Cinnamon’s Effect On High Fat Consumption

In a recent study, a group of researchers had an interest in understanding how cinnamon affects the way that fat can lead to certain cardiovascular damage. They used an animal study, dealing with rats, to understand if the fat-storing process would be slower in the face of cinnamon. There were interesting results that can easily be tied to the positive qualities that cinnamon possesses. It is naturally anti-inflammatory as well as provides antioxidant properties to aid the body’s fat storage processes.

During the course of the study, the rats were given cinnamon supplements for three months on a daily basis. They were also fed a high-fat diet throughout the course of the study. The key findings were that the rats weighed less overall than when they started; they also had less belly fat and better levels of sugar in their blood.

These two things directly impact insulin levels, which greatly improved within the rats. The rats that were fed the fat also had fewer molecules involved in the process where the fat gets stored directly on the body. Instead, there were more anti-inflammatory and antioxidant molecules that were present which helps to protect the body from an uptick of stress.

Incredible Benefits

This makes sense, especially as it relates to sugar and insulin levels, because many diabetics speak to the positive effects that cinnamon consumption has on them. Cinnamon has specific elements that help certain aspects of the body that affect metabolic syndrome, insulin sensitivity, and inflammation and body weight. Many weight loss and management programs speak to the benefits associated with cinnamon to this end. It is a powerful spice that does have incredible benefits to the body in a myriad of ways.

Fat composition is something we also need to understand more thoroughly as it relates to the body, bad cholesterol, good cholesterol and healthy fats. When people see and think of the word fat, they think in a very singular manner. But all fat is not bad, in fact, fat actually doesn’t typically make you fat. This is evidenced by several studies, as well as the one referenced above, that showed the rats weighing less overall at the end of the study. This isn’t just cinnamon’s doing.

Healthy Fats

Healthy fat is what the body can easily fed on and burn – things like avocado, coconut oil, olive oil, butter, and hard cheeses. Bad fats are trans fats like processed fats that come from the sugar and fat combination – items like packaged cakes, cookies, French fries, and greasy food. This is the distinction so many don’t properly understand.

Options such as cinnamon and apple cider vinegar, even turmeric and baking soda, are all positive entities that help the regulation of the insulin which helps to combat the sugar. Sugar is a highly addictive substance and many say it’s just as habit forming and enticing as certain drugs. Yet, it is absolutely ubiquitous in our food supply. The rate of diabetes, high cholesterol and heart disease is climbing.

Fat alone does not lead to this issue and epidemic – a harmful and high sugar rate of consumption does. A diet that includes healthy fats is a good one. It’s the sneaky sugars that need to be better controlled and monitored. Cinnamon can help the effects that sugar has overall on your body.

Why Cohune Oil Is The Next Big Thing

Hopefully we have successfully introduced you to a plethora of oils you had no idea even existed. One of our goals is to help you foster a healthy lifestyle by providing you with the necessary information to find out what could potentially work for you. Depending on what you are looking to treat or correct, the amount of oils available to you are really tremendous and almost never run out. Today we’ll be introducing you to one of the treasures of the Belize islands that has been found to be an amazing oil to have in your collection.

Cohune oil production is one of the biggest causes for economic growth on the islands of Belize. In many rural parts of Belize, those who work in the jobs of extracting the oil have been doing this type of work for years and years. It’s not a very easy job and does require a specific amount of manual labor. Certain communities have been able to see their villages and spaces thrive because of the work done to extract, bottle and sell this oil. For consumers, this oil provides many different benefits that are worth noting.

Mosquitoes hate the scent that this oil gives off. For this very reason, many islands and tropical places find that it’s a great way to repel those pesky nuisances. With the rise of mosquito-bred diseases, many people are more vigilant than ever when it comes to protecting themselves from those blood suckers. Using this oil in an oil lamp will help to keep the bugs at bay while you are enjoying your summer camping trips or picnics. If you’re adventurous, you can even use the oil to make candles that naturally give off the aroma of the cohune oil.

Cohune oil is also great for the skin. Due to its softening and hydrating qualities, it can be used to make soaps specifically for the face and body. If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making the soap, you can easily buy the oil and just add some to your own cleanser or moisturizer. It provides an added element of nutrients that will have your skin looking wrinkle free and feeling incredibly supple and soft. This nut oil is even used in specific body butters to keep the skin well moisturized, which is incredibly important. Typically, keeping the skin properly moisturized can alleviate some skin concerns.

This oil has also been historically used as a means of seasoning certain dishes. Due to its very distinct taste, it can be added in food grade form to certain soups and dishes. Enjoying flavorful food is a part of many cultures and this oil contributes to the yummy tastiness of its region via this impressive and versatile oil. Order some to keep on hand for all the many ways it can be used.

You can purchase cohune oil online.

 

How To Prevent Hand Rashes In The Winter

One exceedingly tough thing about the winter months, besides shorter days and the stress of the holidays, is how the weather can badly compromise the skin of the hands. Sometimes the extra dryness in the air can lead to hands becoming irritated. Things such as washing dishes and constant hand washing can also contribute to this issue. What dermatologists have uncovered is that typically hand rashes occur because of something you touched, the environment, or something going on in your body.

“There are many reasons for hand rashes,” says Dr. Melissa Piliang, a board-certified dermatologist at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. “The most common cause is eczema, but some hand rashes may have an allergic cause. Sometimes, an allergy can develop after years of touching the same things daily without a problem, like your wedding ring, skin care products or foods such as fish, garlic or citrus fruits.” There are certain ways that you can prevent these type of rashes from occurring on your hands. Preventative measures are not always 100 percent foul proof but they do often provide healthy benefits that can prevent issues.

Protective Gloves

Always try to wear protective gloves when doing gardening or housework of any kind – as well as when you’re doing the dishes, cleaning the kitchen and bathrooms, or touching any type of chemical or relatively foreign entity. As mentioned above, just because you’ve been able to touch something without issue for a portion of time, does not mean that will always be the case. It does not mean that an ingredient within a specific cleaner or fertilizer won’t cause your skin to start reacting badly.

Wear gloves out in cold temperatures. Protecting your hands isn’t just for chores. The chilling winds can be absolutely disastrous on hands if you aren’t mindful. Opt for insulated gloves when you are outside in low temperatures.

Moisturizing Cleanser

Choose a mild moisturizing cleanser. You have to wash your hands to keep up with basic hygiene. In doing so, you should be mindful of what you’re using on your hands. Make sure that there aren’t any harsh or stripping chemicals in your hand soap. Also, make sure to opt for a rich hand cream that will make sure to replenish the oils that are stripped away in the washing process. You should apply the cream immediately after washing and drying your hands.

Don’t let your hands get in a position to be dry because that’s the perfect breeding ground for irritated skin to take place. “Thousands of things can cause a hand rash, yet most hand rashes look a lot alike to the untrained eye. If you get a hand rash, see a board-certified dermatologist to help identify the cause and prevent it from becoming painful or disabling,” suggests Dr. Piliang.

Ointments

While there are certain anti-itch and rash ointments and creams you can purchase over the counter at your local drug store, you’ll want to check with a doctor to properly diagnosis the problem. It’s also possible that you’ll need an ointment that you can only get via a prescription if the rash is really bad or becomes something that you can’t easily control in other ways. Take care of your hands during these cold and bitter months. Prevent the onslaught of hand rashes.

Dentists Get Cracking On The Stem Cell Front

Stem cells. Few research discoveries hold as much promise of single-handedly expanding medical treatment options as they do. Miraculously able to act as transformers – either re-creating or morphing into a variety of cell types found within the organisms they originate from – stem cells offer humanity hope for new, more effective therapies against a number of chronic and terminal diseases. And finding them is surprisingly easy.

“Stem cells can be extracted from nearly any living tissue,” says Dr. James Mah, director of UNLV’s advanced education program in orthodontics, doctor of dental surgery, and dental researcher. “In fact, stem cells can even be found in tissues of the deceased.” But in spite of all their potential, there’s a catch: “The biggest challenges with stem cells are gathering enough of them to work with and keeping them viable until they are needed,” Dr. Mah said.

He and UNLV biomedical sciences professor Karl Kingsley – along with a handful of undergraduate, graduate, and postdoctoral dental students – decided to take on this challenge, cutting their teeth in stem cell research by exploring those pearly whites in new ways. In the process, they developed a new method for extracting large numbers of stem cells they could then preserve from a surprisingly abundant source: wisdom teeth.

“More and more adults – approximately 5 million throughout the country – have their wisdom teeth, or third molars, removed,” Kingsley said. “Extracting teeth is relatively common among patients undergoing orthodontic treatments. And the majority of those teeth are healthy, containing viable tooth root pulp that offers opportunities for reproducing cells that have been damaged or destroyed by injuries or disease.”

A Tough Nut To Crack

Tooth root pulp is home to two types of prized stem cells. The first, pluripotent stem cells, have the ability to become any cell in the organism from which they’re drawn. The second, multi-potent stem cells, transform into specific types of cells within that organism. Knowing where to find these cells was one thing. Recovering them, the researchers knew, would be another.

Common methods for extracting root pulp involve drilling into, removing the top of, or shattering the tooth. Each method has its detriments, Dr. Mah said, all of which lead to a low stem-cell recovery rate: damaging heat from drilling, corrosive elements in the water teeth are rinsed in, contaminating enamel particulates, and more. So the researchers sought to discover how to extract pulp in a manner that consistently produced a higher yield. “Initially, the answer seemed simple: crack the tooth in half like a nut and remove the pulp,” Dr. Mah said.

Unfortunately, teeth have irregular surfaces and non-uniform shapes, so cracking teeth usually produces the same shattering effect as a hammer, thereby reducing the number of viable stem cells.

Happy Ghag, then a dental student working with Dr. Mah and Kingsley on the project, thought he might have solution to the dilemma. He approached Mohamed Trabia, UNLV Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering’s associate dean for research, graduate studies, and computing, and Brendan O’Toole, Mendenhall Innovation Program director and mechanical engineering researcher, to discuss fracture analysis.

“Happy had reviewed fracture mechanics literature and decided on a technique that scored the tooth to enable a clean break, similar to the process for custom-cut glass,” O’Toole said. After a few discussions, some of Engineering’s personnel helped Ghag fabricate the device.

The completed instrument, which the research team facetiously dubbed the Tooth Cracker 5000, uses a clamp to hold a tooth in position for a cutting tool to score the surface and a blade to crack it. The result: a perfectly halved tooth, with immediate access to undamaged and uncontaminated root pulp. For O’Toole, this was just another successful collaboration between the two units, as mechanical engineering had been interacting with the School of Dental Medicine’s orthodontic program for a few years.

“Orthodontics, by definition, is a bioengineering topic,” O’Toole said. “They design and place mechanisms in people’s mouths that help move teeth into optimum position. The interaction between our departments makes a lot of sense.” With the Tooth Cracker 5000 complete, Dr. Mah and Kingsley tested the fracture rate of 25 teeth, achieving a 100 percent rate of success. The fracture idea and design prototype had worked perfectly.

Excavating For Success

Now that the researchers had cracked the challenge of accessing the root pulp, it was on to determining how many viable stem cells they could recover from the fractured teeth. Average pulp recovery rates employing common extraction methods – shattering, drilling, etc. – come in at around 20 percent, Dr. Mah noted.

It was time to test the mettle of their new fracture method. Dr. Mah and Kingsley dyed 31 fractured teeth pulp samples to highlight any viable stem cells the teeth contained. Dead cells would turn blue when exposed to the dye. Living cells would appear clear. They looked under the microscope. Eighty percent of their extracted cells remained clear after the dye was introduced.

“Saying the test results were promising is a gross understatement,” Dr. Mah said. “We realized we’d invented an extraction process that produced four times the recovery success rate for viable stem cells. The potential application is enormous.”

Replicating For A Rainy Day

After mastering fracturing and extraction, it was time for the team to determine what kind of stem cells could be harvested and how best to store them.

Normal cells within the body typically die after 10 replications or passages, whereas stem cells can replicate indefinitely, Kingsley indicated. To isolate the stem cells from the rest of the root pulp, the researchers harvested cells from the pulp and cultured them on a petri dish. Once the cells covered the dish, they split the culture in half and repeated the process between 10 and 20 times.

By the end of the culturing, all non-stem cells had expired. Kingsley captured the remaining stem cells and collected their ribonucleic acid (RNA), which is converted into proteins that become biomarkers his team could use to characterize each stem cell type and its respective rate of replication.

“Scientists around the world are trying to figure out what type of stem cells can be coaxed into becoming new cells or different tissue types,” Kingsley said. “We already know some populations of dental pulp stem cells can be converted into neurons, which could become therapies for cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.”

Kingsley noted that teams of scientists around the world are working with animal models to test using stem cells to treat neurological conditions. Early indications, he said, are positive. Although there is still a need for additional tests, Kingsley indicated that the next logical step in this research would be to test stem cells in humans to treat any number of chronic illnesses people face.

“There are potential applications of stem cells for multiple diseases, including cancer, arthritis, and lung disease,” Kingsley said. “The next challenge is reliably collecting the stem cells early enough and storing them successfully so they can be used when needed.”

Preserving The Prize

According to multiple studies, the number of pluripotent stem cells found in teeth decrease dramatically after adults reach the age of 30, Kingsley said. However, people could donate stem cells found in their teeth much like they may donate their blood prior to a surgical procedure or preserve their umbilical cords. If people elected to have their wisdom teeth removed or were having a root canal performed, their stem cells could be harvested at that time and stored for future use.

Creating that possibility has led Dr. Mah and Kingsley to the next step in their research: the cryogenic process. “There is no standard cryogenesis, or freezing process, for storing stem cells,” Kingsley said. “There are multiple organizations that collect and freeze teeth for future studies and use, but there is no evidence about the long-term effects of cryopreservation. We can’t answer yet just how long the cells will survive.”

In 2011, dental student Allison Tomlin studied different populations of stem cells and their viability after being thawed. Every year since, Kingsley and his team have thawed a portion of Tomlin’s sample and evaluated the viability of remaining stem cells.

Initial findings – which Kingsley, Tomlin, and R. Michael Sanders, clinical sciences professor in the dental school, published in their Biomaterials and Biomechanics in Bioengineering article The Effects of Cryopreservation on Human Dental Pulp-derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells – indicate that rapidly dividing cells have higher rates of viability year after year compared to slower dividing cells. If these results remain constant, the stem cells could be sorted before the freezing process based on when they might be needed.

“The work Dr. Kingsley and I are doing is part of a paradigm shift,” Dr. Mah said. “Our fracturing process could hasten the collection and cryogenesis process, thereby preserving a high stem-cell count that furthers research into how using these cells can aid healing and potentially cure diseases.”

Approaches To Using Nutmeg Oil

Consistently known as a common spice that is frequently used to cook with, or even to season hot refreshments, nutmeg has numerous different uses that many may not actually be mindful of – particularly in its oil or butter form. The nutmeg tree itself is often found to be exceptionally tall in its natural habitat, in some cases coming up to 70 feet in length. The seed is where the benefits and flavors of nutmeg are directly derived from. Despite the fact it’s typically used in a ground up consistency, nutmeg oil and butter are both turning out to be progressively well known because of the numerous medical advantages. Here are some impressive benefits associated with the oil itself.

Bad Breath Cure

Many individuals who experience the ill effects of awful breath, or halitosis, do so on account of poor oral cleanliness, medical problems or, on the other hand, a microorganism that has flourished in the back of the mouth or throat. Because of the antibacterial properties of nutmeg, a drop or two in some warm water is a decent approach to intensify your oral care. Rinse with this liquid mixture twice every day to keep awful breath under control.

Heartburn Relief

Sometimes you may struggle with digestive issues on account of what you ingest. This is pretty common. Sometimes the family barbecue or a night out on the town has you eating a bit more than you should be. This prompts many stomach-related problems and issues – one of the most common being indigestion. Abdominal distress, cramping, bloating and the runs are standard side effects that many suffer from. A touch of nutmeg oil can offer some relief. Add a couple of drops to a carrier oil and rub it into your stomach. Additonally, you can add a few drops to your bathwater after a day of too much eating.

Skincare

Because of its disinfectant and antibacterial properties, skin flourishes off of this sort of oil. It can even be used to help diminish the outward indications of aging. Are you experiencing untimely wrinkles, hanging, or dull skin? Take a stab at including this oil into your regimen and watch how your skin is changed. Interestingly enough, it is common for skincare items to fuse nutmeg into their products. You can basically include two or three drops of the oil to your face wash and enjoy the effects the nutmeg oil has to offer.

Sedative

Getting enough rest is so indispensable to our physical facilities and how we handle ourselves consistently. When you experience difficulty dozing off from lack of sleep, it can totally divert from your capacity to perform at the level you should. Sleep deprivation caused by the inability to fall and stay asleep can feel miserable. Prescription medication can be expensive and also incredibly risky. Only a couple drops of nutmeg oil can unwind the body and prompt soothing, profound rest. A couple of drops blended with coconut oil, rubbed on your chest, neck and shoulders, will help relieve you and calm your nerves. Nutmeg oil enhances your natural rest receptors and can be used daily. Attempt this strategy around 30 to 45 minutes before bedtime.

You can purchase nutmeg oil online from several companies at amazon.com.

The Avocado: A Way To Thwart Metabolic Syndrome

There are many different health risk factors that are a growing concern to countless individuals. Things like high blood sugar, blood pressure, increased body mass index, cholesterol, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. A new review is investigating how one particular superfood can potentially help a variety of these metabolic issues. Avocado is regarded as one of the most nutritionally dense foods you can consume. As such, it is believed that its tremendous components can potentially protect the body from some of these health concerns.

Avocados have a high lipid profile which helps to increase your good cholesterol levels, lower your bad cholesterol levels and alter your triglycerides. What’s incredible about the avocado is that the peel, seed, leaves and flesh all have differing affects on metabolic syndrome. The amount of fatty acids, minerals, carotenoids and vitamins are exceptional across the board. “The lipid-lowering, antihypertensive, anti diabetic, anti-obesity, anti thrombotic, antiatheroscherotic and cardioprotective effects of avocado have been demonstrated in several studies,” an author for the Phytotherapy Research review stated.

Lipid-Lowering Properties

What’s so impressive about avocados that many other healthy foods can’t claim is how beneficial they are to so many different aspects of health. With their lipid lowering properties, the heart can thrive and arteries won’t be unnecessarily clogged by the gunk and grit that comes with so many other savory types of fats that actually do more harm than good. The hypertension that comes with a bad diet is also subverted in the face of avocado. The reason avocado is such a rariety is that it’s a healthy fat and a vegetable. So it does more than many other foods can do.

The fat content in the food is great for diabetics because the struggle with carbs and sugar are constantly ongoing for them. Not only can a diet in fats help overcome that issue by balancing out their blood sugar and allowing healthy fats to fuel their bodies, but also the fact that avocado helps to better regulate the levels of insulin that diabetics so desperately need. There has been much said about fat in our food industry and much of the low-fat craze was actually very harmful to the general public. Sugar is often more dangerous than fat even comes close to being.

Extraordinary Benefits

Sugar actually contributes more to obesity, weight gain and the sudden increase in diabetes than anything else. Yet fat is blamed for people getting fat. It’s simply what we believe and what we understand about how food works. Avocados are nutrient rich, flavorful fruits that go well with many different foods. Not only are they tasty but the benefits they are shown to provide simply can’t be found in any other single food item. Pretty extraordinary.

The amount of vitamins and minerals in avocados are exceptional as it’s a great source of potassium and calcium, both things that are essential to the body. Not only do these things help the nervous system and how strong bones are, but they both effect mood and your brain as well. Avocados are also high in electrolytes which are essential for the overall functioning of your immune system. This helps you ward off things like colds, flus and viruses.

All in all, avocados are pretty close to pure nutritional gold.

Get Those Steps In: Climbing Stairs Is A Practical Fitness Boost

Ensuring that you are getting the necessary amounts of exercise can sometimes seem difficult. Especially if you are leading a very busy life. Remaining active is imperative and some simply felt that they don’t have the time to  hit the gym as they would like. There is a solution to this issue as researchers have found that stair climbing is a great way to maintain heart health and boost overall fitness. This is a great option as stairs are everywhere and can be used at any time.

Having no time or zero access to a gym is no longer a viable excuse as climbing stairs in intense bursts can get the job done. This helps to elevate the heart rate and gives the body a way to work through activating important and vital muscle groups. This is a great option for those who have to sit at a desk all day or who have sedentary jobs. “Stair climbing is a form of exercise anyone can do in their own home, after work or during their lunch hour. This research takes interval training out of the lab and makes it accessible to everyone,” says Martin Gibala, who is a professor of kinesiology at McMaster and who also lead the study.

Research And Benefits

Researchers took 31 sedentary individuals with otherwise healthy profiles and split them into two groups. Each group had a different exercise protocol and a 10-minute time commitment that included a warm-up, cool down and recovery time period. The sessions were done over the course of a six-week period at three times a week. The first group did 20 second intervals of climbing as fast as they could while the second group climbed up and down a flight of stairs for at least 60 seconds.

After the six-week period had elapsed, results showed that by doing this type of activity, cardiorespiratory fitness was increased. This has imperative benefits for the overall framework of health and wellness. Keeping your body in motion will do tremendous things for your heart, brain and other organs as well. Using a portion of your lunch break to climb stairs to get your steps in is a great use of your time. If you can take 15 to 20 minutes after your work day to go up and down some stairs nearby it will do well for your joints and muscles. It will also help you maintain a healthy weight.

Exercise is an integral part of life and a healthy existence. It is a false notion that you need to slave away tirelessly at the gym or in an aerobics class to have a specific level of fitness. You only need to walk. With the added dimension of climbing, you are elevating your body and heart rate to another level. One that it desperately needs to keep functioning at its optimal level. It’s also important to note that simply taking the stairs instead of an escalator or elevator is also a great option for increased health and fitness. Even if you don’t have the full 20 to 30 minutes of allotted time that is recommended, any time when you get your heart rate elevated via psychical activity is a good thing. Try it out the next time you see a set of stairs nearby.

Sugar And Inflammation: What You’re Eating Can Harm You

It has become abundantly clear to so many that what we put in our bodies can negatively or positively impact them. The cause and effect symmetry that is pertinent to our diets and our health has been obfuscated by inaccurate information for years. While trans fats, processed foods and fast food is historically unhealthy, the food industry sold a bag of goods when they purported that fat is bad and makes people fat. This is incorrect as fat alone does not do that. The real enemy is sugar. What happens when we consume too much sugar is that our inflammation receptors are activated.

While our body is trying to properly absorb the nutrients of the meal, it’s also trying to thwart off bacteria. That natural process is made more difficult when massive amounts of sugar are in the way. This means that the body is then faced with the challenge of distributing ingested glucose and ridding the system of the bacteria simultaneously. This conflict is what often promotes inflammation. Doctors from the University Hospital Basel have conducted a study on how this conflict is directly related to inflammation and how, in individuals who struggle with their weight, can lead to diabetes.

Weight And Diabetes

Diabetes has many unsavory health implications that shouldn’t be ignored of shirked. The presence of adult-onset diabetes is almost exclusively the result of weight issues and this can lead to widespread inflammation that becomes chronic after awhile. This then becomes an issue as it causes insulin-producing beta cells to stop functioning properly and eventually die off. For those who are a healthy weight, the inflammation isn’t all bad. Mostly because it happens on a short-term basis, as that type of sugar uptake lasts a much shorter amount of time and can even help in activating the immune system.

The research found that the number of immune cells that exist around the intestines naturally increase when a person is eating. They are also referred to as “scavenger cells”. The glucose in the blood then has to be managed by the insulin that the pancreas provides. The substances that the cells contain – called IL-1beta – help to regulate blood sugar along with the insulin naturally produced. For those who have diabetes, this process isn’t simple and it’s effectively thwarted because insulin production is very low. This is what can cause inflammation and then lead to other more serious health concerns if not properly addressed and treated.

Metabolism And The Immune System

The metabolism and the immune system itself and the way that it functions or struggles is directly impacted by this occurrence. The nutrients and bacteria that are ingested with meals can often come against the glucose level and insulin sometimes can’t manage it the way it should. Inflammation is then the result. Many people aren’t aware of the extreme correlation between sugar and inflammation. Sugar is one of the greatest threats to health in this country but so many continue to focus on fat or meat or diary. Although everyone isn’t the same and some people do react poorly to these other options, sugar is the only one that is habit forming.

This is why it’s so essential to be mindful about what you eat and what’s in the things you consume. Sugar is such a palette gratifier that it’s literally in everything – things like tomato soup, bread and fruit. If you have issues with noticeable inflammation, cut sugar out of your diet.

Are Doctors Treating Pink Eye Incorrectly?

A recent study regarding the effectiveness of the common recommendation an individual receives for acute conjunctivitis, otherwise known as pink eye, says doctors may be getting it wrong. Over 60 percent of patients are prescribed antibiotic eye drops, but research shows that antibiotics aren’t necessarily effective in properly treating this type of eye infection. Another 20 percent receive a type of antibiotic eye drop that also contains steroid which often makes the infection worse.

The study was published in the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, which really dissected the use of antibiotics as a way to treat pink eye in the United States. It was shown that all this type of treatment protocol does is promote antibiotic resistance while also increasing overall costs to patients. The study identified those who had filled specific prescriptions for eye drops after being diagnosed with acute conjunctivitis. The 20 percent that received the antibiotic eye drops that also contain a steroid often found their symptoms prolonged or worsened because steroids shouldn’t typically be used for that type of infection.

What was even more unsettling was that the odds of whether or not the prescription was filled depended heavily on the patient’s socioeconomic status instead of their risk for developing additional eye infections. This is the case with those who wear contact lenses and those who have been diagnosed with chronic conditions such as HIV/AIDS.

The Right Diagnosis

Pink eye is incredibly common. So much so that over six million people in the United States suffer from it per year. There are typically three types that are seen most regularly: allergic conjunctivitis, viral and bacterial.

The study found that acute conjunctivitis is often diagnosed improperly by the wrong type of medical professionals. Over 83 percent of urgent care providers, family physicians and pediatricians made the diagnosis instead of trained optometrists or ophthalmologists. It also needs to be noted that patients diagnosed by those outside of the specialty prescribe antibiotic eye drops two or three times more than an ophthalmologist

Patients who did fill their antibiotic prescriptions tended to be white, younger, wealthier and better educated. This highlights the systemic and prevalent bias that the medical industry is complicit in allowing – along with most other industries in this society.

One researcher explains: “This study opens the lid on overprescribing of antibiotics for a common eye infection. It shows that current treatment decisions for pink eye are not based on evidence, but are often driven more by the type of health care practitioner making the diagnosis and the patient’s socioeconomic status than by medical reasons. The potential negative consequences are difficult to justify as we move toward focusing on value in health care.”

This is also incredibly inefficient on top of being shameful. But many people who have frequented the doctor’s office for various illnesses and ailments know that sometimes the doctor is really only guessing when it comes to what they think the diagnosis is and what they advise you to take for it. Antibiotics as a whole are overprescribed, and because of this, certain strains of bacteria are performing mutations and becoming stronger than the antibiotics themselves. When dealing with prescription medication, even if it’s just eye drops or ointment, getting the proper item for your specific needs is crucial.

 

How To Prevent Swimmer’s Ear

Though the summer season has come to a close, it’s important to have specific methods to prevent some common occurrences that swimming can bring. Whether it be the effect of chlorine on hair and skin or something else entirely, being aware of how swimming can affect the body is pertinent. While summer is the prime time for swimming days, some people swim year round depending on their location and access to indoor pools. Here’s some ways to prevent the dreaded swimmer’s ear that can be difficult to combat.

Water getting stuck in the ear can be just a passing nuisance as it often works its way out by shaking the head. But sometimes just a little bit of water can spell trouble for your ear. Something called otitis externa, also known as swimmer’s ear, can be potentially more than just an annoying inconvenience if it isn’t dealt with properly. Luckily, there are some specific ways that you can prevent and remedy this issue.

Environment And Bacteria

Firstly, swimmer’s ear is an infection; it isn’t the presence of a bit of water in the ear initially. When the infection occurs, it shifts and the external or outer ear canal is then affected which affects the eardrum and potentially even the ability to hear in the ear.

The environment in which this type of infection thrives, as it helps bacteria to grow, is somewhere generally wet and dark. Prime example, an ear. “Swimming is a significant risk factor especially in fresh water. For most people, swimmer’s ear is a one-time occurrence, but for others it can take a more chronic form,” says Kara Jones-Schubart, a clinical assistant professor at Texas A&M. Some of the most common symptoms for sufferers is redness on the outer part of the ear, warm to the touch, and sometimes tender to the touch as well. Many people who suffer from swimmer’s ear also complain of temporary diminished hearing as well.

Bacteria is the most common catalyst of swimmer’s ear. A less common cause is fungi. Because of the pathogens that can easily thrive in these environments, especially those of the fresh water variety, swimmer’s ear is something that can easily take place. The ear canal is tricky and water can get trapped there, which is where the issue starts as it’s a perfect breeding ground. There are certain things that can cause an ear to be at even greater risk. A buildup of wax can cause the water to get stuck or backed up. Injuring the canal by cleaning the ears improperly with Q-tips can also cause water to have a compromised breeding ground.

How To Avoid It

There are ways to avoid swimmer’s ear. Many avid swimmers speak about the benefits of ear plugs when swimming. There are also over-the-counter ear solutions that can be used to help break up any blockages that you may be experiencing. A little-known trick that can be implemented is to use a hair dryer on wet ears after a swim. The air will flow to all the little crevices and pockets that otherwise may have trapped some of the water. If you believe you are suffering from swimmer’s ear, your general practitioner will be able to properly diagnosis you.

Heath Benefits Of Rice Bran Oil

It can sometimes be increasingly difficult to keep track of which oils and fats actually work well in your body and which don’t. Contrary to what we’ve been told throughout the years, fats are essential to our health and a necessary part of our diet. The tricky part comes when we don’t eat the right kinds of fats and we run the risk of damaging our health. Here are some important ways in which rice bran oil can benefit internal health.

Neutral Tasting

One of the most important aspects of a healthy type of oil that needs to be explored is how it tastes. While coconut oil has seen a boom in recent years as a go-to oil for many different uses, some don’t enjoy the taste of coconut oil as it is very strong and the coconut flavor is unmistakable. The great thing about rice bran oil is that it’s fairly neutral in taste so it can be effectively used when cooking a myriad of items. The rice grain itself isn’t very potent so its flavor won’t clash with the foods you are cooking and it’s quite versatile in its ability.

Full Of Healthy Fats

This is one of the oils that is actually good for you because of its healthy fat index. It has almost equal proportions of monounsaturated fats, saturated fatty acids and polyunsaturated fats. This is important to note as its levels work well in the body to promote healthy fuel and energy levels. It also has no trans fats present in its fat composition which ensures you are ingesting the good fats as opposed to the harmful ones.

Lower Cholesterol

There is good cholesterol and there is bad cholesterol – some people aren’t aware of the intrinsic differences between the two. One will help your heart and aid your organs while the other can increase your risk for heart disease, stroke or type 2 diabetes. Because rice bran oil is so heart friendly, it can actually help to control your cholesterol with the right amount of a powerful antioxidant called oryzanol. This oil is even recommended by the World Health Organization and the American Heart Association as being a great oil to improve serum levels of cholesterol.

A High Smoke Point

There are some oils that are unfortunately used incorrectly. Their general makeup lends to either a high, medium or low smoke point. A smoke point essentially examines whether or not the oil remains unchanged or oxidizes when it is exposed to a certain level of heat. Rice bran oil has a high smoke point which means that it can safely be used to deep fry and stir fry many of your favorite dishes without changing the healthy factors within the oil itself. This is something many people get wrong with olive oil. Although it’s incredibly healthy, it should not be used on the stove and is best incorporated into dressings and on lukewarm pastas. Exposing it to too much heat changes it too significantly.

You can purchase rice bran oil online from several companies at amazon.com.

 

Easy Holiday Eating Tips To Prevent Overdoing It

The holidays are upon us – and while that means time off work, enjoying family and friends, as well as cozy weather and gift giving – it also means super scrumptious foods. All of the best, most delicious dishes make their rounds during the holiday season – as do all the decadent and savory, sweet treats. While enjoying yourself should be a priority this holiday season, it’s really easy to overdo it when it comes to food.

The holidays can be really tricky for anyone who wants to watch the foods they eat and the amount of calories they consume. But doing so is totally feasible. The first thing you have to do is have a plan. Here are some super-simple ways to regulate the consumption of sugar and unhealthy foods this holiday season.

Whole Wheat Flour

Use whole wheat flour wherever you can. If you are making a bunch of desserts, whether cakes, pies, crusts, or cookies, opt for the whole wheat flour instead of the regular. In many cases, there will only be a slight difference in taste and some people won’t notice it at all. You can also ease into the transition by using ½ regular flour and ½ whole wheat. Try making a smaller batch of your favorite desserts that require flour to test it out first. It may take some getting used to but many people who are interested in staying health conscious during the holiday season will thank you.

Fruits And Vegetables

Use fruit and vegetables in some of your treats. This may sound completely counterintuitive or even unappetizing but mashed bananas and applesauce are excellent substitutes for butter or cream. Veggies that are higher in sugar content, such as carrots or beets, can naturally add a hint of sugar without the overwhelming sweetness that permeates traditional desserts. Look for ways to substitute the unhealthiest ingredients without completely sacrificing texture and flavor.

Mini Portions

Opt for the mini versions of everything. If you are making your own desserts, try to stick to the mini-cheesecakes or mini-cupcakes. This allows you to have a bit more control over the portions you are ingesting. Don’t think that just because something is small, you can have more of it. The idea is to cut back. One of anything will do. One to two bites of a rich, sweet treat is plenty. Don’t let the sugar become something that drives you to consume more and more of the dessert. Be as mindful as you can that you’re allowing yourself a bit, but that you aren’t going to go overboard.

Berries

Have some berries with your dessert, or skip the sweet treat all together and have berries instead. A serving of berries with a bit of whipped heavy cream is the perfect treat without being laced with tons and tons of unnecessary sugar. Berries are also very filling which means you’ll get your taste of dessert but won’t feel the need to gorge yourself on sweets just because they’re there. Listen to your body and your hunger cues. Realize what are just cravings and what is actually caused by legitimate hunger.

Always eat something before going to a party, even if they’ll be serving dinner. It’s not a good idea to go to a holiday party on an empty stomach. That pretty much sets you up for disaster as when you physically hungry, you’re more inclined to eat whatever is in front of you. You’re also apt to overeat.

Be mindful of these tips to stay on track this holiday season!

How Camellia Oil Transforms Your Skin And Hair

When it comes to beauty care regimens, there are thousands of products to choose from. Sometimes it can feel a bit overwhelming when you just want to find something that’s effective, targets your specific need and improves your skin and hair tremendously. Instead of spending an inordinate amount of money in the skin and hair care industries, which sell overpriced products that only do half of what they claim – if that – you should go the more natural route. Not only is it much more effective, but it also is incredibly more affordable. Here is how the special Japanese camellia oil can completely change the state of your skin and hair.

Anti-Aging

One of the foremost quests in the skincare realm is how to successfully ward off the signs of aging. So many products claim they have found the fountain of youth, they have a product that will make your skin look years younger, and so on and so forth. While some of these products may work, the simplicity of organic Japanese camellia oil will turn tiny changes into huge ones. Because of the rich source of palmistic and omega-6 linoleic fatty acids, it is full of antioxidants that will keep your skin well moisturized and eliminate signs of aging, sunspots and wrinkles.

Easily Absorbed

Due to the composition of this impressive oil, it absorbs quickly and won’t leave your skin feeling greasy or looking shiny. While there are many different types of oils that can be used effectively for skin care purposes, not all of them are able to leave the skin feeling hydrated without looking oily. Camellia oil is so impressive because the bioactive compounds within it, namely the elastin and collagen, ensure that the cells are being rebuilt at an accelerated rate when it is used consistently. The oil is also filled to the brim with vitamin E which is known as the skin vitamin. This also helps its effectiveness.

Nourishes Hair

Depending on the type of hair you have, your struggles are probably just as varied. The great thing about this oil is that it works directly with your hair to correct whatever the issue is. Is your hair hard and brittle? Camellia oil does wonders by softening it and making it more easily manageable. Is it notoriously dry? Well this oil can give it the hydration plus the nutrients that it so desperately needs – all while repairing breakage, preventing dandruff and forming a barrier against free radicals and environmental pollutants. A few drops go a long way, which also means this option is very cost effective.

Relieves Rough Patches

Do you suffer from rough elbows or knees? Do you deal with skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis? If this is you or someone you know, this oil is definitely right up your alley. It’s so impressive because it helps to properly moisturize the skin without leaving it greasy or wet. Camellia oil softens skin by penetrating deeply at the point of contact and restores the elasticity and bounce in problem areas. It can even repair stretch marks.

You can purchase camellia oil online from several companies at amazon.com.

Key Facts Women Need To Know About Heart Disease

Heart disease is a monster killer in this country. So much so that every single minute, a woman dies from heart disease somewhere in the United States. Those numbers are alarming and outrageous. Especially considering there are many preventative measures that can be taken to thwart this terrible and deadly disease. As the number one killer of women, one in three deaths per year are caused by heart disease.

Women, due to their biological makeup, experience a very unique set of circumstances with this disease compared to men. There are specific risk factors that women generally suffer from at a greater rate. Things like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, migraine headaches, early onset menopause and autoimmune conditions. Despite it being the leading cause of death amongst women, so many still aren’t aware of how pervasive and ubiquitous it is. Dr. Holly Andersen and Jennifer Haythe are providing additional facts about the disease they hope will shed necessary light on it.

Leading Cause Of Death Among Women

Women are at a greater risk of developing heart disease than men. Over 45 percent of women are currently not aware that it is the leading cause of death amongst women in the U.S. Women, who often experience a myriad of symptoms that they may relate to stress, are less likely to call 911 when they are experiencing heart attack symptoms. Another aspect that confuses some is that the symptoms women experience when suffering from a heart attack are completely different than what men experience.

For instance, over 40 percent of women say they didn’t even experience chest pain when they had a heart attack. Instead they experienced nausea, palpitations, shortness of breath, jaw discomfort and incredible fatigue. Heart health is also rarely assessed in younger women. While over 70 percent of women do get annual checkups, less than 40 percent have their heart health accessed.

The heart is typically something that younger women don’t even think about as they assume heart attacks and heart disease only affect those over a certain age. Depending on lifestyle choices, hereditary markers, and stress levels, heart disease can become an issue much earlier than they may think.

During pregnancy, women suffer from hypertension more often than any other acquired medical condition. Congenital heart disease is a preexisting condition that is the most common. Many women don’t get the same type of care, treatment or medicine in the aftermath of a heart attack. This lessens likelihood of survival as every single second counts during a heart attack. Women are also less likely to be referred to a cardiovascular health rehabilitation facility after a heart attack.

Heart Disease Statistics

The information and statistics are staggering. Heart disease is a major issue in this country and so many aren’t even aware of its insane prevalence. Just last year, the heart disease death rates increased for the first time since 1993. The rates of death in young women who suffer from heart disease have been increasing since 2000.

One aspect that we must account for is the decline in healthy dietary choices many make. Bad cholesterol readings are through the roof as diets aren’t as healthful and heart healthy as they could be. This is why it’s imperative to understand the differences between bad and good cholesterol. Heart disease will only become more deadly and debilitating if we don’t have the information to combat it.

 

Foot Pain May Stem From Knee Or Hip

The body is essentially a working bundle of organisms, bones, marrow and intricacies that are all interrelated in one way or another. One thing that isn’t as widely explained or understood is how certain parts of the body inform and directly affect others. So when you experience a pain, sometimes the cause of that pain isn’t necessarily on or near that part of the body. Sometimes it’s caused by something a bit further away. This is what researchers were interested in finding out about in reference to foot pain or pain that exists in the lower extremities.

Some people assume that foot pain is a direct result of things like shoe wear, specific amounts of walking, being on the feet all day, or uneven distribution of weight that is often a result of bad posture. While these can all certainly be contributing factors to foot pain, there is another cause that isn’t adequately given proper consideration.

The Kinetic Chain

Researchers at Harvard Medical School looked into this issue and found that there is actually quite a bit of correlation between foot pain and the health of the knees and hips. What the study found was that a patient who is complaining of foot pain should also be asked about any corresponding knee or hip pain. This should also be phrased in a way that includes the past six to 12 months as a barometer for either type of pain.

It’s incredibly important for medical practitioners to conduct a complete and exhaustive physical examination and ask about pertinent medical history. There are so many connections that are made within the body that we don’t even properly consider. Studying the interactions between the foot and the knee, as well as the foot and the hip, helps to bring necessary semblance to the kinetic chain – which is something many people are largely unfamiliar with. The kinetic chain is the notion that the body’s segments and joints affect one another implicitly in the way that movement occurs.

One researcher explained: “The foot is the first part of the body that makes contact with the ground. Its primary function is a shock absorber. If the shock-absorbing capability of the foot is somehow altered or minimized, it’s going to affect other body parts. The foot is also the foundation of the body. If the foundation is not sound, it could have a deleterious effect on the joints above the foot and ankle, namely the knee and the hip.”

This study took data from previously gathered information in 2002 and 2008. With this type of framework, they were able to have a broad range of content as it would have been difficult organizing that amount of foot pain sufferers from scratch. Those filled out a questionnaire that contemplated different levels and degrees of foot pain along with severity experienced. There was also inquires requiring any type of stiffness, pain or aching of the hip or knee.

There was correlation between foot pain and same-side knee and hip pain. Those who experienced issues, pain or discomfort in their right foot, may have also experienced the same things in their right knee or right hip. There is much to be said for how a person that is experiencing this type of pain adjusts and modifies their movement in order to alleviate some of the pain. This causes misalignment and often exacerbates the problem.