3.29.2007

How Well Do You Know Your Skin

The largest by far of our body organs, skin ranks among the least understood by most people. Most of us know about UVB radiation causing skin cancer, but not so many know that that is only when an excessive amount of sunlight strikes the skin over a long period of time. At that, only after many years does the cancer appear, often as much as two decades. Skin cancer mostly appears at the former sites of bad sunburns.

Many know that our skin needs sunlight-about 10 to 15 minutes of direct sunlight per day-in order that our bodies can make vitamin D, which we can't do on our own. Vitamin D, among its many purposes, keeps us from suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), a condition we might call depression or the winter blahs because those of us in cold climates tend to stay inside more when the outside is cold.
SAD is a real threat for almost everyone in areas that get very cold in winter. Even in the middle of the day, when sunlight is brightest, we can't get enough ultraviolet radiation to help us make the vitamin D we require for good physical and emotional health because of the sun's low angle. We must either supplement with OTC (over the counter) tablets of vitamin D or use a lamp that mimics the sun by
giving off UV rays directly onto our skin.

The amount of vitamin D supplement varies considerably from one person to another. Not enough has been studied of the effects of low levels of vitamin D in our systems to know how many of the eccentric, obsessive or just excessive behaviors we see during winter in people who live in cold climates may be attributed directly to vitamin D deficiency.

Nor do we know for certain how the deficiency may affect our personal relationships with spouse, family, friends or workmates. However, when something seems to be wrong about the behavior of someone close to us during the wintertime, a suggestion to consult a doctor or pharmacist about taking a vitamin D supplement might be in order.

Every time we look into a mirror we see this large body organ, our skin, but we tend to think of what we see as "me" rather than as one part of us that may require attention other than by using cosmetics. For example, dry skin indicates insufficient water is reaching skin cells.

Drinking more water is a more efficient and cheaper method of re-hydrating skin than covering it repeatedly with topical lotions.

Here are several more facts about skin that few people know.

The skin of an average adult weighs in at nine pounds and contains more than 11 miles of blood vessels. Its mass alone makes it worth taking
seriously.

In hot weather, the skin releases as much as three gallons (over 10 liters) of water each day in the form of sweat. (Okay, perspiration, for those more sensitive readers, but it still comes from sweat glands.) As water is the major component of every part of the body, not replacing
lost water sufficiently will impact health.

Body odor begins with the release of a different kind of sweat, a fatty liquid secreted by the apocrine glands which are found mostly around the armpits, genitals and anus. Bacteria on the skin eat the fatty stuff and leave behind a smell that is considered unpleasant in western cultures
(but not in all cultures).

Human breasts mostly consist of fat, as they are a modified form of the apocrine gland. Yes, they are mostly bags of fat.

Some people are born without skin ridges we call fingerprints. They have rare genetic defects known as Naegali syndrome or dermatopathia
pigmentosa reticularis.

Our atmosphere at any given moment contains about one billion tons of dead skin and other organic matter (such as hair). The skin of each person shucks off about 50,000 cells every minute. House dust mostly consists of dead skin cells.

The skin contains about five different kinds of receptors that account for our sense of touch. Which are the most sensitive parts of the human
body?

The lips (the most sensitive), fingertips, palms, lips, tongue, nipples, penis and clitoris have a kind of receptor known as Meissner corpuscles.
They respond to pressure as light as the weight of a fly--that's the insect variety--about 20 milligrams.

Do blind people really develop greater sensitivity to touch and hearing? The visual cortex of blind people rewires itself in the brain to respond to sounds and touch stimuli. Blind people "see" (process information coming into the brain) the world through touch and sound.

The term "in the buff" to refer to being naked began in the 17th century in England where soldiers wore leather tunics known as buffs. Their light brown color supposedly looked to some like the color of English buttocks.

White skin developed between 20,000 and 50,000 years ago when darker-skinned peoples moved to colder climates in Europe and Asia. The lighter skin color (less of the coloring agent melanin) allowed northerners to absorb more of the sun's then-precious ultraviolet, making them healthier.


Finally, a 16th century anatomy book by Andreas Vesalius, called 'De Humani Corporis Fabrica' (On the Fabric of the Human Body), had a cover topped with human skin. Harvard Law School, Brown University and the Cleveland Public Library all have books with covers topped with human skin stripped from executed prisoners or the poor.

The above article was recently found on scribd and sent to me via email. (Thanks Tatit)

3.24.2007

9 Don'ts When Sleeping

I found this circulating in emails with the subject 5 Don'ts When Sleeping and I have added some of my own:

1. Don't sleep wearing a watch.
Watches can emit a certain level of radioactivity. Though small, but if you wear your watch to bed for a long time, it might have adverse effects on your health.

2. Don't sleep wearing a bra
Scientists in America have discovered those that wear bras for more than 12 hours have a higher risk of getting breast cancer. So go to bed without it.

3. Don't sleep with the mobile phone near you
Putting the phone beside your bed or anywhere near you is not encouraged. Though some of us will use phones as alarm clocks, but please put the phone as far as possible. Scientists have proved that electrical items including mobile phone and television sets emit magnetic waves when used. These waves can cause disruptions to our nervous system. Therefore if you need to put your mobile phone near you, switch it off first.

4. Don't sleep with make up on
People who sleep with make up might have skin problems in the long run. Sleeping with make up will cause the skin to have difficulty in breathing and problem in perspiring. You will also need a much longer time to go into deep sleep.

5. Don't sleep when you just had a heavy meal.
Sleeping after eating a big meal could lead you to a disease called Gastroesophageal reflux , a common heartburn.

6. Don't drink too much water before sleeping.
The urge to urinate may interfere with your sleep.

7. If you're pregnant, don't sleep atop your stomach
But doctors say it is safe for the first 6 weeks.

8. Don't watch television before going to bed.
Research has shown that the light from the screen can disrupt your or body clock, and cause you difficulty in falling asleep.

9. Don't sleep with your shoes on.
It is best to release your feet from stress during sleep and also keep your bedsheets from getting dirt.


You have something worth adding to the list? Put it in the comments.

3.17.2007

Loose Weight By Wearing Comfortable Clothes

To burn kilojoules at work, take the stairs, not the lift, or hang up the phone and walk to your colleague's office.

Great advice, but when you're in an uncomfortable suit and tie or toe-crunching high heels, taking even one step can feel like climbing Everest. Dress less restrictively and you're more likely to move, according to a study at the University of Wisconsin.

They gave 53 people who work in bank, nursing home, schools and book-shops a pedometer to track their activity. When the workers wore jeans or khakis, cotton shirts and comfortable shoes, they took about 500 more steps and burned more kilojoules than on dressier days.

Most of us add up to one kilo a year; dressing down daily could prevent this weight gain, says lead researcher Katie Zahour, an exercise physiology graduate student.

Dress Down, Slim Down - Reader's Digest Asia

3.13.2007

Garlic Doesn't Really Lower Cholesterol

A recent study has concluded that garlic, whether fresh or in supplement form, doesn't help in lowering cholesterol. This is a disappointing news to everyone who has been depending on garlic all these years.

"We did a bigger and better trial than has ever been done before and with NIH (National Institutes of Health) funding, not with supplement-manufacturer funding. And as far as lowering cholesterol, garlic didn't work," said Christopher D. Gardner, study lead author and nutrition scientist and assistant professor with the Stanford Prevention Research Center in Stanford, Calif.
Beliefs in garlic as a cure for many serious illnesses started way back the Egyptian era and doctors have even backed up that. Don't worry, your suffering for bad breath caused by the garlic is not really gone to waste. Even if it may not lower cholesterol, it does in fact lower your blood pressure.


Study Crushes Garlic's Claim to Lower Cholesterol - Yahoo Health

Health Finds Has Been Nominated

While checking on Health Finds' external links via Google Webmasters, I noticed a link from Philippine Blog Awards and was surprised this blog got nominated. Woohoo! Thanks to all the readers and visitors of Health Finds and hope we win the award come March 31 :)

3.12.2007

Cure Diseases By Drinking Water

Water Therapy has become very popular in India and is said to cure many diseases by following a routine of drinking lots and lots of water everyday. Some of the diseases that can be cured by water therapy are headache, hypertension, diabetes, rheumatism, cough, even eye disease. Here's how to do water therapy:

  • Drink 1.5 liters of water or about 5 to 6 glasses every morning. Remember that you must not brush your teeth nor take any liquids or eat anything an hour before and after doing this.
  • Please note that you should not have taken any alcohol the previous night.
  • At first, you may find it difficult to drink 1.5 liters of water. You can take 4 glasses of water first, then make a 2-minute rest before drinking the last 2 glasses.
The following diseases can be cured within the number of days/months indicated below:

Constipation: 1 day
Acidity: 2 days
Diabetes: 7 days
Hypertension: 4 weeks
Cancer: 4 weeks
Pulminory TB: 3 months

I have personally tried this one and noticed changes in my blood pressure after doing this for 2 weeks. Now my BP's up again, I guess I got to do water therapy again.


Water Therapy From India - Anvari.org

3.11.2007

5 Ways to Prevent Migraine

Migraine is one of the ailments you wished doesn't exist. Once you're under migraine attack, you can't do anything else. Here are some tips to prevent migraine:

  1. Know what triggers your migraine. The most common triggers are the food that we eat. Some of these are chocolate, caffeine, cheese, MSG, alcohol, and bacon. Other triggers are too little or too much sleep, stress, and change of weather. If you have been experiencing migraine after you have eaten something, take note of the food that you have just taken and get rid of it the next time.
  2. Maintain regular sleep patterns. Sleep and wakeup at the same time everyday. Don't nap. Take a long sleep instead of just napping. There is a greater chance of migraine attack if you just nap for a couple of minutes compared to sleeping for a couple of hours, just don't oversleep. Also, sleep with the lights turned off. Lights can add stress to your brain that might trigger migraine.
  3. Don't skip meals. An empty stomach sometimes lead to headaches, nausea, or vomiting. Always eat the right food at the right time.
  4. Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise for at least 20-30 minutes three times a week will help reduce frequency or severity of migraine.
  5. Avoid stress. If your work is too much for you that it gives you a headache, maybe you should consider looking for another job with less stress. Also, avoid getting arguments and avoid smoking and drinking alcohol.
There's nothing better than preventing it from attacking again. As the saying goes, an once of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

3.09.2007

Why Pills Are Best Taken With Water


You may be tempted to take pills with a sip of juice, coffee or beer. Pharmacist Mary Euler explains why water is a safer bet:

Grapefruit juice. It may inhibit enzymes that help metabolise certain pills, including some heart drugs and antidepressants. That can make them less effective and worsen side effects.

Coffee, tea, cola. Consuming caffeine while using certain asthma drugs may increase side effects. Caffeine can irritate the stomach, so avoid with NSAIDS such as ibuprofen.

Milk. Calcium prevents absorption of some antibiotics.

Alcohol. You risk liver damage if you drink regularly and use acetaminophen. Alcohol can diminish the effects of antidepressants and worsen side effects of other drugs.

Cranberry juice. Reports suggest drinking it while on warfarin, an anticoagulant, may increase bleeding.

Fibre drinks. Fibre can bind with many drugs, decreasing effectiveness.

6 Ways to Strenghten Your Back

Common backaches are usually due to the wear and tear of the spine. Reader's Digest Asia has some tips to strengthen your back:

  1. Sit properly. Sit maintaining the natural curve in the small of your back. Sitting puts more pressure on the discs, which is why many people with sore backs prefer to stand.
  2. Strengthen the back muscles, or perispinals. The back muscles, along with the abdominals, work together to support your spine. It's not strength you're after but endurance. The more endurance your back muscles have, the better chance you will avoid significant back pain.
  3. Get flexible. Yoga and tai chi use deliberate breathing movements to develop flexibility. Another great exercise is swimming. Water exercises reduce the load on your back by countering the effect of gravity.
  4. Keep active. Aerobic activities such as walking and fitness classes help keep the back limber and help maintain healthy weight.
  5. Avoid standing or sitting in one position for long periods of time. Gravity compacts the spine, so get up or change positions every 20 to 30 minutes. Movement of the joints helps lubricate joint surfaces.
  6. Back off. Never overdo weekend activities. When lifting, bend at the knees, not the back, and hold the load close to your body. keep your back erect, and avoid lifting anything too heavy. Balance any load in both arms. If you're traveling with luggage, get a suitcase with wheels.

2.23.2007

Weight loss battle: Diet vs Exercise


With regards to weight loss, experts say the method doesn't matter.

A new study debunks the widely held belief that diet plus exercise is the most effective way to lose weight. Researchers report that dieting alone is just as effective as dieting plus exercise.
What matters is the amount of calories you loose. But of course exercise builds muscles that keeps you more healthy.

Diet or exercise — which is best? [MSNBC.com]

1.31.2007

A Banana A Day Keeps the Doctor Away


Ever wondered why monkeys are so happy all the time? Could it really be because of Bananas?

Benefits of eating a banana:

A Banana (Containing 3 natural sugars -- sucrose, fructose & glucose combined with fiber) = instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy

2 Bananas equals energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout!

Bananas also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions!

Seasonal Affective Disorder or Depression. - Bananas contain the natural mood enhancer Tryptophan (a type of protein that the body converts to serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and make you happier).

Anemia - High in Iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and helps cases of anemia.

Strokes - According to research in the New England Journal of Medicine, eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!

Stress - Potassium is a vital mineral which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain, and regulates the body's water balance.

Ulcers - Banana is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation
by coating the lining of the stomach.

Mosquito bites
- before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Constipation - High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

Hangovers
- Make a Banana Milkshake, sweetened with Honey. The banana calms the stomach, and with the help of honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates the system.

Blood Pressure - This is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect for blood pressure! So much so that the US Food and Drug Administration has allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Morning Sickness - Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickess.

PMS - Forget the pills, eat a banana. The Vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Warts - Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take apiece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold The skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape.

Other Benefits:

Temperature Control - Many other cultures see bananas as a cooloing fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant
mothers.

Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Brain Power - Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

FRUITS CONTENTS CONTEST:

APPLE=======================BANANAS
 X 1=========Proteins======== X 4
 X 1=========Carbohydrates==== X 2
 X 1=========Phosphorous====== X 3
 X 1=========Vitamin A======== X 5
 X 1=========Iron============ X 5
 X 1=========Minerals========= X 2

Indeed, Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time!

So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say... A Banana a day keeps the doctor away!

Source: PinoyMoneyTalk

Importance of Having Breakfast

Breakfast can help prevent strokes, heart attack and sudden death. For those who always skip breakfast, you should start kicking that habit now. You've heard many times that "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day." Now, recent research confirms that one of the worst practices you can develop may be avoiding breakfast. Why?

Because the frequency of heart attack, sudden death, and stroke peaks between 6:00a.m. and noon, with the highest incidence being between 8: 00a.m. and 10:00a.m. What mechanism within the body could account for this significant jump in sudden death in the early morning hours?

We may have an answer. Platelet, tiny elements in the blood that keep us from bleeding to Death if we get a cut, can clump together inside our arteries due to cholesterol or laque buildup in the artery lining. It is in the morning hours that platelets become the most activated and tend to form these internal blood clots at the greatest frequency.

However, eating even a very light breakfast prevents the morning platelet activation that is associated with heart attacks and strokes .

Studies performed at Memorial University in St.Johns, Newfoundland found that eating a light, very low-fat breakfast was critical in modifying the morning platelet activation. Subjects in the study consumed either low-fat or fat-free yogurt, orange juice, fruit, and a source of protein coming from yogurt or fat-free milk.

So if you skip breakfast, it's important that you change this practice immediately in light of this research.Develop a simple plan to eat cereal, such as oatmeal or Bran Flakes ,along with six ounces of grape juice or orange juice , and perhaps a piece of fruit .

This simple plan will keep your platelets from sticking together, keep blood clots from forming, and perhaps head off a potential heart attack or stroke.

So never ever skip breakfast

Source: PinoyMoneyTalk

1.22.2007

9 Body Parts You Didn't Know Had Names

We all know it as the cuticle of the fingernail, or the vertical line in the middle of the upper lip. What we didn't know is they have names too. They are called Eponychium and Philtrum, respectively. It sounds like its hard to remember and you might want to stick with the descriptions instead. Same here.


[ Cannongate ]

Cancer Deaths Dropped


In the United States, Cancer deaths dropped from 556,902 in 2003 to 553,888 in 2004. That is something most doctors and politicians are celebrating about. The death rate started dropping in 2003 although it was a small percentage compared to 2004. Doctors believed that prevention and early treatment causes the Cancer death percentage to drop.

[CNN ]

STD Vaccination To Be Made Mandatory

Girls ages 10 and up will be required to take a vaccine against a common sexually transmitted disease closely linked to cervical cancer called human papillomavirus (HPV). Gardasil, the first vaccine to fight cancer, was included for the first time in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) annual schedule of recommended childhood immunizations, released earlier this month. It will surely prevent the cause of a cervical cancer, but most people find it offensive to implement such mandatory vaccination.

There may be a real problem out there, but they should deal with the kids that have the problem, and not all the innocent children who wouldn't even think about anything close to sexual contact.
I guess it is better to be safe than really really sorry.

[ Time.com ]

Express Checkup - A head-to-toe overhaul in 15 minutes or less


By: Steve Calechman

Living longer, looking sharper, and feeling better doesn't have to be drudgery. Just look at the guys at Jiffy Lube.

We are not proposing that our coverall-clad brothers are models of health and happiness. (Heck, motor oil is a potential carcinogen.) They are, however, players in an allegory of Platonic proportions. They swap old oil for fresh 5W -30, spin on a new filter, eyeball and top off seven different fluids, inspect the air filter and belts, check tire pressure, vacuum the interior, and clean the windows--in less time than it takes to notice that the waiting room's issue of Car and Driver is from September 1983. But underneath all the axle grease, this well-choreographed performance also teaches us a valuable life lesson. It shows us that, armed with the right tools, a man can completely protect and preserve any complex piece of machinery in, yes, a jiffy. Even machinery as complex as his own body.

What you're about to read is your own rolling tool chest. Top to bottom, it contains all the right-now know-how you need to avoid a disaster down the road, look buff (and just buffed), and otherwise cruise through life--in 15 minutes or less. What's in it for us? We keep the "Girls of MasterWrench" wall calendar.


Health Message Center
Live Longer
Total time: 4 minutes, 53 seconds

Save Your Eyesight in 1 minute, 10 seconds
Carrots have the rep, but go with mangoes. They're loaded with beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, three antioxidants that protect your eyes from vision-altering free-radical damage. "We know that these antioxidants help decrease vision loss in patients with age-related macular degeneration," says Peter Kaiser, M.D., a retinal surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic. Hate mangoes? Eat a kiwi. Research shows that high blood pressure may increase the risk of blindness in old age. Kiwis are packed with potassium, a natural BP buster.

Prevent Colon Cancer in 14 seconds
Swap the Honey Barbecue Fritos for a snack that may save your life: Brazil nuts. They're the top food source of selenium, a mineral that one study showed may reduce the risk of colon cancer by as much as 60 percent. "It looks extremely promising as a way to help prevent colon cancer," says Michael Wargovich, Ph.D., director of the basic-research program at the South Carolina Cancer Center. The best news:

A couple of Brazil nuts a day will help you hit the target amount of 200 micrograms of selenium.

Ulcer-Proof Your Stomach in 49 seconds
If a type of bacteria called H. pylori is the firebug that ignites most ulcers, then a serving of broccoli sprouts is your edible sprinkler system. In a study sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences, sulforaphane--a phytochemical in the sprouts--killed off any H. pylori that was exposed to it. And while the research was done in the lab, "all indications point to sulforaphane's having a similar effect on the H. pylori in our stomachs," says Paul Talalay, M.D., a professor of pharmacology at the Johns Hopkins University medical school. Try folding sprouts into your omelettes or using them in a sandwich. (And yes, regular broccoli contains some sulforaphane, too.)

Avoid a Stroke in 24 seconds
Chug 16 ounces of orange juice (about two glasses). In a 10-year study of 2,400 men, Finnish researchers found that the men taking in 200 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C a day--the amount you get in 16 ounces of OJ--had a lower stroke risk than those taking in only 40 mg of C. Researchers attribute the reduction in risk to vitamin C's ability to minimize artery damage from free radicals, reduce blood pressure, and help control cholesterol, says Sudhir Kurl, M.D., the study's lead author.

Protect Your Prostate in 21 seconds
Blueberries are the fruit with the most antioxidant firepower, but plums may be the real nukes against prostate cancer. Preliminary research at Texas A&M University found that phytochemicals in red-fleshed plums inhibit prostate-tumor cell growth in the laboratory by 80 percent--20 percent more than blueberries do. "The research is still in the early stages, but there's definitely no downside to eating plums," says David Byrne, Ph.D., a professor of horticulture and the lead researcher.

Stop a Heart Attack in 1 minute, 10 seconds
When the gum-snapping diner waitress asks, "Honey, you want coffee or tea?" tell her, "Tea" (and, "Don't call me honey, toots"). Harvard medical-school researchers found that drinking one or more cups of black tea daily was associated with a 45 percent decrease in heart attacks. The flavonoids in the tea may reduce the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries, says Howard Sesso, Sc.D., the lead researcher. And it doesn't have to be pinkie-waving Earl Grey (though your butler may insist); plain Lipton or Tetley will do the artery -clearing trick just as well.

Prevent Diabetes in 45 seconds
Whip up a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich. In a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that those people who ate peanut butter just once a week had a 16 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who didn't eat any (five or more servings a week resulted in a 27 percent lower risk). One explanation may be the fats in peanut butter. "Previous studies have shown that a high intake of mono- and polyunsaturated fats improves insulin sensitivity," says Rui Jiang, Ph.D., lead author of the study. And although the research was done on women, there's no reason to think that men won't reap the same benefits, adds Jiang.

[Pinoymoneytalk ]