Health News You Can Use

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“Dear Pharmacist,

Could you give us quick tips that can help improve health? Don’t get me wrong, I love your  informative columns, I just wish you could talk about more topics in each column so I could find myself in them more frequently.”

–T.D. Gainesville, Florida

Answer: Great idea, as a journalist, I get press releases about new studies every few minutes and there are always interesting topics. I’ll share some news that I’ve received in the last 3 weeks. Here goes:

–Fish oils aren’t just for your heart. They reduce symptoms of psychosis and may prevent the onset of full-blown schizophrenia or psychosis in people with emotional disturbances according to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry. Omega 3 fatty acids nourish the brain, they are inexpensive and well-tolerated.

–Curcumin can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and cancer. It works even better when taken with vitamin D3. Speaking of curcumin, it is known to lower blood sugar and prevent kidney damage associated with diabetes!

–Pomegranates may prevent breast cancer, especially the type that is estrogen-driven. They contain a compound called “ellagitannin” which gets broken down in the body to “urolithin B” and it acts like our “aromatase blocking” drugs (think tamoxifen, raloxifene).

–You won’t remain healthy for very long if you don’t get up and jog, go to spin class, Pilates or Zumba! Two well-designed studies now prove that excessive body weight increases a person’s risk for stroke, and nearly double the risk of developing cancer.

–Drinking “white tea” helps encourage weight loss!

–Green tea may reduce risk of lung cancer. People who do not drink green tea appear to have a 5-fold increased risk of lung cancer! In a related new study, pistachios were found to increase gamma tocopherol (vitamin e) and slash the risk of lung cancer, without causing any weight gain.

–Apples, more specifically, “apple pectin” was shown to increase the number of friendly bacteria (probiotics) in the gut. So they improve digestion.

–If you are counting calories, you may be mislead. A new study found that nutrition labels on restaurant and packaged food labels may be grossly underestimated.

–The controversy persists about non-stick cooking pans which contain PFOA. For the first time a study found that people who have higher blood concentrations of PFOA have higher rates of thyroid disease. Newer brands of non-stick cookware are PFOA-free if you are concerned.

–Men with the highest blood levels of the B vitamin folate are 50 percent less likely to experience depression compared to men with the lowest levels according to the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

–A drug company is making a prescription pill to help you live to 100, by targeting longevity genes. Natural supplements target the very same genes and I’ll tell you about those in my new book “Diabetes Without Drugs” due out in a few weeks.