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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.” .
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.
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.