Our Better Health

Diet, Health, Fitness, Lifestyle & Wellness


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5 Best Vitamins For Stress Relief

There are a number of ways that stress can cause problems for your health. It can cause everything from depression and restlessness to headaches, over-eating, sore muscles, and insomnia. It can eventually lead to even more serious problems like heart attacks, which is why it’s important to talk to your doctor if you do have a lot of stress in your life. You can also start adding more nutritious foods to your diet that contain these stress-relieving vitamins.

1. VITAMIN C

A study presented to the American Chemical Society by Samuel Campbell, Ph.D. in the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 1999 revealed that vitamin C can help to normalize the levels of the hormones which are released during stress and that cause many of the health problems mentioned above. The study found that both cortisol and corticosterone levels were reduced with regular consumption of vitamin C.

Foods that contain high levels of vitamin C include mangoes, oranges, leafy greens, and cranberries.

2. VITAMIN A

Vitamin A is well-known for being a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants help your body deal with stress and the changes in the body that are caused by stress. By eating foods that are high in vitamin A, you will help your body fight against the stress hormones and get your hormone levels back to normal.

Foods that contain high levels of vitamin A include pumpkin, fish oils, meat, carrots, pink grapefruit, eggs, and halibut.

stress-eating-prevents-weight-loss

3. VITAMIN B1

This vitamin helps with stress relief so much that it’s often referred to as being an “anti-stress vitamin.” What vitamin B1 does is that it helps your body deal with stress by encouraging your body to produce more adenosine triphosphate. This chemical is what carries energy into your cells so that they can function properly. Vitamin B1 can also help strengthen your immune system.


Foods that contain high levels of vitamin B1 include pork, enriched cereals, and wheat germ.

4. VITAMIN B6

Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B6 helps boost your body’s production of norephinephrine and serotonin. These two hormones are both extremely important mood regulators, and not having enough can lead to stress and depression. Because vitamin B6 actually helps to build serotonin, it’s a vital part of reducing the effects of stress in your life.

Foods that contain high levels of vitamin B6 include carrots, sunflower seeds, shrimp, tuna, turkey, and spinach.

5. VITAMIN B12

This vitamin is an essential component to healthy brain function. It not only helps people cope with depression, but it can also prevent dementia and confusion. Unfortunately, there are many people that suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency such as the elderly, those with gastrointestinal conditions or pernicious anemia, and vegetarians and vegans. The elderly lack sufficient amounts of hydrochloric acids in their stomachs which is what helps absorb this vitamin, and vegetarians and vegans may not be getting enough vitamin B12 since it is found primarily in animal products. Because of its importance, it is recommended that you take a vitamin B12 supplement in addition to including foods that are rich in vitamin B12.

Foods that contain high levels of vitamin B12 include red meat, fish, poultry, milk, eggs, and fortified cereals.


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Research Reveals How A Single Choice Affects Mental Health More Than Medications

“We need to get serious
about the critical role played by nutrition.”

– Julia Rucklidge, Clinical Psychologist

We pretty much all agree that good nutritional habits are vital to good physical health, yes? But what about mental health? Do good nutritional habits translate to a healthier mental state? On the surface, it would make sense. After all, the food that we eat contains nutrients – and these nutrients are transported throughout our entire body via our bloodstream. We already know that the brain requires nutrients to operate effectively…so, yeah, it makes sense.

But is eating right more important to mental health than prescription medicine?

Ah, this is a bit trickier. After all, pharmaceuticals are research-intensive and science-based products that have undergone extensive trial and error, often over a period of multiple years. These same products have earned the coveted “seal of approval” from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…no easy task to say the least.
But, then again, hasn’t food undergone “testing” too? We’ve been “studying” the effects of food for much, much longer than medicine, haven’t we?

Scientists seem to have a pretty good grasp as to what foods are healthy and unhealthy, so why haven’t there been many hypotheses focused on the mental health/nutrition link? Going back to the underlying question, we could attempt to subjectively rationalize a “yes” or “no” answer, and we may come up with an acceptable (maybe even a good) explanation. Or we could call upon that same scientific method to help us out a bit.

What does the science say?

First, we should get this one out of the way: good nutrition is essential for our mental health, and a myriad of mental health conditions can be affected by nutritional habits. This is THE most important lesson of the entire article. Yes, it is interesting that eating healthy may be more impactful than medication; but understanding that food has a direct impact on our mental health is even more crucial.

The Mental Health Foundation – a preeminent, science-based mental health organization, based in the UK – states:

“One of the most obvious, yet under-recognized factors in the development of major trends in mental health is the role of nutrition…the body of evidence linking diet and mental health is growing at a rapid pace, as well as its impact on short and long-term mental health.”

Just as interesting is the following, again quoting from the Mental Health Foundation:

“…the evidence indicates that food plays an important contributing role in the development, management and prevention of specific mental health problems such as depression, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and Alzheimer’s Disease.”

nutrition



So, what do we know, then? Two important things:

  1.  An overwhelming amount of evidence exists proving that food does have a direct effect on our overall mental health.
  2.  That the food we take in can directly contribute – in ways both good and bad – to both potential and existing mental health conditions.

WHY FOOD IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN MEDICATION

Most rational people accept the notion that medication (e.g. prescription medications, vaccines, etc.) plays an important role – and a positive one – in the prevention and treatment of many different health conditions.

One area that is much more contentious is the impact of pharmaceuticals on mental health. More specifically, whether or not pharmaceuticals simply “mask” symptoms rather than cure the underlying condition – as is the case with many patients suffering from anxiety and/or depression, for example.

Dr. Julia Rucklidge, professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Canterbury, is among the advocates for treating mental health disorders with adequate nutrition, despite having her initial doubts. The research that she has undertaken over years, however, has ultimately led her to a simple, profound conclusion: that “nutrition is a safe and viable way to avoid, treat, and lessen mental illness.”

To emphasize her point, Dr. Rucklidge cites her now-well-known study of ADHD patients. The adult participants were split into two groups: one group received micro-nutrients (i.e. vitamins and minerals), and the second group received a placebo (an inactive ingredient used as a basis of measurement.)

Here’s what she found:

– In eight weeks, twice the number of participants responded favorably in the micro-nutrient group than the placebo group.
– Participants that continued with the micro-nutrient regimen realized positive mental health benefits; the alleviation of symptoms.
– Participants that discontinued the micro-nutrient regimen and reverted back to medication realized worsening symptoms.

Dr. Rucklidge didn’t cease experimental efforts with ADHD patients, and continued testing the impact of micro-nutrients on patients with depression, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and others. Similar to the ADHD study, patients responded favorably to the micro-nutrient regimen.
What does this mean?

It simply means that nutrition is a vital component to not only physical health, but overall mental health. Commonsensical? We’ll let you be the judge of that.

But, if Dr. Rucklidge and her colleagues are correct – and many indicators seemingly point in this direction – it may indeed alter how mental illness is both viewed and treated.

SEPTEMBER 22, 2016


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Fun Fact Friday

Cats are afraid of water because their ancestors lived in an area 
with very few large bodies of water 
and never had to learn how to swim
 
If it takes less than five minutes to do, do it immediately …
your life will instantly become much more 
organized and productive
 
Music can repair brain damage and returns lost memories
 
Over thinking can cause hair loss

overthinking bald

 

4.8 billion people own mobile phones 
whereas only 4.2 billion own a toothbrush
 
Angry people produce more unique ideas faster
 than people in any other type of emotional state, 
according to a study
 
Mosquitoes have killed more humans 
than all the wars in history
 
Lonely people take longer, hotter showers or baths
 to replace the warmth they’re lacking socially or emotionally
 
Everyone has a song in their playlist 
which they always skip, but never delete
Happy Friday  🙂
source:       factualfacts.com       https://twitter.com/Fact       @Fact


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Study focuses on precipitating circumstances of suicide in children and early adolescents

Study focuses on precipitating circumstances of suicide in children and early adolescents

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), suicide was the 10th leading cause of death for children ages 5 to 11 in 2014. This was the first time suicide had shown up in the CDC’s top ten leading causes of death for children in this age group.

A recent study from Arielle Sheftall, PhD, a postdoctoral research fellow in the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital demonstrates that some individual characteristics and precipitating circumstances may be more prominent in children who die by suicide compared with early adolescents who die by suicide. It is the first study to exclusively focus on precipitating circumstances of suicide in children and early adolescents, defined as ages 5 to 14.

“Children who died by suicide were more likely to have relationship problems with family members or friends whereas early adolescents were more likely to have boyfriend or girlfriend relationship problems,” said Dr. Sheftall, first author of the study. “These differences tended to fall along developmental lines given elementary school-aged children are more likely to spend time with family and friends and less likely to engage in romantic relationships, which become more common during adolescence.”

A current mental health problem was present in approximately 33 percent of decedents in the study sample. Among this group, a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD was more common in children who died by suicide compared to early adolescent decedents, who were more likely to be affected by depression or dysthymia.

Dr. Sheftall and her colleagues used the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) and analyzed suicide deaths from 2003 to 2012 in 17 different states, segregating them by age group. The NVDRS database is unique in its inclusion of information from multiple sources including medical examiners and law enforcement reports. This allows more in-depth information to be gathered concerning personal, familial, and social factors surrounding a child’s death.

suicide

“We also found that 29 percent of children and early adolescents disclosed their intention for suicide to someone prior to their death,” says Dr. Sheftall. “Our study highlights the importance of educating pediatricians, primary health care providers, school personnel and families on how to recognize the warning signs of suicide and what steps to take when suicidal intent is disclosed. These warning signs include a child making suicidal statements, being unhappy for an extended period, withdrawing from friends or school activities or being increasingly aggressive or irritable.”

Research indicates that the use of suicide risk screening tools by pediatricians increases the detection of suicide risk in youth 400 percent without overburdening clinical care. Not only do pediatricians potentially see at-risk children on a regular basis, early detection allows the healthcare providers an opportunity to alert parents of potential risks and increases the likelihood of a child receiving mental health services in a timely fashion.

“Although suicide is extremely rare in elementary school-aged children, parents should be aware that children can and sometimes do think about suicide,” says Jeff Bridge, PhD, director of the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital and co-author of the study. “It is important to ask children directly about suicide if there is a safety concern. Research has refuted the notion that asking children directly about suicide will trigger suicidal thinking or behavior. It does not hurt to ask. In fact, asking about suicide leads to hope for at-risk youth.”

The report also notes a recent increase in suicide rates among black children. Suicide by hanging, strangulation or suffocation was more common among black decedents in both age groups. More research is needed to establish whether unique patterns of suicide risk exist, so that prevention efforts might incorporate diverse strategies according to the children’s developmental level, race or ethnicity. The research team is currently investigating the best ways to screen young people for suicide risk in healthcare settings and make treatment recommendations to keep those youth identified as being at risk safe.

September 19, 2016
Source:  Nationwide Children’s Hospital   www.news-medical.net


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Why acetaminophen is the ‘most common cause of liver injury’ in Canada

Health Canada boosts labelling requirements, but some doctors want extra-strength products off the shelves

Dr. Michael Rieder, a pediatric clinical pharmacologist at Western University in London, Ont., says acetaminophen misuse is the most common cause of liver injury in Canada.

Health Canada’s new labelling rules for acetaminophen are not strict enough, and the extra-strength products should be removed from store shelves, some doctors say.

Acetaminophen is one of the most widely used pain and fever relievers in Canada and worldwide. It is safe if used properly, but too much can be dangerous, particularly over time.

“It is the most common cause of liver injury. Period. Full stop,” said  Dr. Michael Rieder, a pediatric clinical pharmacologist at Western University in London, Ont.

Part of the challenge is that the drug is ubiquitous. Acetaminophen is found in Tylenol and more than 400 over-the-counter products in Canada, including combination cold and cough medicines and nighttime products, such as NyQuil and Sinutab.

“It used to be that acetaminophen was just in tablets,” said Rieder. Now it’s found in a range of new products and “you may not know that unless you look at the ingredients.”

Acetaminophen products
You may not know that acetaminophen is in a product
unless you look at the ingredients. 

Doctors and pharmacists may recommend acetaminophen to treat minor aches and pains, such as those from the common cold, viral and bacterial infections, headache, toothache, strains and sprains and menstrual cramps.

Too much of it can damage the liver.

Each year, about 4,500 hospitalizations in Canada occur due to acetaminophen overdose, and about 16 per cent of these are accidental, Health Canada says.

Symptoms depend on how much acetaminophen is in the blood. They can range from none to vomiting and abdominal pain to liver failure and death.

The overdoses are one reason Health Canada will be requiring stricter labelling rules for acetaminophen.

“The challenge for us and for practitioners and for patients and anybody that is using this medication is, how do you manage and balance the benefits of the product with the risks?” said Dr. Supriya Sharma, a senior medical adviser in the health products and food branch at Health Canada.

Severe liver damage and failure

Rieder called Health Canada a “responsible regulator” for imposing the new labelling rules. But he’d like to see only regular strength acetaminophen products on store shelves for consumers to grab.

Dr. Eric Yoshida says he’s had patients die waiting for liver transplants that never came after they suffered inadvertent acetaminophen injury. (CBC)

As a liver specialist at Vancouver General Hospital, Dr. Eric Yoshida regularly sees patients with severe liver failure from accidental acetaminophen overdose.

acetaminophen
‘The challenge for us and for practitioners and for patients and anybody that is using this medication is,
how do you manage and balance the benefits of the product with the risks?’

– Dr. Supriya Sharma, medical adviser to Health Canada

“I’m on call to the liver transplant program for this province. I just got a phone call literally two days ago from another hospital of somebody who was a heavy consumer of alcohol and took Tylenol and now they’re in severe liver injury and they were calling for a transplant or possible transplant assessment.”

There’s a good chance of recovery for that individual, Yoshida said, but the problem is a common one.

Yoshida said he realizes that extra-strength products are big sellers. But he wants consumers to be aware that when they take extra-strength acetaminophen, they’re just getting more of that drug, not a different molecule with more pain-relieving properties.
Inadvertent overdoses

“It’s the inadvertent overdoses that are particularly bothersome to myself,” Yoshida said.

He described a typical scenario of someone taking two tablets every three to four hours and then losing track of how much they took. “Those are the kind of inadvertent uses that can lead to drug-induced liver disease, acute liver injury.”

Like Rieder, Yoshida would like to see the amount of acetaminophen in products restricted to the regular-strength dose of 325 milligrams.

Why is too much acetaminophen so toxic to the liver over time?

In most people, therapeutic amounts of acetaminophen are broken down into non-toxic forms and secreted in the urine.

If our detox systems are overwhelmed by high doses of acetaminophen — five to 10 times the regular amount, Rieder said — then dangerous byproducts build up. If severe enough, it can disrupt how the liver works or cause the organ to stop working.

At the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton, critical care physician Dr. Dean Karvellas said he’s seen patients have acute liver failure while taking the maximum daily dose. He’d like to see it lowered from four grams, or eight tablets of extra-strength acetaminophen, to about three grams.

Teens and children affected

The liver toxicity is reversible if mild, Karvellas said, but sometimes the damage can’t be reversed.

It’s the most common cause of drug-induced liver injury in teens, said Rieder, who also chairs the drug therapy committee of the Canadian Pediatric Society.

Health Canada says the risk of liver injuries involving acetaminophen may be higher if you:

  • Have liver disease.
  • Drink three or more alcoholic drinks every day, even if you follow the recommended dose limit.
  • Use acetaminophen for a long time, even at the recommended dose.
    Health Canada’s Dr. Sharma said the regulator heard concerns from patient groups who feared pulling the extra strength products would drive people towards using opioids and other pain medications with more serious side-effects.

As for combining the drug with booze, there’s a feeling alcohol may increase the liver injury, but the jury is out to what degree, Rieder said.

For some vulnerable segments of the population, such as children, taking slightly more than the therapeutic dose over long periods can also result in overdoses, he said.

By Amina Zafar, CBC News    Sep 16, 2016
source: www.cbc.ca


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Stop Letting Your Feelings Color Your Thoughts

Imagine getting into a political discussion with someone who is highly passionate about their beliefs. If the conversation is a good one, those beliefs will likely, at some point, come under question. If their emotional PH is high enough, they’ll interpret that as not only their ideas being threatened, but their identities too. Soon, you’re not having a conversation anymore, but a back-and-forth defense match. It’s not about listening, it’s about being right. You reach for over-generalizations, they argue with singular, personal anecdotes, you make sweeping assumptions, cite studies you read once-upon-a-time, their faces widen with bewilderment at how you cannot possibly see what’s so logical and self-evident to them.

This is a really common example of what happens when people allow their emotions to color their thoughts.

Being passionate is fine. Feeling a lot is fine. But when you lose your ability to differentiate what you feel from what you think, you debilitate yourself. Your arguments lose their edge. You can no longer think clearly. You panic. Irrational fears take hold, because you have corresponding emotions which make them seem true.

Twist your wrist really hard with your opposite hand. Enough so that it hurts a bit. Enough so that the sensation is comparable to what you feel in your chest when you have anxiety. Are you panicking as you twist your wrist? No, because you haven’t assigned meaning to that sensation. In other words, your emotions are not coloring your thoughts right now, because you know better – and that is the key.

thoughts

Your emotional child cannot run the show. Your mental parent must do that, which is something you develop over time.

It’s rare to see an intelligent person become overly-emotional about one fixed, definitive idea. They’re often passionate about concepts, topics, or subjects, but never singular “truths.” This is because well-read, studied, informed people are aware of complexity, possibility, valid, opposing arguments. They know they don’t know everything, and they also know that almost nothing is black-or-white.

You must learn to apply the same logic to your emotional life.

Most things people become extremely emotional about lack depth. They get stuck on one idea, and convince themselves it is unfailingly, unquestionably true. They assume they know everything. They leave no room for growth or learning or possibility.

Your feelings can inform your thoughts, but they cannot color them. Your feelings should be utilized as a mechanism to guide you – show you what makes you comfortable and uncomfortable. From there, your mind must discern. Is this discomfort healthy, or indicative of a problem? Is this pain coming from true hurt, or making meaning of a situation where there is none? From there, you can choose a course of action. You are no longer flailing around, being thrown by temporary, subjective, illogical, inapplicable emotions. You are using your feelings to guide you, not govern you.

BY BRIANNA WIEST


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The Nut That Protects Against Liver Cancer

When it comes to keeping the doctor away, apples could have some serious competition.

Based on new research, the adage could easily be changed to be “Two Brazil nuts a day keeps the doctor away.” That’s because according to the study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a deficiency in the mineral selenium is linked to a marked increase in liver cancer risk. And, you guessed it: Brazil nuts are an amazing source of selenium.

The researchers recognized that selenium deficiency is a widespread health concern that appears to be a risk factor for liver cancer and possibly other forms of cancer, although this study only examined the mineral deficiency’s effect on liver health. The researchers found that suboptimal selenium status may be linked to an appreciably increased risk of liver cancer—up to 10 TIMES the risk.

Eating a diet that contains adequate amounts of the mineral is not only critical to liver health and cancer prevention, it is also imperative to fertility and reproduction, thyroid hormone synthesis, immunity and DNA health. The mineral is also a potent antioxidant that helps to scavenge free radicals before they can damage the body’s cells and tissues.

Earlier studies in the journal Biomedical and Environmental Sciences show that adequate selenium intake also reduces skin cancer risk.

Some of the symptoms of selenium deficiency include: immune weakness, gastrointestinal (GI) problems, hair loss, diarrhea, cirrhosis, fatigue and mood swings. As with many nutritional deficiencies and medical conditions, there can be overlap in symptoms so having these symptoms does not necessarily mean you have a selenium deficiency. Conversely, if you have these symptoms you should consult your physician to rule out any other possible health conditions.

brazil-nuts

Selenium-Containing Foods

Oysters, tuna, whole grains, sunflower seeds, crimini mushrooms, poultry and eggs are all good sources of selenium; however Brazil nuts are by far the best. Just one ounce of these nuts (about 6-8) contains 544 micrograms of selenium. The recommended daily intake is 55 micrograms for adult males and females; however, pregnant and lactating women require 60 to 70 micrograms, respectively.

Selenium is also available in supplement form: as either selenomethionine or selenite. Selenomethionine is the more absorbable form of this mineral. Keep in mind that selenium can build up in tissues and can become harmful in excessive doses.

While an apple a day is still a good idea, you might want to add some Brazil nut butter or a handful of raw, unsalted Brazil nuts to round out the healing properties of this classic snack.

By: Michelle Schoffro Cook       @mschoffrocook       September 8, 2016
Dr. Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD, DNM is an international best-selling and 20-time published book author whose works include: The Life Force Diet: 3 Weeks to Supercharge Your Health and Get Slim with Enzyme-Rich Foods.

 

source: www.care2.com