Archive for February, 2009

Osteoporosis and Exercise

February 28, 2009 Written by JP

If you’ve been diagnosed with osteoporosis or osteopenia (early/mild bone loss), you’ve probably been told to engage in a form of activity called “resistance training”. This form of exercise is thought to slow down the rate of bone loss and, possibly, even increase bone density. But is resistance training the optimal form of exercise for bones? In today’s blog, I’ll present some new research that puts that assertion into question. Read more »


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Posted in Bone and Joint Health | No Comments;

Cancer – Reduce Your Risk

February 27, 2009 Written by JP

We’re all aware of the basic guidelines for staying healthy – don’t smoke or drink excessively, eat nutritious food, exercise regularly and keep your weight under control. That’s the standard medical advice that most doctors will give you. But the reality is that deep down we often wonder whether following those rules will really protect us from the myriad of deadly diseases that we see all around us. This doubt is further strengthened when we see instances of so-called “healthy people” dying from conditions like cancer or heart attacks. Read more »


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Posted in Nutrition | 2 Comments

The Best Time to Exercise

February 26, 2009 Written by JP

Why do so many people dislike exercise? There are obviously many reasons. Some are legitimate and others are more likely a sign of laziness. But one of the most common excuses may not be an excuse at all. If you find it hard to exercise because you feel worn out, then there may be a scientific reason why. But more importantly, there may also be a simple way to help you dread exercise less while at the same time improving the quality of your work out. Read more »


Posted in Exercise | 4 Comments

Kiwi Fruit and Heart Disease

February 25, 2009 Written by JP

One of the downsides of reporting on natural health and nutrition is that you sometimes have to share bad news. Today is one of those days. I have some rather bleak news about one of the world’s most popular snacks. But, I’ll temper that information with some really good news about an exotic fruit that hopefully will become more popular very soon. Read more »


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Posted in Heart Health | 4 Comments

Vitamins for Macular Degeneration

February 24, 2009 Written by JP

Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is an eye disease that is one of the leading causes of vision loss in people over the age of 60. AMD causes progressive damage to the macula (the center of the retina), which in turn severely affects central vision. As its name implies, age is a contributing factor to the development of this form of MD. But, in recent years, evidence has accumulated to suggest that the targeted use of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and phytochemicals (plant chemicals) can help protect against the “normal” progression of this condition. Read more »


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Posted in Nutritional Supplements | No Comments;

Calcium Secrets

February 23, 2009 Written by JP

The purpose of specific nutrients is often thought about in highly generalized terms. Some examples of this can be found in the realms of both vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B12 helps to give us extra energy. Vitamin A (and beta carotene) are important for ocular (eye) health. Zinc is the mineral to take when we feel a cold coming on. Then there’s calcium. It’s the “bone mineral”. There’s truth in all of these generalizations. But nutrients always have multiple and diverse functions. Read more »


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Posted in Nutritional Supplements | No Comments;

Academy Award Trivia and Picks

February 22, 2009 Written by JP

Like many of you, we’re joining some friends for an Academy Award party this evening. So instead of my weekly movie review, I thought I’d pay a little tribute to Oscar on his 81st birthday. Read more »


Posted in Movies | 2 Comments

Tai Chi – An Ancient Healer

February 21, 2009 Written by JP

Have you ever seen a group of people practicing the ancient art of Tai Chi? The first time I was exposed to it, I recall thinking that it seemed like a combination of slow motion martial arts and a rather stationary form of dance. It struck me as being beautiful, but also quite exotic. A kind secret ritual that I couldn’t possibly understand. Read more »


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Posted in Alternative Therapies | 2 Comments

Cinnamon and Health

Written by JP

When I smell the distinctive aroma of cinnamon, I usually think of decadent treats such as pumpkin pie and cinnamon rolls. Then my mind quickly reminds me that these are exactly types of foods that people with blood sugar issues (like me) should be avoiding. But I’m not one to give up easily. I think it’s possible, even advantageous to keep cinnamon around in our quest to eat a more healthful diet. Read more »


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Posted in Nutrition | 3 Comments

New Hope for Seasonal Allergies

February 19, 2009 Written by JP

Springtime is rapidly approaching and with it comes seasonal allergies. I know that many of you probably dread the mere mention of those words. The good news is that there’s a new product coming to the market that just may help to naturally manage those nagging symptoms. Read more »


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Posted in Nutritional Supplements | 2 Comments

Vitamin C Deficiency

February 18, 2009 Written by JP

It’s often difficult to notice marginal nutrient deficiencies. If you’re severely lacking in vitamins and minerals, your body will generally let you know by exhibiting a clear set of symptoms such as those found in iron-deficiency anemia, rickets (a lack of vitamin D) and scurvy (a vitamin C deficiency). But, if like many people, you’re getting just a little less than the optimal amounts of vital nutrients, your body often doesn’t give you tell-tale signs until many years have passed. By then, you may find yourself in a rather unwelcome situation. Read more »


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Posted in Nutrition | 4 Comments

The Health Benefits of Coffee

Written by JP

To drink or not to drink coffee, that is the question; Whether ’tis nobler in the morning to suffer the slings and arrows of a poor night’s sleep, Or to take arms with a cup of Java against a sea of fatigue, And by sipping, to end it. To live, to energize. Read more »


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Posted in Food and Drink | 2 Comments

Fish Oil for Depression

February 16, 2009 Written by JP

There are many people out there who suffer from varying degrees of depression. The causes are sometimes specific, such as a reaction to a traumatic event or a dysfunction of the thyroid gland. But most of the time, the origin of low mood states is simply unknown. When that’s the case, the typical treatment prescribed by a conventional doctor is an antidepressant medication. For some, such medications are literally life-savers. On the other hand, some people simply don’t react well to them. There’s also a sizable group of individuals who aren’t even open to the suggestion of taking this form of “therapy”. Read more »


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Posted in Mental Health | 2 Comments

The Visitor – Movie Review

February 15, 2009 Written by JP

Have you ever watched a movie and seen an actor who looks really familiar, but you just couldn’t place him or remember his name? You think to yourself, “I’ve seen this guy before in lots of films, but which ones”? Such performers are often referred to as “character actors”. One of the best contemporary character actors is Richard Jenkins. At the tender age of 61, he’s finally getting some much deserved attention and a leading role. Read more »


Posted in Movies | 2 Comments

The Science of Kissing and Love

February 14, 2009 Written by JP

Happy Valentine’s Day to you all! Since today is a time to reflect on all things romantic, I thought I’d lighten the usual tone of my blog and focus on a few decidedly non-medical topics: Kissing and Love! Today’s research is from the sector of academia that I refer to as “happy science”. It provides us with accurate information that we love to hear. Read more »


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Posted in Men's Health, Mental Health, Women's Health | No Comments;

Heart Attack and Stroke Signs

Written by JP

In yesterday’s blog, I described one possible strategy to help reduce the risk of heart disease. My hope is that the information I present here will help keep your cardiovascular system healthy and symptom-free. But I understand very well that there are no guarantees in life.  Unfortunately, some of us will have to deal with the stark reality of a heart attack or stroke. It may happen to us personally or to someone close to us. So today, I’d like to offer a brief overview of the most common symptoms that should warn us that a heart attack or stroke is occurring. Read more »


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Posted in Heart Health | No Comments;