Animal Fat Increases Risk of Pancreatic Cancer

Published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, a new study claims high intake of saturated fat—specifically red meat and dairy—results in a 36% higher risk of pancreatic cancer, compared to people with lower consumption. And a high in take of total fat lead to a 53% increased risk of pancreatic cancer in men and 23% higher risk in women. Scientists examined data on 500,000 individuals, in which 1,337 were diagnosed with pancreatic cancer; Food Navigator reports.

Meat, i.e. saturated fat, is risky and research paints a grim picture. Previous studies have linked meat with higher risk of heart disease, age-related vision loss and various cancers. Fortunately, foods like fruits and vegetables lower the risk of developing cancer and cardiovascular disease.

In related news, experts found people who regularly eat charred or barbecued meat have a 60% higher risk of pancreatic cancer. Burned meat builds up of cancer-causing heterocyclic amines.

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Obesity Ups Risk of Endometrial Cancer

New findings in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology reveal women under 45 with a body mass index greater than 35—over 30 is considered obese—have nearly 22 times more risk of endometrial cancer. The study involved 421 women, ages 20 to 54, diagnosed with endometrial cancer and 3,159 randomly selected women. Data showed women younger than 45 at the time of their last period with a BMI above 35 had a 21.7 times higher risk of cancer; HealthDay News reports.

Luckily, maintaining healthy body weight and preventing cancer can be knocked out in one shot! According to Dr. Fuhrman, foods like fruits and vegetables are packed with fiber to keep you slim and plant foods are loaded of cancer-preventing nutrients and phytochemicals.

In related news, obesity in late adolescence to early adulthood—specifically 14 to 30 years of age—was found to increase risk of pancreatic cancer by as high as 60%.

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Swine Flu Could Be Mutating...

German officials say the H1N1 swine flu virus has begun to mutate and could potentially morph into a more aggressive variant. Currently, Germany has the third highest rate of infection in Europe, with 275 confirmed cases. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 27,717 cases of swine flu, with 127 deaths; via Reuters.

Last week, H1N1 showed up in a couple of new places. In Brazil, a man returning from Mexico was diagnosed with swine flu and three children at a Georgia summer camp came down with the virus. And to make matters worse, experts believe the flu will come back stronger in the fall.

But swine flu has already made its mark. The World Health Organization declared swine flu as the first international pandemic of the 21st century, and warned it could become unstoppable.

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Obesity in Early Adulthood Linked to Pancreatic Cancer

Yeah, don’t get fat. New findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association show having a high body mass index in early adulthood may raise the risk of pancreatic cancer. The study involved 841 pancreatic cancer patients and 752 cancer-free people, with participants asked to recall their height and weight at ages 14 to 19 and in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s. Data found individuals who were overweight at 14 to 19 and in their 30s had a 60% higher risk of pancreatic cancer, but risk seemed to level off after age 40; ScienceDaily explains.

You can keep that risk down with diet. A previous report found eating green veggies like broccoli, cabbage and Brussels sprouts helps fight pancreatic cancer. While charred or barbequed meat raises the risk of pancreatic cancer, due to cancer-causing heterocyclic amines.

In related news, obesity heightens women’s risk of pancreatic cancer. In some cases, as high as 70%, which worries researchers because obesity is largely a preventable problem.

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Mediterranean Diet, Vegetables May Extend Life...

Appearing in the British Medical Journal, a new study claims the Mediterranean diet—i.e. eating a lot of fruits and vegetables and avoiding meat, alcohol and dairy products—increases lifespan. Researchers examined the eating habits of 23,000 Greeks over 10 years, finding the presence of a diet rich in vegetables yielded health benefits, but when the heavy consumption of vegetables was removed, these benefits were negated; HealthDay News reports.

Sadly, many Mediterranean countries are loosing ground. In 2008, childhood obesity in Portugal, Spain and Italy jumped 30%. According to Dr. Fuhrman, all those healthy Mediterranean foods are giving way to western foods. That’s why the Mediterranean is getting fat, just like us!

And last September, a report revealed countries like Spain, Italy and Greece are buckling under the weight of fast food and the move away from their traditional dietary roots.

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Fatty Acids Improve Heart Health in Diabetics

A new study in the journal Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, shows omega-3 fatty acids lower blood levels of homocysteine, an amino acid known to raise the risk of heart disease. For the study, 81 diabetics were randomly assigned to groups receiving daily omega-3 supplements or a placebo. After two months, data revealed a 22% reduction of homocysteine in the omega groups, compared to only 1% for the placebo group; Nutra Ingredients explains.

Omega-3s are powerful stuff, found in foods like flaxseeds, omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to slower progression of age-related vision loss, reduced inflammation associated with cardiovascular disease, and less likelihood of repeat stroke. Not too shabby!

In March, a study showed fatty acids help lower the risk of prostate cancer. Good thing Dr. Fuhrman sells a DHA supplement that provides essential omega-3 fatty acids.

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Teens Not Drinking Enough Milk, Really?

New findings in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior claim teenagers cut back too much on dairy products as they reach their 20s. Experts followed 1,500 people, males and females, tracking their calcium intake during high school and after high school. Results showed many consumed less than the daily recommended level of calcium, leading researchers to recommend more milk at mealtime. Here’s Dr. Fuhrman’s take on all this:

Sounds like the dairy industry put their stamp on this one. It is amazing how successful they have been at marketing their product to nutritionally ignorant Americans. It is true that a diet comprised of animal foods, soft drinks and refined grains is deficient in calcium.

But cow's milk is the appropriate source of calcium for baby cows, not human teenagers. When we choose dairy instead of fruits, vegetables, beans, seeds as our source of calcium source we help fuel a cancer epidemic.

When you get your calcium from fruits and vegetables you also get a full load of cancer-preventing phytochemicals.

Via HealthDay News.

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Artificial Sweeteners Not Removed from Waste Water

Appearing in the journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, German researchers determined sewage treatment plants fail to remove artificial sweeteners—such as saccharin and aspartame—from waste water. Water samples were collected from two treatment facilities, turning up four different chemicals: acesulfame, saccharin, cyclamate and sucralose. Scientists fear these compounds will pollute neighboring streams and rivers; from ScienceDaily.

Water is all messed up! In March, a report came out saying America’s freshwater is clogged up with antidepressants and cholesterol drugs. As for artificial sweeteners, Dr. Fuhrman slammed them after a new study revealed people using fake sugar actually have MORE diabetes.

In related news, experts recommend well water be tested annually for harmful chemicals, bacteria and germs, because young children are very vulnerable to waterborne illnesses.

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Diabetes Starts Way Before Diagnosis

Hardly a revelation, but new a study in the Lancet shows blood glucose sensitivity starts to change several years before the onset of type-2 diabetes. Scientists followed 6,538 adults without diabetes for 10 years, during which 505 people were diagnosed with the disease. Among the newly diabetic, data revealed steep increases in fasting glucose three years prior to their diagnosis. Experts blame years of overeating, obesity and inactivity; via Booster Shots.

Listen up! Diabetes isn’t inevitable. Last month, research linked healthy, vegetable-based diets to lower risk of type-2 diabetes. Dr. Fuhrman recommends regular exercise and eating plenty of leafy greens, beans and nuts for diabetes prevention, and reversal.

In related news, breakfast cereals like cornflakes spike blood sugar and interfere with normal functioning of blood vessels, raising the risk for heart disease.

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Diet Drinks for Preventing Diabetes? No Way!

Recent studies link the use of artificial sweeteners to a 2-fold increase in diabetes. Hard to believe that physicians often advise patients predisposed to diabetes to use artificial sweeteners as a means of prevention! Another example of how being misinformed, about the impact of food and nutrition on our health, does so much harm and is a major contributor to our healthcare crisis.

June 15, 2009—People who use artificial sweeteners are heavier, more likely to have diabetes, and more likely to be insulin-resistant compared with nonusers, according to data presented at ENDO 2009, the 91st annual meeting of The Endocrine Society.

Sugars and other nutrients within the digestive tract activate sweet taste receptors called enteroendocrine cells, leading to the release of hormones like incretin and insulin. These hormones result in increased absorption of glucose and other caloric sugars. Non caloric (artificial) sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose have many of the same effects on these "gut taste receptors" as do energy (calorie) containing sugars.

One theory suggests that ingestion of non caloric (artificial) sweeteners may prepare the gut for the presence of nutrients in the same manner as the nutrients themselves, but in the absence of a source of calories, the balance between taste receptor activation, nutrient assimilation and appetite may be disturbed, leading to an increase in appetite and overeating of unnecessary calories when they are readily available.1

A study analyzed data, from participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA), to determine whether weight status and health risk measurements differed among artificial sweetener users and non-artificial sweetener users. The primary sweetener consumed was aspartame followed by saccharine and sucralose. Although the group who used sweeteners was younger and heavier, they did not consume any more calories than those who did not use sweeteners yet they were twice as likely to develop diabetes.2

Other reasons to avoid artificial sweeteners:

  • Linked to cancer
  • Triggers headaches and migraines
  • Causes brain tumors and seizures in animals

All of the possible dangers of artificial sweeteners are still unknown. Utilizing such artificial products is gambling with your health. Aspartame also exposes us to a methyl ester that may have toxic effects. Play it safe and stick to natural foods.

The bottom line here is, try to enjoy your food choices without refined or artificial sweeteners of any kind. Fresh fruit and occasionally dried fruits or ground dates is the safest way to go to satisfy a sweet tooth. I recommend dropping colas, sodas, sweetened teas, and juices—diet or not. If they don't contain artificial sweeteners, they are loaded with sugar. Eat unrefined food and drink water. Melons blended with ice cubes and dates for added sweetness make delicious, cooling summer drinks.
 

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Low Vitamin D Linked to Infection During Pregnancy

According to new research in The Journal of Nutrition, experts claim low blood levels of vitamin D increase risk of a harmful bacteria infection called vaginosis. For the study, scientists tested 469 women in their first trimester of pregnancy and found 41% of women had vaginosis and 52% had low levels of vitamin D. The women with vaginosis had lower levels of vitamin D than those without the infection; Reuters explains.

Recently, low levels of vitamin D were tied to multiple sclerosis and higher risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease. So make sure you get enough vitamin D! Vitamin D reduces risk of prostate cancer and helps build strong bones, which protects against osteoporosis.

If you need help keeping your vitamin D up, Dr. Fuhrman’s Osteo-Sun is specially formulated to provide sufficient vitamin D, both in its vegan and non-vegan forms.

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Plant-Based, Low-Calorie Diet Lowers Heart Risks

New research in the Archives of Internal Medicine claim plant-based diets promote weight-loss and reduce risk of heart disease. For the study, participants—overweight men and women with high LDL—were fed a diet rich in vegetables, nuts and fruits or a typical low-fat diet. Findings revealed both groups lost weight, but people on the vegetable-based diet had better cholesterol levels and lower blood pressure. Here are Dr. Fuhrman’s thoughts on the study:

It’s a pretty good effort. They are getting closer to the ideal diet—a nutritarian diet—by studying a vegetarian diet with reduction of flour and other high glycemic carbohydrates.

Of course, the results are pretty good, but it is evident these researchers lack the knowledge and clinical experience designing a diet-style for nutritional excellence.

We have a pilot study coming out shortly with results that dwarf this.

Via Newswise.

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Breakfast Cereal Raises Blood Sugar, Heart Risks

Put the cornflakes down! New findings in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology claim high-glycemic foods spike blood sugar and interfere with normal functioning of blood vessels. Subjects fed cornflakes, glucose and high-fiber cereal had impaired the endothelial function—the cells that line the inside of blood vessels—compared to people given oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. Poor endothelial function is believed to increase the risk of heart disease; Health Day News reports.

Breakfast cereal and white bread are processed foods, i.e. empty carbohydrates with no nutrition. Even “whole wheat” bread is a scam. Dr. Fuhrman says caramel color is added to give it the appearance of whole wheat. Luckily, fruits and vegetables are packed with healthful fiber and nutrients.

In April, a study showed overweight Latino teenagers switching to a high-fiber, low-sugar diet had less risk of type-2 diabetes and experienced substantial drops in blood glucose levels.

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Childhood Fat Linked to Early Cardiovascular Disease

My mom called me “husky” when I was a kid. I wasn’t chubby, just stout. I still am. Good thing I wasn’t overweight, because a new study presented at The Endocrine Society's annual meeting suggests obese children, as young as 7 years old, are at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease later in life. Experts screened more than 300 kids, ages 7 to 18, including 115 obese children and found obese kids had a 10-fold higher level of C-reactive protein, a known risk factor of heart disease; via ScienceDaily.

Last June, researchers observed metabolic syndrome in obese children. Metabolic syndrome is the group of conditions contributing to heart disease, including diabetes and obesity. In this study, scientists said an 8 year old child with metabolic syndrome could have heart disease by the time they reach 18 years old.

In related news, eating two servings of red meat per day was found to raise risk of metabolic disease by 26% and salt-sensitive people with metabolic syndrome are more likely to have high blood pressure.
 

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Bone Fracture Risk Doubles After Obesity Surgery

Speaking at this year’s The Endocrine Society's annual meeting, scientists say bone fracture rate is higher among people who have underwent bariatric surgery. Researchers studied 90 people who had either vertical banded gastroplasty or biliopancreatic diversion. Seven years following their operation, 21 participants endured a total of 31 fractures. The risk for hand and foot fractures was the most elevated; Reuters explains.

Interestingly enough, in 2008 experts determined gastric bypass surgery caused bone loss, citing vitamin D and calcium deficiencies in individuals undergoing the procedure. Dr. Fuhrman lists depression and malnutrition as other harmful side-effects of weight-loss surgery.

Another report found people who underwent gastric surgery have a higher rate of suicide than the general population, but experts argue the surgery is not the reason why.

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Omega-3's May Save Your Eyesight

Go eat some walnuts! Because a new study in the British Journal of Ophthalmology claims diets rich in omega-3 fatty acids may slow the development of age-related macular degeneration. An analysis of nearly 3,000 people, randomly assigned to take three different vitamin supplements or a placebo, revealed no matter the supplement, participants with higher intake of omega-3’s were at lower risk for the progression of advanced macular degeneration; Reuters reports.

Flaxseeds are another powerful source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are amazing! They’ve been linked to improved insulin tolerance, protection against prostate cancer and prevention of repeat strokes. Oh, and citrus fruits also help stave off age-related macular degeneration.

And last year, a report showed antioxidant carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, found in leafy green vegetables—such as collard greens, spinach and kale—promote eye health too.

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Cancer Alert: Your Best Defense - Go Cruciferous

We may not have eaten so healthfully our entire lives. We may have a family history of breast, prostate or colon cancer. What should we do? Just wait until cancer is found?

Getting medical screenings is certainly a personal decision, but if you want to know what you can really do to protect yourself—eat lots of colorful vegetables, specifically including lots of green cruciferous vegetables. Eating a diet rich in cruciferous vegetables is your best defense for fighting and preventing cancer.

If we really want to win the war against cancer, we must improve the nutritional quality of our diet. We have all heard about the antioxidant effects our bodies derive from the phytochemicals in plant foods. However, the unique phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables offer superior benefits. Cruciferous vegetables contain phytochemicals that have unique abilities to modify human hormones, detoxify compounds, and prevent toxic compounds from binding to human DNA, preventing toxins from causing DNA damage that could lead to cancer. Studies have even shown that genetic defects that may lead to cancer are suppressed by the consumption of green cruciferous vegetables.

Certainly, many studies have shown that eating fresh fruits, beans, vegetables, seeds, and nuts reduces the occurrence of cancer. I plotted cancer incidence in 25 countries against unrefined plant food intake and found that as vegetables, beans, and fruit consumption goes up 20% in a population, cancer rates typically drop 20%. But cruciferous vegetables are different; they have been shown to be twice as effective. As cruciferous vegetable intake goes up 20%, in a population, cancer rates drop 40%.

Great choices include: arugula, bok choy, broccoli, broccoli rabe, brocollina, brussels sprouts cabbage, cauliflower, collards, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radish, red cabbage, rutabaga, turnips, turnip greens and watercress.

Include them in both raw and cooked forms and eat a variety of them. These benefits cannot be duplicated by taking any one pre-formed compound or supplement.

The evidence is now overwhelming that cruciferous vegetables play a major and unique role in the widely recognized protective effects of natural plant foods against cancer—and are the most important players in this arena. The biologically active compounds from raw and conservatively cooked green vegetables enhance the natural defenses of the human body against DNA damage and they even fuel the body's ability to block growth and replication of cells that are already damaged. For those in the know, these foods are the most important nutritional factors to prevent common human cancers.

Read more about Cruciferous Vegetables—what they are and how they benefit us along with the studies that support these claims—in the July 2007 Healthy Times Newsletter plus get great-tasting cruciferous-rich recipes!

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Exercise Helps Prevent Breast Cancer

Presented at the American College of Sports Medicine's annual meeting researchers say women older than 30 who exercise more than 1 hour a week may have a lower risk of breast cancer. Scientists asked over 4,000 women to recall their physical activity levels when they were 10 to 15 years old, ages 30 to 50 and ages 50 and up. Women exercising in the over 30 group significantly reduced their chances of getting breast cancer; Reuters reports.

Exercise is great, but in January a report showed women under 70 are less active than men. Not good ladies, especially since regular physical activity helps strengthen bones and prevent osteoporosis and exercise like Tai Chi fights arthritis and diabetes.

In related news, America’s unhealthy habit of driving everywhere, even to the corner store, means we’re walking less, contributing to obesity and illness, like heart disease.

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Ignoring Cholesterol Leads to Heart Attacks

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reiterates people with high cholesterol—specifically those who ignore high lipoprotein levels—are 2 to 3 times more likely to have a heart attack. For the study, experts analyzed blood samples of 45,000 men and women, finding people with the highest levels of cholesterol had the most heart attacks; Reuters explains.

Keeping cholesterol in check is very important. Saturated fat raises cholesterol and ups risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Luckily, healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, have the opposite effect. A diet rich in plant foods slashes heart risks.

Now, if you think heart surgery, like angioplasty and stent placement, will save you. You’re wrong. Dr. Fuhrman says they’re scams and do not address the cause of heart disease.

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Low Vitamin D May Harm Knees

More kudos for vitamin D! A new study in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatism claims insufficient vitamin D may cause cartilage loss in knee joints. For the study, involving 880 men and women, ages 51 to 79, scientists measured blood levels of vitamin D and knee cartilage volume. And 3 years later, retesting of 353 people revealed 58% had changes in knee cartilage and worsening osteoarthritis, both men and women with low vitamin D had less knee cartilage; Reuters reports.

Vitamin D is strong medicine and we get vitamin D from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Vitamin D functions as a hormone, telling our intestines to absorb calcium and phosphorus, which builds strong bones and prevents things like rickets, depression and even difficulty thinking!

In his DVD Osteoporosis Protection for Life, Dr. Fuhrman explains why vitamin D is so critical, the importance of proper diet and he demonstrates a number of bone strengthening exercises.

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Fast Food, Obesity Blamed for Increased Colorectal Cancer

A new study in the journal of Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention reveals the rate of colon cancer among young adults—under the age of 50—is increasing. Data showed regardless of sex, race and age incidences of colon cancer between 1992 and 2005 rose 1.5% in men and 1.6% in women, with the largest increases in men and women, ages 20 to 29, with 52% and 5.6% respectively. Experts blame consumption of fast foods and high rates of obesity; via EurekAlert!

It’s a good idea to kick fast food as soon as possible. In April, a study showed kids eating fast food are more likely to develop poor eating habits. And given the unhealthiness of fast food, some Los Angeles officials don’t want any more fast food restaurants in their neighborhoods.

In related news, eating lots of fruits and veggies helps cut colon cancer risk in men, but taking high-dose folic acid supplements can raise colon cancer risk, by as high as 162%. Eek!

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Tummy Fat Linked to Liver Cancer

New findings in the journal Gut reveal too much fat surrounding internal organs increases risk of liver cancer recurrence after treatment. Scientists followed 62 people who received treatment for liver cancer. Of the participants, 27 had high amounts of belly fat and 35 had lower amounts. After one year, the high group had 15.9% risk of recurrence, while the low group only had 9.7% and three years later the figures were 75.1% and 43.1%, respectively; Reuters reports.

In April, a study claimed men with excess belly fat have a 15% higher risk of heart failure and women have a 30% higher risk. Too much abdominal fat seemingly affects everything. Other research has linked tummy fat to stroke, migraine headaches and even death risk.

In related news, the CDC reports Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama continue to lead the nation in obesity, but no worries. Australia is officially fatter than the United States.

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Smoking and Drinking Leads to Bowel Cancer

Conducted by The George Institute for International Health, a new study suggests alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking drastically increase risk of bowel cancer. Data revealed drinking more than seven drinks a week is associated with a 60% higher risk of cancer, compared to non-drinkers, and smoking—along with obesity, diabetes and consumption of red and processed meat—was linked to a 20% greater risk of bowel cancer; via ScienceDaily.

Alcohol is tricky. Most of us equate it with a good time—I still do—but it’s not healthy. Reports have shown booze raises risk of breast cancer and hardens arteries. Dr. Fuhrman recommends avoiding alcohol, saying even moderate drinking is dangerous. Smoking is a bad too.

In 2008, California’s initiatives to stop smoking saved the state $86 billion in healthcare costs. In Pueblo, Colorado heart attacks have dropped 40% since smoking was banned in public places.

 

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Less Meat, More Veggies Prevents Prostate Cancer

New research in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics reveals diets low in fat and red meat and rich in fruits and vegetables helps prevent and treat prostate cancer. Using an evidence-based review of dietary recommendations, researchers found avoiding processed or charcoaled meats and dairy products and eating more tomatoes, broccoli and cauliflower has beneficial effects on prostate cancer prevention and treatment; Wiley-Blackwell reports.

According Dr. Fuhrman, humans are designed to consume a lot of plants and these foods are essential to preventing disease, such as prostate cancer. Recently, the World Cancer Research Fund said better diets, i.e. fruits and vegetables, could help curb global cancer rates.

In April, experts found pomegranate juice helps slow prostate cancer doubling times and omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to slash prostate cancer risk by as high as 63%.

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Regular Weigh-Ins Keep Teens Slim

As a kid, I used to weigh my toys on our bathroom scale—I was slow—but now, a new study in Journal of Adolescent Health claims adolescents who weigh themselves at least once a week are more likely to exercise or eat less junk food and more fruits and vegetables. Experts surveyed 130 teens that were overweight, but slimmed down over the past two years, finding 43% of kids reported weighing themselves once a week; Reuters explains.

This is good news, especially since nowadays many pediatricians fail to diagnosis weight problems in children. As kids continue to eat horrible diets—just like their parents—they are developing adult health problems, such as kidney stones and even heart disease.

In related news, previous reports show overweight teenagers are more likely to commit suicide and obese kids, ages 2 to 19, are 26% more likely to develop some sort of allergy.

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Low Vitamin D Makes it Hard to Think!

I need more vitamin D. I can’t think my way out of a paper bag. And now, new research in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery, and Psychiatry reveals insufficient levels of vitamin D are associated with cognitive impairments in older men. Experts studied over 3,000 European men, ages 40 to 79, and discovered participants with low vitamin D scored worse on thinking tests, compared to people with normal levels. The average vitamin D level was 63 nanomoles per liter, researchers say 90 to 140 is considered optimal; Reuters explains.

We neglect vitamin D. It’s important! Our bodies get vitamin D from sunshine. It acts like a hormone and tells our intestines to absorb calcium and phosphorus. Recently, lack of vitamin D has been linked to sudden cardiac death and even stunted growth. That’s why Dr. Fuhrman’s Osteo-Sun is designed to provide an optimal dose of vitamin D.

Whoa! Not getting enough vitamin D can be scary. Last week, a report showed insufficient vitamin D can make people demented and increase risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Eek!

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Piggy Flu Now in all 50 States

As of Monday June 1st the CDC reports there are now confirmed cases of swine flu in all 50 states. To date, Alaska has the fewest with 1 case, Wyoming with 2 and both Vermont and West Virginia with 3. The CDC says the total number of cases in the U.S. is 10,053, but the actual figure could be as high as 200,000, due to unreported or less severe symptoms; via HealthDay News.

If you’re betting on the flu, take the over. Just last week the number of cases was 7,927 and the high figure was only 100,000. Quick, call your bookie! With vaccines only working against 11% of flu strains, except those numbers to jump even further by next week.

And experts predict the swine flu pandemic will reach the U.K. by the fall. Currently, there have been 225 confirmed cases of H1N1 in England, followed by Scotland with 17.

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Teenagers Up Late and Wired on Caffeine

A new study in the journal Pediatrics found many teenagers are wigged out on caffeine and up late surfing the web, texting their friends and watching television. Experts surveyed 100 kids, ages 12 to 18 years old, finding only one in five participants got 8 to 10 hours of sleep each night, one third of kids reported falling asleep in school and teens multitasking with all their gadgets were more likely to risk poor academic performance. Average caffeine consumption among participants was 215 mg a day, roughly two espressos; Reuters reports.

Caffeine is a toxin and like a drug it can cause uncomfortable detoxification symptoms, leading to poor diet and food addiction. It also heightens risk of cardiovascular disease by hardening arties and raising blood pressure and last year, caffeine was linked to miscarriage risk.

In related news, Germany banned Red Bull after finding trace amounts of cocaine in test samples and officials in the United States have already called for warning labels on energy drinks.

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Soy Lowers Breast Cancer Risk...

A new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals high intake of soy foods during teenage years may reduce the risk of breast cancer prior to menopause. For the study, scientists used a survey to determine consumption of soy foods during teenage years and adulthood, linked to breast cancer. Experts documented 592 cases of cancer, finding soy was associated with a 43% to 59% lower risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer; Nutra Ingredient explains.

And last year, a report in the International Journal of Cancer found soy foods reduce the risk of breast cancer tumors. Soy is also a bone builder. A compound of in soy called genistein, an isoflavone phytoestrogen, may help improve bone mineral density in women.

In related news, previous studies have found women regularly eating soybeans have less risk of heart disease and soybeans help improve artery health in stroke patients.

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Q & A: Coumadin and Atrial Fibulation

In March, a study came out saying people with type-2 diabetes have a 68% higher risk of heart failure due to atrial fibrillation, i.e. irregular heart beat. So, what’s the deal with atrial fibulation? Here’s a brief discussion about it from Dr. Fuhrman’s member center:

Question: Last January, I was admitted to the hospital and was diagnosed with atrial fibulation caused by hyperthyroid and needed to take Metoprolol, aspirin and Coumadin. My doctor said I had to take radioactive iodine to bring my thyroid back to normal and maybe would correct my irregular heart beat, which I did. It did nothing for my atrial fibulation.

Now he wants me to increase the Coumadin and have electrical cardioversion. This scares me. If I follow Eat For Health closely, I will be able to have a regular heart beat without medication in the future. Am I at a high risk for stroke with not taking Coumadin?

Dr. Fuhrman: Taking better care of your nutritional needs will in the long run help you  feel better without risks. I am not sure if by eating so much healthier it will put you back in normal heart rhythm eventually. Most likely if you have not gone back, you will need a cardioversion to bring you back.

I do not agree with that statement, "Am I at high risk of stroke with not taking Coumadin?" Instead that should say a person who eats a conventional diet is at a higher risk of stroke if they have atrial fibrillation and do not take Coumadin. I do not normally recommend Coumadin for atrial fibrillation for a person eating properly, who has attended to their cardiac risk factors.

Nevertheless, I do agree you need to take Coumadin before and for a short while after electro-conversion to put you back to establish a normal heart rhythm. So, essentially I agree that you should stay on the Coumadin for now, have the cardioversion and then soon after come off it, when you are back in normal rhythm again.

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Driving Cars is Making Us Fat and Unhealthy

Evolving from hulking apes to car driving suburbanites isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Some health officials claim that America’s love for driving is a bad habit, resulting in poor health. Driving more means you walk less and walking is a great exercise. Walking is something us bipedal hominids are specialized to do. Experts say people should take about 10,000 steps a day to maintain good health, but driving a car all day causes that number to drop to about 1,000; Reuters explains.

I drive my friends crazy. I always park far away. So I can walk a little. But listen, exercise is very important. According to Dr. Fuhrman, regular exercise pays huge dividends, such improving mood, building stronger bones and reducing risk of disease, like type-2 diabetes.

In related news, walking for 30 minutes each day was found to reduce age-related weight gain and taking the stairs helps lowers lower blood pressure and cholesterol.

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Well Water May Be Hazardous to Little Kids

A new report in the journal Pediatrics claims small children are vulnerable to waterborne illnesses originating from well water. Private wells can become contaminated with chemicals, germs and bacteria. Experts recommend well water be tested annually, at least. Currently, private wells are not subject to federal regulations, leaving owners responsible for proper care and safety testing; ScienceDaily reports.

And earlier this year, it was reported that pharmaceuticals, such as cholesterol medications, anti-depressants and blood pressure pills, are turning up in America’s streams and rivers. Bottled water is no better. One study found bottled water is just as impure as water out of the tap.

In 2006, water in Seattle area schools was found to be contaminated with lead. Most of China’s groundwater is polluted and India’s water has shown harmful levels of arsenic. Eek!

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