Ha Ha Ha! Low-Carb, High-Protein Diets Damage Arteries.

Oh, those silly low-carb diets. Will they ever learn! Here’s more bad news for low-carb. A new study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found low-carb, high-protein diets damage arties:

Diets based on eating lots of meat, fish and cheese, while restricting carbohydrates have grown in popularity in recent years.

But the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in the US found such habits caused artery damage in tests on mice.

The researchers and independent experts both agreed a balanced diet was the best option…

…Lead researcher Anthony Rosenzweig said the findings were so concerning to him that he decided to come off the low-carb diet he was following.

He added: "Our research suggests that, at least in animals, these diets could be having adverse cardiovascular effects.

"It appears that a moderate and balanced diet, coupled with regular exercise, is probably best for most people."

And in 2007, a study found low-carb diets, like Atkins, cause long-term damage to blood vessels. Dr. Fuhrman is no fan of high-protein diets, all that saturated fat and insufficient plant nutrients increases risk of heart disease and cancer:

The Atkins diet (and other diets rich in animal products and low in fruits and unrefined carbohydrates) is likely to significantly increase a person's risk of colon cancer. Scientific studies show a clear and strong relationship between cancers of the digestive tract, bladder, and prostate with low fruit consumption. What good is a diet that lowers your weight but also dramatically increases your chances of developing cancer?

A meat-based, low-fiber diet, like the one Atkins advocates, includes little or no fruit, no starchy vegetables, and no whole grains. Following Atkin's recommendations could more than double your risk of certain cancers, especially meat-sensitive cancers, such as epithelial cancers of the respiratory tract.1 For example, a study conducted by the National Cancer Institute looked at lung cancer in nonsmoking women so that smoking would not be a major variable. Researchers found that the relative risk of lung cancer was six times greater in women in the highest fifth of saturated-fat consumption than those in the lowest fifth.

I asked Dr. Fuhrman to comment on this study. He chuckled at the news, saying, “This study definitely proves once and for all that mice should not be eating the Atkins diet. They should get Jenny Craig. Furthermore, vegetables make pigs fat, so maybe we shouldn't eat them either.”

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Packing on the Pounds May Lead to "Severe Brain Degeneration"

This is creepy! A new study in the journal Human Brain Mapping claims obese people have 8% less brain train tissue than normal-weight people. I guess you really do have to be stupid to eat fast food:

Obese people had lost brain tissue in the frontal and temporal lobes, areas of the brain critical for planning and memory, and in the anterior cingulate gyrus (attention and executive functions), hippocampus (long-term memory) and basal ganglia (movement), the researchers said in a statement today. Overweight people showed brain loss in the basal ganglia, the corona radiata, white matter comprised of axons, and the parietal lobe (sensory lobe).

"The brains of obese people looked 16 years older than the brains of those who were lean, and in overweight people looked 8 years older," Paul Thompson, senior author of the study and a UCLA professor of neurology said.

No pun intended, but this is a no-brainer. Dr. Fuhrman insists its America’s poor diet that makes us overweight and sick with chronic disease, same goes for dementia:

The same factors that cause atherosclerosis, leading to heart attacks and strokes, also create dementia, and I am referring to both vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s. This includes the same diets that are high in animal fat and low in vitamins, minerals, fruits, and green vegetables.1 Of course, smoking and lack of physical exercise play a role in these common diseases, but the point is that it does not have to happen to you. These diseases, and others that plague modern America, are not the inevitable consequences of aging. They can actually resolve and improve with age or can be avoided entirely. They are simply the result of years of poor nutrition and an unhealthy lifestyle.

My hope for you is that through this eating-style, you, like my patients who have embraced this program, can rid yourself of migraine headaches, acne, autoimmune diseases, and diabetes. So many of my patients have restored their health after conventional physicians—and the conventional beliefs about the inevitability of disease— told them their problems were going to be life long. Their doctors were wrong.

So to help ensure your diet doesn’t make you demented. Dr. Fuhrman suggests eating plenty of nuts and seeds, like walnuts and pumpkin seeds. They’re packed with brain-building omega-3 fatty acids.

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Sunshine Vitamin - Vitamin D Helps Diabetics' Hearts

Not getting enough vitamin D can be harmful, just last week a report found lack of vitamin D heightens risk of metabolic syndrome and now researchers have found not getting enough vitamin D raises cholesterol.

[Researchers] obtained macrophage cells from diabetics and non-diabetics, with and without vitamin D deficiency. When the cells were exposed cells to cholesterol and low vitamin D levels, they found that low vitamin D levels in the culture dish resulted in fewer macrophages becoming foam cells.

On the other hand, when the human macrophages were placed in a vitamin D-rich environment, the uptake of cholesterol was suppressed, and they don't become foam cells, said Bernal-Mizrachi.

The researchers noted that it may be possible to delay or reverse the development of atherosclerosis in diabetics by helping them regain adequate vitamin D levels.

Recently, in a post of about children and their need for vitamin D, Dr. Fuhrman explains it get be difficult to get sufficient vitamin D from food, unless you are spending a lot time outdoors, and even then its tough.

A sufficient amount of vitamin D is difficult to obtain from dietary sources. It is possible to obtain vitamin D from direct sun exposure—without sunscreen (sunscreens block UV-B rays they in turn prevent the body from converting vitamin D). However, since the generous amount of sunshine necessary to assure sufficient vitamin D exposure is potentially harmful and because children often spend too much time indoors watching television, playing video games, or on the computer, it is advisable for all children to assure vitamin D levels with supplements, not sunshine.

To help you get your vitamin D, Dr. Fuhrman recommends his supplement Osteo-Sun, for both children and adults.

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Gardasil is Dangerous - Government Mandating it is Crazy

A new study in Journal of the American Medical Association sings the praises of the HPV vaccine Gardasil. Many doctors are hailing it, but others have common sense.

"I don't think we yet know the long term benefits or risks," ABC News Chief Medical Editor Dr. Timothy Johnson said. "I'm taking a pass on this one and saying to parents, 'Study the issue, read the editorial... talk to your doctor.'"

Those who search for more information on the vaccine may also find stories from other parents who say the vaccine had ill effects on their daughters. One of these parents, Emily Tarsell, started her daughter Christina on Gardasil -- a vaccine that protects against four of the most common cancer-causing strains of the human papilloma virus (HPV) -- after her first visit to a gynecologist and at the doctor's recommendation.

Eighteen days after Christina received her final vaccine shot, she died.

And the movement to push legislation requiring Gardasil vaccination in young girls is even more unbelievable. Dr. Fuhrman thinks it’s un-American, comparing it to the Taliban.

The point here is that in this country we allow legislatures to mandate which medications we must give our children? People are not allowed to have an opinion about drugs and vaccines different from the majority opinion, in spite of the controversies and poorly studied short and long-term risks.

Remember this is not about arguing about the effectiveness or value of vaccines, just whether we should mandate medical care and take another freedom away from Americans. We no longer have the freedom to take or not take medications. Sounds like the Taliban to me.

Dr. Fuhrman also points out that Gardasil only protects against 4 strains of the 100 strains of HPV. To learn more about Gardasil’s shortcomings, check out Questioning Gardasil's Safety.

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Asparagus Protects Your Liver from Alcohol, But You Still Shouldn't Drink

Alcohol can destroy your health. Last month, studies found alcohol heightens risk of both colon and prostate cancer, but now, new findings in the Journal of Food Science suggest nutrients in asparagus may protect the liver against alcohol toxins associated with hangovers.

Researchers at the Institute of Medical Science and Jeju National University in Korea analyzed the components of young asparagus shoots and leaves to compare their biochemical effects on human and rat liver cells. "The amino acid and mineral contents were found to be much higher in the leaves than the shoots," says lead researcher B.Y. Kim.

Chronic alcohol use causes oxidative stress on the liver as well as unpleasant physical effects associated with a hangover. "Cellular toxicities were significantly alleviated in response to treatment with the extracts of asparagus leaves and shoots," says Kim. "These results provide evidence of how the biological functions of asparagus can help alleviate alcohol hangover and protect liver cells."

Booze is no party, even moderate drinking is suspect. Dr. Fuhrman insists moderate drinking—commonly defined as one drink a maximum of one drink per day for women and two drinks for men—may cause health problems, such extra body fat, cancer and atrial fibrillation.

Consuming more than this is associated with increased fat around the waist and other significant health problems.1 Even a moderate amount of alcohol may also increase the risk of breast cancer in susceptible women.2 The other problem with alcohol, especially more than one drink a day, is it can create mild withdrawal sensations the next day.

These sensations are commonly mistaken for hunger, which leads people to eat more than is necessary. Because of this, moderate drinkers are usually overweight. Furthermore, recent studies have also shown that even moderate alcohol consumption is linked to a significantly increased incidence of atrial fibrillation, a condition that can lead to stroke.3

But asparagus is amazing! Dr. Fuhrman says it’s full of health-promoting vitamins and nutrients, such as calcium and folate. All these plant nutrients help protect against cancer.

Asparagus is one of the most healthful foods on the planet. It leads nearly all fruits and vegetables in the wide array of nutrients it supplies. Ten ounces (one box of frozen spears) have only 68 calories and 9 grams of protein, yet it is like a vitamin pill, giving you a variety of minerals such as selenium, zinc, calcium, copper, and manganese. Plus, it is very rich in folate.

Asparagus has an exceptionally high nutrient-per-calorie ratio and is the perfect weight-loss food. Anti--cancer compounds that have been shown to prevent tumors and cancers in animals are plentiful in asparagus. Asparagus also contains isothiocyanates, indoles, and sulforaphane, powerful compounds that promote cellular rejuvenation with anti-cancer properties.

According to Dr. Fuhrman, asparagus is also an excellent source of Vitamin E, along with whole grains, seeds, nuts, avocados, berries, green leafy vegetables and tomatoes.

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Risky Fish Fat Builds Brain Power - Try Dr. Fuhrman's DHA Purity Instead

Dr. Fuhrman says our modern diet is very low in omega-3 fatty acids, which raises risk of heart disease, diabetes and dementia. And now, a new study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims omega-3’s from fish may be the key to staving off dementia and mental decline.

If fish does protect the aging brain, researchers believe that the benefits probably come from the omega-3 fatty acids found most abundantly in oily fish like salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna.

Lab studies show that omega-3 fats have a number of properties that could help stave off dementia -- including actions that protect nerve cells, limit inflammation and help prevent the build-up of the amyloid proteins seen in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

These latest findings are based on surveys of 14,960 adults age 65 or older living in China, India, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Peru or Venezuela.

It’s true. Fish is high in brain-building fat, but Dr. Fuhrman points out most varieties of fish—especially tilefish and mackerel—are heavily polluted with mercury. Dr. Fuhrman’s DHA Purity is a contamination-free omega–3 fatty acid supplement, but if you must have fish, here’s Dr. Fuhrman’s opinion on it.

We are finding out each year that fish is even more polluted than we thought. Even farm raised fish not only contains mercury, but other chemicals, antibiotics and algaecides that are potentially risky for us and the environment. Of course, we have to avoid the high mercury fish such as swordfish, mackerel, pike, shark and even tuna, but the farm-raised fish is not harmless or a health food either.

Though fish is touted as a health food, because of its lower levels of saturated fats and higher omega-3, the reality is that most of the fish available in the market today is farm-raised and does not have significant amounts of omega-3, and neither should it be considered health food. Consuming too much fish has clear risks.  Instead, restrict your fish consumption and assure omega-3 adequacy with either an algae-derived DHA supplement, plus walnuts and ground flax seeds, or take a purified fish oil (certified to be contamination free). I of course would prefer people take the plant-derived DHA (cultivated for this purpose), and not harm our oceans, the wildlife, and pollute the natural habitats trying to feed the world with fish-derived omega-3.

And visit DrFuhrman.com for more on Dr. Fuhrman’s DHA Purity supplement.

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Osteoporosis Raises Risk of Bone Fractures - You Need Osteoporosis Protection for Life!

No one wants creaky bones, but the number of hospitalizations for osteoporosis-related fractures has increased in the United States, jumping 55% since 1995. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality says more than 254,000 hospital stays are due to injuries stemming from osteoporosis.

That’s why Dr. Fuhrman made a DVD called Osteoporosis Protection for Life. In it he explains what you can do to keep your bones strong and healthy, with exercise, improved diet and supplements.

Most people mistakenly are led to believe that drugs are the answer to treating osteopenia and osteoporosis. However, studies reveal that the bisphosphonates, like Actonel, Fosamax, Boniva, and Reclast, commonly prescribed for osteoporosis, are not as effective as we have been led to believe. As more and more research data comes out about the long-term risks of these medications, we are finding out that they are more dangerous than we had previously thought.

I want to give people the information they need to put an effective plan into action. In this video, I offer my advice regarding diet, supplements, and exercise. I am joined by my wife, Lisa, and staff to demonstrate the best exercises to effectively build your strength and bone mass. We've even added a fun 15 minute workout to start you on your way. Now is the time to take control of your health destiny!

For more, here’s a preview clip of Osteoporosis Protection for Life.

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Low Vitamin D May Lead to Metabolic Syndrome

Here’s more depressing vitamin D news. Writing in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology, scientists have determined insufficient vitamin D is associated with a 31% prevalence of metabolic syndrome, compared to only 10% for people with higher levels. I got Dr. Fuhrman's thoughts on this vitamin D mess.

What nobody considers in the metabolic syndrome (and overeating) issue is my overall message and mantra and that is that low-nutrient eating in general creates metabolic derangements leading to discomforts relievable by overeating.

This I have labeled toxic hunger. Toxic hunger or food addition has at its basis, low micronutrient intake. We have an exciting study we just completed documenting the changing perception of hunger with high-nutrient density diet and it is compelling.

In related news, lack of vitamin D has been linked to depression, difficulty thinking, high blood pressure and back pain. Luckily, Dr. Fuhrman’s Osteo–Sun can help keep your Vitamin D level within ideal range.

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Blueberries Help Prevent Mental Decline

 

That’s a neat little video. Makes you want to run out and get some blueberries! Dr. Fuhrman is all about blueberries, he says, “Blueberries are among the best foods you can eat, and I recommend eating them everyday.” He explains they also having amazing anti-cancer properties.

One cup of blueberries contain 80 calories and a whole pint gives you about 225 calories. Like all other foods, the calories in blueberries come from its macro nutrients - 56 grams of carbohydrate, 1.5 grams of fat and 2.7 grams of protein. But it is blueberries' micro nutrient content that packs the most impressive wallop. Blueberries are packed with tannins, anthocyanins that have been linked to prevention - and even reversal - of age related mental decline and anti-cancer effects.

In February, researchers discovered consuming blueberries may reduce the size of cancer tumors found in young children, and improve survival rate.

Swine Flu Might Not Be Worse This Fall

Some claim the swine flu will return worse this fall, but others disagree. New findings in Journal of the American Medical Association say the next wave of swine flu will probably be about the same:

"In doing so, it is difficult to find evidence of 1918-like waves herald waves, or other such phenomena," they noted. The most recent flu pandemics, occurring in 1957 and 1968, "generally exhibited no more than one (mostly seasonal) recurrence" before settling down into relatively innocuous seasonal flu, [experts] said.

Overall, "examination of past pandemics reveals a great diversity of severity," Morens and Taubenberger said, adding that "some newer evidence [is] casting doubt on original herald wave theories."

One infectious-disease expert called the new analysis "absolutely correct."

Looking back at 20th century flu pandemics, "secondary waves have pretty much been either the same or even of less epidemiologic significance than the first wave," said Dr. Pascal James Imperato, dean of the school of public health at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in New York City.

Next to John & Kate, swine flu has been the story of the year, with reports like swine flu reaching 1 million cases in the United States and becoming the first pandemic of the 21st century. If you're worried about the flu, here' some advice from Dr. Fuhrman:

Americans eat a diet style that weakens their normal resistance to simple viral infections. In spite of advances in science that reveal the critical importance of thousands of protective micronutrients in the natural plant kingdom, much of the modern world consumes a diet rich in processed grains, oils, sweets and animal products. In the United States, for example, less than five percent of total calories consumed come from fresh fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts. These are the foods that are richest in micronutrients.

The key to health is nutrition per calorie. Those of us who eat the Standard American Diet (SAD) have a very low nutrient (per calorie) intake. This chronic malnourished condition is the true life-threatening epidemic in the modern world, resulting in a medical care crisis and untold tragedies. And this ubiquitous malnourishment may also eventually enable the Avian influenza viruses to spread more easily and develop into virulent forms. With the ubiquitous consumption of fake foods such as white bread, pasta, oil and sugar, nutritional incompetence is the norm.

The flu is a simple viral illness which a healthy body has scores of adequate defenses against. No flu, including the bird flu, is any match for a well-nourished immune system.

Via HealthDay News.

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Lack of Sleep Boosts Diabetes Risk

Are you tired? You might get diabetes! A new report Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism claims poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and insufficient sleep heightens risk of diabetes:

Dr. Plamen Penev, of the University of Chicago, Illinois, and a senior author of the study and colleagues subjected 11 healthy but sedentary middle-aged men and women to two 14-day periods of sedentary living with free access to food and either 5.5 hours or 8.5 hours of sleep each night.

As nightly sleep times changed from 8.5 to 5.5 hours, the participants went to bed later and got out of bed earlier and, as a result, average sleep duration was reduced by about two hours a day.

When the adults had their bedtimes decreased from a healthy 8.5 hours to 5.5 hours they showed changes in their response to two common sugar tests, which were similar to those seen in people with an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Go to bed already! Previous studies have linked lack of sleep to weight-gain, getting the common cold and obesity. Now, do you really need to know why sleep is a good idea? Here Dr. Fuhrman explains the importance of getting shuteye:

During sleep, your body removes the buildup of waste in the brain. Sufficient sleep is necessary for the normal function of your nervous and endocrine systems. Most civilizations in human history recognized the value of mid-afternoon naps. The desire for a rest, short sleep, or “siesta” after lunch should not be seen as an abnormal need, but rather a normal one. People who “cover up” their lack of sleep by using drugs (such as caffeine) as food and/or food (such as highly processed, sugary foods) as drugs sometimes claim (even boast) that they can get by with very little sleep. As you begin to live more healthfully, you may quickly recognize that you need more sleep than you previously thought.

Via Reuters.

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Healthy Lifestyle Cuts Risk of Chronic Disease

Here’s a revelation! If you don’t smoke, exercise, eat right and maintain a healthy body weight you are less likely to get sick, so says a survey of nearly 24,000 adults in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Most participants had one to three of these health factors, fewer than 4 percent had zero healthy factors and 9 percent had all four factors. Over an average of 7.8 years of follow-up, 2,006 participants developed new cases of diabetes (3.7 percent), heart attack (0.9 percent), stroke (0.8 percent) or cancer (3.8 percent).

After adjusting for age, sex, education level and occupation, individuals with more healthy lifestyle factors were less likely to develop chronic diseases. Participants who had all four factors at the beginning of the study had a 78 percent lower risk of developing any of the chronic diseases during the follow-up period than those who had none of the healthy factors. The four factors were associated with a 93 percent reduced risk of diabetes, 81 percent reduced risk of heart attack, 50 percent reduced risk of stroke and 36 percent reduced risk of cancer.

The largest reduction in risk was associated with having a BMI lower than 30, followed by never smoking, at least 3.5 hours of physical activity and then adhering to good dietary principles.

I know, pretty obvious advice, but it doesn’t hurt to remind people. Like this. In February, scientists determined if people exercised more and ate better it would help stifle global cancer rates.

Via Newswise.

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Peppy Attitude Helps Women's Hearts

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

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

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

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

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

Via Reuters.

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High-Fat Diets Screw Up Physical Performance in Rats!

Poor little lab rats! New findings in the FASEB Journal show consuming a high-fat diet significantly reduces physical endurance—and memory—in rats. After nine days, rats on a high-fat diet could only run half the distance of rats eating a low-fat diet.

On the fifth day of the high-fat diet (the first day back on the treadmill), the rats were already running 30 per cent less far than those remaining on the low-fat diet. By the ninth day, the last of the experiment, they were running 50 per cent less far.

The rats on the high-fat diet were also making mistakes sooner in the maze task, suggesting that their cognitive abilities were also being affected by their diet. The number of correct decisions before making a mistake dropped from over six to an average of 5 to 5.5.

The researchers also investigated what metabolic changes the high-fat diet was inducing in the rats. They found increased levels of a specific protein called the 'uncoupling protein' in the muscle and heart cells of rats on the high-fat diet. This protein 'uncouples' the process of burning food stuffs for energy in the cells, reducing the efficiency of the heart and muscles. This could at least partly explain the reduction in treadmill running seen in the rats.

The rats that were fed a high fat diet and had to run on the treadmill also had a significantly bigger heart after nine days, suggesting the heart had to increase in size to pump more blood around the body and get more oxygen to the muscles.

High-fat diets will jack you up! Back in April, a study showed low-fat diets improve people’s health after weight-loss by improving blood vessel function much better than fatty diets.

Via EurekAlert!

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Breastfeeding Cuts Breast Cancer Risk

According to a new study in the Archives of Internal Medicine, mothers reduce their risk of breast cancer—even if they have family history—by breast feeding. However, researchers aren’t sure why.

Why breastfeeding reduces risk of breast cancer is unknown. The authors suspect that when women do not breastfeed, inflammation and engorgement shortly after birth causes changes in breast tissue that may increase risk for breast cancer. Breastfeeding followed by weaning may prevent this inflammation.

When the researchers compared data about women who breastfed and those who did not, there was a 25 percent total reduction in incidence of premenopausal breast cancer. But, Alison Stuebe, assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and lead author of the study, says, that statistic was accounted for by women without a family history of the disease.

“We did not find an association between breastfeeding and premenopausal breast cancer among women without a family history of breast cancer,” Stuebe says. “This could be because there’s something about genetically caused breast cancer that’s affected by breastfeeding, or it could be because rates of breast cancer were so low in women without a family history that we couldn’t see an association in this data set.”

Dr. Fuhrman is a big advocate of breastfeeding, but—in regard to recent news about children’s lack of vitamin D—he suggests breastfeeding mothers still give their kids a vitamin D supplement.

Via Newswise.

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Beetroot Juice Powers Up Exercise Stamina!

Beets are powerful juju. Not only will they turn your pee red, but a new study in the Journal of Applied Physiology, claims beetroot juice boosts stamina and can help you exercise longer.

The research team believes that the findings could be of great interest to endurance athletes. They could also be relevant to elderly people or those with cardiovascular, respiratory or metabolic diseases.

The research team conducted their study with eight men aged between 19 and 38. They were given 500ml per day of organic beetroot juice for six consecutive days before completing a series of tests, involving cycling on an exercise bike. On another occasion, they were given a placebo of blackcurrant cordial for six consecutive days before completing the same cycling tests.

After drinking beetroot juice the group was able to cycle for an average of 11.25 minutes, which is 92 seconds longer than when they were given the placebo. This would translate into an approximate 2% reduction in the time taken to cover a set distance.

And root vegetables, like beets and carrots, are loaded with fiber and powerful antioxidants, like cartonoids and betacyanin, which protect against cancer by stopping cell mutations.

Via EurekAlert!

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American Children are Vitamin D Deficient

The shocking results of a recent study conducted across the U.S. revealed 7 out of 10 children have dangerously low levels of vitamin D leaving them at risk of heart disease, rickets, and weak bones.

The study analyzed data gathered in the 2001 to 2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) of a nationally representative sample of 6,275 children aged 1 to 21.

Kids who have low vitamin D levels are at serious risk of heart disease in adulthood, find Johns Hopkins researcher Jared P. Reis, PhD, and colleagues. Reis' team analyzed data from 3,577 12- to 19-year-olds in the NHANES database.

They found that even after controlling for all kinds of factors that affect heart disease risk—obesity, exercise levels, race/ethnicity, age, gender, and socioeconomic status—low vitamin D put kids at risk of heart disease as adults.

A sufficient amount of vitamin D is difficult to obtain from dietary sources. It is possible to obtain vitamin D from direct sun exposure—without sunscreen (sunscreens block UV-B rays they in turn prevent the body from converting vitamin D). However, since the generous amount of sunshine necessary to assure sufficient vitamin D exposure is potentially harmful and because children often spend too much time indoors watching television, playing video games, or on the computer, it is advisable for all children to assure vitamin D levels with supplements, not sunshine.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) updated their guidelines in 2008 for vitamin D intake in infants, children, and teens to prevent rickets and vitamin D deficiency. Their latest guidelines increased the recommended minimum daily intake from 200 IUs to 400 IUs per day of vitamin D for all infants, children, and adolescents beginning in the first few days of life.

I suggest children require even more vitamin D then what is available through breast milk, formula and most multivitamins. My Osteo-Sun capsules are a great source of vitamin D and can easily be twisted opened and the tasteless powder mixed into children's food or drink. Each capsule provides 300 IUs of D3.

I recommend the following daily supplementation for children to ensure adequate intake of vitamin D.

Children 0 to 6 months:

  • Liquid vitamin D supplement for infant, with 4-6 capsules of Osteo-Sun daily for pregnant or breastfeeding mother as well

Children 6 to 24 months:

  • 1 capsule of Osteo-Sun opened and mixed in formula or food

Children 24 months to 6 years:

  • 2 capsules of Osteo-Sun opened and mixed in food or drink

6 years and up:

  • 3 capsules of Osteo-Sun opened and mixed in food or taken by mouth

In addition, I also recommend children 1 year and up supplement with his multivitamin, Pixie-Vites, and DHA Purity. See my vitamin advisor for details.

And to learn more about how to protect your children's health, read my book Disease-Proof Your Child:

  • An essential guide for raising children with healthy minds and bodies.
  • The how-to's for reducing occurrences of ear infections, allergies, and asthma.
  • Delicious, easy to prepare, kid-tested healthy recipes designed to please even the fussiest eaters
  • An arsenal against developing cancer, autoimmune disorders, and cardiovascular disease.
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Ghost Writers Pushed Hormone Therapy in Medical Journals

I know. What a shocker. Newly revealed court documents show Wyeth pharmaceuticals paid a “medical communications” company to write papers supporting its hormone drug therapy.

The articles, published in medical journals between 1998 and 2005, emphasized the benefits and de-emphasized the risks of taking hormones to protect against maladies like aging skin, heart disease and dementia. That supposed medical consensus benefited Wyeth, the pharmaceutical company that paid a medical communications firm to draft the papers, as sales of its hormone drugs, called Premarin and Prempro, soared to nearly $2 billion in 2001.

But the seeming consensus fell apart in 2002 when a huge federal study on hormone therapy was stopped after researchers found that menopausal women who took certain hormones had an increased risk of invasive breast cancer, heart disease and stroke. A later study found that hormones increased the risk of dementia in older patients.

The ghostwritten papers were typically review articles, in which an author weighs a large body of medical research and offers a bottom-line judgment about how to treat a particular ailment. The articles appeared in 18 medical journals, including The American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology and The International Journal of Cardiology.

Are you really that surprised? Honestly, I’ve always figured this was going on. Reminds me of all the flap surrounding Dr. Robert Jarvik—pioneer of the artificial heart—hocking Lipitor pills.

Via The New York Times.

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Yoga and Meditation at Work Helps Reduce Stress

I love Yoga! I practice twice a week. So this is awesome. Findings in the journal Health Education & Behavior reveal doing a little yoga and meditation everyday during lunch can help people reduce stress at work.

Participants attended one-hour weekly group meetings during lunch and practiced 20 minutes of meditation and yoga per day at their desks. After six weeks, program participants reported that they were more aware of external stressors, they felt less stressed by life events, and they fell asleep more easily than did a control group that did not experience the intervention.

“Because chronic stress is associated with chronic disease, I am focusing on how to reduce stress before it has a chance to contribute to disease,” said Maryanna Klatt, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of clinical allied medicine at Ohio State.

“My interest is to see whether or not we can get people to reduce their health care utilization because they’re less stressed. I want to deliver something low cost at the work site, something practical that can be sustained, that can help reduce health care costs,” Klatt said.

It’s weird for me though. If I’m too stressed I can’t do Yoga. I can’t focus. But I better find a way to chill out, because Dr. Fuhrman insists reducing negative stress is an important of a long healthy life. My bad!

Via Newswise.

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Lower Cholesterol Cuts Risk of Dementia

I’m demented already, so I might not be the best person to talk about this, but new research in the journal Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders claims keeping cholesterol levels in check, i.e. low, reduces your likelihood of Alzheimer's disease.

Between 1994 and 2007, a review of their medical records showed that 469 had Alzheimer's disease and 127 had vascular dementia, the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer's disease, which is caused by clogged blood vessels and other conditions affecting the blood supply to the brain.

Compared to people with "desirable" cholesterol levels below 200 milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL) in midlife, the risk of Alzheimer's disease three decades later was 57 percent higher in people with high midlife cholesterol levels of 240 mg/dL and above.

"Borderline" high cholesterol (200 to 239 mg/dL) tended to increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease as well, but the results were not statistically significant.

Or, you can just avoid problem altogether. A plant-based diet staves of heart disease and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol. Now, I think eating vegetables is better than going nuts—right?

Via Reuters.

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Millions and Millions of Kids Too Low in Vitamin D

Vitamin D deficiency is no joke! A new estimate in the journal Pediatrics reports 7.6 million children, adolescents and young adults have levels of Vitamin D so low that they can be considered deficient. Another 50.8 million people have higher levels, but still too low.

The researchers and others blamed the low levels on a combination of factors, including children spending more time watching television and playing video games instead of going outside, covering up and using sunscreen when they do go outdoors, and drinking more soda and other beverages instead of consuming milk and other foods fortified with Vitamin D.

"This appears to be another result of our unhealthy lifestyles, including a sedentary society that doesn't go out in the sun much," Michal L. Melamed of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York said.

The analysis and an accompanying federal study also found an association between low Vitamin D levels and increased risk for high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and a condition that increases the risk for heart disease and diabetes, known as the metabolic syndrome.

Taken together, the studies provide new evidence that low Vitamin D levels may be putting a generation of children at increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, two of the nation's biggest health problems that are also increased by the childhood obesity epidemic.

In related news, vitamin D deficiency has been linked to difficulty thinking and increases risk of dementia. To help boost vitamin D, Dr. Fuhrman has his own supplement, called Osteo–Sun, in vegan and non-vegan forms.

Via The Washington Post.

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Berry Nutrient Helps Improve Cholesterol

I love berries. I eat a bunch of blueberries everyday. Good thing a new study in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claims consuming a lot anthocyanins—a nutrient found in blueberries—may improve both HDL and LDL cholesterol, i.e. raise good cholesterol and lower bad.

Using a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial design, the Chinese researchers studied the effects of a twice daily dose of 160 mg anthocyanins on the lipid levels of the participants.

After 12 weeks of supplementation, HDL cholesterol levels increased by almost 14 per cent in the anthocyanin group, compared to a rise of only 2.8 per cent in the placebo group. Furthermore, LDL cholesterol levels decreased by 13.6 per cent in the anthocyanin group, compared to an increase of 0.6 per cent in the placebo group.

The removal of cholesterol from cells, the so-called cellular cholesterol efflux, was found to increase by 20 per cent in the anthocyanin group, compared to a 0.2 per cent in the placebo group.

Listen, fruits and vegetables are loaded with all sorts of nutrients. Anthocyanins are just the tip of the iceberg. Other foods like concord grapes and prunes are good sources of anthocyanins too.

Via Nutra Ingredients.

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Study Says Organic Food Not More Nutritious Than Regular Food -- UDPATE --

People buy organic for a lot of reasons. No pesticides or no chemicals—that’s a biggie—and some say it tastes better, especially organic fruits and vegetables.

Other people insist it’s more nutritious than traditional produce. Is it really? I’d like to think so, but a new study says it isn’t.

The research, appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and based on a review of data from the last 50 years, only found a very small number of nutritional differences between organic food and non-organics. Key highlights:

  • From a total of over 52,000 articles, there were 162 (137 on crops and 25 on livestock products) that met the researchers' first level of inclusion criteria but only 55 of these were of satisfactory quality and went into the analysis.
  • Conventionally produced crops had a significantly higher content of nitrogen.
  • Organically produced crops had a significantly higher content of phosphorus and higher titratable acidity.
  • There was no evidence of a difference among the remaining 8 crop nutrient categories.
  • Analysis of the few quality studies on livestock products showed no evidence of differences in nutrient content between those that were organically and those that were conventionally produced.

However, researchers say it’s difficult to provide a definite answer until longer studies have been completed. In the meantime, stick with organic food, at the very least it’s safer. Pesticides and chemicals certainly don’t help. Eek! 

UPDATE: Dr. Fuhrman had some thoughts on this:

Lower nitrogen residue in the organic food is another important reason to eat organic that this study documented. The over-use of nitrogen fertilizers is polluting our oceans, removing ozone and damaging the ecosystem, plus excessive nitrogen compounds in the non-organic food is also not healthy.

Via Medical News Today.

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Severe Childhood Obesity Triples!

Clearly, we’re dropping the ball here. A new report in Academic Pediatrics says the rate of severe childhood obesity has increased three-fold over the last 25 years, with the biggest jump among minorities living below the poverty level. Roughly 2.7 million kids in the U.S. are obese.

he research by Skelton and colleagues is the first of its kind to use the new classification and detail the severity of the problem. They found that the prevalence of severe obesity tripled (from 0.8 percent to 3.8 percent) in the period from 1976-80 to 1999-2004. Based on the data, there are 2.7 million children in the U.S. who are considered severely obese.

Increases in severe obesity were highest among blacks and Mexican-Americans and among those below the poverty level. For example, the percentage of Mexican-American children in the severely obese category was 0.9 percent in 1976-80 and 5.2 percent in 1999-2004.

Researchers also looked at the impact of severe obesity and found that a third of children in the severely obese category were classified as having metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors for heart attack, stroke and diabetes.

No doubt. It’s scary, but hardly surprising. In January, a study found more Americans have multiple chronic illnesses—like cancer, heart disease and diabetes—now, then ever before. Eek!

Via ScienceDaily.

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