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

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

    I've seen many things being declared "not good for you" and many things declared "good for you" over the past few years.

    Most recently - after having been taking the stuff for a long time, Glucosamine was declared "useless".

    Today, I read "Resveratrol in red wine, chocolate not tied to better health" - what gives?

    Think about it a minute. Over the years you've heard that eggs are BAD for you, then later, eggs are GOOD for you. Sugar is bad, coffee is bad, sugar is good, Coffee is good".

    Who the hell makes this crap up anyway?

    I personally take a combo of glucosamine, msm, chondroitin for my joints, in particular my knees, shoulders and hips - all the big joints in my body. I weight 175 lbs normally - usually ranging between 172-179 over the course of a year. If I take NOTHING at all I have joint pain in the large joints. If I take this stuff, I have no pain. In fact, I've been regularly taking it for about two solid months, every day. Before that, I took NOTHING - except an occasional ibuprofen (and my normal BP meds).

    Funny, how when I didn't take it I was in pain constantly.

    I went back to taking it and... viola, two months later I have zero pain in my joints. So - who the hell are the people that the media reports on about "this stuff isn't good for you"?

    I don't believe it any more.

    My old Doctor, Doctor Donahue (who died a few years ago from brain cancer) told me to try the glucosamine because it should work for me. I did, and it it did. I thanked him and haven't looked back. As a runner for most of my life until I moved to Colorado I always had knee and hip issues. As a bicyclist it really messed up my hips. Now I can walk and even run again, ride again without any problems.

    So - I am very, very skeptical of these stupid reports that come out all the time now.

    Is there something bigger here? Is there some group that is reporting these things don't work because they really DO work????????
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    Resveratrol in red wine, chocolate not tied to better health

    Press Trust of India | London May 13, 2014 Last Updated at 18:24 IST





    Read more on: Cancer | International News | National News





    Health benefits associated with red wine and chocolate may be exaggerated, according to a new study which found no proof that the antioxidant resveratrol stops heart disease or prolongs life.

    Professor Richard Semba, of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and colleagues found that the antioxidant resveratrol found in red wine, chocolate and grapes was not associated with longevity or the incidence of cardiovascular disease, cancer and inflammation.

    For the study, researchers studied 783 elderly people in two small towns in Tuscany.

    The volunteers gave details about their daily diets as well as urine samples for measurement of their resveratrol intake.

    During the nine years of the study, 268 of the men and women died, 174 developed heart disease and 34 got cancer.

    But urinary resveratrol was not linked with death risk, heart disease risk or cancer risk, researchers found.

    It was not associated with any markers of inflammation in the blood.

    "In conclusion, this prospective study of nearly 800 older community-dwelling adults shows no association between urinary resveratrol metabolites and longevity," the authors wrote in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.

    "This study suggests that dietary resveratrol from Western diets in community-dwelling older adults does not have a substantial influence on inflammation, cardiovascular disease, cancer, or longevity," they wrote.

    "The thinking was that certain foods are good for you because they contain resveratrol. We didn't find that at all. The story of resveratrol turns out to be another case where you get a lot of hype about health benefits that doesn't stand the test of time," Semba was quoted as saying by 'BBC News'.

    Semba said that any benefits of drinking wine or eating dark chocolate or berries, if they are there, must come from other shared ingredients.

    "These are complex foods, and all we really know from our study is that the benefits are probably not due to resveratrol," he said.
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    Ok, there's the "new study" that came out. This is from the Mayo Clinic.... Not the whole article, just the important part. (http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-c...e/art-20048281)

    Red wine and resveratrol: Good for your heart?

    Red wine and something in red wine called resveratrol might be heart healthy. Find out the facts, and hype, regarding red wine and its impact on your heart.
    By Mayo Clinic Staff


    Red wine, in moderation, has long been thought of as heart healthy. The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol) and protecting against artery damage.


    While the news about red wine might sound great if you enjoy a glass of red wine with your evening meal, doctors are wary of encouraging anyone to start drinking alcohol. That's because too much alcohol can have many harmful effects on your body.


    Still, many doctors agree that something in red wine appears to help your heart. It's possible that antioxidants, such as flavonoids or a substance called resveratrol, have heart-healthy benefits.

    How is red wine heart healthy?

    Red wine seems to have even more heart-healthy benefits than do other types of alcohol, but it's possible that red wine isn't any better than beer, white wine or liquor for heart health. There's still no clear evidence that red wine is better than other forms of alcohol when it comes to possible heart-healthy benefits.


    Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in your heart. A polyphenol called resveratrol is one substance in red wine that's gotten attention.

    Resveratrol in red wine

    Resveratrol might be a key ingredient in red wine that helps prevent damage to blood vessels, reduces low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) and prevents blood clots.


    Most research on resveratrol has been done on animals, not people. Research in mice given resveratrol suggests that the antioxidant might also help protect them from obesity and diabetes, both of which are strong risk factors for heart disease. However, those findings were reported only in mice, not in people. In addition, to get the same dose of resveratrol used in the mice studies, a person would have to drink more than 1,000 liters of red wine every day. Research in pigs has shown that resveratrol may improve heart function and increase the body's ability to use insulin. Again, however, these benefits have not been tested in people.


    Some research shows that resveratrol could be linked to a reduced risk of inflammation and blood clotting, both of which can lead to heart disease. More research is needed before it's known whether resveratrol was the cause for the reduced risk. However, one study showed that resveratrol may actually reduce the positive effect of exercise on the heart in older men. It's also important to know that resveratrol's effects only last a short time after drinking red wine, so its effects may not last in the long term.
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    Coffee....

    I drink ONE cup a day. Period (well, technically, it's two cups because it's a larger mug, but I never finish it all).

    I used to drink 10-20 cups a day in the military, all day long and well into the night. I was also in my 20s-30s when I was doing that.

    From Harvard School of Public Health:

    Ask the Expert: Coffee and Health

    The Expert Dr. Rob van Dam
    Assistant Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Harvard School of Public Health
    The Summary



    • Drinking up to six cups a day of coffee is not associated with increased risk of death from any cause, or death from cancer or cardiovascular disease.
    • Some people may still want to consider avoiding coffee or switching to decaf, especially women who are pregnant, or people who have a hard time controlling their blood pressure or blood sugar.
    • It’s best to brew coffee with a paper filter, to remove a substance that causes increases in LDL cholesterol.
    • Coffee may have potential health benefits, but more research needs to be done.
    • Read more about coffee and tea compared to other beverages.


    1. The latest Harvard study on coffee and health seems to offer good news for coffee drinkers. What did the research find?


    We looked at the relationship between coffee consumption and overall mortality in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which together included about 130,000 study volunteers. (1) At the start of the study, these healthy men and women were in their 40s and 50s. We followed them for 18 to 24 years, to see who died during that period, and to track their diet and lifestyle habits, including coffee consumption. We did not find any relationship between coffee consumption and increased risk of death from any cause, death from cancer, or death from cardiovascular disease. Even people who drank up to six cups of coffee per day were at no higher risk of death. This finding fits into the research picture that has been emerging over the past few years. For the general population, the evidence suggests that coffee drinking doesn’t have any serious detrimental health effects.

    2. So for coffee drinkers, no news is good news? Why is this finding so important?


    It’s an important message because people have seen coffee drinking as an unhealthy habit, along the lines of smoking and excessive drinking, and they may make a lot of effort to reduce their coffee consumption or quit drinking it altogether, even if they really enjoy it. Our findings suggest that if you want to improve your health, it’s better to focus on other lifestyle factors, such as increasing your physical activity, quitting smoking, or eating more whole grains.

    3. Is there an upper limit for the amount of coffee that is healthy to drink each day?


    If you’re drinking so much coffee that you get tremors, have sleeping problems, or feel stressed and uncomfortable, then obviously you’re drinking too much coffee. But in terms of effects on mortality or other health factors, for example, we don’t see any negative effects of consuming up to six cups of coffee a day. Keep in mind that our study and in most studies of coffee, a “cup” of coffee is an 8-ounce cup with 100 mg of caffeine, not the 16 ounces you would get in a grande coffee at a Starbucks, which has about 330 mg of caffeine.


    Also keep in mind that the research is typically based on coffee that’s black or with a little milk or sugar, but not with the kind of high-calorie coffeehouse beverages that have become popular over the past few years. A 24-ounce mocha Frappachino at Starbucks with whipped cream has almost 500 calories—that’s 25 percent of the daily calorie intake for someone who requires 2,000 calories a day. People may not realize that having a beverage like that adds so much to their energy intake, and they may not compensate adequately by eating less over the course of the day. This could lead to weight gain over time, which could in turn increase the risk of type 2 diabetes, and that’s a major concern.

    4. Is there any research that suggests coffee may have some beneficial health effects?


    Yes, research over the past few years suggests that coffee consumption may protect against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, and liver cirrhosis. And our latest study on coffee and mortality found that people who regularly drank coffee actually had a somewhat lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease than those who rarely drank coffee; this result needs to be confirmed in further studies, however. This is a pretty active area of research right now, and it’s not at the stage where we would say, “Start drinking coffee to increase your health even if you don’t like it.” But I think the evidence is good that for people in general—outside of a few populations, such as pregnant women, or people who have trouble controlling their blood pressure or blood sugar—coffee is one of the good, healthy beverage choices.

    5. Why does it seem like scientists keep flip-flopping on whether coffee is bad for you or good for you?


    Often people think of coffee just as a vehicle for caffeine. But it’s actually a very complex beverage with hundreds and hundreds of different compounds in it. Since coffee contains so many different compounds, drinking coffee can lead to very diverse health outcomes. It can be good for some things and bad for some things, and that’s not necessarily flip-flopping or inconsistent. Few foods are good for everything. That’s why we do studies on very specific health effects—for example, studies of how coffee affects the risk of diabetes—but we also conduct studies such as this most recent one looking at coffee consumption and mortality over a long period of time, which better reflects the overall health effect.


    Coffee is also a bit more complex to study than some other food items. Drinking coffee often goes along together with cigarette smoking, and with a lifestyle that’s not very health conscious. For example, people who drink lots of coffee tend to exercise less. They are less likely to use dietary supplements, and they tend to have a less healthful diet. So in the early studies on coffee and health, it was hard to separate the effects of coffee from the effects of smoking or other lifestyle choices.


    Over the several decades that coffee has been studied, there have been some reports that coffee may increase the risk of certain cancers or the risk of heart disease. But in better conducted studies, such as the one we just published—larger studies that have a lot of information about all other lifestyle factors and make a real effort to control for these lifestyle factors—we do not find many of these health effects that people were afraid of.

    6. What is the latest research on the risks of coffee or caffeine during pregnancy?


    For pregnant women, there has been quite a bit of controversy over whether high intake of coffee or caffeine may increase the risk of miscarriage. The jury is still out. But we know that the caffeine goes through the placenta and reaches the fetus, and that the fetus is very sensitive to caffeine; it metabolizes it very slowly. So for pregnant women it seems prudent to reduce coffee consumption to a low level, for example one cup a day.

    7. Should people with high blood pressure consider reducing their coffee or caffeine intake? What about people with diabetes?


    We know that if people are not used to using any caffeine, and they start to use caffeine, their blood pressure goes up substantially. Within a week of caffeine consumption, however, we see that the effect is less pronounced—there is less of an increase in blood pressure. After several weeks of continued caffeine consumption, however, a little bit of increase in blood pressure remains. In studies that look at the incidence of hypertension in the general population, drinking caffeinated coffee is not associated with a substantial increase in risk. But if people have hypertension, and are having a hard time controlling their hypertension, they could try switching from caffeinated coffee to decaffeinated coffee, to see if it has a beneficial effect.

    With diabetes, it’s a bit of a paradox. Studies around the world consistently show that high consumption of caffeinated or decaffeinated coffee is associated with low risk of type 2 diabetes. But if you look at acute studies that just give people caffeine or caffeinated coffee, and then have them eat something rich in glucose, their sensitivity to insulin drops and their blood glucose levels are higher than expected. There isn’t any long-term data on coffee consumption and glucose control. But if people have diabetes and have trouble controlling their blood glucose, it may be beneficial for them to try switching from caffeinated to decaffeinated coffee. Making the switch from caffeinated to decaf may be better than quitting coffee altogether, because some research suggests that decaffeinated coffee actually reduces the glucose response.


    8. How do you explain the paradoxical findings on coffee and caffeine consumption and diabetes?


    It’s possible that there are simply different effects for short-term and long-term intake of coffee and caffeine. And, as I mentioned before, it’s becoming increasingly clear that coffee is much more than caffeine, and the health effects that you see for caffeinated coffee are often different than what you would expect based on its caffeine content.


    For example, if you look at exercise performance, it seems that caffeine can be somewhat beneficial, but caffeinated coffee is not. Or if you look at blood pressure and compare the effects of caffeinated coffee to the effects of caffeine, you’ll find that caffeinated coffee causes blood pressure increases that are substantially weaker than what one would expect for the amount of caffeine it contains. The same is true for the relationship between coffee, caffeine, and blood glucose after a meal. It’s possible that there are compounds in coffee that may counteract the effect of caffeine, but more research needs to be done.


    9. Is drinking coffee made with a paper filter healthier than drinking boiled coffee or other types of coffee?


    Coffee contains a substance called cafestol that is a potent stimulator of LDL cholesterol levels. Cafestol is found in the oily fraction of coffee, and when you brew coffee with a paper filter, the cafestol gets left behind in the filter. Other methods of coffee preparation, such as the boiled coffee common in Scandinavian countries, French press coffee, or Turkish coffee, are much higher in cafestol. So for people who have high cholesterol levels or who want to prevent having high cholesterol levels, it is better to choose paper filtered coffee or instant coffee, since they have much lower levels of cafestol than boiled or French press coffee. Espresso is somewhere in the middle; it has less cafestol than boiled or French press coffee, but more than paper filtered coffee.


    10. Do tea and coffee have similar beneficial effects?
    One could expect some of the beneficial effects of coffee to be similar for tea, since some of the compounds are similar. A study in China has found that drinking large quantities of Oolongtea—a liter a day—is beneficial for glycemic control in people with diabetes. But research on tea in the U.S. has not shown the type of beneficial effect we see for coffee, probably because people in the U.S.tend to drink tea that is weaker in strength and tend to drink less of it.
    References

    1. Lopez-Garcia E, van Dam RM, Li TY,Rodriguez-Artalejo F, Hu FB. The Relationship of Coffee Consumption with Mortality. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148:904-914. Summary for patients.
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    Eggs. For YEARS I kept hearing "Don't eat so many eggs!".

    I like my eggs fried, hard boiled, soft boiled, scrambled, turned into omelets and I've eaten them raw (No, thanks, I'll stick to at least soft boiled). I like eggs in bread and other foods and I especially like eggs scrambled or fried with onions, potatoes and spam (yep... I do) in the winter time, out camping in the woods. lol

    There might be some issues with eating fried foods. I use olive oil.

    (Wonder if Olive oil will be found to be bad for you soon?)

    So - eggs, bad or good?

    Eggs Don't Deserve Their Bad Reputation, Studies Show (Op-Ed)

    Katherine Tallmadge | August 30, 2013 08:49pm ET







    Credit: Eggs via Shutterstock View full size image
    Katherine Tallmadge, M.A., R.D., is a registered dietitian, author of "Diet Simple: 195 Mental Tricks, Substitutions, Habits & Inspirations" (LifeLine Press, 2011) and a frequent national commentator on nutrition topics. This Op-Ed was adapted from an article that first appeaared in the Washington Post. Tallmadge contributed this article to LiveScience's Expert Voices: Op-Ed & Insights.



    My clients regularly ask me, "Should I be eating eggs? My doctor tells me they're 'poison,' and to avoid eggs because they'll increase my cholesterol."


    My response? "That's old news!"




    Most of the studies I've seen conclude that eggs are fine — and may even improve your health, as they contain nutrients difficult to find in other foods. More importantly, a report by Ying Rong of Huazhong University of Science and Technology and her colleagues published in the British Journal of Medicine in January, reviewed 17 different egg studies.


    The study concluded, "Higher consumption of eggs (up to one egg per day) is not associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke. The increased risk of coronary heart disease among diabetic patients and reduced risk of hemorrhagic stroke associated with higher egg consumption in subgroup analyses warrant further studies."


    The bottom line: Your nutritional needs and food choices should be personalized. You should enjoy food and eating, as it is one of the basic pleasures in life!
    The much-maligned egg deserves more respect

    My grandmother's favorite food in the whole wide world was eggs (see recipe below). She loved eggs so much, we named an egg cooking style after her. The "grandmommy egg" was soft-boiled for three minutes. As it sat in an egg cup, we would slice off the top third so the runny yolk would form a delicious and naturally creamy sauce for the white.


    Unfortunately, during the last decades of her life, my grandmother came to see eggs as poison and avoided one of her real food pleasures. Health authorities were warning the public against eating eggs for fear that they were a major cause of high cholesterol levels — the bad kind, low-density lipoprotein, known as LDL — and increased risk of heart disease.

    New studies show that the caution may have been an exaggeration.


    Yes, increased blood cholesterol levels can raise the risk of heart disease. Eggs are high in dietary cholesterol. But does eating eggs raise blood cholesterol and cause heart disease? This is where the story gets somewhat complicated, so stay with me, folks, and I'll try to make sense of all of this.
    First, the research

    Most epidemiological research — the kind of research that studies large populations over time and analyzes their diets and their health — has found no connection between eating eggs and increases in heart disease. On the other hand, controlled clinical studies — where researchers feed subjects specific amounts of cholesterol and measure the effect on blood — do show a slight increase in blood cholesterol with increases in dietary cholesterol, though how much depends on genetic factors.


    Cholesterol is an important component of all human and animal cells and influences hormone biology, among other functions. Since your body naturally has all it needs from producing its own cholesterol, there is no dietary requirement for more cholesterol. But the American diet contains plenty, since we eat a lot of animal products. All animal products contain some cholesterol, but they also contain saturated fat, an even more significant culprit in heart-disease risk.


    "The major determinant of plasma LDL level is saturated fat,"said Alice Lichtenstein, professor of nutrition science and policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.


    And while eggs are high in cholesterol (186 milligrams, 184 of them in the yolk), they're relatively low in saturated fat (1.6 grams in the yolk).


    "In most people, for every 100 milligrams reduction in dietary cholesterol, one would predict a reduction in LDL levels of 2.2 points on average,"said Wanda Howell, professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Arizona.


    In fact, during my 20 years of counseling people with high cholesterol, just reducing their saturated fat intake to a range of 4 percent to 7 percent of their calories, causes their blood cholesterol levels to plummet — a double benefit.


    Interestingly, people in Japan — consumers of some of the largest quantities of eggs in the world (averaging 328 eggs consumed per person per year — have low levels of cholesterol and heart disease compared with other developed countries, especially the United States. Why? In part, it's because the Japanese eat a diet low in saturated fat.
    Americans do just the opposite. Research has shown that we usually have our eggs alongside foods high in saturated fat, such as bacon, sausage and buttered toast. This meal pattern raises LDL levels and makes the effect of eating eggs worse than it actually is.


    So how many eggs can you eat? That depends on a number of factors. The American Heart Association no longer includes limits on the number of egg yolks you can eat, but it recommends that you limit your cholesterol intake to 300 milligrams daily, or 200 milligrams if you have heart disease or if your LDL is greater than 100. You decide where that cholesterol comes from!


    Other experts go further and say an egg a day is fine.


    "The amount that one egg a day raises cholesterol in the blood is extremely small, so small in fact that the increase in risk in heart disease related to this change in serum cholesterol could never be detected in any kind of study," said Walter Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition at Harvard's School of Public Health."Elevations in LDL of this small magnitude could easily be countered by other healthy aspects of eggs."



    Based on the research, my recommendation is if you eat a healthful diet, go ahead and eat an egg a day. (My interview on CNN summarizes the key reasons why.) On the other hand, if your cholesterol is high and if you eat the typical American diet — high in saturated fat, devoid of fruits, vegetables and fiber — maybe you shouldn't be eating an egg a day.


    But will taking eggs out of an unhealthy diet make a positive difference? Probably not. I can't tell you how many times during my career I've heard people say, "I've cut out eggs, but my cholesterol is still high!" The impact of a healthy, balanced diet cannot be denied here.
    Good for you

    Assuming you're eating a healthy diet, here are some ways you may benefit by eating eggs.


    Protein. Eggs are considered the gold standard that other proteins are measured against. Because of the superior amino acid mix, an egg's six grams of protein are absorbed easily and efficiently used by the body. The egg is also low-calorie (74 calories).


    Choline. Yolks are one of the best sources of this essential nutrient. Choline is needed for brain development in a growing fetus and may also be important for brain function in adults.


    Lutein and Zeaxanthin. These two, important, beneficial phytochemicals found in egg yolks (as well as kale and spinach) help prevent eye diseases, especially cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. While eggs contain less lutein and zeaxanthin than greens, these phytochemicals are more absorbable because of the presence of fat in the yolk.


    Vitamin D. Eggs are one of the few natural sources of Vitamin D, important for the bones and teeth. Vitamin D aids the absorption of calcium, which is important for the heart and colon, as well.


    To bring this all together, here is a recipe that is a regular meal for me any time of the day — quick, easy, delicious, nutritious!


    Eggs Scrambled with Onion, Garlic and Sweet Cherry Tomatoes
    Servings: 1

    Sauté 1/4 sweet onion and a smashed garlic clove over medium-high heat in 1 teaspoon canola or olive oil until almost soft. Add a handful of chopped tomatoes to the pan (or any other vegetables you happen to have, such as chopped spinach, kale, mushrooms or peppers) and cook for another 5 minutes. Turn down the heat to very low. In a separate bowl, whisk two eggs. Pour eggs into the pan containing the onion, garlic and tomato — add 1 ounce low-fat cheese, if you wish. Stir continuously until eggs are cooked. Pour over toasted, whole rye bread.

    Tallmadge's most recent Op-Ed was "Is BMI Best? 8 Steps to Your Healthiest Weight,"and her additional contributions are available on her profile page. Her latest book is Diet Simple Farm to Table Recipes: 50 New Reasons to Cook In Season. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher. This version of the article was originally published on LiveScience.
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    MYTH: Egg Yolks Are Bad For You

    Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse, but for a while, egg yolks have been demonized in the health-food industry as causing blood-cholesterol levels to skyrocket. Is it true? It's time to set the story straight on the nutritional benefits of an egg.





    The Truth: Not only are eggs a fantastic source of lean protein and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but they contain some pretty important nutrients.



    One large egg has roughly 186 milligrams of cholesterol — all of which is found in the egg’s yolk. Since dietary cholesterol was once thought to be the major cause of unhealthy blood cholesterol, egg yolks have been demonized and health nuts stick to eating strictly egg whites. Now, don’t get me wrong — egg whites are a great, healthy source of protein, but there is definitely room for WHOLE eggs in a healthy diet. As long as you haven’t been advised otherwise by your doctor , you can enjoy the many nutritional benefits of a whole egg. So, yes, you can have an egg and eat the yolk too ! Here are a few reasons why.


    The real threat to high cholesterol is saturated and trans fats, not dietary cholesterol. Years ago, when scientists learned that high blood cholesterol was associated with heart disease, foods high in cholesterol were thought to be the leading cause of unhealthy blood cholesterol. Now, 25 years later, scientists have come to the conclusion that cholesterol in food is not the true villain — saturated and trans fats have a much greater effect on blood cholesterol. Your body actually needs the cholesterol in meat and eggs to make testosterone, which helps to increase energy and helps to build more calorie-building muscle. In fact, one study at the University of Connecticut found that the fat in egg yolks actually helps to reduce LDL (“bad” cholesterol). So banish the old notion that an egg, specifically the yolk, is hazardous to your health.

    According to the American Heart Association, the recommended limit of dietary cholesterol is 300 milligrams for people with normal LDL (bad) cholesterol levels — and one egg contains 185 milligrams of dietary cholesterol. (If you have a history of high cholesterol or heart disease in your family, though, you may want to consult your doctor about how to limit your cholesterol intake.)


    Whole eggs are full of beneficial vitamins and minerals. Whole eggs are a nearly perfect food, with almost every essential vitamin and mineral our bodies need to function. It is one of the few natural food sources of vitamin D and contains 7 grams of high-quality protein. Whole eggs are also full of omega-3 fatty acids and deliver many of the B vitamins and nutrients — B6, B12, riboflavin, folate, and choline — that, in fact, are believed to help prevent heart disease. L-arginine, an amino acid found in eggs, are critical to the body's production of protein and the release of growth hormones. Another amino acid found in eggs, leucine, also helps the body produce growth hormones as well as regulate blood sugar levels. The yolk itself contains most of these vitamins and minerals, plus half of its protein. When you eat only the egg whites, you’re missing out on all of these nutritional benefits and are getting only 3.5 grams, or half, of the protein.


    It’s all in the preparation. If you’re frying your eggs in saturated-fat-laden butter and serving them with saturated-fat-laden bacon — they will have a negative impact on your cholesterol levels. Instead, heat olive oil on low heat in a cast-iron skillet to cook your egg the healthiest way. When cooking omelets, frittatas, or any other dish that involves a larger quantity of eggs, I like to use a mix of whole eggs with egg whites. The reason is that whole eggs do have a decent amount of fat. So, if you’re cooking something with more than two eggs, I recommend subbing in egg whites for some of the whole eggs.


    The Bottom Line: Whole eggs are a power food packed with essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need — a majority of these vitamins and minerals are found in the egg yolk. Eating whole eggs in moderation is not bad for your health, but when making dishes with a large quantity of eggs, try to balance the count of whole eggs and egg whites.
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    May 4, 2014

    Bacon Is Good for You

    Peter Wilson

    Those who love rib-eye steaks and double-cream Brie will feel better about their guilty pleasures after reading Nina Teicholz’s article in this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, “The Questionable Link Between Saturated Fat and Heart Disease.” She writes, for example:
    Too much whole-grain oatmeal for breakfast and whole-grain pasta for dinner, with fruit snacks in between, add up to a less healthy diet than one of eggs and bacon, followed by fish.
    Gary Taubes covered some of the same ground in his excellent 2008 book, Good Calories, Bad Calories: Fats, Carbs, and the Controversial Science of Diet and Health.

    Taubes argued that that consumption of saturated fat does not cause obesity and heart disease; the culprit, instead, is refined carbohydrates like white flour and sugar.


    Teicholz describes the flawed methodology of Dr. Ancel Keys, the director of a large nutritional study conducted in the early 1950s:

    The study's star subjects – upon whom much of our current understanding of the Mediterranean diet is based – were peasants from Crete, islanders who tilled their fields well into old age and who appeared to eat very little meat or cheese.


    As it turns out, Dr. Keys visited Crete during an unrepresentative period of extreme hardship after World War II. Furthermore, he made the mistake of measuring the islanders' diet partly during Lent, when they were forgoing meat and cheese.
    Once the American Heart Association, funded by Proctor & Gamble, makers of Crisco, got behind the crusade, Teicholz argues, “there was no turning back”:

    Too much institutional energy and research money had already been spent trying to prove Dr. Keys's hypothesis. A bias in its favor had grown so strong that the idea just started to seem like common sense.
    Teicholz cites a recent study that confirms the “dubious science behind the anti-fat crusade”:
    "Saturated fat does not cause heart disease" – or so concluded a big study published in March in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.
    […]


    The new study's conclusion shouldn't surprise anyone familiar with modern nutritional science, however. The fact is, there has never been solid evidence for the idea that these fats cause disease. We only believe this to be the case because nutrition policy has been derailed over the past half-century by a mixture of personal ambition, bad science, politics and bias.
    The parallels with global warming science are striking. In both cases, a thesis declared to be “settled science” is supported by “institutional energy and research money.”

    People who question settled science threaten the money, power, and prestige that come with being on the side of the so-called consensus. “Deniers” of “Science” with a capital S are attacked mercilessly as being either ignorant flat-Earthers or corrupt liars, on the payroll of big corporations who profit from their lies. Ironically, the opposite is true.


    Teicholz’s book, The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet, will be released later this month.
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    Iron. You need it in your body. It HELPS you to absorb oxygen to burn calories, which makes your body engine function.

    Here's an article on Iron. Pay attention to the high lights before you go to the next article:

    Iron: An Important Mineral in Your Diet

    Iron is a metal that is essential for life. It is a part of proteins and enzymes found throughout your body, including hemoglobin and myoglobin, both of which help carry oxygen in the blood. Iron is an important component of your muscles, and it helps regulate the growth of cells. Iron comes from foods you eat and any excess iron is stored for future use.


    Iron in foods comes in two forms: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is found in animal foods that originally contained hemoglobin and myoglobin, such as red meat, fish and poultry. Nonheme iron is found in plants, such as lentils and other beans. Nonheme iron is the form of iron added to iron-enriched and iron-fortified foods.


    Healthy adults absorb about 10 to 15 percent of the iron in foods, but several factors can affect the actual amount absorbed. One factor is the type of iron. Heme iron is absorbed more efficiently than nonheme (up to 35 percent is absorbed) and its absorption is not affected by other nutrients in food. From 2 to 20 percent of nonheme iron is absorbed from food. These nutrients decrease the amount of nonheme absorbed: tannins (found in tea), calcium, polyphenols, phytates (found in legumes and whole grains), and some soybean proteins. Adding meat and vitamin C to your meals will improve the absorption of nonheme iron.


    Another factor that affects absorption of iron from food is the amount of iron stored in your body. If you have enough iron stored, you absorb less from food. This protects you from the toxic effects of too much iron.
    How much iron?

    The dietary reference intake (DRI) for iron for healthy adults is based on your age and gender. Menstruating women need more iron because some iron is lost in menstrual periods. Women who are breastfeeding also need slightly more iron. Pregnant women need about twice the daily iron as women who aren't pregnant. If you are pregnant, follow your health care provider's recommendation on iron intake.


    DRI for iron for children and adults
    Age Males
    (mg/day)
    Females
    (mg/day)
    Pregnancy
    (mg/day)
    Lactation
    (mg/day)
    9 to 13 years 8 8 N/A N/A
    14 to 18 years 11 15 27 10
    19 to 50 years 8 18 27 9
    51+ years 8 8 N/A N/A
    Source: Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health

    If you don't get enough iron from the food you eat, your body will use the iron it has stored. If your diet continues to be deficient in iron, your body will eventually use up all the stored iron, and it won't be able to maintain hemoglobin at a normal level. This condition is called iron deficiency anemia. Other factors that can lead to iron deficiency anemia are heavy menstrual blood flow, kidney failure, a deficiency of vitamin A (which helps your body extract stored iron), and certain gastrointestinal disorders that interfere with absorption of iron from food. Healthy adult men and postmenopausal women normally don’t lose much iron and have a low risk for iron deficiency. Some medications can decrease iron levels. These include ACTH (a hormone), colchicine, deferoxamine, methicillin, and testosterone.


    People who regularly engage in intense exercise—female athletes, distance runners, vegetarian athletes—may need 30 percent more iron than normal. If you are an athlete, you should talk to your health care provider about the need for extra iron.


    Symptoms of iron deficiency include:



    • Shortness of breath and dizziness
    • Chest pain (only if anemia is severe)
    • Headache
    • Leg pain


    Symptoms of long-term iron deficiency include a burning sensation in the tongue, or a smooth tongue; sores at the corners of the mouth; pica (cravings for a specific nonfood substances, such as licorice, chalk, or clay); and spoon-shaped fingernails and toenails.


    If your diet can't restore iron levels to normal within an acceptable time, you may need an iron supplement (ferrous or ferric). Ferrous iron salts (ferrous fumarate, ferrous sulfate, and ferrous gluconate) are the best absorbed forms of iron supplements. If you need an iron supplement, your health care provider can determine how much you should take and for how long. Your provider may monitor your blood levels of hemoglobin and ferritin, and the level of newly formed red blood cells to determine how long a supplement should be taken. Iron supplements may cause gastrointestinal side effects such as nausea, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, dark colored stools, and/or abdominal distress.


    It is important to keep iron supplements tightly capped and away from children. Even 200 mg of iron may be fatal in children. Call your health care provider, poison control center or emergency room immediately if you suspect a child has taken an excess amount of iron.
    Iron overload

    Iron overload is a condition in which excess iron is found in the blood and stored in organs such as the liver and heart. It is associated with several genetic diseases, including hemochromatosis, one of the most common genetic disorders in the United States. In hemochromatosis, iron is absorbed very efficiently, which can lead to a buildup of excess iron; excess iron can cause organ damage, including cirrhosis of the liver and heart failure. Symptoms of hemochromatosis rarely appear before adulthood, and it is often not discovered until organ damaged has occurred. Taking an iron supplement may speed up the effects of hemochromatosis; for this reason, adult men and postmenopausal women who are not iron deficient should avoid iron supplements. People who have sickle cell disease, myelodysplastic syndrome, or thalassemia require frequent blood transfusions, which can put them at risk of iron overload. These people are usually advised to avoid iron supplements. Certain medications, such as methyldopa and chloramphenicol, can increase iron levels.


    Joint pain often occurs as iron accumulates in the body. Other symptoms include a lack of energy, weakness, weight loss, abdominal pain, loss of sex drive, and heart problems. Some people have no symptoms. Organ damage from iron overload can include liver disease (an enlarged liver, cirrhosis, cancer, or liver failure); damage to the pancreas, possibly causing diabetes; heart abnormalities, such as irregular heart rhythms or congestive heart failure; impotence; thyroid deficiency; and damage to the adrenal gland.


    Treatment for iron overload includes stopping iron supplements; reducing iron levels by removing blood on a periodic basis; or using iron-chelating medication (drugs that combine with iron in the bloodstream so it can be removed from the body). In November 2005, the FDA approved Exjade (deferasirox), the first oral drug to treat chronic iron overload caused by multiple blood transfusions.


    Iron toxicity, a condition in which iron accumulates to toxic levels in the body tissues and organs, can be life-threatening. People with hemochromatosis are at risk for developing iron toxicity because of their high iron stores. People who take iron supplements, have alcoholic cirrhosis, or have frequent blood transfusions also are at higher risk.
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    This one is from "Every Day Health" about how you should NOT be getting your heme iron from meats, but instead from veggies.... So this is a continued fight between the so-called "Organic" food eaters and the meat eaters, that's all. Note that this author (a woman) doesn't come out and say "Red meat is bad", she asks instead a rhetorical question "Is it bad?" but doesn't really provide an answer, instead hints that a bunch of studies suggest that 57% of the people eating meat in the study were "more likely" to develop heart disease.

    Red heme iron, from red meats, gives you more absorb-able iron whereas the non-heme iron from plants does NOT. This means you can become anemic eating plants only. Anyone ever seen an avowed vegetarian/vegan who looks pale as a midnight moon behind an overcast sky? Yes you say? Me too.

    Is Iron to Blame for Red Meat’s Health Harms?

    By Johannah Sakimura
    Published May 2, 2014






    A diet high in heme iron, found in red meat and other animal proteins, may increase the risk of heart disease, according to a new research analysis published this week in the Journal of Nutrition. Researchers at Indiana University pooled the results of 21 studies and found that individuals who consumed the most heme iron were 57 percent more likely to develop heart disease.


    Foods contain two types of iron: heme and non-heme. In the new study, high non-heme iron intake was not associated with increased heart disease risk, and high total iron intake, which primarily reflects non-heme iron consumption, actually decreased the risk of heart disease. Heme iron is more readily absorbed than the non-heme form, which may explain why it has different health effects.


    Plants contain only non-heme iron, while animal proteins have a mix of the two forms. Beef contains the highest proportion of heme iron – about 69% of a steak’s total iron content is the heme type. Pork (fresh and processed forms like bacon and ham) is roughly 39% heme iron, while chicken and fish are only about 26% heme.

    Is Heme Iron the Problem with Red Meat?

    Eating large amounts of red meat, which includes beef, pork, and lamb, has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, colorectal cancer, and early death in some (but not all) studies. The associations are even stronger for processed meats, like sausage, bacon, hot dogs, and processed deli meats.


    So could higher levels of heme iron be the culprit behind red meat’s unhealthy reputation? The short answer is, we don’t know.


    Iron is an essential mineral that has several important functions, including carrying oxygen in the blood and delivering it to all of your body’s tissues. But it also has a dark side – I once heard a nutrition scientist refer to iron as a the “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of nutrients”. Iron can act as a pro-oxidant, and at high levels it may increase free radical formation in the body, which can damage proteins, fats, and DNA in body cells. Iron may also contribute to the oxidation of LDL cholesterol compounds, a process that promotes the formation of artery-clogging plaque.


    High levels of heme iron is one possible explanation for the link between red meat and heart disease (as well as colon cancer), but many scientists think a number of factors are involved. Researchers have recently turned their attention to carnitine, a compound found in meat that may contributed to hardening of the arteries. In addition, the process of cooking any animal protein (red meat or other) creates compounds that appear to be carcinogenic. Processed meats are also high in salt and preservatives called nitrities, which have ill-effects and may explain why processed meats have a stronger association with heart disease and colon cancer than fresh, unprocessed cuts.

    If You Eat Red Meat, Choose Wisely

    All of this is not to say there’s no room in your diet for red meat if you enjoy it, but you do want to be smart about how you eat it.



    • Aim to eat red meat no more than once or twice a week. The majority of the time, choose unprocessed, fresh cuts rather than processed varieties.
    • Choose lean cuts. Cuts with the words “loin” or “round” in the name, such as pork or beef tenderloin and top and bottom round roasts, are typically the leanest.
    • To reduce the formation of cancer-causing compounds, use moist, low-temperature cooking techniques like braising and stewing, rather than high heat methods. If you are grilling or broiling your meat, marinating it first can reduce the formation of these compounds.


    If you don’t eat animal protein, make sure you include plenty of iron-rich plant foods in your diet. The best natural sources include beans (including edamame), lentils, leafy greens, and tofu. Whole grains can also be good sources.
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    Of course, fat is bad for you, right?

    Fat might be our friend

    By JOHN PETRICK
    STAFF WRITER
    The Record


    Imagine a world where steak is the new Melba toast. Muenster cheese is the new broccoli. Butter keeps the heart and veins nice and lubricated. And all that advice about avoiding whole milk was just plain wrong.
    Nina Teicholz


    After years of low-fat dieting that may work in the short term but only leaves many of us even fatter in the end, could it be: Could fat really be our friend, after all?


    "In the past 10 years, there have been a large number of clinical trials that definitely show that a high-fat diet is better for weight loss, for the heart and for diabetes," said Nina Teicholz, author of the recently published book, "The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet."


    Be warned: "This is not a diet book," she insisted. Rather, the former NPR journalist, vegetarian and freelance restaurant critic spent nine years digging deep to debunk what she asserts are common food myths in a book that is steeped in science and research.


    The last thing Teicholz said she wants to put out into the world is another fad, quick fix or crash course in starving yourself. That's how we all got fat in the first place, according to her and local nutrition experts.


    "The 'low-calorie diet syndrome' is the killer – it is actually causing obesity," said Dr. Ohan Karatoprak, medical director of Family Practice at Holy Name Medical Center in Teaneck and author of "Weight Loss Tailored for Women," published in January.


    People who deprive themselves of nourishment train their brains to slow down their metabolisms, so that the body holds on for dear life to what little it is given, he said. The problem is, sooner or later, the dieter is going to fall off the wagon.


    "When you start eating regular food again, you end up gaining even more weight than what you had to begin with," he said. "Studies show that if you slow down your metabolism with low-calorie diets, it never changes. Low-calorie diets kill your metabolism. Muscle is lost during the diet, and it all ends up coming back as fat. So you end up having more fat and less muscle."


    He blamed the advent of fad diets of the last three decades to the problem of obesity. "We are a different society now," he said. "People yo-yo dieted, they shut their metabolisms down, and now they can't lose weight. When people increase calorie intake, and increase their metabolism with proper exercise, then they will start to lose the fat. People are looking for a miracle. The miracle is eating really good food, and getting proper exercise."


    Still, there is a difference between a high-calorie diet and a high-fat diet. Karatoprak agrees that some fat is good for you – just not all. "You can eat meat, but it should be lean," he said. "You want the muscle. You don't want to get your fat from the meat. You don't want saturated fat. She [Teicholz] is wrong on that. Excess saturated fat clogs your arteries. It's been proven. Your fat should come from olive oil or fish oil."


    Teicholz, who grew up in a vegetarian household and was vegetarian through most of college, suddenly had to start eating high-fat foods like red meat and fois gras years ago while she was writing what she called "this little dinky restaurant column."


    Misunderstood fats


    After authoring what she described as a "landmark" 2003 story for Gourmet magazine about trans-fats, she decided to write a whole book about the subject. "I started writing the book when I realized that there was a much bigger story about fats, in general, and how they have been misunderstood."


    There have been so many contradictory studies about nutrition that it can seem almost impossible to know what to believe, she acknowledged. "One of the reasons nutrition is so maddening and there's so much flip-flopping of recommendations and advice is because we got off on the wrong foot about fat," she said. "There is a lot of really bad science in the nutrition world. All of the dietary guidelines that became adopted were based on one study."


    That flawed study, Teicholz found after nine months of research, was conducted 60 years ago by one scientist who, she said, persuaded the American Heart Association, and ultimately the U.S. government, to subscribe to the notion that saturated fat was the nation's foremost enemy, she said.


    Compounding the myth was the vegetable oil industry, she said, whose brands were owned by huge conglomerates, like Monsanto. "They have been deeply involved in steering nutrition science and research since the 1940s. They have been very savvy about how to maneuver the nutrition industry and nutrition scientists." Coincidentally, there has been a shockingly small amount of research done on vegetable oil, which studies from the 1970s suggested may be linked to cancer, gallstones and depression, according to Teicholz.


    'A lot of soft science'


    "I'm not saying there was a conspiracy. I think scientists all along have had the best intentions. They desperately wanted to sell this huge and scary problem of heart disease, but they jumped the gun, in terms of the evidence. I don't think there are any villains in this story. I just think there was a lot of soft science that became codified as fact. And once the idea that saturated fats causes heart disease became enshrined institutionally, it became hard to reverse course."


    "The Big Fat Surprise" sets forth its theory for why more, not less, dietary fat — including saturated fat — is what leads to better health and fitness. Teicholz contends that we have been avoiding meat, cheese, whole milk and eggs for decades for no good reason. Americans, as a result, are now eating more carbohydrates — fully 25 percent more since the late 1970s. Excessive carbohydrates lead not only to obesity but also, over time, to Type 2 diabetes and very likely heart disease, according to Teicholz. "You want to eat meat, cheese and dairy," she said. "The fat acts as sort of the 'spoonful of sugar' to help the medicine go down."


    Email: petrick@northjersey.com

    - See more at: http://www.northjersey.com/news/heal....KwXmyRQ4.dpuf
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    Why There's So Much Confusion Over Nutrition And Health

    Alan Henry
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    If you believed the internet, you’d think there’s huge debate over whether eggs, coffee or salt are good or bad for you. In reality, there’s significant agreement on diet and health issues among experts, but the general public is conflicted. So why are we so confused when experts agree? Let’s clear the air.



    Photos by Michael Mandiberg, the US Department of Agriculture, CIAT, the US Department of Agriculture, and Michelle Nijhuis, of The Last Word on Nothing.



    If you asked a dozen people about foods that are “good” or “bad” for you, you’d get a dozen different answers. You’d find people who vehemently argue that eggs are both good or bad for you, that sodium does and doesn’t contribute to hypertension, or that carbs do or don’t make you sick. In general, you’ll find a lot of laypeople with opinions that may or may not be based in real science. Researchers however, generally have some solid and well-founded opinions on these issues, and are quick to note where their own shortcomings are.


    So where’s the disconnect? In this post, we’ll look at where the breakdown happens, who’s to blame, and what you can do about it all. We sat down with a number of our own experts to get their input. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, so let’s get started.
    The “Health And Diet” Industry Carries Much Of The Blame


    Health and diet products are big business. From books and meal plans to prepackaged foods and DVDs, we eat the stuff up (pun intended). It’s natural to be attracted to a path that promises big results for little effort, but there’s more to it. People who would otherwise consider themselves rational are often duped by marketing and half-truth statements made in the name of science.


    This is where the diet industry flourishes. By taking advantage of the public’s desire for practical health information, so-called “experts” sell us everything from juicers to supplements, convincing us the whole time we’ll live forever thanks to their advice. It shouldn’t work, but it does. Beth Skwarecki, a science writer and educator, explains why:
    We respond strongly to warnings about danger, and promises of really awesome stuff (like health, or weight loss) — but only if those warnings or promises are actionable. And with food, that really applies: We can act on a warning to avoid gluten or eat superfoods (or whatever) at our next meal or our next trip to the grocery store. It makes us feel good to have control over ourselves. I’m not a psychologist and this is just my personal opinion, but I’m sure there is research that backs this up.

    Why this causes confusion: Truth and falsehoods are both presented this way. “Vitamins are magical substances that will make you more healthy if you are deficient!” Well, yeah. That’s actually true. “Vitamins are magical substances that will make you more healthy!” Sounds similar, but it’s not the same, and it’s not true in most cases. Then you can substitute various other chemicals or superfoods for the word “vitamins” in that sentence. True claims and misleading ones sound very similar.


    People selling diets or exercise programs will latch on to true things that help them sell their product; they will also latch onto false ones. Just look at Dr. Oz: plenty of what he’s pushing is true, but lots of it isn’t, or is misleading. Which is which? I don’t know that he cares. He just needs a steady stream of things to endorse.
    We don’t meant to particularly single out Dr. Oz here. There are a number of physicians and other medical professionals who are highly educated, but have made the decision to “sell health”. They may believe they’re doing good, or just want to make a living. In all of those cases, the message is similar: “Living healthy doesn’t have to be hard, just do this thing/eat this food/buy my book.”


    Selling health is only half of the job. The other half is undermining public trust in science-based medicine and traditional authorities (although they carry blame too — we’ll get to that in a moment) so they can swoop in to the rescue. Andy Bellatti, registered dietitian and frequent Lifehacker contributor, explains:
    The food industry thrives on confusion, and it loves to propagate the notion that “Gee whiz, one day you’re told coffee is good for you, the next day you’re told it’s unhealthy!” By making nutrition advice seem “confusing,” they attempt to gain the public’s trust.

    It also doesn’t help that, increasingly, food companies are setting up “institutes” (i.e.: Coca-Cola’s Beverage Institute for Health and Wellness, General Mills’ Bell Institute) that are essentially PR efforts that oh-so-coincidentally frame these companies’ products as healthful (or, in the case of soda, in no way problematic from a health standpoint). To make matters more confusing, these institutes have doctors, cardiologists, and dietitians on their payroll — as well as key media contacts — resulting in a health professional talking to media about, say, how soda is “unfairly vilified.” Most times, the general public isn’t aware that this isn’t an objective health professional choosing to say that.
    When we debunked stubborn exercise myths, we ran headlong into one of these groups. The “Gatorade Sports Science Institute” has papers explaining why Gatorade is better than water for exercise — papers we saw copied word-for-word on other sites. In reality, depending on the exercise you do there’s either no difference between water or sports drinks, and for most people there’s clear evidence that water is the better option.


    All of these tactics may seem underhanded, but they’re just part of the marketing game. By playing on the public’s confusion and presenting their own products as quick fixes they convince us to buy their books, follow their diet plans, and perhaps most dangerously, ignore legitimate advice and real research.


    It’s not just companies that do this though. Individuals with a message to sell also do it. Skwarecki’s article, Why It’s So Easy to Believe Our Food is Toxic, is an exceptional case study in this. She explains how “experts” take good premises — like the need to take your health in your own hands and be critical of the things you eat and buy — and go off the rails when the sales pitch gets involved. She calls out nutrition gurus and health “experts” you’ve probably seen reposted on Facebook, like Vani Hari (aka The Food Babe,) and Joseph Mercola, among others, who thrive on obfuscating nutrition so much that the only clear thing they do suggest is that you should buy their books, sponsored foods and DVDs.


    Food industry marketing firms and “diet guru” salesmen both use the same tactics, and both groups make money from your fear and lack of knowledge about health. You should treat both with the same sceptical eye, even if one’s message is more attractive than the other.
    The Media And The Scientific Community Communicate Poorly


    Surely science-based medicine must offer useful data that we can all use, right? Not quite. When I asked Skwarecki about it, she explained it this way:
    The other reason there is confusion? Because there really ARE old beliefs that were held as true that are being corrected. Saturated fat is a subject with genuine controversy. Experts have not come to a consensus, but decades of public-health messages are in the process of being potentially overturned. When you hold to something as a foundation (Of course fat is bad for you! Of course stretching prevents injury!) and that belief gets challenged, you’re tempted to give up on everything. It’s a very reasonable thing to do: My facts were wrong, I need to reevaluate all my facts.
    The truth is, while there’s consensus on many things, there’s a huge lack of it on others. Epidemiology, or the study of the patterns and causes of disease, is extremely difficult to do. Says nutrition researcher Kamal Patel:
    Nutritional epidemiology is a really, really tough thing to study. Harder than most other areas of health. Much harder than it sounds. Some people think “Oh nutrition! I know about food and nutrition! That’s much easier than some analysing some obscure medication that I can’t even pronounce.” Wrong. Medication effects can be complex, but nutritional epidemiology makes that look like child’s play.

    … It’s easy to see how the public can get mixed messages. Research results are notoriously unpredictable, since only some of the total number of studies get published. Studies have a higher chance of getting published if they show positive results, and food and supplement manufacturers can keep funding trials until one gets published. Nutrients interact with each other, so the effects of any one nutrient are hard to predict, let alone the effect of any one food in the midst of a diet comprised of dozens or hundreds of foods. So while I don’t agree with everything Michael Pollen says, his message is generally on point: “nutritionism” is bound to fail. If you obsess about your diet and individual nutrients, you not only lose the benefit of of the occasional cronut or thanksgiving dinner, but you lose the forest for the trees. Natural foods are what’s healthy, nutrients and the controversies they cause are what keeps research dollars flowing and flip-flops popping up every couple weeks. It’s important to get nutrients, but it’s wise to get them mostly through food, and only after that supplement what you need in a very targeted manner.
    In short, the science here is complex, difficult, and slow-moving. Patel explained that while there is consensus on some things, everyone’s body is different. For every factor where there is agreement, there’s another factor that influences everything:
    There is a rough agreement that a balanced diet is probably a good idea. While there are some regular people who experiment with meat-only diets, macrobiotic diets, etc, most researchers are old dudes who eat normal diets and believe that vegies and fruits and whole grains are good, and red meat is bad, and some other things are in between. I’m just one person who has had the opportunity to make a career out of reading articles and grading their study quality — but I can honestly say that I don’t know what is correct for sure. Gluten and wheat is bad for some people, low carb could help certain diabetics but so could a very nutritious diet, and low carb can also cause side effects in some people. Some people live long lives with “healthy” diets, some live long lives eating milk chocolate and fried chicken every day. For any specific nutrient, I can summarise the evidence. And for any type of diet, I can find the totality of observational evidence for it. But there haven’t been many (any?) long term randomised trials of low carb, high carb, etc etc. It would be too expensive, deemed unethical, and just not logistically feasible for compliance — the primary researcher for long term observational trials (where they just follow people and collect data, not make them eat certain diets) often die in the middle of the trial, so it’s quite an effort to keep a long randomised trial going that costs millions. Especially when food trials are funded at levels so much lower than pharmaceutical trials.
    This is where the media comes in. Research that you hear about may be just one study designed to tackle a specific angle to a much larger problem. This is where the media (yes, ourselves at Lifehacker included) are at fault. Preliminary results published and popularised as cure-alls, rat cures touted as future human cures, it makes the public believe every miracle is a few trials away, and when it’s not, people are frustrated and confused. This kind of poor communication and science reporting is a topic we’ve covered before in detail, and it plays a huge role in making the public’s perception of science and medicine worse. As a result, it sends people running into the arms of diet hucksters and snake oil salesmen, eager to capitalise on that lack of trust.
    We Are Predictable And Easily Influenced


    We’re part of the problem too. Our buying habits are predictable and easy to capitalise on. Our psychology is even predictable, and well-studied by marketers. The power of the word “natural” to drive sales even though we all know it’s meaningless is a good example, as it the fear around the word “processed” without context.


    The scare over the “yoga mat chemical” (aka azodicarbonamide) is a good example too – we’re poorly educated when it comes to science issues, don’t read beyond headlines, succumb to confirmation bias, take up sides and arms in specific camps, and carry our message around to anyone who’ll listen without listening ourselves.


    Similarly, where we put our money influences who has power and amplifies their message, even if it’s not backed by science. We put our money where those opinions are, and those opinions are influenced easily. The industries and companies we support grow, even as we look elsewhere in the world for examples of healthy living. Those companies in turn export our lifestyle into new markets. Unless there’s strength in the food traditions in those markets, they become more like us and suffer the same illnesses we do. In the process, they lose the very things we could learn the most from.
    So What Can We Do?


    By now it may seem like we’re pretty screwed. Where can you turn for legitimate advice? I asked our panel for their suggestions, and unfortunately they all agreed that we have to properly calibrate our bullshit detectors, and seek out multiple, trustworthy resources. Be ready for conflicting data — if you find it, it jut means the topic isn’t settled. The image above, from this pocket guide to bullshit prevention over at io9, is a good starting point.


    You could ask your doctor, or a nutritionist — but Patel explained that’s not always the best route. Most physicians get minimal nutrition training during medical school. A “nutritionist” could be anyone with a range of certifications, some of which can be earned in months without any real science study or knowledge.


    When I asked Patel, he suggested everyone take time to learn about nutrition science and empower themselves:
    It’s best to learn a bit of basic nutrition science (like from a free online course or book — online courses form Udemy, Khan, MIT, etc), and then get to finding people who seem logical to discuss things with. These people can be at a local meetup, they could be a doctor or an alternative medicine practitioner or a dietician.

    Do not rely on Mayo Clinic, WebMD, etc. They are very conservative and go with whatever the government says for the most part. People who like food, who like cooking in particular, often eat healthy even if they don’t know everything about nutrition. This is because eating plants and animals is probably the healthiest diet, rather than eating mostly packaged foods comprised of some type of flour, some type of vegetable oil, and a long list of other ingredients.
    Bellatti suggests you be critical, but also don’t boil it down to the old adage “everything in moderation.” It oversimplifies things:
    The basic principles of healthful eating — eat a generous amount of fruits and vegetables, eat as little sugar as possible, prioritise whole foods — have remained unchanged for decades. The issue of moderation is problematic because it sounds good in theory, but it has been so watered down and so co-opted by the food industry that it now means nothing. The food industry loves to use “everything in moderation” to state that all their offerings — no matter how heinous — “fit in a healthy diet.” Alas, a diet that includes frozen pizza, sugary cereal, soda, chips, and fast food all in “moderation” quickly becomes a diet where these foods, “in moderation,” take up the most real estate.

    I urge people to remain curious and open-minded, but also to remember common sense and, whenever possible, read the actual study or seek the opinion of a well-informed individual who is able to understand the studies. Sometimes, a study like “X food lowers diabetes risk by 35%” is based on a study where the servings needed to slash that risk are preposterous.
    At the end of the day, the reason why there’s so much confusion is because there’s too much to be gained by keeping us all confused and looking for guidance. Similarly, the fact that nutrition and health science is difficult and slow doesn’t engender much faith from a quick-fix addicted public.


    The big lessons here though are ones you probably knew already: Eat smart, cook your own food, and think critically when someone tries to sell you a diet or lifestyle. Think just as critically when someone is trying to sell you fear, uncertainty, and doubt. Do your own research, challenge your confirmation bias, and be willing to change your mind as new evidence arises (don’t fall for the “I’ve done this my whole life and I’m fine” excuse.) Finally, and most importantly, remember that what works for you may not work for someone else. Nutrition is never a one-size-fits-all science.


    Kamal Patel is the director of Examine.com. He’s a nutrition researcher with an MPH and MBA from Johns Hopkins University, and is on hiatus from a PhD in nutrition in which he researched the link between diet and chronic pain. He has published peer-reviewed articles on vitamin D and calcium as well as a variety of clinical research topics. Kamal has also been involved in research on fructose and liver health, mindfulness meditation, and nutrition in low income areas. Examine.com and Kamal are both on facebook.



    Beth Skwarecki is a science writer and educator. Her work has appeared in Scientific American, PLOS Public Health Perspectives, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. You can find more of her work in her portfolio here.



    Andy Bellatti, MS, RD is a Las Vegas-based dietitan and the author of the nutrition blog Small Bites. You can follow him on Twitter at @andybellatti.
    Beth, Andy and Kamal graciously volunteered their expertise for this story, and we thank them.
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    Salt, Fat, and Sugar: Are They Really That Bad for You?

    They’ve been branded the unholy trinity of the processed food world, but most nutritionists actually laud these as essential components of a healthy diet, so they can’t be all that bad — can they?


    iStock/ Thinkstock
    The combination of salts, fats, and sugars in our processed foods generally work to spur our cravings for more and more of it.














    April 23, 2014
    By Serusha Govender
    Editor




    This is one in a series of articles. For more on this subject visit The Daily Meal Special Report: Is Our Food Killing Us? Diet, Nutrition, and Health in 21st Century America.



    When you can't resist the craving for cookies, soda, a burger, even pizza and pasta, or when the desire to binge eat an entire bag of potato chips is simply too strong to defy, you’re treading in the waters of addiction. Is there a science behind our addiction to fast food?


    In fact, there is. The reason we can't say no to foods like these isn't because they have a more flavor than a plate of steamed vegetables; it’s because much of what is churned out by the processed food industry involves a powerhouse combination of chemically altered salts, fats, and sugars designed to keep us coming back for more.


    Salt, fat, and sugar feature in our daily diets in various forms, from table salt to sugar packets to everything from cooking oil to whole milk. Some of these, like trans fats and high-fructose corn syrup, we know are bad for us. Other sources, like olive oil and the sugars that come from carbohydrates (which our bodies need for energy) are actually really good for us. The problem is that it’s not always easy to distinguish the good salts, sugars, and fats from the bad. Much of the processed foods we eat — from canned soup and dehydrated noodles to cookies, potato chips, ready-to-eat meals, and even healthy-looking fruit juices — contain a cocktail of the bad kind, which means that we’re getting a lot more of these compounds than we really need. Worse still, these “new” salts, fats, and sugars are a lot more addictive than the natural ones.


    Salt, fat, and sugar have been unofficially christened as the unholy trinity of the processed food world — the hooks that the industry uses to keep consumers obsessed with their products. In his book Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Moss investigates how the processed food industry has concentrated these items in a formulation designed for "maximum bliss.” Moss says that the strategy comes from the work of food scientist Howard Moskowitz, M.D., who tinkered with the food combinations for the U.S. Army in the 1970s, trying to make mass produced food still delicious enough to keep soldiers eating (soldiers often suffered from appetite loss when faced with unpalatable rations). Finding the right combination of salt, sugar, and fat would do the trick, producing what food scientists call the “bliss point.” The food industry, Moss argues, uses the same technique to get customers to keep eating their products, continually driving the bliss point until you’ve eaten that entire box of cookies.


    Moss is not alone in his assessment: In an article on food addiction, physician, author, and founder of the UltraWellness Center Mark Hyman, M.D., questions why people don't binge eat broccoli or apples the way they do potato chips, cookies, or salsa? There's something about the salty, sweet, rich processed food that triggers compulsion, almost the same way a drug would. And once you're hooked, telling someone to "just say no" is essentially the same as telling a drug addict to quit cold turkey.


    Former Food and Drug Administration commissioner David Kessler, M.D., backs this up by taking a metaphorical sledgehammer to the processed food companies in his book The End of Overeating, accusing them of preying on the public's food addiction the same way tobacco companies exploited the addictive properties of nicotine. The power that unhealthy foods have over us, say Kessler, is the layering of salt over salt, over sugar, over fat, and over more salt. It makes these products "hyper-palatable" by exploiting our biological need for these substances, flooding our brains with pleasure but filling our bellies with empty, unsatisfying calories that only leave us wanting more.


    Salts, fats, and sugars can be bad for our health in other ways, too. Refined sugar has been labeled toxic and identified as a cause of Type 2 diabetes for disrupting our bodies’ hormonal cycles and damaging our internal organs. High-fructose corn syrup is taxing on the liver and can lead to kidney stones and high blood pressure, among other problems. Excessive sugar consumption is also said to be one of the main reasons that a third of American adults are obese.
    We know that there's high-fructose corn syrup in soda, candy, and cake, but it’s also hidden in many other places where you wouldn’t expect to find it, like yogurts, breads, and packaged macaroni and cheese.


    “Fructose is metabolized in a similar way to how alcohol is metabolized,” says Sue Decotiis, M.D. “[It] doesn’t evoke an insulin response, but instead floods the liver with metabolites leading to a rise in triglycerides, less utilization of energy with more conversion to fat, and liver inflammation. Saturated fat is very caloric and, along with excess sugar, can dampen the appetite control mechanisms, leading to a substantially increased appetite.”


    Salt is also a tricky customer. Decotiis says that salt is generally mineral rich and good for the body, though too much could lead to fluid imbalances and high blood pressure. But table salt, which we use daily, has all of that goodness processed right out of it, and while table salt in the U.S. does have iodine added, there is still very little nutritional value in it. Sea salt, meanwhile, gets a bit of a fairer shake as it is relatively unprocessed and “retains all its minerals, such as sulphate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, strontium, bromide, borate, and fluoride.” Both table and sea salt contain equal amounts of sodium chloride, an essential element that helps the body maintain electrolyte balance, blood pressure, and renal functioning.


    When it comes down to deciding how bad salt, fat, and sugar are for you, the general rule of thumb should be: proceed with caution. All three, even the processed variety, do have a place in balanced diet. While some processed foods have addictive qualities, a few, like processed whole milk with added vitamin D and calcium, have their benefits. The best way to decide what’s healthy and what isn’t is to be a detective and read every ingredient on your food labels. Stick to the recommended daily allowance for all your foods, drinks, and snacks, and, for your health’s sake, put down that bag of potato chips!


    Serusha Govender is The Daily Meal's Travel Editor. Follow her on Twitter @SerushaGovender
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    Posted: April 23, 2014 Too Little Salt Is Just As Bad As Too Much – Sodium Study Shows

    Conventional wisdom teaches that everybody needs to limit sodium intake, because too much salt is bad for you. But some experts have suspected for some time that too LITTLE sodium is not good either. A recent meta-analysis published in the American Journal of Hypertension confirms those suspicions, indicating that the current recommendations for sodium levels by governmental agencies such as the CDC are too low to sustain good health.


    This news certainly comes as a relief to people trying to be “good” and limit their sodium intake, who have been frustrated by bland, tasteless food.


    A meta-analysis study takes the results of many individual studies, analyzes them eliminating confounding factors, and comes to a conclusion. The conclusion these researchers reached is that “both low sodium intakes and high sodium intakes are associated with increased mortality.” The study covered nearly 275,000 study participants.


    The safest amount of sodium to consume ranges from 2,645 to 4,945 mg per day, yet the CDC (Center For Disease Control) recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium per day. That level, say the study’s researchers, is too low for good health.


    Most of the world’s population, without any effort on their part, consume sodium levels in that safe zone. In fact, 95% of people naturally consume sodium within the proper range. But when sodium consumption is too low, or too excessive, the risk of mortality increases.


    Who knew?


    Actually, the late Dr. Tom Brewer found that too little sodium in the diet of pregnant women can lead to pre-eclampsia, or metabolic toxemia of the liver. His research led him to teach pregnant clients to “salt to taste.” He found that diets that restricted sodium intake often led to inadequate blood volume expansion, which could lead to deadly consequences. The blood volume of a pregnant mother needs to expand 50 to 60% in order to accommodate the increased pressures on her body. If that does not happen, the damage to her liver and kidneys can be significant.


    Joy Jones, R.N., teaches that “a woman’s taste buds are usually the most accurate indicator of the amount of salt that she needs, and studies have shown that it is not possible for a pregnant woman to eat too much salt. Her kidneys simply excrete whatever extra salt she eats. In fact, it has also been shown that after just 2 weeks of ‘salt in moderation,’ the mother’s blood volume begins to drop.”


    It is important to note that not all sodium is created equal. The body recognizes natural forms of sodium such as sea salt or Himalayan pink salt more than the convention processed free-flowing table salt.


    After the sodium meta-analysis was published this week in AJH, the CDC and American Heart Association were quick to dismiss the findings of the study, citing “faulty methodology” and “flawed data.” Yet they pointed to no specific examples of such. Dr. Niels Graudal, lead author of the meta-analysis, defends the study and assures that the methodology is sound and the data is clear.


    He says that “there are statistical methods that allow us to correct for such confounders in order to ensure for accurate findings; such methods are used in almost all such studies, and have been for many years.” In other words, they took into account all the variables in the study.


    The results of the study show that there is every bit as much harm to the body from eating too little salt as there is from consuming too much sodium. The level set by many doctors and the CDC “are far too low, perhaps dangerously so.”
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    AP, If you want "Why we get fat" by Gary Taubs, I can help you out. It essentially covers all of the above. Fat isn't why we get fat. Sugar and carbs are why we get fat.
    "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


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

    I dunno about you, I don't get "fat". lol

    But, if you have a digital copy, I'll read it.

    I'm mostly frustrated at the fact I see an article one day that says "Don't eat red meat, it'll kill you!" and a week later I read "We're not getting enough red meat in our diets".

    I think I all these assholes have some ulterior motive for pushing us away from certain foods.

    It is a known, scientific fact that when the forerunners to the current human race started eating meat, in particular red meat, our brains blossomed and got larger, we got smarter, faster, quicker, more deadly and moved to the top of the food chain.

    So why do these people try to convince others to be like themselves, skinny little pasty-white-faced weaklings who can't even lift their own weight?

    There's trickery about... and I mean to find the answer!
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    I'll drop you a note from home and direct you to where to obtain it.
    "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


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

    Ok, send it to my home email address then? It's in the contacts list here on the site.
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    What the hell do they know??? Drink up

    Posted on 05/13/2014 by The Goomba Gazette






    [COLOR=#]Rate This[/COLOR]


    Wine compound not tied to improved health, study shows:
    For all of you winos’ out there that are slouching down the “nectar of the gods” for medicinal purposes; “fa-get-about-it”. The so called experts have reversed their take on the medical benefits of being a intenditore di vino (wine connoisseur).

    A study was taken using data compiled from 783 Italians who were tracked starting in 1998. To maintain equality of life styles, they were all at least 65 years old and all living in the same communal environment.
    Before the test started all the “vino paisanos’”’ submitted urine samples so a study to measure levels of broken-down resveratrol could be evaluated.
    The end result of this very elaborate, exhausting, scientific test showed that “guinea pigs” consumption of wine had very little to no effect at all on prolonging their lives.
    I know this revelation is going to disappoint many readers but for the sake of your own addiction to the liquid grapes, just pretend you never read this. About every 20 to 30 years all of these studies reverse themselves; hang in there.
    Bevono e possono tutti i tuoi figli sono ragazzi.

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

    More on wine and resveratrol. This "study" isn't what it was claimed by several people....


    May 12th, 2014
    05:24 PM ET



    Antioxidant in red wine has no benefit at low doses

    The antioxidant resveratrol does not improve longevity when consumed at levels naturally occurring in foods like grapes, red wine and dark chocolate, according to a new study published Monday in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.


    “We looked at the relationship between resveratrol levels and a lot of health outcomes that are thought to be related to resveratrol, such as cancer and heart disease and lifespan. And we found no relationship,” says Dr. Richard Semba, study author and professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.


    The potential health benefits of consuming moderate amounts of red wine have been much discussed ever since researchers identified the “French paradox” – an observation that the French have lower levels of heart disease despite consuming relatively high amounts of saturated fat.



    Some epidemiologists proposed that France’s relatively high rates of red wine consumption may help explain the supposed paradox, and further studies have shown that light to moderate alcohol consumption does in fact correlate with healthier hearts. The new study does not contradict these conclusions.


    More recently, researchers at Harvard Medical School and the National Institutes of Health identified a specific chemical in red wine – resveratrol – that seems to significantly delay the effects of aging in mice, when given in very high doses.


    Today, Americans spend some $30 million per year on resveratrol supplements, even though there have been no long-term studies in humans to measure resveratrol’s effect on longevity.


    So researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the University of Barcelona tracked 783 men and women aged 65 or older, analyzing who survived and who died over a nine-year period in relation to their resveratrol levels.


    The results show no benefits – in terms of longevity, reduced inflammation, heart disease or cancer – to having higher levels of resveratrol versus lower or moderate levels.


    However, study participants’ resveratrol came only from their diets – consuming foods like red wine, chocolate, and berries – which provides almost negligible amounts of resveratrol compared to the levels found in supplements and studied in mice.


    In fact, a person would have to drink hundreds of glasses of red wine a day to match the amounts used in previous resveratrol studies.


    “This study is very important because it demonstrates, in a long-term study with a huge cohort, that (normal) dietary resveratrol levels are not correlated with all-cause mortality,” says Juan Carlos Espin, a research professor at the Spanish National Research Council.

    “However, to claim that resveratrol does not have influence on the all-cause of mortality would require the comparison of a cohort with 'normal' resveratrol levels (very low and unpredictable) versus another cohort with a standardized resveratrol supplementation.”
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    Default Re: Health Thread: What's good for you and what isn't

    I suspect the problem is here:

    Today, Americans spend some $30 million per year on resveratrol supplements, even though there have been no long-term studies in humans to measure resveratrol’s effect on longevity.
    The more Americans spend on supplements and the better they feel, the LESS they go to DOCTORS. Think about it.
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