~Thoughts for Thinking People~


Current Research and Thoughts You Can Use for Health and Healing
...And Which Verify The Wysong Optimal Health Program™


Mythical Benefits of Aspirin for Seniors
For those over 70, an aspirin a day may not be worth the risk caused by bleeding. A mathematical model based on 20,000 virtual men and women aged 70-74 were “followed” to their deaths or until they reached 100. The theoretical benefits and risks of low dose aspirin showed:

(Nelson, et al. [2005]. Epidemiological modeling of routine use of low dose aspirin for the primary prevention of coronary heart* disease and stroke in those aged 70. British Medical Journal May 20, 2005.)

Dr. W Straight Talk: Stroke and heart attacks are not caused by a deficiency in aspirin. Keep that concept in mind when you take any medication for any condition. Increasing omega-3* fatty acids, vitamin C and E, converting the diet to its natural state and exercise can do far more to prevent and reverse heart disease and stroke - with no side effects - than any drug ever thought of doing.

Exercise Boosts Breast Cancer Survival
Breast cancer patients reduced their chances of dying of the disease by about half by exercising 3 to 5 hours a week, as compared to sedentary women. Nearly 3,000 breast cancer patients’ health and exercise habits were monitored for up to 18 years and results showed any amount of weekly exercise increased patients' odds of surviving.

        (JAMA May 25, 2005, Vol. 293, No. 20: 2479-2486)

Dr. W Straight Talk: Every health condition benefits from exercise. The reason for this is that is how we are designed. In the wild if we did not exercise we did not eat. In our new synthetic world we can eat without exercising at all. No wonder obesity and illness abound.

Risk Factors for Childhood Obesity
Obesity affects over 10 percent of children worldwide. Susceptibility to weight gain, as noted by a study of over 9,000 children monitored since birth, can stem from habits developed early in life (even in the womb). An early warning checklist was created for parents. The seven factors include:
(i) Early size, (ii) Early body fat, (iii) High birth weight, (iv) Having obese parents, (v) Quick growth from ages 1-2, (vi) Watching more than eight hours of TV a week, and (vii) Getting less than 10.5 hours of sleep at night. Lifestyle choices were also shown to be a contributing factor in childhood obesity. (Reilly et al., [2005]. Early life risk factors for obesity in childhood: cohort study British Medical Journal May 20, 2005.)

Dr. W Straight Talk: If we try to grow a garden in the backyard, we soon learn that we better fertilize, water and weed it or we end up with disease ridden, insect infested plants overtaken by weeds. Nothing good happens without concerted effort. So too, with children. They need careful attention and intelligent nurturing or we give them a legacy of disease. If you love your children, you do not show that by letting them do as they choose and stuff themselves with starch and sugars and then go sit in front of the television while swilling pop.

Vitamin E Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk in Half
The main components of vitamin E, alpha and gamma tocopherol appear to reduce the risk of prostate cancer by nearly 50 percent. Results from an Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene* Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study indicated that men with the highest levels of alpha-tocopherol in their blood at baseline were about 50 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer than those with the lowest level of the vitamin, but it also showed:

        (Journal of the National Cancer Institute March 2, 2005; 97[5]:396-399)

Dr. W Straight Talk: In a previous article in the e-HL you might recall a study that received widespread publicity about how vitamin E supplements were linked to increased mortality. Although that study was flawed in many respects, here is yet more evidence of the benefits of the vitamin. But this won’t receive headline news. Figure it.

Doctor Education
Patient care does not improve based on a doctor’s experience and age according to researchers who analyzed 62 studies conducted over the last four decades. Nearly 75% of the studies showed older doctors were less likely to:

Results of a 2000 study with over 4,500 internists, cardiologists, and family doctors found that patient mortality increased 0.5% for every year after graduation. A potential solution is continuing education to help keep doctors informed and up to date. (Annals of Internal Medicine, Feb 15, 2005, Volume 142, Issue 4, pp.260-273)

Dr. W Straight Talk: I don’t believe this study for many reasons. For one, medical intervention is the number one killer. Secondly, young doctors tend to use 10 medications for one condition while more seasoned physicians tend to use one medication for 10 conditions. The inference from the above study would lead one to believe that a new graduate who just emerged from being buried in academic books is more competent than a physician with experience. That would contradict everything we know about experience and wisdom. The only reason to believe these results would be if older doctors have shifted their focus from compassion to profit and simply do what is in their best economic interests rather than what is in the patient’s health interests.

Flavonols may impact brain functioning
Cocoa flavonols*, already shown to benefit heart health, may also have an impact on the brain. In a study on 16 healthy young women, the researcher tested the brain’s activation during cognitive tasks using functional MRI. The subjects consumed the flavonol-rich cocoa drink (150 mg of flavonols), once a day for five days prior to the study.
“We found that high cocoa flavonol drink was associated with a higher blood flow response to selective areas of the brain”, concluded the study. Two other independent studies have shown that (a) similar increases in blood flow can be achieved among people with diabetes, thereby suggesting that cocoa flavanols could aid in treatment of serious vascular complications associated with long-term diabetes; and (b) specific cocoa molecules were also identified in reduced platelet aggregation which may have potential benefits for those at risk of heart disease and stroke.

Dr. W Straight Talk: It is hard to find a food plant that does not have health-active molecules. We are genetically adapted to natural foods - not synthetic foods or drugs - and it is from them that we have our best prospects for prevention and healing. This study is not a reason to gorge on sugar-laden chocolate, since the benefits of cocoa could be offset by such ingredients. Find a healthy chocolate, not a mere candy.

Fructose in soft drinks linked to body fat increase
Drinking large amounts of beverages containing fructose* adds body fat, and might explain why sweetening with fructose could be even worse than using other sweeteners. The marked increase in the prevalence of obesity in the United States has recently been attributed to the increased fructose consumption. A new study observed an increase in body fat in subjects that drank the fructose-sweetened water and soft drinks compared to controls. The findings suggest that the total amount of calories consumed when fructose is added to diets may not be the only explanation for weight gain. Fructose consumption appears to affect metabolic rate in a way that favors fat storage. The researchers now also believe that another factor contributing to the increased fat storage is that the liver metabolizes fructose differently than it does other carbohydrates. "Similar to dietary fat, fructose doesn't appear to fully trigger the hormonal systems involved in the long-term control of food intake and energy metabolism," concludes the study. (Jürgens, et al. [2005]. Consuming Fructose-sweetened Beverages Increases Body Adiposity in Mice. Obesity Research 13:1146- 1156.)

Dr. W Straight Talk: Fructose is the predominant sugar in fruits, a natural food that is not only not harmful, but immensely beneficial. But if fructose is isolated and consumed in large doses, all bets are off. If you would like to strip some pounds off, drink water, not fruit juice or sweetened beverages. Drink about a gallon of pure water a day that is alkalinized and you will also experience a host of health benefits. If you would like some fructose, eat whole, fresh (organic if possible) fruit.

Early nutrient deficiency may increase adolescent violence
Malnutrition in the first few years of life leads to antisocial and aggressive behavior throughout childhood and late adolescence, report US researchers. Deficiency in iron*, protein and B vitamins* in infancy can cause behavior problems right up until the end of teenage years. Diet plays a role in preventing antisocial behavior. "Identifying the early risk factors for this behavior in childhood and adolescence is an important first step for developing successful prevention programs for adult violence," explained the lead author of the study. Compared to those in the control group, the malnourished children showed a 41 per cent increase in aggression at age eight, a 10 per cent increase in aggression and delinquency at age 11 and a 51 per cent increase in violent and antisocial behavior at age 17. While social class did not play a significant factor in behavior, intelligence level did. "Poor nutrition, characterized by zinc, iron, vitamin B and protein deficiencies, leads to low IQ, which leads to later antisocial behavior - these are all nutrients linked to brain development," the study concluded. Researchers also found that the more indicators of malnutrition there were, the greater the antisocial behavior. (American Journal of Psychiatry [Nov 2004]. V. 161 pp. 2005-2013. )

Dr. W Straight Talk: Growing bodies and minds need excellent nutrition. Instead, children are given whatever “they want.” If there are behavior problems, gosh, maybe they need a therapist or Ritalin. How crazy. If you love your kids, feed them right and give them a chance to develop their full potential.

Coffee consumption and heart disease risk
The new association between coffee consumption and coronary heart disease found that heavy coffee consumption does increase the short-term risk of acute myocardial infarction or coronary death, independent of the brewing method or currently recognized risk factors for coronary heart disease. The study concludes that coffee consumption in excess of 800 ml per day results in a substantial increase in the risk of acute myocardial infarction in middle aged men. (Journal of Nutrition [Aug 2004]. Vol.148 [9].)

Dr. W Straight Talk: Although coffee comes from a natural plant, brewing it creates a totally artificial and unnatural substance. It is laced with chemicals and is strongly addictive and mood altering. In effect, it is a drug. Why on earth would there not be health problems associated with it? There is nothing of benefit coffee does for you that some fresh natural food and exercise would not.

Maternal diet may contribute to child leukemia risk
The diet of women prior to pregnancy may contribute to the risk level of their children developing acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common childhood cancer and the second most common cause of mortality in children aged 1-14. Based on recent studies indicating that the disease can originate in the womb, this study examined the diets of women 12 months prior to pregnancy using a 76-item food questionnaire. They concluded that consumption of vegetables, fruits, and protein sources, as well as provitamin A carotenoids and the antioxidant glutathione were all inversely related to the development of childhood leukemia. (Jensen et al., [2005]. Maternal Dietary Risk Factors in Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia [United States]. Cancer Causes and Control. V.15 [6]. pp. 559 – 570)

Dr. W Straight Talk: It is a sad fact that when many women get pregnant, rather than really reflecting on the quality of the food they eat, they just start eating more of the same old processed junk food fare. Pregnancy is an ethical responsibility to nurture the child properly. Losing a child due to leukemia or some other preventable disease is an immense tragedy. But mothers will never be told it was their fault, but rather that the child’s disease is "just one of those things." No it's not, as the above study and countless others demonstrate.