A Burning Question – Got the -itis? Bronch-itis, arthr-itis, gingiv-itis? The -itis signifies inflammation, as in flame and burning, but inflammation is also at the root of cancers, heart disease and the rest. Inflammation is an acute and usually obvious “get to the doctor” problem where Continue reading
Vitamin P – Pleasure – is a vital element that makes our meals nutritionally complete and makes life worth living. Like all organisms on the planet, we humans are genetically programmed to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Continue reading
Once used by ancient civilizations as offerings to their gods, cacao has a long and colorful history. Cacao beans – which are actually the seeds of the Theobroma cacao tree – are native to South America and the West Indies.
The raw beans have been used in beverages and foods for more Continue reading
One of the risk factors for the heart arrives through the eardrums. Studies have suggested that people who work or live in constantly loud environments may have weakened hearts. More to the point, long-term exposure to blaring noises is believed now to be triggering fatal heart disease.
Noise pollution is well-known, Continue reading
Some of the best health advice out there is to hang out in nature as often as your schedule allows. That goes particularly for people whose lives are under stress, according to a new health tip. Researchers found that parks and forests help people cope when depression, anxiety and stress has entered their lives.
The study showed that stress levels of unemployed people are linked more to their surroundings than to all other facts that could be contributing to stress — including lack of disposable income. The presence of parks and woodland in economically deprived areas may help people cope better with job losses, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic fatigue, and anxiety.
The key lay in the color green. Researchers specifically found Continue reading
Obesity is common among patients with mental illness, occurring in up to 60% of patients with bipolar disorder, 70% of patients with schizophrenia, and 55% of patients with depression. A review by Taylor and colleagues in the current issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry analyzes why mental illness is associated with higher rates of obesity. Although the use of psychoactive medications is an obvious reason for weight gain in this patient population, there is also evidence that disturbance of the sleep-wake cycle may promote a resistance to leptin, which promotes satiety, and higher levels of circulating ghrelin, which stimulates appetite. In addition, depression is associated with higher levels of circulating cortisol, which promotes weight gain. Finally, both mood disorders and obesity are marked by dopaminergic deficits. Continue reading
Narcissism has a higher health cost for men
The personality trait narcissism may have an especially negative effect on the health of men, according to a recent study published in PLoS ONE.
“Narcissistic men may be paying a high price in terms of their physical health, in addition to the psychological cost to their relationships,” says Sara Konrath, a University of Michigan psychologist who co-authored the study.
Earlier studies by Konrath and others have shown that the level of narcissism is rising in American culture, and that narcissism tends to be more prevalent among males. The personality trait is characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance, overestimations of uniqueness, and a sense of grandiosity.
For the new study, Konrath and colleagues David Reinhard of the University of Virginia, and William Lopez and Heather Cameron of the University of Michigan examined the role of narcissism and sex on cortisol levels in a sample of 106 undergraduate students. Continue reading
TORONTO-A new study by York University researchers finds that practicing yoga reduces the physical and psychological symptoms of chronic pain in women with fibromyalgia.
The study is the first to look at the effects of yoga on cortisol levels in women with fibromyalgia. The condition, which predominantly affects women, is characterized by chronic pain and fatigue; common symptoms include muscle stiffness, sleep disturbances, gastrointestinal discomfort, anxiety and depression.
Previous research has found that women with fibromyalgia have lower-than-average cortisol levels, which contribute to pain, fatigue and stress sensitivity. Continue reading
Changing bad memories into good ones could be just a pill away, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. Researchers from the University of Montreal in Canada say that metyrapone, a drug that blocks the “stress hormone” cortisol, also appears to alter patients’ memories and minimizing their recollection of negative events — but is this actually a good thing?
For their study, Marie-France Marin and her team evaluated the effects of metyrapone on a group of young men shown a slide show that documented the serious injury of a young girl. In it, the girl is building a birdhouse with her grandparents until a serious accident lands her in the emergency room. Continue reading
New research shows that pomegranate juice may help to reduce blood pressure. The findings will be presented today at the 2011 Society for Endocrinology conference in Birmingham, UK.
Researcher Dr Emad Al-Dujaili from Queen Margaret University looked at how a daily dose of pomegranate juice might affect blood pressure. The study consisted of 20 participants: 10 took a daily dose of 500ml pomegranate juice and 10 took a placebo of 500ml water. Measurements of blood pressure and urinary hormone levels were taken before and after 30 minutes of exercise, both before starting the study and one week after pomegranate juice.
People who drank the pomegranate juice showed Continue reading
In addition to food, water, and air, sleep is the one thing we truly can’t live without. But experts say more and more women are falling short on shut-eye, and staring at the ceiling all night isn’t just frustrating—it can also be life threatening. Studies show that one in six fatal car accidents are caused by sleep-deprived drivers, and according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF), the 40 million Americans who now suffer from sleep disorders are at higher risk for a slew of serious health issues. Here, what’s behind the insomnia epidemic, plus fast-acting solutions for getting quality sleep.
The Vitamin Z Deficiency Continue reading
Love is the most powerful emotion you will ever experience, and studies show that while you are feeling it, endorphins and immune cells are produced in great number, boosting your health and longevity. For Valentine’s Day, share love and health with the special people in your life and lengthen your years.
1. Love = a Healthy Heart
Many studies have shown that relationships play a role in heart health. A study from the University of Texas Research, conducted with rabbits, found that love can reduce plaque buildup in your arteries, helping reduce overall risk of heart attack. In this study, rabbits were fed an artery-blocking diet, and some of the rabbits received love and affection while the others received none. The surprising results revealed that the rabbits given tender loving care had 60% less plaque buildup than their counterparts.
2. Get an Immune Boost with Love
Love in your life might just save you from the flu. One study showed that a five-minute episode of feeling genuine care or compassion enhanced the whole immune system, causing a gradual climb in secretory immunoglobulin A (IgA), your body’s natural antibody against colds, flu, and other invading germs. Even watching movies about love or altruism, petting a fluffy animal pal, and practicing selfless service for others has been shown to increase levels of IgA.
3. Keep in Touch with Your Loved Ones
Human touch, long recognized as a powerful healing technique, increases your body’s production of endorphins, growth hormone, and DHEA, all of which lengthen your life span and lower the negative impact of stress. In fact, studies have found that unconscious patients who are regularly touched recover faster than those who are not touched. Researchers have also observed that orphaned babies stop growing and even die from the lack of touch and love. So hug, cuddle, and massage your loved ones to live longer.
4. Connect with Friends to Increase Your Lifespan
Humans have depended on one another for survival since time immemorial, and indeed, many studies have found that even today, people rich in social and community support are more likely to live longer than those with weak social connections. Even people with unhealthy lifestyles tend to live longer than people lacking in social and community support. According to a study recently put out by Brigham Young University, spending time with friends has an extremely positive effect on health and can cut your risk of an early death in half. Julianne Holt-Lunstad, the research team’s head said that lacking in social relationships “was equivalent to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day.” If you find yourself spending most of your time alone, reach out. Offer to babysit for family members or join groups of people who share similar interests and gather together in person. Feel your presence in the world and make it felt by others.
5. Prescription for Longevity: A Happy Marriage
Research has confirmed that happily married couples live, on average, four years longer than single people. According to one study, nearly 100 percent of male centenarians are married or have only recently been widowed. Psychologists attribute the increased life span to the sense of interconnectedness with another human being. Studies have indicated that a happy marriage improves your mood, positively affects your dietary decisions, and leads to a larger social network of friends — three major factors of longevity. People in a marriage also tend to take better care of each other; and feeling that someone would care for you in times of illness appears to increase the sense of security about the future, cutting back on stress.
Studies suggest that the longer a marriage lasts, the greater the rewards. These days, there are many forms of spouse-like relationships that may benefit in similar ways. But not all relationships positively affect our health. Other research has found that marriage problems may increase risk for heart disease by 34% and tend to result in a lower survival rate in women with breast cancer.
Bonus tip: If you have recently ended a relationship, you can strengthen your spirit with affirmations and invocations. Consider listening to Invocations for Health, Longevity, and Healing a Broken Heart, a powerful set of guided invocations.
6. Healthy Loving Lengthens Your Life Span
Healthy sex, nature’s fountain of youth, raises your levels of endorphins, DHEA, and growth hormone, which increase longevity. At the same time, sex lowers levels of the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol, which decrease your life span. A Duke University study showed that women who were happy with their sex lives could live up to eight years longer compared with women who were indifferent to their sex lives. While healthy loving adds years to your life, it also takes years off your face, making you actually look younger. Studies show that people who are highly satisfied with their sex life looked 4 to 7 years younger than their peers. This results from reduced stress, greater happiness, and better sleep. So before you invest in a costly makeover, try improving your sex life.
If love equals health, how to manifest love? Begin by loving yourself. For your relationships, share your time, energy, and self with your loved ones. Look for ways to give back and make them happy. For instance, you might cook a meal or do the dishes as a pleasant surprise. Or you might send them a card, listing their many special qualities. It does not need to be elaborate or expensive, but it should show that you care and appreciate them. As you give freely of your love, you will receive meaningful love in return.
You can find many more ways that love helps you live to 100 in Secrets of Longevity: Hundreds of Ways to Live to Be 100, which is now available on Kindle. If you are interested in a structured longevity program, check out my new book Secrets of Longevity 8-Week Program, a journal that will transform your health and lengthen your years.
I invite you to visit often and share your own personal health and longevity tips with me.
Courtesy of Dr.Mao