Tag Archives: stress

Food that help keep you fit

Jody Victor found an aricle from ABC News that tells us about some foods to help get us in shape. Here is their list:

Beet juice: aids in stamina. They state that research shows it may be more effective than caffeine.
Honey: help with endurance. Consuming honey before exercise acts like a “time-released” fuel keeping sugar and insulin levels steady longer.
Pea protein: delays muscle fatigue. You can this in powder form. Since it’s rich in amino acids it can delay fatigue during exercise.
Blueberries: reduces inflammation. When fresh blueberries aren’t available, you can use dried or freeze-dried berries.
Tart cherries: fight pain and regain strength. In a test, it was found that drinking 12 oz of tart cherry juice twice a day helped them gain strength. Frozen, dried, or juice options.
Salmon: to build muscle. Omega-3 fatty acids may also be a muscle booster. Try to include wild salmon in meals a few times a week, or even salmon jerky.
Watermelon: reduces muscle soreness. It was found that watermelon juice helped relieve muscle soreness when drinking about 16oz an hour before exercise. ‘
Pomegranate: muscle strength recovery. It was found by researchers that it helps improve muscle recovery. About 4 ounces of juice was enough to help improve muscle soreness/weakness.
Coffee: for next-day energy. It helps replenish glycogen more rapidly after exercise.
Watercress: reduce DNA damage. It counters the “wear and tear” of exercise. 3 oz. of fresh watercress was enough.
Dark chocolate: curb exercise-induced stress. In a study, the men who consumed 3.5 oz. dark chocolate before 2 1/2 hours of cycling experienced higher blood anti-oxidant levels. Yum!

~ Steve Victor

Whooping Cough Outbreak

The United States is having the worst whooping cough outbreak in modern times. The previous record of 27,550 cases was set in 2010. 2012 is on track to shatter that record as the country has seen 32,131 reported cases already (through September 15). I asked Jody Victor®  to tell us more about it.

Jody Victor®: The top ten states with reported cases are: Wisconsin, Washington, Minnesota, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Texas, Iowa, Colorado, and Utah. Eight of those states allow parents to exempt their children from required immunizations (only New York and Iowa do not). Those eight states account for 56 percent of all the whooping cough cases in the United States.

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is an upper respiratory infection caused by the Bordetella pertussis or Bordetella parapertussis bacteria. Whooping cough gets its popular name from the whoop sound that the patient makes after a coughing fit as he/she is trying to take a breath. (The whoop noise is rare in patients under 6 months of age and in adults.) Whooping cough can affect people of any age. It is a highly contagious and serious disease that can cause permanent disability in infants, even death.

Initial symptoms are similar to the common cold and develop about a week after exposure to the bacteria. Severe episodes of coughing start about ten days later, long after a common cold should be gone. Coughing spells may lead to vomiting or a short loss of consciousness. Whooping cough should always be considered when vomiting occurs with coughing. With infants choking spells are also common.

If started early enough, antibiotics such as erythromycin can make the symptoms go away more quickly. Unfortunately most patients are diagnosed too late and antibiotics are not very effective, though the medicine can help reduce the patient’s ability to spread the disease.

Pertussis/ whooping cough, is a preventable disease and yet it is still a problem.  In 2005, DTaP replaced the old “whole cell” pertussis vaccine called DTP, which often caused severe side effects. Currently five doses of DTaP (diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus) are given to children before they enter school. The vaccine is administered at 2, 4, and 6 months and again at 15 to 18 months and at 4 to 6 years. It is currently recommended that children get a booster shot at age 11 or 12.

A new study by researchers at the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center in Oakland, California, has documented for the first time how quickly DTaP immunity can wear off. Dr. Nicola P. Klein, head of the study, and colleagues showed that even after all five doses of the new a-cellular vaccine were properly administered, protection against pertussis waned during the next 5 years. They also found that the infected children were surprisingly young- 8 to 11- not the teenagers who were historically the most infected during prior outbreaks. “The old vaccine lasted longer,” says Dr. Klein, “Originally we didn’t think this vaccine would be substantially different from the old one.”

The new evidence on whooping cough shows that the booster vaccine should be given earlier, perhaps at 8 or nine years of age, to protect children in their preteens. The same booster is currently recommended as a one-time injection for adults through age 64 in lieu of a 10-year tetanus shot. As researchers study the longevity of DTaP they may soon recommend a booster for adults every ten years instead of a one-time booster.

Babies who are not fully immunized and have not yet built up their own immunities to diseases are especially vulnerable to pertussis. Babies who are not fully immunized may develop pneumonia, severe breathing problems, and terrifying seizures. It is vitally important that anyone who has routine contact with infants should be immunized against pertussis. That would include all day care workers, nannies, babysitters, and grandparents. If pregnant women have not recently had a booster shot, the CDC recommends that it be given late in the second trimester or early in the third.

Dr. Klein has stated, “Although a better vaccine is needed, the current vaccine is safe and effective, and some protection is better than no protection.”

 Thanks, Jody!

All the Best!

Steve Victor

Type 3 Diabetes and Alzheimer’s

Thirty-five million people suffer today from Alzheimer’s disease worldwide. That number is projected to rise to 100 million by 2050. I asked Jody Victor® to tell us more about it.

Jody Victor®: Many scientists now believe that Alzheimer’s is caused largely by the brain’s impaired response to insulin. Suzanne de la Monte and her research team at the U.S. Brown Medical School discovered that, similar to what happens in the pancreas, insulin is released in the hippocampus of the brain as well. Your brain creates its own insulin.

The research team also found that brain insulin is not affected by the level of glucose in the blood as in Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes.  But any trouble with the release of insulin in the brain does contribute to Type 3 Diabetes. With Type 3 Diabetes the brain produces lower than normal levels of brain insulin. When brain cells are deprived of insulin they eventually die, causing memory loss and other degenerative diseases.

The new phenomenon Type 3 Diabetes strengthens scientists’ belief that people with diabetes have an increased risk of suffering from Alzheimer’s, a degenerative brain disorder, by up to 65 percent. There is now strong evidence that Alzheimer’s could be caused by the very same choices that cause Type 2 Diabetes: poor diet loaded with bad fats, sugars, and salt. Almost daily we receive more and more evidence that the food choices we make can have a profound effect on our health.

Thanks, Jody!

All the Best!

Steve Victor

Type 3 Diabetes- Double Trouble

Health officials are deeply concerned over a new phenomenon that physicians are seeing in increasing numbers with their patients suffering with diabetes. I asked Jody Victor® to tell us more about it.

Jody Victor®: The phenomenon is typically called Type 3 Diabetes (or Double Diabetes). It has also been called Hybrid Diabetes. According to recent reports, physicians are increasingly seeing patients with the symptoms of both Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes. It appears that having either type of diabetes is necessary for developing Type 3. There are only a few symptoms of Type 3 that have been directly associated with it, including an increased heart rate and spikes in glucose levels.

Diabetes occurs when the body cannot turn blood sugar, or glucose, into energy- either because it does not produce enough insulin (Type 1) or when the body does not use it correctly (Type 2). Type 1, or insulin-dependent diabetes, affects five percent of all diabetics. It happens when the body’s immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas. It was previously thought that Type 1 only occurred with children, but it is now known that adults can also develop it as well. Type 2 diabetes affects over ninety-five percent of all diabetics. Type 2 happens when the body becomes unable to process insulin properly.

Since little is currently known about Type 3 Diabetes, physicians are turning to prevention as the first response to fighting this new phenomenon. When a child is diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, parents are encouraged to keep him/her as close to a healthy weight as possible with regular physical activity and a healthy diet. A healthy diet should be a family affair, whether or not someone in the family has diabetes. Controlling your body weight is a good way to keep from getting Type 2 Diabetes. Researchers believe that controlling obesity may be crucial to getting to the bottom of the Type 3/Double Diabetes phenomenon. One theory currently under testing is that obesity may be the trigger either because it overworks the pancreas or it destroys the autoimmune system.  It is also believed that even if you are genetically predisposed to Type 1 Diabetes, you may be able to avoid Type 3 Diabetes with weight control.

Diabetics can consume the same foods as the rest of the family. The goal is to follow a well-balanced diet, keep serving sizes under control, and make sure your body has enough insulin to handle the foods you eat. Diabetics need to observe and learn how different foods affect their blood sugar and how to coordinate the types and amount of insulin taken before a meal. Your family meal plan should include more good fats (vegetables and nuts) and less bad fats (saturated and animal fats). Carbohydrates have the most influence on blood sugar levels. Grains, fruits, starchy vegetables, and dairy products have the highest concentrations of carbs. You should talk with your doctor or registered dietician to develop an individualized plan.

Thanks, Jody!

All the Best!

Steve Victor

Great News in the Cancer Fight

Ten years ago biologist Dr. Irving Weissman of the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, discovered that leukemia cells produce higher levels of a protein called CD47 than healthy cells do. I asked Jody Victor®  to tell us more about it.

Jody Victor®: CD47 is a marker that blocks the immune system from destroying them as they circulate. Cancers use this biological “don’t eat me” flag to trick the immune system into ignoring them.  Macrophages (large “killer flags” of the immune system) recognize the flag and leave cancer cells alone to replicate and even metastasize (spread quickly throughout the body).

Dr. Weissman’s biomedical research team at Stanford has been working on an antibody that blocks the production of the CD47 cell marker. Dr. Weissman states that, “CD47 isn’t just important on leukemias and lymphomas. It’s on every single human primary tumor that we tested.” In theory, blocking the production of this biological flag (CD47) on the surface of tumor cells makes them detectable to the body’s protective immune cells.

Their first tests were done in vitro. They exposed tumor cells in petri dishes to microphages, some with the CD47 antibody and some without. Without the anti-CD47 drug, the microphages did not recognize the cancer cells as alien and left them alone. With the anti-CD47 drug, the microphages quickly engulfed and eventually destroyed the tumor cells.

Next the research team headed by Dr. Weissman and postdoctoral scholars Stephen Willingham and Jens-Peter Volkmer enlisted the help of clinical experts from across the School of Medicine. They collected surgical samples of a variety of human tumors, including breast, ovarian, bladder, colon, prostrate, liver, and brain. They found that nearly every cancer cell they examined expressed CD47.  They then implanted the different human tumor cells into matching locations in the bodies of mice. Once the tumors were well established (two weeks or more), they treated the mice with the anti-CD47 antibody. Most of the tumors began to shrink and, in some cases, disappear within weeks of treatment. In one case, the antibody treatment cured five mice injected with the same human breast cancer cells. When the tumor was gone the treatment was stopped. They monitored the mice for four months and none of them showed signs of recurrence.

“If the tumor was highly aggressive,” said Dr. Weissman, “the antibody also blocked metastasis. It’s becoming very clear that, in order for a cancer to survive in the body, it has to find some way to evade the cells of the innate immune system.” The innate immune system is the body’s first line of defense against pathogens like bacteria and viruses. Unlike immunity provided by adaptive antibodies and T cells that recognize and fight specific molecules, the cells of the innate immune system such as microphages respond to a variety of threats.

Dr. Weissman says they have more to learn about the relationship between microphages and tumor cells and how to draw more microphages to the tumors. But he also believes that they should “move forward quickly but cautiously into human clinical trials for many tumor types.”

Thanks, Jody!

All the Best!

Steve Victor