Tag Archives: cancer

Half of Americans Believe in Medical Conspiracy Theories. Do You?

You probably don’t think aliens are among us or secret societies are running the government, but do you believe in conspiracy theories of another kind? A new study from the University of Chicago published in JAMA Internal Medicine indicates you might.

secret

According to that study, nearly half of Americans believe in medical conspiracy theories. The study found water fluoridation, vaccines, cell phones, and alternative medicine, among others, as prime subjects for conspiracy-based speculation.

To test just how much faith people put in the theories, the University of Chicago’s professor J. Eric Oliver and his colleague collected data from 1,351 adults through an online survey. Participants in the survey were presented with popular medical conspiracy theories and then asked to indicate whether they had heard them before, and whether or not they agreed with them.

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One Big Problem with High-Protein Diets: Eating Mostly Meat Shortens Life Span

Almost all of today’s most popular diets are low-carb, high-protein. Atkins has been big for decades; Paleo is an ever-expanding movement, thanks in part to its following of cross-fit fans; and other plans like Dukan, Medifast, and Southbeach aren’t got anywhere anytime soon. But, while this eating formula may result in noticeable weight loss for most folks, a new study, profiled in a Huffington Post article, suggests high-protein diets may also shorten your life. That’s a pretty big deal.

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Here’s what we know:

  • Diets that are high in protein and low in carbohydrates help the body shed fat. There are two main reasons for this: Protein is harder for the body to digest than other nutrients so you automatically burn extra calories as you digest and metabolize it. Also, proteins are more filling than many other types of food. Eat a bowl of pasta and you may be hungry again within the hour. Eat a chicken breast and you may forget to eat your snack.  (more…)

Rx for Better Health: Eat More Apples

doc with apple

You’ve heard the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” It’s an old English adage, but there’s actually a lot of truth to the saying: Study after study shows the merits of eating antioxidant-rich apples include everything from cancer prevention to reduced risk of heart attack to improving the health of your brain. Best of all, the fruit weighs in at under 100 calories a pop, which means they’re part of a healthy diet and may even help you lose weight!

Take a look at our list of the health benefits that come from eating apples then stock up on the red and green fruits at the grocery store. (Use our handy apple guide to select the right type for you.) Remember, much of the health benefits of apples can be found in the peel, so aim to eat whole apples, not apple sauce or apple juice.

The latest research shows:

Apples may work as well as statins: A majority of adults over 50 are prescribed statins to lower cholesterol, but a new study from the UK found that eating an apple each day is just as effective at reducing risk of heart attacks and strokes. As in, you get the same health benefits as with statins but without any side-effects.

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More Deadly Chemicals Looming in Foods We Already Eat; FDA Warns of Acrylamide

It’s time for our weekly “Everything You Eat Will Somehow Kill You” blog post. We all know the health consequences of eating fast food and oversized restaurant portions, and just last week we learned that many seemingly harmless grocery store products secretly contain trans fat. Personally, I’ve been avoiding all risk by subsisting on small berries and nuts I gather through urban foraging, and when I want to treat myself to an actual meal, I haven’t dared venture out of my chemical-free kitchen. But my extreme measures may be all for naught, as the FDA has revealed that cooking food at home—even the most organic of natural grains and vegetables—could kill us all.

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Pardon my apocalyptic tone, but it’s true. Acrylamide—a chemical that naturally forms in foods prepared at high temperatures—is a carcinogen that can cause severe nerve damage in high doses. A scary fact when you consider the stuff “is found in 40 percent of the calories consumed in the average American diet,” according to the FDA in a release posted today.

Side note: acrylamide is also used as an industrial chemical in waste water treatment. Yum. (more…)

“I’m Here, Alive and Well and Thriving.” A Breast Cancer Survivor Used Exercise and CrossFit to Aid Her Recovery

It’s been a while since I’ve written about my breast cancer journey, so I thought that since October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, it would be an appropriate time to check in.

First and foremost, I’m doing awesome! This past July marked my two-year survivor anniversary. In the past two years, I’ve been through five major surgeries, countless “minor procedures,” six rounds of chemotherapy, and am now on hormone therapy for the next 3 ½ years. If it seems like a lot to read, imagine going through it. But…I’m here, alive and well and thriving.

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Although I’ve been through a lot, I attribute my success and ability to cope to three things:

  • My Faith in God and His awesome power
  • My husband, Alvin; my family, friends and followers standing by me all the way and pushing me to keep fighting
  • Exercise

Without these three elements firmly entrenched in my life, I shudder to think what kind of shape (physical, emotional and mental) that I would be in right now.

Faith and family, I’m sure you can relate to how important these are to you when you need them most; but exercise?

Let me explain. This is not just any old type of exercise, but serious, vigorous, out-of-breath, leaves you crawling exercise. I first heard about how important exercise is to cancer recovery from a guest on my radio show. She was diagnosed with Stage IV Lymphoma and survived. While on the show she said that she attributed her success to vigorous exercise. This point stuck in my mind and when I was faced with a similar situation, I put my plan in motion. (more…)

Wealth is Health: Poorest States Trend Highest for Obesity, Cancer, and Poor Dental Health

As Americans, we’re competitive people. It’s in our blood. Speaking of blood and competition, a recently released infographic breaks down state by state statistics in categories like obesity, dental health, STDs, cancer rates, and several other quaint reminders of life’s frailty. Thanks to the Top Masters in Health Care—who meticulously compiled the data—you can now see how much better your state is compared to the other union territories! Naturally, we are most concerned with the obesity and health related numbers, and after a quick look, we noticed a disturbing trend. The statistical data suggested that obesity, loss of teeth and cancer were all closely correlated. How could this be? (more…)

Hormones in Food: The Good, The Bad, and The Potentially Dangerous

Love it or hate it, unless you seek out hormone-free options, the food you eat likely contains additional hormones. From meat to milk, hormones are added to increase productivity. Some are produced naturally by the foods themselves. We teamed up with our favorite registered dietitian Mary Hartley to look at foods containing hormones, what their effects might be and how you can avoid them.

cow in field

Hormones are most commonly found in meat, milk and plants. In meat and milk, they are added through production. Steroid hormones are given to beef cattle to make them grow faster, build more muscle and make their meat leaner. Two-thirds of all cattle and about 90 percent of the cattle on feedlots in the United States are given hormones. Six steroid hormones are approved by the FDA for use in food production. They are: estradiol, progesterone, testosterone, zeranol, trenbolone acetate and melengestrol acetate. Steroid hormones are released into the animal from a pellet that is implanted under the skin of the ear. Due to federal regulations, these hormones can only be used on sheep and cattle.

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4 Good Reasons to Have Sex Tonight

By Team Best Life

Too busy to get busy? There are some pretty impressive health benefits associated with regular rolls in the hay that make it well worth incorporating sex into your life as frequently as possible. It turns out, getting lucky can help you get healthy! We’ll explain how.

couple sex

It’s heart-healthy. A Scottish study found that couples who had sex more often over a two-week period did their heart a favor by lowering blood-pressure levels. Blood pressure was monitored during stressful situations, and those who got it on regularly showed their heart didn’t have to work extra hard to move blood around their bodies.

It’s a stress-buster. When your brain registers that you’re having an orgasm, it releases the hormone oxytocin (also called the “love hormone”), which has been shown to have a role in reducing stress. And even just physical contact, without doing the actual deed, provides benefits; A study out of Northwestern University showed that couples who kiss and hug are far less tense and have more elevated moods than those who don’t. (more…)

Cancer Has a Sweet Tooth! New Research Names Sugar a Detector for Cancer Cells

If you haven’t already, now may be a good time to decrease your consumption of processed sugar. New research published in the journal Nature Medicine shows a link between processed sugar and cancer cells. Though it is not the first study to find a correlation between the two, this particular study is the first to suggest sugar as a way to detect cancer in the body.

sugar

The detection method, called glucose chemical exchange saturation transfer (glucoCEST), was discovered when scientists from University College London were experimenting with a new cancer detection method involving a unique form of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The scientists programmed an MRI scanner to look specifically for glucose, and found that cancer tumors lit up brightly when scanned in this way due to their high sugar content. “The method uses an injection of normal sugar and could offer a cheap, safe alternative to existing methods for detecting tumors, which require the injection of radioactive material,” said Dr. Simon Walker-Samuel, the lead researcher of the study in a release.

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Inaugural 5K for Women Cancer Survivors Scheduled for This Summer

A first time event surrounding such a worthy cause will take place this summer. The Women Survivors Alliance (WSA) will be hosting the Celebrate Survivors 5K and the National Women Survivor’s Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.

The convention runs from August 22-24, 2013 and the 5K is Saturday, August 24 at 7:00am. In a press release issued recently, the WSA stated they are issuing a national call for women affected by all types of cancer. The intention of the conference is to help women improve their quality of life, embrace their new life, and help others. The convention aims to bring together survivors, caregivers, family members, and health care providers.

The 5K is expected to have a casual tone, with many of the participants expected to be from the convention. However, the race is open to all. Many are expected to jog or walk the event, yet organizers are anticipating some avid runners to attend as they plan to run in celebration or in memory of a cancer patient. (more…)