“A friend=new world”

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive,

and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.  – Anais Nin

Be a friend today.

 

Improving your health one helpful deed at a time.

Good friends improve heart energy, endorphins the feel good hormones that decrease the adverse effects of chronic stress and over emotionalism.

Friends are good for your well-being.

 

 

Resources

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“Step up to the new Food Plate?”

The old question What’s on your plate has taken on new meaning today with the unveiling of the new Food Plate image that will replace the food pyramid. Government (USDA) hopes that Americans who found  following the dietary guidelines of the food pyramid challenging will step up to the plate and eat healthier now.

It’s an icon that works, says WebMD nutrition director Kathleen Zelman, RD.
“We now have an easy-to-understand layout of what constitutes a healthy meal,” Zelman says. “Whether you are grocery shopping, packing lunches, or assembling a meal on a plate, the new food plate icon will serve as a constant reminder of the essential ingredients for a nutritious meal — five easy pieces.”
The icon makes it clear that fruits and veggies should make up half of your meal, while protein is the smallest part of the plate. The grain portion is a bit larger and still offers the advice to “make half your grains whole,” which some nutritionists say leaves too much room for less healthy refined grains such as white rice and white bread.
Other top-line advice accompanying the icon is less controversial:
Balance calories by enjoying food but eating less, and by avoiding oversize portions.
Eat more good stuff: Make half the plate fruit and vegetables, switch to nonfat or low-fat milk.
Eat less bad stuff: Look for lower-sodium soups, breads, and frozen meals; drink water instead of sugary drinks.
In the fall, the USDA will launch a suite of interactive web-based tools including:
Daily, personalized food plans.
Daily food plans for kids and preschoolers.
Daily food plans for new mothers and pregnant women.
MyFoodapedia: information on food groups, calories, and food comparisons.
Food Tracker: feedback on your food intake and physical activity
Food Planner: a tool to plan meals that will help you reach personal goals.

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/k7Ghwrsrc=nldne

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/j1GZkj

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“Pesticides and Parkinson’s disease”

Researchers at UCLA announced they had discovered a linked Parkinson’s disease to two chemicals commonly sprayed on crops to fight pests.
For farmers who constantly work with pesticides and for people living near where farm fields the risk for Parkinson’s disease increased by 75 percent. The three culprits are fungicide maneb, the herbicide paraquat and pesticide, ziram.

Further study indicated that individuals working in building near the fields like in school teachers, fire fighters, office workers or clerks risk from secondary (ambient) exposure is 80 per cent.
There is strong evidence in humans that the combination of the three chemicals confers a greater risk of Parkinson’s than exposure to the individual chemicals alone. Because these pesticides affect different mechanisms leading to cell death, they may act together to increase the risk of developing the disorder: Those exposed to all three experienced the greatest increase in risk.

Scientists knew that in animal models and cell cultures, such pesticides trigger a neurodegenerative process that leads to Parkinson’s, a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system that often impairs motor skills, speech and other functions and for which there is no cure.
The disease has been reported to occur at high rates among farmers and in rural populations, contributing to the hypothesis that agricultural pesticides may be partially responsible.

Exposure to these toxic chemicals may have occurred years before the onset of motor symptoms, when a diagnosis of Parkinson’s is made.

Avoid pesticide use.

Ziram synuclein accumulated in dopamine neurons, selectively killing them. When it was given systemically to rodents, it reproduced many of the features of Parkinson’s disease.
Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/jdN63I

“Afraid of big bad wolf -diet soda?”

Research results reported at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference in Los Angeles

People who drank diet soda daily had a 61 percent increased risk of cardiovascular events compared to those who drank no soda, even when accounting for smoking, physical activity, alcohol consumption and calories consumed per day.”This study suggests that diet soda is not an optimal substitute for sugar-sweetened beverages, and may be associated with a greater risk of stroke,” Hannah Gardener of the University of Miami and her colleagues reported at the conference.

The risk persisted after controlling for metabolic syndrome, peripheral vascular disease, and cardiac disease history.

The researchers looked at more than 2500 people from the multi-ethnic Northern Manhattan Study. Participants were asked to report how much and what kind of soda they drank.

During an average follow-up of 9.3 years, 559 vascular events occurred, including ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke.

The researchers also observed a marginally significant increased risk for vascular events among those who consumed diet soda daily and regular soda once or more a month (adjusted relative risk, 1.74; 95% confidence interval, 0.96 – 3.16).

As reported by Medscape Medical News, previous studies have suggested a link between diet soda consumption and the risk for metabolic syndrome and diabetes.

This is the first time diet drinks have been associated with vascular events.

 

Resources

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“Acetaminophen isn’t free from cardio risk”

Acetaminophen may raise blood pressure
For people with cardiovascular disease who need relief from aches and pains, acetaminophen (Tylenol and its generic cousins) has long been touted as a “safer” alternative to aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen. See list of current products containing acetaminophen click here.

Other side effects of acetaminophen include

Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:

  • rash
  • hives
  • itching
  • swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • hoarseness
  • difficulty breathing or swallowing

Swiss research study warns that it you should be cautious that it  as with all medication. Acetaminophen isn’t free from cardiovascular side effects. It is worth a try as a first-line drug for pain relief, but it can have negative effect on your blood pressure.
Acetaminophen under the microscope
The Swiss team found that the people suffering  with

  • blood pressure of people with coronary artery disease,
  • angina (chest pain with exercise or stress)
  • anyone who has had bypass surgery or angioplasty
  • those with cholesterol-clogged arteries.

The study

33 men and women with one or more of the health problems listed above

took 1,000 milligrams (mg) of acetaminophen

or

an identical placebo three times a day for two weeks.

Then, after a two-week break, each volunteer took the other treatment. The amount of acetaminophen used in the study is a standard daily dose for pain.

Results
When the participants took acetaminophen, average systolic blood pressure (the top number of a blood pressure reading) increased from 122.4 to 125.3, while the average diastolic pressure (the bottom number) increased from 73.2 to 75.4. Blood pressure stayed steady when participants took the placebo. These increases aren’t large. But they indicate that acetaminophen, like NSAIDs, somehow affects the cardiovascular system. A larger, longer trial would have given more reliable results. It would also have been unethical, since none of the participants were in pain. That means they couldn’t reap any benefit from acetaminophen, but could only be harmed by it.

Making choices
The sudden removal of the popular painkiller Vioxx from the market in October 2004 over concerns that it caused cardiovascular problems put all pain relievers under the spotlight — except acetaminophen. It avoided the “black box” warning about increased risk of cardiac problems that the FDA now requires on the labels of all NSAIDs. And the American Heart Association later recommended it as a safe alternative to NSAIDs.

Acetaminophen is easier on the stomach than aspirin and other NSAIDs, and is probably a good option for people who take warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven, generic) or clopidogrel (Plavix). But because it is so widely used and perceived as safe, people tend to take it without thinking, one reason acetaminophen is a leading cause of liver failure and transplantation in the United States.
If you have some form of cardiovascular disease, it makes sense to take acetaminophen rather than an NSAID for a fever, headache, pulled muscle, or other occasional problem. But if you need relief every day for pain from osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, acetaminophen may not be a better option than an NSAID — it doesn’t work that well against inflammatory pain and, like an NSAID, may slightly elevate blood pressure.

The key message from this study is that acetaminophen isn’t free from cardiovascular side effects. It is worth a try as a first-line drug for pain relief, but if it doesn’t control your pain, it is reasonable to switch to an NSAID.

Resources
Excerpts provided courtesy of   http://hvrd.me/fbVSUy

Excerpts provided courtesy of   http://1.usa.gov/ihr61A

Image 1. courtesy of acetaminophen-300×202.jpg

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“Death by worms”

The hookworm, the whipworm and the spiral threadworm cause mortality and death  to one billionpeople across the globe

New parasitic worm discovery could help 1 billion people worldwide.
Scientists have discovered why some people may be protected from harmful parasitic worms naturally while others cannot in what could lead to new therapies for up to one billion people worldwide.
The University of Manchester researchers have, for the first time, identified

Mucin-5AC as a protein that in humans is encoded by the MUC5AC gene to be the key component of the mucus found in the guts of humans and animals is toxic to worms.

Dr Sumaira Hasnain, the lead researcher said “For the first time, we have discovered that a single component of the mucus barrier, the Muc5ac mucin, is essential for worm expulsion.
Learning who is and isn’t susceptible to parasitic worms can lead to new treatments for people with chronic worm infections.

How does Muc5ac mucin effect cells?

  • The abnormal expression of gastric M1/MUC5AC mucin in precancerous lesions and colon cancer.
  • Cigarette smoke when it enters lung tissue induces MUC5AC mucin overproduction via tumor necrosis factor-α-converting enzyme in human airway epithelial (NCI-H292) cells.
  • During inflammation Nitric oxide (NO) is generally increased in airway diseases. This causes NO to increase the secretion of mucin from the goblet cell and submucosal glands.

“These parasitic worms live in the gut, which is protected by a thick layer of mucus,” explained Dr David Thornton, from the University’s Wellcome Trust Center for Cell Matrix Research. “The mucus barrier is not just slime, but a complex mixture of salts, water and large ‘sugar-coated’ proteins called mucins that give mucus its gel-like properties.

By creating more mucous study mice were able to expel this whipworm from the gut. Importantly, the mucus from these mice contained the mucin, Muc5ac. This mucin is rarely present in the gut, but when it is, it alters the physical properties of the mucus gel.
Mice unable to genetically produce Muc5ac were unable to expel the worms, despite having a strong immune response against these parasites. This resulted in long-term infections.

Muc5ac is also essential for the efficient expulsion from the gut like hookworm, and the spiral threadworm. Together, these worms cause mortality and morbidity in up to one billion people across the globe.
Excerpts and Image 2. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/kj9cXm
Image 1. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/kuLDE5

“Fighting for quality school eats”

Concerned about the obesity of our children, the battle starts here, in their school’s cafeteria.

If you’ve been wondering where Season 2 of the Food Revolution had gone on ABC do not fear the show is taking a short break following the recent positive events in the Food Revolution in L.A .

Looking forward to seeing the superintendent of the LAUSD offering to recommend to the board the removal of flavored milk from schools and agreeing to work with Jamie.

All new episodes beginning Friday, June 3rd at 9pm ET/8pm CT.

If you’ve missed either of the first two episodes, they will be airing back-to-back on Friday May 27th at 8:00 and 9:00 pm ET (7 and 8 CT) or you can watch them on www.abc.com !

You can get involved with the Food Revolution below.

Sign Jamie’s petition! We want to reach 1 million. If you’ve already signed ask all of you friends and family to do so as well. Signing up to our newsletters is also a great way to stay informed on all things Food Revolution and receive a roundup of the latest news each week, just fill in the ‘Stay in the loop’ box on the website.

• Join the Food Revolution Community on Facebook for the latest news, actions, announcements and recipe of the week. We want you to download the recipe of the week, cook it and post a picture of your creation on the community wall. This week it’s the delicious Caesar on the Lighter Side, you have until the end of Tuesday each week to post your photo. We’ll be posting our team photo each Friday so check out the Community page for this. We’ll be picking the best ones and featuring them in our weekly newsletter and on the website.

• Check out our Activists map to find a local group in your area to connect with and join their Facebook page. If there isn’t one locally submit a request to create a group and become a local leader. All leaders receive a handy Welcome Toolkit to get them started and all groups receive messages from Jamie and the team, we want you to succeed in your local campaign and will be keeping track of the great work already going on.

• Our Sugary Milk Campaign already has over 48,000 signers, to sign up and find out more about the campaign and milk in schools click here and read about the success in LA so far here.

• Join our weekly Competwitions and Twitter parties on Tuesdays and Wednesdays where the community gets together to talk recipes, school food, cooking, gardening and the Food Revolution campaign. Read some of the conversation from this week’s party and competwition – including this week’s winner!

The Food Revolution Team

Season 2 EP1&2 airing May 27 on ABC 8/7c then weekly on Fridays 9/8c from June 3.

Article courtesy of  www.jamiesfoodrevolution.com

Image courtesy of http://bit.ly/lfKvZA

“A recipe for a quality life”

It is about Quality in
buying food, preparation, companions,work and service = quality life

75 per cent of Americans are focused on eating more whole grains

What is a whole grain?
A whole grain is a grain unprocessed and straight from Mother Nature.
They include: amaranth, barley, brown rice, bulgar wheat, couscous, millet, oatmeal, popcorn (seed), quinoa, sorghum and triticale (a hybrid of rye and wheat whole oats, whole rye, wild rice (a blend of seeds) and whole wheat.

To be a whole grain it must still contain the bran and germ, when it is processed the brain and germ are removed, leaving behind the white endosperm. This causes many nutrients to be left behind.
To try to make up for the bleeding of nutrients through processing, companies will throw in a sprinkle of vitamins and call their product “enriched”. There is nothing enriching about this scam. 25% of their original protein content and 17 other essential nutrients are usually lost.

Whole grain breads pack more protein, fiber, vitamins (B vitamins and vitamin E), and minerals (magnesium and iron), as well as some antioxidants not found in junk foods.

The U.S. government recommends that half of your daily grains servings should be whole grains. That’s at least three servings of whole grains per day.

Even desserts can be made more nutritious using whole grains and a natural sugar.

Help Finding whole grain products

Until recently, finding whole grain products was difficult. Is this product whole grain, or simply refined flour with caramel coloring? Does 100% wheat mean it’s whole grain? What does multigrain really mean?
Help from the whole grains council
The Whole Grains Council is helping consumers to find and eat more whole grains
Look for the Whole Grain Stamp, a special packaging symbol now on hundreds and hundreds of popular products. Check out the list of “Stamped Products” here on our website.
At Restaurants, using our list of food outlets that offer at least one whole grain choice at every meal.
For Foodservice, using our new foodservice list. If you run a restaurant or cafeteria, you need to know where you can buy bulk containers of whole grains – not the usual consumer-size products. We can help.

It is about Quality in
buying food, preparation, companions,work and service = quality life

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/kc3eEY

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“Optimum vitamin D level above 50 ng/ml”

Make it or take it vitamin D level over 50 ng/ml

Professor Hollis is the scientist who provided the best reason to keep your vitamin D level around 50 ng/ml.  Some scientists say 20 ng/ml is good enough because parathyroid hormone (PTH) is pretty much suppressed with levels of 20, other scientists say levels should be 30 because calcium absorption is maximized with that level.  That is, PTH suppression and calcium absorption are biomarkers for adequate vitamin D blood levels.

Professor Hollis provided another biomarker, one every woman – and most men – can immediately accept as the best biomarker yet: how much vitamin D does a woman need to be sure that her breast milk has adequate vitamin D?  When you think about it, that’s about as good as biomarkers get.

Professor Hollis answered that question in his research, finding that when a lactating woman has vitamin D blood levels of 40-50 ng/ml, her breast milk finally has enough vitamin D to support the vitamin D levels of her nursing infant. At levels below 40, the vitamin D content of breast milk becomes unpredictable.  Human breast milk – unlike the breast milk of wild mammals – has little or no vitamin D.  Nature’s most perfect food is too often void of the pre-hormone needed for infant growth and development.

Dr. Bruce found that breast milk is not void of it, it is just that virtually all modern lactating women are void of it.

There is a 25-hydroxyvitamin D test, also called a 25(OH)D. Levels should be above 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/L) year-round, in both children and adults. Thanks to Bruce Hollis, Robert Heaney, Neil Binkley, and others, we now know the minimal acceptable level. It is 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/L). In a recent study, Heaney, et al expanded on Bruce Hollis’s seminal work by analyzing five studies in which both the parent compound (cholecalciferol) and 25(OH)D levels were measured. They found that the body does not reliably begin storing cholecalciferol in fat and muscle tissue until 25(OH)D levels get above 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/L). The average person starts to store cholecalciferol at 40 ng/ml (100 nmol/L), but at 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/L) virtually everyone begins to store it for future use.

At levels below 50 ng/ml (125 nmol/L), the body uses up vitamin D as fast as you can make it, or take it, indicating chronic substrate starvation—not a good thing. 25(OH)D levels should be between 50–80 ng/ml (125–200 nmol/L), year-round.

Two forms of Vitamin D are important in humans: ergocalciferol (vitamin D2) and cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Vitamin D2 is synthesized by plants. Vitamin D3 is synthesized by humans in the skin when it is exposed to ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from sunlight. Foods may be fortified with vitamin D2 or D3.Vitamin
Other ways Vitamin D is needed in the body

  • maintains normal blood levels of calcium and phosphorus.
  • aids in the absorption of calcium, helping to form and maintain strong bones.
  • protection from osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), cancer, and several autoimmune diseases.
  • calcium absorption which your bones need to grow.
  • needed for nerve, muscle, and immune systems function.

Excerpts courtesy of John Cannell, MD/Vitamin D Council  http://bit.ly/kAGVcX

Excerpts courtesy of  http://bit.ly/kcNiCV

Image 1. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/kcNiCV

Image 2. courtesy of  http://bit.ly/m7ae5K

 

“Tai Chi for heart health n office relaxation”

This gentle, graceful movement form packs serious health benefits for all ages that practice Tai chi daily. It has recently been in the news for its help at improving heart heart and for stress reduction.

Many of these exercises can be done sitting at your office desk as well or in a straight back chair at home.

Take 5 minutes  to watch and relax with Tai Chi

“Tai Chi appears to be a safe alternative to low-to-moderate intensity conventional exercise training,” for people with Chronic Heart Failure (CHD)  said Gloria Yeh of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center head of the study team . CHD is a debilitating and progressive disease that limits a person’s ability to breathe and move.

People with chronic heart failure may be able to boost their quality of life by doing Tai Chi, the ancient Chinese exercise regimen that teaches each person control of their body, mind and emotional energy through gentle deliberate quiet motions.

Take 5 minutes  to watch and relax with Tai Chi
Archives of Internal Medicine, a journal of the American Medical Association reported that the study was divided into two group sessions of one hour each per week were enough to show significant improvements in mood and confidence.
50 US heart patients were enrolled in Tai Chi program study led by an instructor who guided the class in a series of fluid motions and 50 others who took classroom study in heart education.

Physical responses were similar in both groups, but those who did tai chi showed “significant” improvements in their emotional state response questionaire. The Tai Chi group also reported better “exercise self-efficacy (confidence to perform certain exercise-related activities), with increased daily activity, and related feelings of well-being compared with the education group,” said the study.
“Tai Chi seems to be a safe alternative to low-to-moderate intensity conventional exercise training, It has a good rate of adherence and may provide value in improving daily exercise, quality of life, self-efficacy and mood in frail, deconditioned patients with systolic heart failure,” said Yeh.

Previous studies have suggested Tai Chi, which involves slow, circular movements and balance-shifting exercises, may be helpful to people who suffer from high blood pressure, fibromyalgia and stress. All ages and ability levels can benefit by daily Tai Chi practice.

Take 5 minutes  to watch and relax with Tai Chi
Resources

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Video courtesy of  http://bit.ly/i1f4Cs

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