vitamins, alternative medicine, antioxidants

Vitamin Stuff Blog

A Health, Nutrition, and Alternative Medicine Blog

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Older Americans are richer and live longer, but fatter than ever

A recent report was issued from the data of 15 agencies called, ‘Oder Americans 2008: Key Indicators of Well-Being’. The report featured tendencies on health, economics and population for those 65 and older. The results were very interesting, showing that Americans 65 and older were more educated, making more money and living longer, but more obese than previous generations.

The report states that the net worth of older Americans has gone up 80% over the last 20 years, while they are expected to live about 19 years longer than older Americans in 1900. Although that number is up, life expectancy is still greater in Sweden, France, Japan and Canada.

The report also noted that while only 24% of older Americans had high school diplomas and 5% had bachelor’s degrees in 1965, that number had went up to 76% with high school diplomas and 19% had bachelor degrees.

Unfortunately, the report also found that Americans are getting fatter. In a study from 1988-1994 it was noted that 27% of women aged 65-74 were obese and 19% of women aged 75 and older were obese; that number has increased. Now the number of women from ages 65-74 has went up to 37%, while the percentage of women that are 75 and older and obese is 24%.

By looking at the data from the report, researchers have estimated that the number of elderly people age 65 and over will nearly double by 2030, from 37 million people in 2006 (12% of the population) to 71.5 million (20% of the population).



More Definitions added to the Vitamin Stuff Dictionary

White Blood Cells
Hypertrophy
Red Blood Cells
Megadosing
Menopause
Cortisone
LASIK
Osteopathy
Excitotoxins
Allopathic medicine
Arachidonic Acid
Acupressure
Chemotherapy
Denatured Foods
Folate
Dopamine
Immune System







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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Study of Cardiac Event Sufferers - they rarely change unhealthy eating Habits

According to a recent study of over five hundred individuals with heart disease, most did not change their eating or exercise habits after they had serious heart events such as heart attacks, chest pain, or irregular heart rhythm.

The University of Massachusetts Medical School performed a one-year follow up study on five hundred and fifty five heart patients; researchers questioned heart patients about their diets and used the Alternate Healthy Eating Index to measure heart healthy food consumption. For instance, the surveyors asked about the number of vegetable and fruit servings consumed per day, how many servings of white or red meat were consumed per day, and trans fat consumption.

The study found that most individuals were not consuming enough fruit or vegetables daily, in fact statistics indicate that only about twelve percent of the heart patients were eating five or more vegetable servings per day and only about 7 percent were eating at least four servings of fruit per day. Even more disturbing was the fact the trans fats made up over three percent of all calories consumed daily; current health guidelines advise less than one half percent of daily calorie consumption should be in the form of trans fat.

Additionally, the study indicated that only about twenty percent of all cardiac patients go to cardiac rehabilitation programs. Researchers pointed out that most cardiac rehabilitation programs tended to emphasize exercise over healthy diet.

Consequently, even if a patient had completed cardiac rehabilitation there was no guarantee that the patient was consuming a healthy diet.

Researchers stated the study indicated that more effective methods are needed delivering information to cardiac patients with regard to the importance of regular exercise and healthy diet.





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Selenium
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Omega 3 fatty acids
Paba
Vitamin A
Vitamin B2




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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Whole grains can shrink your mid-section and ward off disease

Health experts have been recommending whole grains over refined grains for years. A new study has shown that choosing whole grains over refined, processed grains lowers C-reactive protein (CRP) and shrinks the midsection.

CRP is linked to stroke and heart attacks, as is abdominal fat.

The study was done by Pennsylvania State University and included 50 obese women and men who had abdominal obesity, high blood sugar and high blood pressure. These signs are risk factors for many diseases, including stroke and heart disease.

The participants were asked to cut calories, but some of them were instructed to eat only whole grains, while others were instructed to eat refined, processed grains such as white bread. Each of the groups lost weight due to a calorie reduction, but the group eating only whole grains saw a decrease in the amount of body fat around the waistline and also saw a significant reduction in CPR levels – 38 percent.

Health experts think the CRP levels dropped due to antioxidant nutrients that are present in whole grains. Experts recommend eating barley, brown rice and oatmeal over white flour not only to lose weight, but to combat several diseases.

Whole grains also contain fiber, which keeps blood sugar levels stable.

The researchers recommend choosing whole grain products with ‘whole grain’ as the first ingredient in grain products, due to the fact that many products market themselves as whole grains, but are not completely so.




Magnesium
Selenium
Zinc
Omega 3 fatty acids
Paba
Vitamin A
Vitamin B2



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Does sugar cause wrinkles?

Health experts are now seeing a correlation between high sugar intake and damaged collagen and elastin. In healthy, young skin, collagen and elastin (protein fibers) are springy, resilient and help to keep skin firm and hydrated. As we age, collagen and elastin can become brittle, dull and dry, and ultimately lead to sagging and wrinkles.

While this is a natural part of the aging process, some health experts believe there are things that can be done to help slow this process – like cutting back on sugar.

Why sugar?

Experts say that sugar attaches to proteins to form harmful new molecules. These molecules are called advanced glycation end products (or, aptly called AGEs for short). It seems that the more sugar you ingest, the more AGEs you develop. These AGEs also damage nearby proteins and cause a negative, domino effect on the skin. In addition, a high sugar diet affects the collagen of the skin and can neutralize the body’s supply of antioxidant enzymes, leaving the skin more vulnerable to sun damage.

Experts recommend cutting back on foods that have extra sugar, using sunscreen of 30 SPF, taking a B1 and B6 daily supplement (they are AGE inhibitors), getting plenty of antioxidants (which keeps sugars from attaching to proteins) and if all else fails, trying new skin-protecting cosmetic products that employ aminoguanidine and alistin, which acts as a decoy for the sugars.








Magnesium
Selenium
Zinc
Omega 3 fatty acids
Paba
Vitamin A
Vitamin B2




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Black Pepper Treats Skin Pigment Disease

Vitiligo is a skin pigment condition where areas of the skin lose normal pigment color and turn white, leaving the skin spotty and patchy in color. The disease is highly visible and can not only affect patients emotionally and psychologically, but when treated with phototherapy using UV radiation (UVR), a common treatement for vitiligio, can also increase their chances of developing skin cancer.

It is estimated that one in 100 people are affected with the disease and while the most popular treatment for the disease is corticosteroids applied to the skin, less than 25% of patients respond successfully to the treatment.

To try and find a better treatment for vitiligo, a team of researchers from King’s College London took the compound that gives black
pepper
its spicy flavor – piperine – along with its synthetic derivatives, and applied it to the skin of mice. This was done alone and followed by ultra violet radiation (UVR).

When piperine (and derivatives) were used alone, an even light brown color could be seen within six weeks. It stimulated pigmentation. Combined with UVR, the skin became darker still in a shorter amount of time and lasted longer than the results of peperine alone. The combined treatment with UVR also gave a more even pigmentation.

Scientists are excited about the results of the study and believe that it is unquestionable: peperine stimulates melanocytes – the skin’s pigment cells.





Beta Carotene
Biotin
Carnitine
Choline
Inositol
Lecithin
Copper




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Monday, May 5, 2008

Get more sleep - Lose more weight

Researchers are saying that if you want to lose weight, get more sleep. While it’s obvious that you aren’t as likely to eat while you’re sleeping, their reasoning is quite different: a chemical that is released while sleeping, leptin, signals when we are full. In addition, they think that a lack of proper sleep affects hormones that are responsible for burning off calories during the day.

The study that attempts to prove this hypothesis was conducted by the US National Institute of Mental Health and involved around 500 adults between the ages of 27 and 40. The researchers followed these volunteers and their sleeping habits over a period of 13 years and found their sleep hours reduced, but their weight increased.

The women in the study started off sleeping 7.7 hours, but by the end of the 13 years, they were only sleeping 7.3 hours on average. The men in the study went from sleeping 7.1 hours to 6.9 hours. The average weight gain was 5 pounds, with those sleeping less than six hours putting on the most weight.

The researchers felt that the weight gain was due to lack of sleep that tampered with the body’s natural chemicals and hormones. Low levels of leptin are thought to increase the urge to eat. Also, people who are not getting enough sleep tend to crave high fat, high carbohydrate foods.



Beta Carotene
Biotin
Carnitine
Choline
Inositol
Lecithin
Copper








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True Sex Foods and Aphrodesiacs

Most everyone has heard that certain foods can enhance one’s sex life. Usually these foods are sexual aphrodisiacs, such as oysters and champagne, though a new book, “Great Food, Great Sex: The Three Food Factors for Sexual Fitness” by Ballentine Books, takes a whole new approach to food and sex. The author, clinical psychologist Lynn Edlen-Nezin, Ph.D., takes the stance that certain nutrients are better for sex, because they increase blood flow and supply the body with antioxidants. Instead of eating foods as aphrodisiacs, she suggests eating well all of the time to ensure that your body is energetic, well lubricated and healthy.

An important item mentioned to increase sexual pleasure is Nitric oxide (NO). NO is released by the lining of the genitals when you become sexually aroused. This release of NO causes the blood vessels to expand and helps women become lubricated, while it helps men achieve an erection. Eating foods with arginine, an amino acid responsible for creating NO, can improve blood flow and cardiovascular health. The author calls foods high in arginine ‘Staminators’, because they help with prolonged arousal. For foods high in argininie, look to almonds, nuts, salmon, herring, cod and halibut.

Eating fish is not only good for arginine, but can also offer Omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are known to lower triglycerides, increase dopamine and improve cardiovascular health. All good things for the sexual libido. If you are vegetarian, try eggs with Omega-3’s.

Another important factor in a sex-healthy diet is antioxidants. Antioxidants keep your body and cells healthy by cleaning up free radicals and keeping your body free of oxidation. Antioxidant-rich foods include colorful foods, such as red peppers, garlic, broccoli, beets and berries. Eating a variety of organic fruits and vegetables can supply the body with antioxidants and keep you healthy, happy and sexual.

Another great food for great sex? Dark chocolate! It improves circulation, offers antioxidants and has been found to increase sexual function and desire.

Basically, for a better sex life: take care of your body, eat healthy and light, and exercise. Keeping your body functioning at a high level will improve your sex drive and send your energy soaring.

Here’s the shopping list:

Colorful Fruits
Colorful Vegetables
Lean Fish
Garlic
Dark Chocolate




Beta Carotene
Biotin
Carnitine
Choline
Inositol
Lecithin
Copper








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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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