New Donation Campaign For “The Happy Factory”

HEALTHandMED.com will be donating $15 from every FIR Real Portable Infrared Sauna purchased to The Happy Factory. Each donation of $15 can help build 30 toys for children around the world.

The Happy Factory has been building toys in Cedar City, Utah since 1995. The initial reception of the toys prompted them to expand. They named their workshop “The Happy Factory” because of the happiness it brings to them and to the children who receive the wooden toys. In the process, they have learned that toys are not simply playthings, but tools that help unlock a child’s ability to think and to cope with the world around them. What started as a hobby has turned into a full time labor of love. The Happy Factory is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The toys are made of scraps of hardwood donated by a local cabinet maker. The organization is run entirely on a volunteer basis. The Happy Factory will use HEALTHandMED.com donations to cover the costs of everything from keeping the lights on, to saw blades, to wheels and axles for the toys they make.

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Yoga Reduces Fibromyalgia Pain

Sufferers from the chronic, unyielding pain that is associated with fibromyalgia can now find a friend in the ancient practice of yoga. New research is showing that much of the pain from FB (fibromyalgia) can be mitigated by practicing yoga.

In a study published in the November issue of PAIN, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University announced that pain can be reduced by an average of 24 percent, fatigue by 30 percent and depression by 42 percent for people suffering from FB. Fibromyalgia is a debilitating condition affecting eleven million individuals in the US. FM drug therapies are generally only 30% effective at reducing symptoms and 20% effective at increasing function. “Previous research suggests that the most successful treatment for fibromyalgia involves a combination of medications, physical exercise and development of coping skills,” said James Carson, Ph.D., a clinical health psychologist and an assistant professor of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine in the OHSU School of Medicine. “Here, we specifically focused on yoga to determine whether it should be considered as a prescribed treatment and the extent to which it can be successful.” “Although yoga has been practiced for millennia, only recently have researchers begun to demonstrate yoga’s effects on persons suffering from persistent pain,” commented Carson. “The Yoga of Awareness program stands in contrast to previous multimodal interventions with FM patients in that it integrates a wide spectrum of yoga-based techniques – postures, mindfulness meditation, breathing exercises, application of yogic principles to optimal coping, and group discussions.…the findings of this pilot study provide promising preliminary support for the beneficial effects of yoga in patients with FM.” Dr. Carson and fellow researchers noted, “In addition, the results suggested the yoga intervention led to a beneficial shift in how patients cope with pain, including greater use of adaptive pain coping strategies (i.e., problem solving, positive reappraisal, use of religion, activity engagement despite pain, acceptance, relaxation) and less use of maladaptive strategies (i.e., catastrophizing, self-isolation, disengagement, confrontation).”

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Cerebral Palsy Therapy Goal Achieved!

Not too long ago HEALTHandMED.com made the goal to raise $1,500 for a young girl with cerebral palsy named Ginger Roth. The idea was to make it possible for her to continue receiving treatments at the Colorado Therapeutic Riding Center. Well, we’ve reached our goal! Ginger can now continue her much needed therapy. Thanks to all of you who in any way contributed to this worthy goal. Check back later this week to see what we at HEALTHandMED are up to for our next project. Think toys, lots of toys…

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When What You Eat Effects Weight Gain

New research shows that eating  when your body’s metabolism doesn’t want you to plays a role in weight gain. These findings are to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The study specifically focused on how nighttime light affects when we desire to eat, which then in turn affects our body  mass index. “Light at night is an environmental factor that may be contributing to the obesity epidemic in ways that people don’t expect,” said Randy Nelson, co-author of the study and professor of neuroscience and psychology at Ohio State. “Societal obesity is correlated with a number of factors including the extent of light exposure at night.” The scientists studied the effects of night time light by observing its affects on mice. “Although there were no differences in activity levels or daily consumption of food, the mice that lived with light at night were getting fatter than the others,” said Laura Fonken, lead author of the study and a doctoral student in neuroscience at Ohio State University. “Something about light at night was making the mice in our study want to eat at the wrong times to properly metabolize their food,” said Nelson. “When we restricted their food intake to times when they would normally eat, we didn’t see the weight gain,” Fonken said. “This further adds to the evidence that the timing of eating is critical to weight gain.” If these same results prove valid in humans, this study indicates that late night eating, as well as chronic exposure to night time lighting may contribute to obesity.

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Making Biodiesel Now Faster and Greener

Biodiesel proponents are buzzing with excitement about the news of a greener and faster way to convert used vegitable oil into biodiesel. Two chemists from Brown University have figured out a way to convert used vegitable oil into biodiesel in 20 minutes, as compared to 2 hours. In addition to the faster conversion time the researchers also discovered how to complete the entire process without using toxic chemicals.

The research was published this week in the journal Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry.With the future of biodiesel looking to play a considerable role in the future fuel supply, scientists are continually looking for methods that do not compromise the environment in order to obtain greater efficiencies. “We wanted to develop an environmentally benign and technically simple way to convert waste vegetable oil into biodiesel,” said Jason Sello, assistant professor of chemistry. “The production of energy at the expense of the environment is untenable and should be avoided at all costs.” The scientists were able to replace the hazardous chemicals with the more benign catalysts bismuth triflate and scandium triflate, which are chemically stable, cheap and of limited toxicity. “While we have not yet proven the viability of our approach on an industrial scale,” Sello said, “we have identified very promising catalysts and reaction conditions that could, in principle, be used for large-scale conversion of waste vegetable oil into biodiesel in an environmentally sensitive manner.”

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Citrus Juice In Green Tea: 80% More Antioxidants

Scientists are saying that the ever popular and highly regarded green tea can be made even more healthful by adding citrus juice.

A study led by scientists at Purdue University comparing the effect of various beverage additives on the naturally occurring antioxidants found in tea called catechins, has revealed that by adding lemon, orange, lime or any other citrus juice to green tea there will be an 80% increase in the amount of antioxidants that can be absorbed by the body. “If you want more out of your green tea, add some citrus juice to your cup after brewing or pick a ready-to-drink product formulated with ascorbic acid,” said Mario Ferruzzi, assistant professor of food science at Purdue University and the study’s lead author. The researchers explained that the antioxidants are better preserved in an acidic, vitamin c rich environment. The un-acidic state of the intestines eliminate many of the antioxidants before they can be absorbed by the body. “Off the bat you are eliminating a large majority of the catechins from plain green tea,” Ferruzzi said. “We have to address this fact if we want to improve bodily absorption.” This is good news for an already healthy drink. This adds to the large body of research that has been growing over the years showing the many health benefits of green.

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Too Little Sleep Inhibits Burning Fat

One of the reasons so many people struggle to burn fat when working out is due to not getting enough sleep.

New research from the University of Chicago’s General Clinical Resource Center has just shown that when people are sleep deprived they may still loose the wight from dieting, but more of the lost weight is muscle, instead of fat. “If your goal is to lose fat, skipping sleep is like poking sticks in your bicycle wheels,” said study director Plamen Penev, MD, PhD, of the University of Chicago. “Cutting back on sleep, a behavior that is ubiquitous in modern society, appears to compromise efforts to lose fat through dieting. In our study it reduced fat loss by 55 percent.” The human body produces more of a hormone called ghrelin when it lacks sleep. Higher ghrelin levels are known to “reduce energy expenditure, stimulate hunger and food intake, promote retention of fat, and increase hepatic glucose production to support the availability of fuel to glucose dependent tissues,” the authors note. “In our experiment, sleep restriction was accompanied by a similar pattern of increased hunger and … reduced oxidation of fat.” “For the first time, we have evidence that the amount of sleep makes a big difference on the results of dietary interventions. One should not ignore the way they sleep when going on a diet. Obtaining adequate sleep may enhance the beneficial effects of a diet. Not getting enough sleep could defeat the desired effects,” said Penev.

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Red Himalayan Salt Meets Zion National Park -New Video!

Two of the worlds most beautiful natural places come together in this short film where the outdoors come to life at sunset. This is an hour long time lapse of the sun setting in Zion National Park. Enjoy…

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Himalayan Salt Groove -New Video!

Check out a few of HEALTHandMED.com’s Himalayan Salt Products in this cool 30 second little video, Himalayan Salt Groove. Enjoy…

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10 Facts about Fluoride

is not only wrong, it is unnecessary. As western Europe has demonstrated, there are many equally effective and less-intrusive ways of delivering fluoride to people who actually want it. For example:

  • Topical fluoride products such as toothpaste and mouthrinses (which come with explicit instructions not to swollow) are readily available at all grocery stores and pharmacies. Thus, for those individuals who wish to use fluoride, it is very easy to find and very inexpensive to buy.
  • If there is concern that some people in the community cannot afford to purchase fluoride toothpaste (a family-size tube of toothpaste costs as little as $2 to $3), the money saved by not fluoridating the water can be spent subsidizing topical fluoride products (or non-fluoride alternatives) for those families in need.
  • The vast majority of fluoride added to water supplies is wasted, since over 99% of tap water is not actually consumed by a human being. It is used instead to wash cars, water the lawn, wash dishes, flush toilets, etc.

6. Ingestion of fluoride has little benefit, but many risks. Whereas fluoride’s benefits come from topical contact with teeth, its risks to health (which involve many more tissues than the teeth) result from being swallowed. Adverse effects from fluoride ingestion have been associated with doses attainable by people living in fluoridated areas. For example:

  • Risk to the brain. According to the National Research Council (NRC), fluoride can damage the brain. Animal studies conducted in the 1990s by EPA scientists found dementia-like effects at the same concentration (1 ppm) used to fluoridate water, while human studies have found adverse effects on IQ at levels as low as 0.9 ppm among children with nutrient deficiencies, and 1.8 ppm among children with adequate nutrient intake. (7-10)
  • Risk to the thyroid gland. According to the NRC, fluoride is an “endocrine disruptor.” Most notably, the NRC has warned that doses of fluoride (0.01-0.03 mg/kg/day) achievable by drinking fluoridated water, may reduce the function of the thyroid among individuals with low-iodine intake. Reduction of thyroid activity can lead to loss of mental acuity, depression and weight gain (11)
  • Risk to bones. According to the NRC, fluoride can diminish bone strength and increase the risk for bone fracture. While the NRC was unable to determine what level of fluoride is safe for bones, it noted that the best available information suggests that fracture risk may be increased at levels as low 1.5 ppm, which is only slightly higher than the concentration (0.7-1.2 ppm) added to water for fluoridation. (12)
  • Risk for bone cancer. Animal and human studies – including a recent study from a team of Harvard scientists – have found a connection between fluoride and a serious form of bone cancer. (osteosarcoma) in males under the age of 20. The connection between fluoride and osteosarcoma has been described by the National Toxicology Program as “biologically plausible.” Up to half of adolescents who develop osteosarcoma die within a few years of diagnosis. (13-16)
  • Risk to kidney patients. People with kidney disease have a heightened susceptibility to fluoride toxicity. The heightened risk stems from an impaired ability to excrete fluoride from the body. As a result, toxic levels of fluoride can accumulate in the bones, intensify the toxicity of aluminum build-up, and cause or exacerbate a painful bone disease known as renal osteodystrophy. (17-19)

7. The industrial chemicals used to fluoridate water may present unique risks not found with naturally-occurring fluoride complexes . The chemicals – fluorosilicic acid, sodium silicofluoride, and sodium fluoride – used to fluoridate drinking water are industrial waste products from the phosphate fertilizer industry. Of these chemicals, fluorosilicic acid (FSA) is the most widely used. FSA is a corrosive acid which has been linked to higher blood lead levels in children. A recent study from the University of North Carolina found that FSA can – in combination with chlorinated compounds – leach lead from brass joints in water pipes, while a recent study from the University of Maryland suggests that the effect of fluoridation chemicals on blood lead levels may be greatest in houses built prior to 1946. Lead is a neurotoxin that can cause learning disabilities and behavioral problems in children. (20-23) 8. Water fluoridation’s benefits to teeth have been exaggerated. Even proponents of water fluoridation admit that it is not as effective as it was once claimed to be. While proponents still believe in its effectiveness, a growing number of studies strongly question this assessment. (24-46) According to a systematic review published by the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, “The magnitude of [fluoridation's] effect is not large in absolute terms, is often not statistically significant and may not be of clinical significance.” (36)

  • No difference exists in tooth decay between fluoridated & unfluoridated countries. While water fluoridation is often credited with causing the reduction in tooth decay that has occurred in the US over the past 50 years, the same reductions in tooth decay have occurred in all western countries, most of which have never added fluoride to their water. The vast majority of western Eutope has rejected water fluoridation. Yet, according to comprehensive data from the World Health Organization, their tooth decay rates are just as low, and, in fact, often lower than the tooth decay rates in the US. (25, 35, 44)
  • Cavities do not increase when fluoridation stops. In contrast to earlier findings, five studies published since 2000 have reported no increase in tooth decay in communities which have ended fluoridation. (37-41)
  • Fluoridation does not prevent oral health crises in low-income areas. While some allege that fluoridation is especially effective for low-income communities, there is very little evidence to support this claim. According to a recent systematic review from the British government, “The evidence about [fluoridation] reducing inequalities in dental health was of poor quality, contradictory and unreliable.” (45) In the United States, severe dental crises are occurring in low-income areas irrespective of whether the community has fluoride added to its water supply. (46) In addition, several studies have confirmed that the incidence of severe tooth decay in children (“baby bottle tooth decay”) is not significantly different in fluoridated vs unfluoridated areas. (27,32,42) Thus, despite some emotionally-based claims to the contrary, water fluoridation does not prevent the oral health problems related to poverty and lack of dental-care access.

9. Fluoridation poses added burden and risk to low-income communities,. Rather than being particularly beneficial to low-income communities, fluoridation is particularly burdensome and harmful. For example:

  • Low-income families are least able to avoid fluoridated water. Due to the high costs of buying bottled water or expensive water filters, low-income households will be least able to avoid fluoride once it’s added to the water. As a result, low-income families will be least capable of following ADA’s recommendation that infants should not receive fluoridated water. This may explain why African American children have been found to suffer the highest rates of disfiguring dental fluorosis in the US. (47)
  • Low-income families at greater risk of fluoride toxicity. In addition, it is now well established that individuals with inadequate nutrient intake have a significantly increased susceptibility to fluoride’s toxic effects. (48-51) Since nutrient deficiencies are most common in income communities, and since diseases known to increase susceptibility to fluoride are most prevalent in low-income areas (e.g. end-stage renal failure), it is likely that low-income communities will be at greatest risk from suffering adverse effects associated with fluoride exposure. According to Dr. Kathleen Thiessen, a member of the National Research Council’s review of fluoride toxicity: “I would expect low-income communities to be more vulnerable to at least some of the effects of drinking fluoridated water.” (51)

10. Due to other sources, many people are being over-exposed to fluoride. Unlike when water fluoridation first began, Americans are now receiving fluoride from many other sources besides the water supply. As a result many people are now exceeding the recommended daily intake, putting them at elevated risk of suffering toxic effects. For example, many children ingest more fluoride from toothpaste alone than is considered “optimal” for a full day’s worth of ingestion. According to the Journal of Public Health Dentistry:

“Virtually all authors have noted that some children could ingest more fluoride from [toothpaste] alone than is recommended as a total daily fluoride ingestion.” (52)

Because of the increase in fluoride exposure from all sources combined, the rate of dental fluorosis (a visible indicator of over-exposure to fluoride during childhood) has increased significantly over the past 50 years. Whereas dental fluorosis used to impact less than 10% of children in the 1940s, the latest national survey found that it now affects over 30% of children. (47, 53) Sources here.

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