Archive | January, 2008

The low-down on Omega 3

29 Jan

Fad is a part of our human habit I suppose.  We do want to live healthy  and to live as long as possible and capitalists prey on our desire for longevity and keep packaging stuff for us to eat or drink with the promise of living longer, healthier lives. The truth is a lot of the things they package can be found in ordinary foods. What we need to do is to eat a balanced diet.

Take Omega 3 for example, ever since research showed that this substance is good for health, we now find it in milk, egg, candies, cereals, cheese, breads and everything and these products put an extra dent in our pocket books. We do not have to eat foods in this discrete manner. The best way to eat anything is to eat it in its natural state because it is not the only nutrient that will be found in the product. When we eat products in their natural state instead of taking them out and feeding them to us separately, we lose some of the benefits that the other nutrients provide that probably make the

You want more omega 3 don’t pay extra for eggs and milk, just buy flax seed and add to your foods, drink and milk. It will cost less and may be better for you. Other foods you can choose from include, tofu, sardines, trout, walnuts, tuna, salmon etc.  Include these in your diet and perhaps take a multivitamin tablet.

You will he healthier and you will save money as well. Forget about these high-priced alternatives that will tell you their products are pure and unpolluted and scare you about mercury in your fish.  These people have a vested interest in selling you their products. They are out to make money on your fears. Stick to a balanced diet.

New Year New Resolution

29 Jan

Most of the resolutions people make has to do with weight. Let’s face it we are a weight obsessed society yet we continue to eat more.

There will be many who will try to give you quick fixes to lose weight, strange diets will be scared up and pushed at you promising it will make you get thin in four weeks or sometimes even one week.

People, these are all gimmicks. There are no shortcuts to losing weight permanent. If you want to be on the treadmill of diet or the yo-yo-diet go ahead and participate in fad diets and harm yourself.

Losing weight is a slow, steady tried and true method. I repeat there are no shortcuts that will go the distance for you.

The equations is simple.  Number of calories taken in – number of calories burned equals to fat gain or loss. In other words if you eat 1000 calories a day and only burn 800 calories in that day, you will store 200 calories – repeat this over a week or a month and you do the maths. That’s fat accumulation. On the other hand if you eat 1000 calories in a day and burn 1200 calories you will lose weight.

This advice has been repeated in several prominent nutrition magazines, eat your normal food, trim fats, reduce processed foods ( salt is a big culprit in our diets. Some say it is worse than fats and I believe that.) eat fruits and vegetables everyday and above all WATCH PORTION SIZES – this is the crux of the matter. Don’t waste money in commercial gyms, use the gym the Creator gave us, the great big world – walk – walk to work, walk during your lunch hour, play with your children or grandchildren – you are not too old to play ball, walk up the stairs, shovel the snow, wash dishes instead of packing the dishwasher – get a pedometer and tuck it in your waist.  Every little bit helps, believe me, I have done it and have lost more than 30 pounds. My friends all ask me what diet you’re on and they don’t believe me when I say I’m on no diet, just walking, eating smaller portions and try to do as much manually as possible.

If I go into our office kitchen and making a cup of coffee, while waiting for the kettle to boil, I do some push ups against the counter or stretch, run on the spot. I call it nickel and dime exercise. It works for me and it can work for you and it cost nothing.  Try this and share your results with other.

Dannon faces class action lawsuit

28 Jan

Have you been tempted to buy Dannon Activia Probotics yogurts that claim to correct your digestive system after two weeks of consistent use?  I have. I like the taste of Dannon yogurt and the suggestion that in the process it will help me shed a few pounds.

Probiotics are defined as live microorganisms that, in sufficient amounts, confer a health benefit on the host. The idea behind probiotics is to increase the amount of beneficial bacteria in people’s intestinal tracts as a way to aid digestion, boost the body’s natural defenses and fight off harmful bacteria that can cause health problems.

    The yogurt includes a form of Bifidobacteria that survives passage through the digestive tract, arriving in the colon as a living culture. The company claims that “once there, it plays a beneficial role in your intestinal ecosystem.’’

 

   Well it turns out that quite a few people were lured to buy this expensive product and many did not find that it delivered what it promised.  The result is that a class action suit has been launched against the company.

 

  According to New York Times article Dannon’s “deceptive advertising has enabled Dannon to sell hundreds of millions of dollars worth of ordinary yogurt at inflated prices to responsible, health-conscious consumers,” said Los Angeles attorney Timothy G. Blood, of the firm Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins.

 

In response, Dannon issued a statement saying it “stands by the claims of its products and the clinical studies which support them.’’

 

  Dannon’s Activia marketing strategy has made millions of dollar in profits for the company and while probiotics products are good for health, have these products delivered the amount of probiotics that can make a difference or was it false advertising to make more profits off an inferior product.

  If this lawsuit bring down the price of Dannon yogurt that would be great because regardless of its claim one cannot deny that it is among the best tasting yogurt on the shelves.

Healthybytes

27 Jan

PARASITE IN CATS MAY INCREASE RISK IN SCHIZOPHRENIA

Researchers found that a parasite carried in cats and farm animals may increase a person’s risk of schizophrenia.  The study, conducted by the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research and John Hopkins Children’s Centre was published in January’s issue of The American Journal of Psychiatry.  The study found that 7 of the 180 schizophrenia patients in the study had been infected with toxoplasma before their diagnosis compared with 5 per cent of 532 people without schizophrenia.“Our findings reveal the strongest association we’ve seen yet between infection with this very common parasite and the subsequent development of schizophrenia,” researcher Dr. Robert Yolken, a neurovirologist at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, said in a prepared statement.Most toxoplasma infections occur early in life through exposure to cat feces or undercooked beef or pork. Infections rarely cause symptoms, but the parasite remains in the body and can become active after being dormant for many years, according to background information in a news release about the study. 

OBESITY EPIDEMIC  EXTENDS TO PETS AS WELL

The Obesity problem in North America is not only limited to people but it has extended to their best friends as well – their dogs and cats.  I think people who are obese produce obese pets for the same reason. They feed their animals with junk foods and don’t exercise them enough. They sit on their couch and watch TV together. If they do not exercise then the dogs don’t get their exercises as well. And what’s even worse it has created a rich opportunity for our predatory pharmaceutical groups a to peddle drugs to make dogs get thin.  You know what will happen? You will be forever taking your animals to the vets to treat side effects of these drugs.  Might as well you put your poor animal to sleep rather than make them a ward of hospital. That’s unkind. To prevent fat related illnesses in your animals feed and exercise them properly.

Concerns raised over the Natural Product  KAVA

If you are one of those people who uses Kava, an extract of a species of pepper plant (Piper methysticum),  in place of  antianxiety medications. Though some clinical trials have found that it works, possibly by a mechanism similar to that of benzodiazepines, there are concerns here and abroad about its safety.The Food and Drug Administration is investigating reports that it may cause serious liver toxicity, including cirrhosis and liver failure. About 25 people in Germany and Switzerland developed liver toxicity after using products containing kava. Buyer beware, you should be aware of the concerns raised by this drug and use with caution.

Watch out for tuna sushi

25 Jan

sushii.jpgA new study found that high mercury levels are found in tuna fish served in several restaurants in the Manhattan area.   The levels are high enough for the Food and Drug Administration to take action.  However, buyer beware.  You can have too much of a good thing.

“No one should eat a meal of tuna with mercury levels like those found in the restaurant samples more than about once every three weeks,” said Dr. Michael Gochfeld, professor of environmental and occupational medicine at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, N.J.

Employers discriminate against fat people

25 Jan

Did you know that fat are hired less often, paid less wages and are more accident prone than others.  An employer can fire you just because you are fat in the United States and there is not much you can do as being “fat” is not a protected characteristics under the  human rights code.
According to a study at Duke University study, “obese workers filed twice the number of workers’ compensation claims, had seven times higher medical costs from those claims and lost 13 times more days of work from work injury or work illness than did nonobese workers.

It is discrimination to treat fat people in this manner but it is not against the law it appears.

Europeans approved cloned meat and milk

14 Jan

 Preliminary report from the European Food Safety Council came out on the side of cloned food (meat and milk products) being good to eat.  The report used the word “seems” good to eat and fit to sell within the European Union.  Consumers have to beware of these fuzzy words by the time a definitive statement comes out years later, it might come a little too late for some.  Why do we need to clone animals anyway?  Why don’t start looking at alternative sources of protein for food.  Tampering with nature in this way always has its deadly side effects and sometimes this show up later and in the next generation.   Do we ever wonder why there are so many genetic problems with ensuing generations?  After taking into consideration that the climate is better these days for gays and lesbians and transgenders to come out of the closet, I still believe that there is a growing number of people with these genetic problems and it is because of the environmental factor, the hormones we eat and feed our infants and unborn children are part of the problem of today’s children and then we have the temerity to blame and discriminate against these children that we produce.   Although the report is giving the green light on these genetically produced foods, they are also saying that the genetically produced animals have more diseases and are generally weaker than naturally produced animals.
Helen Holder of Friends of the Earth International, an environmental group, said from Brussels that Friday’s decision was “weak and unsatisfactory.” She continued: “They clearly acknowledge that these animals have more diseases and that there is only limited data about the environmental impact. And then they go on to conclude that meat and products from cloned animal products are O.K. for Europeans to eat. It makes no sense.”

Consumers beware!

Help on the way for Fibromyalgia patients

14 Jan

I know quite a few people who say they experience severe pain in various parts of their bodies; the pain usually debilitating and unbearable. The condition has been diagnosed as fibromyalgia.  Fribromyalgia apparently affects mostly middle-aged women and medically it is described as chronic widespread pain of unknown origin like the other prevalent “women’s condition” called irritable bowel syndrome. Until the recent approval of a drug called Lyrica to treat this condition, there was no help for these people except strong painkillers which offered temporary or no relief. Some people had to quit their jobs because of this disabling condition and some sink into depression as well.  There are some disagreements between the professionals about whether this disease is real or psychosomatic.  Some doctors argue the disease does not exist and that Lyrica and the other drugs will be taken by millions of people who do not need them

  Recently as you may have seen on your television screen Pfzer has been advertising the FDA approved drug Lyrica for fibromyalgia.  Patient advocacy group are happy about this development and see it as a catalyst that would bring the case for fibromyalgia into the mainstream just as prozac brought depression into the mainstream.

   Whether fibromyalgia patients are pscychologically ill or physically ill, for the sufferers of this ailment, the pain is real and I suppose any help is better than no help.  However, I am dismayed that another drug is on the market that will make millions of dollars from women who are the main target of this new drug and there are side effects to this drug such as weight gain, edema etc.  Maybe there needs to be some other natural sources of help for these women.  How many side effects can be treated in one person. It becomes very confusing and disheartening. These medicines take a healthy patient and sometimes turn them into cripples because of side effects.

New Hope in AIDS Research

11 Jan

Scientists studying the AIDS virus are excited by the new finding with respect to screening for the virus that may impact the overall strategy to combat this deadly virus.

Using a new type of genetic screen, researchers at Harvard Medical School have identified 273 proteins that the AIDS virus needs to survive in human cells, opening up new potential targets for drugs.

The advantage of targeting human proteins is that the virus would presumably not be able to mutate to avoid drugs that block them, Dr. Elledge said. Right now, virus strains rsistance to antiretroviral drugs, which attack the 15 proteins made by the virus itself, like reverse transcriptase and protease. The mutations force AIDS patients to switch drug regimens — not always successfully.

The disadvantage is that blocking human proteins can, obviously, be fatal to humans. But, as Dr. Gallo pointed out, cancer therapy works that way — doctors try to block proteins that feed fast-growing tumor cells without killing too many other fast-growing cells, like those in the bone marrow.

There are always pros and cons to anything but for the AID’s sufferer, any sign of hope is better than none at all. Hopefully in the not too distant future, there will be conclusive results of these tests and this disease will be combated.

Food Allergies and Corporate Conspiracy

11 Jan
robynobrien.jpg

One mother’s determination to expose the food industries’ conspiracy that’s making our children sick and more allergic than they need to be.   Robyn Obrien, the mother who took matters into her own had concluded that it was the additives in foods her children ate that were making them sick and filled with allergies.  Though there are no research to back it up, I strongly believe that sometimes we have to go with our gut feelings. We cannot afford to wait for research the findings which may come a little too late.

 s. O’Brien encourages people to do what she did: throw out as much nonorganic processed food as you can afford to. Avoid anything genetically modified, artificially created or raised with hormones. Don’t eat food with ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Once she cleaned out her cupboards, she said, her four children started behaving better. Their health problems, which her doctor attributed to allergies to milk and other foods, cleared up.

 

I applaud this mother because I totally agree with her. Our children are becoming sicker and more allergic because of the trash they eat for food.

 

There is need to return to good wholesome food. When my children were little, the only breakfast they knew was cooked oatmeal, orange juice and sometime a boiled egg.  Weekends I may make them pancakes or take them to the pancake breakfast  once in a while. They ate none of the ready made cereals.  It takes 5 minutes to boil oatmeal and it is so much cheaper and healthier.

 

If you care about your children’s health and their future you would spend a little more time in preparing their meals. Children eat what you give them, what they are accustomed to.  My children never frowned on their oatmeal porridge.

 

During one of my parent teacher meeting a teacher asked me what I fed my children and why are they so calm and focused and I told her what they ate and she thought that had something to do with their behaviour.

Protect your children’s health.

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