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Showing posts from May, 2008

Healthier Hearts for Women - Drink Coffee

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Women who drink coffee have a lower risk of developing coronary artery disease, according to the results of an investigation published in the May issue of the Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology. Dr. Johanna M. Geleijnse of Wageningen University in the Netherlands and colleagues write. "Coffee is an important dietary factor, because it is one of the most widely used pharmacologically active beverages.

Investigators measured the effect of coronary artery calcification in 1570 men and women 55 years of age or older without coronary heart disease – 98% of the participants drank coffee; reported through questionnaires. Both groups included men and women who smoked - 28% and 19% respectively. The men drank five cups of coffee daily, compared to four cups among the women.

Electron beam CT was used to determine the amount of coronary artery calcification. The results showed that only 18% of the women had evidence of calcification, compared with 39% of the men. Analysis…

Surviving Summer

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Summer weather brings fun and just a few challenges to health and well-being. Picnics and outdoor activities carry the risk of sunburn, insect bites, and physical injuries. Temptations like hot dogs, burgers, chips and sweet offerings from well meaning family members can make unhealthy eating tempting. Summer is a great time of year, and a few basics can keep you healthy and injury free while enjoying outdoor activities and “fine dining” in the backyard.

Look before you leap. A simple look around can prevent activities that might end up making you miserable. For starters, never begin a hike, or yard work aggressively. Look around for new inhabitants. Remember that bees make nests in the ground as well as above. Rustle around monkey grass and shrubs - make a little noise before weeding or taking a walk around. Our earthly friends don’t really want to hurt you. Just remain aware to avoid confrontations with snakes, bees, and even the occasional skunk.

Don’t get crazy with harmf…

Pranayamic Breathing for Health

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Pranayama is practiced by many in India for health and longevity. Even though it’s considered an alternative form of healing, the benefits are well studied. Western healthcare providers are slow to incorporate alternative therapies into their practice, though many are proven and supported.

Two years ago, Dr. Patricia Uber, speaking at the Heart Failure Society of America 2006 Scientific Sessions, urged heart failure specialists to consider other options for their patients. She suggested prayer, poetry and Pranayama. Her comments that "breath resynchronization therapy" be incorporated into the "armamentarium" of heart-failure therapies were met with applause and approval during the session.

Dr. Uber went on to explain how the breath becomes out of synch with blood pressure waves as heart failure progresses. She cited small studies proving that pranayamic breathing, reciting poetry and performing yoga mantras can restore synchronicity of breath. Exercises that slow…

Study-Get a Health Boost with Laughter

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I love a good laugh, but then who doesn’t? Old clichés do seem to have value. According to a study, presented at the American Society of Hypertension 2008 Annual Meeting, people who practice yoga laughter are able to lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Those who practice the art, which combines gentle stretching, playful laughter and breathing exercises, also experience lower cortisol (stress hormone) levels. In essence, we now really know that you can laugh yourself to better health.

Dr. Madan Kataria is the founder of laughter yoga and lead investigator of the study. According to Dr. Kataria, “You don't need any jokes, any humor, or any comedy. You don't even need to be happy. What we do is laugh in a group and initiate laughter as a form of bodily exercise, but when we have eye contact with others, this laughter becomes real and contagious."

The idea originated in India in 1995, with five participants. Laughter clubs now span 60 countries with more tha…

Bloggers Unite for Human Rights-Support the Voices of Native Americans

I have joined Blog Catalog for “Bloggers Unite” Day. The designated cause is Human Rights. The choices are vast–and painful.

I have chosen a Human Rights issue that receives little attention – the rights of Native Americans.

Consider the following from Civilrights.org:

Native American…”CIVIL RIGHTS PRIORITIES include ongoing battles for voting rights, as well as the elimination of offensive use of mascots by schools and professional sports teams that reflect outdated stereotypes and perpetuate racism against Native Americans. The "Digital Divide" is also a major area of concern for Native Americans and other minority groups - because many American Indians and Alaskan Natives have yet to be connected to basic telephone networks and are thus unable to access the Internet, they are at risk of falling even further behind in their ability to access employment, educational, and other opportunities made available by information technology.

Native Americans suffer from many of th…

Cramping Menstrual Cramps - The Diet Way by Sarah Scrafford

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It’s something no man would understand, simply because they never have and never will experience it. For some women, those three or five days of the month are purgatory, almost as bad as the pains of childbirth. Others face mild to heavy discomfort, neither of which is a walk in the park. Medication and painkillers are effective in bringing down the pain, but they do bring with them side effects too. A slight change in what you eat may hold the key to relieving discomfort for most women. So here’s a list (not exhaustive) of what to and what not to put on your plate in the days leading to and during those three days.

Say yes to:


Lots and lots of water and fruit juices free of sugar Fresh, green, leafy vegetables Light meals that do not fill your stomach Frequent meals of small portions Herbal teas with chamomile, red raspberry, blessed thistle, valerian, yarrow and raspberry leaf. Fish and other food rich in Omega3 fatty acids Mild exercise in any form Plenty of rest with a hot water …

Testosterone Spray for Increased Libido in Women - Study Reveals it's All in the Mind

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The proof is now in the pudding. The female libido really must be complex. According to a new study, testosterone spray works as well as using nothing for the treatment of sexual dissatisfaction in premenopausal women. Testosterone seems to help women who are postmenopausal, but the effect before menopause has not been established.

Susan Davis, MD, of Monash University in Victoria, Australia, studied the response of 261 women aged 35 to 46 who reported sexual dissatisfaction and had low testosterone levels. They all received either one of three different doses of testosterone sprayed on the abdomen, or a spray that contained nothing (placebo). All of the women reported an increase in sexual satisfaction. In an accompanying editorial regarding the outcome, Rosemary Basson, MD, of the University of British Columbia, suggests that hormone replacement with testosterone may not be the best choice of therapy for women who want to boost their sex drive. She suggests that doctors explore me…

Say No to Tylenol and Caffeine - Your Liver Will Thank You

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Researchers at the University of Seattle in Washington have done a study to see what effect Tylenol and coffee have on the liver.

The published results warn that the combination of Tylenol and Caffeine actually triples the amount of a toxic Tylenol by-product - N-acetyl-p-benzoquinoneimine (NAPQI). This is especially true for heavy caffeine drinkers. Toxins in the body are filtered by the liver, so this by-product poses a large burden on the liver.

The liver works constantly to help the body maintain a state of balance - it is one of the body's filtering mechanisms. Many medications are broken down in the liver. You can imagine the increased burden if you have any pre-existing liver problems or are already taking other medications, so beware.

The combination of alcohol and Tylenol (Acetomenophen) is a known toxic combination, for the same reasons as above - the Tylenol interacts with the alcohol, releasing the toxic enzyme and causing liver damage and possibly liver failure.

Th…