Source: Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB)
Too much stress can take its toll on the body, mood, and mind. As we age it can contribute to a number of health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease. Recent research has shown that the stress hormone cortisol damages certain neurons in the brain and can negatively affect memory and learning ability in the elderly. Researchers at Loma Linda University have delved deeper into cortisol's relationship to memory and whether humor and laughter -- a well-known stress reliever -- can help lessen the damage that cortisol can cause. Their findings were presented on Sunday, April 27, at the Experimental Biology meeting.
Gurinder Singh Bains et al. showed a 20-minute laugh-inducing funny video to a group of healthy elderly individuals and a group of elderly people with diabetes. The groups where then asked to complete a memory assessment that measured their learning, recall, and sight recognition. Their performance was compared to a control group of elderly people who also completed the memory assessment, but were not shown a funny video. Cortisol concentrations for both groups were also recorded at the beginning and end of the experiment.
In 2008 a gastroenterologist, Dr. Mark Pimentel started researching the possible connection between small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and patients with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). SIBO is when abnormally large numbers of colon bacterial grow in the small intestines. What Dr. Pimentel discovered is creating a major shift in how we view IBS; maybe it is just a bacterial infection. In fact in his research Dr. Pimentel discovered in one
study that as high as 84% of cases with IBS tested positive for SIBO. Since then several studies have been produced and verified Dr. Pimentel’s findings.
Shellfish toxin from algae blooms can cause serious kidney damage at levels 100 times LOWER than the levels that cause the more well known neurological effects. Domoic acid toxin is cleared by the kidneys so especially those with kidney problems need to be cautious about seafood. Also, those with iron overload from the genetic defect hemochromatosis need to avoid Vibrio infection which occurs mostly in warm water shellfish such as mexico in the summer.
By Jana Nalbandian, ND
February is heart healthy month and the article “A heart-healthy diet can include flavorful foods” is the first step in jump starting a healthy diet for 2014. Most of us know that eating a diet high in vegetables and fruits, complex grains including quinoa, brown rice and buckwheat, legumes along with lean proteins will lower blood pressure, obesity and help prevent Diabetes and heart disease. What we don’t realize is how tasty these foods can really be after years of over sensitizing our taste buds to high salt, fat and sugary processed foods.
Let’s focus on the plant sources for adding healthy delicious foods to a heart healthy diet. Fiber in fruits, vegetables, mucilage containing grains and seeds along with legumes is the best way to help manage high cholesterol outside of removing saturated fats from diet. We should be eating at least 25 to 30 grams of fiber a day. Fiber, specifically soluble fiber binds with cholesterol in the digestive track and helps remove excess cholesterol out through the bowels. Along with binding cholesterol, fiber slows down digestion; helps with satiety and the rapid release of sugar into the system. The problem is most people do not know how to prepare these foods or only think of Cheerio’s and oatmeal as the only fiber source, thanks to a high profile marketing campaign. Instead of processed cereal try my Muesli recipe of rolled grains (2 c), oat bran (1 c), ground flax (1/2 c), lecithin (1/2c), walnuts or almonds chopped (1/4 c), you can add dried fruit, seeds or chia seeds if desired. A half a cup of this cereal soaked overnight in water, add fresh fruit and your favorite “milk” beverage and you will have eaten a third of your fiber for the day. This is great with fresh apples and cinnamon!
High saturated fats, hydrogenated oils and salted foods can be damaging on so many levels including the vascular system and the heart. Removing hydrogenated oil completely from diet is a must along with removing processed foods from diet that contains high sodium (sodium chloride, sodium benzoate, msg and etc.). Switch to unprocessed sea salts, they are many flavorful salts to try along with herbs and spices to create great tasting foods. Refined, purified table salt contains almost pure sodium chloride. Sea salt, on the other hand, contains only about 85 percent sodium chloride by weight with other minerals, including magnesium and calcium that make up the remainder.
Try one of the recipes in this article; they are all delicious with plenty of fiber, protein and fun ways to add vegetables to the diet. Go for the Super Raspberry Protein Brownies with added black beans for protein and instead of wheat flour try almond flour instead for a wonderfully rich chocolate brownie. Bon Appétit!
An often overlooked cause of impotence and loss of sex drive is excess iron in the body caused by the genetic tendency to pick up too much iron. Two genes control how much iron the body picks up. If one or both genes are dysfunctional then the body cannot stop picking up iron. It is important to do a full iron panel along with the storage form of iron called ferritin to check it. Excess iron can also lead to increased susceptibility to infection, diabetes, neuropathy, and eventually organ failure.
Torrey Smith ND Avante Medical Center, Anchorage, Alaska
International Journal of Impotence Research (2003) 15, 430–432. doi:10.1038/sj.ijir.3901019
Hemochromatosis and sexual dysfunction
C Van deursen1, K Delaere2 and J Tenkate2
1. 1Department, Medical Center, Heerlen, Limburg, The Netherlands
2. 2Atrium, Medical Center, Heerlen, Limburg, The Netherlands
Received 16 November 2002; Revised 28 March 2003; Accepted 31 March 2003.
Hemochromatosis is the most common genetic autosomal recessive disorder among Caucasians. The prevalence of homozygocity is about 1 in 200–250 individuals. About one of eight individuals is heterozygous. It is assumed that half of the homozygous men and a quarter of the homozygous women have complaints and/or clinical signs of hemochromatosis. Recently, Beutler et al1 estimated that less than 1% of homozygotes develop frank clinical hemochromatosis. It is of course important to define what is meant by complaints and clinical signs: it makes a difference whether complaints solely are taken into account or whether also abnormal liver test results on routine examination are considered as features of iron overload.
The most common complaints and signs of the homozygous form of hemochromatosis are fatigue, arthralgia, abnormal liver test results, diabetes mellitus and disturbances of hormonal functions. Genetic hemochromatosis is considered responsible for sexual dysfunction in 10–40% of the homozygous men.1,2 From the history and examination of patients at our outpatients clinic, we have the impression that this problem is less frequent.
In order to investigate this, we did a survey with a questionnaire on several aspects of the sexual cycle in men. We approached the 'Hemochromatose Vereniging Nederland' (HVN), the Dutch Hemochromatosis Association, for cooperation in our study.
J Sex Med. 2010 Aug;7(8):2714-22. doi: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2009.01543.x. Epub 2009 Oct 19.