Monthly Archives: June 2010

Lung Cancer -Reducing The Risk With B Vitamins

Currently around 150,000 people die each year from lung cancer. New research is telling us that B vitamins play a crucial role in preventing and lowering the risk of developing this deadly cancer. Lung cancer forms in the tissues of the lung, specifically in the cells lining air passages. There are two main types, small cell lung cancer and non-small cell lung cancer. Both types are diagnosed based on how the cells look under a microscope. No matter the type of lung cancer, B vitamins appear to be a key player in preventing this disease,  according to the scientists at the International Agency for Research on Cancer, Lyon, France. Their research states that, “Serum levels of vitamin B(6) and methionine were inversely associated with risk of lung cancer.” It appears that B vitamins help to maintain DNA integrity and regulate gene expression and thus affect cancer risk. See more at PubMed See our whole food B vitamin supplement at the HEALTHandMED.com store.

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Beetroot, Study of Nature’s Blood Pressure Medicine

Many high blood pressure sufferers are familiar with the common nitrate pills that reduce blood pressure. Many people who have been searching for a natural way to get the same results will need to look no further. According to a new study beetroot juice appears to be the natural remedy of choice. Amrita Ahluwalia, Professor of Vascular Biology at Queen Mary’s William Harvey Research Institute, the author of the study, explained that because of the naturally occurring nitrate in the beetroot juice, people are able to find similar relief to what they would find with nitrate pills. “We showed that beetroot and nitrate capsules are equally effective in lowering blood pressure indicating that it is the nitrate content of beetroot juice that underlies its potential to reduce blood pressure. We also found that only a small amount of juice is needed – just 250ml – to have this effect, and that the higher the blood pressure at the start of the study the greater the decrease caused by the nitrate,” explained Dr. Ahluwalia. “We gave inorganic nitrate capsules or beetroot juice to healthy volunteers and compared their blood pressure responses and the biochemical changes occurring in the circulation,” he continued. “Our previous study two years ago found that drinking beetroot juice lowered blood pressure; now we know how it works.” This ground breaking research could lead to natural treatments for high blood pressure that have not previously been available to the public.

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C-Sections, Let The Bacteria Decide

In the United States roughly 30% of babies are born via c-section. In China that number is around 50%. As babies around the world are delivered via c-section ever more frequently, health professionals are looking closer at some of the possible risks of non-traditional methods of delivery. A study coming from a team of scientists from Puerto Rico, Colorado and Venezuela reveals that newborns are exposed to drastically different bacteria depending on whether they are born vaginally or by c-section. “These differences we are seeing in this study might be related with increased health risks in C-section babies, although more research is needed,” explained co-lead study author Maria Dominguez-Bello of the University of Puerto Rico. “In a sense, the skin of newborn infants is like freshly tilled soil that is awaiting seeds for planting — in this case bacterial communities,” said Fierer of CU-Boulder’s ecology and evolutionary biology department. “The microbial communities that cluster on newborns essentially act as their first inoculation.” As further studies are produced many people are watching to see whether or not further evidence against the safety of c-sections materializes.

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Toxins Found In Fish Oil

Polluted fish habitat around the world appears to be the culprit behind a new lawsuit being filed in California. Plaintiffs are unhappy with what appears to be industrial pollutions in multiple Omega-3 abundant fish oil supplements. The lawsuit lists five specific manufacturers of supplements that contain polychlorinated biphenyl compounds. Large institutions such as the drugstores CVS and Rite Aid, which sell fish oil products, and the world’s largest producer of omega-3 fish oil, Omega Protein Inc., of Houston are some of the defendants. Omega-3 supplements are not necessarily regulated at the federal level which has led to California establishing its own limits, which appear to have been violated, according to some recent tests. Producer of a Norwegian cod liver oil, Twin labs responded to claims of toxicity upon hearing about the test results. “Twinlab cannot comment on the validity or accuracy of the test results.” said spokesman Justin Boone, adding that Twinlab products are  reported as having some of the lowest impurities levels. Stephen McCauley,  the PR spokesman for Pharmavite LLC, which makes Nature Made fish oil supplements, explained that its products comply with federal laws in addition to “the stringent industry standards” established by the trade group the Council for Responsible Nutrition. One of the plaintiffs, Chris Manthey, said, “Many of them say their supplements have been ‘treated’ to remove or reduce PCBs. Since they don’t say how much PCB contamination is still left, even consumers who choose ‘treated’ supplements can’t know what PCB levels they’re swallowing.” Erin Hlasney of the Council for Responsible Nutrition defended the fish oil supplements saying, “PCBs are ubiquitous within the environment, which means that all fish – whether fish found in oceans and rivers or fish oil supplements – contain at least trace amounts of PCBs. The lawyers are using California’s Prop. 65 statute to bring attention to their case by attempting to frame this as a public health concern, when in reality, fish oil has enjoyed decades of safe use.” The issue of having the right to know what is in a given supplement appears to be a large part of this debate. More accurate labeling. To know more visit the Fish Oil Safety website. At HEALTHandMED.com we have gone out of our way to source a highly trusted source for Omega-3 rich fish oil. Our supplement manufacturers were not on the list of fish oils containing toxins.

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Probiotics In The ICU

Once again the benefits of probiotics are showing up in news. This time researchers have discovered the specific benefits that the “good bacteria” can yield with certain patients in an intensive care unit (ICU). According to scientist at the Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska, the therapeutic use of probiotics on critically injured patients reduced incidences of ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) by roughly 50%. The study will be published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. With around 30% of ICU patients having complications with VAP and doctors warning that “patients with VAP have increased morbidity, mortality and hospital costs as well as prolonged intensive care unit (ICU) and hospital lengths of stay, and increased costs,” there is great urgency to find ways to prevent infections such as those that cause VAP. “We chose to study probiotics in this context because VAP is increasingly caused by pathogens associated with antimicrobial resistance and the supply of novel antibiotics is essentially nonexistent for the foreseeable future,” explained Lee E. Morrow, M.D., M.Sc., associate professor of medicine at Creighton University and lead author. “The implication is that novel methods of prevention must be our priority.” After five years of research the data strongly suggests “that Lactobacillus may represent a novel, inexpensive (retail price, $2.13 per day for four tablets as administered per protocol), and non-antibiotic approach to prevention of nosocomial infections in properly selected ICU patients,” said Dr. Morrow. Find the full report here. Note: A top selling probiotic here at HEALTHandMED.com is called Primal Defense. Click here to see this popular probiotic.

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The Flu, 7 Ways To Fight Back

Most Americans are experiencing increasing frustration with their options for dealing with the flu. The flu itself brings enough grief as is, but to add to the problem, flu shots are often seen as the only way to stay healthy. Fortunately, there are alternatives. The choice to vaccinate has long been seen as controversial to many Americans. Mike Adams of Natural News recently put together some useful information about flue vaccinations. “Scrutinizing the existing studies that claim to support vaccines reveals that flu vaccines simply don’t work. And when vaccines aren’t available or the formulation is wrong, there’s no spike in death rates, indicating quite conclusively that these vaccines offer no reduction in mortality.” Adams then said: “Flu vaccines only produce antibodies in people who don’t need vaccines. At the same time, they fail to produce antibodies in people who are most vulnerable to flu. Thus, vaccines only work in people who don’t need them.” Mike Adams is not the only one that disapproves of H1N1 vaccinations. On Oct. 9, 2009 – Health freedom attorney Jim Turner filed a lawsuit in Washington D.C. in an urgent effort to halt the distribution of the swine flu vaccine in America. On behalf of plaintiffs Dr. Gary Null and other licensed health care workers of New York State, the lawsuit charged that the FDA violated the law in its hasty approval of four swine flu vaccines by failing to scientifically determine both the safety and efficacy of the vaccines. CBC News in Canada reported disturbing findings: “Four Canadian studies involved about 2,000 people, health officials told CBC News. Researchers found people who had received the seasonal flu vaccine in the past were more likely to get sick with the H1N1 virus.”

The risks associated with vaccines can by avoided by utilizing the body’s natural methods for withstanding illnesses like the flu. Listed below are some of the seven most useful ways to ward off or defeat the flu. Fitura Power-Immune: This tincture is made from 12 of the most powerful antiviral herbs known to man. It is most effective when taken regularly, as a form of prevention. This way the body can steadily build a healthier immune system, something that cannot be fully accomplished overnight.

Ultimate Defense: Rather than a group of dead isolates or synthetic chemicals, this is an herbal detoxification aid, in a live, enzyme-containing complex. The human immune system and its general health depends upon live nutrients for the healthy function of prevention and defense mechanisms.

Detoxifiber Fiber Blend: Fiber is important in the diet for proper digestion, where the daily recommended intake for adults is 25-30 grams. Ideally this would all come from our diets, but getting that last bit can be difficult, especially since many of us do not eat enough fiber rich foods.

CaroC Whole Food Concentrate with Vitamin A and C Complexes: Vit A and C are essential to healing processes, such as cellular growth and repair mechanisms, skin support and function and the repair of smooth muscle tissues.

Portable Far Infrared Sauna: The Far Infrared Ray heat emitted from these portable saunas penetrates deep into the body and draws out toxins which then boosts the body’s ability to heal itself with the immune system.The far infrared rays emitted by these saunas are part of the sun’s natural spectrum, just beyond visible red.

Ionic Detox Foot Bath: When water is ionized these ions are able to enter the body through the 4,000 large pores of the feet. Then the circulatory and lymphatic systems transport the ions throughout the body. These ions neutralize oppositely charged toxins in the cells that are normally slow to exit the body. In this way, all the body’s organs can become energized and stimulated to function optimally. The body then rids itself of these toxins through its normal processes of urination, defecation and sweating. Being frustrated by the flu can be discouraging, but there is no need to worry. Using one or more of these natural methods to prevent or fight the flu virus will go a long way to optimize your immune system and keep you in good health.

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Natural Treatment For COPD, Asthma & More

Last month researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center announced the discovery of a natural way to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD with the purple periwinkle. The findings were reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in May. Chronic diseases associated with inflammation are a serious problem for millions of Americans because of the need to use steroids for treatment. Steroids are effective in relieving the symptoms but can damage the liver and lower the immune system when used regularly.The naturally occurring component, vinpocetine, found in the Purple Periwinkle appears to be a safe alternative. “What is extremely exciting and promising about these findings is vinpocetine’s excellent safety profile,” explained Chen Yan, Ph.D., a senior author of the study and associate professor at the Aab Cardiovascular Research Institute at the Medical Center. “Previously, most drugs tested in this area have failed, not because of a lack of efficacy, but because of safety issues. We’re very encouraged by these results and believe vinpocetine has great potential for the treatment of COPD and other inflammatory diseases.” “In managing chronic conditions such as COPD, it is crucial to have a therapy that can be used safely over the long term,” said Jian-Dong Li, M.D., Ph.D., another senior author of the study and professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and a senior author of the study. “There is a great need for a drug like vinpocetine, because patients currently have no good options when it comes to long-term care.”

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Useful List Of Infrared Ray Sauna Health Benefits

 

The good news is that FIR Saunas have a good amount of clinical research to prove their safety and effectiveness. The bulk of the research is coming out of Japan. It turns out that controlled hyperthermia (raising the temperature of the body) through FIR Sauna therapy helps all of the body’s tissues to get activated and function better. To understand how FIR-Saunas benefit our health see the list below. Anorexia Nervosa: This condition is marked by over-activity and/or strenuous exercising. FIR sauna therapy leads to disappearance of hyperactivity and progressive recovery. Back Pain: Low level heat therapy is more effective than over-the-counter oral medications for relieving low back pain, according to the results of a nationwide study led by a sports medicine researcher at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. In the six-month study involving 371 patients, participants were given the maximum recommended non-prescription dosages of ibuprofen and acetaminophen or low level heat therapy for two days to treat acute low back pain. The results showed that the low level heat therapy provided significantly more pain relief beginning on the first day of treatment than the oral analgesics and that the effects lasted more than 48 hours after the treatment was completed. “Confirming that this treatment is effective is important to patients because it gives them a treatment option that does not have the potential risk to the liver, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract than can accompany inappropriate analgesic usage,” said Dr. Nadler, an associate of physical medicine and rehabilitation at the medical school. Cardiovascular Conditioning (Passive): 1. The August 7, 1981 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that regular use of a sauna 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. FIR Sauna Therapy makes it possible for people in wheelchairs, or those who have a disability that affect their ability to exercise to achieve a cardiovascular training effect. Due to the deep penetration of the infrared rays generated by the Far Infrared Sauna, there is a heating effect deep in the muscular tissues and the internal organs. The body responds to this deep-heating effect via a hypothalamic-induced increase in both heart volume and rate. This beneficial heart stress leads to a sought-after cardiovascular training and conditioning effect. Medical researchers confirm the use of a sauna provides cardiovascular conditioning as the body works to cool itself and involves substantial increases in heart rate, cardiac output and metabolic rate. 2. As a confirmation of the validity of this form of cardiovascular conditioning, extensive research by NASA in the early 1980′s led to the conclusion that infrared stimulation of cardiovascular function would be the ideal way to maintain cardiovascular conditioning in American astronauts during long space flights. 3. A person using an FIR sauna will burn between 900 and 2400 calories during a 30 minute period. This is equivalent to the consumption of energy in a 6-9 mile run. For comparison, persons using a rowing machine or running a marathon burns only about 600 calories in 30 minutes. Therefore, the infrared sauna can play a pivotal role in both weight control and cardiovascular conditioning. It is valuable for those who don’t exercise and those who can’t exercise and want an effective weight control and fitness maintenance program, and the benefits regular exercise contribute to such a program. The cardiovascular demand imparted by thermoregulatory homeostasis (sweating, vasodilation, decreased afterload, increased heart rate, increased cardiac output) is similar to that achieved by walking at a moderate pace. As such, FIR saunas might be of particular benefit to those who are sedentary due to various medical conditions, such as osteoarthritis or cardiovascular or respiratory problems. Diver Decompression Sickness (Bends): 16 divers were compressed in a high pressure chamber . Each underwent one dive in the chamber after a 30 minute far infrared sauna therapy session at 149F (65C) and one dive without the therapy. The results showed that circulating bubbles after a dive were decreased significantly in the FIR treatment group. Fibromyalgia: 1. 13 female patients with fibromyalgia received FIR sauna therapy at 140F (60C) for 15 minutes and then covered by a warm blanket for 30 more minutes . Each received 10 treatments total. All patients received about a 50% reduction in pain after the first treatment. By the 10th treatment, the pain relief became stable. Pain symptom scores remained low throughout the study. 2. Fibromyalgia sufferers are universally found to be malnourished, have lowered immune function, have one or more viral, fungal, or bacterial infections (almost always not detectable by orthodox means), and cannot detoxify their heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, aluminum etc. Therefore, FIR Therapy provides a safe, natural form of detoxification which is so very crucial for fibromyalgia patients. Studies have shown that heat therapy is more effective than analgesics for fibromyalgia pain relief. In a randomized controlled trial , 30 subjects with congestive heart failure were randomized into control (10 subjects) and intervention (20 subjects) groups. Treatment consisted of 10 15-minute infrared sauna sessions over a 2 week period. Clinical symptoms improved in 17 (85%) out of 20 of the treatment group. Average systolic blood pressure in the treatment group decreased 9% from 107 mmHg to 97 mm Hg. Average brain natriuretic peptide (BNP) levels decreased in the treatment group decreased 34% (441 pg/ml vs. 293 pg/ml). The control group did not improve clinically. Inflammation: The increased peripheral circulation occurring with FIR sauna therapy provides the transportation needed to help evacuate the edema, which can help stop inflammation, decrease pain and help speed healing. Researchers have observed high success rates when applying FIR therapy to resolve post surgical infection, pelvic infection and frostbite with inflammation. Pain (Chronic): 1. New clinical research on pain offers evidence to establish a novel class of pain — “heat responsive pain” or HRP — which encompasses several common pain conditions that can be treated with the use of heat therapy. Researchers studying HRP have observed remarkable therapeutic benefits by using continuous low-level heat therapy for treating lower-back, upper-body and menstrual pain, all conditions that fall under the new HRP classification. “For centuries, health-care providers have used topical heat to relieve minor aches and pains, but today, we are just beginning to understand the full range of therapeutic benefits that heat offers,” said pain expert Peter Vicente, Ph.D., Past-President of the American Pain Society and Clinical Health Psychologist, Riverhills Health-care, Cincinnati, OH. “Through new clinical research, we have found that heat activates complex neurological, vascular and metabolic mechanisms to mediate the transmission of pain signals and effectively provide relief for a variety of pain conditions.” The deep heat of the FIR sauna helps peripheral blood vessels dilate, bringing relief and healing to muscle and soft tissue injuries. Increased blood circulation carries off metabolic waste products and delivers oxygen-rich blood to oxygen-depleted muscle, so they recover faster. Muscles relax most readily when tissues are warm, for greater flexibility and range of motion. 2. In a randomized controlled trial , 46 patients with chronic pain received 4 weeks of multidisciplinary treatment; 22 of the subjects also had 15-minute daily FIR sauna sessions during those 4 weeks. After two years, those in the sauna group were more likely to have returned to work (77% vs. 50%) and to have improved sleep scores and tended toward greater improvement in pain behavior scores and anger scores. The reason for the pain relief may be the reduction of muscle spasms which cause pain or the relaxing of myofascial trigger points (irritable tight tissues). In one dental study, repeated heat applications eventually led to abolishment of the whole nerve response responsible for pain arising from dental pulp (center soft part of the tooth). 3. Persons undergoing FIR Sauna Therapy have received relief from a variety of painful conditions: a. Adhesions (scarring) from athletic injuries, trauma or repetitive stress syndromes. b. Arthritis: gouty, rheumatoid or degenerative joint disease. c. Brain Injury (The effects of acceleration-deceleration injury or brain contusions). d. Compression fracture. For example, in one person, pain stopped for three days of after only a single treatment. e. TMJ (arthritis and muscle spasms have been reduced or eliminated). f. Low Back Pain. g. Muscle Pain (notably post exercise muscle pain). h. Muscle Tension. i. Neuralgia (related to disc protrusion). j. Pain which prevented sleep or limited usable sleeping positions. k. Shoulder Pain. l. Spinal Cord Shock. Post traumatic shock has been reversed. Skin/Beauty: 1. The profuse sweating achieved after just a few minutes in far infrared sauna unclogs the skin pores and carries off deeply embedded impurities and dead skin cells, leaving the skin glowing, youthful, baby smooth, soft, immaculately clean and free of accumulated dirt and dry skin cells. Increased circulation and dilation of the body’s capillary network draws the skin’s own natural nutrients to the surface. It improves complexion, tone, elasticity, texture and fresh color of the skin. 2. Increased blood circulation has also been shown to relieve acne, eczema, psoriasis, burns, lesions and cuts. In addition, open wounds may heal more quickly, reducing scarring and even burns. There is always more information showing up about the health benefits of FIR saunas. I hope this brief list will suffice for the time being.

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Controversial GM Alfalfa

A long standing battle over the use of genetically modified alfalfa has just resurfaced after several years of court battles. What looked to be a done deal, is now back in the courts and stirring controversy around the nation. One of the issues surrounding the GM alfalfa is that its creators, Monsanto, have engineered it to be resistant to Round Up herbicide (also a Monsanto product), so as to make it easier to kill weeds without harming the crop. This sounds good, but opponents of this Round Up ready alfalfa believe that it’s herbicide resistance is spreading to other weeds, resulting in the increased use of herbicide chemicals and lessened crop yields. “The drastic increase in pesticide use with genetically engineered crops is due primarily to the rapid emergence of weeds resistant to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide,” said Dr. Charles Benbrook, chief scientist of The Organic Center. “With glyphosate-resistant weeds now infesting millions of acres, farmers face rising costs coupled with sometimes major yield losses, and the environmental impact of weed management systems will surely rise.”

Dr. Benbrook and a team of scientists have found that Monsanto’s GM alfalfa has lead to an overall increase of chemical herbiscide use of 318 million pounds. Even greater a risk than increased chemical herbicide use is the threat that GM alfalfa poses to organic and non-GM alfalfa crops. According to Jim Munch of the Cornicopia Institute, the key difference between alfalfa and other crops “is the distance over which pollen is carried. Alfalfa is pollinated by bees carrying pollen from one plant to another, whereas the grain crops are pollinated by the action of gravity and air movement. Research and practical experience have shown that bees can carry pollen for a range of more than 2 miles, which is much farther than wind-carried pollen.” Jim continued: “Another key difference between the two is that seeds for grain crops are grown over large geographic areas, whereas a large proportion of all alfalfa seed is grown within compact geographic areas in a handful of Western states. This is due to climate, topography, and soil type. The result of these two important differences is that there is a high probability that cross-pollination will cause significant contamination of non-GE alfalfa seed with GE alfalfa genetics in a matter of years. In other words, there will eventually be no truly non-GE or organic alfalfa seed.”

The GM alfalfa issue is currently back in the courts where it is being battled out as you read this. There have been several court decisions dating back to 2007 that have culminated with the current supreme court debate. Update: The supreme court has ruled that the GM Alfalfa cannot be used until it obtains the go ahead from the USDA, which will take a while. When that unfolds, so will the court battles. It’s not over, but at this point the organic farmers have a victory to celebrate.

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Chronic Pain Mitigation & Meditation

Chronic pain, and its common partner depression, are serious problems that people around the world struggle to deal with effectively. A new study from the University of Manchester shows that meditation can be an effective tool for lessening chronic pain. The research shows that proper mindfulness based meditation causes the brain to anticipate the pain less, and thus reduce its severity. “The results of the study confirm how we suspected meditation might affect the brain. Meditation trains the brain to be more present-focused and therefore to spend less time anticipating future negative events. This may be why meditation is effective at reducing the recurrence of depression, which makes chronic pain considerably worse,” explained Dr Christopher Brown, who conducted the research. “Meditation is becoming increasingly popular as a way to treat chronic illness such as the pain caused by arthritis,” said Dr Brown. “Recently, a mental health charity called for meditation to be routinely available on the NHS to treat depression, which occurs in up to 50% of people with chronic pain. However, scientists have only just started to look into how meditation might reduce the emotional impact of pain.” Dr. Brown continuted: “Although we found that meditators anticipate pain less and find pain less unpleasant, it’s not clear precisely how meditation changes brain function over time to produce these effects. “However, the importance of developing new treatments for chronic pain is clear: 40% of people who suffer from chronic pain report inadequate management of their pain problem.”

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