BPA Damages Sperm

The chemical toxin BPA (Bisphenol A), which is found in plastic food and drink containers, is back in the news. This time BPA is linked to lowering sperm count and quality.

Research from a team led by John Meeker, assistant professor of Environmental Health Sciences at the University of Michigan School of Public Health was recently published in the journal Reproductive Toxicology. “We found that if we compare somebody in the top quartile of exposure with the lowest quartile of exposure, sperm concentration was on average about 23 percent lower in men with the highest BPA,” Meeker explained. “Much of the focus for BPA is on the exposures in utero or in early life, which is of course extremely important, but this suggests exposure may also be a concern for adults,” Meeker continued. “Research should focus on impacts of exposure throughout multiple life stages.” The scientists cautioned the public not to assume that the book is now closed on BPA’s role in human health. “The study from which these data came is currently in progress,” said the study’s co-author Russ Hauser, the Frederick Lee Hisaw Professor of Reproductive Physiology at Harvard School of Public Health. “With a larger sample size and enhanced study design, we will be able to more definitively investigate this preliminary association in the near future.”

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Chili Peppers Lower Blood Pressure

There is now one more reason to enjoy chilies with your food. New research shows that chili peppers contain a blood pressure reducing ingredient. Researchers at the Third Military Medical University in Chongqing, China have made a breakthrough with capsaicin, the naturally occurring component in chilies that are so beneficial for blood pressure.

“We found that long-term dietary consumption of capsaicin, one of the most abundant components in chili peppers, could reduce blood pressure in genetically hypertensive rats,” said Zhiming Zhu of Third Military Medical University. Zhu explained that this study clarifies some studies that had attempted to varify whether capsaicin actually reduced blood pressure. Their results are the first to document a long term cause and effect relationship between chilies and blood pressure. This study can also be seen as good news for members of the public who don’t like spicy food. A compound similar to capsaicin called capsinoids is found in a mild Japanese chili. “Limited studies show that these capsinoids produce effects similar to capsaicin,” Zhu says. “I believe that some people can adopt this sweet pepper.”

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We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to Hastings Sanderson winner of a free Himalayan Salt Inhaler! We would also like to take a moment to thank everyone who took the time to enter our contest. For those of you who didn’t win, but are still interested, you can pick up a salt air inhaler here. We are also happy to answer any questions you might have. We offer a plethora of ways to get a hold of us through our contact page.

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Sleep Disorders: Early Signs Of Dementia

A new study published in Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology, shows that dimentia and Parkinson’s disease can now be detected up to 50 years in advance of their normal diagnosis.

Researchers from the American Academy of Neurology studied records from the Mayo Clinic in order to identify the link. “Our findings suggest that in some patients, conditions such as Parkinson’s disease or dementia with Lewy bodies have a very long span of activity within the brain and they also may have a long period of time where other symptoms aren’t apparent,” said study author Bradley F. Boeve, MD, with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. and a member of the American Academy of Neurology. “More research is needed on this possible link so that scientists may be able to develop therapies that would slow down or stop the progression of these disorders years before the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or dementia appear.” The American Academy of Neurology is an association of more than 22,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system. More about the American Academy of Neurology: http://www.aan.com.

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Being Social Decreases Death Rates By 50%

If you want to increase you odds of living, or dying for that matter, change your social behavior. New research has just emerged showing a dirrect link between social interaction and life expectancy.

Professors from Brigham Young University found that having social connections decreases your chances of dying by 50%. These results also show that lacking social connections plays a greater role in causing death then more well known causes such as smoking, alcoholism, obesity and not exercising. “When someone is connected to a group and feels responsibility for other people, that sense of purpose and meaning translates to taking better care of themselves and taking fewer risks,” said Julianne Holt-Lunstad, one of the authors. “We take relationships for granted as humans — we’re like fish that don’t notice the water,” co-author Timothy Smith said. “That constant interaction is not only beneficial psychologically but directly to our physical health.” The researchers also pointed out that the death rate probably decreases by even more than 50% in reality. “The data simply show whether they were integrated in a social network,” Holt-Lunstad said. “That means the effects of negative relationships are lumped in there with the positive ones. They are all averaged together.” Information Source: PLoS Medicine

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BPA Toxin Coats Cash Register Receipts

BPA (a synthetic estrogen like chemical ) has been in the news recently for it’s toxic effects on humans who are exposed to it via plastic baby bottles and water containers. Now new research has found that BPA is effecting us via the paper receipts from your local grocery store, post office etc.

One of the world’s leading research facilities for detecting BPA concentrations, University of Missouri Division of Biological Sciences laboratory, examined 36 receipts to asses their BPA levels and found that over 40% containted BPA. Around 20% had extremely high levels. “We’ve come across potentially major sources of BPA right here in our daily lives,” said Sonya Lunder, a senior analyst with EWG (the environmental working group). “When you’re carrying around a receipt in your wallet for months while you intend to return something, you could be shedding BPA into your home, into your environment. If you throw a receipt into a bag of food, and it’s lying there against an apple, or you shove a receipt into your bag next to a baby pacifier, you could be getting all kinds of exposure and not realize it.” The environmental working group (EWG) assessed BPA around the nation and added that “the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found BPA in the bodies of 93 percent of Americans over age 6. EWG analysis of CDC data has found that people who reported working in retail industries had 30 percent more BPA in their bodies than the average U.S. adult, and 34 percent more BPA than other workers. (CDC 2004). As of May 2009, 1 in 17 working Americans — 7 million people — were employed as retail salespersons and cashiers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.” With all of this BPA exposure going around many people are wondering how much of it is getting absorbed into the body. Although a spokeswoman from the CDC  explained that “Biomonitoring data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control shows that exposure to BPA from all sources, which would include typical exposure from receipts, is extremely low,” a study conducted earlier this month concluded that “penetration of the skin depends on the conditions. Extractability experiments did not enable us to conclude whether BPA passes through the skin, but indicated that it can enter the skin to such a depth that it can no longer be washed off.” It is in the best interest of everyone to err on the side of caution until further research can clarify the effects of BPA laden cash register receipts on human health.

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Happy Pioneer Day!

We here at HEALTHandMED.com would like to wish everyone a happy Pioneer Day. For those unfamiliar with Pioneer Day, it is an official holiday in Utah that celebrates the pioneer heritage of Utah, as you may have guessed. The celebration day is set on the day Brigham Young and the first group of Mormon pioneers arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847. Generally we have fireworks, barbecues, rodeos, parades and other events of the like. Much like an extra Fourth of July, except with more pioneer costumes, hand-carts and the like. While we are having some fun, I would also like to take a moment to remind everyone about our contest, which ends on Monday. Enter for your chance to win one of our Himalayan Salt Inhaler’s.

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What’s Special About Whole Food Supplements?

Not all vitamins are created equal, at least that’s the claim of a new kind of vitamin supplement. Whole Food Vitamins look to be the future of nutritional supplements.

Whole food supplements are not very complicated. They are what their name suggests: Supplements made from concentrated whole foods. This may sound like an obvious way to make vitamin supplements, but it is actually a radical deviation from how vitamin supplements have traditionally been made in the past. Traditional vitamin supplements are highly concentrated doses of vitamins that are removed and isolated from the basic foods where they are naturally found. In some scenarios, vitamin manufacturers use chemicals to synthesize vitamins, skipping over naturally occurring vitamins altogether. This is not the case with whole food supplements. Whole food supplements are made by leaving the vitamins in the foods where they are naturally found, but in order to get large amounts of them the foods are pulverized and condensed. Vic Shayne, PhD, author of Whole Food Nutrition: The Missing Link in Vitamin Therapy said, “Vitamins never exist in isolation, but rather within an interwoven complex of food nutrients and substances along with myriad co-factors and synergists.” For example, when you get vitamin A from a whole-food supplement you also get retino, retinal, retinoic acid, carotenes (there are more than 500 carotenoids in nature); essential fatty acids, fiber, grass factors, pigments, natural sugars, minerals (such as zinc and copper), lipids, bioflavonoids, and nutrients that fall under the broad spectrum of “phytochemicals,” ranging from terpenes to isoflavones. This is not the case with other vitamin supplements. At the end of the day, you can’t go wrong with vitamins. Getting vitamins that come with other synergistic food properties may be the best way to get them, and possibly the future of vitamin supplements.

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Cell Phone Radiation Controversy

A new law passed by the city of San Francisco has brought the controversy surounding cell phone radiation to a head. The Cellular Telephone Industry Association, CTIA for short, is putting pressure on the city to reverse the law.

The new law simply mandates that all cell phones must be clearly labeled with their radiation levels listed where consumers can see and use the information in deciding which phone to purchase. The listed radiation levels are based on available information from organizations such as the Environmental Working Group. The information was already public, but with the new law the information will be posted so that potential cell phone buyers can read it in stores, instead of being forced to dig through the fine print of websites, pamphlets, technical manuals etc. While the city and many other proponents of the law herald it as empowering consumers with greater choice, CTIA members hold a very different view.  “The ordinance will potentially mislead consumers, suggesting that some phones are ‘safer’ than others,” said CTIA Vice President John Walls. The controversy is centered around the fact that although there is research showing potential harm and certain medium to high levels of phone usage, there is still no conclusive evidence one way or the other. The European Union is funding a broad new study that, according to the lead scientist, will “investigate the risk of brain tumors from mobile phone use in childhood and adolescence.” Read more here.

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Health Benefits Of Probiotics: Eczema

A new study published in the British Journal of Dermatology is reporting that consuming probiotic rich dairy products during and after pregnancy drastically reduces eczema in children.

Researchers at NTNU (Norwegian University of Science and Technology) authored this newly published ground breaking study on the effects of probiotics on young children.Their conclusions add to the existing data about the many health benefits of probiotics. “The results showed that probiotic bacteria reduced the incidence of eczema in children up to age two years by 40 percent. And the kids in ‘probiotics group’ who did have eczema, had less severe cases,” said Christian Kvikne Dotterud, a student in the Medical Student Research Programme at the Department of Community Medicine at NTNU. The research was performed with over 400 women and their children using an extremely accurate double blind method of testing. All of the women were randomly selected and then split into two groups. One received the probiotic milk, while the other received a placebo. “The taste of both products was similar, and the milk was delivered in unmarked milk cartons. This means that neither the participants in the study or the researchers knew who had received probiotic milk or placebo milk,” explained NTNU researcher Torbjørn Øien, one of the researchers. “We can therefore say with great certainty that it was the probiotic bacteria alone that caused the difference in the incidence of eczema between the two groups.” Article Source: NTNU

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