Monday, January 30, 2012

Water and Physical Exertion

In a health report entitled “Human Performance & Water Intake,” HR Magazine carried an interesting item from South Africa that determines the relation between human performance and water intake.

One of the first studies was carried out to counter the then existing belief among men that it was unwise to drink any liquids during underground shift. The study revealed that the heart beat for unacclimatized men increased continuously during a four-hour work shift, and finally reached value in excess of 160 beats per minute.

In comparison, those men who were fully acclimatized and given adequate water during similar periods , recorded heart beats of below 120 beats per minute. In other words, the beneficial effects of heat acclimatization were entirely eliminated when water was withheld from men working under hot conditions.

The psychological effects of dehydration are as serious as the physiological ones. This was shown in a study of army recruits during a march of 30 kilometers.

Men who marched on a restricted water supply, if only a liter for the duration of the march put up the worst performance. As a group, they were difficult to handle, became morose, aggressive and disobedient. They showed obvious signs of fatigue, and 40 percent were unable to complete the march. In contrast, men whose supplies of water were not restricted, maintained high morale throughout and only one collapsed because of fatigue.

One can deduce from the studies that water is indeed very important not only to men who do moderate to hard physical work in hot and humid environments but also to those who regularly do physical and conditioning exercises.

Diet and Senility. The most important element to keep your brain fine tuned – and escape early senility – is DIET, according to Executive Fitness Newsletter.

Research shows that the brain needs B-complex vitamins to preserve memory and clear thinking. And in a case that dramatically illustrates this fact, continues the Newsletter, doctors from England reported that a 65-year-old woman, hospitalized after weeks of “severe clouding of consciousness,” was cured of her mental difficulties in two days with supplements of B-complex vitamins.

And while you are taking B-complex supplements, you might also take ZINC. That a zinc deficiency contributes to senility is the hypothesis of Australian Nobel prize winner F. Macfarlane Burnet. He points out that senility may be due to decrease in the zinc content of the enzymes crucial to memory function, and suggests that taking a zinc supplement “may prevent or delay the onset of dementia in those genetically at risk.”

As Burnet emphasizes, zinc’s relationship to senility is only theory. But he also points out that “zinc is almost completely non-toxic” – so zinc supplements do you no harm – and maybe a lot of good.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Is Obesity Hereditary?

In an issue of HR Magazine, there appeared an article entitled, “Obesity is not Hereditary.”

The problem of the “fat” person, began the article, has become paramount importance in the last few years with the
trend towards physical fitness as evidenced by the jogging craze.

Physical fitness
is always linked with health. The aim of any physical fitness program is not merely to make a person physically fit, but healthy as well, since health, physical as well as mental, is very important.

Hence, an overweight person cannot be physically fit because excess fat is unhealthy. What should we do, then?

Many reducing clinics attempt to cure obesity by curing only the symptoms and never bother to look at the cause, continues the article.

And that cause is FOOD.

There are other factors which may be held responsible for obesity, such as hormonal imbalance and physical inactivity, but the root cause is still food.

No one was ever born overweight. Obesity is never hereditary.

Every overweight person must re-learn correct eating habits, create a new lifestyle based on wise food choice, and have enough physical activity.

Bariatric psychologists
(those specially trained in the field of weight control) suggest behavior modification techniques to control obesity. Psychology defines behavior modification as the correction of disorders in human behavior by the application of the principle of learning. It contends that the individual, through his lifetime, develops a distinct mode of behavior or habits.

All habits, good or bad, are the products of learning and are embedded in one’s subconscious. In the same manner that computers can be programmed and de-programmed, so habits can be unlearned and new ones be acquired.

Researchers suggest you accept the fact that your weight will fluctuate (the yo-yo effect), but to keep the string short – no more than three pounds – when the scale goes up more than three pounds, step back and watch your diet.

From Organic Consumer Report, here are some vegetables to slim you down:

  • Asparagus has high vitamin content that stimulates the kidneys.
  • Cabbage acts as roughage to the diet, cleaning the mucous membrane of the stomach and intestines.
  • Carrots are an excellent source of Vitamin A and carotene which speeds body metabolism.
  • Celery is rich in calcium and other trace minerals that enrich the blood; it is low in calories and can be eaten in unlimited amounts.
  • Cucumbers decongest fat cells and provide needed water to eliminate toxins.
  • Garlic provides essential oils to the body.
  • Lettuce is high in vitamin and water content.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Top Five Cancer-Causing Foods

Lifestream Health Centre shares this report on five cancer-causing foods to watch out for:

  • Hot Dogs. Because they are high in nitrates (a well-known carcinogenic), the Cancer Prevention Coalition advises that children eat no more than 12 hotdogs a month. If you can’t live without hotdogs, buy those without sodium nitrate. Better yet, shun hotdogs altogether and opt for healthier food as a safer substitute.
  • Processed Meat with Bacons. Bacon is also high in the same sodium nitrates found in hotdogs. Bacon and other processed meats raise the risk of heart disease. The saturated fat in bacon also contributes to cancer.
  • Doughnuts. These are cancer-causing double-trouble. First, they are made with white flour, sugar and hydrogenated oil, then fried at high temperature. Doughnuts, says Adams, may be the worst food you can possibly eat to raise your risk of cancer.
  • French Fries. Like doughnuts, French fries are made with hydrogenated oils and then fried at high temperature. They also contain cancer-causing acrylamides which occur during frying process. They should be called cancer fries, not French fries, said Adams.
  • Chips, Crackers, and Cookies. Chips, crackers and cookies are usually made with white flour and sugar. Even the ones whose labels claim to be free on trans-fats generally contain small amount of trans-fat.

Although the New Year celebration has just passed by, these few reminders are still timely for those who drink. In a related medical findings, the widespread belief that moderate taking of alcoholic drinks is harmless and even good for the health is blasted by results of experiments conducted by an American team. The top findings are as follows:

  • Any kind of alcoholic drink destroys irreplaceable brain cells.
  • Continuous years of drinking translate into the destruction of millions of such cells.
  • Brain cell damage or loss is permanent, and the symptoms include advanced aging, recurrent loss of memory, impaired judgment, slowed wits, and reduced sensory acuity.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Coffee Addiction

Millions of people are addicted to coffee. They may not know it's a habit that's harming them.

A study carried out by Dr. R.S Paffenberger of the University of California at Berkeley linked coffee drinking to ulcers. Of the 25,000 men studied, coffee drinkers had a 72 percent higher chance of developing ulcers than those who never drank coffee.

Caffeine is also habit-forming. The average cup of coffee contains 100 to 150 mg of caffeine; a cup of tea contains 60 to 75 mg.

In large amounts, caffeine is lethal to animals, and a fatal human dose would probably be 10 grams, roughly the amount found in 100 cups of coffee. It’s unlikely that anyone would drink that much at one time, but there have been many cases in which caffeine has been implicated in causing or contributing to serious diseases, including cancer of the lower urinary tract and the bladder.

Caffeinism results from drinking too much coffee or tea. The symptoms, according to Dr. John F. Greden of the University of Michigan Medical Center, are nervousness, irritability, occasional muscle twitching, insomnia, irregular heart beat, and increased secretion of urine.

If you think decaffeinated coffee is the answer, think again. In the United States, caffeine is removed from coffee beans before roasting by soaking them in methylene chloride, a solvent suspected of being carcinogenic. So even though you don’t get the caffeine, you may get something worse.

Hair Color. University of Wisconsin scientists were able to turn hair gray with large amounts of caffeine found in coffee and tea, and remove B vitamins, which are essentials in maintaining hair color.

So this is again another reason why you should regulate your drinking of coffee: if you want your hair black and luxuriant, better desist from tea and coffee!

Bleaching Skin. Most skin bleaching products contain mercury and can be absorbed by the skin that cause kidney and liver damage. These products are often used to lighten freckles and other dark skin patches caused by pregnancy and old age.

Lack of Sleep Can Affect Mental Abilities. In a series of studies on college students, Dr. Robert A. Hicks, Ph.D., found that sleeping less than 6 hours a night can reduce your ability to think creatively, lessen your ability to cope with stress, and erode your problem-solving talents.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Revitalize Your Bones

Osteomalacia is a condition indicated by softening of the bones, accompanied by pain, tenderness, muscle weakness, and loss of appetite and weight.

The disease is responsible for the prevalence of bone fractures in older people; it is caused by vitamin D deficiency, which in turn causes mal-absorption of calcium.

According to the Medical Research Mineral Metabolism Unit and Department of Orthopedic Surgery at the General Infirmary, Leeds, England, a degree of Vitamin D deficiency not sufficient to cause osteomalacia, may be responsible for osteoporosis, a disease manifesting rarefaction (less dense than normal) and increased porousness of bone.

The researchers suggest that persons who easily fracture (elderly people in particular), should fortify their diets with Vitamin D to maintain healthy bones. – Lancet.

Caffeine Toxicity. The byproducts of caffeine are clear thinking, decreased drowsiness, less fatigue, and improved reaction time – so they say. But they don’t say moderately high doses of caffeine can produce pharmacological symptoms essentially identical to anxiety neurosis.

Dr. John Greden, a former associate director of psychiatric research at Walter Reed Army Medical Center at a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, warned that doses of 50 to 200 milligrams of caffeine can produce pharmacological actions. He cited Drill’s Pharmacology Text which refers to 250 milligrams of caffeine as “large,” saying that individuals could ingest a greater amount without being aware of it.

For example, “three cups of coffee, two over-the-counter headache tablets, and a cola drink” provide approximately 500 mg. of caffeine.

Dr. Greden describes the symptoms of caffeinism as restlessness, irritability, insomnia, headache, and muscle twitching; he said they read “like a classic description of anxiety attack.”

The Accident-Prone. Physically, accident-prone persons look like other people, but they don’t think – and therefore don’t act – like other people.

Psychological tests of drivers who repeatedly have accidents reveal personalities that respond quite differently from other people to similar driving situations.

The accident-prone persons react on impulse, making sudden choices that often involve taking a chance. Because they perceive the hazards differently, they act differently from other people. They also appraise social situations differently and respond to other people differently. – Executive Fitness Newsletter.