Archive for the ‘nutrition’ Category

Diet and Exercise May Reduce Risk of Cancer

January 21, 2017

There isn’t a day that goes by that the Internet or the print media isn’t bombarding readers with a new diet that prevents cancer.

Every day, there are headlines that bombard readers with various diets that purportedly prevent cancer: “The Diet That Stops Cancer” and “Eating Your Way Out of Cancer.” But what do the hard data really say about lifestyle choices preventing cancer?  Studies have shown that the combination of healthy eating, not smoking, and regular exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease by 80 percent and of stroke and some cancers by 70 percent.

Although no diet has received conclusive evidence of presenting cancer, there are lifestyle choices such as exercise that support conclusions that they can serve as deterrent of cancer.  Even the American Cancer society recommends avoid being overweight and includes being physically active for at least 30 minutes every day.  They also suggest eating a mostly plant-based diet; limiting red meats and avoiding processed meats; limiting alcoholic drinks (two glasses of wine a day for men and one glass for women); and to protect against cancer (Table 1). Other recommendations include avoid sugary drinks, limit consumption of processed foods and eat more vegetables, whole grains, and legumes such as beans.  Limit salt intake to 1.5 grams per day and limit consumption of salty foods, chips, pretzles, smoked or cured meats like salami, baloney, and beef jerky.

Other Cancer Prevention Recommendations

To prevent breast cancer, the ACS recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week, alcohol intake of one or fewer drinks per day, and maintaining a body mass index (BMI) less than 25 kg/m2. In a study of 2905 women at high-risk for breast cancer, adherence to these three recommendations reduced the risk for breast cancer by 44%.

Perhaps this shouldn’t be all that surprising, given that BMI itself is a risk factor for cancer. Too much body fat triggers insulin resistance, raising levels of insulin and growth factors that promote cancer. Fat also increases estrogen production, which can fuel some cancers, and fat secretes enzymes that promote inflammation.

Numerous medical studies have concluded that avoiding adult weight gain confers protection against certain types of cancer, particularly among nonusers of hormone replacement therapy (HRT). The study found that for each 5-kg increase in adult weight gain, the relative risk was increased 11% for postmenopausal breast cancer among no or low HRT users; 39% and 9% for postmenopausal endometrial cancer among HRT nonusers and users, respectively; and 13% for postmenopausal ovarian cancer among no or low HRT users. For each 5-kg increase in men, the risk for colon cancer increased by 9%. The relative risk for kidney cancer comparing highest and lowest level of adult weight gain was 1.42.

In addition to lowering the risk of cancer, eating a diet that is high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk for all-causes of death and lower risk of dying of cardiovascular causes such as heart disease or stroke.

Bottom line on diet and exercise and cancer prevention:  Weight gain, lack of exercise, and high alcohol intake are the key factors for leading a healthy lifestyle and decreasing the risk of cancer.

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Water, Water Everywhere-How Much Do We Need To Drink?

August 30, 2015

I graduated from medical school in 1968 with the advice to my patients to drink 8 glasses of water a day. If there is one health myth that will not die, it is this: You should drink eight glasses of water a day. It’s just not true. There is no science behind it. Yet the number of people who carry around expensive bottled water seems to be growing each day. A recent White House policy declared that 40 percent of Americans drink less than half of the recommended amount of water daily

There has been a fear that otherwise healthy adults and children are walking around dehydrated, even that dehydration has reached epidemic proportions.

Let’s put these claims under scrutiny.

There was a myth that people should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. The source of this myth was a 1945 Food and Nutrition Board recommendation that said people need about 2.5 liters or about two quarts of water a day. This report also pointed out that most of this quantity is contained in prepared foods. Water is present in fruits and vegetables. It’s in juice, it’s in beer, it’s even in tea and coffee. Before anyone writes me to tell me that coffee is going to dehydrate you, research shows that’s not true either.

Although I recommended water as the best beverage to consume, it’s certainly not your only source of hydration. You don’t have to consume all the water you need through drinks. You also don’t need to worry so much about never feeling thirsty. The human body is finely tuned to signal you to drink long before you are actually dehydrated.

Contrary to many stories you may hear, there’s no real scientific proof that, for otherwise healthy people, drinking extra water has any health benefits. For instance, reviews have failed to find that there’s any evidence that drinking more water keeps skin hydrated and makes it look healthier or wrinkle free.

Other studies fail to find benefits in kidney function or all-cause mortality when healthy people increase their fluid intake.

One possible exception is that drinking water may lead to the prevention of the recurrence of some kinds of kidney stones.

Bottom Line: There is no formal recommendation for a daily amount of water people need. That amount obviously differs by what people eat, where they live, how big they are and what they are doing. In New Orleans with high temperatures and high humidity, consuming more water especially when working or playing outside in the summer is probably a good idea.

Healthy Living-Healthy Sex Life: 5 Action Steps To Improve Your Sex Life

July 7, 2014

Millions of American men after age 50 suffer from ED or erectile dysfunction. Many of these men are prescribe drugs such as Viagra, Levitra, or Cialis which are often successful. However, men can take a non-medical approach to solving ED. This article will discuss five action steps that any man with ED can take to reduce the risk and even treat his problem of ED.

There are five action stseps that can help men with ED. These are proper weight management, adequate sleep, a structured exercise program, limited alcoholic intake and a proper, balanced diet.
Sometimes men need to make changes in their lifestyles. Sexual dysfunction in men is often caused by something that is also life threatening, such as cardiovascular problems. Men who take these lifestyle action steps are often able to go off of medication including increase their sexual performance.

WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
Men who are obese have much lower testosterone levels, which plays a major part in sexual function. I suggest that overweight men lose the pounds by changing their diet and increasing physical activity, which helps in improving erectile problems.

ADEQUATE SLEEP
Men who snore should be evaluated for sleep apnea. This is because sleep apnea will interrupt a man’s sleep cycle, affecting the normal cycles of erections that happen during the night. I also recommend that men get adequate sleep, as sleep deprivation can affect a man’s sex drive. A good sign of a good night’s sleep is a man’s early morning erecttion. If that involuntary morning erection is missing, then men are advised to improve their sleep habit.

REGULAR EXERCISE
Without question, a man in good physical health will have a much better sex life. The fitter you are, the better your sex life will be. A structured exercise program is not only a great way to lose weight and decrease obesity, but it also helps a man to feel better about himself and boost his confidence. Regular exercise also boosts his testosterone, which will rev up his desire.

BALANCED DIET
Lowering cholesterol can help increase a man’s testosterone levels, so diet is crucial when it comes to sexual function. Plus, high sugar levels in men with diabetes can affect the function of the nerves in his penis. Men are advised to change their diet to a more nutritionally balanced one, which will lead to an overall better health, aid in weight management and sugar control, which will get the nerves in the penis going again.

LIMITED ALCOHOL
Surprisingly, a little alcohol can actually help men with ED. One to two drinks a day decrease the risk of cardiovascular problems – a major cause of erectile dysfunction. But don’t go overboard, this can lead to the reverse effect. Moderation is the key here. Animal studies have shown that high volumes of alcohol cause the penis to contract, which is the opposite of what should be going on during sexual arousal.
Alcohol is a suppressant, and the suppression of the central nervous system will cause a decrease in sensitivity to sexual stimulation.

Bottom Line: ED is a common condition that can significantly impact a man’s quality of life. Although medications are helpful, men can take alternative non-medical solutions to get his ED back on track. Not only are these suggestions helpful for controlling ED, they lead to overall health improvement in so many other areas of a man’s life.

Healthy Eating For Middle Aged Men

March 9, 2014

Middle age men are making an effort to improve their lifestyles. They are exercising more than the previous generation and they are making an effort to practice good nutrition. This article will discuss the best foods for the baby boomer generation.

Women in middle age experience menopause, which is the abrupt cessation of the decrease in estrogen production by their ovaries. Men have their own more subtle changes as they age called andropause. With andropause come slowly decreasing testosterone levels, lower metabolism, an enlarged prostate, and an increased risk for cardiovascular problems and other diseases. These changes can affect your sex life, mood, ability to sleep, concentration, and prostate health.
Eating the right foods can help increase your energy level, lower your cholesterol and blood pressure and even improve your sex life. Eating a variety of healthful foods will strengthen your immunity and help you age better. Eating plenty of fiber is also important to keep your digestive track running regularly and decrease the risk of colon cancer.
Nuts

Nuts are some of the best foods for men over 50 for many reasons. Nuts are good for your heart health, but they also pack other benefits in a tiny space. Almonds can improve your sleep and mood. Brazil nuts are helpful for proper prostate functioning. Walnuts have anti-inflammatory properties that are good for muscles. Pistachio nuts can help lower cholesterol, protect your heart, and improve erectile function.
Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, broccoli sprouts, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, cabbage, radishes, and others are some of the best foods for men over 50. They help prevent bladder cancer and other types of cancer (especially when eaten raw) and they are high in fiber. Don’t believe us? Here are 10 reasons to eat broccoli and some studies on how eating vegetables can reduce prostate cancer progression.
Berries

Aging men should try to eat one cup of berries per day. All berries are good for you, but blueberries and acai berries are highest in antioxidants and are especially good for the health of your brain. Feeling forgetful? Pop some berries. Berries are high in vitamin C and fiber. Berries and other foods like apples and tea are rich in flavonoids called anthrocyanins. A study from Harvard found anthrocyanins to be especially beneficial to men in preventing Parkinson’s. Men, but not women, who ate the most of this flavonoid were 40% less likely to develop Parkinson’s than men who ate the least about.
Red and Orange Fruits and Vegetables

Red and orange fruits and vegetable are so good for you. They are high in beta-carotene, which is a precursor to vitamin A, which can help your immune system fight cancer and other diseases. Red and orange bell peppers, pomegranates, tomatoes, beets, carrots, sweet peppers, and chili peppers all top the list for the best foods for men over 50. Chili peppers can help improve your metabolism, work as blood thinners, and even increase your mood by releasing endorphins. Sweet potatoes have been shown to prevent diabetes and many other diseases such as Alzheimers, Parkinsons, cancer, heart attack, and stroke. They even help with skin health and wrinkles. Beets and other vegetables high in nitrates may improve sexual health, and carrots are good for your skin and for fighting cancer and inflammation. You can’t beat lycopene health benefits for men. Lycopene from tomatoes and watermelon help to help boost sexual health while promoting a normal prostate size and fighting against prostate cancer.
Beans and Lentils

Filled with fiber and protein, beans and lentils make a great meat substitute. Like berries, black beans contain anthrocyanins, which are especially good for brain health. People who eat beans at least three times a week experienced a 33% reduced risk of colon polyps (which often lead to colon cancer).
Green Leafy Vegetables

Dark green vegetables are good for your brain health and sexual health. Spinach is high in lutein and can even increase blood flow to the penis, helping with erectile function. Green leafy vegetables are high in folate and potassium, plus they are a great nondairy source for calcium, which is good for your bones. A study reported that that men who ate greater amounts of leafy green vegetables had a 34% reduced risk of aggressive prostate cancer.
Whole Grains

Whole grains are high in fiber and protein too. Oatmeal is one of the best cholesterol lowering foods because oatmeal is high in fiber. The fiber found in whole grains such as oatmeal, barley, brown rice, and wheat calms inflamed tissues and keep the colon and heart healthy. Consider adding quinoa, which is technically a grain-like seed that is a source of complete protein, to your diet of whole grains.
Foods Rich in Omega 3

Some of the best foods for men over 50 are foods high in omega-3 fatty acids for heart, prostate, and brain health. This includes certain fatty fish like wild salmon, tuna, and sardines, and non-fish foods like flaxseed and walnuts. Flaxseed is a high-fiber mood lifter and it improves heart health. Sprinkle flaxseed on yogurt, salad, or oatmeal. When shopping for fish, buy only wild salmon. There are other benefits to eating these fish as well. Tuna is high in niacin for your heart and selenium. It preserves elastin for tighter skin. Some foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids and also contain the mineral zinc are oysters and Alaskan king crab legs. Zinc plays a role in prostate health and sexual health.
Green Tea

Drinking several cups of green tea per day helps prevent cancers such as prostate cancer, plus it provides cardiovascular benefits by improving blood flow and it helps lower cholesterol. In addition, green tea is good for your brain.
Heart-Healthy Oils

The best foods for men over 50 include heart-healthy oils such as olive oil, seeds, nuts, and avocado. Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat and have the ability to help lower cholesterol and reduce inflammation for cells and joints. Heart-healthy oils also are good for prostate health. Some studies on heart healthy food for prostate cancer demonstrated that these foods slowed progression of cancer and increased survival.
Healthy Spices for Men over 50

There are spices for your food that are also available in supplement form. Curcumin, which is derived from turmeric, is good for fighting tumors and it has anti-inflammatory properties that are beneficial for rheumatoid arthritis, prostatitis, and other inflammatory conditions. Cinnamon has many health benefits for aging men as well, including regulating blood sugar lowering cholesterol, helping relieve arthritis pain, and boosting cognitive function and memory. Garlic is another flavoring for food that is one of the best foods for men over 50 because it can lower risk for benign enlargement of the prostate gland.

Bottom Line:
After age 50, it is imperative to your health to develop a healthy lifestyle, which includes regular exercise and paying attention to your nutrition. You will feel better, think better, and fight disease better if you give your body the nutrients and tools it needs to work its best.
This article was inspired by an article on Best Foods For Men Over Age 50.

– See more at: http://www.prostate.net/2013/nutrition/best-foods-for-men-over-50/#sthash.HTb3i2SK.dpuf

Prevent Cancer Recurrence-Eat Right and Exercise a Lot

July 25, 2012

A recent study from Ccancer Journal for Clinicians (April 26, 2012) indicated that prostate cancer patients and those with other forms of cancer should maintain a healthy weight, exercise, and each a healthy diet in order to decrease the risk of recurrence.  Strong evidence shows that both healthy diet and exercise can prevent cancers from recurring.  So if you have cancer and our recovering from cancer surgery, radiation or chemotherapy you need to be plenty of fruits and vegetables, decrease your consumption of red meat, limit your carbohydrate intake, and exercise at least 20 minutes a day 4 days a week.

 

Coke, “It’s the Real Thing” and the Real Thing to Elevate Your Blood Pressure

October 25, 2011

Patients with hypertension may have to start watching their sugar as well as their salt. Data from more than 2,600 patients found that those with the highest intakes of sugar-sweetened beverages like soda and fruit juices seemed to have higher blood pressure readings.
The analysis showed that intake of sugar-sweetened beverages was related to blood pressure. In fact, those who drank the most sugary drinks had the highest blood pressure levels.
The associations with diastolic blood pressure were also direct, the researchers added.
The relationship was stronger among those with higher urinary sodium excretion, since higher salt intake is an important cause of high blood pressure in itself.
Interestingly, intake of diet beverages was not associated with high blood pressure, the researchers said.
It appears that empty calories from these drinks displace calories from other foods that have beneficial nutrients such as minerals and vitamins.
Bottom Line: We know that blood pressure is sensitive to the salt that is consumed in the diet. Now we have to consider the amount of sugar-sweetened beverages that patients drink especially if they have a history or are prone to hypertension.

The Right Way To Eat Fruit

September 28, 2011

We all think eating fruit means just buying fruit, cutting it up and popping it into our mouths. It’s not that easy. It’s important to know how and when to eat fruit.
Why is fruit important? Eating fruit like that plays a major role in detoxifying your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities.

So What is the correct way to eat fruit? Begin by not eating fruit after a meal. Fruit is meant to be eaten on an empty stomach. Let’s say you eat two slices of bread, then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it’s prevented from doing so. In the meantime, the whole meal rots and ferments, and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach, and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil.
Eat your fruit on an empty stomach, or before your meal! You’ve heard people complain: Every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats, when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet, etc. This will not happen if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. Fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas. Hence, you bloat!
There’s no such thing as some fruits, like orange and lemon are acidic, because ALL fruit becomes alkaline in our body. If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruit, you have the Secret of Beauty, Longevity, Health, Energy, Happiness and normal weight.
When you need to drink fruit juice drink only fresh fruit juice, NOT the concentrated juice from the cans. Don’t drink juice that has been heated. Don’t eat cooked fruit; you don’t get the nutrients at all. You get only the taste. Cooking destroys ALL of the vitamins.
Eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice. If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it mix with your saliva before swallowing it. You can go on a 3-day fruit-fast to cleanse your body. Eat fruit and drink fruit juice for just 3 days, and you will be surprised when your friends say how radiant you look!
KIWI: Tiny but mighty, and a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E and fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange!
AN APPLE a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants and flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C, thereby helping to lower the risk of colon cancer, heart attack and stroke.
STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits and protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.
EATING 2 – 4 ORANGES a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent and dissolve kidney stones, and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. Also a key source of lycopene, the cancer-fighting oxidant. Also found in watermelon: Vitamin C and Potassium.
GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene, good for your eyes.
Drinking Cold water after a meal = Cancer! Can you believe this? For those who like to drink cold water, this applies to you. It’s nice to have a cold drink after a meal, however, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you’ve just consumed, which slows digestion. Once this ‘sludge’ reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.
A serious note about heart attacks. Women should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting. Be aware of intense pain in the jaw. You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms. Sixty percent of people who have a heart attack while they’re asleep do not wake up. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Be careful, and be aware. The more we know, the better our chance to survive.
Bottom Line: There certainly is a medicinal value in eating fruit. But just as important as eating fruit, you need to know how and when to do so.
This article was inspired by an article written by Dr. Oz, http://www.threebrancheshealth.com/blog/dr.-oz-talks-about-eating-fruit-and-food-combining/

An Apple A Day Does More Thank Keep the Doctor Away-It Just Might Make You Live Longer…Especially If You Are a Fruit Fly!*

March 29, 2011

Scientists are reporting the first evidence that consumption of a healthful antioxidant substance in apples extends the average lifespan of test animals, and does so by 10 percent. The new results, obtained with fruit flies – stand-ins for humans in hundreds of research projects each year – bolster similar findings on apple antioxidants in other animal tests. The study appears in ACS’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Zhen-Yu Chen and colleagues note that damaging substances generated in the body, termed free radicals, cause undesirable changes believed to be involved in the aging process and some diseases. Substances known as antioxidants can combat this damage. Fruits and vegetables in the diet, especially brightly colored foods like tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries, and apples are excellent sources of antioxidants. A previous study with other test animals hinted that an apple antioxidant could extend average lifespan. In the current report, the researchers studied whether different apple antioxidants, known as polyphenols, could do the same thing in fruit flies.  (This is particularly good news for fruit flies. If I were a fruit fly I would want to live longer too.)

The researchers found that apple polyphenols not only prolonged the average lifespan of fruit flies but helped preserve their ability to walk, climb and move about. In addition, apple polyphenols reversed the levels of various biochemical substances found in older fruit flies and used as markers for age-related deterioration and approaching death. Chen and colleagues note that the results support those from other studies, including one in which women who often ate apples had a 13-22 percent decrease in the risk of heart disease, and polish the apple’s popular culture image as a healthy food.

*J Agric Food Chem. 2011 Mar 9;59(5):2097-106. Epub 2011 Feb 14.
Apple Polyphenols Extend the Mean Lifespan of Drosophila melanogaster.

Eat Your Veggies-It Just May Prevent Cancer

January 31, 2011

Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds that preferentially destroy ineffective mutant p53 tumor suppressor proteins, but leave the good ones alone. Steve Mirsky reports in the Scientific American.

Generations of American children have been told, “Eat your broccoli!” And for decades, researchers have known that broccoli and related vegetables like cauliflower and watercress appeared to lower the risk of some cancers. And that compounds in the vegetables could kill cancer cells. But how the cruciferous veggies worked their medical magic was a mystery. Until now. Because researchers have figured out just what broccoli does that helps keep cancer in check. The work appears in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. [Xiantao Wang et al., “Selective Depletion of Mutant p53 by Cancer Chemoprevention Isothiocyanates and Their Structure-Activity Relationships“]

Proteins coded by the gene p53 help keep cancer from starting to grow. But when the p53 gene is mutated, the protection is gone. Mutated p53 is implicated in about half of all human cancers.

Broccoli and its relatives are rich in compounds called isothiocyanates, or ITCs. And these ITCs apparently destroy the products of the mutant p53 gene, but leave the healthy p53 proteins alone and free to suppress tumor development.

The researchers write that “depletion of mutant p53 may reduce drug resistance and lead to new strategies for treating cancer in the clinic.” In the meantime, eat your broccoli!

 

Berries For Your Blood Pressure-How Strawberries Can Reduce Your Risk of Hypertension

January 30, 2011

Eating just 1 cup of strawberries or blueberries each week can reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. The new findings appear in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The new study included 87,242 women who took part in the Nurses’ Health Study II, 46,672 women from the Nurses’ Health Study I, and 23,043 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up study. During the 14-year follow-up period, 29,018 women and 5,629 men developed high blood pressure.

Men and women with the highest amount of anthocyanin from blueberries and strawberries had an 8% reduction in their risk for developing high blood pressure, compared to study participants who ate the least amount of these anthocyanin-rich berries, the study showed.

Anthocyanin is a powerful antioxidant that gives blueberries and strawberries their vibrant color. It may also help open blood vessels, which allows for smoother blood flow and a lower risk for high blood pressure.