Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Wine That Might Offer Protection Against Lung Cancer Symptoms

You’ve probably heard that the antioxidants found in certain foods and red wine can offer some protection from breast cancer, heart disease and stroke. According to new research set to appear in October’s Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, we could soon be adding lung cancer symptoms to that list.
”An antioxidant component in red wine may help to prevent lung cancer,” according to lead researcher Chun Chao a research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Southern California Department of Research and Evaluation. “The findings provide an impetus for further research to find out if there is something in red wine that may help to either prevent or treat lung cancer.”
Scientists believe that antioxidants, like those found in red wine and other foods, are somehow able to protect cells from oxidative damage that comes from free radicals and can strike any part of a cell, proteins, the membrane, even the DNA itself. Cellular damage caused by free radicals has been implicated in the development of cancer.

Researchers used the California Men’s Health Study to identify 210 lung cancer patients from the 45 to 69 year old men who were members of a large, prepaid health plan in California. The researchers looked at cancer rates and consumption of red and white wine, beer and other liquor. They found that, on average, there was a 2% lower risk of lung cancer associated with each glass of red wine a subject drank per month.

So… a man who drinks 30 glasses each month would lower his risk of lung cancer by 60%.
Of course, any smoker’s risk of lung cancer is higher than a non smoker’s risk. We all know that, right?
The team found the biggest effect on risk seemed to come to male smokers who drank one to two glasses of red wine per day. Makes you wonder if the red wine somehow… rises to the challenge of the toxic chemicals in the smoke?

You notice the emphasis on red wine? There are two reasons for this…
1. The study found no reduction in risk in men who drank the same amounts of white wine, beer or liquor. Only red wine had the effect.
2. Red wine uses the whole grape, seeds, skins and all, which keeps vital antioxidants known as polyphenols in the wine, in a form ready to be absorbed and used by the body.

Of course, many are quick to point out that one study doesn’t prove that red wine has any protective effects. Sometimes early work like this, on further research, doesn’t stand up. And the researchers themselves are quick to insist that this study doesn’t mean smoking is something you should continue to do, or that red wine will protect a smoker from developing lung cancer.
”Clearly, we aren’t recommending that smokers go out and start consuming large amounts of red wine as a potential protection from getting lung cancer,” says Dr. Leonard Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, “There are other research reports that show any alcohol, including red wine, can increase the risk of other cancers such as breast cancer.”
And of course you don’t have to rely on red wine to increase your levels of anti-oxidants each day. Eating 5 – 9 portions of fruit and vegetables will mean you’re giving your body the right kind of fuel to fight free radicals helping to minimize the risk of lung cancer symptoms.

Click here to find out more!
Antioxidant in red wine protects against Alzheimer's disease.
Over 14,000 people have joined Kirsten’s popular (and sometimes controversial) Daily Health Bulletin, so why not join them and stay up to date with the latest protection against lung cancer symptoms and other health news daily. You also get 5 health reports free when you join – giving you all you need to treat common ailments, lose weight, look younger and feel healthier.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

FDA warns fake and “potentially harmful” versions of the Alli diet aid being sold online. -The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and GlaxoSmithKline are warning consumers of fake and “potentially harmful” versions of the Alli diet aid being sold online. Offered on auction sites — including eBay

— the counterfeit Alli looks like the real thing on the outside, but doesn’t have the same diet drug on the inside.

Alli, an over-the-counter diet aid, features the active ingredient orlistat to help users with weight loss. The fake pills being sold online are made with sibutramine, which requires a doctor’s prescription and could be extremely harmful if taken without supervision.

GlaxoSmithKline offers these tips to identify if you have the real deal or not. Fake pills can be identified by:

- The LOT code information is missing from the top of the box.

- The expiration date includes month, day, and year (example: 06162010). The authentic Alli expiration date includes only the month and year (example: 05/12).

- The seal on the bottle should read “SEALED FOR YOUR PROTECTION” in white ink on GlaxoSmithKline’s Alli bottle; This statement is not present on the fake product.

- The capsule size is slightly larger in the counterfeit pills and the contents of the capsules are different — the counterfeit content is powdery and the genuine product is more of a pellet shape.

Pictures of the real and fake product can be seen on GlaxoSmithKline’s web site and on the FDA web site.

If you think you may have purchased the fake Alli, contact the FDA on their site or by calling 800-551-3989.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Gene Therapy Holds Promise for Emphysema

Health Professor -

In mice, single treatment offered lifetime protection against inherited form of disease
In mice, single treatment offered lifetime protection against inherited form of disease.- A single treatment with a new method of gene therapy may offer lifetime protection against the progression of the lung disease emphysema, according to the results of a study in mice.

The most common form of emphysema in young people is Alpha-1 Anti-trypsin Deficiency, caused by a mutation in the alpha-1 anti-trypsin gene, the authors of the study pointed out.

In experiments on mice, researchers at the Boston University School of Medicine developed a system that can deliver genes selectively to as many as 70 percent of the lung's alveolar macrophages, which play an important role in emphysema.

Using this new approach, the researchers achieved sustained expression of normal human alpha-1 anti-trypsin (hAAT) protein at levels that improved emphysema in mice.

"The lung macrophages carrying the therapeutic gene survived in the lungs' air sacs for the two-year lifetime of the treated mice following a single intra-tracheal injection of the lentiviral vector we had engineered," study senior author Dr. Darrell Kotton, an associate professor of medicine and pathology and co-director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, said in a news release.

"Our results challenge the dogma that lung macrophages are short-lived and suggest these differentiated cells as a target cell that may be considered for in vivo gene therapy applications, including the sustained correction of hAAT deficiency," lead author Dr. Andrew Wilson, an assistant professor of medicine, said in the news release.
The study was published online Dec. 21 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
More information
The American Lung Association has more about emphysema.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

What is Power Plate? How Does It Work?

Power Plate® equipment is the premium vibration device powering a new dimension in wellness solutions for all ages, lifestyles and physical abilities. It uses the principles of Acceleration Training™ to stimulate the body’s natural response to vibration.
These vibrations transmit waves of energy throughout the body, activating muscle contractions between 25 and 50 times per second, enhancing overall performance in sessions as short as 15 minutes a day, 3 times a week.
Acceleration Training™ on Power Plate® equipment offers a host of benefits, ranging from an immediate improvement in blood circulation, to a variety of other measurable outcomes: such as increased muscle strength and flexibility, improved range of motion, decreased cellulite, increased bone mineral density, reduced pain and soreness and faster recovery.
Our three-dimensional vibration technology continues to lead the industry, and its benefits are grounded in extensive academic and independent scientific medical research.

How Does It Work?

Acceleration Training™ with Power Plate® machines creates instability in the human body, as with each vibration the body is forced to perform reflexive muscle actions, 25 to 50 times per second. Furthermore, these contractions must work in multiple dimensions as the Power Plate® machines actually oscillate in all three planes, exactly as the human body is designed to do. The net result is an incredible improvement in force production, or strength and power.

The principle by which Power Plate® machines work lies in the law of motion, stated by Sir Isaac Newton: that the force of an object is equal to its mass multiplied by acceleration, or f = m x a. What this means is that one can improve functional force (stability, strength or power) by either applying more mass or more acceleration to the body. Many forms of training and conditioning use mass – as seen in methods with weight machines, free weights, etc. Power Plate® machines, instead, use the second half of this equation, by applying acceleration to the body, while keeping mass, i.e. your body weight, the same.

This is a real breakthrough in training and conditioning as we can now optimally “load” the human frame while minimizing high impact, high load, and high stress factors. Gravity is the force that adds load to the human body every second of every day for every movement we perform. Through Acceleration Training™ exercise, Power Plate® machines make the body feel as though it “weighs” more every time acceleration forces increase.

The result is that you work against a far greater influence or “load” of gravity in every movement you perform. This is the essence of all strength and conditioning programs and Power Plate® machines simply use a different part of the same equation to achieve this! In fact, the amazing outcomes seen with Acceleration Training™ exercise respect the same biological and physiological laws of the body as witnessed in other forms of training. The difference is merely the nature of the stimulus applied (i.e. acceleration), and not the human response.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

9 items not worthy of your holiday cash

A list of nine items that aren’t worth your money, either because they performed poorly in our tests, they pose a potential risk to your health, or both.

Don’t worry if you already picked up one of these items or received it as a gift. Just find the box, put the product in it, and get yourself to the returns-and-exchanges counter promptly. These products offer no way to start a new decade:

1. The Ab Rocket exercise machine. This $100 infomercial gadget worked abdominal muscles less than a regular crunch—yes, the kind you can do for free on your own floor. Some of our testers felt like their heads were in an uncomfortable position.

2. The Best Fitness BFT1 treadmill. This folding treadmill ($1,000) earned a Don’t Buy: Performance Problem rating in our just-published tests because its incline feature malfunctioned on two of the three models we tested. On one of them, the incline controls stopped working completely after the test began.

3. The Night Light condom. I can attest that this condom lives up to its glow-in-the-dark claim. (I held it up to the lamp and then sat under my desk with it.) It was the weakest of the 20 latex condoms we tested for our December 2009 report, and it had a higher-than-average rate of holes and other physical flaws. Watch how we test condoms. (Who knew they could hold so much air?)

4. Latisse. Unless you have a medical reason for using it, this eyelash-growing drug is unnecessary at best and potentially risky at worst (permanently darkened eyes, anyone?). And it costs more than $1,000 a year. What’s wrong with mascara?

5. Overpriced eye creams. LancĂ´me High Resolution Eye Collaser-5X Intense Collagen Anti-Wrinkle Eye Serum ($59) was among the most expensive anti-wrinkle eye creams we tested and offered little improvement in fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes compared with other creams. Perricone MD Cosmeceuticals Advanced Eye Area costs a whopping $95 for the same amount and performed only slightly better—and our sensory panelists said it smelled like fermented fruit. If you prefer a high-end brand, go with Dr. Brandt Lineless ($60), which visibly smoothed wrinkles. So did Olay Total Effects Eye Transforming Cream, and it costs only $20.

6. Diet pills. The past year was an especially bad one for weight-loss pills and potions. In March the Food and Drug Administration released a list of 72 weight-loss products that it found to be illegally tainted with prescription drugs, sometimes at doses several times the safe daily maximum. In May the agency announced a recall of the dietary supplement Hydroxycut after reports linked it to 23 cases of serious liver damage, including one death. And in August a review of adverse event reports by Consumer Reports’ Best Buy Drugs project revealed numerous adverse events, including cases of rectal bleeding and kidney, liver, and thyroid problems among people taking orlistat, the ingredient in the over-the-counter weight-loss drug Alli and the prescription drug Xenical. We’d previously warned against using orlistat because of its modest weight-loss results and embarrassing side effects.

Trust us, when someone discovers a way to lose weight without changing your eating habits or doing a lick of exercise (and without risking a heart attack, a stroke, or worse), we’ll tell you about it—right before we quit our jobs to become supermodels.

7. Dollar-store vitamins. Be careful where you buy. The last time we tested no-name multivitamins from outlets like the Dollar Store, Family Dollar, and Big Lots, nearly half failed to meet the label claim for one or more nutrients, and a few didn’t dissolve properly. And they don’t offer that much savings over better-known brands—particularly if you buy store brands (such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens). So why take the gamble?

8. Banana Boat Kids Tear Free SPF 50 sunscreen. No kid (or adult) wants to end up looking like a raisin—and this sunscreen did the poorest job of the 10 we tested at screening out UVA rays, the ones that cause wrinkles and skin aging and aren’t accounted for in a sunscreen’s SPF number. (It did fine against the other type of ultraviolet rays, UVB, on which SPF is based. Both types of rays contribute to skin cancer.)

9. Kinoki footpads. If you put on one of these footpads before you go to bed, it will indeed turn brown. But that’s not because it draws toxins from your body. Simple informal experiments suggest that moisture from your feet causes the color change. The Federal Trade Commission has charged the company’s marketers with deceptive advertising. Meanwhile, our medical consultants question whether the body even needs to detox.

Happy 2010!

—Jamie Kopf Hirsh, associate editor