Walnut eaters reduce risk of dying from heart disease or cancer by nearly fifty percent

disease

Thursday, July 18, 2013 by: John Phillip

(NaturalNews) Heart disease and cancer in all their different forms take the lives of nearly three-quarters of all men, women and children in the US each year. Yet thousands of well constructed research bodies have shown that most chronic diseases can be prevented by making simple lifestyle changes including diet, smoking, physical activity and exposure to toxic household and environmental pollutants through our early and middle adult years. Specific foods and nutrients such as resveratrol, curcumin, green tea and leafy greens have demonstrated specific properties that help to prevent and fight cardiovascular disease and cancer, and should be included as part of your regular daily diet and supplement plan.

A research study team based in Spain has published the result of their research in the journal, BMC Medicine that explains that those who eat nuts more than three times a week had a reduced risk of dying from cancer or cardiovascular disease than non-nut eaters. To conduct their research, scientists looked at the effect on the prevention of cardiovascular disease when the participants were put on a Mediterranean diet with extra nuts and extra virgin olive oil, compared with a control group following a low-fat diet.

Raw nuts, especially walnuts help lower blood pressure and blood lipids to thwart chronic disease

The scientists analyzed more than 7,000 people aged between 55 and 90 years, and divided them into two groups based on adherence to a Mediterranean style diet that included nuts, and especially walnuts, or those following a low-fat diet. The team found that people who eat more than three servings of nuts (1 serving equal approximately one ounce) a week had a 55 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease and a 40 percent reduced risk of death from cancer.

Lead study author, Dr. Jordi Salas-Salvad commented “How nuts are able to prevent premature mortality is not entirely clear, nor why walnut should be better for you than other nuts. Walnuts have particularly high content of alpha-linoleic acid and phytochemicals…, along with fiber and minerals such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, may contribute to their healthy effect.” Past studies have demonstrated that walnuts in particular are a beneficial part of a healthy diet and are the best source of antioxidants, containing twice the amount as normal nuts.

Researchers also note that people who ate nuts had a lower body mass index and smaller waist. Further, this group was found to be more physically active and less likely to smoke. The study authors conclude “Questions about specific constituents, amount, duration and type of nuts to be consumed remain to be elucidated. Meanwhile, we might need to focus on the question of how to better promote nut consumption in the population and sustainably integrate it into the daily diet.” Nutrition experts recommend replacing one daily serving of fruits and vegetables with a one ounce serving of raw nuts to significantly lower the risk of dying from heart disease and cancer.

Sources for this article include:
http://www.biomedcentral.com
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/263331.php
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130715202458.htm

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Kick the habit: Five things to drink instead of soda

milk

Thursday, July 18, 2013 by: Sandeep Godiyal

(NaturalNews) Thirsty? Given the circumstances, most people will reach for a bottle or a flip top can of ice-cold soda. Almost 90 percent of people all over the world will, at one time or another, have tasted a sugary, fizzy, carbonated beverage. And the fight isn’t particularly fair, either; on average, there are as many, or more, carbonated beverages as there are bottled water displayed along shelves.

Now that science and medicine have positively linked sodas to a host of serious diseases and conditions, more and more people have begun to switch to tasty yet healthy soda alternatives. There are actually a wider choice of drinks than most people realize. Here are five alternative drinks soda drinkers can try:

Fresh fruit juice

There is absolutely no one in the world who will say that fresh fruit juice is tasteless. Fruit juices have a whole plethora of tastes that drinkers won’t have a shortage of new things to try. And while fruit juices from a single variety is plenty, imagine how much the choices will expand when fruit juice drinkers start mixing juices.

Aside from being naturally sweet, fruit juices are saturated with vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to the body. As for soda drinkers who love the fizz, they can try mixing pure fruit juice with carbonated water or seltzer water.

Coffee

There are a few soda drinkers that choose the sugary concoction due to it being caffeine-rich that makes it a great pick-me-up. If this is the case, then these people will enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee.

Coffee is also rich in caffeine, especially coffee that is brewed from freshly ground coffee beans. Brewed coffee is found to contain antioxidants as well as natural oils that benefit the heart.

Green tea

While most people choose coffee for their caffeine fix, some people dislike the bitter taste of the aromatic brew. One of the better coffee and soda alternatives for these people is green tea.

Tea, especially the green variety, is proven to be full of antioxidants that rid the body of free radicals–byproducts that can cause all sorts of diseases as well as premature aging. Like coffee, tea can be taken either hot or cold, and will mix wonderfully with milk.

Tea in particular can taste wonderful with a squeeze of lemon, or with a crushed mint leaf. Honey or agave syrup can be used to sweeten the drink.

Soya milk

There are quite a number of people, especially in Western countries, who are allergic or intolerant to milk and dairy products, and possibly causing them to shy away from both coffee and tea. A great and healthy alternative to milk is soya milk, which is extracted from soy beans. Technically, soya milk isn’t milk in its essence, since it lacks the milk proteins found in commercial cow’s milk. But this in turn also makes soya milk safe for those who are lactose intolerant.

Since soya milk has its own subtle sweetness, it can be taken as it is, and chilled or iced. Soya milk makes a refreshing, tasty, and healthy alternative to sodas.

Smoothies

To round up the five healthy and tasty soda alternatives, people can indulge themselves in smoothies. Smoothies have fresh fruit, crushed ice, milk, and sugar, making it a healthier alternative for those who treat themselves to carbonated drinks as a way to reward themselves.
To make smoothies that much healthier and guilt-free, the milk can be replaced by soya milk, and sugar can be replaced by honey or agave syrup.

These five healthier alternatives should help banish those soda cravings for good.

Sources for this article include:
http://lifehacker.com
http://www.huffingtonpost.com
http://drinks.seriouseats.com

The Fibromyalgia mystery finally solved!

Fibromyalgia

Rebecca Savastio
Guardian Express
Thu, 20 Jun 2013 16:33 CDT

Researchers Find Main Source of Pain in Blood Vessels 

Researchers have found the main source of pain in Fibromyalgiapatients, and contrary to what many believe, it does not stem from the brain. The findings mark the end of a decades-old mystery about the disease, which many doctors believed was conjured in patients’ imaginations. The mystery of Fibromyalgia has left millions of sufferers searching for hope in pain medications. Up until recently, manyphysicians thought that the disease was “imaginary” or psychological, but scientists have now revealed that the main source of pain stems from a most unlikely place- excess blood vessels in the hand. 

The discovery may lead to new treatments and perhaps even a total cure in the future, bringing relief to as many as 5 million Americans thought to have the disease. To solve the Fibromyalgia mystery, researchers zeroed in on the skin from the hand of one patient who had a lack of the sensory nerve fibers, causing a reduced reaction to pain. They then took skin samples from the hands of Fibromyalgia patients and were surprised to find an extremely excessive amount of a particular type of nerve fiber called arteriole-venule (AV) shunts. 

Up until this point scientists had thought that these fibers were only responsible for regulating blood flow, and did not play any role in pain sensation, but now they’ve discovered that there is a direct link between these nerves and the widespread body pain that Fibromyalgia sufferers feel. 

The breakthrough also could solve the lingering question of why many sufferers have extremely painful hands as well as other “tender points” throughout the body, and why cold weather seems to aggravate the symptoms. In addition to feeling widespread deep tissue pain, many Fibromyalgia patients also suffer from debilitating fatigue. 

Neuroscientist Dr. Frank L. Rice explained: “We previously thought that these nerve endings were only involved in regulating blood flow at a subconscious level, yet here we had evidences that the blood vessel endings could also contribute to our conscious sense of touch… and also pain,” Rice said. “This mismanaged blood flow could be the source of muscular pain and achiness, and the sense of fatigue which are thought to be due to a build-up of lactic acid and low levels of inflammation fibromyalgia patients. This, in turn, could contribute to the hyperactivity in the brain.” 

Current treatments for the disease have not brought complete relief to the millions of sufferers. Therapies include narcotic pain medicines; anti-seizure drugs, anti-depressants and even simple advice such as “get more sleep and exercise regularly.” Now that the cause of Fibromyalgia has been pinpointed, patients are looking forward to an eventual cure. Other expressed frustration about how much they had suffered already: 

“When are they ever going to figure out that things are never “all in your head?” said one commenter. “Whenever something doesn’t fit in their tiny little understanding, they belittle the patient and tell them they are crazy. People have suffered through this since they were invented. Prescribing SSRIs for everything is not the answer any more than a lobotomy or hysterectomy was.” 

The announcement has the potential to unlock better future treatments and undoubtedly has patients all over the world rejoicing that the mystery of Fibromyalgia has finally been solved.

Are you a drug guinea pig? A hidden threat from the newest drugs

drugenquirer.com
Sun, 18 Jul 2010 19:28 CDT

If you are taking a brand-new prescription med, you are part of the great ongoing clinical trial – whether you know it or not. 

And so a team of Harvard University medical professors advisesphysicians NOT to prescribe the new medications to their patients “unless they represent an important medical advance” in the prestigiousJournal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The editorial shows the safety of new drugs is not established – despite FDA approval. 

Aren’t drugs thoroughly tested before going on the market? 

“Actually, the American public is the primary guinea-pig for new medications. The FDA views the first years after some drugs hit the market as Phase 4 of a clinical trial, because that’s when it’s really put to the test,” states Jay S. Cohen, M.D., associate professor of family and preventative medicine at the University of California at San Diego. 

Before FDA approval of a new drug, only a few hundred or thousand of carefully screened patients have used it, and then only for a few weeks or months. It’s only after FDA approval that drug-makers sell their new drugs to a diverse cross-section of the population for long-term use. 

The JAMA doctors uncovered data that shows a staggering 19.8 million patients–almost 10% of the American public–were exposed to new drugs before they were removed from the market. 

New Isn’t Always Better 

“A major study found that 51 percent of all new drugs have serious side effects that were not recognized prior to approval,”states Dr. Cohen. Like the JAMA doctors cited above, Dr. Cohen “recommend[s] that doctors and patients avoid medications that have only been on the market a few years, unless there’s a specific reason to use them rather than older formulas whose risk are better known.” 

There may be a growing number of medical professionals concerned about the safety of new drugs. A symposium sponsored by the U.S. Army Medical Dept. and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine concurred with the same JAMA report:

Adverse drug reactions, they acknowledge, is a leading cause of death in the U.S. They analyzed the 25-year record of drug label changes (between 1975 to 1999) as they appeared in the Physician’s Desk Reference and found that 548 new drugs were approved during that period. Of these 20% required subsequent black box warnings about life threatening drug reactions, half of these adverse effects were detected within 2 years, others took much longer. Sixteen [new] drugs had to be withdrawn from the market because they were lethal. 

… 

The JAMA report corroborated the findings of the LA Times earlier report: in some cases FDA approved new drugs despite pre-marketing evidence indicating potential danger. In his editorial in JAMA, FDA’s Dr. Robert Temple attempts to disavow agency responsibility, while acknowledging: “Pre-marketing trials in a few thousand (usually relatively uncomplicated) [parenthetical statement is original] patients do not detect all of a drug’s adverse effects…and sometimes the post-marketing discoveries cause the drug to be withdrawn.”

The military symposium was also referring to the Pulitzer-Prize-winning investigative report published in the Los Angeles Times(David Willman, December 2000) which shows the FDA was the last to withdraw several drugs already banned by Europeanhealth agencies. In eight years, from January 1993 through December 2000, seven deadly drugs were brought to market only to be withdrawn after the new drugs had been linked to at least 1,002 deaths. 

Sources

Why turmeric may be the diseased liver’s best friend

Sayer Ji
greenmedinfo.com
Fri, 12 Jul 2013 15:09 CDT

You know turmeric has health benefits, most notably reducing inflammation, but did you know it may also protect and heal the damaged and diseased liver? 

A new clinical trial published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine is shedding light on turmeric’s remarkable liver protective and regenerative properties.[1] 

South Korean researchers at the Clinical Trial Center for Functional Foods, Chonbuk National University Hospital, tested their hypothesis that turmeric may improve liver function by administering a fermented form to subjects, 20 years old and above, who were diagnosed mild to moderate elevated alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, a maker for liver damage and/or dysfunction. 

Sixty subjects were randomized to receive 3.0 g per fermented turmeric powder (FTP) or placebo 3.0 g per day for 12 weeks. The treatment group received two capsules of FTP three times a day after meals, for 12 weeks. 

What were the results? 

Not only did FTP significantly reduce ALT levels in subjects but also reduced serum aspartate transaminase (AST) and gamma-glutamyltransferase (GGT), two additional enzymes which when elevated are commonly associated with liver damage. The effects were maintained as long as the subjects remained on the treatment. Also, FTP was well tolerated and without significant adverse effects. 

This study adds additional weight to a rather vast body of preclinical research that has accumulated over the past two decades confirming turmeric and its primary polyphenol curcumin’s liver protecting properties. The GreenMedInfo.com database now contains 86 studies demonstrating the ability of turmeric (and curcumin) to protect the liver against a wide range of chemical and drug exposures.[2] We recently featured a study published in the Journal of the Medical Association of Thailandwhich revealed the potential of turmeric to protect and regenerate the diabetic liver.[3] 

Turmeric May Also Kill Liver Cancer 

What may be even more remarkable is the accumulating research on the anti-liver cancer properties of turmeric (and curcumin). The GreenMedInfo.com has 26 preclinical studies showing it kills liver cancer cells and tumors, including one case study involving a 6-month old infant with a life-threatening liver vascular tumor (hemangioendothelioma) who was reported treated successfully with a dietary supplement of curcumin, with 6-year follow-up.[4] 

One of the most remarkable facts about turmeric as a potential drug and chemotherapy alternative is its exceptionally high margin of safety. A 2001 study in cancer patients reported that quantities of curcumin up to 8 g, administered per day for three months, were not toxic and resulted in significant anti-cancer properties in a number of those treated.[5] Considering that turmeric is only 3-4% curcumin by weight, this implies that a larger quantity of turmeric can be consumed safely, as well. 

Of course, while these results are promising, the real solution to elevated liver enzymes is to identify the underlying causes, e.g. infection, NSAID use, chemical exposures, dietary intolerances, etc., and remove them. Failing that, those within the integrative medical field who are looking for evidence-based ways to address the sometimes inevitable hepatotoxicity of standard drug-based treatments may find a role for turmeric (curcumin) in their practices. Other folks, simply looking for ways to improve their health and to prevent liver problems may wish to consume smaller doses through incorporating the spice (which must be organic to avoid the dangers of irradiation) into traditional recipes at culinary doses. [see our EATomology project for guidance on this] 

For more information on Turmeric’s amazing healing properties read our article: 600 Reasons Why Turmeric May Be the World’s Most Important Spice. 

Sources

The Nitrate and Nitrite Myth: Another reason not to fear bacon

Chris Kresser
chriskresser.com
Fri, 05 Oct 2012 00:07 CDT

Beyond just being loaded with “artery-clogging saturated fat” andsodium, bacon has been long considered unhealthy due to the use of nitrates and nitrites in the curing process. Many conventional doctors, and well-meaning friends and relatives, will say you’re basically asking for a heart attack or cancer by eating the food many Paleo enthusiasts lovingly refer to as “meat candy”. 

The belief that nitrates and nitrates cause serious health problems has been entrenched in popular consciousness and media. Watch this video clip to see Steven Colbert explain how the coming bacon shortage will prolong our lives thanks to reduced nitrates in our diets. 

In fact, the study that originally connected nitrates with cancer risk and caused the scare in the first place has since been discredited after being subjected to a peer review. There have been major reviews of the scientific literature that found no link between nitrates or nitrites and human cancers, or even evidence to suggest that they may be carcinogenic. Further, recent research suggests that nitrates and nitrites may not only be harmless, they may be beneficial, especially for immunity and heart health. Confused yet? Let’s explore this issue further. 

It may surprise you to learn that the vast majority of nitrate/nitrite exposure comes not from food, but from endogenous sources within the body. (1) In fact, nitrites are produced by your own body in greater amounts than can be obtained from food, and salivary nitrite accounts for 70-90% of our total nitrite exposure. In other words, your spit contains far more nitrites than anything you could ever eat. 

When it comes to food, vegetables are the primary source of nitrites. On average, about 93% of nitrites we get from food come from vegetables. It may shock you to learn that one serving of arugula, two servings of butter lettuce, and four servings of celery or beets all have more nitrite than 467 hot dogs. (2) And your own saliva has more nitrites than all of them! So before you eliminate cured meats from your diet, you might want to address your celery intake. And try not to swallow so frequently. 

All humor aside, there’s no reason to fear nitrites in your food, or saliva. Recent evidence suggests that nitrites are beneficial for immune and cardiovascular function; they are being studied as a potential treatment for hypertension, heart attacks, sickle cell and circulatory disorders. Even if nitrites were harmful, cured meats are not a significant source, as the USDA only allows 120 parts per million in hot dogs and bacon. Also, during the curing process, most of the nitrite forms nitric oxide, which binds to iron and gives hot dogs and bacon their characteristic pink color. Afterwards, the amount of nitrite left is only about 10 parts per million. 

And if you think you can avoid nitrates and nitrites by eating so-called “nitrite- and nitrate-free” hot dogs and bacon, don’t be fooled. These products use “natural” sources of the same chemical like celery and beet juice and sea salt, and are no more free from nitrates and nitrites than standard cured meats. In fact, they may even contain more nitrates and nitrites when cured using “natural” preservatives. 

It’s important to understand that neither nitrate nor nitrite accumulate in body. Ingested nitrate from food is converted into nitrite when it contacts our saliva, and of the nitrate we eat, 25% is converted into salivary nitrite, 20% converted into nitrite, and the rest is excreted in the urine within 5 hours of ingestion. (3) Any nitrate that is absorbed has a very short half-life, disappearing from our blood in under five minutes. (4) Some nitrite in our stomach reacts with gastric contents, forming nitric oxide which may have many beneficial effects. (56) You can listen to my podcast “Does Red Meat Increase Your Risk of Death?” for more information on this topic. 

In general, the bulk of the science suggests that nitrates and nitrites are not problematic and may even be beneficial to health. Critical reviews of the original evidence suggesting that nitrates/nitrites are carcinogenic reveals that in the absence of co-administration of a carcinogenic nitrosamine precursor, there is no evidence for carcinogenesis. (7) Newly published prospective studies show no association between estimated intake of nitrite and nitrite in the diet and stomach cancer. (8) Nitric oxide, formed by nitrite, has been shown to have vasodilator properties and may modulate platelet function in the human body, improving blood pressure and reducing heart attack risk. (91011) Nitrates may also help boost the immune system and protect against pathogenic bacteria (121314

So what do we take from this? There’s no reason to fear nitrates and nitrites in food. No reason to buy nitrate-free, uncured bacon. No reason to avoid cured meats in general, particularly those from high quality sources. In fact, because of concerns about trichinosis from pork, it makes a lot more sense in my opinion to buy cured bacon and other pork products. I do.