Archive for November, 2010


Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Building Better Bones One Glass at a Time

It’s said that a picture is worth a thousand words.  But sometimes, numbers can be just as illustrative, especially when those numbers refer to devastating medical conditions.  Follow the numbers and you’ll see what I mean:

25 –billion dollars is the estimated cost of osteoporosis-related fractures by 2025

10 – million people in the U.S have osteoporosis

34 – million people in the U.S. have low bone mass

24 – percent of people over the age of 50 who sustain a hip fracture go on to die within a year of their fracture

80 – percent of osteoporosis cases are women

5 – times more osteoporosis-related hospital visits in 2010 compared to 2000 (2000:  1.3 million; 2010:  6.3 million)

These numbers are a stark reminder that osteoporosis isn’t going away any time soon.  But why?  Why with our vast medical know-how and resources are osteoporosis cases increasing?

Well, when you consider the panoply of ways one can increase their risk for this brittle bone disease, the answer becomes clearer.  From conditions we can’t control (e.g. gender, older age, family history), to errors in judgment (e.g. smoking, sedentary lifestyle, excessive alcohol consumption), it seems that everything we do increases our osteoporosis risk.

But I’m of the belief that if we can’t change something, there’s no use in worrying about it.  And a lot of the things that increase our risk for osteoporosis are unavoidable. What we should worry about – and therefore change – are our behaviors and how they contribute to osteoporosis.  Because a significant chunk of the behaviors that increase our risk are what we put in our mouths.

A Tomato Juice a Day Keeps Osteoporosis at Bay?

You gotta hand it to Anthelme Brillat-Savarin.  Brillat-Savarin wasn’t a particularly noteworthy lawyer back in the 17th century, except for the time in which he wrote this:  “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.”

In modern day parlance, that translates to what we know as “You are what you eat.” Now, I very much doubt Brillat-Savarin had osteoporosis in mind when he wrote this, but he might as well have, because that axiom can be applied to one’s osteoporosis risk.

According to a 2006 study conducted by Tufts University researchers, women who drank cola regularly were far more likely to have lower bone mineral density than those women who didn’t drink cola.

The Tufts University researchers conducted a survey of 2,500 people whose average age was 60.  And, quite simply, as lead researcher Katherine Tucker writes in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “The more cola women drank, the lower their bone mineral density was.”

A disappointing finding, no doubt, for fans of the fizz.  But take heart and replace that can of fizzle with a glass of sizzle.

“The glass of sizzle” of which I speak is tomato juice, for a group of Torontonian researchers have found it to be osteoporosis-preventive.

University of Toronto researchers supplied four groups of middle-aged women (between 50 and 60) with varying doses of lycopene, the chemical component in tomatoes that’s much ballyhooed for its salubriousness (i.e. one group received a lycopene supplement, another received a glass of tomato juice with naturally occurring lycopene).  The only group that didn’t receive a dose of lycopene was the group taking the placebo (they didn’t know this, of course).

The researchers took blood samples from the participants every month of the four-month study.  Every month showed blood-serum level improvements, but especially at the four-month mark.  Because at that point not only did the participants’ blood-serum levels improve, but their antioxidant capacity increased as well.  Further, their oxidative stress parameters decreased.

Tucker’s findings can be found in thejournal Osteoporosis International.

Other Ways to Increase Bone Density

Tomato juice is an acquired taste, so it’s understandable if you’re not hot to trot for downing some tomato juice.  If you do, though, I’d recommend steering clear of store-bought tomato juice.  They’re exceptionally high in sodium and don’t taste nearly as good as freshly squeezed tomatoes do.  You’ll need to add some unrefined sea salt to taste, just don’t overdo it (about one teaspoon of salt should be added for every four cups of tomato juice).  Lots of healthy recipes can be found online.

But if you’re not hog-wild about the idea of drinking a glass of tomato juice every day, there are other foods you can eat to help decrease your risk for osteoporosis.  And you guessed it: calcium-fortified foods are best.

Fortunately, calcium-rich foods aren’t hard to find.  Plenty of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and proteins are chock-full of this bone-building vitamin.  Here are three of the top calcium providers by food group:


It’s the battle of the “b’s” when it comes to vegetables, as bok choy  (one cup=158 mg), Brussels sprouts (56 mg), and butternut squash (84 mg) are all “A’s” for calcium content.


In the fruit category, it’s not the size of the fruit that matters for calcium content, as bite-size offerings like Blackcurrants (one cup=62 mg), dates (57 mg) and blackberries (42 mg) have the highest yield.


Not surprisingly, dairy sources of protein are the highest in calcium, with cheddar cheese as the runaway leader (one cup=815 mg), followed by cottage cheese (103 mg) and cream cheese (one cup=83 mg).  But if you tend to avoid dairy because of its high saturated fat content, perch (3.5 oz.=102 mg), pollock (77 mg) and sardines (3382 mg) are worthy replacements (Caution:  If you’re one of the few Americans who actually enjoy sardines, eat them sparingly.  They’re almost as saturated with sodium as store bought tomato juice is:  a whopping 505 mg for every 3.5 ounces eaten!).

Nuts, Seeds, Grains

The almighty almond takes top billing in this combined category, boasting 75 milligrams of calcium for every ounce eaten (approximately 23 whole almonds); the ancient but underused high-protein grain amaranth is the runner-up with 47 milligrams (i.e. Amaranth is used in only 40 food products on the market today), and brazil nuts’ 45 milligrams of calcium (per ounce) round out the top three.

By working any of these bone-building foods into your diet consistently, you’re giving your bones the structural integrity they need to stay strong for as long as possible.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Saturday, November 27th, 2010



The market is filled with food supplements said to contain antioxidants. Since its discovery, antioxidants have been creating waves in the food supplement industry with more and more companies manufacturing the supplement every year and new discoveries of foods that has high antioxidant properties. It’s not something to be surprised about since awareness of diseases linked to cellular damage is growing and people are becoming more conscious of their health.

Basically, it is thought that the more antioxidants you take in, the less chance for you to develop diseases. The number of evidence that supports the health properties of antioxidants may be preliminary but different studies are gathering more proof.  On a recent study, the anti-inflammatory properties of antioxidants had been found to lower the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

Antioxidant against Oxidative Stress

The production of antioxidants is a naturally occurring phenomenon. Terrestrial plants adapted to their environment by producing the first known antioxidant: Vitamin C. This was thought to have occurred during the Jurassic period. The word antioxidant was originally used to refer to chemicals that inhibited the consumption of oxygen. In the early 20th century, numerous studies were dedicated to the discovery of antioxidants to prevent the fouling of vehicular engines, polymerization of fuels, vulcanization of rubber, and the corrosion of metal. All these actions are caused primarily by oxidation. In the human body, a similar phenomenon occurs wherein body cells suffer from oxidative stress.

Antioxidants to Lower the Risk of Alzheimer’s Disease

A recent study conducted by the Catholic University of San Antonio in Spain found that drinking beverages rich in antioxidants can reduce the level of the amino acid homocysteine and counteract its inflammatory effects that results to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.

Daily consumption of antioxidant-rich drinks for eight months was linked to a lower increase in the levels of homocysteine compared to a group that was given placebo drink. The study published in the Journal of Neurological Sciences showed that study participants showed lower levels of the inflammatory substance compared to that of the control group. Improved results were also observed in participants with moderate Alzheimer’s.

The researchers said that their primary finding was that patients who drank the beverage showed lower production of homocysteine. Though the researchers admitted that further study is needed in order to link the disease to the overproduction of homocysteine, they said that the inflammatory effects of the compound can be a significant marker to Alzheimer’s disease risk. They added that the compound’s high concentrations in the brain had been long linked to the development of the disease and it’s just a matter of time before the exact reason can be fully established. Previous studies have shown that homocysteine concentrations affect cognitive functions in older people.

Details of the Study

The scientists based in Murcia gathered a group of 100 women in a double-blind, randomized, controlled clinical trial. More than a half of the participants were considered healthy with no condition associated to the disease. On the other hand, 48 of the participants have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease; half are in an early-onset stage while the other half has moderate Alzheimer’s.

The three groups were randomly assigned to a specific supplementary intervention. A group received a placebo beverage for a period of eight months while the rest was asked to drink antioxidant rich beverage. The beverage contained polyphenols which is known to have a strong antioxidant property. It was formulated with vitamin B and C, green tea extracts, apple juice and lemon concentrate.

Natural Sources of Antioxidants

  • Vitamin C is the most bioavailable in all recorded antioxidants. It is produced naturally by plants in order to combat the oxidative damage that accompanies their food-making process known as photosynthesis. Vitamin C is water soluble and is largely manufactured as ascorbic acid for dietary supplementation. The richest sources of Vitamin C are fruits and vegetables and a few of them are guava, lime, orange, tomato, cabbage, spinach, cauliflower, potatoes and radish.
  • Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and is one of the most potent antioxidants. The vitamin inhibits cellular damage and inflammation caused by free radicals. Rich sources of vitamin E are green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, broccoli, carrot juice, mixed nuts, tomatoes, vegetable oil, almonds and sunflower seeds.
  • Beta-carotene is a food nutrient with a strong antioxidant property. It’s a carotenoid – the plant pigment responsible for the green, yellow, orange and red coloration of some fruits and vegetables. When taken inside the body, beta-carotene is metabolized in the form of vitamin A and serves as a powerful antioxidant and helps the immune system ward off diseases more effectively. The richest sources of beta-carotene are broccoli, romaine lettuce, cantaloupe, fresh thyme, cilantro, collard greens, winter squash, turnip greens, spinach, carrots, sweet potatoes and kale.
  • Lycopene has been the focus of scientific studies for the past years. It’s the pigmentation in plants that gives them their distinctive reddish color. This includes watermelons, grapefruit and tomatoes. Lycopene is a strong antioxidant and several studies suggest that a diet rich in lycopene can result to a lowered risk of developing disease caused by free radicals and oxidative stress. Tomato is the richest readily-available source of lycopene. Heat-treated tomato products have been found to contain more lycopene than the fresh variant.
  • Flavonoids have also been found by several studies around the world to exhibit strong antioxidant properties but with limitation to in vitro observations. Further studies are yet to be conducted regarding the antioxidant property of flavonoids in a live body. Despite that, the compound shows significant indication in scavenging free radicals. The rich sources of flavonoids are orange juice, cranberry, celery, endive, broccoli, green beans, kale and onions.
  • Selenium is important in supporting the proper functions of enzymes and some of these have important antioxidant functions. A person with insufficient levels of selenium in the body has more susceptibility to oxidative stress. Since selenium is toxic when ingested in high dosage, it is highly recommended that selenium should be taken only through the consumption of natural sources like fruits and vegetables. Rich sources of selenium are sea foods, wheat germ and bran, brazil nuts, broccoli, cabbage, brown rice, chicken, celery, cucumbers, corn, dairy products, organ meats, sesame seeds and mushrooms.
  • Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Saturday, November 27th, 2010

Pomegranate Juice:

How it helps kidney dialysis patients

from complications

A recent study has shown that pomegranate juice helps protect dialysis patients from infections, inflammation and tissue damage.

A good number of studies conducted in recent years have professed support to the wide range of health benefits brought about by the intake of pomegranate juice.  It is said to contain excellent amounts of antioxidants which helps boost a person’s immune system.  Also, pomegranate juice have shown potential effects in lowering bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure – very important effects especially for people diagnosed with diabetes and hypertension.

Aside from the mentioned health benefits, the results of a preliminary study have suggested that pomegranate juice can help protect the body against some complications of undergoing dialysis due to kidney disease, which includes the high death rate due to cardiovascular events and infections.  This is according to a paper presented at the 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition of the American Society of Nephrology held in Denver, Colorado.

Effect on Patients under Dialysis

101 patients undergoing dialysis were enrolled in the study.  They were then divided into two groups: one group received pomegranate juice prior to every dialysis session, and another group received a placebo drink, thrice a week for a period of one year.  They were observed by Lilach Shema, a PhD candidate, Dr. Batya Kristal, FASN, (Western Galilee Hospital in Nahariya, Ruth & Bruce Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel) and colleagues.

Results of the laboratory tests revealed that patients who consumed pomegranate juice exhibited reduction in inflammation and diminished oxidative stress damage caused by free radicals.  Furthermore, those who drank pomegranate juice had reduced risk of hospitalization brought about by infections. The findings of this recent study corroborate with the findings of previous studies saying that pomegranate juice contains powerful and effective antioxidant properties.

Pomegranate Juice also Good for the Heart

When data that was not included in the abstract was analyzed, it revealed that patients who consumed pomegranate juice also exhibited improved risk factors for cardiovascular conditions such as a reduction in blood pressure, improved lipid profile and lower cardiovascular events.  This suggests that the patients who drank pomegranate juice had better cardiovascular health compared to those who didn’t.  The said findings are in consonance with the other studied subjects, especially important for patients who are undergoing dialysis because a good number of patients with kidney disease die either from infections or cardiovascular-related causes.

The authors of the study said the their findings indicate that consuming pomegranate juice in controlled amounts coupled with a monitored and safe levels of potassium may help lessen complications that frequently occurs in patients undergoing dialysis.  It is very important to consider the involved risks in too much potassium content, most especially in patients with chronic kidney disease whose diets include potassium restriction.

Dr. Kristal said that more clinical trials should be conducted regarding the effects of pomegranate juice.  The study should be geared towards reducing the high morbidity rate related to cardiovascular events in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and to put a stop to its deterioration to end-stage renal disease. The researchers said that the next decade may bring about an epidemic of CKD.

What is Chronic Kidney Disease?

Chronic kidney disease is a condition in which the kidney gradually, and permanently, loses its function. The kidneys are responsible for filtering the blood in order to get rid of excess water and waste products. Waste and water will convert into urine and will then be flushed out of the body. When the normal function of the kidneys is disrupted, waste products and excess water starts to accumulate.  This becomes toxic to the body which may affect various body parts.

The following conditions may cause chronic kidney disease:

  • Uncontrolled hypertension
  • Presence of kidney stones
  • Heroin abuse
  • Sickle Cell disease
  • HIV Infection
  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Polycystic kidney disease
  • Glomerulonephritis
  • Diabetes Mellitus (Types 1 and 2)

The worst stage of chronic kidney disease is the Stage 5.  This stage is also referred to as end-stage renal disease or kidney failure.  What happens is that, there is a near-total or total loss of kidney function.  Toxic substances, waste products and excess water start to accumulate which may cause various signs and symptoms to the patient.  When this happens, kidney transplantation or dialysis is needed for the patient to stay alive.

Common signs and symptoms include:

  • Easy fatigability
  • Pruritus (generalized itching)
  • Dry skin
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Headaches
  • Swelling of the extremities (hands and feet)
  • Problems in sleeping
  • Amenorrhea (absence of menstrual periods)
  • Excessive thirst
  • Easy bruising
  • Frequent muscle cramps and twitching
  • Confusion
  • Drowsiness

How to keep your kidneys healthy

  • Avoid eating foods that contain high amounts of salt.
  • Drink a lot of water.
  • Avoid too much alcohol intake
  • Visit your doctor for regular check-ups.
  • Eat a balanced diet.  Include vegetables and fruits that are rich in polyphenols.  Examples include carrot juice, dried fruits, cauliflower, sun dried tomatoes, avocados, asparagus, green beans, beetroot, mushrooms and potatoes.

Other Benefits of Pomegranate Juice

As mentioned, numerous studies have been conducted regarding the health benefits of pomegranate juice consumption.  Despite its benefits, pomegranate juice contains high amounts of sugar, so remember to drink moderately.

Other known benefits of pomegranate juice are:

  • In a study published in Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, pomegranate juice helps reduce the risk of prostate cancer.
  • In the Clinical Nutrition journal, researchers said that drinking pomegranate juice boosts the quality of sperm in men.
  • Pomegranate juice helps stop the progression of Alzheimer’s disease.  This is the result of a study published in the Neurobiology of Disease journal.
  • Studies conducted in Israel have shown that pomegranate juice helps fight breast cancer.  It destroys the cancer cells but leaves healthy cells unharmed.
  • Studies conducted with the use of mice have shown that drinking pomegranate juice may prevent lung cancer development.
  • For pregnant women, consumption of pomegranate juice helps protect the neonatal brain from damage.
  • Pomegranate juice is also good for the heart – it prevents the build up of fatty plaques in arteries which could cause heart attacks and stroke.
  • Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Friday, November 26th, 2010

New biosensor quickly detects viruses such as Ebola

While there are already effective methods of screening samples of body fluids for viruses such as Ebola, these tend to require a fair amount of sample preparation time and a decent technological infrastructure. Time isn’t always in abundance at places such as airports, while infrastructure is lacking in many developing nations. Fortunately, researchers have created a diagnostic tool that can detect viruses quickly and easily, and that’s about the size of a quarter. Read More

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
Melon helps blood vessels

A dose of watermelon a day could keep high blood pressure at bay. Florida State University researchers have discovered the fruit is rich in compounds that widen blood vessels, and might cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes. And a daily fix of its juice could be enough to lower blood pressure in patients suffering from hypertension. High blood pressure doubles the risk of a fatal heart attack or stroke. Watermelon is an edible source of E-citrulline, involved in the production of nitric oxide gas, which widens blood vessels. The researchers found a daily does of 6g of L-citrulline lowered blood pressure after 6 weeks.

Good News for summer! Watermelons out do tomatoes in lycopene content

Watermelon, that icon of the Aussie summer, has always been an icon of summer. Now science has confirmed that watermelons are packed with nutrition. They are fat-free and low in calories, a good source of vitamins A, B6 and C; thiamine;and potassium, a mineral essential to water balance in the body. Watermelons have now been declared the fruit or veg with the highest amount of lycopene, which gives watermelon its redness. Lycopene has been linked to reduced risk of heart attack and certain cancers. Just 1 1/2 cups of ripe, red watermelon contains 9 to 13 milligrams of lycopene, which is approx 40 percent more than raw tomatoes.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
The watermelon strengthens human body.Sex maniac food.

Scientists have found that watermelons have many health benefits, not the least of which is its ability to act like Viagra. According to a study from the University of Texas, “The more we study watermelons, the more we are convinced of how amazing the fruit is by providing elements that strengthen the human body.” Researchers have found similar ingredients to those of Viagra and its use could increase libido.

The key to the added benefits of eating watermelons are in their content of citrulline, a substance that has the ability to produce a relaxation of the capillaries. When the substance is converted into an amino acid called arginine, it produces wonders in the heart, in the circulatory system and maintains a good immune system.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010
Korean scientists extract anticarcinogen from watermelons

Korean scientists said that they have successfully extracted lycopene agents from watermelons that may be used to treat cancer and fight aging. The team led by Kim Cheol-jin, a researcher at the state-run Korea Food Research Institute (KFRI), said that the level of lycopene content extracted from watermelons by the new method is much higher than that being extracted from tomatoes.

Lycopenes are the natural reddish coloring found in fruits and vegetables, which have been shown to be effective against various types of cancer and cardiovascular disease, and can also slow down the aging process. The KFRI said that the current method, employed by a handful of foreign laboratories and companies, can produce lycopene levels of 1-15 percent, while its own method reaches 80 percent.

It then said that they not only extracted higher quality materials from the fruit, but also developed ways to use it in food and medicine. He claimed that while past lycopene agents could only be dissolved in oil, the new process produces water soluble agents, thereby increasing their application. The current global market for the material stands at around $40 million, with none being produced in Korea. Kim said the new discovery is expected to quickly replace conventional manufacturing processes for the agent.

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Is booze is worse than crack?

Here’s one from the wacko-science files: Some nut actually thinks drinking alcohol is more dangerous than crack or meth.

Not only that, this nut actually claims you can have a “safe” heroin habit.

The nut in question is Dr. David Nutt, a man obsessed with living up to his name by trying to prove that illicit and dangerous drugs are far safer than a good booze habit.

And his latest “study” is an absolute masterpiece — not from a scientific point of view, of course, but from a public relations standpoint: The work earned him headlines around the world.

Too bad for him it’s a work of fiction.

Nutt created a list of 20 “drugs” and ranked them based on 16 measures of harm to both individual users and society as a whole.

Who assigned those rankings? Why, it was Dr. Nutt and his friends, of course. Nutt & Company.

And they “found” that alcohol — more widely used and therefore more widely abused — does far more overall harm than heroin, crack, meth, coke, pot and so on. What’s more, Nutt actually claims that heroin, for example, is safe if you use it in the form of a prescription opiate.

“Heroin itself is a medicine,” he said in a TV interview with the BBC. “All medicines are safe if used appropriately.”

Really? All of them?

I’d like to say that this Nutt has finally cracked — it’s a pretty good pun — but it’s clear this man lost it years ago.

He was fired from a government position last year for making similar claims about booze and drugs, and once even tried to develop an “antidote” to alcohol — which is kind of like creating an antidote to chicken.

But I don’t care what this Nutt says — a couple of drinks a day is not just acceptable for most people, it’s healthy. Moderate booze can boost heart and brain health, and even increase longevity.

I guess Dr. Nutt will not be enjoying those benefits.

Published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, November 22nd, 2010


Anacetrapib – The Latest Cholesterol Pill to Fail?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: A new cholesterol drug is set to hit pharmaceutical shelves in the not too distant future that will lower bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol.

Did you say, “Stop”?

You should have, because this is the same old song and dance we’ve heard before from cholesterol-lowering pharmaceutical companies. And all too often, the promises run hollow, as the drug is inevitably taken off the market because of health concerns.

Just this past August, for example, the Food and Drug Administration pulled the cholesterol drug Baycol off the market because of increases in reported deaths associated with taking it. It also increased the incidence of a rare condition called rhabdomyolysis. This occurs when cells are stripped away from muscle tissue and into the bloodstream, causing a host of painful symptoms like vomiting, nausea, weakness, fever and muscle tenderness.

So you’ll have to excuse my skepticism when I hear how the latest drug invention could provide cholesterol-lowering benefits that are “unprecedented,” according to the study’s lead researcher.

Dr. Christopher Cannon of Brigham and Women’s hospital in Boston tested the effectiveness of this drug, called anacetrapib, after recruiting 1,600 patients who had unusually high levels of LDL cholesterol. Over an 18-month period, patients were instructed to take ancetrapib along with the statin they were already using.

One-third of the way through the study (i.e. six months), the doctors saw dramatic improvements in cholesterol levels. LDL cholesterol levels (the bad kind) dropped precipitously – going from an average of 81 to an average of 45 – while HDL cholesterol levels (the good kind) rose, going from an average of 41 to an average of 101. The positive effects continued through to the end of the trial.

A larger scale study is scheduled to take place over four years. If there aren’t any serious side effects, you can expect to see anacetrapib on pharmacists’ store shelves some time in 2015.

If anacetrapib passes with flying colors, people battling heart disease will no doubt turn to it for help. And if they do, so be it; I’m in no position to tell people how to live. After all, the rate of heart disease is not going down, and one of the chief risk factors for heart disease is high cholesterol. I just wish that more people believed in the power of all natural supplementation and turned to it first, not the almighty pill.

Heart Disease: Still an Epidemic

As I mentioned, the rate of heart disease in this country is enormous. More people die from heart disease than any other disease – 635,000 people per year, in fact. So the mere possibility that a pill could potentially lower that grim statistic comes with a high degree of fanfare.

There’s another way to potentially lower one’s risk for heart disease, though, one that is guaranteed not to cause any unwanted side effects.

According to a study down under (i.e. Australia), aged garlic may reduce one’s systolic blood pressure by as much 10 points. And a 10-point drop can take someone from being hypertensive, to normal, thus reducing his or her risk for heart disease.

Researchers from the University of Adelaide discovered this after recruiting 50 people that had elevated systolic blood pressure levels (over 140 mmHg). Some of them took a placebo; the rest took approximately four grams of a Kyolic-brand garlic product (i.e. four grams of Kyolic is the equivalent of about two grams of fresh garlic).

After 12 weeks, the researchers saw a “marked difference” in the cholesterol levels of those taking the aged garlic; they had an average drop in systolic blood pressure levels of 10 mmHg.

Similar to the cholesterol-lowering study, the results were convincing enough to warrant a larger, longer study.

The study is published in the medical journal Maturitas.

And if you want more details about the study, you’re going to have to go there, because do you think you will hear the results of the garlic study on tonight’s evening news? I doubt it. I’m not exactly sure why, either. I don’t think it’s done as a result of politics or money. And I don’t think it’s because people don’t buy into the natural health lifestyle. I think it’s because we as a nation have become so conditioned to look to pharmaceuticals as the primary resource for healing all our ills.

That’s just not true.

The only way we can detach ourselves from that line of thinking is to look to natural healing methods first. The mainstream media can help that process along by reporting on findings that people can take advantage of now, not reporting a study that may prove beneficial if everything pans out right five years from now.

Other Ways Garlic Can Improve Your Health

Garlic has long been known as a heart healthy supplement, so this study isn’t a breakthrough. It does, however, add to the growing body of literature that supports garlic’s effectiveness for heart health.

Garlic’s magic touch lies in its richness in allicin. Allicin is what gives garlic its signature scent, but it’s also what relaxes the body’s blood vessels, which reduces tension and lowers blood pressure.

Garlic can be a boon to other aspects of your life. Several studies have shown garlic to be cancer preventive. Speaking to the BBC in 2000, Professor Lenore Arab of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said, “There seems to be a strong, consistent protective effect for people who are regular garlic consumers.”

It can even be helpful with more bothersome, less serious conditions like the common cold. A particularly illuminating study on garlic’s effectiveness was done in late 2001, when 146 volunteers took either a placebo or a garlic supplement for 90 days.

At the end of the three-month study, there was a marked difference in cold incidence. There were 65 colds among those taking the placebo. Among the garlic-supplementing group – less than half of that (24 people got a cold).

What’s more, the 90-day trial was done during the height of the cold and flu season!

From libido enhancement, to eye health, weight control to greater iron absorption, garlic and all natural supplements like it can do wonders for your health. Look to it as your first line of defense in the ongoing battle to stay as healthy as possible

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Monday, November 22nd, 2010

For preventing cancer,

medical experts have recommended that people eat five portions of vegetables and fruit each day since this is one form of prevention.  Recently, the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study revealed that, in some forms of cancer, specifically lung cancer, eating lots of fruits may not be enough – the type of fruit should also be considered.

Eating the right types of fruits, and in their right amount, can reduce the risk of lung cancer by up to 23 percent.  The study was done by researchers coming from 10 countries all over Europe and the results were published in the Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention journal.

María José Sánchez Pérez, the director of the Andalusian School of Public Health’s Granada Cancer Registry and also the study’s co-author, said that the research delves deeply into the link between lung cancer and a person’s diet.  Furthermore, she said that apart from considering the amount of fruits consumed, it is equally important to consider the variety.  Variations in the diet lower the risk of developing lung cancer, most especially among people who smoke.

Results have shown that eating eight sub-groups, or more, of vegetables slashes cancer risk by 23 percent as compared to eating lesser than four sub-groups.  Additionally, cancer risk decreases by another 4 percent for each unit that is added to the person’s diet coming from another sub-group. The researchers emphasized that an important connection was only found in people who smoke.  For every two units of varied vegetables and fruits that are added into the diet, lung cancer risk significantly plummets by up to 3 percent.  This shows that if smokers add more fruit variety into the foods that they eat, they could actually lower their risk of developing lung cancer.

The European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) is composed of 23 centres from 10 countries in Europe namely Sweden, the United Kingdom, Norway, Italy, Holland, Greece, France, Spain, Denmark and Germany, working with 500,000 Europeans as sample subjects.  41,000 of the 500,000 subjects live in Navarre, Murcia, Guipúzcoa, Granada and Asturias, which are Spanish regions.

Cancer of the lungs remains to be one of the most common types of cancer especially in developed countries.  Because of this, regardless of the study results which are deemed encouraging, Sánchez Pérez said that the most significant and effective way of ensuring the success of lung cancer prevention is to reduce the frequency of tobacco consumption among the population.

The Link between Fruits and Vegetables Consumption and Lung Cancer Affectation

Giving more variety in the consumption of fruits and vegetables is being linked to a reduced risk of developing lung cancer – specifically epidermoid carcinoma – which includes consuming two more units of vegetables and fruits, leading to a 9 percent risk reduction.  This particular effect is clearly seen among smokers, whose risk falls by 12 percent.

No significant connection was seen between the consumption of vegetables and fruits and the risk of developing cancer found in other tissues such as small cell and large cell carcinoma as well as adenocarcinoma.

Why Fruits are Good for You

Nowadays, we need as much vitamins and minerals as we can get.  The  various types of pollution that surround us each day, the longer hours we put in at work and the higher levels of stress that we experience day in and day out are enough to put a dent on our health.  Eating fruits and vegetables is the simplest way of providing the body with its much needed nutrients in order to help combat possible illnesses.

Free radicals are produced inside our bodies once it reacts with oxygen.  These molecules can cause damage inside the cells by destroying the cells’ membranes and proteins.  A damaged cell may trigger a cascade of events that would eventually lead to diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. Factors such as too much alcohol consumption, smoking, overexposure to sunlight and pollution may set off the production of free radicals.

The body needs all the help that it can get – and eating fruits is the simplest thing that you can do. Here are more reasons why you should have your daily dose of fruits:

  • Fruits contain antioxidants which help neutralize free radicals inside the body.  Thus, diseases and premature aging are prevented.
  • Fruits are rich in dietary fiber – some have more amounts than others, so remember to choose wisely. Fiber helps in keeping the digestive system function efficiently. This will help the body get rid of waste and flush out toxins.  It also helps prevent bowel and colon cancer.

Additionally, eating five portions of vegetables and fruits each day has the following health benefits:

  • Reduced risk of having kidney stones
  • Reduced risk of osteoporosis
  • Reduced risk of colon, stomach and mouth cancer
  • Reduced risk of having type 2 diabetes
  • Reduced risk of having a stroke and other heart diseases

How to Increase Fruit Intake

Increasing your intake of vegetables and fruits should not be very difficult.  You just have to incorporate these in your typical eating habits:

  • Juice your fruits and vegetables. Juicing is my top recommendation for increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables.
  • Add fruits to whatever it is that you are eating.  If you are having oatmeal for breakfast, you can add blueberries, strawberries or peaches.  For yogurts or cereals, add slices of fresh fruits to make it more delicious and healthy. You may also go for banana slices.
  • During lunch, add tomatoes and lettuce to your sandwich and include grapes or a slice of melon at the side.
  • For dinner, have a salad ready and a fruit cup as well. You may also add in a vegetable-based soup.
  • You don’t have to skip dessert.  Go for healthy options such as baked apples, or a slice of ripe pear with a little bit of raw agave nectar, or a frozen sorbet topped with your favorite fruit.
  • Wash meals up with your favorite smoothie – banana, strawberry, blueberry, and more.  You see, the only limiting factor here is your imagination.
  • Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha