Probiotics might help lower blood pressure

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A new review published in the journal Hypertension evaluated results of multiple trials concluding that daily consumption of probiotics can reduced blood pressure levels by 2 to 3 mm Hg. Even though this is not a significant reduction, probiotics in general have multiple  benefits. What are your favorite sources of probiotics?

For additional information, please see Reuters Health.

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Natural hormone shows “promise” in IVF, say scientists

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A single injection of the natural hormone, kisspeptin might replace the need for human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone in in-vitro fertilization. Ten of 53 women in a recent study gave birth, with 2 women giving birth to twins. The hCG triggers egg maturation but can overstimulate the ovaries, but kisspeptin is broken down more quickly resulting in less overstimulation. Five adverse effects reported were 2 ectopic pregnancy, 2 miscarriages, and 1 heterotopic pregnancy. How do you feel about the use of kisspeptin as an alternative to hCG therapy?

For additional information, please see Journal of Clinical Investigation.

 

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Choosing organic foods may lead to significant health benefits

vegetables-at-market-10042218A recently concluded study published in the British Journal of Medicine compiled and evaluated 343 peer-reviewed studies that focus on the nutrient differences between organic and non-organic foods. The evaluation concluded that the organic food had a higher concentration of antioxidants, and lower levels of cadmium and pesticide residues. Antioxidants are known to play a part in reducing the risk for cardiovascular disease and certain cancers, and cadmium, in high levels, is a potential neurotoxin. What this translates to for consumers is a possible protective health benefit. How familiar are your patients with Environmental Working Group Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen?  How often do you discuss organic vs non-organic foods with them?

Find out more from Environmental Working Group

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Now available to stream on video Numen: the animating force in all things living.

white-cosmos-flower-on-field-100231558Newly available to stream online in your home from Vimeo is Numen: the animating force in all things living. This documentary discusses several topics relating to the use of herbal medicine in the pursuit of healthy living. With beautiful cinematography and a provocative storyline, this film is guaranteed to make you think about the current model of healthcare. What are some of your favorite documentaries that look at health and well-being?

 

Find out more from Vimeo

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Running may help reduce the symptoms of autism in children with the diagnosis

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In 2012, Achilles International, a non-profit organization that provides physical development opportunities for people with disabilities, had developed a training program for children with autism. The program involved helping the children train for a mainstream five mile race, and it has produced some anecdotal evidence that points to a link between running and the symptoms of autism. Achilles found that children with autism who run exhibit a decrease in descriptiveness and aggression, while exhibiting an improvement with social interactions. They say that running gives these children a way to refocus and to decrease stress. A grant provided by the Cigna Foundation will allow Achilles to research this link further. Achilles hopes to find how running effects the symptoms of autism in order to improve the quality of life for these children. How do you keep yourself focused and stress-free?

Find more information at The Washington Post

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Are games and puzzles helping older adults fight off dementia?

we-are-a-happy-couple-100266342A recent study looked at the connection between mental acuity and playing puzzles and games for adults in their 50’s and 60’s. It was found that adults who played games on a regular basis also had a greater amount of brain tissue. Researchers are not able to determine from these results if it is because older adults who play games have more brain tissue, or if older adults with more brain tissue like to play games. For right now, the research suggests that games be incorporated into a healthy life style, including eating a healthy diet, getting physical exercise, and managing their cardiovascular risk. What methods do you use to keep your mind sharp? What do you suggest to your patients?

Find more information at WebMD

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Scent receptors on the skin promote cell proliferation and wound healing when exposed to Sandalwood Oil

texture-tree-bark-100133553Scent receptors have been found to exist on almost all tissues of the human body, including the heart and the liver. Researchers have concluded a study that look at the potential role that these receptors play in wound healing. They chose a particular scent receptor found on the skin, OR2AT4, and exposed it to sandalwood essential oil and 10 synthetic oils, known as Sandalore. Three of the oils tested had a positive effect on cell proliferation and cell migration, both of which are characteristics of wound healing. Because wound healing is triggered at concentrations a thousand times higher than the amount needed to stimulate a receptor in the nose, the clinical use for this information is not yet known. What do you currently recommend to your patients to promote wound healing? What has worked the best?

Find more information at Natural News

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SkinCeuticals’ sunscreen is for your eyes only

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SkinCeuticals’ new product called Physical Eye UV Defense claims to protect your skin around the eyes, a location on your face that is typically recommended to avoid during sunscreen application. The product is made of oil base ingredients to stick to skin without running off into the eyes. Cancer of the eyelids is non-life-threatening but can result in surgery or defects. With the sunscreen safety and efficacy controversy what suggestions do you typically follow and what products do you use and recommend?

For Additional Information, please see LA Times.

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Phthalates are out of infants’ toys but a heavy dose is still in their food

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Phthalate is a chemical substance that is known to make plastic more pliable. It is foreign to our bodies and can have negative effects on reproductive system. A new study in the journal Environmental Health reported that despite minimizing exposure from infant toys we are still consuming twice the amount recommended by the Environmental Working Group.  What are your recommendations on minimizing phthalate exposure? Do you agree with the tips researchers provide?

For additional information, please see Washington Post.

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5 reasons to drink coffee before your workout

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A recent research published in the International Journal of Sport and Exercise Metabolism suggests that caffeine consumption before exercise might increase weight loss. Previous findings highlighted other effects including increase in blood flow, decrease in pain, muscle preservation, memory enhancement and increase in muscle fuel.  Have you or your patients experimented with coffee around the time of your exercise?  What are your thoughts?

For additional information, please see CNN.

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