Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Alzheimer's Prevention for 30 somethings

Oh do we love to read this! This is how it is supposed to work!!


What's a big reason why being overweight is harmful?

Overeating increases the immune response. This increased immune response causes the body to generate excessive inflammation, which may lead to a number of chronic diseases. It is therefore important to keep a balance. Too little and too much nutrition may both upset the immune defense system and increase the risk of disease.

Storage of energy causes an inflammatory reaction. The explanation lies in the close connection between the body's immune system, energy conversion and the way in which we store energy. Humans are not made to eat so much. We are intended to toil for our food.

Overeating causes stress to the mitochondria. The mitochondria are the cells' powerhouses, converting fatty acids to energy. When the cells receive excessive energy, the system starts to falter. Long-term stress on the mitochondria causes low-grade chronic inflammation over many years. When damaged mitochondria accumulate, the immune response is activated. This immune response is what causes the inflammation.

How to stop sweating the small stuff


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Pessimism not all bad


Better blood sugar breakfast

Blood sugar surges -- after-meal glucose "spikes" -- can be life threatening for the 29 million Americans with diabetes. Diabetic blood sugar spikes have been linked to cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, kidney failure, and retinal damage. Now a new study, published in Diabetologia, suggests a novel way to suppress these deadly post-meal glucose surges: the consumption of whey protein concentrate, found in the watery portion of milk separated from cheese curds, before breakfast. According to the study, consumption of whey protein before meals may even keep diabetics' need for insulin treatment at bay.

The researchers found that glucose levels were reduced by 28 percent after the whey pre-load over the 180-minute post-meal period, with a uniform reduction during early and late phases. With whey pre-load, insulin and GLP-1 responses also were significantly higher (105 and 141 percent, respectively), producing a 96 percent increase in early insulin response.

Bonnie: This has to do with whey being a protein. Protein normalizes blood sugar, which is why we have always suggested eating a protein with carbohydrates.

Infant feeding practices

A recent study in Pediatrics found:

An association between longer duration of breast-feeding and later introduction of foods and beverages other than breast milk, and lower rates of ear, nose, throat, and sinus infections.

An association between longer breast-feeding and increased consumption of water, fruit, and vegetables, and decreased consumption of fruit juice and sugar-sweetened beverages at age six years.

Blood Type Matters for Memory Loss

People with blood type AB may be more likely to develop memory loss in later years than people with other blood types, according to a study published in the September 10, 2014 issue of Neurology.

AB is the least common blood type, found in about 4 percent of the U.S. population. The study found that people with AB blood were 82 percent more likely to develop the thinking and memory problems that can lead to dementia than people with other blood types.

The study was part of a larger study of more than 30,000 people followed for an average of 3.4 years. In those who had no memory or thinking problems at the beginning, the study identified 495 participants who developed thinking and memory problems, or cognitive impairment, during the study. They were compared to 587 people with no cognitive problems. People with AB blood type made up 6 percent of the group who developed cognitive impairment, which is higher than the 4 percent found in the population.

Researchers also looked at blood levels of factor VIII, a protein that helps blood to clot. High levels of factor VIII are related to higher risk of cognitive impairment and dementia. People in this study with higher levels of factor VIII were 24 percent more likely to develop thinking and memory problems than people with lower levels of the protein. People with AB blood had a higher average level of factor VIII than people with other blood types.

Combat prolonged sitting with short walks

In recent years, the evidence that long hours sitting at a desk or on a couch is bad for one's health has mounted. But new research suggests a quick five-minute walk every hour can reverse the ill-effects of a person's hunched posture and sedentary nine-to-five routine.

The experiment looked at sitting's ill effects -- specifically at the consequences for blood flow, or arterial function. Participants who sat for three hours showed declining arterial function, as expected. But those who walked for five minutes once each hour were able to mostly mitigate that decline. The study included only healthy, non-obese men, ages 20 to 35.

American adults sit for approximately eight hours a day. The impairment in endothelial function is significant after just one hour of sitting.

The study will be published in the next issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Fish really is brain food and more!

Cook Your Fish Right
Eating a piece of baked or broiled fish -- any fish -- once a week boosts brain health, according to new research by doctors at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Regular fish consumers were also found to be better educated about healthier lifestyles.

Feds Get in on the Act
FDA and EPA Issue Draft Updated Advice for Fish Consumption
Emerging science indicates that limiting or avoiding fish during pregnancy and early childhood can mean missing out on these important nutrients that have a positive impact on growth and development before birth, in early infancy for breastfed infants, and in childhood. As a result, FDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are encouraging pregnant women, those who might become pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, and young children to eat more fish—and to eat a variety of fish lower in mercury. Here’s how:

  • Eat 8 to 12 Ounces of Fish/Shellfish Per Week. (That’s 2 or 3 servings of fish a week.)
  • Give young children 2 to 3 servings of fish a week with the portion right for the child’s age and calorie needs
  • Choose Fish That Are Lower in Mercury.Many of the most commonly eaten fish are lower in mercury, such as salmon, shrimp, pollock, tuna (light canned), tilapia, catfish and cod.
  • Avoid 4 Types of Fish: tilefish from the Gulf of Mexico, shark, swordfish and king mackerel. These fish are highest in mercury. Limit white (albacore) tuna to 6 ounces a week.
  • Pay attention to fish advisories when eating fish you or others have caught from streams, rivers, and lakes, on those bodies of water. If advice isn’t available, adults should limit consumption of these fish to 6 ounces a week and young children to 1 to 3 ounces a week, and not eat other fish that week.

Deciphering How Omega-3's Function in the Brain
Consuming oils with high omega-3s is beneficial for the health because their presence makes the membranes more malleable and therefore more sensitive to deformation and fission by proteins. The results, published August 8th in Science, help explain why the abundance of these lipids in the brain represent a major advantage for cognitive function.

Considering that the body cannot synthesize them and that they can only be supplied by a suitable diet (rich in oily fish, etc.), it seems important to continue this work to understand the link between the functions performed by these lipids in the neuronal membrane and their health benefits.

Newest reason to choose organic

People with food allergies always have to watch what they eat. Now, they may have to watch what their fruits and vegetables eat, as it seems it's possible to have an allergic reaction to antibiotic residues in food.

An article published in the September issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, examines the case of a 10 year-old girl who had an anaphylactic (severely allergic) reaction after eating blueberry pie. Although she had a medical history of asthma and seasonal allergies, and known anaphylaxis to penicillin and cow's milk, she wasn't known to be allergic to any of the ingredients in the pie.

After weeks of testing on both the young girl and a sample of the pie, the article authors decided that what had caused the reaction was a streptomycin-contaminated blueberry. Streptomycin, in addition to being a drug used to fight disease, is also used as a pesticide in fruit, to combat the growth of bacteria, fungi, and algae.

"As far as we know, this is the first report that links an allergic reaction to fruits treated with antibiotic pesticides," said allergist Anne Des Roches, MD,FRCP, lead study author. "Certain European countries ban the use of antibiotics for growing foods, but the United States and Canada still allow them for agricultural purposes."

Iodine lacking for pregnant and breastfeeding women

Many pregnant and breastfeeding women in the U.S. may be lacking iodine in their diets, which is an essential element for their babies’ brain development, according to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Most of the salt in the U.S. diet is from processed foods, and that salt is not iodized. As consumption of processed foods has increased, so has the level of iodine deficiency, with about one-third of pregnant women in the U.S. being deficient. Pregnant and lactating women should take supplements that contain adequate levels of iodine, but only about 15 percent of this group does so.

Adequate iodine intake is needed to produce thyroid hormone, which is critical for brain development in children. Severe, untreated hypothyroidism in infancy has serious, permanent effects on the brain, and milder cases of hypothyroidism can also affect a child’s cognitive development. In addition, iodine deficiency in a mother increases both mother and child’s vulnerability to the effects of certain environmental pollutants -- most notably thiocyanate (found in cruciferous vegetables and tobacco smoke) and nitrate (found in certain leafy and root vegetables).

The AAP recommends iodine supplementation for breastfeeding mothers and should be considered for some other women of childbearing age.

Grocers lead kids to produce aisle through junk food marketing


Ways to avoid feeling off during workouts


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Fungus Food Draws Ire of CSPI


The Future of Food


Microbiome the Movie


Stress Related Skin?

Anyone who's had a pimple form right before an important event may wonder if stress caused the break out. While commonly linked anecdotally, proving the relationship between stress and inflammatory skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis and rosacea, is another matter.

The American Academy of Dermatology says experimental data support the idea that the nervous system and stress affect inflammatory skin conditions in humans. Many types of cells in the skin, including immune cells and endothelial cells (cells that line blood vessels), can be regulated by neuropeptides and neurotransmitters, which are chemicals released by the skin's nerve endings. Stress can result in the skin's nerve endings releasing an increased level of these chemicals. When this occurs, it can affect how and at what level our body responds to many important functions, such as sensation and control of blood flow, and can contribute to the symptoms of stress that we feel. In addition, the release of these chemicals can lead to inflammation of the skin.

How does current research impact how people with inflammatory skin conditions are treated? More research needs to be done to further understand the role of the nervous system and stress on inflammatory skin conditions, especially since other factors play a role, including genetics.

You can experiment with stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, or tai chi, but should continue your treatment plan as prescribed by their dermatologist if you have a skin condition.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

High Schoolers Need a Later School Day

Let them sleep!

That's the message from the nation's largest pediatrician group, which, in a new policy statement, says delaying the start of high school and middle school classes to 8:30 a.m. or later is "an effective countermeasure to chronic sleep loss" and the "epidemic" of delayed, insufficient, and erratic sleep patterns among the nation's teens.

Multiple factors, "including biological changes in sleep associated with puberty, lifestyle choices, and academic demands," negatively impact teens' ability to get enough sleep, and pushing back school start times is key to helping them achieve optimal levels of sleep – 8½ to 9½ hours a night, says the American Academy of Pediatrics statement, released Monday and published online in Pediatrics.

Just 1 in 5 adolescents get nine hours of sleep on school nights, and 45% sleep less than eight hours, according to a 2006 poll by the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

"As adolescents go up in grade, they're less likely with each passing year to get anything resembling sufficient sleep," says Judith Owens, director of sleep medicine at Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., and lead author of the AAP statement. "By the time they're high school seniors, the NSF data showed they were getting less than seven hours of sleep on average."

Chronic sleep loss in children and adolescents "can, without hyperbole, really be called a public health crisis," Owens says.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Risks With Growth Hormone for Short Stature

The use of growth hormone for the treatment of short stature or growth hormone deficiency in childhood may increase the long-term the risk for stroke in young adulthood, hemorrhagic strokes in particular, French registry data show.

Investigators at the University of Lorraine in France found a significantly higher risk for stroke among patients treated with growth hormone in childhood compared with 2 population-based registries used as reference controls.

The excess risk for stroke was mainly attributable to a "very substantially and significantly higher risk" of hemorrhagic stroke, at a standardized incidence ratio (SIR) ranging from 3.5 to 7.0, depending on the registry rates considered.

The study was published online August 13 in Neurology.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Relief for Ragweed Pollen Sufferers

It is the height of ragweed season in the Chicagoland area. If you are allergic to ragweed, you can reduce your symptoms in half by removing food cross-reactors until the season is over (3-6 weeks from now). Here is a complete list of cross-reactors and suggested replacements from our Conquering Allergy and Intolerance Action Plan.

Nut Butter Recall (some of which are Whole Foods and Trader Joes products)