Berries Good For The Brain

Eating richly colored, flavorful berries is good for your body, you don’t need an expert to tell you that. But they may be good for your brain as well based on some new findings. Many studies have documented the protective effect of berries against inflammation and they have also been shown to improve both behavior and cognitive function in stressed young lab rats. But the new research looked at the protective effects of berries on brain function, specifically the ability to clear away toxic accumulations, and is the result of efforts by researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

To conduct the research, the teams fed rats a berry diet for 2 months and then examined the brains of the rats after irradiation, a way to mimic aging in the lab. One group of rats was evaluated after 36 hours, the other after 30 days. After one month on the berry diet, the rats experienced significant protection against radiation compared to a control group. It may be the protection came from the phytonutrients naturally present in berries.

Researchers looked at neurochemical changes in the brain, what’s known by doctors as autophagy, that regulates the synthesis, degradation and recycling of cellular components. It’s the way the brain has to get rid of toxic accumulations – a sort of natural housecleaning mechanism. Most disease of the brain such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s show a higher amount of toxic protein, as if this natural mechanism breaks down somehow.

The researchers are now doing a study in humans, using older people aged 60 to 75 years. There’s a lot of earlier work in animals that suggests the antioxidant compounds naturally in berries will protect the aging brain and perhaps reverse some of the behavioral deficiency. The experts are hoping the findings of the animal research will translate in the human research.

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Berries Good For The Brain Continued…

In the meantime, why not enjoy any of the nutrient rich berries available this season? Blueberries, strawberries and blackberries are all splendidly colored and absolutely delicious fruits. Most grocery stores carry a wide variety of berries, fresh, frozen or canned. When buying fresh, look for ripe, colorful and firm berries with no sign of mold or soft spots. If it’s out of season, frozen berries are a great choice as they are often frozen soon after picking and keep most of their nutrients. Canned, so long as there is no added sugar are also a good way to enjoy this fruit.

Fresh berries should always be stored in the fridge to keep mold from growing on them. Don’t wash the berries until right before you’re going to use them. The best way to wash them is to put them in a mesh strainer and run them under cool water. If you store berries properly, most berries can last for up to two weeks, strawberries up to 7 days.

And while berries can do lots of good for your body, they are only one part of a healthy, balanced diet that includes lots of sources of natural nutrients. Don’t get caught up in the “superfood” hype, as we still have not proven conclusively that the antioxidant properties naturally part of berries are responsible for good health.

The research was presented at the Experimental Biology 2013 annual meeting.

To your good health,

The Best Plant For Your Intake In Potassium

As the main ingredient in an American favorite, French fries, the white potato has something to boast about – beating out the banana in terms of potassium. A study released at the Experimental Biology 2013 annual meeting finds that consumption of white potatoes is tied to higher intake of potassium. For each added kilocalorie of these potatoes eaten there was a 1.6 mg increase in potassium for adults over 19 years old, a 1.7 mg increase for children and teens aged 2 to 18 years old. Gender, age, education and race/ethnicity were highly predictive of potassium intake, while income and body mass index were not.

A small white potato, with the skin, gives you 738 mg of potassium and 128 calories. By contrast, a large banana, a well-known potassium powerhouse has the same number of calories but only 487 mg of potassium. Surprise! Even with the skin off, the inside of the white potato is a fantastic source of potassium. One cup provides 477 mg of the nutrient.

Potassium is an electrolyte mineral, a key nutrient that most of us, an estimated 97% of Americans, don’t get enough of in our diets. It helps control blood pressure, key to keeping the heart healthy. Since the vast majority of adults will get high blood pressure sometime during their lifetime, getting enough potassium is vital to counter this. It’s also essential for a healthy skeletal system and regulating the actions of muscles and nerves too.

A diet that doesn’t have enough potassium brings plenty of problems to the body. When potassium is low, the body holds onto extra sodium, too much sodium brings up blood pressure. When you get enough potassium in the foods you eat, the body gets more efficient at getting rid of that extra sodium.

The 2010 Dietary Guidelines advisors agree that there is much evidence that higher intakes of potassium are linked to lower blood pressure in adults. Foods that have lots of potassium and are low in sodium may cut the risk of silent but dangerous high blood pressure and devastating stroke. White potatoes fit the bill; they have lots of potassium and are naturally low in salt, free of fat, saturated fats and cholesterol.

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The Best Plant For Your Intake In Potassium Continued…

Unfortunately, the most recent data from the well regarded National Health and
Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2009-2010 examined by the team included
the nutrient intakes of children and adults. The authors found that intakes of
potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D for these groups were all below
the recommended daily allowance or even the adequate intake levels called for
by the Institute of Medicine. This is a real world warning that kids, teens and
adults are not meeting dietary recommendations for important nutrients even in
a nation of abundance.

Some of the symptoms of potassium deficiency include confusion, irritability, muscle weakness, fatigue and heart disturbances. You might tire more easily during exercise. Too much potassium can be toxic and may bring on an irregular heartbeat or even heart attack. So long as you stick to dietary sources of this substance, your body will keep the balance of potassium within a tight, effective range.

The recommended daily allowance for potassium is 4,700 mg for adult men and women. Some other natural food sources of potassium, besides white potatoes and bananas, include sweet potatoes, orange juice, beet greens, white beans, dates, yogurt, tomatoes, raisins and clams.

To your good health,

Good Level Of Vitamin D in Mushrooms

If you take supplements for vitamin D, you’ll want to read this. A team from Boston University School of Medicine has found that eating mushrooms with vitamin D2 is just as effective at raising (and maintaining) vitamin D levels as taking a supplement of vitamin D2 or D3. The findings were presented at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and published earlier in 2013 in the open access journal Dermato-Endocrinology.

Normally, most of us get our vitamin D from sunscreen free exposure to natural sunlight. About 20 to 25 minutes a day is good. If you’re worried about skin cancer, get out before the heat of the day (10:00 am) or after (2:00 pm) it has passed. Trouble is, this natural process is not as effective for those living at higher latitudes, in the winter or if you’re dark skinned or a bit older. If this is the case, supplements are often a good choice.

In the randomized study, 30 healthy adult subjects took capsules with 2,000 IUs of vitamin D2, 2,000 IUs of vitamin D3 or 2,000 IUs of mushroom powder once a day for 12 weeks, during the winter, the time of year when it’s naturally harder to get out in the sun to make vitamin D. All the subjects had baseline serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D measured, and levels weren’t all that different between the study groups.

At the end of the 12-week study, the levels of vitamin D for the three groups were not statistically different from those who took the mushroom powder capsules. This finding suggests that enjoying mushrooms that have been exposed to ultraviolet light so they have vitamin D2 brings you a natural source of vitamin D that can improve the levels of this nutrient in healthy adults. So taking the mushroom powder was just as effective as taking a supplement.

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Good Level Of Vitamin D in Mushrooms Continued…

You’ve heard that vitamin D is critical for healthy bones and strong muscles. Having enough of this nutrient helps the body keep bones dense and thus reducing the chance of fractures, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis. Vitamin D also plays a big part in moderating the immune system and is thought to help reduce the risks of diseases like cancer, heart disease diabetes, and perhaps even mood issues like depression.

Now that we know mushrooms are a good source of vitamin D, experts are also able to explain just how mushrooms make vitamin D2. At a second presentation at the same annual meeting, researchers explained that the process is almost like what happens in human skin after being out in the sun. What’s more, mushrooms can make both vitamin D2 and vitamin D4; confirming the finding of several kinds of vitamin Ds and provitamin Ds in the samples.

With results being presented at a scientific meeting and appearing in a journal, the team feels that people can be assured that mushrooms are a good natural source of vitamin D that can be readily found at the grocery store and easily added to many of the foods you already love.

Michael F. Holick, the principal investigator on the project believes these results confirm what other studies have shown us. There are many ways to increase total circulating vitamin D, taking supplements is just one of them.

To your good health,

The Benefits Of Eggs, Even For The People With Heart Risk

Good news for egg lovers! We now have solid evidence to support the idea of eggs being part of a heart healthy diet.

Considering that even with all our modern medicine the world faces a growing burden of chronic disease, there’s much interest by experts about the role that diet and nutrition play in overall health. Several studies presented this year at Experimental Biology 2013, looked at the role of whole egg intake in high-risk groups of patients, including people with metabolic syndrome and heart disease. Research also examined the satisfaction that comes from a high protein breakfast for overweight teens. The annual meeting showcased cutting edge research in the area of nutrition that had significant public health implications.

It seems that despite what you might have heard, there’s a positive role for the egg to play. Even for those with heart issues.

A study out of Yale University looked at the impact of daily whole egg intake in both men and women who had coronary heart disease. The subjects were grouped randomly and consumed either 2 eggs, ½ cup of egg substitute or ate a high carbohydrate breakfast, but made no other changes to their diet for six weeks. The participants who ate either the whole eggs or the egg substitute didn’t see any impact on total cholesterol, their blood pressure, body weight or endothelial function. From this, the team concluded that whole eggs can be part of a healthy diet for those with existing heart issues.

A study from the University of Connecticut found that daily whole egg intake may have a positive impact on the function and even the composition of HDL (good) cholesterol in adults who have metabolic syndrome. These study subjects followed a carb-restricted diet and ate either three eggs a day or an equal amount of egg substitute. After just 3 months, those who were eating the whole eggs saw improvements in HDL cholesterol composition and its ability to remove cholesterol from the blood. Those who ate three whole eggs a day had HDL that was lower in triacylglycerol and higher in a naturally good part of egg yolks known as phosphatidylethanolaime. This further supports the idea that eggs are a functional food that can bring down cardiovascular disease risk in those who have metabolic syndrome.

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The Benefits Of Eggs, Even For The People With Heart Risk Continued…

And then there’s this. A team from the University of Missouri presented information
at the meeting that compared the effects of a normal protein cereal, a high protein
egg and port breakfast and no breakfast on satiety in overweight or obese teens
who normally skip breakfast altogether. The group of teens who ate the high protein
egg and pork breakfast said they felt less hunger and more full than the other
two groups. The high protein breakfast eaters also voluntarily cut their intake
by more than 400 calories/day during the study, yet there was no significant
difference in weight between the groups. Breakfast skippers had higher increases
in percent of body fat mass compared to those who did eat one of the two breakfasts
in the study.

This research supports the good sense advice on weight loss. A high protein breakfast to start you day can help you feel satisfied and set you on the right track for the rest of the day.

To your good health,

Relieve Liver Disease Symptoms With The Vitamin E

Some of the most valuable of findings come completely by accident, and here’s an excellent example. Based on research by teams at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Cornell University, a possible new approach to fighting illnesses related to obesity may be here. By chance the teams discovered that crucial nutrient vitamin E can ease symptoms of liver disease that comes as a result of obesity, and this could have a direct, lasting impact on the lives of almost 63 million American who are at risk for obesity related liver disease at some point in their lives.

The study sought to test the hypothesis that there is a link between vitamin E levels and diseases of the liver. The findings were presented at 2013′s meeting of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology that took place in conjunction with the Experimental Biology 2013 meeting held this year in Boston, MA.

Explaining the research, Danny Manor, Ph.D. who is an associate professor of nutrition and pharmacology at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, recounts that the team was studying the effect of vitamin E deficiency on the central nervous system and were using liver tissue to practice their surgical techniques. Surprisingly, the mice in the study were in the advanced stages of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, known as NASH for short.

This is a common, though silent, disease of the liver that happens in those who drink little or no alcohol. Though you feel well, NASH is characterized by fat in the liver along with inflammation that does damage over time. This disease is a well recognized complication of carrying too much weight and accounts for tissue scarring (cirrhosis) that causes eventual liver failure or could progress to cancer of the liver.


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Relieve Liver Disease Symptoms With The Vitamin E Continued…

NASH is a natural consequence of the two major epidemics of our modern age, obesity
and type 2 diabetes. Today it affects from 2 to 6% of Americans, while as many
as 10 to 20% of us have fat in the liver (fatty liver) without the other symptoms.
For most, the first inkling anything is wrong is an elevation in liver tests
that are part of routine blood work.

These research findings may be confirmation of the link between a lack of vitamin E and liver disease, and might also help uncover the molecular details of NASH itself.

Though promising, until recently vitamin E’s effects on health have been a bit hard to pin down, though the antioxidant properties are believed to offer protection from many well known conditions, things like heart disease, cancer and devastating neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease. What’s worrisome to experts including Manor is that most adults in the U.S. don’t get enough vitamin E based on the recommendations from the National Institute of Medicine.

Adults should be getting 15 milligrams of vitamin E a day. Some natural food sources of this vital nutrient include nuts, seeds, leafy greens, fortified cereals and vegetable oils. Adding some of these foods to your diet is a simple way to cut the risk that NASH or another such disease, could become a part of your future.

To your good health,

Best Food Weight Loss, For Meat Lovers

If you’re working to lose weight here’s research news you’ll want to know. White button mushrooms have been tied to positive health outcomes in terms of managing weight according to a randomized clinical trial conducted by a team from the Weight Management Center at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The study was funded by the Mushroom Council and finds that these savory, tasty foods, in place of red meat in a meal, can be a smart strategy for losing weight and keeping it off. What’s more, you don’t have to sacrifice taste or texture… and you won’t be hungry or even missing that meat.

The subjects in the research on mushrooms and weight loss included 73 obese adults, 88% female, with most subjects being 48.4 years old. The participants were put in an intervention group where they ate about one cup of mushrooms a day in place of meat. There was also a standard diet control group. At the end of the year long trail, the team saw that those who did the substitution of mushrooms for meat lost 7 pounds, but also had improvements in body composition compared to those on the standard diet. What’s more, they maintained this weight loss.

These findings build on earlier research that has shown intake of low energy density foods, like mushrooms, in place of the high energy density choice, such as lean ground beef can be very effective when it comes to cutting daily calorie and fat intake, while still feeling satisfied after the meal.

There are many types (cremini, portobello, enoki, oyster, maitake, shiitake) of mushrooms to choose from, though the most recent study focused on the very popular white button mushroom. You might need to try different types of mushrooms in different recipes to find the right combination of flavors and textures to suit your taste. Consider trying a mushroom burger by putting a large, flat mushroom in place of the meat and grill, then add a bun and your favorite toppings. You might add chunks of mushrooms in curry sauce with other veggies, or add them to pasta dishes or put them in an enchilada. Another idea: Try using white button mushrooms with dip as they are bite sized, crunchy and are great in place of other veggies or higher calorie chips and crackers.

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Best Food Weight Loss, For Meat Lovers Continued…

Mushrooms naturally have a small, but respectable, amount of protein, far less than the red meat it replaced in the study. But the higher protein content of meats also comes with more calories. Lean meats have the most protein for the lowest number of calories, while medium and high fat cuts of meat have higher calorie counts. A study in 2008 that substituted mushrooms for dishes that use ground beef found no difference in enjoyment or satisfaction reported by study subjects, but the meat free meals brought from 300 to nearly 600 less calories to the diners. Mushrooms are known to make dishes more filling without adding lots of calories.

Remember that you should never pick your own mushrooms in the wild unless you know exactly what to look for, how to pick and store what you find. When you shop, organic varieties are a great, natural choice.

To your good health,

Simple Tips To Boost Your Memory

Here’s one way to get a good grip on your mental capacity – forget tying that infamous string around your finger, instead clench your fist. In a study partially funded by the U.S. Army, researchers have found that memory can be aided by clenching a fist for just 90 seconds. Clenching the right hand for this amount of time helps form memories, while doing the same thing with your left helps with memory recall. The intriguing research appears in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

The experiment on memory and clenching involved 51 right-handed subjects who were given a list of words to learn, they were then broken into five groups. The groups performed combinations of hand clenches using a pink rubber ball for 90 seconds before being shown a list of 36 words to learn, and again before writing down as many words as they could recall. There was a control group who learned the words and did not clench anything.

Turns out, the subjects did better at remembering words from the list when they clenched the right hand when memorizing, the left hand when recalling. The experts think that clenching the fists actives specific brain areas linked to processing memories. The lead on the study, Ruth Propper an associate professor of psychology at Montclair State University, points out that simple body movements can help memory by temporarily changing the way the brain works.

Pretty striking findings. Clenching is something that can be easily adapted to many situations, both in the clinical and the real world.

Earlier studies have found that right hand clenching activates the left hemisphere, and left hand clenching sets off the right side of the brain. Memory uses both sides; the left encodes the memories, the right retrieves them. Sometimes hand clenching has been associated with feelings, right hand clenching with happiness, left hand clenching with anxiety or sadness.

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Simple Tips To Boost Your Memory Continued…

Future work on larger subject pools will look at if hand clenching can impact other mental processes. Could it help with verbal or special things? What about memories of pictures and places? A larger study is needed to confirm the results, perhaps including brain scans that could examine blood flow to the hemispheres involved.

Some other research backed memory tricks? Chewing gum is one such suggestion according to a recent study appearing in the British Journal of Psychology. A small whiff of rosemary essential oil or a white noise machine may prove helpful. Other more mundane techniques for helping memory include paying close attention and staying focused, being creative in the techniques you use to remember things, repeating things over and over and making associations that work for you

So, the next time you need to learn something, such as the name of a person you’ve just met, a password or directions give clenching your fist (unobtrusively, of course) a try. Clench your right hand right before learning, clench you left as you try to recall it, and see if this doesn’t help sharpen your memory.

To your good health,

The Importance Of Exercises For Children

Parents take note. Not being active on a regular basis is a major risk factor for heart disease – in adults and in children too. Researchers are now reporting that taking part in moderately intense physical activity is more important in terms of childhood cardiometabolic health than sitting time. Screen time seems to be even worse for heart health than just sitting, reading for example, might be.

Members of TEAM PRODIGY, the inter-university research team that includes both Canadian and U.S. scientists, wanted to find out how time spent doing moderate to vigorous intensity activity and time spent doing sedentary activities affected the risk of heart disease in kids. The cross sectional research included over 500 subjects between 8 and 10 years old. Waist circumference, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, fasting triglycerides, high density lipoprotein cholesterol and glucose concentrations were measured in the subjects.

What researchers saw was that moderate to vigorous activity seems to be more important in terms of heart health. Higher levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity were linked with lower waist circumferences, fasting triglycerides and diastolic blood pressure as well as higher HDL (good) cholesterol no matter how much time they spent in sedentary activities. In contrast, sedentary time was positively linked with diastolic blood pressure, but after adjustment for activity, the association was no longer significant.

Also, self reported time on the screen was positively associated with waist circumference (when one goes up, the other goes up), but negatively linked with HDL (good) cholesterol (one goes up, the other goes down).

Cutting the time kids spend in front of a computer (gaming system) screen appears to be a key public health goal according to first author Dr. Jean-Philippe Chaput a researcher at the CHEO Research Institute and a professor at the University of Ottawa. This study offers empirical evidence that being physically active every day is important in terms of bringing down heart disease risk in children. It’s more important to get kids up and active for a bit than to limit sitting time.

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The Importance Of Exercises For Children Continued…

In fact, the American Heart Association suggest that kids and teens take part in at least 60 minutes (or two 30 minute sessions) of either moderate or vigorous activity each and every day. Being active gives your children physical benefits (controlling weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, cutting risk of diabetes and some cancers) as well as psychological and social benefits. This is particularly helpful to kids who already have a weight problem.

What’s more, inactive kids are more likely to grow into inactive adults. So what can you do? Here are some suggestions

” Cut sedentary time as much as you can, while still allowing for homework and some down time in front of the TV or computer.

” Give kids opportunities to be active by planning family activities that call for being yourself as kids don’t always listen to our lectures, but they always watch our behavior.

” The research on activity and childhood risk of heart disease was published in the active, hikes, bike rides, walks in the woods or around town are all good choices.

” Make it fun, light and no pressure. No one likes to be active if it’s drudgery.

” Be a role model by being active, eating well and avoiding temptations

January 21, 2013 issue of Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

To your good health,

Your Stomach Can Predict A Heart Attack Risk

If you’re concerned about your own, or a loved ones, risk of heart disease or stroke, here’s news you’ll want to hear. Researchers from the Cleveland Clinic have found that a new blood test that measures something in the blood that’s naturally generated by the organisms that live in your stomach, can tell if you’re likely to have heart trouble later on. The substance produced by the stomach is known as trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO for short), and if you’ve never heard of it before, you’ll start very soon.

The current study involved collecting data on TMAO levels from over 4,000 patients and following them for an average of 3 years. The team saw that as TMAO levels went up, so did the risk for heart attack, stroke or another heart disease. Those who had the most TMAO in the blood had 2.5 times the risk for such an outcome compared to those who had the lowest levels.

What’s more, testing for TMAO predicted risk to the heart better than other blood tests in use today as well as factors like high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol numbers and even smoking according to lead researcher Dr. Stanley Hazen from the Clinic’s Lerner Research Institute. It’s incredible news, and gives medicine a new risk factor to target with testing, as well as the opportunity to prevent heart related issues in patients before they happen.

The researchers saw that dietary choline (in egg yolks) is changed into TMAO, as is carnitine that’s found in red meat. TMAO appears to change how the body metabolizes cholesterol, not removing it, but rather changing how the cholesterol is being managed. TMAO helps cholesterol attach to blood vessels and makes it hard for both the liver and intestines to get rid of it.

Since TMAO appears to be related to diet (those who eat the most red meat have the highest levels), those at risk could tailor their diets to cut the risk of devastating heart issues later on. By eating a heart healthy diet low in fats, dairy and sugar TMAO can be brought into line. Interesting that the study found vegetarians had the lowest levels of this compound. Making a change in diet to impact this substance seems promising.

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Your Stomach Can Predict A Heart Attack Risk. Continued…

Over the years there’s been a good deal of research interest in the role of the intestinal organisms might play in both metabolic and cardiac disease. Other recent work has suggested that TMAO might have a part in the initiation and progression of dangerous atherosclerosis – the buildup of harmful plaque on artery walls. More work will be needed before we fully understand this substance and what it does in the body.

Whether TMAO could be a marker of cardiovascular disease risk, or something we can target to reduce risk is still unclear. An editorial that accompanies the study in the April 25, 2013 New England Journal of Medicine points out that these finding suggest many possible novel approaches for preventing heart disease. Probiotics, in addition to limiting certain choline rich foods might also be helpful.

However the research ends up, by eating right and being active on a regular basis, you’ll be doing all you can to keep your body, and your heart, healthy and going strong for years to come.

To your good health,

The Drinks Bad For Your Health

Sure they taste great… so great that drinks sweetened with sugar are the largest source of added sugar in the Western diet. As you might expect, these beverages don’t have many nutrients and yet remain a wildly popular choice for kids, teens and adults. An interesting new study by researchers at Imperial College London finds that drinking just one 12 ounce serving of these beverages a day can increase your risk of diabetes by over 20%. The work used data from the InterAct consortium and appears in the journal Diabetologia.

Until now most research in this area has been done in North America, this study focused on Europe. With an earlier U.S. study finding a link between soft drink intake, obesity and diabetes, the current team was curious to see if the same association between sweetened drinks and diabetes existed across the Atlantic.

The researchers looked at information on eight European nations (UK, Italy, Spain, Germany, Denmark, France, Sweden and the Netherlands) that were part of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study. The total number of subjects was almost 350,000 and the team examined the consumption of juices, nectars, artificially sweetened soft drinks and the sugar-sweetened variety. One part of the InterAct project also involved a trial that included 12,403 subjects who had type 2 diabetes compared to a random group of 16,154 subjects identified within the EPIC study.

After adjusting for confounding factors the team saw that consumption of one, 12-ounce serving of sugar-sweetened drink each day brought up the likelihood of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes by a full 22%. When they took body mass index (BMI) into account, along with total energy intake, the diabetes risk dropped a bit to 18%. So the impact of those super sweet drinks on the body might go beyond making you heavier to impacting your everyday health as well.

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The Drinks Bad For Your Health Continued…

Interesting that there was also a statistically significant increase in diabetes linked to artificially sweetened drinks. Yet when the researchers accounted for body mass, the link disappeared. This may mean that the association between diabetes and artificially sweetened beverages is more about weight than the drink being regularly consumed. Of course just because these options are low in calories does not make them the ideal choice for your body. Water, pure fruit juices, freshly brewed teas and low fat milk are far better options.

As you might expect, there was no link found between drinking pure fruit juices or nectar and higher diabetes risk. It’s important to note however that the team could not look at the influence of 100% pure fruit juices from those with sugar added because of the way the data was provided. Sugar added to a fruit juice is just as troublesome as sugar added to a soda.

While many realize sugar isn’t the best thing for you, few have heard how dangerous these drinks can really be. The experts warn that given the increase in those sugar sweetened soft drinks in Europe, there should be clear warnings about the unhealthy effect these drinks can have on the body. To reduce your own risk, try switching to lower calorie drink options. If your taste buds rebel, dilute your sugar-sweetened sodas (or other drinks) with the diet variety, in small but steadily increasing amounts. You’ll find your taste buds adapt rather quickly.

To your good health,