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Thursday, July 31, 2008

States Passing Laws Against Trans Fats

California and Oregon have laws banning trans fats in meals served at schools. California has now became the first state to ban trans fats from restaurant food, following several cities and major fast-food chains in erasing the notorious artery-clogger from menus.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed legislation that will ban restaurants and other retail food establishments from using oil, margarine and shortening containing trans fats. Violations could result in fines of $25 to $1,000. Food items sold in their manufacturers' sealed packaging would be exempt.

New York City, Philadelphia, Seattle, Baltimore and Montgomery County, Md., have ordinances banning trans fats, but California is the first state to adopt such a law covering restaurants, said Amy Winterfeld, a health policy analyst for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Read the entire article.

Identifying Ticks - Lyme Disease

Tick identification is important. Everyone is worried about Lyme Disease. So how do I protect myself, my family -and my dog- from this terrible plague? Knowledge. Tick repellent. Tight clothing. Inspections. But what if you've done all that, and you still find an engorged tick? You need to be able to differentiate, or identify, between the different tick species to avoid unnecessary worry and unnecessary trips to the vet.

The tick that primarily carries lyme disease is I. Scapularis, also called the Black-Legged Tick, or the Deer Tick. The deer tick is very very very tiny, approximately the size of a fleck of black pepper. They are very nearly impossible to see on a dog, and can still be difficult to see even when engorged.

The common dog tick can range in size from very small, but clearly visible, to quite large. Then when they're engorged, they blow up like a big greyish/greenish blob.

Read the entire article and view photos.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Health Advocates Help

Currently, the health advocacy business is an industry with about $50 million to $75 million in annual revenue but only about a half-dozen companies of any significant size, said Richard Rakowski of Intersection LLC, a Connecticut-based investment and development firm that has researched the field.

But those numbers have grown from a few years ago, and it may be on track to become a $1 billion industry based on the demand for the service, said Rakowski, the firm's principal.

The field is blossoming in the wake of cutbacks in corporate health benefits, an overhaul of Medicare and other changes that have forced medical consumers to shop more for medical care.

More than ever, people need help negotiating the medical system, said Jessica Greene, a University of Oregon health policy analyst.

"We're asking consumers to make more complicated decisions, but the numeracy and health literacy skills of many consumers are not at the level needed to handle this new responsibility," Greene said.

Health Advocate claims to be the largest of these companies. Founded in 2001, it now has more than 3,500 companies, unions and other organizations as clients, including Johnson & Johnson, American Express and The Home Depot Inc.

Altogether, about 2.6 million employees, or members, are signed up with Health Advocate. But the number who can use it is actually higher: Members can share the call-in number with spouses, children, parents and parents-in-law — including elderly kin who need help picking a Medicare prescription drug plan, finding a nursing home or arranging transportation for health care. With all relatives added in, Health Advocate's membership as roughly 12 million, Fischer said.

Read the entire article.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Hair, Skin and Nails

Hair, skin and nails provide a look at the inner health of the body. These outward "signs" can tell you a lot about the condition of your inward health. Often we may have problems with our skin such as dull skin, skin likely to break out in blotches or skin that dehydrates easily. All of these problems and many more indicate the lack of proper nutrition.

Poor diet, drugs, alcohol, excessive sun exposure, environmental toxins and tobacco smoke increase free radical damage and decrease enzyme activity. Both free radical damage and the reduction in enzyme activity can hasten the appearance of the following problems; wrinkles, age spots, sagging skin and ultimately to serious skin problmes.

Free radicals oxidize cells, making normal cell metabolism impossible. Enzymes can help prevent or treat skin damage by fighting these free radicals and reducing stress on bodily systems.

The skin reflects our overall health and acts as a barrier against the outside world, is the largest organ and is composed primarily of collagen. Collagen fibers form an elastin network that makes up connective tissues. The skins elasticity, strength and smoothness come from the makeup of the collagen fibers.

Read the entire article.

Sleep Problems In 67% Of Women

A 2007 poll by the National Sleep Foundation found that 67 percent of women frequently experience sleep problems and 29 percent use some type of sleep aid at least a few nights a week. Other surveys have consistently found that nearly half again as many women as men complain of insomnia.

Yet 75 percent of sleep research has been done on men, and until recently the researchers have been primarily men. The major texts for sleep studies have had, until recently, little to say about women's sleep. Read the entire article.

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Heal Your Home and Protect Your Health

Heal Your Home: The Case For Precaution is a download available from

Get solid information on cleaning supplies that don't contain poisons and lots of information on non-toxic living from Annie Bond. Other experts offer answers to many common questions.

The Precautionary Principle is revolutionizing business and politics. No longer does do people want to take chances with their life and health when there are safe and effective choices without the toxic chemical.

Download the free 40-page publication to your desktop.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Causes Of Acid Reflux

What are the common causes of acid reflux disease? Doctors aren't always sure. Triggered by an increase of acid in your esophagus, acid reflux disease may develop for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the common causes of acid reflux disease.

Consider Stomach Comfort. How does Stomach Comfort compare to other options?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Coca-Cola Offsets Water Use

Coca-Cola announced it is funding a $20 million project to try and offset the 76 billion gallons of water it uses each year to make Coke, Sprite, Fanta and its other drinks.

According to the Coca-Cola's press release, they will work to conserve seven major rivers worldwide and will also revamp its bottling practices to reduce pollution and water use. The campaign was announced at the World Wildlife Foundation's annual meeting in Beijing.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Lowering Cholesterol With Fish Oil And Red Yeast Rice

A great deal of scientific evidence shows that cholesterol-reducing medications known as statins can help prevent coronary artery disease. Although the safety of these medications has been well documented, as many as 40 percent of patients who receive a prescription for statins take the drug for less than one year.

In the July issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a group of researchers from Pennsylvania examine whether an alternative approach to treating high blood cholesterol may provide an effective treatment option for patients who are unable or unwilling to take statins.

Researchers followed 74 patients with high blood cholesterol who met standard criteria for using statin therapy. Patients were randomly assigned to either the alternative treatment group or the statin group and followed for three months.

Results? The researchers noted that there was a reduction in LDL cholesterol levels in both groups. The alternative treatment group experienced a 42.4 percent reduction, and the statin group experienced a 39.6 percent reduction. Members of the alternative therapy group also had a substantial reduction in triglycerides, another form of fat found in the blood, and lost more weight. Read the entire article.

Omega 3 Fish Oils
Red Yeast Rice

Friday, July 18, 2008

Weight Loss Food Diaries Work

The study, published in the August edition of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, included 1,685 overweight or obese U.S. adults aged 25 and older.

For six months, they kept food diaries and were encouraged to eat a healthy diet and be physically active. They also met weekly in groups to share their food diaries and brush up on skills like how to judge portion size.

After six months, participants had shed almost 13 pounds, on average. The most powerful predictor of their weight loss was how many days per week they kept their food diary, says Victor Stevens, PhD, senior investigator at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.

Those who kept food records six days a week -- jotting down everything they ate and drank on those days -- lost about twice as much weight as those who kept food records one day a week or less, Stevens tells WebMD. Read the entire article.

The Four Pillars of Weight Loss

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Cholesterol Test At Home

High cholesterol can have serious and even lethal effects on the body and too many people ignore testing. Personally I don't go to the doctor to get many tests since they want to run you through a long list of them once you begin. So, I make use of the at-home tests available. For many tests, an at-home setting is more valid since you're in your normal comfort zone.

For cholesterol testing, we use the Cholestrak® Home Cholesterol Test Kit to measure our cholesterol levels easy, quick and inexpensive ($12.50).

Disinfectant Wipes Spread Superbugs

First came word that popular antibacterial hand soaps are not only unnecessary (old fashioned soap and water is the best way to keep germs from spreading) but the chemicals in them can harm your health and environment. Now a new study says instead of killing potentially dangerous infections, disinfectant wipes may actually spread drug-resistant and sometimes deadly bacteria.

The research, recently presented at the American Society of Microbiology's General Meeting in Boston, zeroed in on bacteria that included the dreaded "superbugs" -- methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. MRSA infections range from so-called "flesh eating" disfiguring skin infections to life-threatening and difficult to treat infections of the bloodstream, lungs and surgical wounds. The majority of cases are associated with hospitals, nursing homes or other health care facilities –- exactly the places where wipes are frequently used to try to prevent infections.

While the new study covered bacteria in hospitals, the information is also pertinent to the use of wipes in the home. You can't assume that by wiping down a cutting board, sink and counter top with a so-called disinfectant wipe that you have killed all potentially dangerous bacteria especially that associated with raw eggs and meat.

The best line of defense against infection? Wash your hands and surfaces with hot water and soap. Natural soaps and detergents with no added antibacterial agents zap the numbers of potentially troublesome bacteria adequately and quickly.

Read the entire article.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tofu And Dementia

The study focused on 719 elderly Indonesians living in urban and rural regions of Java. The researchers found high tofu consumption - at least once a day - was associated with worse memory, particularly among the over-68s.

Soy products are a major alternative protein source to meat for many people in the developing world. But soy consumption is also on the increase in the west, where it is often promoted as a "superfood".

Soy products are rich in micronutrients called phytoestrogens, which mimic the impact of the female sex hormone estrogen.

There is some evidence that they may protect the brains of younger and middle-aged people from damage - but their effect on the aging brain is less clear.

Read the entire article.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dried or Fresh Fruit?

Do dried fruits contain more nutritional value than fresh fruits?

When you dry fruits, you lose more than just water. You also lose nutrients. For example, when it comes to berries, much of their uniqueness is derived from their phytonutrients. Flavonoids like peonidin, petunidin, malvidin, and many others found in berries are susceptible to damage from heat, light, oxygen, and time-since-harvest. While some drying processes are harsher than others, no drying process can leave the phytonutrient content of these berries significantly unchanged.

Since fruits lose water (and therefore volume) during the drying process, their nutrient, calorie, and sugar content becomes concentrated once they are dried. When you eat a handful of dried fruit, you are consuming more calories than you would if you ate that same amount of fresh fruit.

Read the entire article.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Coconut Oil For Health and Weight Loss

Research indicates, animal fats have long chain saturated fat, while coconut oil contains healthy, healing, medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).

This incredible food boosts immunity, kills bacteria and viruses, protects against cancer and other degenerative diseases, and prevents osteoporosis by promoting calcium absorption. It also slows down aging and is good for skin radiance.

American farmers attempted to plump up their cattle by feeding them coconut oil. Instead of gaining weight, their cows lost weight!

Read the entire article.

Red Meat Study and Cancer

A new large-scale study has provided more strong evidence linking the consumption of red and processed meats to an increased risk of cancer.

All participants were between the ages of 50 and 71. The highest red meat consumption group had an intake of 62.5 grams (2.2 ounces) of red meat for every 1,000 calories consumed.

Red meat was defined in the study as any meat originating from a mammal, including beef, pork and lamb.

Researchers found that people who consumed the most red meat had a 25 percent higher risk of developing colorectal cancer in the study period compared with those who ate the least, and a 20 percent higher risk of developing lung cancer. The risk of esophageal and liver cancer was increased by between 20 and 60 percent.

Read the entire article.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Cell Phone and Bluetooth Protection Available

We don't have cell phones and don't intend to get them with all the research on the brain cancer, blindness, deafness, etc. Prevention truly is priceless, but our son has a cell phone as do most of the people we know. I've been told that Bluetooth is safer but it's been based upon this reasoning:

The FDA approved Bluetooth Technology for use by consumers without any regulations or premarket testing, which is exactly how cell phones were approved. However, as of 2006 the FDA felt a need to revisit its approval on cell phones in lieu of a recent study conducted by the Swedish National Institute for Working LIfe that showed cell phone users have a 240% greater risk of developing brain tumors on the same side of the head where they use their phone. Bluetooth headsets function in the same radiowave frequencies as cell phones.

I'm getting to where I feel very uncomfortable talking with somebody on a cell phone with this knowledge. Convenience seems to take priority in today's lifestyles. People sacrifice their health and diet to convenient junk foods and surround themselves with technology to have more time, when in reality there is less and less time in these kinds of lifestyles.

Out of concern for our son, I did some online searching to find out if Bluetooth was safer than cell phones and came up with a website that not only has a lot of information on health and EMFs, but also cells inexpensive solutions to block the EMFs from the brain and head. Visit to find out more.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tanning Salons Not Healthy

A couple of high school students in my neighborhood recently told me they are getting ready to hit the beach this summer by tuning up their suntans inside tanning beds.

When I asked one of my colleagues here at Penn, Dr. William James, a professor of dermatology, if the high school students had the right idea about getting a head start on a tan, he laughed out loud. A tan, he said, represents nothing more than damage to the skin. It is the body trying to defend itself against an environmental hazard — too much UV light. In other words, indoor tanning gets you ready for the beach in the same way that getting scalded in a hot tub gets you ready to be boiled alive.

Read the entire article.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Get Rid of Puffy Eyes

Disgusted with the bags around your eyes? Not a fan of cosmetic surgery? If you can be satisfied with looking a lot better, as opposed to surgical perfection, there are several ways to approach reducing the puffiness under your eyes without going under the knife.

Read this wikiHow article.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Beef Recall

Update: Nebraska Beef Ltd. is expanding the recall announced below to include all 5.3 million pounds of meat produced for ground beef between May 16 and June 26.

Nebraska Beef Ltd. of Omaha, Neb., is recalling about 531,700 pounds of beef used to make ground beef because of the risk of E. coli.

The recalled beef was included in the Kroger brand ground beef samples collected by Michigan and Ohio health officials from patients who came down with E. coli infection.

E. coli bacteria can cause diarrhea, which may be bloody, as well as stomach cramps and vomiting. Most people recover within five to seven days, but some cases may be severe or life-threatening; infants, elders, and people with weak immune systems are particularly at risk.

Last week, Kroger recalled ground beef in Michigan and parts of Ohio.

The beef recalled by Nebraska Beef Ltd. wasn't sent to retailers. Instead, it was sent for further processing or to wholesalers in May and June.

Consumers with questions about the recall should call James Timmerman, Nebraska Beef's vice president of administration, at 402-733-0456, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Docs Agree To Less Childhood Vaccines

Five years ago, Kathye Petters-Armitage's first child received the exact vaccinations on the exact schedule recommended by her pediatrician. But when she gave birth to her second child, Petters-Armitage had a change of heart.

In the intervening two years, she'd read a lot about concerns that vaccines cause autism and decided to ask her pediatrician to give her new baby fewer shots spread out over a longer period of time.

"I wasn't a hundred percent convinced there was a link between autism and vaccines," said Petters-Armitage, of Santa Clarita, California. "But I didn't want to be one of those parents who found out the hard way."

Pediatricians say they've seen a dramatic increase in the number of parents who, like Petters-Armitage, want to make changes in the vaccine schedule set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics, a schedule once considered by many pediatricians to be sacred and largely immutable. Video Watch more on making decisions about your children's shots »

Many of these doctors say even though they might disagree with these parents, they are making changes.

Read the entire article.