Monday, May 30, 2011

Pancreatic Cancer Protection

Suzy Cohen shares with us 6 things on how to avoid pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest forms of cancer:

  • Hard liquor and alcohol. Alcohol causes free radical damage which increases the risk for pancreatitis which often precedes cancer of the pancreas.
  • Cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes destroys healthy cells and promotes the growth of cancerous ones. A 2004 study proved that tobacco was an environmental trigger for pancreatic cancer in predisposed patients.
  • Soda and Feeds that contain HCFS: High fructose corn syrup is a very concentrated sweetener that forces your pancreas to separate insulin in order to neutralize blood sugar spike that occurs after consumption. High insulin blood levels increase your risk of many diseases, including pancreatic cancer. In fact, there is an undeniable link between high insulin (as well as insulin-resistance) with pancreatic cancer, according to a 2005 JAMA study...The second reason for getting rid of items containing HCFS is because it causes obesity. Obesity affects levels of two other hormones called leptin and adiponectin . When these two hormones fall out of balance, your risk for pancreatic cancer increases. Besides, obesity is an absolute risk factor for pancreatic cancer.
  • Non-stick pots. Animal studies showed that a chemical called PFOA is tied to cancer. Studies conflict, however some experts feel that non-stick pots are a source of this chemical. Until we are sure, it is safer to cook with stainless steel.
  • Soft plastics that contain phthalates (like water bottles, teething rings)). There are numerous research articles that link phthalates to cancer, including prostate, breast and pancreatic cancer.
  • Animal and trans fat. A study in the June 2009 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found a direct relationship between pancreatic cancer and dairy or red meat-derived fats.
Did you know? The herb curcumin may benefit people with pancreatitis or pancreatic cancer.

Curcumin, coming from the spice turmeric (Curcuma longa), stimulates the enzymes involved in detoxifying free radicals and may be responsible for its anti-inflammatory and anticancer activities.

"With cancer, there are many factors at play but no single smoking gun. If you have diabetes, gallbladder disease, Celiac disease or liver damage, your risk of pancreatic cancer is higher. There are also many household items and foods that increase your risk for pancreatic disease," concludes Ms. Cohen.

(Suzy Cohen's website is at

Monday, May 23, 2011

Secrets of Longevity

The subject of longevity has long been a central preoccupation of man since the dawn of time. Philosophers, theologians, biologists and deep thinkers have their own pet theories about longevity, immortality and its antithesis, aging.

Curtis Fuller, publisher of Fate Magazine, suggested that progressive decay may be programmed into our genes or that large molecules such as proteins may lose function and flexibility as cross links form between them or that genetic mistakes accumulate throughout life.

Another theory that seems to explain so much, according to Fuller, is that the entities known as "free radicals," which are highly reactive chemicals, increasingly attack various parts of the body. These free radicals contain oxygen in various compounds. They are produced as a by-product of bodily functioning and are generated by ionizing radiation. They break down the body's tissues by oxidizing them. They oxidize the lipids (a form of fat) which are in the membranes surrounding all the cells of the body. They also oxidize the proteins and nucleic acids from which genes are made and this may be the first step in the sequences leading to cancer.

Denham Harman of the University of Nebraska College of Medicine suggests perhaps all life that depends on oxygen for survival "treads a thin tightrope." Oxygen is common and highly reactive and hence it leads to rapid metabolism in living creatures. Balance that against the fact that it is so active it tends to oxidize everything in sight. Thus, oxygen, which makes animal life possible, also carries within it the burning flames that, as in the free radicals containing oxygen, constantly destroys on a micro level the very life it sustains. This is the aging process.

So what can be done to halt or slow this aging? Take vitamin C and E. Medical researchers claim that these vitamins prolong the life of laboratory animals. Harman recommends that people who wish to live longer choose a diet rich in antioxidants, including the two vitamins.

Living to a ripe old age is something we're supposed to long for--if we love life and are contented. But what does it take to live that long? What do we have to do and what do we have to give up?

Dr. Georgi Z. Pitskhelauri, a Russian gerontologist who's been studying extremely old folks in his country, has put the results in a book, The Longliving of Soviet Georgia, and which findings were reported in an issue of Executive Fitness Newsletter.

An interesting finding shows that almost all of the long-living women of Soviet Georgia are housewives married for between 50 and 80 years; only 1.7 percent were not married. On the male side, no records show that any confirmed bachelor has ever lived to 100.

So if you're harvesting hot tips on longevity, the first one might be : Be married.

The findings also show that "the older-than-oldsters" tend to:

  • Spend their entire lives in one locality, performing physical activity, while being bathed by the rays of mountain sunlight.
  • Go to bed no later than 8 or 9 p.m. and sleep for up to 10 hours.
  • Take long walks.
  • Eat (in moderation) vegetables, salads, fruits (especially citrus fruits), dried herbs and unprocessed home-made cheese. Honey, not sugar, is the sweetener they use. And grapes are a big favorite.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Eat three or four times a day, at specific times, and always not overeating.
No one lives forever. But we would be safe in saying that even if we don't, we must experience a unique quality of life--one that is lived actively and well. That quality alone is important.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Honey - The Miracle Food

Honey, nature's elixir for health, energy and longevity, has rightly been called "nectar of the gods." If we are enthusiastic about this versatile food, it is because the rejuvenating and healthy benefits of honey have been known throughout the Orient and the Middle East for centuries.

Honey is one of nature's golden treasures that cannot be man-made and duplicated in the laboratory. Here are some health-building powers of honey:
  • It is one of the finest foods for the heart. White sugar, on the other hand, is responsible for the increase of heart disease and diabetes.
  • It is a tonic which is given when the heart is failing and the patient sinking rapidly. Many heart sufferers benefit by sipping a glass of warm water in which a tablespoon or two of honey has been dissolved, just before going to bed.
  • It builds resistance to colds, coughs, and other ailments. Honey and water is used all over the world as a drink for soothing sore throats.
  • It is a weight-reducer when taken alone and not mixed with other foods.
What Makes Honey An Almost Perfect Food? This magic food contains seven valuable enzymes: invertase, diastase, catalase, inulase, maltose, aromatic bodies and higher substances. In addition to its digestive enzymes, honey contains minerals, seven members of the vitamin B-complex group, vitamin C, dextrins, amino acids and protein. It contains silica, iron, copper, manganese, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, sulfur and magnesium--all vital to bodily functions.

Weight for weight, honey is one of the cheapest foods known.

Seven ounces (approximately 15 tablespoons) of honey are the equivalent of: 1 quart of milk; 6 ounces cheese; 10 eggs; 12 ounces round beefsteak; 15 ounces boneless cod-fish; 8 oranges; 8 ounces walnuts.

Oriental Secrets Of Healing With Honey. For constipation, eat several tablespoons of raw honey everyday. For diarrhea, take boiled honey which is warm and soothing to relax the intestinal regions. To heal burns and wounds faster, use honey--it can kill bacteria and prevent fluid loss.

Hair-Growing Secret. The enviable hair of Japanese geisha girls may be traced to a centuries-old secret. It is said that Japanese girls mix several tablespoons of honey with alcohol (about 80 proof), stirring them together. They then massage this remedy into the scalp, let it remain for two hours, then shampoo out thoroughly. Regular use of this honey-alcohol mixture stimulate the hair follicles to grow into luxuriant tresses and keeping the hair healthy.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Appetite Myth Put To Rest

Contrary to obese wives' tales, exercise does not increase the appetite. This was the gist of a number of controlled studies with humans and animals that had been presented to the American College of Sports Medicine at the University of Illinois, Chicago, U.S.A. in the 80s.

The report emphasized that there is a distinction between long bouts of physical labor and shorter bouts of exercise. Tests have shown that one hour of exercise a day will not affect food intake.

Polluted Air Protects Against Sunburn. The gripe against air pollution is that it disarms city sunbathers. One day an urbanite may spend several hours out in the sun and yet remain pale white. Believing himself immune, the next time out he exposes himself longer. The result: a painful lobster burn. To prevent sunburn, remember that ultraviolet rays are screened out by pollution, but not by clean overcast skies, and that tanned skin will also burn.

The Real Cause of Atherosclerosis. Animal studies and human autopsies have led Dr. Earl P. Benditt, former chairman of the Pathology Dept., University of Washington School of Medicine, to question the present theory that atherosclerosis is caused by a buildup of lipids or thrombi on the inner arterial walls.

Under close examination, each atheroma (a degenerative condition of the arteries) appears to be a single tumor, and Dr. Benditt suggests that they are caused by chemical substances in the environment. When carcinogenic products are inhaled or swallowed , they can get into the blood and be absorbed by the cells of the vessel walls. High blood pressure and lipid abnormalities remain factors in atherosclerosis, says Dr. Benditt, the only change is the way they are understood.

Lung Damage: Result of Gas. Scientists at the Swiss Institute for Experimental Cancer Research claim that lung cancer and other respiratory damages are mainly caused by the gas in cigarette smoke--carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, acrolein (a decomposition product of glycerol and glycerides, used as a tear gas) and other hydrocarbons. They found that while animal cells exposed to normal cigarette smoke showed distinct signs of being sick, cells exposed to smoke with much of the gases removed were far more healthy. Symptoms were present, but to a much lesser degree. The Swiss researchers contend that any so-called "safe" cigarette will have to be free of these gases.

Smoking May Cause Infertility. Male hormone levels proved to be higher in non-smoking males than in men who smoked. Researchers at Alfred Hospital, Victoria, Australia, compared plasma testosterone levels in two groups of healthy men carefully matched for height, weight, marital status and occupation. The first group had never smoked, while those in the second group smoked a minimum of 30 cigarettes a day. Two specimens were taken seven days apart. During the interval all smoking ceased. Although the non-smokers' testosterone levels were higher in both tests, the smokers all showed a significant hormone increase in the second sampling, taken after seven days of prohibition. Carbon monoxide is believed responsible.

And by the way, another research claims that smoking causes multiple brain shrinkage, leading to Alzheimer's disease.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Two Minds, One Brain

The two sides of the human brain specializes in different kinds of thinking, reports Executive Fitness Newsletter. The left hemisphere of the brain handles analytic functions, such as language and mathematics, while the right side is involved with spatial relationships and music patterns.

In 1982, medical research found out that the brain directed consciousness to the side of the brain that best performed a task. For example, while you are writing a letter, the left side of your brain is doing the thinking. Music can be heard in the background and every time you are conscious of the melody, it seems that consciousness shifted from the left hemisphere of the brain and your writing to the right side of the brain and the music. In other words, it was believed that consciousness is singular and it is not possible to actually be engaged in two thinking processes at the same time.

Duality Of Consciousness. Evidence on the subject was presented to the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco. David Galin, M.D., Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, University of California, San Francisco said that the the two sides of the brain had been surgically separated for treatment of certain cases of epilepsy. After the operation, each side proved to be conscious and able to carry out its own complex processes, independently of the other hemisphere.

The two hemispheres should function smoothly by complementing each other. But this does not always happen. The two modes of mental operation are often in conflict. The left side would interpret all information with factual, cool logic, while the right side would rely on intuition and imagination.

If we are to obtain our complete mental potential, Galin argues that we must first fully develop each special mode; then we must be able to turn off either mode, depending on the task to be accomplished; lastly, the ability to operate both minds simultaneously is needed for creative synthesis.

Personality Types Differ In Pain Tolerance. Untrained extroverts have higher pain tolerance than introverts, and physical training increases their pain threshold as well as their tolerance to pain. But in the case of introverts, physical conditioning only increases their tolerance to pain, the threshold remains the same.

Dr. M. Ian Phillips, former Professor of Physiology, Pharmacology and Biophysics at the University of Iowa (presently, a Norris Professor of Applied Life Sciences and Director of the Center for Rare Disease Therapies) carried out tests in the late 70s with subjects classified by the Maudsley Personality Inventory.

Dr. Phillips said athletes graded as highly extroverted had slightly higher pain thresholds and more pain tolerance than non-athletes. High introverted athletes had pain thresholds similar to that of unconditioned subjects, but their living of pain tolerance was equal to the extroverted athletes.