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Brushing Your Teeth Can Prevent America’s #1 Killer

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

For years now, scientists have known that periodontal disease increases the risk for heart disease. Now, a new study in the Journal of the American Heart Association shows that if you take care of your gums you can reduce a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.

brush teeth

A research team led by Columbia University in New York City examined the mouths of 420 middle-aged men and women for periodontal disease. (Periodontal disease is caused when bacterial plaque on the teeth move into the gums causing inflammation. This can cause the gums to pull away from the teeth, causing “pockets” that become infected with bacteria, and eventually lead to tooth loss.) Researchers collected gum bacterial samples and used ultrasound to measure the thickness of the carotid arteries, which supply the brain with blood. Artery thickness is a marker for stroke and heart disease; if the carotid arteries get clogged with plaque, you can bet the coronary arteries leading to the heart are clogging as well.

Three years later, people whose oral health improved (read: they had fewer bacteria linked to heart disease in their mouth) had a much slower rate of carotid artery thickening than those whose periodontal disease was worse or remained the same. It doesn’t take much plaque to have devastating consequences. Picture this: a 0.033-millimeter-per-year increase in carotid artery thickness doubles the risk of heart disease and heart attack. In this study, people with gums that deteriorated, developed, on average, a 0.1-mm increase, meaning their heart disease risk shot up six-fold.
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Kentucky Man’s Raw Meat Diet Sounds Insane and Dangerous

When the benefits of a raw diet started being lauded more frequently and becoming just a smidge more mainstream, this is not what anyone had in mind. Derek Nance has been consuming raw meat exclusively for five years, and the kicker is that he told Vice.com he’s never been healthier. We can’t even wrap our heads around this.

Every time we think we’ve seen it all, some stunt like this pops up and we’re educated all over again.

raw meat diet

Apparently he had some health problems and did what a lot of people do – yo-yo diet. While he wasn’t trying to lose weight, that was happening without any control of his own, he was trying to improve his health. He bounced from giving up wheat and dairy, to the Mediterranean diet, and then going, shockingly, to a vegan diet. Like most people who diet hop, he wasn’t finding anything that worked. Then someone suggested a carnivorous take on the ever-popular Paleo diet, and here we are. We’ve got a dude in Kentucky who subsists on raw meat, and even brushes his teeth with animal fat.

“This is really really hard to believe for so many reasons,” said Cheryl Forberg, RD, nutrition expert for The Biggest Loser and author of Flavor First. She claims there is nothing positive that could come from a raw meat diet. And quite pointedly shares the negatives.
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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?
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Dirty Details of What Soda’s Doing to Your Body and Checkbook

In this infographic, developed by Term Life Insurance, you’ll see a few of the many health issues that soda plays a large role in. Heart disease, obesity, osteoporosis, reproductive issues…the list goes on and on. I’m sure you’ve heard these warnings before, but have you really thought about what that can of Coke is doing to your insides? By consuming soda on a regular basis you’re basically asking to be miserable and sick.
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9 Kid-Friendly Resolutions Your Kids Can Make and Keep!

With the new year comes new resolutions. Of course, many adults vow to start a new diet, a new exercise program, create a budget, or finally get organized. However, the turning over of a new year is also a great way to introduce new healthy habits for your kids. Below is a great collection of New Year’s Resolutions for your little one. Help them pick select and set goals that can make 2013 their healthiest year yet.

Brush Up! Add a second tooth brushing session everyday. This keeps teeth extra clean and reduces the risk of cavities as well as a host of dental-related health problems.

Sing Away the Germs! Add the singing of a song like “Happy Birthday” to hand-washing time to ensure they scrub long enough for proper washing and germ killing takes place.

Drink Up! Get a water bottle with measurements and make sure enough water is being consumed everyday. Let them choose a fun and stylish bottle in a color they like and help them understand that it’s not a chore but why water is so important.
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