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The goal of this thread is to find information regarding different things that have a good/bad effect on our health. So if you read somewhere or know something that maybe useful to our health feel free to post it.
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    Active Member
    Diet Soda May Deplete Calcium From Bone

    On a given day, about half of Americans drink a sugar-sweetened beverage, and one in five drink a diet soda or other artificially sweetened beverage. Soda consumption has previously been associated with lower bone mineral density in women and children and one notable study focused specifically on the effects of diet soda on bone health. The authors commented that this research was sparked by the observation that diet soda drinking behaviors are often different than regular (sugar-sweetened) soda drinking behaviors. Women often use diet sodas in an effort to avoid weight gain, either to stave off hunger between meals or as a replacement for calorie-containing beverages. Many women drink over 20 diet sodas per week.

    These researchers discovered that parathyroid hormone (PTH) concentrations rise strongly following diet soda consumption. The job of this hormone is to increase blood calcium when it starts to get too low by stimulating bone breakdown. As a result, calcium is removed from bone.

    In the study, women aged 18-40 were given 24 ounces of either diet cola or water on two consecutive days, and urinary calcium content was measured for three hours. Women who drank diet cola did indeed excrete more calcium in their urine compared to women who drank water. The authors concluded that this calcium loss may underlie the observed connection between soda drinking and low bone mineral density.

    Although caffeine is known to increase calcium excretion and promote bone loss, caffeine is likely not the only bone-harming ingredient in sodas. A 2006 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found consistent associations between low bone mineral density and caffeinated and non-caffeinated cola (both regular and diet), but not other carbonated beverages. One major difference between the two is the phosphoric acid in colas, absent from most other carbonated beverages.

    In the Western diet, phosphorus is commonly consumed in excess—at about 3 times the recommended levels, whereas dietary calcium often low. Phosphorus intake is increasing over time in the U.S., in part due to phosphorus-containing additives in foods and beverages, such as colas, commercial salad dressings and meat products. Although phosphorus is an important component of bone mineral, a high dietary ratio of phosphorus to calcium can alter mineral metabolism and increase bone breakdown, leading to lower bone mineral density. Studies in which women were given increasing quantities of dietary phosphorus found increases in markers of bone breakdown and decreases in markers of bone formation. Therefore it is likely that the phosphorus content of colas is the trigger for calcium loss.

    There is nothing healthy about diet soda, and the evidence suggests that it does not help with weight loss anyway. Diet soda is simply water with artificial sweeteners and other additives, such as phosphoric acid. The safety of artificial sweeteners is questionable, and their intense sweetness disrupts the body’s natural connection between taste and nourishment, promoting weight gain. Diet sodas weaken our bones and are linked to kidney dysfunction, obesity and diabetes.

    source dr fuhrman


    Active Member
    36 Super Foods That Burn Fat & Help You Lose Weight


    Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? Who cares? All you need to know is that it’s got a ton of good things for your body for the long term, and in the short term it works to help you lose weight and help keep it off. They’re low on the calorie meter, but they help to give you that full feeling, and contain fiber that keeps things moving.

    Like any bona fide superfood tomatoes bring more to the table than just weight loss. The lycopene brings antioxidants that studies are showing to be potentially helpful with a myriad of diseases and conditions. Be sure to add tomatoes to your cart next time.


    Healthy Vitamin C levels will help to keep you functioning at optimal levels, but if you’re looking to burn fat you might be concerned about the sugar in oranges. There’s no getting around it, oranges do contain sugar, which has the potential to turn to fat if it’s not burned up. But the calorie count is low, and the fiber actually helps to regulate your blood glucose levels.

    In order for this to work out for you as a weight loss aid, eat it in moderation and to curb your sweet tooth when you’d otherwise be reaching for a candy bar or other sweet treat.


    Although Paleo Diet followers would disagree, many others state that oats work as part of a weight loss strategy because the amount of fiber boosts your metabolism and helps you feel fuller longer. Everyone from The Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper to the American Heart Association says to make a bowl of oatmeal for the best start to your day.

    The antioxidants and other minerals oats contain make it a solid choice and not just a source of fiber. Cutting your cholesterol might also be on your list and this is a great way to get those levels down.


    There’s no need to eat bland and boring food when you’re trying to lose weight. This is a great time to experiment with seasonings from different cultures. Many of them have thermogenic properties that boost your metabolism, while making some so-so dishes taste like they’re from a restaurant.

    Some examples: Mustard seed will spice up your entree and get your metabolism going, and ginger can help with your digestion. Ginseng can boost up your energy, and black pepper can help burn calories. Like Indian food? Turmeric can help break up fat.

    Sweet Potatoes

    Oprah likes sweet potatoes, and credits them as part of the reason she lost weight one time. But can you really slim down by swapping a baked potato with its sweet cousin? Turns out sweet potatoes are great for dieting because they have fewer calories and also help you stay satisfied between meals.

    If you’re addicted to spuds this can be one way to take out a food that usually gets the no-no when dieting and replace it with a superfoods such as this that has good things for you like fiber, Vitamin C, potassium, and Vitamin B6.


    It’s hard to wrap your head around the fact that you are helping yourself to lose weight when you eat an apple. They are so sweet that they can help conquer sweet cravings, and it’s easy to see why they end up in a lot of desserts. But they are low in all of the things that you want them to be like calories, fat, and sodium. They have a good amount of fiber.

    The fiber helps you feel full, and keeps you from going mad in between meals. It also helps keep things moving along digestively. Just be sure to chew your apple up real well before swallowing, and buy organic so you can leave the peel on.


    This is one food that almost every single diet plan in existence suggests you eat. Nuts are one food that unites the vegetarians and the Paleo followers, and we have yet to find a diet program that says not to eat them. They’re straight from the Earth and a small handful of raw organic almonds, walnuts or pecans can be a crunchy snack that leaves you feeling good for a few hours or more.

    If you don’t like eating nuts for a snack, try chopping them up and sprinkling them on main dishes or side items. You’ll still get the good fats they bring and they help flavor up the meal.


    This is been known for some time in the vegetarian realm but is now making the rounds to the mainstream. The weight loss benefits usually come in the form of switching out sides with quinoa instead of more calorie-dense foods like rice or potatoes. You’ll still get the benefit of rounding out the meal, with the added bonus of the vitamins that quinoa has.

    If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for? It helps you feel full, doesn’t have a lot of calories, and ranks low on the Glycemic Index. Score!


    Beans are a staple item in The Four Hour Body’s Slow Carb Diet. They are lauded for their ability to help regulate blood sugar levels and help with digestion due to their fiber content. Try adding a can of organic black beans as a side to your next meal, especially if it can replace a more carb-laden item like bread or rice.

    Many restaurants keep black beans on hand as a substitute for a side, so they’re a great go-to item when you’re out with friends and want to eat well without looking like you’re on a diet.

    Egg Whites

    The egg debate rages on with so many gurus saying the yolks are OK, and so many others saying for weight loss you should stick to egg whites. Why all the fuss? Eggs are a good source of protein, and the main argument is on whether the fat and cholesterol in the yolks is worth eating.

    Play it safe and get the benefit of the protein without worrying about the yolks. When your weight is where you want it you can start adding them back into the equation.


    No need to go on some whacky grapefruit diet to get the benefits of it, but for most people this is going to require a new purchase at the store. Grapefruit doesn’t tend to make it onto most people’s shopping lists, but it should. In regards to weight loss the long standing myth that they help you lose weight is being proven left and right by clinical studies.

    And you don’t have to buy the fruit, you can also simply buy grapefruit juice and start drinking that instead. Tim Ferriss of The Four Hour Body says he uses grapefruit juice on his “free days” in an effort to avoid the food he’s eating from causing weight gain.

    Chicken Breast

    While not an option if you’re going vegetarian or vegan, this is often used by dieters and bodybuilders alike because of its high protein value and low amount of fat. Dark pieces of chicken just don’t measure up when it comes to quality protein. Most Americans have no trouble adding chicken to the diet, since it’s one of the most popular meats in the country.

    Just remember that it should be skinless. Try using different spices like the ones mentioned above to make it more interesting. Combined with strength training this can help tone your muscles leading to a higher metabolism.


    Perhaps it’s because it takes us back to our simian ancestry that makes eating a banana seem natural. The more studies they do on the effects of bananas in humans, the more attention they get as a definite way to help keep us at our ideal weights. They’re super easy to incorporate into the day, since they’re so versatile.

    Cut some up and add it to oatmeal, keep a bunch around as a quick grab when you need something sweet or on-the-go. Just stick to one a day since they are a source of sugar as well.


    Pears often get overlooked as the long lost cousin to apples, but they bring their own unique flavor and host of benefits, including weight loss properties. They help you feel full when you eat them, and they’ve got a different consistency to apples and other fruits, making their fiber even more effective.

    They’re also used in plenty of recipes that yield delicious results. If you didn’t use pears in your cooking before, or as a fruit to just have around, now’s the time to start.

    Pine Nuts

    These contain a phytonutrient that actually helps suppress your appetite. This means you don’t have to resort to expensive diet pills with nasty chemicals that are meant to do the same thing. All you have to do is keep a supply of pine nuts available.

    Since they’re tiny and crunchy you get to eat a lot of them without having to worry about ruining your efforts. It let’s the body have it binge time while still helping you lose weight by keeping you away from more offensive foods.


    Opting for mushrooms instead of pepperoni or sausage on your next pizza may do little to help drop the pounds, but increasing your intake of mushrooms along with other healthy foods should yield better results due to their low calories and high vitamin content.

    Be sure to branch out when it comes to mushrooms, trying the ones that may look a little strange instead of always opting for the button mushroom used everywhere. They all have their own unique characteristics, but all share the common bond of helping you to lose weight.


    Lentils are gaining more popularity has a healthy food, and one that can help you lose the weight. The fiber they contain will help keep you feeling good between meals, and will help your blood sugar levels from spiking.

    If you’re going vegetarian you can use lentil as a good protein source, or you can use them to compliment a protein and act as a side dish. It helps keep your cholesterol in check and help you process carbs more effectively.

    Hot Peppers

    If you like your food hot, there may be some good news for you. Hot peppers like habaneros, jalapenos, and chipotles can actually help you to lose weight, while also adding a kick to most any dish. They contain capsaicin which provides several benefits that relate to losing weight.

    And if you were worried that eating these hot peppers would make you burn a hole in your stomach, recent research is showing that they may actually help to prevent stomach problems like ulcers by killing the bacteria responsible. Fire away!


    We’d be remiss if we didn’t include broccoli on this list, even though you’re probably sick of everyone telling you about it. Turns out your mom and your grandma were right, these are really good for you, but aside from that they can also help you shed some fat.

    How? Broccoli fills you up, but it’s not just a filler. It has tons of nutrients per pound, and it’s also packed with fiber so it keeps you regular, which keeps you feeling good. Spice it up with spices or peppers, but just skip the broccoli cheese soup, as that doesn’t work for weight loss.

    Organic Lean Meats

    Lean meats are full of protein without all of the fat, but you want to make sure that you opt for organic if you’re trying to lose weight. With conventional meets they’re pumping the cows, pigs, and other animals full of so many antibiotics and growth hormones which ends up in the meat you’re eating. This can thwart your weight loss efforts.

    Organic meats aren’t going to contain more nutrients in them than ordinary meats, but it’s what they don’t have in them that makes the difference. If you can’t find organic, go with grass fed or all-natural.


    Some say that you burn more calories eating cantaloupe than what it contains. Whether or not that’s the case is up for debate, but this is still a great food to add to your repertoire for weight loss. It’s sweet, but it’s not high in calories the way most sweet things are. It also has fiber in it, even though it doesn’t taste like it does.

    It goes great in a fruit salad with other diet-assisting fruits like honeydew, strawberries, or simply by itself as a quick snack or sweet pick-me-up. Added bonus: it helps to make your skin look great.


    Spinach is often a vegetable left on the plate of children, but adults are coming around to it since it really does contain a lot of good things in it for losing weight and general well-being. You can eat it in several different ways, fresh as a salad, in a can, and it also comes frozen. It works for weight loss by adding bulk to your stomach without tacking on the calories.

    This is a good vegetable to buy organic if you can, since conventional spinach picks up a lot of chemicals from the fields.

    Green Tea

    Perhaps you knew that green tea is packed with antioxidants, but did you also know that it can help you shed the fat? It’s the catechins! These are a part of green tea that get your body to switch over to burning more calories, as well as fat.

    Unfortunately for the other teas, green tea comes out the winner on many fronts because it’s not as processed as the others, and therefore retains much of its goodness, like antioxidants and phytonutrients that make it a superstar among superfoods.


    Don’t underestimate the power of cinnamon, it’s not just for baking anymore. You can get weight loss benefits simply by adding more cinnamon to your diet, with teaspoon a day showing positive results. What causes the magic? It’s the way that cinnamon helps to regulate your blood glucose levels. These play a major part in how you feel throughout the day, how energetic you are, or how sluggish you can get.

    Maintaining good blood sugar levels also helps you resist cravings. Just make sure that you’re not counting that cinnamon on your cinnamon roll!


    Asparagus has plenty of positive effects in the body, and each of them seems to play a particular role in helping you lose weight. The first is that it assists your body in expelling toxins and other wastes. It also helps with digestion and keeps good bacteria in your gut. Not to mention that it’s a superfood, so it has a ton of vitamins and minerals that help you all-around.

    A lot of dieters also like the way asparagus tastes, and it’s very easy to prepare, and accepts seasonings and spices very well making it an good addition to your regular menu.


    Even though the fast food chains have jumped on this trend and are sticking guacamole in everything, eating avocados is a great idea for slimming down. For years they were avoided by dieters because of their fat content, when everything that had fat in it was labeled as evil. Then we got smart and realized that not all fat is created equally and good fats actually help you lose the fat you have.

    Try adding avocado slices to sandwiches, or mash them up to make your own guac. Try to avoid the guacamole you see in restaurants because you won’t have quality control over the ingredients.

    Peanut Butter

    This gets special mention for weight loss because it’s a good fat that can be used to help lose fat. It tastes great and can satisfy cravings and even keep them from coming at all. In The Abs Diet peanut butter is recommended for use in smoothies and is labeled a superfood.

    Almond butter is also a good fat to have that can provide a lot of creamy goodness, but it’s generally more expensive than peanut butter. In any instance opt for the organic varieties so you’re only getting peanuts and potentially sea salt.


    Salmon contains omega-3 and some diets are built around it. At first glance you might think it’s too fatty to be a weight loss super food, but it doesn’t rank high in saturated fat, the kind that you find in a fast food hamburger, and the omega-3 content trumps any other concerns.

    This is something that you want to try adding to your diet to see how your body responds to it. If you are getting good results from it you can consider having it more times per week. Luckily there are plenty of good salmon recipes that will keep the fat content low but make it taste great.

    Organic Raw Apple Cider Vinegar

    The enzymes in apple cider vinegar help the digestive system and have been shown to promote gradual weight loss. The recommended way to take it is adding it to distilled water and drinking it before a meal. It will help your food get digested properly so your body can use the nutrients the food contains.

    It also works to suppress your appetite, so if you find that you become ravenous between meals and are looking for a way to calm your urges until the next meal time, this may be a solution for you.

    Greek Yogurt

    Greek yogurt has been getting attention as a healthier form of yogurt. This is because it packs a bigger protein punch, with less sugar than ordinary yogurt. But you don’t have to give up regular yogurt altogether, and there are other foods that Greek yogurt can fill in for.

    For example you can use it as a reasonable substitute for sour cream and shave off plenty of calories and fat grams. You can also use it in your baking to replace other fats and oils, but this might take some trial and error.

    Olive Oil

    The reason olive oil helps you to lose weight is because it can take the place of other things like salad dressing and other oils that are considered bad fats. Even you change nothing else in your diet or lifestyle and just start using olive oil you should still benefit by losing weight. But most people find that if they start to embrace more of a Mediterranean diet the results are accentuated.

    Almost any diet that replaced the Standard American Diet is going to be better for you and cause the pounds to drop, and using more olive oil in your life can bring many positive benefits.


    The wonderful thing about blueberries and weight loss is that it’s not just general weight that you lose, but specifically the fat. They might be responsible for helping the body break down fats and sugars, plus they taste amazing and can flavor up otherwise tame meals. They also play well with other fruits in a fruit salad. Just be sure to eat them without adding sugar to them.

    We singled out blueberries for their fat busting properties, but many other berries can help on your weight loss quest, so broaden your horizons and have a berry nice day.

    Turkey Breast

    Turkey breast is a great food to keep on hand because it’s so convenient to eat in moments of weakness, and because it provides a lean protein source. Those on a no-carb or low-carb diet will be going through plenty of turkey breast and other meats, and those that are on a diet where you balance carbs with proteins will also find it useful.

    The protein it contains can also help if you’re strength training or trying to build muscle in an attempt to rev up your metabolism. This works by increasing the number of calories your body burns 24 hours a day.

    Flax Seeds

    You can sprinkle flax seeds on most anything, and it would be a better option than many of those sprinkle diet programs that keep popping up. This is because it contains things that help your body, like omega-3s, and it contains fiber, which will help you feel full.

    It’s the essential fatty acids that also work to give your metabolism a boost. As a side bonus it also lowers the levels of bad cholesterol in your body, and made it onto our list of superfoods for its many healthy benefits and ease of use.

    Keep It Fresh!

    It’s best to use fresh ingredients whenever possible, especially with the super foods listed here. They lose a lot of their antioxidant value and weight loss power the more they’re processed. Keep things as close to nature as possible.

    In addition to keeping them in their natural state, opt for organic whenever you can. The lack of pesticides, herbicides, and genetically modified ingredients will allow their Super nature to shine through and won’t serve as a counterbalance to their inherent goodness.

    Soup It Up!

    Turning appropriate super foods into a soup is a great way to reap their benefits and make them more edible. Soup is a great weight loss tool, as it helps with digestion, and you can combine many foods together at the same time for some real vitamin-packed weight loss meals.

    You can use soup as a starter for a larger meal, or you can make a meal out of it when it’s too late in the day to have a big meal resting on your stomach. It’s easier to digest since most ingredients are bite-sized or smaller and have been cooked until mushy.

    It’s no surprise: the foods that you suspected all along are healthy and good for you and make a stark comparison to all of the heavily processed, prepackaged foods that are sold by supermarkets, fast food joints, and restaurant chains across the country. Fill your cart with these the next time you go shopping and start infusing your body with foods that will make it slim and trim!

    source bembu


    Well-Known Member
    5 surprising way to boost your Metabolism and shrink your appetite

    It's not enough to count calories when you're trying to lose weight. Your success depends on how fast your body burns those calories (your metabolism) and how satisfied they make you (your appetite). Here are five ways to make metabolism and appetite your allies.

    No. 1. Don't skip breakfast. You're busy in the morning. It's tempting to save on those calories by skipping the first meal of the day. But if you don't "break the fast" after going without food all night, your body goes into starvation mode, slowing your metabolism. That means the next meal you eat will burn off more slowly.

    No. 2. Start the day with protein. Eggs or egg whites are a good choice. Protein makes you feel full longer.

    No. 3. Avoid high-fructose corn syrup. Not all sugars are alike. New research shows that fructose produces fewer of the hormones that tell the brain you're full.

    No. 4. Eat beans. Beans contain "resistant starch," meaning the body has to work harder to get those calories. That means your metabolism revs up.

    No. 5. Spice up your life. Studies show black pepper has a compound that prevents fat cells from forming, and jalapeno peppers may help burn fat around the belly.


    Active Member
    Should I stop taking Ibuprofen?

    Ibuprofen has been linked to an increased risk of heart attack, stroke and damage to the small intestine. Is it time to take paracetamol instead?

    It is a mainstay of most medicine cabinets, the painkiller of choice for headaches, back pain and muscle soreness. Ibuprofen is more than 50 years old and one of the most popular non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID). These drugs reduce inflammation by blocking the enzymes (COX-1 and COX-2) needed to make prostaglandins – chemicals released in response to injury or illness and which cause pain, swelling or fever. Unfortunately, prostaglandins also protect the stomach lining by reducing acid production and increasing mucus, so their blockage can cause stomach bleeding and ulcers, especially in older people.

    This has been known for years, but more recently some NSAIDs have been linked to increases in the risk of heart attack (high doses leading to one fatal heart attack for every 1,000 people a year using the drugs), stroke and damage to the small intestine. According to Dr Alessio Fasano, director of the Centre for Coeliac Research at Massachusetts general hospital, they may, in genetically predisposed people, also increase the risk of coeliac disease. By making the small intestine leaky, these drugs allow gluten into the bloodstream and set up an autoimmune response. So is it time to turn to paracetamol instead?

    The solution

    All drugs have side-effects and many people can safely take ibuprofen. When NSAIDs work, they reduce pain by half. Paracetamol is not as effective and has its own risks, in that higher than recommended doses can cause liver damage. You should, however, always talk to a pharmacist or doctor before you start taking an NSAID: you should avoid them if you have asthma, have had a heart attack, stroke, stomach ulcer or kidney disease, or if you are taking certain drugs such as blood-thinning medicines.

    Naproxen is an NSAID that has not been associated with an increased risk of heart attack or stroke and may be the safest option, especially if you may be taking it for some time. Some doctors will also prescribe a medicine to reduce stomach acid production if you are taking an NSAID long-term.

    For sporty people who want to push themselves that bit harder by taking ibuprofen, it may not be worth the risk. A study of runners in the 100-mile Western States trail-running race found that those taking ibuprofen had higher levels of chemical markers for muscle damage, no reduction in muscle soreness after the event and did not run any faster. Another study found increases in the leakiness of the small intestine in cyclists who took NSAIDs before exercising. The authors conclude that it is not harmless for athletes to take NSAIDs.

    So, if you need them for pain and have no medical reason not to take them, the benefits are likely to outweigh the risks. Just don't take them before a gym session.

    source Guardian


    Active Member
    What happens to your body if you study all night?

    Students regularly 'pull all-nighters'. But beware: sleep deprivation can do serious damage

    It's scary season at university. For lots of students, exams are round the corner, while looming dissertation deadlines top the panic poll for others.

    After months of labour, putting the finishing touches to a project that represents the culmination of your undergraduate education can turn into a caffeine-fuelled ordeal. Especially when things go horribly, horribly wrong.

    I still have nightmares about my final meeting with my supervisor, three days before submission. She casually informed me that all the work I'd done in the past three months had been a waste of time. The error was minor, but 20 pages had to be consigned to the garbage bin. I had 72 hours to do what I could to repair the damage...

    All-nighters are pretty much synonymous with student lifestyles. But frequent sleep deprivation over four years can have drastic long-term consequences, unleashing a neurological cycle of degeneration.

    Susan Redline, a professor of sleep medicine in Boston, has found links between sleep deprivation and the onset of neuropsychiatric disorders such as anxiety and bipolar depression.

    Over time, forcing the body to stay awake also affects blood pressure and levels of inflammation, resulting in an increased susceptibility to heart disease and cancer.

    So those are the long-term issues. But what about the immediate consequences?

    Recent research at Harvard and Berkeley has just revealed a very dangerous side effect of pulling an all-nighter – short term euphoria.

    After missing a night's sleep, the mesolimbic pathway (the neural circuit that controls pleasure and reward) is strongly stimulated. The process is driven by a chemical called dopamine.

    The higher dopamine levels that result from your sleepless night may mean you enjoy a boost in motivation, positivity, even sex drive. You may think that sounds good; unfortunately you'd be wrong.

    Not only are these feelings brief, but the dopamine surge also encourages addiction and impulsive behaviour. The regions of the brain responsible for planning and evaluating decisions simply shut down once deprived of sleep, meaning that you're inclined to be overly optimistic and happy to take risks.

    Some research indicates that if the mesolimbic pathway is frequently over-stimulated by sleep deprivation, there could be permanent brain damage. This is because of the brain's "neural plasticity" – which means its ability to adapt to new situations. When it's forced to operate in a different state on a regular basis, it permanently alters itself.

    And don't even think of pulling an all-nighter before an exam: researchers say that does more harm than good. Last-minute cramming refuses to sink in, because the consolidation of memories occurs during deep sleep.

    Not only that, but all-nighters actually weaken the coupling between the structures responsible for episodic memory, meaning that when you try to recall specific events, the circuitry simply isn't up to it.

    source guardian


    Well-Known Member
    Ways You're Ruining Your Arthritis Meds

    1-Think Safety First When Storing and Taking Meds

    Could you be sabotaging the effectiveness of your arthritis medication just by leaving it on the bathroom counter? Keeping a pill vial out in the open is a popular strategy for remembering to take your meds, but where you store them, how you take them, and even what you take them with at breakfast can all have an effect on how well your medicine does its job.

    Factors like temperature and humidity can make certain drugs less effective, and even dietary supplements and grapefruit juice could also interfere with how a medication works. Learn the habits to avoid so that you get the max benefit from your drugs, whether you're on biologics for rheumatoid arthritis or pills for osteoarthritis.

    2- Rx Error: Taking Certain Meds With Grapefruit

    The drug cyclosporine*(Sandimmune) is a strong immunosuppressant medication for severe RA. It's one of many drugs that don't mix well with grapefruit or grapefruit juice.*

    Certain chemicals in grapefruit affect how you metabolize the drug, causing higher levels of cyclosporine to build up in your body. This increases your risk for cyclosporine side effects, which can include headache, nausea, vomiting or muscle pain and even high blood pressure and kidney damage.

    3- Rx Error: Not Being Cautious About Dietary Supplements

    It's always a good idea to talk to your doctor about any dietary supplements you're considering to ensure medication safety and effectiveness, cautioned Pong.

    Folic acid is one supplement that is actually recommended for people taking methotrexate (Trexall) because the drug can deplete the body of this essential B vitamin. Taking a folic acid supplement can reduce the side effects of methotrexate and help you stay on the therapy longer. *

    On the other hand, the drug penicillamine (Depen) could become less effective if it's taken with zinc.

    4- Rx Error: Not Following Medication Directions

    A 2013 study published in Arthritis and Rheumatology found that only about one-fifth of RA patients take their oral medications correctly at least 80 percent of the time.*

    Aside from worries about possible side effects, the study's authors suggested that poor communication between doctors and patients may be to blame. Pong noted that biologics are typically given once every two weeks or once a month, so missing just one dose can have a significant impact.*

    "Any time patients have questions or if they miss a dose, they should call their doctor to get a recommendation on what to do," he said.

    5- Rx Error: Dissolving or Crushing Coated Pills

    Some drugs have a special coating on them, known as enteric coating. This helps prevent the drug from being absorbed in the stomach and delays the release of the medication until it reaches the lower digestive tract, according to Pong. Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine) is one example of a DMARD that is available with an enteric coating.

    "The general rule of thumb is that these medications should not be crushed or opened up," Pong explained. Doing so could alter how the drug works.

    6- Rx Error: Taking Expired Meds

    All medications contain active and inactive ingredients that have a shelf life. Over time, drugs can lose their potency, so any medication past its expiration date may be less effective. "In general, the majority of oral medications have a shelf life of a year or two," Pong said.

    Remember that your meds were made some time before you filled your prescription. "Medication that was dispensed more than a year ago is probably no longer good," Pong added.


    Well-Known Member
    7 Bad Habits That Cause Back Pain

    Back pain is often caused by everyday bad habits that stress and strain your anatomy. Here's how to fend off the aches before they begin.

    Back pain will affect 80 percent of us at some point in our lives and often results from repeated behaviors that stress your body.

    If you're battling back pain now — or if you want to take steps to prevent an achy back — make an effort to avoid these seven bad habits:

    1- Not exercising. "The failure to perform any exercise, particularly abdominal strengthening exercises, may lead to poor posture and increased low back pain," says Nancy E. Epstein, MD, chief of neurosurgical spine and education at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, N.Y. and clinical professor of neurological surgery at The Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, N.Y. Good exercises for back pain prevention include Pilates or other trunk or "core" strengthening activities that can increase stability in the back muscles. Cardiovascular exercises such as swimming, walking, and bicycling are also recommended, along with movements that improve flexibility.

    2- Bad posture. "Poor posture can add strain to muscles and put stress on the spine," says Tae M. Shin, MD, a board-certified orthopedic spine surgeon at St. Vincent's Medical Center in Los Angeles. Over time, he adds, the stress of poor posture can actually change the anatomical characteristics of the spine. To avoid back injuries, try to stand with your knees slightly bent, and place one foot forward to take pressure off the lower back and reduce back strain. When sitting, Dr. Shin advises sitting with your hips slightly higher than your knees.

    3- Lifting incorrectly. Often back injuries occur when we try to lift heavy objects and do so incorrectly. Bend your knees and use the power of your legs, keeping the weight close to the body &emdash; be sure to avoid twisting.

    4- Being overweight. Keep your weight under control for back pain prevention. "Being overweight, especially in the mid-section, shifts your entire center of gravity forward and puts additional strain on your back muscles," Shin says. Try to stay within 10 pounds of your ideal weight to avoid experiencing unnecessary back pain. Exercise and a healthy diet can help move you toward this goal.

    5- Smoking. Nicotine restricts blood flow to the discs that cushion your vertebrae and increases the rate of degenerative change, Shin says. Cigarette smoking also reduces calcium absorption and prevents new bone growth, leaving smokers with double the risk of an osteoporotic fracture compared with non-smokers.

    6- Being sedentary. Limiting activity as a means of pain management when you're experiencing back pain can be counterproductive. Activity increases blood flow to the affected area, decreasing inflammation and reducing muscle tension, Shin says.

    7- Calcium and vitamin D. These nutrients are essential for bone strength. If you don't get enough calcium and vitamin D in your daily diet, discuss the possibility of supplements with your doctor.

    When you're in the throes of back pain or simply want to ward it off, avoiding these habits will help protect and strengthen your back and your entire body.


    Well-Known Member
    7 things you never know Lemons could do

    We all know lemons are delicious, adding a citrusy kick to everything from salad dressings to cocktails. And the laundry list of health benefits is seriously impressive – not only does the fruit contain antibacterial properties that cleanse the kidneys and liver and strengthen your immune system, but it offers a hefty dose of vitamin C and antioxidants that fight free-radicals and help keep you looking younger.

    *Health booster: Get in the habit of starting the day with a cup of hot water and lemon – it’ll kick start your metabolism and get your morning off to a healthy start!

    What fewer people know is that lemons also have some unexpected uses. Here are seven ways the handy fruit can solve your trickiest kitchen dilemmas and help enhance your meals.

    1. Prevent Browning: A few squeezes of juice can do wonders for avocado, apples, bananas, and peeled raw potatoes, since lemon juice is just acidic enough to prevent the oxidation that turns produce brown. Try this trick the next time you’re doing meal prep ahead of time or when you set out a platter of fresh sliced fruit for dipping in a Chocolate Fondue.

    2. Stop Rice From Sticking: Have a problem with clumpy rice? You’re in luck – adding a few drops of lemon to your cooking water helps prevent the rice from sticking together. Added plus? The lemon juice will also whiten your rice and keep it looking great on the dinner plate! Try this tip with our Green Tea Rice recipe.

    3. Keep Brown Sugar Soft: The juice isn’t the only useful part of the lemon; its super moist and flavorful peel can work wonders in the kitchen too. Add a slice of the skin (with the pulp completely removed) to your box of brown sugar to keep it from clumping and hardening. This way, you won’t have to do any sifting the next time you make our Old-Fashioned Apple-Nut Crisp.

    4. Crisp Your Lettuce: No need to toss that limp lettuce! A little lemon juice and water can help bring your leaves back to life. To crisp up limp leaves, soak them in a bowl of cold water and ½ cup of lemon juice, then refrigerate for about an hour. The leaves will come out revived and ready for eating. Try it out on a simple green salad topped with our Roasted Garlic Dressing.

    5. Cook Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs: Even if you’ve mastered perfectly hard-boiled eggs, try brushing the eggshells with lemon juice before adding them to the pot for a little added insurance. The lemon juice helps keep the shells from cracking while they cook, and it also makes them easier to peel once they’re ready to eat. Try this technique before you enjoy the eggs in our Golden Polenta and Egg With Mustard Sauce.

    6. Tenderize Meat: Lemon juice is a great meat tenderizer; the acidity gently breaks down the fibers in meat, leaving it scrumptiously fork-tender. See it in action with Steak Salad-Stuffed Pockets or our Moroccan Flavored Pork Ragu.

    7. Enhance Flavor: Last, but certainly not least, lemon’s yummy flavor can totally transform a meal. It brightens up creamier dishes, balances the flavor in seafood, and is a great sodium-free substitute for sprinkling on salt. Squeeze lemons over our Sizzled Citrus Shrimp, try them sliced with our Lemon Lovers’ Asparagus, and get zesty with Fettuccine with Shiitake Mushrooms and Basil.


    Active Member
    Pepsi and Coca-Cola Used As Pesticide In India Because They're Cheap and Get The Job Done

    Besides being an effective poison to the human metabolism, it seems Pepsi and Coca-Cola have another popular function in other parts of the world. One of India’s leading voluntary agencies, the Center for Science and Environment (CSE) said that soft drinks manufactured in India, including those carrying the Pepsi and Coca-Cola brand names, contain unacceptably high levels of pesticide residues and consequently many farmers have used the beverages to combat pests because of low costs compared to conventional pesticide brands.

    It's cheaper and easier to buy Coke in some third world countries than it is to access clean water. Coke uses "public relations propaganda" to convince consumers and entire nations that it is an "environmental company" when really it is linked to pollution, water shortages, and disease.

    Coke has been tested in many cleaning scenarios and can even compare to high strength brands to clean everything from oil stains, tile grout and even strip paint off furniture.

    In 2003, the CSE analyzed samples from 12 major soft drink manufacturers that are sold in and around the capital at its laboratories and found that all of them contained residues of four extremely toxic pesticides and insecticides--lindane, DDT, malathion and chlorpyrifos.

    "In all the samples tested, the levels of pesticide residue far exceeded the maximum permissible total pesticide limit of 0.0005 mg per liter in water used as food, set down by the European Economic Commission (EEC)," said Sunita Narain, director of the CSE at a press conference convened to announce the findings.

    The level of chlorpyrifos was 42 times higher than EEC norms, their study showed. Malathion residues were 87 times higher and lindane- banned in the United States-21 times higher, CSE scientists said.

    They added that each sample was toxic enough to cause long-term cancer, damage to the nervous and reproductive systems, birth defects, and severe disruption of the immune system. Samples from brand leaders Coca-Cola and Pepsi had almost similar concentrations of pesticide residues in the CSE findings. Contaminants in Pepsi samples were 37 times higher than the EEC limit while its rival Coca-Cola exceeded the norms by 45 times, the same findings showed.

    The chiefs of the Indian subsidiaries of Coca-Cola and Pepsi were quick to refute the charges. Sanjeev Gupta, president of Coca-Cola India, called the revelations made by CSE "unfair" and said his company was being subjected to a "trial by media".


    Farmers in the Durg, Rajnandgaon and Dhamtari districts of Chhattisgarh say they have successfully used Pepsi and Coke to protect their rice plantations against pests.

    It is a trend that has been seen in other parts of India, with farmers also using Indian brands of colas.

    The practice of using soft drinks in lieu of pesticides, which are 10 times more expensive, gained so much popularity that sales of the drinks increased drastically in remote villages.

    Farmers say the use of pesticides costs them 70 rupees ($1.50) an acre.

    By comparison, if they mix a bottle of Pepsi or Coke with water and spray it on the crop it costs 55-60 rupees less per acre.

    Old Practice

    Agricultural specialist Devendra Sharma says farmers are mistaken in thinking that the drinks are the same as pesticides.

    He says the drinks are effectively sugar syrups and when they are poured on crops they attract ants which in turn feed on the larva of insects.

    Mr Sharma says using sugar syrup for pest control is not a new practice.

    "Jaggery made from sugar cane has been used commonly for pest control on many occasions. Pepsi and Coca-Cola are being used to achieve the same result," he says.

    Fellow scientist, Sanket Thakur, has a different explanation: "All that is happening is that plants get a direct supply of carbohydrates and sugar which in turn boosts the plants' immunity and the plantation on the whole ends up yielding a better crop."

    Coke in the United States contains high fructose corn syrup which may even prove to be a more effective pesticide since it is a concentrated cocktail of the simple sugars fructose and glucose.

    Anupam Verma, Pepsi sales manager at the time in Chhattisgarh, said sales figures in rural areas of the state increased by 20%.

    Not Only Cola, But Water Is The Problem

    CSE scientists H. B. Mathur and Sapna Johnson said their basic inference was that, as with the bottled mineral water, the soft drink manufacturers were drawing their water supplies from groundwater that is heavily contaminated by years of indiscriminate pesticide use.

    High pesticide residues were reported in groundwater around Delhi at the time when the government's Central Ground Water Board (CGWB) and the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) carried out a study which also reported excessive salinity, nitrate and fluoride content besides traces of lead, cadmium and chromium.

    Significantly, the CSE laboratories tested samples of soft drink brands popularly sold in the United States as control--and found that they did not contain any pesticide residue. Although more than 95% of all soft drink brands in the United States are made with municipal water supplies containing all of the same toxins and pharmaceuticals in our drinking water including fluoride, arsenic, chlorine, atenolol, atrazine, carbamazepine, estrone, gemfibrozil, sulfamethoxazole, and trimethoprim.

    CSE found that the regulations for the powerful and massive soft drinks industry are much weaker, indeed non-existent, as compared to those for the bottled water industry. The norms that exist to regulate the quality of cold drinks are inadequate, leaving this "food" sector virtually unregulated.

    So pampered is the lucrative soft drink sector that it is exempted from the provisions of industrial licensing under the Industries (Development and Regulation) Act, 1951.

    source preventdiseases
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Well-Known Member
    The health Risks of Loneliness

    More from Dr. Sanjay Gupta

    Loneliness is an invisible epidemic that affects 60 million Americans. Everyone feels lonely at times in their lives, but chronic loneliness poses a serious health risk. As Richard Lang, MD, chair of preventive medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, puts it, people need to attend to loneliness “the same way they would their diet, exercise, or how much sleep they get.”

    According to University of Chicago social neuroscientist John Cacioppo, social isolation or rejection is as real a threat to our well-being as thirst, hunger, or pain. “For a social species, to be on the edge of the social perimeter is to be in a dangerous position,” said Cacioppo, who co-authored "Loneliness: Human Nature and the Need for Social Connection." “The brain goes into a self-preservation state that brings with it a lot of unwanted effects.”

    When your brain is on high alert, your body responds in kind. Morning levels of the stress hormone cortisol go up because you’re preparing for another stressful day. “We get a flatter diurnal cycle in that cortisol, which means it’s not shutting off as much at night,” Cacioppo said. As a result, sleep is more likely to be interrupted by micro-awakenings.

    Cacioppo’s research suggests loneliness actually alters gene expressions or “what genes are turned on and off, in ways that help prepare the body for assaults, but that also increase the stress and aging on the body.” Animal studies have shown that social isolation alters levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter that determines impulsive behavior.

    The combination of toxic effects can impair cognitive performance, compromise the immune system, and raise the risk for vascular, inflammatory, and heart disease. Studies show that loneliness increases the risk for early death by 45 percent and the chance of developing dementia in later life by 64 percent. On the other hand, people who have strong ties to family and friends are as much as 50 percent less at risk of dying over any given period of time than those with fewer social connections.

    There’s nothing unusual about feeling lonely. “It’s perfectly common for people to experience loneliness when their social networks are changing, like going off to college or moving to a new city,” said Harry Reis, professor of psychology at the University of Rochester. The death of a loved one or marital discord can also trigger feelings of isolation. But there’s a difference between temporary “state” and chronic “trait” loneliness.

    “Many of the patients we see have had situational loneliness that becomes chronic. They have been unable to rebuild after a loss or a move or retirement,” said psychiatrist Richard S. Schwartz, MD, co-author of "The Lonely American: Drifting Apart in the Twenty-First Century." “One of the ways that situational loneliness can become chronic is precisely because of the shame we feel about our loneliness, the sense we have of being a loser.”

    “There’s a notion that lonely people are doing something wrong,” said author Emily White, who chronicled her own experience in "Lonely: Learning to Live with Solitude." “Lack of social skills…lack of intelligence…less athletic. Notions we don’t bring to other similar psychological conditions like depression.”

    Feeling lonely is not the same as being alone. “For some people, even though they have what on the outside looks like a social world, their internal experience is loneliness,” said Nadine Kaslow, PhD, ABPP, a professor in the psychiatry department at Emory and president of the American Psychological Association.

    Reis believes loneliness is rooted in the quality of a person’s relationships. “It’s a lack of what we call intimate interaction…meaningful interactions where people are really connecting with the other person,” he said. * * * * **

    So what should a lonely person do?

    First, recognize the loneliness. Loneliness is often equated with being a loser, “with holding up a big L over your head,” said Cacioppo. People tend to deny or conceal their loneliness, in which case it’s likely to get worse.

    Second, understand what the loneliness is doing to your mind and body. “Unless you understand the psychological complexities of loneliness, you won’t understand what you’re doing,” said White.

    Third, respond. “The idea is to reconnect safely,” said Cacioppo. Social media isn’t a substitute for face-to-face contact, but “it’s better than nothing.” White found her own feelings of loneliness began to change when she signed up for a women’s basketball league. “I was nervous. I was self-conscious. But I made myself do it,” she said.

    A therapist can help, especially if loneliness is accompanied by feelings of anxiety or *depression.*“Loneliness promotes secrecy and distrust,” said White. “If you find someone outside of your social circle…you can talk really openly.”

    If you know someone who’s lonely and want to help, here are some of White’s suggestions:

    * * Don’t text. Use the phone.
    * * If you leave a message and don’t get a call, call back.
    * * Set up something low-key, like a walk. Keep the emotional temperature low.
    * * Don’t diminish what the lonely person is going through.
    * * Recognize that you may have to do more work to get the same level of response that you would get from another friend.

    Simple acts of social interaction can make a big difference. So next time, just say “hello” — to the neighbor you brush past on the way to work, the sister you haven’t called in weeks, or the co-worker you rarely speak to by the coffee machine.

    “If [a lonely person] is able make one more friend, the loneliness starts to diminish,” said Jacqueline Olds, MD, co-author of "The Lonely American." “All sorts of scary things become possible when you have a friend to do them with.”


    Active Member
    Heart disease warning: Lack of exercise is worse risk for over-30s women than smoking or obesity

    Sedentary lifestyles pose a greater heart disease risk to women over 30 than smoking, obesity or high blood pressure, new health data from Australia has shown.

    Researchers said that the dangers of an inactive lifestyle were being underestimated and deserved to be a much higher public health priority.

    Smoking was, as expected, the most serious risk factor in women aged 22 to 27, the study from the University of Queensland found, but after the age of 30 smoking rates begin to drop off, and a widespread lack of exercise was found to be the biggest cause of heart problems across the study population.

    The data are based on evidence gathered from more than 32,000 participants in the Australian Longitudinal Study on Women’s Health, which for 20 years has been tracking the long-term health of women born in the 1920s, the 1940s, the 1970s.

    Globally, four risk factors – smoking, being overweight or obese, high blood pressure and inactivity – account for more than half of all cases of heart disease, which remains the biggest killer in high-income countries.

    However, public health authorities around the world have become increasingly concerned that, while the dangers of smoking, being overweight and high blood pressure are well-known and understood by the general public, physical inactivity has become a blind spot.

    Last month the UK Government was warned that the country is less physically active that any time “in all human history” in a report compiled by MPs, which called for the establishment of an independent body dedicated to improving physical activity, as well as the reallocation of more transport funding from road-building to cycle and foot paths.

    There have been numerous warnings on high levels of inactivity in populations of developed countries, particularly among children, but the Australian study is among the first to look specifically at the impact on women. Studies in the USA have found that men are slightly more likely than women to meet recommended healthy levels of exercise.

    Commenting on the study, Thembi Nkala, a senior cardiac nurse with the British Heart Foundation, said that “the dominant influence” of physical activity on heart disease risk showed that more needed to be done to promote regular exercise in women.

    The Australian study, which is published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine today, found that inactivity remained the greatest population risk factor for heart disease among women all the way into their late 80s.

    The researchers estimated that if every woman aged between 30 and 90 were able to reach recommended weekly activity levels of 150 minutes of moderate exercise, then the lives of 2,000 women could be saved every year in Australia alone.

    Ms Nkala added: “We already know physical inactivity is a major risk factor for heart disease… it’s important to remember that heart disease is linked to other factors such as smoking, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. It’s essential to manage these too, as the more risk factors you have, the greater your chance of heart disease.”

    source Independent


    Well-Known Member
    Foods High in Magnesium

    The Power of Magnesium

    Few people are aware of the enormous role magnesium plays in our health: It’s important to nearly every function and tissue in the body, supports a healthy immune system, prevents inflammation associated with certain cancers, boosts heart health, and could even cut your risk for a heart attack. A Harvard University study found that high daily magnesium intake reduced the risk of developing diabetes by 33 percent; still other studies found that the mineral helps ward off depression and migraines. Though supplements are available, most experts say it’s preferable to get magnesium naturally from your diet. Here are eight foods that can help.

    Dark Leafy Greens

    In the nutrition world, dark leafy greens play the role of the ultimate superfood, offering up crucial vitamins and minerals as well as a host of health benefits. Choose raw or cooked baby spinach, collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard and you’ll be stocking your body with magnesium for very few calories.

    Nuts and Seeds

    Just a half cup of pumpkin seeds provides nearly 100 percent of the daily requirement for magnesium. Other nuts and seeds high in magnesium include almonds, sunflower seeds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pine nuts, flaxseed, and pecans. Include your favorite nuts in a healthy homemade trail mix; it makes the perfect afternoon snack to keep your energy up and hunger levels down.


    In addition to being great sources of vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids, fish like mackerel, wild salmon, halibut, and tuna will add more magnesium to your menu. Make it a goal to have fish for dinner at least once a week; this tangy Salmon Salad is delicious, easy, and perfect for spring.


    Soybeans are a nutrient-rich legume carrying a high amount of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids. Snack on a half-cup serving of dry roasted soybeans, which provides nearly half the necessary magnesium for the day, or add shelled soybeans (edamame) to your shopping list. Other legumes rich in magnesium include black beans, kidney beans, white beans, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, and lentils.


    Loaded with multivitamins, heart-healthy nutrients, and disease-thwarting chemical compounds, avocados are one of the most nutritious and versatile produce picks around. Add one sliced avocado to your salad or sandwich at lunch, and you’ll easily consume 15 percent of the recommended daily amount of magnesium.*


    Bananas may be better known for being rich in heart-healthy and bone-strengthening potassium, but a medium-sized banana also provides 32 milligrams of magnesium, along with vitamin C and fiber. At only about 100 calories, this is a foolproof fruit to pop in your bag for a portable breakfast or an easy-on-the-go snack. Of course, many other fruits can add magnesium to your diet, including strawberries, blackberries, grapefruit, and figs.

    Dark Chocolate

    As if you needed another reason to indulge in rich dark chocolate, it’s also a magnesium-booster. One square of the sweet stuff provides 24 percent of the daily value of magnesium for only 145 calories, in addition to antioxidants that can help lower blood pressure, improve blood flow, and boost overall heart health. Paired with fresh fruit, dark chocolate makes a decadent and healthy after-dinner dessert.


    Active Member
    Chemicals in soap can cause male infertility, claim scientists

    Chemicals in common household products such as toothpaste, soap and plastic toys have a direct impact on human sperm which could help explain rising levels of male infertility, scientists have found.

    One in three “non-toxic” chemicals used in the manufacture of everyday items significantly affected the potency of sperm cells, which may account for the high incidence of unexplained infertility in the human population, the researchers said.

    It is the first time that a study has found a direct effect of the many ubiquitous man‑made chemicals in the environment on a vital function of human sperm. The findings will raise further concerns about the hidden toxicity of chemicals deemed safe by toxicology tests.

    But the researchers believe they have developed a new way of testing the impact of household chemicals on human sperm which will allow regulatory authorities in Europe to decide whether to ban or impose restrictions on their use in certain products.

    The study was part of wider research into so-called “endocrine‑disrupting” chemicals that for several years have been linked with declining sperm counts and widespread male infertility.

    In some cases, these chemicals are thought to mimic female sex hormones – oestrogens – and in other cases act as anti-androgens, the male sex hormones, thereby interfering with the male reproductive system.

    However, the scientists found that one in three common household chemicals found in products such as sun screens, detergents and plastics directly sabotaged the human sperm’s swimming behaviour and caused them to prematurely release the critical enzymes needed to penetrate and fertilise the egg cell – which would render the sperm infertile.

    They also found that the concentrations needed to trigger these adverse reactions were similar to the very low levels commonly found within the human body. In addition, they showed for the first time that there was a “cocktail effect”, when a number of chemicals worked together to amplify their individual effects.

    “For the first time, we have shown a direct link between exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals from industrial products and adverse effects on human sperm function,” Professor Niels Skakkebaek, of Copenhagen University Hospital in Denmark, said.

    “In my opinion, our findings are clearly of concern as some endocrine-disrupting chemicals are possibly more dangerous than previously thought. However, it remains to be seen from forthcoming clinical studies whether our findings may explain reduced couple fertility which is very common in modern societies,” Professor Skakkebaek told The Independent.

    Professor Skakkebaek has pioneered the scientific investigation of rising male infertility. In 1991, he produced the first evidence showing that human sperm counts had fallen by nearly 50 per cent in less than 50 years – low sperm counts are a major cause of male infertility.

    Some years later, scientists found that some common chemicals have an “oestrogenic” or “antiandrogenic” effect on the male reproductive system, which could be particularly important in the development of male foetuses in the womb during the critical first six months when the reproductive tissues form.

    However, the latest research, published in The EMBO Journal and carried out with Timo Strünker of the Centre of Advanced European Studies and Research in Bonn, Germany, found that 30 out of 96 common household chemicals had a direct effect on the “catsper” protein which controls the sperm cell’s motility, or swimming agility, and its ability to enter the egg cell to trigger fertilisation.

    “We have found a completely novel way in which endocrine-disrupting chemicals may affect human reproduction by direct interaction with human sperm,” Professor Skakkebaek said.

    Relatively low concentrations of the chemicals – which previously were thought to be too low to cause an effect – triggered the catsper reaction in test-tube studies.

    “In human body fluids, one does not find one of a few particular chemicals, but rather complex chemical cocktails with many different endocrine-disrupting chemicals at very low concentrations. We tried to mimic this situation in our experiments,” Dr Strünker said. “When mixed together the cocktail, despite the extremely low concentration of its ingredients, evoked large and sizeable responses in sperm. Thus, in complex mixtures [the chemicals] co-operate to interfere with sperm function. This has not been shown before.”

    People ingest these chemicals every day either by consuming food and drink contaminated with them or by absorbing them through the skin in personal-care products such as sunscreens and soaps.

    Professor Richard Sharpe, a senior scientist at the Medical Research Council Human Reproductive Sciences Unit in Edinburgh, said: “This study appears to open up a new dimension of potential effects of common lifestyle or environmental chemicals on male fertility.”

    source independent


    Well-Known Member
    Could Energy drink be wrong choice for Teens?

    TUESDAY, May 6, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Teens who regularly drink energy and sports drinks tend to engage in some unhealthy behaviors, new research suggests.

    "Kids who are consuming energy drinks are more likely to smoke, they're more likely to try other illicit substances, they're more likely to drink alcohol. It's uncertain why there's this association but, certainly, the pattern is there," said Cecile Marczinski, an associate professor of psychological science at Northern Kentucky University.

    Marczinski has studied the health effects of energy drinks, but was not involved in the new research. She added that several other recent studies have produced similar findings.

    Other unhealthy behaviors that tended to accompany regular consumption of sports and energy drinks included more time watching TV and playing video games, the new study found.

    The study, published online May 6 in the Journal of Nutrition, Education and Behavior, is one of the first to show that drinking these kinds of beverages may be part of an overall pattern of unhealthy behaviors, the researchers said.

    Sports and energy drink consumption has tripled among teens in recent years, according to a 2013 study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

    This new study surveyed nearly 2,800 middle and high school students from 20 public schools in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area during the 2009-10 school year.

    Researchers asked the kids how often they had sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade and energy drinks like Red Bull and Rockstar. They also asked about a wide variety of other health and lifestyle habits.

    Nearly 40 percent of kids who took the survey drank an energy drink at least once a week. About 15 percent had at least one energy drink each week. Boys were more likely than girls to be regular consumers of either beverage type.

    Kids who regularly drank sports drinks were more likely to play organized sports. They were also more likely to get more intense physical activity than those who didn't. But they also spent significantly more time playing video games each week. Boys who regularly consumed sports drinks spent more time watching TV than occasional users, the study found.

    Both genders tended to drink more sugar-sweetened beverages overall, and they were more likely to have ever tried cigarettes if they regularly consumed sports drinks.

    "Really, sports drinks are only needed for kids who participate in vigorous physical activity in hot, humid weather. Otherwise, if they're being consumed all the time they could be contributing to excess weight gain and tooth decay," said study author Nicole Larson, who is a senior research associate at the University of Minnesota, in Minneapolis.

    Natural water is the best drink for kids.

    Regular consumers of energy drinks weren't more likely to exercise or play sports than kids who rarely drank the caffeinated beverages. But, they spent significantly more time playing video games. Boys who drank energy drinks averaged about four more hours of video game play weekly, while girls who drank energy drinks played about two more hours each week than occasional users.

    Regular energy drink users consumed more sugar-sweetened beverages, and girls who regularly drank energy drinks were more likely to skip breakfast than girls who rarely or never drank them. Regular users of both sexes were more likely to have ever tried cigarettes, the study authors said.

    "Energy drinks really don't offer any benefits for teens, and they create a risk for overstimulation of the nervous system. There have been studies linking energy drink consumption in kids this age to seizures, irregular heart rhythms and in rare, cases death," Larson said. "So if parents see some empty cans lying around, that might be a good time to encourage some more positive beverage options."

    The American Beverage Association (ABA), which represents beverage manufacturers, said the study has a significant limitation.

    "It's important to note that this research, which looks at association only, in no way shows that energy or sports drink consumption in any population causes 'negative' behaviors," said Maureen Beach, director of communications for the ABA.

    But some feel the patterns noted in the study are concerning.

    "If you think about even 10 years ago, kids didn't really consume high doses of caffeine like they do today. That has changed, and we don't really know the implications of that," Marczinski said.

    High doses of caffeine in energy drinks may prompt the brain to look for other kinds of stimulants, either sugar or stronger kinds of stimulants, according to Marczinski.

    "That's what the pattern of data is suggesting. You get sensitized on high doses of caffeine and suddenly other stimulants like nicotine from cigarettes are perhaps more appealing," she said.


    Active Member
    The resveratrol myth: Supposed health benefits of red wine and chocolate ‘unfounded’, research finds

    Claims of the healthy and life-extending properties of a much-hyped ingredient in red wine and chocolate are unfounded, research suggests.

    The anti-oxidant resveratrol, found in dark chocolate, red wine, and berries, has no significant impact on life-span, heart disease or cancer, say scientists. It cannot explain the “French Paradox” – the low incidence of heart disease suffered by people in France despite a diet laden with cholesterol and saturated fat, they believe.

    Other as-yet unidentified plant compounds might be conferring health benefits associated with their diet, according to the study.

    The lead researcher Professor Richard Semba, from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, US, said: “The story of resveratrol turns out to be another case where you get a lot of hype about health benefits that doesn’t stand the test of time.

    “The thinking was that certain foods are good for you because they contain resveratrol. We didn’t find that.”

    Belief in the properties of resveratrol has led to a plethora of supplements containing the compound.

    source independent


    Active Member
    Vitamin D: Do we need more 'bottled sunshine'?

    Are you an indoors or outdoors person? Me, I find it hard to sit for hours on the sofa. Even though I spend half my life at a desk, a whole day at home without going out leaves me feeling somehow dirty.

    I need the cleansing power of fresh air.

    So I was surprised and dismayed to discover a year ago, following a routine blood test, that all the readings were normal – except for my vitamin D. It was on the threshold between "low" and "insufficient", and a long way below where it ideally should be.

    My GP recommended supplements. A sober man who, like me, spends his holidays tramping the hills and, like me, considers most supplements worthless for most people, he nevertheless makes an exception for Vitamin D. He takes it himself – the bottle was on his surgery desk in front of him.

    As it happened, I had a bottle of my own at home – a gift from a friend who is a leading advocate for Vitamin D. I had set the pills aside thinking that I, an outdoorsy sort, surely did not need them. I was wrong.

    It turns out that I am not alone. This week, new guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) said that as many as one in five people in Britain may be deficient in the vitamin.

    It recommended that free supplements be given out more widely, especially to the elderly, who may be at increased risk of osteoporosis and to children, threatened by the bone deformity rickets.

    Cases of rickets – a disease associated with the Victorian era – have risen sharply in recent years and Dame Sally Davies, England's Chief Medical Officer, warned recently that children who spend too much time playing on computers and not enough outside in the sunshine could be in danger from the disease.

    Vitamin D is the only vitamin we make for ourselves – through the action of sunlight on the skin. Although some comes from the diet – fish, Marmite and fortified breakfast cereals are good sources – few people realise that even a balanced diet cannot supply enough on its own.

    Sunshine is necessary. If you can't get enough of the real thing, then supplements – bottled sunshine – are a good substitute. In summer, 15 minutes' sun exposure of hands and face each day should be all that is needed to provide adequate levels.

    But in winter, it is a different story. The gloomy weather and low light in countries north of 30 degrees latitude means that a large part of the UK population is deficient between October and March.

    I was tested in February 2013 – which could explain my low level. I started taking supplements immediately, stopped last summer and started again in October. At my most recent blood test, in March, my level was normal and a mini heatwave at the end of the month, which had us eating in the garden, persuaded me to stop again.

    Next October, I will be reaching for the bottle of pills once more.

    I shall not, however, be taking the mega-doses some have recommended. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones. But it has been promoted in recent years as a kind of panacea, with studies claiming it protects against heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis, among others.

    It may indeed have a protective effect in these diseases – but so far, the proof is lacking. In a report in 2010, the authoritative US Institute of Medicine reviewed more than 1,000 studies and concluded the vitamin had been oversold. The high levels some doctors recommended were unnecessary and could even be harmful. Doses above 4,000 international units a day were inadvisable, the IOM said.

    When next winter comes around, I shall be taking half that amount.

    source independent


    Well-Known Member
    10 reasons to eat an apple a day

    Your mom didn't use the term powerfood but she knew about apples. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" was the first nutritional advice myself and many children heard from their moms. For this reason we call them "the first powerfood."

    Health benefits:
    Apples are filled with soluble fiber (5 grams). This fiber has been shown to reduce intestinal disorders, including diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and possibly some types of cancer. It helps control insulin levels by releasing sugar slowly into the bloodstream. It cleanses and detoxifies, which helps eliminate heavy metals, such as lead and mercury.

    Apple pectin helps reduce cholesterol levels by lowering insulin secretion.
    In two studies researchers found that eating five apples a week lowered the risk for respiratory diseases like asthma.
    According to Chinese Medicine: Apples strengthen the heart, quench thirst, lubricate the lungs, decrease mucous and increase body fluids.
    Apple cider vinegar can help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
    Studies indicate that eating apples daily can reduce skin diseases.
    According to a Brazilian study, eating an apple before a meal helped women lose 33 percent more weight than those who didn't.
    An apple has only 50-80 calories and has no fat or sodium.
    Apples are packed with vitamins C, A, and flavonoids and with smaller amounts of phosphorus, iron and calcium.
    Apples provide a source of potassium which may promote heart health.
    So there you have it ... lots of good reasons why it is good for you to eat an apple a day! I like apples so much that when I started living by myself I substituted those sugar laden cereals with an apple.

    Interesting apple facts:
    There are more than 7,500 varieties of apples. When I lived in England I tasted many different and delicious apples that I never see in Canada.
    The apple tree is a member of the rose family.
    When you eat an apple you are consuming a lot of air; 25 percent of their volume is air!
    Apples have 5 percent protein.
    Apple trees can live to be 100 years old!
    The largest apple weighed three pounds.
    In ancient Greece when a man proposed to a woman he would toss her an apple and if she decided to catch it, it meant she accepted.
    The original proverb about eating an apple a day, which came about in 1866, was: "Eat an apple on going to bed, and you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread.

    It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.

    To get the most from eating powerfood apples:
    Eat apples with skin to get the nutrients; many of the nutrients are in the skin or just under the skin (most of the vitamin C and vitamin A are in the skin).
    Apples have been found to be the most heavily pesticide-contaminated produce products according to The Environmental Working Group. The most common pesticides found on apples are Permethrin and DDT. Non organic apples are often waxed which is not digestible. Try to buy organic apples or if you cannot, wash them thoroughly before use preferably with a fruit and vegetable wash or peel them.

    Apple cautions:
    As apple seeds are toxic when eaten in high doses, they should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women and children.
    Apple juice concentrate can be full of arsenic when it is not organic according to Dr. Oz in his research. They did not find arsenic in organic apple juice.

    "Any fool can count the seeds in an apple. Only God can count all the apples in one seed." –Robert


    Legendary Member
    Orange Room Supporter
    10 reasons to eat an apple a day

    Your mom didn't use the term powerfood but she knew about apples. "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" was the first nutritional advice myself and many children heard from their moms. For this reason we call them "the first powerfood."

    Health benefits:
    Apples are filled with soluble fiber (5 grams). This fiber has been shown to reduce intestinal disorders, including diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and possibly some types of cancer. It helps control insulin levels by releasing sugar slowly into the bloodstream. It cleanses and detoxifies, which helps eliminate heavy metals, such as lead and mercury.

    Apple pectin helps reduce cholesterol levels by lowering insulin secretion.
    In two studies researchers found that eating five apples a week lowered the risk for respiratory diseases like asthma.
    According to Chinese Medicine: Apples strengthen the heart, quench thirst, lubricate the lungs, decrease mucous and increase body fluids.
    Apple cider vinegar can help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
    Studies indicate that eating apples daily can reduce skin diseases.
    According to a Brazilian study, eating an apple before a meal helped women lose 33 percent more weight than those who didn't.
    An apple has only 50-80 calories and has no fat or sodium.
    Apples are packed with vitamins C, A, and flavonoids and with smaller amounts of phosphorus, iron and calcium.
    Apples provide a source of potassium which may promote heart health.
    So there you have it ... lots of good reasons why it is good for you to eat an apple a day! I like apples so much that when I started living by myself I substituted those sugar laden cereals with an apple.

    Interesting apple facts:
    There are more than 7,500 varieties of apples. When I lived in England I tasted many different and delicious apples that I never see in Canada.
    The apple tree is a member of the rose family.
    When you eat an apple you are consuming a lot of air; 25 percent of their volume is air!
    Apples have 5 percent protein.
    Apple trees can live to be 100 years old!
    The largest apple weighed three pounds.
    In ancient Greece when a man proposed to a woman he would toss her an apple and if she decided to catch it, it meant she accepted.
    The original proverb about eating an apple a day, which came about in 1866, was: "Eat an apple on going to bed, and you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread.

    It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.

    To get the most from eating powerfood apples:
    Eat apples with skin to get the nutrients; many of the nutrients are in the skin or just under the skin (most of the vitamin C and vitamin A are in the skin).
    Apples have been found to be the most heavily pesticide-contaminated produce products according to The Environmental Working Group. The most common pesticides found on apples are Permethrin and DDT. Non organic apples are often waxed which is not digestible. Try to buy organic apples or if you cannot, wash them thoroughly before use preferably with a fruit and vegetable wash or peel them.

    Apple cautions:
    As apple seeds are toxic when eaten in high doses, they should be avoided by pregnant or breastfeeding women and children.
    Apple juice concentrate can be full of arsenic when it is not organic according to Dr. Oz in his research. They did not find arsenic in organic apple juice.

    "Any fool can count the seeds in an apple. Only God can count all the apples in one seed." –Robert
    there is only 1 good reason: keep the 7akaym away!!!


    Active Member
    Sugary foods to avoid: The ‘healthy’ snacks and drinks that – like fruit juice – hide potentially harmful high levels of sugar

    Sugar has received a bad press recently – from experts suggesting it might be as bad for us as smoking to hints, from England’s chief medical officer no less, that it might be taxed for the sake of public health.

    Now nutritionists at Public Health England (PHE) have said that both children and adults should not be having more than one glass of fruit juice a day – the first time such guidance has ever been issued in the UK.

    The advice came as health officials released new figures showing that teenagers in Britain are consuming almost 50 per cent more sugar than the healthy recommended limit.

    Just one 500ml bottle of orange juice can contain as many as 13 teaspoons of sugar – but the drink is not the only seemingly healthy option that can end up tipping you over the healthy limit for the day.

    Action on Sugar, a movement launched this year by doctors in a bid to get the public taking their intake of the sweet stuff seriously, has pointed out that even a small serving of “0 per cent fat” yoghurt contains around five teaspoons of sugar.

    Breakfast cereals are another surprisingly sugary daily staple, with a 30g serving of Kellogg’s Frosties with semi-skimmed milk including four teaspoons of sugar.

    From pasta sauce to vitamin-added water – and even bread – excess sugar has become increasingly difficult to avoid with our modern day, ready-made food buying habits.

    Speaking about today’s survey results, PHE’s chief nutritionist Dr Alison Tedstone said: “The data released today provides compelling evidence that we all need to make changes to our diet to improve our health, especially for teenagers.

    “Eating a healthy, balanced diet that is high in fruit, vegetables and fibre and low in saturated fat, sugar and salt, alongside being more active, will help you to maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some cancers.”

    And she told the Daily Telegraph: “The best drinks for school-aged children are water and low-fat milk.

    “Fruit juice is also a good choice as it can be included as one of your five portions of fruit and vegetables per day.

    “However it should only be drunk once a day and with a meal because it can be high in sugar and can cause tooth decay.”

    Action for Sugar’s science director Dr Aseem Malhotra said: “Excess sugar consumption is a major contributor to diet related disease which is already placing huge demands on an NHS which is close to the brink. Reduction in population smoking had a dramatic impact in reducing cardiovascular deaths- brought about by addressing the affordability, availability and acceptability of Tobacco. Introducing a sugar tax will be a massive step forward improving the populations health, even within a relatively short time period.”

    source independent