Pesticides, Asthma, and Farm Women

New research suggests that women on farms who come in contact with some pesticides have a greater risk of developing allergic asthma. Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News reports:
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, non-allergic asthma is caused by factors not related to allergies. But allergic asthma -- the most common form of asthma, affecting more than 50 percent of the 20 million asthma sufferers in the United States -- is characterized by symptoms that are triggered by an allergic reaction. Some typical triggers for allergic asthma include dust mites, pet dander, pollen and mold.

Experts already knew that growing up on a farm minimizes the risk of allergic disease, that pesticides have been associated with respiratory symptoms in farmers, and that farmers are at increased risk for respiratory diseases -- including asthma -- due to exposure to grains, animals, dust and other factors.

Little research, however, has delved into respiratory risk factors for farm women.

Hoppin and her colleagues examined data on 25,814 such women in North Carolina and in Iowa who are participating in the Agricultural Health Study, a large government-funded look at the effects of environmental, occupational and other factors on the health of the agricultural population.

Where's the Beef?

Sorry, I just couldn’t resist. The United States Department of Agriculture has issued a public health alert for about 14,800 pounds of missing ground beef that may be contaminated with E. coli. Reuters reports:
The alert came after a trailer containing the ground beef was reported stolen by Texas American Food Service Corporation, the USDA said in a statement.

The firm, based in Fort Worth, Texas, does business as American Fresh Foods. A company spokesman could not be immediately reached for comment.

Symptoms of E. coli 0157:H7 illness, the strain associated with the alert, include potentially severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and dehydration. Children, the elderly and people with poor immune systems are most vulnerable.
You know, over the past couple of years E. coli has gotten a lot of press. It’s about time we learn more about it, especially since it apparently runs wild in our food supply. Here are some highlights—or should I say lowlights—from Wikipedia. Take a look:
Escherichia coli (pronounced E. coli), is a bacterium that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded animals. Most E. coli strains are harmless, but some, such as serotype O157:H7, can cause serious food poisoning in humans, and are occasionally responsible for costly product recalls…

…E. coli normally colonizes an infant's GI tract within 40 hours of birth, arriving with food or water or the individuals handling the child. In the bowel, it adheres to the mucus of the large intestine. Wild-type E. coli has no growth factor requirements; it can synthesize all the components of its cell from glucose. It is the primary facultative organism of the human GI tract. As long as these bacteria do not acquire genetic elements encoding for virulence factors, they remain benign commensals…

…Certain strains of E. coli, such as O157:H7, O121 and O104:H21, are toxigenic (some produce a toxin very similar to that seen in dysentery). They can cause food poisoning usually associated with eating unwashed vegetables and contaminated meat (contaminated during or shortly after slaughter or during storage or display). O157:H7 is further notorious for causing serious, even life threatening complications like Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). The usual countermeasure is cooking suspect meat until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit (70 °C), or is "well done"; the alternative of careful inspection of slaughtering and butchering methods (to make sure that the animal's colon is removed and not punctured) has apparently not been systematically tried. This particular strain is linked to the 2006 United States E. coli outbreak of fresh spinach.
In keeping with today’s science lesson, here are a couple pictures of the E. coli bacteria. Enjoy, well, not really. Just have a look:

I see, it’s all so clear now, E. coli, the classic love-hate relationship.

Healthy or Costly?

The gripe that healthy food is more expensive than unhealthy food is debatable, but usually, the proof is found in the pudding. So, get a load of this chart from the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, via The Los Angeles Times:
Personally, I think it’s easy to live within your means and eat healthfully. The problem is $0.99 snack cakes and fast-food value menus are far more accessible and have million-dollar marketing campaigns behind them. What do you think?

Cooking Veggies...No Big Deal

I admit. For a long time I thought cooking vegetables killed them. Not so according to Dr. Fuhrman. He explains:
The raw-food movement continues to make converts, thanks to a devoted group of individuals and celebrities who embrace the belief that an all-raw food diet is the best diet. The idea that stirs the most enthusiasm for this diet is the contention that cooking both destroys about fifty percent of the nutrients in food, and destroys all or most of the life promoting enzymes.
Now, what about these enzymes? More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Contrary to what many raw-food web sites claim, the enzymes contained in the plants we eat do not catalyze chemical reactions that occur in humans. The plant enzymes merely are broken down into simpler molecules by our own powerful digestive juices. Even when the food is consumed raw, plant enzymes do not aid in their own digestion inside the human body. It is not true that eating raw food demands less enzyme production by your body, and dietary enzymes inactivated by cooking have an insignificant effect on your health and your body’s enzymes.
And here’s an interesting factoid, cooking can actually be beneficial. Dr. Fuhrman again:
In many cases, cooking destroys some of the harmful anti-nutrients that bind minerals in the gut and interfere with the utilization of nutrients. Destruction of these anti-nutrients increases absorption. Steaming vegetables and making vegetable soups breaks down cellulose and alters the plants’ cell structures so that fewer of your own enzymes are needed to digest the food, not more. The point is that this “cooked food is dead food” enzyme argument does not hold water. On the other hand, the roasting of nuts and the baking of cereals does reduce availability and absorbability of protein.
Get a load of this. Some new research has also determined that cooking vegetables might not damage their nutrient-load. More from CBS News:
The University of Parma's Nicoletta Pellegrini, PhD, and colleagues bought freshly harvested carrots, zucchini, and broccoli at a local market.

In their lab, the scientists measured levels of various antioxidants in the raw vegetables. Then they boiled, steamed, or fried the vegetables. Lastly, they measured antioxidant levels in the cooked vegetables.

Raw vegetables were loaded with antioxidants. After cooking, their antioxidant levels were a mixed bag.

In some cases, the veggies lost antioxidants to cooking. But not all antioxidants decreased when cooked -- and in some cases, certain antioxidant
levels rose when cooked.
Okay, this post isn’t intended to bash raw food—heck, Dr. Fuhrman eats plenty of raw veggies—in fact, he’ll tell you first hand, raw food is wonderful! Here’s one last quote:
Certainly, there are benefits to consuming plenty of raw fruits and vegetables. These foods supply us with high nutrient levels and the smallest number of calories. But the question we are looking at is this—Are there advantages to eating a diet of all raw foods and excluding all cooked foods?

Clearly, the answer is a resounding “No.” In fact, eating an exclusively raw-food diet is a disadvantage. To exclude all steamed vegetables and vegetable soups from your diet narrows the nutrient diversity of your diet and has a tendency to reduce the percentage of calories from vegetables, in favor of nuts and fruit, which are lower in nutrients per calorie.
I should point out, I’m eating a raw fruit and veggie chocolate pudding right now—YUM!

Kids: More on Phantom Obesity

Yesterday it was reported that many parents don’t realize that their children are overweight. In case you missed it. This Fox News video report will get you up to speed. Take a look:

Now, if you’ve actually caught yourself describing your child as “husky” or “big-boned,” you might want to ponder this quote in the AP report from Dr. Matthew M. Davis. Here it is:
"When I see a child that is obese at these younger ages, I take that as a sign of ways nutrition can be improved, a child's activity level can be improved."
Me thinks the good doctor might be onto something. From one doctor to another, Dr. Fuhrman explains why it shouldn’t be a surprise that all Americans, including kids, are getting fatter. Check it out:
Weight has increased in America simply because total calorie consumption has risen and activity or exercise has fallen. Our diets are more nutrient-deficient than ever.
Isn't acknowledging the problem is the first step?

We Should All Cut the Salt...

Reminds me of that Bob Dylan song, “Everybody must get…” You know how it goes, but seriously, Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D. thinks we all should cut back on the salt. Jill Daly of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:
The hidden store of salt lies in processed foods, says Madelyn Fernstrom, Ph.D., nutritionist and director of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Weight Management Center.

That's where most people double their recommended daily dose of 2,300 to 2,500 milligrams of salt.

"Ten percent comes from table salt; 75 percent comes from processed foods, like ketchup, soy sauce," she says, adding that by putting soy sauce on sushi, a healthy dish becomes a hazard.

She says a quick reading of a product's label reveals the high salt content of condiments, canned soups, rice and noodle mixes, macaroni and cheese, frozen foods, cereals, breads and deli meats.

Among those urging FDA action to reduce excess salt in food at a recent hearing in Washington, D.C., was the American Medical Association.

"The need for immediate action is clear," said Dr. Stephen Havas, AMA vice president for science, quality and public health. "The deaths attributed to excess salt consumption represent a huge toll -- the equivalent of a jumbo jet with more than 400 passengers crashing every day of the year, year after year."
Great quote by Dr. Havas. Now, I’ve talked about it before, but, it always bears repeating. Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of salt, and, he also thinks we should do our best to avoid it. Here’s a conglomeration of his comments on salt. Enjoy:
Salt addiction has developed throughout civilization in the last 5000 years, creating a worldwide epidemic of high blood pressure and resultant strokes. Besides fatigue, cravings, and uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms, salt use gradually deadens your taste1…

…High salt intake, and resultant high blood pressure later in life, does not merely increase the risk and incidence of stroke. It also can lead to kidney failure, congestive heart failure, and heart attack. Salt consumption is linked to both stomach cancer and hypertension.2 For optimal health, I recommend that no salt at all be added to any food…

…High salt intake also contributes to flushing your bone mass down the toilet bowl. Excessive stimulation of bone turnover also causes an increase in bone breakdown and remodeling, which can lead to osteoarthritis and calcium deposits in other tissues. The presence of this bone material in the urinary tract also lays the foundation for calcium-based kidney stones.
Salt content, is a major reason why I hardly eat any processed or canned foods—Yuck!
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"Exercise-Friendly" Daycare?

Robert Preidt of HealthDay News takes a look at mixing exercise with childcare. Here’s an excerpt:
"Childhood obesity is an epidemic that threatens the future health of our nation. We know that about 57 percent of all 3- to 5-year-olds in the United States attend child-care centers, so it's important to understand what factors will encourage them to be more active, and, hopefully, less likely to become obese," study co-author Dianne Ward said in a statement. Ward is director of the intervention and policy division in the nutrition department at University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill School of Public Health.

In their study, Ward's team evaluated the physical activity levels of children at 20 child-care centers in North Carolina.

They found that children did more moderate and vigorous physical activity if the child-care center: had more portable play equipment, such as balls, jump ropes, hula hoops and riding toys; offered more opportunities for indoor and outdoor active play; and provided physical activity training and education for staff and students.
Clearly, the TV is not a good babysitter.

Secondhand Smoke-Allergy Risk

New research suggests that young children who have been exposed to secondhand smoke have a higher risk of developing allergies. Reuters is on it:
Experts have known that exposure to secondhand smoke either prenatally or early in life can raise a child's risk of developing asthma symptoms. But the evidence regarding allergies in general has been mixed.

In the new study, Swedish researchers found that 4-year-olds who had been exposed to parents' smoking during early infancy were at greater risk of allergies to indoor allergens like dust mites and cat dander. They were also at greater risk of food allergies.

It's possible that secondhand smoke triggers inflammation in the lining of young children's airways, which may sensitize them to allergy-triggering substances, according to the researchers, led by Dr. Eva Lannero of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm.

Alcohol, Calories, Bellies

The alcohol-Eat to Live conundrum. It’s a puzzling one. As Eat to Livers we want to eat and live healthfully, but, how does booze fit into the equation? Does it even? Dr. Fuhrman discusses alcohol in his book Eat to Live. Here’s a snippet:
It is much wiser to avoid the detrimental effects of alcohol completely and protect yourself from heart disease with nutritional excellence. For example, even moderate alcohol consumption is linked to higher rates of breast cancer and to occurrence of atrial fibrillation.1 Avoid alcohol and eat healthfully if possible, but if that one drink a day will make you stay with this plan much more successfully, then have it.
Reasonable advice—works for me. I don’t drink a lot, but I do drink. When you’re young and single, not drinking can become a social handicap. Now, the reason why I don’t drink very often is because I’m firmly aware of the adverse health effects. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Dietary Factors That Induce Calcium Loss in the Urine2
animal protein
refined sugar
aluminum-containing antacids
drugs such as antibiotics, steroids, thyroid hormone
vitamin A supplements
15 Common Migraine Triggers
dairy and cheese
salted or pickled foods
fermented foods
smoked meats
monosodium glutamate
nuts food
hydrolyzed protein
baked goods
For most people, the worst side effect of booze is consuming all those excess calories and in Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman explains, they go right to your gut. Check it out:
Moderate drinking has been associated with a lower incidence of coronary heart disease in more than forty prospective studies. This only applies to moderate drinking—defined as one drink or less per day for women, and two drinks or less for men. More than this is associated with increased fat around the waist and other potential problems.3 Alcohol consumption also leads to mild withdrawal sensations the next day that are commonly mistaken for hunger. One glass of wine per day is likely insignificant, but I advise against higher levels of alcohol consumption.
Now, it’s always cool when Dr. Fuhrman’s points get echoed somewhere else. Like this report for example. Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times investigates the claim, Calories From Alcohol Go to Your Midsection. Take a look:
In general, drinking causes weight gain primarily because alcohol slows the body’s ability to burn fat for energy, not to mention that it increases appetite. The effects of alcohol on the midsection are complicated, but studies show pretty clearly that beer, wine and spirits have a greater effect on belly fat in adults who drink sporadically than in people who drink regularly but in small amounts.

In one study published in The Journal of Nutrition in 2003, a group of scientists followed more than 2,300 drinkers and nondrinkers and found — after controlling for a number of variables — that those who averaged a single drink per day had the lowest levels of abdominal fat. Those who drank occasionally but had four or more drinks in one sitting had the greatest levels. Several studies have shown similar results.
The investigation concludes that excessive drinking is the likely to cause unsightly belly fat. So, with all this being said, next time your out with friends and one of them offers to buy you a drink, at least you’ve got the facts. Personally, I’ll take a gin martini on the rocks!
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He's Not Fat, He's Just Big Boned

As a kid I heard that one, and, that I was “husky.” Nice way to boost a child’s self esteem, first tell him he’s go abnormally giant bones. Then, confuse him into thinking he’s part dog. Maybe all this cliché is why many parents can’t realize their kids are fat. The Associated Press reports:
That is worrisome because obese children run the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol problems and other ailments more commonly found in adults. And overweight children are likely to grow up to be overweight adults.

"It suggests to me that parents of younger kids believe that their children will grow out of their obesity, or something will change at older ages," said Dr. Matthew M. Davis, a University of Michigan professor of pediatrics and internal medicine who led the study, released earlier this month.

"When I see a child that is obese at these younger ages, I take that as a sign of ways nutrition can be improved, a child's activity level can be improved."
I have a thought of my own—well, it’s not really my own, I heard Dr. Fuhrman say it once—maybe the reason why parents can’t realize that their children are fat, is because they themselves aren’t exactly the spitting image of health. Here’s what Dr. Fuhrman had to say about all this:
If children are in an environmental of healthful foods they will have no problem developing a healthy attitude toward food. Setting an example supported by both parents is the most important and most effective approach.
Personally, I started exercising a lot when I was a teenager because I saw how much mom worked out. Parents are the key—who would have thought!

Pondering Polycarbonate

Polycarbonate is a compound found in many plastic water bottles. Never heard of it? Well, it’s quickly gaining the reputation of a nasty little hormone mimicker. Ben Dobbin of the Associated Press has more:
Worries about a hormone-mimicking chemical used in the trendy sports accessory led a major Canadian retailer to remove Nalgene and other polycarbonate plastic containers from store shelves in early December.

"It's definitely a concern but I'd like to learn more before I make any decisions about my water bottles," McHugh, 26, a business manager for a reggae band, said with an easy laugh. "For now, I'll probably keep using my Nalgene until it breaks. It's indestructible, I've heard…"

…There is little dispute that the chemical can disrupt the hormonal system, but scientists differ markedly on whether very low doses found in food and beverage containers can be harmful. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration sides with the plastics industry that BPA-based products do not pose a health risk.

However, an expert panel of researchers reported at a U.S. government conference that the potential for BPA to affect human health is a concern, and more research is needed. The panel cited evidence that Americans have levels of BPA higher than those found to cause harm in lab animals.
Now, toxic water bottles are a bigger issue than you might realize. Just get a load of these previous posts:
Kind of scary.

Counting Calories...Still Stupid!

Do you count calories? I hope not. I don’t. Big waste of time if you ask me, but, I’m just a dopey blogger, what do I know? Here Dr. Fuhrman talks about calorie-counting:
With calorie-counting and point-counting and having to weigh, measure, and calculate amounts eaten, you are following a diet. Who wants to diet and measure portions forever? I enjoy eating. I eat the way I advise all my patients to do, yet I am not overweight. Why? I enjoy eating lots of great tasting stuff and not having to worry about my weight or my health. Intellectually, I know that I am doing the right thing to prevent heart disease and other medical problems from developing in my future. Dieting and measuring out thimble-sized portions of food for the rest of one's life is not something that fits in naturally and permanently into anyone's lifestyle.
And it seems those calorie-counting meters on gym equipment are no better. In fact, many experts think they’re pretty inaccurate. Gina Kolata of The New York Times reports:
You can use your heart rate to gauge your effort, and from that you can plan routines that are as challenging as you want. But, researchers say, heart rate does not translate easily into calories. And you may be in for a rude surprise if you try to count the calories you think you used during exercise and then reward yourself with extra food.

One reason for the calorie-count skepticism is that two individuals of the same age, gender, height, weight and even the same level of fitness can burn a different amount of calories at the same level of exertion.

Claude Bouchard, an obesity and exercise researcher who directs the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La., found that if, for example, the average number of calories burned with an exercise is 100, individuals will burn anywhere from 70 to 130 calories.

Part of that is genetic and part is familiarity with the exercise. The more familiar you are with an exercise, the fewer calories you use at the same level of effort, he found in a research study. Subjects rode stationary bicycles six days a week for 12 weeks. They ended up burning 10 percent fewer calories at a given level of effort after their training. The reason, he said, is that people perform an exercise more efficiently as they become more accustomed to it.

There also is a seldom mentioned complication in calculating calories burned during exercise: you should subtract off the number of calories you would be using if you did nothing. Almost no one does that, Dr. Bouchard said. But for moderate exercise, the type most people do, subtracting the resting metabolic rate can eliminate as much as 30 percent of the calories you think you used, he added.

Resting metabolic rates, though, differ from individual to individual and also differ depending on age, gender, body mass, body composition and level of fitness, so guessing at your resting rate also is fraught with error.
Personally, I could care less what those meters read. I go for duration and intensity. Whatever the calories will be, will be—how about you?

Safe Toys for the Holidays

Whether your holiday is over or you’re getting ready celebrate it, buying safe toys is important, especially in light of all the recent toxin-scares. Dennis Thompson of HealthDay News has more:
Holiday toys are supposed to surprise and delight. But this year, toys are threatening to cause more worry than joy.

Millions of toys made in China have been recalled in recent months by toy companies, many because they were decorated with lead paint. The recalls involve popular brands, including Hot Wheels, Barbie, and Thomas the Tank Engine, among others…

…Prevent Blindness America offers these other suggestions:

Read all warnings and instructions on the box.
  • Avoid toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods or dangerous edges.
  • Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards.
  • Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off…
…Finally, parents should avoid buying one of the most common -- yet one of the most dangerous -- items on the toy market: latex balloons. Balloons and pieces of broken balloons can block a child's airway and should never be given to children younger than 8.

Fitness vs. Fatness

According to new research it’s good to be fit even if you’re overweight. Will Dunham of Reuters reports:
Men and women who were fit, as judged by a treadmill test, but were overweight or obese had a lower mortality risk than those of normal weight but low fitness levels, the study in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed.

Exercise expert Steven Blair of the University of South Carolina and colleagues tracked about 2,600 people age 60 and up, examining how physical fitness and body fat affected their death rates over 12 years.

Those in the lowest fifth in terms of fitness had a death rate four times higher than participants ranked in the top fifth for fitness.
Here’s some pictures form the slideshow that accompanied the report—should be no surprise why I picked them—take a look:

Let me know what exercise activities you’re into and I’ll keep an eye out for related news!

Soda Surcharge, Will it Work?

San Francisco’s mayor wants to charge stores a fee for selling soft drinks sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup. Jesse McKinley of The New York Times reports:
In a move he says is necessary to trim the city’s waistline, the decidedly slim mayor of San Francisco, Gavin Newsom, has proposed charging big stores a fee when they sell sugar-sweet soda.

The proposal, which was reported by The San Francisco Chronicle on Monday, would put an as yet-to-be-defined surcharge on all drinks with high-fructose corn syrup, which puts the sweet pop in most nondiet sodas and many other food products. The syrup also puts on the pounds, something city officials say strains the health care system…

…Mr. Keane said that if Mr. Newsom really wanted to fight the fat, he would take on computer and video game companies, which Kevin Keane, a senior vice president of the American Beverage Association, said lured children inside when they should “be outside burning calories.”

Mr. Newsom, a Diet Coke man who exercises regularly, already earned the ire of beverage companies with a ban this year on bottled water at City Hall, where staff members now drink filtered and cooled tap water. The soda proposal will be introduced to the Board of Supervisors early next year, Nathan Ballard, a spokesman for the mayor, said, and would affect only large retailers, not mom-and-pop stores. As for levies on other child-friendly delicacies, Mr. Ballard added, “The mayor has no intention of imposing a fee on pizza.”
Let’s start with the easy issue first. You don’t have to be a medical expert to know high-fructose corny syrup (HFCS) is a scourge. Dr. Fuhrman explains in Disease-Proof Your Child:
Obesity rates have risen in tandem with soda consumption in the United States, and in the last twenty years the consumption of soft drinks by teenagers had doubled.1 Twelve to nineteen-year-old boys consume thirty-four teaspoons of sugar a day in their diet, and about half of that comes from soft drinks. Children start drinking soft drinks at a very young age, and advertisements and promotions by the soft drink manufacturers are aggressively marketed to the young.
The claim that obesity numbers parallel the rate of soft drink-consumption certainly bolsters Mayor Newsom’s proposal. With that being said, this chart is a must read:

Source: Data from the National Soft Drink Association, Beverage World,
published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (

Now, the heart of the matter is will this additional fee dissuade customers from buying soft drinks; logic would tell you that if retailers are paying a surcharge they will no doubt pass the cost onto consumers—sounds similar to cigarette taxes. Check this out from Tobacco Free Kids:
Studies, and experience in state after state, show that higher cigarette taxes are one of the most effective ways to reduce smoking among both youth and adults. Every 10 percent increase in the price of cigarettes will reduce youth smoking by about seven percent and overall cigarette consumption by about four percent.
We all know the proof is in the pudding. Feast your eyes on this chart. It’s certainly in the same vein as the obesity-soda consumption chart above. Take a look:

This surcharge doesn’t sound like an unfair proposition, especially when you apply the cigarette-tax-logic, which most people seem to agree with. Now, Water for Life USA Blog provides other reasons why soda is bad, here’s three:
pH of Soda = pH of Vinegar
For one, soda, no matter who makes it, is the most acidic beverage you can buy, with a pH of about 2.5, about the same as vinegar. Why does that matter? Acid oxidizes whatever it comes in contact with. If you put soda or vinegar on metal, it will rust it quickly.

Drink Soda, Leach Calcium
If you drink soda, which also contains high levels of phosphorous, you will leach calcium from your bones. Dr. Michael Murray from the Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine concluded, “It appears that increased soft drink consumption is a major factor that contributes to osteoporosis.” Furthermore, Dr. Elson Haas, author of The Detox Diet states, “Tooth loss, periodontal disease, and gingivitis can be problems, especially with a high phosphorus intake, particularly from soft drinks.”

Soda Will Dissolve your Tooth Enamel
Weak bones is just the beginning. According to Dr. James Howenstein. author of A Physician’s Guide to Natural Health Products That Work, the high sugar content of soda is awful. He states, “”In an interesting experiment the sugar from one soft drink was able to damage the white blood cells’ ability to ingest and kill bacteria for seven hours.” Dr. Marion Nestle from his book Food Politics states, “Sugar and acid in soft drinks so easily dissolve tooth enamel.”
And just like soda, cigarettes also pose dangers outside of the most salient, that being cancer. breaks down a list of other smoking hazards. A few of note:
  • Carbon monoxide binds to hemoglobin in red blood cells, preventing affected cells from carrying a full load of oxygen.
  • The carcinogen benzo(a)pyrene binds to cells in the airways and major organs of smokers.
  • The body produces antioxidants to help repair damaged cells.
  • Smokers have lower levels of antioxidants in their blood than do nonsmokers.
Clearly, it’s pretty hard to classify soda as less harmless than cigarettes. So, if a tax helps reduce the number of smokers, then why not impose a penalty fee on soft drinks. All indications seem to favor its success. And after all, the cigarette companies are still making millions.
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Finance before Fitness

According to a new study, Americans want fit finances before a fit body. Reuters is on it:
After a year of record mortgage foreclosures and slumping home prices, Americans are more determined to shape up their flabby finances in 2008 than their bodies, according to a study released by Countrywide Bank on Tuesday.

Some 67 percent of the 1,002 adults surveyed nationwide said that becoming financially fit is a top New Year's resolution, while 57 percent are committed to becoming physically fit in 2008.

"The results of the survey are an indicator that people are finally putting financial health on par with physical health," said clinical psychologist Dr. Melody Alderman in a statement from Countrywide.
This is certainly a tough call. I mean if you’re broke, that would seem to take priority. What do you think?


Dr. Fuhrman will tell you, “Mushrooms make a great chewy replacement to meat. Exploring their varieties is a great way to add interesting flavors and texture to dishes.” But, did you know mushrooms are also potent prostate cancer-fighters? More from the AFP:
Researchers at the university in northern Israel said they found molecules in the Ganoderma lucidum mushroom, commonly known as the reishi, which help supress some mechanisms involved in the progression of prostate cancer.

"We already knew the mushroom could impede the development of cancer by affecting the immune system. The in-vitro trials we have done show that it attacks the cancer cells directly," chief researcher Ben Zion Zaidman told AFP.

"These results give rise to hope about developing medication to treat prostate cancer," he said of research carried out to date only in Petri dishes. The research still has to be tested on animals.
Mushrooms are one of my favorite foods! In fact, I’m debating adopting one of those truffle-sniffing dogs—kidding. But seriously, mushrooms are the real deal. Here Dr. Fuhrman explains why they’re especially good in the fight against cancer. Take a look:
Even though they are a fungus, and not a real vegetable, mushrooms contain a variety of powerful phytochemicals and have been linked to decreased risk of chronic diseases, especially cancer.
And for you mushroom-haters out there—you know who you are—eating mushrooms does not have to be an icky experience. Check out these amazing mushroom recipes:
Doubly Delicious Greens
1 large bunch bok choy, chopped
1 large bunch Swiss chard, chopped
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes (no salt)
2 cups shiitake and/or baby bella mushrooms, sliced
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning
Place bok choy, Swiss chard, onions, and garlic in a large steamer and steam until almost tender, about 10 minutes. In a large pot add tomatoes, mushrooms, steamed greens mixture, and seasoning. Simmer over low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cabbage Mushroom Soup
15 oz. carrot juice
10 oz. celery juice
20 oz. water
6 onions
1 head green cabbage
3 stalks broccoli rabe
6 leaves collard greens
4 cups mushrooms, chopped (shiitake preferred)
1 Tbsp. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. Salt-Free 17 Seasoning (Lawry’s)
1 tsp. Mrs. Dash
1/4 cup unhulled raw sesame seeds
1/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup red kidney beans
1/2 cup white beans
Cook all ingredients (except the sesame seeds and cashews) on a very low flame in a large covered pot. Remove the cabbage, broccoli rabe, and collards when soft and place in a blender or food processor. Ladle in a little of the soup liquid, purée, and pour the entire mixture back into the soup. Next, put the sesame seeds and cashews into the blender, ladle in some of the soup, purée until silky smooth, and pour the mixture into the soup. Continue cooking until the beans are soft, for about 2 hours. (The basic recipe can be made with any types of greens and beans.)

Predicting Fitness Trends 2008

So what will be the most popular fitness crazes for the new year? Jack Kelly of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette breaks them down. Take a look:
The most important fitness trend for 2008 will be the availability of "educated and experienced fitness professionals" to run health clubs, conduct exercise classes, and serve as personal trainers, said the American College of Sports Medicine, an organization that certifies fitness professionals.

Increasing the number of fitness professionals nudged out programs to fight childhood obesity and personal training for the top spot in the ACSM's second annual survey of what its more than 20,000 members worldwide think will be the top fitness trends for the new year. Programs to fight child obesity topped the list in last year's inaugural survey.

Personal training jumped from seventh in last year's survey to third.
Yoga clocked in as number ten—yippee!

Seasonal Affective Disorder, the other SAD

We all know that SAD is short for standard America diet, but it also refers to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Never heard of it? Here’s how Wikipedia defines it:
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as winter depression, is an affective, or mood, disorder. Most SAD sufferers experience normal mental health throughout most of the year, but experience depressive symptoms in the winter or summer.
It might sound silly. Getting the blues because it’s dark outside, but Seasonal Affective Disorder is very much a part of the animal kingdom, and that includes humans. Richard A. Friedman, MD of The New York Times investigates:
Once regarded skeptically by the experts, seasonal affective disorder, SAD for short, is now well established. Epidemiological studies estimate that its prevalence in the adult population ranges from 1.4 percent (Florida) to 9.7 percent (New Hampshire).

Researchers have noted a similarity between SAD symptoms and seasonal changes in other mammals, particularly those that sensibly pass the dark winter hibernating in a warm hole. Animals have brain circuits that sense day length and control the timing of seasonal behavior…

…A major biological signal tracking seasonal sunlight changes is melatonin, a brain chemical turned on by darkness and off by light. Dr. Wehr and Dr. Rosenthal found that the patients with seasonal depression had a longer duration of nocturnal melatonin secretion in the winter than in the summer, just as with other mammals with seasonal behavior.
Dr. Fuhrman understands the challenge SAD can present. That’s why he recommends people use therapy lights. He sells them at Here’s why:
This Therapeutic Light contains the features that medical literature demonstrates are critical to the effectiveness of light therapy for Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymia, Bipolar Depression, Seasonal Depressive Disorder, PMS, Insomnia, ADHD, ADD, and Bulimia Nervosa. Studies show that light therapy may also be helpful in Fibromyalgia and Post-partum Depression as well. It is recommended by the non–profit Center for Environmental Therapeutics (CET), and used exclusively in a new light therapy clinical program at Columbia University’s Presbyterian Hospital. In 2005 a meta–analysis of all randomized, controlled trials of light therapy found dawn stimulation with a bright light to be as effective for major depression as medications. Also, the results occur much more rapidly than drugs, with results noted in as little as one week.
In fact, Dr. Fuhrman will tell you firsthand. There are a lot of natural—non-pharmaceutical—therapies for depression. From Treating Depression Naturally:
With over a million prescriptions for antidepressants being filled each week and annual sales of 11 billion dollars at stake, it is unlikely that a new protocol for depressed people will emerge in America. Money usually dictates direction in the medical/drug/insurance industry. However, the conflict and controversy over the dangers of psychotropic medications used for depression, and the recent cardiac-related deaths from Ritalin prescribed for ADHD, are calling attention to the all-too-cozy relationship between government agencies and the drug industry. The public no longer can trust the validity of drug-related information that comes from even such formerly respected sources as medical journals and universities. These institutions depend increasingly on pharmaceutical dollars (advertising and grant monies), and this has led to numerous instances of inaccurate reports that conceal evidence and promote drug use…

… Natural therapies are surprisingly effective. Recent advances in non-pharmacologic treatments for depression can help people feel better—and even assist them in making total recovery—without dependence on medications. Researchers doing the studies in this field have been surprised to find that natural therapies can have very high success rates, rivaling those of drugs. Of particular interest is the fact that these non-pharmacologic treatments get results faster than drug treatments. Now is the time for all people with depression to give these safe, natural treatments a try. By combining the most promising facets of these approaches, the likelihood of improvement and recovery is greatly enhanced.
On a personal note, when I was a big fat load I loved the winter—a welcomed break from all the sweating—but now, I hate it! In fact, this fall was the first time I experienced some Seasonal Affective Disorder, so, despite the artic temperatures lately, I make sure I get plenty of sun.

Sunlight Fights Cancer

Wait, sufficient sun exposure helps prevent disease—NO—you don’t say? Pardon my smart-alecky tone, but this factoid is an old hat for Followhealthlife. Let’s review. Alright, remember this report, Sunlight in Youth Might Shield Against MS? Here’s a refresher:
"Evidence is building up that something in relation to sunlight and/or vitamin D exposure during childhood may play a protective role," said study co-author Dr. Thomas M. Mack, of the department of preventive medicine, Keck School of Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles. "It's now been suggested by several different studies that this is the case, and if it's true, it would be important."
Okay, okay. That’s Multiple Sclerosis, but what about cancer? Is it possible that something as simple as basking in the sun can reduce our risk of developing something as insidious as CANCER? More learning tree time, remember Ultraviolet: Go into the Light? Take a look:
In two studies with mice, a British team cloaked antibodies -- the immune system proteins that tag germs and cancer cells for elimination -- with an organic oil that blocked them from reacting until illuminated with ultraviolet light.

The researchers used engineered immune system proteins called monoclonal antibodies. They are made to home in on proteins known to be overactive in tumor cells.

When the light unblocked the organic coating, the antibodies switched on and attracted killer T-cells to attack the tumor, said Colin Self, a researcher at Newcastle University, who led the studies.
Still not convinced? Alright, I’ve got a new report for you. Amanda Gardner of HealthDay News brings this to the table, under the catchy title, Sunlight Helps Put Lung Cancer in the Shade. Lung cancer too? Yup, lung cancer too! For real, from the report:
A new study finds that lower levels of the sun's ultraviolet B (UVB) rays are associated with a higher incidence of lung cancer across 111 countries.

Still, that doesn't mean that spending more time in the sun will ever offset the risks that come with smoking, according to the study, which is published in the January issue of the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

It's also not an excuse to trade skin cancer for lung cancer.

"The problem is that people might over-interpret this and stay in the sun for hours," said Cedric Garland, study senior author, professor of family and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), and participating member at the Moores UCSD Cancer Center in La Jolla.
“For over 60 years, researchers have observed an inverse association between sun exposure and cancer mortality,” explains Dr. Fuhrman,” And those with more sun exposure had fewer cancers.” See, not exactly new news, but how many people listen? That’s the question!

Stressing Women, Hidden Fat

This CBS video report claims that stress can cause dangerous fat to build up around women’s internal organs. It’s pretty interesting. Check it out:

Scary! More reason for women to stay active and—for the sake of men everywhere—RELAX!

Cancer...Globally Lethal

You don’t like reading stuff like this—you just don’t. Its official, 2007 saw 8 million cancer-related deaths worldwide. Steven Reinberg of HealthDay News reports:
Cancer continues to cut a deadly swath across the globe, with the American Cancer Society reporting 12 million new cases of malignancy diagnosed worldwide in 2007, with 7.6 million people dying from the disease.

The report, Global Cancer Facts & Figures, finds that 5.4 million of those cancers and 2.9 million deaths are in more affluent, developed nations, while 6.7 million new cancer cases and 4.7 million deaths hit people in developing countries.

"The point of the report is to promote cancer control worldwide, and increase awareness worldwide," said report co-author Dr. Ahmedin Jemal, director of the society's Cancer Occurrence Office.

The number of cancers and cancer deaths around the world is on the rise, Jemal said, mostly due to an aging population. "There is increasing life expectancy, and cancer occurs more frequently in older age groups," he noted.
I wonder how many of those could have been prevented. The “on the rise” part is the most daunting.

Diet and Acne...Uh Duh!

In the spring ParentDish blogged about research suggesting that milk consumption can actually make teenage acne worse. Here’s a bit of the post:
According to the research, teens who drank a pint of milk or more a day were nearly 50% more likely to develop pimples that those who rarely or never drink milk. Analysis of over 47,000 teenage diets revealed that skim milk drinkers were at most risk for acne (raising the risk by 44%), followed by whole milk drinkers who were 12% more likely to develop the unsightly stuff.
For more, get check out this excerpt from The Daily Mail. It broke the story in May. Take a look:
The US researchers looked at the teenage diet of more than 47,000 women and then compared dairy product intake with cases of acne.

Analysis of the results revealed a clear link between milk and skin problems.

Worst off were those who regularly drank skimmed milk, with two half-pint glasses a day raising the risk of the condition by 44 per cent.

Those who drank a pint of whole milk a day were 12 per cent more likely to develop acne, while semi-skimmed milk increased the risk by 16 per cent.

Overall, those who regularly drank milk were 22 per cent more likely to have suffered from acne than those who rarely or never drank the white stuff.
Clearly, diet has A LOT to do with the development and severity of acne, but, not everyone agrees. Get a load of this commenter to the ParentDish post:
I can't believe that we are still discussing dietary issues relating to acne. I thought that went out in the 60's. If the Harvard researcher doesn't believe in human consumption of milk that's his choice. We have teenagers allready drinking too much soda and other empty caffeine bererages. I had serious acne as a teenager my brother didn' tand we ate the same diet. Acne is genetically related as to the size of the pores and amount of oil secreted. Nurse in Dairyland.
Yeah—spell check much! That’s all we need is more talk about diet having nothing to do with disease, and, the genetics is all to blame. Very silly thinking! I now quote Dr. Fuhrman:
Patients are told that food has nothing to do with the disease they develop. Dermatologists insist that food has nothing to do with acne, rheumatologists insist that food has nothing to do with rheumatoid arthritis, and gastroenterologists insist that food has nothing to do with irritable and inflammatory bowel disease. Even cardiologists have been resistant to accept the accumulating evidence that atherosclerosis is entirely avoidable. Most of them still believe that coronary artery disease and angina require the invasive treatment of surgery and are not reversible with nutritional intervention. Most physicians have no experience in treating disease naturally with nutritional excellence, and some physicians who don’t know about it are convinced it is not possible.
Sounds a lot like the “Nurse in Dairyland.” Dr. Fuhrman will tell you, genetics are a factor, but, they’re not all that. He explains:
Both patients and physicians act as though everyone’s medical problems are genetic, or assumed to be the normal consequence of aging. They believe that chronic illness is just what we all must expect. Unfortunately, the medical-pharmaceutical business has encouraged people to believe that health problems are hereditary and that we need to swallow poisons to defeat our genes. This is almost always untrue. We all have genetic weaknesses, but those weaknesses never get a chance to express themselves until we abuse our body with many, many years of mistreatment. Never forget, 99 percent of your genes are programmed to keep you healthy. The problem is that we never let them do their job.

Most chronic illnesses have been earned from a lifetime of inferior nutrition, which eventually results in abnormal function or frequent discomfort. These illnesses are not beyond our control, they are primarily genetic, and they are not the normal consequence of aging. True, we all have our weakest links governed by genetics; but these links need never reveal themselves unless our health deteriorates. Superior health flows naturally as a result of superior nutrition. Our predisposition to certain illnesses can remain hidden.
Now, how about some current events? Followhealthlife reader Anet sent this article over. Dermatoligists contend diet has nothing to do with acne, but, research seems to prove otherwise. Cynthia Graber of The Boston Globe investigates:
Dr. William Danby, a dermatologist in Manchester, New Hampshire, and an assistant professor at Dartmouth Medical School, had been conducting his own investigations. From 1973 to 1980, he kept a detailed log of his patients' diets in a quest to understand the root of their acne. After compiling thousands of patient surveys, he noticed a trend: Those who consumed the most dairy also had the most severe acne. "I had some serious cases," he says. "One was a gal who was an identical twin. She and her sister were raised in Scotland. She took the creamy top of everything; she loved milk and had awful acne. Her sister would drink minimal amounts of the bottom and had no acne."

Without waiting for a peer-reviewed scientific study - though that, too, would come - Danby began counseling patients by the late 1970s to avoid all dairy for six months. Danby says it has worked for many of his patients: "Another guy was 61, the son of an ice cream dealer. He had acute acne all over his back at 61. When I told him he had to stop dairy, he nearly cried. A year later, he was free of fresh lesions…"

…SO WHY HAVE DOCTORS been taught for so long that there's no link? The anti-diet hypothesis that Treloar and Danby struggle against arose solely from two studies from the late 1960s and early 1970s. "I got the papers, and I reviewed them," says Treloar, "and they wouldn't be published today. They just don't meet the standards."

One compares real chocolate bars with fake ones and was conducted at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine with funding from the Chocolate Manufacturers Association. But that's comparing sugar with sugar, as Treloar says, and the fake chocolate bars were also loaded with trans fats known to trigger inflammation. The other study examines sugar in the diet of a small group, but, Treloar says, does not take into account what we know now about how glycemic loads from other foods such as white flour and potatoes affect insulin levels.

At the time, the studies seemed to debunk two popular theoretical culprits - chocolate and sugar - and so they stuck. By the 1970s, all dermatologists were being inculcated with the prevailing view that food has no relationship to acne. Since then, most research about food and acne other than the dairy studies has been conducted outside the United States.
Hey, I’m just a know-nothing blogger, but dairy farming is big business and we all know how big business influences government—right? I don’t know, just saying.

Christmas Lights...with Lead

No matter what holiday you celebrate. If you’re putting lights up around your house, you might want to read this report. Apparently some Christmas lights contain lead. More from CNN:
CNN's "American Morning" purchased samples of four common brands of Christmas lights and asked an independent New Jersey-based testing organization, Quantex Laboratories, to check for surface lead. Quantex analyzed three strings of lights from each brand.

The lab followed the Consumer Product Safety Commission's standard wipe test for lead in polyvinyl chloride products, including mini blinds and toys, to see how much lead in the cords' PVC coating would come off on someone's hands.

"You don't realize there's lead in it, you eat a cookie, you eat something without washing your hands, that exposure builds up in your body over time," said Dr. James Menoutis, who runs the lab at Quantex.

In the four brands of lights tested, Quantex found surface lead levels far exceeding the CPSC's recommended children's limit of 15 micrograms.

Wal-Mart brand lights had the highest levels of surface lead, with levels ranging from 86.6 to 132.7 micrograms. GE lights showed surface lead levels from 68 to 109.1 micrograms. Sylvania had surface lead levels from 59 to 70.3 micrograms. Levels of surface lead in the lights made by Philips ranged from a low of 3.2 -- well under the 15 microgram limit -- to 107.2 in another sample.
Quite the toxic world we live in—scary.

Not So Tipsy Pregnant Ladies

Eureka! Scientist have discovered why big-bellied pregnant women don’t tip over—scintillating! Miranda Hitti of WebMD is on it:
The study, published tomorrow in Nature, explains that women's spines are built differently from men's spines.

The study shows that the lower part of a woman's spine is built to curve more during pregnancy. That adjustment helps women hold their center of gravity while pregnancy pushes their waistline way beyond their hips.

"Pregnancy presents an enormous challenge for the female body," researcher Katherine Whitcome, PhD, says in a news release.

"The body must change in dramatic ways to accommodate the baby, and these changes affect a woman's stability and posture. It turns out that enhanced curvature and reinforcement of the lower spine are key to maintaining normal activities during pregnancy," says Whitcome, who is a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University's anthropology department.
I don’t know about you, but I can sleep more easily now.

Ideal Cholesterol 199?

Alright, I’m convinced. This nation has gone loony-tunes! First, New Jersey went off the deep end with mandatory flu injections, and now, a new government report insists that a total cholesterol level of 199 is ideal. What! Mike Stobbe of Associated Press reports:
Results from a national blood test survey found the average total cholesterol level was 199. Doctors like patients to have total cholesterol readings of 200 or lower…

…The survey collects data in two-year intervals. The new results are based on a national sample of about 4,500 people 20 and older from 2005-06. The new 199 level compares with 204 in 1999-2000…

…Researchers also found that the percentage of adults with high cholesterol, of 240 or higher, dropped to 16 percent, down from 20 percent in the early 1990s.
The report cites the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs as the main reason for the reduction. Yeah—because that’s a good! In case you forgot, Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of using medicine to lower cholesterol. Take statins for example:
When resorting to medical intervention, rather than dietary modifications, other problems arise, reducing the potential reduction in mortality possible, as these individuals are at risk of serious side effects from the medication. The known side effects for various statins (the most popular and effective medications to lower cholesterol) include hepatitis, jaundice, other liver problems, gastrointestinal upsets, muscle problems and a variety of blood complications such as reduced platelet levels and anemia.
But what about this “ideal” cholesterol level, is a score of 199 really healthy? Okay, you decide. In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman discusses the cholesterol levels of populations consuming a plant-based diet. Here’s an excerpt:
A vegetable, fruit, nut, and bean-based diet has been shown to be the most effective cholesterol-lowering dietary approach in medical history. This newsworthy data with the potential to save millions of lives has been ignored by the mass media. With this dietary approach, most patients drop their total cholesterol below 150 and LDL below 100, without the need for medications. In areas of the world where people eat a diet of unrefined plant foods, people have total cholesterol levels below 150, and there is zero incidence of heart disease in the population.1
I guess if you’re consuming the standard American diet 199 is healthy—relatively speaking—it’s probably a miracle you’re surviving at all. Okay, let’s cut to the case. Here are the total cholesterols levels of people following Dr. Fuhrman’s nutrient-dense diet. Look:
These are numbers worth bragging about! Dr. Fuhrman will tell you himself, flirting with a total cholesterol number around 200 is by no means ideal. In fact, Dr. Fuhrman explains the lower your cholesterol, the better! From Can Cholesterol Be Too Low:
Typically, those individuals promoting the myth that low cholesterol levels are dangerous and the topsy-turvey "science" that saturated fat and high cholesterol are not bad, but good, are those individuals and health advisors advocating diets high in animal products, such as the Atkins devotees. Unfortunately, this advice is not merely incorrect; it is dead wrong for hundreds of individuals who heed such dangerous advice and die of heart attacks every day.

When it comes to coronary artery disease, there may be no such thing as lowering total blood cholesterol levels too far. Another recent study, published in the journal Circulation, found that the arteries in male patients with a total cholesterol level as low as 155 mg/dl benefited significantly from cholesterol-lowering medication as well.1 Both regression of atherosclerosis and a dramatic reduction in heart attacks were seen in the group treated.

While some research in the past has raised questions about the safety of very low cholesterol levels, no danger has been proven in larger, more dependable investigations.
So, in the event that someone—so overjoyed by their 199 score—decides to streak gleefully naked down your street. Politely hand them a towel and a copy of Eat to Live.
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Mammogram Misses

Mammograms are practically the poster-child for breast cancer, but, Dr. Fuhrman contends they’re not all they’re cracked up to be. He talks about it here:
The American Cancer Society, The American College of Radiology, and the National Cancer Institute still support the discredited notion that mammograms “prevent” breast cancer. Mammograms are entrenched in the practice of conventional medicine. The politics and economics within the world of medical policy-making govern the messages that are disseminated to the public. The fact is—at best—mammograms detect, they do not prevent. To use the word prevent in the same sentence as mammograms is a tremendous distortion of reality. The only proven approach to prevention of breast cancer is the adoption of lifestyle modifications that help stop cells from becoming cancerous in the first place.
And now this, it seems that even top doctors are missing the signs of breast cancer on mammograms. Kyung M. Song of The Seattle Times reports:
Researchers examined nearly 36,000 mammograms read by 123 radiologists and found that a woman's odds of getting accurate results vary widely depending on who is doing the reading. The worst radiologists missed nearly 40 percent of the tumors and misidentified 8.3 percent of their patients as having nonexistent cancers.

The top performers tended to be doctors at academic medical centers and those who specialized in breast imaging. But even then, the cancer went undetected in one of five women who turned out to have cancer, while 2.6 percent had false-positive results…

…"Mammography is not perfect. But it's still the best thing at detecting breast cancer," said Diana Miglioretti, an associate investigator at the Group Health Center for Health Studies and the study's lead author.

Traditional mammograms, taken with low-dose X-rays, are notoriously difficult to read. Benign and malignant lesions can look alike. A speck of tumor can be hard to discern from the surrounding breast tissue. Accurate readings rest largely on a radiologist's skill.
Again, Dr. Fuhrman is not thrilled about mammograms. In fact, he believes all the hubbub about mammograms is largely based on fear. He explains:
More than a decade ago, the American Cancer Society recommended that women get a baseline mammogram at age thirty-five, followed by annual screenings beginning at age forty. The campaign to position mammograms as the key weapon in the fight against breast cancer was initiated by the American Cancer Society, with a number of medical groups joining the fray. Instilling fear about breast cancer was a campaign strategy. To achieve this, the American Cancer Society used greatly exaggerated numbers and faulty math to overstate breast cancer risk. They admitted they did this—and continue to do it—to promote mammograms.1 They still trumpet the claim that women face a one-in-eight chance of developing breast cancer during their lifetimes.
He’ll also tell you that the idea of “early detection” is essentially a myth, but don’t take my word for it. Here’s more from Dr. Fuhrman:
Mammograms never detect “early” breast cancer. By the time a cancer is visible to the human eye on a mammogram, it is already teeming with over a hundred billion cancer cells—which have been there for at least eight years—and it already has had ample time to spread to other parts of the body. In the majority of cases, the cancer has spread outside the breast, but the small groups of cells that have traveled to other parts of the body may be undetectable for years.
Now, to make matters worse, according to Dr. Fuhrman, mammograms might actually CAUSE breast cancer. Here’s a quote:
Unfortunately, mammography can be the cause of a woman’s breast cancer. When calculating its supposed benefits, we need to include in the equation the percentage of women whose breast cancer was promoted by the radiation exposure from the mammograms themselves. The younger you are when the mammograms are performed, the greater the risk of radiation-induced cancer.2,3 According to Michael Swift, M.D., chief of medical genetics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, between 5,000 and 10,000 of the 180,000 cases of breast cancer diagnosed each year could be prevented if women’s breasts were not exposed to radiation from mammograms. Over a million American women carry the gene for ataxia-telangiectasia (A-T), which makes them unusually sensitive to the ionizing radiation in X rays and five times more likely to develop breast cancer.4
Personally, if I had boobies, I’d think twice about getting them squished—EEK!
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Cruciferous Mistletoe

Mistletoe might be a leafy green, but, it’s hardly health-promoting. Anahad O’Connor of The New York Times insists eating mistletoe is a bad idea. More from the report:
In studies of hundreds of cases of accidental ingestion over the years, there were no fatalities and only a handful of severe reactions. One study published in 1996 looked at 92 cases of mistletoe ingestion and found that only a small fraction of patients showed any symptoms. Eight of 10 people who consumed five or more berries had no symptoms, and 3 of the 11 people who consumed only leaves had upset stomachs…

…Mistletoe is not deadly. But it can be hazardous, so don’t eat it.
Since the holiday season is upon us, just how did all this mistletoe kissing stuff get started? This video answers the question:

Darn, and I was going to toss some mistletoe in my salad—fizzle sticks!

Bad News for Toxins

Will Dunham of Reuters reports, smoking increases your risk of developing diabetes. Here’s more:
Here's another reason to throw away the cigarettes: Smoking, already known to cause lung cancer, heart disease and stroke, also raises one's risk for the most common form of diabetes, researchers said on Tuesday.

Smokers faced a 44 percent increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes when compared to nonsmokers, the Swiss researchers found.

Dr. Carole Willi of the University of Lausanne in Switzerland and colleagues analyzed 25 studies exploring the connection between smoking and diabetes published between 1992 and 2006, with a total of 1.2 million participants tracked for up to 30 years.
High ozone levels seem to explain why some residents of Sydney Australia had sudden cardiac events. Reuters reports:
A sudden spate of urgent cardiovascular syndromes resulting in severe chest pain that required emergency department visits among residents of Sydney, Australia, in 2005 has been traced to high solar radiance and ozone levels.

Surveillance data indicated an increase in urgent visits to city hospitals by individuals with chest pain assessed as "imminently or immediately life-threatening on arrival" in April and May 2005, Dr. Robin M. Turner of New South Wales Department of Health in North Sydney and colleagues report in the journal Environmental Health.

Emergency department visits increased from 4.0 per day in 2004 to 5.7 per day for the 8 weeks of April and May 2005.

Meat Ups Lung Cancer Risk

Alright, if you Eat to Live, you probably get this question a lot, “So, what are you vegan?” For me, the answer is no—I eat fish—because according to Dr. Fuhrman a near-vegetarian diet and a vegetarian diet are pretty similar. Here’s a quote:
Is a vegetarian diet healthier than a diet that contains a small amount of animal products? We do not know for sure. The preponderance of evidence suggests that either a near-vegetarian diet or a vegetarian diet is the best, especially for patients with heart disease. In the massive China-Oxford-Cornell Project, reduction in heart disease and cancer rates continued to be observed as participants reduced their animal-food consumption all the way down to 1.7 small servings per week. Under this level, there is not enough data available.
And, meat isn’t all bad. Vegans you might want to pay attention to this post, The Healthy Way to Integrate Meat Into Your Diet, it’ll help you figure out what supplements you need to ensure you’re probably nourished. Some points of interests:
  • Plant foods do not contain B12 (all vegans should take B12).
  • Some people have a need for more taurine, and may not get optimal amounts with a vegan diet. (Some vegans need to take a taurine supplement, or they could get a blood test to assure adequacy).
  • Some vegans may not produce ideal levels of DHA fat (from the conversion of short-chain omega-3 fats) found in such foods as flax and walnuts, if they don't eat fish. I advocate that vegans and people who do not eat fish should supplement with DHA or get a blood test to assure adequacy.
But the problem is—and Dr. Fuhrman would agree—people go berserk with the whole protein thing, especially animal protein. So, this begs the question, Do You Need Animal Protein? Dr. Fuhrman discusses it here:
Today, the average American consumes 100 to 120 grams of protein per day, mostly in the form of animal products. People who eat a completely vegetarian diet (vegan) have been found to consume sixty to eighty grams of protein a day, well above the minimum requirement.1 Vitamin B12, not protein, is the missing nutrient in a vegan diet.

In modern times, the plant foods we eat are well washed and contain little bacteria, bugs, or dirt, which would have supplied B12 in a more natural environment such as the jungle or forest. To assure optimal levels of B12 in our diet, we require some form of B12 supplementation when eating a diet with little or no animal products.
Now eating too much animal protein—or meat—can usher in a lot of serious health problems; most notably cancer and heart disease. Dr. Fuhrman briefly talks about the cancer-heart disease-meat connection here. Take a look:
Plasma apolioprotein B is positively associated with animal-protein intake and inversely associated (lowered) with vegetable-protein intake (e.g., legumes and greens). Apolioprotein B levels correlate strongly with coronary heart disease.2

A recent study from New Zealand that investigated heterocyclic amines in meat, fish, and chicken found the greatest contributor of HCAs to cancer risk was chicken.3
Dr. Fuhrman isn’t the only one talking about the link between various cancers and consumption of animal products. Get a load of this new study, apparently meat raises lung cancer risk. Maggie Fox of Reuters reports:
People who eat a lot of red meat and processed meats have a higher risk of several types of cancer, including lung cancer and colorectal cancer, U.S. researchers reported on Monday.

The work is the first big study to show a link between meat and lung cancer. It also shows that people who eat a lot of meat have a higher risk of liver and esophageal cancer and that men raise their risk of pancreatic cancer by eating red meat.

"A decrease in the consumption of red and processed meat could reduce the incidence of cancer at multiple sites," Dr. Amanda Cross and colleagues at the U.S. National Cancer Institute wrote in their report, published in the Public Library of Science journal PLoS Medicine.
Aren’t you happy you avoid red meat? In the end, I guess it’s important to remember, that while you don’t necessarily have to be vegan or vegetarian, according to Dr. Fuhrman, its best to limit how much meat you eat. One more quote:
Today the link between animal products and many different diseases is as strongly supporting in the scientific literature as the link between cigarette smoking and lung cancer. For example, subjects who ate meat, including poultry and fish, were found to be twice as likely to develop dementia (loss of intellectual function with aging) than their vegetarian counterparts in a carefully designed study.4 The discrepancy was further widened when past meat consumption was taken into account. The same diet, loaded with animal products, that causes heart disease and cancer also causes most every other disease prevalent in America including kidney stones, renal insufficiency and renal failure, osteoporosis, uterine fibroids, hypertension, appendicitis, diverticulosis, and thrombosis.5
So, when people ask you if you miss the proverbial standard American double-cheese burger, you shouldn’t have to fake a sigh and pretend that you do—I don’t!
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High Blood Sugar and Polyps

“White pasta, white rice and white bread are just like sugar,” Dr. Fuhrman explains, “These nutrient-deficient foods are absorbed too rapidly, which raises glucose, triglyceride, and insulin levels in your blood.” And high blood sugar is bad for polyp recurrence. Megan Rauscher of Reuters explains:
People found to have elevated insulin or blood sugar levels at the time of colonoscopy to remove polyps face an increased risk of developing recurrent polyps, including advanced polyps -- the type with a high likelihood of progressing to cancer, research shows.

What's concerning is that the levels of blood sugar that produce this increased risk are actually not very high; they are "right at the border" of what doctors would consider "pre-diabetes," Dr. Andrew Flood of University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, noted in comments to Reuters Health.

For this reason, doctors and patients may want to consider more aggressive management of blood sugar than they might otherwise among people who have already had one or more polyps removed, Flood said.
I hate to sound like a low-carb lemming, but, it sure seems like a good idea to avoid all that refined bread-like junk—egad!

Rocket Fuel in Breast Milk!

HealthDay News reports that a chemical used in explosives and rocket fuel is showing up in human breast milk—scary. More form Carolyn Colwell:
Scientists have discovered the mechanism by which a chemical known as perchlorate can collect in breast milk and cause cognitive and motor deficits in newborns.

Used since the 1940s to manufacture explosives and rocket fuel, the contaminant is still widely present in the water and food supply, experts say.

And high concentrations of perchlorate in breast milk can be passed to an infant and affect it's ability to manufacture essential thyroid hormone, the new study suggests. Perchlorate can also lessen the amount of iodide available to a mother to pass on to her infant, and a baby needs iodide to produce thyroid hormones.

"The deficit of thyroid hormone is particularly delicate if it's at the beginning of life because the central nervous system has not completely matured," said study author Dr. Nancy Carrasco, a professor of molecular pharmacology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in New York City.

UK: Maternal Deaths and Obesity

This is sobering. New research has determined that more than half of British mothers who died during child birth were overweight. Reuters is on it:
The Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health (CEMACH) said maternal-related deaths in Britain are at a two decade high.

In its annual report, "Saving Mothers' Lives: reviewing maternal deaths to make motherhood safer", it found that of the almost 300 women who died during childbirth between 2003 and 2005 from pregnancy-related conditions, more than half were obese. The deaths left 520 children motherless, it added.

Obese pregnant women are more at risk of dying, suffering heart disease, miscarriage, diabetes, infections and blood clots.

Although the death rate has not changed significantly since 2000, it has risen by around 40 percent since 1985/87, the study showed.
Gaining baby-weight is one thing, but, staying healthy while pregnant is important. More on this from Dr. Fuhrman—take a look:
The time to begin paying attention to a child’s health is long before birth. Even the mother’s diet twelve months before conception can influence the child’s future health. It is important to eat healthfully prior to conception as well as once pregnancy has begun. Proper nutrition and good health habits are more important than ever during pregnancy and can help in maintaining good health for both mother and baby.
Also, be sure to check out this post: Don't be Fat and Pregnant.


“Exercise is important for healthy psychological function,” claims Dr. Fuhrman. Well, is he right? I venture to say yes, but see for yourself. According to new research exercise may boost the brain's natural antidepressants. Reuters reports:
The findings, published in the journal Nature Medicine, point to potential new ways to treat depression in people.

Studies have found that exercise can help ease depression symptoms, but the reasons for the benefit have not been clear. For the new study, scientists used a tool called a microarray to examine how exercise changed gene activity in the brains of mice.

They focused on a brain region known as the hippocampus, which has been implicated in mood regulation and in the brain's response to antidepressant medication.

The researchers found that mice that had a week's worth of workouts on a running wheel showed altered activity in a total of 33 genes, the majority of which had never been identified before.

Fitness and Longevity

New research has determined that fitness gives a better indication of lifespan than bodyweight. The AFP reports:

People over 60 who exercise and are fit live longer than their sedentary peers, regardless of weight and body mass, researchers said in a study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Earlier research showed that obesity and sedentary habits increased the risk of death in middle-aged adults. The study carried out by University of South Carolina researchers tested the premise for the first time among older adults.

"We observed that fit individuals who were obese ... had a lower risk of all-cause mortality than did unfit, normal-weight, or lean individuals," said the study's lead author Dr Xuemei Sui.
Not that surprising. Exercise is important, regardless. Check out this brief quote from Dr. Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live:
Despite the well-known benefits of exercise, only about 15 percent of Americans engage in regular physical activity. In people of all body weights, poor aerobic fitness is an independent risk factor for all-cause mortality.1
To me, I see this as a reason to get slim AND get fit—don’t you think?
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More and More Dangerous Toys

Given the season, this is hardly encouraging. A report in The Wall Street Journal explains that A LOT of toys are getting low marks for mercury, lead, and other chemical contaminations. Reuters has more:

The study also showed that jewelry products were most likely to contain high lead levels, and it uncovered a variety of tainted items, including bedroom slippers, bath toys and card-game cases, according to the Journal.

Certain toys had more than five times the standard safety level, including a Hannah Montana card-game case, which had a lead level of 3,056 parts per million, the Journal said.

Millions of toys have been recalled this year, with most involving Chinese-made products.

Acrylamides...Still Bad

Honestly, at first I thought an acrylamide was some sort of prehistoric crustacean, but actually they are nasty compounds that develop from…wait…I’ll let Dr. Fuhrman explain:
Frying and overcooking leads to the highest levels of acrylamide, the highest of which are found in fried chips, such as potato chips and French fries. Acrylamide is one of the most potent cancer-causing agents. It is found in highest amounts in carbohydrates cooked at high temperatures. European governments permit 10 parts per million (ppb) of acrylamide in packaged foods, but U.S. standards are more lax. For example, Kellogg’s Rice Crispies contain 110 ppb and Pringles original crisps contain 1,480 ppb. Sugar-coated breakfast cereals have even higher levels than Rice Crispies.
Clearly avoiding them is a smart move, and, here’s more reason too. A Dutch study has determined that heavy cooking causes cancer. We Like It Raw is on it:
The Dutch study followed the 120,000 volunteers - 62,000 of whom were women - for 11 years after their initial questionnaire, during which time 327 of them developed endometrial (womb) cancer, and 300 developed ovarian cancer…

…Analysis of these findings suggested that those who ate 40 micrograms of acrylamide a day - equivalent to half a pack of biscuits, a portion of chips or a single packet of crisps - were twice as likely to fall prey to these cancers compared with those who ate much less acrylamide.
Now, before you freak out. Dr. Fuhrman reminds us that acrylamides are just one of many cancer-causing compounds we’re exposed to. He talks about it:
Much has been said and written about whether authorities should attribute thousands or millions of deaths to acrylamide consumption. However, this argument is almost irrelevant because toxic agents, nutritional excesses, and nutritional deficiencies act in concert to establish a cellular environment favorable for cancer development. Acylamide is not the only toxic substance we come in contact with. So, when we add it to all the others, the combination becomes a serious problem contributing to our nation’s dismal cancer statistics.

Corn Syrup vs. Table Sugar

Diet Blog is all over an interesting study comparing how table sugar and corn syrup affect appetite. Check it out:
They took 31 young men and gave them various sugar blends - such as High Fructose Corn Syrup, table sugar, and other glucose and fructose blends.

All sugar mixtures had the exact same number of calories.

One and a half hours later, the men were told to eat as much pizza as they wish.

The outcome: There was no difference in food intake or reported appetite whether they consumed the corn syrup or table sugar. These results are similar
Now, they’re both garbage foods, but, it’s interesting nonetheless. Here Dr. Fuhrman talks about why sugar and corn syrup are bad. Take a look:
Regrettably, our human desire for sweets is typically satisfied by the consumption of products containing sugar, such as candy bars and ice cream—not fresh fruit. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates that the typical American now consumes an unbelievable 32 teaspoons of added sugar a day.1 That’s right, in one day…

…Summarizing fifteen epidemiological studies, researchers concluded that diets containing refined grains and refined sweets were consistently linked to stomach and colon cancer, and at least twelve breast cancer studies connect low-fiber diets with increased risks.2 Eating a diet that contains a significant quantity of sugar and refined flour does not just cause weight gain, it also leads to an earlier death…

…Refined sugars include table sugar (sucrose), milk sugar (lactose), honey, brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, corn sweeteners, and fruit juice concentrates. Even the bottled and boxed fruit juices that many children drink are a poor food; with no significant nutrient density, they lead to obesity and disease2…

…High fructose corn syrup is not only fattening, but this inexpensive and ultra-concentrated sugar has no resemblance to real food made by nature. It is another experiment thrust upon our unsuspecting children with unknown dangerous consequences.
Yuck to both of them! I don’t touch either of them anymore. All part of my…to be continued…soon!
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Holiday Heart Attack?

Well, I thought ‘tis the season for snowmen, fruit cakes, and mistletoe—NOT—heart attack season, but evidently December through January is prime time for coronaries. Lauran Neergaard of the Associated Press reports:

But what may make the Christmas coronary more deadly than the same-size heart attack in, say, August, is a double dose of denial. It's not uncommon for people to initially shrug off chest pain as indigestion. Research suggests they're even more reluctant for a run to the emergency room when it means disrupting a holiday gathering, or if they've traveled to a strange city — meaning they arrive sicker.

Minutes matter.

"You have only a short window of opportunity to save heart muscle," warns Dr. William Suddath of Washington Hospital Center in the nation's capital — where a cardiac team on-duty 24 hours a day aims to start clearing victims' clogged arteries within 15 minutes of their arrival in the emergency room.

I guess it makes sense in this season of excess.

Los Angeles Times: Breast or Bottle

The Los Angeles Times investigates the advantages of breastfeeding. Here’s a rather convincing excerpt. Take a look:
The researchers found that breast-fed babies had fewer ear, gastrointestinal tract, and severe lower respiratory tract infections than formula-fed ones and were less prone to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), obesity, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, childhood leukemia, early-childhood asthma and atopic dermatitis (a skin disorder that causes eczema).

Though the reductions were as large as 72% (for severe lower respiratory tract infections), the report states that none of its findings imply causality.

This inability to prove cause and effect is a problem that plagues virtually all breast-feeding research. The problem is that women who breast-feed, as a whole, are very different from their bottle-feeding counterparts: wealthier, older and more educated, for starters. Although researchers are able to adjust their results for such factors, there's no way to adjust for every difference. Women who breast-feed are probably more health-conscious in numerous ways, which could explain why breast-fed children tend to be healthier.

The evidence is more suggestive in some areas than in others. "It's well proven that breast-feeding is effective at reducing infections in the newborn period, as long as children continue to be breast-fed," said Dr. Lawrence Gartner, past chairman of the AAP's breast-feeding group. The reason is that breast milk contains antibodies and other agents that prevent bacteria, toxins and viruses the baby has swallowed from attaching to the lining of the throat and gut.

He said that the research was "not nearly as good" for the other claims. One reason is that fewer studies have been done; another is that how breast milk might offer protection is less clear.
I think its best to reiterate Dr. Fuhrman’s point from yesterday’s post on peanut allergies. More from Dr. Fuhrman:
Allergies are increasing because women do not breast feed long enough...The antibodies derived from mother’s milk are necessary for maximizing immune system function, maximizing intelligence, and protecting against immune system disorders, allergies, and even cancer.
In the end, it’s the mother’s choice.

The Peanut Gallery on Peanut Allergies

“Allergies are increasing because women do not breast feed long enough,” Dr. Fuhrman responded when I asked him to comment on this report claiming peanut allergies in children are on the rise. Andrew Stern of Reuters has more:

Allergies to peanuts and other foods are showing up in children at younger ages for reasons that are not clear, researchers said on Monday, and some urged parents to postpone exposing susceptible children to peanuts.

In a study of 140 children with peanut allergies, the median age of the first allergic reaction was 14 months among those born between 2000 and 2005, compared to 22 to 24 months among allergic children born between 1988 and 1999.

"There's a valid reason to delay introduction to products containing peanuts," said Dr. Todd Green of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.

Dr. Fuhrman couldn’t agree less. “It is not delaying peanut introduction that will solve this problem, it is delaying the unhealthful cessation of breast feeding at too young an age,” Dr. Fuhrman points out. He talks more about it in Disease-Proof Your Child:

The antibodies derived from mother’s milk are necessary for maximizing immune system function, maximizing intelligence, and protecting against immune system disorders, allergies, and even cancer. The child’s immune system is still underdeveloped until age of two, the same age when the digestive tract seals the leaks (spaces between cells) designed to allow the mother’s antibodies access to the bloodstream. So picking the age of two as the length of recommended breast-feeding is not just a haphazard guess, it matches the age at which the child is no longer absorbing the mother’s immunoglobulins to supplement their own immune system. Nature designed it that way.

What really surprised me is according to Dr. Fuhrman roasting peanuts actually increase their allergen potency. Maybe it’ll make parents think twice before they slather peanut butter and jelly on two slices of white bread and shoo their kids off to school.

Soy Foods and Heart Disease

New research has determined that women who regularly eat soy-based foods lower their risk of heart disease. The AFP reports:
Soybeans -- eaten as tofu, miso soup or Japanese fermented beans known as "natto" -- have a high amount of isoflavones, a natural source of estrogen similar to the female hormone, the study found.

The risk of heart attacks or strokes for a woman who consumed soy at least five times a week was 0.39 compared with 1 for a woman who consumed the least, it said.

The results were even more striking among women past menopause, with the risk falling to 0.25, said Yoshihiko Kokubo, chief doctor of preventive cardiology at Japan's National Cardiovascular Center.
Soy—or edamame—beans are great! Tofu is cool too. But as Dr. Fuhrman points out, soy foods might be tasty, but don’t go overboard. From Eat to live:
Studies have shown soy's beneficial effects on cholesterol and other cardiovascular risk factors. However, there is no reason not to expect the same results from beans of any type--it's merely that more studies have been done on soy than on any other beans…

…I always recommended the consumption of a broad variety of phytochemical-rich foods to maximize one's health. Beans are no exception--try to eat different types of beans, not just soy.
This report is very similar to an earlier one claiming soy nuts can lower blood pressure in postmenopausal women. Nicholas Bakalar of The New York Times was on it:
The first group followed the same diet without soy. The second ate a half-cup a day of soy nuts while reducing protein intake from other sources. When hypertensive women were on the soy diet, they averaged a 9.9 percent decrease in systolic blood pressure (the top number in the reading) and a 6.8 percent decrease in diastolic pressure. Those with normal blood pressure also benefited from the soy diet, reducing systolic and diastolic readings by 5.2 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.
Now, this is a great time to note that not all soy foods are homeruns. As Dr. Fuhrman explains soy nuts aren’t so great. Take a look:
You should be aware that soy nuts, soymilk, and other processed soy products do not retain many of the beneficial compounds and omega-3 fats that are in the natural bean. The more the food is processed, the more the beneficial compounds are destroyed.
Lucky for us—and the women in the AFP report—Dr. Fuhrman still considers tofu and frozen or canned soybeans are a good source of omega-3 fat and calcium.

Working Late and Cancer-Risk

According to a new study, working the late shift has been linked to an increased risk of cancer. Maria Cheng of the Associated Press reports:
If the shift work theory proves correct, millions of people worldwide could be affected. Experts estimate that nearly 20 percent of the working population in developed countries work night shifts.

It is a surprising twist for an idea that scientists first described as "wacky," said Richard Stevens, a cancer epidemiologist and professor at the University of Connecticut Health Center. In 1987, Stevens published a paper suggesting a link between light at night and breast cancer.

Back then, he was trying to figure out why breast cancer incidence suddenly shot up starting in the 1930s in industrialized societies, where nighttime work was considered a hallmark of progress. Most scientists were bewildered by his proposal.

But in recent years, several studies have found that women working at night for many years are indeed more prone to breast cancer, and that animals who have their light-dark schedules switched grow more cancerous tumors and die quicker.
This doesn’t surprise me. In my supermarket days I used to work overnights a lot and after a few days of that—I felt like crap! Not good according to Dr. Fuhrman:
A safe and satisfying work environment, a happy marriage, a satisfying social and/or family life, and activities you enjoy are all related to positive health outcomes. Emotional wellness starts right here your finger tips end. As you respect and appreciate the value in the world around you and develop interests in other people and in such things as art, music, entertainment, sports, nature, and physical activity, you can respect yourself more for your ability and desire to appreciate the value of things not yourself.

In other words, as you learn about and begin to care for things, you gain a legitimate reason to be pleased with yourself. A healthy emotional response to life hinges on your ability to grant value and importance to things that are deserving of it. This ability and desire to interact in a fair and equitable way with the world around you forms the basis of your emotional contentment and self-esteem.
Although, now I often find myself blogging in the middle of night…stupid!