Nuts Increase Health & Lifespan



A new study finds that nuts decrease the risk of cancer, heart disease and lung disease, and increase lifespan.


 

NUTS INCREASE HEALTH AND LIFESPAN

As I discuss in my book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, the so-called Mediterranean diet, which includes the regular consumption of tree nuts, has been associated with a significant decrease in the risk of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other serious illnesses in several clinical studies.  Now, a very large and ongoing public health study adds further compelling evidence about the potential health benefits of nuts.  The results of this study are published in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

This study includes the combined findings of two very large ongoing prospective clinically research trials, the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.  The first study includes 121,700 female nurses who have been followed since the study opened in 1976.  The second study includes 51,529 male health professionals who have been followed since 1986.  Detailed dietary surveys were administered to the volunteers in these two studies every 2 to 4 years.

When compared to study volunteers who did not eat nuts, volunteers who ate nuts 7 or more times per week had a 20 percent lower death rate.  More specifically, increasing nut intake was associated with a significant decrease in death due to heart disease, respiratory illnesses, and cancer.  Both tree nuts (e.g., almonds, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, etc.) and peanuts appeared to significantly reduce the risk of death due to major chronic illnesses.

The combined findings of these two very large ongoing prospective public health studies are consistent with the findings of other large studies that have linked the regular consumption of nuts with a decreased risk of chronic major illnesses, and an increased lifespan.

To learn more about the Mediterranean diet, and other evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention and heart disease prevention, please read my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.

 

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Dr. Wascher Discusses Signs & Symptoms of Skin Cancer

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Dr. Wascher Discusses Predictions of Decreased Cancer Risk on azfamily.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Environmental Risk Factors for Breast Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Answers Questions About Cancer on talkabouthealth.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Cancer Prevention Strategies on LIVESTRONG

Dr. Wascher Discusses Cancer Prevention on Newsmax

Dr. Wascher Answers Questions About Cancer Risk & Cancer Prevention on The Doctors Radio Show

Dr. Wascher Discusses Lymphedema After Breast Surgery on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer Risk on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Chronic Pain After Mastectomy for Breast Cancer on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Cancer on cancersupportivecare.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Role of Exercise in Cancer Prevention on Open Salon

Dr. Wascher Discusses Aspirin as a Potential Preventive Agent for Pancreatic Cancer on eHealth Forum

Dr. Wascher Discusses Obesity & Cancer Risk on eHealth Forum

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Role of Radiation Therapy in the Treatment of Breast Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Treatment of Stomach Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Management of Metastatic Cancer of the Liver on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses Obesity & Cancer Risk on hopenavigators.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer Risk on interactmd.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Thyroid Cancer on health2fit.com

 

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Fresh Fruits & Vegetables May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Satisfaction with Life May Actually Increase with Age

Brain Changes in the Elderly May Increase Susceptibility to Being Scammed

 


Dr. Wascher’s Home Page



According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  Over the past 12 months, more than 3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 


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High-Fat Dairy Foods Increase Breast Cancer Death Risk



A new study finds that consumption of high-fat dairy foods increases the risk of death in women diagnosed with breast cancer.


 

HIGH-FAT DAIRY FOODS INCREASE BREAST CANCER DEATH RISK

Dairy products are important sources of protein, calcium, and vitamin D, all of which are important to good health. However, many dairy products are rich in fat. While obesity has been firmly documented to increase breast cancer risk, and breast cancer recurrence risk, the data linking dietary fat intake and breast cancer recurrence has been less compelling. Now, a new clinical study, which appears in the current issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, strongly suggests that the consumption of high-fat dairy products appears to increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence, as well as the risk of death due to recurrent breast cancer.

This study evaluated 1,893 women who were initially diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer. The diets of these women were then carefully evaluated and tracked following their initial breast cancer diagnosis. During an average of 12 years of follow-up, 189 of these women died from recurrent breast cancer.

The findings of this study are significant, in that they appear to substantially link the consumption of high-fat dairy products with an increased risk of death due to recurrent breast cancer. The women who consumed from one-half to just less than one serving of high-fat dairy products per day experienced a 20 percent increase in the risk of death due to recurrent breast cancer (compared to women who consumed less than one-half serving per day), while the women who consumed one or more servings of high-fat dairy products per day were 49 percent more likely to die from recurrent breast cancer! Moreover, the risk of death due to causes other than breast cancer was also increased among the women who frequently consumed high-fat dairy products.

The findings of this study indicate that it is generally safe for breast cancer survivors to consume low-fat dairy products.However, based upon the findings of this important clinical research study, consuming one-half or more servings of high-fat dairy products per day, on average, may be associated with a significantly increased risk of dying from recurrent breast cancer in women previously diagnosed with this form of cancer.

Following a diagnosis of breast cancer, it is important to avoid those lifestyle and dietary factors that may increase the risk of breast cancer recurrence. For more research-based information on this important topic, please read the extended chapter on breast cancer in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.

 

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my bestselling book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

Within one week of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books. Within three months of publication, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.com Top 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list.

 

Join Dr. Wascher on Facebook

 

Additional Links for Robert A. Wascher, MD, FACS

Profile of Dr. Wascher by Oncology Times

Bio of Dr. Wascher at Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Dr. Wascher Discusses Predictions of Decreased Cancer Risk on azfamily.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Environmental Risk Factors for Breast Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Answers Questions About Cancer on talkabouthealth.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Cancer Prevention Strategies on LIVESTRONG

Dr. Wascher Discusses Cancer Prevention on Newsmax

Dr. Wascher Answers Questions About Cancer Risk & Cancer Prevention on The Doctors Radio Show

Dr. Wascher Discusses Lymphedema After Breast Surgery on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer Risk on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Chronic Pain After Mastectomy for Breast Cancer on cancerlynx.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy for Cancer on cancersupportivecare.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Role of Exercise in Cancer Prevention on Open Salon

Dr. Wascher Discusses Aspirin as a Potential Preventive Agent for Pancreatic Cancer on eHealth Forum

Dr. Wascher Discusses Obesity & Cancer Risk on eHealth Forum

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Role of Radiation Therapy in the Treatment of Breast Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Treatment of Stomach Cancer on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses the Management of Metastatic Cancer of the Liver on Sharecare

Dr. Wascher Discusses Obesity & Cancer Risk on hopenavigators.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Hormone Replacement Therapy & Breast Cancer Risk on interactmd.com

Dr. Wascher Discusses Thyroid Cancer on health2fit.com

 

Links to Other Breaking Health News

Doctor Provides Patients with Own Feces for Fecal Transplants

Rising Arsenic Levels in Chicken

Dramatic Increase in Suicide Rate Among Middle Aged Americans Over the Past Decade

Woman with Transplanted Uterus Becomes Pregnant

Cutting Umbilical Cord Too Soon May Cause Anemia in Newborns

Recent Advances in Prosthetic Limbs to Help Boston Marathon Bombing Victims

Spiny New Bandage May Speed Healing of Skin Wounds

Study Confirms that Men Really Do Have Trouble Reading the Thoughts of Women

Deadly new Bird Flu Strain Cases Continue to Rise

Abdominal Fat Increases Kidney Disease Risk

Increasing Dietary Potassium & Decreasing Salt Intake Reduces Stroke Risk

A New Explanation for the Link Between Red Meat & Cardiovascular Disease

Deadly New Bird Flu Identified in China

Infection Risk: Keeping an Eye on Your Dentist

Couple Loses 500 Pounds in Two Years

Coffee May Reduce Crash Risk for Long-Distance Drivers

Tiny Implant Tells Your Smart Phone When You Are Having A Heart Attack

Transplanted Kidney Causes Death Due to Rabies

Eating While Distracted Increases Calorie Intake

Resistant Bacteria are on the Rise

High Levels of Stress Linked to an Increase in Heart Disease Risk

Small Snacks Cut Hunger as Well as Big Snacks

Poor Sleep May Increase the Risk of Heart Failure

Ancient Mummies Found to Have Heart Disease by CT Scan

Physically Fit Kids Do Better on Math & Reading Tests

How Melanoma Skin Cancer Evades the Immune System

Possible Link Between BPA and Asthma

Baby Boomers Appear Less Healthy Than Their Parents

The Biology of Love in the Brain

Millennials May be the Most Stressed-Out Generation

Even Modest Alcohol Intake Raises Cancer Risk

Why Do Boys Receive Lower Grades than Girls?

Negative Emotions and Feelings Can Damage Your Health

Canker Sore Drug Cures Obesity (At Least in Mice…)

How Technology is Changing the Practice of Medicine

New Salt Intake Guidelines for Children

High Levels of Distress in Childhood May Increase Risk of Heart Disease in Adulthood

Quitting Tobacco by Age 40 Restores a Normal Lifespan in Smokers

Cancer Death Rates Continue to Fall

Self-Help Books Improve Depression

Marines Try Mindfulness and Meditation to Reduce PTSD

Dying Nurse Volunteers Herself to Teach Nursing Students about the Dying

Regular Walks Cut Stroke Risk

Falling Asleep While Driving More Common than Previously Thought

Celebrity Health Fads Debunked

Obesity Among Young Children May Be Declining

Fresh Fruits & Vegetables May Reduce Breast Cancer Risk

Satisfaction with Life May Actually Increase with Age

Brain Changes in the Elderly May Increase Susceptibility to Being Scammed




Dr. Wascher’s Home Page



According to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is more than 12 percent.  A new website, Veterans in Healthcare, seeks to connect veterans with potential employers.  If you are a veteran who works in the healthcare field, or if you are an employer who is looking for physicians, advanced practice professionals, nurses, corpsmen/medics, or other healthcare professionals, then please take a look at Veterans in Healthcare. As a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, I would also like to personally urge you to hire a veteran whenever possible.


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


 

I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people from around the world who visit this premier global health information website every month.  Over the past 12 months, more than 3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious readers.  As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 


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Kids, Vegetables, Diet, and Rewards

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



KIDS, VEGETABLES, DIET, AND REWARDS

My now 10 year-old daughter used to eat almost everything that we put in front of her when she was a toddler.  Lately, however, she has decided that all she wants to eat is macaroni and cheese or mashed potatoes.  My now 7 year-old son, on the other hand, spent the years between age 3 and age 5 subsisting largely on “chicken nuggets” and multi-vitamins, and little else….  (The first time that I was able to persuade him to eat some broccoli, at age 5, after suggesting that he dip this much-maligned vegetable in ranch sauce and grated parmesan cheese, I was moved nearly to tears!)

Most kids are fussy eaters, and getting your child to eat a healthy, balanced diet can be a serious challenge, if not a perpetual struggle between parent and child.  As with most aspects of child-rearing, there are a number of recommended strategies to get Junior to eat his or her vegetables, and other healthy foods.  However, many of these strategies turn out to be utterly ineffective in practice.  Certainly, one of the most commonly recommended strategies is to offer reluctant young eaters various types of rewards for healthy eating (and which is, in my view, tantamount to bribery, but which has probably been resorted to by most of us parents during times of diet-related desperation, and with varying results).  (As I discuss in my bestselling evidence-based book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, fresh vegetables, whole grains, and reduced meat intake have all been associated with a reduced risk of developing both cancer and cardiovascular disease.)

Given the never-ending mealtime struggles in our own home, I came across an interesting new research study related to this very topic, and which appears in the current issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  In this innovative little prospective, randomized, controlled clinical study, 173 children, ages 3 to 4 years, were divided into three groups.  All of these children were exposed to vegetables, 12 times per day, that they were known to dislike after these vegetables were first introduced.  The first group of children received a tangible reward (a sticker) each time after being served a vegetable that they had initially disliked.  The second group of children received praise as a reward upon being served vegetables that they too had disliked upon initial presentation.  Finally, a third group (the “control group”) was served vegetables that they had also initially disliked, but this group of children did not receive any rewards (i.e., no stickers and no praise).

The findings of this study, while not terribly surprising, offer parents a potential strategy to improve the diets of their (our) vegetable-hating kids.  Of course, the children who were repeatedly served disliked vegetables, and who received no stickers or praise, continued to refuse repeated servings of these vegetables.  However, the toddlers who were bribed with stickers (a material reward) significantly improved their intake of the offending vegetables over time, and this improvement in vegetable consumption persisted when the children were reevaluated 3 months later.  Importantly, the children in this “material reward” group were also significantly more likely to develop a liking for these same vegetables over time!   The third group of children, who received praise (a “social” reward) along with each serving of undesired vegetables, sadly, and somewhat unexpectedly, were no more likely to increase their consumption of these vegetables over time, or to develop a liking for these vegetables, than the kids who were in the “no reward” control group!

In this clinical study of toddlers, offering children a material reward (stickers, in the case of this clinical study) in conjunction with repeated introductions of initially disliked vegetables resulted in a significant improvement, over time, in the willing consumption of these vegetables, as well as in increased “liking” of these same vegetables.  Positive reinforcement through praise was, however, completely ineffective in getting these little tykes to eat (and like) their veggies.

In the case of my son, “the vegetable-hater,” the Broccoli Breakthrough occurred on an evening when I took him and his sister out for dinner.  In exchange for the privilege of the three of us playing a family card game during our meal, and as a result of my inspired suggestion that he combine two foods that he loved (grated parmesan cheese and ranch dipping sauce) with a food that he hated (the aforementioned broccoli), the miracle of witnessing my little guy downing several florets of broccoli coated in ranch sauce and parmesan cheese finally came to pass.  I was so overcome by that moment, two years ago, as was my daughter, that I remember it like it happened yesterday.  Moreover, knowing that my wife would almost certainly doubt my incredible claim that this event had actually occurred, I documented this miraculous development with my cell phone camera on the spot, and emailed it to her from the restaurant that night.  Nearly two years later, I am happy to report that while both of our kids still challenge us in our ongoing efforts to get them to eat a healthy, balanced diet, our son (and daughter) will still regularly eat that most despised vegetable among children, broccoli!

 


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from AmazonBarnes & NobleBooks-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 



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Dietary Fiber Significantly Reduces Risk of Death

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



 

Dietary Fiber Significantly Reduces Risk of Death

Most of us already know that a high-fiber diet is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. Numerous previous research studies have associated a high-fiber diet with a decreased incidence of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. However, there is very little research information available that directly links a high-fiber diet with a decreased risk of death from these or other diseases. Now, a newly published public health study puts some actual numbers on the potential health benefits of adding fiber to your diet. This study appears in the current issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The NIH (National Institutes of Health)-AARP Diet and Health Study is an enormous prospective public health study, which has enrolled 219,123 men and 168,999 women between the ages of 50 and 71 years. All of these research study participants completed extensive dietary questionnaires, and all were closely followed for an average of 9 years.

During nearly a decade of follow-up, 20,126 men and 11,330 women participating in this study died of various causes. When the researchers compared the dietary fiber intake of the volunteers who died with those who did not die, several important findings were identified. High levels of dietary fiber intake appeared to decrease the risk of death for both men and women by about 22 percent, overall. A diet rich in fiber was also specifically linked to a significant reduction in the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, infection, and respiratory disease in both men and women; while men (but not women) appeared to have a lower risk of death due to cancer if they consumed a fiber-rich diet. Finally, as has also been found in previous diet-based studies (including several of the Mediterranean diet studies that I cite in my book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race), dietary fiber from whole grains appeared to provide the greatest benefit in terms of reducing the risk of death due to all causes.

While this study suffers from the same limitations as all other survey-based public health studies, its prospective methodology and its enormous population of research volunteers make this a very powerful public health study. Its finding that a diet rich in fiber (derived from whole grains) significantly reduces the risk of death from the most common global causes of death offer all of us an important strategy to improve our health and longevity.



For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!

On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





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Green Tea and Skin Health

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”



GREEN TEA AND SKIN HEALTH

 

In our youth-obsessed culture, there are countless creams, lotions, vitamins, herbal remedies, and personal care devices that have been advertised as rejuvenators of aging skin.  Unfortunately, very few of these skin anti-aging remedies are supported by any rigorous clinical or laboratory research data.  Now, a new prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded clinical research study strongly suggests that antioxidant polyphenols from green tea may actually help to protect skin against damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, and may also help to improve overall skin quality.

In this new clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of The Journal of Nutrition, 60 adult female volunteers were randomized into either a control group or an interventional group. The women in the intervention group consumed a beverage fortified with green tea polyphenols (1,402 milligrams of green tea catechins per day), while the women in the control group consumed a beverage that was identical in appearance but which did not contain any green tea polyphenols. Skin protection against UV light damage, skin structure, and skin function were then tested in all of these women at the time they began the study, 6 weeks into the study, and once again 12 weeks into the study.

Skin testing with UV light exposure sufficient to cause redness of normal unprotected skin was performed in both groups of women. (This “erythema response” is a sign of acute UV-induced skin injury.) In the interventional group of women volunteers, skin redness in response to a standard dose of UV light decreased by 16 percent at 6 weeks, and by 25 percent at 12 weeks. Additionally, the elasticity, roughness, scaling, density, and water content of the skin all improved during the course of this study among the women who had been secretly randomized to receive daily green tea polyphenol supplements (when compared to the women in the control group who received the placebo beverage). Daily green tea polyphenol consumption was also shown to increase blood flow and oxygen delivery to the skin, with maximal blood flow improvement occurring about 30 minutes following green tea polyphenol consumption.

In summary, the daily consumption of green tea catechins was shown, in this innovative prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded study, to significantly improve the skin’s injury response to UV light exposure, and also appeared to significantly improve several important clinical aspects of overall skin quality. In addition to promoting healthier and more youthful appearing skin, green tea polyphenols, as I have discussed in previous columns (and in my recent book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race), have also been linked to improved cardiovascular health, and may also help to reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.

For a comprehensive guide to living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race.  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!


For a groundbreaking overview of cancer risks, and evidence-based strategies to reduce your risk of developing cancer, order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million,Vroman’s Bookstore, and other fine bookstores!


On Thanksgiving Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was ranked #6 among all cancer-related books on the Amazon.com “Top 100 Bestseller’s List” for Kindle e-books! On Christmas Day, 2010, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race was the #1 book on the Amazon.comTop 100 New Book Releases in Cancer” list!


Disclaimer:  As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, professor of surgery, cancer researcher, oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link:

Texas Blues Jam


I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month. (More than 1.2 million health-conscious people visited Weekly Health Update in 2010!) As always, we enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.





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Job and Workplace Stress

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”


JOB AND WORKPLACE STRESS

 

The global economy remains in the doldrums, unemployment remains at historically high levels around much of the world, and many people are feeling stressed in both their professional and personal lives.  In today’s highly competitive job market, many employees are feeling increasingly vulnerable.  There is also the perception among many workers that the poor job market has given employers the upper hand when it comes to the workplace environment.  Employees are working longer hours (and often without traditional overtime pay, and the other economic incentives of the pre-recession era), taking more work home with them, and in general, are feeling a great deal more stress and insecurity than they experienced before the economy took a nose-dive in 2008.

Increased levels of chronic stress have been linked to a variety of health problems, including cardiovascular disease, depression, obesity, increased drug use (including tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drugs), domestic abuse, interpersonal conflicts (at home and at work), and some cancers.  With no end in sight to this second-worst economic downturn in modern history, the odds remain relatively high that many employees will continue to face increased demands in the workplace, increased difficulty in finding a reasonable work-home life balance, and will continue to feel vulnerable and anxious about the stability of their jobs.  Many employers recognize that treating their employees fairly, and helping them to feel secure and appreciated in their jobs, is a “win-win” for everyone.  Employees who are treated fairly, and who come to work each day knowing that their workplace environment is both supportive and free of unnecessary strife, are more efficient and more productive, and tend to take fewer days of sick leave.  On the other hand, employees who feel that they are not being treated fairly, or that they are being taken advantage of, or that their jobs are at risk for reasons other than their performance, are less productive, more prone to interpersonal conflicts, and take more days of sick leave than employees who enjoy a healthy workplace climate.  While some employers may see the current economic downturn as an opportunity to take advantage of their employees, and to exploit and mistreat their employees at a time when many workers already feel insecure and vulnerable, most employers understand that when their employees look forward to coming to work in a healthy, supportive, and fair workplace climate, both employer and employees are more likely to thrive.

 

 

Two newly published public health studies, which appear in the current issue of the Journal of Occupational & Environmental Medicine, offer both employees and employers important insights into creating a healthier, more productive, and more collegial work environment. 

 

The first study was a long-term longitudinal, prospective occupational health study of 326 men and 338 women who originally enrolled in this research study in 1980 (while between the ages of 9 and 18 years).  These children and adolescents were then followed for an impressive 27 years, until 2007.  This study found that the now adult workers who had engaged in frequent leisure-time exercise, and effort-intensive sports, during childhood and adolescence were significantly less likely to complain of chronic workplace stress after they reached adulthood (i.e., when compared to employees who had rarely engaged in exercise or sports during their youth).  Interestingly, after being tested for cardiovascular fitness during adulthood, this study found that a high level of physical fitness in adulthood only partially explained the apparent benefit of increased physical activity during late childhood and adolescence on perceived workplace stress.   In addition to engaging in regular exercise and sports, having a “Type A” personality also appeared to be predictive of less workplace-associated stress.  (People with “Type A” personality traits are highly goal-oriented, performance-oriented, “take charge” people, as opposed to people with so-called “Type B” traits.  “Type B” people tend to feel more comfortable in delegating tasks, are less confrontational than Type A” folks, and also do not feel the sense of task-oriented urgency that their “Type A” peers constantly experience.)

While we probably cannot change our basic personality type, we can all increase our levels of physical activity, starting in childhood and continuing through adulthood, as a means of coping with the increased levels of chronic stress that many of us are feeling these days.  (Importantly, there are many clinical research studies that have demonstrated a strong correlation between regular exercise and a decrease in the incidence of stress-related physical and mental illnesses.)

 

 

The findings of the second occupational health study should serve as a wake-up call to those employers that take advantage of hard economic times to exploit their workers, as well as those employers that permit an unhealthy or unfair work environment to persist.  In this study, 2,763 randomly selected employees from the general population were interviewed and evaluated with respect to their workplace environment and their satisfaction with their jobs.  A second group of 3,044 employees who appeared on their companies’ sick lists for more than 14 days, over a 2 month period, were similarly evaluated.

Among the women employees, a perceived unhealthy or unfair workplace environment was associated with an 80 percent increase in the likelihood that these female employees would end up on chronic sick lists.  The impact of a toxic workplace environment on the male employees was even more profound, as men who complained of an unhealthy or unfair workplace climate were 174 percent more likely to chronically call in sick when compared to the men who were generally satisfied with their workplace environment and their jobs.  (Interestingly, increased workload alone, in the absence of an unhealthy workplace environment, increased the risk of absenteeism among women, but not among men.)

 

 

In summary, these are tough times for many, many people.  Most employers treat their employees in a fair and ethical manner, knowing that happy and secure employees are more efficient, more productive, more reliable, easier to get along with, and less likely to take excessive sick leave.  Unfortunately, there are also employers who, sensing the insecurity of their employees during difficult economic times, exploit their employees through excessive and unfair workloads, and through their permissiveness in allowing unhealthy or unfair workplace environments to persist.  For employees who must navigate these uncertain times, regular and frequent exercise can be a very important coping mechanism, and can pay important dividends in both one’s personal and professional lives (including a reduction in the risk of stress-related physical and mental ailments).  For the minority of employers who take advantage of their anxious employees, or who turn a blind eye towards unhealthy or unfair workplace environments, such employers not only betray their responsibilities to their employees (and their responsibilities to society, in general), but their unethical treatment of their employees may also be detrimental to the overall success of these organizations, as disaffected employees often respond to such treatment with passive-aggressive work-avoidance behaviors, increased absenteeism, and in some cases, with litigation. 

In time, we will emerge from this terrible global recession.  When that happens, companies that have treated their employees fairly, and according to high ethical standards, during the worst of times will have an inherent advantage over those companies that took the low road.  High levels of productivity, excellent employee morale and loyalty, and low levels of absenteeism and workforce turnover, will improve the competitiveness, stability, and productivity of the companies that treated their employees well during tough economic times (while the companies that did not treat their employees well are more likely to face increased employee turnover as the economy improves, as their disenfranchised employees seek better opportunities within an improving employment marketplace). 

  

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO OUR MANY HEALTH-CONSCIOUS

WEEKLY HEALTH UPDATE” READERS AROUND THE WORLD!

 

PEACE, LOVE, AND GOOD HEALTH TO ALL OF YOU!

 

 

For a complete discussion of the role of stress on cancer risk, and important evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention (including exercise), order your copy of my new book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, now!  For the price of a cheeseburger, fries, and a shake, you can purchase this landmark new book, in both paperback and e-book formats, and begin living an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle today!

  

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Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity



Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author



For a different perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

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I and the staff of Weekly Health Update would again like to take this opportunity to thank the more than 100,000 health-conscious people, from around the world, who visit this premier global health information website every month.  (As of 9/16/2010, more than 1,000,000 health-conscious people have logged onto Weekly Health Update so far this year!)  As always, I enjoy receiving your stimulating feedback and questions, and I will continue to try and personally answer as many of your inquiries as I possibly can.


 

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Mozart, Music, Babies & Health

January 24, 2010 by Robert Wascher  
Filed under Uncategorized

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



 

“A critical weekly review of important new research findings for health-conscious readers”

 

 

MOZART, MUSIC, BABIES & HEALTH

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born in Salzburg on January 27, 1756, was a prolific and gifted composer, and is credited with over 600 original compositions prior to his death in 1791 at the age of 35.  A child prodigy, Mozart is said to have written his first composition by the age of 5.  Although Mozart composed music in a wide variety of styles, music scholars have noted that Mozart’s compositions tend to reflect a high degree of “periodicity,” involving extensive repetition of major melodic themes, when compared to the other enduring master classical music composers of Mozart’s era.  This aspect of Mozart’s music may be clinically important as, for example, clinical research studies in adults with epilepsy have compared Mozart’s music with that of Beethoven, Wagner, Bach, Chopin, Hayden, and Liszt, among others, and found that Mozart’s music was more effective in reducing seizure activity than that of the other titans of Classical music.  Thus, some experts in brain physiology have concluded that Mozart’s compositions may particularly resonate with the human brain’s circuitry, and may potentially affect brain function in clinically significant ways.

An entire commercial industry has emerged from a phenomenon that is often referred to as the “Mozart Effect.”  Clinical research in the early 1990s with infants suggested that listening to music by Mozart could at least temporarily improve spatial reasoning, or “spatial-temporal intelligence” in babies.  The rather narrowly focused findings of these studies have subsequently been grossly over-generalized, primarily by companies marketing Mozart recordings to hopeful new parents, as evidence that regularly listening to Mozart can enhance the IQ of infants and toddlers. 

Putting aside the debate over the potential impact of Mozart on the IQ of babies and toddlers, other recent research data has suggested that exposure to Mozart’s music might be associated with improved weight gain in underweight babies and children.  A newly published prospective clinical research study, which appears in the current issue of the journal Pediatrics, suggests a mechanism whereby underweight premature infants may be stimulated to gain weight following exposure to the music of Mozart. 

In this prospective, randomized study, 20 hospitalized premature infants receiving liquid nutrition through feeding tubes were randomly assigned to two different groups.  In the experimental group, the pre-term babies were exposed to a 30-minute period of Mozart’s music each day, for two consecutive days.   The control group of infants, however, was not exposed to any music on these two consecutive days.  This study included a crossover design, wherein all of these infants were then “crossed-over” into the opposite group, such that each baby participated in both the experimental group and the control group.  Measurements of these babies’ rate of energy metabolism were then performed during each 30-minute period of Mozart music exposure in the experimental group, and for equal 30-minute periods in the babies that were randomized to the control group.

Interestingly, the metabolic rates of the babies exposed to Mozart’s music decreased by 10 to 13 percent within 10 minutes of starting the Great Composer’s music (compared to the infants in the control group).  This innovative little study’s finding that the rate of energy metabolism in premature infants decreases following exposure to Mozart’s music is interesting, and may explain, at least in part, the findings of previous studies that underweight children gain weight after being exposed to recordings of Mozart’s music. 

Research studies such as this one raise the question of whether or not Mozart’s music, or that of other Classical composers, should be routinely used in hospital nurseries and neonatal intensive care units.  Meanwhile, if your baby or toddler is underweight, but otherwise healthy, a trial of “Mozart therapy” might just be in order.



In view of the extreme devastation and human misery brought about in Haiti by the recent earthquake, Weekly Health Update asks our tens of thousands of caring readers to give generously to established charities that are currently working in that country to assist the injured, the ill, and the homeless there.  There are many such legitimate charities, including the following two:

http://www.redcross.org/

http://www.imcworldwide.org/haiti



Disclaimer: As always, my advice to readers is to seek the advice of your physician before making any significant changes in medications, diet, or level of physical activity


Dr. Wascher is an oncologic surgeon, a professor of surgery, a cancer researcher, an oncology consultant, and a widely published author


For a somewhat lighter perspective on Dr. Wascher, please click on the following YouTube link: 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-Tdv7XW0qg

 

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