Sporting my mo for the cause.
For the last eight years, November has been hijacked by the folks from “Movember,” a mustache-themed not-for profit that uses the month to raise awareness for prostate cancer and other men’s health issues.
What started out with humble beginnings in 2003 has blossomed into an amazingly powerful fund raising campaign. According to Movember’s CEO Adam Garone, his organization managed to raise $81 million in 2010, which makes it the largest prostate cancer fund raiser in the world. All by the power of the flavor savor.
Since Movember is all about raising awareness about health issues that affect men, let’s take a look at some of the most concerning and what we can do to prevent or minimize our chances of suffering from them. (more…)
by Kelsey Murray
Women around the world, rejoice! Chocolate is once again being named as a healthy food for people to eat. This time, research shows that the tasty treat is good for your heart health.
Recently, five studies have shown a connection between high chocolate consumption and a significant reduction – 37 percent – in a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease. Consuming chocolate also caused a 31 percent reduction in one’s risk for diabetes and a 29 percent decrease in one’s risk for stroke.
Of course, everything is better in moderation, so don’t take these new studies as an excuse to go to your local candy store and stock up on hundreds of chocolate bars.
“Although over-consumption has harmful effects, the existing studies generally agree on a potential beneficial association of chocolate consumption with a lower risk of cardiometabolic disorders,” said Adriana Buitrago-Lopez of the University of Cambridge.
Susanne Eman wants the definition of beauty to expand.
Eman, weighing in at around 727 pounds, wants one day to be the fattest woman in the world, beating the current record of 1,600 pounds. To reach her goal, Eman is consuming over 20,000 calories per day.
Although the obese woman consumes an absurd amount of calories and has to use a motorized scooter in the grocery store, she insists she is perfectly healthy.
“I go for a waddle and do stretches and exercises every day. My muscles need to hold up to my weight, so I have to stay strong,” Eman told the Daily Mail. “I take my blood pressure once a week, and every day, after I exercise, I take readings of my other vitals. I use a pulse oximeter to measure the concentration of oxygen in my blood stream.”
If any of Eman’s readings were abnormal she would call her doctor immediately, she said. She truly believes that what she’s doing is healthy, but has arranged for her sister to take care of her two sons, Brendin and Gabriel, if anything were to happen.
Many things come with age. Unfortunately, some of those are narrowed arteries and high cholesterol. These days, being prescribed medication for high cholesterol is almost a given, maybe even a right of passage from middle age to senior citizen-hood. But let’s face it, no one likes to take medication and many people would like to try supplements and lifestyle changes before they jump on the prescription bandwagon.
So first, let’s define a few things. When you get a lipid panel here are things you will see and what your target numbers are:
- HDL=good cholesterol Goal: Greater than 40 mg/dL for men, greater than 50 mg/dL for women
- Total cholesterol = combination of your LDL/HDL and other components Goal: Less than 200 mg/dL
- Triglycerides = Fat that your body stores Goal: Less than 150 mg/dL
Once in a while, a study comes around that just has to make health professionals a little squeamish. You know the kind – the ones that seem to not only contradict common sense, but also ends up as fuel for unhealthy people to justify bad eating habits.
This time around, a study is giving people who love their sweets a sweet surprise. Apparently candy and chocolate eaters tend to beat out those who don’t in the categories of waistline, weight, and body mass index (BMI).
But wait, there’s more.
Those in the study who ate candy and chocolate had a 14 percent lower risk of elevated blood pressure and a 15 percent decreased risk of metabolic syndrome (risk factors for heart disease and stroke). (more…)
Just because a product says “diet” on the label doesn’t mean that it is healthy. So, when you switch from full-sugar soda to diet, it’s not necessarily getting you off scot-free. You may actually be risking stroke or a heart attack.
A study just published followed over 2,500 New Yorkers for about 10 years. They found that some diet soda drinkers had a 61 percent higher risk of vascular events, such as stroke and heart attack.
Now, let’s talk you off the ledge.
First, this study’s findings were for those who drank soda every day. I know that a lot of people drink diet soda on a daily basis, so maybe that’s not enough to alleviate your worries. I would say that it should be easy enough to moderate your soda intake to a few days a week, but even with these finding, the researchers aren’t prepared to put out a hard stance against drinking diet soda on a regular basis.
“I think diet soda drinkers need to stay tuned,” says the study’s lead author Hannah Gardener, an epidemiologist at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. “I don’t think that anyone should be changing their behaviors based on one study. Hopefully this will motivate other researchers to do more studies.” (more…)
A recent study from the University of Miami presented at the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference found that people who regularly drink diet soda are at a much higher risk of stroke. The study analyzed over 2,500 people and found that those who drank diet soda daily were at a 61 percent higher risk of stroke than those who do not drink soda.
Although the study said it adjusted the data to account for smoking, physical activity and alcohol consumption, the survey is already facing much criticism from nutrition and health experts.
Critics say that the questionnaire-based study did not include enough people who drank diet soda daily, and only asked about behavior at the beginning of a 10-year period, but assumed that the participant’s soda consumption did not change over time. The study has also been criticized for not gathering more data about the participant’s eating habits, which is a confounding factor.
A recent study revealed that women who eat more than three servings of fish per week are less likely to experience a stroke. Specifically, fish-lovers in Sweden, where the study occurred, were 16 percent less likely to experience a stroke over a 10-year-period, relative to those who ate fish less than once a week.
“Fish consumption in many countries, including the U.S., is far too low, and increased fish consumption would likely result in substantial benefits in the population,” Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian of the Harvard School of Public Health told Reuters Health.
When choosing fish to eat, it’s best to opt for fish that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, found most abundantly in fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and albacore tuna. “But any fish is better than none,” Mozaffarian noted.
Tune in this Wednesday, November 24 to The Doctors when the lid is blown off of America’s silent killer – salt.
On the show, you will learn how to take action and join the nationwide movement to Halt the Salt. Plus, The Doctors will reveal what store bought foods contain the greatest amounts of sodium and you will also learn which of your favorite foods contain too much salt on restaurant menus. (more…)
Having high blood pressure increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, both of which are two of the three top causes of death in the U.S. The numbers are staggering: According to the Centers for Disease Control, about one third of everyone in the U.S. has high blood pressure.
While the cause of the vast majority of cases of high blood pressure is difficult to pin down, there are many lifestyle choices that can be made to decrease your chances of developing high blood pressure, or restoring yours to a healthy level if you already suffer from it: