Archive for the 'Healthy Practice Tips' Category

Coffee or Tea Keeps Diabetes Away….

May 11, 2010

Anothe rgood news for coffee lovers like me… Now comes a new study agina showing the reduction in ones risk to develop diabetes.  The study was recently published in the Archives of Internal Medicine December issue

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Background  Coffee consumption has been reported to be inversely associated with risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Similar associations have also been reported for decaffeinated coffee and tea. We report herein the findings of meta-analyses for the association between coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea consumption with risk of diabetes. Methods  Relevant studies were identified through search engines using a combined text word and MeSH (Medical Subject Headings) search strategy. Prospective studies that reported an estimate of the association between coffee, decaffeinated coffee, or tea with incident diabetes between 1966 and July 2009.

Results  Data from 18 studies with information on 457 922 participants reported on the association between coffee consumption and diabetes. Six (N = 225 516) and 7 studies (N = 286 701) also reported estimates of the association between decaffeinated coffee and tea with diabetes, respectively. We found an inverse log-linear relationship between coffee consumption and subsequent risk of diabetes such that every additional cup of coffee consumed in a day was associated with a 7% reduction in the excess risk of diabetes relative risk, 0.93 [95% confidence interval, 0.91-0.95]) after adjustment for potential confounders.

Conclusions  Owing to the presence of small-study bias, our results may represent an overestimate of the true magnitude of the association. Similar significant and inverse associations were observed with decaffeinated coffee and tea and risk of incident diabetes. High intakes of coffee, decaffeinated coffee, and tea are associated with reduced risk of diabetes. The putative protective effects of these beverages warrant further investigation in randomized trials.

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This study again shows same conclusion as in the past that a mere 4 cups of coffee per day whether regular or decaf has been shown to reduce ones risk to develop diabetes by 27%.  And what is interesting is that for every extra cup of coffee, an additional 7 % further reduction is risk to develop diabetes was noted.

The study therefore points out to one thing…that caffeine may not be the factor as decaf can result in similar reduction in risk.  Other chemicals present in coffee therefore need to be explored…. 

However…one should not resort to just relying on coffee to reduce our risk to develop diabetes.  We have to remember that lifestyle and proper food intake has been shown to reduce the risk of developing diabetes by a whoooping 50%….

There you go guys…enjoy our coffee!!!!

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Is Running A Marathon Healthy?

March 26, 2010

I run leisurely… the most I have run is 5K and am happy to get the target below 30 minutes. I love the feeling of rush when you reach your goal target and I guess that’s what keeps marathoners going for more.  A lot of my friends are convincing me to run a marathon…I doubt if Ill ever do that.  A 42 K marathon…running for that long will probably take me 6 hours…hehe.  Anyway, the question that has always come to my mind is this: is running too long healthy or can it do harm long term? 

In the recent American College of Cardiology meeting, the question of distance running and its effect on health was discussed.  Ill quote the article published recently in Heartwire online:

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Presenting the results of the study at the American College of Cardiology (ACC) 2010 Scientific Sessions, Schwartz, along with senior investigator Dr Robert Schwartz (Minneapolis Heart Institute, MN), his father, said that at least three runners have died this year during marathons, and three runners died during the 2009 Detroit Marathon, a race that included nearly 4000 finishers. Runners are typically considered a healthy subgroup of the general population, so these deaths are usually high profile and attract a great deal of media attention. One recent estimate suggests the rate of sudden cardiac death among marathoners is rare, roughly 0.8 per 100 000 participants.

In this study, the father-and-son team, both runners, wanted to assess coronary artery plaque in an elite group of marathon runners and compare their arteries with a control group. They identified 25 runners who completed the Minneapolis-St Paul Twin Cities Marathon every year for 25 consecutive years, thus completing a minimum of 25 marathons.

All subjects underwent coronary computed tomography angiography (CTA) using a 64-slice machine. Compared with controls, marathoners had significantly more calcified plaque volume—274 mm3 for the marathoners and 169 mm3 for the controls—and higher calcium scores and noncalcified plaque volumes, although the latter two measures did not reach statistical significance.

patient age, systolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were similar between the marathoners and controls, but heart rate, weight, and body-mass index were lower in the runners. Also, HDL-cholesterol levels were significantly higher in the runners than in the controls. The average total- and LDL-cholesterol levels were 190 mg/dL and 115 mg/dL, respectively, in the marathon runners, suggesting that diet is not the reason for the increased calcification.

Jonathan Schwartz said they don’t know why the runners had more plaque in the arteries than the controls and that the findings are “counterintuitive.” However, he pointed out that metabolic and mechanical stresses might be a contributing factor. For example, long-distance runners train at increased heart rates and blood pressures, as well as spend increased time in an anaerobic state, possibly leading to antioxidant damage. Also, damage to the bones might lead to calcium leaking into the bloodstream. They stressed, however, such possible explanations need to be explored further.

Another study, also presented during the ACC meeting, suggested that marathon runners had increased aortic stiffness compared with individuals who exercised recreationally. The researchers, led by Dr Despina Kardara (Athens Medical School, Greece), evaluated blood pressure and aortic elasticity in 42 males and seven females who trained for and ran marathons and 46 men who did not participate in endurance exercise training. On average, the runners trained between two to nine hours per week and had been doing so for periods of 30 months to 21 years.

The marathon runners had significantly higher systolic blood pressure compared with the control group (126 mm Hg vs 115 mm Hg) and higher diastolic blood pressures. Pulse-wave velocity, used to assess aortic stiffness, was significantly higher in the marathon group.

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The findings however need further studies.  But suffice it to say that too much mechanical stress to any part of the body can do harm than good.   

I guess the take home message on this particular study is this:

Try not to push too hard in achieving your goal especially if it entails putting too much pressure on ones body especially the heart… Running is healthy as a form of exercise but anything we do and if we push ourselves to the limit may cause more harm than good.

If you run a marathon…dont stop.  Continue to enjoy it but again dont push yourself too hard….

Take Life In A Stride…!

Soft Drinks and Health….

March 1, 2010

More and more studies are linking the consumption of soft drinks to health hazards… a recent article published in Cancer, Epidimeology, Biomarkers and Prevention showed that consumption of thses sugary drinks can increase ones risk to develop pancreatic cnacer.

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Background: Sugar-sweetened carbonated beverages (called soft drinks) and juices, which have a high glycemic load relative to other foods and beverages, have been hypothesized as pancreatic cancer risk factors. However, data thus far are scarce, especially from non-European descent populations. We investigated whether higher consumption of soft drinks and juice increases the risk of pancreatic cancer in Chinese men and women.

Methods: A prospective cohort analysis was done to examine the association between soft drink and juice consumption and the risk of pancreatic cancer in 60,524 participants of the Singapore Chinese Health Study with up to 14 years of follow-up. Information on consumption of soft drinks, juice, and other dietary items, as well as lifestyle and environmental exposures, was collected through in-person interviews at recruitment. Pancreatic cancer cases and deaths were ascertained by record linkage of the cohort database with records of population-based Singapore Cancer Registry and the Singapore Registry of Births and Deaths.

Results: The first 14 years for the cohort resulted in cumulative 648,387 person-years and 140 incident pancreatic cancer cases. Individuals consuming ≥2 soft drinks/wk experienced a statistically significant increased risk of pancreatic cancer (hazard ratio, 1.87; 95% confidence interval, 1.10-3.15) compared with individuals who did not consume soft drinks after adjustment for potential confounders. There was no statistically significant association between juice consumption and risk of pancreatic cancer.

Conclusion: Regular consumption of soft drinks may play an independent role in the development of pancreatic cancer. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev; 19(2); 447–55

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The study highlights the consumption of sugar laden soft drinks as a culprit but not other sugary fruit juices.  Other findings that I need to highlight include:

  • Smokers in the study  had a 49% increased risk for pancreatic cancer.  Another reason for one to consider stopping smoking.
  • A history of diabetes was not associated with an increased risk for pancreatic cancer.  But I would say…any diabetic should be screend for pancreatic cancer and this disease manifests a high blood suagr.
  • Drinking 2 or more soft drinks per week was associated with more than 80% increase in risk for pancreatic cancer after adjustment for other risks.  Now …. I know of some who drink soft drinks daily 2-3 x. Scary thought indeed!!!!  In short LIMIT!

Heres a confusing thought from the study though: after adjustment, juice intake of 2 or more drinks per week overall was not associated with increased risk, but when smokers were excluded, there was an association between juice intake and pancreatic cancer risk increasing a persons risk by 60%.  More studies need to be done to examine this relationship. 

So friends…just like my reminder all the time… Limit and limit and not totally eliminate!

We still dont know what is really in the soft drinks that make us unwell.  For now… enjoy it but limit the consumption to sugar free Diet soft drinks. 

Better still enjoy the water!  its FREE!

Ways To A Healthier Heart

February 3, 2010

See full size imageJust came across this wonderful wonderful article in Harvard HealthBeat News Letter that I want to share.  They are practical steps yet very true to every word.  Worth meditating and taken seriously… and true to its mission…A Healthy Heart!

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10 small steps for better heart health

Change is an important part of living with heart disease or trying to prevent it. A jump in blood pressure or cholesterol earns you a lecture on healthy lifestyle changes. Heart attack and stroke survivors are often told to alter a lifetime of habits.

Some people manage to overhaul their exercise pattern, diet, and unhealthy habits with ease. The rest of us try to make changes, but don’t always succeed. Instead of undertaking a huge makeover, you might be able to improve your heart’s health with a series of small changes. Once you get going, you may find that change isn’t so hard. This approach may take longer, but it could also motivate you to make some big changes.

Here are 10 small steps to get you on the road to better health in 2010.

1. Take a 10-minute walk. If you don’t exercise at all, a brief walk is a great way to start. If you do, it’s a good way to add more exercise to your day.

2. Give yourself a lift. Lifting a hardcover book or a two-pound weight a few times a day can help tone your arm muscles. When that becomes a breeze, move on to heavier items or join a gym.

3. Eat one extra fruit or vegetable a day. Fruits and vegetables are inexpensive, taste good, and are good for everything from your brain to your bowels.

4. Make breakfast count. Start the day with some fruit and a serving of whole grains, like oatmeal, bran flakes, or whole-wheat toast.

5. Stop drinking your calories. Cutting out just one sugar-sweetened soda or calorie-laden latte can easily save you 100 or more calories a day. Over a year, that can translate into a 10-pound weight loss.

6. Have a handful of nuts. Walnuts, almonds, peanuts, and other nuts are good for your heart. Try grabbing some instead of chips or cookies when you need a snack, adding them to salads for a healthful and tasty crunch, or using them in place of meat in pasta and other dishes.

7. Sample the fruits of the sea. Eat fish or other types of seafood instead of red meat once a week. It’s good for the heart, the brain, and the waistline.

8. Breathe deeply. Try breathing slowly and deeply for a few minutes a day. It can help you relax. Slow, deep breathing may also help lower blood pressure.

9. Wash your hands often. Scrubbing up with soap and water often during the day is a great way to protect your heart and health. The flu, pneumonia, and other infections can be very hard on the heart.

10. Count your blessings. Taking a moment each day to acknowledge the blessings in your life is one way to start tapping into other positive emotions. These have been linked with better health, longer life, and greater well-being, just as their opposites — chronic anger, worry, and hostility — contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease.

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As the saying goes…

Dont Worry…Be Healthy and Be Happy!

Exercise and High Blood Pressure

January 29, 2010

We all know that both diet and exercise are important.  We know they work together to help keep our body healy. Pure determination to succeed and discipline are the two keys to help keep and manage our body’s health.

Recently a new article published in the Archives of Internal Medicine ,January 2010, showed that diet alone may not be as effective as diet PLUS exercise in helping control ones blood pressure.

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BACKGROUND: Although the DASH (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) diet has been shown to lower blood pressure (BP) in short-term feeding studies, it has not been shown to lower BP among free-living individuals, nor has it been shown to alter cardiovascular biomarkers of risk.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the DASH diet alone or combined with a weight management program with usual diet controls among participants with prehypertension or stage 1 hypertension (systolic BP, 130-159 mm Hg; or diastolic BP, 85-99 mm Hg).

DESIGN AND SETTING: Randomized, controlled trial in a tertiary care medical center with assessments at baseline and 4 months. Enrollment began October 29, 2003, and ended July 28, 2008. PARTICIPANTS: Overweight or obese, unmedicated outpatients with high BP (N = 144).

INTERVENTIONS: Usual diet controls, DASH diet alone, and DASH diet plus weight management.

OUTCOME MEASURES: The main outcome measure is BP measured in the clinic and by ambulatory BP monitoring. Secondary outcomes included pulse wave velocity, flow-mediated dilation of the brachial artery, baroreflex sensitivity, and left ventricular mass.

 RESULTS: Clinic-measured BP was reduced by 16.1/9.9 mm Hg (DASH plus weight management); 11.2/7.5 mm (DASH alone); and 3.4/3.8 mm (usual diet controls) (P < .001). A similar pattern was observed for ambulatory BP (P < .05). Greater improvement was noted for DASH plus weight management compared with DASH alone for pulse wave velocity, baroreflex sensitivity, and left ventricular mass (all P < .05).

CONCLUSION: For overweight or obese persons with above-normal BP, the addition of exercise and weight loss to the DASH diet resulted in even larger BP reductions, greater improvements in vascular and autonomic function, and reduced left ventricular mass.

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The above study showed that the famed DASH diet should be combined with exercise and weight loss to result in greater BP reductions than just the DASH diet by itself or usual diet.   Likewise the study showed based on some biochemical markers that weight management augmented the cardiovascular benefits of the DASH diet.

Overall this study tells us the importance of including behavioral modification and lifestyle programs for patients with high blood pressure.  This is an important study result because the combination of diet and exercise should remain the cornerstone of therapy of any chronic diseases associated with high blood pressure including diabetes and high cholesterol.

Another reason to EXERCISE!!!!

How Much Exercise is Needed to Lose the FAT?

November 26, 2009

It has been known that losing weight is a game of discipline and balance… Balance between food intake and physical activity. 

But what is not known is how much activity is needed to lose the fat inside the viscera or  abdomen known to be the Bad Fat!  Remember if you want to lose weight: the equation is more toward lesser intake of FOOD…  while If you want physical conditining and maintenance of weight, the balance points more to physical activity.

Now comes this interesting data that looked at this particular question.  How much exercise does one need to lose fat?  The study was published in journal  Obesity, Oct 8, 2009

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The purpose of this study was to determine what effect aerobic and resistance exercise training has on gain of visceral fat during the year following weight loss.

After being randomly assigned to aerobic training, resistance training, or no exercise training, 45 European-American (EA) and 52 African-American (AA) women lost 12.3 plusminus 2.5 kg on a 800 kcal/day diet. Computed tomography was used to measure abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue, whereas total fat and regional fat (leg, arm, and trunk) were measured by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry after weight loss and 1 year following the weight loss. Because not all the subjects adhered to the 2 time/week 40 min/day exercise training during the 1-year follow-up, subjects were divided into five groups for analysis: aerobic adherers, aerobic nonadherers, resistance adherers, resistance nonadherers, and no exercise.

No significant differences were observed between the aerobic training and resistance training adherers for any variable. However, the aerobic (3.1 kg) and resistance (3.9 kg) exercise adherers gained less weight than any of the other three groups (all >6.2 kg).

In addition, the two exercise adherence groups did not significantly increase visceral fat (<0.8%) as compared with the 38% increase for the two nonadhering exercise groups and the 25% for the nonexercise group.

In Conclusion:

 As little as 80 min/week aerobic or resistance training had modest positive effects on preventing weight regain following a diet-induced weight loss. More importantly, both aerobic and resistance training prevented regain of potentially harmful visceral fat.

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I have been a  believer of this fact… that relying heavily on physical activity alone to help one lose weight is doomed to fail.  One needs to brisk walk for example around 70 minutes to burn 250 calories while eating french fries in a 5 minute snack time will already give you 320 calories!!!!

The above study points out the balance between cutting calories and physical activity.  The mere 80min per week exercise resulted in the prevention of weight regain after a diet induced weight loss … especially the prevention of the regain of the visceral fat which is considered the Bad fat!

Now that is definitely not difficult to do!!!!  How much more if we do physical activity on a daily basis?  Once you get used to it…you’re hooked. 

An example of being hooked: Just last night for example, I have to be in a symposium to give a lecture to cardiologists…but I really squeezed in at least a 20 min run prior to preparing for my talk…boy was it exhilirating to have sweat it out and boy was it refreshing afterwards!

No more excuses….

A little of something is better than Nothing….

Running and The Risk of Joint Disease…. Will My Jogging Cause Arthritis?

November 9, 2009

Not necessarily….

A 14 year prospective longitudinal study published in Arthritis Research and Therapy  involving  961 men and women, aged 50 and over, found results that will be good news to us runners all over the world.  I am not really a “runner” like my good friend Yong Larrazabal of the Cebu Doc Group of Hospitals but I do jog daily around 4k as my form of physical activity.

The study below clearly showed that “exercise was associated with a substantial and significant reduction in pain even after adjusting for gender, baseline BMI, and attrition”.  Read on………

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We studied the long term impact of running and other aerobic exercise on musculoskeletal pain in a cohort of healthy aging male and female seniors who had been followed for 14 years.

We conducted a prospective, longitudinal study in 866 Runners’ Association members (n = 492) and community controls (n = 374). Subjects were also categorized as Ever-Runners (n = 565) and Never-Runners (n = 301) to include runners who had stopped running.

Pain was the primary outcome measure and was assessed in annual surveys on a double-anchored visual analogue scale (0 to 100; 0 = no pain). Baseline differences between Runners’ Association members and community controls and between Ever-Runners versus Never-Runners were compared using chi-square and t-tests. Statistical adjustments for age, body mass index (BMI), gender, health behaviors, history of arthritis and comorbid conditions were performed using generalized estimating equations.

Runner’s Association members were younger (62 versus 65 years, p < 0.05), had a lower BMI (22.9 versus 24.2, p < 0.05), and less arthritis (35% versus 41%, p > 0.05) than community controls. Runners’ Association members averaged far more exercise minutes per week (314 versus 123, p < 0.05) and miles run per week (26 versus 2, p < 0.05) and tended to report more fractures (53% versus 47%, p > 0.05) than controls. Ever-Runners were younger (62 versus 66 years, p < 0.05), had lower BMI (23.0 versus 24.3, p < 0.05), and less arthritis (35% versus 43%, p < 0.05) than Never-Runners. Ever-Runners averaged more exercise minutes per week (291 versus 120, p < 0.05) and miles run per week (23 versus 1, p < 0.05) and reported a few more fractures (52% versus 48%, p > 0.05) than Never-Runners.

  • Exercise was associated with significantly lower pain scores over time in the Runners’ Association group after adjusting for gender, baseline BMI, and study attrition (p < 0.01). Similar differences were observed for Ever-Runners versus Never-Runners.
  • Consistent exercise patterns over the long term in physically active seniors are associated with about 25% less musculoskeletal pain than reported by more sedentary controls, either by calendar year or by cumulative area-under-the-curve pain over average ages of 62 to 76 years.

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 The above study only further confirms what other studies have shown in regards to the relationship between greater physical activity and the associated less pain and disability associated with a higher health related quality of life.  These studies refute the earlier claims and excuses of non exercisers that long term… runners will have debilitating arthritis or joint diseases!   For me…they are mere excuses for those who lead a sedentary lifestyle.

An analogy to this finding would be our recommendations for people with heart attack.  A stressful activity may trigger the event BUT the long term risk is decreased by more activity.  As more physical activties with lifestyle change have been shown to be helpful long term in reducing risk for chronic debilitating diseases.

Take Home message of this all:  

  1. It is the ” too little activity over time” that may in fact be the primary cause of a large percentage of musculoskeletal injuries and NOT the other way around!   
  2. With the worldwide epidemic of obesity, diabetes and Hypertension, it is but prudent to suggest that too much exercise is not the major public health problem… rather it is the Inactivty that is a Problem and the associated diseases that come with it!

Remember….All the studies have proven so far that on the contrary… the more once moves the joints, the stronger they become to withstand injuries long term suggesting that indeed….

Lifetime physical activity Is Protective… to your joints, muscles and the whole physical being!

So guys…let’s all enjoy running!!!

Weight Loss and Health….

November 6, 2009

Now the good news….

The main reason for my weight loss through lifestyle change is my aim to reduce my risk to develop diabetes in the future.  After a scary 96 mg/dl fasting blood sugar during my annual executive checkup, I pushed myself to achieve my ideal BMI becuase apparently I was overweight.

Now as published in Lancet this October 29, 2009, the long term Diabetes Prevention Program extended study showed long term benefits of modest weight loss through lifestyle as better in preventing the progression of the disease compared to intake of medication called Metformin. 

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Background

In the 2·8 years of the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) randomised clinical trial, diabetes incidence in high-risk adults was reduced by 58% with intensive lifestyle intervention and by 31% with metformin, compared with placebo. We investigated the persistence of these effects in the long term.

Methods

All active DPP participants were eligible for continued follow-up. 2766 of 3150 (88%) enrolled for a median additional follow-up of 5·7 years (IQR 5·5—5·8). 910 participants were from the lifestyle, 924 from the metformin, and 932 were from the original placebo groups. On the basis of the benefits from the intensive lifestyle intervention in the DPP, all three groups were offered group-implemented lifestyle intervention. Metformin treatment was continued in the original metformin group (850 mg twice daily as tolerated), with participants unmasked to assignment, and the original lifestyle intervention group was offered additional lifestyle support. The primary outcome was development of diabetes according to American Diabetes Association criteria. Analysis was by intention-to-treat. This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, number NCT00038727.

Findings

During the 10·0-year (IQR 9·0—10·5) follow-up since randomisation to DPP, the original lifestyle group lost, then partly regained weight. The modest weight loss with metformin was maintained. Diabetes incidence rates during the DPP were 4·8 cases per 100 person-years (95% CI 4·1—5·7) in the intensive lifestyle intervention group, 7·8 (6·8—8·8) in the metformin group, and 11·0 (9·8—12·3) in the placebo group. Diabetes incidence rates in this follow-up study were similar between treatment groups: 5·9 per 100 person-years (5·1—6·8) for lifestyle, 4·9 (4·2—5·7) for metformin, and 5·6 (4·8—6·5) for placebo. Diabetes incidence in the 10 years since DPP randomisation was reduced by 34% (24—42) in the lifestyle group and 18% (7—28) in the metformin group compared with placebo.

Interpretation

During follow-up after DPP, incidences in the former placebo and metformin groups fell to equal those in the former lifestyle group, but the cumulative incidence of diabetes remained lowest in the lifestyle group. Prevention or delay of diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin can persist for at least 10 years.

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The study clearly shows that weight loss through lifestyle changes can significantly reduce ones risk to develop diabetes by as much as 34%. 

The Intensive lifestyle changes in the study consisted of lowering fat and calories in the diet and increasing regular physical activity to 150 minutes per week.  Most exercise was in a form of walking.  Modest weight loss was around 15 lbs in the first year but overtime regained them all but 5 lbs over the next 10 years.  I guess this shows that lifestyle really is difficult for some to maintain.

What matters most for this study is that lifestyle change through fitness and nutrition really works.  The only problem is how one can maintain to be active throughout ones life and how one can withstand the sight of FOOOOD!!!! 

For me….Its a matter of discipline and focus… The two main ingredients to achieving success through behavioral modification.  Clinically, the measure of success is when one is able to maintain the weight loss beyond 1 year of intervention.  Losing weight in 6 months is good…but gaining them back in the next 6 months is bad…..

The Facts are here… the Benefits are known… The rest now depends on YOU!

High Protein Diet and Alzheimers’ Dsiease: Is There a Link?

October 27, 2009

Go to fullsize imageThe famous FAD diet fo the century is the Atkins or High Protein diets.  Short term weight loss made these diets so popular that even the medical community has to take a second look.

One new possible side effect of  this FAD-  high protein diet is believed to be neurotoxicity that can possibly lead to premature aging or alzheimers disease. 

In a recent study published in Molecular Neurodegeneration, 2009, 4:40 (21 October 2009), animal studies involving mice that were fed with this kind of diet resulted in having brains that apprently shrank.  This clinically may therefore be relevant to the onset of forgetfulness in the long run to humans.

This study is experimental but may be a signal to further develop a prospective study to elucidate the important effects of a high protein diet in the brain on humans.  Whether this is true to any age group or not remains to be seen.

In my practice, I maybe a maverick in terms of  prescribing a specific diet plan for my pateints BUT ive always been against any FAD diets which I know will only result in short term results rather than long term outcomes.

Better Still… Be Well by Eating Right!

Walking versus Jogging

October 12, 2009

Walking as an exercise is the simplest form of activity.  I used to walk at least 4x a week.  That has been my form of exercise eversince I decided to emabark on a healthy lifestyle.   BUT I was not really consistent in doing so. There was always a reason for me not to do it this day or the next day. 

But when I started a new regimen of activity after I had a blood sugar of 96 ( with my strong family hist0ry and being the youngest of 9 with a diabetic mother: my risk is pretty high)…and a BMI of 26…I was definitely overweight… I found the differerence between simply brisk walking and running or actually jogging.

I only jog.  Meaning leisurely running 5 km per hour.  I posted my regimen before as the WOG: where I Walk and Jog but for the past several months Ive elevated the activity to all- jogging for 45 min per day. 

 The difference in terms of stamina, ” the feeling good” after the exercise and the “urge” to do it again the next day was something I did not feel whan I was brisk walking.  The sweating was 100 x more and the ” good sense of well being” feeling after the exercise was experienced even more!  I guess the endorphins are really kicking in when you sweat more and do more strenuous activities than just by simply walking without sweating it out!

The added factor to this exercise activity is of coure the maintenance of ones weight.  So far with my diet regimen and my jogging, Ive successfully maintained my weight and BMI of 22.

So guys… which is better?

Try it yourself and you make a choice.  Whatever your choice is …both are great activities to keep you healthy!

How To Eat and Live Longer….

September 3, 2009

People have been looking for the miracle pill to live longer.  Cosmetic surgeries are on the rise because of vanity and the desire to feel and look young. Healthy lifestyle through proper food choices have always been advocated by different medical societies as the way to go BUT finding the right choices of food and the most practical activities to do remain elusive to most.

The so called Mediterranean diet has long been touted as having shown to have the most healthy components in terms of food choices.  Recently in a population based study done in Greece published in British Medical Journal, June, 2009, Mediterranean diet appeared to contribute to increased longetivity.

After a mean follow-up of 8.5 years, there were more deaths among individuals who were on low Mediterranean diet components than among individuals whose diet components were high of the Mediterranean-diet.  Furthermore, the study was able to teased out the contribution of each component to low mortality:

  • moderate consumption of alcohol (23.5% of the effect),
  •  low consumption of meat (16.6%),
  • high consumption of vegetables (16.2%),
  • high consumption of fruits and nuts (11.2%),
  • high monounsaturated-to-saturated lipid ratio (10.6%), and
  • high consumption of legumes (9.7%).

The study suggested therefore that the largest effects on reduced mortality came from drinking moderate amounts of alcohol equivalent to five small glasses of wine (10 g/day to less than 50 g/day) for men and half that for women as well as eating little meat while eating lots of vegetables, eating fruits and nuts, and using olive oil.  It is however very important to note that the individual components of the Mediterranean diet gave an additive protective effect to the overall mortality.  The study suggests that it is still the overall dietary habit that will determine whether your diet is healthy and can lead to longer life than just relying on the health benefits of an individual diet component.

So change to a healthier lifestyle with five servings of vegetables, three to four servings of fruits, nuts a day, lots of vegetables, less meat and moderate amount of the so called French Paradox: Wine

Toast To A Long Life!!!

The Benefits of Exercise Go Beyond Prevention….

July 23, 2009

We all know the benefits of exercise.  It has been shown to afford a better lifestyle due to prevention of chronic diseases associated with sedentary behavior. 

What we dont know is how following a rigorous physical activity and being FIT can have an impact on a patients recovery from certain illnesses that unfortunately can happen due to the NON modifiable risk factors like family history and age!

A study from the Mayo Clinic published in BMJ this month shows us that indeed the benefits of exercise can go beyond Prevention:

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Background: The importance of physical activity as a modifiable risk factor for stroke in particular and cardiovascular disease in general is well documented. The effect of exercise on stroke severity and stroke outcomes is less clear. This study aimed to assess that effect.

Methods: Data collected for patients enrolled in the Ischemic Stroke Genetics Study were reviewed for prestroke self-reported levels of activity and 4 measures of stroke outcome assessed at enrollment and approximately 3 months after enrollment. Logistic regression was used to assess the association between physical activity and stroke outcomes, unadjusted and adjusted for patient characteristics.

Results: A total of 673 patients were enrolled; 50.5% reported aerobic physical activity less than once a week, 28.5% reported aerobic physical activity 1 to 3 times weekly, and 21% reported aerobic physical activity 4 times a week or more. Patients with moderate and high levels of physical activity were more likely to have higher Barthel Index (BI) scores at enrollment. A similar association was detected for the Oxford Handicap Scale (OHS). After 3 months of follow-up, moderate activity was still associated with a high BI score. No significant association was detected for activity and the OHS or Glasgow Outcome Scale at follow-up after adjustment for patient characteristics.

Conclusions: Higher levels of self-reported prestroke physical activity may be associated with functional advantages after stroke. Our findings should be seen as exploratory, requiring confirmation, ideally in a longitudinal study of exercise in an older population.

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Theoritically, the study results are obvious in that according to the author….”A brain that generally has good blood and oxygen flow from aerobic exercise will be in a better position to compensate for neurological deficits caused by a stroke.”

The results also say it all: that Exercise indded can be beneficial in all phases of the disease from prevention to recovery.  

 Among patients who reported less exercise in the year before their stroke those individuals were significantly more likely to have one or more bad outcomes while those who were into moderate to high levels of activity, the odds of a better outcome were higher. 

Likewise, in terms of recovery and functional capacity post stroke after three months , individuals who had both moderate and high exercise levels were associated with significantly better functional outcomes.  Great News specially to our diabetic patients who love to exercise! 

There you go… the many wonders of exercise !!!

You Get Everything GOOD with EXERCISE!  

The 20-40 RULE in Fitness and Disease

July 13, 2009

My 20-40 rule:

A low fitness level in your teens translate to a high level of risk for developing diabetes by age 40! 

That’s the message I got from this study published in Diabetes Care called the CARDIA Fitness Study.

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Objective: Test the association of fitness changes over 7- and 20-years on the development of diabetes in middle-age.

Research Design and Methods: Fitness was determined based on the duration of a maximal graded exercise treadmill test (Balke protocol) at up to three examinations over 20-years from 3989 black and white men and women from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults study. Relative fitness change (%) was calculated as the difference between baseline and follow-up treadmill duration/baseline treadmill duration. Diabetes was identified as fasting glucose ≥126 mg/dL, post-load glucose ≥200 mg/dL, or use of diabetes medications.

Results:

  • Diabetes developed at a rate of 4 per 1000 person-years in women (n=149) and men (n=122) and lower baseline fitness was associated with a higher incidence of diabetes in all race-sex groups (hazard ratios from 1.8 to 2.3).
  •  On average, fitness declined 7.6% in women and 9.2% in men over 7 years.
  • The likelihood of developing diabetes increased per standard deviation decrease (19%) from the 7-year population mean change (−8.3%) was in women (hazard ratio [HR]=1.22, 95% CI: 1.09, 1.39) and men (HR=1.45, 95% CI: 1.20, 1.75) following adjustment for age, race, smoking, family history of diabetes, baseline fitness, body mass index (BMI), and fasting glucose.
  • Participants who developed diabetes over 20 years experienced significantly larger declines in relative fitness over 20 years vs those who did not..

Conclusions: Low fitness is significantly associated with diabetes incidence and explained in large part by the relationship between fitness and BMI.

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This study shows that inidviduals risk to develop lifestyle related diseases especially diabetes are at increasing overtime depending on the level of fitness:

  • Women were at 22% increased risk of developing diabetes
  • men were at a 45% increased risk…

 for every standard deviation decrease from the mean fitness change.  This relationship continued to exists even after adjusting for age, smoking, family history of diabetes, and baseline fasting glucose.  In fact the researchers noted that the baseline BMI was a better predictor for developing diabetes than the baseline fasting glucose as well as baseline fitness.

What Do These Data MEAN?

  • If two individuals have similar fitness level; the bigger person with a higher BMI is more likely to develop diabetes than the smaller frame guy overtime in the next 10-20 years.
  •  The possible mechanism by which fitness decreases risk for diabetes is most likely related to the regulation of body mass.  A lower BMI means better insulin sensitivity and less production of toxic substances by increased adiposity that can lead to further cardiovascular complications associated with obesity and diabetes. 

The authors conlcuded:

That regular physical activity to “improve and maintain cardiorespiratory fitness is an important component of a healthy lifestyle.” 

 AMEN!

Walk and Jog or The WOG… A Perfect Exercise!!!

July 7, 2009

Since the time Ive lost weight, Ive been apporached several times by my friends how I did it.  Ive posted in thia website my diet regimen…now I am posting my exercise routine.  To lose weight…the right food and the right discipline are both essential.  To maintain your weight, then the right kind of exercise that you feel good and you can do for years should be the best way to increase your metabolic rate!

Can we call it the WOG?  Short for Walk and Jog!!!

Ive been a brisk walker for sometime.  I find it a good exercise that’s not too tiring nor too destructive for my joints.  But overtime, after several articles touting the benefits of short bouts of exercise in between breaks that I thought of trying to alternate my walking exercise with jogging.

The intensity of exercise is more…the surge of adrenaline is more and boy…you feel better and better everytime you do the routine.  Lots and lots of sweat too!  Besides, you allow you body to rest in between the jogging by brisk walking.

Jogging being a high-intensity exercise kicks your metabolism up and by doing so,  your metabolic rate stays up longer (five times longer after a vigorous workout than after an easy one).   By doing the same routine, one therefore tends to add up the number of calories burned because the jogging can easily add up another 200 calories compared to walking alone.

Here’s what I do:

Before I walk, warming up by stretching the muscles is very important.  Then I start my brisk walking slowly increasing the pace  until I start jogging. 

 I then do the alternate walk and jog routine every 3 minutes until 40 to 40 minutes!!!!  

Initially it may seem “laborious” compared to walking alone but soon…you will be running a marathon as the running becomes easier.  But at this time, I have no plans to pursue a running career!  I just want to burn more calories and make myself healthier and hopefully avoid myself getting the risk of developing diabetes!

To stay Fit and Slim…Discipline is the KEY!

You are What You Eat and Do the WOG!

Sleep Well To Prevent High Blood Pressure!!!

July 4, 2009

A simple measure to reduce BP is to have a good night’s sleep!!!

Here’s a new study that shows us one tip to have a better controlled blood pressure  published in Archives of Internal Medicine:

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BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies have reported an association between self-reported short sleep duration and high blood pressure (BP). Our objective was to examine both cross-sectional and longitudinal associations between objectively measured sleep and BP.

METHODS: This study is ancillary to the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) cohort study. Blood pressure was measured in 2000 and 2001 and in 2005 and 2006. Sleep was measured twice using wrist actigraphy for 3 consecutive days between 2003 and 2005. Sleep duration and sleep maintenance (a component of sleep quality) were calculated. Analyses included 578 African Americans and whites aged 33 to 45 years at baseline. Outcome measures were systolic BP (SBP) and diastolic BP (DBP) levels, 5-year change in BP, and incident hypertension.

RESULTS: After we excluded the patients who were taking antihypertensive medications and adjusted for age, race, and sex,

  • shorter sleep duration and lower sleep maintenance predicted significantly higher SBP and DBP levels cross-sectionally as well as more adverse changes in SBP and DBP levels over 5 years (all P < .05).
  • Short sleep duration also predicted significantly increased odds of incident hypertension (odds ratio, 1.37; 95% confidence interval, 1.05-1.78).
  •  Adjustment for 16 additional covariates, including snoring and daytime sleepiness, slightly attenuated the associations between sleep and BP.

 CONCLUSION: Reduced sleep duration and consolidation predicted higher BP levels and adverse changes in BP, suggesting the need for studies to investigate whether interventions to optimize sleep may reduce BP.
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There you go guys… nake sure you sleep better..and rest well. 

Dont let worries or pressure bother you too much. 

Associate the bed with a good night’s sleep…  not only will you feel refreshed the next day BUT healthier too!

For a Healthier Heart… Sleep Well!!!

How To Exercise To Reduce Heart Disease…

June 30, 2009

We heard the news of Michael Jackson’s death.  It is known that Heart disease continues to be a leading killer worldwide.  Blame it to lifestyle and the world’s reliance to fast food and technology.  In parallel to the rise of heart disease is the rising prevalence of Diabetes and Obesity which I believe will no longer spare anyone because of the environment we are in and the kind of acitvities and lifestyle the next generation is in and will have!

It is therefore imperative that we deal with this rising prevalence of heart disease upfront and not relying heavily on medications to get us through!  Simple steps can be done but steps that need diligence, perseverance and discipline!  It is therefore best to start these steps NOW than later!

I myself am doing these steps NOW and not later when I will get the disease of Diabetes due to age and strong family history. 

The recent guideline of the American Heart Association is timing to the events around the world. 

There’s no better time than now to emphasize lifestyle change and exercise but now!  So what do we recommend?

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To improve cardiovascular risk, it is recommended that patients with T2DM accumulate a minimum of 150 minutes per week of at least moderate-intensity and/or 90 minutes per week of at least vigorous-intensity cardiorespiratory exercise.

In addition, resistance training should be encouraged. These guidelines can be achieved with varying contributions of moderate- to vigorous-intensity cardiorespiratory exercise.

Patients should train on at least 3 nonconsecutive days each week to maximize benefits. Individual sessions should last for no less than 10 minutes.

 Sedentary behaviors should be minimized. Exercise training should be implemented long-term.

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Additional recommendations highlighted in the guidelines include:

  • Resistance training should use all muscle groups and progress to  2–4 sets of 8–10 repetitions at a weight that cannot be lifted >8–10 times, with 1–2 minute rest periods between sets.
  • The duration of each individual session can vary, although the aim should be a minimum of 10 minutes per session, at least 3 sessions per day.
  • Patients who elect to walk should perform the task at a brisk pace to be effective.
  • Go guys… jump on to the bandwagon.  Just look around you.  Lance Gokongwei has joined the fitness world!  So can we!

    It’s in the decision When to start that somehow manages to make us Weak and defenseless. Be determined and do it now. 

    Be Fit…Be Slim…

    Be Smart and Be Healthy!

    How To Lower Cholesterol Levels Naturally

    June 3, 2009

    Here’s one interesting article from the Harvard Health Publications HealthBeat on ways we can do to lower cholesterol naturally without meds:

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    15 tips for lowering your cholesterol naturally

    Many factors contribute to the development of heart disease or stroke. Genes and gender play a role, but for most of us, what we eat is an important factor as well. The good news is that a few small changes to your diet can help lower your cholesterol, which in turn will lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. Here are 15 heart-healthy eating tips to help you in the fight against high cholesterol.

    1. Eat meat sparingly. Relegate meat to a minor part of your diet instead of making it the centerpiece of most meals. Trim off fat and skin from meats and poultry. Avoid fatty cuts of beef, pork, and lamb; instead choose lean meats, or substitute fish or skinless white-meat poultry. When dining out, choose a smaller portion of meat, or meatless pasta or fish dishes.

    2. Opt for low-fat dairy products. Avoid dairy foods that contain whole milk or cream; instead, use low-fat or nonfat versions.

    3. Watch the snacks. Choose low-fat snacks (homemade popcorn, carrots, dried fruits, or fresh fruits) instead of high-fat ones (potato chips and candy bars). Avoid store-bought bakery products unless they are explicitly low in saturated fats and free of trans fats.

    4. Cut down on saturated fat in cooking. Use liquid cooking oils rather than butter or margarine. Use nonstick pans. Instead of frying your food, bake, broil, roast, steam, or stew. Discard drippings, and baste with wine or broth.

    5. Avoid palm and coconut oils. Most vegetable oils are unsaturated, but these two contain mostly saturated fat. Choose canola, sunflower, safflower, corn, soybean, olive, and peanut oils.

    6. Reduce dietary cholesterol. Strive to eat less than 200 mg of dietary cholesterol a day. Limit eggs to no more than four egg yolks per week; two egg whites can replace a whole egg in most recipes. Limit lean meat, fish, and poultry to no more than 6 ounces per day (a 3-ounce portion is about the size of a deck of playing cards). Stay away from cholesterol-rich organ meats, such as liver, brains, and kidneys.

    7.  Increase complex carbohydrates and fiber. Emphasize foods with complex carbohydrates—such as fruits and vegetables, whole-grain products, and legumes (dried beans and peas)—that are low in calories and high in fiber. Eat more water-soluble fiber, such as that found in oat bran and fruits. This type of fiber can significantly lower your blood cholesterol level when eaten in conjunction with a low-fat diet.

    8. Eat fruits and vegetables. To protect your heart, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

    9. Go for nuts. Nuts are associated with a lower risk of heart disease. They’re a healthful and filling source of protein, but go easy on them; they have lots of calories, so too much could cause weight gain.

    10. Add fish to your diet. Countries with high fish consumption have a lower risk of death from all causes as well as from cardiovascular disease. Like nuts, oily fish contain the essential fatty acids known as omega-3s and omega-6s. Since our bodies can’t make these, we have to eat foods that contain them to gain their benefits, which include improved cholesterol levels.

    11. Reduce salt intake. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Diets high in salt increase risk of hypertension.

    12. Avoid trans fats. According to the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board, there are no redeeming qualities to trans fats, and no safe levels. They raise LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. The National Cholesterol Education Program urges people to eat as little as possible. Avoid or eat only very small quantities of foods that list hydrogenated oil or partially hydrogenated oil among their first ingredients. These products contain a lot of trans fat.

    13. Drink alcohol only in moderation. Regular, moderate drinking can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, but heavy drinking negates the benefits. Moreover, the advantages aren’t strong enough to recommend alcohol for anyone who doesn’t already drink. For those who do, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend no more than one drink a day for women, and one or two drinks a day for men.

    14. Read labels carefully. Avoid prepared foods that list any of the following among the first few ingredients: meat fat, coconut or palm oil, cream, butter, egg or yolk solids, whole milk solids, lard, cocoa butter, chocolate or imitation chocolate, or hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated fat or oil. Watch out for fast foods and other unlabeled products; when you don’t know what you’re getting, eat sparingly.

    15. Change strategies. If three months of healthy eating doesn’t bring your total and LDL cholesterol levels into the desired range, consult your physician and a dietitian. If the numbers still don’t budge after six months, it may be time to consider medication.

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    Simple measures we can at home to avoid getting th compications associated with a high cholestrol level in the blood.  High cholesterol levels have been shown to increase ones risk to suffer from stroke and heart attack. 

    The good news is , we now have ways to control and lower the cholestrol levels by taking care of what we eat and through medications.

    Be Health Smart and Check the Labels!

    WHY Breastfeed?

    May 8, 2009

    Go to fullsize imagehat breastfeeding is best for babies…now we know its also good for mothers as well.  Good news for those who believe in the benefits of breastfeeding based on a new study publsihed in the recent journal of Obsetrics and Gynecology, May 2009: 

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    OBJECTIVE: To examine dose-response relationships between the cumulative number of months women lactated and postmenopausal risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

    METHODS: We examined data from 139,681 postmenopausal women (median age 63 years) who reported at least one live birth on enrolling in the Women’s Health Initiative observational study or controlled trials.

    RESULTS: Dose-response relationships were seen; in fully adjusted models,

    • women who reported a lifetime history of more than 12 months of lactation were less likely to have hypertension , diabetes, hyperlipidemia, or cardiovascular disease than women who never breast-fed, but
    • they were not less likely to be obese.

    In models adjusted for all above variables and BMI, similar relationships were seen. Using multivariate adjusted prevalence ratios from generalized linear models,

    • we estimate that among parous women who did not breast-feed compared with those who breast-fed for more than 12 months, 42.1% versus 38.6% would have hypertension, 5.3% versus 4.3% would have diabetes, 14.8% versus 12.3% would have hyperlipidemia, and 9.9% versus 9.1% would have developed cardiovascular disease when postmenopausal.
    • Over an average of 7.9 years of postmenopausal participation in the Women’s Health Initiative, women with a single live birth who breast-fed for 7-12 months were significantly less likely to develop cardiovascular disease  than women who never breast-fed.

    CONCLUSION: Among postmenopausal women, increased duration of lactation was associated with a lower prevalence of hypertension, diabetes, hyperlipidemia, and cardiovascular disease.

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    What this study showed is that women who breastfed for more than one year throughout their lifetime were 10% less likely to have a heart attack or stroke.  But what’s important is that these breastfeeding women were also less likely to develop the dreaded metabolic syndrome: 20% less likely to develop of diabetes, 12% less likely to have hypertension and 19% less leklely to develop high cholesterol. 

    How long should one breastfeed top get the effect?  Well, even women who had breastfed for only one month had lower rates of diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

    Why do benefits result with breastfeeding? 

    Well most likely women who breastfeed their babies are more careful with their health in terms of food habits and lifestyle.  Likewise the hormone oxytocin produced during breastfeeding have the capacity to relax the vessels that may play a role in delaying plaque buildup in the vessel walls.

    There you go guys…

    Breastfeeding is Good for Our Health!

    Meat Is Not NEAT!

    April 7, 2009

    Go to fullsize imageIt is easier to convince a child to eat meat than to eat veggies.  This scenario is given.  We are exposed to too many ads on meat whether chicken meat or beef meat on TV and newspapers.  It is therefore a challenge to parents to introduce other varieties of food that we deem healthier to the next generation.  It may take us some time to be successful but a little step can indeed go a long way overtime!

    Now comes another study to support the concept that meat is really not neat!  Published in the latest edition of  Archives of Internal Medicine:

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    Background  High intakes of red or processed meat may increase the risk of mortality. Our objective was to determine the relations of red, white, and processed meat intakes to risk for total and cause-specific mortality.

    Methods  The study population included the National Institutes of Health–AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons) Diet and Health Study cohort of half a million people aged 50 to 71 years at baseline. Main outcome measures included total mortality and deaths due to cancer, cardiovascular disease, injuries and sudden deaths, and all other causes.

    Results  There were 47 976 male deaths and 23 276 female deaths during 10 years of follow-up.

    • Men and women in the highest vs lowest quintile of red (HR, 1.31 [95% CI, 1.27-1.35], and HR, 1.36 [95% CI, 1.30-1.43], respectively) and processed meat (HR, 1.16 [95% CI, 1.12-1.20], and HR, 1.25 [95% CI, 1.20-1.31], respectively) intakes had elevated risks for overall mortality.
    • Regarding cause-specific mortality, men and women had elevated risks for cancer mortality for red (HR, 1.22 [95% CI, 1.16-1.29], and HR, 1.20 [95% CI, 1.12-1.30], respectively) and processed meat (HR, 1.12 [95% CI, 1.06-1.19], and HR, 1.11 [95% CI 1.04-1.19], respectively) intakes.
    • Furthermore, cardiovascular disease risk was elevated for men and women in the highest quintile of red (HR, 1.27 [95% CI, 1.20-1.35], and HR, 1.50 [95% CI, 1.37-1.65], respectively) and processed meat (HR, 1.09 [95% CI, 1.03-1.15], and HR, 1.38 [95% CI, 1.26-1.51], respectively) intakes.
    • When comparing the highest with the lowest quintile of white meat intake, there was an inverse association for total mortality and cancer mortality, as well as all other deaths for both men and women.

    Conclusion  Red and processed meat intakes were associated with modest increases in total mortality, cancer mortality, and cardiovascular disease mortality.

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    This study further confirms the relationship between red meat and cancer, heart and overall risk of death.  Likewise, the study also showed that fish or intake of white meat was associated with a reduction in the risk of death.

    Translating the data to common language…it means…

    Over 10 years, those that eat meat equivalent to a quarter-pound hamburger can increase ones risk to die from cancer by 22 percent and the risk to die from heart disease by 27 percent. 

    Bottom Line is:

    Cut The Red Meat… Enjoy Fish in time for the Lenten Season….

    Can I Eat Eggs Everyday? Yes You Can!!!!

    March 28, 2009

    New studies have been made to refute the previous claims that eggs can increase ones cholesterol. 

    A recent article published in the International Journal of Obesity showed that the previous notion of limiting eggs because they can increase cholesterol is no longer an acceptable fear.  In fact eggs can help one lose weight!

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    Objective:

     To test the hypotheses that an egg breakfast, in contrast to a bagel breakfast matched for energy density and total energy, would enhance weight loss in overweight and obese participants while on a reduced-calorie weight loss diet.

    Design:

    Otherwise healthy overweight or obese participants were assigned to Egg (E), Egg Diet (ED), Bagel (B) or Bagel Diet (BD) groups, based on the prescription of either an egg breakfast containing two eggs (340 kcal) or a breakfast containing bagels matched for energy density and total energy, for at least 5 days per week, respectively. The ED and BD groups were suggested a 1000 kcal energy-deficit low-fat diet, whereas the B and E groups were asked not to change their energy intake.

    Results:

    After 8 weeks, in comparison to the BD group,

    • the ED group showed a 61% greater reduction in BMI,
    • a 65% greater weight loss ,
    • a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference (P<0.06) and
    • a 16% greater reduction in percent body fat (P=not significant).
    • No significant differences between the E and B groups on the aforementioned variables were obtained.
    • Further, total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, did not differ between the groups.

    Conclusions:

      The egg breakfast enhances weight loss, when combined with an energy-deficit diet, but does not induce weight loss in a free-living condition. The inclusion of eggs in a weight management program may offer a nutritious supplement to enhance weight loss.
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    It is however to be emphasized that in this study, the egg diet was part of a calorie restircted diet suggesting that eating eggs as part of a low calorie diet can help one lose weight.  
    • But the added bonus of the study is the fact that eggs did not have any effect on the blood cholesterol level suggesting that it is really the intake of Saturated fat in the diet found in pastries, cakes and cookies that is harmful to the body!
    • The results of the study  were further confirmed in a similar finding from the University of Surrey research group which showed a similar no effect on cholesterol level with intake of 2 eggs per day for 6 to 8 weeks.
    Hopefully…these two studies can now end the debate as to whether eggs are safe to eat or not.  Enjoy!!!!!