Excessive Salt Intake Linked to 10% of All Deaths



A new study finds that 1 in 10 deaths in the United States are linked to excessive salt intake.


 

EXCESSIVE SALT INTAKE LINKED TO 10% OF ALL DEATHS

In the United States, and throughout much of the world, salt is liberally used as a seasoning for many types of food. Unfortunately, however, the salt content of most prepared foods (and fast foods and processed foods in particular) far exceeds the daily recommended allowance of 1,500 milligrams (mg) per day, or less than a teaspoon of salt per day, as recommended by the American Heart Association.

Excessive salt intake has been linked to a variety of serious health problems, including congestive heart failure, heart attacks, strokes, and kidney disease. Additionally, as I discuss in detail in my bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, excessive salt intake also increases the risk of certain types of cancer as well.

At the ongoing annual meeting of the American Heart Association, in New Orleans, newly presented research data strongly suggests that at least 10 percent of all deaths in the United States, and as many as 15 percent of deaths worldwide, are related to excessive salt consumption. The data from this study was collected as part of the 2010 Global Burden of Diseases Study, which was performed by an international collaborative network of researchers from 303 institutions in 50 different countries. In addition to collecting salt intake data from participating research volunteers, the scientists conducting this public health research study also analyzed more than 100 previously published prospective randomized clinical research trials linking specific levels of salt intake with adverse health outcomes.

Based upon data collected in this important new public health study, the researchers calculated that excessive salt intake directly contributes to 1 out of every 10 deaths in the United States (and 1 out of every 7 deaths worldwide). According to the findings of this study, 60 percent of salt-associated deaths occur in men, and 40 percent occur in women; and heart attacks cause 42 percent of salt-associated deaths, while strokes cause 41 percent of salt-associated deaths.

Although humans appear to be biologically programmed to seek out salty foods, the unnaturally high salt content of most prepared and processed foods today means that we are ingesting far greater amounts of salt, on a daily basis, than our bodies require (or were designed to handle). As a consequence of this salty evolution of our “modern” diets, our bodies are at risk of becoming overloaded with salt, and the increased amount of fluid that this salt causes our bodies to retain. The end result, for a shocking percentage of people around the world, based upon the findings of this study, is an increased risk of congestive heart failure, heart attack, stroke and kidney disease, and a significantly increased risk of premature death due to these illnesses. Additionally, as I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, high salt intake has also been clearly linked to an increased risk of several deadly types of cancer in the gastrointestinal tract.

To help you to decrease excessive salt intake, I recommend the American Heart Association’s online guide on this topic.

 

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.

 

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Dr. Wascher’s latest video:

Dark as Night, Part 1

Dark as Night, Part 1

Dark as Night, Part 1


At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, 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 2.7 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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Fitness in Middle Age Lowers Dementia Risk



A new study finds that being physically fit in middle age may protect against Alzheimer’s disease later in life.


 

 

FITNESS IN MIDDLE AGE LOWERS DEMENTIA RISK

The incidence of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are predicted to rise significantly as our population continues to age.  At the present time, there is no cure for Alzheimer’s disease and most other forms of dementia.

While the primary cause (or causes) of Alzheimer’s disease remains unclear at this time, it is clear that advancing age, diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels all appear to be linked with this debilitating and irreversible form of dementia.  At the same time, it is also well known that regular exercise can reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated high cholesterol levels.  Now, a newly published research study, which appears in the Annals of Internal Medicine, strongly suggests that being physically fit during mid-life may also help to protect against Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia later in life.

In this study, 19,458 middle-aged adults were assessed for their level of physical fitness between 1971 and 2009.  After an average of 25 years of follow-up, 1,659 of these research volunteers went on to be diagnosed with dementia. When researchers correlated levels of physical fitness during mid-life with the incidence of dementia later in life, they found that higher levels of physical fitness in middle age appeared to be protective against Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia later in life.  In fact, the research volunteers with the highest levels of physical fitness during their middle age years were 36 percent less likely to develop dementia during the course of this study, when compared with volunteers who were at the lowest levels of physical fitness during mid-life.

In addition to reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer, the findings of this newly published clinical study strongly suggest that regular exercise during middle age is also associated with a significant reduction in the risk of developing dementia later in life.  In view of the many health benefits associated with regular exercise, if you are not currently getting 3 to 4 hours of at least moderate exercise per week, then please see your physician and a personal trainer, and begin your own personal exercise program!


Links to Other Breaking Health News

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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

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Falling Asleep While Driving More Common than Previously Thought

Growing Immune Cells to Fight Cancer

Celebrity Health Fads Debunked

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Obesity Among Young Children May Be Declining

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“Talking” Therapy May Help Depression When Antidepressant Medications Fail

New Egg-Free Flu Vaccine

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Predicting Childhood Obesity at Birth

Inexpensive Power Foods

 

 

Dr. Wascher’s latest video:

Dark as Night, Part 1


Dark as Night, Part 1

Dark as Night, Part 1


At this time, more than 8 percent of Americans are unemployed.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, the unemployment rate for veterans who served on active duty between September 2001 and December 2011 is now 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.


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 & NobleBooks-A-MillionVroman’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.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


 

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 2.5 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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The Four Critical Cardiovascular Disease Risks That You Can Change

Welcome to Weekly Health Update



New research shows that high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking account for the vast majority of all deaths caused by cardiovascular disease.


 

THE FOUR CRITICAL CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE RISKS THAT YOU CAN CHANGE

As I mention in my recent bestselling book, A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, many of the very same lifestyle and dietary habits that increase our risk of developing cancer also increase our risk of developing cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease, heart attacks (myocardial infarction), peripheral vascular disease, and stroke.  Likewise, adopting an evidence-based cancer prevention lifestyle can not only cut your cancer risk in half, but can also significantly reduce your risk of developing life-threatening cardiovascular disease as well.

A newly published research study, which was funded by the National Institutes of Health, provides, for the first time, a comprehensive assessment of the lifetime risks of developing cardiovascular disease based upon the following four health-related factors: blood pressure, cholesterol (lipid) levels in the blood, smoking status, and diabetes status.  Importantly, this huge meta-analysis study, which appears in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, comprehensively analyzes the data from 18 different prior clinical research studies, which included 257,384 adult black and white men and women.  These research volunteers were assessed for these four critical cardiovascular risk factors every 10 years, beginning at age 45 and ending at age 75.  This enormous group of research volunteers was then closely followed, and the incidence of cardiovascular disease and death rates due to cardiovascular disease were then carefully evaluated and analyzed.

When looking at cardiovascular risks factors at age 55 as predictors of future cardiovascular disease risk, and the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, the findings of this extremely large clinical study were striking.  In this study, a low-risk profile for cardiovascular disease was defined as total blood cholesterol less than 180 milligrams per deciliter (4.7 mmol per liter), average blood pressure less than 120/80 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg), nonsmoker status, and nondiabetic status.

Among the 55 year-old men and women who met all of the criteria for a low-risk profile for cardiovascular disease, their lifetime incidence of cardiovascular disease, through age 80, was remarkably lower than for the 55 year-olds who failed to meet two or more of the four low-risk criteria.  In fact, the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease, through age 80, was only 5 percent among the men who met all four low-risk criteria at age 55, while the men who met only two or fewer low-risk criteria faced a dramatic six-fold increase in the risk (30 percent) of dying of cardiovascular disease by age 80.  Among the women volunteers, only 6 percent of the women who met all four low-risk criteria went on to die of cardiovascular disease by age 80, while 21 percent of the women who failed to meet two or more of the four low-risk criteria died of cardiovascular disease between age 55 and age 80 (for a nearly four-fold increase in the risk of death).

Fatal and nonfatal coronary artery disease occurred in only 4 percent of the men who met all four low-risk criteria, but occurred in nearly 10 times as many of the men (38 percent) who failed to meet two or more of these four criteria.  The women who met all four low-risk criteria faced a less than 1 percent risk of fatal and nonfatal coronary artery disease, while the women who met two or fewer low-risk criteria experienced an 18 percent incidence of fatal and nonfatal coronary artery disease (for a more than 18-fold increase in risk).

The risk of fatal and nonfatal stroke was also significantly lower among men and women who met all four low-risk criteria for cardiovascular disease.  Among the men who met all four low-risk criteria, the incidence of stroke through age 80 was only about 2 percent, but quadrupled, to more than 8 percent, among the men who failed to meet two or more of the four low-risk criteria.  Among the women who met all four low-risk criteria, the incidence of stroke was about 5 percent, but more than doubled, to nearly 11 percent, among the women who failed to meet at least two of the low-risk criteria.

The findings of this very large study cannot be overstated in terms of its public health importance, as this is the only study that has prospectively assessed very large numbers of men and women, including both black and white adults, over long periods of time, and that has analyzed the long-term impact of the four most common risk factors for cardiovascular disease on incidence and death rates associated with cardiovascular disease.  As with the studies that I discuss in A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race, the impact of lifestyle, diet, and other modifiable health-related factors on both cardiovascular disease risk and cancer risk is enormous, particularly when measured over the lifespan of the average adult.

The findings of this epic public health research study also add further weight to my strong belief, based upon my review of thousands of research studies, that we, as individuals, hold the key to improving our health, and to significantly reducing our risk of serious illness and premature death, by living evidence-based healthy lifestyles.  If your blood pressure is high, change your diet and increase your level of exercise, with the support of your doctor.  If diet and physical activity interventions alone do not correct your hypertension, then ask your doctor about medications for high blood pressure.  If you have diabetes, you also need to change your diet, increase your levels of physical activity, and safely lose any excess weight.  If these lifestyle changes do not completely resolve your high blood sugars, then you may also need to ask your doctor about medications for diabetes.  If you smoke, or use smokeless tobacco, stop immediately.  Finally, if your LDL and total cholesterol levels are high, then, once again, you need to be more careful about what you eat.  (The cancer-preventing foods and diets that I discuss in my book have also been linked to lower levels of blood cholesterol, as well as a much lower risk of cardiovascular disease.)  You may also need to increase your physical activity levels, and get your weight down to a healthy level, to improve your LDL and total cholesterol levels.  Once again, if these prudent lifestyle measures are not enough, by themselves, to bring your cholesterol levels down into the normal range, then your doctor may need to add a cholesterol-lowering medication as well.

The striking results of this important cardiovascular disease prevention study provide all of us with the key to maximally reducing our risk of developing—and dying from—largely preventable cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and stroke.  Better long-term health (and a longer and more vigorous life) is within your grasp, and this study, in addition to my book, can show you the way forward.


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-MillionVroman’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 1.3 million pages of high-quality medical research findings were served to the worldwide audience of health-conscious people who visited Weekly Health Update in 2011!)  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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New Research Says that Chocolate DECREASES Cardiovascular Disease Risk and Diabetes


Welcome to Weekly Health Update



New research suggests that moderate chocolate consumption can significantly decrease the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.



NEW RESEARCH SAYS THAT CHOCOLATE DECREASES CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE RISK AND DIABETES

Cocoa, from which chocolate is made, is known to be rich in flavonol antioxidants, as well as other compounds that appear to reduce the risk of developing the cholesterol plaques that cause coronary artery disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Cocoa has also been shown to improve the function and health of critical blood vessels in the body, which can lower elevated blood pressure. Moreover, additional research has shown that cocoa may also decrease the risk of diabetes.

Milk chocolate contains considerably more fat and sugar than dark chocolate, and these milk chocolate additives are well known to increase the risk of obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, dark chocolate has been more often recommended than milk chocolate as a possibly healthy treat. However, several public health studies have suggested that even milk chocolate may still possess clinically significant cardiovascular health benefits, despite its high fat and high sugar content.

A newly published meta-analysis study, which appears in the British Medical Journal, adds weight to the possibility that even milk chocolate might have heart-healthy properties. In this meta-analysis study, seven previously published public health research studies, which included 114,009 research volunteers, were analyzed. This analysis revealed that 5 of these 7 previously published public health studies found that increased chocolate consumption was associated with a significant decrease in the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Specifically, research volunteers who reported the highest levels of chocolate consumption were observed to be 37 percent less likely to develop heart disease, 31 percent less likely to develop diabetes, and 29 percent less likely to have a stroke when compared to the volunteers who reported the least chocolate consumption.

Now, for the (possibly) bad news….  None of these seven public health research studies were randomized clinical research studies.  All were so-called “observational” studies, wherein groups of volunteers completed questionnaires regarding their diet and lifestyle habits, and were then observed over time for the development of new health problems.  The obvious weakness of observational studies, in general, is their reliance upon the often inaccurate self-reporting by research volunteers on questionnaires designed to assess their dietary and lifestyle habits.  The other weakness of these particular research studies is that they did not identify which types of chocolate were associated either with the least or the greatest health benefits (nor is it clear from these studies whether or not there is an optimal amount of chocolate intake necessary to produce the greatest possible health benefits).  All of these important disclaimers aside, multiple clinical research studies have previously shown very significant potential health benefits associated with regular chocolate consumption.  At the same time, in view of the clear association of increased fat and sugar intake with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease risk, among other health problems, my recommendation to my patients and readers is to take moderate amounts of dark chocolate, and other lower-fat and lower-sugar chocolates, as part of a heart-healthy lifestyle!

 

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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Dietary Salt (Sodium) Increases Stomach Cancer Risk

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


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


DIETARY SALT (SODIUM) INCREASES STOMACH CANCER RISK

 

Cancer of the stomach occurs only about half as commonly today in the United States as it did 30 years ago, but it remains one of the “bad actor” cancers that are associated with a high likelihood of death.  On a global scale, stomach cancer remains the #2 cause of cancer-associated death, while in the United States, gastric cancer is currently the #7 cause of cancer-associated death.

Known risk factors for stomach cancer include chronic infection with the Helicobacter pylori bacterium (and other causes of chronic gastric inflammation), smoking, obesity, decreased acid secretion within the stomach, stomach ulcers, pernicious anemia, a family history of stomach cancer, certain inherited cancer syndromes, and other less common risk factors.  As with other GI tract cancers, diet also appears to play an important role in gastric cancer risk.  For example, gastric cancer is more common among people who eat a lot of processed meat and red meat, smoked foods, and salt-cured or pickled foods.  On the other hand, stomach cancer is less common among people who consume a large amount of fresh fruits and vegetables.

The role of salt in gastric cancer risk has been a subject of some debate, as clinical research studies have come to varying and contradictory conclusions regarding this issue.  However, a newly published public health study, which appears in the current issue of the British Journal of Cancer, appears to strongly link excess salt consumption with an increased risk of developing stomach cancer.  In this case-control study, 442 patients with stomach cancer, and 649 healthy patients without any clinical evidence of cancer, were evaluated.  Multiple previously validated dietary questionnaires were administered to all of the study volunteers, with particular attention to dietary salt intake. 

The results of this public health study indicated that the risk of stomach cancer was twice as common among patients who regularly consumed the highest amounts of salt, when compared to patients with the smallest amount of regular salt intake.  After adjusting for other risk factors known to be associated with gastric cancer risk (including Helicobacter pylori status, smoking history, and other known gastric cancer risk factors), increased salt intake was still associated with a doubling of gastric cancer risk. 

While case-control studies, such as this one, do not offer high-level clinical research evidence (unlike the “gold standard” prospective, randomized, blinded clinical research trials that provide “Level 1” clinical research data), the findings of this observational study nonetheless add to an increasing volume of data linking increased salt intake with gastric cancer risk.

Excessive salt intake has also been clearly linked to a significant increase in the risk of high blood pressure, stroke, and cardiovascular disease.  Most hypertension experts are currently recommending that we lower our average daily intake of sodium, from the current 3,500 to 4,000 milligram (mg) per day level in the United States, to somewhere around 1,500 mg per day.  At this level of sodium intake reduction, significant improvements in high blood pressure, and in the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease, have been demonstrated by multiple high-quality clinical research studies.  (An excellent pamphlet on the topic of dietary sodium reduction, as part of a heart-healthy diet, has been published online by the National Institutes of Health.)    

As with many other dietary and lifestyle factors that have been shown to reduce cancer risk, reducing sodium intake, by reducing your dietary salt consumption, can pay big health dividends not only in terms of cancer risk reduction, but also in terms of reducing those other great global killers of mankind, cardiovascular disease and stroke!

 

 

For a complete discussion of the role of diet in cancer prevention, and other important evidence-based approaches to cancer prevention, 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!

 

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.com Top 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, 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: 

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.





Click the following link to join Dr. Wascher on Facebook

 

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Blueberries, Obesity, Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome

 

Welcome to Weekly Health Update


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


BLUBERRIES, OBESITY, DIABETES AND METABOLIC SYNDROME

Metabolic syndrome includes a constellation of health disorders that are associated with a high risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  Specific disorders that are associated with metabolic syndrome include high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the blood, obesity, and diabetes (or “pre-diabetes”).  In the United States, where obesity has become an epidemic, public health experts estimate that as much as 25 percent of the population currently meets the criteria for metabolic syndrome.

Excessive calorie intake, a sedentary lifestyle, obesity in the abdominal and waist areas (central, or visceral, obesity), genetic factors, and other adverse health risks are known to contribute to the development of metabolic syndrome.  Therefore, both the prevention and treatment of metabolic syndrome are based upon exercise, a healthy low-fat and low-sugar/low-carb diet, and weight loss.  A new prospective, randomized clinical research study suggests that consuming blueberries may also help to reduce some of the adverse health risks associated with metabolic syndrome.

In this study, which appears in the current issue of The Journal of Nutrition, 48 adults (44 females and 4 males) with metabolic syndrome were divided into two groups.  One group, the “experimental group,” consumed 50 grams of freeze-dried blueberries per day (equivalent to 350 grams of fresh blueberries per day), in the form of a beverage, for a period of 8 weeks.  The other group, the “control group,” consumed a “placebo” beverage that did not contain any blueberries (also for 8 weeks).  Blood pressure checks and multiple blood tests were performed at both 4 weeks and 8 weeks into the study.

When comparing the two groups of patient volunteers, the patients in the “blueberry group” were found to have significantly greater decreases in their high blood pressure when compared to the control group.  The level of oxidized LDL cholesterol in the blood, which is a form of the “bad” LDL cholesterol that can directly damage the lining of arteries throughout the body (atherosclerosis), was also significantly decreased in the “blueberry group” of patient volunteers.  At the same time, there were no significant differences between the two groups of patient volunteers with respect to blood glucose (sugar) levels, triglyceride levels, or the levels of HDL (the “good” cholesterol) or LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) in the blood .

Therefore, while a brief period of a diet supplemented with blueberries did not reverse all of the abnormalities associated with metabolic syndrome, the consumption of the equivalent of about 350 grams of blueberries each day did appear to significantly improve at least two of the adverse health factors associated with this syndrome (i.e., high blood pressure and blood levels of oxidized LDL cholesterol).  Based upon the intriguing findings of this small and short-duration study, patients with one or more health factors associated with metabolic syndrome might consider adding some blueberries to their daily diet, in addition to the standard treatment for this life-threatening disorder!

 

For more information on blueberries, and other sources of dietary polyphenols, as part of a cancer prevention lifestyle, watch for the publication of my new landmark evidence-based book, “A Cancer Prevention Guide for the Human Race,” in September of this year.



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: 

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



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