Tuesday, July 31, 2012

7 medicinal herbs and spices that help lower blood pressure

By Aurora Geib

High blood pressure is an epidemic that is currently sweeping across America. The fast lifestyle of fast food, soda and stress is starting to catch up on the average American, so much so that an estimated one in every three Americans has high blood pressure. This puts them at risk of heart disease, stroke and even kidney disease. Moreover, this condition is costing the country 93.5 billion dollars in health care services.

Putting too much faith in the medical establishment to find a cure for your high blood pressure may no longer be advisable in the least. The number of prescription drugs on the market and the cascade of variations suggest that a cure for blood pressure is not in the offing anytime soon.

Despite all the consequences associated with high blood pressure, it is still a condition that is preventable and easily managed. Observing a healthy balanced diet and enjoying an active, healthy lifestyle can help avoid the risk of high blood pressure as well as reduce one that is already elevated. Read more…

Sunday, July 01, 2012

PSA prostate cancer test should be abandoned, warns government task force

By Ethan A. Huff

The verdict is in -- PSA tests for prostate cancer are unreliable, and do not offer men any tangible benefit in lifespan or quality of life. These are the conclusions of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (PSTF), which found that many more men are injured by PSA tests than are helped by it.

PSA, also known as prostate specific antigen, is a biological marker that doctors and healthcare practitioners often use to detect the presence of a potential prostate tumor. Since PSA levels in the blood are known to climb in response to prostate tumors, it is commonly thought that early detection can help in mitigating the cancer.

But there are numerous reasons why PSA blood levels can increase, including prostatitis (inflammation or infection in the prostate gland), benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), and even rigorous physical activity. Many prostate tumors that produce elevated PSA levels in the blood are also benign, and would never even cause any serious health problems. Read more…

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Exercise Eases Obesity and Anger in Kids

(HealthDay News) -- Overweight kids may be able to work out their anger with exercise, a new report finds.

A study of sedentary but otherwise healthy 7- to 11-year-olds found they reduced both their weight and anger issues by taking part in a 10- to 15-week after-school aerobic exercise program. The finding applied to children across lines such as race, gender and socioeconomic status, as well as regardless of how fit or overweight the kids were.

"Exercise had a significant impact on anger expression in children," researcher Catherine Davis, a clinical health psychologist with the Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine, said in a news release issued by the school. "This finding indicates that aerobic exercise may be an effective strategy to help overweight kids reduce anger expression and aggressive behavior."

Previous research had shown that exercise helps cut down on depression and anxiety in children, she said, noting that most people believe that exercise also helps adults manage anger. Read more…

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Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Officials blame 'mystery virus' for widespread deaths of thousands of cattle

by: Ethan A. Huff

Thousands of lambs and cattle across Europe are bearing dead or severely deformed offspring, and the mainstream media and health officials are blaming a "mystery virus" for this inexplicable and worsening phenomenon. The U.K's Telegraph reports that at least 74 farms across southern and eastern England, and many more in Germany and various other places across Europe, are being afflicted by what some are now calling the "Schmallenberg Virus."

Springtime is when many farmers' flocks and herds give birth, which is why cases of Schmallenberg Virus, named for its origination in Schmallenberg, Germany, are emerging at an increasingly rapid pace. The disease does not become apparent until a pregnant animal actually gives birth, upon which its offspring are either dead, or severely deformed with "fused limbs and twisted necks."

According to the Telegraph, nobody knows what the disease truly is or even whether or not it is actually a virus. And yet farms in England, Wales, Scotland, Germany, Holland, France, Italy and Luxembourg have all reported cases of it, with the majority of cases thus-far originating in England, Germany, Holland and France. Read more…

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Cholesterol Measurements May Be Made Easier

(HealthDay News) -- Methods to gauge blood cholesterol to determine vascular disease risk can be simplified, researchers in England say.

Their method measures levels of either total or high-density lipoprotein (HDL, or "good" cholesterol) in the blood or apolipoproteins (proteins that help transport cholesterol), without the need to have patients fast and without regard to another form of blood fat called triglycerides.

"Expert opinion is divided" on which combination of measurements is ideal in gauging cardiovascular risk, explained John Danesh, of the Emerging Risk Factors Collaboration Coordinating Centre at the University of Cambridge, and colleagues.

In order to examine the association between major blood fats and apolipoproteins and coronary heart disease and ischemic stroke, the researchers analyzed data on more than 300,000 people without initial vascular disease who took part in 68 long-term studies. Read more…

Monday, May 14, 2012

Vitamin E from diet shown to protect against many forms of cancer

by: John Phillip

Cancer is a leading cause of death in many western cultures, second only to heart disease. A wide array of research bodies exist to provide solid evidence that this killer disease is largely promoted by poor lifestyle habits, especially diet. Medical researchers have long known that there is a definite connection between cancer and the fat soluble vitamin E. Some studies have concluded a positive relationship between the two, while others vilify vitamin E as a cancer progenitor.

Researchers at the Center for Cancer Prevention Research at Rutgers University have published the result of a study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research that demonstrates that vitamin E from dietary sources has a profound effect on cancer development and progression. The scientists have found that two forms of vitamin E, gamma and delta-tocopherols found in soybean, canola and corn oils as well as nuts do prevent colon, lung, breast and prostate cancers. Read more…

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

How People With Type 2 Diabetes Can Lose Weight, Keep It Off: Study

(HealthDay News) -- An intensive lifestyle change program helped people with type 2 diabetes lose weight and keep it off, a new study shows.

The program also led to improved control of blood glucose levels and reduced risk factors for cardiovascular disease, both of which are critical in preventing long-term complications caused by diabetes.

The study included 5,145 overweight or obese people, average age 58.7, with type 2 diabetes. About half were assigned to a lifestyle intervention that included diet changes and physical activity designed to achieve a 7 percent weight loss in the first year and maintain it in subsequent years.

The other participants were assigned to a diabetes education and support group that held three sessions a year to discuss diet, exercise and social support. Readmore…

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Fosamax May Lead to Bone Fractures

Women taking Fosamax for several years may be prone to femur fractures

Bisphosphonates (Fosamax, Boniva, Actonel, Reclast), along with calcium and vitamin D supplementation, are a common conventional treatment for osteoporosis. These drugs are even used for prevention of osteoporosis in those with osteopenia.
Bone tissue continually goes through a cycle of formation of new bone and breakdown of old bone. Bisphosphonates increase bone mineral density in the short term by reducing bone breakdown, essentially reducing bone loss. However, it is not the same as building natural, healthy bone with exercise. Exercise is essential, and, in particular, exercising the back and legs. Muscle strength is the most accurate way of predicting bone strength and of predicting risk of falls. Strengthening muscles has been shown to be the most effective way to strengthen bone and protect against osteoporosis-related fractures.1 Compared to exercise, medications are relatively ineffective and may cause harm. Readmore…

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