Plant-Based Diets Lower Cholesterol

Vegetarian, especially vegan, diets reduce cholesterol levels, according to a review and meta-analysis authored by Physician Committee researchers and published in Nutrition Reviews. Researchers reviewed 49 observational and intervention studies that compared vegetarian and vegan diets with omnivorous diets and their effects on plasma lipids. Vegetarian diets lowered total cholesterol levels as well as LDL and HDL levels when compared to omnivorous diets. The greatest benefit on lipid levels was seen in those who followed vegan diets. Plant-based diets typically reduce body weight and saturated fat intake, which may benefit cholesterol management. These findings support previous associations of decreased cholesterol levels and vegetarian, especially vegan, diets.

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Fifty Times Lower Colon Cancer Risk

Written By Michael Greger M.D. FACLM 

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, after lung cancer. The rates of lung cancer around the world vary by a factor of 10. If there was nothing we could do to prevent lung cancer—if it just happened at random—we’d assume that the rates everywhere would be about the same. But since there’s such a huge variation in rates, it seems like there’s probably some external cause. Indeed, we now know smoking is responsible for 90% of lung cancer cases. If we don’t want to die of the number-one cancer killer, we can throw 90% of our risk out the window just by not smoking. [Read more…]

The Link Between Nutrition and Cancer Is Not New, Just Ignored

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In 1982, I co-authored (along with 12 other U.S. National Academy of Science NAS Committee members) a 482-page report on “Diet, Nutrition and Cancer.” It was the first institution-based report to suggest that diet and nutrition was impressively connected to human cancer. Recommendations were made to decrease dietary fat and increase consumption of vegetables, whole grains, fruits and legumes for cancer prevention—eventually leading to a whole food, plant-based diet, so to speak. [Read more…]

Prevent Heart Disease!

Atherosclerosis often starts in childhood, 20 years before a formal diagnosis. Vascular physiologist Michael Skilton, Ph.D., with the University of Sydney’s Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise, and Eating Disorders, suspects it starts in utero, based on the effect parents’ dietary choices have on the development of endothelial function, or development of cells that line the arteries.

Eat smarter people including the increased intake of whole grains, fiber, fruits, veggies, seeds, beans (legumes), nuts, and water. And of course eliminate or reduce foods that destruct like soda, fast foods, enriched foods, alcohol, saturated fats and cholesterol infused foods.

According to the American Society of Nutrition, 97 percent of adults fall short on recommended dietary fiber intake, a nutrient only found in plants, with adults and teens consuming roughly half of the government’s recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.5 Only 13 percent of adults consume 1.5 to 2 cups of fruit, and just 9 percent eat 2 to 3 cups of vegetables each day. Our nation’s dietary patterns help illustrate why one-third of adults have elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure, and why two-thirds struggle with excess weight, three leading risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

The good news is that a plant-based dietary intervention is even more effective than today’s leading medications to treat and prevent heart disease, thanks to a high intake of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals and a reduced intake of saturated fats and cholesterol. About half of Americans, even those who maintain a healthful weight, still have at least one modifiable risk factor, such as high blood pressure or elevated cholesterol, for chronic disease. Integrating diet and other lifestyle changes—exercise, maintaining a healthful weight, avoiding tobacco, and limiting alcohol consumption—leaves consumers with only desirable side effects and can prevent around 80 percent of all premature heart disease cases.

It’s never too late to start: Studies show heart-attack survivors who adopt a high-fiber diet reduce the risk of a recurrence by about 40 percent, compared to survivors who make no dietary changes.

Full story: http://www.pcrm.org/health/heart/treat-and-prevent-atherosclerosis

Alcohol: 16 Reasons to Rethink Your Drink

alcohol-16-reasons-to-rethink-your-drink

A recent study suggested a trend toward reduced fertility with high alcohol consumption, more than 14 drinks a week, though results were not statistically significant[1]. Other studies support this finding but others disagree[1]. Apart from fertility, excessive alcohol use is associated with high-risk sexual behaviors and STD transmission[2], date rape and sexual assault[3]. Of course, alcohol consumption duringpregnancy is a bad idea, being a cause of miscarriage[4], fetal alcohol syndrome, alcohol-related neurodevelopmental disorder (ARND) and alcohol-related birth defects[5]. [Read more…]

Men, Protect Our Women! High-Protein Intake Increases Risk for Heart Failure: PCRM

high-protein-intake-increases-risk-for-heart-failure

High amounts of protein increases risk for heart failure in women, according to data presented this week at the American Heart Association’s annual meeting. Researchers tracked and compared different types of protein intake for 103,878 women from the Women’s Health Initiative. Those who consumed the most protein overall increased their risk for heart failure, compared with those who consumed the least. In addition, an increase in vegetable protein lowered the risk for heart failure, suggesting the link is with animal protein specifically.

Read more about the harmful effects of too much protein here.

Barbour MF, Ashraf F, Roberts MB, et al. Association of dietary protein, animal and vegetable protein with the incidence of heart failure among postmenopausal women. Abstract presented at: American Heart Association, annual meeting; November 13-15, 2016; New Orleans, LA.

A Journey to Happiness from Renal Medullary Carcinoma

Journey_ButlerBy Mike Tucker, Jr

Journey Butler is not your normal teenager. Sure she knows all the new dances and latest technology and styles but you won’t see her glued to an electronic device or television. The 13-year-old is a cheerleader, a gymnast, a poet, a Hip Hop and ballet dancer, model and a member of the nationally competitive double-dutch jump rope team dubbed the Greenbelt S.I.T.Y. Stars. She is also an aspiring rapper. View this adorable video about ratting out her older brother called “I’m Telling.” Journey also lights up every room she enters with her endearing smile.

As carefree as children can be, a parent’s world is just the opposite. We have to manage stress at the job and home while still finding time to take our children to every activity and social event possible. The last thing a mother or father wants to be confronted with is an uncontrollable variable like harm, negative health diagnosis or bad grades.

Not too long ago while Journey was preparing for both a cheerleading and dance competition she began to complain about back pain. Wear and tear to an athlete’s body is a given so the Butlers thought to have her medically evaluated. Sadly at the hospital Brian and Camille had to face their worse fear. The discomfort and aching that Journey was experiencing had to do with a previously undiscovered stage 4 cancer above her left kidney.

Journey was diagnosed with renal medullary carcinoma (RMC), a rare and highly aggressive form of cancer affecting young Black patients that carry the sickle cell trait. The cancer grows — many times undetected — behind the kidneys until it’s almost too late to do anything to combat the chronic disease. The average survival rate for patients with RMC is 12 months but few survive more than two years.

Journey_Butler_Fit-Fathers

“February 11, 2016 was the day,” explained Journey’s dad Brian Butler. “We received the diagnosis on my birthday, a day I always think about my mom who I lost at the age of 16. She died from kidney failure, so when the doctor said Journey had a kidney cancer I lost it. Then they said it was stage 4 and that she only has a 10% chance of surviving.”

The cacophonous crash of everything around the Butlers left their ears ringing and vision in a haze trying to make out what happened. How? Why? A proud dad and husband, Brian only wanted to provide for and protect his family. Although he initially felt stripped of that ability Brian has found a new strength and increased faith.

Journey_Butler_FitFathers“It’s crazy. I thought I would have died inside but at that moment I said “No!” Nothing is impossible and we will win. We just have to go back to what’s natural and God’s design will reboot itself.” The Butlers changed to a vegan diet and have adopted a healthier and knowledge-based lifestyle to educate and encourage parents feeling hopeless and helpless.

Her journey to happiness is about spreading awareness about RMC, sickle cell and cheering for those with cancer to keep fighting and smiling. There is no cure for RMC yet but early detection can help by way of knowledge of the disease, its symptoms and getting tested to see if the sickle cell trait is present. Journey’s family has a GoFundMe page #JourneyToHappiness to assist them and encourage against this lethal opposition.

Fit Fathers will bring awareness to RMC through an extensive social media campaign which includes a video, an online fitness challenge and promotion of #JourneyToHappiness. Fit Fathers will also donate proceeds from supporters of www.FitFathersDay.com to the Butler family and the RMC support group which helps families cope with the disease (www.rmcsupport.org).

Thank you all and let’s wish Journey Butler an energetic and exciting “Journey To Happiness” as she rises above RMC!

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Weight Loss Prevents Cognitive Decline

BanardMedicalCenter

Weight loss helps prevent brain damage caused by, according to a study published online in Diabetes Care. Researchers followed 319 participants with type 2 diabetes and overweight or obesity from the Action for Health in Diabetes study. Some participants received an intervention, including nutrition education, while the control group received no intervention. All participants underwent brain imaging and cognitive tests. Intervention group participants reduced their weight by 12 percent and improved their cardiorespiratory fitness, the body’s ability to oxygenate the muscles, by 26 percent, while those in the control group lost 1 percent of their weight and improved their cardiorespiratory fitness by 7 percent. Those in the intervention group had a 28 percent lower volume of white matter hyperintensity, or damaged areas of the brain, when compared to those in the control group.

Espeland MA, Erickson K, Neiberg RH, et al. Brain and white matter hyperintensity volumes after 10 years of random assignment to lifestyle intervention. Diabetes Care. Published online March 29, 2016.

–Physicians Committee Breaking Medical News–

Childhood Obesity Leads to Hypertension

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Physicians Committee’s Breaking Medical News

Childhood obesity may lead to hypertension later in life, according to a study published online in Pediatrics. Researchers followed BMI and blood pressure readings for 101,606 participants aged 3 to 17 from various health care providers for about three years. Those who became obese or remained obese were three times more likely to develop hypertension than those who maintained a healthy weight. This study demonstrates the effect of early weight gain on other chronic diseases during a short time period and stressed the importance of preventive strategies.

Parker ED, Sinaiko AR, Kharbanda EO, et al. Change in weight status and development of hypertension. Pediatrics. Published online February 19, 2016.

 

Fruit Prevents Erectile Dysfunction

main Markus Mainka shutterstock_90796280Physicians Committee’s Breaking Medical News

Adding more fruit to your diet reduces your risk for erectile dysfunction, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Researchers followed the diets of 25,096 men as part of the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and monitored incidence for erectile dysfunction. Participants with the highest intakes of anthocyanins, flavones, and flavanones, phytonutrients found in fruit, lowered their risk for erectile dysfunction by 14 percent when compared to those who consumed the least. Common sources for these flavonoids include strawberries, apples, blueberries, and citrus fruits. Researchers suspect a diet rich in fruits coupled with other healthful lifestyle factors aids prevention and early treatment of cardiovascular disease by improving vascular conditions. Erectile dysfunction is typically an indicator of narrowed arteries, the same disease process that causes coronary heart disease.

Cassidy A, Franz M, Rimm EB. Dietary flavonoid intake and incidence of erectile dysfunction.Am J Clin Nutr. Published online January 13, 2016.