How Trans Fat Harms Your Memory

tfStory at-a-glance 

Preliminary findings reveal that trans fat is linked to a higher risk of memory impairment

Trans fats may act as a pro-oxidant, contributing to oxidative stress that causes cellular damage Continue reading

Research: A Tsp. of Aloe Daily Reverses Signs of Skin Aging

aloeThere is plenty of research that indicates that the unnaturally accelerated aging process associated with modern living and/or natural environmental exposures such as excessive ultraviolet radiation (photo-aging) can be slowed. In fact, over 150 natural substances have been indexed on aging in the GreenMedInfo.com project with Continue reading

Green Tea and Tai Chai Team Up to Protect Bones

Green tea is one of the latest superfoods making its way into bottled waters and energy drinks.  You’ll even find it in energy bars, mints, chewing gum and ice cream. It has many claimed health benefits.  Texas researchers add to the list with evidence that green tea aids in the prevention of osteoporosisContinue reading

Study Finds a Strong Link between Cell Phone Use and Cancer

Study Finds A Strong Link Between Cell Phone Use and CancerThe dangers of cell phone use have long been debated but for the first time a clear connection between cell phone use and higher risk of cancer has been established in a study by Tel Aviv University.

Scientists from TAU, Rabin Medical Center and the Technion examined the saliva content of 20 long-term heavy cell phone users, defined as a mean of 12 years of 30 hours per week of use. Continue reading

Can Antioxidants Prevent Skin Cancer?

Research from scientists from Brussels has confirmed that skin cancer is related directly to oxidative stress – and other research shows antioxidants reduce oxidative stress.

 The new research comes from the Brussels’ Central Hospital, University of Charleroi, and the Hospital Vesale Experimental Medicine Laboratory at Continue reading

From Tomb to Table: Cumin’s Health Benefit’s Rediscovered

cuminTraded along spice routes separating ancient cultures by vast distances, spices like cumin were once worth their weight in gold. Has modern science now revealed why, beyond their remarkable aesthetic value, they were so highly prized?

Many spices are perfectly happy living a charmed life as Continue reading

Value of Zinc and Chromium

chroKeeping your blood sugar under control is no picnic — in fact, if you’ve been dealing with type 2 diabetes, I’m guessing your favorite picnic foods have been off the menu for some time.

The fact is, diabetes is more than a mealtime nuisance. It’s a deadly wrecking ball that unleashes oxidative stress on your heart and Continue reading

How Exercise Influences Hunger and Weight Loss

Story at-a-glance

  • Recent research shows that 45 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise in the morning may reduce food cravings, both immediately afterward and throughout the day
  • Exercising first thing in the morning, especially if done on an empty stomach, has been shown to have a number of health benefits, Continue reading

Which Foods Are Best for the Brain?

Diet is inextricably linked to conditions such as heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. However, what we consume also seems to have significant implications for the brain: Unhealthy diets may increase risk for psychiatric and neurologic conditions, such as depression and dementia, whereas healthy diets may be protective.

Make for Malta in Depression, Stroke, and Dementia

A 2009 study published in Archives of General Psychiatry found that people who follow Mediterranean dietary patterns — that is, a diet high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fish, and unsaturated fat (common in olive and other plant oils) — are up to 30% less likely to develop depression than those who typically consume meatier, dairy-heavy fare.[1] The olive oil-inclined also show a lower risk for ischemic stroke[2,3] and are less likely to develop mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer disease, particularly when they engage in higher levels of physical activity.[4,5] Continue reading

Winter Tips for Cardio Health: Protect your Cold, Cold Heart

Though winter’s best known for colds and flu, it’s also a time to protect your heart. Dim, wintry sunlight means less vitamin D and more depression, risk factors for heart problems. Comfort food, holiday treats and less exercise can lead to heart-threatening body fat. So ’tis the season to melt your cold, cold heart and make simple but powerful lifestyle changes that boost cardio wellness and may save your life.

State of the Heart

National statistics show that an American suffers a heart attack every 25 seconds. That kind of danger means that taking measures to support your circulation and cardiovascular system is critical, especially during the cold months. Continue reading

Protect Your Brain with These Fruits

Meet the new brain food — citrus fruit! This latest health news comes on the heels of a new study that says citrus fruits contain special nutrients that could protect your brain from damage. It all has to do with citrus’ ability to act as an antioxidant.

Why are healing foods that have a high antioxidant rating so important to your health? Antioxidants help to combat oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is that process in which free radicals build up in your cells. This usually happens just as your cells are converting nutrients into energy. The free radicals damage different parts of your cells just like rust will attack and slowly spread through the metal on your car.

The good news in all of this is that free radicals can be counteracted by antioxidants. Continue reading

Fight HPV Infections with This

The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is in the health news a lot these days — and for good reason. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection today. As a virus, HPV is also incredibly versatile, with over 100 different strains.

Of course, not all the variations of HPV infection are dangerous; some are fought off by your immune system before any harm is done. Other forms of the virus, on the other hand, could lead to cancers in the reproductive organs of both men and women, or the throat. As much as 75% of sexually active people are likely to get at least one genital HPV infection in their lifetime.

In particular, HPV can cause health problems for women. The development of cervical cancer is thought to be directly linked to the presence of HPV. Of course, it’s true that other factors are involved in the onset of cervical cancer — HPV likely doesn’t act completely on its own. Researchers point to oxidative stress as a promoting factor in the development of HPV-induced cervical tumors.

Now, guess Continue reading

Ashwagandha is the Super Adaptogen

Life in the 21st century is full of stress in the form of emotional setbacks, environmental toxins, physical trauma & poor nutrition. This stress depletes the body of critical nutrients and causes oxidation of various cellular elements. Ashwagandha is an adaptogenic herb that helps the body successfully adapt to stressful conditions.

Ashwagandha is also called Indian ginseng, winter cherry, & Withania Somnifera. Although it grows naturally in North America and Africa, it is most commonly associated with the Ayurvedic traditions of the east. Ayurveda is an ancient philosophy and application of natural health common in India and the Far East. This tradition is known to use the roots of the Withania Somnifera plant to prepare Ashwagandha. This herb has been used for a myriad of health conditions throughout the centuries by Ayurvedic medicine men.

Ashwagandha Improves Neurological Function: Continue reading

The Importance of Magnesium

The essential element magnesium has important anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A lack of it is associated with a wide range of medical problems, from heart irregularities to asthma. Unfortunately, because of our poor diets, many of us don’t get enough magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency is very common, especially in those who eat a Western diet high in red meats, fats, and sugars, and low in fresh fruits and vegetables. Also, carbonated sodas deplete the body’s supply of magnesium. Americans, both young and old, gulp down these dangerous sodas at a frantic pace. As many as 75 percent of Americans eat diets deficient in magnesium, and two-thirds of these people are significantly deficient.

Magnesium is critical for the healthy function of blood vessels as well as for every tissue and organ in the body. Consider some of its important functions:

• Produces energy Continue reading

Smoking Could Harm Sperm, Study Finds

Two new studies provide evidence that smoking can harm sperm – both in smoking men who may become fathers, and in sons born to women who smoked during pregnancy.

The research also suggests that both men and women who hope to conceive should kick the habit.

“The results of the present study suggest a negative biological effect of smoking on spermatozoa DNA integrity,” said the lead author of one study, Dr. Mohamed E. Hammadeh, head of the assisted reproductive laboratory in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of the Saarland in Saar, Germany.

Research by Hammadeh and his colleagues showed that men who smoke heavily may experience fertility problems stemming from a drop in levels of a protein crucial to sperm development, as well as damage to sperm’s DNA.

Another study suggests that women who smoke early in their pregnancy may ultimately compromise their sons’ reproductive health.

Both studies are published in the Sept. 8 online issue of Human Reproduction.

In the first study, Hammadeh’s team compared sperm from 53 heavy smokers (more than 20 cigarettes a day) against that of 63 nonsmokers.

After three to four days of sexual abstinence, a single semen sample was taken from all study participants, to measure levels of two forms of a specific type of protein found in sperm, called protamines. According to the researchers, protamines are key players in sperm development, helping to spur on the process by which chromosomes are formed and packaged during cell division.

Hammadeh and colleagues found that in the smoking group, one form of protamine appeared at levels that were 14 percent below concentrations observed in the sperm of nonsmoking men. This was enough to constitute a form of “protamine deficiency” and, in turn, raise risks for infertility among the smokers.

What’s more, smoking-linked “oxidative stress” appeared tied to an increase in damage to sperm DNA, the team reported.

According to Hammadeh, past attempts to clarify the relationship between cigarette smoking and male infertility have had trouble identifying a molecular mechanism underlying any such link. So he believes the new finding should help convince male smokers struggling with infertility to kick the habit.

“Because of the fact that cigarette smoke contains mutagens and carcinogens, there have been concerns that smoking may have adverse effects on male reproduction,” Hammadeh noted. The new findings help bear that out, he said.

The second study was led by Dr. Claus Yding Andersen, a professor of human reproductive physiology at the University Hospital of Copenhagen in Denmark. It focused on the impact of maternal smoking during the first trimester of pregnancy upon the development of the male fetus.

In this case, the authors analyzed tissue from the testes of 24 embryos that had been aborted between 37 and 68 days following conception.

After classifying the prospective mothers according to smoking habits, the research team found that the number of so-called “germ cells” — cells that develop into sperm in males and eggs in females — were 55 percent lower in the testes of embryos obtained from women who smoked. This observation held regardless of the mother’s alcohol and coffee consumption habits.

As well, embryonic levels of so-called “somatic cells” (those that go on to form other types of tissue) were 37 percent lower among those women who smoked.

In both the case of germ and somatic cells, drop-offs in levels appeared to be “dose-dependent,” meaning that the more the prospective mother smoked, the lower the number of cells grown by the embryo.

Based on these findings early in fetal growth, Anderson and his colleagues conclude that the apparent impact of smoking on cellular production might continue in male offspring carried to term. And that could mean a higher risk of impaired fertility in sons.

According to the Danish team, their earlier research involving female embryos also revealed “germ cell” reductions of about 40 percent for embryos taken from women who smoked during pregnancy. This suggests that maternal smoking in pregnancy may harm the reproductive health of both male and female offspring.

“Our results provide health care professionals who talk to women who are considering conceiving, or have conceived just recently, with a ‘here and now’ argument to convince them to stop smoking,” Anderson said. “Because the negative effect of smoking appears to take place right from conception and during the early days [of gestation], when the human embryo becomes differentiated into either a girl or a boy.”