|Diet and Exercise
Food and Exercise Keeps You Away from Cancer and Heart Disease
Millions of overweight baby boomers are on the fast track to becoming disabled
senior citizens, a possibility that could have dire repercussions for them
and for the nation's already overburdened nursing home system, leading obesity
and aging experts say. By 2030, after all baby boomers (born from 1946
to 1964) have turned 65, more than 71million senior citizens will be living
in the USA, the U.S. Census Bureau says. More Americans than ever are obese:
one-third of the adult population, according to the Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention. The number of disabilities among people in their 30s, 40s
and 50s has risen dramatically over the past 20 years, according to a 2004
study by the Rand Corp. The new disability patients were more likely to have
obesity-related illnesses, says a Rand economist. Type 2 diabetes can lead
to blindness, kidney failure, amputations, heart attacks and strokes. This
rise in disability is likely to increase future nursing home populations by
10% to 25% over current projections.
With burgers, fries and pizza the Top 3 eating-out favorites in this country,
restaurants are in prime position to help improve people's diets and combat
obesity. At least that's the recommendation of a government-commissioned report
which suggests restaurants should dish food and fight fat at the same time,
meaning menus with more fruits and vegetables, smaller portions and better
nutritional information. Today, 64 percent of Americans are overweight, including
the 30 percent who are obese, according to the report. It pegs the annual
medical cost of the problem at nearly $93 billion.
Scientists long have been intrigued that people who tend to eat more plant
foods have lower cancer rates than those in countries whose diets are dominated
by animal fats and meat. Doctors have known for years that healthful diets
help prevent heart disease. For thousands of years Brahmin Hindus and Buddhist
saints followed strict vegetarian diets and lived longer. EAT YOUR VEGGIES.
A study in mice found that a mixture of five common vegetables reduced hardening
of the arteries by 38 percent compared to animals eating a nonvegetable diet.
Conducted by Wake Forest University School of Medicine, the research is reported
in the current issue of the Journal of Nutrition.
Many long-term studies, such as the Women's Health Initiative, involved
mostly women over 60. But midlife may be too late for people to reduce their
risk of cancer through diet. If you are 50 years old and have a cancer diagnosis
and you suddenly start eating well, that is not going to do anything.
Breast tissue may be most susceptible to outside influences before puberty.
Older Japanese women exposed to nuclear radiation in 1945 did not develop
breast cancer, but young girls did. Carcinogens may do the greatest damage
early in life, so diet may play its most important role during childhood.
A number of studies strongly show that people who burn more calories than
they consume are less likely to develop cancer. Evidence strongly links obesity
to colon cancer, pancreatic cancer, postmenopausal breast cancer, liver cancer
and others. Though eating vegetables may not reduce a cancer patient's risk
of death, losing even a few pounds may benefit people with certain tumor types.
Researchers continue to study nutritional factors that may increase the risks
of cancer, such as high intake of dairy products and cancer preventing factors
such as high intake of folic acid, calcium, vitamin D and lycopene, which
is found in tomatoes.
Inflammatory bowel disease, the most common forms of which are Crohn's disease
and ulcerative colitis, is a condition that is virtually unknown in the developing
world, which can cause diarrhea, painful cramps and even intestinal bleeding.
But it is becoming increasingly common in industrialized countries.
Researchers have put forward several explanations for that, among them diets
high in fat and refined foods.
To keep your heart healthy, avoid trans fatty acids and saturated fat, suggest
the new dietary guidelines published by the American Heart Association in
its journal Circulation in June. The guidelines, aimed at healthy people age
2 and older, recommend limiting LDL cholesterol-raising trans fats to less
than 1% of total calorie intake. They also encourage people to use healthier
oils in cooking and limit unhealthy saturated fats to no more than 7% of daily
calories. Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, omega-fatty acid
containing foods, no or low-fat dairy products, avoiding added salt
and sugary beverages recommended. The guidelines call for other lifestyle
changes such as exercising and not smoking. The AHA guidelines were developed
by a panel of nutrition and heart disease specialists, who reviewed more than
It'll take more than public service campaigns to solve the nation's obesity
problem, according to fitness experts who say neighborhoods must be designed
so people can get around without their cars. Unfortunately, transportation
money goes to highways, not bike paths or even sidewalks in newer developments.
We've built an unhealthy world in a lot of different ways. Virtually
everything American society has done for the past 100 years has made it easier
for us to be fatter and the whole world is imitating the American Fat Model.
Proof that people will accept an active lifestyle and walk to parks and shopping
if they can is found in the "new urbanism" style of planned communities, the
experts contend. They pointed to Denver's Stapleton neighborhood, an enclave
of new homes built where the city's old airport used to be. The neighborhood
is a mix of shops, offices, parks, apartments and houses linked by wide sidewalks
and meandering bike paths. Architecture varies from single-family homes to
rows of brownstones.
Eating lots of whole grains may do more than lower a person's risk of developing
diabetes or heart disease, as has been previously reported. A new study
suggests a diet rich in whole grains may lower the likelihood of developing
periodontitis, or gum disease, as well, in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,
Overweight adults with osteoarthritis who lose just five percent of their
body weight can reduce the amount of physical disability associated with
this most common form of inflammatory joint disease, results of several studies
suggest. The findings were presented during the 7th Annual European Congress
of Rheumatology in Amsterdam
Obesity and Prostate Cancer
Being overweight hurts men's chances of having successful radiation treatment
for prostate cancer, according to a study being published in the Aug. 1 issue
of Cancer. The study by researchers at the University of Texas M.D.
Anderson Cancer Center is being called the first to examine the link between
obesity and prostate cancer progression after radiation treatment. Researchers
found that moderately and severely obese men had a 70 percent higher risk
of having a tumor recur after radiation treatment than thinner men did.
The same researchers last year looked at men who had surgery for prostate
cancer, and found that heavier men were more likely to have rising levels
of PSA, a blood protein that can signal prostate cancer, after treatment
than thinner men were.
Treatment with omega-3 fatty acids, the type found in flaxseed and fish
oils, appears to benefit children suffering from clinical depression, according
to pilot study conducted in Israel. The results of some studies in adults
with major depressive disorder have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may
be an effective add-on therapy. However, the effects of this supplement in
children with the disorder are unknown, researchers explain in the American
Journal of Psychiatry, June 2006.
The University of South Australia research tested a supplement called eye
q, a combination of omega-3 fish oil and omega-6 evening primrose oil. The
results indicate that omega-3 oil can be more effective than stimulant drugs
commonly prescribed for children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Drinking cherry juice before and after exercise may lessen workout-related
muscle pain and damage, according to a study published online in the British
Journal of Sports Medicine. The cherry juice blend used in the study was supplied
by Cherrypharm, Inc., which funded the study.
The microorganisms that live in your gut could explain one of the sources
of obesity, says a new study from researchers at Washington University.
Bacteria and archaea, another kind of single-celled organism, are common in
the human intestine. Researchers are discovering that together, they help
their human hosts extract calories and nutrients from food.
Hibiscus flowers have been known in the Ayurveda literature to have heart
strengthening characteristics. An extract from the flower of the hibiscus
plant prevented oxidation of LDL-cholesterol that contributes to hardening
of blood vessels and heart disease, says recent research from Taiwan. The
new study, published in the journal Food and Chemical Toxicology (Vol. 44,
pp. 1015-1023), reports the effects of hibiscus anthocyanin extracts on LDL
oxidation, fragmentation of apolipoprotein B (ApoB), and free radical scavenging
ability in vitro.
Hibiscus extract contains many of the same antioxidant compounds as grapes
(red wine), including flavonoids, polyphenols and anthocyanins, shown in research
to prevent the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or ‘bad' cholesterol.
Decaffeinated Coffee and Diabetes
The first line of prevention for diabetes is exercise and diet. However,
it appears that consumption of the decaffeinated coffee is associated with
a reduced risk of diabetes, according to a report in the Archives of Internal
Coffee and Exercise Don't
The researchers speculated that caffeine causes the coronary blood vessels
to expand during exercise. In a Swedish study volunteers ingested 200-milligram
caffeine tablets, the equivalent of about two cups of coffee, before riding
stationary bicycles for 45 minutes in a room that simulated exercising at
altitude. All the volunteers experienced a significant drop in heart
efficiency. The hearts of the cyclists at sea level circulated 28 percent
less oxygen, while those in the high-altitude room experienced a 39 percent
drop in heart efficiency, reports Consumer Reports on Health magazine.
Fish Protein in Ice Cream
Proteins which can be found in fish, plants and insects protect organisms
from tissue damage in very cold conditions by lowering the temperature at
which ice crystals grow and by changing the size and shape of the ice crystals.
One such protein can lower cream or fat needed in the ice cream. Unilever
has developed a method of making the protein in the factory genetically modified
yeast in large sealed vats. The manufacturing process has already been approved
in some other countries including the US where it has been used to make ice-cream
which has half the fat and 30% fewer calories than normal.
Parkinson's disease is a chronic, progressive degenerative brain disorder.
It causes shaking, rigidity and slowness of movement. There is no cure, although
some treatments are available.
An estimated 1.5 million Americans have Parkinson's. The condition usually
develops after the age of 65 but 15% of patients are diagnosed under age 50.
People who reported being exposed to pesticides had a 70% higher incidence
of Parkinson's disease 10 to 20 years later than those who weren't exposed,
finds a study by Harvard scientists funded by actor Michael J. Fox's foundation.
Researchers found that those who reported exposure, after adjusting for age,
sex, and other risk factors for Parkinson's disease, had a significantly higher
rate of contracting the disease.
Stress, Noise and Listening
Black adults hear better than white adults, a government study found. The
study also found that women hear better than men. People who can hear higher-frequency
tones are better at differentiating certain sounds, such as "list" versus
"lisp." Women on average were more sensitive to higher frequency tones. Although
it's a great way to block out annoying noises around you, that hot new MP3
player could damage your hearing if you play your favorite tunes too loud
and too long. Too much noise can also lead to tinnitus: a ringing, whistling
or clicking in the ears. The American Tinnitus Association estimates that
up to 90 percent of tinnitus patients have some level of noise-induced hearing
Noise levels have also been associated with many stress-related illnesses
such as headaches, high blood pressure, insomnia, ulcers, anxiety and other
disorders. Noise also produces physical effects such as an elevation in blood
pressure and increased heart rate. Noise affects us emotionally as well. It
causes stress, tension and irritability. Noise related stress could also make
us more prone to heart disease, stroke and other health conditions. In our
society it is not easy to avoid stress and there is certainly no easy way
to avoid noise. But we can take steps to ensure that we get a little bit
of peace and quiet in our lives. Close doors and windows to block out neighborhood
sounds and traffic when necessary especially at night if noise makes it difficult
to sleep. Turn down the volume when watching television or listening to music.
If necessary wear earplugs or headphones to drown out noise in a work environment
or even at home as needed.
Get away from it all whenever you can. Whether it is for a day or a weekend,
take a break and go somewhere to relax. Visit the country where all you hear
are the sounds of nature. Such settings can be very beneficial and calming
on the emotions and even your physical body can benefit. When you learn more
about the effects of noise you may realize that silence really is golden.
Yoga: Transcendental Meditation
Adding meditation to traditional care may help people with heart disease.
A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that heart patients
who practiced Transcendental Meditation in addition to regular medical care
had improvements in blood pressure and insulin levels compared to patients
whose care was supplemented with information on heart disease. The study looked
at 103 people with heart disease; all the participants got medical care including
medication for blood pressure and cholesterol, but some were taught Transcendental
Meditation while the others spent the same amount of time on health education.
Neither group saw changes in cholesterol or weight, but the meditation group
had a decrease in systolic blood pressure, from an average of 126 to 123.
People who meditated also had a slight drop in glucose and insulin levels,
while the levels rose slightly in people who got health education. The researchers
theorize that meditating could help heart patients by decreasing levels of
the stress hormone cortisol.
As men age their sperm quality deteriorates as their fertility declines.
A study published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
suggests that there may be a biological clock for men as well as women when
planning a family. Earlier findings indicated that the number and activity
of sperm declines with age. In the new study the researchers found
more fragmentation of DNA in the older men's sperm compared to the younger
men. That could make it more difficult for the older men to father a child
and more likely to have children with certain chromosomal defects.
Booster Seats and Seat Belts
Young children who sit in the back in a booster seat are more likely to
survive a car crash than children buckled in with a seat belt. A study published
in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine looked at government
data on nearly 9,000 children ages 2 to 6 who were involved in serious crashes
from 1998 to 2003. The researchers found that kids riding in the back in an
age- and size-appropriate safety seat were 28% less likely to be killed in
a crash. Current guidelines recommend that all children under 13 ride
in the back seat, and those children weighing less than 40 pounds and shorter
than 4 feet 9 inches tall should ride in booster seats.
10 Question to Ask before
You may find it difficult to talk about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
while you are just getting to know someone intimately. Nevertheless, you must
ask the following questions before you have sex to reduce your risk of getting
infected with STDs including AIDS. Consider printing the list and keeping
it in your wallet or pocketbook, along with condoms always.
1. Are you having sex with anyone else?
2. How many sexual partners have you had?
3. Have you ever had an STD?
4. Have you ever had a sexual partner who had HIV or another STD?
5. How long has it been since you've been tested for HIV and other STDs?
6. How many sexual partners have you had since then?
7. Have you ever had genital ulcers or warts?
8. Do you have any STD symptoms — ulcers, warts, vaginal or penile discharge?
9. Do you know how to tell if you are infected with an STD?
10. Do you prefer getting tested for HIV and other STDs, and then having
a monogamous relationship, or using condoms each time we have sex?
Condoms and Vaccine
Protect Women from Cancer
The main cause of cervical cancer in women is the cancer-causing sexually
transmitted virus, human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV affects sexually active
promiscuous adults. More than 50 percent of sexually active adults at
some point in their lives are affected by HPV. The cervical cancer it
can cause kills about 290,000 women worldwide each year, including 3,700 in
the United States. In the U.S., regular Pap smears often detect precancerous
lesions and early cancer.
Using a condom may protect women from HPV. A study published in the New
England Journal of Medicine found that women whose partners always used a
condom had a significantly lower risk of infection with HPV, compared to
women whose partners used a condom infrequently. In the study, the researchers
found that the women whose partners always used condoms were 70% less likely
to be infected with HPV than women whose partners wore condoms less than
5% of the time. The researchers say those women who did use condoms during
intercourse and got infected anyway could have used the condoms incorrectly
or had sexual contact with a partner before he put on the condom.
The Food and Drug Administration approved in June use of the vaccine, Gardasil,
for use in girls and women ages 9 to 26. It works by preventing infection
by four strains of the HPV.
Melanoma, Avoidable Deadly
A deadly type of skin cancer may be even deadlier for black and Hispanic
people. A study published in the Archives of Dermatology found that blacks
and Hispanics are much more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma at a late
stage of the disease than lighter-skinned people are. While melanoma is highly
treatable in early stages, it can spread quickly and become lethal. In the
study, researchers looked at nearly 1,700 melanoma cases diagnosed from 1997
to 2002. The researchers found that black people were three times more likely
than whites to be diagnosed with melanoma after it had reached a late stage,
while Hispanics were twice as likely to be diagnosed at a late stage.
Sunscreens generally do a good job filtering out the ultraviolet rays (UVB
rays) that cause sunburn. But with sunburn protection, many people get a false
sense of security that keeps them under the harsh sun much longer. That adds
to the risk of eventual skin cancer, both deadly melanoma and the more common
and less-threatening basal and squamous cell cancers. And most sunscreens
don't defend nearly as well against the UVA rays that penetrate deep into
the skin and are more likely to cause skin cancer and wrinkles. That's true
even for some products labeled broad-spectrum UVA/UVB protection.
Despite public education campaigns about avoiding sun exposure and tanning
salons, skin cancer incidence is climbing. There will be about 62,000 melanoma
cases and 7,900 deaths this year, the American Cancer Society estimates. There
are more than 1 million annual cases of squamous and basal skin cancers, and
about 2,800 deaths. Best protection is limiting time in the sun, particularly
from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and cover up, including wearing a hat and sunglasses,
but not bare it all!
America's Surgeon General called for a ban on smoking in public places after
releasing a report on passive smoking. The study said there was “no risk-free
level of exposure” to secondhand smoke, which can increase the risk of heart
disease and lung cancer to non-smokers by up to 30%.
and vegetable salad
Ingredients: 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, 2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Asian chili sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/2 small red onion, very
12 spears asparagus, trimmed, trimmed, steamed, and cut crosswise into thirds
1 (15 1/2 - ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained, 1 red pepper, cut
into 1-inch squares
Direction: Combine dressing ingredients in a medium bowl. Let stand 5 minutes.
Add remaining ingredients and toss well to coat. Serve at room temperature.
Ingredients: 1 2 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper,
1 1/2 cups evaporated skim milk, 8 ounces angle hair, spaghetti, or fettuccine
pasta, 1 tablespoon garlic, crushed, 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced, 4 whole
mushrooms, thinly sliced, 2 cups broccoli, chopped, 1 green pepper, cut into
thin strips, 1 onion, chopped, 3/4 cup shredded non/lowfat Parmesan cheese.
Direction: Combine the cornstarch, pepper, and milk in a jar, and shake
until well mixed. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain well
and return to the pot. Coat a skillet with nonstick cooking spray (nonfat).
Preheat over add garlic, and vegetables along with 1 tablespoon of water.
Cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium, and
add the pasta to the skillet. Add the milk mixture to the skillet.
Stir gently over medium heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove the skillet from the
heat, and add the Parmesan cheese.
Ingredients: 2 1/2 cups raspberries, 2 passion fruit, 1 2/3 cups low fat
fromage frais, 2 tbsp caster sugar raspberries and springs of mint, to decorate.
Direction: Mash the raspberries in a small bowl with a fork until the juice
runs. Scoop out the passion fruit pulp into a separate bowl with the fromage
frais and sugar and mix well. Spoon alternate spoonfuls of the raspberry
pulp and the fromage frais mixture into stemmed glasses or one large serving
dish, stirring lightly to create a swirled effect. Decorate each dessert
each dessert with a whole raspberry and a sprig of fresh mint. Serve chilled.
This material contains only general
descriptions and is not a solicitation to sell any insurance product
or security, nor is it intended as any financial, tax, medical or
health care advice. For information about specific needs or situations,
contact your financial agent or physician.
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Chicago Tribune, USA Today, Intellihealthnews,
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Times, Times of India, AP, Reuters,