One review of four trials that comprised nearly 9000 participants looked at how well antihypertensive drugs prevent cardiovascular events and death in people with mild hypertension, defined as systolic blood pressure of 140–159 mm Hg or diastolic pressure 90–99 mm Hg (or both). All participants were free of cardiovascular disease at baseline.
No effects were seen over four to five years, compared with placebo, for overall mortality (relative risk 0.85, 95% CI 0.63 to 1.15), coronary heart disease (1.12, 0.80 to 1.57), stroke (0.51, 0.24 to 1.08), or total cardiovascular events (0.97, 0.72 to 1.32). One in 10 people stopped taking antihypertensives because of adverse effects, a fivefold increase over placebo. The review did not report effects of drugs on blood pressure, if any. Another review found two small trials that compared garlic powder with placebo in people with mild hypertension. Garlic might help reduce blood pressure—possibly by about 10 mm Hg for systolic blood pressure and a little less for diastolic blood pressure. However, the confidence intervals were wide, and no data were available on which to assess the potency of garlic to prevent cardiovascular events. Cocoa is rich in flavanols, which cause blood vessel dilatation and are thought to reduce blood pressure. Most of the 20 trials (about 850 participants) tested a daily dose of 500–750 mg of flavanols ingested through chocolate or cocoa products. Most participants were healthy and normotensive at baseline, and most trials lasted only about a month.
Small reductions in blood pressure were seen with cocoa, compared with placebo: −2.77 (−4.72 to −0.82) mm Hg for systolic pressure and −2.20 (−3.46 to −0.93) mm Hg for diastolic blood pressure. One in 20 people allocated cocoa had adverse effects, compared with one in 100 of those receiving placebo. Gastrointestinal effects and a dislike of the product’s taste were the most common problems.
Information sourced from BMJ:
A new study from Chemical Research in Toxicology sheds light on concerns about a food flavoring ingredient (diacetyl or DA) commonly found in microwavable buttered popcorn that produces the popular buttery flavor and aroma. There is evidence that diacetyl intensifies the damaging effects of an abnormal brain protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease.
Diacetyl, while also found in other snack foods, pet foods, and candy, also forms naturally in fermented drinks including beer and wine. Researchers Robert Vince, Swati More, and Ashish Vartak began their studies knowing diacetyl has been linked to respiratory problems before, and found in their own work that it has an architecture similar to a substance that makes beta-amyloid proteins clump together in the brain, and it indeed increase the level of beta-amyloid clumping. This clumping is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease.
At real-world occupational exposure levels, diacetyl also enhanced beta-amyloid’s toxic effects on nerve cells growing in the laboratory. Other lab experiments showed that diacetyl easily penetrated the so-called “blood-brain barrier,” which keeps many harmful substances from entering the brain and at the same time stopped a protective protein called glyoxalase I from safeguarding nerve cells.
I found these ingredients in the yogurt from a restaurant that I went to and decided to look up two of the ingredients when it wasn’t clear what they were made of. To my surprise I found out that titanium dioxide causes cancer when you inhale it. Well I don’t want to eat it since, even though not proven, it probably can cause cancer when eaten. Then I looked up yellow dye #6 and saw all of the different names they can use for it and that it is made from petroleum. I then found out that it also has been considered to possibly cause cancer. So then I found a recommended mg per kg amount per day, which makes me think: how am I going to keep track?
When you buy your food, look at the ingredients in the FDA label and avoid: monosodium glutamate, hydrogenated proteins (which get converted into glutamate), monosodium nitrate and high fructose corn syrup. These ingredients can cause damage to DNA, alter glucose metabolism in the body, and damage the mitochondria in cells which are thought to be the answer to many diseases. Also look up the dyes in your food and other ingredients you don’t recognize. Avoid coal tar in shampoos and other products since 50% of the ingredients in coal tar are unknown. Know what you are putting in your mouth or risk your health in the process. It is no wonder the number of cases of cancer, diabetes and other neurological diseases are increasing.
Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium(IV) oxide or titania, is the naturally occurring oxide of titanium, chemical formula TiO2. When used as a pigment, it is called titanium white, pigment white 6, or CI 77891. Generally it comes in two different forms: rutile and anatase. It has a wide range of applications, from paint to sunscreen to food coloring. When used as a food coloring, it has E number E171.
Titanium dioxide is incompatible with strong reducing agents and strong acids. Violent or incandescent reactions occur with molten metals that are very electropositive, e.g. aluminium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, zinc, and lithium.
Titanium dioxide accounts for 70% of the total production volume of pigments worldwide. It is widely used to provide whiteness and opacity to products such as paints, plastics, papers, inks, foods, and toothpastes. It is also used in cosmetic and skin care products, and it is present in almost every sunblock, where it helps protect the skin from ultraviolet light.
Many sunscreens use nanoparticle titanium dioxide (along with nanoparticle zinc oxide) which does get absorbed into the skin. The effects on human health are not yet well understood.
Titanium dioxide dust, when inhaled, has been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen, possibly carcinogenic to humans. The findings of the IARC are based on the discovery that high concentrations of pigment-grade (powdered) and ultra-fine titanium dioxide dust caused respiratory tract cancer in rats exposed by inhalation and intratracheal instillation. The series of biological events or steps that produce the rat lung cancers (e.g. particle deposition, impaired lung clearance, cell injury, fibrosis, mutations, and ultimately cancer) have also been seen in people working in dusty environments. Therefore, the observations of cancer in animals were considered, by IARC, as relevant to people doing jobs with exposures to titanium dioxide dust. For example, titanium dioxide production workers may be exposed to high dust concentrations during packing, milling, site cleaning, and maintenance if there are insufficient dust control measures in place. However, the human studies conducted so far do not suggest an association between occupational exposure to titanium dioxide and an increased risk for cancer. The safety of the use of nano-particle sized titanium dioxide, which can penetrate the body and reach internal organs, has been criticized. Studies have also found that titanium dioxide nanoparticles cause genetic damage in mice.
Yellow 6 Food Coloring
Sunset Yellow FCF (also known as Orange Yellow S, FD&C Yellow 6 or C.I. 15985) is a synthetic yellow azo dye, manufactured from aromatic hydrocarbons from petroleum. When added to foods sold in Europe, it is denoted by E Number E110. Although there are reports it can induce an allergic reaction, this is not confirmed by scientific research.
Sunset Yellow is useful in fermented foods which must be heat treated. It may be found in orange sodas, marzipan, Swiss rolls, apricot jam, citrus marmalade, lemon curd, sweets, beverage mix and packet soups, margarine, custard powders, packaged lemon gelatin desserts, energy drinks such as Lucozade, breadcrumbs, snack chips such as Doritos, packaged instant noodles, cheese sauce mixes and powdered marinades, bottled yellow and green food coloring, ice creams, pharmaceutical pills and prescription medicines, over-the-counter medicines (especially children’s medicines) cake decorations and icings, squashes, and other products with artificial yellow, orange or red colors.
Sunset Yellow is often used in conjunction with E123, amaranth, to produce a brown coloring in both chocolates and caramel.
At high concentrations, Sunset Yellow in solution with water undergoes a phase change from an isotropic liquid to a nematic liquid crystal. This occurs between 0.8 M and 0.9 M at room temperature.
Sunset Yellow is a sulfonated version of Sudan I, a possible carcinogen, which is frequently present in it as an impurity. Sunset Yellow itself may be responsible for causing an allergic reaction in people with an aspirin intolerance, resulting in various symptoms, including gastric upset, diarrhea, vomiting, nettle rash (urticaria), swelling of the skin (angioedema) and migraines. The coloring has also been linked to hyperactivity in young children.
As a result of these potential health issues, there have been calls for the withdrawal of Sunset Yellow from food use.
On 6 September 2007, the British Food Standards Agency revised advice on certain artificial food additives, including E110. The report said, "This has been a major study investigating an important area of research. The results suggest that consumption of certain mixtures of artificial food colors and sodium benzoate preservative are associated with increases in hyperactive behavior in children.
“However, parents should not think that simply taking these additives out of food will prevent hyperactive disorders. We know that many other influences are at work but this at least is one a child can avoid.”
On 10 April 2008, the Foods Standard Agency called for a voluntary removal of the colors (but not sodium benzoate) by 2009. In addition, it recommended there should be action to phase them out in food and drink in the European Union (EU) over a specified period.
Sunset Yellow is banned in Norway and Finland.
In 2008, a proposed EU deal specified that food and drinks containing any of six artificial colorings that may be linked to hyperactive behavior in children will have to carry warnings, including sunset yellow. The requirement would apply to imports, as well as those made in the EU. Hundreds of products containing the colorings are expected to disappear from shops in the period 2008–2010 following the Food Standards Agency’s (FSA) call for a voluntary ban on their use in food products. UK ministers have agreed that the six colorings will be phased out by 2009.
EFSA decided in 2009 to lower the acceptable daily intake (ADI) for Sunset Yellow FCF from 2.5 mg/kg to 1.0 mg/kg bodyweight per day. Impurities in production may leave unsulphonated aromatic amines in concentrations of 100 mg/kg which may be associated with carcinogenicity. Also a study found that mixtures of four synthetic colors plus the preservative sodium benzoate (E211) cause increased hyperactivity in humans. Sensitivity reactions may occur when Sunset Yellow FCF is mixed with other synthetic colors.
Also, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) panel noted the The Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) limit for lead is ≤ 2 mg/kg, whereas the EC specification is ≤ 10 mg/kg. The color additive can also increase the intake of aluminum beyond the tolerable weekly intake (TWI) of 1 mg/kg/week. Therefore, the limit for aluminum may become adjusted to accommodate for this.
On June 30, 2010, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) called for the FDA to ban yellow 6. The CSPI said, “These synthetic chemicals do absolutely nothing to improve the nutritional quality or safety of foods, but trigger behavior problems in children and, possibly, cancer in anybody.”
On September 9, 2011 the European Union announced that they would be reducing the maximum permitted concentration of sunset yellow (in drinks) from 50mg/L to 20mg/L. The proposed change to be adopted by the end of the year.
Scientists at the National Institute on Aging have found evidence suggesting fasting can reduce the worst symptoms of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. With the correct timing and right amount of calorie cutting, one may be able to live more comfortably with their neurological disorders. The study found that those who went two days while only consuming 500 calories reported being able to manage their symptoms better. Past studies found calorie cutting can greatly increase the lifespan of mice, though human studies have yet to be thoroughly done. The researchers believe that the chemicals the body produces when hungry can counteract the impact of movement disorders. The scientists at the National institute on Aging plan to perform further testing using MRI scans and other techniques.
Read this article on fasting effects on movement disorders on Guardian.co.uk
This article was written by Dr. Moshe Lewis, The Pain Coach
Creating a weight loss lifestyle in 2012 doesn’t have to seem like an insurmountable goal. Break down your goals into smaller, more attainable pieces that will have you creating healthy eating habits, rather than shedding pounds using crash dieting methods that won’t last.
Weight loss is an excellent resolution to have in spite of how difficult it may seem. Although there are many diets and fads that come and go, even a 10-pound weight loss can improve your health and your risk for diseases associated with obesity, like type 2 diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
Here are ten easy steps to jumpstart your weight management program
- Accept that weight management is an achievable goal
If you approach weight management with the frame of mind that small steps will make a big difference over time, then the idea of losing weight will not seem so complex.
- Make a plan to succeed
Identify 10 food items that you currently purchase that you know are bad for you and that you can live without. Make a consistent plan to start eliminating two of these items each week from your grocery list.
- Contact a nutritionist and make an appointment
Every individual should have a customized plan tailored to their age, weight, height, metabolism and activity level. This plan is best created with a professional who will dedicate time to working with you one on one.
- Schedule regular exercise
Make it a goal to double the distance that you walk each day until you are walking at least 30 minutes each day.
- Set realistic goals
Rapid weight loss that can’t be sustained only results in frustration. The goal should be to lose approximately 1-2 pounds every week. Depending on how much you choose to lose, over the course of a year this would result in a substantial amount of weight loss.
- Develop a support system
It is important to join a support group and to develop a network of individuals who are committed to your success. Some of the most accessible groups exist at Weight Watchers, Ediets.com and faith-based organizations. Check your health plan for resources that also may be able to help you maintain your goals.It is important to check your weight regularly. Every week you should check your weight in the morning before you get dressed, on the same scale.
- Positive reinforcement
Feel good about the success that you are making and provide a small reward for yourself each week that is not food related. Some excellent suggestions include a manicure, a massage, taking a scenic walk, purchasing a new CD or new clothing item.
- Congratulate yourself
Weight loss is similar to a marathon that is not always won by leaps and bounds. The goal is to stay focused on your goal even if there are small setbacks from time to time.
- Love yourself
While absolute weight loss is a goal, it is important to love yourself no matter what your size may be.
A new diet, recommended by the American Diabetes Association, called “Consistent Carbohydrates Diet” or “CCD” focuses on reducing the carbohydrates one consumes in hopes that it will help control their diabetes. The experts now believe that carbohydrates are directly related to blood glucose levels. Monitoring the carbohydrates you consume can give you better glycemic control.
How a Physician Orders the Diet
Consistent-carbohydrate meal plan: The meal plan incorporates consistent carbohydrate intake (+15g of carbohydrate per meal or snack), fat intake modifications, and consistent timing of meals and snacks, not specific energy levels. The plan provides four carbohydrate selections (60 grams) at breakfast and five carbohydrate selections (75 grams) at lunch and dinner with the remaining selections from vegetables, lean meats, and appropriate fats. This diet is the standard hospital meal plan for people with diabetes and does not include in-between or evening snacks. The meal plan provides 1,500 to 1,800 kcal/day, with approximately 50% of the energy from carbohydrate, 20% from protein, and 30% from fat (<7% saturated and trans fat combined) (2-4).
There has recently been extensive study regarding nitrates and how they relate to living a healthy live. I’ve always recommended that my patients stay away from foods that contain nitrates in them and now the latest research has found a correlation between nitrates, movement disorder, and cancer. I also warn my patients that “nitrate free” products can also contain nitrates in them, so I courage them to do further research. Here are some of our blog posts on nitrates:
ScienceDaily has reported on new evidence finding a link between an increased level of nitrates in the environment and higher movement disorder rates. The evidence suggests that Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, and Parkinson’s Disease all directly link to nitrates. The findings indicate that the American population consumes 230% more nitrates now than they did in 2005. This article includes interviews with experts on the subject and explains how nitrates might be causing the increase in movement disorders.
This FAQ written by PrevenCancer dives into detail about how hot dogs and similar meat products can cause cancer. Not only is there evidence connecting nitrates to movement and neurological disorders, but there is also plenty of evidence showing it’s a carcinogen. This article answers specific concerns such as:
- What’s wrong with hot dogs?
- How could hot dogs cause cancer?
- Some vegetables contain nitrites, do they cause cancer too?
- Do other food products contain nitrites?
- Are all hot dogs a risk for childhood cancer?
Livestrong.com, a popular health blog, published an article about common foods that contain nitrates. It’s a superb overview of the products I recommend my patients stay away from. The list they provide includes cured products, some vegetables, and tap water. Visit the bottom of the article for references and further reading.
Pesticides have been proven to cause Parksinson’s Disease. Some also cause dysfunction in cells by poisoning the Mitochondria in the cell. Pesticides can also effect cell protein systems, such as Ubiquitin. Rotenone is in the commercial product round up. If you are buying pesticides or herbicides, they may contain synthetic chemicals — Ziram, Rotenone, Paraquat, Maneb, DETC (Diethyldithiocarbamate), Dieldrin, Endosulfan, and Benomyl — which are harmful to the human body.