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Archive for June, 2008

Taking Calcium Supplements? Read This…

Posted by maikeru76 on June 27, 2008

The choices of calcium supplements can be a daunting task. When we look at the brand, we are really looking at the bottle and the choice of pictures and words that the brand conveys to us, while shopping for other things at the same time. Few of us realize that there are several different calcium compounds that are popular and available over the counter.

Here are the three compounds:

1. Calcium Carbonate

2. Calcium Gluconate

3. Calcium Citrate

We have to look at the three choices and understand that, although we are seeing “Calcium” in each form, the terms “Carbonate”, “Gluconate”, and “Citrate” are key words to consider when picking these supplements.

Like other essential minerals, calcium needs to be bonded to other compounds so it is easily absorbed into the body. The term for this is: ‘bioavailability’.

Calcium Carbonate:

Calcium carbonate is a naturally-occurring compound, found in rocks, the bones of mammals, and dairy products. This compound is synthesized in a lab for calcium supplements to assure purity. Calcium carbonate has other uses such as well. It is used for inactive fillers for drug tablets. Powders and capsules and as part of popular antacid formulations.

Calcium Gluconate:

Calcium gluconate, on the other hand, is another for m of calcium that is used to treat hypocalcaemia, or low calcium levels in the blood. This compound has 9.3% bioavalable calcium in its purest form. As with calcium carbonate, it is used as a supplement for treatment of osteoporosis and osteomalacia (‘brittle bone’ disease, which is also brought on by Vitamin D deficiency).

Calcium Citrate:

Calcium citrate is commonly used as a food additive. It can be seen, as well, as ‘E333’ on some food ingredient declarations. It is also used as a ‘water softener’ to remove excess metal ions in drinking water (to make it taste better).

The bioavailability of Calcium Citrate is 2.5 times that of calcium carbonate. Patients that have undergone gastric bypass surgery (Roux-en-Y) or weight-loss surgery are usually instructed to take Calcium citrate.

There are 5 forms of Calcium compound:

1. Calcium Carbonate,

2. Calcium Citrate,

3. Calcium Gluconate,

4. Calcium Phosphate,

5. Calcium Lactate

We won’t go into all the uses of the Calcium Phosphate or Calcium Lactate here, it’s just for reference. Staying informed about what supplements are available, and why one may take them is important. Calcium or the lack of it affects the body directly.

For example:

Most of us are acquainted with the fact that Calcium is a part of our bone and teeth make-up, but Calcium plays many other vital roles in our bodies. Did you know that, if our bodies don’t get enough Calcium intake, that it will demineralize bone to maintain normal blood calcium levels?

Calcium mediates the constriction and relaxation of blood vessels (vasoconstriction and vasodilation), nerve impulse transmission and muscle contraction. It also secrets hormones like insulin 3. This has further reaching impacts into the nerve structure.

Calcium plays a vital role in the body, throughout a person’s lifespan, and is necessary to keep the proper levels up to assure proper body function. Supplements help to shore up the loss of calcium in our diets, especially when many have milk allergies and have to resort to soy or rice milk. It is always good to check with your physician about taking supplements. If you run into a Physician that does not recommend any supplements, you should seek another opinion. Many Physicians are reading the medical journals and seeing the health benefits that supplements carry today, and although it takes them time to study this area, those that have the experience in this area can be a fantastic help.

Calcium (It Does A Body Good!)

*Note: Calcium supplements, e.g. as calcium citrate, may increase aluminum toxicity. Patients with renal disease are at an increased risk of toxicity.

For more information on Calcium and it’s application in the body see:

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/minerals/calcium/

Also, you can look up each compound in http://wikipedia.com, this is an excellent source of information.

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Experimental Cancer Treatment Shows Promise

Posted by maikeru76 on June 23, 2008

A 52-year-old man from Oregon stricken with melanoma (a type of skin cancer) and who was given less than a year to live has experienced remission from his cancer. The treatment that he went under involved the use of still-experimental technology that ramped up his immune system so strongly that it killed his remaining tumors.

This surprising, just-released finding is considered to be a part of the increasing small successes in the use of experimental immune-boosting technology in treatment of hard-to-treat cancers like melanoma. It was noted in the latest study, released on June 18 Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine, that the experimental treatment protocol given to this patient was the only remission in a small study done involving 8 other patients done two years ago.

Doctors and research scientists have long drawn up theories and done studies to test the premise of boosting a person’s immune system to cure cancer as far back as 20 years ago. The focus of this study, done by doctors and researchers of doctors of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, were using the patient’s own “helper T-cells” in his blood extracted and modified in a laboratory. These were then injected back into his bloodstream. These “helper cells” were thought to guide the killer T-cells to the cancer cells resulting in the remission. Another finding that boosted cancer researchers enthusiasm in this type of treatment are the negligible negative side effects as compared to other conventional treatments.

Other ways of helping or modifying the human immune response to defeat cancer cells are still being perfected. One controversial technology (at least in the U.S.) is the use of stem cells to help in the campaign to finally find a cure for treatment-resistant or hard-to-access types of cancer like glioblastomas (a type of brain cancer).

The discovery that adult stem cell technology can be as effective as the very controversial embryonic stem cells (extraction involves the destruction of human embryos) last year has spurred renewed interest in the use of stem cell technology as a treatment, not only of cancer but other serious, life-threatening diseases as well. The downside is that the cells extracted using the latest techniques do not survive in the human body long enough to be effective.

As treatments get more sophisticated and new findings are being released, what we could do right now is reduce, if not eliminate, factors such as smoking, heavy consumption of processed food and lack of excercise that contribute to the development of serious diseases. As the saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

Sources:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080614/

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Genes Can Be Influenced with a Healthy Lifestyle

Posted by maikeru76 on June 19, 2008

Yes, you heard that right. A new study has shed light that having a healthy lifestyle; that is by eating right, exercising, and eliminating risk factors for disease like heavy alcohol intake and smoking, has shown that not only do our physiques improve, but our genes can undergo dramatic changes for the better.

The study was done on 30 prostate cancer (low risk) patients, who denied having conventional treatment, were prescribed a program that sought to change their eating habits, have light exercise (30 minutes of light walking), and stress management methods incorporated to their daily routines.

The results, after 3 months, were as expected such as weight loss, improved blood pressure levels and other health improvements. What made this study different was that biopsies from the patients’ prostates were compared with before and after they took the changes in their lifestyles.

The findings were astonishing. Gene markers for disease like prostate cancer appeared to have been turned off. It was also found out that genes that helped prevent predisposition of cancers and other diseases appeared to have strengthened.

The findings and study have been published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The research study was led by Dr. Dean Ornish, a world-renowned advocate of healthy living and head of the Preventive Medicine Institute based in Sausalito, California.

Though the study can been deemed inconclusive due to the small group it was done on, it appears that genes can be influenced for the better through healthy living. The common knowledge that our predisposition to diseases like cancer “is in the genes” has been opened to new scrutiny.

What we could do right now is to get a start on having a healthy lifestyle. Like what the program study prescribed to the cancer patients, that is by eating healthy, having a low impact exercise program like walking and eliminating risk factors like heavy alcohol and tobacco use; prevention can become a part of the cure.

Source:

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080617/

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Weight Control Can Be Fun!

Posted by maikeru76 on June 19, 2008

Do you swear by low-carbohydrate? are you on Atkins? Have you signed up for Weight Watchers? how about South Beach Diet? Or any other “latest diet” by word-of-mouth for that matter. There are lot of choices and programs for YOU out there. With help of the World Wide Web and arming yourself with common sense, you can adapt diet and lifestyle programs that fit your lifestyle.

How? Well, all of the diet programs and “fads” have a common goal; calorie reduction and lasting weight control. All the advocates of these have different approaches to obtain that goal. All you have to do is follow them OR adapt them to your lifestyle.

If your the typical “grazer”, you add fruits and salads, with reduced-calorie dressing, in your snack “menu”. If you tend to eat heavy meals, why not watch your portions. NEVER “super-size” your fast-food servings. If you really like extra gravy on your mashed potatoes, why not try flavorful yet low-calorie gravy substitutes or step the flavor factor of your mashed potatoes or steamed rice with different seasonings that you like (just be careful with the sodium content on some seasoning mixes though). Learn new recipes of your favorites. An important key to lasting weight loss is that you reduce your calorie intake.

To boost your metabolism , that is increasing your body’s capability to burn calories, Why not start an exercise program that is approved or recommended for you by an accredited medical or fitness professional? Regular brisk walking, if done properly, does wonders for your muscles and joints. How about vigorous dancing to music you like?. Play your favorite dance track CD or download your favorite track to your music player and get ready to shake some serious booty.

You can also use other means to speed the weight reduction. I found one product that looked really good called Tonalin Cla

Weight control can really be fun!.

To wrap it all up:

  • Make wise food choices, choose flavorful substitutes.
  • Watch your meal AND snack portions.
  • Keep moving, start a sensible exercise program.
  • And above all, make it fun!.

Remember: A calorie saved is an inch lost!

Sources:

http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/weightcontrol.html

http://www.medicinenet.com/weight_management/article.htm

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