Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:
Not just the latest news – the best!
1) Folic Acid Rocks
A major study on folate is making a splash. Scientists say folic acid appears to help stave cognitive decline and may even be linked to reduced chances of degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. What is certain is that folic acid appears to aid in memory, cognition, and information processing speed. Clickativity!
Folic acid is found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and a daily multi.
2) A Must Read!
Wow – here’s an excellent op-ed piece on the psychology of cancer fears. The great tragedy of the cancer situation today – which still kills half a million Americans every year – is that modern advances in both prevention and medicine mean excellent survival rates, but many people wait so long to get standard screenings it’s often too late. It’s the “fear of the known” clinging to our national mindset from days when cancer truly was a death sentence.
3) Common Commode
Drug advances. Scientific knowledge. Nutritional information. Exercise expertise. Lasers. Ingenious surgical procedures. According to the British Medical Journal, none of this compares to…the flusher. When you’re feeling bummed about your day, just remember, before 1840, you could be feeling bummed about your day and have to use an outhouse.
4) Oh yeah…these things do beat stress!
The Dumb Little Man is not dumb at all (but that cheesy line sure was – our bad). While he does invent statistics (and gleefully admits this), his implementation/identification point is right on the money. And his list of ways to beat stress is so wonderful and so obvious, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t do this stuff sooner. If you already have, well, good for you. Bees are slower.
Web it out:
What Mark and the Bees read. Translation (whew): Lifestyle changes slash your diabetes risk in half!
“Lifestyle changes”. Kinda nebulous, right?
Here’s how, in 5 quick steps:
1. Stop eating so much sugar! Cut out as much sugar, refined grain, starch, and other pale pathetic excuses for food as you can.
2. No more sugary drinks, either.
3. Daily exercise of some sort. Walking is just fine and dandy!
4. Stop with the self-destructive stuff: smoking, drinking, too much food, not enough sleep.
5. Reduce inflammation in three easy steps: switch from bad fats to good fats, reduce stress, and flood your body with antioxidants from food and a good, sturdy multi.
EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT: PANTOTHENIC ACID
WHAT IT IS: Part of the B-complex of vitamins, Pantothenic Acid is a water-soluble vitamin. This particular B is unique because it forms two co-enzymes, making it a vital component of good supplementation.
WHAT IT DOES: Pantothenic acid helps to oxidize fatty acids and sugars (part of the fueling process that gives us energy). Pantothenic acid also serves many other important functions.
To name a few: synthesizing fatty acids, lipids, cholesterol, hormones, proteins and ketones (the unfortunate byproduct of proteins). Especially for athletes and those who consume large amounts of protein, pantothenic acid is essential. Fortunately, it’s difficult to become deficient in pantothenic acid, but many people do not derive enough from their daily diets.
STUDIES SHOW: Pantothenic acid is a cofactor, which means it assists in a variety of essential enzyme functions. Because of its role in metabolizing fats and cholesterol, pantothenic acid is thought to help reduce high cholesterol levels.
Pantothenic acid may also help to increase energy, especially in aerobic exertion, because the acid may help to break down lactic acid, which often builds up in muscles. Experts also think that pantothenic acid may be one of the key cofactors involved in ATP production.
WHY WE LIKE IT: There are many reasons to make pantothenic acid part of your supplement regimen. Aside from helping to reduce cholesterol and the potential energy-boost, pantothenic acid is thought to be an excellent therapy for those suffering from arthritis. Many experts also think people suffering from anxiety, depression, and stress may benefit from simply upping their pantothenic acid intake.
Did you know almost a third of people who break their hip bones will die from complications?
It’s astounding – and it’s just one more example of how the commonplace is also the unexpected. We panic about bird flu, when the usual flu is really the killer. Movies sensationalize bear and shark attacks when we’re far more likely to get fatally hurt by the neighbor’s dog.
I don’t think this is cause for holing up in your bedroom (after all, you’re much more likely to die falling out of bed than being in a plane crash or getting shot). I don’t even think it’s cause for yet another worry. It’s simply a good reminder that we humans aren’t so good at risk assessment. We have irrationally huge fears about things that will probably never affect us, and we underestimate the garden-variety threats. (Check out my post “Risk Schmisk” using the search option at right to learn more about our quirky brains.)
What this means: We are far more likely to be hurt by everyday encounters – and a lot of these can be prevented with some reasonable lifestyle measures. Call me a silver-lining type of guy – I think this is pretty good news. For the most part, we don’t have to worry about catastrophic or unpredictable health threats. We are lucky in that we can prevent most health problems. In the case of hip bone fractures, which plague far too many Americans, there are some very simple ways to stop this unexpectedly dangerous occurrence.
Regular weight-bearing activity like weight lifting, walking, hiking or jogging is a great way to maintain and build bones. Avoid soda, take a multivitamin containing calcium, and remember to take it easy by avoiding stressful situations as much as you can.
NUTRIENT: Beta Glucans
WHAT IT DOES: For immune system support, beta glucans, a polyssacharide (sugar molecule) offer much potential. Similar to other immune-stimulating nutrients like echinacea and goldenseal, beta glucans, which are derived from yeast, barley, and oats, appear to boost white blood cell count and macrophage activation. Macrophages are literally irritated into action by beta glucan sugars! These processes are key components of healthy immune system activity.
STUDIES SHOW: Beta glucans appear to have immune stimulating properties. Several studies have shown that beta glucans may be able to activate macrophages, help to inhibit tumors, and reduce infection. Beta glucans are generally used for immune system support, although it has been theorized that beta glucans may also serve a role in cancer inhibition because of their stimulatory affects. Beta glucans are thought to work by stimulating white blood cell activity. In laboratory studies, beta glucans have also been shown to stimulate monocyte cytokines, compounds that fight cancer cells in tumors.
However, the most established evidence supports beta glucans’ use as an immune-boosting nutrient.
WHY WE LIKE IT: Beta glucans can be found here. We love them because of the promising immune-stimulating properties. Beta glucans may help reduce or fight infections in the body and improve the general strength of the immune system. Overall immune system health is vital to resisting serious health problems, and beta glucans offer tremendous potential for supporting the immune system.
Sara here. There are days when the news is slow. There are days when the news is groundbreaking. And then there are days when the news is just so odd, you have to check it out.
The daily health bites are coming shortly, but in the meantime, you’ll want to click this stuff out. The human brain is an interesting thing, to be sure. We can certainly think of a few people out there whose brains could benefit from more Omega-3′s. Not that we would name any names…
Zombies Are Real. Sort of.
(Shameless Shill Alert: For an easy way to boost your brain health fast, check out Vital Omegas.)
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