Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jon's Health Tips - Latest Health Research

Lots of interesting stuff the last 3 weeks, mostly on diet:

1. I've got to cut down even more on carbs - almost all are whole grain now - maybe that's different? And eat even fewer potatoes (I LOVE hash browns) and corn (I LOVE sweet corn)

A, Cut Down On 'Carbs' to Reduce Body Fat

A modest reduction in consumption of carbohydrate foods may promote loss of deep belly fat, even with little or no change in weight, a new study finds.

When paired with weight loss, consumption of a moderately reduced carbohydrate diet can help achieve a reduction of total body fat.

B. Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets may reduce both tumor growth rates and cancer risk

Eating a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet may reduce the risk of cancer and slow the growth of tumors already present.

C. Dietary changes appear to lower risk of Alzheimer's disease

Following a low-saturated fat and low–glycemic index diet appears to modulate the risk of developing dementia that proceeds to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and making a switch to this dietary pattern may provide some benefit to those who are already experiencing cognitive difficulty,

2. I should add salt to my diet, instead of avoiding it?

Salt Is Good For Those w/o High Blood Pressure?

A new eight year long European study concludes that salt consumption is not dangerous and may in fact be beneficial. What they concluded was that the less salt the participants ate, the more likely they would die from heart disease. In fact, the heart disease risk was 56% higher in the low salt group. This is certainly contrary to advice from American Medical Association, American Heart Association and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, which says higher sodium consumption can increase the risk of heart disease. It’s not unusual to see differing opinions, but what are we ordinary folks to make of the controversy?

3. I don't eat potato chips, almost no french fries or most other potatoes, but I need to eat more yogurt:

For Your Weight - Potato Chips/ French Fries: Bad; Yogurt Good!

Potato chips were the worst culprit, causing people to gain 1.69 pounds, followed by potatoes in general, which caused people to gain 1.28 pounds. (French fries were worse than boiled or mashed potatoes.) This, explained Dr. Mozzafarian, could be because starches and refined carbohydrates produce bursts in blood glucose and insulin, increasing hunger and thus upping the total amount of food people eat at their next meal.

Sugary beverages accounted for a one pound weight gain, while alcohol caused people to gain an average of 0.41 pounds over four years. Unprocessed meats accounted for a 0.95-pound uptick in weight, while processed meats were right behind at 0.93 pounds

Increased daily servings of vegetables, whole grains, fruits, nuts, and yogurt were significantly inversely associated with weight change.

4. I really should start lifting weights:

Strength training for persons older than 60 years

People lose 30% of their muscle strength between the ages of 50 and 70 years. However, maintaining muscle strength in old age is enormously important in order to maintain mobility and to be able to lead an independent life and manage everyday tasks independently.

5. I'm glad I take a low dose statin, which is very good for me

Statins Helpful, BUT Take Time To Work

Over the long term, treatment with cholesterol-lowering statins reduces the rate of mortality and cardiovascular events such as heart attack, for people with and without heart disease.

and not a high dose, which can cause muscle damage and

increase diabetes risk

Intensive-Dose Statin Therapy Associated With Increased Risk of Diabetes

6. Other things I do/consume that are good for me:

Strawberries Boost Red Blood Cells

Blueberries Help Build Strong Bones

Review of resveratrol studies confirms potential health boost

More Evidence Vitamin D Boosts Immune Response

Olive oil in your diet may prevent a stroke

Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables help prevent cancer

Apples increase muscle; reduce fat, blood sugar levels, cholesterol and triglycerides

Moderate to intense exercise may protect the brain

7. I really need to think about starting to drink coffee before I forget why it's a good idea:

Mystery ingredient in coffee boosts protection against Alzheimer's disease

8. I spend 2-3 hours most evenings reading and/or watching baseball, soccer or a movie. Is reading more healthy than watching TV - or are both quite dangerous to my health? I really have to get out more!

Extensive TV Watching Linked With Increased Risk of Diabetes, CVD and Death

In an analysis of data from several studies, watching television for 2-3 hours per day or more was associated with a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular disease and all-cause death.

9. An important message to my employees:

Sucking up to the boss may keep you healthy

9. I'm sure glad I don't take any of these drugs:

Common drugs linked to cognitive impairment and possibly to increased risk of death

A large, long-term study confirms that medications with anticholinergic activity, which include many drugs frequently taken by older adults, cause cognitive impairment. The research is also the first to identify a possible link between these drugs – which include over-the-counter and prescription sleep aids and incontinence treatments – and risk of death.

Anticholinergics affect the brain by blocking acetylcholine, a nervous system neurotransmitter. Over-the-counter products containing diphenhydramine, sold under various brand names such as Benadryl®, Dramamine®, Excedrin PM®, Nytol®, Sominex®, Tylenol PM®, and Unisom®, have anticolinergic activity. Other anticholinergic drugs, such as Paxil®, Detrol®, Demerol® and Elavil® are available by prescription.

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March 2

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