vitamins, alternative medicine, antioxidants

Vitamin Stuff Blog

A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Eating Red Meat Increases Colon Cancer

Studies done in Europe and the United States both showed that eating high amounts of red meat, whether fresh, cured, processed or salted, was linked to colon cancer. This link has been long suspected, but these two large studies, along with many other small ones, seem to make a strong case.

One study was done in the United States by the American Cancer Society. They watched over 148,000 people for eleven years and found that a high consumption of fresh and processed red meats increased rectum and lower colon cancer. The study found that eating fish and chicken seemed to be protective.

The study done in Europe was larger, watching over 470,000 men and women for five years. At the end of the study over 1,300 people were diagnosed with colon cancer. The study found that those who ate five ounces or more red meat a day were at the highest risk. This study found that eating fish was protective of this cancer, while eating chicken was neutral.

Twenty-nine other studies found that eating red meat increases risk of colon cancer by 28 percent, while eating processed red meat increases the risk by 20 percent.

All studies concluded that substituting fish for red meat could reduce risk of colon cancer dramatically.








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Fish Oil is a healthy source of good fat

As most people know, fish oil is a healthy source of fat. A recent study suggests that it may also reduce fatty substances found in the blood of those with type 2 diabetes.

The study, which studied over 40 adults taking a supplement with 4 grams of fish oil over 8 weeks, proved that it lowered levels of traicylglycerol, a fatty substance that contributes to heart disease.

They also found that levels of HDL, good cholesterol, rose with those who took fish oil.

The study was reported in the Diabetes Care magazine and reported that those taking fish oil supplements showed LDL and HDL feel by almost 1%. That might not be a lot, but for diabetics, reducing the amount of fat in the blood by any amount is helpful.

While taking fish oil supplements is helpful, eating fatty fish like salmon and mackerel is the natural way to get plenty of fish oils.







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Fish Oil is a healthy source of good fat

As most people know, fish oil is a healthy source of fat. A recent study suggests that it may also reduce fatty substances found in the blood of those with type 2 diabetes.

The study, which studied over 40 adults taking a supplement with 4 grams of fish oil over 8 weeks, proved that it lowered levels of traicylglycerol, a fatty substance that contributes to heart disease.

They also found that levels of HDL, good cholesterol, rose with those who took fish oil.

The study was reported in the Diabetes Care magazine and reported that those taking fish oil supplements showed LDL and HDL feel by almost 1%. That might not be a lot, but for diabetics, reducing the amount of fat in the blood by any amount is helpful.

While taking fish oil supplements is helpful, eating fatty fish like salmon and mackerel is the natural way to get plenty of fish oils.








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What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk of Colon Cancer

Although colon cancer is on the decline, it is still worth thinking about how to reduce your risk for the disease. Many studies are currently being done to determine the risk factors of colon cancer, and although not all scientists agree, the majority of information out there seems to point to several ‘risk factors’ that can be summed up easily.

As far as diet goes, many studies point to cutting back on red meat. A high quantity of red meat in ones diet, or eating red meat daily, has been shown in many studies to increase the chances for colon cancer. Chicken seems to be a neutral meat and fish may even help to decrease the risk of colon cancer. Also, getting a sufficient amount of calcium in one’s diet may help to lower risk as well.

Other ways to lower your risk of colon cancer is to stay active and keep your weight down. Studies have shown that physical exercise protects against colon cancer and vigorous physical exercise might even offer more protection. Other studies show that obesity is a major factor in colon cancer, so keeping your weight down will help to reduce your risk dramatically.

While fiber was once thought to be the main help for colon cancer, doctors and scientists are now pointing toward these lifestyle and diet changes for increased health. So keep your weight down, put on your walking shoes, stay away from red meat, eat plenty of oily fish and make sure to get calcium in your diet!








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Monday, March 24, 2008

Peppers, Capsaicin, and Prostate Cancer

The main ingredient in hot peppers, capsaicin, could help those with prostate cancer. A recent study conducted by researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center shows that capsaicin slowed down the development of prostate tumors and activated cell death for cancerous cells.

The study was not conducted on humans, but was instead conducted on mice that had been genetically modified to have human prostate cancer cells. The mice were given a healthy dose of pepper extract, 400 milligrams of capsaicin three times a week.

While this amount of extract is the equivalent to eating three to eight fresh habenero peppers a week - the pepper with the highest amount of capsaicin - medical experts advise against upping your pepper intake. Eating a high amount of chilies has been linked to stomach cancer.

The researchers are happy with their results, but are still unsure how it may help men with prostate cancer. Some doctors have mentioned the idea of extracting capsaicin to make it available as a drug treatment for prostate cancer, but nothing is in the works as of yet.



Alpha Carotene
Alpha lipoic acid
Glutathione
Lutein
Pycnogenol
Resveratrol
Superoxide Dismutase








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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Artificial sweetener linked to weight gain

Most people who use artificial sweeteners, despite the uncertainty of health risks, do so to cut calories that would be added by eating regular sugar. It is assumed that no or little calories is a good thing and that it aids in weight loss, yet a new study suggests that using artificial sweeteners could actually make you gain weight.

The study, which was conducted by scientists at Purdue University, studied rats that were given food with natural glucose and food sweetened with saccharin. The study found that the rats that ate food sweetened with saccharin went on to eat more food, consume more calories, and put on more body fat and weight than those who ate the naturally sweetened food.

How is this possible? The researchers determined that the body may prompt itself to get ready to take in a lot of calories when it tastes sweet food. When the body does not get these calories it decides to eat more and expends less energy. The researchers believe this is a natural bodily process that gets interrupted by artificial, no (or low) calorie sweeteners. Not only do these sweeteners prompt the body to eat more, but they do not offer any nutritive qualities, which can also lead to overeating in an attempt to consume nutrients.
While the food industry has criticized this study, the researchers believe the data is very clear: artificial sweeteners lead to weight gain.







Alpha Carotene
Alpha lipoic acid
Glutathione
Lutein
Pycnogenol
Resveratrol
Superoxide Dismutase








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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Raw Foods and Food Enzymes

Mainstream medicine pretty much ignores the role of food enzymes in health and disease management and prevention. It’s unfortunate, since there are more than 3,000 types of enzymes which serve to speed up, slow down, alter, initiate, halt and catalyze over 4,000 biochemical reactions in the body. Enzymes are responsible for food digestion, respiration, detoxification of some organs, blood purification, transportation and assimilation of nutrients, cell renewal and repair and many, many other tasks. There are three types of enzymes: metabolic and digestive enzymes (produced by the body) and food enzymes.

If you talk to a raw foodist about nutrition, you’re likely to hear about enzymes right away. That’s because food enzymes are only found in fresh, raw and living foods. These foods are packed with their own enzymes for easy digestion, but are destroyed when heated above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. If you steam vegetables, some of the enzymes are preserved, but if you fry, microwave or bake your food, the enzymes are lost.

You may wonder why you need food enzymes if our body produces digestive and metabolic enzymes. While it is true that your body produces enzymes, it is helpful to consume food enzymes to allow your digestive system to rest and to allow your immune system to successfully carry out its functions. If you are not taking in any food enzymes your body can become overburdened and all your energy can be taken up by organ detox, blood purification and providing immune system back-up. If you are taking in food enzymes through raw, living foods or enzyme supplements, your body can concentrate on clearing the body of unneeded toxins in the bloodstream such as viruses, bacteria and disease causing cells. This is why many doctors prescribe a raw food diet to help people combating diseases, especially cancer, restore balance to their body.









Alpha Carotene
Alpha lipoic acid
Glutathione
Lutein
Pycnogenol
Resveratrol
Superoxide Dismutase








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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Losing Weight to Decrease your Risk of Cancer?

Could it be possible that obesity leads to cancer? Researchers seem to think so.

Researchers accumulated data from over 140 studies that covered more than 280,000 cases of diverse types of cancer and diverse populations from Asia, North America and Australia, to find out whether a high BMI (body mass index) could correlate with the occurrence of cancer. The subjects were followed from 9-15 years. What researchers found was that – yes- it appears that extra weight increases risk of various types of cancers.

The study was paid for by the University of Manchester, the University of Bern, Switzerland, and the British Medical Association.

While many doctors have suspected that obesity has an effect on breast and colon cancers, the study found that many other types of cancer may be affected by obesity. For instance, they found that men with a weight gain of around 33 pounds had a 52% risk increase for esophageal cancer, 33% increased risk for thyroid cancer and 24% increased risk of kidney and colon cancers.

They also found that women who gained 29 pounds increase their chances of developing esophageal cancer by 51%, gall bladder and uterus cancer by 60%, and are 34% more likely to develop kidney cancer.

While there is no proof that extra weight causes cancer, the study does bring up a lot of questions about whether eating right and staying healthy can affect your chances of developing cancer.

Although many studies will be done to see if obesity and cancer are linked, it is in everyone’s best interest to eat healthy, exercise and keep your weight - and possibly the chances of cancer and other diseases – low.






Alpha Carotene
Alpha lipoic acid
Glutathione
Lutein
Pycnogenol
Resveratrol
Superoxide Dismutase








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Cannabis Causes Gum Disease

Over the years, many studies have identified the link between gum disease and cigarette smoking, but none have looked at the long term effects of cannabis smoking and gum disease – until now. An international team of experts followed the dental health of 1,000 heavy cannabis smokers and found that over one-third of them developed gum disease by the age of 32. The criteria to be deemed a ‘heavy’ smoker was that the participants smoked at least 41 times a year from the ages of 18 and 32.

The study was lead by Professor Murray Thomson from the University of Otago and included scientists from Duke University, the University of North Carolina and King’s College in London. What they found was that 29% of the people followed developed gum disease.

While the researchers realize that many cannabis smokers also smoke tobacco, even non-tobacco smokers developed gum disease. The researchers think that whether or not people develop gum disease from cannabis has less to do with the smoke itself, and more to do with the fact that cannabis is full of toxins that are absorbed into the bloodstream and affect the body’s ability to heal infected gums.







Alpha Carotene
Alpha lipoic acid
Glutathione
Lutein
Pycnogenol
Resveratrol
Superoxide Dismutase








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Women’s G-Spot Found?

A recent study was done to determine whether the G-spot, a spot reported by many women as the source for powerful vaginal orgasms actually exists. The study was small, including only 20 women. Nine of the women reported powerful orgasms and eleven of the women did not have vaginal orgasms. The study was done by Italian scientist, Dr. Emmanuele Jannini, at the University of L’Aquila.

To determine whether the G-spot exists, Dr. Jannini used an ultrasound to measure the tissues between the vagina and the urethra, the spot where most women suggest the g-spot is found. Dr. Jannini found that the tissue was thicker in all nine women who reported having vaginal orgasms.

While this small study seems to prove that there is such a thing as a G-spot and that it is located in some women and missing in others, many doctors do not agree. Some have suggested that this tissue might be part of the clitoris, while others suggest that the tissue is thicker because the women are using those muscles to have orgasms, not due to the fact that the tissue is naturally thicker because a sensitive spot exists there.

More studies will need to be done to determine whether the women’s G-spot can actually be found.







Alpha Carotene
Alpha lipoic acid
Glutathione
Lutein
Pycnogenol
Resveratrol
Superoxide Dismutase









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Friday, March 14, 2008

Don’t Supersize your meals – Superpower them with Super Foods

While many are supersizing their waistlines and their risk of disease, you can be supersizing with superfoods!

What are superfoods? Superfoods are whole, unprocessed foods, nutritional powerhouses with the ability to prevent disease, lower cholesterol, deliver essential vitamins and nutrients and keep you healthy. Superfoods are full of phytonutrients and can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, cancer, hypertension and host of other ailments.

If you’d like to start adding superfoods to your diet, grab an orange, a handful of berries and walnuts or go for beans, broccoli and salmon. Apples, tomatoes, oats, flaxseed and avocados are also superfoods, as are spinach, garlic, bee pollen and yogurt. Eating superfoods doesn’t have to be challenging and not every superfood is a vegetable, fruit or nut. Green tea, honey and dark chocolate are all known as highly regarded superfoods.

Dark chocolate is a great source of phytonutrients and is a great antioxidant. For the most nutritious dark chocolate, look for a high cocoa count of 70% or above. Also make sure it is not processed and does not have added ingredients.

Eating superfoods is like eating vitamins and minerals directly, no supplements needed. A simple breakfast of oatmeal with blueberries and sprinkled flax seed, a lunch of spinach salad and a dinner of wild salmon and broccoli can do way more for your health than a handful of supplements. Superfoods are nature’s way of keeping you healthy!






Alpha Carotene
Alpha lipoic acid
Glutathione
Lutein
Pycnogenol
Resveratrol
Superoxide Dismutase









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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Salt: the Hidden Factor in Child Obesity

Researchers are looking at different ways children could be developing obesity. While it is known that sugary soft drinks are the main culprit of obesity in children, researchers say that it is the intake of high sodium foods that are causing children to drink too much soda.

Researchers from St. George’s, University of London, took data from the National Diet and Nutrition Survey conducted in 1997 to determine what, if anything had an effect on the amount of soda that was drank. The survey supplied data measurements on the children’s salt and fluid intake. Around 1,600 British children were included in the survey, between the ages of 4 and 18 years old. What they found was that those who had a high salt diet tended to drink way more soft drinks and those who had a low-salt diet drank less fluid, therefore less sugary soft drinks.

The researchers said that although parents may think their children are not consuming much salt, since it may not be coming from the shaker, they are not correct in their assumptions. Most pre-packaged, processed foods and fast foods are loaded with sodium and can cause their children to be extremely thirsty, reaching for sugary sodas to wipe out the salty thirst. About 80% of salt intake is thought to come from manufactured foods.

Researchers are using the food industry to cut the added salt to foods and urging parents to make better choices for their children. They believe that salt is the hidden factor in child obesity. Cutting salt intake for children might not only cut sugary soda intake and cut calories, but it could also lower blood pressure and the risk of heart attack and stroke later in life.


Here's a list of some question answer sets that were compiled for Vitamin Stuff some time ago.

Alpha Carotene
Alpha lipoic acid
Glutathione
Lutein
Pycnogenol
Resveratrol
Superoxide Dismutase
Beta Carotene
Biotin
Carnitine
Choline
Inositol
Lecithin
Copper
Magnesium
Selenium
Zinc
Omega 3 fatty acids
Paba
Vitamin A
Vitamin B2
Vitamin B3
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B9
Vitamin B12
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin E










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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nutritious, Amazing Olive Oil

Olive oil is one of the healthiest, most nutritious foods on the planet. Virgin olive oil is linked to the prevention of cardiovascular disease, aging and cancer. It is thought to be anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and antithrombotic. Olive oil contains sterols, oleocanthal, a-tocopherol, phenolic compounds and triterpenes. It is used for burns, ulcers, bites, stings, itching – and even lowers the risk of gallstones.

Olive oil is a source of good fat and inhibits oxidative stress. Olive oil has high antioxidant levels, and more!

When buying olive oil, how can you choose the best of the best? The quality of olive oil depends upon the soil, variety of trees, harvest time, climate and production methods. For the most nutritious olive oil choose the first press, also called the cold press. These olives are pressed once, without heat and are the absolute most nutritious. Unfortunately, cold press olive oil is hard to come by. The next most nutritious choices are early harvested olive oil and handpicked olives, turned to olive oil.

There are many different types of olive oil. Other than cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil is known to be the best. It is created with the first pressing of the olives and has the most nutritional value. Extra virgin olive oil is the least processed, with the exception of the cold press. Virgin olive oil (no ‘extra’) is next in line as far as nutritional value and made from the second pressing of the olives. Olive oil labeled ‘pure’ is not what the title implies. It undergoes filtering and refining and is somewhat processed. Extra light olive oil is the least nutritious. It is processed considerably and has a weak flavor.

Now, run to the grocer and try to find a bottle of cold pressed or extra virgin olive oil and use liberally!









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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Simple ways for cutting calories

For many, each new year starts out the same way, with a resolution to lose weight and begin that old familiar diet odyssey that usually ends with very little long term success. It goes without saying that all of these best laid New Year’s resolution plans tend to fall by the wayside during the year. So...why not make some simple changes that will help you lose weight with very little suffering? In fact, making some simple substitutes for fat laden high calorie foods may have a dramatic affect on overall nutrition and weight loss.

Changing the type of meat you eat can have a huge impact on the amount of calories you consume. For example, instead of using ground beef with a twenty to thirty percent fat content, choose lean ground beef that is ninety percent lean and you will have cut between forty and seventy five calories off a three ounce portion.

You may wish to eliminate red meat all together. Recent recommendations advise individuals to consume no more than 18 ounces of red meat weekly in order to reduce the risk of colon cancer. A good substitute for ground beef is ground turkey or soy based vegetable patties. When used in chili, casseroles, or sauces the switch may not even be noticed.

Fat can come from unlikely sources such as prepared tomato sauce and paste. A healthy substitute is diced or pureed tomatoes, with a calorie content of about twenty-five calories for a half cup of diced tomatoes. Dice or pureed tomatoes are extremely low in calories when compared to processed tomato sauce that may contain anywhere from seventy to one hundred twenty calories per serving.

Another way to reduce the calories in your food (other than lowering fat content) is to increase your portion of vegetables. Usually, vegetables contain very fewer calories; consequently any dish that contains a large portion of vegetables has fewer calories. Another added benefit to increased vegetable consumption is getting added dietary fiber and vitamins, especially antioxidants that may help guard against some forms of cancer.










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Friday, March 7, 2008

Fish is Probably Healthy, Even With Mercury

If you are one of the many Americans that have decided to forgo fish because of the potential mercury risk, then you may want to think again. Although mercury is found in some fish, the risk of not eating fish might be worse than consuming mercury.

Fish are a high source of Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s protect the body against cardiovascular disease and can cut heart attack risk by a third.

Not all fish have the same levels of mercury and studies have shown that fish must be consumed frequently (more than three servings per day, a few times a week) over a period of months or years to pose a threat. The threat that is posed is still under question. It appears that neurological symptoms can be found in those who eat fish high in mercury on a regular basis, such as sensory imbalance, but even those symptoms have been shown to go away when mercury is taken from the diet.

If you love fish, or simply want to supply yourself with Omega-3 fatty acids and keep yourself heart healthy, you should be aware of the safest practices for consuming fish. Shellfish such as crab, lobster, scallops and shrimp is the best choice; they are small and live short lives, making them lower in mercury. Tuna, which is high in Omega-3’s, is also a bit higher in mercury. Eating light tuna can cut your mercury intake, but it will also lower your Omega-3 fatty acid intake. Eating a diet with a variety of fish is safest. Eat salmon, tuna and shellfish, but vary your intake.

This advice does not hold true for women who are trying to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are nursing. These women should cut fish from their diet and find supplemental ways to add Omega-3’s to their diet. Infants are more susceptible to mercury risks.








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Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Acupuncture Not Just a Placebo

There are numerous studies being conducted to determine whether acupuncture is truly effective as a pain reducer, or whether the age-old tradition of relieving pain is simply producing a placebo effect.

One such study, conducted by the University College in London and Southampton University, took it a step further by employing a brain scan on its study participants to see which parts of the brain are being affected during acupuncture.

The study used positron emission tomography (PET) scans and involved 14 volunteers who went under scrutiny three times each.

One scan was done while the participants were given treatment with ‘fake’ needles – blunt needles that touched the acupuncture points, but did not break the skin. During this session they were told that the needles would not break the skin.

The next treatment was conducted with ‘trick’ needles that appeared to break the skin, though they only disappeared into the body of the needle to give the illusion of piercing the skin.

The third treatment was regular acupuncture. The results were published in the journal NeuroImage.

What they found was that the ‘fake’ treatment made patients brains light up in the areas that signified touch, but not pain. The second round with ‘trick’ needles did, in fact, light up areas of the brain associated with pain and also produced natural opiates to relieve it. The third round of actual acupuncture activated the same pain areas and natural opiates as the trick needles, but also activated the insular, an area involved in pain modulation.

The results were very positive and pointed toward the fact that acupuncture really does produce pain relieving results and not just a placebo effect.

While this is encouraging, there will surely be many more studies and trials to test the effectiveness of acupuncture on pain relief.









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Depression, Social Interaction, Endorphins, and Exercise

The last thing that most people want to do when they are feeling low is head to an aerobics class, but that is exactly what they should do according to research. Exercise helps uplift one’s mood and can help people feel better socially, biologically and physically.

A survey conducted by the Mental Health Foundation found that out of 200 English general practitioners, 22% suggest exercise to their patients in addition to antidepressants to help them cope with mild forms of depression. Three years ago only 5% of general practitioners were suggesting exercise for depression. The same survey found that 61% felt that exercise was ‘effective or very effective’ for depression, up from 41% three years ago.

According to research, exercise helps depression in a myriad of ways. Going to a gym or other social arena for working out allows for social interaction and can reduce feelings of loneliness and isolation. It also allows for meeting others who are also bettering themselves and working on self improvement goals. It increases body image and self esteem, allows for goal setting and achievement and most of all, releases endorphins – feel-good brain chemicals that promote well being and uplift the mood.

So the next time you’re feeling low, instead of grabbing the nearest sweet-tooth satisfier and vegetating in front of the TV, lace up your sneakers and head out the door!








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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Type II Diabetes, Weight Loss, and Gastric Banding

Here's another tidbit from the Sunday issue of Parade. This one I found particularly interesting for several reasons. A study conducted in Australia has found that gastric banding can result in enough substantial weight loss to actually eliminate type II diabetes. What is gastric banding? A band of silicone is actually inflated around the top portion of the stomach. Why? To restrict food intake. Of those individuals who used gastric banding, 73 percent lost approximately 21 percent of their body weight and found that their type II diabetes reversed.

This news is amazing and should be inspiring to those who have type II diabetes. And there are insights that can be taken from this. Even if a person doesn't have this procedure done, it is fairly obvious that weight loss is vital to controlling type II.

A person with type II should really do the following:

1. Stay compliant with their medications. The reason is simple. You want to control your blood sugar levels, avoid glucose spikes, and keep the pressure off your pancreas.

Spikes in blood sugar are absolutely something you want to avoid because excess sugar is destructive and causes nerve damage. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels can ultimately result in peripheral neuropathy. Picture constant burning, itching, or numbness in your extremities. Neuropathy is not something you want. Ever. However, uncontrolled type II diabetes can eventually lead to retinopathy or even blindess, nephopathy or even complete kidney failure (requiring hemodialysis).

2. Lose weight. Weight loss should be a primary goal for someone with type II diabetes. In the Australian study, gastric banding helped 73 percent of the study participants lose significant weight. But surgical intervention is certainly not the only way to lose weight. A steady routine of regular exercise combined with a certain amount of calorie restriction and sensible eating can progessively whittle away at the number you see on the scales.

Of course, losing weight is harder if you are older (slower metabolism) or have a sedentary job. And this may necessitate going to a gym or fitness center sometime during the day (if you have a 24 hour center in your area, this makes it far easier to get in some "gym time").

On a personal note with regard to "sensible eating", I have found that reducing my intake of carbs goes a long way toward keeping my weight in line, regardless of whether or not I am trying to rev up my metabolism with physical activity.

For most people, a significant change with regard to carbohydrate intake might be avoiding all sugar drinks (you can find plenty of diet drinks that do not taste horrible), avoiding chips and cookies completely, and really paying attention to what's on the plate such as mashed potatoes and servings of bread.








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Gout and Sugar Soft Drinks

Here is a tidbit I've just come across (in Parade magazine--don't laugh, I come across a fair number of interesting factoids from this Sunday publication).

Men who drink at least two soft drinks sweetened with sugar per day have an 85 percent risk of developing gout. The British Medical Journal states that the fructose in many of these types of drinks raises blood uric acid levels.

I actually know someone with gout, my father-in-law. Typically, gout affects the toes, especially the big toe. However, my wife's father has severe gouty arthritis in his fingers, so bad, in fact, that he has had to have replacement knuckle joints in two fingers. This has resulted in two of his fingers being fused into a permanent position. Gout runs in his family pretty badly and he now avoids protein rich foods for fear of his own condition worsening.

Tip: if you have gout, or have a family history of gout, avoid excessive levels of protein in your diet along with red meat consumption, yeast, oily fish (to get the health benefits of eating fish, you may wish to try fish oil supplements), and, of course, sugar soft drinks.









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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Acupuncture Really Helps Osteoarthritis Sufferers According to Study

The US National Institutes of Health conducted a study to determine whether acupuncture can improve movement and decrease pain for those suffering with osteoarthritis of the knee. The study involved 570 patients with some receiving sham acupuncture and/or guidance on self help, along with standard treatment with drugs, while other received regular acupuncture in addition to standard treatment. Sham acupuncture consisted of ‘pretending’ to insert needles into acupuncture points without actually administering treatment.

The study concluded that acupuncture is an effective complement to standard treatment, with a 40% decrease in pain as well as a 40% improvement in knee movement and function. Although the results seem positive, it is to be noted that many people dropped out of the study and other studies have produced contradictory results.

Regardless, by fourteen weeks into the study the group receiving regular acupuncture had much improvement in knee functions and reduced levels of pain compared to the sham group.

Many studies are being done on acupuncture to determine whether it is a viable complimentary medicine. This age-old traditional Chinese medicine is growing in popularity in the United States, with or without clinical trials.

The study was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and received a lot of positive feedback. Many health professionals have made comments about the positive nature of the study and seem to feel as though they are one step closer to identifying acupuncture as a very useful complementary medicine that can help those who are not getting full relief from conventional, allopathic medicine alone.








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The Vitamin Stuff Health Nutrition Dictionary








Disclaimer: The information provided here is for informational purposes and is not medical advice. Individuals wishing to use supplements or alternative medicine therapies should consult with their doctor beforehand.

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