Monthly Archives: May 2010

Why Breast Milk Is Better

University of Illinois scientists have recently learned a new way to observe the different effects that breast and formula milk have on developing babies. The results confirm and give greater clarity about the already common understanding that breast milk is ideal. “For the first time, we can see that breast milk induces genetic pathways that are quite different from those in formula-fed infants. Although formula makers have tried to develop a product that’s as much like breast milk as possible, hundreds of genes were expressed differently in the breast-fed and formula-fed groups,” said Sharon Donovan, a University of Illinios professor of nutrition. “The intestinal tract of the newborn undergoes marked changes in response to feeding. And the response to human milk exceeds that of formula, suggesting that the bioactive components in breast milk are important in this response,” she added “An infant’s gut has to adapt very quickly. A new baby is coming out of a sterile environment, having received all its nutrients intravenously through the placenta. At that point, babies obviously must begin eating, either mother’s milk or formula. “They also start to become colonized with bacteria, so it’s very important that the gut learns what’s good and what’s bad. The baby’s body needs to be able to recognize a bad bacteria or a bad virus and fight it, but it also needs to recognize that even though a food protein is foreign, that protein is okay and the body doesn’t want to develop an immune response to it,” she said. It’s during this stage that if something goes wrong babies can develop inflammatory bowel disease,  food allergies,  and even asthma. “We’re very interested in frequent sampling at this early period of development,” she added. Next on the list for Donovan is to learn how bacteria in the gut differ in formula- and breast-fed babies, which should be feasible due to  this technique. “Now we’ll be able to get a complete picture of what’s happening in an infant — from the composition of the diet to the microbes in the gut and the genes that are activated along the way.” .

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Pregnant Women Lacking Vitamin D

Around seventy percent of pregnant women do not have sufficient levels of vitamin D, according to a new study published in the May issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. This is in spite of the frequent use of prenatal vitamins. “We already know Vitamin D is important for bone health of the mother and infant, but we are just starting to scratch the surface about the many potential health benefits of Vitamin D during pregnancy,” Explained Adit Ginde, MD, MPH, from University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, lead author of the study. “Prenatal vitamins do help raise vitamin D levels, but many women start taking them after becoming pregnant. Although research is ongoing, I think it’s best for women to start a few months before becoming pregnant to maximize the likely health benefits,” explained Ginde. The reports suggests that women with dark skin, who live in northern latitudes with low sunlight levels, or who cover their skin for religious reasons are at particular risk of being vitamin D deficient. The deficiency is a wide spread problem that is believed to be largely due to the limited amount of time spent outdoors, where the human body can naturally produce the correct amounts of vitamin D.

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Whole Grains Reduce Risk of Death Among Diabetic Women

In the first study of its kind, the relationship between whole grains and diabetics has been shown to be important. Scientist observed a direct correlation between the amount of whole grain consumed and the the rate of death among women with diabetes. “Patients with diabetes face two to three times the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death compared to the general population,” said senior author of the study, Lu Qi, M.D., Ph.D. “To my knowledge, this is the first study of whole grain and its components and risk of death in diabetic patients.” “Diabetes is thought to be a chronic state of inflammation characterized by moderately increased levels of chemical markers for inflammation and endothelial dysfunction,” said Qi, assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and assistant professor of nutrition in the Harvard School of Public Health. “Those markers have been found to be related to increased risk of CVD in both diabetic and non-diabetic populations. In our previous studies, we have reported that intakes of whole grains and subcomponents such as cereal fiber may lower these markers in diabetic patients.” “These findings suggest a potential benefit of whole grain, and particularly bran, in reducing death and cardiovascular risk in diabetic patients,” said Qi.

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The Best Himalayan Salt Inhaler

Whether it is Dr. Oz, Oprah, or your local health food store – everyone seems to be talking about Himalayan salt air inhalers. Many people are asking which style of Himalayan salt inhaler is best to use, where they can find a good recommendation, or if it really even matters. Before buying one, everyone should know that there are three common types of salt inhalers. Depending on your needs and preferences, you may want one over the other, even though they all more or less get good reviews.

The first inhaler is simple, and thus the least expensive of the inhaler types. It is light weight, but is made of high quality, thick, medical grade paperboard. It doesn’t need refills and feels indestructible. It costs about $25 in most cases.

The next style is an easy to use plastic inhaler. This type is also break resistant. It is a refillable inhaler that uses salt cartridges, which makes for easy replacement. A popular aspect of this style is the ability to disassemble it and wash it. It usually retails for under $30

The porcelain Himalayan salt inhaler is the third, and classic style. This is the same type that Dr. Oz used on his show revently. It is very fragile and will break if dropped. It can be refilled like the plastic style, only it doesn’t use cartridges. You simply poor loose salt into the base of the inhaler. It is the most expensive of the three, around $45. No matter which inhaler you decide to go with, at the end of the day they are all well designed. Everyone should simply decide based on how they look, their durability and the one that best fits their budget. Their is no way to go wrong with Himalayan salt air flushing through your body. Between these various inhaler designs, everyone should be able to find the one that fits them best.

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Environmental Causes Of Cancer – Obama’s Advisors Speak Out

An expert panel of Presidential advisers recently spoke out about the many effects that environmental pollutions have in causing cancer. In their 230 page report titled “Reducing Environmental Cancer Risk: What We Can Do Now,” President Obama’s Cancer Panel has called for greater attention to be paid the tens of thousands of chemicals that permeate the human living environment, and how they are linked to cancer. Much of the concern is regarding the more or less lack of, or insufficient amount of research done to verify the long term effects the various chemicals in the environment are having on human health. “There remains a great deal to be done to identify the many existing but unrecognized environmental carcinogens and eliminate those that are known from our daily lives – our workplaces, schools and homes,” explained the Presidential Canner Panel’s chair person, Dr LaSalle D. Leffall, Jr. See the full report, click here.

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UVA Not The Cause of Melanoma Skin Cancer

Scientists from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have just released a new study about the correlation of UVA light and melanoma skin cancer. Test results show that UVA exposure does not actually cause this deadly form of skin cancer. Since the ealry nineties when the original research was completed about the association of melanoma and UVA, it has been believed that UVA indeed does cause deadly melanoma skin cancer.  This new study’s lead author David Mitchell, Ph.D., professor in M. D. Anderson’s Department of Carcinogenesis located at its Science Park — Research Division in Smithville, Texas, worked with a team of experts to replicate the original testing that was done in the nineties as well as conduct new tests. Their results negate the original findings and establish clearly that there is not connection between melanoma skin cancer and UVA light exposure. “Our data refute the only direct evidence that UVA causes melanoma, which is not to say that UVA is harmless,” explained  Dr. Mitchel. “UVA is just not as dangerous as we thought because it doesn’t cause melanoma.” The researchers clearly stated that UVA is still harmful and can lead to more benign forms of skin cancer such as squamous cell carcinoma. Over exposure can also lead to premature aging and immune system suppression.

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Sweating and Safe Detox

The blogosphere has been buzzing with talk about the the possible dangers of saunas, sweat lodges, and steam rooms. This has led to people doubting whether or not sweating is a valid method to get a good detox. For years saunas have been regarded as a reliable way to detox. Now people are left wondering if something has changed? Most of the confusion surrounding the safe use of saunas came about as a result of a tragic accident that took place in the fall of 2009 at a “Spiritual Warrior” retreat in Arizona. Eighteen people were hospitalized and three died because of the drastic over use of the sweat lodge at the retreat. Dehydration was the main cause of the deaths.

portable infrared saunaUnderstandably, people have started questioning the safety of sweat lodges and the other type of sweat detox therapy. What most people don’t know is that of all the many types of workouts, diets and detox methods, using a sauna is one of the easiest and safest. Infrared saunas in particular are a quick and easy way to induce healthy sweating to stimulate the cardiovascular system. The American Medical Association explains that “many of us who run do so to place a demand on our cardiovascular system, not to build big leg muscles. Regular use of indoor saunas may impact a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use may be as effective, as a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories, as regular exercise.” Many people are unaware that using a sauna for a cardio workout, detox or a diet is one of the safest and easiest ways to go about it. Infrared saunas are especially a good sauna for stimulating detox through sweating. The American Medical Association (AMA) explained that “many of us who run do so to place a demand on our cardiovascular system, not to build big leg muscles. Regular use of indoor saunas may impact a similar stress on the cardiovascular system, and its regular use may be as effective, as a means of cardiovascular conditioning and burning of calories, as regular exercise.” One of the main factors to keep in mind when using an infrared sauna is to stay hydrated. Drinking a glass of water before and after a 15-30 minute session will keep you appropriately hydrated, and thus able to detox. In addition to staying hydrated, another important factor to be considered when regularly detoxing in a sauna is using a quality mineral supplement. In addition to all of the heavy metals that are secreted from the body, also some good minerals are lost and should be replaced by adding mineral drops to your water before or after your sauna sessions. There is no need for confusion when it comes to infrared saunas, sweat lodges and detox. The ease of use and effectiveness of a sauna certainly outweighs the sight risk of overuse and dehydration. Hopefully people will better understand that now.

Posted in Infrared Sauna.