September 2008 Healthwatch
Stay up-to-date on the latest health and nutrition information with Virtual Health Info's monthly HealthWatch bulletin, America's premier source for health information. The September issue of HealthWatch features the following articles:The Importance Of Strong Immunity and National Cancer Institute Encourages Eating Blue And Purple Fruits And Vegetables
Click here for more information.
The Importance Of Strong Immunity
When the seasons change from summer to fall and children go back to school, the chances of getting a cold are increased. That's why it's important to do all we can to stay healthy and fit by bolstering the body's defenses.
The body's defenses are influenced by the strength of our immunity. The strength of our immune system determines our ability to resist infection and suppress the growth of abnormal cells. It's the key to fighting every kind of insult to the body; from those little scratches kids get on the playground to the massive amount of viruses that constantly try to invade us. Even the aging process may be related to deteriorating immunity.
Several factors reduce the strength of our immune system such as poor nutrition, stress, environmental pollutants, and overexposure to the intake of drugs and chemicals from processed foods. Click here for more information.
National Cancer Institute Encourages Eating Blue And Purple Fruits And Vegetables
The National Cancer Institute (NCI), the national health authority that encourages all Americans to eat 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day to promote health and reduce risk of cancer and other chronic diseases, is strongly urging all Americans to eat blue and purple fruits and vegetables. This is because fruits such as blueberries, acai, and pomegranate containdisease-fighting phytochemicals such as anthocyanins and phenolics. NCI states that anthocyanins and phenolics are powerful antioxidants that help reduce the risk of such diseases as cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer's. They may even help to slow the aging process. NCI also encourages eating a wide variety of other colorful foods in order to take advantage of other types of healthful phytonutrients they contain. For more information go to www.5aday.gov.
Antioxidant Rich Green Tea May Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk
According to a recent study conducted by researchers at Japan's National Cancer Center in Tokyo, drinking green tea may reduce the risk of advanced prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer, other than skin cancer, among men in the United States. According to the details of the report, men who drank five or more cups of the antioxidant rich beverage might halve the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer compared with those who drank less than one cup a day. The study compiled data from 50,000 men aged 40-69, over a period of up to 14 years from 1990. Although the data is promising, more research is needed to confirm these findings. For more information go to the American Journal of Epidemiology, January 2008.
Micronutrients Help Women's Health and Immune Function According to Review
In a 2001 review article appearing in the journal Nutrition, author Adrianne Bendich summarizes the role of a colleague who researched the impact of nutrition on women's health. Lawrence J. Machlin spent the bulk of his career elucidating the roles of nutrients in optimizing human health, including the support of research in the areas of women's health and immune function. His research found that several essential nutrients have been shown to affect women's health throughout the different stages of their life. One such nutrient is calcium. Calcium supplementation plays a role in significantly reducing physical and emotional issues relating to premenstrual syndrome. It also has a role in preventing osteoporosis. In addition, he found evidence that multivitamins and antioxidant micronutrients enhance many aspects of immune response such as lymphocyteproliferative responses. To learn more about the health findings of Lawrence J. Machlin go to the journal Nutrition, October 2001.
Antioxidants and Health
Just like rust on a car, oxidation can damage our body's cells and may contribute to the breakdown of healthy immunity and speed up the aging process. Oxidation happens as the result of damaging free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that form in the body as a result of normal body metabolism, over-exercise, stress, being exposed to dirty air and other environmental pollutants.
Antioxidants help prevent oxidation by counteracting free radicals.* They do this by binding to them and transforming them into non-damaging compounds. Consequently, antioxidants are integral in supporting the body's natural defense system.*
Powerful antioxidants include vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, selenium, Coenzyme Q10, and garlic. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and green tea all contain antioxidants as well. These important nutrients and foods support a healthy body in the production of healthy cells which is the best strategy for protection against free radical damage and consequently the development of serious health challenges.
As we age, free radical levels in the body increase so that a continuous intake of antioxidants is important to assure overall health and protection. Antioxidant intake along with exercise, a positive attitude and an overall healthful diet are invaluable tools to defend against cell damage and prolong a healthy life, full life.
*These statements have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease.
This notice is required by the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
Antioxidant Rich Green Tea May Reduce Prostate Cancer Risk
According to a recent study conducted by researchers at Japan's National Cancer Center in Tokyo, drinking green tea may reduce the risk of advanced prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer, other than skin cancer, among men in the United States. According to the details of the report, men who drank five or more cups of the antioxidant rich beverage might have the risk of developing advanced prostate cancer compared with those who drank less than one cup a day. The study compiled data from 50,000 men aged 40-69 over a period of up to 14 years from 1990. Although the data is promising more research is needed to confirm these findings. For more information go to the American Journal of Epidemiology, January 2008.
Guarana Seed Extracts Possess Strong Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Activity
In a recent scientific research study conducted in Slovenia, extracts of guarana seed were analyzed by high performance chromatography and evaluated to determine their antioxidant and free radical-scavenging abilities. Guarana grows in Brazil and is known to boost energy levels, since its main ingredient is guaranine, a chemical identical to caffeine. Results of the study suggest that seed extracts of guarana possess strong antimicrobial and antioxidant properties, and they can therefore be considered for use in the food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries. For more information go to the journal Food Chemistry, Volume 104, Issue 3, pages 1258-1268, 2007. Click here for more information.