Friday, August 26, 2011

Jon's Health Tips - Latest Health Research


I’m pretty good with oatmeal, beans, fruits, vegetables and nuts. I will consider adding plant sterol supplements:

Diet That Combines Cholesterol-Lowering Foods Results in Greater Decrease in LDL Than Low-Saturated Fat Diet

Persons with high cholesterol who received counseling regarding a diet that combined cholesterol-lowering foods such as soy protein, nuts and plant sterols over 6 months experienced a greater reduction in their low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels than individuals who received advice on a low-saturated fat diet. The control diet emphasized high fiber and whole grains but lacked components of the portfolio diet, which emphasized dietary incorporation of plant sterols, soy protein, viscous fibers, and nuts.

Plant sterols are naturally occurring substances found in plants. They are present in small quantities in many fruits, vegetables, vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, cereals and legumes. They are also available as supplements. Effectiveness has been shown with dosages of 2 to 3 grams plant stanols per day. Viscous fiber is the 'sticky' type of soluble fiber found in oats, barley and beans, and certain vegetables such as okra and eggplant. Viscous fibers help binding the cholesterol in your digestive tract and sweep it out of your body. In another word, soluble fiber act as a sponge, absorbing cholesterol and carrying it out of your system.

I’m glad I don’t drink white wine, but stained teeth is the least of my health worries:

White Wine Damages Teeth

Red wine has long had a well-deserved reputation for staining teeth. But studies have found that white wine is not totally without sin in its impact on teeth. White wine is more likely to damage tooth enamel than red wine. The enamel erosion that can come with drinking white wine also can leave teeth vulnerable to stains from drinking tea, among other things.

I eat my lunch out almost every day, which is apparently good for more than my mental health – (I’m big on refrigeration, but my wife isn’tJ)

Desktop Dining Poses Food Poisoning Risk

Desktops hide bacteria that can lead to foodborne illness. When it comes to safe refrigeration of lunches, perishable foods need to be refrigerated within two hours (one hour if the temperature is greater than 90 degrees Fahrenheit) from when it was removed from the refrigerator at home. However, survey results show that 49 percent admit to letting perishable food sit out for three or more hours, meaning foods may have begun to spoil before the first bite.

Well, I guess I’m back to being careful about salt in my diet:

Older adults with too much salt in diet and too little exercise at greater risk of cognitive decline

Older adults who lead sedentary lifestyles and consume a lot of sodium in their diet may be putting themselves at risk for more than just heart disease. A study found evidence that high-salt diets coupled with low physical activity can be detrimental to cognitive health in older adults.

While low sodium intake is associated with reduced blood pressure and risk of heart disease, this is believed to be the first study to extend the benefits of a low sodium diet to brain health in healthy older adults.

I actually do sometimes find a lag in processing what I hear:

Good Cardiovascular Health Can Help Us Process What We Hear

Auditory processing is the ability to make decisions about what we hear and the ability to comprehend what is said to us. Improving cardiovascular health appears to turn back our biological clock. And the good news is that it doesn’t seem to matter at what age we begin — just that we start having a more active lifestyle sooner rather than later.

One of the most important things that we can do to prevent an aging central nervous system and our ability to understand and process what we hear is to maintain an active lifestyle — aerobics, swimming, lifting weights and walking. Even moderate cardiovascular exercise when you’re in your late 80s or early 90s can improve the ability to process what you hear and help the speed of the decision-making process

Any side effects?

Eating prunes helps prevent fractures and osteoporosis

When it comes to improving bone health in postmenopausal women — and people of all ages, actually — a Florida State University researcher has found a simple, proactive solution to help prevent fractures and osteoporosis: eating dried plums. All fruits and vegetables have a positive effect on nutrition, but in terms of bone health, this particular food is exceptional.

I’m not going to consume a “large bolus of whey protein” immediately after exercise, but I will look into leucine:

Muscle-building effect of protein beverages for athletes

Physical activity requires strong, healthy muscles. Fortunately, when people exercise on a regular basis, their muscles experience a continuous cycle of muscle breakdown (during exercise) and compensatory remodeling and growth (especially with weightlifting). Athletes have long experimented with methods to augment these physiologic responses to enhance muscle growth. One such ergogenic aid that has gained recent popularity is the use of high-quality, high-protein beverages during and after exercise, with dairy-based drinks enriched with whey proteins often taking front stage. Many studies have documented a beneficial effect of their consumption. Of particular interest is the effect of the essential amino acid leucine contained in these products.

Consuming the large bolus of whey protein immediately after exercise increased muscle protein synthesis more than when periodic smaller doses of protein were consumed. In the second study, muscle protein synthesis was 33% greater after consumption of the leucine-enriched protein beverage than after the lower-leucine drink.

The researchers concluded that muscle metabolism after exercise can be manipulated via dietary means. In terms of the most beneficial timing of protein intake, immediate postexercise consumption appears to be best. Furthermore, leucine may play an especially important role in stimulating muscle growth in the postactivity recovery period.

My specific health behaviors are looking petty good:

Four Specific Health Behaviors Contribute to a Longer Life

A new CDC report finds that people can live longer if they practice one or more healthy lifestyle behaviors— not smoking, eating a healthy diet, getting regular physical activity, and limiting alcohol consumption. Not smoking provides the most protection from dying early from all causes.

People who engaged in all four healthy behaviors were 66 percent less likely to die early from cancer, 65 percent less likely to die early from cardiovascular disease, and 57 percent less likely to die early from other causes compared to people who did not engage in any of the healthy behaviors.

What You Can Do to Live a Healthier and Longer Life:

Avoid Excessive Alcohol Use

Drink alcohol in moderation (men should have no more than two drinks per day; and women no more than one drink per day).

Avoid Tobacco

Improve Nutrition

- Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fat-free and low-fat dairy products, and seafood.

- Eat fewer foods with sodium (salt), saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, and refined grains.

Engage in Physical Activity

- Participate in moderate intensity physical activity 5 or more days per week (150 minutes), such as brisk walking, or

- Practice vigorous physical activity 3 or more days per week (75 minutes) such as jogging or race walking.

More on specific health behaviors:

Exercise - (I wish I could exercise more!)

15 minutes of moderate daily exercise lengthens life

Exercise for 15 minutes a day, or 92 minutes per week, extended expected lifespan by three years compared to people who are inactive. A person's risk of death from any cause decreased by 4 percent for every additional 15 minutes of exercise up to 100 minutes a day over the course of the study. Those exercising for 30 minutes daily added about four years to life expectancy. These benefits were applicable to all age groups, both sexes and those with cardiovascular disease risk.

Exercise may help prevent brain damage caused by Alzheimer's disease

Regular exercise could help prevent brain damage associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, according to research published this month in Elsevier's journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. Exercise allows the brain to rapidly produce chemicals that prevent damaging inflammation.

Aerobic exercise bests resistance training at burning belly fat

This isn't the fat that lies just under your skin and causes the dreaded muffin top. Belly or abdominal fat – known in scientific communities as visceral fat and liver fat -- is located deep within the abdominal cavity and fills the spaces between internal organs. It's been associated with increased risk for heart disease, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer.

The Duke study showed aerobic training significantly reduced visceral fat and liver fat, the culprit in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Aerobic exercise also did a better job than resistance training at improving fasting insulin resistance, and reducing liver enzymes and fasting triglyceride levels. All are known risk factors for diabetes and heart disease.

Resistance training achieved no significant reductions in visceral fat, liver fat, liver enzyme levels or improvements in insulin resistance. The combination of aerobic with resistance training achieved results similar to aerobic training alone.

Moderate drinking - I’m not keeping up on my moderate drinking:

Moderate drinking protects against Alzheimer's and cognitive impairment

Moderate social drinking significantly reduces the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment, according to an analysis of 143 studies by Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researchers. Researchers reviewed studies dating to 1977 that included more than 365,000 participants. Moderate drinkers were 23 percent less likely to develop cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia. Wine was more beneficial than beer or spirits. Moderate drinking is defined as a maximum of two drinks per day for men and 1 drink per day for women.

Light-to-moderate alcohol intake, especially of wine, may be more likely to protect against, rather than promote, weight gain

I’ve always believed this, but it’s great to see (and I don’t consider myself obese):

Fat and healthy? Study finds slim isn't always superior

A study out of York University has some refreshing news: Being fat can actually be good for you. Published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism, the study finds that obese people who are otherwise healthy live just as long as their slim counterparts, and are less likely to die of cardiovascular causes.

"Our findings challenge the idea that all obese individuals need to lose weight," says lead author Jennifer Kuk, assistant professor in York's School of Kinesiology & Health Science, Faculty of Health. "Moreover, it's possible that trying – and failing – to lose weight may be more detrimental than simply staying at an elevated body weight and engaging in a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity and a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables," she says.

Things that are good for me:

More evidence that caffeine lowers risk of skin cancer

Omega-3s reduce stroke severity

Study Links Low Omega-3 Fatty Acids Levels to Suicide Risk

Fish oil's positive impact on cognition and brain structure

Vitamin D acts as a protective agent against the advance of colon cancer

Researchers Demonstrate Green Tea Compound is Effective in Treating Genetic Disorder and Two Types of Tumors


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