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Health Pearls May 2010

May 1, 2010 – Week 1


The multiple vitamin industry is a $20 billion dollar business; but does it improve health and longevity? “The Women's Health Initiative (WHI) study includes 161,808 women. At the start of the study, researchers asked women if they were taking multivitamins and for how long. After 8 years of observation, researchers looked to see if they could find a health advantage in those taking multivitamins. They could find no link between taking multivitamins and risk of cancer, heart disease, or stroke. Neither was there any link between multivitamin use and total mortality. In some specific cases, those taking multivitamins had a slight increased risk of disease such as for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. These results were similar to Harvard's Nurses' Health Study, in which researchers found no significant health advantage to taking multivitamins, except for a slightly lower risk for colon cancer in women taking multivitamins for more than 15 years. (Some research shows folic acid to be protective against bowel cancer.) Researchers also found a slight increased risk for fatal non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in multivitamin users.” Take home message, there is no substitute for eating a healthy plant based diet! So for better health, avoid supplements unless there is a specific medical need! (Archives of Internal Medicine. 2009;169(3):294-304.)(Italics added)


May 8, 2010 – Week 2


“Food should be prepared in such a way that it will be appetizing as well as nourishing. It should not be robbed of that which the system needs. I use some salt, and always have, because salt, instead of being deleterious, is actually essential for the blood. (CD 344.2)” “We bear positive testimony against tobacco, spirituous liquors, snuff, tea, coffee, flesh meats, butter, spices, rich cakes, mince pies, a large amount of salt, and all exciting substances used as articles of food. (CD 468.3) “Eating too much sodium is linked to health problems, such as high blood pressure, stroke, heart disease, and kidney disease, and contributes to osteoporosis (sodium increases calcium excretion)…. As salt (sodium) intake goes up in a nation, so does the risk for high blood pressure, early heart attacks, stroke, and early death. New research published in the New England Journal of Medicine estimated the benefit to the health of our nation if we simply reduced salt intake by half (decreasing sodium intake by1,200 mg/day). New cases of coronary heart disease would decrease by 60,000 per year. Strokes would decrease by 32,000 per year. Heart attacks would decrease by 54,000 per year. Deaths from any cause would decrease by 44,000 every year.The recommended intake for sodium is less than 2,300 mg/day for healthy young individuals, or less than 1,500 mg/day for persons 50 and older, African-Americans, and individuals with elevated blood pressure (120/80 or higher), or persons at increased risk for high blood pressure (obese, inactive, or a family history of high blood pressure). So for better health, eat foods before they have been processed because processed food accounts for 75% of the sodium in the average American diet! ((Making Healthy Choices Newsletter, Issue 53, March 2010) (Italics added)


May 15, 2010 – Week 3


“The American Cancer Society points out the importance of eating more fruits and vegetables while reducing the intake of foods high in saturated fat and increasing intake of whole grains. These foods are all high in fiber and are healthy for the bowel. Legumes are a good source of fiber (the highest of any food group), are high in folic acid (a B-vitamin linked to lower risk of colon cancer), and are loaded with many other phytochemicals that seem to protect against colon cancer formation or growth. If you want to reduce your chances of getting cancer, eat more legumes, including peas, beans, soy, lentils, and garbanzos. They are excellent sources of protein, are inexpensive, and are good alternatives to red meat which numerous health studies have found increases the risk of colon cancer. Aim to include legumes in your diet at least 3-4 times weekly, daily when possible. Add garbanzos to your salads. Consume lentil and split pea soup for lunch. Enjoy black bean tacos. Add tofu to your stir fry. For better health, look for a variety of ways to include more legumes in your daily diet.” (Making Healthy Choices Newsletter, Issue 53, March 2010)







May 22, 2010 – Week 4


“Feeling a little irregular? There's a certain type of bread that may help keep things moving along: rye. In a study, eating whole-grain rye bread every day for 3 weeks produced even better relief from constipation than laxatives did. And unfortunately, about 30 percent of people living in Western countries suffer from chronic constipation. Eating more fiber is a great way to get things moving again, and whole-grain rye bread is a great source. In the study, people who bulked up their diets with about nine slices of fiber-rich (4 grams of fiber/slice) rye bread daily experienced significant relief from their constipation. Food took less time to pass through their bodies, and they were able to go more times each week.” So for better health, eat whole grains daily and high fiber rye bread for constipation! ( – April 26, 2010) Remember, “For use in breadmaking, the superfine white flour is not the best. Its use is neither healthful nor economical. Fine-flour bread is lacking in nutritive elements to be found in bread made from the whole wheat. It is a frequent cause of constipation and other unhealthful conditions.” (M.H. 300)


May 29, 2010 – Week 5


“In order for the brain to have clearness and strength of thought, retentive memory, and mental power, the muscles of the body should have exercise a portion of each day in order to preserve and improve health.  (Health Reformer, May 1, 1873 par. 5)” To cut your risk of Alzheimer's by more than half, just do this for 20 minutes twice a week: walk. Exercising for 20 to 30 minutes a couple of times a week not only slashed Alzheimer's risk by as much as 60 percent in a study but also cut the risk of regular dementia in half. In the study, midlife exercise appeared to be key in warding off mental decline later in life. And those who had genes that made them more susceptible to Alzheimer's reaped the greatest protective benefits from physical activity. Great to know that genes don't necessarily control your destiny, right? People in the study didn't have to exercise hard to protect their brain, either. A couple of moderately intense workouts a week was all it took. Researchers suspect that exercise protects the brain by promoting blood vessel health and boosting the brain's ability to repair damage. ( – April 26, 2010) So for better health, get moving!


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