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Secret to Cavity Free Teeth: Red Wine

December 13, 2014

We usually opt for white versus red wine if we are worried about our teeth — red chompers never look good — but this new study just may change what we reach for this weekend.

Italian researchers have discovered that the bacteria that feeds on sugars in food — and then clings to teeth and your saliva causing cavities — couldn’t do its clinging when red wine was present.

The study author hopes that the compounds in red wine can be separated from the liquid and used in overall oral health (but until then…cheers!)

Canadian researchers also found that  inflammatory gum disease could be prevented and treated by red wine polyphenols…so go ahead, have another glass – your dentist will thank you.

Body, Brainy, Health News, Health Prevention, Mood Boosters

Brain Matters: Easy Steps for Improving and Retaining Memory

July 16, 2014

We love science! Mimi recently edited an article for Marin Magazine (her day job) on the Science of Aging featuring the ground breaking research being done at the Buck Institute in Novato, California. In this two part series, writer Ann Wycoff breaks down some of the huge concepts into bite-sized pieces. As part of the research, Dr. Dale Bredesen, professor at the Buck has created these simple steps to take to prevent cognitive disease such as Alzheimer’s disease. Bring this to your next doctor’s appointment.

Some things to check for in routine blood tests:

1. Homocysteine. It is now recommended that we keep our homocysteine (one of the 20 amino acids related with eating meat) levels at 6 or below. Higher homocysteine is associated with more rapid loss of brain tissue with aging.

2. Inflammation. Your hs-CRP (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein) should be less than 1.0. Your A/G (albumin to globulin) ratio should be 1.8 or higher, ideally.  Here are some “I know already” steps to take to reduce inflammation.

3. Vitamin D. Check your optimal levels are now believed to be in the 50-80ng/ml range.

4. Hemoglobin A1c, which gives you an indication of your average glucose over the past 1-2 months and is better than a spot check of your glucose. It is helpful to know the hemoglobin A1c, the fasting insulin, and the fasting glucose, since these offer complementary information. Hemoglobin A1c should be less than 5.6%, fasting blood glucose should be less than 90 mg/dl, and fasting insulin should be less than 5 uIU/ml. These are critical for optimal cognitive function.

You could also try: Computational training for 45 minutes to one hour per day, 5 days per week, has been shown to improve mild cognitive impairment.

Body, Health News, Health Prevention

Colon Cancer Risk Tied to Fast Food

December 18, 2012

42711932_63275a104aEat junk food? If you have a genetic susceptibility to colon cancer you may have an even greater risk than previously thought.

In a first of its kind study, researchers were able to find a link between certain foods and a higher colon cancer risk in people that were already more susceptible to getting it.

All of the people in the study had Lynch syndrome, a genetic disorder that predisposes people to cancer at younger ages and that affects up to one in 660 people. In the US, most people who get colorectal cancer have this syndrome.

Researchers studied people who ate various food groups including one that was dominated by fruits, vegetables and whole grains; another that was high in meat and coffee; a third dietary group that resembled a Mediterranean diet – fish, leafy greens, pasta, sauces and wine; and a fourth group that was heavy on fried snacks, fast food and diet soda.

The result? Researchers determined that those in the high junk food group were twice as likely to develop colon tumors.

According to the CDC – Of cancers affecting both men and women, colorectal cancer (cancer of the colon and rectum) is the second leading cancer killer in the United States.


Photo via Flickr: by ebruli

Body, Health News

Dark Chocolate Improves Good Cholesterol

November 6, 2012

chocolateNow this is a study we wouldn’t mind being happy participants in — researchers at San Diego State University studied the health benefits of dark chocolate (70% cocoa) and found some tasty health benefits.

The study included 31 men and women, who ate about 1.7 ounces (a standard-size chocolate bar is about 1.5 ounces) of dark chocolate or white chocolate every day for 15 days.

Compared to those who ate white chocolate, those eating dark chocolate had lower blood sugar levels and increased their HDL or good cholesterol by about 20 percent.

As for why the dark chocolate may help blood sugar levels, researchers say its antioxidants may help the body use its insulin more efficiently to control blood sugar, which would help to lower blood sugar levels naturally.


Photo via Flickr: by Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar


Photo via Flickr: by EuroMagic