December 30, 2008

Use Cabbage to Help Beat Cancer

Cabbages, cruciferous greens, brussels sprouts, bok choy, Chinese cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower contain substances called sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinols, which are anti-cancer molecules. These two molecules help to detoxify the body of certain carcinogenic substances and can help stop precancerous cells from developing into malignant tumors. They also contain other anti-cancer substances, such as glucosinolates and myrosinase enzymes. They also help to kill cancer cells and block tumor growth.

December 18, 2008

Antibacterial Soaps Not So Good

It is found that antibacterial soaps are just as good as regular soaps at cleaning hands. There is not any evidence that they protect you from illnesses and they may not be beneficial health wise because the bacteria-killing ingredient found in the antibacterial liquid soaps, called triclosan, can promote antibiotic resistance to bacteria. This would make it harder to fight off bacterial infections because bacteria are more likely to form a resistance to antibiotics when they are exposed to low or infrequent doses of antibacterial ingredients. Triclocarban is an antibacterial substance found in antibacterial bar soaps and have the same negative effect. When you wash you hands with antibacterial products the product also goes down the drain and can be very harmful to the environment. It is a good idea to use soaps that are not antibacterial or antimicrobial.

December 17, 2008

First Face Transplant Done in America

In Cleveland, reconstructive surgeon Dr. Maria Siemionow and a team of specialists performed the first face face transplant done in America by replacing 80 percent of a disfigured woman's face by using the face of a female cadaver. Many details of the surgery have not been released but surgeons that do this usually transplant skin, facial nerves, muscles, and other deep tissue.

Skin is considered an organ and it still runs the risk of the body rejecting it, as with other organ transplants. Recipients of transplants have the risk of deadly complications, such as the new facial tissue attacking the recipient's body and the recipient's body attacking the bone marrow or the transplanted face to cause inflammation at the area of the new tissue. They also have to take immune-suppressing drugs for the rest of their lives to prevent the body rejecting the organ. This raises the risk of cancer and other diseases.

This is the fourth one done worldwide. Two have been done in France and one was done in China. The first one was a partial face transplant done in France in 2005 on a woman who had been mauled by her dog and received a new nose, chin, and lips from a brain-dead donor. Another was done in France on man disfigured by a genetic disease. One was done in China on a farmer that had been disfigured by being mauled by a bear.

December 9, 2008

Increase Metabolism with Tea

There are catechins and thermogenic properties in green and oolong teas that can increase metabolism and speed up fat oxidation. One cup of green tea can increase metabolism by 4 percent for 1 and 1/2 hours. One cup of oolong tea can increase metabolism by 10 percent for 1 and 1/2 hours.

Green tea is also an antioxidant that is rich in compounds called polyphenols that reduce the growth of new blood vessels that feed tumors. It is also a good detoxifier that activates enzymes in the liver that eliminate toxins from the body. It has even been shown to increase the effect of radiation on cancer cells to help cancer patients. It prevents the formation of free radicals that can cause diseases, such as cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

December 8, 2008

Increase Metabolism with Protein

Protein can be used to increase metabolism. The body uses more energy to process it than fat or carbohydrates. You can burn up to twice as many calories digesting protein as digesting carbohydrates. Having 28 percent of your calories in your diet coming from protein and reducing carbohydrate intake can burn an extra 150 to 200 calories each day.

When it comes to exercise, eating 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight each day can keep you nitrogen levels high and allow your body to fully recover from workouts faster. It also helps muscle growth and increasing muscle mass can help to burn even more calories.

December 1, 2008

Increase Metabolism with Capsaicin

Capsaicin is a bioactive compound in chile peppers that can increase metabolism and reduce hunger. One tablespoon of chopped red or green chile pepper, which is 30 mg of capsaicin, can cause a temporary 23 percent increase in metabolism.

November 30, 2008

The Benefits of Kale

Kale is a healthy leafy vegetable that is good for the winter. It is a form of cabbage that gets sweeter as the weather gets colder and is a good source of vitamins A, C, and K. It also is a a good source of calcium. It is high in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It also contains sulforaphane, which is a chemical that supposedly has anti-cancer properties.

November 28, 2008

Safe Tips to Sleep Better

There are several things that you can do to help you to sleep better at night. You can avoid alcohol before bedtime, avoid caffeine, turn down the thermostat, increase carbohydrate intake, and develop a sleep schedule.

It is not good to drink alcohol before trying to go to sleep. Alcohol can have a negative effect on the quality of sleep. Even small or moderate amounts of alcohol can suppress melatonin, which is a hormone that helps to regulate sleep. It also interferes with the monoamine transmitters that controls the body's ability to sleep well. Alcohol can also interfere with restorative N-REM cycles and prevent a person from dreaming by disrupting the second half of the sleep cycle.

Eliminating caffeinated drinks from your diet can help you to sleep better. Caffeine can have a negative effect on sleep by boosting a person's alertness, activate stress hormones, and increase heart rate and blood pressure. It is good to to drink a caffeinated drink at least 8 hours before your bedtime.

Keeping your bedroom or the area where you sleep cool and dark can help you to sleep better. The recommended temperature is between 54 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. A cool room makes it easier for the body's core temperature to drop, which is needed to be able to fall asleep. The body reaches its lowest temperature about 4 hours after a person falls asleep. Researchers have found that when the hands and feet are warm it causes blood vessels to dilate and heat to escape and body temperature to decrease, which could help a person to fall asleep faster.

Increasing the amount of starchy carbohydrates in your diet, such as cereal, pasta, and potatoes, can increase the ability of sleep causing amino tryptophan in the blood, which increases serotonin. Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. Foods high in complex carbohydrates, such as bread, bagels, and crackers, can have a mild effect on sleep.

It can help to develop a regular sleep and wake schedule. That would mean going to bed and waking up at the same time everyday so that your body would regulate itself to fall asleep asleep at a certain time and wake up at a certain time.

November 21, 2008

New Pill for Lung Cancer Patients

There is a new pill called Iressa for advanced lung cancer patients that can be a replacement for chemotherapy. The drug has less negative side effects even though it is more expensive. It works by attacking specific growth receptors on cancer cells and is less harmful. The drug costs thousands of dollars each month.

Iressa is currently available in the United States, but it is not licensed in Europe. It is also approved for use in patients that failed chemotherapy. The common side effects are rash, acne, and diarrhea. Cancer patients have shown to live nearly as long on the drug as with chemotherapy.

November 20, 2008

Use of Cranberries to Treat Urinary Tract Infections

Cranberries are good to use to treat urinary tract infections. They contain two compounds that keep fimbriated E. coli from sticking to the bladder and urinary tract walls. The compounds in cranberries can decrease the amount of urinary tract infections that a person experiences. Cranberries can be found in juice and pill form. It is recommended to drink 8 to 16 ounces of unsweetened juice per day or use a 500 mg pill each day of cranberry extract.

November 14, 2008

Same-Sex Heart Transplants Found to be Better

A new research has found that heart transplant patients have better chances of survival and lower risk of the body rejecting the organ if they get organs from donors of the same sex as them. This may be due to the fact that men's hearts are usually bigger than a woman's heart and have a greater pumping capacity. Differences in hormones and immune systems between men and women could also play a part.

November 9, 2008

A Little Alcohol Good for Healthy Living

Researchers have found that drinking small amounts of alcohol, mainly wine, during middle age years you can have a major reduction in heart attack and stroke risk. It is recommended to drink one glass of wine per day. Alcohol raises HDL cholesterol levels, which is the cholesterol that is good for you, and stimulates the release of nitric oxide and histamines that relax blood vessels and improves their function.

Small to moderate amounts of alcohol could also help prevent Alzheimer's disease, peripheral artery disease, the common cold, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, bone fractures and osteoporosis, kidney stones, digestive ailments, stress, depression, poor cognition and memory, Parkinson's disease, hepatitis A, pancreatic cancer, macular degeneration, angina pectoris, duodenal ulcer, erectile dysfunction, hearing loss, gallstones, liver disease and poor physical condition in elderly.

Too much alcohol is bad for you. Too much can cause high blood pressure, increased triglyceride levels, cause abnormal heart rhythms, and raise the risk of breast cancer in women.

November 8, 2008

Macadamia Nuts Lower Cholesterol Levels

Even though macadamia nuts are high in calories and fat, they can help to keep arteries clear. The type of fat they are high in is called monounsaturated fatty acids, which is what causes it to lower levels of blood cholesterol. Adding 1 1/2 ounces of the nuts to your diet each day can lower cholesterol levels by about 9 percent after 5 weeks. Macadamia nuts are originally from Australia but have been imported to Hawaii to be grown and used for commercial use.

October 24, 2008

Scientists Developing Foods To Help You Lose Weight

At the Institute of Food Research in Norwich, England, foods are being developed that would help a person lose weight by slowing down the digestive system and triggering a signal to the brain to suppress appetite. It would control appetite by tricking the brain into thinking that you have eaten too much when you actually haven’t. The products could possibly be sold on the market in a few years.

Scientists at the University of Newcastle are testing a seaweed extract called alginate that would reduce fat absorption by cutting the level of glucose that is digested by the body before it is broken down in the large intestine. In taste testings done with several dozen people, it is found that most people felt that the foods enhanced by alginate tasted as good or even better.

Scientists in North America and Europe are developing products to control appetite, such as chemical injections and implantable devices that would interfere with the digestive system. It is not certain if appetite controlling foods could cure all cases of obesity.

October 19, 2008

The Health Benefits of Omega-3s

Omega-3s are a family of unsaturated fatty acids that are important for good health but are not naturally made by the body. They are mostly found in fish and offer good healthy benefits for the heart, eyes, joints, and brain.

Omega-3s have been found to reduce the rate of fatal and nonfatal heart attacks and can slightly lower blood pressure levels. It can reduce heart attacks by reducing inflammation and blood clots. It also slows the buildup of plaque in the arteries that can cause a heart attack. It can lower blood pressure by making it possible for blood to flow better in the veins through the reduction of plaque buildup.

Omega-3s can protect against the development and progression of retinopathy, which is the deterioration of the retina. DHA is in the omega-3 group and it is used by the photoreceptor cells of the retina in the eye. Not getting enough omega-3s in your diet can cause vision problems.

When it comes to the joints, omega-3s can improve morning stiffness and joint pain related to rheumatoid arthritis and reduce inflammation in the joints.

Omega-3s have an effect on the brain because they can increase the grey matter in the brain that is related to mood and behavior. This could help depression and improve mood and emotions.

October 18, 2008

ThermoSuit for Cardiac Arrest Patients

When a person has been revived after cardiac arrest but is still unconscious, cooling the body is the first thing done by emergency staff. Reducing the body temperature would improve the patient's chance for a full recovery. Blowing cold air over the body or using ice packs can take hours to work effectively.

Now, there is a product called a ThermoSuit that can reduce a person's body temperature in about 30 minutes. The product is a plastic suit that is filled with cold water. There are medical centers that are currently using it and say that the survival rate of their cardiac arrest patients has risen from 35 percent to 60 to 70 percent.

October 14, 2008

Pediatricians Double Vitamin D Recommendation

The American Academy of Pediatrics has doubled its recommendation for the daily dose of vitamin D that children should take to try to prevent diseases, such as rickets, and they say that this decision could have life-long benefits. It is now recommended that children receive 400 international units of vitamin D per day, starting in the few days of their life.

Not getting enough vitamin D can result in the disease rickets, which causes bone-softening, stunted growth, and skeletal deformities if it is not corrected while the child is young. Babies that are breast-fed have a big risk of being vitamin D deficient but these babies can be given supplements of the vitamin.

Good sources of vitamin D include exposure to sunlight, vitamin D fortified milk, fortified cereals, tuna, mackerel, and sardines.

October 13, 2008

Oats for a Healthy Heart

Eating oats are good for a healthy heart. They are rich in dietary fiber, manganese, selenium, the antioxidant flavonoid, and magnesium. They are also rich in beta-glucan and have shown to be able to reduce the risk of heart attack and lower cholesterol levels. Eating oats on a regular basis can lower cholesterol levels by 6 to 10 percent and lower the risk of heart attack by up to 25 percent. Also adding whole grains, beans, soy, vegetables, and fruits to your diet can reduce the risk of heart attack by 40 to 60 percent.

September 21, 2008

Cooking Oils that are Healthy for You

There are oils used for cooking that are healthy to use when preparing meals. These oils have less fat and reduces the risk of developing heart disease. It is good to use olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, walnut oil, and flaxseed oil when preparing meals.

Olive oil has a high amount of monosaturated fats and polyphenols, which are antioxidants that have inflammatory and anticlotting properties. This oil can lower the risk of heart disease, reduce the chances of cancer and diabetes, and can help a person to lose weight. A diet that is rich in olive oil may have pain-relieving properties that are similar to taking a low-dose baby aspirin each day.

Canola Oil has a low level of unhealthy saturated fats and is a good source of alpha-linolenic acid, which is an omega-3 fatty acid that is healthy for the heart. This oil can also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Peanut oil is very effective for a healthy heart. The oil contains resveratrol, which is an antioxidant that has been found to reduce the risks of cancer and heart disease.

Sesame oil is very healthy. It is a good source of vitamin E, magnesium, copper, calcium, iron , and vitamin B. The oil contains sesamin and sesamolin, which both have been known to lower cholesterol and protect the liver.

Walnut oil and flaxseed oil are both high in omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed has the highest amount of omega-3s out of all non-fish foods and the oil also contains lignans, which are chemicals that could help to prevent cancer.

September 15, 2008

Leg Pain Symptom of Deadly Blood Clot

It is found that having leg pain can be a symptom of having a deep vein thrombosis. A deep vein thrombosis forms in large veins and it is usual for them to develop in the leg and groin area. It can kill a person quickly if it moves up to the lung area where it would become a pulmonary embolism.

Symptoms of a deep vein thrombosis in the leg area includes swelling, pain, a warm spot, or discoloration of the skin. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath or having pain when breathing deeply. There are many things that can cause a thrombosis, including recent surgery, broken bones, falling, pregnancy, birth control pills, menopause hormones, and being immobile for a long period of time, and the risks increase with age, especially in people over 65, and with those who smoke or are obese.

September 3, 2008

Cell Phones Bad For Kids

There have already been links between cell phone use and brain cancer. The microwave radiation that is emitted from cell phones can affect a child's brain worse than an adult because younger skulls are thinner and less protective. The worse effects come from long term and frequent use of using wireless phones. Radiation levels vary by phone and wireless phones are assigned a number called the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR). It is recommended to choose a cell phone with a lower SAR rating.

The risks of tumor growth and damage decreases as a wireless phone is moved farther from the face. It is recommended that anyone using a wireless phone should use a headset or a wireless Bluetooth device.

September 2, 2008

Ways to Fight Fatigue and Sleep Better

There are many good ways to fight the feelings of fatigue and tiredness. Not getting enough sleep each day can disrupt hormones that signal your body's need for nourishment. There are foods that can help increase energy levels and help you feel satisfied without overeating.

There are certain vitamins and minerals that can have an effect on how well you sleep. Getting the right amounts of vitamins B6 and B12, calcium, iron, and magnesium can help you to have healthy sleeping patterns. Vitamin B12 helps to fight fatigue by building strong and healthy red blood cells. It may also help insomnia by having an effect on melatonin, which is a hormone that regulates sleep cycles.

Carbohydrates can help you sleep. Eating carbohydrates, such as oatmeal and whole grain products, can increase levels of serotonin to help you sleep better.

Caffeine can keep you alert. Small amounts of caffeine over the length of a day, such as 8 ounces or less each time you drink, can keep you more awake, alert and focused than a large amount would. A large amount of caffeine would peak in the bloodstream sooner than if you spread it out and take smaller doses over a length of time.

August 30, 2008

Good Posture Increase Weight Loss

It is found that good posture can help weight loss efforts. Slumping your body during a workout increases the heart rate and makes the workout seem more difficult. Pulling back the shoulder blades lets you take in more oxygen and makes it easier to work harder during exercise, which will allow your to burn more calories.

August 26, 2008

Good Ways to Ease Stress and Fatigue

Stress can trigger a surge in hormones, such as cortisol and adrenaline, which can cause fatigue, headaches, or back pain. There are foods and drinks that can be used to ease stress.

Carbohydrates are good at easing stress. They can boost the levels of serotonin in the brain and make you feel calmer. Serotonin is a chemical that controls the stress management system in the brain.

Dark chocolate contains high levels of caffeine and theobromine, which can improve mood and energy levels. Chocolate can have an affect on the levels of endorphins released into the brain that can ease pain and stress. It also contains tryptophan, which is a chemical that causes the release of serotonin.

It is found that combining caffeine and the amino acid L-theanine, both which are present in tea, can decrease mental fatigue and improve alertness, reaction time, and memory. Black tea can help to ease stress by lowering the stress hormone cortisol.

August 25, 2008

Foods and Herbs to Try for a Healthier You

There are several foods and herbs that can be used treat medical conditions, such as arthritis, osteoarthritis, shingles, neuropathy, swelling, and autoimmune disorders. There are also certain natural foods and herbs that can be used to increase energy levels and promote a healthier body, such as blueberries, yogurt, almonds, sweet potatoes, salmon, collard greens, and black beans.

Capsaicin is an active component in chile peppers that can temporarily desensitize pain-prone skin nerve receptors called C-fibers. It can be used for people suffering from conditions that include arthritis, shingles, and neuropathy. A University of Oxford Study found that 40 percent of arthritis patients reduced half of their pain after using a topical capsaicin cream for a month and 60 percent of neuropathy patients had the same results after two months. Patients at the New England Center for Headache had a decrease in their migraine and cluster headache intensity after applying capsaicin cream inside of their nostrils.

Arnica is a herb that comes from an European flower that has anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used to ease pain and reduce swelling after surgery.

Aquamin is a red seaweed supplement that is good for people suffering from osteoarthritis. It is rich in calcium and magnesium and can reduce joint inflammation and help build bone. It is recommended to take 2,400 mg of it a day in tablet form.

Fish oil is effective for joint pain due to arthritis and autoimmune disorders. When fish oil is digested it breaks down into chemicals called prostaglandins, which reduce inflammation. For heart health, it is recommended to take 1,000 mg each day. For osteoarthritis, it is recommended to take 2,000 to 4,000 mg per day. It is recommended to take about 8,000 mg per day for people suffering from rheumatoid arthritis and autoimmune diseases associated with joint pain, such as lupus.

Methylsulfonyl-methane (MSM) comes from sulfur and is often used by people suffering from osteoarthritis. It can be used to prevent joint and cartilage degeneration. It works better when it is used in combination with glucosamine. It is recommended to start by taking 1.5 to 3g once daily and increase to taking 3g twice each day for more severe pain.

Blueberries can increase energy levels due to the amount of carbohydrates that they contain. They also have fiber than can suppress appetite and feelings of hunger. They also contain vitamin C. Blueberries have a substance called anthocyanin that gives them their color and can help to protect cells from damage that can cause cancer, varicose veins, and urinary tract infections.

Yogurt is healthy because it contains live bacteria called probiotics, which can help the immune system to fight off infections. It also helps to keep the intestines healthy and allow them to absorb more nutrients and energy from food. Yogurt also contains vitamin B12 that increases energy levels.

Almonds can increase energy levels because they are high in magnesium and fiber. Both are energy boosters. They are also a good source of protein and zinc.

Sweet potatoes are low in fat and high in fiber and antioxidants. They contain twice the daily recommendation of vitamin A. They also have high amounts of complex carbohydrates, which can cause a lower glycemic index, so that they digest slowly and can keep a person feeling fuller for a longer amount of time.

Fish are usually low in calories and saturated fat. They are also a good source of lean protein. Cold-water fish, such as salmon, sardine, and mackerel, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which help protect the body against heart disease. Omega-3 can also help against depression.

Collard greens are low in calories and have plenty of vitamins and minerals. They contain vitamin C, which can help to increase energy levels. They also contain disease fighting antioxidants and folate. Collards and other leafy green vegetables contain magnesium and vitamin B. The combination of magnesium and vitamin B can decrease moodiness and anxiety levels.

Black beans contain iron that can increase energy levels and soluble fiber that can help a person to feel full for a longer amount of time. They are also a good source of protein.

August 24, 2008

Use Blueberries to Help Memory

Eating at least a cup of blueberries each day can improve your memory in just a matter of weeks. Blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, and cherries contain flavonoids, which are compounds that are contributed to the growth of brain cells. Blueberries are also phytochemical rich so that they are good at reversing age-related memory problems. They also have an effect on neurons by enhancing neuronal connections in the brain to improve cellular communications and stimulate neuronal regeneration.

August 23, 2008

The Damaging Effects of Cola Sodas

Drinking cola type sodas is very unhealthy. Just drinking 16 ounces or more of cola sodas each day can double the risk of developing chronic kidney disease. They can also contribute to hypertension, diabetes, and kidney stones. The phosphoric acid that they contain are commonly linked to kidney stones. They can also cause lower bone density, which increases the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures. Noncola sodas don't have the same impact on the kidneys but they are still unhealthy. It is a healthy idea to skip sodas altogether.

August 21, 2008

Celery For a Healthy Mind

t is found that eating celery and bell peppers can help keep your brain healthy. They both contain a plant compound called luteolin than can prevent inflammation in the brain that is connected to aging and other diseases, such as Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis. Celery also has compounds that can fight Alzheimer's and other degenerative diseases.

August 20, 2008

Use Choline to Decrease Breast Cancer Risk

Choline is an organic compound that is classified as a water-soluble essential nutrient and is usually grouped within the Vitamin B complex family. It is found that getting enough choline can reduce the chances of getting breast cancer by 24 percent. It also reduces the risk of heart disease and improves memory. Choline can be found in eggs, fish, lean meat, collard greens, and beans. It is recommended that women get 425 mg of choline each day.

August 19, 2008

Best Ways to Naturally Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure, also called hypertension, is a condition where blood pressure levels are above a normal range. An adult is considered to have high blood pressure if if their blood pressure is 140 mm Hg systolic pressure and/or 90 mm Hg diastolic pressure or higher. There are several ways of lowering blood pressure without using medication. The safest and most effective ways to lower blood pressure would include exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, reducing stress, and eating a diet that is low in salt and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products.

There are certain vitamins and minerals that can help lower blood pressure. Vitamin C can help lower blood pressure in people that have mild or moderate hypertension. It is recommended for women to get 75 mg each day and men to get 90 mg each day. Vitamin C can be obtained through eating fruits, such as oranges, or taking supplements. Magnesium can also be taken in supplement form to relax muscles to help lower blood pressure. It is recommended to take 400 mg of magnesium.

Herbs can also be used to lower blood pressure. It is found that a red flowered species of hibiscus, called H. sabdariffa, is very effective in lowering blood pressure. A study in 2004 showed that people who drank 2 cups of hibiscus tea each day for 4 weeks lowered their diastolic blood pressure by 12 percent.

August 17, 2008

Grapefruit Juice Not Good for Prescription Medications

Grapefruit juice is not good for people taking certain prescription medication. The juice has natural enzymes that can block the body's ability to break down certain drugs and this can cause the drug's levels to increase to high levels and increase the risk of side effects. Just one glass of juice can be enough to cause problems. It is good to check the prescription label for grapefruit caution.

August 16, 2008

Why Fish Oil Is Healthy For You

Fish oil products are healthy because they contain the Omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which can lower blood pressure, prevent arrhythmias, reduce inflammation, grow new brain cells, improve memory, and improve brain function. There hasn’t been a daily value set but it is recommended to consume 1,000 mg of DHA and EPA combined per day.

August 10, 2008

New Botox Alternative for Frown Lines

There is a new Botox injection alternative that is made for vertical frown lines that are between the eyebrows called Glabellar furrow relaxation. Its effects supposedly last longer than Botox and works by directing radio-frequency energy at the nerves that are connected to the forehead muscles to keep the muscles and skin from creasing. After the doctor injects local anesthesia, they would insert a pen like device under the skin and around the temple. The procedure would relax the frown muscles immediately.

The cost of Glabellar furrow relaxation costs more than Botox injections. Glabellar furrow relaxation costs $1,000 to $3,000 per treatment and Botox injections can cost between $400 and $800 per treatment.

August 6, 2008

Therapeutic Light Used to Repair Skin Damage

There is a procedure called LED photography that exposes skin to therapeutic light to repair sun damage without causing pain or taking much time. The procedure uses light that stimulates collagen and elastin production. It has fewer side effects than using lasers or peels, even though the results aren’t as fast.

August 5, 2008

Global Warming Increases Allergy Problems

It is found that climate change due to global warming can affect allergies. Global warming and increased atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from burning fossil fuels can increase the levels of pollen that cause allergies. The effect of global warming and increased carbon dioxide levels on allergies are currently being studied by government agencies, scientists, and doctors. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the Environmental Protection Agency have both cited increased allergic reactions due to climate change as a growing concern for the public in 2007 reports.

July 27, 2008

Benefits of Soy Yogurt

Soy yogurt is a healthier form of yogurt because it is made with soy milk from soy beans instead of cow’s milk. The natural compounds in the yogurt can help to control blood sugar levels by slowing down carbohydrate digestion. Also, the yogurts are usually all-natural, organic, and dairy free.

July 26, 2008

California Bans Restaurants From Using Trans Fats

On Friday, California became the first state to ban the use of trans fats in restaurants . Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a legislation that will ban restaurants and other retail food establishments from using oil, margarine, and shortening that contains trans fats.
This legislation would start to take effect on January 1, 2010. Restaurants that violate the ban could face fines between $25 and $1,000 and the only exception would be food that is sold in manufactures' sealed packaging. Both California and Oregon already have laws that ban trans fat from being served in schools.

Trans fats are naturally in meat and dairy products in small amounts. Most trans fats are made when vegetable oil is treated with hydrogen to make baked and fried foods have a longer shelf life. Trans fats are considered bad because they are supposedly linked to coronary heart disease.

July 25, 2008

Exercise Encourages Wellness

A recent research has shown that a single 20 minute exercise session each week can reduce stress, decrease anxiety, and increase happiness and energy levels. Researchers have also found that almost any type of physical activity, including housework, yard work, and brisk walking could help to decrease levels of mental distress.

July 22, 2008

Good Reasons to Have Good Posture

There are many reasons to practice good posture and to stand up and sit up straight. Good posture can reduce back pains, increase energy levels, reduce bone and joint aches, and encourage better digestion.

Good posture is good for reducing back pains because sitting in a hunched or slouched position can increase pressure on spinal disks and can cause supporting muscles and ligaments to degenerate quicker. Bad posture can cause back pains and can worsen the condition of a herniated disk and pinched nerves.

Bad posture is bad on the body’s energy levels because slumping can tighten the chest and compress the lungs, so less oxygen gets into the bloodstream. This can cause for a person to become mentally tired and stressed. Strain in any part of the body decreases energy levels.

Bad posture can cause bone and joint problems and cause muscles to shorten overtime. Slouching while a person is sitting can cause hip flexors to shorten and become less flexible, causing joint pain. Sitting with rounded shoulders can cause rotator-cuff pains. Over a period of time, arthritis can set in due to wear and tear on joints.

Better posture leads to better digestion. Slouching after eating can cause the stomach muscles to tighten and may push stomach acid into the esophagus and cause heart burn. Standing or sitting up straight effectively helps the digestive system to work better.

July 18, 2008

FDA Lifts Warning on Tomatoes

The FDA has lifted its salmonella warning on tomatoes saying that even though the outbreak isn’t over, it is slowing down. They also say that the tomatoes currently in the stores are safe to eat. Hot peppers, jalapenos, and serranos are still under warning.

The people that are most affected include elderly people and people with weak immune systems. Investigators don’t know what caused the salmonella outbreak that caused 1,220 people in 42 states to get sick. The tomato industry lost more than $100 due to the outbreak.

July 14, 2008

Heart Doctor Pioneer Michael DeBakey Dies

Dr. Michael DeBakey, the famous cardiovascular surgeon that pioneered the bypass surgery and inventor of many devices to help people with heart problems, has died at the age of 99 from natural causes at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, TX. In 1932, while he was still in medical school, he invented the roller pump, which later became the most important part of the heart-lung machine. The machine takes over the responsibilities of the heart and lungs during surgery. He was also the pioneer in the development of artificial hearts and heart pumps to help people waiting for transplants. He had helped to create more than 70 surgical instruments in his lifetime.

In the 1950s, DeBakey was the first person to perform the replacement of arterial aneurysms and obstructive lesions. He had developed bypass pumps and connections to replace parts of diseased arteries.

He had performed more than 60,000 heart surgeries in his career that lasted 70 years. His patients had included the Duke of Windsor, the Shah of Iran, King Hussein of Jordan, Turkish President Turgut Ozal, Nicaraguan leader Violetta Chamorro, President Kennedy, President Johnson, and President Nixon. He was a consultant when Russian President Boris Yeltsin had surgery.

He served as the chairman of the President’s Commission on Heart Disease, Cancer, and Stroke during President Johnson’s administration. He had helped to establish the National Library of Medicine and was the author of more than 1,000 medical reports, papers, chapters, and books on surgery, medicine, and similar topics.

In 1953, he performed the first Dacron graft to be able to replace part of occluded arteries. In the 1960s he started coronary artery bypasses. In 1966, he was the first person to successfully use a partial artificial heart. In the 1990s, he helped to create the Michael E. DeBakey Heart Instititute at Hays Medical Center.

July 11, 2008

Bigger Fruits Aren’t Better Fruits

Bigger fruits aren’t always better and more nutritious. It is known that as fruits and vegetables grow bigger, their amounts of nutrients and antioxidants decrease. When shopping, it is a good idea to choose the smallest and brightest fruits and vegetables. Bright vegetables are good because the brightness is a sign that the produce is rich in phytochemicals, which is a healthy substance that is often considered an antioxidant.

Heartburn Can Lead to Esophageal Caner

Heartburn can increase the risk of developing esophageal cancer. This is due to the backwash of stomach acids damaging the esophageal lining, which can cause cell changes that can lead to caner.

It is recommended to drink a minimal amount of coffee and citrus juices. It is also a good idea to cut back on spicy foods to control heart burn. H2 blockers, such as Zantac, and proton pump inhibitors, such as Prilosec, can help to reduce symptoms and encourage the healing of damaged tissues.

July 9, 2008

Cut Cancer Risks With Leafy Vegetables

It is found that leafy green vegetables are rich in vitamins A and C and rich in flavonoids, which all can help to protect the body against cancer. A study was done by researchers that found that adults who ate one serving of leafy vegetables each day were half as likely to develop lung cancer when compared to people who ate them less than five times each week.

July 8, 2008

Natural Ways to Treat Migraines

There are several ways to effectively treat migraine symptoms naturally without using prescription medications. There is an extract of the butterbur plant that can reduce the number of migraines a person gets when it is used regularly. The vitamin B2 can reduce the frequency and length of time a person suffers from a migraine when 400mg of it is used each day.

Acupuncture and biofeedback can also be very helpful. Having acupuncture done twice each week can help to prevent migraine symptoms and biofeedback can reduce migraines by 56 percent.

The Affects of Menopause on Heart Disease

There are Dutch scientists that have found that women who have severe menopausal symptoms have more heart disease risks, such as high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure, and a higher body mass index (BMI), than women who have more mild symptoms. It is assumed that the decline in estrogen could affect the walls of blood vessels to cause these risks.

It is recommended for a woman experiencing menopause to get her blood pressure and cholesterol checked. It is also a good idea to try natural remedies, such as daily exercise, yoga, and a diet that is rich in flaxseed or isoflavones from soy.

July 7, 2008

Hospitals Offering Clinical Trials Could Be Better

American and Canadian researchers have found that hospitals that practice drug and device studies could be better at dealing with life-threatening situations and they have lower patient death rates than hospitals that don’t do clinical trials. There was another study done that found that ovarian cancer patients at these types of hospitals have a 28 percent lower mortality rate.

Get a List of Hospitals that Offer Clinical Trials at:

June 29, 2008

Scientist Find Possible Alzheimer’s Gene

There are scientists that have found a gene that might raise the chances of getting the most common kind of Alzheimer’s disease by 45 percent in people who inherit a certain form of the disease. The gene affects a brain cell’s ability to take in calcium. Hopefully, drugs can be made to fight this effect. Most people are over the age of 65 that are affected by the disease.

Only one gene, called CALHM1, has been found to affect the risks associated with people over the age of 65. There are many other genes that are being studied as having the possibility to affect the disease.

June 11, 2008

How to Soothe Colicky Babies

Colic is a condition that causes unexplained and prolonged crying in infants. If a baby is colicky, it is a good idea to swaddle a baby tightly to make it feel like it is back in the comfort and safety of the womb. Using things like a hair dryer or a fan can imitate the loud sound of blood flowing through a pregnant woman’s arteries. It is a good idea to keep the baby in movement, such as rocking or riding in a car, that reminds them of the womb. The baby can feel soothed with warm baths and warm wash cloths placed on their stomachs. By the time a baby is 3 or 4months old, colic symptoms usually go away and don’t return.

June 10, 2008

Anger is Connected to Healing

It is found that anger problems and the inability to control anger can slow down the recovery period of an injury. This is caused because of increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which can suppress the immune system, when a person is angry. It is best to try to have a good control over these feelings if a person is going through a healing period.

June 9, 2008

Nightly Face Washing Helps Skin

It is found that if a person doesn’t wash their face at night it can make them look older. Leaving dirt, excess oil, and makeup on the skin during the night can cause pores to get larger and can irritate dry skin. It is recommended to rub facial cleanser onto damp skin for 2 minutes and rinse 10 times with lukewarm water.

June 8, 2008

Diet Soda Not Good For Diet

Drinking diet soda to lose weight is not as good as it seems. Diet soda can increase the risk of having high amounts of belly fat, high blood sugar levels, and high cholesterol. A person that drinks one diet soda each day have a 34 percent higher risk of having these things than people who don’t drink diet soda. To have a healthier and tasty drink, it is a good idea to mix freshly cut fruit such as berries and citrus fruits, with seltzer water.

Common Causes of Strokes

Most strokes happen when clot blocks blood flow to the brain. Strokes can also happen when a blood vessel bursts in the brain. High blood pressure encourages strokes because it can cause a buildup of arterial plaque, which can cause blood clots.

Birth control pills and hormone therapy increases the risk of having a stroke. Hormone therapy for menopause symptoms has less estrogen than birth control pills but still increases the risk of stroke a little bit.

Sleep apnea is a condition that interrupts the breathing process while a person is asleep. It raises blood pressure and the risk of having a stroke.

Other things that increase the risk of stroke include blood clotting disorders and having migraines with auras. Auras are visual changes that happen before having a migraine.

The risk of having a stroke can be cut in half just by lowering high blood pressure and high cholesterol. If a female has high cholesterol, hypertension, obesity, or diabetes, then she should be very cautions when taking birth control pills so that she can lower the risk of having a stroke.

June 7, 2008

Alcohol Bad for Hormone Therapy

A recent Danish study has found that drinking alcohol can have a negative effect on people that are on hormone therapy. The recent study showed that hormone therapy users that had one or two alcoholic drinks each day greatly increased their risk of breast cancer. Alcohol could prevent the estrogen in the therapy from being fully metabolized and that would cause a higher blood level of estrogen, which could influence the risk of breast cancer.

June 6, 2008

New Ways to Treat Asthma Symptoms

Soon, people that suffer from asthma can be able to wear sensors in their pockets that monitor the quality of the air and finds environmental causes of their attacks. The sensor’s tests will be used by researchers to find common things that trigger asthma problems.

Scientists have also found that proteins in air passages might indicate different asthma subtypes. This could possibly lead to more targeted therapies.

There is a new drug called Pitrakinra that blocks the body’s response to allergens and does a good job at reducing asthma symptoms. Clinical trials are currently being done on the drug.

Hot Tap Water is Bad Tap Water

It is found that whether you are drinking tap water or using it to prepare a meal, it is best to get water from the cold tap. The EPA says that hot tap water contains higher levels of lead, because it dissolves the toxic metal in plumbing faster than cold water. It is a good idea to let the water run cold for at least a full minute if the faucet hasn’t been used for at least 6 hours.

June 5, 2008

Save Your Skin With Antioxidants

Antioxidants are very important in achieving healthy skin. They work by turning free radicals into benign compounds and stop them from causing inflammation, DNA mutation, and loss of collagen. They can help to prevent wrinkles, spots, and possibly skin cancer. Green Tea, Vitamin C, Idebenone, Pomegranate, and CoffeeBerry are all rich in antioxidants.

Green tea is made from the steaming and drying of fresh leaves. The antioxidant properties in it are preserved very well. It is 100 times more effective than vitamin C and 25 times more effective than vitamin E at neutralizing free radicals. It also protects against DNA damage that is caused by the sun.

Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant source. Increasing the amount of vitamin C in the diet can repair some signs of aging on the skin. It does this because it plays apart in the metabolism of collagen. Vitamin C can also produce free radicals by itself.

Idebenone is an antioxidant that is a little different than others because instead of canceling out one free radical per molecule, it can cancel out multiple free radicals or stop them from forming. This would cause the skin to be protected longer and decrease fine lines and wrinkles.

Pomegranate is a fruit that is high in polyphenol, which makes the cell membrane stronger and less prone to damage and loss of moisture. This would help the skin stay hydrated and moist longer and help to prevent premature wrinkles. It can also help to prevent skin cancer because there is an extract in it that has been proved to prevent skin tumors and increases the effectiveness of sunscreen.

CoffeeBerry is the extract of the cherries of the coffee plant. It is considered to have the most potent mixture of natural antioxidants and is able to neutralize a wide variety of free radicals. It can also reverse some signs of UV damage and is good at decreasing fine lines and wrinkles. Dermatologists say that it can help with skin pigmentation problems, such as dark spots, red spots, and rosacea.

June 4, 2008

Ways to Prevent Memory Loss

Memory loss usually starts at 16 years old and it is a common problem for people by the age of 40. There are things that can be done to prevent it.

Regular exercise can help to prevent the arterial aging that plays a part in memory loss. Exercise uses concentration and coordination, which are two things that require the use of brain neurons and keep them active.

There are some nutrients that fight memory loss. Omega-3 fatty acids help to keep the arteries clear and improve the process of message-sending brain neurotransmitters. They are found in fatty fish, such as salmon and mahimahi. It is recommended to eat 13 ounces of fish each week or take two grams of fish oil supplements, DHA, each day.

June 3, 2008

How Hormones Affect Food Cravings

It is found that how tempting food may seem could depend on a person’s level of the hormone leptin. Weight is not only controlled by calorie intake and exercise, but also by complex brain complexes. Someday, scientists might be able to develop weight-loss drugs that modify the brain’s reaction to food.

June 2, 2008

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

People who have body dysmorphic disorder (BDD) believe that at least one part of their appearance is very unattractive, even after cosmetic surgery. Researchers have found that people with BDD process visual information differently that most other people do and rely more on the analytical left side of the brain. Their brain also focuses on details without putting them into the context of the whole face, which can lead to a distorted self image. BDD can be biological and genetic so that it is not just caused because of society’s obsession on appearance.

May 30, 2008

Bacteria Linked to Infant Deaths

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is one of the leading causes of death for children under the age of one. British researchers have found that bacteria may play a big part in SIDS. They found possibly dangerous bacteria, such as Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli, in almost half of all babies who died of SIDS.

Researchers are not sure if bacteria are the cause or if the bacteria are identifying other possible risk factors. The higher levels of bacteria might be evidence of other conditions, such as a room being too hot or bad room ventilation for the baby.

SIDS is usually diagnosed when there aren’t any other causes of death that can be found when a healthy infant dies, usually in their sleep. At birth, mothers transfer some of their antibodies against infection to their babies but when the babies are between eight to ten weeks old, the antibodies from the mother are nearly gone and the babies have to start making their own. This could make the babies more vulnerable to bacterial infections. SIDS usually affects babies that are between eight and ten weeks old.

To prevent SIDS it is recommended to have babies sleep on their backs and to not put too many blankets on them.

May 28, 2008

Allergies Causing Depression

It is found that tree pollen can cause symptoms of depression. A psychologist at the Mood and Anxiety Program of the University of Maryland and School of Medicine analyzed surveys of 845 men and women and found that two thirds of the people surveyed reported mood difficulties during the spring season, which is when pollen levels are very high. It is believed that airborne allergens produce inflammation in the respiratory airways and the inflammation causes symptoms of depression in some people.

Another study was done on patients with mood disorders that found that increased allergy symptoms during times of high levels of pollen were connected with depression symptoms that were more severe. This study fits with earlier evidence that suicide rates increase during late spring and a family history of allergies affects depression in women.

Smoking Can Cause Acne

Researchers from the San Gallicano Dermatological Institute in Rome found that cigarettes can cause acne as well as cause dull and wrinkled skin. They found that noninflammatory acne affected eight times more smokers than nonsmokers. Most of the nonsmokers that had acne lived or worked in environments with heavy smoke. Cigarette smoke can cause skin cells, called keratinocytes, to proliferate and clog pores.

May 27, 2008

New Wrinkle Fighting Pill

There is a new supplement called L-Skin Care, currently only available in Korea, which has a special formulation that has proved to drastically reduce the effects of wrinkles and crow’s feet on the skin. It also blocks collagen-destroying proteins and increases collagen production.

May 22, 2008

Get Rid of Dandruff

Hair dandruff is a condition that is caused by fungus that lives on the scalp and eats oil from the scalp. It releases by-products that irritate the skin and causes flaking on the scalp of some people. Most dandruff remedies work by decreasing the number of fungi on the scalp but there are new products available on the market that control the behavior of the fungus to give better and quicker results.

May 14, 2008

The Facts of Botox

Botox injections work by interrupting nerve impulses to the muscles used when a person squints or frowns. When these muscles are relaxed, fine lines and wrinkles smooth out. The smoothing effect last up to 4 months. It could take a couple of weeks for Botox to kick in the first time it is done. The next shots would kick in after a couple of days and would last longer. Botox injections could last up to 4 months and after being in a relaxed state for a long time, the muscles restrain themselves to stay that way. If it is used early, mainly in the 30s and 40s, it can prevent wrinkles from setting in later in life.

Botox injections are often given in low doses of 25 to 75 units, which isn’t considered toxic. A deadly dose is about 3,000 units. Possible side effects of Botox include a small amount of bruising that would last for a few days, headaches, and strange feelings of heaviness. A person could have an uneven brow or a droopy lid if the wrong muscle is injected or unequal amounts are used on each side of the face.

Better Help for Long Term Depression

For people taking antidepressants to fight depression, it may not be the best idea to stay on them a long time after the symptoms of depression have eased. If medications have relieved the symptoms, it is better to move to cognitive therapy.

Even though it is recommended that patients keep using antidepressants up to 2 years after symptoms are relieved, 60 percent of patients have a recurrence of depression symptoms during that time while taking the medication. Of the people who stopped taking the medication and tried cognitive therapy, only 8 percent experienced symptoms of depression again within 2 years.

May 13, 2008

Broccoli Used as a Sun Protectant

The vegetable broccoli can be used as a sun-protectant. Putting a small amount of an extract found in broccoli sprouts on skin can reduce inflammation and redness by almost 40 percent. The extract has a large amount of the antioxidant sulforaphane and activates the skin’s ability to fight cancer by increasing the production of productive enzymes. The properties of the extract keep working for days after the extract is washed off.

Scientists Make First Genetically Modified Embryo

For the first time, scientists have been able to genetically alter a human embryo. Researchers used an abnormal embryo that could never have developed into a baby to do the project.

The project raises the possibilities that people could be able to create designer babies in the future and scientists could insert certain genes into an embryo to produce babies with certain characteristics, such as higher intelligence and better athletic abilities. Some people think that this is wrong and turns children into designed objects and would create an unequal society where some people would be considered genetically superior while other people who are born without genetic injections would be inferior.

Scientists say that the main point of the project was to find out if a gene injected into an abnormal embryo could be traced in stem cells that are harvested from the embryo. The work could also explain why abnormal embryos don’t develop. Scientists found that abnormal embryos don’t develop well enough to produce stem cells.

May 12, 2008

Cure Coughs with Honey

Honey can be used to cure coughs in both children and adults. Honey works by coating the throat to soothe irritation and it is rich in antioxidants that fight infections. It also thins out mucus by increasing the production of saliva. For children, 1 to 2 teaspoons is recommended per dose. For adults, up to 3 teaspoons is recommended every 2 or 3 hours or as needed. It is not good to give honey to children that are less than 1 year old.

Easy Tips to Get Better Sleep

If you have problems getting enough sleep there are several easy remedies. It is a good idea to establish a regular bedtime routine where you would go to sleep at the same time every night. Avoid caffeine and alcohol before going to bed. It is best not to keep anything that would cause distractions in the bedroom, such as televisions and radios. It is also a good idea not to exercise within 3 hours of trying to go to sleep.

There are herbs and hormones that can be taken to help a person go to sleep. Valerian is an herb that has been used for centuries against insomnia. Melatonin is a hormone that helps to regulate the sleep-wake cycle and is used as an occasional sleep aid. Melatonin metabolizes quickly, so a person would not have to worry about being drowsy in the morning if they wake up during the night when taking this.

May 11, 2008

The Dangers of Chlorine

Chlorine is a powerful and dangerous oxidant and chemical gas. It is often used as a disinfectant that can be very irritating to the skin, eyes, and respiratory tract. It is found that children who swim regularly in indoor chlorinated pools have an increased risk of asthma and chlorine can cause problems with lung function, erosion of dental enamel, and increased risks of bladder cancer.

When high levels of chlorine come in contact with organic things, such as leaves and dirt, they can form other toxic substances called trihalomethanes, which can increase the risk of cancer, miscarriage, and birth defects. It is recommended to wear a mask or goggles when swimming in water with chlorine to protect the eyes. It is better to swim in outdoor pools than indoor ones because the gas in chlorine would be more dispersed. It is best not to swim in chlorinated pools everyday.

Better Health for Diabetics

A person could significantly lower their risk of heart disease and strokes by taking a statin each day. Researchers analyzed patients over a period of five years and found that for every 1,000 people with diabetes that were given statin, there were 42 less heart attacks and strokes than there would have been if the patients wouldn’t have taken the statins. The statins even helped the people already diagnosed with vascular disease. It is recommended that women that are pregnant shouldn’t take them.

May 10, 2008

Fight Fatigue with Food

It is found that eating enough inulin, which is found in foods such as chicory root, leeks, onions, garlic, Jerusalem artichokes and some yogurts, can fight off feeling tired. It also boosts good bacteria in the colon and can help the absorption of calcium. It is recommended to get 5 g of inulin per day.

May 8, 2008

Companies Charging Workers For Bad Habits

An increasing number of companies are charging their employees for having bad habits, such as smoking, eating excessively, and not exercising. Some people say that these types of programs violate a worker’s privacy and make group health plans too similar to individual insurance. At the same time, these programs force some people to take notice and be more aware of their bad habits that may affect their health.

May 7, 2008

Medication for Ex-Smokers

There is a new medication that was made originally for people with acne problems that can help people that used to smoke by reducing their lung cancer risk. Ex-smokers that took the prescription retinoid isotretinoin, which also contained vitamin E, or an experimental retinoid had significant decrease in the amount of precancerous cell growth in the lungs when compared to people that took placebos.

May 6, 2008

Fiber and Diet

If a person wants to lose weight, it is a good idea to have a diet rich in fiber. Fiber leads to decreased food intake and an increase of excretion of calories from the digestive system to help a person lose weight. The average person should be eating 20 to 30 grams of fiber each day. Foods that are rich in fiber include whole-grain breads, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, unpeeled fruit, and some cereals.

Restaurant Smoking Bans Decrease Teen Smoking

A recent study shows that restaurant smoking bans help to persuade teenagers not to become smokers. Teens who lived in towns with strict bans were 40 percent less likely to become regular smokers than teens that lived in communities without bans or that had weak bans. Smoking bans discourage tobacco use and sends out the message that smoking is not healthy. The ban also reduces the amount of smoke that teens are exposed to in public places.

Having a parent or close friend that smokes can be an influence as to whether or not a teenager experiments with cigarettes but strong bans in public places play a bigger role in whether a not the teen will develop a smoking habit. The study also found that the bans had a greater effect on younger teens than older teens.

May 5, 2008

New Spray to Help Sleeping Problems

A new nasal spray is currently being developed that reverses the mental effects of sleeping deprivation. The drug would eliminate detrimental changes in brain activity that results from lack of sleep. Clinical trials will be required before the drug can receive FDA approval.

Weight Gain Genes

It is found that overeating is related to the same gene involved in alcoholism and drug addiction. People who carried a certain variant of the gene and who used food to motivate themselves were the highest at risk for eating too many snacks when compared to people who had only one or neither of these traits. People with this gene variant could have a lack in reward-signaling in the brain and have to participate in more of the behavior to get as much pleasure as people with normal signaling. Exercising is something more positive that can release the same reward chemicals in the brain.

April 27, 2008

Top Countries to be a Working Mother

In the country of Bulgaria, mothers receive 45 days of paid leave before their due date and they can take two entire years of paid leave off after the child is born for each child they have. Pregnant women and mothers of young children are also protected from working overtime.

In Sweden, all working parents get 18 months of parental leave that are usually paid. Some of the months would have to be used by the father of the child to encourage both parents to be involved in taking care of the child. Mothers that aren’t working are entitled to compensation too.

In Germany, billions of euros have been allocated for maternity benefits. If a new mom chooses not to go to work for a year, she would still receive 67 percent of her net salary. The benefit would continue if the father stays home for two months.

Negative Effects of Not Getting Enough Sleep

There are negative effects of not getting enough sleep each night. Not getting enough sleep each night can lead to obesity, heart disease, and illnesses.

Research has proven that people who get less than seven hours of sleep each night are 30 percent more likely to be obese. Not getting enough sleep affects the flow of hormones that regulate hunger and satiety, which can cause a person to eat more. Sleepy people are also more likely to eat high-fat and high-calorie foods to give them energy.

Women that get less than five hours of sleep each night are more likely to develop hypertension, which is a leading cause of heart disease. When a person doesn’t get enough sleep, their body produces more stress hormones and other substances that would increase inflammation, which increases the risks of heart disease and stroke.

People that get less than five hours of sleep each night also have two and a half times the risk of getting diabetes when compared to people that sleep for seven or eight hours each night. Not getting enough of deep sleep decreases the ability to regulate blood-sugar levels.

People that are sleep deprived often feel cranky because that would make the amygdala, the part of the brain that process emotional events, to go into overdrive and the prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that regulates reasoning, to become deactivated and this would make a person feel less stable than usual. Sleep deprivation makes the brain unable to put emotional experiences into context and produce rational responses.

Sleep deprivation affects how well the body fights infections and determines how well the body produces antibodies after a vaccination. While a person is sleeping, the body produces cytokines, chemicals that help the immune system fight off infection and disease.

April 23, 2008

What a Mother Eats Can Determine Sex of Baby

A new British research suggests that what a woman eats before getting pregnant can affect the gender of what the baby will be. Eating potassium-rich foods, including bananas, and eating breakfast each day can raise the chances of having a boy.

The study was based on 700 first-time pregnant women in the United Kingdom who didn’t know the sex of their fetuses and they were asked about their eating habits in the year before they had gotten pregnant. 56 percent of the women with the highest calorie intake before pregnancy had boys and only 45 percent of the women with the lowest calorie intake had boys.

The women who ate at least one bowl of breakfast cereal each day were 87 percent more likely to have a baby boy than the women who ate less than one bowl of cereal each week. The women who gave birth to boys also ate an additional 300 milligrams of potassium each day on average before getting pregnant. The women who had boys also ate about 400 calories more each day on average than the women who had girls.

Music Increases Energy Levels When Exercising

It is found that upbeat music can increase the flow of the hormone adrenaline and increase energy levels to help a person workout longer. Exercising to the beat of a song can decrease the amount of oxygen the body needs and a person would be able to workout longer before feeling tired. To benefit the most, the song’s tempo should be four to five beats higher than a person’s heart rate.

April 22, 2008

Air Pollution Causing Premature Deaths

It is found that short-term exposure to smog and air pollution is linked to premature deaths. Premature death from air pollution is highest in people that have heart and lung disease but can affect anybody. The exposure can cause lung conditions, illness, hospitalization, and death. It can cause respiratory illnesses and effects elderly people with respiratory problems and children the worst.

April 18, 2008

Incontinence Drugs Connected to Memory Problems

A recent study has found that commonly used incontinence drugs can cause memory problems in some older people. The people that took the drugs usually had a 50 percent faster rate in the decline in cognitive thinking when compared to people who didn’t take the drugs. It is advised to use caution when taking these drugs.

There are other ways to treat incontinence without using drugs, such as exercises, biofeedback, and keeping a schedule of when a person goes to the bathroom. Causes of incontinence include nerve damage, loss of muscle tone, and an enlarged prostate.

April 17, 2008

Coffee Can Cause Miscarriages

A recent study found that pregnant women that drink more than one cup of coffee a day are at risk of having a miscarriage. Even a small amount can be very dangerous. Two hundred milligrams of caffeine, the equivalent of two cups of regular coffee, can double the risk of having a miscarriage, especially in the first trimester. Caffeine decreases blood flow to the placenta and stresses the metabolism of the fetus. It is recommended that a pregnant woman doesn’t have any caffeine in her diet.

Weight Reduction to Treat Diabetes

It is found that weight reduction surgery works better than standard medical therapy to treat type 2 Diabetes in people who are obese. The surgery is also recommended for people who are not morbidly obese but still overweight.

In a recent study, researchers monitored two groups of obese people with type 2 diabetes. Half of the people had gastric binding done, where surgeons put a silicone strap around the stomach so that less food goes into it. The other half of the people was put on a standard diet and exercise plan. After two years passed, the people on the diet lost an average of 3 pounds while the people who had surgery done lost an average of 46 pounds. 22 of the people that had surgery also had their diabetes go into remission while only 3 of the dieters had that happen.

April 15, 2008

France Not Promoting Extreme Thinness

France might make it illegal to promote extreme thinness. The French parliament’s lower house adopted a bill that would make it illegal for anything and anyone, including fashion magazines, advertisers, and Web sites, to promote extreme thinness. Judges would be given the power to imprison and fine offenders of the crime up to $47,000 if they are found guilty of “inciting others to deprive themselves of food to an excessive degree.” Judges can also sanction the people or places responsible for a magazine photo of a model whose extreme thinness alters another person’s health.

The National Assembly approved the bill in a series of votes after the legislation won support from the ruling conservative UMP party. The bill is going to the Senate very soon. Last week, French lawmakers and fashion industry members signed a nonbinding charter on promoting healthier body images.

Leaders in the French couture are against having legal boundaries on beauty standards but some people also feel that encouraging anorexia or severe weight loss should be punishable in court. Doctors and psychologists that are treating people with anorexia nervosa are in support of the government being involved in the fight against the disease.

Cell Phones Causing Sleeping Problems

It is found that the mild radiation that a brain receives from a cell phone can cause a person to have problems falling asleep. A study also found that people that were exposed to mobile phone radiation just before trying to go to sleep had higher risks when it came to having insomnia and headaches. The same people also had more trouble reaching a state of deep sleep and they couldn’t stay in deep sleep as long as people who weren’t being exposed to cell phone radiation.

It is assumed that mobile phone radiation causes changes in the areas of the brain responsible for activating and coordinating the stress system. It is recommended not to talk on a cell phone soon before going to bed.

April 14, 2008

Next Biggest Diet Craze

The drug Taranabant is known to be apart of the next biggest diet craze. The drug is considered the “anti-marijuana” and works by erasing food cravings by blocking the same receptors in the brain that cannabis stimulates, causing appetite suppression. A 12 week study found that obese patients consumed 27 percent less calories when they were taking the drug. The downside of the drug is that it can possibly make a person feel nauseous, irritable, or anxious.

Tuna Sushi Found High in Mercury

The New York Times recently did a study of the mercury content of sushi that was sold at 20 random New York City restaurants and found that most of the bluefin tuna that was being sold had mercury levels so high that a regular diet of six pieces a week would be beyond the levels acceptable by the Environmental Protection Agency. Similar results are found other places as well.

Sushi is often eaten because it is low in fat and high in protein but the mercury in it accumulates in the human body. Even small amounts can cause brain development problems, especially in children and pregnant women.

Video Game Tax to Fight Obesity

A New Mexico legislator has proposed a new tax on video games and televisions to try to fund a fight against childhood obesity. The bill, called “Leave No Child Inside,” would levy a 1 percent tax on some home-recreation devices and use the money to fund outdoor programs for children. It is estimated that twenty five percent of New Mexico’s children are overweight or obese.

April 10, 2008

Protect Yourself Against Heart Damage

There are many factors that cause heart damage and many things that can be done to protect a person against it. Things that can affect heart damage include oral health, sleep habits, marriage, family history, and the area where you live.

Studies have found a link between heart diseased and gum disease. It is assumed that bacteria in the mouth penetrate damaged gums, enter the bloodstream, and cause inflammation. It also increases in plaque in the arteries that go to the heart. There is evidence that keeping your mouth healthy can cut the risk of heart disease. Intensive periodontal treatment can cause an improvement in cells lining blood vessels throughout the body, which causes a better and healthier blood flow to the heart. It is recommended to brush teeth twice each day, floss each day, and go to the dentist every six months for regular cleanings.

People that get five hours of sleep or less each night are twice as likely to develop high blood pressure, which is a leading risk factor for heart disease. When people don’t get enough sleep, their average daily blood pressure and heart rate increases. Not getting enough sleep can also increase the risks of obesity, depression, and diabetes, which are all factors that can increase the chances of developing heart disease. Studies have shown that getting enough sleep each night can lower blood pressure.

If there is constant strain and stress in a relationship, your risk of having a heart attack increases up to 34 percent. A lot of anger and stress can cause a flood of hormones that causes the heart to beat faster and pump harder, causing higher blood pressure and more wearing on the cardiac blood vessels. People in a bad marriage are more likely to eat poorly, drink alcohol more, and smoke, which are things that are bad for the heart.

Family history can increase risks of heart disease. A family history of early heart attack can double the risk of coronary calcification, which is a buildup of calcium in blood vessels that is connected to heart disease, in people between the ages of 30 and 50. Women are more likely to have multiple risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking, high cholesterol, and diabetes. Exercising and eating healthy can still decrease the risks even if there is a family history of heart disease.

People that live in more deprived neighborhoods that don’t have sidewalks, walking trails, and parks have a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease regardless of how rich or educated a person is. These neighborhoods discourage walking and exercise and usually encourage unhealthy eating since they are more likely to have more fast-food restaurants and convenience stores. Something can be done by petitioning officials to add more sidewalks and lights.

April 8, 2008

Amount of Sleep Connected to Childhood Obesity

A Harvard study has found that babies and toddlers that sleep less than 12 hours each day are more at risk for being overweight in preschool. The link between sleep and obesity affects young children too, as well as teenagers and adults. Children that slept the least and watched the most amount of television had the greatest chance of obesity.

Previous studies have found that people that don’t get enough sleep produce more ghrelin, which is a hormone that promotes hunger. They also produce less leptin, which is a hormone that signals to the body that they are full and have had enough to eat. Watching television promotes obesity because it can take time away from doing activities that burn calories. The more active a child is the better they will sleep at night.

It is good advice to create a regular schedule for sleep for children and babies. Infants can be taught to sleep on their own by putting them to bed when they are drowsy but not completely asleep.

April 6, 2008

How to Stop Nosebleed Problems

If you are having problems with nosebleeds it is a good idea to use a humidifier to keep the nasal passages moist. Nosebleeds are very common during cold weather because indoor heat can make the tiny blood vessels inside the nose dry up and crack. If a person has allergies or a deviated septum, where the ridge of the cartilage between the nostrils isn’t aligned properly, the person could have nosebleeds more often due to restricted nostril airflow, which dries up the blood vessels even more.

To stop a nosebleed it is recommended to sit upright with your head tilted slightly back and pinch the tip of the nose for five to ten minutes. If this doesn’t help, it s a good idea to go to an otolarngologist to check for other problems that are getting in the way of stopping the bleeding. Having high blood pressure and taking anticoagulants, such as aspirins, can influence whether a nosebleed can be stopped. High blood pressure prevents bleeding vessels from sealing up and anticoagulants stop the blood from clotting.

Grapefruit Increases Cancer Risk

A recent study found that women who ate half of a grapefruit every other day had a 30 percent increase of breast cancer risk when compared to women who didn’t eat the fruit. Grapefruit contains the chemical compound furanocoumarins that inhibits the way that estrogen is metabolized. This leads to a higher concentration of estrogen, which increases the risk of breast cancer.

It is recommended that post menopausal women that consume grapefruit regularly and women that have had estrogen-receptor-positive cancer should not eat this fruit. The American Cancer Society recommends eating five servings of a variety of fruits and vegetables each day to limit the exposure to possibly harmful substances from a single food.

April 5, 2008

Pregnancy Can Help Fight Cancer

Pregnancy can reduce the risk of cancer. This happens because some of the fetus’s cells cross the placenta and settle into the bloodstream and other tissues. The cells from the fetus increase the amount of immunity against breast cancer. This finding could help in the development of a breast caner vaccine in the future.

April 2, 2008

Scientists Find Genetic Link to Smoking Addiction

Scientists have found genetic variations that make people more likely to get hooked on cigarettes and more likely to develop lung cancer. This new finding could lead to screening tests and customized treatments being developed for smokers that want to quit smoking. It also gives more insight on how genetics and lifestyle habits work together to cause cancer.

A person that smokes that inherits the genetic variations from both parents has an 80 percent greater chance of lung cancer than a smoker without the variations. The same smoker would light two extra cigarettes a day on average and have a harder time quitting than smokers that don’t have the variations.

April 1, 2008

Hands Only CPR Now Recommended for Cardiac Arrest

The American Heart Association is now recommending that the hands-only CPR approach be used on adults who have a cardiac arrest. To do this procedure, a person would do rapid and deep presses on the victim’s chest until help arrives and mouth-to-mouth breathing would not have to be done. It suppose to work as well as the standard CPR practices.

If there is a person needing immediate medical attention for risk of cardiac arrest you would call 911 and then press hard and fast on the middle of the person’s chest until paramedics arrive and take over or an automated external defibrillator is available to restore a normal heart rhythm. These actions should only be taken for adults that unexpectedly collapse, stop breathing, and are unresponsive.

Doing mouth-to-mouth breathing is recommended for a child that collapses and adults that suffer from not enough oxygen from near-drowning, drug overdose, and carbon monoxide poisoning. In these situations, mouth-to-mouth is needed to get air into the lungs and bloodstream.

March 29, 2008

Health Risks of Premature Babies

It is found that premature babies have higher death rates in their childhood years and are more likely not to have children in their adult years. This is based on a study that followed 1.2 million Norwegian births over many years.

Most premature babies grow up to have good health and be able to reproduce normally but the risk of health and reproduction problems are significantly higher than babies born at full term. Premature babies also have the risks of lung problems, disabilities, mental retardation, and being mentally behind other children their age in school. The study found that the preemies were more likely to die in their first year of life than full term babies and the higher risk continues throughout their life.

Things that could help prevent premature births include hormone treatments for women with a history of giving premature birth, not inducing labor unless it is needed and medically necessary, and reducing the number of embryos implanted at one time during fertility treatments. Women that are born premature have a higher risk of having premature babies when they give birth.

March 21, 2008

Simple Ways to Live Longer

Living a long and healthy live doesn’t have to be difficult. There are simple things that you can do in your everyday life to increase you lifespan.

Exercising can increase your lifespan. Walking just a half hour each day can lengthen your life. Exercising regularly can burn calories and help to maintain a healthy weight, which can protect you against type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and colon cancer. Exercising your muscles is very important because your muscles and bones weaken as you get older. Weight lifting can stop the weakening and will strengthen your muscles.

Losing body fat can increase you long you live. A body mass index is a measure of your body fat based on dividing weight and height. A body mass index of 25 to 29.9 takes three years off of your life span. A body mass index of 30 or above takes seven years off of your life. Extra weight can increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Flossing your teeth can keep you healthier. The same bacteria that can cause periodontal disease can cause an immune response that will make your arteries swell, constrict blood flow, and collect plaque. These issues can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Being optimistic can increase your life span by seven and a half years. This positive attitude and outlook boosts the body’s immune system and helps it to handle stress better.

Not smoking can also increase your life span. People that quit smoking by age 35 live 6 to 8 years longer than people who continue to smoke. Giving up smoking can decrease the risks of lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema.

HPV Test Better Than Pap Test in Detecting Cancer

It is found that the human papillomavirus (HPV) test can be up to 40 percent more accurate than a Pap Smear test in detecting the risk for HPV. HPV is the leading cause of cancer. A Pap Smear can find existing precancerous cells in the cervix, but the HPV test can detect the infection that could possibly progress to precancer in the future.

Most HPV infections don’t turn into cervical caner, especially the ones contracted before 30 years old because the immune system is more likely to fight the disease by itself. For women over 30 years old, it is recommended to ask a doctor about getting both a Pap Smear and an HPV test. Cervical cancer is usually curable if it is caught early.

March 20, 2008

The Worst Times to be in a Hospital

It is recommended that the best time to have cardiac arrest is during normal workday hours because you will have a better chance of surviving. In every part of a hospital, excluding the emergency room, hospital staff working the night shift are more tired, less experienced, and fewer in number. These things cause a slower response time when a person needs urgent assistance.

If urgent care is needed for a cardiac arrest patient before 11 p.m., the patient has a 20 percent chance of surviving and being discharged from the hospital. If care is needed after 11 p.m., the patient has less than a 15 percent chance of surviving and being discharged. A similar effect is also seen on weekends.

The Good and Bad of Probiotics

Probiotic supplements can make you healthier if you are already healthy and if you are sick they can be threatening to your life. Probiotics have been found to strengthen the immune systems of healthy people and to double the risk of death in people with pancreatitis.

Probiotics work by providing good bacteria in the stomach to keep a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria in the stomach. When a person has an illness, they can put a dangerous strain on the immune system.

March 18, 2008

Cocaine Could Cause Heart Attack Symptoms

The American Heart Association is warning doctors that younger ER patients with heart attack symptoms should be asked if they had recently used cocaine. Some heart attack treatments can be deadly to a person that is using cocaine. Symptoms of a heart attack in younger people that don’t have a heart disease risk could be caused by cocaine use.

Cocaine can cause chest pains, shortness of breath, anxiety, palpations, dizziness, nausea, and heavy sweating, which are all symptoms of a heart attack. Cocaine use can cause a heart attack but that only happens in 1 to 6 percent of people with chest pain caused by cocaine. It is important for anybody that has chest pains for any reason to get it checked out. Cocaine works by increasing blood pressure and heart rate. It also constricts the arteries into the heart. The heart rate would go up because the heart would need more oxygen and arteries that go to the heart would shrink.

Cocaine users that go to the hospital due to chest pains should be given an electrocardiogram and other tests to rule out a heart attack. They should be monitored and not admitted to the hospital as having a heart attack. Users with chest pains should not be treated with clot busting drugs because they have a risk of bleeding into the brain in people with high blood pressure. Betablockers should be avoided because they would raise blood pressure and squeeze arteries that are already narrowed by the cocaine. It is recommended that cocaine users that have a coronary artery blockage get a bare metal stent instead of a drug-coated one since drug users may not take the medication as needed to prevent new blockages.

Why to Avoid Retail Therapy

A new study has found that people that are feeling down or gloomy are more likely to make big purchase decisions that they will later regret. These people are willing to pay up to 300 percent more for an item. Researchers say that sadness causes people to feel worthless and they often overspend as a way to feel better about themselves. The high that the person feels from overspending is short and they feel sorry about the purchase later, also known as buyer’s remorse. It is good advice not to go shopping while feeling down.

March 17, 2008

Teens and the Addictive Powers of Smoking

Researchers have found that teenagers can get addicted to nicotine by smoking just one cigarette. After just one cigarette, a powerful reward system is set up in the brain. The more often a person smokes, the stronger the cravings will be.