Monthly Archives: September 2009

How DNA Repairs May Reshape Genome

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center and at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) have shown how broken sections of chromosomes can recombine to change genomes and spawn new species.

“People have discovered high levels of repeated sequences in the genomes of most higher species and spun theories about why there are so many repeats,” said Lucas Argueso, Ph.D., a research scholar in Duke’s Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology. “We have been able to show with yeast that these repeated sequences allow the formation of new types of chromosomes (chromosome aberrations), and represent one important way of diversifying the genome.”

The scientists used X-rays to break yeast chromosomes, and then studied how the damage was repaired. Most of the chromosome aberrations they identified resulted from interactions between repeated DNA sequences located on different chromosomes rather than from a simple re-joining of the broken ends on the same chromosome.

Chromosome aberrations are a change in the normal chromosome complement because of deletion, duplication, or rearrangement of genetic material. On rare occasions, the development of one of these new chromosome structures is beneficial, but more often DNA changes can be detrimental, leading to problems like tumors.

“Every so often the rearrangements may be advantageous,” Argueso said. “Those particular differences may prove to be more successful in natural selection and eventually you may get a new species.”

The radiation-induced aberrations in yeast were initially detected by co-author Jim Westmoreland in the NIEHS Laboratory of Molecular Genetics and the molecular dissection was done by Duke’s Argueso.

In the yeast used for this study, the repeated DNA sequences account for about 3 percent of the genome. In higher species, like humans, about half of the genome consists of these repeated sequences, “which makes for an Achilles heel among humans,” Argueso said. “If you have a break in this repeated part, you can repair not only from the same chromosome, but also from a similar repeated sequence in many other places in the genome.”

Sequencing the genomes of different humans has turned up a surprising amount of structural variation between individuals, said Thomas D. Petes, Ph.D., chair of Duke molecular genetics and microbiology and co-author of the yeast study. “We expected to see primarily single base pair changes or small deletions and insertions. No one expected to see that one person would have two copies of a gene, while others would have one or three copies of the same gene.”

These human studies also showed that many of the rearrangements found in humans are at sites of repeated DNA, which may occur through a mechanism similar to what this study found in yeast.

Petes said this work with yeast also could prove relevant to cancer research. “Most solid tumors have a high level of these rearrangements, as well as a high level of extra chromosomes; recombination between repeated genes is clearly one way of generating rearrangements, although some rearrangements also occur by other pathways,” he said. “It is an evolutionary battle between normal cells and tumor cells. One way that tumor cells can break free of normal cell growth regulation is to rearrange their genomes.”

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Quality Health Care: Little Context Makes Big Difference

A hospital pneumonia survival rate of 93 percent may sound good, but knowing that it’s actually merely “fair” can help people pick a better hospital, according to new research. A “good” survival rate would be from 95 percent to 98 percent, medical experts say.

Better use of quality-of-care ratings can lead to greater consumer control, more effective health-care choices, and provider competition over quality instead of cost, says a report published by the American Psychological Association.

The findings are timely, given the ongoing debate over health-care and health-insurance reform. Providers and the media are showering decision-makers with raw numbers about everything from those pneumonia survival rates to the percentage of heart attack patients given key drugs and post-stay patient ratings. Typical measurements describe hospitals, nursing homes, doctors, treatments and health-insurance plans.

When it’s hard to interpret the numbers, people are tempted to choose based on cost, such as monthly premiums, or even how they feel at the moment, said a report on the research, which was published in the September issue of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied.

In four different studies, researchers asked people to pick fictional hospitals and health-insurance plans based on cost and quality-of-care data. Across the studies, getting the numbers in context strongly influenced decisions. People took quality data into account to a significantly greater degree when they were shown how the experts would rate the information.

When participants saw quality ratings expressed in context, in ranges such as “good,” “fair” and “poor,” they weighed quality more and cost less than participants who saw the same numbers out of context, the researchers found. For example, when choosing health-insurance plans, 54 percent of participants chose a higher-quality plan when given its numbers in context, while 39 percent chose it when given numbers out of context. Similarly, among older adults, 54 percent chose higher-quality plans when the numbers were evaluated; only 35 percent chose them when the numbers were without context.

Participants shown how to evaluate health-care data also leaned less on their momentary moods, which had nothing to do with quality measures.

The four studies involved 303 people age 18 to 64; 207 participants age 65 to 99 (an important group given the choices faced by older adults); 218 people age 18 to 51; and 83 students up to age 37. The studies were led by Ellen Peters, PhD, of Decision Research, a non-profit research group in Eugene, Ore., and the University of Oregon.

Being helped to interpret the numbers made the biggest difference for people who were less good with numbers generally. For them, such guidance helped them rise above the passing moods that they reported.

“Information providers cannot present ‘just the facts,’” the authors wrote. If helped to integrate quality-of-care information into their judgments and reduce reliance on cost, people can make better decisions, they asserted.

The same goes for those making public policy and allocating health-care dollars. “Decision-makers need help in interpreting not only what the numbers are but what they mean,” wrote the authors.

“Without [such help], today’s world of instantaneous information could lead to a greater influence of irrelevant sources of affect [mood] and emotion, especially for the less numerate among us.”

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Treating insomnia / sleep disorders with herbs and nutrition

continuing from part 1 …
A reader asks, “Are there any foods, vitamins, herbs, etc, that can help with insomnia? I’ve had sleeping problems for years, and I would really appreciate any kind of useful information.”

In part one of this Q&A, we talked about how lack of exposure to natural sunlight causes hormonal imbalances that result in chronic sleeping problems. In part 2, we’re moving on to talk about the dietary influences of sleep disorders:

As far as the main imbalancers of hormones in the body, the primary culprits are dietary stimulants, or what I call metabolic disruptors. Perhaps the most frequently abused stimulant of all is coffee and caffeine. A person who is taking caffeine on a regular basis typically does so because they feel drowsy in the morning since they haven’t had a good night’s sleep in the first place. But by drinking coffee to wake up, a vicious cycle is created. The caffeine perks them up in the morning, but at the same time, it overstresses the adrenal glands and the endocrine system, which causes imbalances later on during the day, especially when used over a long period of time. So if you are a regular consumer of caffeine, you’re going to find that your production of melatonin and other hormones is disrupted in the long term, even though caffeine may make you feel more awake in the morning.

The trick to all this is getting off caffeine permanently and never ingesting this neurotoxic substance ever again in your life. One of the best ways to do that is to pick up the book by Dr. Jonathan Wright called The New Detox Diet. This book teaches people how to get off caffeine and also informs them of some of the very good reasons why you need to stop poisoning your nervous system with this insecticide (caffeine is created by plants to kill insects).

There are other nervous system stimulants that tend to disrupt healthy function of the endocrine system. These include sugar and MSG (monosodium glutamate).MSG is something you have to look for on food labels because it’s hidden in a lot of grocery store products. This is a highly toxic ingredient. It will not only causesleep disorders, it will also tend to cause migraine headaches and can even lead to Alzheimer’s disease. MSG does not belong in the human body. It can even interfere with normal appetite regulatory functions and make it almost impossible for people to lose weight, especially if they are currently obese. So MSG is one thing to avoid, and refined white sugars are another because of the way they overstress the pancreas and other organs involved in hormone regulation throughout the body.

Carbohydrate cravings

An interesting side note to all of this is that if your insomnia is being caused by imbalanced melatonin levels, it is very likely that you are also suffering fromcarbohydrate cravings due to suppressed serotonin levels in the brain. When melatonin levels are too high in the brain, it naturally results in the suppression of serotonin. This makes a person feel down. They get the blues. They feel drowsy. And one of the quickest ways to self-medicate and raise the levels of serotonin in the brain is to eat carbohydrates (and the more refined the carbohydrates, the better). Refined white flour is going to perk up those serotonin levels very quickly. Drinking a soft drink will also do the same thing. And if that soft drink has caffeine in it, then a person is getting a double dose of medication through the caffeine and the high-fructose corn syrup contained in that beverage.

So I think you get a pretty clear picture here of how people can easily create a destructive cycle of dependence on psychoactive food ingredients and drugs like caffeine just to make it through the day, when typically the source of the problem is really something relatively simple, like lack of sunlight. If you are a person who is consuming caffeine on a regular basis, if you find yourself experiencing carbohydrate cravings, if you need sugar to elevate your mood, then these are signs that you need a fundamental detox in order to get back to the basic foods that support human health and will naturally create healthy hormone balance.

Once you do that, you will find yourself sleeping quite soundly. You will fall asleep easily, you will sleep restfully, and you will wake up fully energized without any need whatsoever for coffee in the morning. I know this from personal experience. Typically, I sleep 8 hours a night. I think long-duration sleep is very important, especially if you’re involved in strength training or gymnastics or other forms of intense physical activity like I am. Eight hours of sleep is great for the human body, and when I wake up, I feel fully energized and ready to go, ready to take on the projects and challenges of the new day. I’m not a coffee drinker and I never have been. I don’t consume caffeine, and I strongly urge those who are on caffeine to consider doing whatever it takes to get off that drug. It will make your life far easier in the long run.

continuing from part 1 …
A reader asks, “Are there any foods, vitamins, herbs, etc, that can help with insomnia? I’ve had sleeping problems for years, and I would really appreciate any kind of useful information.”

In part one of this Q&A, we talked about how lack of exposure to natural sunlight causes hormonal imbalances that result in chronic sleeping problems. In part 2, we’re moving on to talk about the dietary influences of sleep disorders:

As far as the main imbalancers of hormones in the body, the primary culprits are dietary stimulants, or what I call metabolic disruptors. Perhaps the most frequently abused stimulant of all is coffee and caffeine. A person who is taking caffeine on a regular basis typically does so because they feel drowsy in the morning since they haven’t had a good night’s sleep in the first place. But by drinking coffee to wake up, a vicious cycle is created. The caffeine perks them up in the morning, but at the same time, it overstresses the adrenal glands and the endocrine system, which causes imbalances later on during the day, especially when used over a long period of time. So if you are a regular consumer of caffeine, you’re going to find that your production of melatonin and other hormones is disrupted in the long term, even though caffeine may make you feel more awake in the morning.

The trick to all this is getting off caffeine permanently and never ingesting this neurotoxic substance ever again in your life. One of the best ways to do that is to pick up the book by Dr. Jonathan Wright called The New Detox Diet. This book teaches people how to get off caffeine and also informs them of some of the very good reasons why you need to stop poisoning your nervous system with this insecticide (caffeine is created by plants to kill insects).

There are other nervous system stimulants that tend to disrupt healthy function of the endocrine system. These include sugar and MSG (monosodium glutamate).MSG is something you have to look for on food labels because it’s hidden in a lot of grocery store products. This is a highly toxic ingredient. It will not only causesleep disorders, it will also tend to cause migraine headaches and can even lead to Alzheimer’s disease. MSG does not belong in the human body. It can even interfere with normal appetite regulatory functions and make it almost impossible for people to lose weight, especially if they are currently obese. So MSG is one thing to avoid, and refined white sugars are another because of the way they overstress the pancreas and other organs involved in hormone regulation throughout the body.

Carbohydrate cravings

An interesting side note to all of this is that if your insomnia is being caused by imbalanced melatonin levels, it is very likely that you are also suffering fromcarbohydrate cravings due to suppressed serotonin levels in the brain. When melatonin levels are too high in the brain, it naturally results in the suppression of serotonin. This makes a person feel down. They get the blues. They feel drowsy. And one of the quickest ways to self-medicate and raise the levels of serotonin in the brain is to eat carbohydrates (and the more refined the carbohydrates, the better). Refined white flour is going to perk up those serotonin levels very quickly. Drinking a soft drink will also do the same thing. And if that soft drink has caffeine in it, then a person is getting a double dose of medication through the caffeine and the high-fructose corn syrup contained in that beverage.

So I think you get a pretty clear picture here of how people can easily create a destructive cycle of dependence on psychoactive food ingredients and drugs like caffeine just to make it through the day, when typically the source of the problem is really something relatively simple, like lack of sunlight. If you are a person who is consuming caffeine on a regular basis, if you find yourself experiencing carbohydrate cravings, if you need sugar to elevate your mood, then these are signs that you need a fundamental detox in order to get back to the basic foods that support human health and will naturally create healthy hormone balance.

Once you do that, you will find yourself sleeping quite soundly. You will fall asleep easily, you will sleep restfully, and you will wake up fully energized without any need whatsoever for coffee in the morning. I know this from personal experience. Typically, I sleep 8 hours a night. I think long-duration sleep is very important, especially if you’re involved in strength training or gymnastics or other forms of intense physical activity like I am. Eight hours of sleep is great for the human body, and when I wake up, I feel fully energized and ready to go, ready to take on the projects and challenges of the new day. I’m not a coffee drinker and I never have been. I don’t consume caffeine, and I strongly urge those who are on caffeine to consider doing whatever it takes to get off that drug. It will make your life far easier in the long run.

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WEB MD Sleep Expert Explains the Reality of Sleep Disorders

This interview is an excerpt from Kevin Gianni’s Fountain of Youth Summit, which can be found at (http://fountainofyouthworldsummit.com) . In this excerpt, Dr. Michael Breus shares on reality of sleep and sleep disorders.

The Fountain of Youth World Summit with Dr. Michael Breus, the author of Good Night and Web MD’s sleep expert.

Kevin: I think it’s going to be an awesome talk. And as many people out there know already, I like to get right into it. So let’s start talking about sleep. I know you have some facts and you have some numbers. Let’s start talking about them.

Dr. Breus: Oh yeah. Let’s get right into it. One of the things that’s really pretty fascinating, Kevin, is just how many people are reporting any symptom of a sleep problem. If you look back at the National Sleep Foundation data from 2000, you’ll see that roughly sixty-two percent of the overall population was reporting a problem. But now in 2005, this is still data that’s two years old, we’re seeing that almost seventy-five percent of people are reporting a type of a sleep problem.

Kevin: Wow! So it’s a thirteen percent increase.

Dr. Breus: Yeah. It’s truly amazing. Right now, we’re thinking that more than seventy million Americans are suffering from known sleep disorders. Almost fifty percent of people snore. The thing to remember here is snoring is not necessarily a sleep disorder, but it can be a sign or symptom of a sleep disorder called Sleep Apnea.

Kevin: Um Hmm

Dr. Breus: Unfortunately, the medical community classifies snoring as more of a social nuisance in terms of keeping other people awake. Here’s another fascinating statistic — individuals who sleep with somebody who snores lose on average about one hour of sleep per night.

Kevin: Wow! That’s incredible! [Laughs]

Dr. Breus: So it might not even be your sleep problem that’s keeping you from getting a good night’s rest. It could be your bed partner’s.

Kevin: Wow.

Dr. Breus: Sleep deprivation affects things like creativity, productivity, memory, relationships and even sexual activity. So there almost isn’t an area that sleep doesn’t affect. Interestingly enough, it affects every single organ system available. And here’s the thing that was kind of baffling to me when I first started getting into this field — I don’t know if you know this, but there are eighty-eight different sleep disorders.

Kevin: No kidding!

Dr. Breus: Yeah. You wouldn’t think that there would be so many. I mean you’d figure “Well, you know, I close my eyes, I go to sleep, how many things could go wrong?” Well, the truth of the matter is, there are literally eighty-eight different types of sleep disorders. Now some of them can be long-term, they have specific categories. And there are really four or five main sleep disorders that I [haven’t seen to] to deal with them. I practice and also talk about them in my book. And those who fall into the category of insomnia, which could be “having a problem falling asleep” or “having a problem staying asleep” or either “waking too early”. There’s also a new category of insomnia that we should talk about just for a brief moment, which is called, it’s not really called insufficient sleep, it’s basically called “poor quality sleep”.

Kevin: Okay.

Dr. Breus: And so it’s not about the number of minutes that you get but the quality of those minutes. So what’s interesting here is that some people might sleep eight hours but they wake up, and they feel horrible.

Kevin: Right.

Dr. Breus: That’s a whole new phenomena that we’re just starting to learn more about and trying to investigate more about.

Kevin: Anything about the factors? What are some of the factors about?

Dr. Breus: Well, you know what? That’s a good question as there could be multiple factors. It could be anything from stress, to caffeine, to other medical problems, to even medications or supplements that you could be taking that could be affecting your sleep.

Kevin: Mm Hmm.

Dr. Breus: So that’s a lot of different things that could affect your sleep. The thing that people don’t realize is — I’m kind of like, sort of an internal medicine doctor but, for the night time, if you will, simply because every single area, every single thing you do can have a potential affect on your sleep. Now that doesn’t mean that I want everybody to lock themselves in the room.

Kevin: [laughs]

Dr. Breus: You know, never drink coffee again…

Kevin: [laughs]

Dr. Breus: [Have a glass of wine] or anything like that, because that’s just not me, number one. Number two is that’s just not realistic. What I’m hoping to do today with this talk is to let people know, first of all, that this is a serious situation. Second, that there are a lot of different things that we’ll be able to do. Very quickly, here even today, even notes that you’d be able to take today during this teleconference, this will help you to sleep better tonight. And they’re very realistic, and they’re not, [say], going to change your life forever.

Kevin: Well, that’s fantastic. I must get into that. [Laughs]

Dr. Breus: Absolutely. Some people like to know what are some of these big problems that everybody’s talking about. So, first of all, about fifty-three percent of people say that they often wake up not feeling refreshed. Thirty-six percent of people say they have trouble falling back to sleep. And then just thirty-one percent of people say they just can’t fall asleep in general, [just] insomnia, is what we call it. Again, kind of interesting but more often than not, people are saying it’s not the falling asleep, even though a third of people have a problem with that, it’s the staying asleep.

Kevin: Okay.

Dr. Breus: That seems to really get to them.

Kevin: Okay.

Dr. Breus: Now, the other thing that’s kind of fascinating is looking at who has these problems. Believe it or not, women have a tendency to report sleep problems more than men do. Now, I think there are a couple of different reasons for that. One of the different reasons I feel is that women, first of all, they have a reasonably better “in touch” sense with their body. They know and understand their body. They listen to their bodies, but they also have a greater likelihood to talk about these issues.

Kevin: Sure.

Dr. Breus: Not necessarily just with their friends, but also with their physicians, their therapists, whoever happens to be speaking with them. And so, interestingly enough, eighty-three percent of the people who are talking about these are women.

Kevin: Guys are just like “I’m okay”. [Laughs]

Dr. Breus: Right, it’s kind of like this bravado “Hey, I don’t have any problems. All I need is five hours of sleep. Rrrr”.

Kevin: [Laughs]

Dr. Breus: You know. And the truth of the matter is, that’s just not the case. You know, I was with executives from Fortune 100 to Fortune 500 companies all over the world. And, you know, men, women, doesn’t really matter. What I find is men come in and they say “You know, I’m tough, blah blah blah. But when you get them into a room and you talk to them, they’re in trouble. They’re having a really tough time because they’re not eating right, they’re not exercising while they’re on the road, and they’re certainly not sleeping right. And that’s affecting their performance not only at work, but at home.

Kevin: Right.

Dr. Breus: And that’s a big deal. And we’re also seeing, interestingly enough, there’s sort of a bimodal distribution where we’re seeing a lot of people between the ages of eighteen and thirty-four having sleep problems. But then also in my practice, I’m seeing people who are in the forty-five and up range having sleep problems as well. So it really seems to be the two distributions which probably speak to the fact that there are two different types of sleep problems that are probably available in those groups.

Kevin: What do you speculate those to be?

Dr. Breus: I think the speculations would probably fall that the younger group… we’re going to see more people with insomnia type problems?

Kevin: Okay.

Dr. Breus: And what I call disordered sleep.

Kevin: Okay.

Dr. Breus: See, there’s a big difference between a sleep disorder which is a form of diagnosis like insomnia or [apnea] or [narcolepsy] and what I call disordered sleep, which is just wake up and “I don’t feel so hot”.

Kevin: Right.

Dr. Breus: I think insomnia and the disordered sleep fall in the eighteen to thirty-four age group range. When you start to get above forty-five, I think that’s where we start to see a greater preponderance of sleep apnea.

Kevin: Mm Hmm.

Dr. Breus: Most of us seem to go throughout any particular age range but restless life syndrome pops up huge in the older population.

Kevin: Okay. Is sleep apnea due to being overweight or obese?

Dr. Breus: Well, here’s the interesting thing — there are multiple factors for sleep apnea. Let’s just go into, real quickly, what is sleep apnea.

Kevin: Mm Hmm.

Dr. Breus: Sleep apnea is where you stop breathing in your sleep. Okay. Generally speaking I like my patients to breathe…

Kevin: [Laughs]

Dr. Breus: Okay, and so it’s good when they keep breathing all night long. Now the truth of the matter is this — you won’t stop breathing in your sleep and not start back, okay. I had a funny time. I was sitting with a patient. I’m explaining her results, studying with her. And I sat down with her and I said “You know, Mrs XYZ, I want to let you know that you stopped breathing in your sleep over two hundred times last night”.

Kevin: Wow!

Dr. Breus: You know what she said to me? “Did I start back up?”

Kevin: [Laughs]

Dr. Breus: Now that’s pretty classic. But that’s the level of education that we have to get to here in teaching people what’s going on. So the answer is — yes, she did start back up. And would you believe me if I told you that her sleep apnea was only moderate, and she stopped breathing over two hundred times a night?

To read the rest of this transcript as well as access more information by health experts on abundance, optimum health, and longevity just like Dr. Michael Breus please visit (http://fountainofyouthworldsummit.com) .

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Why NaturalNews opposes Obama’s health care “reform” plan: a statement of principles

Today’s article on health care reform has stirred up an unexpectedly vocal debate among NaturalNews readers about health care reform. Some have expressed confusion over the NaturalNews position on health care reform: Are we for it? Against it? Do we support Obama? Do we support socialized medicine?

This article is intended to clarify our position. Ultimately, we here at NaturalNews believe very strongly in three things relevant to this debate:

#1) Natural medicine and the healing power of the human body and spirit.

#2) Personal liberty and the non-intervention of Big Government in our day-to-day lives.

#3) Personal responsibility and free will to do what we wish with our own lives as long as it does not involve harming others.

We are also firmly opposed to the pharmaceutical cartel, the highly corrupt and ineffective health insurance industry and government regulators like the FDA and FTC who continue to enforce this failed medical monopoly upon the American people.

Based on these principles, we must maintain strong opposition to any plan — from any President — that would remove choice from consumers and force people to pay their hard-earned money into a system that financially supports precisely those institutions that we oppose (Big Pharma, health insurance corporations, etc.).

In theory, I am personally a strong advocate of universal care, where every person is covered under a single plan that’s affordable and efficient. But when that plan continues to focus on pushing pharmaceuticals and surgery over nutrition and prevention, I cannot in good conscience lend it my support. To do so would be a blatant violation of my opposition to Big Pharma, vaccines and the health freedom oppressions of the FDA and FTC.

While the current sick-care system operating in America today is clearly broken, you cannot fix one failed system by mandating another failed system. We agree that health care needs serious reform, and in fact, I personally put together one of the most innovative health care reform plans that has yet been proposed in America. It’s called the Health Revolution Petition, and you can read its details here: www.HealthRevolutionPetition.org

That petition, which is essentially a “hybrid socialized medicine solution,” preserves freedom of choice, individual liberty, free speech and personal responsibility while ending the tyranny of the FDA and the medical monopolies being run in this country right now by Big Pharma, cancer clinics, and other medical groups. It restores health freedom to the People while requiring Americans to take some measure of responsibility for their own health outcomes by participating in their personal choices about where they spend their health care dollars. That’s why it has earned the endorsement of the Life Extension Foundation and numerous health freedom organizations, including Citizens for Health and American Association for Health Freedom.

It is a universal care voucher system that allows the American people to spend health care vouchers on anything that improves their health: Dietary supplementation,herbal medicine, gym memberships, body therapies or even conventional medicine, if they so choose. It puts people back in control over their health care decisions rather than Big Government.

Why Big Government can’t run a

successful health care system based

on pharmaceuticals

When it comes to health care reform, a government-run system that continues to rely on pharmaceutical medicine, chemotherapy and vaccinations is clearly headed for failure even before it gets off the ground. It will only give us, as is popularly stated on the ‘net, a system that has “all the efficiency of the Post Office, the compassion of the IRS and the pricing structure of a Pentagon toilet seat.”

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North Dakota Proclaims Suicide Prevention Month

Governor John Hoeven has proclaimed September as Suicide Prevention Month in North Dakota.

According to the North Dakota Department of Health, suicide is the second leading cause of death among North Dakotans ages 15 to 24 and the 10th leading cause of death overall. North Dakota ranks 15th in the nation for its rate of suicide deaths. In 2008, 86 North Dakotans died as a result of suicide.

Suicide affects everyone, but some groups are at higher risk than others. Men in North Dakota and nationally are four times more likely than women to die from suicide. In North Dakota, people in the 25 to 34 age group and American Indians are also at higher risk.

“Knowing the risk factors and warning signs for suicide may save a life,” said Gail Erickson, Suicide Prevention director for the Department of Health. “It’s important to realize, however, that not everyone who displays these warning signs will attempt suicide.”

Risk factors for suicide include, but are not limited to:

• Previous suicide attempt(s).
• History of depression or other mental illness.
• Alcohol or drug abuse.
• Family history of suicide or violence.
• Physical illness.
• Feeling alone.

“Unfortunately, someone dies as a result of suicide every four days in North Dakota,” said State Health Officer Terry Dwelle, M.D., M.P.H.T.M. “About 5 million Americans have lost a loved one to suicide in the last 25 years. That’s why it’s important for all of us to recognize the warning signs and reach out to people who are having difficulty coping.”

The warning signs of suicide can include:

• Changes in a person’s mood, diet or sleeping pattern.
• Increased alcohol or drug use.
• Withdrawal from friends, family and society.
• Rage or uncontrolled anger.
• Reckless behavior.

Some of the ways to be helpful to someone who is threatening suicide include:

• Be direct. Talk openly and matter-of-factly about suicide.

• Be willing to listen. Allow expressions of feelings. Accept the feelings.

• Be nonjudgmental. Don’t debate whether suicide is right or wrong, or whether feelings are good or bad. Don’t lecture on the value of life.

• Get involved. Become available. Show interest and support.

• Don’t dare him or her to do it.

• Don’t act shocked. This will put distance between you.

• Don’t be sworn to secrecy. Seek support.

• Offer hope that alternatives are available but do not offer glib reassurance.

• Take action. Remove lethal means, such as guns or stockpiled pills.

• Get help from someone specializing in crisis intervention and suicide prevention.

In North Dakota, help is available by calling 2-1-1, a free and confidential 24/7 information, crisis management, and referral services program.

The North Dakota Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention raises funds for scientific research, education and treatment programs, as well as programs to support those who have lost loved ones to suicide. This year, five “Out of the Darkness” Community Walks have been scheduled in North Dakota to raise funds for suicide prevention and awareness. The event will be held in Minot September 19, Grand Forks September 20, Fargo September 27, and BismarckOctober 3. (Williston’s community walk was held September 13.)

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Interview: Larry Pederson and the LiteBook portable phototherapy device

Mike: Welcome again, everyone. This is Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, here at Natural Products Expo West 2006. I’m joined by Larry Pederson, the founder of The Litebook Company and inventor and creator of the light therapy device called Litebook. Here to tell us about it is Larry.

Larry Pederson: Yes — nice to see you, Mike. It’s my pleasure.

Mike: Great to be speaking with you, Larry. Now, tell us about this product. How does it work and how can it help us be healthier individuals?

Pederson:Well, it can help a lot of people. Basically, it’s light therapy. Light therapy’s been around for about 20 years. It was these big fluorescent light boxes that, for many years, took up half your desk — and yes, they work. But, they were very inconvenient and a lot of people wouldn’t use them very practically. So what we did is we came up with a way to harness the white light emitting diode — or LED technology — that was invented in Japan five or six years ago — and what we found is that that LED actually keeps at a very specific wavelength that’s identical to sunlight. So, if you’re in an environment where you’re not getting enough sunlight because you’re living in the northern part of the United States, Northern Europe or Canada — where we are — or if you’re a teenager and you’re not getting up in the morning, or you’re going to sleep at night and you’re a senior or a shift worker — there’s many different applications. Light therapy is a natural solution for people that are looking for a way to improve their wellness and to feel better. It’s not something that you swallow and there’s no side effects and so forth. It’s a very clean alternative solution to wellness.

Mike: This unit makes it portable, so it’s great for treating jet lag especially.

Pederson: Exactly. We’ve actually developed a software program based on research done at NASA, and we put 171 cities around the world on our website. You put in your normal waking time to tell it what your body clock is set at — your departure city, your arrival city, anywhere on the planet — and it will tell you when to use this and for how long. And 45 minutes to an hour from the day you travel, you can reset your body clock to your new time zone. No more jet lag.

Mike: That’s a great idea. You sort of pre-adjust instead of post-adjust.

Pederson: Exactly. You know, the body adjusts more slowly with age, so the rate at which it adjusts drops off dramatically at age 50. A lot of people are traveling as business people, and they get to that age where they have more responsibility at the peak of their careers — and yet they’re suffering more from jet lag.

Mike: Now, I think light therapy is very interesting, because it is accepted not only in natural health or naturopathic treatments, but also very well accepted in conventional medicine, correct?

Pederson: Absolutely. The American Psychiatric Association has basically endorsed light therapy for use not only for seasonal depression or Seasonal Affective Disorder, but also for a range of other disorders, including sleep disorders and delayed phase sleep syndrome — which can affect teenagers — and, there are a lot of different applications for seniors, and there’s more emerging everyday.

Mike: How does light therapy actually work at a physiological level? You talked about receptors in the eye.

Pederson: Well, this is something — this is pretty new science and new knowledge and basically, researchers discovered about four or five years ago that there’s this little receptor, a photoreceptor, on the retina right now, and for years they’ve known that there were rods and cones, which together give us light. They take the signal in and they tell us what’s light or dark. It gives us vision. They discovered this other photoreceptor called melanopsin. It’s actually a protein that resides outside the fovia part of the retina, which is where the rods and cones are, so it has nothing to do with vision and everything to do with telling your body whether it’s light or dark — day or night. It regulates your body clock, and that’s how and why most blind people know when to go to bed. They get that signal even if they have no vision. That photoreceptor actually looks for light, and it will tell the body based on the light it takes in to strike that photoreceptor — and it looks for the peak wavelength of sunlight. The peak wavelength of sunlight is in the blue part of the spectrum — it’s 460 nanometers, to be specific — and that is the peak wavelength of the LED lights we’re using in the Litebook.

Mike: I see.

Pederson: When this light strikes your eye, it actually excites that little photoreceptor that tells the brain, “Okay, it’s bright, you need to be alert,” and it shuts down your melatonin. Melatonin is the hormone in your body that tells you to go to sleep at night and keeps you asleep throughout the night, and it gets shut off every morning when you open your blinds and the sunlight streams in.

Mike: So, this receptor is really directly wired to the endocrine system that controls all these cycles.

Pederson: Exactly. The suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), which is in the hypothalamus part of the brain — it is actually the little body clock. It’s our own internal body clock and it needs to be reset everyday.

Mike: So, there’s a very clear and at least a somewhat understood physiological process that governs our energy when we’re awake and when we feel sleepy.

Pederson: Also, our sleep cycle when we’re trying to sleep at night. What’s happened in our culture is that we’ve moved indoors in the last generation. From the time we were kids, we were outside all the time because there was nothing to do inside, right? My mother used to lock the door after us when we left the house during the day in the summertime. My parents never saw me in the summertime.

Mike: Right.

Pederson: Right, because there was nothing to do inside. But now — with one generation — we’ve moved indoors to the point where we’re not getting that exposure to bright sunlight. You add to that the fact that UV and skin cancer and all these concerns now keep us from going out. The sun was perceived to be bad for us, when in fact, it’s life giving. Without the sun, there is no life, right?

Mike: That’s right.

Pederson: What we’ve done though, is we’ve harnessed these LEDs in a way that allows you to get the sunlight without actually needing to go to the sun. If you can’t go to the sunlight, we bring the sunlight to you.

Mike: I’d like you to talk about this interesting lens here a minute, but first your comment about sunlight — yes, people are recognizing now that some sunlight is very beneficial for the formation of vitamin D.

Pederson: Yes, absolutely.

Mike: But, just to be clear, this device doesn’t emit ultraviolet light, correct?

Pederson: Correct. It will not do anything in the generation of vitamin D — the production of vitamin D. What it will do, though, is it will affect your serotonin level in your brain. Serotonin is the feel-good neurotransmitter in the brain that Prozac, and that whole class of antidepressants, is meant to elevate — they’re the SSRI drugs.

Mike: Right.

Pederson: Sunlight also elevates serotonin, right?

Mike: Yes.

Pederson: That feeling you get on a nice sunny day when you’re out there — and you get that feeling in the sun that’s actually a serotonergic response caused by the sunlight, right? Everyone feels better on a sunny day.

Mike: Yes.

Pederson: Right? That’s what this light is giving you — that same feeling that you get on a nice sunny day even when it’s cloudy or rainy or overcast. It doesn’t matter.

Mike: Do you hear that from a lot of users now? Now, I know you don’t want to make medical claims, but do you hear testimonials from people about how it has helped their depression?

Pederson: Absolutely. We’ve had testimonials from many people that were taking antidepressants — but we don’t make any claims about this. We’ve done some clinical research on this, but we still have our pivotal FDA trial to do. But, the talk about it just improves — the glass goes from being half empty to half full.

Mike: What other conditions or diagnosable disorders could this have potential for?

Pederson: Many people look at sleep. Sleep is really big in the media right now. A lot of people are talking about the issue of sleep — sleep disorders. There’s 88 different sleep disorders and a variety of them cannot and won’t be affected by the issue of light. Things like sleep apnea — obstructive sleep apnea, where your trachea collapses and so forth — this won’t help with that. But, a lot of people find that this, for example, addresses insomnia, because if you are exposed to more light during the day, you will sleep better at night — and that’s a fact.

Mike: Absolutely.

Pederson: Because, you’re going to regulate your body clock and you’re going to say, “This is the day and this is the night.” Melatonin, which is the hormone that puts you to sleep at night and keeps you asleep, if it’s suppressed — if it’s seeping out during the day — then you’re feeling tired, dragging and lethargic — but the worst part is that the body only produces so much melatonin every 24 hours. When you go to sleep that night, you get what’s left. You get a very unsatisfactory night’s sleep. If, on the other hand, you suppress it first thing in the morning with a precisely timed exposure to bright light in the right wavelength — which is what this delivers — say for 15 minutes, your melatonin goes to zero almost immediately. You have more energy during the day and then when you go to sleep that night, you get the full burst of melatonin as nature intended and you get a much deeper, more restful sleep.

Mike: You understand these hormones and their cycles very well. I remember when I spoke to you a year ago — you had a very interesting explanation I’d like to ask you to repeat. It was about why teenagers like to stay up all night and senior citizens like to go to bed early.

Pederson: The human body clock actually shifts ahead when you go through puberty, which is why my son — who’s 10 — is in bed at 8:30 with lights out — and he’s asleep at 9:01. He sleeps like a rock through the night and then he wakes up at seven in the morning with a smile on his face. I know when he gets to be 12 years old, he’s going to want to stay up all night and sleep all day. His body clock is shifted ahead. The problem is that he has to still get up and get on that school bus or get to that early class if he’s in college or whatever.

Mike: Right.

Pederson: That’s what happens, and so the teenager would need to use this light first thing in the morning for 15 minutes in order to shift the body clock back.

Mike: That’s all it takes.

Pederson: Yes. At the other end of the life cycle, at menopause — and both men and women go through menopause, but men don’t like to admit it — basically what happens is the body clock shifts back. Seniors — like my mother — would fall asleep at nine o’clock in front of the TV, wake up at four in the morning, and could not get back to sleep before she began using the Litebook. By using this light in the evening at the dinner hour, say for 15 to 30 minutes, she’s able to tell the body, “No, it’s still bright out and you need to be alert. Hold off on the melatonin and shift that melatonin secretion time to later in the evening,” like it was when she was in her midlife. She can then go to sleep at 11 and sleep until six in the morning.

Mike: Makes perfect sense. Let’s talk more about the Litebook unit itself.

Pederson: Sure.

Mike: It has a very interesting lens here on the front. What’s the purpose of this?

Pederson: This is the new modified model that’ll be coming out this fall, and what we’ve done is we’ve taken 48 LEDs, which used to have a sort of a plain diffuser over it, and we’ve replaced this with these fresnel lenses. Now, the fresnel lens was a technology invented over 100 years ago. Basically, it’s sort of like the technology used in the lens of a movie set lamp, like a search spotlight or a theater light. Out of this light comes a divergent light from the light source, and bends the light out and sends it in a straight line. So, each LED now has its own little fresnel lens that together give it a much more uniform light with less glare.

Mike: Is this a patented feature of yours?

Pederson: Yes. The patent on the fresnel lens is now expired, so we don’t have a patent on the lens. We have a patent on the LED technology. In a light therapy device, whether it’s handheld or built into a car, a bus, a train, anything that uses LEDs for light therapy through the eyes is under our patent.

Mike: Wow. That’s a fairly broad patent.

Pederson: Yes it is. It’s in the U.S., Canada and now in Europe as well, and we have others pending.

Mike: What about the battery life of this unit?

Pederson: We use a lithium ion rechargeable battery similar to that used in a video camera. It gives you 90 minutes of light, fully charged. It charges at night like your cell phone. It has a timer function so that you have 15-, 30-, 45- or 60-minute settings, and it shuts off automatically. The battery is basically going to give you 90 minutes of light and yet it doesn’t add depreciable weight because it’s lithium ion.

Mike: Well, it’s very light.

Pederson: Yes — it’s about 8 ounces.

Mike: And it’s more of an environmentally safe battery than nickel cadmium.

Pederson: Right — you’re not throwing it away. You’re recharging it and the LEDs themselves. I mean, talk about environmental issues — they are rated to last up to 100,000 hours. Which is 12 years — if it’s on 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Mike: So, it’ll never burn out.

Pederson: No. It’s a lifetime of light. Unlike a fluorescent tube or bulb — which might give you 3,000 to 5,000 hours — the LED will give you 100,000 hours. This unit uses two-and-a-half watts of power. The previous one you saw last year was six watts and the big fluorescent light box uses 85 watts.

Mike: Many consumers would say higher wattages are automatically better.

Pederson: Well, higher wattage is the power draw, so it’s the power consumption. It doesn’t have anything to do with the output. What they’re realizing now is the output — because it’s so wavelength-dependent — we have a targeted wavelength that we need to hit the photoreceptor with.

Mike: Yes.

Pederson: As it turns out for us and for everybody else’s benefit, the white LED hits that wavelength right on the money. It’s an exact alignment with that wavelength that the body responds to. So, it’s a shorter treatment time, which is great in this day and age — everything is lighter, faster, smaller, better.

Mike: Absolutely. Now, Larry, where can people find the Litebook or purchase it?

Pederson: Right now they would go to www.LiteBook.com — we have a web store there. We also have a store locator, so you can go in and type in your zip code or your country code and it will then tell you where the closest dealers and resellers are. It’s in some Whole Foods now in the Pacific Northwest. It’ll be going into more Whole Foods, Wild Oats — that kind of a channel as well — and spas and some fitness clubs are now selling this. We’re also starting to sell this in college bookstores for the university students.

Mike: That makes sense.

Pederson: We think so.

Mike: So, are you finding — especially this year — more acceptance to this technology?

Pederson: No question about it. It’s because, even compared to last year, it’s a dramatic increase in the awareness of how light can be helpful to people. I encounter a lot less skepticism now than I did last year, or certainly years in the past, and I think the science is catching up to the technology and the awareness — so you kind of have this synergy of the three parts of the puzzle.

Mike: Absolutely. Well, we’ve been talking with Larry Pederson, the founder and creator of the Litebook product from The Litebook Company. Again, that’s www.LiteBook.com, and this is the unit that will come out in the fall of 2006.

Pederson: September 2006.

Mike: Look for this at retailers all across North America. Thanks for sharing this information with us today, Larry.

Pederson: My pleasure. Thank you. Nice to see you again. Thank you.

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Audio CD Provides Healthful Alternative to Sleeping Pills (press release)

For decades, the benefits and risks associated with sleeping pills have been a controversial topic. In recent years, however, the appalling increase in drug company advertising has effectively replaced the public’s awareness of the negative side effects of sleeping pills with vast quantities of pro-pill propaganda.

Despite the trend toward an ever-increasing dependence on drugs, Matthew Anfuso has dedicated himself to finding a healthful alternative to treating sleeping disorders. Instead of artificially and temporarily masking the problem, as sleeping pills do, Anfuso’s 7 Day Insomnia Cure audio CD counteracts sleep-debt and restores the user’s natural sleep patterns. By combining a regimen of healthy sleep habits with a breakthrough use of “Binaural Beats” to manipulate the brain’s frequencies, 7 Day Insomnia Cure permanently negates the need for artificial, and ultimately harmful, sleep aids.

What the Drug Companies Don’t Want You to Know

Frequent sleeping pill-poppers make themselves vulnerable to a range of medical risks. In fact, it is concern for the risks associated with sleeping pills that has driven the drug companies to continually develop new and “improved” types of sleeping pills. However, many of the problems still remain, meaning that the new-and-improved sleeping pill is not the magical solution that the drug companies want you to believe it is.

A Brief History of Sleeping Pills

Early sleeping pills were of a type called barbiturates. Barbiturates may have put people to sleep, but they actually prevented patients from going into the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) stage of sleep – a stage that has been proven to be a vital part of healthy, restful sleep. Therefore, although barbiturates could lull patients into a forced sleep, an individual on the drug would be unable to derive sufficient rest from their sleep. Moreover, barbiturates produced highly unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. The body’s natural response to a deprivation of REM sleep is to increase the amount of time spent in REM. Therefore, when a long-time user of barbiturates stopped taking the pills, their REM sleep would be so intense as to produce violent and unpleasant nightmares.

In the 1960s and 1970s, a new type of sleeping pill, called benzodiazepines, began replacing barbiturates. Benzodiazepines was considered superior because it produced fewer withdrawal symptoms. However, benzodiazepines typically have a half-life of several days. This means that the drug is still present in the blood for several days after the pill is taken. For frequent users, this is a problem, as the drug accumulates in the blood with each additional pill that is taken; this buildup resultsin what is referred to as a “hangover,” a sedated state that continues even during the daytime. Benzodiazepines can also produce personality changes that linger several weeks beyond the cessation of the drug, as well as weakness and memory loss in the elderly.

Currently, the drug companies are marketing several “new-and-improved” sleeping pills. One of these drugs, zolpidem (Ambien), is cited as being the best choice among sleeping pills. Its short half-life results in less long-term effects, but also means that the drug will not suppress early awakening. Although these pills are cited as being “safe,” the truth is there is not enough long-term research to demonstrate the full impact of the pills.

Sleeping Pills are Not the Answer!

There is a growing concern, brought on by the marked increase in sleeping pill prescriptions over the last five or six years, that sleeping pills are being misused and/or masking more serious problems than insomnia. Of particular concern is the presence of sleep apnea, a condition where the sleeper stops breathing for brief intervals during the night; sleep apnea results in less restful sleep, and possibly insomnia. However, a too-hasty prescription for sleeping pills may only serve to hide the problem, rather than offering a solution. Moreover, studies indicate that sleeping pills may actually make sleep apnea worse. Sleep experts suggest that patients with sleep apnea should never be prescribed sleeping pills, yet with the high incidence of sleep apnea – most over 65 have the condition – it has to be assumed that there are many individuals who are currently making their sleep disorder worse by taking sleep aids.

Besides the complications that may arise from misdiagnosed sleep disorders, sleeping pills have been proven to have a serious impact on the lives and health of frequent users. Frequent use of sleeping pills is associated with a higher mortality rate: individuals who frequently rely on sleeping pills to fall asleep also have increased risks of death from heart disease, cancer, stroke, and even suicide.

For all the risks pill-poppers take on, the actual effectiveness of sleeping pills is minimal. Scientific studies have been performed on groups of individuals with proven sleep disorders. In these studies, one group was given a sleeping pill regularly, while the other group was given a “placebo,” or a fake pill; however, both groups were told that they were being given sleeping pills, and both were monitored during sleep to gauge the effectiveness of the pills. In several of these studies, it was found that although all of the participants – whether they actually got a sleeping pill or not – believed that the pills were helping them, there were actually only minimal differences in sleep improvement between those who were actually given sleeping pills, and those who only adopted a more regular schedule and the belief that they were sleeping better.

The Power of a Natural Cure

The natural conclusion to come to is that, despite what the excessive marketing of the drug companies, taking drugs to induce sleep does more harm than good. Yet no one can deny that insomnia is a problem that many people struggle with. If not with drugs, how can sufferers of sleep disorders address their problem?

Matthew Anfuso has answered this question with his 7 Day Insomnia Cure. The program consists of two parts. A 10-step daily guide helps users to adopt the healthy sleep habits that studies have shown to be so effective in treating sleep disorders. The CD, which the user listens listen to at bedtime, uses binaural beats to induce the frequency that brain waves move at during sleep, encouraging the user to quickly fall into a deep, restful sleep.

“Without getting too technical, a binaural beat is an auditory brainstem response resulting from the interaction of different auditory impulses originating in opposite ears,” said Tim O’Neill, Ph.D., an insomnia expert at Sydney University. “In the 7 Day Insomnia Cure’s case these beats are specifically targeted at inducing deep sleep.”

Although the 10-step daily guide is an important part of eliminating insomnia, the CD is the truly ingenious part of the program. While maintaining a healthy sleep regimen is paramount to sleeping well, it is the binaural beats that lull the listener to sleep, breaking the self-perpetuating cycle of insomnia. The beauty of the CD is that it does this without any of the dependency or negative side effects that someone taking sleeping pills would experience.

“I can honestly say that I’ve never heard the entire CD, because so far I always fall asleep before it is over,” said Sarah Maccarelli, author and psychology major. “I don’t know how this works, but it is a great program. I would recommend it to anyone who needs a good night sleep and wants to feel refreshed and have moreenergy during the day.”

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Weight Watchers at Work Good For Businesses

At Vanderbilt University preparations for Weight Watchers at Work meetings are taking place. The meetings are set to begin on August 26th. Faculty and staff are invited to attend and they are being provided with incentives to join. Weight Watchers has a unique program for weight loss for businesses to use to benefit their employees.

Some business owners may think this is crazy considering the current economic situation in the nation. However, with health care costs soaring and often unreachable, the Weight Watchers at Work program can benefit not just employees, but also the business.

Weight Watchers provides specific information on this program on their website. The goal is to make businesses aware that caring for their employees’ health and weight, they can actually save money. Two out of 3 people in the United States is considered overweight or obese and their medical costs are higher than for employees who are at average weight. Businesses are carrying the bulk of the costs associated with obesity. For example, a person who has a body mass index (or BMI) of 27 (considered overweight) has medical care costs for the company at $6, 822 as compared to $4,496 compared to an average person. The costs go up as the BMI increases.

Other costs include the 39 million lost work days a year, 230 million restricted-activity days a year, 90 million bedrest days a year, and 63 million physician office visits a year. These numbers are all obesity related. This costs businesses valuable time and money. Weight Watchers at Work is a program that aims to reduce these numbers and provide businesses a valuable service.

The impact of absenteeism and disability from obesity related complications is an issue all businesses, large and small, cannot ignore. Complications from obesity include high blood pressure, diabetes type 2, and heart disease. Certain types of cancer are also related to obesity. It has been found that when people together at work begin weight loss programs, the potential for keeping the weight off is much greater.

Weight Watchers works in four ways: science-based eating plan, behavior modification, regular activity, and group support at weekly meetings. Employees who eat healthy together, who exercise together, and who support each other are more likely to lose at least 5% of their weight and build strategies to either keep on losing or maintain the weight lost. Interestingly enough, it has been found through studies that as physical fitness increased in workplaces, quantity and quality of work increased as well. Even just beginning a program and employees taking off just a little bit of weight is a terrific start.

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Obesity and Insomnia: Sleep Loss is Linked to Weight Gain

Many studies have linked obesity and insomnia. Research also shows that getting too much sleep, or irregular sleep (less than six hours or more than nine per night), can lead to fat deposits in the belly. Over seventy five percent of Americans claim to have difficulty sleeping (according to the National Sleep Foundation). At the same time, over 61% of Americans are now considered overweight. Recent studies have now shown a link between sleep, hormones and weight loss.

The prime culprits could be hormones. The hunger signals in your brain are controlled by two hormones: ghrelin and leptin. Ghrelin tells your brain when it is time to eat, and leptin tells your brain when you are full. When you are fatigued, ghrelin levels in your blood increase and leptin levels decrease. A recent study showed a 5% increase in body weight in those who slept less than three hours a night.

The National Center for Health Statistics conducted a survey of over 87,000 adults over the two year period from 2004 to 2006. Going door-to-door, they confirmed that obesity and sleep loss were linked. One third of the people who slept less than six hours were obese, while only 22% of those who slept the normal seven or eight hours were obese.

Children show the same results and suffer the same statistical link between sleep and obesity. Sleep deprivation has also linked obesity in teens to fibromyalgia. Teens who sleep less tend to be overweight, especially if they are deprived of the rapid eye movement (REM) sleep that is associated with dreaming. Thirteen percent of teens are overweight. This increases their risk for heart problems, diabetes and high blood pressure, as well as sleep apnea.

A recent report in ScienceDaily linked truck drivers and truck crashes to sleep apnea caused by obese commercial truck drivers. Obstructive sleep apnea is common in the 15 million commercial truck drivers. It is suspected that as many as two to three million truck drivers may have apnea, a condition that is also attributed to causing hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. A report in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine concluded that truck drivers who have sleep apnea increase their risk for causing a car accident by seven-fold. Over 450 drivers were involved in the study.

Science continues to find links between sleep and obesity, which leads to a simple conclusion. Increasing exercise and dieting may not only help with weight loss, it may also help you sleep. And visa versa. A good night’s sleep may help you lose weight.

http://www.healthnews.com/family-he…

http://www.sleepfoundation.org/site…

ScienceDaily 12 March 2009. 16 March 2009 <http://www.sciencedaily.com/release…

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Interview with Kirt Tyson, Former Type-I Diabetic, Featured in “Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days”

Mike: Hi everybody. I’m here with Kirt Tyson today. How are you doing today, Kirt?

Kirt: I’m doing wonderful, and I’m glad to be here.

Mike: Now, just the fact that you are here is quite amazing in itself. You had quite a journey to get here and get on the raw foods lifestyle. Can you tell us a little bit about your history? What brought you to this point?

Kirt: Actually, it really was a tremendous journey. I was diagnosed with what was originally thought to be type II diabetes back in November of 2005. I was hospitalized with glucose levels of 1,200. I had lost 20 lbs. in about a week. I started losing my vision and I was at stage II kidney damage. I was hospitalized for about four days.

When I was lying in the hospital bed, I recalled the nurses and the doctors coming over to me and saying you have diabetes. You are going to have this for the rest of your life, and you will take insulin or some other medication for diabetes for the rest of your life. It hit me hard because I felt like there was nothing I could do about it.

Mike: Yes, were you overweight at that time too may I ask?

Kirt: No, actually I weighed about 174 lbs. at that time. I’m six feet tall so normal body weight, and I exercised. I ran about four miles a day typically. I ate relatively healthy. No red meat and no pork, but I did eat fish and chicken.

Mike: This then came as quite a shock it seems.

Kirt: Extremely shocking because it came out of nowhere. People always came to me as far as health and so forth. Then for me to come down with diabetes it was at that point, where wow I’m not as healthy as I thought I was.

Mike: What happened next then?

Kirt: Well after that, while I was in the hospital I prayed. I really prayed and I prayed that if God helped me get over this I’d continue to help other people and show that diabetes is curable, so to speak. I had just finished working on a movie so I was online on Craig’s List, and I came across an advertisement. It was for a film for people to participate in a documentary who have type II diabetes and see the effects of raw food on reversing diabetes.

I was like “Oh God this is a sign!” I couldn’t believe it. I said okay or fine. They just told me I had type II diabetes. I’m going to apply for this. I sent in their audition tape. It was originally going to be five members for the movie. They decided to include me as a sixth member. Again, it was a blessing. Within about two weeks, they had a film crew out and then in another week I was on my way to Patagonia, Arizona to participate.

Mike: Did you then jump into the raw foods lifestyle there at the Tree of Life? How did that work?

Going raw for 30 days

Kirt: I had no idea of the raw food concept at all and when I looked at it, it was like raw foods. I started doing research on the Internet and I kept thinking raw meat, why would we eat raw meat? I don’t want to eat raw meat! That’s all I kept thinking of. I saw some stuff. I said okay, you could have raw fruit, raw vegetables, nuts, and seeds. I was skeptical about the raw meat.

When I got to Arizona it was an even bigger shocker because oh great, we weren’t eating raw meat but we didn’t have fruit either. All we could have was vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

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Genetic Testing of Embryos May Cause Dementia, Obesity In Adulthood

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) has become an important part of the booming infertility and baby-making medical industry. This example of unnatural selection allows for the chromosomes of an embryo created through in vitro fertilization (IVF)to be analyzed. If there’s a problem, the embryo can be discarded or, at the very least, frozen away. PGD has helped many couples conceive children believed to be totally healthy and the procedure is promoted as a widely used and safe medical test — at least, until now. A new long-term analysis of PGD suggests that this procedure may hold serious long-term risks for humans subjected to this test while they were embryos. Animal tests have come up with worrisome evidence PGD could increase risks of obesity and dementia in adulthood.

Developed in the early 1990’s, PGD is used so couples can prevent a pregnancy affected by a genetic condition or chromosomal disorder. It’s performed by removing one or two cells (called blastomeres) for biopsy from the preimplantation embryo at the six to ten cell stage (about day three of development). If one or both parents-to-be have a known genetic abnormality and their child might be at increased risk for Tay Sachs disease, cystic fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, Fragile X syndrome, spinal muscular atrophy or other conditions, PGD can show if the embryo is likely to grow into a person with that potential problem. If that’s the case, most like a decision will be made not to implant a specific embryo in a woman’s womb.

While it’s almost hard to believe, no rigorous long-term studies have been carried out in order to see whether PGD poses any serious health risks down the line — even though the procedure involves manipulating a developing embryo. So Chinese scientists Ran Huo, Qi Zhou and colleagues decided to work with experiments in lab mice to examine how a blastomere biopsy, as the key manipulation used during the PGD procedure, actually impacts fetal, neonatal and adult development.

Their research, just published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Proteomics found there were no differences in embryo development prior to uterine implantation in the biopsied and control groups. However, successful births from biopsied embryos were significantly lower than in controls. As the mice grew after birth, the researchers looked to see if there were any differences in the bodies or behaviors of the animals that had experienced biopsies as embryos when compared tothose that had not been subjected to biopsies.

The results were disturbing. While the two groups of mice looked similar at first glance, the biopsied group of mice on average were fatter. What’s more, they demonstrated significantly poorer memory in maze tests.

To try to find out what was going on, the scientists (who are based at Nanjing Medical University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing) performed a detailed analysis of the adult mouse brains. In all, 36 proteins displayed significant differences between biopsied and control groups — and 17 of these differences are closely associated with neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimers and Down Syndrome.

Bottom line: the research team concluded that the developing nervous system may be sensitive to blastomere biopsy. They are calling for more studies to be performed in order to get to the bottom of any possible long-term adverse effects of PGD.

Editor’s note: NaturalNews is opposed to the use of animals in medical experiments that expose them to harm. We present these findings in protest of the way in which they were acquired.

For more information:
http://www.mcponline.org/cgi/conten…
http://emedicine.medscape.com/artic…
http://www.reproductivegenetics.com…
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/ar…

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Bird Flu Virus has Mutated into Form That’s Deadly to Humans

The avian flu has undergone a critical mutation making it easier for the virus to infect humans, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and published in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

“We have identified a specific change that could make bird flu grow in the upper respiratory tract of humans,” lead researcher Yoshihiro Kawaoka said.

The H5N1 strain of influenza, also known as “bird flu,” has decimated wild and domestic bird populations across the world since it emerged between 1999 and 2002. This highly virulent variety of the flu has been identified as a public health concern because in the past, varieties of influenza have mutated and crossed the species barrier to humans.

Since 2003, 329 humans have been confirmed infected with H5N1, with 201 fatalities. The vast majority of these worked closely with infected birds, such as in the poultry industry.

One of the primary things that keeps bird flu from infecting humans is that the virus has evolved to reproduce most effectively in the bodies of birds, which have an average body temperature of 106 degrees Fahrenheit. Humans, in contrast, have an average body temperature of 98.6 degrees, with temperatures in the nose and throat even lower (91.4 degrees). This vast temperature difference makes it very difficult for the bird flu virus to survive and grow in the human body.

In the current study, researchers found that a strain of H5N1 has developed a mutation that allows it to thrive in these lower temperatures.

“The viruses that are circulating in Africa and Europe are the ones closest to becoming a human virus,” Kawaoka said. But he pointed out that one mutation is not sufficient to turn H5N1 into a major threat to humans.

“Clearly there are more mutations that are needed. We don’t know how many mutations are needed for them to become pandemic strains.”

“We are rolling the dice with modern poultry farming practices,” warned consumer health advocate Mike Adams, author of the book How to Beat the Bird Flu. “By raising chickens in enclosed spaces, treating them with antibiotics, and denying them access to fresh air, clean water and natural sunlight, we are creating optimal conditions for the breeding of highly infectious diseases that can quickly mutate into human pandemics,” Adams said. “Given current poultry farming practices, it is only a matter of time before a highly virulent strain crosses the species barrier.”

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Alberta Improves Patient Care, Health System Performance 2

An advisory committee has been appointed to ensure appropriate legislation is in place to allow for improved health system performance and patient care.

The Minister’s Advisory Committee on Health will look at strengthening legislation to support improvements to Alberta’s publicly funded health care system.

The committee will provide advice on a number of areas related to health legislation that will focus on ways of broadening patient access to health services, promoting wellness and ensuring the health system can respond to emerging issues such as advances in medical technology on a timely basis.

“The committee will inform and guide government on what legislative changes are needed to improve the performance of our publicly funded health care system,” said Health and Wellness Minister Ron Liepert. “At the end of the day, we need to reinvigorate our health care system to ensure it is responding to and meeting the needs of Albertans.”

“The committee’s work is an important step in the process,” added Liepert. “Much of our legislation defines how our health care system works, but it doesn’t always meet the needs of the patient. As we move toward delivering health care through new and better ways, the needs of the patient must always be our first priority.”

The 16-member committee will be co-chaired by Fred Horne, MLA for Edmonton-Rutherford and Deborah Prowse, a patient safety advocate.

The committee begins work immediately and will seek input from health sector stakeholders and the public over the next two months. The committee will provide advice to the minister by mid-November

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Public Beaches Found to be Source of MRSA

Multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) has been labeled a “superbug.” There is the hospital acquired MRSA and community acquired MRSA. Now it seems that a new source is public beaches.

This news was presented by University of Washington researchers Saturday at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in San Francisco. They reported finding MRSA at five public beaches on the Puget Sound.

Marilyn Roberts, lead investigator, and colleague tested 10 beaches in Washington along the West Coast and in Puget Sound from February to September 2008. Staph bacteria were found at nine of them, including five with MRSA. The MRSA strains resembled the highly resistant ones usually seen in hospitals.

MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) was first identified in the 1960’s. It is now prevalent in most hospitals. The organisms are resistant to multiple antibiotics (specifically, all antibiotics known as beta lactams, as well as other antibiotic families), and are therefore cause for considerable concern.

Community-acquired Staphylococcus aureus ( CA-MRSA ) has appeared with increasing frequency and is now epidemic within certain community populations. Whereas hospital MRSA is almost always found in persons with established risk factors associated with prior medical treatment, these are not present in CA-MRSA. Today, in the U.S. a little more than 10% of all MRSA infections are CA-MRSA. This form causes serious skin and soft tissue infections in otherwise healthy persons who have not been recently hospitalized or undergone invasive medical procedures. Hospitalization is required in approximately one out of five cases.

If you are healthy, don’t avoid the beaches. Go and enjoy yourself. Do wash off all the sand when done for the day. Do take basic skin care precautions for any cuts or scrapes.

Related stories
MRSA Infections Increasing in Children
Kentucky Teenager in Critical Condition with MRSA Infection

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Exercise, Healthy Eating Habits In Young Adults

Despite mounting public health concerns about obesity and persistent social pressures dictating that slim is beautiful, young women in their ’20s consistently exerciseless than young men.

And young black women showed significant declines in exercise between 1984 and 2006, according to a University of Michigan study to be published in the October issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

The study is one of the first to analyze long-term patterns in weight-related activities, and to assess how these patterns vary by gender, race and ethnicity, and socioeconomic status.

The disparities in health behaviors the study reveals are consistent with disparities in the prevalence of obesity, particular among women, according to Philippa Clarke, lead author of the study and a researcher at the U-M Institute for Social Research (ISR).

The study is based on data obtained every two years from 17,314 men and women who were aged 19 to 26 between 1984 and 2006. The participants were part of a follow-up panel drawn from the Monitoring the Future Study, conducted by ISR. The analysis was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, as part of the Youth, Education, and Society Project, also based at ISR.

For the study, the researchers looked at trends over a 23-year-period in six different health behaviors. They measured how often participants reported eating breakfast, and eating at least some green vegetables and fruit; how often they exercised vigorously (jogging, swimming, or calisthenics); how often they got at least seven hours of sleep, and how much television they watched on an average weekday.

“Agreement is growing that the source of the obesity epidemic lies in an environment that produces an energy gap, where energy intake exceeds energy expenditure even by as little as 100 excess calories per day,” wrote Clarke and co-authors Patrick O’Malley, Lloyd Johnston, John Schulenberg and Paula Lantz, all researchers at ISR.

The finding that young women consistently exercised less than young men, suggests that differences in energy expenditure could play a role in gender disparities in obesity and overweight.

The frequency of eating fruit and vegetables remained relatively stable among young adult women but declined significantly among young men. Young men also reported eating breakfast less often than did young women.

Both men and women reported a steady decline in the frequency of getting at least seven hours of sleep each night.

Despite the focus on television viewing as an important determinant of obesity, the researchers found that the amount of time men and women spent watching TV stayed relatively stable.

When the researchers compared behaviors of different racial and ethnic groups, they found some major differences. For example, although white women showed a steady increase in the frequency of eating breakfast, the trajectory for non-Hispanic black women declined until 1996 and only began to increase in 2000.

Although fruit and vegetable consumption changed little among young adults, consumption of both was consistently lower among black and Hispanic men and women in any given year.

And although the frequency of exercise remained relatively stable among young adult women in general, among black women, the frequency of exercising steady declined.

In addition, black and Hispanic women showed greater declines than white women in the frequency of getting at least seven hours of sleep a night. They also were less likely than white women to report eating breakfast, and eating fruits and vegetables.

Among men, those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds reported dramatic declines in sleep, after adjusting for race and ethnicity.

Minority racial and ethnic groups, and women from lower socioeconomic groups, also reported watching television more often than whites and women from more affluent backgrounds.

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Genetic Cause Of Primary Immune Deficiency Disease Identified

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have identified a genetic mutation that accounts for a perplexing condition found in people with an inherited immunodeficiency. The disorder, called combined immunodeficiency, is characterized by a constellation of severe health problems, including persistent bacterial and viral skin infections, severe eczema, acute allergies and asthma, and cancer.

The team that made the discovery was led by Helen Su, M.D., Ph.D., at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), and included collaborators from NIAID and the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The research is reported in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.

“NIH clinicians have cared for people with unusual and difficult-to-treat immune disorders for decades,” says NIAID Director Anthony S. Fauci, M.D. “This study exemplifies their commitment to improving the lives of people with these diseases by trying to uncover the causes of these disorders and thereby better understanding how to treat them.”

Combined immunodeficiency is a type of primary immune deficiency disease (PIDD) in which several parts of the immune system are affected. This inherited disorder is characterized by increased susceptibility to bacterial, viral and fungal infections of various organs of the body. In some cases, susceptibility to cancers also may be seen.

There are 150 known PIDDs. Approximately 500,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed with a PIDD, while many more remain undiagnosed.

The NIAID and NCI investigators recognized that certain patients with an undefined form of combined immunodeficiency shared enough clinical features to make it likely that the cause might be a common genetic mutation. Originally, these individuals were thought to have a variant form of hyper-immunoglobulinema E syndrome (HIES), a disorder characterized by increased levels of a class of antibodies known as immunoglobulin E, superficial and systemic bacterial and fungal infections, and atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema.

This newly described group, however, had far more severe eczema than is typical in people with variant HIES. They also had extensive and difficult-to-manage viral infections of the skin, such as warts, molluscum contagiosum — a type of poxvirus that only infects the skin — and herpes simplex. Some in this group also developed skin cancers, as well as lymphoma of the skin.

“Even though these individuals were diagnosed with a more uncommon form of HIES, they were still considered to have a mystery disease, because they had severe allergies and had developed cancers,” says Dr. Su.

Using a technique called comparative genomic hybridization, a process by which large amounts of DNA are fixed to a computer chip and analyzed for changes in the genes, scientists examined the genes in the tissue samples from five different groups: the 11 individuals with the unknown immunodeficiencies, people with the variant form of HIES, people with classic HIES, those with other immunological diseases, and healthy individuals.

The researchers discovered that people with the unique form of HIES had mutations in a gene called DOCK8 that led to deletions in parts of the gene. The normal function of DOCK8 is currently unknown.

When compared with healthy individuals, the people with DOCK 8 mutations had fewer CD8 positive T cells, immune cells needed to fight viral infections; fewer antibody-producing B cells; and increased numbers of eosinophils — immune cells associated with allergy.

According to Dr. Su, these findings indicate that DOCK8 is essential for defense against viral infections and for preventing the development of cancer and allergies.

Although further study is required to determine if DOCK8 mutations occur in other people with similar disease symptoms, DOCK8 immunodeficiency syndrome may be a new PIDD. These findings mean that individuals with this rare disease will be able to receive a more accurate diagnosis. Identifying a genetic cause for the disease provided comfort to some of those diagnosed who had battled an unknown immune disease for years, according to Dr. Su.

“The study of inherited disorders and the genetic alterations that are responsible for their complex array of disease symptoms has often resulted in the discovery of causative genes that play a role in cancer initiation,” said NCI Director John E. Niederhuber, M.D. “The disease mutations found in this study in the DOCK8 gene exemplify that kind of important finding. As with any discovery of a genetic defect, the challenge going forward is to develop a complete knowledge of the cascading pathways of biological function for which DOCK8 is responsible.”

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Hyperextended knee injuries common in athletes

Philadelphia football player DeSean Jackson reportedly hyper-extended his right knee during Saturday morning’s practice. The injury is not expected to be serious, but Hyperextended knee injuries are all too common among athletes. DeSean Jackson’s knee injury occurred when he fell backwards and became tangled up with another player during practice.

Hyperextended knee injuries vary in severity. It occurs when the knee is forced backwards. Dancers, volleyball players, gymnasts, and those who jump and make contact during sports are vulnerable to hyperextension of the knee.

The most common symptom of a hyperextended knee injury is pain and swelling, treated initially with rest, ice, compression and elevation (RICE) until more information can be gleaned about the injury. Knee instability may not be immediately apparent because of swelling.

The ACL ligament (anterior cruciate ligament) can be torn when the knee is hyperextended, leading to a more serious injury. The tear can be partial or complete. Surgery might be required, followed by physical therapy and six to nine months recovery time before engaging in sports activity.

Most hyperextended knee injuries, not involving a tear to the ligament, required about two to four weeks of rest. A knee brace can be used for hyperextended knee injuries to help with stability and further risk of injury.

Exercise is great for your health, but it is hard on the knees – one of our weakest links. Football is demanding on the knees, and hyperextended knee injuries are common among athletes. Evaluating a knee injury might take time. A physical exam and MRI can help determine the extent and treatment plan for a hyperextended knee injury.

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Asthma explained by common allergy to milk and dairy products

The link between asthma and cows’ milk is familiar to many young asthma sufferers and their parents. I first became aware of the connection through my cousin’s experiences with his four-year-old son. Since infancy, my cousin’s son has experienced severe asthma attacks and has been hospitalized twice for asthma-related pneumonia. When his asthma attacks become more frequent or more severe, my cousin and his wife respond by temporarily eliminating milk and milk products from his diet, and it usually works. I always assumed that milk worsened his asthma by stimulating mucus production in his lungs. However, studies suggest that, either along with or instead of creating excess mucus, milk may worsen asthma due to an undiagnosed milk allergy.

“In all respiratory conditions, mucous-forming dairy foods, such as milk and cheese, can exacerbate clogging of the lungs and should be avoided,” writes Professor Gary Null in his Complete Encyclopedia of Natural Healing. Very simply, when more mucus accumulates in the lungs than can be expelled, asthma attacks develop. This belief has long been held in practiced medicine, and many medical doctors still stand behind this theory.

At the same time, many other doctors and researchers are now beginning to feel that undiagnosed milk allergies may be the underlying problem behind the link between milk and asthma. As Dr. Robert M. Giller writes in Natural Prescriptions, eliminating dairy products from the diets of many adult and child asthma patients helps “not because dairy products stimulate mucus production but because they’re very common causes of allergy, upper-respiratory allergies and asthma (which may be an allergy in itself).”

“Milk is one of the two or three most common food allergens in the American diet,” says allergy specialist Dr. James Braly in Bill Gottlieb’s book Alternative Cures. In fact, Dr. Frank Oski, the chief of pediatrics at the John Hopkins School of Medicine, believes that 50 percent of all schoolchildren may be allergic to milk, though many of them remain undiagnosed. Some researchers believe that the figure may be even higher, up to 60 percent of children, according to Dr. Charles R. Attwoods’s book, A Vegetarian Doctor Speaks Out. When most people think of milk allergies, they think of anaphylactic shock — a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction that can only be relieved with a shot of epinephrine. However, allergies sometimes manifest in very different ways, and these may change throughout a person’s life.

In Get Healthy Now, Professor Null explains a milk allergy’s changing symptoms: “Even if the symptoms are not the same, the underlying allergy may be. A child who has suffered milk-associated asthma, for instance, may have severe acne as a teenager. The milk allergy is still there, but its symptoms have moved to a different organ system, often misleading the patient and physician into thinking that the original allergy has been outgrown.” According to Alternative Medicine, up to half of all infants may be sensitive to cows’ milk. As a result, symptoms of an underlying milk allergy may start as early as infancy, only manifested as eczema, a symptom that may remain later on in childhood and adulthood. Furthermore, in addition to asthma and eczema, an underlying milk allergy may manifest as bronchitis, sinusitis, autoimmune disorders, frequent colds and ear infections and even behavioral problems.

Antibiotics in milk

Like any dairy allergy, the milk protein is probably the cause of allergy-related asthma. However, according to Dr. Oski, some children and adults may not be allergic to the milk itself, but rather the small amount of antibiotics passed into the milk from dairy cows. Dr. Oski explains this phenomenon: “Antibiotics, most commonly penicillin, are given to cows for the treatment of mastitis, an inflammation of the udders. Cows are not supposed to be milked for 48 hours after receiving penicillin. Often this precaution is not followed and then penicillin appears in the milk in small quantities.” If you or your child is part of the estimated one percent of the United States population who develop symptoms of penicillin allergy after drinking antibiotic-contaminated milk, you may be able to stop your allergy by drinking milk from cows that are not treated with antibiotics. To be on the safe side however, you may want to entirely eliminate cows’ milk from your or your asthmatic child’s diet.

Whether milk causes excess mucus production, is an undiagnosed allergy or a combination or both — research suggests that milk definitely worsens asthma. Accordingly, a diet that is free of both milk and meat, another common allergen, can greatly lessen asthma symptoms. According to a study of 25 patients reported in Jean Carper’s book, Food: Your Miracle Medicine, after following a milk- and meat-free diet for only four months, 71 percent of the patients experienced an improvement in their asthma symptoms. After a year, asthma improved in 92 percent of the patients. On a larger scale, Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, President Emeritus of Bastyr University, found that 25 percent of respiratory patients experienced long-term improvement after following a vegan diet, a diet that contains no animal products — dairy, eggs and meat — whatsoever.

Plenty of calcium from other food sources

While considering a milk-free diet for themselves or their children, many people worry that doing so will result in a calcium deficiency. In a Washington press conference, Suzanne Havala, registered dietician and co-author of the American Dietetic Association’s 1992 edition of its position paper on vegetarian diets, said that after weaning, humans do not need to drink milk: “Vegetarians and their children get all the calcium they need from leafy vegetables, broccoli, tahini and tofu made with calcium sulfate.” So, according to research, if you have asthma, you can happily adjust to life without cows’ milk without really missing anything, except severe asthma attacks.

The experts speak on milk and asthma:

A prime consideration for those with asthma should be the identification and elimination of allergens in foods and in the environment. Although any food is suspect, the ones most likely to trigger asthma are dairy products, eggs, chocolate, wheat, corn, citrus fruits, and fish. … In all respiratory conditions, mucous-forming dairy foods, such as milk and cheese, can exacerbate clogging of the lungs and should be avoided.
Complete Encyclopedia Of Natural Healing by Gary Null PhD, page 316

I treated a patient who was fond of yogurt and, for health reasons, prepared it from skim-milk powder. This produces yogurt with a much higher lactose content than yogurt from full-fat milk (see table 5-1). When I persuaded her to use somewhat less yogurt and prepare it only from whole milk without additional skim-milk powder, her asthma disappeared for good. The asthma-causing skim-milk yogurt provided approximately 50 g of lactose per day, while she was asthma-free on whole-milk yogurt with about 5 g of lactose daily.
The Natural Way to Heal by Walter Last, page 228

When I was in medical school, I read a book by a physician who had had good results in treating asthma in children by eliminating all milk and dairy products. When I discussed the book with my professors, they said it was nonsense. I guess there are still people around who discredit the idea, but I’ve found that eliminating milk and cheese from the diet can be helpful for both asthmatic adults and children. This is not because dairy products stimulate mucus production but because they’re very common causes of allergy, upper-respiratory allergies, and asthma.
Natural Prescriptions by Dr Robert M Giller, page 25

Type As, as you will remember, naturally produce copious amounts of mucus, and when they eat foods that are mucus producing (such as dairy), they suffer from too much mucus, which can exacerbate respiratory problems. In this case, when Type As are careful to avoid mucus-producing foods, and when the causes of the stress are addressed positively, their asthmatic condition always improves or is eliminated.
Eat Right for Your Type by Dr Peter J D’Adamo, page 253

An undiagnosed milk allergy may manifest in different ways throughout a person’s lifetime

Ah, milk. It’s right up there with Mom and apple pie as a national icon, a nutritional necessity (or so we’re told) for strong bones and sparkling teeth. Well, many alternative practitioners say that all of those good things that you hear about milk are white lies. “Milk is not a perfect food, as is frequently advertised,” says Jacqueline Krohn, M.D., a physician in New Mexico. Milk, she says, can cause allergic symptoms of all kinds, such as diarrhea, asthma, ear infections, rashes, and hives. “Milk is a misunderstood and vastly overrated food,” agrees James Braly, M.D., an allergy specialist in Boca Raton, Florida. “Ironically, while milk products are the most commonly consumed foods, milk is one of the two or three most common food allergens in the American diet,” he says.
Alternative Cures by Bill Gottlieb, page 428 Mead interviewed Frank A. Oski, M.D., chief of pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, who stated: At least 50 percent of all children in the United States are allergic to cow’s milk, many undiagnosed. Dairy products are the leading cause of food allergy, often revealed by diarrhea. constipation, and fatigue. Many cases of asthma and sinus infections are reported to be relieved and even eliminated by cutting out dairy. The exclusion of dairy, however, must be complete to see any benefit.
Milk The Deadly Poison by Robert Cohen, page 260

Though I haven’t had asthma since leaving home for college at age seventeen. Many years later, during my pediatric specialty training, I made the connection: Milk and dairy products, which I never really liked, had been discontinued when I left home for college. During the following years, as a practicing pediatrician, I would see this relationship of asthma, and several other allergic disorders, to dairy products time and time again. After seeing two generations of my patients struggle with this malady, I’ve come to the conclusion—which is now shared by many allergists—that six out of ten children are allergic to milk protein. Not all are asthmatics; many have recurrent middle-ear infections, allergic rhinitis and, especially in infants, chronic skin rashes such as eczema. Older children and adults often manifest their food-related allergies as chronic bronchitis and sinusitis. But asthma itself may persist for a lifetime.
A Vegetarian Doctor Speaks Out by Charles R Attwood MD FAAP, page 74

Even if the symptoms are not the same, the underlying allergy may be. A child who has suffered milk-associated asthma, for instance, may have severe acne as a teenager. The milk allergy is still there, but its symptoms have moved to a different organ system, often misleading the patient and physician into thinking that the original allergy has been outgrown.
Get Healthy Now by Gary Null, page 584

For babies who are not breast-fed, prepared formulas may contribute to colic. Cow’s milk, commonly found in infant formulas, is often the culprit. According to Dr. Smith, up to 50% of infants are sensitive to cow’s milk, which can precipitate not only colic but also diarrhea, rashes, ear infections, asthma, and other conditions. Prepared cow’s milk formulas may include many additives such as high-fructose corn syrup, which can cause problems for infants.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 637

Dr. J. Dan Baggett, a practicing pediatrician in Alabama, has been interested for a number of years in the possible harmful effects of cow milk. Here are portions of a letter written by Dr Baggett describing his experiences: When I opened my practice here in Montgomery, Alabama, in I960, I was aware of a causal relationship between cow milk protein in the diet and infantile eczema. I also knew that many of these eczematoid children became asthmatics later on unless their eczema could be cleared early by dietary manipulation. This prompted me to begin a system of dietary prophylaxis against allergic disease among the newboms in my care.
Don’t Drink Your Milk by Frank A Oski MD, page 22 We determined that Rose had an almost lifelong condition that explained not only her asthma but her eczema, sinus infections, and digestive symptoms as well. Subsequent testing confirmed our suspicion: Rose suffered from a strong dairy allergy. When she was a child, this manifested itself as eczema; as a young adult she developed the sinus infections. Antibiotic treatment aggravated Rose’s digestive problems by changing the delicate balance of bacteria in her gut. And as she continued to eat dairy products, her symptoms became worse and the asthma appeared. Now she was taking the standard asthma treatment, which seemed to be helping, but was causing measurable bone loss. The solution was simple. We eliminated dairy products entirely from Rose’s diet. She was amazed at the results. Not only did her asthma improve to the point where she no longer needed to take her medications on a daily basis, but her digestive symptoms cleared up as well.
Ultraprevention by Mark Hyman MD and Mark Liponis MD, page 53

If you or your spouse has allergies, asthma, eczema, autoimmunity, bronchitis, or sinusitis, or if your child is experiencing frequent colds and ear infections, it is worth experimenting with total elimination of cow’s milk in all of its forms. Goat’s milk is OK, as is soy milk, but be aware that soy is a common allergen in infants, especially if it is introduced too early.
8 Weeks To Optimum Health By Andrew Weil MD, page 222

People who suffer from recurring bouts of diarrhea, bronchitis, eczema, asthma, or runny nose, should be tested for a milk or cheese allergy and should avoid all allergens in their diet.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 186

The young mother of a seven-year-old boy handed me 11 a note from the grade-school dietitian. “Billy’s diet has come to our attention,” it read, “because he no longer selects milk in the cafeteria.” Billy had recently given up milk, at my suggestion, because it worsened his asthma and eczema.
A Vegetarian Doctor Speaks Out by Charles R Attwood MD FAAP, page 45

They [milk allergies] are a leading cause of the chronic ear infections that plague up to 40 percent of all children under the age of six,” Dr. Whitaker assures us. “Milk allergies are also linked to behavior problems in children and to the disturbing rise in childhood asthma.”
Elements Of Danger by Morton Walker DPM, page 326

Milk is also an unappreciated terror in triggering “allergic” reactions that induce joint pain and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea.
Food Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper, page 483

A number of allergic and environmental agents can precipitate asthma attacks, including pollen, dust, mold, animal dander, feathers, textiles such as cotton and flax, detergents, petrochemicals, air pollution, and smoke. According to James Braly, M.D., of Hollywood, Florida, wheat, milk, and eggs are among the most likely foods that will trigger an asthma attack.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 884

Milk allergies may sometimes be penicillin allergies

Antibiotics, most commonly penicillin, are given to cows for the treatment of mastitis, an inflammation of the udders. Cows are not supposed to be milked for forty-eight hours after receiving penicillin. Often this precaution is not followed and then penicillin appears in the milk in small quantities. People allergic to penicillin-an estimated 1 percent of the United States population-may develop symptoms of penicillin allergy after drinking milk contaminated with this antibiotic. The allergic reaction may take the form of hives, sneezing, asthma, or an unexplained rash.
Don’t Drink Your Milk by Frank A Oski MD, page 55

A milk-free diet lessens asthma symptoms

There’s evidence that embracing vegetables totally and giving up all animal products helps relieve asthma. In a study of twenty-five patients, 71 percent improved after four months without meat and daily foods; after a year, 92 percent had improved! That meant no meat, fish, eggs or dairy products. Why did it work? Doctors say maybe because the diet deprived patients of possible allergens—agents in food that could trigger asthma.
Food Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper, page 352

Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D., President Emeritus of Bastyr University, in Seattle, Washington, has found that a vegan diet (elimination of all animal products, including dairy) can have a long-term positive effect on respiratory conditions, primarily asthma. In one study, Dr. Pizzorno noted significant improvement in 25 patients treated with a vegan diet. The diet excluded all meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products, and drinking water was limited to spring water.
Alternative Medicine by Burton Goldberg, page 890

Going on milk-free diets can cause considerable improvement in some asthmatics. Though children are most apt to have asthmatic reactions to milk, it can also happen in adults. A twenty-nine-year-old man suddenly began to suffer from bronchospasms two or three times a week; each attack lasted for one or two hours. Every day he seemed to have a dry cough and some breathlessness after breakfast. His asthma became so severe that on a couple of occasions he had to go to a hospital emergency room. Then one day he drank a cold glass of milk, and 20 minutes later found himself in the emergency room with a major broncho-spasm and hives all over his body. He was treated with drugs and within an hour he had recovered. But his doctors in Madrid, Spain, kept him for further tests. Milk was the villain. When asked to drink a quarter cup of milk, he suffered a bronchospasm. When given dried casein (from milk) he had an attack of wheezing and abdominal pain within 20 minutes.
Food Miracle Medicine by Jean Carper, page 355

Catherine Catherine had suffered from asthma since childhood—she could not remember a time when these attacks of breathlessness and wheezing did not set in once or twice a week. Skin testing had always been negative and she had simply learned to live with the problem, controlling her symptoms with drugs. Then, in her forties, Catherine began to surfer from frequent headaches and felt very tired. Her doctor could find nothing wrong and suggested that she might like to try an elimination diet to see if this was of any help. Catherine cut out milk, eggs, wheat, and citrus fruits, and found that she felt a great deal better. When she retested milk, this brought on a headache within an hour, followed by a severe attack of asthma. On a diet with no milk or milk products, her headaches are few and far between. To her great surprise, she is also free of asthma attacks for the first time in her adult life
Food allergies and Food Intolerance by Jonathan Brostoff MD and Linda Gamlin, page 68

David’s stomachaches went away. Within one month the asthma was gone. David was happier and more emotionally stable. David’s digestive problem was causing his asthma. Avoiding milk and wheat products and taking digestive supplements allowed David to live a normal life without dependency on steroids. Wouldn’t you want to know if your child could get rid of or improve asthma (and other problems) through diet and digestive enzymes rather than through medication? Doesn’t it make sense to try natural methods first?
Healthy Digestion the Natural Way by Dr Lindsey Berkson, page 15

If [asthma] runs in your family, a vegan diet can mean the difference between developing the condition and having a lifetime of easy breathing, according tor. Klaper. “There’s a genetic component, but the other crucial thing we ‘inherit’ from our parents is our eating habits. If we grow up on a diet that’s high in dairy products and eat that way all our lives, and asthma develops due to a dairy sensitivity, you can say it’s partially genetic, but it’s also a function of eating at the same table.” In the Garden of Better Health
The Complete Book Of Alternative Nutrition by Selene Y Craig, page 12

We don’t need cow’s milk in our diets

Suzanne Havala, a registered dietitian from North Carolina, who was a co-author of the American Dietetic Association’s 1992 edition of its position paper on vegetarian diets stated at the Washington press conference that, after weaning, there is no need for milk of any sort. “Vegetarians and their children,” she said, “get all the calcium they need from leafy vegetables, broccoli, tahini and tofu made with calcium sulfate.” Dr. Russell J. Bunai, a pediatrician associated with the PCRM, who later took a two-year sabbatical from his practice to review the world literature on the subject, said,”.. of all mammals, only humans drink the milk of another species.” In Ghana, where he served as a medical missionary, he noted that the traditional diet contains no dairy products and that asthma and other allergic problems were uncommon. He saw these problems only in people who had adopted more westernized diets that included cow’s milk.
A Vegetarian Doctor Speaks Out by Charles R Attwood MD FAAP, page 15

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Proton pump inhibitor linked to pneumonia deaths in hospitalized patients

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs, for short) have become hugely successful money makers for Big Pharma over the past decade, with sales of these stomach-acid reducers adding up to about $25.6 billion last year alone. The drugs (like Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid and Aciphex) are sold both in prescription strength and over-the-counter to treat heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). As NaturalNews has previously reported, PPIs are not the safe and innocuous medications most physicians claim them to be and are increasingly linked to a host of side effects. Now comes word that one type of PPI in particular, pantoprazole (marketed under the name Protonix) has a particularly bad downside — causing potentially fatal pneumonia people who are already seriously ill and hospitalized.

Seriously ill patients are frequently given PPIs to supposedly prevent them from developing stress ulcers. In a new study just published in the journal CHEST, researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine compared treatment with pantoprazole (which has become the favorite drug of its kind in many hospitals because it is more powerful than other drugs in its class) to another PPI, ranitidine (sold under the name Zantac).

“We conducted this study, in part, because we thought we were seeing more pneumonias than we were used to having,” study co-author Dr. Marc G. Reichert, pharmacy coordinator for surgery at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, said in a statement to the press. The researchers wanted to see if there was a connection between the PPIs and the increasing pneumonia rate.

In fact, the results showed a significant linkage. Both PPI drugs decreased stomach acid but when the scientists analyzed the charts of 834 patients, they found that hospitalized cardiothoracic surgery patients treated with pantoprazole were three times more likely to develop pneumonia.

This is a critically important finding because hospital-acquired pneumonia increases hospital stays by an average of seven to nine days, greatly increases medical costs and ups the risk of other complications. But the most important point is that this kind of pneumonia is a killer.

“As best we can tell, patients who develop hospital-acquired pneumonia or ventilator-acquired pneumonia have about a 20 to 30 percent chance of dying from that pneumonia. It is a significant event,” senior study author Dr. David L. Bowton, professor and head of the Section on Critical Care in the Wake Forest Department of Anesthesiology, said in the media statement.

So why would a PPI cause someone to develop pneumonia in the hospital? The researchers point out that acid-reducing drugs turn the stomach into a more hospitable environment for disease-causing bacteria to colonize. And when hospital patients are placed on breathing machines, stomach secretions containing these bacteria can regurgitate into their lungs, resulting in life-threatening pneumonia.

Currently, doctors and nurses are advised to raise the heads of patients’ beds when they are on breathing machines so that refluxed stomach secretions are less likely to get into the lungs. However, the Chest study suggests another way to keep critically sick patients from coming down with possibly fatal ventilator-associated pneumonia: don’t give PPIs to them at all.

In the media statement, Dr. Bowton explained that the incidence of stress ulcer bleeding has gone down in recent years. This most likely is a result of hospitalized patients on breathing tubes being fed earlier after surgery than in years past — having food in their stomachs most likely neutralizes or reduces the effects of stomach acid naturally, without the use of drugs.

When doctors insist on putting patients on PPIs, the researchers said using an acid reducer other than the super strong pantoprazole is best in order to decrease the risk of developing pneumonia. But the bottom line is patients should not be on these drugs or, if they are, should be taken off PPIs as soon as they are off the breathing machine and eating. “Stopping the drugs earlier appears to be the best thing for patients,” Dr. Reichert said.

In addition to putting hospitalized patients at increased risk for pneumonia, researchers have found PPIs may cause health problems ranging from dizziness and osteoporosis (http://www.naturalnews.com/025369_d…) to an increased risk of heart attacks and even worse GERD symptoms (http://www.naturalnews.com/026836_h…).

For more information:
http://www1.wfubmc.edu/News/NewsARt…
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/

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Rabies Vaccine May Require Single Shot

A person, usually a child, dies of rabies every 20 minutes. However, only one inoculation may be all it takes for rabies vaccination, according to new research published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases by researchers at the Jefferson Vaccine Center.

A replication-deficient rabies virus vaccine that lacks a key gene called the matrix (M) gene induced a rapid and efficient anti-rabies immune response in mice and non-human primates, according to James McGettigan, Ph.D., assistant professor of Microbiology and Immunology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University.

“The M gene is one of the central genes of the rabies virus, and its absence inhibits the virus from completing its life cycle,” Dr. McGettigan said. “The virus in the vaccine infects cells and induces an immune response, but the virus is deficient in spreading.”

The immune response induced with this process is so substantial that only one inoculation may be sufficient enough, according to Dr. McGettigan. In addition, the vaccine appears to be efficient in both pre-exposure and post-exposure settings.

Currently, the World Health Organization standard for rabies infection is post-exposure prophylaxis. The complex regimen in the United States requires six different shots over 28 days: five of the rabies vaccine and one of rabies immunoglobulin.

The current standard vaccine is made from inactivated rabies virus, whereas the experimental vaccine is made from a live rabies virus. The virus is modified by removing the M gene, thus inhibiting its spread within the vaccine recipient.

Worldwide, the annual number of rabies-related deaths is estimated to be 40,000 to 70,000. The disease is endemic in developing areas, where the six-shot post-exposure regimen is not feasible for many people due to cost and availability. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 10 million people worldwide receive the post-exposure regimen, which presents a financial burden to both industrialized and developing countries.

“Developing countries do not have the resources to vaccinate people six times after exposure, so many of these 10 million do not receive the full regimen,” Dr. McGettigan said. ” Therefore, simpler and less expensive vaccine regimens are needed. The alternative may also be to treat people pre-exposure, as they are with many of the current vaccines used. Although our vaccine was tested primarily to be a post-exposure vaccine, the data we collected show it would be effective as a pre-exposure vaccine as well.”

Source: 

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital

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Will A Tax on Soft Drinks Help People Lose Weight?

Would a one cent per ounce excise tax on soft drinks deter you from buying sugary, non-nutritious drinks and help you lose weight? Some experts believe it will, and they talk about it in the September issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

It’s no secret that overweight and obesity are a major health concern and weight loss is a major challenge in the United States, but nor is the fact that it is a problem that is not getting any better. Sixty-seven percent of adults age 20 years and older are overweight or obese in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among young people ages 2 to 19, between 11 and 18 percent are overweight.

The authors of a recent article estimate that the proposed soft drink tax would raise the price of a 20-ounce sugary beverage by 15 to 20 percent and result in a minimum reduction of 20 calories per day per person from sugary beverages and over time help people lose weight.

This seems like a very slow and unreliable way to encourage people to lose weight. And because the cause of overweight and obesity is multifactorial, focusing on limiting soft drink consumption should be considered just one of several actions people should take if they want to lose weight.

The monies raised from implementation of the excise tax, which is estimated to be $14.9 billion during the first year alone, could help finance health care reform, reduce people’s risk of some diseases and ailments, and fund programs to prevent obesity and help people to lose weight. Overall, the national tax would raise about 10 percent of what the United States now spends on health care costs associated with overweight and obesity; namely, $147 billion.

While the tax will raise money, will it result in any significant weight loss? People within the beverage industry do not think so. The beverage makers oppose a soft drink tax and also dispute any connection between overweight and obesity and consumption of sugary drinks. The American Beverage Association issued a statement that noted “Excise taxes on soft drinks simply do not reduce obesity rates.”

Some research tends to disagree. In a study published in Current Opinions in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care, the investigators found that replacing soft drinksand other beverages that contain sugars such as fruit juices with noncaloric beverages appears to be a promising way to prevent overweight in childhood and adolescence and to encourage weight loss. And in another New England Journal of Medicine article (April 2009), the authors report data suggest that a tax on sugar-sweetened beverages would have a significant impact on reducing their consumption.

If a substantial national excise tax on soft drinks is passed, it remains to be seen whether it will result in any significant weight loss. That it will raise revenues is certain. Where those monies will go – whether any of them will help with people’s weight loss efforts – also is an unknown.

SOURCES:
Brownell KD et al. New England Journal of Medicine 2009 Sept. 16 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMhpr0905723
Brownell KD, Frieden TR. New England Journal of Medicine 2009; 360:1805-08
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Libuda L, Kersting M. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care 2009 Aug 25

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BMI Made Simple Using Maximum Weight Limit

A researcher from Nevada has made it simple to understand BMI (body mass index). The current formula is complex, and requires an online calculator, chart, or the following formula: weight in pounds, multiplied by 703, and then divided by height in inches squared. Then a chart is needed to tell us if we are within a healthy weight range. A new way to find your BMI is by transposing the formula into a simple “Maximum Weight Limit”.

No wonder the familiar term BMI, or body mass index is tossed around with no real application for most of us. The new proposal to determine if your body weight is healthy involves a simple formula, discovered by George Fernandez, a professor of applied statistics and director of the Center for Research Design and Analysis at the University of Nevada, Reno – he calls it the “Maximum Weight Limit”, much like maximum speed limit.

Fernandez says, “We need a “Maximum Weight Limit, or MWL, one number that we know we can’t go over, just like a speed limit.” Making BMI simple to keep track of means we can better target when we have gone too far with weight gains.

Fernandez used SAS software and statistical procedures to discover a simple way to find our Maximum Weight Limit that correlates closely with the complex equation needed to calculate BMI to know if your body weight is healthy. “It’s a very simple calculation that most of us can do in our heads,” using baseline measurements.

“These are nice round numbers that people can easily remember: 5-feet, 9-inches tall, 175 pounds for a man; and 5-feet tall, 125 pounds for a woman.” Using the preceding, men add or subtract 5 pounds for every inch taller or shorter than 5 feet, 9 inches. Women do the same, but use 4.5 pounds because of less muscle mass. So – if you are 5 feet, 7 inches tall, a man, and weigh 175 pounds, your Maximum Weight Limit should be 165 pounds. A woman 5 feet, 4 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds has a Maximum Weight Limit of 143 pounds.

Maximum Weight Limit, calculated as above, corresponds to a healthy BMI which should be 25.5 for men and 24.5 for women. Now you can keep your Maximum Weight Limit in your head, ensuring you are not at risk for chronic illness from tipping the maximum healthy weight scales too far.

University of Nevada

Written by Kathleen Blanchard, RN
Charlotte, NC
Exclusive to eMaxHealth

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How to Reduce Allergy Symptoms Naturally

In the spring, many suffer from seasonal allergies aggravated by the pollen in the air. Building a strong immune system and vital force is the best defense. There are many natural treatments including constitutional homeopathy that can help with that, along with good nutrition and exercise. Inheritance does play a link, as one in three people whose parents experience allergies will have allergies as well.

Over the counter antihistamines are prescribed as the usual treatment. These can cause dehydration of the mucus membranes that form the mucus associated with allergies. Antihistamines do decrease the mucus production; however, they can damage the tissues as well.

Nasal Irrigation with a neti pot
Some people have found relief using nasal drainage with salt to restore tone to the nasal passages. A neti pot can be used to inhale salt water to heal inflamed tissues. Using warm water with a small amount of added salt, nasal irrigation cleanses the passageways. Used in Ayurvedic medicine for thousands of years, nasal irrigation can relieve chronic sinus problems as well as acute allergy relief. Oprah Winfrey recently became aware of the benefits and demonstrated a neti pot on her show.

Nutritional advice for allergy relief
Nutritionally, Pantothenic acid, vitamin B5, is thought to help reduce allergy reactions, along with any other anti-inflammatories, such as quercetin or L-glutamine. Pantothenic acid stimulates production of antibodies. Fruits high in citric acid, like lemons and oranges, can break up mucus. Omega-3 fatty acids also help by reducing inflammation in the body. Vitamin C helps your body to produce adrenal hormones to fight stress and reduce the histamine response that causes allergy flare-ups.

Homeopathic Allergy Medicines

Many homeopathic remedies treat acute allergic flare-ups. For lasting relief, constitutional homeopathic care is needed. When all else fails, homeopathy offers acute remedies to treat the symptoms of hay fever and allergies.

Lancet (October 18, 1986) published a study by Dr. David Taylor-Reilly, a professor and homeopath at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, in which twelve homeopathic remedies were effective in reducing hay fever symptoms.
Some of the common remedies are Allium cepa, Euphrasia, Arsenicum, Pulsatilla, Nux vomica, Sabadilla and Dulcamara. Homeopathic eye drops are also available.

It is recommended to avoid contact with known allergens and to bathe before sleep to limit re-exposing yourself all night. The later in the day you begin exposure, the less the symptoms will be; researchers are now discovering. Avoid exposure during allergy season, and work on building a strong immune system and vital force the rest of the year. That way, you can avoid or reduce your allergies the coming season.

http://www.healthnews.com/blogs/mel…
http://www.webmd.com/allergies/sinu…
http://www.achooallergy.com/
http://nationalcenterforhomeopathy.org/

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Pregnancy sets stage for metabolic syndrome

Results of a new study show that childbearing is strongly associated with increased risk for metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Women who develop gestational diabetes have double the chances of metabolic syndrome later in life that increases risk of heart disease from abdominal obesity, high triglyceride levels, insulin resistance, and other cardiometabolic risk factors.

The study, co-authored by University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) researchers suggests that childbearing women are at risk for metabolic syndrome because of behavioral changes. Lack of physical activity and abdominal obesity following pregnancy play a role that can lead to health problems.

According to UAB Professor of Preventive Medicine Cora E. Lewis, M.D., M.S.P.H., “Pregnancy can have lasting, adverse physiological effects and may result in behavioral changes.” The findings show how important it is for childbearing women to eat healthy and exercise regularly to reduce future risk of metabolic syndrome.

The health study of childbearing women, age 18-30 years began in 1985-1986 and is part of the ongoing CARDIA study that includes 1451 women. Compared to body mass index before pregnancy, the researchers found that giving birth to one child was associated with a 33 percent increased risk of metabolic syndrome, and 62 percent higher for more than one birth.

The study shows that pregnancy can lead to disease risk later in life unless measures are taken to exercise, and follow a healthy diet. The researchers suggest that physicians screen women for cardiometabolic risk factors following pregnancy.

Source UAB News
Written by Kathleen Blanchard RN
Charlotte, NC
Exclusive to eMaxHealth

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