In Honor of World Multiple Sclerosis Day BlackDoctor.org is hosting a Facebook Chat with Professor & Chair of Howard University Hospital Department of Neurology.
By Dr. Renee –Blackdoctor.org
Q: What conditions can water help prevent, or even cure? – C. A.
A: Water can improve and prevent many conditions in your health. Water can boost your metabolism by in 30 percent in healthy men and women. A study showed that the boost happens within 10 minutes but reached a maximum 30-40 minutes after drinking.
Water can protect your heart. A study was done for six years and it was found that people who drank more than five glasses of water a day were 41 percent less likely to die from a heart attack during the study period than those who drank less than two glasses.
Water may be reduce your risk for certain cancers. Research shows that staying hydrated can reduce risk of colon cancer by 45 percent, bladder cancer by 50 percent, and possibly reduce breast cancer risk, too.
Water prevents migraine headaches. In a study there were two groups of migraine sufferers: one took a placebo and the others were told to drink 1.5 liters of water in addition to their usual daily intake. At the end of two weeks, the water group had experienced 21 fewer hours of pain than those in the placebo group, as well as a decrease in pain intensity.
Water can improve brainpower. The brain needs a lot of oxygen to function at optimum levels, so drinking plenty of water ensures that it’s getting all it needs. Drinking eight to 10 cups of water per day can improve your levels of cognitive performance by as much as 30 percent.
I suggest you drink half your weight in ounces but be very scheduled about how much you drink and when so that you do not have to live in the bathroom.
By HealthDay News –Blackdoctor.org
Men who keep fit may find they delay normal age-related increases in blood cholesterol levels by up to 15 years, a new study suggests.
It is common for cholesterol levels to rise with age and then decrease later in life, the study authors explained in background notes. Previous studies have shown that high cholesterol levels can be a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can lower this risk, the researchers said.
“Exercise and being fit helps keep arteries clear by lowering ‘bad’ [LDL] cholesterol and boosting ‘good’ [HDL] cholesterol,” explained study author Dr. Xuemei Sui, an assistant professor at the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina in Columbia, S.C.
“It also reduces other risk factors for atherosclerosis [narrowed arteries] and blood clots, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and stress,” Sui said.
The study was published online May 11 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
For the study, Sui and colleagues used data from health examinations performed during the Aerobics Center Longitudinal Study at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas. The long-term study ran from 1970 to 2006, and included just over 11,400 men, aged 20 to 90. Each took an exercise test on a treadmill to determine their baseline aerobic fitness level.
Researchers measured total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, triglycerides (another type of blood fat), HDL cholesterol and non-HDL cholesterol (the total cholesterol level minus the good HDL cholesterol) in study participants.
Men with lower-than-optimal aerobic fitness had a greater risk of developing high cholesterol in their early 30s, the investigators found, while men with higher levels of fitness did not see high cholesterol develop until their mid-40s.
Men with what would be considered low aerobic fitness reached abnormal HDL and non-HDL cholesterol levels around their early 20s and mid-30s, respectively, while those with higher fitness experienced normal levels for the entire duration of the study, the researchers said.
Aerobic exercise uses the large muscles of the body and brings oxygen to those muscles for use during exercise. Some examples of aerobic exercise include brisk walking, running, biking, swimming, hiking and playing team sports, such as basketball and soccer.
“Exercise is a vital component of achieving lifelong cardiovascular health,” said Dr. Gregg Fonarow, professor of cardiology at the University of California, Los Angeles. “Regular physical activity and maintaining physical fitness has been shown to be associated with a lower risk of [heart attack], stroke, and premature cardiovascular death,” he added.
The men in this study were considered “highly fit.” Is this achievable for the general population? Yes, said Sui.
“Highly fit in this study refers to an individual who meets the current physical activity guideline levels of 150 minutes a week of moderate activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous activity,” Sui explained.
Sui said this amount of exercise can be achieved by engaging in aerobic activity for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
In other words, the men in this study were not professional athletes or marathon runners.
For those not currently exercising, the recommendation is to start slowly and progressively work up to the current physical activity guidelines, experts suggest.
While this study included just men, Sui feels the results would also apply to women.
“I don’t believe the results would be much different for women,” said Sui. “Examining the age-related cardiovascular factors and identifying the modifiable factors in women are future projects.”
Because this study emphasizes the importance of exercise in prolonging health, Sui and colleagues concluded that health care providers should counsel patients on exercise for disease prevention.
“This study, along with our previous studies on glucose [blood sugar] and blood pressure, provide an important message for health care providers that improving cardiorespiratory fitness may delay the onset of high cholesterol, diabetes or high blood pressure,” Sui said. “Clinicians should consider counseling their patients to increase physical activity levels in order to improve fitness.”
Fonarow gives this idea a nod. “I fully agree with the statement that greater emphasis needs to be made on educating individuals of all ages on the importance of exercise. Clinicians should educate their patients on the benefits of fitness along with providing advice on fitness regimens and individualized goals.”
By Dr. P. Gould –Blackdoctor.org
Is that a loose teeth? Maybe a bump in your mouth that has been there for awhile. Here are the parts of your mouth that may not hurt, but they do need to looked at.
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a very common oral condition, especially as you age. There are also more than 425 medications that include dry mouth as a side effect. But dry mouth can be related to issues beyond dental health. It’s also a common symptom of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematosus, and Sjogren’s syndrome. If you have chronic dry mouth, you should be concerned and talk to your dentist
Did you know that a white or red patch on the tongue or lining of the mouth is the most common sign of oral cancer? But don’t be alarmed: Mouth sores are completely common and the chance your sore signals cancer is low. To be safe, show your dentist any sores in your mouth that don’t heal after two weeks.
Mouth sores from oral cancer tend to occur along with other oral conditions, such as a strange taste in the mouth, problems chewing, pain when you swallow, and having trouble with speech.
Sour Taste In Your Mouth
If you frequently have a sour taste in your mouth (which is often mistaken for bad breath), it could be another sign of GERD, especially if it’s accompanied by a sore throat, chest pain, and a hoarse voice, Leader warns. Besides this oral condition and…
Swollen gums is another sign of gum disease. An old school remedies says to just gargle with salt water and “everything will be alright.” Even if you believe you have healthy teeth, swollen gums absolutely require a visit to the dentist. Your dentist or dental hygienist will be able to tell right away if you have gum disease — but you can check for swollen gums yourself by drying your gums with a napkin or a tissue and looking in the mirror. Although your swollen gums may feel fine, they tend to bleed during brushing.
In addition to swelling, this dental health problem also causes red gums. (Most light- and dark-skinned people naturally have pink gums, but some people of Mediterranean and African descent have darker gums).
Last but not least, everyone experiences stinky breath, right? Wrong. Brushing and flossing (including brushing your tongue or using a tongue scraper) should nip in the bud but when it doesn’t, it’s a problem. It could be a sign of advanced gum disease, so it’s important to talk to your dentist before this oral condition ruins perfectly healthy teeth.
Most of the time, however, the biggest bad-breath culprit is your diet. “Onion, garlic, and pungent spices will produce mouth odor for hours after consumption,” Dr. Leader says. In addition, people who have uncontrolled diabetes, eat a high-protein diet, or suffer from alcoholism tend to have breath with a sweet or fruity odor, from a m
By HealthDay News –Blackdoctor.org
Stroke is the third leading cause of death in women, but many are unaware of warning signs and symptoms that are unique to females, a new study says.
Of 1,000 women surveyed, only one in 10 was aware that hiccups that occur with unusual chest pain is an early warning sign of stroke in women, said researchers from Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, in Columbus.
Although men and women share some risk factors for stroke — such as smoking, being sedentary and having high blood pressure — others are specific to women, the researchers explained.
But only 11 percent of women polled knew that pregnancy, lupus, migraine headaches, birth-control pills and hormone replacement therapy increase their stroke risk, the study found.
“I think we have a ways to go when it comes to educating women about stroke and their unique risk factors,” Dr. Diana Greene-Chandos, a neurologist and director of neuroscience critical care, said in a medical center news release.
“Things like pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy and even something as trivial as a case of the hiccups can all play an important role when it comes to strokes in women, and we need to be more aware of it,” she added.
Other stroke symptoms the researchers say are unique to women include:
“Women may have more headaches with their strokes. They actually can have hiccups with a little bit of chest pain with their stroke symptoms, sometimes sending them down the pathway of looking for either heart disease or indigestion,” said Greene-Chandos.
“Pregnancy also increases their risk of stroke, particularly in the final months and the immediate period after delivering the child,” she said.
Signs of stroke in both men and women can include sudden confusion; trouble speaking or understanding; sudden trouble seeing; sudden difficulty walking; or loss of balance and coordination.
Identifying symptoms of a stroke early on and seeking immediate medical attention is critical because clot-busting drugs are only an option within three hours of the onset of a stroke, the researchers cautioned.
“Women do not think they are going to have a stroke. They think of it as a man’s disease,” said Greene-Chandos. “You have to know when you are having a stroke, you have to recognize that it’s a stroke and you have to get to the emergency room and receive the medication.”
Nearly half of those surveyed also said they didn’t know that following a stroke, many women experience nerve damage, problems swallowing and depression, which can prevent them from getting needed rehabilitation.
Each year more than 137,000 Americans die from stroke, about 60 percent of them women, according to the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.
By Princess Gabbara, BDO Daily Contributor –Blackdoctor.org
1. Talk with your doctor.
Ask about using an inhaled bronchodilator about 10 minutes prior to hitting the gym. Also, be sure to work closely with your doctor to determine a workout plan that’s best for you. Communication is key.
2. Start off slow.
If you can’t do 30 minutes right away, that’s fine. It’s all about gradually working your way up to that. So, try adding five minutes to your routine every week instead of cramming in 30 minutes all on the first day. Also, don’t forget to spend at least five to 10 minutes warming up first.
3. Plan ahead.
If you know it’s going to be cold outside, layer up and be sure to cover your nose and mouth. And when allergy season rolls around, stay indoors. Feeling under the weather? Limit or avoid exercising altogether.
By Princess Gabbara, BDO Daily Contributor –Blackdoctor.org
If you’re one of the 25 million people in the U.S. suffering from asthma, then you’re going to love this latest study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine regarding the chronic disease. According to a group of scientists at Cardiff University and King College London the root cause of asthma has finally been discovered. As a result, a cure could be on the way in as little as five years. Pretty exciting, right?
The scientists were able to determine that the calcium sensing receptor (CaSR) is what causes asthma. They used mice and human airway tissue from people with and without asthma. Furthermore, the scientists found that the CaSR causes the airways to become narrow and inflamed, leading to all of the symptoms of an asthma attack.
Even better, …
calcilytics – drugs that already exist – could be the solution. Calcilytics is a calcium receptor antagonist that’s used to treat bone deficiencies, such as osteoporosis.
Professor Daniela Riccardi of Cardiff University School of Biosciences had the following to say about the study:
“Our findings are incredibly exciting. If we can prove that calcilytics are safe when administered directly to the lung in people, then in five years we could be in a position to treat patients and potentially stop asthma from happening in the first place.”
Thanks to science, it looks like we’re one step closer to finding a cure for asthma!
Blacks have a higher risk of developing prostate cancer than whites, and for obese black men, their risk can quadruple as their weight goes up, a new study indicates.
The findings from this large study should lead to a redoubling of efforts to encourage obesity prevention among black men, said study lead author Wendy Barrington, an assistant professor in the school of nursing at the University of Washington.
“The main ‘take-home’ point for practicing physicians is to recognize that obesity has a different relationship to prostate cancer risk in African-American [men] compared to non-Hispanic white men,” said Barrington.
Why this might be so is “really just speculation at this point,” Barrington noted.
“We did account for many differences that could affect prostate cancer risk, such as access to care, and lifestyle factors, such as diet and physical activity,” she said.
“But it could also be that there’s actually a biological difference between African-American and non-Hispanic white men . . . It’s something for further research,” Barrington added.
However, a cancer specialist pointed out the study only established an association between race, obesity and cancer, not a direct cause-and-effect relationship.
The study results appear in the April 16 online issue of JAMA Oncology.
About six in 10 prostate cancer cases occur in men older than 65, the American Cancer Society notes. For reasons that remain unclear, it has long been known that at any age, blacks face a greater overall risk for the disease than other men. The study team noted that blacks also face the highest risk for aggressive prostate cancer and death.
To explore a possible connection between obesity and prostate cancer, investigators analyzed data collected between 2001 and 2011 by the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial.
The trial included nearly 3,400 black men and almost 22,700 white men, all cancer-free and age 55 and up at the start.
Medical histories were gathered, including information on smoking, diabetes, family history of prostate cancer, ethnicity, and education. Body mass index (BMI) was also assessed. BMI is a calculation of body fat based on height and weight.
A BMI of 25 and under is considered normal. Obesity is considered to be a BMI of 30, while a BMI of 35 or above is classified as severe obesity.
Over a follow-up of roughly 5.5 years, the study found a 58 percent increased risk for prostate cancer among blacks compared with whites.
In terms of weight, researchers found obesity raised risk in blacks as weight increased. For black men with a BMI of 25 or less, their risk for any prostate cancer was up 28 percent, while that risk jumped to 103 percent for blacks with a BMI of 35 or more.
Obesity among black men was also linked to greater risk of both aggressive and non-aggressive prostate cancer risk.
Compared with healthy-weight black men, severely obese blacks more faced a 122 percent increased risk for low-grade (slow-moving) prostate cancer. Their risk for high-grade (fast-moving) disease was 81 percent higher, the study found.
Obese white men, meanwhile, were found to face a 33 percent higher risk for aggressive prostate cancer compared with normal-weight whites, and no greater risk for slow-growing cancer.
In fact, obese whites appeared to face a 20 percent lower risk for slow-moving prostate cancer, relative to their healthy-weight peers, the researchers reported.
Obesity prevention efforts should address obstacles to healthy eating — such as disparities in accessing healthier foods — “without blaming the victim,” Barrington said.
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Dr. Alexander Kutikov, an associate professor of urologic oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, cautioned that “the study only demonstrates a correlation between obesity and prostate cancer, and does not prove that weight loss in men who are obese would actually reduce their prostate cancer risk.”
However, given the ongoing debate about the value of routine prostate cancer screening, “this study identifies obese men, especially those of African ancestry, as a high-risk population who may particularly benefit from screening,” Kutikov said.
This article was orginally published by HealthDay News 4/2015.
Peanut butter? Healthy?
Even though it’s higher in fat, the health benefits of peanut butter enough to convince you to embrace it, and spread its deliciousness on breads, waffles, bagels, toast, crackers, apple slices, celery, carrots…and so many other foods.
Peanut Butter 101
Did you know that the peanut, otherwise known as Arachis hypogea, is actually a legume, similar to a bean?
The calorie breakdown for peanut butter is:
As you can see, yes, most of peanut butter’s calories do come from fat. However, most of these fats are monounsaturated, and have been shown to improve the cholesterol profile by lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol. The unsaturated fat content in peanut butter helps reduce the risk of heart disease by 25%.
So what can this healthier-than-you-thought food do for you?
Click here for full post.
(HealthDay News) — People who love sugary sodas and flavored milk may have a heightened risk of type 2 diabetes, regardless of their body weight, a large new study finds.
The good news, the researchers said, is that swapping just one of those drinks each day — for water or unsweetened coffee or tea —could lower diabetes risk by up to 25 percent.
The findings, reported online April 30 in the journal Diabetologia, add to a large body of evidence linking sugary drinks and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, and often affects people who are obese.
But a number of studies, including this latest one, have found that heavier body weight does not completely explain the connection between sugary drinks and diabetes risk.
This study can’t answer the question of why, said lead researcher Dr. Nita Forouhi, of the University of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom. But other research has offered some theories, she added.
“The metabolic effects of sweetened drinks include rapid spikes in blood glucose [sugar] and insulin levels,” Forouhi said.
Insulin is a hormone that controls blood sugar levels. Over time, spikes in blood sugar and insulin can cause people to lose their sensitivity to the hormone — and that insulin resistance is the precursor to type 2 diabetes.
These new findings cannot prove that a daily soft drink directly causes diabetes, Forouhi said. But coupled with existing research, they make a strong case for cause-and-effect, she added.
“Our findings provide strong support to the recent guidance from the World Health Organization to limit the consumption of free sugars in our diet,” Forouhi said. “Limiting the intake of sweetened beverages provides an easy way to achieve such a goal.”
The findings are based on detailed food diaries from over 25,000 middle-aged and older British adults, who were diabetes-free when they entered the study. Over the next decade, 847 were diagnosed with the disease.
Overall, the study found, the more sugary soda or sweetened milk that people consumed, the higher their risk of developing diabetes. For every extra daily serving, the risk of diabetes rose by about 22 percent.
Of course, people who love sweet drinks might have other habits that raise the odds of diabetes. But, Forouhi said, her team accounted for many of those factors — including body weight, exercise habits and people’s education levels.
The good news, according to Forouhi, is that the study also pointed to a simple solution: The researchers estimate that replacing just one sugary drink every day, with water or unsweetened coffee or tea, could lower people’s diabetes risk by 14 percent to 25 percent.
There was no evidence that artificially sweetened drinks would have the same benefit. In fact, people who favored those drinks had a higher diabetes risk. But Forouhi’s team found an apparent explanation: Fans of diet drinks were often obese or had a family history of diabetes — suggesting that people at high risk of diabetes were opting for artificially sweetened drinks.
To Toby Smithson, a dietitian who specializes in meal planning to control or prevent diabetes, the message is straightforward: “This is a reminder to be careful about the calories you drink,” she said.
For the typical adult, one cup of chocolate milk provides about 9 percent of calorie needs for the day, according to Smithson, who is also a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Milk does offer protein, calcium and other nutrients, but the added sugar in sweetened milk adds up to empty calories, Smithson pointed out.
A 12-ounce sugar-sweetened soda, meanwhile, is all empty calories — and adds up to about 7 percent of a person’s daily calorie needs, Smithson said.
Responding to the study, the American Beverage Association (ABA) objected to pointing the finger at sweetened drinks.
“Leading health organizations — including the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the Mayo Clinic — agree that the known risk factors for type 2 diabetes include being overweight or obese, race or ethnicity, increasing age, lack of physical activity and family history of diabetes, not beverage consumption,” the ABA said in a statement.
But both Forouhi and Smithson said that replacing sugary drinks with water or unsweetened tea or coffee is a simple step people can take to cut sugar from their diets.
If you find water too bland, Smithson suggested adding a slice of lemon, lime or orange. Another trick she often recommends: Put a cinnamon stick in boiling water, to make a sweet-tasting tea without sugar.