Stuff Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Thyroid Disorders
July 10th, 2014

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The Little Seed That Could – Restoring Damaged Brain Cells with This Commonly Used Spice
April 16th, 2014

 

A few years back, researchers in Egypt performed an experiment. They gave rats Alzheimer’s by feeding them aluminum chloride. Then they gave some of the rats an additional treatment that actually restored damaged brain cells to almost normal.

Could this be the next miracle Alzheimer’s drug?

Not likely. Reason? It isn’t a drug, but a common plant- one that is used as both an herb and a spice-coriander, and plants can’t be patented.

Coriander is the seed of cilantro after the herb has flowered. You know, the green herb so popular in Mexican cooking. The Egyptian researchers found coriander “improves blood circulation to the head, as well as imparts mental concentration and memory.” The spice also is a potent antioxidant, is antibacterial and antifungal with “low or no side effects.”

Coriander has also been studied as a way to control blood sugar and for its antibacterial properties. Its use goes so far back, it’s even mentioned in the Bible! There are tons of recipes online for ways to use this miracle spice in your cooking. Many people also use it medicinally by making a tea out of the dried seeds.

Sources: “Study the Possible Protective and Therapeutic Influence of Coriander (Coriandrum sativum L.) Against Neurodegenerative Disorders and Alzheimer’s disease Induced by Aluminum Chloride in Cerebral Cortex of Male Albino Rats” Enas, A Khalil, Nature and Science, sciencepub.net

Manuka Honey Could Help Fight Superbugs
April 13th, 2014

 

Forget about a spoonful of sugar to make the medicine go down. Grab that manuka honey!!

It might be even better medicine than the stuff it’s masking the taste of.

A new study has found honey to be a powerful disease fighter that’s especially effective against today’s “superbugs.” That’s because it makes them less resistant to antibiotics, said the lead researcher.

The research team found (so called medical grade) manuka honey’s antioxidants to be effective against several types of bacteria, including E. coli. Other studies, she said, have also shown honey fights bacteria, viral and fungal infections.

Besides drying out bacteria, she noted that honey keeps drug-resistant forms of them from developing in the first place.  Additionally, it helps antibiotics work better.

So in times you’re feeling a bit under the weather, maybe you should head to the pantry instead of the pharmacy.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-13047332

Use of This Everyday Appliance Can Be a Health Hazard Worth Thinking About
April 9th, 2014

 

Surely some of you will be excited.  There seems to be a hidden hazard to cooking after all!

It turns out that a gas stove can cause levels of carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and formaldehyde that exceed public health guidelines.

All three of those toxins are found in secondhand smoke. So even though most smokers have been told to go outside and puff away, we’re still breathing in some of the same toxic fumes just by cooking dinner!

Researchers also found that an electric stove doesn’t totally solve the problem. It seems you can create other toxic substances — also found in cigarette smoke — by cooking with shortening or soybean oil at high heat. This can create fumes that can inflame your airways.

Dampening your desire to cook tonight’s dinner?  Don’t fret.  There’s a simple fix that can clear the air.

By turning on the vent hood fan above the stove, you can reduce this indoor air pollution by 60 to 90 %. It can also help to use the back burners, rather than the front.

Opening a kitchen window can’t hurt, either.

But still, it does give another good excuse to order out!

 

Sources:

“6 unhealthy habits that are ‘as bad for you as smoking’ Rodale News, Emily Main, March 19, 2014, rodalenews.com

Ignoring the Low-fat/Skim Milk Advice
April 1st, 2014

 

If your spouse and your friend’s are double-teaming you to cut fat out of your diet, don’t fall for it.  You might also want to be careful for the good old milk trick!

You probably know it by heart… “Milk: It does a body good.”  Surely, nothing could be further from the truth.

And if you drink reduced-fat milk every day, your waist will expand while your blood sugar takes a whipping.

When you’re looking for mainstream support, it doesn’t get much heftier than Harvard.  Dr. David Ludwig is a Harvard professor with a specialty in childhood obesity. But don’t let the “childhood” part fool you. His message is just as important for adults. And it’s as simple as basic math…

The sugar content of reduced fat milk is way too high.  How high? Believe it or not, a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup contains less sugar than a cup of 2-percent milk.

And yet, the USDA says we should drink three cups per day!

Drinking that much milk — especially lowfat or skim milk — is as bad as drinking that much Mountain Dew.

Here’s why… The skimming process strips away fat and fat-soluble vitamins, which helps the body slow the absorption of sugar and absorb the calcium properly. So the nutrition is scant, but the sugar level stays high — and the sugar courses through your body much faster.

This really is not “new” news… The only news here is that a prominent mainstream specialist is willing to say it in a major journal.

Don’t be distracted by the mustaches and grinning celeberties. Drinking sugary low fat milk every day promotes obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Sources:
“Three Daily Servings of Reduced-Fat Milk: An Evidence-Based Recommendation?” JAMA Pediatrics, Published online ahead of print, 7/1/13, archpedi.jamanetwork.com

If You Are a Contact Lens Wearer, Not Reading These Instructions Could Send You to the ER
March 26th, 2014

 

It makes me cringe thinking about it.  Imagine something as simple as cleaning your contact lenses sending you to the ER.

It does sound insane, but that’s exactly what happened to a great number of contact wearers who use Clear Care contact lens cleaner.

By not strictly following the instructions or mistaking the product for saline solution they suffered very painful burns to their eyes.

The potential hazard here (and in the generic) is hydrogen peroxide, a disinfectant you definitely want to keep out of your eyes.

The tricky part is that you need a special lens case to use it. That’s because the lens case must contain platinum, which is supposed to turn the peroxide into water after 6 hours.  Imagine that!

One pharmacist estimated it may have affected hundreds of thousands of users.

Even proper use of the product was reported to have caused an eye injury to one user. She explained to the FDA that she had received a second degree corneal burn and loss of vision in her left eye after soaking her lenses in the lens case for 10 hours.

The manufacturer, Ciba Vision (a Novartis company) said it has made some changes to the package design aimed at preventing misuse, such as a red lid.

But if you wear contacts, it’s probably better just to steer clear of Clear Care.

Sources:

“Contact lens wearers — beware when using Clear Care” Michael R. Cohen, R.Ph., January 7, 2014, philly.com

http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/06/06/12070189-eye-burns-linked-to-misuse-of-clear-care-contact-lens-cleaner

Keep Diabetes at Bay by Eating This Popular Food
March 20th, 2014

 

If you haven’t jumped on the yogurt bandwagon yet, this latest news could be enough to convince you.

A new study from Britain has found that those who eat cultured dairy products have an almost 25% lower risk of developing diabetes. Cultured, or fermented foods, are high in probiotics — also known as “good bacteria.”

Those who eat the most common kind of fermented dairy, which is yogurt, there’s a 28 percent lower chance of getting the disease.

The researchers compared the eating habits of type 2 diabetics and healthy people from the same area in England.

They stopped short of saying yogurt helps ward off diabetes. But when almost a third of yogurt eaters didn’t get the disease, well, you can come to your own conclusion!

Since yogurt contains a lot of calcium, magnesium, and vitamins D and K, it’s a huge boost to your immune system, which could explain the lower diabetes risk.

So how much do you need to eat to get these benefits? The researchers said that those who ate four to five cups a week seemed to be receiving the most protection.

But here’s where you need to be on the lookout. As yogurt has become more and more popular, the number of brands and varieties on the market has gone through the roof.

Before you buy any particular type, it’s important to check the label for live or active cultures. If it simply says “made with” active cultures, that’s not enough. To help keep you healthy, all that ‘good’ bacteria needs to still be alive when it enters your gut! Look for brands that have been cultured after pasteurization.

Be certain to avoid any yogurt made with artificial sweeteners, like aspartame. It might make you think it’s even better for controlling blood sugar. But that is a whole other blog posting.  For now it’s just eat your fermented foods!

Sources
“Eating yogurt may cut diabetes risk, new research shows” Melanie Haiken, February 6, 2014, Forbes, forbes.com

The Hidden Dangers of Shopping
March 18th, 2014

 

We definitely want to be weary of all the crappy food items surrounding the outside perimeter of our favorite grocery stores.  Not only from the candy or the latest tabloid news about the Kardashians, but believe it or not, a big risk to our health comes from the person handing you a receipt!  That’s because register receipts are coated with the chemical BPA, which can be absorbed through the skin.

Researchers have now found evidence of a link between prostate cancer and exposure to BPA. In a new study, men with prostate cancer were found to have two to four times more BPA in their urine than those who were cancer-free.  BPA levels were especially high in prostate cancer patients under 40, when age isn’t a factor.

Those results prompted the lead author to do additional research.

She found that prostate cells treated with BPA became abnormal in the way they divided — something often seen in cancers. In this case, low doses of the chemical caused this in two to eight times more cells than usual. BPA, which mimics estrogen, has already been linked to breast cancer, diabetes and miscarriages.

That’s why women have been advised not to handle register receipts or use plastic food and beverage containers that have become warm. Now “you guys” need to watch out for it as well.

Sources: “BPA levels higher in men with prostate cancer: study” Zoe Schlanger, March 3, 2014, Newsweek, newsweek.com – See more at: http://hsionline.com/2014/03/18/hidden-shopping-danger/#sthash.3iXICULo.dpuf

Could Needing a Cup of Coffee Be a Sign of Addiction?
March 14th, 2014

 

Here’s another example of a group of scientists with way too much time on their hands.

News about coffee these days has been generally good. It helps ward off things like diabetes and Alzheimer’s, and helps treat depression and even ‘defog’ our brains.

But have you ever heard about “caffeine use disorder?”

If you haven’t, it’s a brand new “mental health disorder” that’s now officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association. Allegedly one in 10 of us who depend on our morning jolt of Joe are thought to be suffering from it.

So recently, a team of scientists from not one, but three prestigious universities, one being Johns Hopkins, decided it would be a good form of addiction to study. (Perhaps because they were coffee drinkers)

They even wrote a paper on this so-called condition, and are talking about the need to do “more research” on it.

It’s a “quality of life” issue, according to one expert. And some of the reasons given might have come straight out of Saturday Night Live.

For example, a member of the research team told of a man whose tropical vacation was ruined because his wife spent so much time looking for a cup of Java.

If you think you have “caffeine use disorder,” not to worry!  I’m sure there will be a drug coming along any day now you can “ask your doctor about!”

Sources:
“Caffeine use disorder: a widespread health problem that needs more attention” Press release, 1/28/2014, American University, eurekalert.org

 

Parkinson’s Risk Actually in Your Garage?
March 11th, 2014

 

It is hard to believe but true, spring has already sprung in parts of the globe!  Of course we never forget one annoying part of warmer weather – bugs.

But before you get out the can of bug killer and start spraying everywhere, have a thought about your brain.

Researchers at UCLA have identified 11 pesticides that might be a trigger in Parkinson’s disease. Pesticides, it seems, can not only kill annoying bugs, but they can zap our brains as well.

Research has found that many pesticides can block an enzyme called ALDH, and that can make Parkinson’s more likely to occur. Some people can even have a genetic tendency that makes the bug sprays even more dangerous to them.

“We were very surprised that so many pesticides inhibited ALDH and at quite low concentrations,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Jeff M. Bronstein. He also noted that these chemicals “can be found on our food supply and are used in parks and golf courses and in pest control inside buildings and homes. So this significantly broadens the number of people at risk.”

Seems like it might be time to invest in a few fly swatters.

Sources:
“Researchers ID more pesticides linked to Parkinson’s, gene that increases risk” Kim Irwin, February 3, 2014, UCLA Newsroom, newsroom.ucla.edu