A Refresher in Good Old Hand Washing

You know that coughing and sneezing spreads germs and contagious diseases and you also know that proper hand washing is essential to stopping the spread of these germs. Many people mistakenly believe that quickly flicking their hands under the water and drying them on their pants is proper hand washing. This is just not so. Most people miss under their finger nails and in the cracks between fingers.  The viruses that cause cold and flu can also live on surfaces such as doorknobs. They can be spread from hand to hand in this way. Proper hand washing can stop the spread of MRSA, cold, flu and other infectious diseases. It also prevents antibiotic resistance. People who work in medical settings need to wash their hands properly, but it does not stop there. This is something everyone needs to be doing even at home. There are times when washing your hands is a necessity. These times are after you blow your nose, after food preparation and when they are visibly dirty. Hands should be washed more frequently when there is someone in the home that is ill. Proper technique is...

Project New Hope

So my Mom (Dar) shows up at my office to bring me information about something she talked a bit about a few days ago.  It's a program called "Project New Hope" and they help Veterans and their families with a variety of things after wartime service. I have to admit, when she first brought this up, I didn't get it.  I guess I was picturing a steely-eyed Navy Seal getting lectured by his new pencil neck civilian boss.  I thought, he might not like it, but he'll adapt to the new environment in no time... he doesn't need a group like "Project New Hope" to help him make that change.  Yep, that's how thick I can be.projectnewhope_ma2 Ma quickly let me know that every Veteran has his/her own set of circumstances.  She told me that 25% of all homeless are combat Veterans and the suicide rates for Veterans aged 20-24 are 4 times higher than civilians.  She told me to imagine being an 18 year old kid working at McDonalds who gets activated with his local guard unit and...

Candida – Carbs, Corn and Candex… What the Heck is Candex?

Candida can cause brain fog, fatigue, a whole host of other illnesses and of course yeast infections.  A full 75% of women will develop a yeast infection (Candida albicans) in their lifetime and many women will battle this over and over again.  Now either these single celled yeasts got clever and unionized or something else is going on. Normally Candida albicans lives harmlessly in perfect harmony with the rest of our intestinal flora, but like most things, we are our own worst enemy.  We set the stage by creating the right environment for Candida to flourish.  Overuse of antibiotics kill off good bacteria and make room for more yeast.  Yeast feeds on sugar and we help to the tune of 135 pounds per year... that's over 5 times as much as we consumed 20 years ago.  Other factors like stress, poor digestion, alcohol and oral contraceptives all play a role in creating this yeast friendly environment.

So what can we do?

We can all start by limiting our sugar intake.  Add more fresh greens to your...

Widespread Deficiencies in Vitamin D Bring Cloudy Days

Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin. It is produced in our skin when we are in sunlight and, in fact, we actually get very little of this vitamin from the food we eat. As a result, you might think that it is one of the last vitamins we should be worrying about when it comes to deficiencies of nutritional substances; however, a recent report shows that worldwide more and more people are suffering from low levels of this vitamin. The consequences of deficiencies are significant. This particular vitamin works together with calcium and is important, not only for keeping our organs in peak condition, but also for the normal development and strength of bones. Low levels of the vitamin in adults can increase the risk of osteoporosis and hip fractures. In children, it can lead to rickets which is where the bones become soft and can fracture or even become deformed.

Deficiencies On The Increase Around The Globe

This recent research was undertaken by the expert working group of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) and was published in Osteoporosis International. In the study, the group researched the incidence...

Inflammation’s Role In Developing Alzheimer’s Disease

Inflammation is a natural and necessary healing response produced by the body, but what role might it have in developing Alzheimer's disease? Inflammation has been getting much attention as it is found to have many negative effects on the body and it is being deemed the culprit causing many diseases. Recent research by William Banks, MD may provide a "one-two punch in giving clues on how Alzheimer's disease develops and could be treated." It seems that increased accumulation of a protein in the brain causes detriment and results in the negative affects seen by the disease. This protein is usually present in the body and brain, but it can exit the brain and becomes absorbed by the blood stream. Because it leaves the brain, it does no damage and thus a person's cognition and brain function remains unaffected. With the presence of inflammation, the pump that pushes this protein out does not function as is required. A broken pump means excessive protein build up and therefore more damage. If Inflammation Is Decreased Does Alzheimer's Disease Disappear? According to the research, keeping inflammation at bay means that...

New Plus for Breastfeeding

The benefits of breastfeeding are well known but recent research has provided further information on how mother's milk can promote healthy newborns. This comes in the form of the discovery of an ingredient in breast milk which protects and repairs any damage to the digestive tract of newborns. This function is very important as a baby's intestines are extremely delicate. They have not yet been introduced to food and drink; therefore it doesn't take much to injure them and precautions are paramount.

Substance In Breast Milk Protects Intestines

This special protective ingredient in breast milk is pancreatic secretory trypsin inhibitor, or PSTI. As the name suggests, it is typically found in the pancreas. The function of the pancreas is to produce powerful enzymes for use in digestion. In the process, the pancreas itself needs protection against these enzymes and this is the function of PSTI. It therefore makes sense that the inhibitor can also be used in the digestive system to prevent unnecessary harm and to keep it healthy. The research into PSTI and breast milk was led by Professor Ray Playford of Barts and the London School of...

Hydration: How Much Is Too Much Water?

For years the military has been at the fore-front of experiments using humans and their recent tests on hydration are following suit. The April 2009 study examined volunteers in a laboratory "under varying conditions of work intensity and duration, environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity, and types of clothing." Some of these variable were chosen in order to better refine, and perhaps replace, the formula that has been used since 1982 to determine sweat rate and water needs. Water accounts for a large percentage of the military's cost when sending soldiers overseas. They must take into account it's price, storage, piping, distribution, sourcing, etc so honing in on the needs is paramount to a successful mission. This new formula shows promise at being more accurate and allows for water needs to be estimated for a person working 8 hours vs the old standard of 2 hours. Technology has brought about changes in clothing that helps soldiers with temperature regulation and thus changes their sweat rate and the amount of water they need to stay hydrated. Early indicators show the new formula to be accurate...

Beat the Blues with a Daily Dose of Positive Thinking

These days there is much hype around positive thinking and how this is the key to happiness and satisfaction in life. We are told to keep an upbeat mindset through thick and thin in order to come out tops everywhere and every time. However, recent research has shown that such extreme, and possibly not always obtainable, levels of positivity are not necessary for us to benefit greatly. All it takes is an awareness of the good moments throughout the day and we will build up resilience to the ups and downs of life. Barbara Fredrickson, Ph.D., Kenan Distinguished Professor of Psychology in UNC's College of Arts and Sciences, and the principal investigator of the Positive Emotions and Psychophysiology Laboratory was involved in a month-long study where 86 participants were required to submit "emotion reports" on a daily basis. Typically in trials happiness levels are assessed using a person's recollection of their life experience over prior months. This daily reporting method, however, is much more accurate, as a person finds it easier to recall feelings on a daily basis. Furthermore, researchers can also obtain information on variations...

Powerful Pills Of Resveratrol

It has been stated that red wine contains resveratrol which may extend life span. This chemical is naturally produced in plants and serves to help a stressed plant combat pathogens and return it to a normal state by acting like an antibiotic. Many plants and plant parts contain it including roots, vines, and stocks, but it is predominant in the skin of grapes. Because grape skins spend longer amounts of time during the making of red wine, it is considered to have more beneficial effects than its white counterpart. Due to its effects on free radicals, fats, and lipoproteins, red wine components have been touted as superior anti-oxidants. As an extension of these anti-oxidant properties, wine components are being examined for their anti-cancer capabilities. The plant antibiotic may be prevent blood platelets from clumping which in turn could prevent the blood clots that can cause heart attacks. It has properties that prevent extended damage of heart tissue following catastrophic events such as heart attacks. A lot of buzz has been generated about the chemical's benefit and now scientist, doctors, and consumers are looking...

More Deaths from Alzheimer’s Disease & Diabetes: Modern Technologies to Blame

Deaths from Alzheimer's disease & diabetes, as well as Parkinson's, have increased notably over the last 40 years. Alongside this, the use of nitrites and nitrates in food preservation, processing and fertilizers has multiplied hundreds of times over. Recent research links the two, resulting in significant implications for the future use of these chemicals. Nitrites and nitrates are known to be dangerous to humans. The majority of them cause cancer. Nevertheless, we are ingesting more and more of these chemicals daily. Fertilizers are nitrate-based and contaminate both food and water. Manufacturing these pesticides as well as other products such as rubber and cosmetics also increases our exposure to nitrates. When nitrites and proteins interact, nitrosamines are formed. Sodium nitrite is typically added to fish and meat in order to preserve it. So, foods such as processed meats, bacon and certain cheese products, which are high in protein, will contain nitrosamines. Nitrosamines have been studied widely and conclusively found to be carcinogenic. They act at a cellular level and actually damage DNA. This cellular affect is similar to that which occurs in aging as well as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Type...