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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:37 am 
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Healthier lifestyles 'would cut cancer rates by a third'

Around 80,000 cases of cancer could be prevented every year if we abandoned our couch potato lifestyles and ate more healthily, say scientists.

Not only would eating more fruit and vegetables, cutting down on alcohol and taking regular exercise cut cancer rates by more than a third, it would also slash the cost of treating the disease on the NHS.

According to the analysis of 23 experts by the World Cancer Research Fund, Britain is now on a par with America when it comes to preventable cancer cases.

Professor Martin Wiseman, the charity's scientific and medical adviser, said: 'Because we read so much about America's problems with obesity and junk food, people may find it surprising that the proportion of cancer cases related to diet, physical activity and weight is just as bad here in the UK.

'It is true that a higher proportion of cancer cases in the U.S. are linked to body fat, but not by much.

'In the U.S. we estimate that for the seven types of cancer that are weight related, just under 20 per cent could be prevented through people being a healthy weight. In the UK, this figure is about 17 per cent.

'But one reason the overall situation in the UK is as bad is the amount of alcohol we drink and this means we need to do more to raise awareness that alcohol increases cancer risk.'

Last year, a report from the WCRF revealed 39 per cent of cases of the 12 major cancers were preventable with a better diet, more exercise and less drinking.

The figures showed that 78,748 cases of the 207,000 new cases of cancer each year were caused by unhealthy lifestyles. That includes 19,000 cases of breast cancer and 16,100 cases of bowel cancer.

The latest analysis reports around a fifth of cancer cases in Britain are linked to drinking too much - double the estimate for the U.S.

It shows that each year in the UK, 7,450 cases of mouth, pharynx and larynx cancer are diagnosed, of which 4,992 are estimated to be preventable.

There are another 7,828 cases of oesophageal cancer, of which 5,871 could be prevented.

Of 39,025 cases of lung cancer, 12,878 could be prevented while 3,471 cases of stomach cancer could be prevented out of 7,714.

Other cancers affected by lifestyle include prostate, pancreatic, gallbladder, liver, kidney and bowel.

The WCRF figures do not take into account cancer that would be prevented by giving up smoking. Tobacco is to blame for around a third of cases of the disease.

Professor Wiseman added: 'These estimates are a concern because they mean there are many cases of cancer in the UK every year that could have been prevented by relatively simple lifestyle changes.

'But the high proportion of potentially preventable cases also means that as a country we have a lot to gain by making lifestyle changes

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/artic ... third.html


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 9:49 am 
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An ounce or prevention?

You or your loved have cancer - how does this apply to me? Well, it is highly relevant to prognosis and quality of life. Prevention also applies to recurrence!

I have no scientific data to support, but if it is true that 80% of cancers may be prevented with adequate vitamin D3 this alone would have a dramatic effective on cancer and its recurrence.

Whether you have cancer or want to prevent it, there are steps you can take to reclaim your health. Adequate D3 (2000IU daily), a whole foods diet and including plenty of omega 3's together would, I predict, drop cancer rates to record lows. Add antioxiants and one or two other changes, especially lower body fat and exercise, then cancer could become a rare disease.

At school, I can only remember one fat kid in the whole school (and no it wasn't me ;). Now 70% of people are overweight or obese in developed countries and we call this progress?!?


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PostPosted: Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:17 am 
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Australia counts the heavy cost of obesity

SLIMMERS are splurging millions of dollars a year on weight loss aids including surgery.

Australians will spend $745.6 million this financial year on counselling, low-calorie foods and shakes, diet cookbooks and guides, dietary supplements, lap bands and liposuction, an IBISWorld industry report estimated.

The figure doesn't include gyms, personal trainers and other exercise-related expenses.

IBISWorld senior analyst Ed Butler said demand for weight loss aids was expected to grow strongly beyond 2009-10.

"The combination of being sedentary for longer periods, and not having time to cook, and eating higher levels of processed foods means that people tend to put on more weight," he said.

"There's also the argument of all the things people are putting in here, none of them are actually exercise.

"If you look at the promotion of any of these products or services, they'll tend to suggest these should be in concert with healthy diet and exercise.

"There's a question of whether exercise levels are going up or down - certainly gym memberships and personal training classes are going up, but at the same time we're seeing greater obesity in Australia."

The weight loss industry is expected to blow out to more than $1 billion a year by 2015-16, the report revealed.

Women over 30 are the biggest spenders, although men in the same age group are catching up.

Low calorie and fat-free food and drinks are the major growth area.

Melbourne's Tasman Dally, 68, dropped from 107kg to 87kg using meal replacements at breakfast, lunch and dinner for three months.

The first-time dieter adopted his strict slimming regimen as a volunteer for a weight loss study conducted by the University of Melbourne and Austin Hospital.

Mr Dally said he had found it relatively easy to substitute diet shakes, bars, soups and desserts for his regular meals.

"I didn't find it too bad at all," he said.

About 62 per cent of adult Australians are overweight.

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/nation ... 5873796545

[comment - isn't it ironic the more we spend on weight loss the heavier we get. This will continue until the light goes on we realise that we need to live like our ancestors, eating more fruit & veges in our diet and more activity. Few people are recognising the relationship between dieting and obesity, and chronic illnesses will continue to increase until we do]


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:18 am 
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Research explains link between diabetes and obesity

INFLAMMATORY cells in fat tissue cause the body to become resistant to the effects of insulin, explaining the link between obesity and diabetes, Melbourne researchers have found.

The discovery could pave the way for drugs that prevent insulin resistance, where the body is unable to use the hormone to convert food into energy.

Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute found the immune systems of overweight people reacted against fat tissue as though it were an infection, causing complications including insulin resistance.

It may also explain the disease's prevalence among Aborigines, who the researchers said could have a very strong immune response to infections.

''But the pay-off is that when they switch to a Western diet, which is high in fat, it stimulates these immune cells and consequently they get insulin resistance and diabetes,'' lead researcher Professor Len Harrison said.

Researchers made the discovery after analysing the fat tissue of more than 100 Victorians who had undergone lap-band surgery.

One of them was Denise Balnaves, who had the surgery in February in an effort to better manage her diabetes. Mrs Balnaves, 62, said her weight had consequently dropped from 98 kilograms to 70 kilograms, resulting in greater control over the condition including cutting her four injections a day down to one.

Study co-author Dr John Wentworth said the inflammatory cells, along with the risk of developing insulin resistance and diabetes, also disappeared when people lost weight naturally.

Professor Harrison said the finding was important to tackle the ''raging epidemic'' of obesity, which was set to pose major health risks and costs in the future.

http://www.theage.com.au/national/resea ... 1259a.html


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:15 am 
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Obesity Rises while Dieting Declines

(NaturalNews) In spite of all the hoopla about billions being spent on losing weight, the fact is, most overweight Americans are not trying to lose weight. The number of people dieting is lower now than it has been in 20 years. At the same time, the rate of obesity continues to rise. This may be a hard one to swallow considering the statistics on all the money spent for weight loss products, programs and diets.

The billions spent are not a measure of a commitment to weight loss. Spending the money for mail order meals, treadmills, diet pills and weight loss books does not mean more people are losing weight. The majority really go no further than spending the money. Commitment is another issue altogether. If they could spend the money and get results with no change or effort on their part, most would do it. Otherwise, forget it.

Even if they know that being overweight has serious health consequences, many simply do not want to give up their ice cream and fast foods. Nor do they want to get out there and walk around the block.

Americans are notorious for doing what they want in spite of the consequences. And some do it right to the point of a serious health issue before they consider giving up that banana split, extra large fries or super-sized soda.

And then there are those who say they are not concerned about their weight. They believe they look good and they believe they are healthy. But do we buy this? Giving them the benefit of the doubt in believing they are happy is one thing; believing they are healthy is another thing altogether.

Many think they have to be miserable during a weight loss process. This can be for good reason for those who have tried again and again and failed again and again. Those who try diets that leave them hungry and exercise programs that are far too much can make folks want to give up. Many say it is just too much work.

The good news:
It does not have to be a negative experience. In fact, it can be a very positive experience. The answer is not found in a magic pill or fad diet. It is found by looking back in time when food was actually "food" and we still went outside for a walk. Back then obesity was not a problem. It`s not a secret. It`s just forgotten or ignored.

Real food is still available and we can find 15 minutes for a walk around the block each day. Replacing processed food with real food will give our bodies the nutrients needed to work as it is intended to work, thus improving our health dramatically. Weight loss is a natural side effect.

http://www.naturalnews.com/029468_obesity_dieting.html


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PostPosted: Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:52 am 
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New Link Found Between Inflammation and Cancer

ScienceDaily (Aug. 16, 2010) — Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researchers have uncovered a new link between chronic inflammation and cancer. Although cancers do not always cause inflammation, chronic inflammation is known to help tumor cells grow.

In an article published in the June issue of Nature, VCU Massey scientists Sarah Spiegel, Ph.D., and Tomasz Kordula, Ph.D., and their co-authors examine how sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a lipid mediator in the blood that influences immune cell circulation, also regulates inflammation and cancer. They reported that S1P is a missing cofactor that is required for the activity of TRAF2, the key regulator of NF-kappaB, which acts as a master on-off switch in controlling inflammation and cancer.

Spiegel, who is internationally recognized for her pioneering work on bioactive lipid signaling, discovered almost two decades ago that S1P is a potent lipid mediator that stimulates cell growth. S1P and the kinase that produces it, SphK1, have since emerged as critical regulators of numerous fundamental biological processes affecting health and disease.

"It is difficult to find an area of physiology and pathophysiology in which S1P does not have important if not key roles. Appropriate to its name, which is associated with the enigma of the Sphinx, how S1P so profoundly regulates cell fate decisions has long remained a mystery," said Spiegel, co-leader of VCU Massey's Cancer Cell Signaling Program and chair of VCU School of Medicine's Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Department.

The puzzle of how such a simple molecule as S1P can have diverse roles has been solved by VCU Massey researchers' discovery that this lipid mediator functions not only as a "first messenger," a ligand or agonist that binds to specific cell surface receptors, but also inside the cells as an "intracellular second messenger" that is required for activation of the transcription factor NF-kappaB.

These findings also provide an explanation for the numerous observations of the importance of the enzyme that produces S1P, SphK1, in protection of cancer cells against chemotherapeutic drugs and the correlation of its levels with poor prognosis of many types of cancers, including breast, colorectal and brain.

Spiegel hopes that specific SphK1 inhibitors they are developing will pave the way for future potent and specific drugs that target SphK1 for the treatment of cancer.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 170837.htm


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PostPosted: Wed Aug 18, 2010 10:25 am 
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Developing world in grip of killer cancer

NEW DELHI: Cancer is no more a rich man's disease, with almost 80% of the burden across the world being borne by poor and middle-income countries like India.

Despite the lopsided figure, only 5% of global resources for cancer are spent in developing countries.

This is the conclusion of a report -- "Expansion of Cancer Care and Control in Countries of Low and Middle income: A Call to Action" -- published in the medical journal, The Lancet, by a high-power global expert panel, which included leading lights like Lance Armstrong, Julio Frenk, dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, Jeffrey D Sachs, Felicia Knaul, director of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative and Lawrence Shulman, chief medical officer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

Dr K Srinath Reddy, director of the Public Health Foundation of India, was also a part of this the Global Task Force on Expanded Access to Cancer Care and Control in Developing Countries.

According to Dr Reddy and his 19 colleagues, cancer is now a leading cause of death and disability. Cancer's economic toll was $895 billion in 2008, which is equivalent to 1.5% of the world's GDP.

WHO had predicted that cancer would overtake heart disease as the leading killer disease. About 7.6 million people died of cancer in 2008, and about 12.4 million new cases are diagnosed each year.

In 1970, 15% of newly reported cancers were in developing countries, compared to 56% in 2008. By 2030, it will rise to 70%. Almost two-thirds of the 7.6 million deaths every year from cancer worldwide occur in low and middle-income countries.

Overall, case fatality from cancer is estimated to be 75% in countries of low income, 72% in countries of low-middle income, 64% in countries of high-middle income, and 46% in countries of high income.

Calling for action against cancer on a war footing, the panel concluded that compelling evidence of the feasibility and effectiveness of comprehensive cancer control merits a renewed global effort to expand cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and palliation in countries of low and middle income, including provision of affordable and reliable drug supplies and vaccines.

"We propose that cancer care and control become rapidly and broadly available as quickly as possible with the focus on cancers that can be prevented or cured, or, for cases in which neither is possible, palliated," the panel observed.

It has proposed three changes.

First, simultaneous implementation of large-scale demonstration programmes in the next few years to define and build new infrastructure, train health professionals, harness technology and especially telecommunications to overcome many on-site limitations. Carefully designed studies will enable identification of the most effective measures to alleviate the burden of cancer, and expand the volume of health services in developing countries.

Second, design and implementation of regional and global pricing and procurement mechanisms to offer individual countries the opportunity to participate in collective, multicountry negotiation to secure reduced prices for essential services, drugs and vaccines.

Third, identification and implementation of innovative financing mechanisms, which should decisively expand the financial resources available for prevention, treatment and palliation of cancer in the developing world.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/indi ... 326695.cms

[comment - has there been a sigificant lifestyle change in the developing countries? Sure treatment is one aspect but prevention is always better. Are obsesity and chronic diseases rising also? This would indicate that these developing countries are inheriting the problems of the West delayed by a couple of decades. I have read about China inheriting these problems with fast food outlets multiplying]


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PostPosted: Thu Aug 19, 2010 10:00 am 
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Kidney disease soars in Australia

The number of Australians admitted to hospital for kidney dialysis has jumped by more than 70 per cent in the past decade.

A report by the Institute of Health and Welfare says that number is expected to keep growing as Australia's population ages.

But a separate study suggests that for some, dialysis should be delayed.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare has, for the first time, examined hospital data on the treatment of chronic kidney disease.

It found that between 2001 and 2008, the number of hospitalisations for regular dialysis in Australia increased by 71 per cent - an extra 60,000 admissions per year.

Researcher Francis Green says that trend is set to continue as Australians get older and fatter.

"Two of the main risk factors for chronic disease - increased age and type 2 diabetes - are increasing in the community so that sort of indicates that this disease is going to keep increasing," he said.

The medical director of Kidney Health Australia, Dr Tim Mathew, says the report paints a distressing picture.

"This is by far the biggest growth area for admissions to hospitals," he said.

"We're now spending $1 billion a year on the direct costs of dialysis programs in Australia."

Dr Mathew says he was not surprised that the increase was as much as 71 per cent.

"What is disappointing is that there is a fairly constant growth over the last 10 years or so going up at about 6 per cent a year, and that's not showing any real sign of decreasing," he said.

In 2008, chronic kidney disease was a contributing factor in 15 per cent of all hospitalisations in Australia and regular dialysis accounted for 4 per cent of all bed days.

Renal physician Dr Pauline Branley says there is an emerging trend to put patients on dialysis early to try to prevent heart problems.

But there is new evidence that dialysis is not always effective.

The results of an eight-year trial involving more than 800 kidney patients in Australia and New Zealand have just been published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Dr Branley says she wanted to find out if beginning dialysis treatment early has any benefits.

"It showed that patients closely supervised, in which dialysis was delayed for about six months, did just as well as those in whom we started it earlier," she said.

"I think this has a lot of implications in terms of health funding and also in terms of patients' quality of life."

Dr Mathew says the study will give doctors the confidence to wait until symptoms of chronic kidney disease appear before starting dialysis.

Prevention is key

But the key to reducing the burden on the health system is to prevent the condition.

Dr Mathew says Australia has no plan of attack to stop people ending up on dialysis.

"We believe that if we were able to identify a kidney disease early and do the right things with it - which is basically pretty simple medicine like blood pressure control, sugar control, cholesterol control - then we could slow down the rate of progression of people with kidney trouble and ultimately reduce the number of people coming onto dialysis programs," he said.

"There is no program that's targeting kidney disease like there is with diabetes - none of that is happening in the kidney world."

Dr Branley agrees the greatest need is in monitoring and prevention.

"I would anticipate that our dialysis numbers will continue to soar - terrible in terms of patients' quality of life, terrible in terms of the health budget, and essentially we need to be tackling lifestyle issues and really diabetes," she said.

The Institute of Health and Welfare found Indigenous Australians are 11 times more likely to need kidney dialysis than other Australians.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010 ... ion=justin


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 8:39 am 
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The 35 inch Survival Test

Imagine if you had to pass this simple test: if your waistline is equal to or less than 35 inches, you could lead a healthy life; if not, you must begin a regime to trim down, because the clock is ticking.

Given all of the health risks associated with our waistlines, 35 inches may not be an unreasonable limit, but this is the reality that the trapped miners in Chile must face because of the dimensions of the escape tunnel that is under construction. Thankfully, from news reports, it doesn’t seem this will be a major problem for them.

As Chileans and the world wait for the miners’ safe recovery, this startling reminder of the importance of one’s waistline is an opportunity to review the health risks of our increasing girth.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that the average waistline is 40 inches for men and is 37 inches for women, so more than 50% of Americans would fail the 35 inch survival test. CDC scientists concluded that abdominal obesity has “increased continuously during the past 15 years”.

Visceral fat, especially the fat around our middle, is associated with a host of diseases, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, dementia, asthma, breast cancer and colorectal cancer. Below is a snapshot of some of these risks: (source – Harvard Health Publications)

• An increase of two inches to a healthy woman’s waist size is estimated to increase the risk for cardiovascular disease by 10%.
• More than 80% of people with type 2 diabetes are overweight or obese.
• Your risk for dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, could triple with high levels of abdominal fat.
• Even with normal body weight, your risk for asthma could increase by almost 40% if your waist exceeds 35 inches (for women).
• Risks for both breast cancer and colorectal cancer increase with higher levels of abdominal fat; colorectal cancer risks can triple.

When I heard this story yesterday, I thought if it were not for my inclination to overindulge every now and then, to enjoying dessert after dinner, I would be in that 35 inch or less club, but I am not. I would fail this test, even if by less than one inch – OK, an inch…well, I working on it - really. Better get to those sit-ups!

http://blog.nj.com/njv_jeff_toney/2010/ ... _test.html


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:43 am 
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Heart disorder hits national epidemic proportions

A growing epidemic of the world's most common heart rhythm disorder is resulting in an alarming number of hospital admissions in Australia, according to cardiology researchers.

A research team led by Professor Prash Sanders, from the University of Adelaide and the Cardiovascular Research Centre at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, found that hospital admissions due to atrial fibrillation had more than tripled in Australia over a 15-year period.

These findings are being presented at the European Society of Cardiology's Scientific Congress in Stockholm, Sweden, today. The Congress is the largest annual meeting of doctors and scientists in Europe dedicated to the study of cardiovascular disease.

Professor Sanders, the Knapman Chair of Cardiology Research at the University of Adelaide, says the results are a wakeup call for doctors and healthcare authorities.

"There are very few studies that have looked at hospitalisation rates across an entire country due to atrial fibrillation, and none in recent years.

"This study highlights the enormous public health burden of atrial fibrillation on hospitals and the need for not only better treatments for this increasingly common condition, but also preventative strategies to stop it occurring in the first place," Professor Sanders says.

Chief investigator Mr Chris Wong, a final-year medical student at the University of Adelaide, says atrial fibrillation is the most common, sustained heart rhythm disorder in humans, affecting almost one in 10 people over the age of 80.

"Importantly, left untreated, it can have devastating consequences such as stroke and death. One in five strokes are due to this heart rhythm disorder," Mr Wong says.

The researchers looked at all hospitalisations due to atrial fibrillation in Australia (population 22 million) over a 15-year period from 1993 to 2008.

The 200% increase in hospitalisations was despite a decrease in the length of stay for each admission.

"This highlights the fact that not only have the absolute number of admissions increased significantly, but also the percentage of the population hospitalised for atrial fibrillation is continuing to increase at an alarming rate," Mr Wong says.

The researchers also discovered that Indigenous Australians had greater rates of hospitalisation for this condition, and at younger ages.

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/ ... 082910.php


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:52 am 
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Weight Loss: Boost Your Metabolism Naturally

(NaturalNews) Metabolism is a term often associated with weight loss. It is the name for the process by which the body converts what you eat and drink into the energy needed to power everything you do, from moving and breathing to thinking and growing. It involves a series of biochemical reactions that burn the calories in food and beverages to release the energy your body needs to fuel essential bodily processes. Stated in basic terms, weight loss generally occurs when the body burns calories at a faster rate than it takes them in. Here's how can boost your metabolism naturally to lose weight.

Exercise Regularly

Exercise burns calories and ranks among the best ways to boost your metabolism naturally. Walking, running, swimming and biking increases the energy your body requires, which in turn increases your metabolism, according to Gary Miller, PhD, associate professor at Wake Forest University, North Carolina. Even after you stop exercising, your body will burn calories at a faster rate for several hours afterward. As a general goal, the Mayo Clinic recommends including at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise or other physical activity into your daily routine.

Strength Training

Muscle burns more calories than fat can, writes the Mayo Clinic. In other words, if you are more muscular, your body will burn calories at a higher rate than a less muscular individual. Strength training such as lifting weights or working out with weights helps to build muscle mass, which helps boost your metabolism.

On the flip side, inactivity is a key culprit in muscle loss, as muscle tissue is replaced by fat tissue. Given that fat is far less active metabolically than muscle, this slows down the rate at which your body burns calories. As Peter D. Vash, M.D. notes: "Muscle burns calories while fat stores them."

Grazing

Eating smaller meals more often throughout the day, referred to as grazing, can help boost your metabolism. When you eat more frequently, it enables your body to burn calories at a more constant rate, which in turn increases your overall metabolic rate.

According to Nick Flynn, PhD, associate professor at Angelo State University in Texas, grazing helps to normalize your blood sugar levels, rather than to produce three large spikes, which happens when you eat three times a day. It also helps ward off snack attacks.

Rather than the standard three regular meals, eat 5 to 6 meals smaller, healthful meals a day eat. You should also start the day with breakfast. Scientific studies have shown that eating breakfast not only boosts metabolism, but also encourages physical activity.

Eat More Protein

Metabolism involves the transportation of molecules to different parts of the body. One of the things that enhance the transportation of molecules is an appropriate balance of amino acids, which are contained in protein. Including some protein in one`s meals will hence boost metabolism naturally.

http://www.naturalnews.com/029609_metab ... nergy.html


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PostPosted: Wed Sep 01, 2010 11:55 am 
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Positive Choices Avoid Chronic Illness

(NaturalNews) Millions suffer from chronic illness that may be prevented by new lifestyle choices. Knowledge and the desire to make positive changes could be the answer.

Chronic illness afflicts 100 million Americans... consumes two-thirds of all U.S. health care costs and causes 7 out of 10 deaths. ($2.00 out of every $3 spent on health care is for chronic illness caused most often by preventable poor lifestyle habits), according to Mike Leavitt, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

The (CDC) Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that close to half of Americans suffer from, at least one chronic disease. More than two-thirds of the deaths in the U.S. are caused by a combination of heart disease, cancer, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and diabetes. Their web site showing the ways chronic diseases might be managed on a nationwide level is www.FightChronicDisease.org.

A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that four healthy lifestyle choices could reduce your risk of most common chronic diseases by 80 percent. By eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight you could significantly reduce your risk of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other ailments.

The American Diabetes Association conducted a survey and found that 52 percent identified developing a chronic illness as the worst possible thing that could happen. At the same time when it came to making changes to reduce the risk of disease the survey found that 67% admitted to following a poor diet. 62% maintained an UN-healthy weight while a whopping 83% recognized that being overweight or obese was a contributing factor to developing diabetes.

The conclusion seems to be, that while more than half of the people in the survey thought chronic illness was the worst thing that could happen and understood that being overweight or obese could lead to diabetes, they still maintained an un-healthy weight and followed a poor diet.

What is the answer?

The key to reducing the risk of chronic illness is prevention. We must focus on a healthy lifestyle and develop healthy habits by eating nutritious foods, getting enough sleep, keeping stress levels down and getting regular daily exercise.

More knowledge may be needed about the relationship between chronic disease and poor lifestyle choices. Many may not be convinced that making better choices will help and some are simply unwilling to make the changes in spite of the knowledge.

Choices and habits that have a negative impact on our lives can imprison us. If we learn about the choices that are available to us and then develop good habits, it can give us all the power we need to improve our health.

We really have nothing if we don't have our health. It's a choice.

http://www.naturalnews.com/029608_chron ... oices.html


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 11:17 am 
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Diabetes drug can reduce risk of cancer, researchers find

A growing body of evidence suggests that the widely used diabetes drug metformin can reduce the risk of cancer, researchers said Wednesday.

A study in mice exposed to tobacco carcinogens shows that the drug can reduce the development of lung tumors by more than 70%, and results from a small clinical trial in Japan suggest it can reduce rates of colorectal tumors in humans. The National Cancer Institute is now organizing a clinical trial to test the drug in people who smoke, and other trials are testing it against breast and prostate cancer.

There is not yet enough evidence to recommend using the drug routinely for cancer prevention, but the evidence is strong enough that physicians and patients considering drug therapy for type 2 diabetes might want to lean toward metformin because of its ancillary effects, researchers said in a news conference.

"Among the various treatment options for type 2 diabetes, if all other things are equal, early evidence that metformin might have benefit on the oncology side may play a role in decision-making," said Dr. Michael Pollak, a medical oncologist at McGill University in Montreal who surveyed recent metformin research in an article in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

The drug is particularly promising, he added, because unlike use of finasteride for preventing prostate cancer or tamoxifen for breast cancer, metformin appears to act across a broad spectrum of cancers.

Metformin increases the sensitivity of cells to insulin. It is one of the most widely used diabetes drugs, with 40 million prescriptions written in the United States in 2008.

It also has a number of other biological effects, including inhibiting a key signaling process between receptors in cells (called mammalian target of rapamycin, or mTOR) and reducing circulating levels of insulin and insulin-like growth factor. All those actions may inhibit or prevent the growth of cancer cells.

Interest in metformin was stimulated by a 2005 observational study in Britain that found that diabetics taking metformin had a 40% lower risk of cancer than those taking other diabetes drugs. Several subsequent studies have found the same thing.

"The epidemiologic evidence in diabetic humans is convincing and strong," said Dr. Phillip A. Dennis, a medical oncologist at the National Cancer Institute. "It is real, and the reduction in risk ranges from 30% to 70%," depending on the type of cancer, he said.

To learn more about it, Dennis and his colleagues used a well-known model of lung cancer, exposing mice to a carcinogen known as NNK, the most prominent carcinogen in tobacco smoke. All the mice given only NNK, and no metformin, developed lung cancer, the researchers reported Wednesday in Cancer Prevention Research.

But mice given metformin orally had a 33% reduction in numbers of tumors and a 34% reduction in tumor size. Those given it by injection had a 73% reduction in tumor number. The National Cancer Institute is now planning and seeking approval for a clinical trial in human smokers.

In another report in the Cancer Prevention Research journal, researchers from the Yokohama City University School of Medicine and the National Cancer Center Research Institute in Tokyo gave metformin to 12 nondiabetic patients with what are known as aberrant crypt foci, precursors of colorectal cancer.

After a month of low doses of the drug, the scientists found a significantly lower number of foci in the treated patients compared with 14 patients who did not receive the drug.

"These are very promising and exciting results," said Dr. Scott Lippman, a medical oncologist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and editor of the journal.

In an editorial accompanying the reports, Dr. Jeffrey A. Engelman of Massachusetts General Hospital and Dr. Lewis C. Cantley of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston also praised the findings. They noted that "primary care physicians and endocrinologists may consider this information when choosing an antidiabetes regimen for patients, especially those at a higher risk for developing cancer."

In a news conference, Cantley noted that clinicians would have to rely for now on epidemiological studies because "prevention trials take forever to get done, and metformin is off patent, so no drug company will pay for them."

Added Pollak of McGill University, "We don't want to ignore the evidence we have now."

http://www.latimes.com/health/la-sci-me ... 4213.story


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:53 pm 
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New Study Singles out Factors Linked to Cognitive Deficits in Type 2 Diabetes

ScienceDaily (Sep. 1, 2010) — Older adults with diabetes who have high blood pressure, walk slowly or lose their balance, or believe they're in bad health, are significantly more likely to have weaker memory and slower, more rigid cognitive processing than those without these problems, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

These three health factors stood out from more than a dozen suspected to shape how Type 2 diabetes is frequently shadowed by cognitive impairment, including dementia. An analysis in September's Neuropsychology stresses that although these factors might not actually cause cognitive problems, their presence can warn doctors that such problems may exist or soon develop.

"Awareness of the link between diabetes and cognition could help people realize how important it is to manage this disease--and to motivate them to do so," said co-author Roger Dixon, PhD, of the University of Alberta.

Type 2 diabetes has been found by other researchers to nearly double the risk of dementia and Alzheimer's disease, said Dixon, who studies how health affects cognition in aging. As diabetes becomes more common, this heightened risk could dramatically hike the number of older people with dementia -- a double whammy of serious chronic disease. Among people older than 60, the U.S. prevalence of Type 2 diabetes is more than 23 percent, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive & Kidney Diseases. The Canadian prevalence is nearly 19 percent, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.

An analysis of older Canadians living in British Columbia -- 41 with Type 2 diabetes (ages 55-81) and 458 matched healthy controls (ages 53-90) -- found that systolic blood pressure (the top number, or maximum pressure on artery walls during a single heartbeat), a low combination score for gait and balance, and a patient's own reports of poor health all played a statistically significant role in the relationship between diabetes and cognitive impairment relationship.

In other words, higher but still normal blood pressure, slower gait and shakier balance, and/or reporting one's self to be in bad health regardless of actual problems boosted the likelihood that someone with Type 2 diabetes had impaired cognition. The relationships were linear: For example, the worse the balance, the higher the likelihood of cognitive problems, as measured by mental speed (reaction time, switching time and perceptual speed), mental control and flexibility (executive functioning), and recall of recent learning (episodic memory).

The results highlight factors that may work indirectly, gradually and cumulatively to make older diabetics more likely to develop dementia. Researchers tested 13 different variables in all, in the areas of general fitness, emotional health, subjective and functional health, and lifestyle activities.

Mediating Factors

Because diabetes and hypertension often go together, Dixon said he was not surprised that high systolic blood pressure accounted for one-third to one-half of significantly worse scores on four tests. That finding, said the authors, suggests that diabetes and cognition may be connected via diabetics' vascular problems. For example, diabetes and hypertension may both play a role in a larger metabolic syndrome that includes high blood sugar and insulin resistance.

However, the other two factors raised new questions. Combined gait and balance had the greatest influence, accounting for between 32 percent and 62 percent of performance on seven cognitive tests. Diabetes might affect the specific nerves that control gait and balance, the authors wrote, or more broadly affect the overlapping brain areas that support both gait-balance and cognition.

Like blood pressure, what people said about their health accounted for about one-third to one-half of performance on five different cognitive tests. Negativity about one's health could reflect related factors such as stress or depression, which did not, in this study, directly mediate between diabetes and cognition. Self-reported health is "an important indicator of ways in which a cluster of health-related beliefs and behaviors can modulate the effect of this disease on cognitive adaptation," Dixon said.

"It's important to pay attention to the health beliefs of older adults, not because they are necessarily accurate or valid indicators of specific health status, but because they might track overall health," Dixon said.

Type 2 diabetes in adults accounts for 90 percent to 95 percent of all diagnosed cases of diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive & Kidney Diseases.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/20 ... 121934.htm


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 4:25 pm 
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Stay skinny and you might prevent cancer, say the experts. But what about those hunger-inducing drugs?

As body fat produces cancer-promoting hormones, those who exercise regularly, eat healthily, and keep their weight down are less likely to develop various forms of cancer – according to The World Cancer Research Fund. The fund’s website states that “cancer is largely preventable” and suggests that exercise could prevent 5,500 cases of breast cancer and at least 4,600 cases of bowel cancer each year. It would also reduce the risk of women developing womb cancer.

“Largely preventable” is quite a statement. Does this actually mean that the WCRF believes most cancers to be our own fault? There are obvious links – smoking and lung cancer – but the entertainer Roy Castle developed lung cancer despite never smoking a cigarette in his life. He thought it may have been caused by the smoke filled clubs in which he worked, but who knows?

I taught acting and movement for many years, breastfed my children, walked the dogs three miles each day, ate a healthy diet and was not overweight, yet I developed breast cancer. In fact, I cannot think of a single friend whose breast cancer could be blamed on weight issues caused by a lack of exercise or bad diet. Quite the reverse.

Surely, it can’t possibly be that simple. What worries me, is that in an attempt to oversimplify the issue, organisations like the WCRF are causing people unnecessary distress. Once diagnosed, it is only natural to question ourselves: how could I have prevented this? But the truth is, self- blame does not help either the acceptance of the diagnosis or the recovery.

What I am sure about is that being fit through exercise does help enormously when disaster strikes and cancer is diagnosed. I am convinced that I recovered from surgery and managed six weeks of radiotherapy without too much exhaustion because I was physically fit at the outset. Of course, there were days when all I wanted to do was curl up in bed after treatment, but it was my dogs that saved me. On opening my front door, I would have their beseeching eyes looking at me, so out we went! They were a great incentive to stay active and, I suspect, without them my recovery would not have been so quick.

Don’t even get me started on food. Does anyone else find that the oestrogen suppressing medication, tamoxifen, makes you permanently hungry? I have been wondering why that without warning, I suddenly feel like my blood sugar level has hit rock bottom while I drown in my own sweat. Naturally, chocolate is the only answer to the problem, otherwise I am starving every few hours. Well, having just read an article about cancer drugs causing weight, I may have just found the answer. It would appear that the medication triggers the receptors in the brain that stimulate hunger. That explains everything!

In other words, the very drug which is designed to prevent the cancer returning is causing me to eat more and, possibly, put on the weight. The WCRF tells me that weight gain could cause cancer, but of course, it will all be my fault!

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/judit ... ing-drugs/


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