News on Health & Science

For Some, Key to Health Is Mind Over Medicine

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At 81, Carmela Hilbert has chronic heart problems and neuropathy in her feet. Yet, she says, in some ways she’s never felt better.

“I think a lot of it has to with attitude,” Hilbert explains. “I think a lot of it has to do with learning — with the fact that you never stop trying something new.”

The newest thing she’s trying is meditation. She walks in a specially built meditation circle called a labyrinth every day near her Bedford, Mass., home.

“You come out of that with a feeling of relaxation and peace that’s very helpful,” she says.

It also helps alleviate pain and symptoms from her ailments, she adds.

Like Hilbert, millions of senior citizens are frustrated with conventional medicine. In fact, research shows more than 60 percent of adults have turned to non-conventional therapy like meditation, perhaps because 30 percent believe traditional medicine can’t help them.

They’re flocking to programs offering spiritual wellness — like meditation, yoga and tai chi.

Frank Rinato, 73, has been practicing tai chi in Brooklyn for 11 years.

“I’ve had bursitis, arthritis, the gout, and I don’t have any of it now,” he says.

Ruth Mitchell, 86, practices with Rinato.

“You know, at one time I felt, ‘Well, this is my life and that’s it,’ ” she says. “But I feel alive again.”

Going Mainstream

None of these therapies is new, but in the past five years mainstream medicine has started giving them scientific attention and support. And insurers are starting to cover the new approaches, looking for ways to contain the rising costs of standard medical treatments.

In 1999, the National Institutes of Health created a Center for Alternative Medicine to study nonconventional treatments. This year, the institute has a $122 million budget.

Dr. Herbert Benson, the president of the Mind/Body Medical Institute and a Harvard Medical School associate professor, has studied the body’s “relaxation response” for nearly 40 years. He says it’s so important because more than 60 percent of visits to the doctor are stress related.

“Thirty-five years ago, mind/body medicine was considered off the radar, flaky,” he says. “Now, there are sufficient data to point out that mind/body medicine can be effective in a number of different conditions in which surgeries and medications are ineffective.”

Academic researchers have recently found that meditation may provide a broad array of benefits — everything from relieving pain to fighting the flu. But many of the studies are preliminary. And skeptics warn against seeing these treatments as a panacea.

Richard Sloan, a professor of psychiatry at Columbia University says it is fine for patients to pray or meditate if it makes them feel better.

But he adds, “The question is whether there’s any evidence that it has any medical benefit, and the answer generally is ‘No, it doesn’t have any particular medical benefit.’ ”

Tell that to Hilbert.

“Meditation gives me the energy and the strength to do all the things I do in my life,” she says, “and my life is very full.”

Source:ABC News

Ailmemts & Remedies

Cancer Prevention

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Lifestyle choices are thought to contribute to about 75% of all cancer cases. The strategies

you can adopt to lower your risk of developing the disease range from getting regular

screening exams to boosting your intake of cancer-fighting antioxidants.

Change in bladder or bowel habits.
Sore, scab, or ulcer that won’t heal.
Unusual bleeding or discharge.
Thickening or lump in the breast or anywhere beneath the skin.
Recurring indigestion or difficulty in swallowing.
Obvious change in a mole or wart, including bleeding.
Nagging cough or hoarseness, or coughing up blood.
Unexplained weight loss or fatigue.

When to Call Your Doctor
If you develop any of the symptoms of cancer, and they don’t go away on their own within two weeks.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
What It Is
Almost every cell in the body is replaced regularly, and within each cell is a code that
tells it how and when to multiply and when to die. Cancer occurs when something goes wrong with this process, allowing cells to develop abnormally and grow uncontrollably. As these cells proliferate and spread, they damage healthy tissue, blood vessels, and nerves.
Fortunately, in many cases the body is able to identify these changes and destroy the
abnormal cells before they become a threat to health.

What Causes It
Tobacco smoke, excessive exposure to radiation (from X rays or the ultraviolet light of the sun), some industrial chemicals, certain viruses, and some hormones all increase your risk of cancer. Heredity and dietary choices also play a major role in cancer risk: Excessive
amounts of fat, alcohol, and pickled and smoked foods may contribute to cancer, just as fiber, certain nutrients, and fruits and vegetables help protect against it
Not everyone exposed to cancer-causing agents, however, will be affected by the disease. A major factor in the development of cancer appears to be the immune system’s ability to
detect and destroy free radicals, unstable oxygen molecules that cause cell damage.

, compounds produced by the body or derived from food and supplements, can inactivate free radicals and aid the immune system in eradicating early cancer cells.

How Supplements Can Help
Though not a substitute for poor lifestyle choices, supplements may help protect against a variety of cancers. Taking several antioxidants daily is the first line of defense. Vitamin
C with flavonoids play a role in preventing many cancers, such as those of the lung,
esophagus, stomach, bladder, cervix, and colon. Vitamin E may reduce the risk of breast,
colon, prostate, and possibly other cancers. Recent research suggests that antioxidants
protect against cervical cancer. In one study, women with cervical cancer had very low blood levels of vitamin E and carotenoids (such as beta-carotene and lycopene) compared with women who did not have the disease.
The mineral selenium shows promise as a weapon against a number of cancers as well. Taking

200 mcg of selenium a day was shown to reduce cancer risk by 39% and cut the risk of dying from the disease nearly in half in a study of 1,300 people. Because the participants were mostly men, more studies are needed to see if these results apply to women.
For additional protection, the nutritional supplements green tea extract and grape seed
extract may help prevent a host of cancers, including lung, breast, stomach, colon,
prostate, and skin. Though it’s not an antioxidant, flaxseed oil is important because it
contains compounds called lignans, which may protect against breast, colon, and prostate

If you wish, you can add the nutrient coenzyme Q10 and the amino acid glutathione, both of which also support the immune system. Take carotenoids only if you don’t eat many fruits and vegetables. These substances — which represent the yellow, orange, and red pigments in fruits and vegetables — help prevent a number of cancers. For example, the carotenoid lycopene (which gives tomatoes their red color) is particularly beneficial in warding off lung and prostate cancers.

What Else You Can Do
Don’t smoke or chew tobacco. Drink alcohol only in moderation.
Eat a diet low in saturated fat and high in fiber. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans. Shield yourself from the sun and wear sunscreen when outdoors.
Exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
Schedule regular physical exams and screening tests, such as Pap smears, mammograms, and skin examinations. If cancer develops, catching it and treating it early increase your
chance of full recovery.
Eating plenty of tofu and other soy products may help prevent cancer. Animal studies show that a compound in soy called genistein blocks the production of certain proteins that help cancer cells thrive.
Getting an adequate daily amount of calcium may reduce your risk of colon cancer. The
mineral appears to neutralize bile acids in the colon. Without calcium, these digestive
substances can be altered by intestinal bacteria and then cause abnormal cell changes that may eventually lead to cancer.

Supplement Recommendations

Vitamin C/Flavonoids
Vitamin E
Green Tea Extract
Grape Seed Extract
Flaxseed Oil
Coenzyme Q10

Vitamin C/Flavonoids
Dosage: 1,000 mg vitamin C and 500 mg flavonoids 3 times a day.
Comments: Reduce vitamin C dose if diarrhea develops.

Vitamin E
Dosage: 400 IU a day.
Comments: Check with your doctor if taking anticoagulant drugs.

Dosage: 400 mcg a day.
Comments: Don’t exceed 600 mcg daily; higher doses may be toxic.

Green Tea Extract
Dosage: 250 mg twice a day.
Comments: Standardized to contain at least 50% polyphenols.

Grape Seed Extract
Dosage: 100 mg each morning.
Comments: Standardized to contain 92%-95% proanthocyanidins.

Flaxseed Oil

Dosage: 1 tbsp. (14 grams) a day.
Comments: Can be mixed with food; take in the morning.

Coenzyme Q10
Dosage: 50 mg each morning.
Comments: For best absorption, take with food.

Dosage: 100 mg L-glutathione each morning.
Comments: Take with food to minimize stomach irritation.

Dosage: 1 pill mixed carotenoids a day with food.
Comments: Each pill should supply 25,000 IU vitamin A activity.

Source:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs (Reader’s Digest)

News on Health & Science

For Heart Patients, Angina Is the Price for Living Longer

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Despite great strides in heart disease treatment, and perhaps paradoxically because of them, chest pain is on the rise.

More people visit emergency rooms for chest pain each year than for any other symptom except abdominal complaints. The American Heart Association estimates that 6.8 million Americans have the chronic, stable form of angina pectoris: chest discomfort caused by reduced coronary blood flow.

Unstable angina, the more worrisome cousin of stable angina, led to more than three-quarters of a million hospitalizations in 2001, the latest numbers available.

Researchers expect the number of Americans living with angina to grow as new treatments improve survival after heart attacks. ”This is the price of success,” said Dr. Eugene Braunwald of Harvard Medical School. ”Many of those people who would have died are your patients with angina.”

But experts say common drugs that can relieve angina are often ignored in favor of more aggressive approaches like bypass surgery or stenting, the insertion of wire mesh tubes that prop open narrowed coronary arteries. At the same time, cardiologists have realized that such treatments, while effective at alleviating chest pain, do not reduce the risk of heart attacks for most stable angina patients.

”A lot of people come away and think, I got the surgery; I’m cured,” said Dr. Stephen Glasser of the University of Minnesota. ”Often that’s not the case.”

Angina is often considered to be the signature of a sedentary modern lifestyle. But in 1772, Dr. William Heberden, an English physician, described 20 patients who suffered from ”a painful and most disagreeable sensation in the breast, which seems as if it would extinguish life, if it were to increase or to continue.”

Such patients, Dr. Heberden wrote, ”are seized while they are walking (more especially if it be uphill, and soon after eating).’

”But the moment they stand still,” he continued, ”all this uneasiness vanishes.”

In fact, exercise is one of what doctors call the four E’s of angina. The others are eating, emotional stress and exposure to cold. All increase the heart’s workload

In healthy people, the coronary blood vessels respond, supplying the heart with extra fuel in the form of oxygen. But ”if one or two fuel lines get narrowed,” said Dr. Bertram Pitt of the University of Michigan, ”that engine starts to sputter.”

The result is often angina.

Episodes of stable angina usually develop slowly and last two to five minutes. Discomfort may radiate to the neck, shoulders or back. Shortness of breath is common.

A sudden change in this pattern suggests unstable angina. Pain that occurs without exertion, lasts longer than 10 minutes, or is not relieved by rest or nitroglycerin signals a higher risk for a heart attack.

”Call 911 and get to the hospital,” said Dr. Braunwald, who was chairman of a national committee that developed guidelines for treatment of unstable angina.

Sometimes, a diagnosis of angina can be missed. This is particularly likely, experts say, in women, who tend to experience symptoms different from men’s. When Elizabeth Barnes, a retired gunnery instructor in San Mateo, Calif., developed chest pain three years ago, for example, a cardiologist told her she had indigestion.

A stress test was negative. But a second test eventually revealed ischemia, restricted blood flow to her heart.

”You feel as if your chest is going to cave in sometimes,” said Ms. Barnes, who is 83. ”It was a scary feeling.”

Three classes of medication can quickly ease the symptoms of angina. Nitrates like nitroglycerin widen the heart’s fuel lines by relaxing blood vessels. Beta blockers decrease the heart’s workload. Calcium antagonists — verapamil or nifedipine, for example — have both effects.

But doctors often favor high-tech treatments over these familiar drugs, said Dr. Jonathan Abrams of the University of New Mexico, who was an author of the national guidelines for treating stable angina.

”They’re so standard they’re like your old family relatives,” Dr. Abrams said.

In a recent study of 693 heart disease patients, 510 of them with stable angina, Dr. Samer Jabbour, of the Lown Cardiovascular Research Foundation in Brookline, Mass., and his colleagues found that in a majority of cases, intensive medical treatment and reduction of the risk factors for heart disease allowed patients safely to postpone or avoid bypass surgery or stenting. The study appeared in the Feb. 1 issue of The American Journal of Cardiology.

If medications fail, the next step may be bypass surgery, in which healthy blood vessels are stitched onto the heart to bypass diseased vessels, or angioplasty, using a catheter to force open blocked vessels from the inside, sometimes followed by stenting. For unstable angina patients and a minority of stable angina patients with certain types of artery blockage, such interventions can be lifesaving. But patients should realize that these procedures do nothing to treat dangerous cholesterol plaques elsewhere in the heart’s blood vessels.

Since undergoing angioplasty three years ago, for example, Ms. Barnes has had little chest discomfort. But her doctor continues to prescribe heart disease medications.

Patients with angina can reduce their risk of a heart attack with a variety of medications, including aspirin and other drugs that prevent clotting, and statins, which lower L.D.L., the so-called bad cholesterol. Statins, studies show, may slow, stabilize or even reverse cholesterol buildup in the coronary arteries and over time may even decrease angina pain. National treatment guidelines also recommend dieting, exercising and quitting smoking, as well as keeping diabetes and blood pressure in check.

New anti-angina drugs, including nicorandil, already allowed in Europe, and ranolazine, still in clinical trials, may offer more options if they are approved here.

Meanwhile, Barbara Fletcher, president of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association, suggests that patients recognize situations that set off their angina and use their medicine properly.

”We can’t cure everything,” Ms. Fletcher said. ”We have to help these patients learn to manage their daily lives.”

Source:The New York Times

Advice against Health Hazards


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It’s never too late to quit smoking, but unfortunately a tobacco addiction is one of the most difficult habits to overcome. A number of natural supplements can boost your chances of success by helping you cope with cravings and reducing the anxiety that often accompanies quitting.


Persistent cough or recurring bouts of bronchitis or pneumonia.
Hoarseness, sore throat, bad breath, yellowed teeth.
Premature graying, balding, wrinkling of the skin.
Impotence and many additional complaints.

When to Call Your Doctor

If you develop symptoms of a serious smoking-related illness: pains in your chest or upper back; chronic wheezing or coughing; pink or blood-tinged mucus; or persistent sores or white patches on the mouth, tongue, or throat.
If you need help quitting.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

What It Is
Though not considered an illness per se, smoking is a habit with serious health consequences. Within minutes of lighting a cigarette or cigar, blood pressure and pulse rate rise, and oxygen levels in the body drop. After several months of smoking, cough, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath, and other symptoms can appear. Over the long term, smoking can lead to cancer, chronic lung disorders, heart disease, and stroke.

What Causes it
Why do so many people continue to smoke despite the health risks? Because smoking is an extremely powerful addiction. Not only does nicotine, the addictive drug in tobacco, cause physical effects throughout the body, but it goes almost straight to the brain, where it temporarily lifts spirits and soothes anxiety. The social rituals associated with lighting up also work to calm anxieties. When you stop smoking, nicotine levels drop, and jittery feelings accompany a range of physical complaints.

How Supplements Can Help
Various supplements may help soothe the frazzled nerves and powerful cravings that afflict those trying to kick the smoking habit. Used for several weeks or months, they can help smokers through this difficult time. All can be taken with other stop-smoking aids, such as a nicotine patch or gum, and under your doctor’s supervision, with antidepressant drugs.

What Else You Can Do
Consider nicotine gums or patches, the antidepressant drug bupropion, acupuncture treatment, or hypnosis. All can reduce cravings.
Exercise to cut down on stress. A brisk walk can also help overcome an intense craving, which usually lasts only a few minutes.
Eat a well-balanced diet and take a high-potency multivitamin daily. This can help boost your natural production of acetylcholine and reduce your need to smoke. The up feeling smoking produces comes from nicotine and other compounds that mimic the effects of the brain chemical acetylcholine, which plays a vital role in mental alertness and memory.
Many people put off quitting for fear of gaining weight. To help keep pounds off (and stay off cigarettes), exercise regularly and keep your hands busy. Try munching on healthy rabbit food — carrots, celery, cucumbers, and the like. In addition, pursue hobbies such as painting, knitting, or woodworking.
Reduce your intake of alcohol. Researchers have long known that drinkers tend to smoke more than nondrinkers and that drinking often serves as a social cue to smoke. Now, a Purdue University study shows that in smokers, alcohol can actually increase the craving to smoke.

Supplement Recommendations

Vitamin B Complex
Vitamin C
Baking Soda
Oat Extract

Pantothenic Acid

Vitamin B Complex
Dosage: 1 pill twice a day with food.
Comments: Look for a B-50 complex with 50 mcg vitamin B12 and biotin; 400 mcg folic acid; and 50 mg all other B vitamins.

Vitamin C

Dosage: 2,000 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Will likely loosen stools at this dosage. Use buffered powder form for reduced stomach irritation and for convenience.

Baking Soda
Dosage: 1 tsp. in a glass of water twice a day.

Oat Extract
Dosage: 1/2 tsp. tincture 4 times a day.

Dosage: 250 mg 3 times a day.
Comments: Standardized to contain at least 30% kavalactones.

Dosage: 500 mg twice a day between meals.
Comments: Long-term use can cause liver damage and other serious side effects; physician monitoring is necessary during treatment.

Pantothenic Acid
Dosage: 500 mg twice a day.
Comments: Use calcium pantothenate, the least expensive form.

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose.

Source:   Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs

Positive thinking

Fulfillment Of Deep and Earnest Desire

If we earnestly want something and motivate our mind deeply to get it with all our heart, we are never disheartened. We fail to achieve or get what we want when the desire is not so deep.

The law of attraction is surprisingly simple: Like attracts like. It becomes a bit more complicated when it comes to training our minds to think in ways that will bring what we desire into our lives. The term “self-fulfilling prophecy” describes the same law. This well-known term explains that we create the circumstances our mind dwells upon, whether positive or negative. So our goal is to practice consistent presence of mind to make sure our thoughts are always directed toward the positive and that which we want to create.

A key to the process is the word “frequency.” This is true for two reasons: 1) The frequency you use when you passionately dwell upon or revisit a thought, dream, desire or goal provides the energy your musings need for creation; and 2) just like a radio station broadcasts on a certain frequency, like the radio you must be “tuned in” to receive it. This means preparing for the arrival of your dream on every possible level—material, physical, and spiritual. You don’t have to know how it will come into your life, just trust that it will. Your job is to lay the groundwork, follow any leads you can find, and prepare for its arrival. This can mean cleaning out your garage to make space for a new car, taking a tour of a model home to get the feel of it in order to feed your fantasies, or thinking of what you want in a mate and then living up to that list yourself.

Just like with any skill, the law of attraction must be practiced. We must decide what makes us feel abundant, and use our imagination to create the feeling. It isn’t enough to just want something; you must use the power of your thoughts to attract it. A series of choices is what brings us everything in our lives right now, every moment. When we know the direction we want our choices to take us, it is as if we’ve placed an order with the universe. Then we can await its arrival with joyful anticipation. If we find ways to experience our dreams right now, we make creating joy a treasure hunt in which the seeking is just as much fun as the finding.

Source:Daily Om