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April 2004 vol
February 2005 Vol. 2 No. 2
increased ability to produce nitric oxide, which
What’s In the News
relaxes the artery and improves endothelialfunction. Folic acid also lowers homocysteine
This month I’d like to share with you some of the
levels in the blood stream, which can directly
most recent articles that have come out in the
damage the endothelial lining of arteries.
medical journals. I really enjoy keeping up withthe cutting edge research. I’m always affirmed
This study also points out that a higher intake of
when newly released studies support what I’ve
calcium, magnesium, potassium, and dietary fiber
are also associated with a decreased risk of
website for many years. So let’s take a quick look
developing hypertension. When you combine
at six recent studies and hear what they have to
cellular nutrition with a healthy diet and exercise,
you are able to reverse insulin resistance, whichis also a major reason so many people aredeveloping hypertension.
Forman, JP; Rimm, EB, et al. “Folate Intake
and the Risk of Incident Hypertension Among
US Women”; JAMA, January 19, 2005—Vol
Farshchi HR, Taylor MA, and Macdonald, IA.
293, No. 3
“Beneficial Metabolic Effects of Regular Meal
Frequency….”, American Journal of Clinical
Hypertension is a serious problem, increasing the
risk of heart attacks, heart failure, stroke, andkidney failure. Around 29% of the population now
These researchers investigated the effect of meal
frequency on weight gain and the risk of heart
medication for it, yet in the majority of the cases,
disease. They found that the more irregular one
hypertension is not brought under control by these
eats their meals and snacks, the more they
e their weight. They also found thatindividuals who ate irregularly had increased
Forman and Rimm looked at over 93,000 women
and LDL cholesterol levels in their blood, and their
to see if taking supplemental folic acid (folate)
insulin sensitivity significantly decreased
decreased the risk of hypertension. Theyconcluded that an intake of supplemental folic
These findings point out very clearly that the more
acid (over 1,000 mcg) significantly decreased the
regular you eat your meals and snacks, the more
risk of high blood pressure, especially among
weight you lose and the more you decrease your
risk of heart disease.
Individuals who were also
their diet with 1,000 mcg of folic acid had a 46%
consuming the good fats, good proteins, and good
risk of developing high blood pressure.
carbohydrates in regular meals and snacks did
Interestingly, women who merely consumed more
You can understand why it is critical
folic acid in their diet did not see these significant
to develop the healthy lifestyles promoted in the
results without the use of nutritional supplements.
Healthy for Life Program. You can learn moreabout this in my new book, Healthy for Life
The beneficial effect of folic acid (folate) on blood
pressure was felt to be due to the body’s
Nagoa T, Komine Y. et al. “Ingestion of a Tea
heart disease, but also your risk of colorectal
Rich in Catechins….”; American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition, 2005;81:122-9
Green tea provides a number of health benefits.
Larsson SC, Bergkvist L, Wolk A. “Magnesium
Intake in Relation to Risk of Colorectal Cancer
polyphenols and has been shown to decrease
in Women”; Journal of the American Medical
your risk of high blood pressure, heart disease,
Association, January 5, 2005—Vol 293, No. 1
cancer, and diabetes. In this most recent study,the researchers looked at catechins, which are
Larsson, Bergkvist and Wolk conducted a large
another nutrient in green tea. They found that
population-based study of over 60,000 Swedish
consistent intake of green tea containing high
women to investigate how the consumption of
levels of catechins actually reduced body fat.
This was felt to be due to an increase in energy
colorectal cancer. They found a direct correlation:
The higher the intake of magnesium, the lower therisk of developing colorectal cancers.
Consider switching from coffee to a fine quality ofgreen tea.
The health benefits are widely
Magnesium supplementation reduces the risk of
supported! You will still get some caffeine but the
colon cancers in animal experiments. Magnesium
benefits to your health are numerous.
is also essential for the stability of normal cellfunction and for DNA repair. It is also critical formaintaining the antioxidant status of the cell.
Chao, A, Thun, MJ, et al. “Meat Consumption
Animals deficient in magnesium display an
and Risk of Colorectal Cancer”; Journal of the
increased susceptibility to oxidative stress.
American Medical Association, January 12,
2005—Vol 293, No. 2
insulin sensitivity among healthy subjects andalso among patients with diabetes. When you
These researchers observed nearly 150,000
take all of this into consideration, you can see why
participants, documenting their red meat intake
I recommend supplementing your diet with 400 to
and comparing it to their frequency of colorectal
800 mg of magnesium each and every day.
cancers. They found that high consumption of redmeat over a prolonged period of time leads to anincreased risk of cancers that occur closer to the
Dansinger ML, Gleason JA, et al. “Comparison
rectum. It appears that the high iron content of red
of the Atkins, Ornish, Weight Watchers, and
meat causes a damaging “cytotoxic” effect on the
Zone Diets for Weight Loss and Heart Disease
Risk Reduction”; Journal of the American
Medical Association, January 5, 2005—Vol.
This is yet another reason to consider decreasing
our intake of red meat and increasing ourconsumption of the good fats found in cold-water
We are a diet crazed society, spending over $30
fish, nuts, and certain vegetables and legumes.
billion on diets and diet programs each and every
Again, it is a matter of balance. Red meat
year in the US alone. There are over 1,000 diet
consumed in moderate amounts did not
books on the market, and yet there is little to no
with an increased risk of colorectal cancer. So
evidence that diets help us lose weight or improve
feel free to enjoy a nice steak on occasion
remember that eating a lot of red meat andprocessed meat not only increases your risk of
In this study, four different diets were evaluated
the program may be more important than the
over a 12-month period of time to observe their
effectiveness to produce weight loss anddecrease the risk of heart disease. They
Diets simply do not work. In my thirty years of
investigated the Atkins, the Zone, Weight
clinical practice, I’ve seen nothing but dismal,
Watchers, and Ornish diets. There were some
temporary results. Medical research continues to
interesting findings that this study revealed:
show that traditional diet programs are failures. Inthis current study, for example, 65% of the
1. Weight loss was only modest, showing that
participants gained back all of the weight they lost
experienced a 5% weight loss and 10% of the
approximately 99% of those who go on a diet will
participants experienced a 10% weight loss.
gain the weight back in two years. That’s the bad
This means that 65% of the participants did
not experience any weight loss or had weightgain. There was no significant difference in
The good news is that a balanced approach to
the amount of weight loss between any of the
food, nutritional supplements, and exercise can
make major improvements to your physical andmental well being. When accompanied by
2. The adherence rate was very low throughout
support, regular evaluations, continuing
all of the diets, especially the Atkins and the
education, and ongoing encouragement, these
Ornish diets, which were felt to be too severe.
efforts can lead to healthy lifestyles that have
sustained a mean adherence rate of about60%. In other words, 75% of the participants
That’s the heart and soul of the Healthy for Life
quit the diets and the remaining 25% stayed
Program. If you or someone you care about is
with the diets less than 60% of the time.
ready to see their life changed for the better and
for the long haul, check out our program at
3. Cardiac risk factors were modestly improved in
copy of my book Healthy for Life
at that website.
particular diets. LDL cholesterol levelsdecreased modestly in all groups except theAtkins diet group. All diets increased the HDL(except the Ornish group) and lowered thetriglyceride levels. Blood pressure, fastingblood sugar, and insulin levels were decreasedin the short-term but failed to show significantimprovement at one year in all the groups,especially the Atkins group.
4. Adherence to the diet program, not the diet
program itself, determined the amount ofweight lost and the improvement in the cardiacrisk factors. The individuals who adhered totheir program had the best results regardlessof which diet they were assigned. This leadsone to conclude that programs that stronglysupport their participants as far as adhering to
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