, nervousness, PMS, weak bones, teeth grinding, insomnia, difficulty breathing, and heart problems.

Natural Remedies for Childhood Eczema

If dry, cracked, and generally irritated skin has adults in pain periodically due to an allergic reaction, stress, or weather, imagine the pain children and infants who have developed eczema go through. There have been supposed “miracle cures” for decades hoping to be the end to eczema but without expensive and dangerous prescription drugs; people searching a more natural approach have been silently suffering.

As a form of dermatitis (inflammation of the epidermis/skin), eczema is a broad term for a whole range of various skin conditions. The common denominator in all of these problems is that they are all consistent in the patient with symptoms like edema/swelling, dryness, itching, crusting, oozing, and blistering. Infantile eczema, for example, is a common case called atopic eczema which is a skin disease revolving around allergens. Believed to be hereditary, infantile eczema is often transmitted to babies through families who have a history of asthma and hay fever. Usually associated with red blotchy rashes on sensitive areas such as the head, neck, bottom, and inside the joints like between the fingers, under the knees, and inside the elbows, eczema can occur anywhere on the skin.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Free Weight Machines

Free weight machines and free weights differ in the respect that free weights can be moved freely in a concentrated area of space. Free weight machines are restricted to moving in one of two directions.

Home workout equipment often consists of one machine that will perform a variety of functions and the machine easily converts to a heavier weight by simply inserting a pin in a block of weights, or by adding weight plates, or by adding a band. Some of the most widely known are:

•Total Gym uses the body weight of the user and elevation – the more extreme the elevation, the more difficult the workout. Never underestimate the body as a weight in strength training – and this unit folds up to be rolled into a closet or under a bed.
•Bowflex, by Nautilus, has two types of machine, the progressive, resistance cable, pulley system with power rod units; and the linear resistance, interlocking, lightweight resistance plates – both are geared for the home user.
•Weider makes the Ultimate Gym package, (four people can work at the same time) and single user machines, a Bowflex machine, a sled type of machine that resembles the Total Gym, and separate machines for isolating certain muscle groups like the Smith Rack & Bench. Weider is one of the longest running names in exercise, weight lifting and competition, and workout equipment and machines.
•Body-Solid carries a large choice of machines for the home user. Most are geared for a full workout/weight training regime but a few specifically target certain conditions; the G8I claims to allow you to work primary muscles and secondary muscles due to 3-deminsional independent motion giving more defined muscle development. Almost all machines are guaranteed for life and most are listed as being commercially rated.
•Yukon has a variety of workout machines, mostly geared to single or two user stations and a few have no leg press available. Yukon has a specialized lat machine and delt machine available.
There are many, smaller workout machines on the market that target specific areas, like Body by Jake’s Ab Scissor Ultra and LifelineUSA’s portable gym that consists of tubing, handles, and the ease of anywhere set up and use, including a hotel room.

Workout clubs carry a commercial grade of free weight machines like: Cambar, Cybex, Flex, Diesel Fitness, Hammer Strength, Hoist, Icarian, Paramount, Body Masters, Life Fitness, Badger Magnum, Nautilus, and many more.

Want an Alternative to Caffeine? Meet Teeccino

Trying to cut the caffeine habit can be impossible if you’re used to waking up to a strong brew and refilling your mug a few times a day at the office. Decaffeinated coffees and teas still carry traces of the stimulant that can wreak havoc on your body even if you don’t realize it. Discovered by a German chemist in 1819, the chemical compound in coffee was coined “kaffein” and is synonymously called “guaranine” from the guarana plant’s berries, “theine” found inside tea leaves, and “mateine” when isolated from the yerba mate plant. Either way you pronounce it, inside the human body, caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and produces a temporary feeling of alertness. Many people who drink decaf coffees, espressos, and teas, are either unable or unwilling to feel the consequences of a regularly caffeinated drink, but still enjoy the taste. With Teeccino, decaf-lovers can get the taste of real drip coffee in a natural, herbal mixture without the stimulating aftershock of caffeine.

Caroline MacDougall, an herb expert and creator of Teeccino, was working for various tea brands as an herbalist before she started making a name for herself in the early '90s with her own mixture she calls “herbal coffee,” a replacement way to drink your coffee without the addictive or dangerous qualities of caffeine. Knowing that many people are addicted to caffeine through coffees and teas, Carolyn sought a way to bring her knowledge of the Mediterranean rainforest to her morning cup and then share it. The basic ingredients of her herbal coffee are a simple and delicious blend of roots, nuts and fruit found in nature: roasted carob, barley, chicory root, figs, dates and almonds.

Drinking a coffee alternative can still imitate the rush that coffee can give you in the morning without the negative health effects associated with caffeine. For example, each cup of Teeccino is infused with around 80 milligrams of potassium which sends oxygen to your brain causing an energy boost that just might help you start you day.

So you’re probably wondering why a certified organic “herbal coffee” drink would be any healthier for you than a regular cup of java if it also has a stimulant in it—albeit a natural mineral—to help you be more alert. Caffeine can lead to infertility, it is a leading cause of stress by helping put your heart under pressure, and caffeine is a large inhibitor of heart disease. By shocking your nerves into having more energy, caffeine also stimulates your hunger, making you more susceptible to sweet cravings, ultimately spiking your blood sugar which can lead to a sugar intolerance or diabetes. Anxiety and depression are also linked to caffeine and the stimulant actually decreases your memory and cognitive skills.

Sean Paajanen, coffee and tea guide from About.com, applauds Teeccino’s efforts to be unlike other coffee alternatives and doesn’t mind the taste, “An excellent herbal coffee that contains no caffeine, but does taste remarkably just like regular coffee. No need to deny yourself in the mornings if you want to cut your caffeine.” Paajanen continues, “I've tried a few coffee substitutes…but was always disappointed to find they don't really taste like the coffee I know and love. I have been completely impressed with Teeccino, as the first coffee substitute I have found that tastes like coffee. Really. It has the rich, full-bodied taste that I love in my cup. And the many flavours make this a very versatile product to enjoy.”

So next time you have a caffeine headache and you drive through your local coffee cart, think how much you could save your body and your wallet by using a healthy alternative. Even if herbal coffee doesn’t taste exactly like your precious Starbucks latte, your homemade drip, or Peet’s best cup of tea, it might be worth a try to save your future health.

Platelet Rich Plasma Accelerates Healing of Athletic Injuries

Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) has been used by hospitals for surgical applications since the 1970s. Now, due to recent advancements in technology, the treatment has now become available to sports medicine clinics across the globe.

PRP therapy is used to mend injuries to tendons and ligaments without surgery. The procedure involves deriving concentrated platelets and white blood cells from a patient’s blood with the use of a closed platelet separator system and then mixing the PRP with activating agents for injection back into the patient’s own injured tissue. The injection causes a repair response from the body within the injured tissue. The repair response begins with the formation of a local blood clot in muscle, tendon, ligament, and bone followed by the dissolving of the implanted platelets. This releases growth factors that cause fibrous scar tissue to be formed, which results in injured tissue being replaced with healthy tissue.

Because the materials used in the treatment are derived from your own body, the chance of adverse drug reactions is eliminated, making the process completely safe. In addition, with the use of closed PRP systems, no other product or material is allowed to enter during the PRP production process. The systems can also be completely automatic, which allows for consistent reproducible concentrates of PRP.

Hines Ward and Troy Polamalu of the Pittsburgh Steelers used PRP treatment prior to the team's win in the Super Bowl. Major league pitcher Takashi Saito of the Los Angeles Dodgers and approximately 20 professional soccer players have also undergone the procedure. According to sports medicine experts, PRP therapy could lead to more successful treatment of persistent injuries such as chronic elbow tendonitis (tennis elbow) and knee tendonitis for athletes.

CDC Says Far Too Few Young Women Screened for Chlamydia

Child Health
Men's Health
Women's Health
Mental Health
Pregnancy, Childbirth, and Parenting
Sexual Health
Aging & Getter Older

Health Experts
Jennifer Gianni
Kristen DeLeo
Joel Nathan
Dan Heffley
Cary Presant
Susan Brady
Beth Shapouri
Melanie Grimes
Constance Rock & Aleksandra Evanguelidi
Sexual Health
CDC Says Far Too Few Young Women Screened for Chlamydia
By: Madeline Ellis
Published: Monday, 20 April 2009

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Chlamydia is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) named for the Greek word meaning “cloak,” precisely because its symptoms are usually mild or absent and it may linger months or years before being discovered. Men and women alike can be infected, and if left untreated chlamydia can progress to serious reproductive and other health problems. In women, the infection can spread to the uterus and fallopian tubes, leading to infertility or an ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy that occurs outside of the uterus). Women infected with chlamydia are up to five times more likely to become infected with HIV, if exposed. An infected mother can transfer the infection to her baby, where it can cause pneumonia or an eye infection that could result in blindness. In men, infection can spread to the testicles and prostate and can cause sterility.

To help prevent these serious consequences, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, Centers for Disease Control (CDC), and professional organizations such as the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend annual chlamydia screening for all sexually active women age 25 years or younger, older women with risk factors for the disease such as a new sex partner or multiple partners, and all pregnant women. And though rates of testing have risen significantly over the past decade, screening is far below where it needs to be.

Researchers at the CDC analyzed data reported to the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set by commercial insurers and Medicaid plans from 2000 through 2007 and found that fewer than half of vulnerable U.S. women are being screened for chlamydia. The information covered 41 states and included information from at least five health plans. “Nationally, the annual screening rate increased from 25.3 percent in 2000 to 43.6 percent in 2006, and then decreased slightly to 41.6 percent in 2007,” the researchers wrote in the April 17 issue of Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Study Suggests Anti-Nausea Medication Safe for Mothers-to-Be

Although there are many symptoms that accompany pregnancy, morning sickness tends to be one of the first, and often the most unpleasant. Usually beginning between the fourth and eighth week of pregnancy, morning sickness doesn’t necessarily occur in the morning; that feeling of nausea or vomiting can happen at any time of the day, even all day for some women. No one knows exactly why it occurs, but one thing is for certain; if you have morning sickness, you want it to go away. For the fortunate ones, it can be controlled by eating crackers or another light snack before getting out of bed, and eating frequent small meals during the day, but those strategies don’t always work and many women are reluctant to use medications for fear of harming the baby. But a new study may serve to alleviate that concern and help bolster approval of an anti-nausea medication specifically for morning sickness.