The Plain Truth

The Plain Truth
God's Hand Behind the News

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dental Woes May Herald Chronic Ills

Our modern dental woes have a lot do to with modern whole-body ills like heart disease and diabetes, according to the author of a review of decades' worth of studies on diet and health.

The culprit in both cases? The so-called fermentable carbohydrates forming the foundation of the modern diet, says Dr. Philippe P. Hujoel of the University of Washington School of Dentistry in Seattle. These include sugars and starchy foods that break down into sugars in the mouth, as well as tropical fruits and dried fruits. MORE>>>>>>>

Probiotics May Prevent Children's Colds

Bacteria that are present in the body naturally and sometimes are added to food or dietary supplements might help ward off children's colds, researchers say.

A study done in China found that small children who drank a mixture of such bacteria known as probiotics in milk twice a day during the winter and spring had fewer colds, needed fewer antibiotics, and missed fewer days of school than children who drank plain milk.

Researchers have shown in some studies that probiotics can benefit those who are already ill with various conditions, and the bacteria are thought to boost the immune system's response to invaders. Whether they were effective at preventing sickness, however, was unclear.

The study in China involved 326 children, ages 3 to 5, who were assigned randomly to three groups: one given milk with a bacterium called Lactobacillus acidophilus mixed in, another that received the same organism along with a strain of another bacterium, Bifidobacterium animalis, and a third that received just milk with placebo. MORE>>>>>>>>>>

Calcium-Rich Dairy Foods May Prolong Life

Although many shun calcium-rich dairy products as a source of artery-clogging cholesterol, consuming them in childhood may add years to one's life in some cases, reported a study released Tuesday.

A 65-year follow-up to a 1930s survey of more than 1,300 families in England and Scotland showed that a diet high in milk, cheese, and butter did not lead to higher rates of cardiovascular disease.

Moreover, children with the largest intake of calcium from dairy products enjoyed a lower death rate from strokes, according to the study, published in the British Medical Journal.

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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Childhood Radiation Ups Risk of Breast Cancer

The results of a study confirm that girls who undergo radiation for cancer in childhood have an increased long-term risk of developing breast cancer, regardless of their age at the time of treatment.

When such treatment included a high dose to the ovaries, however, women seemed to be protected against future breast cancer risk.

Radiation is a common, and highly effective, treatment for cancers such as Hodgkin's lymphoma, and adolescents and adults who receive such treatments are known to be at higher risk of developing breast cancer late in life, Dr. Peter D. Inskip of the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland, and colleagues note in their report.



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Minimally Invasive Treatment Relieves Rotator Cuff Pain

A minimally invasive procedure to treat tendonitis in the rotator cuff of the shoulder provides immediate symptom relief to the patient, according to a study published in the July issue of Radiology. The study found that ultrasound-guided nonsurgical therapy significantly reduces pain from calcific tendonitis of the rotator cuff and restores lasting mobility after treatment.

"With this treatment, we were able to establish a single inexpensive and effective treatment for calcific tendonitis of the rotator cuff. This has never happened before," said co-author Luca M. Sconfienza, M.D., from the Unit of Radiology, IRCCS Policlinico San Donato, University of Milan School of Medicine in Milan, Italy. "Symptoms improved in patients treated with our procedure compared to non-treated patients."

Calcific tendonitis is a condition that causes the formation of small calcium deposits within the tendons of the rotator cuff in the shoulder. It is most common in adults in their 40s. In most cases, the deposits become painful and can restrict mobility of the shoulder. In minor cases, physical therapy or anti-inflammatory medications may be sufficient to address the problem until the calcifications break apart spontaneously. In severe cases, patients may require shockwave treatment or open surgery to remove the calcium. Open surgery requires a hospital stay and rehabilitation and, on rare occasions, may result in major complications, such as tendon rupture.


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Weight Loss Surgery May Cut Cancer Risk

Weight-loss or "bariatric" surgery appears to cut the increased risk of cancer in obese women, according to a report in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Severely "obese women are at incredible risk for multiple cancers, primarily breast and (uterus) cancer but also colorectal and other gynecologic cancers," Dr. Susan C. Modesitt told Reuters Health via e-mail. "I hope that physicians begin to be proactive in evaluating these women for cancer promptly when indicated."

Modesitt and her colleagues at the University of Virginia Health System, Charlottesville, studied 1,482 severely obese women who underwent bariatric surgery at the university and compared them with a population of severely obese women who did not undergo surgery.

Overall, 53 bariatric surgery patients (3.6 percent) developed cancer, including 15 with breast cancer and nine with uterus cancer, the authors report.

Most cases were diagnosed and treated before bariatric surgery (34 women, 64.1 percent), while 32 percent (17 women) were diagnosed after bariatric surgery.


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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Baking Soda for Kidney Health?

A daily dose of sodium bicarbonate baking soda, already used for baking, cleaning, acid indigestion, sunburn, and more slows the decline of kidney function in some patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD), reports an upcoming study in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN). "This cheap and simple strategy also improves patients' nutritional status, and has the potential of translating into significant economic, quality of life, and clinical outcome benefits," comments Magdi Yaqoob, MD (Royal London Hospital).MORE>>>>>>>

Aloe Vera Helps Teeth and Gums

The aloe vera plant has a long history of healing power. Its ability to heal burns and cuts and soothe pain has been documented as far back as the 10th century. Legend has it that Cleopatra used aloe vera to keep her skin soft. The modern use of aloe vera was first recognized the 1930s to heal radiation burns. Since then, it has been a common ingredient in ointments that heal sunburn, minor cuts, skin irritation, and many other ailments. Recently, aloe vera has gained some popularity as an active ingredient in tooth gel. Similar to its use on skin, the aloe vera in tooth gels is used to cleanse and soothe teeth and gums, and is as effective as toothpaste to fight cavities, according to the May/June 2009 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal. MORE>>>>>>>>>>>

Probiotics Help Gastric Bypass Patients Lose Weight

Gastric bypass patients may want to add probiotics the so-called "good" bacteria found in yogurt and dietary supplements to their daily routine to help lose weight faster after surgery, researchers say.

In addition, the dietary supplement also helped patients avoid becoming deficient in a crucial B vitamin, according to researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Probiotics help maintain a healthy, natural balance of organisms in the intestines, which helps in the digestion of food. MORE>>>>>>>>>

Saturday, July 18, 2009

High Fructose Diets Impair Memory in Rats

Researchers at Georgia State University have found that diets high in fructose � a type of sugar found in most processed foods and beverages � impaired the spatial memory of adult rats.

Amy Ross, a graduate student in the lab of Marise Parent, associate professor at Georgia State's Neuroscience Institute and Department of Psychology, fed a group of Sprague-Dawley rats a diet where fructose represented 60 percent of calories ingested during the day.

She placed the rats in a pool of water to test their ability to learn to find a submerged platform, which allowed them to get out of the water. She then returned them to the pool two days later with no platform present to see if the rats could remember to swim to the platform's location. MORE>>>>>>

Docs, Nurses Use and Recommend Diet Supplements

Doctors and nurses commonly take vitamin, mineral, and other dietary supplements themselves, and recommend the same to their patients, results of a survey indicate.

Yet, most of the 900 physicians and 277 nurses surveyed admitted having no formal education or training on the use of dietary supplements, according to a report in the Nutrition Journal, an online publication of BioMed Central.

Dr. Annette Dickinson, from Dickinson Consulting, LLC in St. Paul, Minnesota and colleagues found that 72 percent of the doctors and 89 percent of the nurses use some sort of dietary supplement regularly, occasionally, or seasonally. Moreover, 79 percent of the physicians and 82 percent of the nurses recommend dietary supplements to their patients. MORE>>>>>

Retail Watch: California calorie law alters chains' fare

As California restaurants begin handing out state-mandated calorie counts, some menu favorites are undergoing extreme makeovers.

Two chains with Sacramento-area stores have already announced menu changes, shifting to lower calorie-count options. Others could follow suit, in an effort to be more palatable to consumers while meeting California's new requirements, which apply to restaurant chains with more than 20 outlets.

Romano's Macaroni Grill, with four locations in the region, has managed to squeeze a whopping 880 calories out of just one salad, as the chain's menu undergoes a massive revamp under new ownership.

In June, Denny's rolled out its "Better for You" menu, which will be available at all 1,550 Denny's restaurants, including 400 in California. One of its signature items on that menu getting a calorie cut: The Grand Slam.

Even though studies have indicated that menu-labeling will alter some diners' choices, the healthy changeover in restaurant offerings wasn't anticipated, said Sacramento County Public Health Officer Glennah Trochet.

"If indeed they are adding lower-calorie options, it will give more variety and give people healthier options," she said.

At Denny's, the traditional Grand Slam breakfast accounts for as much as a quarter of revenue for the value-oriented chain, according to CEO Nelson Marchioli. He said the company's dinner and late-night business is struggling but the breakfast crowd remains strong for the value-oriented chain.

The new Grand Slam – two eggs, two sausages, two bacon slices and pancakes – is a build-your-own option with substitutions such as chicken instead of pork, egg whites, turkey bacon and whole wheat pancakes. For another 49 cents, add-ons such as yogurt are available.

With the healthier options, the Grand Slam drops from 882 calories to 546, not to mention a 70 percent drop in fat grams.

Other menu changes are coming in the fall.

But traditionalists, fear not. The Moons Over My Hammy – 780 calories – is still on the Denny's menu.

Starting this month, California required all chain restaurants with more than 20 stores to provide calorie information in brochures available to customers. Starting in 2010, the calorie counts must appear on menus or menu boards.

According to health officials, the average American adult should only be eating 2,000 calories a day.

The menu changes are in response to growing public interest, as much as to any government mandates, Marchioli said.

"The industry is trying to find a common ground. We do believe strongly it's the right thing to do and we've worked to bring alternatives to the public," he said.

At Macaroni Grill, the company's new CEO, who came on board after the chain was sold in December, has been working the past six months to boost same-store sales, primarily by retooling the menu.

"We had a new vision from the beginning ... an Italian-Mediterranean vision that is fresh, simple and authentic," said CEO Brad Blum, who previously helped run Burger King and Olive Garden.

The revamped menu already appears on Macaroni tables in California and is expected to roll out nationwide by the end of August, Blum said.

Providing nutritional information is the "right thing to do," he said.

The new CEO, who says he's overseeing the taste-testing himself, is primarily focused on boosting food quality.

For example, the chain's mozzarella alla caprese salad was not usually made with "high-quality" tomatoes, he said, but now uses vine-ripened tomatoes. The dish also dropped 110 calories.

The chain's scallops and spinach salad, formerly a 1,270-calorie offering, is now slimmed down to 390 calories. Blum won't disclose how, except to say the dish had more fat than was necessary.

In spite of the salad's calorie reduction, consumers have "enjoyed it better than before," Blum said.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

HRT Increases Risk of Ovarian Cancer

New research suggests that no matter how hormone replacement therapy is given, it increases the risk of ovarian cancer.

Hormone replacement therapy, consisting of estrogen, progesterone, or both, and used to relieve the symptoms of menopause, has been linked to breast cancer, Dr. Lina Steinrud Morch, from Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues note in their study. Some studies have suggested that it could raise the risk of ovarian cancer.

Morch's team studied more than 900,000 Danish women who were 50 to 79 years of age from 1995 to 2005. None of them had tumors that grew in response to hormones, and none had had their ovaries removed during a hysterectomy or for other reasons. MORE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Asian Spice May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Women who have taken a combined estrogen and progestin hormone replacement therapy increase their risk of developing breast cancer. But curcumin, an Asian spice, may reduce their risk.

A study at the University of Missouri found that curcumin decreased the incidence of progestin-accelerated breast tumors in animals. It also delayed onset of the disease and reduced the incidence of multiple tumors.

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Pesticide Linked to Parkinson's Disease

People with Parkinson’s disease have significantly higher blood levels of a particular pesticide than healthy people or those with Alzheimer’s disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

In a study appearing in the July issue of Archives of Neurology, researchers found the pesticide beta-HCH (hexachlorocyclohexane) in 76 percent of people with Parkinson’s, compared with 40 percent of healthy controls and 30 percent of those with Alzheimer’s.

The finding might provide the basis for a beta-HCH blood test to identify individuals at risk for developing Parkinson’s disease. The results also point the way to more research on environmental causes of Parkinson’s. MORE>>>>>>>>>>>>

Scientists Fear Mad Cow Disease From Farm-Raised Fish

Scientists are worried that people who eat farmed fish that are fed cattle byproducts could get mad cow disease, according to an article in the new issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

The human form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease) is known as Creutzfeldt Jakob disease. It is untreatable and always fatal.

Most nations have outlawed feeding cattle byproducts to other cattle because the disease spreads easily within the same species. MORE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Heavy Drinking May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

Men who drink heavily may be raising their risk of developing prostate cancer, researchers reported Monday.

What's more, their study found, the drug finasteride, which can help lower a man's risk of the disease, appears unable to undo the damage of heavy drinking.

The findings come from a clinical trial of nearly 11,000 men looking at whether finasteride lowered the risk of prostate cancer over seven years. Of the men, 2,219 were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 8,791 remained cancer-free throughout the study.

The researchers found that men who drank heavily -- four or more drinks per day, on at least five days out of the week -- were twice as likely as non-drinkers to develop aggressive prostate tumors.


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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Vegetable Amino Acid Lowers Blood Pressure

Get plenty of it in your diet, researchers say

WEDNESDAY, July 8 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers say they have discovered that one of the most common amino acids in vegetable protein seems to lower blood pressure.

Analysis of data from an international diet study shows that a 4.72 percent higher intake of glutamic acid as a portion of total dietary protein correlates with a 1.5- to 3-point reduction in average systolic blood pressure (the higher of the two blood pressure readings, when the heart beats) and a 1- to 1.6-point lower diastolic pressure (the lower reading, when the heart rests between beats). The report appears online July 6 in advance of publication in an upcoming print issue of the journal Circulation.

The point difference might not sound like much, but high blood pressure is a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke and other cardiovascular problems, and a reduction on that scale could cut stroke death rates by 6 percent and coronary heart disease deaths by 4 percent, said study author Dr. Jeremiah Stamler, professor emeritus of preventive medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.

However, the worry is that people could take the finding as a reason to pop glutamic acid pills rather than making vegetables a larger part of their diet, Stamler said.

"We make a clear statement that there are no data on supplements of glutamic acid to tell us anything one way or another about their value," Stamler said.

Protein, animal and vegetable, consists of chains of amino acids. Glutamic acid is the most common of those amino acids, accounting for 23 percent of vegetable protein and 18 percent of meat protein.

The relationship between higher glutamic acid intake and lower blood pressure seen in the study of 4,680 people in China, Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom was not unexpected, said Ian J. Brown, a research associate in epidemiology and public health at Imperial College London, and a member of the research team.

"It is compatible with earlier findings that a diet high in vegetable proteins, those found in beans, whole grains, rice, soy products and bread, is associated with lower blood pressure," Brown said.

"The fact that the most important amino acid in vegetable protein is related to blood pressure supports the inference that a diet high in vegetable protein and low in animal protein has favorable effects on blood pressure," Stamler added.

Similar but lesser effects on lowering blood pressure have been found for other amino acids more common in vegetable protein, such as proline, phenylalanine and serine, Brown said.

"The solution to improving blood pressure is not based around a single nutrient," he said. "We are looking at a whole series of dietary elements that act together. Combined, they have a large effect."

But diet is not the only factor to be considered in attacking high blood pressure, Stamler said.

"We must also consider obesity, high salt intake, high alcohol intake and high potassium intake, among other risk factors," he said.

Still, the study provides evidence why the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet, developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, reduces blood pressure, Stamler said. The DASH diet is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean poultry, nuts and beans.

"It's just as mothers and grandmothers have been saying for years," Brown said. "Eat your vegetables, avoid fatty foods, avoid excess alcohol."

More information

The DASH diet is detailed by the U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.



SOURCES: Jeremiah Stamler, M.D., professor emeritus, preventive medicine, Feinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago; Ian J. Brown, Ph.D., research associate, epidemiology and public health, Imperial College, London; July 6, 2009, Circulation online

Last Updated: July 08, 2009

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Artificial sweeteners can make you sick and fat

Source: Houston Examiner


For several years there have been frightening stories circulating about the dangers of Aspartame. Well, it turns out, this is not just another urban legend.

Aspartame is the chemical name for the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. Aspartame was approved for dry goods in 1981 and for carbonated beverages in 1983. It was originally approved for dry goods on July 26, 1974, but objections filed by neuroscience researcher Dr John W. Olney and Consumer attorney James Turner in August 1974 as well as investigations of G.D. Searle's research practices caused the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to put approval of aspartame on hold (December 5, 1974). But by now, we all know how easily powerful, rich pharma can get dangerous products on the market.

Aspartame accounts for over 75 percent of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Many of these reactions are very serious including seizures and death.(1) A few of the 90 different documented symptoms listed in the report as being caused by aspartame include: Headaches/migraines, dizziness, seizures, nausea, numbness, muscle spasms, weight gain, rashes, depression, fatigue, irritability, tachycardia, insomnia, vision problems, hearing loss, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties, anxiety attacks, slurred speech, loss of taste, tinnitus, vertigo, memory loss, and joint pain.

According to researchers and physicians studying the adverse effects of aspartame, the following chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting of aspartame:(2) Brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic fatigue syndrome, parkinson's disease, alzheimer's, mental retardation, lymphoma, birth defects, fibromyalgia, and diabetes.

Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol. The book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing," by James and Phyllis Balch, lists aspartame under the category of "chemical poison." You can read more about this here

The word is out on Aspartame and that opened the door for the "safe alternative", Splenda.

Last year, a 12-week study, done by researchers from Duke University, reported that Splenda and its key component, sucralose, may suppress beneficial bacteria in the gut and cause weight gain. The study also found that consumption of the sweetener may affect the expression of certain enzymes known to interfere with the absorption of nutrients and pharmaceuticals.

This is how the study was done:

Researchers separated 50 rats into five equal groups. One (the control group) was administered only water with its diet, while the other four groups had the diet supplemented with different doses of Splenda in water. The amounts given to the rats were in a range that was slightly below to slightly above the daily intake amount that the FDA considers safe. In other words, the dosages that the animals consumed equated to amounts that would be reasonable for a human to consume.

After 12 weeks, half the animals in each group were evaluated for certain intestinal bacteria, enzymes, and weight. The remaining animals spent a further 12 weeks without any Splenda in the diet.

The results showed that Splenda reduced the amount of beneficial bacteria in the intestines by 50%, increased the pH level in the intestines, contributed to increases in body weight, and affected certain enzymes that are related to the metabolism of medications in the liver. Low beneficial bacteria levels and elevated enzyme levels continued even after the animals stopped consuming Splenda during the 12-week recovery period. It makes me wonder about the surge in obesity and also acid reflux and GERD.

The marketing ploy used in promoting Splenda, leads you to believe that this is some type of natural product. Sugar that is magically made to contain no calories. Sorry- that's not the case. . The process starts with sucrose, which is simply a sugar molecule, to which three chlorine molecules are added. This manipulation of the sugar molecule makes it unrecognizable to the body, thus impossible to digest or metabolize, therefore the body cannot extract calories from it. I guess you could compare it to eating baby powder or worse.

Some scientists theorize that Splenda is actually a toxic chemical because of the process used in its synthesis. Adding chlorine to the sucrose molecule (specifically, the carbon bonds) creates a chemical called chloro-carbon, causing it to resemble the chemical composition of a pesticide. According to these scientists, the safety of Splenda has yet to be determined.

To sum it up, this study shows that Splenda has been shown to cause weight gain, intestinal disruption and alterations to the metabolism of drugs. We'll probably find more dangers as additional studies are conducted.

So now the newest "natural and safe" sweetener being mass marketed is Stevia. Stevia (STEE-vee-uh) is a South American shrub whose leaves have been used for centuries by peoples in Paraguay and Brazil. The Japanese have been using stevia for over thirty years in small amounts; to sweeten pickles and other foods. “But the Japanese don’t consume large amounts of stevia,” notes Douglas Kinghorn, professor of pharmacognosy (the study of drugs from plants) at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“In the U.S., we like to go to extremes,” adds toxicologist Ryan Huxtable of the University of Arizona in Tucson. “So a significant number of people here might consume much greater amounts.”

Until recently, you didn't see stevia on supermarket shelves next to the Sweet’N Low, Splenda or Equal. You had to buy it in health food stores. The FDA was reluctant to approve it. So was Canada. In fact, the scientific panel that reviews the safety of food ingredients for the EU concluded that stevioside is “not acceptable” as a sweetener because of unresolved concerns about its toxicity. In 1998, a United Nations expert panel came to essentially the same conclusion.

Suddenly, stevia got it's approval and is now being mass marketed.

But is it really safe?

Here’s what troubles toxicologists:

Reproductive problems. Stevioside “seems to affect the male reproductive organ system,” European scientists concluded last year. When male rats were fed high doses of stevioside for 22 months, sperm production was reduced, the weight of seminal vesicles (which produce seminal fluid) declined, and there was an increase in cell proliferation in their testicles, which could cause infertility or other problems.1 And when female hamsters were fed large amounts of a derivative of stevioside called steviol, they had fewer and smaller offspring.2 Would small amounts of stevia also cause reproductive problems? No one knows.

Cancer. In the laboratory, steviol can be converted into a mutagenic compound, which may promote cancer by causing mutations in the cells’ genetic material (DNA). “We don’t know if the conversion of stevioside to steviol to a mutagen happens in humans,” says Huxtable. “It’s probably a minor issue, but it clearly needs to be resolved.”

Energy metabolism.
Very large amounts of stevioside can interfere with the absorption of carbohydrates in animals and disrupt the conversion of food into energy within cells. “This may be of particular concern for children,” says Huxtable.

The bottom line: If you use stevia sparingly (once or twice a day in a cup of tea, for example), it isn’t a great threat to you. But if stevia were marketed widely and used in diet sodas, it would be consumed by millions of people. And that might pose a public health threat." according to Dr. Ed Zimney. Well, Coca Cola plans to market stevia under the trade name of Rebiana. This calorie-free food and beverage sweetener is also being marketed under the Cargill corporation, a food and agricultural provider. Cargill, in partnership with The Coca-Cola Company, has developed rebiana as a natural, zero-calorie ingredient which is being marketed under the brand name TRUVIA™. Both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, the world’s largest soft drink makers, have stevia drinks ready to roll-out

I'm tossing my artificial sweeteners and I'm going to start using a little sugar. Sounds like it might help me lose weight.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Flu Vaccine May Be More Dangerous Than Swine Flu

An outbreak of swine flu occurred in Mexico this spring that eventually affected 4,910 Mexican citizens and resulted in 85 deaths. By the time it spread to the United States, the virus caused only mild cases of flu-like illness.

Thanks to air travel and the failure of public health officials to control travel from Mexico, the virus spread worldwide. Despite predictions of massive numbers of deaths and the arrival of doomsday, the virus has remained a relatively mild disease, something we know happens each year with flu epidemics.

Worldwide, there have only been 311 deaths out of 70,893 cases of swine flu. In the United States, 27,717 cases have resulted in 127 deaths. Every death is a tragedy, but such a low death rate should not be the basis of a draconian government policy. MORE>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Nitrates in Environment May Cause Alzheimer’s, Diabetes

Researchers have found a link between nitrates in the environment and increased deaths from Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and Parkinson’s and other diseases of aging.

The study, published in the “Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease,” found strong parallels between deaths and exposure to nitrates, nitrites and nitrosamines due to processed and preserved foods as well as fertilizers.

Nitrates are found in many food products including bacon, cured meats, cheese products, beer and water. Nitrates are generated by the high temperatures of frying and grilling, and our bodies make nitrates in the highly acid conditions of the stomach. Nitrates also get into our body through fertilizers, pesticides, contaminated water supplies and cosmetics as well as through the manufacturing and processing of rubber and latex products. Over 90 percent of nitrates tested have been found to cause cancer in various organs of the body MORE>>>>>>>>>>>

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Caffeine Reverses Alzheimer's Memory Symptoms

Coffee drinkers may have another reason to pour that extra cup. When aged mice bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer's disease were given caffeine – the equivalent of five cups of coffee a day – their memory impairment was reversed, report University of South Florida researchers at the Florida Alzheimer's Disease Research Center.

Back-to-back studies published online today in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, show caffeine significantly decreased abnormal levels of the protein linked to Alzheimer's disease....MORE>>>>>>

Travel more than doubles risk of blood clots: study

People who travel have nearly triple the normal risk of developing a dangerous blood clot, with a measurable increase for every two hours spent sitting in a car or wedged into an airline seat, researchers reported on Monday.

They said the risk is serious enough to merit research into better ways to keep travelers healthy, although not severe enough to justify giving airline passengers anti-clotting drugs.

Dr. Divay Chandra and colleagues at Harvard University in Boston looked specifically at venous thromboembolism -- the development of a blood clot in a vein, usually in the legs.

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Thursday, July 2, 2009

C-Reactive Protein Doesn't Cause Heart Disease

A protein known as a key indicator of inflammation in the body and thought to cause heart disease is not linked to development of the fatal ailment, according to a British study published Tuesday.

C-reactive protein (CRP), a target for studies of treatment for coronary heart disease, is not in fact directly involved in causing it, as once thought, said the research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

"Some researchers thought C-reactive protein would be a good molecule to target, as raised levels of this protein in the blood are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease," noted lead author Paul Elliott, a professor at Imperial College, London. MORE>>>>>>>>>>>

Dietary Supplements Boost Cancer Survival

The health benefits of dietary supplements have long been a subject of hot debate, but now Norwegian researchers have convincing evidence that supplements improve the rate of survival of women diagnosed with solid tumor cancers. Their study, which will be published in the September 2009 issue of the International Journal of Cancer, shows that women with solid tumors had better survival rates if they had used dietary supplements in the year before they were diagnosed.

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Metabolic Syndrome May Raise Breast Cancer Risk

Physiological changes associated with the metabolic syndrome may play a role in the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer, according to study results published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The metabolic syndrome, or insulin resistance syndrome, consists of a constellation of factors including abdominal obesity, high blood glucose levels, impaired glucose tolerance, abnormal lipid levels and high blood pressure.

Affecting roughly 47 million Americans, the metabolic syndrome is also associated with poor diet and lack of physical activity. It can also increase the risk for diabetes and heart disease.

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