Monday, February 25, 2013

Fast Food is Bad for You

If you are living in America you must be living in a cave if you don't know that fast food is bad for you. And if you need convincing then watch this hilarious animated video called "What if Wild Animals ate Fast Food".

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Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Health Benefits of Grape Seed Extract

I am glad to see Grape Seed Extract getting more press on-line. Grape Seed Extract is a very potent anti-oxidant. I take a Grape Seed-Vitamin C supplement that provides 600 mg of Vitamin C and 200 mg of Grape Seed (VITIS VINIFERA L.) extract daily. In fact, my wife is taking double that amount after having surgery to remove a early stage cancerous tumor last year.

Grape Seed contains bioflavonoids which are thought to help regulate and detoxify cells. Proanthocyanidins are a type of bioflavonoid, coming from dark berries, such as purple grapes and found in red wines in high concentrates. Many scientists believe that Proanthocyanidins not only help healthy cell function, promote vascular and immune functions but also have a role in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

Anyway, again glad to see more in the on-line sources about the benefits of Grape Seed extract and this article from Front Page, Health, titled "Grape Seed Extract May Beat Chemo in Late-Stage Cancer".

The more advanced cancer is, the less effective chemotherapy is. However, a new study has shown that grape seed extract has exactly the opposite quality: The more advanced the cancer, the less extract that’s needed to kill it. On top of that, the study also shows that grape seed extract targets the cancer cells that become most resistant to chemotherapy.

In the face of this remarkable new development, it’s likely that grape seed extract is more effective in treating late-stage cancer than modern medicine’s chemotherapy. Not only does it take less and less of the substance to kill cancer cells, it’s able to target the cells that have become drug resistant, thus making chemo useless!

Yet again, the common misperception that modern medicine’s treatments are stronger or more potent or better in any way is shown to be mistaken. Sadly, it’s a mistake that can kill.

Grape Seed Extract Exposes Modern Medicine’s Failings

The study in question was produced in the University of Colorado Cancer Center and published in the journal Cancer Letters. It was an in vitro study, not in vivo. That is, no living creatures were involved. The study was performed on cell cultures. That might make it seem relatively insignificant. However, much prior research has already documented grape seed extract’s ability to control and kill cancer, so that’s not in much doubt. What this study discovered is a plausible means by which it happens. This is the kind of information that modern medicine craves.

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day - Eat Dark Chocolate

Ladies, read this article from Fit called 5 Healthy Reasons to Eat Valentine's Day Chocolate on the benefits of dark chocolate.

1.  It helps you exercise longer: A recent study found that eating a tiny amount of dark chocolate before a workout helps fight fatigue, which means you can go that much further during your workout. The amount that worked in the study was tiny — just half a square — but if it's good quality chocolate, a small square will go a long way.

2.  It's stress relieving: And not just when you're PMSing. A study found that when highly stressed participants ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate (the equivalent of a Hershey's bar) a day for two weeks, the level of stress hormones in their bodies dropped significantly. While eating a candy bar a day can contribute to a whole new set of stresses if you're watching your weight, it's nice to know that dark chocolate has a measurable effect on stress levels.

3.  It's heart-healthy: A study found that dark chocolate increases blood flow, which helps keep your ticker in top shape. Those who ate a small amount of chocolate a day had increased blood flow due to more-dilated blood vessels as well as better heart function.

4.  It's good when you're sick: If you can't get the rest you need because of a nagging cough, try dark chocolate. The theobromine, an ingredient in dark chocolate, has been proven to suppress a cough, but just be careful — if you're trying to go to sleep, remember that a dark chocolate Hershey's bar has 30 milligrams of caffeine, which is the equivalent to a cup of tea.

5.  It lowers blood pressure: Increasing blood flow also helps your heart in another way. A study found that eating a small square of dark chocolate a day helps regulate your blood pressure by increasing blood flow as well as dilating blood vessels and releasing nitric oxide. If you're managing your blood pressure levels, a daily, small dose of dark chocolate may help.

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Monday, February 11, 2013

FDA Proposes Sweeping New Food Safety Rules

This article was published by Yahoo!, by Mary Clare Jalonick of the Associated Press, but most of us knew this was coming.

The Food and Drug Administration proposed the most sweeping food safety rules in decades, requiring farmers and food companies to be more vigilant in the wake of deadly outbreaks in peanuts, cantaloupe and leafy greens.

The long-overdue regulations could cost businesses close to half a billion dollars a year to implement, but are expected to reduce the estimated 3,000 deaths a year from foodborne illness. Just since last summer, outbreaks of listeria in cheese and salmonella in peanut butter, mangoes and cantaloupe have been linked to more than 400 illnesses and as many as seven deaths, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The actual number of those sickened is likely much higher.

The FDA's proposed rules would require farmers to take new precautions against contamination, to include making sure workers' hands are washed, irrigation water is clean, and that animals stay out of fields. Food manufacturers will have to submit food safety plans to the government to show they are keeping their operations clean.

Many responsible food companies and farmers are already following the steps that the FDA would now require them to take. But officials say the requirements could have saved lives and prevented illnesses in several of the large-scale outbreaks that have hit the country in recent years.

In a 2011 outbreak of listeria in cantaloupe that claimed 33 lives, for example, FDA inspectors found pools of dirty water on the floor and old, dirty processing equipment at Jensen Farms in Colorado where the cantaloupes were grown. In a peanut butter outbreak this year linked to 42 salmonella illnesses, inspectors found samples of salmonella throughout Sunland Inc.'s peanut processing plant in New Mexico and multiple obvious safety problems, such as birds flying over uncovered trailers of peanuts and employees not washing their hands.

Under the new rules, companies would have to lay out plans for preventing those sorts of problems, monitor their own progress and explain to the FDA how they would correct them.

"The rules go very directly to preventing the types of outbreaks we have seen," said Michael Taylor, FDA's deputy commissioner for foods.

The FDA estimates the new rules could prevent almost 2 million illnesses annually, but it could be several years before the rules are actually preventing outbreaks. Taylor said it could take the agency another year to craft the rules after a four-month comment period, and farms would have at least two years to comply — meaning the farm rules are at least three years away from taking effect. Smaller farms would have even longer to comply.

The new rules, which come exactly two years to the day President Barack Obama's signed food safety legislation passed by Congress, were already delayed. The 2011 law required the agency to propose a first installment of the rules a year ago, but the Obama administration held them until after the election. Food safety advocates sued the administration to win their release.

The produce rule would mark the first time the FDA has had real authority to regulate food on farms. In an effort to stave off protests from farmers, the farm rules are tailored to apply only to certain fruits and vegetables that pose the greatest risk, like berries, melons, leafy greens and other foods that are usually eaten raw. A farm that produces green beans that will be canned and cooked, for example, would not be regulated.

Such flexibility, along with the growing realization that outbreaks are bad for business, has brought the produce industry and much of the rest of the food industry on board as Congress and FDA has worked to make food safer.

In a statement Friday, Pamela Bailey, president of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents the country's biggest food companies, said the food safety law "can serve as a role model for what can be achieved when the private and public sectors work together to achieve a common goal."

The new rules could cost large farms $30,000 a year, according to the FDA. The agency did not break down the costs for individual processing plants, but said the rules could cost manufacturers up to $475 million annually.

FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg said the success of the rules will also depend on how much money Congress gives the chronically underfunded agency to put them in place. "Resources remain an ongoing concern," she said.

The farm and manufacturing rules are only one part of the food safety law. The bill also authorized more surprise inspections by the FDA and gave the agency additional powers to shut down food facilities. In addition, the law required stricter standards on imported foods. The agency said it will soon propose other overdue rules to ensure that importers verify overseas food is safe and to improve food safety audits overseas.

Food safety advocates frustrated over the last year as the rules stalled praised the proposed action.

"The new law should transform the FDA from an agency that tracks down outbreaks after the fact, to an agency focused on preventing food contamination in the first place," said Caroline Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

MyAchingKnees comment: I am fairly undecided about these new FDA proposals. As usual it will come down to the actual law and application,....and the people enforcing these laws.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Health Signs You Should NOT Ignore

From Katie's Take by Katie Couric. Pretty good advice. We always advocate people taking charge of their health, and we all know people who only had problems diagnosed after they continued to demand that something was wrong. Use your own intuition.

When the typical cough or cold strikes, the average person can recognize how to ease the pain, but what about when it comes to more serious health issues? Not everyone can think like a doctor, which is why a checkup is necessary every now and then.

Dr. Jennifer Ashton, Senior Medical Contributor at the ABC New Medical Unit focuses on what to pay attention to, how to analyze it and when to worry. Dr. Ashton highlights the importance of the patient’s own intuition so that the physician can follow their own medical instincts.

A feeling of knowing when something’s just not right can help both the patient and the doctor in determining the diagnosis. Symptoms can occur in circles, such as depression and fatigue. A person that experiences one of these symptoms is more likely to experience both, knowing how to treat just one of these symptoms can solve both problems.

Dr. Ashton mentions the internet as an endless stream of explanations for symptoms, doctors know how to properly apply patient information in order to provide proper treatment and she tries to teach this skill to people also.

The severity or time period of certain symptoms can determine when to bring a doctor’s opinion into the mix. If the pain doesn’t go away on its own there is a chance it will get worse after a certain period of time, the different between casual and chronic pain is described by Dr. Ashton’s two week rule, more than two weeks of pain should be the signal to alert someone of the problem.

When pain and suffering is interfering with the quality of life a doctor’s analysis and advice is crucial in order to prevent the possible condition from getting worse.

Keeping up with your health is important so that common symptoms like fatigue, abdominal pain, and headaches do not occur often. Hydration, getting enough sleep and lowering your stress level are all essential to a healthy lifestyle.

Watch the video here.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Go Red For Women

Today, the first of February, is National Wear Red Day. This is to bring awareness to the fact that Heart Disease kills more women than all cancers combined.

The American Heart Association is asking that today, and every 1st of February, people wear Red. Here is information about the movement from the Go Red For Women Organization's site:

In 2003, the American Heart Association (AHA) faced a challenge;Cardiovascular disease claimed the lives of nearly 500,000 American women each year, yet women were not paying attention. In fact, many even dismissed it as an “older man's disease.” To dispel these myths of heart disease as the No. 1 killer of women, the American Heart Association, along with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute created National Wear Red Day® to raise awareness of this critical issue. Each year, on the first Friday in February, millions of women and men come together to wear red, take action and commit to fighting this deadly disease.

One year later, in 2004, the AHA also created Go Red For Women - a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women to take charge of their heart health as well as band together and collectively wipe out heart disease. It challenges women to know their risk for heart disease and use the tools that that Go Red For Women provides to take action to reduce their personal risk.

Funds raised by Go Red For Women allow the American Heart Association to help women by offering educational programs, increase women's understanding about their risk for heart disease and support research to discover scientific knowledge about heart health. We turn science into materials and tools that healthcare providers and decision-makers can use to help women. Scientific guidelines on women and healthcare providers receive the most up-to-date strategies and treatments tailored to a woman's individual risk.

Since the first National Wear Red Day 10 years ago, tremendous strides have been made in the fight against heart disease in women, including:

•21% fewer women dying from heart disease

•23% more women aware that it's their No. 1 health threat

•Publishing of gender-specific results, established differences in symptoms and responses to medications and women-specific guidelines for prevention and treatment

•Legislation to help end gender disparities

But the fight is far from over as still hundreds of thousands of women still die each year. It's time to stand stronger, speak louder and join us in the fight this National Wear Red Day.

It's time to Go Red. Join us.

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