Another study demonstrated patients infected with periodontal bacteria had the highest levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) in their blood. CRP is an inflammatory marker and independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Another study confirmed periodontal bacteria reaches the human brain suggesting an inflammatory role in Alzheimer’s disease. Additional studies link chronic inflammation with memory loss.
Pregnant women with moderate to severe periodontal disease are at greater risk of spontaneous pre-term birth.
What is Periodontal (Gum) Disease?
Below are the key things to know about gum disease:
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease, is one of the most common infections in humans. Fifty percent of the American population has gum disease.
It’s a chronic inflammatory disease that inflames your gums.
It starts with bacteria (called plaque) that develops on the surface of the tooth root (gum line) and causes inflammation (bleeding gums).
Did you know that drinking water increases your risk of cancer? Contaminants (from known carcinogens to plastic particles) found in public water systems could be the cause of cancer from drinking it over the course of a lifetime. Here’s what’s lurking in the water you drink…
Researchers from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), an environmental advocacy group, conducted a nationwide water contamination study and reviewed 30 million state water records. In California, they evaluated 2,737 different public water systems.
The researchers calculated cancer risk by evaluating the reported contaminant levels from 2010 to 2015. Then they analyzed the cumulative risk based on the yearly averages of all the contaminants and took into account co-occurring contaminants*.
*NOTE:Interactions between chemical contaminants can overestimate or underestimate overall risk. More research is needed to understand the science behind these interactions.
The Three Key Contaminants Detected
State regulators oversee the water providers which are regulated by the “Safe Drinking Water Act” and test for contaminants to ensure the water is safe to drink. EWG researchers found three key contaminants:
Arsenic: Drinking water contaminated with arsenic attributed to most of the cancer risk, about 47% of estimated cancer cases.
Small Water Systems Carry the Highest Risk
The smaller utility systems carried the higher risks because they don’t have the resources and economies to improve water quality. Even so, 43% of the larger utilities carried some of the higher cancer risks.
Click here to find out what contaminants are in your water district. You’ll be asked to enter your zip code.
Check out EBMUD’s Water Testing Records…
The East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) has historically been know as having the “best” drinking water in the San Francisco Bay Area, but the EWG researchers found two contaminants above health guidelines. According to third quarter 2018 (July to Sept), the tap water provided by EBMUD was in compliance with federal health-based drinking water standards.
The two contaminants that were detected ABOVE health guidelines were:
Studies report that chocolate is good for your health, but how so and which ones? Cacao (pronounced “kuh-KOW”), cocoa, Dutch cocoa, and chocolate… what’s the difference? Here’s how it all breaks down along with the ones to eat and ones to avoid.
Cocoa and cocoa-containing foods contain high levels of flavanols (“FLAY-va-nole”) — an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and dilates (widens) blood vessels. According to extensive research, eating chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, improves the markers of cardiovascular health. Consuming flavanols from chocolate is associated with a lower rate of:
Atrial fibrillation, also called AFib or AF, is the most common irregular heart rhythm in the United States where 2.7 to 6.1 million Americans are living with this dangerous condition. Here’s AFib explained, the risks, and how this one food affects these abnormal heart beats.
What is Atrial Fibrillation?
Atrial fibrillation (AFib) is an irregular heart rhythm caused by abnormal electrical signals in the upper chambers of the heart.
AFib is on the rise because the older you are, the greater the risk of developing AFib. Finding effective ways to prevent AFib and identify treatments for AFib is a public health priority.
Typically someone one with AFib has to take a blood-thinner to prevent blood clots from forming and reduce stroke risk. Blood thinners can have dangerous side effects, such as severe bleeding, coughing up blood, bruising without an injury, and dizziness.
High Blood Pressure Link
If you have high blood pressure, AFib needs to be on your radar. People with high blood pressure (which usually occurs with advancing age) accounts for 14% to 22% of AFib cases.
Health Effects from Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)
Atrial fibrillation is dangerous. It is a risk factor for:
Stroke — 4 to 5 times higher risk compared with people without AFib. Strokes caused by AFib complications tend to be more severe than strokes with other underlying causes.
You can lower your numbers by adding more fiber to your diet, particularly,beta-glucan (pronounced “glue-can”).
Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber also known as “oat gum”. Think of soluble fiber as a “cholesterol sponge”. It mops up LDLs in your intestines and gets rid of them with other waste. This keeps excesses from accumulating in your blood vessels and making plaque.
Foods High in Beta-Glucan
Beta-glucan is found in the cell walls of cereals. It’s the main component of soluble fiber in oats and barley. Beta-glucan is what gives your morning oatmeal it’s creamy, viscous texture.
*Pearl or pearled barley has been processed to remove some or all of the outer bran layer resulting in a quicker cooking time.
How Oat Bran Lowered LDL (“Bad Cholesterol”)
In one study, beta-glucan significantly reduced the total and LDL cholesterol levels of adults with elevated cholesterol levels without changing the HDL (“good cholesterol”). Subjects consumed 2.9 g beta-glucan TWICE a day for 4 weeks. This amount is equivalent to a daily dose of about 70 g of oat bran (almost 2/3 cup dry).
An analysis of other studies conducted over 13 years supported the intake found that eating 3 grams ONCE a day of oat beta-glucan can lower total cholesterol by 5% in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol by 7%, thus reducing major risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Remember… atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) is a chronic disease which means it is persistent, long-lasting in its effects, and requires medical attention.
To get in at least 3 grams of oat beta-glucan a day, eat rolled oats, steel-cut oats, or oat bran in the following serving sizes:
Rolled oats, 3/4 cup dry OR 2/3 cupoat flour (7.5 g fiber)
*Steel cut oats contain more fiber than rolled oats.
Cooking with Oats
Oats are extremely versatile. You can use them to make breakfast cereals, breads, pancakes, pie crusts, nutrition bars, cookies, crackers, crumble toppings, and as a coating for fish.
They naturally thicken food. You can use these nutty-tasting oats to thicken soups and stews.
Use oat groats instead of rice in a pilaf.
Oat beta-glucan soluble fiber can also be added to beverages/liquids, such as smoothies, yogurt drinks, juice drinks), yogurt, soups, sauces, and dressings. Add some oats to your smoothies to make them more satisfying and nourishing. The fiber will help slow down digestion which can stabilize your blood sugar.
Fit Tip: Eat at least 3 grams of oat beta-glucan per day. High cholesterol is a major risk factor for heart disease, but you can lower your risk by including certain foods into your daily eating plan. Lifestyle and diet changes are the main ways to prevent or lower LDL numbers.