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Getting to the bottom of how much you can safely knock back, according to lots of new studies
If you’re like most Americans, you probably don’t think twice about enjoying a big glass (or two) of wine with your dinner every night or settling into your favorite armchair with a Scotch every evening. After all, studies have shown that an occasional cocktail is actually good for you, right?
Unfortunately, a raft of new research appears to burst that big champagne bubble. Not only do these headline-making studies put a big question mark next to the idea that drinking wine helps your heart, they also take aim at moderate drinking in particular, showing that drinking too muchfor your health might be drinking what seems to you like not that much at all.
One of the big pieces of research that’s driving home this point was published last month in the Lancet. It was notable because it combined almost 600 studies on how much people drank across the globe and what the effects were on their health. The big takeaway from it was that worldwide, drinking — and not only heavy drinking— was linked to deaths from not only car accidents and liver disease but also cancer, tuberculosis and heart disease.
Some researchers suggested that you can’t compare the results of drinking across countries where the top risks of death vary widely (in some places, TB; in the U.S., heart disease.) Still, the study, and others like it, cast doubt on the idea of the protective health benefits of a glass of red wine, something that’s been held as true since the 1980s, when researchers began exploring the “French paradox” to try to figure out why the country had such low rates of heart disease despite a diet high in saturated fat. They quickly decided it was thanks to drinking copious amounts of red wine, which contains heart-healthy antioxidants such as resveratrol, procyanidins and quercetin. Studies began to show drinking vino correlated with lower rates of death from heart disease; in an even happier twist, research showed other types of alcohol, like beer and liquor, bestowed cardiovascular benefits. (MORE)
Sugar is unquestionably bad for you, with study after study linking it to a growing list of health problems. When you’re craving something sweet, you might believe that choosing food that uses artificial sweeteners is the healthier choice. Unfortunately, you’re not doing yourself any favors if you opt for alternatives like aspartame or sucralose. In fact, they’ve been shown to cause glucose intolerance and damage your health.
It’s ironic, then, that many people who turn to artificial sweeteners are doing so because they’re concerned about the obesity and type 2 diabetes that sugar can cause. One person who once believed artificial sweeteners were a healthier alternative was cardiologist Dr. Krumholz Harlan. After carrying out a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials, however, he quickly changed his tune upon seeing the strong link between artificial sweeteners and increased BMI and cardio-metabolic risks.
Researchers from Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science have shown that whether you opt for saccharin, sucralose, or aspartame, you could be setting yourself up for glucose intolerance as they alter the function and composition of gut bacteria.
After feeding mice these three artificial sweeteners for 11 weeks, they noted significant gut bacteria alterations that made them intolerant to glucose. This was the case even though some consumed a regular diet and others ate a high-fat diet.
They decided to test out their findings in humans. First, they looked at data from a clinical nutrition study involving nearly 400 Israelis. They discovered a correlation between the clinical signs of metabolic disorder, like gaining weight or declining glucose metabolism efficiency, and the consumption of artificial sweeteners. However, they conceded that people who are gaining weight may be more likely to choose diet food that contains artificial sweeteners, and they wanted to be sure there truly was a cause and effect relationship occurring. (MORE)
There are over 37 trillion cells in the average living person. Each cell is like a living organism. Each cell requires energy and must produce energy to carry out vital functions; that cellular energy is mainly created from the healthy metabolism and electron transfer of macro-nutrients and micro-nutrients from the foods that we eat.
Because the right type and balance of sugar molecules are necessary for cellular energy production, sugar consumption alone is not the cause of cancer. Likewise, a sugarless diet will not automatically eradicate cancer from the body. The breakdown of normal metabolic processes within the cell causes inflammation and is therefore the precursor to a host of chronic diseases, including the development of cancerous cells. The real link between sugar and cancer is the consumption of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and over-consumption of refined sugars which causes the breakdown of healthy metabolic processes within the cell.
Natural sugars play a role in cellular energy production
However, cells need sugars, fats, and protein in order to create and store energy-rich molecules such as ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) for future use. These important macro-nutrients pass through the semi-permeable membrane of the cell. The composition of the cell membrane is important for attracting the right nutrients to the cell; therefore omega fatty acids are important for the development of healthy cell membranes. The ATP energy that is created in the cell is used to power metabolism and construct new cellular components. Enzymes use this energy to accelerate necessary chemical reactions within the cell. (MORE)
It’s difficult to imagine that any fruit or vegetable could actually be bad for you, but the unfortunate fact is that conventionally grown produce is virtually drowned in pesticides which cannot be removed even with careful washing and peeling – a process which changes these nutrient-packed natural gifts into nothing more than poison dispensers.
Strawberries, with their delicious flavor and low sugar content, are a favorite with many people, especially those watching their weight. What many of us are unaware of, however, is that conventionally grown strawberries top the list known as the “dirty dozen” year after year because of all the neurotoxic pesticides they are sprayed with.
This year is no exception, and once again, the dirty dozen list released by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) places strawberries in the number one position for produce most contaminated with pesticides.
Strawberries are doused in pesticides
Each year, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) tests 38,000 samples of fresh produce for the presence of toxic pesticide residue. The EWG then uses the data collected by the USDA to compile its “dirty dozen” report. Regarding strawberries, this year’s report noted:
One strawberry sample contained an astounding 22 pesticide residues. One-third of all conventional strawberry samples contained 10 or more pesticides.
And this appears to be a global problem. The Australian group, CHOICE, noted that strawberries have been flagged as being of “high concern” for pesticide contamination in the United States, while in the U.K., 67 percent of all strawberries tested were contaminated with pesticides, and in France, tests revealed that at least 20 percent of strawberries in that country contain pesticide levels that exceed the legal limit. (MORE)
Two thousand years ago, Hippocrates said that food should be the medicine. Recent developments mirror that ancient saying when it comes to cancer therapy. An Indian study indicated that nutritional therapy possessed certain advantages over chemotherapy as a means of treating the disease.
Cancer comes in many forms that attack various parts of the body. Whatever its appearance or location, it always involves the runaway growth of cells that invade and infect healthy cells.
Most cancers are treated using chemotherapy. Synthetic drugs are applied to the tumorous region to stop the growth of cancer cells or kill them outright.
These anti-cancer drugs are expensive and painful to apply. They also have serious side effects that often undermine the already fragile health of patients.
Researchers have sought out alternative means of treating the increasing number of cancer cases in the world. They set their sights on plants, which have provided both food and medicine since the dawn of time.
Essential oils and botanical tinctures are plant-based remedies that are often interchanged with each other. The main difference between these two lies in the process through which they are produced. Production of essential oils involves a distillation process that separates the oil from the plants. Meanwhile, tinctures are prepared by submerging the plants in alcohol for some time and then removing them. Basically, tinctures are like tea but instead of water, alcohol is used. Although they are different, both essential oils and botanical tinctures have been used against fungal infections.
In its virulent form, C. albicans can infect the mucosal membranes and squamous epithelia of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as the skin. Additionally, C. albicans can also cause blood infections known as candidaemia. This can spread to different organs, causing Candida peritonitis. The mortality rate for these blood infections is estimated to be at 50 percent, which is very troubling.
As previously mentioned, C. albicans is not normally harmful. In fact, it’s a commensal organism typically found in human flora. However, the presence of serum, environmental temperature, and pH levels can cause it to transition into it virulent forms. In its non-virulent form, C. albicans is just a single-celled yeast. It only becomes virulent and invasive in its multicellular forms, which includes round budding spores, filamentous pseudohyphae, and hyphae. (MORE)