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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Analysis Shows Nearly ALL Chicken (97%) Tainted with Harmful Bacteria

by Elizabeth Renter on January 27th, 2014

Every year, Americans buy approximately 83 pounds of chicken per capita. With a country that’s so crazy for poultry, you would think the consumers would hold the producers accountable, demanding only the safest chicken possible. But according to a new analysis from Consumer Reports, nearly all chicken (97% tested) is tainted with harmful bacteria, and then some.

Consumer Reports tested more than 300 chicken breasts purchased at stores across the country and found nearly all of them to be contaminated with potentially harmful bacteria.

A press release from the organization says their tests revealed fecal contaminants, and about half of the chicken tested had at least one bacterium resistant to three or more common antibiotics. This is troublesome.

Of course, the chicken producers would remind you that most bacteria can be effectively eliminated with proper handling and cooking. Heating meat to at least 165 degrees and reducing the risk of cross-contamination ensures you won’t get sick. But, the antibiotic-resistant bacteria discovered by Consumer Reports is concern-worthy whether you’re cooking your meat right or not.

Just a few months ago, the CDC released a report cautioning against the threat of antibiotic-resistant infections. Such infections are linked to an estimated 2 million illnesses and 23,000 deaths each year in the US. These same bacteria, say Consumer Reports, are being sold in chicken across the country.
“Our tests reveal that superbugs can be found in about half of the chicken we tested, from stores across the country. Our test results found that 49.7 percent of our samples contained at least one multidrug-resistant bacterium, and 11.5 percent had at least two. (Multidrug-resistant bacteria are defined as those that are resistant to three or more classes of drugs that they would normally be susceptible to”…”The bacteria we found were significantly more resistant to classes of antibiotics approved by the FDA for chicken production than for those not approved for such use.”
The results of this research are particularly interesting considering the FDA and CDC fight against raw milk, a product that is many times over more safe than chicken.

The CDC itself admits, “[M]ore deaths were attributed to poultry than to any other commodity.”

The research is a firm reminder that everything you purchase in the grocery store should be treated with care, as if it is contaminated. If you insist on purchasing chicken, make sure you are cooking it correctly and taking care that it not touch other surfaces in your kitchen until it is fully cooked. Also, to avoid meat that’s been treated with antibiotics, seek out organic chicken or develop a relationship with a local farmer.

Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/analysis-97-percent-chicken-tainted-harmful-bacteria/#ixzz2rj5LGvxA 

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Diet and exercise: cancer benefits in huge study of women's health

Wednesday 8 January 2014 by MNT

In a large study of women's health, postmenopausal women who followed a healthy lifestyle were at a third lower risk of death, including a 20% smaller chance of dying from cancer, than women who did not follow guidance on diet, weight, physical activity, and alcohol intake.

"While it is well recognized that tobacco cessation is the lead behavioral change to reduce cancer risk," the authors write, they analyzed the effect of other cancer prevention recommendations.

The researchers used data gathered by the observational study in the women's health initiative of the US National Institutes of Health, which was launched in 1992 with a $140 million, 15-year contract: "the largest coordinated study of women's health ever undertaken."

Cynthia Thomson PhD and her colleagues analyzed data from 65,838 postmenopausal women age between 50 and 79 years.

The participants were enrolled in the women's health initiative between 1993 and 1998 at 40 clinical centers across the country, and the team's analysis represents the "largest study of postmenopausal women in the US."

Those women who adhered most to lifestyle recommendations had a 22% lower risk for breast cancer and a 52% lower risk for colorectal cancer, compared with women who did not closely follow guidance.

The recommendations being followed were the American Cancer Society (ACS) guidelines on nutrition and physical activity, which have four central planks:

  1. "Achieve and maintain a healthy weight throughout life"
  2. "Be physically active"
  3. "Eat a healthy diet, with an emphasis on plant foods"
  4. "If you drink alcohol, limit your intake."

Dr. Thomson, professor of public health at the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona in Tucson, says:
"The message is simple and clear: If you want to reduce your risk for cancer, even later in life, eat a healthy diet, be active daily, avoid or limit alcohol, and don't smoke."
"Our results support the ACS guidelines for cancer prevention," Thomson adds, but she calls for more support for other factors that can reduce the risks further, "because diet and activity alone do not account for the majority of risk."

Ratings for women's response to advice
The researchers scored women's adherence to the lifestyle advice on cancer prevention.

Zeroes were given for "behaviors least consistent with the recommendations" and scores of one or two were given for healthy lifestyle actions, adding these up to a maximum level of compliance represented by a total score of eight.

Most of the women in the study had final scores between three and six. Fewer than 1% of the women scored eight after following all of the recommended lifestyle choices.

Analysis of almost 9,000 cancers
Data on the women were collected over an average of 8.3 years, a period that witnessed the diagnosis of 8,632 cancers and 2,356 cancer-related deaths.

The women whose lifestyles were rated the healthiest (a score of seven or eight) showed a lower risk of overall cancer compared with those given low scores (from zero to two).

This included a reduction by a fifth in their risk for breast cancer, and by half for colorectal cancer.

The healthier lifestyles were also associated with a lower risk of death from other causes not related to cancer.

The authors note that guidelines for healthy lifestyle in the prevention of cancer have been based on evidence from few such prospectively identified associations.

The researchers' conclusions are drawn from the women's health initiative, which was a study designed at the outset to track future health changes over time.

Such prospective studies result in comparisons that are controlled and more reliable than can be drawn retrospectively, by looking back on data that was not collected for the purpose.

Lifestyle effect was greater in some groups of women
The analysis found an even lower incidence of cancers and lower overall death rate among women from certain ethnic groups as a result of the lifestyle measures, and the paper calls for more research into this difference.

Dr. Thomson says:
"We found that the association was stronger for Asian, African-American, and Hispanic women, compared with non-Hispanic white women.
It is possible that different ethnic groups may have differential disease course with varied response to environmental and/or behavioral exposures."

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Meat, smoking have strongest links to cancer incidence rates

Monday 30 December 2013

Using 2008 global cancer rates from the World Health Organization, a new international study has found that certain lifestyle factors - specifically smoking and eating diets high in animal products - have the strongest association with cancer rates.

Publishing their findings in the journal Nutrients, the researchers say the results could impact international food policies.

The investigators looked at cancer rates for 21 different cancers from 157 different countries in 2008 and statistically compared these rates with indices for risk-modifying factors.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations provided dietary supply data dating back to 1980. According to the researchers, there is usually a lag of about 20 years between dietary changes and peak cancer rates.

Meat, fish and eggs were included in the animal products index, and lung cancer rates were used as an index for smoking and air pollution effects.

Over half of the cancer incidence rates were explained by smoking and animal product indices among the 87 countries, the study shows.

Additionally, alcoholic beverage supply explained a smaller, yet still significant amount of the cancer rates.

'Lesson for national food policies'
The data showed that diets high in animal products had the strongest association to rates of certain cancers, including breast and prostate.
The smoking index was twice as important as the animal product for males, the team notes.

However, for females, the animal product index was twice as important, uncovering a gender difference in risk factors.

The team found that animal products had the strongest correlation among certain cancers, including female breast, kidney, ovarian, pancreatic, prostate, testicular and thyroid cancer.

Animal products may increase cancer risks, the researchers say, because they promote growth of the body as well as tumors by producing insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I).

They use the Japanese population as an example, noting that older Japanese generations are generally shorter than Westerners, while younger generations are about as tall.

Although the traditional Japanese diet received only 10% of its calories from animal products, Japan has since transitioned to a more Western diet, in which 20% of the calories come from animal products.

The team also notes that rates of cancers common in Western countries have increased significantly in Japan over the past 20-30 years.

Dr. Neal Barnard, president of the Physicians Committee and a faculty member of the George Washington University School of Medicine, says:

"This is an important study showing strong relationships between meaty diets and cancer risk. There's a clear-cut lesson there for national food policies."

Other findings from the study reveal that alcoholic beverage supply correlated with colorectal cancer, and added sweeteners were linked to incidence of brain cancer in females, pancreatic and prostate cancer.

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Preventing Bacterial Vaginosis With Diet

January 23, 2014 by Michael Greger M.D.

In the same way fermented pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut foster the growth of good bacteria by maintaining an acidic environment, so does the human vagina. The normal pH of one’s vagina is that of tomato juice. However, once it starts creeping up to that of coffee, an overgrowth of bad bacteria can take hold and cause bacterial vaginosis, which affects an astounding 29 percent of American women, nearly 1 in 3. That makes it the most frequent cause of vaginal complaints among younger women. It’s commonly diagnosed with the so-called “Whiff Test,” where the doctor takes a whiff of the vaginal discharge, sniffing for the characteristic fishy odor.

The fishy odor is a consequence of a compound of decay called putrescine, which is also found in certain foods. More about these “biogenic amines” in:

  • Can Cellulite Be Treated With Diet?
  • New Corpse Smell
  • Carcinogenic Putrescine

Traditional risk factors for bacterial vaginosis include douching, which has also been associated with a wide range of problems. With no demonstrable benefits and considerable evidence of harm, douching should be strongly discouraged. Medical professionals need to clearly explain to women that the vagina is naturally self-cleaning.

Nasal douching, though, is another matter entirely. See The Risks and Benefits of Neti Pot Nasal Irrigation and my answer about the “brain-eating amoeba.”

Recently, poor nutrition has been added to the list of risk factors for bacterial vaginosis. Women appear more likely to get bacterial vaginosis if they have lower circulating levels of phytonutrients like vitamin C and beta carotene in your bloodstream—indicating a lower intake of fruits and vegetables. In recent years, though, the field of nutrition has shifted toward examining overall dietary scores as opposed to single nutrients, because it has become recognized that nutrients are not consumed in isolation. To help consumers eat healthier foods, nutrient-rich food indices have been devised. Using these indices, researchers have found that the more nutrient rich one’s diet, the lower one’s apparent risk for bacterial vaginosis.

Why might a healthier diet improve vaginal health? Researchers suggest that high fat intake, particularly saturated fat may increase vaginal pH, thereby increasing the risk of bacterial vaginosis. As you can see in the associated video Bacterial Vaginosis and Diet, most saturated fat in the American diet comes from dairy, desserts, and chicken. The researchers conclude: “The next steps ahead include sharing these findings with gynecologists, obstetricians, and general practitioners, as well as increasing the awareness of the general community to the importance of optimal nutrition… to prevent infections of the genital tract, reduce associated disease, and maintain reproductive health.”

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Is your relationship causing you weight gain?

Posted on November 1, 2012 by NICKY RODRIGUES

Did you ever have one of those moments where you stumbled upon your old photos from University and you were absolutely gob smacked at how thin you were!

You wonder to yourself –How in the hell did I maintain that figure? What in my life has changed since then, that I am now 8kg’s heavier?- It is then that you realise that it was during this time that you met – let’s call him Joel- and since meeting and dating Joel your body mass has vastly increased.

What were you doing back then, that doesn’t happen now?

  • It is simple really, when you are single and on the hunt for your next mate, you probably took more care of your appearance by eating healthier and exercising more – you wanted to impress your future love matches after all. You had more time to do the things you wanted to do. Cook healthy, head to the gym to meet up with your gym buddies
  • You compared and competed against the other ‘thin’ girls for male attention. No one likes to be the ‘fat’ friend.
  • You probably spent a lot of time at the clubs with your girlfriends dancing the night away on your 6-inch heels – fantastic for burning calories!

All this came to a grinding halt when you hung up your single shoes.

What has made you load on the weight?
Ta-ta motivation
Once you are in love some women breathe a deep sigh of relief. The hard work is over, I got the man. Love has a funny way of making women feel relaxed and comfortable, and the more the relationship matures, so does her waist line. Your mate might not be very active and he wants to stay in for the night, so you cancel your gym session to spend time with him. Skip enough gym and you will find yourself not even wanting to go anymore… you’d much rather dig into your second packet of cheesy chips with your man.

Bad food choices
Before you met your mate, you used to enjoy salads, green tea and whole wheat tuna wraps… Yet those have all been traded in for greasy meals followed by a beer. Some men are not interested in their health or eating veggies and if you landed with one of these men, you probably have found yourself eating more of what he wants. It’s just easier and more convenient.

Yes, relationships bring good stress and bad stress. Good stress becomes celebrations with friends. Lots of food and high calorie drinks. Bad stress is caused when your relationship hits some bumps in the road, and one of the most common ways people deal with stress is to try and eat it away, which you know backfires.

HOW can you turn it around:
Tell Your Partner to Stop Tempting You
It may be cute when your mate dangles a Mars bar over your mouth and proceeds to devour it without gaining a millimeter in his waist, but if you can’t resist temptation, simply ask your guy to stop tempting you. Out of sight, out of mind just may help in your fight against relationship weight.

Don’t eat mirror image meals
Men burn calories faster than woman do. You will put on the weight, he won’t. If you both have medium frames and are moderately active, your mate will need about 40 percent more food than you each day to maintain a healthy weight. In other words – splitting an appetizer or dessert or eating the exact same thing for dinner just isn’t practical. So just because your appetite matches his doesn’t mean your portions should.

Don’t lose yourself
Find some independence from these bad habits, don’t expect him to change. Start becoming healthier and before you know it, you might rub off those good habits on your man.

Encourage exercise
Workout together. If you work out with your mate it is just another form of bonding. You can encourage and push each other. At the end you will both have a sense of accomplishment and know that you achieved it together.

Here comes the sexist remark:
What you have to realise, is that men are visual creatures. No matter how much weight he has gained or how his 6-pack can only be found  in the fridge, he will still expect you to look good. Yes it is called a double standard. If you have let yourself go, he is more likely to start looking at the thinner, well maintained girls, because lets face it ladies, we all know  men think with their………………….

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On average New Year’s resolutions last for nine days!

As expected, the most common New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, stop smoking, drink less and get fitter!

We’ve picked a couple of our favourite blogs from the last few years that highlight these areas.

Did you know that, as well as harming the lungs, smoking can damage the digestive system? It contributes to disorders such as heartburn and peptic ulcers, and can increase the risk of Crohn’s disease.

But addiction to nicotine makes it hard to quit. Nicotine withdrawal symptoms include cravings, irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, restlessness and disturbed sleep. It’s a real challenge to try and quit smoking, but here are some tips that may help you along the way:

  • Make a date: Set a specific date for stopping … and stop on that date!
  • Buddy up: Ask a friend or colleague to also stop, for mutual support.
  • Chuck it out: Throw away any smoking ‘paraphernalia’ – lighters, ashtrays, etc.
  • Take it slow: Take it one day at a time; don’t think ‘I can never smoke again’, but instead, simply ‘I will not smoke tomorrow.’
  • Take a break: Change your routine so as to eliminate all the ‘cigarette breaks’ that have previously slotted into the day.
  • Save the cash: Save up the money normally spent on cigarettes and put it towards something special. 20 cigarettes a day, means saving around £2,000 per year!
  • Get advice: Make an appointment with the GP – there’s lots of advice and support available free on the NHS.

As the weather changes and it begins to get colder, it is very easy to develop a more sedentary lifestyle. Exercise offers numerous health benefits to the body and could help play a vital role in how we feel as we head towards autumn and the colder months.

Not only does exercise help with the release of our ‘happy hormones’, it can also help to keep our bowels moving regularly. Exercise helps to tighten the muscles of the digestive tract, control weight gain and reduce stress. Aerobic exercise will help to lessen constipation by improving muscular contraction and assisting with the movement of food through the body.

For adults, the government currently recommends the following:

(taken from: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/uk-physical-activity-guidelines)

  1. Adults should aim to be active daily. Over a week, activity should add up to at least 150 minutes (2½ hours) of moderate intensity activity in bouts of 10 minutes or more – one way to approach this is to do 30 minutes on at least 5 days a week.
  2. Alternatively, comparable benefits can be achieved through 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity spread across the week or combinations of moderate and vigorous intensity activity.
  3. Adults should also undertake physical activity to improve muscle strength on at least two days a week.
  4. All adults should minimise the amount of time spent being sedentary (sitting) for extended periods.

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Five organic foods that may be damaging your digestive system

Saturday, January 18, 2014 by: Derek Henry

The organic movement was initially dubbed a fad, but as time wore on it became obvious that people were concerned about a polluted food supply, and for good reason. However, what many failed to consider is that NOT ALL organic foods are healthy for everyone, and some could actually cause serious damage to their digestive systems.

The five organic foods to watch

Wheat has enjoyed a long run of being the darling of the grains but in recent years has taken a serious hit, with gluten sensitivity plaguing people across North America.

It's not that organic wheat is necessarily bad in and of itself, but rather, our digestive systems have become severely compromised, and as a result we lack the friendly bacteria that helps digest this component of wheat which leaves many people in pain and distress.

This may be partially alleviated for some by simply consuming wheat that is only sprouted, but for many, this will still not resolve the issue.

Wheat can be substituted in a number of ways, the more popular being amaranth, oats, almond, coconut, millet, buckwheat, corn, rice and quinoa flour.

Soy was at the tip of everyone's tongues when the soy industry convinced us that their products were not only safe for consumption but also actually good for you.

However, research is starting to uncover the opposite. Soy has now been attributed to endocrine disruption, digestive problems, hormone issues, thyroid challenges and fertility complications.

Soy promoters deny this research and point to epidemiological studies of Asians and their reduced rates of breast and prostate cancers, even though their traditional diet is soy-dominated. However, these studies fail to point out that these soy products are primarily fermented, which creates health-promoting probiotics that facilitate proper digestion.

Choose soy products that are organic and fermented.

Peanut butter
Peanuts, unlike hard-shelled nuts, are encased in a very soft and porous shell, which allows contaminants such as fungi to bind to them. As a result, aflatoxin, a cancer-causing chemical produced by naturally occurring fungi in the soil, can easily attach itself to the developing nut.

Since systematic fungal infections are affecting 70% of people, it may not be a wise idea to consume a food that naturally contains it, as it can exacerbate the problem and cause severe reactions and even death.

If you do choose to buy organic peanut butter, refrigerate it at all times to inhibit the growth of this naturally occurring fungus.

Cow's milk
Organic cow's milk eliminates some of the primary concerns of consuming milk, namely antibiotics, hormones and other chemicals.

However, organic milk is also commonly pasteurized, which effectively removes all beneficial bacteria and enzymes and makes it much more difficult for the human digestive tract to properly break down and absorb it.

If you choose organic cow's milk, look for raw.

Pigs are dirty animals and eat everything in sight (including their own feces). Since their digestive systems work quickly, there is no opportunity to eliminate any toxins that may be present in what they eat.

Not only that, but a pig also does not have any sweat glands, which takes away an effective toxin removal process, allowing more toxins to stay inside their body.

Even though organically raised pigs should have toxin-free diets, there is great difficulty in monitoring and circumventing their insatiable desire to eat nearly everything in sight.

Instead of pork, try turkey bacon or organic, grass-fed beef, which is much friendlier to your intestinal system.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/043571_organic_foods_digestive_system_gluten_sensitivity.html?utm_content=buffer4dc73&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer#ixzz2riwwUUFk

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Bad news for tattoos

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 by: Tony Isaacs

Would you knowingly inject dangerous heavy metals such as mercury, lead and arsenic into your body? How about carcinogens and endocrine disrupters such as phthalates and hydrocarbons? Chances are that is exactly what you have done if you have a tattoo, because those substances are commonly found in the inks used for tattoos.

Dangerous Heavy Metals Found in Tattoo Ink
Many tattoo inks contain heavy metals that have been linked to a large number of health problems, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Among the most concerning metals found in tattoos are mercury, lead, antimony, beryllium, cadmium and arsenic.

Mercury is a neurotoxin, meaning it has detrimental effects on the nervous system. It can damage the brain and lead to physical and emotional disorders.

Lead interferes with a variety of body processes and is toxic to many of the body's organs and tissues, including the heart, bones, intestines, kidneys, nervous and reproductive systems. In severe cases, lead poisoning symptoms can include seizures, coma and death. Other symptoms commonly associated with lead exposure include abdominal pain, confusion, headache, anemia and irritability.

Beryllium is listed as a Class A EPA carcinogen. Exposure can cause Chronic Beryllium Disease, an often fatal lung disease.

Cadmium is a heavy metal that poses severe risks to human health, including kidney, bone, and pulmonary damage.

Arsenic is a known carcinogen, and new studies have also found that exposure to higher levels of arsenic leads to genetic damage.

Antimony exposure can cause irritation of the eyes, skin and lungs. As the exposure continues, more serious problems may occur, such as lung diseases, heart problems, diarrhea, severe vomiting and stomach ulcers.

Phthalates, Hydrocarbons and Other Dangerous Compounds in Tattoo Ink
Many tattoo inks also contain dangerous phthalates and hydrocarbons. Phthalates, also contained in many cosmetic products deemed unsafe by the Environmental Working Group, have been shown to damage the liver, kidneys, lungs and reproductive systems in animal studies.

Black tattoo inks are often made from soot-containing products of combustion called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Among the PAHs in the inks is benzo(a)pyrene, a compound identified in an Environmental Protection Agency toxicity report as "among the most potent and well-documented skin carcinogens."

Tattoo Removal Can Send a Cascade of Dangerous Chemicals Throughout the Body
As time goes by, many people who originally opted for tattoos decide they would like to have them removed. According to a 2006 survey in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 17 percent of 18 to 50-year-olds with tattoos have considered tattoo removal. However, tattoo removal may be even more dangerous than getting a tattoo in the first place.

By far the most common method of removing tattoos today is laser tattoo removal - a technique where a laser is used in repeated sessions to dissolve the tattoo. Once the tattoo inks are dissolved, their components - including any dangerous ones such as those outlined above - are absorbed into the body and bloodstream. Many may never be fully eliminated from the body, and even those components which do get eliminated may cause damage before they are eliminated.

An estimated 45 million people in the U.S. have at least one tattoo, including at least 36 percent of adults in their late 30s. For those who already have tattoos, the best advice may be to keep them - unless you want to use outdated tattoo removal techniques such as surgery which leave scars in place of the tattoos. If you don't already have a tattoo, the best advice is to not get one.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/043593_tattoos_heavy_metals_poisoning.html?utm_content=buffer8866a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#ixzz2rivUJv2L

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Fathers' diets and health found to influence offspring's obesity

Tuesday, January 21, 2014 by: L.J. Devon

Passing on genes to children may have little to do with fate, coincidence or destiny. Maternal care is very important for healthy fetal development, but there may be even more at play in genetic development.

New research suggests that gene expression can, in fact, be "prefabricated" or "controlled" by the father at the time of conception through personal health habits.

Father's weight at time of conception influences gene expression of offspring
Published in the journal Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, this new research suggests that a father's body weight and nutrition levels during conception can greatly influence the gene expression passed on to their offspring.

According to the findings, the gene expression of offspring is first and foremost dependent on the father's health decisions leading up to and during conception. Prior belief supported that genes were inherent, random and uncontrollable, but this research suggests that a father's health decisions and body mass play an important role in helping their child prevent degenerative disease and premature aging later in life.

The research shows how obese fathers can ultimately cause altered gene expression in the pancreas and fat stores of their newborn. This, in turn, can lead the unsuspecting child to develop conditions like diabetes and obesity at a young age, even if they were on a decent diet.

Metabolic tissue samples of offspring from obese fathers show compromised gene expression
In the study, one group of male rats was fed a high-fat diet. The adult male rats became obese and developed diabetes. At the time of conception, the male rats passed on altered gene expression to their offspring. The offspring's two most important metabolic tissues, the pancreas and fat tissues, showed altered gene expression that perpetuated a future of obesity and premature aging. These altered genes set the offspring up for early onset of diseases and cancers during the study.

"While scientists have focused on how the maternal diet affects children's health, this study is part of exciting new research exploring the impact of paternal diet on offspring risk of obesity," said Margaret Morris, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the Pharmacology School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. "The fact that similar gene markers were affected in pancreas and fat tissue tells us that some of the same pathways are being influenced, possibly from the earliest stages of life. It will be important to follow up these findings, and to learn more about when and how to intervene to reduce the impact of poor paternal metabolic health on offspring."

Morris and her colleagues separated two groups of male rats and studied the genes that were passed on to offspring. A lean group of male rats on a healthy diet were separated from obese rats on a high-fat diet. To isolate the mothers' influence, the researchers used similar lean female rats exhibiting good health and mated them with both the unhealthy and healthy rats. The offspring of both groups was examined.

The obese male rats were ultimately responsible for the most unhealthy offspring which produced early onset of degenerative disease. These unhealthy offspring showed poor ability to respond to a glucose challenge, even when they were fed healthy diets after birth.

Their pancreatic islets showed wild changes in gene expression that served as a precursor for disease. The rats born of healthy fathers didn't show these changes in gene expression.

Furthermore, fat tissue samples of the rats showed how genes were altered, changes that made it difficult for the rats of obese fathers to produce insulin and control blood glucose.

Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of the FASEB Journal says, "This report is the first step in understanding exactly how the nutrition and health of fathers affects his children, for better or worse."

"For a long time, we've known that the nutrition and health status of women who are pregnant or who want to get pregnant is critical to the health of her offspring, and we've also suspected that the same is true for fathers to a lesser degree," Weissmann said.

This study shows that the weight and health of fathers play a vital role in passing on insulin-resistant conditions to their future offspring.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/043588_paternal_health_obesity_insulin_resistance.html#ixzz2riuNCSHn

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Health Hazards of Sitting

By Bonnie Berkowitz and Patterson Clark on Jan. 20, 2014

We know sitting too much is bad, and most of us intuitively feel a little guilty after a long TV binge. But what exactly goes wrong in our bodies when we park ourselves for nearly eight hours per day, the average for a U.S. adult? Many things, say four experts, who detailed a chain of problems from head to toe.

Itching to move? Here are some ways to workout at work and eat the right stuff.

Organ damage
Muscles burn less fat and blood flows more sluggishly during a long sit, allowing fatty acids to more easily clog the heart. Prolonged sitting has been linked to high blood pressure and elevated cholesterol, and people with the most sedentary time are more than twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease than those with the least.

The pancreas produces insulin, a hormone that carries glucose to cells for energy. But cells in idle muscles don't respond as readily to insulin, so the pancreas produces more and more, which can lead to diabetes and other diseases. A 2011 study found a decline in insulin response after just one day of prolonged sitting.

Studies have linked sitting to a greater risk for colon, breast and endometrial cancers. The reason is unclear, but one theory is that excess insulin encourages cell growth. Another is that regular movement boosts natural antioxidants that kill cell-damaging
— and potentially cancer-causing — free radicals.

Trouble at the top 
Moving muscles pump fresh blood and oxygen through the brain and trigger the release of all sorts of brain- and mood-enhancing chemicals. When we are sedentary for a long time, everything slows, including brain function.

If most of your sitting occurs at a desk at work, craning your neck forward toward a keyboard or tilting your head to cradle a phone while typing can strain the cervical vertebrae and lead 
to permanent imbalances.

SORE SHOULDERS AND BACK The neck doesn't slouch alone. Slumping forward overextends the shoulder and back muscles as well, particularly the trapezius, which connects the neck and shoulders.

Muscle degeneration
When you stand, move or even sit up straight, abdominal muscles keep you upright. But when you slump in a chair, they go unused. Tight back muscles and wimpy abs form a posture-wrecking alliance that can exaggerate the spine's natural arch, a condition called hyperlordosis, or swayback.

Flexible hips help keep you balanced, but chronic sitters so rarely extend the hip flexor muscles in front that they become short and tight, limiting range of motion and stride length. Studies have found that decreased hip mobility is a main reason elderly people tend to fall.

Sitting requires your glutes to do absolutely nothing, and they get used to it. Soft glutes hurt your stability, your ability to push off and your ability to maintain a powerful stride.

Bad back
When we move around, soft discs between vertebrae expand and contract like sponges, soaking up fresh blood and nutrients. But when we sit for a long time, discs are squashed unevenly. Collagen hardens around supporting tendons and ligaments.

DISK DAMAGE People who sit more are at greater risk for herniated lumbar disks. A muscle called the psoas travels through the abdominal cavity and, when it tightens, pulls the upper lumbar spine forward. Upper-body weight rests entirely on the ischial tuberosity (sitting bones) instead of being distributed along the arch of the spine.

Leg disorders
Sitting for long periods of time slows blood circulation, which causes fluid to pool in the legs. Problems range from swollen ankles and varicose veins to dangerous blood clots called deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

SOFT BONES Weight-bearing activities such as walking and running stimulate hip and lower-body bones to grow thicker, denser and stronger. Scientists partially attribute the recent surge in cases of osteoporosis to lack of activity. 

Mortality of sitting
People who watched the most TV in an 8.5-year study had a 61 percent greater risk of dying than those who watched less than one hour per day.

The right way to sit
If you have to sit often, try to do it correctly. As Mom always said, "Sit up straight."

  • Not leaning forward
  • Shoulders relaxed
  • Arms close to sides
  • Elbows bent 90°
  • Lower back may be supported
  • Feet flat on floor
So what can we do?
The experts recommend . . .
Sitting on something wobbly such as an exercise ball or even a backless stool to force your core muscles to work. Sit up straight and keep your feet flat on the floor in front of you so they support about a quarter of your weight.

Stretching the hip flexors for three minutes per side once a day.

Walking during commercials when you're watching TV. Even a snail-like pace of 1 mph would burn twice the calories of sitting, and more vigorous exercise would be even better. 

Alternating between sitting and standing at your work station. If you can't do that, stand up every half hour or so and walk.

Trying yoga poses — the cow pose and the cat — to improve extension and flexion in your back.

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Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Overcoming Emotional Eating: Techniques for Cultivating Mindfulness

Center for Nutrition Studies

Healthy eating is easy to do when you’re organized, well rested, and being appreciated for your brilliance and hard work, right? But what about when you’re approaching a deadline at work, the mortgage payment is due, the kids are sick, and you’re realizing your pants are somehow getting smaller? Many people turn to food to comfort them.

​Food cravings are often a sign of emotional stress. We respond by emotional eating which may work for a short time, but usually results in us feel even worse. Have you noticed when you are hungry emotionally and you try to satiate this with food it doesn’t work very well? This is because edible food is not an effective way to nourish emotional hunger. To overcome emotional eating we need to develop new coping tools to positively influence our thoughts, feelings, and actions. Here are some ideas.

​Use awareness to distinguish which type of hunger you are experiencing. Do you have food cravings when your body needs calories (physical hunger), because you want to be sure you are getting enough nutrients (mental hunger), because you feel social pressure to eat (social hunger), or because you are eating to cope with a stressor (emotional hunger)? Practice listening to your thoughts and feelings to become aware of your motivation for eating. Also listen for what hidden beliefs do you have about yourself (I’m weak, I’ll never be able to do this…). Pay attention to how you feel before and after eating certain foods. Ask yourself, “what is this food feeding?”

​Take some time to identify your rituals and triggers. Do you immediately go to the coffee pot after waking up? Do you drive by a bakery on your way to work that serves your favorite treat? Use awareness to recognize when you are eating because you are tired, bored, angry, etc. If you don’t know why you are triggered to eat, try temporary journaling. When you feel triggered, write down what things happened prior to that feeling. You may eventually see a common thread. Knowing our rituals and triggers gives us the information we need to develop new coping tools.

​Many people say they just don’t have the time for a healthy lifestyle. This is the grown up version of “the dog ate my homework”. Not having enough time can just be a matter of not setting your priorities. What are your priorities? Dr. Edward Viljoen of The Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa suggests, “investigate what your emotional, physical, and social values are so you can go about getting them with full consciousness. Ask yourself, are my life’s actions in harmony with what I say I believe is important, valuable, and true? Fashion your life around what you care deeply about.” Make detailed goals and have some accountability. Many women in particular struggle with this issue because they may have a hidden belief that taking care of themselves before others is selfish. I invite you to consider the idea that taking care of yourself is not selfish. To give of yourself in a healthy manner your cup has to be full. What you give is from the overflow. Taking care of yourself helps you take care of others. It allows you to set a healthy example for your family and others around you. “When you have built a healthy, satisfying relationship with yourself, you have something of great worth to share with others.” -Dossie Easton & Janet Hardy

​Make a list of alternatives to emotional eating. Identify your triggers, write down what you typically have done in the past in reaction to them, and then come up with at least 3 alternatives to respond to the triggers in a health promoting manner. Examples are exercising, calling a friend, eating something healthy, meditating, etc. Keep this list with you. When we are stressed we may not be able to remember these self-nurturing alternatives. Even if you don’t think they are going to work, make a commitment to try them out before you decide to eat.

​Set your boundaries. Make a list of which foods are a “yes”, which are “maybe, sometimes”, and which are a “no”. I suggest making boundaries that are clear, strong, flexible, and conscious. This especially helpful when you feel social pressure to eat unhealthy foods. Respect your own limits and you may see that others respect them too. People tend to live up to your standards when you are not afraid to set them. Consider the thought that you do not needs others approval or acceptance. You can build a foundation of security within you that doesn’t need to be granted by another person and that no one else can take away.

​When making a difficult decision, check in with yourself. Listen to your conscience or your highest self. Play the decision possibilities out in your mind to the end and check in with how you will feel at that time.

​Take responsibility for your feelings. No matter what is happening, what you feel in response is determined inside of you. When you blame someone/something else for how you feel you disempower yourself from finding solutions.

​Be present. This empowers you to deal with the current choice, in your current body and not dwell in the past or imagine what will happen in the future. Use past perceived failures as learning experiences. Do not let the past affect your future. Every new experience is an opportunity to make new choices. When you get off track, simply start again.

​The feelings you have that motivate you to emotionally eat have a message to convey to you. Listen and accept (not condone, but accept) what they have to say and you will not have to repress them with food. They will let go of you naturally. Then you can respond instead of react to your emotions. Always remember that every experience is impermanent.

​Savor the eating experience. Most eating is done without awareness, habitually. Pay attention to the sight, smell, texture, sound, and flavor or your food. Have you ever gotten to the end of a meal and realized you don’t know how it tasted? Then you get more because you want to actually taste it? Eat mindfully from the beginning. Recognize the difference between “full” and “no longer hungry”. Get over the thought that you need to clean your plate, just eat until you feel full.

​Set yourself up to succeed. Ask yourself, does my lifestyle/environment encourage the manifestation of my goal? Do you have all the cooking materials necessary to cook healthy meals? Have you removed temptations from your household? Are you spending time with people who encourage you? What restaurants are you going to? When you go out to meet a friend do you go out for meal or for a walk in the park? Do you talk about the things you aspire to and are interested in or about what you are worried about or what you dislike?

​Visualize success. How often to we watch ourselves fail in our own minds? Or replay our mistakes? What if you were to visualize yourself succeeding?

​Reframe your thoughts. Replace the thought of “I can’t have that” with “I choose to have something else”. Instead of focusing on limitation or lack, focus your attention on abundance and gratitude for what you do have. And remember, you can learn to like new things.

​Challenge your thoughts. Do you interpret the thought of “I just ate something bad” as “I am a bad person” or “I’ll never be able to do this”? Respond to these thoughts in the manner you would for a friend. Use a kind, compassionate voice with yourself. These thoughts could be challenged with this: “I made a decision that was not in my best interest. That does not mean I’m a failure or that I can’t make healthy decisions. I just feel that way right now because I just made an unhealthy choice, but every moment is another opportunity to make a different choice. So now, I’m going to be present and make a good choice in this moment.”

​When you succeed, celebrate! When you make a good decision pay attention to how good you feel and relish that feeling. Keep a journal of your successes to motivate you.

​You cannot force confidence or courage or discipline, but you can plant it, you can nourish it, and you can grow with it. Affirmations are a tool for nourishing yourself. Affirmations are positive statements in the present tense designed to train one’s consciousness in a constructive direction. “Repeating an affirmation is leading the mind to that state of consciousness where it accepts that which it wishes to believe.” says Dr. Ernest Holmes. Google “health affirmation” for ideas or come up with your own. Post them all over your house or memorize one you can say to yourself when you are in a challenging situation.

​Annual cleansing of the body and mind can have immense benefits for supporting a healthy lifestyle. Water fasting such as at TrueNorth Health center can reboot your taste buds so that healthy foods taste more appealing. Silent meditation retreats can center and empower you emotionally and mentally.

​In closing, I invite you to consider the possibility that health is possible for you. Is this something you have accepted? Are you attached to your views of yourself as unhealthy? Are you ready to let those thoughts or that identity go? Do you give permission to yourself to be healthy?

Read More: http://nutritionstudies.org/overcoming-emotional-eating/?utm_term=0_9941e1caac-12a79d98b9-56632813&utm_content=bufferd0ff0&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer

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Sugary Drink Consumption & Cancer

Brenda Watson on January 15th, 2014

Postmenopausal women who have a high intake of sugar-sweetened beverages may be at increased risk of developing the most common type of endometrial cancer compared to women who do not drink sugar-sweetened beverages, according to a recent study published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. The women who drank the most sugary beverages had a 78 percent increased risk of developing estrogen-dependent type I endometrial cancer when compared to women who drank none.

“Although ours is the first study to show this relationship, it is not surprising to see that women who drank more sugar-sweetened beverages had a higher risk of estrogen-dependent type I endometrial cancer but not estrogen-independent type II endometrial cancer,” stated Maki Inoue-Choi, PhD, MS, RD. “Obese women tend to have higher levels of estrogens and insulin than women of normal weight. Increased levels of estrogens and insulin are established risk factors for endometrial cancer.”

For the study, over 23,000 women filled out detailed questionnaires about lifestyle, medical history, and diet. The group was followed for 24 years, at which point 595 women had developed endometrial cancer. “I don’t want anyone to change their behavior based on these findings,” said Inoue-Choi. “We need to do more study to confirm the association. But I would advise people to follow dietary guidelines and avoid sugar-sweetened beverages.”

I agree. Our sugar consumption is through the roof, and sugary beverages make up a large portion of this consumption. Fortunately, there are many great beverages that do not contain sugar. Make the switch if you haven’t already!

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Baby Boomers Embracing Colonoscopies

April 23, 2013

After starving herself for two days, Lori Linder of Corcoran savored cream of mushroom soup. James Koci of Wausau, Wis., went for extra-crispy KFC. Robbe Christensen of Farmington walked across the street for a Butter Burger and fries from Culver’s.

One of the most satisfying meals of their lives was a just reward after enduring a procedure that’s as daunting as it is effective: a colonoscopy.

The baby boomer generation — 8,000 of whom turn 50 every day — is embracing this dreaded procedure. The mere talk of a colonoscopy used to be taboo. For some boomers, it feels like an unwelcomed rite of passage that means they’ve reached old age. But health experts have ramped up the conversation, using new tactics to persuade patients that it’s worth the discomfort. While there’s still push-back, the chatter — combined with an aging populace — has put the procedure in the spotlight like never before.

The Minnesota Department of Health is confronting the issue with a series of billboards, including a risqué, anatomically impossible one, which has to be seen to be believed. On Sunday, runners will be out in full force for a 5K fundraiser in Edina called Get Your Rear in Gear, sponsored by the nonprofit Colon Cancer Coalition.

The message: These things work. Sixty percent of colorectal cancer deaths could have been prevented with proper screening.

“Colonoscopies are probably the best tool we have for finding and treating a cancer,” said Dr. Anne Pereira, an internist at Hennepin County Medical Center. “Among prostate, breast and colon screening, colon is the one we do the best job with … because it’s so easy to treat. People shouldn’t die from colon cancer.”

Even so, it’s still difficult to get some people to care. Pereira said only about two-thirds of her patients follow through on colonoscopy recommendations. Even among those who seem fully committed, Minnesota Gastroenterology has about 1,000 “no shows” every year.

But 60,000 do show up.

For some, it starts with overcoming a common mental roadblock: the combination of turning 50 and being told they need to have this done. Pereira tries to address the anti-aging brigade’s concerns by telling them, “You’re old enough to need it, but that doesn’t mean you’re old.”

Fear and loathing

Men are a particularly tough sell.

“Women, in general, buy into the concept that ‘Even though it’s unpleasant, it’s good for me,’ whereas men are less convinced of that argument,” Pereira said.

Her compatriot, Dr. Aaron Brosam, who performs colonoscopies at HCMC’s Gastroenterology Clinics, agreed.

“A colonoscopy for a man is usually the most invasive thing that happens to him,” he said. “Women have had a lot [of pap smears, mammograms, etc.]. And giving birth, you lose a lot of modesty in that process.”

Pereira cited three “primary barriers” that people confront when committing to a colonoscopy: the preparation, the exam and the sedation.

Anne Carlson, executive director of the Colon Cancer Coalition, listed three slightly different barriers. “People are scared of the prep. They’re scared of the cost. And honestly, they’re scared of having cancer.”

Being scared of the disease, of course, is a good reason to get a colonoscopy. Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death in the United States, and these screenings can reduce colon cancer by two-thirds, Brosam said. The five-year survival rate is 67 to 74 percent for stage I, IIA and IIIA, according to the American Cancer Society.

Still, less than 40 percent of Americans with health insurance are getting screened, Carlson said.

The procedure vs. the prep

The details of the examination are well known: Doctors send a tube with a camera into the colon to detect and remove potentially pre-cancerous growths called polyps.

“With colon cancer, we know how to screen for it, we know exactly how to find it and we know how to treat it,” Carlson said. “And it’s the only cancer that basically waves at you with the polyps and says, ‘Hey, I’m about to turn into cancer, but if you pluck me out that won’t happen.’ Polyps are your friends.”

Oftentimes, the procedure isn’t the most worrisome part. It’s what comes before. When he sees a patient on examination day, Brosam tells them “they’ve been through the worst part.”

The preparation involves a day or more of consuming nothing but water and a liquid laxative. Minnesota Gastroenterology’s Lisa Belak said that most patients prefer a Gatorade-type sports drink, “but it is not universal. Many still use the ‘big jug’ or packet preps.”

3-D colonoscopy?

There also are noninvasive alternatives to the traditional procedure. A new test called Cologuard, developed by a Wisconsin company, examines stool samples for DNA anomalies. The new screening method awaits FDA approval.

Another test, called a colonography, is basically a virtual colonoscopy. This procedure uses X-rays and computers to produce two- and three-dimensional images of the colon. But even with this alternative, Carlson noted, “you still have to do the prep, and if they find a polyp, they still have to go in there.”

Beyond the alternatives, Brosam said it’s simply easier these days to assure patients that getting one is a good idea. He cited publicity, including Katie Couric’s live colonoscopy on “The Today Show,” and word-of-mouth.

“More people have done it, so it’s not as much a taboo as it used to be,” Brosam said. “They know somebody who’s had it before. And we have more data now saying that it does good things for you. So people are more eager.”

Some people get their motivation from experience.

“My brother and I are diligent,” said Jean Peterson of Shoreview, “because we saw our grandfather die from colon cancer, avoiding the doc until it was too late. It’s a sneaky bugger.”

Peterson, by the way, is not one of those patients who had a major food craving after her two colonoscopies. “I really hated to eat a thing, even though I was famished,” she said. “it just felt good to be so whistle-clean. That said, a glass or two of my favorite white wine was in order.”

For Brosam, even more common than the cravings is the potty humor that comes along with getting a colonoscopy. Most of these risqué quips are, of course, not suited for a family newspaper, but Brosam said that perhaps the most oft-heard jape comes from men:

“You can tell my wife that you didn’t find my head in there.”

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Vitamin D Levels Inversely Related to Colon Cancer

January 14, 2014 by: David Gutierrez

Evidence continues to mount showing that vitamin D may help lengthen life span and decrease the risk of cancer, particularly colon cancer.

Scientists have long known that vitamin D is essential for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, but recent research suggests that the vitamin also plays an essential role in maintaining the immune system and overall bodily health. Levels high enough to prevent bone disorders may still be too low to prevent autoimmune disorders, heart disease, diabetes and cancer, while higher levels may help prevent these and other chronic diseases.

The skin naturally produces vitamin D upon exposure to the ultraviolet radiation from sunlight. It can also be found as an additive in certain foods or ingested via supplements.

Why you need more sunlight
A systematic review of the research connecting vitamin D and lower cancer rates conducted by researchers from the University of Bremen in Germany and published in the journal Deutsches Arzteblatt International in 2010. The researchers analyzed the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer's 2008 review on the topic, as well as several other studies not included in that review.

They found that, across the board, higher blood levels of vitamin D were significantly associated with lower overall mortality and a lower risk of colon cancer. They also concluded that brief exposure to sunlight is sufficient to produce optimal vitamin D levels. Because the body produces copious amounts of vitamin D in only a fraction of the time needed to produce a sunburn or other skin damage, the researchers concluded that increasing vitamin D exposure need not lead to increased skin cancer risk.

"Brief, daily UV exposure stimulates vitamin D production and causes negligible skin damage," the researchers wrote.

However, they advised against the use of artificial UV radiation as a potential skin cancer risk. For populations that are unable to get enough sun exposure, such as dark-skinned people living far from the equator, the researchers recommended boosting vitamin D levels with supplements.

A growing consensus
Although the 2010 review found the link between vitamin D and lower breast cancer rates to be less conclusive, other recent studies have strengthened the evidence. For example, a study presented at the Third American Association for Cancer Research Conference on the Science of Cancer Health Disparities in 2010 found that vitamin D deficiency was widespread among women who had received a recent breast cancer diagnosis, with the lowest levels of the vitamin significantly associated with triple-negative breast cancer.

Triple-negative breast cancer is the most deadly and hard-to-treat form of the disease. This cancer is most prevalent among black and Hispanic women, who are more likely to have lower vitamin D levels. However, these populations also tend to be exposed to more cancer risk factors than white women. For this reason, the study could not prove a connection between vitamin D status and triple-negative cancer.

But a more recent study published in The Journal of Cell Biology showed that supplementation with vitamin D actually slows and can even stop the progression of triple-negative cancer. It does this by blocking the activity of a chemical that can cause tumors to become triple-negative.

Breast and colon cancer are not the only cancers that seem to respond to vitamin D levels. A study published in the journal Comprehensive Cancer Research found that obese mice were significantly less likely to develop uterine cancer if they were given vitamin D supplements.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/043505_vitamin_D_colon_cancer_overall_mortality.html?utm_content=buffer1059c&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer#ixzz2r3mFhl00

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10 Incredible Health Benefits of a Vegan or Vegetarian Diet

December 13, 2013
Vegan and Vegetarian Food
Is a vegan or vegetarian diet the healthiest diet you can follow?  Researchers, doctors, celebrities and the health conscious routinely argue its pluses and minuses… it can be very confusing! Relax, and allow the following 10 facts outline some of the definitive benefits of following a vegetarian or vegan diet.

1. Reduce Your Risk of Chronic Diseases
Vegetarians experience chronic diseases less frequently than their non-vegetarian counterparts, according to one recent cross sectional study.  Researchers compared responses from 97 vegetarians and 97 non-vegetarians. Significant differences existed between the two groups. Overall, the vegetarian group reported fewer instances of chronic diseases such as high blood pressure and obesity.

2. Greater Protection From Diabetes
A multi year study of over 40,000 respondents included vegans, vegetarians and non-vegetarians.  Based on the responses, diabetes occurred 4x more frequently in non-vegetarians than vegans, and twice as often as vegetarians who consume dairy.  Overall, vegetarian-centered diets provided greater protection against diabetes for all respondents, regardless of ethnicity.

3. Supports A Healthy Body Weight
Researchers have not been able to connect the diet of vegans and vegetarians to weight loss.  However, lifestyle choices associated with the conscious decision to pursue a vegetarian diet have shown to lead to a lower BMI and reduced weight gain.  Ultimately a vegan or vegetarian diet requires choice, effort and managing a diet — all essential components of maintaining healthy body weight.

4. Reduce Your Risk of Heart Diseases
A diet full of vegetables is an excellent source of anti-oxidants and may support a significantly reduced risk of heart disease.  A study evaluated the incidence of heart disease in men and women from around the world and found that vegetarians enjoyed lower mortality rates from heart disease.  Another British study of more than 40,000 men and women identified a 32% lower risk of heart disease among those following a vegetarian diet. As an added bonus, they also enjoyed lower blood pressure. 

5. May Help Reduce Cancer Risks
The higher consumption of antioxidants which protects the heart also offers protective effects against cancer. The massive Adventist Health Study-2 looked at rates of cancer among 69,000+ participants.  Lacto, pesco, and semi-vegetarians and vegans had a statistically significant lower rate of cancer than those who consumed meat regularly.  Interestingly, a vegan diet protected against female specific cancers, while a lacto-vegetarian diet reported greater protection against lower digestive tract cancers. 

6. Supports the Thyroid
Compared to other diets, and even vegetarian diets, a vegan diet tends to offer greater protection against hypothyroidism.   When adjusted for other health factors which can contribute to hypothyroidism, the vegan diet consistently has the best correlation to lower risk.

7. Reduces Risk of Cataract
You may not be surprised to hear that a vegetarian diet can help your waistline, but your eyes too? In a study that compared the impact of a meat diet to a vegetarian or vegan diet on cataract development, researchers reported that vegetarians and vegans enjoyed the smallest incidence of cataract development. 

8. Therapeutic Support for Rheumatoid Arthritis
In the quest to find a solution for rheumatoid arthritis diet has not been ignored in clinical research.  A 2010 study suggested a vegan or vegetarian diet improved symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.  This supported the findings of earlier research which suggest a vegan diet, along with the elimination of dietary gluten, may quell the immune response which triggers rheumatoid arthritis.

9. Promotes Kidney Health
Adjustments to diet can help certain chronic diseases, such as chronic kidney disease. These impacts are positive because a vegetarian diet can balance phosphate levels, positively affect insulin sensitivity and help control the body’s acidity levels. These effects can help individuals with chronic kidney disease get necessary nutrition without the dangerous side effects of a diet including animal proteins.

10. Extends Longevity?
Let’s face it, none of us are getting out of here alive. However, the research certainly suggests that the high nutrient consumption of a vegan or vegetarian diet may improve longevity. One study found strict vegans following a careful diet consumed greater amounts of high quality nutrients leading to better metabolic health. 

Based on everything we have learned about the beneficial properties of the phytochemicals found in plant-based foods, we should not be surprised a vegetarian or vegan diet can improve health.  Of course, to enjoy the benefits of such a diet one must be vigilant to get all the essential nutrients our bodies require. Are you vegetarian or vegan? How do you ensure you get the full spectrum of nutrition? Please leave a comment and share your experience!

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