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Everyday Activities As Good As The Gym

Wondering which type of activity is best? There may be more benefit than anyone ever thought from short bursts of activity during the day if the findings of a new study in the American Journal of Health Promotion hold up. The research found that short bursts of activity, taking the stairs, vacuuming or raking leaves, walking the dog, during the day can be just as helpful as that trip to the gym for a more structured exercise regimen. For many of us, that’s good news.

The researchers examined a nationally representative sample of over 6,000 American adults and saw that an unstructured active lifestyle appeared just as effective as structured exercise in providing benefits to overall health, things like preventing high blood pressure, high cholesterol numbers and the cluster of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome that bring a higher risk of coronary artery disease, diabetes and stroke. In fact, the only area where the shorter bursts didn’t equal the benefits of sustained exercise was in body mass index.

As an example, those in the shorter exercise group who managed 30 minutes of activity in total per day had an 89% chance of NOT having metabolic syndrome. For the structured exercisers the risk was 87%.

What’s more, the team also found that a surprising 43% of adults who did short bursts of activity actually met the 30 minutes a day physical activity guidelines given by the federal government. Those one and two minutes of activity added up in terms of health. Study co-author Brad Cardinal who is a professor of exercise and sports science at Oregon State believes the findings of the work defy the laziness myth of American adults because it shows that lots of people achieved the recommended exercise guidelines. This is significantly more than the reported 10% of study subjects who said they exercised in a structured way.

The other author of the study, Paul Loprinzi who was a doctoral student at Oregon State University when he did the research, encourages us all to look for those everyday ways to be active… walk back and forth while on the phone, climb those stairs, walk anytime you can, use a push mower instead of a riding one, rake leaves. You might also try getting up (and not for a snack) during commercials and doing some sit-ups, push-ups or jumping jacks. At your child’s sporting events, use the half time break to walk about, stretch your legs and get your heart pumping.

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Are Your Genetics Keeping You Fat? (1 tip to change fast)

Ever heard the excuse “I’m overweight because of my genetics”?

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Everyday Activities As Good As The Gym Continued…

The findings of the research are important because they address one of the most often cited barriers to getting more active – not having the time – by suggesting that adding activity into your everyday routine can bring you benefits, though probably won’t help with weight. This idea is certainly a more natural, more affordable, more flexible way to exercise.

Making being physically active a way of life is likely a smart strategy in terms of ongoing health. Be aware of the things that might entice you to sit, or be less active and avoid them as much as possible. Rather than focusing on getting that 30 minutes in one sitting… just get yourself moving for a minute or two and you’ll see a benefit to your health.

To your good health,

White77 / Pixabay

Talking Smart Matter,To Prepare Kids For School Success

As our children are now at school, many parents are wondering about how to help their child achieve academic success. To learn
all they can.
To benefit from the tremendous opportunities put before them. Science has long recognized the value of talking to our children during those early days – birth to age 3, as this helps build that foundation for success at school, and the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests reading be part of your daily routine from birth onward.

One simple approach is the 3 T strategies, Tune in, Talk more and
Take turns
. You can use these at meal times, while waiting in offices, traveling by car or during daily routines like dressing for the day or getting ready for bed. Use any opportunity to respond to what your child is saying, build your child’s vocabulary by using descriptive words and be sure to engage your little one in conversation as this encourages curiosity and strengthens social skills.

Every word you say acts to build your child’s brain. Rich, descriptive language exposes your child a larger vocabulary, and helps them become more ready to learn in all areas, because curiosity has been established and rewarded at home. A child who has been exposed to more words will naturally know more words. That’s a solid foundation for school, and this will make understanding the teacher easier. The best thing you can do for your own kids in terms of preparing them to be successful students is talk to them at home – interact together and allow their brains to absorb all the things in their world.

Reading aloud is considered a key piece of the learning success puzzle – you build a parent/child bond while strengthening your child’s language skills. They hear words you don’t use in ordinary conversation, they learn about places and people they’ve never seen. It’s a great way to tune into a child’s interests – and then talk about the book. Get a conversation started.

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Talking Smart Matter,To Prepare Kids For School Success Continued…

The great thing is that this is so easy to do. Anything you do, singing, talking, playing, responding in any way, builds up the brain. In fact, 85% of brain development takes place during those first three years of life. These are the connections a child will rely on to think, to talk and interact for the rest of its life. So the more connections, the easier thinking will be, and thus the better prepared a child will be to enter school.

Research also finds that children who were read to as infants have bigger vocabularies and more math skills when they got to kindergarten. Reading proficiency at third grade is amazingly, the most reliable predictor of graduation from high school and a successful career.

Being read to benefits every kid, even an active kid who has trouble sitting still to hear the story. Try instead to talk about the book, look at photos, tune into what about the book has caught your child’s interest and talk about that. Let young kids hold the book, turn the pages, and don’t get caught up in reading every single word. Go with the flow, if he loses interest, let him. Letting a child lead during story time is actually maximizes what your child gains, while minimizing the frustration and stress for you.

As for technology, the science on how it impacts a child’s learning isn’t clear. Until we know more, keep in mind that technology is not really the issue here, but how parents and children are using it. Devices used as babysitters are not going to offer the same benefit as if the child were working with another person, parent or sibling. After age 2, the American Academy of Pediatrics suggests you limit screen time to two hours a day, and monitor choices carefully.

If you have any concerns about your child’s development, or lack of interest in books, talk with your pediatrician. Early intervention can have remarkable results.

To your good health,

PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Reduce Negative Behaviour With Supplementation

Science is learning more and more about nutrition, knowledge that may someday lead to treatments we cannot imagine now. One idea being investigated is if nutritional supplementation can affect behavior. As you read this, there’s a groundbreaking research project underway in England and Scotland involving young offenders in three prisons who have volunteered to be given such supplements to see if their behavior can be improved.

Neuroscientist John Stein of the University of Oxford spearheads the study, working with young offenders who have been convicted of crimes of violence and were thus serving long prison sentences. He has a theory that the micronutrients found as a natural part of fatty acids (like those in omega 3 fish oils) help nerve cell membranes and signaling molecules in the brain work better, particularly with regard to how we deal with visual and social signals. Without the enough of the micronutrients the brain can react badly, acting on impulse or with aggression.

Professor Stein is supported by his brother, celebrity chef Rick, who is passionate about fish and the many benefits it has for our health. Experts know it is good for the brain, the heart as well as the prevention of disease. Fish is a healthy alternative to lean meats that is a natural source of not only the amazing omega 3 fatty acids, but also a source of important vitamins (riboflavin, vitamin B2, vitamin D), minerals (iron, zinc, potassium, calcium, selenium) and protein.

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For the study, funded by the Wellcome Trust (the UK’s largest medical research charity) and conducted by researchers at Oxford University, the volunteers (aged 16 to 21) will take four capsules each day when they are eating their main meal of the day. Half with get micronutrients and half a placebo capsule, the study being conducted under double blind conditions. Over the next four months, the disciplinary records of the two groups will be monitored for behaviors like drug related offenses, violence and incidents of harming the self.

This latest work is the next logical step following a smaller study from 2002 at Aylesbury Young Offenders Institute that found that prisoners who got such supplements actually committed one third fewer offenses. Professor Stein believes the trial will be a success and that we might come away with guidelines for our mental health. The team hopes to see which nutrients are most helpful, and at what dosages.

If you think about the central premise of the nutrient and behavior theory it makes perfect sense. Improving what people are eating could very well help them act more socially as well as doing great things for their own health and well-being. Hunger and deficiency are not the best building blocks, after all. Stein is not claiming that nutrition, or deficiencies, explain the whole bad behavior puzzle, but rather that experts may have seriously underestimated the role it does play. If the theory holds, the solution may be simple, and risk free – a win/win for the individual and society at large.

To your good health,

kropekk_pl / Pixabay

Rare Blood Type And Dementia Risk

If you have blood type AB, about 4% of the total population do, new research holds a warning for you – you may also have a higher risk of memory problems as you get older. A recent study published online in the journal Neurology found that over nearly three years, those with this blood type were almost two times as likely to show memory issues as those who had type O blood, which is the most common blood type. If you have AB blood, don’t panic, there may be other factors that play a bigger part in your risk for mental impairment than your blood type. Plus the association was small, and needs more work to be confirmed.

For the research, the team gave 30,000-plus subjects over 45 years old a series of memory and thinking tests, and then repeated the tests just about three years later. From this group, there were 495 who scored low enough to fall in the range of having some memory or thinking issues. Their blood types were compared to those of 587 subjects who had normal testing scores. After adjusting for age, race, sex and geography, those who had type AB blood were 82% more likely to have impaired cognitive skills than those who had type O blood.

These findings might not be all that startling based on some other recent work. It’s already known that the AB blood type can impact how your blood clots, and ups the risk of blood vessel related conditions. Researchers earlier in 2014 found that the AB blood type was also associated with a higher risk of debilitating stroke.

At least half the association between stroke and the blood type was related to higher amounts of clotting Factor VIII, a protein in the blood that helps it to stop bleeding. If you have hemophilia, you are deficient in Factor VIII, and if you have too much, your blood forms clots too easily and this can lead to heart attack, stroke or large clots that clog veins.

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Rare Blood Type And Dementia Risk Continued…

In the most recent work, only about 20% of the link between memory problems and type AB blood could be accounted for by the higher levels of Factor VIII. This suggests other reasons for the link, reasons research has yet to identify. Perhaps, the association between type AB blood and vascular issues (stroke and dementia share several risk factors) that research has yet to understand. Interesting that those in the study who had memory and thinking issues were also more apt to smoke and have high blood pressure, conditions like diabetes, heart disease or high cholesterol.

The risk of dementia is much, much higher when connected to other lifestyle factors, such as smoking, not being active, being obese and making unhealthy lifestyle choices. If you’re worried about your own dementia risk, make healthy lifestyle choices now to lower that risk, no matter what type blood you have.

The most important message to take from the work is not worry about what type of blood you have, but instead focus on achieving a healthy lifestyle. Don’t smoke. Exercise regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet. Also be sure to keep up with your preventive care and screenings, as these are your best weapon to identify something before it takes hold.

Remember too, that to keep your brain healthy and strong going forward, you need to exercise it. Read, play games, engage with others… do something that you find mentally stimulating and you’ll go a long way toward keeping your thinking sharp and your memories clear.

To your good health,

jarmoluk / Pixabay

They Have So Many Health Benefits!

They’re delicious… and nutritious… full of crunchy goodness; and where once they were considered too high calorie to be eaten regularly, people are taking a second look at nuts. This is likely the result of two new studies that have drawn attention to the benefits of nuts for control of blood sugar. Aside from this benefit, nuts have been associated with weight control and improving heart health. One study from 2013 found that eating nuts might even help you live longer.

The good news is that nuts are not linked to weight gain according to a team from Purdue University, which runs counter to lots of conventional diet wisdom out there. Yes, nuts do have lots of calories (one ounce has from 160 to 200 calories) as you’ve seen; they’re also loaded with other good for you nutrients. So if you eat them in moderation, watching your serving size, you can reap the benefits without taking in lots of extra calories.

In terms of diabetes, work appearing in Diabetes Care found that eating pistachios daily helps those at risk of developing diabetes
maintain control
over their blood sugar. Another study in PLOS One saw that tree nuts (including almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans) might help with blood sugar control in those who already have type 2 diabetes. Nuts have also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity, and this brings down the risk of diabetes.

If you’re wondering why so much of the research in the area is funded by the nut industry, the answer is simple. There’s too little government funding for this type of work, as is the case for many areas of research. The nut industry understands the health benefits of their product and is working hard to get the word out. Even though they give grants to researchers, the teams work independently and the studies are peer reviewed before they can appear in a journal.

Modern medicine has known for some time now that nuts are good
for the heart
. And the ability of the nut to bring down cholesterol is also well understood. The protein naturally in nuts helps to keep blood sugar stable, and the fiber helps with controlling your weight by helping you feel full after you eat. Of course the crunch value may also contribute to that feeling of being satisfied after eating a serving of nuts.

Continues below…

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Are Your Genetics Keeping You Fat? (1 tip to change fast)

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Health Problems: Go For Nuts Continued…

All kinds of nuts are healthy, similar in protein content, fiber and fat. Even though nuts are about 80% fat, it’s good fat, the unsaturated kind. Some types of nuts, almonds for instance, are the best sources of vitamin E, cashews are a good source of magnesium and pistachios are full of the phytonutrients key to healthy eyes while also supplying plenty of magnesium, folate and vitamin E. Nuts even contain arginine, an amino acid that’s needed to create nitric oxide, a substances the body uses to relax blood vessels.

Your best bet is to eat a variety of nuts to get the most well rounded set of nutrients in their natural state. You get all the benefits and won’t be as likely to get bored with one taste.

One to (possibly for someone very active) two ounces a day is a smart limit to set. How many nuts that is depends on the nut in question, for almonds it’s 25, pistachios it’s 40; but only 17 macadamia nuts. Going unsalted is the best bet, but if this is too bland, you can try a sprinkle of cinnamon and broil, or add some rosemary and garlic to taste. You might want to add nuts to a salad or stir fry dish, rather than enjoying them atop a sundae. The good news is that any kind of nut can take the place of other, less healthy snacks. Just pay attention to how many you eat, perhaps give yourself the serving size and put the rest away, so you can’t overeat without thinking.

To your good health,

geralt / Pixabay

How Zinc Fights Infection

Many of you have probably tried a zinc cold lozenge in hopes of fighting off a cold, and now a new bit of research in the journal Cell Reports may explain how this essential, relatively simple mineral might work. The study, led by Daren Knoell who is a professor of pharmacy and internal medicine at Ohio Statue University uncovered just how zinc works to balance the immune systems response to infection, tapping the brakes (so to speak) to prevent out of control inflammation.

On the cellular level zinc stops the activity of a protein that plays a key role in our natural immune response to infection. It acts to keep inflammation in check, inflammation that can be damaging, even deadly.

Surprisingly, a deficiency of zinc affects almost 2 billion people the world over, and this figure includes about 40% of the elderly in the United States. The lack of this mineral can have some unpleasant consequences for vulnerable people, or at the time of an infection could be very serious according to the researchers. If you don’t have enough zinc your immune system is amplified, and not in a good way.

After looking at animal studies and human cell cultures of those with sepsis (a dangerous systemic response to infection), Knoell and his team saw that a specific protein draws zinc into key infection fighting cells, first responders in the fight against infection. Here it balances the immune response. This is the first time this pathway has been studied. In earlier work in animals, Knoell found that mice deficient in zinc developed significant inflammation in response to sepsis than did the mice fed a normal diet.

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How Zinc Fights Infection Continued…

This might explain why taking zinc supplements at the beginning of a cold seems to ease your symptoms. In the future, there may be therapeutic benefit to giving zinc supplements to some patients with certain conditions. But no one is saying that if very ill patients in hospital ICS’s, where sepsis can be life threatening, would benefit from supplements of zinc. Not all patients might need them, perhaps only a portion.

The team also believes that the findings are applicable to other diseases and will continue to study this pathway, inflammation and zinc deficiency. Without enough zinc to start with, perhaps people are more likely to pick up an infection.

Most healthy adults should be getting from 8 (for women) to 11 (for men) milligrams of zinc each day. The U.S. National Institutes of Health tells us that natural sources of zinc include red meat and poultry. Other rich sources of zinc include nuts, beans, some shellfish (oysters, crab, lobster), whole grains, dairy products and fortified cereals. It’s also available as an affordable, easy to take dietary supplement.

If you’re looking for ways to help your immune system, living a healthy lifestyle is one of the best. This includes getting regular exercise (20 minutes with your heart rate up, three times a week), eating more natural sources of antioxidants (besides zinc, vitamin C, and E and beta carotene), being sure you’re getting enough sleep as fatigue increases your susceptibility to illness. Rounding out the list, manage your stress levels as cutting stress brings down levels of cortisol and helps you sleep better. Perhaps most fun of all… laugh as this brings down the levels of stress hormones and increases a type of white blood cell that fights infection.

To your good health,

martaposemuckel / Pixabay

Detect Signs Of Nutrient Deficiency

Our bodies are amazing… they can sometimes tell us when something’s wrong before a doctor can confirm it with tests. If you start to see a change in your own body… in your hair, your nails, your skin or even your energy level… this could be a signal from your body that a vital nutrient is missing from your diet.

Some of the signs your body might give you…

Unhealthy looking nails

Healthy strong nails are a sign of good overall health and strong immunity. What you don’t want to see on nail surfaces are white spots (injury), raised ridges, an inward curve or nails that otherwise look less than healthy. Most often unhealthy looking nails are a sign you need iron (not zinc, that’s a popular myth) so try to include as many natural sources of iron (red meat, fish, poultry, lentils and beans) as you can in your diet.

Interesting that you’re not alone, according to the World Health Organization, iron deficiency is the leading nutritional disorder the world over.

Leg cramps at night

Cramps in your legs or calves at night are a sign that you’re lacking potassium, and essential nutrient. This can happen easily if you’re exercising hard during the day, losing both fluid and electrolytes and only replacing the fluid. Rehydrate with electrolyte rich drinks or try some potassium rich foods like bananas, spinach, broccoli or grapefruit.

And while healthy adults should get enough potassium from food sources, often we don’t. Your doctor may recommend a potassium supplement, or you might try upping natural sources for a time and see if this helps.

Numb hands or feet

If you feel like your hands (or feet) go numb or you get tingling or a prickling feeling in your limbs this can signal a low intake of B vitamins like B6 or B12 and folic acid. Deficiencies of B vitamins directly impact the peripheral nerve endings on the skin’s surface. You’ll want to eat lots of dark leafy greens like spinach and lean proteins like eggs, beans and poultry. Fortified whole grains are good too.

Again, deficiencies of this nutrient are surprisingly common, with about 15% of the general population affected by a deficiency.

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Detect Signs Of Nutrient Deficiency Continued…


Small red or white acne like bumps on your skin (face, arms, even thighs) can signal a vitamin A deficiency. This nutrient helps to remove dead skin and unclogs pores to discourage the growth of acne bacteria. Veggies or other foods rich in beta carotene (a precursor to vitamin A) are key here.

Sadly vitamin A deficiency is a problem for more than half of all nations, especially in Africa and South-East Asia.

It’s important to realize that if you are deficient in one nutrient, based on your body signals, you are likely lacking others as well. It’s hard to believe that with the abundance of food in the developed world that nutrient deficiencies happen at all, but as you see, they are surprisingly common. Once you take steps to address them, you’ll be feeling and looking better than ever – a signal from your body that all is well.

To your good health,

geralt / Pixabay

The News About The Gut Brain Connection

It’s a fascinating concept… the trillions of tiny microorganisms in our own digestive tract may be sending signals to the brain that influence how we think and behave. Interesting too that close to 70% of our immune cells also reside in our digestive tract and are constantly circulating through the body. Science has moved = from studying pathogenic bacteria (the kind that make us sick) to working to understand more about the beneficial organisms that are naturally part of our body.

The gut/brain connection is a compelling new area of study where experts have come to recognize that the brain and digestive system do indeed talk to each other. Can you manipulate how you feel by managing the bacteria of your digestive tract? The answer is still elusive, but research is working hard to get there.

Landmark studies from Japan over ten years ago had scientists asking a new question about the role bacteria might play in helping animals have the proper stress response. About five years ago researchers showed that if you were stressed early on in life, you have a lower diversity of gut bacteria when you grow to adulthood, accompanied by behavior changes.

What science has come to understand is that the individual microbiome has an impact on almost every body system. How this communication happens is what remains to be uncovered. There may be multiple mechanisms that the body can use for the digestive system to communicate with the brain. Bacteria can signal through the vagus nerve, a connector of the enteric nervous system to the central nervous system. Metabolites (small molecules released by bacteria) can be circulated so they interact with the central nervous system.

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The News About The Gut Brain Connection Continued…

Another area that is truly exciting is the research into autism. Parents of these children have been vocal in their belief that there is a very clear connection between the gut and the brain. Researchers including Sarkis Mazmanian, a professor of microbiology at Caltech in California recently published a study that supports autistic parents, finding that the microbiome of autistic kids is different than the best matched, normally developing control subjects. This work has always been clouded by the fact that autistic kids with GI issues were on restricted (or special) diets. No one knew if it was the autism causes the changes in the microbiome or the diet being followed.

Can such a condition be treated? The team used an organism found in the human digestive system, not something sold as a probiotic, and gave it to the autistic mice. Both the behavior and GI deficits were restored with this approach. Be aware that this has only been found in mice models, so we need to be careful of leaping too far ahead of the science.

What you need to understand is that while the area gets lots of attention, the research that gives us what we know comes from animal or preclinical studies. There’s not a lot of human data out there. Most bacteria won’t have a positive or negative effect on the function of your brain. There may be some brining positive effects, but not many. Researchers will need to proceed with caution.

To your good health,

bykst / Pixabay

Bad News For The Instant Noodles Lovers

They’re affordable, tasty and easy to make… but eating lots of instant noodles can also bring some serious consequences to your health. In fact, a new study appearing in The Journal of Nutrition finds that eating lots of instant noodles may up the risk of a condition known as cardiometabolic syndrome that can lead to stroke, heart disease or diabetes.

Asian populations eat lots of instant noodles, so a Baylor University team relied on diet information taken from the Korean National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey IV (2007-2009) on 11,000 subjects ranging in age from 19 to 64 years old. The subjects reported what they ate, and the team then categorized the diet as either traditional or fast food focused. Traditional dietary pattern (TP) included lots of fish, rice, veggies, fruit and potatoes – while the fast food pattern (MP) had lots of meat, soda, fried and convenient foods… including those instant noodles so familiar to struggling college students everywhere.

It’s no surprise that the fast food eating pattern was linked to higher obesity rates and higher levels of cholesterol, just as the traditional dietary pattern was linked to normal blood pressure and a lower chance of being obese. Neither diet demonstrated a clear link to a risk of having cardiometabolic syndrome.

Here’s the thing… when the team looked at the data on instant noodle consumption they saw that eating the noodles at least two times a week was linked to a 68% higher incidence of metabolic syndrome for women, even after accounting for sodium intake, estrogen use and waist circumference. Eating these noodles one time a week brought at 26% higher prevalence of metabolic syndrome. The relationship held for leaner women who said they did more exercise, though it was not found in men.

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Bad News For The Instant Noodles Lovers Continued…

Researchers explain the increased risk as the result of all the calories, refined carbs, saturated fat and sodium in those instant noodles. Women may be especially susceptible to the negative effects due to hormones that impact a woman disproportionately, or metabolic differences. Another concern is the chemical BPA that’s in the styrofoam container used to package those instant noodles, a substance known to mess with the way hormones (particularly estrogen) send messages in the body.

There are limitations to the work. One being that the numbers from the nutrition survey didn’t account for serving size, only the number of times a given food was eaten. Still, the team is hoping that people become more aware of their food choices, and that some packaged foods may be just as bad for the body as fast food.

Also of note, the research has brought out feelings of wounded pride, stubborn resistance, even nationalism in South Koreans, who, it turns out, eat more instant noodles than anyone. They refuse to give up their noodles, and are trying to keep the dish healthy by adding veggies, taking supplements, using less seasoning and avoiding the soup. Others wonder if facilities in junk food loving America are capable of producing unbiased research on nutrition.

So as you consider buying instant noodles, at least recognize that this is not a healthy choice. You are purchasing a processed food, a food with unhealthy additives. If you just can’t break the instant noodle habit, consider not eating them every single day, and control the portion size. You might try making home cooked pasta – not as fast or affordable as the instant variety, but the time and effort are certainly worth it when you think about the nutrient value of the end product – the meal you are using to fuel your body.

To your good health,

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.

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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,