Posts Tagged ‘anti aging’

Shocker: Heavy Drinkers Outlive Non-Drinkers? Discover what a new paper in the Journal Alcoholism found that might make you fall off the wagon!

Wednesday, December 8th, 2010

Is it possible? Can it be true? As revealed in a new paper in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, people who do NOT drink alcohol do NOT live as long as people who do. According to an article in Time Magazine, “Research suggests that — for reasons that aren’t entirely clear — abstaining from alcohol does tend to increase one’s risk of dying, even when you exclude former problem drinkers. The most shocking part is that Abstainers’ mortality rates are higher than those of heavy drinkers.

“Moderate drinking, which is defined as one to three drinks per day, is associated with the lowest mortality rates in alcohol studies. According to this paper, people who do not drink at all die sooner than heavy drinkers… not people who have a drink or two a night – but… HEAVY DRINKERS! According to the article, a moderate drinker, defined as 1-3 drinks per day, had the lowest mortality rate. Even though researchers do not know the real answer, there are plenty of theories as to why these findings exist.

One is that moderate alcohol consumption (especially red wine) can improve circulation, cardiovascular health and reduce stress. Stress reduction may be the most important item on the list. Here is why. There is a vast amount of research linking stress to poor health, possible disease and shortened lifespan. In fact, a press release from September 3, 2010 states researchers had finally found direct evidence linking stress to heart attacks. According to the press release, “Researchers at The University of Western Ontario have provided the first direct evidence using a biological marker, to show chronic stress plays an important role in heart attacks. Stressors such as job and marital and financial problems have been linked to the increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease including heart attack.” This study, published in the journal Stress, said researchers developed a method to measure cortisol levels in hair. This is important because cortisol levels are an indicator of stress levels and now the cortisol/stress level can be measured for several months leading up to the heart attack.

Until now, cortisol levels were only measured in saliva, urine and serum. Because of this, stress levels were only seen at the time of the measurement – not leading up to the event. Doctors and researchers have suspected for a long time that stress was bad for you but it has been hard to measure and “prove.” Now, it looks like we can all say with relative accuracy that STRESS KILLS!

This might shed new light on the alcohol research above. Maybe it’s not alcohol as a chemical compound that is beneficial to your longevity. Maybe the key is alcohol’s role in stress reduction. Right now, no one knows for sure, but we do know that correlation is not causation. In other words, just because drinkers live longer does not mean “alcohol is good for you.” For example, if the reason drinkers live longer is actually due to a reduction in stress, then it may be possible to get the same results without alcohol consumption. Maybe learning to control stress through meditation and other ways will be found to be just as effective. The mind-body connection is what’s really important. Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States, and science has now linked it to your stress levels, which basically links it to the way you think. The way you handle situations in life every single day is actually a matter of not just happiness, but of Life and Death

When You Go To The Doctor, Do You Get REAL or FAKE Medicine? And Which One Is Better?

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

Imagine this: You have a joint pain…such as back or neck pain. You go to a rheumatologist – a doctor who treats arthritis and other joint problems. He or she examines you and determines your problem. He or she prescribes a treatment and describes the treatment to you as “a potentially beneficial medicine not typically used for your condition.”

What Would You Do? Would you follow his or her recommendations? Probably. And you would probably do it without much question or skepticism at all. Right?

Would THIS information change your decision? According to an October 23, 2008 Associated Press article, a recent survey found about 50% of American doctors REGULARLY give their patients drugs or vitamins that won’t help their condition. But that’s not the worst part… These “placebo” treatments are not explained to their patients.

For example, in the survey, a random sample of 1,200 internists and rheumatologists were questioned; 679 of the doctors responded to the survey, and…62% Believed Using A Placebo Treatment Was Ethically Acceptable

But really, is that so bad? After all, some studies have shown the “placebo effect” to be real. A certain percentage of patients actually get better when they believe the treatment they are getting works – when in reality, it is a sugar pill sham. (Which is an amazing testament to the power of your mind and the human body!)

Think about it. Just believing you are going to get better has the ability to make you better.

How Can This Be? Actually, it’s simple. Allow me to explain…

Imagine you’re walking in a really dark place. Maybe it’s in the woods… or an unlit street… or you’re home alone one night and all the lights in your house are off…And in the complete darkness… someone sneaks up on you and touches you. Or yells, “BOO!!!” What happens? Yes… you almost jump out of your skin. But what happens INSIDE YOU?

Here’s what: Your heart rate suddenly and sharply increases. Your pupils dilate. The hair follicles on your body stand on end. Your breathing increases. You stomach feels queasy. You instantly sweat. And you are wide awake and ready to go!!!

It’s called the “fight or flight” response. In an instant, your brain signals your body and you produce an incredible array of chemicals – commonly called an “adrenaline rush.” What’s more, anytime you are under stress, your body has a similar response. If the stressor is not so sudden or intense – your body’s response will not be as severe.

This is exactly how many people can become “suddenly” ill with a serious disease, even those that seem to have no blatant cause. Small or moderate amounts of stress can cause your body to dump these “fight or flight” chemicals into your body over and over again for years and years and years. And just like smoking cigarettes over a long period of time can lead to lung cancer and other serious health problems, your body’s reaction to stress can slowly break down your immune system and lead to real problems. Which is exactly why so many people say… Stress Kills!

On the other side of the coin, if your body can produce “bad” chemicals, it can also produce “good” ones. That’s what the placebo effect is. When you believe 100% you are taking a medication that will help, your body reacts in a way that heals.

Here’s one very good theory about why that happens…When you are faced with stress, your body reacts in a harsh way in an attempt to save you from the impending danger. The adrenaline rush is important to quickly get you out of harms way, if necessary. So it makes complete sense that if you REMOVED stress from your life – you would not only never produce the harmful chemicals from the fight or flight reaction – but your body may produce healing chemicals instead.

After all, what happens when you get a placebo? You are sick and stressed out because you are sick. You don’t know if it is serious, if you will get better or if you will get worse. We humans have a tendency to let our minds run crazy and always think of the worst case scenario, don’t we?

I’m sure you’ve had a little ache or pain at some point and thought you had a disease you were going to lose a limb or die from… and then it turned out to be NOTHING!!! We all have.

Anyway, back to the placebo effect. When you go to the doctor and he tells you he knows what is wrong with you and gives you something to take care of it – you instantly RELAX. All the stress and strain of the unknown mystery disease that was going to kill you is gone. Not only is the stress removed, but your body is able to relax and do what it does best…

Heal! So… the placebo effect is a good thing, right? Certainly. But there is an ethical question to all this, that was raised in the above-mentioned survey. You see, for the placebo effect to work, you really have to believe 100% you are receiving a treatment that works. Can you see the catch 22 for doctors here? In order for the placebo effect to work they must lie to you.

And that’s exactly what the survey found. According to the Associated Press article, “Half of the doctors reported using placebos several times a month, nearly 70 percent of those described the treatment to their patients as ‘a potentially beneficial medicine not typically used for your condition.’ Only 5 percent of doctors explicitly called it a placebo treatment.” And here’s what may be shocking: “Most doctors used actual medicines as a placebo: 41 percent used painkillers, 38 percent used vitamins, 13 percent used antibiotics, 13 percent used sedatives, 3 percent used saline injections, and 2 percent used sugar pills.” When questioned, 60% of doctors said they would prescribe a sugar pill for chronic pain if it had been shown to work better than no treatment. According to the AP article, Franklin G. Miller, one of the authors of the study and director of the research ethics program at the U.S. National Institutes for Health said, “It’s a disturbing finding. There is an element of deception here which is contrary to the principle of informed consent.”

Clearly, there are two BIG issues here: Always doing what’s best for your patients and always informing them everything that is going on. You may ask yourself this: Would you rather receive a placebo and not know about it and get better… or… be 100% informed and stay sick? Only you can answer that question.

But on the bright side – this demonstrates the body’s amazing ability to produce whatever it needs to heal itself. And more of your time and effort should be spent on eliminating all the stressors in your life – and focusing on all the wonderful things life has to offer. There is no doubt you will be happier and healthier!!!

Heart Surgeons Get Wake-Up Call On Common Procedure

Monday, August 9th, 2010

On May 15th, 2007, the Commonwealth Fund issued a report entitled, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An International Update on the Comparative Performance of American Health Care.”

The results were not good. In fact, here’s what the first sentence of the report had to say: “Despite having the most costly health system in the world, the United States consistently underperforms on most dimensions of performance, relative to other countries. Are you Shocked?  You shouldn’t be.  Why?  This is because this is nothing new at all.

According to the report: “Among the six nations studied—Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States—the U.S. ranks last, as it did in the 2006 and 2004 editions of Mirror, Mirror. Most troubling, the U.S. fails to achieve better health outcomes than the other countries, and as shown in the earlier editions, the U.S. is last on dimensions of access, patient safety, efficiency, and equity. The 2007 edition includes data from the six countries and incorporates patients’ and physicians’ survey results on care experiences and ratings on various dimensions of care.”

Overall, Germany and the UK topped the list, with Canada and the United States bringing up the rear. Also worth noting here is that America spends close to three times as much for its mediocre approach to health per capita ($6,102) annually than does New Zealand ($2,083), and almost twice as much as Canada ($3,165). Even worse, American doctors are the slowest to change when it comes to technology, again, with the lowest numbers in relation to using electronic medical records or keeping up with the latest treatments via the Internet.

Now here is something that you will probably find interesting, even puzzling.  According to the report, “the area where the U.S. health care system performs best is preventive care, an area that has been monitored closely for over a decade by managed care plans.”

It’s always been abundantly clear that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. For example, the May 9th edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) had an article entitled: “Cardiologists Get Wake-up Call on Stents.” According to the article, “Patients with stable coronary artery disease treated with stents and optimal medical therapy fare no better than those who receive optimal medical therapy alone, according to new findings from a large clinical trial.”

For many cardiologists, the results serve as a wake-up call that they need to reevaluate how frequently they offer stenting (which has slight risks associated with the intervention itself, as well as stent-associated thrombotic events) as a first option for relief of stable angina. The data comes from the Clinical Outcomes Utilizing Revascularization and Aggressive Drug Evaluation (COURAGE) Trial, reported here in March at the annual conference of the American College of Cardiology.

It seems like research is simply confirming what many thought to be true all along.  Prevention is far superior to invasive “crisis” procedures after years and years of neglect.  It is abundantly clear you cannot abuse or neglect your body and health and have the wonders of modern medicine save you.

Inability To Handle Stress Most Likely Leads To Early Death Unless…

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

If someone you love or you are a “worry-wart”, reading the rest of this article may prevent several deadly diseases and add years to your life. Allow me to explain. Why some people are healthy and others get sick has been a researched and heavily debated topic for a long, long time. Some give almost all the credit to genes. Basically you are pre-programmed at birth. Mother nature has dealt you a certain “hand” and that’s it. You will either be healthy, or sick, and there is nothing much you can do about it. Let’s consider for example, the “cancer gene.” If cancer is “in your genes,” you’re doomed. If not, you’re lucky. Supporters of this philosophy commonly use this example as proof: One person is young, eats all the right food and exercises and still gets cancer or has a massive heart attack. Yet, someone else eats junk, smokes, drinks and never exercised a day in their life and lives to be 95. Funny thing is you often hear these people say, “You can walk out of your house and get hit by a bus tomorrow,” as an excuse to completely neglect their health and future. Others don’t give genes much credit. They say it’s ALL (or at least MOST) how you live your life and take care of yourself. And then there are those somewhere in between. To them, both genes and how you live your life are important factors. Their argument is that the young guy or gal that took care of himself or herself and STILL got sick would have gotten sick sooner. And, the 95-year-old may have lived even longer if he or she took care of himself or herself. Obviously, all this is something to think about. Genes obviously have SOMETHING to do with our potential. But by how much is it? And is it as limiting as many once thought? The simple fact that our average life span is much different today than it was 100 or even 50 years ago should tell you something. There are factors that affect our lifespan and help determine if we live those years healthy and happy or sick and miserable. According to an April 5, 2007 issue of Science Daily, there is a broad consensus that there are five basic personality traits. These five are: Extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, emotional stability and openness to experience. There are sub-categories – but these five are what makes us up. But here’s what’s really important: Two of these traits – emotional stability and conscientiousness appear to be directly linked to your health and how long you may live. How? In psychology, the lack of emotional stability is called “neuroticism.” In other words, it’s a person’s tendency towards “hand wringing and negative thinking.” It is believed by many that high levels of neuroticism are inherited and such people do not handle stress well. They are often moody, anxious and uncomfortable. Studies have also shown a correlation to increased mortality. So, if “neuroticism” is inherited and leads to health problems and increased mortality, are some people simply pre-programmed to be unhealthy and die young? That’s where a Purdue University psychologist comes into the picture. According to the April 5, 2007 issue of Science Daily: “Mroczek decided to explore this idea. Using a standard measure of neuroticism, he tracked more than 1,600 men over 12 years, recording not only how neurotic they were at the start, but also whether they got more or less neurotic over time. He also looked at mortality risk for these same men over an 18-year span. As reported in the May issue of Psychological Science, those who increased over time in neuroticism was a ticket to an early grave. In other words, these men–all middle age or older to begin with–did not grow old gracefully. They likely got more and more stressed, worried or fretful, and this downward spiral increased their risk for dying, mostly from cancer and heart disease. The good news is that men with a fretful temperament, if they managed for whatever reason to calm down a bit over time, had survival rates similar to those of emotionally stable men.” So what’s the big lesson here for you, your health, and your longevity? First, it seems pretty clear your attitude does a whole heck of a lot more than just affect your success in business! Several studies show the way you think can have a profound impact on how healthy or sick you are. Namely diseases like cancer and heart disease. How? We don’t think anybody knows 100% for sure. It makes sense that stress (and the way you handle it) produces chemicals that suppress the immune system. This will have countless detrimental effects like aging: on the outside as well as the inside. But the real point here is: WHO CARES? Who really cares exactly how all this works on the cellular level? The bottom line is: it happens. Negative thinking, a lot of it, over an extended period of time will probably age you, make you sick and take years off your life. And, an even more important point: Changing the way you think and handle stress can stop the process. In other words, being a natural born “worry-wart”… You can change the way you handle stress and reduce the negative effects. Or, at least that’s what the above-mentioned study shows. And it only makes sense. Have you ever taken a walk in the dark and had some loud noise scare you? What happened? Your eyes widened. Your heartbeat drastically increased. Your brain signaled your body to produce adrenalin and other “flight or fight” chemicals were dumped into your bloodstream. At that very moment, you were wide awake, stronger than usual and could run like an Olympic track star! But what happens shortly afterward? You crash… right? You come back down and feel exhausted. This, my friends, is a natural high and hangover. When you are constantly stressed and worry and don’t deal with it well… you will continually go through a similar reaction. Your body and mind basically go through the ringer. It just makes sense that if you learn how to deal with the stress more effectively – you will be healthier and lives longer. Common sense doesn’t always match up with scientific proof, but it seems to in this example. I know what you’re thinking. How do you learn to deal with stress if you are a natural born “worry-wart?” The first thing is to realize NOTHING is ever as good or bad as it seems. And always change the things you can and forget about the things you can’t. Besides that, routine exercise programs and meditation have both been show to reduce stress. Maybe if we start enjoying this wonderful life a little – it will get even better and we will get more of it!

The Simple Secret That DOUBLES Your Chance Of Living For Over 100 Years

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

How would you like to live past 100? I guess that’s kind of a loaded question. Like the show, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” Of course you do! Who doesn’t want to be a millionaire? Well, not Bill Gates. Becoming a millionaire would make him poor; at least, RELATIVELY poor. Everything is relative. For example, living to 100 doesn’t interest me… if… I’m sick or in pain. On the other hand – I’d love to join the century club as long as the quality of my life… and health… was great.

You see, it’s all VERY relative.

That’s being said, here are the findings of a recent study that identified something that doubles your chance of reaching… and living past… the age of 100…

Here are the results according to an article in Earth times: “The researchers, Dr. Leonid Gavrilov and Dr. Natalia Gavrilova, say the age at which a mother gives birth is a major factor in the number of years the offspring lives. The chances of the child living up the age of 100 and beyond are almost double for a child born to a woman below 25 years of age.” The husband and wife team had previously discovered birth order is a major factor in longevity. For example, first-born children, especially daughters, are more likely to live past 100 years of age. The recent study shows the age of the mother is more important than any of the other factors. Gavrilov and Gavrilova used data from the U.S. Census, the Social Security Administration and

genealogical records to identify 198 centenarians born in the U.S. from 1890 to 1893 and then traced their family histories to establish possible predictors of their longevity. They found being born to a young mother had an important role in reaching the age of 100. There are other factors also like growing up in the Western part of the U.S., spending part of one’s childhood on a farm and being born first. They feel the study needs further elaboration and deeper research. Gavrilov suspects the younger women’s eggs are different in their quality, and the best ones, the most vigorous, go first to fertilization. The researchers are of the opinion that their findings may have important social implications because many women tend to postpone childbearing to later ages due to career demands.

Good News And Bad News…

There appears to be both good news and some bad news. For example, if your mother was under the age of 25 when you were born… you’re probably doing back flips right now. On the other hand, if your mother was a little older when you were born, you may be a little depressed by what you just read. Well, the real truth of the matter is: you shouldn’t be too elated or discouraged by what Dr. Garilov and Dr. Garilova uncovered…

Here’s why: The first thing to understand is that correlation is not causation. This “study” was comprised of data from 198 people who were born from 1890 – 1893. 198 is not a lot of people and may not be representative of the overall population. In other words, just because a certain percentage of the study group who lived to be over 100 years old were born to a mother under the age of 25 does not necessarily mean that was the CAUSE of anything. For example – let’s say we were trying to find out what causes certain people to have high IQs. So, we looked at some data of 198 people with IQs of 150 and above. And in that data, we found that a high percentage of these people’s parents had blue eyes. Would your conclusion be that blue eyes are a cause of high IQ? Of course not! It is simply a correlation that has nothing to do with causation, especially if your data came from a part of the world where a large portion of the population has blue eyes!!!!

The second important thing about the study is that 1890 – 1893 was a long, long, long time ago. In terms of health and what we know about health…

It Is An Eternity!!!

To put this in perspective, let’s take a look at a few key medical discoveries and when they took place (plus a few nonmedical facts to make it even more interesting!):

1895: D.D. Palmer discovers Chiropractic. Wilhelm Roentgen discovers X-rays and the technology is immediately introduced into medicine.

1900: The invention of an easy-to-use device to measure blood pressure leads to the discovery of a new disease: hypertension. Measuring blood pressure gradually appears in general practice

1905: Scientists identify the organism responsible for Syphilis: Treponema pallidum.

1918-1919: Worldwide epidemic of influenza kills an estimated 20 million people (World population is approx. 1.5 billion at that time.)

1922: Banting discovers insulin.

1928: Fleming discovers penicillin, but basically ignores its implications. It is not developed as an antibiotic until 1941.

1935 – Social Security Act is signed into law. Something to think about: At the time of its passing, the age to start collecting is 65 and the average lifespan? 67.

1936: Volwiler and Tabern discover the general anesthetic Pentothal, which is administered intravenously.

1945: Women first admitted to Harvard Medical School.

1949 – Last case of Smallpox in the United States.

1950: First organ transplant. First modern credit card introduced.

1951: Color T.V. introduced. Truman signs peace treaty with Japan… officially ending World War II.

1952: Car seat belt introduced. Polio vaccine created.

1953: Watson and Crick discover DNA.

1954: Report says cigarette smoke causes cancer. Segregation ruled illegal in the United States.

1960: The Laser is invented.

1961: Soviets launch first man into space.

1967: First heart transplant. First Superbowl.

1969: Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to walk on the moon.

1970: Computer floppy disc introduced.

1971: VCR introduced.

1972: Pocket calculator introduced.

1978: First test tube baby.

1981: IBM introduces the first personal computer.

1987: DNA first used to convict criminals.

1989: President Bush announces that he does not like broccoli.

1993: Use of Internet grows exponentially.

1997: Scientists clone sheep.

Pretty interesting list… wouldn’t you say? It’s amazing that the Internet was virtually unknown only 13 years ago! And no one had a computer in his or her home 25 years ago! And that’s only a tiny fraction of all the changes that have taken place in the last 100 years. Incredible. This is why I’m not too sure you should be concerned about living to be 100 if your mother was over 25 when she gave birth to you. There are other factors that affect your lifespan that you can control such as weight, activity level (exercise) and stress.

…And remember, if you have any questions or concerns about your health, talk to us. Please contact us with your questions. We are here to help and enjoy participating in your life long good health.