Leg Movement Key for Brain Health

Using your legs in weight-bearing exercise is critical for brain health, new research shows. Researchers found that moving the large muscles in the legs, through activities such as walking, climbing stairs, and running, triggers the production of stem cells in the brain—helping that critical organ to renew itself. “We are meant to be active: to walk, run, crouch to sit, and use our leg muscles to lift things,” study author Raffaella Adami tells MedicalNewsToday.com. For the study, researchers immobilized the hind legs of a group of mice for 28 days, then examined a specific area of their brains known as the subventricular zone. They found the neural stem cell activity of the mice had plummeted by 70 percent. Declines in oxygen levels associated with reduced physical activity also altered the rodents’ metabolism. These findings may explain why the health of people who are bedridden often deteriorates rapidly. In addition to the (Read More)

Sluggish? Tired? Foggy? Iodine May Hold The Key

Maybe it’s time to rejuvenate your thyroid – that master of metabolism. When your thyroid is functioning at less than optimum, you can bet that you will feel sluggish, tired and foggy. It is estimated that as high as twenty percent of all adults have hypothyroidism that has not been clinically diagnosed. And when the condition is diagnosed, the drugs used to combat it often yield little or no results. You see, the thyroid produces four different hormones and the drug addresses only one of these by replacing it. If you had four bad tires on your car, would you only replace one? Even worse, the “hormone replacement” drug actually depresses the thyroid from producing any hormones because it begins to feel as if “someone else” is doing its job, so why work?

Popular Medications Tied to Brain Damage

Your favorite cold medicine could be shrinking your brain. A new study reveals that drugs used to treat colds and a range of other common health issues, including allergies, heartburn, hypertension, insomnia, and depression, may erode gray matter and increase the risk for dementia and other cognitive problems in older adults. Over-the-counter and prescription medications, such as Tylenol PM, Benadryl, Claritin, Dimetapp, Paxil, Xanax, Zyrtec, Lasix, and Coumadin, belong to a class of drugs known as anticholinergics. They work by blocking acetylcholine, a chemical that transmits electrical impulses between nerve cells. Using PET and MRI scans, researchers from Indiana University School of Medicine examined the brain structure and metabolism of 451 people with an average age of 73. The study found those taking anticholinergic drugs had smaller brains and lower levels of glucose metabolism, particularly in the hippocampus—a brain region involved with memory that is vulnerable to earlystage Alzheimer’s disease. (Read More)

Chemicals undo weight loss

A class of widely used chemicals lurking in nonstick pans, pizza boxes, food wrappers, and other consumer products are accumulating in people’s bodies and can cause weight gain. For 60 years, chemicals known as perfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, have been used to make a wide range of stain-resistant, waterproof, and nonstick products, including cookware, carpets, and food wrappers. These chemicals have already been linked to cancer, immune system dysfunction, and hormone disruption. Now Harvard researchers have found exposure to these ubiquitous chemicals could also slow metabolism. The team analyzed blood samples collected from 621 overweight or obese people. They found those with the greatest levels of these chemicals burned fewer calories and regained more weight after dieting than those with minimal exposure. This link was particularly strong among women, who gained back up to five more pounds than those with the lowest PFAS levels. “It is very hard to avoid (Read More)

Why Supplement?

It is amazing how many people share the same experience.  When they try talking to their doctors about using vitamin and mineral supplements, they are met with condescension, laughter or belittlement. These are the same doctors mind you, that when working with a woman who has just become pregnant, insist that they take a prenatal multivitamin/mineral supplement for the health of their baby. Fortunately people are educating themselves on the value of a good quality multi-vitamin/mineral supplement because they have access to the thousands of peer-reviewed studies published every year validating the use of vitamin and mineral supplements in the prevention and treatment of disease. Despite the media frenzied attempt to discredit nutritional supplements, the latest government-sponsored survey, found that more than half of American adults take nutritional supplements and more than three-quarters of U.S. Physicians (79 percent) and nurses (82 percent) recommend dietary supplements to their patients, and a similar (Read More)

Part 2: Six Whole Foods With Super-Healing Powers

Continued from Part 1 Apples The old adage – An apple a day keeps the doctor away – has real meaning for this amazing healing food. Commonly overlooked apples protect the body from nuclear fallout, kills a wide range of cancers, and keeps the arteries unclogged – plus a whole host of other healing properties.  Apples have a way to awaken your own inner physician. Apples are loaded with the powerful antioxidants quercetin and catechin, which protect cells from damage – that means a reduced risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease, especially if you eat the skin. Research shows that the apple peel contains five times more polyphenols than the flesh. Apples and their skins pack a lot of fiber too (about twice that of other common fruits, including peaches, grapes, and grapefruit), which may help fight the battle of the bulge. In 2004, USDA scientists investigated over 100 foods (Read More)

Foods That Boost Metabolism

Metabolism is a process used by the body for a number of benefits, such as boosting energy, breaking down fat and breaking down unhealthy chemicals in the body. Many dieters focus on eating foods that will boost their metabolism in order to lose more weight. If you are concerned over excess weight, there are a number of lifestyle changes that may be beneficial in obtaining your weight loss goal, including exercise and a healthy diet. The following foods have been shown to be beneficial in helping to speed up the metabolism. It is common for those wanting to lose weight to choose foods known as “negative calorie” foods. These types of foods trick dieters into believing that because the food does not contain calories, it is good for them. However, in order to safely lose weight you should eat foods that help produce energy, which is beneficial in digestion and (Read More)

Osteoporosis and Vitamin D

We have become suddenly and painfully aware of osteoporosis or loss of bone density. Fifteen years ago, the only ones warning of this were the “alternative” practitioners and they were chided for yelling “fire” when it didn’t exist. But now we are hearing advertisements for dozens of products to strengthen your bones and doctors have yearly tests available for bone density determinations. Unfortunately the drugs cobbled up to treat osteoporosis have short-term benefits but long term detriment because they harden the outer shell of the bone but allow the inner bone to become spongy and friable. Thus any sharp stress often fractures the brittle outer part of the bone and healing is very slow.

Vitamin B12: All Cobalamins Are Not Equal

Look at your multiple vitamin or B complex bottle. You’re probably taking cyanocobalamin, the stable and less expensive form of vitamin B12. Because it is stable, it has a longer shelf life. However, the active form of B12 is methylcobalamin and the two are NOT equal in effectiveness. If you have symptoms of GI disorders, lethargy, confusion, slow thought processes, heart rate variability, atherosclerosis, sleep disorders, or immune dysfunction, you may need the methyl as well as the cobalamin component. The two vitamin B12 coenzymes known to be metabolically active in humans are methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. Vitamin B12 is usually absorbed from the gut from the fermentation of intrinsic factor by intestinal flora. However, production can be disturbed by nutritional deficiencies, intrinsic factor deficiency, bacterial overgrowth, malabsorption, alcohol, and antibiotics. Nitrous oxide anesthesia in surgery and nitric acid from normal metabolism and inflammation also reduce our vitamin B12 levels. Cobalamins (Read More)

Cancer Fighting Foods

The war on cancer is still raging. Doctors and researchers have not given up in their efforts to find a cure. Meanwhile, there are some techniques individuals can use, which will help them fight their own battle against cancer. It may seem like an impossible task or perhaps a long shot, but what is there to lose? The most important part to staying healthy is to eat right. Nutrients in cancer fighting foods play a vital part in the reformation of healthy red cells. Without the proper amount of minerals, vitamins, iron and proteins, the human body would cease to exist. The war against cancer is not fought solely in the medicine cabinet, but rather in the kitchen. Knowing which foods to prepare, and what healing properties they contain can improve your quality of life. What Foods Have the Cancer Fighting Nutrients I Need?   Vitamin C is loaded with (Read More)