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08-27-2004, 10:26 AM
Please post all Health and Medical News, as it pertains to diet, exercise, and a healthier lifestyle, in this thread....this will keep the information handy as more people visit the Forum ;)

California Sunshine
08-28-2004, 07:54 PM
Nutritionists recommend that no more than 30% of calories should come from fat. Wondering what that means in practical terms?

Fat Calories Percentage
=== ======== ==========
3 g 100 27 %
2 g 100 18 %

If you are trying to stay within the 30% range, try to eat foods that average about 3 grams of fat for every hundred calories. If you want 20% of calories from fat, try for foods that average about 2 grams for every hundred calories. Remember that your body needs fat to function. Don't go below those levels without consulting an expert.

08-28-2004, 10:05 PM
Without shoesWeight Range
Without clothes4 Feet 10 inches91-119 pounds
4 Feet 11 inches94-124 pounds
5 Feet97-128 pounds
5 Feet 1 inch100-132 pounds
5 Feet 2 inches104-136 pounds
5 Feet 3 inches107-141 pounds
5 Feet 4 inches110-145 pounds
5 Feet 5 inches114-150 pounds
5 Feet 6 inches118-155 pounds
5 Feet 7 inches121-159 pounds
5 Feet 8 inches125-164 pounds
5 Feet 9 inches128-169 pounds
5 Feet 10 inches132-174 pounds
5 Feet 11 inches136-179 pounds
6 Feet140-184 pounds
6 Feet 1 inch144-189 pounds
6 Feet 2 inches148-194 pounds
6 Feet 3 inches152-200 pounds
6 Feet 4 inches156-205 pounds

Source: Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 1995.


California Sunshine
08-29-2004, 12:06 AM
5 Feet 10 inches132-174 pounds

YIKES I am WAY over that highest weight there! :(

California Sunshine
08-29-2004, 07:36 PM
Blueberry ingredient may lower cholesterol

Aug 25 (Reuters Health) - An antioxidant found in blueberries and grapes appears to lower cholesterol as effectively as a commercial drug, according to preliminary study findings released Monday.

The investigators found that the blueberry compound, called pterostilbene, activates a cellular structure that helps lower cholesterol -- the same mode of action as the cholesterol-lowering drug ciprofibrate, sold under the name Lipanor.

These findings suggest that the natural compound may lower cholesterol just as well as this and other drugs, study author Dr. Agnes M. Rimando told Reuters Health.

The cellular structure targeted by pterostilbene, known as the PPAR-alpha receptor, "is actually the target site for a lot of lipid-lowering drugs," she said.

As a bonus, Rimando added that she has not yet found any side effects associated with pterostilbene. "So far, in preliminary studies, it didn't show any toxicity," she said.

Rimando, who presented her findings during the 228th national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Philadelphia, said she is currently investigating how much pterostilbene people would have to eat -- either in the form of blueberries or a supplement -- in order to get its anti-cholesterol benefits.

"Hopefully, within the next 6 months, I can tell the world 'this is how much you need to eat,'" the researcher, who is based at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in Mississippi, said in an interview.

During the study, Rimando and her colleagues exposed rat cells to four blueberry compounds, and noted which compounds appeared to activate the PPAR-alpha receptor. The researchers found that the winner was pterostilbene, which activated the receptor as much as ciprofibrate.

Pterostilbene also appeared more effective than resveratrol, another antioxidant found in grapes and red wine, which studies have suggested may also lower cholesterol.

The blueberry compound may also do more than just lower cholesterol, Rimando said, for it appears to mimic the action of ciprofibrate, which also lowers triglycerides. Moreover, previous research has suggested that pterostilbene may protect against diabetes and help fight cancer.

California Sunshine
09-06-2004, 03:16 PM
Metabolic Syndrome Not Limited to Obese People

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Metabolic syndrome, a cluster of problems that can raise the risk of heart disease, is often associated with obesity, but new research indicates that people of normal weight can develop the condition too

As reported in the journal Diabetes Care, Dr. Marie-Pierre St.-Onge, from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues assessed the rate of metabolic syndrome among non-obese subjects by analyzing data from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III). Data from 7602 adults participants were included in the analysis.

Subjects were diagnosed with metabolic syndrome if at least three of the following were present: high triglycerides, low HDL "good" cholesterol, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and large waist circumference.

In subjects at the low end of normal weight, the rate of metabolic syndrome ranged from 0.9 to 3.0 percent, depending on ethnicity and gender. In contrast, in slightly overweight individuals, the rates were considerably higher -- between 9.6 and 22.5 percent.

The risk of metabolic syndrome increased as a person's body weight rose from the low end of normal to slightly overweight.

Compared with low-normal weight men, those who were classified as mid-normal weight, upper-normal weight, and slightly overweight were 4.1-, 5.4-, and 9.1-times more likely, respectively, to develop metabolic syndrome.

The corresponding risks were even more pronounced in women, at 4.3-, 7.8-, and 17.3-fold higher.

"The high prevalence of metabolic syndrome in normal-weight and slightly overweight individuals warrants investigation of the impact of weight loss and physical activity in this population group," the authors state.

Screening for the syndrome in such individuals "may be beneficial in the prevention of diabetes and cardiovascular disease," they add.

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, September 2004.

Metabolic Syndrome Not Limited to Obese People

Fri Sep 3, 4:34 PM ET Add Health - Reuters to My Yahoo!

California Sunshine
04-10-2005, 11:37 AM
High Carb Diets May Raise Breast Cancer Risk

Fri Apr 8, 6:50 PM ET Health - Reuters

By Megan Rauscher

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Diets that have a high "glycemic index" -- that is, they produce high blood sugar levels -- may increase the risk of breast cancer among postmenopausal women who've used hormone replacement therapy (HRT), study results suggest.

The link may be stronger among those who do not engage in vigorous physical activity.

Typically, high glycemic index diets include a lot of sugars and refined starches and carbohydrates, which produce a rapid rise in blood glucose levels.

"Given evidence of a positive association between (high insulin levels) and breast cancer risk, we felt it conceivable that this reflects an underlying association with high glycemic index diets," Dr. Stephanie A. Navarro Silvera from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York noted in comments to Reuters Health.

Silvera and her colleagues used data from a large group of 49,613 Canadian women to examine breast cancer risk in association with overall glycemic index and dietary carbohydrate and sugar intake.

During a follow-up period of 16 years, 1,461 women developed breast cancer.

In the overall study population, the risk of breast cancer was not related to glycemic index or sugar and total carbohydrate intake, the team reports in the International Journal of Cancer.

However, in postmenopausal women, diets with a high glycemic index raised the risk of breast cancer by 87 percent. In premenopausal women, such diets actually cut the risk by 22 percent.

The association between glycemic index and breast cancer risk in postmenopausal women was slightly stronger among women reporting no vigorous physical activity, among those with a history of HRT use, and among those of normal weight.

These results require confirmation in other studies, Silvera and colleagues emphasize in their report.

SOURCE: International Journal of Cancer, April 20, 2005.

California Sunshine
04-17-2005, 10:21 PM
Obesity Can Be Real Headache

Thu Apr 14,11:47 PM ET Health - HealthDay

By E.J. Mundell
HealthDay Reporter

THURSDAY, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Widening waistlines may increase the chances of frequent, painful headaches, new research findings suggest.

In a study involving almost 31,000 adults, researchers found that compared to normal-weight people, obese individuals doubled their risk for chronic daily headache -- non-migraine attacks occurring at least 15 times per month.

"Their headache attacks were also much more severe," said study author Dr. Marcelo Bigal, director of research at the New England Center for Headache in Stamford, Conn. He was to present the findings April 14 at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting in Miami Beach.

In the study, Bigal and colleagues conducted phone interviews with 30,850 people who reported at least one painful headache attack over the previous year. They then compared the headache frequency and severity of underweight, normal-weight, overweight and obese individuals. Obesity was defined as a body mass index (BMI) of 30 and above (for example, a 5-foot-8 person weighing 200 pounds has a BMI of 30.4).

According to the study, 3.8 percent of individuals in the study group as a whole suffered from chronic daily headache. That prevalence rose significantly as waistlines expanded, however.

For example, 5 percent of overweight individuals -- those with BMIs between 25 and 30 -- suffered from chronic daily headache, "and if individuals were obese, that number rose to 7 percent -- almost double the average," according to Bigal, who is also an assistant neurology professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City.

The severity of each attack increased as weight rose, too, and painful headaches also caused the obese to "miss more days of family life, social activities or work than either the overweight or people of normal weight," Bigal added. The duration of headache remained similar across the different weight categories.

Based on their findings, the researchers believe excess weight gain may be a strong risk factor for headache.

Not everyone agrees, however.

"I'm just wondering if the cart isn't before the horse here," said Dr. Seymour Diamond, executive chairman of the National Headache Foundation.

"Remember, these are people with chronic headache, who are probably more or less incapacitated by their headache," he said. "Naturally, they are not going to be doing exercise, and probably they're eating a lot, too. So, I think the obesity may be secondary to their chronic headache problem."

Bigal called that argument "reasonable," but added that what scientists know about obesity suggests it may help trigger attacks.

He pointed out that headaches, both migraine and non-migraine, are all linked to constrictions in blood vessels, often caused by inflammation.

"We know obesity per se is a cause of inflammation and is a risk factor for vascular diseases," he said. Headache is also characterized by "an inflammation of the blood vessels, so what we think is that obesity creates this pro-inflammatory state, so then you'll have more attacks."

He said his research does have some good news for the overweight and obese plagued by headache. In a second study, also to be presented at the Miami Beach conference, Bigal's team compared the treatment outcomes of 170 migraine patients.

"Our hypothesis was that it would be more difficult to treat obese migraine sufferers, but it wasn't. They responded just as well with therapy as the normal-weight patients," he said. "So it's important to deliver the message that, yes, if you're obese you will have worse headaches, but it's still possible to treat you."

Of course, the findings also suggest that one of the best ways of avoiding chronic headache may be to stay slim.

"Exercise per se improves headache, we know that," Bigal said. "Headache sufferers should watch their weight."

To learn more about all forms of headache, head to the National Headache Foundation.

California Sunshine
05-01-2005, 01:12 AM
Epidural During Labor Linked to Abnormal Head Position

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Receiving epidural analgesia during labor seems to increase the risk that the baby will be delivered face up instead of the normal face -down position, new research shows. This may explain the higher rate of c-sections associated with epidurals.

It has been theorized that women with infants in the face-up or "occiput posterior" position have more painful labors, which leads to their request for epidural analgesia. However, in the current study, reported in the medical journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, the researchers found that it was, in fact, more likely that the epidural was administered before a fetus moved into this position.

To investigate, Dr. Ellice Lieberman and colleagues at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston examined 1,562 pregnant women during labor and delivery.

Ultrasound examinations were performed when women were first admitted to the labor and delivery unit, at the time of epidural administration or 4 hours after the initial examination, and when they were close to full dilatation.

Ninety-two percent of patients received epidural analgesia. Requests for epidurals were not associated with fetal position in early labor or with more painful labor.

Fetal position changes were common during labor, the authors report, and the initial position was not a strong predictor of position at delivery. At the initial examination, approximately 49 percent of fetuses were facing sideways, 27 percent were facing down and 24 percent were facing up. The corresponding rates at the time of delivery were 8, 80,and 12 percent.

At delivery, fetuses were in the face-up position in 12.9 percent of patients given epidurals, but only 3.3 percent of those without epidurals. Epidural analgesia was not associated with the sideways-facing position.

The rate of cesarean delivery was strongly dependent on fetal position -- 6.3 percent with face down, 65 percent with face up, and 74 percent with face sideways. However, fetal position did not influence the need for obstetrical instruments.

SOURCE: Obstetrics and Gynecology, May 2005.

California Sunshine
07-24-2005, 02:00 AM
Stress and Your Waistline: Gaining Belly Fat May Be Body's Way of Coping
The Wall Street Journal Online
By Tara Parker-Pope

Stress may be making you fat.

There's growing evidence that chronic stress can make you thick around the middle. Studies in rats and monkeys clearly show that a high-stress environment increases risk for accumulating abdominal fat, the type of fat linked with heart disease. And in human studies, stress appears to put normal-weight women at higher risk for excess belly fat.

While the evidence is strong that stress may contribute to weight problems, exactly why and how it happens isn't clear. Even so, a number of firms have used the link between stress and belly fat to tout pills that claim to lower stress hormones and help people lose weight. Researchers say there's no evidence such pills work. Claims by makers of pills such as CortiSlim and Relacore have recently drawn the ire of federal regulators.

To be sure, people gain weight because they consume more calories than they burn. But chronic stress may complicate the equation, causing fat to accumulate around the middle and prompting eaters to choose less-healthful foods.

This month, a report in the medical journal Brain, Behavior and Immunity looked at the link between stress and the consumption of comfort foods, finding that there may be a physiological reason people tend to binge on fatty and sugar-laden foods during times of stress. In a series of rat studies, researchers at University of California-San Francisco fed two groups of rats a diet of rat chow and sugar water. But one group of rats lived more stressful lives, spending short periods of time during the day in a confined space. Stress hormone levels were higher in the confined rats, and the stressed rats started to eat less healthy chow and gulp down more sugar water.

But what happened next was surprising. As the stressed-out rats started to accumulate more belly fat, their stress hormones went back down. The higher the belly fat, the lower the animal's stress hormones. That suggests that gaining belly fat may be the body's coping mechanism for turning off the stress response. In addition, the theory is that stress hormones may somehow turn on the brain's reward center, and the result is that during times of stress, certain foods actually taste better, making you eat more of them.

"It's why comfort food may reduce stress," says Mary Dallman, UCSF physiology professor and lead author of the rat studies. "It may be that you feel better if you put on belly fat if you're under conditions of chronic stress."

Similar findings have been shown in monkey studies at Wake Forest University. In male and female monkeys fed foods that mimic the typical North American diet, the animals living in stressful situations were more likely to accumulate visceral fat -- that unhealthy fat that accumulates around organs and in the abdomen.
The evidence is less clear in human studies but still suggests that stress plays a role in weight gain. Research shows that "night-eating syndrome," a problem that causes sufferers to binge eat, is linked to high stress hormones. People with diseases associated with extreme exposure to cortisol, such as Cushing's disease, also have excessive amounts of visceral fat.

Last fall, a Yale University study reported that otherwise lean women with excess belly fat have an exaggerated response to the stress hormone cortisol. The research, published in Psychosomatic Medicine, looked at lean and overweight women who stored fat at the waist compared with those who stored fat at the hips -- and examined their stress responses over three consecutive days. The study found that the women with abdominal fat consistently secreted more cortisol in response to stressful lab tasks, compared to women with the hip fat.

Supplement makers have tried to cash in on the research by offering herbal remedies they claim will lower cortisol levels and help people lose weight. Researchers and federal regulators say the claims aren't backed by science, and both the Food and Drug Administration and the Federal Trade Commission have taken action against firms selling the remedies.

One product, CortiSlim, marketed by Window Rock Enterprises of Brea, Calif., has touted its product in a much-seen infomercial. After receiving warnings from the FDA and the FTC, the firm has changed its advertising claims, but the case is still pending. In a statement, the firm says the FTC hasn't objected to its current campaign, and its products come with a money-back guarantee.

Another firm, the Carter-Reed Co. of Salt Lake City, maker of Relacore, has sued the FTC in U.S. District Court, contending that it has a right to make its marketing claims, which it says are truthful.

Both the FTC and scientists say there's no evidence the pills actually lower cortisol levels or that lowering cortisol will make a meaningful difference in weight. The mechanism that causes the body to accumulate abdominal fat is likely far more complicated, says Dr. Dallman. However, the stress-fat link does suggest that many of the nation's dieters are missing out on a key component of weight management if they aren't also trying to manage their stress. Exercise is an obvious way to manage stress, but even less strenuous options -- like yoga, meditation or massage may be useful in a weight-loss program.

"One of the things people miss is exercise not only burns calories, but it changes the way you respond to stress, which may be one of the reasons why exercise is important and underappreciated," says Carol Shively, pathology professor at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. Stress management "might be the one weight-loss strategy that society hasn't really addressed."

California Sunshine
08-15-2005, 10:39 PM
Painkillers Linked to Hypertension

By JAMIE STENGLE, Associated Press Writer
1 hour, 47 minutes ago

DALLAS - Women taking daily amounts of non-aspirin painkillers — such as an extra-strength Tylenol — are more likely to develop high blood pressure than those who don't, a new study suggests.

While many popular over-the-counter painkillers have been linked before to high blood pressure, acetaminophen, sold as Tylenol, has generally been considered relatively free of such risk.

It is the only one that is not a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug or NSAID, a class of medications the federal government just required to carry stricter warning labels because of the risk for heart-related problems. Those include ibuprofen (sold as Advil and Motrin) and naproxen (sold as Aleve). Many had turned to those painkillers in the wake of problems with prescription drugs, such as Vioxx.

However, the new study found that women taking Tylenol were about twice as likely to develop blood pressure problems. Risk also rose for women taking NSAIDS other than aspirin.

"If you're taking these over-the-counter medications at high dosages on a regular basis, make sure that you report it to your doctor and you're checking your blood pressure," said Dr. Christie Ballantyne, a cardiologist at the Methodist DeBakey Heart Center in Houston who had no role in the study.

The research found that aspirin still remains the safest medicine for pain relief. It has long been known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular problems and was not included in the government's requirement for stricter labels for NSAIDs.

The study involved 5,123 women participating in the Nurses Health Study at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. None had had high blood pressure when it began.

Results were published online Monday in the American Heart Association journal Hypertension.

"It certainly sets the basis for more studies," said Dr. Stephanie Lawhorn, a cardiologist at St. Luke's Mid America Heart Institute in Kansas City. "Most of the time we think that things like acetaminophen are fairly safe drugs."

In this study, the risk of developing high blood pressure for women who weren't taking painkillers was about 1 to 3 percent a year, researchers said. They found that that women ages 51-77 who took an average daily dose of more than 500 milligrams of acetaminophen — one extra-strength Tylenol — had about double the risk of developing high blood pressure within about three years.

Women in that age range who take more than 400 mg a day of NSAIDS — equal to say two ibuprofen — had a 78 percent increased risk of developing high blood pressure over those who didn't take the drug.

Among women 34-53 who take an average of more than 500 mg of acetaminophen a day had a two-fold higher risk of developing high blood pressure. And those who took more than 400 mg of NSAIDS a day had a 60 percent risk increase over those who didn't take the pills.

"We are by no means suggesting that women with chronic pain conditions not receive treatment for their pain," lead author Dr. John Phillip Forman, of Harvard Medical School and associate physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, said in an e-mail. "By pointing out risks associated with these drugs, more informed choices can be made by women and their clinicians."

Previous research linking these drugs to blood pressure problems did not look at dose.

The results in this study held up even when researchers excluded women who were taking pills for headaches, something that could itself be a result of very high blood pressure, said Dr. Gary Curhan, another study author also of Harvard Medical School.

As for why aspirin didn't raise risk, it might be because "aspirin has a different effect on blood vessels than NSAIDS and acetaminophen have," said Dr. Daniel Jones, dean of the school of medicine at University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson.