Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Archive for the ‘ Health ’ Category

27 Dec

Lose Weight, Lose Cancer?

A new study seems to confirm that losing even a few pounds can help reduce a man’s prostate cancer risk. But what’s most intriguing about the latest and greatest findings is the following:

The studies reinforce the notion that prostate cancer is not a single cancer but a family of diseases, each fueled by different chemicals…

Cancer, once thought to be a “single” disease, may in fact be more similar to a condition caused by an association of factors or culprits: stress, oxidation, cell mutation, even fungus. We certainly know now that even within types of cancers, the pathologies are incredibly complicated.

It’s an ongoing issue we’ll be getting into more deeply in the future. For now, give the article a click, and spread the word: weight loss is almost always a benefit to health.

What are your thoughts, Apples?

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27 Dec

Brain Gyms

Increasing evidence shows that exercising your mind, not just your body, is the key to living longer and healthier. For memory, cognition and alertness, the old adage “use it or lose it” is entirely true. Check out the latest trend: brain gyms. We think it’s pretty smart!

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27 Dec

Sticks & Stones May Break Your Bones…

BUT NOT NEARLY AS EFFECTIVELY AS HEARTBURN PILLS

A large-scale study out of Britain has reported that taking popular heartburn medications like Tagamet and Pepcid AC can seriously increase your risk of bone fractures, because the drugs block calcium absorption.

Check out the article – here’s the clickativity.

Of course, the pill pushers contrarians say that a simple calcium pill can offset the damaging effects of heartburn medications. That’s classic – needing a second pill to address problems caused by the first pill, which is unnecessary in the first place.

An easy fix for heartburn is avoiding foods that cause it. Getting daily exercise, drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol are also good ways to avoid heartburn.

Each year, about 300,000 older Americans break a bone, and 60,000 of them will die from the injury.

Heartburn medications are a $10 billion-a year cash cow.

Cow

Sara adds:

And surprise, surprise: Ole’ Denmark did a heartburn study last year but reported that heartburn medications are, wouldn’t you know, perfectly safe. I keep trying to give the motherland the benefit of the doubt, so I would like to cast doubt on this new British study, but seeing as how it was funded by the U.S. government and GlaxoSmithKline, I have to say, something is rotten in Denmark.

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27 Dec

The Buckler Brief

EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT: Milk Thistle

WHAT IT IS: Milk Thistle, or silybum marianum

Milk thistle is a hardy, prickly plant of the thistle family. It grows easily around the world. It is edible and its leaves are often eaten in a manner similar to artichokes. It can also be made into a potent beverage not unlike coffee. Used for more than 2,000 years, milk thistle was once thought to activate lactation (hence the name).

Milk thistle contains a substance, silymarin, which is a uniquely powerful antioxidant. It stores itself in the liver and can prevent and even reverse damage from toxins like alcohol and painkillers.

STUDIES SHOW: Milk thistle is one of the most thoroughly documented nutrients. Numerous studies support the claim that milk thistle can combat toxic damage in the liver from metals, poisons, alcohol, painkillers, pollution and other contaminants. Importantly, milk thistle has been shown to fight free radical damage – in fact, it appears that milk thistle may actually reverse some signs of oxidation in the liver.

Additionally, dozens of studies show that milk thistle can reduce cholesterol as well as inflammation in the liver. Milk thistle has the ability to fight lipid peroxidation, the process which creates cholesterol in the liver.

WHY WE LIKE IT: We like milk thistle because of its unique potential for benefitting the liver. Though known for being susceptible to damage from excess alcohol, the liver is also easily stressed by today’s diet and lifestyle trends (high in sugar, trans fats, free radicals and drugs). Maintaining liver health is crucial for cholesterol production and metabolism, the body’s inflammatory response, and overall health.

Milk thistle can help to reduce cholesterol and fight free radicals in the liver. This humble leaf also offers broad health benefits: helping to heal tissues, protect against further oxidation, and diminish inflammation.

Because we are inundated with free radicals – as Mark says, it’s a free radical minefield out there – it’s vital to supplement the liver with protective nutrients. And milk thistle is among the best sources for supporting liver health.


739px Milk thistle flower

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26 Dec

HRT: the Problem That Just Won’t Go Away

A doctor weighs in on the HRT-cancer connection. The controversy isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.

I recommend reading the whole interview if this is an area of interest for you. What caught my attention is the subtle pro-drug stance the interview appears to take, while simultaneously bringing out revealing facts like the following:

Q. Was it a surprise to learn that estrogen and progestins can cause breast cancer?

A. We’ve known there is a cause and effect with hormones and breast cancer since 1896.

On the plus side, the article effectively details the pathology of breast cancer, explaining the difference between estrogen and progesterine’s effects in lay terms. If you’ve found the issue confusing, give this article 10 minutes of your time. The article also fairly points out that the “entire epidemiology” of breast cancer shifted when HRT was introduced and again when it was found to be dangerous.

My concerns regarding current HRT therapies, however, remain:

1) The cancer-hormone connection has long been known.

2) The body was not designed to handle artificial hormone interference with the natural regulatory processes that come with aging. That’s not my opinion; that’s fact. Start tinkering with the body and all kinds of things can happen. Of course, I recommend other, natural therapies to combat aging-related issues (including menopause): exercise, sensible supplementation, and sound dietary choices. We’ll get into those in detail soon.

3) The entire tone of the interview is what I find so offensive about the medical industry: if one drug doesn’t work, hey, take another! Subtle though it is – again, the article does promote plenty of helpful information – it’s clear that mainstream medical practitioners are loathe to “call out” even the most pressing health scandals, evidently preferring to tread lightly lest they offend the pharmaceutical suits. Of course, five or ten years from now, everyone will be talking about the dangers of HRT without hesitation, but for now, it’s a politically-correct parade.

The icing on the cake: after discussing the various issues surrounding HRT, the interview brings up the issue of osteoporosis (since many women took HRT to address this health condition) and suggests alternative drugs as the solution. It’s par for the course for Big Pharma.

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