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How to Treat Constipation Safely

How to Treat Constipation Safely

Written by Michael A. Smith, MD
on Thursday, 19 September 2013

Occasional constipation is usually not a big deal. For most of us, with better hydration, it resolves itself without much of a hassle.

However, chronic bouts of constipation are not only uncomfortable, but also can inflame your colon's mucosal lining. This inflammation can cause bowel motility problems in the future.

The problem with chronic constipation is that no one really knows how to define it or treat it. The conventional approach usually involves bowel stimulants which can be unpredictable and ineffective.

Not only that, but who wants to have to rely on bowel stimulants for long periods of time? They're just not a good option for effective relief.
5 Healthy Reasons to Take a Cruise

5 Healthy Reasons to Take a Cruise

Written by Sylvia Anderson
on Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Cruises have been getting some negative press in the past year or two, with all the fires breaking out aboard, engine trouble, and let's not forget the fate of the Costa Concordia in Europe. But cruise enthusiasts like to think those occurrences are the exception to the rule (and being an enthusiast myself, I agree).

In fact, a cruise is a great venue for a get-away... not only from a vacation perspective, but also from a health perspective.

In the past, cruises have gotten a bad health rap for encouraging over-indulgence. I've been on plenty of cruises myself, and I can tell you that the five-course meals and midnight buffets can be a diet buster. But things are a'changing. These days, taking a cruise can be a truly healthy experience - for body and mind.
Bitter Truth About Sugar: It Makes Cancer Grow

Bitter Truth About Sugar: It Makes Cancer Grow

Written by Michael Roizen, MD
on Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Sugar - sweet to your taste buds but perhaps toxic to your body and your proteins. Just because your taste buds approve, does not mean that the rest of your body will too. Sugar is like your awful ex who was charming at the beginning of the relationship but made your life miserable by the end. Sugar works in the same way - it can easily win your taste buds over, leaving the rest of your body to suffer with the consequences.

Previous studies have shown that a high sugar diet increases the risk of hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and insulin resistance, but the damage does not stop there. In fact, sugar does much worse things to your proteins. Two separate studies published in August 2013 suggest that sugar is also associated with an increased risk of cancer, mortality, and lower sexual health.
Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder... and Healthier

Distance Makes the Heart Grow Fonder... and Healthier

Written by Sylvia Anderson
on Sunday, 08 September 2013

If I had a quarter for every weird look I get when I tell people my husband and I live 2500 miles apart (by choice), I could buy myself a very nice handbag.

The usual responses are, “That must be SO hard!” or “How does that work?” Or, my favorite, “That’s interesting...” with a confused look.

It’s true. Our marriage is unconventional, to say the least. Joe and I have been married for 16 years and have known each other for over 20. We’ve been living apart for seven years. And yes, by choice.

Very few people truly understand the decision to live this way. But it’s a relevant topic... whether you live apart from your significant other by choice or by circumstance, it’s happening more and more in the world we live in. Military duties take spouses away for months – even years at a time. College or continuing education opportunities force couples to live apart. Careers often take precedence over living in the same household.

People generally understand (and accept) those “separated by circumstance” occurrences more than one by choice. Why would one consciously choose to live apart from the one they love?

Here’s my answer: two happy individuals make up a happy marriage, despite the distance.
Is Processed Fructose a Poison?

Is Processed Fructose a Poison?

Written by Michael A. Smith, MD
on Monday, 02 September 2013

What is a poison? Well, interestingly, there are different theories as to what makes something a poison. But most of them go something like this:

"A dangerous chemical, natural or unnatural, enters the blood through the skin, gut or lungs and travels to the liver, the primary organ of detoxification."

The liver attempts to "detoxify" the chemical creating metabolites — sometimes the metabolites are less toxic and sometimes they're not — in order to excrete the chemical and any remnants of it out of the body.

So for us to believe that fructose is a poison, it needs to follow, in some respects, the pathway I just described — and I'll get to that soon.

But first, let's clarify something...
Mindful Eating for Weight Loss & Pleasure

Mindful Eating for Weight Loss & Pleasure

Written by Melanie Cole, MS
on Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Have you ever noticed that you eat while you watch TV, drive, work, talk on the telephone? That sometimes you just eat, mindlessly? Just shoveling food in with no real thought about whether it tastes good, feels good, IS good?

Are you one of the many of us? The people who eat too fast, too thoughtlessly, too unhealthily?  Are you so busy filling the next forkful that you don't even notice the wonderful bite of food already in your mouth?

YIKES! Right?

Since your brain can only really focus on one thing at a time, when you eat while doing something else you far too often miss the subtle signs of fullness that tell you to STOP! At least not until you feel uncomfortable or until you run out of food.

Friends Don't Let Friends Get Fat?

Friends Don't Let Friends Get Fat?

Written by Lauren Allen
on Tuesday, 27 August 2013

It happens to the best of us. You maintain a strict habit of exercise and dieting throughout the week. You're disciplined. You're organized. You've got this. Then the weekend approaches and it’s time for date night, or the much-needed opportunity to catch up and hang out with your friends. You, believing you are being a good healthy-eating planner, check out the restaurant's menu online beforehand to pick out a reasonably healthy meal and drill this motivational speech into your head:

"I will not overindulge tonight." 

And this time, you're serious.

That is, until you hear what your friends are ordering. And before you know it you’re ordering a side of French fries AND a slice of cake to go.

What just happened?
Read The Label: The Gluten-Free Reality

Read The Label: The Gluten-Free Reality

Written by Michael Roizen, MD
on Saturday, 17 August 2013

Seeing the words "gluten-free" stamped onto a box of cookies, crackers, or Twinkies is not a green light that sends you on the road to healthier living. Now that the availability of gluten-free junk foods is legitimized by appearance in "common" large grocery chains, and product offerings expanded faster than waistlines, misinformation about these allergy-friendly foods is increasing.

Oh yes, large packaged food companies are listening to the siren scream of customers for more gluten-free foods choices. But like much in the past history of food companies' service of public wants, it's demand begetting inferior (from a healthful perspective) supply. As more shoppers load their grocery carts with gluten-free pretzels and pasta, grocery suppliers and stores expand their gluten-free aisles. According to a survey conducted by the NPD group in January 2013, approximately 30% of adults in the United States reported trying to reduce or exclude gluten from their food intake.

Despite the fact that a gluten-free diet is beneficial only to folks allergic or intolerant to gluten, many perceive gluten-free foods to be healthier and associated with weight loss. The real truth: gluten-free does not equal sugar free, healthful, skinny, or low fat. In fact, gluten-free foods often are less healthy and more expensive than their healthier, less sugared, whole wheat counterparts. You need to do what is best for your health and your budget—so here's the gluten-free 411.
Naked Juice Pays Big Bucks for Its Deception

Naked Juice Pays Big Bucks for Its Deception

Written by Sylvia Anderson
on Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Juice. It has been a staple of American breakfast tables for decades. Over the years it's been introduced to kids' packed lunches, vending machines and even toddlers' bottles. Not to mention the "adult" juice beverages, some of which are packed with things like antioxidants, vitamins and other nutrients.

Marketing tactics would have you believe that juice is a healthy beverage option – far better than sugary sodas or energy drinks. Phrases like "All Natural" and "No Sugar Added" bolster that mentality.

Unfortunately, for you, the consumer, these labels may mean nothing at all.
Is Blue Corn Healthy?

Is Blue Corn Healthy?

Written by Michael A. Smith, MD
on Sunday, 11 August 2013

Anthocyanins are a type of plant-based antioxidant found in abundance but not exclusively in berries. Take, for instance, blue corn, which is regular yellow corn that has a high level of anthocyanins. The anthocyanins are actually what give it a bluish hue.

Fortunately, anthocyanins are good for you from any source, including corn. Just take a look at this short list of benefits that are commonly attributed to anthocyanins:

Enhance glucose metabolism and reduce glucose absorption
Induce cancer apoptosis (programmed cell death) in several cancer cell lines.
Metabolize toxins and inhibit DNA damage.
Inhibit inflammatory gene expression and reduce inflammation.
Reduce capillary permeability and fragility and boost nitric oxide.
Metabolize carcinogens.

So this is why I am interested in both blue corn and anthocyanins. See where I am headed now?
What Can George W’s Stent Mean To You?

What Can George W’s Stent Mean To You?

Written by Michael Roizen, MD
on Tuesday, 06 August 2013

The Presidents' arteries, and what it means for you and yours.


George W had a positive stress test and received a stent to open up one (or was it more—we do not know) of his coronary (heart) arteries.

Was the stress test appropriate, and was the stent needed? Or could food choices have changed the need?

George W isn't the first President with arteries that show aging and plaque. Clinton's did. So did Reagan, and Ike and Harrison and Roosevelt's times two, and maybe every President. Just look at Obama's hair, or Bill C's heart arteries before he radically changed his diet and stress levels - or you can look at Ike or Harrison or - chose any President - it is a job laden with aging stress.
Warning: Chronic Inflammation Can Damage Your Heart & Health

Warning: Chronic Inflammation Can Damage Your Heart & Health

Written by Michael A. Smith, MD
on Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Inflammation is the way your body responds to a problem. Whether battling an infection or cancer, or healing from a bone fracture, your body needs to deliver powerful immune and repair cells to the impaired location through your bloodstream in order to fight and fix the problem.

Inflammation is really designed to be an acute process that gets in and out quickly. The longer the immune and repair cells stay in a location, the greater the chance they'll actually cause damage to surrounding healthy cells and tissues.

Chronic inflammation, simply put, is acute inflammation that did not resolve properly. The result is damage and disease. This is why we call chronic inflammation the common denominator of all age-related disorders.
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