The Washington Post - The weird history of vitamin D - and what it actually has to do with sun - As you soak in rays of almost-summer sunshine, your thoughts may turn to vitamin D - because you probably know it has something to do with the sun. But do you actually know what it is? Humans are kinda capable of photosynthesis, and they use it to produce what scientists believe to be the oldest hormone that has ever existed on earth. Read more...
Bustle - 12 Natural Remedies To Treat Bloating & Prevent It In The First Place - If bloating only affected us when we were on our period, life would be much easier. But bloating is a common complaint that affects women across the board, no matter your age, size, or where you are in your menstrual cycle. Blame it on your physical makeup - no, really, you can put all the blame on biology. Read more...
NaturalPath - What Makes Superfoods Super? - All living organisms are constantly exposed to stress derived from internal a-nd external sources. Reactive species (RS) that come from oxygen are ROS and reactive species derived from nitrogen are RNS. Free radicals are generated from oxidative stress and play an important role in the development of organ damage and aging. Read more...
Clinical Advisor - Slippery elm: an effective anti-inflammatory agent. The aptly named slippery elm tree, or Ulmus rubra, is a deciduous tree that is native to most of North America, and it was designated as a specific species in 1793 by Gotthilf Muhlenberg, a German American clergyman and botanist from Pennsylvania. Slippery elm trees can grow to a height of 65 feet and may have a diameter as large as 20 inches. Read more...
Medical Daily - Neurotensin, A Hormone Found In The Digestive Tract, May Play Role In Obesity By Aiding In Fat Absorption From Food - (Wednesday, May 11, 2016) A hormone predominantly found in our guts may help us absorb fat from our diets and could contribute to the development of obesity under certain circumstances, according to a new study published in Nature. The researchers, primarily hailing from the University of Kentucky, conducted a series of experiments on lab mice, fruit flies, and humans that examined how the hormone, called neurotensin (NT), functions in the gut. Read more...
AANP - Tart Cherry Juice Boosts Sleep Time In Adults With Insomnia - (Tuesday, April 29, 2014). A study has found that drinking Montmorency tart cherry juice twice a day began increasing the total nightly sleep duration of older adults with insomnia by almost 90 minutes within two weeks. (Insomnia is a common health problem among older adults and is defined as trouble sleeping an average of more than three nights per week. It is linked to chronic pain, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and a decline of cognitive function, or dementia.
Sleeping pills quadruple the risk of falls in the elderly. Tart cherries contain melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the sleep-wake cycle.) Older adults with insomnia consumed 8 ounces of tart cherry juice twice daily for two weeks, followed by a two-week washout period, then a two-week period when a placebo beverage was consumed. Those drinking tart cherry juice slept 84 minutes longer on average; their sleep was also more efficient.
Observer-Reporter (observer-reporter.com) - Doctor relied on homeopathic remedies for father with Alzheimer's - By Karen Mansfield - (Sunday, April 27, 2014). For the more than 5.2 million Americans living with Alzheimer's, there is no cure for the brain disease.
But there are medications available that may help lessen symptoms, including memory loss, confusion and problems with thinking and reasoning, for a short time.
According to Dr. Oscar Lopez, director of the University of Pittsburgh Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, five drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are available to treat the cognitive symptoms. Four of the drugs - Aricept, Reminyl, Exelon and Cognex (which is rarely prescribed today) - are called cholinesterase inhibitors. They work by slowing the breakdown of a chemical in the brain called acetylcholine, which facilitates communication among nerve cells and is important for memory.
The Huffington Post (huffingtonpost.com) - 8 Remedies For Spring Allergies - By Sara Schwartz - (Friday, April 18, 2014). Ahh, Spring! All winter long we anticipate the warmer weather, chirpier birds, and blooming flowers. But for one in four Americans, spring also heralds seasonal allergies, an immune system response that turns sufferers into congested, itchy sneeze machines. Plus, thanks to a precipitation-heavy winter, experts are predicting a particularly severe Spring pollen season. Want to avoid as much of that mess as possible? Read on for effective allergy treatments that promise to prevent or lessen your reaction to the allergen onslaught.
The Atlantic (theatlantic.com) - The Mind Does Not Belong in a Cubicle - By Laura Smith - (Monday, April 28, 2014). Our brains evolved to work most efficiently in natural environments.
A group of 16 people sits in front of large Mac desktops in clusters of three and four at a start-up in Brooklyn. Aside from the steady tapping away at keyboards, there is little noise. It's six o'clock, and people just want to go home. With its open floor plan, casual dress code, and creative staff, this is considered a great place to work-but still there is something vaguely dissatisfying about the space, and it is not the only office like this.
The New York Times (NY) - Health Care Apps Offer Patients an Active Role - By Ann Carrns - (Friday, April 25, 2014). If you have young children, you've most likely endured caring for an ear infection or two. Or perhaps you've experienced a mysterious rash. Those situations generally mean a trip to the doctor's office and time away from your job, if you work outside the home.
But what if you could snap a photo of your rash, or your child's ear canal, and send it to your doctor? That's the idea behind a new breed of apps and devices that increasingly put medical tools in the hands of consumers
Natural Solutions Mag (naturalsolutionsmag.com) - Herbal Intelligence - By Craig Gustafson - (Tuesday, April 1, 2014). Coming out of college, Ric Scalzo didn't visualize himself seeing a dozen patients a day and dispensing herbal remedies.
"I wanted to find my path toward my spiritual side of life," said Scalzo. "My journey was not so much to connect me to the healing properties of plants, but one that would connect me to nature and to allow me to find some sort of peace spiritually."
People have long been told that a diet high in fibre can help to fight obesity, but how it does so has been unclear. "There has been lots of epidemiological information showing a relationship between fibre and obesity, but no one has been able to connect the epidemiological results with actual mechanisms," says Jimmy Bell, a biochemist at Imperial College London who worked on the research, published today in Nature Communications.
Nature (nature.com) - Dietary fibre acts on brain to suppress appetite - By Brian Owens - (Tuesday, April 29, 2014). A study of mouse metabolism suggests that a product of fibre fermentation may be directly affecting the hypothalamus, a region of the brain involved in regulating appetite.
Health Day (consumer.healthday.com) - High-Fiber Diet May Aid Heart Attack Survivors - By Amy Norton - (Tuesday, April 29, 2014). Heart attack survivors who get the recommended amount of fiber in their diets may live longer, a new study suggests.
Many studies have found that fiber lovers tend to have a lower risk of developing heart disease in the first place. Experts said the new findings suggest fiber -- especially from whole grains -- has benefits after a heart attack as well.
AANP - New Study Finds High Demand for Naturopathic Physicians Among Older Americans - (Sunday, April 27, 2014) According to a newly released study, 55% of older Americans who live in states that license naturopathic physicians would consider seeking care from a naturopathic physician. Because naturopathic physicians are not currently eligible to participate in Medicare, however, most seniors are not able to obtain care from a naturopathic physician despite their desire to do so.
The study was conducted by Infosurv, a leading survey research company. Infosurv surveyed 384 individuals 65 years of age and older who live in states that license naturopathic physicians. The survey provides a margin of error of +/- 5% percentage points.
NH Magazine (nhmagazine.com) - Childless, but not by choice - Treatment can help those who struggle with infertility - By Karen A. Jamrog - (Monday, April 28, 2014) "I was embarrassed that I might be infertile," says Marcia, a Granite State resident, as she looks back on her struggles in the 1990s to conceive. "I felt somewhat like a failure, [thinking that] I wasn't able to get pregnant because my body was lacking something."
For the millions of people who want but are unable to have biological children, the psychological toll of infertility can be tremendous. "The rate of infertility in this country is the same as that of breast cancer, but it's not something that people talk about," says Jaclyn Chasse, ND, a naturopathic doctor and the cofounder of Northeast Integrative Medicine in Bedford. "It can be a real silent struggle," she says.
Health Day (consumer.healthday.com) - Gastro Woes More Common in Kids With Autism: Review - By Brenda Goodman - (Monday, April 28, 2014) What many parents of children with autism have long suspected -- that autism and gastrointestinal complaints often go together -- is now supported by a new study.
The study, a review of medical research, found that children with autism are more than four times as likely as their typically developing peers to have digestive difficulties such as abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation.
Science Daily (sciencedaily.com) - Diet can predict cognitive decline, researchers say - (Sunday, April 27, 2014) Lower dietary consumption of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexanoic acid (DHA) might be risk factors for cognitive decline, researchers say. There is growing evidence that very long chain omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for maintaining cognitive health.
"While more research is needed to determine whether intake of fatty fish such as salmon, tuna and trout can help prevent against cognitive decline, our preliminary data support previous research showing that intake of these types of fish have health benefits," one researcher said.
San Jose Mercury News (mercurynews.com) - Wellness programs grow more popular with employers - By Tom Murphy and Catherine Lucey - (Sunday, April 27, 2014) That little voice nagging you to put down the cake and lace up the running shoes is increasingly coming from your employer and is likely to grow louder with a looming change under the federal health care overhaul.
More companies are starting or expanding wellness programs that aim to reduce their medical costs by improving their employees' health. They're asking workers to take physical exams, complete detailed health assessments and focus on controlling conditions such as diabetes. Along with that, many companies also are dangling the threat of higher monthly insurance premiums to prod workers into action.
Great Falls Tribune (greatfallstribune.com) - Naturopathic Corner: Food allergies, weight gain often go hand in hand - By Nancy Patterson - (Tuesday, April 22, 2014) Last month in Dr. Jacqueline Arnold's My Health column, she mentioned that chronic inflammation is common in those who are obese. I have found that most people don't understand the relationship between eating foods that disagree with their bodies and increasing weight gain.
As she mentioned, when you eat food that causes inflammation, specifically in your gut, you become more vulnerable to steady weight gain, joint pain, mood disorders and skin problems. By removing the offending foods, you could lose between 18 and 20 pounds and keep them off by continuing to avoid those foods.
Washington Post (washingtonpost.com) - Why do allergies wax and wane as we age? - By Brian Palmer - (Monday, April 21, 2014) It's odd that allergies are as mysterious as they are, considering they affect more than 50 million people in the United States.
We have a basic understanding of how allergies work: Sufferers produce an antibody called immunoglobulin E when exposed to substances that are otherwise harmless, such as cat dander, peanuts or ragweed. IgE sets off a chain reaction that results in sneezing, sniffling and red, itchy eyes.
The Oregonian (oregonlive.com) - Excessive salt in processed food has killed 400,000 since 2010, group says - By Lynne Terry - (Monday, April 21, 2014) One of the biggest threats in the U.S. diet these days is not too much fat, sugar or even salmonella and E. coli. It's salt.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest said Monday that salt, which turns up in high quantities in processed food, is probably the single most harmful substance in the food supply. The group estimates that thousands of people die each year from heart attacks, strokes or other health problems caused or exacerbated by excessive sodium.
AANP via Diabetes - Hypoglycemia Causes Abnormal Heart Rhythms in Diabetics - (Wednesday, April 23, 2014) Scientists have found that hypoglycemia, which is very low blood sugar, in people with diabetes type 2 may cause dangerous changes in heart rate.
This finding may help explain why a large-scale study previously found that very tight control of blood sugar levels in people with diabetes led to higher-than-expected death rates. Periods of hypoglycemia were associated with a high risk of marked slow heart rates, or bradycardia, accompanied by abnormal beats.
Reuters (reuters.com) - High-fat diets linked to some types of breast cancer - By Genevra Pittman - (Tuesday, April 22, 2014) Women who eat a lot of fat, particularly saturated fat, may be at higher risk of certain types of breast cancer, new research suggests.
Past studies have come to differing conclusions on a possible association between dietary fat and breast cancer. Whether the two are even linked at all remains controversial. The new report, a second analysis of a large, long-term study, suggests that fat may play a role in the development of certain forms of the disease but not others, the authors said.
The New York Times (nytimes.com) - The Public Health Crisis Hiding in Our Food - By Thomas A. Farley - (Monday, April 20, 2014) If you have high blood pressure, you're in good company. Hypertension afflicts 67 million Americans, including nearly two-thirds of people over age 60. But it isn't an inevitable part of the aging process. It's better to think of it as chronic sodium intoxication. And, as an important new study from Britain shows, there's a way to prevent the problem - and to save many, many lives.
AANP via the journal Sleep - Immune Function Linked to Sleep - (Tuesday, April 22, 2014) Two related studies suggest additional sleep during illness enhances the immune system response. In one study, scientists induced sleep deprivation in only one group of fruit flies prior to infecting both groups with one of two groups of bacteria. The group that was sleep-deprived before infection had higher survival. Prior sleep deprivation made the flies sleep longer during infection and more survived. Sleep deprivation increases activity of a factor (known as Relish) needed for fighting infection.
Science Daily (sciencedaily.com) - Increased prevalence of celiac disease in children with irritable bowel syndrome - (Monday, April 21, 2014) There appears to be an increased prevalence of celiac disease among children with irritable bowel syndrome. Recurrent abdominal pain affects 10 percent to 15 percent of school-aged children. The prevalence of celiac disease is as high as 1 percent in European countries and patients can present with a wide spectrum of symptoms, including abdominal pain, although the disease is often asymptomatic.
Reuters (reuters.com) - Mother's low vitamin D linked to toddler's risk of cavities - By Will Boggs MD - (Monday, April 21, 2014) Women's low vitamin D levels during pregnancy are linked to a higher risk of cavities in the teeth of their toddlers, according to a new study done in Canada.
Previous studies have shown that vitamin D deficiency among mothers can lead to defects in the enamel of their toddlers' teeth - which have already begun to develop in the womb - and that these defects can increase the risk of tooth decay.
Health Day (consumer.healthday.com) - Massage May Improve Blood Flow While Easing Muscle Soreness: Study - By Mary Elizabeth Dallas - (Monday, April 21, 2014) Massage therapy can help ease sore muscles and improve blood flow for people who are active as well as for those who do not exercise, a small study finds.
Those effects can last for more than 72 hours, researchers found. People with poor circulation or limited ability to move are among those who could benefit most from massage therapy, they noted.
Science Daily (sciencedaily.com) - Strain-specific Lyme disease immunity lasts for years - (Wednesday, April 2, 2014). Lyme disease, if not treated promptly with antibiotics, can become a lingering problem for those infected. But a new study led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania has some brighter news: Once infected with a particular strain of the disease-causing bacteria, humans appear to develop immunity against that strain that can last six to nine years.
AANP via Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology - Stress and Allergy Flare-Ups Linked - (Thursday, April 3, 2014) Scientists have found that allergy sufferers with persistent stress experience more allergy flare-ups, and those with more frequent allergy flare-ups have a greater negative mood.
Researchers found that 39 percent of allergy patients had more than one flare-up, and this group had higher stress than those without allergy symptoms. While there were no significant findings between allergy flare-ups and stress on the same day, a number of sufferers reported allergy flare-ups within days of increased daily stress.
The New York Times (nytimes.com) - Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Disease in Two Big Studies - By Anahad O'Connor - (Tuesday, April 1, 2014). People with low vitamin D levels are more likely to die from cancer and heart disease and to suffer from other illnesses, scientists reported in two large studies published on Tuesday.
The new research suggests strongly that blood levels of vitamin D are a good barometer of overall health. But it does not resolve the question of whether low levels are a cause of disease or simply an indicator of behaviors that contribute to poor health, like a sedentary lifestyle, smoking and a diet heavy in processed and unhealthful foods.
Health Day (consumer.healthday.com) - Exercise, Diet May Help 'Pre-Diabetics' Dodge Heart Disease Death - By Steven Reinberg - (Thursday, April 3, 2014)
For people with high blood sugar at risk of type 2 diabetes, losing weight and exercising may lessen their chances of dying from heart disease or other conditions, a new long-term study suggests.
People enrolled in the study on diabetes prevention in China followed a diet and exercise program for six years, then were followed by researchers for another 23 years.
NPR (npr.org) - Map Of The Developing Human Brain Shows Where Problems Begin - By Jon Hamilton - (Wednesday, April 2, 2014) A high-resolution map of the human brain in utero is providing hints about the origins of brain disorders including schizophrenia and autism.
The map shows where genes are turned on and off throughout the entire brain at about the midpoint of pregnancy, a time when critical structures are taking shape, researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Nature.
"It's a pretty big leap," says Ed Lein, an investigator at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle who played a central role in creating the map. "Basically, there was no information of this sort prior to this project."
AANP via the Journal of Food Science - Chinese Edible Flowers Inhibit Chronic Disease - (Thursday, April 24, 2014). A new study has found that common edible flowers in China are rich in phenolics and have excellent antioxidant capacity.
Edible flowers, which have been used in the culinary arts in China for centuries, are receiving renewed interest. They can be used as an essential ingredient in recipes to provide seasoning to a dish, or can simply be used as a garnish. Some of these flowers contain phenolics that have been correlated with anti-inflammatory activity and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
Associated Press (ap.org) - Vermont leading US in GMO labeling campaign - By Dave Gram - (Wednesday, April 23, 2014). Vermont could likely be the first state in the country to require labels on genetically modified foods, under a bill approved by both legislative chambers and favored by the governor.
The House voted 114-30 on Wednesday to support the bill, which would require the GMO labels on produce and processed foods and which carries a maximum civil penalty for violators of $1,000 per day per product. The Senate previously approved the measure, and Gov. Peter Shumlin said he plans to sign it into law. With his signature, the requirements would take effect July 1, 2016, giving food producers time to comply.
If you're in need of a little stress relief, it might be waiting just outside your front door - especially in the Bay Area.
Health Day (consumer.healthday.com) - Kids' Genetic Risk for Obesity Rises With Age, Study Finds - By Robert Preidt - (Thursday, April 24, 2014). As children get older, genes appear to play an increasing role in whether some kids become heavier than their peers, a new study indicates.
Researchers looked at 2,556 pairs of twins in England and Wales when they were aged 4 and 10. The investigators focused on 28 genetic variants known to be associated with obesity risk.
Politico (politico.com) - FDA proposes rules on e-cigarettes - By Natalie Villacorta - (Thursday, April 24, 2014). The Food and Drug Administration is seeking to extend its regulatory authority to electronic cigarettes through provisions that would prevent minors from purchasing these products and prohibit e-cigarettes from being sold in vending machines or being passed out as free samples.
The proposed rule, which is being released Thursday, follows sharp criticism by public health advocates and many lawmakers that the agency has delayed action even as many more youth have begun using e-cigarettes. It could be another year before the intended restrictions and protections go into effect, however.
San Francisco Chronicle (sfgate.com) - Living near trees, green spaces reduces stress, study shows - By Kathryn Roethel - (Tuesday, April 22, 2014). A new study from the University of Wisconsin in Madison reveals that people who live near trees and green spaces report lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression than those in more concrete- and asphalt-lined neighborhoods.
Researchers have found that whey protein provides benefits related to body composition, resulting in effective weight maintenance, greater lean body mass, lower weight circumference, and reduced fat mass. This holds true whether the whey is taken as a supplement to resistance exercise or as part of a weight-loss or weight-maintenance diet.
AANP via the Journal of the American College of Nutrition - Whey Protein Results in a Leaner Body Mass - (Thursday, April 17, 2014). The results indicate that there is something unique about whey protein, compared to other protein sources and carbohydrates, when it comes to building lean body mass and maintaining or losing weight.
Associated Press (ap.org) - Study: Diabetic heart attacks and strokes falling - By Mike Stobbe - (Wednesday, April 16, 2014). In the midst of the diabetes epidemic, a glimmer of good news: Heart attacks, strokes and other complications from the disease are plummeting. Over the last two decades, the rates of heart attacks and strokes among diabetics fell by more than 60 percent, a new federal study shows. The research also confirms earlier reports of drastic declines in diabetes-related kidney failure and amputations. The drop is mainly attributed to better screening, medicines and care. The improvements came even as the number of U.S. adults with diabetes more than tripled in those 20 years.
Health Day (consumer.healthday.com) - Small Childbirth Change Might Help Prevent Iron Deficiency in Babies: Study - By Robert Preidt - (Thursday, April 17, 2014). Changing how newborns are held immediately after birth could boost the use of delayed cord clamping and potentially reduce the number of infants with iron deficiency, according to a new study.
Waiting until about two minutes after birth to clamp the umbilical cord allows more blood to pass from the mother's placenta to the baby, which lowers the risk of iron deficiency during infancy, previous research has found.
Nutrition Facts (nutritionfacts.org) - Cayenne for Irritable Bowel - by Michael Greger M.D. - (Tuesday, April 15, 2014).VITAMIN D DEFICIENCY LINKED TO COGNITIVE IMPAIRMENT IN OLDER ADULTS: A new study has concluded that vitamin D deficiency and cognitive impairment over time in older adults is linked. (Although this study cannot establish a direct cause and effect relationship, it would have a huge public health implication if vitamin D supplementation could be shown to improve cognitive performance over time because deficiency is so common in the population, as is impaired cognitive in aging persons. However, this link may be due to other factors shared by those with both vitamin D deficiency and cognitive problems. Controlled trials are needed to definitively establish a causal relationship.) The researchers looked at 2,777 well-functioning adults aged 70 to 79 whose cognitive function was measured at the outset and again four years later. Vitamin D levels were measured at the 12-month follow-up visit. At the four-year mark, low vitamin D was associated with worse cognitive performance on the cognitive test used. This study was published in the April 2014 issue of Journal of the American Geriatrics Society. It is now available online at http://tinyurl.com/k85qtw4 with fee.Nearly 50 million Americans come down with food poisoning every year. Over a hundred thousand are hospitalized and thousands die every year just because of something they ate. If they had ordered something different on the menu or chosen something else at the grocery store, they or their loved one might be alive today. But in the vast majority of cases, food poisoning manifests itself as little more than a case of "stomach flu"-a few days of pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and then it's gone. So what's the big deal?
NPR (npr.org) - Sichuan Pepper's Buzz May Reveal Secrets Of The Nervous System - By Ike Sriskandarajah - (Thursday, April 17, 2014). The Sichuan peppercorn is known to give some Chinese dishes a pleasant tingling feeling.
What's not so pleasant is that pins-and-needles feeling we get when our foot falls asleep - or when people who suffer from paresthesia experience constant tingling in their limbs.
Diana Bautista, a neuroscientist at the University of California, Berkeley, wondered: Could these sensations be connected?
DID YOU KNOW...?
Easter lilies and related flowers will kill pet cats, even just the pollen from these plants. For more on this, visit http://tinyurl.com/nsq9hwl.