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Tag: prevention

Get It While It’s Hot!

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites: All the news, none of the preservatives. 1) Inflammation Causes Cancer This is huge news, so be sure to spread it! Scientists have long suggested a link between inflammation and cancer, but lacked conclusive evidence. Lo and behold… Inflammation is caused by many things. Among the most common culprits: injury, stress, smoking, alcohol abuse, obesity (this is a “two way street”), and poor diet. Pro-inflammatory foods are – you guessed it – the most common foods in the American diet. To avoid inflammation, avoid sugars and starches, fried foods, and processed, packaged items. Examples are waffles, pasta, french fries, snacks and chips, pastries, and frozen convenience meals. Translation: stay away from things that inflame! Inflammation is a common culprit behind obesity, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and much more. In related health matters, acid reflux may lead to cancer, too. And guess what causes acid reflux? Your buddy, inflammation. Like the guy on the couch in your college days, it’s time to say goodbye if you’re letting inflammation hang around and damage your health. Here are important things to avoid if you want to reduce heartburn and reflux risk. 2) Fun Facts About Mark’s Daily Apple Did you know that hovering over links and pictures here at Mark’s Daily Apple can provide you with hours of hilarious entertainment? That’s because we pride ourselves on sneaking in funny (okay, maybe cheesy is more like it) comments when Mark is not looking. Don’t tell him. Another fun fact: See that nifty little description above Mark’s head? We’re going to be holding a contest to change it (which means the contest just started). One of the Bees likes “Better than bran muffins.” Mark says “Will blog for health.” We want to know what your idea is! We know there’s a witty, funny, healthy phrase inside you, just waiting to get out! So tell us. Shoot us your ideas by clicking “Ask Anything!” at the top of this page. A very cool and healthy reward goes to the first winner. Because hey, we might just change it again. 3) Embolization is the new surgery! Wait…what’s embolization? Scientists say that uterine fibroid tumors can be treated successfully without surgery, which involves serious risks, side effects and longer hospital stays. The trade-off: one in five women undergoing the embolization process has to come back for more traditional treatments. But it’s a reasonable and encouraging alternative to the invasive and permanent nature of hysterectomies. 4) Fizzy Fruit We’re in a tizzy over fizzy fruit (hey, we couldn’t resist). Thanks to Dr. Mercola for the heads-up: this ridiculously unhealthy “fruit” product aimed at children is being marketed with the help of some old Coca-Cola pros. Now if you’ll excuse us, the Fuming Fuji has blown his top and we need to call the contractor. Fruit is already fun for kids. We don’t need to make it fizzy – who needs yet another processed food? This is one more example of taking a food … Continue reading “Get It While It’s Hot!”

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Sting Like a Bee…

Worker Bees’ Daily Bites:

So much good stuff. And a lot of funny stuff, too. Here’s the fresh mix:

1) Cheer Up, It’s All Okay!

Sometimes it’s tempting to throw your hands in the air and say “Hey, why bother? Everything’s unhealthy!” We hear you. Today, let’s put things in perspective a bit. For example, recently headlines have been popping up with the news that denser breast tissue doubles a woman’s risk of breast cancer. Yikes! Doubles?!? Double yikes!

Guess what? The overall breast cancer likelihood of, say, a typical 50-year-old woman is about 2.5 percent. For a woman with dense tissue, yes, it’s “double” – 5 percent. But doesn’t a five percent risk sound less scary than double the risk? That’s why it’s important to pay attention to the way these studies are presented. Sometimes – many times, unfortunately – medical news gets sensationalized to get to the head of the headline race. Breast cancer is scary enough – we don’t need to be dramatic about it, too! Let’s breathe a collective “whew”. And ladies, get your mammograms. Here’s the clickativity.

2) We’re Going Down, Down…

Cancer is down for the second year in a row – and not just breast cancer. Colon cancer and lung cancer, too! Smoking rates are on the decline, and awareness about colon screening (everyone’s favorite) has spread. Good news is so clickative. And this cancer can now be prevented with a simple vaccination.

3) Good Switch, Starbucks

First they do away with trans fat. Now they’re eliminating hormones in the milk. If only they’d stop with the sugar. After all, as Mark has been saying, sugar is the new trans fat.

Oddballs:

A Nation of ‘Girly Men’?

And Here We Thought BK’s Chicken Fries Were Weird…

Square Melons Are Less Stressful or Something?

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This Is a Big Fat Blog Post

Apples, as you know, this is a pro-fat health site – pro-fat meaning we recommend eating beneficial fats, of course, not getting fat. There are a lot of issues to consider when it comes to fat – heart disease, inflammation, arthritis, obesity and prevention, to name a few – and I’m going to weigh in (I know, I know) on some of the latest findings. Arthritis Increasingly, the medical community is focusing on the interrelatedness of health conditions like obesity, diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. These prevalent health problems have a common component – inflammation – and mounting evidence suggests that a wide range of lifestyle habits aimed at preventing inflammation is clearly the better avenue for public health. Soaring health care costs, unequal distribution of nutritious food, Americans’ sedentary lifestyle, grievous drug side effects, and inaccurate food and health information are all factors in a health crisis that I believe has hit critical mass – it’s time for a smarter solution. Case in point: arthritis costs alone are over $120 billion dollars every year and growing. Just a few years ago, we were spending about $80 billion. By 2010, about 50 million people will suffer from arthritis. In my opinion, this is utterly unacceptable. Arthritis can occur for many reasons – I myself manage osteoarthritis from years of professional sports competition. Excessive levels of stress like hardcore athletic training or lack of any physical exercise are common culprits. Though there is a genetic predisposition to arthritis in some folks, the majority of people suffer from arthritis to a much greater extent than they need to, given the availability of easy prevention options (that are a lot cheaper and less painful than drugs, surgery and daily suffering). Personally, I’m rarely bothered by my arthritis because I maintain a good exercise routine, I don’t eat junk, and I am ruthless about preventing inflammation. How to prevent inflammation: – Douse yourself in antioxidants – Consume “good” fats with reckless abandon – Exercise – Limit both physical and emotional stress – Absolutely avoid anything that contributes to oxidation: smoking, excessive drinking, lack of activity, processed and prepared food, trans fat, and sugar Add Another Test to the List There have been several new heart disease markers identified this month (and a few thrown out as doctors realize basic prevention is worth a lot more). A Japanese study found interesting results for a specific set of women with particular heart conditions; and this study will help doctors determine how people who already have heart disease can avoid a second incident. In the same vein (there I go again), a few studies released this month are too fraught with questions and conflicts of interest to be of much insight (though no doubt Big Pharma will still bandy them about). Look, heart disease is the biggest killer of men and women. And it goes beyond that – those suffering from heart problems also tend to suffer from other big health problems like diabetes, obesity, and arthritis. … Continue reading “This Is a Big Fat Blog Post”

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Shocking But True

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.
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[tags]hip bones, flu, weight-bearing activity, everyday risks[/tags]

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Why?

With the global AIDS crisis, the hard lessons of events like Hurricane Katrina, and worldwide health threats like tuberculosis (yes, it’s coming back) and even the flu, now just might be the time for our government to step up to the plate and find a way to direct more dollars to public health – if not tax dollars, how about better support for organizations that raise funds for such serious health issues? It’s not happening. A report in Time recently revealed some of the funding cuts the government has passed for the CDC (Centers for Disease Control):

Funds for AIDS prevention: cut 19%

Funds for tuberculosis control: cut 16%

Funds for unexpected health emergencies: cut 17%

The CDC is currently in its own quagmire of corruption and ineptitude, and genius budget cuts like the above certainly don’t help. I mention this news simply to highlight the incredible urgency of taking responsibility for your health and well-being. Though ideally we hope to trust our government, our health agencies, and our doctors to look out for our best health interests, the fact is this doesn’t happen all the time – now more than ever. Whether you like the direction health care appears to be heading (Arnold is seeking universal health care and other states are following suit) or not, there are plenty of compelling reasons to do all that you can to take care of your health through as many means as you have at your disposal.

Fortunately, you can achieve significant improvements in health through some very basic, preventive lifestyle measures. It’s my goal to help you choose and implement those health options.

A nutritious diet, stress management, regular exercise, judicious supplementation and careful health decisions are the fundamental steps everyone can take to prevent and even reverse many health problems.

Bottom line: Your health is your choice. Choose it.

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[tags]AIDS, CDC, health emergencies[/tags]

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Outtakes

Between bird flu, Rhode Island school closures, conjoined children, the new WHO director, an ethical debate about a disabled daughter, and the ruckus over human-animal DNA splicing, it’s been quite a controversial and bizarre week in the world of science and health. Frankly, I’ll leave these stories to Google and all the pundits chomping at the 5 o’clock Friday bit. If you’re looking for a little bit of a breather from all this, the Bees have gone hunting for the latest study findings in the field of health, and here’s the best of the catch: 1 – My favorite kind of study: one that’s randomized, placebo-controlled, and long-term (in this case, nearly 7 years!). The findings reveal that supplementing with zinc helps fight aging and age-related diseases, macular degeneration, and oxidation. It’s one of the better-designed studies I’ve seen on zinc. Although, quick note – long-term supplementation with zinc needs to be kept at a fairly low dosage and quality source such as found here. Here is the American Journal of Ophthalmology Clickativity for those who want the nitty-gritty. 2 – A researcher named Bruce. Now here’s a guy I like. He writes a terrific essay on the need for particular nutrients to mitigate certain effects of aging, cancer risk, and cellular function, and is upfront about his conflict of interest (he’s part of a scientific advisory board involved in the licensing of a supplement that supports mitochondria). Nevertheless, he doesn’t profit, his findings are spot-on, and I appreciate the academic honesty. That’s more than can be said for a lot of conflicts of interest in the medical industry that get hushed. We’ll be getting into ATP, stress, oxidation and mitochondria in the future to help you understand why our bodies age and weaken the way they do, and what can be done about it (first tip: take a potent multivitamin with antioxidants, and lay off the sugar). But Bruce’s summary is worth perusing for a quick minute. The more you can do to stop oxidation at the cellular level, the better your health will be in myriad ways: wrinkling and aging, energy, immunity, cognition, disease prevention, liver function, nervous system function, cardiovascular health, and so on. There is a common component to many diseases, illnesses and dysfunctions of the body – it’s cell damage. 3 – Exercise improves life in your golden years. A study from the Journal of Gerontology highlights the critical need for folks over 60 to continue building their strength through exercise. Aging is essentially a process of tissue wasting away – hair, organs, vital fats, muscle and bone tissue, and even brain tissue. Exercise, particularly strength training, offsets this process to the extent that is possible. Living long is great – but I’m interested in living well, too. I’m sure you are as well. Exercise later in life is also critical for maintaining confidence, emotional happiness, and a sense of security – all important things for everybody but especially seniors. Medline Plus, a public service … Continue reading “Outtakes”

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Parkinson’s Politics = Pressure Cooker

Here is a razor-sharp example of excellent, detailed, honest medical research reporting. Unfortunately, with words like ergot and agonist, it’s also as relentlessly boring as a Del Monte fruit cup without the little pink “cherries”. No wonder people are confused about the latest medical findings! Where are the resources to interpret this jargon?

Oh yeah, here, that’s where! Whew.

And here. (An anonymous MD’s personal take on medical practice. Often quite interesting.)

And here. (Ok, so this one’s a little dry, but you can scope where we review studies.)

Anyway, this example in particular found that certain types of Parkinson’s drugs may cause major heart problems in certain types of patients. The good news is that a more effective Parkinson’s drug appears to be near completion thanks to the KDI breakthrough from last year (KDI is a protein that appears to play a role in preventing certain neurological problems). KDI treatment may even help prevent ALS and strokes.

There’s another huge issue surrounding Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and other neurological diseases that I want to draw particular attention to, because it’s infuriating. According to this article, scientists are having a hard time effectively researching potential causes and cures because industry lawsuits – from chemical companies to welding groups – jump all over medical studies that link environmental causes to these diseases. This is something you can personally help to change with this clickativity. It will take about 45 seconds. I think it’s more than worth it.

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[tags]Parkinson’s, KDI, Alzheimer’s, politics[/tags]

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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?

[tags] oncology, cancer risk, cell mutation, cancer etiology [/tags]

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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.

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.

[tags] Tagamet, Pepcid AC, heartburn, pharmacology, calcium, osteoporosis [/tags]

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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.

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