Better Diet, More Exercise Could Cut World Cancer

In 2007, 7.6 million people died from cancer worldwide, but a new study by World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research reveals better diets, more exercise and controlling weight is enough to stifle global cancer rates. Calling cancer “mostly preventable” researchers found 43% of colon and 42% of breast cancer in the U.K., 45% of bowel and 38% of breast cancer in the U.S., and other cancers, like prostate and pancreas, could be avoided with healthier lifestyles and diets consisting of more fruits and vegetables and less meat and dairy; Reuters reports

No real shocker here. Foods high in saturated fat, i.e. meat and dairy, are constantly being linked to cancer, like adenocarcinomas and carcinoid tumors in the small intestine, disease progression after prostate cancer surgery, and dioxin, a toxic compound found butter and cheese, is a prominent risk-factor for cancer. So don’t be like this dope and ignore everything and only eat bacon for a month!

Now, flip the script for a second, fruits and vegetables have the opposite effect on cancer. Recently, research determined sulforaphane, a chemical found in green veggies like broccoli, induces enzymes that protect against cancer and eating 28 servings of vegetables a week can cut the risk of prostate cancer by 33%. And fruits, like pomegranates, are packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants.

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Fad Diets Fail. So Just Eat Less.

Guess what! Fad diets don’t cut it. A new study in yesterday’s New England Journal of Medicine showed gimmick diets, such as high-protein, low-carb and low-fat, aren’t as good as simply cutting calories. The participants, 811 overweight adults, were randomly assigned a diet and each person was encouraged to cut calories, exercise 90 minutes a week, keep a food diary and meet with a nutrition counselor. At the end of the study, no diet came out ahead, people lost an average of 13 pounds over six months, but all groups gained back their weight after a year; the Associated Press reports.

Quick, let’s break it down. Low-carb is bad, too much cancer and heart disease-promoting saturated fat. Plus, a recent study showed low-carb diets make you dopey. High-protein is equally stupid. According to Dr. Fuhrman these fat or meat-centered diets are unquestionably associated with obesity, not weight-loss. And the low-fat diet, as most Americans know it, is what made us all fat in the first place.

Here’s a better choice—coincidently, it jives with the new study—Dr. Fuhrman’s nutrient-dense diet, i.e. lots of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and beans, makes it easy to maintain a healthy bodyweight, specifically green veggies. Green vegetables are packed with fiber and low in calories, meaning you can eat lots of them, fill your stomach quickly and still lose weight. How’s that for a sale pitch!

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Health-Points: Friday 2.27.09

  • I guess squirrels don’t get peanut allergies. But kids don’t have to get them either! A new study in the journal Allergy claims kids fed increasing amounts of peanut flour over a period of six weeks actually built up higher thresholds to peanuts over time; via FoodNavigator.

 

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Glass of Wine a Day Ups Cancer Risk in Woman

Drinking around slick men with greased hair and pinky rings is risky enough. But sorry ladies, it just got worse. A new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found women who drink 1 glass of wine each day raise their risk of certain cancers, like throat, breast and liver cancer, by as much as 22%. Experts examined survey answers from 1 million women in the U.K. and 68,775 cancer diagnoses over 7years. Findings also revealed drinking 2 glasses of wine day doubled risk; The Daily Telegraph reports.

Red wine has a reputation of being healthy. It’s not. According to Dr. Fuhrman wine can lead to extra belly fat, breast cancer and stroke. Wine usually gets the thumbs up for resveratrol a plant compound found in the skin of red grapes linked to cancer prevention, but you don’t need booze to get antioxidants, like resveratrol, all fruits and veggies are packed with disease-fighting phytonutrients.

But some people are insane. They have no problem giving their toddler wine. Eek!

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Mental Fatigue Makes Workouts Harder

Wow, new findings in the Journal of Applied Physiology suggest being mentally tired may cause you to become exhausted more quickly during exercise, but researchers claim your muscles and heart don’t underperform. It’s your “perceived effort” that’s dragging you down. On one day 16 participants were given a demanding 90-minute test and on another day they watched TV for 90-minutes. When put on a stationary bike 15% of subjects stopped exercising sooner when they were mentally pooped; Reuters explains.

I relate to this big time! Tell me if you do too. A year ago I exercised a ton; Yoga, running, weights and more running! But I couldn’t do it anymore, too busy. Nowadays, DiseaseProof draws major attention, so I had to step up my game, hopefully you’ve noticed. Long story short, I was leaving the gym near death. Now I’ve cut back. I still exercise 6 days a week, but for shorter intervals and no more working out twice a day. That was crazy!

Clearly, pushing yourself to mental and physical exhaustion is a dumb idea. Our bodies need sufficient rest and recovery to function properly and previous reports insist Americans are overworked and under-slept. So cut yourself a break. You probably need it.

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Obesity Kills Young Men

The obesity problem always raises some weird news, like to combat obesity New York City put posters displaying the number of calories in popular fast foods, like cheeseburgers and muffins, all over the subways. Then a city in Italy wanted to pay people to lose weight and some experts believe people are fat because they have sick fat cells.

But this news is not so light, no pun-intended, research in British Medical Journal claims obese young men, at the age of 18, are more likely to die prematurely later in life than normal weight teenagers. After reviewing the deaths of over 45,000 men, scientists determined the incidence of death was highest among the obese; Reuters reports.

And recently, studies have come out linking obesity to cancer, headaches, high blood pressure and thyroid inflammation in children.

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Salt Worse for People with Metabolic Syndrome

According to a new study in The Lancet salt may be more harmful for patients with metabolic syndrome, a major predicator of heart disease and type-2 diabetes, increasing risk of high blood pressure. Researchers examined over 1,900 Chinese people, ages 16 and up, they were fed either a high or low-sodium diet for 7 days and their blood pressure was checked regularly. Results showed participants with metabolic syndrome were more likely to be sensitive salt and had higher blood pressure; HealthDay News reports.

Salt gets a bad rap. But it’s warranted. A recent report found reducing salt helps lower systolic blood pressure by helping blood vessels relax. And in September, experts at American Heart Association claimed cutting salt helps control high blood pressure. Salt also contributes to heart disease and stroke.

As for metabolic syndrome, previous studies show red meat increases the risk of metabolic syndrome but eating some mixed nuts everyday lowers risk by 13.7%. Nutty!

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Vitamin D Lowers Risk of Multiple Sclerosis

Vitamin D supplements may reduce the risk of multiple sclerosis. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune condition causing the immune system to attack the central nervous system. Disease onset occurs in young adults and affects 350,000 people in the United States, but new findings in the journal PLoS Genetics reveal giving infants vitamin D may “switch on” certain genes and lower overall risk of multiple sclerosis; NutraIngredients reports.

Our bodies convert ultraviolet rays from the sun into vitamin D and vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium, leading to stronger bones and less risk of osteoporosis. And getting sufficient vitamin D has been linked to lower risk of prostate cancer and hypertension.

Actually in 2006, Harvard researchers also determined higher levels of vitamin D may protect against multiple sclerosis.

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Blueberries Protect Young Kids Against Cancer

I eat a lot of blueberries. I pile them into everything. Even my breakfast pudding! Dr. Fuhrman loves blueberries too. He considers blueberries an excellent food for superior health and longevity. They’re packed with healthful nutrients and phytochemicals, like tannins, anthocyanidins, flavonoids, and polyphenols and proanthcyanidins, which are linked to prolonged mental health and cancer prevention.

Now, more good news for blueberries! New findings in the journal Antioxidants & Redox Signaling suggest consuming blueberries may reduce the size of cancer tumors found in infants and young children, as well as improve cancer survival. After feeding mice a blueberry extract, researchers observed doubled lifespan and tumors 60% smaller than control mice; NutraIngredients investigates.

In 2007, a study reported blueberries, specifically a compound called pterostilbene, also found in other fruits, like grapes and strawberries, may help prevent pre-cancerous colon lesions. Oh, and try pomegranates too. Pomegranates actually have more antioxidants than blueberries. Sweet!

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Low Cholesterol Blocks Prostate Cancer

Turns out that big greasy steak is not so manly after all! New research in the American Journal of Pathology claims lower cholesterol levels may inhibit the growth of prostate tumors. To examine the connection, researchers fed mice a high-fat diet as well as the cholesterol-lowering drug Zetia, which blocks the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine, and data revealed reducing cholesterol may halt tumor angiogenesis, i.e. new blood vessel growth associated with tumors; via EurekAlert!

Actually, in July scientists determined men who eat lots of burgers, steak and cheese—all loaded with cholesterol-raising saturated fat—were nearly twice as likely to experience prostate cancer progression and another study found mice eating less fat were 27% less likely to develop prostate cancer.

Now, all this is no reason to go on Zetia. Zetia has not been shown to reduce heart attacks and strokes. In stead, eat fruits and vegetables. Veggies knock out prostate cancer, heart attack, stroke and more!

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American Troops Getting Fat!

I don’t like this. Not one bit. According to a new release in the United States Defense Department's Medical Surveillance Monthly Report more and more U.S. troops serving in Iraq are overweight or obese. In fact, the number of troops diagnosed with weight issues has doubled since the start of the Iraq war in 2003. The reasons why include stress from long deployments and, believe it or not, fast food and unhealthy habits like playing video games infiltrating the military; the USA Today investigates.

Troubling news, but its not much better here at home, reports have the states like Mississippi and Alabama continue to leading the nation in obesity, ushering in a more heart disease and diabetes. This is doubly bad because obese people now outnumber overweight Americans.

In related news, last year Mexico unveiled plans to encourage citizens to lose 2 million pounds, this after being named one of the world fattest countries. Aye carumba!

Via That’s Fit.

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Zinc Cuts Diabetes Risk in Women

Ladies eat your zinc! Because new findings in the journal Diabetes Care claim increased intake of zinc may lower diabetes risk in women. Researchers studied 82,297 women and during the course of 24 years more than 6,000 cases of type-2 diabetes were documented and data obtained from a food questionnaire showed women with the highest average dietary intake of zinc cut diabetes risk by 10% and 8% for those with highest average total intake of zinc; NutraIngredients reports.

Peas are a good source of zinc. So are sesame seeds, with lots of zinc, calcium, magnesium, copper, manganese and fiber. Asparagus is good too. Asparagus is packed with zinc as well as selenium and folate. And other green veggies, like broccoli, kale and lettuce are also awesome sources of zinc.

Zinc is important for guys too. Previous studies show low levels of zinc contribute to cancer, cardiovascular and all-cause mortality risk in middle-aged men. Eek!

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Living Near Fast Food Ups Stroke Risk

According to a new study presented at this year’s American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference, people who live in communities full of fast-food restaurants are more likely to have a stroke. Researchers examined stroke data on residents of Nueces County, Texas, where fast food restaurants are heavily concentrated, between January 1, 2000 and June 2003, and discovered stroke risk was 13% higher and risk increased 1% for each fast-food place in a neighborhood; Reuters reports.

Don’t forget. In December, it was determined students whose school is within walking distance of fast food restaurants are less likely to eat fruits and vegetables and more likely to drink soda and be obese.

Okay, hopefully you don’t need reasons not to eat fast food, but in case you’ve had a stroke and forgot, fast food has been linked to organ damage and its packed with trans-fat and lots of salt. Yuck!

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Health-Points: Friday 2.20.09

  • At 66 years old rock and roll immortal, Sir Paul McCartney, isn’t slowing down. In fact, the newly named Fireman does Yoga six times a day. He does eye Yoga, something he picked up during a recent trip to India. It involves various eye movements to keep the eye muscles strong; from Healthy Hollywood.
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Veggies, Now with Fewer Nutrients?

Wow, a new study in the Journal of HortScience claims nutrient composition of fruits and vegetables in the United States has been dropping over the last 50 to 100 years, in some cases median declines of 5% to 40% for minerals, with similar results in protein and vitamins. The studied crops, broccoli and wheat, may be victim of the newly recognized genetic dilution effect, referring to the use of genetic methods to increase crop yield, but consequently dilute nutrient concentrations in crops; from U.S. Food Policy.

More reason to buy organic! Organic fruits and veggies usually have more nutrients than conventional produce. According to Dr. Fuhrman, the theory is when plants are forced to deal with the stress, like insects, they produce more compounds beneficial to humans, like flavonoids. Plus organic tastes better and is better for the environment.

In related news, crops grown in dirt fertilized with livestock manure may actually absorb the antibiotics injected into cattle, helping spawn antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Eek!

Via kottke.

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U.S. Food Spending Drops Sharply

Last year, more and more people opened their wallets only to find cobwebs where money used to be, as a result consumer spending on food dropped in 2008, hurting restaurants, brand names and grocery stores. Food spending fell an inflation-adjusted 3.7%, the steepest decline in the 62 years the government has recorded the figure. People’s preferences changed too, for the better and the not-so-better, buying of fresh vegetables jumped 2.3% and beef and sweets decreased 3.4% and 5.1% respectively, but eggs increased 3% and milk 1%; The Wall Street Journal reports.

But the recession-diet news is conflicted. Previous reports claim pasta consumption is up in the United States, because it’s a cheap food that can feed a whole family, despite being incredibly nutrient poor. And others suggest more Americans are turning to processed cereals and ditching veggies to save money.

No doubt, buying food can be very expensive. So try shopping at a farmers market or buying marked down fruits and veggies. Both will help keep money in your wallet.

Via TreeHugger.

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Omega-3's Help Fight the Complications of Obesity

New findings in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology reveal eating omega-3 fatty acids may protect the liver from damage caused by obesity, specifically insulin resistance. The experiment, which used mice with altered genes to make them obese and diabetic, discovered those mice feed a diet rich in omega-3’s had less hepatic inflammation and improved insulin tolerance. Researchers hope these findings will help doctors and nutritionists develop better weight-loss diets for obese patients; ScienceDaily investigates.

Now, sources of omega-3’s include flaxseed, 1.7 grams per tablespoon; flax oil, 2.2 grams per teaspoon; walnuts, 2 grams per serving of 12 walnut halves; soybeans, 2 grams per 1 1/2 cups; and tofu, 2 grams per 1 1/2 cups. And according to Dr. Fuhrman, nuts and seeds are perfectly adapted for human consumption.

Other studies have shown omega-3 fatty acids boost brain power and eye health and reduce the risk of type-1 diabetes and lower the likelihood of having another stroke.

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Yuck! Bugs in the Tomato Juice?

Salmonella in peanut butter is gross! But there’s something much creeper lurking in our food. The FDA calls them “natural contaminants” and they’re found in everything from curry, tomato paste, mushrooms and beer, stuff like bug eggs, mites, parasites, sand, grit and even rodent hair. A can of mushrooms may contain more than 20 maggots per 100 grams, curry is allowed 100 or more bug pieces per 25 grams and an 18-ounce jar of peanut butter can have roughly 125 milligrams of grit or 5 rodent hairs; The New York Times reports.

Good excuse to buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Just be sure to wash them. Pesticide residue can ruin your day, i.e. boosting cancer-risk. Raw milk is another gross food too. To date, 26 states prohibit the sale of raw milk for human consumption. Cows’ stomachs host a variety of nasty buggers, like salmonella, E. coli and listeria. All can kill you.

Yucky, I just puked in my mouth a little. The bug remnants thing reminds me of the FDA’s crackdown on using crushed beetles to make foods red and purple.

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Surprise! Weight-Loss Helps Diabetics...

Reported in The Journal of the American Medical Association researchers reveal weight-loss and lifestyle changes are more effective than insulin therapy for overweight individuals with insulin-resistant type-2 diabetes. High insulin levels overload tissues with fatty molecules, leading to insulin-resistance. And treating people with MORE insulin does not overpower the resistance, but can cause organ damage. Losing weight and improving diet is much safer; Medical News Today explains.

An estimated 24 million Americans now have diabetes. And drugs are not answer. According to Dr. Fuhrman, a diet rich in healthy foods, such as green vegetables, beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, garlic, raw nuts, seeds and some fruit, in combination with weight-loss and exercise can help you kick insulin and reverse diabetes.

America needs to take the hint! More and more of us have chronic conditions, like heart disease, cancer and diabetes, than ever before. And all this extra fat isn’t helping.

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More Job Chemicals Linked to Lymphoma Risk

Last week, research claimed taking a job as a painter or roofer might put workers at increased risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), due to prolonged contact with chemical and biologic agents. And now, new research in the American Journal of Epidemiology reveals female employees exposed to organic solvents are more likely to develop NHL. Scientists determined chlorinated solvents increased risk by 40%, formaldehyde 30% and carbon tetrachloride more than doubled risk; Reuters reports.

Toxins are everywhere, even in the air we breathe! Scary when you consider air pollution has been linked to ventricular arrhythmia, a potentially fatal irregular heart beat. Also, 2-mercaptobenzothiazole, a chemical used to make rubber products, can heighten colon and bone marrow cancer risk.

And in related news, perfluorinated compounds, used to make shampoo, denture cleaners and dental floss, may cause infertility in women. But be sure to floss twice a day. Eek!

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Obesity Leads to Birth Defects

According to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association obese women are more likely to give birth to children with congenital anomalies such as spina-bifida, heart problems and cleft palate. Researchers insist the overall risk is low since birth defects only affect 2% to 4% of pregnancies, but obese women were more likely to have a child with heart defects and nearly twice as likely to have a brain or spinal cord deformity; Reuters investigates.

In addition to birth defects, obesity can increase mortality in infants and women who gain too much weight during pregnancy may raise fatter teenagers. And other reports have linked obesity with cancer and heart attack risk, and greater likelihood of miscarriage.

Belly fat in particular is a problem. Studies associate larger waist sizes with both migraine headaches and stroke. Clearly, those extra pounds are more than just a pain in the butt.

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Multivitamins Don't Slow Heart Disease and Cancer

Reported in Archives of Internal Medicine, scientists have determined multivitamins have little or no influence on the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease or overall death-risk in postmenopausal women. The study involved 161, 808 participants and documented chronic conditions, such as breast, colon and stomach cancer and stroke, myocardial infarction and total mortality. Researchers point out populations eating a lot of fruits and vegetables have lower risk of chronic disease; via CNN.

In November, findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed vitamins C and E do nothing to prevent heart disease in men and then in December, another study showed just taking vitamin C and E and selenium supplements don’t ward off prostate cancer.

Now, for potent sources of vitamins and minerals, with known anti-cancer and heart disease-preventing effects, give green veggies, like broccoli, kale and Swiss chard, a try!

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Belly Fat Linked to Migraines

Overweight people between the ages of 20 and 55 may be more likely to get migraine headaches. To be presented at the upcoming American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle, new researcher involving 22,211 people who suffered from severe headaches or migraines showed those individuals with bigger waists, i.e. more belly fat, had more headaches. In overweight women the risk was 8% higher and 4% in men; ScienceDaily investigates.

And earlier study also linked fat to headaches, with obese men reporting 15% more headaches and 28% in women. I wonder why the risk always seems to be higher in women. Must be from dealing with all the fat men!

Actually, certain foods, unhealthy foods, like cheese, alcohol and sweets, can trigger migraines, so avoiding them is a pretty good idea.

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Soda May Cause Kidney Damage

A new study in Environmental Health claims women drinking two or more regular sodas a day may have a higher risk of kidney damage. Consuming lots of soda, i.e. high-fructose corn syrup, increases risk of albuminuria, a marker of early kidney disease. Of the participants, 9,358 women ages 20 and up, those who drank at least two sodas a day had a 40% higher risk of albuminuria. Men have a similar risk; via Med Page Today.

Actually, a previous report listed soft drinks, along with red meat and salt, as cancer-causing foods. Maybe that’s why New York wants to slap a tax on sugary drinks, like soda, and why the FDA slammed Coca-Cola for making bogus health claims about Coke Plus.

This is funny too. Coke says soda is great for hydrating your body after a workout. Yeah, and the sugar high will bounce you off the walls too—stupid!

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Health-Points: Friday 2.13.09

  • Misdiagnosed food allergies may be on the rise and in extreme cases putting children at risk for malnutrition. And reports claim avoiding certain foods for fear of mistaken food allergies may make children more sensitive when foods are eventually eaten; from Well.
  • On Tuesday, the owner of the U.S. peanut company responsible for the salmonella-peanut butter outbreak pleaded the 5th and refused to answer questions before Congress, while internal company messages show him complaining about lost profits; Reuters reports.
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Perfluorinated Compounds Impair Fertility in Women

New findings in the journal of Human Reproduction suggest perfluorinated compounds, fluorine-containing chemicals used to make products non-stick and found in shampoo, dental floss and denture cleaners, may cause infertility in women. Researchers studied 1,240 pregnant women, whose levels of the perfluorinated chemicals had been measured, concluding that higher levels of chemicals were associated with longer pregnancies and 26% to 33% reduced chance of getting pregnant; Reuters reports.

Moms aren’t the only ones at risk! Plastic toys and medical devices may be exposing babies to phthalates, a chemical used to make plastics flexible, and even eating certain fish, like tuna and shark, is a danger, risking mercury exposure, leading to birth defects.

And in 2007, it was discovered a chemical found in rocket fuel and explosives, called perchlorate, was turning up in women’s breast milk. Egad!

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Brits Need to Buy Less Saturated Fat!

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United Kingdom, accounting for 1 in 3 deaths, prompting the nation’s Food Standards Agency to launch an advertising campaign encouraging citizens to consume less saturated fat. The new health initiative will focus on moms and women ages 45 to 60, and include posters, digital marketing and television and press ads. Currently, adults in the U.K. eat 20% more than the recommended maximum levels of saturated fat, too much butter, chips and cheese; FoodNavigator explains.

Dr. Fuhrman recommends avoiding saturated fat. It raises cholesterol, causing heart disease. In this video, this poor guy ate a diet mostly compromised of saturated fat, a lot of ghee, clarified butter, and without emergency surgery he would have died.

And don’t forget, saturated fat has also been linked to cancer, such as prostate, ovarian and small intestine cancer.

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Corn Syrup and Sugar, It's All Too Sweet...

A 12-ounce soda can have as much as nine teaspoons of sugar. High-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), an artificial sweetener made from corn, usually gets the blame, but one expert contends even if the food industry replaced all the HFCS with traditional sugar, we’d still have exactly the same health problems we have now, referring to our epidemic of obesity, heart disease and diabetes; The New York Times investigates.

And a few months ago there was a big push to prove high-fructose corn syrup is equal to sugar, which might be true, but still isn’t a reason to let HFCS off the hook. High-fructose corn syrup drives childhood obesity and leads to soda addiction in adolescents.

Then last week, a new study discovered mercury in high-fructose corn syrup, citric acid and sodium benzoate, all ingredients of soda. So yeah, don’t drink soda!

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Osteoporosis Protection for Life!

You might not realize it, but osteoporosis is an epidemic, effecting 8 million American women and 2 million men, yes men can get it too, and causes 1.5 million bone fractures each year. Now, in his brand new DVD, Osteoporosis Protection for Life, Dr. Fuhrman discusses the causes of osteoporosis, offers prevention strategies, like nutrition and exercise, and dispels a lot of the misinformation about osteoporosis.

Like how drugs aren’t the answer. In January, a study came out linking the popular osteoporosis drug Fosamax with esophageal cancer. From October 2005 to May 2008, the FDA received 23 claims of patients being diagnosed with esophagus cancer and Fosamax is the suspect drug in 21 cases and the concomitant drug in 2. And previously, Fosamax and its generic alendronate were found to be associated with irregular heartbeat. Eek!

Then later in January, we learned not all exercise is created equal. Cyclists, despite being thin and fit, actually have more osteoporosis. That’s why researchers suggested bike-riders add running and weight-training to their workouts. Strong muscles mean strong bones and no hip fractures. Because just the other day a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed mortality, i.e. death risk, after a hip fracture lasts for at least 10 years.

So, if broken hips, brittle bones and drug side effects aren’t your thing, give Osteoporosis Protection for Life a try. In it, Dr. Fuhrman also talks about how much calcium people need and the importance of getting vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin, what foods are loaded with calcium, such as Bok-choy and spinach, and for you fitness nuts, like me, Dr. Fuhrman demonstrates some funky exercises, like squat jumps, lunge walks and superman swim. It’s a bird, it’s a plane!

Okay, not to be all salesy, but if you’re a man or woman, or just a smart-alecky twenty-something like me, Osteoporosis Protection for Life could be a launching pad on your way to strong, healthy bones. No one wants to be a hunchback when they’re older—right?

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Preschoolers, 89% Inactive...

Obesity is on the rise, especially among children. So getting kids to run around is a good idea, but a new study in Child Development reveals many children in preschool spend only 8% of their day involved light physical activity and just 3% doing moderate to vigorous physical activity, but the rest of the day, 89%, is spent sedentary and teachers were unlikely to encourage kids to be more physically active. But placing toys outside in open spaces made kids more likely to get moving; from EurekAlert!

No doubt, this isn’t helping to lessen the obesity trend and to make matters worse. Pediatricians are failing to diagnosis weight problems in children. In an earlier report, only 10% of children studied were given a weight-related diagnosis. And many parents don’t even realize their kid is overweight.

In December, a study found that parents’ genetics are linked to a child’s risk of obesity, but social factors, like lifestyle choices, physical activity and meals, are just as important. Everyone, exercise!

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Lose Weight, Stop Sleep Apnea

A low-calorie diet and exercise may help cure sleep apnea. Reported in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers examined 81 patients with mild sleep apnea, 40 participants were given a low-calorie diet and lifestyle counseling, losing an average of 20 pounds in a year and reducing symptoms of sleep apnea. But the remaining 41 people only received counseling and lost an average of 6 pounds and were unlikely to improve in their sleep apnea; via EurekAlert!

Actually, a previous study showed people eating diets high in cholesterol and artery-clogging saturated fat were at heightened risk of developing severe symptoms of sleep apnea, but many doctors still don’t give their obese patients diet plans. Other dangers of obesity include type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer, fatty liver disease and increased overall mortality.

In related news, this November a 32-year long study revealed children consistently getting enough sleep were less likely to become obese as adults.

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Certain Jobs May Boost Lymphoma Risk

Taking a job as a roofer, printer, farmer and even a medical professional or any other job with exposure to certain chemical and biologic agents may increase the risk of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL), claims a new study in Occupational and Environmental Medicine. Researchers compared jobs between 1189 men and women with NHL and 982 men and women of similar age who did not, spanning 86 occupations in 97 industries, determining jobs such as launders, hand-packagers and leather workers, come with a higher risk of NHL than work as a teacher, editor, reporter and other jobs; Reuters reports.

Even working at a popcorn factory is risky! Exposure to diacetyl, a chemical used in artificial butter flavoring, can cause irreversible bronchiolitis obliterans in the lungs, nicknamed “Popcorn Lung.” It cannot be cured. The only long term treatment is a lung transplant.

And previously, weed-killers have been linked to brain cancer in farm workers. The moral of the story, don't work! Join the circus.

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Eat Lignans for Healthier, Thinner Women

A new study in the British Journal of Nutrition claims a diet rich in lignans, phytochemicals found in flaxseed, whole grains, berries and other fruits and vegetables, lowers women’s body mass index and significantly reduces blood glucose levels. Participants, 115 women, tracked their lignan intake using a 3-day dietary record and blood tests revealed those women with the highest lignan levels had less body fat and a better metabolic profile, including higher insulin sensitivity; Nutraingredients reports.

Seeds are a great source of lignans! According to Dr. Fuhrman, lignans are a type of fiber and eating foods, like flaxseed, has been shown to protect against heart disease and cancer. Sesame seeds are cool too. They’re loaded with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, manganese, zinc, fiber and vitamins.

Actually, my breakfast pudding is made with both sesame seeds and flaxseed. It’s also got sunflower seeds, walnuts and avocado, lots of healthy fats! Sometimes I throw blueberries in too.

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Green Veggies Fight Pancreatic Cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a killer. But veggies kill back! New findings in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows glucosinolates, a phytochemical found in broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and other green vegetables, help fight pancreatic cancer. Our bodies metabolize glucosinolates into isothiocyanates. And exposing cancer cells to benzyl isothiocyanate kills them by reducing STAT-3 protein, which promotes the survival and rapid reproduction of cancer cells; Nutraingredients explains.

Green vegetables are prime cancer-fighters. The phytochemicals in foods like kale, bok choy, collard greens, arugala, and watercress halt the growth of breast cancer, inhibit the progression of lung cancer, cut the risk of colon cancer and phytonutrients also prevent toxins from damaging our DNA.

And in July, a report came out showing isothiocyanates help protect against prostate cancer too.

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Asthma: Fast Food Negates Breastfeeding

A new study in Clinical and Experimental Allergy claims eating fast food once or twice a week negates the beneficial effects of breastfeeding. Fast food is becoming more pervasive in young children’s diets. So, scientists examined kids with or without asthma and found breastfeeding for too short of a time increased asthma-risk and kids breastfed for less than 3 months and ate a lot of fast food had an even higher risk; via The University of Alberta.

Listen, there’s no reason to eat fast food. But breastfeeding is important. In Disease-Proof Your Child, Dr. Fuhrman explains breast milk transfers important antibodies from mother to baby, which reduces risk of asthma and helps maximize intelligence.

Burgers and fries spread like locusts! In the Mediterranean, fast food is feeding an epidemic of heart disease, cancer and obesity.

Via The Daily Green.

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Vitamin D Makes Girls Big and Mean!

A new study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism claims vitamin D levels in adolescent girls are significantly associated with muscle power and force. Researchers recruited 99 inner-city girls from a multi-ethnic school between the ages of 12 and 14. And blood testing revealed 75% of the girls had low levels of vitamin D and the girls with higher levels performed much better on a jumping test used to measure strength; Nutraingredients reports.

Ironically, in October the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended doubling children’s daily intake of vitamin D to 400 units, replacing its 2003 recommendation of 200 units, based on claims that sufficient vitamin D may help reduce risk of cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

And previous reports show vitamin D deficiencies can cause back pain in older women and even increase the likelihood of c-sections.

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Japan's Chickens 20% Salmonella

Amid a salmonella-peanut butter outbreak in the United States, this news from Japan, upcoming research found one-fifth of minced chicken from Japan was contaminated with salmonella. The analysis, conducted by a professor of veterinary microbiology at Tenshi College in Sapporo, Japan, examined 820 samples of chicken with a confirmed place of origin and determined 163 were tainted with salmonella. Japan’s 20% is very high, compared to the 4% to 9% uncovered during similar testing in Britain, Italy and Spain; The Asahi Shimbun reports.

Perhaps worse, right here in the U.S. a previous study revealed poultry trucks rumbling down the road leave behind a trail antibiotic-resistant bacteria, specifically Enterococcus, which is harmful to people’s health and puts residents living alongside roads traveled by chicken trucks at risk.

Oh man, all this talk about poultry trucks and salmonella is rekindling my fear of melamine milk and E. coli spinach. Eek!

Via TreeHugger.

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Nutrition Labeling, Better than Portion Sizes...

In 2007, a study showed people eat until they’re full and portioning food does not affect calorie intake. And now, new research in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association claims consumers associate portion sizes with daily nutrient requirements and not the appropriate amount of food to eat. Among the participants, 33 normal weight people given a randomized meal ranging in size, the portion of food had no impact on fullness or how much total food participants ate. Leading researchers to believe better nutrient labeling would be more helpful to consumers than portion sizes; via FoodNavigator.

Don’t worry about portions. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with nutrients, but they’re also packed with fiber! And high-fiber foods, like spinach and beans, are low in calories, eating them fills you up quickly, meaning you can eat a lot and still lose weight.

Sure beats plates and Tupperware that tell you how much to eat! Yes, very stupid.

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Obese Moms Increase Infant Mortality Risk

New research Epidemiology claims babies born to obese moms are more likely to die in the first weeks of life than infants of normal-weight mothers. Scientists examined medical records of more than 4,000 babies who died in infancy and records of over 7,000 surviving babies and found among the babies who died, 8.8% had obese mothers, compared to 5.9% of surviving infants. And women who gained the most weight during pregnancy had the highest rate of infant mortality; Reuters reports.

A previous study determined a mother’s diet can actually influence the gender of her baby and gaining too much weight during pregnancy can increase a child’s likelihood of becoming overweight, even into their teenager years. Wow, good thing my mom ate like a bird when she was spawning me.

So, be careful when you’re pregnant! Dr. Fuhrman suggests avoiding things like cat litter, paint thinner and smoking and not eating foods like deli meat, sushi and alcohol.

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High Fructose Corn Syrup Oozing Mercury...

A new study in Environmental Health discovered mercury in citric acid, sodium benzoate and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). An analysis of HFCS from three different manufacturers revealed mercury levels ranging from under the detection limit of 0.005 to 0.570 micrograms of mercury per gram of high fructose corn syrup. The researchers claim average daily consumption of HFCS in America is 50 grams per person, spelling possible danger for children and sensitive populations; Reuters investigates.

But back in October, the lunatics at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ruled that high fructose corn syrup is natural, prompting an ad campaign by corn refiners insisting that HFCS is the same as sugar. Yeah, because that’s something to brag about!

Sorry sugar pushers. Previous reports have linked high fructose corn syrup with diabetes and obesity and soft drinks with cardiovascular disease.

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Veggie Diets Slow Prostate Cancer

Last spring, researchers determined lowering cholesterol cuts risk of prostate cancer. And now, a new study in Urology claims a diet rich in vegetable protein and low in saturated fat, dairy products and animal protein, boosts prostate-specific antigen (PSA), a biological marker for prostate cancer, resulting in slower PSA-doubling time and better quality of life. Scientists examined 36 men with prostate cancer, placing some of them on a vegetable-based diet, resulting in these men reporting more indicators of increased quality of life; Reuters reports.

Fruits and vegetables are serious cancer fighters! Eating foods like watermelon, tomatoes, pomegranate, green vegetables, red peppers and berries halt the development of prostate cancer, unlike saturated fat which increases prostate cancer risk.

Oh, and Dr. Fuhrman points out that PSA testing does not accurately detect prostate cancer if you are over 60 years old. So start eating veggies now!

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Cutting Salt Helps Blood Vessels Relax

A new study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests the benefits of reducing salt may extend beyond heart health. Australian researchers examined 29 overweight and obese men and women with normal blood pressure. Participants were randomly assigned a low-salt diet or an American diet for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks, they switched to the other diet, followed by 2 weeks of no intervention. Findings revealed people on a low-salt diet had lower systolic blood pressure and improved flow-mediated dilation (FMD), which is blood vessels ability to relax; FoodNavigator investigates.

Salt is not part of a healthy diet. According to Dr. Fuhrman, salt increases the body’s excretion of calcium, leading to bone loss and osteoporosis. And salt is very dangerous for vegans and vegetarians. It boosts risk boosts their risk of hemorrhagic stroke risk.

But a different kind of salt was recently named healthy! Salt Lake City, Utah is the fittest city in the United States. Sorry, shameless tie-in!

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