New Drugs for Gout and Ulcerative Colitis
New drugs for gout and ulcerative colitis, two diseases that plague millions of people worldwide have been found.
Identifying the Signs of Breast Cancer
The early stages of breast cancer may not have any symptoms. That is why you must learn how to identify the signs of breast cancer before it's too late!
Full Body Detox
Lose 10 - 50lbs in 3 week with detox!
Do I Have Healthy Prostate Gland?
Don't wait until it's too late! Make sure you have healthy prostate gland.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The Sweet Smell of a Perfume Allergy

Ah….the sweet, smell of perfume! Today’s market is flooded with hundreds and hundreds of different fragrances ranging from floral to woodsy. Most women love the smell of perfume, wearing it even when going to the grocery store. The problem is that perfume allergy for some women, is anything but nice.

Keep in mind that a perfume allergy is not limited to the woman who wears it. For some people, men and women, just being around someone wearing perfume can have a devastating effect. Even regular household cleansers, air fresheners, fabric softener, scented candles, potpourri, hair spray, and shampoo can produce the same reaction. Although the smell of perfume might trigger a headache or rash, the more severe problem is a full-blown asthma attack.

Having a perfume allergy is not something new. Unfortunately, many people are affected by the smell of perfume, especially when in a confined space. For instance, individuals working in an office environment might not have a choice but to be around someone wearing perfume. In this case, the only real solution is to request those individuals to stop wearing perfume to work (some may) or to ask if your desk can be seated in a different area. The problem is that not all companies are accommodating, meaning a new job must be found.

The good news is that because a perfume allergy can produce such a serious reaction as asthma or an anaphylactic shock, you will find a number of products now on the market that are fragrance free. Many of these items are found in organic stores although traditional grocery stores are now trying to cater to all customers. Because you cannot control who does and does not wear perfume, you have to take steps to protect yourself if you have a perfume allergy. This might include letting a job interview know, wearing a mask, or perhaps taking medication.

If you notice that you have symptoms of itchy eyes, runny nose, wheezing, or coughing when wearing perfume or being around other people that do then chances are you are having a reaction. Interestingly, many people have a perfume allergy but blame it on other things, never even considering that fragrance could be the problem. Sometimes, even doctors miss a perfume allergy simply because they are more accustomed to treating seasonal allergies, pet allergies, and other forms of allergy.

In addition, remember that while you might be allergic to some perfumes, it is possible that not all fragrances will create a reaction. The reason is that performs are made up of varying chemicals so while one chemical may trigger a reaction, other chemicals might not. Therefore, it is important that you pay attention to your surroundings, taking note if you can pinpoint these symptoms specific to fragrance.

by Grant Segall

Vitiligo Disorder White Patches & Theories

White patches on the skin, premature graying of the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows, and beard, and sometimes a loss of color inside the mouth—these are some of the distinct signs of vitiligo. Some people might mistake it as a disease brought about by too much sun exposure. While signs of this disease commonly appear in the sun-exposed areas of the body, the cause of vitiligo is generally unknown. Doctors and researchers have formulated several theories....

One would be that people develop antibodies (produced by the immune system, these are protective proteins which fight infectious agents including bacteria and viruses) which destroy melanocytes (special skin cells that produce melanin) in their own bodies; two, that melanocytes destroy themselves; and three, that a particular event, such as sunburn or emotional distress, triggers these distress—all of which have no scientific backing yet. Another theory says that is hereditary, making children whose parents are affected, prone to the disorder.

This disorder affects 40 to 50 million of the world’s population, excluding no race or sex type. Majority of the people affected by vitiligo usually develop it before turning 40. Given the shady causes of vitiligo, doctors make it a point to find out about important factors in an affected person’s medical history—family history, a rash or a skin trauma two to three months before depigmentation began, stress, physical illness, and / or premature graying of the scalp. While a scientific breakthrough is yet to be done determining the cause of vitiligo, several preventive measures have been developed over the years.

by Jason Herbert - Vitiligo Support

Monday, January 23, 2006

Walking for Weight Loss and Fitness - Pedometer Basics

A pedometer is a neat little gadget that will help you track how much walking you have done in a day. It can be a helpful tool in getting into and sticking with an exercise schedule. Let’s take a look at how you can use a pedometer to get into shape.

Why should I walk? Walking is one of the easiest forms of exercise to get into. You don’t need any special equipment, just a pair of comfortable shoes. There are no new techniques to learn, since you already know how to walk. Walking is a very low impact activity, that doesn’t put much stress on your joints. You can start out at any pace that is comfortable to you and walk for as long as you’d like. Over time you will gradually increase the intensity of your walking workout by walking for longer periods of time, increasing the speed as well as the incline you walk at.

What should I keep in mind when purchasing a pedometer? You can spend anywhere from $10 - $100 and more for a pedometer. A basic model will work just fine, as long as it tracks your steps accurately. Basic models may only give you the number of steps you walked, while more advanced models will also calculate the distance walked, calories burnt and usually also keep track of several days worth of walking. Some even come with some tracking software you can use on your computer. It will be up to you to decide how many bells and whistles you would like on your pedometer.

How do I wear the pedometer properly? There are two ways to wear a pedometer that have been working well for me and have given me very accurate results. The first is to wear the pedometer on your belt or directly on your waistband right over your front pocket. The pedometer should be in line with your foot. The second option is to clip the pedometer to the top of your shoe. On the side, right below my ankle is the most comfortable position for me. Some people also get good results by carrying the pedometer in their back pocket or clipping it to their waistband on their side. Try something that seems comfortable to you and walk 100 steps. If your count and the pedometers count are within 5 steps of each other, you’re in good shape.

How do I get started? Establish a base figure of how many steps a day you take right now on average. To do this, wear your pedometer each day for a week and record your daily steps. Calculate your daily average by adding up all the steps you walked for the week and dividing the number by 7. Now that you have a base figure to start with, let’s see how you can increase the steps you take each day.

How should I increase my steps? Increase the amount of steps you take by adding 1000 – 2000 extra steps per week until you reach 10,000 steps if you are trying to stay fit and healthy or 12,000 if you are trying to loose weight. 2000 extra steps may seem like a lot at first glance, but you can spread them out over the course of the day. Park a little further away while running errands or when you go to work. Take a quick stroll during your lunch break or walk around the block with your spouse in the evening. Chase your kids around the yard. Once you get started, you will find all sorts of creative ways to get a few more steps in here and there.

Now what? Once you have worked your way up to your target steps, stick with it. Of course there will be days when you can’t walk 10,000 steps, but do your best to average 10,000 a day during the week. If you didn’t walk much during the week, go for a hike on the weekend. Pretty soon walking will become a habit for you and you will miss your daily walk when you can’t work it in.

by Susanne Myers - Walking for Weight Loss

Herpes and Pregnancy

Herpes, both oral and genital, are highly communicable diseases caused by the two strains of the Herpes Simplex Virus: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Genital herpes is transmitted sexually and is rarely transmitted from a pregnant mother to her unborn child, but could prove fatal for the unborn infant if it is transmitted.

It is possible, though unlikely that someone can transmit the virus through the placenta during pregnancy. If this happens, chances of the baby being born with a defect or a miscarriage increase.

The transmission also depends upon the stage of pregnancy in which the primary episode of herpes sets in. If the women had primary genital herpes during the first trimester, then there are less chances of the baby being infected. This is because it usually takes the body three to four weeks to buildup antibodies against the virus.

So if herpes happens at the onset of pregnancy, the body gets enough time to build up the immune system. As a result, these antibodies are also passed onto the baby. Generally, mothers can have a normal vaginal delivery.

But this is not so if the woman gets the infection in the second or third trimester of pregnancy. If the blood tests confirm that the women has never had herpes before the experts will recommend a caesarian delivery. This is because at these stages, the body does not get enough time to build up the immune system and the chances of transmission are extremely high.

It is easier to prevent herpes than it is to cure it. The highest risk to an infant comes from an infected mother who contracts HSV-1 or 2 during pregnancy and the best way to avoid this is by preventing this situation. Since Genital Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease, steps should be taken to ensure that you don’t transmit herpes during this crucial time.

by Kent Pinkerton
Herpes provides detailed information about herpes, herpes symptoms and more. Herpes is affiliated with Impotence Treatments.

You may also want to read Oral Herpes.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Oral Herpes

Herpes, both oral and genital, is caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus. While oral Herpes is caused by HSV-1, genital Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by the HSV-2 virus.

The common symptoms for both oral and genital herpes include the appearance of sores on the body. These sores appear on different parts of the body. In case of genital herpes, they appear on the genital area. In oral herpes, they appear on or in the mouth.

Most people infected with oral herpes are not even aware of the fact that they have the disease. This is because people usually don’t associate these blisters or soars with herpes. These soars usually last for a few weeks and then gradually dry out.

Oral herpes is an infectious disease that can spread by touching, kissing, or sexual contact. It is prominent amongst children because they pass on the disease to the non-infected children also.

Herpes can also be passed from adults to children through a simple good night kiss. Oral herpes is usually not frightening and can be controlled by treatment and preventive measures, but for a person with an impaired nervous system, it can prove to be fatal.

People can take some precautions to prevent further spread of herpes. Frequent and washing and avoiding touching infected areas are two good ideas. Also, remember that you need to take precautions with infants because their nervous systems may not be able to cope with the pressure of the disease. Adults with babies should avoid cuddling or touching them till the symptoms subside.

Oral herpes can be painful if people don’t take the necessary preventive measures. One measure is to take anti-viral tablets. Generally, herpes recurrence will not happen if you take medication. The other thing is people should try to remain stress free because higher stress levels prolong the disease.

by Kent Pinkerton
Herpes provides detailed information about herpes, herpes symptoms and more. Herpes is affiliated with Impotence Treatments.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Breast Cancer Treatment Reduced From Six Weeks To Five Days

A new therapy to treat breast cancer reduces the radiation time from six weeks to five days. This is very useful for the patients as it is less convenient. Doctors can point the radiation source at the tumor killing the cancer cells.

The study compares the usefulness of the new therapy over the conventional six-week treatment. They are also in the process of analyzing the suitable subjects for this therapy.

But the Canadians are working on a new therapy for breast cancer, which reduces the treatment time to just 24 hours.

This can be possible by implanting radiation seeds permanently in the patient’s breast thereby facilitating the destruction of cancer cells. This method helps the patient o continue with their normal routine.

This new method of treatment of breast cancer is called partial-breast radiation therapy.

But experts have their reservations and tell the patients who opt or the new therapy to enroll them in the study wherein they are testing the feasibility of the new approach.

But Dr. Norman Coleman working at the national cancer institute questions the researchers the effectiveness of the new therapy as this can work well in few patients and only very few patients are followed to ensure that this is therapy works better than the conventional one.

Fizzy drinks 'boost memory'

Fizzy drinks, the scourge of healthy diet campaigners, can improve your memory, according to experts today.

Consuming the equivalent of two cans of soft drink can boost memory retention by a fifth and combat dementia in older people, found neuroscientists from Glasgow Caledonian University.

Psychology lecturer Dr Leigh Riby, who led the research, said people studying for exams could benefit from increasing the amount of sugar in their diet.

He focused on an area of the brain known as the hippocampus, which creates new memories but declines with the onset of dementia.

Dr Riby used a series of memory tests and brain- imaging techniques to assess how volunteers responded after guzzling sugary drinks.

He found the hippocampus lit up with activity after participants had a sweetened drink and they were able to recall 17 per cent more than without a drink.
But you should be aware that prolonged over-use of sugar will cause harm for many different reasons.

News source

Drug firms eye fat profits from new obesity pills

A marijuana joint might seem an odd starting point in the search for weight-loss secrets.

Yet a compound switching off the same brain circuits that make people hungry when they smoke cannabis looks set to become the world's first blockbuster anti-obesity medicine, with sales tipped by analysts to top $3 billion a year.

Sanofi-Aventis SA's Acomplia, or rimonabant, which could be approved by U.S. regulators as early as next month, is the first of a new wave of treatments that may spell fat profits for some pharmaceutical companies.

Another two experimental drugs from Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc and Alizyme Plc, with different mechanisms of action, have also produced promising clinical results in recent weeks, prompting some investors to start laying big bets on weight-loss medicine.

It is a risky area, however.

Slimming pills have had a checkered history, due to modest effectiveness and adverse side effects -- most notoriously with the diet drug combination "fen-phen," which was linked to heart-valve problems and has cost Wyeth more than $21 billion in provisions related to patient claims.

But past upsets have not deterred drug manufacturers from investing heavily in a new generation of possible winners.

Exercise May Reduce Risk of Alzheimer's Disease

Raymond was one of 1,700 volunteers in a study that showed exercise also may be good for mental conditioning as well.

In a study published in the latest issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, volunteers 65 years and older were given a battery of memory tests and questioned about their weekly exercise habits.

After six years, researchers detected a remarkable pattern. Seniors who were physically active at least three time a week were 38 percent less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, which causes a slow, irreversible decline in brain function.

"It says the decline the brain experiences late in life is not inevitable. It can be affected by things like habitual exercise," said lead study author Dr. Eric Larson of the Group Health Coopertive in Seattle.

In the study, "exercise" was anything from simple aerobics to walking or hiking to 15 minutes of stretching.

Researchers emphasize that this study is not proof that exercise reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease, but they say the results are consistent with several previous studies.

The theory is that exercise not only increases blood flow and oxygen to the brain — it may also reduce the telltale "plaque" in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease.

Xinhua also has a report on benefit of exercise to reduce dementia risk: Regular exercise helps delay dementia

Haldi and Gobhi can keep prostate cancer at bay

Adding haldi to your vegetables while cooking is not only good for enhancing its taste, but also very effective at the prevention and treatment of prostate cancer, say researchers.

The scientists tested turmeric, also known as curcumin, along with phenethyl isothiocyanate (PEITC), a naturally occurring substance particularly abundant in a group of vegetables that includes watercress, cabbage, winter cress, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, cauliflower, kohlrabi and turnips.

The team from the Rutgers' Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy noted that in contrast to the high incidence of prostate cancer in the United States, the incidence of the disease was very low in India, which has been attributed to the dietary consumption of large amounts of plant-based foods rich in phytochemicals, i.e. nonnutritive plant chemicals that have protective or disease-preventive properties.

For the purposes of their study, researchers used mice bred so that their immune systems would not reject foreign biological material, and injected the mice with cells from human prostate cancer cell lines to grow tumors against which the compounds could be tested.

FDA warns 2 Brazilian diet pills contain amphetamines

The Food and Drug Administration warned consumers Friday not to use two brands of popular Brazilian diet pills imported and distributed by Miami firms because they "could lead to serious side effects or injury."

The agency said dieters should avoid Emagrece Sim and Herbathin, expensive over-the-counter pills that "contain several active ingredients, including controlled substances, found in prescription drugs," the FDA said in a press release.

As The Herald had previously reported, the FDA confirmed on Friday the pills contain a type of amphetamine as well as tranquilizers (the generic for Librium) and antidepressants (generic Prozac).

All three drug types require a prescription in the United States, and amphetamines are classified as a controlled substance because they have addictive qualities.

"Wow, I got goose bumps," said Thomas Moore, a Baptist Health human resources staffer when he heard the news. The Miami Herald reported three months ago about problems with the pills after Moore said three women failed pre-employment hospital drug tests after taking the nonprescription Brazilian pills. "It's really appropriate the FDA acted."

The FDA said the two brands of pills are made in Brazil by Fitoterapicos and Phytotherm Sim, which may be two names for the same company.

Smoking In Pregnancy May Cause Finger, Toe Defects

If pregnant smokers need another reason to quit, a new study may have found it. The habit, researchers say, may raise the risk of having a baby with extra, missing or webbed fingers and toes.

Using information from a national database on U.S. births, researchers found that babies born to women who smoked during pregnancy were 31 percent more likely to have such birth anomalies as babies of non-smokers. And the more a woman smoked, the greater the risk.

Li-Xing Man and Dr. Benjamin Chang of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia conducted the study, which is the largest one to date on smoking and birth defects of the fingers and toes. They report the findings in the medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.

It's estimated that about 1 in 600 infants are born with an extra finger or toe -- an anomaly known as polydactyly. Webbed fingers or toes, called syndactyly, are less common, occurring in one in every 2,000 to 2,500 births. Adactyly refers to the absence of fingers or toes.

While it's well known that prenatal smoking can have serious consequences such as miscarriage, premature delivery and low birth weight, studies have yielded conflicting results on whether smoking can cause birth defects of the fingers and toes.

You may also want to read:

Caloric restriction keeps heart young

Eating a nutritionally balanced diet with the amount of calories reduced by 30 percent can significantly slow the aging process in the heart, according to a new study scheduled to appear in the Jan. 17 issue of the American College of Cardiology.

The study showed the hearts of those whose caloric intake was restricted functioned like the hearts of much younger people.

Dr. Luigi Fontana, of Washington University in St. Louis, and colleagues, examined 25 people who were voluntarily using a diet with 1,400 to 2,000 calories per day for an average of six years. The study compared their heart function with age- and gender-matched individuals who ate a typical Western diet with 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day.

Ultrasound scans showed the hearts of those on a calorie-restricted diet seemed more elastic compared with the control and they were able to relax between beats, which is commonly found in younger people. Also, those on the calorie-restricted diet had one-third of the body fat found in those who ate the Western diet.

Cardiac function is on the decline as people age. As people get older, the heart pumps less blood in the diastolic phase. This prompts the atrium to work harder to pump a sufficient amount of blood into the ventricle in a second phase.

"This decline in diastolic function is a marker of primary aging," Fontana said.
Continue reading: Caloric restriction keeps heart young.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Dental Implants are the Closest Replacement to a Natural Tooth

Dental implants provide you with a way to replace any missing teeth that you may have. If you are one of the many people who feel ashamed of their smile because of gaps or missing teeth, then dental implants can provide you with a tooth replacement that looks and feels like a natural tooth.

Cosmetic dentists like Dr. O’Neil in Miami, Florida, use dental implants to replace missing teeth, support bridges, support dentures, and eliminate the need for removable partial dentures. If you have good overall dental health and bone structure, dental implants are an excellent option for replacing one or several teeth.

A dental implant is the artificial root of a tooth that a replacement tooth or bridge is attached to. A dental implant provides the secure, durable feeling that your natural teeth have and allows you to bite and chew like normal.

Bridges require crowns to placed on either side of the gap so that the replacement tooth can be anchored. A dental implant is attached only to the replacement tooth that is holds. This means that there is no need to have any natural tooth structure removed to fit a crown; the dental implant is secure without any support.

Partial dentures are tooth replacements that can be removed. These do not offer the security that a dental implant provides. A dental implant is a permanent replacement that looks and feels like your natural teeth, so there is no extra maintenance or change in biting habits that is normally associated with partial dentures.

Finally, dental implants can provide a secure way to attach your full dentures to your gums. With other dentures, adhesives are used to keep the dentures attached to your gums. With dental implant supports, dentures are held securely against the gums, allowing you to retain as much biting and chewing ability as possible.

“Dental implants provide you with the closest replacement to natural teeth, preserve the bone in the jaw, and remove the need for having natural tooth structure removed. If you need to have a tooth replaced, dental implants are the best option for you,” says Dr. O’Neil.

Please click here for more information about dental implants and cosmetic dentistry in Miami, Florida.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Are You Salt Sensitive?

The human body needs salt in order to function. How much salt is enough? The American Heart Association recommends 2,3000 milligrams of salt a day for healthy adults. That's ONE TEASPOON of salt. People who are extremely salt sensitive should eat less.

Many Americans are eating way too much salt and putting their health at risk. If you're overweight, have cardiovascular disease, or high blood pressure you should cut back on salt. A 2001 Indiana University School of Medicine study, "Salt Sensitivity, Pulse Pressure, and Death in Normal and Hypertensive Humans," details the health risks associated with salt sensitivity.

The results of the 25-year study were announced in a February 2001 NIH News Release. In the release Dr. Myron Weinberger, Director of Indiana University's Hypertension Research Center, is quoted as saying, "Salt sensitivity increases the risk of death, whether or not a person has high blood pressure."

Weinberger thinks this finding has implication for all Americans. Older Americans, African Americans, and those who come from salt sensitive families are more apt to become salt sensitive. Salt sensitive people are more apt to develop high blood pressure as they age, according to Weinberger, and he describes America as a "salt abundant" environment.

How do you live in this environment?

The U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services says you check every food label for sodium. Remember, this number is for one serving. Make sure you check the serving size because this is where food processors may cheat. Let's use canned sauerkraut as an example.

The sauerkraut contains 175 milligrams of salt per serving. When you look at the serving size, however, it's a mere two tablespoons. If you eat two servings of saurkraut (about half a cup) you're eating 700 milligrams of salt. Add a salty hot dog, a salty bun, and salty condiments and you've probably eaten a teaspoon of salt.

The NIH also wants you to look at the Percent Daily Value number. This number tells you if the product is high or low in salt. You should choose food products with the lowest percentage and salt free products. Be on the lookout for foods that contain surprise salt - soda pop, seasoned pepper, lemon pepper, and others.

Since there's no test for salt sensitivity you'll have to devise your own. Start by watching for symptoms: swollen hands, knees, and feet, bulging leg and ankle veins, droopy eyelids, "chipmunk cheeks" (puffy, swollen cheeks), shortness of breath, and weight gain. Some salt sensitive people also get headaches.

Keep a salt diary for two weeks. Record every meal and snack in your diary and their salt contents. Compare your salt intake with medical symptoms. Report any symptoms of salt sensitivity to your physician. Your physician will be able to determine if you have high blood pressure. If your blood pressure is going up or you have high blood pressure your physician may prescribe a diuretic.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to take the salt shaker off the table and eat a low salt diet. The American Heart Association has posted tips for reducing sodium on its Website. Here are the tips and comments about them.
  • Cook without salt. This is really hard if you're making soup, but you may balance the lack of salt with flavorful ingredients, such as mushrooms.
  • Substitute spices and herbs for salt. Fresh herbs are best, though dry herbs will work. Citrus juice and zest also add flavor to foods.
  • Buy low fat milk, cheese and yogurt. Cheese contains lots of salt, so use small amounts in your recipes. You want just enough to taste the cheese, not be overpowered by it.
  • Choose unsalted nuts and seeds for snacks. Better yet, keep carrot sticks, celery sticks, jicima sticks, and cut up fruit on hand for snacking.
  • Avoid salty seasonings: bullion, soy sauce, steak sauce, Worstershire sauce, meat tenderizers, and MSG. You'll find salt free soup stock on store shelves, but check the fat content before you buy these products.
You may also limit restaurant meals, which are usually high in salt. Many of these meals are made with processed foods. An article on Mayo Clinic's Website, "Processed Foods: Why So Salty?" tells why these foods are salty. Food processors use salt to enhance flavor, increase sweetness (like sprinkling salt on melon), decrease the dryness in foods, and mask metallic and chemical aftertastes.

It's okay to eat out occasionally, but don't make it a habit. Being salt sensitive doesn't mean you eat alfalfa the rest of your life. On the contrary, you may eat delicious meals. All it takes is careful planning and shopping. You may want to subscribe to "Salt Free Life" magazine. To learn more about the magazine call 1-877-2588 or go to

Salt sensitivity is serious business, so make it your business to eat less salt and get regular checkups. After a while you won't miss the salt and you'll taste the true flavors of food. Bon appetit!

Copyright 2006 by Harriet Hodgson

Fitness for Life with The Alexander Technique

To achieve a high level of fitness for life sounds like hard work - and not just from a the physical point of view. Many fail to maintain fitness because, and let's be honest, exercise routines can be boring! Where is the fun in doing the same exercises week in week out. Yes there are many who do stick to their regimes, but why devote so much time to something that doesn't really engage you? Do you remember how much fun a trip to the park was with your friends, a bat and a ball? How much exercise did you get in one afternoon playing a few games?

You may have heard of The Alexander Technique as a method to improve your health by correcting your posture, but it has far more to offer. Learning this highly practical technique can add a new dimension to training giving you a totally new attitude to fitness and physical activity and increasing your chances of staying with a fitness program.

Whether interested in developing total fitness or just looking for relief from the all too common aches and pains, a subtle change in attitude and approach will help you get more from your body. Learning The Alexander Technique helps you develop a better understanding of your body, how it works, how it moves and how to make movement easier so you can do more with less effort. Achieving a high level of fitness for life is within your reach when you know how to use your body correctly. It is ironic that people frequently injure themselves doing activities they believe should be keeping them fit and healthy!

Why does this happen? It is a sad fact that many adults have lost the art of natural movement. We unknowingly develop poor habits that puts excessive stress on joints and muscles. The more you move poorly the better you will get at doing it in this way. End result - injury! I was alarmed when I started learning The Alexander Technique aged twenty-six at just how badly I moved, especially when I considered myself fit and well-informed about my body following years of martial arts, swimming and running!

The term ‘fitness’ generally relates to how far or fast you can run or how well you can perform physical tasks. Yet we should recognise that fitness is important for maintaining health and functionality. Yet fitness is about more than physical abilities - its about being able to do what you want, when you want and to do it well. The right mental attitude and approach are essential for performing at your peak. Of course, you still need to have the body that can meet your demands so you must work on both your physical and mental skills. The good news is that they can be worked on together.

How well do you know your body? If you are looking to maintain fitness for life you are going to be asking a lot from your body, but just how good is your body knowledge? Many are surprised at how their knowledge and understanding of their body differs from your true physical structure when taking Alexander lessons. How you move is based on your concept of how it works. If there are discrepancies between concept and reality this will effect your movement. Again if your objective is to maintain fitness this will have implications.

That's the bad news, now for the good. Learning The Alexander Technique will not only help you identify where you may be making movement harder, its practical techniques will give you the means to eradicate them altogether. Movement becomes a whole lot easier when you take the habitual brake off!

It also helps to develop your ability to focus which can take you into The Zone a place where athletes achieve peak performance with little perceived effort. This is where learning The Alexander Technique will deliver real lasting benefits to help you achieve fitness for life. With a new understanding of your body you can approach physical activity and exercise better informed about what works for you. Injury need not be something you need to suffer in order to maintain fitness.

Sports training and exercise should not be viewed as purely a way to physical fitness. With the right approach promoted by The Alexander Technique your training becomes a way to self-improvement beyond physical ability. Fitness now means more than just putting on your tracksuit and going for a run - it can be another path to self-fulfilment and development. Exercise need never be boring or routine again!

by Roy Palmer

Monday, January 09, 2006

Doctors warn against using cough syrups

Doctors are warning that a commonly-used remedy --cough syrups -- may not work.

The American College of Chest Physicians has reviewed dozens of studies of cough syrups and concluded "(there's) little efficacy in patients with coughs due to upper respiratory infections. Their long-term effectiveness has not been established."

The dose of drugs in over-the-counter cough syrups are generally too low to be effective or contain combinations of drugs that have never been proven to treat coughs, said Dr. Richard Irwin, chairman of a cough guidelines committee for the American College of Chest Physicians.

"Some of the products contain medications that have no chance of working at all," Irwin said.

About 40 per cent of adult Canadians use cough medicine annually, Gerry Harrington of the Non Prescription Drug Manufacturers of Canada told Canadians spend about $100 million annually on these medicines.

Coughs are classified as either acute (lasting less than three weeks) or chronic (lasting three to eight weeks or longer). Acute coughs are usually caused by the common cold while chronic coughs are caused by post-nasal drip syndrome, asthma or gastroesophageal reflux disease.

The ACCP has issued guidelines on managing coughs, in the January issue of their journal Chest.

These guidelines discourage use of newer, non-sedating antihistamines.

Study Questions Prostate Cancer Screening

Two widely used tests for prostate cancer failed to save lives in a new study, adding to the debate over whether men should be screened for the disease.

The study was small _ only 1,002 men _ and will not be the final word on the issue. But it may hint at what lies ahead when the results of two large studies of prostate cancer screening appear in a few years.

The researchers looked at two screening tests that are performed millions of times a year in the United States: a blood test that measures prostate specific antigen, or PSA, and a digital rectal exam, the rubber-glove test in which a doctor feels for abnormalities in the prostate through the rectal wall.

Study co-author Dr. John Concato, a clinical epidemiologist at the VA Connecticut Healthcare System, said that for now, doctors should tell men that screening tests for prostate cancer are not perfect, and men should decide for themselves whether to get screened.
Read the full report here.

Vegetables to Cut Blood Pressure

A vegetable-rich diet can help to reduce blood pressure, researchers say.

A team led by Imperial College London, which studied 4,680 people aged 40-59, said it was not clear why eating more vegetable protein had such an effect.

But amino acids - the building blocks of protein - or vegetable components, like magnesium, may be key, they said.

However, they found no strong evidence that high meat consumption is linked to high blood pressure. The study features in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Some types of amino acid have been shown to influence blood pressure, for instance arginine has been shown to dilate the blood vessels.

Different forms of amino acids are found in meat and vegetarian matter.

Healthy lifestyle

Writing in the journal, the researchers, led by Professor Paul Elliott, said more research was needed to pin down exactly why vegetables helped lower blood pressure.

High blood pressure is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

Thalomid Slows Blood Cancer

Blood specialist Celgene said Monday its final-stage trials of Thalomid show the drug significantly delayed progression of a common blood cancer by nearly a year.

The company's phase III trial was stopped by an external monitoring committee after analysis showed multiple myelomas in patients taking Thalomid, and the steroid dexamethasone took about three times as long to progress as those in patients taking dexamethasone alone.

Patients who weren’t taking Thalomid were then given the opportunity to start.

"We also met our secondary endpoint, to increase progression-free survival," Celgene president and COO Sol J. Barer told an audience at the JPMorgan Annual Healthcare conference in San Francisco.

Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer in which the bone marrow makes too many malignant immunoglobulin-producing white blood cells. About 50,000 people in the United States alone have the disease, and about 16,000 new cases are diagnosed annually.

Tomatoes may protect against lung cancer

Tomatoes may help protect smokers against lung disease, new research on mice suggests.

Japanese scientists found that mixing tomato juice into the animals' drinking water completely prevented them suffering emphysema triggered by tobacco smoke.

Emphysema is predominantly a smokers' condition which prevents the lungs working properly, resulting in breathlessness and wheezing.

Together with chronic bronchitis it is one of the chief causes of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, which kills about 28,000 people each year in the UK.

Emphysema damages the elastic supporting structure of the lungs, leading to the breakdown and collapse of airways.
Read the full story here.

Coffee: A future female Viagra?

Could something as simple as caffeine be the answer to women's prayers for female version of Viagra? May be!

Going by a research study by Fay Guarraci, an assistance professor of psychology at south-western university, and Stacey Benson, a 2005 graduate, it sure could be a female Viagra.

The study titled 'coffee, tea and me: moderate doses of caffeine effect on sexual behaviour in female rats,' is the first of its kind and examines the interaction between caffeine and sex in females.

Guarraci and Benson gave 108 female rats a moderate dose of caffeine before a mating test to determine if the caffeine had any effect on female mating behaviour.

The study published in a forthcoming issue of pharmacology, biochemistry and behaviour found that administration of caffeine shortened the amount of time it took the females to return to the males after receiving an ejaculation, suggesting that the females were more motivated to be with the male rats.

While it is tempting to speculate that caffeine exposure could also effect sexual motivation in other female mammals such as humans, Guarraci cautioned that may not be the case since most humans consume moderate doses of caffeine on a daily basis.

School to trial fish-oil therapy

Thousands of families could be helped by a ground-breaking trial starting in Norfolk today measuring the effect of fish-oil supplements on youngsters with autism, dyslexia and Asperger Syndrome.

A group of 38 boys aged 10 to 16 at Eaton Hall Special School in Norwich will begin taking the eye q omega 3 fish oil supplements daily for the next six months.

The official trial - the first in the country involving children with special needs - could have far-reaching implications in the treatment of the conditions for thousands of youngsters and their families.

Drugs such as Ritalin, prescribed to those with attention deficit disorder and ADHD, often have side-effects such as loss of appetite and insomnia. The trial will look at whether omega fish oils can reduce those symptoms and enable the youngsters to return to mainstream education.

Lianne Quantrill, project co-ordinator at the school, said it was the first detailed look at children with special needs and it could help improve their concentration levels and mood.

“There is already mounting evidence to suggest benefits from taking omega 3 fish oils, particularly for those with behavioural problems who may already have fatty acid deficiencies,” she said.

“The results of the trial could well go on to effect national attitudes towards the link between dietary supplements and this kind of behaviour.

Breast Cancer Fatigue Often Lingers

Years after treatment for breast cancer, many women still face fatigue, especially those with depression or other health problems, a new study shows.

The study, published in Cancer, included 763 women who were disease-free survivors and had been treated for early breast cancer.

Nearly a third of the women (34%) reported fatigue 5 to 10 years after diagnosis. More than one in five had also noted fatigue in an earlier survey.

Fatigue was most common in women with low incomes, depression, and conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, heart problems, and arthritis, the study shows.

Survivors who report fatigue should be carefully screened for depression, write the researchers. They included Julienne Bower, PhD, of the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Viral Infections at Birth Linked to Brain Damage, Study Shows

Exposure to viral infections such as herpes shortly before and after birth are associated with brain damage and cerebral palsy, according to a study published in tomorrow's issue of the British Medical Journal.

Infections with some herpes viruses double the risk of cerebral palsy, said Catherine Gibson, a research fellow at the Women's and Children's Hospital in Adelaide, Australia. Gibson compared 443 babies with cerebral palsy to 883 without.

"Herpes group B nucleic acids were found more often in neonatal blood spots of babies who were diagnosed subsequently to have cerebral palsy," Gibson said.

Cerebral palsy are brain injuries acquired during birth that lead to limited motor, speech and learning skills. Babies who are premature or prone to infections are also more likely to suffer brain damage, Gibson said.

Vitamin D 'makes stronger babies'

Giving pregnant women vitamin D could mean their babies grow stronger bones in later life, a study suggests.

A study of 198 mothers indicated the children of those who lacked the vitamin, crucial for calcium absorption, had weaker bones at nine.

Those who took supplements or were exposed to more sunlight, which helps the body grow its own vitamin D, had children with greater bone densities.

The research from Southampton General Hospital is published in the Lancet.

Professor Cyrus Cooper, who led the team, said the findings provided evidence that maternal vitamin D status during pregnancy influenced the bone growth of offspring and their risk of osteoporosis in later life.

He told the BBC News it was the vitamin deficiency of the mother carrying the child, rather than the baby in early life, which affected the child's bone strength later.

"This is completely new - no one has ever looked at the mother's vitamin D levels before."

Vitamin D is crucial for the absorption of calcium which is in itself key in the formation of healthy bones.

The team from the Medical Research Council's Epidemiological Resource Centre at Southampton General Hospital measured the levels of vitamin D in women's blood in late pregnancy as well as studying calcium levels in the babies' cord blood.

Magnet therapies 'have no effect'

Magnet therapies which are claimed to cure conditions ranging from back pain to cancer have no proven benefits, according to a team of US researchers.

Sales of the so-called therapeutic devices, which are worn in bracelets, insoles, and wrist and knee bands, top $1 billion worldwide, they said.

But a major review showed no benefits, a British Medical Journal report said.

The team also warned self-treatment with magnets risked leaving underlying medical conditions untreated.

Professor Leonard Finegold of Drexel University in Philadelphia and Professor Bruce Flamm of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in California said turning to magnetic therapies could also cause "financial harm".

Debbie Shimadry, director of World of Magnets, said use of magnets was not a cure, but a treatment that was very effective for relief of symptoms of joint-related disorders.

She said: "It is important to have the right type of magnet of the right strength, placed in the right area.

"Magnetic bracelets worn around the wrist are not going to allievate pain all over the body - they need to be placed directly over the area of injury for the right length of time."

Bleeding Disorder Patients Warned

A small number of patients with a bleeding disorder have experienced a potentially life-threatening loss of red blood cells, the FDA and the manufacturer and distributor of a medicine that treats the disorder warned Friday.

Patients with immune thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP, should immediately alert their doctors if they experience back pain, shaking or chills, fever, discolored urine or decreased urine output, sudden weight gain, fluid retention, swelling or shortness of breath, Baxter Healthcare Corp. and Cangene Corp. said.

The rare but sometime severe or fatal symptoms have been observed in ITP patients, the companies wrote in a letter to doctors last month. Reports of the most severe reactions occurred in patients treated with WinRho SDF, a medicine made and distributed by the two companies. Most reported adverse reactions within four hours of treatment, the companies said. The Food and Drug Administration released the letter Friday.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Rotavirus vaccines cut infant deaths

Two new experimental vaccines have been shown to be effective to prevent severe childhood diarrhea caused by rotaviruses, US studies showed on Wednesday.

According to new studies in the New England Journal of Medicine, the vaccines, Rotateq and Rotarix, by drug-makers Merck and GlaxoSmithKline showed "an impressive efficacy profile".

"After a long period of waiting, the time for a rotavirus vaccine may have finally arrived," said Roger Glass and Umesh Parashar of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the United States.

As well as many deaths, rotavirus causes about two million hospital visits for diarrhoea and vomiting each year. In the US alone, the virus hits 2.7 million children under 5 years of age each year, 70,000 of which end up hospitalised.

Rotateq, a Merck product, is a live pentavalent human-bovine reassortant rotavirus vaccine that demonstrated 98% efficacy against severe disease.

Rotarix, a GlaxoSmithKline product, is an attenuated G1P(8) vaccine that was 85% effective against severe disease.

Neither vaccine has been licensed in the United States, although Rotarix was approved last summer in Mexico.
Image and News source

Abdominal Chemotherapy Extends Lives of Ovarian Cancer Patients

For women with advanced ovarian cancer, adding doses of chemotherapy delivered directly into the abdomen can help them survive up to 12 months longer, according to a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Traditionally, women received only tumor-removal surgery followed by intravenous chemotherapy, but the study's results should change that, said Dr. Harrison G. Ball, chief of gynecologic oncology at the UMass Memorial Medical Center in Boston. His hospital participated in the study that consisted of 429 women and was supported by the National Cancer Institute.

The study included women with advanced ovarian cancer who had first undergone successful surgical removal of cancer cells. Following the surgery, the women underwent either traditional IV-only treatment or a combined treatment of IV and abdominal chemotherapy, known as IP, which is delivered through an intraperitoneal catheter that is surgically inserted into the abdomen.

"In our trial, women who received part of their chemotherapy via an IP route had a median survival time of 16 months longer than women who received only IV chemotherapy," said Dr. Deborah Armstrong in a press release from the NCI. She is the lead author of the study and a medical oncologist at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore.

New Recommendations for Cancer Patients

As a result, the NCI is changing its recommendations to state that women with advanced ovarian cancer who undergo effective surgery should receive a combination of IV and IP chemotherapy.

To achieve "effective" surgical results, Ball recommends that women recently diagnosed with the disease seek out gynecologic oncologists, who are the most skilled at surgically removing ovarian cancer cells.

Obstetric Complications Associated With Later Eating Disorder

Perinatal complications for the mother or baby may increase the risk of anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa for children during their teens, reported investigators here.

If the mother was anemic during pregnancy, had diabetes, or placental infarction, the child has an increased risk of anorexia nervosa, reported Angela Favaro, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues at the University of Padua in a retrospective study in the Jan 2 issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Children with neonatal heart problems, hyperthermia, tremors, or hyporeactivity also stand a significantly better chance of developing anorexia several years on, they added.

The development of bulimia nervosa was associated with placental infarction, neonatal hyporeactivity, early difficulties with eating, shorter than average birth length, and low birth weight.

"Obstetric complications might have more than one role in the etiopathogenesis of eating disorders," Dr. Favaro and colleagues wrote. "First, they may cause hypoxic-induced damage to the brain that impairs the neurodevelopment of the fetus, and second, the adequacy of nutrition during pregnancy and in the immediate postnatal period seems to influence the nutritional status of the adult and appetite programming throughout life."

Faulty Breast Stem Cells May Cause Tumors

Defects in a newly identified breast stem cell that drives the formation of breast tissue may lead to tumors, according to an Australian study with mice.

Under normal circumstances, this breast stem cell will produce healthy tissue. But genetic errors in the stem cell, perhaps combined with family predisposition and external factors, could cause the stem cell to produce tumor cells, the researchers said.

This finding may explain cancer recurrence in some women whose breast cancer cells were believed eliminated by chemotherapy. An errant stem cell is more resistant to chemotherapy because it divides more slowly than cancer cells. While chemotherapy may destroy the majority of cancer cells, a defective breast stem cell may survive and begin producing cancer cells months or years after a woman has been treated for breast cancer, said the researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

Marijuana now legal for chronically ill

The Rhode Island House of Representative voted 59-13 to legalize marijuana for medical purposes and stated that it's not criminal when someone use marijuana under doctor's recommendation to relieve their symptoms.
Overriding the governor’s veto, the Rhode Island House of Representatives voted 59-13 yesterday to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Gov. Donald Carcieri vetoed the original bill, sponsored by Rep. Thomas Slater (D-Providence), last year, but the Senate overrode the veto before it broke for its summer recess. The House saved the override vote for yesterday.

The law, with a sunset clause in June 2007, allows a patient with a doctor’s prescription to grow or otherwise obtain at one time up to 12 marijuana plants or 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana. In addition, the patient can select two caregivers who can also legally grow and handle the same amount of marijuana. Patients and their caregivers must gain approval from the state Department of Health and register with the department – a measure supporters say will prevent abuse of the system.

Rhode Island follows 10 other states that have similar programs.

“Ten states have realized it makes no sense to criminalize someone for following their doctor’s recommendations and relieving their symptoms,” Slater told the House. “This will allow patients with specified conditions to use marijuana within their doctor’s recommendation.”

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Meditation: Why Meditation And How Does It Help

The stressful lives we lead today take their toll on our health. Mental stress and physical fatigue drain us of our positive energy leaving us depleted physically, mentally and emotionally. Considered to be part of alternative medicine, meditation is fast gaining popularity amongst conventional medical practitioners as well. Patients are increasingly being advised to meditate for sometime in the day, which is believed to have a positive effect along with the allopathic medicines prescribed for a number of medical conditions.

What is meditation? Meditation is a technique that helps us focus and calms the mind resulting in relaxed and restful state of physical and mental being. Meditation is generally focused on one constant thing, usually your breath. Meditation is an effective tool to gain mind control, self-awareness and understanding that eventually lead to inner calm and peacefulness. For people practice meditation, it can lead to profound experiences of self-realization and transcendental awareness and knowledge. A proven alternative therapy, meditation is a known stress reliever.

Meditation is beneficial not only psychologically but is known to have positive effects on various health conditions ranging from blood pressure, insomnia to even depression. There are different techniques of meditation that people follow today. These are a product of diverse cultures and peoples around the world. The power of meditation has been harnessed to alleviate pain, suffering and promote healing for centuries in different cultures and religions, in some or the other form.

Types of meditation There are various types of meditation that originate from various parts of the world. Prayer is possibly the most common one, the others are Transcendental Meditation, mindfulness meditation, Zen meditation, Buddhist Meditation and Taoist Meditation.

The body under meditation Scientific experimentation and research has found out how the human body reacts under profound meditation. It has been found that the meditation process counteracted the effects of the sympathetic nervous system - the one that wants to fight or flee. Whereas the sympathetic system dilates the pupils and gets the heart rate, respiration and blood pressure up, the parasympathetic system, activated when we meditate, does just the opposite.

Muscle tension decreases, blood pressure drops, and for some extraordinary practitioners, even temperature and basal metabolism rates drop during a prolonged meditation. Oxygen needs of the body are reduced when you are in a highly relaxed state, and brain waves change from the busy beta waves to the blissful alpha waves.

Meditation Techniques There are two major approaches to meditation, which are Concentrative Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation. These can be explained as follows:

1. Concentrative Meditation The approach to still the mind is to focus the attention on the breath, image or sound (mantra). This gives way to greater awareness and clarity. In its most basic form concentrative meditation requires you to sit quietly and focus your attention on your breath. Practitioners of yoga and meditation believe that there is a direct correlation between one's state of mind and one's breath. For e.g. when a person is anxious, frightened, agitated or distracted, the breath will tend to be shallow, rapid and irregular. On the other hand, when the mind is calm, focused and composed, the breath tends to be slow, deep and regular.

2. Mindfulness Meditation In this type of meditation, the mind is aware of all that is happening around you. You just observe the sounds, feelings, sensations, images, thoughts, smells etc without getting involved in them or thing about them. The person is just like a spectator who is witnessing everything but one who does not react or get involved with thoughts, memories, feelings, worries or images. This helps to gain a more calm, clear and non-reactive state of mind.

Kevin Pederson has been managing a number of natural home remedies websites which have information on home based natural cures and remedies for some of the most common illnesses as well as methods of meditation.

Benefits of Coral Calcium

The benefits of coral calcium are many, which is the main reason why coral calcium supplements are widely used by people around the world. First, it is important to understand that there are two distinct types of coral calcium being sold on the market today: land-mined coral calcium and marine coral calcium. Fossilized land coral has lost much of its power through the years of wear and tear by the environment.

On the flip side, seabed coral is very similar in composition to the human skeleton, which therefore makes it more powerful and more easily assimilated into the human body. Seabed coral is harvested in a completely ecologically safe manner, and live coral reefs are not damaged or destroyed in the process. Small organisms that feed off of marine coral force seabed coral particles to fall to the ocean floor, where it is then harvested. These particles are sometimes referred to as coral sand.

Understanding the Major Health Benefits of Coral Calcium

There have been numerous studies conducted on the benefits of coral calcium. Fortunately, these studies have demonstrated that there are some valid facts supporting the use of coral calcium supplements for illness and disease prevention. Clinical trials have suggested that coral calcium may actually be able to reverse or halt cancerous tumors or cell growth in patients. This is fantastic news for patients who are weary of undergoing harsh chemotherapy and radiation treatments.

Studies have also suggested that taking coral calcium on a regular basis may be able to help deter the onset of heart disease, high cholesterol, hypertension, arthritis, cancer, lupus, gout, Alzheimer's, and diabetes, to name a few degenerative diseases. When you buy coral calcium, you are taking a proactive stance against illness and disease. When studies have demonstrated again and again the benefits of coral calcium, it seems silly not to take heed.

by Robert Paris

Hair Fall - A Common Thing In Everyone's Life

Hair, a sign of beauty and care has always been very important in everyone's life. Be it male or a female it needs to be taken care very diligently. To avoid hair fall there are different remedies which can be used and some very age-old concoction of herbs which would be very beneficial for everyone.

Men tend to loose more hair with comparison to women due to the presence of estrogen and other factors. It is very important that your hair has been take care with all the effort of applying hair oil for a superfluous hair.

Some of the other reasons for having hair fall are due to the non-existence of nutrition in your food. Even applying oil to your hair is form of nutrition and has to be done on daily basis and if not, at least thrice a week as you wash your hair.

Over exposure to sun on your hair is not good. One should wear caps or any other protective cloth to avoid that. Tension of work, home and other mentally challenging problems are also cause of major hair fall. The affect of some of the strong and attacking diseases like pneumonia can also lead to loss of hair.

Having experiments done on your hair can cause hair fall like perming which can cause lot of hair loss due to the twisting and turning of your hair. Ironing can also cause lot of problems like changing ones hair structure and also causing lot of hair fall which is very disastrous. Coloring your hair has also been one of the major problems in causing your hair loss.

Kevin Pederson has been managing a number of sites related to hair and skin care which have information on hair care tips, skin care tips, tips to avoid hair fall and other remedies.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Treating strep throat the old way isn't working anymore

When it comes to treating strep throat, older types of antibiotics are increasingly less likely to kill the germ that causes millions of sore throats, fevers and missed school days for children each year.

Yet recent studies show that as many as 90 percent of children treated for strep still get amoxicillin or penicillin rather than newer antibiotics known as cephalosporins.

One study presented at a recent scientific meeting on antimicrobials found that taking the newer drugs even for a few days is more effective against strep than the traditional 10-day course of the older antibiotics.

Pediatricians at the University of Rochester Medical Center found that 25 percent of children treated for strep with penicillin ended up back in the doctor's office within three weeks of treatment.

Children treated with amoxicillin returned 18 percent of the time. But repeat visits fell to 14 percent for youngsters who got older-generation cephalosporins, and to just 7 percent for newer types of the drugs, such as cefpodoxme and cefdinir, which can typically be given for just four or five days.

The study reviewed treatment of 11,426 children. The research was an expanded version of another study that looked at the experience of about 7,000 children.

"Most doctors are shocked to learn of the high failure rates of the older medications," said Dr. Michael Pichichero, a professor of microbiology and immunology at Rochester and co-author of the study.

"The paradigm for treating strep sore throats has been changing slowly, and endorsing the use of cephalosporins as a first-time treatment is something that needs to be seriously considered," Pichichero said.

Treatment guidelines for strep issued by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Heart Association and the World Health Organization all call for penicillin or amoxicillin as first drugs of choice, despite evidence that resistance to those drugs may be on the rise.

Coffee may lower breast cancer risk for some women

Women with BRCA1 gene mutations, which confer a high risk of developing breast cancer, might decrease their risk by drinking a lot of coffee, according to a multicenter team of investigators.

Dr. Steven A. Narod, of the University of Toronto, Ontario, and colleagues examined the association between coffee consumption and the risk of breast cancer among 1690 high-risk women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.

The study included women from 40 clinical centers in four countries. A self-administered questionnaire was used to assess the average lifetime coffee consumption.

The likelihood of developing breast cancer among BRCA mutation carriers who drank 1 to 3 cups of coffee daily, 4 to 5 cups, or 6 or more cups was reduced by 10 percent, 25 percent and 69 percent, respectively, compared to those who drank no coffee, according to the report in the International Journal of Cancer.

Related articles:

Study links obesity to kidney failure

Researchers have found yet another reason for people to watch their weight: kidney failure.

A University of California at San Francisco study released on Monday found a strong relationship between obesity and end-stage renal disease, or kidney failure.

"There are more and more people with kidney failure, but it hasn't been appreciated much that kidney failure can be a consequence of obesity," said Dr. Chi-yuan Hsu, an assistant professor of medicine and lead author of the study.

Even moderately overweight people had a higher risk of kidney failure than people whose weight was in a normal, healthy range, he said. And for the morbidly obese, the risk was more than 700 percent greater, Hsu said.

When the kidneys fail, and cannot process waste and excess fluid, the patient requires dialysis or transplantation.
News Source

Detox diets are a waste of time and money, say scientists

NEW year detox products that purport to rid the body of harmful chemicals accumulated through seasonal over-indulgence are a waste of time and money, leading scientists said yesterday.

Most of the pills, juices, teas and oils that are sold for their detoxifying effects on the body have no scientific foundation for their claims, according to toxicologists and dieticians.

They will not influence the rate at which the body rids itself of toxins, and any beneficial effects would be matched at much lower cost by drinking plenty of tap water, eating fruit and vegetables and getting a few early nights.

The entire market for detox products, which is worth tens of millions of pounds a year, rests on myths about the human body that are hitting consumers in the wallet, the experts’ report has found.

“Whether or not people believe the biblical story of the Virgin birth, there are plenty of other popular myths that are swallowed with religious fervour over Christmas,” said Martin Wiseman, Visiting Professor of Human Nutrition at the University of Southampton. “Among these is the idea that in some way the body accumulates noxious chemicals during everyday life, and that they need to be expunged by some mysterious process of detoxification, often once a year after Christmas excess. The detox fad — or fads, as there are many methods — is an example of the capacity of people to believe in (and pay for) magic despite the lack of any sound evidence.”

John Hoskins, an independent environmental toxicologist, said: “On detox, the Romans got it right: Mundus vult decipi — the world wants to be deceived — better translated as ‘there’s a sucker born every minute’. The only thing that loses weight on a detox diet is your wallet.”

The criticism of the detox industry has emerged from an inquiry into public perceptions of chemicals and toxicity by a working party of 11 scientists. The full report, Making Sense of Chemical Stories, will be published later this month by the charity Sense About Science.

Statins' Benefit Only To Heart

Statins are good for the heart, but the popular cholesterol-lowering drugs - including Lipitor, Zocor and Pravachol - do not appear to prevent cancer, pharmacists at the University of Connecticut report in today's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The researchers at the UConn School of Pharmacy reviewed 26 heart disease studies involving more than 73,000 subjects to determine whether statins helped prevent cancer.

They found that no type of cancer was affected by statin use and that no type of statin reduced cancer risk, said C. Michael White, associate professor of pharmacy at UConn.

"If there was anything there, we would have seen it in these clinical trials," White said.

But some scientists argue that more investigation is needed. A few recent studies suggested statins' effects might help combat cancer.

One theory has been that statins reduce inflammation; another suggests that by stopping the formation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, known as "bad" cholesterol, statins set off a chain reaction that offers additional protective benefits against cancer.

The potential therapeutic value of statins was one of the hot topics of the 2005 annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, said Dr. Carolyn Runowicz, director of the Neag Comprehensive Cancer Center at the UConn Health Center and president of the American Cancer Society.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Cold Sore Remedy - Mint Tea

A cold sore remedy proven very effective, as well as pleasant to use, is mint tea. Many times I've seen a cold sore completely healed in as little as 7 days using the mint tea cold sore remedy described in this article.

As with any cold sore remedy I write about, I'm offering this cold sore remedy to you for information purposes only. It's a cold sore remedy that has worked well for many others.

In no way is this cold sore remedy presented as medical advice. Nothing takes the place of a one-on-one relationship with a health professional.

Keep in mind also - the best cold sore remedy is one that's applied topically. A cold sore is primarily an external problem and is easily treated this way. You may hear of a variety of vitamins or prescription medications that are useful as an internal cold sore remedy. These do sometimes help. But, the simple and direct approach will always give you the very best results.

This is true with a cold sore or any other problem in life.

Mint is a very powerful cold sore remedy because it has strong anti-viral properties. Mint also has a very soothing effect, which has made it a favorite with many folks who've written me.

But first, let's look at the "universal" cold sore remedy - ice.

Ice has been used as a cold sore remedy for centuries. Today ice is readily available anywhere at any time. Even a cold can of soda works as a cold sore remedy, when held to the sore.

The replication process of the herpes virus creates the cold sore. Ice, when applied to an emerging cold sore, discourages the herpes virus from replicating. The herpes virus hates cold. Applying ice or any cold object will stall the herpes virus from creating that hideous sore. And sometimes even send the herpes virus back into hibernation.

As a cold sore remedy, combining the ice method with mint is many times more effective.

Mint is very easy to find. The form we use is mint tea bags. These are available anywhere you find herbal teas. If the mint is combined with other herbs, that will work fine also. Just make sure the mint is primary. Mint can also be easily grown in a window pot if you want to try it fresh. I'll talk about a special cold sore remedy using fresh mint in just a moment.

This is how we turn mint tea into a very effective cold sore remedy.

Taking 20 oz. of bottled water and 5 tea bags (about one tea bag per 4 oz. of water), we make a strong batch of mint tea. Then freeze the wet tea bags.

Using the frozen tea bags in place of ice, we hold the tea bag on the cold sore area for about 10 minutes at a time. About 3 times per hour works well.

With this frozen mint cold sore remedy, you get the comforting and healing effects of ice. Plus, as the bag melts, you are applying a very strong anti-viral medication. This will kill thousands of herpes viruses.

Additionally, you can supercharge this cold sore remedy by sipping the tea. Also, apply the mint tea liquid to the sore with a cotton ball or paper towel. Now you have an internal as well as an external cold sore remedy.

This is also a perfect cold sore remedy for those rare people who get a cold sore inside the mouth. It works well for canker sores too. As a cold sore remedy, or for canker sores, you can use the tea as mouthwash. Swish it around for a minute or so, then swallow it for the internal benefits.

A variation of this cold sore remedy, we've used successfully, is to freeze the tea liquid. This works best for us using an ice cube tray that makes smaller ice cubes. This is a little messier as the cube melts. If you use fresh grown or bulk mint, then you won't have the tea bags to freeze. In that case, this may be one way to use your mint as a cold sore remedy.

One final note on using mint as a cold sore remedy.

Using this cold sore remedy, you may not want to, or can't, sit and hold the ice or frozen tea bags to your lip. If you're on the go, here's a very convenient and powerful way to use mint as a cold sore remedy.

You can quickly make an excellent cold sore remedy by crushing fresh mint leaves into a paste. If you don't wish to grow your own, mint is often available fresh or dried at your local health food store. With dried mint, add some water to reconstitute it and it will make a fine paste too. As you make the paste, mix in a little baking soda. This raises the pH level, which the herpes virus also hates.

Now you have a cold sore remedy you can use when traveling or at work. And, if made with fresh mint, the mint will be even stronger than in the dried tea form because you aren't heating it.

I hope you, as so many others have, find this to be an excellent, cheap and powerful cold sore remedy.

by Denny Bodoh

A Heart Attack Isn't As Much Fun As You Might Think

I've never had a heart attack... but I came a little too close for comfort. I remember it like it was yesterday although it was 15 years ago. It was a pleasant early fall morning as my wife Bernie and I embarked on the drive to Modesto for a "routine" treadmill test.

Upon arrival at Valley Heart Center the proficient nurses wired me up to the cardiac monitors. After what seemed an eternity (about 3 minutes) of huffing and puffing on the treadmill the technician stopped the instrument of torture, unhooked me and guided me to a chair for a very welcome rest.

A few minutes later a nurse said, "The doctor would like to see you now." and ushered me into the cardiologist's office. As I sat down he was staring at my chart with a deep frown on his face. "I don't like what I see here", he said, "You are a walking time bomb. You need to go to the hospital immediately."

Two days later Dr. Hugh Tobin, a highly skilled heart surgeon, sawed open my chest and stitched in bypasses to six clogged arteries. That got my attention.

I know that some of you are surprised that a banker actually had a heart. Six bypasses isn't a record but it's not bad for a 59 year old with normal cholesterol and blood pressure and no weight problem.

What actually causes a heart attack? The problem isn't actually the heart but the clogging of the arteries that provide oxygen and nutrients to the heart muscle.

The common belief is that eating too much cholesterol and fat causes this clogging.

Cholesterol has received a bum rap-in fact it is so vital that you'd have to eat about twenty eggs to absorb what your body makes every day. Here are the key risks.
  • Inflammation and oxidation.
  • Low HDL cholesterol. This is the good cholesterol. Low risk is between 45-54.
  • Exercise improves HDL's and lowers LDL's. The ratio of good cholesterol to bad cholesterol is more important than total cholesterol.
  • Lp(a) cholesterol. Many researchers say this is the "baddest" cholesterol but doctors rarely check it.
  • High homocysteine. This is very dangerous and can injure the arteries and accelerate clogging. Fortunately it can be lowered easily with folic acid and vitamins B12 and B6.
How to keep your arteries clear.
  • Eat plenty of fresh vegetables and fruit. They are full of antioxidants and fiber, which reduce inflammation, lower cholesterol and improve heart health.
  • Try to have beans 4-5 times per week. High levels of legume consumption significantly reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Eat cold-water fish twice each week. It is high in essential omega 3 fats.
  • Reduce the oxidation damage of fat and cholesterol in the arteries with a high quality natural vitamin supplement. A "one-a-day" vitamin doesn't cut it. Centrum Silver has only 45 mg E and 60 mg C. You need 400 mg vitamin E and 500-1000 mg vitamin C. I strongly recommend that you also take CoQ10 and Omega 3 oil supplements.
  • Exercise (surprise) 3-4 times per week. Work hard.
Follow these simple basics and you'll prevent up to 80% of heart and other serious diseases.

The cardiologist looked up from the treadmill report and grimly stated, "You are a walking time bomb. You need to go to the hospital immediately." Two days later a heart surgeon sawed open Gene Millen's chest and stitched in bypasses to six clogged arteries.

"A six way heart bypass isn't a record" said Gene, "but it's not bad for a skinny 59 year old with normal cholesterol and blood pressure. The villains and heroes in the heart attack melodrama may surprise you as they have me."

Gene Millen reviews new research on heart attack risks that are more dangerous than high cholesterol... and how natural supplements and heart vitamins can send them packing! Check out The Heart Health website at

Monday, January 02, 2006

Bone marrow drive planned to help Iditarod champion with leukemia

Susan Butcher sounds every bit like the tough competitor she is — even when she is asked about her strategy for beating leukemia. After all, this is the same woman who four times won the 1,100-mile Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, the longest sled dog race in the world.

"Now my goal is to try and stay alive and fight leukemia," she said from her hospital room in Seattle. "No questions asked, that's what I am going to do."

Butcher, 51, knows she can't fight leukemia alone. She was hoping that thousands of Alaskans would come forward today for a blood drive so she — or someone else — can receive a lifesaving bone marrow transplant.

While her doctors have not talked specifics with her about finding a match, it could be 1 in 20,000 to 1 in 50,000, according to the Blood Bank of Alaska.

With about 50 cases of acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) diagnosed in Alaska each year, Butcher is hoping the drive helps somebody — maybe even one of the several other Alaskans with leukemia on her floor at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

If not that, she hopes the drive will help Native Alaskans by registering more potential donors for them. The best bone marrow matches are found in people with similar genetic backgrounds.

High protein diet 'under attack'

The benefits of high-protein diets have again been questioned.

The Total Wellbeing Diet, similar to the Atkins diet, advises eating around twice the daily amount of protein in a typical Western diet.

But an editorial in the magazine Nature suggests the diet only helps a small number of people.

However the scientists from Australia's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization who wrote the book, stand by their work.

The book has become a best-seller, selling half a million copies in Australia since May.

It went on sale in the UK in September, and is due to be launched in the US next year.

The diet recommends around 30 to 35% of a person's daily energy intake should come from protein, compared to 15% in the typical Western diet.

To do this, Manny Noakes and Peter Clifton who devised the eating plan, recommend eating more meat and fish at lunch and dinner.

It differs from Atkins because followers are allowed to eat small amounts of carbohydrates and encouraged to stock up on fruit and vegetables.

Alzheimer's and Obesity Linked

There's another reason for you to not stay in overweight condition. After proved that obesity may lead to heart disease and diabetes, now researchers at Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and Edith Cowan University in Joondalup, Western Australia, report that obesity can increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.
They found a strong correlation between body mass index and high levels of beta-amyloid, the sticky protein substance that builds up in the Alzheimer's brain and is thought to play a major role in destroying nerve cells and in cognitive and behavioral problems associated with the disease.

"We looked at the levels of beta-amyloid and found a relationship between obesity and circulating amyloid," said Sam E. Gandy, M.D., Ph.D., director of the Farber Institute for Neurosciences. "That's almost certainly why the risk for Alzheimer's is increased."

"Heightened levels of amyloid in the blood vessels and the brain indicate the start of the Alzheimer's process," Gandy said. The scientists reported their findings in this month's Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Alcohol to Protect Older Women from Diabetes

It is reported by Dutch researchers that moderate drinking of alcohol may cut the risk of diabetes type 2 or non-insulin-dependent diabetes in older women.
Although an association between alcohol use and reduced diabetes risk has been observed previously, much exploration of this topic has centered on men and few studies have involved older women, Dr. Michiel L. Bots of University Medical Center Utrecht and colleagues note in the journal Diabetes Care.

Because diabetes increases with age and most type 2 diabetic patients are women, they investigated the relationship between alcohol and diabetes onset in older women. The team examined data from a cohort of more than 16,300 women aged 49 to 70 years who were diabetes-free at enrollment and were followed for an average of 6.2 years.

During this period, 760 women were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Compared with abstainers, women consuming moderate amounts of alcohol (5 to 30 grams per week) were much less likely to develop diabetes. Ten grams of alcohol constitutes one standard drink. There was no association with type of drink. Lifetime alcohol consumption was associated with type 2 diabetes in a U-shaped fashion — in that it was increased in abstainers and excessive drinkers in comparison with those with moderate consumption.

Art Therapy for Cancer Patients

Recent study conducted by Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago found that art therapy can reduce pain and anxiety. Moreover, it can also help relieve tiredness.
The study, published this week in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management, reveals cancer patients may see multiple benefits from on-hour art therapy sessions.

Researchers enrolled 50 patients being treated for cancer in the study. Patients were asked to fill out surveys and answer questions on symptoms of pain, tiredness, nausea, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, lack of appetite, well being, and shortness of breath.

Each patient was allowed to decide what kind of art they would do during the sessions. If a patient could not use their hands or didn't want to use the art materials, researchers offered the option of directing someone else to do the art or arranging photographic images into a book.

Investigators found eight of the nine symptoms surveyed improved as a result of the art therapy sessions. Nausea was the only symptom that was not affected.

According to researchers, the results indicate that a complementary therapy, like art therapy, can improve quality of life, reduce symptoms, and help reduce stress for patients dealing with a difficult treatment. They say art therapy could be a viable alternative for patients not comfortable with conventional psychotherapy or find verbal expression difficult.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Colon Cleansers Can Harm

Colon cleansers are foods and laxatives that loosen your stool and make you go to the bathroom. The latest research shows that regular use of laxatives or colon cleansers can harm you by blocking the absorption of healthful nutrients from your colon into your bloodstream.

The bebeficial bacteria in your colon convert undigested starches into short chain fatty acids that heal ulcers, prevent colon cancer and other cancers, reduce the pain of arthritis, prevent the arterial damage of arteriosclerosis, lower cholesterol, and even lower high blood pressure.

100 years ago, Ilya Metchnikoff noticed that people who lived in the mountains of Hungary appeared to live to a very old age. They didn't live longer, but they had such a hard life that they looked much older than they were. Metchnikoff knew that they ate yogurt every day and that yogurt is loaded with lactobacilli, bacteria that can grow in your intestinal tract.

He felt that these good bacteria displaced bad bacteria that normally live in your intestines and secrete toxins that shorten your life. His theory of autointoxication is that food that is not absorbed in the upper intestinal tract passes to your colon, where bad bacteria ferment it to form poisons that are absorbed into your bloodstream to shorten your life and even cause cancer.

At the same time in Battle Creek, Michigan, John Harvey Kellogg, of cereal fame, was preaching the same thing. He claimed that undigested food passes to the colon where bacteria break it down to form toxic products that pass into your bloodstream to shorten your life. He prescribed colonics to wash out the undigested foods so the toxic products do not get into your bloodstream.

Of course, this is nonsense. There are two absorption systems in your body. First the food that you eat passes into your stomach and upper intestines, where secretions from your liver, stomach, intestines and pancreas break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins into their building blocks, which are absorbed into your bloodstream to keep your body healthy. The food that is not broken down into basic sugars, amino acids, fatty acids and glycerol cannot be absorbed so it passes to your colon. So far, researchers have identified more than 500 different types of bacteria that grow naturally in your colon. Almost all are harmless and some break down these unabsorbed carbohydrates to short chain fatty acids that are necessary for your health. It is these chemicals absorbed from your colon that prevent and reduce inflamation that aggravates arthritis, and certain cancers, and other fatty acids lower cholesterol and help prevent heart attacks.

Using colon cleansers or laxatives reduces the absorption of these beneficial short chain fatty acids, and you lose basic nutrients. People who recommend colonics and laxatives claim that they remove stool that gets stuck and rots in your colon. This also is ridiculous. Undigested waste products stick together by a physical process called surface tension. Stool behind never passes stool ahead, without first picking up the stool and binding to it as it passes to the outside. Colonics and laxatives not only have not been shown to help you, they can harm you be depriving you of certain nutrients that are necessary for health.

by Dr. Gabe Mirkin, M.D.

The Root Causes of Adult Enuresis

Adult enuresis (involuntary passing of urine during the night) affects many millions of people throughout the developed world. There are various different conditions that can lead to the onset of adult enuresis, but the most common are either a physical trauma (such as a road accident or accident at work), or a deep sleep disorder such as sleep apnea. This article outlines the causes of adult enuresis as well as examining some of the most common treatment methods.

Adult enuresis can be a very embarrassing and discomforting experience, and often leads to feelings of shame or loss of control in the person experiencing it. Sufferers of adult enuresis may try to hide their symptoms, and this can have an effect on their emotional state and their ability to form a lasting relationship, as they try to conceal their symptoms and may not, for example, wish to share a bed with another adult.

Physical shocks or traumas that have led to the onset of adult enuresis are often the most easily treatable, as the doctors or medical staff treating the other symptoms of the trauma are often able to address the physical cause. Sleep disorder related adult enuresis is harder to treat, and in some cases may it may even be incurable.

Sleep disorder related adult enuresis may be linked to other symptoms such as night terrors and sweats, or sleep walking. The root cause of the issue is that the adult experiencing the bed wetting is sleeping so deeply that they are unable to control the muscle that would normally prevent them from passing urine during the night, and do not respond to the normal mental triggers that wake most adults when their bladder is full during the night.

However, recognition of the fact that adult enuresis is linked to a sleep disorder and is not the result of emotional or mental problems can often provide a ray of hope for sufferers. The fact that adult enuresis has a tangible cause and can thus be addressed and treated means they are not doomed to suffer in silence.

For friends of relatives of people suffering from adult enuresis, the first thing to do is to encourage them to talk about their problem. Feelings of shame or dirtiness can prevent sufferers seeking medical help from their doctor or professional institutions such as sleep disorder clinics. Their problems must be treated sensitively but the sufferer should be gently persuaded that positive action can only come from speaking about their problems.

The first stage of medical treatment for adult enuresis is normally an assessment of the sufferers' physical and mental condition, including the possibility that they may have an inherited sleep disorder. This means that the treatment centre will conduct a physical exam as well as asking questions about any changes in the sufferers' lifestyle and their family history.

This assessment allows an individual treatment process to be tailored to the needs of the individual. Treatment can include medication, a program to alter the sufferer's sleep pattern, and exercises to strengthen the bladder control muscles. This exercise is necessary as the adult enuresis can lead to weakening of the bladder muscles due to the fact that they are not used nightly as they are in adults not experiencing the symptoms of enuresis.

Adult enuresis can be a debilitating condition as feelings of shame and interrupted or irregular sleep cycles can affect the sufferers' emotional state. However, it does not need to be a permanent condition and the friends and family of people suffering the condition should ensure they treat them with sensitivity and give them the support they need.

Copyright © Jared Winston, 2005. All Rights Reserved.
Learn more about nocturnal enuresis and more importantly how to control this embarrassing and uncomfortable condition once and for all at Bedwetting