More on Treadmill Stress Tests...

Last month NBC’s Tim Russert suffered a fatal heart attack at age 58, shocking the country. He recently passed a stress test, so how could this happen? In a post Dr. Fuhrman explains why stress tests fail to determine heart attack risk. Here’s an excerpt:
A stress test is not an accurate test for determining the risk of a heart attack. A stress test only identifies obstructions, it doesn't identify vulnerable plaque—the plaque that is likely to throw a clot. A stress test can only detect a blockage of more than 80% and the propensity of plaque to rupture has nothing to do with the amount of obstruction…

…Stress tests are big money-makers for doctors. They identify those people with large blockages who qualify as candidates for costly angioplasty or bypass surgery. However, drugs and medical procedures reduce risk only slightly.
Now, Jane E. Brody of The New York Times talks to Dr. Todd D. Miller, a cardiologist and co-director of the Mayo Clinic’s Nuclear Cardiology Laboratory in Rochester, Minn., about the shortcomings of stress tests. Take a look:
Mr. Russert’s treadmill test may have put him in the low-risk category, Dr. Miller said, “but that doesn’t mean no risk.”

“Maybe 3 patients in 1,000 with a low-risk test will die from heart disease within a year,” he said. “Among those deemed at high risk, more than 3 patients in 100 would die within a year.”

Furthermore, when the stress test is used for people who are at low risk for heart disease, an abnormal finding is most often a false positive that prompts further testing that is far more costly, Dr. Miller said.

The stress test’s main advantages are its rapidity and low cost — one-fifth to one-quarter the cost of more definitive and often more time-consuming tests like a nuclear stress test, CT coronary angiogram or standard angiogram. Medicare pays about $150 for a standard stress test, though hospitals typically charge three to four times that when the test is done on younger patients.
Criticism for stress tests is not new. In 2007, Karen Dente, M.D., a medical journalist based in Brooklyn, New York, stated that as stress-testing and coronary angiograms may no longer be the true gold standard for detecting coronary stenosis. Via Medscape:
"Conventional stress-testing and angiogram gives you no information on whether a plaque is going to rupture," David DuBois, MD, an attendee at the symposium and emergency medicine specialist from Pinehurst, North Carolina, told Medscape. "[With these tests] there are a lot of false-positives and false-negatives," he said.


One of the hottest current discussions in the evaluation of acute coronary syndromes is centered around the use of computed tomography coronary angiography. "CT technology is advancing at a very fast rate," said Amal Mattu, MD, associate professor and program director of emergency medicine residency at the University of Maryland, explaining the technology's improved detection in plaque composition and remodeling compared with conventional diagnostic tests.

"If you have a radiologist that can give you an accurate reading with the new 64-head multidetector CT scans, you can detect occlusions better," according to Dr. Dubois. But we are still a long way from having the new technology replace standard coronary angiography for the detection of large coronary stenoses, he said. "It is not going to change the [current] practice any time soon."
Sadly, this information can’t help Tim Russert, but doctors and patients should now take note that traditional testing procedures might be lulling us into a false sense of security by not revealing crucial life-saving data.

How Centenarians Do It...

I want to live to 100. Lots of people do it! Like the Okinawans and even people in the United States. Evercare, an agency that places nurse practitioners with its elderly members, polled 100 U.S. centenarians about making it to 100. WebMD reports:
Here are their top 10 tips for healthy aging - along with the percentage of how many said the tip is "very important" (they could call more than one tip "very important"):
  1. Stay close to your family and friends: 90%
  2. Keep your mind active: 89%
  3. Laugh and have a sense of humor: 88%
  4. Stay in touch with your spirituality: 84%
  5. Continue looking forward to each new day: 83%
  6. Keep moving and exercising: 82%
  7. Maintain a sense of independence: 81%
  8. Eat right: 80%
  9. Keep up with news and current events: 63%
  10. Keep making new friends: 63%
"If I could leave any message, never stop learning. Period," centenarian Maurice Eisman says in the poll report.
Great tips, especially eating right! Long-lived people don’t eat fast food and beef jerky. Japanese super-centenarian Tomoji Tanabe eats rice, seaweed, and miso soup. And this 72-year old gym-rat and centenarian in the making, eats a diet based on fruits, vegetables, beans, and nuts.

Gardasil Takes a Life

That’s Jessica Ericzon, an all-American 17-year old girl from LaFargeville, New York who dreamed of becoming a New York state trooper.  Tragically,  she died days after receiving a shot of Merck’s cervical-cancer vaccine Gardasil. Jessica’s mother Lisa Ericzon spoke with Susan Edelman of The New York Post:
Jessie got the first injection in July 2007.

After her second shot in September, she complained of a pain in the back of her head, fatigue and soreness in some joints, said her mom, Lisa.

On Feb. 20, while on winter break from school, she got her third and final dose of the vaccine.

The next night, "she told me the spot on the back of her head was bothering her again," her mom said.

The next morning, Feb. 22, Lisa, a hospital technician, left for work just after 5 a.m., leaving Jessie asleep.

Jessie never showed up for the class she was taking at Jefferson Community College.

When her mom got home at 3:20 p.m., she found Jessie sprawled on her back on the bathroom floor, with blood spots on her head where it had hit a flowerpot.

Jefferson County Medical Examiner Samuel Livingstone is stumped.

"She was essentially dead by the time she hit the floor. Whatever it was, it was instantaneous," Livingstone said.
Very sad, but not surprising because a couple weeks ago we found out that FDA and CDC have received 7,802 instances of people having an adverse reaction to Gardasil. Certainly more testing needs to be conducted, especially since this flimsy drug only protects against 4 of the 100 strains of HPV.

Japan's Love of Fish, Keeps Arteries Clear

A new study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology claims having high blood-levels of omega-3 fatty acids may reduce atherosclerotic plaque buildup. The research compared middle-aged men living in Japan to white men and men of Japanese decent living in the United States. More from Reuters:
Japanese eat about 3 ounces (85 grams) of fish a day on average, while Americans eat fish perhaps twice a week. Nutritional studies show that intake of omega-3 fatty acids from fish averages 1.3 grams per day in Japan, compared to 0.2 grams per day in the United States.

Earlier studies by Akira Sekikawa, assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh, showed that Japanese men had significantly less cholesterol build-up in their arteries despite similar blood cholesterol and blood pressure readings, similar rates of diabetes and much higher rates of smoking…

…In this study, Sekikawa's team recruited 868 randomly selected men aged 40 to 49. Of these, 281 were Japanese from Kusatsu in Japan, 306 were white men from Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, and 281 were third or fourth generation Japanese-Americans from Honolulu, Hawaii.

"Our study clearly demonstrated that whites and Japanese-Americans have similar levels of atherosclerosis, which are much higher than in the Japanese in Japan," Sekikawa said.
Outstanding news for omega-3’s, but fish is not your only source of these beneficial fats. Foods like soybeans, tofu, and flaxseed are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Here’s some info from Dr. Fuhrman:


When we have insufficient omega-3 fat, we do not produce enough DHA, a long-chain omega-3 fat with anti-inflammatory effects. High levels of arachidonic acid and low levels of omega-3 fats can be a contributory cause of heart disease, stroke, autoimmune diseases, skin diseases, depression, and possibly increased cancer incidence.1 Most Americans would improve their health if they consumed more omega-3 fats and less omega-6 fats. I recommend that both vegetarians and nonvegetarians make an effort to consume one to two grams of omega-3 fat daily.
I eat flaxseed and walnuts everyday, but I also eat fish—like salmon and steelhead trout—so I think I’m covered in the omega-3 department—are you?
Continue Reading...

Diet and Diabetes, Linked!

New studies reveal that diet is the key to diabetes-risk. All three appear in the July 28 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine. Here they are:
CONCLUSIONS: Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened soft drinks and fruit drinks is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in African American women. While there has been increasing public awareness of the adverse health effects of soft drinks, little attention has been given to fruit drinks, which are often marketed as a healthier alternative to soft drinks.
CONCLUSIONS: Higher plasma vitamin C level and, to a lesser degree, fruit and vegetable intake were associated with a substantially decreased risk of diabetes. Our findings highlight a potentially important public health message on the benefits of a diet rich in fruit and vegetables for the prevention of diabetes.
CONCLUSIONS: A low-fat dietary pattern among generally healthy postmenopausal women showed no evidence of reducing diabetes risk after 8.1 years. Trends toward reduced incidence were greater with greater decreases in total fat intake and weight loss. Weight loss, rather than macronutrient composition, may be the dominant predictor of reduced risk of diabetes.
For more, check out Steven Reinberg's report in HealthDay News: Diet Key to Diabetes Risk.

Problems: Obesity and Pregnancy


We all know that being overweight carries consequences—increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, etc.—but obesity during pregnancy prompts even more tangible complications. Annie Murphy Paul of The New York Times explains:
The challenges of caring for these patients begin early. “We perform an anatomical survey of the fetus, but in an extremely obese woman, the ultrasound signal often can’t penetrate through all the tissue,” Dr. Mark Chames, an obstetrician at the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor, says. He must use a vaginal probe instead. A thorough examination is especially important in obese women, Chames said, because they are at greater risk of having babies with neural-tube defects and other malformations.

Birth brings more difficulties. The fetuses of obese women are often too large to fit through the birth canal; their mothers are about twice as likely as normal-weight women to need a Caesarean section. Longer surgical instruments are required, as are extra-wide operating-room tables, reinforced to support hundreds of additional pounds.

To head off such problems, patients at the bariatric obstetric clinic at St. Louis University in Missouri are counseled not to put on any pounds at all during pregnancy, and are even encouraged to lose weight. Dr. Raul Artal, the chairman of the ob-gyn department and the clinic’s director, acknowledges that the notion of weight loss during pregnancy can be startling. “It goes against everything we were taught in medical school, everything we’ve always told our patients,” he says. Some scientists warn that we still know little about the potential dangers of this approach. Emerging evidence, however, suggests that obese women who maintain or lose weight during pregnancy experience significantly fewer complications and deliver healthier babies.
Getting fat and pregnant is a dangerous cliché. Clearly, an obese mom is not eating healthfully—bad idea! According to Dr. Fuhrman a pregnant mother’s diet is vitally important to a developing baby’s health. He explains:
We know that children have sensitive vulnerabilities that are quite distinct from adults. Their exposure to chemicals in our environment is more potentially damaging than the same exposure at a later age. It is important to realize that the diet a woman eats during her pregnancy and even before her pregnancy effects the adult health of her future offspring. For example, a recent study shows a strong association in children who develop brain tumors with the mother’s consumption of hotdogs during pregnancy.1 Scientific evidence suggests that cigarette smoking during pregnancy is associated with testicular cancer in sons thirty-five to fifty years later.2 We may get away with risky behaviors when we imbibe in our later years, but when we gamble with our children, the stakes are much higher and the damage more profound.
Maybe I’m going out on a dangerous limb here, but, if you’re pregnant and eating unhealthfully. You’re perpetrating a tremendous act of irresponsibility and selfishness. Am I wrong on this?
Continue Reading...

Pesticides Linked to Diabetes-Risk


Research by National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) and the National Cancer Institute have determined that long-term exposure to pesticides heightens diabetes-risk. Bridget M. Kuehn of the Journal of the American Medical Association reports:
The study involved more than 33,000 licensed pesticide applicators enrolled in the Agricultural Health Study, who provided information about lifetime exposure and their medical history. An analysis of the data revealed that exposure to 7 pesticides—aldrin, chlordane, heptachlor, dichlorvos, trichlorfon, alachlor, and cyanazine—increased the workers' odds of developing diabetes and that the incidence of diabetes increased with cumulative days of exposure.
Dale Sandler, PhD, chief of the NIEHS’s epidemiology branch, points out that pesticide exposure is just another factor that contributes to diabetes, like obesity, lack of exercise and family history. Here’s the actual study, via Epidemiology: Incident Diabetes and Pesticide Exposure among Licensed Pesticide Applicators.

Health Points: Tuesday


"What I learned about those first two seasons is they are long. They are a grind, especially with the Western Conference not getting any easier,'' Roy said.

Roy hired a trainer, Ron Tate, who focuses heavily on stretching in addition to weight lifting. He also forces Roy to drink a gallon of water every day before 2 p.m.

In previous summers, Roy would play basketball nearly every day. Now he plays maybe twice a week, even though the Blazers would prefer it was one or less.

"I think I have gotten smarter with the way I work,'' Roy said. "It's not so much pound, pound, pound. It's more stretching and lifting with lighter weight but more reps.''
“What they are doing is developing their own system for evaluating things,” said Dr. Warwick L. Morison, professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins and chairman of the Skin Cancer Foundation’s photobiology committee, which tests sunscreens for safety and effectiveness. “Using this scale to say a sunscreen offers good protection or bad protection is junk science.”


Dr. Morison has no financial ties to sunscreen makers, and his work with the Skin Cancer Foundation is unpaid.

Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with the Environmental Working Group, said the database and rating system were based on an extensive review of the medical literature on sunscreens. Of nearly 1,000 sunscreens reviewed, the group recommends only 143 brands. Most are lesser-known brands with titanium and zinc, which are effective blockers of ultraviolet radiation. But they are less popular with consumers because they can leave a white residue.

Olympic host city Beijing was shrouded in haze on Monday 11 days before the Games begin, raising anxieties about whether it can deliver the clean skies promised for the world's top athletes.


The city's chronic pollution, a sometimes acrid mix of construction dust, vehicle exhaust and factory and power plant fumes, has been one of the biggest worries for Games organizers.

Beijing has ordered many of its 3.3 million cars off roads and halted much construction and factory production in an effort to cut pollution before the Games open on August 8.

But a sultry haze persisted on Monday, and state media said Beijing might be forced to restrict more cars and shut more factories if the pollution persists.
"At baseline, before they were supposed to be following a diet or exercise plan, we found on weekends, people gained weight," study author Susan Racette, an assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis said. During the week, the weight would decline. But the weekend effect was strong. "If you translate it out to a year, it could have increased weight by 9 pounds."


Before the intervention, participants ate an average of 2,257 calories on Saturday compared to just 2,021 during the week. But the average activity on weekends overall didn't differ much from average weekday activities. So, it was the food, not the lack of activity, that was to blame, Racette said.

Racette monitored the participants for a year after they started the intervention, and the weekend indulgences continued. The calorie restriction group stopped losing weight on weekends, while the physical activity group gained slightly (about .17 pounds). There were not significant weight changes in the controls on weekends.

Four years ago, ahead of the Athens Olympics, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed caffeine from its list of banned substances in sport. This was "presumably because WADA considered (caffeine's) performance-enhancing effects to be insignificant," notes Mark Stuart in a commentary published in the journal BMJ Clinical Evidence.


Stuart, a BMJ editor, has worked with doping control for past Olympic Games and helped train medical staff for the upcoming Beijing Olympics.

Despite questions about caffeine's effects on athletic prowess, Stuart points out, studies indicate that many athletes still use the stimulant. In a study published last month, for example, researchers found that of 193 UK track-and-field athletes they surveyed, one-third used caffeine to enhance performance -- as did 60 percent of 287 competitive cyclists.
Numbers like those, coupled with ads for sleep aids, persuaded yoga instructor Shanon Buffington that the time was right for a workshop she developed.


"Most of us don't sleep like babies anymore," the instructor said as participants gathered last month for her "Yoga for Better Sleep" workshop at Dallas Surya Center for Yoga.

"We're typically tired, and when we do rest, we don't sleep well.

"My goal," she said, "is to give you a toolbox of techniques." These include breathing techniques, relaxing restorative poses and an introduction to Yoga Nidra, a guided visualization.

These yoga tools work, Buffington says, by calming the autonomic nervous system, specifically by nudging the body toward the parasympathetic, or "rest and digest," state as opposed to the sympathetic, or "fight or flight," state.

A new study has found that high bone mineral density (BMD) predicts a greater likelihood of developing breast cancer, independent of how high her risk is on the often-used Gail model.


The two measurements together might be used in tandem to better predict breast cancer risk, the researchers said.

The findings, which were expected to be published in the Sept. 1 issue of Cancer, follow closely on the heels of other research linking different aspects of bone health with breast cancer risk. One study presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in May found that Zometa (zoledronic acid), a drug used to treat osteoporosis, lowered the risk of breast cancer recurrence in premenopausal women.

And another study released this spring found that women with breast cancer who have a vitamin D deficiency at the time of their diagnosis were more likely to have a recurrence or to die from their disease. Vitamin D is also critical to bone health.
Fitness and exercise have been shown to slow age-related changes in the brain in healthy people. The latest finding suggests people with early Alzheimer's disease may still benefit.


"The message is essentially if you have Alzheimer's disease, it's not too late to become physically fit," Dr. Sam Gandy, chairman of the Alzheimer's Association's Medical and Scientific Advisory Council, said in a statement.

Researchers at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City studied the relationship between fitness and brain volume in 56 healthy adults and 60 adults with early Alzheimer's disease. All were over the age of 60.

Cell Phones, Cancer Calling?

The research by Dr. Ronald B. Herberman, M.D., director of the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, linking cell phone use to cancer-risk sparked a media storm. Check out the Associated Press report, via CNN:

Herberman is basing his alarm on early unpublished data. He says it takes too long to get answers from science, and he believes that people should take action now, especially when it comes to children.

"Really at the heart of my concern is that we shouldn't wait for a definitive study to come out but err on the side of being safe rather than sorry later," Herberman said.

No other major academic cancer research institutions have sounded such an alarm about cell phone use. But Herberman's advice could raise concern among many cell phone users and especially parents.

In the memo he sent to about 3,000 faculty and staff Wednesday, he says children should use cell phones only for emergencies because their brains are still developing.

Adults should keep the phone away from the head and use the speakerphone or a wireless headset, he says. He even warns against using cell phones in public places such as a bus, because it exposes others to the phone's electromagnetic fields.

The issue that concerns some scientists -- though nowhere near a consensus -- is electromagnetic radiation, especially its possible effects on children. It is not a major topic in conferences of brain specialists.

I’m not a big cell phone guy. In fact, I only recently got into text messaging. Nevertheless, the report's popularity tempted me to ask Dr. Fuhrman for his thoughts. Here’s what he had to say about Dr. Herberman’s alarm:

The bottom line is we don’t know. I always laugh at those media pronouncements that cell phones do not cause brain tumors when the quote the results of studies that follow users for 3 to 5 years. Cancer causation is a 20 to 50 year process. So we have to follow young people for more than twenty to thirty years to really have answers here. I doubt these long-term studies are even being done.

So, as someone who stills owns a VCR and doesn’t play Xbox, I’ll consider this cell phone-cancer report flimsy hocus pocus and this video—witchcraft! See for yourself:


Quick, get me some silver bullets, holy water, and a garlic necklace!

Bacteria Going Away, Asthma on the Rise...


Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that naturally exists in our stomachs, is on the decline in people, but now asthma is on the rise—are they related? Dr. Martin Blaser M.D., chairman of medicine and microbiology professor at New York University, thinks so. Via NPR:
Several years ago, researchers proposed the provocative idea that bacteria living in the human stomach could be responsible for the development of some stomach ulcers — and the doctors found that treating those bacteria, H. pylori, with antibiotics could reduce ulcer risk. New research suggests, however, that those bacteria may not be all bad — they could help prevent the development of childhood asthma.

Writing in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, the scientists report that children between the ages of 3 and 13 are nearly 59 percent less likely to have asthma if they have the bacterium in their gut. The children were also 40 percent less likely to have hay fever and associated allergies such as eczema and rash.

The cause for the link isn't exactly clear, though the researchers believe that people with the bacteria have more immune cells called regulatory T cells. They say the surplus cells prevent the immune system from overreacting to allergens, which can trigger asthma and allergies like hay fever.
Here’s some of the abstract to Dr. Blaser’s study from The Journal of Infectious Disease. Take a look:
Methods: We conducted cross-sectional analyses, using data from 7412 participants in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 1999–2000, to assess the association between H. pylori and childhood asthma.


Conclusions: This study is the first to report an inverse association between H. pylori seropositivity and asthma in children. The findings indicate new directions for research and asthma prevention.
Perhaps all these antibiotics we’re shoveling down our throats are REALLY working against us. Again, Dr. Blaser thinks this might be the case. For more, check out the audio to the NPR report: Stomach Bacteria Could Prevent Asthma.

ADHD Ups Kids' Obesity-Risk


According to a new study in Pediatrics, by researchers at Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island, children with ADHD are more likely to become overweight. Reuters reports:
The results of prior research has suggested that the impulsivity and poor behavioral regulation that is common in children with ADHD may promote certain eating patterns that increase the risk of obesity, co-authors Molly E. Waring and Dr. Kate L. Lapane, from Brown Medical School in Providence, Rhode Island, note.

To investigate further, the researchers analyzed data from 62,887 children and adolescents included in the 2003-2004 National Survey of Children's Health.

Children with ADHD were identified based the response of the parent to the question: "Has a doctor or health professional ever told you that your child has attention-deficit disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, that is, ADD or ADHD?"

The prevalence of ADD or ADHD was 8.8 percent, the authors report in the journal Pediatrics, and approximately half the affected children were taking medication for the condition.
I think most mental disorders could lead to weight-gain. When I was depressed and self-loathing I was over 60 pounds heavier than I am now—food is a great crutch.

Does Soy Really Lower Sperm Count?


As a guy, I don’t want hear that anything is bad for the boys, but new research by the Harvard School of Public Health insists that even eating half a serving of soy food a day lowers sperm concentrations.

The study appears in the journal of Human Reproduction. Here’s the abstract via PubMed:
BACKGROUND: High isoflavone intake has been related to decreased fertility in animal studies, but data in humans are scarce. Thus, we examined the association of soy foods and isoflavones intake with semen quality parameters.


METHODS: The intake of 15 soy-based foods in the previous 3 months was assessed for 99 male partners of subfertile couples who presented for semen analyses to the Massachusetts General Hospital Fertility Center. Linear and quantile regression were used to determine the association of soy foods and isoflavones intake with semen quality parameters while adjusting for personal characteristics.

RESULTS: There was an inverse association between soy food intake and sperm concentration that remained significant after accounting for age, abstinence time, body mass index, caffeine and alcohol intake and smoking. In the multivariate-adjusted analyses, men in the highest category of soy food intake had 41 million sperm/ml less than men who did not consume soy foods (95% confidence interval = -74, -8; P, trend = 0.02). Results for individual soy isoflavones were similar to the results for soy foods and were strongest for glycitein, but did not reach statistical significance. The inverse relation between soy food intake and sperm concentration was more pronounced in the high end of the distribution (90th and 75th percentile) and among overweight or obese men. Soy food and soy isoflavone intake were unrelated to sperm motility, sperm morphology or ejaculate volume.

CONCLUSIONS: These data suggest that higher intake of soy foods and soy isoflavones is associated with lower sperm concentration.
Relax, don’t freak out just yet. “It's way too early to say stop eating soy foods. It's not time to worry about whether you're eating too much soy. There's not enough information to conclusively say that,” lead researcher Dr. Jorge Chavarro, M.D., a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, told Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News.

And just to be sure, I asked Dr. Fuhrman for his thoughts on this study. Here’s what he had to say:
This study showed that high levels of processed soy foods, not edamame or unprocessed soy beans, may lower sperm counts in obese men.


The higher intake of soy foods, lowered sperm counts, but the counts were still in the normal range. Obesity increases the body’s estrogen production, and the extra pro-estrogenic effects of soy apparently was enough to reduce sperm levels, in these overweight men whose estrogen levels were already somewhat elevated due to their heightened body weight.
When most people think soy, they think soy ice cream or soy “meat” products. They forget about edamame beans. Edamame beans are nutritional rock stars! From Wikipedia, check this out:
Fiber-rich carbohydrates such as edamame help prevent mood fluctuations by keeping blood-sugar levels steady. Edamame also contains protein, which further helps stabilize blood sugar, and omega-3 fatty acids.


Edamame beans contain higher levels of abscissic acid, sucrose, protein than other types of soybean. They also contain a high source of vitamin A, vitamin B and calcium.
And besides, we already know that processed soy foods are NOT something you want to base your diet around. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Studies have shown soy's beneficial effects on cholesterol and other cardiovascular risk factors. However, there is no reason not to expect the same results from beans of any type--it's merely that more studies have been done on soy than on any other beans. There are numerous studies indicating that soybeans are rich in various anti-cancer compounds such as isoflavones. Most beans are rich in these beneficial anti-cancer compounds, and many different flavonoids with anti-cancer effects are found in beans of various color. I always recommended the consumption of a broad variety of phytochemical-rich foods to maximize one's health. Beans are no exception--try to eat different types of beans, not just soy.


You should be aware that soy nuts, soymilk, and other processed soy products do not retain many of the beneficial compounds and omega-3 fats that are in the natural bean. The more the food is processed, the more the beneficial compounds are destroyed. Remember, though, tofu and frozen or canned soybeans are a good source of omega-3 fat and calcium.

Most of the processed soy products can be tasty additions to a plant-based diet, but they are generally high in salt and are not nutrient-dense foods, so use them sparingly. In conclusion, the soybean is a superior food, containing the difficult-to-find omega-3 fats. Beans in general are superior foods that fight against cancer and heart disease, which is why you will benefit from using a variety of beans in your diet.
So I think the real point to take away from this study is processed soy foods are not health-promoting and being overweight or obese lowers male fertility. For more on that, read: Obese men have less semen, more sperm abnormalities, and should lose weight before trying for a baby—via EurekAlert!

Health Points: Friday


Roughly 19 percent of U.S. energy consumption goes toward producing and supplying food, David Pimentel and his colleagues at Cornell University write in the current issue of the journal Human Ecology. Considering that the average American consumes an estimated 3,747 calories a day, — at least 1,200 more than health experts advise — the researchers suggest everyone cut back.

Animal products and junk food, in particular, use more energy and other resources for their production than staples such as potatoes, rice, fruits and vegetables.

Producing all the stuff that goes into a single hamburger, for example, requires some 1,300 gallons of water, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. A study in 2006 by University of Chicago researchers Gidon Eshel and Pamela Martin found that a vegetarian diet is the most energy-efficient, followed by one that includes poultry. Diets with red meat or fish are the least efficient.

"By just reducing junk food intake and converting to diets lower in meat, the average American could have a massive impact on fuel consumption as well as improving his or her health," Pimentel and his team write in a statement released today.
Researchers at the University of Colorado Hospital recruited 80 seniors, age 65 to 89, and found that three-quarters of them had insufficient levels of Vitamin D.


That's probably because they thought the old levels were sufficient, said Sunny Linnebur, associate professor at the CU-Denver School of Pharmacy.

"It was a surprise because in Denver we have so much sun," she said. "And these were ambulatory elderly, people who can walk around and go outside. We were expecting more of them to have normal levels of Vitamin D."

Sara Jane Barru of Denver said she had assumed she was taking plenty of Vitamin D, but when a test found her levels were low she eagerly jumped into the study.

She said she started taking a lot more Vitamin D while in the study "and I'm continuing to keep it up there.

More risk assessment studies are needed to understand what exactly defines toxicity due to nanoparticles, and what kind of regulations the sector needs, said Hermann Stamm, head of nanotechnology and molecular imaging at the Institute for Health and Consumer Protection in the European Commission's Joint Research Council.


Speaking at the Euroscience Open Forum in Barcelona this week (20 July), Stamm said concern over possible health risks due to nano-sized particles arises from several studies that found a link between ultra-fine particles from exhaust engines and air pollution to lung cancers and heart disease.

Nanotechnology — the use of particles as small as one-billionth of a metre — holds tremendous potential for the health sector, particularly in drug delivery.

Developing countries are keen to use nanotechnology in healthcare and agriculture. India, for example, in 2007 launched a US$225 million programme for nanoscience and technology.
In June 2007, the Government of Canada called on industry to voluntarily reduce the levels of trans fat in the Canadian food supply to the levels recommended by the Trans Fat Task Force, and announced that the Government would monitor the progress.


The Trans Fat Task Force recommended a trans fat limit of 2% of the total fat content for all vegetable oils and soft, spreadable margarines, and a limit of 5% of the total fat content for all other foods, including ingredients sold to restaurants.

"I am very pleased to see that industry is continuing to make progress to reduce the levels of trans fat," said Parliamentary Secretary Fletcher. "This second set of data, which focused on popular fast food chains and family restaurants in Canada, further illustrates the commitment of industry to achieve the limits recommended by the Trans Fat Task Force. The fact that we're seeing reductions in the levels of trans fat in so many areas is great news for all Canadians."

Armstrong, a seven-time winner of the Tour de France, said the United States needs to make more progress against the various types of cancer.


"As a survivor, I think I can say this -- we have taken our eye off the ball," Armstrong told a news conference along with former surgeons general Richard Carmona, David Satcher, Joycelyn Elders and Antonia Novello.

Cancer is the No. 2 cause of death in the United States, and is expected to kill about 566,000 this year. Only heart disease kills more.

At Armstrong's request, the four doctors developed a national "call to action" against cancer that emphasizes prevention efforts such as not smoking, eating more fruit and vegetables, getting less fat in the diet, getting more exercise, using sunscreen and avoiding indoor tanning beds.
Dawn Page, 52, has been awarded £810,000 in damages from her nutritionist, although the practitioner denies fault.


Mother of two Mrs Page, who weighed 12st, became ill within days of taking up the Amazing Hydration Diet.

She had been told by the nutritionist to drink four extra pints of water a day and drastically reduce her salt intake.

The first stage of the regime left her suffering from severe vomiting and stomach cramps, but she was told these were just part of the detoxification process.

She was told by her dietician to increase the amount of water to six pints and consume still less salt.

Days later she suffered a massive epileptic fit and brain damage caused by severe sodium deficiency.

A Los Angeles city council planning committee unanimously approved a 1-year ban, which could be extended for a further year, on new fast food outlets in a 32-square-mile (82-sq-km) area of Los Angeles.


The measure, the latest in efforts by U.S. cities to promote healthier eating, will go to the full council for a vote next month.

If passed, it would affect about half a million Angelenos living in an area that supporters say already has about 400 fast-food eateries and few grocery stores.

The proposed moratorium follows a report last year which found that about 30 percent of children living in the South Los Angeles, West Adams, Baldwin Hills and Leimert Park areas are obese compared to about 21 percent in the rest of the city.
"For cattle and pigs, food safety concerns are considered unlikely. But we must acknowledge that the evidence base is still small. We would like to have a broader data base and we need further clarification."


In its initial response to the issue of cloning -- which many consumer and religious groups strongly oppose -- EFSA said in January that cloned animals could be safe to eat.

It also said it saw "no environmental impact" from animal cloning, which takes cells from an adult and fuses them with others before implanting them in a surrogate mother.

But when asked if cloned products such as meat and dairy would be safe for people to buy in European supermarkets, Dr. Dan Collins of EFSA said: "There are possible concerns ... there is an impact of animal health and welfare on food safety. We need more data."

Medicating Our Unhealthy Children...


Dr. Peter Libby, M.D., professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and chief of cardiovascular medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, calls the push to medicate children with statins “an admission of colossal societal failure.” Via The New York Times:
But I think all that misses the crux of the issue. The very discussion of drug treatment to lower cholesterol in kids constitutes an admission of colossal societal failure. Although our genetic makeup has not changed in the last 20 years, our collective girth has skyrocketed, and the epidemic of childhood obesity is going global. We need to look to our environment for the root cause of this sudden change in the shape of the human species, which in evolutionary terms is occurring in an instant. Rather than “medicalizing” childhood obesity and heart risk, we need to repair our toxic surroundings.

Another recent study, the largest ever of children and physical activity, finds that American kids experience a remarkable drop in activity levels as they reach puberty. By age 15, the wide majority of kids are moving less than one hour each weekday.

As citizens, as parents, we must strive to reinforce physical education, nutrition curricula, and encourage limitation of high-sugar beverages in schools. In too many homes, glowing television screens, computer monitors, and video game screens have supplanted the bicycles and basketball hoops of yesteryear. Our kids’ meals should reflect sensible nutrition practices wherever they’re served. (Many such practices were noted in the academy’s report, while only one tentative paragraph discussed physical activity.) Urban planners must redouble efforts to provide the sidewalks and bike paths needed by children and adults alike for spontaneous recreation.
This should be a call to action for parents. Want your kid to be healthy, get involved! “Setting an example supported by both parents is the most important and most effective way for your children to develop a healthy attitude toward food,” explains Dr. Fuhrman. Same goes with exercise.

Study: High Apoprotein B Not Good

Dr. Fuhrman talks about the new research on lipids, lipoproteins, and apolipoproteins as risk markers for myocardial infarction—via The Lancet.

This study reveals that the ApoB/ApoA1 ratio is more predictive of heart attack occurrence compared to cholesterol levels or cholesterol ratios. That means that a high ApoB (Apoprotein B) is not good and a better indicator of risk compared to LDL cholesterol.

Keep in mind that a calculated LDL is not as accurate as a direct LDL and the type of LDL measured in Apoprotein B is even a better predictor. Also the LDL particle number is still likely the most accurate test for heart attack risk.

In spite of all these numbers and their potential to predict risk, the bottom line is that all of them go down with a vegetable-based diet and go up with sloppy eating habits. But not only that, the high-nutrient diet, contains positive benefits to reduce risk of heart disease not reflected in these numbers, so the numbers are not as predictive compared to a qualitative index of one’s diet such as the proportion of the diet made up of high-nutrient plant food and a tape measure around ones’ waist.

In summary, to predict one’s risk of heart disease, or to give someone assurance they are not at risk, it is important to consider:

  • Waist measurement or waist fat accumulation (body fat)
  • Nutrient density of the diet
  • Exercise tolerance
  • Non-medicated systolic blood pressure
  • The blood risk markers noted above

Feet Eating Fish!


As an avid runner, my feet take a beating. Maybe I should schedule an appointment with doctor fish. The Associated Press elaborates:
Ready for the latest in spa pampering? Prepare to dunk your tootsies in a tank of water and let tiny carp nibble away.

Fish pedicures are creating something of a splash in the D.C. area, where a northern Virginia spa has been offering them for the past four months. John Ho, who runs the Yvonne Hair and Nails salon with his wife, Yvonne Le, said 5,000 people have taken the plunge so far.

"This is a good treatment for everyone who likes to have nice feet," Ho said.

He said he wanted to come up with something unique while finding a replacement for pedicures that use razors to scrape off dead skin. The razors have fallen out of favor with state regulators because of concerns about whether they're sanitary.

Ho was skeptical at first about the fish, which are called garra rufa but typically known as doctor fish. They were first used in Turkey and have become popular in some Asian countries.

But Ho doubted they would thrive in the warm water needed for a comfortable footbath. And he didn't know if customers would like the idea.

"I know people were a little intimidated at first," Ho said. "But I just said, 'Let's give it a shot.'"
You’ve got to see them in action. Take a look:



I wonder if fish worry about OUR mercury-risk.

Health Points: Wednesday


Eating locally raised food is a growing trend. But who has time to get to the farmer’s market, let alone plant a garden?

That is where Trevor Paque comes in. For a fee, Mr. Paque, who lives in San Francisco, will build an organic garden in your backyard, weed it weekly and even harvest the bounty, gently placing a box of vegetables on the back porch when he leaves.

Call them the lazy locavores — city dwellers who insist on eating food grown close to home but have no inclination to get their hands dirty. Mr. Paque is typical of a new breed of business owner serving their needs.
In a study published in the latest issue of the journal Neurology, taking Topamax (topiramate) during pregnancy was associated with a birth defect risk within the range of risk seen in other anti-epileptic drugs, researchers reported.


But the incidence of birth defects seen when Topamax was taken with other anti-epileptic drugs was higher than expected.

The study was small, but it is among the first to link Topamax to birth defects in humans, confirming what has been seen in previous animal studies.

"More research needs to be done to confirm these results, especially since it was a small study," researcher John Craig, MRCP, of the Royal Group of Hospitals in Belfast, Northern Ireland said in a news release.

I am the mother of two young children, and extremely grateful to my own parents for looking after them for a few hours now and then. My problem is that they stuff the kids with chocolates, crisps and ice cream. This is not good for the children, their behavior and my own efforts to feed them something nutritious. Why do the grandparents have such a different philosophy, and can I do anything to change their thinking…


… Rather than reasoning with your parents, you must change their incentives. Unfortunately, this is not easy. You could try to bribe your parents, but threats will be useless because they are doing you a favor.

Perhaps your best bet is to try to arrange for longer bouts of childcare. Your parents will have a fresh perspective on the merits of carrots after trying to put a three-year-old to bed in the midst of a sugar high.
"There is some evidence suggesting culturally tailored health education can improve some clinical outcomes in the short-term," co-author Dr. Yolanda Robles of Cardiff University the UK told Reuters Health. However, "further research is needed to assess long-term effects," Robles said.


Language and cultural barriers may hinder the delivery of quality diabetes health education to ethnic minorities, yet education is a vital aspect of diabetes care, Robles and colleagues report in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews from The Cochrane Collaboration.

To assess the overall efficacy of culturally tailored diabetes education versus the "usual" care, the researchers combined findings from 11 published research articles that compared the two approaches among minority groups living in middle- or high-income countries. All of the 1,603 study participants were older than 16 years.
  • U.S. inspectors believe a single jalapeño pepper may have caused salmonella outbreak. More from Lauran Neergaard of the Associated Press:

They found the same bacteria strain on a single Mexican-grown jalapeno pepper handled in Texas -- and issued a stronger warning for consumers to avoid fresh jalapenos.


But Monday's discovery, the equivalent of a fingerprint, doesn't solve the mystery: Authorities still don't know where the pepper became tainted -- on the farm, or in the McAllen, Texas, plant, or at some stop in between, such as a packing house.

Nor are they saying the tainted pepper exonerates tomatoes sold earlier in the spring that consumers until last week had been told were the prime suspect.

Still, "this genetic match is a very important break in the case," said Dr. David Acheson, the Food and Drug Administration's food safety chief.
Fully aware of the irony here, biologist Ronald Levy of Stanford University and his team used tobacco plants to grow the vaccine, which would act against follicular B-cell lymphoma. This chronic, incurable form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma strikes some 16,000 people in the United States each year. For all its horrors, however, follicular B-cell lymphoma just may be tailor-made for a cancer vaccine: all of the malignant cells are the descendants of a single bad actor and have an identical molecule on their surface. But the molecular signature of one patient’s cancer cells is slightly different from every other patient’s; hence the need for potentially expensive personalized vaccines.


The scientists therefore spliced the DNA for the molecular sequences of the antibodies from each of the 16 patients into tobacco cells. The DNA triggered production of antibodies in the tobacco plants’ leaves which were tailor-made for each patient’s lymphoma cells. The scientists ground up the leaves and isolated the antibodies, injecting them into each patient.

The patients’ immune systems got cracking: 70 percent of the patients developed an immune response to the plant-produced vaccine, and 47 percent produced a response specific to the antigen.

"We saw that for women there is still some negative societal fallout to having tattoos", said study author Myrna L. Armstrong, a professor in the school of nursing at Texas Tech University's Health Sciences Center, in Lubbock, Texas. "This isn't a problem for men. Society supports men, because tattoos are related to a macho image, so we don't question it. But for women, having a tattoo seems to be a transgression of gender boundaries."


Armstrong and her colleagues outlined their observations in the July issue of the Archives of Dermatology.

The authors pointed out that about one-quarter of Americans between the ages of 18 and 30 have a tattoo, and women constitute between 45 percent and 65 percent of the tattoo market.

Prior studies show that more than 80 percent of the inked crowd are pleased with their decision to get a tattoo. Among the fifth that are not, about 6 percent ultimately remove their marking.
Almost half of the obstetricians interviewed said they did not routinely ask about alcohol consumption in pregnancy.


An editorial by Professor Elizabeth Elliot from the University of Sydney titled "Alcohol and Pregnancy: the Pivotal Role of the Obstetrician", discusses the state of awareness about the adverse effects of alcohol consumption during pregnancy and the obstetricians’ participation in educating against maternal drinking.

Only 16% of the obstetricians routinely provided information about the consequences of alcohol in pregnancy, while only 5% gave advice which were consistent with the latest guidelines of The National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia (NHMRC) - which states that, for pregnant women, ‘no drinking is the safest option’.

Vytorin, Going Down the Toilet


A clinical trial has determined that the cholesterol-lowering drug Vytorin fails to help people with heart disease AND increases their risk of cancer. Alex Berenson of The New York Times reports:
The scientists who reported on the trial, called Seas, cautioned against panicking over the cancer findings, saying that even well-designed clinical trials sometimes produce chance results. A review of two other, much larger trials did not find a similar risk, they said.

Vytorin and Zetia, a companion drug, are prescribed each month to almost three million people worldwide and are among the world’s top-selling medicines.

But other cardiologists and epidemiologists said that the cancer risk could not be so easily dismissed.

The findings of the Seas trial will heighten concerns about Vytorin’s safety and effectiveness, said Dr. Steven Nissen, a former president of the American College of Cardiology and a longtime critic of Vytorin. Six months ago, a fourth clinical trial, called Enhance, also failed to show that Vytorin benefited patients, leading a panel of top cardiologists to recommend using Vytorin and Zetia only as a last resort.

Since that recommendation, Vytorin and Zetia prescriptions have plunged, though the drugs remain among the largest sellers for Merck and Schering- Plough, which jointly sell them. The drugs had combined sales of $5 billion last year.
These drugs have been sinking for months. Take a look:
Oh no. Without that $5 billion, how will all the fat cat executives pay for their yachts and facelifts!

Study: Fiber Cuts Preeclampsia-Risk


New research by the University of Washington School of Public Health and Community Medicine has determined that eating fiber reduces women’s risk of preeclampsia during pregnancy. Here’s some of the abstract via The American Journal of Hypertension:
Background: Substantial epidemiological evidence documents diverse health benefits, including reduced risks of hypertension, associated with diets high in fiber. Few studies, however, have investigated the extent to which dietary fiber intake in early pregnancy is associated with reductions in preeclampsia risk. We assessed the relationship between maternal dietary fiber intake in early pregnancy and risk of preeclampsia. We also evaluated cross-sectional associations of maternal early pregnancy plasma lipid and lipoprotein concentrations with fiber intake.

Conclusions: These findings of reduced preeclampsia risk with higher total fiber intake corroborate an earlier report; and expand the literature by providing evidence, which suggests that dietary fiber may attenuate pregnancy-associated dyslipidemia, an important clinical characteristic of preeclampsia.
Very science heavy for a dingy blogger like me—I had to Wikipedia preeclampisa—but dietary fiber is very health-promoting. Just check out this illustration from Dr. Fuhrman:



That guy almost looks like the liquid metal terminator.

Possible Mad Cow in Massachusetts


A patient in a Cape Cod hospital may have the human form of mad cow disease. Local health officials are investigating. Steve LeBlanc of the Associated Press reports:
Dr. Alfred DeMaria, the state's director of communicable disease control, confirmed Sunday to The Associated Press that tests are being done to see if the patient has Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and whether it's the variant attributed to mad cow.

There have only been three cases of the human form of mad cow disease reported in the United States in the last several years, and officials say it's extremely unlikely the patient in Cape Cod Hospital has the disease.

Mad cow disease -- medically known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or BSE -- causes spongy holes in the brain.

Eating meat products contaminated with mad cow disease is linked to variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a rare and fatal human malady.
Modern cattle-rearing practices are often blamed for mad cow disease outbreaks; feeding slaughtered cows to cows—via Wikipedia.

ADHD: Ban Artificial Food Dyes


Activists are calling on the Food and Drug Administration to ban artificial food dyes after more research confirms the link to ADHD. David Kohn of The Baltimore Sun explains:
"At this point, there's no evidence of a connection between dyes and children's behavior," says FDA consumer safety officer Judith Kidwell. She points out that in 1982, a National Institutes of Health panel examined the safety of artificial dyes and found no evidence of risk.

That attitude frustrates activists. "They're at least 20 years behind the science," says Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest. Last month, the group petitioned the FDA to ban use of the dyes, as well as sodium benzoate, a common preservative that critics also suspect of contributing to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD.

"At the very least, they ought to give some consideration to what the British government is doing," Jacobson said.

The FDA is reviewing the CSPI's petition; a spokesman said he didn't know when the agency would respond.

Scientists aren't sure how these chemicals might affect the brain. There are only eight artificial food dyes used in the U.S. To get specific colors, manufacturers mix them.
Not the first time we’ve heard things like this. Check out these posts:
I’ve never felt the need to consume neon green food.

Breast-Feeding, Good Times!


A new study claims breast-feeding releases happy hormones into mothers making them feel content that their babies needs have been met. Reuters reports:
When a baby breast-feeds, it triggers a flood of the hormone oxytocin that releases milk from the mammary gland and a feeling of love and trust in the mother that ensures the baby's needs are met.

This reflex has long puzzled researchers because it requires large surges of oxytocin to pull off all of this. Using a special computer model, researchers from China, France, Italy, and the United Kingdom said on Thursday they now understand how it works.

Their study, reported in the journal PLoS Computational Biology, suggests that breast feeding not only taps the normal brain cells involved in secreting oxytocin.

It also recruits dendrites -- whose normal job is to create communication channels between brain cells -- into secreting the hormone.
Dr. Fuhrman is a huge advocate of breast-feeding. Just check out DiseaseProof’s healthy parenting category for more.

Men's Health, All Screwed Up...


Mike Howard of Diet Blog investigates why men’s health is in the crapper. Here are some disturbing snippets from the post:
Compared to women, men...
  • Have higher death rates for all 15 leading causes of death (except Alzheimer's disease) and die more than five years younger.
  • Represent 50% of the work force, yet account for 94% of all on-the-job fatalities.
  • Know less about health and take less responsibility for it.
  • Are less likely to see themselves as ill or susceptible to disease or injury.
Why Men Die Younger than Women
  • They have less-healthy diets
  • They have higher blood pressure and do less to control it
  • They sleep less
  • They smoke more
  • They engage in more criminal activity
  • They have smaller social networks and less intimate and active social relationships
Listen, go to the mall on a busy day and just count ALL the middle-aged guys with big bellies and handfuls of mall food.

U.S. Lacking on Food Safety


At least six other countries have better food safety standards than the United States. More from Stephen J. Hedges of The Chicago Tribune:
The 97-page audit, released Monday and conducted by the audit arm of Congress, was ordered up by two of the most vocal food safety critics, Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.).

Both have pressed for a single food safety agency instead of the dual system in the U.S. right now—the Food and Drug Administration regulates most foods, while the Department of Agriculture is responsible for meat, poultry and egg safety.

"I hope today's report serves as a wake-up call for the administration and others in Congress," Durbin said. "We need a thoughtful overhaul and reorganization of America's food safety system."

The audit examined how Canada, Germany, Ireland, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the EU reorganized their food safety systems to work more efficiently.
You got to wonder, what the hang ups about improving food safety are—money?

Menthol Smokes Target Kids


Harvard University researchers claim menthol masks the harshness of cigarettes and makes them more appealing to adolescents and young adults. The BBC News reports:
They said industry documents showed US firms tested menthol levels for their appeal to different ages.

A leading tobacco company denied such product targeting, while anti-smoking groups said the strategy had not yet been tried in the UK.

The study, in the American Journal of Public Health, analysed a 2006 survey of US smokers, and found that significantly more adolescent and young adult smokers preferred menthol brands.

Between the age of 12 and 17, 43.8% of smokers said they used menthol cigarettes, as did 35.6% of 18 to 24-year-olds.

Cigarettes with higher levels of menthol have been available for many years, but these tend to appeal to older, established smokers.

In the past decade, brands with lower menthol content have been released, and gained a significant following among younger adults.
Hardly shocking; cigarettes, fast food, sugary cereals, and junk food—hook them when they’re young!

No Evidence that Diet Prevents Diabetes?


A team of researchers from The Cochrane Collaboration, an independent international not-for-profit healthcare information organization, claim that dietary intervention alone cannot prevent type-2 diabetes. Jennifer Beal of EurekAlert reports:
When a team of Cochrane Researchers set out to see if dietary advice alone could help a person with type 2 diabetes, they were only able to identify two trials that together involved just 358 people.

"Considering the importance of this disorder, we were disappointed to find such a small amount of relevant data," says lead researcher Lucie Nield, who works in Centre for Food, Physical Activity & Obesity, University of Teesside, Middlesbrough.

The two studies did, however, indicate that dietary advice alone could play an important role. One study randomly assigned people to either a control group or a dietary advice group. After six years 67.7% of people in the control group had diabetes, compared with only 43.8% in the advice group. This was a 33% reduction. In another study 12 months of dietary advice led to significant reductions in many diabetes related factors, such as insulin resistance, fasting C-peptide, fasting proinsulin, fasting blood glucose, fasting triglycerides, and fasting cholesterol and PAI-1.
This blurs reality. It implies that lifestyle diseases, like diabetes, are unavoidable. So why don’t I have diabetes, or Dr. Fuhrman, or his patients? Eating a nutrient-dense vegetable-based diet is your best defense against—and a treatment for—type-2 diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Increasing your consumption of high-nutrient fruits and vegetables is the key to disease resistance, disease reversal, and a long, healthy life. The potential reduction in disease rates shows no threshold effect in the scientific studies. That means that as high-nutrient vegetables and high-nutrient fruits increase as a major portion of caloric intake, disease rates fall in a dose-dependent manner—the more the diet is comprised of these foods, the better your health will be1…


…If the person is obese, with more than fifty pounds of additional fat weight, his body will demand huge loads of insulin from the pancreas, even as much as ten times more than a person of normal weight needs. So what do you think happens after five to ten years of forcing the pancreas to work so hard? You guessed it—pancreatic poop-out…

…Diets high in fiber and vegetables have been consistently shown to be beneficial for diabetic patients and offer considerably better results when compared to the current recommendations of the American Diabetic Association Diet.2 The dietary advice typically offered to diabetics is not science-based, and it caters to Americans’ social and food preferences and food addictions.
Okay, maybe there aren’t enough studies illustrating this—probably because no drug company would fund it—but to say there is “no evidence” that diet staves off type-2 diabetes is naive and irresponsible reporting—don’t you think?
Continue Reading...

Exercise, Prevents Brain Shrinkage


New research contends exercise may slow brain shrinkage in the early stages Alzheimer's disease. Malcolm Ritter of the Associated Press reports:
Getting a lot of exercise may help slow brain shrinkage in people with early Alzheimer's disease, a preliminary study suggests. Analysis found that participants who were more physically fit had less brain shrinkage than less-fit participants. However, they didn't do significantly better on tests for mental performance. That was a surprise, but maybe the study had too few patients to make an effect show up in the statistical analysis, said Dr. Jeffrey Burns, one of the study's authors…

…Burns, who directs the Alzheimer and Memory Program at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Kansas City, reports the work with colleagues in Tuesday's issue of the journal Neurology.

The study included 57 people with early Alzheimer's. Their physical fitness was assessed by measuring their peak oxygen demand while on a treadmill, and brain shrinkage was estimated by MRI scans.
Hey folks. Clearly, you got to exercise—not sure you can get around it.

Confusing News: Sugar Helps School Kids Concentrate


New research by David Benton, Ph.D., a psychologist and professor at Swansea University, Wales, U.K., suggests sugary drinks improve school children’s memories and concentration. Richard Gray of the UK Telegraph reports:
“Children between the ages of five and ten need twice as much glucose for their brains compared to an adult, but unlike other organs the brain does not store energy so it has to obtain it straight from the blood.

“The message we would like to encourage is that children need to be fed a little and often, but the risk is that they get fed a lot and often leading to problems with obesity.”

Professor Benton gave 16 nine and ten-year-olds fruit squash containing either artificial sweetener or glucose, a basic form of sugar. When the children consumed glucose, he found their memory test scores improved by over ten per cent. The children also spent between 11 and 20 minutes longer on a task when asked to work individually in class.

But Professor Benton did insist that schools should not start feeding pupils fizzy drinks between classes, proposing regular fruit of muesli bars instead.
The methodology of this study only serves to confuse. I’m not a nutritionist, but I think I can say this. Isolated sugars and sweeteners are NEVER healthy. In fact, consuming them interferes with your body’s ability to detoxify. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
When you eat a diet that is based on toxic and addictive foods—such as salt, fried foods, snack foods, and sugary drinks—you not only build up free radicals and AGEs in your cells, but you also set the stage for ill feelings when you are not digesting food. Unhealthy food allows your body to create waste byproducts that must be removed by the liver and other organs. Only when digestion ends can the body fully take advantage of the opportunity to circulate and attempt to remove toxins. If the body is constantly digesting, it can’t go through this detoxification process effectively.
If children need glucose, why even consider nutrition-less sugar? Highly nutritious fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of glucose (via Wikipedia), start there instead! Besides, it was recently determined that kids are already consuming WAY too much sugar.

Study: Teens Skimp on the Exercise


When it comes to staying physically active, teenagers take a nosedive; 9-year olds get about 3 hours per day, while 15-year olds only get about 49 minutes during the week and even less on weekends. More from Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times:
While researchers have long believed that childhood activity wanes as kids enter their teen years, the study is unique because it followed about 1,000 children from around the country over time and used activity monitors to carefully track moderate to vigorous physical activity at various ages. The findings show clearly that even the most active young children experience a precipitous drop in physical activity as they hit puberty.

"I was surprised by the degree of the drop – it’s a dramatic shift,” said Dr. Philip R. Nader, emeritus professor of pediatrics at the University of California-San Diego. "Younger children appear to be naturally active, but as kids get older, they find fewer opportunities to be active.”

The activity study was part of the ongoing Study of Early Childcare and Youth Development, a 15-year look at the health of American children funded by the National Institutes of Health. Unlike many childhood activity studies, the latest research didn’t rely on parents to report a child’s activity. Instead the children wore accelerometers – devices that measure movement – for a week at a time during the ages of 9, 11, 12 and 15.

Overall, boys were more active than girls, moving on average, 18 more minutes a day. The age of 13 appeared to be a particularly vulnerable time – that’s the point for both boys and girls that weekend activity dropped below the 60 minute mark.
I’m not a parent, but I think it starts with the parents. My mom has always exercised A LOT and it certainly rubbed off on me. As early as 7th grade I started developing workout routines.

Women: Obesity Boosts Pancreatic Cancer Risk


Carrying extra weight around the stomach ups a woman’s pancreatic cancer risk by 70 percent. Reuters reports:
The findings suggest are some of the first evidence that the link between obesity and pancreatic cancer is as strong in women as in men, Juhua Luo of Sweden's Karolinska Institute and colleagues reported in the British Journal of Cancer.

"We found that the risk of developing pancreatic cancer was significantly raised in obese postmenopausal women who carry most of their excess weight around the stomach," she said in a statement.

"Obesity is a growing and largely preventable problem, so it's important that women are aware of this major increase in risk."

Pancreatic cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer death worldwide. It accounts for only about 2 percent of the cancers diagnosed each year but the first-year survival rate is less than 5 percent, according to Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
Obesity leads to all sorts problems. Just check out these posts:

Green-News: Wednesday 7.16.08

Air-quality data from a network of sampling sites have revealed intriguing results, Garrison said recently at the International Coral Reef Symposium in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

For instance, Caribbean air samples during African dust events may hold two to three times as many microorganisms, such as bacteria and fungi, as samples taken from the same spot during other periods.

In Florida the Africa-influenced air conditions sometimes deteriorate below U.S. air-quality standards.

Air-quality testing in Mali, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Trinidad and Tobago has also revealed traces of pesticides, including DDE—a breakdown product of DDT, which is still used as an insecticide in some African countries.
"There's every reason to anticipate that it would be happening worldwide," urologist Dr. Margaret Pearle of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, one of the researchers, said in a telephone interview.


Not drinking enough water and other fluids or losing too much fluids through dehydration -- more likely in hotter climates -- can leave one's urine with higher concentrations of substances that can form kidney stones.

This is just the latest negative health consequence to be predicted due to climate change. Others include an increase in the many diseases spread by mosquitoes and other insects.

In the United States, about 12 percent of men and 7 percent of women experience kidney stone disease at some time.

The fraction of the U.S. population living in high-risk zones for kidney stones could grow from 40 percent in 2000 to 56 percent by 2050 and to 70 percent by 2095 if temperatures rise as predicted, the researchers said.
  • To save water a California couple stopped watering their lawn. So the grass turned brown, neighbors complained, and now the couple faces a $746 fine. More from Matt Weiser of The Sacramento Bee:
Before Hartridge could plan new landscaping, a neighbor complained to the city about her brown lawn, and the Code Enforcement Department slapped the family with a citation.


Their small brick home was declared a "public nuisance" in violation of city code section 17.68.010, which states that front yards "shall be irrigated, landscaped and maintained."

A $746 fine will be next unless they correct the violation.

"In order to make the lawn go, I would have had to keep watering it intensely, and since the drought was declared, I decided that wasn't a good idea," said Hartridge. "Honestly, I think there's a disconnect within the city about priorities."

Two weeks ago, The Bee reported that Sacramento's per capita water use is among the greatest in the world. Later that week, the same day Hartridge got the citation, an audit revealed that the city has lost or misplaced nearly 5,000 water meters, out of more than 100,000 it must install citywide to comply with state law.

"On one hand they're mislaying their water meters, and on the other hand they going out and putting enforcement on people who don't have green lawns," Hartridge said. "And there's water running down the gutters of my neighborhood every day."

Kid Foods Low on Nutrition


A Canadian study claims that food products marketed to children have poor nutritional content. Reuters reports:
The study, done by the University of Calgary, found that nine out of 10 food items provided poor nutritional value because of high levels of sugar, fat or sodium.

Just under 70 percent of the products - which excluded soft drinks, and confectionary and bakery items - derived a high proportion of their calories from sugar.

One in five had high fat levels, and 17 percent had high sodium levels.

Even so, 62 percent of the products with poor nutritional quality made positive claims on the front of the packaging, amid increasing concerns over childhood obesity.

"Parents may have questions about which packaged foods are good for their children," said lead researcher Charlene Elliott in a statement.

"Yet certain nutritional claims may add to the confusion, as they can mislead people into thinking the whole product is nutritious," she added.
Now, this may be true, but, isn’t it up to the parents to say, “No. I’m not buying that crap!”

Grilled Meat, Risky...


Its summer and lot of people have barbeque on their minds, but grilling foods—especially meat—comes with a hefty price. Cooking meat at high temperatures releases cancer-causing carcinogens. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
Cancer-causing compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs) are even more concentrated in grilled chicken than in beef.1 Another recent study from New Zealand that investigated heterocyclic amines in meat, fish, and chicken found the greatest contributor of HCAs to cancer risk was chicken.2
In fact, the American Institute for Cancer Research is urging people to substitute veggies for meat and change their grilling habits. Brittney Johnson of The Washington Post reports:
AICR's warning is based on a 2007 review of research conducted on animals showing that diets high in red and processed meats increase the risk of colorectal cancer. This is the third most common cause of cancer death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The AICR recommends eating no more than 18 cooked ounces of red meat per week -- the equivalent of about four quarter-pound hamburgers -- and avoiding all processed meats, including such summer favorites as hot dogs and sausages.

Cooking meats such as beef, fish and pork at high temperatures produces carcinogens -- substances that can cause changes in DNA that may lead to cancer.
Makes your worry about Uruguay's big barbecue—26,400 pounds toxic beef—that’s why I don’t grill anything. In stead, I steam—EVERYTHING—and according to Dr. Fuhrman, water-based cooking is the best choice:
When food is steamed or made into a soup, the temperature is fixed at 100 degrees Celsius or 212 Fahrenheit—the temperature of boiling water. This moisture-based cooking prevents food from browning and forming toxic compounds. Acrylamides, the most generally recognized of the heat-created toxins, are not formed with boiling or steaming. They are formed only with dry cooking. Most essential nutrients in vegetables are more absorbable after being cooked in a soup, not less absorbable.
Seems pretty logical, I doubt eating a piece of charcoal is healthful, so why would a charred piece of already unhealthy steak be any better? For more on meat and carcinogens, check out: The Meat-Disease Connection.
Continue Reading...

Less Second Hand Smoke, But...


Officials cite smoking bans and other anti-smoking laws for a major drop in second hand smoke, but too many children are still exposed. Mike Stobbe of the Associated Press reports:
"It's still high," said Cinzia Marano, one of the study's authors. "There is no safe level of exposure."

Cigarettes cause lung cancer and other deadly illnesses not only in smokers, but in nonsmokers who breathe in smoke, studies have shown.

For nonsmoking adults, secondhand smoke increases lung cancer risk by at least 20 percent and heart disease risk by at least 25 percent. Children exposed to secondhand smoke are at increased risk of asthma attacks, ear problems, acute respiratory infections and sudden infant death syndrome, health officials say.

The CDC report drew its data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, a unique government study that sends mobile trailers out to communities. Participants are asked about their health and get blood tests and physical exams.

The blood tests check for cotinine - a byproduct of nicotine that usually is detectable for up to five days.
Here’s some more smoking-related news. Take a look:

Green-News: Monday 7.14.08

  • Houston’s mayor claims that the EPA is underreporting pollution caused by refineries and chemical plants. Matthew Tresaugue of The Houston Chronicle reports:
"Up until now, the EPA has relied on rough estimates, and the companies themselves have done the estimates," Mayor Bill White said. "It's a simple request, but it's a very bold request. It's a request that will allow the people of Houston to know what's in their air."

The mayor said federal, state and local governments must have reliable data to make decisions regarding public health. The push comes as state regulators work on a new pollution-fighting plan for the eight-county Houston region, one of the nation's smoggiest.

It's also White's latest attempt to confront regulators in his fight over toxic chemical emissions. In May, the city challenged the permits from a nearby plant to force the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to limit the levels of the carcinogen benzene in the air.

"You can't overstate how important this is," Matthew Tejada, executive director of the Galveston-Houston Association for Smog Prevention, said of the mayor's request to the EPA. "It's going to change your calculations of everything. It will open a can of worms, but it needs to be opened."
The participants of the the German Cancer Research Center study included 60 vegans (no animal products consumed), 1165 vegetarians (eating eggs, milk but no meat) with the remainder described as "moderate" vegetarians who occasionally ate fish or meat. The health of these study participants was compared with the average German population. Living longer seems not to be exclusively related to eating meat, though, as the results for moderate vegetarians was not statistically different from those for vegan or strict vegetarian diets.


To the argument that it is not vegetarianism but a general interest in a healthier lifestyle which leads to such notable results, scientists reply with evidence that the majority of vegetarians do not cite health reasons for their lifestyle, but make their choice based on ethical commitment, environmental concerns or simply personal taste…

… Research by a team led by Professor Ibrahim Elmadfa at the University of Vienna found a much better than average intake of Vitamin C, Carotinoides, Folic acid, fiber and unsaturated fats. Where shortcomings may arise is for Vitamin B12, calcium und Vitamin D in a vegan diet. Astoundingly, however, study participants did not suffer from diseases, such as osteoporosis, typically related to inadequate intakes of these micro-nutrients.
Paper Towels - A waste all over the map. It's money that you don't have to spend, and trees that don't have to be cut down. Buy reusable and washable hand and dish towels instead.


Bleached Coffee Filters - Dioxins, chemicals formed during the chlorine bleaching process, contaminate groundwater and air and are linked to cancer in humans and animals. Look for unbleached paper filters or use reusable filters such as washable cloth filters.

Cling/Saran/ Plastic Wrap - Many people don't realize that cling wrap may be made with PVC. #3 PVC (polyvinyl chloride) leaches toxins when heated or microwaved and it is an environmental problem throughout its lifecycle. Instead store things in reusable containers.

Flavonoids, Protecting Your Heart...


Researchers believe that flavonoids—antioxidants found in plant foods—improve heart-health in numerous ways. Of HealthDay News reports:
Health benefits associated with flavonoids have been reported for decades, but it's still difficult for experts to make specific recommendations about which flavonoids to eat for specific health effects because of a lack of data. Antioxidants slow or prevent the oxidative process caused by substances called free radicals, which can cause cell dysfunction and the onset of heart disease and other health problems.

In the new study, Dr. Lee Hooper, a lecturer at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, U.K., and colleagues sifted through the 133 studies to look at the links between different flavonoid subclasses and flavonoid-rich foods on different risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as unhealthy cholesterol, high blood pressure and blood flow.

Among the findings:
  • Eating chocolate or cocoa increased a measure called flow-mediated dilation, which is a good indication of blood flow in the veins. It also reduced blood pressure, both systolic (the upper number, reflecting the maximum pressure exerted when the heart contracts) by about 6 points, and diastolic (the bottom number, reflecting the maximum pressure when the heart is at rest), by about 3.3 points. But it didn't seem to have an effect on so-called "bad" LDL cholesterol.
  • Soy protein reduced diastolic blood pressure by almost 2 points of mercury and improved bad cholesterol but didn't improve so-called good HDL cholesterol. But those effects were found just for isolated soy protein, not for other soy products.
Not exactly new news, but still cool. For more on flavonoids, check out: What's a Flavonoid?

Women: More Green Veggies, Less Diabetes


New research has determined that eating more leafy greens and fruit, lowers women’s risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Laurie Barclay, MD of Medscape Today reports:
"Fruit and vegetable consumption has been associated with decreased incidence of and mortality from a variety of health outcomes including obesity, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases in epidemiological studies," write Lydia A. Bazzano, MD, PhD, from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, Louisiana, and colleagues. "However, few prospective studies have examined the relationship between fruit and vegetable intake and risk of diabetes, and the results are not entirely consistent. Differences in the nutrient contents of fruits and vegetables by group could lead to differences in health effects…"

“…Consumption of green leafy vegetables and fruit was associated with a lower hazard of diabetes, whereas consumption of fruit juices may be associated with an increased hazard among women," the study authors write. "Our findings of a positive association of fruit juice intake with hazard of diabetes suggest that caution should be observed in replacing some beverages with fruit juices in an effort to provide healthier options. Moreover, the same caution applies to the recommendation that 100% fruit juice be considered a serving of fruit as it is in the present national dietary guidelines…"

"…In general, the observed associations between fruits and vegetables are weaker than those for cardiovascular disease," the study authors write. "However, if fruits and vegetables are used to replace refined grains and white potatoes, both of which have been shown to be associated with increased risk of diabetes, the benefits of regular consumption of fruits and vegetables should be substantial."
Quick, hide this report from the drug companies! The fear of not being able to sell insulin might cause them to stroke out.

Research: Drugs Not the Answer for Prostate Cancer


A new study claims using only hormone-blocking drugs to treat prostate cancer does not improve patients’ survival rates. More from Lindsey Tanner of the Associated Press:
The study involved nearly 20,000 Medicare patients with prostate cancer that hadn't spread. A surprising 41 percent got only drug treatment, in shots or implants, showing that the therapy has become a popular alternative to surgery and radiation, the study authors said.

Other experts said the study gives doctors important information about how to treat older men with slow-growing disease that hasn't spread beyond the prostate. However, the study didn't look at whether hormone-blocking drugs alone benefit younger men or compare that treatment with radiation or surgery.

Randomized studies have shown that the drugs can benefit men with more aggressive disease when used along with surgery or radiation. The drugs block production of testosterone, which feeds cancer cells. They are sometimes given in addition to surgery or radiation; using them alone is a less traditional but increasingly used approach, particularly among older men whose prostate cancer hasn't spread, the study authors said.

Patients often believe that any treatment is better than nothing, said lead author Dr. Grace Lu-Yao of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey.

"What we are saying is doing something may not always be the best choice, because given the overall picture, this doesn't really give you any proven benefit," she said.
And according to the report, the men given drugs alone actually had a higher risk of dying from prostate cancer—scary stuff!

Our Big Fat Nation!

For the third in a row year Mississippi is the fattest state in the country; 31.6% of Mississippi’s population is obese, with West Virginia (30.6%), Alabama (30.1%), and Louisiana (29.5%) following close behind. CalorieLab whipped up this PHAT chart:


Happy to be the thinnest, Governor Bill Ritter of Colorado told CalorieLab, “We’re doing all we can to encourage Coloradans—especially our kids—to take advantage of the natural resources our state offers in order to stay fit, healthy and happy.”

Once Healthy Chinese Now Fat


The Chinese used to eat a lot of vegetables and few animal products, but times have changed. Now the Chinese diet includes much more meat and dairy—contributing to China’s booming obesity. Reuters reports:
"What's happening in China should be seen as a marker for what is going to hit the rest of the developing world if we fail to act," said study author Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the Carolina Population Center at the University of North Carolina.

"We need to find the right investments and regulations to encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle, or we risk facing higher rates of death, disease, and disability and the related costs," he added.

Chinese people now derive a far larger proportion of energy from fat and animal-based foods, such as meat and eggs, compared with in the past, the study found.

"The classical Chinese diet -- rich in vegetables and carbohydrates with minimal animal-sourced food -- no longer exists," the study said.

"In 2006, fewer than one percent of all Chinese adults consumed a diet with less than 10 percent of energy derived from fat."
Scary, especially since this unhealthy diet shift is catching on. For example, the once healthy people of Crete have already endured the same fate as the Chinese. Their Mediterranean diet is gone and now they're fat. Dr. Fuhrman explains:
If we look at the diet they consumed back then, we note that Cretans ate mostly fruits, vegetables, beans and some fish. Saturated fat was less than 6 percent of their total fat intake. True, they ate lots of olive oil, but the rest of their diet was exceptionally healthy. They also worked hard in the fields, walking about nine miles a day, often pushing a plow or working other manual farm equipment.


Today the people of Crete are fat, just like us. They're still eating a lot of olive oil, but their consumption of fruits, vegetables, and beans is down. Meat, cheese, and fish are their new staples, and their physical activity level has plummeted. Today, heart disease has skyrocketed and more than half the population of both adults and children in Crete is overweight.1
For more on this, be sure to check out the adeptly named China Study. It makes it pretty clear. People eating a diet rich in animal foods and deficient in plant foods are at an increased risk of disease and premature death.
Continue Reading...

Questioning Gardasil's Safety...


WebMD reports that the FDA and CDC have received 7,802 instances of people having an adverse reaction to the HPV vaccination Gardasil. Miranda Hitti explains:
The 7,802 adverse events reported to Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS) for Gardasil include 15 deaths and 31 reports of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a potentially paralyzing, life-threatening condition in which the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system.

But the VAERS data doesn't tell the whole story, notes John Iskander, MD, MPH, the CDC's acting director of immunization safety…

…Karen Smith-McCune, MD, PhD, associate professor of the department of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive science at the University of California, San Francisco, agrees that the VAERS data don't amount to proof.

But Smith-McCune, who has daughters in the age range for Gardasil vaccination, says she's waiting to see the final, published results from Gardasil's phase III clinical trials before she decides whether to let her daughters get vaccinated.
And not too long ago crackpots wanted to make HPV vaccination mandatory. Dr. Fuhrman’s been bashing Gardasil from the beginning. Check out these 5 points:
  1. 44 percent of women studied aged 20 – 24 had infections with HPV.
  2. The virus disappears and does not cause a problem in 90 percent of infected women.
  3. 100 strains exist, the vaccine protects against only 4, but they include the two strains associated with seventy percent of cervical cancers 16 and 18.
  4. The vaccine has not been studied for long-term effectiveness and the protection may wear off in 5 – 7 years.
  5. Conclusion, most HPV infections and about 50 percent of HPV related cancers will not likely be helped by the vaccine because its effectiveness will likely wane with time, other strains can also cause disease.
The amazing part is how many people are quick to run out and stick themselves or their kids with a drug like this.

Health Points: Thursday


“Summer vacation shouldn’t become a vacation from healthy eating. Kids need nutritious food in the summer just as much as they do during the school year,” Kramer said. “Parents can help by making sure there are plenty of fruits and vegetables available at home. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is a critical cornerstone of nutritious eating habits and is associated with maintaining a healthy weight and overall good health.”

While it’s important to eat fruits and vegetables every day, including them on the menu for special occasions is one way to encourage family members to make healthy food choices during holiday celebrations, vacations, and other summer activities. Here are some ideas for including plenty of fruits and vegetables in meals and snacks. Remember, more matters, so try out more than one of these ideas for healthy summertime eating.
The Food and Drug Administration ordered makers of flouroquinolone drugs - a potent class of antibacterials - to add a prominent "black box" warning to their products and develop new literature for patients emphasizing the risks.


Tendon ruptures are normally thought of as sports injuries, generally occurring among men in their mid-30s. The link to treatment with the antibiotics is highly unusual, and scientists still don't fully understand why it happens. However, FDA officials stressed that many of the serious injuries appear to be preventable if patients stop taking the drug at the first sign of pain or swelling in a tendon, call their doctor, and switch to another antibiotic.

Studying childhood obesity, University of Toronto nutritionist Harvey Anderson found that kids who watched TV while eating lunch took in 228 extra calories than those who ate without the television on.

"One of Anderson's conclusions is that eating while watching television overrides our ability to know when to stop eating," the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, which funded the study, said on Tuesday.

"In effect, mindless television watching produces mindless eating. ... Anderson has some immediate advice for parents -- turn the television off during mealtime."
Researchers at the American Cancer Society and Emory University in Atlanta calculated death rates for lung, breast, prostate and colorectal cancer by level of education among U.S. blacks and whites ages 25 to 64 for 1993 through 2001.


Death rates for each of these types of cancer decreased from 1993 to 2001 in men and women with at least 16 years of education -- a college degree -- except for lung cancer among black women, for whom death rates were stable, they found.

By contrast, among people with less than 12 years of education -- those who did not finish high school -- a statistically significant decrease in death rates during the same period was registered only for breast cancer among white women, according to the study.

Teen girls who spend a lot of time on the Internet are more likely to see their weight creeping slowly up than adolescents who spend less time in front of the computer screen, new research shows.


And the association between computer use and weight held true even when the researchers accounted for the amount of exercise the girls were getting. The Harvard researchers also found that a lack of sleep and alcohol consumption were associated with increasing weight.

"We found more weight gain -- after adjustment for height growth and other factors including physical activity -- for females who spent more recreational time on the Internet, for those getting the least sleep, and for those drinking the most alcohol," said study author Catherine Berkey, a biostatistician at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston.
It's simple. No fancy machines required; just record what you eat on paper or using an online record. "The trick is to write down everything you eat or drink that has calories," says Victor Stevens, a researcher at Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research and coauthor of the study released today, which appears in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. That's easy enough with labeled foods but gets harder when you're dining out or are eating an unfamiliar food. Try online calorie databases like CalorieKing.com, and watch the serving sizes—here's a good source of info on estimating what, say, an ounce of bread looks like. You'll probably still underestimate your daily intake, says Thomas Wadden, director of the Center for Weight Loss and Eating Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, but you'll very likely come closer than someone who isn't keeping a food record.


It's eye opening. In fact, some people will be so shocked at how many calories are in their thrice-daily Coke that the "aha" moment will make going on an actual diet unnecessary. Being forced to be aware of what you're eating can often be enough to help people drop weight, says Wadden.

This funny little fruit seems to crop up in lots of popular diet plans, despite a high calorie count.

The reason: It contains monounsaturated fat, one of the "good" fats. It's also packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, and it can help the body absorb even more. It's got no cholesterol or sodium, but it's packed with lutein, an antioxidant that contributes to healthy eyes.

Watch it, though: A medium avocado contains about 250 calories, and it's easy to shovel in a bowlful of guacamole when there are chips at hand. But when used judiciously, avocados are healthful and satisfying.
"There is a very long list of health hazards from being overweight," said Ghiyath Shayeb, the study's lead researcher at the University of Aberdeen. "Now we can add poor semen quality to the list."


But experts aren't sure if that necessarily means obese men face major difficulties having children.

"If you have a man who isn't fantastically fertile with a normal partner who is fertile, her fertility will compensate," said Dr. William Ledger, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Britain's University of Sheffield, who was unconnected to the study.

But if both partners are heavy, Ledger said that could be a problem, since obesity is known to decrease women's fertility.

School Food: Middle Schools Worse...


Middle schools don’t offer as good of food as elementary schools. Alan Mozes of HealthDay News reports:
The researchers based their conclusion on a tally of the number of vending machines installed at 395 schools spread across 129 school districts in 38 states, as well as on a nutritional analysis of the kinds of foods stocked in the machines or offered up a la carte in school cafeterias and snack bars.

"The food environment changes as you move from elementary schools to high schools," said study author Daniel M. Finkelstein, a researcher with Mathematica Policy Research, in Cambridge, Mass. "And the main difference between the lower and higher grades was the greater availability of unhealthful foods and beverages for older students…"

…Finkelstein said the purpose of the study was to take a nutritional snapshot of current food offerings in public schools -- not to gauge exactly what students were purchasing or consuming. The research also didn't try to explain what is driving the nutritional shift between the elementary school and the high school level.

The researchers analyzed questionnaires and food checklists completed in 2005 by school principals and food managers as part of the third School Nutrition and Dietary Assessment study. Random on-site food inspections were also done in some schools.
Yeah, I think the simple solution is to pack a lunch. Here are some pointers from Dr. Fuhrman. Check it out:
It is important for children to avoid the typical school lunch of luncheon meats and cheese. Typical school lunches are greasy, salty, and of poor nutritional quality. Lots of the great-tasting, healthful recipes in this chapter include soups, puddings, and salads, so make sure you have a small container with a tight lid that your child can open and bring back home in his or her knapsack or book bag daily. Kids like soup cold, even when not a school, so you don’t have to worry about rewarming it. If you child doesn’t bring home the containers you may want to buy some small disposable plastic ones.


Some children are happy to eat healthfully, but when it comes to school lunch they don’t want to look different from the other kids. Packing fresh fruit and a healthy bread with some nut butter and unsweetened fruit spread can be a quick option. My children love raw cashew nut butter. If using peanut butter, purchase a brand without salt and other additives. My daughters also like to take peeled orange or apple slices with their lunch. We cut the apple into four sections around the core, most of the way through, keeping the apple intact, and then wrap it in silver foil. This way it stays fresh, without discoloration, and they can easily separate it into slices.
Whatever you do DON’T become one of The Meat Pie Pushers!

Eating Saturated Fat Ups Prostate Cancer Risk...


Researchers from The University of Texas have determined that diets high in saturated fat may increases the progression of prostate cancer. Reuters reports:
In a follow up study of men who had their cancerous prostates removed, researchers found that men who consumed higher amounts of saturated fat -- mostly from steaks, burgers, cheese, ice cream, salad dressings, and mayonnaise -- were nearly two times more likely to experience disease progression after surgery than men with lower saturated fat intake.

"Diet before surgery, especially saturated fat, may modulate patient outcome after surgery," Dr. Sara S. Strom, who was involved in the study, told Reuters Health.

Strom and colleagues also found significantly shorter "disease-free" survival times among obese men who ate high amounts of saturated fat compared with non-obese men consuming diets low in saturated fat.

These results expand upon the team's previous finding linking obesity with prostate cancer progression "and suggest that saturated fat intake plays a role in prostate cancer progression," the researchers note in the International Journal of Cancer.

Strom's group used standard food questionnaires to assess the saturated fat intake of 390 men during the year before surgery for localized, or "organ-confined" prostate cancer. The researchers also assessed the men's medical and family history for other risk factors for disease progression.
The diet-prostate cancer connection is no mystery. I asked Dr. Fuhrman for his thoughts on this study. Take a look:
Excellent nutrition has been scientifically documented to reduce the risks of prostate cancer and extend lifespan from all cause mortality. This is in direct contrast to medical testing and medical intervention, for prostate cancer, which has not been proven to significantly extend lifespan.
And here Dr. Fuhrman offers up some daily diet tips to help prevent prostate cancer:
  1. Eat a plant-based diet.
  2. Eat less white flour or refined sweets.
  3. Do not drink milk, especially skim milk.
  4. Eat tomatoes, tomato sauce daily
  5. Eat salad and leafy green vegetables daily; both raw and cooked.
  6. Avoid processed meats and animal fats; limit other animal products under 15 ounces weekly.
  7. Eat more fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds and nuts and less grains.
Fore more prostate cancer news, check out DiseaseProof’s prostate cancer category. Continue Reading...

Smokers Have More Back Pain


According to a telephone survey smokers or former smokers reported having more back pain. From ScienceDaily:
Their evaluation showed that smokers or former smokers suffer chronic back pain much more often than do non-smokers. The number of years the subjects had been smoking or had smoked was decisive. Subjects who had consumed tobacco for more than 16 years had a two-fold greater probability of suffering chronic back pain than subjects who had smoked for less than 10 years.

The probability of back pain was further multiplied for subjects who had smoked for longer than 26 years. On the other hand, the frequency with which the subjects consumed tobacco and the quantities smoked did not play a role.

However, the authors pointed out that tobacco consumption does not necessarily cause chronic back pain. It is just as possible that people with chronic back pain smoke to alleviate the pain. The exact association between smoking and back pain will have to be clarified in appropriate studies. These could offer additional possibilities to prevent chronic back pain or smoking motivated by this.
Yeah, don’t smoke.

Omega-3's vs. Repeat Stroke


New research has determined that omega-3 fatty acids may prevent stroke victims from having another one. Reuters reports:
In a study of people with high cholesterol who were taking a low dose of a cholesterol-lowering "statin," researchers found that adding EPA did not reduce the occurrence of a first stroke but did lower recurrence rates in those with a history of stroke.

The finding, published in the journal Stroke, stems from a large study of patients with elevated cholesterol levels who were randomly assigned to a low dose of pravastatin or simvastatin daily alone or with 1800 milligrams daily of EPA for roughly 5 years.

Of the 9,326 patients in the EPA group, 485 had a history of stroke, as compared with 457 of the 9,319 patients in the no-EPA group.

Dr. Kortaro Tanaka of Toyama University Hospital and colleagues found that rates of first stroke were 1.3 percent and 1.5 percent in the EPA and no-EPA groups -- a nonsignificant difference.

However, there were far fewer second strokes in the EPA group. The recurrent stroke rates were 6.8 percent in the EPA group versus 10.5 percent in the no-EPA group -- a significant difference.
For more on strokes, check out DiseaseProof’s stroke category.

Broccoli Wallops Prostate Cancer!


Leafy green vegetables are super foods! There power is especially prevalent in the fight against cancer. Here’s some research from Dr. Fuhrman:
Halt the growth of breast cancer cells.
  • Drug Discovery Today: “Sulforaphane is a chemical found in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, sprouts and kale. This compound is a potent inducer of protective enzymes that provide defense against cancer-causing chemicals. Researchers have discovered that sulforaphane can halt human breast cancer cells in their tracks and have identified a new mechanism of action for the compound.”
  • Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology: “Taken together, our data indicate that isothiocyanates derived form broccoli and Rorripa inhibit metalloproteinase 9 activities and also suppress the invasive potential of human MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells in vitro. The inhibitory effects observed in the current study may contribute to the suppression of carcinogenesis by diets high in cruciferous vegetables.”
Dramatically reduce the risk of colon cancer.
  • Carcinogenesis: “Our results are compatible with the hypothesis that ITCs from cruciferous vegetables modify risk of colorectal cancer in individuals with low GST activity. Further, this gene-diet interaction may be important in studies evaluating the effect of risk-enhancing compounds in the colorectum.”
Prevent the replication of prostate cancer cells and induce death of cancerous cells.
  • Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry: “A variety of studies have suggested a cancer protective role of cruciferous vegetables. In the present study, we investigated the effect of indole-3-carbinol (I3C), a major indole metabolite in cruciferous vegetables, on cell proliferation and in vitro markers of angiogenesis in phorbol myristate acetate (PMA)-stimulated endothelial EA hy926 cells. The results showed that I3C inhibited the growth of EA hy926 cells in a concentration-dependent manner.”
  • Carcinogenesis: “Cruciferous vegetables are a rich source of ITCs that are highly effective in affording protection against cancers in experimental animals induced by a variety of chemical carcinogens (2–8). In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that ITCs may inhibit proliferation of human prostate cancer cells. We found that AITC significantly inhibited proliferation of PC-3 and LNCaP human prostate cancer cells in a concentration-dependent manner.”
Inhibit the progression of lung cancer.
  • Cancer Research: “The results show that phenethyl isothiocyanate and sulforaphane and their N-acetylcysteine conjugates given in the diet after lung adenomas have already developed could inhibit the progression to adenocarcinomas. The inhibitory effects of these compounds are likely to be associated with a combination of reduced cell proliferation and induced apoptosis. These findings are important for future research of lung cancer chemoprevention and therapy in smokers and ex-smokers with early lesions.”
Speaking of research, a new study has determined that isothiocyanates—a phytonutrient found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables fights cancer. Reuters reports:
The researchers also took tissue samples over the course of the study and found that men who ate broccoli showed hundreds of changes in genes known to play a role in fighting cancer.

The benefit would likely be the same in other cruciferous vegetables that contain a compound called isothiocyanate, including brussel sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, rocket or arugula, watercress and horse radish, they added.

Broccoli, however, has a particularly powerful type of the compound called sulforaphane, which the researchers think gives the green vegetable an extra cancer-fighting kick, Richard Mithen, a biologist at Britain's Institute of Food Research said.

"When people get cancer some genes are switched off and some are switched on," he said. "What broccoli seems to be doing is switching on genes which prevent cancer developing and switching off other ones that help it spread."
Makes me feel extra good about the steamed broccoli I ate last night! Here’s a quick quote from Dr. Fuhrman on isothiocyanates. Have a look:
Isothiocyanates (ITCs), which are perhaps the best studied, have been shown to provide protection against environmental carcinogen exposure by inducing detoxification pathways, thereby neutralizing potential carcinogens. These vegetables also contain indole-3-carbinol (I3C). Indole-3-carbinol has been shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by decreasing estrogen activity.
No doubt, green veggies are an important ally against cancer. Just check out: Diet, Chemotherapy, and the Truth: How to Win the War on Cancer.

Your Job, Good Health Mandatory...


With healthcare costs soaring, many businesses have instituted mandatory health guidelines—like refusing to hire smokers—which have kicked off a fiery debate, are employee health guidelines good or just an invasion of privacy. CNN reports:
"Health and wellness programs at work are a win/win situation for everybody," says Richard Taylor, vice president of human resources at Intel. "We keep our insurance costs down, and the employees are offered free health and wellness opportunities."

Alfred Sanchez, the CEO of the YMCA of Greater Miami, agrees. He started a free health and fitness program in March for his staff and their families that include weigh-ins, meetings with health counselors, nutritional guidance and exercise plans. Out of a staff of 170, all but 40 employees signed up…

…Some people, however, bristle at what they perceive as having lifestyle choices dictated by an employer.

This May, for example, the University of Massachusetts Medical School banned all tobacco use from their campus and hospital, including parking lots. If an employee is caught smoking, they risk being fired.

"They won't even allow people to smoke in their cars," says James LeBlanc, 45, an employee at the university and himself an ex-smoker who kicked the habit prior to the ban. "We all know smoking is bad for you, but last time I checked it was still legal in this country."

Some companies forbid their employees to light up at all -- even at home. There are at least 20 states that allow for this type of work policy, including Ohio, where the state's second-largest employer, the Cleveland Clinic, stopped hiring smokers in September.
This is tough. Everyone wants a healthier workforce, but this is America. If you want to ruin your health, you can. It’s your right. But then again, don’t companies also have the right to hire or not hire whoever they want—barring any civil rights infractions that is.

Fat Kids, Mom Ate Junk


A new study on rats has determined that mothers who eat junk food while pregnant or breastfeeding have obesity-prone children. WebMD reports:
"The maternal diet seems to influence and trigger events early in the life of their offspring," study researcher Stephanie Bayol, PhD, tells WebMD. "We found that by the end of their adolescence, the offspring from the junk-food-fed animals had increased blood sugar, blood fat, and decreased insulin sensitivity — all of which are associated with overweight and diabetes."

Bayol and colleagues at London's Royal Veterinary College gave pregnant rats normal rat chow. But they also gave them free access to cookies, chocolate, doughnuts, muffins, potato chips, candy, and cheese.

In earlier studies, they showed that the offspring of these rats liked high-fat, high-salt, high-sugar foods better than other rats. But the new studies show that even when never fed junk food themselves, the rats whose mothers ate junk food during pregnancy grew up fatter than normal rats.

"Their fat cells were larger, which might make them more prone to obesity and might make it harder for them to lose weight," Bayol says. "So there were lasting effects from their mother's consumption of junk food, even if they were not fed junk food after weaning."
There’s been a lot of news about diet and pregnancy lately, especially when it comes to the baby’s long term health. Check it out:
Seems like a good reason to ALWAYS eat healthy.

Wednesday: Healthy Points


Denmark is the happiest nation and Zimbabwe the the most glum, he found. (Zimbabwe's longtime ruler Robert Mugabe was sworn in as president for a sixth term Sunday after a widely discredited runoff in which he was the only candidate. Observers said the runoff was marred by violence and intimidation.)

The United States ranks 16th.

The results of the survey, going back an average of 17 years in 52 countries and involving 350,000 people, will be published in the July 2008 issue of the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. Researchers have asked the same two questions over the years: "Taking all things together, would you say you are very happy, rather happy, not very happy, not at all happy?" And, "All things considered, how satisfied are you with your life as a whole these days?"
The study, researchers say, suggests that CKD should be added to the list of conditions that are associated with weight gain, including diabetes and high blood pressure.


Obesity is a known risk factor for CKD, but the impact of weight gain in normal-weight individuals without high blood pressure or diabetes is unknown, Dr. Seungho Ryu, at Kangbuk Samsung Hospital in Seoul, and associates note in their report.

In Korea, workers are required to undergo periodic health examinations. Using these data, Ryu's team followed 8792 healthy men ages 30 to 59 years with no known risk factors for CKD between 2002 and 2007. The prevalence of obesity was about 33 percent.

For example, for apricots, a cup of fresh halves is 86 percent water, with 74 calories, and a half cup of dried fruit is 76 percent water, with 212 calories. Fresh apricots have 3.1 grams of fiber versus 6.5 for dried; 0.6 milligrams of iron versus 2.35 milligrams; 15.5 milligrams of vitamin C versus 0.8 milligrams; and 149 retinol activity equivalents of vitamin A versus 160.


A cup of fresh Thompson seedless grapes is 80 percent water, with 104 calories, and a half cup of raisins is 15 percent water, with 434 calories. The grapes have 1.4 grams of fiber, versus 5.4 grams for the raisins; 0.54 milligrams of iron versus 2.73 milligrams; 288 milligrams of potassium versus 1,086 milligrams; and 16.3 milligrams of vitamin C versus 3.3 milligrams.
At a meeting of the Codex Alimentarius Commission, a joint body of the WHO and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), officials also set benchmarks for producing gluten-free foods.


Peter Ben Embarek, a scientist in the WHO's food safety division, said the adoption of the "landmark" code of hygienic practices for powdered formula could reduce contamination from two bacteria that can cause severe illness and death in babies.

People with wheat allergies would also be protected by the standards for gluten-free food that countries pledged to work into their national legislation, and to meet in food exports under World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules.

Most trade shows are the stuff of, if not nightmares, then at least a sleepwalk from one charmless kiosk to the next. Not so at the 54th Summer Fancy Food Show, where 20,000+ gourmet retailers, restaurateurs, chefs, media folks and plain ol' food fans spend three days chomping their way through a fever dream of some 180,000 specialty foods. The throwback "Fancy" is a bit of a misnomer by now, as there's a very wide slice of products on offer, ranging from swankity wines, oils, cheeses and caviar to humble chewing gums, ketchups, chili seasonings and snack mixes.
Most commercial brands of mayonnaise contain vinegar and other ingredients that make them acidic — and therefore very likely to protect against spoilage. When problems occur, they usually result from other contaminated or low-acid ingredients (like chicken and seafood), improper storage and handling, or homemade versions that contain unpasteurized eggs.


One prominent study published in The Journal of Food Protection found, for example, that in the presence of commercial mayonnaise, the growth of salmonella and staphylococcus bacteria in contaminated chicken and ham salad either slowed or stopped altogether. As the amount of mayonnaise increased, the rate of growth decreased. When temperatures rose to those of a hot summer day, the growth increased, but not as much as in samples that did not contain mayonnaise.

After following over 5,700 men for 23 years, researchers concluded that the faster your rate drops after exercise, the lower your risk of dying of a heart attack. To perform the calculation, first take note of your heart rate at exactly one minute after you've finished your workout. Then, take that number and subtract it from the maximum heart rate you reached during the workout. If the difference is more than 35bpm, there's a good chance you do not face an increased risk.


If, however, it is less than 35bpm, the study suggests there's need for caution. Specifically, if the difference is between 31-35bpm, your risk is increased by 40 percent; 25-30bpm, risk increase is 30 percent; less than 25bpm, risk increase is 110 percent.
In Berlin, where a ban took effect on January 1, smokers were granted a six-month period of grace that expired on Tuesday and those who breach the ban now face fines of 1,000 euros (1,575 dollars).


In the eastern state of Saxony, fines can run up to 5,000 euros but in the northern port of Hamburg and Thuringia, in eastern Germany, the highest fine authorities can issue is 500 euros.

The wealthy southern state of Bavaria is considered to have the country's toughest public smoking ban because it prohibits restaurants from opening separate smoking sections -- a practice allowed in other states.

Acne: Diet a Major Determining Factor...

Modern medicine is a mess. Drug companies pull the strings and too many doctors go with the flow. They’ve lost touch with reality. Dr. Fuhrman explains:

Dermatologists insist that food has nothing to do with acne, rheumatologists insist that food has nothing to do with rheumatoid arthritis, and gastroenterologists insist that food has nothing to do with irritable and inflammatory bowel disease. Even cardiologists have been resistant to accept the accumulating evidence that atherosclerosis is entirely avoidable.

As for dermatology, a new study has determined that foods like milk and refined carbohydrates are responsible for an increased incidence of acne. Via Family Practice News:

The link between milk consumption and acne has been extensively pursued by investigators at the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, said Dr. Mancini. In a prospective cohort study of 6,094 girls, aged 9–15 years, who were children of Nurses' Health Study II participants, self-reported greater consumption of milk—whether whole, low-fat, or skim—on food frequency questionnaires was independently associated with acne severity in a multivariate analysis, said Dr. Mancini, head of pediatric dermatology at Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago.

Those who drank two or more servings of milk per day during the 2-year study period were roughly 20% more likely to have acne than were girls who drank less than one serving per week. The results weren't significantly altered by excluding girls using contraceptives or restricting the analysis to those who were less than 11 years old at baseline (Dermatol. Online J. 2006;12:1)…

…In an editorial accompanying an earlier study by the group, Dr. F. William Danby, a dermatologist at Dartmouth University, Hanover, N.H., noted that 75%–90% of all milk reaching the marketplace comes from pregnant cows. This milk contains progesterone, other dihydrotestosterone precursors, somatostatin, prolactin, insulin, growth factor-releasing hormone, insulinlike growth factors 1 and 2, and numerous other substances that could stimulate pilosebaceous activity (J. Am. Acad. Dermatol. 2005;552:360-2).

Dr. Mancini noted that the link between acne and a high-glycemic-load diet rich in processed carbohydrates was made by Loren Cordain, Ph.D., and coworkers at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. In contrast to the near-universal prevalence of acne in adolescents in modern developed countries, they reported a rate of essentially zero in two non-Westernized populations: the Aché hunter-gatherers of Paraguay and Kitavan Islanders of Papua New Guinea. These subjects also had low serum insulin and high insulin sensitivity.

Dr. Danby is a champion of the diet-acne connection. Here are a couple more links to his work:

The power of nutritional-intervention—food as medicine—can’t and shouldn’t be ignored. More from Dr. Fuhrman:

Most chronic illnesses have been earned from a lifetime of inferior nutrition, which eventually results in abnormal function or frequent discomfort. These illnesses are not beyond our control, they are not primarily genetic, and they are not the normal consequence of aging. True, we all have our weakest links governed by genetics; but these links need never reveal themselves unless our health deteriorates. Superior health flows naturally as a result of superior nutrition. Our predisposition to certain illnesses can remain hidden.

In fact, here's a great success story from one of Dr. Fuhrman's patients. Check out Caitlin's triumph, told by her proud mother:

For approximately a year before consulting with Dr. Fuhrman, our daughter Caitlin suffered from progressive fatigue, severe acne, and chronic stomach upset. It caused numerous absences from school, which was troubling because Caitlin was an honor student who had always done well academically. After seeing several doctors with no diagnosis, Caitlin became exceedingly frustrated and asked us to enroll her in counseling for stress management. We began counseling as a family. Caitlin’s symptoms worsened and she was eventually diagnosed with ulcers. Six weeks later, we learned that the tests revealed an alarmingly high presence of the antibodies that fight bacterially-based ulcers. According to the doctor, Caitlin probably had the bacteria in her stomach for more than a year. He immediately prescribed a course of four antibiotics taken simultaneously, which destroyed her digestive system. She was worse than ever. We asked our counselor to recommend a physician who practiced nutritional medicine and we were led to Dr. Fuhrman. He immediately put Caitlin on a cleansing diet with lots of green vegetables and high nutrient soups, but no medication of any kind. Over those first two months, as her digestive system healed, Caitlin regained her energy and her skin cleared. No more stomach upset, no more acne, no more fatigue. Caitlin was healthy in body and spirit and she was discharged from counseling. She graduated from high school with honors and received a scholarship to pursue her college education. We are so grateful to Dr. Fuhrman and nutritional medicine and can’t imagine where we would be without this approach.

I think dermatologists need to expand their minds a little and not take themselves so seriously. Dr. Cox from Scrubs would agree. Take a look:


In all seriousness, food is wonderful medicine. Just check out this post: Diet Influences So Many Aspects of Health.

Low HDL Linked to Poor Memory, So Go Nuts!


A new study associates HDL cholesterol—good cholesterol—with bad short-term memory in middle-aged adults. Reuters reports:
The researchers examined the relationship between blood fats and memory using data on 3673 individuals, who were an average of 55 years old when tested between 1997 and 1999.

Short-term verbal memory was assessed at the outset with a 20-word free recall test. Memory deficit was defined as recalling no more than four words. Memory decline was defined as a reduction of two or more words between the first test and a second test, performed in 2002-2004.

The results are reported in the medical journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.

Compared with a high HDL level, low HDL was associated with memory deficit during both tests. After adjusting for sociodemographic factors, illnesses, and medication use, those with low HDL were 27 percent and 53 percent more likely to have a memory deficit on the first and second test, respectively.
Fret not, nuts and seeds are a great natural way to boost your HDL cholesterol. Dr. Fuhrman explains in Nuts & Seeds Protect Against Heart Disease. Here’s a bit:
Perhaps one of the most unexpected and novel findings in nutritional epidemiology in the past five years has been that nut consumption offers such strong protection against heart disease. Several clinical studies have observed beneficial effects of diets high in nuts (including walnuts, peanuts, almonds, and other nuts) on blood lipids.1 A review of 23 intervention trials using nuts and seeds demonstrated convincingly that eating nuts daily decreases total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.2 Not only do nuts and seeds lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and raise HDL (good) cholesterol, they can help normalize a dangerous type of LDL molecule (the small, dense LDL particles that damage the endothelial cells that line the blood vessels).3


Ellagitannins (ETs) are dietary polyphenols with potent antioxidant and other cancer chemopreventive activities that are found in berries, nuts (especially walnuts), and seeds.4 Walnuts can reduce Creactive protein and harmful plaque adhesion molecules, two significant markers of inflammation in arteries. The result is improved, and even restored, endothelial function (which includes the elastic property of arteries that allows dilation when necessary to meet an increased demand of blood).According to the researchers, walnuts are the first food to show such cardiovascular benefits.5
See, going nuts is a good thing!
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Tuesday: Health Points


The report by scientists at the WHO's International Agency for Cancer Research urged more countries to adopt smoking bans in public and at the workplace, saying there was enough evidence to prove they work, without hurting businesses such as restaurants and bars.

"Implementation of such policies can have a broader population effect of increasing smoke-free environments," the researchers wrote in the Lancet Oncology special report.

"Not only do these policies achieve their aim of protecting the health of non-smokers by decreasing exposure to second-hand smoke, they also have many effects on smoking behavior, which compound the health benefits."
Watching television in America takes some getting used to. Apart from the accent, it is strange to hear companies marketing drugs directly to the consumer. Not only do they sell their own brand, but they actively name and shame their competitors' products. During a commercial break there may be two different brands of antihistamine telling you how bad the other is.


Direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) is the promotion of prescription drugs through newspaper, magazine, television and internet marketing. Although the drug industry is mounting major campaigns to have DTCA allowed in Europe and Canada, the only two developed countries where it is currently legal are the U.S. and New Zealand.

Studies have shown that increases in DTCA have contributed to overall increases in spending on both the advertised drug itself and on other drugs that treat the same conditions. For example, one study of 64 drugs found a median increase in sales of $2.20 for every $1 spent on DTCA. It has been reported that 10 of the leading 12 brand-name drugs with DTCA campaigns have sales in excess of $1 billion annually.

The Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office on Women's Health launched BodyWorks in 2006 by training instructors in the hopes that they would bring the program home to their communities. All materials are provided free, but communities must find the resources to pay trainers and a place to offer the program.


"Throughout the years I've worked with nutritionists, I've worked with diet programs, and it's very frustrating," Dr. Monica Richter, a pediatrician on staff at the Children's Hospital Seattle and a BodyWorks instructor who coordinates fundraising to help support the program, told Reuters Health. "I'm hoping that this will be one of the answers to this growing problem."

Girls 9 to 13 years old who are overweight or obese are referred to BodyWorks through their pediatrician, or by word of mouth. Parents and caregivers attend 10 weekly 90-minute sessions, and girls are expected to show up for at least three. The goal is to give parents and caregivers "hands-on tools to make small behavior changes to prevent obesity and help maintain a healthier weight," according to the BodyWorks Web site (http://www.womenshealth.gov/bodyworks/).
However, a new study suggests that the Nutrition Facts panel found on the side of grocery store products does a poor job of getting that message across to consumers.


"It's very misleading to just throw a number out there," contends study author Elizabeth Howlett, a professor of marketing at the University of Arkansas, in Little Rock.

Her team found that the average health-conscious consumer is often misled by trans fat information found on the Nutrition Facts panel.

The main problem is that because no amount of trans fat is good for you, it makes no sense to post a percentage of the "recommended daily value" -- as is done with other ingredients such as sugar, or total or saturated fats. So consumers are just left with a number -- such as 2, 3 or 4 grams of trans fat per serving -- and no way of interpreting how unhealthy that might be.

What surprises me most about it is that the parking lot next to the field is not full. I would think people would be lined up to climb up on that roof and get a good look at the art from above.
Even a bra that perfectly maximized motion (without sacrificing support and comfort) would be useful to me only if there were a way to turn that motion into energy. For a primer on how to do that, I turned to Professor Zhong Lin Wang of Georgia Tech, who is currently working to develop fabric made from nanowires that will capture energy from motion. Wang's wires are about 1/1,000th the width of a human hair. When woven together in a fabric, these nanowires rub up against one another and convert the mechanical energy from the friction into an electric charge. According to Wang, the fabric is cheap to produce and surprisingly efficient; his team hopes to use it to create energy-generating T-shirts and other articles of clothing. A square meter of fiber produces about 80 milliwatts of power, which is enough to run a small device like a cell phone. Wang expects to have a shirt available for purchase within five years.


Many bra patterns call for about a meter of fabric, which would probably mean that a regular bra would have enough energy to power an iPod. But the fabric could also be layered, doubling or even tripling the amount of energy produced. I asked Wang whether his fabric could be used to make a bra. "Bras would be ideal," he said. "There is a lot of friction and movement in that general area. And the fabric would be thick."

Parents secretly putting things (even if it's broccoli) into their children's food without their knowing it? When they grow up, I wonder what they'll think of that?


Seems a trust is broken here, and I'm not sure it won't affect food issues these children may have down the line.

Delicious is key where food and children are concerned. If a parent wants to get a child to eat fruit, he or she can wash, chop and freeze fresh strawberries, then take a blender and pour in one cup of fat-free milk. Add three packages of artificial sweetener. Add four or five frozen strawberries, and blend. Keep adding strawberries until you have a thick, luscious strawberry milkshake that could stand toe-to-toe with any fast-food shake you've ever had.
Condition worsened
The girl grew increasingly weak and feverish and "became more limp, appears sleepy, acts as if drunk," the report said. She was hospitalized and underwent surgery and was finally withdrawn from life support. She died April 5, according to the report.


The 9- and 6-year-olds suffered from mitochondrial disorders, a spectrum of genetic diseases that has received almost no attention from federal health officials. The 9-year-old, Hannah Poling, was 19 months old and developing normally in 2000 when she received five shots against nine infectious diseases. Two days later, she developed a fever, cried inconsolably and refused to walk. In the next seven months, she spiraled downward, and in 2001, she was diagnosed with autism.