Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Dark Chocolate Prevents Heart Disease

Inflammation is a normal and useful body process but it seems that today we have too much of it. Inflammation is the real underlying culprit behind most diseases. Most diseases lead to more inflammation, so it's a negative cycle. Some ways to reduce inflammation are through diet (less meat, sugar, white flour and rice, fewer grains, more vegetables and fruits, and 8-10 glasses of water a day), better sleep, and stress reduction. A good detox program will also eliminate inflammatory and acid producing toxins from the body.

In this study it was found that a very small daily dose of dark chocolate reduced levels of C-Reactive Protein, a standard hallmark of inflammation. Resveratrol from red wine and grape juice and green tea also contain the same family of compunds that reduce inflammation.

Dark Chocolate Prevents Heart Disease

Sept. 29, 2008
(WebMD) A piece of dark chocolate a day - a very small piece - keeps the doctor away. An Italian study shows that dark chocolate can significantly reduce the inflammation that leads to cardiovascular disease. The ideal amount is 6.7 grams per day (0.23 ounces). A typical Hershey chocolate bar weighs about 43 grams. That means eating one dark chocolate bar over the course of 6 1/2 days to get 6.7 grams per day. Milk chocolate doesn't appear to offer the same benefits. The study was conducted by Research Laboratories of the Catholic University in Campobasso and the National Cancer Institute of Milan and has been published in the Journal of Nutrition. The data come from an epidemiological study called the Moli-sani Project, which selected men and women at least 35 years old randomly from city hall registries in southern Italy. For the chocolate study, researchers identified 4,849 people in good health without risk factors for cardiovascular disease, such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure. These participants were asked about their dark chocolate consumption. Chronic inflammation can lead to heart disease, so keeping inflammation under control is a major part of preventive treatment. Research has shown that patients who have a low amount of C-reactive protein in their blood have lower levels of inflammation. People who eat dark chocolate regularly, in small servings, have significantly lower levels of C reactive protein, according to the study. This holds true even after accounting for any other potential confounding factors (such as differences in other dietary practices).By Caroline WilbertReviewed by Elizabeth Klodas©2005-2008 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.
This is a health blog. That usually means topics relating to the human body are covered, but our finances are also related to our health and well-being. Lately the financial news has been quite unbelieveable and devastating. Here is a 12 minute clear explanation of what happened. Can you ever trust Wall Street again?

Friday, October 03, 2008

Chiropractic Plays Significant Role in U.S.A. Men's Water Polo Olympic 2008 Silver Medal Win

CARMICHAEL, Calif., Oct 02, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Merrill Moses, goal keeper for the U.S.A. Men's Water Polo team, and his teammates took home silver medals from Beijing this year. Terry Schroeder, D.C., a standout from the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympics helped Moses and his teammates as the current head coach of the Men's Water Polo team and resident doctor of chiropractic. While they were considered underdogs in this year's games, the team pulled together to achieve silver medal victory in a match against Hungary, and Moses and teammates attribute much of their success to the role that chiropractic played in their performance.

"I can honestly say that without chiropractic, many Olympic athletes would not be able to perform to their potential," says Moses. "We take such a pounding on our bodies, especially in water polo, because it's a contact sport. I like to get a chiropractic adjustment everyday just to keep my body healthy."

Moses, who is 31 years old, 6'3", and 215 pounds, was playing at the top of his game this year, an achievement which he attributes to the four practicing Olympic Committee team chiropractors in the Olympic Village as well as Schroeder, who treated Moses and other team members throughout the games.

"Athletes know that the difference between winning and losing can be a matter of fractions," says Schroeder. "When looking for that edge, chiropractic often makes all the difference."

To help this year's team to victory, Schroeder drew on his chiropractic knowledge and his experience as a two-time Olympic silver medalist in water polo. He was inducted into the U.S.A. Water Polo Hall of Fame in 1998. A statue of Schroeder's likeness sits at the entrance to the Los Angeles Coliseum commemorating the 1984 Olympics. He is noted for turning this team around by encouraging teamwork and vigorous training only months prior to the Beijing Olympic Games.

Moses plans to follow in his coach's footsteps by attending chiropractic college and earning his Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree. His interest in chiropractic stems from a passion for helping others. He believes chiropractic helps those who cannot physically excel, including many of the Olympic athletes who participated in this year's games.

"I believe that chiropractic is going to continue to be of growing importance in the Olympic world," concludes Schroeder.

About the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress
The Foundation for Chiropractic Progress is a 501c6 corporation that represents a cross section of the chiropractic and vendor communities with the goal of increasing the public's awareness of the benefits of chiropractic. For more in depth information about these Olympians please visit http://www.yes2chiropractic.com/.
SOURCE: Foundation for Chiropractic Progress Foundation for Chiropractic Progress
Jessica Giordano, 201-641-1911 x35


Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Truth About Splenda

Fiction: Splenda is natural sugar without calories.
Fact: Johnson & Johnson claims that "Splenda is made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar".

Johnson & Johnson wants consumers to think that it is natural sugar without calories. The truth is that Splenda is not natural and does not taste like sugar. The sweetness of Splenda derives from a chlorocarbon chemical that contains three atoms of chlorine in every one of its molecules. The manufacturer of this chlorinated compound named it sucralose. The improper use of “ose” in the name creates the illusion that sucralose is natural like sucrose which is the precise name for table sugar. Johnson & Johnson wants consumers to believe that the taste of Splenda is due solely to natural sugar, that is, due to sucrose. However, the manufacturer has patented several chemical processes for making the chlorinated chemical compound it calls sucralose. The patent literature illustrates that sucralose can be chemically manufactured from starting materials that do not require natural sugar. In one patent, for example, the manufacturer constructs sucralose from raffinose by substituting atoms of chlorine for hydroxyl groups in raffinose. Raffinose is a molecule found naturally in beans, and onions and other plants, but unlike natural sucrose, it has very little taste. In another patented process three atoms of chlorine are substituted for three hydroxyl groups in sucrose. The end product of both of these manufacturing processes is an entirely new chlorocarbon chemical called sucralose. Each molecule of sucralose contains three atoms of chlorine which makes it 600 times sweeter than a natural molecule of sugar which contains no chlorine. Splenda has it’s own artificial taste which is due to this chlorinated compound.

Fiction: Splenda is safe to eat, even for children.
Fact: There are no conclusive tests that support this statement. Again, there have been no long-term human studies conducted to determine the potential health effects of Splenda on humans, including children

Until long-term human studies are conducted, no one will know for sure whether Splenda is really safe or unsafe for humans to eat.

Fiction: Splenda has been thoroughly tested.
Fact: There has not been a single long-term human study to determine the potential health effects of Splenda on people.

The FDA relied on a few short-term tests when it reviewed the safety of Splenda for human consumption. Worse, these human tests were all conducted by the manufacturer of Splenda, hardly an unbiased source. The vast majority of tests reviewed by the FDA to determine whether Splenda was safe for human consumption were conducted on animals, including rats and rabbits.

Fiction: Products made with Splenda do not need warning labels.
Fact: Splenda is found in nearly 3,500 food products and amazingly, not all of these products list Splenda as an ingredient, and none of them say the product contains chlorine.

Furthermore, none of the regulatory agencies or scientific review bodies that have confirmed the safety of sucralose require any warning information to be placed on the labels of products sweetened with sucralose.

Consumers have a right to know exactly what is contained in the food products they buy for themselves and, particularly, for their children. Consumers should be provided with information that allows them to make educated choices about the food products they include in their diets. This is especially true for products that contain Splenda, a chemical substance made with chlorine that has not been the subject of any long-term human studies to determine its health effects on the human body.

Fiction: Once eaten, Splenda simply passes through the body.
Fact: This is what the manufacturer of Splenda claims, and consumers who realize they are actually eating chlorine may hope it is true, but the FDA determined that as much as 27% of sucralose can be absorbed by the body. This is particularly alarming for a chemical substance containing chlorine. Clearly the makers of Splenda are not being entirely forthcoming about their product's influence in the body.

Fiction: The chlorine found in Splenda is similar to that found in other foods we eat.
The manufacturer of Splenda claims that chlorine is naturally present in such foods as lettuce, mushrooms and table salt, but they never directly state that eating Splenda is the same as eating these foods. Remember, Splenda is not a natural substance, it is an artificial chemical sweetener manufactured by adding three chlorine atoms to a sugar molecule. And again, because there have been no long-term human studies on Splenda to determine the potential health effects on people, no one can say with certainty that the substance is safe to eat.

Fiction: Consumers have every reason to believe what they see and hear in Splenda’s advertisements.
In an effort to convince consumers that “Splenda is made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar” and to encourage them to “Think sugar, say Splenda”, the giant drug manufacturer Johnson & Johnson is running a multi-million dollar advertising campaign encouraging the misperception that their artificial sweetener is equivalent to all-natural sugar. Splenda is not sugar and is not natural.

Splenda’s advertisements that read “The Dance of the Splenda Plum Fairy,” “Splenda and Spice and Everything Nice,” and “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue, Splenda is Sweet and So Are You” have been characterized by one marketing ethics reporter as nothing but “sleight-of-hand marketing.” Despite all the slick Madison Avenue advertising, the fact remains that Splenda is actually a chemical compound that contains chlorine. The more chlorine atoms, the sweeter the taste. Consumers deserve to know the truth about the food products they are purchasing for themselves and their families.


Probiotics may reduce eczema in young children

I can finally show you a study (there are others out there) showing a link between probiotics and the effects on skin conditions. Patients seem to be mystified by the connection and have trouble believing it.

The gut contains 80% of the immune system. The skin is one of the four ways humans detoxify. When other systems are overloaded the skin will take up this load. This can be expressed as eczema, rosacea, psoriasis, etc. I've been giving patients probiotics for years for skin conditions with great results.

Probiotics may reduce eczema in young children: Study Date: 10/1/2008 9:00:00 AM Author: Stephen Daniells

Daily supplements of a probiotic strain of Lactobacillus rhamnosus may reduce the incidence of childhood eczema by about 50 per cent, according to a new study.

Two years of supplementation with L. rhamnosus strain HN001 led to less severe symptoms of eczema, scientists from the University of Otago and the University of Auckland report in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

“There has been controversy about whether probiotics prevent the development of eczema,” wrote the authors, led by Professor Julian Crane. “Our study provides further evidence that L rhamnosus is indeed an effective intervention for reducing the prevalence of eczema among high-risk children.”

However, no benefits were observed when children were supplemented with the bacterial strain Bifidobacterium lactis HN019. Both strains were provided by New Zealand’s Fonterra Co-operative Group, which also co-sponsored the study along with the Health Research Council of New Zealand.

“By comparing two different probiotics, we were able to demonstrate that not all probiotics are equally effective,” added the researchers. “Given the uncertainty about how probiotics exert their effects on allergic disease, future studies investigating their modes of action are required.”

Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis (AD), is one of the first signs of allergy during the early days of life and is said to be due to delayed development of the immune system. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists it affects between 10 to 20 per cent of all infants, but almost half of these kids will 'grow out' of eczema between the ages of five and 15.

Study details
Crane and his co-workers performed a double-blind, randomised placebo-controlled trial. Four hundred and fort-six pregnant women were recruited and randomly assigned to take daily supplements of L. rhamnosus HN001, B. animalis subsp lactis strain HN019 or placebo from 35 weeks gestation and for a further six months if breastfeeding. The infants received the same interventions from birth to two years of age.

All children were considered at ‘high-risk’ of inheriting eczema due to a family history of allergic disease.

Infants in the L. rhamnosus arm had significantly lower incidence of eczema, compared to the placebo group, said the researchers. However, no difference was observed between the placebo group and B. animalis subsp lactis group was observed.

Additionally, none of the interventions had any effect of measures of allergic hypersensitivity (atopy) after two years.

“Our study is unique in combining prenatal and postnatal probiotic supplementation, continued use of probiotics for two years post-natally, comparison of two different probiotics, and faecal sample analysis,” wrote the researchers. “Understanding how Lactobacilli act to prevent eczema requires further investigation,” they added.

Source: Journal of Allergy and Clinical ImmunologyPublished online ahead of print 31 August 2008, doi:10.1016/j.jaci.2008.07.011“A differential effect of 2 probiotics in the prevention of eczema and atopy: A double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial”Authors: K. Wickens, P.N. Black, T.V. Stanley, E. Mitchell, P. Fitzharris, G.W. Tannock, G. Purdie, J. Crane and Probiotic Study Group