Tag Archives: Cancer

Fit Minute | How Much Sleep Do You Need?

puppy and kittens sleeping togetherIs there a magic number of hours you should sleep? According to studies on sleep and mortality, insufficient sleep can shorten your life. Sleeping plays an important role in:

  • Healing and repairing blood vessels
  • Maintaining a healthy balance of hormones that control your appetite
  • Controlling blood glucose (sugar)
  • Repairing cells and tissues, thus boosting bone/muscle mass
  • Defending against foreign or harmful substances

You can experience the following immediate and long-term health effects when you don’t get enough sleep:

  • Diminished cognitive function
  • Increased levels of cortisol (stress hormone) which cause the following:
    1. Increased appetite / See video: Undersleeping and Overeating
    2. Increased body weight
    3. Increased belly fat / See video: Beer Belly Anatomy 101
    4. Increased risk for type 2 diabetes
    5. Increased chronic low-level inflammation which leads to chronic disease (such as, coronary artery disease, dementia, and stroke)
    6. Increased blood pressure

If Seven is Good, Is Eight Better?   

Many people believe that they need at least eight hours of sleep a night for good health. But a study* reveals that sleeping seven (7) hours per night had the best survival rates. In fact, mortality hazard significantly increased when sleeping:

  • ≥8 hrs. (When sleeping >8.5 hrs., risk exceeded 15%.)
  • ≤6 hrs. (When sleeping <4.5 hrs., risk exceeded 15%.)

Causes of death associated with sleep duration include:

  1. Heart disease
  2. ‘Other causes’
  3. Cancer
  4. Stroke (Deaths from stroke were highest in men and women who slept 8, 9, and ≥10 hrs.)
  5. Breast cancer
  6. Colon cancer

Bottom line: Those who reported they slept 6.5 to 7.4 hours had a lower mortality rate than those with shorter or longer sleep.

*Six-year study by American Cancer Society; 1.1 million men/women ages 30-50 to >70 years. Published JAMA Psychiatry article: Mortality Associated With Sleep Duration and Insomnia, 2002.

Soy Foods and Breast Cancer Survivors

New studies show soy is now good for breast cancer survivors

For years, there’s been confusing debate over whether breast cancer survivors should eat soy. However, a new study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) found that women who ate the most soy food didn’t increase their risk of breast cancer recurrence, but reduced their risk.

Since soy foods contain large amounts of isoflavones, survivors had been advised against consuming them. Isoflavones are phytochemicals (chemicals found in plants) that have both estrogen-like and anti-estrogenic effects.   Continue reading

Curing Your Acrylics – Is It Safe?

TV segment #0005H

UVA rays from nail dryers may cause cancer

Artificial nails have become increasingly popular and according to the U.S. Census Bureau figures, revenue for nail salons amounted to $1.6 billion in 2005. If you’re hooked on augmenting your natural nails, the next time you head off to the salon, you might want to bring along some sunscreen.

A University of Texas study published in the 2009 Archives of Dermatology found that two women who frequently used UV nail dryers developed skin cancer on the backs of their hands. These two healthy middle-aged women with no personalor family history of skin cancer developed non-melanoma (basal or squamous cell):   Continue reading

When the Going Gets Tough

Constipation relief is more about fitness than fiber

Constipation is not a subject that many of us like to talk about. But let’s face it, everyone gets constipated at one time or another and it can be pretty painful, uncomfortable, and frustrating. Here are some ways to help keep you moving!

1. Get some exercise. Your intestines are muscles too. When you work out, you’re doing more than just toning your muscles and strengthening your heart. Bowel movements occur when the muscles of your intestinal tract contract. When exercising aerobically, your heart and breathing rates increase which help your intestinal muscles contract. Well-toned intestinal muscles contract well and are able to move food through the tract efficiently and naturally.   Continue reading

Radiation Exposure “Antidote”

Radiation Exposure

Potassium iodide - an antidote for radiation exposure?

Nuclear plant explosions in Japan released massive columns of smoke into the air.  According to officials, 230,000 units of iodine have been distributed to evacuation centers near the nuclear power plants as a precaution. So, why is Japan distributing iodine tablets?

Thyroid Effects

After the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, thousands of cases of thyroid cancer were reported in children and adolescents exposed to radiation. Following a radiological or nuclear event, escaping radioactive particulates consisting of radioactive iodine-131 can enter your body via contaminated air, food, or water (referred to as “internal contamination”).   Continue reading

BPA-coated Receipts

Cash register receipts may be coated with BPA.

It’s getting to be that time again…April 15th is just two months away!  If you’re  busy gathering up a year’s worth of your receipts, you might want to consider using some gloves during the process.

A study by the Environmental Working Group revealed that BPA (bisphenol-A) is not just showing up in plastic bottles and food cans, but in many cash register receipts printed on BPA-coated thermal paper.  BPA is a synthetic estrogen with strong evidence that it causes reproductive abnormalities, gene alterations and cancer.  According to the EWG, the amount of BPA is 250 to 1,000 times higher on one of these receipts than the amount in a typical food can.   Continue reading

Raw Vegetables – Are They Healthier?

[TV segment #0002   Producer: Karen Owoc


With the advent of the raw food culture, is it healthier to eat your vegetables raw rather than cooked?  Take a look…
Expanded transcript… I’m often asked if it’s healthier to eat vegetables raw.  Some people think cooking destroys valuable enzymes, vitamins and minerals.  But cooking has a purpose. It breaks down the insoluble fiber which softens the vegetables so they’re edible.  And as it turns out, raw vegetables are not always healthier than cooked.  Here’s why….   Continue reading

Sunscreen Additive and Skin Damage

An FDA study found a form of vitamin A, that’s used in sunscreens may actually speed up skin damage.  41% of over 500 sunscreens contain vitamin A, or retinyl palmitate, due to its popularity for preventing wrinkles in cosmetics.  However, preliminary data showed even low doses of this additive may be unsafe.

When applied to the skin, retinyl palmitate reacted with sunlight and increased the development of skin tumors and lesions.  This is disturbing since sunscreens are formulated and promoted as protection against sun damage. The Environmental Working Group researchers recommend only 39 (or eight percent) of the sunscreens on the market this summer.     Continue reading

Meat Diet and Early Puberty

A diet high in meat may cause early puberty in girls according to new research.  It found that 14 per cent more seven-year-old girls started their periods by age twelve when they ate over twelve servings of meat per week versus four.

One hundred years ago, girls began puberty at age 14 (and boys at age 16).  Girls who start their periods early face a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancers and heart disease. Although further studies are needed in other populations, evidence suggests it’s healthiest to consume less meat.  Researchers agree that something is affecting our children, whether it’s chemicals, hormones or inactivity.   Continue reading

Men’s Health Awareness Month

If you aren’t already aware, June is Men’s Health and Cancer Awareness Month.  It was designated in 1994 to encourage early detection and treatment of disease.  Routine health screenings and diagnostic tests can save the lives of both men and boys.  In the U.S., over five million men have been diagnosed with some form of cancer.  Prostate, colon, lung, and skin cancers most often affect men.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more men die from cancer, heart disease, injuries, stroke and diabetes than women.  However, they are half as likely to go to the doctor for annual exams and preventive care.   Recommended screening tests (previous blog entry):  How to Stay Healthy if You’re a Man.

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