Monday, April 28, 2008

Avoiding smoky interiors

Avoiding smoky interiors can help reduce reproductive cancer risk.

A 40-year study recently revealed that non-smoking women who were frequently subjected to secondhand smoke had as much as a 40 percent greater risk of cervical neoplasia -- altered cells that could turn into cervical cancer. Smokers who lived with other smokers had the highest risk. Reduce your exposure to secondhand smoke by restricting tobacco use in your home and limiting time spent in smoky bars, restaurants, and other indoor venues that allow tobacco use.

Smoking is a proven risk factor for lung cancer, and new evidence suggests that it may increase cervical cancer risk as well. Approximately 600,000 women are diagnosed with cervical neoplasia each year; however, a relatively small percentage (13,000 cases) progress to cervical cancer. When cervical neoplasia is detected and treated in the earliest stages, it very rarely develops into cervical cancer. Some studies suggest that a diet high in fruits, vegetables, and certain nutrients -- such as vitamin C, vitamin E, beta carotene, and folate -- may help reduce the risk of cervical neoplasia.

References Published on 03/08/2005.
Active and passive cigarette smoking and the risk of cervical neoplasia. Trimble, C. L., Genkinger, J. M., Burke, A. E., Hoffman, S. C., Helzlsouer, K. J., Diener-West, M., Comstock, G. W., Alberg, A. J., Obstetrics and Gynecology 2005 Jan;105(1):174-181.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Can Muffins Prevent Gallstones?

Gallstones -- those pesky, painful pebbles that plague some people's gallbladders -- are no fun. But could a muffin keep you feeling fine?

Maybe. If it's an oat-bran muffin. Studies show that a diet high in magnesium-rich foods may reduce the risk of gallstones. Oat-bran muffins fit the bill.

The Moderate Muffin
One medium oat-bran muffin will serve up anywhere from 50 to 90 milligrams of magnesium, depending on ingredients. Just don't go eating so many muffins that you turn into one yourself. One of the biggest risk factors for gallstones is extra weight.

provided by

Friday, April 18, 2008

Could This Salad Make You Stronger?

Sweet red peppers, sunflower seeds, and mango chunks atop a bed of spinach sure make for a yummy salad. But could it make you strong like Popeye, too?

According to research, it very well might. Especially if you're over 65. You see, each of those salad ingredients is rich in vitamin E. And seniors who get the most E test best on physical tasks, like how fast they can walk or how quickly they can get up out of a chair.

Why Your Body Needs It
The cells of your body can be damaged by certain by-products released during normal, everyday body functions. But vitamin E helps protect against that damage -- including damage to muscle cells. That may partly explain why not getting enough E puts physical function and strength at risk in seniors.

Should You Supplement?
The RealAge recommended dose of vitamin E is 400 international units per day. If you're not getting what you need from your food, consider adding a supplement.

3 More Reasons to Get Your "E"
E is not just a strength saver. Here’s what else it can do for you -- at any age:
· Boost your brain
· Protect you from Parkinson's.
· Prevent atherosclerosis from getting worse

RealAge Benefit: Taking vitamins C and E daily for their antioxidant and antiaging power can make your RealAge up to 1 year younger.
References Published on 04/16/2008.
Bartali, B., Frongillo, E. A., Guralnik, J. M., Stipanuk, M. H., Allore, H. G., Cherubini, A., Bandinelli, S., Ferrucci, L., Gill, T. M., JAMA 2008 Jan 23;299(3):308-315.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Zyflamend Helps in Early Treatment of Prostate Cancer


New York, November 7, 2005 – Data from the Columbia University Department of Urology demonstrates that Zyflamend®, a unique herbal extract preparation, suppresses the growth of prostate cancer cells and induces prostate cancer cells to self-destruct via a process called “apoptosis.”

The data, published in the October edition of Nutrition and Cancer, showed Zyflamend®, a patented formulation from New Chapter, has the ability, in vitro, to reduce prostate cancer cell proliferation by as much as 78 percent and to induce cancer cell death or apoptosis.

The research confirms Zyflamend® has COX-1 and COX-2 anti-inflammatory effects, although its anti-cancer effects against prostate cancer were independent of COX-2 inhibition, supporting the postulation that some prostate cancer cells are not affected by COX-2 inflammation.

“These results were particularly surprising and show great promise in the fight against prostate cancer,” said researcher Dr. Debra L. Bemis of the Columbia University Department of Urology. “We hope that the magnitude of benefits shown in this research will be confirmed in the larger scale trial already in progress.”

Based on this research, Zyflamend® shows value in early therapy for prostate cancer patients. COX inhibitors have also shown value for prostate cancer patients, but data from recent trials of selective COX-2 inhibitors such as sulindac (Clinoril®) and celecoxib (Celebrex®), suggest that use of these drugs might have adverse cardiovascular effects. The more widely utilized general COX inhibitor, aspirin, is not associated with these negative side effects and, instead, has well-established beneficial effects for individuals with cardiovascular disease. Zyflamend® has a biochemical action profile that resembles aspirin more than these selective COX-2 inhibitors.

Dr. Bemis added: “Zyflamend® is derived from natural herbal sources and is readily available in health food and nutritional supplement stores. Given the impressive data we’re reporting, Zyflamend is a potentially more convenient and desirable means to target the enormous population that is susceptible to prostate cancer.”

On the strength of this laboratory research, Columbia University’s Department of Urology has commenced a Phase 1 human clinical trial testing Zyflamend’s ability to prevent prostate cancer in patients with prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia (PIN).

PIN is a clinical precursor for prostate cancer. Without intervention, men diagnosed with PIN have a 50 to 70 percent likelihood of developing prostate cancer. Although there are tools that detect the early signs of prostate cancer, such as PIN or elevated prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels, there is no consensus as to the optimal therapy for these patients.

"We are very encouraged about the early results of this phase 1 trial,” said Aaron E. Katz, M.D., associate professor of urology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, Director of the Center of Holistic Urology at Columbia University Medical Center and principal investigator of the study.

“We are encouraged that this study provides additional scientific evidence that specific herbal preparations can produce a positive impact on prostate health,” said Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director of the non-profit American Botanical Council. “With so many people using herbal supplements for their health, new research documenting their safety and benefits is encouraged and welcomed.”


Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders in health care and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, nurses, dentists, and public health professionals at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the School of Dental & Oral Surgery, the School of Nursing, the Mailman School of Public Health, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. Columbia University Medical Center researchers are leading the discovery of novel therapies and advances to address a wide range of health conditions.

About New Chapter, Inc.: New Chapter is a widely respected producer, formulator, packager and distributor of organic probiotic nutrients and herbal formulations selling over 90 products to approximately 3000 retail locations. Its three main categories include Probiotic Nutrients, Supercritical Therapy and MycoMedicinals. Bear Growth Capital Partners recently provided equity capital to support the company's anticipated growth plans. More information about New Chapter can be found at

The Herbal Supplement
Zyflamend is a patented formulation from New Chapter, Inc. of Brattleboro, VT. It includes proprietary extracts of rosemary, turmeric, ginger, holy basil, green tea, hu zhang, Chinese goldthread, barberry, oregano, and Baikal skullcap.

Triune Chiropractic Counseling and Wellness carries New Chapter products. Many of my patients as well as myself, take it daily for its anti oxidant effects as well as its anti inflammatory properties. I move bodies for a living as a chiropractor. Zyflamend helps keep my joints and muscles pain free.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

How does Exercise Improve Mental Health?

We know that exercise has positive effects on the brain. Researchers at Duke University demonstrated several years ago that exercise can be an effective antidepressant. Other research has shown that exercise can improve the brain functioning of the elderly, and may even protect against dementia. How does exercise improve mental health?

One theory for some of the benefits of exercise included the fact that exercise triggers the production of endorphins. These natural opiates are chemically similar to morphine. They may be produced as natural pain-relievers in response to the shock that the body receives in exercise. Researchers are beginning to question whether these substances improve mood. Studies show that endorphins do not cross the blood-brain barrier easily. Their ability to relieve pain probably occurs at the level of the spinal cord, leaving some other mechanism responsible for the mental health effects of exercise.

Recent studies have found that exercise boosts activity in the brain's frontal lobes and the hippocampus. We don't really know how or why this occurs. Animal studies have found that exercise increases levels of serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine. These neurotransmitters have been associated with elevated mood, and it is thought that antidepressant medications like Prozac also work by boosting these chemicals.

Exercise has also been found to increase levels of "brain-derived neurotrophic factor" (BDNF). This substance is thought to improve mood, and it may play a role in the beneficial effects of exercise. BDNF's primary role seems to be to help brain cells survive longer; so this may also explain some of the beneficial effects of exercise on dementia.

The bottom line is that most of us feel good after exercise, and it's probably not from endorphins. Physical exercise is good for our mental health and for our brains. Someday we will understand it all better - but we can start exercising today.

Last updated 4/27/06

Sources -, John Briley "Feel Good After a Workout? Well, Good for You." The Washington Post Tuesday, April 25, 2006; James A. Blumenthal, "Effects of Exercise Training on Older Patients With Major Depression". Archives of Internal Medicine, October 25, 1999; Michael Babyak, Exercise Treatment for Major Depression: Maintenance of Therapeutic Benefit at 10 Months. Psychosomatic Medicine, September/October 2000.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

5 power foods: boost your nutrition and maintain an ideal weight by getting more of these superstar foods into your meals

If you've been focusing on everything that's wrong with your diet, it's time to take a new, positive approach. According to a recent Harvard Medical School study, the number of healthful foods you eat is more important than your weekly tally of burgers and fries! The study of 59,038 women found that those who regularly included lots of nutritionally sound foods in their diet had a 42 percent lower mortality rate. The more of these high-fiber, nutrient-rich foods you include in your meals, the less room you'll have for unhealthful high-calorie, low-nutrient fare. So, if you want to lose weight, get fit and live longer, resolve to eat more of these five powerhouse foods in 2005!
1 berries
Raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries
The facts Berries' deep pigment supplies a wealth of phytochemicals, substances like the flavonoids anthocyanins that plants make to protect themselves against bacteria and viruses and other environmental threats. "These compounds protect against highly reactive oxidants that damage the brain and other tissues," says Gary Stoner, Ph.D., professor in Ohio State University's department of internal medicine. Berries also offer potassium, vitamin C and fiber.
Up the ante Add berries to cold cereal. Layer them with nonfat instant pudding for an easy parfait. Heat with Splenda and a bit of cornstarch to make a topping for waffles or desserts. Dip strawberries in fat-free chocolate syrup. Blend frozen raspberries with a little nonfat evaporated milk to create a fat-free "ice cream." Toss fresh or dried berries into savory dishes such as salsas, salads, pilafs and couscous.
All it takes is 1 serving (1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked) 3-4 times a week.
2 plain, lowfat yogurt
The facts It's hard to find a better source of B vitamins, high-quality protein and calcium than lowfat yogurt. "It's also a useful alternative for people who are lactose-intolerant, and if it contains the probiotic bacteria that flourish in the intestinal tract, then yogurt helps prevent constipation and diarrhea, as well as helping to treat food allergies," says Barry Goldin, Ph.D., a professor in the department of public health and family medicine at Tufts University. Probiotic bacteria crowd out disease-causing ones and may switch off an enzyme that triggers colon cancer. Look for yogurt listing L. acidophilus and B. bifidus as ingredients.
Up the ante Drizzle yogurt with a little honey for a sweet treat. Layer it with fruit for a simple snack; use instead of sour cream in dips, soups, salad dressings and on baked potatoes. Mix equal parts lowfat mayonnaise and yogurt and use to dress coleslaw or potato salad. Substitute yogurt for buttermilk in muffin, quick-bread and pancake batters.
All it takes is 1 serving (1 cup) 3-5 times a week.
3 green, leafy vegetables
Spinach, bok choy, Swiss chard, kale, arugula, romaine lettuce
The facts A Cornell University study of vegetables found spinach had the highest score for inhibiting cancer cells. A 1-cup serving of cooked Swiss chard supplies 47 percent of your RDA (150 milligrams) of magnesium, which helps keep nerve and muscle cells healthy. Dark green leafies also boost your intake of fiber, vitamin C, folic acid (the B vitamin that helps lower risk for heart disease, memory loss and birth defects), vitamin K (which helps build strong bones), and the minerals calcium, iron and potassium. Greens are especially good sources of the phytochemical lutein, which lowers the risk for age-related vision loss. "Generous intakes of spinach, kale, and other lutein-rich foods may reduce the risk of cataract and macular degeneration by up to 40 percent," says Jeffrey Blumberg, Ph.D., a professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University in Boston.
Up the ante Switch from iceberg to spinach for salads; layer greens into lasagna and sandwiches; add chopped, steamed greens to mashed potatoes; substitute arugula for some of the basil in pesto recipes; stir 1 cup chopped greens into soups and stews.
All it takes is 1-2 servings daily (1 serving equals 1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked).
4 bright orange vegetables
Pumpkin, butternut and spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, carrots
The facts Orange veggies are brimming with beta carotene, which promotes cell and tissue growth. Diets containing 10-15 milligrams a day of beta carotene are associated with a reduced risk of several forms of cancer. To get that amount, you just need to eat one medium-sized sweet potato or a cup of butternut squash, which may lower cancer risk, boost your defenses against colds and infections and protect your skin from sun damage. Bright orange veggies also supply hefty amounts of vitamin C, potassium and iron, and as much fiber as a slice of whole-wheat bread.
Up the ante Microwave sweet potatoes, then halve and drizzle with maple syrup. Grate carrots into meatloaf. Top steamed spaghetti squash with tomato sauce and Parmesan. Add pureed pumpkin to soups as a thickener. Use boiled or roasted sweet potatoes in salads and side dishes where you would normally use regular potatoes.
All it takes is 1 serving (1 cup raw or 1/2 cup cooked) a day.
5 whole grains
Whole-wheat breads and pastas, brown rice, oatmeal, buckwheat noodles
The facts Slice for slice, whole-grain breads have four and a half times the fiber, five times the magnesium, four times the zinc, and seven times the vitamin [B.sub.6] of white bread. Fiber-rich whole grains lower your risk for everything from heart disease and cancer to diabetes and hypertension. Thanks to their fiber, they fill you up without filling you out. "Whole grains also come packed with phytochemicals, such as phenolic compounds and phytoestrogens, that lower disease risk. These health-enhancing phytochemicals are removed when grains are processed," Blumberg adds.
Up the ante Eat oatmeal or whole-grain ready-to-eat cereal for breakfast; use 100 percent whole-wheat bread and rolls for sandwiches. Try whole-wheat or buckwheat noodles instead of white in pasta dishes. Swap instant brown rice or whole-grain couscous for white rice in pilafs and stuffings. Experiment with novel grains. For example, try quinoa in stuffed bell peppers, wild rice in salads and amaranth in soups.
All it takes is 5 servings per day (a serving equals 1 slice of bread or half a cup of cooked grain).
By Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D.
Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D., is editor of Nutrition Alert, a newsletter that summarizes current nutrition research. Her website is