PDPics / Pixabay

Prediabetes Ups Cancer Risk By 15%

Cancer is a terrible, life altering, vicious disease, one you’d like to avoid if you can. Now there’s a new meta-analysis including 16 research studies (with nearly 900,000 subjects) that finds prediabetes may up the risk of being diagnosed with cancer by a startling 15%. Prior to this study the link between cancer risk and prediabetes was controversial; to address this the team conducted a rigorous meta analysis using studies from Asia, the US, Europe and even Africa.

The current work appears in Diabetologia and finds that no matter which definition of prediabetes used, – impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glucose or a combination of the two – there was no difference in terms of cancer risk. Even after adjusting for BMI, having prediabetes was still associated with a higher risk of cancer.

Prediabetes is a condition, most often without symptoms, where your blood sugar level is higher than normal but not considered high enough to fall into the diabetic range. Without intervention this will most likely become type 2 diabetes in under ten years. What’s more, long-term damage to your heart and circulatory system that comes as the result of diabetes may have already begun.

What puts you at risk for prediabetes?

-Being overweight.

-Being inactive.

-Getting older, especially after 45.

-Having had gestational diabetes when pregnant.

-Having a baby over 9 pounds.

-Having polycystic ovary syndrome.

-A family (parent or sibling) history.

-Being of African American, Hispanic, American Indian, Asian American or Pacific Islander descent.

-Not getting enough sleep (under 6 hours) or too much (over 9 hours) sleep on a regular basis.

Continues below…


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Prediabetes Ups Cancer Risk By 15% Continued…

In the current meta analysis, prediabetes was significantly linked with higher risks of cancer of the stomach or colorectum, liver, pancreas, breast and endometrium. The condition is not linked to cancers of the prostate, ovary, kidney or bladder. One reason for the link between prediabetes and some cancers may be the result of chronic hyperglycemia and related conditions that might act as carcinogens. Another theory is that the higher insulin resistance of prediabetes may lead to increased secretion of insulin and this can let cancer cells grow and divide.

Also of interest is the finding of the meta analysis on the medication Metformin, the most widely described treatment for type 2 diabetes, may also have some protective anticancer properties. This drug helps to achieve almost a 30% reduction in the lifetime cancer risk for diabetes patients. No one knows if this would also be true for prediabetes until more long-term larger studies of high-risk subjects are conducted.

Considering the prevalence of prediabetes, the study findings suggest that doctors and others start working with the prediabetic population… helping them eat better (more fruits and veggies, high fiber, whole grains), exercise more, and keep an eye on their weight. The positive in a prediabetes diagnosis is that it can be the wake up call a patient needs to turn things around and take real, lasting steps to improve health. Prediabetes does not have to turn into type 2 diabetes; you can turn things around. But you must act now.

To your good health,

Bellezza87 / Pixabay

More Positive Research On Caffeine And Alzheimer’s

Finally, caffeine gets some good press. A team of French and German scientists have found that caffeine has a positive effect on tau deposits, a well known sign of Alzheimer’s disease in the brain, publishing their work just recently in the journal Neurobiology of Aging. It appears that giving regular doses of caffeine to mice bred to have tau proteins in their brains held off memory decline when compared to control mice. Such findings may well pave the way for a new class of medications to treat (or perhaps prevent) Alzheimer’s disease.

The two universally recognized physical signs of Alzheimer’s disease are deposits of tau protein (clogging the inside of brain cells) and plaques of amyloid protein (between brain cells). It’s hard to see these things in a living brain, which is why mice are used as research subjects in this area.

Science knows that Alzheimer’s causes terrible problems with the metabolism in the cells of the brain; they end up not working, losing connections with each other and over time dying off. This gradual deterioration is what causes the memory failure, trouble doing daily tasks, changes in personality and other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that’s a fact of life for an estimated 5 million Americans, with numbers expected to rise dramatically in the coming decades, as the population ages.

For the most recent study, the team looked at the effect of persistent, regular intake of caffeine on mice who had been bred to have tau deposits… similar to what might been seen in human subjects. The mice were given caffeine in their water, and a control group was not given the substance in their drinking water. Turns out the tau mice who were chronic caffeine drinkers didn’t develop the spatial memory impairments that researchers saw in the control group of mice.

Continues below…


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More Positive Research On Caffeine And Alzheimer’s Continued…

What’s more, the chemistry of the tau proteins in the hippocampus (involved in rodent memory) was distinctly different in the mice drinking caffeine. Caffeine also appears to reduce other pro inflammatory and oxidative stress markers in the hippocampus of the brain. These findings add weight to the idea that caffeine intake is helpful in mice that develop the tau deposits like those in humans. Watch for future medications to come from these most intriguing findings.

Earlier work on Alzheimer’s has shown regular, moderate caffeine intake prevents declining memory in older adults and cuts the risk of being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Some researchers have gone one step further and shown how intake of caffeine slows memory decline in mice that have been bred to develop the Alzheimer’s hallmark amyloid plaques. It wasn’t until this latest study on tau deposits that mice bred for the other hallmark physical symptom of disease showed a positive response to caffeine.

The risks of Alzheimer’s increase with age, family history, some genetic factors, a history of head trauma, hypertension at midlife, being diabetic or obese or having high cholesterol. We also know that a healthy, balanced diet and other lifestyle changes may impact that risk. Drinking coffee, or another caffeinated drink, over a lifetime appears to be beneficial, particularly to older adults or in the period before disease symptoms appear – a simple prevention strategy you might want to consider.

totoley99 / Pixabay

Lower Heart Disease As A Vegetarian

Today heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women… but here’s something you can do to tip the odds in your favor. A new UK study appearing in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds that those who follow a vegetarian diet are one third less likely to be hospitalized (or die) due to heart disease than those who eat meat and fish.

Earlier work in this area has suggested that those who don’t eat meat have fewer problems with their heart, but it still wasn’t clear if there were other factors (exercise, smoking habits) that might also be involved. Today the picture is clearer.

According to Francesca Crowe of the University of Oxford, who led the new research, there is something in the vegetarian diet that’s causing the lower risk of heart disease. She and her team tracked about 45,000 subjects living in England and Scotland who gave initial reports about what they ate, their lifestyle and general health during the 1990s. When the study began, almost a third said they were vegetarians who did not eat any meat or fish.

Over the study period, 11 to 12 years, 1,066 of the subjects were put in the hospital for heart disease, including having a heart attack, and 169 died from these events. After accounting for age, exercise and other health measures, the team saw that vegetarians were 32% less likely to have heart disease than meat eaters. When weight was made part of the equation, the effect dropped to just 28%.

Experts think that reduced heart disease risk was because of the lower cholesterol numbers and blood pressure readings among the vegetarians taking part in the research. Meat eating subjects had a total cholesterol of 222 mg/dL on average, and a systolic (top number) blood pressure of 134 mm Hg. This compared to 203 mg/dL total cholesterol and 131 mm Hg systolic blood pressure for the vegetarian subjects. The diastolic (bottom) number was similar for both groups.

Continues below…


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Lower Heart Disease As A Vegetarian Continued…

Crowe believes that the difference in total cholesterol numbers between the meat eaters and vegetarian subjects was about half of what you might see if you were to take a prescription statin drug. The drop in numbers is likely due to the lack of red meat, especially those choices that are high in saturated fat. Plus all those fruits and veggies are a natural source of fiber and other beneficial nutrients, and these could also play a role.

So, if you’re looking to reduce your risk of dangerous heart disease, one way might be to adopt a vegetarian diet. This is not a decision to enter into lightly. Talk with your doctor and to those who eat this way now. Be sure to plan carefully and eat a wide variety of foods to meet your body’s nutritional needs.

If you’re not quite ready to go full vegetarian, making a sincere effort to cut back on saturated fat will also make a difference – so limit butter, ice cream cheeses and meats, and you’ll be making a good start to lowering the amount of bad fats you’re taking in.

To your good health,

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Top 12 Concentration Killers, Part 2

Distractions are all too common in our modern world… and are very good at diverting our attention from the task at hand. In part 1 of our series on concentration killers we discussed some of the focus busting things you might suspect… social media, technology, ADHD and lack of sleep, along with tips on how to regain control. In this next section we’ll cover some of the lesser-known concentration killers, and just as before, give you some smart ways to cope.

One of the most surprising is an action intended to be efficient, multitasking. When you multitask, you believe that you’re getting more things done in a shorter time period, but the experts tell us the opposite is actually true. Research finds you lose time when you shift your attention from one task to another, and you end up doing more things in a longer time – longer than it would have been if you did one project at a time.

The fix is, when you can, put your full attention to one thing at a time, especially if you’re working on something that’s high priority, urgent or demanding. Save the multitasking, if you do it at all, for the routine stuff like cleaning up your work area while on the phone.

Bored? Turns out that tasks that don’t hold your attention make you especially vulnerable to being distracted… all the distractions we’ve mentioned in part one of this article are that much more of a draw. To fight back, make an agreement with yourself that if you stay on task to a set point (or time) you’ll get a 10-minute break. Boring things are easier to get through if you have something to look forward to.

Hunger is something you may not suspect as trouble when it comes to paying attention, but it is a major concentration killer. The brain can’t work without fuel, so if you routinely skip meals (breakfast) you set yourself up for having problems concentrating later on. Both short-term memory and attention suffer when you don’t eat breakfast in the morning according to research.

So what you do is always eat breakfast, go for high protein snacks, stay away from the simple carbs and choose whole grains instead. This is the fuel that keeps hunger away longest and gives your brain a steady stream of energy.

Nagging thoughts are notoriously hard to put aside… the worry over unfinished errands, a recent conversation, a life decision can all sap your concentration faster than anything. Your best bet here is to write down what you’re thinking. Make a list, write out pros and cons, vent – once the thoughts are on paper they are much easier to view objectively and set aside for a bit.

Continues below…


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Top 12 Concentration Killers, Part 2 Continued…

Another little discussed concentration killer is stress. When you feel you have too much responsibility you can have trouble focusing on tasks at work or at home. Stress takes a physical toll as well, leaving you with tight shoulders, a headache or racing heart… all this distracts you from your task.

To help yourself, stress reduction techniques – meditation, laughter, exercise – are what you need to make time for in your life. Meditation is particularly helpful in terms of curtailing stressful thoughts so they don’t take so much of your attention. Research backs this with one study showing that those who took an eight-week meditation course improved their ability to focus.

Depression is an unexpected problem in terms of concentration. The National Institute of Mental Health identifies trouble concentrating (rather than sadness) as one of the most common symptoms of depression. So if you’re having trouble focusing and you also feel hopeless, empty or indifferent for longer than a two week time period, you may well be experiencing symptoms of depression.

If this seems like you, talk with your doctor, as your condition is very treatable, not just with medication but also drug free talk therapy.

Lastly, there are times when prescription medications can cause trouble with concentration. If you find you’re having trouble staying focused, talk to your doctor (or pharmacist) to see if a drug you’re taking is affecting your ability to concentrate. If this turns out to be the case, don’t think you have no choice but to suffer, or no other medication options. An adjustment in dose can sometimes be enough, as can switching to a different class of drugs. Never stop a medication unless you have discussed this with your doctor beforehand.

To your good health,

geralt / Pixabay

Top 12 Concentration Killers, Part 1

Whether you have issues with attention or not, today’s world is full of distractions that are incredibly powerful. They are able to divert us from our purpose and scatter our resources. Fortunately, there are things you can do to handle the many unavoidable distractions, and they’re very simple steps to take.

Let’s start with some of the more obvious ones…

Social media is a fantastically easy way to stay connected with friends, and also break your connection on work or an important conversation, sometimes as often as several times an hour. Each update diverts your train of thought from your task so that you have to backtrack a bit when you take up your work task again. Not all that efficient to be sure.

The fix is the obvious one, don’t log into those sites wile you’re at work or doing something that calls for focus. If you must check in, do it at lunch or when you’re on break. For particularly bad social media habits you might need to purposely stay out of areas with internet access, so that you can’t check, even if you’re tempted.

Too many emails appearing in your inbox is often an unexpected drain on your concentration. Somehow the arrival of a new message in the inbox has a sense of urgency attached, for many people that incoming message must be checked right away and dealt with. This kind of disruption to your current task keeps you from making the progress you should for the time spent on the job.

Instead, set aside specific times of day to check your email, and for the rest of the day, shut down (or shut off the alert sound of) your email program. Now you have a block of time where you work, without being interrupted, or tempted to check something and reply.

Last but not least in terms of distraction is the tech you can’t live without, your cell phone. The ringtone commands attention like no other device can. Taking those calls costs us time in conversation; or short circuits your momentum in working the task at hand. It may also rouse tensions or stressors that keep you from focusing when you do return to work.

Take back your control by muting the ringer (all alert sounds) on your phone, and rely on the caller ID. If the call is anything other than a drop everything emergency, let it go to voicemail and return it when you are able – at lunch or when on a break. Listening to all your voicemails at one time is also more efficient than stopping what you’re doing and taking each call as it comes in.

Continues below…


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Top 12 Concentration Killers, Part 1 Continued…

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is not a problem for children since more than half of kids who have continue to have symptoms as they grow into adulthood. Trouble focusing and a short attention span are hallmark symptoms of the disorder in both kids and adults.

If staying focused is a struggle for you and this is a lifelong pattern, talk with a doctor or counselor and ask to be evaluated for ADHD. There are things you can do now, even as an adult that can help you function, and focus, better. To focus and realize your full potential.

Of course if you’re feeling tired, it’s hard to concentrate on anything, even in the best of circumstances. Research tells us that not enough sleep can affect both your attention span and short-term memory. The fix for this one is to get from 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night. Being well rested helps you get more done during the day. Also of value is to watch and see when you feel most energetic during the day, and schedule your more demanding tasks for those times.

Next up… some surprising concentration zappers that you’d never expect.

To your good health,

Bellezza87 / Pixabay

Drinking Coffee May Act As Antidepressant

Coffee may be very much more than a companion to the start the day. Drinking two to four cups of coffee each day appears to cut the risk of suicide in adults by an impressive 50% says a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) that appears online in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry. And unlike earlier work, this team was truly able to assess the association of intake of both caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks – finding that caffeine is most likely involved in the protective effect of coffee.

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, but also may act as a mild antidepressant by upping the production of some important neurotransmitters in the brain. These include serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, all known to be involved with mood. Coffee’s caffeine might be the reason for the reduced risk of depression in coffee drinkers that has been found in past studies.

Depression and suicide are a dangerous combination that can have tragic results. According to Centers for Disease Control number from 2010, just over 36,000 people in the U.S. kill themselves each year. And though we might focus on teens, those of other ages are also at risk, men more than women.

To conduct the latest research, the team reviewed information from three very large U.S. studies – 43,599 men from the Health Professional Follow-up Study, 73,820 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 91,005 women from the Nurses’ Health Study II. Caffeine and decaf coffee intake was assessed every four years with a questionnaire. Caffeine consumption from coffee and non-coffee drinks like tea, caffeinated soft drinks and chocolate was also calculated. During the 16-year study period there were 277 deaths due to suicide.

The risk of committing suicide for adults who drank from two to four cups of caffeinated coffee a day was about half that of people who drank decaf or very little or no coffee at all. Even with the findings, no one is calling for depressed adults to up their caffeine intake, because most people adjust their caffeine intake to an optimal amount for them. Adding more would make unpleasant side effects more likely.

Continues below…


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Drinking Coffee May Act As Antidepressant Continued…

Coffee may be very much more than a companion to the start the day. Drinking two to four cups of coffee each day appears to cut the risk of suicide in adults by an impressive 50% says a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) that appears online in The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry. And unlike earlier work, this team was truly able to assess the association of intake of both caffeinated and non-caffeinated drinks – finding that caffeine is most likely involved in the protective effect of coffee.

Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, but also may act as a mild antidepressant by upping the production of some important neurotransmitters in the brain. These include serotonin, dopamine and noradrenaline, all known to be involved with mood. Coffee’s caffeine might be the reason for the reduced risk of depression in coffee drinkers that has been found in past studies.

Depression and suicide are a dangerous combination that can have tragic results. According to Centers for Disease Control number from 2010, just over 36,000 people in the U.S. kill themselves each year. And though we might focus on teens, those of other ages are also at risk, men more than women.

To conduct the latest research, the team reviewed information from three very large U.S. studies – 43,599 men from the Health Professional Follow-up Study, 73,820 women from the Nurses’ Health Study and 91,005 women from the Nurses’ Health Study II. Caffeine and decaf coffee intake was assessed every four years with a questionnaire. Caffeine consumption from coffee and non-coffee drinks like tea, caffeinated soft drinks and chocolate was also calculated. During the 16-year study period there were 277 deaths due to suicide.

The risk of committing suicide for adults who drank from two to four cups of caffeinated coffee a day was about half that of people who drank decaf or very little or no coffee at all. Even with the findings, no one is calling for depressed adults to up their caffeine intake, because most people adjust their caffeine intake to an optimal amount for them. Adding more would make unpleasant side effects more likely.

The current work does not establish cause and effect. Also they didn’t see any difference in risk between coffee drinkers who drank two to three cups and those who had four (or more) cups of coffee each day. This may be due to the small number of subjects who committed suicide.

In an earlier coffee and depression study that appears in JAMA Internal Medicine there was a maximal effect for subjects who drank four (or more) cups of coffee a day.

But If you drink too much, it might have the opposite effect.

There’s also a Finnish study that found a higher risk of suicide among people who drank eight or nine cups of coffee a day. There were very few participants in the U.S. studies who drank such a large amount. Thus the work didn’t look at any consumption over six cups of coffee per day.

If you, or someone you love, is talking about ending their life, please
pay attention. Help is out there, waiting. Please know that suicide is
never your only option.

To your good health,

cascalheira / Pixabay

Which Food To Choose For Best Digestion

Our bodies are made to be able to digest pretty much anything we put in our mouths, but with all the chemicals in modern packaged food, the impact of preparation methods and the sedentary lifestyles of most p0eople – you can see why digestive troubles are not all that uncommon. Here’s a handy guide to what’s good and what’s not when it comes to keeping your digestive system going strong.

Here are 6 foods that are good for digestion…

Yogurt naturally has some types of good bacteria if it says “life and active cultures” on the label. These organisms replenish the normal flora in the digestive tract so it stays healthy and strong.

Kimchi is a Korean dish that is made with cabbage, radishes or onions and lots of spices (so it might not be right for every digestive system). Cabbage promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon, and since it has a type of fiber that’s not digested, it helps eliminate waste so you stay regular.

Lean meats like chicken and fish go down a lot easier than red meats, that tend to be fatter. Your body handles lean meat and fish better, and these foods haven’t been linked to a nincreased risk of colon cancer like the higher fat red meats have been.

Whole grains such as whole wheat bread, oats and brown rice are a great, natural source of fiber that helps digestion, except for those with Celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Most of us only get about 12 grams of fiber a day, when we should be getting 20 to 30 grams a day. If you’re adding fiber to your diet, take your intake up slowly, as too much too soon can cause bloating, gas and other troubles.

Bananas are a delicious, healthy little package that tastes great and helps bring back normal bowel function if you’re dealing with diarrhea. They are also bland enough to be good on an unsettled stomach, restoring electrolytes and potassium that can be lost because of runny stool. There’s also plenty of fiber to help digestion.

Ginger is a flavorful spice that’s been used for thousands of years as a way to ease nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, morning sickness, gas, loss of appetite and even colic. Consume this one in moderation, more than 2 to 4 grams per day can bring on heartburn.

Continues below…


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Which Food To Choose For Best Digestion Continued…

And here are 8 foods on the bad for your belly list…

High fat fried food can overwhelm the stomach and bring the discomfort of acid reflux or heartburn. The body can only handle so much, and these foods often are too much. High fat food can also bring pale colored stool. Those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome need to avoid foods high in fat, things like butter and cream, as they can bring digestive troubles.

Chili peppers can really irritate the esophagus and also cause painful heartburn. This is a big problem for those with chronic heartburn or Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

Dairy supplies much needed calcium, but for the lactose intolerant it brings cramps, diarrhea, gas and abdominal bloating. A common problem, lactose intolerance happens when people don’t make the right amount of lactase, the enzyme that naturally breaks down lactose in dairy products. Damage to the intestines from Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease or chemotherapy can also lead to lactose intolerance.

Alcohol is a great way to celebrate or relax, but it also relaxes the esophageal sphincter and this can bring on uncomfortable acid reflux or heartburn. Drinking can also inflame the lining of the stomach, impairing enzymes and preventing nutrients from being absorbed by the body. Too much alcohol can cause a number of unpleasant digestive symptoms, but moderate consumption is typically no problem.

Berries are so good for your body, so tasty; but the tiny seeds can be trouble for those who have a digestive condition known as diverticulitis that features pockets in the intestines that get inflamed or infected. Seeds are thought to obstruct these pockets and up the chances of infection. It’s never been proven in research, but the theory still holds. Seeds of sunflowers or pumpkin may also irritate your intestines.

Chocolate is decadent and delicious; but a 2005 study finds that chocolate might be trouble for those with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or who have chronic constipation. It probably isn’t the chocolate, but the milk that’s in many chocolate treats that causes the problems. Chocolate also naturally has caffeine, and this can bring on cramps, bloating and diarrhea.

Coffee, tea and carbonated beverages are popular and refreshing, but they also over relax the esophageal sphincter that’s supposed to keep stomach acid in the stomach. These drinks can also act as diuretics that can bring on diarrhea and cramping. Drinks with caffeine can be particularly troublesome for those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (known as GERD for short).

Corn is loaded with fiber and good taste, but it’s also naturally full of cellulose, a type of fiber people can’t break down easily because we don’t have the necessary enzyme. Chewing corn for longer helps, wolfing it down may lead to painful gas and pain in your stomach.

To your good health,

bykst / Pixabay

How Drinking More Water Helps You Lose Weight

Water is truly a miracle beverage. Not only does is quench our thirst, but it is a significant part (60%) of our body makeup and can play a rather important role in weight loss. While the body can go without food for some time, water is essential to life and we cannot survive without it. Cells, the temperature of the body, the lubrication of joints and the internal transport system rely on water to work properly. There’s also evidence that even mild dehydration may be a factor in some deaths, and that treating it might prevent some serious chronic conditions.

Yet many people just don’t drink enough water during the day to stay properly hydrated, or support their weight loss efforts. To help out, here are some facts about water and weight.

Water and feelings of fullness – studies have found that people who drank two cups of water before a meal lost more weight (5 pounds more over 12 weeks, in fact) than those who didn’t drink water but otherwise followed the same diet. This is called water pre-loading and it does seem to play a part in satiety. The two glasses pre meal help you feel less hungry and therefore you eat fewer calories at that meal.

You can try this for yourself, and see how full you feel. You will want to be careful to avoid too much of a good thing – water intoxication can be fatal. Signs (often unrecognized) include confusion, disorientation, nausea and vomiting, changes in mental state, even psychotic symptoms. Early detection of this state is crucial to prevent the onset of seizures, coma and death.

Even mild dehydration can slow down your metabolism – not having enough water reduces blood volume, and thus the supply of oxygen to your muscles. This often leads to feelings of both physical and mental fatigue, which makes staying active far less likely, and certainly makes keeping your motivation up more of a challenge. Drinking water can help your body burn fat according to a study that found drinking 500 ml of water made metabolic rate rise by 30% in healthy adults.

Water and detoxifying the body – water plays an important part in natural detox and elimination, as it is the element where many of the body toxins go to be eliminated. Drinking enough water flushes your system and gets rid of waste products more efficiently… normal wastes or byproducts of metabolic processes.


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How Drinking More Water Helps You Lose Weight Continued…

In fact, a well hydrated body is less likely to hold onto fluid, and fluid
in body tissues can add a few pounds to the number you see on the scale.
And have you feeling sluggish and bloated to boot.

Not surprisingly many people find they just feel better, and stay more regular too, when they drink the right amount of water each day. Some report less chapped lips during the winter, as well as improvements in how skin looks.

Here are some simple tips to drink more water.

- Keep a tall glass by the coffee pot so that you drink it upon waking.

- Keep a water bottle with you and sip all during the day.

- Set an alarm (or use an app) to remind you to drink a glass of water.

- Track how many glasses you’ve drunk each day and keep a running log.

- A glass of water before bed is also a good idea.

These are just suggestions, in the end you need to find the strategy you can use to up your water intake and stick with it. Before long you’ll be feeling better, less bloated, and very likely seeing the results on the scale and in how you feel.

To your good health,

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Main Diseases Link To Gum Problems

You may not realize just how closely the condition of your mouth is linked with your overall state of health according to a good deal of recent research. Turns out, a healthy mouth doesn’t just look great and feel great, it’s good for you too. Not caring for your teeth and gums can open the door to all kinds of health issues.

Here’s what we know.

Type 2 diabetes and gum disease

Type 2 diabetics have a higher incidence of periodontitis (gum disease). The connection was reaffirmed in July 2008 by researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. They examined 9,296 subjects who were diabetes free, measuring the amount of periodontal bacteria they had over a 20-year span of time. Those who had higher levels of periodontal disease also had a twofold chance of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during the study, compared to those with no gum disease or low levels of bacteria in their mouths.

There are some interesting theories about why this might be. One suggests that when infections in the mouth get bad enough, they bring low-grade inflammation all through the body, and this causes all kinds of trouble for your sugar processing abilities. It may be that some inflammatory molecules attach to insulin receptors and keep the body’s cells from using the insulin as it should to get glucose inside the cell.

Another theory to explain the link between gum disease and diabetes involves damage to the pancreas. This is an example of a localized infection that’s capable of impacting a systemic organ that is tied to the pathophysiology of diabetes.

Gum infections and preterm birth, low birth weight

Gum infections during pregnancy are just one of many things that are the result of all those fluctuating hormones. Often patients put aside their own oral care during pregnancy… an easy thing to do with all the appointments and pressing things on your mind. This is a mistake. Experts think that inflammation in the mouth may trigger an increase in a compound known as prostaglandin that might induce early labor.

This theory hasn’t been confirmed by research, but a 2001 project found that women who were pregnant and developed gum disease between weeks 21 and 24 were four to seven times more likely to deliver before week 37. That’s impressive evidence. There’s even the suggestion that extremely poor gum health can lead to low birth weight. Two other studies in 2007 of Turkish and Brazilian women supported the ideal of a link between gum problems and both preterm birth, lower birth weight.

Continues below…


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Main Diseases Link To Gum Problems Continued…

Gum disease and the heart

Oral health and heart disease have also been recognized as being connected, the two are very often found together in a patient. Still there’s no research bringing us evidence of a direct causal relationship. One of the difficulties lies in the fact that there are any number of risk factors that can also put you at risk for gum disease and heart problems. In 2005, an NIH funded study of 1,056 randomly selected subjects with no history of heart attacks/stroke who were evaluated for periodontal bacteria levels showed there was an independent relationship between heart disease and gum disease.

Why might this be? Small amounts of bacteria get into your bloodstream as you chew. This gives infectious bacteria a chance to lodge themselves inside a blood vessel, potentially leading to a dangerous blockage. Adding weight to this thinking is that when experts have examined atherosclerotic blood vessels they’ve found fragments of periodontal bacteria.

A study appearing in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2007 also established that aggressive treatment of gum disease cuts the risk of atherosclerosis in just six months. That’s astonishing, and one more reason why taking care of your dental health is so very important.

Gum disease and pneumonia

There’s even been a link established between bad oral health and pneumonia, though the work centers on high-risk populations, like the elderly. A 2008 study of this exact population found that the number of subjects diagnosed with pneumonia was 3.9 times higher in those with periodontal infection than in those who did not have it. The lungs are close to the mouth, and there is a lot of bacteria in there.

Bacteria from a mouth that’s not healthy can get aspirated into the lungs, causing problems with existing COPD or bringing on pneumonia. There are several CDC studies that have found better oral health can lead to a drop in respiratory infections of this kind.

Gum disease and cancer of the pancreas

Based on a 2007 study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute that surveyed over 50,000 American men about their health, the link between pancreatic cancer and periodontal disease was striking. No matter what their smoking status, having a history of periodontal disease was linked to a higher risk of pancreatic cancer. This could be due to the systemic inflammation, or carcinogenic compounds produced in an infected mouth.

Now you see why it’s so important to take care of your teeth and gums. So make (and keep) that next cleaning appointment and you’ll be glad you did.

Original article:

To your good health,

geralt / Pixabay

10 Ways You Can Ease Stress

Feel like you’re so tense, so stressed and on edge you’re ready to explode? In today’s hectic, demanding world it’s hard not to feel stressed out, but the good news is that stress does not have to own you, rule your life, ruin your sleep or impact your health. You can fight back, and we’re going to show you how.

 

Take a shower or bath. The warm water will relax your muscles; the time alone will serve as a buffer between the real world and your own thoughts. You’ll emerge feeling cleaner, physically and mentally, than when you started.

Workout as being active will actually help cut your feeling of stress. Exercises cause the body to send out endorphins (mood enhancing chemicals) and these help ease your stress level.

Remember a happy time, as just thinking back to a happy time with people you care about can help improve your mood and fight back stress. Keep photos from those times where you’ll see them often.

Unplug once in a while. With all our gadgets and need to be constantly connected and in touch, it’s hard to remember a time when we didn’t have all this technology. But there was such a time, and turning off your phone, computer, tablet and TV for 15 minutes of quiet is not too much to ask. And you’ll be amazed at how relaxed you feel.

Get outside and get into the sun. Sunlight stimulates mood boosting brain chemicals that help ease your stress. Skip the sunscreen and get out for 15 minutes, letting the fresh air fill your lungs and the sun warm your skin. Stress will disappear.

Plan a fun event. If it’s been a while (or not) since you planned a special night out, the time has come to do so again. Sure it’s enjoyable, but what’s more vital in terms of stress is that laughing with people you like and are comfortable with is one of the best, most lasting stress beaters around.

Continues below…


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10 Ways You Can Ease Stress Continued…

Use a scented lotion on your skin. Go for something scented with vanilla or lavender as breathing in these have been shown to have a calming effect on the body when inhaled. In no time the scent will be having you feeling more relaxed, less tense.

Volunteer, a strange suggestion in over-scheduled lives, but taking on a volunteering opportunity is amazingly good for you. Turns out helping others causes the release of feel good hormones that improve mood and hold off stress. Just choose a cause that you feel strongly about, and schedule in the time to volunteer once a month. You’ll be amazed at the results, and how you feel.

Buy flowers as having a pretty, living thing around you has been shown by research to be a fantastic way to improve your mood. Reason enough to treat yourself to a lovely bouquet of your favorites and put them where you can enjoy them all day long.

Sleep is a must when you’re stressed. If you’re tired, run down, you can’t function at peak efficiency which is why you need to make a sincere effort to get from 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep each night. This rest will leave you with enough energy to hit the ground running, able to handle stressors without trouble all day long.

To your good health,

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