The Plain Truth

The Plain Truth
God's Hand Behind the News

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Turmeric Proven to Fight Diabetes…Again!

Mike Barrett
Activist Post

Research highlighting turmeric’s powerful health-boosting properties just seems to never cease, with some recent research showing yet again that the super spice can help to prevent diabetes risk thanks to the spice’s active compound curcumin.

What’s more, the compound helps to prevent diabetes among those with pre-diabetes – indicated that extremely high blood sugar levels that could ultimately result in type 2 diabetes.

Without a doubt, there is a clear connection between turmeric and diabetes prevention.

Published in the journal Diabetes Care, the study involved 240 Thai adults with prediabetes. The participants were divided into 2 groups, with one group taking curcumin capsules containing 250 milligrams of curcuminoids, while the other was given a placebo. After a 9 month period, it was found that 19 individuals of the 116-person placebo group developed type 2 diabetes, while none of the participants of the 199-person curcumin group developed the disease.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Are you hooked on fish oil yet? The natural wonder drug proven to treat a range of conditions

  • Fish oil
    All fish oils contain omega-3s, types of polyunsaturated fatty acid which are essential for health.
  • Fish such as mackerel, salmon, trout, sardines, pilchards and fresh tuna, which are known as oily fish, are the richest sources.
  • Dr Carrie Ruxton, nutritionist for the Health Supplements Information Service, says: ‘There are different types of omega-3 fatty acids, but the key health benefits  are believed to come from the very long chain omega-3s, called docosahexaenoic  acid [DHA] and eicosapentaenoic  acid [EPA].’
  • The Food Standards Agency (FSA) recommends we eat a minimum of two portions of fish each week, one of which should be an oily fish (one portion is about 140g). This provides a daily intake of 450mg of EPA and DHA.
  • Today many supplements will specify which type they contain and in what concentration.
  • EPA and DHA have different roles in the body. Dr Ruxton says: ‘Studies suggest DHA is more important for the brain, retina and infant development, while EPA is more important for vascular health [blood vessels].’
  • ‘The difficulty we have in the UK is that two-thirds of people don’t eat oily fish,’ she says. ‘The main source of long chain omega-3s in the diet is oily fish, and if we can’t get them from that, we need to consider a supplement to top up our diet.’
 CHOOSE THE RIGHT ONE                                                                                          
  • Fish oil supplements
    Supplements fall into three categories: fish oil, cod liver oil and krill oil. Which one you choose will depend on how much money you want to spend and what benefit you’re trying to get.
  •  Shona Wilkinson, head nutritionist at The Nutri Centre, says: ‘Cod liver oil comes direct from the liver, whereas fish oil comes from the flesh of oily fish. Krill are shrimp-like crustaceans that live in the ocean. The oil found in them contains omega-3s similar to those found in fish oils.’
  • Dr Ruxton says: ‘If you’re on a budget, cod liver oil or a standard omega-3 are the ones to go for. You don’t need to buy the most expensive brands to get the basic benefits. If you have a specific condition and need a high dose or are pregnant and don’t want the Vitamin A, the cost will go up.’
  • Cod liver oil generally has lower levels of EPA and DHA but also differs from fish oil as it naturally provides Vitamin A, which is important for good eyesight and healthy skin, and Vitamin D for bone and immune health. Cod liver oil isn’t suitable for use during pregnancy as it provides too much Vitamin A.
  • Dr Ruxton’s advice is not to look at the total amount of omega-3s when choosing a supplement, but at the total amount of EPA and DHA combined that a supplement provides. This should add up to 450mg per day.
  •  ‘Algae supplements for vegetarians also contain EPA and DHA – fish have EPA and DHA in their flesh in the first place because they feed on algae,’ says Dr Ruxton. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is another omega-3 fatty acid, which is plant-based and found in dietary sources such as vegetable, rapeseed and flaxseed oils. Our bodies can convert ALA into EPA and DHA but the process depends on how much EPA and DHA you take as well.
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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Shift Work Linked to Heart Attacks

Overview of biological circadian clock in huma...
Overview of biological circadian clock in humans. Biological clock affects the daily rhythm of many physiological processes. This diagram depicts the circadian patterns typical of someone who rises early in morning, eats lunch around noon, and sleeps at night (10 p.m.). Although circadian rhythms tend to be synchronized with cycles of light and dark, other factors - such as ambient temperature, meal times, stress and exercise - can influence the timing as well. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Shift work, which disrupts the body clock (circadian rhythm), has long been associated with health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, but its link with vascular disease has been less clear. But a new study published on, found that shift work is associated with an increased risk of major vascular problems, such as heart attacks and strokes. 

The study is the largest analysis of shift work and vascular risk to date, and it has implications for public policy and occupational medicine, say the authors. 

In the study, a team of international researchers analyzed the results of 34 studies involving over 2 million individuals to investigate the association between shift work and major vascular events. Shift work was defined as evening shifts, irregular or unspecified shifts, mixed schedules, night shifts, and rotating shifts. Control groups were non-shift (day) workers or the general population.
Differences in study design and quality were taken into account to minimize bias.

Read more: Shift Work Linked to Heart Attacks
Important: At Risk For A Heart Attack? Find Out Now.
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Thursday, July 26, 2012

6 Eating Disorders You Probably Didn’t Know About

The American Psychiatric Association uses the term Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified to describe eating disorders other than the more commonly known anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, and binge eating. These lesser known disorders may include a variety of symptoms associated with those three eating disorders and are often incorrectly diagnosed or undiagnosed as a result. But thanks in part to the Internet, more information about such eating disorders is available, even though some remain unrecognized as a medical diagnosis. Below are six such atypical eating disorders. For more information about and help with an eating disorder, visit National Eating Disorders Association website.
  1. Pica eating disorder:
    Pica is the Latin word for “magpie,” a bird that’s known for eating, well, just about anything. People with pica eating disorder, often women who are pregnant, crave, chew, and eat non-food items, including chalk, paper, baking soda, and dirt. Those with the disorder may suffer from psychiatric disturbances or developmental disabilities, or come from a cultural background that includes eating non-food items (there is a tradition among African Americans and poor whites in the rural South of eating dirt to settle an upset stomach). Lack of nutrients in the body can also lead to pica eating disorder.
  2. Manorexia:
    Men are susceptible to eating disorders, including manorexia, a variation on the term anorexia, whose symptoms include an irrational fear of gaining weight and a distorted self-perception of the body. Sadly, in spite of the preventive information that is available, eating disorders in the U.S. are at an all-time high, and idealized images of male physiques perpetuated by popular media are a contributing factor. Information regarding eating disorders in men and boys is available on the National Eating Disorders Association’s website.
  3. Trance eating:
    Trance eating can be described as eating binges that occur in a dream-like state or while sleep-walking. Model and television spokesperson Tyra Banks, who has been celebrated as well as vilified for her efforts to bring attention to eating disorders, brought more attention to this particular disorder back in 2006 on an episode of her TV show. Sleep disorder, multiple personality disorder, and even self-hypnosis are various explanations for this extreme behavior of “mindless eating.”
  4. Diabulimia:
    Diabulimia refers to a person with type 1 diabetes who deliberately reduces their insulin intake in order to lose weight. Without insulin, calories are purged out of the body through the loss of glucose in urine. Although not recognized as a medical diagnosis, doctors and people with diabetes have acknowledged and are spreading the word about this unhealthy practice, which is symptomatic of an eating disorder.
  5. Chewing and spitting:
    People who have an irrational fear of gaining weight may chew and then spit out the food they eat, believing that in addition to enjoying the taste of food, they will fool their body into thinking it’s full (and getting whatever nutrients it needs to function). Chewing and spitting isn’t new, but has gotten more attention thanks again to the Internet and more resources available to those with eating disorders.
  6. Orthorexia: 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Memory Excercises

Memory learning catches a lot of flack these days. Informed educators are often quick to write off rote memorization as an unnecessary and even harmful exercise, instead preferring to teach creativity and problem solving. While we agree that creative, analytical lessons are a great way to learn, it’s worth pointing out that memorization can still play an important role in learning, no matter your age. Read on to find 10 great benefits of memorization in school and beyond.
  1. Memorization trains your brain to remember:

    Although memorizing lines of poetry may not feel particularly essential, it’s an important task for training your brain to remember things. This type of memorization task exercises your brain, giving it strength to retain more information. Memorizing passages or poetry over time (rather than cramming) is a very effective way to make your brain more receptive to remembering.
  2. Memorization challenges your brain:

    Just like when you work out at a gym, consistent and challenging exercise is the key to staying brain fit. Challenges like memorization are a very useful way to work out your brain for better mental health.
  3. Rote learning improves neural plasticity:

    Irish researchers found that through extended exercises in rote learning, learners can actually recall more information overall. Rote learning benefits the hippocampal foundation, a key structure in the brain for episodic and spatial memory in humans. In their group of participants aged 55-70, these researches noted that repeated activation of memory structures promotes neuronal plasticity in the aging brain.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Beware Dr Google! People who use internet to diagnose illness 'can't interpret their own symptoms'

Many people may believe that the internet has made it easier for us to discover what is wrong when we are sick.

But new research suggests that using Google to diagnose illnesses could in fact be a very bad way of getting appropriate medical treatment.

Of course, a rigorously trained doctor is likely to give a much more accurate diagnosis than the average web user seeking answers from the internet.

But in addition, scientists have warned that individuals do particularly poorly when asked to work out their own chances of having any particular ailment.

Be careful! Scientists warn that self-diagnosis via the internet can be dangerous (picture posed by model)
Be careful! Scientists warn that self-diagnosis via the internet can be dangerous (picture posed by model)

This misdiagnosis takes two main forms - self-positivity, where we overestimate the risks of falling prey to an illness, and self-negativity, where the opposite is the case.
For example, according to NBC News, people may interpret symptoms which in someone else might seem like indigestion as a sign they are having a heart attack.
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Sorry darling, I just can't help it: How scientists have found out the real reason why many men fall asleep after sex

Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women'...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
For men who roll over and nod off rather than engage in pillow talk, it’s the perfect excuse.

They really do need to sleep after sex because the male brain is designed to switch off at that point, scientists claim. 

They scanned men’s brains before and during orgasm, and found that the cerebral cortex – or ‘thinking’ area – shuts down.

Straight afterwards, two other areas, the cingulate cortex and amygdala, tell the rest of the brain to deactivate from sexual desire.

This is accompanied by a surge of chemicals such as oxytocin and serotonin, which can have a powerful sleep-inducing effect, according to the researchers.

Neuroscientist Serge Stoleru, who leads a group at the French medical research council Inserm, said: ‘These experiments give us the first hints as to what happens in the brain during orgasm. After men have an orgasm they usually experience a refractory period when they cannot be aroused. 

‘For women it seems to be different. They don’t seem to have such a strong refractory period and may be asking for more when their partners just want a rest.’

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

8 Drugs with Really Embarrassing Side Effects

Scientists have made remarkable advances in medicine during the past century, finding treatments for everything from strep throat to Parkinson’s disease. Even vanity causes aren’t beyond the reach of drug companies, which offer solutions to even our most embarrassing physical shortcomings. Often though, the side effects of medication can be just as humiliating as the problem it was created to solve. If you take one of the following drugs, we hope you’re immune to either these cringe-worthy side effects or to total embarrassment.
  1. Alli and Xenical:
    Orlistat, the generic drug for weight-loss pills like Alli and Xenical, is effective in making you lose weight, but that could be because it shames you into following a low-fat diet. The medication keeps you from absorbing all the fat you eat into your system, so that fat basically just comes out the other end … sometimes when you don’t expect it. You can have gas with oily discharge, loose stools, and more frequent stools that might be hard to control. Translated, that means grease-stained or poop-filled pants. The Alli website even used to recommend wearing dark pants and bringing an extra change of clothes with you to work until you understand these “treatment effects.”
  2. Zoloft:
    We all know that Viagra can cause erections lasting four hours or longer from the drug’s commercials, but those people are kind of asking for it. Zoloft users, however, may not expect embarrassingly long erections when they take the medicine to treat their depression. It’s more likely that the drug will cause a decreased interest in sex or erectile dysfunction, but those side effects are arguably less embarrassing than the poor guy who has to cover his crotch half the work day.

    READ THE REST>>>>>>>>
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Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Caffeine Actually Does To Your Brain

For all of its wild popularity, caffeine is one seriously misunderstood substance. It’s not a simple upper, and it works differently on different people with different tolerances — even in different menstrual cycles. But you can make it work better for you.
Photo by rbrwr.
Editor’s Note: This was first published on Lifehacker Australia, and it’s still incredibly relevant to Sleep Week, especially considering all those vodka and Red Bull’s you’ll be drinking tonight at the club. Perhaps you should read this first?
We’ve covered all kinds of caffeine “hacks”, from taking “caffeine naps” to getting “optimally wired”. But when it comes to why so many of us love our coffee, tea or soft-drink fixes, and what they actually do to our busy brains, we’ve never really dug in.
While there’s a whole lot one can read on caffeine, most of it falls in the realm of highly specific medical research or often conflicting anecdotal evidence. Luckily one intrepid reader and writer has actually done that reading, weighed that evidence and put together a highly readable treatise on the subject. Buzz: The Science and Lore of Alcohol and Caffeine, by Stephen R. Braun, is well worth the short 224-page read. It was released in 1997, but remains the most accessible treatise on what is and isn’t understood about what caffeine and alcohol do to the brain. It’s not a social history of coffee, or a lecture on the evils of mass-market soft drinks — it’s condensed but clean science.

What follows is a brief explainer on how caffeine affects productivity, drawn from Buzz and other sources noted at bottom. We also sent Braun a few of the questions that arose while reading, and he graciously agreed to answer them.

Caffeine Doesn’t Actually Get You Wired  MORE>>>>>>>>>>