Monday, August 30, 2010

Jon's Health Tips - Latest Health Research

Lots of new research in the last 3 weeks, almost all of which confirms or reinforces my own practices.

1. I already take L-arginine amino acid – I will be taking more of it starting today:

L-arginine amino acid produces a 'striking' endurance boost:

Research from the University of Exeter has revealed taking a dietary supplement to boost nitric oxide in the body can significantly boost stamina during high-intensity exercise.

The study has important implications for athletes, as results suggest that taking the supplement can allow people to exercise up to 20% longer .

The report, published on-line by the Journal of Applied Physiology, found taking the supplement:

- Improves severe-intensity exercise endurance by 20%
- Significantly reduces systolic blood pressure
- Reduces the oxygen cost of exercise

2. Playing soccer 3 times a week, and kayaking 2-3 times a week will keep be alive and bright:

Light and moderate physical activity reduces the risk of early death


Even walking can enhance the connectivity of important brain circuits, combat declines in brain function associated with aging and increase performance on cognitive tasks.

3. I’ll continue to drink to this:

Findings confirm an association between moderate drinking and reduced mortality among older adults.


Moderate drinking, especially wine, associated with better cognitive function


Alcohol intake increases certain types of (relatively rare) breast cancer, but not of the most common breast cancer

We found that women who drank one or more drinks per day had about double the risk of lobular type breast cancer, but no increase in their risk of ductal type breast cancer. It is important to note that ductal cancer is much more common than lobular cancer accounting for about 70 percent of all breast cancers whereas lobular cancer accounts for only about 10-15 percent of cases.


Women who drink beer more likely to develop psoriasis

Regular beer—but not light beer or other types of alcohol—appears to be associated with an increased risk of developing psoriasis.

Women who drank five or more beers per week had a risk for the condition that was 1.8 times higher. Light beer, red wine, white wine and liquor were not associated with psoriasis risk.

4. I’m going to try to drink less bottled green tea and more brewed green tea,

Bottled tea beverages may contain fewer polyphenols than brewed tea

Measurements of healthful antioxidant levels in commercial bottled tea beverages has concluded that health-conscious consumers may not be getting what they pay for: healthful doses of those antioxidants, or "poylphenols," that may ward off a range of diseases. Analysis of tea beverages found that the polyphenol content is extremely low."

5. But I drink bottled tea before soccer games mainly for the caffeine:

Caffeine Only Benefit Of Energy Drinks

"Most of the performance-enhancing effects of energy drinks can be linked to their caffeine content," she says. "Caffeine has been consistently been observed to enhance aerobic performance, although its effects on anaerobic performance may vary."

6. I have to keep up

My berry consumption:

Eating berries may activate the brain's natural housekeeper for healthy aging

My Mediterranean diet:

Mediterranean diet = skin cancer prevention

Avoiding red and processed meats

Healthier protein-rich foods instead of red and processed meats may reduce heart disease risk

The data also showed that eating more servings of poultry, fish and nuts was significantly associated with a decreased risk of coronary heart disease. Compared to one serving each day of red meat, women who substituted other protein-rich foods experienced significantly lower risk of coronary heart disease:

30 percent lower risk with one serving each day of nuts
24 percent lower risk with one serving each day of fish
19 percent lower risk with one serving each day of poultry
13 percent lower risk with one serving each day of low-fat dairy products

My 85% cocoa dark chocolate consumption:

Moderate chocolate consumption linked to lower risks of heart failure

Women who ate an average of one to two servings of the high-quality chocolate per week had a 32 percent lower risk of developing heart failure.

Those who had one to three servings per month had a 26 percent lower risk.

My green leafy vegetables:

Green leafy vegetables reduce diabetes risk

And my green tea

Green Tea Extract Appears to Keep Cancer in Check

7. A reader alerted me to this research

Increased Risk of Stroke Associated With Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs

And more bad news about one NSAID:

Acetaminophen use in adolescents linked to doubled risk of asthma

But I did some further research about the one NSAID I use regularly:

Aspirin lowers stroke risk.

8. So it’s good that I take aspirin, etc. because I’m at greater risk than some – you want to argue with me about that:

Antagonistic people may increase heart attack, stroke risk

Antagonistic people, particularly those who are competitive and aggressive, may be increasing their risk of heart attack or stroke.

9. I'm very happy with my statin regime:

Free statins with fast food could neutralize heart risk, scientists say

Fast food outlets could provide statin drugs free of charge so that customers can neutralize the heart disease dangers of fatty food, researchers at Imperial College London suggest in a new study published this week

Fast food outlets could provide statin drugs free of charge so that customers can neutralise the heart disease dangers of fatty food, researchers at Imperial College London suggest in a new study published this week.

Statins reduce the amount of unhealthy "LDL" cholesterol in the blood. A wealth of trial data has proven them to be highly effective at lowering a person's heart attack risk.

One statin, simvastatin, is already available in Great Britain in low doses (10mg) over the counter at pharmacies without a prescription

Statins have among the best safety profiles of any medication. A very small proportion of regular statin users experience significant side effects, with problems in the liver and kidneys reported in between 1 in 1,000 and 1 in 10,000 people.

10. I will continue to take zinc:

Adequate zinc eases pneumonia in elderly

11. I stopped drinking cranberry juice and taking cranberry pills earlier this summer. Guess what I’m suffering right now:

Cranberry Juice Fights Bacteria That Cause Urinary Tract Infections

12. I may have to resume taking folate supplements, although my diet is pretty good on that, but I'm not bummed about it:

Lower levels of folate=symptoms of dementia and poor brain function, also called "cognitive decline"

An analysis of volunteers' blood samples showed that lower levels of one B vitamin, folate, were associated with symptoms of dementia and poor brain function, also called "cognitive decline," as determined by standard tests of memory and other factors. The impairments were detectable even though less than 1 percent of the volunteers were actually deficient in folate.

In women, but not men, low levels of folate were associated with symptoms of depression.

Not what I usually cover, but important:


Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer death or severe brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.

Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

S *Ask the individual to SMILE.

T *Ask the person to TALK and SPEAK A SIMPLE SENTENCE (Coherently)

(i.e. It is sunny out today.)

R *Ask him or her to RAISE BOTH ARMS.

If he or she has trouble with ANY ONE of these tasks, call emergency number immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

New sign of a stroke - Stick Out Your Tongue.

Another 'sign' of a stroke is this: Ask the person to 'stick' out his tongue. If the tongue is 'crooked', if it goes to one side or the other, that is also an indication of a stroke.

A neurologist says that if he can get to a stroke victim within 3 hours, he can totally reverse the effects of a stroke...totally. He said the trick was getting a stroke recognized, diagnosed and then getting the patient medically cared for within 3 hours, which is tough..

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