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Life Line Screening Friday Roundup Post: Heart Health, Infections & Cancer and Boosting Brain Power with Exercise

admin - May 11, 2012



Friday Roundup:

 

The Worst Habits for Your Heart

Did you know that flossing your teeth helps to keep your heart healthy and reduces your risk of heart disease? Or that spending too much time in front of the television as opposed to exercising can be a fatal habit? Or that cultivating an optimistic outlook on life may cut heart disease and stroke danger by as much as 50%? How about that eating fiber-rich foods could add years to your life? These surprising and easily adaptable lifestyle changes are all written about by Yahoo’s health correspondent, Lisa Collier Cool, in a recent article we thought you should be aware of. Since May is National Stroke Awareness Month, the optimism angle seems especially promising as a means to defeat the fourth largest killer of adult men and women in America, and what could be better than defeating a crippling disease through the power of smiles and happiness!

You can read the full article on habits for your heart by visiting this website page:
http://health.yahoo.net/experts/dayinhealth/worst-habits-your-heart
 

Infections Today Cause One in Six Cancer Cases

A recent study published by the journal The Lancet Oncology and reported on the CNN site reveals some shocking statistics that everyone needs to keep in mind – one in six cancer cases globally are caused by infections, many of which are preventable or treatable by medicine. The research blames many of these cancer cases on the Human papillomavirus, as well as hepatitis B, hepatitis C and the stomach bacterium known as Helicobacter pylori. Both HPV and hepatitis B can be prevented through a vaccine, while hepatitis C cannot be vaccinated against but can be treated. A powerful antibiotic cocktail is being used to address Helicobacter pylori, which so far has not prevented the bacterial infection from causing gastric cancer, although this is the hope of researching clinicians.

How do medical researchers know if cancers are caused by an infectious disease? Viruses such as HPV and Hepatitis B & C actually invade a person’s DNA and leave their signature in the genetic sequences, to be found later. Helicobacter pylori does not leave these genetic markings, but the bacterium can be found in gastric tumors. Of course, more studies need conducted, but the understanding that infection and even inflammation can stimulate cancer development is a bold move forward in our battle against cancer’s terrible legacy.

You can read the full article on infections and cancer by visiting this website page:
http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2012/05/08/infections-cause-one-in-six-cancer-cases/?hpt=he_c2

 

Exercising Your Muscles Can Boost Your Brain Power

It’s always exciting and encouraging to learn good news about health habits that keep one in better condition longer throughout life, especially if those habits are intentional and prove to be ones that just about everybody can do. A recent article in the New York Times trumpets the effects running and other endurance-based exercises can have on the increase in the number of neurons in the brain that are dedicated to memory and learning – very good news for men and women as they advance in years.

The researchers in the study were especially interested in the possibility that the action which creates these new neurons may be starting outside the brain – and specifically in the muscles. “We wondered whether peripheral triggers might be activating the cellular and molecular cascades in the brain that lead to improvements in cognition,” says Henriette van Praag, the investigator at the National Institute on Aging who led the study. Muscles are, as everyone knows, greatly influenced by exercise. Muscle cells respond to exercise by pumping out a variety of substances that result in larger, stronger muscles. Some of those compounds might be entering the bloodstream and traveling to the brain, Dr. van Praag theorizes.

Although the exact process for the neuron generation isn’t clearly understood, at least yet, Dr. van Praag speculates that some of the AMPK enzyme created during exercise enters the bloodstream and travels to the brain, setting off a series of new reactions there that lead to the creation of more neurons for memory-based and learning-based activities. The moral here? You don’t need to understand how car works to drive one; in the same way, we may not understand for a long while HOW this process works, but everyone needs to be doing some form of endurance exercise several times each week – walking, running, jogging, biking, swimming, dancing. Great news as spring and then summer come around this year!

You can read the entire article on endurance exercise and mental functioning by visiting this website page:
http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/05/09/how-working-the-muscles-may-boost-brainpower/?ref=health




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