Friday, June 29, 2007

USC Health Now » Slow Burn

This important article points to the risks of accommodating acid reflux, and using both the OTC and the prescription drugs to relieve its symptoms. It points to the statistics of rising esophageal cancer in the period following the prevalence of using these drugs to treat heart burn.
It also discusses the surgical interference to stop acid reflux.

Read it.
USC Health Now » Slow Burn

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Acid Reflux and Your Life Style

What is acid reflux and how it is formed, and what factors that participate to form or relieve it is what we will discuss now.

The first organ with storing capacity in the digestive tract is the stomach. The stomach secretes plenty of acid to partially digest proteins, the food in the stomach is ground and admixed with its acid content. The 2 ports of the stomach are attached to 2 tubes, the upper one is the esophagus that carries food from the throat to the stomach, and the lower one is the jejunum that represents the first part of the small intestine.

Food is allowed only to pass up-down thanks to 2 valve like muscles that are located at the end of the upper tube (esophagus) and the beginning of the lower tube (jejunum), they both stay tightly closed and only open to allow food in or out of the stomach in the up-down direction.

If the muscle of the esophageal sphincter weakens and allows stomach acid to splash up into the esophagus, one feels heartburn, chest discomfort, and bitter fluid flowing up into the mouth, if the stomach juice trickles into the breathing canals, hoarseness, cough, and even shortening of breath can occur, which are the symptoms of GERD (GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease).

These symptoms may be even aggravated by the weakening of the lower sphincter which allows reflux of the jejunum contents including bile acids into the stomach thus increasing its acidity, and this may be seen with people with gall bladder disorders.

Weakening of the muscle sphincters can be induced by factors other than food including some habits and way of living:
* Tobacco in all forms : Nicotine weaken the sphincter muscle
* Swallowing air through Chewing gum and hard candy leads to belching and reflux.
* Obesity
* Postural : lying down or bending over after eating, and sleeping position ( head of the bed should be elevated 6-8 inches)
* Late evening snacks
* Large portion size

The following foods aggravate acid reflux and should be avoided :
* Fatty/Oils : Fries - Creamy foods or soups - Salad dressing ; oil & vinegar
* Fruits : Orange juice - Lemon - Lemonade - Grapefruit juice - Cranberry juice - Tomato
* Vegetables : Mashed potatoes - French fries - Onion, raw
* Peppermint and spearmint
* Dairy : whole milk - milk shake - ice cream - cottage cheese;regular
* Grains : Macaroni and cheese - Spaghetti with sauce
* Sweets&Desserts : Butter cookie;high fat - Brownie - Doughnuts - Chocolate - Corn ships
* Beverage : Liquor - Wine - Coffee - Tea
* Most fast foods

Some foods irritate an inflamed lower esophagus and may need to be limited and consumed with discretion, they include :
* Fruits : Orange juice, low-acid - Apple Cider - Peach - Blueberries - Strawberries - Grapes - Cranberries, dried
* Vegetables : Garlic - Onion, cooked - Leeks - Sauerkraut - Scallion
* Meat : Hot dog - Ham - Fish, fried - Eggs, fried - Scrambled Eggs, in butter - Tuna salad - Chicken salad
* Dairy : Yogurt - Milk, 2% or skim - Cheddar Cheese - Mozzarella cheese
* Grains : Garlic bread - Muffin - Granola cereal
* Beverages : Beer (alcoholic&non-alcoholic)-Non-alcoholic wine - Cola

The safe foods for acid reflux people includes :
* Fruits : Apple ( fresh, dried, and juice) - Banana
* Vegetables : Baked potato - Broccoli - Cabbage - Carrots - Green beans - Peas
* Meat : Ground beef, extra-lean - Steak, London Broil - Chicken breast, skinless - Egg whites - Egg substitute - Fish, no added fat
* Dairy : Cheese, feta or goat - Cream cheese, fat-free - Sour cream, fat-free - Soy cheese, low- fat
* Grains : Bread, milt-grain or white - Cereal, bran or oatmeal - Corn bread - Graham crackers - Pretzels - Rice, brown or white - Rice cakes
* Beverages : Mineral water
* Fats / Oils : Salad dressing, low-fat
* Sweets / Desserts : Cookie, fat-free - Jelly beans - Red licorice - Potato chips, baked

Monday, June 25, 2007

The Good and The Bad Laxatives For Weight Loss

One popular weight loss supplements available in the market today take the form of tea. Stores all over sell slimming tea, dieter's tea and others but all of them are actually the same. They may appear to be effective, but what is not seen may actually harm you.

One of the effects of drinking dieter's tea is the frequent bowel movement. This gives people the feeling of body cleansing. These people may get toxins out of their body but it isn't exactly the only thing that slimming tea actually does to the body. Slimming tea contains herbs which are natural laxatives. These include aloe, senna, rhubarb root, cascara, buckthorn and castor oil.

These are products which are derived from plants and are used since the ancient times because of their potency in treating constipation and to inducing bowel movement.
Cascara, castor oil and senna are substances which are recognized as laxatives available over the counter and are also regulated as drugs.

Scientific studies show that diarrhea induced by laxatives does not absorb significant amounts of calories taken in the body. The reason for this is that laxatives do not act on the small intestines where most of the calories are absorbed. Instead, they work on the large intestines. If taken in large amounts for prolonged periods, it can affect fat absorption of the body. This may lead to Steatorrhea (greasy diarrhea) and loss of weight. Abuse of laxatives is common practice among people who suffer from bulimia and anorexia nervosa.

While weight loss can be guaranteed by overdosing on laxatives, it may also cause permanent damage to the gastrointestinal tract and the weakening and softening of the bones, a condition is known as osteomalacia. Drinkers of slimming teas may actually patronize the product because they are less expensive and taste better than other laxatives sold in the market. Other people, such as those with eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia nervosa drink dieter's tea because they work fast and produce watery stool and having loose consistency.

Women may even be more susceptible to the effects of slimming teas. Although they may are not known to interfere directly with the woman's menstrual cycle and fertility, they should watch out if drinking them causes them to rapidly shed off weight. It is also not safe for pregnant women to be taking in laxatives of any kind. Wise and responsible herbalists also discourage the use of senna and other herbal products with laxative properties for pregnant women and women who are trying to conceive, and the doctors do that as well.

One should be wary about these findings because the labeling of slimming teas in the market today can be absolutely misleading. For instance, they commonly refer to the laxative qualities as "natural bowel cleansing properties" and not specifically use the word "laxative", and in all cases, it does not relate to weight loss. Some even use the term "low-calorie" on their labels, when you are not going to use them for nutrition. These products, in fact, contain essentially no calories nor nutrients whatsoever; unless of course, if they are sweetened.

Taking laxatives in the form of slimming tea in more than or longer than recommended may lead to the following adverse effects:
* Nausea
* Stomach cramps
* Vomiting
* Diarrhea
* Fainting
* Rectal bleeding
* Electrolyte disorder
* Dehydration
* Death caused by cardiac arrest
* Excess use of stimulant laxatives cause severe constipation and pain for long periods due to the colon losing its function. It eventually led to surgery removing the colon altogether.

This highlights the charm of negative calorie foods ! they bear all of the claimed benefits of -laxative containing- slimming teas, like regulating bowl movement, softening the stools, and actual Calorie loss, they have the following wonderful advantages:
* They never produce side effects
* They act through the whole digestive tract and not on special part of it
* They have actual calorie consuming effect that is spent in their transport (they are the exercise tools of your gut)
* They add essential vitamins to the body rather than taking them away
* They have safety record of thousands of years
* They have indispensable taste
* they are a part of the new recommended healthy lifestyle
* They are the resource of natural health tools like antioxidants, flavonoids ...etc
* Their regular use induces normal bowl movement so that you never need to use laxatives
* They are already included in your nutrition, yet you are required to reconsider their portion size to make them frequent large ones

Instead of swallowing large amounts of harmful products, go shop your preferences of negative calorie foods, fruits, and vegetables.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Honey Recipe to Lower Cholesterol

Research on the benefits of honey for health is proceeding in all directions. Today we discuss its effect on lowering cholesterol, as well as the effect of another ingredient in the recipe -Almond- on LDL-Cholesterol or (bad cholesterol).

Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that drinking four tablespoons of honey mixed into a 16-ounce glass of water improved the antioxidant levels in the blood of 25 men aged 18-68.The trial was over 5 weeks. Dr Nicki Engeseth, who led the study which was presented to the American Chemical Society, said: "It looks like honey is having a mild protective effect."

It was already known that honey contained varying levels of antioxidants, with dark honey having more than light. But this is the first study to examine honey's effect on human blood.

In a second study, published in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association, Canadian researchers showed eating almonds lowered cholesterol levels, reducing the risk of heart disease. They found that eating 74 grams daily for 1 month lowered the low-density lipoproteins (LDL or "bad" cholesterol) of Twenty-seven men and women with an average age of 64 and high cholesterol, by 9.4%.

Alice Lichtenstein, vice-chair of the American Heart Association's nutrition committee, said: "This study suggests that replacing carbohydrates with monounsaturated fat - within the context of a diet that is low in saturated, trans fat and cholesterol - favourably affects cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risk."

I found this recipe which fulfil the requirements of a healthy eating aimed at lowering cholesterol through its content of honey and almond and their effect on the cardiovascular system, cinnamon and its blood glucose lowering effect, together with fibers in orange. I hope you enjoy this recipe taste as well as its health benefits.

Honey Glazed Nuts recipe
Posted by Olga at recipe 2/16/2002 8:02 pm

4 cups whole blanched almonds
1/4 cup honey
2 teaspoons cinnamon
Grated zest of 1 orange

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Toss all the ingredients together.
Transfer almonds to a greased baking sheet.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally.
Store in an airtight container.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Honey, Pollen, and Propolis can Relieve Your Allergy

If you have runny nose, watery eyes, congestion, frequent sneezing, itchy eyes, nose, roof of mouth or throat- swollen blue-colored skin under the eyes(allergic shiners), cough, or facial pressure and pain, and all these symptoms without pyrexia then you have hay fever which may also cause sleeplessness, fatigue, and irritability.

If you are male, being the the firstborn child during pollen season and/or have a family history of allergies then you are at increased risk of developing hay fever.

Your doctor may prescribe medications to decrease your signs and symptoms including nasal corticosteroids, antihistamines, decongestants, Cromolyn sodium (to prevent release of histamine), leukotriene blocker(Singulair), and nasal atropine ( to alleviate runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes but not when they got glaucoma).

If those medications don't relieve the hay fever symptoms, the physician may recommend allergy shots (IMMUNOTHERAPY OR DESENSITIZATION therapy). Over a period of two to five years, you receive regular injections containing purified allergen extracts. The goal is to desensitize you to specific allergens, reduce your signs and symptoms, and decrease your need for medications.

Immunotherapy may be especially effective if you're allergic to cat dander, dust mites, or pollen produced by trees, grass and weeds. In children, immunotherapy may help prevent the development of asthma. Rarely, immunotherapy injections can cause a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis), and this is why this technique should be performed in a hospital situation.

As we have seen the major cause of hay fever is the pollen, consequently if you introduce them in a tolerable way to the body, so that the body gets used to them and does not get upset when exposed to them as it becomes desensitized to them.

Honey, Pollen Grains, and Propolis can relieve your allergy:
*A teaspoonful of locally sourced honey ( produced in your local area). It is very important that this honey is not filtered to keep all its content of pollen grains.
* Honey can br mixed with Cabbage juice and applied locally for skin allergies.

Taken Oollen pillsfrom around March until August gives % 99 relief from hay fever.
There are many brands of pollen grain pills but it is of crucial importance that the pollen is collected from different geographic areas so that it may contain the specific allergen that your body reacts to.

1/4 gram propolis dry extract capsules were given 7-8 times daily for 8 days produced good results in France. A smaller dose is given for 2 successive years to get rid of hay fever.

Monday, June 04, 2007

On Atkins? South Beach? Make a Gall Bladder Cleanse.

Among the reasons of gall stone formation is rapid weight-loss that is induced by diets like Atkins, South-Beach..etc.

Actually, the big changes that have happened in our nutritional habits have changed other settled principles we accustomed to, like the people who may get gall bladder stone who were females, fertile, fat, and flatulent, as well as patients with cirrhosis, Crohn's disease, pancreatic disease, hyperthyroidism, and diabetics. With that said,these are still the most important risk factors for gallstones formation.

Gall bladder is the place where bile secreted by the liver is stored in.
Its importance is to secrete the sufficient amounts of bile on demand, rather the liver would drip insufficient amounts of bile into the gut, which can lead to indigestion and flatulence, as well as decreased absorbed amounts of fat soluble vitamins ( A, D, E, and K).

Bile is needed to dissolve fats in the meal so that they can be digested and absorbed. this is made when bile interrupts the continuity of the oil phase turning it into minute droplets. Bile is composed mainly of water which contains Cholesterol, Bile salts, and Lecithin (phospholipid) with some fatty acids, blood pigment, inorganic salts. They are kept in balanced liquid phase until bile is supersaturated with cholesterol due to low levels of bile acids and bile lecithin, then bile salts or cholesterol(in 90% of cases) is precipitated to form gall stones.

The gall bladder cleanse is a good way to help prevent problems, and in most cases, solve current gall bladder problems that people have developed.
The process is as follows:

Begin with an apple juice fast.

# Start at 6:00 am by drinking 1 cup(8 oz.) of apple juice. Do this every half-hour to an hour until 6:00 pm (12 hours). Freshly juiced organic apples is best. Apple juice is high in malic acid, which will soften the stones.

# At 6:00 pm, stop drinking the juice. Wait one hour.

# At 7:00 pm, drink 1/2 cup( 4 oz.) of good quality, organic olive oil and a 2 oz. fresh-squeezed lemon juice chaser. Some people have problems with drinking the olive oil. Putting a few drops of peppermint oil will help make it more palatable.

# Wait 15 minutes and repeat step 3.

# Go to bed. At about midnight, you will have to go to the bathroom, and more than likely you will see little green things ranging in size from pieces of sand to chicken eggs, commonly called "gall stones."

# This whole procedure should be repeated about one week later. Sometimes the gall stones will not come out the first time around.

In fact, every one should do this cleanse at least once a year.This cleanse is more accurately a "liver" cleanse. Even if you do not have gall stones, this is a good way to cleanse the liver. If the liver is functioning properly, it will produce bile with optimal composition and the gall bladder will not have problems often.

Some other helpful ways to keep the liver healthy is to eat foods that are known to have lipotropic effects like Artichoke, Dandelion, Turmeric, Barberry, foods containing glycoproteins here , and supplements containing lipolytic enzymes (lipase) and bile.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Foods for Sex

Man always seeks out any thing that can improve his sex performing ability. He had tried an endless number of recipes composed of all and every thing that can be eaten, until he found something that made him face the situation of declined ability before the Viagra era.

When we revise these recipes in view of the scientific findings, we find the following remarks :
1- Many of these recipes have high content of cholesterol, the starting material of steroid hormones (corticosteroids & sex hormones) and both are required for a normal sex performance, specially when declined.

2- Honey is added to almost all recipes. Honey is a good source of minerals and trace elements, some of which are required for optimal activity of many enzymes. When present in sufficient amounts it is a preservative.

3- These recipes imparted its characteristics on the nutritional life style of some people for generations. People ignored what cholesterol is and what risk it represents for heart health, as well as they ignored the effects of Garlic, Onions, and Nuts in these recipes on lowering blood cholesterol and minimizing its risks.

4- Many of these recipes contain ingredients that some of them have negative, and others have positive nutritional values, and we don't know whether they are neutral to health or not without clinical trials made on them when they are present in combination.

5- The effect of these recipes is not typically the same for all people depending on individual variations in genetics and nutrition.

6- Whether you use these recipes or not is up to you to decide, in the same way you decide to eat or not Shrimps, Oyester and Lobster and all are of high cholesterol content. The good news is that the doses are not as big as when used as meals, moreover, there are numerous recipes for you to chose the most appropriate ones, and many recipes are of good health benefits.

7- Dairy, Nuts, Seeds, and Garlic are rich sources of L-Arginine. L- Arginine is an amino acid that acts as the starting material for producing Nitric Oxide (NO) the end product of the nerve impulse which is the target of pharmacological action of Viagra.

8- Some of these recipes may have unusual taste, you can find Garlic mixed with honey, and Onions mixed with egg yolk, and you can customize their taste to be more palatable and convenient. I think adding some foods having strong taste like Cloves or Cinnamon may not change their effects that much.

Milk :
# Cow milk 2 pounds + Ginger powder 100 grams :
Gently heat until the consistency becomes thick (like honey).
Take 1 teaspoonful in the morning before breakfast.

# Cow or Goat milk 1 pound + Garlic paste 50 grams + Butter(molten) 50 g+ Honey 1 pound:
Gently heat all the ingredients except honey which is added finally when the ingredients are thick. Take 1 TBS in the morning.
This is the most potent known aphrodisiac recipe.

Onions :
# Onion juice 100 ml + Cress juice 100 ml + Butter 50 g + Honey 1 pound :
Mix all ingredients and gently heat until the mixture regains the consistency of honey. Take 1 tbs in the morning.This recipe is of utmost activity as aphrodisiac.

# Onion juice 100 ml + Honey 1 pound :
Gently heat until the mixture regains the consistency of honey.Take 1 TBS daily. Taken for 15 days, this mixture is said to lower blood pressure (certainly it does not replace conventional medication).

# Egg yolk + chopped onion + Butter 20 grams :
Fry and eat with breakfast.

Miscellaneous :
# Honey 1 pound + Cloves powder 25 grams :
Mix and take 1 TBS before breakfast.

# Honey 1 pound + Almond (non-salted) 50 grams + Mixed nuts 50 grams :
Mix them your way and use freely.

# Honey 1 pound + Celery juice 100 ml :
Gently heat to evaporate extra water and the honey regains its consistency.

# Celery bruised 50 grams + Butter 25 grams.You can add honey.

# Flax seeds 50 grams + honey 100 ml :The seeds are crushed then roasted and pasted with honey and some black pepper.

# Hummus 100 ml + Honey 100 grams :Hummus is soaked in some water over night, then filtered and the filtrate is mixed with honey and gently heated to evaporate excess water, and the honey regains its consistency. Eat the soaked Hummus.

# Hummus 50 grams - Water Cress juice 100 ml - Butter 20 grams - Mixed nuts (non-salted) 30 grams + Honey 50 grams + Cinnamon 5 g +Cloves 5 grams + Cardamon 5 grams.

1- Hummus is soaked in Cress juice, then after swollen, filtered and dried.
2- The dried bean is powdered and gently heated with butter.
3- Add the smashed nuts to this sauce and then pasted with honey.
4- The paste is gently heated and added to it 1 teaspoon of each of Cinnamon,powdered Cloves and Cardamon.
5- When used it can be mixed with warm water.

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