Heavy Drinkers Outlive Nondrinkers, Study Finds

One of the most contentious issues in the vast literature about alcohol consumption has been the consistent finding that those who don't drink actually tend to die sooner than those who do. The standard Alcoholics Anonymous explanation for this finding is that many of those who show up as abstainers in such research are actually former hard-core drunks who had already incurred health problems associated with drinking.

But a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research suggests that - for reasons that aren't entirely clear - abstaining from alcohol does actually tend to increase one's risk of dying even when you exclude former drinkers. The most shocking part? Abstainers' mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers. (See pictures of booze under a microscope.)

Moderate drinking, which is defined as one to three drinks per day, is associated with the lowest mortality rates in alcohol studies. Moderate alcohol use (especially when the beverage of choice is red wine) is thought to improve heart health, circulation and sociability, which can be important because people who are isolated don't have as many family members and friends who can notice and help treat health problems. MORE

10 Memory-Saving Tricks to Start Now

Memory alters as we age, and we can all probably expect a few annoying slips like misplacing the car keys. Most of us, however, can maintain and even improve our memories by simple lifestyle changes. The following 10 tips will help keep your memory in tiptop shape.

1. Exercise your brain

An active brain continues to produce new connections between nerve cells. Play Scrabble, learn a foreign language, do crossword puzzles, read, or learn a new hobby � all will stretch your brain power. One study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 10 sessions of mental workouts in middle-aged and elderly people kept mental decline at bay by strengthening the brain in the same way that physical exercise strengthens and tones the body.


Nutrients That Lower Blood Sugar

Diabetes and its complications are the fifth-leading cause of death in the United States, yet a report issued by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists found that two out of three diabetics weren't in control of their blood sugar levels. People who don't control their blood sugar are at much higher risk of complications such as heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, blindness, and amputations.

"Diabetics are two to four times more likely to either die of a heart attack or experience a stroke, and cardiovascular disease is the cause of death in 80 percent of diabetics who die prematurely," said Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report.

Experts say the following six nutritional supplements (and the foods they are found in) can help you lower your blood sugar levels naturally and safely, and may reduce your risk of developing diabetes in the first place.

1. Selenium

French researchers found that high levels of selenium, an antioxidant present in nuts and liver, may protect men from developing diabetes.

The study, published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism, discovered that men who had high levels of selenium in their bloodstream were half as likely to develop dysglycemia as men with low levels. Dysglycemia is a condition of abnormal glucose levels in which the body fights to normalize blood sugar, and can lead to diabetes. The RDA for selenium is 55 mcg daily for adults.


Calcium supplements linked to heart attacks: study

PARIS (AFP) – Ordinary calcium supplements taken by the elderly to strengthen bones may boost the risk of heart attacks, according to a study released Friday.

The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, suggest that the role of calcium in the treatment of osteoporosis should be reconsidered, the researchers said.

Calcium tablets are commonly prescribed to boost skeletal health, but a recent clinical trial suggested they might increase the number of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems in healthy olderwomen MORE

Genetically engineered salmon under FDA consideration

With a global population pressing against food supplies and vast areas of the ocean swept clean of fish, tiny AquaBounty Technologies Inc. of Waltham, Mass., says it can help feed the world.

The firm has developed genetically engineered salmon that reach market weight in half the usual time. What's more, it hopes to avoid the pollution, disease and other problems associated with saltwater fish farms by having its salmon raised in inland facilities.

The Food and Drug Administration has yet to approve what would be the nation's first commercial genetically modified food animal. MORE

Are your vitamins actually killing you?

It's less than a century since scientists first identified the different vitamins and discovered their effects. In a short space of time, we've learnt how important vitamins are to our health and this has led to vitamin supplements becoming a multi-billion euro business worldwide.

But questions have been raised as to whether vitamin supplements deliver all the benefits they claim to have. And most recently, a warning signal was sounded about the effect of taking high doses of vitamins -- that they could pose a threat to our health.

Dr Steve Kerrigan, Lecturer in Pharmacology at the Royal College of Surgeons Ireland, says there is still a lot more to be learnt about vitamins.

Poultry No. 1 Food Poisoning Culprit

Cooking chicken on the grill this summer? Be careful. Poultry is still the leading culprit in food poisoning outbreaks, health officials said Thursday.

Chicken, turkey, and other poultry accounted for 17 percent of the food-borne illness outbreaks reported to the government. Beef and leafy vegetables were close behind, at 16 percent and 14 percent. MORE

9 Great Heart Habits to Start Today

By Sylvia Booth Hubbard

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Heart disease is the leading health problem in America with one in four adults suffering from some form of cardiovascular disorder. Since 1900, heart disease has been the No. 1 killer of Americans every year, except 1918, when the influenza pandemic hit. But the good news is that you can take simple steps � often as easy as adding a single food to your diet � to lower your risk. Add any of these nine scientifically proven habits to start boosting your heart health today.

1. Eat more blueberries

These little berries contain high levels of natural antioxidants called anthocyanins. An animal study at the University of Michigan found that diets high in anthocyanins greatly reduced the risk of heart disease. The Women's Health Study also found that women whose diets were high in the nutrient significantly lowered their chance of developing heart disease.


Lower-Carb Diet Better Than Low-Fat for Obese Insulin-Resistant Women

Insulin-resistant obese women lost more weight after 12 weeks on a low-carbohydrate diet than they did on a low-fat diet, according to a study conducted by the University of Nevada School of Medicine in Reno. (The study was funded by Jenny Craig, a company that sells diet foods.)

The two diets, which had the same calorie counts, were followed for nearly three months by 45 insulin-resistant obese women between the ages of 18 and 45. The women were divided randomly into two groups. The group assigned to the low-fat diet averaged 213 pounds per member, while the low-carb diet group averaged 223 pounds per member.

The low-fat diet derived 60 percent of its calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent from protein, and 20 percent from fat. The low-carb diet, which was actually a "lower-carb" diet, derived 45 percent of its calories from carbohydrates, 20 percent from protein, and 35 percent from mostly unsaturated fats such as nuts. Both diets required study subjects to eat a daily minimum of two servings of fruit and three servings of vegetables. Read more...

The Truth About Energy Bars

One word describes what Americans want from their diet these days: Convenience. So stock the supermarket with compact “energy-on-the-go” food touted to fight fatigue, fuel muscle growth, or help you lose weight and it’s guaranteed to fly off the shelves. That’s why sales of energy bars have seen incredible growth over the last decade, with more than $700 million in sales, according to research in Dietitian's Edge.

Cut through the hype and flashy packaging, and you're often left with a hefty (and expensive) dose of sugar, oil, and a mass of added vitamins and minerals. With little research to back up the bars claims, many are nothing more than protein-containing candy in disguise. So do you really need any of this stuff? Eat This, Not That! took a look at some of the biggest and boldest bars around to find the answer.

They May Not Have as much Protein as You Think

Some meal-replacement bars may not have as much protein as you think. You won't find pig's feet or cattle hide listed in the fine print, but that's because they're hidden behind names like gelatin, hydrolyzed collagen, or hydrolyzed gelatin. Both collagen and gelatin lack an essential amino acid required to make them a complete protein. That means the quality of the protein is inferior to products that lack gelatin or collagen.

Look for a bar that lists whey or casein protein—or a blend of both—as the first or second ingredient. These milk proteins contain all the essential amino acids your muscles need. Baylor University researchers found that when men with at least 6 weeks of weight training experience were given a whey-casein mixture before their workouts, they built 50 percent more lean muscle mass over 10 weeks than men who took only whey.
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Apple Cider Vinegar Cures Many Ills

Since Ages, Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) is used as one of the most productive medicinal tool in reducing body weight. It is believed that inclusion of Apple Cider Vinegar in your diet can prevent numerous diseases and ill effects, leading a very energetic healthy life.

There is an old saying-"An Apple a day keeps the doctor away". Don’t you think all these ancient adages or sayings carry a great amount of wisdom? Certainly they do. This above mentioned saying points out the immense importance of Apple Cider Vinegar in diet.

Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV)
By turning the pages of medicine history, we can find that even Hippocrates, father of modern medicine had praised Apple Cider Vinegar diet for its unique medicinal values. For ages, it is being used as remedy for many diseases.

It is obtained by the process of Fermentation of apple juice into alcoholic apple cider. This alcoholic apple cider is then let interacted with the oxygen which turns the alcohol into acetic acid. This acetic acid along with apple pectin forms the core of the finished product- Apple Cider Vinegar.

The studies have derived that Apple Cider Vinegar is a combination of ninety different substances including eight types of ethyl acetates, thirteen types of carbolic acids, eighteen types of alcohols, four types of aldehydes, twenty types of ketones etc. It also contains minerals like Potassium, Calcium, Sodium, Magnesium, Iron, Phosphorous, Sulfur, Copper, Chlorine, Silicon, Fluorine etc. There are Vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Provitamin beta-carotene etc. along with enzymes, potash and apple pectin, a dietary fiber.

Advantages of Apple Cider Vinegar in Diet
There are numerous advantages of ACV. Smooth metabolism functioning; Reduction in cholesterol level, Regulation of the cell water content in body; assistance in regulation of blood pressure, smooth functioning of circulatory system, assistance in maintenance of body temperature… The list goes on!

It is a very safe supplement, with no known side effects. For long times, it has been used as a tool for weight loss and circulatory health. Again, the pH of ACV is identified as very beneficial factor for the health.

Health Benefits

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8 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, affects about one in three U.S. adults, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and 25 percent of American adults have prehypertension. "That's a frightening statistic," says Dr. Russell Blaylock, author of The Blaylock Wellness Report.

Many factors, including weight, salt intake, stress, age, and family history can increase the odds of developing high blood pressure, and although many patients take medication to control high blood pressure, nutrients can also be useful.

These eight all-natural ways can help tame blood pressure:

1. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)

One double-blind, placebo-controlled study gave a group of hypertensive men and women 60 mg of CoQ10 each day, and gave a control group a placebo. The patients taking CoQ10 had an average drop of 17.8 mmHg in their systolic blood pressure when compared to those not taking the nutrient, a better result than using combinations of prescription drugs. And a study at the University of Western Australia found those taking 100 mg of CoQ10 twice a day reduced systolic and diastolic pressure (6.1 mmHg and 2.9 mmHg respectively) when compared to those not taking CoQ10.

Tracing the Roots of Obesity Back to the Womb

As doctors and researchers grapple with the United States' runaway rates of obesity, they have begun to look for causes of overweight in a critical if little understood period of life — the nine months before birth. Research has found that women who gain too much weight in pregnancy have heavier babies, and that heavier babies are more prone to obesity later on.

But, until now, researchers have not been able to rule out the role of genes. If heavier mothers give birth to heavier babies, it could well be that it is the woman's genes that cause her to gain excessive weight during pregnancy and that those genes, passed on to her child, contribute to his or her obesity.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,2008755,00.html#ixzz0vkd4Cg44

Chicken producers debate 'natural' label

SAN FRANCISCO – A disagreement among poultry producers about whether chicken injected with salt, water and other ingredients can be promoted as "natural" has prompted federal officials to consider changing labeling guidelines.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture had maintained that if chicken wasn't flavored artificially or preserved with chemicals, it could carry the word "natural" on the package.

But the agency agreed to take another look at its policy after some producers, politicians and health advocates noted that about one-third of chicken sold in the U.S. was injected with additives that could represent up to 15 percent of the meat's weight, doubling or tripling its sodium content. Some argue that could mislead or potentially harm consumers who must limit their salt intake.


Breast Cancer's DNA Yields More Secrets

THURSDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- The genetic makeup of breast cancer tumors may be a better predictor of how well a woman will fare than a tumor's size and appearance, which has been the traditional way of looking at cancers, new research suggests.

A European team of researchers analyzed the genetic makeup of 595 breast cancer tumors and compared the results to non-cancerous breast tissue. They then used algorithms to separate the tumors into eight types based on changes in the structure of the chromosomes, including deletions or amplifications of DNA, the study authors said. More>>>>>>

Calcium supplements linked to heart attacks: study

Ordinary calcium supplements taken by the elderly to strengthen bones may boost the risk of heart attacks, according to a study released Friday.

The findings, published in the British Medical Journal, suggest that the role of calcium in the treatment of osteoporosis should be reconsidered, the researchers said.

Calcium tablets are commonly prescribed to boost skeletal health, but a recent clinical trial suggested they might increase the number of heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems in healthy older women. MORE>>>>>>