NYT: Texas evangelicals realize that sex is a good idea.
WSJ Health Blog: Reading side effects on drug labels can make you sick.
Cincinnati Enquirer: The Little Miami Scenic Trail needs $60k in bridge resurfacing to make it safer and prevent bike skids. Signs urging cyclists to walk across would be a lot cheaper. Is anyone reading this blog a part of the decision making process on this?
Queen City Bike: Public discussion--Future of Transit in Greater Cincinnati 5:30-7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at First Unitarian Church, 536 Linton St., Avondale, 513-281-1564.
AP: It's not just baby fat. Obese kids have the arteries of 45-year-olds.
* Walmart Watch: Lead face paint for kids sold at Walmart, the bottomless pit of shocking corporate behavior.
* NKY.com: Common knowledge confirmed--there's a genetic predisposition to lung cancer. But it's smoking that's still the top cause.
* Gyminee: Social networking, accountability and support for your fitness plan.
This has been a three-cup-of-coffee morning for me. Maybe for you, too. To help get you started on a healthier week, here's some wellness oriented news that should get your blood moving. (We'll work on getting it to boil next time.)
As a person who is (or at least is trying to be) health conscious, I have discovered that besides an active lifestyle with plenty of physical exercise, one of the most simple and radical things that I can do to improve my health is to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in the proper proportions.
If you're a smoker, it's a probably a good idea for you to be vaccinated against pneumonia and meningitis.
The Cincinnati Enquirer has this AP story explaining why:
Studies have shown that smokers are about four times more likely than nonsmokers to suffer pneumococcal disease. Also, the more cigarettes someone smokes each day, the higher the odds they'll develop the illnesses.
Why smokers are more susceptible is not known for sure, but some scientists believe it has to do with smoking-caused damage that allows the bacteria to more easily attach to the lungs and windpipe, said Dr. Pekka Nuorti, a medical epidemiologist with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Pneumococcal infections are considered the top killer among vaccine-preventable diseases. It's a common complication of influenza, especially in the elderly, and is considered responsible for many of the 36,000 annual deaths attributed to flu.
While we're on the subject of vaccinations, now's a good time to get your flu shot before flu season hits.
The American Lung Association has this handy guide to finding flu clinics. Just punch in your zip code and out comes a list.
Between workdays extending well beyond the old school eight hours, children’s extracurricular activities and the enigma of how to pay all of the bills while still having money left over for vacations and college funds, who has time to relax? To this day, when my mother is sick and you tell her to relax, her response is always, “Baby, I don’t have time to relax.”
Aside from making you grumpy, stress is a real medical problem. It contributes to headaches, muscle tension, heart attacks, high blood pressure and has even been linked to cancer. Stress can weaken your immune system, making it nearly impossible to fight off infection. With this in mind, there are a number of local businesses that are in your corner, ready to help with stress reduction.
The Relaxation Center, located in Loveland, offers exactly what their name says—pure relaxation and a vision of “healing the world, one body at a time.” According to Joyce Warner, co-owner of the center, hers is a company that prides itself on a quiet, warm and inviting atmosphere and was even voted Best Massage in 2006 by Citysearch.com. They offer many services to help your worries melt away including deep tissue massage, relaxation massage, pregnancy massage, sinus massage and craniosacral aromatherapy, just to name a few. The Relaxation Center also provides on-site chair massages, brought directly to your home or office.
Tucked away in a historic train station in Blue Ash is the Mantra Wellness Center. The key word for this business is “holistic.” They are focused on not only treating stress, but also preventing it. While they do offer some unfamiliar services such as Iridology, which studies a patient’s iris for signs of illness, and Feldenkrais, which focuses on body awareness and movement, they are best known for their customized services. Some of these include massage therapy, Reiki energy healing, acupuncture, diet and nutritional guidance, hypnotherapy and detox hydrotherapy. They have practitioners who specialize in bamboo massage and Thai yoga massage. In addition to their many services, they offer classes including Reiki Dojo, where one can be trained to become a Reiki practitioner, Primordial Sound Meditation for deeper, more effective meditation and even classes on aromatherapy and infant massage. According to Adrienne Davidson, owner and operator of the center, they take personal attention seriously. “We know who your are when you come in, and not just because we’ve looked at your chart,” she says.
If you’re looking for total energy treatment, then visit Het Heret Transformation Resources in Blue Ash. This center offers something completely out of the norm and, in fact, there are only ten practitioners in the country who offer Atlasprofilax services, which involve using a vibrating instrument as well as some light manual pressure on acupuncture and trigger points in the upper cervical region. The treatment works toward deep and thorough relaxation in the muscles and it leads to a new balance between the antagonist muscles (a medical term for muscles which pull in opposite directions), causing the vertebrae to function better.
Beverly Welbourne, owner of the center says, “Atlasprofilax relieves not only the neck and back, it also brings more life force, Qi or Kundalini to the body. It is an initiation into a new energy field, one which is very welcome for those who are prepared for it.”
These are just a few of the incredible alternative health experiences available in our area. Through holistic work, you may just find that there really is a happier, calmer you somewhere inside after all.
If you use cereal bars as a quick snack (as I often do), you might be concerned about the ingredients (high fructose corn syrup) and maybe even interested in making your own.
I tried this a couple of years ago and ended up with some rather dry fare. I learned that I didn't use a binder. A binder is exatly what it sounds like--a sticky substance used to tie grains and nuts together. Maybe I'll take these tips and try again. What have been your experiences with trying to make healthier food?
This article on the murky and industrialized world of high fructose corn syrup walks readers through a psychotically complex process that takes corn and turns it into sweetened gel (or fat Americans or poison, however you'd prefer to describe it).
"HFCS has the exact same sweetness and taste as an equal amount of sucrose from cane or beet sugar but it is obviously much more complicated to make, involving vats of murky fermenting liquid, fungus and chemical tweaking, all of which take place in one of 16 chemical plants located in the Corn Belt. Yet in spite of all the special enzymes required, HFCS is actually cheaper than sugar. It is also very easy to transport--it's just piped into tanker trucks. This translates into lower costs and higher profits for food producers"
Here are some other facts to consider--
HFCS consumption is up:
HCFS "... has become a popular topic in the discussion of obesity in America. The reason for this is that HFCS comsumption has increased dramatically since the 1970s when it was developed and so has obesity. It has not been proven that there is a link, but the average American consumed 39 pounds of HFCS in 1980 and 62.6 pounds in 2001"
HFCS doesn't trigger an insulin reaction:
"If you are an optimist, you are happy that fructose - unlike glucose - does not stimulate the release of insulin, and in small amounts can be a useful sweetener for people with diabetes.
If you are a pessimist, you will fret that fructose is preferentially metabolized to fat, raising the possibility that HFCS - or any other source of fructose (but we won't worry about fruit) - could have something to do with current obesity trends.
HFCS entered our food supply in the mid 1960s, but did not really come into its own until farm subsidies encouraged farmers to grow as much corn as possible. In 1981, at the dawn of the obesity era, the United States food supply provided 23 pounds of HFCS per person per year, along with 79 pounds of sucrose - 102 pounds total.
Today, the balance is 56 to 62 (118 pounds), with the increase entirely due to HFCS. Guilt by association! Glucose corn syrups and honey add up to yet another 18 pounds, but their use has not changed much over time. All told, the food supply provides a third of a pound a day of HFCS and sucrose combined, which works out to about 600 calories a day per person, just from these two sources."
HFCS may accelerate aging, boost hormones and more:
"Fructose interacts with oral contraceptives and elevates insulin levels in women on "the pill."
In studies with rats, fructose consistently produces higher kidney calcium concentrations than glucose. Fructose generally induces greater urinary concentrations of phosphorus and magnesium and lowered urinary pH compared with glucose.
In humans, fructose feeding leads to mineral losses, especially higher fecal excretions of iron and magnesium, than did subjects fed sucrose. Iron, magnesium, calcium, and zinc balances tended to be more negative during the fructose-feeding period as compared to balances during the sucrose-feeding period.
There is significant evidence that high sucrose diets may alter intracellular metabolism, which in turn facilitates accelerated aging through oxidative damage. Scientists found that the rats given fructose had more undesirable cross-linking changes in the collagen of their skin than in the other groups. These changes are also thought to be markers for aging. The scientists say that it is the fructose molecule in the sucrose, not the glucose, that plays the larger part.20
Because it is metabolized by the liver, fructose does not cause the pancreas to release insulin the way it normally does. Fructose converts to fat more than any other sugar. This may be one of the reasons Americans continue to get fatter. Fructose raises serum triglycerides significantly. As a left-handed sugar, fructose digestion is very low. For complete internal conversion of fructose into glucose and acetates, it must rob ATP energy stores from the liver."