Scientists at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have discovered a link between the amount of physical exercise, leisure time and a future risk of developing fibromyalgia. They also found that having a normal body mass index (BMI) was an integral part of the equation. This research was published in the May issue of Arthritis Care & Research. Fibromyalgia is a chronic pain syndrome characterized by widespread pain lasting more than 3 months, and tender point sites in the neck, shoulders, back, hips, arms, and legs. Additional symptoms often include mood disturbances, fatigue, headache, sleep disturbances, and cognitive difficulty. The prevalence of fibromyalgia becomes more common with age and is a lot higher among women than men. “Women who reported exercising 4 times per week had a 29% lower risk of FM compared with inactive women,” said the study’s lead author Dr. Mork. “Similar results were found in the analysis of the summary score combining information on frequency, duration, and intensity of exercise; women with the highest exercise level had a somewhat lower risk than inactive women. The study further shows that a high BMI (i.e., being overweight or obese) is a strong and independent risk factor for future development of FM. Moreover, the higher relative risks for the combined effect of being overweight/obese and inactive, relative to being overweight/obese alone, point to a further disadvantage for overweight women who do not exercise.” Source: “Association Between Physical Exercise, Body Mass Index, and Rise of Fibromyalgia: Longitudinal Data From the Norwegian Nord-Trøndelag Health Study.” Paul J. Mork, Ottar Vasseljen, and Tom I.L. Nilsen. Arthritis Care and Research; Published Online: April 29, 2010 (DOI: 10.1002/acr.20118); Print Issue Date: May 2010.
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Research showing the connection between junk food consumption and premature death is hardly revolutionary, but the latest study coming out of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine is giving more specifics on how this occurs. The study by M. Shawkat Razzaque, M.D., Ph.D., was published recently in the FASEB Journal. The results show that by adding phosphates to things like soda pop have greatly damage the needed balance of phosphates in the body, creating a state of toxicity, which leads to premature aging and poorer health. “Humans need a healthy diet and keeping the balance of phosphate in the diet may be important for a healthy life and longevity,” said Razzaque. “Avoid phosphate toxicity and enjoy a healthy life.” “Soda is the caffeine delivery vehicle of choice for millions of people worldwide, but comes with phosphorous as a passenger” added Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal. “This research suggests that our phosphorous balance influences the aging process, so don’t tip it.”
Recent experiments are showing a connection between eating grapes and a reduced risk of getting diabetes and heart disease. Scientists at the University of Michigan Health System have been exploring whether or not the natural elements found in grapes can actually effect things like blood pressure and the metabolic syndrome in rats, and therefore in humans. Research from this recent study shows that naturally occurring antioxidants called phytochemicals may be the main beneficial factor in grapes. “The possible reasoning behind the lessening of metabolic syndrome is that the phytochemicals were active in protecting the heart cells from the damaging effects of metabolic syndrome. In the rats, inflammation of the heart and heart function was maintained far better,” says Steven Bolling, M.D., heart surgeon at the U-M Cardiovascular Center and head of the U-M Cardioprotection Research Laboratory. The key factors in causing cardiovascular stress are oxidative damage and inflammation, which were both lessened in the subjects who had been consuming the grapes. “Although there’s not a particular direct correlation between this study and what humans should do, it’s very interesting to postulate that a diet higher in phytochemical-rich fruits, such as grapes, may benefit humans,” Bolling said.
The health of most Americans is severely impacted by the ever worsening state of our indoor air quality. The day to day health of a person is impacted by the continual outgassing coming from paint, carpet and other toxic chemicals found in most households. A growing technique for mitigating the impacts of these toxins is the use of negative ions the rid the air of all such pollutants.
Negative ions are able to clean the air by attaching themselves to airborne particulates such as pollen and dust, which causes them to clump together and fall to the ground, leaving the air clean. The problem with a traditional air purifier is that they require filters that allow small particulate to pass through and remain in the air. Another issue is that all the fan induced air movement can stir up dust.
The natural function of salt crystal lamps is to release negative ions that can move throughout a room and clean the air. When the salt reacts with moisture in the air as well as the heat from the bulb it releases even more ions. Himalayan salt lamps are hygroscopic so they should be left on all the time. It’s not just coincidence that some of the most invigorating places on earth, like waterfalls, crashing surf and mountain tops also have the highest concentration of negative ions. Negative ions generate clean and purified air that can have profound positive effects on a biochemical level. Living beings become excited before a thunderstorm with the enhanced levels of negative ions. The sensation is of increased alertness and the feeling of “being alive.” An anecdotal discovery by Dr. Clarence Hansell occurred when his colleague was working near an electrostatic generator that generated ions. The worker began to exhibit varying moods depending on the positive or negative setting of the machine. At the times that the machine produced negative ions, he was generally in a good mood and more alert. Positive ions had the opposite effect. Ions can act on our ability to utilize oxygen with the most positive effects from negative ions. Negative ions in the blood stream speed the delivery of oxygen throughout the body, benefiting our cells and tissues, while providing an energized euphoric feeling. Burn victims at Philadelphia’s Northeastern Hospital have been treated in ionized rooms because the negative ions were found to reduce pain. According to Dr. Robert McGowan, “negative ions make burns dry out faster, heal faster and with less scarring. They also reduce the need for skin grafting. They make the patient more optimistic. He sleeps better.”
Himalayan salt rooms have been created to reproduce the therapeutic effects of naturally occurring salt caves, providing for easy breathing from allergy-related and other respiratory ailments. The occupier is surrounded by negative ions, fully enjoying the therapeutic benefits. Himalayan salt inhalers are a recently popular way to get some of the same benefits as a salt cave, without having to make such a room. Inhaling through a Himalayan salt pipe draws air past the salt crystals and brings concentrated doses of negative ions directly into the body. Whether using a salt inhaler or a Himalayan salt lamp, there are many ways to clean the air around us and improve our health with negative ions. The ease of using natural negative ionizers makes them an easy choice.
Having an acute sense of smell is no longer being seen as something that is nice to have, but instead a possible key player in our very health and wellness. Researchers at the University of Michigan, University of Houston, and Baylor College of Medicine have shown in a study that sense of smell plays a role in having shorter or longer lives. This study was published in the online, open-access journal PLoS Biology. Scientist experimented with fruit flies and various worms to find the association between sense of smell and health. Results showed that by removing the ability to smell they lived longer. Researchers are unsure of exactly which specific sensory receptors are causing this. In this study the researchers found that the fruit flies who could not smell co2 lived longer, while in an older study they discovered that the ability to sense food or danger actually added to one’s lifespan. “We are working hard to understand how sensory perception affects health, and our new result really narrows the playing field.” -says Scott Pletcher, one of the lead researchers.
Vitamin K is revealing itself to be more than just a blood coagulant. Recent research has just come out about how it helps the the human body fight certain types of cancer. At the 101st Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), researchers at the Mayo Clinic campus in Minnesota reported that the risk of developing Non-Hodgkin lymphoma was approximately 45 percent lower for participants who took higher vitamin K amounts, compared to participants who took less. This observation proved consistent even after accounting for other factors such as obesity, smoking, age, sex, education, alcohol use and even intake of foods with high amounts of antioxidants. Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma is a type of immune system cancer and is the most common hematologic malignancy in the United States. Vitamin K acts to inhibit inflammatory cytokines which are thought to lead to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Until now, vitamin k has been seen primarily as the key factor in inducing blood clotting and not much more. “These results are provocative, since they are the first work we have done on the connection between vitamin K and Non-Hodgkin lymphoma, and this is a fairly strong protective effect,” explained the study’s lead author, James Cerhan, M.D., Ph.D., a cancer epidemiologist. “However, as with all new findings, this will need to be replicated in other studies.”
It has long been known that probiotics (intestinal bacteria that have a beneficial impact on health) are an important factor in having a healthy body. What seems to be new is the notion that people who suffer from allergies can benefit from eating foods that promote good levels of probiotics in the intestines. According to Dr. Guy Delespesse, a professor at the Université de Montréal Faculty of Medicine: “The bacteria in our digestive system are essential to digestion and also serve to educate our immune system. They teach it how to react to strange substances. This remains a key in the development of a child’s immune system. Consuming probiotics during pregnancy could help reduce allergies in the child,” says Dr. Delespesse. “They are not a miracle remedy, yet they are one of many elements that improve our diet and our health.” In addition to eating foods with probiotics Dr. Guy explained that exposure to bacteria in our living environments on a daily basis is an important way for our bodies to develop their immune systems and function properly. “There is an inverse relationship between the level of hygiene and the incidence of allergies and autoimmune diseases,” says Dr. Delespesse. “The more sterile the environment a child lives in, the higher the risk he or she will develop allergies or an immune problem in their lifetime.” Perhaps we should all spend more time playing in the dirt and eating yogurt.
Conflicting studies surrounding the effects of the seasonal flu vaccine on human immune systems are causing general confusion among health conscious citizens across the nation. The most common assertion is that seasonal flu shots increase one’s likelihood of getting H1N1. The study being most cited is from the PLoS peer reviewed medical journal. Click Here to read it. The research showed that people who took the seasonal flu shot were 1.03- to 2.74-fold more likely to get H1N1 flue, which is a very disturbing finding. The research was reviewed and largely seen as good science, but conflicting results from other similar, peer reviewed studies in the U.S. and Australia showed no such effect, and in one case decreased likelihood of getting H1N1 after receiving the seasonal flu vaccine. According to an article in U.S. News: “The studies, published April 6 in the online journal PLoS Medicine, don’t show whether there is a true cause-and-effect relationship between seasonal flu vaccination and subsequent swine flu illness, or whether the association was possibly due to a common factor among the people in the study, said principal investigator Danuta Skowronski, of the British Columbia Center for Disease Control in Vancouver, and colleagues.” Whatever the case, the World Health Organization has gone ahead and recommended that changes be made to the seasonal flu shots to add additional protection against the H1N1 flue as a precaution until further research can verify the possible risk of increased H1N1 infection rate.
The Journal of the American Heart Association published a study about how the risk of having a stroke was reduced when women walked for two or more hours per week. The study included roughly 40,000 different women over ten years. Results showed that women who walked had a 30 percent lower risk of any type of stroke. For women who walked briskly (3-4mph) the chance for stroke was reduced by 37 percent. “Physical activity, including regular walking, is an important modifiable behavior for stroke prevention,” said Jacob R. Sattelmair, M.Sc., lead author and doctoral candidate in epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Mass. “Physical activity is essential to promoting cardiovascular health and reducing risk of cardiovascular disease, and walking is one way of achieving physical activity.” Stroke is the leading cause of serious disability and the third leading cause of death in the United States. According to the AHA (American Heart Association) adults should be involved in at least l.5 hours of mild aerobic activity and 75 minutes of intense aerobic activity a week, to stay healthy and free from high stroke risk.
Prescription drug poisoning is now the 2nd leading cause of unintentional death in the U.S. Over the past 15 years the number of deaths has steadily risen, even to the point of surpassing unintentional death by automobile accident. An article published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shows that there has been a 65% increase in hospitalizations from tranquilizers, prescription opioids and sedatives. “Deaths and hospitalizations associated with prescription drug misuse have reached epidemic proportions,” said the study’s lead author, Jeffrey H. Coben, MD, of the West Virginia University School of Medicine. “It is essential that health care providers, pharmacists, insurance providers, state and federal agencies, and the general public all work together to address this crisis. Prescription medications are just as powerful and dangerous as other notorious street drugs, and we need to ensure people are aware of these dangers and that treatment services are available for those with substance abuse problems.” In addition to the rise in unintentional poisonings, intentional poisonings have also risen. Experts cite this fact as evidence that prescription drugs are continually gaining widespread availability in community settings.