September / October 2007
( to: Health Newsletter Archive )
Greetings once again and welcome to this edition of the Archangel Health News! We hope that you will find the information presented below informative and helpful towards your goal of optimum health. As always, please feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you require additional information, have a particular health question or concern, or would like to suggest a favorite health-related web site or health topic for inclusion in a future issue of our newsletter. We are always happy to correspond with our valued subscribers and customers!
FISH OILS AND THE HEART -- Eating oily fish at least twice a week can prevent sudden cardiac death because fatty acids in the fish block dangerous irregular heart rhythms. The study, by Harvard Medical School, suggests fatty acids, or omega-3, are stored in the cell membranes of heart cells and can prevent sudden cardiac death or fatal arrhythmias. Epidemiologists have known for years that eating fish - especially tuna and salmon - was associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, but only recently have researchers had laboratory evidence to explain this effect. The study of individual heart cells demonstrated the omega-3 essential polyunsaturated fatty acids specifically block excessive sodium and calcium currents in the heart. The excessive electrical discharges cause dangerous and erratic changes in heart rhythm, the researcher said.
STAY CALM FOR GOOD HEALTH -- Finding ways to keep calm could help reduce your risk of Alzheimer's disease. Early research into Alzheimer's disease and stress levels revealed that there may be a relationship between them. In a study of older adults, the people who reported themselves to be the most stressed, tensed, or jittery of the group also were most likely to develop the disease.
HEALTH TESTS FOR WOMEN -- Doctors advise all women should have an annual pelvic exam, but not all need a yearly Pap test for cervical cancer. Specialists told a meeting of The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) clinical guidelines on how and how often to screen have been revised recently. Dr. Kenneth Noller, ob-gyn chair at Tufts-New England Medical Center, says an estimated 10,520 new cases of invasive cervical cancer will be diagnosed in the United States in 2004 and about 3,900 U.S. women will die of the disease. For the first time in more than 10 years, ACOG revised cervical cancer screening guidelines last August. The new recommendations focus on age, past test results, and prior health history. Under the new guidelines, screening can begin later than previously recommended, starting three years after the first sexual intercourse or by age 21, whichever comes first. Women younger than 30 should have annual exams, the doctors recommend. For those 30 and older, those who had three negative results on the annual Pap tests can be rescreened every two to three years, rather than yearly, as previously recommended. All women 18 or older need annual gynecologic exams, including a pelvic exam, as do sexually active adolescents younger than 18, doctors say.
DEALING WITH ALLERGIES -- Early treatment can take much of the misery out of allergies, say doctors who recommend taking action at least two weeks before allergy season hits. Once the allergic reaction begins, it takes more medication and is much more difficult to stop, says Dr. Andrew Singer, allergist at the University of Michigan Health System. Depending on where you live, the sniffly, watery-eye season begins around March or April and continues through fall's first frost. The earliest allergens to pop up include tree pollens, followed by grass and weed pollens, Singer says. Ragweed, one of the most common allergens, usually kicks up around late August or early September. Allergy symptoms include sneezing, stuffy nose, itchy nose, throat, ear canals or eyes, ear congestion, postnasal drainage, shortness of breath, coughing and wheezing. Singer advises those with allergies to: avoid going outdoors during peak pollen times; use air conditioning and keep the windows closed; wear a mask when doing garden work; shower or bathe to remove allergens; vacuum the carpets, curtains and soft furniture often; and remove all mold.
BOOST YOUR BRAIN POWER -- Getting the right amount of vitamin D may help protect you from neurological disorders. A recent landmark study examined the relationship between vitamin D intake and multiple sclerosis. In the study, women who took a vitamin D supplement regularly had a 40 percent lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis, compared to the women who did not take vitamin D supplements.
SLEEP TIPS FOR CHILDREN -- Sleep experts say every age has its special sleep needs, which, unfulfilled, can wreak havoc with a child's physical and mental well-being. In a National Sleep Foundation poll, specialists offer these tips for parents of newborns 1 to 2 months old: Observe the baby's sleep patterns and identify signs of sleepiness; put the baby in the crib when drowsy, not asleep; place the baby to sleep on his/her back with the face and head clear of blankets and other soft items; and encourage nighttime sleep. For infants 3 to 11 months, they advise parents to: Develop regular daytime and bedtime schedules; create a consistent and enjoyable bedtime routine; establish a regular "sleep friendly" environment; and encourage the baby to fall asleep on his/her own. Tips for caregivers of toddlers 1 to 3 years old include: Maintain a daily sleep schedule and consistent bedtime routine; make the bedroom environment the same every night; set consistent limits; and encourage use of a security object such as a blanket or stuffed animal. For preschoolers, 3 to 5: Maintain a regular, consistent sleep schedule; have a relaxing bedtime routine that ends in the bedroom; and keep the bedroom cool, quiet, dark and free of TV. For school-age children, 5 to 12: Teach children about healthy sleep habits; emphasize regular, consistent sleep schedule and routine; make the bedroom dark, cool, quiet; keep TV and computers out of the bedroom; and avoid caffeine.
A TALK WITH PHARMACIST CAN HELP -- A one-on-one with a local pharmacist can help patients cut down on medication errors, a past study shows. In the study of 187 elderly participants, pharmacists came to local churches to discuss the how-to's of proper drug protocols. Following the sessions at which they got information and asked questions, the participants took fewer medications and had fewer drug-related problems, said Gerald Cable, study co-author and clinical assistant professor of pharmacy at Ohio State University. "We were not surprised at the extent of correctable medication problems we found," he said. "However, we were surprised that the participants were so willing to talk with us about these problems." More than half had kept medication past its expiration date, and nearly half reported experiencing adverse drug reactions. Each year in the United States, incorrect use of medicine is tied to one out of six hospital admissions, one out of four nursing home admissions, a quarter of all malpractice lawsuits, half of all medication failures, and 2.5 million medical emergencies. Programs such as the one tested in the study could cut drug-related errors and costs in half, the authors concluded. The study appears in a past issue of the "American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy."
WELLNESS QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
Q & A #1:
Yes. Researchers in the United States find men who walked more than two miles a day had less dementia than men who walked less than a quarter mile a day. "There are no clear explanations for the relation between walking and dementia," the authors write in the "Journal of American Medical Association." "It would be important to determine if men who walk regularly are less prone to development of intervening conditions that have a closer link with dementia." Those who walked less than quarter-mile a day experienced a 1.8-fold excess risk of dementia than those who walked 2 miles a day, according to study leader Robert D. Abbott, of the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville.
Q & A #2:
An orphan disease is one which has not been "adopted" by the pharmaceutical industry because it provides little financial incentive for the private sector to make and market new medications to treat or prevent it. An orphan disease may be: 1. A rare disease. According to US criteria, an orphan disease is one that affects fewer than 200,000 people. (There are more than 5,000 such rare disorders.) 2. A common disease that has been ignored (such as tuberculosis, cholera, typhoid, and malaria) because it is far more prevalent in developing countries than in the developed world. 3. The United States Orphan Drug Act of 1983 offered tax incentives on clinical trials and 7 years of marketing exclusivity for drugs developed for conditions that occur only rarely in the U.S. Since then, more than 200 orphan drugs have been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and are on the market. Similar legislation has been adopted in Japan and Australia. In the year 2000, the European Union (EU) adopted "orphan medicinal products" legislation modeled on the U.S. law, but including tropical diseases and other disorders prevalent only in the developing world. The EU law provides for 10 years of marketing exclusivity, but no tax incentives (because there is no centralized EU taxation system). A list of rare diseases can be found at: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/asp/diseases/diseases.asp
Q & A #3:
Physical inactivity, along with cigarette smoking, high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol, is one of the major modifiable risk factors for heart attack. There is no guarantee that you won't get heart disease, but you'll reduce your chance of heart disease if you avoid the risk factors.
Q & A #4:
Most studies showing the positive effects of exercise have been done with men. The few studies that have included women have indicated that women may benefit even more than men from being physically fit. Early indications show that physically fit women enjoy even greater reduced rates of death from heart disease than men. Women who do not exercise have twice the chance of dying from heart disease as women who do exercise. Similarly, women who smoke double their chances of dying from heart disease when compared to women who do not smoke. Women may live longer than men, but they do not necessarily live better. Elderly women who have not been physically active experience more disability in their daily functioning than women who have been active.
Q & A #5:
When a child is choking and cannot breathe or speak, you must give abdominal thrusts (perform the Heimlich maneuver). The Heimlich maneuver pushes air from the child's lungs like a cough. This can help remove the blocking object. You should give abdominal thrusts until the object is forced out or the victim becomes unresponsive. If you are unfamiliar with performing the Heimlich, then find someone close by who knows how, preferably someone who also knows CPR. If you think a child is choking, ask the child "are you choking?" If the child nods, ask "can you speak?" If the child cannot speak, cough loudly, or cry, tell the child you are going to help. To perform the Heimlich maneuver, stand firmly behind the child and wrap your arms around him or her that your fists are in front of the child. Make a fist with one hand. Put the thumb side of the fist on the child's abdomen, slightly above the navel and well below the breastbone. Grasp the fist with your other hand and provide quick upward thrusts into the child's abdomen. Give thrust until the object is forced out or the child becomes unresponsive. If the choking is not relieved, the child will become unresponsive. When the child becomes unresponsive, shout for help, lower the child to the ground, and start CPR. If someone else is present, send that person to phone 911 while you start CPR.
by: Janice Fae Mitchell
"The eyes are windows of the soul" is an old saying that reflects the wondrous quality of the delicate mechanism of our eyes, and the priceless gift of sight they provide.
Daily functions, such as reading or driving, require eyesight and are possibly taken for granted by most people. To seniors, however, who desire to remain healthy and independent as long as possible, it is a dark cloud looming in their golden horizon.
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in people over the age of 55, affecting more than 10 million Americans. Nearly 60 percent of Americans already have cataracts by the time they qualify for Medicare. And glaucoma, the leading cause of blindness throughout the world, affects more than 60 million people.
The good news is there is increasing scientific evidence that nutritional, lifestyle and environmental factors play an important role in maintaining eye health. There are many ways we can turn the odds in our favor.
What is AMD? It is a condition in which the central portion (the macular) of the retina deteriorates for unknown reasons. It affects more people in the developed countries than cataracts and glaucoma combined.
Many people with high blood levels of antioxidants have a lower risk of AMD. People who eat fruits and vegetables high in carotenoids (found in highest concentrations in spinach, collard greens, kale, romaine lettuce, leeks, peas and egg yolks) are also at low risk. Eating large amounts of spinach and kale, rich sources of lutein and zeaxanthin, has an added benefit. People doing so have been found to be at a lower risk for another common cause of visual loss: cataracts. Cataracts develop when damage to the transparent protein of the lens in the eye clouds over. The damage reduces the amount of light coming into the lens and impairs vision, a condition often described as being similar to "looking through a piece of waxed paper" and seeing "halos" around lights at night. Reading or driving may become difficult or impossible.
This condition is more likely to occur in people who have diabetes, smoke or are exposed to excessive sunlight, each of which shares a common thread: increased oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can generate reactive free radicals, which eventually exceed the amount of antioxidants in the body’s reserve.
Another hazard to eye health is glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness. It occurs when the pressure within the eye becomes elevated due to blockage of the normal flow of fluid between the cornea and the lens of the eye. In many cases, the cause of glaucoma is unknown.
In addition to antioxidants, vitamins play an active role in eye health. The eye consists of 65 percent water and 35 percent protein. So as we get older, vitamin levels in the eye decrease, especially vitamin C. B vitamins must be replaced on a daily basis because they are not stored. The eye also contains the highest percentage of potassium, and ultraviolet light - a major component of sunlight that destroys riboflavin - has been linked to cataracts.
Bilberry, a close cousin to the blueberry, is widely used in Europe in support of eye health. Modern research interest in bilberry was sparked by the experience of British pilots who noticed their night vision improved when they ate bilberry jam before night flights.
Eating more foods rich in beta carotene or vitamin A can contribute to eye health. Beta carotene is a compound produced by plants that the body converts into vitamin A. It also acts as an antioxidant and an immune system enhancer.
Like other antioxidants, beta carotene helps to protect the body against free radicals. Getting enough beta carotene means eating a well-rounded diet with lots of fruits and vegetables.
The National Institute of Health recommends 9 milligrams of beta carotene daily for adult men and 7 milligrams for adult women. Beta carotene is part of the carotenoid family, widely distributed in fruits and vegetables and responsible, along with flavonoids, for contributing the color to many plants (a rule of thumb is the brighter, the better). The best food sources are brightly colored fruits and veggies such as cantaloupe, apricots, mango, carrots, red peppers, squash varieties, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and dark leafy greens.
Set your sights on increasing your daily intake of antioxidants and foods rich in beta carotene, and find a vitamin supplement that is just right for you. You will see your way to improving the health of your eyes and the quality of your life.
CALMAG PLUS from Life Plus is a special blend of the essential minerals calcium and magnesium (in a 2:1 ratio), Vitamin D-3 Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Phosphorus, and Boron (for optimum calcium utilization), plus trace minerals and other vital nutrients. This premium-quality dietary supplement is effective for nutritionally supporting the skeletal system and muscles, heart function and circulation, and boosting the immune system. Calcium and magnesium are effective, natural calmatives and are also helpful for fighting leg cramps, allergies, and more!
Additional information about CALMAG PLUS can be found on our web site at http://www.aomega.com/ahs/c6105b.htm
Please feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone you know that might benefit from any of the above information - or refer them to http://www.aomega.com/ahs/newsletters/nl091007.htm - we would greatly appreciate it.
Thank you for reading this edition of the Archangel Health News and may God bless you and your health!
Darrin and Sandi Quiles
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Copyright © 2007 by Sandi and Darrin Quiles. All rights reserved.
Please note: the information contained herein has been compiled from various sources. The above statements have not been evaluated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. We make no claims, either expressed or implied, that any products mentioned in this newsletter will cure disease, replace prescription medication, or supersede sound medical advice.