Health Points: Thursday

Doctors can't help patients recover more quickly by prescribing antibiotics, said Richard P. Wenzel, chairman of the Department of Internal Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. “There is probably some sense of a placebo effect, but that's short-lived,” he said.
Given the intensity and high-voltage anxiety of serious illness, public crying in hospitals — by patients or family or staff — is less common than one might expect. Sure, it goes on more frequently than, say, at a department store or a restaurant. But more often, people remain buttoned up, dry-eyed, determined to maintain composure.
Africa, a continent usually synonymous with hunger, is falling prey to obesity. It's a trend driven by new lifestyles and old beliefs that big is beautiful. Ask Nodo Njobo, a plump hairdressing assistant. She is coy about her weight, but like many African women, proud of her "big bum." She says she'd like to be slimmer, but worries how her friends would react.
Staying slim and fit is especially important for cancer survivors, because obesity raises the risk of cancer coming back, the American Cancer Society said in new guidelines issued on Wednesday.
Children whose mothers smoked during pregnancy were nearly three times more likely to start smoking regularly at, or before, age 14 and about twice as like to start smoking after age 14 compared to children born to nonsmoking mothers.
  • Okay, how many of you belong to a gym? I do. Have you ever really looked at some of the trainers? A lot of them could use a personal trainer themselves—they’re pumped up, but a little doughy. So this begs the question, how qualified are they? Rick Callahan of the Associated Press investigates:
Virtually anyone can become a certified trainer because there are no national educational standards for the field. Numerous Web sites offer personal trainer certification after just a few hours of online training -- and a few hundred dollars.
And at this time of year, bitter greens are calling from nearly every other stall or stand at the farmers market or the grocery store; they're a boon of winter. Until fairly recently, bitter greens have been popular in this country only in the South, but more of them have become more widely available, though their names still can be confusing. Greens in the chicory and endive family include Belgian endive (also called French endive and witloof), curly endive (sometimes called chicory or frisée), escarole and several varieties of radicchio. Then there are dandelion greens, mustard greens and turnip greens (yes, keep the tops of your turnips).
The study by World Health Organization researchers projects global figures for mortality and the burden of 10 major disease groups in both 2015 and 2030.

"According to our baseline projection, smoking will kill 50 percent more people in 2015 than HIV/AIDS and will be responsible for 10 percent of all deaths globally," said their study in the Public Library of Science Medicine.

Health Points: Tuesday

  • Get ready, here comes a big surprise—obesity is in the news again! Yup, you can pretty much bank on obesity always being in the headlines. Today The Chicago Tribune reports obesity has been linked to female infertility. Judy Peres has more:
"That association is pretty well established," said Dr. Roger Lobo, a reproductive endocrinologist at Columbia University. Heavy women often don't ovulate normally because their hormones are out of whack. If they lose just 5 percent of their body weight, he said, "some will ovulate and even get pregnant with no further intervention."
The CDC also offers weight-management classes, healthy grocery shopping seminars, health assessments, walking programs and other activities.

The agency also has improved its cafeteria fare and expanded its salad bars. Three years ago, the CDC began bringing in produce vendors so employees could buy fresh fruits and vegetables. Now, the produce carts visit three CDC campuses and boast daily sales of $2,000 to $3,000.
The researchers admitted they do not know why the extra pounds (kg) may protect premenopausal women from breast cancer, but noted obesity actually greatly boosts breast cancer risk after menopause, when the disease more often is diagnosed.
  • Does spicy food increase metabolism? To be honest, I never assumed it does. Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times investigated, and believe it or not spicy food can actually give your metabolism a kick—coming soon, the hot-pepper diet! Here’s more from O’Connor:
One study by Canadian researchers this year looked at a group of adult men and found that those who were served hot sauce with appetizers before a meal went on to consume on average about 200 fewer calories at lunch and in later meals than their peers who did not have anything with capsaicin. The researchers suggested that capsaicin may work as an appetite suppressant. But take heed: spicy foods can also worsen symptoms of ulcers and heartburn.
At least six states and some counties prohibit foster parents from smoking when foster children are present, says Kathleen Dachille, director of the Legal Resource Center for Tobacco Regulation, Litigation & Advocacy at the University of Maryland School of Law. "There are times when it's appropriate to regulate what people can do in their home," she says. "The state is responsible for that child."
Men with the highest levels of vitamin E in their blood were 18 percent less likely to die than those with the lowest levels, the researchers found. They also had a 21-percent lower risk of death from cancer, a 19-percent lower risk of dying from heart disease, and a 30-percent lower risk of death from other causes.
Blues and purples: Keep memory sharp and reduce risk of several kinds of cancer, including prostate. Plums, eggplant, blueberries, blackberries, purple grapes (and raisins).

Greens: Protect bones, teeth and eyesight. Kiwi, spinach, broccoli, Romaine lettuce, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, honeydews.
Reporting in the journal Tobacco Control, a team from the National Health Screening Service in Oslo found that limiting the daily amount of cigarettes may be useful as a temporary measure when a smoker is trying to quit, but kicking the habit is the only real way of reducing the risk of smoking-related health consequences and early death.

Dr. Fuhrman's Anti-Cancer Solution

From the November 2005 edition of Dr. Fuhrman’s Healthy Times:

Eat to prevent cancer, to slow cancerous progression, and, possibly, to beat cancer. No treatment—not even a program of nutritional excellence—is consistently effective for “curing cancer.” Cancer is a bizarre end-stage disease that responds in an unpredictable fashion, but dietary protocols that include vegetable juicing and high intake of cruciferous vegetables offer the most potential for treatment and for increasing the survival of cancer patients.

Here are the seven most important dietary steps to take:

1. Vegetables (not fruits) should comprise the largest part of your diet. They should include raw salad vegetables, raw solid vegetables such as broccoli and snow pea pods, as well as cooked vegetables, which should be steamed lightly, lightly sautéed in water, or cooked in soups.

2. Sprouts are an excellent concentrated source of phytochemicals. Try mung, radish, alfalfa, and broccoli sprouts. Broccoli sprouts are the richest natural source of sulforaphane.

3. Include large amounts of green, leafy vegetables (spinach, romaine lettuce, kale, collards, and chard) and choices from the cabbage family (cabbage, baby bok choy, brussels sprouts, red cabbage, and Chinese cabbage) in your salads.

4. Drink fresh-squeezed vegetable juice two or three times a day, made with carrots, beets, tomatoes and greens (kale, collards, wheat grass, mashe, and cabbage). This provides the broadest spectrum of cancer-fighting nutrients. Only use organic vegetables for juicing.

5. Beans also contain powerful cancer-fighting compounds, especially the darker colored and reddish beans. Use them in a carrot juice- or tomato juice-based soup with added mushrooms and cruciferous vegetables.

6. Use organic raw fruits, especially those with high free radical-absorptive capacity, such as all berries, kiwis, gogi berries, red and black grapes, cherries, papaya, and red apples.

7. Use only raw, unsalted seeds and nuts in your diet as your source of fat. No animal fats or oils should be used. Avocado and raw nuts and seeds can be blended to make delicious dips and dressings.

A Sample Cancer Protocol Menu

The suggested meal options listed below contain multiple choices. You do not have to consume all of the foods listed!

  • 6-8 oz. glass of fresh-squeezed vegetable juice made from carrots, beets, kale, parsley, wheat grass, or other greens
  • Fresh fruit, especially blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, kiwis, and papaya
  • One cup oatmeal with ground flaxseed, walnuts, and added fruit
  • Fresh fruit smoothie, blended with watercress, kale, and pomegranate
  • Large green salad with baby greens, shredded cabbage, and baby bok choy, with a healthful fruit nut-based dressing
  • Vegetable Bean Soup, made with zucchini, leeks, blended cruciferous leafy greens, mushrooms, onion, lentils, beans, parsnips, herbs and spices, cooked in half vegetable juice and half water
  • One fresh or frozen fruit (mango or cherries) whipped into a 1/2 cup of pomegranate juice
  • Glass of vegetable juice (organic tomato-based) with cruciferous greens added such as cabbage, watercress, and arugula
  • Blended salad, 1-2 oz. raw organic spinach, 2-3 oz. leaf lettuce, 1 oz. kale, Chinese cabbage or bok choy. Blend greens in a high-powered blender with apple and cinnamon, avocado and banana, strawberries and pineapple, orange and lemon, or any other cut fruit (and flavored vinegar, if desired).
  • Lightly steamed greens, such as brussels sprouts, asparagus, and artichokes
  • Raw vegetables, tomatoes, baby bok choy, carrots, peppers, broccoli, snow peas, and small raw okra, with dip or dressing
  • Vegetable/eggplant stew made with edamame, red peppers, mushrooms, eggplant, tomatoes, cauliflower, frozen peas, and currants, with flavoring such as cinnamon or turmeric
  • Frozen organic strawberries whipped with an orange or dried pineapple
  • Fresh or frozen fruit (whipped), berries, or other fruit
  • Eggplant-Hummus Dip
  • Bean Salsa Dip or vinegar
Note: As much as one avocado and 3 ounces of raw nuts/seeds can be used in the dressings and sauces each day. Nutritional supplements also are included in the protocol.

Nutritional Wisdom

Did you miss the first two episodes of Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritional Wisdom radio show? In case you did, here’s a recap:

Dr. Fuhrman discusses the primary nutritional factors (good and bad) that can either prevent or promote cancer. He also welcomes two women who overcame their battles with breast and ovarian cancer, and how a high nutrient diet made significant differences in both their recoveries.


Fifty-percent of all Americans die of heart attacks and strokes. Dr. Fuhrman discusses the startling facts about heart disease and explains how to prevent or reverse it. Hear Dr. Fuhrman’s suggestions for getting rid of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cardiovascular disease.

For new episodes, remember to listen live Wednesdays 8 AM Pacific/11 AM Eastern time.

Cold Weather, More Clothes, and Comfort Food

I once heard a chubby comedian say, “Men are like lasagna, we dress in layers.” And for a longtime this was my dress code; two layers of t-shirts, polo-shirt with t-shirt underneath, button-down shirt over t-shirt. Yup, I seldom left the house wearing only one layer. So you can imagine how much I dreaded the warmer summer months. How I’d yearn for winter!

But winter does have its drawbacks. Sure you can cover up those extra pounds with a little more clothing, but for many snuggling into a turtleneck and sweater, also means gobbling up more calorie-rich comfort food, especially around the holidays. Jane E. Brody of The New York Times insists this can be the beginning of a continuous weight-gaining cycle:
Then there’s the coming holiday season, replete with the stress of too much to do, high-calorie temptations at every turn and, it seems, not enough time to expend those extra calories.

The inevitable result for many of us? A few extra pounds that we must struggle to lose when the weather warms up and the days get longer next spring. Unfortunately, though, too often those pounds remain, only to increase further the next winter, and the next, until they undermine our health as well as our psyche.
For help preventing the cold weather weight-gain Brody enlists the aid of Dr. Michael D. Ozner, who as it turns out is a major advocate of the Mediterranean diet. Now, while you won’t hear Dr. Fuhrman singing the praises of Mediterranean diet anytime soon, Ozner does make a couple useful suggestions that might help you avoid winter/holiday weight-gain.

For starters, Ozner is not big on red meat, claiming it contains too much saturated fat , which can lead to an increased risk of cancer, heart attack, and stroke. He also encourages people to avoid processed foods because many of them are loaded with saturated fat, sugar, salt, trans fat, and high-fructose corn syrup. Dr. Fuhrman would definitely agree. Dr. Ozner’s recommendation to get plenty of exercise is another sound piece of advice. Although I can’t say the same for his tip about adding whey to food, according to Dr. Fuhrman whey isn’t exactly a wonder-food.

Report: Fish and Soy Cut Cancer Risk

Reuters reports people who ate soy regularly are less likely to develop breast cancer. And, men who eat fish several times a week have a lower risk of colon cancer. Wait, so you’re telling me diet has something to do with cancer? No way! Yes way. Here’s more from this double discovery:
The women who ate the most soy-based foods such as tofu and miso when aged 5 to 11 reduced their risk of developing breast cancer by 58 percent, the researchers found…

…A second study presented at the meeting showed that men who ate fish five times a week or more had a 40 percent lower risk of developing colorectal cancer compared with men who ate fish less than once a week.
Researchers believe the isoflavones in soy and the omega-3s in fish have something to do with it. If you’re a Followhealthlife reader you already know how important macro- and micro-nutrients can be. But there are some important things to consider about fish and soy.

Health Points: Friday

Consumer and health groups protested that they did not go far enough -- saying that junk food ads should be banned from all programming before 9:00 pm, whether for adults or children.
Safe and effective doses in humans have not been established, and there could be downsides to taking resveratrol. Preliminary studies point to some cancer protection, but there's also evidence that it may increase the risk of breast cancer -- a reminder that tinkering with nutritional substances can be complex.
The study of more than 2,000 patients in 27 countries focused on the outcomes of angioplasties performed more than 24 hours and up to 28 days after the patients first developed symptoms of a heart attack.
"The results of our study provide clear evidence that regular smoking increases the risk for asthma and that important chronic adverse consequences of smoking are not restricted to individuals who have smoked for many years," Dr. Frank D. Gilliland, of the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, said in a prepared statement.
The theory is that vitamin D explains the link. Sunlight triggers vitamin D synthesis in the skin, so a person’s stores of the vitamin depend, in part, on where he or she lives. Moreover, a growing number of studies have linked vitamin D intake and vitamin D levels in the blood to cancer risk.
The test was repeated three times -- once with each kind of drink -- and the data showed that the cyclists were able to go between 49 and 54 percent longer on the second stint after drinking chocolate milk than when they drank the carbohydrate drink. The difference between the milk and the fluid-replacement drink was not significant.
The plan, vigorously debated for two years and heavily opposed by power plants and mining companies, trumps a weaker federal rule. Pennsylvania would join Illinois as the first major coal-producing states to move beyond the federal limits and make them tougher - if measures to do so in both states become final.
  • Have you noticed the newcomers in the pear-market? You haven’t? Well get ready the Asian pears are coming. David Karp of The New York Times reports:
In recent decades Chinese government policy and market reforms have encouraged farmers to sharply increase pear production, which is expected to reach 12.5 million metric tons this year, more than two-thirds of the world’s supply. Virtually all are Asian pears, crunchy and ripe off the tree, not the European kind, such as Bartlett and Bosc, which develop their desired buttery texture and rich flavor after harvest.

Nutritional Wisdom: Nutrition Can Win the War on Cancer

Dr. Fuhrman’s radio show Nutritional Wisdom airs live Wednesdays at 11am EST with an encore presentation Thursdays at 3pm EST on VoiceAmerica. Here’s a peek at this week’s episode:

Join Dr. Fuhrman as he discusses the primary nutritional factors (good and bad) that can either prevent or promote cancer. Nutritional excellence can enable us to win the war on cancer. Dr. Fuhrman also welcomes two women who overcame their battles with breast and ovarian cancer. Tune in as these guests discuss how a high nutrient diet made a significant difference in their recoveries. Don’t miss this informative show!

Check out the Nutritional Wisdom category for previous episodes.