Tuesday, April 28, 2015

A 115 year old woman's two secrets to a long life.

Her name is Emma Morano.

The Gerontology Research Group lists her as the fifth-oldest living person in the world.
She was born on November 29, 1899 in Civiasco Italy.

Later she moved to Verbania Italy a small town in northwest Italy.

In Verbania, where she still lives, she got a job in a factory making jute sacks, the bags most commonly used to hold potatoes.

She was married once, but it ended in 1938 after the death of her only child.

And while she's been single ever since, it was not for lack of men vying for her attention.  However over the years she's managed to resist all advances.

Her decision to do so is one of things she credits her longevity to.

She says after her unhappy marriage she "didn't want to be dominated by anyone."

The other thing she credits her long life to is raw eggs.   Since her teenage years she's slurped down three of them a day.  She started eating raw eggs after her doctor told her it would be good for her anemia (a condition where a lack of iron in the blood leads to a reduction in the number of red blood cells.)

One hundred years of eating three eggs a day is just shy of 110,000 eggs.  That's a lot of eggs.  (Note: In recent years she's reduced her consumption to two raw eggs per day.)

Morano has a positive attitude and still lives alone in a two room apartment (which she refuses to leave even for doctor visits.)  And according to her doctor (who visits her in her home,) "s
he's aware of the privilege of living."

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The diet that appears to reduce your risk of a blood clot-triggered stroke.

Are you familiar with the Mediterranean diet?

It's the diet that encourages you to eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, fish, poultry and olive oil.

And encourages you to limit your intake of red meat, sweets and saturated fats such as those found in meat, butter and full-fat dairy products.

A study lead by Dr. Ayesha Sherzai, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center in New York City analyzed data from more than 104,000 teachers in California.  Their average age was 52 years.  The study was especially rigorous, since the authors accounted for "other factors” that would reduce stroke risks, such as exercise, total caloric intake, body mass index, smoking and menopausal/hormonal status.

The study found that following a Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of stroke caused by a blood clot.  However they also found that the plan had no effect either way regarding a bleeding (hemorrhagic) stroke.

The researcher also noted that prior research has shown a Mediterranean diet also lowers the risk of heart disease, mental decline and death.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Study confirms energy drinks create 66% higher risk for problems in schoolchildren…

The average age of the students in the study was 12.4 years.

The 1,649 middle-school students who took part in the study consumed an average of two sugared energy drinks per day (the range of consumption was from zero to seven drinks).

The study, done by the Yale School of Public Health, found that children who consumed heavily sweetened energy drinks were 66% more likely to be at risk for hyperactivity and inattention symptoms. 

Professor and lead researcher Jeannette Ickovics, director of CARE (Community Alliance for Research and Engagement) at the School of Public Health had this to say...

"As the total number of sugar-sweetened beverages increased, so too did risk for hyperactivity and inattention symptoms among our middle-school students.  Importantly, it appears that energy drinks are driving this association.  Our results support the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that parents should limit consumption of sweetened beverages and that children should not consume any energy drinks."

Some sugar-sweetened energy drinks contain up to 40 grams of sugar per day.  The recommended daily sugar intake for children (depending upon their age) ranges from 21 to 33 grams. 

Of course, hyperactivity and inattention aren't the only problems that may occur.  A consistently high-sugar intake can also lead to childhood obesity.


This might be the first generation where kids are dying at a younger age than their parents and it's related primarily to the obesity problem.” – Actress Judy Davis

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Is your “drug of choice” processed foods?

A new study by the University of Michigan confirms what you may have suspected all along...
Highly-processed foods, or foods with added fat or refined carbohydrates such as white flour and sugar, are addictive.

The study points out that due to the "concentrated dose and rapid rate of absorption" some elements in highly-processed foods react similar in people's bodies to drug abuse.

Co-author Nicole Avena, who is also assistant professor of pharmacology and systems therapeutics at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, had this to say about the study...
"This is a first step towards identifying specific foods, and properties of foods, which can trigger this addictive response.  This could help change the way we approach obesity treatment. It may not be a simple matter of 'cutting back' on certain foods, but rather, adopting methods used to curtail smoking, drinking and drug use."

Among the most addictive foods on the list were chocolate, pizza and French fries.  On the flip side unprocessed foods, with no added fat or refined carbohydrates such as brown rice and salmon were found not to be associated with addictive-like eating behavior.


"You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six." - Yogi Berra