Month: June 2008
The popular Asian cooking spice, turmeric, may help prevent diabetes and help beneficially influence body composition, according to a study slated to appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Endocrinology.
Previous research has suggested that turmeric and its anti-oxidative ingredient, curcumin, can help reduce inflammation, help heal wounds and relieve pain.
For the most recent study, researchers from the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center evaluated the use of turmeric on rodent models and found that those treated with the popular curry spice were “less susceptible to developing type 2 diabetes” based on the findings of a blood glucose level test and an assessment of glucose and insulin tolerance.
What’s the story about certain kinds of vitamin C, calcium, etc.? Does it make any difference?
Because we live in a more complicated, modern world with chronic stress, pollution, etc., I always suggest wise supplementation for optimum health. The best supplementation is effectively comprehensive, properly balanced, and efficiently bioavailable. Some forms of some nutrients are simply more readily absorbed than others. Additionally, some forms of certain nutrients are easier on the digestive system than others, particularly in those with stomach sensitivity.
When it comes to food, you want the best your money can buy, and the same thing goes for supplementation. Different supplements (we’ll stick with “multivitamins” for now) fulfill their nutritional claims differently. Some forms of certain nutrients, generally the more bioavailable and stomach-friendly forms, are more expensive than less bioavailable or harsher forms.
Results of a dramatic study highlighting (guess what) gene expression were published last week by the National Academy of Sciences, and suddenly the popular media is suddenly paying very close attention. The study, which followed 30 men with low risk, early prostate cancer, demonstrates the dramatic role of lifestyle intervention in gene expression and corresponding disease regression. The study was a collaborative research effort at the Preventive Medicine Research Institute and the University of California, San Francisco.
One of the researchers, Dr. Dean Ornish offered his personal observations on the study in an article for Newsweek magazine. He began his commentary with the phrase: “Here’s some very good news: your genes are not your destiny.” Hmmm… Where have we heard that before? (Couldn’t resist.)
For some people, it’s a New Year’s resolution. For others, the scare of a close friend’s or relative’s illness. Maybe it’s a scary diagnosis of their own. Oftentimes, it’s a long pondered goal. Yet even when it’s more of a “spur of the moment” pledge, the decision to be healthy usually comes after good thought and consideration.
What exactly is that path of pondering, mulling, imagining that eventually brings us to resolve? What plants the seed of possibility? Who and what figures into the picture as we turn things over in our minds and think about how our health could or should be? Where, even, do we end up inspired to finally make a change? (The doctor’s office, a blog community, a local walking club, a family trip, the bathroom scale?)
You’re in the middle of a nice, hot shower, feeling your muscles relax, the day’s tension (or night’s sleepiness) melt away. As you bask in the quiet moment of repose, suddenly your body gets a startling jolt. After a second of disoriented shock, you realize something has happened to the hot water. Did someone start the washer? Is the water heater going berserk? Your hopes of relaxation now dashed, your stress level through the roof, you finish only the most obligatory rinsing and step out of the shower cursing, muttering and shivering as you reach for your towel.
But does a cold shower need to ruin the day? Can they actually be more than a nuisance, but a legitimate health therapy as some say? We thought we’d do some digging to explore the notion MDA reader Alex recently put forth: “The way Grok kept himself clean sure wasn’t with sustained periods of temperature controlled hot water. Maybe we shouldn’t either.” The results we found were very intriguing (and encouraging) indeed.
Amber Waves of Pain
Order up! Yes, folks, it?s definitive guide time again. I?ve read your requests and am happy (as always) to oblige. Grab your coffee (or tea), and pull up a seat. Glad you?re with us.
Insulin, cholesterol, fats? They?re only the tip of the iceberg. I?ve had a few ?definitive? topics up my sleeve for a while now, and grains are it for today. Yes, grains. I know we?ve given them a bad rap before, and it?s safe to say I?ll do it again here. Sometimes the truth hurts, but you know what they say about the messenger, right? Without further ado?
Grains. Every day we?re bombarded with them and their myriad of associations in American (and much of Western) culture: Wilford Brimley, Uncle Ben, the Sunbeam girl, the latest Wheaties athlete, a pastrami on rye, spaghetti dinners, buns for barbeque, corn on the cob, donuts, birthday cake, apple pie, amber waves of grain?. Gee, am I missing anything? Of course. So much, in fact, that it could ? and usually does ? take up the majority of supermarket square footage. (Not to mention those government farm subsidies, but that?s another post.) Yes, grains are solidly etched into our modern Western psyche ? just not so much into our physiology.