Cranberry Juice, a cure for urinary tract infections
Sexual Awareness: A Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Behavior
Roughage and Cancer
Alzheimer's Disease and Diet
Iron, Math Scores and Teenage Girls
Sedentary Death Syndrome (SeDS)
Researchers report in the American Journal of Public Health that men in their 30s who jog at least nine times a month develop a bone density that is at least 5 percent higher than that of men who jog less. Bone is usually strongest around age 30 and then weakens slowly throughout the rest of life. In osteoporosis, bones become weak and brittle, leading to fractures that can cripple and shorten life. Osteoporosis is most common in women past menopause, but the disorder is not uncommon in men. The NIH estimates that about 10 million Americans now have osteoporosis and another 18 million are at risk of the disease due to low bone density. Eighty percent of these people are women. It is estimated that one out of every two women and one in eight men will break a bone as the result of osteoporosis within their lifetime.
a cure for urinary tract infections
A study published in the British Medical Journal this week found that women who had suffered a bout of cystitis were half as likely to get a recurrence within six months if they drank a glass of cranberry juice a day. However, the research by scientists at the University of Oulu in Finland is not definitive, experts say. Doctors estimate there are at least 300 million cases of urinary tract infections worldwide each year. In the United States, there are about 11.5 million cases per year. The infections are normally treated with antibiotics, but experts worry that the bacteria (90 percent of the time, E. coli) are becoming increasingly resistant to the drugs.
A Call to Action to Promote Sexual Health and Responsible Behavior
Surgeon General David Satcher called on parents, schools and community leaders on June 28, 2001 to get past their nervousness about sex so they can do a better job preventing unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases. Twelve million Americans are infected by sexually transmitted diseases each year, with some 40,000 new HIV infections; more than 100,000 children are victimized by sexual abuse annually; and nearly 1.4 million abortions occur each year, with nearly half of all pregnancies unwanted. An estimated 800,000 to 900,000 Americans are now living with HIV. Abstinence is the only certain way to prevent pregnancy and the spread of disease, the report says, and even properly used condoms do not prevent the spread of all sexually transmitted diseases. The call also recommends developing and disseminating educational materials for sex-ed classes that cover the ``full continuum of human sexual development'' for use by parents, clergy, teachers and others.
Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is low in saturated and total fat, and draws largely on fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products, as well as whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts. There's comparatively little red meat, and consumption of sweets or sugary beverages is also reduced. Scientists have known for several years that the eating plan reduces blood pressure. However, a study conducted under the sponsorship of the National Heart, Lung, And Blood Institute (NHLBI) showed that the plan also cuts cholesterol. According to the study, published in the July 2001 issue of The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, individuals who followed the DASH diet lowered their total cholesterol by an average of 7.3 percent. At the same time, low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, the so-called "bad" cholesterol, dropped 9 percent. You should put these foods at the top of your shopping list: fruits, vegetables, monosaturated and polyunsaturated oils (like canola, safflower, and olive oils), whole grain bread and cereal, and nuts. Do more exercise.
Roughage and Cancer
New research indicates that eating lots of red meat may create about as much of a certain cancer-promoting chemical in the colon as smoking does. The findings, presented in Lyon at the European Conference on Nutrition and Cancer, were part of a study that revives the theory that fiber wards off colon cancer, the second most deadly cancer worldwide. The idea that a high-fiber diet rich in fruits, vegetables and grains prevents colon cancer suffered a setback last year after two studies failed to find an effect. But the latest research, which experts say is the most reliable to date on the link between eating habits and cancer, found that those who ate a high-fiber diet had 40 percent less chance of developing colon cancer than those who ate the least roughage.
Genital herpes is estimated to infect almost one-fourth of U.S. adults and is spread through sexual contact when it enters the body through tiny passages in the skin. Most people who have the virus do not know it. Women are at higher risk of contracting the virus from an infected partner. Health officials had long advised condom use. A study confirmed that condoms significantly reduce women's risk of contracting genital herpes. But they may not be as effective in protecting men.
Alzheimer's Disease and Diet
A Finnish study, published in the June 16, 2001, issue of the British Medical Journal, concluded that participants who had high cholesterol levels or high systolic blood pressure in middle age were about twice as likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease as those who did not, even after accounting for age, weight, history of heart problems and other factors. The risk was 3.5 times as great for people who had both hypertension and high cholesterol. There was no elevated risk for people who had high diastolic pressure, the second of the two numbers in a blood pressure reading. Earlier research in a variety of formats also has suggested a link. A study of African Americans in Baltimore found an association between Alzheimer’s and cholesterol levels, and studies at the University of Massachusetts and Loyola University concluded that people who were treated with statin drugs to lower cholesterol also were less likely to develop this form of dementia. Studies in Sweden and Japan have found an association between Alzheimer’s disease and high blood pressure, but the form of hypertension in these cases was diastolic, unlike the Finnish study. Of course, blood cholesterol and hypertension depend on your diet and exercise!
About 15,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported annually in the United States, mostly in the Northeast from Maine to Maryland; the Midwest in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and the West in northern California and Oregon. For the first time, doctors have shown that a quick dose of antibiotics can ward off Lyme disease after a tick bite, but they caution against overusing the treatment. A study, published in the July 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, conducted in New York's Westchester County, where Lyme disease is common, found that just two pills of doxycycline are highly effective if given within three days of a bite. Some physicians already give antibiotics to people who are bitten by deer ticks, the bugs that spread Lyme disease. However, many experts oppose this, because there has been no clear evidence the treatment actually prevents the disease, even though antibiotics can clear up Lyme disease once it occurs.
Be aware of and avoid tick habitats such as tall grass, bushes, brush and woods. If you go into such habitats where shoes and proper clothing: hat, long sleeved shirt, and long pants tucked into socks. Use of tick repellants on the outer garments may be helpful. Before coming indoors, brush off your clothes and once inside remove all clothes and inspect your body and clothes for any ticks and promptly wah clothing. Frequently inspect your pets for ticks.
Iron, Math Scores and Teenage
Iron deficiency was found in 3 percent of the children overall, representing 1.2 million school-age children. It occurred in 8.7 percent of the girls ages 12 to 16, including 7 percent without anemia. Iron deficiency, sometimes due to blood loss or diets low in iron, is the most common cause of anemia. Adolescent girls are especially prone to iron deficiency because of their monthly blood loss from menstruation. Average math scores for iron-deficient children with or without anemia were about six points lower than those with normal iron levels. Among adolescent girls, the difference in scores was more than eight points. The average math score for normal youngsters was 93.7, 87.4 for iron-deficient children without anemia and 86.4 for those with anemia. The highest score recorded was 151. Anemia, whose symptoms can include fatigue and paleness, can be diagnosed with a simple blood test. But youngsters are not routinely screened for less severe iron deficiencies. The study was led by Dr. Jill Halterman of the University of Rochester and was published in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics.
Much of the iron in omnivore diets comes from meat products (haem iron). Iron from non-haem sources such as eggs, cereal foods, green vegetables, nuts and pulses is less well absorbed. The presence of vitamin C from fruit, fruit juices and vegetables will enhance the absorption of non-haem iron; for example, having an iron-fortified breakfast cereal and a glass of orange juice at the same meal. However, tea, coffee (because of tannins) and the plant substances phytate and oxalate reduce iron absorption. It is important that dietary sources of iron are eaten daily and the bioavailability of the iron in those particular foods is considered - the inclusion of a food source of vitamin C and exclusion of tea at a meal containing non-haem iron (for example in green vegetables and wholegrain cereals). Infants and young children have very high iron requirements. For the first 6 months of life, these requirements are met by stores of iron in the infant’s body together from breast or formula milk. However, by 6 months the stores have been used up and milk alone does not give enough iron for the infant. Solid foods provided after 6 months of age should include rich sources of iron. For vegetarian children, alternative sources of iron should be included in the diet such as green vegetables, pulse and fortified bread and breakfast cereals.
Sedentary Death Syndrome (SeDS)
Obese adults have more chronic health problems than smokers, heavy drinkers or the poor, according to a study (funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) released on June 7th. The study also found that smoking harms the health of women more than men, with female smokers having about 40 percent more chronic health problems than nonsmokers. The figure was 30 percent for men. The study found that more people are overweight or obese than are those collectively who smoke, drink heavily and live below the federal poverty line. Obesity was determined by finding a respondent's body mass index, a figure derived by multiplying a person's weight in pounds by 703 and dividing that result by height in inches squared. People of normal weight have a BMI between 18.5 and 24.9; those considered overweight score between 25 and 29.9; obese people are between 30 and 34.9 and very obese people are over 35. The survey found that 59 percent of Americans are at least overweight - a figure that is in line with other recent studies. Frank W. Booth, a professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, hopes to use the coinage "Sedentary Death Syndrome (SeDS)," to make the public and the federal government pay more attention and spend more money on getting the public to be more active.
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