General Health Archives - Page 3 of 6 -


Category Archives for "General Health"

Weight Loss and Your Immune System

If you are overweight or obese, you are not alone. But what you might not know is just how bad being overweight is for the immune system. The first reason is that the fat we hate on our belly, butt and thighs is not just ugly flab.  Scientists believe that excess fat in the body also releases a range of potentially toxic substances which can leave you open to illness, or even trigger it.

The second main reason being overweight is bad is that toxic substances and chemicals we consume can also be stored in fatty tissue, making it doubly dangerous. These toxins might even accumulate over time, causing serious damage to the body.

A third reason is that body fat damages our metabolism, slowing it down, thus making it even harder for you to lose weight. Exercising to build muscle will reduce your overall percentage of body fat, and thus the number of toxins in your body as you increase your metabolism.

Lean muscle burns the calories you consume much more efficiently, leading to weight loss and healthy weight maintenance once you reach your weight loss goal. Yoga, tai chi, light weights, and resistance bands can all help you build lean muscle without looking like a body builder.

Another important reason why being overweight is so dangerous is that it is now being described as a persistent low level of chronic inflammation in the body.  Therefore, doing all you can to get down to a normal, healthy weight and reducing the wear and tear on the body from inflammation can do a great deal to improve your overall health.

Watching what you eat can help cut calories, but did you know it can also reduce inflammation and add disease-fighting antioxidants to your diet?  Eating a rainbow everyday of fresh fruits and vegetables can help you lose weight even as you eat a more nutritious and balanced diet.

Anti-inflammatory foods include salmon, broccoli, olive oil and peppers. Antioxidants are powerful disease-fighting agents found in red kidney bean, blueberries, apples and more.
Fruits and vegetables should be the cornerstones of any attempt to lose weight healthily. The water content and fiber will help you feel full for longer. They are also so tasty that adding these foods to your eating lifestyle will usually mean you will be more likely to steer clear of foods that are bad for you, such as red meat and highly-processed sugary sweets made with white sugar and white flour.

Exercise is key to reducing blood pressure and inflammation, decreasing stress, and elevating mood. Therefore, when used in combination with a healthy diet, you should soon see the benefits of weight loss for your appearance, mood and immune system.

New Link Found Between the Brain and Your Immune System

A new study has just revealed a startling hidden connection between the brain and the immune system. Researchers always assumed that there was no lymph system in the brain. Now they have discovered lymphatic pathways hidden deep inside the brain that can help explain how the brain works with the immune system, which in turn protects the brain,

The lymph system is a network of lymph nodes, ducts, vessels and organs which move lymph from the tissues into the bloodstream. Lymph is a whitish fluid made up of lymphocytes, the cells that attack bacteria in the body, and fluid from the intestines, called chyle (pronounced KYLE), which contains proteins and fats that also help ward off diseases.

The most obvious manifestation of your lymph system is when you get swollen glands in your neck when you become sick with a cold or the flu.  They swell up as they gather the resources to fight infection.  Lymph nodes also filter harmful cells such as bacteria and cancer cells to stop the spread of disease.

Scientists knew that the brain helped control the immune system, but were not sure how the brain was protected by the immune system until now.  The discovery is key because it opens the gateway to a new understanding of inflammation in the brain and body as a whole.  It might also reveal the reasons for neurodegenerative disorders such as autism, multiple sclerosis (MS), Alzheimer?s, and other such diseases, offering new hope in the quest to combat illness and the effects of aging on the brain.

Neurological diseases like MS and Alzheimer?s have long been linked to changes in immune system function. Alzheimer?s, for example, is linked with a large build-up of proteins in the brain called amyloid plaques.  Mood disorders have also been linked to autoimmune disorders of the digestive tract such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn?s disease and inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS).

It wasn?t always clear how such connections occurred, but now both a gut-brain connection and a pathway from your immune system into your brain have been uncovered. Chyle from the intestines as part of the lymph system therefore has a direct connection to the brain. This means that any imbalance in the intestines has the potential to negatively impact the brain.

Since the lymph system affects every part of the body, including the brain, it is important to do all you can to boost your immune system. The mind-body connection is now better understood and demonstrates that you are what you eat. It also shows how your mood can affect your immune system, and vice versa. Take care of your immune system, and it will take care of you, and your brain, to combat the effects of aging.

5 Surprising Things That Can Boost Your Immune System

If your immune system is weakened, you’ll end up coming down with colds and other viruses more often than someone with a healthy immune system will. You’ll also be more apt to end up with certain inflammatory conditions.

Most people don’t think about their immune system too often, but just like any portion of your body, it can benefit from a health boost. There are some things that you can do right now that can give your immune system a boost and you’ll enjoy better health and give your system strength to fight off whatever comes.


It might surprise you to learn that one of the things that you can do to boost your immune system is to eat foods that contain gelatine. This ingredient can be found in numerous food products such as jelly.

So the next time that you get a craving for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, go ahead and give in and you’ll be helping your immune system. This ingredient is actually a protein that contains alanine and serine, which are amino acids.

Both of these amino acids are vital for keeping your immune system working the way that it should. If you don’t like to eat jelly, then you can make some soup and get the same benefits of the gelatine.

You can either boil some beef bones yourself or you can buy broth that’s already made at the store and use that as your soup base. The acids in the bones can do so much for your immune system.

They can help it make sure that the collagen in your skin stays healthy so that your skin looks softer and retains that youthful glow. The collagen in the bones that are boiled work to replenish your cells so that you can maintain a healthy cell supply.

Not only is gelatine imperative for cell supply, but it’s also used to keep your cartilage healthy. When you get plenty of gelatine in your diet, you can find relief from certain conditions that affect your muscles and joints.

If you eat a diet that’s rich in gelatine, you’ll help your immune system to be able to keep your heart healthy. In fact, studies have shown that having foods that contain gelatine can lower your risk of heart related problems such as heart attacks.

Eating gelatine can also give your immune system a boost in the area of improving your sleep. If you have trouble with insomnia or you’re a restless sleeper, try having a snack that’s loaded with gelatine.

When your immune system isn’t working right, it can make it harder for you to get fit because it can cause your metabolism to slow down. If you want to get rid of some pounds, make sure that you eat foods that contain gelatine such as broth and it will help boost your immune system to make sure your metabolism is working the way that it should.

Gelatine also works to aid your immune system with your digestive process. When you have a healthy level of stomach acid, not only can you absorb the vitamins and minerals you need from foods, but it also works to keep stomach upset and digestive related illness at bay.


You might have noticed that some people tend to catch whatever bug is going around while others almost never get sick. If you’ve ever wondered about that, the answer could be found in the alkaline level in the body.

When your alkaline level is out of whack, it can make getting sicker a lot easier because your immune system isn’t able to handle the onslaught of germs and bacteria.

While it’s true that there is no foolproof way to make sure that you never get sick, you can give your immune system a boost so that you don’t get sick every time something is going around.

Your body has a pH level. When that level is off, your body will play host to a variety of germs and even some diseases. Eating or not eating certain foods can cause that level to change and when that happens, your body makes a better home for illnesses to be able to thrive.

You don’t want to throw out the welcome mat for germs to be able to make you sick. Your daily eating habits can contribute to an out of balance pH level. So can not getting the right amount of sleep or being under too much stress physically or emotionally.

When your body is in the condition to make it easier for illnesses to flourish, you have to change its condition – and you do that by choosing foods that alter your acidic levels.

One of the ways that you can do this is to eat vegetables that are known to boost alkaline. You’ll find these in foods such as cucumbers, leafy greens and avocados.

When you’re battling an illness, you need to make sure that about 80 percent of the foods that you eat are alkaline based. Load up on foods like almonds, potatoes and spinach.

There are beverages that can help give you the alkaline that you need, too. One of these is green tea. If you drink a couple of cups of green tea every day, you can restore the proper alkaline balance to your body to boost your immune system.

It doesn’t just have to be green tea, though. If you’re someone who loves to drink water, you can add alkaline to your diet simply by making sure that your water contains lemons. The alkaline from the lemons is absorbed quickly into your body and will help to restore the balance that you need.

the human body immune systems chart.

the human body immune systems chart.


You can’t see microbes. These single cell organisms are so small that if they lived on a dot made on a sheet of paper, there would be millions of them. Some people believe that microbes are disease or illness based organisms.

They think that microbes are the culprits behind the cold or other illnesses that they catch. But that’s not the case. Microbes are not an enemy of your immune system.

Quite the contrary, in fact. You need these little guys to keep your immune system healthy. Without them, you would have trouble with your stomach, your intestines, your colon and more.

Every person in the world carries microbes. You have them on your skin and you have them inside your body. Each of these microbes will contain things like germs that do make you ill, but they also contain things that help keep you healthy by working with your immune system.

The place where microbes live together in one large collection is called a microbiome. For people, that microbiome would be found in the body. Your body either makes it easy for microbes to flourish or it doesn’t.

Plus, depending on how you treat your body, the microbe environment will determine whether you end up benefiting from the microbes or you end up sick. A lack of healthy microbes have been linked to health troubles like emotional struggles such as depression or physical struggles such as allergies.

These organisms can contribute to weight gain, leading to obesity, which in turn leads to more health problems. What you want to do is to make sure that you have the healthy microbes that benefit your body and boost your immune system.

You can do this by deciding that you’re going to eat a healthy diet. The microbes feed on the foods that you eat. They simply can’t survive without it. For example, if you’re someone who exists on mainly junk food and the amount of fiber you get is too minimal to be of any use, then you won’t get the benefit of the microbes.

You want to have a growth of microbes that can boost your health and cut your chances of getting sick. To get that, you have to make it easy for the microbes. Microbes can be found in your digestive system and these organisms can be instrumental in whether you’re overweight or not.

They can also affect the production of your good cholesterol. The amount of microbes you can work to boost your immune system and they work to help you process things your body needs.

They can create vitamins and they work to fight off inflammatory health problems. You have so many microbes in your body right now, you wouldn’t be able to count them and you get more of them every single day.

While you go about your daily routine, these guys are working in your intestines to digest your food, fight illness, keep your stomach safe from bacteria and promote good health.

These organisms are responsible for curbing your desire to eat, in keeping your brain function healthy and for stabilizing your moods. One of the foods that can help microbes flourish in your body is yogurt.

When you eat yogurt with live, active cultures, you feed the microbes and enable them to do the job of helping your immune system so that it can work protecting your body.

Activated Charcoal

It’s true that when most people think of charcoal, they think of it belonging in a grill and heating it up when it’s time to have a cookout. But activated charcoal has a lot of health benefits for you including the ability to boost your immune system.

The difference between regular charcoal and activated charcoal is that the activated one can be used as a health benefit. It’s made when it’s heated and then it becomes porous.

When the charcoal becomes porous, it then has the ability to be able to absorb things in the body. Normally, you would find this type of charcoal used in an emergency situation, such as someone took too much medication and they’re given the charcoal.

The charcoal then absorbs and binds to whatever medication was taken. But now, because of its health benefits, activated charcoal can be found in a variety of juices.

You’ll find that these juices with the activated charcoal can do wonders for the body – such as helping you to cleanse, getting rid of a hangover or boosting the immune system.

You can buy these at the grocery store next to single servings of vitamin or healthy vegetable drinks or you can make it yourself at home by mixing charcoal powder with other ingredients such as lemon juice

When you drink the activated charcoal drinks, it works to help the body get rid of toxins that can impede your immune system. It can be useful for helping restore your digestive system to good health by absorbing what has the potential to make you sick.

The charcoal binds to unhealthy matter and removes it. Now you do need to make sure that you don’t use activated charcoal at the same time that you have to take medications.

Make sure you don’t take it for a few hours after you take your medicine because the charcoal will bind to the medication and render it useless. Activated charcoal can relieve stomach upset, get rid of painful gas, lower cholesterol and more.

When you use it to get rid of the things in your body that make you sick, it enables your immune system to work better.

Bee Venom

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a bee sting, you know how much they hurt. But if you think that bees are only good for pollinating flowers and giving people a painful sting, that would be incorrect.

Bee venom is a powerful, natural way that you can boost your immune system. It’s so powerful that it can alleviate symptoms associated with autoimmune diseases.

It can also be used to fight back against cancer and degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. People who have arthritis can benefit from the use of bee venom, too.

If you take part in getting treated with bee venom, you’ll notice that you’re not getting sick as often. That’s because your immune system is keeping you healthier.

The way that you get treated with bee venom means that you allow yourself to be stung, but it’s done under supervision and it can be used to treat a myriad of conditions while boosting your immune system.

There is bee venom available that you can take orally or through injections that can give you the benefits that you seek. When you get stung by a bee, it hurts. Everyone knows that.

What happens next is that you will develop an inflammation. And the body reacts to this bee sting by sending out hordes of inflammation fighting hormones. The body does this as a way to stop the inflammation.

You benefit because your body never does anything in small measures. It wants to make sure that the inflammation is taken care of so you end up with a whole lot of hormones.

After these hormones deal with the inflammation the bee sting triggered, then they turn to whatever else is going on in your body and they treat it, too. This means that if you deal with health issues such as rheumatoid arthritis, you’ll benefit from the use of bee venom and find relief from the painful symptoms.

When you have inflammatory conditions, your body tries to fight back with an immune response, but what that does is it can aggravate the area such as with arthritis and contribute to the pain and swelling.

Bee venom can soothe the immune response so that you get the benefits of your immune system trying to heal the area without the painful reaction to the inflammation.

Science is continually discovering ways to boost your immune system. Keep an eye out for news of what works and what doesn’t in keeping you healthy, and see if any of these new discoveries help you keep a strong immune system intact.

5 Common Things That Can Deplete Your Immune System

Your immune system works hard to keep you healthy. You already know that there are things that can cause your immune system to have to difficulty working well.

But it might surprise you to know that there are five common issues that can really wreak havoc on how well your body can function in keeping illness and disease at bay.


Loneliness is one of the more common reasons that your immune system can become depleted, but most people don’t realize it’s a contributing factor. When it comes to this, most people think of loneliness as not having someone to socialize with.

But loneliness can mean that you feel sad or isolated. It can also mean that you feel like you don’t have a single person that you can truly connect with and it can make you feel anxious.

What happens then is people tend to withdraw and become even more isolated, which in turn makes the loneliness an ongoing situation. When you experience loneliness, it can prevent your immune system from working the way that it should.

As a result, you can end up getting sick more often or battling diseases that can strike at any time. Your body has both a sympathetic and a parasympathetic nervous system and loneliness can cause your body to stop creating protection for you that you would normally have.

You won’t be able to fight off viruses or other illnesses as well – if at all. The anxiety that you experience due to the loneliness can make you feel unsafe, which leads to more worry and more loneliness.

When you experience loneliness, your nervous system works to kick the infection fighting cells into high gear. It’s part of the body’s survival instinct. This is okay if it’s not something that happens often or long term, so you won’t experience any issues.

However, when you battle loneliness on a continual basis, then what happens is these infection fighting cells are linked to the development of inflammatory diseases such as Crohn’s Disease or diabetes.

Fortunately, loneliness is something that you have the power to change. One of the triggers for loneliness is social isolation. This isn’t something that happens only to the elderly.

You can experience it at any age. But since it’s a contributing factor to chronic health issues, you’ll want to deal with it – and there are several ways that you can do that and boost your immune system.

Stop social isolation by getting involved in something. Join an organization that puts you around people on a regular basis. When you’re busy, you’ll see that loneliness isn’t as big of an issue if at all in your life.

Become a volunteer. There are so many places that could use your help. Hospitals need volunteers, food programs are always looking for people to help them, and schools need tutors to help students.

You can volunteer with community programs, for blood drives, for fundraisers, with homebuilding organizations, with pet rescue programs. The list of places where you can volunteer is quite extensive.

As a result of volunteering, not only will you find that the loneliness is gone, but that you’ll feel better about yourself. Being needed is the perfect salve for feeling unwanted or neglected.

An image of a human body immune systems chart.

An image of a human body immune systems chart.


Stress is something that everyone’s going to encounter. It means that you’ve experienced feelings of worry, anger, anxiety or tension because of something you’re dealing with.

Most people tend to think stress is something everyone has to endure. While it’s true that stress is a part of life, it does have the potential to deplete your immune system and can make you sick and even chronically ill if you don’t learn how to get it under control.

Stress affects your immune system because it can cause your body to overproduce cortisol. This overproduction of cortisol has been linked to conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and a compromised immune system because your body can’t withstand the onslaught of high cortisol levels.

When the cortisol levels remain high in your body, your immune system can’t keep up the defense, which in turn allows you to become sick with viruses and inflammatory health problems.

Some doctors believe that stress has a direct link to an autoimmune diagnosis. When you’re not under stress, the job of cortisol is to keep inflammation at bay. But when you are stressed, because there’s so much cortisol, your body becomes accustomed to it and doesn’t react.

Because your immune system still tried to fight, what it does in its weakened state is to produce inflammatory responses. What happens then is your body starts to create antibodies against its own organs or cells.

As a result, you can end up developing something like arthritis or a number of other autoimmune conditions. When your immune system is depleted by stress and it turns on itself, you can develop conditions that if left untreated, can lead to an early death.

If antibodies are created that destroy the thyroid, the adrenal cells or other parts of the body, this can happen over time and you can’t survive without your thyroid or your adrenal glands.

There are ways that you can stop stress from depleting your immune system. Make sure that you eat healthy and exercise. Exercising releases feel good chemicals that fight stress and the effects of stress.

Meditate, use deep breathing techniques, or get involved with yoga. Spend time doing things that relax you – such as a hobby. Spend time with a pet. One of the health benefits of having a pet is reduced stress.

Plus, having a pet can lower your blood pressure, which is a by-product of stress. If you can’t own one, you might be able to volunteer at a shelter working with animals.

High Blood Sugar

Because high blood sugar can go undetected in the body, a lot of people aren’t even aware that they have an issue with higher than normal readings. But high blood sugar can quickly deplete your immune system and there’s a reason behind this.

When your blood sugar is high, it causes a reaction within the body. Everyone has molecules and when your body is healthy with normal blood sugar, your molecules don’t impact your immune system.

But high blood sugar causes a reaction in the molecules that prods them to fight against your immune system. These culprits are caused by high glucose levels and they can leave your body wide open to virus infections, bacterial infections, chronic health conditions and even premature death.

When your blood sugar is high, it impedes your immune system to the point that it doesn’t have enough strength. If you get cut when your blood sugar is normal, you’ll notice the healing process takes place over a matter of days.

But with high blood sugar, this process can take weeks and even months for a simple cut to heal. The high blood sugar causes damage to occur in your organs because it damages cells.

Some of these cells are present within your immune system and damaged cells just can’t keep you healthy. Normally, your immune system sends cells to fight infections.

But if the cells themselves are damaged, the infections win that battle. High blood sugar levels cause the cells of your immune system to become ineffective against invading infections and you’ll find yourself in a constant struggle to get healthy.

When you have high glucose levels, infections are boosted by the glucose. For example, you normally have certain types of bacteria in the mouth and in the intestinal tract.

But when the blood sugar levels are too high, it causes these bacteria go grow rapidly, become abundant and overtake an area. There are ways that you can combat high blood sugar to keep your immune system healthy.

You have to eat a balanced diet that’s low in carbs. Having too many carbs can keep your sugar levels elevated, especially if they’re simple carbs. Maintain a regular exercise regimen.

When you exercise, it helps your body be less resistant to insulin, which helps control your blood sugar levels. If you have trouble with high blood sugar and you can’t control it through diet and exercise, then you need to get on medications that can keep the glucose from building up in your bloodstream and harming your immune system.


When it comes to watching out for the immune system and making sure that it stays healthy, most people don’t think of how medications can hurt it. There are many different health conditions that doctors will prescribe steroids for during the course of treatment.

They’re used to treat things such as asthma, reactions to things like poison ivy or other skin irritants, autoimmune or inflammatory conditions. Some medications like steroids that are known to deplete the immune system won’t have an effect if you don’t use it long term.

This is one of the reasons that steroids are meant for use for a short period of time only. If you have to be on a medication like steroids for months, then it will deplete your immune system and leave you at risk for infections and illnesses.

This is because steroids work by suppressing the immune system. This effectively leaves you without any line of defense. How much of the medication that you have to take matters, too.

Smaller doses of medications aren’t as hard on your immune system as higher doses are, which means that your risk will be smaller. This is true whether the dosage that you take is in oral or cream form.

Drugs that are used to treat GERD can also cause your immune system to be depleted. This is because these medications work to keep your body from producing stomach acid, which elevates your chances of getting sick.

Your immune system uses stomach acid in the fight against illness. When the stomach acid can’t be produced, it leaves you open to sickness. If you have high cholesterol and you take medications to lower it, this can also affect your immune system.

Obviously, there are certain medical conditions that are going to require treatment. But if you’re faced with taking a medication that can disrupt your immune system, you’ll want to make a different choice.

You can ask the doctor if there’s a different medication that won’t affect your immune system. If you have any health conditions currently that already weaken your system, it’s important to do this.

You can also ask for a lower dosage or for a shorter use time. If there is no medication that you can take without hurting your immune system and you’re going to need long term use, you can see if there’s a natural remedy.


If you’ve ever dealt with insomnia, you know how annoying it can be. But you might not know that when you struggle to get the right amount of sleep, it can have an unpleasant effect on your immune system.

Without sleep, your immune system becomes weaker and unable to fight off infections and illness the way that it used to. There are immediate responses in your body when you lose sleep.

Just like when you get physically sick and you see a rise in your white blood cell count, you have the exact same reaction in your body when you don’t get enough sleep.

You’ll end up feeling sick and run down as a result because your cells are affected. When you lose sleep, your body starts producing more cortisol, which is the stress hormone.

With the rise in the stress hormone, you’ll experience anxiety, troubles with your digestive system, greater risk of heart related diseases, high blood pressure, greater risk of developing diabetes, and a higher risk for chronic diseases.

Because insomnia can have such devastating effects on your health, you’ll want to take steps to remedy the condition as soon as possible. Stay away from anything that stimulates your brain right before you go to sleep.

This would be things like being on a computer, or watching television. Use window darkening curtains if you have any light shining into your bedroom and if possible, make sure that you don’t have any light on in your home where you can see it.

If you do happen to wake up in the middle of the night, don’t check a clock. If you know how much time you have left to sleep before you have to get up, this can make you feel stressed and pressured to get back to sleep, which only makes the insomnia worse.

Don’t let your bedroom get too warm. This can contribute to insomnia. Your body temperature goes down at night as part of a sleep cycle and when you keep it cooler in your room, it helps you sleep.

Have your melatonin level checked and if you’re low on this, raising it can help you get to sleep. Look for natural remedies too that are known to help. This would be things like warm milk or natural herbs.

Knowing what habits and environmental hazards can take a toll on your immune system is the first step in getting healthy. Take each one and tweak your lifestyle to see if you can improve on your immune system.

The stronger it gets, the harder it is for anything to compromise it, and you’ll stay healthier and happier for longer periods of time!

Sugar Is Definitely Toxic

It’s been a while since this has come up but now a brand new study confirms sugar being something you’d better stay clear off:

Sugar Is Definitely Toxic, a New Study Says

That’s what scientists have concluded from a first-of-its-kind diet study involving overweight kids

Fat was the food villain these past few decades but sugar is quickly muscling in to take its place. As rates of sugar-related disorders such as diabetes, obesity and heart disease climb, many experts believe that when Americans rid themselves of fat, they simply replaced it with sugar in all its forms.


But proving that the rise of the chronic diseases was actually linked to higher sugar consumption is a challenge. Dr. Robert Lustig, from the department of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, who has made a name for himself publishing books and research addressing the question of sugar’s effects on the body, wanted clearer answers. Now, in a paper published Tuesday, he and his colleagues believe they have come up with the definitive evidence that sugar, as Lustig says, “is toxic.”

In most lab studies, the doses of sugar that scientists test are quite high; they want to see what the effect is quickly and, depending on the research, they may not have time to wait to study the more gradual effects that might emerge. And in studies where people reduce the amount of sugar they eat, for instance, those people end up eating fewer calories overall, so it’s difficult to know whether any changes are due to the removal of sugar or to the drop in calories.

Lustig and his colleagues think they’ve produced the “hard and fast data that sugar is toxic irrespective of its calories and irrespective of weight.”

Read on

WHO: Hot dogs, bacon and other processed meats cause cancer

Wow, so happy I’m eating just 2 steaks per month and not having  any of these hot dogs or bacon..

That being said I still have quite a lot of charcuterie prepared by Weight Watcher’s so I guess I’d better cut that out as well..

Here’s that Washington Post article:

A research division of the World Health Organization announced Monday that bacon, sausage and other processed meats cause cancer and that red meat probably does, too.

The report by the influential group stakes out one of the most aggressive stances against meat taken by a major health organization, and it is expected to face stiff criticism in the United States.

The WHO findings were drafted by a panel of 22 international experts who reviewed decades of research on the link between red meat, processed meats and cancer. The panel reviewed animal experiments, studies of human diet and health, and cell processes that could explain how red meat might cause cancer.

But the panel’s decision was not unanimous, and by raising lethal concerns about a food that anchors countless American meals, it will be controversial.

The $95 billion U.S. beef industry has been preparing for months to mount a response, and some scientists, including some unaffiliated with the meat industry, have questioned whether the evidence is substantial enough to draw the strong conclusions that the WHO panel did.

In reaching its conclusion, the panel sought to quantify the risks, and compared to carcinogens such as cigarettes, the magnitude of the danger appears small, experts said. The WHO panel cited studies suggesting that an additional 3.5 ounces of red meat everyday raises the risk of colorectal cancer by 17 percent; eating an additional 1.8 ounces of processed meat daily raises the risk by 18 percent, according to the research cited.

“For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” says Kurt Straif, an official with the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which produced the report. “In view of the large number of people who consume processed meat, the global impact on cancer incidence is of public health importance.”

About 34,000 cancer deaths a year worldwide are attributable to diets high in processed meats, according to figures cited by the panel…

Read on at this link

Diet that mimics fasting appears to slow aging

Oh no, yet another diet? Well possibly, a brand new study shows some very promising outcome so keep reading…

Want to lose abdominal fat, get smarter and live longer? New research led by USC’s Valter Longo shows that periodically adopting a diet that mimics the effects of fasting may yield a wide range of health benefits.

In a new study, Longo and his colleagues show that cycles of a four-day low-calorie diet that mimics fasting (FMD) cut visceral belly fat and elevated the number of progenitor and stem cells in several organs of old mice — including the brain, where it boosted neural regeneration and improved learning and memory.

The mouse tests were part of a three-tiered study on periodic fasting’s effects — testing yeast, mice and humans — to be published by Cell Metabolism on June 18.
Fasting’s lifelong effects

Mice, which have relatively short life spans, provided details about fasting’s lifelong effects. Yeast, which are simpler organisms, allowed Longo to uncover the biological mechanisms that fasting triggers at a cellular level. And a pilot study in humans found evidence that the mouse and yeast studies were, indeed, applicable to humans.

Bimonthly cycles that lasted four days of an FMD which started at middle age extended life span, reduced the incidence of cancer, boosted the immune system, reduced inflammatory diseases, slowed bone mineral density loss and improved the cognitive abilities of older mice tracked in the study. The total monthly calorie intake was the same for the FMD and control diet groups, indicating that the effects were not the result of an overall dietary restriction.

In a pilot human trial, three cycles of a similar diet given to 19 subjects once a month for five days decreased risk factors and biomarkers for aging, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer with no major adverse side effects, according to Longo.

“Strict fasting is hard for people to stick to, and it can also be dangerous, so we developed a complex diet that triggers the same effects in the body,” said Longo, Edna M. Jones Professor of Biogerontology at the USC Davis School of Gerontology and director of the USC Longevity Institute. Longo has a joint appointment at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences. “I’ve personally tried both, and the fasting mimicking diet is a lot easier and also a lot safer.”

The diet slashed the individual’s caloric intake down to 34 to 54 percent of normal, with a specific composition of proteins, carbohydrates, fats and micronutrients. It decreased amounts of the hormone IGF-I, which is required during development to grow, but it is a promoter of aging and has been linked to cancer susceptibility. It also increased the amount of the hormone IGFBP-, and reduced biomarkers/risk factors linked to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, including glucose, trunk fat and C-reactive protein without negatively affecting muscle and bone mass…

Read on at this link

30 minutes of exercise a day is not enough

Well here’s an article that might serve as a wake-up call for you too, meaning that if you don’t exercise at all or think (like me) walking around the block for 15 minutes will keep you in good condition you should definitely read about the new study which is referred to in the Washington Post article here below:

If you’re among of the millions of Americans who dutifully carve out 30 minutes a day for the moderate-intensity exercise recommended by experts based on the idea that you’re doing all you can for your heart, you’re in for some disappointing news.

A new analysis published Monday in the journal Circulation finds that that amount of activity may not be good enough.

For the paper, researchers reviewed 12 studies involving 370,460 men and women with varying levels of physical activity. Over a mean follow-up time of 15 years, this group experienced 20,203 heart failure events. Each of the participants self-reported their daily activities, allowing the team to estimate the amount of exercise they were doing.

They found that those following the 30-minutes-a-day guidelines issued by the American Heart Association had “modest reductions” in heart failure risk compared to those who did not work out at all.

But those who exercised twice and four times as much had “a substantial risk reduction” of 20 percent and 35 percent, respectively.

The findings challenge the notion of a 30-minutes-a-day magic number for exercise. Instead, research found that physical activity and heart failure may be what they called “dose dependent,” meaning that higher levels of physical activity appeared to be linked to a lower risk of heart failure. That association appeared to hold across age groups, gender and race.

Jarett D. Berry, senior author of the study and an associate professor at University of Texas Southwestern Medical School, said the study shows that physicians and health policymakers should consider making stronger recommendations for greater amounts of physical activity to prevent heart failure.

Read on by clicking this link

How to Cancel Out the Bad Effects of Sitting All Day

Working from home on my computer is probably the reason I’m sitting behind my desk far more than I probably should, that being said I do get up every hour or so to walk around the apartment and I even try to force myself to go out once a day to walk around the block for 15 minutes or so. How about you?

Well here’s a story that just appeared in TIME magazine that I recommend you read about a new study on this very subject that was published recently:

Finally, some good news for those of us who sit for a living

Sitting is basically the new smoking.

An ever-growing body of research is showing that being sedentary and sitting for long periods of time are linked to poor health consequences, including a laundry list of risks for conditions ranging from obesity to heart disease. Even exercising doesn’t make up for the negative health effects of being stuck in your seat.

But before you beg your boss for a standing desk, a new study suggests that moving a little throughout the day—also known as fidgeting—can actually counteract the problems that come with sitting for extended periods of time.

The new study, published Wednesday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, found that women who sat for long periods of time have a lower mortality rate if they considered themselves moderately to very fidgety, compared to women who said they only fidgeted occasionally. Women who sat for long periods of time without fidgeting had an increased risk of death that wasn’t seen among other groups. Perhaps most surprisingly of all, the researchers didn’t find a difference in mortality risk between women who sat more versus those who were more active—as long as the sitters were fidgety.

The data came from surveys of 14,000 women from ages 35 to 69 living in the U.K., and the women were followed for an average of 12 years. “The current study…provides important information that though longer time spent sitting may have negative consequences, simple behaviors may have the potential to offset this,” the study authors write in the report…

Read on at this link

Research shows passive smoking raises risk of type 2 diabetes

Just when you thought things couldn’t possibly get worse with regard to the effects of smoking or passive smoking a new study published by the Lancet journal shows passive smoking actually increases risk of  getting diabetes type 2, you can read an excerpt of the story here:

Lancet journal’s meta-analysis says chance of diabetes for non-smokers inhaling ‘secondhand’ smoke raised by 22%

 Pooled results of 88 studies covering almost six million people suggest heavy smokers have a 57% higher risk of diabetes than non-smokers

Non-smokers who breathe in other people’s cigarette smoke are at significantly higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, research published on Friday shows.

“Passive smoking” increases a non-smoker’s chances of becoming a diabetic by 22% compared with the chances for those who have never inhaled tobacco smoke, the study says.

It is well known that active smokers are more likely to develop diabetes, and these latest findings assess that risk as being 37%. Former smokers are also at an increased risk – put at 14% more than for those who have never lit up – of type 2 diabetes, which itself increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and blindness.


The NHS has warned that 80% of “secondhand” smoke is invisible and that it can raise the risk of meningitis, cancer, bronchitis and pneumonia.

The findings are contained in a meta-analysis of 88 previous studies, covering almost six million participants. It looked at the link between active and passive smoking, and was published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology medical journal. Both smoking and inhalation of secondhand smoke were “associated with significantly increased risks of type 2 diabetes”, the authors concluded.

Deborah Arnott, chief executive of the anti-smoking charity Ash, said: “We already know that smoking increases the risk of type 2 diabetes but it now appears that people exposed to secondhand smoke and former smokers are also at risk.

“We advise smokers with diabetes who want to stop smoking to use licensed nicotine products or electronic cigarettes which will deal with any cravings and will help them manage their diet to avoid putting on excess weight.”

The authors said that accumulating evidence suggested that secondhand smoke could also be a concern for diabetes risk, as was smoking. “Reduction of active smoking should automatically reduce the prevalence of secondhand smoke exposure.”

Read on at this link