Checklist: Are You Really Getting Enough Protein?

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Protein is one of the headliners when people talk about tips for losing weight. After all, this essential nutrient replaces carbs and fat in your diet, and helps keep you full while losing weight faster.

Well, as it turns out, protein isn’t the star of the show after all. It’s the amino acids inside the high-protein foods. These make it possible for the body to synthesize proteins properly.

And, when we don’t consume enough amino acids, our bodies aren’t able to function correctly.

That’s why it’s often helpful to consume foods that are “complete proteins.” These contain all 9 essential amino acids that the body doesn’t produce (and therefore needs from food).

Many of these “complete proteins” come from animal sources, like milk, eggs, and meat. There are also vegetarian sources, such as soy and quinoa.

And, when you combine red beans/lentils with whole grain rice (or peanut butter with wholemeal bread) these combos create a “complete protein.”

So how much of this protein do you actually need?

The truth is, it’s hard to say. Harvard Health recommends 0.8g of protein for every kg (or approx. 2 lbs.) that you weigh.

However, it really depends on a variety of factors. These include age, gender, and activity level.

To get an accurate read on your specific body’s protein needs, you can use the simple USDA Calculator here.

10 Of The Best Plant Based Protein Sources

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Vegan and vegetarian diets are growing steadily in popularity. In addition, a growing number of Americans are looking to simply reduce their intake of animal products.

These diet changes are often due to religious reasons, health reasons, or concern for animal welfare.

Because of these trends, people are now on the lookout for plant-based sources that can provide them the necessary protein they need.

Regardless of the reasoning, going meat-free does have its downsides. People that do not eat meat or animal products often do not consume the necessary amounts of protein, calcium, iron, and B-12 their bodies need.

Luckily, nature provides many foods that are very rich in protein. These can help you feel full and can help replace the protein missing from a meatless diet.

Better yet, these foods often have less calories than their animal-based counterparts. This can be helpful for those who are conscientious about their food intake.

Below are 10 of the most protein-rich, plant-based foods, along with their protein content per serving.

  1. Tofu (10g protein per 1/2 cup)
  2. Tempeh (15g protein per 1/2 cup)
  3. Edamame (8.5g protein per 1/2 cup)
  4. Lentils (8.8g protein per 1/2 cup)
  5. Chickpeas (7.3g protein per 1/2 cup)
  6. Peanuts (20.5g protein per 1/2 cup)
  7. Almonds (16.5g protein per 1/2 cup)
  8. Spirulina (8g protein per 2 tablespoons)
  9. Quinoa (8g protein per cup)
  10.  Large Baked Potatoes (8g each)

The Hidden, Brain Boosting Benefit Of Ibuprofen

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Most people take Ibuprofen for pain relief. However, it may be doing more for their health than they think. Like preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

Dr. Patrick McGeer (the CEO of Aurin Biotech in Canada) and his colleagues sought to understand the effects of Ibuprofen on inflammation. The cause of the inflammation they were studying was an Alzheimers-related peptide.

Last year, McGeer and colleagues made a realization about a beta-amyloid peptide found in the body known as amyloid-beta 42 (or Abeta 42).

They found Abeta 42 in saliva, in addition to the brain. And they found there were higher levels of it in adults who are at a higher risk of Alzheimer’s.

These results gave McGeer and his colleagues confidence that a simple saliva test might be able to predict adults’ risk of Alzheimer’s, years before symptoms show themselves.

According to Medical News Today:

“What we’ve learned through our research,” reports Dr. McGeer, “is that people who are at risk of developing Alzheimer’s exhibit the same elevated Abeta 42 levels as people who already have it; moreover, they exhibit those elevated levels throughout their lifetime so, theoretically, they could get tested anytime.”

This research led McGeer and his colleagues to the conclusion that Ibuprofen may prevent Alzheimer’s in adults with high amounts of Abeta 42.

Their previous research shows that Abeta 42 triggers inflammation in the body. Their belief is that Ibuprofen and other NSAIDs may prevent this inflammation, thereby stopping Alzheimer’s in its tracks.

As Medical News Today states:

Coffee Might Hurt Alzheimer’s Patients Brains Says New Study

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Coffee has many health benefits. However, it may have a dark side that many people don’t know about. According to a recent study, long-term caffeine consumption may make Alzheimer’s symptoms worse.

While studying a group of mice with Alzheimer’s, researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona in Spain made an interesting discovery. They found that continual exposure to caffeine led to an increase in behavioral symptoms characteristic to the disease (such as anxiety).

Previous research suggests that coffee has the ability to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. However, though this may be true, it seems to worsen the symptoms for people whom already have the disease.

As it turns out, mice tend to develop Alzheimer’s very similarly to the way humans do. They portray both cognitive issues as well as BPSD-like symptoms characteristic of the disease.

According to Medical News Today:

 

To find out, the team added caffeine to the rodents’ drinking water from the ages of 6 to 13 months, at a dose of 0.3 milligrams per milliliter.

The researchers explain that previous studies have found that this dosage leads to a daily caffeine intake of around 1.5 milligrams in mice, which is the equivalent to about 500 milligrams in humans, or five cups of coffee per day.

Upon seeing the study results, the researchers made an interesting conclusion. The mice who drank the water with caffeine had higher BPSD than those who drank water. BPSD symptoms include anxiety and neophobia (the fear of unfamiliar situations or objects).

In addition, the researchers found that caffeine had very little benefit for the memory and learning of the mice.

This study was done on rodents. However, the results suggest that doctors be cautious in recommending coffee for their patients with Alzheimer’s.

Coffee May Help Heal Your Heart

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We all know that coffee is a wonderful, wonderful thing. It keeps us awake, and gives us an extra boost of motivation.

However, according to a new study, coffee may even be better for us than we once thought. According to the study’s results, consuming three cups of coffee every day may lower our risk of atherosclerosis (aka the risk of clogged arteries).

Researchers from the University of São Paulo in Brazil sought to discover how coffee affects calcium buildup in the coronary arteries. To learn more, they began analyzing  data from over 4,400 adults with an average age of 50. All adults were living in São Paulo.

The researchers had each participant fill out a questionnaire about the amount of coffee they were consuming. All participants were then split into three groups: less than one cup per day, 1-3 cups per day, and more than 3 cups per day.

Each participant also underwent a CT scan in order to see the amount of calcium accumulation in their arteries.

According to the results, participants who drank at least three cups of coffee per day on average had less coronary calcification in their arteries.

However, the researchers found something incredibly interesting when reviewing their results. According to Medical News Today:

However, after adjustment, the researchers found that this association was only significant for adults who had never smoked. In fact, never-smokers who consumed at least three cups of coffee daily had a 63 percent lower risk of coronary calcification.

For former or current smokers, drinking coffee appeared to have no benefits for calcium buildup.

“It is possible that deleterious effects of smoking overwhelm the benefits of coffee intake on early cardiovascular disease injury,” the team speculates, “so this impact of coffee may occur only in people who have never smoked.”

Prostate Cancer Could Be Treated With This 1 Trick

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Good news for those with from prostate cancer. A new study claims that sufferers may be able to decrease their medication and avoid side effects that arise from it. And it all may be as simple as taking the medication with food.

For the study, researchers brought a group of 72 participants with advanced-stage prostate cancer together. Half of them took 1,000 mg of Zytiga – a prescription medication taken with prednisone to treat metastatic prostate cancer.

This half took Zytiga in the form of four pills every morning on an empty stomach. This is the clinical recommendation.

The other half of the participants ate a low-fat breakfast every morning, and took just one 250 mg pill of Zytiga.

Upon reviewing the results, the researchers made a fascinating discovery. The participants who ate a low-fat breakfast and took one pill of Zytiga had comparable outcomes to those who had taken the four-pill dose (today’s clinical recommendation).

It appears that Zytiga was able to control the symptoms of both groups with similar effectiveness.

The researchers made another fascinating discovery. According to Medical News Today:

Both groups reported identical times of progression-free survival: approximately 8.6 months. The researchers also measured the extent to which Zytiga lowered levels of prostate-specific antigen (PSA), which is a marker for prostate cancer.

They found that the participants in the low-dose group experienced a slightly greater decrease in levels of PSA than the recommended dose group.

After evaluating the drug’s effectiveness with food, the researchers believe taking one pill of Zytiga with food over time may save each patient approximately $300,000.

However, further tests need to be done before a confirmation of these results can be given. Do not make any changes to your medication (or your consumption of it) without first consulting your doctor.

Women Deficient In This Vitamin More Likely to Be Overweight

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According to a study done in Brazil, there is a strong correlation between a deficiency in vitamin D and metabolic syndrome in postmenopausal women.

Metabolic syndrome refers to a specific set of conditions. These heighten the risk of things like diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.

Metabolic syndrome over half of the over-50-female population in the United States.

To conduct the study, researchers from the MB-UNESP’s Climacteric & Menopause Outpatient Clinic began monitoring 463 women, between 45 and 75 years of age.

Each woman’s last menstruation period was at least 12 months prior to the study. None of the women had either existing nor pre-existing heart issues.

After the study, the researchers began running tests on each participant to discover if they had metabolic syndrome.

In order to obtain a metabolic syndrome diagnosis, the participant met three out of the following parameters:

  • High blood sugar (fasting glucose over 100 mg/dL)
  • Abnormal levels of triglycerides (over 150 mg/dL)
  • Waist circumference over 88 cm
  • High blood pressure (over 130/85 mmHg)
  • Abnormal levels of cholesterol (HDL below 50 mg/dL)

According to News Medical Life Sciences:

“We measured the participants’ blood vitamin D levels and also analyzed parameters indicating MetS. We found that the lower the level of blood vitamin D, the greater the occurrence of MetS. The results suggest that supplementing and maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D in postmenopausal women can reduce the risk of disease,” said Eliana Aguiar Petri Nahas, a professor in FMB-UNESP’s Department of Gynecology & Obstetrics and one of the authors of the study.

Data from previous studies has shown that there are several factors that can explain the effect of vitamin D on the various conditions of metabolic syndrome.

According to the researchers, the most obvious explanation for this association is that vitamin D impacts the secretion of insulin and sensitivity. Both of these play a huge role in metabolic syndrome.

As News Medical Life Sciences states:

“The vitamin D receptor is expressed in insulin-secreting pancreatic beta cells and in peripheral target tissues such as skeletal muscle and adipose tissue. Vitamin D deficiency can compromise the capacity of beta cells to convert pro-insulin to insulin,” wrote the researchers of the FAPESP-funded project.

According to the researchers, however, more studies are needed to confirm the link. “The objective of the study was to evaluate the association between vitamin D deficiency and risk factors for MetS in postmenopausal women,” they write in the article.

This Little Nut Could Protect Your Heart

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Nuts, in general, are healthy for you (as long as they don’t have lots of sea salt, sugar, etc. covering them).

However, according to recent research, it looks as though the pecan may stand out among the nut world as a way to help protect your heart.

Researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging sought to study the specific cardiovascular effects that pecans can deliver.

To do this, they began studying a group of 26 men and women, who were either obese or overweight but otherwise healthy.

They spent 4 weeks on a control diet, and then an additional 4 weeks on roughly the same diet with the inclusion of pecans. The purpose was to study the pecan’s effects in isolation.

In both diets, the amounts of fruit, vegetables, and fiber were low. Total calorie, fats, and carb levels were the same in both diets.

The pecans made up for about 15 percent of the calories from the previous diet, replacing a portion of the previous diet’s saturated fats.

When studying the results, the researchers made an interesting discovery. According to Medical News Today:

“It was found that the addition of pecans to the participants’ diets improved insulin sensitivity. Also, there was a positive impact on other markers of cardiometabolic disease — namely, changes in serum insulin and the function of beta cells, which store and release insulin.

Pecans are naturally high in monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, so replacing a portion of the saturated fat in the diet with these healthier fats can explain some of the cardioprotective effects we observed.”

– Lead researcher Diane McKay, Ph.D.

“She goes on, “But, pecans also contain a number of bioactive plant compounds as well as vitamins and essential minerals that all likely contributed to this benefit. What’s really interesting is that just one small change — eating a handful of pecans daily — may have a large impact on the health of these at-risk adults.”

Although these results are very encouraging, further studies will need to be done before any firm conclusions can be drawn.

However, if further testing confirms these heart-healthy benefits to be conclusive, pecans can be a natural, beneficial weight loss intervention.

Higher Risk Of Death When Taking Either Of These 2 Drugs

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It’s no surprise to say that high blood pressure (aka hypertension) puts people at major risk of heart disease. However, two classes of medications (which lower blood pressure) have certain risks all on their own.

Scientists at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City, UT have been looking into this. They made the discovery that alpha blockers and alpha-2 agonists can actually increase blood pressure variability. This then increases mortality risk.

The researchers came to this conclusion after assessing date from more than 10,500 adults (all with high blood pressure).

Each participant had their blood pressure taken seven times between 2007 and 2011. They also said which type of blood pressure medication they were on at each visit.

From there, the team of researchers began assessing links between variability in blood pressure levels and certain blood pressure medications.

According to Medical News Today:

Alpha blockers — which include doxazosin mesylate and prazosin hydrochloride — work by dilating the blood vessels. Alpha-2 agonists, such as methyldopa, work by targeting sympathetic nervous system activity, thereby reducing blood vessel constriction.

Based on the study results, Dr. Clements and colleagues say that these two medications should not be used to treat hypertension.

“Patients should know what their blood pressure is,” he says, “and if it’s up and down all the time, the patient should work with their physician to explore options for the best blood pressure medications that will reduce variances.”

Dr. Clements states that if you’re looking to lower blood pressure, there are alternative treatments that are healthier. These include ace inhibitors, calcium channel blockers, thiazide diuretics and angiotensin receptor blockers.

Clements adds that people who are on other types of blood pressure meds thereby are risking an increased chance of death.

However, it’s important to note that the way a blood pressure measurement is taken can drastically influence the readings.

According to Medical News Today:

“[…] because of the variables that affect blood pressure measurements,” says Dr. Clements, “finding ways to more accurately measure blood pressure can better identify effective treatments for patients who have hypertension.”

For accurate blood pressure readings, he recommends sitting or laying down for 15 minutes before measurements are taken. Avoiding stressful situations and using a well-fitting blood pressure cuff may also help.

New Risk Identified With Sugar Substitutes

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According to new data from a presentation at the Endocrine Society in Chicago, low-calorie sweeteners may be causing a higher risk of metabolic disorder.

To collect this data, researchers from George Washington University in Washington D.C began analyzing the effects of the low-calorie sweetener sucralose on human stem cells. These stem cells come from fat tissue.

First, the researchers were able to mimic the normal concentration of sucralose found in the blood of people that drink large amounts of low-calorie sweeteners.

Then, while administering this sucralose concentration to the stem cells, the researchers began to notice an increase in the expression of genes that had links to inflammation and fat production.

In addition, in a separate study the researchers took biopsy samples of abdominal fat from people who were regularly consuming low-calorie sweeteners.

After analyzing the samples, the researchers did not find a significant increase in gene expression of participants of a healthy weight.

However, in participants who were either overweight or obese, the researchers found an overexpression of fat-producing and inflammation-inducing genes.

According to the researchers, these patterns in gene expression create conditions that may lead to metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome can then, in turn, lead to conditions such as prediabetes and diabetes.

As the study’s co-author Sabyasachi Sen states:

“Our stem cell-based studies indicate that low-calorie sweeteners promote additional fat accumulation within cells compared with cells not exposed to these substances, in a dose-dependent fashion — meaning that as the dose of sucralose is increased more cells showed increased fat droplet accumulation.”

4 Benefits of “Jesus Oil”

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Frankincense was one of the first gifts given to Jesus at birth. And one of the reasons why is due to its miraculous healing properties.

Health experts love frankincense so much that they now recommend Frankincense essential oil (or “Jesus Oil”) for a host of ailments.

These include:

Preventing Signs Of Aging

There are very few among us who wouldn’t want to look younger than we are. Luckily frankincense oil has the ability to help remove signs of aging for good. That’s because it lifts and strengthens skin and improves its tone and elasticity. It even fights blemishes, reduces scarring and acne, and heals wounds. It’s so powerful it’s even effective at fading stretch marks and surgery scars, and at healing dry/cracking skin.

Helping you sleep

One of the most helpful uses of frankincense is for helping you sleep. That’s because this essential oil lowers anxiety and stress that can make it difficult to drift off. It’s calming scent soothes nerves, and allows your body to heat to an ideal sleeping temperature.

preventing illness

Frankincense has the ability to boost and enhance the immune system. Better yet, studies have shown it may destroy viruses, bacteria, and even certain cancers. Not to mention, this essential oil can help prevent germs from forming on your skin and mouth, as well as in your home. Many people even use it to relieve their oral health pain. That’s because frankincense can help prevent bad breath, toothaches, cavities, mouth sores, gingivitis, and infections from happening.

decreasing inflammation and pain

Frankincense essential oil can help restrict the production of inflammatory molecules that are associated with a wide range of conditions. These include IBS, asthma, arthritis, and more. It can also help prevent cartilage tissue from breaking down, and can significantly reduce inflammation. This makes using frankincense oil a no-brainer for treating painful conditions affecting the tendons, muscles, and joints.

Apparently the Sun May Prevent Cancer?

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According to a large study of Japanese adult participants, there may be a correlation between high amounts of vitamin D and a reduction in the risk of developing cancer.

Previously, similar studies have been done on Caucasians in America and Europe. However, as vitamin D concentrations differ based on ethnicity, the researchers sought to discover vitamin D’s effects on non-Caucasian populations.

The researchers’ goal was to determine if there was an association between vitamin D and either the risk of total cancer, or site-specific cancer.

First, the researchers began evaluating data from the Japan Public Health Center-based Prospective (JPHC) Study. The study involves data from over 33,000 Japanese participants, ages 40 – 69 years.

The study’s data also includes each participants’ medical history, blood samples, and information about their lifestyle and diet. The season was also taken into account, seeing as as vitamin D levels tend to be higher in summer and autumn than in winter and spring.

The samples were split into four groups, ranging from the lowest levels of vitamin C to the highest. Then, the participants went under close monitoring for an average of 16 years – during which the development over 3,000 new cases of cancer occurred.

According to Science Daily:

After adjusting for several known cancer risk factors, such as age, weight (BMI), physical activity levels, smoking, alcohol intake and dietary factors, the researchers found that a higher level of vitamin D was associated with a lower (around 20%) relative risk of overall cancer in both men and women.

Higher vitamin D levels were also associated with a lower (30-50%) relative risk of liver cancer, and the association was more evident in men than in women.

No association was found for lung or prostate cancer, and the authors note that none of the cancers examined showed an increased risk associated with higher vitamin D levels.

Further studies are necessary in order to discover what the optimal concentrations of vitamin D are for cancer prevention. However, these results are certainly a step in the right direction.

 

Eating Fish May Stop This Deadly Disease

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Kaiser Permanente has been studying the effects of an omega-3-rich diet on the risk of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Doctor Annette Langer-Gould of Kaiser Permanente took special interest in this study due to the large amounts of fatty acids omega-3s provide.

Not only do these omega-3s provide lots of health benefits, but they also seem to play a role in the onset of certain neurological conditions.

According to Medical News Today:

“Fish or other seafood consumption,” she told us, “is particularly interesting because it is the main determinant of circulating and tissue levels of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (omega-3 PUFAs).”

Omega-3 PUFAs have been shown to be neuroprotective during aging and suppress MS-related inflammation through multiple mechanisms in cell cultures and animal models. This provides at least two biologically plausible mechanisms whereby higher omega-3 PUFA intake and biosynthesis could protect against development of MS.”

– Dr. Annette Langer-Gould

In the study, Langer-Gould and her team began working with over 1,100 participants – half of which with a diagnosis of a clinically isolated syndrome of MS.

The team took into account the participants’ diet – particularly their intake of fish and dietary supplements of fish oil.

The participants were then put into one of two groups based on their diets. They were either “high-intake” (having one serving of fish per week plus daily fish oil supplements) or “low-intake” (less than one serving of fish per month with no intake of fish oil supplements).

After analyzing the data from the participants, Langer-Gould and her team made a fascinating discovery. They found there was a link between a consistently high intake of fish and a 45 percent lower risk of MS, in comparison to having a low intake of fish.

Although this is exciting news, the team does take into account that a person’s genetic makeup influences the risk of MS.

Still, Langer-Gould says that these “findings could certainly lead to lifestyle modification interventions that could improve overall health for MS patients and perhaps prevent MS in their offspring.”

How High Cholesterol Might Make You Smarter

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According to a study, people ages 85-94 that have higher cholesterol levels than those in midlife may also have a lower risk of cognitive decline.

Shockingly, these results are vastly different than when studying participants just 10 years younger. In fact, those in the 75-84 age range who had higher cholesterol levels than in midlife showed a 50% higher risk of cognitive decline.

The study’s authors are Jeremy Silverman and James Schmeidler, who are both from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, NY. Their findings can be found in the journal Alzheimer’s and Dementia.

Silverman and Schmeidler began by studying data of 1,897 participants from the Framingham Heart Study, all with healthy cognitive function.

They then began studying the associations between the participants’ total cholesterol levels and their cognitive decline as they went through their middle and later ages of life.

According to Medical News Today:

“The researchers used five “time-dependent” measures of total cholesterol. These were:

  • average at age 40 (midlife)
  • average at age 77 (late life)
  • average since age 40
  • whether the level went up or down (“linear change since midlife”)
  • whether any change in level slowed down or sped up (did the linear change accelerate or decelerate?)”

According to the results, some of these measures had an association with higher risk of cognitive decline. However, others began to diminish as the ages of the participants increased.

Specifically, Silverman and Schmeidler found that participants in the 85-94 year-old range, whose cholesterol was higher than that in midlife, were showing a reduction in the risk of cognitive decline.

However, according to Medical News Today:

Prof. Silverman points out that their findings should not be taken to mean that those aged 85 and older should now seek to raise their cholesterol levels.

“We don’t think high cholesterol is good for cognition at 85,” he adds, “but its presence might help us identify those who are less affected by it.”

We hope to identify genes or other protective factors for cognitive decline by focusing on cognitively healthy very old people who are more likely to carry protective factors.”

– Prof. Jeremy Silverman

How to Use Your Phone To Lower Cholesterol

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Cholesterol levels are notoriously high in the United States, thanks to the country’s abundance of fatty fare. In fact, 1 in 3 Americans have high cholesterol. This puts them at a greater risk of heart attack and stroke.

Luckily, if you own a smartphone, you can download a variety of apps that can help hold you accountable and keep your cholesterol in check.

Here are a few of them:

Cholesterol Food Reference

This one’s just for iPhone users (sorry Android) and costs just $1.99. This handy app helps you discover the amount of cholesterol hiding in a vast assortment of foods, including 200+ grocery store items and 100+ fast food options.

MyFitnessPal

Free for both Android and iPhone, the MyFitnessPal app allows you to track how much cholesterol you’re taking in, as well as your protein, fats, carbs, sugars, and more. Thanks to its extensive database, it “knows” the nutritional information of over 6 million foods (including those from restaurants). You can even plug in the ingredients of your favorite recipe and calculate it yourself.

MyNetDiary

Free for iPhone and Android users, MyNetDiary is able to track almost all things health-related for you. These include your current medications, nutrients, meal plans, test results, workout regimes, and more.

These aren’t the only apps out there to help you keep tabs on your health. Here are seven more options that can help you keep your cholesterol, your weight, and your health in check:

  • Foodvisor
  • Fooducate
  • Smart Blood Pressure
  • Vida Health
  • HowUdish
  • Nutrients
  • Shop Well

Never, Ever Do This With Sugary Drinks

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Are you sipping on a sugary beverage as you read this? If so, you’ll want to rethink not only the beverage you’re drinking, but also the way in which you consume it.

It’s been common knowledge for a while now that acids in foods and drinks cause tooth erosion. And the biggest culprits of this are fruit juice and soda.

However, according to a new study’s findings (done by researchers at King’s College London), it is not just what we’re consuming, but how we consume it that affects our risk of teeth erosion.

The researchers primarily drew upon data found in a previous study, where 600 participants (300 with tooth erosion and 300 without) gave the frequency, timing, and duration of their usual consumption of acidic beverages.

The participants also gave histories of how they typically drank the beverages (i.e: sipping, drinking through a straw, swishing around in the mouth first, etc.).

According to Medical News Today:

The team found that the risk of moderate or severe tooth erosion was 11 times higher for adults who drank acidic beverages twice daily, particularly when they were consumed between meals, compared with those who consumed such beverages less frequently.

When acidic drinks were consumed with meals, the risk of tooth erosion was slashed by half.

“It was also observed that one or less dietary acid intakes a day was not associated with erosive tooth wear,” the researchers note. “If a patient must go above one dietary acid intake per day, it would be prudent to advise them to consume the acids with meals.”

According to the research, the major culprits of teeth erosion include:

  • Sodas (both sugar-sweetened and sugar-free)
  • Fruit juices
  • Fruit teas
  • Fruit-flavored candies
  • Adding lemon or lime to hot water
  • Vinegars
  • Pickled foods

According to the research, hot drinks cause more erosion than cold drinks.

The American Dental Association (ADA) states that sipping, swishing, holding, or rinsing these acidic beverages in our mouths before spitting or swallowing can cause an incredible amount of erosion to our teeth.

According to Medical News Today:

[the ada] also [explains] that drinking water or milk when eating and rinsing the mouth after consuming acidic drinks may help to reduce tooth erosion.

“With the prevalence of erosive tooth wear increasing,” adds Dr. O’ Toole, “it is vitally important that we address this preventable aspect of erosive tooth wear.”

“Reducing dietary acid intake can be key to delaying progression of tooth erosion,” she continues. “While behavior change can be difficult to achieve, specific, targeted behavioral interventions may prove successful.”

We Can Now Predict Autism Thanks To This

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Thanks to researchers at Warwick University in the United Kingdom, we may be able to diagnose Autism with far greater accuracy than ever before.

That’s because these researchers have developed a brand new diagnosis test. And this test has the ability to find Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) protein changes in the patient’s blood and urine samples.

Dr. Rabbani of the Warwick University and her team have been trying out their new test by collecting samples of blood and urine of 38 children, ages 5-12, who have been given an ASD diagnosis.

They also took samples of blood and urine from another group of 31 children in the same age range that did not have ASD.

Through using this test, the researchers found connection between ASD and damage to certain proteins in the samples’ plasma (aka the fluid which carries white and red blood cells throughout the body).

According to Medical News Today:

Of the several blood and urine tests that the scientists developed, the most accurate one found that children with ASD had higher levels of a compound called dityrosine and another class of compounds called advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).

“Dityrosine is a marker of oxidation damage, and AGEs are the result of glycation, which is a process wherein sugars combine with amino acids, the “building blocks of proteins.”

Dr. Rabbani and colleagues then fed this information into a computer algorithm, which resulted in a diagnostic test with 92 percent sensitivity. Sensitivity refers to the ability of a medical test to accurately identify people who have a disease.”

Dr. Rabbani is hopeful of these findings, and says they may lead to earlier ASD intervention and diagnosis.

She is also optimistic that this test will help lead to improvements in ASD diagnoses, and that it may even begin to show new causes of ASD that doctors were previously not testing for.

An Interesting Way Cutting Carbs Could Cure This Disease

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Potatoes, pasta, and other carb-heavy foods are not only delicious, but are also a staple in the American diet.

However, many Americans nationwide are finding great success in their weight loss by cutting down on their carb intake. And, as a recent study suggests, this could be doing more for their health than just cutting calories.

After watching study participants consume a carb-restriction diet for just two weeks, researchers have already seen a reduction of liver fat in the subjects, as well as other signs of cardiometabolic health.

All 10 participants in the study were obese, and had Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD).

For 14 straight days, they ate a diet with carb restrictions, but with extra protein. The diet was also isocaloric, meaning the same amounts of fats, proteins, and carbs were eaten every day.

After the 14 days, the researchers saw “dramatic reductions” in the participants’ amount of liver fat.

According to Medical News Today, “The researchers also found that carbohydrate restriction led to a decrease in inflammatory markers, particularly interleukin-6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha — higher levels of which have been linked to greater NAFLD severity.”

In addition, the researchers saw that this new diet brought beneficial changes to gut microbiota, which brought about in an increase in folate. These factors connect to improvements made in the participants’ liver fat metabolism.

The researchers recognize that a low-carb diet may not benefit all people with NAFLD. However, these results are very promising in helping sufferers of this disease get healthier.

Little Known Vitamin Could Treat Alzheimer’s

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For a while now, researchers have been studying the effects of nicotinamide – aka vitamin B-3. They’ve found that this vitamin is extremely powerful – so much so that researchers have given the proposal that it become an alternative treatment for Alzheimer’s.

According to previous studies, large amounts of vitamin B-3 have shown to reverse memory loss in mice due to Alzheimer’s. To learn more about how vitamin B-3 works, a recent study has taken a deeper look into how nicotinamide riboside (NR) – a form of vitamin B-3 – affects the brain’s ability to repair its DNA due to brain damage from Alzheimer’s disease.

According to Medical News Today:

“The team added NR to the drinking water of mice that had been genetically engineered to develop the hallmarks of the neurodegenerative disorder. These included toxic buildups of the proteins tau and amyloid beta, dysfunctional synapses, and neuronal death — all of which resulted in cognitive deficits.

The mice drank the water for 3 months, and their brains and cognitive health were compared with those of control mice. The findings were published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Compared with the controls, the NR-treated mice had less of the protein tau in the brain, less DNA damage, and more neuroplasticity — that is, the brain’s ability to “rewire” itself when it learns new things, stores new memories, or becomes damaged.

Additionally — probably as a result of NR’s ability to aid the self-renewal of stem cells, or cells that have the ability to transform into any other type of cell that the body needs — the mice in the intervention group produced more neurons from neuronal stem cells.”

In addition, fewer neurons experienced death or damage in the group of Alzheimer’s mice. However, both groups’ beta-amyloid protein levels were the same.

The researchers also took note of the hippocampi of both groups (aka the part of the brain that stores memory, and that shrinks and experiences damage when Alzheimer’s occurs). Interestingly, the group given the NR treatment had either a decrease or complete removal of existing DNA damage.

Plus, the group of mice that was given the NR treatment later gave a better performance in both object recognition and maze tasks than the control group.

This is very encouraging news, and researchers will continue to look into the benefits NR can potentially help the brain.

8 Signs You’re Deficient In Iodine

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Iodine is essential for healthy living. That’s because it is vital for healthy thyroid functioning. And having a healthy thyroid is important, seeing as thyroid hormones aid in brain development, growth, healing, and metabolism.

The body does not produce iodine, which means it’s essential to get it from your diet. According to The American Thyroid Association, iodine exists in foods like:

  • Cheese
  • Cows milk
  • Eggs
  • Frozen Yogurt
  • Ice Cream
  • Iodine-containing multivitamins
  • Iodized table salt
  • Saltwater fish
  • Seaweed (including kelp, dulse, nori)
  • Shellfish
  • Soy milk
  • Soy sauce
  • Yogurt

When the body does not get enough iodine, this prevents the body from being able to make enough thyroid hormones. This is known as hypothyroidism.

So how do you know if you’re deficient in iodine?

8 Signs You’re Deficient In Iodine

Neck Swelling

The thyroid gland enlarges in the neck when it’s low in iodine, thus causing swelling. That’s because it’s attempting to soak in more iodine from the blood.

Irregular or Heavy Periods

Low levels of thyroid hormones can mess with the hormones that affect women’s periods. Having heavier periods than normal, or having periods more (or less) often than usual may be a sign of an iodine deficiency.

Slow Heart Beat

An iodine deficiency can cause the heart to beat slower than normal, which can lead to fainting, or feeling sick/dizzy.

Trouble Getting Warm

A lack of thyroid hormones due to a lack of iodine can cause the metabolic rate to slow down. This causes the person to produce less energy (which causes warmth) and makes them feel cold.

Here’s four more signs of an iodine deficiency from Medical News Today:

Putting on weight

One of the most noticeable signs of an iodine deficiency is unexpected weight gain.

When a person has a healthy metabolism, they burn calories to give them their energy. Hypothyroidism, or a lack of thyroid hormones, slows down a person’s metabolism.

When a person’s metabolism slows down, calories are more likely to be stored as fat, leading to weight gain.

It is important to remember that weight gain is not always a sign of an iodine deficiency. It may only be a symptom when weight gain cannot otherwise be explained. A more common explanation for weight gain is eating more calories than needed or not exercising enough.

Feeling tired

A drop in metabolic rate also makes a person feel tired. Therefore, feeling tired is another sign of an iodine deficiency.

As with weight gain, feeling tired does not always mean a person is iodine deficient. If a person is not getting enough rest, it is natural for them to feel tired.

If tiredness is unexplained, it may be a symptom of an iodine deficiency.

Losing hair

Hair loss is another possible sign that a person might have an iodine deficiency.

Thyroid hormones support the hair follicle renewal. When a person has hypothyroidism, a shortage of thyroid hormones means the follicles stop being renewed.

Hair falls out naturally but is replaced by new follicles. Over time, the fact this stops happening means a person has less hair.

Drying skin

Having dry, flaky skin could be a sign of hypothyroidism, as it can be the result of iodine deficiency.

Thyroid hormones help cells renew. A lack of these hormones may cause dead skin cells to build up, sometimes resulting in dry, flaky skin.