New Study Suggests That Belly Fat Is Worse Than Obesity For Your Heart Health


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The Body Mass Index (BMI) is generally used to assess overall fitness, however, a new study has found that weight concentrated around the middle can be more harmful than obesity itself.

The waist to hip ratio is proving to be a better predictor of heart disease and other illness than BMI alone.

Participants were divided into six groups based on which of the three BMI groups they fell into, and whether they had a normal or high waist-to-hip ratio. Men whose waist measurement was 90 percent or more of their hip measurement were considered to have a high hip-to-waist ratio. The same was true of women; those with waists that were 85 percent of their hip size were classified as having a high hip-to-waist ratio.

Participants with normal BMI but a high waist-to-hip ratio had the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease, and the highest risk of dying from any causes among the six groups.
The risk of cardiovascular death was 2.75 times higher, and the risk of death from any cause was 2.08 times higher among normal-weight people with “central obesity,” compared with normal-weight people who had a normal waist-to-hip ratio.
“The high risk of death may be related to a higher visceral fat accumulation in this group, which is associated with insulin resistance and other risk factors,” said study researcher Dr. Karine Sahakyan, also of Mayo Clinic.

Men can be highly susceptible to accumulating belly fat and inactivity, poor diet and stress contribute to visceral fat.

Keeping your abs toned and your middle “whittled” is the best way to avoid disease and keep your heart strong.

Three Health Issues Every Man Should Discuss With His Doctor


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Most men are squeamish about discussing their concerns about testosterone, erectile disfunction or trouble urinating, however these embarrassing topics could shed light on deeper more serious health issues like heart disease, cancer or hormone imbalance.

Since most visits to the doctor last less than 20 minutes, getting warmed up can take some effort.

Be armed with a list of questions and concerns to get the most out of your time with your physician.

In a previous Q&A I discuss food and hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism can be caused by a variety of things. In this country, diet is the main culprit. Our food supply is so deficient in nutrients and loaded with anti-nutrients that it’s really no surprise we are experiencing health problems in epidemic proportions. Vegetable oils (polyunsaturated fats) are a huge contributor to hypothyroidism, obesity, cardio vascular disease and other health problems. These are man-made foods that have only been around since the early 1900s, with soy oil becoming the number one cooking oil by the 1950s.

Soy products, like soy oil and protein, contain extremely high amounts of goitrogens. Goitrogens are naturally occurring substances that interfere with the normal function of the thyroid gland by blocking the synthesis of thyroid hormones and slowing ones metabolism. Before inexpensive polyunsaturated fats became common place, beef tallow, lard, olive oil and tropical oils were in use; heart disease, hypothyroidism, obesity, diabetes and other diseases were but a fraction of the incidence they are today.

Read the rest HERE.

Dark roast coffee show’s it’s healthy side

A study published in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, was performed in order to show whether a dark roast coffee beverage had stronger antioxidant effects on humans than a light roast.

“Intake of the dark roast CB most effectively improved the antioxidant status of erythrocytes: superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase activity decreased by 5.8 and 15%, respectively, whereas tocopherol and total glutathione concentrations increased by 41 and 14%, respectively. Furthermore, administration of the NMP-rich CB led to a significant body weight reduction in pre-obese subjects, whereas the CGA-rich CB did not.”

In other words, dark roast coffee is more effective than light roast coffee in reducing body weight, and in restoring red blood cell vitamin E and glutathione concentrations in healthy volunteers.

Many researchers say glutathione is probably the most important substance we require to stay healthy. Many go as far to say it’s the secret to prevent aging. Present in every cell of our body, glutathione levels just might be one of the best biochemical markers there is; the higher your glutathione levels are the healthier you will be. Glutathione deficiency is found in almost all patients with extreme illnesses, e.g., cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, liver disease, diabetes and more. The anti-aging secret

Habits make you FAT

“According to two National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey’s (NHANES), the prevalence of obesity for adults between the ages of 20 and 74 increased from 15% (1976 – 1980 survey) to 32.9% (2003 – 2004 survey) 1. These same surveys also showed the number of adults considered to be overweight increased from 47% to an astounding 66.2%, with the sharpest swell in overweight and obesity occurring in the 1990’s. Thankfully, there seems to have been a leveling off of obesity rates since 1999, with no significant change between 2003 & 2006 for either men or women 2. However, despite this leveling of obesity rates, 2/3rds of the people in the U.S. remain over weight or obese, and this is unacceptable.”
(Evolution of the Unhealthy American Part 1)

So how did we as a country get so fat? What caused our weigh gain and its inherent health risks? Many self proclaimed experts say, “Americans are eating too much.” Is it just a matter of calories in versus calories out? Is it really as simple as reducing the amount of food we eat, exercising more or both? Are we really eating too much, or is it what we’re eating? Do man-made substances in our food really make a difference in our ability to maintain a healthy weight?

Well, Yahoo Health has put together a list of 20 habits that can add to your bottom line so to speak. Here are 5.

1. Eating low fat. What do low-fat meals replace fats with? Carbohydrates. Remember carbs are non-essential. Meaning, you don’t have to consume them to be healthy. the lower your carb intake, the lower your insulin levels. The lower your insulin levels the less food you store as fat on your body.

2. Drinking soda, even diet soda. Because a 2005 study found that drinking one to two sodas per day increases your chances of being overweight or obese by nearly 33 percent. And diet soda is no better.

3. Skipping meals. A study from the American Journal of Epidemiology found that people who cut out the morning meal were 4.5 times more likely to be obese. Why? Skipping meals slows your metabolism and boosts your hunger.

4. Watching too much TV. A University of Vermont study found that overweight participants who reduced their TV time by just 50 percent burned an additional 119 calories a day on average.

5. Eating when emotional. A study from the University of Alabama found that emotional eaters—those who admitted eating in response to emotional stress—were 13 times more likely to be overweight or obese.

Glutathione, the antiaging secret

Have you ever heard of glutathione (pronounced; gloota-thigh-own)? Neither has almost anyone else. Many researchers say it’s probably the most important substance we require to stay healthy. Many go as far to say it’s the secret to prevent aging. So where’s Oprah, and the rest of the media? A quick search of the term “glutathione” on PubMed.gov reveals 94,117 scholarly articles, reviews and abstracts.

Present in every cell of our body, glutathione levels just might be one of the best biochemical markers there is; the higher your glutathione levels are the healthier you will be. Glutathione deficiency is found in almost all patients with extreme illnesses, e.g., cancer, heart disease, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, arthritis, liver disease, diabetes and more. In fact, researchers are concluding glutathione deficiency may play a role in patients with schizophrenia. In cerebrospinal fluid of drug-free schizophrenic patients, a significant decrease in the level of total glutathione was observed as compared to controls. EJN

Glutathione’s importance to a properly functioning immune system has been shown in many studies. According to Dr. Gustavo Bounous, “The limiting factor for the proper activity and multiplication of our lymphocytes (white blood cells) is the availability of glutathione”.

Every day our bodies are exposed to stress, pollution, infection, drugs (illicit or licit) and alcohol, poor diet, infections and injury, which drain our bodies of glutathione; this depletion leaves our bodies susceptible to high levels of oxidative stress, which leads to aging, disease and eventual death. I predict that concern about glutathione levels will eventually be on par with other preventative health issues.

Benefits of Health Food Stores

First Lady Michelle Obama launched a worldwide campaign to fight obesity. The White House launched a campaign that focuses on prevention and the weight loss industry is worth more than $61 billion. One would think that with all of the campaigns and billions of dollars poured into weight-loss products and plans, America would be well on it’s way to becoming the healthiest nation in the world. Not so. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), despite recent reports stating that the obesity rate for Americans has leveled off, nearly 34 percent of adults are obese, more than double the percentage 30 years ago. The share of obese children tripled during that time, to 17 percent.

So why is it so difficult for Americans to lose weight or stay healthy? Could it be the large number of food deserts across the nation? Or maybe the lack of grocery stores isn’t fully to blame. Maybe it’s the type of grocery stores that contribute to the problem. Maybe health food stores like Whole Foods, Mothers Market, and Wild Oats can help solve America’s obesity epidemic, or at the very least, help America develop better eating habits. Sure, traditional grocery stores do carry some healthy foods, but they also carry some of the unhealthiest foods you can find. Unless you’re committed to being healthy, it’s just too easy to choose Cocoa Puffs and whole chocolate milk over Kashi and rice milk. Health food stores don’t give you the option to choose one over the other. The only choice is “healthy!”

Health food stores rarely carry household names such as General Mills, Kellogg’s, and Wonder. You’re more likely to find health food brands such as Kashi, Muir Glen, Nature’s Path, Eden Organic, and Stonyfield Organic. Health food stores stock their shelves with foods that contain few to no chemicals, no additives, and no preservatives. Also, foods are mainly organic. Even the non-organic foods are made with healthy ingredients and without harmful chemicals. Meats, poultry, and dairy are usually organic, and the seafood is fresh and wild caught. If farmed, seafood is always antibiotic and hormone free, and raised in an environmentally conscious setting.

Health food store products can do more than just curb obesity. They can help those that are already healthy stay healthy, and they can help individual’s that may be an average weight, get healthy. Health foods stores are also the best places to shop if you have food allergies (peanuts, milk, gluten), if you are on special diet due to a medical condition (diabetes, heart disease, digestive conditions) , or if you’re a vegan, vegetarian, raw foodist, or follow a macrobiotic diet.

How to Locate Health Food Stores

If you live in a major city, chances you have a number of health food stores to choose from. Even some smaller cities have a local health food store. In some areas, finding a health food store may be a bit more challenging. Fortunately, several directories can help you search for health food stores by state. One of the best is GreenPeople.org. You can search for health foods stores by zip code or city, state, and country. The site lists thousands of health food stores. A search in Illinois alone returned more than 100 results.

Vitamin D anticancer research project

Vitamin D3, which is technically a prehormone, has a whole host of benefits. This invaluable substance has a role in preventing or treating many diseases including cancer. Below you’ll find a letter I received as being a participant in a Vitamin D study, the results of which were published in the International Journal of Cancer Research and Treatment

GrassrootsHealth New Research Publication in the Anticancer Research Journal, 2/21/2011
Dear Michael,

Congratulations and thanks to absolutely everyone who has participated in and supported this project! According to one of our panel members, Dr. Anthony Norman:

“This paper provides a long awaited insight into a dose-response relationship between orally administered vitamin D3 and the resulting levels of serum 25(OH)D in over 3600 citizens. The results will allow a new definition of high vitamin D dose safety and reduce concerns about toxicity. This is a landmark contribution in the vitamin D nutrition field!”
Anthony Norman
Distinguished Professor of Biochemistry & Biomedical Sciences, Emeritus
University of California Riverside

Key findings:

There were 3667 people’s first test data reported on

No suggestions of toxicity were reported even up to intakes as high as 40,000 IU/day (not a recommended amount, however)

It’s going to take about 9600 IU/day to get 97.5% (almost everyone) to the 40 ng/ml level. Individual variations however range from 0 to over 50,000 IU/day!

Testing is necessary to determine what the starting serum level is and how to adjust intake

It took 3 tests (1 year) to determine the optimal dose for each individual

The NEW rule of thumb for dosing will be changed. We’ll publish a chart for all very shortly. Currently, it is stated that you can increase the serum level by 10 ng/ml with 1000 IU/day. Per our research, this is true only when starting at about 10 ng/ml. If you want to go from 50 to 60 ng/ml, it will take an additional 2000 IU/day (i.e., the rise is only 5 ng/ml for each 1000 IU/day).

Please visit our website, GrassrootsHealth and listen to the interviews with the study’s authors, Dr. Cedric Garland and Dr. Robert Heaney. They both speak to the significance to public health of this study.

Another key item that I am very aware of is the public’s readiness to ‘take charge’ of their own health. With this view and the information to make it happen, we are bound to see some very exciting things with own health!

The research article is ‘open access’ so that everyone can download and read it! Please do so here: GrassrootsHealth Research Article

Again, very, very many thanks to all of you for your participation and support. You are helping change the face of public health! We CAN move to a much more ‘preventive’ model of healthcare. Please let me know at any time how we can best help.

We do need your ongoing financial support as well, to keep ‘spreading the word’. Please consider a donation to Prevent Vitamin D Deficiency for our future health.

Onwards!

Carole Baggerly

Director, GrassrootsHealth
carole@grassrootshealth.org

Plan ahead to avoid the fast food trap

With all the information available it’s tantamount to negligence to eat fast food.

But given a hectic lifestyle and time spent in our cars is almost unavoidable not to hit the “drive thru” from time to time.

In a better world you would have a cache of nutritious snacks for the road; nuts, fruits, water to get you through the day until the next healthy meal.

David Zinczenko, the author of “Eat This, Not That” offers up strategies to help you avoid the junk food jungle!

Low testosterone levels hinder your health.


low testosterone levels put men at risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and early death?? One study shows that testosterone treatment reduces LDL cholesterol and increases HDL cholesterol.? Another study that looked at the cause of death in almost 2000 men aged 20 to 79 years.? The men with low testosterone at the start of the study had a 2.5 times greater risk of dying during the next ten years compared with men with higher testosterone levels.? These studies, and more, will be presented at The Endocrine Society’s annual meeting, in San Francisco, suggest that testosterone therapy has several positive effects.
(Vitacost.com Daily Health Tip; June, 2008)

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