Unlocking France’s Secrets to Raw Cheese

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In France, traditional cheese makers strive to understand the microbial communities in raw milk, and thereby in their cheese, in order to harness the natural power of beneficial microbes to keep the bad ones in check Continue reading

Bee-Washing: It’s Pollination Week? Where Are the Bees?

bbeeStory at-a-glance

25,000 bumblebees were found dead in an Oregon parking lot just as National Pollinator Week recently kicked off

The bees were reported Continue reading

Europe Bans Bee-Killing Neonicotinoid Pesticides: When will America Take Action?

beecolonyA major victory for the world’s bee populations has been achieved in Europe, where a majority of European Union (EU) member states voted recently to ban the use of bee-harming neonicotinoid pesticides across the entire continent for at least two years. In an overwhelming vote of 15 to 8, these member states decided that, Continue reading

Analysis Finds Flu Vaccine Efficacy Lacking, as Flu Vaccines are Suspended across Europe and Canada

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  • A recent review found that flu vaccines may not offer protection as previously thought. The elderly, in particular, do not appear to receive measureable value from the flu shot. Trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines also didn’t offer much protection to children over the age of seven Continue reading

Sodium Buildup in Brain Linked to Disability in Multiple Sclerosis

A buildup of sodium in the brain detected by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be a biomarker for the degeneration of nerve cells that occurs in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology.

The study found that patients with early-stage MS showed Continue reading

What is Auriculotherapy?

Auriculotherapy is the stimulation of the auricle of the external ear for the diagnosis and treatment of health conditions in other parts of the body. It is also known as ear acupuncture or auricular acupuncture when the stimulation is achieved by the insertion of acupuncture needles, whereas the term auriculotherapy often refers to electrical stimulation of the surface of ear reflex points. Specific points on the ear can also be stimulated by manual pressure, referred to as auricular acupressure or ear reflexology. Acupuncture points on the ear Continue reading

US Spends far more for Health Care than 12 Industrialized Nations, but Quality Varies

US spending linked to higher prices and greater use of medical technology, not more doctor visits or hospital stays

The United States spends more on health care Continue reading

New Lavender Oil Clinically Proven to Relieve Occasional Anxiety

Lavender essential oils have been used in European hospitals, mainly France, for treating burns. But that is not the only application of lavender that has proven itself. Insomnia and anxiety relief are the most common uses aside from burns.

The herb’s Latin title is Lavandula angustifolia, more commonly known as English or garden lavender. It grows abundantly in fields along the Mediterranean shores of Europe, mostly France. You may have noticed those fields as visual subjects from some famous artists.

It’s commonly sold and used as an essential oil for aromatherapy or made into a tea from the lavender leaves. The oil can be applied to the skin for transdermal absorption. Continue reading

Loud Music Makes You Drink More

Beware of loud music at your favorite watering hole. Research in France, shows that when the volume goes up, so does your tendency to drink more and faster.

To determine music’s influence on alcohol consumption, scientists collaborated with bar owners to observe drinking behavior among patrons as the researchers surreptitiously manipulated the loudness of music from a jukebox. They found that as they cranked up the sound, people’s drinking also cranked up.

“… High sound levels may have caused higher arousal, which led the subjects to drink faster and to order more drinks,”” says Nicolas Guéguen, a professor of behavioral sciences at the Université de Bretagne-Sud in France. “(Or) loud music may have had a negative effect on social interaction in the bar, so that patrons drank more because they talked less.”

Other research has also shown that as the tempo of the music increases, so does the tempo of drinking. In contrast, silence has been shown to be more conducive to reduced alcohol. Continue reading

The Benefits of Sea Salts

Believe it or not, salt is good for your health! But why do we often hear our doctors advise us to stay away from salt or salt-treated foods? Yet we need salt to balance our diet. So are all salts the same? What really makes sea salt different from a regular salt? Let us take a closer look on the big difference between regular table salt and sea salt.

Our old table salt is highly refined, going through a process that removes the magnesium and trace minerals. Various additives are added, like aluminum compound to keep it dry. The natural iodine is destroyed during its refining process and only added back in the form of potassium iodide. As for sea salt, it is naturally dried under the heat of the sun. Therefore retains its natural iodine from the sea. It also means there is still large mineral content. With sea salt you don’t need to use too much of it since it has much stronger flavor than table salt.

According to Ayurveda doctors, sea salts are the most beneficial forms of salt because they don’t increase the sodium content of blood,  Continue reading

Regular Olive Oil Consumption Reduces Heart Stroke by 40%

Critical research released in the industry publication journal Neurology from the American Academy of Neurology provides evidence that regular consumption of olive oil can help lower the risk of stroke. The study examined individuals over the age of 65 that are most vulnerable to the devastating effects of a stroke. Scientists suggest that olive oil taken as part of a healthy diet can lower the life-altering risks associated with a stroke by 41% in the elderly. Based on this body of work, researchers “suggest that a new set of dietary recommendations should be issued to prevent stroke in people 65 and older.”

To conduct the study, researchers examined the medical records of 7,625 aging adults 65 or older from three cities in France. Participants were in generally good health and had no prior history of stroke. Olive oil consumption was determined by use of dietary questionnaire and usage was broken down into three groups (none, moderate and intense) based on regular consumption habits. It is significant to note that virtually Continue reading

Improve Your Health by Eating Olive Oil

Another new study has confirmed what we’ve known for quite some time – Olive oil contributes to better health.

According to researchers who followed about 7,000 people aged 65 and older in three French cities for five years, olive oil can help greatly reduce the incidence of stroke.

Scientists conducting the study said they found that people who used a lot of olive oil either in their cooking or as a dip for bread and other foods had lower rates of stroke than people who never use it.

The scientists, who published their results in the medical journal Neurology, say people should be given new advice about their diets to include wider use of olive oil, based on the study’s results. Continue reading

Vision not needed for Brain to Read

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem: The portion of the brain responsible for visual reading doesn’t require vision at all, according to a new study by researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and France.

Brain imaging studies of blind people as they read words in Braille show activity in precisely the same part of the brain that lights up when sighted readers read. The findings challenge the textbook notion that the brain is divided up into regions that are specialized for processing information coming in via one sense or another, the researchers say.

“The brain is not a sensory machine, although it often looks like one; it is a task machine,” said Dr. Amir Amedi of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, head of the team of researchers whose work on the topic is reported in the latest issue of Current Biology. Continue reading