August 2014


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FDA approved over-the-counter access to the "morning-after" pill!


 

Food and Drug Administration Ends Political Posturing, Allows Over-the-Counter Access to "Morning-After" Pill

Pro-choice group praises Sens. Clinton and Murray for leading the fight against political interference at the FDA

To read this article FDA approved over-the-counter access to the "morning-after" pill!, click here.

Active ImagePositive Religious Thoughts Help Overcome Stress

A new study suggests that having positive religious thoughts may protect a patient's psychological well-being during stressful experiences, such as undergoing cardiac surgery. In contrast, negative religious views were found to potentially hinder a patient's recovery process.

Although many studies have been conducted regarding the relationship between health-related well-being and religion, researchers from the University of Washington and the University of Connecticut found that the connection between the two is more complicated that previously believed.

The researchers studied the religious coping styles of 309 subjects who underwent cardiac surgery at the University of Michigan Medical Center. They found that subjects who employed positive religious coping techniques experienced less anxiety and depression and more perceived social support than those who relied on negative religious coping mechanisms.

The positive religious coping techniques included seeking religious support, collaborative religious coping (bonding with others who share similar religious beliefs) and exercising religious forgiveness, among others. The negative religious coping styles included, but were not limited to, religious discontent, spiritual discontent and religious doubt.

"These pathways appear to be key in understanding how religious coping styles may be helpful or harmful to a person’s ability to handle stressful situations. These findings imply that health and mental health professionals should be more attentive to faith factors as inspirational or motivational springboards in some contexts," said lead study author Any L. Ai, PhD, of the University of Washington.

The results of the study will be presented at the 114th annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

To Read the article Positive religious thoughts help patients overcome stress, click here. 

Editors Commentary:

Religion can be a significant positive force for health and well-being. Studies have shown that both belonging to a religion and praying can help balance life, reduce stress, improve biologic function and improve the day to day quality of life it self. Studies, this one included have also shown that religion can have a negative side and this negative side can be destructions actually leading to illness and perpetuating disease.

What makes the difference between "positive religion" and "negative religion" is how and what we think. If your religion encourages tolerance and you are not tolerant then we see negative results both for society and for the person. Love, joining and working together, acceptance, tolerance, avoiding lies, deceit and causing hurt to others or to yourself are primary factors in "positive religion. On the other hand, anger, feelings of superiority, deceit, bigotry, intolerance, hatred, disgust, and dishonesty are traits of "negative religion."

Many people talk about following the Golden Rule and then ignore it. Many people talk tolerance but are in fact bigots. These are negative and destructive qualities and should be worked upon. Talk with your minister, your priest, your rabbi or clergy and find the unresolved conflicts that create negative and destructive behavior. You will like how you feel when you let go of these demons. You will find yourself closer to God and to your fellow man.

 

About the Mediterranean-Style Diet

Introduction

There is very strong evidence that a Mediterranean-style diet, one in which olive oil is the principal source of fat, can contribute to the prevention of a number of heart and vascular risk factors. Conditions such as elevated blood cholesterol, elevated triglycerides, high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity, which are all acknowledged as principle causes or high risk factors in the prevention of coronary heart disease and stroke can all be positively affected using the Mediterranean-style diet. There is also evidence suggesting that a Mediterranean-style diet can play an important preventive role against some cancers as well as against the creation of arthritic conditions.

The traditional Mediterranean-style diet is characterized by eating an abundance of plant-based foods such as whole grain breads, whole grain pastas, fresh vegetables, salads, legumes (beans), fruit and nuts. Olive oil, which is known to lower both total blood cholesterol and triglycerides, is used as the principal source of fat. The typical Mediterranean-style diet involves eating low to moderate amounts of fish, sea foods, poultry, dairy products and eggs and a minimum of red meat. A low to moderate amount of wine can be consumed along with daily meals. The benefit of this diet is that it is low in saturated fatty acids and rich in healthy carbohydrate and fiber. It is also contains a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, primarily derived from olive oil, which as lower total cholesterol and blood triglycerides.

In its healthiest form, stated above, the individual at high risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer or arthritic conditions would also want to reduce or eliminate as much as possible all refined and processed foods. By eliminating refined and processed foods and eating primarily whole fresh foods long standing vitamin mineral deficiencies that can lead to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and arthritic conditions can be significantly decreased. This is a healthier way of eating and allows not only for prevention of the conditions discussed above but also for optimal health of the entire body and the person in habiting it.

 

What Is the Real Evidence That the Mediterranean-style Diet Containing Olive Oil Is Beneficial to Health?

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)

  • Biochemical and clinical studies in number of large European and US population studies have shown beyond doubt that a high-fat diet, high saturated fatty acids (SFA) diet common in most Western and Northern European countries, raises heart plaque producing LDL-cholesterol and thus is causally related to a high incidence of Coronary Heart Disease, heart attacks.
  • In contrast, a diet rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber (fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts) and where fat source is primarily from monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) such as found in the olive oil-rich, and such is part of the Mediterranean-style diet lowers LDL-cholesterol and total blood cholesterol is associated with a low incidence of Coronary Heart Disease, heart attacks.
  • Many studies now show that blood lipid levels are better controlled and improved and other health benefits manifested when the Mediterranean-style diet is used. This includes but is not limited to decreased risk for stroke, diabetes, cancer, metabolic syndrome, obesity and arthritic conditions.
  • Individuals using the traditional Mediterranean-style diet have been shown to generally lower blood pressures when compared with individuals eating a typical Western diet.
  • Studies involving vegetarians demonstrate that a high intake of complex carbohydrate and dietary fiber such as found in the Mediterranean-style diet and the low intake of SFA have beneficial effects that could lower the risk of diabetes.
  • Study data now shows a strong beneficial relationship between complex carbohydrate intake and body weight. Because of its high content of complex carbohydrates, the Mediterranean-style diet has, on average, a lower energy content than a high-fat diet which makes it considerably more valuable for the prevention and even treatment of obesity.
  • Cancer

  • Studies now provide direct evidence that in countries where a Mediterranean-style diet is consumed, the incidence colon cancer is much lower than in countries eating he typical western high fat, refined food diet.
  • Studies now provide direct evidence demonstrating that a high intake of fresh fruit and vegetables, particularly raw vegetables, protects against cancers at different sites, especially those of the digestive and respiratory tracts and the hormone related cancers.
  • The major features of the Mediterranean-style diet are consistent with important findings which indicate reductions in the incidence of cancer at a number of important sites, especially breast cancer.
  • How Does Olive Oil Exerts its Beneficial Effect on Health?

    The major fatty acid of olive oil is oleic acid. It is a monounsaturated fatty acid. Olive oil also contains some small amount of saturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fatty acids. When ingested this combination acts to lower the circulating saturated fatty acids. Olive oil also contains antioxidants, such as vitamin E and polyphenols which are essential to the body and reduce free radicals hence cancer and arthritis. The beneficial health effects of olive oil are due to both its high content of monounsaturated fatty acids and its high content of antioxidative substances.

    When eating olive oil as the primary source of dietary fat, we avoid eating saturated fats which can lead to hardening of the arteries. When substituted for serum cholesterol-elevating saturated fatty acids, the monounsaturated fatty acids found in olive oil act to reduce total cholesterol as well as LDL-cholesterol without reducing the levels of the "good" HDL-cholesterol. This leads to favorable changes in the blood lipid profile and possibly to changes in the physical-chemical properties of lipoproteins. In this way, olive oil with its high monounsaturated fatty acid content may contribute to the prevention and management of hypercholesterolemia (total and LDL-cholesterol) which is a primary risk factor for the development of atherosclerosis, and to the prevention of coronary heart disease.

    The consumption of olive oil increases the intake of monounsaturated fatty acids without any significant elevation of SFA, and simultaneously ensures an appropriate intake of the essential polyunsaturated fatty acids.

     

    What Role Does Olive Oil and the Mediterranean-Style Diet Play in the Prevention of Heart Attack and Stoke?

    The adoption of a Mediterranean-style diet, with olive oil as a principal source of dietary fat, within the recommended limits of total fat intake, plays play an important role in providing a dietary shield for optimal health. The beneficial effect of olive oil on the risk of heart attack and stroke is mostly due to its favorable effects on blood lipids, including their oxidizability.

    The Lyon Diet Heart Study looked at patients recovering from heart attack. It demonstrated that a Mediterranean-style diet, one high in monounsaturated fatty acids, even when adapted to a Western population, protects against coronary heart disease better than other recommended linoleic-acid rich diets for such patients.

     

    Conclusion:

    The Mediterranean-style diet provides an excellent example of a tasty and healthy diet which contributes to reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, both as primary and secondary prevention, and possibly also cancer, diabetes, obesity and hypertension.

    A low fat Mediterranean-style diet, along with stopping smoking, regular exercise and stress reduction is a sensible way to lower your risk of heart attack, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, obesity, cancer of the colon and/or breasts as well as arthritis.

     

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    Exercise is very important in managing diabetes. Combining diet, exercise and medicine (when prescribed) will help control your weight and blood glucose level.

    Your Heart Will Like the Mediterranean Diet

    At the 46th annual conference of the American Heart Association researchers reported on the anti-inflammatory affects of the Mediterranean diet. They noted that in their study of healthy people, 326 women and 585 men ate a Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is special in that it is a diet which is high in fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans), nuts, seeds and grains. It is low in saturated fat encouraging the use of chicken, turkey, fish and other sea foods over red meats.

    The researchers first looked at adherence to the diet. This was measured by scoring the frequency with which participants ate certain foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, and alcohol. They also noted the mono-unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio in the participants' diets.

    The initial study group was monitored for 23 months between 2002-2003 and their blood C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were measured periodically during the study. CRP is a non-specific marker of inflammation that has been tied to an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Researchers observed lower levels of CRP in individuals in the study. It is currently believed that a lower CRP level will translate into a decreased cardiovascular and coronary artery disease risk.

    The Mediterranean diet has already been shown to create significant improvement in blood lipids lowering both total cholesterol as well as LDL or bad cholesterol. It also have significant in being a safe way to lose weight and thin down the waistline. It appears to even have benefits when compared to eating the more traditional "heart healthy diet." Still even of greater importance was the fact that people eating the Mediterranean diet enjoyed what they were eating more and found it easier to continue to eat this way on a long-term basis.

    The Mediterranean diet isn't actually a single diet, but more accurately it is described as a "style" of eating that is associated with the countries that surround the Mediterranean sea, particularly Spain, Italy, Greece and North Africa. The Mediterranean diet is full of healthy, low fat food choices. One problem often seen is when people try to "Americanize" it. Like any style of eating, it's loses something when take it out of its native context. When mixed with processed and refined foods, more red meat is added to tends to lose it best feature its ability to promote heart health.

    As Americans we often tend to think that if something is good for us, we should eat more of it. We then tend to over eat. The value of he Mediterranean Diets eating relatively small proteins of filling healthy foods. The Mediterranean diet along with regular exercise creates an inherently healthy lifestyle which can go along way not only to protect your heart, prevent stoke, but also reduce arthritis and allow healthy safe weight loss or weight control.

    To learn more about the Mediterranean diet, click here.

    At the 46th annual conference of the American Heart Association researchers reported on the anti-inflammatory affects of the Mediterranean diet. They noted that in their study of healthy people, 326 women and 585 men ate a Mediterranean diet. The Mediterranean diet is special in that it is a diet which is high in fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans), nuts, seeds and grains. It is low in saturated fat encouraging the use of chicken, turkey, fish and other sea foods over red meats.

    The researchers first looked at adherence to the diet. This was measured by scoring the frequency with which participants ate certain foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds and grains, meat and meat products, dairy products, fish, and alcohol. They also noted the mono-unsaturated-to-saturated fat ratio in the participants' diets.

    The initial study group was monitored for 23 months between 2002-2003 and their blood C-reactive protein (CRP) levels were measured periodically during the study. CRP is a non-specific marker of inflammation that has been tied to an increased risk of heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Researchers observed lower levels of CRP in individuals in the study. It is currently believed that a lower CRP level will translate into a decreased cardiovascular and coronary artery disease risk.

    The Mediterranean diet has already been shown to create significant improvement in blood lipids lowering both total cholesterol as well as LDL or bad cholesterol. It also have significant in being a safe way to lose weight and thin down the waistline. It appears to even have benefits when compared to eating the more traditional "heart healthy diet." Still even of greater importance was the fact that people eating the Mediterranean diet enjoyed what they were eating more and found it easier to continue to eat this way on a long-term basis.

    The Mediterranean diet isn't actually a single diet, but more accurately it is described as a "style" of eating that is associated with the countries that surround the Mediterranean sea, particularly Spain, Italy, Greece and North Africa. The Mediterranean diet is full of healthy, low fat food choices. One problem often seen is when people try to "Americanize" it. Like any style of eating, it's loses something when take it out of its native context. When mixed with processed and refined foods, more red meat is added to tends to lose it best feature its ability to promote heart health.

    As Americans we often tend to think that if something is good for us, we should eat more of it. We then tend to over eat. The value of he Mediterranean Diets eating relatively small proteins of filling healthy foods. The Mediterranean diet along with regular exercise creates an inherently healthy lifestyle which can go along way not only to protect your heart, prevent stoke, but also reduce arthritis and allow healthy safe weight loss or weight control.

    To learn more about the Mediterranean diet, click here.