Mind and body related health news

Eating Hot Curries May Prevent Bowl Cancer

Image courtesy of posterize / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of posterize / FreeDigitalPhotos.netphotogid=1665″ posterize @ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Yet again more food that is good for us when it comes to physical health problems. This time it is hot curries. It appears on the face of it eating hot curries may prevent bowl cancer.

To be more precise scientists at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) found that capsaicin, considered an irritant for mammals, including humans, is a compound found in chili peppers which may prevent bowel cancer and could also improve the memory, and possibly increasing our lifespan.

Rodent studies have shown that capsaicin the main capsaicinoid in capsicum may have some effectiveness against cancer. Capsaicin a compound that gives chili peppers their heat attaches its-self to TRPV1 and stops it from working (registering painful/chronic pain).

TRPV1 found in specialized pain-sensing cells is a protein with the ability to respond to chemicals or temperature (thermal heat) and other painful stimuli. TRPV1 actually collects information from the area concerned in its bid to help protect us from future injury (ever made the mistake of drinking a rather hot drink, burning your tongue and mouth…TRPV1 at work…).

Those people who suffer from chronic pain have a shorter lifespan, and at this moment in time scientist are still none the wiser why. If as researchers believe blocking chronic pain to the pain-sensing cells may well increase longevity for everyone, then I have no doubt it will come as a blessed relief for suffers.

A past study acted out on human subjects suggested that capsaicin could possibly be used to help regulate blood sugar levels by affecting the breakdown of carbohydrate after a meal.

Other Uses For Capsaicin

Below are a number of areas capsaicin is used in, that may or may not surprise you:

  • Capsaicin is also the active ingredient in riot control and personal defense pepper spray chemical agents.
  • Capsaicin is also used to deter pests, including voles, deer, rabbits, squirrels, insects, and attacking dogs.
  • Capsaicin is a banned substance in equestrian sports because of it’s hypersensitizing and pain-relieving properties.
  • Capsaicin is used as an analgesic in topical ointments, nasal sprays (Sinol-M), and dermal patches to relieve pain.
  • Capsaicin creams are used to treat psoriasis as an effective way to reduce itching and inflammation.

Dark Chocolate And Peripheral Arterial Disease

Cube shaped pieces of Dark Chocolate

Needs to be 85% or more (cocoa) dark chocolate

Chocolate, chocolate, and still more chocolate, but not the milk chocolate most all of us love.

I have posted much (all good) over the years about the benefit of dark chocolate and yet again it would seem to be another plus for the lovers of this particular kind of chocolate. This time however instead of flavanol a potent antioxidant it’s the turn of Polyphenol-rich nutrients found in the chocolate.

Francesco Violi MD, senior author and professor of internal medicine out of the Sapienza University of Rome, found that their research in to dark chocolate had surprising results when given to a total of 20 adults comprising of 14 men and six women aged between 60 and 70 years of age (approximately).

Their research into the effects of dark chocolate when given to the participants suffering from Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), also called peripheral vascular disease (PVD), improved not only their walking ability it also allowed them more staying power to walk for longer periods of time. Showing that this particular strength of dark chocolate (85 percent or higher) may help with poor blood flow to our circulatory system. Francesco Violi, M.D was quoted as saying “Polyphenol-rich nutrients could represent a new therapeutic strategy to counteract cardiovascular complications.”

Their research also included milk chocolate set against the same study which showed no improvement, in fact, the opposite seems to have been true. The test was carried out on treadmill mills for both study’s and it showed that those who had eaten dark chocolate remained on the treadmills for 15 percent longer than those who had eaten milk chocolate.

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), is a common circulation problem and its cause is a narrowing of the arteries reducing the blood flow to the limbs. This health problem comes with severe pain and cramping, and normally affects the hips and/or legs, it can also affect the arteries that carry blood from our heart to our head, arms, kidneys, etc. and I hope never to personally experience this particular disease myself.

As you may suspect there are other foods rich in Polyphenol, you do not have to suffer the bitter taste of dark chocolate to reap the rewards. There are many foods rich in Polyphenol nutrients such as:

  • Broccoli
  • Fennel
  • Garlic
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Pears
  • Green apples (with skin)

In fact, there are many everyday foods fruit, vegetables, herbs and spices, even wine to name a few. Whatever your taste if you want to reap the benefits of Polyphenol nutrients there are plenty of foods to choose from. Genesmart.com has a comprehensive list of foods… Enjoy…

Vitamin C Little Or No Effect

Fresh fruit, among other foods, would be considered a good source of vitamin C, and the vitamin has for many years been thought good for helping to alleviate symptoms of the common cold. Well, it would appear that it is not so.

Researchers suggest that the best way to keep yourself free of the cold bug is to wash your hands. This startling news came on the back of 67 randomly controlled trials.

The findings from doctor’s Michael Allan, of the University of Alberta in Canada, and Bruce Arroll of the University of Auckland, New Zealand was published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Lisa Marie Art

Pill on the loose

The authors wrote “Vitamin C may provide some benefit in people under stress (e.g. marathon runners or soldiers in subarctic environments,” But, trials show there is “no meaningful benefit in the average patient.” doctor Allan also said “The average adult would need to use vitamin C for 10 or 15 years to prevent one cold.”

Many people today still believe that antibiotics are the way to go in finding relief from the common cold/flu, however, this simply put is just not true. The common cold/flu bug is a viral infection, antibiotics are used to fight bacterial infections.

Viral infection of the upper respiratory tract involving soar throats, sniffles, runny nose are known as sinus infections (sinusitis).

Antibiotics are no longer given (UK) for viral infections, that includes some bacterial infections where the use of them would not offer any relief or speed to the healing process.

Antibiotics would be more likely to be used if you had contracted an infection that could be easily past on to other people, an example of this could be the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia.

Elderly people in their 70’s, people with heart failure are good examples of vulnerable people who would benefit from the use of antibiotics.

Image courtesy of Lisa-Marieart.com

Walking To Better Health

cartoon style of a woman walking the dog

Keeping fit: Image courtesy of Vlado @ Free Digital Photos Youngster Walking The Dog. (Original Image)

Back in May 2012 saw the University of South Carolina publish a paper based on a five year study suggesting how a two and a half hour walk, spread across the course of a full week, could reduce the risk of high blood pressure (hypertension) by a quarter percent.

Walking Brings Health and Well-being

Now some 16 months later walking is in the limelight again. The Walking Works report, published 4th October 2013, produced by the Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support have released a report which suggests that walking is the answer to combating life-threatening illnesses such as emergency admissions for coronary heart disease, premature death, and diabetes.

To think, all you need to do to ward off these illnesses is to take a walk that lasts some two and a half hours over the course of a week, and there’s more. The report also suggests that physical activity can help to prevent, manage and reduce the chance of some forms of cancers returning.

You can help yourself to an activity that not only gives great health benefits it may also open your eyes (like it has done for me) to just how much beautiful country-side the United Kingdom has to offer, even on your own door-step, …Oh did I forget to mention this activity comes free of charge… If you don’t count the shoe leather.

I have commented on a few post where low activity exercise has a profound effect on health and well-being, and unless you have some form of disability that would hinder your walking ability, whether that be physical or mental, increasing your lifespan by an extra five years for the cost of a two and a half hour walk a week must be up there in the top ten health tips. Me thinks.

Stress: The Over Fifties

Large clock face

Its Only A Number

If you are below the age of 50 years old then this piece of research is not for you. For those people who are 50 plus years of age some good news. It appears from research done At the Stony Brook University, New York when we reach the age of 50yrs. stress and anxiety no-longer play at part in the day to day lives of this particular age group. Research shows 50 plus is the start of the happiest time of our lives (they didn’t ask me).

The study shows that stress, anger, and worry fade from our 50th birthday onward. Those people who reach this magic number have been found to experience daily life in a much more calm, relaxed manner compared to younger adults.

The survey carried out on some 340,000 people was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and found that feelings of daily well-being improved once the magic number 50 had been reached.

Older people have the ability to control emotions and to view their lives more positively than younger adults. Researchers also pointed out that

“They are also in accord with a ‘positivity effect’ wherein older people recall fewer negative memories than younger adults and with the possibility older adults are more effective at regulating their emotions than younger adults”

Psychologist Dr. Arthur Stone of Stony Brook University commented:

“Older people are more likely to view their situations in a more positive manner looking toward family, living for the moment and glad to be alive compared to younger adults.”

who would look more at the negative aspects of their lives.

A study by British researchers (British Household Panel Survey) known as the U-shaped of relationship between happiness and age seems to back up the findings of Psychologist Dr. Arthur Stone.

New Research: Fruit and Medication

Do you like strawberries? raspberries? blue berries? how about chocolate, personally I like all four with a preference for chocolate and strawberries and double cream, …Yummy Yummy… These particular fruits are a great way to ease depression, Y eh.. you read it right the first time.


Image by Ambro: Free image courtesy of Free Digital Photos FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It would appear on the face of it scientists from the University of Mexico say these fruits could be a front line defence for those who suffer depression.

These particular fruits have an natural ingredient that closely resembles valporic acid which along with sodium valporic, is used as a mood stabiliser in people who suffer a manic-depressive disorder.

However this new research should be flagged as cautious. Researcher Karina Martinez-Mayorga said:

“It is important to remember that just eating foods that may improve mood is not a substitute for prescribed anti depressive drugs.”

It is well researched that a healthy life style can enhance moods. However, if you do take medication for the treatment of depression do not attempt to replace your medication with this new research.