Guidelines to Help Your Teen Safely and Effectively Improve His or Her Physique

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  • Recent      research shows a disturbing trend among middle and high school teens of      using potentially harmful substances to promote muscle growth, including      steroids Continue reading

Natural Remedy Has Odd Success versus Migraines

The mysteries of Traditional Chinese Medicine run deep and are always interesting. Acupuncture is one of the hallmarks of this ancient style of natural medicine, and it has long been linked to pain relief. In another health breakthrough, researchers found some surprising and still positive results for acupuncture that might interest those who suffer migraine headaches. Continue reading

Strict Diet Cuts Risk of Breast Cancer

LONDON – A strict diet two days a week comprising only vegetables, fruits, milk and a salty beverage could prevent breast cancer.

Women who cut back to just 650 calories a day, twice a week, had significantly lower levels of cancer-causing hormones in their blood, according to a new study.

Researchers said women at high risk of breast cancer could be put on similar diets for the rest of their lives to try to prevent tumours.

The study examined 50 overweight women aged 30 to 45 years who were at a high genetic risk of developing breast cancer as either their mother or sister had suffered from the disease, the Daily Mail reported.

For two days each week, they were limited to eating just a third of the recommended 2,000 calorie daily intake for women, the International Journal of Obesity said.

This had to include four portions of vegetables, one piece of fruit, two pints of semi-skimmed milk or green tea, a diet soft drink or a salty beverage such as a cup of hot Bovril.

For the remainder of the week, they were allowed to eat as much as they wanted, as long as they stuck to healthy food that was relatively low in fat.

After six months, scientists found that the women had far less leptin and insulin in their blood – hormones that can cause cancer.

Leptin fell by an average of 40 percent and insulin by an average of 25 percent.

The women also lost an average of 6.3 kg in weight and recorded a 15 percent drop in levels of the potentially harmful C-reactor protein, which is also known to increase the risk of breast cancer, in their blood.

Michelle Harvie, a dietician specialising in breast cancer, who led the study at the Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester, said: “On the two-day diet you can restrict your calories far more than you would be able to if you were on a diet every single day.”

Which Diet Makes You Happy?

SYDNEY – In the ongoing debate about which diet is the best, here’s a question you may not have heard before: Which diet is most likely to make you happy?

A new study, surprisingly, indicates that when it comes to elevating your mood, not all diets are created equal.

Grant Brinkworth of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization-Food and Nutritional Sciences in Adelaide, Australia, and colleagues studied 106 overweight and obese subjects. Fifty-five of them were put on low-carb, high-fat diets, and 51 were put on a high-carb, low-fat diets.

After a year, both groups had lost about the same amount of weight–an average of about 30 pounds per person. Both groups also scored about the same on tests that measure general thinking abilities. And both groups reported feeling an improvement in mood after the first eight weeks.

But only those on the low-fat diet continued to feel better after that. The moods of those on the high-fat diet fell back to where they were before their diets, the researchers reported in the Nov. 9 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The findings suggest that something about the low-carb diet negates the positive effects of losing weight on mood. They’re not sure what that might be. They speculate that it’s just too difficult to eat a low-carb diet in a culture full of pasta and bread. But maybe there is something about the effects of protein and fat on brain chemicals such as serotonin.

Sudoku Can Make You Fat

QUEBEC – Filling in a Sudoku grid or doing a crossword can make you fat, claims a new study.

The study conducted by Canadian researchers, reported in the journal Psychology and Health, claims that any person who taxes his or her brain on word games uses up energy needed to exercise.

To reach the conclusion, two groups of volunteers were sent for evening gym exercises for eight weeks but one were set a series of mental tests needing concentration by day, reports The Daily Express.

They did not exercise as hard, said Professor Kathleen Martin Ginis.

She added: “They were more likely to skip their exercise ­sessions. You only have so much willpower.”

The professor said: “Willpower is like a muscle. It needs to be ­challenged to build itself.”

White Wine, Beer Can Ruin Appetite

SYDNEY – Wine, developed as a substitute for water not fit for drinking, could have an unhealthy effect on your appetite.

“However, alcohol is a drug that is abused and the repercussion of alcohol abuse over a long time can seriously affect most of the major organs of the body,” says Anna Kokavec, psychologist at the La Trobe University.

Kokavec and colleague Simon Crowe, a professor, are finding out exactly how alcohol affects the body by focusing on the links between alcohol consumption and appetite.

Alcoholics often seek treatment in a highly malnourished condition, “an issue that can lead to health problems like Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome (condition that can lead to forms of amnesia and hallucinations),” says Kokavec.

This malnourishment was often attributed to the ‘poor dietary habits’ of alcoholics, but now Kokavec has uncovered another reason to explain malnourishment in heavy drinkers and the results speak for themselves, according to a La Trobe release.

“We confirmed that certain biochemical processes associated with appetite regulation do change when alcohol was consumed,” says Kokavec.

“The research provides enough evidence to question whether malnutrition and poor dietary behaviour of alcoholics is the fault of the individual or whether it’s the consequences of alcohol and the role it plays in suppressing appetite,” says Kokavec.