How to Improve Your Exercise Endurance

Exercise is a very popular topic in medical circles. It’s indisputable that exercise contributes to all sorts of important health benefits. Exercise gets your heart working more efficiently, pumps extra blood to your organs and tissues, improves balance and mobility, strengthens your immune system so that it can better fight disease, and triggers protective effects Continue reading

Following a Trail of Blood: a New Diagnostic Tool Comes of Age

Blood tests have been a mainstay of diagnostic medicine since the late 19th century, offering a wealth of information concerning health and disease. Nevertheless, blood derived from the human umbilical cord has yet to be fully mined for its vital health information, according to Rolf Halden, a researcher at Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute. Continue reading

Milk Thistle Provides a Protective Shield to the Liver, Heart and Brain

The liver is one of the most critical organs essential to human health. It serves more than 300 functions in the body to detoxify against chemical and environmental intrusions, and it promotes metabolic function as well. Silymarin is commonly known as milk thistle, and new science is emerging to validate the healing potential of this powerful plant. Publishing in the journal Hepatitis Monthly, researchers provide solid evidence that natural milk thistle extracts can halt and even reverse the effects of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), an affliction affecting as much as a third of the adult population. Supplementation with milk thistle will dramatically lower the risks associated with fatty liver disease, atherosclerosis and cognitive dysfunction.

NAFLD is a significant health concern that is growing at an unprecedented rate due to the obesity and diabetes epidemic currently gripping most western societies. The condition is caused in part by excess accumulation of fats (triglycerides) in the cellular matrix of the liver that results in suboptimal function of the organ. Left unchecked, the disease can result in cell injury and damage, in inflammation and ultimately in cirrhosis as the liver becomes less able to perform the multitude of tasks essential to life. Continue reading

Bromelain has Powerful Anti-Cancer Properties

Bromelain is a natural digestive enzyme extracted from pineapples. The nutrient is rapidly taking its place aside many of the most powerful natural agents in the war on cancer and other chronic conditions that take the lives of millions each year. Research published in Cancer Letters explains the protease enzyme exhibits multiple actions including anti-inflammatory and immune cell activation that can deal a powerful blow to cancer development. Include bromelain in your supplemental regimen to benefit from the potent anti-cancer properties now attributed to this amazing pineapple enzyme.

Similar to super nutrients such as resveratrol, curcumin and green tea extract, bromelain is a potent compound that fights cancer by dissolving unnecessary tissue throughout the body. Bromelain breaks down scar tissue and other debris  Continue reading

Longer, More Regular Sleep May Reduce Childhood Obesity

Promoting longer, more regular sleep, even catching up at weekends on sleep lost in the week, may help reduce the incidence of childhood obesity, concluded US researchers in a new study published online in a leading journal this week.

You can read how Dr David Gozal, Professor and Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Chicago Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois, and colleagues, arrived at this conclusion in a paper published online on 24 January in the journal Pediatrics.

Previous studies have already reported that insufficient sleep is linked to an increased risk of obesity in children, but in this study, Gozal and colleagues set out specifically to explore the effect of duration and regularity of sleep on BMI and metabolic regulation in children.

BMI stands for Body Mass Index, a measure of obesity, expressed in kg per meter squared, and equal to a person’s weight divided by the square of their height.

For this cross-sectional study, they recruited 308 community-resident children aged 4 to 10 years, and measured their BMIs, their blood glucose before eating in the morning, insulin, blood fats and cholesterol. In a sub-sample group, they also measured levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (an “inflammation” marker used to assess risk of cardiovascular disease).

The children wore wrist monitors for a week. These measured physical activity and allowed the researchers to assess how often, when the children slept, and how long for, over the week.

The results showed that:

* The children slept for 8 hours every night on average, regardless of their BMI.

* However, there was also a non-linear trend between sleep and weight.

* The children in the obese BMI range, slept fewer hours and showed greater variability in the differences between weekend sleep time and school days sleep time.

* Children whose BMI was in the overweight range, showed an inconsistent sleep pattern.

* Analysis of sleep patterns and blood markers showed that high variance in sleep duration, or shorter sleep duration, was more likely to be linked to altered levels of insulin, LDL cholesterol, and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein.

* Children who slept the least, particularly those who also had irregular sleep patterns, showed the greatest health risk (ie the riskiest combination of BMI and blood markers).

The researchers found that just an extra half hour of sleep every night was linked to lower BMI and reduced pattern of risky blood markers.

And they also found that catching up with sleep at the weekend was linked to a lower risk of obesity, they wrote that:

“Obese children were less likely to experience ‘catch-up’ sleep on weekends, and the combination of shorter sleep duration and more-variable sleep patterns was associated with adverse metabolic outcomes.”

They concluded that:

“Educational campaigns, aimed at families, regarding longer and more-regular sleep may promote decreases in obesity rates and may improve metabolic dysfunction trends in school-aged children.”