A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology says that too much jogging may be just as bad as not jogging at all. Over a 12 year period, scientists studied more than 1,000 healthy joggers and non-joggers. They found that those who ran at a steady pace for less than 2 1/2 hours a week were least likely to die in this time. Meanwhile, those who ran more than 4 hours a week or did no exercise had the highest death rates. Researchers suggest that “long-term strenuous endurance exercise may induce pathological structural remodeling of the heart and arteries.” Guidelines recommend moderate-intensity exercising for at least 150 minutes a week and for those who are just starting, even a brisk walk is a good place to begin. What types of exercise do you recommend? What about for people that are new to working out?
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The American Journal of Epidemiology is encouraging individuals to increase their daily dietary fiber intake. Dr. Yang of the Shanghai Cancer Institute in China, collected data from 17 previous studies and reported people who ate the greatest amount of fiber were 16 % less likely to die than those who ate the least amount. The more fiber people ate the less likely they were to die from any cause. Eight of these studies proved increasing dietary fiber by 10 grams a day would decrease risk for any cause of death by 10 %. Researchers say fiber-rich foods lower the risk of chronic diseases by lowering blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose, insulin and reducing inflammation. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture women should consume 25 grams a day and men about 38 grams a day.It has been reported that the U.S population only consumes half the recommended goal. It is important to remember when increasing your daily fiber intake to do it slowly and drink plenty of water. Fiber-rich foods to add to your daily diet include whole grains, fruits, vegetables and legumes. What are some of your favorite recipes/suggestions that incorporate these foods/ingredients?
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On Monday, The Environmental Working Group launched a new program known as the Food Scores Database, which encompasses the nutritional values of over 80,000 foods you may find in your local supermarket. Each product has been rated on a scale from 1 to 10, with 1 being the most nutritious. The current push from consumers to know what is in packaged foods or how heavily processed they are, has helped to fuel this project. Also included, is product information from food companies and research conducted by The Environmental Working Group themselves, regarding pesticides, additives, preservatives, and dyes. Food Scores will soon be available as a phone app and allow consumers to scan product bar codes. Thus far, the scoring system has faced ridicule from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, but the founder of the environmental group trusts that the general public will both embrace and utilize this new program. As your patients become more health conscious, how do you teach them to evaluate the quality of their food? What other programs are available at this time to help consumers purchase healthier choices?
A 6 year research lead by Dr. David Llewellyn and his team at the University of Exeter Medical School, concluded that low levels of vitamin D in older people are linked to the risk of developing dementia. Vitamin D can be found in foods, such as oily fish, supplements, or exposure to sunlight, however elderly people have less efficient skin and must be supplement in other ways. The team found that in 1,169 subjects with sufficient levels of vitamin D, there is a 1 in 10 chance of developing dementia. In 70 subjects with deficiency, there was a 1 in 5 risk of getting dementia. They cannot say that low vitamin D causes dementia but it is worthwhile to continue studying the connection. What are your thoughts on the association of dementia risk with low vitamin D?
For additional information, please see BBC News.
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The Director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Josephine Briggs, MD shares her thoughts on a recent publication in the journal Headache by Robert Cowan, MD. Both are trying to raise awareness of what patients visiting clinicians might be utilizing in terms of conventional and complementary approaches. There are more Evidence-Based resources available to conventional practitioners on CAM than ever before. What are your thoughts on Dr. Briggs commentary?
For additional information please see, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.
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The Food and Drug Administration just released Nutrition Basics reminder to help parents look at nutrition facts labels (ingredients, percent daily value, nutrients, and serving size) before buying food for their children. The main goal of this program is to fight childhood obesity with better food choices. How often do you discuss food labeling with your patients?
For additional information, please see the FDA Consumer Update .
Some states such as California, Oregon and Vermont have the highest rates of breastfeeding, but some southern states are still lagging behind. It is possible that the attitude toward breastfeeding and support is different based on the region of the country. Breastfeeding can help to fight against infections, diabetes, and leukemia in babies and is also be beneficial to mothers. How often do you educate pregnant patients and new mothers about the benefits of breastfeeding?
For additional information, please see the Washington Post.
Newly 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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As a tradition for our Final Exam week, students go on a nice herb walk in this area. This year our herb walk was scheduled for Wednesday, April 29th and Stephanie Zabel from Herbstalk was our lovely guide. It was uncharacteristically cold, but thankfully the rain ended earlier in the morning. For those who were not able to join us, one of our graduating students took amazing pictures. Enjoy the spirit of the Spring!
Images courtesy Danh Nguyen 2014
How often do you laugh? Studies have shown laughter is beneficial in increasing blood flow to areas of the brain reducing stress and anxiety, but a new study presented at the recent Experimental Biology meeting found that humor showed beneficial effects in memory loss as well. The results of the EEG in seniors were tested for visual recognition, learning ability and recall memory tests showed improvements as well as reduced cortisol in their brains, believed to help avoid memory brain cell death. What are some strategies to help increase laughter in your life and for your patients?
For additional information, please visit Medical Daily