Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
All the news, none of the trans fat!
Except for #1 and #4, That Is
Here are 9 – mostly – great ways to get a healthier heart. #1 is Big Moo baloney (for our readers just joining, Mark and the Bees frequently rant about Big Moo marketing deception). #4 is fine, but sometimes an antioxidant supplement is a better bet than relying on a sugary juice. If you’re wanting to lose weight or lower your blood sugar, we recommend eating whole pomegranates or taking a supplement instead of downing the juice.
Flickr fun: thanks to Podchef!
Low-carb lovers: 1; Bran fans: 0
Mark has been invited to join in a conference about this hot study. The scientists will be debating whether or not low-carb is a smart way to go, in light of two new powerful studies that indicate a grain-based diet is not healthy for humans. We’ll keep you updated on the developments!
Moms of America Roll Their Eyes: This Is News?
Yeah, yeah. Three proven ways to get better sleep tonight: journal your worries, eat a tablespoon of peanut butter (just avoid the Peter Pan for goodness’ sakes!), and drink a cup of warm organic milk or chamomile tea. Oh, and send the kids to the grandparents’ house.
Web it out:
Parents, here’s a great review of an important resource for raising resilient children.
Random obesity fact still manages to startle.
Happy Tuesday, Apples. I’m back with a new format for the Buckler Brief that I think you will enjoy. Each week, I’ll be bringing you a quick wrap-up of the latest clinical studies on the natural health benefits (and sometimes bogus claims) of things like supplements, antioxidants and foods. Get healthy: know your nutrients!
Controlling both blood sugar and oxidative stress may be more effective for those with type 1 diabetes than controlling blood sugar alone. In this study, antioxidant vitamin C was shown to help.
Moderation really is the key to good health. In a study on caffeine, scientists found that a little daily dose of caffeine is good for you. Like wine, you can get too much of a good thing, so stick to one or two cups of coffee or tea per day. This is great news for Starbucks.
“The Dish on Fish”. I enjoyed this thoroughly-researched medical article on Omega-3 fatty acids. Though it’s not available for free, the findings are: the scientists concluded that the benefits of fish far outweigh the risks. Benefits include reduced bad cholesterol, increased good cholesterol, and reduced risk of heart disease. I recommend taking a daily Omega-3 supplement if you are concerned about consuming fish too frequently. And remember, when you eat fish, don’t go for the breaded, fried kind! Stick with grilled or baked fish.
Worker Bees’ Daily Bites
Today’s news includes the return of a psuedo-scandal, proof that the FDA doesn’t care about women, and…donuts.
No, Vitamins Will not Kill You
It’s all over the news: vitamins will kill you! This is the same old scare that gets trucked out whenever there’s an FDA or Big Pharma scandal (it happened during the Vioxx debacle and again when the FDA got slammed last month). In fact, Elliott notes that there was a virtually identical story in January, and several last year…and the year before that. Each time, the same studies are brought up.
Honestly, the deja vu is annoying, so we don’t want to spend a lot of time on this pseudo scandal, but if you have any specific questions, feel free to shoot the Big Guy (that’s Sisson) a line. Simply click up yonder.
Vitamin A: it’s not an antioxidant, but people often misunderstand it to be one. No one thinks high levels of pure A is a good idea, and most high-potency vitamins that include high levels of A are giving you beta carotene, not pure A (the best multis will give you mixed carotenoids). For the record, the study that showed risk was done on smokers who were very, very sick.
In fact, this “news” out today is bandying the same old meta-analysis of many studies. Um, huh? you ask.
A quick lesson: “meta-analysis” is just a fancy way of saying “we looked at a bunch of different studies and here’s our opinion.” It’s not the best way to conduct a study, because it’s not really a study, per se – it’s an analysis of many studies which, in this case, were all conducted via different methodologies.
What’s more, in this particular case, many of the studies were based on questionnaires. If you’ve ever filled out a form detailing your caloric intake, exercise habits or sex life, you know these things aren’t exactly 100% accurate.
Here’s the sting: the majority of the studies included in ole Dansk’s report are outdated, ignore other, better studies, and generally involved really sick, elderly, even terminally ill patients.
As far as vitamin E is concerned, scientists continually scratch their heads at this Denmark meta-baloney (yeah, Denmark again…). We already know that the E in question isn’t the best for you. That’s been known for a long time. E, like the B vitamins, is really a spectrum supplement – there are eight different E’s, known collectively as tocotrienols and tocopherols.
Taking one tocopherol – the kind you’ll find in those cheap gel caps everywhere – is not a good idea and this has been known for quite a while now (and any multivitamin that uses this single form is not a multi you want to buy). The full spectrum E? Hundreds of rigorously conducted studies show proven benefits.
In short, don’t buy into the vitamin hype. The study is not news. It’s a review of studies that were conducted under inconsistent and varying conditions, on generally sick people. And it comes at time when the FDA and the drug companies are scrambling to improve their images.
Mark will be adding his thorough explanation to the Health Q&A this week, so we’ll give you the heads-up. Stick around, Apples.
The FDA Is Worse Than Your Ex
Indisputable facts: The FDA puts political pressure on its researchers. The FDA is a cushy landing pad for stressed-out former Pharma execs. The FDA tends to approve drugs based on drug companies’ own studies.
Jen and Sara report: Not only is the FDA corrupt, incompetent, and slow to change – evidently, we can now add sexist to the list.
We’re Waiting for the One with Omega-3′s
As you may know by now, I am not afraid of the sunlight. Although most dermatologists suggest that we might be better off living in caves and covering ourselves head-to-toe whenever we venture out, my own evolutionary perspective leads me to believe we were designed to get sunlight almost every day and that our health suffers if we don’t get enough.
In fact, recent studies show that, as a result of our shunning the sun, many of us suffer from Vitamin D deficiency and a resulting loss of bone density and immune function (to name a few effects). Some researchers opine that more people die from lack of sun than from too much sun! But, I digress.
I came across an article the other day that piqued my curiosity since it dealt with the combination of running and sunning.
It basically showed that marathoners (of which I was once one) tend to get skin cancer at higher rates than other people. The more they ran, the higher the incidence of skin cancer. My take on what’s happening is that not only are the runners exposed to more sun (which can cause DNA damage in skin cells leading to cancer), but they are also bathed in more free radicals overall from the excessive oxidation of glucose and fats. We know that sun exposure does deplete the skin of the antioxidant Vitamin C.
Moreover, the act of running tends to divert blood flow away from the skin, starving it of additional important antioxidants that could neutralize the free-radical damage in the skin tissues. Add to that the enormous amounts of cortisol marathoners pump out doing this unnaturally high steady-state oxidative work and we not only get the DNA damage, we get the immuno-suppressive effects of the high-stress activity.
So: more DNA damage and a reduced ability to recognize that damage and take steps to eliminate those cells and/or repair the damage. That’s one reason (among many) that I have doused myself with antioxidants inside and out for over 20 years now. That’s also why one of my newest mantras is: a little running is OK – a lot is bad.
This article also brings up other points of discussion, such as whether the reliance on inferior sunscreens was another cause. It appears that for the past 30 years so-called sunscreens have been good at blocking UVB rays (the ones that burn) but not UVA (the ones primarily responsible for DNA damage and skin cancer). The effect is a generation of gung-ho health fanatics (yes, I was one) slathering on sunscreen and running 40, 50 or 100 miles a week. The fact that we didn’t burn only lead us to believe we could stay out even longer. Little did we know that the burning of skin might have been a great first warning to get the hell out of the sun.
Unfortunately, the sunscreen gave us the false notion we were invulnerable. More on that later….
Did you know that this decadent little guy is actually one of the healthiest foods you can eat?
(Pál Csonka photo)
Olives are high in fat, but fortunately for us, it’s the good kind. Olives are fairly high in calories for a fruit, but you can certainly do a lot worse for snack fare (think cheese, honey-roasted nuts and processed deli meats). We love olives because they provide a rich, dense, satisfying texture and flavor – when cucumber slices just won’t do, put the cheddar down and reach for these chewy cholesterol-reducers instead.
Olives are great for your heart because they’re a “smart” fat, but they also contain high levels of antioxidant vitamin E, gut-busting fiber and important trace minerals like copper. If you want to strengthen your cardiovascular system, reach for olive tapenade instead of the cream cheese next time you’re at the grocery store.
We all know olive oil is a wonderfully healthy alternative to refined oils like canola, corn and soybean oil. Why not go right to the source? Get creative with your olives – throw them in salads, slice sour green olives right into your scrambled eggs, and bake them into your vegetable dishes.
Everything you could ever want to know about olives.
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