Higher Risk of Diabetes For Woman Doing This

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Diabetes is one of the most common health conditions in America.

An estimated 30 million Americans deal with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

The interesting thing about diabetes is Type 2 diabetes is generally a late onset condition. Meaning people aren’t born with it and habits and behaviors in daily life are what cause it to develop.

There’s a lot of evidence that diet and lifestyle are the two biggest factors contributing to late onset diabetes.

There’s ample research showing that eating the wrong kinds of foods, not exercising, and more then you’re likely to develop diabetes (type 2).

And the more research we do in this area of disease development, the more obvious this becomes.

In a recent study it was discovered that women who work long hours have a greater chance of developing Type 2 diabetes.

In a recent study it was shown that women (men were not affected by this) working 45 hours or more a week had a higher risk of diabetes than women who worked under this amount.

This study was recently published in BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care and it dealt specifically with 7,000 Canadians ages 35-74.

The research delved specifically into the hours worked as the main area of research which is why they controlled for factors such as marital status, parenthood, ethnicity, place of birth, place of residence, long-term health conditions, lifestyle, weight, and body mass index.

The researchers weren’t sure why these women were more likely to develop diabetes. But they noticed that men were not affected by long work hours. In fact, the more a man worked the less his chances of developing diabetes.

The authors write, “Considering the rapid and substantial increase of diabetes prevalence in Canada and worldwide, identifying modifiable risk factors such as long work hours is of major importance to improve prevention and orient policy making, as it could prevent numerous cases of diabetes and diabetes-related chronic diseases.”

The likely causes for this are that women who work longer hours experience dysregulation in hormone levels that causes them to gain weight. Weight gain is a known factor in diabetes risk as it often leads to insulin resistance a major factor leading to the development of diabetes.

Bad News For Legal Weed and Pain Management

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One of the main reasons so many people advocate for marijuana is they claim it helps manage chronic pain.

This is why there is such a huge push for legalization at a national level. People fear the present opioid crisis is only going to get worse and they want an alternative treatment therapy that’ll help manage pain. For years, it’s been the claim that marijuana takes care of severe pain.

But now, there is evidence indicating that might not be the case exactly…

A 4-year study diving into the specifics of how marijuana helps manage pain (if it does at all) has yielded some surprising results.

Gabrielle Campbell, Ph.D. — from the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia and her team of researchers looked specifically at how marijuana might help to manage pain.

Studying 1,500 patients with chronic, non-cancer-related pain, Campbell and her researchers published how marijuana helped them deal with their pain in the journal Lancet Public Health.

And their findings are contrary to what so many people believe about marijuana.

As a baseline, the team decided to only study patients who had already been taking an opioid for their pain management. Some switched entirely from opioids and others continued using them during the study. Switching from the opioid to marijuana they assessed their pain levels and how they affected the subjects in their daily levels.

They analyzed how much marijuana the subjects were taking and made sure to track and see if the marijuana had any effect on the mental health of the subjects as well.

Lastly, they looked at the “potential opioid-sparing effects of cannabis”

Each participant was asked about how often they used marijuana, both on a monthly and yearly basis and they were further questioned on whether or not feelings of depression and anxiety developed during use.

The conclusions of this study?

Marijuana did nothing to help alleviate chronic pain.

In a write up on the study, author Ana Sandoiu said:

“Although cannabis use was common in the study sample, the researchers found “no evidence that cannabis use improved patient outcomes.”

Campbell and team found “no evidence of a temporal relationship between cannabis use and pain severity,” nor did they find any link with the extent to which pain interfered with the participants’ daily lives.

In fact, the opposite was revealed. “People who used cannabis had greater pain and lower self-efficacy in managing pain.” Despite this, says the study’s lead author, the patients reported “perceived benefits from cannabis use.”

Finally, no evidence was found “that cannabis use reduced prescribed opioid use or increased rates of opioid discontinuation.” The study authors conclude.

Common Pain Pill May Help Fight Alzheimer’s Disease

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Most people are well aware that taking an Aspirin is a great way to help protect your cardiovascular system and help prevent a heart attack.

Doctors recommend taking one a day for that exact purpose.

But now there may be another great reason to take an Aspirin a day. There are strong links to it helping fight the pernicious neurodegenerative disease: Alzheimer’s disease.

A new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience demonstrated that low dose Aspirin intake might stop the formation of Alzheimer’s pathology from developing.

This could help protect a person’s brain keeping their memory and cognitive function intact.

Researchers at led by Dr. Kalipada Pahan from the Rush Medical College in Chicago, IL, were interested to see if Aspirin would help dissolve protein structures called beta-amyloid plaques, a sticky buildup in the brain often associated with Alzheimer’s development.

These proteins are sticky in their consistency and are believed to “gum up the brain” which causes the onset of dementia.

This “gumming of the brain” keeps brain cells from communicating properly with one another. When the body recognizes this failure in communication the brain mobilizes immune cells to fix the problem. This immune response causes inflammation with eventually leads to the death of brain tissue.

Alzheimer’s is often the result of this form of brain death.

The reason these protein structures appear in the brain in the first place isn’t entirely understood.

However, researchers believe one of the underlying causes could be lysosomes — affectionately known as the “garbage disposals of the cell” — end up malfunctioning and the plaques aren’t flushed out of the brain.

Previous research linked low-dose aspirin use to boosting the lysosomes ability to eject these plaques from the brain, and Dr. Pahan and team wished to see if this connection was in clinically viable as a future treatment.

To test and see if Aspirin could help encourage lysosomal elimination of plaques the team modified the genes of lab mice to have an induced form of Alzheimer’s-like symptoms and brain pathology.

Once they modified the mice they measured how much plaque was in their brains.

By all appearances, the introduction of Aspirin as a treatment helped dissolve the plaques.

As Ana Sandoiu wrote in a recap of the study:

“The experiment revealed that aspirin intake upregulated TFEB, which, in turn, stimulated the production of lysosomes. Importantly, “oral administration of low dose of aspirin decreased amyloid plaque pathology in both male and female” mice.

The findings may be beneficial not only for people living with Alzheimer’s disease but also for the treatment of lysosomal storage disorders, a group of 50 rare conditions with symptoms ranging from mild to severe brain disease.

“The results of our study [identify] a possible new role for one of the most widely used, common, over-the-counter medications in the world,” says Dr. Pahan.

The research “adds another potential benefit to aspirin’s already established uses for pain relief and for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases,” he continues.

“More research needs to be completed, but the findings of our study [have] major potential implications for the therapeutic use of aspirin in [Alzheimer’s disease] and other dementia-related illnesses.”

This research certainly lends credence to the efficacy of Aspirin as an adjuvant for certain disease pathologies like heart disease, brain disease, and possibly more.

Here’s What Drinking A Lot Of Coffee Really Does To You

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Coffee is one of the most popular beverages in the world.

More than 146 billion cups of coffee are consumed in America every single year, and the number worldwide is much, much higher.

Because it’s such a widely-consumed beverage, it’s been the object of plenty of studies.

Most studies around coffee indicate those who consume a moderate amount of coffee (around three to five 8oz. glasses a day) will see some form of health benefit.

Links between coffee consumption and a reduction in cancer risk have been made, There have also been links between moderate coffee consumption and the reduction in Parkinson’s disease development.

Not to mention the fact that there are several studies implicating moderate coffee consumption to a longer lifespan.

And this is just a quick list of ways coffee might help to make your life better. But what about drinking a lot of coffee?

Most people assume because of the high levels of caffeine that it can’t possibly be good for you.

Until recently there hadn’t been many studies investigating what excessive coffee consumption would do for your health.

Recently, researchers at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Rockville and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, both in Maryland, conducted research to see how high levels of coffee consumption will affect those coffee hounds.

Surprisingly, drinking a lot of coffee doesn’t seem to have an effect on people. In fact, their research showed drinking a lot of coffee could help extend your life.

The researchers surveyed highly caffeinated people and found that between the time of an initial check-up and a follow-up checkup, that high coffee drinkers were less likely to die.

They discovered that it didn’t really matter between who drank regular and decaf coffee, both groups were likely to see benefits. This led them to believe that it wasn’t necessarily the caffeine leading to the health benefits, but more than likely the plant-based antioxidants in the coffee that were making people healthier.

Part of the reason they suspected these antioxidants (plant based-polyphenols) were the foundation for longevity is because they noticed that people who drink instant coffee didn’t have the same results as regular coffee drinkers.

The reason this matters is because instant coffee doesn’t have as many antioxidants (plant based-polyphenols) as the latter types of coffee, and observationally it might make sense their absence is detracting from the observed health benefits.

The researchers concluded:

“’These results provide further evidence that coffee drinking can be part of a healthy diet and may provide reassurance to those who drink coffee and enjoy it.’

With its unwavering popularity, research into coffee is guaranteed to continue. The authors hope that future studies focus more on how the preparation of coffee influences health outcomes.

For now, it seems firmly established that coffee has a raft of health benefits.’”

This Relaxing Activity May Help Protect Your Heart

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This Relaxing Activity May Help Protect Your Heart

Cardiovascular disease and other heart-related issues are some of the deadliest diseases in America.

Every year more than 500,000 Americans die because of heart-related issues.

And while there are a multitude of factors that end up killing them, there is a promising new treatment that may help reduce the risk of death from a heart attack or other heart-related catastrophe.

And that is taking a warm bath.

Actually, that should say taking somewhere around 5 warm baths a week.

5 warms baths a week could be a new luxury treatment for anyone wishing to improve their heart health according to a group of Japanese-based scientists at the Faculty of Collaborative Regional Innovation at Ehime University in Matsuyama, Japan.

The team of scientists were investigating whether or not baths would be beneficial to heart health because prior studies on the use of saunas have indicated that the heat a person is exposed to has a therapeutic effect on the cardiovascular system,

There are studies that show saunas are capable of bringing down high blood pressure and there are studies that show saunas can seriously reduce the chances of both men and women having a stroke.

And two of the most encouraging studies, and the ones that likely initiated the research on baths were studies that showed sauna use 4-7 a week was likely responsible for lowering the risk of a stroke 60% compared to those who only used the sauna once a week…and could also help to lower hypertension risk by about 46 percent.

Since sauna therapy is expensive, and not everyone can pay (or even has access) to a sauna, the researchers wanted to see how baths might improve cardiovascular health.

To find out whether or not baths helped, the team analyzed 873 study participants answers to a survey on their bath habits. The participants, all between the ages of 60 and 76 years, were asked how often they took a bath that was above 107 ° and lasted longer than 12.5 minutes.

Then, they analyzed their heart health by measuring several different aspects of heart health that included brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity. This measurement helps determine atherosclerosis.

Also, “of the 873 participants, the researchers had access to longitudinal data on 164 people who had undergone a minimum of two medical examinations, averaging a follow-up period of almost 5 years.”

Their findings?

5 hot baths a week could improve heart health.

In their findings, they noted hot baths had a “favorable effect on atherosclerotic and central hemodynamic parameters.”

As Medical News Today writes: More specifically, people who took at least five hot baths every week had significantly lower markers of atherosclerosis and cardiac loading. Prof. Kohara and his colleagues conclude:

“Based upon these findings, it is conceivable that hot water bathing could have beneficial effects on the cardiovascular system in the general population.”

What this study failed to mention and what you might want to investigate is how adding in salts like magnesium bath salts can help improve heart health even more.

Magnesium is an essential nutrient for heart health as it helps form the chemical messenger that causes the heart to beat on time.

Chances are if you were to add magnesium to every bath your risk for cardiovascular disease would be even lower.

How Your Brain Might Sabotage Your Diet

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Ever try a diet out?

Ever try a diet out and then find out it didn’t work for you?

If you have, then there’s a chance you found it was pretty hard to stick to the diet, right?

Well, the reason for that might not be your fault, not entirely at least.

A recent study published in The Journal Of Neuroscience indicates the reason some people fail with diets while others succeed may have to do with differences in brain anatomy.

Especially difference in the gray matter of your brain.

Hilke Plassmann, who is the INSEAD Chaired Professor of Decision Neuroscience, and her team were the ones who provided research to help establish this theory.

The scope of their research study was to see if certain regions in the brain  can be targeted for therapy to help treat overeating along with other eating disorders.

The researchers reasoned that often times the reason people couldn’t stick to a diet, or eventually developed an eating disorder, was because the ability to exhibit self-control was stunted because of compromised brain function (or undevelopment in core region of the brain).

To see if their theory was accurate, they decided to study the gray matter of different brains and how they differed between people who had higher levels of self-control and those who didn’t.

What they discovered clearly showed that yes, a difference existed.

This all has to do with something called neuroeconomics, which is the science behind decision making, specifically the “brain functions behind decision-making.”

The beliefs behind neuroeconomics and food choice are that our brains “choose” food for us based on a different qualities of said food.

Experts in neuroeconomics say we often weigh a choice to eat certain foods based on qualitative attributes that food has. These include how healthy or how tasty that food is.

Whatever our brain decides is the highest value is the food we’ll end up eating.

And some people tend to go with tasty even when they know they should go with healthy.

At least that’s what the research shows.

To reach these conclusions the team looked at the brain scans of healthy people as they were about to eat certain foods.

Their sample data was taken from 45 men and 78 women as they were presented with images of multiple food items. These subjects were asked to assign a value to the foods based entirely on the food’s tastiness and healthfulness.

When they compared the imaging data against the choices, the scientists found that volume of gray matter in two locations of the brain called dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (dlPFC) and the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) was larger in those who made healthy food choices.

The more they lit up, the more likely it was that the subjects were going to make healthful food choices.

And they subsequently discovered that those who had more gray matter volume typically were better making healthy food choices.

As Medical News today writes: “[the subjects made better food choices] by either putting a higher value on healthfulness or a lower value on tastiness when asked to consider healthfulness.

The researchers also found a similar relation between gray matter volume in the vmPFC and dlPFC and “dietary self-control” in another dataset with different subjects and a different kind of task that “entailed distancing from cravings for unhealthy, appetitive foods.”

They say that their study is the first to show that differences in dlPFC and the vmPFC anatomy may influence people’s choice of healthful foods. However, the findings do not suggest that people have to accept these conditions as fixed.

The brain has “plasticity,” which means that it can adapt. Gray matter volume is similar to muscle and can be developed with “exercise.”

“In the future, we may be able to come up with brain-based interventions, so that you can change the gray matter density in these regions.”

Found On Many Potato Chips – Actually Good For You

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Most people believe potato chips are bad for you.

The reason for that is because people hear about the dangers of fat.

Turns out one of the main oils used for cooking potato chips actually has some pretty impressive health benefits.

The oil we’re referring to is safflower oil.

Safflower oil comes from the safflower plant. And as you’re about to see it might actually be one of the most healthy oils around. Even better than olive oil (thanks to the high cooking temperatures it can withstand).

As you’ll see, getting more safflower oil into your diet could certainly help improve health.

1 – Can Help Fight Diabetes: Diabetes is one of the most common health problems in the U.S. and often results because of people’s diet’s interfering with proper glucose response.

Safflower oil can help to improve blood sugar and in the process may help to fight diabetes.

Studies show that fats like safflower oils can blunt a person’s insulin response, keeping blood sugar levels in the normal range.

If you were to switch carbohydrates with polyunsaturated oils (like safflower oil) it could help to balance blood sugar and decrease insulin resistance (a hallmark of diabetes).

In 2011 a study  observed subjects with type 2 diabetes who consumed 8 grams of safflower oil daily could see improvements in blood sugar.

The conclusion of this study suggested that inclusion of dietary fats like safflower oil may be serve as a way to help manage the dangerous disease.

2 – It Could Help Protect Your Heart: Heart disease (in all its forms) is the #1 killer of men and women in the United States.

And while most people believe consuming dietary fats is the reason heart disease happens in the first place, there are a number of studies to suggest otherwise.

The same study indicated that those 8 grams of safflower oil might also help to lower LDL cholesterol (known as the bad cholesterol) and raise HDL cholesterol levels.

And as Medical News today writes:  “The unsaturated fats in safflower oil can thin the blood and make platelets less sticky. This might help prevent blood clots that can lead to heart attack and stroke.

Safflower oil might also affect blood vessels by relaxing them and reducing blood pressure.”

3 – It Can Help Heal Skin: One of the other benefits of safflower oil is it has strong anti-inflammatory properties.

When applied topically, it soothes and nourishes irritated dry skin.

It’s for this reason many cosmetic companies are starting to use it in their product lines.

Part of what makes it so beneficial for the skin is thanks to an antioxidant called vitamin E

There’s research suggesting vitamin E forms a protective barrier around and keeps free-radicals from damaging sensitive cell structures. Vitamin E is an antioxidant and that property may help keep skin nourished and protected from outside fordes.

 

This Weight Loss Technique Also Improves Mood

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One of the newest discoveries in the world of medicine is that fasting for 14-16 hours of the day and fitting in your day’s worth of calories into short 8-10 hour windows can help you lose weight.

This behavior is known as intermittent fasting.

And intermittent fasting has is gaining popularity as a proven and desirable weight loss method.

What’s interesting about intermittent fasting isn’t just that it helps people lose weight.

It’s the fact there are a number of other therapeutic benefits associated with it.

Among these are the significant discovery that fasting can help fight aging, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and more.

The way intermittent fasting does this isn’t all that complicated. When a person fasts, many body processes are enhanced. This includes elevated hormone levels, balanced blood sugar, improved blood pressure, reduced markers for inflammation, and improved digestion.

All of these work in combination to improve your body’s ability to fight disease.

A recent study by the Journal Cell Metabolism shows the underlying physiology behind this:

Italian researchers created a diet called the Fasting Mimicking Diet (FMD) to see how fasting affects the body.

This diet requires subjects to go 5 days a month consuming a restricted amount of protein and calories, thereby helping the body revert to burning stored reserves of fat.

The diet described in the study — isn’t quite as extreme as actual fasting.

It works like this:

For 25 days out of the month, dieters can eat as they normally would — the good, bad and in-between. Then, for day one of the diet, they would eat 1,090 calories: 10 percent protein, 56 percent fat and 34 percent carbohydrates. For days two through five, 725 calories: 9 percent protein, 44 percent fat, 47 percent carbohydrates.

In the study, participants consumed a lot of vegetable soup, kale crackers, and chamomile tea. The calories consumed are 54 to 34 percent of what a typical person might eat in a day.

What happens when the body is subjected to this kind of forced caloric deprivation? It responds favorably.

“Co-author Valter D. Longo, who studies longevity, described the idea behind fasting as a way to “reboot” a person’s body by clearing out damaged cells and regenerating new ones.

“‘It’s about reprogramming the body so it enters a slower aging mode but also rejuvenating it …’ he said. ‘It’s not a typical diet, because it isn’t something you need to stay on.’”

This qualifies intermittent fasting not just as a reasonable diet to pursue weight loss, but to help promote better overall health.

How Your Bedtime Is Linked To Your Risk For Depression

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Depression is one of the most commonly diagnosed mental disorders in the United States (as well we the developing world).

And for every person who’s handed a clinical diagnosis for depression, an estimated 1-2 additional people suffer from the debilitating disease in silence.

Over the past few years, as the focus on mental health becomes a larger part of mainstream medicine, the discoveries about what causes depression have multiplied.

We know the underlying, physiological causes of depression, mainly that imbalances in neurotransmitters can lead to feelings of depression.

But, we’re still learning a lot about what leads to those problematic imbalances in the first place.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the University of Boulder and the Channing Division of Network Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA has made a telling discovery showing a link between what time individuals fall asleep and wake up and their overall risk for developing depression.

And what you might find surprising is just how significant the link is.

To come to their conclusions the researchers poured over data collected from one of the comprehensive health studies ever conducted, the Nurses’ Health Study II.

The data they were interested in the most had to do with what time subjects went to sleep and woke up.

And from that data, they discovered that sleep patterns have a dramatic effect on neurochemistry.

From a sample of 32,470 female participants, aged 55 on average, all who were depression-free at the beginning of the study, they found that a late bedtime an a late wake time increased the chances a person would develop depression.

As Dr. Wiggy Saunders writes:

At the beginning of the data-set, none of the women providing information were depressed.

At the end of the data-set, (roughly 2 years in time), a statistically significant number reporting feeling depressed.

To see what may have caused this they looked at the study participants’ sleep habits.

They broke the participants up into 3 groups.

Early birds: those who went to bed early and got up early.
And intermediate sleepers: Those who had a combination of both sleeping patterns.

To make sure their analysis wasn’t tainted by factors unrelated to sleep, the researchers controlled for “the impact of environmental factors, such as exposure to light and work schedule, on a person’s sleep-wake cycle. Other risk factors for depression — including weight, level of physical activity, existing chronic diseases, and sleep duration”

What they found was the early risers were far less likely to develop depression over time than those going to bed late and getting up late.

Their research indicated that early birds had a 12–27 percent lower risk of depression than “intermediate type” participants.

And the night owls had it even worse.

They were 6% more likely to develop depression than “intermediate types.”

At first blush, this research doesn’t really make sense.

But one thing the researchers noted was that many times, people who go to bed late, are more likely to live alone and also don’t have the same kinds of healthy relationships as those who go to bed early and wake up early.

Early-birds were typically married or in a significant relationship, and had other healthy relationships. Conditions that other research shows to have strong correlations with better mental health.

Likewise, the researchers didn’t conclude that night owl behavior would cause depression either.

Guess Which Health Drink Is Better Frozen than Fresh

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If you listen to the proponents of good health, almost all of them will tell you that you need more fruits and vegetables.

That’s a given.

But for many Americans, filling their day up with fruits and veggies is easier said than done.

This is why many of them will resort to adding things like fruit juices into their diets.

The most popular, by far, is orange juice.

Most Americans drink several gallons of orange juice over the course of the year.

Oddly enough, orange juice drinkers believe the fresher the squeeze on the OJ, the better it is for them.

But it turns out this might not be true.

Fresh squeezed orange juice might not be the healthiest option.

According to a new study, the nutrient content of fresh orange juice might actually be lower than its frozen counterpart.

In this new study, Researchers at the Laboratory of Food Colour and Quality at the University of Seville, Spain, analyzed how bioaccessible two of the most prominent health compounds known to appear in orange juice really were.

Bioaccessibility is the term for assessing how readily available certain compounds are for total absorption into the body.

While fresh OJ had the highest levels of these carotenoids, that didn’t necessarily mean that the human body assimilates them well.

But before you learn why, you might as well know what these carotenoids are.

The main carotenoids in OJ are phytoene and phytofluene. Researchers believe that these carotenoids have high levels of antioxidant activity which could help to fight conditions like prostate cancer, breast cancer, and atherosclerosis, and more.

These two carotenoids are not just found in OJ, but are also known to appear in tomatoes, carrots, and other citrus fruits.

Now the reason that fresh OJ isn’t as helpful at delivering the maximum value of these carotenoids is complicated, and here’s what Medical News Today has to say about the phenomenon.

Using an imaging technique called transmission electron microscopy, researchers analyzed the cell structures of fresh and pasteurized orange juices, as well as those of ultra frozen orange juice defrosted either at room temperature, in the microwave oven, or in the fridge.

The researchers found that cold treatments lead to a greater degradation of the carotenoids in the orange juice. However, cold treatments also increased the bioaccessibility of these carotenoids, which means greater benefits for our health.

Of all the cold treatments analyzed, ultra frozen orange juice — which was defrosted to either room temperature or in a microwave — provided the most bioaccessible phytoene and phytofluene.

“That is to say, despite the fact that the concentration of carotenoids in the deep-frozen juices was less than in the fresh juice,” explains the lead investigator, “the reduction in the size of the particles and the destruction of the cellular material that [this] treatment produce[s] mean that the amount of carotenoids that can be absorbed by the intestine is higher.”

“[F]resh juice is the juice that has the highest concentration of carotenoids, but this does not mean that it is the one that raises the carotenoid level in the blood and tissue the most, as you have to take into account the amount of carotenoids that are actually absorbed,” further explain the researchers.

The scientists confirm that, of the treatments, pasteurization is the most damaging to carotenoids. Study co-author Antonio J. Meléndez, a professor at the University of Seville Faculty of Pharmacy, comments on the importance of the findings.

This flies in the face of what many people believe about fresh juice.

It would appear that just because the levels of carotenoids are lower in frozen OJ doesn’t necessarily matter since your body can use them better.

At the end of the day, if you’re going to drink OJ, you’ll have to weigh what’s more important to you.

Receiving the maximum health benefits from OJ, or getting an OJ that tastes better.

If you’re going for the healthier alternative, it should encourage you to know that frozen OJ Is a lot more affordable than fresh, so that can be another reason to add it into the mix.

Now go enjoy some OJ, just not too much since many are high in added sugars.

4 Plant-Based Foods Proven to Lower BAD Cholesterol

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Before you learn about the 4 kinds of plant-based foods known to lower bad cholesterol, it’s important to make a distinction to what kinds of cholesterol are out there.

When it comes to cholesterol, most people have it all wrong and believe all cholesterol is bad for us.

The reason for this? Health authorities have repeatedly told us that all of it is bad for your health.

When that’s not true.

Only half of cholesterol is bad.

There are two types of cholesterol: HDL and LDL cholesterol.

LDL cholesterol is the kind of cholesterol you should be wary of. This is because LDL cholesterol is the kind of cholesterol that sets up in the arteries and can lead to later heart problems.

HDL cholesterol is actually a good kind of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol actually helps grab LDL cholesterol and then take it out of the body where it belongs. In addition to that, HDL cholesterol is used in many bodily functions, including the all-important process of helping to build certain kinds of hormones essential for health.

Now that this is out of the way, it’s time to get into the meat of this article.

The #1 way to help lower LDL cholesterol levels while simultaneously increasing HDL levels is to modify your diet.

Since cholesterol always comes from external sources, it stands to reason that diet is the best place to start for improving cholesterol levels. I.e. drugs are a last resort.

Most integrative physicians will agree that if your diet swing towards a balance of whole foods, your cholesterol levels will fall.

That’s because many of these foods have the ability to increase blood flow which helps to lower blood pressure and prevent the accumulation of cholesterol in the arteries.

Byt 4 main kinds of foods, known as “The Portfolio” do it better than the rest.

And These foods are:

All nuts
Plant protein obtained either from soy-based foods such as tofu, soy milk, or other soy-based meat substitutes, or from pulses such as beans, peas, chickpeas, or lentils
soluble fiber, such as “oats, barley, psyllium, eggplant, okra, apples, oranges, or berries”
Margarine enhanced with plant sterols, or “cholesterol-like” compounds that can be found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and cereals

Now there is a strong caveat that should be made about this list.

Two of those foods, while having been shown to lower cholesterol, aren’t necessarily great for total health.

These include soy and margarine.

Soy has been shown to negatively affect hormone function and is not recommended by many integrative physicians and artificial butter substitutes are also linked to many health problems.

That being said, the rest of “The Portfolio” will not only form a substantive diet, but will also help protect your heart.

In a study written by Laura Chiavaroli at the Department of Nutritional Sciences at the University of Toronto in Canada, Chiavaroli proves this portfolio of foods really can alter health.

As Medical News Today writes:

The Portfolio diet recommends a daily intake of 42 grams of nuts, 20 grams of soluble fiber, 2 grams of plant sterols, and 50 grams of plant protein. The amounts are based on a daily consumption of 2,000 calories.

Chiavaroli and colleagues examined randomized and non-randomized controlled trials that studied the effect of this dietary pattern “in comparison to any energy-matched diet that did not provide components of the Portfolio [diet].”

Overall, the analysis found that sticking to the Portfolio diet lowers total cholesterol levels, as well as triglycerides (which are the most common fat types in the human body), blood pressure, and C-reactive protein (which is a marker of inflammation).

In fact, the Portfolio diet decreased LDL cholesterol by 17 percent and the risk of developing coronary heart disease over the course of a decade by 13 percent.

The authors conclude, “Current evidence demonstrates that the Portfolio dietary pattern leads to clinically meaningful improvements in [LDL cholesterol] as well as other established cardiometabolic risk factors and estimated 10-year [coronary heart disease] risk.”

Study co-author Dr. Hana Kahleova, Ph.D. — the director of clinical research for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine — comments on the findings.

She says, “Previous clinical trials and observational studies have found strong evidence that a plant-based diet can improve heart health.”

“This study demonstrates that certain plant foods are especially effective for lowering cholesterol and boosting our overall cardiovascular health.”

So what does that mean for you?

Well, it’s simple really.

If you’re a person whose diet does not contain some of these foods (minus soy and margarine) then I suggest adding them.

Do this in combination with cutting out processed/refined sugars as well and you should see bad cholesterol go down, and other important biomarkers improve as well.

Want to Live Longer? Try Doing This Daily Activity Faster

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The FitBit craze has officially swept the nation. Thanks to these “smart” pedometers, more and more Americans are using this technology to “get in their steps,” and walk more than ever before.

Walking has unquestionable health benefits. However, researchers have been questioning how the speed of the walking can affect a person’s health.

A team of researchers in Sidney began delving into a walking study, hoping to find some answers. Their findings are now in a special issue of the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

The team began analyzing data from 50,225 walkers all across the U.K. The researchers began assessing each walker’s walking pace, ranging from “slow,” to “average,” to “brisk (5-7 km/hr).”

According to the researchers, “fast” or “brisk” walking entails being slightly out of breath or sweaty while moving.

The researchers then began linking this data with mortality records, adjusting for possible influencing factors (i.e: BMI, age, sex, general physical activity habits).

An astonishing discovery came out of this research. As Medical News Today reports:

Prof. Stamatakis and team’s analysis revealed that, while an “average” walking pace was linked with a 20 percent lower risk of mortality from all causes, walking at a “fast” pace was tied to a 24 percent lower risk.

According to the research, sex and BMI did not have a significant influence on the outcomes. However, walking at either an “average” or “brisk” pace led to an overall reduction of the risk of all-cause mortality, as well as of cardiovascular disease.

The researchers also made the acknowledgment that pace does not seem to influence the risk of cancer mortality.

Why Chemo For Breast Cancer May Be Over

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According to a recent study, many people with common, early signs of breast cancer may be able to completely skip the process of chemotherapy. And this prospect has women all over the world rejoicing.

Chemotherapy has many side effects, including anemia, hair loss, nausea, vomiting, and susceptibility to infection. As such, the utilization of chemo is typically when doctors deem it necessary for a patient.

However, this decision of chemo being “necessary” or not has a large gray area. For instance, doctors often analyze the tumors of breast cancer patients through the use of a Oncotype DX Test.

The test assesses the activity of 21 specific genes. It then gives a “recurrence score” between 0-100.

High scores indicate the cancer is likely to recur, and grow to other parts of the body. In these cases, the utilization of chemotherapy, as well as surgery or radiation therapy, is necessary.

Traditionally, patients with scores of 0-10 generally do not receive chemo, and those with scores of 26 and above do. Therefore, the confusion and “gray area” lies within the range of 11-25, where coincidentally most breast cancer patients fall.

To get a better idea of which patients require chemo, researchers began a large-scale investigation. Their results of this study are now in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Using data from 10,000 women (whom all had the most common form of breast cancer), the researchers split the study participants into two groups. One group was given hormone therapy and chemotherapy, while the other was only given hormone therapy.

After following the women and assessing for outcomes, the researchers made a remarkable discovery. According to Medical News Today:

When the study group was analyzed as a whole, there were no significant differences between the two groups.

In women under the age of 50, outcomes were similar when test scores were 15 or below. For younger women with scores of 16–25, chemotherapy slightly improved outcomes.

With [the] results of this groundbreaking study, we now can safely avoid chemotherapy in about 70 percent of patients who are diagnosed with the most common form of breast cancer.”

– Study co-author Dr. Kathy Albain

Avoid These Foods to Protect Your Bladder

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People suffering from an overactive bladder (OAB) typically have frequent, sudden urges to urinate. However, avoiding certain foods can help alleviate these symptoms.

In order to help ease the symptoms of OAB, try to avoid the following foods and drinks:

Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol acts as a diuretic, and heightens your urine production. As such, it can often make symptoms worse for those with OAB. Decrease your alcohol intake (or cut it out completely) and see if symptoms improve.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits may be tasty, but they can often irritate the bladder. This can cause painful urination. Cut back on citrus fruits.

Spicy Foods

Spicy foods can also irritate the bladder, and make OAB symptoms worse. Avoid these and see if symptoms improve.

Caffeinated Beverages

Tea, coffee, carbonated sodas, and other drinks with caffeine are often no good for people suffering from OAB. That’s because caffeine is a diuretic, and helps release water into the urine. This can make OAB symptoms worse.

As such, it may be helpful to limit drinks with caffeine, or to avoid them altogether. Opt for herbal teas, water, or juice that’s diluted. This can help improve OAB symptoms as they relate to frequency and urgency of urination.

7 Interesting “Fart Facts”

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Although flatulence is not typically spoken about in everyday adult conversation, it’s one of the most unifying factors in all human history.

The truth is, everybody farts. And, according to Medical News Today, there are many things we can learn from this curious phenomenon.

7 Interesting “Fart Facts”

  1. The average person’s body makes anywhere between 0.6 – 1.8 liters of intestinal gas every single day.
  2. There is no evidence that certain age groups or sexes fart more than another.
  3. A healthy individual will typically fart between 12 – 25 times every day. However, it is common to pass gas more often, depending on the diet.
  4. Love beans, but hate the flatulence? Soak them in water overnight before eating. This reduces the chances of having flatulence.
  5. According to a group of sociologists’ results from interviewing college students, heterosexual women are more likely to worry that people will find their farting “disgusting.” However, heterosexual men are more likely to think their farts are funny.
  6. People tend to pass more gas when asleep than they do when they’re awake.
  7. Only 1 percent of the gases in farts actually smell bad. This is because, oftentimes, the gas itself smells foul (including hydrogen sulfide, a common gas found in flatulence).

 

Got Belly Fat? You Need More Of This Vitamin

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Vitamin D seems to be the “it” vitamin right now. And for good reason. This vitamin is made when sunlight makes contact with our skin. And this does wonders for the human body.

However, there’s one specific use that seems more pertinent now than ever before. And that’s that a vitamin D deficiency may be a significant reason for humans accumulating large amounts of belly fat.

Through previous studies, links have become clear between vitamin D deficiency and and obesity. Now, a team of researchers has been delving deeper to understand this correlation.

Through previous studies, links have been made between vitamin D deficiency and and obesity. Now, a team of researchers has been delving deeper to understand this correlation.

Their goal? To understand how certain types of fat and their locations on the body play a role with vitamin D deficiency.

During analysis, the research team made the choice to focus on belly fat under the skin, fat around the organs, and fat in the liver. They also made adjustments for factors like ethnicity, alcohol intake, smoking, chronic disease, etc.

In their findings, the researchers made some interesting discoveries. In women, both abdominal fat and total fat had a clear association with low levels of vitamin D. However, in men, fat in the liver and abdomen had the greatest association with a vitamin D deficiency.

In both sexes, more belly fat was a clear prediction of having low levels of vitamin D.

According to Medical News Today:

Rafiq [the study’s lead researcher] explains, “[T]he strong relationship between increasing amounts of abdominal fat and lower levels of vitamin D suggests that individuals with larger waistlines are at a greater risk of developing deficiency, and should consider having their vitamin D levels checked.”

Fatal Cancer Destroyed With This Popular Beverage

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Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancer out there. However, there’s some new, great news for sufferers of this daunting condition.

A new study’s findings show that scientists are now able to stop these dangerous cells from growing. And it’s all thanks to the extraction of nanoparticles from tea leaves.

These nanoparticles are small. So small, they’re about 400 times thinner than the average human hair. However, the act of producing them from tea leaves is not only safe, but it’s also non-toxic.

This certain type of nanoparticles is known as “quantum dots.” And a group of U.K. scientists, led by researcher Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu, have been using them to help fight cancer.

According to the researchers, the creation of quantum dots happens chemically. In fact, they have historically been useful in TV screens and computers. However, creating these quantum dots is a very complex and costly process. It can also have toxic effects.

This disheartening reality led the researchers to pursue a plant-based, non-toxic alternative.

The researchers chose to mix tea leaf extract with cadmium sulfate and sodium sulfide. Upon leaving them to incubate, the researchers found that quantum dots were forming.

Upon applying them to cancer cells, the researchers made a startling discovery. They found that the quantum dots’ anti-cancer properties were very similar to those doctors have been using for the chemotherapy treatment drug cisplatin.

According to Medical News Today:

In fact, the study revealed that quantum dots infiltrated the nanopores of the cancer cells, destroying up to 80 percent of them.

Pitchaimuthu comments on the findings, saying, “Our research confirmed previous evidence that tea leaf extract can be a non-toxic alternative to making quantum dots using chemicals.”

The real surprise, however, was that the dots actively inhibited the growth of the lung cancer cells. We hadn’t been expecting this […] Quantum dots are therefore a very promising avenue to explore for developing new cancer treatments.”

– Sudhagar Pitchaimuthu

Men: These Symptoms Might Signal A Stroke

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When blood can no longer flow to the brain properly, brain cells die, causing a stroke. Strokes can happen to both men and women. However, research is revealing some differences in stroke symptoms between the two genders.

According to study findings, men are more likely to experience the following stroke symptoms:

  • numbness in one side of the body
  • weakness in one side of the body
  • trouble with maintaining steady balance (aka “poor coordination”).

In contrast, it is more common for women to report signs of headaches, lightheadedness, and confusion. Although very real, these symptoms are “nontraditional” for a stroke, and therefore more difficult to diagnose correctly.

As such, medical personnel are more likely to recognize a stroke in men, and be able to provide faster treatment. However, it is important to remember that men can also exhibit “nontraditional” stroke symptoms, as well.

As such, it’s important to recognize the early warning signs of a stroke. This gives you the best chance of noticing it and getting medical assistance before long-term damage is done.

The acronym FAST is helpful for remembering 4 of the most common warning signs of a stroke. According to Medical News Today, FAST stands for:

Face drooping

A stroke can cause numbness or weakness on one side of the face. When a person with this symptom tries to smile, only one side of the mouth may respond.

Arm weakness

A person having a TIA or stroke may be unable to raise one or both arms above the head and keep them there.

Speech difficulty

A person may have difficulty speaking, or their words may not make sense.

Time

If a person has any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical assistance. A stroke is a medical emergency, and receiving urgent treatment can prevent further injury to the brain.

An Interesting Way the Sun Could Help Fight Diabetes

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Diabetes has been reaching rates of epic proportions here in the United States. As such, doctors and scientists alike are reaching desperation in searching for something to lower the occurrence of this disease.

Previous studies have shown a possible connection between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of diabetes. Because of this, researchers have been wanting to learn more about vitamin D’s effect on the disease.

In their studies, researchers found a compound known as iBRD9. This compound increases the activity of vitamin D receptors in the body when bound to vitamin D molecules.

Through their studies on mice, the researchers were able to bring the mice’s glucose levels down and into a healthy range.

This is encouraging news for both doctors and patients suffering from diabetes. According to Medical News Today:

“This study started out by looking at the role of vitamin D in beta cells,” says first study author Zong Wei. “Epidemiological studies in patients,” he reports, “have suggested a correlation between high vitamin D concentrations in the blood and a lower risk of diabetes, but the underlying mechanism was not well understood.”

He continues, “It’s been hard to protect beta cells with the vitamin alone. We now have some ideas about how we might be able to take advantage of this connection.”

The researchers made a discovery of how vitamin D may be able to protect beta cells. This can be done through transcription – the way genes decode to produce proteins.

According to the research, the introduction of iBRD9 made genes that have a protective effect to transcribe at higher rates. This protects the beta cells even further.

According to Medical News Today:

“Activating the vitamin D receptor,” notes co-corresponding study author Michael Downes, “can trigger the anti-inflammatory function of genes to help cells survive under stressed conditions.”

By using a screening system that we developed in the lab, we’ve been able to identify an important piece of that puzzle that allows for super-activation of the vitamin D pathway.”

– Michael Downes

7 Of the Healthiest Spring and Summer Foods

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Spring is finally here, and the warm weather is inspiration to start eating healthy!

Now that veggies with vibrant colors are in season, this should put an extra spring in your step in the kitchen.

Here are 7 of the healthiest spring and summer foods to start the season off right:

ARUGULA

This peppery lettuce is best between March and November. It’s full of vitamin K to improve insulin sensitivity and protect the body from diabetes.

BEETS

This purple veggie is tastiest between June and October. It’s also got nitrate, which assists the body in lowering blood pressure.

BELL PEPPERS

Peppers have bright colors, and are great in meals or by themselves. Eat them between July and December. Remember – they’re chock-full of antioxidants and vitamin C.

EGGPLANT

The perfect time to eat this dark purple vegetable is between August and September. And you’ll want to, since it’s full of chlorogenic acid – an antioxidant that fights off free radicals.

GREEN BEANS

Yummy, crunchy green beans are at their peak between April and October. They’re a good source of fiber, which is helpful in decreasing risks of all-cause mortality.

TOMATOES

Tomatoes are at their peak in May to August, so you’ll want to stock up! Especially since they contain lycopene – an antioxidant that helps prevent prostate cancer.

ZUCCHINI

Delicious fresh or sautéed with garlic, zucchini is at its peak between June and August. The body loves this green veggie it for its riboflavin, which aids in the production of red blood cells and helps convert carbs to energy.