Friday, March 30, 2007

Exercise & Eat right -- Save our economy?? YES….

Welcome to our health & self help blog.

Focus on Your Health:

In it we post health commentary & reviews of books, eBooks, & other things that improve or protect your health or which enable you to live longer, to be more prosperous, & to be more effective.

We do posts on staying healthy; preventing disease; aging more slowly; weight loss; exercise; nutrition; & news in medicine.

Today's post: Friday, 3-30-2007

Exercise & Eat right -- to save our economy?? YES….

Here’s why:

1. People who exercise and eat right and do other things that work to protect their health, like NOT smoking, are less fat & MUCH healthier than people who don’t –

so they tend NOT to get type II diabetes or heart disease or PAD, peripheral artery disease, erectile dysfunction or have strokes & therefore tend NOT to need multiple doctor visits, drugs, surgeries, & early in life funerals -- nor are they likely to get senile.

2. Millions of people in the United States have been doing the exact opposite for many years and many of them are baby boomers just now beginning to cascade in a wave into the ages where people have been following bad health practices begin discovering they have these diseases as a result.

The result of that is massive increases in health care costs (most people are paying more for health coverage AND getting less coverage); and an increasingly large share of our economy is going to health care costs that could have been avoided.

And, that’s not all, people who are doing doctor visits or disabled or senile – or dead – don’t do as much work as healthy and alive people do.

So, our economy is already suffering from more costs & less productive work done.

And, the really bad news is that it will get rapidly worse to a terrifying degree if nothing is done.

But you can fight back. You can follow good health practices yourself. And, you can encourage other people to do so whether they are friends, family, or, if you employ people, they work for you.

If you’ve been reading my posts or following the health news recently, you’ve read about how exercise is in many ways the least used & most effective health practice.

People who exercise think better and even grow new brain cells. They become more stress resistant. And, they are leaner and tend NOT to get type II diabetes or become senile or to develop cardiovascular disease. They even get fewer cancers.

So, if you exercise and encourage everyone you know to do so who isn’t already, more people will exercise and fewer will get avoidable disease; less will be spend on medical costs; or more productive work will be done.

And, that may keep health care costs and lower productive work done from dangerously slowing our economy.

Exercise & Eat right -- to save our economy?? The answer is definitely yes.

However, if you’ve virtually never exercised -- or the person you want to encourage to exercise hasn’t, how do you or that person get into it in a way that fits you or them and gets good results?

What if you had a book with dozens of different kinds of people who got good results from exercise, overcame different kinds of challenges to get into exercise, & where each one shared their exercises & strategies?

That would solve that problem for most people. And, it would give almost anyone enough information and inspiration to get started well.

That resource exists. And, as you can see, I think well of it. So, I’ve become an affiliate to sell it. And, the rest of this post is an email from the author, Jon Benson on today’s topic.

(If you have liked my posts and would like to support this blog and you decide to buy Jon’s book, please do it through the URL listed below.


The newspapers all said, "Exercise saves you money!" What are they talking about?


Success For Life e-Zine 3/29/2007

Your Freee Weekly Newsletter from Jon Benson and Fit Over 40

Sent by permission only


The headlines read:

"Health Costs Will Surge Without Better Prevention"

Not "may surge"...WILL surge.

By prevention, they mean exercise and savvy nutrition -- not killing yourself in a gym or on a treadmill and starving.

That never works. I've said that for years. I show you what 'does' work in my book –

(Fit Over 40) (In case you don't have it yet)

Here are some excerpts from the CDC's latest report.

If you ever thought that exercise and good nutrition was just about health,
hold on to your wallet.

"The cost of caring for aging Americans will add 25 percent to the nation's health care bill by 2030 unless people act now to stay healthy."

That's a direct quote.

This means more taxes for everyone. This means our kids will pay through the nose for our poor habits.

The article continues...

"Currently, 80 percent of Americans 65 or older have at least one chronic disease
that could lead to premature death and disability."

The vast majority of disease is preventable. That's right -- the vast majority. Why?
Because the majority is self-induced.

Most people are sick because they do not take proper care of themselves until it's too late.

The good news is sick people can feel better through exercise and proper eating.

The better news is healthy people can add years to their lives and save billions in
government spending... eating right and exercising.

There's a pattern forming here.

"Given the demographics, the economic impact on healthcare will be enormous,"
said Dr. Richard Murray, a vice president at Merck & Co. Inc., whose foundation funded he study."

"If people adopt healthier lifestyles, they may not develop the expensive, chronic diseases
that raise health costs sharply, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease."

Wow...the Top 3 killers! All decreased and even stopped in their tracks by something
everyone can do.

Everyone, at any age.

(See) --- > for proof

The report concluded with this statement:

"We have the opportunity for prevention," Merck's Murray said. "We need to be serious
about it."

Listen: exercise and nutrition does not need to be tedious, but it does need to be taken

Most people will wait until life takes a bite out of them until they get off their tails and take action.

The shame of that is they are missing out (on) life by missing out on the joy of being fit and healthy. There's nothing like it.

Now you have one more reason to start now: the future of our economy depends on it.

Just remember: it can still be a lot of fun. And it should be. I've shown you 52 people who made it fun, ages 40-80.

Read more about them on my website –

Have fun, help prevent disease, and save some bucks. That's a win-win-win.


Jon Benson Creator, Co-Author, "Fit Over 40"

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Thursday, March 29, 2007

Ways to increase your blood circulation….

Welcome to our health & self help blog.

Focus on Your Health:

In it we post health commentary & reviews of books, eBooks, & other things that improve or protect your health or which enable you to live longer, to be more prosperous, & to be more effective.

We do posts on staying healthy; preventing disease; aging more slowly; weight loss; exercise; nutrition; & news in medicine.

Today's post: Thursday, 3-29-2007

Ways to increase your blood circulation….

The wife of a close friend of mine no longer smokes.

That’s the very good news. And he doesn’t smoke, so, as far as I know, she gets no secondhand smoke at home. And, thanks to new laws, she can work in a smoke free or mostly smoke free environment at work -- which is definitely true at her desk where she spends the most time each day.

Unfortunately, she did smoke for far too long a time before she quit. And, as most smokers even more unfortunately still do NOT know is that smoking creates or triggers tons of plaque in your arteries & veins in multiple ways every time a person smokes or breathes in second hand smoke.

So now she is fighting pain in her legs from circulation so poor that her pulse in her lower legs is hardly perceptible.

As I understand it, she has had a procedure done to use an angioplasty type device to open some of the larger blood vessels in her legs.

And, she now wants to try things that will further improve the circulation in her legs & keep the gains from the angioplasty without needing to get an operation similar to a heart bypass to improve circulation that way.

And, there are several ways to do that do seem to work that she might try.:

These methods also help to prevent heart disease & stroke; keep your kidneys healthy; keep you from developing age related mental decline & keep your sexual response good since all these things depend on good blood circulation.

1. It’s imperative that she keep her blood sugars down in the desirable range & that she have good insulin response to her body’s own insulin.

Research on type II diabetics has clearly established that excessively high glucose levels & poor insulin response directly create horrible circulation. And that if this situation is not reversed with lifestyle changes or multiple drugs, the person who has II diabetes will be much more likely to have a heart attack, a stroke, go blind, have their kidneys ruined enough to need dialysis, or need food amputation from the resulting problems with blood circulation.

However, if she eats right; takes a good multivitamin plus mineral supplement daily & some other supplements listed here; & gets what regular exercise she can do, particularly strength training & very carefully gets some short aerobic exercise sessions, her blood sugar levels will move towards the desirable range, her insulin response will be much better; & her blood circulation will improve dramatically.

a) For eating right, the most important things are to NEVER drink any kind of soft drink; discontinue eating any food made with refined grains; go pretty easy on whole grain foods; eat no potatoes or French fries; AND eat robust amounts of health OK proteins & oils & non-starchy green vegetables & whole fruits. Garlic, onions, ginger, turmeric, & particularly cinnamon also help & she should use them for spicing her food in ways she likes & as often as possible. (A recent article said that eating blueberries & to some degree dark purple grapes & other kinds of berries improved circulation.)

Beef fed only grass; wild caught salmon; sardines; shrimp & most other seafood; eggs; beans & lentils; & nuts all tend to enhance your health if you don’t eat one of them you are allergic to. And, beef fed only grass; wild caught salmon; sardines; shrimp & nuts all have fats & oils that enhance your health as do avocadoes & extra virgin olive oil.

Also, NEVER eat artificially saturated fat either partially hydrogenated (or fully hydrogenated, interesterified, as some unethical or ignorant food companies have done to avoid bans on the transfats in partially hydrogenated foods.) And never eat foods that contain them. They harm blood circulation & can also cause type II diabetes in some cases.

b) Supplements:

"The natural trace mineral chromium helps you control blood sugar and improve your sensitivity to insulin. Since insulin sensitivity declines with age, reversing that decline with chromium reverses that aspect of aging."

In the article by Dr Al Sears in today's Early To Rise

And, if you improve your insulin sensitivity the insulin you already make at the right times keeps your blood sugar low enough for good health.

In a separate article, he says he recommends 600 mcg per day of chromium polynicotinate.

Since I take that & believe it helps keep my HDL cholesterol up & bad LDL cholesterol down also, that's the kind I recommend.

The quote "appears courtesy of Early To Rise, the Internet’s most popular health, wealth, and success e-zine. For a complimentary subscription, visit "

400 to 600 mg a day of magnesium in the chelated form or the asporotate or citrate forms also seems to help with blood sugar control

That much magnesium also helps prevent or help lower high blood pressure & to prevent constipation. And, it has dozens of other benefits.

And, at least 200 mg a day of alpha lipoic acid also helps with blood sugar. It also has been found to help prevent & reverse brain aging & it definitely works both as antioxidant directly, it also helps your body get more antioxidant effect out the other antioxidants you eat in your food or take as supplements.

c) Exercise directly boosts your circulation every time you do it.

Even mild exercise does this. And strength training is one of the best ways to improve insulin response known. If you do even half an hour of strength training well three nonconsecutive days each week, you will get stronger & your insulin response & circulation will improve.

In her case she may be only able to manage 3 repetitions with very light weights on leg exercise without it causing too much pain. But she may well also find that by persisting & doing the other things listed here, she can gradually work up to sets of 10 & add to the weight used as well.

Meanwhile, she can work out better on exercises for her arms, chest, & back and exercise more vigorously -- & as her heart rate goes up & her blood circulates more there, it will also gradually circulate more in her legs. And, her insulin response will improve sharply.

2. Nitric Oxide release.

Taking l-Arginine & drinking pomegranate juice have been shown to improve nitric oxide release. And nitric oxide release in your bood vessels enables them to relax & to respond with more elasticity to blood flow & blood flow increases.

You get some effect by taking as little as 500 mg a day of L-arginine. But the ideal is to take 6 times that much with water twice a day – once just before you exercise & once just before you go to bed. (It tastes dreadful straight. So I suggest 500 mg capsules.) Also, it’s important to get l-Arginine & NOT l-Arginine HCl as the hydrochloric acid part might be harmful in that high a quantity. And, it adds an extremely harsh aftertaste. Straight l-Arginine does not have those problems & is available.

With drinking pomegranate juice, 4 ounces a day is enough to get a strong effect on nitric oxide release. That’s fortunate as it’s quite expensive.

3. Increase HDL cholesterol & lower LDL cholesterol.

Keeping them both from oxidizing with vitamins C & E and with alpha lipoic acid & plentiful fruits & vegetables also helps.

But, unoxidized, part of HDL cleans out your arteries & the part of LDL cholesterol which is literally small enough & tough enough to fit into the molecular chinks in your blood vessels tends to get stuck there like gluey gravel & to build plaque that narrows your blood vessels or blocks them & is HORRIBLE for blood circulation.

Statin drugs can do this but can be dangerous to some people; must be taken with at least 100 mg a day of CoQ10 to be safe to take; & are dreadfully expensive.

She might well need them if her LDL cholesterol is over 200. But if it’s significantly lower, she might be OK with eating right & exercising and taking the following supplements.:

(I lowered my LDL from 130 to 84 using them; & had I not already been eating right and exercising regularly, my family history suggests my LDL might well have been well above 160 maybe even 200.)

The most important three are beta sitosterol; niacin, & inositol hexaniacinate.

The company, Natrol, makes a beta sitosterol supplement that is quite inexpensive. And, I take 2 at lunch & one with dinner. (I don’t take them at breakfast as I take my fat soluble vitamins D3 & E at breakfast. And, I want to be sure the sterols in the supplement don’t block me from using them.)

I also take 300 mg a day of niacin right after breakfast. I get the Whole Foods brand as I know it’s effective; & it’s also very inexpensive.

(Occasionally but rarely I get the flush reaction as I do if I accidentally take two. It’s a bit like an internal & temporary all over sunburn where much of your skin turns the color of a bad sunburn & warms up. It can be a bit uncomfortable & throws off my ability to judge the temperature of the air I’m in; but it does go away after about half an hour. And, even better, I’ve heard that when this happens, it means that my LDL cholesterol was too high & it’s as if the niacin is burning it out of my blood vessels. So I’m pleased it’s benefiting me.)

Lastly, I take 300 mg of inositol hexaniacinate before breakfast & again after dinner each day for a total of two a day. Again, I take the Whole Foods brand which they label as No Flush Niacin.

From what I’ve read, this total of 900 mg a day of the two forms of niacin is safe for most people. But if you have any liver problems, you should have your doctor check your liver health indicators with a blood test on a regular basis.

And, it’s important to do so if you take more than that or you take the timed release version, Niaspan, on the advice of your doctor – typically in MUCH higher doses of niacin.

The nice thing is that the chromium polynicotinate, exercise, niacin, & inositol hexaniacinate already listed all effectively raise HDL cholesterol. And, exercise & the two forms of niacin have been shown to increase the kind of HDL that cleans your blood vessels, protects your heart, & helps you live longer.

Interestingly, so has drinking red wine regularly. Normally women metabolize alcohol half as well or as fast as men. But if my friend’s wife is OK to drink it, drinking a single glass of red wine after dinner most days effectively raises her HDL by as much as twenty percent I’ve read. And, separate studies have shown regularly drinking that much wine protects your heart through the HDL boosting & the other phytonutrients in the red wine.

(Women who are recovering alcoholics or who are taking medications that interact with alcohol or who might well have two or more glasses before driving will likely be far safer to pass on drinking the red wine & stick to the other methods. Heavy use of Tylenol combined with alcohol can damage your liver severely for example.)

4. Other supplements that promote circulation directly include 200 iu a day of natural vitamin E; ginkgo biloba; bilberry extract; grape seed extract; pycnogenol; & resveratrol.

Apparently so does drinking Welches dark purple concord grape juice.

These tend to keep your blood from excess clotting; expand your capillaries; & make the walls of your blood vessels smoother, tougher, & more elastic.

And, UNLIKE ASPIRIN, they do this WITHOUT harming your stomach lining & causing bleeding in it. Plus, they continue to do the job even when you are quite stressed or if you take Advil or other NSAID’s while aspirin does NOT.

5. She should have her homocysteine level checked. As an ex smoker with circulation problems it’s quite likely to be well over 12. That is very harmful & one of the ways smoking cigarettes harms circulation.

It should be well under 9.0; & in order to move it there, she may well need to also take a B-complex supplement AND 1,000 mcg a day of methylcobalimin, the methyl form of B12; 800 iu of folic acid, enough added B6 to bring her daily total to 75 or so (Over 100 is not safe).

In addition she should take 500 mg of NAC n-acetyl cysteine once or maybe even twice a day.

If her post-test is till above 9.0 after several weeks of those supplements, she should also look into extra stress relief & add the supplement TMG.

My online search didn’t find the dosage recommended as that’s the only one I don’t yet take.

However there is a great write up on Wikipedia:

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search


Trimethylglycine (also commonly known as TMG, betaine, glycine betaine or betaine anhydrous) is more specifically N,N,N-trimethylglycine.
TMG is not to be confused with betaine hydrochloride.

Trimethylglycine is an organic compound with a structure similar to choline and a betaine. The molecular structure is (CH3)3NCH2COOH as a cation with either the carboxylic acid as the anion (loss of proton) or another anion present. The difference is that choline (trimethylaminoethanol) has been reduced from a terminal carboxylic acid to a hydroxyl group. If Trimethylglycine donates one of its methyl groups, then it becomes dimethylglycine.

Therapeutic uses

Trimethylglycine is used to treat high homocysteine levels.[1] Kilmer S McCully MD theorised that cholesterol and clogged arteries were symptoms rather than causes of heart disease and proposed homocysteine as a more likely culprit. If it were not for his work, homocysteine would not have been thought harmful and so supplements to lower homocysteine would not have been thought necessary.

TMG may also have uses in enhancing mood, as methyl donor it helps increase SAMe levels.

A compound which may be confused with TMG is betaine hydrochloride, or betaine HCl. Betaine HCl is used as a digestive aid; it is particularly helpful for persons with insufficient acid production in the stomach. Betaine HCl has an acidic taste.

TMG (anhydrous betaine) tastes sweet with a metallic aftertaste and is usually produced from sugar beets.

After giving off a methyl group TMG becomes dimethylglycine. DMG helps increase oxygenation to cells and athletes have used it to increase performance. TMG is used by the ton in livestock farming, paired with lysine to increase "carcass yield," to help increase muscle mass.

[edit] Biochemical mechanisms

TMG functions very closely with choline, folic acid, vitamin B12 and S-adenosyl methionine SAMe. All of these compounds function as "methyl donors." They carry and donate methyl functional groups to facilitate necessary chemical processes. The donation of methyl groups is important to proper liver function, cellular replication, and detoxification reactions.

TMG also plays a role in the manufacture of carnitine and serves to protect the kidneys from damage.

Back to my blog post:

The liver protection mentioned can be useful for people who take any form of niacin or who drink any form of alcohol. And the kidney protection mentioned may well be crucial to someone who has high blood glucose or problems with circulation.

So, after reading this, I think she would be very wise to add TMG to her daily supplement immediately.

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Monday, March 26, 2007

Ways to eat beef safely….

Welcome to our health & self help blog.

Focus on Your Health:

In it we post health commentary & reviews of books, eBooks, & other things that improve or protect your health or which enable you to live longer, to be more prosperous, & to be more effective.

We do posts on staying healthy; preventing disease; aging more slowly; weight loss; exercise; nutrition; & news in medicine.

Today's post: Monday, 3-26-2007

Ways to eat beef safely….

Beef & red meat in general have a bad reputation with health oriented people & many prevention oriented health professionals.

But a lot of people enjoy eating it, possibly including you.

And, recent studies show that eating a moderately high protein diet & NOT eating sugar, refined grain foods & other high glycemic foods can help in losing excess fat successfully -- & people who lose weight that way improve their blood markers for health.

It’s still not common knowledge. But there are safe ways to eat beef.

It can make you sick if you eat it without using those strategies; but it can actually be good for you if you use the guidelines for eating beef safely.

Here are the 4 ways to eat beef safely:

1. Eat the right kind.
2. Eat it with the right foods.
3. Prepare & cook it in safe ways.
4. Eat other protein foods each week & avoid eating beef too often.

1. Eat the right kind.

In many ways this is the most important one.

For most of the beef now being sold in the U.S. it may not be safe to eat beef. And, it is definitely not safe to eat it too often.

The good news is that each of the health issues in eating beef is connected to how the cattle it’s from are fed & farmed.

Cattle fed grain in feedlots & which get no exercise, have beef with excessive omega 6 oils; have very little if any omega 3 oils or a one called CLA that provides several health benefits. The information I recently read in the book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan, suggests that grain feed beef also has lower levels of magnesium & other nutrients. And, the diet high in grains & virtually no exercise produces beef that’s quite high in saturated fat & fat overall.

This results in beef that has enough omega 6 oils & saturated fat to cause health problems if you eat it all often

In addition, cattle raised this way tend to get sick; & the mobs of cattle & their massively concentrated waste in the feed lots attracts hordes of flies.

So, the cattle need antibiotics & pesticides & their fats tend to be high in these compounds.

That problem is significant since I once read of studies showing that pesticides contained in the animal fats some people eat boost their blood & body levels of pesticides & herbicides far MORE than what they might get from eating produce that is not organic.

The good news is that beef from cattle raised ONLY on grass in well managed but smaller farms are almost the exact opposite.

It’s less readily available & costs more. And, you have to cook it a bit differently; but it is actually likely to be good for you. And, there are sources for it for people who want it.:

One source I’ve found is

And, looking up "Grass fed beef" on Yahoo found many more.

The key is that the cattle be fed no grain even just before they are slaughtered.

Beef from cattle feed on only grass before that time & then fed grain just before they are slaughtered, is still far superior to beef from cattle raised only on grain in feedlots.

But it will have more omega 6 oils & saturated fat. And, if the feeding area is large or the cattle are there long, it may have some of the problems of conventional beef.

Here are the other 3 ways to eat beef safely.:

2. Eat it with the right foods.

Eating beef with lots of onions or flavored with garlic tends to prevent any excess saturated fat from being problematic according to some information I once received because it acts like a kind of antifreeze keeping the fat in your blood free flowing.

And, eating ample onions & garlic has many other documented health benefits. Lastly, it makes the beef taste good; & it’s more important to the flavor of cooked grass fed beef since grass fed beef, like game, is usually more strongly flavored than grain fed beef.

Secondly, it’s a good idea to eat beef with plentiful amounts of green or non-starchy vegetables.

Those provide fiber, soluble fiber, & sterols that minimize the boosting of bad LDL cholesterol by the remaining saturated fat; they help fill you up so it’s easier to enjoy a smaller or moderate serving of beef & helps keep you from eating so much you get fat; & the vegetables have complementary nutrients & antioxidants the prevent your LDL & HDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized.

In all these ways, eating beef with plentiful amounts of green or non-starchy vegetables support your good health & protect your heart. Plus many of these vegetables have anticancer effects, particularly the cruciferous vegetables.

In fact, if you insist on eating grain fed beef; but you go with leaner cuts & eat the beef with beef with plentiful amounts of green or non-starchy vegetables -- & plentiful onions & garlic, you’re much more likely to stay healthy than you would otherwise.

3. Prepare & cook it in safe ways.

Beef from cattle only fed grass & from well managed farms is a LOT safer to eat rare or medium rare than beef from grain fed cattle.

But it’s safest to go with well-done. Overdone beef though can have the same problems as beef cooked at too high a temperature.

Cooking beef (& many other foods) at high temperatures tends to create compounds that have been shown to cause cancer.

So, cutting or shredding the beef into bite sized chunks or smaller makes is faster to cook & easier to cook at lower temperatures & still get it cooked.

(That also makes it safer to eat & can help compensate for the slight tougher texture of grass fed beef.)

As long as you cook it the right amount of time & go with cooking it longer at lower temperatures, you can roast or pan fry beef; & I understand a method called braising can work. (I’m not an experienced cook.) But the companies that sell grass fed beef can advise you further.

Using a marinade with garlic & other ingredients before the beef is cooked can also help, from what I’ve read, in making the beef taste good & make it more tender once done.

4. Eat other protein foods each week & avoid eating beef too often.

The healthiest people tend to eat fish, seafood, beans, eggs, nonfat or lowfat dairy; & nuts for most of their protein needs.

So, if you eat these foods regularly each week, or eat the ones you aren’t allergic too, and you eat some beef as variety rather than for four or more times a week, you are much more likely to be healthy.

And, that’s even true for grain feed beef.

And, eating beans & lentils for protein is inexpensive enough it can help you to afford grass fed beef when you do eat beef.

Eating wild caught fish like salmon & sardines give you more omega 3 oils in more directly usable form than you get from even grass fed beef.

Nuts & eggs are extremely nutritious & enhance your health.

So if you eat those each week as well as beef, the beef you eat adds to the other nutrition you are getting even when you eat less beef.


So, there are several ways to eat beef safely; & even eating grain fed beef can be much safer if you use the other strategies here.

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Thursday, March 22, 2007

Green tea might treat cancer in combination with….

Welcome to our health & self help blog.

Focus on Your Health:

In it we post health commentary & reviews of books, eBooks, & other things that improve or protect your health or which enable you to live longer, to be more prosperous, & to be more effective.

We do posts on staying healthy; preventing disease; aging more slowly; weight loss; exercise; nutrition; & news in medicine.

Today's post: Thursday, 3-22-2007

Green tea might treat cancer in combination with….

This news item appeared recently.:

“Green tea plus painkiller slows prostate cancer Reuters via Yahoo! News - Mar 14 11:44 AM

A component of green tea combined with a low dose of a COX-2 inhibitor may act in concert to slow the spread of human prostate cancer.

In the journal Clinical Cancer Research, they report that low doses of the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib (sold as Celebrex), given along with a green tea polyphenol slowed the growth of prostate cancer in cell cultures and in a mouse model of the disease.”


This might be good news except taking Celebrex has a risk of making heart disease more likely according to other recent news.

And, green tea extracts have separately been found to kill off or slow cancer cells in similar conditions.

Plus, at least one recent study reported that drinking green tea seemed to not reduce cancer risk much -although it did reduce heart disease risk in that study. The possible explanation is that drinking tea hot may cause cancers of the digestive tract.

There may be a win-win solution to this situation that does work to slow or kill cancer cells. And, it's one that's safe from what I've read on the subject & that you have ready access to now.

Green tea extract is readily available & not very expensive from most health food stores. And, it’s easy to add just enough colder water to green tea to keep it from being too hot. (Milk works but tends to bind to the active ingredients in the tea. So it’s not a good idea to use.)

So, if you take the supplement & drink green tea at a temperature that is low enough it doesn’t cause problems, you might very well get this effect if there was a safe way to get Cox II inhibitors with it.

And, there is such a way.

Curcumin, the active ingredient in the spice turmeric which is plentiful in many curries, & its relative, the spice ginger, are both Cox II inhibitors. In addition, there is evidence that taking curcumin supplements & ginger extract supplements also tend to prevent Alzheimer’s disease & PROTECT your heart.

Would combining green tea extract with one or both of these two supplements work as a treatment for cancer?

Maybe. I suspect it may vary some with the particular cancer & other factors present in the person who has the cancer.

But, I suspect strongly the combination works to help prevent cancer in the first place.

And, the combination has other proven health benefits, so it might well be worth trying.

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Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Eat MORE; protect your heart; AND lose fat too….

Welcome to our health & self help blog.

Focus on Your Health:

In it we post health commentary & reviews of books, eBooks, & other things that improve or protect your health or which enable you to live longer, to be more prosperous, & to be more effective.

We do posts on staying healthy; preventing disease; aging more slowly; weight loss; exercise; nutrition; & news in medicine.

Today's post: Tuesday, 3-20-2007

Eat MORE; protect your heart; AND lose fat too….

A local preventive medicine professional mailed me this study.

I wanted you to see it also.

It’s been known for a while that normal weight (skinny) people who are very sedentary are LESS healthy than people who are somewhat fat or even fatter but who exercise regularly.

That’s very good news since it means that someone who begins to eat right & exercise regularly as lifestyle changes to lose excess fat & keep it off can sharply improve their health in just a few weeks or sooner even though it may take several months to lose all the fat they’d like.

But this new study has even better news.:

The Journal of Preventive Medicine recently published a study of 9800 people over a 17 year time period.

They compared how many calories a day people ate & how much exercise they got & whether or not the people were too fat – AND, their risk of dying from heart disease.

The results startled even me.

The people who exercised the most had a much higher risk of dying from heart disease or heart attacks than the people who exercised least.

That part is not too surprising.

The people who exercised the most also ate more calories than the people who were too fat.

AND the people who exercised the most were less fat than most of the people who exercised least. They also ate considerably MORE calories.

If you have ever wanted to be less fat without eating less, think about that. <<<

The people who exercised the most also had a much lower rate of death from heart disease than the people who exercised least.

And, they even had a lower rate of death from heart disease than the people who were of normal weight who didn’t exercise. And, the exercisers at a lot more calories.

It does help in fat loss to eat a LOT less or NONE of packaged food, snacks, junk food, sugar, refined carbohydrates, baked goods & trans fats.

And, it can also help to eat less butter, cheese, grain fed meat.

But eating some exclusively grass fed meat & some wild caught fish each week; and eating nuts; extra virgin olive oil; & non-starchy vegetables every day are OK.

And, if you’d like to eat MORE of those foods than you are eating now of all foods & still lose fat & protect your health, read this.:

This study suggests that you can eat MORE calories of the foods that are OK to eat than the calories people who are fat & stay fat eat totally– IF you also exercise regularly.

And, you’ll still lose fat; keep it off; & protect your heart.

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Thursday, March 15, 2007

Exercise GROWS key memory cells….

Welcome to our health & self help blog.

Focus on Your Health:

In it we post health commentary & reviews of books, eBooks, & other things that improve or protect your health or which enable you to live longer, to be more prosperous, & to be more effective.

We do posts on staying healthy; preventing disease; aging more slowly; weight loss; exercise; nutrition; & news in medicine.

Today's post: Thursday, 3-15-2007

Exercise GROWS key memory cells….

Did you know that research has been done that found that people who exercise do better on memory tests?

It’s true; & we now know a key reason why. When you exercise, you literally grow new nerve cells in a key memory center in your brain.

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center wondered if there might also be positive changes in the brain from exercising that could explain this at least in part.

Since they had access to an MRI imaging technique developed at Columbia, they did a study to check.

The study released online earlier this month reports that they found neuron growth in the “dentate gyrus” part of the hippocampus.

This is very important for two reasons.

First, as I learned in the book, Brain Longevity, by Dr. Dharma Singh Khalsa, the hippocampus acts as a kind of CPU for encoding & retrieving memories, particularly short term ones. And, if it’s damaged by stress, problems with short term memories occur. It also looks like worse damage begins to prevent long term memory from being accessed.

So growing new neurons in the hippocampus INCREASES your ability to store & access memories.

Second, “dentate gyrus” part of the hippocampus is the part that is found damaged when people get age related mental decline.

So, their research also reveals that exercise directly prevents age related mental decline caused by damage to that area of the brain by literally building back any neurons you damage or that die off for other reasons.

Researchers have long suspected exercise was good for the brain. But this is the first study that details which part of the brain. And, it’s one of the most critical parts.

I don’t know what kind of exercise the people in the study did. And, the researchers themselves plan to see if they can determine which kind works best through further research.

But, it is known that as little as an hour & a half total of walking total each week or 3 short strength training sessions a week provide a full 40 % of the overall health benefits of an ideal program each week that takes at least five times as long to do.

My bet is that this is true for this effect also.

So, if you don’t yet exercise & you’d like to keep your memory or make it better,
start doing even a little exercise & KEEP doing it.

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Why vitamins & supplements are worth taking…

Welcome to our health & self help blog.

Focus on Your Health:

In it we post health commentary & reviews of books, eBooks, & other things that improve or protect your health or which enable you to live longer, to be more prosperous, & to be more effective.

We do posts on staying healthy; preventing disease; aging more slowly; weight loss; exercise; nutrition; & news in medicine.

Today's post: Tuesday, 3-6-2007

Why vitamins & supplements are worth taking…

A recent study was reported in the media that taking antioxidant vitamins failed to show the expected benefits in longevity.

Other writers have covered the possible bias of the authors & the statistical failings of the analysis done.

On the other side of the issue, I’ve read of several different doctors getting excellent results with their patients with antioxidant vitamins, supplements, & therapies.

Here are what I see as the key issues.

1. Vitamins & many other supplements are complex organic molecules. And, in the body, the physical shape of organic molecules often DOES make a difference.

Here’s an analogy: If you made a mirror image of your key to your car or your key to your home, would they still work? Nope. They simply wouldn’t go into the lock. And, if you forced them into the lock, you could have much bigger problems.

Complex organic molecules are right and left handed.

If you take 30 iu of vitamin E as alpha tocopherol & half is the real vitamin E & half has the same chemical formula but is made up of molecules that are the mirror image of the real vitamin E, the best you can hope for is that you get the benefit of the 15 iu of the real vitamin E that you took. It may be that the reverse molecules are somewhat harmful. Though I doubt that’s the case with vitamin E, it may be with other vitamins, amino acids, & supplements.

A study done with synthetic vitamins unadjusted for containing molecules with the mirror image of the actual vitamins will get different results from one with the real vitamins only.

2. In foods, vitamins often exist in related groups & are found with other minerals & micronutrients.

So, I’m totally convinced that the best health benefits are found from eating foods with a known high nutrient content AND from taking vitamins both derived from such foods & with as many of their related group members as a person can afford.

Here again, vitamin E is a good example. The compound sold as vitamin E is alpha tocopherol. But there are a lot more related compounds in the family in foods. Nuts, avocados, wheat germ, & extra virgin olive oil & other foods containing alpha tocopherol also contain beta tocopherol; delta tocopherol; & gamma tocopherol AND tocotrienols which also come in alpha, beta, delta, & gamma versions & are cousins chemically to the tocopherols. (Rice bran oil & unrefined palm oil have the most of those.)

I take a supplement from Solgar that has 200 iu of natural alpha tocopherol AND some beta tocopherol; delta tocopherol; & gamma tocopherol.

(I don’t know what health benefits the beta & delta forms have, although I suspect, my body makes better & more beneficial use of the alpha tocopherol with them present. But gamma tocopherol has been shown to help prevent prostate cancer. As a man with a family history of prostate cancer, I’m particularly glad that’s in the formula.)

Another example is the beta carotene/lung cancer study. It was found that high blood levels of carotenes tended to occur with people who had no cancers or who had longer survival times if they got cancer. So, people with lung cancer were given extra beta carotene & did significantly worse than the people who got a placebo.

Why were the people with high blood levels of carotenes in better shape than the people who took beta carotene? Because they ate more than the people with low blood levels of a variety of vegetables containing the whole family of carotenes AND other cancer fighting phytonutrients. They also probably took a multivitamin with other nutrients along with any beta carotene they took instead of taking just the beta carotene.

And, studies of the health of people who eat a lot of a wide variety of vegetables are uniformly positive, particularly if they include cruciferous vegetables.

3. People are biochemically individual. And, they have different histories of previous food & vitamin & supplement use.

Some people need more of some nutrients. For just three examples, people who are older, people who have gluten & related digestion problems, & people who take drugs for heartburn & reflux need more intake to get any given effect since they simply don’t digest things as well as younger & healthier people.

Similarly, having a person add 1000 mg of vitamin C daily will have very different health effects in a person who has very low blood levels of it due to a poor diet & taking NO vitamins at all and in a person who eats 5 or more servings of vegetables & 4 or more servings of whole fruit or real fruit juice each day and takes 1000 mg a day of vitamin C already & has very high blood levels.

For some people & for some nutrients, their bodies will respond positively; but they need more than most people to get the effect.

To be fair, there are supplement vendors who push higher doses on everyone.

And, there are some vitamins for which too much can be harmful. For most people taking more than 10,000 iu of retinol, the animal form of vitamin A, or more than 200 mg a day of vitamin B6 over too long a period can be harmful. And, it may be that taking 400 iu or more of vitamin E can be harmful; but that’s still controversial.

But if you happen to need 2,000 iu of vitamin D3, the natural form, to get a health benefit--& there is new evidence that may be true of most people today, taking 400 iu may not show any benefit at all in a study you participate in, despite the fact that taking the 2,000 iu of D3 WOULD benefit you.

4. Before considering a study – let alone combining it mathematically with others, it helps to know what kind of population is being studied.

Older smokers with advanced heart disease will have different results from taking supplements than healthy people in their twenties as an example.

So, our position is still the same. The best health benefits are found from eating foods with a known high nutrient content AND from taking vitamins both derived from such foods & with as many of their related group members as a person can afford.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Eat cruciferous vegetables for good health…

Welcome to our health & self help blog.

Focus on Your Health:

In it we post health commentary & reviews of books, eBooks, & other things that improve or protect your health or which enable you to live longer, to be more prosperous, & to be more effective.

We do posts on staying healthy; preventing disease; aging more slowly; weight loss; exercise; nutrition; & news in medicine.

Today's post: Friday, 3-2-2007

Eat cruciferous vegetables for good health…

Cruciferous vegetables are very good at preventing cancers of all kinds.

Their mixed carotenoids are one of the most health enhancing known for many other reasons.

Dr Al Sears makes a very convincing case that eating cruciferous vegetables makes men sexier using the same micronutrients that prevent cancers.

And, the MORE nonstarchy vegetables you eat, the less excess bodyfat you’ll wear --AND the longer you’ll live. Cruciferous vegetables are nonstarchy vegetables.

Eating more nonstarchy vegetables automatically reduces the excess calories you might otherwise eat. You simply are less hungry then for more fattening foods.

Most of you probably know that Broccoli; Cauliflower; Brussels Sprouts; Cabbage—both green & red; & Kale are all cruciferous vegetables.

And, so are all these !!

Arugula; Bok Choy; Collard Greens; Horseradish; Napa Cabbage; Kohlrabi; Radish;
Rutabaga; Turnips; & Wasabi.

Some, like horseradish are extremely pungent. And, there is quite a variety of them.

Kale is one of the most health-enhancing of the cruciferous vegetables--as is broccoli.

However, Kale tends to take up a lot of volume in its fresh form & is one of the harsher tasting cruciferous vegetables.

But you can make a really filling & tasty vegetable dish by sautéing a large amount of Kale that’s been well washed with water & drained in extra virgin olive oil with some minced garlic cloves added.

The volume of the Kale shrinks by an incredible amount. So much so that an awesome amount of the fresh Kale leaves become a reasonable serving size for just one person.

And, the flavor is MUCH milder.

Cauliflower is by far the mildest cruciferous vegetable. You can eat it either raw or cooked. And, if you cook it, you can mash it up as a much lower glycemic index substitute for mashed potatoes – or mix it with mashed potatoes to lower the net glycemic index of the dish.

And, there are many ways to make health OK coleslaws with red or green cabbage or both.

Also, as you can see, there are many ways to make salads that have only different cruciferous vegetables in them.

I’m out of time today. But that will get you started if you haven’t already begun eating cruciferous vegetables.

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