A Deeper Look Into Vitamin C

Vitamin C, it’s everywhere. Daily vitamins, cold remedies and orange juice are all full of this ingredient, and most people accept that it’s good for them. But how many people realize the full potential of vitamin C in multiple areas of their health and life? Who takes the time to research the wondrous effects that this vitamin really has? By Any Other Name Vitamin C is sometimes known by another name: ascorbic acid. Of course, no matter what you call it, vitamin C is still beneficial. It’s been the case for hundreds of years. Sailors, for instance, would fight of scurvy with a healthy dose of the stuff. Scientists now realize that ascorbic acid helps create collagen in the skin. This protein is necessary to give strength and blood vessels strength and firmness, while vitamin C helps skin create scar tissue. It might not be pretty, but it does help (Read More)

Inflammation Triggers Chronic Disease

The presence of inflammation is what opens the door to most chronic disease.  It can and often does occur for years before it exists at levels sufficient to be apparent or clinically significant. More than half of Americans suffer from chronic or recurrent pain, and nearly half (46 percent) of poll takers reported pain in the last two weeks.  Is it any wonder that chronic disease is such a big issue?  Inflammation is now recognized as an overwhelming burden to the healthcare status of our population and the underlying basis of a significant number of diseases. How long it has been smoldering really determines the degree of severity of a disease and often the prognosis assuming the inflammation can be controlled. One could also argue that without inflammation most disease would not even exist. Take a look at this list of diseases and their relationship with inflammation: Disease Mechanism Allergy 4 (Read More)

Vitamin C Deficient? The Numerous Benefits Of Vitamin C

Health Benefits of Vitamin C Vitamin C is rapidly finding new applications in protecting against endothelial dysfunction, high blood pressure, and the blood vessel changes that precede heart disease. Additional research is discovering that vitamin C can be helpful in preventing asthma, protecting against cancer, and supporting healthy blood sugar levels in diabetics. While often taken for granted, vitamin C is a critical supplement in your program to improve cardiac health and avoid degenerative diseases. Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. Unlike most mammals and other animals, humans do not have the ability to make ascorbic acid and must obtain vitamin C from the diet and supplementation. Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency Minor bleeding, such as nose bleeds, or easy bruising. Dry, split hair due to inadequate collagen. Slow wound healing. Vitamin C promotes collagen development in scar tissue. Iron deficiency. Vitamin C promotes iron absorption, so low vitamin C and low iron levels often coexist. Fatigue (Read More)

Some of the Things They Said Were Good For Us… and Some of the Things We Were Told to Avoid

Some of the things they said were good for us… Nature Walks can make you healthier and happier by driving out obsessive, negative thoughts. A Stanford University study found that strolling in a natural setting decreases activity in the subgenual prefrontal cortex, a brain region particularly active during rumination. “It was pretty striking that a 90-minute walk had this much of an impact,” says author Gregory Bratman. For people with a tendency to brood, interrupting an endless stream of negative thoughts reduces the risk for depression and other mental illnesses. Green spaces may also make kids smarter. A separate study of roughly 2,600 fourth-graders in Barcelona found that those with greater exposure to nature were more attentive and experienced a 5 percent increase in working memory. Awe-inspiring experiences can help you live longer. Gazing out over the Grand Canyon or beholding an artistic masterpiece can trigger positive emotions with immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory effects (Read More)

Americans’ Shortened Life Spans

The life expectancy of Americans is lower than that of people living in other high income countries, and a new study explains why: We’re inflicting earlier death on ourselves with self-destructive behavior. Car accidents, gun violence, and drug overdoses kill 100,000 people in the U.S. each year, which helps explain why American men and women die about 2.2 years earlier than residents of Austria, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, according to a new study by the National Center for Health Statistics. American men and women have a life expectancy of 76.4 and 81.2 years, respectively, compared with the 78.6 and 83.4 years of their peers abroad. “It seems staggering that we get two fewer years of life just for living here,” study author Andrew Fenelon tells the Associated Press. Gun deaths, car crashes, and overdoses are responsible for half that (Read More)

Colon Cancer in Younger People

Colon cancer is on the rise among young adults, new research reveals. A study of more than 260,000 cases showed that nearly 15 percent of patients were under 50, which is the recommended screening age for the disease, ScienceDaily.com reports. It’s unclear why that form of cancer is increasing among younger people, and more study is needed to determine if screenings should begin earlier in life. But researchers say doctors should not ignore the early warning signs, such as anemia and bleeding, or overlook family history, which is a significant risk factor. The study also found that patients under 50 are more often diagnosed with advanced-stage colon cancer that has spread to the lymph nodes or other organs, and that they are more likely to receive aggressive treatment, enabling them to live longer without a recurrence of their disease. That creates another public health issue, says author Samantha Hendren of (Read More)

The Perils of a Wealth Shock

Suffering a major financial loss could lead to an early death, a new study suggests. Researchers at Northwestern University analyzed the financial history and health records of nearly 9,000 Americans between ages 51 and 61, from 1994 to 2014. During that period, about 25 percent of the subjects experienced a negative “wealth shock,” measured as a minimum 75 percent drop in their net worth over a two-year period. The median net-worth decrease was just over $100,000. The researchers found that the people who lost their nest egg were 50 percent more likely to die than their peers during the study period, and had the same risk of premature death as those who were poor or in debt. “This is something millions of people go through,” lead researcher Lindsay Pool tells Time.com. “It’s not really a rare event.” Pool and her team say a sudden reversal of fortune can lead to depression, (Read More)

Cutting Calories for Longevity

Eating less may help people live longer, reports CNN.com. Scientists at Louisiana State University tested the effects of calorie restriction on 53 healthy men and women between 21 and 50 years old. For two years, one-third of the volunteers ate their normal diet, while the rest cut their caloric intake by 15 percent. Unsurprisingly, those who consumed fewer calories lost weight—about 20 pounds on average. But they also saw another benefit: Their metabolic rate, which governs the amount of energy the body requires to sustain normal daily functions, slowed by about 10 percent during sleep. “It’s important because every time we generate energy in the body, we generate byproducts,” explains lead author Leanne Redman. These so-called free radicals accumulate and cause damage to cells and organs; this damage has been linked to diabetes, cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other age-related diseases. Previous studies have shown that reducing calories can extend life in rodents (Read More)

Controlling Parents, Mean Kids

The toxic effects of helicopter parenting may not end once children head off to college. A new study shows that undergrads who’ve been raised by controlling, manipulative moms and dads may take their anger and stress out on other students. Researchers from the University of Vermont interviewed 180 predominantly female college students about their relationship with their parents as well as their tendency to behave aggressively. Those with domineering parents were more likely to exhibit “relational aggression,” which often involves spreading rumors and backstabbing as well as excluding or publicly embarrassing friends, reports Medical Daily. The students’ physiological response to stress influences how they unleash this hostility on their peers, the study shows. Those who perspired more and grew more agitated while recounting a difficult experience were considered impulsive, while the students who sweated less and reacted calmly were deemed more calculating and manipulative. “If you’re calm, you can be (Read More)

Digital Eye Strain Growing

All the time we spend on computer screens and smartphones is taking a toll on our eyes. A new survey of more than 10,000 adults shows that 65 percent of Americans experience uncomfortable symptoms of digital eye strain, such as headaches, dry or irritated eyes, blurry visions, and neck pain. The condition is most prevalent among Millennials, who tend to use more than one device simultaneously. Holding small screens less than a foot from their eyes reduces the rate of blinking which can lead to eye dryness, irritation and redness. Digital screens also emit blue lights, which may cause cellular damage deep inside the eye. “Our eyes are not built to stare at digital screens all day but the demands of our modern-day world frequently put us in front of a screen for hours every day,” optometrists Justin Bazan tells MedicalDaily.com. “It’s the problem everyone has but no one knows (Read More)