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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Women who go jogging a week before their period is due risk damaging their knees

Women who work out regularly should consider taking it easy in the week before their period is due - as they could be at greater risk of injury, say scientists. Researchers found that the nerve fibres around their knee muscles fired more often during this week than earlier in their menstrual cycle. They said this difference in firing rate could affect the stability of the joint, potentially making it more susceptible to injury. Sportswomen typically suffer from more knee injuries than their male counterparts, especially in sports such as football that involve knee twisting and turning. Previous studies found women were also more likely to experience ligament tears and chronic pain. Researchers set out to see if hormone levels could be part of the problem, by affecting muscle-controlling nerves. Working with female volunteers aged between 19 and 35, the team from the University of Texas-Austin and University of North Carolina, charted their menstrual cycles by taking body temperature measurements every morning. It is possible to track where a woman is on her menstrual cycle because body temperature increases slightly after ovulation and dips to pre-ovulation temperatures just before the start of a new cycle. Hormonal levels also fluctuate during the cycle, with progesterone and estrogen levels falling in the final week before menstruation. More... Breast cancer timebomb fear: Experts warn that NHS faces crisis as number of women living with disease is set to treble to 1.7m Playing football is the best way for middle-aged men to tackle high blood pressure The scientists also measured the women's motor activity in their knees at five different points during the study. They inserted a fine wire electrode into two knee muscles and took readings as the women performed simple knee extensions. The results from the seven women revealed that the rate of nerve firing in these muscles jumped in the third week of the menstrual cycle, known as the 'late luteal phase'. Research leader Professor Matthew Tenan, from the University of Texas-Austin, said: 'Our results suggest that muscle activation patterns are altered by the menstrual cycle. 'These alterations could lead to changes in rates of injury.' He said further investigation was now needed to see whether these results coincide with a difference in knee injury rates at different points in the menstrual cycle. The study was presented at The Integrative Biology of Exercise conference held in Colorado. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-2218520/Why-jogging-week-period-damage-knees.html#ixzz29WqmIoKo Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Sunday, July 22, 2012

12 Ways to Fight Stress and Help Your Heart

Relax! You can help your heart by learning how to de-stress, chill out, and let it go. Here are 12 ways to get yourself closer to the Zen zone.

Can stress hurt your heart?

By Amanda Gardner
The evidence is piling up that the answer is—yes, stress is bad for your ticker.

“There are studies to show that stress is comparable to other risk factors that we traditionally think of as major, like hypertension, poor diet, and lack of exercise,” says Kathi Heffner, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Rochester Center for Mind-Body Research at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

Here are 12 steps you can take to fight stress and protect your heart.

1. Focus on relaxation

Stress-reduction techniques and exercises such as yoga, meditation, and tai chi have been shown to lower stress hormones and bolster immune function, says Heffner.

In one study, people who practiced yoga regularly experienced a decrease in some of their body’s inflammatory responses. Inflammation is emerging as a key culprit in heart disease, among many other chronic conditions.

"Dedicating a certain time of the day to focus on your body and on actually relaxing, (not) caring about the other things that are going on your day, is very useful," says John Simmons Jr., MD, assistant professor of family medicine at Texas A&M Health Science Center College of Medicine in Bryan.

2. Connect with friends

Spending too much time on your own can affect not only your mental health but your heart health as well. This holds true whether or not you’ve been actually diagnosed with heart disease.

According to one study, women in particular were more prone to angina, a heart-disease-related chest pain, and other problems if they had little social support when they were recovering from a heart attack.

So get out and about. However, make sure you’re connecting with true friends. “If you have a lot of friends but they’re all mean to you, that won’t be beneficial,” Heffner says. And that’s backed up by research.

3. Forget perfect

We all know that the type A personality—the one constantly striving for perfection—seems more prone to heart disease. But what it really boils down to, says Heffner, is hostility. "Hostility has been shown to be the key ingredient in what used to be termed the type A personality," she says. "Hostility is behavior that's fueled by anger toward other people." Research suggests that hostility may be a better predictor of heart disease than things like high blood pressure and being overweight.

So play nice and think nice thoughts about the future, as optimism has also been shown to protect the heart.

4. Don’t hold grudges

Nursing a grudge isn't going to help in the heart-health department. Research suggests that people experience more psychological stress and higher heart rates when they hold grudges than when they grant forgiveness.

"You would be amazed at how strongly they can take root in your psyche and how long they can gnaw at you. Getting that monkey off your back psychologically is very important, and allows you to move on and quit perseverating," Dr. Simmons says.

So be quick to forgive. This is also likely to lead to better social relationships, another boost for the heart, Heffner says.


5. Lighten up

Laughter can burn up to 20% more calories than keeping that poker face, according to a 2005 study, which monitored adults while they watched funny and not-so-funny film clips.

And fewer calories, as we all know, mean a better chance of staying slim, which is one of the best ways to protect your heart for the long-term. Mirth also increased heart rate and, in a 2010 study in the American Journal of Cardiology, was shown to improve vascular function. So laugh a little or, better yet, a lot. The first study found that the more you laugh, the more calories you use up and the harder your heart works.

6. Don’t drink (too much) alcohol

Having too many drinks can raise triglycerides and blood pressure and even lead to heart failure. However, moderate drinking may actually ward off heart disease. Moderate means no more than one drink a day for women and two for men.

If you don’t drink, this isn't a reason to start, according to Dr. Simmons. "But if you have always enjoyed a glass of wine and want reassurance, it's perfectly fine," he says.

7. Cut the caffeine

Caffeine can quickly raise your fight-or-flight response and all the attendant stress hormones, explains Dr. Simmons.
Elevated stress hormones contribute to inflammation. So cut down on your coffee or tea habit. And even your diet soda habit. Preliminary studies have linked diet sodas to an increased risk of diabetes, a major risk factor for heart disease.

8. Limit emotional involvement

Not with people! But avoid getting too emotionally invested in things that don’t matter that much.

For example, researchers recently linked football team losses with a greater risk of heart attack. In Los Angeles County, deaths from heart attacks and just deaths in general (mostly in elderly people) spiked after the Pittsburgh Steelers routed the Los Angeles Rams 31-19 in the 1980 Super Bowl. But when the Rams pounced the Washington Redskins 38-9 in 1984, deaths in the county declined. So don’t sweat the small stuff and remember that it's all small stuff.

9. Eat right

Eating a balanced diet—low in red meat and processed foods, high in fruits and vegetables, poultry, fish, and whole grains—will not only keep your weight down but also have a more direct effect on the heart’s functioning: It keeps your blood sugar stable throughout the day so you can avoid destructive peaks and valleys. "Eating a more balanced diet with complex carbs means you’re going to be stable throughout the day," Dr. Simmons says. "You're not going to have a carb high, then a drop down. Your mood isn’t going to fluctuate."

Healthy eating can help prevent or delay diabetes, a major risk factor for heart trouble.

10. Seek help for depression

Depression can increase the risk of heart disease and may shorten life span. If you’re depressed, medication, psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, and other treatments may help. The Cleveland Clinic recommends antidepressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs, such as Prozac and Zoloft) because they don’t raise blood pressure.

But ask your doctor if this is the best drug for your depression and make sure you know about any interactions.


11. Get some sleep

So many people in our sleep-deprived culture just aren’t getting enough z’s, or enough of the right kind of rest. An average of six to eight hours of sleep is recommended, according to Dr. Simmons.

However, quality of sleep is key. Sleep apnea—a condition in which you wake up periodically due to interrupted breathing—has been linked with cardiovascular disease.

People who awake in the middle of the night from sleep apnea are unable to complete normal sleep cycles, a time when the body naturally lowers hormone levels and blood pressure. This can lead to hypertension and heart disease.

12. Exercise more

Want a cure-all? Try aerobic exercises like running, walking, swimming, and even dancing. These activities help you feel better, lower your risk for diabetes, and make your heart stronger, a trifecta of health benefits. Exercise can also help depression.

Study after study has shown the benefits of physical activity, even active housework or gardening. The reason? It pumps your heart, moving blood all around the body.

The American Heart Association recommends exercising aerobically at least 30 minutes all or most days of the week. But talk to your doctor before hitting the track.

Source : http://www.health.com
Read More ...

Do Stressful Jobs Fuel Heart Attacks?

By Amanda Gardner
job-stress-heart-attacks
Getty Images
After a bad day at work, do you ever complain to your friends that your high-pressure job or demanding boss is giving you a heart attack? It’s just a figure of speech, but you might actually be on to something.
According to a new study of more than 22,000 female doctors and nurses, being in a stressful work situation increases a woman’s risk of heart attacks and related problems, possibly because the stress contributes to high blood pressure and other hazards.
Women who reported high levels of job strain were two-thirds more likely to have a heart attack during a 10-year period compared with women in easygoing jobs, the study found. Women in high-strain jobs were also 41% more likely to require a heart procedure such as bypass surgery.
Job strain isn’t exactly the same as job stress. When researchers talk about job strain, they’re referring to a specific type of psychological stress that’s “basically a combination of how demanding one’s job is and how much control one has over one’s job,” says Michelle Albert, M.D., the senior author of the study.
Challenging, fast-paced jobs aren’t necessarily straining. High-strain jobs are very demanding, yet they also involve little control or authority (picture working 12-hour days while being micromanaged). Low-strain jobs, on the other hand, feature relatively few demands and high levels of day-to-day control.
Chronic stress can lead to anxiety and depression, both of which have been linked to heart disease. In this study, though, anxiety and depression—along with other risk factors, such as smoking and body mass index—contributed only slightly to the relationship between job strain and heart attacks, suggesting that other factors were at play.
One likely explanation, Albert says, is that job strain leads to over-activation of the body’s stress system, including the release of stress hormones. This can lead to higher blood pressure, insulin resistance, and other processes that damage the blood vessels and heart.
“Stress is normal, except when it overpowers our body’s ability to adapt to the stressor—and that’s what we’re talking about here,” says Albert, a Harvard Medical School professor and cardiologist at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, in Boston.
Albert and her colleagues were somewhat surprised to find that women with high-demand, high-control jobs had elevated heart risk, too. This type of job—managerial positions, for instance—aren’t considered high-strain, so it could be that they breed a different kind of stress.
It can be lonely at the top, and women who find themselves with a lot of responsibility and authority may be more isolated, Albert says. Feelings of loneliness and a lack of social support have both been shown in previous studies to contribute to a higher risk of heart disease.
Interestingly, worrying about losing your job—a common source of work-related stress—wasn’t linked at all with heart disease in the study. But that could just be a quirk of the study population, and may not be true across all industries.
“The group of women studied here are health care professionals,” Albert says. “In the current economic climate, health care jobs tend to be a little bit more stable.”
The findings may not apply to everyone, in other words, and they don’t necessarily capture the myriad other sources of stress that can affect health, such as owing money or losing a loved one. All that remains to be worked out in future research.
“We live in an environment where you just don’t have one type of stressor,” Albert says. “You have multiple types of stress, so there’s a great need to look at the joint impact of different stressors on cardiovascular disease.”

Women with high-stress jobs may be more likely to have a heart attack

 
(CBS News) Stress at work may have an adverse effect on your heart health if you're a woman.
A new study shows that women who have high-stress jobs are 67 percent more likely to have a heart attack and 38 percent more likely to have any kind of cardiovascular event than women who have more low-stress jobs. 

Elevated job strain, a form of psychological stress, has long term cardiovascular health effects in women and could suggest the need for health care providers to incorporate assessment of and identification of useful interventions that minimize the effects of job strain," Dr. Michelle A. Albert, of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School,wrote in the study.
The study, published in the July 18 issue of PLoS ONE, looked at more than 22,000 women working in the health care industry in the United States who were part of the Women's Health Study. Their average age was 57, and the women were predominantly white.
Women's jobs were divided into four categories: low strain (low demand, high control); passive (low demand, low control); active (high demand, high control) and high strain (high demand, low control). The women were monitored for the number of heart attacks, strokes, heart procedures and deaths that occurred after a 10-year follow-up period.
"High strain is defined as high demand and low control," Albert told WebMD, using as an example a factory job in which a worker is pressured to produce.
While the researchers found higher rates of heart problems among women with high-strain jobs, they did not find any increased long-term cardiovascular risk in women who reported job insecurity. Women with active strain jobs, such as managers, were also shown to have this increased risk.
Depression and anxiety, which are risk factors for heart disease, were found only to slightly contribute to the link between stress and heart problems in women. Albert told Health.com that job stress may lead to over-activation of the body's stress system, releasing stress hormones which may lead to higher blood pressure, insulin resistance and other processes that may damage the heart's blood vessels.
She told CBS station WBZ in Boston that it's important for women to recognize when stress is taking a toll, whether it's chest pains, frequent headaches or feeling overly "worked up."
She recommends to maintain a healthy lifestyle, women should increase their physical activity, lean on social support and make sure they have time to allow themselves to de-stress.
"You're not going to get rid of stress," said Dr. Albert. "Stress is a normal part of life."

Friday, July 20, 2012

12 tips for healthy hair: get the shine, movement and softness you desire—fast and easy—with our expert advice from top pros


by Kathy Miller Kramer 

Hair is the ultimate accessory; it can add to (or detract from) your overall look instantly. Keeping it in healthy condition is the most important thing you can do to help it look and feel fabulous. And, while it seems easy, this isn't as simple as minimizing chemical treatments or slathering on a weekly deep conditioner. While these can make your strands softer and less split-end-prone, what really matters is the daily handling; this is what creates the most stress--and potential damage--to your tresses. To help your locks look their best, we asked top experts from around the country for their advice on how to baby your mane every single day. So whether your concern is dullness, damage, frizz or fragility, we have the answers to ease even the toughest hair-care woes. Read on for tips to achieve run-your-fingers-through-it hair.
1 Steer clear of plastic-bristle brushes. "The proper bristles are key," says stylist Edward Tricomi of the Warren-Tricomi Salon in New York City. "A combination of natural boar bristles on either a round or flat brush are best for dry hair, while soft, rubber-toothed wide-paneled brushes are best for damp hair." Our favorite brushes include the Mason Pearson Boar Bristle brush ($78.50; zitomer.com) and Aveda's Wooden Paddle Brush ($17; aveda.com).
2 Brush before shampooing. A few gentle strokes on dry hair will help remove product buildup and scalp flakes, as well as stimulate the scalp and promote blood flow (which delivers nutrients like oxygen) to hair follicles. For a smoother slide, try Clairol Herbal Essences Let It Loose Detangling Spray ($3; at drugstores).
3 Know your water. If your hair looks dull or is hard to style, the problem could be your tap water. According to Minneapolis-based Gordon Nelson, international creative director for Regis Salons, well water contains natural minerals (called "hard water") that can leave hair lusterless and hard to manage and can impart a brassy, orange hue. Soft water, on the other hand, has fewer damaging minerals. (Ask your local water department if your water is soft or hard, or try using Robert Craig's No More Bad Hair Days Kit, $20; robertcraig.com; with strips to test your water.) To rid hair of mineral buildup, suds up every week with a clarifying shampoo. We like Frederic Fekkai Apple Cider Clarifying Shampoo and Clean Conditioner ($18.50 each; saks.com).
4 Mist your ends with water before home coloring. The ends of your hair are more porous and, as a result, absorb more pigment. "Wet hair doesn't absorb color as readily as dry hair," explains Renee Patronik, a consulting colorist for L'Oreal in New York.
5 Trim your troubles. As the ends of your hair get older and damaged by rough handling, they become prone to splitting, Nelson says. Get regular trims, at least 1/2 inch every four to eight weeks. "Hair grows (on average) half an inch per month, so trim to maintain healthy ends," says stylist Stephen Knoll of the Stephen Knoll Salon in New York.
6 Use color-protective products. Chemical treatments like color can damage hair because the chemicals have to penetrate the outer layer of the hair (or cuticle) to allow the hue to be absorbed, explains stylist Rodolfo Valentin of Rodolfo Valentin Atelier for Hair in New York. Color-protective products are specially designed to minimize dryness, keep color true and prevent damage. "They typically have more nourishing ingredients, strip less color and are less abusive," Knoll explains. We love L'Oreal VIVE Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner ($3.69 each; at drugstores) and Matrix Biolage Color Care Shampoo ($10) and Conditioner ($11; matrix.com for salon locations).
7 Give wet hair extra TLC. It stretches and snaps more easily than dry hair does, so be extra-gentle with it. "Use a wide-tooth plastic comb while hair is wet; then, once it's towel-dried, switch to a good brush," says Jon Patrick, color director of the Mete Turkmen Hair Salon Plus in New York. And avoid wooden combs; wood can have microscopic divots that snag hairs. Instead try the Jilbere de Paris plastic shower comb ($1.49; sally beauty.com for store locations).
8 Deep condition once every two weeks. "These treatments penetrate the hair shaft and strengthen strands," says Patrick, who adds that using heat (from a blow-dryer) can intensify deep conditioning, as the heat causes the cuticle to open and the ingredients to penetrate.
For nourishing results, try Kerastase Masquintense ($36; 877-748-8357 for salons), available for fine or thick hair; Neutrogena Triple Moisture Sheer Hydration Leave-In Foam ($7; at drugstores); or Ellin Lavar Textures ReconstructMasque ($25; ellinlavar.com).
9 Try an ionic dryer. Ions are atoms with a positive or negative charge. These particular hair-dryers bathe your hair in negative ions, which help break up water molecules faster and cancel out hair-damaging positive ions, Valentin explains. Plus, your hair-drying time is cut in half. We love the Bio Ionic Super-Hydrator Pro Dryer ($165; bioionic.com for salon locations).
10 Just use your dryer's nozzle, urges stylist Frank Galasso of Frank.Studio in Santa Monica, Calif. It's the best way to help prevent frizz because it concentrates the airflow on sections. "Without a nozzle the dryer's grill gets very hot; if your hair gets too close to it, it will cause damage and/or breakage," explains stylist Mark Garrison of the Mark Garrison Salon in New York.
For curls, use a diffuser attachment to gently surround your hair with air. Try Vidal Sassoon Ceramic Finger Diffuser ($8; hotus.com for store locations). Follow up with John Frieda's Frizz-Ease Secret Weapon Flawless Finishing Creme ($6; at drugstores) to smooth strands.
11 Give textured or relaxed hair a break. African-American hair tends to be coarse due to a lack of natural oils (more so if chemically processed), says New York-based celebrity hairstylist Ellin Lavar. Lavar suggests opting for gentle color choices like semipermanent or vegetable color. Spacing processing treatments at least two weeks apart, with weekly conditioning treatments in between for shine maintenance, helps.
12 Use the right accessories. Kim Vo, a stylist at West Hollywood's B2V Salon, suggests putting hair in soft braids or twists and using claw clips rather than barrettes, which can pull hair. Other options: gentle Goody Ouchless elastic bands ($3 for 14; at drugstores) and L. Erickson Grab 'N Go Pony O's ($12 for three; franceluxe.com).
RELATED ARTICLE: POINT & CLICK FOR HEALTHY HAIR
For great styling advice that doesn't sacrifice hair health, check out the Dove Styling Tool, a tip-filled interactive guide created with the help of top celebrity stylist Eva Scrivo. It's organized according to the look you're trying to achieve. Find it at dove.com/unstick_your_style.
RELATED ARTICLE
BAN BAD-HAIR DAYS We're giving 50 lucky Shape readers the chance to try Robert Craig's No More Bad Hair Days Kit (a $20 value!). The kit includes 12 water test strips, three shampoos for different water types (soft, moderately hard and extremely hard) and a leave-in conditioner. Visit Shape.com/RobertCraig from Oct. 18 to Nov. 14 for your chance to win. Good luck!
KATHY MILLER KRAMER is a New York City-based freelance writer. Additional reporting by CARLY CARDELLINO.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Weider Publications
COPYRIGHT 2005 Gale Group

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The sour truth about apple cider vinegar - evaluation of therapeutic use

by Beth Fontenot 

Apple cider vinegar is an old folk remedy claimed to be beneficial in treating a long list of ailments. Proponents say that it can cure arthritis, guard against osteoporosis, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, prevent cancer, destroy infection, assist in digestion and weight control, maintain memory, and protect the mind from aging.
Vinegar is said to have been used for medical ailments for at least 10,000 years. The Babylonians first converted wine into vinegar in 5000 BCE using date palms, grapes, and figs, and believed vinegar had exceptional healing properties. Hippocrates is said to have used vinegar as an antibiotic. Samurai warriors supposedly used a vinegar tonic for strength and power. During the U.S. Civil War, soldiers used vinegar to prevent gastric upset and as a treatment for various ailments including pneumonia and scurvy. It was used to treat wounds during World War I.
The name vinegar comes from a French word meaning "sour wine." It is produced by the action of yeast and bacteria on grains or fruit juices. Vinegars take their name from the material used to make the vinegar, i.e., apple cider vinegar comes from apples, wine vinegar comes from grapes.
Apple cider vinegar is made by crushing apples and squeezing out the liquid. Sugar and yeast are added to the liquid to start the fermentation process, which turns the sugars into alcohol. In a second fermentation process, the alcohol is converted by acetic acid-forming bacteria into vinegar. Acetic acid gives vinegar its sour taste.
"Mother of vinegar" is a term used to refer to the mass of scum that forms on top of cider when alcohol turns into vinegar, or to the cloudy substance that sometimes develops in stored vinegar. It is actually bacteria and yeast cells that have died.
Folk Claims
In 1958 Dr. D. C. Jarvis, a "noted Vermont country doctor," wrote a book entitled Folk Medicine in which he extolled the virtues of vinegar. He claimed that Vermonters knew how to cure migraine headaches, diabetes, chronic fatigue, arthritis, and a variety of other ailments. They used apple cider vinegar.
Among Dr. Jarvis's many tenets about apple cider vinegar was his advice to pregnant women to drink an apple cider vinegar tonic daily to assure that the infant is born with "an excellent chemical pattern with which to meet its new environment." He recommended the same tonic for those suffering from arthritis. Believing that apple cider vinegar would destroy bacteria in the digestive tract, he advised those with GI problems to consume a tonic with each meal. He also declared that the regular consumption of an apple cider vinegar tonic would make body fat disappear because the vinegar would cause the fat to be burned instead of stored.
His book quickly sold 500,000 copies and is still in print. Apple cider vinegar is still promoted as one of the chief "natural" remedies for arthritis.
Those who believe that apple cider vinegar has miraculous properties attribute its powers to an abundance of nutrients in the liquid. One company's sales pitch states, "Each golden drop is a natural storehouse of vitamins and minerals." Marketers point to the trace minerals, bacteria,. and enzymes present in their product as the ingredients that give apple cider vinegar its curative characteristics. Another company suggests that their apple cider vinegar is superior because it contains pectin, beta-carotene, and potassium in addition to enzymes and amino acids. Apple cider vinegar is also said to contain an abundance of complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber. Dr. Jarvis believed that the healing properties of apple cider vinegar were due in large part to its rich potassium content.
Some New Twists
Apple cider vinegar is sold today by "health food" companies and others who claim it has remedial properties. The claims are similar to those in the past, but some have taken on a modem twist based on more recent medical research.
Marketers contend that the beta-carotene in apple cider vinegar destroys free radicals in the body which are involved in the aging and mutation of tissues and in destroying the immune system. Apple cider vinegar's beta-carotene is said to be in a "natural, easy to digest form."
Its use as a remedy for arthritis is based on the notion that acid crystals harden in the joints and tissues which cause the joints to become stiff and the tissues to harden. These acid crystals also cause the body to age prematurely, so the ads state. Apple cider vinegar is supposed is put these acid crystals in solution so they can be flushed from the body.
Producers also claim that apple cider vinegar can lower cholesterol and blood pressure. These assertions are based on the assumption that people naturally crave acids when eating animal proteins in order to lessen the thickening influence of "heavy proteins and fat." Apple cider vinegar supposedly thins the blood so it can circulate. more freely. Thick blood, they say, puts a strain on the heart and up goes the blood pressure. Another source states that the pectin present in apple cider vinegar works its way through the digestive system, binding to cholesterol and removing it from the body.
Apple cider vinegar is also available in tablet form. One brand is merchandised as a "digestive aid for vegetarians." The manufacturer of this product alleges that the tablets help acidify the stomach and help digest protein. Another tablet, which contains apple cider vinegar as one of its components, is sold as a fiber supplement and supposedly assists in weight loss. Still other companies add herbs to their apple cider vinegar "so people see relief from even more ailments."
The rubbery mass of goo called the mother of vinegar" is reputed to have magical healing properties as well. Nibbling on a bit of this moldy slime every day is purported to prevent most infectious diseases and keep germs and parasites from invading the body.
One company's advertisement for organic, raw, unfiltered, unheated, unpasteurized apple cider vinegar is particularly alarming. This company's ad maintains that "there is nothing in this wonderful natural apple cider vinegar that can in any way harm your body!" Apparently, they have never heard of the danger of E. coli 0157:H7 in unpasteurized fruit juices. Normally vinegar is too acidic to support bacteria. However, should the acidity weaken (pH reaching 4.6 or higher), then pathogens will survive and grow.
Jogging in a Jug
In 1985, Jack McWilliams, an Alabama farmer, concocted a potion he called "Jogging in a Jug." It consisted of apple cider vinegar combined with a variety of fruit juices to give it a more appealing taste.
Acetic acid, claimed McWilliams, was lacking in the modem diet, and this deficiency was the root cause of many health problems. He claimed that the potion had cured his arthritis and heart disease, and it could reduce the risk of cancer in the internal organs. McWilliams marketed his product through the media, receiving extensive coverage in small community newspapers and broadcast outlets. He reportedly sold $9 million worth of his potion in one year.
The FDA, however, did not look kindly on Mr. McWilliams's vinegar product and its advertised claims. The federal government seized the product in 1994 due to the unproven health claims.
In 1995, thousands of bottles of the potion were ordered destroyed because the product was considered an unapproved new drug due to the claims made by the producer. Subsequently, Mr. McWilliams's company, Third Option Laboratories, Inc., paid the Federal Trade Commission a $480,000 fine to settle charges of false advertising. "Jogging in a Jug" is still on the market today with a new label that meets FDA guidelines.
The Real Story
There is no scientific evidence that apple cider vinegar has any medicinal properties. While the folksy anecdotes from those who claim to have benefited from apple cider vinegar tonics may be amusing to read, they are simply that -- anecdotes.
Apple cider vinegar is anything but a storehouse of nutrients. A nutritional analysis of one tablespoon (more than the one or two teaspoons suggested to make a tonic) reveals that the golden liquid contains less than a ram of carbohydrate: minuscule amounts of calcium, iron, magnesium, sodium. copper, manganese, and phosphorus; and a mere 15 mg of potassium. The fiber, vitamin, and amino acid content is zero.

As for the presence of any beneficial enzymes in apple cider vinegar or the "mother," food scientists doubt that any could thrive in the acid environment of the vinegar. Assuming any were present, though, they would be destroyed in the acid of the stomach when consumed and be of no use to the body.
The Arthritis Foundation calls vinegar a harmless, but unproven, arthritis remedy. It points out that arthritis symptoms come and go, and that a person using an unproven remedy may think a remedy worked simply because they used it at a time when symptoms were going into natural remission. Such is undoubtedly the case for many of the "cures" connected to vinegar.
Beth Fontenot is a nutrition consultant and freelance nutrition writer in Lake Charles, LA. She serves on the adjunct faculty at both McNeese State University in Lake Charles and Lamar University in Qrange, TX.
COPYRIGHT 1997 Prometheus Books, Inc.
COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group 
 


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Working women more likely to put on weight 'as they put office needs over their health'

  • Scientists claimed career-driven women are inclined to foresake healthy home-cooked food and exercise less

Dr Au said: 'Longer work hours may reduce the time spent preparing home-cooked meals'
Dr Au said: 'Longer work hours may reduce the time spent preparing home-cooked meals'
Women who work more than 35 hours every week are more likely to put on weight, according to a new scientific study.
Research found career-driven women are inclined to foresake healthy home-cooked food, exercise and sleeping for the office. As a result, many are at risk of piling on the pounds.
The study also found that women who work more than 49 hours a wek are much more likely to drink and smoke.
The findings were revealed in a study into how employment status and the number of hours worked affects weight.
The research, led by Dr Nicole Au, from the Centre for Health and Economics at Monash University, Melbourne, analysed 9,276 women aged 45-50 over two years.
Findings showed 55 per cent put on weight in that time - with the average women gaining 1.5 per cent of her initial weight.
Some were also reported to have experienced ‘extreme’ amounts of weight gain.
And those most likely to experience the problem were working more than 35 hours a week.
Dr Au put the findings down to women spending less time maintaining their health and fitness levels.
She said: 'This study highlights the increasing number of women entering the workforce and the effects on their ability to maintain a healthy weight.
'Longer work hours may reduce the time spent preparing home-cooked meals, exercising and sleeping which are risk factors for obesity.
'Policies that assist women who work long hours to reduce the time costs of sustaining a healthy diet and their physical activity routine may have positive benefits.'
The research, published in the International Journal of Obesity, also found women working more than 49 hours were more likely to smoke and drink alcohol.
As many as 65 per cent were drinking to ‘risky’ levels and 36 per cent did not do any form of exercise.
Lucy Green, an office manager from London, said she’d found herself losing control of her weight as a result of long working hours.
The 41-year-old said: 'I start work at 8am and don’t usually finish until 7pm.
'As a result, I’ve had to put my exercise regime on the back burner because I just don’t have the energy to go to the gym.
'Unfortunately, it’s really starting to take it’s toll on my figure.
'The office is always full of junk food like cakes and biscuits and I find myself eating them all too often.
'I’m putting on weight because I’m not taking time to work off the extra calories, so I’m going to have to make a special effort to start doing exercise again soon.'

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