Monday, July 27, 2009

Turmeric - Too Good to be True?

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Turmeric - Good For What Ails You...

It wasn't too terribly long ago that turmeric was a seldom heard of spice, or root, or poorly defined ingredient found mainly in Indian foods. Or, at least that was the case for the prototypical Westerner who believed most foods originated in a McDonalds' factory (for dining out) or a Papa John's (for dining in, via delivery) or, in those most rare instances when the food was actually prepared at home, from any number of pre-packaged fast food microwavable manufacturers.

...Turmeric was nowhere to be found.

But, that may be changing.

New claims continue to tout the power of turmeric's active ingredient, curcumin - to ease pain, fight cancer, improve liver function, reduce inflammation and, of course, added a zesty touch to real cooked-at-home foods that is scrumptious.

So, what are you waiting for? Check out the links below to learn more about this wonder spice. And, while you're at it, take the break you deserve and boycott fast food joints for a while. You'll be amazed at the difference it makes.

Read about turmeric's ability to fight breast cancer at ScienceDaily. Read the account of a formerly skeptical doctor about turmeric's ability to fight pain. And read an extensive overview of turmeric at the World's Healthiest Foods.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Health Care Debate - What's at Stake?

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Kristina Smith at the Venice Family Clinic

The debate rages. Should we tax the wealthy to pay for universal health care? Maybe the best way to pay the cost is to tax health coverage benefits, or to include a public option to help drive down costs. Surely we can squeeze a few more tens of billions of dollars in savings from the hospitals, home health agencies and, of course, the insanely profitable pharmaceutical manufacturers.

Or, maybe we're all insane to believe any of this is possible in the first place. After all, look where it landed previously shoe-in nominee Hillary Clinton.

But, just in case you find your resolve weakening - and whose hasn't - take a look at this audio slideshow from the Venice Family Clinic. It's just over two and one-half minutes long, but it's a fabulous reminder of what's at stake - both in terms of bottom line impact on people's lives and on the financial fiascos that result from letting the small health issues become big and expensive.

Here's the link:

To learn more about the largest free clinic in the nation, see this from the Venice Family Clinic.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Coffee as Alzheimer’s Cure?

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Go Ahead - Grab a Cup...

This is fabulous news. Well, it’s fabulous news if you’re a caffeine addict. But, if you’re a teetotaler, the news isn’t quite so favorable.

Researchers in Florida recently announced the results of a study with Alzheimer’s-diseased mice. The mice were specially bred to develop Alzheimer’s, and then separated into two groups: the caffeine addicts and the teetotalers.

The caffeine addicts ended up having the best of both worlds. They got a routine fix of the equivalent of five cups of java, and their Alzheimer’s symptoms began to disappear. It’s a hard combination to beat.

The caffeine was found to have a direct impact on the blood levels of beta-amyloid, the substances responsible for the formation of plaques in the brains of those with Alzheimer’s disease. Those mice receiving their caffeine fix everyday showed a reduction of nearly 50 percent in beta-amyloid levels.

Previous research has shown caffeine has other health benefits, including improving cardiovascular function. So, it would appear that consistent caffeine consumption may be quite a healthy habit, especially as we age.

Yes, of course – now would be a great time to brew a cup.

To read more about the study, see this from Science Daily. To learn more about the history of coffee, see this from Wikipedia.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Stunning New Cancer Treatment

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Yeah, I Feel Fabulous...

Are you smart enough to cure cancer? Well, you may be quite bright, but that’s still a pretty tall order. But...

If you’re smart enough to read the newspaper, you just might be smart enough to beat the Big C. Read on.

Researchers in Australia have developed a “trojan horse” therapy that has shown remarkable success in the lab. Over the past two years, these brilliant scientists have saved 100 per cent of the mice infected with human cancer cells.

And the treatment is specifically targeted at the cancer cells, leaving healthy tissue undisturbed. The two-step therapy involves using mini-cells to first turn off the cancers cell’s resistance to chemotherapy, and then delivering the cancer fighting treatment directly to the cancer cells. It’s very much what the cancer cells have been doing all along, but in reverse – beating them at their own game.

Human clinical trials should begin in the near future.


To read more about the research, see this from Reuters. To learn more about cancer, including research and clinical trials, see this from the National Cancer Institute.