Saturday, June 28, 2008

Discover Your Food Allergies and Accelerate Weight Loss


Posted by Neill Abayon

Some nutritionists estimate that up to 75% of all people have undiagnosed food allergies. They may not be allergies in the way that we commonly think of them – that is, we may not sneeze or get a rash, or go into anaphylactic shock. But they are allergies all the same, if these foods provoke a negative immune response in the body. A good example is lactose intolerance – sometimes called a ‘milk allergy’. People with lactose intolerance cannot digest one of the sugars that milk contains, and milk is harmful to their bodies. They might get a stomach ache, or they might develop a problem with phlegm in the lungs, windpipe or throat. Many people have a similar allergy to wheat or other grains, or to certain vegetables.

But what does this have to do with weight loss? Studies show that food allergies are a leading cause of weight gain. When you eat foods that you are allergic to, they aren’t metabolized properly, and your body will hold onto the calories in these foods for longer, according to one theory. Also, some nutritionists feel that there is a correlation between your food allergies and the foods that you crave or binge on. Often, they are the same foods. In fact, if you eat the foods that you are allergic to, you can develop an addiction to them. Apparently, this is often the case with wheat and other carbohydrates. Apparently, there are some people who are addicted to carbohydrates and sugar – if they eat just a little bit of these foods, they will lose control, and start to eat more and more. To make matters worse, these foods are not metabolized properly by those people, so the natural result is weight gain.

In most cases like this, the underlying cause may be an allergy to wheat and other grains. If you decide to eliminate these foods entirely, it will initially be difficult – just as it’s difficult for a smoker to stop smoking, or for an alcoholic to stop drinking. Once you do it, though, you will be able to reap the benefits. You will lose your urge to binge on these and other foods, and the weight will come off much faster.

If you are trying to lose weight, therefore, it is well worth your while to find out what your food allergies are, if indeed you have any. A naturopath will be able to help you discover this information, often using a process called ‘vega testing’. This may be a little costly, but as more people are doing it, the cost is coming down. At the end of the the visit, the naturopath will give you a printout of the foods you should avoid. You may be dismayed to find that some of your ‘favorites’ are on the list – but if you are committed to your health and weight loss, give it a try. You may be surprised by how little you actually miss the foods you are allergic to once they are gone from your diet altogether.

Some people are skeptical about this process and about the whole notion that so many people are allergic to common foods. Why would so many people have this disorder? It may seem strange – even counter-intuitive. Think about the great variety of foods we eat today, though. In the past, people generally stayed in the same part of the world in which they were born, and they ate the food that was indigenous to that region. Nowadays, that’s all but impossible. For one thing, people move around a lot more. Also, food doesn’t come from the region you live in - it comes from everywhere. Every food is available to everyone all the time, and that’s very different from what it was like in the past. Therefore, there’s a much greater potential for food allergies, because there are probably foods that you eat that your ancestors never would have seen. As a result, you may not have the necessary enzymes to digest them.

You could, of course, try to eat as your ancestors did. For many of us, though our ancestors came from a variety of places, and there’s no telling which set of genetics were passed on to us. Allergy testing, on the other hand, is individual, and may well give you the answers you need.

Mercury leaks found as new bulbs break

Posted by Neill Abayon

Energy benefits of fluorescents may outweigh risk

Compact fluorescent lamps - those spiral, energy-efficient bulbs popular as a device to combat global warming - can pose a small risk of mercury poisoning to infants, young children, and pregnant women if they break.

But the reports, issued by the state of Maine and the Vermont-based Mercury Policy Project, urged homeowners to keep using compact fluorescents because their energy-saving benefits far outweigh the risk posed by mercury released from a broken lamp.

They said most danger could be avoided if people exercised common-sense caution, such as not using compact fluorescents in table lamps that could be knocked over by children or pets and properly cleaning up broken bulbs.

The US Environmental Protection Agency and the states of Massachusetts and Vermont said yesterday that, based on the Maine study, they are revising their recommendations for where to use compact fluorescents in a home and how to clean up when one breaks.

"Using compact fluorescent bulbs is still the brightest idea out there," said Michael Bender, director of the Mercury Policy Project, a nonprofit organization that works to eliminate mercury use. "The message is: People should not be afraid but informed and prepared and learn how to dispose of them properly."

The two reports constitute one of the most comprehensive examinations of the dangers posed by the lights, which use about 1 percent of the amount of mercury found in old thermometers.

Mercury is needed for the lamps to produce light, and there are no known substitutes. No mercury is emitted when compact fluorescents are burned, but a small amount is vaporized when they break, which can happen if people screw them in holding the glass instead of the base or drop them.

Mercury is a naturally occurring metal that accumulates in the body and can harm the nervous system of a fetus or young child if ingested in sufficient quantity.

For the Maine study, researchers shattered 65 compact fluorescents to test air quality and cleanup methods. They found that, in many cases, immediately after the bulb was broken - and sometimes even after a cleanup was attempted - levels of mercury vapor exceeded federal guidelines for chronic exposure by as much as 100 times.

There is no federal guideline for acute exposure. Some states, including Maine, use the chronic exposure level as their overall standard, while others, such as California, have chosen higher levels for acute exposure. Still, the mercury vapor released by the bulbs in the Maine study exceeded even those higher levels.

"We found some very high levels [of mercury] even after we tried a number of cleanup techniques," said Mark Hyland, director of Maine's Bureau of Remediation and Waste Management. He said levels were the lowest if the room was well ventilated after breakage.

The study recommended that if a compact fluorescent breaks, get children and pets out of the room. Ventilate the room. Never use a vacuum, even on a rug, to clean up a broken compact fluorescent lamps. Instead, use stiff paper such as index cards and tape to pick up pieces, and then wipe the area with a wet wipe or damp paper towel. If there are young children or pregnant woman in the house, consider cutting out the piece of carpet where the lamp broke as a precaution. Place the shards and cleanup debris in a glass jar with a screw top and remove the jar from the house.

more stories like this

Disposal regulations vary from state to state, with some requiring broken compact fluorescent light bulbs, to be disposed of as household hazardous waste. Most states allow intact compact fluorescents to be thrown away, but some - such as Vermont, Minnesota, and California - ban disposal in trash, according to Bender.

Some stores, such as Ikea, have set out recycling containers for fluorescent bulbs. In Maine, Hyland says, some 200 retailers are participating in compact fluorescent recycling.

Massachusetts is also ramping up a compact fluorescent recycling program and in May will ban disposal of any intact compact fluorescent lamp in trash. However, broken ones - because their mercury would probably have been vaporized - may be thrown away.

Sales are skyrocketing for compact fluorescent lamps, which use about 75 percent less energy and last up to 10 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, as consumers become more aware of global warming and the long-term cost savings. More than 290 million compact fluorescents carrying the EPA's "Energy Star" label sold last year, nearly double the number in 2006. Compact fluorescents now make up 20 percent of the US light bulb market, and sales are all but guaranteed to grow: A new law requires lights to become much more energy-efficient starting in 2012.

According to the US Department of Energy, if every household replaced just one light bulb with a compact fluorescent, the United States would save more than $600 million each year in energy costs and prevent greenhouse gas emissions equal to 800,000 cars.

But compact fluorescents can contain from 1 to 30 milligrams of mercury, according to the Mercury Policy Project. The nonprofit cited a New Jersey study that estimated that about 2 to 4 tons of the element are released into the environment in the United States each year from compact fluorescents. That number is expected to grow as sales do. In comparison, about 48 tons of mercury is released into the environment by power plants each year, according to federal statistics.

"People should continue to support CFLs until there are mercury-free alternatives available," said Cindy Luppi of Clean Water Action, a local advocacy group.

Spinning Exercise

Posted by Neill Abayon

Spinning exercise or studio cycling is not only popular these days it's an excellent form of fitness. It helps strengthen your heart, tone your glutes, calves, thighs in addition to being a great exercise to slim legs.

Spinning exercise classes usually consist of about 12 to 20 people. Classes range from 50 to 60 minutes and are set to music. The instructor takes the class on a ride that includes all types of terrain that produces a great spinning workout.

If you are the type of person who doesn't care for traditional exercise classes, this form of exercise is perfect for you. One of the many benefits of spinning is you will always feel like you're keeping up with the class because everyone finishes at the same time.

The special spinning bicycle that you pedal has a weighted flywheel in the front and makes you feel more like you're riding on a real bicycle. The spinning bike allows you to adjust the tension to keep pedaling within a comfortable range for your fitness level.

Adjustments can also be made to the handlebars and seat to make you more comfortable. Here are a few stationary exercise bike tips before you start.

Always bring a bottle of water to class and take frequent drinks while you ride. Spinning works up a sweat and it's important that you keep hydrated. Also bring a small towel to wipe away the sweat to keep more comfortable.

Learn to pace yourself because spinning exercise classes can be very high energy. Don't get caught up in the enthusiasm so much that you ride beyond your fitness level.

Wear padded bike shorts or consider bringing a seat cushion until you get use to the bike seat. They tend to be a little hard on your rear end until you get use to them.

The first step is to sign up for a class so you can start enjoying the benefits of spinning. Remember like any class, the instructors will vary on their focus. Some take you on an imaginary ride while other concentrate on a more rigorous variety of drills.

If you find you don't like the style of one instructor, try another class. It could be a completely different experience with an instructor you like better.

Using a spinning cycle will give you the aerobic burst you need to get your heart racing and boost your endurance. Just climb on and start pedaling to your limit for a spinning exercise workout you'll enjoy.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Australia world's fattest nation, U.S. 2nd


Posted by Neill Abayon

I have read an article from japantoday.com pulished June 20, 2008. Just read it and judge it by yourself.

SYDNEY —

Australia is now the world’s fattest nation, with 26% of adults labeled obese, a new report said Friday. The report, titled ‘‘Australia’s Future Fat Bomb’’ was undertaken by the Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, and revealed that some 4 million Australian adults are now classified as obese. The alarming new figures mean the nation has officially overtaken the United States, which has a 25% obesity rate.

According to the report, some 1.5 million middle-aged Australians are currently obese, a figure the report predicts will result in an additional 700,000 cardiovascular-related hospital admissions in the next 20 years.

The report proposed a number of recommendations to curb the nation’s expanding waistlines, including a national weight loss strategy similar to the high-profile smoking and skin cancer campaigns and the subsidizing of gym memberships.

“If we ran a fat Olympics, we’d be gold medal winners as the fattest people on earth at the moment,” Institute preventative cardiology head Professor Simon Stewart told the Age newspaper.

While the report said Australia had overtaken the United States as the fattest nation on the planet, recent U.S. studies show around 34% of Americans are overweight or obese.

In all, there are currently 1.6 billion overweight adults in the world, a number that is expected to grow by 40% over the next decade, according to the World Health Organization.

Nutrition expert Rosemary Stanton said Australia needs to take urgent action to address growing obesity and re-think failed health messages.

“We’ve got to somehow or other get a message across. We’ve got to start taking this very seriously, rather than just talking about it,” Stanton said, pointing the finger at “huge resistance” in the processed and fast food industries.

The report proposed a number of recommendations to curb the nation’s expanding waistlines, including a national weight loss strategy similar to the high-profile smoking and skin cancer campaigns and the subsidizing of gym memberships.

The findings, which will be presented at a government inquiry into obesity, have drawn a sharp reaction from Health Minister Nicola Roxon, who labeled the results ‘‘staggering.’’

Speaking to reporters in Canberra, Roxon said the fight against obesity is a national priority and the government hopes to have an effective nationwide strategy in place within the next 12 months.

Source:http://www.japantoday.com

Natural Acne Home Treatments

Posted by Neill Abayon

There are a lot of different acne treatments, some of them natural acne home treatments, some uses different chemicals, some even involve surgery.

However, as the "natural" humans that we are, we most often want something similar, a simple natural acne treatment which we can do by ourselves at home, as being in the comfort of our own home is very important to a lot of us.

And to drill even further down in the natural acne treatments pit, there are even more kinds of different natural treatments for acne.

Today, I'm going to talk to you about one of the simplest of them all, and you've most likely never heard of it.

It's called The Water Method.

Guess what it involves? That's right, water.

For a Natural Acne Home Treatment, this is as cheap as it gets too. You don't even have to leave the house, as long as you have a kitchen with a common sink, I do prefer the bathroom though.

The problem with the Water Method is that it's not the most effective of all methods. But what do you expect? The only ingredient in the formula is WATER!

"Back in the day" when I got rid of my acne, I was, as you probably are, determined not to waste money on some expensive treatments that wasn't guaranteed to work.

Just as I was in my most critical stage and desperate for a solution... I came across two methods at once actually, and I found a way to make them compliment each other perfectly.

Of course, these two methods was #1, The Water Method, and then a, I guess, most powerful solution which was Chris Gibson's Acne Free In 3 Days eBook. So those two combined, was for me the ultimate natural acne home treatment.

Get a step by step course on the Water Method, and actually read my complete review of Acne Free In 3 Days by Chris Gibson, it's right here --> http://acne-free--in-3-days.blogspot.com

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Do You Know The 4 Easy Tips For Six Pack Success? It's Not Sit-Ups And Crunches

Posted by Neill Abayon

Let's face it you're here because you want to learn how to get six pack abs. It can be so confusing with all the products, gadgets, and pills offering a solution to six pack abs, you probably don't know where to start. It seems like everyone out there is constantly contradicting and disagreeing with each other over how to eat for optimal health and fat loss.

One thing I try to let my readers understand amid all the conflicting ideas that surround getting a visible six pack, is that you do not need any type of low-fat or low-carb or low-high anything fad diet to become successful and achieve your six pack. I think the biggest factor to success is balancing your diet so it is made up of good quality nutrient dense foods ,and is as close to its natural state as possible e.g. Unprocessed.

Processed foods are one of the major reasons there is an obesity epidemic in our society today. Most foods that are natural and unprocessed are inherently healthy for us, but there are exceptions. Eating eating a salad of poison ivy leaves is definitely natural and unprocessed but would not be very healthy for you.

Before I go I'm going a leave you with a couple of the most important nutrition and diet aspects to help you tone of your abs and get that 6 pack showing.

Aspect # 1: Make sure you get enough protein in your daily diet. Protein has a higher thermic effect than fats and carbs, which means you will burn more calories while eating and digesting it. Protein also helps maintain and build muscle which is one of the factors for keeping your metabolism in control.

Apspect # 2: Make sure that all of your carbs, or almost all them, come from high fiber sources such as vegetables and fruit and unrefined grains. Avoid refined grains and sugars because this is one of the top reasons why people are fat today. When looking for your sources of carbohydrates make sure each 10 g of total carbs has at least 2-3 g of fiber. Don't forget that fiber makes you feel fuller faster and it slows the glycemic response from all the food you eat, which is really great when you're trying to develop your six pack.

Aspect # 3: Fat can be good for you. Many times I see people go way too low on the daily fat they consume. Not only does not consuming fat greatly reduce certain hormone levels it can also cause tremendous cravings so make sure you eat enough healthy fats throughout the day. Some great sources are seed, nuts, avocados, organic meats, coconuts, olive oil, and virgin coconut oil.

Aspect # 4: Make sure you avoid these two things at all cost. Artificial trans-fats, like those found in margarines, hydrogenated oils which are in most processed foods, and shortening. Also avoid high fructose corn syrup. This is found in almost every sweetener on the market today. These two huge culprits and why the majority of people are overweight today.

Once you get these four areas in your diet controlled, your body starts does the rest by controlling your blood sugar, hormone levels, and your appetite. Soon you will have total control over how you want to look and how lean you want to get. Once you get control of this aspect of your life those six pack abs will finally be revealed.

If you're interested in taking your fat-loss efforts to an entirely new level, go to the following site and grab a FREE fat loss report which details 27 unique methods for boosting your metabolism and losing belly fat - http://www.TruthAboutAbsBlog.com

Sunday, June 15, 2008

FOR THE NEEDLE-NERVOUS

Posted by Neill Abayon

Here's a tip for easing the pain of an injrction. Press your thumb where the shot will be given until you feel resistance and hold it for ten seconds.
Researchers found that 48 patients who received the pressure treatment before a shot felt less pain than others who didn't.
In the study, nurses who gave the shots also provided the pre-injection pressure. but researcher Roberta Erickson, associate professor of nursing at Oregon Health Sciences University School of Nursing, says that self-administered pressure would likely do as well. The technique works for the same reason that rubbing your elbow helps if you've hit it: gently inhibit smaller pain fibers in the same area triggered by a sharp stimulus.

HEART AND MIND LINK

Posted by Neill Abayon

Reinforcing an association between psychological stress and cardio vascular disease, research has found that stress on the heart may predict subsequent cardiac events. A five year study at Duke University in the United States followed 126 coronary-disease patients. Those showing signs of reduced blood flow to the heart (myocardial ischemia) during mentally taxing tasks had almost three times the risk of suffering a heart attack, needing a procedure to unblock an artery or dying, compared with patients who didn't show signs of stress-induced ischemia.
The findings suggest that adding mental stress screening to exercise testing in cardiac work-ups may help identify people at risk of a stress-induced heart attack. Once these patients are identified, says lead researcher Dr. Wei Jiang, workshops on coping with stress may be "particularly appropriate."

THE RIGHT WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT

Written by Neill Abayon

By switching to the optional diet plus some walking, you can lose one to two pounds a week. That might not get you slim in time for summer, but it is a sensible health conscious approach to long-term weight management.

HOW FIBERS HELPS - One of the many virtues of fiber is that it acts as a safety mechanism to keep you from overeating. It helps you feel full before you can eat too many calories.
Fiberless foods lack this automatic shutoff, By the time you fell full, you've eaten enough calories for a family of five. Will power is the only thing that stands between you and obesity - and we all know how effective that is!

LOW FIBER FOODS - All animal products lack fiber. They include meat, milk, eggs, and cheese.
In addition, modern food - processing mills take the fiber out of many foods that used to have it. Sugar, white flour, oils and most packaged foods fall into this category.
Corn oils is a good example of this process. It takes 14 ears of corn to make one tablespoon of oil. Imagine trying to eat 14 ears of corn at one sitting. Impossible! Yet its easy to sit down and eat several tablespoon of oil in the form of salad and dressings and fried foods.

YOUR CHALLENGE - Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are high in fiber. Eat them in abundance. Start with this lowfat, high-fiber soup. Serve it with hearty whole-wheat bread and a salad. Eat all you want. You'll fill up long before you'll fatten up.
Eat whole fruits, with all their fiber, instead of drinking the juice.


THE SKINNY ON CELLULITE

* Thigh creams havent produced lasting results.
* There are no miracle pills. They don't slim down your pocketbook.
* Liposuction is expensive. The fat goes, but not the dimpled skin.
* Massages, wraps and such - save your money.
* With a lowfat, reduced-calorie diet you'll lose one to two pounds a week, and reshape your cellulite.

Best bet:lowfat optimal diet plus regular active exercise.

PSORIASIS AND YOUR HEART

Posted by Neill Abayon

Psoriasis is a risk factor for heart attack, greatest in younger patients with severe psoriasis, according to a study at University of Pennyslvania School of Medicine.
Psoriasis is a common, chronic immune disease that affects about two to three percent of the population. The study found that a 40-year-old patient with severe psoriasis had more than double the risk for heart attaack, while a 60-year-old
patient with severe psoriasis had a 36 percent increased risk. More studies are planned. Meanwhile the authors recommend
that patients with psoriasis be encouraged to aggressively address such cardiovascular risk factors as obesity and smoking.

TONSILS TRIPLE RISK OF STREP THROAT

Posted by Neill Abayon

Children with recurrent strep throat and whose tonsils have not been removed are three times more likely to develop subsequent episodes of strep throat than children who undergo tonsillectomy, according to a Mayo clinic study. "These results suggests that tonsillectomy is a useful therapy for treating children with recurrent strep throat infections," says Dr. Laura Orvidas, Mayo Clinic ear,nose and throat surgeon and senior study investigator.
Pharyngitis and tonsilitis are among the most common diagnosed paediatric illnesses, accounting for a large proportion of physician visits per year. Strep infections are responsible for 15 to 30 percent of all cases of Phayngitis. In
addition, 20 to 30 percent of children who are diagnosed with strep pharyngeal infection may experience a second infection with in 60 days of the initial episode.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

How to Get Smarter, One Breath at a Time

Posted by Neill Abayon

Scientists find that meditation not only reduces stress but also reshapes the brain

By LISA TAKEUCHI CULLEN

At 4:30, when most of Wall Street is winding down, Walter Zimmermann begins a high-stakes, high-wire act conducted live before a paying audience. About 200 institutional investors — including airlines and oil companies — shell out up to $3,000 a month to catch his daily webcast on the volatile energy markets, a performance that can move hundreds of millions of dollars. "I'm not paid to be wrong — I can tell you that," Zimmermann says. But as he clicks through dozens of screens and graphics on three computers, he's the picture of focused calm. Zimmermann, 54, watched most of his peers in energy futures burn out long ago. He attributes his brain's enduring sharpness not to an intravenous espresso drip but to 40 minutes of meditation each morning and evening. The practice, he says, helps him maintain the clarity he needs for quick, insightful analysis — even approaching happy hour. "Meditation," he says, "is my secret weapon."

Everyone around the water cooler knows that meditation reduces stress. But with the aid of advanced brainscanning technology, researchers are beginning to show that meditation directly affects the function and structure of the brain, changing it in ways that appear to increase attention span, sharpen focus and improve memory.

One recent study found evidence that the daily practice of meditation thickened the parts of the brain's cerebral cortex responsible for decision making, attention and memory. Sara Lazar, a research scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital, presented preliminary results last November that showed that the gray matter of 20 men and women who meditated for just 40 minutes a day was thicker than that of people who did not. Unlike in previous studies focusing on Buddhist monks, the subjects were Boston-area workers practicing a Western-style of meditation called mindfulness or insight meditation. "We showed for the first time that you don't have to do it all day for similar results," says Lazar. What's more, her research suggests that meditation may slow the natural thinning of that section of the cortex that occurs with age.

The forms of meditation Lazar and other scientists are studying involve focusing on an image or sound or on one's breathing. Though deceptively simple, the practice seems to exercise the parts of the brain that help us pay attention. "Attention is the key to learning, and meditation helps you voluntarily regulate it," says Richard Davidson, director of the Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin. Since 1992, he has collaborated with the Dalai Lama to study the brains of Tibetan monks, whom he calls "the Olympic athletes of meditation." Using caps with electrical sensors placed on the monks' heads, Davidson has picked up unusually powerful gamma waves that are better synchronized in the Tibetans than they are in novice meditators. Studies have linked this gamma-wave synchrony to increased awareness.

Many people who meditate claim the practice restores their energy, allowing them to perform better at tasks that require attention and concentration. If so, wouldn't a midday nap work just as well? No, says Bruce O'Hara, associate professor of biology at the University of Kentucky. In a study to be published this year, he had college students either meditate, sleep or watch TV. Then he tested them for what psychologists call psychomotor vigilance, asking them to hit a button when a light flashed on a screen. Those who had been taught to meditate performed 10% better — "a huge jump, statistically speaking," says O'Hara. Those who snoozed did significantly worse. "What it means," O'Hara theorizes, "is that meditation may restore synapses, much like sleep but without the initial grogginess."

Not surprisingly, given those results, a growing number of corporations — including Deutsche Bank, Google and Hughes Aircraft — offer meditation classes to their workers. Jeffrey Abramson, CEO of Tower Co., a Washington-based development firm, says 75% of his staff attend free classes in transcendental meditation. Making employees sharper is only one benefit; studies say meditation also improves productivity, in large part by preventing stress-related illness and reducing absenteeism.

Another benefit for employers: meditation seems to help regulate emotions, which in turn helps people get along. "One of the most important domains meditation acts upon is emotional intelligence — a set of skills far more consequential for life success than cognitive intelligence," says Davidson. So, for a New Year's resolution that can pay big dividends at home and at the office, try this: just breathe.

Source:http://psyphz.psych.wisc.edu

Testosterone and Sex Ratio

Written by Neill Abayon

The mother’s level of testosterone influences the probability of having a boy or girl.

This potent chemical hormone has important effects on human bodies. Even tiny quantities can change the physical and psychological characteristics of both men and women. It also affects the way people behave. Since testosterone influences people’s behavior in known ways, it is possible to get an idea of a person’s testosterone levels by asking them about some of their characteristics. Thus it is quite feasible that a psychological test will indicate whether a mother will have a boy or a girl.

After war, more boys are born than usual, and, today, fewer boys are being born throughout the western world.

For every 100 baby girls, there are 106 baby boys. Nobody knows why. It’s a puzzle because other animal species have half male and half female offspring, and human males produce equal numbers of x-chromosome sperms (which make girls) and y-chromosome sperms (which make boys).

Women have only one tenth the amount of testosterone that men do. In both humans and animals, testosterone has been shown to be related to dominance. There is evidence to suggest that testosterone in women rises during periods of chronic stress — the sort of situation that arises in time of war, famine or disease. There are several documented examples of more boys being born in such circumstances.

Although the sex ratio averages out everywhere to 106 boys for every 100 girls, researchers have found that men in some occupational groups, such as airline pilots, astronauts, timber workers and deep sea divers, have a tendency to have more girls.

Dominant female deer have more male offspring than non-dominant deer; far more than would be expected by chance. A famous study describing this phenomenon was published in the top science journal Nature in 1984. Since then there have been more than forty animal studies published in reputable scientific journals documenting unusual sex ratios. For most animals living in the wild — different kinds of monkeys, wild horses and even whales — dominant mothers have more male offspring. When the animals were kept in captivity, however, the sex ratios sometimes ran in the opposite direction and the dominant females had more female offspring. Caging is likely to have an effect on both social hierarchies and hormones.

WHAT TO DO WHEN SOMEODY HAS COLLAPSED

Written by Neill Abayon

Facing a situation where somebody has collapsed is frightening particularly if its somebody you know. However there are some very simple steps that you can take to help you decide the est course of action, which in an emergency could mean the difference between life and death.

1. CHECK THE SCENE - Is it safe for you to approach the person who has collapsed. Do not become a victim of yourself. Check for dangers such as chemicals, electricity, or traffic. If you can safely remove the danger, do so. If not, consider if you can safely move the person from danger or whether you need to call for additional help such as the fire service.


2. CHECK THE RESPONSE - Is the person who has collapsed conscious?

* Gently squeeze the shoulders and ask loudly, "Are you all
right?".

* Speak loudly and clearly.

* Always assume there may be a neck injury and squeeze gently.


3. IF THERE IS NO RESPONSE - If there is no response, the immediate danger is that the victim might e unconscious and may have a blocked airway or be in need of resuscitation.

* Shout for help.
* If possible,leave the victim in the position in which you found him and open the airway.
* When it is not possible to carry out an assessment of the victim in the position found, turn him onto his back and open the airway.


4. OPEN THE AIRWAY

* Place one hand on th forehead and gently tilt the head back.

* Remove any obvious obstructions from the victims mouth, including dislodge dentures,but leave well-fitting dentures in place.

* Place the fingertips of two fingers under the point of the victims and lift the chin, If injury to the neck is suspected, handle the head very gently and try to avoid tilting the head too much.

5. CHECK FOR BREATHING - Once the airway is open, the next priority is to check whether or not the person is breathing. Keep the airways open with one hand on the forehead and one head lifting the chin. Put your cheek to the victims face and look down the chest.

* Look for the movement of the chest and stomach.

* Listen for breath sounds.

* Feel for breathing on the side of your face.


If the victim is not breathing call 911 for emergency help.

THE WRONG WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT

Written y Neill Abayon

Here are three wrong ways to lose wight. Take a time to read at them.


1. DIURETICS (water pills) - Since the body is about 70 percent water,

it is relatively easy for such pills to remove several pounds of water

quickly. The scales look good - for a few days. ut gradually the body

balances itself y replacing the water, and there goes the weight loss.


2. EXTRA PROTEIN - An overdose of protei will accomplish asically the

same thing. The liver changes excess protein into the blood urea

nitrogen (UN), which causes the kidneys to force water from the body.

It takes much water to wash out the products of excess protein

metabolism than it does to take care of the breakdown products of

either carbohydrates or fats.
Some quick weight-loss diets take advantage of the fact that a

high-protein in take can cause spectacular weight-loss in a short time.

This is a dangerous practice, however. That is why such diets are

usually physician-supervised and limited to short periiods of time,

normally about two weeks. The scales show gratifyingly low numbers, but

most of the weight returns in a short time as the body replaces lost

water.


3. STARVATION DIETS - Many of the quickie diets drop daily intake of

1800 to 250 calories to less than 500 calories in a day. Some of these

starvation diets may go as low as 300 to 400 calories. The body

misreads this dramatic calorie drop as acute starvation and actually

begins to digest its own protein (usually in the form of muscle) in an

effort to protect more vital tissues. Careful testing has shown that

weight loss on these diets can come from both fat and muscle tissues.
So eware! When you think you're losing 14 pounds of fat for

example, you could actually e losing five pounds of fat, one pound of

protein tissue (muscle), and eight pounds of water.
If you feel you need to go on a diet, make sure that you get

enough calories from protein and carbohydrates to prevent muscle tissue

loss. For an average person this means at least 200 calories of protein

(50 grams) and at least 600 calories of carbohydrates a day.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

How to Stop the Spread of Germs

Written by Neill Abayon

Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
Cough or sneeze into a tissue and then throw it away. Cover your cough or sneeze if you do not have a tissue. Then, clean your hands, and do so every time you cough or sneeze.

The "Happy Birthday" song helps keep your hands clean?
Not exactly. Yet we recommend that when you wash your hands — with soap and warm water — that you wash for 15 to 20 seconds. That's about the same time it takes to sing the "Happy Birthday" song twice!

Alcohol-based hand wipes and gel sanitizers work too
When soap and water are not available, alcohol-based disposable hand wipes or gel sanitizers may be used. You can find them in most supermarkets and drugstores. If using gel, rub your hands until the gel is dry. The gel doesn't need water to work; the alcohol in it kills the germs on your hands.

Germs and Children

Written by Neill Abayon

Remind children to practice healthy habits, because germs spread, especially at school.

The flu has caused high rates of absenteeism among students and staff in our country's 119,000 schools. Influenza is not the only respiratory infection of concern in schools — nearly 22 million schools days are lost each year to the common cold alone. However, when children practice healthy habits, they miss fewer days of school.

Stress-Reduction Techniques

Posted by Neill Abayon

Practice the "Relaxation Response" and Similar Techniques

Recognizing that some people who practice meditation are capable of reducing their heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen consumption, Harvard's Herbert Benson, M.D., set out several decades ago to understand how they do it. He developed a simple practice that focuses on the qualities in meditation that create relaxation and reduce stress.

Here's how: Every day, plan to spend some time at rest (not asleep). Sit somewhere comfortable, close your eyes and relax your muscles. Focus on breathing regularly. Continuously repeat one word. Repeat it aloud or in your mind. It should be a simple word, such as "relax" or "easy," a religious word or phrase, or a meaningless word like the "om" used in transcendental meditation. Continue regular breathing with your muscles relaxed.

Learn Progressive Muscle Relaxation

This technique allows you to relax your entire body. Start at your head. Tense your facial muscles by clenching your teeth and furrowing your brow. Hold the tension for five to 10 seconds, and then release it. Next, tense your shoulder muscles by shrugging them and tucking in your chin. Hold the tension for five to 10 seconds, then release. Next, tense your arm muscles by making fists. Hold the tension for five to 10 seconds, then release. Continue to tighten and release each group of muscles in your body until you have worked all the way down to your toes. Picture the tension evaporating as you release each muscle. Focus on the warmth and heaviness of the body parts as they relax.

Do Visualization

Visualizing is a good way to remove yourself mentally from a stressful situation. Sit or lie somewhere comfortable. Close your eyes. Practice the progressive muscle relaxation exercise outlined above. Allow thoughts to pass through your mind without actually "thinking" about them. Imagine you are somewhere that makes you feel good, such as the beach or the woods, a spot where you have spent a restful vacation or a beautiful place you can picture even if you have never visited. Breathe slowly and deeply until you feel relaxed. Focus on all five senses. Imagine what you see, feel, hear, taste and smell. Continue to visualize yourself in this place for five to 10 minutes. Then gradually return your focus to the room you are in and end the visualization exercise.

Practice Relaxed Breathing Exercises

Take a deep breath in and out. Did you feel your chest expand and contract? Did your shoulders go up as you drew air into your lungs? This is how many adults breathe. But to breathe more efficiently — and to promote relaxation — we need to look to the way we breathe while asleep.

When in a relaxed sleeping state, we usually breathe from our diaphragm, which is the muscle between the abdomen and the chest. When breathing through the abdomen, the chest and shoulders remain relatively still while the abdomen rises and lowers with each breath. The type of breathing we do while sleeping takes less effort and is typically more efficient than the breathing we do while awake. As a result, abdomen breathing is more relaxing.

How can you practice relaxed breathing?

Lie flat on your back. Place your feet slightly apart. Lightly rest one hand on your abdomen, just near your navel. Rest your other hand on your chest. Inhale through your nose and calmly exhale through your mouth until you've emptied most of the air from your lungs. Focus on your breathing and watch which hand is moving.

As you slowly count to four, gently inhale, slightly distending your abdomen to make it rise. Imagine warmth flowing into your lungs and to all parts of your body. Pause for one second. Then as you slowly count to four, gently exhale, letting your abdomen slowly fall and your diaphragm relax. Pause for another second. Repeat this process five to 10 times. When you become familiar with the process, you can practice relaxed breathing while seated and, then, while standing.


Write About Your Stress

A study published in 1999 in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggested that writing about stressful experiences may help reduce the symptoms of common diseases, such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. One group of patients wrote about their most stressful life experience for 20 minutes a day over three consecutive days. The most common experiences were the death of a loved one, relationship difficulties, a serious problem affecting someone close to them and their involvement in or witness to a car wreck or other disaster. Another group spent an equal amount of time writing about a neutral topic.

The results:

  • Forty-seven percent of the group who wrote about stressful experiences showed "clinically relevant improvement" in their conditions four months later.
  • Only 24 percent of the second group showed a similar improvement.

This study held out the promise that a simple technique could improve immune function, lead to fewer visits to the doctor and offer an increased sense of well-being.

Subsequent efforts to repeat this study have produced mixed results. Some research shows that this writing technique brings about little apparent health benefit. A combined analysis of several studies showed a positive effect, but it was small. Scientists working in this area urge more studies to determine how helpful this technique might be. It is, however, an easy method to try, and because it has no known negative effects, it may be useful to try when you're stressed, especially under the guidance of your therapist, counselor or doctor.

Deflate the Danger of Your Fears

The next time you find yourself in a stressful situation, look closely at your thoughts to see whether the situation merits as much stress as you feel. Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is the worst that can happen?
  • Is it likely that the worst outcome will occur? If so, how likely is it?
  • How would such an outcome change your life?
  • Is there anything else you can do to influence the result, or have you done all that is possible?

Asking yourself these questions can help you reduce stress to a more manageable size.

Remove Stressors

Are you someone who says, "Sure!" when a boss or colleague asks you to take on another project, but then feels a knot in your stomach? Do you already have more responsibilities than you can comfortably handle? If so, you may need to set some limits.

Stop promising more than you can realistically handle. Be polite, but just say, "No. With the current responsibilities I have, I cannot take on more at this time." Be open to the observations other people make about your workload. If they see that your workload is over-burdensome, try to accept their view without getting angry or self-critical. Try to figure out what their feedback means.

Manage Your Time

Think ahead to reduce stress. Or, as one expert puts it, "Knowing what is happening is better than being in the dark, having a strategy or defense ready is better than being unprepared, and being able to avoid or eliminate stress is better than sitting there suffering."

One way to manage your time is to set priorities. Write a to-do list and schedule time to work on top priorities first. This can help you get the most important tasks done, while controlling the stress you feel about them.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Like many people, you may have a favorite comfort food you reach for when you're stressed. Whether it's ice cream, potato chips or a juicy hamburger, chances are it's high in fat, sugar or salt. From a health perspective, your comfort food is bad for your health.

Several studies suggest that a good diet may reduce stress. And while it is difficult to give up a comforting treat, treats may backfire, making you feel worse. Less comfort food may actually result in you feeling more comfortable.

Exercise

Numerous studies show that exercise can reduce stress. For maximum effect, try an aerobic exercise (such as running, swimming or brisk walking) for 20 minutes or more. If you can't do that, even a 10-minute walk can help. Yoga and nonaerobic movement such as stretching can reduce stress by inducing a calmer, meditative state.

Exercise reduces stress partly by turning your attention away from the causes of your stress. It has a calming effect, decreasing emotional suffering and enhancing concentration. You feel proud about doing it, so it improves self-esteem.

Working out also helps counter possible diseases that are made worse by chronic stress, such as heart disease.

It is difficult to start or maintain an exercise routine, especially when you are depressed. Nonetheless, exercise can help you handle stress and is good for your general health.

Socialize

Discussing your difficulties with someone you trust helps relieve tension and may help you solve your problems. You may prefer a larger community, such as a spiritual group, an interest or hobby group, or a sports team.

Happy hour might not be the best way to reduce stress. Having a glass of wine with dinner may have health benefits, but excessive alcohol consumption can make matters worse. Be choosy about which groups you socialize with. Stay away from situations that make you feel uncomfortable or that reinforce unhealthy habits, because those may increase your stress.


Seek Therapy

If you've tried numerous stress-reduction techniques but continue to feel overly stressed, you could talk to a therapist about:

  • How to improve you ability to cope with stress
  • How to better handle conflicts, manage anger and communicate with others
  • How to approach problems that cause stress

A therapist can help you to understand how your thoughts influence your stress level. You can learn to change your thoughts and your experience of stress. Cognitive behavior therapy is one approach that is popular and has been proven effective.

Cognitive behavior therapy seeks to control negative thoughts and beliefs and encourage positive ones. Imagery or role-playing can help you rehearse for when stress actually occurs, teaching you what to expect and how to respond. If anger is a problem, a therapist can teach you to be more aware of how your anger comes about and help you to express your anger more constructively.

If your chief source of stress is a relationship at home, try couples therapy or family therapy. A therapist can address sexual problems, and help you manage the stress that comes with the birth of a child and the loss of a parent. Therapy can help you deal with a particularly rebellious adolescent or a family member's emotional problems.

Stress-Management Techniques

Written by Neill Abayon

You’re at your wit’s end. All day your boss was on the warpath, and all night your kids screamed and fought with one another. Now it’s 10 p.m. There are piles of bills crowd the counter and dirty dishes line the sink. All you want to do is relax. You plop yourself in your favorite chair, reach for the remote and start surfing.

Sound familiar? Tuning out the world is one of the most common responses to stress. But it’s not necessarily the most effective one. In fact, stress-management experts say stress reduction requires attention and discipline. Activities that actually reduce stress include daily exercise, finding constructive outlets for your emotions, socializing, performing relaxation exercises and eating a healthy diet.

None of these methods may eliminate your stress entirely, but they can help you balance your stress with positive experiences, to help you maintain a healthier mind and body.

Research shows that practicing stress management is not merely about helping you live a more pleasant life. It also can help you live a longer one.

Keep the Faith and Keep Your Health

Posted by Neill Abayon

For more than 20 years, social epidemiologist Jeff Levin, Ph.D., M.P.H., has been collecting data to see if there's a link between faith and health.

"About 80% to 90% of these studies show there is something positive going on. We're swimming in empirical evidence."

Among those documenting the case is Harold G. Koenig, M.D., professor of psychiatry at the Duke University Medical Center: "Our studies have shown those who benefit most are those who both attend religious services and practice personal belief at home such as reading religious literature and prayer," he says.

According to his research as director of the Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health, Dr. Koenig, who also has led seminars on the subject for the Harvard Medical School Continuing Medical Education program, has found:

  • People who regularly attend church service, pray individually, and read the Bible are 40% less likely to have diastolic high blood pressure than those who seldom participate in these religious activities.
  • People who attend religious services regularly may have stronger immune systems than their less-religious counterparts.
  • People who attend church regularly are hospitalized less often and leave the hospital sooner than people who never or rarely participate in religious services.
  • The deeper a person's religious faith, the less likely he or she is to suffer depression during and after hospitalization for physical illness.
  • .
  • Religious people tend to have healthier lifestyles. People who attend church at least weekly have about one-third the rate of alcohol abuse and are about one-third as likely to smoke as those who seldom participate in congregational worship.
  • Religious youth show significantly lower levels of drug and alcohol abuse, premature sexual involvement, and criminal delinquency than their non-religious peers. They also are less likely to express suicidal thoughts or make actual attempts on their lives.

Levin, who has received grants from many sources, including the National Institutes of Health, found that faith is an especially potent source of well-being.

"The big challenge for us is to answer the why question, what does all of this mean?"

In his book "God, Faith and Health," Levin examined more than 200 studies on faith and health. Among the common links are:

  • On the average, people who are more religious tend to have healthier lifestyles.
  • Attending church, mosque or synagogue provides a social structure. "Being around other people you receive support. We know that social support is good for people's health," he says.
  • The practice of prayer, meditation or public worship services elicits positive emotions. A variety of new scientific research suggests that our emotions can lead to psychological changes that benefit our health.
  • New research on optimism and hope is suggesting a possible placebo effect that promotes healing.

The studies Levin looked at involved a range of ages, ethnic backgrounds and religious affiliations. They involved a variety of research methods, including representative samples, longitudinal and psychiatric studies, as well as analysis by condition, such as lung disease or cancer.

Levin and Dr. Koenig are part of a growing movement to quantify the impact of religion on health.

Others are working on the subject too. For instance, a Columbia University research report concluded that people with religious faith are markedly less likely to abuse alcohol and illegal drugs than non-believers.

Harvard University's Pluralism Project has joined with Boston Medical Center's Healing Landscape project to explore the extent of religious healing in an American city. The project is producing a data bank of information about the diversity of religious healing practices in urban America.

While research supports a connection between faith and physical well-being, the evidence is stronger for the benefits of faith on emotional and mental health, says Dr. Koenig, author of many books on the subject.

For most people, faith's power involves a healing of the intangible spirit, and of relationships with others, he adds.

In fact, illness tends to bring spirituality to the surface.

"As people become sicker and struggle with more suffering they can become very deeply spiritual," Dr. Koenig says. "They may look sick or be struggling with depression, but they may be deeply spiritual and have a very strong faith connection."

This is because without faith, illness and suffering is devoid of meaning for patients and their loved ones, Dr. Koenig says. "It gives these difficult conditions a sense of purpose, that somehow a good thing can result. That God can transform this horrible situation into something good, or it can have a benefit to those around them."

The research suggests that intensity of belief and practice is an affecting characteristic in the relationship between health and spiritual practice. In one study patients were asked to rank the importance of their faith, they were given a range of possible answers from not important to strongly important.

"There is some evidence from some of these types of questions, that people who answer in the stronger category tend to do better in health and in psychological well being," Levin says.

Yet the research does not suggest that non-religious people can't also be healthy.

"There are unquestionably people who do not practice religion and are perfectly healthy and get along just fine. And there are people who are very religious and suffer illnesses," Levin says.

But with research unquestionably documenting a health benefit for members of religious groups, Levin concludes: "Spirituality in the broadest sense can be a vitally powerful resource in the lives of many human beings for those who participate in spiritual activities on a regular basis."

Making Meat Healthier

Posted by Neill Abayon

While it's a good idea to limit the amount of red meat you consume, you do not need to give up all meat completely in order to have a healthy diet. You just need to be selective know what meats to limit.

A broiled quarter-pound beef burger contains a whopping 20 grams of fat, eight of these grams in the form of saturated fats. If you are like most people, this is about one-third of your recommended daily limit. Instead, try lean ground turkey, seafood and vegetables (chickpeas, for example) to make delicious low-fat burgers. Here are some tips to make burgers as tasty as they are healthy:

* When making a beef burger, use lean beef and cut the amount in half; then fill your sandwich with vegetables, tomatoes and lettuce.
* Sear all vegetable burgers first over high heat to lock in moisture.
* To keep turkey and veggie burgers juicy, don't press down on the patties while cooking.
* Instead of hamburger rolls, try pita pockets or English muffins.
* Spruce up your burger with hearty greens (experiment with arugula and watercress, if available) and mustard, salsas or chutneys. Consider trying a sauce of nonfat sour cream plus mustard, which add flavor minus the fat.
* When making a turkey burger, look for ground turkey made from white breast meat. Dark turkey meat may contain skin and commonly contains as much fat as does ground beef.

When you grill meat, poultry and fish over high heat, and it develops a charred surface, a chemical compound called benzopyrene can collect on the food. Benzopyrene can cause cancer in lab animals when given in large amounts. Cooking time, temperature and the amount of fat in the meat and in marinades affects the amount of benzopyrene formed.

There's limited evidence linking barbecued food to cancer in humans. To play it safe, here are some suggestions:

* Choose lean cuts of meat and trim visible fat away.
* Thaw frozen meats first to cut down grilling time and prevent charring.
* Use spice rubs or marinades with little or no fat.
* Cook meat completely, but don't overcook.
* Use hardwood charcoal briquettes, which burn at a more even temperature than softwood charcoal.
* To prevent fat from dripping onto coals, place a drip pan on top of the coals.

The Importance Of Nutrition

Written by Neill Abayon

The importance of good nutrition is nothing new. Back in 400 B.C., Hippocrates said, "Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food." Today, good nutrition is more important than ever. At least four of the 10 leading causes of death in the U.S.--heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes--are directly related to way we eat; diet is also implicated in scores of other conditions. But while the wrong diet can be deadly, eating right is among the cornerstones of health.

Of course, food alone isn't the key to a longer and healthier life. Good nutrition should be part of an overall healthy lifestyle, which also includes regular exercise, not smoking or drinking alcohol excessively, stress management and limiting exposure to environmental hazards. And no matter how well you eat, your genes play a big part in your risk for certain health problems. But don't underestimate the influence of how and what you eat.

For example, atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) can begin in early childhood, but the process can be halted--even reversed--if you make healthy changes in your diet and lifestyle. The gradual bone thinning that results in osteoporosis may be slowed if you consume enough calcium, maintain adequate Vitamin D levels and participate in weight-bearing exercise. You may be genetically predisposed to diabetes, but keep your weight within a healthy range through diet and exercise and the disease may never strike you.

The keys to good nutrition are balance, variety and moderation. To stay healthy, your body needs the right balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein --the three main components of nutrition.

You also need vitamins, minerals and other substances from many different foods, and while some foods are better than others, no single food or food group has it all--so eating a variety of different foods is essential.

Moderation means eating neither too much nor too little of any food or nutrient. Too much food can result in excess weight and even too much of certain nutrients, while eating too little can lead to numerous nutrient deficiencies and low body mass.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Daily Exercise Suggestions

Posted by Neill Abayon

Walk 10 Minutes a Day and Increase Your Fitness Level Old thinking was to work out in a sweat-filled gym for hours a day. No pain, no gain. New studies show that even short bouts of activity can increase your fitness level, especially if you're new at working out.

Park and Walk
Whenever you have an errand, park your car as far away as you can handle and walk to the store. At the mall, park at the farthest end and walk the length of the mall. Use every opportunity to walk. At the end of the day, it all adds up to better fitness.

Crunch in Bed
Before you even get out of bed in the morning, do 10 stomach crunches while lying flat on your mattress. Increase daily by one until you get up to 100. Think you'll never get there? Try it. You may eventually have to set your clock to wake up 15 minutes earlier, a small price to pay for a flatter stomach.

10 Essential Health Tips

Written by Neill Abayon

1. Move More
Make it a daily challenge to find ways to move your body. Climb stairs if given a choice between that and escalators or elevators. Walk your dog; chase your kids; toss balls with friends, mow the lawn. Anything that moves your limbs is not only a fitness tool, it's a stress buster. Think 'move' in small increments of time. It doesn't have to be an hour in the gym or a 45-minute aerobic dance class or tai chi or kickboxing. But that's great when you're up to it. Meanwhile, move more. Thought for the day: Cha, Cha, Cha…. Then do it!

2. Cut Fat
Avoid the obvious such as fried foods, burgers and other fatty meats (i.e. pork, bacon, ham, salami, ribs and sausage). Dairy products such as cheese, cottage cheese, milk and cream should be eaten in low fat versions. Nuts and sandwich meats, mayonnaise, margarine, butter and sauces should be eaten in limited amounts. Most are available in lower fat versions such as substitute butter, fat free cheeses and mayonnaise. Thought for the day: Lean, mean, fat-burning machine…. Then be one!

3. Quit Smoking
The jury is definitely in on this verdict. Ever since 1960 when the Surgeon General announced that smoking was harmful to your health, Americans have been reducing their use of tobacco products that kill. Just recently, we've seen a surge in smoking in adolescents and teens. Could it be the Hollywood influence? It seems the stars in every movie of late smoke cigarettes. Beware. Warn your children of the false romance or 'tough guy' stance of Hollywood smokers. Thought for the day: Give up just one cigarette…. the next one.

4. Reduce Stress
Easier said than done, stress busters come in many forms. Some techniques recommended by experts are to think positive thoughts. Spend 30 minutes a day doing something you like. (i.e.,Soak in a hot tub; walk on the beach or in a park; read a good book; visit a friend; play with your dog; listen to soothing music; watch a funny movie. Get a massage, a facial or a haircut. Meditate. Count to ten before losing your temper or getting aggravated. Avoid difficult people when possible. Thought for the day: When seeing red, think pink clouds….then float on them.

5. Protect Yourself from Pollution
If you can't live in a smog-free environment, at least avoid smoke-filled rooms, high traffic areas, breathing in highway fumes and exercising near busy thoroughfares. Exercise outside when the smog rating is low. Exercise indoors in air conditioning when air quality is good. Plant lots of shrubbery in your yard. It's a good pollution and dirt from the street deterrent. Thought for the day: 'Smoke gets in your eyes'…and your mouth, and your nose and your lungs as do pollutants….hum the tune daily.

6. Wear Your Seat Belt
Statistics show that seat belts add to longevity and help alleviate potential injuries in car crashes. Thought for the day: Buckle down and buckle up.

7. Floss Your Teeth
Recent studies make a direct connection between longevity and teeth flossing. Nobody knows exactly why. Perhaps it's because people who floss tend to be more health conscious than people who don't? Thought for the day: Floss and be your body's boss.

8. Avoid Excessive Drinking
While recent studies show a glass of wine or one drink a day (two for men) can help protect against heart disease, more than that can cause other health problems such as liver and kidney disease and cancer. Thought for the day: A jug of wine should last a long time.

9. Keep a Positive Mental Outlook
There's a definitive connection between living well and healthfully and having a cheerful outlook on life. Thought for the day: You can't be unhappy when you're smiling or singing.

10. Choose Your Parents Well
The link between genetics and health is a powerful one. But just because one or both of your parents died young in ill health doesn't mean you cannot counteract the genetic pool handed you. Thought for the day: Follow these basic tips for healthy living and you can better control your own destiny.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

DELAY CUTTING THE CORD

Posted by Neill Abayon

Newborns have a better blood count if the umbilical cord isn't cut for at least two minutes after birth, suggests a new review published in the Journal of the American Medical Association. After examining 15 trials of early and late cord cutting, Dr. Eileen Hutton of McMaster University, Ontario, concluded that a delay is beneficial. "Advantages include improved blood count and iron status, and a reduced risk of anaemia," she says. "These benefits last three to six months into infancy."

"Some practitioners clamp the cord immediately because they have learnt to do it that way," says Hutton.
"But there is enough evidence to recommend a delay of at least two minutes."

A ROUTINE TO STOP SHINGLES

Posted by Neill Abayon

About one-third of adults aver 60 develop shingles, a burning, blisterly rash caused by the chickenpox virus. Now researchers have found an exercise that plays a key role in its prevention: tai chi.
By the end of a 25-week study of adults aged 59-86, those who practised tai chi alone boosted their shingles immunity to a level comparable to having received the shingles vaccine. When tai chi was combined with the vaccine immunity shot up further.
"We don't know exactly how tai chi boosts immunity, but we believe its the combination of aerobic exercise and meditation," says lead researcher Professor Michael Irwin of UCLA's Cousins Center for Psychoneuroimmunology. He thinks these findings may have implications for other infections disease such as influenza and pneumonia.

MARITAL SPATS MAKE YOU SICK

Posted by Neill Abayon

Last nights argument could do more than make you glare at each other over breakfast. Bickering raises stress so much that it delays your body's ability to heal, say husband and wife researchers Ronald Glaser and Janice Kiecolt-Glaser at Ohio State University. They inflicted 42 couples with blisters. At the first visit, the twosomes discussed topics that encouraged support from each other; next time, they were asked to resolved a disagreement. After each session, the Glasers took samples of the blisters and measured levels of cytokines, messenges that summon healing cells to the wound. Cytokines were lower after the conflicts than after the supportive talks, and the most hostile pairs took two days longer to heal, on average, than the least hostile.

PLANET PLANT PALETTE

Posted by Neill Abayon

The same rules that make Earth plants green may make non-Earth plants yellow or red but likely not blue, according to a NASA study.
Scientist from a range of disciplines studies how plants and some bacteria on Earth absorb and reflect light. More red light reaches plants on Earth, and blue light is the easiest to absorb. So plants make most efficient use of these two, and that leaves green light as largely superflous. For other planets, the researchers calculated which light wave length would be the most abundant on the surface and hence most favourable to photosynthesis.

AN ALTERNATIVE TO ALLERGY SHOTS


Posted by Neill Abayon


You're allergic to ragweed, peanuts or your pet. So you see the doctor for regular shots. Over time, she injects larger closes of the allergen, so you become less sensitive to it, easing symptoms. What a pain! Soon you may be able to treat yourself at home, needle free.
For more than a decade, many Europeans have been skipping shots and taking allergens by mouth, where they're absorbed in the bloodstream. Its convenient and painless, so patients are more likely to seek treatment. But a panel of US doctors reviewed 100 mostly Europeans studies on the subjects, and these experts aren't recommending the oral method just yet." In some studies, very high doses had no efficacy over the long term, while others using a lower dose seemed to have benefits over a short-time", says task force co-chair Linda Cox. "Theres some work that needs to be done to understand the mechanism." Scientist at Greer Laboratories are doing that work. Once they determine optimal dosages, they hope to begin seeking approval for the technique by next year.

EARLIER, EASIER DIAGNOSIS

Written by Neill Abayon

Near the top of the list of disease that are tricky to catch early: lung cancer and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). So doctors are working on better screening tools. New test on the horizon:
Lung cancer researcher Bojana Turic is developing a test that uses a scrappings from the inside of the check to detect markers of early lung cancer in smokers and non-smokers. The test will spot subtle changes in cheek cells which result from the presence of cancer in the lungs. The ultimate goal is to have the test incorporated into regular dental checkups or physicals.
Rheumatoid arthritis. In people with RA , the synovium, a thin tissue layer that surrounds the joints and tendons, begin expanding and then erodes bones, causing damage and pain. An experimental new test using noninvasive microscopic MR imaging may detect thickening of the synovium and bone erosions, possible signs of the debilitating conditions in its beginning stages. Early, aggressive medical treatment can lessen the effects of the disease.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Ten Steps To Positive Body Image

Written by Neill Abayon

One list cannot automatically tell you how to turn negative body thoughts into positive body image, but it can help you think about new ways of looking more healthfully and happily at yourself and your body. The more you do that, the more likely you are to feel good about who you are and the body you naturally have.

1. Appreciate all that your body can do. Every day your body carries you closer to your dreams. Celebrate all of the amazing things your body does for you -- running, dancing, breathing, laughing, dreaming, etc.

2. Keep a top-10 list of things you like about yourself -- things that aren’t related to how much you weigh or what you look like. Read your list often. Add to it as you become aware of more things to like about you.

3. Remind yourself that “true beauty” is not simply skin-deep. When you feel good about yourself and who you are, you carry yourself with a sense of confidence, self-acceptance, and openness that makes you beautiful regardless of whether you physically look like a supermodel. Beauty is a state of mind, not a state of your body.

4. Look at yourself as a whole person. When you see yourself in a mirror or in your mind, choose not to focus on specific body parts. See yourself as you want others to see you as a whole person.

5. Surround yourself with positive people. It is easier to feel good about yourself and your body when you are around others who are supportive and who recognize the importance of liking yourself just as you naturally are.

6. Shut down those voices in your head that tell you your body is not “right” or that you are a “bad” person. You can overpower those negative thoughts with positive ones. The next time you start to tear yourself down, build yourself back up with a few quick affirmations that work for you.

7. Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you feel good about your body. Work with your body, not against it.

8. Become a critical viewer of social and media messages. Pay attention to images, slogans, or attitudes that make you feel bad about yourself or your body. Protest these messages: write a letter to the advertiser or talk back to the image or message.

9. Do something nice for yourself -- something that lets your body know you appreciate it. Take a bubble bath, make time for a nap, find a peaceful place outside to relax.

10. Use the time and energy that you might have spent worrying about food, calories, and your weight to do something to help others. Sometimes reaching out to other people can help you feel better about yourself and can make a positive change in our world.

Natural Sources of Vitamins


Posted by Neill Abayon

Here is a list of many common sources for vitamins:

* Natural vitamin B4 sources can include egg yolks, legumes, organ meats, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, soybeans, fish.

* Natural vitamin B1 sources can include brewer’s yeast, brown rice, whole grains, organ meats, egg yolk, blackstrap molasses

* Natural vitamin B17 sources include whole kernels of apricots, peaches, apples, cherries, plums

* Natural vitamin B8 sources can include vegetables, whole grains, citrus fruits, nuts, molasses, meat, milk, brewer’s yeast

* Natural vitamin B5 sources can be found in wheat germ, egg yolks, legumes, organ meats, whole grains, salmon, brewer’s yeast

* Natural vitamin B15 sources can include pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower seeds, rare steaks, brown rice, brewer’s yeast

* Natural vitamin B5 sources can include egg yolks,salmon, legumes, organ meats, wheat germ, whole grains, brewer’s yeast

* Natural vitamin B13 sources can include liquid whey, and root vegetables

* Natural vitamin B4 sources can include brewer’s yeast, egg yolks, organ meats, legumes, wheat germ, fish, soybeans

* Natural vitamin B15 sources can include brown rice, brewer’s yeast, rare steaks, pumpkin, sunflower, & sesame seeds

* Natural vitamin B17 sources can include peaches, whole kernels of apricots, cherries, apples, plums

* Natural vitamin B17 sources can include cherries, peaches, apples, whole kernels of apricots, plums

* Natural vitamin B5 sources include salmon, organ meats, egg yolks, legumes, wheat germ, brewer’s yeast, whole grains

* Natural vitamin B6 sources can include meats, wheat germ, whole grains, blackstrap molasses, organ meats, brewer’s yeast

Asthma link to pregnancy stress

Posted by Neill Abayon

Women who are stressed in pregnancy may raise the risk of their child developing asthma or other allergies, a study suggests.

Researchers found higher levels of a chemical linked to allergy in the blood of children of stressed mothers.

Levels were high even in those who had not been exposed to high levels of dust mites, a recognised allergies trigger.

Harvard Medical School, which studied 387 babies, will present the study to the American Thoracic Society.

It is thought the risk of asthma and allergy is controlled by a complex mix of genetic and environmental factors.

However, researchers suspect the impact of these factors may also in some way be influenced by the environment a foetus is exposed to while still in the uterus.

The Harvard team examined the theory that stress during pregnancy can magnify the effect of foetal exposure to substances which can trigger allergy.

The researchers measured levels of Immunoglobulin (IgE) - a chemical linked to allergic responses - in the umbilical cord blood of 387 babies.

Amplified response

Because even babies exposed to low levels of dust mites in the uterus showed elevated levels of IgE, the researchers concluded that stress was amplifying their allergic response.

Researcher Dr Rosalind Wright said: "This research adds to a growing body of evidence that links maternal stress, such as that precipitated by financial problems or relationship issues, to changes in children's developing immune systems, even during pregnancy.

"This further supports the notion that stress can be thought of as a social pollutant that, when 'breathed' into the body, may influence the body's immune response similar to the effects of physical pollutants like allergens, thus adding to their effects."

However, Dr Wright said more work was needed to tease out further the effect of stress from other possible factors which may influence allergy risk.

Dr Mike Thomas, chief medical adviser for the charity Asthma UK, said: "The link between stress and asthma has long been recognised and, although it's still not fully understood, part of the link may be due to the effects of stress on the body's immune system.

"These preliminary findings are of interest and potential importance and further support the need for a healthy and balanced lifestyle during pregnancy, as it could lead to a reduction in asthma and allergies."

The Truth About Milk: Raw vs Pasteurized

The truth about milk
“Raw” milk proponent and dairyman Mark McAfee sheds light on pasteurization, the benefits of consuming unadulterated food, and the war on bacteria.
By Loren Muldowney

Mark McAfee is owner of Organic Pastures Dairy Co. (www.organicpastures.com) in Fresno, California. His high-energy talk February 6 was entitled "Raw Milk: Mother Nature's Inconvenient Truth" Raw milk is milk in its natural state, McAfee explained, as it comes from the cow, without heat treatment or pasteurization. Pasteurization is used to extend shelf life and to immobilize certain bacteria, he said, and public health authorities generally appear convinced that this process is highly desirable.

McAfee's overarching theme can be summarized as the coexistence of people and milk and bacteria. Even when produced under the most sanitary conditions, he said, it is normal for milk to contain some bacteria, and human societies have been coexisting and benefiting from these bacteria in the milk for thousands of years. Fermented milks are and have been important foods in many cultures for their nutrient value, McAfee informed the crowd, for their superior digestibility, and for the preservation that fermentation, a bacterial process, provides. Today products are marketed as containing "probiotics," as if this is something brand new. Of course, McAfee said, various active bacteria have always been in these foods, "only the standardization and taxonomy are new. Some of what he termed "Mother Nature's truths about bacteria" follow. Bacteria...

* are earth's oldest life forms
* are everywhere
* are essential for human survival
* comprise more than 90 percent of the cells in the human body.


It's no small wonder, then, that McAfee calls the human being "Bacterio sapiens" and suggests that public obsession with killing bacteria misdirects efforts at improving public health because relatively few bacteria are pathogenic. By constantly sterilizing and pasteurizing and disinfecting, he said, we tip the balance in favor of the pathogen. Campylobacter has always been found in the environment but only relatively recently has it been called a "pathogen." What changed, he asked, and is it possible that reducing the microbial biodiversity of the human body has created more disease than it has prevented?

Raw milk is another of Mother Nature's truths, McAfee asserted. Raw milk is "new" only in the sense that it used to just be called "milk," without the adjective implying that there is something unusual about it. Pasteurization is what's relatively new. In American cities in the early 1900s, pasteurization permitted the safe use of poor quality milk by destroying pathogens introduced by its production method. That's a plus if you need to use poor quality milk, McAfee said. But milk has always been the first food of newborn mammals so how could it be intrinsically hazardous? Human societies developed and prospered upon (raw) milk usually milk of ruminant species adapted to living on grass due to the bacteria in their gut. Grasslands, he said, "provided that we respect the appropriate stocking density," are a wonderful, low energy, sustainable ecosystem.

When mothers nurse their babies, do we make a point of saying that the babies are drinking "raw milk," McAfee asked rhetorically.

Raw milk is not a single substance, he said, stressing that it is important to distinguish raw milk intended for direct consumption from raw milk intended for further processing. The former has been variously called "physicians milk," "babies milk," and "certified milk." Milk intended for direct consumption should meet higher standards of production, he said, beginning with the genetics, feeding, bedding and housing of the cows. McAfee uses rotational grazing of well-managed pastures and keeps his cows mostly outdoors, on a diverse forage ecosystem. He believes pasture-fed cattle do not have the acidified rumen of the grain-fed industrial dairy cow so they are less susceptible to developing acid-tolerant gut bacteria. Without antibiotic use, McAfee said, there is no problem with evolution of antibiotic resistance. Conjugated linoleic acids are highest in milk from pasture-fed cows, and the vitamins, natural fats and enzymes are all intact.

According to McAfee, it is difficult to get at the truth because so much research is little more than advertising, self-interested and commercial. Stories offered by those who have been helped by taking charge of their own health are largely dismissed as "anecdotal." But if you take a big collection of anecdotes and add statistical analysis, you have a study, said McAfee. He believes this kind of research would actually benefit the public so it is appropriate that the National Institute of Health or other public agency should fund such work. Unfortunately, most of this kind of preventative health research remains unstudied for lack of funding.

Many anecdotes about raw milk involve people reporting that chronic diseases such as arthritis, Crohn's disease, asthma, ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome or chronic ear infections are eliminated by a change to drinking raw milk. These diseases are lumped under the heading "autoimmune problems," McAfee said, and they are generally unexplained and uncured by modern, "Western" medicine. McAfee shared one such anecdote about Kimeli, a Maasai tribesman from east Africa who came to the United States to study at Stanford University. Kimeli grew up drinking milk (known in the U.S. as "raw milk"), but after arriving in the states got sicker and sicker and was diagnosed with severe lactose intolerance and Crohn's disease. Ultimately it was recommended that part of his colon be removed. He resisted this idea and began to drink "raw milk" from Organic Pastures dairy. His lactose intolerance somehow did not apply to this milk. For the better part of a year he drank a daily half gallon of raw whole milk. Kimeli, McAfee said, remains convinced that this food is what allowed his damaged insides to heal.

McAfee advised the audience that it is illegal to say that anything other than a recognized pharmaceutical product can cure a disease and reports that he was fined several thousand dollars for putting such customer testimonials (anecdotes) on his business website. (Presumably, private citizens are still allowed to share their own stories provided that the anecdotes do not appear on commercial websites.)

McAfee's take-home message is that people can educate themselves directly and make health choices without the intervention of so-called "experts" An informed consumer, he said, is always his best customer.

Source:http://www.organicconsumers.org

Safe Sex Always

Posted by Neill Abayon

10 Questions To Ask Your New Partner Before Having Sex

You may find it difficult to talk about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) while you are just getting to know someone intimately. Nevertheless, you should ask the following questions before you have sex to reduce your risk of getting infected. Consider printing the list and keeping it in your wallet or pocketbook.

1. Are you having sex with anyone else?

2. How many sexual partners have you had?

3. Have you ever had an STD?

4. Have you ever had a sexual partner who had HIV or another STD?

5. How long has it been since you've been tested for HIV and other STDs?

6. How many sexual partners have you had since then?

7. Have you ever had genital ulcers or warts?

8. Do you have any STD symptoms — ulcers, warts, vaginal or penile discharge?

9. Do you know how to tell if you are infected with an STD?

10. Do you prefer getting tested for HIV and other STDs, and then having a monogamous relationship, or using condoms each time we have sex?