Thursday, October 30, 2014

Benefits from pumpkin seeds

A client forwarded this to us:
  • Only seed that is alkaline
  • Can lower LDL cholesterol
  • 100 grams seeds provide 30 grams protein
  • Prevents kidney stone formation
  • Good for prostate health
  • Promotes good sleep
  • High in zinc

The price we pay for sleep deprivation

We are a nation of sleep-deprived people and all ages suffer in various, unhealthy ways. For children, sleep deprivation can lead to behavior problems, trouble focusing and learning in school and it can affect their immune systems. Chronic tiredness makes it harder to cope and process what's going on around you. When children enter the teen years, sleep becomes a bigger issue. Teen's circadian rhythm, or internal body clock, tells them to stay awake later and sleep later than children and adults do. Only 15 percent of teenagers get the recommended sleep they need.

For adults, sleep loss is even more serious. It accumulates over the years and has been shown to contribute to several chronic diseases including heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, depression and obesity. Adulthood is also when sleep-related disorders, such as insomnia or sleep apnea, are more likely. During menopause, women often experience night sweats and insomnia due to changing levels of hormones. As men age, an enlarged prostate can lead to more frequent trips to the bathroom overnight. Certain medications can also disrupt sleep, such as those for heart arrhythmia, high blood pressure and asthma.

Here are the recommended hours of sleep we should get throughout our lifetime, according to the National Sleep Foundation:

Infants: up to 16 hours total, including naps
Toddlers (1-3 yrs): 12-14 hours, including naps
Preschool (3-5 yrs): 11-13 hours, most do not nap after age 5
School-age (5-12 yrs): 10-11 hours
Teens: 8.5-9.5 hours
Adults: 7-9 hours

7 minute scientific workout

Big Milk Crying White Tears

Researchers have found that a high intake of milk may be associated with higher mortality and fracture risks in women and higher mortality risk in men, according to a new study in BMJ.

During a median of 22 years of follow-up, 15,541 women died and 17,252 women had a fracture. During a median of 13 years of follow-up, 10,112 men died and 5379 men had a fracture.

The researchers found that women who drank three or more glasses of milk a day had almost twice the risk for death compared with women who drank less than one glass a day. Women who drank more milk also had a higher risk for any type of fracture and for hip fracture specifically.

Although the researchers found that men who drank 3 or more glasses of milk had a higher risk for death compared with those who drank less than one glass, men did not have the excess risk for fracture seen in women.

The researchers found an association between high milk intake and oxidative stress and inflammation.

No similar association was found in fermented milk products.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Kids' Packed Lunches Fail

More than 40% of U.S. kids bring their own food to school, but there have been very few studies of what kids have in their lunchboxes. For the new study in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers discovered that most of the foods were pre-packaged salty snack foods and sugary desserts - much less fruits and vegetables.

The most common lunch items were sandwiches, which were found in 59% of lunches. About 34% of lunches contained fruit and 11% had vegetables.

Roughly 42% of lunches had snack items and 28% included dessert.

For beverages, 28% of lunches included water, 24% included sugar-sweetened drinks and 3% included milk. Another 11% of kids planned to buy milk at school.

The study team found that only 27% of the lunches met at least three of the five National School Lunch Program standards from the federal government, which include fruit, vegetables, grains, meat or another protein source and milk.

Only 4% of snacks met at least two of the four Child and Adult Food Care Program standards, which are similar to the lunch standards but combine fruit and vegetables into one category.

Bonnie - Believe it or not, many of the school lunches currently offered are better than what many parents send with their kids to school. Yikes!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Acid Blocking Meds Make Getting Sick Easier

Researchers in a recent JAMA Pediatrics study wanted to determine if acid-suppression use results in gastric bacterial overgrowth, if there are changes in lung microflora associated with the use of acid suppression, and if changes in lung microflora are related to full-column nonacid gastroesophageal reflux in children ages 1 to 18 years. They found that 46% of patients taking acid-suppression medication had gastric bacterial growth compared with 18% of untreated patients. Staphylococcus and Streptococcus were found more commonly and in higher concentrations in the gastric fluid of treated patients. 

Bonnie: As we have said incessantly, acid suppression increases the risk of infection. We need a 60/40 (acid/alkaline) ratio in our gut to ward off infection.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Reason for Seasonal Affective Disorder Confirmed

Steve: All the more reason to make sure you are getting as many serotonin boosters as possible during the months with the least light.

Alcohol consumption affects sperm quality

Alcohol intake is linked to lower sperm quality, according to a study of young men in BMJ Open. Adverse effects on semen can be seen at levels as low as five drinks per week, although the trend is more pronounced among men who drink more than 25 units per week. A unit is defined as 25 grams of ethanol, the approximate amount in one beer or one glass of wine.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Chef-Created Dish Increases School Participation

To demonstrate the feasibility of introducing a main dish designed by a professional chef in the National School Lunch Program and to document the impact on child participation, a chef was recruited to design pizza to be served in an upstate New York school district.

The pizza was designed to meet both the cost and ingredient requirements of the NSLP. High school students were significantly more likely to select the pizza prepared by the chef. While the chef had no significant impact on main dish consumption given selection, more students took a vegetable and vegetable consumption increased by 16.5%.

The pilot study published in the December issue of journal Appetite demonstrates the plausibility of using chefs to boost participation in the school lunch program, and potentially increase nutrition through side selection, among high school students.

Statins: The Good, the Bad, and the Unknown

Conclusions from a Medscape reader survey as reported by Dr. Gordon Sun

"In summary, several important issues were broached in comments by Medscape readers, reflecting the notable controversy generated by the latest ACC/AHA cholesterol guidelines, nearly a year after publication:

• Up-to-date meta-analyses of statin use as primary prevention in women and the elderly have provided further evidence of their usefulness in these populations, although some of the literature was inconclusive and many Medscape readers remain skeptical.

• Myopathy potentially related to statin use was the most commonly reported adverse event by Medscape readers.

• Medscape readers were concerned that the guidelines did not sufficiently emphasize the benefits of positive lifestyle habits on prevention of CVD. A randomized trial comparing statins with beneficial lifestyle changes and examining clinical outcomes has yet to be conducted.

• Studies contrasting statin use and healthy lifestyle adherence—the "statin-lifestyle interaction"—demonstrate conflicting results. Recent research hypothesized that statin-related myopathy might actually compromise the ability to exercise, thus complicating patients' ability to adhere to good lifestyle habits.

It would be fair to say that this debate is far from settled."

Steve: This survey did not even mention the increased risk for diabetes and memory loss.

Taking the pain out of shots

Such painless injections could be possible with a device that applies pressure and vibration while the needle is inserted in the skin, according to a study presented at the Anesthesiology 2014 annual meeting. As many as 1 in 10 people experience needle phobia. Using a device that applies pressure and vibration before the needle stick could help significantly decrease painful sensations by closing the 'gate' that sends pain signals to the brain.

The perception of pain was significantly decreased when a specific amount of pressure and vibration was applied to the site for 20 seconds prior to using the plastic needle. The addition of heat added a small benefit. 

The concept likely works by distraction as well as employing the gate-control theory of pain, in which these sensations (pressure, vibration and potentially temperature) close the gate that allows the brain to register pain.

What's Your Fitness Age?

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Making blood tests easier to understand

Dr. Mark Hyman on Magnesium

Viable supplemental iron sources

Supplementing with 30 mg/d of elementary iron, either as ferrous sulfate or iron bis-glycinate chelate for 90 days, showed positive effects on increasing ferritin concentration in schoolchildren with low iron stores, and this effect persisted 6 months after supplementation. Nutrition Journal 7/2014

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Secret to Well Behaved Teens

While American pediatricians warn sleep deprivation can stack the deck against teenagers, a new study from journal of Learning, Media and Technology reveals youth's irritability and laziness aren't down to attitude problems but lack of sleep.

This interesting paper exposes the negative consequences of sleep deprivation caused by early school bells, and shows that altering education times not only perks up teens' mood, but also enhances learning and health.

Our sleep-wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is the result of a complex balance between states of alertness and sleepiness regulated by a part of the brain called Suprachiasmatic Nucleus (SNC); in puberty, shifts in our body clocks push optimal sleep later into the evening, making it extremely difficult for most teenagers to fall asleep before 11.00PM. This, coupled with early school starts in the morning, results in chronically sleep-deprived and cranky teens as well as plummeting grades and health problems.

A number of initiatives -- including the Start School Later campaign and the establishment of the National Sleep Foundation -- indicate a change may be in the air for education policies and practices in the US.

Friday, October 03, 2014

Weight stigma is real

Appetite November 2014
Weight stigma is highly pervasive, but its consequences are understudied. This review draws from theory in social psychology, health psychology, and neuroendocrinology to construct an original, generative model called the cyclic obesity/weight-based stigma (COBWEBS) model. This model characterizes weight stigma as a “vicious cycle” – a positive feedback loop wherein weight stigma begets weight gain. This happens through increased eating behavior and increased cortisol secretion governed by behavioral, emotional, and physiological mechanisms, which are theorized to ultimately result in weight gain and difficulty of weight loss. The purpose of this review is to evaluate the existing literature for evidence supporting such a model, propose ways in which individuals enter, fight against, and exit the cycle, and conclude by outlining fruitful future directions in this nascent yet important area of research.

The Girl Scouts Just Don't Get It

Lower Risk of Heart Attack 86%

A healthy diet, moderate alcohol consumption, a smaller waist circumference, and not smoking were each independently associated with a lower risk of myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack, in a large group of healthy Swedish men.

When these four lifestyle behaviors were combined with physical activity, individuals who adhered to all five healthy practices had an 86% lower risk of MI when compared with a high-risk group of individuals who didn't adhere to any to healthy behaviors. When compared with the rest of the study cohort, which included individuals who practiced some but not all of the healthy lifestyle behaviors, the risk of MI was reduced 79% compared with those who adhered to all five, according to a study in the September 30, 2014 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

However, just 1% of the 20 721 men adopted all five of what the researchers referred to as "low-risk behaviors." That number is dismal! And Swedes are supposed to be healthier than Americans!

Not adhering to the healthy diet and drinking alcohol more excessively accounted for nearly one in four MIs in the study population, while the combined absence of three healthy behaviors—diet, alcohol, and not smoking—explained nearly half of the MIs.

Icing injuries may not be warranted

Govt on alternatives for chronic pain