Monthly Archives: May 2010

Corn & Sugar Crop Pesticide Harms Frogs

Everyone jokes about the toxic chemicals used in the agricultural industry, only many of us don’t really know what the effects are on the environment or our health. New research is showing the specific effects that one of the commonly used weed killers has on frogs. Scientists at UC Berkeley have just released their findings about the effects that the hericide Atrazine has on the reproductive organs of frogs. “The effects of atrazine in the long term have been shown to demasculinize or chemically castrate [frogs], combined with complete feminization of some animals,” said lead researcher Tyrone B. Hayes, a biologist and herpetologist at the University of Berkeley. Atrazine is a favorite among corn and sugar farmers in the U.S. because it is cheap. The European Union banned it in 2004 due to the residual levels found in water not meeting the EU’s regulatory levels. Scientists are continually conducting research, like the UC Berkeley study, that does not shine a good light on Atrazine. The only testing that shows it to be safe comes from research that is funded by the Atrazine makers themselves. Read the full report here.

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Immune System Affects Behavioral Disorders

Until now, considering the immune system as a contributing factor in behavioral disorders was all but unheard of. New experiments are showing a direct link between the two. “We’re showing there is a direct relationship between a psychiatric disorder and the immune system, specifically cells named microglia that are derived from bone marrow” and exist in the brain, explained Mario Capecchi, a Nobel winning professor of human genetics at the University of Utah School of Medicine. “There’s been an inference. But nobody has previously made a direct connection between the two.” “A lot of people are going to find it amazing,” continued Capecchi. “That’s the surprise: bone marrow can correct a behavioral defect.” Capecchi went on to explain that these findings may inspire researchers “to think about potential new immune-based therapies for psychiatric disorders.” However, “I’m not proposing we should do bone marrow transplants for any psychiatric disorder” in humans. Instead Capecchi thinks “it’s a very good model for obsessive-compulsive disorder.” To visit source click here.

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Natural Pain Relief And The FIR Sauna

Nothing can be more crippling to a person that pain. Drug based pain relief has continually been the solution to this problem, only most Americans are tired of the associated negative side effects that come with continued drug use. In recent years this problem has been addressed by the immense growth in portable sauna use to mitigate pain naturally. A new type of pain has come into view among scientists called HRP or “Heat Responsive Pain.” Any common pain that can be relieved through heat therapy falls under the HRP category. Impressive results from treating conditions such as upper-body, menstrual, and lower-back pain have come from researchers using continuous low-level heat therapy to treat these and other HRP ailments. “Through new clinical research, we have found that heat activates complex neurologic, vascular and metabolic mechanisms to mediate the transmission of pain signals and effectively provide relief for a variety of pain conditions,” explained the Past-President of the American Pain Society and Clinical Health Psychologist, Riverhills Healthcare, Cincinnati, OH -Peter Vicente. He went on to say that “for centuries, healthcare providers have used topical heat to relieve minor aches and pains. Today, we are just beginning to understand the full range of therapeutic benefits that heat offers.” By dilating peripheral blood vessels with infrared heat from a FIR sauna, muscle and soft tissue relief can be maximized. Even the speed of injury recovery is increased because of the increased blood circulation brought on by infrared heat therapy.

In a dental study where repeated heat applications were employed , an eventual abolishment of the whole nerve response responsible for pain arising from dental pulp (center soft part of the tooth) was the end result. A two year long controlled trial with 46 random patients suffering from chronic pain was conducted. All of the 46 patients received four weeks of treatment from multiple disciplines. 22 of the subjects were given 15-minute daily FIR sauna treatments in addition to the other treatments. After the two years had gone, the subjects in the FIR sauna group were 37% more likely to have returned to work, have improved sleep, and tended toward greater improvement in anger scores and pain behavior scores. This pain relief may be a result of a reduction in muscle spasms and the relaxation of other irritable tight tissues.

By undergoing infrared heat therapy, many people have see the benefits of natural pain relief from numerous different painful health conditions. Some of them included: Low Back Pain, Muscle Pain (notably post exercise muscle pain), Muscle Tension, Neuralgia (related to disc protrusion), Pain which prevented sleep or limited usable sleeping positions, Adhesions (scarring) from athletic injuries, trauma or repetitive stress syndromes, Arthritis, gouty, rheumatoid or degenerative joint disease, Brain Injury (The effects of acceleration-deceleration injury or brain contusions) and Compression fractures, In one person pain stopped for three days of after only a single treatment, TMJ (arthritis and muscle spasms have been reduced or eliminated), Post traumatic shock has been reversed, Shoulder Pain, and Spinal Cord Shock. If pain relief without the negative side effects of drugs is what you are looking for, then there is hope. Whether it is a portable sauna at your house or the infrared sauna at the health spa, pain relief can be on your horizon.

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Soccer Improves Balance And Bone Density

Several new research papers are being published about various health benefits from regularly playing soccer. Some may find it a surprise that the studies do not focus on the more obvious benefits of such an athletic sport, such as greater muscle strength and improved cardiovascular health. Instead, the studies reveal that regular engagement in soccer bring improved bone density, bone health, better posture and improved balance. “During soccer training and games, the players perform many sprints, turns, kicks and tackles. This combination of actions help achieve a variable bone impact that appears to provide a better stimulus to bone mineralization than running,” said project leader Peter Krustrup. “The research shows that 70-year-old men, who have played soccer most of their lives on a recreational basis, have just as good a balance and rapid muscle strength as untrained 30-year-olds and much better balance and muscle strength than their peers” explained Peter Krustrup. More information will be published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports in a special edition issue entitled “Football for Health” containing 14 scientific articles.

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Umbilical Cord Clamping Research

Most people never stop to think about the timing of their baby’s umbilical cord clamping, or how critical the right timing can be for the infant’s health. New research has just come out that looks directly at this issue. Researchers at the University of South Florida’s Center of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair are reporting that doctors should wait a few minutes longer than the usual 30  seconds to 1 minute time period for optimal health results. Their studies showed that the last bit of blood from the umbilical cord is filled with important stem cells that are very useful to the newborn. “Several clinical studies have shown that delaying clamping the umbilical cord not only allows more blood to be transferred but helps prevent anemia as well,” explained the study’s lead author Dr. Paul Sanberg, the Center dircector. “Cord blood also contains many valuable stem cells, making this transfer of stem cells a process that might be considered ‘the original stem cell transplant’.” “Several randomized, controlled trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses have compared the effects of late versus early cord clamping,” said co-author Dr. Dong-Hyuk Park. “In pre-term infants, delaying clamping the cord for at least 30 seconds reduced incidences of intraventricular hemorrhage, late on-set sepsis, anemia, and decreased the need for blood transfusions.” “There remains no consensus among scientists and clinicians on cord clamping and proper cord blood collection,” summarized co-author and obstetrician Dr. Stephen Klasko, dean of the USF College of Medicine and senior vice president of USF Health. “The most important thing is to avoid losing valuable stems cells during and just after delivery.”

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Environment Increases Diabetes Risk More Than Genes

It is generally known that people with diabetes have the disease either because it runs in their family, or because of an unhealthy diet made up of fatty foods. A new study just released by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine has put new and greater emphasis on the environmental causes of diabetes, such as pesticides and other chemicals. By using a novel approach to researching the association of environmental factors and diabetes, scientist were able to eliminate some of the ambiguity that has existed in previous studies where this same relationship was researched.  This new approach used the same techniques initially developed to identify the numerous sections of DNA throughout the genome that could contribute to disease development. “This approach catapults us from being forced to ask very simple, directed questions about environment and disease into a new realm in which we can look at many, many variables simultaneously and without bias,” said Atul Butte, MD, PhD, assistant professor of pediatric cancer biology, who is also director of the Center for Pediatric Bioinformatics at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. “In the future, we’ll be able to analyze the effect of genes and environment together, to find, perhaps, that a specific gene increases the risk of a disease only if the person is also drinking polluted well water.” “Studying relationships between a person’s environment and their disease burden in this manner is going to be far more impactful,” explained Butte. “We can now imagine what it might be to look at everything in the environment, in the same way that we’ve been doing with the genome for the past decade. Imagine one day wearing a chip on your clothing that assesses your exposure to hundreds or thousands of environmental toxins. You could bring that in to your annual physical and you and your doctor could incorporate the information into discussions about disease risk and prevention.” To see the full report click here.

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Ginger Root Eases Muscle Pain

The traditional folk medicinal herb, Ginger Root, has been used for ages to help with various ailments such as upset stomachs or colds. Now muscle pain can be added to that list. Scientists at the University of Georgia recently demonstrated how ginger root can be useful as an anti-inflammatory agent for sore muscles. Up until now this had been a theory, but never tested clinically with humans. The researchers reported that consuming ginger root offered a 25% reduction in muscle pain after working out. “The economic and personal costs of pain are extremely high,” said Patrick O’Connor, a professor in the College of Education’s department of kinesiology. “Muscle pain generally is one of the most common types of pain and eccentric exercise-induced muscle pain specifically is a common type of injury related to sports and/or recreation (e.g., gardening). Anything that can truly relieve this type of pain will be greatly welcomed by the many people who are experiencing it.” To read the complete study click here.

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Air Pollution Affects Heart Health

Most people think of lung health, not the cardiovascular system, when the topic of air pollution comes up. New research is revealing that air pollution has a direct impact on heart health. According to Penn State College of Medicine researchers, breathing polluted air adds stress to the heart’s regulation capacity, even six hours after inhalation of the polluted air. Professor of public health sciences, Duanping Liao, explained that the particulates found in polluted are can contribute to cadiovascular disease. “Air pollution is associated with cardiopulmonary mortality and morbidity, and it is generally accepted that impaired heart electrophysiology is one of the underlying mechanisms,” explained Fan He, master’s program graduate, Department of Public Health Sciences, Penn State College of Medicine. “This impairment is exhibited through fluctuations in the heart rate from beat to beat over an established period of time, known as heart rate variability. It is also exhibited through a longer period for the electric activity to return to the baseline, known as ventricular repolarization.” “The time course, how long it would take from exposure to cardiac response, has not been systematically investigated,” said Fan He. “We conducted this study to investigate the relationship between particle matter and heart electrophysiology impairment, especially the time course.” The primary pollutant is PM2.5, which refers to air bone particulate that is 2.5 micrometers in size and comes mainly from deisel engines and coal burning. “Our findings may contribute to further understanding of the pathophysiology of air pollution-related cardiac events, specifically our results indicating elevated PM2.5 exposure is associated with immediate disturbance of cardiac electrical activities within six hours after exposure,” said Liao.

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Echinacea Health Benefits

Anyone who has ever tried to fight a cold or the flu by natural means has probably heard of echinacea. It is always helpful to know a little bit more about this wonderful plant, Echinacea Purpurea. Echinacea has been used medicinally by Native Americans of over 400 years. This wonderful herb has undergone various studies thoughout the years, which for the most part have supported the traditional beleifs about its immunes system boosting abilities. Many family doctors throughout Europe regularly prescribe it to fight the flu or colds. One study showed that by using echinacea a persons chances of catching a cold are reduced by 80% when used in conjunction with vitamin C. (Shah SA, et al. Lancet Infectious Diseases, 2007;7:473-480) In a recent study, echinacea was shown to kill cell cultures of Swine and Bird flu. (Pleschka P, et al. Anti-viral properties and mode of action of standardized Echinacea purpurea extract against highly pathogenic avian Influenza virus (H5N1, H7N7) and swine-origin H1N1 (S-OIV). Virology Journal 2009;6:197.)

It is always nice when traditional health practices are able to stand up to rigorous scientific testing and continue to be used in modern times. A powerful immune booster that we recommend and sell here at HEALTHandMED.com that contains echinacea is Fitura PowerImmune. You can learn more about it by clicking here.

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Body Cleanse

Americans don’t have a shortage of gadgets or programs dedicated to body detoxification. People are wondering what exactly it means to detox and how it is best to go about detoxing. Far Infrared Ray Saunas are emerging as a key tool for getting a quality full body detox. The process of removing impurities from the blood, and the body as a whole is a simple way to define detoxification. When the body is functioning properly it removes toxins from the body through the liver, kidney, intestines, lymph, skin and lungs. When the body’s natural detox systems are compromised every part of the body is effected negatively. It is in this state of compromised health that a good detox cleanse is needed. Some of the most popular and effective methods used for a great body detox are Detox Diets, Ionic Detox Foot Bath Systems, and Portable Infrared Saunas. All of these are powerful devices that can take your average detox diet to the next level.

Portable FIR saunas are continually becoming the preferred method for detoxifying because there has been a lot of research published about them. Increased body temperature (hyperthermia) is one of the body’s natural ways to get rid of viruses, bacteria and other toxins. This is accomplished when the hyperthermia brings about a healthy sweat that expunges the toxins through the skin. Infrared sauna heat is able to penetrate deep into the body and induce the detoxifying benefits of hyperthermia. Here is a list of some of the toxins that daily sweating in a portable FIR sauna can help the body to remove: Potentially carcinogenic heavy metals (nickel, lead, mercury, cadmium, aluminum) as well as sulfuric acid, alcohol, sodium, arsenic, nicotine, cholesterol, hydrocarbon residues, ammonia, uric acid, narcotic drugs and hormone disrupting chemicals (dioxins, PCBs, pesticides, formaldehyde, industrial chemicals, gasoline, food additives, agricultural chemicals, etc.). Toxins such as these are often stored deep under the skin in the fat of the body and internal organs. Since infrared heat is able to penetrate deep into the body and cause water molecule resonance around the cells, and the frequency of the far infrared matches the human body’s resonance, the water molecules are able to move more freely through the cell membranes. This allow the toxins to be pushed out with the sweating of oils through the skin. If you have been struggling to make the choice about detox methods, you will probably discover that a half-hour session in an infrared sauna is an easy way to improve your health. Getting a quality detox is important, and portable FIR saunas are an easy and relaxing addition to any detox regiment.

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