Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

The DNA of Aging: Telomeres

August 20, 2011 1 comment

Inside the center or nucleus of a cell, our genes are located on twisted, double-stranded molecules of DNA called chromosomes. At the ends of the chromosomes are stretches of DNA called telomeres, which protect our genetic data, make it possible for cells to divide, and hold some secrets to how we age and get cancer.

Telomeres have been compared with the plastic tips on shoelaces because they prevent chromosome ends from fraying and sticking to each other, which would scramble an organism’s genetic information to cause cancer, other diseases or death.

Yet, each time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter. When they get too short, the cell no longer can divide and becomes inactive or “senescent” or dies. This process is associated with aging, cancer and a higher risk of death. So telomeres also have been compared with a bomb fuse.



Sedentary Lifestyle and Pulmonary Embolism

July 5, 2011 Comments off

Guardian UK reports: Women who spend most of their time sitting down when they get home from work may be more likely to get a potentially fatal blood clot on the lungs than those who are more active, according to new research.

The big study, carried out on nurses in the USA, is the first to show that a sedentary lifestyle can lead to pulmonary embolism‚ where a blood clot travels up from the deep veins in the leg and eventually into the lung. The symptoms include chest pain, difficulty breathing and coughing.

It is already known that people who play sport and are physically more active are less likely to suffer pulmonary embolism, but the study published on the website of the British Medical Journal is the first to show that sitting about raises the risk.

The study, by Dr Christopher Kabrhel from Massachussetts general hospital, investigated the leisure habits of nearly 70,000 nurses in the USA‚ many of whom would be on their feet for most of the working day. However, over an 18 year period, the researchers found that those who sat for longer than six hours a day when they were not working had twice the risk of a pulmonary embolism of those who sat for less than two hours a day. The results held good even after taking into account age, overweight and smoking habits.

What Is Your Dog Eating? Dog Food Advisor

May 17, 2011 Comments off

I have been considering getting another Aussie and spoke with a breeder, Rutledge Australian Shepherds, yesterday. The topic quickly switched to what we feed our dogs. I picked up a couple tips like, adding green beans to the dogs food. Then the breeder recommended a great little site: The Dog Food Advisor, click here.

What I have been feeding my dogs was rated at 2 stars — eegads! They recommended Taste of the Wild which is rated 5 five stars, but is pricey. The other recommendation was Kirkland brand available at Costco. I bought a 40 lbs bag for $24. My Golden Retriever gobbled it up. My Aussie, who has a sensitive stomach, approached the food cautiously. I combined with some chicken and rice to make it more appealing. From what I know, swapping dog food should be done gradually.

I made the change for several reasons: quality of food, ingredients, and chelated minerals:

…this food does contain chelated minerals… minerals that have been chemically attached to protein. This makes them easier to absorb. Chelated minerals are usually found in better dog foods.

I like The Dog Food Advisor as you can search by brand, types of food, and even covers special needs. The break down is detailed and comprehensive.

Please check out The Dog Food Advisor, click here.

Here is their disclaimer: This review is designed to help you make a more informed decision when buying dog food. However, our rating system is not intended to suggest feeding a particular product will result in a specific health benefit for your pet.

For a better understanding of how we analyzed this product, please be sure to read our article, “The Problem with Dog Food Reviews”

Remember, no dog food can possibly be appropriate for every life stage, lifestyle or health condition. So, choose wisely. And when in doubt consult a veterinarian for help.

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News Alert: Video: Sen. Sanders and Rep. McDermott Introduce Single-Payer Bills

May 12, 2011 Comments off

Huge news — I am so very excited about what I just heard from Sen. Bernie Sanders and in the House by Rep. Jim McDermott.

Legislation to provide health care for every American through a Medicare-for-all type single-payer system was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Bernie Sanders and in the House by Rep. Jim McDermott. Their twin bills would provide better care for more patients at less cost by eliminating the middle-man role played by private insurance companies that rake off billions of dollars in profits. The American Health Security Act of 2011 would provide federal guidelines and strong minimum standards for states to establish and administer single-payer health care programs. At a press conference outside the Capitol, Sanders applauded the Vermont Legislature for voting to put the state on the path toward a single-payer system. Vermont, he said, could become a model for the nation.

Outrage: Psychotic Drugs Given to Nursing Home Elderly

May 11, 2011 Comments off

Despite the fact that it is potentially lethal to prescribe anti-psychotics to patients with dementia, there’s ample evidence that some drug companies aggressively marketed their products towards such populations, putting profits before safety.

– Daniel Levinson, Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, whose office did the analysis.

My regular readers know my 85 year old mother is in a nursing home. There is nothing homey about these facilities. My mom has diabetes and congestive heart failure with some dementia. As much as I would liketo take care of her in my own home, I was medically not capable, nor financially able. I visit the facility she is in on an irregular schedule. I do this so I can observe at different times of the day what goes on in terms of how many people are on staff and the nature of care given.

I also check my mom’s AARP Rx summary scrupulously for any irregularities in the medicines listed. Children of elderly parents need to be vigilant about monitoring their parents care and be their firm advocate. Do not be intimidated nor reticent to make inquiries or question “the experts”. I came upon this article from our local NPR station and was not happy to see this kind of gross malpractice.

Excerpt: About 1 in 7 elderly residents of nursing homes receives a so-called atypical antipsychotic medicine, a federal audit finds, despite an increased risk of death when the medicines are used to manage dementia in older people.

A review of medical records found that most of the atypical anti-psychotics were being used outside the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the medicines to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Indeed, 88 percent of the Medicare claims for the drugs show they were prescribed for elderly people with dementia.

To Levinson’s point on marketing, nursing home pharmacy chain Omnicare agreed to pay the federal government $98 million in 2009 to settle charges it took kickbacks from J&J to boost sales of Risperdal.

Read the entire article, click here

Migraines and Magnesium, A Vital Link

May 10, 2011 Comments off

I have suffered from migraines since my 30s; they are miserable and at times debilitating. I have improved my diet over the years and conscious about what I eat so as to avoid trigger foods. Before I have a migraine episode, I usually get very tired, a feeling of being run down 3-4 days before the episode occurs. I take Excedrin Migraine and sometimes can stave off the event. What I should be doing is pumping up my magnesium intake as that is the likely culprit. I had a migraine start yesterday morning and lasted all day. I had been very tired since late last week. Then, last night I also got a nasty foot cramp. Guess what? Foot cramps can also be a sign of low magnesium. So, I keep a bottle of Magnesium handy, specifically:

Elemental Magnesium, Amino Acid Chelate, 300mg

I took two capsules and plenty of water. Dehydration can also trigger headaches and foot cramps. I took another 300mg this morning. Headache is nearly gone and foot cramp is all the way gone. I also got a good nights rest.

Here is a good resource to learn more about the role of Magnesium in your body:


Magnesium Does More Than REDUCE STRESS

Magnesium is often referred to as the “antistress” mineral. It is a kind of natural tranquilizer. While calcium stimulates muscle contraction, magnesium relaxes them. Magnesium is also thought to dilate the blood vessels.

Since stress is one of the biggest migraine triggers, this role by itself is important. But magnesium does more, helping to prevent migraines both directly and indirectly:

# Magnesium is an alkaline mineral necessary for EVERY major biochemical process, including: production and transfer of energy
# metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates

Both of these are necessary for the healthy functioning of the brain.

It is also vital for proper functioning of the nervous system — clearly important in migraine prevention — as well as for the functioning of the heart, and for muscle and bone strength.

Magnesium is also a calcium blocker, which gives it a central role in brain chemistry and preventing a migraine.

These are major reasons why successful migraine treatments must include sufficient magnesium for the body.

Where Does The Body Store Magnesium?

About 65% of the magnesium in our bodies is contained in the bones and teeth. The remaining 35% is contained in the muscles (25%) blood, other body fluids, and other tissues — including the brain.

Migraine treatments that ignore the importance of magnesium can put you at risk. Why? When the body needs magnesium for its chemical reactions and does not get sufficient dietary magnesium, it will leach them out of these storage places in your body. Directly or indirectly, this lack of magnesium can lead to migraines and other damage.

What Foods Contain This Mineral?

Magnesium is a key component of chlorophyll, the pigment of plants. Migraine treatments would therefore include dark green vegetables (like spinach, broccoli) in the diet — since all are good sources of magnesium. Also recommended: most nuts (almonds, peanuts, cashews), whole grains, seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds) and fruits like avocados, bananas, raisins.

What Is The Best Way To Take Supplements?
(If You Do Not Absorb It, It Does You No Good)

Magnesium (like calcium) is an alkaline mineral. It requires an acidic stomach environment for best absorption. Migraine treatments with magnesium recommend taking magnesium between meals or on an empty stomach, especially with a little vitamin C as ascorbic acid. Another good time to take it: bedtime. Two additional benefits of taking it at bedtime: an increased utilization of magnesium; and people tend to sleep better after taking it.

Writer Sandra S. Feder had migraines for years. She found 5 areas of imbalance that were connected to her headaches. Stop Migraine Symptoms Naturally is the book she wrote, showing step by step how she stopped her headaches. Read about this book, or sign up for her FREE e-course: 6 Nuggets Of Migraine Help at the website:

Related: So just what is the magnesium migraines connection? – click here

Excerpt: Researchers have been investigating the magnesium migraines connection because of magnesium’s role in stabilizing blood vessels walls. Magnesium is also an important mineral when it comes to helping you get to sleep. Regular sleeping patterns are also very important to migraine sufferers. Magnesium also helps in protein synthesis, and keeps your bones strong and helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function.

Lithium May Help Prevent or Slow Alzheimers

April 30, 2011 Comments off

News Medical reports this article by Dr Ananya Mandal, MD – click here

According to scientists Alzheimer’s disease, a progressively damaging motor neuron condition, could be treated by lithium, a naturally occurring element that is extremely inexpensive and already in use for other psychiatric disorders.


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