Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Good fats can cut risk of death by 27%, study says


"Bad" fats include trans fats and saturated fats. Saturated fats are common in the American diet, in red meats and full-fat dairy. Research in this area has been mixed, with some studies finding that whole-milk dairy products could be linked to less body fat and obesity, possibly because they promote feelings of fullness and therefore less is consumed. A recent study associated dairy and butter with lower rates of diabetes, although it still found a 1% higher risk of death per tablespoon of butter.
Trans fats are the major culprit when it comes to health problems. Though they can be found naturally in small amounts in meat and dairy products, the major sources are from artificial trans fats used in processed foods.
The Food and Drug Administration banned trans fatsfrom products in 2013, but they can still be found in many foods like crackers, cookies, doughnuts, muffins, pies and cakes, often in trace amounts that quickly add up. Research from the Harvard School of Public Health has showed that the risk of heart disease rises by 23% for every 2% of calories obtained from trans fats.

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Friday, June 10, 2016

Understanding The Liver and Cholesterol

And come to the liver, one of my favorite organs. Certainly the heart, the brain, and the immune system get more play in the popular imagination than the liver, but that's only because the liver is so misunderstood. Next to the skin, the liver is the largest organ in the body. In many ways, it is the most important organ, and the last to be considered when it comes to health. In addition to being large, the liver is also a complicated organ involved in at least 200 separate functions. Generally speaking, the liver performs a vital role in regulating, synthesizing, storing, secreting, transforming, and breaking down many different substances in the body. In this issue, we explore the anatomy and physiology of the liver in detail from a natural health perspective, and conclude with a discussion of how the body regulates cholesterol and why statin drugs may not be all that doctors promote.

 As I mentioned above, the liver is the heaviest and largest gland inside the body, weighing in at about 3 pounds. Only your skin (also a single functioning organ) is larger. Your liver occupies almost the entire right upper quadrant of the abdominal cavity. (Remember that in virtually all medical diagrams, right and left are reversed.) It nestles up against the diaphragm on the top and against the ribs on the right -- stretching across the body, almost touching ribs on the left. Thus, barring extreme trauma such as bullet wounds and automobile accidents (or if it is not enlarged), it is fully protected -- a testament to how important the body considers the organ.

 Physically, it is divided into four lobes, a large right and a small left lobe. Nestled between those two lobes are two less easily visible lobes, the quadrate lobe sitting on top and the caudate lobe sitting just underneath and extending to the bottom of the liver.

 Obviously, a three pound organ cannot just "hang" in the abdominal cavity. It needs to be secured.  And in fact, it is suspended from the back of the diaphragm by two ligaments, the falciform and the suspensory ligaments. The falciform ligament in particular runs up through the entire liver, dividing the left and right lobes before attaching to the diaphragm. There is one other interesting note about the falciform ligament. The umbilical vein, when you are inside the womb, runs from the umbilical cord up between the left and right lobes of the liver. Within a week of birth, that vein is completely obliterated and replaced by the fibrous cord known as the falciform ligament.

 The liver has a reserve capacity of some 50-80%. That means you can destroy up to 80 percent (and in some cases possibly even more) of the liver's function and have no demonstrable negative symptoms. And as amazing as that is, it's not the most amazing part. As I have mentioned frequently over the years when talking about detoxing the liver, the liver is one of the few human organs that can regenerate itself. It can actually regenerate (in a matter of weeks) up to an 80% loss of tissue. Once regenerated, it will fill the same space it occupied before, and will take roughly the same shape as before. And when it's done regenerating, it stops! Though it grows faster than any cancer known to man, its regeneration does not become malignant, and the liver will stop growth at approximately its normal size. This is particularly useful after trauma such as an automobile accident that has damaged part of the liver. The damaged or diseased tissue can be removed by the surgeon with no loss of liver function, and in a matter of a few weeks, the liver will have regenerated all of its lost tissue. You've gotta love this stuff!
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Familial Hypercholesterolemia: How to Lower Your Elevated LDL Cholesterol

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How to Lower Your Elevated LDL Cholesterol

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Cholesterol is naturally produced by your body and is essential to its function throughout your everyday life. However, excessively high levels of cholesterol—in particular, LDL cholesterol— are bad and can lead to serious health problems such as clogged arteries, heart disease, and stroke.
What is LDL Cholesterol?
LDL stands for Low-Density Lipoproteins. This type of cholesterol is produced by the liver and is instrumental in the creation of cell walls, hormones, and digestive juices. However, when your LDL level is high, it can start to form a plaque-like substance on the walls of your cardiovascular system, blocking the natural flow of blood and leaving you at severe risk for heart attack and stroke. Put simply, LDL is the bad kind of cholesterol. But fear not – there are several ways in which you can lower your LDL cholesterol and encourage the development of High-Density Lipoproteins (good cholesterol), which actually function to limit the level of LDL cholesterol in your system.
Diet
Altering your diet is the easiest way to lower your elevated LDL cholesterol, and should be your first course of action, as every cholesterol-lowering strategy starts with your dietary habits. A balanced diet consisting of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, and various plants will significantly help you lower your LDL cholesterol level. It’s best to limit the amount of red meat, eggs, and dairy you consume. Plant-based diets not only help lower your LDL, but they can also help clear plaque buildup from your arteries.
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New Blood Test Better Predicts Heart Attack Risk

LDL Particle Number

The Quebec Cardiovascular Study was the first large study demonstrating that heart attack can occur when a person’s LDL particle number is high and LDL level is low.8 This has been repeatedly confirmed in other studies, most recently in the AMORIS study, which enrolled a remarkable 175,000 participants and demonstrated the superiority of LDL particle number (measured as apoprotein B) in predicting heart attack risk.9 This measure can be thought of as actually counting the number of LDL particles in one cubic centimeter, or one milliliter of blood.
LDL particle number is among the most powerful tools we have to predict the risk of heart attack. It can be measured directly as LDL particle number by the nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy method or indirectly as apoprotein B, which is a more widely available method. Apoprotein B is the major protein particle of LDL, with a single protein per LDL particle. Apoprotein B thus provides a “count” of LDL particles.
How can LDL level be low when the particle number is high? Because the amount of cholesterol contained per particle can vary widely. If you have many LDL particles that contain less cholesterol in each particle, the conventionally measured LDL level will be low, but your heart disease risk will be high. Greater numbers of cholesterol-containing particles in the blood means more cholesterol deposition in plaque. The combination of low LDL level and high LDL particle number is very common, creating a situation whereby many people are mistakenly told that they are not at risk for heart attack.
High LDL particle number responds to the same treatments as high LDL level, but this method of assessment provides greater confidence in determining who to treat and how intensively to do so. Statin prescription drugs lower LDL particle number, as does the non-statin prescription drug ezetimibe, though it is less potent. Niacin (vitamin B3) lowers LDL particle number less potently than the statins, but will achieve a 10-20% reduction. In addition to prescription medicines, many nutritional strategies can lower LDL particle number.
High LDL particle number can be a source of danger even when LDL level has been reduced by treatments such as cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. This is why people who take a cholesterol-lowering medication can still suffer a heart attack. LDL particle number provides much more powerful feedback on the adequacy of treatment and is therefore a tool for further reduction of risk.10,11

Small LDL

LDL particles vary in size—big, medium, and small. The size difference is crucial. Small LDL particles are a far more destructive force than their larger counterparts. Like finely tuned weapons designed to wreak maximum damage, smaller particles more effectively penetrate the cellular barrier and enter arterial walls, contributing to atherosclerotic plaque. They also persist longer in the circulation, which allows more opportunity to cling like little magnets to tissues within the walls.
Once in the arterial wall, small LDL particles are more prone to oxidation, which stimulates the release of inflammatory and adhesive proteins. Small, dense LDL promotes endothelial dysfunction and enhanced production of pro-coagulants by endothelial cells. Small, dense LDL thus appears to be more atherogenic—that is, more likely to contribute to the build-up of plaque within arteries—than normal LDL.12,13
Small LDL can be an inherited predisposition that is activated by unhealthy lifestyles and weight gain. When the genetic factors are strong, it can occur in healthy people who are not overweight. It frequently causes heart disease and is found in more than half of all people who suffer heart attacks. Small LDL particles triple the likelihood of developing coronary plaque and suffering a heart attack.
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A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef

There is considerable support among the nutritional communities for the diet-heart (lipid) hypothesis, the idea that an imbalance of dietary cholesterol and fats are the primary cause of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease (CVD) []. Health professionals world-wide recommend a reduction in the overall consumption of SFAs, trans-fatty acids (TAs) and cholesterol, while emphasizing the need to increase intake of n-3 polyunsaturated fats [,].
Such broad sweeping nutritional recommendations with regard to fat consumption are largely due to epidemiologic studies showing strong positive correlations between intake of SFA and the incidence of CVD, a condition believed to result from the concomitant rise in serum low-density-lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol as SFA intake increases [
,]. For example, it is generally accepted that for every 1% increase in energy from SFA, LDL cholesterol levels reportedly increase by 1.3 to 1.7 mg/dL (0.034 to 0.044 mmol/L) [-].

Beyond changes in genetics, some producers have also altered their feeding practices whereby reducing or eliminating grain from the ruminant diet, producing a product referred to as "grass-fed" or "grass-finished".
Historically, most of the beef produced until the 1940's was from cattle finished on grass. During the 1950's, considerable research was done to improve the efficiency of beef production, giving birth to the feedlot industry where high energy grains are fed to cattle as means to decrease days on feed and improve marbling (intramuscular fat: IMF).
In addition, U.S. consumers have grown accustomed to the taste of grain-fed beef, generally preferring the flavor and overall palatability afforded by the higher energy grain ration[
]. However, changes in consumer demand, coupled with new research on the effect of feed on nutrient content, have a number of producers returning to the pastoral approach to beef production despite the inherent inefficiencies.
Research spanning three decades suggests that grass-only diets can significantly alter the fatty acid composition and improve the overall antioxidant content of beef. It is the intent of this review, to synthesize and summarize the information currently available to substantiate an enhanced nutrient claim for grass-fed beef products as well as to discuss the effects these specific nutrients have on human health.
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Does Fish Oil Raise Cholesterol?


  • Several studies have, indeed, confirmed that fish oil raises LDL cholesterol, usually by 5-10 mg/dl. Occasionally, it may be as much as 20 or more milligrams, as in Katie's case, enough for some people to be scared away from continuing this supplement. 

    Unfortunately, many physicians often assume that it's the (minor) cholesterol content of fish oil capsules, or some vague, undesirable effect of fish oil. It's nothing of the kind. And, if you were to rely on basic cholesterol values, it does indeed appear to be the case.

    But it's not.
    What has happened is that triglycerides have been reduced. Triglycerides occur in particles called very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) and intermediate-density lipoproteins (IDL). Given Katie's high triglyceride level of 201 mg/dl before fish oil, we can safely assume that VLDL and perhaps IDL (a less common pattern) were also elevated in Katie's blood. Fish oil effectively reduces triglycerides, as it did in Katie, and VLDL and IDL are also reduced. Since LDL particles start out as VLDL particles (the first particle that emerges from the liver), fish oil can cause a "shift" of particles from VLDL to LDL. Thus, the apparent rise in LDL.

    Another factor: Conventional LDL cholesterol is a calculated value, not measured. (Many people are surprised when they first hear this.) The calculation for LDL is thrown off-sometimes considerably-by any reduction in HDL or rise in triglycerides from average values. In Katie's case, the rise in HDL from 48 to 54 mg/dl along with the reduction in triglycerides from 201 to 92 mg/dl mean that calculated LDL has become more accurate and rises towards the true measured value. The actual rise in true LDL cholesterol may be small to none.

    Omega-3 fatty acids from fish oil therefore provide the appearance of raising LDL cholesterol, but the actual-measured-rise is usually small to none.

    Omega-3 fatty acids have been convincingly shown to reduce risk of heart attackstroke, heart rhythm disorders, and are powerful tools to reduce triglycerides. It's a shame to avoid this wonderfully effective and healthy tool because of the appearance of rising cholesterol.
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Small LDL Cholesterol: Epidemic of the New Century


There's a new risk factor for heart disease-and it's not high cholesterol. It's rapidly skyrocketed into first place as the number one most common trigger for heart disease.

Ask your family physician what the number one cause for heart disease is, and he/she will likely reply "high cholesterol" without hesitating. Most Americans would answer the same. After all, the media overflows with discussions about cholesterol and how drugs can reduce it.

Just 30 years ago, small LDL was far less common because lifestyles were different and the technology for identifying small LDL was unavailable. Why the surge in the small LDL pattern? Two reasons: 1) The explosion of excess weight and obesity in the U.S., which triggers formation of small LDL particles, and 2)over-reliance on processed carbohydrates, especially wheat-based convenience foods, that increase expression of the small LDL pattern enormously. 

Small LDL has climbed into first place as the number one cause of heart disease. (Number two: low HDL cholesterol.) Given current trends, as many as 80-90% of those with heart disease, 40-50% of the overall adult population may harbor this pattern.

Official agencies like the American Heart Association and the USDA have lost touch with the emergence of small LDL as a trigger for heart disease. The USDA Food Pyramid, for instance, advises American adults to eat 6-8 servings of grains per day. This advice is a sure-fire method to ignite expression of the small LDL pattern. The American Heart Association's Heart Check Mark program endorses products like Cocoa Puffs, Berry Kix and Cookie Crisp cereals and hundreds of other similar products as "heart healthy" that likewise act as potent triggers of the small LDL pattern.
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Why “Average” Cholesterol Values Can Be So Bad


With all the fuss about cholesterol, how can such a thing happen? Does it mean that cholesterol, LDL in particular, should be even lower to provide protection against heart attack and heart disease?

Not necessarily. What it does mean is that the causes for heart disease should be sought beyond cholesterol.

With Jack, we performed a blood test called lipoprotein analysis using a technique called nuclear magnetic resonance, or NMR. Despite the seemingly complicated name, it is a simple blood test that, in my experience, uncovers hidden causes for heart disease even when standard cholesterol numbers look fine. Jack's lipoprotein panel told an entirely different story. 

In this technique, there is an actual count of the number of LDL particles present in Jack's blood, rather than the calculation usually used to obtain standard LDL cholesterol. Jack's LDL particle number was 1880 nmol/l, a very high value among the worst 10% of men and women. LDL particle number of 1880 nmol/l is approximately the same as LDL cholesterol of 188 mg/dl (simply drop the last digit to generate an approximate "true" LDL), almost 70 mg higher than the estimated value of 119 mg. (This degree of inaccuracy, in fact, is not at all uncommon.)

Lipoprotein analysis also examines the size of LDL particles-large, small, or in-between. 95% of all Jack's LDL particles were small, a very severe pattern. The Quebec Cardiovascular Study is among the clinical studies demonstrating that the combination of high LDL particle number and small LDL raises heart disease risk by 600%. 

Jack also showed a severe excess of intermediate-density lipoprotein (218 nmol/l). This is an important pattern that suggests that dietary fats are not cleared for 24 hours or so after a meal, a phenomenon that heightens risk forcarotid disease and strokeaneurysms, as well as heart disease.
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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Top 10 Foods High in Triglycerides to Avoid

The foods we eat every day can be a major cause of high triglycerides. So much so in fact, that the blood can almost turn milky after a large meal, especially if it is filled with foods high in triglycerides. This is why people who are having blood work done in order to test triglycerides levels are told to fast the night before so that testing can be done accurately. Some foods are more likely to cause this than other foods, and unfortunately some triglycerides spiking culprits are common and delicious everyday fare.
Not all foods that can raise the levels of these blood fats actually contain triglycerides. Some of them simply can cause their levels to become elevated in a hurry. Trans fats containing foods may be no-brainers, but there are several surprises that most people may not link to elevated triglycerides. That is why we have put together this list of the top ten foods high in triglycerides to avoid in order to better understanding what can raise the levels of these fats in the blood. The foundation of a triglyceride lowering diet is cutting out foods that can raise their abundance in the bloodstream and it is one of the most important parts to managing and potentially reversing the condition.
So please check out this list of the top ten blood fat boosting foods worth avoiding if managing triglycerides is on your to do list....

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Foods to Avoid for High Triglycerides



To understand what foods to avoid for high triglycerides, first it is important to understand what triglycerides are and why high triglycerides levels are dangerous to your health.


 Facts About High Triglycerides

Triglycerides are a form of fat found in the body, blood and in food. Our bodies use them for energy, so they are necessary for good health, but when triglycerides are high it increases the risk of heart disease and may indicate that you suffer from metabolic syndrome which raises the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
When the calories we eat are not used, the body converts them to triglycerides and stores them in fat cells where hormones regulate and release them. This supplies energy needed between meals. When we eat more calories than we need regularly this can lead to elevated triglycerides.

Triglyceride Levels

The National Cholesterol Education Program has set guidelines for triglyceride levels. These levels are based on fasting plasma triglyceride levels:
  • Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL
  • Borderline high: 150 to 199 mg/dL
  • High: 200 to 499 mg/dL
  • Very high: 500 mg/dL or higher

Foods to Avoid for High Triglycerides

Since triglycerides are found in the body, blood and in foods, for people diagnosed with high triglycerides foods that contain triglycerides or are converted to triglycerides easily should be avoided. This includes foods that contain saturated fat and trans fat. It's easy to see why these foods would be a problem, but there's more to it. Sugar and grains can also raise triglycerides. The Cleveland Clinic suggests daily sugar intake be limited to eight percent or less of total daily calories for people with elevated triglyceride levels.

The West Wing- Bible Lesson

Why the FDA’s New Warning Labels for Popular Antibiotics Matter

Modern antibiotics are very powerful and need to be used with caution.Some react to Cipro... Keflex caused me serious tendonosis in my knee tendons.
Everyone is different. I can get away with Cipro 250mg
........

On October 11, 2014, just before my 28th birthday, I was jolted awake in the middle of the night by the sensation that bees were stinging me from head to toe. Tingling sensations crept all over my body; phantom pins and needles pricked and burned my hands and feet; roving numbness caused me to lose sensation in one finger, then one toe, then one earlobe; and what felt like icy water slid up and down my limbs. When I tried to get out of bed, my legs would not support my weight, and I crumpled onto the floor. As I hoisted myself back into bed, all of my joints popped and crunched with the exertion, random stabbing pains sliced through my neck and shoulders, and my muscles — all of my muscles — in my jaw, my abdomen, my feet, were aching as though I had the flu. Once lying still again, I noticed that, one by one, my muscles were twitching — first in my right toe, then in my cheek, then my left eye.
As I lay there in the dark, my mind whirling to comprehend what was happening, I thought about the past few days, attempting to pinpoint a cause. The only thing I had done differently was take the prescribed dose of antibiotic Ciprofloxacin (in the fluoroquinolone family) for what my doctor’s vacation stand-in suspected to be a UTI based on symptoms and white cells in the urine — I later found out that no culture was actually done.
At first, the idea of an antibiotic being responsible for the bizarre symptoms I was experiencing seemed laughable. But as I lay in bed after only three days on the drug, my whole body in revolt, I reached for my phone in search of answers. The phone itself seemed to weigh a hundred pounds, and my wrist gave out upon trying to lift it. I finally managed to situate it in such a way that allowed my aching fingers to type “adverse reaction to Cipro” in the search bar.
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Friday, May 13, 2016

External Flaxseed Oil Treats Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

What is carpal tunnel syndrome anyway?

According to conventional theory, carpal tunnel is caused by the entrapment and subsequent pressure on to the median nerve along with accompanying tendons that wind through the carpal tunnel. Some have therefore suspected repetitive motion as a potential cause. 
The carpal tunnel is a small hallow in the region of the wrist where a number of small bones also coexist.
While conventional theory assumes a cause related strictly to alignment and physical function, it doesn't explain why the condition is related to hypothyroidism, diabetes, obesity and rheumatism.
The intermittent and sometimes chronic tingling, pain and numbness of the hands resulting from carpal tunnel syndrome has also been associated with depression and even pregnancy.
While the purpose of this article is not to pursue all the potential causes, I might include that one of the most used temporary treatments to the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome is corticosteroids.
And as most medical professionals know, corticosteroid injections work by halting the inflammatory processes that occur among the various tissues.
And since corticosteroid injections are effective in the temporary relief of the syndrome, we can safely conclude that inflammation plays a large part in the condition.
And it so happens that greater levels of inflammation are also seen in hypothyroidism, diabetes, rheumatism and depression.

Flaxseed oil relieves pain and increases motion for carpal tunnel

This element ties precisely into the use of flaxseed oil because flax has been shown to significantly reduce inflammation.
This fact was illustrated in a study published in late 2014 in the DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences. This double-blind and randomized clinical study was conducted with 100 patients, of which 155 hands with carpal tunnel syndrome were tested.
In other words, both wrists are not always involved in the condition – for a reason not well understood.
At any rate, all 100 patients had mild to moderate conditions, and they were between 18 and 65 years old. The patients were randomized and divided into two groups. One group was treated with flaxseed oil and the other group was treated with a placebo oil.
Both groups were given a wrist splint to use at night and were told to apply the flaxseed oil onto the wrist and upper hands daily for four weeks.
Before and after the treatment, the patients were given a battery of tests and functional assessments, which included the Boston Carpal Tunnel Questionnaire and its functional status assessment. These rate the patient's levels of pain, numbness, tingling and other symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome, as well as mobility and function.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

What is the difference in pepper color?

Bell peppers are packed with fiber, antioxidants and vitamin C. But not all colors are created equal. 
Have you ever wondered why red peppers are more expensive than green ones? Or why green peppers give some people stomach aches? Well, we're here to answer all your burning questions. 

What's the difference between red, yellow, orange and green peppers?

Green bell peppers are immature versions of red, orange, or yellow peppers. Since they are less ripe, they have a slightly bitter flavor and can sometime cause digestive disruption. 

Why are green peppers cheaper than the other colors?

Given that green peppers are less mature peppers, they're harvested sooner and require less growing time. According to The Kitchn, "Yellow, orange and red peppers use more resources since they're harvested later, making them more expensive."

Which type of pepper is the most nutritious? 

Like we mentioned above, all bell peppers are a great source of vitamin A and C, but according to Livestrong.com red peppers contain 11 times more cancer-fighting beta carotene than green peppers. Conversely, yellow peppers have more vitamin C than green ones, but less vitamin A and beta carotene.
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Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What Your Hair & Scalp Say About Your Health

Does Bad Hair Mean Bad Health?
Is your hair trying to tell you something about your health?
Maybe. Some conditions and medications affect your body as well as your hair.
In other cases, you may just need to take better care of your hair or scalp.
Use this pictorial guide to see what separates myth from fact when it comes to your health and your hair.

SEE SLIDE SHOW

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Naturally Reverse Hardened Arteries












Atherosclerosis, also known as “hardening of the arteries,” occurs when fat, cholesterol, and other substances build up in the walls of arteries and form hard structures called plaques. Learn how to naturally reverse hardened arteries. 
Hardening of the arteries begins with an injury to the endothelium, the lining, of artery walls. The injury is due to high cholesterol and triglyceride levels, high blood pressure, chronic inflammation, eating too much sugar and flour, smoking, free radicals produced by bodily processes and many other factors.
In response to the injury, white blood cells, along with lipids (fats), begin to accumulate along the inner layer of the artery. These fats and white blood cells begin to oxidize (become rancid) and build up in the artery walls, forming plaques. These plaques begin to harden and bulge inward, and then grow larger. Even then, there are no symptoms until the narrowing reaches 70 percent. If the plaque is disturbed or bursts, blood platelets can accumulate at the site and form a clot, which can grow until it completely blocks an artery and cuts off the oxygen supply to the heart, brain, or other body part.
Pieces of plaque can also break off and move to smaller blood vessels, blocking them. If the clot completely blocks the blood and oxygen supply to a major artery leading to the heart, the tissue begins to die within minutes. A heart attack ensues. If an artery to the brain is blocked the result is a stroke. Atherosclerosis that affects the arteries in the arms, legs or pelvis is called peripheral artery disease.
Healthy blood vessels are elastic and flexible, accommodating changes in physical activity and stress levels. But in atherosclerosis, blood vessels stiffen and reduce blood flow by 15 percent or more. Your heart has to work harder to make up the difference.
Atherosclerosis is responsible for coronary artery disease, the leading cause of death in the US. It is responsible for at least 43 percent of all deaths in the US. The only countries beating us in heart disease deaths are India (#1 at 1.5 million deaths yearly), China (#2 at 700,000 deaths yearly), and Russia (#3 at 670,000 deaths yearly). The US has 500,000 deaths yearly. There are 2002 statistics. Worldwide, heart disease is running rampant as our deadly diet is reaching the corners of the globe.
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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Serotonin, Vitamin D, Autism and Estrogen

Personal observation:
As a transsexual person who cannot take estrogen orally, I rely on Premarin which I take daily. If I miss several days I will feel depressed. The estrogen in Premarin is necessary so my body will make a sufficient supply of serotonin without which I feel depressed. 

ARTICLE: 

The autism/antidepressant link may have to do with serotonin metabolism, which is also impacted by vitamin D. The link between vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women and the proportionate jump in autism has been highlighted by Vitamin D Council founder Dr. John Cannell and others.
Vitamin D receptors appear in a wide variety of brain tissue early in the fetal development, and activated vitamin D receptors increase nerve growth in your brain.
In addition, according to a study by the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, vitamin D may affect autistic behavior by activating a gene responsible for the production of tryptophan hydroxylase 2 (TPH2), an enzyme that converts tryptophan to serotonin in your brain.10
The research also shows that two other brain hormones associated with social behavior, oxytocin and vasopressin, are activated by vitamin D. As reported by Newswise:11
"This suggests that adequate levels of vitamin D may be required to produce serotonin in the brain where it shapes the structure and wiring of the brain, acts as a neurotransmitter, and affects social behavior.
They also found evidence that the gene that makes the enzyme tryptophan hydroxylase 1 (TPH1) is inhibited by vitamin D hormone, which subsequently halts the production of serotonin in the gut and other tissues, where when found in excess it promotes inflammation.
This mechanism explains many of the known, but previously not understood, facts about autism including:
1) The 'serotonin anomaly' low levels of serotonin in the brain and high levels in the blood of autistic children
 2) The preponderance of male over female autistic children: estrogen, a similar steroid hormone, can also boost the brain levels of serotonin in girls
 3) The presence of autoimmune antibodies to the fetal brain in the mothers of autistic children: vitamin D regulates the production of regulatory T-cells via repression of TPH1."

The researchers propose treating ASD with a combination of vitamin D, tryptophan and omega-3 fats in order to naturally elevate the concentration of brain serotonin without side effects. This isn't the first time vitamin D has been implicated as a contributing factor to rising autism rates.
According to previous research, there is indeed a link between rampant vitamin D deficiency in pregnant women and the proportionate jump in autism.12

Sunday, December 20, 2015

The Dangers of Statin Drugs: What You Haven't Been Told About Cholesterol-Lowering Medication


By Sally Fallon and Mary G. Enig, PhD 
Hypercholesterolemia is the health issue of the 21st century. It is actually an invented disease, a "problem" that emerged when health professionals learned how to measure cholesterol levels in the blood. High cholesterol exhibits no outward signs--unlike other conditions of the blood, such as diabetes or anemia, diseases that manifest telltale symptoms like thirst or weakness--hypercholesterolemia requires the services of a physician to detect its presence. Many people who feel perfectly healthy suffer from high cholesterol--in fact, feeling good is actually a symptom of high cholesterol!
Doctors who treat this new disease must first convince their patients that they are sick and need to take one or more expensive drugs for the rest of their lives, drugs that require regular checkups and blood tests. But such doctors do not work in a vacuum--their efforts to convert healthy people into patients are bolstered by the full weight of the U.S. government, the media and the medical establishment, agencies that have worked in concert to disseminate the cholesterol dogma and convince the population that high cholesterol is the forerunner of heart disease and possibly other diseases as well.
Who suffers from hypercholesterolemia? Peruse the medical literature of 25 or 30 years ago and you'll get the following answer: any middle-aged man whose cholesterol is over 240 with other risk factors, such as smoking or overweight.
ARTICLE

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Penicillin likely safe for most who have had a prior reaction

Researchers found most people who report they are allergic to the drug have no allergy.


SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- The majority of people who think they're allergic to penicillin, based on a doctor's opinion after an adverse reaction, are not actually allergic, according to a new study.

 Most people never take penicillin again, and are treated with more dangerous antibiotics and exposed to unnecessary risk as doctors look to other treatment options, researchers in the study said while presenting it at the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology's annual meeting.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates between three and 10 percent of Americans are allergic to penicillin, however more than that think they are and about 90 percent of people who report a severe reaction are not allergic their entire lives.

 "Anyone who has been told they are penicillin allergic, but who hasn't been tested by an allergist, should be tested," said Dr. David Khan, a professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, in a press release. "An allergist will work with you to find out if you're truly allergic to penicillin, and to determine what your options are for treatment if you are. If you're not, you'll be able to use medications that are safer, often more effective and less expensive."

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Sunday, October 4, 2015

Estrogen, Serotonin, and Depression in Perimenopause

Did you know that there is a direct correlation between a woman’s estrogen levels and the serotonin levels in her brain?  That is, when her estrogen levels rise, her serotonin levels rise. When her estrogen levels fall, her serotonin levels also fall, and that, ladies, is the basic crux of why many women suffer from depression and mood disorders during perimenopause.
Serotonin is the primary brain chemical which regulates mood. When serotonin levels are balanced, we sleep better. We feel secure and safe, mellow and relaxed, hopeful and optimistic, with a general sense of well-being. When serotonin levels are too low, we might feel agitated, irritable, unable to sleep well, and have carbohydrate, sugar, or alcohol cravings. We might also feel anxious and depressed.  
During perimenopause when estrogen and progesterone levels are rising and falling, so too are serotonin levels. Hence, depression and other mood related symptoms in perimenopause. And since antidepressants work by artificially raising serotonin levels in our brain, it’s easy to understand exactly why physicians give them to women suffering from depression in perimenopause.

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Sunday, August 23, 2015

Menopause and Irregular Heartbeat: How to Reduce It During Menopause?


Arrhythmia or dysrhythmia, are medically known terms for an irregular heartbeat. A normal heart rate is 60 to 100 beats per minutes. Heart rates over 100 are called tachyarrhythmias and heart rates that are slower are called bradyarrhythmias. Regular arrhythmias is caused by the following conditions:
  • Heart muscle changes
  • Artery disease
  • Imbalances in the bloodstream
  • Surgery after maths
  • Irregular heart rhythms, even in healthy hearts
  • Thyroid disease

An irregular heartbeat in women 45 and over, is considered a common menopausal symptom, caused by hormonal changes. Menopausal irregular heartbeatduration will vary for many women. Some women will stop experiencing irregular heartbeats after the beginning of menopause, usually when they are in their mid to late 50’s. Other women, unfortunately, will continue to experience slight flutters well into older age. During perimenopause, a decrease in ovarian estrogen is associated with an increase in heart rate, palpitations, and premature ventricular contractions (“PVCs”). Yet, women are to remember that this is a temporary “change of life,” which is normal and you’re not alone.

Estrogen and Irregular Heartbeat

During menopause cycles, estrogen is being studied as a key component in irregular heartbeats. A menopausal woman’s endocrine system produces estrogen, which vastly fluctuates and eventually stops, having a huge impact on the cardiovascular system. The lessening of estrogen levels results in an over stimulation of the sympathetic autonomic nervous system, which causes non-threatening irregular heartbeats and heart palpitations. Arrhythmia or irregular heartbeats can happen anytime during the day or night. It can last a few seconds or episodes can occur for several minutes.
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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Best Hospitals 2015-16: an Overview


Rankings by region and specialty, with an Honor Roll of hospitals that excel in complex specialty care.


Nearly 100,000 Americans are hospitalized each day. That adds up to nearly 40 million hospitalizations per year. With so many lives at stake and so many opportunities to hone their care, hospitals could be expected to meet demanding quality standards. After all, manufacturing, commercial aviation and other major industries have achieved high degrees of consistency and safety.
But health care is different. Some hospitals excel in treating exceedingly difficult cases, while others too often fail even patients whose medical needs are relatively straightforward. As a result, health care consumers need to take care when they choose a hospital. To help patients make smart, well-informed choices, U.S. News has published annual hospital rankings for more than two and a half decades. These rankings and the quality data from which they're derived highlight hospitals that perform best in specific areas of care.
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