Kosher Foods Are a Booming Business


Keeping kosher is a lot easier than it used to be.

It's not that the Jewish dietary laws have changed. Pork and shellfish remain verboten, while meat and dairy - and the utensils that touch them - still must be kept strictly segregated.

Rather, thanks to recent dramatic growth of the kosher foods industry, consumers who follow these religious strictures now can dine on an array of products observant Jews just a generation ago would have marveled at.


I thought cigarettes caused cancer?


You hear all the time about the dangers of smoking. The smoking horror stories have frightened some people to the point where if they see someone smoking they turn and run in terror from fear that second hand smoke will give them cancer instantly if they even get near a lit cigarette.

Winnie Langley has been smoking since she was a 7-year-old and has just celebrated her 100th birthday. 100-year-old woman, smoking since she was 7-year-old, where’s the cancer?

An iron-lunged pensioner has celebrated her 100th birthday by lighting up her 170,000th cigarette from a candle on her birthday cake.

Winnie Langley started smoking only days after the First World War broke out in June 1914 when she was just seven-years-old - and has got through five a day ever since.

She has no intention of quitting, even after the nationwide ban forced tobacco-lovers outside.

Speaking at her 100th birthday party Winnie said: “I have smoked ever since infant school and I have never thought about quitting. There were not all the the health warnings like there are today when I started. It was the done thing.”

Winnie, from Croydon, South London, claims tobacco has never made her ill.

Winnie Langley goes on to say that she started smoking before World War One to help calm her nerves.

Are Smoking Related Illnesses Psychosomatic?

Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating smoking and I do not believe that smoking has no adverse side effects on your health. I believe many of the negative health problems of smokers are psychosomatic. Years and years of relentless negative propaganda about how cigarettes will kill you cause people to believe since they are smokers they are going to grow giant tumors in their lungs and drop dead at any moment.

Apples, apple juice may help keep colon cancer at bay

Listening to your mother and eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away seems to be a really good idea, for a new study has found that apple pectin and apple juice extracts have anticarcinogenic effects on the colon.

Washington, Mar 27 : Listening to your mother and eating an apple a day to keep the doctor away seems to be a really good idea, for a new study has found that apple pectin and apple juice extracts have anticarcinogenic effects on the colon.

German researchers led by Dr. Dieter Schrenk found that apples and apple juice enhance biological mechanisms that produce anticarcinogenic compounds during the fermentation process.

The researchers believe that the presence of apple pectin and apple juice extracts increase the presence of the compound butyrate which is believed to be a chemopreventative metabolite that might prevent the occurrence of colorectal cancer.

Butyrate is a short chain fatty acid that, the research states, "not only serves as a major nutrient for the colon epithelia but is also thought to play an important role in the protective effect of natural fiber against colorectal cancer."

Dr Schrenk and his colleagues conducted laboratory tests in which they found that by the increased production of butyrate via the addition of apple components, histone deacetlyases (HDAC) were inhibited.

With slowed production of HDAC, there would be significantly less growth of precancerous and tumour cells.

The researchers therefore noted: "Apples are a major source of natural fiber and of low molecular weight plan polyphenols in the Western diet. Pectin-rich apple products can thus be expected to exert anticarginogenic effects in the colon."

The research is published in the April 2008 issue of Nutrition.

Delicate decision: To circumcise or not?

As the practice grows less common in the U.S., parents weigh the medical, social and religious pros and cons.Security blanket


FOR nearly all of Nada Mouallem's pregnancy, she and her husband, Tony, had a running argument. She wanted to have their son circumcised. He didn't. "Many days, I'd go off and research all the pros. He'd go and research all the cons. Then we'd get together at night and fight," she says.

Arguments about circumcision often polarize today's parents. The procedure, dating to ancient Egypt, is -- in simple terms -- the removal of the foreskin, the piece of skin that surrounds the tip of the penis. But imbued in that small piece of skin are passionate opinions on sex, money, religion, tradition, health, hygiene, human rights and locker room pressure.

Parents of baby boys have to weigh all those factors.

Forty years ago, when almost every male born in this country was circumcised, the decision was easier. In 1965, 85% of boys born in the United States were circumcised, so parents followed the crowd.


Mobile phones 'more dangerous than smoking'

Brain expert warns of huge rise in tumours and calls on industry to take immediate steps to reduce radiation

Young people are at particular risk from exposure to radiation

    Follow a Healthy—and Biblical—Diet

    God designed the human body. Shouldn't we pay attention to what He says to put into it and what to avoid?

     by Noel Horner

    Mark Twain reportedly said, "Don't read health books; you may die of a misprint." Although the great American humorist said this in jest, we should be cautious about whose advice we take on health matters, including diet. The fuel for our bodies is vital to our health. Just as a gasoline engine will suffer damage if we pump diesel fuel into it, our bodies suffer if we consume the wrong fuel.

    Few people have considered that the Bible is an authoritative and reliable source of dietary information. However, it conveys numerous principles by command and example. Modern dietary science and research verify that the information it contains is accurate and beneficial—and that's only logical, since God, the designer of our bodies, knows what we should eat.

    Benefits of a healthy diet

    Other than simply keeping us alive, what benefits should a healthy diet provide?

    Perhaps most important, it should fortify our immune system and help protect us against disease. It is common knowledge that a proper diet lowers our risk for many diseases.

    It should also enable us to avoid the troublesome weight problems that plague the Western world. "Half of all adults in Europe and 61 percent of Americans are overweight" (University of California, Berkeley, Wellness Letter, November 2001).

    The situation is serious enough that the surgeon general of the United States "has declared obesity a national epidemic, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it's fast replacing smoking as public health enemy No. 1" (U.S. News & World Report, July 1). This statement illustrates the magnitude of the risk of being overweight, considering that an estimated 500,000 Americans die annually from tobacco-related diseases.

    What are the biblical laws that, if obeyed, would promote good health and combat disease?

    Avoid meats the Bible calls "unclean"

    The Bible declares some kinds of meat, including pork and shellfish, to be "unclean," meaning they are not meant to be consumed as food (Leviticus 11:4-44). Many don't realize that the dietary laws God gave in this regard still apply. Indeed, it appears likely that God gave these laws because the proscribed meat is simply bad for us, unfit for human consumption.

    A common false assumption is that God meant His dietary laws only for ancient Israel, that they constituted part of the Old Covenant and were abolished under the New.

    Actually, however, the Bible records commands that make the distinction between clean and unclean animals that predate God's covenant with Israel by nearly 1,000 years—for, as Genesis 7:2 records, God instructed Noah to take onto the ark seven pairs of clean animals and one pair of unclean. When God instructed Noah, Noah didn't need to ask God which were clean or unclean because he already knew. Indeed, it seems probable that when God created the animals in Genesis 1 He designated them either clean or unclean from that time forward.

    For a thorough explanation of this subject, as well as a listing of animals the Bible defines as clean and unclean, we invite you to request our free booklet Clean and Unclean Meats: What Does the Bible Teach? This publication thoroughly discusses many biblical passages on the subject, including those that people mistakenly believe give us permission to eat the flesh of any animal. It also discusses health dangers associated with eating unclean creatures, backed by statements from doctors and nutritionists. (See also "Did Jesus Make All Meats Clean?," )

    Eat a balanced diet of clean meats

    God created certain meats for human consumption (Leviticus 11:2). Red meat—such as lamb or beef—is high in nutritional value and beneficial for health. But the biblical example is to eat red meat sparingly; often it was served only at feasts or other special occasions.

    "It is very likely that Jesus ate beef since we know that many people celebrated His presence in their homes, and we know from Scripture that He attended weddings, wherebeef was often included as a feast food. Beef consumption, however, would not have been a daily or weekly practice ..." (Don Colbert, M.D., What Would Jesus Eat?, 2002, p. 48).

    If you need to reduce your red-meat consumption, you can supplement your diet with more fowl and fish. "During the time of Jesus ... domestic fowl such as chickens, geese, pigeons, partridges, duck and quail [were consumed]" (Colbert, p. 66).

    "On the shores of the Sea of Galilee, fish was a common article of food in the days of Jesus" (Fred Wight, Manners and Customs of Bible Lands, 1983, p. 51). Several of Jesus' disciples were former fishermen, and Jesus Himself ate fish (Luke 24:42).

    Current research demonstrates that fish and fowl are especially healthy foods. The Wellness Encyclopedia notes that "a small portion (three to four ounces of cooked poultry without bones or skin) provides about half the daily adult protein requirement and has half to one-third the calories and fat of a similar portion of steak. Poultry is also a good source of B vitamins ..."

    It adds: "Like meat and poultry, fish is an excellent source of protein ... relatively low in calories, fat and cholesterol ... Fish also supply certain vitamins ... Moreover, fish fat contains a special group of polyunsaturated fatty acids known as omega-3s. Research has shown that omega-3s can protect against heart disease" (University of California, 1991, pp. 185, 189-190).

    Don't eat animal fat or blood

    The Bible tells us not to consume animal fat and blood (Leviticus 3:17). Scientists now realize that a direct cause-and-effect relationship exists between excess consumption of fat and heart disease. "Over 53 percent of people in large industrialized countries die of heart disease. Heart disease is most commonly caused by fat deposits that build up in the arteries, often beginning in the teenage years" (Reginald Cherry, M.D., The Bible Cure, 1998, p. 34).

    But that is not the only hazard associated with eating animal fat. Toxins also tend to concentrate in an animal's fat. While most of the fat in lean, range-fattened clean animals is isolated from the meat and easily trimmed away, "the toxins in pork are held especially in the fat, which is not isolated from the meat as can be the case in lean beef, but rather, it is dispersed throughout the meat" (Colbert, p. 50).

    There are also important reasons to abstain from blood. "Scientists have long known that blood carries infections and toxins that circulate in an animal's body. If people eat animal blood, they are needlessly exposed to these infections and toxins" (Rex Russell, M.D., What the Bible Says About Healthy Living, 1996, p. 14).

    Limit fat consumption

    Our bodies require some fat to be healthy. Nutritionists generally recommend that we ingest no more than 30 percent of our calories from fat. Some sources of fat are healthier than others. The best sources include fish and unsaturated plant-based fat. Fat from olives is among the healthiest plant-based fats. God supplied His people with this in abundance in that He placed them in a "land of olive oil" (Deuteronomy 8:8).

    A modern example that indicates olive oil is healthy for food is the dietary habits of the inhabitants of the Greek island of Crete. "Residents of Crete consume more olive oil per person than any other nation ... In a fifteen-year period, 38 out of 10,000 Cretans died of heart disease, as compared to 773 out of 10,000 Americans" (Colbert, p. 118).

    To realize the maximum benefits from consuming olive oil, it should be "extra virgin or virgin olive oil. If a bottle of olive oil is not labeled 'extra virgin' or 'virgin,' then the oil has been refined in some way" (Colbert, p. 116).

    Oils that are beneficial also include canola, safflower and sunflower. Nutritionists frequently exhort us to raise our HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol, the "good" kind. "If raising your HDL is a primary concern, you should replace saturated fats (found in meats, whole milk, and cheese, as well as coconut oil) with either polyunsaturated fats (as in sunflower and safflower oil), or, even better, monounsaturated fats (as in olive and canola oil). This will lower both total cholesterol and LDL [low-density lipoprotein], and maintain HDL or boost it slightly" (Wellness Letter, December 2001).

    Be aware that many commercially sold oils are subjected to a hydrogenation process before marketing. When the oils are hydrogenated, their beneficial effects are largely nullified. "Depending on the degree of hydrogenation, these artificially saturated vegetable fats are no better for you than comparably saturated animal fats" (The Wellness Encyclopedia, p. 95). Because baked products sold in stores generally contain hydrogenated fats, they should be consumed in moderation.

    Are the fats in dairy products healthy for us? They constituted part of the biblical diet (Genesis 18:8; 1 Samuel 17:18) and are beneficial if eaten sparingly. Butter, in moderation, is an acceptable source of fat. "Recent studies reported by Dr. Matthew Gillman of Harvard Medical School ... confirm that heart patients who ate margarine had twice as many heart attacks as those who ate
    butter" (Russell, p. 68).

    Cheese is high in protein and loaded with calcium but contains a lot of fat. It can be safely consumed in moderation, though many overdo it. "Cheese is the leading source of artery-clogging fat in the U.S. diet, according to a report from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The average American is eating three times as much cheese today as 30 years ago—on pizza, pasta, burgers, sandwiches, and even salads" (Wellness Letter, May 2001).

    Eat whole grains

    Bread, made from wheat, barley or millet, was the staple diet item in Bible times. "Bread was of such importance that the expression 'eat bread and drink water' could be used to signify eating and drinking as a whole" ("Bread," The Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, 1962).

    The importance of bread in the biblical diet is illustrated by Jesus when He said He was the bread of life (John 6:35, 48). Just as Christ is essential for salvation (Acts 4:12), whole-grain products are essential to healthy eating.

    "Eat ... six or more servings of grains or legumes, daily. Whole grains are especially nutritious. These foods will help you obtain the 20 to 30 grams of dietary fiber you need each day and will provide most of the important vitamins and minerals" (John Swartzberg, M.D., and Sheldon Margen, M.D.,The Complete Home Wellness Handbook, 2001, p. 18).

    One caution, however, concerns hybrid grains. Many of today's hybrids, including wheat, contain a greatly reduced percentage of protein and an excessive percentage of carbohydrates compared with the nonhybrid grains in use during the biblical era. Nonhybrid grains tend to be far more nutritionally balanced than are most hybrid grains.

    Grain products also typically undergo major changes in their journey from the field to the grocer's shelf. For example, wheat is generally processed into white flour. The result? "Both the bran and the germ have been removed, along with approximately 80 percent of the wheat's nutrients" (Colbert, p. 31). What about commercially produced breakfast cereals? They "usually have more than 50 percent of their calories in sugar and very little to no fiber" (p. 30).

    The average Western diet lacks adequate fiber. "Though not a source of calories, vitamins or minerals, it contributes to health in several ways, and deficiency of it in the ordinary diet is a significant nutritional problem in our societies" (Andrew Weil, M.D., Eating Well for Optimum Health, 2000, p. 136).

    A biblical dietary comparison

    Fruits and vegetables, along with whole grains, constituted the bulk of the biblical diet. "Everywhere the Hebrew people traveled, they included vegetables in their diet" (James Packer, Merrill Tenney and William White Jr., editors, The Bible Almanac, 1980, p. 247). The vegetables included leeks, onions, garlic and cucumbers.

    "The various fruits mentioned in the Bible show ... the Israelites' ingenuity in growing, harvesting, and preparing them for use. Fruits were eaten fresh, dried, pressed into cakes, and squeezed for juice" (ibid., p. 254). Fruits mentioned include apples, figs, grapes, berries, apricots, melons and pomegranates.

    Grapes were particularly popular. "The Bible has more references to grapes and grapevines than to any other fruit and plant except olives and olive trees ... Grapes are the first cultivated plant mentioned in the Bible ... Grapes have been shown to fight tooth decay and to stop viruses, and they are high in caffeic acid, a substance shown to be a strong cancerous fighting agent" (Colbert, pp. 146-147).

    Adding more of these fruits and vegetables to your diet in place of other foods will supply a wealth of nutrition and also help with weight control. "Fruits and veggies come loaded with complex carbohydrates and other essentials for life, such as amino acids and essential fatty acids. They also include many of the natural vitamins and minerals vital to human nutrition ... Fruits and vegetables also have both soluble and insoluble fiber that allows our bodies to select what nutrients are needed. This fiber allows many unneeded calories to pass through the intestinal tract" (Russell, p. 90). As this occurs, superfluous calories are eliminated rather than added as body fat.

    "A diet consisting predominantly of fruits and vegetables is the most important factor currently identified in the prevention of cancer ... The evidence for this is overwhelming: Study after study has confirmed that people who have the highest intakes of fruits and vegetables have the lowest rates of cancer" (Swartzberg and Margen, p. 16).

    Fruits and vegetables may even help prevent Alzheimer's disease. "A new study ... says a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and less red meat may ward off the degenerative brain disease, which affects 12 million worldwide" (U.S. News & World Report, July 29).

    Eating fruit as a substitute for calorie-laden desserts aids weight loss. The natural sugar in fruit is nutritionally superior to processed sugars, which are major contributors to overweight. "In the United States, sugar intake has increased from 1 percent to 20 percent of total calories during the last 200 years ... The average American consumes 150 pounds of refined sugar a year" (Russell, p. 88).

    A large part of that sugar intake comes through soft drinks. "Americans, on average, drink 53 gallons of soda [carbonated soft drinks] per year—40 percent more than they drank two decades ago" (Harvard Health Letter, February 2001).

    Eating habits and your health

    Proper eating habits are necessary for good health. If we stuff our bodies with food lacking in nutrition, we will eventually pay the price.

    Sadly, in many cultures it isn't easy to select the foods that are best for us. In America, "of the more than 11,000 new food products that came on the market in 1998, more than two-thirds were candy, snacks, baked goods, soft drinks, ice creams and similar items" (Wellness Letter, June 2002).

    Once these products are in the stores, advertisers crank up the propaganda. For example, "the food industry spends some $30 billion a year on advertising. By contrast the entire federal budget for nutritional education equals one fifth the advertising costs for Altoids mints" (U.S. News & World Report, July 1).

    How great is the health risk if you are overweight? "Avoiding weight gain may guard against cancer of the colon, kidney, uterus, and breast. Being overweight and/or sedentary also increases the risk of heart disease and diabetes" (Wellness Letter, November 2001).

    Major strides have been made in the last century in increased life expectancy. "At the start of the new millennium, the World Health Organization states that at least 120 countries ... have a life expectancy at birth of more than sixty years. The global average life expectancy has increased to sixty-six years, compared with only forty-eight years in 1955" (Bradley Wilcox, M.D., Craig Wilcox, Ph.D., and Makoto Suzuki, M.D., The Okinawa Program, p. 327).

    One reason for this is that many of the major killers of the past are largely under control. For example, in America "deaths from infectious diseases have been decreased by 93 percent," and "infant mortality has dropped by 93 percent" (Parade Magazine, March 19, 2000).

    Though our life expectancy is much greater now, we need to be concerned about health expectancy. The food we put into our mouths will partially determine not only how long we live but whether we enjoy the wonderful benefits of good health in the time we have. 

    Recommended Reading

    Are all kinds of animal flesh suitable for food? Should we avoid certain kinds? Did God design certain animals to be eaten and others not to be eaten? Are Christians free to eat any kind of food, ignoring the instructions of the Bible? Learn the surprising answers—and the science behind them—in the booklet What Does the Bible Teach About Clean and Unclean Meats?, yours free for the asking. Discover what the Bible says about your diet!

    Drug lowers cholesterol and fights hepatitis C

    By Steve Connor
    Thursday, 27 March 2008

    A drug that can lower cholesterol levels and prevent the liver from being attacked by the hepatitis C virus has come a step closer following a successful trial on laboratory animals.

    The drug works in an unusual way by interfering with the natural genetic mechanism in the cells of the liver that keeps cholesterol levels high and – coincidentally – allows the hepatitis virus to replicate within the organ. The study, which was carried out on African green monkeys, lowered cholesterol levels by up to 40 per cent over three months with the help of just three intra-venous injections given over five days at the start of the trial.

    Each injection contained a watery solution of a short, single-stranded molecule of RNA – a close relative of DNA – which found its way to the liver and bonded with a similar type of RNA which is found within the organ's cells. This prevented the natural RNA from working normally, boosting the activity of certain genes, which lowered cholesterol and blocked the hepatitis C virus.

    The study, published in Nature, was carried out by the Danish drug company Santaris. Scientists believe the findings support the idea of a new generation of drugs based on the ability to interfere with the natural functions of RNA.

    Human trials of the new drug are expected to begin later this year.

    source: The Independent

    Yes, Running Can Make You High




    Big Belly Boosts Risk of Later Dementia

    Forward By Robert R. Barney
    I better watch out! I knew my big belly was a prime risk for heart trouble, now it looks like I will go senile as well. OK, maybe I already have according to some. The AP is reporting that Having a big belly in your 40s can boost your risk of getting Alzheimer's disease or other dementia decades later, a new study suggests.Read More...........

    Car crashes deadlier for younger teenagers

    Children in their early teens are more likely to be killed in a car accident than younger children are, a new U.S. study finds.

    Writing in the March issue of The Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, researchers said they saw a big change in fatality rates after age 12. The researchers, led by Dr. Flaura Koplin Winston of the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, based their findings on a six-year review of more than 45,000 crashes in 50 American states.

    The study pointed to several possible reasons fatality rates keep increasing for several years after age 12.


    When the disease eludes a diagnosis

    NEW YORK: Lucy, one of my longtime patients, has a neurological ailment she believes I have been unable to adequately diagnose.

    Although I hope to make further progress on her case, I have also told her that there may never be a definitive answer. Not surprisingly, she is feeling pretty frustrated with me.

    Why do doctors and patients often approach the diagnosis of disease so differently?More............

    The Fiber Menace

    [Editor Note: We have NOT checked out these claims, and in no way endorse this book, however we do think that the public needs to be aware that there are other "facts" out there concerning fiber.....]

    Greetings! My name is Konstantin Monastyrsky. I wrote Fiber Menace for people who believe fiber prevents cancers, reduces the risk of heart disease, regulates blood sugar, wards off diabetes, lowers appetite, induces weight loss, cleanses the colon, and eliminates constipation.More...........

    Fiber and Health

    Debunking Constipation Myths:

     The Truth About High Fiber Diets And Laxatives

    ScienceDaily (Jan. 14, 2005) — There are a lot of common myths about constipation treatment. An article in the January issue of The American Journal of Gastroenterology dispels those myths and clears numerous misconceptions regarding chronic constipation. From a high fiber diet to taking laxatives, researchers address the common beliefs concerning various aspects of the condition and review results based on medical trials.More...........

    Early retirement may mean earlier death


    NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People looking forward to an early retirement may want to rethink those plans -- new research suggests there may be a connection between retirement and mortality in apparently healthy people.

    In a study of nearly 17,000 Greek adults, researchers found that those who were retired at enrollment were 51 percent more likely to die during the study period than their same-age counterparts who were still working.

    Among retirees, those who left the workforce at a younger age were at greater risk of dying during the study, the researchers report in the American Journal of Epidemiology.

    All of the study participants, who ranged in age from their 20s to 80s, were apparently healthy when they enrolled. None had been diagnosed with a major medical condition like heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

    The findings are not explained by poorer health among early retirees, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Christina Bamia of the University of Athens.


    A good marriage could be the key to better blood pressure

    NEW YORK (AP) -- A happy marriage is good for your blood pressure, but a stressed one can be worse than being single, a preliminary study suggests.

    Doctors say a new study shows that the quality of your marriage could be a factor in a souse's blood pressure.

    That second finding is a surprise because prior studies have shown that married people tend to be healthier than singles, said researcher Julianne Holt-Lunstad.

    It would take further study to sort out what the results mean for long-term health, said Holt-Lunstad, an assistant psychology professor at Brigham Young University.

    Her study was reported online Thursday by the Annals of Behavioral Medicine.

    The study involved 204 married people and 99 single adults. Most were white, and it's not clear whether the same results would apply to other ethnic groups, Holt-Lunstad said.

    Study volunteers wore devices that recorded their blood pressure at random times over 24 hours. Married participants also filled out questionnaires about their marriage.

    Analysis found that the more marital satisfaction and adjustment spouses reported, the lower their average blood pressure was over the 24 hours and during the daytime.


    5 Things You Didn't Know About Your Period

    Even well-informed women have questions about their menstrual cycle. Here are answers to the most common questions encountered by gynecologists.
    By Kathleen Doheny
    WebMD Feature
    Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

    So you've had your period for a few years -- or for decades -- and you think you're in the know. Then up pops a question from you or one of your friends that no one can answer with certainty.  That doesn't surprise gynecologists, who say they often field menstrual cycle questions from their patients.

    Here, three top gynecologists talk about the most common questions they get about periods and what they tell their patients.

    1. Why do I get PMS?Read More.........

    Serious Concerns Over Hepatitis B Vaccine

    As some readers know, we have expressed our concerns about childhood vaccinations a number of times. (See Newsmax,com Medicine Men Archives.) We are not saying that all vaccines are bad, but we ask that parents, physicians, and health authorities proceed with care and caution and sometimes resist some of the "automatic" childhood vaccinations. Today the issue is that of the hepatitis B vaccine. More........

    AIDS research in crisis as 'miracle' vaccines actually INCREASE chance of catching virus

    the aids virus

    Big blow: Researchers have found that two 'miracle' AIDS cures not only failed to work but can actually increase people's chances of contracting the virus

    The search for a cure for Aids was in crisis last night after it was revealed that two supposed "miracle" vaccines not only fail to protect people from the virus, but could put them at greater risk of becoming infected.

    It is a massive blow to Aids research, which has ground to a halt - with seven other trials of similarly designed would-be vaccines either suspended or called off indefinitely.

    The US government alone pumps £250million a year into research to try to find a "Holy Grail" vaccine which would put an end to Aids.

    Now scientists fear the disastrous outcome of the two most promising trials leaves them back at square one.

    Hailed as major breakthroughs when the tests began, the US-funded STEP and Phambili studies were shut down when it became clear the vaccines could leave patients more susceptible to the virus, which attacks the immune system and which killed more than two million victims last year - 320,000 of them children.

    More than 25million people have died from Aids since 1981 and an estimated 33million are living with the disease, most in Africa.

    In the UK, there have been at least 17,600 Aids-linked deaths and more than 88,000 people have contracted the HIV virus which leads to Aids.

    The two aborted studies used the same vaccine, made from a common respiratory virus loaded with fragments of HIV.

    The STEP study involved male homosexuals in North and South America, the Caribbean and Australia.

    The Phambili trial, involving more than 3,000 men and women heterosexual volunteers in South Africa, was halted less than one year into its four-year schedule after it, too, raised fears that the vaccine could endanger patients.

    The vaccine was supposed to cut the numberof infections and make the HIV virus less deadly and less contagious in those who had already contracted it.

    But, rather than protect the immune system, the tests appeared to show that the vaccine somehow primed it to become more susceptible to HIV.

    Results from both trials, which cost about £16million, suggested that people were twice as likely to become infected after having the vaccine.

    The debacle has sent shockwaves through Aids organisations that have raised millions of pounds towards research over the past 20 years.

    "This is on the same level of catastrophe as the Challenger disaster that destroyed a Nasa space shuttle," said Robert Gallo, co-discoverer of the HIV virus and head of the Institute for Human Virology in Baltimore.

    Mark Harrington, head of Treatment Action Group, an Aids activist organisation, said: "We can't afford any more trials like this. We have to stop and reassess and recommit to basic science, or people will begin to lose faith."

    However, John Moore, an Aids virologist at America's Weill Cornell Medical College, said: "I do think that what happened in this trial is an example of scientists blindly rushing into dangerous things."

    Even before the tests came to a grinding halt, some experts were questioning whether the type of vaccine being looked at would be successful.

    Rather than a drug to help ease the effects of the virus, people in areas worst hit by the epidemic were looking for a wholesale cure. As it turned out, the vaccine's abject failure has rendered arguments over marketing unnecessary.

    The US National Institutes of Health, which funded both programmes, is holding a crisis meeting next week.

    But experts fear a bleak future. "None of the products currently in the pipeline has any reasonable chance of being effective in field trials," said Harvard University molecular geneticist Ronald Desrosiers.

    "We simply do not know at the present time how to design a vaccine that will be effective against HIV."

    Old blood may pose a safety risk

    Image: donated blood
    Packed red blood cells used in blood transfusions can be stored for up to six weeks, according to federal rules. But a new study has renewed questions about whether the blood deteriorates sooner, causing serious problems in some patients.
    Tim Boyle / Getty Images

    updated 5:00 p.m. ET, Wed., March. 19, 2008

    Heart surgery patients were more likely to die or suffer problems if they received transfusions of blood that is more than two weeks old rather than fresher blood, according to a new study that adds to the debate about the shelf life of blood.

    Although not the final word, the study underscores concerns that blood deteriorates with age and that rules allowing blood to be stored for six weeks may pose a safety risk, at least for certain patients.

    The findings bolster the argument of those who believe that older blood should be avoided, wrote Dr. John Adamson of the University of California at San Diego, in an editorial accompanying the study in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.


    The Benefits of High Cholesterol

    By Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD

    People with high cholesterol live the longest. This statement seems so incredible that it takes a long time to clear one´s brainwashed mind to fully understand its importance. Yet the fact that people with high cholesterol live the longest emerges clearly from many scientific papers. Consider the finding of Dr. Harlan Krumholz of the Department of Cardiovascular Medicine at Yale University, who reported in 1994 that old people with low cholesterol died twice as often from a heart attack as did old people with a high cholesterol.1 Supporters of the cholesterol campaign consistently ignore his observation, or consider it as a rare exception, produced by chance among a huge number of studies finding the opposite.


    Doctors warn of superbug infection in face-lifts


    CHICAGO (Reuters) - A dangerous drug-resistant bacterial infection has been showing up in a small number of patients who undergo face-lifts, doctors reported on Monday.

    When infections do occur at surgical sites following such procedures "the facial plastic surgeon should have a high suspicion" for MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), as the source, they said.

    Dr. Richard Zoumalan of Lennox Hill-Manhattan Eye, Ear, and Throat Hospital in New York and the New York University School of Medicine and Dr. David Rosenberg also of the Lennox Hill center said a review of 780 U.S. face-lift patients from 2001 to 2007 found five -- 0.6 percent -- with infections at incision sites. Four were confirmed as MRSA, all in 2006.


    Popcorn Ingredient Tied to Lung Disease

    Posted: 2008-03-14 09:35:34
    Filed Under: Health News
    WASHINGTON (March 14) - A chemical used to give butter flavor to popcorn can damage the lungs and airways of mice, U.S. government experts reported on Thursday.

    Microwave popcorn in aisle at grocery store.
    Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

    Late last year, two makers of microwave popcorn -- ConAgra Foods Inc. and Weaver Popcorn Co. Inc. -- said they would stop using diacetyl in their products after concerns about lung problems were raised. Orville Redenbacher is one of ConAgra's brands.


    Concerns about a chemical in hard plastics make old-fashioned new again

    Parenting Glass Bottles
    Michelle Palowich, of Amesbury, Mass., looks at Dr. Brown's glass baby bottles at Babies"R"Us, in Peabody, Mass. Dr. Brown's, which has been making a polycarbonate bottle for about a decade, introduced a glass version in early January.
    Lisa Poole / AP
    NEW YORK - Meg Robustelli had heard reports that a chemical in most plastic baby bottles could be dangerous, but she had not done anything about it. That's when her mother stepped in and bought her glass bottles.

    "She's an alarmist, but I'm grateful," said Robustelli, whose daughter, Mia, is 14 months old. "I switched because of all the concerns about the plastic."

    She made the change about six months ago, becoming one of a relatively small but growing number of parents turning to glass bottles amid concerns over a chemical used to make plastic bottles, bisphenol A.


    10 strategies for a more restful night's sleep

    Take a bath, adjust your attitude, darken your room and the rest will follow
    Image: Woman sleeping
    Just 25 percent of Americans get at least eight hours of rest on weekdays, and 60 percent of women say they often sleep poorly, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
    Getty Images stock
    By Ginny Graves
    Image: allure
    updated 12:50 p.m. ET, Sun., March. 2, 2008

    The brown bat sleeps for nearly 20 hours each day. Humans function best on a comparatively thrifty seven to nine, but more and more people are having trouble getting even that. The National Sleep Foundation recently found that just 25 percent of Americans get at least eight hours of rest on weekdays and that 60 percent

    Read More........

    7 ways to boost your metabolism

    Trick your body into burning calories more efficiently

    By Samantha Heller, M.S., R.D., Health magazine
    updated 9:56 a.m. ET, Mon., March. 10, 2008

    Your basal metabolic rate — the energy your body expends at rest — is generally determined by your genetics, but new research shows you can trick your body into burning calories more efficiently.

    HEALTH magazine contributor Samantha Heller offers seven tips that can help boost your metabolism and lead to a stronger, healthier, leaner body.

    Here are the best metabolism boosters:


    Read More........

    Overdose of Tussionex cough medicine can kill


    WASHINGTON - U.S. health officials issued an alert on Tuesday about reports of life-threatening side effects and deaths linked to inappropriate use of UCB SA’s prescription cough medicine Tussionex.

    The reports indicate doctors sometimes are prescribing, and patients sometimes taking, more than the recommended dose of Tussionex Pennkinetic Extended-Release Suspension, the Food and Drug Administration said.

    Some people also are taking the drug more frequently than every 12 hours, the recommended time interval, or giving it to children under age 6, the FDA said. Tussionex is not approved for children younger than 6.


    Gout Risk Linked To Genes


    A study led by a team of scientists in Scotland suggests that genes may play a part in increasing one's risk of developing gout, a painful condition that affects the joints.

    The study is published in the 9 March online issue of Nature Genetics and is the work of researchers based at the MRC Human Genetics Unit, Western General Hospital, Edinburgh, and colleagues from other research centres in the UK and also in Croatia and Germany.

    Gout (also called metabolic arthritis) is a painful condition caused when uric acid, a waste product of purine metabolism that in humans and great apes is mostly excreted via the kidneys into urine, deposits in the joints.

    In some people the kidneys don't clear all the uric acid from the bloodstream, a condition that is called hyperuricemia.

    Some 10 per cent of people with hyperuricemia go on to develop gout, where uric acid is deposited in the joints as monosodium urate crystals, resulting in inflammation and often considerable pain. The condition usually affects the joint of the big toe, but it can also affect fingers, elbows, ankles, knees and other joints.

    Causes of gout have often been attributed to diet and lifestyle, with overconsumption of protein, refined sugar and alcohol being the main culprits, but the mystery that has remained is why thousands of people with these lifestyles don't develop gout.

    The answer, according to this study, could be genetic. The researchers studied the genes of more than 12,000 people and found that a gene variant may increase or lower the risk of a person developing gout.

    The gene variant in question is called SLC2A9, already known to scientists as a transporter of fructose, but in this new study, the researchers, led by Professor Alan Wright of the MRC Human Genetics Unit, found the variant also plays a key role in transporting uric acid.


    Circumcision 'does not curb sex'

    GOD KNEW THIS! That's why he commanded circumcism . It's in the Bible and now experts concur that Circumcision 'does not curb sex'
    Condom testing
    Charities warn circumcision should not replace condoms in the war on HIV
    Circumcision does not reduce sexual satisfaction and so there should be no reservations about using this method as a way to combat HIV, a study says.

    Nearly 5,000 Ugandan men were recruited for the study. Half were circumcised, half had yet to undergo surgery.

    There was little difference between the two groups when they were asked to rate performance and satisfaction, the journal BJU International reports.

    Read More...........

    Iceman on Everest: 'It Was Easy'

    Wim Hof's Amazing Abilities to Withstand Freezing Temperatures
    Wim Hof runs barefoot through the snow.  (Henny Boogert)

    It's a bitterly cold winter day and students on the University of Minnesota campus are bundled up, hurrying to their next class. Wim Hof, dressed in shorts, sandals and nothing else, appeared from the doorway of a school building.

    He's known as 'The Ice Man."

    Scientists can't really explain it, but the 48-year-old Dutchman is able to withstand, and even thrive, in temperatures that could be fatal to the average person

    Read More.........

    AP Probe Finds Drugs in Drinking Water

    Here is more on a story we brought you more than a month ago! Our water supply is filled with traces of medicines, from Viagra to female hormones! Pharmaceuticals found in drinking water is affecting wildlife and humans!Read More.........

    Fatigued? Wake Up And Smell The Coffee


    Looks Like Certain Foods DO Cause Acne!

    By Robert R Barney

    When I was a teenager, I suffered from severe acne. My grandma blamed fried foods, chocolate and dairy. My dermatologists informed me that foods had nothing to do with acne. It was a hormonal problem that caused too much oil production in the skin, which when trapped in a pore, the bacteria caused the acne. The only thing I could do was keep my face clean, use Retin-A and take a load of anti-biotic's that could cure an army. It also caused my ulcers. Now today, some research suggests that our diet may help cause acne in prone people. Yes, hormones (too much male hormone) plays the key role, but our diets can cause severe outbreaks.

    As someone who experienced first-hand the trauma of severe acne, I sympathize with all of those people out there plagued with the malady. If you haven't had it very bad, one will never realize what this medical problem can do to the psyche of the afflicted.

    The following viseo from CNN has some updated info on acne.

    View Video.........

    Could a Pill Replace Weight Loss Surgery?

    (March 4) - Researchers in London may have found a way to treat obesity that doesn't involve risky surgery, according to BBC News and other sources.

    Scientists say they've identified two proteins that control how the stomach expands when a person eats a big meal. They say this information lead to a drug that could block the protein that relaxes the stomach, making people feel full after eating a smaller amount of food.

    Currently, doctors use gastric banding or stomach stapling surgeries to reduce the stomach's volume. But these options can be risky and have potential for serious side effects.

    "A pill that could replace this surgery, yet have the same effect, might be a useful alternative," said Dr. Brian King, one of the researchers in the study.

    A report in the
    Telegraph says that potential pill could still be 10 years away.

    The University College London study appears in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics.

    Sources: BBC News and

    Is Illegaal Immigration Making You Sick?

    Is Illegal Immigration Making You Sick….Literally?!

    The unchecked flow of illegal border-hoppers from the south is washing over us like a Texas flash flood. It negatively impacts our bottom line, greatly compromises our security, and erodes our national identity… but what nobody's talking about is how serious a public health issue it is. 

    They're trying to cheat the system, but in the end, you're the one who pays. Maybe you don't know this, but all immigrants who want to qualify for their green cards have to go through a thorough testing process. Basically, they have to prove that they don't have any contagious diseases or drug addictions.

    Do you have any idea how rampant diseases are in Third World countries that don't have the same sanitary conditions and health care available to them? Our screening process is in place to keep us all safe. Whether people choose to accept it or not, the truth is that too many of the illegals who "bypass" this testing process are coming into this country with more than just their "dream of a better life"-they're also bringing very contagious, and sometimes very deadly, diseases.


    Light Up Your Health

    Sun on water image

    Being outside in the sun makes you feel good - and is really good for your health! Let’s face it – we all love it when the winter is over and the warm sunshine comes around again and turning your face to the sun makes you feel a whole lot better.

    This is because sunlight triggers an increase in the feel-good brain chemical serotonin. Serotonin controls sleep patterns, body temperature and your sex drive, and also lifts your mood and wards off depression.

    Some people are extra sensitive to the lack of sunshine in the winter – so much so that they can suffer real depression called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Prescription drugs like Prozac stimulate the brain to produce more serotonin but many SAD sufferers usually resort to an artificial light box instead as Prozac can have unpleasant side effects.


    Bacteria May Reduce Risk For Kidney Stones


    Researchers from Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center have found that the bacteria Oxalobacter formigenes (O. formigenes), a naturally occurring bacterium that has no known side effects, is associated with a 70 percent reduction in the risk of recurrent kidney stones. These findings appear online in the March issue Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

    Kidney stones are an important health problem in many countries. In the United States, the lifetime risk for developing a stone is five to 15 percent, and a five-year risk for recurrence is 30 to 50 percent. The economic impact of hospital admissions for this condition is $2 billion per year.

    According to the researchers, up to 80 percent of kidney stones are predominately composed on calcium oxalate (CaOx) and urinary oxalate is a major risk factor for CaOx stone formation. O. formigenes metabolizes oxalate in the intestinal tract and is present in a large proportion of the normal adult population.


    Listening To Cell Phones Impairs Driving, Study


    Scientists in the US have shown that listening to a cell phone while driving was enough distraction to cause drivers to make the same type of driving errors as they would under the influence of alcohol.

    The study is the work of neuroscientist Dr Marcel Just and colleagues at the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is to be published shortly in the journal Brain Research.

    Even if you are not talking, just listening to a cell phone conversation can significantly reduce the amount of brain activity associated with driving, said the researchers, who asked volunteers to drive on a simulator while they observed their brains using an MRI (magnetic resonance image) scanner.

    Using cell phones while driving has been a matter of controversy for some time, but this is the first study to look at listening alone as a distraction.


    Americans Sleepier Than Ever


    MONDAY, March 3 (HealthDay News) -- Americans are working later and sleeping less, a dangerous combination which can cause drowsiness at the wheel, loss of productivity and a lack of interest in sex.

    And while most people know this is a problem, about two-thirds of them aren't doing anything about it, a new poll shows.

    "People are actually acknowledging it's an issue and not doing any thing about it," said Mark R. Rosekind, a former board member of the National Sleep Foundation (NSF). "This can be lethal in your car."

    The troubling numbers come from a new Sleep in America poll released Monday by the NSF as part of its 11th annual National Sleep Awareness Week.

    This year's survey focuses much more on the workplace and issues of safety and productivity than previous surveys, said Rosekind, who was on the poll task force.


    Cold Vs. Flu Symptoms

    Cold vs. Flu Tool Know the Difference Between Cold and Flu Symptoms

    Can you tell the difference between symptoms of flu and the common cold? To learn more about your symptoms, if they are associated with the flu, and how TAMIFLU may help check out the Symptoms at a Glance chart below.

    Symptom Cold Flu
    Fever Fever is rare with a cold. Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.
    Coughing A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold. A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).
    Aches Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold. Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.
    Stuffy Nose Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week. Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.
    Chills Chills are uncommon with a cold. 60% of people who have the flu experience chills.
    Tiredness Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold. Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.
    Sneezing Sneezing is commonly present with a cold. Sneezing is not common with the flu.
    Sudden Symptoms Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days. The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.
    Headache A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold. A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.
    Sore Throat Sore throat is commonly present with a cold. Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.
    Chest Discomfort Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold. Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

    This isnot a substitute for a professional, on-site medical diagnosis. However, you can use the printable symptoms results for discussion with your doctor or other healthcare professional during your visit to aid in a professional diagnosis.


    Colonoscopies Could Miss Dangerous Lesions: Report

    More Than 9 Percent of Dangerous Lesions May Be Missed
    New research suggests colonoscopies may often miss a certain type of potentially dangerous lesion. (AP Photo)

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The most dangerous types of pre-cancerous lesions in the colon could be missed by colonoscopies, researchers cautioned on Wednesday.

    Colonoscopies are examinations of the colon that use an endoscope -- a little camera on a flexible tube. The doctor doing the examination can see and remove polyps, the small growths that can become tumors.

    But not every pre-cancerous lesion stands up. There is a type called a flat, non-polypoid colorectal neoplasm and the California team found they are both more common and more dangerous than previously thought.

    Dr. Roy Soetikno and colleagues examined the results of 1,819 colonoscopies among patients at their hospital.

    They found 170 of these flat lesions, or 9.35 percent of all growths detected.

    Once removed, they were 10 times as likely as the more obvious growths to contain cancerous tissue, Soetikno's team reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


    Rare Gene Mutation Plays Role in Longevity


    TUESDAY, March 4 (HealthDay News) -- A rare gene mutation that restricts a particular growth factor may be one of the keys to living to 100 and beyond, a new study suggests.

    This mutation, which seems to decrease the activity of insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), results in short stature but longer life. Exactly why this might lengthen someone's life isn't known, but the researchers say the finding might prove useful in developing anti-aging drugs.

    "We found that people of a hundred years old have mutations in a gene that is related to the growth hormone pathway," said lead researcher Dr. Nir Barzilai, director of the Institute for Aging Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City. "We think this is important, because that's what now happens in nature. The pony lives longer than the horse, the small dog lives longer than a large dog. Apparently, it's true for humans also."

    Interestingly, this particular mutation has been found mostly among women, he added.

    It might be possible, given these findings, to develop drugs that can prevent aging and age-related disease, Barzilai noted. "There are drugs being developed to decrease growth hormone in patients with tumors, because sometimes cancer is dependent on growth hormones," he said. "Maybe we can adopt the strategy to slow aging."


    Perceptions: Watch Your Weight, Sure, but Don’t Worry About It

    Worrying about weighing too much may be bad for you, no matter how much you actually weigh.


    Using results from a telephone health survey run by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers analyzed data on more than 170,000 men and women nationwide. Among other information about health and lifestyle, all reported height and weight, how much they would like to weigh and how many days in the past month they had felt physically or mentally unhealthy.

    The study, to be published in the March issue of The American Journal of Public Health, found that men who wanted to lose 1 percent, 10 percent and 20 percent of their body weight reported 0.05, 0.9 and 2.7 unhealthy days a month, respectively. Women with the same weight-loss desires reported 0.1, 1.6 and 4.3 total unhealthy days a month. The results held even after controlling for age and body mass index.

    The authors acknowledge that their findings depend on self-reports, and that women tend to say they weigh less than they do, while men claim to be taller than they are. But controlling for many variables — like diabetes, hypertension and smoking — did not significantly alter the conclusions.


    Hormone users face new cancer risks years later


    CHICAGO - The first follow-up of a landmark study of hormone use after menopause shows heart problems linked with the pills seem to fade after women stop taking them, while surprising new cancer risks appear.

    That heart trouble associated with hormones may not be permanent is good news for millions of women who quit taking them after the government study was halted six years ago because of heart risks and breast cancer.

    But the new risks for other cancers, particularly lung tumors, in women who’d taken estrogen-progestin pills for about five years puzzled the researchers and outside experts. Those risks “were completely unanticipated,” said Dr. Gerardo Heiss of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, lead author of the follow-up analysis.

    The analysis focused on participants’ health in the first two to three years after the study’s end. During that time, those who’d taken hormones but stopped were 24 percent more likely to develop any kind of cancer than women who’d taken dummy pills during the study.

    “There’s still a lot of uncertainty about the cause of the increased cancer risk,” said analysis co-author Dr. JoAnn Manson, chief of preventive medicine at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

    The cancers included breast tumors, which also occurred more frequently in hormone users during the study.

    The researchers noted that the increased risks for all cancers amounted to only three extra cases per year for every 1,000 women on hormone pills, compared with nonusers.