Natural Health Reviews - June 2005
June 2005 Issue
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Health Reviews Headlines
- Chronic Anger, Hostility May Make You Sick
- Later Menopause Linked to Longer Life
- Straws May Save Soda Lovers' Teeth
- High Iron And Cholesterol Equals High Cancer Risk
- Vegetarian Women Weigh Less Than Meat Eaters
- Soybean Protein Lowers Blood Pressure
- High Blood Pressure Shaves Years Off Life
- Study Says Tai Chi Can Reduce Falls
- Sunlight Decreases Prostate Cancer Risk
- Western and Japanese Diets Up Colon Cancer Risk
- High Intensity Training Aids Some Heart Patients
- Most health news stories are just noise
- Friends May Be Key to Living Longer
- Study Confirms Red Meat Link with Bowel Cancer
- Staying Active in Old Age Keeps People Mobile
- Rosemary Extract Could Make Cooked Meat Safer
- Vitamin B6 May Reduce Colon Cancer Risk in Women
- Even Low Doses of Aspirin Raise Bleeding Risk
- Low-Glycemic May Be Better Than Low-Fat Diet
- Low Zinc Intake May Sap Exercisers' Energy
- WELL Diet Effective for Reducing Blood Pressure
- Protein Drink May Sharpen Morning Mental Skills
- Exercise Helps You Lose Fat, Not Bone
- Moderate Activity May Reduce Ovarian Cancer Risk
Health Reviews for July 2005
Here is our health reviews of historical news stories covered from the Natural Health Perspective.
Monday, July 11
Hostile people are more at risk of health problems, according to a new review.
"Chronic anger may weaken the immune system and cause other health problems, perhaps by triggering bad habits such as smoking and drinking, or by boosting stress hormones, which may affect immunity."
The active approach to anger management is to take steps that change circumstances that directly provoke anger in you. The passive approach is practicing meditation, stretching, and relaxation therapy. Taking anger management courses can also help.
Health Reviews for June 2005
Thursday, June 30
Women who go through menopause later live longer, according to a new study.
"Women who went through menopause after age 55 lived 2 years longer, on average, compared with women who had their last menstrual cycle before age 40. The gains in longevity were largely related to a lower risk of death from heart disease and stroke."
Smoking, a history of irregular menstrual cycles, having no children or only one, and having a long gap between a first and second birth are the primary indicators of an early menopause.
Wednesday, June 29
Drinking soda through a straw can help prevent tooth erosion, according to a new study.
However, before you are protected you have "to place the straw near the back of the mouth so that the teeth aren't bathed in soda with every sip."
Major tooth erosion is a very real danger of the excessive consumption of soda. This issue has been mostly being ignored by the media. "Making a habit out of drinking soda instead of water may cause significant, irreversible long-term problems and damage."
Tuesday, June 28
High blood levels of iron along with high levels of very low density (VLDL) cholesterol increases the risk of cancer, according to a new study.
"Elevated iron increased the likelihood of developing cancer by 66 percent, and high VLDL cholesterol increased the risk by 54 percent. Combining elevated iron with elevated VLDL increased the risk of cancer by 168 percent. High iron plus low HDL ('good') cholesterol also increased the risk to a similar degree."
Men are more likely than women to suffer from high iron levels. Most iron in your diet comes from eating meat. Regularly donating blood is one way to lower your blood iron levels.
Monday, June 27
Women who eat little or no meat are less likely to be overweight, according to a new study.
"In the study, self-proclaimed vegans were two-thirds less likely than meat-eaters to be overweight or obese, while the two vegetarian groups were about half as likely as meat-eaters to be overweight -- even with other factors, such as age, exercise and total calorie intake, taken into account."
This study suggests that a plant-based diet may help people to control their weight. Consuming a semi-vegetarian diet would be even better as regularly eating fish is also important. Meat contains some important nutrients. So, meat should not be avoided entirely in your diet. Simply consume meat in moderation.
Soybean protein helps reduce high blood pressure, according to a new study.
"Compared with subjects who received the carb supplements, soybean-supplemented subjects experienced a significant drop in blood pressure. The net change in blood pressure was most pronounced among subjects with blood pressures of at least 140/90."
The effect was probably due to soybean isoflavones. Excess consumption of soy can negatively affect thyroid health in some people.
High blood pressure can shorten the length of your life, according to a new study.
"Researchers found that high blood pressure at the age of 50 shaved about 5 years off men's and women's lives. It also caused them to endure 7 more years with cardiovascular disease compared with their peers who had normal blood pressure in middle-age. ... High blood pressure is defined as a blood pressure reading at or above 140/90 mm/Hg. Normal blood pressure is anything below 120/80 mm/Hg. The first number, or systolic reading, reflects the blood pressure when the heart is contracting; the second number, or diastolic reading, reflects blood pressure when the heart relaxes between contractions."
High Blood Pressure is not really a disease but a health condition like high cholesterol. It should never be ignored since it can damage the organs of your body. This study shows that high blood pressure can also shorten your life.
Tai Chi program shown to improve balance and physical strength in the elderly, according to a new study.
"The study found the physical fitness of the Tai Chi group showed significant improvement, with stronger knee and ankle muscles, improved mobility and flexibility and better balance."
Tai Chi is an ancient Chinese martial art form, consisting of a series of slow, gentle movements. It is good for improving your balance. Tai Chi is performed standing up and uses your muscles in a way that you probably never stressed before.
Friday, June 24
Increased sunlight helps decrease the risk of developing prostate cancer, according to a new study.
This study found that "men with high sun exposure had half the risk of prostate cancer than did men with low sun exposure."
However, the effect could be due to increased vitamin D from exposure to sunlight. Thus, this would suggest that supplementing with vitamin D might also be effective.
Thursday, June 23
The Western meat centered diet and the salty diet of the Japanese increase the risk of colon cancer, according to new research.
"The Western dietary pattern ... was marked by high intakes of meat, poultry, cheese and bread and butter. A second category, the 'traditional' [Japanese] dietary pattern, was built around rice, miso soup, salted fish and pickled vegetables."
"Overall, women whose diets were the most Western had more than double the risk of developing colon cancer as women with the least Westernized diets. Similarly, women who ate the most traditional foods were twice as likely as those who ate the fewest to be diagnosed with colon cancer."
Friday, June 17
For people with coronary artery disease high-intensity interval training is an alternative to cardiac rehabilitation worth considering and may provide additional health benefits, according to new research.
"The investigators note that compared with traditional continuous aerobic exercise training, high-intensity interval training produced a similar improvement in aerobic fitness and greater improvement in anaerobic tolerance. These additional anaerobic benefits were achieved without increasing the risk to the patient, the researchers conclude, and 'would be of particular benefit for the performance of many activities of daily living.'"
Using a computerized exercise bike with a digital display analogy, instead of exercising with the 'manual' program at a low intensity level; this study says that it is safe to try using the 'hill' or 'random' program (ie, interval training) that periodically demands higher high-intensity training.
Thursday, June 16
Too many researchers are repeating the work of others, conducting clinical trials that are redundant and don't add to the body of scientific knowledge, according to a new study (PDF files: Editorial, Full Text).
"In light of the obligation to justify a claim of clinical equipoise between treatment options before proceeding with a trial, one of the first questions to be asked is whether trialists systematically reviewed the prior literature. ... researchers were not conducting their own independent reviews of the literature, but were instead depending on previous incomplete searches by others."
This review was rather unique in that it was studying whether each of the trials reviewed was actually necessary. Redundant research that does not add to the body of scientific knowledge is recognized to both exist and to be an ethical problem in this recent study.
Having a strong network of friends helps people live longer, according to a new study.
"Older people with better social networks with friends were less likely to die over a 10-year follow-up period than older people with poorer friends networks. ... But ... having a large network of relatives was not associated with longer life."
What is interesting about this study is that it says that good friends are better than family in maintaining good health.
Tuesday, June 14
People who eat more than 5.6 ounces, or 160 grams, of red or processed meat a day are 35 percent more likely to develop bowel cancer than those who eat less than .7 ounces, or 20 grams, a day. "Subjects with high red meat and low fish intake were at 63 percent higher risk of bowel cancer compared with subjects with low red meat and high fish intake. In addition, the risk of developing the disease was increased for those people who ate a low fibre diet."
Here is another reason to limit your intake of red and processed meat. Process meat is referring to salami, sausages, and other types of sandwich meats.
The elderly who aren't active are more likely to have trouble walking or climbing stairs, according to a new study.
This study found that "34 percent of men and 47 percent of women said they began to struggle with walking and climbing stairs. People who were inactive were twice as likely to report these problems as people who said they got regular exercise."
This study explicitly makes the exercise / walking connection. No exercise means no walk. And, that means no quality of life in the elderly who refuse to exercise by walking.
Rosemary reduces the amount of cancer-causing compounds created during the cooking of hamburger, according to a new study.
Other previous research has shown that flipping burgers, trimming off fat and skin before grilling meat, and removing charred portions after grilling may reduce the amount of cancer-causing compounds in grilled meat. Microwaving meat does not appear to create them because the temperature in a microwave stays relatively low.
Food seasoning is an important part of a healthy diet. Next time you cook hamburger patties, try adding rosemary seasoning to the ground meat.
Monday, June 13
Vitamin B6 in their diet seems to decreased risk of colorectal cancer in women, according to a new study.
"Women with the highest level of vitamin B6 intake were 34 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer than women with the lowest level."
These findings may be particularly important for those who consume alcohol. Taking a B-50 table once a day insures coverage of all the major B vitamins.
Thursday, June 9
Very low doses of aspirin taken regularly pose a bleeding risk, according to a new study.
"This study reviewed data from 31 previous clinical trials, which involved a total of 192,036 patients. Patients were divided into three groups depending on their daily aspirin dose: low (less than 100 mg), moderate (100 to 200 mg), and high (greater than 200 mg). ... Low doses were OK, but doses over 100 are (comparable) with those over 300."
Low-dose aspirin was associated with the lowest risk while moderate doses caused a relatively high bleeding rate. Of course, expensive enteric-coated aspirin that dissolves only in your intestines does not have this problem.
Tuesday, June 7
Moderate physical activity helps women to lower their chance of developing ovarian cancer, according to a new study.
"Compared with women with the lowest levels of moderate activity and total recreational activity, those with the highest levels had a reduced risk of ovarian cancer. The odds were reduced by 33 percent for the highest levels of moderate activity, and by 27 percent with the highest levels of total activity."
It should be no suprise that exercise is good for you.
Monday, June 6
A low-glycemic index diet may protect the heart and blood vessels better than low-fat for obese people, according to a new study.
"Carbohydrates with a low-glycemic index include foods such as nonstarchy vegetables, fruit, legumes, nuts and diary products. ... Numerous previous studies ... have shown that individuals feel less hunger and greater (sense of fullness) after low-glycemic index compared to high-glycemic index meals."
The key word here is obese. You really only need to worry about the glycemic index of the food that you eat if you are obese, are pre-diabetic, or have syndrome-X.
Friday, June 3
People who get too little zinc from their diets may run out of energy during exercise sessions, according to new research.
"The recommended zinc intake is 11 milligrams (mg) per day for men and 8 mg for women; because high levels of the mineral can be toxic, experts advise that adults take no more than 40 mg per day."
This study points to the importance of adequate zinc intake in a person's fitness level. While this study was allegedly about zinc from your diet, the high-zinc diet group took a daily 15-mg zinc supplement.
Thursday, June 2
The WELL diet is more effective than a typical low-fat diet in reducing blood pressure, according to a new study.
"The WELL diet (Wholly Eating Leaves to Live) is made up essentially of whole grains and legumes, fruits and vegetables, and nuts and seeds to a lesser extent." The subjects were also advised to participate in moderate intensity exercise for at least 30 minutes on all or most days of the week.
While the WELL diet appears to be knocking the low-fat diet, the WELL diet is a vegetarian diet that is high in low-fat dairy products. In other words, this study compared a low-fat diet against another low-fat diet.
An evening protein drink with the amino acid tryptophan helps clear the morning mental fog of the sleep-deprived, according to a new study.
Alpha-lactalbumin, or A-LAC, is a protein derived from the whey component of milk. Tryptophan is found in foods such as beef, chicken, dairy products and turkey. The protein powder actually used in the study is called BioPure. And, was supplied by Eden Prairie, Minnesota-based Davisco Foods International.
The amino acid tryptophan has been long known to help induce sleep. Improved sleep explains the better test performance rather than the protein shake itself. People who already sleep soundly wont show any cognitive improvements.
Wednesday, June 1
Over 55, and starting an exercise program you should expect to lose a significant amount of body fat in six months, but not bone mass, according to new study.
People who followed the supervised exercise program showed improvements in upper and lower body strength, total strength, lean mass, body weight, total and abdominal body fat.
A supervised exercise program appears to have no effect on bone density. People who showed the greatest increase in fitness from their exercise program actually made improvements in their bone mass.
This study is referring to the fact that obese people weigh more than people of normal weight. Their body fat, thus, puts increases stress on their skeletons which has the positive effect of increasing bone density. The bone benefits of exercise simply offsets any possible bone loss resulting from weight lost.
June 2005 Issue
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