THE WYSONG e-HEALTH LETTER 933
~Thoughts for Thinking People~
Current Research and Thoughts You Can Use for Health and Healing
...And Which Verify The Wysong Optimal Health Program™
ANTIBIOTIC OVERUSE: A new study has uncovered two troubling trends in antibiotic use: Not only are doctors still over-prescribing these drugs, but prescribing patterns vary greatly depending on geography and other factors. The study reports that physicians seem to be writing prescriptions for antibiotics - particularly the newer, more potent "broad-spectrum" versions - for colds and other conditions for which the drugs are useless. Doctors in the Northeast and South were more likely than those in the West to be prescribing the broad-spectrum drugs. The problem? Not only does over-prescribing inflate health-care costs, but it also promotes the development of "super-bacteria" that are resistant to antibiotics. The U.S. government estimates that half of the 100 million antibiotic prescriptions written each year are unnecessary. (J Am Med Assoc, 2003; 289(6):719-25
BROCCOLI TO PREVENT CANCER: A plant-derived chemical (3,3'-diindolylmethane, or DIM) produced when your body digests green vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and cauliflower can inhibit the growth of human prostate cancer cells, according to research. DIM acts as a powerful anti-androgen that inhibits the spread of human prostate cancer cells. (Androgen is a necessary hormone for the normal function of the prostate, however it also plays a role in the early stages of prostate cancer.) (J Biol Chem, 2003; 278(23):21136-45.)
KILLING CATS WITH KINDNESS?: A study comparing levels of glucose, insulin, plasma triglycerides and cholesterol in obese cats, to lean cats, revealed some vital health-related results. Triglyceride and cholesterol concentrations were significantly increased in obese cats. Very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) were both elevated in the obese cats.
Insulin resistance was also present. The increase in the VLDL levels may contribute to the insulin resistance and the increase in HDL.
Cholesterol concentrations may reflect a protective effect against arteriosclerosis in these obese cats. As in their human counterparts, the effects of obesity in our feline companions extend far beyond obvious, cosmetic changes. Follow the Wysong Optimal Health Program™ to help melt the excess fat away.
ORGANIC PRODUCE HEALTHIER: Scientists have uncovered new evidence that organic fruits and vegetables are healthier than those grown conventionally using herbicides and pesticides. Research indicates that pesticides and herbicides hinder production of flavanoids (health-promoting antioxidants) in plants.
Plants produce flavanoids as a protective response to stresses such as insect attack or competition from other plants. The plant’s need for self-protection is reduced with the use of pesticides and herbicides leading to a reduced need for production of antioxidant flavanoids. In crops tested so far, those grown organically have contained 20%-50% more of these important, health-promoting antioxidants than crops grown with conventional pesticides and herbicides. (Leatherhead Food International, Randalls Road, Leatherhead, Surrey, KT22 7RY, England.)
OXIDIZED FATS AFFECT GROWTH, BONE FORMATION AND IMMUNE FUNCTION: A group of Purdue University scientists is studying puppies in an attempt to understand the effects of a diet high in oxidized fat during the growth stage. All processing oxidizes fat to one degree or another. Preventing this process has bee a primary focus of Wysong research for almost 20 years. One group of dogs was fed a diet high in oxidized lipids, another group was fed a diet containing moderate levels of oxidized lipids, and a third group was fed a diet low in oxidized lipids. Both the high and moderate level groups showed reduced growth, bone formation and immune function. Unexpected results were seen revealing that dogs on diets with moderate levels of oxidized fat had the same effects as those on diets containing high levels. This study reinforces the importance of avoiding oxidized fats and increasing the intake of antioxidants.
PORTION SIZE AND OBESITY: A new study has found that, since the late 1970's, portion sizes in the home and restaurants have grown. For example, the serving size of an average soft drink increased in that time from 13 ounces and 144 calories to nearly 20 fluid ounces and 193 calories. The typical cheeseburger also grew from 5.8 ounces to 7.3 ounces, ballooning from 397 to 533 calories, and salty snacks grew from 1 ounce to 1.6 ounces, climbing from 132 calories to 225 calories. A can of Coca Cola® is now much larger than it was when it was introduced in 1916, and a regular-sized soda served in Burger King® in 1954 is equal to a child-sized drink in today’s restaurants. Likewise, sizes of pre-packaged, ready-to-eat foods have also swelled substantially since they were first released. Researchers note that while bigger portions for less money may seem like a good deal, unhealthy portion sizes are contributing to the increasing obesity epidemic.
PROBIOTICS FOR ECZEMA: Probiotic bacteria may stop kids from getting eczema, an allergic skin disease, when given during pregnancy and early infancy. Researchers have concluded that children exposed to probiotics two to four weeks before before birth and continuing until six months of age are 40% less likely to have eczema. The findings add another piece to support the "hygiene hypothesis," a theory, originally proposed about 10 years ago, that blames the increase in allergic disease on cleaner living. Because children's bodies don't have to fight off as many bacteria as they did in the past, their immune systems start mistakenly attacking harmless substances, such as pet dander or pollen, causing allergic diseases. (Lancet, 2003; 361(9372).)
SLEEP TO PREVENT CANCER: New research has shown that poor sleep quality can seriously alter hormonal balance in the body, resulting in increased rates of cancer. Disruption of the sleep/wake cycle, also called the circadian rhythm, can promote cancer through shifts in hormones like melatonin (an antioxidant that suppresses damaging free-radical compounds, which the brain makes during sleep) and cortisol (a hormone, which normally reaches peak levels at dawn then declines throughout the day, that helps regulate the activity of a group of immune cells called natural-killer cells that help the body battle cancer). Restful sleep resulting in circadian regulation is therefore imperative for the maintenance of the body's defenses against cancer.
SUNSCREEN DOES NOT PROTECT AGAINST CANCER: Sunbathers who smother their bodies in lotions to block out harmful rays are not being protected against skin cancer and premature aging, a new study has found. While the lotions prevent the sun's rays from burning the skin, they do not stop them from penetrating the skin. Thus, even when they are high factor and applied in the proper amounts, sunscreens don't offer protection against free radicals, which can cause dangerous changes in the skin's make-up that can promote the growth of cancer.
Although the lotions prevent burning they are quite ineffective at blocking out UVA rays, which are believed to cause melanoma, the most dangerous skin cancer. Some companies are introducing UVA filters into their creams but these appear at present to be too weak fully to block the ultraviolet light. Scientists warn that people must not be led by a false sense of security into staying longer in the sun because they are covered with high-factor lotions. Even the highest factor of 35 is not enough to filter out all the damaging rays. Slowly acclimate to the sun. Wear clothing and use the shade to limit your exposure until you have adapted to the new season. If sunscreen must be used, use natural products in moderation only as a temporary stop gap and not as an excuse for unlimited exposure. (J Invest Dermatol, 2003; 121(4).)
VACCINE INCREASES SHINGLES: Three different analyses of reported cases of shingles and chickenpox suggest the threat of a shingles epidemic in the U.S. due to mass vaccination with the varicella (chickenpox) vaccine. Because the vaccine is eliminating chickenpox disease, children and adults no longer receive the natural boost to their immune systems that they received from periodic exposures to the disease. Due to the dramatic decline in chickenpox, children are now experiencing a higher incidence of shingles and experts predict that a large scale increase in shingles incidence will soon become manifest among adults - a group more susceptible to serious complications. (Vaccine, 2003; 21(27-28):4238-42, 4243-9, 4250-5.)
Best of health to you and yours from all of us here at Wysong.