Peppy Attitude Helps Women's Hearts

Sometimes its hard to think on the bright side, but ladies, please give it a try. Because a new study in the journal Circulation claims women who are optimists are less likely to develop heart disease.

Researchers found that among more than 97,000 U.S. women between the ages of 50 and 79, those with generally optimistic dispositions were 14 percent less likely to die over eight years than their pessimistic counterparts.

They were also 9 percent less likely to develop coronary heart disease, and 30 percent less likely to die of heart complications.

That meant that the one-quarter of women who scored highest in optimism had lower rates of developing heart disease than the one-quarter with the lowest scores (deemed "pessimists"): 43 cases per 10,000 women, versus 60 cases. They also had fewer deaths over the eight years: 46 per 10,000 women, versus 63 among pessimists.

So listen, no matter how bad your husband screws up. Stay positive! Remember, Dr. Fuhrman says a happy emotional environment and reducing stress is an important part of health.

Via Reuters.

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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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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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Plant Flavonoids Reduce Ovarian Cancer Risk

New research in the International Journal of Cancer suggests plant-based flavonoids may lower ovarian cancer risk in women by protecting cells against damage. Flavonoids are antioxidants found in foods like seeds, nuts, celery and other green vegetables. For the study, scientists assessed the diet of 1,141 women with ovarian cancer and 1,183 women without over a one-week period, finding that women with the highest intake of the flavonoid apigenin had a “borderline significant decrease” in ovarian cancer risk; Reuters reports.

In July, a report showed flavonoids protect the heart by preventing free radicals and cell dysfunction, leading to heart trouble. And data has shown combining tomatoes with broccoli optimize the benefits of flavonoids. Apples and pears are also loaded with flavonoids.

Granted, all these healthful plant compounds are great, but instead of just eating fruits and vegetables. People prefer their butter and tortilla chips infused with nutrients. Yuck.

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Eating Soy as a Kid Reduces Breast Cancer Risk

New research in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention found women who ate soy as a child may have a lower risk of developing breast cancer later in life. The study involved 1,600 Asian Americans with or without breast cancer, revealing those women who consumed soy regularly as a child, once a week or more, were 60% less likely to develop breast cancer and regular soy consumption as an adulthood was linked to 25% less risk of breast cancer, compared to women not eating soy; Reuters reports.

Soy is a super food! Previous reports suggest soy helps lower cholesterol and improve artery health of stroke patients and another study showed soy foods reduce the risk of estrogen receptor (ER)-positive tumors and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative tumor, which are associated with breast cancer.

I’ve been on a soy bean kick lately, although the farting makes Yoga interesting. Soymilk is cool too and, despite the obvious conflict of interest, even cows drink soymilk!

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People Getting Hip to Antioxidants

Good news! The word “antioxidant” seems to resonate with consumers. New research in the journal Food Quality and Preference shows people associate words such as “fiber” and “antioxidants” with healthiness and willingness to try a product. Women and old people reacted the most positively to antioxidant-rich foods and both young and older people were interested in a products disease-preventing claims, especially in the short-term; NutraIngredients reports.

Fruits and vegetables are prime sources of antioxidants. Just last month, nutrients in blueberries were found to shrink cancer tumors in lab rats and Dr. Fuhrman links plant nutrients with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.

In related news, taking concentrated beta carotene, found in most multivitamins, may increase your risk of lung cancer. High-dose beta carotene supplements interfere with the absorption of cancer-fighting antioxidants. Eek!

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Hip Fractures Increase Mortality in Men and Women

I nearly broke a hip shoveling snow yesterday! But new research in the Journal of the American Medical Association claims older men and women, age 60 and older, are at higher risk of mortality, i.e. death, 5 to 10 years after sustaining low-trauma fractures to the hips. Participants had suffered a break between April 1989 and May 2007 and scientists determined the risk factors associated with mortality were the bone break, weak quadriceps, smoking and low physical activity; Journal Watch reports.

Busted hips aren’t part of life, unless you get hit by a truck or something. Watch your diet, eat lots of fruits and vegetables and avoid animal products, salt and caffeine. Get plenty of vitamin D, it boosts absorption of calcium. And exercise, toning muscles keeps bones strong. Try using a rowing machine, doing back extensions, and for women, wearing a weighted vest builds strength and burns calories.

Now, time for a shameless plug! If you’re a man or women worried about your bones and developing osteoporosis, check out Dr. Fuhrman’s new DVD. It’ll give you strong bones for life!

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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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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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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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