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Thread: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

  1. #41
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    Aspirin may be doing you more harm than good

    By Kerry Sullivan, National Monitor | January 14, 2015

    A recent study suggests doctors have been inappropriately prescribing aspirin to patients.

    A recent study shows that one in ten patients advised by their doctors to take aspirin in order to prevent a first heart attack or stroke were prescribed the medicine inappropriately. The unnecessary aspirin in fact increases the risk of hemorrhages in the lining of the stomach and the intestines.

    The study was conducted by the Bayer College of Medicine in Houston, Texas and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

    Using established guidelines, the research team concluded that daily aspirin use would be inappropriate for patients with less than a six percent chance of having a heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. The team then applied this maxim to a nationwide sample of 69,000 people receiving aspirin for prevention of cardiovascular disease.

    Patients who had previously experienced a heart attack or stroke, or who had preexisting heart conditions were excluded from the study. The records surveyed were from 119 clinics between the years of 2008 and 2013.

    The results show that nearly 12 percent of patients should not have been prescribed aspirin. These numbers may be even higher given that aspirin can be purchased over-the-counter as well.

    While aspirin can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, it carries an even greater risk of internal bleeding. “Major coronary events are reduced 18 percent by aspirin, but at the cost of an increase of 54 percent of major extracranial bleeding,” said Professor Freek W.A. Verheugt of the Heart and Lung Center at the University Medical Centre of Nijmegen in the Netherlands.

    It is the doctor’s job to balance that risk. The American Heart Association recommends using their model for calculating risk of cardiovascular disease. The metrics involved in this calculation in age, race, sex, HDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, diabetes status, blood pressure, and whether or not the person is a smoker. The researchers believe that doctors must have missed one or more of these factors when determining if aspirin was appropriate for the patient.

    The study showed that women were almost three times as likely as men to take aspirin preventatively. Additionally, those who were inappropriately proscribed aspirin tended to be 16 years younger than patients for whom it was appropriate.

    Consult with your doctor to see if taking aspirin is right for you.

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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    5 Reasons to Take Astaxanthin Every Day

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    Astaxanthin (pronounced "asta-ZAN-thin") is a naturally-occurring carotenoid found in algae, shrimp, lobster, crab and salmon. Carotenoids are pigment colors that occur in nature and support good health. Beta carotene, for example, is orange. Astaxanthin, dubbed the "king of the carotenoids" is red, and is responsible for turning salmon, crab, lobster and shrimp flesh pink. In the animal kingdom, astaxanthin is found in the highest concentration in the muscles of salmon. Scientists theorize astaxanthin helps provide the endurance these remarkable animals need to swim upstream. For humans, astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant with broad health implications and unlike other antioxidants, such as beta carotene, zeaxanthin, vitamin E, C, D and selenium, astaxanthin never becomes pro-oxidant in the body. [23, 24, 25, 26]

    Astaxanthin has been discussed by Dr. Mehmet Oz and Dr. Joe Mercola and recommended by many health experts, including myself. I take 12 milligrams every morning. I'd like to clarify one myth now: Krill supplements contain trace amounts of astaxanthin, not nearly what you need to achieve the therapeutic benefits discussed today. Here are five reasons to take astaxanthin supplements every day:
    1. Astaxanthin Can Help Relieve Pain and Inflammation

    Astaxanthin is a potent anti-inflammatory and pain reliever, blocking different chemicals in your body that make you scream "ouch!" More than that, astaxanthin reduces the inflammatory compounds that drive many chronic diseases. Even though it's 100 percent natural, astaxanthin works like some prescription analgesics, but without the risk of addiction, GI bleeds or heartburn. More specifically, astaxanthin blocks COX 2 enzymes just like Celebrex, the blockbuster drug prescribed for osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, acute pain and monthly dysmenorrhea. [1] In fact, astaxanthin works well with Celebrex -- it would be wise to take both together if you want to and if your doctor approves of astaxanthin.

    Natural astaxanthin not only affects the COX 2 pathway, it suppresses serum levels of nitric oxide, interleukin 1B, prostaglandin E2, C Reactive Protein (CRP) and TNF-alpha (tumor necrosis factor alpha), and all of this has been proven. [1] Natural astaxanthin was shown to reduce CRP by more than 20 percent in only eight weeks; there is not a prescription drug I know of that does that! [21] Even the American Heart Association claims CRP is a key indicator of heart disease. [22]

    2. Astaxanthin Helps Fight Fatigue
    Astaxanthin provides excellent recovery from exercise. [17] Just like salmon making the heroic upstream swim, astaxanthin can help athletes do their best. Pure natural astaxanthin is indicated for recovery of muscles, better endurance, enhanced strength and improved energy levels. [18, 19, 20]

    3. Astaxanthin Supports Eye Health
    Remember the famous song, "I can see clearly now, the rain is gone..." Well, I associate that song with astaxanthin. It has the unique ability to cross through a barrier and reach your retina. Well-designed clinical trials have shown that astaxanthin helps diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, eye strain and fatigue and seeing in fine detail. There are well-designed positive human clinical trials supporting eye health. [4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]

    4. Astaxanthin Cleans Up the Cells
    Astaxanthin is in a class of its own when it comes to antioxidant coverage, because it filters into every cell of the body. Its unique molecular lipophilic and hydrophilic properties allow it to span the entire cell, with one end of the astaxanthin molecule protecting the fat-soluble part of the cell and one end protecting the water-soluble part of the cell. You might think of it as giving your cell a full-body hug!

    Natural astaxanthin is exceptionally powerful in singlet-oxygen quenching. A 2007 study analyzed several popular antioxidants and their antioxidant power. [10] This study found astaxanthin was 6,000 times stronger than vitamin C, 800 times stronger than CoQ10, 550 times stronger than green tea catechins and 75 times stronger than alpha lipoic acid.

    5. Gorgeous Skin and Sunscreen Protection
    Astaxanthin has been shown to protect the body's largest organ. The studies are clear and consistent and show excellent results for helping with skin moisture levels, smoothness, elasticity, fine wrinkles, and spots or freckles. [12]

    I have fair skin that tends to freckle, so I take astaxanthin, in part because it reduces damage caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun. In fact, if you get a sunburn, which causes inflammation, astaxanthin penetrates the skin cells and reduces UVA damage. Think of it as an internal sunscreen. Other than skin benefits, I love astaxanthin because it relieves my minor aches and pains from yoga, dance, hiking, kayaking and whatever else I get into in the name of fun!
    Best Astaxanthin Sources
    Wild Pacific salmon, especially sockeye salmon, have the highest astaxanthin content. However you'd have to eat about 6 ounces (165 grams) daily to get a 3.6 milligram dose. [11] Since studies show that doses greater than that provide anti-inflammatory benefits, I always suggest an astaxanthin supplement.
    Shop wisely, because you want to make sure that your particular brand has undertaken all the special precautions to harvest it properly, purify it, encapsulate it and protect its potency right up to the expiration date on the bottle. You can find astaxanthin supplements by many makers at health food stores nationwide.
    For more by Suzy Cohen, R.Ph., click here.
    For more on diet and nutrition, click here.

    1. Lee SJ, Bai SK, Lee KS, Namkoong S, Na HJ, Ha KS, Han JA, Yim SV, Chang K, Kwon YG, Lee SK, Kim YM. Astaxanthin inhibits nitric oxide production and inflammatory gene expression by suppressing I(kappa)B kinase-dependent NF-kappaB activation. Mol Cells. 2003 Aug 31;16(1):97-105. PubMed PMID: 14503852.
    2. Kearney PM, Baigent C, Godwin J, Halls H, Emberson JR, Patrono C. Do selective cyclo-oxygenase-2 inhibitors and traditional non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs increase the risk of atherothrombosis? Meta-analysis of randomised trials. BMJ. 2006 Jun 3;332(7553):1302-8. PubMed PMID: 16740558; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1473048.
    3. Belknap SM. NSAIDs were associated with increased risk for mortality, regardless of time since first MI. Ann Intern Med. 2013 Jan 15;158(2):JC10. doi:
    10.7326/0003-4819-158-2-201301150-02010. PubMed PMID: 23318332.
    4. Iwasaki Tsuneto, Tahara Akihiko. Effects of Astaxanthin on Eyestrain Induced by Accommodative Dysfunction. Journal of the Eye VOL.23;NO.6;829-834(2006)
    5. Nagaki Y., Hayasaka S., Yamada T., Hayasaka Y., Sanada M., Uonomi T. Effects of Astaxanthin on accommodation, critical flicker fusion, and pattern visual evoked potential in visual display terminal workers. Journal of Traditional Medicines 2002: 19 (5), 170 - 173.
    6. Nagaki Yasunori et al. The Effect of Astaxanthin on Retinal Capillary Blood Flow in Normal Volunteers. Journal of Clinical Therapeutics & Medicines Vol.21;No.5;537-542(2005)
    7. Sun Z, Liu J, Zeng X, Huangfu J, Jiang Y, Wang M, Chen F. Protective actions of microalgae against endogenous and exogenous advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) in human retinal pigment epithelial cells. Food Funct. 2011 May;2(5):251-8. doi: 10.1039/c1fo10021a. Epub 2011 Apr 21. PubMed PMID: 21779563.
    8. Ishida S. Lifestyle-related diseases and anti-aging ophthalmology: suppression of retinal and choroidal pathologies by inhibiting renin-angiotensin system and inflammation. Article in Japanese: Nihon Ganka Gakkai Zasshi. 2009 Mar;113(3):403-22; discussion 423. Review. Japanese. PubMed PMID: 19348185.
    9. Liao JH, Chen CS, Maher TJ, Liu CY, Lin MH, Wu TH, Wu SH. Astaxanthin interacts with selenite and attenuates selenite-induced cataractogenesis. Chem Res Toxicol. 2009 Mar 16;22(3):518-25. doi: 10.1021/tx800378z. PubMed PMID: 19193053.
    10. Nishida Y. et. al, Quenching Activities of Common Hydrophilic and Lipophilic Antioxidants against Singlet Oxygen Using Chemiluminescence Detection System.
    Carotenoid Science 11:16-20 (2007)
    11. Iwamoto T, et al. Inhibition of low-density lipoprotein oxidation by astaxanthin. J Atherosc Thromb 2000;7:216-22.
    12. Camera E, Mastrofrancesco A, Fabbri C, Daubrawa F, Picardo M, Sies H, Stahl W. Astaxanthin, canthaxanthin and beta-carotene differently affect UVA-induced oxidative damage and expression of oxidative stress- responsive enzymes. Exp Dermatol. 2009 Mar;18(3):222-31. Epub 2008 Sep
    13. Yamashita, E. Beauty From Within: A Synergistic Combination Of Astaxanthin And Tocotrienol For Beauty Supplements (2002) Cosmetic Benefit of Dietary Supplements Containing Astaxanthin and Tocotrienol on Human Skin. Food Style 21 6(6):112-17.
    14. A novel micronutrient supplement in skin aging: a randomized placebo-controlled double-blind study. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology Volume 4 Page 277 - December 2005
    15. Suganuma K, Nakajima H, Ohtsuki M, Imokawa G. Astaxanthin attenuates the UVA-induced up-regulation of matrix- metalloproteinase-1 and skin fibroblast elastase in human dermal fibroblasts. J Dermatol Sci. 2010 May;58(2):136-42. Epub 2010 Feb 18.
    16. Arakane Kumi. Effect of Antioxidant to Inhibit UV-Induced Wrinkles. Journal of Japanese Cosmetic Science Society Vol. 27;No.4; 298-303(2003).
    17. Aoi, et al, 2003. Astaxanthin limits exercise-induced skeletal and cardiac muscle damage in mice. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2003 Feb;5(1):139-44.
    18. Curt L. Malmsten and Ĺke Lignell. Dietary Supplementation with Astaxanthin-Rich Algal Meal Improves Strength Endurance. A Double Blind Placebo Controlled Study on Male Students. Carotenoid Science, Vol.13, 2008 ISSN 1880-5671.
    19. Aoi W, Naito Y, Takanami Y, Ishii T, Kawai Y, Akagiri S, Kato Y, Osawa T, Yoshikawa T. Astaxanthin improves muscle lipid metabolism in exercise via inhibitory effect of oxidative CPT I modification. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2008 Feb 22;366(4):892-7. Epub 2007 Dec 17.
    20. Ikeuchi M, Koyama T, Takahashi J, Yazawa K. Effects of astaxanthin supplementation on exercise-induced fatigue in mice. Biol Pharm Bull. 2006 Oct;29(10):2106-10.
    21. Gene A. Spiller, PhD, Antonella Dewell, MS, RD, Sally Chaves, RN, Zaga Rakidzich. Effect of daily use natural astaxanthin on C-reactive protein. Health Research & Studies Center, Los Altos, CA. Study Report, January, 2006.
    22. Pearson, Thomas; Mensah, George, et al. Markers of inflammation and cardiovascular disease: application to clinical and public health practice: A statement for healthcare professionals from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Heart Association.2003 Jan 28; 107(3) :499-511.
    23. Beutner, S., Bloedorn, B., Frixel, S., Hernández Blanco, I., Hoffmann, T., Martin, H.-D., Mayer, B., Noack, P., Ruck, C., Schmidt, M., Schülke, I., Sell, S., Ernst, H., Haremza, S., Seybold, G., Sies, H., Stahl, W. and Walsh, R. (2001), Quantitative assessment of antioxidant properties of natural colorants and phytochemicals: carotenoids, flavonoids, phenols and indigoids. The role of β-carotene in antioxidant functions. J. Sci. Food Agric., 81: 559-568. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.849.
    24. Spallholz JE. Free radical generation by selenium compounds and their prooxidant toxicity. Biomed Environ Sci. 1997 Sep;10(2-3):260-70. Review. PubMed PMID: 9315319.
    25. Koren R, Hadari-Naor I, Zuck E, Rotem C, Liberman UA, Ravid A. Vitamin D is a prooxidant in breast cancer cells. Cancer Res. 2001 Feb 15;61(4):1439-44. PubMed PMID: 11245448.
    26. Pearson P, Lewis SA, Britton J, Young IS, Fogarty A. The pro-oxidant activity of high-dose vitamin E supplements in vivo. BioDrugs. 2006;20(5):271-3. PubMed PMID: 17025373.

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    Astaxanthin Antioxidant Why Astaxanthin Astaxanthin Supplements Astaxanthin Supplement And Nutrition Natural Pain Relievers Natural Health What Is Astaxanthin
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  3. #43
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    Hmm, going to get some next time and give this one a go.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
    -- Theodore Roosevelt

  4. #44
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    Supposedly this will assist my eyes. That's why I posted the information (for reading later).
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    I may give it a shot as well. My eyes, which have been perfect for nearly 50 years are taking a dump big time. Driving at night has become quite an adventure.

  6. #46
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    There's more to this than just that particular chemical.

    here is a list:


    Some of these are possibly NOT effective some are.

    Lutein is the one I am taking right now. Also Vitamin C. Other stuff not listed above include MSM, Chondroition, and Glucosamine, and even ginko biloba.

    Most of these appear to increase blood supply/blood flow in the body and capillaries.

    however, if you're on blood thinners then some of these things can interfere with them (I'm not on those).

    Some of this stuff can increase your blood pressure (I have to be careful about that, since I take BP meds).

    So, I suggest stongly you 1) have a physical, 2) have your eyes checked regularly (yearly is usually good), 3) make sure you're in good health, if you're not get in good health and 4) Talk to a doctor about this.

    I spoke to two doctors and both said "It can't hurt". But neither would say it would help. My old doctor (now deceased) was the one that had me taking Glucosamine for my joints. It turned out that I had a calcium imbalance which has since been corrected and the joint issues evaporated. I still have some problems with the shoulders and hips, but it's probably a bit of arthritis.

    I plan to start doing a juicing thing to get as much of actual veggies into me as I can to supplement this stuff and get my body back to "normal".

    Hopefully it helps. Won't kill me at least (like these chemicals could if I over did it)
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    Sugar... not good for you. Go to hell WHO.

    New WHO guideline clamps down on intake of free sugars

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    Adults and children should reduce their daily free sugar intake to less than 10% of their total energy intake, according to a new guideline from the World Health Organization.

    "We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay," says Dr. Francesco Branca.
    Glucose, fructose, sucrose and table sugar are all examples of free sugars. These sugars are found naturally in honey, syrups and fruit juices, but can also be added to food and drink by manufacturers.
    The World Health Organization (WHO) explain that much of the sugar consumed these days is concealed within processed foods that are not necessarily perceived as "sweets." WHO provide the example of 1 tablespoon of ketchup containing around 4 g of free sugars, while a can of soda contains up to 40 g of free sugars.
    WHO also find that free sugar intake varies across global regions. For example, while free sugar intake accounts for about 7-8% of total energy intake in Hungary and Norway, it accounts for nearly 25% of total energy intake in Portugal.
    Also, within countries, free sugar intake varies between urban and rural populations. In South Africa, the WHO report notes, free sugar intake accounts for 7.5% of total energy intake among rural communities, but is higher within the urban population at 10.3%
    "We have solid evidence that keeping intake of free sugars to less than 10% of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay," says Dr. Francesco Branca, director of WHO's Department of Nutrition for Health and Development.
    "Making policy changes to support this will be key if countries are to live up to their commitments to reduce the burden of noncommunicable diseases," Dr. Branca adds.
    However, the new guideline does not refer to the sugars found in fresh fruits, vegetables and milk, as there is no reported evidence finding an association between adverse effects and consumption of these sugars.
    The new WHO guideline is "based on analysis of the latest scientific evidence," according to the organization.
    This evidence - rated by the organization as "strong," and therefore appropriate for adopting as policy - shows that adults who consume lower amounts of free sugars have lower body weight and that increasing the amount of sugars in the diet is linked with weight increase.
    In addition, children with the highest intakes of sugary drinks are more at risk of obesity than children with low intake of these drinks. When more than 10% of total energy intake is derived from free sugars, there is also an associated higher risk of tooth decay.
    Suggested further reduction to 5% of energy intake is a 'conditional recommendation'

    However, there are have been few studies on the subject undertaken among populations with low intakes of sugar. There have been only three of these studies on a national population-wide basis that compared the consequences of a total energy intake comprised of 5% free sugars with a 10% intake.
    As such, within WHO's evidence-based guidance system, a further reduction to less than 5% of total energy intake is classed as a "conditional recommendation." Conditional recommendations for public health issues are issued by the organization when the quality of evidence may not be strong enough.
    WHO describe a conditional recommendation as "one where the desirable effects of adhering to the recommendation probably outweigh the undesirable effects but these trade-offs need to be clarified."
    Sugar is a pressing issue in health care right now. In February, The BMJ published the results of an investigation that claimed to expose "extensive links" between the sugar industry and public health scientists.
    Recently, Medical News Today also ran a Spotlight feature examining the benefits of a sugar-free diet.
    Written by David McNamee
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    How much sugar is too much? One can of soda’s worth, health agency says

    By Maria Cheng

    The Associated Press

    March 5, 2015

    LONDON — New guidelines from the World Health Organization are enough to kill anyone’s sugar high. The U.N. health agency says the world is eating too much sugar and people should slash their intake to just six to 12 teaspoons per day — an amount that could be exceeded with a single can of soda.

    So, put down that doughnut. And while you’re at it, skip the breakfast cereal, fruit juice, beer and ketchup.

    The WHO sugar guidelines , released Wednesday, finalize draft advice first released last year and are focused on the added sugars in processed food, as well as those in honey, syrups and fruit juices. The advice does not apply to naturally occurring sugars in fruit, vegetables and milk, since those come with essential nutrients.

    “We have solid evidence that keeping intake of (added) sugars to less than 10 percent of total energy intake reduces the risk of overweight, obesity and tooth decay,” Francesco Branca, director of WHO’s nutrition department, said in a statement.

    Experts have long railed about the dangers of sugar and studies suggest that people who eat large amounts of the sweet stuff are at higher risk of dying prematurely from heart problems, diabetes and cancer, among other conditions.

    To meet the lower threshold set by the new guidelines, Americans, Europeans and others in the West would have to slash their average sugar intake by about two-thirds.

    Americans get about 13 percent of their calories from added sugar, or 268 calories a day, the equivalent of about 18 teaspoons. One teaspoon of sugar is about 15 calories. In Europe, sugar intake ranges from about 7 percent in Hungary and Norway, to 17 percent in Britain to nearly 25 percent in Portugal.

    Some experts said the 10 percent target was more realistic for Western countries than the lower target. They said the 5 percent of daily calories figure was aimed mostly at developing countries, where dental hygiene isn’t good enough to prevent cavities, which can lead to serious health problems.

    Last month, a U.S. government advisory committee recommended that sugar be limited to 10 percent of daily calories, marking the first time the U.S. has called for a limit on added sugars. The Agriculture and Health and Human Services departments will take those recommendations into account when writing the final guidelines, due by the end of the year.

    WHO had previously suggested an upper limit for sugar consumption of around 10 percent, but issued the 5 percent guidance based on the presumed additional health benefits from cutting intake even further, though it said it had no solid evidence to support that.

    “To get down to 5 percent, you wouldn’t even be allowed to have orange juice,” said Tom Sanders, a professor of nutrition and dietetics at King’s College London who wasn’t part of the WHO guidelines.

    He said it shouldn’t be that difficult for most Europeans, Americans and others in the developed world to get their sugar intake to 10 percent of their diet if they limit things like sugary drinks, cereals, beer, cookies and candy.

    “Cake is lovely, but it’s a treat,” Sanders said.

    The Sugar Association slammed the new recommendations, arguing the advice was based on “poor quality, weak and inconsistent data.” It noted WHO itself acknowledged the evidence for the 5 percent target was “very low quality.”

    The International Council of Beverages Associations echoed those concerns and said beverage makers can help people cut back on sugar through smaller portion sizes, as well as no- and low-calorie drinks and providing nutritional information on labels.

    Coca-Cola, for example, has been more aggressively marketing its “mini cans” and has launched a reduced-calorie version of its namesake soda called Coca-Cola Life that’s sweetened with a mix of sugar and stevia, a natural sweetener. Companies have also been working on new technologies to reduce sugar. Senomyx, based in California, makes ingredients that interact with taste receptors to block or amplify sweetness. They have no taste or smell and are listed as artificial flavors.

    Last year, the U.S. proposed new nutrition labels that would be required to list any sugars added by manufacturers.

    Sugar is just one of a number of ingredients that have come under attack, such as salt and trans fat. However, WHO pointed out that when it comes to sugar, most people don’t realize how much they’re eating because it’s often hidden in processed foods not considered sweet. For example, one tablespoon of ketchup has about 4 grams (1 teaspoon) of sugar and a single can of soda has up to 40 grams (10 teaspoons).

    “The trouble is, we really do like sugar in a lot of things,” said Kieran Clarke of the University of Oxford, who said the global taste for sugar bordered on an addiction. “Even if you are not just eating lollies and candy, you are probably eating a fair amount of sugar.”

    Clarke noted that there’s added sugar even in pasta sauces and bran cereals. She said fruit juices and smoothies were common dietary offenders, because they have very concentrated amounts of sugar without the fiber benefits that come with eating the actual fruit.

    Clarke welcomed the new WHO guidelines but said people should also consider getting more exercise to balance out their sweet tooths.

    “If you do enough exercise, you can eat almost anything,” she said. “But it’s very hard to avoid large amounts of sugar unless all you’re eating is fruits and vegetables.”
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