Homocysteine Related to Plasma Vitamin C Levels

In a recently published study, researchers investigated the role of antioxidant vitamins in lowering homocysteine. Homocysteine is a sulfur containing amino acid, and reduced levels of homocysteine are associated with cardiovascular health. Previous research has shown that vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and folic acid support the maintenance of healthy homocysteine levels. (more…)

Omega-3 Fatty Acids Support Gum Health

According to a new study, the omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and alpha-linolenic acid may play an important role in gum health. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that most American adults show some signs or symptoms of poor oral health. Symptoms that suggest poor oral health include bleeding or redness of the gums, discomfort, tooth decay or loss of teeth. (more…)

Phase I and II detox pathways

Detoxification is the process in which the body eliminates or neutralizes toxic substances. Toxins come from various sources including the air, diet, drugs, alcohol, smoking, as well as metabolic by-products. Thus, lifestyle factors play a significant role in the accumulation of toxins. The build-up of toxins results in cellular damage, and eventually chronic disease. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that almost half of American adults have at least one chronic disease. Chronic diseases including heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, and arthritis are among the most common, costly, and preventable of all health problems in the U.S.1

The body utilizes several routes of detoxification including the skin, lungs, kidneys, liver, and intestines. What’s important to keep in mind is that there are two pathways by which the body detoxifies harmful substances and it’s essential to support both of these pathways in order to detoxify effectively. Supporting only one of the detoxification pathways can actually do more harm than good. (more…)

Hormones and the heart

In the eyes of holistic physicians, hormones are the “fountain of youth” in the human body. Their job is to regulate the functions of different tissues and organs as well as blood pressure control, reproductive function, body mass, immune function, cognitive performance, how we deal with stress and so much more. Hormones are chemical messengers that are released from one area of the body to communicate a signal in another area.

The hormonal “orchestra” must stay in balance in order for the tissues that they regulate to function optimally and stay in harmony. When hormones become depleted or imbalanced (from aging, stress, pollutants, lifestyle) we begin to experience serious health issues.

While the majority of information about hormonal health tends to focus on reproductive function and conditions associated with PMS, menopause and andropause, other areas of the body are just as greatly affected.

The heart is one organ that hormone balance has a direct effect upon. Newer research is exploring how inadequate hormone levels negatively affect heart health, and how achieving hormone balance can offset this. (more…)

Sleep less, Gain more weight

We’ve become a society that sleeps less and weighs more. Researchers are beginning to believe that these two coinciding states are not a coincidence since science is beginning to unravel a link between sleep loss and weight gain. Furthermore, this trend for shorter sleep duration has developed over the same time period as the dramatic increase in the prevalence of obesity and diabetes.1 (more…)

Walk Regularly and Boost Your Memory

A section of the brain involved in memory grew in size in older people who regularly took brisk walks for a year, researchers reported Monday.

 

The new study reinforces previous findings that aerobic exercise seems to reduce brain atrophy in early-stage Alzheimer’s patients, and that walking leads to slight improvement on mental tests among older people with memory problems. (more…)

Is Depression Stealing Your Sex Drive?

Is your brain sabotaging your love life? If you suffer from depression, it’s a good possibility.

Lack of interest in sex could be a symptom of depression. It’s also a really common side effect of antidepressant drugs like Paxil and Prozac. But, whether it’s the cause or the cure that’s undermining desire, the problem is rooted in your brain.

You probably don’t think of your brain as a sex organ, but sexual desire starts in your mind and works its way down to the other parts of your body. (more…)

Proof That These Foods Could Protect Against Heart Disease

A new study has found that eating more fruit and vegetables translates into a lower risk of dying from heart disease. This is a significant point, as heart disease is the world’s leading cause of death. So hit the fruit and vegetable aisle of the supermarket and find items that will protect your heart and help prolong your life.

The study is published online in the “European Heart Journal.”

The data, which come from the “European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition” (EPIC), show that people who ate at least eight portions of fruit and vegetables a day had a 22% lower risk of dying from heart disease than those eating fewer than three portions a day. One portion was defined as weighing 80 grams — or, one small banana, a medium apple, or a small carrot.

The information comes from more than 300,000 people in eight different European countries. Among them, 1,636 died of heart disease. It shows a four percent lower risk of dying from ischemic heart disease (IHD) for each extra fruit or vegetable eaten past two a day. For example, someone eating five portions a day has a four percent lower risk of dying from heart disease than someone eating four portions a day.

IHD is a disease involving reduced blood supply to the heart. It can lead to angina, heart attack, or heart failure.

The study lasted from 1992 to 2000, spread across 10 countries. Participants were between 40 and 85 years of age. They were tracked for an average of nearly eight and a half years. It found that the average intake of fruit and vegetables was five portions a day.

While the study is limited in some ways, there is one main message to cull from it: People who regularly eat multiple fruit and vegetable servings each day have added protection against dying from the world’s leading cause of death. A reduction of 22%, as mentioned earlier, is “huge” according to the researchers.

 

By Victor Marchione, M.D. on 02/01/2011